You know, we always want to pass on good qualities to our kids, or in my own narcissistic way, I'd like them to be my clones, only with all of my good traits, which are few. Ahem. Anyway, Emily invited me over last Thursday morning in the vein of helping her plant a few pots of flowers. She has always been a great help to me because face it, after you've planted a few, you start to get a little giddy and start cramming in orange marigolds with pink petunias just to get the darn mess over with. So I did. And we worked and worked and worked. I planted the flowers in the pots, she added the food, watered and put them in their places. This one is on her backyard deck. The tree in the background forms the perfect canopy over it, no umbrella necessary.
She bought way more than she needed...it's pretty hard to estimate and even after all my years of planting annuals, I always have extra that I have to stick here and there willy nilly. So she made a big pot for Papa next door and then Mike's parents on the other side of Papa. Like the little flower pot fairy. It was a gorgeous day and we worked in the the shadows after the sun went over the house. Little did I know that it had crept up to 90...yes, 90 degrees that day and we both were red as lobsters! I guess when you're busy and doing something you love to do, you just don't notice anything else. Everything looks beautiful in Emilyville.
I apologize with all pics from my cell phone...it's handy. A mere walk to the backyard for some fresh air and to check texts gets me snapping the antics of the dogs and a new flower here or there. Look at that Milo...I always called him my Pony Boy after the Bruce Springsteen song. He has a prance that he does. I am sure this was a squirrel alert. I play with my filters and this just accentuates the green of the grass...we are having a rainy spring and everything is budding and blinding us with it's beautiful color. That is some sort of ivy in the background that goes crazy in the summer...you may have to help me identify it later. I think it comes from the house behind us.
Son Jeffrey and his gal took a trip to Savannah and Charleston last week. His girlfriend's cousin is the chef at a very top notch restaurant in Savannah so she was happy to see him and they both enjoyed a wonderful meal. The cousin, Frank, not to be confused with Hank, (whomever he may be) is one heck of a chef and has appeared several times on The Today Show. Jeff has all the makings of quite a good cook. His girl has long hours every day commuting to downtown Chicago for her work, and Jeff works from home. He is really enjoying the whole cooking experience; from buying fresh meat and ingredients daily, to reading and researching recipes. Anyway, he brought me this book and I was so touched. Sheesh, it was a gift and perhaps...perhaps, my work in the kitchen for 29 years may have spawned a real talent. My gosh!! A gardener and chef. What next? Kevin a reader and Abby a professional napper.? Oh wait, she's achieved that already for sure.
, So many of you know that I truly respect Jeff's privacy...I've posted maybe 5 pictures of him on my blog. He never said anything about his pup! And which one is his...I haven't a clue. Maybe none. He wanted a good dog and connected with a breeder who's female was was having pups. He chose a male, the pick of the litter before they were conceived. And then that happened. And then his puppy was born. And then he was given this picture of three of them at about 2 weeks. Awwwww...and then he waited and waited until today and he picked his little guy...
And looking like The Lion King, here is Tulo. Oh my goodness, another granddog!! The pups are some sort of English Golden Retriever and they remain white. He' gets to bring Tulo home next week. I am so excited for him. We are an animal loving family, the kids grew up with Shadow, who we lost when he was just 11. And now we have Milo and Layla, 10 and 7 respectively. It's so gratifying to see them carry that love and good heartedness over into their adult lives. Dear God, I'm going to eat this guy up!!
I am a chicken with it's head cut off getting ready for our trip in just four days. You know me, I just stress over every little thing and gosh, to stress over a vacation that is supposed to relieve your stress? That's me! I need to make an itinerary, not because I'm a Type A (personally a Type A wannabe). Come
on, doesn't everyone want to pack all the clothes they own so they have a nice selection to choose from? Doesn't everyone pack 8 pairs of shoes thinking this is finally the opportunity to wear those 4 inch heels? I religiously read those magazine aticles where they give you three pieces of clothing and 21 ways to mix and match them over a week. But I swear, I saw pictures in a tabloid of Pippa Middleston's visit to the states 2 summers ago and I spotted a red purse and navy wedges on more than one occasion. So even royalty (or close) have weight restrictions on their luggage. At least that's the only reason Pippa was short on style...er, outfits on her visit.
I see my travels as being very much like Princess Kate's recent trip to Australia and New Zealand (or was it the other way around?). You have to change several times a day. Breakfast at the inn...bright eyed, bushy tailed and looking totally not like you woke up 12 minutes before and jumped in the the clothes you had on the night prior. Then there is the shopping and sight seeing. While running shoes and a sweater tied around the waist, maybe a Cleveland Indians cap on looks sporty and fun, what happens if you duck into a restaurant for lunch with appetizers on the menu you can't even pronounce? You've got to be prepared at all costs ladies. Hence, knowing my innate preoccupation with being over prepared, before every trip The Husband hauls out the bathroom scale and makes a huge spectacle of weighing himself and my suitcase and then doing some arithmetic. I now tend to think of the whole ordeal as an analogy between what Coco Chanel was famous for saying...something along the lines of: get yourself dressed for the evening and before you walk out the door, remove one thing. And I try to do with my bag. Like eliminating a scarf or a pair of chandelier earrings. Way too much weight.
I didn't want to disappoint you without something totally unrelated to the body of my post...remember when I got the credit at Pottery Barn for their terrible, terrible oversight of not having the dishes available that went with my already purchased napkins? I used my merchandise card for these melamine plates that I"ll use for outdoor dining. I am head over heels in love with them, I'm just not feeling very victorious. It's not like me to make a fuss. I have beautiful napkins and beautiful plates just for crabbing about a small oversight. It doesn't make me feel good. Although, I am thinking of ordering four more plates to even it out at twelve.
And I HAVE to leave you with a short recipe because I haven't taken up your entire morning yet. I simple seasoned some chicken fillets (any way you like) and sauteed them on high heat in 1 T. of olive oil and 1 T. butter. Remove from pan to a casserole dish. Add 3 thinly sliced carrots and 1 medium sized zucchini sliced in medium wedges to pan drippings. Saute until just browned. Add to the chicken in the casserole. Heat the reaming juices in the skillet to high. Add 1/4 c. white wine and 2 T. of butter and stir until wine evaporates, scraping up the bits and pieces of the chicken and veggies. Pour over casserole. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes uncovered. Great served with rice or potatoes of your choice. Add salt and pepper and use your imagination with the seasonings on the chicken. I can't even remember what I used. And that's the fun! You can play with the type of veggies you use as well. And someday...maybe...I will start to give these recipes a name. Any suggestions for this one?
I hope to get back on Saturday. Probably to complain a bit more about the preparations for our trip, how my veggie garden is so not happening, how The Husband has hidden half my shoes... you know, the normal stuff. See ya soon!