Sunday, February 13, 2011

RC and the Baby Beer

Once upon a time there were 3 Beers that lived in the forest.  Papa Beer was a big Russian Imperial Stout, as thick and rich as any beer in the forest but with an abv and bitterness that kept all but the bravest away. Mama Beer was a Belgium Quadruple, sweet with the complexity of refined royalty.  Baby Beer was an English Bitters, that despite the name was balanced and smooth and always pretty to look at, way better than a tall glass of water any day. Baby Beer had an older brother, Lambic, who had moved to San Fransisco and was "working on the docks" for sailors with his roommate, an American Light Lager.
On a beautiful Spring day, along came a fair-skinned strawberry blonde princess with the voice of an angel, Rowan Calliope (who was strong willed and independent). She loved adventure, and her parents, and would spend hours wandering through the forest studying the flora, fauna and the wonders of nature. She stayed clear of the hollowed out tree full of dirty needles, she skirted around the clearing where the confused elves braided hemp, and avoided the temptation to skip through the poppy field and was on the path, "over the river and through the woods" until she came upon the house of the Beer family. There was a nice big swing on the porch and after knocking on the door and finding no one home she sat down on swing to rest her weary feet.  Next to the swing there were 3 stainless steel taps coming out of the wall labeled "Papa", "Mama" and "Baby". She loves her papa and she was awfully thirsty, so after discovering light herbal and chocolate notes when smelling the tap, she put her mouth to the tap and pulled the handle. She was quite surprised when the motor oil thick liquid poured into her mouth with texture she could almost chew and unsurpassed roast and bitterness. Knowing that her mama was sweet and beautiful, but hesitant from her Papa Beer experience, she poured out a handful Mama. Taking a big sniff she found it to be divinely complex with layers of dried fruit and winter spice aromas, begging her to take a sip.  Her first sip all she found was molasses like sweetness but that was followed by essence of cherry and fig flavors.  Now she was really thirsty and went on a quest to find some water.  She let herself into the house and wandered around, a little disoriented, until she found a sink, where she washed her hands, as learned from her mama, then drank from her cupped hands, as taught by her papa. Less thirsty now, she just wanted to rest.
Rowan awoke and noticed the shadows were getting long, and she was on the bathroom floor. Confused for a minutes as the cobwebs cleared, she remembered where she was, but not how she got to the bathroom floor, but the slate floor did feel good.  As she left the house, she saw a shelf labeled "Take some and Share" loaded up with the fanciest flip-top growlers she had ever seen. Taught from birth to recognize a bargain, she grabbed one and took it outside to fill it to take home for her papa. She hadn't noticed before, but the lid had a 3-way lever and as she moved it the magical growler filled with each of the Beers. Wow, she thought, wont my papa be so proud of me, as she headed back towards home.
She shared the Beers with anyone she came across knowing that sharing was the purpose of of good beer. There was the wolf in a red cape, with a grey wig, who really like the Papa Beer and ran off to howl at the sun.  Then she saw a bother and sister dropping bread crumbs. After sharing the liquid bread, they ate the rest of the bread, now seeing things from a new perspective, they headed home, too. A little later she found a rabbit sitting on a stump, and they got to talking, the rabbit bragging about how fast he was and "that danged old turtle didn't have a chance." After a couple drinks of Mama from the growler he curled up on the stump and promptly fell asleep, snoring loudly.  Countless others shared in the Beers, but it never seamed to get low, and as dusk approached she found herself coming to her home, and ran up the stairs into the arms of her loving parents. Showing her magical beericopia, as she had come to call it, as it never ran out, her papa was pleased and took out 3 glasses, 2 large and one taster glass. Unfamiliar with the lever system, papa poured into each glass and all were amazed as the brown liquid appeared change colors, one turned a reddish brown, one a light amber and the baby glass turned a sparkling golden color. And as each tasted from their glass, papa found the most delightful Flemish Sour, mama found a floral and citrusy bitter India Pale Ale, and little had Baby Beer, a light and well balance Bitters.
And they lived happily ever after...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Daddy Issues

As my wife packs her "going to the hospital to birth a baby" bag, I too am checking things off on my list. While hers is printed, my is mental...
  1. Baby Name. I have compromised, OK, given in. Rowan was the first choice of first names, and Jezebel was allowed for a middle name (it doesn't have to be on school paper work, she says).  But after much contemplation (and disparagement) I have come to really appreciate the other first choice, Calliope.  Rowen Calliope, RCW, just like her daddy. Check.
  2. Baby Bathing Sink.  New faucet installed that will allow the laundry sink to become a baby bathtub.  Check.
  3. Dining Room Ceiling.  The project that started, well really years ago when we torn down the beams, then last winter when we scrapped off the popcorn, then last spring when I ordered the tin, then this fall when first attempt to put them up failed, and finally this winter got it up and the crown moulding installed!  And it looks good!  Now the DR can be used again.  Check.
  4. Baby Seat.  The Subaru now had the seat base installed.  Not as easy on a vehicle without anchors built in, and these rear facing seats take up a lot of room, but it is secure.  Check.
Things not done yet include:
  1. Guest Bedroom.  aka Mother-in-law (or Au Pair) quarters. The spare bedroom downstairs which has been a bedroom, tool room, green house, office, and junk room in the few years we have lived here, now needs to be a livable space since the 2nd bedroom upstairs will be Rowan's.  The ceiling has been re-sheet rocked and needs to be taped, mudded and painted, and there is a 16" gap in the wall from when we replace the waterlines, that still needs to be patched. 
  2. Baby Seat.  A second baby seat base need to be installed in my car. With LATCH hooks, it should be a snap, even if it means the passenger seat needs to be pushed all the way up to make room.
  3. Daddy Bag. For the hospital, they have a list of things dad's should pack. Not as long as the things mom's need, but but I can pare down that list even more, like a shaving kit, wont be needed. Change for the vending machines, maybe.  I have it worked out, I need cell phone, cell phone charger, (that takes care of notifications, pictures and entertainment), sweatpants and slippers (for comfort) and a wallet. 
  4. FREAKING OUT!!  I suppose I will have this to look forward to for the next 18+ years. No amount of preparation and planning seems sufficient. "Don't worry, you be fine," or "You'll be a great dad," comments don't help to assuaged my apprehension(better make that plural)s over my impending daddihoodness.  Eek!  All I can be sure of is that if I can be half the dad mine was, then I will do alright and little RC will be fine.
Fingers crossed...7 more weeks...