Tuesday, June 25, 2019

finally summer

Always a great start to the summer to have long-distance cousins in town (Tim and our four-year old cousin)...

and taking a jaunt to the local antique mall.

 Our evening walks take us down to the lake where we watch the sunsets...

 and another weekend day trip was in store where we to a vintage market and then had drinks on a rooftop overlooking the town.

Rain, rain and more rain, now in the form of thunderstorms....

 But I guess on the plus side, all this rain has made everything SO green.

 My herb garden...

The butterfly garden is looking fantastic, though nothing is in bloom yet except the columbine. That's purple coneflower in the foreground, then sedum, lamb's ear, bee balm, phlox and black-eyed Susan.

 It's also mulberry time, which means our neighbor's tree is dropping these berries all over our patio, the patio furniture (which is why the chairs are moved to the side for now) and in the plants and mulch all leading up to the patio. We can't use our patio unless the berries are cleaned up first and they ruin our plants. They rot and smell and then attract flies. They stain our patio and the furniture. We've had our neighbor's tree trimmed back to her property line a couple of times, but it doesn't do much good. Those berries still (obviously) find their way to our property. It also costs a lot of money for a tree trimmer AND this neighbor is very nasty about us trimming her trees, even though we have every right to. 

But back to better things about the patio...summer nights sitting out there with a glass of wine is peaceful and relaxing...

And now that the hot, humid weather has hit (low 90's this weekend!), it's time for more salads. I had this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delicious. It's brown rice pasta tossed with steamed asparagus, baby spinach, artichoke hearts, fresh basil, salt and pepper, Asiago-Parmesan cheese, and then a homemade lemon vinaigrette (fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, a little raw honey, and extra-virgin olive oil). I toasted some pine nuts and added them to my salad, too. Leave out the cheese (and the honey in the vinaigrette) if you want/need a vegan dish.

Happy summer!


  1. Is there any way you could put some sort of netting up to catch the mulberries? Our neighbor has one in his front yard but I think the guy below us asked him to cut it back. The tree is not as big as it used to be and I don't see them picking and enjoying the berries. Seems they are just left to the birds. We enjoy when we go to Jordan or Jerusalem and are able to eat mulberries there, especially the white ones. Everything here is just blah and drab with temps up to 120 F today. I really miss being surrounded by green.

  2. The lazy, hazy days of summer. Nothing better! Enjoy.

  3. Oh that salad looks so good. I love cool food in the summer. We have had lots of pasta salad and fish so far. You garden looks great. It has turned hot and humid here in GA so it is time for more indoor activities. Hugs.

  4. You're so good about eating good-for-you food. Wish I was as dedicated to good eating. Sometimes I wait till I'm just famished and grab anything. You and Brian go such interesting places. My patio garden is starting to look a little bedraggled due to the intense heat all of a sudden.

  5. That salad looks so yummy. That storm and hail that came through was pretty crazy. I am so happy we are finally seeing sunshine and some warmer temps.
    Have a great rest of the week. Swimming in moving boxes over here.

  6. I love these posts AND your Instagram account. Like I said, you and Brian should start a travel blog/book etc.. I would read the HELL out of that.

  7. I'm stuck on that salad...yum. I want to be invited to dinner:) I'll bring wine and cheese cake

  8. Beautiful summer this-and-that, Melanie...and I'm all about that salad!!

  9. Hi Melanie! Haven't commented in a while but saw this post and had to! Were you in Rockford? That area is so familiar! I missed the vintage market but saw it last year. Did you find anything. Our favorite vendor is Vintage 815. They used to have a store in Belvidere. Hope you had a good time in Rockford! I wish this city had better vintage shops. I always have to go out of town to find them.

  10. That salad looks delicious. This is a great summer post! Makes me want to plan some outings and find some new local places to visit this summer. Love the white plant stand in the garden, and the photo of the 'kids' playing is the best!

  11. I'd love a bit of that salad. So glad you are enjoying summer!

  12. Your garden looks lovely and that salad looks so delicious! Going to add this to one of my menu plans :-) Hope you have a great week!


  13. Your garden is looking pretty. It’s nice to walk down to the lake and funny I just found one less than 7 miles away. Can’t figure out how I didn’t know it was there! The salad looks delicious and perfect for this hot weather!

  14. Your summer is shaping up nicely. Too bad those darn mulberries are trying to ruin things!

  15. I'm curious if you have a tremendous amount of slugs this summer like I do? The rain has them wayyyyy too happy in my garden and they are munching everything in sight!

  16. It sounds like your summer is shaping up wonderfully. That salad sounds great!


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