Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spices and Summer

This summer is very busy:

1) We are pretty much finished with the actual remodel work on the kitchen and downstairs, so now we have to move everything back into place.  We knew there were some young men in a family down the street, so B. and I went to see about hiring one to help move furniture, and they invited us in for a visit. Their house has the same floor plan as ours, and their kitchen still has the old dark brown laminated particle board cabinets! Coming back home to the light and cheery changes here made me very thankful.

My newly revised kitchen has some pull-out trays in one cabinet, perfect for storing my undisciplined collection of spices and other seasonings. Now I can see clearly what I have, without having to stoop or kneel on the floor to look in the back of a low cabinet. Just in time for old age! Many of my odds and ends of containers of spices and herbs already had labels on the top, so I only had to add a few more to complete that convenient aspect of the display. It seems to be the only thing all the bottles have in common. You know you can click on the photo and make it larger if you want to see my weird library of flavors.

The upper tray is shallower so I put the shorter containers there, alongside my box of teabags that I bring out for guests to choose from. On both trays I tried to have the spices on the left and the herbs on the right, but I wasn't very strict about it. Since I don't make gallons of soup every week anymore, the large containers of seasonings aren't necessary, and I will convert to smaller ones gradually as I use them up. It was buying these ingredients in one-pound packages through our food co-op that led to keeping generous quantities. Two or three times kind friends have given me collections of spices as gifts, which only encourages happy expansion.

2) We are going on the second extended-family vacation of the summer, leaving this weekend, this time to an area near Bend, Oregon called Sunriver, where daughter Pearl's family from the East are renting a house for as many of us as can make it. We'll stay most of a week, and have plans for visiting Crater Lake, hiking, river rafting, swimming and fishing--though not all of us want to do all those things.

3) After the Oregon fun, Pearl and some of those grandchildren are staying at our house for a few more days. Just in time we are getting boxes and downstairs furniture out of the bedrooms upstairs so they won't have to camp midst the chaos. They won't care if the pictures aren't back on the walls; the swimming pool is still in its place.

4) I have been reading a lot, since I discovered that some books actually do stay open on the treadmill shelf at the gym, and do not fall off. The Cairo Trilogy was like that, all three volumes just the right size and shape, and old enough that the binding wasn't too tight. If only I could write reviews while walking fast uphill, but just underlining passages is risky enough. If I'm lucky I just end up with very wiggly lines all through the book, but occasionally I drop the pencil or the book and make an embarrassing ruckus.

There is so much I want to muse about while writing blogs on these books. I hope the summer isn't too busy for that.

5) Son P. is getting married this summer! He is the 4th child, and the 4th to get married. I started to say they have gone down in order, but I should say that they have gone up to the altar in order. I think this couple won't have an altar, though, as their wedding will be outdoors. We are as thrilled as can be about our soon-to-be daughter-in-law, whom we have known since she was a darling baby. Glory to God!


Rose said...

I'n so jealous of your spice shelves. Not only are mine a jumbled mess, but They are far above eye level, forcing me to either grope blindly or stand on a chair.

The Bend area is lovely! I'm sure you'll enjoy your vacation there.

margaret said...

Congratulations to P. and his fiancee!

I like the shallow spice drawers. Mine are in a narrow cupboard and I can never see what I've got and frequently buy stuff I already have.

The dB family said...

It's sounds like you are having a very enjoyable summer. Love the spice drawers. How neat that you have known your son's fiancee since she was a baby. Have a wonderful vacation!


DebD said...

Congratulations on your son's impending marriage. How joyous for the whole family! Enjoy vacation time with family - it sound so wonderful.

Firefly said...

Love those pull outs, don't you?! Wonder why it took 'mankind' so long to invent those things ;-).
Sounds like your having a lovely cool summer in your neck of the woods & lots of fun with your family and friends -- enjoy!

Jeannette said...

I like the image of you in the moment you re-entered after visiting the boys down the street...seeing and feeling the functionality, beauty and order that your long months of re-doing have accomplished.

I'm glad your spices are more handy, but I insist that you will need to refresh and restore them many times before actual old age strikes!

Gumbo Lily said...

What nice cabinets! You've certainly got quite a collection of spices and seasonings.

Congrats on your 4th child coming UP to the alter. How wonderful.

Happy Summer.