Musing with Max

Musing with Max

August 23, 2016

Meandering

What have I been doing with myself the last two weeks? Well, mostly learning how to fill and pass the time while avoiding pangs of guilt every....15 minutes or so. I'm getting much better at it, I guess practice does make perfect. I can say that my house has never been cleaner. I go around wiping every thing down so that the dust doesn't accumulate. My bathroom gets cleaned every couple of days. I've gone through every closet, every drawer and cleaned out all that stuff that I haven't worn in two years or just doesn't fit anymore, size wise and age wise. The jewelry boxes, scarves, makeup and just plain junk drawers are neatly arranged and missing the garbage. Hemmed a skirt. Went through the library shelves and filled three shopping bags with books that will either wind up at the train station for commuters to take or the veterans or the library. Went to the unemployment office in beautiful downtown Newark and showed them piles of identification which took all of 5 minutes. Filed my first unemployment claim. I am now earning something. I'm almost caught up with the weeding, it had been terribly hot so after a couple of pulls I was done, the last two days have been perfection.

Watched as my garden filled up,



then cut some flowers to fill the house---(cue Jane)





Bought tickets to two plays and the ballet. Read three books (this is the best part since my reading had suffered badly, now I can't stop, thank goodness!) For those who are interested: Good as Gone by Amy Gentry (not out yet but I have a source :)), The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. My stack awaits for the choosing. Bought some watercolors and brushes to see if I can remember how (I'm nervous and haven't dove in yet, there's just so much failure I can face at once). Met my husband for dinner in NYC at this adorable Basque place in Chelsea:








Planning for the next date this Friday. What to wear!

Spent loads of time cooking,

Crab Louis

Roasted Shishito Peppers

Fried Chicken with Potato Salad


Summer vegetable gratin
...and eating on the porch.





Always in the company of this little guy,


who's just about to chase after a motorcycle.

Well gotta go. Need to make some panzanella before the bread gets too hard.

August 9, 2016

Pretty in Pink

As I'm walking towards the front door to go out and sweep the porch I see the car slow down in front of the house. What's this, I'm not expecting anybody, why is she staring like that? Her head sticks out the window as she looks up, her mouth a perfect little round "O". She turns to her husband and then she points, he leans over and looks, nods, speeds up a little, she keeps looking back. Huh? I walk out with my broom and start sweeping up all the little pink flowers...Oh yes now I get it! It's the crepes!



They start to bloom sometime in June with little clusters here and there which keep multiplying and multiplying, next thing you know it's an explosion of shocking pink that...well literally...stops traffic. When we first moved in their height was just to the top of the first floor windows and frankly I had no clue what they were. These funky little spread out trunks with branches full of round little leaves and clusters of some kind of berries at the end. Then the little berries started to bloom, I saw the first and second cluster of tiny hot pink flowers forming cones...hm mm, something's familiar. Then it hit me! I ran in the house and immediately called my mother...."MOM, WE HAVE JUPITER!!!!!!!"

When I was a little girl in Cuba we had bunches of them. Most I remember were purple, which I think is their most known color, and there were or was a light yellow. There was a big white one by my grandmother's bedroom window. I remember staring at those large trees with the big clusters of tiny flowers and I couldn't get enough of them, especially the pale yellow. My mom, aunt and grandmother would go on and on about the Jupiters (hoopeeter) and then we moved to Miami and I never saw them again. Out of sight out of mind. They grow all over the Carolinas and Texas but not Miami. So imagine my pure 7 year old delight when I figured out that those guys in my front yard were...JUPITER!!!!!!

They've grown quite a bit since we've been here, almost as tall as the house as evidenced above. We're always saying we're going to trim them but then we look out our bedroom window,





and the TV room window,




the living room,



and as I'm walking from the front yard to the side yard,




in a sea of pink cotton candy! It's blinding but I'll take it for a while. Even though,


I see everything through pink colored glasses.


August 2, 2016

An the living is easy...

I'm sitting in my back yard on this hot and humid Tuesday lunching on some very refreshing leftover cucumber salad and a glass of wine.


After all, it is 5 o'clock somewhere and I am on a bit of a hiatus. Yesterday was my first official day of being unemployed after the three week grace period/notice that I was so generously granted. So I applied for unemployment, cut the wisteria back before it chokes us all, did some weeding because they never stop, changed and washed the bedsheets and towels, ran errands all over town, came home and prepared a fancy bean salad for Frank's lunch and started marinating chicken breasts for another lunch, decided to invent some mac and cheese for dinner since it's meatless Monday...at least for dinner anyway since Frank's lunch consisted of leftover country ribs from Saturday...Didn't fare too well on the meatless side, blue cheese mac and cheese sprinkled with chunks of hickory cured bacon which I can't resist since buying the pack at the Wine Library...all to keep myself from thinking too much. Started a new book, hoping I'll race through it since I have more time now, we'll see since my attention span is rivaling that of a three year old.

After walking Max this morning,


and he ran around chasing after the scent of all the creatures who have been out and about at night, I came home, read the paper (yes I still do that...every day) went down to the basement and ironed a bunch of stuff, there's nothing I hate more but it's got to be done! We now have starched, pristine cloth napkins and place mats! I continued on my purging quest and tried on a few more "dressier" outfits to see if they needed to go and was surprised to find that most of them fit, and nicely too. A couple didn't and are no longer appropriate for me; I started a new bag for the veterans' collection drive. I cleaned the bathroom...again. Rearranged and cleaned out all the drawers in my dressing table, did a little more weeding while admiring the sole little anemone peeking through the wild rubdekia, coneflower, daisy border,




and the one hosta that's hidden enough where it is still flowering.



Then it was lunchtime. So here I am with my cucumber salad and glass of wine staring at the pretty little gladiolus bloom I planted in the herb garden,




wondering what I'm going to do with the rest of my life.

I know! I'll finally replace the button that came off that sweater Frank got for Christmas 2 years ago and never wore cause it was on the first day...and then I'll hem that skirt that's just a smidgen too short...and then...and then...

July 24, 2016

Summer Days...

...drifting away...


Frank keeps telling me to relax, enjoy my days, take my time. Easier said than done. I'm trying, getting better at it, pushing further from the bad stuff. Watching the flowers bloom...



...rubdekias finally bursting into the scene. And the mint just growing in between everything, I like the wildness of it.




The wisteria which barely bloomed this Spring is coming on strong all of a sudden, go figure. Will need to cut it back soon before it pulls a Stephen King and takes over the patio chairs. Maybe we'll finally build a pergola over the patio for it to climb onto this year; she says again.


The begonias on the porch are getting leggy and the vinca is wrapping itself on everything, an unruly mess, just my style.


Cool food. Lentil and sausage salad...



roasted corn and chipotle salad...

stuffed branzino.

...drifting away....