I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite things to do on a weekend that is truly mine and ours.
Low and slow
If Claude Giroux has taught me anything, it is the simple elegance of cooking big chunks of meat low and slow. Whether in the slow cooker or in a roasting pan in the oven, cooking something at a low temperature all day long is sinfully easy and produces delightfully tasty results. I had picked up a pork butt roast at Safeway yesterday, marinated it overnight with some spices and three chopped up onions, and got it started first thing this morning in the slow cooker on the low setting. It will produced stunningly tender pulled pork around supper time.
There are those who loathe dealing with the weekly dose of lights, brights and darks, but I quite like it. On a weekend like this, the task is accomplished over both days, with the ultimate objective being to have one heaping basket of clean and folded clothes for each member of the family after dinner on Sunday. That piece of productivity always feels great.
We get a couple of periodicals that pile up - National Geographic, Maclean's, SUCCESS, Alberta Views, and Vanity Fair among them - and I never seem to find and/or make the time to properly dive into the stories in a way that I should. A blank weekend gives me ample time to find a comfortable spot, and enjoy the full breadth of a well-written narrative or investigative piece.
Cutting the Lawn
After the deluge of rain that we've received, there are strands of grass poking up in our front yard begging to be chopped down and trimmed. I enjoy sparking up the old mower and seeing those finished back and forth patterns of the lawn. It makes the world seem right.
A weekend wouldn't be the same without music. I always find that music sounds better when there is time to enjoy it. I also find it sounds better when I'm surrounded by family. Recently, I was made aware of a beautiful things called Songza, a website where you can listen to music that fits your mood or flavour, absolutely for free. Because nothing is being downloaded, there is no cost to enjoy music playlists created by people who know what the hell they are doing. Now that I'm in the Mac environment, I don't even mind using iTunes, as it turns on instantly. On my former computer, a PC, it took several minutes to get the program up and running.
I come from a long line of nappers on the Thomas side of the family. My grandfather, my father, and several of my brothers have this innate ability to get horizontal and snooze almost anywhere. There is nothing better than a quick nap after a good midday meal. A blank weekend provides the best scenario for the best cat naps.
I know it's not terribly sexy, but I like to do cleaning chores when time allows. Whether it is sweeping the floor, straightening up the living room, or bringing my home study back to a state of tidiness, there is great therapeutic value in cleaning. In professional roles that demand a lot of mental work, being able to shut the brain down to do something physical is absolutely refreshing, and fundamentally necessary (for me).
I couldn't let a blog post about idyllic weekends go by without mentioning fishing. However, this year has been a complete anomaly on the angling side of life. It is June 16th and I have not caught a single fish, though not for lack of trying. Spring was late, the rivers have been high, and now huge amounts of debris litter the Clearwater, making fishing an impossibility. Normally, fishing is what I do on Father's Day as my indulgent treat. I fear that is not going to happen this time around, unless I venture out to Gregoire Lake to toss a line off the boat dock.
I hope you're getting recharged this weekend, and enjoying some quality time with your friends and family. My sense is that much of our community could really use a break after a tumultuous and wet week. Happy Father's Day!