"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Golden Memories

Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic f...
Cropped transparent version of Image:Olympic flag.svg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Olympics were about the only real t.v. material I remember watching as a family when I was a little girl.We didn't have a television through my whole growing up (on purpose) so we had to go to my grandma's cabin five miles away or to a friend's house in order to catch any of the events. Man, did that make it seem like a big deal! I remember pretending I was Kristi Yamaguchi after watching her stunning skating performances and imagining how it might feel to do fabulous routines on the uneven parallel bars.
We were a family of nature lovers and artists, not really sports types for the most part. It seemed very important when Papa suddenly manifested team spirit and a magnetic attraction to viewing this sporting event. I remember feeling curious by his excitement and watching him cheer for a photo finish to see what it all meant and how you reacted to it.

I think The Olympics, chapter books and missionaries were the ways I learned about other cultures and countries. There wasn't a lot of first-hand ethnic variation in the north woods of Michigan. Seeing all those bright, unfamiliar flags and proud athletes from the other side of the globe representing their people seemed like something deeply poetic and opened the world to me in my little log house.  I remember watching my eccentric, witty, tall, liberal grandmother sitting next to me, my little legs pulled up Indian style on her couch, her leaning forward, pausing in the middle of her eternal Solitaire game squinting up at the little television set on the wall. Some American was being awarded the gold medal for their performance, they slipped the ribbon necklace over their neck, they clutched their roses, they waved to the crowd, and with the camera panning the sea of Americans and the winner's hand proudly over their heart, the music swelled into our national anthem, and next to me on the couch my clever, stoic grandmother had tears running down her cheeks. I was astonished, The Olympics were clearly important stuff.

And now, here I am watching re-runs of yesterdays key events on YouTube with my little boys who are watching my face to see what it all means and trying to understand how it all works. It gives me a deep thrill to see them acting our foot-races, being impressed by the good sportsmanship on the screen, asking if they can get out our flag to wave and making Tinker Toy torches. And I do hope I'm passing the flame on well.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fruit Of Our Labors

This is the first official produce of our new mini-orchard we planted last year. We have a bunch of new baby trees we planted on our property last spring: two plum trees, a peach tree, a cherry, a pear and a nectarine to keep our ancient apple tree company. Last year they just grew, and this year that's still where most of the energy went (they are starting to look like real trees now!) but one of our plums pulled out all the stops and made a single golden fruit.

It was condensed deliciousness. All our fruit farming hopes and gardening efforts congealed in one glowing orb. A and I split it one very early morning for breakfast while the dew was still on the grass, dripping juices on our hands, alternating bites. Sometimes we share an achingly happy vision of life together.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Diesel Celebrities

There have been celebrities across the street. And no, I'm not talking about Tom Cruise. My boys have been glued to the windows on the front of the house for a good while (a week? longer?) watching the demolition, expansion and re-construction of our neighbor's driveway and stone retaining wall.

This is the sort of thing I never imagined getting excited about in all my life. I don't personally get shivers up my spine about the fact that a "real live dump truck" is right across the street but how do you resist feeling a thrill deep in your gut when watching your kids feel like this?

Man, reciprocal emotions are real and also very good. Just the thought makes me smile.

So, there I was, for days...watching a diesel powered this and that smash cement up and then a dump truck pour out a load of something or other while my little boys press their hands and noses against the windowpanes and sigh avidly. So very, very funny and yet happy to see what makes their little hearts go pitter patter, especially when it is so clearly their own taste and not mine reflected.

I love me some blossoming children. :) Might be time to check out our local Big Rig Day the next time one comes through the area. Anyone know when the next one is?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Spud Diggers

Just about the time I decide that low carb eating is a very good idea scientifically and take on high protein nutrition whole-heartedly (Read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" for the fascinating details!)...the potatoes come in.  So silly.
I planted potatoes last year too and we thought we had a good harvest then but this year they were bonkers productive!  I forgot that potatoes like hot weather. Ace in the hole this year for sure! Hot weather we do seem to have in spades.The bonus is that this means we have more potatoes to share with friends. Anyone want any potatoes?

 They are really beautiful...bakers and little roasters or boilers, all sizes...lots of reds in the mix and a few gold fingerlings. They're pretty amazing with generous doses of good grass-fed butter and chopped parsley. Do give a shout if you want some...and tell us if you don't want any...otherwise they might end up orphaned on your doorstep in a little basket. Tee hee!

