Monday, February 16, 2009

Let It Grow

This year, we're getting more serious about growing herbs and veggies in our little backyard garden. Last year we had a lot of success with seedlings and salad days; this year we're going for broke. David has tall-fenced one side of the garden (the other side has a retaining wall) to thwart deer, plus we've added a motion detector.

Many of our herbs--thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley and lavender are raring to go again this year. We've mulched and weeded mucho. Even lettuce is peeking through some of the mulch--a surprise encore. Now more seeds are in seed trays for additional growing. We'll have a nice little inventory of kitchen garden needs and I'm really excited. Salads with calendula and nasturtium; fresh herbs for sauces and garnish, D's shortbread with the varieties of lavender (yum!), and whatever else the critters outside don't eat.

Last year the tomatoes were a source of frustration. The entire plants would be eaten to the nub (DEER!) and just as they'd grow and get new tomatoes--GONE!

Here's hoping!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Chaperone (Middle School Dance)

Feb. 13

Picture a dark school multipurpose room in which LED lights are spinning and flashing. Bass is booming. Clap tracks and pop songs are luring in the line of 6th to 8th graders, who are silhouetted from the lighted breezeway on their way in. Boys, for the most part, are still lanky and straight business in pursuit of a female dance partner. Girls, looking well beyond their years, skip through the hall to the dancefloor, arms flailing, giggling privately in their boy-proof cliques.

I watch as the boys--some of whom of appear mortified they know me as their ski school chaperone--shark around the room trying to get a girl to come out and dance (my own, 12-yr-old son included). It is a ruthless, often futile game. I feel helpless, because I see the designs the boys have and the slick way the girls outfox them with their "herring ball" cliques on the floor, and those who aren't dancing turn a cold, aloof shoulder to any boy coming their way.

So, few boys and girls truly danced together. Those who did tended to "bob" or shimmy. I broke up one mosh pit, picked up one boy being dragged by another boy by the scruff of his jacket, and had to intervene one who was kid punching the wall for attention. Other than that, pretty mellow. The playlist was one of Movin 92.5--just very pop R&B with a handful of alt rock tunes peppered in.

Next time, I'd try to matchmake--bring one person to another and gesture them to the floor. It makes me sad to see the WANT and no dancing! The "Cha Cha" song was the only one that brought a lot of kids out. That was fun. As was the boy who did high kicks and interpretive dance, a couple boys doing the Smurf (but they don't know it's called the Smurf), and another who just freestyled the hip hop.

Sigh. It took all my might not to horrify my son by busting a move. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spelling Bee

Bettie Edwards had me on her spelling team again this year for the scholarship foundation's town spelling bee Sunday. We finished a respectable 5th and were taken out by the word "abscissa," a navigational word that seems prophetic in light of David's and my upcoming roadtrip and hike in to a friend's place in the middle of nowhere.

We're doing a snowshoe journey in across more than 8 miles of terrain in the Trinity Natl Forest area of No Cal. Fortunately there's also a wood heated hot tub waiting for us when we get there!

Here's to knowing my abscissa!

Friday, February 06, 2009

A Tale of Two Kitties

In the course of one year, our household went from cat-free to "cats-three." This brings us to 5-Betta Fish (all separated from cannibalizing each other), 3 cats, and 1 rose hair tarantula.

Coors is an elderly tabby who came from David's old bach pad in Coronado, and took temporary residence at David's mom's in Sacramento before joining us here. Lucky, the bawdy grey-n-white 5-yr-old is seen above on the right (in the two-shot). Lucky was the family cat in my first marriage. When the X moved to a little place, I was fortunate enough to take cat custody; I missed her so much! Lucky and Coors were NOT bros; Lucky tried to be alpha, but when Coors gave her the random smackdown things were tense. Coors hangs upstairs and sleeps mostly.

Just a couple months ago, David's X in Calif offered up their collective cat, Mia, a near-twin to Lucky. Mia is the "ditzy blonde" of felines. Since she came along, all the cats stepped up their game to be more social and sweet. Lucky and Mia love the outdoors, and their new cat door.

We discovered Mia, above, is also a huntress in her new Northwest home. In through the cat door last night, she presented us with a Robin. Ta dah!