Friday, October 30, 2009

Potatoes in the New World

Here are some pics I haven't shared yet.

It's bedtime...holla!  Notice the peeled border in the background?  I will never again put something like that in reach of tiny fingers.  As soon as Miles could stand up in the crib he started to peel the border and when Des came along he did the same thing.  Looks real classy right?  I refuse to fix it until we move into our own house.

                                                     Daddy sneaking baby kisses

I'm feeling a sore throat and that weird swallowing thing you get when you're getting sick but not quite there yet.  Hopefully it won't go full blown because I don't have time for that.  At least that's what I keep telling my body in my head "stop it, I don't have time to be sick."

I continue to chip away at "De Orbe Novo"  and I have to say it is taking much longer to read it than I anticipated.  I usually spend 4 hours at a time at the Clements and in that time I can read about 115 pages on average.  That's 115 of the modern English translation.  Currently I am on page 294 in the modern which translates to page 94 in the actual book.  SO....there are 390 pages in the actual book.  Gonna take a little longer is my point.

Yesterday my pseudo travels took me on journeys with Vasco Nunez, who like to set wild dogs upon unruly South American natives.  Not a very uplifting topic but the reality of new world exploration is not for the faint of heart. I also read the first written account EVER of a white potato.  Of course many people still do not know that the potato did not originate in Ireland, despite the fact we associate potatoes with the Irish almost instantly.  They originated in South America!  The Spanish explorers, whose first hand accounts I am reading for my essay, were so taken by the little dirt rocks they couldn't stand it.  They called it a miraculous gift from God much like the water chestnut when eaten raw and a delicacy when cooked.  It's funny to read and try to imagine a world without potatoes, which is exactly what the Europeans had before landing in the New World.

And that concludes my history lesson for today:)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lots of Pretty Pictures

Seems there is no end in sight to the pretty autumn pictures I keep capturing of the boys.  I think I can thank my Canon for that as well as mother nature:)  But first let me share this indoor shot of my little men.

Last week Miles decided he couldn't possibly eat unless he had his microphone next to him so he could sing while he dined on lovely pasta:)  I was happy to oblige him and am now convinced that he is on the road to music greatness.  I'm hoping more for a composer than a rock star.  Celebrities have too many issues :P

A day at the pumpkin patch.  Not to be confused with the apple orchard we seem to so frequently visit:)

My sweet little man.  I told him to pick up that big one and bring it to momma and of course he actually tried to:)

Baby Miles

    Walking through the pumpkin patch.

                   Babies Sarah, Desmond and Miles.  Cousins love to play together and eat together too:)

Everything in Moderation

Today I am contemplating the need for more time in a day.

Instead of being able to devote the 8-10 hours I truly need to work on my book, or read the Eight Decades for my soon-to-be published essay, or clean and organize all rooms of the house in which I live, or finish and fold eight loads of laundry, or go to the store(s) to pick up much needed items, or visit Border's and center my soul with coffee and paper, or any other of the bagillion (yes, it's a word if I say it is) things that one has to do in a day to simply be you.

I realize that everyone deals with this 'lack of time' frustration but my daily life is lived 98% for others so I'm entitled to a little selfishness right!?  My biggest problem is the frustration induced anger the time dilemma creates for me, which I then have a bad tendency to take out on cutie babies.

Now, let's be clear, these little men are pushing the envelope of acceptable behavior most days but they are only 3 and 1 therefore leeway must be given.

Besides, it's hard to be frustrated for long when these are the faces you're looking at:)

Yeah that's me on the left and Matt on the right in case anyone couldn't see the resemblances:) (Above)

                                                                  Brotherly love!

