The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Perfect Weekend

I had the perfect summer weekend. It was beautiful.  

Friday night I went out for drinks with my friends. It was a perfect night for chilling on the patio, and the live music was just tame enough that we could still talk. I know some of them were hoping there would be dancing, but that just kind of doesn't happen here. Haha. For me, it was just a perfect way to end a terrible hectic week by reconnecting with friends, some who I haven't seen in a really long time. Teaching can be very isolating at times, so I crave breaks to spend time with my friends. 

Saturday morning, Marc decided to accompany me on my shopping trip. I've always been a somewhat conscientious shopper, but ever since watching Food Inc., I don't have lazy days where I just buy everything at the supermarket. So, Saturday, we headed to the farmer's market. The one here in town is on Fridays but closes really early, like 5pm or something, so we go to one a bit farther, but it's a really good one, so it is worth it. The kids really love the farmer's market. Tiana wants to eat everything in sight, and luckily, almost every booth has samples so she can. Vinny likes flavored honey sticks. He thinks they are candy, which is fine by me. This time, we even treated ourselves to ridiculously expensive (but crazy good) fresh squeezed lemonade.  I got a bunch of fresh fruit and veggies for the week and for our barbecue that night, then we hit up Target and Trader Joe's for the rest of what we needed. Making multiple stops is difficult, particularly with kids, but it is worth it to really have the best of everything at the best prices. Yeah, I could probably get it all done at Whole Foods, but I would spend twice as much. By the end of our trip, Tiana had somehow managed to grab a tiny bottle of Orangina off a shelf. I don't even remember seeing Orangina, I just looked up while picking out hamburger buns and Tiana was wrestling to open the cap. I eventually just opened it for her. It is easier to risk her spilling soda all over herself than it is to deal with her freaking out. When she is unhappy, she tries to climb out. No shopping cart straps can withhold this child. 
Saturday night we had a great barbecue with friends. What I've most been looking forward to this summer is seeing friends, so it was how I wanted to start my summer. Many friends came and we had a great time. My favorite moment was towards the very end, when we were sitting around chatting in the kitchen, and I looked in the living room, and all the kids were just chilling together. Even my 17-month-old niece was chilling on the floor, eating a piece of corn on the cob, watching the boys play video games. 

I'm making great progress towards buried life goals this summer too. #25 (grow enough vegetables for a full salad) is going pretty well. I've tried in the past, many, many times, but failed. Now that I am having success, I am finding that I really, really love gardening. I love reading about how to make it grow better and what nutrients my tomatoes might be missing. Unfortunately, living right at the edge of the hills means we get critters in our neighborhood at night, and my tomatoes are being nibbled on in the middle of the night, which is really frustrating. (I think its a raccoon. Marc thinks its a coyote). I ended up picking two tomatoes that were not quite ripe yet, just because they hadn't been nibbled on yet and they were ripe enough, so I didn't want to chance it. My lettuce died a few weeks ago, but it is sort of coming back now. A friend said that it is because lettuce will burn if you over water it, which sounds funny, but I planted the lettuce in between the tomatoes, which need quite a bit of water, so I guess I will live and learn for next year. My cucumbers are having great success. Looks like my "full salad" is going to have to be a caprese salad, since my basil is going well too. 

I started out on a path towards goal #69 (run a half marathon) yesterday too. This is something that sounds impossible to me. I don't like to run, and I am not good at it. When we had to take the fitness tests in high school, even when I was on swim team and in great shape, I never passed the mile test. Ever. I am asthmatic and running, probably because it puts me in the atmosphere surrounded by allergens, makes me deal with asthma symptoms, which I hate. However...  I've been better about working out this year than ever before. I haven't had an asthma attack at the gym in a really long time, so I decided to give running outside a shot. Turns out I really like running outside. I was able to play music on my phone without headphones (I kind of hate headphones). I just wore a waist pack, which feels sort of ridiculous, but I need it for my inhaler anyway. Don't worry, I wear it under my clothes, I'm not a complete nerd. I loved running to the beat of La Vie Boheme, and I actually live in a great neighborhood for running. I couldn't run the whole time. I had to walk at some points, but I ultimately ran a little more than a mile and a half, and I had a 13min/mile pace. It's not a half marathon, that's for sure, but its a start. 

Tomorrow, my friend Tanya and I are going to attempt #18 (make homemade tortillas). Yea! Very excited. 

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