Sorry for my absence last week, but I took an impromptu trip back home to visit my family in Minnesota. It was my Dad’s birthday and my oldest nephew, Andy, was starting his freshman year of college, so it just felt like I needed to be there. Generally, I am not a very impulsive person, especially when it comes to something like travel. But I had the miles to take me home sweet home, so I did it. And it was a really nice break.
Now visiting Minnesota in August can sometimes be downright unpleasant. Humid to the point where you just collapse and throw a tantrum. Or maybe that is just how I react. 😀 Anyway, I did get to experience the terrible humidity, a noisy thunderstorm and nice, cool temperatures too, all within seven days. Minnesota is not just the land of 10,000 lakes but also the land of ever-changing weather. 🙂
A Few Home Highlights
One thing I always enjoy about non-Christmas visits is that they are so much more low-key. We’re always racing from one event to the next during the holidays. But summer visits are a bit slower paced, even though time still flies by.
I Cheated on Max
This is not a great picture of Moonshine. My picture taking was making him nervous. My parents were taking care of the neighbor cats, which meant I had to help. And by help, I mean pet and indulge. I forgot Moonshine has sharp claws (Moonshine is an outdoors cat) and he nailed me when we were playing but I’m not mad. Those are love marks.
And please don’t tell Max about my cheating. He lectured me for a good 30 minutes when I got home about being left behind again. If he knew that I snuggled with other cats back home, he would definitely puke up a hairball on my favorite flip-flops.
Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers and our neighbor gave us a vase with a few clippings from one of her hydrangea bushes as a thank you. I am going to try growing (or more likely killing) some in the future.
Bounty from My Mom’s Garden
My Mom plants a big garden every year. Potatoes, carrots, onions, beets, zucchini, squash and tomatoes. And I took a little stash home to enjoy. The beets will go towards my yummy Beet Feta Tabbouleh Salad and the tomatoes were featured in a lovely Peach Tomato Caprese Salad. I’m planning something special with the zucchini that I’ll be sharing next week on Eat Laugh Purr.
Lots and Lots of Apples
My Mom was happy that I was home to help eat and take some of her zucchini with me. Those who grow zucchini know that it is a plant that gives and gives and gives. 🙂 But beyond eating it, we don’t do much else with it, no freezing or canning. But the apples are a different story. My Mom makes apple butter and freezes plenty of apples for pies, cobblers and crisps. And honestly, I’m pretty sure my Mom wishes that I could come back in a few weeks when she’s hip deep in apples. 🙂
Super Tall Beans
I definitely consider myself to be a city girl, but I grew up on a small farm. My parents grow soybeans and alfalfa. The beans this year are doing exceptionally well and are super tall, probably taller than me. Yes, that’s my Mom and Dad. Yes, I’m adopted.
Best Angel Food Cake Ever!
My mom made an awesome angel food cake for my Dad’s birthday and Andy’s going away party. This picture doesn’t even begin to do justice to it. I’m definitely going to make it with my Mom in the future so I can share it on Eat Laugh Purr. It was so freaking good!
Odds and Ends
We went to our small county fair where my brother had a booth for his business, and I was thrilled that the banner I made for him was a big hit. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of it. 🙂 I played cards with my grandparents and parents. I lost horribly the first night (my score was negative, people) but redeemed myself the second night with the second highest score. Ironically, my Grandpa and I were the losers the first night and the victors the second night. I ate lots, did not read as much as I expected and enjoyed hearing thunder for the first time in years. It doesn’t really thunder in California. I miss it now but was really scared of thunder growing up.
Recharged and Ready to Go
A little break was exactly what I needed. We’re heading into Fall and I’m taking stock of where I am now and where I want to be. I’ve got some work ahead of me, which can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but I’m also ready to burn a little rubber and catch-up with those dreams of mine and all the posts I want to write.