Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flashl-IKE games

Greendaddy has created two characters, Ravi and Yolanda, with the flashlights to amuse Grasshopper during the dark (and silent until some yanker went and plugged a generator in across the streets :() nights. They are just the dark lit center of the flashlight's glow on the wall.

Ravi and Yolanda dance together, and then go off to find monkeys or boats or whatever else they can hanging on the wall. Sometimes they go to the park.

Friday, September 19, 2008

In Celebration of Having The Blog Fixed

Grasshopper: Daddy I'm pooing!
Greendaddy: Great, Grasshopper.
Grashopper: It's a big poo jumping around like the dolphins.

(oops will return later. have to go...)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike Mini Report

Hi. Greenfamily survived Ike. This picture below is as devastating as it got for our family (face is filled with ketchup, not blood :))

We woke up on Saturday morning to this flood in our front yard.

When the winds and rain let up we went out for a walk.

At our friends, we played the requisite board games.

And spent much time camping inside our house by candlelight. We luckily have gas instead of electric cooking, so our meals are fairly gourmet and have involved cooking everything in the freezer, then the fridge. We are really, really sick of fake meat, which I had just bought a lot of since it was on sale.

We have enjoyed a few days without access to internet or electricity. Life is peaceful here on our street. GreenDaddy says its the most relaxed he's been in a long time.

Last night we took a card table out onto the lawn and ate with our friend Hosam. Neighbors joined in, and eventually GreenDaddy, Grasshopper, and Ben, the neighbors sun, gave an impromptu concert.

Monday, August 04, 2008

It's Good Not To Hear

It's good news when you don't hear from us often, lately: it means I'm not stuck in my novel and GreenDaddy is busy at work at his new job.

Hope all the folks in blogland are okay. I am writing a real post, just isn't anywhere near being posted.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Al Gore's Speech on Energy

I think Al Gore's recent speech is visionary. I'm proud that Texas generates the most wind energy of all the states and is investing five billion dollars in improving our grid to bring more wind energy from West Texas to the densely populated areas.

Monday, July 07, 2008

She Can Doyit Herself

I'm not sure what language she's imitating when she says "yit" and not "it"...but doing yit herself is a big deal for Grasshopper lately. We took these photos on our recent trip to Utah, where we visited my family, and I like the series and thought I'd post them until I get around to writing the couple other posts about Utah I'm thinking of!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Um, Thanks

The other day I was waking Grasshopper up from a nap, which usually entails me lying down next to her and horsing around on the bed for about twenty minutes. On this day, she ended up on the other side of my rear.

"What's this, your butt?" she asked.

"Yes, Grasshopper, that's my butt," I said.

"And it's a big butt," she said, appreciatively, in her two year's old version of the teacher voice, the same tone she uses to tell me I've done a good job at something.

"A very, very, big butt."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Blueberries as Big as the End of Your Thumb!
organic blueberry picking and pick your own farms near Houston

Scroll down for a list of organic pick-your-own farms of all ilks near enough Houston, and a link to find farms in other areas of the country as well!

Last weekend the family went to Chmielewski's Blueberry Farm, to self pick blueberries. We'd visited a pumkin patch in Virginia with our family last fall, but never got around to buying one of the pre-picked pumkins because we exhausted ourselves on the excellent rides they offered, including giant slides made of pipes, a pig-pen converted to a sandbox kind of thing, except it was filled with corn kernals, a giant inflated pumkin to jump on, several different kinds of mazes, a petting zoo, and I'm sure I'm missing something else. And we probably all thought it was a little lame we weren't allowed to pick our own pumpkins (I was really excited beforehand because I really wanted to whack the pumkin from the vine!).

Well, Chmielewski's Blueberry Farm can't be accused of having too many distractions aside from blueberries. They're serious about picking your own.

Somebody told me that this year, because of the rising costs of transporting foods and hiring laborers, more and more small farms are implementing pick your own programs -- though I can't find any articles on Google to back that claim. But when I was researching the list of places to pick around Houston, I found lots of other organic edibles waiting for the picking: blackberries, dewberries, veggies of all sorts, apples, pumkins (in fall). Pretty much there's something to pick around Houston from early May till late September. Farm germs are supposed to be good for babies' immune systems, and it's such a relief to explore the countrysides around Houston, that I think I'll try to get us out picking at least a few times this summer.

