Saturday, May 23, 2015

A LITTLE STAYCATION & GARDEN NEWS

 
Layla lying in the ivy
 
Saturday Night Live here.  I'm trying to get a post in before I get caught up in the television viewing.  Yes...television is a new medium for me.  For you newcomers, I'm hearing impaired--I have been wearing hearing aids forever, reading lips, following gestures and using closed captioned.  TV became one of the things I simply crossed off my list.  I mean I'm reading blogs and all sorts of things on my computer.  Then I'm reading my books and magazines.  And then I'm supposed to read the TV?  Talk about a headache.  LOL!  Anywho, I managed to maneuver some chairs closer to the televisions in the living and family rooms so it's not such an eye strain to watch the darn thing and I've also learned how to work all of the zillion remotes we have.  Long story short-I've been having a gay old time.  Popcorn and everything.
 
 
 
Allium
 
 
With The Husband on on his camping/hiking trip  in Colorado, I have seen Gone Girl, Fifty Shades Of Gray, several Housewives episodes, and of course The Kardashians (just love reality--makes my life seem somewhat normal and I need that).  The first night The Husband was gone and I was feeling a little lonely, insecure and a bit jumpy at every noise I heard inside and outside the house, I happened upon a channel with The Holiday showing.  Oh, how I love that movie and to see in May?  Serendipity.  Nothing like a Rom-Com to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  And the icing on the cake?  Following this was Something's Got To Give.  I've never seen this so it was an exceptional double feature evening.
 
 
H
 
Herb garden flourishing
 
Last night I had every intention of getting caught up on some blogging and doing some reading in bed.  Then I started to fiddle with the remote and came upon HBO In Demand.  Before I knew it I was wrapped up in the movie Still Alice.  Oh, incredible.  Still haven't gotten it out of my head. 
 
The ultimate verdict?  Television is taking over my life.  Forgive me if I simply disappear for awhile as I catch up on years of deprivation.
 
 
 
Flower boxes on the bay window ledge
 
I've been planting flowers like a fiend while we've had warm weather and a break in the rain here in the upper Midwest.  This year when I was looking at annuals I took a big interest in Dianthus, the tall and short varieties.  The tall variety makes me think of wildflowers so I had some fun doing these boxes.  I love Nicotiana also...I'm getting away a bit from my usual petunias and impatiens.  
 
 
 
The front of my house
 
 I was actually going to have all of these shrubs pulled out.  They are over 25 years old and look overgrown for the most part.  In the winter---from November until mid May, they have no leaves
The company that was to do our new porch, sidewalk and driveway was going to pull them out with their Bobcat.  We ultimately decided to wait on the concrete work until mid June in light of all the stuff falling from the trees for the past few weeks.  In the meantime, the shrubs and plants took off and I've had a bit of a change of heart.  Yesterday I did my usual hedge trimming.  The first time in the spring is especially hard, every muscle is still aching, and then I had to do the backyard.  I definitely got my workout.   Then I dug out a sort of  'free form' border and planted some red geraniums.  They will bush out--they look a bit small now.  I hope this adds some interest.  What do you think?  And I'm going against a lot of my family's wishes and keeping my ivy.  So there!
 
 
 
The new black shoes (and I totally need a pedi)
 
In keeping with my promise (to myself), I made plenty of plans for while I'm on my little staycation and The Husband is on a real one.  Last night my sister in law, Karen, and I went out to dinner a few blocks away.  Lovely time of course.  As we were walking out of the restaurant there was a table with two women and a man and they called something out to me.  I turned and they were pointing down, "We love your shoes!".   Well, I nearly tripped.  Karen and I sat outside on a bench while the valet went for the car and I gushed excessively over this. Poor Karen.  She was probably thinking, "This girl does not get out much."
 
 
 
First bloom on the clematis
 
So I'm faring well while The Husband is gone.  But the poor guy, my two sons, three brother in laws and several of their friends...it's been raining non-stop in Boulder.  As I've said, this is a camping/hiking trip.  No communication in those parts so I don't know what's going on.  According to my weather app, it's not just raining, they're having thunderstorms.  And the temps at night are in the 30's.  I really feel bad.  They've been preparing for months.  I hope it works out in some shape or way. 
 
Tomorrow Emily is having a brunch for the ladies, some of us who were left behind as the guys went on their trip.  And Monday is a barbeque at my daughter in law's mom's home, Peggy.  Not sure.  We have a short week and then we are on our way to Door County, Wisconsin for a three day break. 
 
