This is the haul for our first week's garden and meat shares from Elmwood Stock Farm. Elmwood is one of two (that we know of) CSA Farms in our area. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
We've been talking about participating in this program for a while, wanting to do what we can to be more responsible consumers. And we found that we had been buying more of our food from local farms at the Farmer's Market.
So this year we finally signed up.
Included in our basket this week were:
A mixture of three lettuces
A quart of fresh strawberries
A pound of ground beef
A free-range roasting chicken
All of these are organically raised. The newsletter included in the box said they also had radishes, but they must have had limited quantities, as we didn't get any. But that's okay.
We are very pleased with what we did receive. It was more than I expected this early in the season.
We ate the lettuce last night, and today at lunch. We had strawberries for dessert. Tonight, Ali roasted the hen, and some of the asparagus. It was all great. We're going to eat very well this summer.
Ali and I bought a new car last Friday. It's a 2007 Honda Civic LX.
We've needed a second car since she moved here, and we finally bought one.
We still have the 2002 Jetta, but plan to trade it in soon for another new car. The Jetta is out of warranty, and is becoming a maintenance nightmare. It spent the week we were in Washington in the shop, and cost me $1200 plus for repairs.
We are still trying to decide what to replace it with. We've talked for some time about buying a pickup truck or small to mid-size SUV for the utility they would provide for hauling things like furniture and garden supplies. The Honda Element seems like a pretty good fit.
But last night, while we were out to dinner with the local Drinking Liberally group, our friend Elle suggested to me that the Civic was now our 'sensible' car, and that the second new car should be something fun. Like a convertible.
She went on to tell me how much fun her Miata convertible is.
And, those of you who read Mike's blog, know how much he loves his new Miata convertible.
What to do? What to do?
Those of you who read Alison's blog know of her dilemma yesterday. She wondered whether she should go out in the pouring rain to buy chocolate.
Luckily she didn't have to, as our friend stopped by bearing a small box of Woodford Reserve Bourbon Balls.
Later in the day, I decided I was going to make a batch of vegetable soup for our dinner, but needed a couple of ingredients, so I decided to brave the rain and go to the grocery. Ali came with me. She was suffering from cabin fever as much as I was.
While we were at the store, we bought more chocolate. Not that we wanted to eat it. I just wanted to photograph it. Really!
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
Here I am doing some research for the dinner party we are hosting for a couple of friends tonight.
We spent yesterday afternoon shopping for it, visiting our local liquor emporium and gourmet food shop, the Liquor Barn. Yes, it is actually called that, and yes, it's huge.
We stocked up on wine and beer, some munchies for before dinner, and deli meats to cook on our raclette grill.
After dinner we are going to watch the Grammy Awards on television. The Police are opening the show!
Alison and I spent the afternoon shopping for a new showerhead. When we were in New York City over the Christmas holiday, the bathroom of our hotel room had a rain style showerhead with an attached hand shower wand.
I fell in love with it the four days we were there. I have found similar ones through Internet searches, but none that were just like the hotel had.
So after lunch today we set out on a quest to find something at least similar at local outlets. We visited Home Depot and Lowes, but couldn't find what we really needed. We also stopped at a couple of bathroom fixture galleries that sold really high end stuff.
At one of them the sales woman told us that what we wanted to do was not possible with out going to a lot of expense. It would entail ripping out the wall and replumbing. I knew that what she told us was a bunch of BS. She was just trying to sell us something that cost hundreds of dollars more than we needed.
So we came home. I did some more looking around the web, and came to realize that I could accomplish what I wanted to do, with locally acquired, and relatively inexpensive fixtures.
Ali had an appointment late this afternoon for a massage, so after I dropped her off for that, I headed over to another Home Depot location. There, I found just what I needed. I purchased the pictured six inch diameter downpour showerhead, and a diverter valve to attach our present handheld shower to it.
When we got back home, I set about installing the new showerhead. It took a bit of time to get everything attached, and tightened to prevent leaks, but I finally got it done.
And it works! The rain shower rocks, and when the diverter valve is switched, the handheld shower delivers a good strong stream just like it always has.
I then cooked dinner for us. Ali offered to cook tonight, but I wanted her to relax and not lose the benefit of her massage.
I'm really tired now, but it is a good tired. There's nothing like a feeling of accomplishment to make the hard work seem worth it.