For the blueberry trip we left our house at 6:30 in the morning, got to the farm by 7:30 to beat the June heat, and lost ourselves among many an amateur picker, and plenty of more serious self-pickers in the maze of berries. It was a lovely two hours we spent picking, eating, and calling out through the berries to our friends Jbrd and Nicole and their families.

We started with this empty bucket:

We showed Grasshopper how to pick berries without squishing them, and she caught on quickly.

Her two and a half year old self expertly avoided most of the red or green berries, and just picked the blue ones. The concept of finding blueberries on bushes, and not in plastic containers didn't seem wow her, and I was glad, hoping our little garden has taught her to assume that if there's a little fruit or veggie, it came from the earth.

She started picking.

And eating.

And plucking.

And eating.



And Greendaddy and I plucked...though we sought berries atop the bushes so kids could get the lower ones.

We ate berries too,

but not as many as Grasshopper.

They made her wacky.

And silly.

She didn't even want to pose for a picture if it meant she couldnt' have a mouthful of the giant sweet berrries.

So we hoisted her high away from the bucket to get one family shot.

Then it was time to go.

We snipped her blueberry patch umbilical cord, rushed her to the car, but it was very awkward fitting her into the carseat.

Once home, I gave away some berries, we saved some for immediate eating, and I froze the rest, which was very easy: to freeze berries, or any fruit, them out on a couple cookie sheets in one layer (I mean, I didn't pile berries on top of each other), and freeze them overnight. Then I put them in ziplock bags. They taste NOTHING like store bought frozen berries...they retain shape and taste. Yum yum yum yum yum.

Want to pick Blueberries or other growy sundries in the Houston metro area? Here's the mostly organic list I culled from the Pick Your Own website...and if you're not a Houstonian you can use that same site to find places to pluck in near wherever you are:

Chmielewski's Blueberry Farm
23810 Bauer Hockley Road, Hockley, TX 77447. Phone: 281-304-0554.
37.5 mi – about 40 mins north from Houston on 290, up to 1 hour 20 mins in traffic
Open: Wednesday and Friday 7;30 AM to 1:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM; other times by appointment. Follows organic methods but not yet certified, blueberries, gift shop, restrooms, picnic area. Payment: Cash, Check.
37.5 mi – about 40 mins north on 290 up to 1 hour 20 mins in traffic

Moorehead's Blueberry Farm
19531 Moorhead Road, Conroe, TX. Phone: 281-572-1265. 888.702.0622 (Toll Free)
40.5 mi from Houston – about 43 mins North on 1-45 up to 1 hour 10 mins in traffic
Twenty varieties of blueberries (primarily Tifblue, Premier, Brightwell, Climax, Garden Blue, Becky Blue, Alice Blue and Sharp Blue) on 20 acres. No pesticides are used. No entrance fee; you are charged only for what you pick. Sampling is not deterred. Buckets are provided, as well as picnic tables, rest room facilities. Soft drinks and water are available for purchase.

S & L Farms - pumpkins, summer squash, Other fruit or veg,
4606 Cr 186, Anderson, TX 77830. Phone: 830- 832-9755.
Crops are usually available in September, October, November. Open: We are open 7 days a week if no bad weather; if the gate is open come on in. We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified. Payment: Cash, only.
80.9 mi – about 1 hour 24 mins down 290/then 6 up to 2 hours 10 mins in traffic

Bauer Farms Berries
- blackberries, dewberries, Follows organic methods
17702 Mueschke Road, Cypress, TX 77429. Phone: 281-563-9669.
64.2 mi – about 1 hour 9 mins up to 1 hour 30 mins in traffic 1-10 and farm roads
Crops are usually available in April, May, June. Open: Monday to Friday 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm; Sat and Sunday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Dewberries - Mid April to Mid May Blackberries - Mid May - Mid June. We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified. Payment: Cash, only.

Home Sweet Farm
7800 FM 2502, Brenham, TX 77833. Phone: 979.251.9922.
1 hour down 290 JUNE 22 TOMATO FESTIVAL LET US GO!!!!
ORGANIC, beans, eggplant, flowers, melons, peppers, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes, other vegetables, OTHER fruit or veg, pumpkin patch-pick in the field, child-sized haybale maze, and prepicked produce, snacks and refreshment stand, picnic area
Crops are usually available in June, July, August, September, October, November. We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified. Payment: Cash, only.

