Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Local language & Garden update

An Internet group I belong to has been discussing proposals and engagement stories and it got me thinking about me own engagement and it got me thinking about girl-ask-guy dances (etc.), which led me to search for the word Tolo. In the small Pacific Northwest town I grew up in that was what the Sadie Hawkins' Day type dances were always called and a vaguely wondered why, but not enough to ever ask anyone. I never attended one anyway, so it didn't matter much to me.

Anyway, so today I type it in and head to the Wikipedia answer and am startled. This term is completely geographically local and it has a rich and interesting history! It comes from a local "language" called Chinook Jargon, which was a trading language used by the coastal Native American tribes (and other people as they moved in) from Canada to Oregon up through the first part of the century. I was surprised to find out the words muckymuck (as in high mucky-muck) and hooch (as in home made liquor) are part of this language and have become common in other parts of the country as well--probably made so by traders. Totally random, but very cool!

Our veggie peeler died. We needed a new one. We went to Target and found this one!It is the sharpest thing I've ever peeled with, is ergonomic to the max and is a visual delight to use. I've begun to brighten up my kitchen drawers as my old black plastic dollar store cooking utensils fall apart and I have to say that my new red spatula cheers me considerably at breakfast time. I've made pancakes more times since I got it then I have in my entire adult life! After twelve years of marriage, some stuff just wears out--like the kitchen things you brought to the union!

Garden update!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


I don't know why I've been struggling so much to find my balance lately. Today's lesson in Relief Society at church was about "the one". The one who feels alienated, lost, confused or lonely within the congregation (and the world as a whole I suppose). I think that "the one" is often a person you might not expect her to be--she can be a pretty good faker. I've been her. Frankly, I think we all feel this way at some point in our lives. The lesson progressed and I spoke up more than usual, which felt a little awkward today. We talked about it being difficult to move out of our own minds and concerns enough to reach out, about how we need the connections even though they can be hard to make.

I found this quote today at Magpie Girl's blog and it brought tears to my eyes because it captures perfectly the kind of person I want to be.

May the blessing of light be upon you--
Light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great fire,
So that stranger and friend may come and warm themselves at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
Like a candle set in the window of a house,
Bidding the wanderer to come in out of the storm.

~ a traditional Celtic blessing

Sundays are often hard days for me. I love church and yet I struggle to enjoy the process of getting there (which I am doing alone since my husband leaves several hours early for his own stuff) and the dealing with wild children during meetings which are supposed to be sort of quiet and that feeling that everyone is looking and wondering who I am and what I think I am doing. Self-induced I know, which is why I still do my best to show up each week. It's my issue and I own it and am working to change the part of myself that feels so much worry and stress about measuring up sometimes.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Today after the meetings, a woman stopped me to tell me that she saw me tumble in late this morning, dragging squirmy kids, and felt a pang for me. She spent a lot of years doing that, she said, and she knew how it felt and how hard it could be to keep yourself moving, to feel like it was worth the superhuman effort to not just give up and go home and cry. Lately, I have found myself surrounded by more experienced mothers who have reached out to let me know I am doing pretty good and that it's all going to be okay eventually--what a comfort.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Time flies...

Where did June go?

We've spent a lot of time in the garden. We picked out first 3 strawberries this morning. One even looked like it could have come from the store! we have tiny pea pods, tiny green tomatoes and microscopic zucchini. The flowers are awesome this year--or at least more awesome than I've been able to make happen in the past--so if you live near me you might find some on your doorstep! I finally got the herb bed dealt with as well and while my purple basil died, my neighbor gave me some great plants and I have an amazing lime oregano and pineapple sage! Pineapple sage actually smells like pineapple! I'll post the before and after photos next time.
Princess had her first real dance recital this week. The wore a white satin and sequined tutu and had a great time! I had a fiasco while trying to shop locally and order new tights so she wore the old ones with a huge black (irremovable) spot on the knee. We took dinner to the studio staff for the dress rehearsal and that was fun. Tuscan Chicken Salad, fruit salad, fresh rustic bread from Costco, chocolate and lemon-strawberry cupcakes Princess helped make and mints to deal with the after effects of the garlicky meal. Princess played hostess and gave everyone mints and drinks and it was cute. She performed Thursday and the show went smoothly and was lots of fun (even though we were close to late because I lost the tickets--a nice man let us in anyway thank heavens). Friday night I went to help backstage during the show since I didn't want to miss seeing Princess on Thursday but still wanted to help. The most polite thing I can say about that experience is that is didn't kill me. I frankly have no clue how the Gosselins manage six 3-year-olds . . . but it wasn't (as usual) the kids that were really the problem. My friend Joan P. came to see the show and I really enjoyed having her there. Bear slept for that last hour but really seemed to enjoy it until we hit bedtime. No screaming and no removing him though! How's that for a miracle?!

I love my new massage therapist and finally am making really good progress again! She has two kids about the ages of mine, and she's good at her job and a lovely commiserator and problem solver when it comes to parenting. Some people prefer silent massages--I've been blessed with MTs who like to talk as much as I do and we have a ton of fun! I leave feeling physically better and mentally refreshed. Maybe after I finish the treatments (probably before the summer is out) we can meet at the park with our kids!

Father's Day was pretty mellow. My husband got cards from me, the kids and the cat, pajamas (his request), and photos of me with the kids. I voluntarily get photographed maybe twice a year. Christmas with the whole family and Father's Day with the kids for my husband. This year my quota is already filled because of the 4-generation photos we took in Boise with my mom and grandma, so if I'm going to be in the Christmas card I'll need to buck up once more.

Baby bear has been growing like crazy. He has 8 teeth and is working on more, is walking by himself a good 6 steps at a time, has massively increased his hair output and had his first all-kid food meal for lunch today! Sliced penne noodles (so they look like cheerios), mozzarella cheese and peaches. He thought it was quite novel and ate a lot once I took the way-more-fun-than-eating bowl away from him.

Bear has also managed to tear down the horrid vertical blinds in the living room and escape repeatedly. This has caused us to get new blinds that we can actually raise high enough for him to not destroy and rearrange the baby gate configuration. I was not happy I was going to need to buy more and then the same day I was going to go get them, a lady posted on freecycle that she was giving away the exact gate I needed in the exact size I needed!!! When I emailed her she had offered it to someone else and I was sad, but then she sent me back a note saying the other person had declined! So I got a brand new one of these for free! This has allowed us a safe place for the Bear again since we have enough gates to block off both exits from the living room now.

This week Princess started swimming lessons! She's like a little fish and just loving it. She's going to the city pool twice a week in the morning and is in a class with about six other kids. Bear and I sit and watch--he's fascinated and sleepy from the heat so he's quiet. I look over my list for the day and smile, wave and give the thumbs up sign as needed.

Yesterday we went to a local historical working farm for an arts, crafts and animal feeding class for Princess. It was a gorgeous day and they had peacocks roaming the grounds and Bear and I just walked (yes he walked a lot of it) and enjoyed the sun while Princess did her thing. There was this amazing white peacock trying to dig herself a shady hole in the ground. Weirdest thing I've seen in awhile--it looked like a cat wanting its tummy rubbed!
We've also made Jell-O jigglers, toilet paper butterflies, tried out a local church playgroup, been to the library a lot, played a lot of dress up, and enjoyed our brief moments of sunshine. All in all, it has been a busy and lovely month!