Sow: nice surprise

Last night’s demo/floor prep was mostly as expected, dusty, dirty, noisy, and without event, except when all my clothes fell on the floor during the closet “organizer” demo that took place in my closet. Then it became filled with swearing and scrambling to put together a fix — yeah, Bruce! No big whoop, just have some dusty stuff to wear (I’m sure 47 years of dust and grime will brush off and not stick) and clothes lying on the lounge sectional, in a guest room closet and in piles throughout the house. That’s ok, Guinness likes soft things to sleep on, everyone is ok, everything’s fine. I’ll probably put it all back tonight or at least put the stuff that can hang high enough to stay out of the floor dudes’ way on Saturday.

While I was making dinner last night and Bruce was getting the tools and stuff ready for last night’s demo fun, the door bell rang twice. Since no one usually just drops by, even the neighbors text us first, we figured someone was selling something, which meant they were ignoring our No Soliciting sign. The Gs went insane and threw themselves against the front window when the person didn’t leave so Bruce had to investigate.

It turns out it was actually a woman from the neighborhood association (kind of like a homeowner’s association, but without the annoying rules and restrictions and set up mostly for social reasons to foster community in the neighborhood). She came by to tell us that….drum roll please….we won the Yard of the Month for May! What an amazingly nice surprise, especially since the inside of the house looks so terrible at the moment!

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The Mortroski Midcentury has the Yard of the Month for May and the sign to prove it — thank you NPNA and Calloway’s!

She’ll be back to take photos for our neighborhood e-newsletter today (light was not good for photos at 6:45 pm last night — too bright), but Bruce took a few this morning.

Here’s what it used to look like before we moved in (image is approximately 2.5 years ago, massively Photoshopped photo courtesy of the listing agent):

front of 10950 rosser road

Before (photo credit: seller’s real estate agent)

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After (photo credit: Bruce)

You can see we replaced the mailbox, front door (added side lights and windows, painted it red), added a new porch light, new windows, new water-restriction friendly landscaping, removed a bunch of grass, pulled out the crumbling brick “planters” and the hollies. A lot has happened since we moved in!

Unfortunately for our neighbors, all of the exterior changes were done over a period of about 6 months, maybe longer even longer (I’ll wait for Bruce to correct me and then update this post), so the front of the house really looked bad for a lot of that time. When it looked really bad, we joked that we would definitely win for the Worst Yard of the Month — I even thought about making a parody sign to acknowledge our eyesore sweet eyesore.

But now the house has become a landmark of sorts for the neighborhood. We’re “that house with the red pot in front” or “the house with the red door and the red chairs on the porch.” It’s great for delivery people and people visiting for the first time. Can’t miss us now!

In case you’re curious, here are a few photos of the plants:

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The landscaping is all native Texas perennials so stuff happens all year ’round. If you look carefully you’ll see a doggie in the window next to the flag (it’s George).

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Other side, more Texas perennials and that’s a striped agave in the red pot. A nod to the Great White North with the Muskoka chairs (aka Adirondack chairs) on the porch.

Bruce and I pulled down the crumbling brick “planters” (really not wide enough nor deep enough for mature holly bushes with trunks 10 inches in diameter so they were busting out through the sides) one hot spring day (my main job was hauling the brick to the backyard using my garden cart where eventually we loaded into a dumpster some months later—Guinness and Godiva liked the odds of furry creatures living in the brick ruins and were sad that the bricks went away). But first we had to cut down the hollies (not as easy or as fun as you might think) the summer before getting the windows installed. They grew back despite being cut to the ground. So we had to chop them up again before the planter demo. And heavy equipment eventually had to be used to pull them out (though not by us).

Once we realized that we were completely over our heads with figuring out the landscaping plan ourselves, we attended a session at North Haven Gardens on landscaping and meeting Berrit from Roundtree Landscaping last summer. We had planned to get a plan, then install everything by ourselves. Berrit listened to our desires to have a lower impact, native landscape while minimizing the amount of grass we had to water during the hot Texas summers and drew up a plan that’s a lot like what ended up being planted. She also gently suggested that we should leave the sprinkler moving and planting to the professionals (she was right). She was fantastic to work with and we’re so glad that we worked with her.

You can’t see it but in the enlarged planting beds, the Roundtree crew changed the sprinklers to drip irrigation and the sprinklers for the front grass to NP rotors, a type of sprinkler that gets more water into the ground verses spraying in the air. They planted small plants since they will just get bigger and spread as the years progress. Everything was planted in late August 2012, except for a bunch of daffodils which were planted in February 2013.

