Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Recipes From the Porch: Mojitos by the Pitcher

I have mentioned that I am not growing vegetables in the garden this year, but that I planted a container of mint, as well as a container of herbs. The mint has been going gangbuster since I planted it, and I have been looking for ways to use it, hence this recipe.

I've already made these mojitos twice and have every reason to believe that they will be a porch staple throughout the summer; Hugh even likes them. They are super easy to make and the small pitcher I use generally serves up five large glasses.

The ingredients:

-30-36 fresh mint leaves, washed

-1/2 sugar

-3 limes, quartered

-1 cup rum

-1 liter Club Soda


Add sugar and mint to pitcher and crush together with a muddler.



Add limes and continue muddling until limes are juiced.



Add rum and Club Soda and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.


Serve over ice, using a strainer to catch the larger mint flakes.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Lake is Calling

Saturday afternoon, while I was enjoying my mojito on the porch, Hugh was pulling the Sea Chelle out of drydock. We looked back through my blog posts and determined that she hadn't been on the water since 2020, which is crazy, but which coincided with Hugh's purchase of the four wheelers, so not completely unexplainable.

The minute he pulled the cover off her, the scent of summers gone by wafted through the air and I was immediately transported back to the days when we would gather up the kids and head to the lake with Chris and Jana. Those were some of the best days of our lives, and I have missed them.

So, the following day, we grabbed the Man-Cub (Shanti was working, boo!) and met up with Chris and Jana to relive some of that old time summer magic.

And, to celebrate Chris and this guy for Father's Day.



Chris and Jana recently sold their old boat and purchased a new, slightly bigger one. They needed more hull seating for their rapidly growing family (they're up to three granddaughters, now!). The configuration of their boat now more closely resembles that of the Sea Chelle. Fun side note: we purchased the Sea Chelle in 2008, which is a fun fact that I also had to look up on this blog. 

Additional side note: if I hadn't been documenting our life on these pages, we wouldn't have a clue where we've been for all these years.

Anyhoodle, we loaded up the boat with all of the standard staples (Chris's favorite pasta salad, meat and cheese for lettuce wraps, snacks, and fresh cherries and plenty of sunscreen and water), and headed south of Hooterville to a local state park. This lake is not our favorite, because the water is from mountain snow run-off, so it never warms up and is uncomfortable to be in. However, it's where Chris and Jana dock their larger cabin cruiser, and they wanted to check in on it.





Once we were on the water, we were joined by Darren's in-laws, which made it even more like Old Times, just with new (young!) faces added to the mix.



While we were cruising around the lake, we FaceTimed with Queen B, so it was almost like she was there with us. We also made it a point to meet up with Shanti's folks and sister, who were on their pontoon along with Shanti's uncle and his girlfriend. 

The fact that they have a pontoon and we have a speed boat obviously sets us all up to be super fun grandparents! You know, some day (no pressure, Man-Cub 😂).


Speaking of fun grandparents, this is one of Jana's granddaughters. Watching one of my besties living her best Nana Jana life is such a privilege. Love it!





We spent the majority of the day on the lake. The weather was almost perfect (minus the wind, which came and went), and were the best kind of tired once we got home.

I'm hoping that we will make more of an effort to get the Sea Chelle out more frequently this summer; there is no reason why we can't make time for both the boat and the 4 wheelers, after all.

Fingers crossed!


Monday, June 17, 2024

Porch Sittin'

Saturday, the day before Father's Day, Hugh and I got to spend a few hours on the porch, enjoying the warm breezes that fanned over us as Boomer lazed at our feet.


Oscar stopped by on his way to the hardware store to pick up something for Emily, and we convinced him to sit with us for a bit as well.



Later that evening, I mixed up a pitcher of mojitos and enjoyed a couple of glasses on, you guessed it, the porch.

I wasn't kidding earlier this month, when I said that the porch is my happy place. I'm going to take full advantage of porch sittin' for as long as the weather allows.


Saturday, June 15, 2024

FORE!

It's officially summer! Which means it was time to blow the dust off the golf clubs and to get back on the driving range for another session of Wild Women Wednesdays! Shanti is joining my staff and me again this year, and we are looking forward to learning enough to be able to play a round or two with Hugh and the Man-Cub at some point. 


Since it had been almost a year since I picked up a club, I had some remedial training to do, including grip training (holding a golf club is vastly different than holding a tennis racquet; not that I've held one of those recently, either, but you get the point).


