Monthly Archives: March 2011

writer’s wednesday [chapman]

“I am amazed by how many individuals mess up every new day with yesterday. They insist on bringing into today the failures of yesterday and in so doing, they pollute a potentially wonderful day.”

The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman

[fyi: not reading this for my program. reading it for our premarital counseling sessions :) ]

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a spring surprise.

Last fall, I planted some kale in the box gardens we built in our apartment’s tiny backyard. For a few reasons, the harvest never happened:

1) Weather. In central Virginia, kale is a spring and fall crop. It likes cool evenings and mild days. If any of my fellow Virginians remember last September-ish, it went from being about 95 degrees to approximately 40 degrees in about, oh, two weeks. Not exactly kale-friendly.

2) Oops. I had never grown anything from seed before. For our box gardens, I bought seedlings from the Charlottesville farmer’s market. Anyway, my dad told me just to “spread them around” in the soil. Well, I did that, but apparently I spread a few too many. My little square box was so filled with those little sprouts that when they did come up (even though they didn’t have time to fully mature – see #1) they were so smooshed in there together they never would have had a chance anyway.

3) Woof. Since that little backyard of ours has often been the gathering place for our friends and their dogs, there was always a chance that the pups would decide the boxes were a playground. And alas – one fall evening, dear Bella got the party started. She dug and dug and dug until (we thought) every little tiny plant was upturned and every seed had flown out of the box. We didn’t mind – after all, the weather and my lack of gardening skills were already working against us.

But check it out – the picture above was taken this morning! As the weather started getting warmer (I’m going to ignore the fact that it SNOWED this morning. And yes, sadly, I’m serious), Alex and I started noticing some little sprigs popping up in our box. Sure enough, it was real live kale. There’s about a 12 inch deep line of the leafy green – a line that’s usually blocked by this board we use for impromptu seating:

And so, on this cold March evening, I’ve just enjoyed a plate full of steamed kale! (In case you’re curious about how I fix it – I use a steamer basket, layer the kale with chopped onions, and use lots of salt and both black and white pepper for seasoning.) And of course, it was marvelous. Bring on the spring. :)

xo

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writer’s wednesday [saunders]

“I also hated the Gallo brothers, Ernest and Julio, whose jovial faces beamed from the labels of their wine, labels I would find, torn and curled, when I burned the trash. I noted the Gallo brothers’ address in California and studied the road atlas to see how far that was from Ohio, because I meant to go out there and tell Ernest and Julio what they were doing to my father, and then, if they showed no mercy, I would kill them.”

-from “Under the Influence” by Scott Russell Saunders

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we’re really richmonders.


I know what you’re thinking. “Hmm, a random backyard.” Or maybe “Why is Alex using that weird tool?” Actually it might be more like “Why is Nikki up on that ladder? Didn’t they just paint their apartment last summer?” Or probably “Nikki’s dad looks pretty jolly about that carpet – I wonder why!”

Well, no more secrets, people. Get ready for it. THAT’S OUR BACKYARD. And Alex is scraping wallpaper from the hallway walls in OUR NEW HOUSE. And I’m painting that lovely bluish teal on the walls of OUR NEW LIVING ROOM. And my dad’s thumbs up (at 8am today) is due to the fact that a) he’s next to a van full of new carpet and b) he’s standing in OUR DRIVEWAY.

That’s right. WE HAVE A HOUSE! Alex and I started looking a few months ago, and have been waiting for our March 15 closing date for weeks now. And finally – it’s really ours! There is work to be done, there are projects to complete – but most importantly, there’s a house to make a home. Our home. Our new home. Consider this your electronic, arms-wide-open welcome. You’ll be seeing a lot of it from now on. :)

Happy Sunday! xo

PS: Yes, I purposely chose picture that hardly show anything. Cruel, I know. More to come. :)

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writer’s wednesday [brox]

“As I worked I’d uncover keepsakes of his in the drawers of the desk or tucked away among his ledgers and files. His original birth certificate, the death notices of his close friends who had gone before him, his own father’s timepiece with its etched copper backing worn fine and the crystal clouded over – mute things that had lost the one who could best speak for them. From now on they’ll only be partially understood, same as the stories I can no longer verify that were mostly his alone. ‘No one believes me,’ I remember him saying, ‘but I stood by the Bay of Fundy on the eve of the war and saw apples coming in on the tide. The bay was full of apples. The ships had dumped their cargoes to take on supplies for the war.’ That’s all I know. And no matter how much, I want to know more.”

-from Five Thousand Days Like This One, Jane Brox

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full and happy.

friday. picasso, momma, jake, strawberry street cafe. a drive to norfolk, hardly any traffic, a niece and nephew to ooh-and-ahh over and a brother and sister-in-law armed with dinner for the grill and wine. lots of wine.

saturday. doughnuts. a trip to the zoo with a four-and-a-half year old and his seven-year-old sister. doumar’s. sunshine. a nap on the ride home. early bedtime.

sunday. early morning run. church. family. the tavern. homemade ginger snaps. a super short shift at work. more sunshine – for longer. delicious dinner.

this is the life. this is MY life. how lucky am i? and because everything is better with pictures, enjoy these. :)

happy monday!

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writer’s wednesday [kushner]

“I’ve though about it for a very long time, and I still don’t understand what love is. Justice is simple. Democracy is simple. Those things are unambivalent. But love is very hard. And it goes bad for you if you violate the hard law of love.”

-Belize to Louis
Angels in America, Part 1: Millenium Approaches; Tony Kushner

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