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that which must be said

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cerebral giggles

xkcd + pumkin = win

I may have been blog inactive for well, awhile now as I attempt to find myself etc etc and other deep thoughts. While I may have been ignoring the blog here I have been able to wander around the web world and rekindle my love of things that make me laugh. High on that list is xkcd which is a webcomic to rule all webcomics. Go forth and read it. I won’t guarantee it will make you laugh or that it will make you hit Wikipedia but then again I can’t guarantee we won’t all turn into zombies at the hands of our government either. Some things you just have to take on faith.

things that rhyme with cat

king rat

This little guy is starting to come along. He’s been leaning up against the easel glowering at me for some time so it’s nice that he now has eyes with which to glare.

I haven’t been painting at all of late largely because of the dust situation. I’m having this horribly frustrating battle with dust here. It just zeros in on the oil paintings and ruins them for me. Technically they aren’t ‘ruined’ but I can see the little black and grey spots and lines smearing through the paints and it _drives_me_nuts. The whole process is ruined for me once that happens- there’s just no salvaging it at that point. So I’ve kind of  hit this limbo land where I want to paint but I’m afraid to paint because I know it will end in dusty, frustrated, smeary failure. Which is, honestly, where king rat currently is at. He’s cute, but he’s dusty so it’s doubtful that he will ever fully be finished.

how our garden grows

fresh blueberries

blackberries galore

almost ready

Trust me, I understand the irony of posting pictures of our juicy garden goodies on the heels of a post that mentions my lack of watering abilities. Obviously someone other than me does the dirty work- well the wet work at least. Personally I love the planting and the harvesting. It’s the bit in between that tricks me up.

cactus jungle

succulent wreath

For someone who truly adores plants, I do a fine job of killing them.  Unlike those other plant killers who over love their plants with water, I tend to withhold my love a bit (and by love I mean water). This is why I usually veer toward the purchase of succulents when left to my own planting devices.  I am the proud owner of two aloe plants and an utterly giant jade plant, all of whom have lived under my ‘care’ for the last four years. I am now seriously considering obtaining one of the truly beautiful wreaths created by Cactus Jungle in Berkeley, Ca. I think this would make a  welcoming statement on the front door – especially since it won’t instantly wilt and die if I neglect it for a few days.

robots in space

caught in a time capsule

For an art final a few years ago my class was challenged with creating a drawing inspired by something we love. I, as it happens, love my children and, as it happens, I also quite like robots. Gav and I have a special robot connection so I created this piece of a robot stuck in a snow globe/time capsule and dedicated it to him.

time passes

a beautiful wildflower plucked for me by Gavin

It amazes me still, the brisk passing of time. In a handful of weeks my youngest child will be 10. The banner on this site, which I had planned to redesign for the spring, must soon be designed for the coming fall and all of the wee projects I have passed into the ‘eventually’ pile are gathering together to mutiny soon. Of all of these examples, the one I struggle with is releasing Gavin from the apron strings so to speak, and watching him fly on his own. It is a gift, being allowed to help a soul grow, and it is a fun, wonderful adventure but truly, at times, I wouldn’t mind a pause button.

spanish lavender

I have always preferred Spanish Lavender to French or English and apparently the bees agree! Our lavender plant is covered in bees and although it is in need of a trim I am going to let it continue to bloom out and let the bees have their fun.

homemade jam

pre-mash

after the mash/slaughter

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the health roulette the FDA is currently allowing to happen with our veggies and fruits but at this stage eating  anything with a thin skin that is non organic is somewhat akin to snacking on DDT or in this case methyl iodide . With three kids in the house we go through a lot of  jam (pb & j anyone? ) and buying a jar of Whole Paycheck’s organic jam each week gets a bit pricey. So after my sister-in-law sent us a sample of her delicious homemade organic strawberry jam we decided to give jam making a try.

We are lucky enough in Mountain View to have an outstanding Farmer’s Market which offers a wide variety of organic fruits and veggies. I have to admit that for a while there the prices were prohibitively high  however  the prices seem to have gone down and we were able to score an amazing amount of fresh organic apricots, strawberries and blackberries for under $40.00.

Eventually we stumbled home with our haul and loosely following the guidelines from pickyourown.org and the directions that came with the pectin we were able to make about 26 jars of jam. In the interest of full disclosure I have to say that our jam is not actually 100% organic. We failed to consider the origins of our pectin and while it turns out that you can buy organic pectin, we- alas, did not.

Non-organic pectin issues aside, the jam is freaking amazing. I would suggest that extra care is taken in really boiling down the fruit as there is a slight difference between the batches we allowed to boil down fully and the ones we decided were ‘good enough’.  (the ‘good enough’ ones were at the end of the three hours of jam making and are still yummy but are also slightly runny)

wwjd?

I apologize for the poor picture quality but this just begged to be shared with the masses- or the two of you who read here :) . Another treasure found in the Great Mall, snuggled together on a bed of faux velvet, locked behind a glass case. I feel strongly that it needs no other introduction or explanation. Talk amongst yourselves.

did you know

cha cha cha Chia!

It is no great secret that I am not a mall friendly person and so it was with great trepidation that I accompanied the family to ‘mall day’ 2010. I’m not going to sugar coat it- there were a few minutes of  ‘ohmygodIcan’tbreath’ and ‘we are consumer fodder’ but after the initial shock wore off things became fun. Especially when I discovered that the Great Mall in Milpitas has a store which specializes in TV infomercial gadgets. I know, who would have thought! Not only do they sell specialty items such as the Obama Chia but the also carry a 5 in 1 Egg Slicer and the not to be missed Ab Rocket. So, if you have seen it on the TV and missed out on that $19.99 special introductory price, head over the the Great Mall and shop your heart out!

(image source)