The lakehouse situation is still at a sort of standstill,  The Husband is going up Tuesday to see if we can get things moving.  I so wish we could go together at least for a day.  I want to work on my garden.  Remember that we planted that huge perennial garden last August?  It must be full of weeds.  And I landscaped the front of the house.  I can't imagine what it looks like now.  I missed the wisteria blooming.  Seriously, you want to know what's holding us back from going there for a whole day?  No bathroom!  The water is shut off.--the floors are a disaster.   Do you know how terrible it feels to knock on my neighbor Susie's door to ask to use her bathroom several times a day?  Once the crew starts to work on the house they will have a port-a-pottie.  Oh joy.  Makes me feel so fortunate.  And the newspaper articles?  Well I still write my columns and submit them.  Just never see them.  I feel too embarrassed to ask the editor to send me a copy.  Silly, I know.  The Husband will bring home the most recent issue on Tuesday and hopefully we'll get there again soon to see the one I just wrote last week.
 
Sorry if I went on too long.  So much happening.  Now I'm off to see what's on TV!  Have a wonderful holiday and say a prayer for all of those brave veterans.  I'll be back soon.
 
Jane x

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

REDOING A DEN & GUEST ROOM AND A FRESH GREEK SALAD DIP




I also mentioned in my last post that I had Charlie (The Painter) do Abigail's old room.  It's a soft gray with crisp white trim and I absolutely love it.  I just can't seem to get a good photo of it and I have some pieces of furniture in the center of the room.  I'm making better progress on this room, and it's surprising as this will be a guest room and I can't imagine why for the life of me why we need a guest room..  We've never had guests in our life!  Abby has been a frequent one since she moved out in February but she's happier than a clam sleeping on the sofa in the family room.  Anywho, I found an upholstered linen headboard at Pier 1 that I can pick up in a few days and I'm almost finished painting a dresser.  Lots more to do but I feel like I'm chipping away at it.  :)



The shower was held at Deirdre's sister's house.  Katie and her husband have been renovating their home for over a year and the architectural work is simply stunning.  For all of us to wander around oohing and ahhing without much furniture to look at, you have to know this is going to be a beautiful home.  

Maeve, Deirdre's mom, made all of the food; three different sorts of small sandwiches with her own homemade condiments on each.  A very different (to me) wild rice salad with dried fruit and veggies served at room temperature, as well as a few other side dishes.  The desserts were plates of cupcakes and brownies, as well as sorbet with a dollop of blackberry sauce.  Since Katie hasn't yet furnished the whole house, two tables for ten were set up in the dining room and another in the breakfast nook.  Tablecloths, candles and beautiful centerpieces of white lilies in simple vases completed the ambiance.  Sorry---no pictures.  I didn't want to intrude, especially since we were being introduced to so many of Deirdre's family and friends for the first time.  We really had a wonderful time.  



Sunday we had another social event.  My niece, Lizzie, graduated from high school and they had a party for her afterward (she's off to Villanova in New York in the fall---bragging rights!). Great food, good times.  Family is everything.  I love this picture of my two sons, Jeff and Kevin, together here.  And look at Kevin with a protective hand on Elsie's stroller.  He's like mama bear.  He's obsessed with her.  It's absolutely fascinating to watch him and MC take care of her.  I've never seen such love and devotion firsthand.  And they chose Jeff to be the Godfather along with MC's sister, Nora, as Godmother.  The Christening is on Father's Day next month.







Layered Greek Salad Dip

 2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
2 T. dried oregano, divided
3/4  cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
16 oz. (or 2 cups) plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 t. salt and pepper each
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 c. red pepper. diced
1/4 cup sliced black olives

 In a casserole dish at least 3 inches deep, layer tomatoes.  Top with cucumbers (in order, in layers), red onion and green peppers.  I smooshed the layers down with a spatula to make room for everything.  Sprinkle with a pinch of the salt and pepper.

Now do a fine layer of half the feta cheese, half the oregano and half the parsley.  Add dollops of the yogurt over this and press it down with a spatula.  A tip--press and spread like you are frosting a cake.  Do not lift the spatula up and down or it will pull up the layers and make a holy mess. Sprinkle with another bit of S & P.

