Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bathtub Greenhouse

It is almost planting time! Jay is busy building the raised beds for our new, improved vegetable garden, while I have been starting the seedlings that can readily transfer.

For now, there are no baths in my tub. Only dirt, pots, and a lovely earthy smell that permeates the master bathroom.

The miracle of life is so apparent in a seedling. How amazing that a complete genetic package for a tomato or a cucumber is held inside a tiny seed! Even more amazing is that it grows, with little failure, when you simply add dirt and water it from time to time. How anyone can witness the creation of new life, whether it be human, animal, or plant, and not know for certain there is a God is beyond me.

In my bathtub greenhouse I am growing from seed: two kinds of tomatoes (early girls and grape), broccoli, cantaloupe, two kinds of pepper (bell and cubanelle), basil, Italian parsley, mint, artichoke, strawberries and freakishly giant pumpkin (just for fun, kids' request).

When the beds are done in a few weeks I will directly sow corn, lettuce, carrots, cilantro, dill, watermelon, peas, regular pumpkins, cucumber, yellow squash, pole beans and giant sunflowers.

Sounds like a lot, I know, and some will probably fail in our crazy desert weather and strong wind. But what fun to try!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Horsing Around

I love this photo of Lindsey--she is completely happy because she is on the back of a horse. At long last she has resumed her riding lessons, which were aborted by our move more than two years ago, and she is thrilled.

The ranch where she is riding is a little slice of farm life that completely amused Joey and me while we observed her first lesson. In addition to the horses, there are geese (one of whom protectively pecks you if you get too close to the owner), roosters and hens, and a mischievous goat, shown below eating a magazine.

At first I was worried about him consuming this type of material, but the stable girl quickly assured me that the magazines were actually planted there specifically for the goat to eat, as they kept him from shredding the actually important paperwork. He reminded me of a toddler who had to be corrected and distracted constantly.

Perhaps the high point for me was observing the goat head butt the goose in an attempt to get at its feed. This was not smart, and the goose quickly put him in his place. Later he was seen head butting the feed trailer as it came in for a delivery. In Darwinian terms, this goat will not be long for this world, but he sure is pleasure to watch...since he's not my responsibility and it's not my property, of course!

I would never want to maintain a working ranch. But it sure is fun to visit one. I, for one, am glad Lindsey is riding again!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Total Fluff

I got a new purse today!

This is big news, as I have not bought a purse in about 6 years. I am not a big bag switcher, so it is quite a banner event when I do.

The best part? I had been looking at this bag for a few weeks, but couldn't decide whether to take the plunge. Today when I happened by, it was 25% off plus an additional 20% off that. I would have been a fool if I had passed it by.

Well, I've gotta run now and "move in" to my new purse. What total, girly fun!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Cat's out of the Bag

There is always a lovely honeymoon period when Jay starts a new job. It's a time when he is learning the software, proving himself to his peers and working hard, but relatively quietly. His co-workers don't really know him yet so he is left pretty much alone to do his thing. Therefore, he is blessedly close to home, not traveling too much, and not too stressed out.

Well, folks, the honeymoon is over.

After being instrumental in closing a few big accounts this month, the cat is out of the bag on Jay. People outside of his immediate circle have figured out how competent he is and he is in high demand. (Forgive the spousal bragging, please, but I can't help it--I am proud of him!)

He is off today, Sunday, to a show in San Diego where the VP of Sales requested him personally, and then straight to Seattle after that, for another demo. He is supposed to be West Coast only, but after they handed him an RFP for Australia this week, I am somehow doubting the long term viability of this scenario.

Ah, well. It was fun while it lasted. (Go, Jay, go!)

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Congratulations, Lindsey, on your First Reconciliation! It is my hope and prayer that you will remain close to God through this Sacrament all of your life.

Beautiful music, beautiful prayers, beautiful tears, beautiful girl...inside and out. Your parents are so very proud of you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Happiness Is...

...having two kids on one baseball team. How I love efficiencies!

The kids are doing quite well with baseball, especially since it is the first year playing for both of them. Lindsey, in particular, has a knack for it. During Saturday's game, the coach for the opposing team approached me and asked if I would consider allowing her to play on his team in the farm division (right now she is in coach pitch).

You know what I said, right? NO WAY! I've got two kids on one team, which means practice and games in common. That is worth more than gold in my world. Sorry, Lindsey. Maybe next year.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Effective, But Not What I Had In Mind

Today while I was chauffeuring the kids around, it occurred to me that my driving skills have declined in recent years. I am more distracted than I used to children, the phone, the ipod, school papers, sports equipment and many other things. I never seem to just be driving and paying attention to the road anymore without something else competing for my attention.

As I was reflecting on this, I shot up one of my dozens-a-day quick prayers: Please, God, help me to be a better driver so I can keep my family safe.

I forgot about this request shortly thereafter, but apparently God did not.

As I pulled out of Julia's dance class today, performing my trademark "put the seat belt on when I reach the first stoplight" maneuver, I was pulled over by the sheriff. I received my first traffic citation in many, many years, for a seat belt violation. She reminded me sternly that that car should not even be in gear until my seat belt is solidly in place.

OK, God, I got it. Thanks for listening and for caring enough to send a correction my way.

This Congress Gets It Done

I've just returned from a three day visit to the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, and all I can say is WOW!

My dear friend (and frequent tell-it-like-it-is commentor on this blog) has been trying to get me to go to this event for years, but I have always been in some inconvenient stage of childbearing that prohibited my attendance. This year, however, the stars aligned. Jay, grandmas and friends stepped up to take over management of house and children, and I sailed out of town for three days of education and reflection. How amazingly wonderful it was!

I got to attend 8, yes 8, 90 minute workshops on topics that I selected (there were 26 to choose from for EACH session). I focused my track mainly on raising and educating godly children, but the topics were broad enough to cover things like the new need for clustering parishes, the church's role in immigration and all sorts of other things.

I got to go to mass every day, and what masses they were! Imagine the entire Anaheim Area packed to the rafters with faithful Catholics, all receiving the Eucharist together. Combined with gives-you-goosebumps music, a three-language liturgy, and one particularly charismatic homilist (who shamelessly promoted his own bobble-head...really, you had to be there), the experience was moving beyond description.

I got to shop and visit exhibitor booths featuring everything from the new St. John's Bible (beautiful, awe-inspiring) to Dead Sea foot scrub (less so).

I got to sleep all night. For three nights in a row. Need I say more?

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my amazing husband and the heroic grandmothers who made this possible. I return refreshed, inspired and ready to resume my joyful duties and mother and wife.