August Blog A Day – Day 3

What makes you feel like an adult?

On Wednesday night, we loaded up some stuff in the back of my car and took it to the county Hazardous Waste Drop-Off site (motor oil, fluorescent light bulbs, that sort of thing)… we felt pretty good about ourselves and our “adulting” after that.

Sometimes it’s things like making big purchases, like a new car, or deciding to re-side the house; lots of things to do with the house really. Training other people how to do my job. Realizing that I am the one at my job with seniority and “institutional knowledge” (because I’ve been here almost 16 years).

But mostly, it’s the really ordinary boring stuff, like checking to make sure all the doors are locked before going to bed, loading the dishwasher even though I don’t want to, that sort of thing. It’s funny, as kids we see adults and assume they all feel like adults, because they act like adults. But as adults, we realize that most people still feel like they’re faking being adults and wonder when everyone else is going to catch on. 🙂

Somewhere new

Wanted to go somewhere new, so Monday night we drove over to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and walked one of the paths.
Evidence of recently receded floodwater was evident everywhere, including a lot of algae, mold, and other stinky stuff.
Not the most pleasant walk, but got to see some herons and go somewhere new, so it was a win in my book.
Next time we’ll try the other side of the valley; supposedly it’s nicer.

Zucchini Situation is definitely capitalized

Um, there’s getting to be a Zucchini Situation. Gotta stay on top of that!

So last night I set two aside for Friday dinner, then shredded the rest.
Had Baked Cheesy Zucchini Bites (recipe by #melskitchencafe, recommended by Alison).

Recipe here: 

Then made Zucchini Cheddar Scones (by #bakerbynature). Scones highly recommended, though make sure you have a good sharp cheese, as it’s the primary flavor.

Recipe here:

My recommendation? Top notch cheese. I think I’m going to make these again (once I finish what I have), then modify the recipe to be jalapeno popper-flavored. Because when I have a cheese scone in front of me with green flecks (or, in this case, yellow/green flecks), I just want it to be jalapenos. So, keep the zucchini, but add in some jalapenos and maybe some chopped/crumbled bacon. Because who doesn’t love bacon. That’s not to say I don’t recommend the original recipe just as it is – I do. It just turns out that I want my cheddar scones to be… different.

Note, this was my first time making scones from scratch. I’m a big fan of scone mixes, where I can buy them on clearance after the holidays, make up the dough, shape them onto cookie sheets and then freeze so I can make up just a few at a time. This was my first time not using a mix, and I felt quite proud of myself for having gotten it right and everything turning out as it should.  Like, ridiculously pleased with myself.

Then I ran out of steam and bagged and froze the last 8 cups.

August Blog A Day – Day 2

Throwback Thursday. A photo with you and someone you love. Tell us about your relationship.

My sister, Alison! Oh, how I love her! Growing up, we didn’t always have the best of relationships, but as adults we have grown to understand and appreciate each other for who we are, and I am proud to have her not just as a sister but as a friend. Here’s a few pics of us together over the last almost-40 years.

Dad, Alison, and me, 1980.
Alison and me, 1985-ish
Alison and me at my graduation from college
Alison and me a few years ago at Christmas, both wearing the sweater/scarf sets we got from Dad.

August Blog A Day – Day 1

Advice you wish you could give everyone. Things you’ve learned you wish you knew earlier.

Advice I would give my younger self: the world is so much bigger than what you’ve experienced. Everyone’s experiences are different. No one has gone through exactly what you have, but you don’t know what they’ve gone through either. Give everyone a little more grace, more patience, more compassion. You don’t know what they’re going through right now, the experiences they’ve had that have shaped their decisions and personality. Even if you think you know them, you don’t know everything about them. Stop being so judgmental. It doesn’t help the situation. What does help? Offer compassion and understanding. Think of all of the reasons for their actions/words. Give people the benefit of the doubt. And remember that the way you choose to live your life is just that, your choice; the way others choose to live their lives is up to them.