Finally, make a layer of the romaine lettuce, remaining feta, olives, red pepper, oregano and parsley.  Chill for 1 hour.  Serve cold or room temp with crackers or pita chips.  Serves 10,000. :)

On the Home Front...The Mi gets his stitches out tomorrow and the evil cone off.  He is so miserable with that thing.  His ears are pressed forward and they, along with his neck, itch him terribly.  I can only scratch him so much.  He learned awhile ago how to maneuver around walls and furniture but he has a hard time hearing with this contraption on and it makes me so sad.  The guy is going to get the scrubbing and brushing of his life tomorrow afternoon!

The Husband, my sons, and several others are leaving for their hiking/camping trip in Colorado at the end of the week.  You would think my guy was going to appear on a season of Survivor.  Still, I love how much he is into this...how he worked out at the gym for four months to get the strength and endurance up.  All the research he did from purifying water from streams to burying your...well, doo doo so the bears don't know what you ate the night before.  TMI.  Totally.  But a precaution in the wild.  

Bedtime.  Glad to know I've brought you up to date in this long absence.  We just had a change in  weather forecast from warm temps to the 40's this week.  I may be covering my plants in plastic like the geek I never thought I'd be, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  And I have plenty of painting indoors to keep me busy. :)

Jane x

Joining Amaze Me Monday and Tweak It Tuesday.  Thanks ladies!!







Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MAY SHOWERS


These are special, they came from Abigail's boyfriend, Tom.  It was such a nice gesture, I just didn't expect it.  They had just come back from visiting his mother's grave.  It's only been two years since they lost her but the family never misses a birthday, holiday or anniversary to celebrate her life.  So I was touched that he thought of me on Mother's Day.









Grape Salad

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 lbs. seedless red grapes
2 lbs. seedless green grapes
3 T. brown sugar
3 T. chopped pecans

1)  Beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Add grapes and toss to coat.

2)  Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill.  Before serving, sprinkle over the brown sugar and pecans.  

This is heavenly and super simple to make.  :)


Charlie the Painter is currently here working on my den and guestroom.  I am sort of confined to the kitchen/living room area with the dogs but there is a French door leading into the den so I can take a peek every now and then.  The 28 year old wallpaper is down and the room looks huge.  The paint color I chose is Marshmallow by Sherwin Williams.  It's just a pretty creamy color.  For Abby's old room I went with a soft gray called Alpaca, also by Sherwin Williams.  It will take awhile for the reveal.  We haven't gotten a new bed yet and I have been too busy to paint the dressers.   As far as the den...grrrrrr!  I picked out two comfy chairs but The Husband thinks they are too large for the room even though Emily did a scaled diagram.  As soon as we can get back into the empty room we are going to make a chalk outline of the chairs based on the measurements and exactly where I want to place them.  This man definitely needs a hobby.  He wasn't like this years ago, he sort of followed behind me in the stores when I would pick out furniture or whatever.  And there's nothing wrong with a husband having a say in how you decorate your home, but it seems I would have had the room finished weeks ago if I had just done it alone.  I had to get four paint estimates before I finally hired our longtime guy Charlie.  I went over book after book of chairs with Emily at her showroom and we found the type of chair I liked in the smallest dimensions possible and he still feels they are too big.   Anyway, it remains to be seen if there will be a chalk outline of a man's body next to the chairs when we get through this ordeal.  

I'm still pretty much stuck indoors as Milo is under strict requirements to not have a lot of activity.  I'm still walking him around the backyard on a leash and talking to him like he's a puppy I'm training, "Go pee pee, Milo.  Go poo poo!"  Believe me, when you make 20 laps around the backyard in the pouring rain while he sniffs every tree and weed, you get a little wacko.  And now he's jumping on and off furniture and I'm following him around like he's a toddler.  I'm truly grateful he's recovering so well but he's wearing me out!  He's standing on a chair this very minute watching the next door neighbor mow his lawn, the big old cone still around his head.  Crazy mutt.  

So my plants and flowers are still sitting on the patio waiting for me to find the time to sneak away (or for the constant rain to let up) and get to work.  And my lovely children gave me a gift card for my favorite nursery for Mother's Day so I'm really excited to get started on my gardening.  Be patient, Jane.  

Friday is the bridal shower for my future daughter in law, Deirdre.  It's at her sister's home not too far from here.  She and her husband just bought a very old home in a beautiful part of our area, I can't wait to see it.  It's cocktails and dinner so it will be fun.  Emily and I will be going out to the burbs to get a gift at Crate & Barrel and we are going to each splurge on something new to wear.  I'm personally looking at shoes, I have fallen in love with so many new ones for this season.  Oh, how I love shoes!

