Too Good to Keep

I don’t care what anyone says. Summer officially started this weekend. To hell with the calendar. I’m ignoring the meteorologists, too. Summer wasn’t summer until the sun came out for more than an hour. For the first time in weeks I was able to weed the garden and the walk without dodging raindrops. I finally took up those giant prehistoric looks growths growing along side the driveway. I tackled the ground cover problem, too. Redistributing the gravel that has slid down the hill. This is Hilltop, after all. I moved rocks until my sun-bared arms ached. It felt good. I got in the pool for the second time this season and actually took a few strokes for the first time. Maybe I’ll learn to swim for real. It felt amazing. We got more of the back of the house painted. The gutter guys came. Progress is progressing.
Inspired by the weather I decided on a grill dinner. Pork marinated in lime, garlic, cilantro, and cumin. But, that wasn’t the best part of the mean meal. The salsa/salad was. Try this for yourself – play with the ingredients and measurements:

  • chickpeas
  • black beans
  • grape tomatoes
  • grilled corn
  • red onion
  • avocado
  • jalapeno
  • cilantro
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • champagne vinegar
  • sea salt
  • tri-colored fresh cracked pepper

Throw everything into a big bowl and let marinate for a few hours. Any ingredient can be left out or substituted for something else. Think about it – red beans instead of black, how about rice? Vidalia instead of red onion, scotch bonnet instead of jalapeno, red wine vinegar instead of champagne…these switches aren’t a stretch, but the options are limitless. Then, to really blow your mind, there is texture. Mince everything small and you have a blended salsa, puree it and you have a killer sauce for grilled chicken. Leave it super chunky and sprinkle it with tortilla chips and you have a great side salad. Add lettuce and grilled beef (sliced paper thin) and there’s a whole meal. I love meals like this.

This weekend felt like a holiday. We worked around the house and enjoyed the sun. Grilled on the deck and savored sweet cherries for dessert. Danced around the living room to Coldplay drums. Later, from our living room window we paused a movie to take in the second fireworks display of the holiday. Bedtime brought a book to bed with me. But, before long my eyes grew too heavy. Sleep came easy. A perfect ending to a perfect day to good to keep.


Hellish Hope

obsessiveBack in April I thought we had a house. I started thinking of knocking down walls and walling up old plaster. I started thinking about corner lots and corner cabinets. Back in April I heard the family ghosts welcoming me home. A little red house called home. I had hellish hope for a house.

Back in August I obsessed about a house. I started talking to my AnyoneWho WillListen. I started dreaming of treeshouses and tree swings; big back yards and big family cookouts. Back in August I thought I heard neighbors welcoming me home. A little white house with green shutters I obsessively called home. I had hellish hope for a house.

Back in November I held out an offering for a house. I started dreaming about 2,000 square feet of house. Big house. Lots of room house. I started planning master bedrooms and multiple bathrooms. Back in November I made deals with lenders who wanted to welcome me home. A little(big) grey house with no neighbors. I held out for the hope of a house.

Back in December I dreamed about a oldnew house. A haunting of what I dared dream of before. I started having visions of well stocked stockings hung by the fireplace; a Christmas tree with festive twinkling lights in the window; the Merrymen singing O’ Come All Ye Faithful. I wished and prayed for a golden, sunlit kitchen complete with breakfast nook and built-in cabinets. Back in December I dreamed of having a second chance at getting a first house. A little beige house with cute cape windows. My hellish hope for a house heated up. Again.

Now I am here. I dream of a house with a dragon bowl in the bathroom. I dare to dream yet again. The dream is so close to reality I am this close to nausea. I told my dearest friend I am sure to puke any day now. I don’t think I am up to all this wait and see stuff.

But, here is the thing. This is the one. I am past the little red house with the family name; beyond the white house. I have forgotten the grey house and gotten over the beige house (honestly, I have). I have moved on to a little green house on a big hill. Hellish hope yet again.

25 days and counting.


Hilltop Passed Her Test

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…with flying colors, I might add.

27 days and counting. I now can say with absolute optimism, “On your mark, get set, pack!”