Monday, November 25, 2013

TATE KIDS (bonus)

 One afternoon we stopped by Lake Palestine and we let the kids jump in and cool off. Only afterward did we learn that even the locals advise against jumping into this body of water because "It's just nasty" and "There's a lot of gators in there." Nobody died so no harm no foul I suppose.


In this week's installment I invite you to come dine with the kids at Lake City's Fu King Chinese Restaurant and around our breakfast table. Then join them for the craft portion of a children's event at the church where they made turkey hats.

 "Italian Captains are cowards! He should be shot!" written next to the urinal in the bathroom of the Fu King Chinese Restaurant.

The kids made turkey hats, and then all the adults stayed in one part of the church while the kids went and hid throughout the church. The adults were the farmers and the kids were the turkeys. None of them escaped, but one little boy managed to stay hidden longer than the others because he managed to wiggle into the little cubby under the pulpit.

Miles refused to make or wear a turkey hat, explaining "I'm not a turkey. I'm Miles, and that isn't even fun or cool or fun or anything!" Well-played, Miles, well-played. (That one's trouble)

Sunday, November 17, 2013


1. I wish pine needles were edible, no, more than that, I wish they were delicious! For all I know they may be edible according to the strictest definition of the word. I imagine that the flavor of a green candied pine needle would be tart like lemon or rhubarb but also fresh like basil.

2. I have always thought I would enjoy writing for the J. Peterman catalog.

3. If I had loads of  cash, and I mean enough to be a little eccentric, I would, among other things, create a line of hard candies to sell in museum gift stores that closely resembled famous statues- only in miniature of course. They would be very tastefully done...very classy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


A quick tour of the Lulu Advent Church

A lot of you have asked what the church here in Lulu looks like so I wanted to give you a quick tour. To watch the tour on Youtube click on THIS LINK. I'm sorry it's so shaky. I hope watching doesn't make you nauseous. Maybe if you shake your head as you watch it'll all even out.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


When I was a kid I loved to come home from a night of Trick-or-Treating and organize all of my candy on my bed. Candy bars in one row, lollipops in another and so on. I also liked to stick my face into all that candy and breathe in the smell. All of those confections mixed together within the plastic confines of my Jack-o-Lantern bucket to create an odor that was nothing short of intoxicating. It's the smell of Halloween.

When I was a kid I remember one Halloween season when my Mom became frustrated with me because I was eating my candy at an irresponsible rate. I was 8! What do you expect? She threatened to take my candy and give it to the homeless people at Fort Totten, which was a local train station where the homeless congregated, if I didn't stop sneaking candy. I became so concerned after she made that threat that I went up to my room, closed the door and ate every single last piece of candy. All in one sitting! It was disgusting, but with grim resolve I saw the thing through. I reasoned, "Those homeless people aren't getting any of my candy!" I was a rotten kid.

Few children are ready for the responsibility of being entrusted with that much candy. My kids ate more candy on the evening of Halloween than they were permitted to eat for months and months prior, and they still had a big bucket of the stuff to lust after in the days that followed.

The question on most parent's minds when November 1st dawns is, "What are we gonna do with all of that candy?" After all, it's enough candy to choke a horse. The most pressing reason to dispose of all that candy are the incessant requests from the kids to look at, gaze upon, trade, and have a piece of their candy.

Their greed filled the bucket, and believe it or not you can use that same powerful force to empty it.

This was Sarah's idea, not mine, but I thought it was such a good idea that I wanted to share it with you all. Today, when the kids came and asked us if they could have a piece of their Halloween Candy, Sarah said that they could have a piece whenever they wanted, but they also had to give Mom and Dad a piece of their choice each time.  So for every piece of candy the kids ate they had to give away two. I could see their little wheels turning. Is eating this Reece's Peanut Butter Cup worth giving up a tootsie roll and a Dum-Dum? Pretty soon, we had a big bowl filled on top of the entertainment center (out of sight and hopefully out of mind) and the kid's buckets were mostly empty. Some candy they are holding back for dessert when they can eat a piece of candy without penalty. That's great. It disposes of the candy problem while giving a lesson in economics. Brilliant!


 I think I was the only one who wanted to go to the Alamo. My poor, road-weary Bowden had a MAJOR meltdown as we approached these hallowed gates, and getting him to appear in this photo at all (look at Sarah's left-hand shoulder) was something close to miraculous. As you can see, Miles and Jack are also protesting the photo. Only Sarah and Lucy refused to join the mutiny although they were also less than enthused about touring the Alamo. They're gamers.

Well at least now we can remember the Alamo.
 Did you know a Vermonter, Miles DeForest Andross, died at the Alamo?
 New Orleans.

 This homeless man spent his days fishing coins out of the fountain to give to children so they could throw them back into the fountain. All the while he had a little grin on his face. Were he not so obviously deranged I would have appreciated him finding such a novel niche in life. His life's mission to supply passersby with coins to toss into the fountain struck me as more worthy than some I have encountered, but still I didn't trust him. The kids loved him.

 Although the place reeked of urine and there were throngs of drunken revelers even at midday there was much to like about New Orleans. There's no other place like it really.