Monthly Archives: June 2009


I’ve had this digital camera for over 5 years now, but haven’t really learned how to use it properly. Of course, with digital zoom and auto focus, there isn’t much to pointing and shooting pictures. But when I see photos like the ones my mom takes, I’m in awe of her eye for detail and how amazing her pictures turn out.

I want to master this camera and all of its functions before we get another one (George has mentioned several times that he wants a new digital video camera, and I figure we’ll get an all-in-one video/still cam to save space). In the meantime, I’m going to figure out how to work this one to achieve the kinds of photos I want.

Oh, and if you find that some of the photos on our online album are out of order, it’s because some weird German appropriated a photo of Georgie and was posting it on myspace. So I moved it in order to break links. Sorry for the inconvenience.

And now, some photos from the garden this morning:

cherry tomatoes growing well

Kentucky Wonder pole bean blossoms

Sugar Snap peas

cucumber flower

Library Funding

In addition to writing Governor Strickland about the library funding cuts, I also emailed my state Senator (Tom Patton) and state Representative (Nan Baker).

I received this response from Senator Patton’s office this morning:

Thank you for your email. I appreciate you taking time to email me. I have always been a strong supporter of public libraries. Ohio’s libraries are some of the best in our nation and I will do my best to minimize these devastating cuts. Thank you again for your email.


Tom Patton
State Senator
24th District

Dear Governor Strickland

Governor Ted Strickland
Governor’s Office
Riffe Center, 30th Floor
77 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Dear Governor Strickland:

First, let me start by telling you what I am not: I am not a librarian. I am not a employed by any public or private library, and although I do have a sister-in-law that works for the Cleveland Public Library, I do not.

I have three children, the oldest of which is starting kindergarten this fall. All three have their own library cards, in their own names, which we applied for as soon as they had social security numbers. We are regular (read: weekly) patrons of the Fairview Park branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library here in Fairview. We have attended Baby and Me classes, preschool reading time, met other young mothers, formed friendships with them and their children, learned vast amounts of information… all from our local library.

I have personally witnessed the positive impact our library system has had on my children through their love of books. Your proposed fifty-percent cuts to the library budgets will be detrimental to hundreds of thousands of families across our region; families like mine.

Libraries provide us with much more than books. From summer reading programs to story times, computer access to the toy lending library, we have come to know our children’s services librarians, circulation clerks, management staff, and the lady who cleans daily. The jobs and families of these individuals will be detrimentally impacted.

I am not a library employee, but I am a patron. I love my library. I am proud of my library. It has helped to educate our family and foster a love of learning. A love of books.

Please, do not threaten the future of my children by limiting access to this imperative resource.


Deanna Rasch

Baby Magic

When I was a kid, my Mom used Baby Magic baby wash on us. I don’t know if it was because it was cheaper than the Johnson & Johnson brand or what, but I always remember the clear Baby Magic bottle with the yellow cap.

When Georgie was born, his first bath was with Baby Magic. Ethan and Stella’s first baths were in the sink and I used Baby Magic.

Not long after Ethan’s birth, I was at Target to buy some more baby wash, and I noticed that there were new bottles with a different logo. I opened them and smelled; it was different. It might have said Baby Magic on the bottle, but it was most definitely not Baby Magic.

I panicked. I went to the grocery store, Wal Mart and Walgreens. No Baby Magic. I went online and Playtex’s Web site only showed the strange new bottle. I called their customer service line and the representative confirmed my fears; they had discontinued the ‘old’ Baby Magic and had a new formula in new packaging.

I almost broke down in tears. How could my babies smell like anything other than Baby Magic? The smell of damp hair and skin, bundled into pajamas, snuggling into the crook of your neck, ready for bed after reading Guess How Much I Love You and Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus. The smell of peanut butter and jelly and sun and dirt and laughter in the sandbox washed away, replaced with the smell of bedtime giggles and stories and prayers.

I did what emotionally postpartum mother would do: I went on eBay. I bought a case of my Baby Magic, and have used it since for every bath of every one of our children.

I went downstairs tonight to get another bottle, and I saw that I only have one left. On one hand, I’m deeply saddened to know that my babies won’t smell like babies for long; they’ll want goofy kid soap that smells like Willy Wonka threw up on them. On the other hand, I’m happy that it’s lasted this long, that they all have borne the fragrance of babyhood for this long.

