|Right before we found the herd of groundhogs. Seriously.|
Here’s a first: writing a blog post on my phone. This is not an experience I care to repeat very often, as I’ve just spent a good twenty minutes trying to add a photo to this post (did it work??? how will I even know?), but apparently the problem preventing me from accessing the internet on our home computers won’t be fixed til Thursday at the earliest. So, please, ignore typos and tortured unedited prose.
This shouldn’t throw me off, should it?
I lived through a time before Facebook and Twitter. Heck, I was a stay-at-home mom long before phones got smart. I checked email a couple of times a day, and even that felt obsessive compulsive. I jotted down my kids’ accomplishments in a notebook and took photos on a camera that used film (remember film?), which we would walk uptown to process at a store, waiting for days before picking up the resulting gems or fails.
I used to write more poetry. I wonder if that’s what I did when feeling a pang, a desire to express myself in short form, in a hurry.
And now I blog. On my phone, if need be.
Here’s a short list of everything I would have done online today, if the internet had been available to me: checked the weather network before leaving for spin class; checked email; emailed my mom; checked Facebook; maybe Google news for top headlines; renewed library books; checked weather radar before hanging clothes; processed and uploaded photos; blogged.
None of that sounds urgent or life changing.
I hung the laundry anyway (looks sunny).
I texted my mom.
I sort of checked Facebook from my phone, but the slowness made me impatient so I don’t know whether Pickle Me This maybe had her baby while I was away this weekend, or what happened to Rob Ford since last I looked into it, nor did I discover a new favourite calming quote, or read a long-form article by an author I admire, or watch a hilarious video like the one where the couple sing Annie Lennox at the gas station. None of that did my morning contain.
I don’t even want to ask the question that seems to be looming, insisting on being asked, under the circumstances: did my morning need the internet? Is my life better with it? Am I really more connected now, less lonely, better informed, closer to people?
But I think the answer is yes.
front yard tomatoes
I am writing.
I am realizing it is already August. But I can’t quite believe it.
I am wondering. When we will get the dogs? When will our new nephew be born? (Kevin’s sister is due with her second, oh, so very soon.)
I am planning. Camp transportation. Baby visiting. Dog vetting. Fall extra-curriculars.
I am debating. Got up early for spin and weight class, plus soccer practice tonight … should I go swimming too?
I am appreciating. Spontaneous all-family bike ride last night, with non-stop-talking CJ behind me on borrowed trail-a-bike. (“This is AWESOME, Mama!”) Suppers stuffed with fresh veggies. Heat. Backyard get-together with neighbourhood friends. (“You’re going to another mom-party, Mom?!”) Late nights. Laundry on line.
Quick, passing, sweet, heartfelt summer.
Monday’s menu:: Supper at Grandpa’s: BBQd chicken; mashed potatoes; corn; green salad; strawberry rhubarb crisp.
Dessert contribution:: Since I didn’t have to cook a meal, I offered to bring salad and dessert. It was a treat to have time to bake something. And nothing beats a strawberry rhubarb crisp. (My dad provided the ice cream.)
Tuesday’s menu:: Beans and rice; tortillas; cucumber and tomato salad.
Because:: The beans were easy to cook on an afternoon when I was home with small children anyway. But Kevin and I hardly had a chance to fit a bite in before we were racing off in different directions with various children to different soccer games. We both had big bowls of beans and rice as a bedtime snack instead. Sigh.
Wednesday’s menu:: Sausages on the grill; buns; green salad with radish, avocado, and tomato.
Because:: The prolonged heatwave was starting to catch up with our un-air-conditioned house, and I couldn’t bear the thought of turning on the stove.
Convenience:: I’ve gotten in the habit of texting Kevin, late afternoon, to request pickup of some supper item or another. Tonight it was buns. His office is a short walk from the grocery store, or from Vincenzo’s (a local store that has a bakery, butcher, and fishmonger), both of which are basically on the way home.
Thursday’s menu:: BLTs. Vegetarian option: goat cheese instead of bacon.
Because:: We had bacon in the freezer. And home-baked bread. And it was easy enough to ask Kevin to pick up tomatoes on the way home. And because I was running out of menu-planning steam. A popular supper.
Friday’s menu:: Gallo pinto (beans and rice) fried in bacon fat. Salsas; tortilla chips; asparagus; cherry tomatoes; vegetable empanadas.
