Saturday, June 11, 2011

Ballet, Baseball, and Soup

We've had a busy week.

Preparing for a business trip. The last ballet rehearsal for the season. The first baseball of the season. And Dan has been on call. We're always thankful for on-call weeks, because they encourage us to stay close to home, which tends to result in more relaxed time together as a family. A good thing, as Martha Stewart says.

Still, we were out and about a bit.

The first baseball practice of the season was on Tuesday. Clementine's team was assigned and she met her coach for the first time. Dan helped coach last year, and probably will again. He has as much fun as she does.

If you've never seen really little kids playing baseball, you're missing out. Children scatter everywhere when the ball is hit, and they run all over the field for no reason at all. Last year, two kids skipped off to chase butterflies while their team was in the field. Lots of fun.

first practice of the season

Domo-Kun proudly wearing this year's team colors

We had our last ballet rehearsal this week. Clementine's recital is this weekend (she's a dancing flower, the program is Little Red Riding Hood).

It is every bit as cute and sweet as you might think.

 The last practice of the year

We spent a late afternoon outside after work one day, one planting flowers and tomatoes, and re-potting some indoor plants.

We have a few tiny tomatoes already!

what we're hoping for
from here
Clementine has been worried over a barrel of marigold seeds we planted last year. We went outside every week toward the end of summer, deadheading the flowers and scratching in the dirt to plant the seeds.

She fussed over them all winter and spring, and grew terribly concerned that they wouldn't come up this year. It took us a moment, but we were finally able to find the little leaflets of the new plants this week. I was happy because I'd all but promised that they would be back.

from here^
And Clementine was happy because our "sleeping" seeds from last year decided to return.
We took time to play outside in the water with Clementine, and to enjoy the sun and heat after what seemed like an endless winter and a cold spring. Welcome back, summer.

Dennis enjoying the sun

A few months back, I managed to take the tip of my finger off on a mandoline cutter, cutting carrots for the dehydrator. This is what a mandoline cutter may look like:

(okay, probably not)

This is what a mandoline cutter actually looks like:
the real deal
Mandoline cutters make short work of veggies, and are capable of making very thin cuts without mangling the produce. Perfect for dehydrators and recipes that require thin slivers. Thin slivers means that the blades have to be very sharp. And they are. There are warnings all over the thing, and all over the box it comes in, telling you that it has really sharp blades.

Apparently, even though I read the warnings, I didn't take it to heart the first time. Bye-bye fingertip. Been good to know ya.

Ignore obvious warnings
at your own peril
This time was different. I managed to make it through several pounds of onions in a few minutes with all of my remaining fingers intact. The difference? I used the &^%%$&-ing guard, just like the directions said to do.

The resulting French onion soup was delicious. We had it in bowls with gluten-free bread and melted cheese one night, and as an accompaniment to turkey and mushroom sandwiches the next.

In case anyone wonders:

  1. Yes, your fingertip will grow back, but it will be  incredibly sensitive compared to other, older hand parts. It almost hurts to touch anything with any sort of pressure.
  2. When it grows back, it mat be flat at the tip, even if the other index finger is more rounded. 
  3. I don't know if my fingerprint is different or not. The whorls and ridges  look the same to me. 
  4. I have no idea how long the sensitivity lasts or if the sensitivity ever ends. It is good to have this sort of sensation for working in clay though, so I'm good with it either way.
  5. Mandolines are devices which are used in the kitchen to cut food.
    Mandolins are a type of lute.

    Woman in a Toque with a Mandolin
    Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The greatest of these is love

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
and never stops at all.
~ Emily Dickinson ~

My dad, who died in 2004, would have had his birthday this week.

This week, and the week that he died in are always difficult for me. Some are worse than others, though I am never quite sure why.

I am happy and glad that our oldest daughters knew him.

I am sad beyond measure that Clementine will never know him. She would have adored him, and he would have adored her.

Dan met him only once. I wish Dan could have gotten to know him when my dad was healthy and whole.When he was himself. He would have loved Dan, and Dan would have loved him. They have a lot in common.

We must accept finite disappointment, 
but never lose infinite hope.
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.~

Every day, I miss my dad, and mourn him.

What you can't understand until you have lost someone important, is that the feeling of loss will never leave you. It isn't until after you lose someone that you come to understand what it means to mourn. 

It gets better.

It gets worse.

It never goes away.

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
~ Matthew 5:4 ~

Eventually, you come to confront the elemental understanding that it isn't supposed to ever go away, because it has become a part of you in the way that the person you loved was a part of you. Until they are a part of you again, you will feel the loss.

After that, at some point, you come to understand that it is good that the feelings of loss never leaves you.

You come to understand that you will always mourn while you are here and they are not.

You will mourn and miss and hope and have faith until you do see them again.

from here^

But now remain faith, hope, and love: these three. 
The greatest of these is love.
~1 Corinthians 13:13~