Tuesday, June 30, 2015

In the Gutter

It is time to choose gutters for the ranchburger, and I've got two choices--standard brown/bronze or white. Normally I don't think about gutters unless they fill with debris or fall down, so picking a color should be a snap. But while I look at photographs on Pinterest, I receive a text from my GC's assistant. Sweat pops out on my forehead when I see the estimate for the standing seam copper-toppers on the fake dormers. [There will be three dormers, sort of like "eyebrow" windows.] I'd imagined the copper winking on the roof. . . but I hadn't given much thought to the gutters. I stop thinking about them immediately and focus on the dormers. I text my GC and ask if we can just shingle the dormers. No, he texts back. The pitch is too low and requires some sort of metal. So, one decision has become two. I've got to pick a material for the dormers and a damn gutter color.   

Monday, June 29, 2015

Herb Series: Rosemary


"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance."
-- William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Of all the herbs in my garden, rosemary is the most memorable--and audacious. She is stimulating, adventurous, and provocative. Deep in her heart, she thinks she's the top herb, beloved by all. In truth, some people adore her, but others are turned off by her overbearing  personality. You see, Rosie is a bit of a narcissist, and she'll throw you under the bus to get what she wants: world domination.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ranch Renovation Diary -- Before and After

It's the end of June, and a storm is on the way. As I drive up to the ranchburger, the sky darkens with an apocalyptic fury, promising wildness and drama. Sure enough, a thunderbolt forks across the sky, followed by thunder, the crack of doom. I just know something will go wrong at the jobsite. Until now, the renovation has been smooth, which means the gods of remodeling are probably on the roof, drinking martinis and poking holes in the shingles.

A gust of wind tugs at my hat as I walk around the yard. I am worn to a frazzle, yet I must keep going. A dozen choices must be made. Paint, bathroom mirrors, lighting, switch plates. Just when I think I can't make another decision, I turn a corner, and my whole viewpoint changes.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else


Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else. 
After an endless winter, summer arrived, full of sass and malefic heat. I would love to hide indoors, lolling on the sofa while the air conditioner blows out cold, comforting waves; but the ranchburger calls to me, a siren song that implores me to pick out paint colors already. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spinach Salad with Berries and a Warm Pancetta Dressing


Does the world really need another salad recipe? Probably not. In fact, I'd completely forgotten about it. I made the salad after a baking binge. Feather light biscuits. Cornbread with sour cream. Two key lime pies disappeared in a flash, as did a pecan cake. After so much indulgence, I craved something fresh and somewhat healthy.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Ranch Renovation Update


The first time I saw the ranchburger, it was immaculate, filled with high-style decor. As my husband walked around the patio, sunlight glimmered on the pool: I knew he was a goner. I swallowed and swallowed. My throat clicked as I tried to look beyond the market style umbrella, rattan furniture, and potted urns. All of that prettiness belonged to the owner. And I'll just be honest--I won't be able to recreate it. Me, I like to re-imagine the architecture of a space, but I'm the pits when it comes to decorating.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

The Vintage Tea Party Year with the Novel Bakers

The Novel Bakers conclude tea party week with Angel Adoree's Vintage Tea Party Year.
"You are about to embark on a singular journey with me as I share and celebrate my passion for all things vintage."
-- Angel Adoree

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

It's nice to see you again at Foodie Friday and Everything Else. I've been cooking this week with the Novel Bakers--we hosted a week-long tea party. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Vintage Sweets with the Novel Bakers



"You are cordially invited to a time when life was sweeter, more sophisticated and simpler. Welcome to the world of Vintage Sweets. All your childhood memories of favorite sugary treats are shaken up with delicious flavors, cocktail twists, and craft ideas."

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Adventures with Edible Blossoms: Tea Party Week

Tea Party Week continues as the Novel Bakers present edible reviews of
The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree, British author and party planner.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Vintage Tea Party with the Novel Bakers

The Novel Bakers
cordially invite you to a week-long tea party, inspired by a trio of books: The Vintage Tea Party Book, Vintage Sweets, and The Vintage Tea Party Year. Today, we're sharing recipes from the first volume, The Vintage Tea Party Book, written by British author Angel Adoree.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

It's time to party again at Foodie Friday and Everything Else.

It's been one of those weeks. When it comes to home renovation, the stars have been aligned in crazy patterns. I'm trying to be Pollyannish,  but it's a challenge for a pessimist like myself.  If I can work up my nerve, I'll write about it this weekend. But now, I just want to eat cake and visit with friends.
Ready to party?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dill: An Herb with Personality Plus

In the herb world, dill is underrated and misunderstood. It has a reputation for being strong-willed, introverted, and clannish. People automatically assume that its one true love is a cucumber, but this is unfair--and wrong. Dill has many soul mates. In fact, she's a player.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Bandwidth's Homemade Donuts with Peanut Butter Icing

Guess what? It's National Donut Day, so that means you must stop what you are doing this instant and eat a donut. It's an unwritten food law.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else



Welcome to Foodie Friday and Everything Else, where the sweetest, most talented bloggers share their recipes and projects. I'm glad you're here. 
Can you believe it's June?  I'm so glad, I made a Summer Notebook.

Summer Notebook


Summer Notebook

I've been waiting and waiting for warmer days, and they're finally here, tempting my senses: humming lawn mowers, the oniony smell of fresh-cut grass, fireflies blinking in a dusky field, a screen door clapping shut, sunlight pushing against the top of my head.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It's About Thyme

All my life, I've been crazy about thyme. It reminds me of a woman who reveals her true self slowly. From a distance, she seems small and delicate, too girly, possibly a wimp. As you get to know her, you'll appreciate her quiet strength. Thyme never overwhelms, never demands center stage. She just wants to do her best and to make your homecooking shine. In her own way, she adds depth to every recipe.