Off I go.  I'll be back this weekend and hopefully have some pictures of the shower and if I'm really lucky, some pretty garden pics, too!

Jane x

Friday, May 8, 2015

HAPPY MAY




The good news is that Dr. B. called today with the biopsy results of the tumor and the margins around what he removed show no remaining cancer cells.  So it looks like he got it all.  Sigh.  Our prayers were answered and all of you helped.  Thank you for that love and support.  Our furry friends are undeniably one of the greatest gifts in life.  :)





We do have a lot planned...The Husband is going on a 5 day camping/hiking trip over Memorial Day weekend with sons Jeff and Kevin and about 8 other guys.  He is SO excited.  I will be a Hiking Widow, I simply don't know what I'll do with this time alone.  No one to cook for or clean up after.  Trying to sleep alone and hearing every moan and creak in this old house.  Anyone want to come and keep me company?

The last weekend of May we will be getting together with my blogger friend Cindy from Applestone Cottage, as well as her husband, in Door County, Wisconsin.  I'll give you more of an idea of what that's about in my next post.  It will be our sixth year getting together.  Now this is a true blogger friendship!

We have a trip to Asheville planned  for July and then son Jeff's wedding in mid August.  Also, my niece, Jaime, is getting married in Louisville in early August so it will be wonderful to go down and see my brother, his wife and family and just enjoy beautiful Kentucky. 

That's all we're doing.  ;-)






Every Mother's Day we go on a three mile Breast Cancer Awareness walk.  Our group honors The Husband's first wife who died from breast cancer when she was just 31 years old.  Her sister puts this together and after the walk, hosts a brunch at her home.  I have to admit, sometimes I don't make the walk, asthma is a battle for me in the spring, the donation comes from the purchase of the T-shirt we all wear, the rest comes from the camaraderie and the love we hold in our hearts for this brave woman that won't be forgotten.  


Off I go.  Again, thank you for your prayers and well wishes for my Milo.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Celebrate yourself, your mother, your mentor...or simply celebrate life!

Jane x

***Love to my beautiful mother in heaven, Marjorie Mary Doll-Carroll***

Monday, May 4, 2015

PATIO FIX-UPS AND PRAYERS FOR MY PUP


Today, and actually for a long time leading up to today, has been very emotional.  I took Milo at 8:00 a.m. for the  surgery to remove his tumor.  I didn't sleep a wink last night.  With the warm weather the Midwest has been having, we've spent as much time outdoors as we can.  It's his favorite thing in the whole wide world.  Just hanging out in the backyard chasing squirrels or just lying in the grass sniffing all the enticing scents blowing in the wind.  This is an older picture of him that is just a favorite of mine.  Totally loving that breeze!

Dr. B. called about 1:00 and told me Milo was in recovery.  As big as the tumor looked from the outside of his thigh, it proved to be much bigger under the skin than he anticipated.  He had to make a six inch incision.  Isn't that incomprehensible on a dog that is as small as he is, just 26 pounds?  And the doctor told me he has 4-5 layers of stitches, that's how far he had to go down.  He's hoping he got most of the cancer cells, it was just impossible to go too far around the tumor with the little area on the poor guys thigh.  But he's okay, in the surgical area and he'll spend the night so they can keep an eye on the incision.  I'll pick him up about 11:00 tomorrow.  I think it's going to be terrible for him to walk, to lie down...to even wag his tail.  I told Dr. B. that I want as much pain medicine that he can tolerate...I will not see him in pain.  I've moved the big chair he loves to lie in away from the wall as he likes to look out the window and bark at anything that moves, as well as the dining chair that he jumps on to harass the mailman.  He has to be still.  So that's the scoop on my BFF.  Sniff.



Another big project we had almost underway was having the front porch, sidewalk and driveway demolished and re-cemented.  This was a job we had put off for a very long time.  Our driveway looks like a jigsaw puzzle and the porch was crumbling on the sides.  In the city your house is situated about 25 feet from the main sidewalk.  It's above and beyond curb appeal, people walking by can pretty much count ever weed and 4 leaf clover in your lawn.   I can't live by others standards or 'keep up with the Jones',  yet we have a responsibility to keep up the value of the neighborhood.  Anyway...with rain predicted all week long, the crew had to postpone the job.  We're better off, Milo would have been freaking out over the noise and activity.  I hadn't thought of that.







