Tuesday, July 31, 2012

guilty pleasures

  • ancient aliens.  i know, i know, it's ridiculous, but i love how earnest everyone on the show is, i love how they interpret history, i love that they're willing to be out and proud about their fringe beliefs!  
  • legos all over the living room.  sure, we pulled them out for my nephews, but did we put them back? no. are we still playing with them? yes.
  • blueberries.  they have been on sale lately, and we are eating them by the gallon.  i guess i don't have to feel guilty about that one, but we are enjoying them immensely.
  • gardner dozois's sci-fi anthologies.  some of the stories are hit and miss, like all anthologies, but the ones that are good tend to be really good. also, ellen datlow doesn't come out with enough collections, while this guy reads a crazy amount of stuff and edits a book every year. (he's a hard working dude.)  while i always feel kind of guilty not reading a "real" book when i have the time, i should probably cut myself some slack.  i am, after all, reading, and that's never a bad thing. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

whirlwind weekend

 my very favorite people in the world (besides the three i live with) came to visit this weekend!  both of my nephews, and their awesome parents.  we only got to spend two days with them, but we packed a lot into those days.

i know it's a cliche to say of children, "they grow so fast," but sometimes it's so true.  both H and T are taller, funnier and smarter than i remember.  that they get along so well with the boychik and girlchild is icing on that delicious cake.  the first day anne and the boys were here, we went out to storvik park in anacortes.   if you live within 25 miles of that park, it is TOTALLY worth taking your kids out there.  seriously. it's huge, there are a ton of swings, play equipment, picnic benches, and lots and lots of room for running around.  we brought snacks from the breadfarm and slough food, had nibbles and let the boys run around for a while.  after that, we brought the boys home and let my kids babysit while anne and i picked up aaron for a rock concert! i was not familiar with the neon trees before the show, but they were awesome.  i haven't been to a show in so long; i was kind of out of shape for it.  i brought a purse (rookie mistake!), wore the wrong shoes, and was hot and sweaty for most of the show.  we had a great time, though, and it really made me wonder why i haven't been to any shows in so long.  it's exhilarating.
the next day we all went to the pacific science center for their king tut exhibit.  to say that that we were excited to see it is an understatement. 
just seeing the arches make me all giddy inside.  i have such fond memories of this place as a kid. 
my love of ancient egypt knows no bounds.  as a kid i read a lot of books about mummies and the pyramids, and wanted to be an egyptologist sooo badly.  of course, that's not what happened, but i still love it.  it's amazing to see the kids so into it as well.  walking through the exhibit and realizing that everything you're looking at is thousands of years old is humbling.  it gave me all kinds of ideas for new projects, and in a lot of ways felt like visiting and old friends.  things i had read about and seen in documentaries, right there in front of me.  if you get a chance to check it out, i highly recommend it.  bonus tip: get the audio tour.  harrison ford does some of the narration!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

calvin roy

i'm not baby crazy, i promise, but i am in love with my newest nephew, calvin.  his middle name is my dad's name too!  he was sweet and mellow and smelled amazing and i can't wait until i can see him again.  seriously, i love being an auntie. 

Monday, July 09, 2012

gardening update

hey, guess what? peas really like to grow. which is awesome if you really like to eat peas, like we do. look at those! and what's sad is that i could have sooo many more peas if i'd given them some more room. i had no idea how big they could get!

my aunt bought me an italian heirloom tomato start, and bought one for herself. for a while both our plants looked pretty sad, but mine has bounced back (sort of; some of the leaves are still droopy) and is at least making some baby tomatoes. i hope the plant stays healthy enough to grow at least one big one!

