I am going to let myself live a bit of a double life on this blog this week. I am wanting to write about the present, but feel so far behind on the trip we just took, so I'm going to split my posts a bit this week and be here and there...bear with me.
I mentioned yesterday that Ani and I came home early, which was really good planning on my part, as we were both ready, after two weeks away from home, to come back. However, a month ago, while we were planning our trip, it didn't sound quite fair to her to be the one coming home with me. It meant missing more days with cousins, and most importantly, a wedding! To a six-year-old there is nothing more "romannic" than a wedding, if only for the clothes! I know my six-year-old though, and knew she would have hit the wall already on spending time with a lot of people, and in particular people she doesn't know (I was right. The Wall happened on Saturday, the day before our departure...). Luckily for me, her best friend's birthday is this week, and we couldn't miss that! So here we are. All this to say that last night she spent the night at her friend's house, leaving me....well....ALONE!
I washed the floors. I vacuumed the walls (oh, don't laugh! I have two friends who clean houses for a living and I'm telling you, this is a brilliant tip for making your walls look clean. For some reason the walls in my kitchen are always incredibly dusty, so this is a revelation for me...). I went to my bando class...it was awesome. And then I decided to walk to our garden before heading home for dinner.
I would someday love to be a dainty gardener. The kind who prunes tiny branches of tea roses and notices the slightest change in the tender buds on their tomatoes. My first gardening experience was as a caretaker for the garden surrounding a mansion, and it was just that - pruning the roses, the occasional pulling of the sweetest little delicate weeds, the deadheading of rhododendrons...Tonight I faced my true gardener-self. My neglected plot was growing weeds so large I considered borrowing a lawn mower to reclaim the pathways. It was a beautiful night, so there were many other gardeners there, and all I could do was throw down my water bottle and yoga mat and begin my ripping, rending rampage. Partway through my grab-and-yank I noticed a gentleman in the plot next to me carry over a small stool, placing it next to his fading bean vines. He climbed up and tenderly parted the leaves, presumably looking for any last beans hanging in the evening light. I can't fathom having mastered the Art of Gardening enough to be slowly and lovingly tending my sweet plants. My time in the garden is usually so limited that a rough-handed ploughing-through is all I am capable of. I buried my head in my Johnson grass and kept pulling. Two hours later I made it home with 7 cherry tomatoes, 6 jalapenos and some beautiful leaves of malabar spinach from my neighbor gardener, Martin. Sigh. I treated myself to a sandwich full of the spinach and some good cheese, some kimchi, and a glass of wine.
Last week we were enjoying the gardens of my brother and sister-in-law, helping pick "Wealthy" apples, and romping with the cousins...
The game almost always centers around "Princess Anika" - since way back, this is the game they pick up time and again. Sometimes Eliza is disgruntled at this, as she is not always wanting to be a knight along with the boys. I don't have the whole story, but this time she chose to be something like a werewolf, and was very content in her role.
I can tell we've been reading and listening to a lot of chapter books lately - Ani kept punctuating their play with things like "Chapter Two: They fought back!".
|Henry and Grandma D|
|Henry and Mama (Aunt Reba)|
Their beautiful home has a small orchard out back, next to the chicken coop, and we helped pick and gather apples.
My sister-in-law knows how much I love good food, and she speaks my language, so the food was wonderful...prosciutto wrapped around melon, with spicy lime sauce? Wow.