What I wish I knew earlier: that it does, in fact, get better. Everything. Sometimes it gets worse again, but generally the trend is upward. That you will always miss the people who are no longer in your life, but you can cherish the time you had together. That the things you were teased about as a child/teenager will be the things you are most known for (and others are most jealous of) as an adult. That you’re going to turn into your mother and that’s OK. That all of the bad experiences make you who you are, and who you are is pretty amazing. That going off Celexa is way worse than going on, so maybe just don’t. That it’s easier to lose weight the younger you are, so you probably should have done that 10 years ago. That as an adult, no one is cool, everyone is a bit weird and quirky, and no one wants to go back to high school. That things usually don’t turn out the way you think they will, and usually that’s OK; sometimes they turn out better, sometimes they turn out worse, and sometimes you get lucky. That every experience can be learned from.

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey Mustard Dressing

Quinoa Broccoli Slaw with Honey Mustard Dressing using two giant heads of broccoli from my garden. Added radishes (also from my garden) and bacon (because bacon). Blanched the broccoli so hopefully it keeps better. Lunch prep done for the week. #cookieandkate

Recipe here:

Blanching the broccoli has resulted in a gradual yellowing of the broccoli, which is slightly unappetizing. The dressing is not as flavorful as I would have liked – perhaps I needed more garlic, or more mustard? But I also forgot the toasted almonds the first day, so hopefully that will help. Added a handful of fresh parsley (also from the garden) and some shallot leftover from Monday night’s dinner. Overall I think it’s a good recipe, even if it does need a bit more to fully satisfy. If today’s attempts are unsuccessful, tomorrow I’m adding an avocado. That never fails to please.


Mulch selfie! Garden progress from May to today. So pleased with how this is turning out!
We started by creating a blank slate. This was not easy.
Then we built the corner box and filled it with plants.
And added another box along the fence.
And a third box. This one is not crooked, I promise. It’s tapered on the end to make a better walkway.
Lastly, mulch, to keep the weeds away and finish the look off. This was free mulch from our county, and we are very thankful for it.


Dublin Castle, Trinity College, some churches, National Botanic Garden, Phoenix Park (up close with the deer!) and donuts.
A church steeple, or Trinity College. I can’t remember.
Another church?
Trinity College
Statues at the National Botanic Garden
Flowers at the National Botanic Garden
More blooms at the National Botanic Gardens
Deer at Phoenix Park


Galway! Not much time here, but lovely. Not pictured: rabbit pie and the lovely Aran Islands sweater that’s my best souvenir (it was so hard to choose between all the lovely colors, styles, and those very lovely cables).

Galway, at the docks
Blooms in Eyre Square
Seen on our walking tour
Looks pretty, but this water wants to kill you. Deep, cold, and moving fast to the ocean.
A bridge. Sometimes I can take arty photos.
Ah, the ocean.
A bit chillier in Galway than it was in Edinburgh and London.
Pretty coffee (but definitely not the tastiest of the trip – that was London, hands down).
Seen while walking back from visiting a church. Cute little bridge and creek.
This cathedral was amazing. There’s even a mosaic of JFK across from Jesus.


Edinburgh! Castle, hiking, shopping, gardens, coffee…. highly recommended.

Edinburgh Castle.
Streets of Edinburgh
Obligatory Scottish graveyard picture.
Selfie with the castle in the background.
Flowers in one of the gardens downtown.
Pretty looking mocha, though not as tasty as London (obviously).
Small waterfall seen while hiking.
Hiking near the Scottish Parliament building.
Scottish countryside
Obligatory “Outlander” picture.


The rest of our London experiences.

Phone booth. We did NOT go inside.
Double decker bus.
London Eye
Selfie at Tower Bridge.
Piano at Victoria and Albert Museum.
Sunset over Westminster Station.
St James’s Park.
British Museum.
Tower Bridge Prison.