Black Raspberry Pancakes

I have a small patch of black raspberries in my garden, which have done their best to prove to me that even in their limited space, they can be as vigorous as anything else I grow.

The berries are notably smaller than my red raspberries, and very tasty. We mostly eat them out of hand, but there is one black raspberry recipe I look forward to every year: black raspberry pancakes.

This is only our usual pancake mix with a handful of berries stirred in. They’re perfect for this: small and firm and tart. Normally the kids ask me not to put fruit in their pancakes, preferring chocolate chips instead, but I didn’t hear any complaints when I made these the other day.



A conversation with Mica, just after she signaled the start of a game by saying “You be the doctor.”

Me: What seems to be the trouble?
Mica (in a sick voice): My belly and ‘testines are gone.
Me: They’re gone?!
Mica (in a sick voice): Yes.
Me: That’s terrible! What happened?
Mica (in a sick voice): The boys took them.
Me: Oh, no! Well, here are some new ones.
Mica: I want pink ‘testines.
Me: Oh yes, they come in pink.

Oregon Renaissance Faire

I was so excited to discover, only a couple of weeks ago, that there is a Renaissance Faire close to us. Given how much fun the boys had at the Shrewsbury Renaissance Faire last year, it seemed obvious that we should attend this; and since it was so close, I decided to bring Mica as well. With a bit of planning we managed to get the boys’ best friend from school and his mom to come along with us, which helped to stoke Nathan and Ryan’s enthusiasm.

We skipped the rainy weekend but arrived when the heat was in full force, and spent several hot afternoon hours wandering the faire. The kids found wooden swords almost as soon as we entered, and despite my admonitions to see what else was on offer first, we eventually went back and got them. There is a strict no-sword-fighting rule in the faire (except for designated events, like the tournament), so they were forced to content themselves with running around under the trees, slashing at shadows.

I was interested to see what Mica would make of the faire. She was very interested in the pony ride concept and wanted to go there first; but when she discovered that I was standing in line to let her actually ride one, she ordered me out of the line. She also liked looking at the various displays, and we spent some time trying on lovely circlets, but in the end she too chose a sword as her souvenir. (She might have taken a glass flute instead had I allowed, but there was no way that was happening.)

None of the kids were interested in sitting and watching the various shows, which was a pity since the small bits we caught were very good. Maybe in a few years they’ll be ready for that.

Computer Insanity

Nathan is not even ten years old, and his desk in our sun room now looks like this:

This is the result of two unrelated upgrades. The first was to his table. He wanted a larger, less beat-up table, and so Dave took him out one day to look for one. I thought they were going to check out the local thrift store, but apparently when they didn’t find anything there, Dave headed straight for Ikea and got Nathan a nice new table. He now has the cleanest computer table in the house, not to mention the newest by about two decades.

(“Why does Nathan rate a new computer table?” I asked Dave. He looked at me oddly and said, “He asked for one.” “You mean all you have to do to get furniture in this house is ask for it?” Another odd look. “Yes…”)

The second upgrade was to his computer system. Nathan has been using Dave’s old laptop, which is a nice system in many ways but slightly glitchy (which is why Dave got a new one). But we recently got a hand-me-down system from Dave’s friend, and now Nathan has a nice, relatively new computer with two good screens to complement his laptop. His desk could pass for a programmer’s, and he’s still in single digits.

Needless to say, Nathan is very happy with his circumstances.

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Worth It

There are times that I am honestly tempted to ditch this large, unwieldy garden I’ve managed to make for myself, to just release myself from all the weeding and watering and pruning. But fortunately there are the other times, when ripe strawberries or peas or tomatoes nudge me in exactly the opposite direction.

Just A Picture

This was at Village Free School. Chiffon is one of Mica’s favorite people at the school, and she was so, so excited to finally have him sitting in her lap.