These were some of the activities that consumed our sunny, sweaty, sugar-filled Memorial Day weekend.
Friday started with a yard sale at none other than Eddie Ross and partner Jaithan’s house in Dutchess County. As huge a fan as I am going back to Eddie’s Top Design days, I downplayed my enthusiasm and barely uttered five words to the guy. Those words being “I’ll take these. Please. Thanks.” Or something like that. In a stroke of weirdness, Anuj showed up wearing virtually the same outfit as Jaithan, which was both embarrassing and adorable – these two preppy, good-looking Indian men in their blue (gingham?) button-downs with rolled up sleeves, khaki shorts, and flip flops. I think there may have even been twin Aviators.
We scored some cute glasses and a bowl Eddie told me I can put an arrangement in, and I didn’t dream of replying that the bowl will sit empty as I can’t arrange flowers to save my life. Here it is on my new Annie Selkie tablecloth I scored at the Pine Cone Hill tent sale on Sunday.
Saturday we were hit with rain, but that didn’t stop Anuj from paddling around the lake in his birthday present. The kayak doesn’t have a name, but we’re considering giving it one. Anuj suggested the “Heather”, but I don’t think we can pull that off. It’s a ten foot piece of plastic, after all, not a fifty foot lobster boat. Still, as he paddled away, I stood on the dock waving and taking pictures like he was going out to sea to lay traps for a month.
Sunday I ran a 5k.
Not very well, mind you. I finished among the last third of the runners. You know, with the nine and ten-year-olds. The retirees? They were whizzing by me. It’s not saying much when I tell you I finished within my ‘target time’, as my target time was set conspicuously high for the not-so-inconspicuous purpose of giving me something to celebrate when I finished.
As for the cause of my poor performance? I’m not going to make some sorry excuse about not being in shape (I’m not). The fact is, 5ks in New York City and 5ks in the country are wildly different. There’s hills, you see. And they’re difficult to run up. So I walked them instead.
Sunday afternoon I baked a rhubarb crisp that was nearly sabotaged by 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Friends, if you’re making a fruit dessert that calls for a thickener such as cornstarch, mix it with cold water first the way the directions tell you. Otherwise, you’ll end up with five dozen cottage cheese-looking curds in your sauce, and you’ll spend the next hour picking them out. (for the record, I don’t think rhubarb even needs a thickener)
Sunday, Anuj put together our raised beds! For the vegetable garden! That we’re still telling ourselves we’re going to plant!
I spent two six-hour days (a week apart) digging up the weeds and cleaning out the rocks from this little patch of our overgrown garden. Then came the pretty part: sprinkling mulch around the perimeter (we need more), and the final touch: setting up a rabbit fence the previous owners left in our shed.
Do we have rabbits on our property? Yes, we do. I saw one dangling from the mouth of a fox on Monday. I was minding my own business digging weeds when Anuj shouted from the deck “fox!”. I turned, and there he was, trotting right by me, proud as all hell about his catch.
In the meantime, I’ve been reading gardening books and blogs and I’m completely overwhelmed. I have no idea how to enrich our soil or when to mulch or what’s the best mulch or how compost is different (better?) than store-bought fertilizer and we haven’t even bought our veggies yet. Clearly it’s too late to grow anything from seed. I say clearly like I know what I’m talking about, but I look at the other gardens in our area and there’s already little veggie stems coming out of the ground. I’m usually not this much of an idiot about things, but the timing and tools that go into gardening is still so complicated to me and I’m just hoping we actually have something to show for these beds come August.
Next week: the peonies will have arrived!