Archive | September 2012

Make Some Sort of Fun Again

There’s a large wooden shelf in the garage that holds many strings of lights and woven baskets. We took Mom’s Christmas lights and baskets from her house because I knew we would use them to make some sort of fun again. We added Mom’s lights to the ones we already had, and we have just about every kind of light you can imagine. Multicolored lights, lights surrounded by pedals to look like flowers, and large old-fashioned lights with white bulbs just to name a few. I tried to ignore the tangled mess over and over again by not looking at that side of the garage and telling myself that no one would notice. I mean, really, does anybody really care what their garage looks like? I guess I do.

The mess became a chore that I could no longer ignore. I removed the lights and the baskets from the shelves. The strings were easy to wind around and untangled pretty easily. I held the string in my hand and wrapped the cord around my elbow spinning the cord around in a circle from my elbow to my hand one end to the other, over and over again. Bunches of lights went in the baskets, and baskets lined the shelves. It was the only thing I wanted to organize that day, but then I noticed the floor.

I swept the dirt and dried leaves into a pile. I brushed away the cobwebs that held little insects that could not escape. The dirt tried to sneak back into the cracks, but I got it out and threw it away.  All that sweeping caused little rivets of moisture to trickle down my back, and I was glad the day was somewhat cool and the wind was light. I didn’t want more leaves or dirt to sneak back inside.

Photo Courtesy of

Mike and I also worked on making a pile of things that we didn’t need any more: outgrown bikes, bike helmets, Rollerblades, tennis shoes, cleats and the ugly but old comfortable outdoor chairs left by the previous owners many years ago. We stacked the things in the van to be donated to the church garage sale. I was glad I was able to find room for all the lights, and we didn’t have to donate one string. I noticed that the crazy daisy that we hadn’t used for a very long time had ended up in the pile. I felt like it was Andy from Toy Story, because I wasn’t ready to let go of it yet, but I just let it stay in the pile, and I hoped the crazy daisy would find its Bonnie. Some little kid would play with it and it would make some sort of fun again.

Picture Courtesy of NYCuty55

Now we don’t bump into things like we used to, don’t have to try to squeeze around stuff we didn’t use, and don’t have to worry about the cars getting scratched by the old comfy chairs.

I’m just trying to hold onto the things that will make some sort of fun for us again.

Going in Reverse

Thursdays are the days when the Farmer’s Market booths line Nicollet Mall between 5th and 9th Streets. It was shoulder-to-shoulder shopping that day during the lunch hour in downtown Minneapolis. Excited shoppers rush along carrying beautiful bundles of brightly colored flowers. Others look as if they are being weighed down by their many packages.  Most everyone seemed to be in a big hurry to find their favorite vegetable, fruit, or jar of honey.  The smell of nuts being roasted in cinnamon filled the air.

 Photo Courtesy of Minneapolis Farmer’s Market

Since my refrigerator was plumb full of fruit, but needed lettuce, I scanned the booths for that leafy vegetable. My friend thought that all the lettuce would be gone by the time we got there. We found Swiss chard and kale at the first booth we visited, but no lettuce. I never ate kale before, and I am pretty sure I never heard of it.  I held it up and found that it looked thick and course and as if it would involve a lot of chewing.  The saleslady said that kale is good to eat if you crunch up the leaves and make it like a Caesar salad. I still wasn’t sure about it, but the thing was that shoppers could buy three bunches of greens for $5.00. We got two bunches of kale and a bunch of Swiss chard and decided to split up our shares later. We wandered farther down and found tomatoes to share too.  After carrying around all these veggies, we found the fresh lettuce that I had been searching for. I bought some to add to the load, and worried if we could possibly eat all these greens.  After finding and tasting a sample of the cinnamon nuts, I realized the roasting always smells better than the tasting.  No nuts were purchased that day.

After we divided up the kale and Swiss chard, I found a recipe on-line for an Apple-Walnut Kale Salad which just so happens to call for Swiss chard! The ingredients sounded great, and since the whole family was going to be home that coming weekend, the next day I ventured out to get the rest of the ingredients.  On Saturday night, I put the salad together to go with our Saturday night meal. It quickly disappeared.  Everyone liked the blend of flavors and didn’t even complain about all the chewing! You can find the recipe here.

Apple-Walnut Kale Salad Recipe
Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

I enjoy visiting the Farmer’s Market and wish that I would more often. The merchants are so welcoming, and it’s nice to buy fresh, local produce. Kale led me to Apple-Walnut Kale Salad.  When I shop at the grocery store, I only buy something different after I find a new recipe. For once, I found the recipe after I bought the kale which is totally out of my routine.  Doing things in reverse can get a person out of a rut!  Plus, not one morsel of greenness was left to waste.