Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer In Full Swing

It was not my intention to let a week go by before posting again.  Time is just zooming by at lightening speed,and even though I intend to post regularly, I get caught up in my gardening time in the evenings, which is usually when I sit down to compose a post.  I am enjoying the lazy mornings, having Noah here, and nowhere we have to be.  It is nice.  He and his cousins have been doing a fair amount of swimming lately.
Sometimes lunch is a hot dog and icee at Sam's Club.
The garden continues to provide the basis for many of our meals.  On Saturday I made hummus.  Easy Peasy, and oh so delicious.
I didn't use a recipe.  I just eyeballed it.  I had 3 cans of garbanzo beans.  I drained them, and reserved the liquid.  Put about 4-5 fresh cloves of garlic into processor with metal blade.  Mince finely.  Add beans and Tahini. For 3 cans, I used about half of this jar.  Maybe 2/3 cup or so.   Add the juice of two lemons.  If you don't have one of these babies...get one!!  Pulse to desired creaminess.  Add some of the reserved bean liquid, and sea salt and a pinch of pepper.  Taste to see what it may need.   I put it into three containers, and drizzled a bit of olive oil on top, then sprinkled with smoked paprika.

I used a sugar snap pea to do my taste test.
You could add anything you want to it.  Roasted red peppers, herbs, pesto!  Try it!
I had just brought in some fresh spinach and from the garden, and I had some pita bread, so I made these hummus and veggie sandwiches for lunch.  They were delicious!
I later thought, oh darn, I should have added some cucumber slices too.  Next time.  
After the hummus, I got a big batch of granola going.  We love it on yogurt, ice cream, or just plain.  
Quesadillas are a quick and easy snack around here too.  I love to load it up with arugula and chives from the garden, and tomatoes, and black olives.  Then top with ripe avocado.  Fresh & Easy has a creamy cilantro dressing that I love for a dipping sauce!
Greg was gone on business all of last week.  I was so ready for him to come  home on Friday night!  We had a pretty laid back weekend.  On Saturday afternoon, I went to a beautiful garden tea party, bridal shower, for the lovely daughter of our next door neighbor.  I wish I had my camera...but I didn't bring it.  Then on Sunday morning, my neighbor invited us back to the same lovely spot in her garden, for brunch with several other couples.  It was delightful!  The rest of the day was spent doing  yards and chores.  I got a new toy, and Greg got it running just right for me.  But I was a little nervous to drive it myself.  So he was showing me how.  
We have an awful lot of grass to mow, so this will sure help!  I will probably let Greg do the front, and I will do the back.  So if I get into a pickle, and have to make a three point turn, no one can laugh at me.  I did the backyard and did just fine.
My gardens are my favorite place to be in the evenings.  But I am doing battle with daggone gopher, and ground squirrel!!  
The corn is forming on the stalks, and looks so pretty and healthy!
My kitchen counter tops usually look like this.

