Monday, July 19, 2010

Pancakes Redux

As requested, here are some more pancake pictures. The second photo is me training for the Tour de Lacs

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Joke?

On Tuesday morning we were sitting on our deck eating breakfast and M said that he forgot to say good morning when he came into our room after he woke up.  So he said good morning.  We all responded with good morning.  J, not to be left out, noted he had not said good morning, either.  So he said good morning.  We all responded with good morning.  Then, little E, not to be left out, got a big smile and said night-night. 

We all laughed hysterically.   E, seeing our reaction, laughed and continued to say night-night.  I think that was his first joke.  He's 19 months.  Was it an accident?  Random?  How did he put morning and night together?  Was it simply nonsense and H and I applied the meaning to the moment?  He seemed to know it was funny before he said it, but he could simply have been responding to the smiles the rest of us wore.  It makes me wonder how much a 19 month old knows, what kind of relationships between ideas and words one can make.  Clearly more is going on inside that what one can articulate, but how much. 

In the end it doesn't matter.  It was a great morning.  It was a great way to start the day. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One Thing

I plan to post a picture every Sunday that reflects the week. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Festival of Fathers

Who knew that I was following a trend?  I didn't.

 Festival of Fathers


M: Do you know what giant melons are called?

Mom: What?

M: Giant melons.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Usufruct Revisited

Below is an old post from an old blog about usufruct from January 2009.  I decided to reproduce it here since just a few days ago the twins and I went to Dayton Park and picked mulberries from the trees overhanging the bike trail. 

Here is the old post:
So I recently discovered the concept of usufruct in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma.  As I understand it, it is an idea that dates back to the Romans in which a person can us use or benefit from another's property as long as the property isn't damaged.  Pollan writes about an experience in which he took cherries that hung over a tree into a family member's yard.  Pollan also describes places in his hometown, Berkeley, from which he can get fruit from publicly located trees.

Though I have traditionally been on the cautious side, my wife has readily enjoyed the benefits of the public cornucopia.  One of my earliest memories of this is camping at Craig Lake in the U.P. and finding some wild blueberries.  She, I, and another friend made blueberry pancakes, with the blueberries that survived our happy taste buds.  

Now, the twins and I take bike rides in the fall and pick mulberries from the trees along the Flint River Trail.  It makes for happy messy times.  I look forward to making it a foursome when our new one is old enough. 
On Friday, we went to Seven Lakes State Park and while having a snack before our hike, we found wild raspberries.  Besides being delicious, it's such a wonderfully tasty surprise to make such a find. 
Finds like these also remind me of how underused our land is.  Sometime people begin community gardens or plant gardens in their yards, but there is much more right outside our doors that we walk past and could easily take advantage of.  Go to a grocery store and pay a premium for "mixed greens" that include the recently popular dandelion green.  Why pay when they are growing in our yards?  Yes, one should find food that isn't sprayed with petrochemicals or toxins, but a quick look around the neighborhood and one can find them everywhere. (Feel free to come pick them from our chemical-free lawn.)
 Nearly every street in Flint has a mulberry tree or wild raspberries. Parks here are nearly all chemical-free, many have wild grapes, and all of them have dandelions.  We should take greater advantage of what is at our disposal.  When we plant something new in our yard, we try to make sure it's edible.  We now have two cherry trees, a small apple tree, black raspberries, blackberries, chive, tarragon, mint, and strawberries.  We also planted a more traditional vegetable garden with tomatoes and lots of other vegetables. 

I also relish these moments with my boys, in which they learn more about their environment, because when stop on our bike to eat mulberries or raspberries, we also look at other plants, bugs, birds, and animals.  We talk about the river and keeping everything as clean as possible.  We pick up trash if we see it, which is an easy, small step to keeping our community clean, all of which starts with getting off the bike to eat community berries.  Usufruct.

Maybe in a later post I'll tackle roadkill squirrel pelts to make shoes, but I doubt it.  

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ocean, by M.

Catch fish
And store them in the closet
Then eat them in the sky
And use the bones for cups
And make a hole in them
And put juice in them
And drink it
And eat the other bones
And eat cups and coffee mugs
And eat coffee
And eat the whole world
And throw the whole world in the trash
Blub blub blub.