Since a few days of rain has transformed us into a spring/fall feeling (green grass out all of a sudden/cool temps and windows open) it is the perfect time to reflect on our summer, aka our "Minnesota winter" (we hole up inside because it is TOO HOT outside.) Who would have thought I'd be HAPPY to see 90 degrees?! Bring out the courderoy!
[Pour yourself a Pimm's Cup, this is a long one.]
Just as my momentous triathlon was complete, thus began my next adventure of having company! Yeah! My cousin D is one of my first cousins (I only have 2) amidst the array of significantly older second and third and once removed cousins that I am blessed with. Sadly, I have no good pictures of D to slide in here for good measure, but know that we swam in Barton Springs, ate bbq, went to our most famous state attraction.
Some were impressed with this:
notice the proud arm draped on the cold metal.
After we sent D back to his moderate-temperature locale, which is utterly lacking in BBQ, we got ready for the Cool House Tour. There was one project that Smith and I wanted to have done before the tour, but it just so happened to be the one thing that we could never agree on. We had been back and forth for the last year about the backsplash for our kitchen. I don't know how we ever agreed on this:
But we did.
Midway through the installation, I realized why the tile looked so familiar: it is the exact same pattern and color from the kitchen backsplash at my grandma's house. Ours is glass tile, while hers was ceramic.
And so we are cruising along to tour day and I think I have everything under control when Smith drops a comment while we are brushing our teeth:
"By the way, I think John Dromgoole will be here tomorrow morning around 8 or so to shoot a segment in our garden for some tour promotion."
tomorrow at our house?
yes. he liked the look of our raised beds.
For all of ya'll not from around here, John Dromgoole has what I fondly refer to as garden mecca. He is the go-to guy for organic gardening know-how, products, and all things growing. It's HIS dirt in my beds. It's HIS mulch all over my house. Most of the landscaping plants were from HIS store. And he was going to be at my house. And I hadn't weeded yet (today), because I've been dealing with this weed:
[From my "Texas Gardening The Natural Way," by Howard Garrett:
Nutgrass... There's only one guaranteed way to control nutgrass: Remove all the plants and nutlets by sifting the soil through wire mesh. Put this material in the driveway, soak with kerosene and burn to ash. Put the ash in a sealed concrete container, take it to the coast, ship 200 miles offshore, and dump in the ocean. No other techniques I know will work...]
It's as if Martha was at my house for dinner and I hadn't bothered to vacuum.
He was very nice. And he didn't know what else to do with the nutgrass either.
The tour itself was fine, if not exhausting. I think we had over 700 people in our house, and they were all very very nice. They were curious and asked lots of questions. It's like a pop quiz at times...
Why is there a window here?
How many eggs do you get from your chickens?
How does the solar affect your electric bills?
So how many square feet of bookshelves do you have?
I had to refer him to Smith for that, and he had an answer.
So with it being so unbearably outside, what did we do inside?
We tried to grow tadpoles into toads. Our creek had an abundance of tadpoles and the boys gathered them for rearing. Out of 10, only 1 was released into the wild.
we had fancy sandwiches
a tape project
playmobil! pirates! arrr! sushi?
- let's find some saltier salmon eggs!
- yeah, and crunchy seaweed to wrap around them!
- we have plenty of seaweed, now let's suck up those eggs!
- can you hear me captain?!
piano in pajamas
they were wonderfully fun to make! and beautiful! and tasted like. well. Nbear just had one. We built things with the rest before we tossed them.
Took apart a rotary dial telephone
Hey - we made it OUT of the house, all the way to Houston for my 20th high school reunion. which rocked. Here's me avoiding the camera for the "prom-style" photo.
And summer also sees a birthday or two.
Here's the cake of my 4 year old.
And the 40 year old. We even got to reuse the 4. The "0" we had to be a little more creative with.
the greatest show on earth! in glorious black. and white.
It was the boys first circus and they LOVED it. Also the first taste of cotton candy. They had seen it for sale in the grocery store (how wrong is that!) I told them it had to be eaten either a) at a circus b) outside at a fair.
And ah. the First Day of School.
and so far, they are still smiling.