Luckily, we have the services of two of the best golf pros in our area, so I am convinced we will be mediocre players in no time! (No need to get TOO confident)





Two of my staffers continued to practice since last season (overachievers!), so they are super far ahead of the rest of us.


The session lasts throughout the month, and we plan to register for the following two sessions, which means that we will be spending a lot of time at the course. We also have our fundraiser tournament for Not So New Job there in July. The course is absolutely gorgeous, so none of us are complaining.

I could complain a little bit about the soreness in my arms and back, but I won't; it's a good sore.

IYKYK


Friday, June 14, 2024

Friday Favorites, Mid-June Edition

June is almost halfway over and, thanks to weeks of unseasonably cool weather, it has only just begun to feel like summer.  

Happily, the past few days have been typical, lovely Colorado summer days, which I have been taking advantage of in the garden, and on the porch, and today's favorites will reflect that. 

First of all, the hummingbirds have started to arrive, which is always a positive sign of the season and something I enjoy, immensely.


I hung my feeders out at the beginning of the month, and recently added this cute feeder that has a solar light on top. I'm not sure why I need a lighted feeder, but it was too cute to pass up and the birds seem to think it's col.


The orchid that Shanti and the Man-Cub got for me for Mother's Day 2022 is blooming again! I have zero orchid-raising knowledge, so the fact that the plant has lived this long, let alone bloomed, is amazing.
 

The petunias I planted in my granddad's old wheelbarrow are blooming like crazy. They smell amazing and I am determined to keep them healthy and blooming for as long as possible, which means that, for the first time ever, I am planning to aggressively prune them down. Wish me luck!


The porch is finally summer-ready and I am so relieved. The porch is my happy place, and I have been anxiously awaiting the completion of the final tasks associated with the "opening". This includes replacing all of the burnt-out lightbulbs on the strings of lights that outline the roofline, as well as hanging curtains. We finally finished these tasks this week.




Yesterday, I received my signed copy of Elin Hildebrand's final Nantucket novel. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of her books and am a bit sad that I won't have another one to look forward to next summer, but I'm sure whatever direction her writing takes going forward, will be just as entertaining.





Thursday, June 13, 2024

Let's Get Growing

My world has been a colorful place lately; this is due in no small part to the plethora of flowers that had been covering every surface in my office while awaiting placement on the wedding arch I have been working on for the past several months.

Thankfully, I finished it last Friday! And, I'm pretty proud of how it turned out!



The effort may have left me with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my right ring finger (thanks to squeezing the wire cutters approximately one billion times), but it was totally worth it for the kids.

On the topic of flowers for the wedding; the seeds that I planted in my raised beds have started sprouting!

I'm not gonna lie: we are still a ways away from actual blooms for the wedding, but; I am cautiously optimistic that I will pull this off.

Also, my peonies have rebounded and two-out-of-three of the old plants are now heavily weighed down in blooms. The lone non-bloomer has budded out, so there remains some hope, there.


Snapdragons

Cosmos

Dahlias

Zinnias

Ruby Sunflowers

Dahlia, actually budding!

In addition to the flowers, I also planted tomatoes and herbs, all of which are doing well.

San Marzano Tomato

Boomer Dog is especially happy about the tomatoes; it's not like he can eat flowers.


Yellow Pear Tomato

Rosemary, thyme, oregano, Thai basil, and a ton of assorted mint

I've been enjoying the fruits of my labors from the front porch, which we officially opened for the season just this past week (I cleaned it and arranged the new furniture weeks ago, but Hugh finally found the time to replace the burnt-out lights and to hang the curtains, which is a must for Porch Nights). 

I'll post porch pictures in the next Friday Favorites post. In the meantime, here are a few things that I am loving on it at the moment...

...cut peonies



...the succulent arrangement that the Man-Cub and Daughter-in-Love gave me for Mother's Day...


...and my succulent planter. A larger-than-usual number of plants made it through the winter in the garage, which meant I only had to replace a few this year. Also, I had a few baby plants propagate from adult plants, which is really fun to see.

All in all, the growing season is off to a great start! Wil we miss fresh vegetables from the raised beds this year? Certainly. However, we live less than two miles from a farm stand that is fully stocked, and, at decent prices, so it's not like we will go without. Plus, it isn't every summer that your only son gets married and his future missus requests homegrown flowers 😊