Thursday, March 31, 2011

The maple syrup farmers have been busy the last couple of weeks in this neck of the woods. Some of the resulting bounty has found its way to my pantry. I'm very excited at the amount of fresh local syrup I've been able to find.

4 Litres (a gallon) were made by a co-worker of Mr. A who makes syrup as a hobby. We signed up for 2 litres but we pleasantly surprised at being offered another two. It seems it was a sap-plenty season. This is the first time I've had syrup packed per litre into large mason jars. I love this option! There's a lovely wide pouring surface, the jars are reusable and they are so much better than the top-heavy store bought jar that is constantly falling over in my fridge.

The large 4L is from a local syrup farm that has a limited run of syrup packaged in 4L containers. My mom tries to get a family order in early so my whole extended family gets a large jug that will last (some of them) all year. In my house, maple syrup is very nearly a food group. I'm excited to see how long I can stretch this batch. I'm already down a pint: 2 batches of maple fudge and a load of breakfast pancakes.

The last few months have seen a huge surge in maple syrup prices around here. 500mL (2cups) is $13 at the grocery store. We don't have a year-round farmer's market, so once you run out, you're forced into buying from the grocery store. This year's local homemade is selling at $12 per liter. Mr. A is glad to have found such a great 'deal' as well. He is newer to the maple syrup habit having grown up on that other stuff they call syrup...but it's not. Thankfully we have the extra grocery money to put up this much syrup.

With the arrival of the syrup, I can now finally agree that Spring is here. I'm sure there are other signs if I would only go outside and notice them. I will be calling an end to my seasonal hibernation this week...fueled by the need to disperse the extra maple fudge to somewhere other than my hips counter top.

♥Mrs. A


March Madness

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today was a March Madness day. My people were here, there and everywhere requiring this, that and more. On top of it all, I had a number of responsibilities and obligations to meet.

One of today's obligations included the creation and distribution of Mint Oreo Truffles. Yum!

Perhaps it's my age. Perhaps it's just years and years of trying, but I must say that I'm proud of myself for accomplishing all of today's 'to do's without the usually meltdown...which usually manifests itself in the form of a flappable, loud, ornery and barely productive woman. Yea me.

It's interesting to see the difference in their needs as my kids get older. Still needy, but in a totally different way than when they were toddlers requiring all sorts of physically demanding care. Although, I do have to question the increased amount of lap-time being required by a certain Miss K. Not that I mind, but she is taller than me now, and quickly gaining on me in the mass department as well.

I suppose I notice the differing needs more these days as my siblings have begun having babies. And nice babies. I'm sure my babies were just as nice...I'm sure I would have properly noticed if I hadn't been so sleep deprived. So I'm thankful that I'm able to stay home and spend every day with my grown-up babies.

Now I'm off to relax and bask in the glow of a productive day. Tomorrow I'll wake up and try to do it all aver again.

~Mrs. A.


My Cautious Boy

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Boy has been playing guitar. He saved up his allowance last year and bought a very lovely acoustic guitar. Since then, he saved up his allowance and has bought himself a nice little beginner electric guitar with amp.

Mr. A. and I are sending him to lessons with great success. He's flown through the first beginner book. He practices lots...although he could use some guided practice in my humble opinion, but this is his ballgame so I'm letting him run with it.

He really likes his teacher who was chosen due to his close geographical proximity to us. There was the small bonus factor of his being an old family friend from Mr. A's childhood.

The Boy and his guitar teacher get along famously. I hadn't fully realized how well they were matched until after this week's lesson when The Boy returned home and related his conversation to me.

The Boy asked his teacher if there was anything new and exciting going on. The teacher replied that he never does anything exciting. He prefers a more steady and scheduled existence. The Boy said he understood, but wondered what his teacher might choose to do if the opportunity presented itself.
Because isn't it always better to plan one's exciting activities?

The teacher asked for a suggestion. Bungee jumping was tabled. The Boy and his teacher then proceeded to list the reasons against doing such an exciting thing: a new rope couldn't be used as it hadn't been tested in the field yet. But just the same, a used rope could fail at any time. And what if the guy running the show measured wrong or his math wasn't reliable? But certainly one couldn't measure the rope reliably on their own; doesn't that require some kind of training? Jumping from a bridge over water presents drowning possibilities. Yet jumping off a cliff presents possibilities worse than a little water in the lungs. Even if all goes well, who's to say there won't be long term consequences to your body?

I can just imagine them both sitting there wearing guitars, their feet up on those curious little one-foot guitar playing props, nodding sagely at each other as they methodically nailed the bungee jumping coffin shut.
So The Boy, now understanding that he shares the same calculating tendencies and innate cautiousness as his teacher, makes a final comment on the subject. If ever presented with the opportunity to do an exciting thing, his teacher should peer over the side of the Hoover Dam. It's so exciting that you only need to peek for a second before your head goes all funny and you need to step back. And just like that, in only a second or two, you get all the exciting feelings you need.

It's like checking things off a list with this kid.


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