Thursday, August 27, 2009

What we did on our summer staycation

Last week, Jeff and I took the week off together and stayed home and had a great time doing, well, stuff. Jeff read and studied and wrote and actually finished his current online college course a week in advance. This particular course crams 12 regular semester weeks into 7 or so, so that was quite an accomplishment. So proud! If you have questions about the progress of western civilization up to the time of the Renaissance, you now have your go-to guy. Other than that, it was mostly staying home and doing things in a fairly non-stressed way. The weather has been weird and wet and stiflingly hot, a typical August for Florida, I suppose, so I stayed out of our totally unkempt yard except for tending my tiny garden starts. Can you believe it's almost time to garden again here? Circle of life and all that.

I painted the bathroom red. Home Depot calls it "Chianti," and how I wish I had that paint-sample-naming job! Jeff gently pushed me away from the grey family and suggested red, and it looks great with the white and black tile in there.

I also, after almost three months, finished the refinishing of the front door.

And instead of painting the office, which I now know would have been a nightmare, we got rid of an inadequate low bookshelf and bought a larger one with glass doors from the fine folk at IKEA. Two hours of assembly and one trip back to Tampa to replace one teeny, tiny, totally crucial screw later, it looks great. Re-arranged some furniture, covered some magnetic boards with coordinating fabrics (yeah, I used duct tape, so what?), and now we have a much more balanced, if impossible to photograph, space.

What else? Let's see. I read 400 pages of this, which is the second in a series and quite good:

I cooked. Pork tenderloin with mushroom and Calvados cream sauce, New England fish chowder and my very first Tarte Tatin from Julia Child's recipe. I let it go about 45 seconds too long, but it wasn't nearly as burnt as this lousy photo implies. And the photo certainly doesn't tell you how it tasted, which was jaw-droppingly good. Flour, butter, sugar, apples. Four simple ingredients turned into pure deliciousness through the chemical alchemy brought on by heat. I never fail to be amazed by the everyday miracles we encounter and so often fail to appreciate. Sure sure, a guy landed a plane on a river and saved everyone or it rained frogs in Kansas, but have you tasted this??

We watched movies. "District 9" was excellent. "Milk" was quite good. "Watchmen" was a very disappointing bore of bores. And "Cosmos" always made an excellent background for my other major staycation project.

I knitted my very first sweater. No, really, a whole sweater, with sleeves that are four inches too long and everything! The whole thing is about a size too big, which goes to show that maybe you shouldn't guess how big your body is before you choose your knitting pattern variation. It's bulky but perfect for lounging around the house on a chilly day. Clearly, my seam-sewing needs some practice but, hey, I knitted an entire, wearable, non-embarrassing sweater! Another little everyday miracle.

I'm sure we did other things in our seven days together, but that rounds up the big stuff. Good times! Here's hoping everyone had a jolly and productive summer vacation, too. This weekend we're back to the school year pattern, and so it goes.


Anonymous said...

I'm still proud of you. Good job on your first sweater! Pretty soon you'll be making Aran sweaters like I did. They're definetely more fun. If you need any pointers in the sewing classes, just let me know. The bathroom must look really nice! I love red. Never had the courage to use it myself. I'm sure the tartin tasted wonderful. All of your baked goods do! Sounds like your week was very productive. Good for your guys! Jeff, congrats on completing another course! Love you both. Mom

Latisha said...

Oh my, you two were quite productive! The meals sound delish, the remodeling looks awesome, the gardening - yes, I wish I had a plot of land - is coming along quite nicely. And oh! the sweater - great job. Sounds like you both had a great time (even with the studying). Plus, reading and watching DVD's. I am quite impressed! You go girl :)

Latisha said...

girl, i can't seem to settle on a name for my blog. in other words, i've changed the name and web address for it. hopefully the last. here's the new address -

it is getting cooler up here and i'm wanting to pickup my knitting so this blog will focus on mostly knitting. if i can stay off of yo-ville :)

Shandy said...

Found ya. :-)