Friday, March 16, 2012

Waiting for the first radish of summer!

Last year for Mother's Day I was given a wonderful gift of a garden box.  I always like to plant a couple of veggies every year, but taking on a full garden seems very overwhelming to me, so this was the perfect solution!  I wasn't able to use it last year because assembly and staining it took me a lot longer than expected, but ta's ready to go for this summer!

It looks like just a bunch of dirt right now, but soon this garden box will be full of lettuce, spinach, radishes, peas, tomatoes, and peppers!

And this is my cute little herb pot.  I have found that herbs are super easy to grow and can take my abuse.  I tend to be forgetful about watering and care, but this year I am turning over a new leaf. 

I simply can't wait for the first radish of summer.  Growing up my Grandma often had fresh radishes from her garden, and somewhere along the way one of my favorite things to eat became bread and butter radish sandwiches.  Plain ol' white bread spread with butter, with sliced radishes on top.  A little bit of salt over the beautiful red veggies finishes it off.  Just thinking about it takes me right to Grandma's sunny kitchen.  Whether a quick lunch after playing outside with the animals all morning or an afternoon snack after walking beans, a radish sandwich represents some of the best memories of summer!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wish List for the Future

Today I had the privilege to engage in a community visioning process for my hometown.  This process was designed to encourage us to think "big picture" while creating realistic action steps to improve, revitalize, energize and move forward our community.

A big topic of the conversation today and throughout the past several months was, "How do we encourage young people and their families to move to our community?"  "What are the things that young families are looking for?"  The first time I was asked this question I was so shocked that I know I gave a very generalized answer like "good schools" or "recreational opportunities" but today I was prepared.  With 53 different suggestions regarding what might attract or retain a young family to the area. 

It caused me to think about what I appreciate and value in my life, and how that has changed over the past 18 months.  Three years ago, the lack of recreational or educational enhancement opportunities for kiddos birth-age 5 didn't really bother me.  Today, that is priority one.  I have a busy, active, developing toddler who needs positive stimulation for his mental and physical well-being.  I know that my mom does a fantastic job with him during the day, and his vocabulary, understanding, and certainly athletic ability and coordination improves every day.  But there are times that I wonder, can I be doing more?  Is there something missing that he would enjoy and that might give him stimulation in a new way?

And what about our trail systems?  When Jett is old enough to ride his bike, would I be comfortable sending him to the park or a friend's house using the current trails and sidewalks that exist today?  (It's actually comical to think I would send him off by himself, because I will be "that mother" stealthily trailing him each block in the minivan.)

And what about education?  I want Jett to have instructors and an educational system that is aware of the changing needs in the world in which we live and is striving to be adaptive and relevant for the future.  He should be exposed to foreign languages beyond my Spanglish and Sesame Street's best efforts.  He should have access to the arts, to literature, to strong foundations in math and history, and hands on learning experiences in science, technology, and engineering. 

I want our neighborhoods to remain safe with quality housing opportunities available to those who are striving to pursue the ideal of the "American Dream."  And selfishly I would really like to be able to buy a pair of black women's pants locally, and perhaps have more than two choices of where to go out to supper with my family at a mid-range restaurant.

My list was long, very long, and it grows the more that I think about it.  I'm lucky that I participated in a group of incredibly smart and dedicated community members who also had really, really long lists! 

We are no where near completion yet, but we are moving forward.  I feel very fortunate to be asked what my opinion is, and what it is that I want for our community.  But it caused me to wonder, what are the priorities of other young families?  What is on your "wish list" for the community?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Sticky Baby

This is my sticky baby.  I lost my mind and fed him lasagna last night, and it is still likely plastered to the inside crevises of his high chair cover.  He is my beloved reason for having something gooey stuck to me at the beginning of almost every work day, and I wouldn't change it for the world.  This morning it was strawberry jam.  I've learned not to wear white!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I should have been an engineer!

This is a glimpse into a working mama's lunch break.
10:55 a.m. - Guy from Jimmy Johns drops off teenie tiny sandwich samples (and I catch wind before the mayo congeals on the break room counter.) Score!  I won't have to eat at home.
11:23 a.m. - At a good stopping point, if I leave now I can beat traffic and get started on laundry. 
11:32 a.m - Home, empty trash from the car, find lipstick on the car floor, take boxes from Sunday School skit downstairs.  RATS! - Forgot the stroller in the back of the car - text mom, "Wil brng stroller ovr at 1." Bring puppy upstairs for a walk.
11:45 a.m. - Oscar is walked.  Stomach rumbles. Did I mention that was a teenie, tiny sandwich?  Quick salad of spinach, strawberries, mango and feta.  Clean out the refrigerator while I eat.  Eew, how old is that coleslaw? Garbage disposal, take out trash.
11:57 a.m. Still chewing. Put away coats, diaper bag, and miscellaneous toys in the baby's room.  Another bite. Gather laundry. Baby bottles are sitting on the floor of the bedroom because I didn't wash them in the morning - yuck!  Wash and sterilize bottles.
12:06 p.m. Oh yeah, I need to run to Walgreens!  Laundry downstairs, sorted quickly - not started because I irrationally worry about flooding the house, starting a fire, etc...which I guess would in hind site take care of the dirty laundry situation.
12:07 p.m. "Come on Oscar, come on good puppy, let's go downstairs."
12:12 p.m. "Oscar, let's go!"
12:15 p.m. Walgreens.  What did I come in here for?  They have body wash on sale!  FOCUS.
12:25 p.m. Driving to Mom's.
12:36 p.m. Stroller unpacked.  I should get back to work, but mom hands me a hot cup of coffee.  The baby gives me a big hug.  Oh, did I mention there is cake?  Quick snack, quick chat, quick game of ball.
1:06 p.m. Finally back to work.  It's a good thing that my boss is understanding (Moi) and that I worked three nights last week.