Thursday, July 29, 2010
"Wait, it's bedtime! Why am I on an airplane?"
"Yeah, Venice is just SOOO exciting...zzzz"
"I see wah-wah."
"I see birds!"
"Ok, this trip is almost worth it now."
"Eva, what do you see?"
"I see boats!"
"Mom, let me go in the canal!!!"
"I go Mass." (right before Mass at San Zaccaria)
"I want pizza - pizza hot!"
"Who cares about the inside of the Church - give me the large birds!"
"Let's do a capuccino at a cafe."
"On 100+ degree days, I need a fountain."
"Ready to give your paper, Dad? You might want to take off your hat."
"I see you mountains!"
"I want Maia!" (We heard this the whole trip.)
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Now that I'm of the landed class, I decided that I should start a garden. Jeff wasn't that enthusiastic about my project, but he was willing to let me give it a try. Being completely unexperienced in gardening, I decided to rely simply on my German peasant-farmer background (which my brother claims is genetic and gives us the ability to do things we never actually learned) and on the instructions on the back of seed packets and soil bags.
I picked a small plot of space and threw down the soil I'd bought (as an Iowan, I was skeptical that the Garden State's reddish soil could have the kind of nutrients I was looking for). Then I saw that the soil was supposed to be mixed 50-50 with native soil. So then I tried to break up the grass below where I'd thrown soil. All of this I did while watching the two girls and taking numerous potty/drink breaks for them. By the time I got to the plant the seed part, I was too tired to figure out the inches apart thing, and I just kind of tossed down the seeds wherever.
When plants actually started growing (much to my surprise) I wasn't really sure what was what, since I hadn't made any record of where or what I'd planted. Fortunately, my buddy Rob showed up and graciously identified the plants (based on seed packets and what the plants looked like) and did a little rearranging. Before he and Lou took off, he made me a handy little map of my garden.
We were gone for a week or so, and when I came back, the plants were huge - especially the zucchini. I'll be honest, I don't REALLY like zucchini all that much, just a little bit, so I was a little surprised to see those plants taking over my small plot. Obviously, in case you haven't guessed, I planted way too many different things for such a small area. Apparently my German peasant-farmer background didn't clue me in on plant spacing.
Earlier this week I bought three cucumbers at the store, only to come home and look in my garden and see about six or so. They seem to grow huge overnight. To be honest, I don't like cucumbers all that much either. Ok, they're better than zucchini, but eating them every single night is getting a little old. Soon the tomatoes will probably start in, and to be honest, I don't really like tomoatoes all that much either. So you might wonder why I planted all these... we do actually consume zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers, so that's what I was thinking. But I'm really looking forward to the onions, green onions, carrots, and broccoli.
After finding two enormous zucchinis in the garden today, we decided to uproot a couple of those plants. They were overshadowing/killing my cilantro (which I definitely need for guacamole), and like I said, we just don't need that many zucchini.
I told Jeff that so long as the garden saved us at least $50, we would break even, and I'd consider it a success. I think we're already coming close to that, when you throw in the mint, basil, sage, and thyme plants on the front porch. So I guess gardening is kind of a success, even if I didn't have any clue how to do it, and did a pretty bad job of planting. God can make things grow, even when our knowledge is insufficient. Ahh, such is life... just like my garden... our works do sometimes bear fruit (or vegetables) because God takes our good intentions and effort and makes up for what is lacking in us!
Recently I was making a purchase from Amazon.com and needed another item to push me over into free shipping (yes, I know Amazon must make a lot of money off of such impulse buys...). Although this wasn't exactly an impulse buy. I've been wanting to buy DogTrain for my kids for quite awhile, since we have Boynton's other albums: Rhinoceros Tap, Philadelphia Chickens, Blue Moo, and, yes Grunt (the barnyard chant cd). DogTrain was the last one we needed.
Both girls were excited to listen to it, although Eva did her best to get involved with the cd player itself. I'm not sure if she was trying to turn up the volume or what, but she managed to pull it off the shelf at one point. What a little climber - recently she started in on trees, and I'm not sure what's safer, bookshelves or trees. Anyway, the album has some great songs on it, including a few that became instant favorites: the Spin Doctors' "Tantrum" (No, no, no, I don't wanna, I don't wanna!), Blues Traveler's "DogTrain," and Kate Winslett/Weird Al Yankovic's "I Need a Nap" (which I've taken as my anthem...). Maia's favorites right now are "Cow Planet" (Billy Kramer) and "(Don't Give Me That) Broccoli" (the Phenomenauts). But we also like the child percussionist's favorite "Pots and Pans" with the Bacon Brothers and Mickey Hart.
Above, the girls dance to "DogTrain." Be forewarned that this album may induce children to dangerous dance moves.