Wednesday, July 4, 2012

on blueberries, car rides, NPR and my father

blueberry pie

I have been picking blueberries as a form of entertainment for as long as I can remember.  My dad was a big fan of pick-your-own (u-pick-it for short) farms before they became as popular as they are now.  Back then there was no such thing as organic so we all just dug into the chemically manipulated crops with abandon.  The fruit picked by you, ripe and ready to enjoy, was so far superior to anything that you could buy in a grocery store that picking strawberries, blueberries, peaches and apples became a source of cheap entertainment for our perpetually cash strapped family.  You can't eat a movie after watching it but after a day (or at least a few hours) at the farm you came home with something substantial to enjoy for a few days or weeks or months after.

Friday, June 22, 2012

into the garden

hydrangea

Sometime after my toddler-ness but before I headed off to work I would spend most of my Saturdays doing one of three things, reading, cooking or watching television.  Television was a mere shadow of its current self.  We had a very limited number of stations from which to choose, the three networks, one public broadcasting and eventually three UHF stations.  They were all received via two antennas attached to the back of the set.  If you were lucky you could wiggle the antennas into a position that gave you an acceptable picture but bad weather or sun spots or whatever could easily distrupt the reception and require the person with the least amount of family clout to spend their TV time hanging onto one of the antennas, standing on one foot with their arms in the air.  It was a great way to develop balance but so is yoga.  And it wasn't just the mechanics of the TV set that was different, it was the programing.  Saturdays meant old movies, how-to shows and sports.  Sports held no interest for me so if I wasn't watching the Creature Double Feature or Doctor Shock Theater the dial (yes TV's had dials) was set to our local PBS station.  I spent many hours watching Julia cooking and watching the Victory Garden guys grow things.  I also watched people fish, build things, fix their cars and cook some more.  It's no wonder that I was the only girl in my shop class.  It's no wonder that I owned ramps and an oil filter wrench and a nice selection of both manual and power tools.  And it is no wonder I grew up to be a passionate cook and gardener.  But gardening in the land of clay is not always an easy task.  I remember watching Martha take her audience on a little tour of her garden.  She was explaining how to plant seeds.  Camera closeup - hand plunges deep into rich loose soil - Martha's voice telling me to make sure I start with soil that only a millionaire could buy.  If I had been a different kind of person I might have just thrown in the spade, then and there, but I didn't so . . . let's go into the garden.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

six hours and eleven minutes

Fridge jars

Six hours and eleven minutes.  One big box hardware store, one dollar-esque type store but nicer, one educational material / teacher supply store, one fancy shmancy pet food store, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods for lunch and shopping and a trip to the farm to pick up my CSA share and I was not alone in my travels, school is over, get the picture?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

it doesn't have to be that way . . .

Jr reading in bed

My daughter graduates from kindergarten tonight.  She is six years old and has spent three wonderful years at a small Montessori school near our home.  Those wonderful teachers opened a world to her by infusing everyday with opportunities to learn and grow.  As my daughter told me once,  "Mommy we WORK in school, we play outside."  Yes you do darling but a fly on the wall would not be able to tell the difference.  Despite the complete lack of a single toy within those walls, these children are able to fill their days with such joy because the adults have decided that joy goes hand in hand with learning - reading, math, science, geography, toys need not apply.  And my daughter is a good student, a very focused and highly independent learner.  But my daughter is a reading machine.  And I would like to think that I had a little bit to with that. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Moldy Bread

open face bagel sandwich

Hi . . .  How y'all doing out there.  It has been awhile hasn't it?  Just over a month since we last spent time together.  Wow, seems like an eternity.  So grab a chai and let's take a moment to catch up.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

in a pickle


jar of zucchini pickles
As I wind my way up my MAC blogging learning curve I thought I would try my hand at posting a simple recipe.  The recipe is simple but I took lots of pictures and getting them into the blog post and formatted I suspect will keep be busy until next Tuesday Thursday or Friday at least. . . what the heck . . . I love this recipe sooo much I say we give it a try.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

nurturing the ones you love

Well it has been quite a week. It started with a new computer that I am still climbing up the learning curve with (hello MAC), then a roadtrip to our favorite nursery to pick up tomato and pepper plants. It transitioned nicely into a princess fairy birthday tea party (ddj), slid quietly through a too old to discuss birthday (me) and then a brief stop for a concert (Pat Benatar you still got it and then some). Things got a bit challenging after that when ddj's allergies quickly went from decidedly yucky to downright horrible. She is on her final day of a short course of steroids that not only help her breath (a good thing) but also has helped her truly embrace her inner drama queen. Talk about crying at the drop of a hat. Lots of hugs and kisses from Mommy and Daddy and our little trooper is . . . well . . . quite a trooper.