Graduation Open House

Yesterday was the open house at Tom and Tina’s to celebrate Simon and Olivia’s respective graduations. There were a nice mix of family and friends, some we hadn’t seen in years including Tina’s Utah and Idaho families. We didn’t know most of Olivia’s high school friends but that’s about what you’d guess. The weather cooperated to perfection so none of the guests from northern climes were even slightly discomforted. Nancy made Olivia a new quilt for her dorm room in the fall. Of all the ones she’s made, this particular one ranks high for me, right up there with the gator quilt. It has brightly colored, tropical fish patterns with a bright orange minky back. Olivia loves to snorkel with Tom on the reefs off the Florida keys so Nancy thought this would help her think of those good times when wrapped up in the quilt. We got Simon a new bike to replace the one he had stolen in Gainesville and a banjo to round out his repertoire of stringed instruments to pluck and sing around the campfires in Tennessee. His boss there is an accomplished player so we expect by the time the summer ends, he’ll be playing at open mike nights wherever his career leads him.

I mentioned the coolish weather we’re having, in the 50’s this AM topping out in the low 80’s. It’s more like late March than mid May. And it’s not just a few cool days making this spring unusual, we have Easter Lilies which usually bloom in March, popping out now. We, more often than not, have Easter gatherings at the house and usually somebody brings a seasonal plant – lilies for example and I plant them outside They come back every year around Easter. Wouldn’t you think if the climate were getting warmer as the climatologists are trying to convince us, they’d be blooming in Feb? Maybe the way this is going to work out is that it will be a bit warmer in North Dakota and a little cooler in Florida. That wouldn’t be all that bad.

Moving quickly into green bean, cherry tomato overload so I looked for a green bean salad recipe and up popped several using green beans and cherry tomatoes. alright!!!!!!! It just so happens that Tom and Tina got Nancy a sampler set of gourmet olive oils and vinegars for mother’s day. So I picked a recipe at random – where at random means I had 100% of the ingredients, modified it to add a few extra things I had in season and picked Sicilian lemon vinegar and blood orange fused olive oil balsamic (there are both fused and infused oils) for the dressing. The beans are a type of Romano (Italian) green beans so the Sicilian oil felt right; ditto blood orange and lemon. I think I’ll sprinkle on some parmesan cheese at serving to complete the creation. I’ll try to remember to update you in the next post as to how the salad actually tastes

I went out to the garden to pick some goodies this afternoon and there were 3 Sandhill Cranes pecking alongside the garden casually. I don’t know if they are an endangered species but these three certainly were, the closer they came to the garden. If they were picking and eating such as grasshoppers, good luck to them but if they seemed to have a hankering for cucumbers, bam. I watched for several minutes and they got right up against the garden fence but none made any move to try veggies so they’re safe for now. I guess I should do some research and find out what they eat. I mean I’m a nature lover but …………….

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