This evening: a warm breeze through the open window. A peaceful dinner with my girls. An evening stroll into town for ice cream. Stopping to look both ways before crossing. A chance encounter with friends. Walking hand in hand back home with the girl. Asking to pet the dog we met along the way. Spotting the moon and some stars overhead, and trying to blow them out with one breath. A quiet bath before bedtime. “I’m thankful for walking into town with Mommy and Daddy for ice cream.” A big hug before the lights went out.
This was Dead Ringer, the batch I brewed before Christmas, then kegged, then slushed, then resurrected. There’s a batch of Chinook IPA on the workbench downstairs waiting to go in this one. Meanwhile, the second keg is already low. Time to brew!
I’ll try to keep up appearances here, seeing as I’m averaging at least one full post a week. Our weekend started off with a fantastic Friday surprise from Jen: a strange car in the driveway, owned by a babysitter, who watched Finn while she took me out to dinner. We hit the new fancy Chinese restaurant by the H-Mart and chose from the traditional menu, which meant I was served something very close to chicken stir-fry and she was served a fish the size of an ironing board. It was all very tasty (except for our appetizer, which looked pretty when our waiter pointed at the picture but turned out to be slices of beef tendon with some kind of pain-inducing hot sauce). I think we’ll consult some experts before returning to try again.
From there we went to the Pure Wine Cafe in Ellicott City and enjoyed an evening of uninterrupted adult conversation with each other over drinks and dessert. Do you know what it’s like to have a three-year-old breaking in every 30 seconds? I’ll try to simulate it in the next paragraph.
Saturday I had to sleep off a wicked hangover, missing Finn’s dance
DADDY, CAN YOU FIX THIS? My mouses broke it.
practice, but I rallied at lunchtime and
It’s STILL BROKEN!
went to buy mulch at the Middle School, making two trips totaling 60 cubic yards. Finn followed me around the yard as I raked,
My Ox is playing a game. It’s called… Boobly-doobly. Do you want to play?
bagged, mulched, and straightened the front hedge, while Jen
Mama! Daddy! Bubbleguppies!
concentrated on the back beds. We spent
a little time at the neighbors’ after the sun went
down, watching the kids play and standing around the firepit. Then Christi and Glenn stopped over to drop off corned beef and
*sigh* My mouses are mad at you, Daddy.
cabbage (it’s a long story), and we caught up with them before putting Finn to bed.
Sunday started out with church. After we got home, we straightened up the house and got Finn ready for her dance recital. She did really well for the tap portion of the program; she stood in her spot and danced to her own beat while the other girls either ignored the teacher, followed her direction, or stared out into the crowd with blank expressions. At the end of the song, she realized her tap shoe was untied and became upset; I tied it for her and sent her backstage to get changed, but the cumulative lack of naps had finally caught up with her. When she came out for the ballet portion, she was crying. She stood rooted to one spot, tears streaming down her face, and refused to dance at all; when the song was over I walked up, gave her a hug, and sent her backstage again, my heart breaking. Jen went backstage to calm her down, and we cut out quickly after the program ended. She seemed to recover pretty well and ten minutes later had forgotten all about the episode. However, I don’t think we’ll be going back to dance class anytime soon.
After a meal of corned beef and cabbage, Jen surprised me again with a wonderful chocolate cake from the baker down the street. Apart from Finn’s distress, I couldn’t imagine a better birthday weekend.
I’m listening to Retraction, a follow-up on a This American Life broadcast about working conditions in Apple factories in China, which were subsequently discovered to be fabricated. It’s just mind-blowing to hear the guy squirm under direct cross-examination.