July 31, 2007

Fun with Marina

My mom is visiting for almost a month! It's been a hugely fun time all around, and I really love how Lara instantly bonded with "Eena." Misha had a day off on Saturday, and so we all headed to Franklin Square, home of the beloved carousel and chair-swing.

Then my mom experimented with arty pics of Lara. She of course always comes out looking cute.

July 23, 2007

A Little Less Waste

More adventures in greening around here. In my head, I am trying to institute changes slowly, but I sometimes think Misha comes home from work with a sigh already prepared in response to some new adjustment in his life. It's hard. We're a habit-driven family.

But still. New this week is a wholehearted attempt to stop our junk mail. It's all well and good to recycle, but it would be so much better for this stuff not to even be printed and flown around and the driven around in the first place. I signed up at the Direct Marketing Association's website - they promise to get about 75% of junk mail out of your mailbox, but I'm not really holding my breath. Basically I've just decided to call whomever ends up sending us crap (and there's a lot of it, especially lots and lots of medical catalogs. I can't believe Misha's hospital sells doctors' names - but it's either them or the AMA, and either way, how horrible!) and telling them to take off their list and not to sell our address. They are required by law to comply.

Also - much less hot water use. We've already been doing our laundry in cold water for the last couple of years, but now I'm turning only cold water every time I use the sink. I have to admit thought, that's all well and good in the summer and I wonder what will happen to my tolerance for cold water when the seasons change.

Finally - no more paper towels. I cut some of Lara's old swaddling blankets into cute little rags (color-coded by room, since I'm pretty grossed out at the idea of using the same ones in the kitchen and in the bathroom). They are flannel, so they don't fray very much at all, and work really well. Lara helped cut them up by looking at the spread-out blankets, yelling "BET!" and plopping down on them to "sleep." Here she is contemplating the new terrain:

July 21, 2007

Doll Clothes

A little while ago, we bought Lara a doll from the Q'ewar Project, which is a Peruvian women's collective trying to gain some economic empowerment. I first found them on Amanda Soule's beautiful blog, SouleMama.

The doll is wonderful, but came wearing traditional Andean clothing made out of fairly itchy wool (if you click the "SouleMama" link above, you can see the original outfit), and Lara wouldn't come near her. The solution? Some new clothes, made out of Lara's outgrown stuff - and now she loves her "dahl" and wants her to do everything she is doing. I hand-sewed both refashions because of their small size. So - a dress (made from the bodice of one of Lara's old dresses):

Doll's dress

and a diaper (made out of two layers of a white t-shirt and a Velcro closure from one of Lara's old hats):

Doll's diaper

* I never quite realized it, until I saw how the diaper fits, but apparently that doll is stuffed anatomically correctly.

July 20, 2007

Ok, ok, stop me if you've heard this one...

I'd like to say that a sense of humor is very important in our family, but I think in order to be precise I'd have to say that a sneering, sarcastic, highly attitudinal sense of humor is very important in our family. We're like a walking MST3K around here... well, without the hi-tech equipment, and the whole interminable imprisonment on a spaceship aspect. And, come to think of it, a team of comedy writers wouldn't hurt.

Nevertheless, I'm proud to announce that Lara has joined our merry band of mockery. Here she is performing one of her regular series of "dokes":

july 20 - 1

The rule is: come home, take off shoes, put them away, then wash hands. Lara has taken to laughing hysterically while running into the bathroom with shoes still on and climbing to the hand-washing position. Questions along the lines of "Did you take off your shoes?" are met with squeals of giggly delight.


Our new favorite is the fake-object joke:

LARA: (takes plastic jar lid and puts it on her head) Hat!

ME: Is that a hat?

LARA: (contemplative pause) NO! (giggles, then puts lid to her ear) Shone!

MISHA: Is that a phone?

LARA: (after a pause) NO! (laughs, puts lid to her nose) Nose!

ME: Is that your nose?

LARA: NO! (puts lid over her eyes) Gassss!

MISHA: Is that your sunglasses?

LARA: NO! (holds lid in her hands) Book! (laughs)

ME: It's not a book! Is it a lid?

LARA: (mild confusion)

I think by the end of the routine she's gotten so used to the misinformation that the right answer is confusing. She does this joke all day long, usually in this order. It's really hilarious. I will try to get a video of her doing it at some point.


