Jan 30, 2012

Pigtails on Powder

Pigtails and Curls joined me for a quick trip to the local ski lodge.  40 degrees in January, and daughter's building confidence to tackle the longer runs.  Once she dials in sharper turns, we'll be ready to slide down some real mountains next year. 

Halfway through the day, I traded in my skis for a board.  Virgin run on a snowboard, a couple butt-smacks on the hardpack and I was ready to limp inside for coffee and a donut cushion.  I'll try again next time, but skiing is cake compared to boarding.


Jan 20, 2012

Readers Writing the Post

I need a blog break, so time for you to get busy.  We'll write a story one comment at a time.  I asked Pigtails to kick it off, here she goes:
once apon a time there was a fearce dragon. he did not like people. and he had a kingdom ,with people he liked.when ever he saw someone that was not from there, he breathed ice on them. when they where meltid they found there self in his stomek.      
-pigtails and not beard

One day a small little gnome leaning on a cane was walking along the highway when he met a peddler who warned the gnome about the Fierce Dragon who lived in the kingdom over the hill. The gnome was a very wise old gnome and came up with a plan to tame the dragon. His idea was stand outside the kingdom and tell the beginning of a fantastical tale to all the people who entered the kingdom. He told each of them that he would only tell the end of the story if the fierce dragon invited him into the kingdom and promised not to breathe ice on the gnome.
-Army of Moms

So all the people who wanted to hear the end of the story approached the dragon to ask the dragon to invite the gnome into the kingdom. But before they had a chance to ask, the dragon breathed ice on them and ate them.  So the gnome had to come up with another plan. He set off to find a wizard powerful enough to make him a coat of fire that would melt the dragon's ice before it could freeze. The dragon could only eat frozen people, and if the gnome didn't freeze, the dragon couldn't eat him.  But the gnome didn't know where to find such a wizard.

He began as any gnome would - on foot, through the woods, at a brisk pace. Before too long, he grew tired. And hungry. He needed a meal. Most of all he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich with two oreo cookies on the side. What to do?  

The hungry old gnome strummed his lute to summon Nancy, the Shetland pony. The trusty steed trotted up, her saddle packs laden with warm grilled cheese sandwiches, Oreo cookies and a quart of milk. And on Nancy's back was a wizard powerful enough to craft a coat of fire!  

He was no ordinary wizard. In a brown leather satchel, he carried marbles, a fistful of daisies, and a 2-day supply of fortified pony food for Nancy. He also sneezed a lot, always in three's. The old gnome was intrigued. Who WAS this wizard and could he really craft that coat of fire?

The end.

Jan 18, 2012

9 Going on 78

Pigtails' 9, going on 78.  

Her favorite cereal:  Shredded Wheat.  
Munchies preference:  Triscuits, original flavor with no toppings, she says.
Begs for a second helping of prunes.
Skips around the living room singing Sound of Music and Phantom of the Opera tunes.  
Smiles at reruns of I Love Lucy on the tube, yelling "Daddy, I heart Lucy is on, YES!"  
Prefers Shirley Temple and Annie over anything the Disney Channel pumps out.  We don't have cable, perhaps she's unaware the Disney Channel exists.

She sits quietly in the corner crocheting, blanket over her lap, a granny ringer.  She's working on a scarf that's like 12-feet long and a half-inch wide.  Perfect width for a guinea pig.

Pigtails needs some crochet help.  Looking for comments or a video response demonstrating how to widen her scarf from a single row up to 10 rows wide.  Video and more below:


Jan 16, 2012


I need to be at work by 7:00 am on certain days.  Bang the 5:55 snoozer a couple times, then carefully unwind Pigtails from her blankets like a burrito, getting her moving at granny pace.  I put some pants on (welcome), pack lunches and jam her cold weather recess gear into a knapsack.  She is, in theory, in the other room getting dressed and detangling her tresses as I'm hustling around.  Shoes on, school drop with her favorite breakfast granola bar, slap her with a hug-n-kiss, then bolt to work. 

We've got the routine down pat and it usually moves along nicely.  Until it's time to put her shoes on.  


