Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Flowers!

The weather has been wonderful!
This time of year it's usually already unpleasantly hot, but so far this spring,
we are enjoying cool (chilly!) mornings and evenings with a few hours of warmth in the afternoon.
The plants are happy and they are flowering all over the place.
Above, you see one of our agave, which send up a trident of trumpet-like flowers.
Hummingbirds love these flowers!

Below are the oleanders that live between our house and our neighbor's house to the north.

On the south side of the house, brilliant bright pink and clean crisp white bougainvilleas are blooming.  Stephen likes to sit in the window and admire the view (and sniff the air!)
I love his little curly tail! 

I mentioned a few weeks back that I had been pondering patio revamp ideas . . . 
and we've revamped!

I will do a full walk-through reveal of our exciting new entertaining area, but until then, here are some little hints about what we've done.

We bought a bunch of new stuff and cleaned off the worn out (and broken!) stuff, and it's looking wonderful.  Here's a close-up of one of the rugs and the directions to assemble our new table.

Surprisingly, it was really chilly that evening and I was a bit tired out, so I was extra cold (thus the sweater!)  Greg is REALLY good with those wordless Ikea instructions, and he created this table!

Here's a close-up of one of the seating areas . . . 

Table top:

Some more (faux!) plants in adorable pots:

On my parents' last evening in Arizona for this winter, 
we had a nice dinner (we ate outside on the patio!)

Our neighbor is a hunter and had hunted a javelina ("have-uh-LEAN-uh").
Here's a javelina:
Image result

Our neighbor told us that javelina meat needs a lot of seasoning . . . 
so I decided to make it into chalupas.
In the original recipe (a family traditional meal for my family of origin), pork is used.
A number of years ago, I stopped eating pork (even before I became vegan), and I won't even buy it anymore.  It's dangerous (find out more here and here and here) and pigs are too sensitive and smart to eat.  I wouldn't eat javelina, either, but I cooked it for Greg and my parents.
It smelled DISGUSTING.  Like rotting meat.  Greg and my parents thought it smelled like skunk.
Apparently it didn't TASTE like that, though; it was pretty tasty after being cooked.
The texture was flaky and tender after a lot of cooking (simmering on the stove for five + hours), but initially it was stiff and poked up out of the sauce.  Ew.  Meat is dead and icky.

We usually put chalupas on top of Fritos and then pile on the veggies.
Some people choose to put on cheeses, too (not me, though).

I put out red cabbage, tomatoes, yellow peppers, red peppers, orange peppers, shredded carrots, lettuce, spinach, black olives, green olives, guacamole, and salsas.
I usually have cheeses available just in case people want them.

Here's how it looks when assembled!

It was a lovely evening!

I will miss my parents a LOT, but we really had a wonderful winter.
Throughout the winter, I kept gaining energy and stamina and my mood and personality kept getting more stable.  I wish I had felt well the entire time, but I'm thrilled that I am feeling as well as I am and that we got to make fun new memories!

At TJMaxx

At TurnStyle consignment store

Have a happy day!

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