Still, it's all well and good to tease us - but the true test is making fun of others. Today we were walking down the street past a group of slouchy teenagers when one of them trilled loudly into her cell phone "Hi!" with a valley girl twang. Lara looked at her, and then instantly did a spot-on impersonation. You may say she was just mimicking, but we claim her as our own. Nothing but pure, deserved mockery.

Of course, faced with her new success we have become classic stage parents. Behold Lara's horror as she contemplates a future of being made to constantly perform:

july 20 - 2

July 17, 2007

Maybe tomorrow, Trollope

This is what I should be doing...

What am I actually doing? Recovering from a morning of Lara staunchly refusing to be babysat while I read that pile of Trollope books for the old dissertation. Sigh....

July 15, 2007

Yet More Soup

So it's not that I'm overly obsessed with soups (although, let's face it, there really is no better way to eat veggies), but that I find myself suddenly being in the very strange position of being someone who cooks. All the time. All kinds of food. And even more strange, I am now that person who prefers the food I prepare myself to what others can prepare for me. When we go to restaurants I purposely don't order things I make at home (seriously, in very broad categories - no salmon, no chicken, no potatoes) because I know ahead of time that I will most likely wish I were eating my own cooking instead. That's a pretty heady dish for someone who until six months ago would go out of her way to avoid stepping into the kitchen.

So with that long disclaimer about why I am constantly and unendingly so excited every time I make some new thing that tastes good (I'm still shocked that it's happening, people! Ask my family - they're as flabbergasted as I am), here is the latest:

Vegetable egg drop soup

Spinach, potato, red pepper, and green onion soup with - la technical piece de resistance - an egg drop. That's when you whisk eggs, and then slowly pour them into boiling liquid (in this case the pretty much made soup) and they cook in long thin strands amidst the veggies. This soup is basically my grandmother's recipe, except I added the pepper, and the egg dropping variation (she just takes a hard boiled egg and drops it in). Yay! It's delicious.

July 13, 2007

Inside and Out Pledges

We are all about slow subtle changes around here. The new food pledge has been going quite well, especially with the lovely farmers around to explain not only what the never-before-seen vegetables they are selling are, but also how to cook them. The last thing we tried was kohlrabi, a kind of half-broccoli half-potato half-turnip both in texture and taste. I diced and pan-seared it in olive oil with green beans, green onions, and some garlic. Delicious, and quite a pretty-looking meal too - too bad I forgot to take a picture. I do have to say that I'm saddened to realize that not everything that I find so exotic at the farmer stalls is actually unknown to me. Much of it is food that I've just never seen in its just-picked state before. We really are so very divorced from what we ingest. If I weren't already so depressed from watching Al Gore's movie, I'd read Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma."

Have you watched "An Inconvenient Truth"? I had to turn it off after about an hour because I couldn't really handle it any more. This is why my Netflix list is all comedies, people. Still, Misha and I talked about our wasteful lives and what we want Lara to see us doing as she grows up and starts to ask questions. So on top of the new food pledge, and the no new clothing pledge, we are instituting a home-greening pledge. I've been very inspired reading about the example of Colin Beavan and his family, who are living a net-zero carbon footprint year that includes no electricity, no buying anything new, and no generating any garbage at all. Oh and did I mention they are doing this in Manhattan? And they have a two-year old and a dog? Read more about them at No Impact Man. I don't think we can go whole hog like that, but maybe the fact that I've posted about it on the blog will actually make us follow through.

I'm aiming for small, incremental changes. Here's what we've done so far to give you a sense of what I mean:

  • Recycling! Of course!
  • Unplugging instead of just turning off devices not in use. You know how your phone charger stays warm even though your phone is not plugged into it? That's because it's actually still drawing electricity, constantly, while plugged into the outlet. We've put pretty much every device on a power strip that can be turned off with a switch. I've noticed about a ten dollar drop in our power bill every month. Plus, the harder the TV is to turn on, the less of it I watch.
  • Turning the thermostat way up. We're way too tired running around after Lara all day to be kept awake by a higher temperature at night.
  • Using paper towels as a last resort.
  • Switching to Trader Joe's non-toxic dishwasher detergent and dish washing liquid. The more I read about what's in everything the less I want Lara eating it.
  • Buying local, organic produce.
  • Driving as little as possible and taking public transportation or walking when we can. Lara loves - nay LOVES - the bus, and how would I ever have found this out otherwise?

