June, She Comes So Soon

Busy busy busy, but spring soccer has finally wrapped up and Flat Stanley is finished, ostensibly the last Flat Stanley project that I’ll ever oversee. The Blacktop Bash has come and gone, and the end of school is coming!

Gemma shall learn to tie her shoelaces this summer if it’s the last thing I do.

Couple of gorgeous breezy Saturday and Sunday mornings at the farmers’ markets lately. More red/green Bibb lettuce (my new favorite), strawberries, snow peas, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, garlic, baby tomato plants, a rosemary plant. All from Jersey except the garlic, I think?

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Gemma was not the best companion last weekend. She was nagging me to leave when I was so happy to just sit and people watch with my iced coffee.

We had a chat about me not wanting to be rushed, and today was better, although you wouldn’t know it from the picture.

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Last week, I planted some sage and thyme seeds, and they sprouted pretty quickly. Today I will try to plant my baby tomato plants — an Early Girl and an unidentified heirloom of some kind. I’m also officially experimenting with collecting rainwater to use on the plants and perhaps elsewhere.

I need to stop overcrowding my pots. I have such problems thinning seedlings out.

I made meatballs last Sunday with fresh basil and parsley available form earlier market purchases. I’ve been using the basil in mozzarella sandwiches. Market lettuce and carrots and my own arugula have figured in salads a lot lately, including this yummy Friday night one featuring leftover bacon and chicken (actually, I think this was the only one I forgot to add arugula to):

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Yes, that’s my ubiquitous parmigiano pepperorn ranch dressing. I made more last weekend after a run to Whole Paycheck for the cheese. Made with market scallions and parsley.

One night we sat around and read from Down a Country Lane, a history of this town and the surrounding towns. We heard from a young farmer who noted in his diary for May 29 that “there were strawberries for dinner.” See, I pointed out, the arrival of strawberries was a big deal in 1874 too. Then we went outside and picked some of our own strawberries. (Sadly though, I think these plants are at the end of their usefulness. The berries are mushy, have some kind of fungus. This is common, the plants are only good for three years or so.)

Contining to try not to buy lunch at work, and have been pretty successful. It takes a lot of weekend prep. I also want the kids to go back to packing lunch most days. I realized they were spending a lot of their lunch money on snacks at school… that is not what I want to happen.

At the May Fair, Memorial Day weekend, the kids bought some stuff with their own money. All very useful, like a newfangled Rubik’s cube, Mad Matter (similar to kinetic sand) and overpriced scrunchies. Lots of walking around and running around on that Saturday. Groceries, other errands, and then Aidan sprung a birthday party invite on me at the last minute, so I had to ferry him over to Cherry Hill and hang out in the world’s saddest pizzeria til he was done (not where the party was!).

Sunday was all about cleaning and laundry. It was too hot outside anyway. After we ALL cleaned, we went to B&N to get Aidan replacements for school copies of novels that he lost. (I’m sure they will turn up this week, of course.) And we got new sneakers for Gemma, whose old shoes were RANK. Apologies to her classmates. Then the kids started whining about doing something fun, so we settled on renting “A Dog’s Way Home” and ordering Pizza Hut and it was in fact a pretty fun way to while away a hot afternoon/evening. Bear in mind now that most of the time when I say “the kids,” this doesn’t include Aidan. He’s off with his friends. He is too cool for us now.

On Monday, Memorial Day, “the kids” went swimming with my parents and later we all met up at a BBQ at my uncle’s house. In between, I cleaned more, went to Whole Paycheck for parmigiano cheese, went to the hardware store for potting soil, and came home and made more salad dressing. After the BBQ I cleaned up the kitchen and watered all my plants. Oh and somewhere in there I filled out this rather complicated IRS form, paid bills and did my budget spreadsheet.

Sometimes it’s a relief to go back to work.

I have been purging pictures and other memorabilia lately. I realized that I have been carting around a lot of stuff all these years and it’s time for it to go. I would open a bin of pictures/albums/old journals, become paralyzed, and close the lid again. (Also, my mom gave me a bunch of my stuff that she saved.) So I have forced myself to go through them piece by piece. I even took individual pictures out of albums, because man, I saved some dumb pictures along with good ones. All that photo paper adds up: the albums were noticeably lighter afterward.

Things that were fun to see before I tossed them into the trash pile of eternity:

Comments teachers made on my old report cards, letters Sister Jean sent home as principal to all families, yearbooks, a mystery story I wrote when I was 9, my Cabbage Patch dolls’ birth certificates, a picture of my bedroom in my senior year apartment, I loved that room!

I am going to travel MUCH LIGHTER from now on.

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Things I’ve been thinking about:

Where would be the best place to move if money were no object and in light of climate change? North? West? Near water, away from water? Near other people, away from other people?

Should we vacation on Prince Edward Island next summer? I found a website that lets you book dorm rooms in the summer in Canada for great prices.

This video series from the Atlantic was pretty cool and thought-provoking: “To Live Deliberately.” Needless to say, I’d like to get back to living deliberately. I’ve been living haphazardly lately, for sure.

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This weekend kind of sucks for me; I have a cold and can breathe through my nose only sporadically. Last night I used nasal spray in desperation and it worked, but kept me up all night. It’s been a good weekend for the kids though: Aidan went to the pool on opening day and then to a party at night til 10 pm (!); Sebastian took some friends to SkyZone for his birthday; and Gemma walked up to 2nd Saturday in town with her friends’ family and also got home late, after playing outside all day long and walking into town earlier with her grandmother. They all slept great!

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Today, Gemma has a playdate, Aidan wants to redo his room in “steampunk,” and Sebastian wants me to take him to Barnes and Noble to buy more Legos with his birthday money. And hubs will be away visiting his dad. Meanwhile, there are pink “Mad Matter” bits everywhere, there’s a ton of laundry to do, and we somehow have no meat or fruit for the coming week. It’s gorgeous out and all I want to do is garden! I hope my cold levels off today.

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