The trees are a lot happier too. They’re getting watered deeper and better so we hope they’ll stay out of our plumbing (a big problem down here) from now on.

It’s so nice to be recognized for the changes in the yard, but truthfully, we didn’t do it to get recognized, but to make our house look more inviting and more our style. Like everything we’ve done to the Mortroski Midcentury (with the exception of the big plumbing mess), we did it because we wanted to. We’re trying to bring back some style to the place. So far so good.

PS: Guinness and I are going to the vet at 4 pm as planned. He’s still not ok and I’ve been giving him rimadyl (anti-inflammatory that he has been prescribed for his back and neck issues caused by wrestling with George and chasing Godiva) for the pain. He’s eating and drinking, wagging his tail, etc., but tried to bite Bruce when Bruce was poking around in his mouth. There’s something that hurts and it needs to get looked at. Update tomorrow.

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So: weeknight workout

No, silly, we’re not going back to the gym…yet. Tonight will be another exciting evening of brute strength and blunt force. And dual shop vac/Monster vacuuming action. Oh yes, more of the same fun we had yesterday pulling up smooth edge, tearing out trim, destroying ill-conceived “closet organizers” and “shoe holders” so that the flooring install can go swiftly and smoothly (and so the nice men are not installing the new floor on top of 47 years of dust and dirt).

Bruce and I went to Home Depot at lunch to get some supplies that we will probably need tomorrow night (I may put the bird net up over the tomatoes tonight, just as a fun break and chance to play in the garden for a few minutes). Or maybe if we’re ambitious we’ll get to the next step on our destruction tour de force tonight. Nothing like planning ahead and reducing the chance of excuses for why we can’t do something.

I also need to figure out where to put a bunch of my clothes since the dresser is in the garage at the moment. Nothing like piles of clean laundry on the sofa. Doesn’t it scream “adult homeowner”? Maybe I can scavenge some cinder block and a few boards and make a college style bookshelf. Or perhaps some nice trash bags could be pressed into action. Sigh. It will all be over on Sunday, May 5.

Surprisingly I am not all that sore from the weekend’s shenanigans. Bruce is but as he says, he’s been sore for weeks now. It may be a slight exaggeration but I doubt it. Last night while we were sitting on the patio enjoying a glass of wine after yesterday’s labor, Bruce said something that shocked me: “You know, I think after we get all of the projects that are currently underway done, we should probably take a break.” I almost fell over, but that might have been exhaustion or wine fumes getting the best of me. Maybe I can get back to sewing this summer!

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break from DIY talk: gratuitous George de-fluffing a toy photo since empty rooms are not that photogenic

Speaking of dogs, one of the Gs is visiting the vet tomorrow afternoon. Guinness seems to be having a mouth problem of some type. He’s eating and drinking pretty normally, but he is pawing at the right side of his mouth. His lower lip looks like he may have bit it (or perhaps someone else may have during a roughhousing session or fly catching expedition).

the patient

the patient prior to the mouth situation

Since we don’t know how old he is or his medical history before he moved in with us, we’re thinking that maybe he’s got a toothache. He’s not really letting us check it out much. Don’t worry, he’s always good at the vet and will be sweet to the vet and the vet tech(s) because he knows they’re going to help him. He’s no stranger to clinics after all. And since of course, I’ve done a bit of web research I’m going to take his temperature and see if he’s running a fever (could be an infection then). His vet is pretty awesome but she was only available tomorrow afternoon since Mondays are the busiest vet days (they close at noon on Saturday until Monday morning). Poor big boy. Maybe we’ll just give him wet food tonight and give his mouth a break. I’ll let you know what the vet says.

Must get to work. If you hear loud sounds in our neighborhood after 7 pm, just close your windows.

 

sow: obscene harvest

obscene! yes, that is our kitchen table groaning under the weight of the bounty

obscene! yes, that is our kitchen table groaning under the weight of the bounty

Don’t worry, friends. That craziness will feed 3 other families this week in addition to Bruce and me. It was a productive two weeks for spinach, chard, mixed salad greens, cilantro, mint, parsley, oregano, red velvet lettuce, candy cane beets (the very first ones!) and bok choi. And it felt awesome to pick everything, feel the sun on my back (hello, farmers’ tan!) and do a little weeding this morning. It’s an exciting time on the Urban Farm — English peas are podding, snow peas are flowering, okra plants are sprouting, salad greens are weed-like, tomato plants are getting huge, peppers are starting to flower, beets/carrots/radishes are all forming, herbs are going insane. So much is going on. The Urban Farm is looking very pretty and there’s lots of deliciousness about to happen. Ah, the relaxation.

