“My dod ate my pwincess shoes and today is my BERFday!!”

Notes from Nan: Princess for a Day
BY HF Contributing Writer, Nan Parati

Oh LORD am I tired! Or, tard, as they say in the deep south. I am in New Orleans to work on the Jazz Fest, staying at my friend Tracy’s house. Tracy has a daughter whose third birthday was today and I signed on as the in-house face painter, as that’s what I do best. Lola wanted a princess birthday party, so I painted the faces of thousands of three-year-old princesses and three boys who all chose to be Spiderman.

But our story doesn’t start there.

Friday night, in anticipation of the Big Birthday Event, we took Little Future-Princess Lola to the Disney Store at the mall to pick out a princess dress and shoes for her birthday. That’s what you do when you live in big cities, you just go to the mall where they have any number of Princess Dresses ready made—with shoes to match! Lola chose the Giselle model; a fabulously fluffy white affair with puffy sleeves and sequined shoes. The whole ensemble looked not unlike the outfit her mother wore back when she got married, only in miniature.

Last night Tracy and I stayed up until Two O’clock (in the morning) making grosses of cupcakes. Tracy made the cupcakes; my job was to mix princess colors for the frostings. My palate was the dress colors of extant Princesses Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine and some other Princesses I had never heard of and who lounge around in dress colors not found in nature. There were objections to the purple color I created, but without magenta, you can only do so much to make purple before it goes to brown. Given little to work with, I thought I did exceptionally well FOR TWO A.M. WHEN I DON’T EVEN HAVE CHILDREN.

About three a.m. we went to bed—just about in time to wake up to the wail of the Princess of the Day who had awoken at about 6 to find her Sequined Princess Shoes eaten by the royal scurvy family dog sometime during the night, the remains cruelly left RIGHT by her bed, only hours before the kingdom was to show up at the gate.

I had been assigned the job of the Festooning of the Royal Dining Room and hurried through that so that I could take her little majesty back out to the Disney Store to see if the shoes could be replaced. Somehow the sight of a three-year-old distraught princess (in tiara and matching mirabou slippers on the wrong feet) marching up to the counter waving a raggely pair of sequined princess shoes exclaiming, “My dod ate my pwincess shoes and today is my BERFday!!” softened the Disney hearts of the clerk and the store manager and they offered to replace the sodden things at no charge.

So then we hurried home where scores of little princesses (one in a fluffy pink gown arrived on a push-scooter wearing sunglasses and crocs) and three future spidermen descended upon us, I painted faces until I started getting sloppy with it. “You said you wanted butterflies! It’s a butterfly! Sure it is! Here. Does that look better? Okay good. NEXT!” and all the little royal ones bounced in the princess bouncy house until the sun went down and it got cold and they all went home. I took a nap in the setting and remembered I had to send out the e-mail before tomorrow morning, so here I am. Tired, but full of cupcakes and pretzels.

Thursday is my birthday. I think I will see if I can borrow the gown, the crown and the shoes for my annual crawfish boil.

Here is what we’re having up at Elmer’s for dinner this week:


  • Szechuan Pork Lo Mein
  • And Vegetarian Lo Mein.


  • Crabcakes with sauce remoulade, wild rice pilaf and a seasonal vegetable (and field greens salad)
  • And roasted, stuffed acorn squash with wild rice pilaf and a seasonal vegetable (and field greens salad)

We have the Farm and Grocery Report:


The grocery delivery is due in on Wednesday this week. In the bulk section, “Save the Forest Granola” and Sesame Sticks with salt will be replenished and new bulk items to look for are: Dry Roasted Peanuts, Lentils, Split Peas, Peanut Butters (smooth and crunchy) , and expeller pressed Canola Oil and extra virgin Olive Oil from Italy. I hope to figure out the spigot system for the oil so you can bring in your own containers and get what you need. That way we won’t have to use more plastic containers. Speaking of plastic containers, I did an informal survey of a few people asking what type of container – paper “To Go” soup pints or plastic recycled pints – I should use to portion out the peanut butters. The consensus was the plastic. Personally, I would rather use the paper ones. Will suggests new glass jars. What do you think?

Please let me know what you think. I’ll put a second sheet entitled “Glass, Paper or Plastic” on the clip board above the bulk bins. Or you can email me at elwell.donna@gmail.com.

NOTE: The dried herbs from Sangha Farm are now on hooks in the produce section of the tall shelves.

Also, Will and I dug THE LAST of our carrots yesterday and I will bring them in on Monday.

The snow drops are blossoming and the daffodils are peeking through the leaves.

Enjoying spring,


Elmer’s Store | 396 Main St. | Ashfield, MA 01330 | (413) 62-4003

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