Friday, May 28, 2010

Back to Basics

It's Friday night, and I feel like I'm re-emerging. From what? From a life-changer of a weekend, from an exhausting week, from blog coma. I don't know how long I will stay emerged, but it's time to take my blog back.

Obviously, dedicating my only blog post every week to the market report isn't working. When I can't even post my own report, how can I expect anyone else to join in? And it's kind of ruining my enjoyment of the market--I feel more like a journalist than alive.

So this week, I'm writing about this week. And I have to give a nod to a new blog I found today that inspired me to get back to more reflective writing--how could I resist checking out something titled Chicken Blog? Oh yeah! There aren't a whole lotta chickens, but there are gorgeous photos and really talented writing.

As for my own week, the reason I was off the grid last weekend was a sad one. Our extended family lost a dear member last Wednesday, and there was no question but that I had to be there for the funeral. In processing my loss, I expected some kind of eulogy to come pouring out into this space, but in the end I decided not to write about it. No lengthy discourse on the dynamic, independent, willful woman who both attracted and ruffled people. Who was both elegant and earthy, demanding and open. A lovely, difficult creature whom, I realize now, I always admired. She lived life on her terms, and a good life she created for herself.

Nope, not gonna write about her.

Instead, I choose to dwell on the wonderful opportunity I had to reconnect with family members. An uncle I haven't seen in over 20 years, and his son, now two years out of college, who was two years old last time I saw him. Of course, he now towers over me. Nice guy, though, really nice guy. Plus other cousins, aunts and uncles, cousins-once-removed, heck, even my parents. :)

I stayed with my brother's family, and we truly enjoyed each others' company. I babysat Saturday night, and got kudos from a nephew as a great babysitter. Probably because I let them watch tv and play Nintendo, and eat as little as they wanted for dinner.

I love these guys. It was a treat to see them so soon since our last trip there in January. There was none of that getting-reacquainted time lost at the start. And, considering they are moving to London this summer, the closer we get now, the better.

Yes, London.

*sigh* My reaction, when I heard the news, was one of losss and disappointment. Miss Chef's was more like "Cool! Now we have an excuse to go to London!" I do love having Miss Chef around for perspective.

Brothers. This was outside the church, after the funeral. Notice the little pavilions have crosses on top? Their sister was trying to get the eldest's attention during this whole wrestling match, shouting "Captain! Captain!" I do so love and envy their active imaginations.

Ooooo, my little Cuddles. He's already practicing his new accent: "Mummy, could you buy me some trousers?"

As much fun as I had with them, returning home was tiring. Poor sleep, snapped back into work--I flew back in Monday afternoon, then taught class that night. Back into my 10- and 12-hour days. Plus a lingering grief (the funeral wasn't the emotional release and re-visiting I'd been hoping for. She deserved more.)

But there are the comforts of home. Even before I taught, even as I stumbled from Office Job to Teaching Job, I took time to stop by the garden. It looks wonderful. We've started harvesting broccoli, and the peas are still coming in.

Some of the plants are dying, somewhat mysteriously, but I still have the joy of plucking the rounded pods, hoarding them in my shirt front, and triumphantly carrying them inside to shell.

These seem to be the highlight of my garden every year. I look forward to tomatoes, but I like peas better. Still, I had a nice time after work today, plucking suckers off the 'mater plants and putting the first ties on them to hold them to the stakes. Sleep well, little plants.

Miss Chef has been particularly attentive this week. She missed me enormously while I was gone. Thursday night I came home from another evening of overtime, to a house that smelled indescribably delicious. Our oversupply of eggs and other produce had stirred Miss Chef's imagination in the direction of quiches.

I was particularly delighted, because that very afternoon, I'd been sitting at my desk, thinking "We should use those eggs up and make quiche." But Miss Chef usually goes beyond my expectations. As you can see, she made four of them.

As best as I can recall, here are the various flavor combinations (What? You didn't expect her to make them all the same, did you??):

spinach and feta (both local, feta from her own hands)
ham and cheddar
bacon, potato and leek (local leek, not sure about the bacon)
broccoli, asparagus and fontina (broccoli from our garden, asparagus from the market)

The last one is what I chose to dig into; the others we wrapped and stashed in the freezer. Mother and Father Flartus will be visiting next month, and it's always nice to have some ready-made meals for them.

So, with the power of eggs, cream and camouflaged vegetables, I have made it through the week. Sort of. Tomorrow morning, up we get, to volunteer at the market again. Yes, I'll be going to the market, but don't expect a report. Because immediately afterwards, I'll be heading back into the office for the rest of the day. And there's always next week's lessons to plan.

But...Monday's a holiday. For both my jobs. Which means a full two days off. I already have some plans, most of which involve weeds. Some of which, however, involve sleeping, reading and possibly staring into space. And, if the weather cooperates, flying the flag. I'm in a mood to remember.


  1. Wow, those quiche left me drooling! How delightful to have them appear like that! Clearly I should have taken up with a chef. Sigh...

  2. Beautiful piece of writing. Thanks for sharing. I've had two recent family bereavements - we seem to do lots of things in a parallel manner! And hey - get some rest please. You seem to be working too hard! x

  3. I've missed you, Flar! And oh, those quiches look sooooo good!

    I'm sorry your trip was for a sad reason, but that's just a way for us humans to reconnect with each other and remember all the past times together.

    Nancy in Iowa

  4. My condolences Flar. We also had a death in the family... two actually... same day... while I was entertaining company. The timing wasn't the best, but then again, the deceased probably would have taken a raincheck had one been available.

    At least you got time with Cuddles!

    And what I wouldn't give for fresh peas and quiche. You definitely lead a charmed life.


  5. I'm a fresh peas kinda gal too. Just bought a couple of artichokes at the grocery store. Artichokes have been sooo expensive, just now getting some - $2.00 apiece. My Mama was from San Fran, so I know my way around an artichoke.

    Pass me some quiche, doesn't matter which one, they all sound and look wonderful.

  6. Sorry about the loss. :( Sounds like you had a good time watching the kids and catching up.
    Food, glorious food! Yum! Those quiches look delicious.
    Fresh peas, another yum. Although I have to go with the tomatoes as my fav. Cherry tomatoes to be exact. Just stand there and pop them into your mouth right from the plant. Mmmmmm.
    You sound like one very busy, busy gal. Try to get some 'me' time in.
    My youngest daughter and I have asked each other what we would want more, a chef or a maid. No doubt about it, a chef! :) I envy you for that! :)

  7. Your nephews are so handsome! I bet they had a blast with you.

    I'm sorry for your loss,


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