This was a weekend of: moccasins, vegetarian/pescatarian meals, working in our herb garden, pony rides and egg hunts, playing trains, reading from Little Town on the Prairie to The Berenstain Bears (Eric’s current fave) to catching up with The New Yorker, looking for lizards, obsessing over my Pinterest boards (and filling up my essence with crafty ideas), and purchasing a pair of boots (thanks for the direction and encouragement Cousin Kd) that are part of my systematic, long-term wardrobe overhaul (time to update my look and let it reflect more artistically the person I have evolved to be).  My soundtrack was one part Fleetwood Mac (naturally), one part The Byrds (singing Dylan, mainly), and three parts Neil Young. I have many of his albums—he is one of my favorite artists of all time—but I mainly played his Harvest Moon and Greendale albums on repeat this weekend. His voice speaks to an essential part of me.

Oh, and goat cheese. This was the weekend of goat cheese. Man, I love goat cheese. My newest acquisition is a fig-studded goat cheese from Costco. Delish. I can already tell it will be one of my springtime passions, foodie wise.

So, here are some pictures:

Katie spices and stirs our chana masala that we served as part of tonight’s meal. I adore Indian cuisine, and I still remember the first time that my good friend Shil introduced me to chana masala in Berkeley. I was visiting Shil and Steve one weekend, and I went to watch Shil dance in the Indian dance festival at Cal. After the festival, we went to the most awesome after-party and danced the bhangra all night long. The next day he took me to this, literally, unidentifiable, nondescript warehouse with this semi-secret Indian restaurant inside of it. The food was a revelation. One of the best meals anywhere, ever. Too bad I have no idea how to find it on my own… I guess that leaves me to make our own!

Tonight’s menu: chana masala, palak paneer, and naan. The naan was warm from the oven, and Eric loved helping me make it and roll it out. I was so pleased, also, with this palak paneer. The green color of the spinach (palak) looks unreal to me, but this picture has not been touched up. Fortunately, I was able to find real paneer at—wait for it—Costco! I know, what? Real paneer has never been consistently easy to come by in Temecula, and I have resorted to making my own at times with not-so-satisfactory results (hard to get exactly the right texture and firmness). Yay for real paneer! Katie wasn’t so enthused, but Eric gobbled it. Both kiddos enjoyed the chana masala, good protein.

On Friday, we had our last day of music class for the winter term, and then we went to Home Depot and picked out some herbs for our herb garden, a dwarf orange tree to add to our citrus collection, and some colorful flowers to refresh some pots.

Digging in the herb garden

Many of our herbs from last year are either still hanging on (German thyme), or even thriving (rosemary). We added another thyme plant (since I use thyme all the, uh, time for my stocks and things), and we’re trying our hand again at cilantro. I found Italian parsley this year (my favorite parsley), but no sage was on hand when we went. Definitely need to find sage for the autumn cooking… Our basil ate dust this last year (still don’t know why—the year before, it was abundant), so I changed its location, gave it a bigger pot, better dirt, and chose two huge plants of it to have a go. I love, love basil… I hope we have a good year with it. When I go back for the sage, I also want to try another mint variety. We do have mint, but surprisingly, it hasn’t been looking as happy as it normally does. I love mint in summer teas and lemonades.

We saw so many lizards, some HUGE, this weekend. The fun of looking for lizards never wanes for me. Actually, exploring life in the yard is part of what gives me vitality and energy. I could spend all day looking at grass and beyond grass, into the earth. Or just listening to the sounds… Or looking at how buds are uncurling.

Eric loved his slide this weekend

On Saturday morning, we went to our HOA neighborhood Easter egg hunt. A little misty, but still fun!

Waiting to hear “GO!”

Sweet babies

Eric and Daddy hunt for eggs

Reeeeaaaach, Eric!

My Easter girl

There were pony rides this year—very awesome.

(For some reason, WordPress doesn’t want to save this right-side-up when I attempt to edit this one, and it edited and saved all of my other pics just fine, sorry about that). Even sideways, these Easter horses (a mother and son) are beautiful. This year for the first time, the Easter horses pulled a Easter decorated wagon around the whole park. I loved this.

I am so thankful for several sweet moments this weekend with my two babies. Katie is working hard on learning how to count and add coins. We also have been loving our bedtime snuggles and reading together this weekend. Eric is a sweet Great-Grandson to his Nana. Tonight, after he finished his dinner, he was sitting on my lap while I was finishing mine. Suddenly, he pointed in the direction of the phone and said, “Nana, Nana.” At first I wasn’t sure what he meant, so I asked, “Do you miss Nana?” And he nodded his head yes, while sucking his thumb and rubbing his cozy blanket. He said her name again. I asked, “Do you want to go see Nana?” And he nodded yes. Then he pointed again, and I understood. “Do you want to call Nana on the phone?”

At that, he leaped off my lap and ran over to the phone and pointed, saying “Nana, Nana.” So we called her. I held his little finger and guided him to punch in her numbers. When she answered, he “showed” her his dinner plate by holding the phone over it for a moment. He said a couple of other little things, but I think he just wanted to hear her voice. He is very connected to her, and talks about her often. I love this, because I know now he will always remember her. At the end of their conversation, he waved and said, “BYE!” Then he went outside while I cleaned up dinner. Sweet, sweet boy.