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Okay, so technically it’s not really even in the garden yet. Geez, give me a break. Up until about a week ago, there was still snow in these parts. But, this technically is the first bounty from what “would be” the garden, if in fact it were already in the ground.
I trimmed my onions, shallots and scallions and used these trimmings to season a soup since I didn’t have any full grown scallions in the fridge.
Since I am growing my onions, shallots and scallions from seeds, as opposed to onion sets, it takes quite a bit more to get them going. Trimming the seedings when they reach about two inches high forces the plant to put more energy into developing the bulb, which is what we really want to grow anyway.
Things are starting to green up here. Finally almost all of the snow is gone, although there is an occasional pocket in a shady part of the woods. It has been, however, a very dismal and bleak couple weeks. Yesterday was the first day in a long time that it didn’t rain. Today, it is warm and pouring. But, that’s okay… April showers and all. I have the window in my new little office open and I can hear the rain pattering away. I love the sound of water, water from the ocean, a babbling stream or brook or the rain. Lots of good memories associated with rain, especially since it seemed to rain every single time we decided to go camping. I love falling asleep to the sound of rain, pattering away on the outside of a tent. There is just something very, very relaxing about it. Listening to it while I type away on the computer is almost as good, but not quite.
I have been derelict in posting over the past week or so. Things around here have been hectic. This is always a busy time of the year, and this year is no exception. Odyssey fundraising for Tim’s team has been in full swing, which means that non-work time is filled with Odyssey fundraising commitments or preparation or lots and lots of cooking. Last Friday we held our annual Pasta Night Dinner and in addition to making 8 lbs of baked ziti and 5 lbs of meatballs and homemade marinara sauce, I baked two chocolate cakes, which I must say didn’t turn out too bad as you can see for yourself.
Not to fear for those of you who may be reading this and drooling thinking “damn, I missed it”. Well, you did miss the Pasta Dinner but there is another chance for you since we will be having our second annual Silent Auction and Dessert Party on May 15th. Desserts to drool over –that is our goal (well, an hopefully buy too).
So, that has been keeping me busy as well as the Easter holidays where my family came to spend Easter with us. My brother and his family left only this morning, so it has been a busy, but fun weekend.
I love having my sister around since she is the Queen of Craftiness and she does all the Easter baskets for us.
The grass is showing yet this entire week has been a combination of dank and dark with the occasional snow shower thrown in for good measure. Or, in the case of this morning, hail. Welcome to spring in Vermont. Despite all the rain, it has been cold here and there is, believe it or not, still snow in the yard. I have three crocuses in bloom now still with a giant pile of snow stubbornly refusing to melt behind them, preventing anything else in the flower bed from poking its head through the soil.
April break —
I hate those words. Vacation from school is hard enough when you’re working, trying to juggle a houseful of kids (most times more than just my own) along with my work schedule. Trying to accommodate everyone usually gives one of us agita. That one is usually me – big surprise there. My boys often forget that just because I work from home, when they are off, doesn’t mean that I am off. Nor does it mean that I am at their beck and call – try explaining that to a bunch of kids.
Add to it the other reason that I hate April break in particular. It is that it is the one time of the year when it seems that everyone, and I literally mean just about everyone, is away. Away — as in some more beautiful and less messy place than Vermont during the height of mud season. Except of course for us. We are here enjoying the mud, slush, slime, slobber, dirt and grime that is mud season here in Vermont in all its glory. What makes it even worse is hearing and seeing how wonderful, beautiful, breathtaking, warm, sunny and most importantly DRY, the entire rest of the world is, or so it seems at this time of the year.
Okay, putting aside the jealous –geez, I wish I were the one going somewhere — streak that I cannot help but feel every April break, there is once again the fact that everyone, or nearly everyone is gone. Which makes it difficult for the boys to find anyone to do anything with –or translated means that I am not only trying to work with kids underfoot and in the case of boys — constantly eating — but I also have them chanting the “I’m bored” mantra in my ear.
It’s enough to make a woman insane — or — in my case more insane.
The good part is that we are approaching mid-vacation week, which means that it is coming to a close.
The only other good part is that I don’t have to get up quite so early this week since there are no buses to catch or lunches to make…. that makes it not so bad after all.
There is hope that spring is coming. This afternoon, I was most pleasantly surprised to find that some crocuses have sprung up and bloomed in front of the house. I know, you are are probably saying, “What’s the big deal?” I realize that most of you, even those of you living down in the village already have seen crocuses, and the tulips and daffodils are starting to come to life as well. Your grass is starting to turn green. I know, but here, on the hill, this is no small feat mind you, since we live in Narnia, land of eternal winter.
