Archive | August 2010

The Anti-Tea Party Tea

This weekend members of the Tea Party converged on DC. After reading this article, I thought I should host a little Anti-Tea Party Tea from my home, which—thanks to the article and handy map—I learned is in a war zone.

Yesterday’s event was also the first opportunity for me to use my grandmother’s china, which arrived in DC recently thanks to my aunt and uncle’s recent cross country drive. I had fun setting the table—my grandparent’s table—with their tablecloth and dishes. Looking at my grandparents things in our home, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the many family gatherings we have held at that table over the years. Often while it was set with the same blue cloth and Fleur de Lys porcelain dishware.

Because it didn’t cross my mind to host this event until mid-week, I was thankful that a few good friends still had some free time and were willing to risk their lives to travel to my home. With our tea cups in hand, we caught up over deconstructed cucumber and chicken salad sandwiches, peach crumble pie and other treats. However, tea was not a beverage option, instead my guests sipped fresh-squeezed lemonade, water and wine. We talked a little politics, but overall it was simply a great excuse to have a mini shindig. I hadn’t even anticipated the added bonus—the opportunity to reflect on the past.

Adventures in … the Front Yard!

While life is not nearly as entertaining as Adventures in Babysitting, it seems like there is always something just a little bit odd going on around the house. Perhaps you recall my earlier reference to the lobster-like fungus growing in the front yard that I didn’t get a picture of before my husband yanked the gross thing out.

Well, it must be my lucky day because the fungus is back! Growing in a new spot, of course, and looking a bit less like a discarded piece of lobster than before. This is a reason why we seriously need to get more mulch…

Garden Update: Week 21

I seem to have lost my motivation for tending the garden during the past week or so. Knowing that the tomatoes will be covered in nasty beetles and that there isn’t much to bring home beside basil and cayenne peppers has left me feeling uninspired to visit the plot. It hasn’t helped that the weather has been significantly cooler, which makes me feel like I don’t need to get over there to water each day like I did during the hot spells.

There was a little excitement when I visited the plot this morning and I saw that the kale seeds I planted a week ago have already started sprouting. It looked like a few of the spinach seeds were just pushing up little bits of green as well. No sign of the leeks yet, but maybe next week.

I think once we get the summer plants cleared out (particularly those buggy tomatoes), I’ll be reinvigorated. At least I hope so, since the leeks probably aren’t going to water themselves!

Working on the Weekend

There are many wonderful things about owning a house. It’s a blessing to have a place my husband and I can call our own and have the space to host friends and family. However, having a house isn’t always the relaxing refuge that I’d like it to be. It seems that no matter what our intentions are each weekend, we always spend a good chunk of Saturday and Sunday doing a million things around and for the house.

This is apparently one of the great joys of home ownership — that there is always something to be done. Last weekend we tried to keep the household projects to a minimum, just cleaning the floors, taking out the trash and tidying up the kitchen, but the long “to do” list kept playing over and over in my mind, even though I desperately wanted to just read travel books and hang out with my husband.

Along with all the traditional household issues that everyone has to take care of, we wanted a house that we could fix up. Considering the condition of many of the places we saw when we were house hunting, we did end up with a great situation. The house is totally livable, so it wasn’t like we were under a lot of pressure to do massive home renovations right away, but there are so many changes  — both large and small — that we’d like to get to eventually.

However, it is hard to find the motivation for undertaking these tasks after working all week, combined with my husband’s early morning rowing habit and our numerous evening commitments. We tend to take good strides forward with our list when my in-laws visit (since they are doing the majority of the work, thanks guys!). Luckily for us, they are returning at the end of September. And yes, an updated list of projects is already underway.

I keep thinking “Oh, I can’t wait until we are done and everything is just the way we’d like it to be,” but I know that such a time is unlikely to ever come. At least not any during the next decade. At the very least I can certainly say that owning a house makes every day an adventure, even if it isn’t exactly the kind you were hoping for like finding ants making the trek from the porch window into the garbage can or uncovering a fungus growing in the front yard that looks like a lobster claw. Not even kidding.

Garden Update: Week 20

I can’t believe that we’ve been gardening for three months already! This summer has simply flown by.

At this point, our tomatoes are definitely dwindling. This has in no way been helped by the scary, flat, black beetles that are attacking every tomato just before I pick it. When I went to the plot earlier this week, I killed at least 10 of these bugs as they sat perched on the fruit, ready to scratch away at the surface and expose just enough so that it would rot. Today I only saw one (thankfully), but there were still plenty of damaged tomatoes that needed to be thrown away. I have started picking anything that isn’t green or festering and bringing it home to finish ripening in a beetle-free environment.

Our green bean plant finally seemed to get the memo that it should produce green beans, so today I brought home at least a pound and left a sizable helping on the vines to grow for another day or two. I’m excited to finally have them, since fresh green beans are so tasty. We have also started to harvest our bell peppers and currently have three yellow and two red in our kitchen waiting to be eaten. Lots of green peppers remain on the plant.

When I was cleaning up the plot this morning, I planted seeds for kale, spinach and leeks. If I can make some more space soon I will also plant carrots and my sister-in-law says she has rhubarb for us to put in the plot. The garlic bulb I ordered should also be delivered before too long, so I need to find room to plant that as well. Hopefully the weather will stay warm enough that we can enjoy our second season plants during the fall and into the winter months. I’m looking forward to seeing everything sprout in the coming weeks. It isn’t the end of our garden season — it’s only the beginning!

Easily Amused

I love to laugh and my husband will go to pretty much any length to entertain me. Luckily for him, he doesn’t have to go far because I am pretty easily amused.

A few months ago I wrote about how Snoopy and the gang were our “little treasures.” When my husband made us breakfast last weekend, he also put together a plate for some of our stuffed friends. I think it goes without saying that Eeyore, Snoopy and The Puppy loved their pancakes and I was quite entertained.

The Intern

I think I have made it in the world of freelance—I finally have my very own intern. Okay, I’m not sure how helpful she’ll be when it comes to working since those paws make it hard to type, but at least I have someone to talk to the next few days. Welcome to the office, Shiloh!