If life gives you lemons, make wheatgrass shots

When the Great Polar Blast of 2021 hit back in February, all the bushes out front froze to death. Buy August, I had finally accepted the loss and asked the yard guys to cut the dead bushes down without mercy.

Left with a small but barren patch of yard with nothing but dirt and the nubs of dead bushes, I decided to make use of the land (and the automated drip irrigation) to grow some food. I had always wanted to do an urban vegetable garden, and now it was basically thrust upon me, waiting directly outside the front door, teasing me to make it so.

Of course, I could never leave Molly, our curious little naturalist, out of such a plan. She would definitely make it fun and bring new ideas to the table.

So Molly and I went to Sledd Nursery on a Saturday morning to consult with the local experts. We left Sledd with $70 worth of seeds for a “fall” crop and two bags of basically fancy dirt.

At the last minute, Molly added in some wheatgrass starters because she wanted to make wheatgrass juice. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ. I asked her, “Have you ever had wheatgrass juice?” She said no but she had “seen it on YouTube” and it “looked good”. Why not? I’m trying to say yes to my kids whenever I can, to encourage their confidence and curiosity.

We went home and planted patches of broccoli, squash, corn, parsley, and arugula. I crossed my fingers. 🀞

After a couple of weeks, the wheatgrass was doing better than anything else out there.

So we trimmed some wheatgrass (it’s indistinguishable from “regular” grass), tossed it in the blender with some water, and strained the juice. The resulting juice was supposedly healthy but had the bright fluorescent green color of lime Jello.

And it tasted like… grass water. One step away from dirt water.

Molly had a couple of sips and called it a day. “It’s gross, Dad.”

I added salt and Tabasco. That upgraded it to spicy ocean water. πŸ˜‹ I think the rest of the wheatgrass is for me. But thank you, Molly, for the cool idea. Let’s see how you like arugula later.

Virtual Sleepover

With another wave of Covid here πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ, Molly decided to take her social life into her own hands and organize a virtual sleepover with her friends.

A true self-starter and fully adapted to pandemic life, Molly gave me a small shopping list (basically cake ingredients and popcorn) and scheduled a Zoom meeting with a few friends. She also asked if she could have the whole first floor to herself and sleep on the couch. Hey, she had a vision. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

As I put myself to sleep, Molly and her friends were giggling on Zoom. Apparently the only hitch was that the Zoom meeting timed out ofter 40 minutes. Hmm, I was going to ask her if anyone had upgraded to Zoom Pro, but I didn’t want to be a helicopter parent. Live and learn, Molly. πŸ˜›

I didn’t get any pics of the actual sleepover but captured some pics after daylight broke the next morning.

Chimichurri kid

Molly has become quite the kitchen helper.

Here she is in action making one of her specialities, an Argentinian chimichurri sauce. She has been gradually doing more and more on her own. Tonight, she made the sauce 100% on her own — chopping and mixing parsley, garlic, and more — while I pan-seared some steak to go with it. 🀩

Skyfox and Red 2

I decided to name the kids as follows for the summer:

  • The older one is Skyfox because she hangs out on the 3rd floor and nestles into her little den a lot. Also, it sounds cool.
  • The younger one is Red 2 because it kind of sounds like a wingman from Star Wars, and she has that vibe right now. Also, it sounds cool.

Red 2 named me Orangeballer because I was playing with an orange bouncy ball when she named me that. She later changed it to Bedhead when I was near a bed and have a head, I guess. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Here are Skyfox and Red 2 hanging out at a coffee shop. We went here because we could eat outside even on a rainy day. We had a great time joking around. They were roasting each other pretty good, as you can see from their faces.

Swimming on SoCo

Today was our first real swim since before the goddamn pandemic hit.

We’re easing our way back to “normal”, in this case meaning a more fun summer than last. β˜€οΈ I jumped on a pool pass at the Austin Motel (“So Close, Yet So Far Out”). This hotel pool turns out to be less crowded and more fun than neighborhood social club the High Road, which we tried the summer before last.

One thing I love about Molly is that she’s not trying to be an adult yet. She made a “sea raft” out of swim noodles, held together with goggles. We played with our pool toys, Sammie the Seamonster and Ollie Octopus.

And we took lots of underwater photos, using my iPhone as a bit of a pool toy itself. I guess it could use a cleaning anyways. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Watermelon BowlπŸ‰

Molly enjoying a watermelon bowl, noting:

  1. The watermelon is bigger than her head
  2. This is “the only natural way to eat a watermelon”
  3. She has no idea how this whole thing fits in her stomach
  4. A yet Molly persisted and ate the whole thing, while Claire only ate half of hers (and gave the rest to me πŸ˜‹).

Basic Austin Kid

We were heading out for an errand, when Molly notes that she looks like a “basic Austin kid.”

She’s right! And so self-aware. πŸ€”

The Whataburger drink gives it away. This is her favorite restaurant and has previously done a cartwheel πŸ€ΈπŸ»β€β™€οΈ when told we were getting Whataburger.

Any School Nurse

Today I set Molly up with a new keyboard and mouse for her MacBook at the little desk in her room. She said the liked the mouse and then started typing on the keyboard. It was a little “clickier” that what she was used to.

Her face immediately lit up, and she rolled out a pretty great joke…

“Hey, Dad. What do I sound like?” she said as she clicked continually on the new, loud keyboard.

“I don’t know. A kid typing?” I said.

“No,” she said. “Any school nurse!” She giggled.

“Hey, Dad. Go outside and come back in,” she said, gesturing towards the door.

I left the room and came back in. Molly greeted me as a nurse. “What is bothering you today, honey?” she said as she continued to type loudly, still staring at the screen. I told her I had scraped my knee.

“Okay, let me see what we can do about that”. Molly opened her web browser to type something in.

Then she whispered to me, “Dad, look what I’m searching.”

She had typed in the Google search field, “what is a nurse?” πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜‚

Good one, Molly. πŸ‘

Cosmic Walk

Hey, I got a decent pic of both girls today. ☺️

We strolled up to Cosmic Coffee (and Beer Garden). We’re trying to get out for regular walks to prepare for our trip to Ireland later this year. “We’re going to be waling all around Dublin, so let’s get our legs ready,” I told them. Luckily, they were pretty enthusiastic about walking. Bonus: the Texas heat will make walking around Ireland seem like a literal cake walk.

Also, Molly wanted to try out iced tea since she had enjoyed some stevia-based tea at home. But she was not terribly impressed with unsweet green hibiscus tea, describing it as “bitter”. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