So tonight, after we’ve tucked them into their beds after stories of firefighters (George) and lifeguards (Ethan) and horses (Stella), I will dig out three of my travel bottles, pour my precious Baby Magic into each one, and put them into their memory boxes. I’m sure that the formula will change over the years, and it won’t smell quite like it did when it was newly made, but I will keep it.

And I will remember.

Pork Hash Recipe

Pork loin roast in the crock pot on Tuesday, and the leftovers were used in hash. I prefer the Cuban flavors (sans olives — ick!) but I left out the spices and raisins to please child palates. I use what I have, and although this is based on another recipe, I’ve done my best to make it my own.

Cuban-Style Pork Hash

Leftover pork roast, cubed or shredded
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups cooked potatoes, diced (leftovers from crock pot are fine, or frozen potatoes w/ onion)
chopped fresh or frozen vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans)
medium onion, diced
several cloves garlic, minced
28-0z can diced tomatoes, undrained
cumin, cinnamon, sliced green olives, raisins (optional, to taste)
olive oil

Heat oil in deep skillet, saute onion and garlic until softened. Add refrigerated diced potatoes and spices (if using) and cook until potatoes are tender.

Add canned tomatoes w/ juice, olives and raisins (if using), pork and rice. Cook (stirring gently so potatoes don’t come apart) until mixture is heated through.

If hash seems dry, add broth or stock to moisten.

The kids don’t like the spices, olives or raising, so I omit those. It’s a bit blander, but they like ketchup, so I guess it doesn’t really matter much. 😉

Code Yellow

Ever have one of those days when you just know you should stay home, drink tea, read books on the couch with the kids, chores and meals be damned?

Next time I’m going to listen to my instinct.

I took the children to Target today, and as I was pulling in, I noticed an older couple, probably in their sixties, loading something bulky into the back of their brand-new Jeep Cherokee (or whatever the full-sized Jeeps are called nowadays.) I looked again, and realized… it was one of the Target shopping carts!

They were stealing a cart from Target.

I was shocked… and then I was pissed. And I mean pissed. Like they were stealing my kid’s bicycle out of my front yard pissed. Because of jackasses like that, prices go up and I have to pay more.

She was just getting into her Jeep by the time I got out of the van. I yelled, “That’s theft, you know!” but she slammed her door and drove away.

I wrote down her license plate, description and the time, then went inside to talk to a store manager. (I have an overdeveloped sense of right and wrong, I guess.) I gave the manager the information and explained what I had seen, and she assured me that they’d contact the police.

(In fact, I just received a phone call from one of the officers in our city confirming the information. I’m glad to see they followed up on this.)

I took Stella and the boys to find the things on my list. Halfway through the soap aisle, George said, “Mommy, Ethan’s gone.”

I sighed. “You know, I’m really tired of Ethan not staying with me. He knows he’s supposed to stay with the cart.”

I waited a minute, then sent George to the next aisle over to find him. He wasn’t there.

I walked several aisles in one direction, then several aisles in the other direction…

No Ethan.

Now, those of you who know me know that I am NOT a panic-stricken mother who dissolves at the sight of a minor cut. It takes quite a bit to get me worked up, and I was afraid. I went into Worst Case Scenario mode and made a beeline for the front of the store.

The Target team member I found (I think she’s a manager of sorts, although not the manager I spoke to earlier) asked me for Ethan’s age and description and called a Code Yellow over her walkie. In effect, every team member drops what they are doing and looks for your child. They station two team members by the doors to make sure that no children matching your child’s description leaves. They keep the parents at the front lanes to watch for their child.

“… three-years old, blond hair, blue eyes, wearing a blue Buzz Lightyear shirt and brown shorts and blue tennis shoes…” It struck me odd that all of the clothes he was wearing had been purchased here at this store. The Buzz Lightyear shirt says “To infinity… and beyond!” when you push a button.

Around the corner holding the hand of a girl comes Ethan. She’d found him in the womens’ clothing department, which is clear across the other side of the store. I think he started following another cart, not realizing it wasn’t ours.

I thanked them profusely, then took Ethan behind one of the registers, and broke down. In tears. In the middle of Target. Which made Ethan start to cry,of course. He’s more sensitive sometimes than I realize.

He apologized, nodding solemnly, big blue eyes shining and serious. “I won’t ever walk away from the cart again, Mommy. And if someone bad tries to take me, I’ll kick him. See, Mommy? I’m OK.”

We’re spending the rest of the day on the couch, reading books. Laundry and meals be damned.