Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Perseid Escapades

To see this year's Perseid meteor shower, we loaded up the van and drove far from the city lights at 1 am. Most of the kids protested sleepily, but Rudolph the Wonder Dog was ready to go. Even if he did cower under hubby's legs while driving.

We stopped at a dark field and set up our camera equipment. Rudolph is a Weimeraner, which means "hunter of small furry animals and shoes" in German. So he disappeared into the brush while we peered up at the sky for meteors.

Ten minutes later, he was back, dragging a large stick. Rudolph dropped it at my feet.

I picked it up and tossed it back into the brush. He brought it back. Bored with stargazing, Heidi picked it up and started playing fetch with him.

Half an hour later, we called the shower a bust, and piled back into the van.

Back home, I started shuffling kids to bed. Rudolph dropped the stick at my feet, tail wagging.

It was a dried up deer leg.

Who knows what the neighbors were thinking, with all the lights on at our house at 2am, with a figure screaming through the house, "Dead deer leg! Dead deer leg!"

But really. They should be used to this sort of thing by now.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bertie Botts Roulette

Every night, after dinner and before brushing teeth, my kids line up at dad's knee.

It's time for Bertie Botts Roulette.

For those of you who don't know, Bertie Botts jellybeans are featured in Harry Potter books as jelly beans of EVERY flavor. Including earwax and sardine.

And the good candy makers at Jelly Bellies decided to capitalize on the HP franchise, and offer their own version of the candy.

I can't remember how Bertie Botts roulette started. I think my husband once dared a kid to eat a Bertie Botts bean without looking. And, of course if one kid has to do it, they ALL have to do it.

Game's simple. Like we used to chant in second grade: Open your mouth and close your eyes and you will get a big surprise. If a kid's lucky, the bean could be either cherry or popcorn. If not, vomit or pepper flavored.

You can tell how the jelly bean eating went by the facial expressions. This is why my nine year old wrote in her Father Day's card: "I love it when Daddy tortures me"

The Bertie Botts bean flavors are scarily accurate. Well, of those I've tried. Grass flavor surprisingly tastes like a blade of grass. The pepper makes me sneeze. Booger. . . I wouldn't know. My husband says, yes, tastes like the real thing. So does dirt.

I'm beginning to wonder about my husband's childhood.

However nasty the jelly bean is, my kids have one out. Sometimes, if I turn around, I'll hear a half-eaten bean hit the floor. Where it's promptly eaten by the dog.

Apparently, the vomit-flavored ones are the dog's favorite.