Posts Tagged "frogs"

You Are Not Going to Believe This About Frogs

Dear Kid,

I woke up with the Frog Song running through my head (frogs here, frogs there, frogs were jumping everywhere). It left lots of webbed footprints in my brain and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to write to the Kid about frogs today?”

No, it wouldn’t.

I discovered (as I sipped my most excellent Buckeye Buzz coffee) that My Friend the Internet has not organized weird facts about frogs into a nice sanitized version suitable for moms to read before breakfast.

Instead, there are a lot of froggy facts that are designed to keep 8 year old boys happily making gross noises for hours. And while I do not begrudge those children their hours of fun, neither do I wish to learn about frogs using their eyeballs to swallow their food before I’ve had mine. Food that is.

Since real life was off the table (amazing how often that happens in my world), I decided to delve into the land of fiction for frog info. DearKidLoveMom.comAnd that was one of the tamer factoids.

Since real life was off the table (amazing how often that happens in my world), I decided to delve into the land of fiction for frog info. Turns out there are a lot of frogs in fiction, including Frog Thor (I kid you not), various frogs who are really princes, and Trevor (of H. Potter fame). You may have fun making your own list of frogs and toads if you have nothing better to do at the moment. I’ll wait.

The most important frogs (and by “most important” I mean “my favorites”) are Kermit the Frog and his nephew Robin. They sing. They dance. They are adorable. They are kind-hearted. They invite self-centered pigs into their lives. And not once have they talked about using their eyes to swallow their food.

Hope any frogs you encounter today manage to keep their hygienic, digestive, and reproductive habits to themselves.

Love, Mom

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Dart Wars Arrives!

Dear Kid,

As I may have mentioned, it’s Spring. And with Spring comes tulips, and bunnies, and weeding, and Dart Wars.

Dart Wars originated in Ancient Greece when the students of Greekus High Schoolus formed squads and bought Nerf guns.

Dart Wars do not in any way shape or form involve dart frogs. DearKidLoveMom.comThe rules have remained relatively unchanged since then (with slight modifications for inventions like cars and cell phones).

Pi is participating in Dart Wars this year and the Wars start tomorrow.

Planning for Dart Wars is somewhere between planning for Prom and organizing shopping for Black Friday. It requires the attention to detail generally only seen in operating rooms and the audacity of a Hail Mary pass with only 3 seconds left in the game.

There are meetings, wardrobe consultations, battle plans, alternative plans, hiding places, instructions for allies (and parents), contingency plans, housing arrangements, reprovisioning stations, and warnings to NOT under ANY circumstances—ANY—invite an Unknown Person into the house. ANY.

It also involves teenagers voluntarily getting up much earlier than usual which may be the most amazing part of the entire event.

Stay tuned for the next six weeks of attacks and counter attacks.

Love, Mom

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Discovering Grapes and Wine in Western New York

Dear Kid,

There we were, driving along I90 in upstate New York (waaay upstate) when Dad (who was enjoying his favorite driving pastime of reading every sign along the road) said, “Grape Discovery Center.”

Grape Discovery Center DearKidLoveMom.comSince neither of us had ever seen a discovered grape, we immediately got off the highway, drove passed miles of grape vines, waved to the Welch’s factory, and found ourselves at the Grape Discovery Center.

Frogs Holding Wine Glasses DearKidLoveMom.comWhich is, in a word, fantastic.

Not only do they have everything grape imaginable (Little frogs holding wine glasses? Check. Grape seed oil? Check. Water bottles shaped like a bunch of grapes? Check.) but they have grape juice to taste, wines to drink, and wine slushies to slurp. We sampled the Concord grape juice (too much driving still to do to sample anything alcoholic) and it was a-MAZ-ing. I’m not a grape juice fan particularly and I could have chugged a gallon of this. It was fresh, it was smooth, it was sweet, it was everything you want when you say yum.

There was a Learning Center in the facility and we wandered through (one of us wandered faster than the other), where we could learn about grapes and Welch’s.

Turns out, O Best Beloved, grape juice was created by religion. Let that bit of news seep in for a moment.

‘Tis true. Allow me to explain.

Grape Discovery Center, Grape Compounds DearKidLoveMom.comDr. Thomas Bramwell Welch was a dentist and Methodist. He was a teetotaler and knew that even a teeny sip of wine was highly problematic for alcoholics. But he felt strongly that everyone should be able to take communion.

He mulled. He considered. He contemplated. He cogitated. And then he invented grape juice.

You’d think it would be easy to a no brainer. Squeeze grapesà get grape juice. Well, my friend, you’d be only partially right. If you drink it right away, it’s juice. If you wait, the juice ferments into wine.

Dr. Welch followed Louis Pasteur’s lead and cooked his juice (in their bottles) to kill off all the yeasty, fermenty things.

Thrilled with his discovery, Dr. Welch grabbed up his bottles and went to church. Where they patted him on the head (figuratively speaking) and told him they weren’t interested (literally speaking).

Dr. Welch was pretty bummed and went back to polishing teeth free of all sorts of stains (except grape juice stains because no one was drinking his juice).

That might have been the end of the story, except that he had a Most Wonderful Son who figured out Many Wonderful Things like how to sell grape juice.

It takes about 2.4 pounds of grapes (between 600 and 800 grapes) to make a bottle of wine.

After many, many years of hard work, Welch’s became an overnight success and grape juice is now one of the most important non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages in the world. Right after caffeine free diet coke.

We had a lovely visit to the Grape Discovery Center. And it only took about 20 minutes to talk Dad out of trying to grow grape vines at home.

Love, Mom

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