Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weekend, Weekend, Weekend, Fight!

**OK, so it's no longer Tuesday.  I started writing this post yesterday, but then my stupid computer crashed.  Erg.  Just pretend it's still Tuesday.  Heaven knows I could use the extra day...


      Look at all the blogging I'm doing this week!  I know it looks like a lot, but it's an illusion.  Half of it has been done on my phone, and the rest of it is barely entertaining ;-)  Today, though I'm jumping in again with  Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn For Talk To Us Tuesday because it has NO RULES!  And that's about the only thing I can committ to these days.

      Back when I thought I was really busy but still managed to find time to blog just about every day, I really enjoyed recounting all the fun we had on the weekends.  I like to have a record of the good times our family has and the activities we do.  For instance, I thought I had written a post about how we went geocaching a few weeks ago, but now it looks like I didn't.  That's a little sad because it was a really fun weekend.

      I don't even remember what we did the morning before we went geo-caching, but I do remember that it was just an all around great day.  Our area has a lot of geo-caches (think gps guided outdoor treasure hunt).  That day, we went to a local state part that we love and chased down one cache, spent some time on the beach, then went after another.

This child LOVES nature and being outdoors more than anything.

Mama, what are these?!?

No, I will not put them down.  They are my new friends.  I am keeping them.

Punky and Flintstone exploring.  Is this not one of the most gorgeous parks you've ever seen?  The whole place is amazing.

Since we did this on Super Bowl Sunday, the beach was absolutely deserted.

My kids refuse to smile in pictures with me.  It's because I'm an aweful troll of a mom who tries to make them stand still for 10 seconds for a picture.

This sad excuse for a picture is the only one I have of finding the geo-cache, which Punky is pointing at.
       We love geo-cacheing.  It is a great way to be out in nature, explore, and get some low-key exercise.  We haven't been out again since that weekend, but that's because all our weekends since have been filled with all sorts of other fun!

      A couple weeks ago, we put in a third garden.  We have our first, small garden near our patio (of which I don't believe I have any pictures).  That one didn't get enough light for most things, but grows some beautiful herbs and is also home to some stubborn brussels sprouts which refuse to grow properly.  The second garden is our big garden out in our side yard near the road.  Any pictures from past posts that mention the garden would be of that garden.  Right now, it looks very baren with just little seedlings here and there.  In the spirit of that, MacGyver took one string of solar LED christmas lights and threw them haphazardly over the branches of the palm tree in the middle of the garden.  So now it looks super redneck, which is rather fitting for us.

       The third garden takes up a large corner of our backyard and is devoted mainly to greens: spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, and a couple other things I can't remember now.  We also planted some seedlings that grew out of the squash seeds on the top of our compost heap along the fence.

Digging like Daddy

Look!  I can shovel, too!

      While MacGyver was busy digging, mixing, and mounding, and while Punky was running back and forth between her swing and the neighbors', Flintstone and I started some seeds:

This is my kind of housework, Mama

      This last weekend was no exception to the joy and fun of previous weekends.  Friday night, we volunteered overnight for Family Promise, a volunteer organization that helps homeless families acheive sustainable independance.  We stayed with two families, including two little boys Punky's age and one Flintstone's age, so there was much playing going on!  Some people think of working with the homeless as a sad experience, but I don't see it that way.

       Part of that is because Family Promise isn't just a place for homeless individuals to sleep and get some food; it provides further services to actually get them on their feet.  While I am completely in support of any kind of homeless shelter, there are some of them that can be shrouded in a feeling of hopelessness.  Family Promise shelters - in my experience - do not have that problem.  Which is why we're comfortable taking the kids there.

      I love any opportunity to get my kids involved in volunteering and service, and this was an excellent opportunity.  The parents in the program were wonderful company, and after fulfilling the responsibilities of volunteers, we spent a pleasent evening chatting about all sorts of things while the kids played.

      Another thing I enjoyed was that there was no awkwardness.  I have been in volunteering situations with people who were facing rough times when I either didn't want to admit that I was a lawyer because people assume that means I am wealthy or where I did say I was a lawyer and the individuals I was working with started treating me differently.  Nothing like that happened Friday night.  We were all just people.  It was lovely, and we're looking forward to volunteering again some time.

      We kicked off Saturday with a trip to the Farmer's Market followed by a lovely day at home.  Flintstone and I cleaned the kitchen while MacGyver built a new bench with shoe storage cubbies for our entryway.  Thank heavens, because our entryway had become a center of disorganization and random odds and ends clutter in our house.  It looks a lot nicer now.  And the clutter has relocated across the room to the next nearest flat surface ;-)

      We went to a couple of local nurseries and got some new plants for the garden.  We perfer to start them from seeds but MacGyver we only have so much time for seeding and transplanting.  One day.  One day our whole garden will be from our own seeds (and kitchen scraps!).

      Saturday night, we went to our favorite little local coffee house for some Fair Trade soy lattees and a walk along the waterfront at dusk.  The weather was perfect; the water was gorgeous; it was just beautiful.  We played with the kids on the playground for a good 45 minutes: laughing and running around, climbing, and sliding.  We had a blast.  We wondered back toward the coffee house and took a short break to roll around on the grass under the stars since night had fallen by this point.  Eventually, we made it back to the car and headed home.  Flinstone was out in about 4 seconds.

      At home, we watched an episode of Numb3rs, our new favorite show on Netflix.  I actually have a whole post about the show, but it went off on a wild tangent and needs to be edited...  You know, so it's nice and consice like this post...

      After we tucked Punky in, we cracked open a bottle of wine and spent a little quality time together.  We did NOT take the time change into account.

