Vacation was lovely. It was quiet and relaxing, and mostly really nice to watch my parents play with my little girl. We dipped our toes in the lake, we read, we drew lovely scribbly pictures, we ate scrumptious food, and we enjoyed the scenery. I also played a nice tight game of scrabble with my folks, which I really want to do more often.
Now I’m busy with the buzz that inevitably comes with the summer months. Everyone is out and social, things are happening and in the air. Right now we have lots of people around us- two good friends staying with us at the moment (one actually just went home to NJ this morning), so there’s never a lonely meal around here, plus a steady stream of friends and family. It doesn’t overwhelm me, surprisingly. I get plenty of privacy if I need it (usually in the form of a nice long bath or a book outside on the hammock chair), and I really just love the feeling that I’m a part of a community and am needed by people. I mean, these are my friends. Lets just say I’m happy we have a dishwasher. I have this beautiful house that just landed in our laps, and it’s just a real blessing to be able to share it. I’m just feeling grateful. My brother and his girlfriend will stay with us next month, too, when he visits from Texas.
New development- In the fall we’ve decided to rent our basement out to our old housemate (who’s practically family), and that will be fun, but also great in terms of the financial boost. We could use some wiggle room in that arena. So, in the next month we’ll be taking on projects down there (it’s partially finished). We’re getting carpet for the parts he’ll live in, painting and hanging fabric over the concrete walls and the furnace and water heater and stuff, and building a little kitchen for him. There’s already a full bathroom, a separate entrance, and a good amount of light, although we may add a bigger window at some point. He’s excited (plus we’re throwing in all utilities and I’m already his cleaning lady). I’m just feeling really good about sharing this place, like I’m just supposed to do it.
The garden is starting to say "EAT ME EAT ME NOWWWWW!!!" and I’m already beginning to strategize about how to store things. I’m glad I didn’t let my late start deter me. I’m having lovely and delicious salads every day, and there’s more to come. I can’t seem to get sick of grilled zucchini, and arugula makes my heart skip a beat, I love it so much. I’m starting to think about succession planting, which I’ve never done before (for things like carrots and beets and turnips, also lettuce which I plan to build a screen for in the heat of August). I sometimes surprise myself with my ambition, which I’m lucky enough to have paired with a it’s-no-big-deal-if-it-fails attitude. I’m of course majorly behind on weeding, but whatever. Some of the weeds are edible anyway. It’s just fun, and always a learning experience. Our neighbors are really supportive of our efforts and Jeff overheard some people say they were inspired by it all. That makes it all worthwhile. I really want people to WANT to grow their own food, and if I have any influence on that… well, lets just say I’ll be extremely gratified. I’ve been meditating a lot on this quote, which I’ve shared before, but want to share again:
"I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit." (Dawna Markova)
Mostly that last sentence. So good.
Anyway, Vera has also been amazing. She’s had some kind of a mental spurt and is talking up a storm. Her comprehension is great, and she’s definitely entering that "I’m an autonomous human being, Mama!" or what others like to think of as the "NO!" phase. It’s all beautiful and hilarious and tiring and… I love being a mama. She’s so bright and funny, and boy am I lucky to know her.
So, of course there’s lots of new baby. She’s beautiful, isn’t she?
She’s naturally gravitated towards all things baby, and she even pretends to nurse her dolls sometimes. It’s adorable.
I took this picture just because… well. They’re just funny, those papas out there. I was on my way out, I think for an appointment with a doula client, and Jeff was taking the "fam" for a walk. I noticed that he’d put mismatched shoes on her feet, and was covering her (I think it was a strangely chilly evening) with a towel. If anything, we’ve got too many baby blankets, but whatever. I know that she’ll be warm and has adequate footwear… it’s just funny. When I said "Are those two different shoes?" he was just like "Huh? Oh, yeah." as if it was nothing. I think I just patted him on the back and smiled. I love stuff like this, and I just wanna remember it.
Vacation. Weird picture, but the only one I really got of my mom and Vera together. It was really nice that Vera could spend that time with my folks.
My papa and Vera.
It was a little cold while we were there- really breezy. So anyway, we noticed that Vera was looking a little more purple than pink, and so my dad snuggled her in the towel and took her back to the cabin. So sweet.
And now- the only little garden update I can muster right now. In the next day or so I’ll do a proper garden update with some pictures from the past week with my friends. Anyway. Purslane. It’s all over the place. It’s delicious. If it wasn’t growing in absolute and ridiculous abundance in my garden as a "weed", then I’d pick it off the sidewalks around town to eat. I’ve been really liking it sauteed in butter and garlic. It stays crisp and has this slight lemony flavor that’s just awesome. I LOVE THIS STUFF. I love that it just volunteers all over and is a delicious early green thing. I’m actually thinking of doing a big harvest/blanch/freeze job on this stuff. So good. Maybe I should try one batch first to see how it thaws out.
Anyway, it’s also great for that crunch on sandwiches. Specifically, tomato cheese and homemade mayo sandwiches. Yum.
And, as if you hadn’t gotten enough baby for today, a lucious summery one: