Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm still in beautiful New Zealand, where we shiver and zip on a hoodie if the temperature doesn't hit 75. We return to Wisconsin in just a few short days, and I am not looking forward to returning to frigid temperatures, gray snow, and darkness at 5 PM. Can someone please arrange for summer to hit the northern hemisphere in March this year? Thanks oodles.

In the meantime, we're wringing every last drop of enjoyment that we can get out of the warm weather. Today we went blueberry picking. Here's what the kids did when I asked them to pose in front of a big tree:

Seriously, how did these kids get to be such smart-asses? Next thing you know, they'll have blogs of their own.

There was more hilarity with the blueberry-picking buckets, followed by tragedy:

We picked many, many blueberries. I asked Stella how many she thought we picked, and she said "maybe 20." Stella's kindergarten class is just finishing up an unit on estimating, but I have say that she may need a little remedial work in that area.

Baby W ate nearly as many blueberries as we picked. Then he lost a blueberry down his onesie. I was glad to see him looking down his own shirt for a change, with nearly as much interest as he looks down my shirt.

What are we going to do with the blueberries, all 20 of them? That's a good question. I'm thinking it would be fun to do some baking, maybe make some blueberry pound cake or blueberry crumble. It's always fun to make a sweet treat, and my father loves desserts, to the point where he eats a giant slice of cheesecake with an enormous scoop of ice cream on it twice a day. The irony is that due to my father's health problems, he's skinny as a rail. He's 6 ft 4 inches and only weighs 12 stone, or 80 kilograms, or 142 pebbles, or 62.5 eggweights, or whatever eminently sensible units of measurement they use here. Wait -- a furlong! Yes, I think my father weighs about a furlong.

It's hard, when you see somebody eating so many desserts, to exercise dietary restraint. Before we came to New Zealand, I warned Stella that Grandpa ate a lot of dessert, and that we would not be eating dessert every time he did. Anybody want to lay a bet on how long that lasted?

And the trouble is that I have not had any opportunity to go running while I'm here, since there is nobody capable of providing child care for me. This means my opportunities for exercise (and for working off all the cheesecake) are limited. Instead of running, I've been doing lots of pushups, since that's something I can do with the kids around. I once attended a motivational seminar given by a reformed felon, and I learned that in prison the inmates do a lot of pushups. I'm happy to know that when the feds finally send me up the river for not declaring all my tips in income from when I worked as a waitress, I'll have a head start on all the other residents of the pokey.

Another great New Zealand vacation draws to a close. We leave New Zealand having spent some quality time with my father, having enjoyed the warm weather, and having had a great time just relaxing. I'm also leaving just a little bit heavier than when I arrived -- I would say about a furlong.

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