      Sunday morning, I spent my usual hour playing alone with Flintstone while everyone else was asleep.  Well, half the time I was playing with him.  The other half he was entertaining himself, and I was reading The Other Boleyn Girl, which started out a little slow, but I'm very much enjoying now.

      The church service was wonderful as always, and afterward we had some discussions about the upcoming Ostara ritual.  (Is it that time already?!?!).  The rest of the day was grocery shopping, gardening, chilling, cooking, and eating.

      And then we were back to the grind.

       Thus ends a very long and thrilling weekend recap for Cheap Wine and Cookies Land.  But since I'm eating up my time with a super long post anyway, there are a couple other things I want to mention:

       I kicked @$$ in groundfighting yesterday.  About 2 weeks ago a new Marine Corps Martial Arts Progrpam (MCMAP) class started up that I am actually able to attend since it's not at a ridiculous time.  I love MCMAP, and don't get to do it nearly as often as I'd like.  I really want to finish up my black belt before I get out of the Marine Corps, but I don't know if that will be possible.  Right now I'm working on my Green belt, which I want to get by the beginning of May.  After that, I'll have to take a break for my surgery.  After the Green belt is Brown and then Black.  It's a LOT of hours to try to fit in in the next year or so, but it makes me really happy.

       Yesterday was the first day we've done groundfighting in this class.  I was pitted against another female who was a little shorter but also a little stockier than I am.  She was definitely favored to win.  I'm not surprised.  I am not a person who would ever jump to fight, and in practice, I tend to worry way too much about accidentally hurting my partner.  And I'm small.  I'm 5'5" tall and 116lbs.  But I am desceptively strong, very flexible, and I don't like to lose.

       I had my opponant's face on the mat from the start and for pretty much the whole thing.  AND it was an amazing workout.  I love groundfighting.

       That said, I'm not getting too cocky, because everyone else in the class is a lot bigger than me, so future opponants will be a lot more challenging.

      Last night we had a meeting for one of the Committees from our church at our house.  For as busy as we are, MacGyver and I can't seem to avoid getting sucked into more and more activities with the church!  The Pagan group, the Buddhist group, the Young Adults group, and now MacGyver has joined the Communications Committee which governs all things technological, networking, and related to communications.  It is a fairly new committee since our little church is undergoing a massive growth surge.  Websites need to be designed, with all the widgets and gadgets necessary to keep a congregations of social and environmental justice-minded activist individuals aware of what's going on.

       I'm not on that committee.  It's MacGyver's thing and I DO NOT have time (I keep insistantly telling myself).  So I was doing dishes, cooking, and doing laundry, wandering around the house while they were meeting.  While cooking, I was listening to MacGvyer talk about social justice issues and community organization, referencing actions of the UUA (the nationwide head of UUism), and I had to smile.

        When we first met, MacGyver and I butted heads a little bit about religion.  While MacGyver no longer practiced, he had been raised Catholic and was stuck in an internal conflict between his unsteady Christian beliefs and his issues with some of the practices of the Catholic church.  He wasn't thrilled about my Paganism because he had aparently known some "wiccans" when he was younger who left a bad taste in his mouth about the whole thing; and UUism didn't even sound like a religion to him because it lacked the rules and dogma to which he was accustomed.

      Well, now, 8 years after having first met, we've both changed a lot.  We are too extreme personalities pulling each other to the center.  He teaches me to question, and I teach him to trust.  And last night, listening to him speak, a fervent voice of Unitarian Universalism, I had to smile at how far we've come together.

      Maybe one of these days I'll do a post on the consept of shared intelligence...

I call this "Off to the Ministry of Magic."
We're still potty training at a completely un-rushed rate.  Whenever possible, which is often only on the weekends, Flintstone runs around diaper free.  And while he rarely actually uses the potty (for it's intended purpose, at least), it has been a long time since we've had any puddles on the floor.  Progress.  And now when he needs his diaper changed, in addition to signing "change," he also points at his diaper and insists, "Pee-pee!" 
Truely my child:  We had a huge thunderstorm, and I couldn't pull him away from watching the rain in the garden.  I had to serve him his veggie pancakes and tea in front of the open slider.  And, yes, we give him tea.  Mostly nettle and camomile, occasionally with just a touch of green tea.  He loves it.  And he asks for tea by name.


MiMi said...

Hahahaaa! Off to the ministry of magic.
My kids love to letter box...kinda like Geocaching only no electronics.

Katherine said...

We have been planning on going geocaching for a while. The weather is great...maybe now is a good time.

I've been thinking more and more about planting a garden, but am still not sure. For one, it would probably fall to Hubster to take care of it, and that's a little unfair, since he doesn't really want it. Second, our yard is a haven for squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons. I don't really feel like starting a war with the animals.

Karen Peterson said...

Geo-caching is SO much fun. I've only done it once, but I have really been wanting to go again.

Family Promise sounds a lot like the Orange County Rescue Mission location that I visited last year. They have a beautiful campus with fully furnished and decorate apartments, classes, a kitchen, gorgeous gardens. It's a wonderful place full of hope that provides all sorts of resources, counseling, job training and assistance for families.

Also, groundfighting sounds awesome.

Emmy said...

You had a busy but very awesome weekend! So great you were able to get outdoors, volunteer and do church work. Impressive.
And love the use of the potty

Diandra said...

How do you get so much done in one weekend???

Nadine Hightower said...

You are such a busy woman! Ministry of Magic hahahahahaha!!!!

Shawna Faye said...

Holy smokes woman! You are busy! That Ministry of Magic picture is priceless.

SuziCate said...

We have found a couple of geo cache while hiking but we put them back since we are not part of the cache group (not sure what you call them)...but I think it would be something fun to take up!


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