When the Cat’s Away…

Angie comes home today! Yay! You’d think that 2 weeks apart would be a welcome respite for two people who spend nearly 24/7 together but I have to say…I missed that girl! I missed being able to bounce my [often] hair-brained ideas off of her, to walk the Farmer’s Market and see the first blooms in our little garden and yes, even to watch the series finale of The Good Wife together. I know we both had fun in our respective corners of the world, but I can honestly say, my days just weren’t the same without her here. It’s truly a wonderful thing when your partner in life is also your best friend.

But enough of the mushy stuff! Just what did I do while she was gone?

I completed a few projects. Besides weeding out the plastics in our kitchen and upgrading our personal care products, I also decluttered my inbox. This was something I’d long put off just because of the sheer volume of junk email that I get. I’m happy to say that I cut about 75% of the junk, which was mostly sales ads from online stores that I never shop, by simply unsubscribing. It took a couple of hours to do but now my inbox is much easier to manage.

I also did a few fun projects too. I put my $20 sewing machine to good use making a reusable trash/recycling bin for road trips in the car, camping pillows, and new grocery bags. I also cut up my Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog to make cute magnets for our meal calendar. (We’ve been using food words on magnets for years to showcase our weekly menu.)

I watched a few documentaries…okay, a lot of documentaries! As I mentioned in a previous post, I watched Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. If it’s possible to love a documentary about such a shameful yet important subject, I’d say I loved this one. I also watched Living Small – Tiny House DocumentaryFood, Inc., Urban Fruit, Tiny: A Story About Living Small, and Living on One Dollar. The last one was another of my favorites. We’ve been to Central America twice and have seen first-hand the poverty described in this film. In addition to making me feel all the more grateful for things we often take for granted, I was inspired by the many creative ways in which people care for their community and one another when they have so little themselves.

I read a few books. I finally finished The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Secret Speech, the 2nd book in Tom Rob Smith’s Child 44 Trilogy. I’m now midway through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I will likely add Mrs. Kingsolver to my short list of favorite essayists and authors.

Turkeys in the garden
Turkeys in the garden

I spent quality time with my mom. We ate, we talked, we ate, we trimmed roses and watched turkeys in the yard, and we ate some more. I’m really proud of my mom. She’s been very receptive to our new eating plan and we had several nights of veggie-only dinners. Of course, this is the same mom who, when left to her own devices, eats peanut butter and banana sandwiches for every meal. So meatless menus weren’t that much of a stretch for her.

I tended our garden. We currently have 6 cucumber plants, 12 squash (both zucchini and yellow crookneck), a row of carrots and cabbage, 3 peppers (with more seeds planted), and 15 tomato plants (of various sizes and flavors). I also added a few blackberry and strawberry plants but they are slow to get started.

And best of all…I finalized our summer (and fall) travel plans! We won’t be leaving the country this year but nonetheless, I’m really excited about these plans. I made camping reservations for 2 long weekends (one’s to St. Simon’s Island, GA), scheduled day trips to see a couple of Tennessee’s minor league baseball teams, schemed up a trip to Wilmington, NC with my mom (we have family there), and booked flights for the ultimate escape to New York, Philadelphia, and DC in October. I practically stole those flights…$49 each way. Even with the seat selection fee and prepaid baggage fee, I still walked away with roundtrip tickets for two for $241. NYC has been on Angie’s bucket list for years.

So what did Miss Angie do on her trip to Texas? I like to tease that she went to poultry bootcamp to learn the ins and outs of tending chickens and turkeys (on the off chance that one day we have our own). Besides feeding Freckles the Turkey and gathering a passel of hen eggs, she painted the house, played with the pups, mended a fence, stacked firewood, ate Mexican food and ribs (it’s Texas, after all), went for a massage with her mom, and made an amazing flag out of a wooden pallet. She may regret showing me the pallet project. I can now visualize one (maybe not the Texas flag though) working as a top for a picnic table. Hmm…now where to find a pallet?? Oh yes! Mom’s neighbor has a stack of them!

AngieTXFlag

A side note – speaking of that neighbor, I found out this week that my fellow gardener is also an actor (or sorts). He plays himself on a show called Ghost Asylum. Chasey is such a super nice guy, very quiet, with a great little family. I’d have never pictured him as a pursuer of the paranormal, much less an actor. (It’s always us quiet ones!)

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