Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday keeps coming around ...

In the very near future I'll find a touch of free time for us to catch up. In the meantime here's a preview ...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

I have a dirty little secret ...

Yesterday we went to a birthday party. Friends and neighbors gathered to celebrate Nina Bee’s first year of life. Small talk was inevitable as not all attendants were intimately acquainted.  As I refilled my wine I became privy to one of these space-filling conversations; an enticing discussion about clover.  Enjoying my fly-on-the-wall status I feigned activity and listened in. 

“Well,” said one person, “ the clover in this neighborhood is really the fault of so and so up the street.  She’s all organic.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  But her grass is full of clover and now it’s migrated to our yard.”

“Oh that’s terrible” said another, “no one wants a yard full of clover.”  They went on to discuss the various merits of herbicides used to eradicate this evil invader from their lawns. 

I quietly slipped away.  You see our yard is blanketed in clover.  Initially we were going to eliminate it as removal seemed the neighborly thing to do.   But then we read the ingredient list on the herbicide bottle.  We quickly decided we’d rather have clover than odd growths on our children or an eight-eyed school of fish downstream.  And so we went against the first suburban commandment and simply let the clover be.  

And here’s my dirty little secret ... I like the clover.  

It’s green. It doesn’t die off when the dogs pee on it. Were it not for clover our lawn would be entirely yellow/brown (I’m not joking).  Instead our lawn is peppered with little white flowers that attracts bees.  These bees, though they come with stingers, are good for environment.  Shoes are a good idea when playing on our “grass”. It’s a fair trade; shoes for environmental friendliness. 

When the kids are bored I can send them out to search for four leaf clovers. I’m willing to bet families with “perfect” lawns can’t get their kids to go out and pick through the grass as a form of entertainment.  Besides these kids would probably contract some sort of mutagentic disease if they were to do so.  

And there you have it.  Perhaps I’m lazy.  Perhaps I’m a hippie.  Perhaps I’m the dredge of the neighborhood.  Or, perhaps, I’m all three.  What I do know is I like fish with two eyes, children without growths and my blanket of clover.    

Monday, June 15, 2009

Can it be Monday again already?

The days seem to be zipping by.  School is out.  Swimming lessons have begun. Too bad us parents don't also get the summer off.  I'm convinced all jobs should come with sabbaticals.  I could certainly use the time to rejuvenate and recharge.  As it stands I'm tired and my creative energy has been zapped. I suspect this lack of creativity rolls over into work and affects my performance there as well.  In two weeks time our fourth doctor will be back from maternity leave and I'll get a bit more time off.  Until then you'll have to bear with me.  



Today I was reminded that there are people out there who do not like or respect me.  This particular person, who shall remain nameless,  is not a happy person by nature.  She has had a tough life (especially early on).  I am striving to have compassion and understanding for her. And so I'm sending out this prayer:  I sincerely hope she finds love and joy in this lifetime.  I hope she is able to overcome her bitterness and sorrows.  I know, deep down, her heart is good and true.  May she find peace.  

Is there someone out there that needs your prayers?  

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Every New Beginning Comes From Another Beginning's End

This has been a week of endings and new beginnings.   From mere fabric to a skirt (inspired by Soule Mama and her before dinner skirts).  From a never-ending project to almost vegetable beds (if the rain would stop coming down).   From dual night shifts to a semi-normal schedule. And from school to summer break.  

I'm looking forward to slowing down and ruminating.  To mornings reserved for sleeping and afternoons full of books, knitting, sewing and gardening.   To lazy days at the pool and work nights without the stress of homework or child driven schedules.   And I'm looking forward to long summer nights, strolling to the park with the family and meandering home in the dark. After tomorrow we have a whole lot of nothing scheduled and I can't wait.  

Friday, June 5, 2009

Frugal Friday - Sew Something

Today I found myself in pajamas at noon. This is not uncommon around these parts. With shift work it's easy to justify late day lounging (even when I didn't work the night before). But there is one problem; both my cotton and flannel PJs have holes in the buttocks. I do not relish the idea of the mail man being directly exposed to the least attractive part of my body. As such new PJs were in order tout suite.

