Gardening in Richmond

At the house on Midlothian Turnpike I had put in several temporary style raised beds for veggies and herbs.  They were doing very well and we were getting lots of tasty fresh goodies; spinach, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, chard, and herbs.

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We even had this beautiful sunflower come up.  I didn’t plant it but can thank the birds for it.  And of course it is the birds who are now harvesting the seeds.IMG_0803

 

This is how I decided to do the herbs.  Just filled the voids in some cinder blocks and arranged them in a zipper pattern.IMG_0805

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How was I to know just how easy it was to move the herbs.   I just lifted the blocks and scooped up the rectangle of earth, root, and herb and placed it in a pot.

It was really easy – and the herbs transitioned very easily.  They’ve been doing very well in the pots but I knew I needed to get them in the ground before too very long so they could establish to make it through the winter.

When we moved into the Archdale house there was a play area in the back yard that included a wooden playset.

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This area seemed just right for a garden.  A bit shadier than I would like, but … Anyway, we gave away the playset, and I set out to plant the herbs the other day – Me, pots of herbs, gloves, and trusty shovel. Holey Moley.  I couldn’t do it.  I called Tom for help – he gave up and we went to Lowes and bought a pick ax.

Yep, Virginia’s notorious red clay, well sort of a yellowish/gold clay.   Gads and I thought the limestone of Merida was tough.

Well we finally got enough holes done for the herbs, and here they will stay till Spring.   I am definitely going to need a roto-tiller, sure hope to rent one rather than buy.

herbs

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the house, as staged for sale!

OK these are the photos from the realtors page of the house we bought.  As you can imagine, I am doing my best to “Debify” the house.

I have not yet started painting any rooms, but am adding color using area rugs, and throws.  We’ve not bought much furniture yet,  just a guest bed, and a couple chairs.

 

1 2909 front

front view

2 front hallway

front entry, looking to exit through front door.3 front entry

looking from front door  in to living room on left, and kitchen straight ahead.  To the right are bedrooms, and bathrooms, as well as stairwell to downstairs.4 living room

Living room5 living room2

other direction view of Living Room6 dining room

Dining Room7 dr view

Dining room alternate direction8 kitchen

kitchen, oh yes, I am in heaven!

9 kitchen2

Kitchen looking towards Dining Room.  Doorway on Right goes to screened in Porch.11 bedroomsEnd of hallway looking into bedrooms and hall bathroom

12 HallBath

Hall Bathroom

13 Master Bath

Master Bath14 MBr

Master Bedroom with his n hers closets, although Tom uses both closets.  I have a separate dressing room.15 BR1

This is now my ‘craft room’16 BR2

this is my dressing room17 BR3this is the guest room18 screened porch

the screened in back porch, the dogs and I love this area.20 downstairs hall

The steps and hallway downstairs23 downstairs greatroom

the downstairs, aka family room, aka man cave24 downstairs greatroom2

downstairs from other angle25 garage

garage, the prius, and both motorcycles fir in here26 backyard

backyard27 backview

back view of house28 sideview garage

side of house with garage entry.

Posted in Archdale House, Everyday Stuff, life in Richmond | 7 Comments

5.6

5.6, that’s how far we’ve moved, yep, 5.6 miles.

We closed on the house 14 August, and immediately started moving stuff over.  We did it all ourselves until the following weekend when Tom rented a truck, and hired 2 guys to do the really heavy stuff; 2 couches, a front loading washer, 2 big work tables, 2 desks, a trunk, and 4 dressers.

1 2909 front

We’ve been crazy busy getting things done since then.  We are pretty comfy now.  I just ordered vertical blinds for the upstairs living room.   We have a large space downstairs that will be family room/man cave.  Once we get to it all Tom wants a monster size TV.  Right now our little 31? incher is upstairs.

I don’t like having a TV in the area where we entertain and spend most of our time.  Mostly because I am/or could become a major league couch potato.  I love TV, for the movies.  I have a ton of dvds that I could happily watch over and over.  And now we have Netflix and I find myself binging on British series TV shows.

I have intended so many times to sit and blog about the house, the move, etc, but am either legitimately busy with something constructive, or watching TV.

The house we moved into when we arrived here in Richmond from Mexico was/is small.

It was purchased so that we had someplace to land with 3 dogs.  The available rentals were a horror.  here is the house

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Tom and I are both extremely happy with this new house – it has everything that was on our wish list, other than location.  It is close to shopping, close to the river, but none of that is walkable, all must be driven to – I am adjusting to that.

We are still in the City of Richmond, we are however in ‘the burbs’.  From the first house (pictured directly above) I could walk to the river trails, and into both downtown historic, and downtown business.  Now I must drive, 15-25 minutes to downtown, depending on traffic, and 5-7 to wooded walking trails.

When we looked at this house the first time, although I really liked the house I told Tom NO WAY.  I do not want to live so far out in the boonies.   Unfortunately you can’t always get what you want.  We looked at, online, more than 70 houses, and actually went to about 25.  We put in several bids, you heard me ‘bids’, not offers.  And we were outbid on each.

It is expensive to live here in Richmond.  So to get what we wanted in terms of house, required we give up a bit on location.  I used to believe the old adage of Location, Location, Location; I don’t anymore, because included in that is what you want, and what you can/will spend.

So enough for now, and more on the new house later!

