Happy Monday: I Enjoy Yard Work?!?

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#wokeuplikethis #nofilter

Happy Monday! I am pleased as punch to have some blogging time this morning, but I am a little perplexed. I have been undergoing . . . changes. I understand that at various points of a woman’s life, certain things . . . evolve. But I never thought I would start to enjoy yard work?

Growing up, yard work was a definite thing–that I would avoid. While my mother is a serious gardener (in addition to keeping a beautifully organized home) who knows all the Latin names of plants, I hate worms. And blisters. And getting dirt under my fingernails. Yard work was always like running–I liked the idea of it at times, but as soon as I was standing in the sun sweating, I would start to think, wouldn’t reading be a better use of my time?

Until now, my gardening has been limited to growing essential food: tomatoes, zucchini, basil. Even then, I became overwhelmed with the weeds and volunteer hours of my local community garden and was summarily kicked out after my plot (10′ x 20′ plot of sheer hubris) became a jungle.

But something changed this year. Between us and our neighbors, we took down several ill-advised trees (seriously, someone planted a sequoia in a four-foot-wide space), and my previously shady back yard became suffused with light! Which meant my sad, patchy, weedy lawn (all 200 square feet of it) was much easier to see. And I became obsessed.

I suddenly found myself at Fred Meyer with an armload of products: weed killer! Moss killer! Lawn seed! I feverishly applied each in turn, setting up an old sprinkler and coaxing my lawn back to life. Not only did I start mowing it regularly, but I even edged it–by hand–last Friday. It took two hours! And I had blisters!

And it turns out that taking care of your lawn is like making your bed: the surrounding space suddenly looks 100% better. So I found myself thinking, “I should really rake those leaves,” and “I bet I could weed the whole area while Sarah is napping,” and “Scott should really sweep back here,” (I am not sweeping). And then I started bringing a book and an iced coffee out back and enjoying my back yard. Outside. We had a barbecue this weekend and it was awesome. Could hiking be in my future?!? HA HA HA only under protest.

But apparently this impulse isn’t going anywhere–I’ve caught myself eyeing the fallen leaves and weeds in the front yard and thinking, “Gee, I could clean that all up in a couple of days.” So I guess this is me now. I may even plant some perennials this fall and actually do most of the work, instead of standing back in awe as my mom goes to town!

Well! That was longer than I thought. On to links!

Geekery

The new Thor trailer is out and boy oh boy, if you’re a fan of Walter Simonson’s iconic run, you’re in for a treat!

Speaking of Walter Simonson’s Thor, my podcast with Miles Stokes, THOR: The Lightning and the Storm, is almost complete! The penultimate episode is up now.

Portlanders, there’s another geeky wine event coming up next month! Pairings Portland is throwing a Game of Thrones Wine Tasting Flight August 9-12. Eight wines paired to eight characters for $25!

What are you enjoying right now? Post below!

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Lobster Rolls

Happy Monday! Links to Make Your Day Brighter

Lobster Rolls

Lobster rolls! Photo from Bon Appetit.

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Mine felt like it raced by incredibly quickly. We spent time with Sid’s mother’s father’s side of the family, hosted couple of play dates with Sid’s friends, and finally finished clearing out our community garden plot and planted it up with tomatoes, zucchini, delicata squash, kale, and lettuce. I’ve got big plans for beets, carrots, green beans, and perhaps artichokes, but I think that will come next week. If you’re interested in gardening but don’t have the space, you can find a community garden here!

Links!

Our first bit of exciting news last weekend: the Twin Peaks revival is a go! With David Lynch directing the entire thing! And it will be more than nine episodes! Needless to say, our household was overjoyed–although we did have to caution Sid that he may not be able to watch the new series, since it’s on Showtime and might be scarier/more adult (sexier) than is appropriate for a 10-year old.

Feel like celebrating? I have some Twin Peaks party ideas, as well as recipes for Twin Peaks Cherry Pie and the Laura Palmer Cocktail. You can also check out this excellent piece of Twin Peaks art by Gabriel Hardman!

Next: I caught the (spoilers via the link) Mad Men series finale early this morning on iTunes, and I was really moved and really, really satisfied. Without giving away any spoilers, I was really happy about the endings for many of the characters, but especially Joan. As with any long-running series with a passionate following, a lot of people were not pleased with how things ended up–what did you think?

One site I just recently discovered–and wish I’d been reading all along–is Tom & Lorenzo, which has been doing amazing analyses of Mad Men by interpreting the colors and styles of their costumes. Janie Bryant is an amazing costume designer, and Matthew Weiner is famously obsessed with getting every little detail of the ’60s and ’70s right–which means if you’re paying attention, the clothes inform the story on a whole other level. It’s genius!

