Sunday, May 26, 2013

lessons in gratitude #2

I'm feeling tender and vulnerable the last few days. There are definitely more tender days now that I'm a mother than before; there's just something painful about watching your own inner child learn to toddle around.

We put him down for his nap this afternoon, thinking it was a good day to snuggle up in bed, read a book, and take a nap ourselves. Of course the baby didn't want to sleep. He fussed and yelled. Then there was a period of silence long enough to make us think that maybe he'd fallen to sleep. But then he'd fuss some more and we'd hear him standing in his crib and dropping things on the floor. We brought him to bed with us, hoping he'd vibe with us and we'd all fall asleep, but of course he just wanted to crawl all over us and pull my hair.

Anyway... eventually I got up, and fed him an avocado and some leftover pasta, but we were both annoyed with each other and not very friendly. He tried to make peace by offering me some rotini with his slimy little hand. He is so cute and sweet, and his heart is so pure that my heart melted and I felt like such a jerk for letting him fuss in his crib for so long. I let him put the pasta in my mouth, and I praised him for being such a generous little boy and thanked him for thinking of me. We played on the floor for awhile. I was so impressed with how he's understanding more words and he's getting so much better at moving through space and manipulating objects. When he smiles at me we share such a beautiful feeling of pleasure.

Then it was bedtime so we took a bath. He likes to drink water from a black mug with a panda face on it. We played with the rubber duckies. He likes it when I put one on my head, and when it falls off he stands up and puts it back on my head. He smiles and laughs and squirms with pleasure. His little belly was all sticking out, full of avocado and noodles, and his little hands dart everywhere like fish.

We play a game when we get out of the tub. I toss him on the bed and rub him vigorously with a towel to dry him. He tries to get away, but I catch him and say, "Is the baby dry yet? Nooo!" And I toss him back on the bed and dry him some more. He thinks it's sooo funny. He laughs and laughs and kicks his feet in the air, flips over like a turtle and tries to crawl away again. We do this 3 or 4 times before I take him to his room to dress him for bed. He was trying to squirm off the changing table as I was strapping his diaper on, so I sang "You are My Sunshine" and he quieted a little. I kept singing and making up verses as I put his pajamas on.

It is night, dear, and time for sleeping
You are tired, so am I
But when you wake, dear,
we'll have breakfast.
I will love you all of your life.

Things felt right with us when I put him down, and he went right to sleep. I still feel like a jerk, though. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

How I'm Protecting Basil from Slugs without Chemicals

We love our basil, strawberries, and other tender, green, leafy things. So do the slugs and snails! I am having good luck with the copper tape you can buy at the nursery in the pest control section: just wrap it around the flower pot so no slimy critters can cross. I think the tape cost about $7 for 15 feet, so that will get costly if you have large pots to line.

So, I looked in the plumbing secion. I wanted something copper and round to place around the stem of my plants, and I found copper plumber's tape, which costs $3 for 10 feet on amazon, and you use much less.
I just cut off a piece about 6 inches long, fashioned it into a circle, tied it together with garden twine, and set it on the soil around the base of my plant.
We'll see how this works over the season, but I feel clever and hopeful.

How do you protect your garden from slimy pests?

From The Farm Blog Hop

Saturday, May 11, 2013

What's happening in the garden in May?

We are anticipating a bumper crop this year. The garden is growing and looking healthy. We do have a slug problem, I just need to go on some midnight slug hunting trips. Come by for a meal or some tomatoes.

Cherokee purple, Tye Dye, and a zucchini plant are all setting fruit in barrel number one.

This is the Eight-Ball zucchini. I pulled out the roma tomato that was in this barrel, and now it is taking over. We'll probably be harvesting the first zucchini in 2 weeks or so. I should really learn how to cook the squash blossoms, because aren't those everyone's favorite part of the squash season?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Yoghurt love

Yogurt is not something I've ever thought much about. I enjoy it, from time to time, with granola and berries or on top of something spicy instead of sour cream. I usually have a plain, whole-milk yogurt on hand; the baby likes it and it's useful and tasty.

But all that changed recently when I met Noosa Yoghurt. It is thick but velvety, sweet and tangy, indulgent but healthful. It is perfect, flavorful, and impossibly delicious. My husband and I were enjoying the mango flavor for a late-night snack and wondering how it could possibly be made better. It is too good to sully with granola and fruit. We thought for a moment, smacking our lips and licking our spoons. "This would be so good in a crepe," I said. And the next day we did just that.

Noosa Yoghurt Crepe 

Mix up your favorite crepe batter and cook up some crepes.
Spread with Noosa yoghurt.
Fold in half, then in quarters.
Eat while still hot.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The humble artichoke

I can't eat an artichoke without remembering this passage from Jeanette Winterson's The Powerbook:

The artichoke arrived and I began to peel it away, fold by fold, layer by layer, dipping it. There is no secret about eating artichoke, or what the act resembles. Nothing else gives itself up so satisfyingly towards its centre. Nothing else promises and rewards. The tiny hairs are part of the pleasure.What should I have eaten?
Beetroot, I suppose.

A friend once warned me never to consider taking as a lover anyone who disliked either artichokes or champagne. That was good advice, but better advice might have been never to order artichokes or champagne with someone who should not be your lover.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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