Efribbits.

My friend Steve called me up a few weeks ago and asked if he could stay with us while in town for his upcoming college reunion.  But of course! Could he bring his college roommates too? It wasn’t the first time he’d brought total strangers to stay at our house, but giving me a heads up was thoughtful – and how could I say no? Continue reading

Trying to walk the walk.

beebalm1

I am, I fully admit, a news junkie and have been most of my life. Growing up, my daily quality time with my dad was watching Walter Cronkite deliver the evening news and then we’d discuss the events of the day. I don’t watch the evening news these days, but I still love being informed as to what’s happening in the world. But I find that the news these days is just….well, just hard to take in some days. Okay, most days. What with ‘alternative facts’ and made up massacres on top of the rhetoric…..it’s getting harder and harder for me to take in my usual diet of news (which, if you’re wondering, includes NPR in the morning,  perusing all the local news outlets (newspapers and tv stations) as well as a few national ones (New York Times and the Washington Post among others) and the occasional NPR in the evening and if I am still awake, the late night local news). I’m kind of a stickler for facts and reality, as well as civility, which seems to be optional in some news outlets these days. It’s more than frustrating to someone like me. Continue reading

Something new.

New Roots Farm has a semi-regular stand at the city market that sells produce grown at the community garden sponsored by the International Resource Committee here in Charlottesville. The garden sprung out of wanting to help refugees feel at home as many of them have a farming background, while also giving refugees access to fresh food, particularly some harder to find items from their home. By selling some of the excess produce, refugees learn new skills and earn some income.  (Here’s a nice article that ran on them this past July) When I see their stand at market, I like to check out what they have to offer because it’s a good opportunity to try something new while also supporting a wonderful project. On a recent visit, this caught my eye:

squash

Continue reading

Getting Schooled.

I spent three very delightful evenings this past week assisting down at the Charlottesville Cooking School with my friend Martha, who taught an Every Day Cooking Skills Series.  It’s a three part class that is usually taught over the course of three weeks, but Martha decided to teach it over three consecutive evenings in one week as a trial summer run.  The concept is sort of like a boot camp for cooking – it covers a variety of basic cooking techniques so that participants walk out  with skills to throw together simple seasonal and delicious dinners regularly.  Sounds too good to be true,  I know, but Martha is an amazing instructor who can make this happen and I don’t just say that because she’s a friend.  Martha is a trained chef, who has been teaching cooking classes longer than she wants to admit (which is also longer than I’ve been cooking).

Continue reading

May Showers

I have decided to credit the last 16 days of rain for the miraculous recovery of my blue hydrangea. I walked out there the other day and noticed buds forming. They still look a little rough around the edges, but they are quickly making a come back. I really think it’s due to all the rain and this is how I’ve come to peace with the current and apparently, ongoing weather. Continue reading