As you surmised from yesterday, it’s not been a restful or relaxing weekend around here. Dumps, IKEA, moving furniture, getting rid of stuff, etc, etc, etc. And there will be no rest this week. Destroy! Rip out! Sort! Give away! Donate! Put away! Spring cleaning on steroids. Or as I like to think of it an extended Date Night. At least there’s wine every night as a reward for so much physical labor.

Officially, today we became carpet-free home. All of the beige big box store lowest possible grade carpet is gone. It was an excellent magnet for black lab and yellow lab/golden retriever hair and dander. My allergies (nose and eyes) are going insane with the amount of 47 years of dirt, dust, dog hair and dander that I sucked up with the shop vac and the Dyson Monster. But after a shower and a little down time, I’m feeling better. Still I’m having Zyrtec with a Benedryl chaser tonight before bed. That and all the carrying, hammering, prying, cursing, and working will ensure a sound night’s sleep.

The trim around doors and floors in some of the rooms and hall is also gone. It is a bit unattractive around here and most of our furniture is either in the garage, the living/dining room, or back in the office (office furniture only). We still have a lot of work to do on the office, but we need somewhere clean where we can sit and rest after all of our work. In our bedroom, we put down blankets before we dropped our mattress on the bare floor. And we put some blankets under the dog beds too. We are wearing flip flops inside the house at the moment, despite the double vacuuming efforts. The Gs don’t seem to mind the bare concrete.

However, the Gs are a little unsure of what’s going on. George is slowly but surely getting over his phobia of loud sounds, power tools, the shop vac, and swearing. Godiva and Guinness are happy that we’re leaving all of the back doors open and they can come and go out for a squirrel hunt/bark/pee as they please.  There was lots of snoozing in the sun by those lazy hounds punctuated by squirrel chasing and a little visiting with our friend Camille. Despite the inside the house chaos, the Gs had an awesome weekend outside. Good thing since they’ll have another next weekend.

No sense of getting ahead of ourselves: this week will be busy. We have several rooms and closets yet to prep (aka things to destroy and remove) for Saturday’s bamboo-ing. We need to pour a bit of concrete in the lounge to level the floors where the wet bar and the tv cabinet used to be. We need to assemble the new cabinets on the tv side and get them in place for the bamboo dudes. And there’s a trip to IKEA in order on Thursday night.

We’re going to need our pal Jim the Master Plumber to come and remove/cap the wet bar sink and our other pal David the Master Electrician to move the plug. We’re not keeping the bar wet since in the nearly two years we’ve lived here we’ve never used the sink. But we’ll be adding a beverage fridge eventually so we need to make sure the electrical is ok. David loves what we’re doing with the place—he enjoys being part of the process and likes seeing the progress. Maybe that’s because he’s our age and wishes he had the energy and stamina to make his wife happy with the kind of improvements we’re doing. Seventy-one year old Jim is amused by our renos—the Urban Farm allowed him to share his dating exploits with Bruce (never with me, he’s too Southern). Apparently in East Texas if you are a single man of a certain age, the garden clubs are the best places to meet oil money widows. Rush out there everyone!

Well, George is snoring (loudly) and it’s time for bed. Hope you all had as excellent of a weekend as we did. (Yes. I know we’re crazy.)

 

 

So: today’s DIY adventure

We had an adventure today. Not only did we par down the possessions, we also ripped out more carpet and got to visit our local dump. All of us. Yes, the 3G Network went with us in the truck to experience the transfer station with us. If you want to imagine the experience, imagine the worst smell you can remember. Then imagine contractors and homeowners making a pile of stuff in a giant building scented with the worst smell you can remember. That’s the dump. Ick, but on our way to the dump we saw 1) a pretty cool looking biker bar, 2) a trail around a lake that looks like a great dog walk, 3) plenty of unique and strange import stores.

