Of Rosebuds, Herbs, Puppy Dogs, and Saturday Chores

Today was my day to play catch up – with my usual Saturday chores – like the laundry and cleaning the bathroom.  And, also all the little chores I just didn’t get around to doing this week as I’ve been just plain too tired to tackle.  I’ve said this before – but it’s flippin difficult to work a 40 hour week, then also be the taxi driver, chief cook, bottle washer, and nurse (if necessary) – among other things.   It’s been a long week, and I was so glad to see the lovely sunshine this morning.

The Viking has to work this weekend, and he was up at 4:30 – which of course meant I also woke up at 4:30.  Didn’t go back to sleep really, just dozed on and off till about 8:30.  On these bright sunny weekend mornings I love to go outside and sit on my deck steps with my homemade “dunkaccino” ( coffee mocha, basically) . The puppies love to accompany me and lie on the sun-warmed deck (before it gets too hot). Of course they have to get their daily doses of petting and puppy cuddles.

Sophie Margaret

This morning the “McGootch”  (Chewy) got a little over zealous and nudged my coffee hand – my dunkaccino went flying all over the patio – which was a good thing because it was smoking  hot at the time and either the dogs or I would’ve gotten a wicked burn.  For a good picture of Senor Fluffy Pants (Chewy), visit my “About Me” page. So my first cup went to the sugar ants….oh well.  My trusty Keurig brewed up another cup in no time flat.   Once I “caffeined up”  I was ready to tackle some heavy duty cleaning chores.

This morning that meant taking on the entire bathroom from ceiling to floor.  I  have to be careful what chemicals I use because of my asthma; but I discovered a great cleaning product called Mr Clean Magic Eraser.  Gets rid of soap scum, mildew etc etc in the sink and shower literally like magic.  I was done with the heavy cleaning by noon- ish, which isn’t too bad.  The girls cleaned their rooms and we also straightened out the mudroom.  Then it was off to Six Flags New England for my oldest, and the Holyoke Mall for me and Jill. Got a great deal at Williams Sonoma on some all purpose wine glasses at less than $5.00 a glass.  I broke the last of my utility wine glasses a few weeks ago and I’ve been drinking my pinot grigio out of a Ball Mason Jar.  Anyway we got back about 4, and I was ready for a glass of wine and some deck time.  I also wanted to play with my camera and check on my herb garden.

One of my two Kitchen Herb Garden Containers, containing thyme, oregano, basil (unseen) and rosemary.

The Viking is tackling a larger garden project, but I am working on a much smaller scale.  Aside from my perennials, I always plant a couple of small containers of cooking herbs that I can leave on my deck steps.  When I need fresh herbs I can meander outside and clip off what I need.  My little system works well, and my fabled black thumb (I’m an infamous plant killer, jsyk) doesn’t come into play.  I love my herbs – particularly my rosemary and thyme.


Thyme, with flowers

I also planted basil and chives this year.  I’m hoping to make some fresh pesto – but as you can see from the photo my basil leaves are getting some yellow and brown spots on them. I have no idea what it is or what to do about it (if anything can even be done)

My poor basil, and chives

My Chives. The flowers are edible, faintly spicy and REALLY good in cold potato salad!

As I said, I have no real head for horticulture whatsoever. I plant it, water it, and cross my fingers…… unlike my mother – who could probably grow orchids in the desert.  😉   My roses are just starting to bud, they seem to love the new trellis we put in  a few weeks ago.

Rosebuds, trellis and spiderweb….

“Rosebud” (Citizen Kane?)

The siberian irises are starting to bud too, but it’ll be at least another week or two before we see any blooms from them.  Between 4 and 7pm  is the best time to enjoy my backyard, the intense sun is off the deck and patio by that time, it’s started to cool down, and the mosquitoes and mayflies are not yet out in force.

We grilled balsamic vinegar-marinated steaks for dinner -with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed veggies in a bechamel cheese sauce.  We also added cheddar cheese crumbles to the steak and splashed on some more balsamic vinegar.  I caught up on the season finale of Hawaii 5-O. Just gotta run downstairs and check on the laundry in the dryer. And, check on the teenager and her friends who are enjoying a fire in the outdoor fireplace this lovely evening. It’s 10:50pm here on the East Coast. Time for me to say Goodnight!   Love and Hugs!


Weekend Away

I’m just getting back on here (officially) for a post. I hope everyone enjoyed the pictures I uploaded, but I’ve been too busy to actually write anything until now. What a weekend! Normally, we have literally nothing going on any given weekend. Just the usual “schtuff”, housework, yard work and…. yawn!. This past weekend was an exception in a major way. Didja ever notice that it often works like that? Weeks and weeks of nothing to do and then BAM – too much to do in too little time.