Changes we're considering in the future.

  • Switching to Seventh Generation diapers, which are not bleached with chlorine and thus do not add dioxin to the environment. I'm pretty intrigued by the cloth diaper option, but I'm not sure I can go there quite yet. Then again, if we switched to cloth diapers, we would no longer need to consume plastic bags - a current necessity that I can't figure out how to get rid of.
  • Even more responsible and minimized consumption - buy more things second hand, and consider seriously the need-to-want ratio of any new item. I do have to say that this one melds nicely with the turned off TV. I find that the less TV I watch the less I want things. Seriously, I can't believe how much effect advertising has, even when you KNOW what's it's doing!
  • Switching to all non-toxic cleaners. I'll do this when the ones we have run out. There's a fine balance between green and non-wasteful!
  • Switching to efficient light bulbs (likewise, when the ones we have run out).

We're always open to other suggestions!

July 12, 2007

City Baby

There was a sentence in one of the baby books that I read when I was pregnant that really struck me. The author commented, "The world may have become modern, but every baby is born identical to the cave babies of many millenia ago." I think the original context was attachment parenting, but in the last couple of years I have often thought about this idea as I have watched Lara become the city toddler that she is today.

What effect does city living have on babies? Misha and I laugh at the disjunction between city kids' everyday experiences and the insistence of almost all children's books on them learning about exotic never-to-be-encountered animals, or life on a farm. Lara could identify African savanna animals before she could point out a fire hydrant. Number of elephants she has actually seen? One. In the zoo. This seems to be a relic of our agrarian past, an attempt to hold on to time measured by sun rotation and space measured by horizon line.

july 12 - 2

Lara has never really seen the horizon. Bordering the playground? A fence, and cargo trains. I've become convinced that Lara's concept of space has been irrevocably shaped by our angular, gridded city life. The right angles of street corners, the squares of concrete tiles on the sidewalk, the rigid fences separating park from street, the curbs marking tree allotment - I link them to Lara's constant obsession with order, with the proper place of things, with returning everything "bahk" to its original form. A couple of days ago we were walking around and Lara crouched down to pick up a couple of acorns from the sidewalk. She studied them, showed them to us, walked away, and then ran back to put each in exactly the spot where it had come from - exactly into the divots they had made in the mud. At home she finds lint in the carpet, runs to give it to me, and says "guh gir" (good girl) about herself.

She is trying to bridge the modern with the Paleolithic, and frequently ends up with this:

july 12 - 3

The contained and carefully delineated wild space, the encroaching pavement of the city, the gadgetry of our century. We have made the choice to be city people, and she lives out the consequences of our decision. The future's so bright, we gotta wear shades.

july 12 - 1

July 10, 2007

Dr. Seuss

Lara knows all the end-rhyme words in our Dr. Seuss books:

She really seems to have an affinity for words (I know, shocking with this gene pool, right?), instantly memorizing names of objects and activities and remembering them, unprompted, basically forever. She is in the midst of a transformative time when her passive vocabulary is slowly becoming active, and she frequently surprises us by confidently and correctly naming something that we haven't talked about in weeks. I have a great image of all these stored up words rising like slow bubbles in almost-boiling water, clinging to the sides of the pot, but still cautiously making their way to the surface to pop into speech.

We are constantly noticing her brain at work, now, while it is still an observable process. She considers new ideas overnight and tackles them the next day with much deeper understanding. About a week ago, Misha pointed out our shadows to Lara, who stared at the sidewalk with bemusement and distrust - but the next day she was waving her hands around saying "shashow, shashow!" and playing with the pool of sunlight streaming in through the window. She doesn't fully get it yet, obviously, but it was lovely to see that leap between one day and the next.

July 7, 2007

Jam Today

A yummy jar of sour cherry preserves (I made more!) is about to delivered to someone as a well-needed cheering up.

I made a label for this jar from Photoshop's gradient tool and beautiful Alice in Wonderland illustrations by Lisbeth Zwerger (thanks, Amy, for posting about the book):

Sour cherry preserves in jar (1)

and Greg Becker:

Sour cherry preserves in jar (2)

The quotation is from the White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass - "The rule is, jam tomorrow, and jam yesterday, but never jam today."