As luck would have it I had a Goodwill curtain begging for a new life. With this tutorial up on the computer I went to work. (There is also a nice lounge pant pattern to be found in Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross for anyone who is interested). I only changed the tutorial a touch - instead of zigzagging the edges I sewed my seams then cut the edges with pinking shears and ironed them open. Hopefully they will hold. I also used the curtain hem as the cuff of my pants. Yes it has button holes ... it's a homage to the fabric's previous life.

And now I have the perfect summer lounge pants. Come fall I'll fashion another pair from an old flannel sheet. In the meantime I think I'll brew a nice cup of tea and continue lounging.

Oh and my new favorite music for lazing about? Orba Squara. A couple of their songs have been used in commercials (Iams Dog Food and Ipod). I love their music - it's so bright and cheerful. Here's a sampling:

Happy Frugal Friday!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Opening Day at the Farmer's Market!

The park was flooded with people; pedestrians and bicyclists alike. Flowers spilled out of backpacks and purses as if they’d sprouted amongst the wallets and checkbooks. Women, men and children carried wicker baskets full of vegetables, fresh bread, organic eggs and cured meats. Today was the first day of the Farmer’s Market.

I didn’t have much time. Mine was a quick jaunt between the library and work. But it was well worth the effort. My first stop was the nut vendor. Who can resist sweet and spicy almonds still warm in the bag? The spice hits first; a quick blaze followed by a sweet carmel crunch.

And then the counterpoint -- delectable sugar snap peas. As a general rule my children will not touch, much less put in their mouths, anything green. If a foodstuff remotely resembles a vegetable it is not to be eaten. Sugar snap peas, however, are the exception. They will be devoured with abandon straight out of the container.

I also could not resist a pint of deep red strawberries. I would have bought more were I not going to work. These perfectly ripe strawberries were ever so slightly soft and juicy and needed no embellishment. Tomorrow they’d have gone too far and be best in smoothies or muffins. But today ... just right

Finally I bought a bushel of sweet pea flowers. The folks in front of me wondered if sweet peas were too humble a gift for their yuppie friends. ‘Tis true, sweat peas are a modest flower atop twisted vines. They beg for a simple vase - in my opinion nothing but a mason jar will do. But put a bushel of sweat peas in a mason jar and you have a glorious offering- fit for kings, yuppies or even us simple folk.

As I left the clouds were rolling in. A jovial older woman stopped to chat.

“Oh I hope we have thunder storms tonight.”

“Don’t worry,” I replied with conviction, “we most definitely will.”

I drove home to find a hula hoop laying in the front yard. Somehow it fit perfectly with the bucolic market. Then I meandered around back to share my snap pea tops with the chickens. They were blissfully clucking away unruffled by the distant thunder.

As much as I didn’t want to I readied for work. During the drive lightening cracked over the mountains - nature's fireworks. The rain began gushing down just as I pulled up. Our clinic doors leak so we piled towels high in the hallway and stared in awe at the onslaught. Secretly I wished the roof would leak too because there is something terribly romantic about the drip drip drip of rain into a tin can.

Alas, no roof leaks (be careful what you wish for, eh?). Work finally beckoned and I was forced to return to the “real world”. But you can bet your bottom dollar I’m going back to the Farmer’s Market next chance I get.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Bench Monday!

Today we moved the chickens outside.  Today is also Bench Monday and it is raining.  The chickens did not want to cooperate with my photo shoot.  I was worried about water-logging my camera and therefore added my own feathered friends.  Yes I'm taking liberties and no I'm not wearing something cute.  But I did put a cupcake on my derierre (quite fitting actually)!

Next sunny Monday I'll do better - promise.  (I did do better - go here to see!)

Here's our coop tucked in the yard.  It still needs a few details but is mostly done.  The chicken girls seemed quite happy to move out of the garage.  

And, of course, this song is stuck in my head what the rain and Monday.   I dare you to click the link ... I need someone else to suffer with me as I can't STOP singing this!  *Insert evil cackle and smily emoticon :o)*

Happy Bench Monday!