We took a camping trip over the weekend and visited Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio; the scenery was nice, the company was great (first time camping with Melody and we had friends join us too), and the weather even cooperated. I did really enjoy most of the hiking and my personal favorite spot we hiked into was Ash Cave (you can view a short video I took here). And then there was the part where I crawled on all fours up the “stairs” (more like well-placed rocks with no railing along a cliff), ate “breadsticks” (hot dog buns with garlic butter and melted cheese) and pizza out of the back of our car in a parking lot, witnessed some very questionable fashion choices (the mullet to end all mullets is out there…I know, because I saw it in Ohio), and saw a man driving down the highway with his left leg dangling out the side of his Jeep as if that was how everyone drives a Jeep…totally normal…nothing to see here… My co-worker shared this with me this morning, which had me laughing so hard I almost cried. You can view more photos from our trip here.
For me, the weekend brought lots of tomatoes and 1 ripe cayenne pepper from our garden – now that we have a bowl full of various kinds of tomatoes, we’ll have to figure out what we want to do with them. Also, I was happy to see Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp; it was completely ridiculous and funny (which is just what I needed), I love the cast, and I think Paul Rudd is pretty great! Speaking of Paul Rudd, I thought this was funny. And there’s something really lovely about the summer evening light…
With temperatures in the 90s now, summer is undeniably here – and with it being the start of August this weekend, it will soon be over. I’ve managed to pick a whole bowl of ripe tomatoes from our garden with many more ripening on the vine, I’m excited to see our various peppers getting bigger and closer to being ready to pick every day, and our lettuce has reached the stage where it resembles a small tree; although we continually pick leaves off the lettuce plants throughout the summer, as we need them, we never seem to be able to keep up with how fast the plants grow and I always find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of it we end up with in the end – but, it’s so nice to have fresh-from-the-garden lettuce. Neighborhood walks are always enjoyable and I love to see how all the trees, plants, and flowers change throughout the seasons; there are some really stunning flowers out now.
I’m so excited to say that we’ve now completed our basement stair beautification project…at least that’s what I’m going to call it. The red oak wood stain on the treads and Benjamin Moore super white paint really made a big difference; I’d say they have come a long way from this to this and this. I was so happy about it, when we finished painting yesterday, that I kept saying we had “sexy stairs”. Now, hopefully in the next couple months, we can finish having work done to our basement, get all the walls painted white, and say goodbye to the mint chocolate chip green color that’s currently in the space. We managed to make it to the Art Fair last weekend, picked our first four ripe tomatoes from the garden, and I cut some hosta leaves and hydrangea from our yard as well to enjoy inside – enjoying the summer weather and our summer garden/yard! (bowl and vase by Abigail Murray)
We’ve had a fairly rainy, cool summer so far – which is why, when it turned out to be such a beautiful weekend with sunshine and temperatures in the 80s, we took advantage of the sunny weather by enjoying dinner and drinks outside and taking a walk around downtown. Enjoying a sunny, summer patio is a thing of beauty!
It was good that we enjoyed a bit of the outdoors on Friday and Saturday as we spent just about all day Sunday working on our house; Ryan managed to get 4 coats of paint on the underside of the basement stairs, as well as one more coat of clear poly on the treads, so that’s done – now we just need to paint the risers and the stringers and we can check that project off our list.
We were happy to see tomatoes and peppers growing in our garden too; I’m looking forward to enjoying them later in the season when they’re ready to pick – we’ve already been able to use some of our herbs and lettuce from the garden and Melody always enjoys time outside on the patio. It’s hard to believe that we’re already in mid-July and summer will be over before we know it; here’s to many more warm summer days and firefly-lit summer nights.
We had one of those perfect weekends last weekend – the kind where your plan is to not have any plans – and after Ryan had been out of town for about a week and half it was nice to spend some downtime with just the two of us. We went where the day took us and it was such a beautiful day too. Neighborhood walks with Melody, I had fried French toast with blueberry spoon fruit and real maple syrup for brunch one day…yum…, a trip to Dexter and a stroll on the boardwalk there, etc. It felt like summer – warm, with a cool breeze at times, and did you see that super moon last night? Wow!
Our weekend was filled with beautiful weather, which made for very enjoyable walks with Melody, Art Fair here in town (we bought a gift for a friend here, and I thought these ceramics were fun), and I rather enjoyed making good use of this estate-sale-find tea tin by filling it with these lovely roses. And Sava’s is serving a new cocktail called “The Sky is On Fire” – not only was it beautiful to look at, it smelled amazing and was delicious to taste too (macallan scotch, cocchi americano, champagne, angostura bitters, cayenne oil, basil). Did I mention how much I love basil?!? I’m convinced these trees in our neighborhood (Royal Purple Smoke Bush) must’ve inspired Dr. Seuss at some point – they’re fluffy looking and pink/purple…I think they’re pretty great.
The weather here has been really mild so far this summer and I have really enjoyed it – 70’s-80’s with a cool breeze and it doesn’t get much better than that! We had gorgeous weather all weekend and were lucky enough to enjoy it at an outdoor, backyard get-together at our neighbor’s home on Saturday; I loved their idea of putting iced drinks in a wheelbarrow too! And I enjoyed chatting with my Dad and my Granddaddy on the phone on Sunday; since we’re so far apart, I couldn’t see them in person, but it was nice to hear their voices. Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there!
We had a fun and productive holiday weekend in which we found ourselves enjoying some r&r time with friends, good food (grilled peaches that were a little like this and our own, revised version of this potato salad which we used this tasty hatch chile pesto on – yum!), visited Maker Works to use their laser cutter for this project Ryan’s working on, and we got our garden planted. Filling up our garden boxes this year are: sugar snap peas, tomatoes (Fantastic, Green Zebra, and Grape), lots of herbs (varieties of thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, chives, spearmint, and orange mint), lots of pepper varieties, and flowers (Salvia, Marigolds, and Gazania). I find myself enjoying my little corner of the world more and more these days – the fact that the world is so very green and everything is blooming again certainly doesn’t hurt!
And the award for 2014 laser cut glasses model goes to…
I enjoyed a beautiful Saturday morning at Dexter Blueberry Farm with friends. July is blueberry time in Michigan; they are delicious and available at local farmer’s markets and farms all over the area. A couple weeks ago, we made a blueberry tart with this recipe and it turned out pretty great, especially considering we’d never made a tart before.