Saturday, April 24, 2010

Evening Traditions

Why is it that traditions conjure up memories of holidays, meals and other unique times, but not everyday life? I want my tradition to persist through arduous commutes and annoying clients. I want my tradition to be ME and how I live my life. So I think today will be a day of reflection on the time I spend a slow evening, one in which we have no outside obligation, appointment or activity to attend.

I walk in the door and question “babe?” In response Jim pops around the corner with a little smirk and a quick “Britt?” I get my obligatory hug and peck on the lips, then off with the coat. I hang it over the back of my stool in the kitchen. My purse lands nicely on the seat of the same stool and I kick my shoes onto the small pile of footwear collecting underneath. Then we have the general discussion of how his day went and how mine was crazy. Momentary conversation about his ill father, how very different my family is and I silently mourn my lack of local family. Then he questions the plans for the evening and I head up the stairs to change into running clothes. As I come back down I think how utterly uneventful the evening will be. I put on my shoes, wrap my legs and stretch.

All the while we chat, well mostly I chat and Jim silently listens or ignores depending on his interest that day. My super chattiness is nothing new and he knows how to gracefully balance between annoyance and pure interest. Out the door we go. Run, walk, run until I make it home worn out from the extreme effort it takes to use this unkempt machine I call my body. Stretch, make a salad to accompany dinner. Sit down in my couch. Recline to ice my legs and eat my salad which is Jim’s cue to take over kitchen duties preparing the basic meal that we call dinner tonight. Dinner is consumed, baseball is watched and then it is shower time. After I am warmed up and in pajamas we relax, chat and watch Jeopardy or Bones or NCIS or baseball if the game is still on. Then my spine starts to sleep and the rest of my body follows quickly. I mosey up the stairs and slide under the down comforter. Moments later Jim joins, sets the alarm and it is off to the land of sleeps for a few short hours.

Our house is hardly ever loud and often near silent. We are not entertaining, but we make each other laugh with a simple phrase or even a facial expression. It is really easy for me to get caught in the bustle of life and rush through the simple getting home tradition (routine) that I go through every day missing the moments that become obvious when they should remain unique.

How do you keep creating unique days and moments forever? Keep tradition, I think

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Family, Marathons and Naps

So my dad came out this weekend. He wanted to watch a marathon and go to a baseball game. So we did!

First, on Saturday we headed to the Hynes Convention Center for the sports expo, which is basically an excuse for a bunch of fitness companies to peddle their wares to the people running the marathon. Jim and I picked up our number for the 5K and then went around looking at some cool stuff. Dad found a great training system made by Adidas. He also grabbed a new pair of shoes that aren't out "in the market" for another 6 months. I grabbed a second pair of my running shoes for 25% off, which was nice.

After that we went out for some sushi and other yummy food. Then I went home and took a nap (this was a trend for the weekend).

I had purchased tickets to the Red Sox game so dad and I headed into town and took in all the awesomeness that is Fenway Park. Dad also had to document (for posterity) where our seats were located

Since the Sox game on Friday was rained out in the 9th we got to watch the finish of that game. Of course it went into extra innings and we had to get up early for the race Sunday so we only got to see 1/3 of an inning of the game we actually had tickets to, but we saw plenty of innings altogether. 

Sunday we headed to Boston and met up with Michelle. I ran a 5K slowly(more on that in another post) and Jim did it in less than 30 Minutes, which is amazing when you think we have really only been running for a couple months. He is amazing and absolutely rocked the 5K. We had brunch (more on that later) and then I went home and napped (see the trend?)

Then on Monday Dad and I went into Boston and watched the marathon. I think it might have re-motivated my dad to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Then it was time to take Dad to the airport. Sadness kicked in as usual and I realize, yet again, how much is sucks to live a zillion miles from my family. Then I went home and took a nap. 

It was an amazing weekend and now I am back to work and missing my family

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Garden Report for April 2010

Mostly sprouts, which I have no pictures of. Next year we have to get some good lamps for sprouting because everything is really leggy and that worries me.

Blooms! Tulips are up and blooming. Our first were some red ones that looked very poppy-ish. Silly things bloomed at the same time as the crocuses so they were early birds.

Now there are white, purple and yellow tulips opening just in time for the rain to move in

What else do you see in the picture poking its head into the garden party? Weeds. I have a theory that a bed that is well maintained the first year will be easier to maintain in the following years. This has definitely been true for the vegetable garden. The tulip beds are brand new and they seem to sprout more weeds every hour. we will see if I can get any weeding done this weekend, if not the 24th is going to be weeding for hours. Hopefully next year is easier.

