Constantina posted this on her blog and it cracked me up. I needed to be cracked up. Thanks TIna. HAve that baby. NOW.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Molly, Noah, Nicole, Kim and Jackson joined us for Molly's Birthday Picnic. There were ukeleles, guitars, a huge chop salad, BBQ chicken, grilled flank steak, strawberries, coconut cake, yummy beer and mojitos. There were dirty kids running around, giggles and general merry-making.
Coconut cake courtesy of Kelly by way of Paula Deen, but with Lemon curd and a dusting of coconut in lieu of seven minute frosting
Letha's Magnificent Chicken, Kim's amazing Mojitos
Three skinny and filthy pairs of Legs, THIS is Summer.For a few years now we have had the pleasure of sharing this crazy life with some fabulous neighbors. Ours is a transient neighborhood but Nigel, Letha and their two little ones have stayed put in the E section, since we moved in. So we have been smelling their perfectly delectable barbecue chicken at least once weekly for nearly 4 years. That is right folks, I don't know if all Jamaicans take their chicken this seriously, but our neighbors do. Sometimes, they hand us a hot, foil package of the mouthwatering stuff. Sometimes we sit miserably in our tiny kitchen nibbling on our meager dinner of rice and beans and Kale. Boo Hoo. But Letha is a generous soul and has taken it upon herself to teach me how to make this barbecue and finally after much practice and for Molly's birthday dinner, I got it right. Henry congratulated me. Ezra ate it up. It suffered no ill comparison to Letha's. In fact, Letha's own son said it tasted just like hers and Letha agreed. I have graduated. The only problem is that there is no measuring. And one of the ingredients is hard to find (browning/burnt sugar anyone?If you spot it perhaps in a West Indies Grocer, get me a bottle, hint City Dweller-Amy). So bare with me. But here is a promise. If you want some of this chicken and I am in your neck of the woods this Summer, I will gladly make some for you. It is that good.
The Chicken. Not even sure if I should attempt to post a recipe. Maybe I will come back later and do that?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Some of my poppies.
Yi Yi Loves the farm tire swing.
Ez found some plantain and put it on his freshly skinned knee, no joke.
Curt, the boys and I went to our farm, Simple Gifts CSA, with Yi Yi (Julia), a young girl who will be joining us in the mornings this summer. I am helping her out with English before she starts Kindergarten in the Fall and I get paid a bit for it, but I would probably do it for free. I adore her. Mostly we will be playing but I am trying to incorporate some fun local activities, visits to the farm, the campus duck pond, the swimming hole, the rec. center, libraries etc.
Today was hot but we cooled down at the farm with homemade farm popsicles and a breezy swing.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
The Peace Pagoda in Leverett is a special spot in Western Ma. I am embarrassed to say when I was last there. Matt has been 3 times just in the past week. It was his wish that we picnic there for Father's Day. It was quite perfect because I had purchased two books on the topic of Buddhism for his special day.
We had sandwiches, water, apples and cookies. We sort of had some quiet time. It was mostly peaceful, except for the boys running across the Japanese meditation garden (we neglected to explain that to them until it was too late) and Ezra upsetting an enormous ant home under a rhododendron bush.
We all built cairns for new cousin Zao Han (boys are pointing to them above). Henry and Ezra want to call them Carens.
Friday, June 18, 2010
photo by Ezra
Yesterday we went to Marks Meadow for the End of the Year/End of Marks Meadow (sort of) Picnic. Food, friends, families, neighbors, yummy desserts, a dunking booth with a good natured principal inside, a parade, singing, a rocket launch. It was Wonderful. The kids all received beautiful yearbooks and tee shirts.
Henry's O.T added a poem under her photo in the yearbook that really resonated.
Famous Poem- Naomi Shihab Nye
The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to the silence.
Which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth.
More famous than the dress shoe.
Which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries
And not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets.
Sticky children in grocery lines.
Famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous.
Or a buttonhole, not because it did anything
But because it never forgot what it could do.
This poem reminds me of what you are drawing, Emily.
Good vibes are being sent to Tina and Mark and Arlo. I can't wait to meet the new babe.