The shoes, oh those filthy, smelly shoes!  The scenarios include, but are not limited to:

  • One shoe is missing.
  • Both shoes are missing.  No worries, the kid happily informs me she found her tap shoes.
  • One shoe has dog poop on it.  We must smear it off before leaving.  We don't own a dog.
  • Her shoe laces are knotted together, I'm not very good with knots.
  • A shoe lace is missing.  How does that happen?
  • One shoe's on, yes!  But daughter is in la-la land and it takes her several minutes to focus and get that second shoe squared away.
  • I'm somehow missing one of my shoes.
  • She is wearing one moon boot, one tennis shoe, and she doesn't appear to give a rip.
  • Pigtails is sitting on the floor, snapping her wrist with a turtle Silly Bandz, rather than putting her shoes on.  I tell her "Please put your shoes on, you're going to make dad late for work."  She responds, "I am", while continuing to sit there, slowly snapping her wrist with a turtle Silly Bandz.

The shoe problem drives me nuts, it often ends with me yelling, "PUT YOUR SHOES ON, NOW!"  She looks at me bewildered, like "what's the big deal, grouchy?"

Do your kids have shoe problems in the morning or is it just me?


Jan 10, 2012

Interview with Pigtails - Squishy Cow Udders and Singapore Guinea Pigs

Readers asked, Pigtails answers.  This video runs the gamut, from chicken milk and squishy cow udders to a new kiddo blog and Beard's girly eyelashes.  


Jan 7, 2012

Tea Time


I gave Nessa a hard time yesterday about her tea bags, suggesting she run out and snag some loose leaves, stat!  I'm a tea snob and willing to help, so you're about to get schooled.  Sure, I may get called a royal sissy after this post, especially after admitting to sipping cherry blossom green tea. 

Tea Types
All tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.  The tea's type and flavor is determined by how the leaves are processed and aged after being harvested from farms in China, India and Japan.  

There are six types of tea and one pretend tea.  From light to dark, they are:  white, yellow, green, oolong, black and puerh.  Lighter teas have a low amount of caffeine, mild flavor and the highest stash of antioxidants. Darker teas have a higher amount of caffeine (but less than coffee), stronger flavor and fewer antioxidants.  Herbal contains no tea leaves, it's a potpourri of plants and herbs.  

I like em' all but black and herbal.

Get Loose
Do me a favor and pitch that sack of tea bags lurking in your cupboard.  You want loose leaves.  More expensive, but the improvement in taste and smoothness is ridiculous.  I like Gong Fu, a friendly small business that hocks 150 varieties.

Nice Equipment
You'll need a boiling kettle, teapot, strainer and temp gauge to do her right.  A Japanese Beehouse serves my habit. 

Brew Baby, Brew!
Pay attention to water temp and brew time, otherwise you'll end up with a bitter pot of suckiness.  Lighter teas like a lower temp and time, darker teas the opposite. 

Let's make some milk oolong, a medium tea with a creamy aftertaste.

1.  Filtered water is best, I use a Brita to weed out the cooties.

2.  Watch water boil.

3.  Transfer the hot water from kettle to teapot.  Insert gauge into hole and let her cool before adding the tea leaves.  Oolong likes 3 minutes at 208.  Different teas require different time and temp.

4.  A little tea goes a long way, one teaspoon is plenty strong for a 24 oz. pot.  Toss in the strainer, add a teaspoon of leaves and start the timer.

5.  Time's up, pull the strainer.  If you don't remove the tea, it gets bitter.  Most types of tea can be re-steeped a couple times, so don't throw it out just yet.

6.  Pour a cup with someone you love, raise your pinkies and enjoy!


Jan 4, 2012

Interview with Pigtails - Inquiring Minds Want to Know

It's been awhile since our last Interview with Pigtails.  If you have a question you'd like to ask hairy eyes, spill it in the comments below.  We'll get back to you with a video response, that kid craves the camera.

I'm also game, let's see what you got.  Maybe you're curious how I became such a smooth dancer?


Jan 2, 2012

Ringing in 2012 - Butt-Slap Wars and Spinning Arms of Death

Rang in the New Year with my daughter and parents.  In case you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a wild badass. 

Pigtails gives a quick fashion review of her wearable blanket, then the midnight mayhem commences.

Note:  A couple people mentioned the vid' fails on mobile.  Sorry, you'll have to fire up your Apple IIe and watch it old-school.

Make 2012 count.