A few minutes in my brain

I feel a bit directionless today, bouncing from thought to thought. Restless. Easily distracted.

So, I thought I’d share a few of the things that are ricocheting around in my head.

Last lunch

As I packed H’s lunch today for the last day of “school camp” (one of her teachers has run a three-week camp at the school), it hit me like a heavy jar of grape jelly that this may well be the last school lunch I ever pack for our girl.

All those school mornings, since the first days of daycare when she was three months old, we have packed a lunch in one form or another (from bottles of milk to jam sandwiches). Next year, her school has a cafeteria where she can buy her lunch if she chooses, and I’m pretty sure that’s what she’ll choose. So this morning found me tearing up over her open lunch box. Clearly, I need to develop a thicker skin; this is only the start of the Lasts.

Call me “The Mouse Whisperer”

A few weeks ago, I lazily left the back hatch of my car open as a reminder to fetch the bags of grain and sunflower seed I had picked up at the feed store that day. Then it got late. And it started to rain, so I ran outside, closed the hatch, and figured I’d move the grain and seed into the basement the next morning. Apparently, I trapped a mouse (or two, or three?) in my car that night because the next morning I found a lot of sunflower seed shells, and some other telltale evidence, including a 1″-diameter hole chewed through a plastic interior wall of the car, which led to a gap near the tailpipe, and another 1″-diameter hole chewed through another piece of plastic. I felt sorry for the poor mouse that had to frantically chew its way out of my car, but now I feel like the mice have decided that I asked them to visit.

The other day, I rescued a mouse from the tub. Soon after that, I made the mistake of leaving some seeds in the car overnight again (no, I didn’t learn my lesson). This time there was no damage to the car; the clever mice just used the entrance/exit they had made last time. Last night, I found another mouse in the tub, inside an (open) plastic bag. What?! Since it was already contained, I just lifted the plastic bag up and carried it and the mouse outside, tipped the bag, and let the mouse roll out onto a bench on the deck, where it shivered and shook and curled into a ball. We built a shelter around it with rocks, shoes, and bits of kindling, and left it alone. It was gone this morning.

What do you think? Are we feeding the cats too much?

Potter mania

Like a lot of bookish households, we are in geeky heaven, anticipating the upcoming final installment of the Harry Potter movie series. So much so that we’ve already got tickets (thanks to a friend who was wise enough to check the theater web site a week before tickets were due to go on sale) to the first midnight showing! Eeek. And we gather around the computer as a family to watch the latest released movie previews. And we’re watching this web site and wondering what the heck ol’ JK is up to. How will we make it until the 15th of July without bursting?

What do you make with goat milk when you don’t have time to make cheese?

Cajeta, of course! Wonderful, rich, deep, smooth caramel sauce made from goat milk, sugar, and vanilla. It’s in the refrigerator right now. So far far away from my mouth. But not for much longer. I have a spoon, and I know how to use it.

Jars of cajeta


I’m hooked on Slate’s weekly roundtable podcast, “Culture Gabfest“. I love that they talk about anything and everything even remotely related to “culture”, from movies to pie to politics to kids to books to pop songs to video games to art exhibits and everything else under the sun. I love that the panel gets silly and goes off on tangents, but mostly I love that they spend time really talking about something, giving their opinions, changing their minds, and asking each other questions.

My very favorite part is the end of the show, where each panel member (typically there are three Slate writers on the show) gives an “endorsement”. They tell us about something interesting in the world that they want to share. It could be a book, or a song, or a restaurant, or a web site, or anything at all really.

Isn’t that a cool idea?

So I thought maybe from time to time I’d endorse something here that I think you might find interesting.

Today, I give you a web site that M pointed me to, called “Dear Photograph“. It’s a very simple idea: superimpose a photo from the past over the same setting today. The result is a blend of past and present, memory and the current moment. The results are nostalgic, a bit sad, and sometimes very moving.

The song playing in my head today

Wow. That helped. My brain feels emptier. Time for lunch. And a weekend.

What are you thinking about today?