Friday, March 31, 2006

Salt with your fish, ma'am?

We had company today. It's been a looooooong Spring Break. First, husbunny was sick, then oldest, then me, then youngest. So we missed an entire week of school before Spring Break. No visitors, no Tae Kwan Do, no swimming lessons. And no babysitting. So we were really looking forward to some outside diversion. 3 of the 4 of us were getting really sick of each other.

I cooked up a tasty lunch. In my book, unless you're a Caesar salad, then you better have at least 8 ingredients and none of them better be iceburg lettuce. It was warm enough to fire up the barbeque, so I grilled up 2 pork tenderloins to perfection - just done, not dry. Steamed up some crisp yet tender green beans, and served them up with butter and my favorite garlic salt - Simply Organic's blend with sea salt, thick garlic sprinkles and dried parsley flakes. Makes vegetables a delight. I baked some potatoe wedges sprinkled with olive oil and herbs and a generous sprinkling of freshly smashed rosemary twigs.

The kids (3 boys/1 girl, all 5 or under) did pretty well. There was the usual half an hour of frantic scratch and sniff behavior of the guests - testing every toy in the place. They gave the play structure a good workout. The BunSter was admired and fed almonds and treats. Things went a bit South when, as usual, Youngest started to get teased about something. He's got social issues and speech delays, so he's easily baited by his peer group. We're working on his reactions, but it's difficult - he is only 4. And his brother also participates or instigates some of the teasing. I tend to keep guest children busy and distracted, but today I was taking advantage of having help to cook up a storm. I also baked some banana bread, and cleaned out my refrigerator. Hey - you gotta do things while you can, and when you have the notion.

Lunch was served, and it was well received. I cannot believe that 2 women and 4 kids managed to polish off 1 and 1/2 pork loins, a mess of beans, half of a salad and most of the potatoes. The children were allowed to use condiments on their own. I set out different sauces, herb shakers, etc.

Bear with me; part of this story is that the entire cul de sac is gone for Spring Break. We are watching 2 houses, and have custody of one betta fish. Thank God the people with dogs have house sitters, or those poor critters would be standing with their rear legs crossed and miserable by the time I let them out to tinkle. But AquaMarine, the Betta, was reckoned to be an easy addition to our household. He has been doing great Fish Olympics every night during our evening meal. It has been fun, actually. The boys are crazy about this fish. His human, a 9 yo girl, was very worried about handing him over. I assured her we were reliable pet sitters. Plus, I reminded her I trusted her with the BunSter a year ago. We got a long list of Aqua's schedule. And a supply of food.

Except that today, Aqua was served lunch by Youngest and his 3 yo buddy. Tater crumbs, a bit of salad. Complete with garlic salt shaken in his bowl, considerate little hosts that they were. I did not find out until I was feeding him his before-bed treat of bloodworms, and noticed a bit of lettuce. I asked Oldest "Hey; that looks like lettuce!" and he said "Oh yes; they fed him a little lunch. Oh, and they salted the potatoes for him."

With that, I squealed and grabbed the fish bowl off the lazy susan. "How much?!!" "Oh, it was a good shake, Mommy!"

I start flailing around the kitchen, and realize that Aqua has really been putting on quite the athletic show this evening. Well yeah; we're pickling the poor fellow! I realize I need non chlorinated water and run over to the neighbors' house. Forget the alarm remote, run back home. Run back with remote, tear into the house. Grab the water, run back. Now I have to somehow drain that little fish bowl, with huge glass beads that will certainly pulverize ol' Aqua if I try to pour him out. I figure out how to accomplish the water change out, and get him back into his nice clean bowl and fresh water. He eats the fresh food I offer, so I reckon he's not at death's door - yet anyway.

I have been checking that fish every hour. I bet if I wake up tonight, a downstairs trot to check out the fish will be the only way I ever get back to sleep. Please do not let this fish die! We'll never live it down, and the neighbors think we're weird enough as it is.


jak said...

Sorry your little one is teased from those other childern- my kids would be in big T if they ever teased a child! The meal sounds so good and how wonderful it was all the cul-d-sac moms!

Hope you all are feeling better- we have a min. week then our vacation starts-yea!

Hey Vickee's-you know I lived in CO. in Breckenridge for 8 years- are you close to that?

Have a good sunday!

jak said...

oh i forgot- love the toes sista!

Carolyn said...

That fish story made me laugh my butt off. Oh wait, the damn thing is still here!

If Mr. Fish should go to that great pond in the sky, most betas look very similar. Do you have a pet store nearby?