Monday, August 25, 2008

New Colors

We had the house's exterior painted back in July. The painters did a nice thorough job, lots of prepping, scraping, caulking, replacing bad boards, etc.  So last week we had them back to do the interior. I decided to go much bolder with my colors:

Red Jalapeno (all paints are Behr from Home Depot). This photo looks a little washed out. I said I would never have a red room -- *redrum, redrum* goes through my mind, but I figure I'll change it if I hate it too much.

This photo is pretty washed out too, it's actually a much warmer shade, called *peanut butter*. It looked really orangey after the first coat, but now I love it. I used it in the living room and the hallways and stairways.

In the kitchen/breakfast area, Herbal Garden. It is so bright, but I love it. I experimented with a more avocado shade in the basement, but I decided to try this clear, springy green instead. I have plans for a high contrast black/white print for the window curtain and chair seat cushions.

So now I need to make new curtains for the living and dining rooms. I think I'll go with an ivory that reads like a solid but has a little texture woven in. I looked at JoAnn's and Hancocks. Didn't see anything I loved, but a few things I could live with if I got them on sale. I'll need at least 25 yds for this project, so I need to find a deal.

I've been feeling very restless and unfocused lately. I think mostly because the kids are back at school and I'm supposed to be GETTING THINGS DONE. . . I have piles and piles of junk to sort through as a result of moving all the clutter out of the pantry so it could be painted.

Mostly I've been futzing in the garden, trying new vegetable recipes, working on the February Lady sweater. I'm glad I didn't enter the Knitting Olympics after all, I still have two sleeves to go.

This little booger is keeping me busy too. She's starting to war with the cats more and more, such a funny thing to see. Took her to her first vet visit and she got a clean bill of health, although her ears needed scrubbing. Dd is taking an obedience course with her starting after Labor Day.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back to School

Took six 12 to 13 yo girls to the nail salon for mani/pedis and Cheesecake Factory for dinner. This was for dd's birthday. We usually have a pool party and sleepover at our house, so this was different and more expensive. I think dd liked it, but she still wanted everyone to sleep over. We had to drastically limit the numbers for this one, which made it easier for me. I can take six screaming squealers, but twelve, hard to handle. . .

On the 8th, I realized that I could probably join the Ravelympics but the deadline was the night before, so I missed it. I'm working on this while I watch the Olympics, anyway. It's the February Lady Sweater. Yesterday I realized that I messed the lace pattern up when I divided for the body, so I threw it aside in disgust and went outside to the pool. We've had wonderfully cool, unhumid weather the past couple of days.

I've been looking at the fall knitting and crochet magazines, and haven't seen anything much that I like, except for a couple of cardigans in Vogue Knitting, of all places. I had just decided not to resubscribe, and now I might change my mind. I really like a hoodie in there with a cable up the back, made in Wool Ease Bulky (can't find a link right now).

It's going to be BLTs and caprese salad this week.

I'm hosting at my book club on Wednesday, so I'm trying to decide what food to take. I'm also hosting another group at my house the next Monday. We have been trying to scale down the food at these things because some of the members feel a little put out at the effort and expense by a few people. I don't want to get too fancy, do you think it'll be showoffy to tell them that you grew the tomatoes?

The problem with growing Green Zebra Tomatoes -- how to tell if they're ripe. Can you see the golden color in the photo?  That's how you know.  I'm proud of these because I got the seeds from a tomato I bought at the Farmer's market.

This little tiny dog is already running the show around here.  So bossy.

Friday, August 08, 2008


The garden is starting to come in nicely. Green beans are starting to fade out. I think the okra is getting so tall that it's shading the beans too much. Being gone last week didn't help, my house sitter will water, but I didn't want to burden her with harvesting. I let her take everything I had already picked, though.

This is the first time I've grown okra. It's such a pretty plant. The flowers are gorgeous and it has sort of a tropical look, like a palm tree. Ds doesn't like eating them, but he likes the velvety feel of the pods. I admit the texture is hard for kids to manage, even if you fry it. I hope to make some gumbo next week when I have a few ripe tomatoes.

The tomatoes are finally ripening. In the food section of the paper this week, they published a *what to do with all those tomatoes* article. Mine are only just starting! We had a big windstorm yesterday which knocked them down and broke the supports (so much weight with all that fruit on the vine), so dh helped me restake them.

The first cucumbers are in. I made one of dh's family recipes for refrigerated pickles, from the Fanny Farmer cookbook.


1 or 2 Cucumbers, peeled, sliced. Soak 1/2 hour in ice water. Drain and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons salt, 2 tablespoons sugar.
Combine and pour over 1/2 cup herb, cider, or wine vinegar (I use red wine), and 1/2 cup ice water. Let stand 1 hour, drain. Add freshly grated pepper (optional).

I usually add slices of sweet onion, like a vidalia. His family refers to it as *Cukes and Onions*, but you could add peppers or carrot slices, or any other vegetable to the brine.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Back from Orlando

We saw Spiderman, and rode a lot of rides. Dd was at Seaworld Camp all week. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel and went to Universal Studios. We also spent a day at Discovery Cove, the same day that dd's camp was there. We went to Sea World's new water park, called Aquatica.

It was fun, but I really don't enjoy Florida in the summer time. Thankfully, it rained every afternoon to cool things off. We were at waterparks on most days and just kept swimming, even in the rain.

Ds's favorite part of Florida is the creepy crawlers.

He spent hours hunting lizards by the pool.

He also found this giant moth, which was 3 or 4 inches across. I had nothing to show for scale, but it was big!  I like the architectural look of his markings.

This morning I went to school for orientation, and we're going to dd's school this afternoon. Hard to believe their vacation is almost over. School starts on Monday, and I'm planning my own little vacation as soon as they leave the house (break out the tequila). . .


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