Sunday, July 23, 2006

Jill's Not In Right Now, But Please Leave a Message . . .

Well, my faithful readers ( all four of you -- its so exciting when you can double your readership), I am off on holidays. In just one day we will be setting out on a month long adventure to British Columbia. It should be great to reconnect with friends and family out there, and I can't wait to see the mountains and the ocean again, and introduce my son to tide pools and beach combing.

It will be kind of strange, becuase I've changed so much since I was last there. I've grown my hair, become a mom (I was technically a mom when I left, but 6 weeks into momhood does not equal identity change, it just equals a blank, bleary-eyed stare), a minister's wife, and a resident of Saskatchewan. How can I possibly sum up my experiences in a few hours' visit? Especially since many of my friends have had similar changes -- some have moved, others had more children, or become pregnant, or changed jobs or left a marriage. It makes me sort of nervous.

But then I remind myself that true friendships are based on something simultaneously more solid and more insubstantial than these things. They are based on a connection of two souls, a delight and interest in another person, and a desire to enter into their world: their thoughts, experiences and emotions. And this connection will still be there, no matter how we change on the surface, no matter what happens in between visits.

And then I am excited to go back and rediscover the parts of myself that I left with these people and totally fogot about. For me, visiting old friends is like going to the Lost and Found. I always realize "Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that . . . that is a part of me. That is how I was, how I still am somewhere in here. These are the things I liked to do when I was here or there." Its like picking up lost fragments of your past and clicking them into place, seeing yourself through the eyes of the past. And I love that.

Also, generally speaking, it is like going to the Lost and Found because I have inevitably left something at their house . . .

Have a good month, everyone. Talk to you in Sept.

Favorite Things About Late July

Coming from British Columbia, you get used to seeing an array of exotic plants blooming all through the year from Feb. right through to about November. Here in Central Saskatchewan, the variety is more limited. There are blooming things from about May to September or maybe October, and then there is snow. But to compensate for this, there are some really beautiful things that bloom in those months. Here are a few of my favorite Saskatchewan perennials:

The Lilly. The reddish orange lilly is Saskatchewan's provincial flower, and a version of it grows wild in the bush. I've seen them around Emma Lake and they are lovely. These domesticated ones do well, and are spectacular for several weeks.

The Hollyhock. These particular ones were about 7 ft tall, and the flowers are bigger than my hand. I know they came from England, but they always look to me like they arrived from another planet.

The daisy. Not an exotic or rare plant, but here they grow in huge, glorious wild mounds. Our entire front garden consists of mounds of daisies, a peony and a wild pink rose. The dasies bloom atleast twice if they are cut back, need very little care and zero extra watering, except during heat waves. What could be better for a sad and sorry gardener like myself?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Exciting News!

Before I get to the exciting news, thanks ladies for your nice comments about my blog. I was so flattered I couldn't write anything for a week (so much for me being such a regular blogger, Anna!). Also Andrew is still not sleeping and Dave is thinking of buying a motorbike, so all the free evening computer time is taken up with "research".

All right, drum roll, please . . . .

I am expecting baby #2!! Some in late Jan. or early Feb. I will be parenting two children. A newborn and a 2 and a half year old.

Am I terrified? Yes. I keep thinking, "What if its twins? What if this baby is also colicy / fussy / demanding like Andrew was? Will I survive? Will Andrew survive? How will I deal with a newborn when it takes 3 hours to get my toddler to sleep at night?" and on and on and on.

Am I excited? Yes. I wanted to have my children close together (possibly even closer than this) so that they could grow up together -- something I didn't have a chance to do -- and so that I would get all the baby and toddler insanity over with in one fell swoop and then go back to work when they're all in school. And the thought of bringing another amazing person into the world and watching them blossom into this fascinating and unique individual is thrilling.

So I am scared and excited and , well, very tired all at the same time.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Adventures in Marinating

At the grocery store on Wed, I bought some Ziploc bags to marinate some marinating steak to put on the bbq. Yesterday, I thawed out the steaks, and mixed up the marinade (lemon juice, canola / olive oil blend and chopped garlic -- delicious). I slid the steaks into two bags and in a moment of unusual fortune and foresight, decided to pour the marinade into the bags over the sink. I poured it in, and noticed that the oil was leaking out everywhere from one of the bags. I quickly tossed it in the sink and started cleaning up the mess. Which is when I noticed that the OTHER bag was also leaking. To have one Ziploc bag leak is unusual. To have two leaking from the same box is almost unheard of. It wasn't just a little leak -- it was almost as though the marinade was sweating off of the bags. Quickly, I grabbed a reasonable sized container from my plastic cupboard and dumped the steaks and the remainder of the marinade into it.

I wondered what was happeneing, but I didn't really have time to check at that moment becuase I had an awful lot of oil to clean off of the floor, the dishes in the sink, the sink, the counter, and myself. Today, however, I checked the box of "Double Zipper Vegetable Bags", It has the following helpful explanation on the side: "To keep vegetables fresh, you need to maintain the right amount of moisture. Otherwise, they get too dry or soggy. Ziploc Vegetable bags help maintain the right moisture balance. There are hundreds of freshness vents (micro holes) on every bag. They are designed to let excess moisture out while holding the right amount in, so your vegetables stay fresher, longer." Oops.