Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have a good excuse for not posting for the last little while.

It’s a nine pound excuse. Nine pounds and four ounces to be exact.

Sawyer is here.

I thought I would post a few pictures of him. Nate keeps asking me if he is really cute, or if he is just biased? I think some of each. His middle name has caused a little stir. We have also found that it is often mistaken for some kind of jellied holiday fruit. So the conversation goes something like this…

Them: “So what did you name him?”

Us: “Sawyer.”

Them: “That’s cute.” (Then their eyes narrow a little bit, and their voice gets a little more furtive, because they have already heard something about his weird middle name and they feel they need to do a little more investigation into what we have cursed our son with.) “Now…what is his middle name?”

Us: (We begin with the disclaimer) “We gave him a family name- Nate has a couple of great grandfather’s named Nathan Granberry.”

Them: “Oh ya?”

Us: “It’s GranBarry.”

Them: “Oh…I thought it was Cranberry.”

Us: “Nope- GranBarry

*Awkward Silence*

Them: “So I heard he was a big baby…”

And that is how the name conversation ends.

Poor kid. Who knows what he will really get called anyway. Right now Nate call’s Rori “Horace”. (No offense to all the Horaces out there- but I think GranBarry is better than Horace.) Nate is already planning on naming our next son “Finn”. After 9lbs 4oz I don’t know about a “next.”

He has had a little bout with Jaundice that we are having a hard time keeping under control. He has had the light bed for almost a week now- and he hates it. Totally detests it, but it seems to be helping. He will go from a totally deep sleep to scream-his-head-off-get-me-off-this-thing theatrics just by placing him on the lights. I don’t think his favorite color will be blue.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


My husband has never been to medical school. I think he took human biology in high school, but I still don’t think that gives him the credentials to be throwing out diagnosis like he sometimes does.

After a quick review of my symptoms he has declared that I have a very severe case of corneritis.

Never heard of it? Neither have I. So here is the definition provided by my husband:

/- [kawr-ner–Δ«tis]

Congestion of the corners in a domicile, caused by lack of organization or stashing and uncontrolled squirreling away. Symptoms include large stacks of stuff in corners, including books, bills, strainers, pressure canners, toys, beanbags, clothes, and baskets. Sever symptoms could cause irritation of the husband.

He requested that I post the following photos as proof of my problem:

Exhibit 1: Corner of the dining room

Exhibit 2: Other corner of the dining room

Exhibit 3: Corner of the nursery

Exhibit 4: Corner of our bedroom

Exhibit 5: Corner of our daughter’s room

I’m not sure what drives this obsessive compulsive disorder that I have. Nate is always threatening me that our next house is going to be round- with no corners. I tell him a big problem is there is no storage. He tells me there is but I don’t use it. I guess I will go clean the bathroom, I think it has a couple of empty corners that could use some filling up!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Dumpster Books

Rori and Gracie have dumpster books. Yup – snatched right out of the hands of the local sanitation engineers and thrust into the sweet hands of my daughters. Grandpa Barry brought them out. Told the girls “look what I pulled out of the dumpster for you.” – and handed over some kids books. And they read them. They know and remember that they came from the dumpster. In fact they call them “The books that grandpa gave us from the dumpster”.

Nate says he remembers his grandpa doing the same thing. Bringing home stuff and giving it out that was thrown in the dumpster, and he just happened to find. Like boxes of candy bars. These Pilcher boys are pretty scrappy. I guess when I find Nate with his posterior hanging out of a dumpster I won’t be surprised. Sounds like it runs in the family.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nativity Brawl

We never planned on collecting nativity sets – but it is neat to have a lot of them all set up together. We arranged them on the top of our computer hutch this year, and after placing them we lifted Gracie up to see them. She carefully looked them over, then looked back at us and said:

“Wow- that looks like a fight!”

So much for peace on earth and good will toward men.

It does look like some kind of yuletide mosh pit.

Makes me wonder who would really win the First Noel Smackdown. I think I would probably place my bets on the shepherds. They’re used to hard physical labor, and they have those wicked looking shepherd crooks –like a pastoral bo staff.

The Three Kings though – it sounds like some kind of tag wrestling team.

“LADIES and GENTS we welcome you to our seasonal Christmas Cage Fight! Do we have a show for you tonight!”

