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!




And...in 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}!

XOKK

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 too...you're welcome}. Which was hard.  But he loves this new one and it's more timely so...off 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?

XOKK

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?

XOKK

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 this...so 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

Friday, June 9, 2017

Twice A Year Limbo and I Hate All Of My Clothes

Because I live in the North Pole, I have to do something as an adult that I never had to do as a child growing up in South Florida.  I have to swap out my winter and summer clothing.

Now if you have never lived north of the states of Florida or Texas or some other hot location, this might be a foreign concept to you.  But for most of us, it's just what you do ever spring and fall.  You take all of the clothing you've been wearing for months and rearrange it somehow.  You either move it to storage bins or move it to the back of your closet or under the bed or...you get it.  You shift your stuff.

I'm only just now getting around to this task.  And by getting around to it, let me be really nekkid and explain to you how this works for me.

For the months of April and May, when we have a few hot days and then lots of cool, rainy days and then one super hot day and then then six days that require a puffy vest, I will pull summer clothing out of their storage tubs.  So by the time June rolls around, I have a stack or three of random warm weather clothing items that gather in the chair.  You know the chair.  It's that one place in your bedroom where all the things pile up.  A chair or dresser or table or sofa or corner spot...we all have one.  Or we better all have one.  We definitely cannot be friends if you don't have a spot somewhere in your life that collects all the things that are seemingly homeless.  

Anyway...June rolls around and I finally make time to swap out my clothing.  But then I play a few games.  Not fun games.  But still...games.  

The first is called Will I Need To Wear This During The Next Four Months?  To play it, you create a whole new pile of clothing that you might or might not need between now and the next clothing swap. Cardigans.  I could wear them.  But will I have a need to wear all 20 that I own?  Doubtful.  I might might need one.  Maybe two.  But not 20.  So which four will I keep out {you know I wasn't going to be anything close to practical and just reserve two...right}?  How about long sleeved polo shirts and jeans?  I will definitely wear jeans over the summer.  But will I wear the jeans that I never even wore this past winter?  No...definitely no.  But will I keep them out anyway?  Absolutely.  Even the ones that you haven't worn in two years?  That you don't really like but are nice so you've hung onto them just in case because you never know when some nice in the store but ugly on you denim shortage might pop up in the world?  Yup...those stay, too.

The second game is called If I Lose 10 Pounds.  To play it, I try on all the things that fit me last year and depressingly do not fit me this year.  I can get into them but I would never wear them in public.  Because getting into something and fitting well into something are two different things.  And then I ask myself, if I just lose 10 lbs, will I fit in these shorts?  And the bonus round happens with, will I actually lose 10 lbs or if I lose 10 lbs, will I want to wear these shorts.  

I usually end up near tears and eating ice cream by the end of this particular game.  Because then on top of the battle to fit into clothing, I will inevitably declare that I hate all of my clothing.  All of it.  New pieces and favorite old Lilly pieces and white t-shirts and everything in between.  I will suddenly hate it all.

I know I regularly say that adulting is hard, but I manage to take it to the next level with break downs inside my own closet.  




I have been in a big purge mood lately.  But realizing so many things that fit me last summer do not fit me this summer, despite exercising more in the past year than I have in my entire life and trying lately to really be so conscious of my calorie intake has taken a toll on my mood.  

By the end of the weekend, the swap will be done.  All the boots and sweaters will be tucked away.  All the items that will never fit or that I will never again wear that I can bring myself to part with, will be dropped off at the donation site.  Come hell or high water, the chair will be empty by Sunday night.  

Hold me to it.  

I want to start next week fresh.  All the summer clothes that fit me will be at my fingertips.  Happy, bright summer colors for days!  And my body...well I'm working on that too.  I probably need to de clutter the pile in my mind before I can make any real progress though.

One project a time.  And this weekend, the clothing swap WILL BE COMPLETED.  

Happy Friday, friends!
XOKK

Thursday, June 8, 2017

June Is For Peonies

We've had little more than rain since the start of May.  And you'll note we are well into June.  But even with this spring monsoon season, the peonies have done their best to put on a show.  The fluffy, uniquely shaped petals draw me into each and every blossom I walk past.  They're dreamy!




Are we friends on Instagram?  If by chance we're not, let's change that.  Because I will grace you {read: fill your feed against your will} with endless photos of all the lovely flowers I stumble upon this year.  It's like all peonies, all the time.  








