Some Things

Behold, the view from happy hour on the last weekend of summer.

It will now rain and become fall for…the end of time until it is winter. That said our windows are open again after a week of HEAT. It feels good to enjoy the fresh air.

Billy moved home from Texas over the weekend. We are all so glad he is home for good. Thanks to him I have been in more places in Texas than I had ever expected, BUT all things must come to an end.

After yesterday’s post a sweet friend let me know her neighbor was thinning out some of their strawberry plants so I am going to plant those straight into the ground this week too!

Now that the ash tree is gone, we are getting significantly more light in our house which is truly lovely. Especially once it is winter and always dark, any and all extra light will be especially appreciated. We had actual sunbeams in our kitchen at 6:00 PM tonight which I am fairly certain has never happened before.

My copy of Cravings 2 should arrive in the mail tomorrow and I cannot WAIT to cook more with Chrissy. The original Cravings has been a go to for us so I know there are more good dinners ahead!

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The Back 400

…the back 400 square feet of our yard.

In May we planted that very small row of raspberry bushes and now we finally have a vision to work off of! The “bush” (sprig) that Marcus weed whacked grew back and no varmints ate the plants so we are off to the races with our jam garden/orchard/berry ranch.

Last week, we had the giant Ash tree in the middle of our yard cut down. It was really too close to the house (if you look at the snap above you can just barely see the stump in the middle of so much dead grass). Someday it would have died from some Ash parasite anyway. If it were at all to fall toward the house it would have caused significant damage. We wanted to open up the space so that we can build a playset next summer. Cutting it down also meant that we could finally envision what our yard would truly look like without it.

Answer: sunny.

It also meant we could move forward with other remaining yard transformation plans for this year!

Over the weekend we planted the small Bali Cherry Tree you see in line with the raspberries. And I inherited a rhubarb and some chives from some family friends that went into the ground today.

The yellow lines show where we can continue rows with…something. I tried to give a decent amount of space between the raspberries and the rhubarb because both will grow, but the raspberries especially should fill in that area.

The yellow rectangles indicate where the raised beds will go. One bed will be committed to strawberries and bush beans which you can apparently co-plant. The other will be for herbs and then possibly some lettuces. The chives will move from the ground into that bed next spring.

Last but not least yes I know I literally planted all of this stuff straight into grass and nothing that at all resembles a garden. Basically all of this was an experiment at the beginning of the summer and I wanted to see where it would go before I started actively destroying large areas of our lawn.

A (belated) Friday Food Round-Up!

It’s Saturday, I know but this is just the best we are going to be able to do today.

Even with Rosh Hashanah (I made roasted asparagus) we cooked just a ton. I am trying to get us back into a routine this week of one easy meal per week (like sandwiches) and another from the freezer.

Saturday – Salmon, Roasted Carrots, Corn, Salad

Tuesday – Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Sweet and Salty Coconut Rice from Cravings, Steamed Broccoli, a Fried Egg

Wednesday – Grilled Turkey, Avocado and Cheese Sandwiches, Salad

Thursday – Baked Sweet Potatoes with Chili, Salad

Miscellaneous – Lazy Turtle Cake

I made this for a co-worker’s VERY belated birthday treats.

Miscellaneous – Any Fresh Fruit Cobbler from Farmhouse Rules

I made this for a wine night I was hosting and it will definitely be a new go-to dessert.

Some Things

This snap is from a lovely walking trail in our neighborhood that I have only really started to take advantage of in the last month. It is such a peaceful lake/wetland in the middle of our very suburban neighborhood.

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah so we have been taking a break around these parts and Observing The Holiday and The New Year.

We also had a few drinks parties at our house over the weekend and between that and two days of festive family dinners, I am ready to put my feet up.

I am pretty sure we are finally having our last week of summer For Real. This week we enjoy the 80s and then the temperatures dive into the 50s and 60s and we will not be warm again until next April or May.

I believe pumpkin spice is best contained to the following: lattes, pie, bread. Though I will note that with the coming of Fall Coffee Drinks, at Caribou Coffee you can order a Maple Latte (they already have the flavoring on hand for some nonsensical drink) and it is Fantastic. My biggest complaint about the explosion of seasonal drinks (I swear every six weeks we are getting a new one) is that there is just no consistency in the actual product. No two lattes of the same kind are ever alike. Such is the way of life.

Last but not least, this is my sixth year (?) of doing 10Q and every year it is such an interesting reflection. 10 days, 10 short prompts. You should give it a try.

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

Non-fiction only, people.

Persian Fire by Tom Holland

Danubia by Simon Winder

Germania by Simon Winder

Richistan by Robert Frank

Friday Food Round-Up!

We cooked so much this week and I really need to get our kitchen into gear for some batch cooking because I need to get more meals out the door.

Saturday – Turkey Tacos

X2. As always.

Monday – Roasted Cauliflower, Feta and Orzo Salad from Cravings

I made this so we could eat it throughout the week. I haven’t made it in FOREVER so it was a tasty treat.

Tuesday – 90s Taco Salad

I thought we should at least try to eat some lettuce this week.

Wednesday – Tuna Melts, Tots

I had a packed night so Marcus made this dinner!

Thursday – Stuffed Cabbage Without The Roll from Farmhouse Rules

I made a double batch of this in the crockpot so we could freeze some meals.

Some Things

Holiday weekend say heyyyy!

I don’t know what y’all are up to but we are still all-fun all the time here.  Critter went to the State Fair, we went to the farmers’ market for the first time as a family of four, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and we attended a pool party.  Saturday (fair day) was also accompanied by a skipped nap care of Critter so just your regular reminder that our kids are kids just like yours and our lives are not so idyllic.

This weekend, I have been aggressively working on my professional designation recertification credits.  What is super-nice is that you can now fully recertify for the SHRM-SCP (which is the one coming due at the end of the year!) and the SPHR via webinars so all of the credits I do for one right now I can also count for the other.

I may or may not have ordered myself a pair of Sorel booties from Evereve’s Labor Day sale to reward myself with once all of these credits are DONE.  On the bright side, by the time I do get through this recertification, it will be bootie season for real.

Critter goes back to “school” this week and I think he would be the first to say that he needs some routine in his life again.  Where he goes, the kids stay in classes for the entire school year and then after summer “camp” they move up to the next class, which I think is really nice from a consistency standpoint.  I am also really pleased because he will have one of his teachers in this year’s classroom as well.  Glitter will have his other teacher when she starts at the end of January.

I still need to write a post about our family trip to Duluth with my in-laws, so stay tuned for that.  We had such a lovely time.

Have a happy (bonus) weekend day!