Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Break

I am happy to report that, as of yesterday, I am enjoying my annual Spring Break from work. Every school has a spring break, don’t they - and ours is ten days long. Usually on this break, my husband and I head down to visit friends who live on the Gulf Coast, in Mississippi. We take the dog along with us for a good, long road trip (good being a relative term) and we love visiting our friends.

This year, due to circumstances beyond our control, we’ll be staying put. I have no idea what the week will hold, but it doesn’t matter. I’m off from work, and yesterday began with a strong cup of coffee outside in the chill and the sunshine. As I walked by the curtains in the mud room, I wondered when the last time was that they’d been laundered. Within minutes, I had taken them, along with the lace curtains from the dining room and put them in the washing machine on gentle, using my favorite detergent from Melaleuca.

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We hang things on our clothesline year-round. My electric bill at the manor house reflects that fact. I love it because the clothes and sheets always smell good, I actually enjoy hanging things on the line, and I save money.

You bored yet, listening to my drivel?

Quite the opposite of my previous, word-barren post, I should say.

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I decided I couldn’t very well hang up clean curtains on dirty windows now, could I? So the next step was window washing – a chore I do not like in this house.

The windows here are very old (but beautiful). My ladder is short. I like short ladders – tall ones would get me into trouble.

After spending several hours cleaning several windows, then hemming the lace curtains that needed it, I decided it was time for a well-deserved rest.

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I like this saying. I found it over at {Beth’s place}.

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In the afternoon, after I’d gone to the grocery store, I sat in the sunshine with my aching legs up on a chair. All that going up and down the ladder and the window washing had done me in.

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The sky was a brilliant blue.

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And the dogwoods are in full bloom.

This male cardinal is fluffing his feathers.

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I sat in the yard reading a book, as petals from the flowering trees fell in the breeze.

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I wonder how they cleaned all these windows in the olden days. Because doing just a few of them about did me in. And there’s more to do today . . .

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This was my dinner last night. My husband elected to get his own, so I made a salad and sprinkled sunflower seeds on top. I also had my favorite carrot salad. If you like carrots, and cilantro, and a little spice, try this! It’s so refreshing.

    • 1 pound carrots, peeled and trimmed
    • 1/2 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp. harissa, plus additional, to taste, or Tabasco sauce, to taste
    • 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
    • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1. Shred the carrots using a box grater or a food processor fitted with the grating attachment. Transfer the carrots to a bowl and add the cashews and cilantro.
    • 2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, harissa (or Tabasco), and ground coriander. Pour the mixture over the carrots and toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve.
from The Skinny: How to Fit into Your Little Black Dress Forever

I always use organic carrots because I believe they taste better. I don’t have harissa, so I used Tabasco and a little bit of Frank’s Red Hot. I really love this salad.

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Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter, Passover, or whatever it is that you celebrate in the spring. What are your plans for the weekend?

123 Signature[5]


Lisa Sall - Sall's Country Life said...

What a beautiful post! Your blooming dogwoods make me very jealous! If I were a bird I would hang out in your back yard too! (away from the clothesline, of course!) Love the quote and all the photos! Now I need to write down that recipe to try later!! Have a great Easter!!

beth said...

my found quote on your photo is just beautiful.....

and i wish i could hang our sheets or towels {we don't have any curtains} out to dry, but living in a neighborhood with an association and rules, prevents that from happening.

i can't complain though. it also prevents a number of other things that keep the hood pretty and not looking like a used car lot, so it's good.

but the memories of my grandmother, anytime i see anything hanging out to dry come flooding in. she never owned a clothes dryer and i loved watching her wielding her basket and clothespins like nobody's business.

happy easter sweet friend !!.....xoox

Country Gal said...

A busy but nice sounding day ! Our schools had their break in March for a week ! Lovely photos . Have a great weekend ! P.S never get bord of what you called your drivel your posts and photos I always look forward to !

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

Ah the smell of clothes hung out to dry. I often think we should find a good spot for a clothesline, away from the reach of our dogs:-)
The carrot salad looks delicious. I always enjoy a carrot raisin salad, but this one looks good and not so sweet.
Happy Easter to you!

mrs mediocrity said...

Oh my, so many pretty pictures. You are so good for hanging your laundry out, it does always smell the best that way. And windows, ugh, we have old ones, too, not multi-paned like yours but still a bear to clean. You made me smile at the way it all snowballed, curtains, laundry, window washing, but you have to take advantage of those moments when the mood strikes, right?

Happy Easter to you and your family!

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Love clotheslines, and I love the way sheets and even towels smell after they come in off the line! We had one of those circle ones when we moved into this house and it was on the ground more than standing - not good, so it's history.

But my 87 year old neighbor has an old fashioned multi line clothesline and I can use it when ever I want! She does not own a dryer! Love her!

Enjoy your Spring break, ours isn't until April 16th!

Happy Easter

Tammy said...