“In this corner, having just cameled in from the far east, THE THREEEEE KINGS!”

“And in this corner, abiding right here in the fields of the City of David, your very own bucolic brawlers, – the BETHLEHEM BAAAAASHERS! They’re not looking sore afraid tonight - if you know what I mean.”

Yeah- my money is still on the shepherds.

What are the wise men going to do anyway? Sprinkle you with frankincense?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Watch out New Moon- we’re ready for you

I admit it. I read the Twilight books. Guys who sparkle in the sunshine don’t do it for me. Come to think of it- I don’t think I’ve seen Nate sparkle anywhere. I’ve seen him do other things that I can’t share on my family oriented blog- but not sparkle – no way – nuh-uh.

But Nate must be afraid of vampires. Or he feels threatened by how dreamy Edward Cullen really is – because my husband has planted more garlic than we could eat in four years. When I know he is doing something weird, and he knows I know it – talking to him never works.

“So why are we planting so much garlic?” I ask.

“This isn’t just garlic this is Susanville softneck- the perfect garlic for our climate.” His number one tactic is to confuse me with the facts. He thinks if he can spew enough facts out it will sidetrack me. He is pretty good at it. I am often sidetracked, in fact I remember when… But not this time, he was filling all my flower beds with garlic bulbs.

“So what are you going to do with this much garlic?”
“Braid it.”

“Braid it?”

“Besides eating it, braiding is what you do with garlic. You braid it and hang it.”

Now I have images of his next project which includes garlic hanging from various fixtures in my kitchen. Very Italianesque – but never in my decorating plan.

In the end I talked him into giving one of the bulbs away to his sister, who went home and planted more garlic than they will eat in a number of years as well.

At least Nate doesn’t have to worry about some debonair vampire coming in to sweep me off my feet. He’s got that covered, and braided, and hanging.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I’m thankful for little reminders of the blessings I have…

French fries scatted through the back seat of my car.

Crayon sketches on the backs of my dining room chairs.

Soggy Cheerios floating in warm cereal bowl milk.

Princess dress-up clothes scattered around the house.

Chalk drawings on my sidewalk and driveway.

That macaroni and cheese is a delicacy.

That bread crusts are nasty.

And the sweet call of “Mommy” both day and night, to remind me, I am the most important person in their world.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Poison Apple

I know why wicked step mothers poisoned apples. I know why the forbidden fruit is often portrayed as an apple. Why do the Halloween psycho paths pick the apple to hide their razor blades? Because the fruit is just plain downright evil.

When we constructed our house Nate carefully preserved the last two apple trees that survived in the once-orchard where our home is now built. By the end of each fall I always wish that he had simply cut the malevolent things down. We are always inundated with apples.

We pick them off when they are little to increase the size and decrease the yield. All summer long our daughters are paid a dollar a 5-gallon bucket to pick up the windfalls. And still we have bushels of apples. We gave some away, we made quarts and quarts of apple sauce, we made pie filling, we made apple butter. Still we had more apples.

I want you all to know. Once again, this year, I have conquered the apple tree.

Armed with my Vitorio Strainer, boiling and bubbling stockpots and gleaming jars I have won. The sink may be full of the casualties of my apple canning, the floors may be sticky from their lifeblood, but the last box of apples off the apple tree has been canned.

I didn’t do it all alone this year. I had help from a few stalwart individuals who would not feint at the site of buckets and boxes of apples. On the last batch my best help was Gracie. She turned and turned the handle on the strainer, mashing mountains of apples to mounds of mush.

In my canning frenzy, and halfway through eating a can of jellied cranberry sauce (I guess it must be one of those pregnancy cravings) I decided to try something a little different. I threw in some of this and some of that, our last batch ended up being Cranberry-orange-apple butter. The recipe, as best as I can render it is listed below

Lots of Apples

Couple cans of Cranberry Sauce (each containing over 600 Calories)

Orange zest

Orange Juice



Quarter apples and boil for 20 minutes. Remove from pot and press through strainer. Return to the stock pot and add all other ingredient to taste. Let simmer stir every few minutes for the next 2 hours or until the most of the liquid has evaporated. Pour in to jars and process for 20 minutes.