Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Seeds and cellars

We ordered our vegetable seeds through Seed Savers Exchange this weekend. Looking through the pictures and imagining the bounty is a mouth-watering experience. And the colors! So beautiful. Even the names thrill me:

  • Grandpa Admire's lettuce
  • Webb's Wonderful lettuce
  • Delice de Table melon
  • Galeux d'Eysines squash
  • Long Island Cheese squash
  • Calypso bean
  • Empress bean
  • Jacob's Cattle Gold bean
  • Green Arrow pea

We ordered a transplants of both peppers and tomatoes - 6 of each. We also have several flats of heirloom tomato seeds started; as well as leeks, onions, eggplants and cabbages.

Also under the grow lights is a little experiment: salad greens. We missed fresh greens terribly this past winter; and so, after Squeeze planted one pot of arugula for me - it was so unbelievably delicious, in addition to growing well - we realized that we need to expand our operations.

Root Cellar update:

Our root cellar is now completely barren. Apples, carrots, and potatoes all peetered out this past month. The ghastly remains of the celery was used for one last chicken stock last week, and the tomatoes were gone by mid-November. Onions were eaten by December and the cabbages and the last of the squash departed from our company by the end of January. And we only have one of the twelve quarts of applesauce left (mostly used on pancakes...yummm).

As far as frozen foods, we have eaten two of the three quarts of strawberries from last summer, one of the two quarts of raspberries, and only a couple of quarts of frozen spinach, chard, and lettuce from last summer's garden remain. I've been using the frozen greens in creamy chicken soups and stews, and my - it has been a nice addition. I also froze approx. 15 quarts of tomatoes, of which none are left. I suppose we finished those in February sometime.

Next summer, in addition to freezing greens and berries, I want to can salsa and tomato sauce. We use a lot of these tomato products during the winter months and I'm ready to take on the challenge of putting my own up instead of buying jar upon jar from the grocery store.

We have learned a lot and taken copious notes. It is going to be so much fun to take on the challenge of the new growing season. I can't wait!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Bright spots in gray days

Walking Iris aka Apostle Plant

I love having tropical houseplants. They usually bloom when the soul and mind need it most - the dreary winter and spring months when everything outside is varying shades of brown.

The Walking Iris blooms over a number of weeks and is lightly fragrant (putting your nose right into the flower is heavenly). New flowers come from the same flower stalk, and eventually produces a new little plantlet. Each bloom lasts only a day, popping open in the morning and shriveled by the evening hours. I love the purple/yellow color combination.

(Email me if you want a division!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I don't think he gets it

In a tearful response to an impassioned rebuke from his mother this afternoon, for poking his little brother in the face with a pointy toy, Diego replied remorsefully, "Okay... I will do different naughty things."


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A few observations from 12 years in the future

Or present, as it were.

After stampeding through my college daybooks, I decided to review my high school journals as well. What an interesting thing it is - to know yourself in those pages - but with the experience and maturity that a decade brings.

A few observations:
  • I use the word "mass" with alarming frequency. Like, "I laughed mass hard."
  • I was obsessed with boys, or, as I referred to them, "guys".
  • I was always very concerned about the fact that I never had a boyfriend, though peppered through the text is many admonitions of feeling glad that I didn't.
  • I've realized that I remembered the events through my feelings at the time - which were not necessarily reality. i.e. "No boys ever like me", but recorded in meticulous detail are many stories of getting pushed, jostled, patted, stared at, paper thrown at, attacked, etc., all by teenage boys. Ah-ha! Au contraire.
  • From the way I wrote, I think I had a better sense of myself and a higher self-esteem than I remember. I was able to identify things about myself that are still true today, though I may not have seen the larger picture.
  • I felt very connected to my female friends; my best friend in particular, whose personality and general presence strangely resembles Squeeze in many ways.
  • I was always very concerned about being too loud and too wild. (But not enough to ever reign myself in.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

She flows

The sloughing of my uterine wall has recommenced. I could tell that things were changing, but I wasn't exactly sure what was going on until yesterday when "she flowed". I was strangely pleased to see it, as if that portion of my powers had returned to me.

I whipped out my Size A(fter) Keeper and put 'er in: plugged. Taken care of. I am glad I had purchased the post-vaginal delivery size this time around, as the Size B(efore) wasn't making the grade last time. And my goodness, ladies, I am reminded of how much I really really really like using The Keeper. I've been using it for the last 6 years (with 4 of them largely menses-free) and my only regret is that I didn't discover it sooner. [Props go to LSJF] If you haven't checked into yet, you should: it saves loads of cash, tons of grief, and is the hands-down environmentally-sound choice. It is a win-win-win decision.

