Monthly Archives: August 2016

~ Super Spicy Mama ~

In a fit of  housewiferly  enthusiasm ( ‘housewiferly?’  Just go with it.) this morning, I began cleaning out my spice cupboard.  It’s been on my ‘To-Do’ list for nearly three years now.  Life most certainly takes priority to the expiration dates on my Thyme and Rosemary.

What happened today to bring this item to the forefront?  I couldn’t get my Thyme and Rosemary out of the cupboard because they were, er, STUCK to it.  Apparently some almond extract spilled a while (years?) ago, and morphed into some kind of superglue as it dried.

I haven’t used my Thyme and Rosemary in while, is what I am saying.

As I was removing these ancient artifacts from the shelves, memories of a conversation Critter and I had years ago surfaced and broke free of my little pea brain:  He was in elementary school at the time, and was watching me make cookies, and asked me which of my spices were ‘good’ spices, and which ones were ‘bad’ spices.  I told them they were all good, if used in the right recipe!  But if we took garlic and added it to a chocolate cake batter, well, it might turn out horribly wrong.   I remember so clearly how he pegged me with his chocolate brown eyes and posited, “How would you know if you didn’t try?”

I had no answer, but to this day have not wasted a perfectly good chocolate cake batter finding out.  Still, he had me dead to rights.

This year, Critter started a new school.   We pulled him out of his old school for various reasons, the largest of which was his extreme unhappiness, and plunked him (gently) into The Friends Meeting School in Ijamsville, Maryland.  Understand, he has been with the same group of kids since Kindergarden, and now he was going to be in a completely new, and smaller circle of peers. It was a clear case of the devil you know, versus the devil you don’t know.

OH HOW WE SUFFERED GREATLY in the days leading up to his first day at Friends!  In his mind, there was no end to the possible tragedies ahead of him.  “What if I fail?”   “What if they hate me?”  “What if they bully me?”  “What if I make no friends??”

Again and again it was, “WHAT IF I MAKE NO FRIENDS?!”

Finally this past Monday, the first day of school had arrived, and before he got out of the car at the drop-off lane, I pegged him with my own chocolate brown eyes and posited, “But what if you did?  How would you know, if you didn’t try?”

He had no answer; I had him dead to rights, and he knew it.

I’m very pleased to report that we’re on day three at the new school, and Critter is happier than I have seen him in a long while.  And check it out…..he’s made a boatload of really nice, good friends already.  All is good these days at The Little Cottage!

I just hope….I really really hope…that he doesn’t turn this back on me and demand I try putting garlic in the chocolate cake.



And speaking of which…I have to figure out how to get almond extract superglue out of cherry wood grain.  Pray for me.





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~ What in the Googly Moogly is THAT? ~

Well, first off, I’d ask you if you even know what Googly Moogly means.  And if you didn’t, you probably don’t catch a lot of what I say, is what I’m saying, says I.


THAT, is actually THIS:

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My beloved, Gigantic HAND.   The HAND that will be on our float for Poolesville Day on September 17th this year, in…. you guessed it….Poolesville, Maryland.

This is the chosen symbol this year for PRIDE, our community pro-civility movement.  This HAND, simply put, is the reminder to everyone that DOING THE RIGHT THING is still COOL in this world.  Think of it as a HAND up.  Or a HAND outstretched, instead of the fists we’ve been seeing so often in the media as of late.  THIS is the hand of solidarity and goodness.

And, er, we ain’t done yet!!!  EEEK!!!  All summer long I kept thinking, “Meh, we’ve got plenty of time!  Plenty of time!  September 17th is forever away!”

But today it struck me that it’s less than a month away.

After I hyperventillated for a few minutes, I put my paper bag down, and reminded myself that I’m not alone in this venture.  In fact, My Captain, and another father, Brian, have done all of the armiture.  Mr. Gemmell, a local art teacher, had the kids design and build the hand.  And me?  I’ve been on the phone a lot.

Like, A LOT.


A master delegater and encourager, that’s me.   (Varmint asked what ‘Task Master’ meant, and I bellowed at her, “Quiet, Peon! and get back to work!”)

We have had kids from all ages, and all over the community helping us with ideas, paper macheing, and painting! We’ve had others donate their town hall (Thanks, Barnesville!) and their trailers, and all kinds of advice!

So picture the finished hand, outreaching to those in need, on a trailer as a float for Poolesville day!!!  Picture people walking near it with signs saying “BE THE DIFFERENCE,” “MAKE A DIFFERENCE” and “LEND A HAND,” while throwing candy out (gently, per the powers that be), while music blasts out with a zippy beat.

It will be nothing short of awesome.

Unless it falls horribly flat, in which case it will suck, and I’ll have to hang my head in shame. But I am shameless, so that really isn’t an issue, now is it?

But just try to imagine our finished product!  What a statement it will be!!!  Think Animal House,


without the, er,



Course, if that is the comparison I am going to make, the obvious other comparison would be that….


this is me.



Don’t  judge.

Poolesville Day.  Saturday, September 17th, in Poolesville, Maryland.  Find out more at:

Come and see our HAND float.   We have a lot of PRIDE in it!  I think the Parade starts fairly early in the morning, so don’t be late!!!

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See you there!



Bluto…, I mean…Mama






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