Monday, August 30, 2010

Another Year

Well, I've made it through another year. This time of year is rather hectic for us. School starts with its usual upheaval of emotions as Little Clover advances into another year. Then, we celebrate my mom on the anniversary of her death. Once we clear these hurdles, my birthday happens, quickly followed by Little Clover's. I'm generally one blob of emotional goo, trying to just make it through August. Fortunately for me, I've got two really incredible guys who spoil me rotten. They are patient with me as I struggle with letting my little guy grow up and as I grieve and remember. They are then quick to pamper me a few days later on my birthday. This year, my birthday fell on a Saturday, so we spent the day on the river, rods in hand, fishing.

From Irish Clover

Little Clover was the first to hook into fish, showing us up as usual.
From Irish Clover

I love fishing as a family, and it was a great way to spend a birthday. Plus, I got some knitting in.
From WIPs

This is the endpaper mitts and some very wacky Trekking I didn't think I would like. It looks pretty good with the hunter green.

Monday, August 23, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, NPR ran a story about a graduate student who had a knack for finding four leaf clovers. Naturally, my thoughts turned to my mom who also had this gift. The student talked about how she didn't really think much about finding four leaf clovers until one day she was visiting her father's grave and didn't have any flowers for him, so she hunted for a clover and found one to place on his marker. She also mentioned how most people don't look, thereby letting luck just pass them by for someone else.

My mom took the time to look. I remember growing up, sometimes my dad and I would be several strides ahead of my mom. We'd turn around to look for her, catching her looking down in the grass as she slowly strolled our way before stooping to pick up the four leaf clover that just caught her eye. She would look and she would find what we just walked right past. The clover was there for whomever took the time to find and appreciate it, and my mom did. To me, I remember her almost always finding the joy and happiness in things. She took the time to look around her and see the luck the world held. It's a lesson I'm still learning, and all the four leaf clovers and rainbows my mom sends my way are little remembers to keep my eyes open, and not only look for her in my life, but also look for luck and joy.

I love you, Mama, and you'll always be close to my heart. I miss you and feel lucky and blessed to have had you for as long as I did.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just keep knitting

From 2010 Finished Objects

This year has been one of those years where my focus has been on just getting by. I haven't had the luxury of time to focus on goals and objectives, of things I'd like to get accomplished, of striving for some grand thing to show for the year. Instead, I've been in survival mode.

From 2010 Finished Objects

Some days, I've found myself praying, "Please, God, help me get through this next hour, day, week, month, year." My hopes of finishing Rosetta Stone level 1 where nice, but unobtainable. Sure, it would have been grand to cook exclusively from our CSA this year, but reality got in the way. Yea, I would have loved to have the house completely decorated, but hey, it will still be there later.

From 2010 Finished Objects

We've been jumping from school to work to homework to sports practice to dinner to bed, only to start again in the morning. Through it all, I've knitting away, almost mindlessly, but knitting nonetheless to help keep the stress of work and home at bay.

From 2010 Finished Objects

If you keep knitting, before you know it, you'll have a few baby hats, and a pair of socks, and a middle schooler who's asking for help with his tie.

From Irish Clover

He's tossed aside his backpack with the shark on it, despite how well it served him the last few years, in favor of a new backpack with a laptop compartment, much better suited for middle school.

From Irish Clover

He'll tell you about his locker and how he has it organized, and that his locker neighbor has a fully functioning disco ball and how he thinks a Manning Fathead might be just what his locker needs. He'll still ask you though to walk him just a little way through the parking lot on school mornings. He may be in a tie and with a really big kid backpack, but he's still a work in progress.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Athens of the South

With the recent weddings in our family, I've had the luxury of seeing a lot of my family this summer, but I haven't been back home in quite some time. Last weekend was my first trip home in months, and the first time I've seen Nashville since the floods. Although the city really bounced back quickly, there are still quite a few things closed or renovating, small reminders that the city hasn't completely recovered from the flood.

Fortunately, most of my family came away from the flood with little to no damage and the lake and rivers are back to normal levels. A small storm blew through our area early last Saturday morning, leaving the rest of the day open for a potential canoe float trip down one of the nearby rivers. Italian and I had originally tossed around the idea of the Caney Fork, but the storm was moving out east, towards the Caney. We decide to stay in town then and helped push off Papa Clover and Little Clover down the Stones River. Italian and I drove off to the take out point and entertained ourselves with some casting. We would have preferred fishing, but the fish were not cooperating, so we "practiced casting" instead. We got in a lot of practice.

From Irish Clover

After a couple of hours, I could make out the canoe rounding the bend. Little Clover gave out the standard Clover whistle, I responded. Both Papa Clover and Little Clover looked a bit tired, but they also looked like they had great time.
From Irish Clover

In addition to canoing, Little Clover asked to visit the Parthenon. Built for the Centinneal celebration in Nashville, the Parthenon is a replica of the actual Parthenon in Greece, and solidified Nashville's growing reputation as the "Atens of the South." Like Athens, the Atens of the South wouldn't be complete without a statue of Athena, all 42 feet of her.

From Irish Clover

To say the statue is huge would be an understatement. She was massive. Little Clover impressed us all with his knowledge of Greek Methology as he talked through the Women in Mythology art exhibit in the lower level of the Parthenon. We have Rick Riordan to thank for that. Little Clover voraciously tore through the Percy Jackson series and requested the Scholastic Mythlopedias so he could cross reference what he was reading. His knowledge and love for the stories shone through as we walked through the Parthenon. Thank you, Rick!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sous chef for a day

I love to cook. Cooking relaxes me and provides me with opportunities to be daring and creative, while also satisfying my love of good food. The CSA has been an excellent catalyst for expanding my cooking knowledge, but the subscription can be daunting and overwhelming. I think we are saving in food costs and we are eating out less. There is a time commitment, though, with the CSA that just doesn't exist with buying food at the grocery store. If we don't cook our weekly subscription, then we need to put it up before it goes bad. We also get what we get. There is no scaling back because we'll be out of town or have something planned one night, which means on some weeknights, I'm cooking extra just so the food doesn't go to waste.

Last week, week 13 of our CSA, I found myself too tired to be creative and I handed over the cooking reigns to Italian and Little Clover. Little Clover, inspired by Pixar, cooked Ratatouille. Acting as his sous chef, I sliced up the veggies for him. With the veggies sliced, he laid down the sauce in the pan, arranged all the veggies, seasoned the dish, topped it with parchment, and I placed it in the oven. It was delicious and wonderful; one more step in making Little Clover a foodie.

From Irish Clover

Italian, already and foodie and an excellent cook, stepped into the kitchen last week as well. I had to laugh when he pulled out the stick blender while cooking, because as a male, his cooking involved power tools. He made a creamy luscious curry squash sauce and stuffed pattypan squash. He hollowed out the pattypans and sauteed the squash with a little bit of diced eggplants, onions, garlic, and pancetta. Then he put the stuffing back into the pattypans and baked them, topping them with parmesan cheese and a cherry tomato when they came out of the oven. The sauce was drizzled over the pattypans and breaded eggplant slices. He promised to teach me how to make the curry squash sauce this week. I plan to make a huge batch and freeze them in ice cube trays, that is if I don't eat it in one sitting.