Last year’s shindig: 7 adults and 3 kids, and I was worried it was too sparse. This year, we’re looking at 12 to 14 adults and 4 or 5 kids. \o/

Guestbook with Instax pics

First Strawberry

Check out this strawberry!

Connor was SO excited to see that the first Aromas strawberry was ripe. We planted them last spring, both in a large container and outside in the garden, and the container we overwintered in the sunroom brought forth ripe fruit this spring before the plants outdoors.

I gave it to him as part of his dinner tonight (along with our dinner frittata and a side of grapes and cheese cubes).

The consensus? “Blech!”

Really?

Yep. He let me finish the berry he’d bitten into, and while it looked red and it was quite juicy, it wasn’t nearly as sweet as a truly ripe berry should be.

So, let that be a lesson to us: once it looks ripe, give it a little more time — maybe a couple of days? The outdoor strawberries are going gangbusters with green berries right now, so we’ll get to try our hand at identifying ripe berries (and protecting them from the birds) soon enough.

Got my tomatoes, eggplant, paprika peppers, foxgloves, and cinquefoil in the ground right before the skies opened up. Perfect timing!

License Renewal

I’ve had more than one person do a double-take at my driver’s license photo lately. It’s just as well it was coming up for renewal.

I remembered before my birthday that my renewal was this year — then I forgot again, until yesterday.

My birthday was April 22nd. Oops.

As it turns out, you have up to six months after expiration in the State of Ohio before they make you retake the driving test. Not sure how the police would react if I got pulled over with an expired license… but now I don’t have to find out.

I loved my experience at the Downtown License Bureau so much that I left them a four-star review on Yelp. A+ would renew again. The whole visit took five minutes, ten tops. I wasn’t really timing it, but it was superfast.

My hair is now officially red instead of brown (guess I’m keeping up with this dye job for a while), my height is one inch shorter, my weight is ten pounds less, and my license doesn’t expire until my son is finishing up the third grade.

Now that’s some perspective.

Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day: May 2017

Tulip ‘Angelique,’ the tree peony, the earliest red herbaceous peonies, and the dogwood blooms have all faded. Now my Zone 6 garden is preparing for the next wave of awesomeness.

Starting along the front fence, where passersby are most likely to enjoy the view for a few seconds as they speed past…

The Amur Honeysuckle is in bloom and throwing a magnificent scent.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: May 2017

The herbaceous peonies have been ready to pop for a couple of weeks, it seems.

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day: May 2017

The front fence used to be more festive in the spring, until one landscaper a couple years back thought my oriental poppies looked like broadleaf weeds and nuked them with Round-Up, and overmulched my Siberian Irises such that most of them didn’t make it. The ones that did make it got weed-whacked by our lawn guys earlier this spring; apparently, they looked like grass to someone.

Chalk it up to life experience, and the knowledge that gardens are mutable and ever-changing, anyway. Moving on…  (more…)

Consoling my child who is nervous about starting kindergarten feels like I’m leveling up to School-Ager Parent. New and different scenarios.

Mother’s Day Weekend

Mother’s Day Weekend was nothing out of the ordinary, but still pretty awesome.

We played outside and enjoyed the weather…

Connor and Dad played in the back yardConnor and I chilled with drinks in the front yard

Connor let me sleep in for an entire extra hour on Sunday morning before waking me up to give me my Mother’s Day gift and an awesome card…

Dad and Connor got me a new three-tier plant stand

We ate lunch at a new Szechuan (Chinese) restaurant…

Connor loved the green onion pancake and our entrees

…and I put my Mother’s Day gift into service.

Mei Kitty had to inspect the plant stand

We brought home so many leftovers that Chinese lunch became Chinese dinner, as well — which meant I didn’t even have to cook dinner on Mother’s Day. Bonus!

Even though it wasn’t super fancy — we didn’t do brunch, I didn’t get a Mother’s Day carnation or rose or anything, and I still had to do laundry because it was Sunday — this was quite possibly the best Mother’s Day yet. It just felt right: laid-back, with awesome weather, and the perfect balance of normal and special.

Life is good.