Garden tip for April: Dennis has not continued to eat the tulips, I am attributing this miracle to my command that a certain male member of the household urinate outside.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jim's wildlife adventure

Tradition: Animals in the backyard

Story: Last summer when my husband was home he started noticing all of the wildlife in our back yard. None of it is exotic, but it is funny. Jim named all the animals, I'm not sure if this was boredom or just because he is a silly goose, but either way it is pretty funny.
Since it  has been a year the animals are waking from hibernation and returning from warmer weather or wherever they disappear to.

So far we have seen a finch, robin, a lovely bluebird (unsure of the species) and countless other birds. Let me introduce you to the cast of characters

Tommy, the chipmunk

And today was the first sighting of my new archnemsis Dennis the groundhog/woodchuck

I noticed that some of the shoots from my bulbs (tulips and crocuses) were chewed off. Then a couple of flowers disappeared overnight. I'm pretty sure Dennis is the culprit, don't let that cute little face fool you, he is pure evil

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Dress

Tradition: Easter Dress

From my youngest memory until I was 10 my mother made many of my clothes. She can probably shed some light on the reasoning, but my best guess would be cost and/or my extreme hatred toward clothes that fit at my waist (a quirk of mine to this day). I know she spent hours on my clothes, but the things I remember most vividly are the dresses she made for Easter and Christmas. One year she made a set of matching dresses for herself, me and my older sister. Mom got to wear magenta heels and I was pretty bitter that I didn’t get a pair. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I vowed to have a pair of magenta heels to match my Easter dress once I was old enough to dictate such things. I remember Daisy Kingdom dresses with extra girly ruffles. I remember the socks with lace edging and white patent leather shoes. I love myself an Easter dress so now that I am a “grown up” I buy or make myself an Easter dress or Easter skirt every year.

This year I was to attend a wedding just a couple of weeks before Easter and since none of my dresses fit quite right (some too big, some too small) I decided to buy an Easter/wedding dress combination. I took Jim with me, which would normally be a mistake, but this time it made for an efficient shopping trip. We walked in, I picked up two different dresses and headed to the dressing room. I tossed on one of them peeked out of the dressing room and Jim responded with atypical accolades. I quickly changed and peeked out in the second dress. Jim’s reponse… “I guess, but the other one is way better” I couldn’t argue with that. We walked out less than ten minutes after we walked in.

The pictures are not the best, but you get the idea. It’s a basic black dress with a wonderful pink detail on the bottom, a highlighting ribbon around the waist and a matching bolero. The only pics I have were taken when I was modeling the shawl so you can’t see the bolero.

One extra I did this year was to buy matching shoes, but mine aren’t magenta

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Soft Lace

Tradition: Knitting, lace

Knitting is really my hobby. It is one of the only (of my many) hobbies that I can trace to a source outside of my family. I know my mother knows how to knit, but I don’t recall her spending any time on it before I learned. I have taught my younger sisters, planted the tradition, I guess.

Recently I knit a lace scarf/shawl. I made it out of 100% silk yarn that my friend gave me for my last birthday. It is a wonderful purple color and it was easy to work with. I found 1 knot in the ball, but I can’t guarantee that wasn’t caused by a ball winding mishap. The best part of this yarn is the behavior of the knitted item. This shawl can be worn like a scarf, but I really think it is perfect for wearing around my shoulders, shawl style. The finished, blocked item sticks ever so slightly to adjacent clothing. It reminds me of the Bible/Book of Mormon stories we used to recreate on our couch with felt characters. I’m not sure why we didn’t have a normal felt board, but our couch worked quite nicely.

Blocking the shawl was an adventure. I don’t have a steam cleaner and my mats are most definitely melt-able so steaming with an iron was out of the question. I have a big fear of wet silk snapping during blocking so I made up my own blocking method (which I am sure someone else has tried). After I did the bind off and weaving in of ends I slipped the shawl onto some blocking wires stretched it into place and pinned the wires. Then I soaked some towels and laid it over top kind of squishing it all over. Then I lifted the towels and left it to dry. This allowed the yarn to get wet AFTER I had the item in place and it was wonderful. I think it would have been easier had I used a spray bottle of some sort, but I don’t have one that isn’t full of cleaner so this was a good work around.

Pictures were taken in my backyard last Sunday. More on the dress Sunday