Pizzas are on the menu for tonight again.  
Look at this pair or Smurfs my friend brought me the other day.  She handed me the package, and I gave her a quizzical look.  Then realized what they were.  A cook and a gardener!  She said she saw them, and immediately thought of me!  Wasn't that thoughtful?  I love them.
They have taken pride of place on my kitchen window sill.  
Last night, Greg and I were still out working in the backyard, when all of a sudden there was a loud boom.  We both jerked to our feet, and began to run to the front.  He thought it came from next door, and I thought it was a gunshot.  We got to the front and could see the tall plumes of thick black smoke billowing from the house across the street.  Greg ran back to get his phone, and I ran to the house, along with my next door neighbors.  Gary said he knew that they were not home.  But their sister and parents, each have a house on our street as well.  Gary's wife ran up to bang on their door, and by then, many neighbors had gathered out front, watching helplessly as the fire burned their beautiful home. 
It seemed like forever for the fire department to get there.  But finally, one after another, came careening up our street, alarms ringing.  Nine altogether, and many police.  The above photo was taken after the fire crew had gone to the roof to cut three large holes in the roof, to release the heat.  The fire appeared to have begun in the garage.  Her car, and their golf cart were destroyed.  There were projectiles flying across the street and explosions, which we later learned were the car tires popping.
We learned that they were away on a camping trip, and their two dogs were in the backyard.  One neighbor jumped the fence to rescue the panic stricken dogs.  It took a very long time to get the fire under control.  I would imagine that beside the garage and kitchen and dining room being destroyed, there is extensive damage throughout the house.  
They were finally reached about 9 last night, after having spent the day wine tasting in wine country up along the Central Coast.  They could not pick up their camp and come home until this morning.  Can you imagine getting that call?
The fire crews remained on scene til late last night.  And some of the crew remained all night.  A guard was there to prevent any problems as well.  They are still there today, trying to discover the cause, as well as remove items from the house that were saved.  
The street was closed off at both ends, and my son was a few streets away at his girlfriends house, when he heard a neighbor of theirs say they found the fire and it is on XXXX street!!!  Drew heard our street name, and they came running on foot.  It was really scary, but thankfully, there was no one injured.  The fire department was fabulous!  Christopher was compelled to go give one of the guys a big hug.  I am so glad Greg captured this photo!
For those of you who may not know who Christopher is, he is a very special young man that lives next door to us.  He is 21 now.  Chris has Down Syndrome, and we love him dearly.  He has spent a great deal of time with us over the last 15 years that they have lived next door.  He is an incredible young man, full of love and compassion.  As you can tell by this photo.  Sitting on my swing in the front yard last evening, you could still see the smoke coming from the house in puffs.  The fire crew remained most of the night, putting out hot spots.
Everyone feels so badly for the homeowners, who are on their way home now.  What a shock.  But most importantly, no one was hurt.
Oh, and guess what?  I gave up.  Threw in the towel.  Whimped out.   I couldn't take my white hair any longer.  My daughter got me all fixed up again, and if that darn lady at the theater asks me if I want a senior priced ticket again, I may punch her in her freckled face!!
Over and out.  See you soon.  But only with iphone pics.  Greg dropped my camera last night in the rush of the fire.  : (
XO  Kris


Linda said...

Man oh man.....what a life you live Kris!
My life is dull and extremely boring compared to yours!
Your garden is unbelievable....
You look like a young chick!
Love your hair!
Phew.....I'm tired...just reading about your life!
Enjoy your week....
Linda :o)
Ps.....Noah is a very lucky young man, to have a Nana like you ♥️ is your Mom?

Pammy Sue said...

Well, that was an exciting and unexpected post!

Teresa Kasner said...

Goodness sakes, Kris! Lots of good stuff with the kids and the pool and the yummy home grown goodies.. but how very sad about the fire for those poor people! It's a nightmare of mine that our house will burn. I'm so glad the dogs were rescued, poor things! You look adorable.. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Jeanna said...

What an action packed post must be exhausted, physically and emotionally. I am so sorry for your neighbors but very happy no one was hurt and the animals were saved. Chris is truly a sweet person, precious photo.

Love your hair...way fancy :)

Elaine L. said...

Wow your garden is amazing. Love your hair and all that good eatin goin on over there.

Debbie said...

WOW!! What a story you had to tell. It must have been soo scary seeing that all so up close and personal. So glad no one was hurt, but I can just imagine the mess they will be coming home to and my heart goes out to them. Your garden continues to look so wonderful, and I just LOVE your hair! Sooo nice it must be to have your daughter be able to fix it up however you want. Glad you are enjoying your summertime with Noah. He's such a cutie!

Lauri said...

What a shame...such a beautiful home!

Again, your gardenias imaging and the great thing about you is you make such fabulous meals with your bounties.

Grammy Staffy said...

I am so sorry about your neighbors home. That is terrible. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

I love your hair.... so pretty. You look great. After being in the hospital over 3 weeks and down in bed most of 5 months, my hair dye is all grown out and I am completely grey now. I like it colored better but people tell me it is a pretty silver color so I guess I will not redo it. I don't have the energy to fool with it at this point....and I will be 70 in August so I guess it is time for grey hair.
Your garden looks beautiful. Enjoy the proceeds as I know you are. Have a great week. Hugs,

Kelli said...

I love seeing pictures from your garden. One day I hope to have a garden. I grew up going out back and picking veggies and fruit for our dinner.

Amy at love made my home said...

