Frogs and Dandelions

Frogs and Dandelions

Well, hey there, little guy.

Frog in Alabama stream

Actually, he wasn’t so little.

The minions caught him in the stream at the Indian Creek Greenway a couple days ago.

Frog submerged in creek

He was just hanging out in the water. Hmmm…Frog or toad, frog or toad? Who knows? Let’s consult Señor Google about it.

Well, according, to this super informative post at Lucky in Learning this guy is definitely a frog.

Frogs versus todas chart

He was fast but no match for these wranglers.

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While we were playing in the stream a man walked by and told us he saw a water moccasin in this spot last week. So…good news, huh. I’m hoping that the sheer audiological volume that is my kids will keep any snakes away. That and I’m banking on the fact that we live super close to a hospital.

No worries about this one though in the creek. She cares nothing about the frogs or the crawdads. She just wants to be let loose with the dandelions. Stella loves blowing some dandelions.

Girl blowing dandelions

Oooh! Oooh! It’s the spring and that means it’s the perfect time to break out your old junior high copy of Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine and reread it. I love that book. It’s a perfect coming of age story. And I’m a sucker for a good coming of age story.*

Book Cover Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine is a great book for quotes. I’m not much for poetry but I certainly love this.

“It was the face of spring, it was the face of summer, it was the warmness of clover breath. Pomegranate glowed in her lips, and the noon sky in her eyes. To touch her face was that always new experience of opening your window one December morning, early, and putting out your hand to the first white cool powdering of snow that had come, silently, with no announcement, in the night. And all of this, this breath-warmness and plum-tenderness was held forever in one miracle of photographic is chemistry which no clock winds could blow upon to change one hour or one second; this fine first cool white snow would never melt, but live a thousand summers.”

‘It was the face of summer’ LOVE IT.

And this one:

“Where would you like to go, what would you really like to do with your life? 
See Istanbul, Port Said, Nairobi, Budapest. Write a book. Smoke too many cigarettes. Fall off a cliff but get caught in a tree halfway down. Get shot at a few times in a dark alley on a Morrocan midnight. Love a beautiful woman.”

I think this might be where my love affair with Morocco began. Sigh. 

Dandelion Wine will always be spring to me.

Little boys catching frogs will be too.

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*I’m a sucker for a good Apocalyptic story too! The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I loved the severity and rawness of this book. Oh, so good!

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Five Minute Friday: FRIEND

Five Minute Friday: FRIEND

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to participate in another Five Minute Friday! In case you don’t know, Five Minute Friday is a movement started by Lisa Jo Baker, the Gypsy Mama, as she’s known, where bloggers sit down for five minutes and write what’s in their heart from a one word prompt.

Now Gypsy Mama probably knows what the correct punctuation should be in in the above sentence because clearly that’s what we call a run on. That just goes to show that that really I have no business hanging out with this #FMF crew. They’re all like ‘love, peace, dreams’ and I’m all like ‘Hey! Did I ever tell you about the time I went out with Tim McGraw?’  That’s okay, though! It’s a fun experiment!

The prompt for tonight is the word: Friend

Alright, just go on and admit it. Who else starting singing the theme song from The Golden Girls when they saw this week’s prompt? Oh, you remember it. “Thank you for being a friend, travelled down the road and back again.”

 True Story: My cousin Rusty, who honestly could not be any manlier, loved the show The Golden Girls. It’s totally true!

Here he is:

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Hmmm…that picture doesn’t show him in all his manly glory. Here he is lately:

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Alright, that picture is not super accurate either because it’s of us at college but I’ve only got five minutes to write and I just spent 85 seconds putting pictures up. That’s my cousin Margaret on the left. The three of us were super best pals growing up. And cousins. But mostly pals.

FIve things Rusty did for me as a friend:

1. Tattled on me when it was for my safety. The big jerk face.

2. Sat outside of a scary movie with me when I couldn’t handle it. For real! Who else thought the Jiffy Pop scene in the movie Scream was terrifying?

3. Lent me his jacket and his sweater and his sweatshirt and his blanket when I had forgotten mine. I live in the deep South. I’m in denial about ever needing a jacket. 

4. Blogged for me. Here is the link. It’s way better than the stuff I come up with.

Oooh! Oooh! Remember eons ago when I said I had five things to tell you? Well, thanks to Miss Bossy Britches, the Gypsy Mama I can only tell you four because low and behold my five minutes are up.

Everyone who thinks Five Minute Fridays should be changed to Ten Minute Fridays raise your hand!

Cupcakes

Cupcakes

On April 15th, probably like a lot of you, I was glued to Twitter watching the events at the Boston Marathon unfold. After bleakly thinking about how much sadness there was in the world I checked Facebook  and saw this picture:

Boy making Cupcakes Celtic Shirt

 

A friend and her two boys making cupcakes. The simplicity of what the children were doing, while wearing Boston Celtic’s t-shirts, was touching. So much sadness but also so much innocence and promise.

That’s when I decided to close the laptop and walk away. I wasn’t doing anyone any good being glued to the laptop. The minions and I went to the creek and hunted for crawdads.

I asked my friend Heather, who blogs at http://calluna.wordpress.com to share about the cupcakes with us. So, here she is in all her cupcake making glory!

I’m no Betty Crocker, Martha Stewart or Paula Deen — despite being from the South — but I can follow the directions on the side of the cake mix. Most of the time, at least.

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Give me a white cake mix [AKA Jane Random: White cake mix is vile. Do not follow her example on this. Why would anyone choose white when yellow exists…when BUTTER yellow exists even!] some gel food coloring and a cool idea from the Internet and I can do wonders, like these multi-colored cupcakes the boys and I made Sunday.

One of the boys made a special request for blue cupcakes, blue frosting, no sprinkles. Well, I one-upped them. I remembered seeing on the Internet years ago an idea for making a rainbow cake by coloring the batter the various colors of the rainbow and layering them one on top of the other.

We did something like that but a little more random.

We had blue cupcakes and blue frosting, as requested. But we also had blue and green ones, blue and pink ones and a few with all the colors (blue, pink, green and yellow).

I made the batter and let the boys color it, trying to surrender some of my micro-manager tendencies [AKA Jane Random: My Mom is a micro manager. I feel her boys pain.] and letting them actually do it, not just “help.”

It was fun to them to use kitchen tools that ordinarily I wouldn’t let them near, and a tad educational, too, on things like how to use a hand mixer and how NOT to use a hand mixer. Always turn the mixer off before pulling the beaters of the batter; things like that.

rainbow cupcakes in oven

Their favorite part was, of course, eating the fruits of their labor.

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The best part for me was the brownie points — er, should I say cupcake points — that I won for leading them in doing something yummy, pretty and fun.

And a tad bit the eating part, too.

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Thanks, Heather! As Rachel Held Evans would say ‘Eshet Chayil! Woman of Valor!’

So, kids, what valorous things have you done lately?