Summertime is so many things, and last weekend, after the trees finally shaded the yard, my cousin’s husband pulled out this repurposed wood that his neighbor turned into corn hole boards. The bags were homemade too, filled, of course, with kernels of corn.
The scoreboards had cup holders, which made it easier to get people off of the patio and into the game.
Need to get your corn hole fix, or practice your throw before an upcoming BBQ? Novare Res has it set up on their deck in the Old Port.
White coffee mugs
Hand written, snail mailed thank you cards (especially on heavy card stock)
Fresh, homegrown herbs
(This is a new series here on The Old Pine Tree. What do you think is inherently classy?)
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a good place to go for information about chemicals in the products you use and food you eat. I use their sunscreen guide to find the safest, most protective lotion (this is one area I’m ok shelling out the big bucks), and they recently did a big overhaul of their sunscreen database, so check it out and look up your sunscreens (especially if you have kids!).
EWG just released this year’s Dirty Dozen, the 12 fruits and veggies most contaminated by pesticides. In other words, the 12 most important produce to buy organic. I have to admit, I am always a little surprised by some items on the list, and need to make some adjustments in my own buying habits. Here is this year’s Dirty Dozen:
Sweet bell peppers
This year they included two “plus” items they felt should be added:
Luckily many of these things can be grown in your garden (and are coming up in mine). Printing the list and keeping it in your wallet is a helpful way to remember what to buy organic.
EWG also put together a list of the produce least contaminated by pesticides. You can balance out your grocery bill and feel ok buying some conventional items you can see that list here (scroll down for the ‘clean fifteen’). You can visit this site to download a printable PDF of the list.
No matter what you buy and how you come to your decisions it can’t hurt to be informed.
It’s all black flies biting and peepers chirping and ceiling fans whirring. And you know what? It’s perfect.
I recently read that people change every four years, and that 99% of our physical makeup changes each year. I immediately started looking back on my life in four year chunks. Where was I four years ago? What was I striving for? What did I like about myself? What didn’t I like? I also looked back for moments that seemed like game changers, times when I could clearly see that I had changed.
This explains a lot. It explains why we have friends in our lives who are very different; friends whom bring out different sides of ourselves. It also explains why some friendships fade, and it makes those friendships that don’t fade all the more amazing.
I have been looking at my own habits lately; the ones that have been with me for a long time. I’m looking at the kind of habits that make a person get in her own way, or hold a person back. I am forever interested in self-reflection and moving forward.
It is hard to change, especially those habits and traits we have carried with us our whole lives. If we are changing all the time though, and that change is inevitable, I like the idea of being thoughtful about it and addressing parts of myself that I’d like to change. Then I’m pushing away some of the bad habits and leaving room for better ones to take their place.
Some nicer shots of the lilacs, which appear for such a short, sweet time.
1. Get a couple of containers of Ducktrap smoked mussels, made in Belfast, to share with those down south**
2. Get some Shipyard, a well known Maine beer, because they don’t have it a mere 4 hours away.
3. Pack a comfy sweatshirt, because it is definitely going to rain.
4. Remember to thank said southerners for going a little bit out of their way to pick up New York bagels. Amen.
What are you guys doing this weekend? What do you just have to remember?
*Can you call 50 degrees and rainy summer? No. No you cannot.
**Anywhere south of Portland.
I’m having a hard time figuring out what type of liquid to use. Any recommendations?
Season of beauty
You should get a mint plant even if you don’t have a garden or even a deck (put it by the window!). Mint is great for everything and it grows like the dickens. It is good in water and smoothies and salad dressing and fresh summery cocktails and most of all in homemade sun tea. And those are just the very easiest uses for it!
This morning I shared my joy with a friend who has made the decision to follow her heart and move to be with the love of her life (they have always had an admirable relationship).
An hour later I consoled a broken hearted friend who told me that her long term boyfriend had decided on another path for himself; one that doesn’t include their relationship.
I’m taken aback by the balance in the world, and feel a little vulnerable with the knowledge of how much life ebbs and flows. I’m grateful to know that for the most part, in the big picture, we’re all going to be ok.
Today I was in meetings from 10:30am until 1pm and by the time I ate lunch what I brought wasn’t enough to fill me up. I’ll be honest everything I was craving had sugar as the first ingredient.
Luckily, when I got to the grocery store, the first thing I saw was raspberries on sale buy one get one free. From there on out I picked out healthy, light snack options for the week.
This week’s snacks:
Dill pickles (the good kind without preservatives or yellow number anything)
Naked brand red machine juice smoothie
Three bean salad