Karin discovered that there just happens to be a bookstore that deals exclusively in French books hiding over near the Campus Saint-Jean near Bonnie Doon. We took the detour there on Saturday afternoon and she spent a good hour poking through the selection of children’s books and picking out a small arm-load to take home with us. We’ve found that the actual French immersion classwork has been good, but the resource library at Claire’s school is a little bit lacking. She comes home with books that may seem fun, but are chock full of complex grammar or made-up vocabulary that we don’t understand, and goes right over her head. The trick is to find something both that we can read and that is geared at clear language — not clever stories or marketing toys. I also nabbed a collection of (translated) Roald Dahl to try reading aloud; Amazingly enough, I actually think I may be able to.
a mash-up of time & nature
I sometimes tell people that I inherited a strange legacy from my grandparents: one set were farmers, the other set while city-dwellers, were avid gardeners. As a result I am usually quite proud to call myself a tiller of soil, a planter of seeds, and a purveyor of moisture to all the little bits of green-ness that set up residence in my back yard each growing season.
Each spring we clean, dig, plant, and spend a minor fortune on supplies. Each summer we hoe, turn, tend, weed, and fertilize. Each fall we pluck, pick, pull, and otherwise harvest a small but tasty collection of fresh vegetables. And while I will be the first to claim that a fresh garden tomato, a sweet young carrot, or a crisp green pea eaten straight from the foliage in my own yard tastes better than anything one could ever buy in a store, I’ll also be the first to admit that sometimes I do wonder if it’s all worth it.
Money. Effort. Heartbreak (at the rare, but not impossible, hail storms.) Resources. Yard space. Tool maintenance. And, of course, all my time that goes along with it in the form of sweat equity.
Is it actually all worth it? What is the opportunity cost of owning a garden, after all?