Ross's Blueberries - blueberries,
1453 County Road 2270, Cleveland, TX 77327. Phone: 2816227725.
45 min down 59
Crops are usually available in June, July. Open: Call ahead. It is our home farm and very casual. You just come and pick. It is not commercial. Weekends are probably best but weekdays are possible. Just call ahead. Also, mornings or evenings are better because of the Texas heat! $5.00 a gallon. We use buckets bought at a feed store. Eat while you pick too! They start coming in during June. They go thru middle of July. We have 5 kinds and the best are in June. We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified. Payment: Cash, only. We are not certified organic. We do not spray our berries. We use Miracle Gro to fertilize. You may want to bring bug spray.

Griffin Berry Farm
Hour and a half down i10
2394 Moore Road, Beaumont, TX 77713. Phone: 409-753-2247. Email:
- apples, blueberries, grapes, pears, peaches, plums, Other fruit or veg, restrooms, picnic area. Crops are usually available in May, June, July, October, November. Open: Check Web Page. We follow organic methods, but are not yet certified. Payment: Cash, Check. (ADDED: May 30, 2008)

Monday, June 09, 2008

Goodbyes Always Sound Existential

The other night Grasshopper, the member of our household struggling most with control of prepositions and personal pronouns, had so much fun with her Chuck Uncle, Hank Uncle, and Melanie Auntie that she could hardly believe it when they had to go.

"There goes my play for you," she said, forlornly, but resolutely, as they pulled away in Hank's white pickup.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Toddlers, Dentists, and YouTube

Last year, before going to India, we took Grasshopper to a highly recommended dentist in Houston who told us that we needed to put our one-and-a-half-year-old under anasthetic so he could put a filling in her front tooth. He said the tooth was decayed because she breastfed at night. I had never heard breastmilk causes cavities, but I guess it makes sense since it does have a lot of sugar. (Wipe the baby's teeth if you're night feeding!) Three women in the office had to hold an hysterical Grasshopper down during this visit in which the man just looked into her mouth and did nothing else.

Greendaddy strongly felt it was too risky to put such a young baby under, and opted, against that dentist's strong urgings to do otherwise, to bring her in for regular checkups. The dentist seemed angry and genuinely certain it was a bad decision, which made it hard for us to follow through on visits to his office: and so we never went back.

We did, however, become vigilant tooth brushers. I stopped night feeding, and eventually, weaned Grasshopper. We inspected her tooth regularly, to ensure it wasn't decaying further. But this April Grasshopper seemed to be having a toothache. I thought: that dentist was right! What a terrible, terrible, parent I am. How could we have let so much time go by? But at Greendaddy's urging, I got the name of another dentist, Dr. Rita Camarata, who practices with a Dr. Sringam who is whom we got the appointment with.

The first dentist's office was kid friendly, but this one was out of this world. They have a waiting area for kids outside of the dentist's office. Even better, about five minutes before seeing the dentist the kids are brought into a second playroom, with lots more toys and books, and it's right in the same room where dentistry is performed, so kids can see other kids being worked on and feel less nervous themselves.

There are televisions with favorite kid-videos playing above every dental chair. The assistants in the office go out of their way to make friends with the kids once they're brought over to the examining table. Best of all to a girl like Grasshopper, patients get to wear cool sunglasses so their eyes aren't bothered by the harsh lights.

Still, while the dentist just looked into her mouth and brushed her teeth, Grasshopper screamed like every single one of her teeth was being ripped out with pliers, promptly assuring all the other kids in the office would have nightmares for years to come.

"Next time, I think we'll schedule her for her own room," Dr. Sringam, said, gesturing to one of five or six soundproof rooms they have.

But there was good news, too. Dr. Sringam suggested we bring Grasshopper in for monthly floride treatments, and assured me that the baby didn't have a toothache. She didn't even mention anasthesia, and when I told her another dentist had suggested it, she said, "No way, this girl is too young. It's better to wait and watch carefully." Her hope was that the floride might heal the decay already there, and if not, it would at least slow down decay so that her tooth can be taken care of when she's older.

We came back the next month, to our appointment. When the assistant showed my girl a toothbrush she started screaming, and Greendaddy, me, and Grashopper were whisked into the sound proof room, where Grasshopper used it to its full potential, though all anybody did was brush her teeth and wipe floride on them.

Grasshopper has never liked the doctors or the dentists. I alway tell her where we're going, and I've read her books about visits, but her fear of having an adult try to look in her mouth or put a stethoscope on her chest was too much for her.

