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I initially had big dreams for this summer.  I decided to forgo the classes for a variety of reasons.  I wanted to spend more time with Sarah, hit the workouts at Fit Body Boot Camp harder, and make it a summer of getting back outside (camping, hiking, backpacking).  Sounded like a plan at the moment.  Then it happened, this strange pain in my stomach on the way to visit friends in Long Island.  A few days later I found myself in a random walk-in clinic with the PA ordering me to go get a cat-scan at a nearby emergency room.  It was only twelve hours before I would find myself in surgery having my appendix removed.  After weeks of recovery and continued healing, it happened…Summer was gone.  When I walked outside this morning, there was a slight cool crispness in the air, with just a hint of humidity.  It is the first of many mornings that coolness would start to move in.  It occurred to me that based on the current state of my body, travel commitments for work, and the upcoming fall school semester, that most of my original plans were not going to happen. 

This really means nothing other than me rambling and wishing things had turned out differently.  Sarah traveling makes me realize what life is like for her when I am roaming the country.  It throws your own routine out of whack.  I now find myself pondering ideas for the Fall and Winter.  Pumpkin picking, lots of Squash, attempts at canning, and a last minute camping trip await me.  The cool weather also brings more excuses to practice my handcrafted coffee.  Summer is gone, but the excitement of life is not gone. 

Chicago visit

Last week marked my first proper visit to Chicago. My other trips were so quick and I did not stay in proper downtown. The first thing that I was amazed by was the architecture. What a beautiful city! I had no idea or I would have high-tailed it there earlier in my life. I have visited a lot of cities – London, Buenos Aires, Paris and many others. Baltimore almost seems like a town in comparison to Chicago’s skyscrapers. The Carbon and Carbide Building, the Hancock Building, the Tribune building (not to mention the Trump Tower which glints and towers in all its… glory).

We had a lot of coffee – Intelligentsia coffee to be exact. I had regular cups, a latte and a mocha! Oh the decadence, but it is not every day that you get beautiful latte art to stare at until you slurp it up!

I wish that I had saved up some money for shopping. It looked like there was some really good shopping there but I was not really in the mood and didn’t really have the money. Maybe next time!

Since March sneaked up on me, I realized that the time to start putting things in the ground (container) was just a matter of weeks away.  So off to the hardware store I went returning with some seedling mix and peat moss containers.  First attempt with growing directly from seeds by the way. Last year’s container gardening, at least with the tomatoes was a failed attempt.  The bloom rot just couldn’t let me be.  I had some type of Thai Pepper seeds left over and purchased some Habernero seeds.  I also planted some Cream Sausage Tomato and Husk Cherry Tomato seeds, which came from some produce I purchased at a local farmer’s market.  Also included is some Cilantro, but the seeds are a few years old, so who knows if anything will occur. Now I just need to get my hands on some Roma Tomato seeds so that I can make salsa.  Of course I’m clueless as to where to put all of this should it actually grow.

Finally settling in…

I’m one of those people that tends to live with boxes around. Every move means something else is left in a box. Almost two years of moving into our apartment there are still boxes. I’m hesitant to put things up on the wall, not perhaps because of another impending move but just because I can’t decide and I need to live in a space before I arrange my stuff around me.

But, I have been getting better…I hung pendant lights in my living room. I was hoping that they would actually light up the room more than another lamp that I have been using, but they don’t. However, they do turn the room pink. Somehow red and white paisley paper lanterns cast pink on the french vanilla walls. Our living room looks pink from the street and that suits me just fine. It is a glowing soft room now…calming. I’ll need to add more lights because it is hard to read a book unless sitting very close to the lights so it won’t work very well for our home group. But, I do relax in the evenings in this room.

I’ve also noticed how restorative and calming plants can be. Somehow they are softer than any pillow. The shapes and color more calming that an artistic rendering of the plant. Little ferns are my favorite for the bedroom right now. Apparently they clean the air quite well which is good for a room that I spend at least eight hours a day in.

Maybe I will post some pics some day….

DeLonghi Rocks!

Not to long ago, I purchased a DeLonghi espresso machine off Woot.com. While it wasn’t the Rancilio Silvia I’ve been dreaming of, who could argue with the price of it. It was certainly a few steps above those plastic ones at Wal-Mart. So I took the plunge, enjoying my morning and midnight espresso with it. This was until one day that it went haywire, shot hot water everywhere, and just quit working right. So I contacted DeLonghi who after a series of e-mail and phone calls replaced my espresso machine with a BRAND NEW ONE. Needless to say, I’m happy, satisfied, and a DeLonghi customer for life. Other companies should take a hint.

Beach Weekend!

Many thanks to our friends who own a condo in Ocean City, MD for inviting us to spend the weekend with them. Outside of a drive from Baltimore that took 5 hours due to major storms, the weekend was uneventul. We enjoyed some French Press coffee with an ocean view (yes, I actually brought my grinder), spotted some dolphins, broiled some steak, and basked with our newfound tans, I mean sunburn. Hopefully I’ll get in some fishing next time around.

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As we trudge through this hot and humid summer, I thought I would post updates on our attempts at container gardening.  Although we only have a few and would have surely starved to death by now, there is something empowering about being someone with no green thumb, yet growing food.  Hopefully one day we can transition from containers to an actual garden.  I haven’t been able to harvest anything yet, but hopefully in the next week.

Romas

You guessed it, these are Roma Tomatos from which I hope to make salsa with.  Unfortunately, I’ve thrown many away due to a type of rot at the base.  I can’t seem to get it to stop.

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Tarragon with some Dill in the back.  The Dill is doing really good.

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Rosemary, which I love to describe as Christmas in July.  I actually cut off a fairly large portion of it and this is what was left over.  Yummy!

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Mystery hot pepper.  I’ve managed to pick off one red one which had a wonderful spicy sweet taste.  They’re hot green too, but just taste…well…green.

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The habeneros.  So excited about these as I plan to make my first attempt at pickling with them.

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Mystery tomatos given to me by my neighbors, any ideas?

-Scott