Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some small accomplishments, and small big things

I got some stuff planted! Yay! After the whole leg injury fiasco, I feared I would have to live yet another year without even really attempting to grow food. But! I got some herbs planted, some strawberries planted, some zucchini planted. I know I know... zucchini grows crazy amounts of veggies! I like zucchini bread though, and it freezes really well, and I learned a couple years ago how to make double batches of muffin batter, pour it into paper-cup-lined muffin tins, and freeze the batter unbaked. Then you pop those babies out, put them into a ziploc, and when you want some fresh muffins, just put the cups back into the muffin tin, and put it into the oven. Don't even have to adjust the bake time or temp. Maybe just a hair, but it's then 17 minutes instead of 14 or something. So, lots and lots and lots of zucchini muffins all winter! Fillin' the deep freeze, yo!

Let's see... other small accomplishments... got the big book of my mom's memoirs transcribed. While this is actually fairly monumental, it is a small thing in the big picture. Very happy to get that done. Just two small books and the stuff Hannah's working on, and I can put the whole behemothic thing together! I think I may have to print it to proof it effectively. Ack! It's gonna be almost a freakin' ream of paper! Not really even kidding... solid 350-400 pages. And then standardizing the format... not really sure how one goes about that, but I'm going to try to figure it out. I'm sure I have a Word book somewhere around these here parts...

And, most awesomely, one small big thing is that Cassady will be here in ONE WEEK!!! You know, seeing your 20 year old daughter is a small thing, it would seem, but it is HUGE here in our house. We haven't seen her in 7 months. Connor has grown and changed, she has grown and changed (differently, but, well... you know...) and, she had her 20th birthday far from home. The day after she gets here is her brother's 18th birthday, so I get to perform a small gesture for them that is a big deal for me:
For perhaps (quite likely) the last time, I will get to prepare my traditional birthday breakfast for my kids. Hers will be late, but they will be together in my house, and they will get pancakes, with the number of years they've inhabited the planet placed carefully in chocolate chips, fresh strawberries circling the edge, and whipped cream surrounding the whole shebang. I am giddy! It's such a little thing... strawberry-chocolate chip pancakes. It's so huge... I'll be putting a '20' on one and an '18' on the other. My last baby enters adulthood in the legal sense. It's a huge day. I'm feeling it. Even though he's been on his own almost a year, and she's been coming and going for several years now, the reality that Jorma is a legal adult, he needs my permission for nothing, is responsible for his own self, can vote, can get his own passport... it's just really a turning point, a new place in our relationship, a new place in his life.

I've never been one to dread the empty nest. In fact, I was looking really really forward to the empty nest. I got Connor, so the nest had to quickly be rethatched, but I am so proud that I have raised independent, competent young adults. And yet... the passage of 'children' is a profound moment in parenting. Small... just one day turning into another. Huge... they are now truly responsible for their own actions, the consequences, and off in the world, traveling, finding their own joys, experiencing their own sorrows, not coming home to share their triumphs and tragedies. Dealing with adult life, as adults in the world.

Wow. Just... wow.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter weekend

This weekend was a trip. I was late in starting projects, so, though I got eggs dyed (used beets and onion skins! It was awesome!), I didn't get the little thingies to put bits of candy in, and I didn't succeed on the first round of nest-making. So, we have lovely eggs and extra dye in the fridge, candy in the cupboard (YAY!!) and little nests on the counter.


I'll get it more together next year.

In other news, I turned 44 on Saturday! Jim pooped out on me, the result of the major painkillers he'd taken on Friday for a tooth extraction. It was all good though. I went to Founder's, saw some good friends, heard some good music, and had a great time!

I also finally took the leap and covered my gray hair. With purple. The first round, I used a dye I was not super familiar with. Cassady had gotten this particular type during her last round of color-dying. I think she had some bright blue and some green maybe. It didn't take all that well, and started out looking faded and sorta lavenderyish rather than PURPLE. So, yesterday I picked up the old standby Manic Panic Purple Haze, and lo and behold! The gray is PURPLE! Yay!!! Stoked!!! Connor wanted his green. Good ol' food coloring for him... he's looking adorable today... crunchy curls where we didn't rinse out the color, which has a good bit of vinegar, and he's taken to my hair clips, so he's got silver grabby clips on either side of his curly green head. Now I'm gonna put him in some jeans and some Converse, and go out shopping, and cause the general public to wonder why that darling little girl is dressed like a boy. LOL! I gotta get his Easter gift clothing from Gramma Julie and Grampa Ed in the wash. What a great Target shopper Grampa is! Awesome black Shaun White skateboarder t-shirt, jean shorts, and a Shaun White flannel, gray and purple plaid. He looks uber cool in his duds with his black high-tops, and his long curls. As Connor puts it, "Just like Shaun White, but his curls are red, and mine are golden." Yes, child, they are, as golden as your personality. So, I totally have to get him all skater-boy dressed, and put the clips in his green hair, and get him out on his board. He can actually kinda flip the thing! Fearless...

So I was checking out Good Eats last night, late o'clock, and Alton MADE garam masala. Soooo going to go get some more whole spices and make that! Chicken Tikka Masala on Basmati tonight! Oh yeah! Next time, if the whole sauce thing works out, I'll do it with tofu maybe. For Jorma's birthday feed maybe... I can use soy yogurt, and his vegan friends will swoon at my feet. Yeasssssss.... 'tis goooood....

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Early spring in Michigan

It has been soooo beautiful here in West Michigan. Barely spring, and the trees are leafing out, flowers are blooming, and we haven't closed the windows, even at night, for 4 days. Connor has spent hours and hours in the back yard, and the block is full of kids and dogs that we'll be meeting this spring and summer.

And yet, yesterday was totally one. of. those. days. And I'm aggravated and frustrated in a very general way. Why? I can't go enjoy a leisurely walk in this gorgeous weather. I can't take the dog for a walk, I can't take Connor to the park, and Connor is suddenly an obstinate little turkey. He is simply ignoring every. word. out of my mouth. At the height of my frustration last night, I asked Why? Why are you not listening to my words? His response? I just do whatever I want to do.

Great. 15 should be super fun.

So here we are... me in my boot, dog freshly spayed and a little wonky, Jim with a sore mouth from a tooth extraction yesterday, a boy who 'just does whatever he wants', and today, my 44th birthday, I woke up with a screaming headache (love the spring, hate the pollen) and my period. Happy birthday to me.

Yawn. I wish to go back to bed.

But what I'm going to do is try to find my kitchen again today, boil some eggs, make some dye (onion skin and beet), put the purple in my hair (I finally have what I deem to be enough gray to make it a worthy endeavor), put some food color dye in Connor's hair (he wants it green), make some felt egg pouches, and go out to hear Ribbons of Song at Founder's tonight.

And try really really really hard not to trip over the dog, lose patience with the boy, or get bitchy with the hubs. We'll see how it goes.....