Friday, June 23, 2017

Where Did The Week Go?

Did anyone else sing the title of this post to Where Did the Good Go by Tegan and Sara?  No?  Just me?  Good to know.

But seriously...another week flew by and I failed to write any of it down.  I did, as always, post endlessly on Instagram.  So if for some reason we haven't found each other over there...let's make that happen. I'm overly consistent on Instagram these days.  

On Monday night, I dragged my father with me to a screening of a new documentary that will air this Sunday on our local PBS station, WMHT, about the life of local author William Kennedy.  I knew a little about him as he's locally rather famous.  And I know that his son lives a few blocks from me.  But beyond that, I really didn't know much.  I just thought it might be a fun thing to do and knew my dad would enjoy it too.  

It was really so much more fascinating than I expected and I am so glad that I went.  If you're local to the NY Capital Region, be sure to watch it on PBS this Sunday.  And if you're not, find it online next week.  It's a really great one hour viewing of a really interesting life, that includes a Pulitzer Prize.  

It's been hot and sunny most of the week and I took advantage of it!  I spent several hours on Tuesday, the longest day of the year, outside in the garden in the early evening.  I planted out more beans {probably for them to just be eaten by bugs like the previous two plantings...but no one can ever accuse me of not being persistent in life} and all of my mass quantities of winter squash.  Well, all except for the Butternuts which are still getting big enough under my grow light.  But my favorite Zucchino Rampicante, acorn, Blue Hubbard, mini Green Hubbard, Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, pie pumpkin, and a few more I am forgetting at the moment all went into the ground and under row covers as much as possible to protect from bugs.  I am determined to beat the squash vine borrer game more than ever this year!

I have been harvesting garlic scapes like mad, and still have about 70% of them left to harvest as they are ready in the next week or two.  I plan to give pickling a small batch of them a go this weekend to see if I like them used that way.  I'm fairly certain I will love them pickled.  So far though, I keep adding them to pasta dishes, warm and cold, and I love them so dearly!  What a fun bonus treat to harvest when growing hard neck garlic! what is probably my MOST exciting news lately...I spotted my first 'mater!  

Actually, I spotted lots of them as the same evening I found them on my cherry tomato plants too.  But this baby is a New Yorker variety from Hudson Valley Seed Library and it's more of a medium sized tomato.  It will be perfect for the first tomato sandwich of the year...eventually....once it gets big and red.  I keep talking sweetly to it though as I am quite certain that improves things in the garden.  

Speaking of my garden, she's starting to look really pretty.  My tomato plants are finally adjusted and are a nice deep green color now.  My corn is hanging on for dear life but I think I am going to squeak out 10-20 stalks.  Ruby the rhubarb is gigantic and delicious as always.  And the garlic is just doing it's thing underground.  If I can just get the bugs to stop eating things before they have a chance to grow, I will be on track for a decent year.

For #NWYLD {National Wear Your Lilly Pulitzer Day}, I posted a cute photo of my garden showing her preppy pride.  I'm in love with the Lilly fabric bunting I made this year.  Adds the perfect preppy touch to my garden that is in the middle of a less than loved corner of an urban city.  

I fit right in.  Ha.

So all of my brassicas {broccoli, cauliflower, etc} have been demolished, despite planting them THREE times.  And ditto on the beans I planted in their place.  But much to my amazement, I have had a bumper crop of strawberries this year.  Last year I think I picked 20 in total.  This year I have harvested a few hundred already.  

The berries are small- much tinier than those in the grocery store.  They also only last a day or two once picked.  But holy heck do they pack a punch.  Nothing you buy from the store tastes anything like these berries.  They are so sweet and delicious!

So if I have to be without brassicas, at least I am enjoying berry juice running down my chin instead.  It's not all bad in the garden this year.

That said...I have a bone to pick with straw companies.  For the third year in a row, the straw I purchased as part of my mulching system {straw on top of newspaper} has contained huge amounts of hay grass seed.  And I'm livid!

I mulch to keep weeds out and moisture in.  I work my tail off to make sure my garden is in fact weed free.  I spread this stuff everywhere to fill in gaps where straw laid down in the fall has worn thin.  And this week I found hay growing ALL OVER the stinking garden.  It is going to take hours and hours over the next month in the hot sun to get this stuff out of there.  Hay seeds have really deep roots and are so fussy to pick out individually.  Standlee Tranding, who wraps their "straw" in single use kill the planet plastic, is on my $%it list currently.

The other night while looking for something in the back of a drawer, I found this tiny tuft of Sadie's fur.  I am positive I clipped it and saved it on purpose and know exactly where it came from.  It's fur from behind her ears, where it would mat up and need clipping often.  I was okay when I found it, happy even to see a piece of her so unexpectedly, but lost it later that night.  I miss her.  So so much.

And finally, I made a batch of Boozy Cherries.  I love having them on hand to add to pork or ice cream or cocktails.  However, when was the last time you stood in the kitchen to pit up a bag of cherries?  My hands are still stained.  It looked like a murder had just taken place in my kitchen.  

