Saturday, June 05, 2010

simple abundance

I woke up feeling pretty Zen about everything this morning.  I got some extra sleep, made myself some manual-drip Finger Lakes Roasters coffee and settled on the porch with my hero Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian to do some meal planning. 

What a gorgeous morning it was, and still is.  The sun is burning off the remainders of last night's thunderstorm.  People seem to be extra nice today.  There were no discourteous drivers on the way to the market this morning.  There was a pleasant din at the market itself - the crowd wasn't that bad and people weren't really all that cranky.  Also, I didn't even get pissed off about all the push carts, wagons and strollers which normally annoy me to no end.  I came home with a pretty good haul for the week: squash, eggplant, home-grown asparagus, parsley, cauliflower, and some more heirloom eggplant and tomato plants.  (I planted a bunch last weekend but a rambunctious squirrel destroyed my Cherokee Purple, so I had to get another one.)

Our gardens are looking so lush and vibrant - all I want to do is sit out and watch the plants grow.  There is almost nothing more satisfying to me than growing things; especially my own food.  This morning for breakfast I had a bowl of Puffins with strawberries from our strawberry patch.   So delicious!

We also have quite a lot of birds visiting the feeders.  Mostly we have sparrows, goldfinches, house finches, cardinals, chickadees, blue jays and mourning doves.  Occasionally a red belly woodpecker will make an appearance, like the other day.  Yesterday and this morning I also heard a hermit thrush calling from somewhere out behind the house.  That was pretty cool. No humming birds yet, but I think I got the feeder out early enough that we might get some later.  We have a honeysuckle bush that was a big hit last year, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The hops continue to flourish.  Husband and I are very much looking forward to September when we'll be able to brew a wet hop something-or-other (I'm hoping for a pale ale).  We think this variety are Cascade, but we're not totally sure. 

I love days like this.  I would much prefer to put off my errands and other household tasks for another day, but I think if I do I'll be way behind.  I want to have next week free and open.  :)

Thursday, June 03, 2010

for my mom

Dear Mom:

Thanks for being OK with it if I had wanted to marry a Jewish guy.  You are way ahead of your time and a pretty cool lady when Dad isn't around.

Love,
your daughter

Thursday, May 27, 2010

thursday's thoughts

First, to RG&E:

You are stupid. Much like the time you told me I owed $9,00.00 for natural gas usage, you have f-ed up once again. You know how.

Second, to my co-workers:

Please do your own jobs.  I hate it when I have to pick up your slack.  Slackers.

That is all.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

trying to do the right thing

We have some neighbors with kids. These kids - and I don't know for sure how many there are - range in age from toddler to mid-teens. They are very sweet kids except for when they are throwing their trash into our front yard. They are very sweet kids except for when they are screaming at each other. Also, they are very sweet kids when they are helping me shovel the driveway.

Back in February when we had that giant snowstorm with more snow than I'd seen in recent memory, I was out one Saturday afternoon shoveling. Some of these kids were eying me from their front porch. After several minutes, they wandered over, probably out of boredom, with an extra shovel. Without a word, we were all heaving snow together. When it came time to dig my car out (it was completely buried) and move it out of the way, they even helped me do that.

With their assistance it wasn't long before I was salting the last of the driveway, all of the snow pushed aside as much as possible. I suggested we have some fun and build a snowman. That really got them to open up. I think by this point I had 4 of them over in my yard - a 5 year old, a 7 year old, a 9 year old, and a pre-teen. None of them had gloves or mittens, so I dug some out of the chest and passed them around. They were my "thank-yous" for the help with the shoveling.

As they started chatting more and more I learned that they are often left home alone. When their mother IS home, she sleeps all the time. If she isn't sleeping, she is on the computer. They all have different fathers, none of whom is ever around. They refer to each other as "my sister on my dad's side." and so forth.

We had fun working on this snowman. She turned out to be a snow-lady, actually. When we were done they went home and I went in the house.

The point of this post:

For the next several months, and it continues now, these kids are constantly coming over to our house. They see me pull in the driveway and up the driveway they run. If the gate is closed, they will open it and come in the yard. One evening Ryan and I were having dinner on the back deck and the 5 year old came over, up on to the deck, pulled a chair up to the table and proceeded to stick her grubby little hand in Ryan's salad bowl and started pulling out lettuce leaves. She now tries to walk right in the back door, without knocking, if I don't have it locked.

Do you think the mother knows this is going on? I'm sure she doesn't. We feel incredible sorry for this family. It's obvious they are living in poverty and that the kids are emotionally neglected as well. There is a fine line, however, I feel that we're walking. We can't teach these kids that it's OK to come over whenever. There are awful liability issues here, too, but we want to be good influences on them. A couple of my friends suggested calling CPS but I'm on the fence about that.