Because:: We were picking up empanadas and salsas from Bailey’s, and I knew they’d go perfectly with leftover beans and rice.
Weekend kitchen accomplishments: Cleaning the kitchen (does that count?). Four loaves of bread. A second strawberry rhubarb crisp. (Confession time: I ate leftover strawberry rhubarb crisp at least twice for lunch during the week, and I’m still not sick of it.)
Saturday’s menu:: Taco salad. We compromised and left it deconstructed. We also ate at a ridiculously late hour, so this was essentially a supper-themed bed-time snack. After which, I went to poetry book club and ate several pieces of a rhubarb custard pie.
Sunday’s menu:: BBQd chicken; steamed rice; sweet and sour sauce; roasted asparagus; plus the aforementioned crisp for dessert.
Because:: Grandma offered to pick chicken up for us at the market. The sweet and sour sauce was a hit, though I found the recipe a bit bland. Next time, more ginger and vinegar, and less water (who needs water in their sweet and sour sauce??).
Prelude:: To a soccer game (mine), and therefore I couldn’t eat much. I was nervous. We were playing the team that had whupped us last Sunday. Turns out, I had cause to be nervous. We were missing two of our best players and had almost no subs; I played 90 minutes straight (so did a bunch of others). Despite our best efforts, they killed us. On the bright side, I was able to run hard the whole game, and suffered no injuries! Came home and soothed myself with leftovers, plus a gigantic helping of crisp.
A quick post on a busy day. First, must let you know about an event taking place tomorrow evening, at which I will be reading: at The Silver Spoon in Kitchener, and I’ll be going on around 7:45/8pm. (I probably won’t be behaving too badly, however, contrary to the poster’s title. Which could be a disappointment, I realize.)
I’d also like to direct you to a few finds online.
:: A great review of What We Talk About When We Talk About War, by Noah Richler (once-upon-a-time, my boss). Reviewed by Kerry Clare at Pickle Me This. Very thoughtful.
:: Today, on the main page of the 49th Shelf, my list of “books that made me want to write.”
:: And, in honour of poetry month, a wonderful poem by a Canadian poet, Amanda Jernigan, who is making waves, and was just nominated for a major award. I wasn’t familiar with her work, but immediately loved this poem. It’s called Catch.
popcorn for supper
**Monday’s menu** Baked potatoes. Veggie sausages and burgers.
**Quick-swap** High winds knocked down a tree in our neighbourhood, which landed on electrical lines, which took out the power. Which prevented the potatoes from being baked, as planned. Kevin brought home veggie sausages and veggie burgers to throw on the grill instead. He also tried baking the potatoes on the grill, but these weren’t done until late. The veggie burgers were fine, but the veggie sausages were declared next to inedible. Perhaps familiarity with the real thing does not endear the tastebuds to a masquerading soy product. Tough start to the week.
**Tuesday’s menu** Grilled veggies and veggie burgers.
**Guests** This flexible (and familiar) menu, with the addition of leftover baked potatoes, fed a crowd. Albus invited friends to stay for supper — I believe there were at least three extra at the table; AppleApple and I ate early and left for soccer practice. I was thankful Kevin was managing it all.
**Wednesday’s menu** Curried beans in the crockpot. Baked rice.
**Highlight of the day** Teaching Kevin how to cook using the crockpot! His first time.
**Speaking of which** Highlights of the week: I loved how Kevin planned out the week’s meals in advance, writing menus on the chalkboard. And he shopped for the ingredients. And he asked for help if he didn’t know how to do something.
**Thursday’s menu** Pasta with pesto. Salad.
**Easy-peasy** Kevin bought gnocchi, and used pesto I’d frozen from my last batch. I whipped up a salad dressing. Easy + popular.
**Friday’s menu** Pizza. Veggies.
**Even easier-peasier** To finish off his week, Kevin went with take-out pizza. Add some raw cut-up veggies, and some friends, and call it a meal. Have another friend drop by with pakoras and samosas and call it dessert. Fun.
**Weekend kitchen accomplishments** Waffles. Four loaves of bread.
our vintage popcorn-maker
**Cooking with kids** Suspended in favour of running with kids, followed by gardening with kids. We went with fresh bread, popcorn, and apples instead. Happy Earth Day!
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