Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What to do?

Late Saturday night, we got back from a week at the cottage that we rent up north. It was a fantastic week, with hot, almost-perfect weather (we had one afternoon of rain). The kids ran themselves ragged playing outside all day (meaning they slept until 8 or later almost every morning) and Ryan and I had a chance to relax and detach ourselves from the rest of the world.

In a word, it was perfect.

When we got home, our lives became a frenzy of unpacking, doing laundry, cutting the grass and getting caught up at work, because not four days after walking in the door, we're planning on walking back out on another vacation. This time, on Thursday morning, the kids are going to my parents house for four days and Ryan and I are going to Chicago for a wedding.

Now there's one small problem with this frenzied plan. Yesterday afternoon, the wedding was cancelled. I found out by e-mail and that's all I know as, in her e-mail, my friend specifically told everyone she didn't much feel like talking on the phone. I sent her an e-mail just to say I was thinking of her; she sent me a short message back to say she's doing ok and has left Chicago for a little while to sort out what to do with her life.

I feel for her. I don't know what's going on, but I feel sick just thinking about it. Calling off your wedding just 6 days before the date is surely not a decision that a couple comes to lightly.

But, if I can be selfish for a minute, Ryan and I are left with the dilemma of what to do. We have non-refundable airline tickets to Chicago for Thursday afternoon. Do we cancel our trip and lose the money from the flights or say to hell with it and go off on a romantic weekend anyway?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Maybe I should just not plant zucchini

Last year, I mentioned that when we returned from the cottage, I had three monster zucchinis ready to be picked and eaten. At the time, I wondered what I was going to do with all that zucchini.

Last year was nothing compared to this year.

This year, my zucchini plant has decided that it shall take over the garden. It has decided that it will be the biggest plant; the one that attracts the most sun and soaks up all the water. It has also decided to produce more zucchinis than any one family can fathom eating in a summer. Or a year for that matter.

To date, I have baked 48 zucchini muffins; grilled zucchini for dinner one night; cut up zucchini to eat raw with dip (but I'm the only one who likes that in my family); shredded and frozen 12 cups (yes, 12 cups) of zucchini so that I can make two batches of salsa later this summer when the tomatoes are ready; and given two away. Yet there are still two semi-monster size zucchinis sitting in my kitchen and 5 more growing outside.

I have no idea what to do with it all anymore. Zucchini pickles maybe? Zucchini relish? More zucchini bread/muffins? (I think I'll make chocolate zucchini bread tomorrow). Any ideas would be very, very welcomed at this point.

Oh, and if you want one, just show up in my backyard one day and make it disappear for me. Goodness knows I won't miss it.

(The other vegetables, by the way, are doing alright. The raspberry bush was awesome and we ate raspberries by the pint for weeks -- I may even have enough in the freezer for a batch of jam later this month. The tomatoes and cucumbers are growing well, but honestly, I think they're being choked out by the damn zucchini.)