Archive | April, 2013

Chinook

27 Apr

It is beautiful here. The snow is melting and out of nowhere it was SIXTY DEGREES yesterday. I was never so excited to see 60, and today is supposed to reach 68. All the windows are open and I can see my entire patio for the first time. (It is oddly shaped and there is half a wiffle ball on it.)

My old college roommate is visiting from Oklahoma. Less than a week before Kiirsten’s arrival we had another snowstorm. I think to her disappointment, it all started to melt really suddenly and in just a few days most of the snow turned to mud puddles. At least she got to see a few frozen lakes on the way here.

Front yard snow April 15

front yard snow2

Front yard snow April 26

front yard snow

Front yard snow April 27

Ida probably doesn’t remember balmy weather and is living life in window sills these days, frantic to get closer to the noisy birds in our tree and bushes and maybe the dak rat that has burrowed under our steps. She is becoming very, very annoying.

dak rat

Urocitellus richardsonii or “dak rat” (Dakota rat) exhibiting territorial behavior

Kiirsten helped me find a table for our foyer. It matches the rug and fits perfectly in the corner by the coat closet, and Josh and I have been wanting something by the front door for keys and stuff. I pretty much love it, and I think I’m ready to turn my attention to the living room, which needs a ton of work and will be a lot harder to figure out. I do not have an eye for these things.

table

Ida’s favorite toy at the bottom of the stairs: twist tie wrapped around a Q tip.

book

This is the only interesting spot in a beige living room.

garlic

Here is my garlic and our sunny backyard. Josh threw some more cloves in there for good measure, but the first one is still the only one that’s sprouting.

instagram

Instagram photo of me wearing Josh’s beret. My Evangelou head stretched it out and he had to resize it ;(

Christmas Card

12 Apr

I live in one! My street looks so similar to this that I won’t take a picture of it:

And my hood:

kinkade

But seriously, it is mid-April and winter is still going strong. I keep thinking of this:

When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.

and that maybe the license plates around here should say “Always winter, never Christmas” across the top instead of “Discover the spirit.”

I started a job at a bank, and now I feel more like I earn my days at home and I don’t have to do housework, so you can imagine that the house is getting pretty gross. The job is going smoothly but it’s boring so I won’t talk about it anymore on the blog.

Here is some food for thought: If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. What do you think? I saw it on the Internet.

Rumors are swirling about Ida being part Maine Coon. Her fur appears slightly greasy sometimes, which is common among Maine Coon kittens, and her coloring and markings are quite common for Maine Coons as well, and she is kind of big for her age. But she is not 15 pounds yet, so we’ll see.

By the way, if your cat’s fur appears slightly greasy sometimes, do not Google “my cat has greasy fur” or you will be told that your precocious kitten has all kinds of serious medical issues and could die at any time. Who needs to hear that? Not I. What Google should have said was, “Does she bathe herself?” and you could say, “She’s too busy being a maniac” and Google could say “Well, there you go.”

ida

poof

Easter

1 Apr

Have you ever wondered why so little fuss is made over Easter? Compared to Christmas, for example. Just seems weird.

When I decided to get married and move away from my family it was Christmas I worried about. I accepted that it would not always be within my power to observe Christmas where and with whom I chose, but I dreaded missing the hundreds of rituals associated with that time of year and made an effort to establish as many of them as I could in my new household. I didn’t think the lesser holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, New Year’s) would be as much of an issue, because there isn’t much to them.

But the whole problem when there isn’t much to them is that if you aren’t careful they can kind of disappear. The gist of Easter as I’ve known it (aside from Easter baskets I guess) has been going to Mass/church with my family in the morning and then hanging out with cousins either at my Grandpa’s house or, in the old days, at the Del Cerro pool. Aside from seasonal candy I don’t associate any particular food with the holiday, and I don’t remember getting any decorations out of the garage every year. So when it comes to making Easter here for me and Josh, and I have no relatives or Grandpa’s house or pool to work with and no specific dishes or decor to recreate, I draw a big fat blank. Do we dye eggs? Fill baskets? That’s for kids. But Easter must be observed.

So I’ve been researching Lent and Holy Week and Easter and trying to decide what our rituals will be. And that’s when I run into that whole gray area that is Easter/Spring. Just what do the colored eggs and bunnies and chicks have to do with it again? Do we celebrate Easter with images of spring because they occur at the same time, the way we decorate for Christmas with snowflakes and snowmen, or are we really embracing the new life around us to remind us of our own new life? I have never bought into the bunnies and chicks thing, but maybe that’s just because I don’t like bunnies or chicks. Would putting eggs around my house make me feel more Eastery? Or just kind of eggy?

bunny

?

We ate chili for dinner last night, but maybe next year I will really try to cook lamb like a good Greek. I have been looking to my Greek Orthodox roots and I like their blood red Easter eggs (κόκκινα αυγά) and the cracking game that goes with them, but I’m not sure I can manage seven weeks of veganism followed by lamb. In fact I’m sure I can’t. What did my Protestant or Catholic ancestors do on Easter? Or my in-laws, for that matter? I don’t even know. My research continues.

So far for next year I’m leaning toward hot cross buns and Greek eggs. And if I plan a dinner menu, buy flowers and use the china, Easter Sunday will be more of a celebration.

Do you have any Easter traditions that don’t involve baby farm animals? I’d be grateful.

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