We did a ton of work today, but there’s still lots to do: pull up the smooth edge in the two guest bedrooms and then vacuum up all of the bits left behind; break down the furniture in our bedroom and move it to the garage and porch; rip out the bedroom carpet (then all of it will finally be out); pull out the smooth edge in our room; remove all of the trim in three bedrooms.

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And we went to IKEA. If you’ve ever visited an Ikea store, you know that it is a place to be avoided at all costs, especially on the weekend. But unfortunately, the cabinets they offer are part of our design for this stage of the reno. And it is open until 9 pm  on Saturdays and there is a big sale on for cabinets (ends tomorrow). We went and arrived around 5 pm. Thanks for Kyle H. we got most of the pieces we need to make our new dining room built-in buffet (perfect for dinner parties) and for our new lounge cabinet. He was amazingly helpful and maximized the spaces we have. Bravo, Kyle H.! You are a cabinet planning genius! Thank you.

We’ll worry about the countertop later (quartz is what we are thinking), but for now, we’ve got lounge cabinets to get in place by Saturday when the flooring magicians show up. Those poor dudes have to get the whole rest of the house paved, I mean, bamboo-zled, by Saturday night. I will be outside, weeding the front plants and tinkering around with the Urban Farm while I entertain the Gs (I can’t wait).

The house is pretty bare at the moment. so please don’t drop by unless you want to sit outside. The patio is looking just fine as is the front porch, but rooms really do look bigger with furniture in them just like the real estate agents say. Our real estate agent would be horrified to see what we’ve done with the place. But don’t worry, we’re not inviting her over until we’re done.

Speaking of furniture, Guinness is THRILLED that the office/tv watching space has furniture again (we moved everything back since this will be our only space where we can chill next week and next weekend until the new floor is all in). He is much happier now that his favorite nap sofa is available to him. The office still needs work, but we’ll get it done once we can put all of the other furniture (now in the garage and dining room) back where it goes. It needs paint. It needs another row of our custom panelling. It needs a cool ceiling fan. It needs stain. It needs organization and throw pillows. And a three large-ish dogs to nap in it.

Tonight we’re all chilling. Godiva is exhausted from playing ball (we had a little happy hour on the patio and chucked the ball to her for the whole hour). Guinness and George are exhausted from their latest attempts at squirrel hunting (I pity the fat rats with better PR because their days are numbered. Ick.) Bruce is exhausted from carrying huge rolls of gnarly carpet, flats from IKEA, and chucking stuff into piles at the dump. I’m just happy to remain vertical at the moment and have the strength to type. It’s been a very physical day.

So we must head to bed and rest up for another physical day. The good thing is we can rest on Monday.

So: family affair

wpfamilyaward

I know. I know. No more awards for a while. But when Amy at LifeBeam gave me this one this week, I was really touched. And humbled. Thank you, Amy! I like the company I am keeping with the blogs you are following.

This award seems to be a new one, has very few strings attached, and came to me from a talented blogger who frequently reminds me of the power of positivity. Like Amy, the blogs I’ve discovered or had recommended to me are very special. Each one gives me a little gift when I read them, so greedily and gluttonously, I try to read them as often as I can, wherever I am (thank you, iPhone). They lift my spirits and provide me with encouragement for life, work, writing, staying positive, being grateful, beautiful art, new ideas, connecting with far away friends, new friendships, and so much more. This award celebrates the WordPress family that we create through the blogs we love and really connect with.

The big thing of this award is spreading the love. So before I do so, here are the simple rules for this award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog (done)
  • Link back to the person who nominated you (Amy)
  • Nominate 10 a bunch of others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family (sorry, but I can’t help myself)
  • Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them (you guys will probably see this post before I alert you all, but I’ll get around to it in the next few days)
  • That is it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love to more folks.

Drum roll please for my WordPress Family (I wish we all lived closer by! I’d throw a swell dinner party so we could all hang out in real life. Can you imagine that night? Trust me, it would be excellent. So thank you all for being you, inspiring me, and keeping up the good work!):

Happy Weekend, everyone! Make it a good one. If you need to find me, I’ll be moving furniture/spring cleaning/tearing out carpet, digging in the dirt, and harvesting lettuce.

Sow: progress report

20130425-211257.jpg Mixed lettuces

A week can bring tons of change to the urban farm. As you can see from the lettuce photo, the plants are bushy and somewhat wild. This weekend the harvesting needs to be pretty hardcore. That’s ok, I’ve lined up some friends to help us enjoy the bounty next week. There will be lots of lettuce, spinach, chard, and an assortment of herbs in their care packages. Mmmm salad!