It was a busy week now that I think of it...the three of them came for an impromptu dinner on Tuesday night.  I made a quick spaghetti dinner with a Bolognese sauce, a salad and garlic bread.  Thursday Emily and I had a little retail therapy at Homegoods and Hobby Lobby (I had a few gift cards from Christmas so it didn't cost me a dime).  I found a really cute birdhouse and a piece of metal artwork and a bright turquoise clock for the brick wall around the patio---pictures forthcoming.  We went to a communion party on Saturday afternoon and yesterday?  Well, I laid on my bed all day reading Little Bee and thumbing through a few magazines.  Heaven.

  My second article for the lake newspaper came out on May 1 and unfortunately I haven't seen it yet.  I have a dear friend who sent me the first paper and she's going to send this one.  It's so frustrating to have to wait to see it in print!  But it's such a wonderful opportunity, I take it all in stride.

Say a prayer for my Milo Guy, I'll be back soon I'm sure, with the rain and my canine infirmary rules! :)

Jane x



Monday, April 27, 2015

BLOOMING AND READING AND BLOOMING


Can you see the little stone pig with wings behind the hyacinths?  I found this in Asheville a few years ago and I have a few other variations on the theme here and there.  I identify with the whole ideology. When pigs fly. 





I've been busy as I predicted in my last post.  I had a hair appointment on Tuesday.  I got to see my little Elsie as Mary Clare was off work early (I have my hair done by her sister, Katie at her mom's house for those that don't know).  It's always so fun with Elsie and Katie's little baby, Margot, six months now...so lively and happy.  

Wednesday I had a doctor's appointment.  It was so crappy out...rainy and blustery.  He asked me if it was still that way when I showed up at 1:00 p.m.  I said yes, but isn't this the norm for April?  We laughed.  Yes, it is.  We are so silly to think that this is unusual after a brief warm up.  We've had some below freezing temps at night and I lug my big pot of pansies off the porch into the house, but otherwise I'm good.  I never plant anything until after Mother's Day.  That's sort of a rule of thumb in our area. 

 
I follow a great blog, Back Road Journals, and this lady not only knows the local back roads, she's a world traveler and has the best recipes.  She posted a recipe for Chicken Avocado Suiza.  I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand and what wonderful meal it turned out to be,  My picture doesn't do it justice.  You can find the recipe here.  The only adjustments I made were to use a jar of tomatillo sauce by Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill (You can find it in your grocery store near the tortilla chips, I'm sure).  And I did everything in a skillet.  That's it.  Thanks, Karen!  Get the recipe, you'll love it.







  Gone Girl fans will devour this psychological thriller.”—People“   

Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages.”—The Boston Globe

 



Enough.  Just read it.  

And I started another...Little Bee.  It's older and maybe many of you have read it.  It's new to me and again, I'm letting dinner burn and laundry languish as I lose myself in this amazing story.  Forget those magazines.  I'm on a roll.

 The lives of a sixteen-year-old Nigerian orphan and a well-off British woman collide in this page-turning #1 New York Times bestseller and book club favorite from Chris Cleave.



See you soon.  Or not.  I have a library wanting attention. :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

SALADS, CHEESECAKE, EGGPLANT, FLOWERS AND SNEEZES!

Hello everyone!  I hope you are having a good start to the week.  I'm just miserable over this weather and that's just not me.  Not that I never get miserable but I take the weather with a grain of salt-there's very little you can do about it.  But we were teased all last week.  Friday was exceptionally warm, almost 80 degrees.  I cleaned up the patio and The Husband and I brought out the patio furniture and umbrella.  I was going to cook salmon on the grill and then it just clouded up and now our forecast has predicted rain, gloom and doom for the next two weeks.  So I awoke to gray skies and wind this morning.  Even the dogs sulked. 

The Husband and I have so much to do on the weekends as we are both not the type to go out and about on weeknights.  He's spent from work and I also feel like my day needs to wind down.  So Saturday we went out to a furniture store to look at chairs for our not-so-much-as-even-started den.  Lately with all the plans and decisions and choices we have to get going with the lakehouse, sometimes we have to focus on this house.  I think we are just bouncing all over the place.  We didn't find/agree on anything as far as chairs for the den, a sort of reading-television room.   It seems sometimes we have to just step away from all of this to live peacefully if you know what I mean.  A lot of head butting. 

