Monday, September 24, 2012

A Pig, a Party and Some Hope

This past Saturday my church hosted a pig roast. Our rector, Margo, has been wanting to do an event like this for quite some time. It was great to see her from time to time throughout the day, looking like a kid in a candy store.

The Foxcroft Farm Harvest Program gave us the pig. Raised it, had it butchered, didn't make us pay for it. I looked into it, and a pig that size usually runs about $260! A friend of a friend lent us his cooker, and a local market allowed us to store the pig overnight in their walk in cooler.

Saturday morning I woke up early and headed over to Grace Church, our Forest Dale location, and started by cleaning out the huge roaster. It's basically a massive grill that I was fortunate enough to be able to borrow for the day.

Grace Church

The Grill

I was very lucky to have help from 2 amazing members of the congregation. They shuffled the pig from place to place and then helped me get it on the grill. It was a 130lb pig. That's not a tiny thing. It was actually a little too long for the grill to start with, and we had to get creative with the legs. It didn't come to that, but there was talk of a hacksaw...

Everything was off to a good start. It was a beautiful day, not too cold and not at all rainy like the meteorologists were threatening. I had my book, a chair, my coffee, and a roasting pig. And then it was time to flip it. How hard could that be? Go find a friend who doesn't ask too many questions. Slather that person with vaseline and have them lie on the floor. Now put on some oven mitts and try to get them to roll from one side onto the other. Oh, and don't forget to cry a little and apologize profusely to the pig because it's making all kinds of sizzling, whining noises on the grill.

The bad news: I had to flip the pig 7 times in all. The good news: I got over feeling sad and guilty after the 3rd flip. That also happens to be the flip I almost slid the entire pig onto the ground because one of the legs came apart. Think it's gross reading about it? I had it in my hand...

After much grill hilarity, the evening was a success. We had a bouncy house for the kids, lawn games and face painting, everyone from church pitched in and brought a side to pass around. There was so much food left over that we'll be able to hold a pulled pork supper soon.

Here's the best part, in my opinion. There was a free will donation basket set up near the dessert table. We advertised the event as being free and open to the public. We weren't expecting to raise much money at all, and the only cost to cover was the bouncy house rental. The pig and grill were donations, everyone made food, and the space was ours. The people who came were generous enough that we were able to make donations to Rock Point SchoolThe Vermont Food Bank, and a local family that lost their father after he became ill with Eastern Equine Encephalitis. We've got a turkey dinner set up for October. Someone please start pouring the wine now!

The next picture is of the finished pig. You might not want to look if you have vegetarian tendencies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Songs in My Head

Ever hear a catchy tune and have the song stuck in your head for the rest of the day? This happens to me on a daily basis. It's as annoying as it sounds, trust me. I have no idea why it happens, sometimes it's even more than one song in a day. I've given up trying to unstick one song by listening to another- at best I end up with the new song running on repeat, at worst I've then got 2 dueling in my brain.

Here's a snippet of the tunes over the past few days:

Plain White T's       Rhythm of Love
The Decemberists   Sons and Daughters
Taylor Swift           Mean
Kanye West           Amazing
The Band Perry     If I Die Young
Meredith Brooks    Bitch
Shu-Bi-Dua           Midsommersangen
Sanne Salomonsen Jeg vil lade lyset braende

A slightly random and at times inappropriate mix of tunes. They pop into my head without warning and usually have nothing to do with anything going on at the moment. Odder yet, I've had intermittent tinnitus since I was a kid. Every time I end up with a song stuck in my head, I also experience the tinnitus. Anyone care to dissect that one?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Brushing my Hair

I had a very random conversation at about 4:00 this morning with a friend in England. She and I are almost never online at the same time, so it was nice to be able to Skype with her (thank you ineffective NyQuil. I know I took one dose, I may have taken two. Either way, I fell asleep around 11pm and was wide awake by 4.)

My not-so-subtle bed head prompted Julie to tease me about my hair brushing habits. We've known each other for a long time, and she knows how much I hate brushing my hair. It's not that I like it to be messy, rather it takes such a perfect storm of events for me to be able to do so without hurting myself, ripping out clumps of hair, or breaking brushes. I have curly/wavy hair. Lisa Lehmann of Studio Jewel has a great product review for those of you with curls. Read the comments, too, as other readers have given some useful tips. It's very thick. It's not so long now, but it does fall past my shoulders. I've given up on bangs, as they tend to curl, frizz, and take on a life of their own. The last person to cut my hair in layers did not get paid, but instead got to watch in horror as my hair dried in a Medusa-like mane as I complained to the manager. I don't get my hair cut all that often to avoid situations like this, but I do tend to hack it all off and donate to Locks of Love when I do brave the salon.

A couple of days ago, Nelly at A Tea-Tray in the Sky posted a story about her daughter, school, and bath time. I decided that I would show my support of Alice by brushing my hair. It was as good a motivation as any, seeing as how it'd been a couple of weeks since I last ran a brush through the beast. Before you judge, I do wash my hair every 2-3 days and do my best to make it look somewhat tamed as it dries. It's harder than it looks. So the other night I got into the shower, washed my hair, let the conditioner sit for 5 minutes before rinsing and then getting out immediately. I sprayed in leave-in conditioner and wrapped it tightly in a towel, making sure my hair was flat and not twisted into bunches before wrapping. Then after 10 minutes in the towel, I put another across my shoulders, took my still-dripping hair down and sprayed it with anti-frizz spray. I took a deep breath, picked up my brush and made it about half-way through before the stupid thing broke. I was frustrated, but not surprised. This is what my hair does to brushes.

Last night I went out and bought some new brushes and the NyQuil. The cashier at the Rite-Aid was giving me looks like she thought I was up to something. Or on something. So this morning after my chat with Julie, I decided to brave brushing my hair again. I repeated the process of preparing to brush and, brand spanking new brush in hand, I started to brush. It broke. I'm going to need to revise my system, because it seems my hair is on to me...

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Sharing is a good thing. As a nanny I encourage the kids to share their toys, bites of snack, snuggle space during story time, etc. It's not always an easy concept for a toddler, but I think they've been doing really well.

Last night I went to bed feeling fine, a bit tired, but that's nothing new. This morning I had a cold. I felt like I had stepped outside hungover, been hit by a bus, and was lying in a gutter getting rained on. It was a beautiful and sunny day, which only made me feel worse. I walked into work fearing what anyone who has ever been in a room with 3 two year-olds fears: cacophony.

Sure enough, chaos reigned. Dad was trying to play songs for them on the guitar while they clambered around trying to "help." They were all singing songs, and while they were getting most of the words and notes right, they weren't exactly all singing the same songs. Baby Beluga, Kumbaya and Row Row Row Your Boat don't exactly make for the best mash-up in the history of music.

When a moment of calm finally settled, I said my hellos and gave hugs. Ladybug wanted me to give her a kiss hello, but I told her that I couldn't today. She was a little disappointed, but I explained that I'd gotten her cold, and that I didn't want to give her any more icky germs. At this, her face lit up and she said proudly, "I shared my cold! That's nice. Sharing is caring!"

It's nice to know some of my lessons sink in...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A New Beginning

I'm a terrible writer, and don't really expect anyone to read what I put down here. Wonderful way to start things out, eh?

That said, the disclaimer that comes with this blog is that these are random ramblings from my often exhausted mind. Be kind in your judgments, reserve them for me- meaning please don't attack anyone who might post a comment. (Translated: For the love of all things nice in this world, don't scare off anyone stupid enough to get sucked into reading my blog!) Thanks and have a great day!