Monday, February 25, 2008

Body Scents

I love to go to Bath and Body. Not often. Just enough to check out what is new and sometimes, to buy what is not. I will buy pumpkin scented lotion in February and tropical mango candles in October. I will dutifully keep my coupons for a free drop of lotion if I buy $65 worth of aromatherapy candles. 

I got the usual cheerful greeting from a woman, holding a basket, looking for all the world like a blossom. Radiant, happy, full of potential probably because she smelled so good and lived in a world of tangerine invigorating wrinkle reducing skin serum. She smiled at me in sort of a pained way. The way a blossom might smile at a Christmas tree in March. Then she asked me this question: "Do you have a personal scent?"

There were oh so many places I could go with this one. I immediately thought of the conversation my husband and I had had just recently when we were getting ready for bed. We both needed to jump in the shower and Joel remarked, "Whoa. One of us smells like chicken." 
"I hope it's you," was my reply. 

As I sorted through what I could possibly answer Bath and Body's Hopeful Blossom, I noticed my boys were getting right to the task of generating their own personal scent. The best description I have would be Coconut Bubble Gum Cinnabon Sparkle. They view tester bottles sort of like the dessert line at Old Country Buffet; the more the better.

I was finally able to say that no, I did not have an intentional personal scent but was just looking around. I shopped in the Reject Smell section of the store, and as I did, I pondered what scent I might choose for myself, if such a thing were even possible. 

Thus, I landed on the idea of bleach. Bleach says, "I'm clean and practical." Bleach says, "I'm a responsible adult." Bleach says, "If I've invited you over for a meal, you can feel free to use the wooden cutting boards and the kitchen sponge." 

I didn't ask if they carried my newly invented personal scent in a lotion. I bought a $3.00, 8 ounce bottle of Vanilla Bean Holiday soap and wondered if I had time to stop at Target for a $.97, 2 gallon bottle of bleach. It comes in lavender now too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Have you ever had....?

When I make meatballs for supper, they are already in ball form. When I make hamburgers, they are already patties. Chicken breasts? Boneless, skinless, sometimes even seasoned. Salmon is filleted, hotdogs are in tubes, spaghetti sauce is ready in the time it takes to open the jar and warm it up. This is all to give the back drop to Joel's question about deer. 

"Have you ever had deer that wasn't in a sausage form?" he casually asked me one night. 
"No. I didn't know it came in another form except for sausage, or maybe strolling across the yard and lying twisted in a ditch," I answered. 
"Well, Pete and Jen have 60 pounds of deer meat in their freezer. Pete said it's in all sorts of cuts, ready to cook and really good." 
"How did they get 60 pounds of ready deer meat in their freezer?" was my next question. I was hoping that maybe there had been a big sale on prepackaged deer, feeling though, like that was somewhat unlikely.
"He shot it and cut it up," Joel answered. Sort of like one might describe the way coffee is made: "Oh, he ground the beans and put them in a filter...."
"He shot it?" I clarified. "It didn't die near his yard or get hit with his car?" 

What followed was the ole' I Just Need a Gun, A Hunting License and a Day In The Woods Conversation; the conversation with the This Is Really No Big Deal undertone. However, there is another undertone worth paying attention to called How It Really Is With Us. Joel shot a pheasant one afternoon. What followed was something pretty close to a B horror movie right in my kitchen. It would have been called "Night of the Crockpot Pheasant Whose Feet Rotted On the Counter." The feet stunk. The pheasant stunk. We ate about 3 bites in order to claim that we had been self sufficient, not relying on some far flung region of the world to feed us. I would not let the kids near it. Even after several hours in a crockpot, it still looked like guaranteed bird flu. Some people like to claim that things they hunt "taste sort of like chicken." Or, that they "liked it, it was just a little gamey." They are lying. This tasted nothing like chicken; and "gamey" has a sort of complimentary adventurous feel to it. Rotty with Bite is much more accurate.

So now I'm back to thinking about this deer who is different from a pheasant in so many ways that make it all the less appealing to actually prepare and eat:
1. It has a personality
2. It is the type of animal people put on calendars and greeting cards
3. It will not fit into my crockpot

However, this Friday I will be buying grainy bread and dark chocolate. I will be helping to complete a meal of venison stew that our dear and, may I say, very brave friends are bringing to our house. Pete would like to take Joel out hunting. I will remind Joel that we have already had deer once this year. It was at least 60 pounds, probably more. It was in the form of a condiment that ran along the entire passenger side of our suburban. 


