Welp, there went February. And on March 1? We begin the annual 40-day clear-out. Marc and Wyatt are soooooooo excited. (That's what it means when you groan and roll your eyes, right? That you're excited?)
Okay, so maybe no one is really excited about doing it. But we'll be lighter and happier when it's done, so we'll get there. Or we'll get through it. Either way, it's happening.
But February! I shouldn't be so dismissive. It has been as good a short month as anyone could ask for. Last week was "ski week" for people who do that. For us, it was just a regular week, only there was no school. We visited the Botanical Garden one day between rain storms. We sat by the fountain and explored all the paths. We saw camellias, daffodils, and magnolias in blossom.
We also spent three glorious hours working in the Presidio Nursery on Wednesday afternoon in the sun after days and days of pouring rain. We're planning to go again this week. Weed by weed (and for me, call by call as well), we are becoming the volunteers and citizens we need to be.
I also finally made it to an Asian grocery store to find the ingredients I was missing so I could cook from the amazing book that Sarah sent me, The Food of Thailand: A Journey For Food Lovers. The grocery shopping adventure was humbling. It took me 90 minutes, but I got the five items on my list. Tonight's dinner was Neua Phat Bai Hohrapha/Beef with Thai Sweet Basil Leaves. If you follow the recipe here and substitute 1 medium onion, finely sliced, for the shallot, you will have the recipe I used. If, like Marc, you want to skip the beef, substitute 1 large Asian eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, and stir-fry a few minutes longer with about three tablespoons of oil.
Wyatt lifted the box and shook it gently, remarking, "This is so light it feels empty! I AM SO EXCITED TO SEE WHAT IS AS LIGHT AS AIR!"
Is this not the most delightful, quizzically-wise-looking needle-felted owl in a nest? After examining the owl and taking it in and out of the nest, Wyatt remarked, "Mom. Can you BELIEVE Benjamin made this whole thing? It must have taken him FOREVER, because you know how hard it is to needle-felt big things like this owl...and the nest! Look how they fit so perfectly together. Do you think we should make some eggs for the nest? We could, right? They're like the balls we made for the trivets."
Of course we could make eggs for the nest. (And how great is it to give a craft to someone who knows how hard you must have worked on it? I love that part.)
The owl is currently keeping watch over everything important from Wyatt's nightstand.