Weeding needs to be hardcore too. I pulled some out this morning but they have snuck in while I wasn’t looking.

And I wouldn’t mind stopping by North Haven Gardens to see if they have any raspberry bushes left. That is if it fits in with the carpet removal…

Here are a few more visual progress reports:

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Red romaine

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Red velvet lettuce

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Beets

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Beans

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Artichoke

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Carrots radishes carrots

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Tomato progress–getting bigger and getting more flowers

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Black diamond watermelon from Lisa

Cilantro and parsley are on their way out. Bok choi needs to get harvested too.

And I also need to hang up a cute garden sign Bruce found while I was away. I’ll post a photo when it’s up.

Looks like a good time outside is on the horizon.

sow: composted

My birthday composter

My birthday composter

Going away on an extended business trip for a week meant that my birthday composter got an extra large helping of partially decomposing stuff this morning and multiple spin cycles.

(So happy Earth Week composter! Hope you enjoyed all of your treats! Kick back, relax, make some nice compost, and I’ll keep feeding and spinning you.)

Have you ever touched fuzzy zucchini? If you haven’t, it’s slimy and furry at the same time. Like it’s covered with soggy white hair. Now you can safely skip seeing it yourself and say “ew” with me. You’re welcome.

Same goes with celery that’s gone bad. It turns into a pile of limp, watery yet fibrous brownish slime. Again, thank me for sharing that visual. Hopefully you’ll never have to see it in real life. It’s not pretty.

But all those fuzzy and slimy veggies made the composter really happy. It’s been cooking away and breaking down everything I’ve been feeding it for the past month. No bad smells. No animals breaking in for “treats”. No unwelcome bugs (I’m hoping that earthworms find their way inside naturally).

The produce peels, tea bags, coffee grounds, parsley, egg cartons, toilet paper cores, napkins, dryer lint, dog hair, rotting produce, apple cores, banana peels, egg shells, grass clippings, leaves, pine straw, garden waste, tomato vines, newspaper, and paper towel rolls are turning into the stuff gardeners love. This batch is almost finalized (there is a limit to how much you can put in) and then it will sit for about a month until everything is broken down. I’ll start its twin and by the time that one is ready to go, the first one will be finished the process.

Yes, it is a little bit of work. Some re-training on what not to throw away. A trip out to the composter every other day or so. Washing out the little collection bucket when it gets gross. Spinning the composter. I think of all of those things as fun—and an investment in future crops.

It’s pretty exciting to think that what is basically garbage is turning into fertilizer and a growing medium for the Mortroski Midcentury Urban Farm. It’s all going down in a very under-utilized part of the side yard by the plum and peach trees. And soon I’ll be able to load up the wheelbarrow and take freshly made compost over to the raised beds.

Composting is kind of like growing stuff. It’s dependent on a variety of factors (materials, weather, water, heat). Even if you think you’ve timed it perfectly, it may take fewer (or more) days than you think. It can be a bit dirty. But in my opinion, it will be well worth the effort—and the wait.

So: spring cleaning

Tonight I came home to the cabinets in the lounge partially ripped out, all of the stuff in the cabinets packed up, and lots of loud noises. Time to help demo and then clean up the mess!

George wasn’t very happy. He’s the only G still getting used to high pitched wail of power tools. He hid behind me and carried a toy around for a while. He’s ok now (passed out on the sofa next to Bruce).

The other two could care less. Godiva has heard power tools from pretty much day 1 as a 8 week old pup. Guinness doesn’t love the sounds but he realizes it will stop after about 6 hours. Besides, he’s trying to set a good example for George.

Thanks to two unexpected windfalls, a flooring sale, bulk trash pick up, and an excellent installer looking to build his new business, we have the perfect storm to complete our flooring plan much faster than originally planned. We were planning to do a few rooms at a time–not any more.

So between now and May 4 we must demo, pack, move furniture, purge and plan. And even previously made plans need to get changed. It certainly takes spring cleaning to a whole new level.

The before of the cabinet with the floor demo–notice the bricks (new cabinet and bamboo coming soon!):

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Sow: Earth Day delay

Have to say that after being gone from home for a week, I’m craving digging in the dirt, picking stuff, seeing baby fruits, buds and flowers, watching for new seedlings. As much as I love living out of a suitcase, airports, airline travel, hotels with closed kitchens, famous djs and forestry professors, and tons of meetings, nothing really beats the walking around the urban farm and seeing what’s going on.

