Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Frankenstorm Sandy

I feel like this storm is never-ending.  We spent the weekend in Williamsburg for our 35th college reunion and the weather there was yucky all weekend.  There were clouds and drizzle Friday (apparently it had nothing to do with the storm), black clouds and stiff breezes on Saturday (the rain held off until after the really bad football game), and when we left on Sunday it was raining steadily.  By the time we got home to Richmond it was just cloudy and rain.

Now it is Monday and everything is closed down in anticipation of worse weather.  It is raining but not hard and there are some mild wind gusts.  The bad stuff is supposed to arrive this afternoon and evening here.  It is expected to be worse north....from NOVA to New York and beyond....and it is already worse on the Virginia coast. 

Yesterday we made preparations.  We have lots of ice, water, batteries, and beer.  I made chili and pasta sauce that we can heat on the grill and I made an apple cake with some apples that were not going to last too many more days.  And Bill made the last run a few minutes ago...for charcoal and Halloween candy.  His list yesterday included the last two ingredients for Hurricanes...not the kind you get at Pat O'Brien's in NOLA.  These are 500% better.  I promise.

For one Hurricane
Mix in a large glass with ice:
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. light rum
1 oz. gin
1/2 oz. dark rum
1 oz. amaretto
1 oz. orange liqueur
A splash of grenadine
Top it off with half grapefruit juice and half pineapple juice
And enjoy (maybe just one).
To all my family and friends in the path of the storm...stay safe!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Brown Thumb

You would think that I would have a little more than a brown thumb....maybe a pea green one, at least.  My grandfather lived in a small North Carolina town where he gardened the two extra lots adjacent to his house.  He had amazing gardens.  He also had grape vines and cherry trees.  My dad had a huge garden for years and then when he moved to a place that didn't have room he grew tomatoes and peppers and beautiful gerbera daisys.

This is a picture of 3/8 of my tomato crop this year.  The three plants look so bad that I won't even show them.  And, yes, I know that if you want to grow vegetables and flowers and such that you have to actively take care of them.  You can't just stick them in the ground and expect them to produce...but that is what I do year after year. 

I have been spoiled by this.  The herb garden, planted in the old sandbox.  It is a crazy mass of chives, sage, mint, tarragon, oregano, parsley, rosemary, and basil.  And I think that I will just stop with that from now on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Big Front Porch

Our front porch is probably the biggest "room" in the house.  And I think that it is our favorite too.
 I finally got around to painting it a few weeks ago. That is something that I try to do every year but I think I skipped last year so it was looking a little rough.

I like bright doors.  This one used to be purple, but purple doors became quite popular so we changed it.  Now this color seems to be popular too, but I am not really anxious to paint the screen door so I don't expect changes any time soon.  Speaking of the screen door, it is new.  I have wanted a slammin' screen door for years.  Now, thanks to our friend Henry we have one...custom-made.
This side is where we do most of our sitting.

One morning recently, just after I finished painting the porch, the bed was a little rumpled and things were moved around.  There was no wind the night before and no tracks that would indicate varmints.  I guess someone just took a rest some time during the night.  Oh well....
I think it is time to head out there now with a gin and tonic.  The days are shorter and we need to enjoy as much porch time as possible.