We had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory Saturday after looking at chairs.  I've had the French Country Salad before and simply love it.  No guilt and so good.  We ordered the Avocado Egg Rolls as well.  I found a "copycat" recipe on Pinterest, if I make them, I'll share.  The dipping sauce isn't right so I'm going to fiddle with that.  



We always try to save room for the cheesecake and it never happens.  And yes, we should get a piece to bring home but we never do.  I had pity on my man and made this yesterday.  It's from Susan Branch's first cookbook (sorry no link), and I think it's great.  I know you saw my Easter cheesecake mess but I swear, The Husband cut this last night with a machete or something similar and it ended up looking like this.  Still, it was heavenly.  Do you know you can get graham cracker crumbs as opposed to the crackers?  No pounding and pulverizing...just add your melted butter, no waste.    



I mentioned in this recent post that I was looking into some natural home remedies for skin care.  I was happy with the response I had from some of you ladies and many of you shared your tried and true skin care regimens.  I love that, we share so much on our blogs, maybe we need to delve deeper in to other aspects of our lives.  Personally, I've always taken what I think is very good care of my skin.  Washing morning and night, never sleeping in makeup and moisturizing like a maniac as my skin is super dry.  I do know skin care is changing by leaps and bounds especially in research of the benefits that retinols, collagen and oils have on the aging process of our skin.  But I regress, I'm not liking the additives and fragrance in many products.  While I don't argue with good science, I'm looking at some natural products and remedies.  And I'm methodically doing my research. 

As I wrote about in the post I linked, I ordered benonite clay from Amazon.com. as well as some raw apple cider vinegar.  Mixed in equal parts you have a sort of mud-like substance and I used The Husband and Abby as my victims.  They were elated with the results.  The clay cleaned their pores like a sponge soaking up all the bad stuff in their skin from years back.  They both agreed that the clay mixture on their face was soothing, tingling and a little pulsating-like it was really working.  Afterward, I massaged a bit of pure jojoba oil into their skin.  This is fast absorbing and works above and beyond so many oils: Argan, Moroccan, tea tree, sesame, olive and even coconut oil.  These are all great but the advantages of jojoba far exceed the others.  Loving it.  I mix it with my body lotion and use it everywhere. You can use it a alone as well, it absorbs quickly and a little goes a long way.   I'm sure you can find any of these products at your local health food shop.  I'm elated in finding new things that work.  I love my Neutrogena, Garnier and Olay, science is good.  But it's so cool to find out that ancient remedies work even now.  Jojoba is in my favorite shampoo, but now I'm a step ahead by massaging the pure oil into the ends of my hair to make it healthy, shiny and smooth.  Oh, and at a fraction of the cost.  



We spent some time last week looking at tile for the upstairs bath and powder room downstairs.  I'm looking for beachy colors.  It's hard to tell from this pic but it has some blue, grays, greens and beige.  I love the irregularities of the tiles, too.  The Husband and I don't agree a lot on what we like but we are getting better at listening, understanding and appreciating what each of us wants.  And we know when to walk away away from each other, if you know what I mean. :)



Have you ever seen or had white eggplant?  I saw these at my grocery store last week and I always get such a kick out of trying the unusual.  I thought these looked like little baby beluga whales  Ha!  And how to prepare them?  Absolutely no idea.  By the way, these look huge but the aren't.  They're on a small cutting board. 


and cut lengthwise, then again in 1/2 slices.  I tossed them in a large bowl with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a mix of chopped garlic and a blend of Italian seasonings.  I baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes and then let them have a little broiling for about 5.  I love that they didn't suck up the olive  oil, nor get watery.  Just delicious.  I'd love to use them in a recipe, have to work on that.   So good. :)  



These are the forsythia I cut and brought in last week.  I had daffodils as well.  I'm so looking forward to my tulips, I have such a great variety and they last so much longer.  

We were fooled by temperatures  last week.  But it was just so much fun to have Milo and Layla in the yard, romping and lying in the sun.  At least we had a few good days.  I have a lot of things going on this week, a hair appointment, doctor and dentist appointment, and errands galore to run on Friday-that will be my day.  Still, I like getting out each day, the fresh air does us good no matter how warm or cold it is.  I can live without the allergens.  Like most of you I'm going crazy.  :( 

Let's hang in there with the wonky weather, it is only April after all.  The upper Midwest is know to get snow around this time! :(

See you soon!

Jane x