Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another Weekend in Philly

Last weekend was the start of Little Miss Anna's summer ballet intensive at the Rock School. It was a long drive from NH to PA on Saturday, which was complicated by the fact that (1) Anna was taking a ballet intensive in Concord with Tatiana Tchernova from Canada's National Ballet School until 7:30 each evening (Anna loved her classes with Tatiana and Tatiana loved Anna!)
and (2) the elderflowers were in full bloom right before we left, and are only in flower for about a week, so the night before the big trip down, we were canning elderflower cordial until 10 pm!
We started packing after canning, got in bed after midnight and finished packing in the morning, resulting in quite a late start. The drive was especially long because we stopped in MA to see Michael, and stopped in NJ to see Grandmom and Grandpop. Anna checked into the dorm on Sunday. Here she is settling in...
and with her roommate, Sarah... They are two very sweet girls (they both got lucky!)

Which brings me to this weekend - back in Philly because Anna is sick and it's hard to be sick without your mom around. I was worried that my presence would be a distraction, but Anna insisted it would "help" her ballet! She did seem a little more rested and relaxed after a night at the hotel, a swim in the pool, a soak in the hot tub and some food that wasn't from the dining hall. Sarah came with us and stayed overnight at the hotel, too, which was nice company for Anna and a welcome break from the dorm for Sarah. I have taken no photos of the sick girl at her request (she still looks pale and tired), but I can definitely say she is on the mend. She went to ballet today (yes, they have class on Saturday, but it's a short day - they get out at 4:00!) and she chose to stay at the dorm tonight to watch a movie with friends. Maybe she will be in the photographic mood tomorrow, but for now, here are some cute shots from Grandpop's Father's Day party at Joelle's house 2 weeks ago...
I love this last one. She is all leg!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Kitchen

Because we have gotten so many emails and questions about the new house, and because the kitchen is the only room that is completely clean and put away, here are a few photos of the new kitchen...

Ok, so maybe I forgot to clean the windows.  At least this half of the dining room looks ship shape...

We'll post more photos of other rooms soon, although, especially at this time of the year, the river is the best feature of the house.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happenings Since England

I finally got around to making a proper birthday cake for Anna:  three layers of sponge, with whipped cream, strawberries and blueberries.  Anna couldn't resist putting it together herself.

We got the rest of our plants in:  San Marzano tomatoes, 3 varieties of peppers (2 hot, 1 sweet), 2 more varieties of basil, more annual flowers and seeds, chard, cippollini onions, and maybe others that I am forgetting.  We bought haricot vert seeds, which will soon replace the broccoli rabe.  And we harvested our first batch of chamomile.

In other plant news, the orchids are multiplying, the catmint had aphids (unusual - generally you can't get rid of catmint and one of the plants was sucked dry before I realized it), and there has been no sign of powdery mildew this year, although I preemptively got rid of a lot of rudbeckia since that was the weak link last year.

Memorial Day dinner could not have been less traditional:  the squid tubes looked great at Whole Foods the day before, so I made fried salt and pepper squid and Anna made four delicious dipping sauces to go with.  We rounded out the anti-cookout with artichokes and elderflower cordial (opened the last jar from last year's canning effort) to drink.

Last weekend I moved from my apartment in Concord to a little house in Henniker. Right on the Contoocook River.  I don't know how I ever lived without the constant sound of rushing water and a view like this from my back door.  Can't wait to get my kayak up to NH.

Speaking of NH, I took this photo of Nick's Restaurant in Winchester...
Oh, the irony that just one short month ago I was taking photos of beautiful medieval buildings and a cathedral in Winchester England, and now I'm taking photos of an enormous blow-up crab on top of a building in Winchester New Hampshire!