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3 years ago

1005 words

Photo: Look out, now! The plastic sheeting is out! The paint brushes are set! It is time to paint the room! Finally! Absolutely nothing could go wrong! Nothing at all! Everything is going to go according to plan!


I told you I toured that school last Friday and smelled French onion soup the entire time. Well, it triggered a fierce craving. There was just nothing in the whole world that could satisfy my need to have a bowl. So, I declared this a Meatless Monday*, broke out that America’s Test Kitchen book and got to work this afternoon. The recipe calls for 4 pounds of onions, sliced thin. There were tears. It was worth it.

Now, I’ll confess that the reason why I put an asterisk on that Meatless Monday declaration is because the soup is made with chicken and beef broth. So, while nobody says that Meatless Monday has to be strict Vegetarian Monday, it’s sorta implied and this sorta doesn’t count. But, there was no meat on our plates, nor chunks of meat in our soups. Soooooooooo…. today is Meatless Monday*.

Check out the awesome transformation of these caramelized onions!

One hour in the oven: 20160307_160009

Two and a half hours in the oven:


After the first deglazing with water:


After 2 more water deglazings and then one last deglazing with dry sherry:


Final product, after adding the broths and a big ol’ bunch of thyme and simmering it for 30 minutes:


And then, of course, the final product:


I gotta tells ya: it was 5 hours of work, but it was totally worth it. The flavor was rich and amazing. Tasted just like it should and warmed everyone right up. The Husband and I really enjoyed it!

Little boys… well, they ate the melty cheese and then complained about the rest. *sigh*

They’ve been punks for most of the day. Good thing they spent most of their time in the newly re-opened playroom! I have decided that it’s officially warm enough to banish the toys from the living room and send everything back into the playroom! Yes!


Look at that space. For a good 20 minutes, there was even order in the room. There has been a bit of rearranging, as boys wanted the train table moved from the prime spot at the door, opting to put the floor map and their millions of matchbox cars there instead. The various legos and other building blocks took the next space over and so on and so forth. The train table, I think, is due for a make-over. Remember that farm mat I embroidered a few years ago for the school auction? I think I might make one of those for the boys…

In the meantime, I’ve got the living room to myself again! It’s a whole new house! The possibilities are endless!


The boys’ room?

You’re interested in the painting we did in there?

I… promised photos of wall color?

Um… well… this is where we’re at:


You see, what had happened was, The Husband got all geared up to prime and stuff, had my neighbor come over and errythang, but… well… the ancient wallpaper that we thought we could just paint over? It started peeling right off. The moisture of the paint was just too much for it. It just started coming off the walls.

So… back to square one.

The Husband has to strip all of the wallpaper off of the walls and re-spackle the damaged portions that he’d already worked so hard on. He found, as he was stripping the wallpaper, that there aren’t two layers, but three. *sigh*


Here is sorta how it looks right now: The white is the spackling and priming that isn’t going to work. The gray is the ugly wallpaper that we thought we could minimally take down and then just paint over. The pink with the ferns is what we found underneath.

And then there is the base layer, and weird stuff like this:


What… what even is that? I don’t even want to know.

So, what does this all mean?

It means painting won’t happen for several weeks. We probably won’t be able to prime this room again until Easter weekend. Why? Well, The Husband can’t work on the room after work because we have to move the furniture and disrupt the room, which takes too long, and then little boys need to go to bed. That means we can only work in there on the weekends. Well, our next two weekends are booked solid with important things that can’t be moved… so, it could be damn near Tax Day before this room is done.

And yeah, the bunk beds? Still coming next weekend.

Can’t put the bunk beds in until after we paint the room!

You know what that means? That’s right: a whole month of little boys asking morning, noon and night when they are going to get to sleep on their brand new, super cool bunk beds and sleep in their awesome Star Wars sheets that Mama worked so hard to get.


