Time for a little gardening on a bright summer day. First thing, find the spot. I have to figure if I plant these revived marigolds anywhere but in with the foundation shrubs, they’ll just get mowed down. Doesn’t seem right to bring them back to life for such a short, violent end.
Still, they need a little room and a sunny spot. I find a spot I like right in the front of the house, and Kat agrees it’s the right place.
Must gather my gardening tools, which consists of a long kitchen knife. The knife was so dull it wouldn’t cut through a lemon but Kat (this is Kat after all) sharpened it—with a rock. I’m about to undo her good work for the trio of marigolds, but she’s good with that.
She helps prep the spot, yanking weeds.
Meanwhile the swallows—also nesting, and with five eggs in the top corner of the front porch—are very displeased to have us working down there. We are roundly scolded.
Kat goes off in search of a good sharpening rock while I hack at the dirt with my kitchen knife. They use rocks for mulch here, so I remove those, pull out any below the soil, and in a reasonably short amount of time have the happy trio planted. Kat, sharpening rock in hand, dumps water on them from the coffee pot.
They look sweet, and should do fine as I also discover a pipe, so there’s an irrigation system.
Kat sharpens the knife. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I want to be with Kat.
I work awhile—back porch time. After, while waiting for Griffin to wake from his nap, I head out for a front porch sit with BW. It’s a show out front. A constant stream of birds—and we spot an eagle soaring!—plus our nesting families.
The swallows take turns in the nest. One flies to the window frame near the nest, announces the arrival. The other flies off, and the newly arrived swoops into the nest. There’s often no more than minutes between the shift change. Mr. Robin seems to be in charge of the other nest today. Maybe Mom’s out shopping.
He and Mr. Swallow get into it briefly—Bird Fight! After the short mid-air dispute they go back to their corners and ignore each other.
Time for our hike. Griffin’s still a little logy from his nap and wants to be carried. Since the first part of the trail is STEEP, I don’t envy Jason this task. I keep in shape, but whew! It’s a quad burner and a lung tester.
Kayla—cross-country champ—all but dances up it. But then—haha—I am old enough to be her grandmother.
Up we go, and up and up. I have a great excuse to pause and catch my breath on this challenging climb. Wild lupine! It spears and spreads under the trees, takes over sunny spaces, dashes purple into the brown and green of the woods. Seeing all the wildflowers overcomes weeping quads.
There used to be a kind of obstacle course along the loop, but we see they’ve taken the stations out. Maybe somebody got hurt. We see a few other people on the trek, and let one large group pass us. Happily, as remembered, the track levels off. Now it’s a kind of stroll through the summer forest, with the tender green of new growth on little conifers, more lupine, what looks like wild primrose to me, sun and shadow and wonderfully pine-scented air.
We find they’ve left one obstacle—oddly what we’d deem the most dangerous—the tall ladder build into a tall tree and the thick ropes for swinging.
Now it’s down—and steeply. Mind your step! And down we go and across the road, over the little bridge that spans a stream all but buried in the tall grass.
Back home again to make dinner.
Kat uses her knife sharpened rock to whap the garlic for peeling, then minces it—SO much better than using a steak knife! She decides to leave her handy tool for the next occupants and uses a Sharpie to label its many uses.
She’s my girl when the zombies attack.
Spanish beans and rice obviously requires rice. When my girl first started coming around she was—sincerely—amazed we cooked rice in a pan. Where’s the rice cooker? She had no idea rice could be prepared outside a rice cooker—and I had no idea such an appliance existed. And here we are, the Asian Rice Goddess and the Irish Potato Queen making a rice dish on a hot plate. In this dish, you sauté the rice in oil with the garlic for awhile—stir, stir, stir, then add lots of broth—veggie in this case. The rice cooks in the broth, absorbs it, and voila.
I’ve made this dish plenty at home, no issue. But the rice doesn’t want to fully cooperate on hot-plate cookery. Adjust temp, add more broth—let’s give it a shot of this red wine. Progress is slow, but it’s progress. Add beans, add salsa add herbs and spices. Wait for the rice to give it up.
I’ll add I don’t eat rice. Ever. At all. And as this dish is spicy, Griffin and I will share a pizza—which as it’s done (toaster oven) and the beans and rice are finally done—Kat suggests I cut with the scissors.
This is brilliant, works like a charm. When the aliens invade, she remains my girl.
We have our meal, and it’s proclaimed very tasty.
Play time segues into Daddy Dance. Upstairs for the boy for nightly Story Time before bed. Apparently Griffin declared more play time after stories, and while Mom deals with that, Daddy comes back down.
Time for Hearts! I warn Kayla she’s going DOWN tonight, and her journey stats with a hard slam on the first hand. But Jason gets hit with the queen the very next hand, shocked to take her with a measly four of diamonds.
The battle’s on. BW takes the lead, Kayla inches back. Jason holds his own. For me, other than one bad hand, it holds pretty steady. Round and round it goes, until Kayla takes the queen with a five of clubs—a reprise of Jason’s early pain.
Down she goes, and I take my solid victory. There is no sentiment in cards!
Pretty day today, and a trip to Missoula for shopping this morning. Going to squeeze a workout in—or try. Looking forward for the hunt for Christmas presents.
Programming note from the Travelogue Editorial Desk: I close up the beach office and head back to Maryland tomorrow morning so Thursday’s post will be a bit later, closer to evening.