Wow, I've been gone a long time. Summer is flying by and in spite of all the activity going on here in Blondieville, I feel pretty good about everything. Have I maybe accepted that my life will always be a whirlwind? I do grab my moments of relaxation every afternoon. Maybe an hour in the early afternoon when the sun isn't on the patio, or later--about 5:00 when I have dinner ready to pop on the grill and the dogs and I can relax outside with a glass of wine and a good book before The Husband rolls in from work. So peaceful. Looking from my patio west, the sun goes down behind our fence and the houses beyond. I've been capturing this elusive 'Golden Hour' and plan to have my good camera at the ready next time I'm out. I love this picture...Milo, looking so, well...Milo-like. Doing just this is #1 on his Bucket List. Can you see why? Psssst...he is in his 'squirrel catching' mode.
Yay! I have some Early Girls plumping up here. SO excited. I've enlisted the help of The Husband in helping me to turn this huge pot about half a turn every few weeks and I think this is a big reason why the tomato plants are doing so well in the container. If you do any container planting (and man, that's the way to go for herbs and tomatoes and anything you love but don't have the time/room for), rotating the pots is essential for a good dose of sun everywhere. I actually had some wind damage from a recent storm, I used one of those tiki torch stakes to tie this baby up. But the plants were fine...with just three I don't have much to lose but I would still cry! ;-)
I love that I can plan my days and I have plenty to keep me busy unless I decide to play hooky. But I really love to get out, just for a change of scenery--it refreshes me. So hmmmm...this week. I've been making plans for the wedding of my brother's daughter down in Louisville on August 1. I haven't been there in a long time and haven't seen my brother and his wife in over two years since Emily's wedding. It's going to be a great 4 day getaway. I spent some time last week shopping. What is it about a trip---even a short one, to make you reevaluate your bras and undies? Say what? The fates have kept me from having a car accident as the paramedics would surely abandon me the minute they saw my ragged underthings. Really. So I combined a recent shopping trip looking for things I needed for next weekend as well as Jeff's wedding which is in a few weeks A strapless bra plus clear straps...sounds crazy right? The lady that fitted me for my "Mother of the Groom" dress advised me that cups sewn into the gown would not give me support, as in I would sag. Well, I can tell all of you something not too surprising, if you are sagging you don't have a whole lot of hope in holding the girls up in a strapless bra. I think a strapless bra on a large breasted woman is simply a ploy to get one to look at her new high heels, because that is where you will find her fancy ass bra. Anyway, I have an arsenal of 'support' pieces that have probably cost more than the dress. Did I mention Spanx? Oh, yes. A good reason to get a part time job at a 7/11 before the big function.
Recycled Sangria bottle with Hosta blooms
I'll give you a break on the wedding stuff for now because life is really wonderful if you pay no attention to it. Just kidding. My arm hurts!!! I honestly only took the pain pills when I desperately needed them...not so much that I'm a purist but it cuts the pain so much that I want to trim the bushes or wash my car, and obviously that doesn't help the healing process. Anyway, for the past two weeks I have been suffering from hives all over my neck and chest. The itching seemed to come from inside and nothing topical on it would help. Then I realized that the Tylenol with codeine was a new-to-me culprit. Ahhhhh...relief from the hives. And my pain? Not much there to help, but we have to choose our battles.
We had a BBQ at my sister in law's today for family who came in from Kansas City. So much fun. Here is our Elsie with Emily who's giving her multitudes of kisses (could you resist?). We have reached a consensus that she does look like Kevin. But not Kevin as he looked as a baby---the "now" Kevin. And a "female" Kevin. I have to get a pic of the two of them soon to illustrate this fact. I have to again say, this little gal is so sweet tempered---never cries and loves everyone (and everyone reaches out to hold her---we should have raffles). I can't hold her with the monster cast (which may I say does not look or smell too pretty after 16 days), but I get in her face all the time to make crazy faces and noises and remind her I'm grandma.
Long on time and short on one arm, I found a great dip to bring to the BBQ. This is healthy and was a huge hit. It does spend 10 minutes in the oven to make things meld so you may want to consider this in the warmer weather. Heck--stick it on your grill if you don't want the heat in your kitchen. I felt it worked out great and then it was served as/is an hour later, it does not have to be hot. Give it a shot---I had fun playing with the recipe.
White Bean, Asiago Cheese & Onion Spread
1 15 oz. can Cannellini beans
1 c. shredded Asiago cheese
2 c. diced yellow onion
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
4 t. olive oil divided
2 T. minced garlic
2 t. dried rosemary or 2 T fresh
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Saute onions in 2 t. olive oil over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until browned. Set aside.
2) In food processor combine beans and yogurt. Pulse until smooth. Add S&P, 2 t. olive oil, garlic and rosemary and 1/3 c. Asiago cheese. Pulse until smooth and creamy.
3) Transfer bean mixture to a shallow ovenproof dish. Top with half the onions, half the remaining cheese and then repeat. Bake at 450 for ten minutes. Serve hot or at room temp with crackers, toasted bread or crudités. YUM!!!!
I will be back soon, pinky promise. I am supposed to get my cast off Friday morning and then literally take off for Louisville. Say a prayer that the X-rays are good! I will try to get a post out before Thursday. Have a wonderful week, friends!