Friday, August 17, 2007

A fruitful summer

Jam #1: Strawberry rhubarb with Mom's help (June)

Jam #2: Peach--on my own! (August)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Not on the list!

A week or two ago I wrote down on a page in my calendar a list of things I'd like to do before going back to school for preplanning. On it were things like wash the windows, work on my reading and writing curricula, finish my Great Conversation reading for this month, etc. I clearly did not write down totalling my car on that list!

Obviously, life is not controlled by lists. However, I'm trying to work on that mental bitterness that creeps in every so often so I'll try and make a new list of things I'm grateful that the one who controls life took care of:
  • no one was hurt
  • no screaming or yelling or crying happened after the fact from the other driver or me
  • both parties had insurance
  • my friend J. and her newborn that I was supposed to have lunch with were not in the car
  • my husband was able to get there really quickly to deal with the tow truck guy
  • while the first cop who handled it wasn't nice, he wasn't mean either
The details: I was taking a left turn and I think (when you hear people say "it all happened so fast", they're right) I misjudged how far away the oncoming car in the opposite lane was. All I know for sure is that I saw it right there at the last minute and slammed on the brake but it was too late. The second scariest moment after that one was when I tried to get out of the car and the door wouldn't open all the way--I had visions of those tv shows in which the crashed car bursts into flame or explodes on impact. But I managed to get myself out and I remembered to take my purse and insurance info.

Poor car. Below you can see a picture I took with my cell phone. As R. said, it was our first car together and it was good to us. It even appeared in one of his paintings.

My former smiley car on the right

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New Things

What is it about the newness of new things that makes them so attractive to me? I don't think I'm alone in this but I always seem to get excited about trying new things that I've purchased. The new thing could be as simple as a new hair product or as complicated as a new pattern for knitting. But there's something about the newness that gets me. I always have to wear new clothes right after I get them and my husband will tell you I have difficulty finishing off the old cereal before opening a new box.

In some ways this isn't a bad thing. My CSA gives me new and different fruits and veggies every week which forces me to come up with new recipes. And I'm all for breaking from routine in cooking. Today I was especially excited to get blackberries which were a surprise (not on the email list) and a new thing.

But also this love for the new can make me a bad finisher or bad at continuing things. For example, I get excited about joining new groups on the internet, like facebook or blogging, but then I lose interest when something else new comes up or when I get too busy. My blog and lack of emails to friends and family are evidence enough. So maybe I need to find ways to make the old seem new again and/or apportion new things so they don't take over. My new knitting project can't be started until September since I signed up for the knitalong--maybe then I can focus on other things first. But the yarn is really nice. . .

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Pigeon Boy

On Monday, I worked for a few hours at my school's day camp. Normally this is something I would avoid--day camps on the subway make me change cars! But, it was just for the afternoon and it's a pretty small group. While I was there, we went to the library and the playground. The youngest kid, J., was this little blond curly-headed boy who was about 3. He was looking at a book titled something like, Where's the Mouse? in which a mouse is hiding on every page but the people can't find it. I was impressed by his knowledge of how books work--at one point "NO MOUSE!" was written in large letters and he said his version "WHERE'S THE MOUSE?" very loudly. How did he know big letters meant yelling? Also, the camp is focusing on France this week and the librarian had showed them several books written by French authors or that took place in France. When J. got to the end of his mouse book, he looked at the author's photo and said, as if he was reading that part, "This book is from France." It wasn't but he was applying what he had just heard.

Then he asked me to read him The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Another teacher had commented before about his lack of attention span where books were concerned but I didn't find that to be true. He had trouble paying attention to a 6 year old reading to him but I don't think that's unusual--you need to be a teacher or parent for that type of attention. Anyway, I read to him and every page or so, he'd say, "Excuse me. Where did the trees go?" or "Excuse me, why can't you see his face?" When another child came over, he said, "Excuse me. Look, all the trees are gone." At one point I thought it might make him sad because all the animals were leaving and getting sick but he seemed to get the idea of planting the seeds for the Truffula Trees. Although at first he was telling me about how tree tape would fix them all.

The best part was the park, though. J. asked to be my partner to cross the street and he held my hand very well until we got to the sidewalk where he saw a pigeon. He immediately ran after it and then happily came back and took my hand again when it flew away. Evidently he does this often so I knew to keep an eye on him when the next one came. I asked him, "What would you do if you actually caught one?" Without a pause, he replied, "Eat it." My sister R. used to chase pigeons (would they be considered invasive species?) so that she could kick them. I don't think she ever thought about other options for pigeons.

Knitting and beets

I spent a lot of energy and thought yesterday on both subjects. I've joined this Knitalong thing which I think is basically an online group that works through a knitting pattern together, posting questions, comments, photos etc. I'm pretty excited about it because it's a complicated pattern (cables and lace) and the yarn looks beautiful. First I have to finish this scarf I'm doing for Hope for NY's homeless knitting project but I think it's almost done. The hard part will be not starting on the new project until September!

As for beets, since I got my CSA veggies yesterday, I decided to make a beet and beet greens salad with feta which I've made before. Well, for some reason, the beets took extra long to roast and the water in the bottom of the pan evaporated. I kept checking them and they just seemed so hard still after 1 hour and 15 minutes. So finally I yanked them out of the pan, wrapped them in foil and put them in for 10 minutes at a higher temp. I think that's the only way I'll make them from now on. And then peeling them took forever too so once the salad was finally ready, I didn't really feel like eating it. Maybe they'll taste better today since they won't be tainted by all that labor. According to Martha, I should rub them with a paper towel to peel them. Live and learn.