Tag Archives: summer

Constructing a Container Garden

I was inspired in late summer to build a container garden.

I bought two 12-ft. lengths of waterproof recycled material planks, and had them cut into four 1.5-ft. lengths and six 3 foot lengths. I also bought the flat, tray-like part that is designed to sit under a windowbox or something.

I got a small holly bush, a small azalea, one daisy, one mum, and one rosemary plant.

I assembled (with some help and a power drill) the box from the planks and in the center of the bottom, where I was a plank short, I substituted the tray.

After the box was assembled, I filled it with one bag of large rocks, 1 bag of organic gardening soil, and then planted my plants, filling in on top of them with a topsoil mix.

Watered diligently, let it get rained on, and everything is thriving!

I took these pictures of my first daisy bloom over the course of a few days as it opened up.


If you look again at the first photo, you’ll see that this daisy has a friend blooming now, and even the azalea bloomed a single flower off-season just to thank me for planting it! Mums are an annual and mine has gone on and petered out by now, but I’ve been trying to think of what should replace it, or if I should even bother at this time of year. I suppose I could go and ask the people at Garden District (which is where I got my other plants — with a Living Social Deal!).

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heatwave!

It is hot.

It is intensely hot.

It has broken 100 degrees more often than not lately, and today, though the temperature will not actually rise above 95, the humidity has increased significantly. It’s wild! It’s crazy! It’s unbelievable how hot it has been! Summer is great! But holy guacamole! This is nuts!

Awesome things from summer have been cook-outs and new friends and baseball games! I finally made it to one at Nationals Stadium, but I have to admit my preference still lies with Camden Yards. Oldie but a goodie. It’s so good. But Nationals Stadium does have Bens Chili Bowl working to its advantage.

One week after my first Nats Stadium experience, I managed to see the Nats play the O’s at Camden Yards and the O’s swept the series so I think that sealed the deal. A pretty grim match-up but baseball games rule no matter what, even when it’s 100 degrees and you’re in the beating sun and literally melting into a puddle, actually no not then, but almost every other time. (We moved to much less expensive, much more in-the-shade seats within an inning and a half…) Point being: BASEBALL IS FUN!

I have this new bocce ball set that I am really excited about — I’ve been waiting and waiting for exactly the right time to break it out and break it in, but it’s been SO HOT! Impossibly hot — impossible for bocce anyway. Bodily contact with anything other than the hardwood floor has been downright uncomfortable. There’s nothing for it. Even the A/C is no match for the humidity.

Yesterday my friend visited and though I have no photographic evidence of this, I will go ahead and tell you all the things we did to cool off. We went to a museum (the National Gallery of Art), we ate spicy foods (not logical, but yes delicious), we went to the pool, and we drank iced coffee in Busboys and Poets.

The pool was awesome because we used to think that when they blew the whistles and everyone got out, that everyone had to get out. I actually asked, and it turns out it’s adult swim, which means that I don’t have to get out! That was really great.

Other things I’ve done lately to cool off in this crazy bigger-picture heatwave (many weeks this has gone on, with few interruptions of nice sub-75-degree mornings, and infrequent but sometimes-cool breezes) include the following delightful things.

PUSH-UPS!!! Childhood memories abound!

Anyway, that was awesome.

My friend who visited, upon arriving in the apartment, promptly informed me that my consumption of grapes was all wrong, and then put all my grapes in the freezer, which was also awesome.

I’ve been meaning to finish knitting my first pair of socks (I still only have one…) and a pair of mittens (I still only have 1.75…) but touching yarn is so uncomfortable that I can’t really bring myself to do it. I’ve been reading a lot, which has been nice. The long weekend was great. We watched fireworks from a friend’s rooftop and had a really awesome panoramic view of all the fireworks – legal and otherwise – all over the District and surrounding cities.

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Beach weekend

Last weekend S and I decided spontaneously to go to the beach. We made the plan in a bar on Friday night, and when my phone rang at 6:05am on Saturday, I felt a mix of satisfaction and pleasant surprise at myself and S and our following through with said plan. By 7:15 we had hit the road, with all the requisite beach-going supplies, including camping necessities in the event that we found ourselves with no place to go come night-fall. We got crepes for breakfast from a real Frenchman upon our arrival. (Yum!)

It was a perfect day, if a little (a lot) windy. S got more sun than I did, and one of our mini lacrosse sticks broke right in half mid-use, but I had a real-sized one in my trunk and so it didn’t ruin any fun. We saw dolphins, had subs for lunch, read books, wore hats (too windy for the umbrella), and had a really nice time. I got new earrings. We played roof-top minigolf on the boardwalk, took a spin through the haunted mansion, went on that pirate ship/sea dragon awful thing (and enjoyed it, if only for the relief of walking on solid ground afterwards — in my case), played skeeball and wack-a-mole (S won).  We had a drink at the Dogfish Head brewery and then took a recommendation for a really good Chinese place (a little overpriced, but very tasty nonetheless). We were seated in the restaurant’s display window, which was pretty awkward when a crowd was standing and waiting to be seated, right next to us (through the glass), but we didn’t let it get to us. I took it as a compliment, although I guess I prefer compliments that don’t involve strangers staring while I eat my peking duck.

