Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small City Magic

Last night we walked over to the park to take in the first summer band concert of the season. These concerts start at 8pm which has previously been a little late for our pair of early risers. But they are older now and last night felt like it could be the first of many. The kids can wander around and play with their friends, who are there in droves. There is a fountain to splash in and last night there was a quadrant of happy hippy hula hoopers. There are dogs and babies and flowers. Some boy scouts raise the flag and some girl scouts sell snacks. I saw neighbors and said hi to some moms club folks I hadn't seen in ages. And oh yes, the band was there providing a handy focal point. We chose a spot behind the percussion guys so we got to watch the intricacies of kettle drum, snare, cymbal and bass drum management.

We walked over and were all smitten by the lovely evening, the roses and the happy folks on the lawn. It felt like a good night for some small city magic. Some sort of well-being spell to spread out from the center of the South Park bandstand.Then through leaves I saw the full moon rising. It just couldn't have been any more fortuituous. I imagine a trio of home grown witchy sorts, burning their sage and casting their circle to capture the friendly herd mood and amplify it.

On the walk home we saw our first fireflies of the summer. It was just one of those evenings.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Eat yer greens

Eating kale seems like an act of extreme virtue. Maybe even a superhuman effort. It's famous for being full of nutritious vitamins and minerals and green power and fiber and so on. But raw kale is so shrubby and thick, with squeaky tough leaves. I had been avoiding kale because it seemed hard to wash (dirt can hide in all those folds), hard to chop (first removing the tough ribs, then wrangling the curly leaves) and not tasty enough to be worth the trouble. But I've been won over. This pasta/kale/butternut squash/sausage casserole recipe from Pink of Perfection got me started. That recipe also makes whole wheat pasta delicious which is saying something.

And then I had some extra kale hanging around and I remembered this Corn Kale johnny cakes recipe. I made this when Katy was a toddler and I thought she would like it for some reason. She didn't. (maybe I was taken in by the rah rah copy on that webpage) But I loved it and Nod was at least a mild fan so it stayed in my recipe box. Yum. I like how the cornmeal batter gets sort of rubbery when it's fried. (Okay, that's not going to help sell this to anyone else, is it?) Nod likes to put some monterey jack cheese and maybe some salsa with it. But I like them all by themselves. In fact I also made another savory pancake this weekend: vege latkes. Zucchini and potato and onion, panfried up all toasty, spread with sour cream and plain yogurt. So good. I wonder if I would get tired of the all pancake diet. All foods are allowed as long as they can be cooked in little flat cakes.

The kale kick has me feeling triumphant about my foray into virtuous vegetable consumption. Probably the all pancake diet will take the edge off my nutrition halo.

Mother's Pie
Did you see this quote on Mother's Day?  "A mother is a person who, seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." -Tenneva Jordan
I just read it on the Modernity Ward. My favorite commenter on this post heard the quote from another mom she'd just met and it put her back up: "I more or less told her it was stupid, that as a mother I certainly deserve some pie, and then told her my favorite motherhood truism, the one about putting on your own oxygen mask first and then helping your child. We did not become great friends. If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Pass me the Cool Whip!" I heartily endorse this reaction even though I will hold out for actual whipped cream.

I have more thoughts about the myriad of opportunities for self sacrifice that motherhood brings. But they are still swirling.

I suggested juggling as a friendly anti grief activity to a blogger yesterday. Because it takes concentration and bodily effort and allows for friendly companionship without leaving time for talk about anything deeper than what's falling where. But I realize that social juggling isn't everyone's first thought for grief therapy. My cutely wacky engineer neighbors brought out their juggling toys yesterday evening and I got to try them out. My juggling level is rank beginner who can keep three balls going for a little while. I like the meditative aspect of it. It's good for the upper arms and shoulders. Juggling nerds, my kind of people.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


If I didn't need so much sleep I could, in theory, get more sex. We don't ever manage to have sex at night. Nod's had Wednesdays off lately and we've done well with fast and furious nooners. But I hear that some people get busy at night when the kids are out of the way and things are quiet. Maybe if we go to another room. My bedroom after 9pm means only one thing to me (delicious snoozing).

The oil spilling in the Gulf of Mexico has been going on long enough now that I am beginning to be able to think about it. The whole idea makes me feel sick and I was averting my gaze at first. But it turns out that everything gets easier with repetition. I think as I hear that the oil has begun to land on the beaches and animals begin dying the anticipation is over. Now I'm wondering about the next concrete box attempt. I read that this one is nicknamed a "tophat" and will be slowly positioned over the broken well on Thursday. It remains to be seen whether ice crystals will clog this one as well. The AP story describes the problem as "icelike hydrates, a slushy mixture of gas and water" that crystallized on the surfaces of the cover. It's not described very well but I assume that made it impossible to form a seal and to direct the majority of the flow out the top into the waiting pipe. It was a methane crystal that became a bubble that broke the pipeline to begin with. My brain is clumsily trying to imagine methane in the form of slushy crystals under the deep sea floor. One more reason to like this story: I keep reading the phrase "undersea robots". Now if only they were smarter than humans.

I miss our leaky old house and the way we could listen to storms. The new place is so well sealed that I can barely hear the thunder. Yes, it's probably a good problem to have.

A pair of quotes from The Little Nugget by P.G. Wodehouse

1. Dialogue between a freshly engaged couple, discussing semi-dastardly deeds:
"Do you despise me?"
I perspired. I could think of no other reply.

2. Reflection upon the energy level of schoolboys and the need for outdoor time:
There is no pleasanter sight for an assistant-master at a private school than that of a number of boys expending their venom harmlessly in the sunshine.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Gracious, I'm overdue for an update. Sorry to let you think I was stuck down in the weeds. I have bounced and things roll along pleasingly for the most part.

The spring light has been wonderful. No doubt I am demanding clouds and low pressure by mentioning it but we have had the nicest weather for the past few days. Clear blue skies with occasional cloudlets for decorative purposes only. Not hot but warm and inviting. Aaaah.

Got my blog boots on and moseyed over to the big city to see Bossy and friends last night. It was pretty warm and friendly. I annoyed the pizza waitstaff by blowing bubbles in their food delivery path. Next time I think I would opt for the old man bar instead of the hip rooftop patio. There was a surprising amount of interest last night in the concept of Beet Hummus so there's the link. Isn't it pretty? I'll forward it to Bossy once she is back on solid (not interstate) ground. Ms. Bossy was approachable and just as disgustingly beautiful as her photos would suggest. She and The Subtle Rudder were there to represent the willowy blogger end of the spectrum. What a treat to meet you, TSR! My first RL meeting with online friends. I'm still smiling.

Nod and I went to the monthly neighborhood meeting last Sunday. I had got myself worried about it for some reason. It was so good to get it over with and the unknown dispelled. I learned one more neighbor's name and heard about how the owners discuss/argue about things. It was good information gathering. As renters we vote on some things but not others. We both declined to join a nominating committee but I did volunteer to take notes next time. That's doable. We're launched now in our hippy-sharing-neighborhood-thing. That evening Lexi followed her friend Maria around hunting for ants to go in Maria's "ant camp" (a miniature ant farm). They had the best time collecting ants. Lexi has always been a gleaner. She loves to pick dandelions (yellow or seed heads), find acorns, collect bits of bark, and so on. Time to harness that energy -- I need to find the UPick strawberry farm and figure out when they'll be ready.