Half and Half

An appropriate 10 on Tuesday prompt as fall is on the horizon and the weather seems to keep trying to hang onto summertime…5 summer highlights…and 5 autumn anticipations

This summer….was filled with…

– weekly visits to my favorite farm stand…tasty produce to spark kitchen creativity…simply beautiful bouquets to cheer up the mantel…

– a quick trip to Happy Valley to see my girlies…

– a fair amount of stash knitting that was a jump start on gift knitting…

– achieving my summer reading goal…with a Tervis of icy goodness by my side…

– “sneaking in” family fun around several of my work trips so that even though I didn’t have a real vacation this summer I did have some R&R…

This fall…will be filled with…

– stocking up on winter squash at the farm stand…fall flavors in the kitchen…more than just pumpkin is on the horizon…

– more trips to Happy Valley with the girlies…a new way for us to Halloween?

– the return of hand knits into my wardrobe on a regular basis

– diving into some deeper reads…with a mug of warmth & before too long the fireplace will complete the scene…

– between now and the end of the year taking some larger chunks of time away from work for extended R&R and time with family…

What were your summer highlights? What are you looking forward to as the season changes?

Weekending…Labor Day Style…

On this Tuesday after a long weekend, a simple list – 10 things I did this weekend…Friday was the 1st big milestone of the months of big project work and by the time I left the office mid-afternoon, I was spent. In fact, I was not surprised when I fell asleep for a 20 minute catnap on the sofa while watching the 6:00 news on Friday. The weekend was a combination of “laboring” around the house and taking some “R&R time” to rest up…

Simple

  • Slept in till 8:30 on Saturday morning – with the busyness of work this summer, even my weekends have meant waking up early with a brain that won’t shut off…
  • Read…finished a fluffy mystery…met my summer reading goal…started a memoir that I’d been holding for since June via Overdrive…dabbled in a few other books…
  • Scrubbed the kitchen floor – full on, on hands & knees, a long overdue cleaning of all corners of the floor; also, the gel mats got a bubble bath
  • Switched from summer kitchen clean scents to autumn scents – this new Mrs. Meyers Apple Cider is perfect for the upcoming season!
  • Made a simple succotash with delicious farm produce – giant Lima beans & local garlic from last weekend…corn & tomatoes from my local farm stand…
  • Made a batch of “Essential Spray” (water + white vinegar + peppermint, tea tree & lemon oils) and won the battle with the ants at the front door trying to set up residence indoors.
  • Pulled together a bit of Konmari clean-up for Green Drop pick-up this week!
  • Emptied, cleaned & restocked my pantry cabinet. Along the way I downloaded the Pantry Check app so I can keep on top of what is on my shelves & in turn be cooking & shopping smarter.
  • Escaped to Oxford as I continued to stream through the Inspector Lewis series…
  • Prepped food for the week ahead: roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, roasted & shredded chicken as components for lots of easy pull together meals; a pan of my go-to shepherds pie; chia pudding for breakfast; fruit cleaned & ready to grab…

And as it always seems to be after this sort of long weekend, I could easily use 1 or 2 more of these types of days…but alas, this week looks to be busy…

How did you spend this “last” weekend of the summer? 

Connecting up with Carole for Ten on Tuesday

Recently…August 2016

Ah, AUGUST…a month for…lots and lots of hot days…time spent watching sports that only get watched every 4 years…an abundance of fresh tastes from weekly farm stand visits…one or two mornings that had just a hint that fall may one day come…

In the midst of it all, these are the things that filled my days…

kindle

Reading…on a new Kindle! At the end of July, my Kindle decided to just no longer “open” so after months of talking about the Paperwhite Kindle I finally made the move. A busy month meant that I didn’t share my July reads here but they are queued up for September along with the few August adds: Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery and Still Life and The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend…hoping that Labor Day weekend lets me hit my summer reading goal…

Cupcake

Watching…the Great British Baking Show was a treat…after the DVR captured the final season of Inspector Lewis & pulled me in – I’m now streaming the series from the beginning…

Cheering…so many different Olympic events…as the Opening Ceremonies arrived, I joked that the combo of long work days & staying up way too late watching Olympic coverage just set me up for 2 weeks of being perpetually too tired…

Sleeping…much better with the addition of a new mattress pad & the nightly routine of lavender & peppermint oils in the diffuser.

Crafting…while not “officially” setting any Olympic knitting goals, many stitches were knit…another “Stash Shawlette” was cast in during the opening ceremonies & off the needles more than 24 hours before the closing ceremonies…looking at the pile, I need to have a Blocking Olympics soon to properly finish all my recent knits…

Flowers

Enjoying…zinnia & herb bouquets from my local farm stand…August yielded 2 basil bouquets & 1 pineapple sage/lavender bouquet…each has been under $5 & sparked joy…

Cooking

Cookingmuffin madness early in the month was a smart move & one that I think I might do monthly…creating a tasty chilled zoodle salad with chicken & a homemade peanut sauce…a great one skillet meal of pork chops with wilted spinach & peaches…stuffed peppers are becoming a go to meal option…so much great local produce being incorporated into my meals…

Sipping…iced coffee and iced tea and iced water and all the cool drinks to beat the heat…a new & refreshing iced tea discovery is Cherry Lemon Green tea…

Traveling…above the clouds to Milwaukee…below the clouds to Happy Valley

Looking Ahead…as the big work project goes live on September 2nd now a next wave of work begins with it…the return of football…contemplating what will my football knit…ready for the change of seasons…

What filled your August days?

Linking up with Leigh’s monthly What I’m Into round-up.