Anyway, remember those gloves I handed out in February? When I rounded the corner yesterday afternoon on my way home from work, a pair of these gloves - bright pink- was lying in the middle of the road in front of their house.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

since then

I don't know why I got out of the habit of blogging. Life getting in the way? Maybe. Some pretty major events have happened in the near year and a half since I last posted.

A summary:

1. I think it's a big deal that my little brother finally proposed to his long-time girlfriend. They are now happily engaged and have moved from Greensboro back to Rochester. My mother, of course, is over the moon for this because my brother is the favorite. My brother's fiancee and I have been close since the beginning, so I'm excited to have my friend back. Oh yeah, and it's cool to hang with my brother again, too.

2. Last summer, while we still lived in the South Wedge, we were victims of car break-ins on two separate occasions. Both of our cars had windows smashed and items stolen. Fed up, we moved out of the neighborhood last September. In fact, the night before we moved, I was up late (naturally) reading and I happened to peek out the bedroom window. What did I see? Sure enough, there was a strange guy shining a light into my neighbor's car window. I called the police while Ryan went out to try and scare the lurker away. The 911 operator didn't seem to care at all about what I was telling her, nor did the police ever come.

Moving sucks, any way you look at it, but I'm glad we went through with it. I loved the Wedge a lot because everything was within walking distance - shops, grocers, bars, parks, etc., but it was getting to the point where I couldn't sleep at night.

3. My sister had a nervous break-down about 2 months after starting her graduate work at UGA last Fall. I'm going to spare everyone those details, but she seems to be fine now. It was just a stressful time for our family.

4. While my sister was having her break-down I, myself, started going to therapy. I was long overdue. I have a difficult family (actually my parents are difficult) and it was getting to the point where I was seriously lacking the skills to be able to handle their "antics" appropriately. I am also going to spare those details, but be assured that I am doing just fine. I've learned some pretty good coping skills that have helped tremendously.

5. The best thing that's happened in the last year was marrying my husband. We eloped to Lake Placid two months ago, and let me tell you, eloping is the way to go. After talking about this for months and years we finally decided to just go and do it. It was a huge surprise to a lot of people, but almost everyone was thrilled when they learned the news.

And that's my life in a nutshell. I think I'll be posting more often now, but previously, I think I just needed a break to really get stuff sorted out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

hello?

Is anyone out there? I kind of miss posting. Maybe I'll start up again. I have a lot going on in my head these days.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

still never a dull moment in this neighborhood

I was hoping my first post of the year was going to be something about my resolutions or the healthy lifestyle changes I want to make, or all the books I plan to read. Something like that.

Not tonight.

I am sitting in the living room right now in front of the space-heater with a glass of Dry Riesling, anxious and freaked out. Ryan is up the street playing a gig with The Jugsliders and should be home in another hour and a half.

Half an hour ago, there was an RPD officer on our front porch asking me questions about the shooting that just took place across the street. I was totally oblivious until I saw the reflection of flashing lights on the wall in the corner of the living room. I had cleaned up the dishes, poured myself a last glass of wine, grabbed my knitting, and settled down in the rocking chair. I flipped on the TV for some background noise, but I wasn't really watching anything. I was in the middle of a row on the pair of slippers I'm knitting when I heard something that I thought was a car door slamming. It was enough to startle the cats, so I got up and had a look through the windows. I didn't see anything so I figured my assumption was correct and I sat back down.

Then I noticed the flashing lights through the crack in the living room drapes. When I looked outside, I saw that the street just after our driveway was blocked off with yellow tape. There were half a dozen or more cop cars, a fire truck, an ambulance and a TV camera with reporters set up at the end of my next-door neighbor's driveway. A gurney was wheeled out from the rear apartment of the house across the street and loaded into an ambulance. The ambulance didn't take off right away, so I guessed it wasn't life-threatening. Either that or it was a death, which is a very unsettling thought.

As the officers dispersed, one came up the front walk, little note-pad and pen in hand. I met him at the front door and asked what happened.

"Your neighbor's been shot."

He asked if I'd heard anything and I told him how about 10 or 15 minutes prior I had heard a loud bang or a pop, or maybe a car door. I said how I'd gotten up and looked outside, but not right away, and didn't see anything. He asked if I saw a car drive away, to which I responded in the negative. The officer took my name, phone number, and date of birth. After verifying our address, he said the victim is probably going to be all right, and thanked me for my help.

As I was locking up the front door, I saw an officer carrying a very small child out to the street. the officer took off his jacket and wrapped it around the child. When I saw that, I lost it. I went back inside and called Ryan, hoping he was on a set break. He didn't answer right away, but called me back within minutes because he suspected the reason for my call. He had seen the cop cars driving down the street.

And......here is the developing story as posted by RNews.

I love the Southwedge but this is getting ridiculous. Shootings, stabbings, fires. When will it end?