26 August 2009

farm tour

saturday was the farm tour, at the farm where we get our milk and eggs.

it was a gorgeous, cool, overcast day. they had a hay ride, and chicken coops made of old school buses. the chickens were running around everywhere under-foot, clucking a high-volume, eerie sounding, collective "coo."

cosmo found it all very amusing, and dove right in to collect eggs.

we watched the cows being driven from the field for milking.
cosmo seemed genuinely awestruck by the mechanical milking process .

he got within kicking distance of a goat that was being hand-milked, and another one approached him to say hello.

nani has taught him how to do the texas longhorns "hook 'em horns,"

but these indiana cows didn't get it.

couldn't resist photographing this spider web.

the hay bales, covered in white plastic, looked like giant caterpillars.

24 August 2009


while humming mickey-mouse-club-song (ol' school), eating chickpeas, and playing with a fading balloon, cosmo drops the following questions on me:

i wanna know who i am.

i mean, how did i be this person?

how does everybody turn into people?

how do they be theyselves?

how do they grow?

all i could manage in response was to tell him that they were excellent questions.


if it weren't for julie, over at craftknife, i would have never known that our public library was selling all of their cassettes and VHS tapes from the children's department. we support this out-dated media at our house. we have three audio cassette players: one in the car, one on our main stereo, and one in cosmo's room. if we want to copy music from vinyl, which carl has a LOT of, we use cassettes. we have quite a bit of children's music on cassette, so we can play it in the car. we also have a vhs player, and have some of our most beloved movies and shows on VHS tapes.

so, i was excited, and a bit panicked when i heard about the sale, especially since it was already in progress when i saw julie's facebook notice about it. i jumped in the car and headed downtown. carl met me after he dropped cosmo off at PDO. i wanted to make sure i snagged some VHS tapes that we regularly check out for cosmo, which are not available on dvd. titles like mighty machines, and pre-school power. i also grabbed all the magic schoolbus tapes i could find. these educational gems are favorites of cosmo's, and who can resist lily tomlin as ms.frizzle! once i secured these priceless videos, i moved into the books-on-tape section, which had already been picked over by julie, and the other early birds. still though, i found some unexpected treasures.

the reason for a flower is a gorgeous book, with compelling images like these:

and goes a bit deeper than many books for young children, in explaining the ins and outs of pollination.

this one about the four seasons actually made me cry with its description of a young girl experiencing the wonderful subtleties of each seasonal shift.

cosmo's favorite is called mama don't allow. i remember reading this lively swamp tale to a two-year-old, back when i was a nanny, but hadn't seen it since. it makes great use of the audio format, since music figures strongly in the story.

like julie's kids, a big part of the appeal for cosmo is the apparatus of the tape player. he's old enough now to operate it completely on his own, and he can even follow along, and turn the pages of the book at the right time. but he also likes to just listen to the stories, while he does other things quietly in his room.

we also took home some great music (thanks to carl's sharp eye) and some longer books-on-tape that we can save for a road trip, when cosmo's a bit older. at least one of our tapes was too damaged to listen to, which was a disappointment, but considering i got out of there with a huge box of goodies for $20, i am not complaining.

now, if only we can get julie to alert us about those store-wide 50% off sales at the goodwill. BEFORE they happen.

19 August 2009

county fair!

cosmo and i went to the fair with justin, just before our big road trip.

i enjoy the animals, and the 4H crafts.

but cosmo is all about the rides. we went on the giant ferris wheel first. it was scarier than expected. the little buckets that you sit in were open on top. cosmo wasn't phased by it, but the
adults were.

great view of the midway.

baby's first cotton candy!

the tilt-a-whirl rocked our world!

mirror house and fun house--only fun if you are under 5 years old.

18 August 2009

child in child's pose

cosmo is really itching to go to yoga class.

16 August 2009

mike & patty's

as promised, i will now fill you in on the best little sandwich shop i've ever encountered. since carl's dear friend micheal is one of the owner's of this adorable new hot spot in bay village, it was one of our prime destinations for our day in boston.

a quaint corner store front, johnny cake brand corn meal!Link
rave reviews for mike & patty's are all over yelp, carrots 'n' cake, among other places on the web, so don't just take my word for it. but believe me when i tell you that the croque madame sandwich michael prepared for me that day, completely spoiled me for the rest of the trip. every time we stopped for a bite to eat on the road home, all i could think about was gruyere and tangy dijon-crème-fraîche-collard-greens, permeated with soft yolk, on perfectly toasted, multi-grain, artisan bread...i will never forget that sandwich! i'm craving it now, but won't ever attempt to reproduce it. i know my culinary limits. oh, and the sandwich came with a tasty and refreshing celery root salad. from what i understand, everything on the menu reaches such heights! those who are lucky enough to have discovered this place, are willing to crowd themselves in, and wait their turn, day after day, for another tasty morsel from mike and patty's affordable breakfast and lunch menu.

outdoor seating, carl looks on as michael works his magic.

the place is tiny. it is little more than a stand, really. there is one long, high table and a counter inside, plus at least one table on the sidewalk. but oh! what they can do in such a small space! during peak times, i hear there's often overflow out into the streets of this charming neighborhood. take-out is always an option, but you'll probably want to eat your sandwich hot, so just pull up a curb and dig in!

that really is a thumbs up! heather + donuts

we arrived just around closing time, so we had the run of the place. carl was thrilled with his sandwich (something involving pulled pork and jicama slaw?), and heather kindly set cosmo up with a bowl of fresh blueberries, and sent us off with a bag of muffins and homemade donuts for breakfast.

peekin' in through the window

cosmo and i also had the exclusive privilege of visiting the employees-only bathroom, down in the basement. we descended through the cellar door, in the floor of the micro kitchen, down some treacherous spiral-type stairs to the crowded storeroom. then we found the step ladder leading up to the itsy-bitsy water closet. all the necessities were there, it was completely sanitary, and cosmo enjoyed being able to (finally!) check out where it all goes, thanks to the exposed (ancient) plumbing, and the ol' timey, elevated toilet tank.

the cellar door

we had some trouble finding church street, and asked a taxi driver. he didn't know, but a guy on the street overheard us and said, "are you looking for mike and patty's?" he told us how to find it, and highly recommended it. considering they have been open less than a year, they've already established quite a reputation. not surprising, the chef, michael fitzhenry, is nothing short of a culinary genius. a breakfast/sandwich shop may seem limited and simple, but whatever fitzhenry takes on, he hones to complete perfection. he goes to great lengths to use the finest ingredients, including organic eggs, and his unforgettable creations will blow you away. his loyal following at his former gig, formaggios, will attest to that.

cosmo, on church street

if you find yourself in the boston area, take the T to the new england medical center stop, and take the short walk (or bike ride) over to 12 church street, for the best sandwich of your life.