Saturday, May 21, 2011

life, lately

  • Time has been passing in the blink of an eye. Probably because I have nothing much to do. I fill my days with crocheting, gardening, cooking, job searching... and sometimes even cleaning [though Thomas likely wishes cleaning would be first on that list]. I'm more of a creative housewife than a practical housewife. Which is probably why I was attracted to a practical man.
  • Thomas is working hard, as he always does. We are grateful for his good engineering job in this economic climate. 
  • Back to the time thing... I could have sworn just yesterday it was February. And now we're nearing June. I don't remember March turning into April turning into May... it all seems like a big blur.
  • In about two weeks, Thomas's parents and two youngest brothers will be visiting us here in Dallas. We haven't seem them since Christmas in Oregon. They're in the U.S. for the year, so we get to see them more than usual. It's going to be so fun to show them around this city that we call home [for now].
  • Texas is well on its way to being unbearably hot. Lucky for me, I'll escape one of the hottest months by spending July in England with my family - hurrah! [for escaping the heat, yes, but mainly for seeing my family]. To give you an idea of how long it's been since I saw some of them... the last time I saw my youngest brother Matthew was at our wedding in South Africa. He was eleven then. He is now fourteen. I hardly recognize pictures of him! Thomas is coming along for the first week of July, but then he has to come back here to work.
  • Right after I get back from England at the end of July, Thomas and I fly straight to Oregon for a Congdon Family Reunion. Thomas's father is one of twelve Congdon siblings. And Thomas has over sixty cousins, just on the Congdon side of his family. It's going to be lovely to finally meet everyone... I've met many of them already, but with a family this size there are always more people to get to know!
  • I've been really wanting to read this book... I've heard lots of good things about it. I want to see the movie as well, but I have a rule than I only watch a movie after I've read the book.

  • I also really want one of these. The Kindle 3G. *Drool* ... then I could read Water for Elephants on it.

  • A few days ago I discovered Pinterest. I have been pinning and re-pinning all my favorite things to my boards non-stop. I love it. [You probably have no idea what I'm talking about... basically, it's a place online that's one big virtual creative idea board].  I'm getting so many brilliant ideas... good books to read, new recipes, fabulous designs and concepts for my future dream house, ways to better organize space in our little apartment... you name it, Pinterest has an idea board for it. You can follow people's boards, kind of like on Twitter. If you want an invitation (for some reason, you have to get an invite to join), let me know. It's awesome.
  • I feel obliged to share something about Thomas now since most of this post is about me. How egocentric of me. This is the Congdon Chronicles, after all. Not the Sarah Chronicles. So. Thomas. He likes this site called Gizmodo. It's all about newfangled gadgets and technology and world events relating to such things. He keeps up with all that, so he always knows about stuff like the newest smartphone and when space shuttles are taking off. 
  • Currently, Gizmodo [along with much of the media] is ablaze with comically satirical articles about how today is apparently the beginning of the end of the world... May 21st 2011... which, according to a fellow called Harold Camping, is the day of the rapture. I don't know about you, but I'm still here. *Looks around* So is Thomas. Gasp!  We've been left behind!
  • Anyhoo, back to Thomas. He's just smart, and he knows everything, and he can fix anything. When the computer isn't doing what I want it to, I tend to bang on it. Thomas comes over to rescue the poor inanimate object, and makes it do what I need it to do with a few clicks. When a giant Texan tree cockroach gets into the house, he hunts it down and disposes of it. Things that fall apart in my hands are capably put back together in his hands. What would I do without him? {Confession: I just glanced over at him again to make sure he hadn't been raptured without me. Now that would be unfair.}
  • Well, there you have it, folks... the happenings of our lives, lately.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

{see how my garden grows}

It's been just over six weeks since I planted my little patio garden.

It's been busy growing.
The seedlings when I first planted them.

Four weeks later, with the bell pepper plant moved to the front, a new spaghetti squash plant in the middle, and stakes added to support the tomato plant.

This past weekend (six weeks after planting everything), I had to build a trellis for the cucumber plants to climb up, because they had grown so much they were hanging off the edge of the city pickers patio planter. I used bamboo stakes.

[First two sides built]
What it looks like today, six weeks after planting.

My jalapeno plants are flowering.

As are my cucumber plants.

The chives, onions, cilantro, and green beans that I started from seeds in these little containers...

... grew fast...

... and are now flourishing in bigger pots.

