Saturday, July 14, 2018

Summer Saturday. . . . . . . . . . .


Early this morning was perfect with almost cool temperatures. 
Now and then a tiny breeze rustled the outdoor flag but wasn't enough
 to play the wind chimes. 
Almost zero humidity is so special here in the south during the
 summertime and this morning we were gifted.
We enjoyed our coffee on the front porch, reading the newspaper, knowing 
how it will get hot later and we will be inside keeping busy until the evening.

I need to bake blueberry muffins - Bob bought far too many - and I'll
perhaps make a veggie pizza and cook on the grill as the sun goes down.
We do plan a quick shop at our local LIDL to pick up the veggies as I
also want to make that wonderful oven-roasted ratatouille recipe this 
weekend. I shared it with you last year and will do so again later.
Tiny new potatoes are hopefully still available as I love the looks of 
this easy peasy dish - from UK Country Living.




We don't have one of these!  Lucky you if you do.
I took this photo at our hotel recently and think it looks so cool!!!

Have a great time this weekend whatever you are doing.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The history of 'the Picnic'. . . . . . . .


'Picnic'. A word shrouded in mystery.
'Picnic' has also changed in meaning over the years.

Originally it was a group feast to which each member brought along a share
 of the food and drink. . . . . and it's doubtful they were held outdoors. 

Although the association of outdoor eating and the picnic is not yet 200 years old, 
records of meals eaten outside go back centuries. In those days al fresco eating
 wasn't necessarily organized with pleasure in mind. The majority of cases were
 travelers wending their way over rough roads and dirt tracks, carrying provisions
 with them, and there was no choice but to eat out in all types of weather!


I've yet to get my picnic basket out of storage this Summer.
The intense heat, and many house and garden chores requiring attention before we
 left on the trip north, left no time for preparing a portable meal. Time for languishing on
 a grassy country spot in sensible temperatures just never arrived.


Looking through this little treasure of a book, once again I'm feeling up for planning
 a real picnic. . . . . . . if not this coming week, perhaps the next when hopefully it will
 cool off a bit.  Driving out into the countryside will be more enjoyable, spreading a 
tablecloth on the grass less buggy, and popping open a nice chilled rosé while nibbling 
tasty morsels, a Summertime adventure.



Are you planning to picnic this Summer?
Do you have a special place you return to. . . . . . . . or just drive
 through the countryside until you find 'the perfect spot?'


Of course one can also plan a kind of makeshift 'picnic' at home if traveling is not possible.
We often eat al fresco no matter the weather by sitting in the gazebo in the back garden!
There are no sweeping vistas, rippling streams, ponds, lakes or rivers. . . . . . 
. . . . . just bird baths, and a little tinkling fountain. 
Massive old trees overhead, with patches of blue sky just visible here and there, 
offer cooling shade.
The overhead fan turns silently, stirring the humid southern air.
Now and then a breeze sweeps through and rustles the tablecloth, lifts a napkin. 
 The birds sing loudly, take a bath then preen on a branch.

Yes, come to think of it, perhaps the home picnic is one of the most enjoyable.
This weekend will be very hot, I think I'll get the basket out and pack a picnic
to enjoy right here.


Monday, July 9, 2018

Clouds and the journey home. . . . . . . . . .



I took these photos with my iPhone as we flew into Washington D.C.  
last Thursday evening. The flight from New Hampshire was smooth
 and the cloud formations just stunning.




The Pentagon and Potomac River



Northern Virginia 


Coming home from a trip, especially when flying is involved, is always
 full of nostalgia for me.  
Each time I land I give thanks for the safe passage, then, if necessary, 
as on that evening, I head to the next flight gate, or the lounge if time permits, 
and settle in for the layover. That evening our flight from Washington to
Raleigh was delayed 2 hours - crew problems - so a comfy lounge wait as
 dusk turned to night was manageable. Eventually, the last thanks for safe travel
 were given as familiar territory appeared below the wing, the landing was good,
 the bags appeared quickly, and the taxi took us home.

There's no place like home, is there?


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Lakeside Independence Day. . . . . . . . .


Part of our afternoon was spent at lovely Lake Massabesic in Bob's hometown of Manchester, New Hampshire.
It was HOT - reaching 96F - with brilliant sunshine.
Because this is the drinking water for the city, there is no swimming, and 
only small boats are permitted on the water. 






Mommy duck with her babies - all were enjoying a swim along the
 shoreline where we were sitting enjoying an ice cream under a shady tree.





Flying home later today - from one hot spot to another. Actually, the heat has been even 
more intense here in New England and Eastern Canada than back in North Carolina
 these past 10 days!!!


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