It's simple to do though once you get past the hour it takes to pit the cherries.  It's just a syrup with sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and booze of your choice {bourbon or whiskey are my favorites}. One of them is earmarked for my best squirrel, Hamilton, of course.  Mostly in a completely selfish move so she will have to make me a cocktail with them.  

So friends, what went on with you this week?  Anything fun and exciting?  I hope y'all have an amazing weekend and soak up every last ray of sunshine {slathered in SPF of course}!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Man Who Has Been My Rock

No family is perfect.  Everyone knows that.  But I had a dad who found a way to be my father and mother and rock for all of my childhood.  He braided my hair and took me shopping for dresses and Cotillion gloves and sewed my Halloween costumes and was at every dance recital and church play.  My dad did his best and then did a little bit more.

My dad was my only consistent source of support and love.  He played all the roles in my life, even when it wasn't what either of us wanted.  

Mother's Day is a dreaded day for me.  But Father's Day...that's an entirely different story.  I'm all too pleased to give my dad a a card and hug and make him something delicious for dinner.

This year I did a casual summer meal of turkey burgers topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions and tomato jam, salad, and rosemary French fries {straight out of the freezer section thankyouverymuch}.  And pie.  Y'all know good and well by know that I gift in pie.  I love in pie.  Heck...I just flat out love pie.  And so does my dad.  So I used the very last bag of blueberries from last year and fresh rhubarb from my garden to make my favorite Bluebarb pie {I'm getting pretty good at doing lattice crusts!}. 

And every Father's Day needs a card.  How cute is this card with the boat shoes?!  Dad hasn't owned a pair in years but it's all he wore when I was little and living in Florida.  And the bumper sticker is already on his car.  He had to take off his beloved Hillary sticker to replace it because he didn't want to have too many stickers {he gave me the play by play story so I am giving it to you're welcome}. Which was hard.  But he loves this new one and it's more timely with the old and on with the new!

All in all we had a relaxing evening that ended with pie and fresh whipped cream.  Hard to go wrong with that!

** If Father's Day is one of pain and sadness for you, for any reason, please know I kept you on my heart and really did think about you.  I know these situations are often overlooked and I want you to know your feelings are real.  Really really real.  And valid.  And even though you might feel isolated, you are not alone.  So I am sending you a giant {but gentle} hug.  And the great news is that tomorrow is just plain ole Monday.  Xoxo

If you celebrated Father's Day, what did you do?  Something out and about or quiet at home?


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lilly Pulitzer Shirt Expires

This weekend has been fantastic, thanks in large part to the amazing weather we are finally experiencing!  I think summer is actually going to stick around this time and I am jumping for joy.  I just function better when it's sunny and warm and I can get outside.

So I was pretty pumped to finally wear the Lilly Pulitzer sleeveless top that I picked up months ago.  It just screams summer and I love it!

But when I took the tag off, I noticed that there was a second tag.  With a lengthy message.  All about how this shirt will self destruct {paraphrasing} in 10-20 hours.

What the flip is this?  Is this normal?  I own a LOT of Lilly but I admit that I don't own a lot of recent pieces.  But I've never seen a tag telling me the colors on a piece of clothing {the entire flipping reason I bought the piece of clothing, mind you} will fade after a certain number of hours.  What if I wear it inside or at night, will that extend the hours-to-fade situation?  And how faded are we talking?  Will this be a white top by September?

I really feel like they should make this clear PRIOR to purchase.  

Stay tuned kids, because you know full well that I am about to test out this hours-to-fade warning.  

Tell me though if this is on all Lilly pieces these days.  I haven't felt as connected to the brand in the past few years so I only pick up an occasional piece.  Are all Lilly Pulitzer pieces subject to fading away?


One Year And One Month

Dear Sadie,

I have a lot to say today.  I think I've learned as much in the past month as I have in the past year.  But I am stumbling over my words.  Because the 11th of every month will forever be our day.  For better or worse, I just can't make today about me and my life lessons.

Maybe tomorrow.  

As much as I know you would want me to get all the words out and as much as I know you are in Heaven moving your head from side to side as I talk to you...not today.

Today I tell you again that I love you.  Every minute of every day.

More than a dozen times this past month I have done a double take because I thought I saw you here at home.  It's a fraction of a second where I see a shadow or walk into the kitchen or wake up at 4AM to pee and look over where your donut bed, that I know full well is cradling you forever in your resting place, once sat, and think I see you.  

It's just a hair of time.  But it still gets me.  Not in a bad way.  I think at this stage it makes me happy that I still feel you and think I see you.  

I cry a lot less {though am very literally sobbing and having to take off my glasses as I type there's that} these days.  I bring you up as often as I can.  Little memories have made me giggle more and more lately.  And not a day has gone by without me thinking of you.  

I don't know if I will ever get to be a momma.  Time's about run out for that dream.  But you and I both know that you made me a mom.  

You have my heart forever, baby bunny.  

XO Momma


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