Monday, February 11, 2008

Innocence Lost

Who knew the shark video from the library should have had a rating, an "explicit content" sticker, a giant head with a bigger mouth saying, "Not appropriate for your children."

It's been way below zero here for a really long time. Eventually, I will probably start showing full length movies during morning play break but for now, I am still doing documentaries. Maybe it's that I feel like I am still doing school when animals are being filmed and educationally spoken of. That's in contrast to trying to make, say, a study guide for "Finding Nemo. A lot of my opinions changed though, this morning. 

I got off the treadmill. I had been listening to John Piper on Romans 9. My head was filled with thoughts of election, sovereignty, irresistible grace. I walked into the room where my kids were watching the shark documentary I had checked out from the library and instructed them to watch. I came in at this part: 

"The male shark finally manages to get a hold of the female's gills. As he grabs onto them, he lacerates them, causing her to lie still. The male now brutally and violently implants himself in the female. Finally finished, he swims away while she lies exhausted and injured." 

There is plenty of photography to accompany this statement. The photographer/sicko remarks on the rarity of such close footage of this sort of behavior. I am catatonic. "What are they doing, Mom?" awakens me out of my stupor, not to give an answer but simply to say, "Wow. Who's ready to go upstairs?"

The forecast for tomorrow is 8 degrees. It's time to go outside to play. I think it is still too cold for the deer to be making plans.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Are Wildberry Poptarts a Fruit?

I used to be quite familiar with health food stores. I knew where to find what I needed and what the things in the bins were that I didn't need. I was following a recipe garnered from some recently issued magazine like "Cooking Light." Ten ingredients? No problem. Ten ingredients, 45 minute prep time, 3 servings? Didn't bat an eye. 
I was in a health food store last week. The first thing my kids and I found was the bakery. I asked my son to get a chocolate chip cookie for me. "This one?" he said, pointing to a gluten free cookie. "No, the one below it." "Oh, this one?" "No," I responded. "That one is fat free. Mommy is pointing to the one with all the chunks sticking out of it." After successfully selecting the cookie of the day, we headed to the "bins." The bins are another name for a whole bunch of grainy, nutty, dried, leafy collections in plastic containers. However, there is a shining star amidst the wheat free organic nonprocessed whole grain fig bars. Its name is Malt Balls. They are the biggest malt balls I have ever seen. One could almost imagine a round of golf with them. They do not seem to fit in with their neighbors (carob raisins and sunflower trail mix.) But they are glorious, and we buy them. 
At the checkout line, my baby begins to chew through the plastic wrap that surrounds my cookie. I look in our cart and assess the absence: absence of nutrition, absence of the food pyramid, absence of anything but dessert. The child in the cart behind us is eating an unpeeled organic carrot. His mother is buying an organic free range chicken and bread that required the better part of an acre of grain to make. I sigh. I remember my days of starting a meal with ingredients whose most recent memory was a garden. Now I wonder. Are Wildberry Poptarts ever organic and do they count as a fruit?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Name That Smell

Mom, my toenails smell like Cheetos.... Mom, the baby's toy smells like mushrooms.... These are two of the latest "smells like" situations we've had. There are probably many more, it's just that no one has taken the time to smell them. 

All of this has given me pause to reflect on the issue of what is clean and how important is it? Just this week, the news reported that the products used to make babies smell like babies (not mushrooms) are potentially dangerous. The comment I particularly liked was, "We don't think a chemical build up in anyone's urine is a good thing." So now, all those times that I was planning to give our baby a bath but never got around to it, seem rather fortuitous. Clean was overrated. Likewise, a germ free house. Earlier this year, I heard that kids are more prone to allergies and asthma if they are not exposed to germs. That's a good news/bad news situation. None of my kids has allergies, but what does that say about the house? How deep does their resistance go? The bright side is that perhaps they could go to a Third World country.... and drink the water.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Blogging 101

Today, my brilliant husband showed me the elementary aspects of setting up a blog site.  So, here it is.  Actually, I'm dishing out ice cream while my humble husband finishes.