we're still working, baby steps, on the kitchen. earlier this week we finally put up some spice shelves! these were super cheap at ikea. we weren't sure if we wanted to use frame shelves, or these, but these were so inexpensive that they won out. it frees up some space in the pantry and makes the spices easily accessible. we considered buying glass spice jars with white lids to make it look all clean and modern, but decided against it for now thinking it might look a little too sterile. (i know, i know, the difficult life-changing decisions that must be made.)
there's still a bunch of clean-up painting left to be done in the kitchen - hopefully i can get that done by the end of july. hahaha. ha. ha. *ahem*
all this summertime heat makes my yam a very lazy kitten. she likes to cuddle with you under a blanket, if you'll let her. her adorable gentle paw will gently tug at the blanket you lay beneath; that's how you'll know she wants to keep your belly warm.
erika and nick took me to micanopy on thursday - their historic downtown area consists of a few dusty antique shops and crowded, overflowing bookstores. it was quite easy to get lost amongst the stacks and the bins of postcards. it almost felt like savannah with all the spanish moss and lack of palm trees; sometimes, old florida can be lovely and so very southern.
i have a renewed drive to explore the area around tampa a little bit more, with anthony's company. if i remember, i'll take my camera and bring you along.
we had lunch at blue highway, got gas next to cafe risque and drove through their old cemetery.
and that was micanopy. not much, but really wonderful for a hot, lazy afternoon.
spent part of my vacation week in gainesville, visiting friends and drinking pitchers of beer and margaritas.
also wrenched my ankle while bowling. sadly, not even while bowling, but while walking from the bowling lane to my chair.
it's healing, slowly, surely. let it never be said that bowling is not a sport.
just outside the sierra market in west tampa, waiting 2 minutes for it to open for some strong and delicious cafe con leche. it was warm and muggy, i was bleary and sleepy. the old shop owner in his worn cowboy hat was adorably ecstatic that i found the first flower he'd seen on the tree.
visited the family this past weekend. and it was fabulous.
vincent's restaurant is closing for the summer season and will reopen when the snowbirds flock down in the balmy florida winter. what's bad for him and his pocketbook is good for me and the family! we were ecstatic to spend so much time relaxing with him. his plans for the immediate future are to help dad out with the farm. he also has an open invitation to stay in tampa to look for another job if needed. because really? he lives in naples and what the fuck is anyone younger than 70 doing in naples?!?
tampa is no san francisco or chicago or boston, but still, it's better than naples. by a long shot.
i'm hoping to visit again in july and work on the farm. i also promise to share any and all farmer's tans i acquire. remember when i said how the summer days have been so great?
FAIL. right after that post it got muggy and humid. tonight the heat finally seemed to break - let's hope that lovely breeze and sub-90% humidity holds up. *crosses fingers*
"our" first attempt at cooking meat.
i use "our" because really, i do most of the meat handling. ant will come in and work with chicken and fish as of late (and turkey bacon), but giant bones of pig? he stays away.
i used this fabulous dry rub consisting of a ton of garlic, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, brown sugar and... i think that was it. it was super easy and surprisingly delicious! we wrapped it in foil and brought it to our friend's memorial weekend party (last last friday). no pics of the finished product because, well, we inhaled it. we popped it in the oven and then on the grill at the end. and ant loved it! he's definitely not a vegetarian anymore - just picky in the meats he'll eat.
wildlife in the art museum park!
i need to start bringing a blanket though; last time i got bit by a number of ants. not to mention, i found a bunch of hijackers in my purse and tote bag. these summer days in the shade have been dream worthy.
we found these this past spring in our backyard in the area that the previous owners had called their garden. we assumed that they were onions. are they onions? do onions flower so prettily? are onions a root? is "bulb" more proper?
during the day, i peeked into our neighbor's yard while returning one of their sons' foam balls back over the fence. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD THEY HAD A FANTASTIC GARDEN. their house is a corner lot and sadly, much of the yard is actually in the front. their backyard consists of a pool, a lot of decking, a pergola thing and a small shed. it's nice, it's just got very little yard, so i was very surprised to see a thriving garden with bits of chicken wire back there. and i got so. jealous.
seriously, my garden is NOT doing well. it's barely hanging on at the seedling/less-than-seedling stage. i think i need some help. like more fertilizer. i've got 2 books coming my way, so i'm hoping they help. like, a lot. my shit is just not thriving.
*sigh* one day. maybe i should grow kale. that's easy to grow, right? the good is that my pepper plant looks awesome and my tiny zucchini actually have flowers on them. grow little zukes, grow! i even go out and fondle my tomato plants, since that helps them grow stronger (seriously). and i do have one little cherry tomato (thanks amy!).
c'mon 'in transit' books! get here fast!