Category Archives: nicknames

Babies don’t care a whit…

…about your politics or theology. They don’t know if you are fat or having a bad hair day or if your clothes don’t match. You can talk nonsense and they won’t get bored or irritated. Little Liam is a proper baby and is fun to be with — no social stress. He doesn’t think I’m weird — come to think of it, he doesn’t think about me at all in the way we adults do, though he is taking me in.

A Triple-A baseball game was the place where Liam and I had a good time on Sunday. We Glads drove to Sacramento for an evening River Cats game — they were playing the Reno Aces — and sat with Soldier and Joy and the boy on a fairly steep grassy slope overlooking the outfield. It was green all around, and very warm. Baseball feels right when the air is summery.

Compared to San Francisco Giants ball games — the ones I’ve been to most often — it was quiet and laid-back and uncrowded (and the opposite of foggy-by-the-bay). So relaxing. Liam didn’t care that our team lost. He was busy checking out the grass under the quilt his mama had spread out, and doing crawling experiments: how to maneuver uphill or down without doing sudden somersaults or rolls.

Eventually he had a snack of mango, using his father for a backrest. And after that my youngest grandson had become used to me again and didn’t mind a bit when I pulled him on to my lap for a session of clapping and finger games. Soon we were laughing and shrieking and talking plenty of nonsense together. It did this gramma good.

Cozy and Baking

I got on a roll today in the kitchen, and made a huge happy mess. I really don’t mind cleaning up a kitchen – I especially like it when someone is cooking and I can just do the dishwashing for them. If I could be two people, I could cook up a storm as one GJ, and the other of me would gladly wash and dry and wipe counters. Doing all the jobs is complicated. I won’t get to bed early tonight!

And I won’t have time to tell you about everything I cooked. Just the bread, for which I give credit to Jody. I read her blog post about sourdough baking, and it stirred again in me the urge to bake some chewy loaf and fill the house with that amazing aroma.

I glanced at the clock and saw that I had just enough time to start and complete a bread project before bedtime, so I jumped up and opened the freezer, scooped some yeast into a bowl and started pulling out of my memory the beginnings of a batch that would make two loaves.


Eventually I ended up with a potato-rye sponge, and after it rose a few minutes I added enough wheat flour and other goodies to make a stretchy dough that rose further in front of the wood stove. I was using Giusto’s Pumpernickel Rye flour.

A couple of years ago Soldier son gave me a pizza stone and I remembered just in time to get it out of the cupboard and use it to give the loaves an even chewier crust. They turned out so big, I think three round loaves might have been even nicer.

Because of the kitchen mess I ran out of time to post the photos of everything I made, and I’m not even getting all the cleanup done. But I did take time to slice off the heel of one loaf and try it out. Success!

Tomorrow I’ll have to revisit the world of sourdough, too.

Listening to Pooh

Nearly 20 years ago I sat for hours reading Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner into the tape recorder, so that my youngest could listen to the stories at night after she got into bed. It was a challenge to find the time and to keep the lively house noises outside of my bedroom door, but I kept at it for many recording sessions, and she got at least one long cassette full of my sleep-inducing voice.

Before I completed the project, one tape broke and I became disheartened about the loss of so much work. Then we found a professionally produced edition of Pooh stories and young Kate made do with someone else’s voice in her ears as she drifted off. It was a long time before she got tired of this Pooh routine.

Now Scout has the homemade tape; you can see him wiggling before the sound system in this short video his mother made, listening beyond his years as she (not the one I made the tapes for) used to do. Pippin would stand by the radio to hear the adult program “Unshackled,” and sit patiently and attentively while I read books more on the level of the oldest children in our tribe.

Cassette tapes are antiquated now, and players not so available as they used to be. I’m sure my Pooh tape won’t live a lot longer. But now, by means of a digital camera, a minute of the story has been preserved against its demise.