Sunday, July 11, 2010

The holidays are almost over.

The last few days have been a little bit more in holiday mode, which for me has been really nice. I've been so busy of late, I think I just needed a few days a bit quieter, with nothing pressing on my schedule.

On Thursday I had a cable man come and put in some new connections for me. Billy-Joe now has a working TV in his room and I have a TV point in my room. Lenny also set it up so the kids (and I) have Austar in the rooms, and we put in another cable connecting the DVD player to the Austar box so we can record sport games or movies off Austar. When I set up the new DVD player, I couldn't figure out how to do it, am happy it actually required another cable, so it wasn't something I did wrong. It was expensive to get this done, but so worth it as there's no headache, and it's so complicated in our house now with lots of gadgets. Peter and I made the decision years ago, that while we can't afford to buy/build a house of our dreams, we can make our little abode as comfortable as possible.

Many years ago in a former life, I had a passion for a certain style of house and garden. I let those dreams go, when my second marriage failed, it was difficult to do that, but the best way to protect myself. Having moved to this state has helped those dreams be shelved as it's not practical up here. The house styles are so different and much of what was available down south isn't even available here. I loved all the old fashioned stuff, when it was done properly. Sometimes it's attempted here, and it doesn't look quite right. Actually I've only been inside one house since I've lived here, where they've managed to capture the elegance with the quaintness of the country feel. I combined that dream with having a real cottage garden. I already possessed about 60 pots of plants which were for my cottage garden. I still feel an ache in my heart when I think about those plants. I hadn't only bought then with a view of having them in my own cottage garden, I'd researched them, and knew about them all. Most of all I loved them. I had some old fashioned roses and some peonies but most of them were medicinal or culinary herbs. I had beautiful books at that time given to me from my husband. Books with loving messages written on the flyleaf. Maybe now 21 years later, I'm ready to revisit the books and I can read the notes with the lack of emotion and feeling they deserve.

On Thursday Billy-Joe and I went and visited a friend of the family's. He and his wife have an amazing garden, not a cottage garden, but there are parts of it which are left for the plants to grow where they seed. I always liked that about a garden, no structure, or order, something which is an antithesis of how I like everything else in my life. I like the idea of plants meandering through each other, rather than lines and order. Whilst at our friends' house we were fortunately given lots of seedlings and plants. We came home with two rose bushes, lots of parsley plants, mint plants, winter and summer savory and lemongrass. Billy-Joe was inspired and excited and so was I.

Unfortunately our herb garden isn't in the best spot. So I was very pleased when my dear Bunny suggested making a new garden bed. I'm so rapt, it's huge. They started on Saturday morning, and then I suggested to Billy-Joe that we go up to the herb farm and get some more herbs, seeing as we were both inspired and we now had a much bigger garden in a better position. I showered and got ready and then remembered with thunderbolt that the Garden Show was on so the herb people would be there. I wasn't interested in the Garden Show......I hadn't been there in years and baulk at paying high entry fees. Thankfully Billy-Joe was free. I really didn't want to go, I was looking forward to a lazy afternoon at home lol...... I was quickly coerced into going.

We had a lovely few hours walking around and soaking up the soothing winter sun. Our herb farm people were indeed at the show, and we came home with a spanish lavender, my favourite herb of all time, a greek basil, thyme and a delicious smelling lemon pelargonium and a lemon balm too for its fragrance and culinary uses. The man from the herb farm, gave us lots of good advice about our garden. We constantly have trouble growing greek basil and lavender. This sub tropical climate is not good for plants which love a dry heat. My dear Bunny set up the garden with gravel and stones to try and emulate the Mediterranean heat, as advised by the herb guy.

Peter laughs and says how funny it is that we have an idea and he has the work lol... I remind him that we are a good team. I am going to enjoy tending to our herbs, and will especially love using them in my cooking. Nothing compares to the use of fresh herbs in cooking, It can make a simple meal something exceptional. In the coming weeks, I'll add more herbs to the garden, we want sage, dill and tarragon too. I'm going to buy some chamomile daisies and a feverfew plant.

Bunny and I had a nice date night last night. After the Garden Show, I came home, had a shower, put on my jammies and laid down for a bit. I upped my arthritis tablets again yesterday and have been plagued with a headache ever since, so the lie down was much needed. I was going to make a Pasta Funghi but decided to make stuffed field mushrooms instead. They were delicious, and it was just the right quantity for me. Bunny made some delicious garlic bread which was a great accompaniment. Mum had given me some Chocolate Mousse cake that she'd frozen after my Dad's birthday, so that was dessert. Normally we're too full, but after a light dinner, it was just perfect. I only ate a small portion, and Bunny scoffed the lot!! It was divine.

Today I had a quiet day, with chores and washing in the morning, after a late lie in. I did my groceries online, after perusing food magazines and then laid on my bed for a couple of hours watching some eps of 'The Tudors', which is fantastic.

I cooked Mickey a yummy pasta dish with my homemade pasta, bacon, egg, onion and parsley, and I'll cook us our Pasta Funghi a little later, after the kids have watched Merlin.

Tomorrow is the last day of the holiday. I've got my lessons to peruse and a webinar in the evening. I've got some ironing to do and I will enjoy my last sleep in. In the first week I organized the kids' room, and their cupboard, something which I've been wanting to do for ages. I still want to organize my room but am not sure when I'll get to this. Adding the study to my schedule, makes my days very full now. So I'll see how I go with that in the next few weeks.


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