An up and down weekend with a little too much work in it for my taste, frankly, but there have been some great moments. One blow up with a child but I think we got past it. Damn I was mad though. We washed it away with our first family ride in the bug. Yes, we all four fit in, although I don't any great speeds were achieved. Owen is beside himself with the bug and Leo seems quite tickled too. Leo took great pleasure in recounting to me that as he, Ernie and Owen pulled up to a stoplight, he happened to glance over and see a guy in a huge pick up next to them, looking down at them and mouthing the words, "What the hell?" And all three guys are delighted by everyone that asks them about the car or waves to them, or laughs when they beep its little horn. Oh, ok, I guess life is good despite my fury.
The band is practicing at our house this afternoon and Ernie and I have been asked to vacate the premises. Well, good, that will keep me from doing anything productive like cleaning or the like. I need to go pull some chicken bones out of the freezer to make some broth for a recipe. As the weather cools down I always feel like cooking more, and I'm doing some test runs as I try to decide what to make for the Peter Case house concert in October.
Nashville later this week although I'm starting to panic a bit about taking time off and having enough money. Bugs and trips to DC tend to cut into one's available cash. Eh.
A few pictures from the weekend.
I think sometimes people turn their noses up at old fashioned annuals like petunias and marigolds. I always plant some marigolds for Ernie because he loves them, and they really are quite glorious at the moment...
My beloved nasturtiums.
The whole family in Cyril. Not the best picture, but it seems to capture the moment.
Black and blue salvia
I've discovered that a little quinoa fried until it's crispy adds a delightful bit of crunch on top of a dish. Even Ernie loved it, and he not as addicted to the pleasures of crunch as I am.
1. Can we have four day weekends more often please? I've read about 4 or 5 books, cooked a bit, planted some windowboxes for all, and laughed at my boys. That's about it. I planned to clean the living room and dining room. Didn't do it. I thought about going over bills and money and checking on some things. Didn't do it. I relaxed. I slept. I read. I listened to music. Now I'm trying to avoid that feeling of the-weekend-is-almost-over-and-I've-done-NOTHING. Only semi-successful thus far but it was worth it.
2. The weather has been glorious and I've loved having all the windows open. It's supposed to be hot again today so I broke down and turned on the A/C for Leo. He has a wretched cold and it does get really hot in his room. Somehow, being hot and sweaty when you have a cold adds insult to injury, so I turned it on last night, as it was the only thing I could think to do for him. Poor sweet pea.
3. Owen's spent the night with some friends so it's quiet this morning. His friends came over to see his bug. It cracked me up to see them run from his friend's new BMW SUV and excitedly hop into the bug. Owen spent much of yesterday morning just sitting in the bug, at least when he wasn't cleaning it and fussing with it. He parked it in the alley so it was just feet away from where we sit in the yard, so it made for easy conversation with us. He looked so happy just sitting in there.
4. Today, if Leo's up for it, we're planning to go see Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I'm kind of wondering why I cheerfully agreed to that. Perhaps it could be a father and son thing...and I could read another novel.
5. Our summer windowboxes had gotten fried and stringy I should have cut them back and fertilized them last month but I didn't so I dumped them. Parsley was not a good idea in them....it dried out and browned way too easily. I spent more than I should have on new plants but as I earnestly explained to Ernie and Leo, "But considering how much pleasure I get from then, it's not bad at all." Ornamental cabbage and peppers with some grass, and purple pansies for fall. We'll see how they do.
6. These are the glory days of summer annuals. The zinnias and cosmos, the spider flowers and the nasturtiums....just stunning right now with the goldenrod glowing in front of them. I'm already planning for next year.
7. Ernie and I made a delightful dinner last night. I browned some chicken thighs in my big yellow Le Creuset. I took them out and poured out most of the fat, then I dumped in two sliced onions (thank you sous chef Ernie), a can of whole tomatoes, just scrunched up a bit, and a bag of dried kalamata olives I'd gotten from Trader Joe's when we were in Omaha. I let it all cook a bit, added a glass or so of white wine and some oregano and red pepper flakes, set the chicken back on top of it all, covered and let it cook about half an hour, then another half an hour uncovered. Utterly delightful. We served it over quinoa and skipped the zucchini I was planning to do for the side.
8. Ok, that's all I've got for now. Back to my novel. Onward. Happy Labor Day all.
I'be been so ridiculously busy I haven't been able to post so this will be VERY random. No continuity of of thought HERE!
1. I have made the delightful discovery that my husband can cook a mean piece of salmon. He gets the skins crispy and the the whole thing a hair underdone which is how I like it. I now say, "Ok, you do the salmon," and go sit down. Last night....Ernie's salmon with spinach-basil-parsley quinoa with a red wine vinaigrette and cherry tomatoes from the student group that sells outside the Meat Lab.
