What a crazy time this is! With spring finally showing its warmer side here in Michigan, I find myself feeling overloaded with things to do. Most of them are good things, which is a plus but sometimes I wonder how I'm keeping up with anything! It's seems I'm slow with replies, slow posting, slow with home things. Spring fever? Could be.
Rick headed to the cottage to open things up. He expected a reasonably easy trip but arrived to a pipe that had frozen and was spewing water (fortunately outside), no internet connection, a tree down (fortunately not on the house or garage but rather enormous and needing to be handled), two porch screens that had blown in during the winter and a hot water heater that was leaking and needs to be replaced -- fast.
The good news is that he could find a plumber who came quickly and the internet appointment was within 24 hours so things are getting done but it hasn't been the easy get-away he was hoping for. Hopefully he'll find his own sun puddle to enjoy while he's still there (Rick's favorite "sun puddle" is the always found on the back of a bike!)
I stayed home and enjoyed a take-out with our friends Mark and Jan from our favorite Mexican restaurant. Rick doesn't like this spot, so it was a perfect time for us to enjoy it without the side commentary!
Friend Kate and I headed to the nursery and I picked up a lot of plants. What a glorious experience, to return to a flower-filled nursery again after so many months of being more or less home and seeing more than our share of gray skies (not to mention winter white a few months ago).
Some of my purchases are still "in holding" for outdoor planting at the cemetery but the rest were put in pots, some of which will be here at home, others for the lake. Assuming, that is, that I can keep them alive till I get up there! Next up, putting those pots where they belong in the front and back yards.
The latest read is (still) Hilary Mantel's "The Mirror and the Light," which is about Henry VIII following the execution of Anne Boleyn, wife number three (Jane Seymour -- spoiler alert, she dies) and beyond.
I passed 500 of close to 900 pages and while it is interesting, I think Mantel could have used an editor a bit more liberally.
I've finished a couple more paintings.(more on that in another post) and repainted the bench I found a year or two ago on the street. In the winter it looked like this, still with a bit of the blue.
The winter was hard on it and pretty much all of the paint came off or faded. You could barely see it from the house anymore. So I painted it white with a slight pink hue that showed up more in the jar than on the bench. No matter -- it's good for where it is and I can see it again! I spruced up the wreath, too. I'll probably paint the bench red in the fall so I can actually see it from the house when the snow flies, assuming it's still in one piece!)
While I was in the yard, I picked a few lawn flowers. They're so cheery!
And, in the kitchen, a bit of lemon baking. I've made Marie's recipes before and she recently had a whole post of lemon dishes, sweet and savory. The long biscuits are a ginger/lemon biscotti -- the flavor blend is perfect. The square ones are a gingerbread bar with lemon buttercream. I had some candied ginger left from the biscotti so I sprinkled that on top. Trust me -- these will be standards in the future!As I write this, it is farewell remembrance day to my own little Marmelade Gypsy, He left us on May 16, 2012 on a gorgeous spring day, laying in my arms outside as our dear vet, Dr. Anne, came by to help him the last little bit of the way. (He probably needed Anne less than Rick and I did.) It ranks up there with the toughest days of my life. And Gypsy was one of the greatest gifts.
Yesterday, a long walk (more on that later) and I didn't even need a coat! It seems like our weather may be turning into "real" spring.
It's about time.