After the last visit, while she was napping, it occurred to me I should search You Tube for videos about the dentist, and realized there are dozens, ranging from a classic Sesame Street video, to the ones parents have posted: Chloe's first visit to the dentist, Jojo's dentist visit, etc.

Grasshopper was immediately entranced by them. The first time she watched the Sesame Street video she turned to me and said, "That baby didn't cry! More dentist!" So over the course of a month we watched dentist videos almost every day, especially the Sesame Street one, which she would ask to watch four or five times in a row.

We supplemente the video by acting out what was going on in it. Every night when I brushed her teeth, I pretended to be the dentist and said, "Okay, now, open your mouth like a tiger at the zoo. I'm going to count the teeth on the bottom of your mouth. Now the ones on the top. Now I'm going to brush your teeth with my magic brush." Grasshopper loved the game.

Wednesday, the moment of truth came: time for another floride treatment. I told her that morning: we're going to the dentist, and she said she didn't want to go. In the waiting room she said again she didn't want to go. But when she went to sit for her appointment, in my lap, I said, "Open your mouth like a tiger in the zoo," because that's what the man in the Sesame Video did, and she did!

She let her teeth be brushed and florided, while she sat in my lap. Then Dr. Sringam inspected them. I told her our regular dentist worried Grasshopper's tooth might abscess, so she asked us to wait for Dr. Camarata to give a second opinion.

When Dr. Camarata came, Grasshopper had to lay on the examining chair, which she really wasn't fond of the thought of. But I held her hand, but my other hand below her neck to cradle her head and said the magic words, "Open your mouth like a tiger..."

And she did. She layed there bravely while Dr. Camarata scraped out some of the softness on Grasshopper's tooth and put in some cement for a temporary, toddler-hood fix: and my little girl didn't shed a tear!

Better for me, even, was the car ride home. "Grasshopper went to the dentist," she said, over and over again, clearly tickled with herself, "Grasshopper didn't cry. She's tiger."

It's like those You Tube videos were magic. I only wish I'd thought about using them sooner!

Grasshopper's Favorites:

A Trip to the Dentist, Sesame Street
A Doctor's Visit, Sesame Street
Anya's First Dentist Visit
Sealions Get their Teeth Brushed
Jade's First Trip

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Let Them Eat $600
my untimely take on the economic tax stimulus

George Walker Antoinnette doled out an $168 billion economic stimulus package to Americans this spring. Eight years of war and irresponsible fiscal policies had turned out to be not so good on on the ordinary Americans who had been so taken with his down home accent and beer buddy likability. Someone must have told him people were losing houses, were being charged almost twice as much for food and gasoline than they were when he came into office, were watching the dollar loose value as monetary unit, were losing jobs to burgeoning worldwide economies etc.

I'm thinking he also had heard something about a French queen who suggested her own suffering masses wouldn't starve if they'd just eat cake (or, I think she really said something like baguette). George W. didn't want to be beheaded, so instead of suggesting the people eat baguette, he robbed from their children's future and doled out enough money for every working adult to buy almost two 99 cent baguettes a day for a year.

Yay! Now that's a way to keep your head on, George. Of course, he wants everybody not to buy baguettes, but to buy CD players and large screen televisions. Because a drinking buddy knows that's more fun than baguettes.

1793, France:
"We're starving Marie!"
"Eat cake!"

2008, USA:
"We're losing our homes/jobs/dollars/sons and daughters in war/moral standing as a nation, etc. etc, George!"
"Buy a flat screen TV!"

Of course, it turns out people are using it for bills and mortgage payments, not the televisions. But we all appreciate the thought of using it to buy something more fun (I still want three rainbarrels, and we need a shed.)


We got back $1,500 as a family, and used it to open up a savings account for Grasshopper, something we hadn't gotten around to before. As far as we can see, the money is borrowed from her, so we're just giving it on back. (And, frankly, we owe her as family has given her checks we've cashed, but didn't have a place to put.)

And in doing so I realize we're lucky as a family, to be able to do this. We're not big spenders (it's true: this is the third year running I've wanted a rain barrel), we have jobs & health insurance, we're both paranoid about debt, and we haven't accumulated any. We have the right fiscal personalities, and we've had the right amount of sheer luck to survive a president like Bush, I guess.

