Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thank you Gerry

Estate sales are always a mix of sadness and elation. Digging through a lifetime of someone's possesions not only feels voyeuristic, but also reminds me of how brief our time here is and how I too one day will be reduced to the rubble of my possesions here in the tangible world.

I came home $3.00 lighter with a box full of wrapping paper and vintage cards received on a marriage and new home and a cute green box with blank flowered notecards, very 1960s. Micaela wanted to know more about the woman whose stuff we were picking through and asked the person who ran the estate sale. She worked her whole life as a nurse, her mother had been a chemist and she loved to collect art. In among the papers I found her wedding announcement in the Binghamton, N.Y. Sunday Press Former City Girl Wed to Texan in New York City Ceremony. There were also pictures of her and her husband and a pay stub from 1969. She looks so beautiful and full of life in the picture, a reminder to me that life is what I've got right here in front of me. I need to give it my full attention.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Every Wednesday I spend the first 6 hours of my day at my co-op job. Then I come home with a box full of beautiful produce and start dreaming up all the wonderful things I will make with the bounty. Not pictured are the Portobellos that I sauteed with spinach and topped with mozzarella, parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil for dinner.

Some of my earliest memories are of co-ops; Glut and Beautiful Day, in Maryland, to be exact. It was the early 70s and my mom even started her very own produce co-op with some other women she knew. As a kid I sometimes found the co-op funky; all the bulk food came out of barrels (sometimes complete with weevils), the cheese was bulk cut and sometimes moldy and there was just a smell, a very special co-op smell that existed nowhere else. That smell means home to me now. When I first walked into the building of my previous co-op home the smell took me back to my childhood! The funny thing is my parents were not even remotely considered hippies food was just very important to my mother and she certainly passed that on to me.

My new co-op is very different from the last, but there is still a real sense of community and generosity of knowledge about all kinds of things; community resources, gardening, cooking, health....If I need to know something about anything chances are someone there has the answer or at least the map to more information. I'm going to be taking on some more hours there coordinating and organizing volunteers starting next week. I talked to my mom on the phone tonight and she told me that she never hears me happier than when I am cooking, baking or talking about food. I think she is right.

Something else that makes me happy is my new wheel and its bobbin capacity. This is my first spun up skein all 309 yards of it! The wool itself is nothing special I didn't want to practice on a new wheel with luxe wool, but I am very happy with how it turned out.

Now I'm awaiting 5 pounds of Merino superwash from my friend Halyna's farm in NY.

My Knitpicks package arrived today with the yarn for this:

Veronik Avery's Prairie Tunic from Interweave Knits Spring 2006

My friend E. will be 40 in June and I promised her this for her birthday. I just may have to make another for myself. Veronik Avery is probably my very favorite knitwear designer.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

The circle of life

It was an absolutely gorgeous day today. The weather was perfect; sunny, breezy not too hot or cold. We spent the morning outside weeding and pruning. They are everywhere in our backyard, but still feel very exotic to me:
a Green Anole.

After lunch al fresco we went out for New York Super Fudge Chunk, Ben and Jerry's finest, and then to a park to unsuccesfully launch our kite. We ended up playing frisbee. When we got home and opened the door Micaela noticed this:
a Green Anole.

This time on the inside of the door. It looks fossilized and I can't believe we never noticed it before. Maybe it should gross me out, but I think it looks kind of cool.


Friday, April 13, 2007

While I've been gone...

The girls in Galveston last Saturday.

Micaela and I processed 15 pounds of these today. For those in Northern climes they are
Loquats and Houston is rife with them at the moment. I'd never come across one until we moved here, but they seem to be a purely homegrown fruit. I've never seen them in the stores. We planted a tree in our front yard,but until it produces we are counting on the kindness of neighbors and friends. The mom of one of Sofia's friends dropped off two full grocery bags of them on Wednesday. I noticed that the neighbor just across from us, a widow in her 80s, has a tree she didn't seem to be picking so I walked over there this morning and asked her if she'd mind if we picked them for her. After climbing the tree and wrestling with a large thorny bush I netted two more bags, plus some for her, and a visit inside to see some of her amazing paintings and to hear wonderful stories about her life during World War II and the "dustbowl" of Amarillo Texas where she is originally from.

Loquats taste something like apricots, but have more seeds and are thus more work to prepare for canning. I owe the loquat donors a jar of jam and some homemade bread.
Good jam, all 19 jars of it! Bad picture....

In other news:
-I got a new wheel, and responsibly sold my old one to finance it. The new wheel is a Lendrum DT, my old wheel an Ashford Traveller.

-Tomorrow I'm taking Sofia to see Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing at Main Street Theater. I have lots of memories of this book, which I read several times as a child. Remember Fudge and Dribble?

-I did a fiscally non-responsible thing and bought tickets to see my mom and assorted friends, in the DC Metro area, in July.

-Micaela was accepted into the high school we hoped for, she is very happy and so are we.

-New plants in the yard: jellybean tomatoes, yellow pear tomatoes, Juliet Tomato plant and a Roma. I went on a snail eradication mission today. The mystery of disappearing plants has been solved. Truth be told I think snails are cute, but I discovered where they hang out during the day. A regular snail convention I tell you!

-Birds continue to be a surprising source of pleasure here. All my life, since I was a child, I have been part of a bird watching family. The variety of birds to be seen here rivals anywhere else I've ever lived. We're participating in this great Urban Birds project, there is a fantastic packet of info and fun stuff to do with kids that you can download or ask them to send to you.

-I'm still at loose ends, but working on it. 5 moves, none of the places within even 1000 miles of each other, in 10 years might be pushing my moving mojo just a bit.

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