Home » Home » Garden, Summer Cocktails, and Chores (SQT)

Garden, Summer Cocktails, and Chores (SQT)

Just catching my breath between the craziness of May and the end of the school year (when one is married to a teacher; we don’t even have any kids IN school. Can’t imagine that combo!) and the start of Grad School Year 2…tomorrow!

  1. The weather here has finally gotten really hot and humid and summery. I suddenly got the burning desire to grow beautiful flowers in our gardens, which have been hit-or-miss as far as veggies the last 2 years. My dream is one of those magical English cottage gardens, you know, like so… (never mind we’re minus the actual thatched cottage part…)

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A girl can dream, right?! Anyway, we did order a bunch of old-fashioned heirloom flowers in that style, planted them yesterday and are hoping for the best! In the meantime we do have a couple squashes and cilantro in front doing well, beans coming up, a volunteer cucumber (so random!), reliable zinnias and cosmos about to bloom, the hilltop hydrangea bursting forth, and we’re harvesting our cauliflower (they are disgustingly FILLED with these tiny slimy caterpillars…does anyone have any tips for preventing/cleaning them?!).

It’s hard to take the yard/garden little by little when we have all.the.plans! to fix it at once. But, since we have neither the time nor the funds to do it that way, little by little it is. A hill weed-whacked there, a section of vine-and-weed-covered undergrowth pulled up here, and eventually, we’ll have a yard we actually like to look at/be in. We still need some ideas for shade-loving or tolerant bushes and ground cover (other than hostas and ferns!) so we’re all ears if you have recommendations!

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2. I took the girls to a local meadow/botanical garden (well, it’s over 90 acres, so “garden” seems a paltry term), on an absolutely beautiful day this week, and got a lot of inspiration (and a lot of exercise!)

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3. It struck me a few weeks ago that we absolutely MUST have a go-to summer cocktail recipe in the house. I’m all about drinking wine 90% of the time, but something about the temperature rising just makes a chilled cocktail sound way more inviting. I did a lot of (obviously very important!) research on just such a go-to easy cocktail recipe, with my main criteria being ease of prep (no shaking, straining, etc), and all ingredients we’d pretty much keep on hand (so no special syrups, mixers, or impossible to pronounce liquers). I didn’t really find much, to be honest, but then I got some little lime-flavored tonic waters at TJs and when mixed with a shot of vodka and fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, it is the very thing I was hoping for. Super refreshing, citrusy, and so easy! But, still open to any other summer cocktail recipes!

4. In an effort to a) make our house slightly less ruled by crumb and clutter and b) build responsibility and good habits, I’m starting to hand off some of my annoying little tasks that are coincidentally things they can definitely manage, at 4 and a month shy of 3, respectively. (Maeve is actually capable of tiny things too, like putting her dirty clothes in the hamper and picking up toys with us, which is an enthusiastic and often less-than-helpful endeavor). Not surprisingly, children are capable of much more than we either think they are or are willing to ask of them. So, the older two got colorful little laundry baskets (thanks, Dollar Tree!) and they are completely in charge of putting away all their clean laundry. They both do that well and usually get all the clothes in the right drawers, and I am not held hostage by clean, folded, not-yet-put-away laundry. Lucy either mini-vacs or does a little sweeping after breakfast and Lena clears all the dishes from the table. Eventually, they will do those jobs after dinner, too, but we’re starting small. Either way, it helps me move on to finishing the breakfast dishes so that the whole lower level doesn’t look like a disaster the next time we walk downstairs. Also gets me excited for completely handing over cleaning the kitchen over by the time they’re 8 or 9….I hope!

5. Up till this week, the weather’s been pretty good to us: park and ice cream dates with cousins, a trip to the park in Georgetown where Mommy and Daddy got engaged (with an obligatory and cranky shot in “the spot”), and tons and tons of outdoor play.

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6. Speaking of getting out of the house with these kids, I have literally gotten comments from strangers every.single.time. I am thinking of making a little drinking game which I play after I get home, of course. A drink for every time I hear any of the following:

“Are they all yours?!” (the most popular one by far lately!)

“Are they twins?”

“You didn’t get a boy?”

“…how close in age/what’s the age difference/BUT THEY’RE SO CLOSE IN AGE!”

“Wow, you have your hands full!”

Heh, I don’t know if it’s just because I’m just more able to get us out of the house a lot more often this year or because of the very different hair colors, but wow, it’s so funny (and getting really old and predictable!)

7. Hope everyone had a lovely weekend and is gearing up for a fun summer!

(Linking up these seven random thoughts way late with Kelly!)

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7 thoughts on “Garden, Summer Cocktails, and Chores (SQT)

  1. Your description of Maeve doing “chores” reminds me of my husband’s repeated description of our Matthew, same age. Whether he’s doing a chore or exploring the woods or wrestling inexplicably with his own shirt, Danny says, “He’s all enthusiasm, no savvy.”

    • Ha, that is a great description, and SO true of this age! It’s as if they’re just so happy they can DO anything at all that big people can, they full steam ahead with no skill. 🙂

  2. Am no help with cocktail advice as my approach is to make sure I have a bottle of SkinnyGirl (usually Margarita) in the fridge.

    So glad you have had good weather for outings! Loving the pictures!

  3. When I would tell inquiring grocery store strangers that I was pregnant with a boy they’d be all “Oh, you finally got your boy!!” And I’d be all “Well…I guess? There wasn’t anything wrong with just having girls, was there? Also we probably aren’t done yet.” Heh. People say weird things about children.

    Coral bells and foam flower are nice for hits of color in shaded gardens. 🙂

  4. Just getting around to reading (yes, it’s crazy at the end of the year when you don’t have kids at home, but are ‘principa-ing’).
    I have several thoughts on the summer cocktail. I know, you’re not surprised! Buy a cheap bottle of vodka and infuse it with cucumber. It is great with any mixer that you have-ginger ale, sprite, lime tonic, or a combination of these. I am obsessed with Early Grey drinks! I try and make a carafe of this a few times a week. Can be mixed with honey simple syrup-which keeps forever-mint, lavender, gin or vodka OR bourbon (my fav!). I also have fresh mint in abundance, so that goes in there too. Any cocktail that is on Smitten Kitchen is usually a winner, but it does have the fussy stuff. And do NOT forget Sangria, especially with seasonal fruit, triple sec and club soda.
    I think of you and the girls and try to imagine what Nanny must have looked like when she finally was able to get out of the house. And, pictures of the first 4 look all very different in appearance, similar to your girls. Love, love reading when you get a chance to post! Love to the Cox’s!

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