This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Our weekend -- gadgets, games, give aways, and growing up

Friday evening I went out for drinks with my dear friend Tom, who is a former work colleague and current coffee importer dude.  I had asked if he could get me some used coffee bags that I could repurpose as planters.  He came through big!  

On the topic of repurposing, one of the wine clubs of which we are members always sends out these gifts --  bottle stoppers to blankets, all emblazoned with the star logo of the winery.  Some of these things are useful, others, well, just make me wish the raw materials were still raw.  Friday we got a shipment of 8 bottles and a paper towel holder.  We don't use paper towels.  At all.  I kept looking at the thing and wondering, "What can I do with this?"  The first thought that came to me was we could use it as a drying rack for a ziplock bag -- we don't use many but when we do use one, I wash it and then drape it over a jar or something to dry it.  The thing would work for that.  But, we don't need to dry a zipper bag all that often -- counter space is too precious.   Then it occurred to me, why is the thing a PAPER towel holder?  It could be just a TOWEL holder.  So I stacked a few of the little towels we keep handy on it and voila!  She 'as a raison d'etre!  For the time being...
But counter space is always a competition!  I like to keep lots of fresh herbs handy -- many are just outside the door (thyme, rosemary, sage, lavender, parsley) but I have no dill growing (yet), Gregg cut all the mint back (it'll be a forest again in a week), we use cilantro faster than it's growing (working on that -- lots of new plants), and we just put in new basil plants.  I supplemented all those with some bunches from the market.  When I got them home, in glasses on the counter, I thought, "Wow!  Who needs a bouquet of flowers when these are in the house!"
But I had bought a bouquet anyway -- I couldn't pass up these beauties for $4!  Last bunch I bought stayed nice for two weeks.  (And I turned this picture -- it's upright on my drive...)
The girls went with me to the farmer's market this week.   They ate peas and carrots and strawberries and apples while I loaded my arms to capacity three times.  Neither wanted to carry anything until I bought the flowers!  Then they had an argument about who would carry them.  I decided on a sharing plan -- one could carry them to the car and the other could hold them for the drive home.  They must be growing up because once the plan was in place they stopped arguing.  

Every day I see more and more glimpses of Alex-grown-up.  Yesterday she spilled crayon shavings on the carpet and went and got the cordless mini-vac and cleaned them up herself.
This evening she helped Gregorie color a picture -- AFTER being asked by Gregorie, not her usual "HERE, let me do that for you, Greggie!"

Earlier today they both played the Ladybug game with Gregg, collecting aphids and hiding from the praying mantis.  (The game has the heroes a little mixed up if you ask me.)
My new toy is the pancake pencil.  I make pancakes about 4 mornings per week.  And every time the girls beg for shapes.  So when I saw this gadget on Amazon Prime for less than $10 (with free shipping), I thought, "Hmm...  Yeah, maybe it's just an electric can opener to some people, but for me, there is logic..."  So I bought it.  And I love it!  I'm not a pancake pencil pro yet but I'm working out the aphids, I mean bugs. (I turned these pictures too -- sorry -- my computer doesn't love me tonight.)


Heidi said...

The pancake pencil seems great! I have a few of those pancake frames in fun shapes (gift from Matt's aunt) and I can't seem to get those to work without it being a big sloppy mess. Maybe the pancake pencil is what I need!

Erin said...

oooh I love the pancake pencil! What fun! I'd be afraid of what complex designs Colven would request LOL!

Marlyn said...

Yes Heidi, the pencil is designed to go with those frames.

Erin, yeah, the requests yesterday got a little off the wall here too!