Except this:

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the sensitive one

This:

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the strong and silent type, unless there’s someone in the front yard

This:

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the big mouthed goof

And of course, this:

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the handy romantic with a sore back

I’m really looking forward to the canine greeting committee since they’re really not all that fond of FaceTime, texts and cell phones, although I hope I don’t get knocked over. Apparently George has been a little mopey since he is not as used to me being gone as the others in the household. Hopefully they’ll be so happy to see me they’ll decide to forego sleeping on my side of the bed tonight. I could really use a solid eight hours of rest tonight. And some tail wags and snuggles.

And although Bruce’s jar of Kraft Peanut Butter was confiscated at the border (the nice Air Canada worker said she will use the offending “gel” and not throw it away unlike those a-holes in Canada’s version of the TSA were going to), I have a few treats and some nice gifts that I’m sure he’ll like, especially since they’re not available in the U.S.

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A nice light snack, anyone?

I think Bruce may have missed me just a little bit, especially this weekend as he moved 5,000 pounds of bamboo into our house to acclimatize. Apparently there’s quite a “honey-do” list waiting for me that involves relocating all of our furniture in the non-bamboo rooms to the two bamboo-ed rooms and the garage. Hopefully work cooperates this week and there no late nights. The rest of the rooms will be bamboo-ed (by the same professional crew who did the living/dining room) on May 4. After the dust settles, we’re done projects for 2013, well, except for finishing the others we’ve already started.

But I digress. While I’m zooming to Dallas from 10,000 feet or more above the earth and we’re not going to be delayed landing (shouldn’t say it, I’ll probably jinx myself), I’m not getting home until way after dark. And while I don’t want to wait, I’d like to see the urban farm for the first time in a week in daylight and not by headlamp.

So my personal Earth Day celebration will have to be postponed a day. I will celebrate the bounty and marvel at a week’s progress. Maybe I’ll pick something. Hopefully the beans and peas are higher up on their trellises and the tomatoes have moved up to the next level of their cages. I’ll inspect the peaches and plums. See if Lisa’s transplants are doing their thing. Learn if okra is taking over the entire farm. Perhaps join Guinness, Godiva, and George for a good roll in the grass.

You better believe that as soon as the Gs are walked and the sun comes up tomorrow morning, the urban farm will be my first stop. I feel a lunch salad that needs to be picked.

Happy Earth Day, y’all.

So: special treat

So glad you enjoyed Bruce’s guest post on Saturday. It was a lovely recap of our now long ago engagement and wedding, despite a few technical issues that made him very frustrated.

Gotta love that hat and hose–what on earth was I thinking? Knowing what I know now it would have been a sundress for me and shorts and a white linen shirt for Bruce.

I was kind of busy–and far from Dallas this weekend which is why Bruce took over the post. I spent the weekend in Toronto, a city I love and lived in for 12 years. It was a very special treat to be there from Thursday night to Sunday night (I’m still not in texas though–I’m in North Carolina now).

It was made even more special by the amount of uninterrupted time I spent with my very best friends. We did all the things we always love to do when we’re together: eat, drink wine, shop, watch movies. But most of all we talked. And we talked.

Hanging out is what we do best. While we all stay in touch, mostly by text, FaceTime, Facebook, and email, nothing beats a good ol’ face-to-face gab session.

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My pals Reesa and Simone and me

It’s amazing how much ground can be covered during a 2 1/2 hour lunch. Aging parents. Siblings. Work. Changes in Toronto. Fashion. Jewelry. Movies. Kids. Family. Aging. Trips. Plans. Laughter. Memories.

We warned our server that we’d be there a while. She laughed and said it was cool with her.

Reesa and I continued the gab fest all Saturday night. We put on our pajamas and camped out on couches with a movie playing in the background. Since we talked over it the whole time, it wasn’t much more than background noise. We finally went to bed at 1 am.

I made this trip very last minute so I didn’t expect to be able to see many people. As luck would have it, my friend Clair was in town with her kids for a family event. They dropped by for a visit on their way back to upstate New York, where they live now. (Unfortunately I forgot to get a photo!)

I feel so fortunate to have spent time with these fabulous ladies. Living far from them has been tough but it’s trips like these that remind me that distance can’t break the bonds that we’ve made after close to two decades of friendship.