Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
We went to a reading and signing for the book, B is for Battle Cry. The author and illustrator, Patricia Bauer and David Geister, were as nice as could be, signing both the boys books and posing for pictures. This husband and wife team told the boys how a single book can influence your entire life. I completely agree.
I had never heard a canon in person, and holy cow, are they loud. The earth shakes, and your ears ring. I can't imagine the fear of the poor people who happened to live near a battle site.
The artist came by the boys to sketch the battle. I think S's nose prints are on his sketchpad!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Thank you Ina Garten! I love this applesauce from her first cookbook, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It's so easy, tastes wonderful and my whole house smells amazing. I got the apples at Jerry's Apples, from Jerry himself. This is also the home of Jimmy the Groundhog. I felt so honored!
- 2 large navel oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 to 8 apples)
- 3 pounds sweet red apples, such as Macoun, McIntosh, or Winesap (about 6 to 8 apples)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples (reserving the peel of 2 of the red apples) and toss them in the juice. Pour the apples, reserved apple peel, and juice into a nonreactive Dutch oven or enameled iron pot. Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and allspice and cover the pot. Bake for 1 hour, or until all the apples are soft. Remove and discard the red apple peel. Mix with a whisk until smooth, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Below is an article that was in the Wisconsin State Journal yesterday. Thank you Mr. Bromley for voicing something I have been concerned about for a long time. I think I am doing my boys a favor by giving them hours, days, weeks, months of free time. Right now our yard has Big Wheels and scooters scattered, sidewalk chalk has created art on the driveway, and there is rope tied to trees for some reason I'm not aware of. I am giving my boys freedom and a childhood.
Open your front door, lean out to listen and you'll hear two things: First, the sound of your electric bill tripling as you let conditioned air escape your home. And second, the silence of children not at play outdoors.
Think about it: When is the last time you saw kids playing ball in the yard? Or running after each other in a game of tag? Or launching counteroffensives in a water balloon fight?
Driving through my neighborhood this summer, there was scant evidence of the existence of children. Yet I know they're out there somewhere, because the schools are always hitting me up for fundraisers. And somebody out there must be buying all those Bratz dolls and Transformers action figures.
Back in my youth in the 1980s, a period archaeologists one day will label the Jazzercise Era, we were always at play outside with the neighbor kids. Almost daily we'd round up Timbob, Sniff, the Beast and the Brendemuehl brothers for baseball games. We also were known to organize lemonade stands, squirt gun wars and haunted houses so scary they made our little brothers wet their Underoos.
I don't see much of that going on anymore, and it's not just because nobody's buying Underoos. Why are kids neither seen nor heard these days?
This is where I'm supposed to label today's kids as lazy dweebs too busy playing PlayStation to realize their brains and physiques are turning to marshmallow, or that the reason they're not playing in the yard is that they're up in their bedrooms surfing the Internet or manufacturing crystal meth.
But I don't believe that. I don't blame their lack of outdoor play on kids at all. I blame us, their parents.
Kids don't have to organize pickup games anymore because parents have taken over. Who has time for a game out back with the neighbor kids when you've got Little League two nights a week and basketball league one night a week, not to mention daily swim team practice?
Why haven't you seen kids staging plays in the front yard? Probably because they're at dance camp, or taking voice lessons, or attending a drama seminar.
Qualifier No. 1: There's nothing wrong with these constructive activities. Better to have kids improving themselves than hanging out in the Hardee's parking lot, the place in my hometown where wayward youths went to get high on saturated fat.
Qualifier No. 2: It's understandable why parents have gotten more involved. It only takes a scan of daily headlines to see that letting our kids romp about the neighborhood unsupervised isn't as safe as it once seemed.
Yet I can't help but feel kids are losing out now that everything is structured by adults. What about the lessons in initiative and organization we got as kids when it came to rounding up players, dividing them into equally matched teams, establishing rules and mediating disputes?
Wonder why nobody can resolve disagreements among themselves anymore, why every dispute ends up in court? Maybe it's because kids grow up counting on rulings from authority figures - referees, umpires, judges - rather than using diplomacy to craft mutually agreeable compromises. When I was a kid, keeping a ballgame going required the wisdom of Solomon because any argument over umpiring could result in up to four Brendemuehls leaving in protest, effectively ending the contest.
I fear kids are missing out on valuable lessons in self-reliance. And I begin to think the biggest mistake we parents make is doing for our kids things they can and should do for themselves.
I hope the next time I open my door to listen, the sound I hear won't be silence, but the calming words of a backyard barrister talking some buddies out of taking their ball and going home. But I'd settle for the frightened screams of little brothers fleeing a homemade haunted house in drenched Underoos.
Bromley is a columnist for the Baraboo New Republic;
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
We will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Our factory store will then be closed until November 28th, at which point we will be geared up for the holiday season and the store will be open on Saturdays through December 19th!
The Eliza B Factory Store is located at
55 Plains Road in Essex, Connecticut 06426
From the South, use I-95 North and take exit 65. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left. You will soon pass through two stop lights. Simply continue on Route 153 for 4.5 miles. At the third stop light, you will see Oliver's Tavern on the left and a shopping center on the right. Proceed through the light, and after about 400 yards you will see an open-truck farm on your left. The next two buildings on the left comprise Brockway Ferry, the parent company of Eliza B.TM Turn into the second driveway.
From the North, use I-95 South and merge onto Route 9 North via exit 69. Take exit 3, and at the end of the ramp turn left. At the next stoplight, turn left again. You will cross over a set of railroad tracks, and you will pass the Essex Savings Bank. Look for Bombacci Tree Service on the right. The next two buildings on the right comprise Brockway Ferry, the parent company of Eliza B.TM Turn into the first driveway.
From the Hartford Area, use Route 9 South and take exit 3. At the end of the ramp, cautiously continue straight, crossing Route 154. Proceed another 300 yards and turn right onto Route 153. You will cross over a set of railroad tracks, and you will pass the Essex Savings Bank. Look for Bombaci Tree Service on the right. The next two buildings on the right comprise Brockway Ferry, the parent company of Eliza B.TM Turn into the first driveway.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
This is the other prank the Pail and Shovel Party did. They "dropped" the Statue of Liberty into Lake Mendota, in February of 1979. These guys were incredibly creative.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
This is the best thing I did at our wedding, every person got on the stage to have this group picture taken. It hangs in our house, and people love looking for themselves when they visit.
Every year on our anniversary, I have Carl make a cake like we had at our wedding. We have string of pictures for each year.