Its good to get down and dirty with your gardening once in a while. The boys love it when Mommy sanctions digging in a heap of dirt, nay lauds them for being helpful when they do it! We were sweat and mud, stem to stern when we finally trooped inside for cooling baths. Well earned cleansing for sure!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pint-Sized Bug Man

My thoughtful little second-born, Dee is becoming quite the little scientist. He has a newly emerged special love for bugs of all kinds. He is a careful watcher, a fan of the tiny things in life and curious about things that move. All the necessary requirements.

He got "in trouble" recently at a kid event for secreting along his magnifying glass (one of his favorite toys) and then whipping it out in company and promptly giving every kid there green eyes showing how it worked. I am sure he was looking at some kind of bug...or at least looking FOR some. He seems curious about everything from crickets to aphids to butterflies. His nature loving mama is pretty touched by his new proclivity.

I was a similarly small-picture kid as a little girl and loved spending hours outdoors being still, watching things, often the teeny tiny things, mites under a log, the wiggling tadpole embryos in frog eggs, and all the detail on the seed head of a grass stalk. A lot of slow, silent, solo discovery. Brings back fond memories to watch him on the same path.

I love how gleeful he is about noticing some little, over-looked being that is going about its curious business somewhere like the inside of a lily or the page of someone's book. He's thrilled to learn things about them too and sits happily regurgitating details of the life-cycle of aphids at the dinner table. One of the few times when he is a chatterbox...so fun to have a corner on some information nobody else has. Not even his big, impressive daddy knows what a cricket eats! Love to watch that personal pride in such a good and wholesome thing. Makes me think a lot of E. O. Wilson, of etymological fame.

Am thinking about how to encourage him. I would love to make an ant farm together to watch. I think he would get a big kick out that. I think I had one as a kid a couple of times that was just in a glass jar....but the ones that between two pressed sheets of glass like a picture frame are super appealing. I think a good, large page, nicely illustrated book on insects is in order too for the ever growing library. What else would you do for or with a pint sized bug lover?
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life Audit

Time for a bit of big picture, self-inventory. Its always good to know where we are exactly. Alison at BrocanteHome, one of my favorite blogs, calls this a Life Audit: part list, part reflective essayettes. Lets have a go, shall we?

One, Two, Three....GO!

Today I am: Hiding from the heat, holing up in the air conditioned public library and any other handy cool location trying to keep the heat rash down on the baby and minimize the whines from the big kids and the mommy.

Feeling:  Hot. Also Pretty happy! I'm losing weight, feeling much more emotionally stable and ready for the next phase!

Reading: Good Calories Bad Calories (brilliant and important book, completely rocking my world apart!!!!) and for fiction fun, Chalice.

Eating:Steak on the grill, local, raw milk, and a few baby red potatoes from our garden doused with fresh parsley and swimming in butter.

Planning: The last details of the playroom's reorganization! An encouraging reveal coming...

Dreaming:Of our trip to Hawaii to visit Miq and Penny, coming up this fall. Reading guidebooks happily and plotting all the possibilities. I am imagining fresh fish, amazing coffee and pineapples to kill for not to mention swimming with sea turtles and sunsets over white beaches. Bring it on!

Wishing:For central air. A spends all day in a giant air conditioned icebox of an office and comes home loosening his collar and soaking up the heat and I am sweaty and grouchy and dehydrated and incredibly unwilling to hear in my presence his bitter words about the modern wonder that is zoned cooling. Boo! So much for my desire to live an authentic, salt of the earth, old fashioned existence.

Doing:A lot of plant watering. This killer heat has been making things grow like crazy but also makes keeping up on the fluid end a big, big job. Tomatoes require a lot of drinks, y'all!

Working: On getting back into the swing of normal life. Potty training, my daily chore list, teaching reading, using my menu planner...etc.

Celebrating: The loss of Ru's first tooth! Hooray for this super cute milestone. So heartwarming to see how incredibly excited he was about that first real wiggle after so much waiting and waiting and waiting for it to finally happen to him.

Grateful For: Babygates. I never really thought I'd be saying that but there it is. Nib has morphed into the kid who never listens, doesn't  come when he's called and is always speedily getting into something...albeit with a glowing smile on. I sure loves me a little control sometimes.

Tomorrow I will be: Having a home day, catching up on laundry and sweeping the second floor clean...and please, God, please...enjoying some cooler weather? 

This Month I need/want to...

  • Finish painting the kid bath.

  • Find the book we lost from the library.

  • Get the kid clothes sorted out and stored properly.

  • Eat more corn on the cob.

  • Attend the local music festival!

  • Store or give away the potato crop we harvested.

  • Take Ru out alone for an outing.

  • Start my yoga class again! (yay for six weeks postpartum!)

    There you have it. My life at the moment in a little nutshell. Wanna show me yours?
Enhanced by Zemanta