Cannot help feeling a little homesick this week as it is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which means she has been in charge for 50 years!
It has been heart wrenching to see my friends' kids on Facebook donned in costumes from the war years, so cute seeing the little girls and boys dressed up all fancy.
The UK celebrates a four-day weekend with obligatory closures of banks and businesses across the country and the posts have been coming in fast and furious all day.
Have I time to make bunting, bake, schedule a party involving copious amounts of 2-year-olds and source all the UK goodies? I think not, since I just baked two different batches of cookies resulting in every single bowl and utensil in the kitchen being used and now feel like taking a mini-hibernation definitely not the "hostess with the mostest." I would love to throw a fabulous kids party, maybe next weekend…
It is here where I have to raise my knotted hankie off to single parents, how the heck do you do it? My husband is away for a week (I am counting, we’re on day three) and already I am pinning my eyelids open with matches just to stay alert enough to prevent any serious injuries to my little munchkin.
It is not just the extra work I’ve been putting in (I usually get let off with bath time and bed time as Jim does it when he is home on time), it’s the scared factor! Silly I know, but it feels safe enough in Pleasanton to keep one’s ground floor bedroom patio doors open, so I have been. However, all I can think about is bodies in garbage cans, jaguars and lots of adolescents milling around with time on their hands to stay out late and cause mischief, like tire slashing.
Do single parents just feel invincible? Are they hardened to the scary things in life because they have had to “keep calm and bugger on?" Or are there millions of mothers (for want of an argument) who sit at home every night jumping at the sound of a leaf dropping on the deck or the ice maker clicking on and off?
One thing is for sure. A tired kid means a no fuss bedtime and all thoughts of missing daddy are eliminated, (until she sees the picture she has been hugging in her crib for the past few nights).
So I have been running the extra mile and have been taking the Arroyo del Valle trail from Main Street for about quarter a mile before bed time. What a fantastic place to hang!
We have been three days in a row and have spotted the blue heron, two mama ducks with babies, red squirrels, blue bellied lizards, ground squirrels (are these groundhogs?), lots of colorful dragon and damsel flies and a huge yellow butterfly.
I am so impressed with this trail I intend to walk all of it this summer. What fun we can have bird spotting and sandwich munching all made better by the tranquility of the water and the prospects off seeing something new and wonderful in nature.
Before I dash I must tell you about the most scrumptious bakery I discovered, its Filigree http://www.purefiligree.com/ just off Santa Rita and Valley. WOW! I’ve heard about it but have purposefully avoided all contact due to date I have with a small spare tire and some white capris pants.
With its Euro-charm and communal table I have fallen in love with this place. I tried the mini quiche, which was divine (even though the broccoli content was minimal).
How do they get the pastry so flaky? My guess is with great difficulty hence the individual pies – I shudder to think how one would roll out enough dough to fill a 9-inch flan dish with pastry that short. Plus the filling was so airy and light (a secret I will endeavor to unlock I am sure).
Then I had my first ever German chocolate cake. Let’s just say if I’d have known what that coconut, gooey caramel icing sugar and rich chocolate sponge were involved I’d have been all over it years ago.
My girl got a mini and I mean miniscule carrot cake cup cake, which she savored for ages and thoroughly enjoyed with a cup of milk. A successful outing - not too pricey either.
As some movie star-come-politician once said, I’ll be back!
Bunting – strings of flags
Bugger on – carry on
Knotted hankie – Seaside (ocean side) tradition of knotting all four corners of a hankie and wearing it on one’s head
Here’s a picture….