Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Beauties

My return trip to Midcounty Park last month didn't disappoint me.

There were drifts of trilliums along the trail, including some with a darker pink coloration.


I was thrilled to find these jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema sp.).

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, green stripe

The jacks with purple stripes are my favorite.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, dark stripe

Twin Jacks

But my favorite find on this trip had to be the showy orchis (Orchis spectabilis, or Galearis spectabilis).

Showis Orchid

And there weren't any toads this time, either.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Summer Quilt

Here's my latest work-in-progress. This is just the quilttop as I haven't cut the flannel sheet for batting or put the back together yet. It's made up of 5 inch square cotton fabrics, and quite a few of the squares are cut from repurposed clothing. I really like how this mix of florals and graphic dots and stripes came together. I'm not sure why I'm so attracted by this combination of blues, greens, yellows, and oranges, but I can't look at it without thinking of summer. Blue skies, green grass, lemonade, and Dreamsicles. Pools, oak leaves, sunshine, and cantaloupes. Blueberries, geraniums, fireflies, and peaches.

Excuse me, I want to go crawl in that hammock now.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

I owe my mother an apology. I didn't send her a card for Mother's Day this year. Somehow my brain was thinking that Mother's Day was next Sunday, not today. I freely blame my daughter for this. It's a tragic affliction known as "Toddler Brain," which strikes millions of mothers every year, generally in households with only one child who is a toddler. Toddler Brain is capable of reducing intelligent, well-educated women into mere automatons (auto-matrons?) capable of feeding, dressing, and cleaning a toddler, but not much else. My days are generally filled with Snow White, potty training, cowboy princesses, sticky hands, and endless requests for snacks. I can tell you plot lines of multiple episodes of Dora the Explorer, but don't ask me to remember a holiday. Some days I can't even remember what subject I got that PhD in.

I can only hope that my own mother experienced this with me, and hopefully she'll understand. If not, I hope the following pictures of her grand-daughter will make up for her own daughter's short comings.

Ally 1, Mother's Day 2010

Ally 2, Mother's Day 2010

Ally, Mother's Day 2010

What you don't see in these photos is that Ally is standing right beside a humongous clump of poison ivy under those irises. It's all curly hair, big smiles, and pretty flowers up top, but potential irritating itchy rash that might drive you insane below*.

That's about as good of a metaphor for motherhood as there is.

*No Mom, Ally didn't actually come down with poison ivy as the result of this photo shoot, thank goodness.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

An Open Letter to the Outdoors

Dear Outdoors,

I love you. I really, really do, but it's time we have a talk. For instance, I recognize the great enthusiasm that you plants have for producing pollen, but I'm not your species, so it's not going to work out. Please stop trying to fertilize me with your plant gametes.

And the black flies..... There's nothing for you in my ears or my eyes or down in my bra, so please stop trying to crawl all over me. Although I must admit that I am always amazed at your sweet piquant taste when you fly into my mouth.

I can tell already that your weeds in my garden are going to take a lot of my time this year. I hope we can work out an understanding regarding personal space and respect each others personal boundaries. Otherwise we're in for a rough season and I'd just as soon use all that time and effort eating homegrown tomatoes and swinging in the hammock....if the pollen ever lets up, that is.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Life with Ally

Me: Ally, what do you want for breakfast?

Ally: I want snack!

Me: No, it's breakfast time. What do you want to eat?

Ally (pauses for a moment): Gummies! Popsicles! Ice cream!

Me: No, those are snack foods. Do you want a cereal bar this morning?

Ally: No. (pause) Yes!

I take the cereal bar and start to open it. This triggers a total toddler meltdown with wails, tears, and kicking.

Ally: Noooooooo! Me do it!

Me: Ally you can't open these yet. The package is too hard to open for you to do it by yourself.

Ally (wailing): No Mommy, I do it! I do it! I do it!

I put the opened cereal bar on the table.

Me: Sorry, honey, it's already opened. But you can take it out of the wrapper.

Ally (looks at cereal bar, bursts into tears): I don't want to take it out of the wrapper! I want it on a plate! Take it out of the wrapper!

Me (sighing and reaching for plate): Okay, here it is on a plate. Are you sure you want me to take it out of the wrapper for you?

Ally: Noooooooooo! I do it! (More tears.)

Me (backing away and no longer making eye contact): Okay do it.

Seconds later...

Ally (in a small voice): I can't get the wrapper off, Mommy.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Life with Ally

At the dinner table.

Me: Ally, don't wave your utensils around like that. You'll either drop it or stick a fork in your cheek.

Ally: My pencil?

Me: Your utensil.

Ally: I don't have a pencil, Mommy. This is a fork!

Me: Forks, spoons, and knives are called utensils.

Ally: Not a pencil?

Me: Nope. Your fork is a utensil.

(Pause) Ally: My pencil? You're being silly!