Category Archives: Mr. French

How not to make bone broth (Or, what just happened?)

Yesterday was a weird day. Mostly just the end of it, though.  Ethan decided he would not go to bed until all was right in his world and after much screaming, finally, finally fell asleep in Felicity’s bed with her around 10:45pm. I had holed myself up in our back bedroom with earphones in and cursed my lazy self for never sleep training him. (But he was such a fussy baby! It seemed like a good idea at the time!)

Anyway, now you know that I was in the back bedroom at 11 pm, almost ready to turn in for the night. Mr. French, was also there, studying at his makeshift standup desk/dresser. I’d just like to reiterate that it’s unusual for us to be in the back bedroom instead of the open living/kitchen/dining area, which has better lighting and is where we tend to hang out in the evening once the kids are in bed.

Suddenly, there was a loud Whoosh! sound. The kind that makes you imagine horrible things but nothing like what you’re about to discover.

So, we’re standing in the kitchen, that previously had been a 2 on a scale of 1-10, (1=bone dry and 10=covered in 1 foot of water) and was now easily a 7 on the same scale.

I just stood there for a minute because I couldn’t comprehend what I was seeing.

“The dish washer…?” I said.

“Oh, it must be the dishwasher! There’s water everywhere.” said Mr. French.


“It’s the crockpot.” I said, as the smell of beef and grease finally clued me in. And then I noticed little pieces of meat amongst the dripping drips. “But…why?how? It’s everywhere. I mean everywhere.”

Mr. French starts getting rags out, cleaning up.

I just stood there. The crockpot was intact. The glass lid was still in one piece and firmly latched down. The crockpot was turned off. And yet, all that remained inside were the bones. A once full pot was almost completely emptied. And the entire kitchen was literally dripping in broth.

Imagine this all covered in broth. Tasty!

Imagine this all covered in broth. Tasty!

I’m still clueless. There’s a steam hole in the lid. But how the pressure built up enough to spout all the broth out but not blow the top, I can’t figure out. There was broth in the three drawers closest to the crockpot, all over the island and the counter next to it. All over the floor (which Mr. French cleaned up!), all over the sink and the clean dishes next to it. Of course the cabinets, the underside of the cabinets, were sprayed. Any paper I had sitting on the counter got completely ruined.

I’ve been making bone broth for the last year, in this crock pot. I’ll throw it all together and leave it for, literally, days. If I don’t want to deal with it, I just keep reprogramming it. (It has an automatic shutoff.) But this last batch I had only started one day earlier.

This was all that was left. Yes, I left it out all night.

This was all that was left. Yes, I left it out all night.

Anyway, I’m glad I wasn’t in the kitchen at the time. I’m really glad that I didn’t find it the next morning (talk about a bad morning) and I’m especially glad that it was late at night and none of the kids were around or near it. When I told the boys about it the next morning they said they wished they had been around to see it. They were also sure that MacGyver could have figured out what had happened.



Filed under Boys will be boys, Mr. French, Pictures worth a thousand words, That's just gross, This is going to be really funny one day

A la ‘Branch’ Detour

So. The promised post about our little detour from Dallas.

But I might have to tell a few random little stories to get to my point. I apologize if you showed up hoping to see pictures of the dog.

She’s actually not featured much on the blog. Sorry.

Anyway. Whenever you think of Waco, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s the infamous Seige of the Branch Davidian compound and subsequent fire that killed most of them.

The last time we were in Waco is kind of a funny story. We flew back to the US from France through Chicago, except in Chicago our flight to San Antonio got canceled and the line to get to the ticket agents was quite long. When we finally got there, our only option to get even remotely close to SA was to go to Dallas. The ticket agent, seeing our hesitation said, “If it were me, I’d go anywhere but stay in Chicago. You don’t want to get stuck here.” Well, O.k.! Dallas it is.

We got to Dallas sometime in the early morning to a mostly closed down airport, except for all the people stuck there with us. There were no other flights out and there was also a huge line to get rental cars. You’ll never guess, but there were also no hotels. This is, of course, after flying all the day before from France. I sat with the kids, sleeping on the floor, while Mr. French checked out all the possibilities for getting back to SA.

Long story, slightly shorter, he found a military guy who had to report for duty the next day that had gotten a minivan (because he called the rental agency the minute he’d landed, unlike us.) But he was willing to drive us down to SA if we paid our share of the cost. No problemo. Thank you thank you thank you! (I still can’t thank him enough.)

So, we finally all piled into the van with a guy we’d just met, after flying in from France after being out of the country for 10 months. We made it about 1/2 an hour into the chitchat before we just couldn’t keep our eyes open. And I tried, because I kind of felt bad about the situation.

The next thing I remember, I woke up to hear Mr. French asking where we were and the guy driving the van says, “Waco.”

To which Mr. French says, “Waco? Like The Waco?”


And then I fell asleep again.

(In case it’s not obvious, we made it to San Antonio safe and sound. The guy dropped us off at a Denny’s and he, I’m assuming, was able to report for duty on time.)

So, a couple of weeks ago, as we were starting our drive home, looking at the map, Mr. French says, “Oh, we’re going through Waco. I wonder how out-of-the-way it is to go to that compound? or what’s left of it.”