Sunday was pretty gloomy looking and rather chilly, despite having had a really lovely forecast on Friday evening. We decided to split after breakfast, but didn’t get very far before we turned around and went back because it seemed like things were taking a turn for the better. It was still a little cold on the beach, but it was nice reading and sprawling in the sun for a bit, even in my denim jacket and not a bathing suit.

Stopped at Holly’s on the way back (tiny restaurant on the east side of the Bay Bridge with really tasty crab soup and milk shakes), and did a word search containing all 50 states.

It was a really nice weekend. It’s reassuring when something so spur-of-the-moment goes so smoothly. (It also didn’t hurt that it was just before Memorial Day weekend and things were still technically “off season”) I hope this happens many more times between now and autumn.

Side note: Apparently this upscale bus line is starting summer service between DC and Deleware beaches Memorial Day weekend!

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Friday Bind-off, so behind!

Dear Blog,

I’m really sorry for neglecting you! I’ve been so distracted! I’ve been traveling, and sleeping and working and knitting and I haven’t made time to blog about any of it! I don’t have good photos of that stuff yet, either, so I’m not totally sure how to convey all of that to you, but more to follow! I promise to do better. Things are calming down again.

For now I will just do my best to get back on track. I’m going to blog the things I’ve liked on the internet over the last couple of weeks. Then I’ll get back to the moreblogging blogging that I like so much about the things that I have been up to! I’ve cooked some tasty things, and eaten some tasty things, but I have neglected to photograph any of it.

THINKS I’VE THOUGHT:

I bought rhubarb and whole milk last weekend, while I was in Florida for my sister’s graduation from college, to make this delicious sounding sherbet. Unfortunately we just had too much fun and never made time to actually make the sherbet, but I hear they did it on Wednesday and it went over pretty well. I will have to try it some other time. How to make ice cream with no ice cream machine?

I finally got around to watching An Education and the design did not disappoint, but I found the story just too alarming and it was just… off-putting to me. I wouldn’t care to argue with a person who liked it, but I found it disconcerting, as I am sure I was intended to. Oh well. I still think that Carey Mulligan is charming.

I spent a lot of time in airports this week, and didn’t really get a lot of blog-worthy thought out of it because I was so busy reading or otherwise occupying my hands/brain. And I’m catching Roommate’s cold, which is a big bummer.

I just finished a book called A Summer of Hummingbirds, about the mixed and tangled lives of acclaimed writers and artists and influences in the mid-19th Century, and it was completely fascinating, and only served to deepen my interest in the life and body of work of Emily Dickinson, among others. It was a really satisfying read, but definitely not for everyone. It ended up being a kind of pop-culturized academic literary criticism that pulled from a broad spectrum of media and genres. I really enjoyed it.

Going home this weekend meant going shopping for the first time in a long long long long time. The beach too. Now I just want to live the life that my new clothes would seem to demand (romper + straw beach hat = beach life, right? and summer and leisure? yeah? vacation! please!)

One disaster struck: I left my office door open when I left work for Florida, but the cleaning people in the building closed it that night and it locked. My boss came back the following day from her Vegas vacation and completely forgot about her plants (and her ability to retrieve and water her plants from my office window was my reason for leaving the door open), so when I arrived back in the office, her peace lily had completely and totally withered. It was a truly depressing sight when I got back and I actually closed my door and pretended that I was still gone, hoping beyond hope that I could revive it before anyone realized that I was in, and watering it feverishly. To no avail. By about 2PM, my boss came by to see how things were going, and sat down to have a bit of small talk, and suddenly, in the middle of telling me all the juicy details of her ladies only jaunt to a male strip club, she sat bolt upright and cried, “Oh, my plants!!!” kind of desperately and I immediately dissolved into really sad apologies and told her how sad and embarrassed I was. It ended up being okay, because I had watered it and peace lilies perk right up, so after a few hours it was looking better than it ever had, but it was a really devastating sight there for most of Tuesday. How humiliating.

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First Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie of 2010

Apologies for being remiss in my blogging. Some technical difficulties and off-computer distractions have collaborated to keep me away from here for about a week. Anyway, I’m back. And I made a pie!! After a long winter full of disappointingly liquidy apple pies, I am pleased to present my first strawberry-rhubarb pie of the year. I am even more pleased to say that it is reportedly “just like grandma’s” — however I should note that I have still not graduated from pillsbury crust. I’m working on it, and as far as I’m concerned, I’ve got all summer to master fruit pies with homemade crust. It was still really really pretty!!

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