Home Again, Home Again

A total of 12 and a half hours in the car yesterday and we reached home sweet home at about 10:30 at night.  As lovely as our trip was, it is always nice to come home…  at least until you look at your seedlings…  Note to self: when recruiting assistance for seedling care, be sure to specify that you need help watering seedlings INSIDE not just those OUTSIDE of the house.  Mass tomato, lettuce, parley and cauliflower suicide here in central Maryland.  Why, oh why didn’t I set up my seedlings the way Big Sis recommended in an earlier post?  I just flat ran out of time.  Poo.  Between the drive and the vegetable massacre in the living room, I have to confess the zen that I had achieved (okay, for me, my own kind of spastic zen) during our visits in North Carolina and Tennessee took a bit of a beating.  My kind husband poured me a glass of wine and together we sipped and left the rumble of the road behind us.

Now, in the still of the afternoon, having begun to wash the copious laundry that results from these kinds of trips, and having returned to our “normal” life, I’ve had a moment to reflect on our trip and all that I learned.

1) If you want raw oatmeal, all you have to do is ask.  It dawned on me rather late in our Asheville stay that any establishment that serves oatmeal could likely provide me with the elements required for me to make a yummy big bowl breakfast, and that most of them would be more than happy to charge me for breakfast without having to actually cook me anything.  This really is a more generalizable lesson for me as I tend to fail to ask for things that I want, but let’s not get bogged down with my inner workings, shall we?

2) Reinforcement from other adults can make an overtired Real Food Mom’s life so much nicer.  Big Sis revealed that she was able to get my little angel to eat.  (As a side note, she really can be delightful, just not so often at the table.)  While I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I found it a little annoying that my daughter so readily consumed her food for my sister, I was delighted that someone else took on the task a few times and that there is now evidence that mealtimes CAN be easier.  My attitude can use some work – Big Sis has this relentlessly positive thing going that I could try on more effectively from time to time.  It was nice, too to have the reinforcement of watching another family eat the way we eat.  The assurance that it is indeed well-worth the effort (and the run-ins with my daughter) to continue on this path.  In order to best take advantage of Big Sis’s kale smoothie deception of two days ago, I prepared a less deceptive kale smoothie when mine returned from pre-K today.  They related the tale of the tricky green smoothie to their grandmother with much delight, and we all gulped down some kale smoothie goodness together.


  • about 2 cups of kale leaves
  • 2 bananas
  • about 1 peach worth of frozen peaches
  • fistful of frozen cherries
  • enough unsweetened almond milk to achieve blending

Mix in blender until desired texture is achieved.  Add ice cubes if your team prefers a more frozen style smoothie.  The cherries make it a bit brown rather than green, although when blending there was a moment when the top half inch was still pure green and it was deep pink below.  I was tempted to stop and serve it right then, and next time I may do that very thing.

3) Sometimes the only thing to do is to pull inside of your shell and roll with it…

This fellow was alongside a walking path we explored whilst touring about with Big Sis and fabulous nephew. He tolerated our presence for a surprisingly long time. When he’d had enough, he moved to the edge of the retaining wall…

We all watched, coaching him as a group: “No, don’t go to close to the edge.” “Don’t jump.” “WHAT is he doing?!” He reached the very edge, pulled in all of his bits, rocked the shell a bit and down he went. Tush over tea kettle and into the brush below. We were a little horrified. I was afraid he’d been hurt and that we had driven him to his end. We watched for a moment, and once we found him in the brush, we saw that he was, in fact, just fine. He moved on his merry way.

And so did we.

12 responses

  1. I love that you encourage your kids to eat healthy. Kale smoothie? Brilliant! Nothing drives me more crazy then when I hear food network personalities talk about “kid friendly” dishes or “kids only want french fries and pizza” – all it does is breed more poor eating habits. Anyway, enough ranting – glad you had a good trip!

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I have to admit I was pretty proud when, after having the opportunity to eat restaurant food a couple of times in a row on our travels, my kids both noted that they were eager to eat “our food” again. Music to my ears. And rant away… especially about kids and food… also music to my ears. 🙂

  2. Ohhhh Nooo! So sorry about the seedlings – wish that wasn’t a price you had to pay to come be with us. Loved reading this, and I do believe that tush over tea kettle will become a permanent part of the lexicon any minute now. Wise old turtle : )

  3. Ouch…that’s not a fun way to return home poor seedlings. Although I’m sure it was nice to get away, as Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home”

    • I’ve decided that Mother’s Day will include a trip to the nursery to recoup our losses. Not mine from seed… but in August I won’t care where the tomatoes came from, so long as they show up. 🙂

    • Thanks. For Mother’s Day I replaced the most disappointing losses. In retrospect, I didn’t have room for 14 more tomato plants anyway. 😉 This gardening thing can be a real heartbreaker.

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