i imagine it’s only fair to mention that this blog has relocated.  no use hanging out with the archives.  we’re done here.

pronounced “bouquet”

move along betsy.


the kids have been watching blandings like nobody’s business.  this morning, upon arriving at the breakfast table to find cereal instead of mush, gideon raised his fists in triumph and declared, “where there was squelch man, there shall be a godly crrrunch!”

ollllld news

oddly enough, chewing food doesn’t seem to slow down a child’s capacity for noise.  and idiocy.  i particularly noticed this one evening while the children were arguing over who got to be what on the pop bottle.  “i’m shasta!”  “no, i’m shasta!  you’re ginger!”  “well who is going to be ale?”  and after much rioting it was discovered that everyone would rather die than be ale.  and i discovered that i would rather die than listen to any repeat of this conversation.  ever.


lucky for me i have a husband who likes to read at the table.  marc has to begin by reading quietly for a bit.  then, just before the conversation derails itself into a puddle of quivering imbecility, he jumps in and saves the day with some fascinating anecdote.  and we’re off.  we’ve had talks about the girth of henry the 8th (complete with tape measure), the history of alcohol, feminism, socialism, colliding migratory birds, the birkenhead drill, the transatlantic cable, why people in paris are under the general impression the government should pick up their dog poo, margaret sanger and her “negro project,” we’ve read about symphonies and then had to listen to them, observed “beatlemania” on the ipod, we’ve honored deaths, celebrated births, and laughed.  a lot.

i imagine for lots of people this comes naturally.  but my husband and i would just as soon stare at each other.  we can’t help it, we’re both good looking.  😉  but boy has been incredibly faithful in this regard, and it’s been wonderful.  especially when you consider the alternative.  we’ve also declined to dismiss people immediately from the table.  if you really want to get down, you can go work on the dishwasher.  and usually i start kitchen work at this point and try to get the bulk of the work done before the mass exodus.  (they keep me company.)  but i hope that someday we can clear the table only to start all over again with dessert.  because this is the place you should want to be.  incidentally, if you do get down, it only means that it’s time for saxon math.  yes, let that put the fear of god in you.

we like our rpms

jehu was looking for the cd case of audiobooks the other day.  i overheard him asking his brother, “do you know where all the little records are?  for that thing over there?”  (referring to the cd player.)  but really, no one needs to know what cds are anyways.  things of the past.  otto children, on the other hand, are ahead of their time.  vinyl is forever.

deary days

small town parades are the best.  they practically drive up to you, stop, and then dump out a bucket of candy.

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and that is just what my mother has in her mouth.  i would be nice and not include any pictures of her with her lip full of chaw, but unfortunately, she was so occupied in all of them.

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red, aren’t they?

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i could be mistaken, but it looks like either one of them is going to spit on the pavement any second.

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but that really wasn’t the point of this post.  here are the darling children with their cousins living large at grandma’s.

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that’s the life.

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and here i am taking daddy boy in hand.  me yammering, him failing to look concerned.  repeat.

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the children were commandeered again by the other grandparents last weekend.  boy and i were sitting across from each other at the empty dinner table when i asked in mock desperation, “what would do if we didn’t have kids?  would we still like each other?  do we even have anything in common?!”  to which he replied indifferently, “nothing but jesus.”  now that’s the good stuff.

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i stopped and chatted up this grandma.  she even let me take pictures.  i have to say, she strikes me as the kind of woman who never bothered with saying “when.”  just my type.

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on our way to the library fundraiser.

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natalie posing with a personal favorite.  please note the less obvious volume in her other hand.

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the otto boys wasting no time.

and here i am working on my pile.

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in other news, this blog is finished!  clean out of space.  i think i can throw up more text, but otherwise i had better get to work on the new digs and come up with a camera.  perhaps i’ll see you around.  *m

bad mommy

i can’t remember my kids’ names.  maybe that’s my fault for naming them so obscurely and then having five.  but dang-it, i run through at least three proper nouns, including siblings and close friends,  before hitting on the right one.  “jael, natalie, judith, what’s your face…rahab!”  anyways, it’s just not right.  i remember my friend with five was here, and her two year old was having a melt down.  she kept remonstrating with her and it only got worse, until we finally picked up on what the girl was blubbering about.   “i’m not sussanna, i’m jane!  i’m jane!”  ha.  poor little kid.  not that i would feel too bad.  but really, i either i need to round up the will power to clean up my act or just start calling them “hey kid.”

i’m leaning towards the latter.  i think it’s “son” or “daughter” from here on out.  unless your name is “gideon.”  then i don’t even bother, i just whip out my water safety whistle and cover my ears.  i got this.

yes, we’re still eating

someone asked.  😉


m.  grapes + crackers and cheese (we had a late lunch out with daddy)

t.  crispy quinoa and mole sweet potato tacos 

w.  tadoori grilled tofu with cauliflower curry and cucumber raita + lemon blueberry cake + company!

thrs.  white bean, avocado, and lime soup + homemade corn chips + chocolate truffles

f.  tofu tikka masala + indian fried green beans


m.  costco

t.  simple spaghetti with kale, lemon, and garlic

w.  avocado sammiches

thrs.  spaghetti with spinach, garlic, and lemon + cucumbers and fresh dill in greek yogurt

f.  “almost chipotle” beans and rice + sauteed zucchini with garden dill


m.  cereal + yogurt and honey + egg cups

t.  biscuits and mushroom gravy + orange juice

w.  fresh blueberry pancakes + oj

thrs.  baked spinach and eggs + toast + tea

f.  pancakes + (fake) sausage + eggs

and no, we still haven’t fixed the camera.

keeping up appearances

vicar: "oh no, it's the bucket woman. drive, drive!!"

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