Friday, June 10, 2011


Ben's class has been studying the solar system, and they just presented their independent research by making snacks to represent the planets they'd picked to study. Ben and I layered blue and blue-green gelatin, nice and solid, and then cut planet circles out of it with a cookie cutter. Then, of course, he used the leftover scraps to fashion himself a little goatee.

"Honey," I said, "tell me the truth. Did you pick Uranus just because of the whole anus situation?" And he said, "Not just because." The kids had made travel brochures for their planets, and Ben's captions were classic. "Get to know Uranus!" "Uranus is bigger than you thought!" "A magical trip to Uranus!" That kid can get away with anything.

And if you're still looking for good summer reading, I just read this and it was fan-freaking-tastic. So good that when I was trying to figure out my vague feeling of bereftness last night, I realized that I was actually missing the characters. Sad but true.

Have a wonderful weekend, my darlings.



  1. Anonymous10:46 AM

    Thanks for the book recomemndation! I'm just starting my summer reading list.

    I have a 10 year old boy, and I'm really enjoying his humor these days. Potty humor is a guilty pleasure when you're my age.

  2. plazamom10:58 AM

    I just checked the library website, and the book is on the shelf at my local branch. I'll pick it up tomorrow -- thanks fr the recommendation!

    Off to Chop Chop to check out Ben's ranch dressing experience.

  3. Teafortwo12:26 PM

    I'll see if our library has that book. I vaguely recall reading a review of it. I'm re-reading "Kids are Worth It" by Barbara Coloroso. Not exactly a page turning novel.

  4. Erin K.12:28 PM

    I've had that feeling of missing a book or the characters in it after reading "Unaccustomed Earth" I must have read the last sentence a dozen times.

  5. ah, thanks for reminding me! I still haven't read that, but I read The Namesake when we were in Mexico for a friend's wedding, and I found every excuse to volunteer to put the babies to bed--and then I'd be under the mosquito netting with a headlamp, reading, while everyone else partied on the beach with margaritas. I bet I'll feel the same about this one. . .

  6. Funny, funny, funny stuff.

    So glad for the ranch dressing recipe! It seems to be my kids' favorite dressing and the vehicle by which they will eat salad, and I've been a little forlorn about all the bottle piling up in the recycling.

    I love that Ben has taken on this project so earnestly.

  7. Oh, my son loved all of the Uranus giggles this year when we studied the solar system.

  8. Jake chose Uranus as his favourite planet when he was in pre-k, because it was pretty and blue. He didn't get the whole URANUS thing, so I just silently giggled every time he said he loves URANUS.

  9. Anonymous5:07 PM

    I read the ranch dressing recipe, and it sounds wonderful.

    I will leave a comment for Ben over there - I can't believe he is old enough to be writing his very own witty remarks about what he learned from a project!

    You must be so proud, and it must be so odd, all at the same time.


  10. Allison5:52 PM

    I am 38 years old and still laugh at jokes about Uranus!

    Sigh. I also like fart jokes, so.

    BUTT seriously, Catherine, thanks for the book recommendation! ;)

  11. I know exactly what Ben means about just having to let go of what's on the spatula.
    Thanks for another book recommendation. I still have the list from your last round, but unfortunately I haven't gotten to any of them yet.
    We made spelt salad this week, and it was great - a perfect summer recipe.

  12. I lived in China when my son was in second grade and studied the solar system. He was in a truly international class... 17 kids from 14 different countries. They each picked a planet to give a report on (do they do this everywhere?) and a little girl from Korea was the only one who picked Uranus. Her parents, in a very supportive move, got her a custom- made t-shirt to wear on the day of the presentations that said I (heart) Uranus! All of the western parents were quietly amused, and the eastern ones just didn't get what we thought was so funny. Sounds like ben would have loved her shirt!

  13. hi catherine,
    I started reading your blog after reading a piece you wrote in the amherst magazine (i was class of 81)-- thank you for your wonderful writing about food,parenting and life. makes me miss western mass.

  14. I love the chopchop pieces!! So many great photos of Ben and Birdy... xo

  15. I've recently heard someone on NPR pronouncing the name of the planet differently. As in: "urine-us." Not exactly sure how that's better, though.