Sunday, July 19, 2015

Family Weekend

We enjoyed a fun weekend at home and were pleasantly surprised that Jake and Joey came to visit us, arriving Saturday afternoon. Having been reminded of how much teenage boys can eat after last month's beach trip, we were ready with a killer cube steak and gravy recipe Sherry found online. We served it over rice, and it went over nicely.
Joey and some friends have rented an apartment in Clarksville for when his classes start at Austin Peay at the end of August. We sent him home with some pots and pans, a box full of drinking glasses, cups, mugs and the like and a stack of some nice plates Mom wanted out of her cupboard. I suggested that we buy him a copy of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, which was my first cookbook when I got my first apartment and which I still rely frequently. It is a great first cookbook for anyone.
Sherry's had a landscaping project in mind for the boys for some time, and so this weekend became a home improvement project. When I used to visit Mom and Ron in Blowing Rock, my stepfather would plan work for me to do when I went up there. In retrospect, I understand that it was meant out of a sincere desire to spend some manly time with me working on household projects, but at the time I felt put upon because I'd gone up there to have some relaxation in the mountains. I assured Joey and Jake that they did not have to work, but that we would be glad to pay them to do so. They took the money.
The project involved digging a bed along the front of the house, and digging out a boxwood that died over the past several weeks, as well as a burning bush that was poorly placed and being crowded out by the surviving boxwood. They planted several new boxwoods along the front of the house, and used monkey grass from the back yard as a border for the bed. The red mulch looks nice against our white house.

Here's the front of our house as the boys finish up on the landscaping job, which included planting a new tree in the ring where our ornamental peach tree used to live. The new tree is a type of magnolia that only grows ten to fifteen feet tall, but flowers nicely in the spring. We'll see what it does in 2016.
After the landscaping job concluded this morning, we hauled the kids up to Peery's Mill to swim and clean off in the Little River in Walland. The boys loved the rope swing, and Jake did a back flip off of it, much to the delight of the young kids who got there as we were winding down our time there.