Jill’s been looking forward to Anime Boston since we gave her the weekend pass for Christmas. She was nervous about going and only knowing her cousin, but come Thursday at noontime and she was rarin’ to go. The drive into Boston was quite calm and uneventful this time – thank the Lord! I made the excellent choice to call ahead to the Marriott Hotel and get directions and guess what? They offer valet parking – & you bet your bloomers I took them up on that!. Trying to find a parking space in downtown Boston is like trying to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. I was happy to let the valet guys handle that stress for me. Jill forgot her student ID (required for getting her convention badge at the pre-registration) so I ended up having to stay with the kids until about 6:30 pm, getting her preregistered, and settled in with the bigger kids. Jill was beside herself when presented with hand-sewn Hogwarts student’s black robes, complete with the Gryffindor House patch. (Brent’s cousin Joanne sewed them for all the kids who were cos-playing from the Harry Potter universe) I had supper in the Prudential Center food court with “The Marauders”, “Rorschach”, “Dead Pool”, and a couple of Jedi Knights. I was well protected to say the least. 😉

L-R Wormtail (Jill) Padfoot (Jessica) Moony (Alia) and Prongs (Nicole)

Dead Pool aka Kyle

Rorschach, aka Logan

They actually want me to go with them next year and I can cos-play Professor McGonagall…. !?! I left the gang in the shopping mall by the sky bridge over Huntington Ave. I have to say not without mixed feelings – Jill’s my baby, after all. Getting out of Boston was no problem except for the traffic jam caused by a minor fender bender on the Pike exchange. (that part of the Pike that extends into Boston from exit 15-up, the one I kept having to get back on and paying $1.25 like 4 times the last time I was down that way). Got home about 9:15 and went straight to sleep. Brent and I both had Friday off so we had a good “sleep-in” since no one had to go anywhere first thing in the morning. We treasure those moments because they don’t happen often in our lives.

We headed up for NH about 4pm Friday afternoon. The family reunion was scheduled for Saturday at 1pm in York, ME but we always stay in NH with his cousin and her family and attend these things together. As a surprise for me, we stopped at the Chesterfield Inn in Chesterfield NH on the way up for a wonderful dinner.


Le Menu Cover

The Viking and I have stayed there a few times over the years on getaway weekends, but we haven’t been able to afford to do that recently. Going there for dinner was a lovely treat. We were the first in the dining room.The service was prompt and extremely pleasant. I had some prosecco wine before dinner and an apple maple martini with dinner.

Apple-Maple perfection, shaken - not stirred.

Needless to say, I did not do any driving AFTER dinner…hic…. The salad came with a maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing that was to die for.

Salad with toasted pecans and maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing

The filets were perfection.

It looked too good and I had to take a bite before taking a photo - sorry!

(Ok, I forgot it was Good Friday) Dessert was unnecessary. I wish we could have stayed overnight – the rooms we like have gas fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs maybe another time (sigh!)

The pond at Chesterfield Inn

Brent and I decided to take a quick tour around the neighborhood of the Inn to see what had changed since we last stayed there about 5 years ago. The storm damage was significant with a lot of trees down. The water level in the brooks was low too, but the Saddle Brook Waterfall was still running and he generously pulled over so I could get some photos; running across the meadow to the waterfall (which was a really funny sight according to my husband – with me in my high-heeled dress boots and slightly inebriated – just so you know)

Saddle Brook Waterfall

We continued on up Route 9 into the hills of southeastern NH, and were treated to the stunningly beautiful sight of a huge pumpkin-orange moon rising over those hills. In fact, we pulled over to the side of the road to watch it. Sadly, my iPhone4 does not take telephoto pictures at all – so the “best” shot I got of it looks like a flashlight coming down the road at a high angle. I’m not even going to bother posting that one, lol. Arriving at cousin Joanne’s house in Pembroke NH was a little strange since we were child-free. We figured out that it’s been 20 years since we visited family up in NH without the kids. It was weird – wonderful, but weird. The 19 year old held the fort down all weekend (the house was still standing when we returned, by the way) I will be posting about the family reunion itself tomorrow. As an aside, I am trying to convince Jill to write something about her Anime Boston experiences so hopefully look for a guest post from her soon.

A Do Nothing Day

Today’s been one of those days. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends and it’s caught up with me. So today’s been a do nothing day. Recharging my batteries, as it were. I spent my day cocooned in my blankets; on my couch watching Netflix. Monday morning is fast approaching. I slept in this morning, too. I need all the rest I can get. And the picture below illustrates what happens when the girls stay up past my bedtime… Like last night. Poor Sophie!!!

Photo by: Jocelyn Erickson