I felt I was doing a little picture overload on my last post so I saved these to show you the garden bed fully planted. And yes, that's Layla sunning herself. She looks like she's playing dead. Anyway, I'm wondering if I should leave the rough edge as is so the plants just hang over it or if I should have a border. I was thinking of flagstone. It's so traditional. Some of the bare areas are where I pulled up crabgrass and I have to reseed when it gets cooler.
This is The Husband taking a break after his hard work (and Layla, still sunning herself, the little diva!). She isn't crazy about the mulch so she's not venturing too far which is good. There is a flower bed just behind The Husband that you can barely see. It's "his" garden, but he has relinquished it to me since nothing will bloom in it. We aren't even sure what he planted in it. So I hope to get some plants on sale this weekend and give it a go.
My next door neighbors (at the lake) went away for a few days and told me to help myself to anything in their veggie garden. I had a ball! They must have 30 tomato plants. This is from one picking! And I have tons of green beans that I blanched and froze. I've canned before, I used to make red sauce and salsa and my own version of V8 Juice, but I've found that you need a lot of tomatoes to yield a few jars. I found a recipe here for a tomato tart so I'm going to give it a whirl today. I've also been slicing them up to have with lunch and last night I made a mix of tomatoes, green pepper and zucchini, along with some herbs and a butter/bread crumb topping that I baked in the oven. It was very good.
We got home from our week at the lake on Friday night and were up early Saturday morning to head to Madison, Wi. It wasn't hard to do at all since my bag was packed and all I had to do was switch out some clothes. It was about a three hour drive from Chicago. We were meeting Cindy and Dan from Applestone Cottage and they chose a restaurant on Capitol Square where we had a beautiful view of the Capitol Building. A huge farmer's market was going on and there were so many enticing shops and restaurants. As you can see it was pouring rain and of course, we didn't have umbrellas. :(
We met Cindy and Dan at a restaurant called The Old Fashioned Tavern & Restaurant. It was delicious, with a wood burning grill and a huge selection of Wisconsin's famous beer. It was so great to see Cindy again, we get together once a year you know, last fall we were in Cedarburg, Wi. The rain ultimately put a damper (!) on things. After lunch we managed to make it down about 2 streets, ducking into pubs and shops to dry off a bit. Cindy took me into one of her favorite shops called The Soap Opera where I bought three fancy little guests soaps that smell incredible. And that was my one and only purchase on the whole trip! The Husband was a happy man.
All four of us stayed here and we loved the whole place. There is a good picture of it on my last post. There were several common rooms where you could relax, watch TV, talk, have a snack or a glass of wine. The owners lived in a separate home on the property, which by the way, is 50 acres!
This was the general theme, but not overload. I made sure I got a tour of the kitchen (I'm a kitchen freak when I go to B&B's). The breakfast was fantastic...a starter of what was like baked apples, oats and granola with a sweet yogurt topping, followed by blueberry pancakes, ham and individual ramekins of baked eggs with spinach and cheese. Of course I left my camera (IPhone) in the room!
After breakfast we had a nice walk around the property. There were goats and lambs that wanted nothing to do with us, and this llama, which The Husband thought had taken a liking to him, but was merely lumbering over for a drink from a water trough.
The couple grow their own organic veggies, herbs and fruit. I thought this was such a pretty garden, and that's the potting shed further down. I must have taken a dozen shots of this. After showing The Husband, I asked him if my request for him to build me a potting table seems so outrageous now!
Here's Dan and Cindy. They took us to the Monona Terrace which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and looks out over Lake Monona, which is huge! I didn't know that Madison had one lake on each side. Lake Monona to the east, and Lake Mendota to the west. This is the Lake Vista Cafe on the rooftop where we had refreshments and talked and talked and talked some more before it was time to get on the road. It's a shame, but we didn't get a picture of the 4 of us together. I do know that the next time we go to Madison, we'll stay more that one night. There was so much to see and it really is a beautiful city.
Now on to some general rambling. :)
I'm lonely. Sad, listless and lonely. The Husband and Abigail are at work all day now and I pace around looking for things to do. Since it has been raining and storming for days on end, I've only gotten a little weeding in and not much else. I have to schedule the carpet installation and finish disassembling the family room. I'm in no hurry because I will just be skirting around things piled up in various rooms until I schedule. And I have no idea who is going to help The Husband move the heavy furniture or where it's going to go, but I have decided to isolate myself from that problem. Don't you love that? That's my new way to deal with stress...mentally isolate myself from things. It works! And in addition to the above, all of the wires and gadgets to the TV and Computers have to be unhooked so of course I don't want that to happen until the last thing left to be done. Sigh.
Daughter Abby got a teaching job at a new school and started the next day. She was elated! She got the phone call an hour after her interview. She is teaching sophomore (10th grade) English at a high school. This academy is just two years old and the pictures she has shown me are incredible. All glass and stone and landscaping...very different from the very old schools that she has taught at here previously. She came home after her first meeting with the department and announced happily, "I have to wear the uniform blazer everyday and there is a teacher's lounge with a Keurig machine. Squeal!" Well, the blazer will cut down on adding to her work wardrobe although I did help fund a trip to Banana Republic. She does have a long day though, she's up at 5:00 a.m. and home at 5:00 p.m. I've taken pity on her and I straighten up her room and bathroom every morning (I have nothing else to do). The Husband thinks I'm crazy but I think if I do this for awhile, maybe she will realize that everything goes more smoothly if you are organized. Maybe not. And I have too much time on my hands. I'm seriously thinking about joining the university gym again so you know I'm desperate.
Have I mentioned that I invited a small group of family members up to the lake for the holiday. Oh, maybe just 15 or so. Why do I do this stuff??? Actually, after spending a whole week there, I get everything so spic and span I just felt like entertaining! One last hurrah, as it were. The Husband and I will have plenty of quality time up there this fall, it's just magical then. But for now it's still hot and sunny and ripe for swimming and boating and making sand castles. :)
Okay, a trip to the store for the tart ingredients and then some packing up these rooms. Have a great holiday weekend if I don't get back and thanks for visiting!