Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Been tired this week (can't quite get myself on a proper sleep schedule this week.) but ended up in kali class this morning anyway even though I felt rather low energy and uncoordinated. Got nailed in the ankle by a kick that just rattled me with pain. Hmm...I have a low tolerance for pain this week as well. I didn't have much luck protecting myself from the hits as it seemed like when I did move I ran into the hits anyway. It was just one of those days. But the sun was nice and warm and I got to play with fan.

Went home and worked a few hours on the very neglected balcony. Our building was painted and after they finished painting, I just never really got back to the balcony over the winter. So I spent a few hours today stripping away all the dead leaves from the various spider plants, aloe plants and orchids. I got a large basin of water to soak the pots in. I always feel a bit bad when the water runs off the balcony and down below to the lower unit balconies, but that's the consequence of living with units above you, gravity always works against you. But I'm liking the balcony railing pot holders. I will probably buy at least one more. It's nice having the pots off the ground to make it easier to sweep. The balcony had become overrun with just too many jade plants and spider plants and all the pots took up the room to actually spend time on the balcony.

At the farmer's market yesterday there was a nursery vendor and I bought whatever they thought might work well in semi-shade. The nice part is that they grew all their plants in Oakland, so I was hoping they had a higher rate of survival than say the ones from Long's. I picked up nasturtiums, a dragon flower plant, and a strawberry plant. I got all of those repotted in various containers. Oddly enough while digging through the pots I kept finding peanuts buried in the soil. The hubby reminded me that before they trimmed the nearby trees the squirrels often made visits to the balcony and my potted pots were much closer to them than the ground, the squirrels must have thought they would make a good hideaway. But then after the tree limbs were cut, they lost access to their stashes.

I stripped the various orchids in my greenhouse shelf down to their still green nibs. I was really surprised at how hearty orchids are. One, I thought was dead, still had a clump of white roots with green tips, a very good sign. Before I used to feel really guilty about killing plants. Mostly because my mother has such a green thumb and I felt like the plants reflected my lack of a nurturing spirit. As delicate of a flower orchids produce, they are indeed one of the more forgiving plants to grow. And while I don't beat myself up as much about killing plants, since plants tell you there is a cycle for them as well and just because there are no leaves or flowers doesn't mean that they are all and out dead. There are roots that survive simply waiting for their chance to grow and bloom again. Somewhere in there, there is a lesson on forgiveness and patience.

I still have another half of the balcony to fix and weed out. I think I'll take out some of the jade plants and spider plants. I just have too many of them. And spider plants are just so ridiculously easy to grow, they're almost weedlike. But that will have to wait for another time.

After a shower to get rid of all the dust (I felt like Pig Pen as I went from the balcony to the bathroom), we brought our plastic eggs across the bay to the nieces. Their older sister seemed to know what the eggs were about even though they had never brought her to an easter egg hunt. We filled the plastic eggs with animal crackers, goldfish crackers, raisins, grapes, and stickers. The twins had these cute Hello Kitty furry baskets that they used for bonnets, because really that's what empty Easter Egg baskets are for, to be used as bonnets. But since the baskets were furry they looked more like the London Beefeaters, but cuter and funnier. We hid the eggs in the semi-open, and even then there were a couple we forgot we hid, like the green eggs in the green kiddie chair that blended nicely to its surroundings.

The kids had fun opening up all the eggs, eating or dumping the contents on the ground. They ate them up as if they were starving. They played with the eggs for hours and hours, past a grumpy meltdown of one of the twins needing to possess all the eggs. Fortunately, the girls are really good at sharing most everything else especially food. They don't seem to mind sharing food. Even the 6 year old got into the act by throwing the eggs, which for her was quite an achievement since it was a physical act that she specifically initiated. Her genetic issue makes it difficult for her to learn repeatable acts, so feeding herself even by hand, or consciously picking up a plastic egg and throwing it, is a big deal.

The twins are picking up vocabulary quite quickly even though I think they speak to us in their twin language sometimes. But Nicky especially, is quite articulate, since she likes to copy phrases some she knows what they mean, others she just likes repeating. But both twins are quite good at saying please and thank you, words that are repeated readily on the Barney videos they watch. Go figure, Barney teaches kids good manners. But amazingly, when we were leaving, Nicky in particular thanked us for bringing the eggs. A sign that she's quite aware of what people bring and give to them and appreciates it. Catie will eventually speak to you, but not as much. They have their meltdowns that a good nap will often fix if you can get them there, but overall, so far they're shaping up to be some good kids.

Afterwards, Tikbalang, the spirit that often whispers in the hubby's ear to turn in very misleading directions, made us miss our exit home and we ended up on Piedmont Ave to stop for ice cream or gelato. We managed to find a parking space across from the gelato shop, but when we got there at 9:10, they had already closed. The woman inside, waved us in and opened the locked door. She was pulling out the gelato trays and defrosting the freezer but still took our order for two small size gelato cups. She piled the gelato high so the small cups were really more like the large size. We gave her a $4 tip. She really didn't have to serve us, and she didn't have to give us all that extra gelato.

All in all, a very good day. Got to feel the warmth of the sun, repotted plants that were giving me a second chance, got lots of wonderful hugs and laughter from some really cute kids, and topped the day receiving some awfully nice service for a sweet treat.

Easter along with the season of spring is the season of rebirth. But to be reborn there is an aspect of forgiveness and appreciation for the life you lived before. But as the 3 year old taught me, simply learning to appreciate the life you are given today and that is a small way we are all reborn.

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