This is the third time I've had my period in four years. !!! It has been a nice break, again; I definitely have extended breastfeeding to thank. The general rule is to nurse every 4 hours during the day and 6 hours at night to prevent ovulation, and my goodness: yes. It feels a lot more frequent than that (growth spurt?). But I can't complain with almost 17 months of free and completely natural worry-free birth control!

If this were Diego/Truen, I would have started cycling again in February - and been pregnant by the end of this month. That doesn't look so appealing to me this time around. I want to wow the crowds at our summer weddings (yeah...) and move around freely in pretty dresses in the warm summer sun instead [of lumbering]. The thought of giving birth in January in the frozen snowy prairies is also slightly daunting.

We shall see... I am going to re-read Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler, start charting morning temps, and keep a keen eye out for signs of fertility. It should be interesting - it will be the first time to use the knowledge I gained from that book. It even has recommendations on how to try for a girl (or a boy), though I haven't read that part yet.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friends first

I never followed up on the Valentine Spaghetti Meal, our Friends of the Library's first fundraiser. It went well. We had 100 or so people in attendance and made over $500. I was there from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, the longest I've ever been away from Baby Pumpkin (who is hardly a baby anymore). My boobs were like rocks by the end of the day - it was terrible.

It seemed to go over well with the townspeople. There were also two church brunches that day, so we were doubling-up on options in town. In a town of 700 people with one supper club open on limited evenings, they, or should I say, we, have a captive audience. All the various non-profits in the community make BIG MONEY on their fundraiser breakfasts, lunches, and dinners because there is nowhere else to eat! [Well...big money for rural MN...]

A lot of people stopped in after their brunch and donated money to show their support for the library, which was very nice. Who doesn't love libraries?! And, believe it or not, but there are towns in the area who don't have one. I grow faint at the thought.

We have our second fundraiser on Saturday: the local auction house has a food stand that rotates amongst the area non-profits. We got the slot last minute after another group cancelled. We are serving pulled-pork sandwiches, chips, and a pickle - with donuts and coffee in the morning and what locals call "bars" in the afternoon.

[Has anyone heard of these "bars" before? They're like cookies, but baked in huge jelly roll pans and cut into squares. I don't know if this is a regional thing, or my dislike for desserts... I have heard of "lemon bars" before - but simply "bars"??? Very strange.]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Your Long Journey from Raising Sand with Robert Plant and Alison Krauss has shot up to #3 on my iTunes account after a morning binge on endless repeat. I - can't - get - enough!

Monday, March 16, 2009

♥ ♥ ♥

I have been on what we have dubbed an "emotional vacation" for the past two weeks with Squeeze, my main squeeze, my only squeeze, aka - my husband. It has been part time-travel, part detective work, and part passionate revival. Our marriage relationship has always been solid, based on friendship and very happy, but for the last few years we have been operating largely as business partners vs. anything resembling passion. It took a little shaking-up to make us realize this.

It has been the most amazing thing - circumstances triggered by an interface from the past threw us into an intense reviewal of our 3.5 year tumultuous dating relationship. We've been re-reading old journals, daybooks, notes, letters, perusing through pictures, and talking extensively and intensively for almost 2 weeks straight, from the second we see each other in the morning until we go to bed (interrupted by work, of course). We never felt like we had the time to talk before this, but now find ourselves sitting the kids down with a pile of play-doh or little cars or sticks outside and talking and talking and talking. It feels so good.

We have made several discoveries about our past: why our dating years were so up-and-down, what attracted us to each other in the first place, and why things simmered down once we finally decided to go for the gold [get married].

We have told each other things that the other has never heard about until now. We are re-realizing why we are such a perfect pairing: how our idiosyncrasies work together to form a stronger bond, and the great respect and understanding that we have for each other.

It has been just so refreshing: and exactly what we needed.


Monday, March 09, 2009

Thursday, March 05, 2009

There and back again

I was gone for a week a-visiting in Minneapolis/St. Paul. It was a lovely trip - we spent a lot of time with family, friends, at beating down the doors of untold numbers of thrift stores. [I hit the jackpot at every place. Totally tubular.]

In short: we spent an entire day with my brother, brunched with college friends with BIG news (engagement, new house, newly-popped pregger belly), played with the cousins, did dot-art with our buddies, spent a morning at a Somali mall sipping tea and nibbling on sambusa, and finished of the week rampaging through an attic apartment in super hero costumes and wooden swords. Diego even got some quality snuggling/neck-touching time in with Auntie Lyndi; and Truen started pointing and things and attempting to say whatever words were asked of him.

My social cup over-floweth. It was a good time, I'm glad I went. And I am so glad to be home. It feels very nice.