brunch with laurie
instead of dim sum, laurie and i had pancakes for brunch this morning. instead of going out, she made them at home and we ate it at her apartment. that to me is just unbelieveable. you mean, you're going to actually make the pancakes? being someone that lacks rudimentary cooking skills, i equate the ability to cook with like having a superhero power, like the ability to fly or see through walls. also to have someone cook for me is a kind of altruism that i can't find the words to express my appreciation for. i asked if i could bring anything over, but laurie told me nothing. nevertheless, i got a bouquet of marigold as a present.

when i got to her place, she was cutting up oranges for the fruit salad. once the crucial kiwi component was added to the mixture, she gave me the important job of stirring up the salad with a wooden spoon while she manned the stove, pouring her pancake mix into a metal handled frying pan. she brewed some coffee, and after making enough pancakes for the both of us (which were stored on a plate sitting in the oven), she cooked up strips of bacon. understand that i would've been very happy with just pancakes. but fruit salad? and bacon? and coffee? this was all too much, but in a good "i'm being spoiled" sort of way.

when the bacon was done (when the melted fat was poured into the lard can), we ate in the kitchen. over our food, we had a lively discussion about processed versus organic foods, what it was doing to people and kids, and the social-economic ramifications. laurie was all for organic food, the idea of eating at macdonalds is just sort of sickening to her, all the synthetic ingredients that go into the usual fast food meal. i on the otherhand am totally for greasy fast foods, and have no qualms about eating them (although not everyday). i think only in a rich country like ours can people argue about organic versus processed foods. in a poor country where food is scarce, food is just food, a matter of survival. here in affluenzia, what kind of food you eat is not so much survival as political statement or maybe the latest fashionable thing to do. later, our discussion somehow mutated into a talk about abortion rights. laurie's cat noodles came out of hiding when he smelled the bacon and was jumping around on the countertop.

after brunch, laurie's mother paid a visit to her place. seeing the bouquet of lilies, which by the way saturated the apartment with their fragrance, her mother told us of the hidden danger of lilies. what, are they poisonous? no, but apparently the pollen grains that fall out of these flowers stain and don't come out of clothes very easily, if at all.

a visit to mahoney's
afterwards, laurie and i walked a short distance to mahoney's on memorial drive, the local garden store. the weather was exceptionally nice and we admired the many bulbs and flowering trees along the way. laurie, her civic pride overflowing, kept on saying how great cambridge is, particularly cambridgeport. she wanted to buy some seeds to grow in her ever-expanding indoor greenhouse. mahoney's was very busy this sunday, with the weather so nice, a lot of people got the green thumb and were out buying gardening supplies, shopping carts full of bags of dirt, pots, containers of flowers/vegetables and planters of small trees. i bought a venus flytrap plant, which laurie thought would die in my office because the lack of natural sunlight. i had one before, about 20 years ago, that i kept it in a small fishbowl shaped glass terranium. i remember my father going out and buying some spagnum moss for me, because that's what the venus flytrap grows on. it grew pretty well for most of that summer, but i remembered i was very afraid of it so i never fed it anything, and eventually it died from lack of nitrogen. i'm going to make sure i feed my venus flytrap with plenty of freshly caught morsels. it seems like such a childish plant to buy though, look, it's so cool, it eats bugs! but i don't care! i also bought a packet of catgrass, which is essentially just wheat seeds (triticum aestivum). this is pure wheat grass (they didn't even have to check my id or anything!), not like my previous package of catgrass that i got from petco, where it was a blend of different grasses. wheat grass is the best grass for growing in containers. looks like the grass will be making another office comeback! laurie ended up getting a few packets of seeds (chives, parsley, chamomile, and based on my recommendation, sunflowers), and i helped her pick out the right pots to go with her soon-to-be plants.

we returned to the apartment where i helped laurie to plant her seeds. parsley seeds had to be soaked for 24 hours, the chives and chamomiles we combined into one pot, three sunflower seeds in another pot, and she potted one of the plants she may nor may not have stolen from the museum of science. she showed me her watering technique of putting the potted soil in a tank of water and letting the water slowly saturate the dirt from the bottom up.

flowers in my backyard
i've been so busy, i haven't been out in the backyard for over two weeks, and i knew a lot had changed since that time. all the bulbs were out in full bloom, along with any of the flowering fruit trees. while two weeks ago the landscape was still mostly drab (there were a few touches of color, but for the most part, things were grey), now we really see what spring is all about. before the leaves on trees come out and drown the surroundings in a sea of chlorophyllic green, the bright spots of colors provided by early spring bloomers bring a smile to the face of anyone who can appreciate the splendors nature has to offer. this spring, more than ever, i am happy about the arrival of the new season.

white violet




pussy willow



plum flowers

peach flowers