And also to Rana and Jona. We love him already.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Summer thus far, has been a mix of reading fiction, visiting our CSA farm for veggies and for hanging with the pigs and riding the tire swing, visting with friends, soccer soccer soccer (EVERY DAY), grilling, and a little bit of school work for me. Yesterday we went to Puffers Pond for the second time this season. Sometimes I cannot believe that a place so perfect is a bike ride away. Beautiful crystal clear water surrounded by trees. A cozy pond.
The Pioneer valley has lots of spots like this, and mountains. AND so many trees. I love the geography of this place.
I love it here.
There are times when I am torn. I love the Finger Lakes too. AND there are lots of people there who are dear to me.
But really, this place has become our home.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Ez and I went to my friend Lissa's yesterday to have lunch and play and it was such fun. Lissa is a fabulous cook, she catered with Martha Stewart in her youth and she once took a class in Paris at the Cordon Bleu. She and I dream of opening up a little stand at the new North Amherst farmer's Market one day. We had a great day, playing in the garden, talking about herbs (I am using a new herb book to teach myself a little bit). I even made her a poutice with some plantain for her poison ivy. For lunch, we had these fabulous scallion crepes with a scrumptious dipping sauce. These are much better than my scallion pancakes. The recipe is here.
We just picked up our first Simple Gifts Farm CSA share today. Garlic scapes, chard, spinach, salad, turnips, bok choy....yum
unfortunately blogger is acting up and I can't seem to download my own photos. I have some great ones from our visit yesterday....
My oldest friend- we've known each other for about 28 years, wrote this really great article. She regularly writes for NPR in Indianapolis. I love listening to her voice on the radio. Marianne was the one who I shared my first cigar with and danced to Whitney Houston with (at her parents camp in the ADKs) and talked about boys all night long with as a silly tween. And now we are both moms and we both love to talk about crafts and canning and chickens.Urban homesteading also makes for green in wallet | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star
Friday, June 11, 2010
"This photo by Johnathan Esper captures the Adirondack chair in its idyllic natural habitat"
Apartment Therapy has a great little history of the Adirondack chair. Check it out.
I grew up for much of my youth, not so far from the good old Adirondack
And the Adirondack chair, a good one, is comfortable and evokes those clear
mountain lakes, streams and those beautiful mountains and for me, vacation.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
I have been able to finish three, yes THREE books since vacation began. I finally finished the last book in the Millenium series, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets Nest. Wowzas. I really enjoyed it. One caveat- this book, as with all of the Larsson books, should be read continuously. Don't pick it up if you have anything else to do for a week. I made the mistake of starting it in early Spring before I could give it the attention it deserved. I had finals, papers, and preschool end -of- year shenanigans to deal with. So I would pick it up, read a bit, but not enough to understand what I was dealing with, and then let it go, only to pick it up a week later, search for my spot (because M. and I were reading it simultaneously and he kept losing my spot) and I felt confused longer than I should have. As with the rest of the series, there are lots of characters with those Swedish names that get muddled up a bit in my brain and lots going on. Such intriguing, edge of your seat fun.
After I finished the Larsson book, I picked up Push by Saphire. Precious was based on this book. Wow. I finished it rather quickly, its a little book, but it was super powerful. I don't want to ruin anything for anyone out there but, for me, with this book, Saphire joins the legions of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. I was crying through much of it. I read most of it at the North Village soccer field while my kids played, sitting on an abandoned royal blue cot, sipping earl grey tea in a mason jar and trying not to bawl. Crazy lady.
Then I picked up Philip Roth's The Human Stain. So beautifully written. One of my favorite bits is the part about Iris's hair on page 129
"Her head of hair was something, a labryinthine, billowing wreath of spirals and ringlets, fuzzy as twine and large enough for use as Christmas ornamentation. All the disquiet of childhood seemed to have passed into the convolutions of her sinuous thicket of hair. Her irreversible hair. You could polish pots with it and no more alter its construction than if it were harvested from the inky depths of the sea, some kind of wiry reef-building organism, a dense living onyx hybrid of coral ad shrub, perhaps possessing medicinal properties."
Sometimes I wake up in the morning after a good all night soaker kind of rain, and my hair is a bit like that. But not quite so much.
I have picked up Frances Burney's, Evalina or The History of a Young Lady's Entrance into the World. But am not sure I am in the mood for an epistolary Victorian piece right now. We shall see...