Saturday, June 26, 2010

Food Art

Hey, did I ever tell you guys about how Sarah loves pancakes. Loves them. Loves loves loves the pancakes. I whipped up a batch of silver-dollar cuties for her this morning (she ate 30. THIRTY), and let the leftovers cool on the plate. Lookit:

Silver dollar chrysanthemum!

Totally, I swear, an accident. I mean, obviously I placed them in more or less concentric circles on purpose so they could cool, but it wasn't until the plate was full that I saw the pattern. And now, seeing it like this, it's driving me nuts that I can't move one of the "petals" to the center so it would be, you know, done. Yes, I am that German.

A nationality I will NOT be rooting for tomorrow, by the way. I mean, who roots for the Germans? It's like rooting for the Yankees. Puh-leeze.

And yes, I did spend the afternoon screaming at the television during the US v Ghana match while my kid watched Beauty and the Beast on the laptop. Klassy! Listen, she correctly identified the captain of each team without my assistance, so I figured she earned her Disney. Anyway, now that the US of A has been knocked out of the tourney (fairly, by the better team, even if Ghana dove more often than Greg Louganis once they had the lead), I can watch the rest of the World Cup without giving myself ulcers. Win for me! And I can cheer on the Netherlands, a country for which I have great fondness. I spent three weeks there in high school; I turned 16 there. They were very formative weeks. Very. Formative.

Ahem. Anyway, one of my very favorite things I ate while I was there were, as it happens, the pancakes, little teensy ones called poffertjes and giant, plate-sized thin creations called pannekoeken topped with apple slices and confectioners sugar. Eaten in the company of significantly adorable Dutch boys? Oh Em Gee.

Given Sarah's favorite food, and that she begs me for licorice (although not the salty kind -- yet), it's pretty much inevitable that she will wind up in Holland, too. Hoo boy.

Right. Until then, go Oranje!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Virtues

Summer! It's summer! Really, truly summer! Yay, Northern Hemisphere!

Since it's official and all, how about some summery sights?

photo by Sarah!

Don't you love it?

Yesterday Sarah and I went berry picking with one of her buddies from school (Ben, the sweetest boy you've ever met), and we came home with these:

Ahhhhh. That's almost TEN POUNDS of juicy, yummy, possibly almost very nearly somewhat organic-ish local strawberries. Amazingly, I had them washed and hulled and frozen by the afternoon. I'm tempted to go back for more to try my hand at freezer jam without dipping into my Brand! New! stash of berry goodness.

And today? Today, peeps, Sarah and I finally planted the new vegetable garden! Here's my lovely assistant telling me all about how she's going to water all the new seedlings. 

(Yes, she's in her underwear. That's how we roll, yo.)

My somewhat less lovely, but eminently useful other assistant standing by because... well, because I think I need to put in a third bed.

Cute, right? But not nearly enough space for all the pathetic tomato seedlings still standing by (plus all the other stuff I'd hoped to put in this year -- and I only missed a month of the growing season! Go, me!). After all the work I did to make the space for these two, I feel like a third bed would be no big deal. I mean, I took down two trees, dudes. I'm a Serious Vegetable Gardener now.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


So, today I was getting our pool passes for the summer (it's supposed to hit 90 here on Saturday! At last! It's been in the 60s and grey and rainy this week -- we had to turn the heat back on, for the love of Mike). The Rec Center is right next to the preschool I've been meaning to check out for Sarah. Since, like, April. (There are still openings for the fall. I didn't completely blow it.) ANYWAY. I go in and it's colorful and full of art and happy kids and all that, yay. There were two rows of hooks for the kids' coats, and right above one of the hooks: Jane. Pow.

Ah, must be Random Thursday.

I ran the rest of my errands with a stone in my gut.

But when I came home and checked the mail, I found this:

And on the back was this:

And my balance was restored. The Post Office works in mysterious ways.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Or Maybe...

This is pretty fun, playing with all this bloggy design stuff. I'm going to keep futzing around, I think, until I get tired of trying new things on and just go with whatever's on when I stop. Which, come to think of it, is exactly how I get dressed.

Anyway, in the works: GARDEN. YES.

I finished the digging this morning. I have to keep reminding myself that it's just a start, and that next year I'll have something to build on and expand from, blah blah blah. (And, yes, that is an almost three-foot length of 2 x 4 I dug out of the ground, where it was buried vertically -- but why? What was it there for?) So this is about 36 square feet. Just enough room for two long mounded beds, where I can finally plant my sad tomatoes and broccoli and start some pathetically late other veggies.

Problem is, I've got this in mind and I want it NOW:

 Or this:

Or at the very least this:

Damn you, Martha Stewart, raiser of my expectations!

I did dig up some cool stuff, though.

I love that part of starting a new garden. Accidental archaeology.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trying Something On For Size

Blogger's thrown up some new templates. What do you think? Too cutesy? Too Spring 2010?

While you're pondering these critical design issues, here's something more to take a gander at:

I finished the bathmat.

I crocheted a bowl.