My phone couldn’t locate it but Mr. French’s did, so we followed it and sure enough, there it was.

Actually, at first we passed right by it, but I saw the sign that said, “Branch” out of the corner of my eye, so we turned around. Mr. French parked outside the fence and walked in to ask these two guys working on a fence. He was gone for at least 20 minutes. We’d found the right place alright and the two men were part of the church that currently resides on the property. (The surviving remnant.) And one guy proceeded to talk Mr. French’s ear off about their beliefs. At the end, he offered us a chance to “come and build the kingdom with them”, to which Mr. French replied, “Oh, we’re just passing through. We’re from Ohio.” (one benefit to moving a lot is that it’s never a lie to say that you “just moved”.)

Anyway, after that, we drove in to see the memorials and some of the ruins. There were supposed to be maps at the church building, but they were apparently out so we couldn’t really see where anything had once been. There are several new buildings. There is one place that we couldn’t really tell what it was or had been, but looking at this picture online now, the cement “pool” like thing in the back is still there. Nothing else from that picture appears to be standing. The other interesting thing is that the building was well off the road (which is a dirt road, off the highway). It’s definitely out of the way.

There are several small memorials. Closer to the church there is one for the ATF men that were killed.

There is one for the victims of the Oklahoma City Bombing as well.

Closer to the road, there is a larger one with a plaque for every person that died, including name and age.

It really just leaves you with a sense of tragedy. It was all so senseless. I think there was wrong on both sides. And it’s sad that people had to die.

I still remember, sitting on the corner of my parents bed, watching as it was happening on T.V.. I remember seeing a tank moving up to the compound, as it was called, and just feeling horrified that people were probably dying. At the time, we didn’t know all that was going on, and part of me, I remember, hoped that maybe they’d somehow escaped or something.

It made for an interesting car ride home, at least.

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Filed under French toast, I confess, Moving is my hobby, Mr. French, Oversharing, Pictures worth a thousand words, Playing the Tourist, The Dog, This is going to be really funny one day

Pictures worth a thousand words.

So, what do we have here? More presents for me? Oh, goodie.

Wait a second, is that what I think it is?

Why does everyone get me clothes?!

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Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Boys will be boys, Mr. French, Pictures worth a thousand words, This is going to be really funny one day, Why does no one get my jokes?

She wouldn’t. Would she?

So, every time a birthday or holiday comes up, I tend to be the parent that teases the kids, with the, “Oh, do people get presents on their birthday? I’ve never heard of such a tradition.”

Or my favorite, “Honey, did you pick up the Hello, kitty underwear for the boys? Did you get pink or purple? I think S would like purple.” This, of course, is perfect because they’re at the age where underwear is funny and girl stuff is gross.

My kids, of course, have figured me out and now say things like, “Oh, you’re just teasing. You wouldn’t do that.”

Well…I hate to disappoint.

And this, my friends, made my year.

I’ve got to figure out how to one-up myself next year.

(If you need an explanation, I wrapped three sets of BOY underwear and gave it to Felicity, then gave a pack of GIRL underwear to each of the boys.) (This was not all they got. The pile of presents was waiting just off camera. I just made them open these first.)


Filed under Boys will be boys, Girls are not boys, Mr. French, These are the things I want to remember, This is going to be really funny one day, Why does no one get my jokes?

The vultures descend

I say this once a week. Or once a day depending on how bad it is.

We’re at the dinner table eating a delicious meal.

Felicity announces that she’s not hungry/too tired/food is too spicy/she doesn’t want it, when she actually has quite a bit of food left on her plate.

Suddenly, boys with forks are crowding around her plate.

And then she’ll say, “No. Daddy.”

To his great delight.

There are benefits to having someone wrapped around your finger.

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Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Boys will be boys, Girls are not boys, Mr. French, These are the things I want to remember

Black Friday: Part 4 “Oh, how soon we forget”

I’ll the end the suspense right now.

No, I did not go shopping on Black Friday. Or Crazy Thursday for that matter.

Or as our grandparents used to refer to it, Thanksgiving Day.

I teased Mr. French about it all day though. I’m sure he appreciated that.

On Wednesday though, I was driving slowly through a busy parking lot, on my way to a store to return something. I started to approach Best Buy and thought, Oh, they must be having a sale on tents. They’ve got them all set up.

Does Best Buy sell tents?

And then I saw the sign.

The Line Starts Here.


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Filed under Apparently I have no shame, Mr. French, This is going to be really funny one day

Daddy is actually older, okay?

Daddy asked who’s turn it was to do the dishes.

An argument ensued.

“You know guys,” I said. “you have it easy. You have a dishwasher. I grew up without a dishwasher. We had to wash every dish by hand.”

Mouths dropped open.


“Yes, I also grew up without air conditioning,” I said, clearly on a roll. “and I was 9 years old before we got a color T.V..”

What?! Were you like born in the 60s? Or like a really long time ago?”

“No, my parents just believed in deprivation, apparently.” I said, “Actually, it’s because I grew up on a farm and it just wasn’t there. It wasn’t even a matter of money.”

“Did you even have electricity?”

“Uh, yeah, we did have electricity. Now do the dishes.”


Filed under Aren't my kids funny?, Mr. French, These are the things I want to remember