Hola. Today I am supposed to pay bills, clean the car and emotionally prepare to be a field trip driver for the middle school tomorrow. And of course I have my usual list of things to do. Before I throw myself on the Responsible Woman Train, I want to post a little weekend goodness.
Item One: New Shoes, Crocs actually. Cousin Dominic is thoughtful and generous, and I guess his mom told him how much Maria loves shoes and purple. She can spot a shoe rack from 200' and her feet start twitching when she gets near them. We are sending big hugs and thank you's to DomDee.
I think I mentioned that Max has outgrown his bicycle. A year ago we could see it was too small. We didn't get our act together to buy him one for his 8th birthday and Santa dropped the ball at Christmas. No matter. Just in time for spring break Max has his new, bigger bike and he is one happy boy.
He likes that it is a mountain bike and he loves that it is green. He has more gears too. Cool. Saturday night I promised to take him someplace besides our neighborhood corner. Sunday we walked over to the next block, slipped passed the chain link fence and in to the nature reserve of the suburbs, a.k.a. the power line easement. Maria got some off-road jogger action and Max and I explored the mysterious region that is both urban and wilderness. There is a perfect looping trail, interesting terrain, inclines and berms. It is a dog walkers paradise and Alex wants to take the RC cars in for a ride.
I found a patch of paradise, with real California plants growing and struggling in their little haven. This sage bush is healthy, but it's unfortunate that there is only one. It smells wonderful.
These tiny purple flowers are sweet, but I recognize them as the plants that produce little sword like seeds, with a spiral sticker at the end... a menace to long haired dogs.
There was a lot of buckwheat blooming. The flowers are dainty and by summer's end they will be dry and toasted, resembling a cluster of bread crumbs. Hans told me they are edible.
Here is a plant that looked familiar and smelling it confirmed that it is a variety of lavender, which is part of the mint family. It wasn't like any nursery variety, but I don't know if it is a native species. The bees were certainly interested in it's fragrant blossoms.
This is a Jerusalem Cricket, and he is big, a little creepy looking, but harmless. They burrow and eat decaying plant matter, and like crickets they "sing." Their song is a drumming they make by beating their abdomen against the ground; it's a love thing.
We hiked and biked the new trail several times yesterday. Eventually the whole family got to explore it. Ironically, Alex enjoyed riding the trail on Max's old bike!
Maria and I fixed dinner together. She climbs on to this counter stool and watches me, talks to me and tackles certain jobs, like spinning the salad. Maria loves to spin the salad. We had planned to watch Nature, but our public television station is fundraising, and they weren't airing their regular programs. William and Alex spent time making fun of the dinosaur program on the Science channel. They were laughing uncontrollably, which was fun to hear. Max and I were with Maria, and Max read his Milton Hershey autobiography to us. Milton Hershey was a very interesting man, and Max is enjoying learning more about him. Geoff worked until 11 p.m. If he weren't so sick I guess he would have worked later. Speaking of work... I think I have stalled long enough. Time for me to get to work too.