And I'm not mad about it!










What's your favorite spring or summer flower?  Mine is a tie between poppies, peonies, and whatever else is blooming at any given moment.  

XOKK

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Truth About Big Boobs

Hi, my name is KK and I have big boobs.  And a lot about this fact is annoying.

I didn't do anything to get my chest to this size.  Not that it matters, but I am just clarifying that the boobs are not this size by choice.  This is just how my body looks.  Nothing about my boobs feels much like a gift or benefit!




If I gain weight, that's the first place it goes {the second is my waist...so all around fun times}.  If I lose weight, it's the last place to leave.  Which is just the most unfair deal, really!

I went from no breasts to larger than normal breasts in junior high.  8th grade was the turning point.  I specifically remember running laps in PE, which was co-Ed at my school, and one day all the boys started commenting on my boobs bouncing around.  I was defitely wearing a bra but it was before I knew to wear a sports bra.  I can still feel myself running past the boys and hearing them snicker and gesture with their hands.  Junior high is the worst!  

That was the day I stopped running fast.  

In high school, I did a lot of musical theater and choir.  I very distinctly remember being fitted for a costume my junior year of high school and the woman fitting me kept yanking at my bra straps and complaining that they {my boobs} weren't high enough and could I please wear a bra that lifted them more.  

I couldn't.  They sit where they sit and are the size that they are.  

That was the day I first felt self-conscious about not only the size of my breasts but how low they sit on my chest.  I cried that night.  I was 16.

But it wasn't until I was in my college years that I would start to notice how big my breasts were.  Guys would comment at frat parties.  And I would pretend I didn't hear or pretend I didn't remember the next day.  Men would comment when I was out and about doing normal life things like walking or out to dinner.  

And then there's clothing.  Nothing fits girls with big boobs.  But also, nothing holds people back from commenting on how you look either.  Strangers are free flowing with comments about my chest.  From "nice rack" to "you should wear a bigger size". And everything in between.  

And you know how conservatively I dress.  In large part because I am so incredibly self conscious about my breasts.  I can't imagine the things that get said to women who are a bit braver with showing a bit more cleavage than me!

Clothing options are truly limited.  I either need to go up to a size so big that it tents on my body everywhere below the boobs, or I need to use my time tested system of more minimizing bras and safety pins and double shirts and double bras and scarves when it's warm outside and all around wizardry.  

What gets me is that every time I discuss this topic with women, there's always someone in the group who also relates.  

Which means I am not this big boobed freak show walking around town!

There are plenty of other women who also have to pay a medium size fortune to get the blandest beige bra made of industrial material with 97 hooks and no available matching panties and feel humiliated during the entire experience.  There are plenty of other women who cry in dressing rooms because they can't find work appropriate clothing that fits them across the chest.  There are plenty of other women who have never walked a dog without getting cat calls specifically geared towards their tatas.  There are plenty of other women who just want to buy the cute dresses and tops and bras but know that it's never going to be possible.

So...why are there not plenty of companies jumping on this big boob bandwagon?!

Why are bathing suits still geared towards A-B cups?  Show me the double digits!!  Why are button down tops still geared towards A-B cups even when they are in size Large?  Why do I need to decide how badly I want that new Lilly dress because wearing it means accepting a uniboob?  Show me the double digits!  Show me clothing that will fit my Double D cups.  Show me clothing that will fit cups even larger!  




I'm tired of making it work.  I'm tired of never leaving the house without safety pins for fear a flash mob can happen at any moment on my chest.  I'm tired of squeezing the girls into things.  I'm tired of beige bras.  {Well...that one bothers me the least to be honest.  But anyone who has ever seen my bras has commented on their lack of cuteness.  So it would certainly be nice to have something cuter in my drawer for fun.}

Big boobs deserve better than beige!

XOKK




Tuesday, June 6, 2017

DIY Chive Blossom Vinegar

Chive blossom vinegar is one of the easiest and tastiest things to make.  There are only two items on the ingredient list and if you have some herbs growing, chances are you already have half the list in your garden box right this very minute.




So run out to the garden and into the pantry to collect everything you need.  It's a fun and simple way to keep your garden in your kitchen year round.




Now if this looks familiar, it's because I posted it previously HERE.  But thought a little {very little} video might be fun to show you just how silly easy this DIY project really is.

If you make your own, be sure to tag me on Instagram or Twitter!  I'd love to see what you do with the recipe!

XOKK

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