And I started a new blanket for Sarah (sorry about the lighting -- it's bright white and grassy green in real life).

This week? VEGETABLE GARDEN. Even if it's only six square feet. Even if it kills me. 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I ran! A little! But still!

The loop from home to Sarah's school and back is 2.6 miles. I'm going to estimate running about a mile and a half (a mile in one go!). And here's what I learned:

1) Running with a jogging stroller kind of sucks.

2) I still run on the outsides of my feet. 

3) Breathing hurts.

4) The one place that didn't burn was my feet. Yay shoes!

5) I'm going to do it again tomorrow.

Monday, June 7, 2010


So, this weekend I went to a couple of plant sales. Because I am an addict. I go to these things and am all, "Yay perennials! Ooh! What's-that-must-have-it-don't-know-where-to-put-it-who-cares pretty pretty pretty wheeee!" (And yet I still haven't planted the vegetable garden. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?)

Ahem. So, I went to a couple of plant sales and on the drive from the first to the second, I was feeling... off. Just weird. Kinda down, kinda anxious. Stomach in knots. Weird. I'm not an anxious person, and it was a beautiful day and I was doing something I love. What the hell? And then it hit me. Last year, the afternoon after I went to these very same plant sales I started bleeding. I mean, really bleeding after weeks of on and off spotting. I was all of twenty weeks pregnant. Ah HA!

Apparently the body holds memories of its own.

So, it would seem this is the beginning of the anniversaries. I'm not good with anniversaries (just ask Tom, poor fella). And to top it off, I'm PMS-y, which is just, you know, AWESOME. From here on out, every day is another anniversary of when everything went to hell. Yeah. Feeling stunningly well equipped to deal.

On the other hand, I AM stunningly well equipped for my inaugural run. Sneakers, check! Running shorts, check! Ratty t-shirts, check! Strong and limber body, AHAHAHAHA. If any of my muscles haven't seized up in unyielding cramps afterward, I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Shoes

Dudes. Shoes:

I was so tempted to get a newfangled pair of Nike Pegasus, but these were cushy and they seemed to fit my feet pretty well and they were on sale sooo...

Sarah went shopping with me yesterday and raced me through the store each time I tried on a new pair of sneaks. It was awfully cute. Then we went home and she insisted on a full costume change into a running outfit so we could go for our First Run around the block.

We just happened to end up at the Meadow Mart, where they have a cooler full of summery treats. Sarah came home with this:


It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nu Shooz

Hi. So. So, you know how I've been walking Sarah to school lately? Did I mention that? I promised her that I'd walk her in the stroller to school on fine days, and I've been keeping up with it for the most part. 1.3 miles each way according to Mapquest (or Google, I forget), so I'm walking a minimum of 2.6 miles, and often 5.2 miles, each nice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Not bad, right?

So, a funny thing has been happening lately. Walking has been feeling... slow. You know, as if I were walking. Sarah's in this great jogging stroller and I? I am not jogging. Walking briskly (about 4 miles an hour), but definitely not jogging. And I caught myself thinking today that I'd like to have some running shoes.

My sister is staggered. So is Tom.

Why? Because I haven't deliberately exercised since 1992. No, wait, I played indoor soccer for a season or two in the mid-nineties. Fifteen years.

And here's the funny thing. It's been so long since I was even remotely interested in anything like working out that I have not got a single appropriate piece of clothing for it. Okay, fine, I have t-shirts. You win. I have no appropriate footwear. To wit, I give you the last pair of running shoes I bought:

Look at those babies! They're so old school they deserve some Hipstamatic love:

Ah, the good old Nike Pegasus. Look at that swoosh. Do they even make them like that any more? (Oh. It would seem they kinda do.)

I totally remember buying these with my dad. We drove all the way up to Newport to get them. See, I grew up in a small town. No, smaller. Whatever you're thinking, it was smaller. The last census put the population at about 1100 people, but that includes all four villages in the area. So we didn't exactly have a sporting goods store up the street. 

I was a little bit of a jock in high school: soccer, mainly, but also dabbled in lacrosse, softball and basketball. I even tried squash once. (We quickly parted ways.) I took sports seriously, and my dad took sports really seriously. So we hopped in the car and drove the thirty or so miles to get me properly outfitted for running at my new boarding school. Dad insisted on the best, and we were told these were the best. As I recall, they cost us $65. That was a lot of money in '85. But they got me through three years of high school soccer and lacrosse and another two years of college soccer. Totally worth it.

But I suspect that running shoe engineering has changed a bit in the last (OHMYGOD) twenty-five years. I suspect you can probably now get a degree in engineering running shoes. I have no idea what a person like me would need. Besides shoes with an instep and soles that don't flap when you take a step. 

I used to love running. I used to be so strong and so quick. And I can sort of feel a little bit of that speed waiting in my legs. Somebody give me a clue as to how to let it out. Totally for reals. What does a small woman need for a 2.5 to 5 mile run on (mostly paved) roads? Any thoughts? Anyone?