Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stalking the Wild Asparagus

I have been reading an interesting book called Stalking the Wild Asparagus by Euell Gibbons (the Grapenuts spokesman back in the day).  I am really enjoying it.  It talks about all the different wild foods out there that most people pass up -- like cattails, acorns, wild berries, etc.  
Charlie and I have been going out on the weekend and hunting for asparagus.  It is a fun hobby to have.  We don't really save money or anything because of the gas we use to find the vegetable.  It just feels good to be able to have that direct link to your food source.  People are so far removed from where our food comes from.  Ever since humans first walked on earth they have either hunted or gathered or grown their own food.  Now we go to a job and do something totally unrelated to our own survival so we can get some money to buy some food that has been shipped in from who-knows-where and served in a Mc-wrapper.  Kids don't even know what meat is.  If they did I bet there would be more vegetarian kids out there.
Anyway, I think I will make some asparagus soup with this last batch we found.  I included a photo I shot of what wild asparagus looks like if anyone wants to try.  I would suggest getting the book from the library though for more insight as to where to look.  Basically we drive down the road near farmers fields and look along the top of the ditch between the road and the field.  They are usually along the edge of the ditch.  It is almost impossible to see the small ones so you have to look for a mature stalk that has already branched out and then look around the base for small stalks.  Also, if you find one, look around for the dead plant from last year.  Once you get an eye for the dead ones, you can spot those in the ditch and check to see if new ones are coming up.  

Monday, May 19, 2008

Slip and Slide

I was going through the Sunday paper last night and was looking at the store ads and coupons.  I saw this huge inflatable slide for sale (only $599!) in one of them.  This thing is monstrously large!  It is probably 15 feet tall and bigger than most backyards.  It had like three water slides and a huge pool at the bottom.  I just can't believe that someone would buy it.  $600 would buy a lot of trips to the waterpark.  Can you imagine storing it?  Even deflated it must take up a bunch of space.  

Maybe I'm just old fashioned.  I grew up in the 80's you know and we thought we were pretty spoiled because we got a Slip-n-Slide.  Remember those?  Basically it was a yellow piece of plastic that you ran the garden hose to.  You run across the yard and then dive onto your belly when you get to the plastic and slide to the other end.  That's a boatload of fun for a little kid but they were entirely too dangerous if you ask me.  First of all, you had to use these little metal stakes to hold down the edges of the plastic and if you didn't get them into the ground all the way you risked serious injury.  Not to mention all the twigs and rocks you would slide over - plastic doesn't really cushion very much.  Heaven forbid you don't keep the plastic completely wet and you hit a dry spot (screeching halt).  The worst was actually making it all the way to the end of the plastic and sliding right off into the grass.  Depending on your method of sliding (belly or butt) you would do a face-plant in the muddy tore-up grass or get a nice bathing suit wedgie.  Ah, those were the days.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday morning

What a pleasant start to my weekend.  Today I got up fairly early and started cleaning up around the apartment.  It is warm enough to have the windows open to air out the place.  I had to run to the store to get a few necessities and I decided to go to the Farmer's Market.  It appears they will be busier than ever this year.  Right now they mostly just have plants for your garden and some crafts.  They had a local group of old men out there singing in German (I guess that's what you get in a place called "Frankenmuth").  
The local Master Gardener group was there promoting "Plant a Row for the Hungry" or PAR.  I had never heard of it before but it sounds really interesting.  Basically, you donate your extra produce from your garden at a drop site and the food gets distributed to the local food banks/kitchens.  They gave me a free tomato plant to stick in my garden.  I will definitely participate!  Check it out!
Anyway, I came home and put together a flower arrangement from some flowers I had purchased.  Nothing fancy, just something Springy to cheer up the apartment.  I went outside then for a while and tried to find where the little black barn cat had her babies hidden.  I didn't find them but that is OK.  That means she's a good mama I guess.
Uncle Dave was outside too and we got to talkin'.  He always has some good stories to share.  We mostly talked about the farm and the animals today.  You what is being planted and how much the average piglet he bought weighed and how the one exotic chicken they send him with the others always gets pecked at because it doesn't fit in.  Fascinating stuff.  He scared the pigs out of the barn for me so I could get some photos and then he cut some rhubarb for me too.  I really enjoy living here, and I'm gonna love it even more by the end of the weekend.  They have a spare room they were kinda saving in case their grand daughter wanted to move here.  Turns out she got an apartment down the road so they are going to let me rent the room.  Now we will have a two bedroom place and I will be able to spread out a bit.  I'm gonna move my craft area and computer desk in there.  I can't wait!  We'll have more room in the living room/kitchen/dining room (yes, it is one long room that is way over-crowded) and I will have my own little space to be creative.
Now I am just waiting for Charlie to get home.  I feel like I accomplished a lot already today.  

Friday, May 16, 2008

Laugh until you cry

Have you ever laughed so hard and so long that you end up crying?  I think most people have.  I was just looking at a few photos that I took with my Photo Booth program on my Mac.  My Mom and I were giving it a try and coming up with some silly fun-house mirror looking images that made us laugh so hard that we were crying.  My stomach hurt and my face hurt and I almost passed out because I couldn't catch my breath.  It was a good feeling though.  What fun times.

Now, have you ever cried so hard that you laughed.  Not so much fun there.   It has been a long time since I've done that.  Thank goodness.