Originally posted on my Flickr Daily Photo Diary.
We do. Now. This is one of the toys we bought at Best Buy today. The other was a zippy Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router to get us up to 802.11G speed.
We had been streaming Internet radio to WinAmp on my laptop since the old computer died. It had served as our music and print server, but the hard drive crapped out about a month ago.
Since then, I have left my newer laptop on the computer desk so we could listen to music. I missed the mobility that the laptop had afforded me. Before, I could sit on the sofa, or take the computer into the bedroom, or even sit outside on the porch. But after the old computer died, if we wanted to listen to tunes, I had to stay at the desk with the powered speakers plugged in.
But the ROKU Soundbridge frees me from those shackles. The speakers are now plugged into it, and it streams music off the Internet via our wireless network.
It was very easy to set up, and has a huge database of Internet radio stations built in. You can also play MP3s through it from any computer on the network.
I wish I had bought one sooner. Now all we need is a wireless print server.
Ali and I slept in this morning, recovering from our whirlwind trip to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving Day. But the weather was way too beautiful to keep us inside all day. It was sunny and warm. The temperature rose to the sixties.
So after a light lunch we grabbed our cameras and drove out to Keeneland for the Keeneland Arts Fair, where we bought a couple of really cool light catchers and a ring for Ali. Before we left Keeneland, we took a bunch of photos. It is such a beautiful and photogenic locale.
We drove out into the country south and west of the track and stopped in a couple of spots to take more photos. The afternoon light was perfect for some great shots.
We also stopped at the arboretum on the way home. It was just before sunset, and the light was too great to miss out on. We got some more good photos there.
It will take some time to sort through all the shots and post-process them. We'll let you know when we post them.
Dinner is simmering on the stove. I am preparing an ad lib Punjabi lamb dish which we will eat with Basmati rice.
I wish every fall weekend could be so nice. We have had more than our fair share of rainy weather this fall. There was no way I was going to miss out on this great day. It sure beat fighting the masses at the malls.
When Alison started working at Curves a few weeks ago, I would drop her off there each day and return home where I would try to amuse myself until it was time to go pick her up at the end of her shift.
One day I got a bug up my butt and decided to rearrange the living room furniture. The weather was turning cold and we had discussed having a fire in the fireplace that night. When I got back to the house, I got the Shop-Vac out and gave the fireplace a good cleaning, then brought in a load of firewood and stacked it in the fireplace.
When I was done with that, I took a look at the new sofa across the room, and decided it was too far away from the fireplace. So I moved it, and the coffee table, into the middle of the room, so that we would sit closer to the fireplace.
This was the result.
It was instantly more intimate. Alison was pleased with the result when I brought her home from work that evening.
How crazy do you have to be to stand out in the pouring rain with a $2000 camera taking pictures of two 747 jumbo jets parked on an airport tarmac?
Don't answer that.
Yes, we had a wonderful time despite the pouring rain. It is always nicer when the sun shines on Keeneland, as it did when we walked around the place (without our cameras) on Sunday afternoon. But we still had great fun watching the horses and the people, and taking dozens of photos.
This was the second day of the sale, and the action was brisk and at times exciting. While we were there, several horses sold for more than a million dollars. The record for this sale, so far, was set today when one yearling went for $11.7 million.
We assume that it was purchased by the owner of one of the jumbo jets, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum from Dubai, or perhaps by his brother, Sheikh Hamdan, the owner of the other 747.
This was Ali's first time attending the Keeneland sales, and I feel sure she will write about it soon. I think she had a good time. I've been to the sales many times before, and this trip was just as exciting as ever.
My sister called about a half hour ago to see how the new kitty was settling in. We had to tell her that we don't have him yet.
We didn't get home until 3 a.m., and didn't go to bed until 4 a.m.. We both woke at about 9. We have spent the rest of the morning sucking down massive amounts of coffee and making a shopping list of cat essentials to buy at Walmart before heading to the vet's office to pick up the new family member.
We have cat food and some cat toys already, but need a bed or two, a cat carrier, and a couple of litter boxes.
We are both showered and dressed now, and Ali is brushing her teeth.
It's almost time to go!
Well, those of you who also read Alison's blog (and who among us doesn't?), have heard the story of our acquisition of said coffee table.
She told you that I had taken a photograph of it. I took two, actually.
You can see the new coffee table in the extended post. Just click the link.