July 6, 2007

Fruit Leather

Lara is a little freaked out by fruit these days. She had a really great period where she would try almost any food we gave her, but she is now flexing her independence muscles by playing food power games. The other day, though, we bought some fruit leather from the farmer's market and she loved that - so I decided to make some myself. What's fruit leather? Well, do you remember fruit roll-ups? It's that, with just fruit, and without the dioxocholorinate monoxide. Tastes wonderful, is pretty easy to make, and I bet would actually be a fun project with older kids. Here's how:

1. Wash, core, and/or pit a bunch of fruit. There is no need to peel the fruit, but you can if you want to. I used about a quart of blueberries, two Gala apples, and one nectarine - but pretty much any combination of fleshy fruit that you can imagine tasting good will do. Apples and bananas make good bases. Something to keep in mind is the higher the water content, the longer to make, and vice versa.

2. Puree everything in the blender until it is a creamy, smoothie-like consistency. To help the blending, I added about two tablespoons of water. Honestly, you could just take it and drink it at this point - I tried some and it was delish. Or maybe freeze it to make sorbet.

3. Pour onto an even baking surface, making sure that the paste is about 1/2 inch thick. I poured it onto a baking sheet covered with wax paper, and in retrospect I realize that this was not non-stick enough. Next time I'm going to try a casserole dish. The poured stuff will look like this:

Fruit leather before baking

3. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, put the fruit mixture in, and leave the oven door about 1-2 inches ajar. Basically, you are drying out the fruit without cooking it (cooking leaches out nutrients). I am not sure how long it would take to dry this way, but I bet you could also leave it out on a sunny day, if you cover it with netting to keep away bugs.

4. Bake for 3 hours. Take it out, let it cool somewhat, and while it is still warm to the touch peel it away from the baking container. If you did not have a thick enough layer of paste, you will find that the leather has turned hard and crumbly. Don't worry if this happens - it's still yummy, but just not for small children. The pliable leather will now look like this:

Fruit leather after baking

5. Cut into strips. I used a pizza cutter for this. What can't that thing do? I love it. You may find that one side of the leather is still a little messy - I just folded the leather strips in half, messy sides together. Then I rolled them up into some more wax paper. This is all that's left of the first batch. Lara couldn't get enough.

Fruit leather roll-ups

July 5, 2007

Family Argot

I'm now starting to think of this blog more and more as a kind of family diary - something to look back on in the future to get a sense of what we were like at a given moment in time. Maybe one of the things to get down on paper... er, pixels... is our family idiom of the moment. We are nicknamers around here, and word players, and baby-talkers, and nonse word singers (slingers?). These words mean much at the time, yet are so fleeting and soon forgotten... I am nostalgic for the nonse words that we have let go already and the intimacy-inflected diction that has been replaced.

This isn't so much a favorite word, I guess, as a favorite usage. There's a way to say "Listen" (with an exasperated accent on the first syllable and a sigh on the second) to cut off all conversation. I love it because it's a study in opposites. It usually gets used by the person at the losing end of the argument - but to work, it has to be said with authority and the quiet calm of logic. It's become a staple of disquisitory amusement in our house, because it actually is demanding that you do the opposite of what it's ostensibly asking you to do. The denotation is interactive - listen to me and then react to what I'm saying - but the connotation is totally the opposite - I'm going to say something that will end any interaction between us because I hereby dismiss you.

There is a great use of this "listen" in the Johnny Cash song "I've Been Everywhere," a semi-autobiographical account of a travel-weary hitchhiker. He gets picked up by yet another in a long line of trucks, and the driver asks "if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand" and Cash's persona answers, "Listen, I've traveled every road in this here land..." Cash takes a long, tired pause after that "listen," making it both scornful and condescending. I'm not an authority on hitching etiquette, but I think this usage is probably grounds for a premature drop-off. I mean, if you're the one with the car, doing the picking up, you pretty much deserve to be the one to point out awe-inspiring phenomena. The proper response is "wow, that IS a lot of dust and sand!" not "oh, please." In any case, Cash goes on to list every single place he's ever been in North America, riding that "listen" for all it's worth.

Misha loves this song. We have it on a mix CD in the car and he will actually press the rewind button to hear it over and over again. I think he's trying to indoctrinate Lara, but so far she doesn't seem to be listening.


