Rainy Days and Sundays

I know, it could be snow. If what’s been coming down the last few days happened to be snow, we’d be buried in it. Still, I actually think, since it’s February, I’d prefer a good, solid snow over days of gray and rain. Wet dogs, muddy paws. At least, from inside, snow’s pretty.

So on this soggy weekend I made ham and potato soup, wiped muddy paws, (mopped the kitchen floor due to muddy paws) got workouts in early. Since the sun refuses to come out and play, I culled out faded flowers, rearranged, and made some new brights spots.

Soup’s on. Photo by NR
Pop of counter color. Photo by NR

Sometimes it’s the little things.

Flowers here and there help, but, boy, on weekends like this, I miss my garden.

Even the dogs, after habitual bouts of insanity, are lazy.

Dogs. Tired. Photo by NR

The week focused on work, just the way I like it. And when that’s the case, I often don’t think about what’s outside my window, but what’s outside the windows of the story. Except when it’s, again, time to wipe those muddy paws.

This afternoon, since we have bread and soup for the rainy evening, I think I’ll park myself in front of the fire in the library, and read. Nothing quite like a fire, a book and a few hours where nothing has to be done.

If you’re looking for a book to hunker down with when March blows in, you might try The Coincidence Makers. Yoav Blum’s an Israeli author, and my editor bought his book–and gave me an early chance to read it. It’s fun, thought-provoking, fanciful, and out March 6 from St. Martin’s Press.

Today, I’m settling in with a Jesse Stone novel. I hope Jesse’s weather’s better than mine, but either way, I’ll have some fun. 


Note from Laura:

I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of The Coincidence Makers.  I found it a fascinating, fun book which prompted me to consider all those small moments that make up a life from a different perspective.

In the category of  coincidences (but was it really?) I bought these for myself on Friday — not knowing what Nora had in her house.

Pop of color. Photo by LMR

27 thoughts on “Rainy Days and Sundays”

  1. Love Jesse Stone! Read them all and have watched all the tv movies with Mr. Tom (what a hunk) Selleck aka Jesse Stone! Must be time to read them again!

    1. I’ve never read Jesse Stone. Now Spenser:For Hire I have and his Sunny Randall books I have read, too. I like those.

  2. It’s a rainy day here on Maui too. But much warmer rain than you are getting. It’s a soup kind of day.

  3. February exists to make everyone happy when Spring finally comes! It’s also my birthday month, so maybe that’s why I like it. In my extended family, there are about 20 of us, from my grandfather (who would be 130 if still alive) to infant second cousins just born last week, who all have February birthdays. The most in any one month!
    I know Nora is super busy, but the ham and potato soup recipe would be appreciated. It looks especially good. I’m not a big soup person, but this with crusty bread and a glass of wine would make a great lunch or dinner. I’d add a spinach salad if my granddaughter was having eating with me. She’s only 10, very active with swimming, music and dance classes, 4H Club, etc., like Eve, she wears herself down if we don’t watch her carefully.

  4. The soup sound delicious! I was able to get a break in the rain long enough yesterday to put in some bare-root Hellebores I’d ordered. It was good to do something in the garden for the first time this year. My established Hellebores are starting to bloom too. Thanks for the book tips, I’m rereading Concealed in Death right now.

  5. It’s raining here in Ninety Six today too. I’m still winding down from yesterday with my grandbabies. Zoey, she is two and Jasper, is five. They were a whole lot of fun, but it wore me out. ( I had them for 12 hrs) I loved every minute!!
    It’s amazing to watch and listen to them, with their curious minds and active imaginations.
    I had thought of making ham and potato soup myself, but at this moment, I can’t make myself go into the kitchen to cook. Lol. Yours looks delicious, by the way. Flowers looked beautiful too.
    I hope you have a great Sunday and thanks for letting us share your day.

  6. Thanks for sharing. February in Indiana is always a challenge. At least the sun is trying to shine here today!

  7. Rainy in NC as well. It’s ham hock and beans with cornbread and salad at our house. Temperature is 65 degrees. I’m sitting on the back porch looking over the back yard and woods. The daffodils are blooming. I’m drinking coffee with Bailey’s and cream to chase what little chill and damp is in the air on a day like this. I’m remembering The Witness as I mentally plan a garden. And wishing I had Abigail’s skills. 😀

  8. Soup on a cold day is yummy. A fire and a good book makes for a perfect day. I always felt flowers brightened up my workplace- when I wa working; they brighten up any day. Thanks for the book recommendation – so many books, so little time. Sigh! I so enjoy your blog entries.

  9. Today is my birthday. I spent a couple hours with my daughter and granddaughters. Just delightful! Our weather last week was ICE. I would much rather have snow or rain…but we got ice. I was glad to have Nora’s book Dark In Death. This week is looking better..sure hope so. I hope everyone has a great week (last one in February). We are ready for Spring.

  10. I wish I had time to sit by the fire and read. Life is very busy. Soup sound delish. Here in Rochester NY it is 52, partly sunny and extremely windy. Feb is not for wimps. Winter will rear its ugly head soon enough. We take what little snippets we can get of spring. Here it is taco’s for dinner. Just downloaded a couple of books to listen to while driving to work.

  11. We’ve had crazy weather here in Tn this week.. Three days of almost 80* weather but knew it wouldn’t last. Today its a cool 60* by contrast. Trees are budding all over , that’s usually when we get a cold spell or snow.. A pot roast/potatoes cooking in the oven and I just added a pan of biscuits.. comfort food for a dreary, rainy day. Your soup looks wonderful for a day like this. Enjoy your day

  12. I actually contemplated making potato soup myself but had some leftover meatballs I chopped up and made into stuffed pepper soup instead, tasty and comforting on a damp, rainy day in PGH PA.