[spring onions, cilantro, chives]

[green beans]

The herb seedlings that I planted are growing and producing nicely.

[thyme, thai basil, sweet basil]

[rosemary, tarragon, oregano]

This is the whole patio garden after three weeks, having just transplanted the little seedlings into bigger pots.
And here everything is today, after six weeks.
After just over a month, I watered everything with some plant food. The potting mix that I bought claims to feed plants for up to three months, but I thought I'd get a head start. I plan to feed them about once a week.
I also bought some organic pesticide/fungicide, because I've had some trouble with aphids and brown leaf spot. It seems to be taking care of everything.

I should have my first harvest of green beans soon, and there are little tiny jalapeno peppers and cucumbers growing. I'm hoping to see some tomatoes soon.

Keep growing, little plants!

{And yes, my life really is that boring that I write entire posts about my patio garden}


Friday, May 6, 2011

Cinco de Mayo {veggie fajitas & margaritas}

For all the non-Americans who may read this blog, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican-American heritage and culture recognized nationwide in the U.S.

It's a pretty big thing here in Texas, being so close to Mexico.

So I made veggie fajitas (that's what I'm calling them, anyways) for dinner last night, and they turned out well.
And they're very easy to make.

Two yellow summer squash & two zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced.
One small onion, julienned.
Several (4-6) garlic cloves, minced.
One jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and sliced.
One 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed.
Juice of one lime.
Fajita (or taco) seasoning (preferably one that is a pure spice mix, with no preservatives or additives like MSG)... to taste (I used 2-3 tsp, but the one I use is fairly strong).
Chipotle chili powder, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.
Salt, to taste.

Saute vegetables (onions, garlic, yellow summer squash, zucchini, jalapeno pepper) until they begin to soften.

Add fajita/taco seasoning.

Add chipotle chili pepper.

Squeeze in lime juice.

Add black beans, simmer everything together for a while for the flavors to mix.

And serve [ on freshly made tortillas from Central Market :) ]

With sides like fresh salsa and guacamole.

And don't forget the margarita!
Tequila + margarita mix + lots of ice, all blended up.

Margarita in a wine glass with a bendy straw... classy, haha.

Happy Cinco de Mayo, for yesterday!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a little of this, a little of that

This post is going to be completely and utterly random, just for your information.

So, the day after I wrote the last post about my dream car, we actually went to the Mini Cooper dealership to look at the Mini Cooper Countryman.
Just for the heck of it.
And they had the absolute perfect one. It even had Union Jacks on the side mirrors!

Happy girl

Thomas liked it too

View from the roomy back seat

I wanted to drive home with it. * Sigh *


I made a roast dinner for Easter, and it turned out deliciously.
I roasted potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, red onions and garlic together, with fresh rosemary from my little herb garden.

We also had garlic-rosemary sirloin tip roast, and steamed green beans.
And yummy gravy.

It was scrumptious.


Thomas desperately needed a hair cut... he was beginning to look Bieber-ish.
One afternoon this week it was nice out, so I decided to cut it on the patio. Which, I might add, was not the brightest idea. There was hair flying everywhere in the breeze as I cut it.


Halfway done.

Much better. And very handsome.


Then on Thursday I got all excited about the Royal Wedding, and I made English scones.

We had them with homemade strawberry jam [from the multitude of strawberries that we picked a couple of weeks ago], and freshly whipped cream. And tea, of course.

And I totally got up at 4am on Friday to watch the wedding live. Because I'm British, and it would be like high treason to miss it.

The service was beautiful and majestic, and Prince William and Kate Middleton were adorable together.
Prince William and Kate Middleton

The stunning, elegant dress.

The Queen looks fabulous in yellow.

I loved the tiara

Prince Harry and Kate's sister Pippa.
Prince Harry - Royal Wedding - The Newlyweds Greet Wellwishers From The Buckingham Palace Balcony

The official pictures in Buckingham Palace.

It was beautiful, and it was nice to celebrate something on a world wide scale. Apparently around 2 billion people watched the wedding. It was an uplifting glimpse of joy and happiness amongst all the tragic things that have happened in the world recently.


It was quite the weekend for world-wide events... just today President Obama announced that Osama Bin Laden has been killed by U.S. forces and his body is confirmed to be in U.S. custody.
Obviously, I'm glad he is no longer a threat to the world. But I'm not entirely sure what to think about the ethics surrounding his death.


And on that note, I will end this haphazard, wandering post. I had no idea what I was going to write about when I began. So there you have it.


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