Quote of the Day

“Scarlett had never seen Forsyth Park…It caught her unaware, and it took her breath away. A pair of stone sphinxes flanked the entrance…The fountain was two blocks from the entrance, but it was so enormous that it looked very close. Arcs and jets of water lifted and fell like showering diamonds from every direction. Scarlett was spell-bound; she’d never seen anything so spectacular…There was a bright sun that made rainbows in the dancing waters; they flashed, vanished, reappeared with every step Scarlett took. The whitewashed trunks of the trees that lined the path glimmered in the dappled shade from their leaves, leading to the sparkling dazzle of the fountain. When she reached the iron fence that circled the fountain’s basin, she had to tilt her head back to near dizziness to look at the nymph atop its third tier, a statue bigger than she was, the arm held high, grasping a staff that threw a plume of water high, high toward the brilliant blue sky.” Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley

Tasty Tuesday–The Fourth Disney Dinner

Our fourth Disney Dinner (which was thankfully not a disaster!) was The Princess and the Frog themed. We started, as always, with a drink…Bayou Queen Punch. I made one adjustment to the recipe…since we’re not millionaires, I substituted ginger beer for the ginger juice, which was prohibitively expensive. The drink was refreshing and perfect for summer!

Our main course was Tiana’s Famous Gumbo. I’ve made gumbo before, so this wasn’t totally new, but the preparation was a bit different for this recipe, and I really liked it!

For dessert, I made “Man-Catching Beignets.” It’s not the first time I’ve made this variety of donut, but it’s been so long, I’m not sure any of the children really remembered them, so they were looking forward to trying them…beignets are definitely a hit here!

This was an excellent dinner after a disappointing previous attempt…now I just have to decide what we’re having next!

Quote of the Day

Though in reviewing the incidents of my administration I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence and that, after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be con- signed to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several genera- tions, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that re- treat, in which I promise myself to realize without alloy the sweet enjoyment of partaking in the midst of my fellow citizens the benign influence of good laws under a free government—the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors and dangers. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s Farewell Address

Chickadee Thursday

Saturday was a Very Exciting Day, because we went to the Cardinals game, and Chickadee got to see Fredbird for the first time in almost four years!

If you’re wondering what absolute joy looks like, this is it:

We also found a cool, life-size bobblehead of Paul Goldschmidt. Not as fun as Fredbird, but still exciting!

It was so good to be back at one of our favorite places!

Lavender

Last week we did something new…we went and picked lavender at Tenderloin Farms in Edwardsville, IL! (I know…you wouldn’t guess they grow lavender there based on their name, but it used to be a hog farm before The Stahlhut “Girls” started growing lavender.)

Like asparagus picking, I really had no idea how it works. It’s super easy, though…they give you a pair of (safety) scissors, and you cut the stems from the blooming plants, making sure to stay “in the green.” The field (and the store) smelled amazing!

We also learned a lot about how lavender likes to grow (warm temperatures and not too much water), and the various kinds (there are over 450 varieties, but of course, Tenderloin Farms doesn’t grow them all…they do have about 20, though, including a pink variety!).

We even learned how to make lavender lemonade…and got to sample some, too!

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer June day to be out…it wasn’t too hot, it was only partly sunny, and there were three kinds of lavender blooming…we picked some of each.

This was a really fun thing to try, and I love that we brought home an amazing-smelling souvenir…we’ve already made a few recipes with it (lemon-lavender shortbread and the previously mentioned lavender lemonade), and we’re looking forward to using the rest to make lavender wands!

It’s My Birthday!

Today is, as Moose put it, my 5th 39th birthday. We started the day by taking a peek at the rapidly-growing mourning dove squabs in our tree:

We were out early due to the excessive heat warning I was gifted for my birthday. There was only one thing I really wanted to do out of the house…visit a spray park. We ended up driving up to a really nice one in Edwardsville because it was open early, and had fun playing in the water before it got too hot!

When we got home, I opened my presents…I received some very nice things from my family!

Of course I played Animal Crossing New Horizons, and for the second year in a row, Roald came to my party!

The rest of the day was pretty chill…we watched some of my favorite movies (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, A League of Their Own, and White Christmas), had my favorite frozen pizza for dinner (Home Run Inn), and enjoyed the beautiful birthday cake (with 43 candles) the girls made for me:

In spite of the heat, I had a fantastic birthday…and that’s just the start of the fun this week!