Frustration all around. The Husband has to lose more weekends to this project. I lose more weekends supervising the boys while The Husband works in the room. The boys don’t get to have their cool new room, even though we’ve been talking this up for the last three weeks (that’s our fault. We should have known better). But that’s what we get. It’s DIY. The moral of the story is, don’t tell the children a deadline. Maybe don’t tell the children at all.

… or only minimal information…

and don’t write it on the blog, either. Everybody just ends up disappointed.


Anyway, Dear Reader, I’m looking forward to chillin’ out in my toyless living room tomorrow. I won’t even know how to act. Will I write? Read? Craft? I don’t even know!

What are you up to this week, Dear Reader? What did you manage to accomplish over the weekend? Share something awesome. I could use some inspiration!

See you Wednesday.

7 Replies to “Should've Known Better”

    1. You’ve GOT to make some! Very easy, totally accessible, absolutely delicious! Let me know if you want the recipe!

      The Husband did not tour the last school with me. Matter of fact, he only visited one school during this process. We did this on purpose: because I’m the one doing most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to the boys’ education, it serves us best if I do the legwork on this decision.

      That being said, The Husband did visit what used to be our first-choice school and he really liked it. He felt like it had a nerdy culture, a really driven culture, and he was excited about it. So when I come home talking about this OTHER school, he was a little taken aback. We’re still talking about it. There are important things that we like about both schools. I think I’m biased toward the school with the newer building simply because it was so bright, airy and gorgeous. I am also very biased toward their art and music programs. I really want the boys to have a well-rounded experience going into middle school. The Husband and I pledge to supplement when and how we can, but our budget can only provide so much. We want to make sure that there are very few gaps between what the school exposes them to and what we can supplement with, you know?

      1. Absolutely. I understand. Let him see the last school and you both just sit back and compare. The fact that you two are taking it seriously means that no matter what you choose the boys will be fine. Even though Munch is in a French Immersion program I’m thinking maybe doing unschooling. But, alas I have to work and can’t do it but I think education is so stressful that they are not giving the children the opportunity to just learn. It’s learning to test. That frustrates the heck out of me. They need more free time to be creative. There is no creative outlet for these children. So, you’ve found two great schools that have more creative programs than I’ve seen in a long time so I would be happy with either choice.

        1. “Unschooling” as in homeschooling? I’m just curious. There are a lot of resources out there and it’s my understanding that there are grants for parents who really want to do this. There is even a coalition for Black homeschooling parents. Let me know if you’d like some links. Especially because the DC Area is so resource rich if you know where and how to look (and it seems like you do!), you might be able to supplement for Munch in a way that you like.

          If I had just ONE child, I think I’d deeply consider homeschooling. My husband is really, REALLY not interested. The socialization, yadda yadda yadda… but I’m with you on the test taking and I’m also deeply concerned about behavioral expectations and the messages that we send little boys of color about spaces of learning. It’s a difficult balance that I’m trying to strike, it’s been hard. But yes, the teaching to the test and the creative learning is part of the reason why The Husband and I made this crazy, problematic journey to the suburbs. Of course, it’s a bit different here than in the DC area because in Massachusetts, school systems are based on your town, not by your county. Isn’t that wild? And yeah, your town will have excellent schools and the town next door will have less than stellar schools and the property values between the two areas can be the difference of $50k to $100k. Bananas. The secondary rat race around here is not just getting them into the school, but now to supplement with ALL the programs. The boys’ friends are all getting swim lessons, taking gymnastics AND going to STEM play lessons. All those things? $100-$300 per thing per kid. All. year. long.

          It’s incredible. Incredible!

          What I’m really seeking right now are more opportunities for them to be with Black children. I’m strongly considering maybe trying to find a Jack & Jill program… But that was not something I grew up with and I’m worried that such an experience might hurt rather than help…

  1. Old stove pipe maybe?

    So Ive only ever seen ONE episode if America’s Test Kitchen. It was the oogy Onion soup one. You cooks and your onions!

    Oh, and I meant to tell you for forever, thx for the leek suggestion. You’re a life saver. You think they’d hold up to make teeny tiny inion rings? I haven’t had onion rings for eons!

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