With Cucumbers On Our Eyes: Spring Break at Home

March had itself reversed.  There were lambs before lions.  April twelve days in has seen no showers.  I well enjoyed the lambs of March, and while I did not welcome the re-introduction of lions, in the end I met them with one tool:  resourcefulness.

Spring Break began with balmy breezes, no plans, and a bakery chocolate cupcake for Olivia's dessert. I needed the warm air and coveted green (mint) icing to make me feel optimistic that even though we weren't headed for Disney World, the Bahamas or Paris that we were going to have a really good break.

Don't overlook what's local and what people travel great distances to visit, I thought.  Day One was spent climbing trees and photographing at the Morris Arboretum.

Day Two we took Harry for a hike in the Wissahickon and had a picnic lunch by the covered bridge.  Desperate to get to some ducks, he had a swim in the creek.  I don't think Cairn Terriers are big swimmers by nature, and at one point I whipped my camera off my neck, practically throwing it at Olivia, ready to jump in to the creek to save him from floating away with the strong current.

It was honestly a little scary watching him traveling rapidly away from us.  He managed to scramble out, and he hasn't attempted to swim since!

By the end of these two days, we had had a lot of fun and I felt like I had had a true vacation.  Lots of time with my girl and beautiful weather.  I wasn't trying to get things done other that keeping her entertained.  I felt refreshed and I didn't even need to get on an airplane to achieve that.

By this point, for the end of the following week we arranged a stay at a house in the Poconos that is dog-friendly, and whose owners didn't blink at the mention of a puppy.  We bought Olivia hiking boots and dug out some of our old hiking and camping gear.

There was a day planned for Spring-clothing shopping and always there is one day to go to work with Dad.  She won two tickets to a 76ers game and they went together one evening.  Still there was one spare day.

Do you want to have a Spa Day, I asked?  Her eyes lit up.  We could give each other pedicures and facials and go through all my supplies.  Yes, yes, yes was the answer with lots of jumping around.

We soaked our feet and scrubbed them and painted toenails.  After lunch we spread out beach towels on the bedroom floor, brought up glasses of water with lemon slices and straws, and slices of cucumbers for our eyes.  We shared earphones to listen to what Olivia had on her iPod.  We stretched out and relaxed.  Spa Day!

The lions returned in time for us to head two hours north to the Poconos.  Still, we hiked, walked to the lakes and let Charlie have his first extensive off-leash hiking experience.  Luckily, we left with the two dogs we arrived with.  We feel more confident now that he will stay by us.

While away, I began reading An Everlasting Meal.  Resourcefulness certainly is a large part of this great book, and I look forward to putting some of it's methods into practice.

We returned home for four days of school and then there was the long Easter weekend.  Keeping in mind the themes I was reading, I made us a carrot soup and a beautiful salad platter as part of our Easter lunch.

I pulled up the last of the overwintered arugula and just yesterday, I joined this challenge.   Urban "farming" must be founded on resourcefulness for certain.

Last but not least, I am back to baking bread.  All whole grain still, but good homemade bread.  We were throwing out the heels of store-bought packaged loaves while on our diet and didn't even care.  It just wasn't good enough to feel like saving every scrap.

I'm trying to remember what's close to home.  There is more here than I sometimes realize.