It's me again, Mr. Forty-two Roads; my initial posting met with critical acclaim (or at least immediate-family acclaim), and so I'm trying again. We walked Lara around the neighborhood today in her little car. Here she is wheelin' around:

july 5

I'm endlessly amused by how quickly she latches on to new means of communication. She's so desperate to name her world, she tends to work with whatever word sticks first. For the last week, every time we get to a street, Lara says, "mup," and points to the street, then faces me and raises her arms. Anna and I have puzzled over how on earth streets became "mups", and today, finally, we figured it out. Since Lara started walking, every time we would get to a street, we said to Lara, "ok, time to come up" to get across. She just focused on the end of that long phrase, and now calls the whole street-crossing maneuver "mup."

Another funny wordplay: poodles. Dogs, in general, get a deep, "woof, woof," as Lara barks at them. Sheep are greeted with a ferocious "BAAAAA!" (usually as loud as Lara can muster; for some reason in Lara's world farm animals are savage bloodthirsty beasts). But what to call poodles? Lara gives them a brief 'woof' followed by a short 'Baaaa!' clearly perplexed at this strange hybrid dog-sheep creature.

Performance Art

I always wonder about those people who make ephemeral art. I mean, I know the Tibetan monks make those sand paintings to prove some kind of point about the transience of life and all that, but seriously, if I spent ten hours painstakingly dripping sand granules to create a giant pattern I'm pretty sure I'd be dripping that sand down on glue. Which is a roundabout way of saying - I really wish we had some way of capturing Lara's little dirt art from yesterday! Oh, I guess we do.

Hmmm... for some reason the Google video embed thingie isn't working. Here is a link to the video.

Lara Draws in the Dirt

July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July!

You know who loves a parade? That's right. Lara danced the night away on her daddy's shoulders, clapping along to the marching bands and staring mesmerized at the giant balloons. We didn't stick around for the fireworks, though I know she loves them - they didn't start until 11!

It was a perfect day, filled with daddy snuggles,

july 4 - 3

balloon doggies,

july 4 - 2

and general silliness all around.

july 4 - 1

July 3, 2007

Beginning a Stash

So about a year ago on my crafting odyssey I made it a rule not to buy new supplies and instead to work with what's around the house. That's not nearly as ascetic as it sounds. I had tons of already-acquired things to work with: lots of lovely fine art supplies, a stack of nice paper from our DIY wedding, several boxes of purchased and donated beads, and of course whatever I could creatively repurpose and upcycle.

(A digressive aside. I really love that word, "upcycle". I only learned it maybe two months ago and I think it's slowly crept into my favorite word pile, joining the ranks of "exegesis," "repellent," and "humorous." Sample conversation at our house:

Misha (editing a grad school essay): I can't believe you only used "exegesis" twice in this paper. Isn't someone else in here an exegete? Come on!

Me: Oh, that's humorous.)

Where was I? Oh, yes, supplies. For sewing my rule has meant only working with cast-off clothing, which has been working out well enough. But of course all rules are meant to be broken as I have now acquired actual pieces of fabric. Used end-pieces, but still. At Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, there was a booth selling remnants, and I picked up two great Alexander Henry prints (Picnic in pink and 2D Zoo in sage), a very cute Heather Ross print of Blue Goldfish from her Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries series, and a Judy Rothermel Aunt Grace (R35) pattern that I'm not sure I really like. Also, I freecycled a bunch of small floral patterns and a couple of solid color linens (none have selvages so I'm not sure where they are from). I'm pretty excited to finally have my own small fabric stash. Now if I could only get over the anxiety of cutting into them!

Fabric  from Freecycle and Renegade Fair NYC

Mr. Forty-two Roads

Hello readers; this is a post from Mr. Forty-two Roads. You won't see any wonderful crafting or home-improvements here. Just a short story about the small one.