Weekending…Down the Road…

This summer has been filled with all sorts of busy as a big work project nears a Labor Day weekend deadline. In the midst of this, my Texas crew relocated to Pennsylvania and we have been trying to figure out when a visit would occur before school started – either them to see me or me to see them. This past weekend, I “mostly” took a break so that I could head northwest in the state to hang out with my girlies in their new home and new town. After a busy Friday morning in the office, I finally left around lunchtime with a goal of quality time with some of my favorite people.

Blue Skies

It was a beautiful day for a drive and the scenery was great. In no time at all I was there. The girls and dog ran outside to greet me as I pulled into “my” parking space and before long they were giving me the tour of their new home and amazing yard.

yard

Friday evening included a great meal at Happy Valley Brewing Co – then a driving tour around Penn State – then we stopped into the Creamery on campus for delicious ice cream cones to end a lovely summer evening. The August Pie flavor of the week that I chose was a perfect taste of summer. We all chuckled that the littlest in our crew got the largest ice cream cone…AND she managed to eat it all!

Ice CreamAfter the girls were in bed, it was great to catch up with the grown-ups over tasty after dinner drinks. And then, Riley the dog graciously let me sleep in the guest room that she has claimed as her room in the new house – she stayed with me all night.

Riley

I was awake early on Saturday morning & did a bit of work before the 2 youngest girls tiptoed downstairs and into my room. The morning included a visit to one of the great farmers markets where we loaded up on an assortment of beautiful produce and treats. Saturday afternoon started with a visit to the Boal Mansion and Columbus Chapel for the local Herb & Garlic Festival.

Grange

Then we headed a bit down the road to experience the 142nd annual Grange Fair. The girls had a great time on the midway rides. Because it was the last day, most of the animal exhibits were already empty so we didn’t get the “full” fair experience. We did enjoy strolling through the streets of the tent camp that has been a staple of this fair.

Bumper Cars

Saturday evening meant homemade pizzas and dinner on the patio under the pergola. As the sun set and the soundtrack of nighttime nature kicked in we stayed around the table for quite a while talking all sorts of serious and silly topics with the ever curious girls. Since pizza on the patio was a frequent evening during Texas visits, I commented that we must be home since we were enjoying pizza on the patio at their new place!

Pergola

Sunday morning started with a seemingly never ending round of Uno with the girls before breakfast that included some delicious treats from a bakery stand at Saturday’s market. We then visited a local church which reminded me of their Texas church home. After lunch, the girls insisted on washing my car which yielded some soggy girls.

Wash

Before long, it was time to load up and head home. It was another beautiful day for my drive towards home. It is an easy and scenic drive between our homes and I anticipate there will be many trips between our towns as the days and months go by.

MKE Moments

As I’ve mentioned before, the last several months have included many trips to Milwaukee for work on a big project. When east coast vacation plans with the WI-fam in early August had to be delayed and I saw another MKE trip on the calendar for mid-month, all things aligned for me to fly out there earlier for a weekend of WI-fam fun before work. Here, a few snapshots along the way.

Coffee

Saturday @ 6:25 AM – Wide awake early, so I decide to make some iced coffee & read for a while to start the day. “Can I get some non-decaf coffee packets?” That was my question as I went down to the front desk once I discovered the in-room coffee service only had decaf. “You mean regular coffee?” was the response. Umm…yes – evidently I do need some caffeine to ease into this day.

Custard

Saturday @ 2:01 PM – As we were out and about on Saturday morning, late afternoon supper plans were finalized. So when the shopping was done, we resumed the great Milwaukee custard tour with a stop at Leon’s Frozen Custard. For some of us, custard might have been our entire lunch. Another delicious vanilla cone – the heat of the day made this a fast melting and messy treat.
golfSaturday @ 6:57 PM – Mini golf with the cousins on a summer evening. It has been decades since I played. Fierce competition gave way to silliness among our 3 teams. By the end, my team of 4 (including the 3 year old) only had 2 golf balls to play among us all – so the adults would tee off and our littlest team member then made a game of getting the ball into the hole. From my play, evidently the stress of the last couple of weeks of work was working its way out via some horrible shots…

more custard

Saturday @ 7:47 PM – To beat the heat after mini golf we all headed to Kopp’s for more frozen custard. Truth, the LaCroix was more satisfying at that point in time after a filling supper and a hot round of golf. I only ate about 4 more bites of custard after this pic…but of course, since this was vacation I had to have custard twice in 1 day…

sleepy Will

Saturday @ 9:45 PM – Tuckered out from a full day…for the youngest in our crew, it was too much effort to stay awake for the final Phelps medal ceremony…watching the Olympics together & cheering on our favorites was a great end to the day…

market

Sunday @ 5:07 PM – After saying farewell to the WI-fam &  settling into the work hotel, I walked 2 blocks to the Milwaukee Public Market. Finally a chance to stop into the market after walking by it on every trip so far…a few provisions for a light supper & breakfast options for the mornings…

Monday morning

Monday @ 7:17 AM – Waking up to a view like this over the lakefront doesn’t jive with the “MKE travel advisory” email in my inbox from corporate security. Praying for peace here in this town!

beirhausTuesday @ 6:10 PM – A team celebration dinner to end an all day workshop meant a taste of Milwaukee at the Bavarian Beirhaus – complete with accordion music.
23rd floorTuesday @ 9:21 PM – Ending the day with drinks on the 23rd floor – the picture can’t capture the amazing view of the moon reflecting on the calm lake waters. A great jazz trio playing in the corner & plenty of laughter with colleagues.

The trip was quick; however, plenty of fun moments were had both “at play” and “at work” behind the cheddar curtain.