Monday, June 2, 2008

10 Photos Around Home...

I think I should say that Melissa didn't take these photos (mostly, she let me borrow her camera, and I don't know what I'm doing with it!) :-) Somehow my girls got a couple photos with me in them without me knowing I was having my picture taken (I'm usually good at avoiding the camera). But how did I get through these past two visits from Michelle without getting a picture of her? Next time.

Lately, Michelle and her two boys have been coming over often to spend the day with us, and we always have a lot of fun when they do. Michelle helps me work around the house and outside (though with my grandchildren around I don't get a lot of work done). She is a great worker. When she was growing up, Michelle was always doing extra cleaning jobs (unasked) after her chores, and if I was in the middle of a big work project, she always came along to help.

Last time Michelle came for the day (Friday), we cooked beef curry together. Her mother-in-law is from Bangladesh, and she has taught Michelle to cook many of their delicious foods. Michelle brought her blue cast iron enamel pan, and I used my red one, and I followed Michelle's lead as she made the curry.

Once we had browned the beef and onions, and added all of those wonderful spices-- cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick, cloves, turmeric, Indian chili powder, ginger, cardamom-- and some water, we let the curry come to a gentle boil and left it to simmer for a long time. When the beef is tender, chunks of Yukon Gold potatoes are added to the curry, and it continues to cook until the potatoes are tender.

Sort of a redundant photo after the first one, but it helped me reach my magic number of 10 pictures. :-)

Then a "salad" is made with slices of cucumber, tomato, jalapeno, sliced red onion, and chopped cilantro. This is served on top of the curry. Normally, basmati rice is made, spooned into a bowl, drizzled with ghee, and topped with the curry and then the salad. This is delicious! This time, though, we skipped the rice.

Today, Michelle and the boys came for the day again, and they brought their new puppy with them-- Rosie, a Jack Russell Terrier. Rosie ran around outside all day, following different ones of us around.

Melissa and Michelle mowed the lawn...

...while I did some weeding in the driveway. I am so far behind in my yardwork this year. We had snow very late into spring and then lots of rain. The perennials are growing slowly and haven't come close to producing a bloom yet (there's not a single flower in my yard yet!). Usually by now, the yard is tidy, and I've planted annuals and new perennials in the flower beds. And by now, the beds are usually cleaned up and everything is growing. Not this year. But I'm working at it! Jayden hung around me while I dug weeds in the driveway.

And Roman went across the road to chat with the cows. He got to the fence, called to them, and they came ambling over to him. Roman stood there for a long time talking to the cows, while they stayed still and seemed to pay close attention to him.

Suddenly, Roman ran back to the house, grabbed his basket of dinosaurs and plastic animals, and packed it back across the road. He sat the basket on the ground, rummaged through it, produced a plastic cow, and triumphantly held it up to show the real cows. He was quite pleased about that. And I think the cows were pretty impressed.

We worked and played outside for most of the day. The boys wandered around the yard, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

We took a break at 3:00 to have a chocolate kefir shake, and then worked some more. Then Melissa went for a run, and I took the big dog for a walk. On my way back home, I picked a handful of wild lupines that were growing alongside the road. There aren't yet enough wildflowers in bloom for me to be able to make a colorful bouquet. I did see some cheerful, yellowish-orange Mexican Gold Poppies, and there are patches of sweet Blue Flax growing in the fields, but neither of these flowers are good for picking. The poppy flowers close tightly when they aren't in bright sunlight, and the petals of the blue flax fall off the flower almost as soon as they are picked. So, all I brought home with me was a bunch of purple lupines. I put them in a jar on my antique pine dresser by the front door.

On days like this, I feel blessed and thankful for so much. For blue sky and sunshine. Wonderful daughters. Precious, funny grandsons. Health and strength for work and exercise. Puppies and cows and green grass and trees. Flowers and all growing things. Food to eat. Beauty and love. God is good.