2. This recent look at my Kindle amused me for some reason. Oh, and I found a thread on Chowhound that lists cookbooks that are for sale on Kindle. The Poole's Luncheonette cookbook looks great and it was a whopping $1.99 or something like that. It's an old thread so you have to go to the most recent comments, but very fun.
Oh, and both the non-cookbooks on there are highly recommended.
3. I haven't been making frittatas as often lately, mostly because I've been eating eggs for breakfast more often, but damn, when you don't know what to make it's wonderful. Eggs and ham, cherry tomatoes and green onions.
4. We had a nice pancake night the other night. Ernie showed them off he was so proud of Leo's work.
5. And here's the one he made for Rascal. Rascal was not terribly appreciative.
Damn it. Lunch is over. That's all I've got.
I've got so many other things to tell you! The cats had a fight on my face in the middle of the night and I look like hell. Bob's getting cataracts....and there's so much more.....
I've been quiet...a combination of being super busy at work and not feeling great. I'm now cutting out caffeine and alcohol on top of a bunch of other things (like gluten). Geez. Hopefully the doctor will have some suggestions when I see him in a few weeks. I tried to drink a glass of wine yesterday and couldn't do it. Ugh. Side note: Sorry for being such lousy company Teri and Brian.
So what anecdotes do I have for you? Not much. Let's see.
1. The other day Owen wistfully asked, "So, do you think you'll do something special for my 16th birthday?" I puzzled for a moment and then said, "OH, Good God honey, we can't get you a car you know!" He sighed, and sadly said, "I know." Lord I love that boy.
2. That being said, I think we are going to try to start looking for a second car...cheap and used if anyone has any ideas. Four people and one car, and I work someplace that's not easily (or at least quickly) available by bus. It just gets a bit complicated, and once Leo starts at Parkland next year it will be even more so.
3. My zinnias were slow in coming as we planted them so late but they are finally here and give me great pleasure.
4. And last, but not least, super excited to have Peter Case coming back. If you think you can make it let me know on the Facebook event.
updated to add: the Flamin' Groovies have unblocked Owen. Life can now resume.
It's summer. Full on summer. I'm sitting in the front yard watching Ernie weed and pull out plants as per my direction. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. He's pretty great. I am trying to stop scratching my mosquito bites as I sit in the shade and drink iced tea. Wednesday of my vacation week. I even did a bit of work earlier so I feel virtuous despite being lazy.
Leo's room makeover seems to have come to a halt as we let him set up his new computer. Really. You'd think I would have known better. I'm beginning to feel as though we are looking like hoarders with all his room crap spread all over the dining room and living room....but it can't go back until we get new shelves up on the wall and the table in the living room can't go back until the shelves are installed and well...you get it. I have sworn we will get the shelves done today. Although last night Ernie warned me I was planning an awful lot for today. "We'll get that done on Wednesday." "Oh, let's plan to finish that up on Wednesday," etc., etc. Thus far we've checked two things off our list for the morning so I have hope.
In other, sad news, the Flamin' Groovies blocked Owen on Twitter because he asked if they were going to make a statement as to why George Alexander wasn't going to play with them live. He was just worried. Now he's blocked and he's devastated....absolutely devastated. I feel terrible for him. He loves them so much and he has a tender heart. Damn it.
Summer in the yard. Not our best year in the garden, but then again, not our worst.
1. Me: Why are you sitting on the dining room table?
Owen: Why are you standing on the dining room floor?
I shrugged and moved on. When you know you aren't going to win....
2. We finally burned the last of the Christmas tree last night.
3. I'm a bit under the weather this weekend but I got tired of laying on the couch so am sitting outside in the yard. The weather is glorious. While I read a novel or tap away, Ernie is in the garden weeding furiously. Inside, Leo is upstairs on his computer doing Leo things and Owen is downstairs working on putting together Leo's IKEA purchases. Leo and I, we know how to work the blondes.
4. I'm pleased with this new coneflower. It makes me want to go buy more coneflowers. Luckily I don't feel well enough to head off to Country Arbors, despite the fact that they have a sale.
5. A spider just crawled up my arm. Ugh.
A FULL weekend. Sometimes I complain when I don't do enough over the weekend. This weekend that could not be the case. I must admit Friday was a bit of a loss. I went in for more testing....drank some disgusting sugar water and they tested my breath every so often for three hours. I felt absolutely horrible after drinking the stuff, and we sat next to a family that I couldn't figure whether they were speaking English or not. Ernie tried to convince me it was a speech impediment, but no...it was something else. Fascinating. Later the office called and cheerfully told me everything was fine. Then the gynecologist's office called me and said my biopsy was benign thank you very much and that I am in 'low menopause.' I said "what does that mean" and she read my test results and the normal range to me. Well hell, I can do that too, I get the test results online. I asked her again and she said she'd check and get back to me. So later she called me and told me I was just entering menopause and that I could expect bleeding for 18 months. I just said thank you because I knew talking to her wasn't going to get me anywhere. This is despite the fact that my primary care told me I'd officially entered menopause in 2008 and I haven't had a period since then. Sometimes I just throw my hands in the air and say 'what the hell' because there's really nothing else to say. And I don't have a follow up appointment and I don't know if I care. Whatever.
