After two years of dragging that old elephant uphill, this past Saturday we picked up the keys to our new house. Getting the news and signing the papers was like feeling our way through thick fog and seeing sunlight up ahead. It was commented by those in attendance both Rick and I seemed unnaturally quiet about the whole thing. Looking back over the past year and all it took to get this house, I think numb would have been the more appropriate adjective. It took soooo long and happened so quickly we had no chance to absorb it all before the deal was sealed and done. Saturday, however, I set off the cannons (you may have heard them). Our real estate agent met us at the house with the keys, followed by mimosas and bowls of huge strawberries and cut tropical fruit. On the kitchen counter was a gorgeous terrarium filled with delicate ferns and surrounded with stone birds. With all the time it took us to achieve our goal I was looking for at least a brass band and the key to the city. The Obama’s didn’t call to offer their congratulations, but in all fairness the phones haven’t been turned on yet.
It is both daunting and exhilarating to sign one’s life away for thirty years. Now begins the task of getting it move in ready, painting, and getting the yard in tow. This followed by moving the mountains of boxes and household goods sitting around me in boxes from here to there. Boo, the Queen of Cats, will be most disconcerted, I am sure, as this is the only home she has known for the last seven years, and she is not one to have her life unsettled in any manner. Once there, we will hope she will settle in after investigating every nook and cranny as she is prone to do, and discover new hiding spots and places to rest her furry head.
Moving from a space 4,500 square feet in dimension to one 1,600 square feet presents some obvious logistic problems. Since one luxury we have had while waiting was time, many items deemed superfluous have been either sold or donated. Only those we felt might fit are waiting to be moved. This is a bonus for me, being chief cook and bottle water at our present residence and I’m sure the one following unless Rick replaces me in the upcoming week, having fewer items needing dusting or a place located for them is a definite bonus in my book. Looking around our new house on Saturday, it is basically a “mini me” version of this one. Pine trees stand outside the window replacing our current view of the foothills and lake. Squirrels run hither and yon across the wires overhead at our new location like a high wire troupe rehearsing for an upcoming performance. Slither and Slink, the reptiles I wrote about several blogs back, were not in evidence. Expecting them to appear any moment, my search didn’t extend much farther than peeking over the rail on the deck, for fear one or the other might sidle by to say hello. Garter and gopher snakes are purportedly good to have in a yard as they keep the rodents at bay, so I’m told, and I should feel delighted to have them. I’ll leave that excitement to somewhere down the road when I find one sunning itself under a canopy of plants or scurrying over the top of my shoes. Ach.
It is a bit crazy around here at the moment. The phone rings more often than the aspirin dispensary in a migraine clinic. My other half has threatened to grab his fishing pole and make for the hills on several occasions. My response is to hand him another box or stack of clothes and remind him how much effort it took to get this far and to put a little whistle in his work. My kitchen is half in and half out of the cupboards with dishes to be packed on counters and the larder revealing little of interest but a crumb of cracker lying here or there and several unopened cans of Chatty Catty Fish flavor suitable for the feline gourmet.
It seems with all this going on around me I have been reduced to writing about larvae and eating bugs, and cooking has taken a back burner, if you will, to others things taking precedence at the moment. I will sign off for tonight with this lovely light summer salad with a hint of cinnamon.
I’m remembering my father on this Memorial Day as I always do. He was in the R.C.A.F. when he died and is buried in a military cemetery in Ottawa, Ontario. Although I never knew him really, as I was one and he twenty-five, I carry his genes, and according to my mother his sense of humor. The men and women who defend our country are the thin line between us and the freedom and standard of security we continue to enjoy. Have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!
Fruit Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 graham cracker, crushed
1 1/2 cups red grapes, halved
1 1/2 cups green grapes, halved
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg
Toast nuts in skillet over med. heat until golden brown. Watch carefully as they will burn. Remove from heat and lightly sprinkle with salt.
Combine fruit in bowl. Distribute evenly in eight serving bowls.
Mix together yogurt, honey, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spoon 1/8 over top of fruit in each bowl. Dust with graham cracker crumbs and top with toasted almonds.