I have to go now and pick up my grasshopper from the park, so I don't have time to tie this up neatly, or to make it less simplified. But I will restate my point:

The whole giving money back to individual Americans scheme felt sickening to me, and offensive in light of what $168 billion could be used for in terms of broad social programs, in terms of the real 'downturn' the giving of it is meant to alleviate, in terms of the real social, economic, and political horrors it is meant to avert our minds away from. But opening up an account in Grasshopper's name with the money our family recieved alleviated some of my anger because if it was robbed from the coming generations, at least I got some of Grasshopper's back.

Now I'm off with my head! (and my arms, and shoulders, and rest of me, to take my toddler for a dentist appointment.)

Wildlife Menace

If you are distracted today, do as I did, and vote in George W. Bush as the Houston area's greatest wildlife menace.

The choices the editors give are:
Raspberry ants, Flying Cockroaches, Alligators, Wild Hogs and Nutria

But I think we all know whose the worst menace in these parts. Take twenty impish seconds and write his name in by Tuesday. For the fun of it.

I wrote in George W. Bush, to be exact.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Graphic Blogging

The other day I stumbled upon a website whose author makes cartoons out of peoples dreams. Which made me want to immediately try making a cartoon of one of my own dreams, though all I had was the tiny paint program that comes free on the PC. It was pretty fun, anyway.

So here's my first entry into the realm of graphic expression (you can see it bigger here):

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Hope Speech

When I was in high school in Lexington, Kentucky, my mom would look for competitions for me. Anything that had to do with science, essay writing, or speech making. She believed I could win anything the way only a mom could believe. It turned out I could win a lot of the time. I had pretty good smarts. My parents gave me more encouragement, financial support, and guidance than any other parents I knew of. While most kids from my school worked behind grocery store counters after class, I was at a table with a calculus tutor or pipetting DNA samples into a PCR machine at a laboratory or reading Tolstoy. The other reason I won so much was that sometimes only one or two other students showed up to the competition. You start to recognize the five other kids in the state with parents like yours. If you show up enough, you’re going to win something. A certificate, a plaque, a trophy, two hundred dollars, a trip to Pittsburgh.

With this one extemporaneous speech competition, it seemed like there was nothing to lose but a couple of hours of our time. No preparation needed, it’s off the top of your head. My mom and I drove to the location – an American Legion Post not far from our house. I hadn’t really thought much about it beforehand. I spent my whole life in the South. I was almost always the only Indian in the room. Almost always the only person of color wherever I went. So even when I walked into the hall and saw that it was full of old white men, I didn’t blink. Only one other student – a white male – showed up to the competition. Like I said, if you go to enough of these things, your odds are pretty good. I was ready. Ready to extemporize.

The hall really filled up with veterans. We’re talking World War II GIs. The greatest generation. Children of the Great Depression, victors over the Nazis. A man gave me and the other student a piece of paper with the topic spelled out. It said – the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. My first reaction was relief that I knew all the amendments to the constitution. And the thirteenth amendment – that’s a really important one, the first of the three post-Civil War amendments to free American slaves. I was thinking, at least I have a grasp of what the topic is. But after that second of relief, I really felt my brown skin sticking to my skinny body. What was I to say about slavery to old white men in Lexington, Kentucky, a city that sided with the Confederates, a city that was Jim Crow when these men were kids?

There was a coin toss. Or maybe it was by alphabetical order. The other student had to speak first. I was sent off to a back room so I would not be able to hear and have an advantage by being able to respond. Even so, I could hear little bits of what the other student said. He clearly did not know what the thirteenth amendment was. He never mentioned slavery. Never mentioned the Civil War. He was just ranting about Bill Clinton. He said Clinton was a Nazi.

When they called me out, I stood silently for a few seconds and looked at the audience. The stony-faced aged warriors staring back at me! Then I gave the speech of my life. I will never be that good again. I said, the United States has a stain on its history. I said, slavery was a travesty of justice. I said, inequality and oppression were enshrined in the founding document of our nation. That we should feel shame that the founding fathers, who spoke out against tyranny and created the great institutions of democracy that we still benefit from, failed to stop slavery. That they agreed to count slaves as three-fifths of a human being. That the injustices slaves faced were of the very worst kind. So bad that we might ask if it is possible to rise above that past.

With a few minutes left in the allotted time, I shifted tack and said that the thirteenth amendment was perhaps the most important of all the amendments. The greatness of our constitution, I said, and the greatness of our country is the capacity to change. Even though that amendment alone was not the end of discrimination and inequality, I said we should celebrate the incredible sacrifice that went into changing the law of the land and abolishing slavery. The very ability of this country to rise out of its slave-holding past, I said, was proof that we could rise above any challenge. That was what I said. I didn’t realize how much hope I had until I spoke about it to those old white men.