To give you a little perspective of what these beautiful little flowers
have been up against, I took a few steps back and took another picture….. perhaps this puts it all in perspective of why I was so excited.
This is what most of the yard still looks like as well as the remainder of the flower bed that these crocuses live in. Now, do you get why I was so excited?
“Science may have found a cure for most evils – but is has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.” ~ Helen Keller
I am truly sometimes amazed at how some people just accept things without challenging them, resigning themselves to either (1) that nothing can be done; or (2) nothing is worth doing. Either of those is a said state of affairs.
The difference I have noticed between the free, public education system and the private, pay education system is the apathy of parents. It is truly sad. A few years ago, we welcomed a new administrator to the boys’ school. There was a “meet and greet” coffee hour planned for a Wednesday evening. We arrived at the school (being new parents to the building ourselves and looking forward to meeting not only the new administrator but other parents) to find literally a handful of cars in the parking lot. Confused, and seeing no one that we recognized, we left, convinced that we had somehow mistaken the date. There is no way, we thought, that out of two classes of almost a hundred students each, only five cars could be in the lot for the “meet and greet”.
Sadly, I learned the next day that in fact those five cars were for the “meet and greet” event. Out of approximately two hundred students, only five parents or families saw fit to make the time to attend. The rest, it seemed, didn’t care or didn’t care enough to make the effort.
Such a thing would not have happened at our old school. Parents were involved, all the time and in everything. Maybe it was because parent assistance meant the difference between a program that could be held and one that could not since while private, we were a small school – or maybe it was that the parents were footing the bill and they felt that they had the right to be involved in a significant way. In either case, involvement was a good thing and for better or worse it was welcomed by the school. It meant that someone cared.
The same is true of a recent change that occurred at our boys’ school. Only a handful cared enough to ask questions, make comments — in some minds even make waves or as my son put it — be the “psycho mom”.
Apathy is often considered the opposite of love or hate since it means the absence of feeling — the lack of concern – indifference. My boys can accuse me of many things, but apathy, thankfully is not one of them. I care, maybe in the minds of some, a little too much – maybe in my own mind — not enough as I should. If that makes me a “psycho mom” well then, so be it. I’ll take involvement over apathy any day.
In the last two weeks, we’ve celebrated two of our boys’ birthdays. The oldest two have birthdays that are ten days apart. They are less than a year apart in age. They are however very different. The oldest is clearly … well, the oldest. He can be bossy with his siblings, he is used to getting what he wants and he has also matured a great deal. He no longer grumbles and complains when he is asked to do things, he just does them – a sign of maturity and a welcome respite from answering and arguing about why something needs to be done. He is very outgoing and clearly shines when he is in a social situation.
Our second son, who is a middle child, is fiercely independent and very comfortable entertaining himself. He doesn’t need a large group to feel at home, although he doesn’t shy away from groups of friends. He’s empathetic and introverted. He wants to be a pediatrician or a dentist – clearly choices that fit his personality and I think he will do well caring for others. While he doesn’t say much – he is a man of few words – he is ever watchful and very protective…especially of his younger brother. He is always aware of what is going on around him, although sometimes you wouldn’t know it. We often joke that he knows where everything is…especially when his older brother can’t seem to find something.
So interesting to see how two children with the same genetics, born so close together and raised almost simultaneously have such different personalities, outlooks on their world and perceptions.
When the boys were little, we often celebrated their birthdays together. Here they are in the “king” chairs at their joint birthday party.
Here’s pictures from this year’s birthdays….amazing how they’ve grown. Boy, time sure does fly….
Ah yes, Mother Nature. Now, we will play this little game of tit-for-tat. We melt, melt,melt and finally little patches of ground start appearing. Then just when we think spring is coming and the snow receding, you bring more snow and paint the whole picture all white once again. So the cycle repeats…..each time showing just a little more ground. Teasing. We will go on like this for weeks or maybe even a month or more. Each time revealing a little more earth.
I really dislike this time of the year. I really wouldn’t mind if winter extended well in April or May — as long as it did so all over (or at least all over my little universe). There is nothing quite as disappointing as on a beautiful day such as today, leaving our snow covered hill with barely any ground showing and getting to town where crocuses are actually blooming. This cat-and-mouse game will seemingly go on and on.
Then, just as in a game of tug-o-war, winter’s grip will finally fall and spring will come our way.
We will look around to see the grass turning greener, the flowers beginning to poke their ends above the soil.
Just in time for one last snowfall………….. Old Man Winter has a tough time letting go.