Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer at its Best

We had originally planned to have a couple of folks over this evening for dinner, but given the amount of house-related tasks we had to get done today, we decided to reschedule for next weekend. I was slightly bummed, because it would have been fun to have folks over -- I enjoy entertaining more than I thought I would -- but our house was in no shape for company.

These pictures are from a few weeks ago, when I tried my hand at a recipe for barbeque chicken grilled in a foil packet. It was nothing spectacular, but it was documented on film, so by golly, we're sharing it with you.

After getting some much-needed laundry started, we went to Lowe's to buy some chicken wire to put around our fence, so that Pringles will quit sticking his nose through the fence slats. He did that last week and got bitten by another dog. After a trip to the emergency vet, a shaved snout, and some antibiotics, he's fine. But he hasn't learned his lesson and is still sticking his nose where it doesn't belong. So we're going to try some chicken wire to keep him in. (Bonus -- the chicken wire should also keep the bunnies out, which will help with their unyielding appetite for my bean plants.)


But Lowes didn't really have what we needed, so we bought me a watering can and some pumpkin seeds and headed back home, where we tackled the weeds in our front hedges for a couple of hours.

After a rainy start to our summer, we've finally had a good solid two weeks of sunshine. Which, of course, has practically murdered my hydrangeas, and the crabgrass has taken over everything else. (You never can have it just how you want it, can you?)

While I pulled weeds, Steven watered the hydrangeas, the azaleas, and pretty much anything he could reach with the hose on the "jet" setting. When he started washing off the sides of the house and an old matchbox car that he'd found buried in our garden, I took the hose away from him. :) Playtime's over.


We were about to put the hose away when I realized that my car was so filthy, I couldn't see out the back window. I nearly ran over a little old lady in the grocery parking lot the other day for that very reason.

So I hauled out the mop bucket and a sponge, and set forth to wash my car in our driveway. It was the most suburban-ish thing I think I've done since we bought the house.

Our little Carlie's gotten herself a limp lately. We took her to the vet, and they didn't have great news for us. At best, its arthritis. At worst, its cancer. We're going to dope her up on some good painkillers and really love on her a lot. I'm trying not to focus on the inevitable, but just take each day at a time. We love our little old girl a whole lot.

Boy, oh boy, was my car grimy. I think it had been at least 4 or 5 months since I'd washed it last. It desperately needed a wash, and normally we'd just drive it up to Suds Car Wash, but something about the sunshine and having the hose out and ready, it just felt so summery and right to be washing the car in the driveway.

With my arms covered in dishsoap bubbles, I scrubbed that little car till she shone. Steven came around and rinsed after my scrubbing, but it still took two full revolutions around the car to get it clean.


We must have been quite a sight to behold, because as we finished the last round of scrub/rinse, I heard our neighbor in the house behind ours, Ed, calling to us from across his backyard.

"Hey! Nice job there!"

We waved and smiled, and Ed kept going.

"We've got hot dogs over here if you want 'em -- come on over! Looks like you've been working pretty hard and could use something to eat!"

I looked at Steven, and he shrugged. We'd been politely avoiding their petitions to have us over, on the pretense that we had too much going on. But they'd caught us. We'd just spent nearly an hour washing my car in plain view. Clearly we had nothing better to do. Busted.


So we trekked through the next-door neighbor's yard and down to Ed's house, feeling like trespassers even though the next-door folks were already there, chowing down on hot dogs with Ed. We sat down on a bench in their covered porch, Ed handed each of us a plate, and the whole group of them peppered us with questions.

"And you came from where?" "But you don't have an accent?" "Oh, you're a lawyer?" "Oh! You work for Five Guys?" "You don't have any kids?" "Well, are you trying?"

Wow. (And no. But thanks for asking.)


Despite my initial skepticism (and despite the inquisition regarding our personal life), we actually had a good time finally accepting the invite to come over and "hang out with the neighbors." I now have a better understanding for why they spend so much time shouting to each other on the covered porch -- its nice out there, and with all the kids running around everywhere, you kind of have to shout to be heard.

And something about all the sunshine and the trip to Lowes and the sudsy water washing down our driveway -- it just felt right to conclude the afternoon with hot dogs in a neighbor's backyard.

Suburbia, we have officially arrived.


Steven said...

We really do have the best weekends.

We have come a long way since the days of having to wait tables on Friday and Saturday nights. :)

Mom said...

Steven is right, you both have come a long way since Lynchburg restaurants. We are so proud of you two. The Lord is GOOD. Praise God for weekends!