Sunday, April 11, 2021

Spring Break 2021

Last night's twilight

I've been quiet here on the blog because we've been on spring break. Actually it's Mommy and J-Daddy and the little girls who have truly had a school spring break. They opted to spend their vacation at the farm. So we came down to the lake to let them have full use of our house and yard and farm. It's been great all around. 

Like so many grandparents this past year, our time with the grandchildren has been nearly non-existent. We had not been close enough to touch them in almost a year. It was splendid to get to hug those little girls. Even if we had our masks on. 

Easter Dinner

Our lake house is only 45 minutes away from the farm so we've able to see them several times. The first time was on Easter Sunday. We were invited to our own back yard for Easter dinner. We are still being careful until everyone is fully vaccinated, so our backyard became the dining room. And it was perfect. Not too hot or humid. Not too cold. No mosquitos yet. "Delightful" is the word that comes to mind. We don't get many days like this.

Red velvet birthday cake

Baby Girl had a birthday just a couple of days before they came to the farm, so we saved the celebration until we were together. Last year she had the first Zoom birthday party of the lockdown. This was so much more fun. They got to the farm on Saturday afternoon. How J-Daddy managed to bake a cake in time for Sunday lunch, I'm not sure. It was delicious. I'll share the recipe soon.

Grilled Atlantic char, kale salad & grits topped w/prosciutto

Let me make it clear that our son-in-law was the main chef this week. This was his idea of a vacation. He enjoys cooking and especially enjoys cooking in my big kitchen. We were happy to be dinner guests. At our own house. Seriously. I could get used to this. (Mommy says she's ready to hand the holiday cooking back to me!)

After dinner that particular evening, we enjoyed dancing on the patio to some easy jazz. I loved it when Baby Girl told me, "This is a glorious night." Yes. Yes it was. We made some good memories this week. 

They have done some serious memory making of their own at the farm, too. We have lots of space there for riding bikes, scooters and roller skating. Two swings hang from the huge old oak tree in our front yard. And there is a river way back behind our house.

Riverside nap

They hiked across the field and through the woods to the river several times. A picnic by the river was a big treat one day. And at night the sky at the farm is really dark. Not much light pollution in the country. So they could look at the stars and find constellations.

See the red kite? 

Another day, kite flying was the activity. The pasture right beside the house is a perfect kite flying space. They are absolutely positive they set a record for flying the highest kite. One car passing by slowed down to watch the red kite gliding high above the ground. 

Meanwhile, here at the lake we've had a lovely time. It's quiet here in early spring. But with enough fishermen passing for us to not feel isolated. It is also the short weather window when we can leave the doors open and enjoy letting the outside come inside. I can sit comfortably inside and watch the sunlight sparkling on the water and hear the birds. Bliss!

Daddy-O fished. He even caught a couple. I brought my knitting me crazy...but I bought a keyboard to leave down here so that I could keep practicing. My latest hobby? Learning to play jazz piano. If nothing else it's great brain exercise to try and learn a new way of playing. (It will be a better hobby when I get an adaptor to plug in my headphones. Daddy-O is getting tired of the ballad I've played about a thousand times this week.)

Lobster tail, baked sweet potato & broccoli

One night I was the single backyard guest. Daddy-O had a dinner meeting. Boy, did he miss a good meal. I have never cooked lobster of any kind. And surely never imagined having one in my back yard. 

Blueberry pie

The recipe for this blueberry pie is here on the blog. It's always a winner. And as pie goes, it's pretty easy to make. Nothing to peel or slice. J-Daddy has made this many times. I'm always happy to be around when he bakes one.

Low country boil & hush puppies

One evening they drove down to the lake. And brought the fixings with them and cooked supper down here. Could life get any better? Like I said earlier—I could get used to this. We love low country boil (recipe is in the index here) and the open pavilion here at the lake is the kind of place where this casual meal tastes best. It turned out to be a cool night so we rummaged around and found some of Mimi's sweatshirts for the girls. And rolled the sleeves way up. Why do kids love wearing borrowed clothes that are way too big?

It was too windy to stay on the pier very long. But they did have fun blowing giant bubbles. I can't wait for them to come back in the summer and do this again when the wind is not in charge of how big the bubbles are.

The nights we did not have dinner together, I would get pictures of what was happening in my kitchen at home. Yes. J-Daddy makes sushi, too. I think he has two more meals before their vacation is over. I will wait patiently to see photos of the last two dinners. He did some serious menu planning to make this all work out.

Then it will be time for all of us to pack and head back home to our respective homes. And my kitchen won't know what's happened next week when the only things being cooked are just plain ordinary food. We will miss them terribly. But goodness it's been fun!

I don't know about you, but I wanted to document the mask wearing. Many years from now, we need to remember this year and all of the ways COVID changed our lives. You know about the terrible things it brought to many. But some good things have come about, too. While others are itching to travel again, I have decided it doesn't get much better than here where we live. I learned that Dorothy was right—there's no place like home.



  1. Oh my goodness. What a fun time. We downsized recently and I miss all the space of a house and yard. I think your son-in-law was inspired by all that outdoors space as well as the big kitchen. Got a kick out of that Franciscan Rose pattern. I've always thought it gives such a lift to a morning brunch or breakfast. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful day. Chloe

    1. The dishes came with the house. They belonged to my mother-in-law. We did a big redo of the house and moved back to the farm where my husband grew up after his parents passed away.

  2. Love your pictures. I'm with you on the benefits and joys of home. This has been a tough year, but so grateful to have had close friends in walking distance. We've walked the local park together more times than I can count, but without the trials of the last year we never would have spent so much time together.
    What fabulous meals. Everything looks delicious.

  3. Lovely post. I don't think you could have anticipated all the joy this week brought. So glad you are one to count every blessing!

  4. I'm so impressed that the children will eat such a variety of food (it all looks delicious to me). My husband and one of our sons are also good cooks. Your photos show two beautiful settings. No wonder you love home!

    1. Barb, they’ve always eaten whatever the grownups eat. Not sure they know what a Happy Meal is. ๐Ÿ˜‚


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