Monday, May 24, 2010

A few observations

  • I think radishes are the most beautiful spring vegetable. That red makes my eyes buzz.
  • Why do clothes have to wear out? My favorite brown pants, of which I have two pair, of which were to replace my former pair of brown pants that wore out, are wearing out. What a pain.
  • Life seems to go faster each passing year. How is that possible?
  • We got a fiddler crab and I think I'm more excited about it than the kids. We are going to get him a few more to keep the old boy company. He was what you call, an impulse buy. Not a good idea when getting a pet. And guess the guilty party...? It wasn't Squeeze, that's for sure. Hee?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Workin' it

I am in the midst of planning Story Hour for both the 4-8 year olds and 9-12 year olds for the Summer Reading Program at our little library this summer. Last year, I did just the 4-8 year olds.

We will be doing two books a week. The first is water-themed with books about sharks, lobsters, otters, pirates, geese and ponds, etc. The other book will be character-based, using it as an opportunity to build the children's collection. June is Ezra Jack Keat's Peter. July is Mr. Putter and Tabby. August is Curious George. Believe it or not, but our library has NO Curious George except the spin-offs from the PBS show. Ay.

The 9-12 year olds did a puppet show based off a fairy tale last year, but the SAHD who organized it went back to work this spring. Oy. However, we did notice last summer that the older kids enjoyed being read to as much as the younger ones, so we decided to make it simple and do a Story Hour for them this year. We'll see how they like it.

Unfortunately, due to some unforseen complications I am just finishing things now...yikes. We start the first week of June. Volunteer postcards go out tomorrow.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


One of our hens went broody last week and is sitting day and night on a clutch of eggs. She's in one of the nesting boxes in our chicken coop. Excitement!

Hopefully we'll get to see a mama hen with her baby chicks. It sounds thrilling. And I'm sure it will make me feel doubly-sorry for the little chickies we have in boxes in the garage, with no mama but a heat lamp to hover over them. It will be so interesting - we are all very pleased.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I'm at that point of the year again where the root cellar is empty and the garden is only producing lettuce, radishes, and spinach.

I have no idea what to eat. I am like a deer in the headlights.

Going to the grocery store or having to plan into the future is unappealing - what a drag. I'd rather just have "whatever" out of the garden (or root cellar), then have to figure out what to do with it. It is so much easier.

So it's eggs, again. Mrarrrrrr!

Thursday, May 06, 2010


Our household is currently head-over-heels for steamed cauliflower with butter (or olive oil) and salt.

What could be easier? I steam it whole and then we hack it up and feast. The boys, I'm not kidding, ask for seconds, thirds, and fight over the last bits. It is that amazing.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15

The 2010 Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists are out, published by the Environmental Working Group through

The produce on the Dirty Dozen is most contaminated by pesticides - and what you should be willing to shell more out for organic. Because you're eating those chemicals, you know. The Clean 15 are the lowest in pesticides.

The Dirty Dozen:

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Kale
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (Imported)

The Clean 15:

  1. Onions
  2. Avacado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Cantaloupe
  11. Watermelon
  12. Grapefruit
  13. Sweet Potato
  14. Honeydew Melon
Though really, the best choice is locally produced food...and/or organic. We need sustainable agriculture, and at the very least, organic agriculture. Vote with your fork! Change the way food is brought to your table.

From China, Chile, and California...? Or from your state, from your farmers. Join the fight!

Monday, May 03, 2010

This must be what it feels like


Another journey. The southern provinces,
Pennsylvania. I think also of you

in your wandering exile. What are
the differences? Perhaps only

the speed of change. A swallow here
zooms across the pond, becoming

a winter jay on the farther shore.
Snow whirls in the pass, torrential

rain drenches the cabbage fields,
the palace grounds are enshrouded

with mist. Old age and final illness
come with the swiftness of the Yangtze

flooding in springtime, or like
the quick unreeling cinematograph.

Hayden Carruth
A Summer with Tu Fu
Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey
Poems 1991-1995

Sunday, May 02, 2010

First salad of the season

We ate our first garden salad of the season this evening - unusually early in Minnesota without cold frames or a greenhouse. But hey, we'll take it! Complete with different varieties of lettuce and spicy little radishes. Deluxe.

Incidentally, we also finished off our last squash from last season: butternut. What a keeper! The rest of our squashes - sunshine, buttercup, other butternuts - are long-gone. And some of the sunshines and buttercups were slightly moldy by the time we got to them mid-winter.

Butternuts are evidently superior keepers. Note to self.