 

Posted in Everyday Stuff, life in Richmond, moving, Richmond, Richmond Life, rva | 10 Comments

This Old House

This old house, which really isn’t all that old, just a year or two older than me!

One of the things I decided to do, and have sort of done, is to have fun with this house.  Not to worry about convention and stereotypes.

Many of you may not know, but once upon a time, in a place far far away, and in a different life I worked in Interior Design.  I was great at creating environments for other people.  I could figure out what they wanted and deliver that to them.

I was no good at doing that for myself.  I think part of it was never knowing quite who I was or what I wanted to be.  Still not sure I’ve figured all that out.

So I decided when I started working on this house to just have fun with it.  And I have.  I really enjoy the space and the colors and whimsical eclectic feel of it.

So the other week I was in a thrift store and I saw this adorable wall shelf – I actually passed on it, then rethought and turned back for it. 

Two young millennial types were handling it, O M G. 

Finally they put it down and I snatched it.

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phew!

So look at this tag on the back, then notice the tiny Made in China sticker. 

I must say I get huge chuckles from this alone.

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But then again I also get pleasure now, seeing it on the wall in my dining room.

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Posted in Around my Home, Everyday Stuff | Tagged | 4 Comments

Bat Shit Crazy

So it is Sunday morning, and I am putzing around, watering the garden, taking out the compost, picking up gumballs etc in the yard.

Then Tom gets up, he indicated he wanted to walk with me this morning.  So I’ve been up a while, and am ready to go, but he  just got up.  Getting out the leashes cause the dogs to get him motivated.

We decide to drive over to an area where we are considering a house and see what it’s like there on a Sunday morning.  We do our walk, we stop at a coffee house get some coffees, and muffins and come home.

More putzing around and I notice a brown spot on the tree.  I thought it was a cicada, they are driving me crazy right now.

It was not a cicada.  Just look

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Now this was noon time, I know this little guy should not be where he is.  These are huge Sweet Gum trees, so there must be a cavity up there somewhere that this little guy escaped from. Luckily the trunks are in shade, although late evening might cause it to be in sun.  We’ll need to monitor.

What to do, What to do.

 

Well, we cut a branch from the tree and put it in front of the little bat to protect it, hopefully from predators.

 

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Did you ever wonder about that expression – BatShitCrazy?

Wonder no more, according to the UrbanDictionary,

A person who is batshit crazy is certifiably nuts.

Posted in Everyday Stuff | Tagged | 4 Comments

dragons

Astrid assumed all dragons should be killed, until she met one…

 

This was an opening line to a book review. It resounded with me. Especially in these trying times.

We, all of us, make assumptions. It's not until we reach out and confront that assumption that we can grow, and learn, and understand.

 

I think it would make a great t-shirt.

 

 

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What a Jerk!

I am a pescatarian. 

Most people don’t know what that means so I usually just say vegetarian.

A pescatarian, according to wiki, is a vegetarian that also eats fish, dairy, and eggs.  I pretty much agree with that.

This past weekend there was a Vegetarian Festival here in Richmond.  

It was a very good event, and lots of people attended.

Although Tom is still a carnivore, he follows my pescatarian habits whilst at home; Although he does occasionally go out and buy, cook, and eat meat at home.

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At the Veg Fest I had a fabulous chani masala, which is a garbanzo masala, with basmati rice, beets, and salad. This is an Indian/Hindu dish.  It was awesome.

 

 

Tom ordered from another food stall a Jerk Tofu wrap, it too was seriously yummy.

I make Teriyaki Tofu regularly, and decided to try Jerk Tofu based on Tom’s wrap at the food fest. This is my first Jerk.   

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I googled Jerk Tofu recipes

and decided to give this one a try, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So first step is to cut a dry the tofu, I cut mine a bit thinner than the recipe because I can dry the fillets faster.   Lay flat on a clean tea towel, Cover with another clean towel and add even weight.  Leave like this few hours.

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Once the fillets are reasonably dry, remove the wet towel, cover with another clean dry towel or paper-towel and let rest several hours or overnight in fridge. I elevated my fillets on a baking rack to speed the drying and I didn’t need to turn them.

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Go ahead and make the marinade –

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The marinade is very thick, and seriously salty.  I do Love all the spices: cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and the dash of heat.

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I think next time I would not add the extra salt, and I would increase the black pepper and jalapeño, but that is to our particular taste.

After the tofu has sat in the fridge a few hours you place a layer of marinade in the bottom of a pan, and use the rest to cover the tofu fillets.  Let the marinade sit for several hours to overnight, turning every few hours.

Rather than frying I spray oiled a flat pan and baked the fillets at 300 f for about an hour, this gives the dryness to the exterior but doesn’t add any extra oil.

I started the process about 11am, and by 8pm, the tofu cutlets were cooked and all the bits n pieces to assemble our wraps were ready.

I used large whole wheat tortillas, cut in half just cuz they are easier to handle and then you can pick and choose how much you eat.  In fact half a wrap was more than enough.

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To create the wrap I put first, on half the half tortilla, a bed of lettuce, then a few slices of avocado, some mild chili peppers, and some marinated cucumber onion salad I had already in the fridge.  I topped that with 2 slices of jerk tofu, and added a drizzle of barbecue sauce.

They were very good, in fact Tom declared my wraps better than the vendors.

Posted in Cooking, Everyday Stuff | Tagged , , | 1 Comment