And on and on.  After children we are able to still do the things we love but everything in moderation.  SO no I don't get 8 hours to write, but when my mom watches the boys maybe I can get in 3.  Matt and I don't while away the weekends anymore but we do get out often enough to keep our sanity.  As for the laundry, organizing, shopping never ends anyway.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Again at the Orchard

You can't live in Michigan and not visit an Apple Orchard at least once, if not multiple times, in the Fall.  It's beautiful out with the colors changing, the weather is mild and allows you to let the kids run free just a little more before going outside means putting ones little bambinos in 72 layers of down that they can't really move in without falling over every two inches like they're doing the 'trust fall' at summer camp.
I actually love that part, it's the 45 minute outerwear dressing time before actually getting out the door that kind of  works the patience.  Anyway, Matt's Aunt Linda and Uncle Brian were visiting from Arizona, land of sand and heat, and lo and behold it was their first visit to Michigan so you know what that means.
I wish I could say it was beautiful out but unfortunately, despite the forecast calling for a balmy 60 degrees, it turned out to be more like 40.  To someone from AZ that might as well be -40:)  We still managed to have fun and in defense of the forecast I think it hit 60 about 4:00 pm for a few minutes when the Sun found it's way out from behind the blanket of gray clouds.

Matt's Mom and her half-sister Linda

Desmond gave up on walking, he just wanted to eat his apple:)

Miles, on the other hand, is much more interested in picking them than he is in eating them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Preserving Family

When I was a little girl, about 8 or 9 years old, I helped my cousin Kelly conduct an oral history of my Grandma Drow's life.  At Christmas that year my cousin Diane, who has lived out of state as long as I've been alive, sent my grandmother a "Grandma Remembers" gift.  Now, we've all seen these books or kits at Border's or Barnes and Noble.  Or maybe you haven't because you don't spend all your free time at bookstores like moi, it doesn't really matter, the point is they're out there and they are very much worth the 'trouble' of purchasing and following through with filling them out.
Little did I know at the time we were doing this how much this simple gift and short oral history would turn out to be a very precious memory and invaluable piece of family history.  That would last for years beyond my dear grandmother herself.
Bertha Catherine VerSnyder, what a woman.  As I was cleaning the basement one day I came across the printed manuscript of that day and reread the life story of my grandmother.  I read of her childhood in Leelenau, her courtship with my grandfather Fred, the birth of my Aunt Vonnie and my Dad (and ultimately all 5 of her children), and I remembered that a life was lived.  I exist because she existed, my children exist because she existed, just as she did because of her ancestors. What an amazing revelation, and how sad that more people don't cherish and try to preserve the life stories of our precious family members.
We all walk through this life for a very short time and when we are gone we will only be remembered by what we leave behind.  Some people are great scientists, politicians, sports stars, teachers.  There mark is well-documented. Others are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, no less remarkable but sadly less documented.  I had my mother fill out a book about her life and a separate one about her relationship with my Dad.  It's something I know I'll always treasure and no one can tell a life story better than the one who's lived it.

The little girl on the far right is my Grandma Drow

I love this picture they both look so young.  Grandpa was a handsome guy!  That is a nephew of my Grandparents not one of their children.

This one didn't scan very well, but it's a very debonair shot of my Grandpa and the best part about it is the notation by my Grandmother on the bottom (which unfortunately isn't visible) that says "My Man."

A great shot of My great grandma Drow (1)holding my father (#2 he was a cutie pie:), (3)Great-grandpa Drow, (4) Uncle Wally, who  looks like the relative I got my Laissez-faire attitude from:) and finally my Grandpa Drow (aka Fast Freddy) 1941

I guess what I'm hoping is that people will be more thoughtful about preservation.  In the immortal words of Simon and Garfunkel "Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you."  I hope this wasn't depressing.  I really meant it to be more inspirational and informative.:P  And because no blog posting is complete without a gratuitous picture of cutie babies...

Pregnant with Des, enjoying some final alone time with my baby Miles.  Doesn't seem so very long ago:(

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Apple Scrumping etc...

I suppose it wasn't technically scrumping since I believe that means to steal apples from a tree and B and I paid for ours, but never the less we did go to Wasem's to pick apples and try to get into the Fall groove. I love Fall more than any other time of year.  Everything smells like cinnamon and the landscapes look like they were painted by one of the masters.

Good times were had by all.  That's all for now, off to buy a Michigan shirt and get ready for the game.  Go Blue!

Monday, October 5, 2009


It's official.  I will be publishing an essay in a book for the Clements.  I am going to have a heart attack.  I wish I had a picture of myself looking like I'm having a heart attack to insert here but instead I'll put in this.

Precious little men:)