  13. I’m drooling over the soup! I love to make soup, but am tending a bad cold, so I’m eating soup from the good folks at Campbell’s – lol. Too funny you and Laura both picked the same bright color. Here in Colorado, we’re going into what’s traditionally our two snowiest months of the year, so I’m keeping the dahlia bulb I bought safely indoors for now, with my seedlings. You need a greenhouse to make it possible to get your hands in the dirt in winter – that’s always been my “if I had the money” dream. Enjoy your night!

  14. Hi,
    I don’t have ham but I do have the makings for potato soup or potato dumplings. I just have a bad cold along with some allergies that refuse to go away so I will enjoy the thought of Nora and family enjoying potato and ham soup with a good book on a rainy evening.
    I totally love thought provoking books to read. I will try to find this one while I am in Florida the next 2 weeks soaking up some hopefully sunshine. I hope the weather will be kind to me and my friend this year and the illnesses we have both been fighting off all fall and winter will take a vacation and leave us to ours.
    Have a great week and totally love the bright spots of color in both your homes. Beth

  15. Spent the evening with my children. They are both grown but with the opening of every Marvel movie we go have Mexican food and head to the movies!

  16. I’ll take rain over shoveling snow any day. Here in nyc, weather has been crazy. 78 degrees, then 38 the very next day, w/constant rain.
    That book looks interesting. However, i don’t believe in coincidence at all. Life has shown me that everything, even what we believe to be mere coincience, is actually preordained.

  17. They’re telling us that Cincinnati has had it’s 4th wettest Feb on record, almost 8″ precip so far & with more on Weds, might move to 3rd wettest. And the flooding! Thank goodness for the sump pumps; otherwise my basement would be a large swimming pool; jumping in from the doorway! Yes, if it had been snow, we’d be beyond neck deep!

    I understand the urge to get into the garden, but I remind myself that when the ground is this saturated, I’m doing more harm than good! So I stand back, watch the spring bulbs working their way up & pick up the sticks in the yard. Plenty of that to do with the winds we keep having!

    Soup looks good; love a good ham & bean, esp. with cornbread crumbled in. Sounded like a wonderful evening!

  18. I think we had a week of rain last week. I sat here Saturday evening and watched the fog fill up everything. I live in the city and the fog just arrived and covered everything.
    Yesterday and today we have sunshine, warmer temperatures, too. That’s our Texas weather in the Hill Country near Fort Hood. I’ve heard all my life if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute it will change.

  19. Unseasonable snow here in the UK prompted my Yorkshire based relatives to post this –
    ‘Weather Warning! Snow! Southerners advised not to travel. Northeners -you’ll need your big coat.’
    Missing my garden also.

  20. Hard to believe, by that picture, what the garden will look like in weeks and months ahead.
    I always think we should trust the lessons our gardens give us.
    I love Winter but I know I’m getting fed up with it when I get tired of muddy paws entering home 😉 This is not it. Winter can last a little longer in my case.
    I love the detail on Nora and Laura’s carnations. It made me smile for several reasons; one because it happens between good friends and because both are eager for Spring heading to Summer… Now, don’t spoil my fun 😉 Don’t you have a SPA Fun trip planned or something? Let Winter be a little longer please pretty please 🙂

  21. Sounds like our house, except I am reading your garden series and am transported to Harper House. I like it there and plan on staying with them as long as possible. (‘specially like Logan)…

  22. Here in the SF Bay Area, we are alternating very cold (for us!) days with cold windy rain. And yes, this is surely soup weather!! I have celiac, so must eat gluten free. Here’s my favorite Leek and Potato Soup – I think it’s great meatless, my Spousal Unit prefers it \with sausage or ham and a chopped crispy bacon garnish.

    1 leek, cleaned, cut in half lengthwise, and sliced into ribbons
    1 lb ground mild Italian sausage (raw) or good ham, cubed
    2 lg carrots, scraped and cut into thin coins
    2 sml stalks celery, destringed, sliced thinly
    6 – 8 ea potatoes, peeled, halved & chopped (Yukon, russet, rose)
    1/2 C half & half (can use water or almond milk)
    5 TBS gf cornstarch
    1/2 tsp pepper (optional)
    1 tsp salt to taste (optional, depends on saltiness of broth)
    1/4 tsp onion powder (optional)
    1 1/2 qt vegetable broth (low-sodium or no salt if available)
    EVOO for sautéing

    Roll sausage into small meatballs and sauté until brown (or used crumbled cooked sausage), or chopped ham as preferred.
    In a separate pan add olive oil and sauté leeks until limp.
    Add leeks to meatballs in large pot; add broth, bring to a low boil and add carrots and celery.
    Let cook at low boil for five minutes.
    Add chopped potatoes and cook on high simmer for eight to ten minutes.
    Add pepper, salt and/or onion powder to taste – may not be needed depending on sausage and leek flavors.
    Simmer until ready to serve.
    15-20 minutes before serving, bring soup to low boil.
    At same time, mix 1/2 cup cold water and cornstarch. Blend until starch is dissolved.
    When soup hits low boil, add cornstarch & water mixture and stir to thicken.
    Once thickened, turn off heat and serve soup.

    Can be garnished with sour cream, bacon bits, chopped fresh parsley.
    Serve with sturdy gf bread (Against the Grain baguettes, Shaar sandwich rolls) to sop up the final drips of soup)

  23. Ahhh, homemade soup and muddy paws. I know them well. I have a Mini Schnauzer with fluffy paws so regardless of the season, something needs to be cleaned off them.

  24. I too did not realize there was a Jesse Stone series of books. Love Tom S in the TV shows. Just read recently that a 10th film was due out possibly in 2018. Gotta run them down after I finish the Walt Longmire serries, another great murder series.

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