As some of you faithful readers may have noticed we’ve slipped into Summer Mode just a little bit early here at ETWT. Sure Memorial Day (the start of “official” summer living according to the retail gods) is still a week or so off, but I can tell there has already been a shift. On both coasts we have been pondering ways to slow down, ease back and re-set our too busy schedules. In other words, it’s hammock season!
What does that mean for this here blog you wonder? Only that we have made the editorial (love to use that word!) decision to post with a less strenuous regime, leaving each post up a little longer – and, because you’re going into summer mode too – allowing time for a more leisurely read. And if you are reading it in a hammock, well then all the better.
So with this in mind you’ll probably understand that I am enjoying laying low in my house today, no phone thanks to a dead battery, car-less due to my husband driving to his master’s classes; I’m taking my chance to catch up and reflect on the last few busy weeks. Here are my notes on what we’ve been up to out in Sacramento, or as a dear friend from New Zealand calls it, The Sac.
Last Sunday saw Mothers Day of course and a great excuse to skip bloggin’ and head over to the Whole Earth Festival in Davis. Although it’s an annual event (it started before I was born!) I’ve attend before, I hadn’t been in quite a few years. It used to be my tradition when my oldest son was younger to go each Mothers Day and treat myself to a new toe ring. Don’t ask how that became my own special ritual, but it did. Anyway, I’ve been down to one small band on my index toe (is there such a thing?) for a while now so when my family asked how I wanted to celebrate the big day, I knew just the thing.
I’m all about avoiding excess traffic and crowds and over-flowing porta-a-potties if I can help it, so we headed out early Sunday morning at around 10 a.m. It was such a beautiful day to be out on the UC Davis campus and we were able to find a sweet spot for a blanket in the shade near the live music. Next up was to enjoy cruising the plethora of amazing artisan goods and delicious food stalls. We had paella, ate gourmet popsicles, saw handmade brooms, robot sculptures, jewelry made from dried kombucha cultures, and lots and lots of tie-dye. The best part for me witnessing my 13 year old all caught up in the people watching, shaking his head from time to time, “these are the hippiest of the hippies” he said as a little blonde boy wearing only fairy wings danced past. Little does he know….
In other news: a brief cool front moved through Northern CA last week giving us a reprieve from the un-seasonally early 90 degree temperatures and allowing a little bit of extra last-minute gardening. It still seems crazy to me, a Berkeley-gir,l that early May is already getting too hot to put in any new plants in the garden but there you have it. That’s valley livin’. So when the low front brought in grey overcast days and slight sprinkling of rain one morning, my inner plant nerd got all fired up. Against my better judgement, I cashed in a gift certificate and made an order from Annies Annuals. I’ve bought plants from their retail store in Richmond but only in the Fall when I could drive those plants home to Sacramento and stick them in the ground immediately. Now I’m waiting for my new plants to arrive via U.S postal service and I’m already wondering if I made a mistake. I hope I can keep them happy enough, and the hot temps stay at bay long enough for the new plants to get established. I broke my own cardinal rule of only planting new perennials in early fall when I can be sure they will get enough rain to grow strong roots before the summer heat. That’s what I get for leaving those sexy plant catalogs laying around where I can get seduced by their siren song. I couldn’t resist Anthriscus sylvestris, Scyphanthus elegans, and two Pennisetum glaucum – I mean, who could??! Now there’s nothing to do but wait for my mail-order beauties to arrive and hope I can keep them alive once they do. More will be revealed….
In the meantime I am content with the massive accidental squash that is growing in one of the front garden beds, a happy if unintended result of building a scarecrow with a pumpkin-head in that spot last October. And along with all the vegetables I did plant in the back garden, are growing a few that I didn’t plant, beans (returning from last year’s crop) as well as sunflowers again, amaranth of course in every crevice and even a large allium which, although I have no idea how it arrived in my garden I’m awfully glad it did as I was wishing for one! These little surprises from Mother Nature are what keep me inspired to go on working in the face of frustrations and disappointments in my grand gardening plans.
And finally, there are only 19 days left of this school year and yes, I am counting. Whatever burst of energy I had in September has slowed to a wee trickle by now and I think I am more excited for vacation to start than the kids are. The life of a school year is like a roller-coaster for me, with the predictable ups and downs of commitments, proud moments and endless “volunteer opportunities” . This year however seemed to have a special flavor marked by gossip, intrigue and other pointless shit that is better than As the World Turns, when you are a stay-at-home mom of school-age children. How low have I sunk??? You know you need to get out more when you’ve heard more details on the personal lives of teachers than of the kardashian klan. I’m just about ready to shake off this school year, vow to do better next time and head out the doors for summer.
Another random and very personal tradition that I share with my kids is to blast this rendition of Schools Out by Alice Cooper (preformed with the critters from The Muppet Show, naturally) on the very last day of school of the year. Consider this description quoted from MuppetWiki (no, that’s not a joke):
“Once the school finally explodes at the end of the number, scattering paper and plaster all over the stage, Alice finishes the song by trying to nosh on a giant bone.”
Wow. Now that’s how its done, out here in the sac.