Ribs: Trim pork spareribs and rub with a mixture of 1 cup brown sugar, lots of cayenne, black pepper, and salt, and a little granulated garlic. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Smoke with hickory (we actually used pecan deadfall from the yard) until the meat pulls back from the ends of the bones, basting occasionally with a mixture of 1 part vegetable oil to 1 part cider vinegar. Boil the basting liquid for a few minutes, then add a bit of brown sugar and some mustard and use this to glaze the ribs in the last 10 minutes of cooking.I'm still in the throes of a spate of freelance jobs. Last week I dropped the bug off with a friend in town for three hours during the day while I went down the street and worked at Jittery Joe's—I got more done in those three hours than in any three hours of my professional "career." If the bug hadn't come down with a raging cold—her first—soon afterward I'd have wanted to do it again, if only to jump-start the next job on the docket. I think she had a good time playing in a new place with a new friend.
She now has two teeth—the one on bottom and one on top, both in front. She can stand on her own without holding on to anything for about ten seconds at a time before gently sitting back down. She likes to play peekaboo, as she always has, except that now she's the one lifting the blanket or sweater over her face and then pulling it down quickly. She's almost said "balloon" several times—balloons are her favorite things other than dogs. We still have the ones from her dad's birthday several weeks ago, but they're so deflated by now that he brought some new ones home for her the other night. We've been starting to teach her a few words in sign language: light (on and off), ceiling fan, dog, cat, bird, tree, balloon, and train. (The useful words—hungry, cold, sleepy—are not as fun, so we tend to not do them as much.) One morning a couple weeks ago, she woke up with a completely new way of babbling. Apparently overnight she'd figured out how to use her tongue differently, so she suddenly had all these new syllables at her disposal. It took some getting used to on our part, because she didn't sound like herself.