Some appreciations to close the circle of happy-irritated

Come hell or high water, I was going to can most of those tomatoes tonight. They just wouldn't stop staring at me, not even when the boys plucked their googly eyes off and relocated them: Oliver slapped one over each nostril opening, and Jack moved one to his belly button and one to a place that won't be named. I blanched, peeled, seeded, cored, juiced, stewed and canned those scarlet nightshades. Yes.I.did. Four quarts are cooling now. Because canning tall quarts of tomatoes in a standard, just-taller-than-quart-jars waterbath canner makes for a very sloshy, bubbly, messy 45 or so minutes, I pulled out my Casa Noble Reposado tequila and poured a bit over ice. Plus simple syrup. Plus lime. Equals a dee-lightful cocktail that eased the slight bit of anxiety over spewing, boiling water I had. I highly recommend this tequila; it is smooth as get-out.

liquor locker la

Later, I made a delicious salad and had a tiny slice of plum tart too.

In the meantime, I thought about how irritated I was with the children by 5p but also how god-awfully in love with them I am. They are jewels, both of them. Precious, special, funny, creative, kind, smart little gems in my life. I love the way Oliver calls salsa "spice" and how he refers to lettuce as "salad." As in, "Mom, let's buy chips and spice AND cut some fresh salad for lunch." It's too much. I can't stand how darling it is. Also he says "lusually" instead of usually. The other day at the store he said, "Mom, we lusually buy the dish soap with a blue top, so why are you buying this one with a green top?"

I not only didn't realize this color discrepancy but also wondered why he had, was impressed by this knowledge of household minutiae and just liked a chance to hear him say "lusually."

Meanwhile, Jack always has such grandiose plans in the works. And I love that it never occurs to him that 95% are at best highly unlikely to come to fruition, if not completely unrealistic. Like his current plan to build his own snow skis and poles, use them and also build some for Oliver. The night-vision goggles are in the works -there are at least three prototypes in the house now- and for a long while we were going to build a boat with a 9-foot mast. As if. But he was full-speed ahead, and really, that's how you get places in life. You just go do it, worries be damned.

Also, Jack is really great about correctly throwing words like "minuscule" and "modify" into everyday conversation and often prefaces commentary with phrases like, "well, in my opinion" or "more accurately, X/Y/or Z." It slays me to hear a 7 year old with giant and/or missing teeth talking like this. I love it.

And so, despite the fact that they are still totally grounded and in fact added a day to their punishment by throwing pounds of raisins around the house just after the twice-a-month housekeeper left (like literally, as she was walking out), I am grateful for these hellions and all the nonsense they insert into my quotidien life.