The MC who had run the competition said we should wait for the results. There were three judges at a table and they needed to confer. Well, we waited. And waited. More than thirty minutes passed. Finally, the MC announced that the other student won. My face got hot. I wanted to go home, but my mom – I think it was her not me – wanted to find out what happened. So she kept asking the MC questions until he gave us the actual results from the three judges. It turned out the competition was designed for a multitude of contestants, not just two. Each judge gave a score out of 100 for each speech. Two of the judges gave me the higher score. The third judge gave me a zero and the other student a 100. When they added the scores up, the other student came out on top.

I went home thinking about the irony of the whole damn thing. I was asked to speak about the end of slavery and what I got in return was mathematical proof for the continued existence of hate and discrimination. My mom and I talked about appealing. We could write letters to the national headquarters of the American Legion, but we gave that idea up.

This whole memory was buried away for years. A blip in my comfortable life. With the Obama campaign, it started to resurface. I heard that belief in hope expressed with stunning eloquence in his Iowa victory speech. And again when he conceded the New Hampshire defeat. MaGreen and I saw Obama with 20,000 other people in an arena when he came to Houston. And I thought, the country has changed. It is ready for the Hope Speech. Ready for a consensus about the grave injustices of our past and ready for the possibilities that come of reconciliation. But when the Wright videos surfaced and the TV people heaped scorn on Obama, I remembered the American Legion experience the way it happened. That judge, the one judge.

The consolation I speak to myself is that if the winner of that extemporaneous speech competition had been chosen by an up-or-down vote, I would have won. Won, you hear. As in the bigots would have gone home crying. I say to myself, the not-so-great of the greatest generation are almost all dead along with the great ones. I hear Will.I.Am singing in my head, singing yes we can.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Slow stretching...

I've been meaning to write awhile now, of course. Thanks Fiddler for asking what's up...I know in blog land it can be unnerving or worrisome if somebody just stops blogging.

Our excuse: we have had such a busy spring! We unintentionally took a blogging hiatus because MaGreen is working on a novel so she can get her PhD, GreenDaddy is finishing his last semester of PhD coursework and working his day job, and Grasshopper is long past the age of gurgling patiently whilst we invent.

I keep beginning posts and then stopping them because it seems there's so much to say. I suppose I don't need to try. I'll just start slowly, and pledge to not worry so much about writing posts that I don't write...

MaGreen has started taking yoga again at Yourbodycenter.
Highlights: Her teacher is pretty funny, and her biceps are back.
Lowpoint: Her sticky mat was stolen from her car.
Highlight on the lowpoint: "if you're not into yoga, and have half a brain" seems pretty dated in the days when yoga mats are unsafe items to leave in a car. I'm hoping some homeless person stole it to sleep on, and not some style concious yogi (because it was a cool looking mat).
Second highlight on the lowpoint: Her new mat is not made of plastic.

We've renewed ties to the Central City Vegetable Co-Op, and GreenDaddy's garden is also full of yummy greens.

Highpoint: MaGreen is cooking more, though she's afraid all her food tastes the same.
Highpoint deux: We're paying less for vegetables than we did going to Whole Foods.
Highpoint tran: Grasshopper knows you can eat things that grow.
Numero cuatro : GreenDaddy found a potato growing in the compst, replanted it, and made six of his own new potatoes!
The fifth good thing: MaGreen built Koski compost bins in the last yard after many months of saying she would.

Lowpoint: Grasshopper has lost her taste for vegetables
Another lowpoint: GreenDaddy's lettuce bolted (see in picture above!) and he was really excited, thinking he'd discovered a new way to grow lettuce before our friend JP told us bolting is a bad thing for lettuce to do.

3) We hired a nonprofit tree planting service called Trees For Houston to plant, stake, and mulch two new trees out front

a black gum

and an oak...I can't remember what kind!

and a tree out back started falling onto the cars

so MaGreen sawed off all the branches. It is possible she didn't kill it.

4) Grasshopper is all highpoint...Here she is with her friend Tom Sawyer, who was supposed to be taking her on a walk around the block:

No, no: that's C. Uncle. She is chatty, funny, sneaky, and likes to sing and tell jokes. I'll devote an entire post to her in the near future.

Now the door's cracked back open, we, or at least I, hope to reenter the world of Green Parenting in the blogosphere.