Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More flowers...

Today I continued my nature walk theme by exploring the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. These lovelies that were in the wildflower garden look like alien species.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Pt. 3

The bugs are cool, too, although less cooperative than the flowers for having their pictures taken. Next time, I hope to be fast enough to capture a huge dragonfly or butterfly on film.
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Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Pt. 2

There were raspberries and blackberries there, but there were also berries that I've never seen before.
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Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, Pt. 1

I visited the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis for the first time today. It was everything I imagined it to be - a feast of wildflowers and other small treasures. The day I had today makes me grateful not to be working during the day this summer. The garden was almost completely deserted in the middle of the day on Tuesday and provided endless opportunities for taking pictures. It was hard to select just a few to post here, so I will do a series of posts thematically - flowers, berries, bugs. I'm also looking forward to visiting throughout the April to October open season to see what changes.

Notes to self for future visits: 1. bring the baby carrier (the stroller was too hard to navigate on the paths, so I will have to find a creative solution for carrying the camera & water bottle) 2. The mosquitoes were pretty bad in spots. Plan on applying some bug repellent or not standing still for very long. 3. Don't forget quarters for parking. Luckily, it's only 50 cents per hour to park and I had that in my wallet today. That was a close one!

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Sleep vs. No Sleep

When the baby sleeps well the night before, your life seems full of possibilities. He is a perfect, beautiful child and you a beatific madonna. Summer is lovely like the little birds that come to eat at the bird feeder. Things get crossed off the to-do list powered by your well-rested brain and body grooving to your ipod on shuffle. When the baby sleeps well, even a $700 car repair is taken in stride - you have the money, thanks to your generous maternity leave.

When the baby does not sleep well, life is a tragic Italian opera - all wails and pathos. Everything is wrong. What were you thinking when you thought that you could handle having another child? He cries, you cry. The dishes pile up in the sink. You watch Dr. Phil because there is nothing else on at 3:00 p.m. and you are too fried to turn the tv off. You get through the day fueled by your resentment toward the baby's father, who, if he really loved you, would begin to lactate.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Details

I made a little man. He is ordinary and absolutely perfect.
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Monday, July 14, 2008

Street Turtles

One goal I have this summer is to get to know my neighborhood better by taking a walk every day that I am able. Biking season may be curtailed this year, but I can still explore on foot with my tiny companion, Charlie. It's a balancing act to get enough of a walk in without going so far that I have to hurriedly cart a screaming baby back home from far away. I found these turtles painted in the street at the intersection of Simpson and Van Buren while on a long walk with Josh last week. I didn't have my camera with me at the time so I went back to find them this evening. The intersections of Van Buren between Snelling and Hamline are painted in different colorful designs. I wonder what the story is behind this. Perhaps the neighbors on each block did this as a collaborative creative expression?
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St. Paul gears up for the Republican National Convention

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Time So Slow

The past two days have been my first days at home alone with Charlie. Yesterday I looked outside on a lovely summer morning and realized that these days are open, slow and precious. The house feels like a cabin in the woods and my little companion is quiet and kind in his demeanor. We are like two hermits, partners in solitude.

Each day, I have thought about venturing out into the world beyond home and garden, and each day I have declined. I don't want to see other people and shatter the illusion that Charlie and I are the only two creatures on earth. I certainly don't want to get into my car. Instead, I make food, doze on the couch, nurse my young friend upon request, let him stare into my face during his brief periods of alertness, water the garden, and listen to music.

This quiet will change tomorrow evening, with the changing tide of what will be my weeks during the summer. Ellis will return, and soon after Nate will follow. Life will become boisterous as we slip into the weekend. I may think about returning some of the phone calls that I've ignored and acknowledge that the larger world exists. I will likely enjoy it.

But present always, will be my Charlie. My anchor into the quiet life, the present moment, the pure pleasure of slowness.