How sad and horrible for your neighbours, I am glad though that they and you are safe. That is the most important part of all. Your garden looks as though it is doing really well, lots of produce indeed1 Very tasty having grown it yourself I am sure. xx

corners of my life said...

It never occurred to me to use hummus on my sandwich. Great tip.

Dawn said...

Your garden is doing wonderful and I love that you have created so many meals from it. What a great way to spend the summer gardening, swimming, and eating. How horrible about the fire so glad no one was hurt:)

Karen L. Bates said...

What a post! So glad no one was hurt and that there were neighbors home to call it in. I just can't imagine how they will feel when they get home.

I love all the healthy things you are all looks so delish!
It must be wonderful to have all that fresh stuff to use.

Home Meadows said...

So glad no one was hurt by the fire. I wonder what would cause it? Scary stuff for sure. Your grands look like they are enjoy the pool and Popsicles in the warm sunshine. We've had a lot of rain so far this summer, it's raining today. All your food looks great. I need to try to make some humus and see how the family likes it. Take care, Heather

Gloria Baker said...

Really Im sorry about the fire of yours neighbors is terrible..
Really Greg dropped your camera ?? omy (he has to buy you a new lol
Yours pics are amazing and the garden and the herbs beautiful!
Thye last picture of you look amazing you look beautiful really!
I missed when you dont stopping by but I understand you always are busy!
(But really I missed you)
Send you hugs and love:))

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Oh Kris, I laughed out loud at your last picture and comment!! Dam that freckled faced girl!!!!! You look beautiful!!
Sorry to hear about your neighbor's, can't imagine coming home to that. thank goodness no one was hurt.
Love seeing all your homemade foods, yummy!
Love the granola recipe at some point if you have time.

Mereknits said...

Oh my goodness so much is happening, you get us hooked with the granddkids, garden and Greg on his new tractor, pile on all the yummy food and then, bam!!!, big fire. Those poor people, but thank goodness the dogs were fine and no one was hurt, that is what really matters.
Hugs to you Kris,

NanaNor's said...

Hi Kris, It is so hard to stay caught up during summer. I've been having a heck of a time. Loved seeing your humus and your veges-but girl you made me hungry.
I'm so sorry about your neighbors home, but thankful no one was inside and that the dogs were rescued. How scary.
Your hair looks great-but you are so young looking(much younger than me)and definitely not a senior. Senior rates are pretty cool though.
Hope you have a quiet relaxing evening.

Patty Antle said...

The hummus looks so delicious- I've never made it from scratch but I've heard from others too how easy it is to make. So sad about the fire. We just never know what could happen. What a sweet neighbor you have. He's a very special guy.

Betsy said...

So much to comment on Kris! First of all, you are BeAuTiFuL!!! Gorgeous! No one will take you for a senior now. :-) and I love hummus.
Your garden is amazing. I think your new toy is cute and so are your smurfs.
But....your poor neighbors. I feel so bad for them. They will be in my prayers. How devastating to get that news while away. The silver lining is that no one was there to get hurt. Things can be replaced.
Thank you for sharing your busy life with us.

podso said...

Everyone's nightmare, what happened to your neighbor. But at least no one was hurt. Quite an event filled post! The hummus looks so yummy.

Pam said...

Your new toy looks fun and way easier to mow your grass with. Sorry about the fire - so thankful no people or animals were hurt. I feel terrible for the homeowners. Love your hair - it's so cute!

Gracie Saylor said...

WOW!!! So glad everyone is safe, but so sorry for your neighbors' loss. I love your gardening and cooking and swimming summer days with family and friends, Kris, and to me you always are beautiful and not seniorish :) xx

priscilla said...

Scary about the fire ,Kris ! Glad no one was hurt ..Love your new hair color !

Taciana Simmons said...

Goodness that was scary that fire so close to your house. I'm so glad everyone was safe and sounds. How sweet your neighbor 's to go hug the fireman... I bet he is a very sweet young man. .. And I absolutely love your hair... I'm with you. I don't really like the grey. I love when I get my hair done and all the grey is gone ... I feel 10 year younger :) you look great !

Tania @ Out Back said...

Gosh what an eventful time in your street. So glad no one was hurt...

Love your hair do :)