To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Monday, June 29, 2009

To market, home and the boat

I had no idea what this was. The vendor at the market said it's kohlrabi and she shreds it into her coleslaw and slices it into pot roast. Sounds good, I'll take it and try it. Now I'm curious how it tastes and if I like it then I'll grow some in the garden next year.

A flat of strawberries - some for jam, some for bread, some for a pie, some for the freezer, and......done?

Hmmm, that's not enough. I think I need more strawberries, but I might be too late as I'm camping and kayaking over the 4th of July weekend. That means no time to put up more berries. (sad face)

Ah, and I fell in love with this recipe. I l.o.v.e. rhubarb and I knew instantly that this would be a great boat beverage.

Don't be alarmed by the pulp in the strainer - it's delicious and went great on my bread in the morning. Sort of like a rhubarb butter.

See? I knew it would be a great boat beverage. Good thing I've got more rhubarb frozen. Had I known about this beverage earlier in the season I would have put pounds in the freezer. Yummm....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My happiness

When I went house hunting in 2003 I had a short list of items that my house absolutely had to include - arched doorways, hardwood floors, a fireplace, a full room upstairs and room in the yard for flower gardens - or I wouldn't buy it. To this day, I adore my house. I love that this view is what greets me when I walk into the kitchen.

These make me happy now too. I went to an estate sale around the corner from my house at 10 minutes to close on the final day. $12.50 for service for 8? (She scores!) There are 4 different sizes of plates, 4 sizes of bowls, coffee cups, a serving platter, vegetable bowl, a divided bowl and creamer and sugar. I know you're jealous. I would be too if I weren't me.

This little charmer sits on the window sill over my sink. I snicked him from Keith's dad's back porch, but only because I was rescuing him from certain doom. He makes me smile when I work at the sink.

This is dumb, but this darned duck makes me happy too. Her name is Dolores Honeybump Wetpants and she's so tame right now that she tries to jump in the window if we don't feed her quick enough. You can see she eats out of our hands. We can pet her and she sort of talks to us (mostly in her very loud bossy voice). She hangs around the pond where I work.

This is enough to make anyone happy. A surprise flat of flowers outside my back door when I came home. Stumped me for a bit until I realized my back door was open. Ahhh, must be from F.Y.S. Sure enough, they were. He certainly knows how to make mom happy.

This is what I call my walking lily because every year it moves to a different spot in the garden bed. I think a mole is shoving it out of the way, but I can't be sure. It's a treat to see where it will show up next.

Love. Love. Love this heart sculpture. F.M.S. saw it and said, "you really like your rocks, don't you mom?" He supposed that's where he gets his love of rocks. I suppose so.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I know summer hasn't even begun....

but I'm not one of those who can wait til the last minute to do things and if I don't get started on these now, they won't be done for Christmas. At least I'm using summery colors for the yarn. Waiting til the last minute for anything causes me too much angst and I'm all about the smooth and peaceful life. Alright, so making the aprons for the little girls in January might have jumped the gun a little, but I was on a roll and figured, why not?

It's always a challenge to come up with ideas for what to make my siblings and nieces and nephews. It doesn't have to be big, but I feel like it has to be something and, of course, I think it should be handmade and follow a theme. Sooooo, this year the couples are getting cotton knit dish cloths and crocheted scrubbies. Yeah, so the guys will say it's for the ladies right? Well, no, because I know the guys do the dishes too and since the jam and biscotti were such a hit last year, they're getting that as well. Will everyone be happy?

The pattern for the dishcloth came from Ravelry, although I'm using several patterns and colors to make them all different. The scrubbie directions are from my girlfriend's mom.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

For me??

I got a package...

from Taiwan no less! Oh, I'm so excited. What could it be? It says books, that would be Alex shipping some home. (That's some good timing honey because I've read so many of those you left at the house that I'm nearly down to things like Macro Economics. Does that sound like good reading before I sleep?)

Fabric. Fabric?? Wha...really? You sent fabric?

Cookies....that can only mean one kind. Yippee! Let's just open this and see what's in here.

Oh, way to melt a mom's heart. I love how you drew us inside the shapes of Michigan and Taiwan. Yes, it made me all teary eyed and I hugged it. (I also hugged and cried over War and Peace because I knew your hands* carried it all over Cambodia just a few short months ago.)
*See previous post on missing you.

Gasp You did send fabric. You, are a wonderful son because I know how much you loathe fabric stores and I'm sure it doesn't make them better if they're at outdoor markets. But you sent some home....these are beautiful! I'm thinking on the silky fabrics, but I already know the one on the right will be perfect as a liner on a tote bag, and perhaps a few drawstring bags as well. I think I have an idea for the one on the left too. Oh my.....

ooooh, treat, treat! I loved this cereal when I visited Taiwan, so much so that I brought a bag home with me. *grins* Extra yummy. I laughed because the bag says "Creamy Cereal Beverage", it's not a beverage. It's just delicious. (Update - this is NOT the cereal we ate all over Taiwan. It is a breakfast beverage.)

Those cookies? We carried them everywhere with us when we were traveling and they're the best for dunking in your tea. I've missed them.

Ok, this is really Laura's teacup that I brought her from Taiwan, but I wanted to show you that we wasted no time in breaking open the cookies to have with our tea. Mmmmm, it nearly takes me back.

What a fabulous package to get in the mail. Thank you, honey. Readers, don't I have the best son?

Monday, June 1, 2009

I miss this face!

I miss him......badly.

I dunno. Is it supposed to get easier? Alex has been gone for 20 months and, except for those 2 weeks I spent with him in Taiwan, I've been existing mostly on emails and the occasional phone call. That's really tough on a mom or 媽媽 as he calls me. Megan is great in that she drops in snippets of his life on her blog, but it's just not the same as seeing him and talking with him in person. Do I want him to come home? Well, no, or yes. I don't really. I know he's doing well and that he's on an extraordinary adventure so I don't want him to come home for me because that's just silly. I just wish he weren't so far away so I could see him easier, but that's the mom part. You know what it really is? He's all grown up and not my little boy. I miss my little boy, but oh, how I love this young man.