we bought some seeds this year from baker creek heirloom seeds; they have a crazy amazing selection, but unfortunately for the seeds, i bought a bunch that were not suited to this area and were sacrificed to my learning curve. the one group that did grow was the purple cosmos carrot, which is gorgeous dark plum on the outside, and bright orange on the inside. i haven't grown nearly as many carrots as i thought i would have though, even with my husband's neat seed-sowing trick. i'm going to try another batch and see what happens.
with all the veggies in the garden and in our CSA box, we've been eating a lot of greens. it's been great. last night it was actually hot, and so inside of cooking much (besides grilling some eggplant), i just chopped a lot of beautiful things up, and we made salads and nibbled on bean dip and crackers. it was great. pretty too!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

weekend highlights

 here in the skagit valley there is a place called the breadfarm.  they make crazy delicious breads, which admittedly are kind of pricey.  this is not a complaint, honestly, just a fact. they make the kinds of loaves that never last very long, either.  this loaf of sour cherry and lemon bread lasted four hours in our house.  here it is, toasted with butter.  oh my.
 my sister and i took a trip to the lavender wind farm on whidbey island.  you know we grew up there, and yet we still managed to get lost once.  my sister has a friend who had some lotion she bought here and she smelled it and promptly told me we needed to take a trip there.  i'm so glad we did. it was so serene and beautiful, there were all sorts of lovely little paths to follow through the fields, they had cute chickens and we both bought some lavender.  i bought some to make into sachets, and some to cook with.  just this afternoon i made a lavender simple syrup for iced tea, which is quite delicious.
 at the anacortes farmer's market, cascadia mushrooms had a stall, and they were selling my favorite thing, mushroom growing kits!  this one is soaking as we speak, and i'm getting ready to make it a "humidity tent" and set it up downstairs.  the oyster mushrooms we grew were great, but it's agreed that we all like shitake mushrooms better. 
all around anacortes you'll see these wonderful paintings of locals past and present, done by artist bill mitchell as part of the anacortes mural project.  this was the first time i'd seen these lovely ladies, and i had to take their photo.  they seem to be having a pretty good time.
it's also super hot here; well, super hot for us! too hot for making real dinner.  i grilled some eggplant slices (they turned out great, dressed with a bit of vinegar and basil leaves), and cut up a ton of veggies.  we made ad hoc salads, or just nibbled on veggies.  the pink things in the little white bowl are homegrown, fridge-pickled radishes.  we've been eating a lot of them.  we also got those gorgeous carrots and the small dish of favas in our CSA box this week.  neither disappointed!  in fact, it was a great dinner.  for such a busy weekend, it was a nice way to wind things down. 

Sunday, July 01, 2012


i don't know what it is lately, but i have been pretty spastic and nerve-wracked.  i had a panic attack WHILE CAMPING. camping; seriously the most relaxing thing on earth, and i have a panic attack.  jeez.  that doctor i saw a few months ago who missed my whooping cough wrote me a script for lorazepam (a pill i love almost as much as i love my husband) but of course, failed to put a dosing time schedule on it.  because it said, "take one as necessary" not "take one as needed up to ____ times a day" the pharmacy wouldn't fill it.  i called the doctor's office three times to get them to fix it, but they never did.  i've been sort of hemming and hawing about seeing a new doctor for a new script, but am worried about that because it just really seems like i'm drug shopping, which i'm not.  i use very little lorazpam; i get a bottle of it a year, and more than anything, it's just my security blanket.  i thought i should try to go without it and see if i could manage.  my theory is that there are herbal remedies and benadryl* if i need it.   

of course in the middle of a panic attack this seems like the worst idea ever.

so the other day, i bought some kava extract thinking, "this might help." i like kava because i grew up reading margaret mead books, and because i've had good experiences with it in tea form.  i tried a little this morning (five drops at most) and holy shit, that stuff tastes terrible.  i can see how they hide the terrible taste in tea!  although to be fair, the taste can't be enhanced by the grain alcohol in the tincture either.  ugh.  at least i know i won't be downing it in cocktails any time soon, it's not really something i can see myself doing for "fun" or because i "like the taste." 

has anyone else tried any other herbal remedies? do you have any you would recommend?  i have noticed that working out more, and making sure i drink lots of water and get enough sleep, have helped make me feel better in general lately.  i'm not having panic attacks the way i used to, and i think this recent rash of them might have to do with other stuff in my life right now.    

*benadryl is a lo-fi remedy a doctor recommended once.  really, anything that normally would make you sleepy, can help in the midst of a panic attack.  there's probably a bit of placebo effect in there as well, but i won't tell my sympathetic nervous system if you won't, okay?