Saturday dawned GORGEOUSLY. The WEATHER this weekend has been the stuff of dreams. This is why brides want to get married in June...it usually just doesn't work out this way. Saturday I got some yard work out of my sweet boys Ernie and Owen. I pointed and planned and even planted a few things OWEN. They moved plants and added dirt, dug things up and weeded. Our friends Jan and Andrew came over and took a bunch of hostas. I wish I'd taken a picture of the hostas in the back of their truck----they looked so grand. I love, love, love giving plants to friends. Nothing better.
Later I made a half assed curried quinoa salad ( TOO much turmeric Cynthia) and headed over to our friends Teri and Brian's house. Sitting on their deck, listening to music, eating great food, laughing until the side of my head hurts (don't know why, it just happens), it was pretty glorious.
This morning we got up and headed to IKEA in Bolingbrook with Leo. We're in the midst of a great bedroom makeover for him and he's very excited which does my heart so good. I didn't even worry about getting it all back in the Honda because everything IKEA does is broken down so well...with one exception...if you have a giant corner desk top that is one solid piece.....there's only so much they can do with that. Sadly, we could not fit it in. Eh, we'll have to pay shipping on that one. Oh well. And I meant to look at their outdoor lights but missed them. Oh well. New bathmat, lots of candles and some dish towels gave me a bit of pleasure. We drove all the way home listening to Pendulum and Knife Party and Leo was just happily glowing in the back seat.
I begged for a few minutes at Danville Gardens as we headed down Prospect after getting off the highway. 50% off folks. How can one resist? Begonias, blue fescue and a few more kinds of basil....
That's a good weekend. Not particularly looking forward to the week but I'll get through it.
Or not so good homes, actually. That might be uncomfortable if they were tended to too much.
We need to pull out some gooseneck loosestrife. It spreads a bit but is easy to pull out. I'm actually quite fond of it.
Here they are at White Flower Farm, and here they are in our yard:
We've got lots.
We also have tons of spiderwort. Perhaps because it's getting more sun, it has spread more than ever before and needs to be, um, contained. Ok, this picture is after it bloomed....it blooms in the morning. My sister Judi bought this plant for me a million years ago, so you'd be getting a piece of her too (so to speak, her ashes will not actually be included. heh).
We probably have more things too....ferns, hosta. Ernie asked if hosta was like Lego, the plural the same as the singular. I think perhaps so.
Just let me know if you're interested in any of the plants
I found Facebook overwhelming yesterday, with all the pictures of fathers. I had to stop looking at it. Not that I don't like people posting the pictures....I love them, it just overwhelmed me. I couldn't bring myself to put a picture of my father there. I don't really know why. As much as I post pictures all over the place, I somehow felt like I couldn't share him yesterday. At one point Leo was sitting to my left however, talking and laughing, and every time I looked over at him, I could see my father in his profile and that made me feel like he was there, and I felt better.
It was a good day. One minor teenage skirmish but we rebounded and came through it. Not bad, huh? Ernie liked his father's day gifts, although Amazon delivered one without a box so he kinda got that one a day early. Hmph. We got him to get teary though so we felt victorious. Those boys love him so.
I made him go and look at flowers because both Danville Gardens and Country Arbors had half off sales going on. He was amenable, and we even bought marigolds because he has a soft spot for them. I do too. My grandmother always planted them outside their screened-in porch in Maine and I can't remember whether it was her, or my mother, that didn't like the scent. I love their tangy scent though, and it makes me think of them. I don't know where I'll put them, but what the heck, a flat of different kind of marigolds for $10? This is the time of year that I start buying plants for no reason whatsoever. "Oh, those look like little pink ping pong balls, we MUST get them!" We planted a few of them and watered, and then gave the guys gardening instructions for the week. We sat outside in the yard and I read and he crossworded. A tiny praying mantis waved to me from the top of my laptop screen.
Later we had our fried chicken dinner with assorted carbs for the boys, along with cucumber and tomatoes, going for a full summer effect. Ernie says he could always tell, as a kid, when they were going to go somewhere the next day because after dinner his mother started frying chicken for them to take with them. My sweet pea. Happy Father's Day Ernie.