Tea and Quilts

Today was a lovely day for me and The Girl. She goes back to school on Sunday and we decided to finally make our way to the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, a place she’s wanted to visit since we moved here nearly ten years ago. Turns out, however, the museum is closed on Mondays.

Undaunted, we still made our way into the city, managed to find a decent parking spot and met The Boy for a cheap, delicious and way too large lunch. Philadelphia is known for its murals and, in fact, there are more than 3,000 of the colorful works of art scattered throughout the city. I’m always awed by their vibrant beauty so I grabbed these pics with my phone. (I made the conscious decision to leave my camera at home. *sigh*)

Mural 2

After we ate lunch The Boy went back to work and The Girl and I walked four blocks to Miel Patisserie, a divine French pastry shop, so we could finally experience French macarons. They’re quite as colorful as the murals and look like the little cookies on the time wasting game, Cookie Jam, on my iPad.

Macarons 2 Tea and Macarons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also had really good tea. My tea was caramel toffee flavored and Katie’s was called Noel and was flavored with cinnamon and cardamom.

We enjoyed our sweet refreshments and walked back the four blocks to the car with about 15 minutes to spare before the meter ran out.

On our way home we made a stop at IKEA because IKEA. It’s like Disneyland. It even has flags at the entrance to the parking lot. The Girl bought a plant and named her Mabel, while I bought a $5.00 cheese grater. I spare no expense for my cheese preparations.

When we got home Mr. Jenster was off bowling so we made more tea to go with the macarons we brought with us and watched a few episodes of “Call the Midwife”.

Even though our original plans were dashed, it was an absolutely delightful day.

And as for quilts, it’s my day over at Grace & Such.

I Grow Rocks

I’m sorry I haven’t been very good about writing. (Is it just me, or do I seem to say that a lot?) I’ll be better about it once I get my act together. (Again, I say this all the time, don’t I?) Actually, my act is fairly together right now as I’ve been spending a lot of time on my website and I’m having so much fun! It’s a lot of work, though! How come nobody told me!? Well anyway, if you haven’t been over to Grace & Such since my last post, you need to take a gander. It’s starting to really come together.

But I’m here to tell you about the home front. I mean that literally. I’m going to tell you about the front of the home. And a little about the back, but mostly the front.

My story begins a long time ago. Back when I tried to grow something. And then it died. I didn’t give up. I tried to grow something again. And then it died. And then I planted petunias around a mailbox in a whiskey barrel and I watered them every day and they were glorious and beautiful and I thought I’d finally figured it out. But then they died.

After a while I would bring plants home from the nursery and Mr. Jenster would apologize to them. “I’m so sorry it’s come to this,” or “You’re not long for this world,” or “dead plant walking.” Eventually he would say cruel things to me like, “What dead plants did you throw our money away on this time?”

I finally had to accept the fact that I have a black thumb. All my plants wither and die slow, painful-looking deaths and I’m helpless to stop it. Except for weeds and unwanted grass. Those I’m really good at.

About a month ago or so Todd cleared out the flower bed in the front of the house. And when I say he cleared it out, what I mean is he took out everything, including the nasty junipers and overgrown “little” evergreen tree. He dug down about 6 inches to get rid of the lousy soil,  took care of some drainage issues and filled it with premium soil from the local landscape supplier.

And then he turned it over to me. The one who kills plants with a mere glance. So I decided I’d start with rocks and see how that goes. Turns out big rocks from a landscape supplier are expensive! So I did what any sane person would do. I asked on Facebook if anyone had any landscaping boulders they wanted to get rid of. Ding, ding, ding!!

The hows of getting the rocks into the flower bed are a whole other story and one I don’t have the energy to tell. Just suffice it to say it was quite the ordeal. Not for me because I just went along for the ride and said, “I like that rock.”

Anyhoo, I’m so happy to report that we’ve had the rocks for over two weeks now and I haven’t killed them yet. I think I may actually try some plants next.

Rocks Collage

 

And on the homeback, Todd has put two bird feeders in the tree next to the deck. He can see the upper feeder from his office upstairs and I can see them both from the kitchen sink.

Bird Collage

So far we’ve seen a lot of sparrows and another type of little bird that is as of yet unidentified,  a downy woodpecker and yesterday there was a hawk in our tree. I’m not kidding! Why was there a hawk in our tree?? He was fairly close to the upper feeder so I think he may have been waiting for his lunch to come eat some lunch. It’s like Marlon Perkin’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom all up in here! The only thing that would have been better is if he hadn’t flown away before Todd could get his camera phone to focus.

Oooo, no! The only thing that would have been better is if his lunch would have come for lunch AND Todd could get his camera phone to focus. That would have been fabulous!

As you can see, Sookie is fascinated.

20150914-DSC_0043 20150914-DSC_0044

 

It’s A Real Thing Now

Today I published my first post for Grace & Such. For the past eight months I’ve been dreaming and planning and thinking and writing and designing and, and, and…  And then this morning, September 1st, the first scheduled post went live. And I’m excited. We’ve had over 250 visitors to the site so far today, which means it’s a real thing now.

If you click on the picture it will take you to the website and the first post.

What's Grace Got To Do With It

There’s no going back now.

 

The Summer of my Content

It’s been close to three months since I quit working and I feel really good about the successes I’ve achieved this summer. If these accomplishments are any indication of what the rest of my years will be like, then I can look forward to a very fulfilled and satisfied life.

I watched the first four seasons of Scandal in a matter of weeks. We can look at this one of two ways:

  1. I am able to focus to meet my goal. I am that dedicated; or
  2. I  could have watched all of it in one day, but I didn’t. I am that disciplined.

Either way I come out looking good.

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I scored tickets to LIVE with Kelly and Michael for September. (This maybe isn’t such an accomplishment as it was much easier than scoring tickets for the Tonight Show.)

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I baked one day.

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I read a book. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. I read it for book club and enjoyed it for the most part. It ended kind of abruptly, but it wasn’t a waste of my time. (I’m really good at book reviews, too.)

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I have been able to keep up with the laundry. Mostly.

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I hung out with Katie until she left for school yesterday. This included watching the last season of How I Met Your Mother with an impressive determination so we could both move on.

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I went out to lunch. A lot.

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I started a website – Grace & Such. It will be launching next Tuesday, September 1st. The concept is something that I’ve had on my heart for a long time and I’ve been working on it since January so I’m super excited that it’s finally about to be real. And maybe a little nervous about it, too. I’ll tell you more about it on the 1st, but here’s a little clue.

FB Cover

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See what I mean? It’s been a productive and contented summer. Or something like that.