We’re headed off this Friday on our annual Memorial Day Weekend trip to lovely Dayville, Oregon to celebrate Scott’s birthday! What’s in Dayville? Not much–and that’s part of the fun. We discovered the–ahem–rustic but gorgeously landscaped Fish House Inn & RV Park four years ago. Over the years more and more friends have joined us to relax, break into haunted houses, grill delicious meats, and go to the nearby Spray Rodeo.

As part of our yearly tradition, I pick up some live lobsters and transform them into delectable lobster salad to bring with us for lobster rolls for Friday night’s dinner. As lobster rolls are traditionally made with top-sliced buns (which you can’t find on the West Coast), I usually make my own. My favorite recipe is the Pioneer Woman’s Parker House Rolls recipe. I shape the dough into 3 oz logs (yes, I weigh all the dough) and make my own hot dog buns! I’ll post my lobster roll recipe later this week.

That’s all for now!

Gardening

Happy Friday! Links (and Videos) to Make Your Day Brighter

Gardening

Future BLTs, pasta sauce, caprese salad, salsa . . . drool.

Happy Friday, bitches!!! Ahem. Excuse me. In a fit of early ’00s nostalgia, I’ve created and been listening to my Ja Rule station on Pandora this week. The crazy thing is, I wasn’t a particular fan of this music when it first played, but I worked at a restaurant/club that played it constantly, so it brings back a lot of good (and ridiculous) memories now.

As you can see by the picture above, I’m getting ready to plant! I finally got a community garden plot through the City of Portland this year: a 10′ x 20′ area that I’ll be filling with tomatoes, zucchini, kale, beets, etc. I’m going to keep track of all of my expenses and then estimate the market value of my yield to see if it’s actually worth it. However, the six tomato plants, three basil starts, and two squash seedlings pictured above came to a grand total of $19.60. Unless they all die, I should come out ahead.

If you’re thinking about creating your own garden (there’s still time, especially if you use starts instead of growing from seed), my Mom recommends the Garden Planner at Mother Earth News. It’s free for the first 30 days, and then $25 per year. I’m going to be playing with it and will review it in a future post!

I’ve still been chugging along in my Zero Waste efforts, but I’ve kind of come to a standstill. My stumbling blocks? Meat, cheese, and snacks. One of my husband’s favorite snacks is York Peppermint Patties, which I keep in the freezer for him. Of course, they’re individually packaged in plastic! So I’m checking out this Homemade Peppermint Patties Recipe and this Peppermint Patties Recipe from Epicurious. I like the roll-and-slice method in the first recipe, but I want to use real chocolate, like in the second recipe. I’ve never been particularly successful at tempering chocolate (bringing it to the proper temperature so it stays smooth and dark), so wish me luck!

In other Zero Waste news, Zero Waste Chef continues to knock it out of the park. Here, her Clear-Out-the-Fridge Frittata offers a delicious way to use up leftover vegetables, cheese, meat, etc. It’s the same principle behind my “Free” French Vegetable Soup. Recipes are a wonderful way to learn how to cook and make delicious dishes, but it’s even better to learn how to cook without recipes (or have loose ones as a guide), to use up all your scraps, and eat even more awesome food! Reduce waste, save money, eat well!

Have you seen the six-minute trailer for CBS’s upcoming Supergirl television show? Here:

While it is pretty funny that there are some parallels to Saturday Night Live‘s Black Widow trailer parody, I’m hopeful. The bumbling-hero-with-glasses is a Superfamily tradition, and by showing Kara’s journey from fumbling and vulnerable to superheroic, the audience can relate to and experience her transformation as well. Plus! I’m kind of tickled to see Calista Flockhart. So we’ll see.

What else? DUDE. Everyone is talking about the new Mad Max movie. I admit, this wasn’t really on my radar–seeing movies is difficult with the baby, and I, er, never really saw the originals (bad geek!), but the trailer does look awesome:

And for my final gift to you this Friday: as you probably already know, this Sunday is the final episode of Mad Men. My husband is quietly devastated and rewatching Season 7 before the big day. However, if you’re a fan of the show, you must check out the Mad Men With Things Drawn on Them Tumblr because it will blow your mind (check out Peggy below)!

Peggy Mad Men

You’ve come a long way, baby! Wait, is that sexist?!?

That’s what I’ve got–what do you got? Post your goodies below (no Mad Max spoilers)!