Monday, July 30, 2007

Creative Interiors

Our walls have been painted, and during the process, everything hanging up has been taken down and sometimes moved to a new spot to try out a different location. I hung a blue Delft plate up on an existing wall just to see what it might look like, and Troy later walked into the room and stopped in his tracks to say, "Lisa? There's a plate on the wall!"
Apparently that struck him as very odd.
This morning, I noticed a small change.

I think that is really funny, and this is why I love my husband even more than Z.
The boys were crazy about this new installation. Cooper kept pointing at the wall, shouting, "Waffle! Waffle!" and Wyatt asked a few times if he could eat it. I think I'll leave it up there for a little while.

Clarification on Z

I feel really bad -- I wrote the Ode to Z(zz) in my head as I was stuck awake one night, trying to get back to sleep. It literally is an Ode to Sleep, which I have not really had a relationship with in eight years, since my first son was born.
I feel bad now because it seems that some people have read it as an ode to a person, and maybe other people are wondering why I would post about my "great love" and risk hurting the feelings of my wonderful husband, my true love.
I do want to get back together with Zzz/Sleep, though, and retain my happy marriage, too. Z is Sleep.
The one that got away.
Just kidding.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Ode to Z(zz)

It's been eight years
Since we went our separate ways
Leaving me with only
Glimpses of you in the night.

I miss you
And remember you

Had I only known then
How life without you would be
I would have
Cherished you more.

Sleep, O Sleep!
My great love
Come back to me
Is not the same
Without you.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Misplaced Scandinavians

A lot of the books I read my sons are favorites from my childhood, but some are discoveries from adulthood, like Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, and Elsa Beskow.
I adore the Elsa Beskow books, full of enchanting forest creatures and tiny people who wear little hats that look like spotted mushroom caps or pointy pine cones. Her world is full of friendly rabbits, fairies, playful squirrels, wise birds, and the people are so small that it takes them two full hands to hold a mere berry. The mother knits the children pure white sweaters that they wear in the cold wintertime with their pretty little green mittens, as they gather firewood and talk to the rabbit, whom they notice has a white winter coat, too. They gather mushrooms and slice them and string them up to dry. Just a delight!
The stories also feed my fantasies about how Scandinavians must have the most fantastic, and perfect summers! I'm convinced that if I spent summers in Sweden, Finland, Denmark, or Norway I would love summertime, and maybe even come to enjoy salmon. I would stroll through wispy fields and eat mouthfuls of fresh herbs like Andreas Viestad in Lom. I'd wear a bucket hat and pick mushrooms under the strict supervision of Anli.
Incidentally, Roald Dahl summered in Norway and shares his fond memories in Boy.
I went on an Elsa Beskow book binge a couple years ago, and bought The Children of the Forest, Peter in Blueberry Land, Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip, and Around the Year. I was so excited to present them to the boys, but, sadly, no one was quite as interested as I was. So, after several forced attempts, I shelved my enthusiasm along with the books (in the boys' room, of course). I would read them once in a while, but still, the boys seemed more interested in...dinosaurs.
Today, I saw Children of the Forest in a stack that had been brought down to form a "force field," which is what the boys do with their books lately. They prop up the books and form a fence, and then sit and play in the middle of the force field. On a whim, I grabbed the Forest book and sat down to read it to Cooper.
He loved it!

I don't know who was more excited -- Cooper about the frogs and owls and little forest people; or me about Cooper liking the book! He was enrapt to the final word!

I'm so happy and have been sitting here staring at Cooper as he's playing on the floor. I can't help envisioning this little towhead wearing a puffy round red cap with white polka dots. Maybe this Halloween. In the meantime, we still have The Sun Egg to look forward to.

Feed your Scandi-love -- watch New Scandinavian Cooking

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Super fly

My superfoods eating plan didn't exactly come to a screeching halt this weekend, with the arrival of our friends from Colorado. Rather, it was the equivalent of the freeway SUV rollover, veering off into a spectacular bounce of a landing. It started with the pasta al forno I made using Nigella's recipe from Feast, utilizing bacon, beef, and rigatoni that didn't contain a speck of whole grain in it.
But damn it was good.
By Saturday night I was throwing whatever I could grab from the kitchen onto the table. We grilled hamburgers, a steak, made nachos. The boys were grabbing bananas, apples, strawberries, orange juice, cheese sticks, watermelon. Ham and salami sandwiches were made at breakneck speed, and today Gail made chocolate chip cookies -- the secret recipe containing Crisco.
I give.
Gail and I have managed to split a Greek salad between us, but I'm still on deck to make a rum cake and also bought Champagne to toast our last night together. Troy wants to make his waffles tomorrow, and asked me to pick up strawberries and whipped cream for a festive topping. We have been having so much fun and if only all the swimming the boys have been doing would burn off the calories I've consumed, the weekend would be perfect!
Troy and Tori met when they worked as valet parkers at the Brown Palace hotel in Denver, a luxurious grande dame where they were relegated to the entrance and garage. They talked about philosophy late into the night between bursts of scrambling for tips and sliding the hotel guests' cars sideways into spaces using the emergency hand break technique. The beginning of a strong friendship was forged that would see them through their salad days and the big and small events in life to come.

Troy has never, ever forgotten how Tori would make pasta with Italian sausage, and automatically split it onto two plates when they were roommates. I don't know if Tori ever realized just how broke and hungry Troy was back then, but I can tell that as long as Troy lives, it will give him great pleasure to spend time with Tori and his family, and give back in any way that he can. There's a great respect and loyalty between these two friends that does my heart good to see. And I suppose that's a different kind of super food.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Cappuccino art VII and more.

The other morning, Troy and I were discussing how the only thing we ever see in our cappuccinos these days are ghosts.
It's no longer shocking. It's like: oh look, another ghost.
This one is straight out of the Casper the Friendly Ghost tales.

Look at that smile.

Imagine our delight, then, when Troy sliced an onion, and saw a face in the onion. (Only portobello mushrooms were involved in this dinner.)

Just in case you need a little push for visualization:

The red onion is a super food. And entertaining, as well.
After another slice, we saw a more feminine, petite onion face.
So we decided to make an onion family.

They lived happily ever after in a robust pasta sauce.
The End.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mud-lucious and puddle-wonderful

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high
-George Gershwin

There are times here when we sit outside and see a great show of nature. I don't know where you grew up, but I've never seen some of the things that I see down here. Turtles crossing the road (to get to the other side); alligators sunning themselves. At times, it seems downright prehistoric. The pelicans resemble pterodactyls, and the bugs are enormous. Yesterday, the fish were jumpin' and I managed to catch some shots. There was also a giant, red dragonfly whirring around.

And after a number of fish jumped, a hawk appeared overhead to survey the action. He was distracted by something apparently more tempting in a nearby field, but for a moment I thought we might see him divebomb and clutch a fish. Maybe he'd already had a big breakfast.

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy learns that she need never look any farther than her own backyard for her heart's desire. Because, she is told, if she can't find it there, then she never really lost it to begin with.
A few nights ago, I sat watching the sun set, and could smell the heady fragrance of the Casablanca lilies in full bloom. It's taken me a while, I thought, but I may have finally succumbed to Florida.