This Sunday, to give Anna a well-deserved little break, I took Lara to the park. Lara stops just about every 3 feet to explore some new found object; her latest craze is "c'hn," (acorns). She picks up three or four in her chubby little fingers, holds onto them as if they're a prized possession, until she spots a "yock" (rock), which always trumps acorns. Once she sees a rock, she insistently says, "dada, dada," with her hands out, waiting for me to take her acorn collection so she can enjoy her newfound rock. Very cute, but also makes getting to the park a day-long adventure. Thus, we've discovered the sometimes enforced joys of "shis," (shoulders). When offered shoulders, Lara rarely refuses. When she does, she usually waits until her feet are at my face level, and then, realizing she's about to be swept up far from all the wonderful things on the ground, she starts kicking... she can kick quite hard.

When we first started putting Lara on my shoulders, she was much smaller and less steady - so I would hold her up with one arm for safety. Now, she's gotten used to that, and if I try to lower my arms (you know, to let the blood circulate), she cranks and whines and yanks at my sleeve until I put both arms behind her, letting her ride in comfort on her shoulder armchair. At least now I put her to work - it's her job to tell us when the street lights turn green ("go!"). Anna likes this picture; she always comments that Lara and I always look so stern and serious whenever we're looking about.

july 3

That Sunday, when Lara and I finally got to the park, we discovered 3 other sets of daddy-toddler explorers. The dads and I joked about how our presence had changed the playground - immediately you could sense a laxity to the normal rules. There was a one-year old who couldn't leave Lara alone (really, can you blame him?), mesmerizedly watching her snack on some cereal ("shack," as she calls this snack). He reached up and tried to take some... "no no no no no no," was Lara's response. I asked his dad if his kid could handle the shredded oats; the dad was very nonchalant, so I asked Lara if she'd like to share. She grabbed a handful and triumphantly presented it to the other dad who fed one to his kid. Lara really liked this concept. She delicately plucked up a piece of cereal, leaned towards the little boy (still working vigorously on his first piece), and shoved a new "snack" into his mouth. The other dad and I had a good laugh, and decided Lara was just about ready to start working as a babysitter.

July 2, 2007

Realistic Facsimiles

One of the interesting ideas of Montessori education is that children do not need fake representations of adult objects, they just need smaller versions of real ones. So for instance, not a bright orange plastic pretend vacuum cleaner with buttons that play songs, but an actual light dust buster or broom - something that really can accomplish a version of its ostensible purpose and can break when mistreated.

This really makes sense to me. Lara's favorite things are either adult things or realistic facsimiles. Books, of course, but also: a toy stroller that looks and acts pretty much exactly like her real one, a cardboard box that once held a scanner and now is a step/stool/briefcase; pens (rather than crayons) for drawing. There was a brief period when we suddenly couldn't take her to restaurants. It persisted until we figured out that she is only happy sitting in an adult chair, and can easily make it through dinner when no high chairs are involved. She prefers to drink water out of a glass with a straw, or a water bottle. Recently she became really into my bag. To the point of (yesterday) finding and opening my glasses case - and (Maria Montessori would have been proud) actually breaking my glasses. (Today) I decided to create a smaller version of a real bag for her. Remnants for sides and pockets, rickrack for handles. She loves it.

Lara's shoulder bag

See how her arm is raised in this picture? She is not saying hi - she is trying to keep the bag on her shoulder, mommy-style, where she put it as soon as I gave it to her.

She brought the bag to dinner with Aric and Sandie. We were cracking up watching Lara with her grandfather. She is aspirationally trying to mimic an adult, while he is devolving to carefree childishness. They were making fishface lips at each other for 45 minutes.

july 2

Odds and Ends

Onion flower

I bought this amazing flower at the farmers' market on Saturday. Did you know that onions have blooms? Neither did I, but apparently this is what they look like. Ours is a soft lilac color, but they come in a range of gentle greyed pink and purple shades. They're beautiful and odd, and I love that the farmer didn't even bring them to his stand to sell but just as show-and-tell pieces. When I asked how much one would be he looked confused and finally asked back, "A dollar?"

This is well-worn territory already, but I must repeat that the farm stands this summer really are wonderful, and full of people who want to tell you about their food and are happy to see you curious about it. A week ago the people who run the meat and poultry stand in Rittenhouse Square brought with them a piglet that lazed in a small open crate. Lara fell in love with this tiny animal, petting it through the crate holes and not wanting to ever leave. We were amazed. She is usually a bundle of fears and idiosyncracies, the willfulness of the near future battling the anxiety of the present. But here she was, to the delight of the farmers and the shoppers barking her pattented gutteral pig noise with abandon at a new pink friend.