Thursday, August 28, 2008

On a positive note

Another day, another smile :-) (thanks, Karen)
Another day, another hug
Another day, another squeal of delight
Another day, another sweet sleepy toddler
Another day, another special Godzilla drawing for me
Another day, another snuggle with my squidgy widgy
Another day, another song
Another day, another laugh
Another day, another I Love You

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another Day

I've decided we need to update some of the old-fashioned sayings. Here's my vote for today:
"Another day, another dollar" Here are my new suggestions:

Another day, another tantrum
Another day, another school open house
Another day, another 4 loads of laundry
Another day, another tomato smashed into the carpet
Another day, another bath towel in the bath water
Another day, another panty liner stuck to the toddler's head
Another day, another screen fell out of the window behind the couch because the toddler went back there and pushed it out and I found her standing at the open window and I almost had a heart attack.

I'd like the dollar too, please.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leave a message

Hello, this is Marya, I can't come to the blog right now because I'm being overrun by tomatoes. I'll be spending the next several days making spaghetti sauce, salsa and gazpacho. I'll be canning too. And as soon as I figure out what to do with 3 enormous patty pan squash and 14 huge cucumbers I'll let you know. Leave your comment at the sound of the beep. BEEP.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back in time

I had such a fabulous day! Our family went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival today and ate lots of food, watched some great shows and got a little bit dirty (dusty, really). I love the Renaissance Festival - it's fabulous people watching for one thing - and the kids love it too. This weekend I was really pumped to go because it was the Minnesota State Belly Dance Contest. (I think they just made that up) Regardless, they had more dance shows this weekend - including this one where they danced with snakes - and Dahlal Internationale had a booth where I spent too much money buying a couple new hip scarves. The kids brought their little wooden swords and Samzilla got challenged to a duel. As a side note, he has informed us that he officially wants to be called Samzilla.
Pink Baby gets the award for the first ever child to completely undress while on a ride (picture taken before she got naked).
And E found the Hookuh Bar.
The highlight was that Cassandra Shore of Jawaahir (where I take dance classes) was performing! I have been dancing for 2 years and had not yet had a chance to see her. I have read and heard that she is an amazing dancer. One teacher even described her as "the Baryshnikov of middle eastern dance" (except female, I suppose). She was incredible! It wasn't just her performance ability, it was also the way she engaged the crowd and made everything look so easy and just plain fun. I want to dance like that We were tired, we were full, we were dusty, we were happy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Back in the saddle again

Not so much the saddle, I guess, as the office chair. Although I do sometimes get saddle sores from it.
I have been off gallivanting this summer and have just not spent that much time writing. I know you'll understand - summer is busy! Not only do you have the regular activities that you usually do - jobs, kids, housework, birthdays, eating - but then in summer you add additional activities - lawn mowing, barbecues, baseball, camping and festivals. Double your pleasure, double your fun (as long as you have double the energy).
I've also been busy with food. I've been inspired this summer by the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She and her family of 4 spent one year eating local. What does that mean? They grew much of their own food (they do live on a farm) and bought from local farmers or farmer's markets or even products in the grocery store that came from local sources. This meant lots of squash and tomatoes and no bananas. It also meant forethought and rethinking food in general. Do you know how food grows? Where it comes from? How much it really cost to grow? and what really goes into making what you eat?
It's not so much a plea for vegetarianism, or raw food, or even specifically organic. It's an encouragement to pay attention to what you are eating, how it got here and what is really in that thing you're eating. Even if you don't read the book, I encourage you to take one day to pay attention to what you eat. Do you know where it came from? Large corporate farm or small local farm? Sustainable? Environmentally safe? Pesticide free? How long did it travel (and how many gallons of gas to get there)? How does it taste?
My mom had a big garden when I was growing up and I definitely know that carrots fresh out of the ground (even with dirt on them) taste better than most of the carrots in the store. Tomatoes in the store can't even compare with those from from the garden. And did you know there are actually over 1100 varieties of lettuce out there? Oh the things we've forgotten.
So this summer I'm spending more time at Farmer's markets. More time in my garden. More time freezing (and soon to be canning). More time cooking and of best of all, more time eating.
Recently my sister came to visit. I had just picked up my CSA share and had been to a local Farmer's Market. She also brought food from my mom's garden, not to mention 2 dozen eggs from her chickens. Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

All in a day's work

A summary of my day so far:

6:50 a.m. Wake up with husband's alarm clock. Husband does not get up.
6:55 a.m. Move car out of garage and on to street in anticipation of roofers coming at 7:30 a.m.
7:00 a.m. Turn on the computer. Go get dressed.
7:10 a.m. Do paperwork - get job list and route to our 5 work crews to install underground cable. Do a few underground locate tickets, check e-mail.
7:19 a.m. Fight with 5-year-old (Freight Train) about going back to bed because it's really too early for him to be up and not crabby.
7:25 a.m. Lie down with Freight Train.
7:30 a.m. Decide to screw it and get up anyway. Roofers arrive and start scraping on the roof. Go back to computer and do more work.
8:08 a.m. Wake up 2 year old (Pink Baby) and 7 year old (Super Salad). Change diaper, get them dressed, put my hair up, make 2 bowls of oatmeal, prepare snacks and water bottles, eat a bowl of cereal, put sunscreen on 2 kids, brush or monitor brushing of 3 kids' teeth, brush my own teeth, let the dogs out, refill dogs water dish, answer the phone, and tell Freight Train for the 10th time that he can't go outside and watch the roofers.
8:45 a.m. Pack up boys in the car, go around the corner and pick up 2 more kids and drive them all to golf camp.
9:10 a.m. Return home. Go through 5 days worth of mail, check e-mails again, make 10 customer phone calls and take 4 phone calls, clean up kitchen from breakfast, get toys out for Pink Baby, make much needed coffee, start dishwasher, do more locate tickets, update calendar on the fridge, talk to husband, give Pink Baby a snack.
10:45 a.m. Realize that I'm still wearing the shirt I slept in. Change shirts.
11:45 a.m. Go pick up 5 boys at golf camp, drop off 1 at their house, take 4 home with me.
12:10 p.m. Start making lunch. Try putting clothes back on Pink Baby, give up and give her a bowl of frozen peas to tide her over until lunch is ready.
12:15 p.m. Freight Train goes to the garage to show his friends how our garbage lid won't shut because I threw away the roller shade from their room that wouldn't work and is falling apart. Super Salad decides at that time to take his frog, Swimmer, out of his habitat and show him off as well. Standing in the door to the garage the frog takes a leap out of his hands. Dad and Mom spend 30 minutes, alternately, looking in the garage for the frog. With a flashlight.
12:45 p.m. Feed kids.
12:55 p.m. Clean Pink Baby, redress her (halfway) and put her in her room for a nap. Second helpings for 4 boys. Bus plates. Clean table. Clean floor. Hose down house.
1:10 p.m. Finally make it on to conference call scheduled for 1pm.
1:40 p.m. Check on the boys. Sit down and take a breath. Back to the computer.