Wowzer, you have been a busy bee. Love that you have a clothes line to dry things on, but how does that work in the winter? Or do you have a line of some sort inside? That carrot salad just sound so delish I am making it to go with the chicken we are putting on the grill tonight. I can't wait to have some!! Have a great spring break!!

Anonymous said...

I love that saying too, but have not yet mastered the "forget" part of it...

Dirty drapes and windows... BAH... how did you know mine were so bad? They hold so much dust, don't they?

Now I'm trying to forget about the curtains.

Anonymous said...

I love having free time with no plans... lots of puttering around the house and time for hobbies.

Great pics today.. adore the fluffy cardinal!


barbara l. hale said...

I need a dose of whatever was in your coffee. Washing windows is way low on my list of things to do even when they need it. So I feel your pain... Beautiful photos especially of the birds and that carrot salad sounds great. Thanks!

Show-Me Sooz said...

The hardest part of housework must be getting started, because after that you simply move to the next thing. I love Sundays (our only day off) for that reason and try not to hold myself responsible for doing anything so I can feel grateful for whatever I accomplish.

I, too, will enjoy this carrot salad and appreciate your sharing it. My husband and I are my dad's "assisted living partners" in his home these days, and I help out by taking him leftovers from our house. He would like this salad, I'm sure.

Kate, would those darling titmouse pictures from the other day be available as prints? I'm looking for a neat gift for my sister as she turns 50 in June. I chuckle each time I look at my desktop, where I tiled the titmouse bathing with the titmouse aftermath.

I hope your spring break week is relaxing, restful and refreshing.

Skogkjerring said...

Hello my dear....first of all, the smell of laundry that has been allowed to dry outside is one of the best smells in the world...and I´m a smelly person....ok, what I mean about that is I connect memories to smells...weird huh? But I can pick up a bottle of Estee Lauder Beautiful and smell it and my mother is there with me...the smell of laundry that is allowed to dry outside reminds me of my grandfather´s house..his sheets always smelled like the fresh outdoors...
Second, your bird photos are gorgeous. I showed Julia your website the other day and she really thought you were good at taking bird photos. So thought I´d share that with ya ;-)
Third, now that you have off and don´t have to go anywhere maybe you can "accidentally" empty a couple more wine bottles in your 10 days of freedom...just sayin....;-) Whatever you do, enjoy yourself!
Finally thanks for the carrot salad recipe. I am starting (again) a new and better lifestyle think Monday....yeah, probably I´m going to give that salad a try!
I´m watching Sleepless in Seattle right now so I´m going to wish you a goodnight from Norway! :-))

Gayle said...

Well..........I just love EVERYTHING about this post! I would love to know which Melaleuca detergent you use. Might you share? I always hang clothes on the line, too, year round. We have summer property somewhat near Idaho Falls, ID, and the owner of Mel. just bought a ton of acres next to us. Your dogwood, your cardinals, your breeze billowing the sheets, all just FABulous!

imquilternity said...

mmmm...that Carrot Salad sounds (and looks) just wonderful. Made a copy and will try it tonight. I always love reading your posts, but today's is especially...what's the right word....relaxing. It's a lovely Saturday!

Country Girl said...

Thanks, everyone. And to unknown, I have no way of reaching you other than this way. E-mail me at if you're serious about the titmice photos.

Enjoy your Saturday night, all ~

~ C.G.

Reddirt Woman said...

I personally think that if more people slept on sheets dried on a clothesline there would be a lot less insomnia. That sunshine, wind blown smell is better than any sleeping pill, for sure. Always in the spring mom would have us kids washing windows right along with her. We always used vinegar in the water for the washing and newspapers to dry them. I can still smell the vinegar-dusty smell of the rags we washed the windows with and see the sparkle after we dried them. It just made the spring and Easter time so 'here and now'.

Thanks so much for this 'remembering' post...

imquilternity said...

Just wanted to let you know that I made the carrot salad tonight. We had it with babyback ribs and zucchini and we absolutely LOVED it! Hubby too!! It was wonderful and it's one of my new favorite salads. I can't thank you enough for sharing that terrific recipe!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful sharing your day! So often it's great to have a week with nothing planned. So much can get done. And I have the same stripe floral 'em! Have a wonderful week!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I will be trying that salad--I LOVE organic carrots because they are so sweet! Wonder why the regular ones aren't! What in the world is harissa? I've never heard of it, but Tabasco is a regular here.

JaneK said...

how beautiful your "drivel" is (your word NOT mine)!

something comforting about clothes hanging out on a line.... peaceful and grounding somehow.

I'm sure you are disappointed about missing the annual gulf coast visit but there is something to be said about being "forced" to take a "stay-cation"; one finds time to just sit and enjoy one's own surroundings and tend to some of those items that one has always thought about getting to (such as washing curtains :-) )

I celebrate Easter and it is joyous no matter the weather but we are having some glorious weather down here in the south! May you have a blessed weekend...

GailO said...

I have a thing for laundry hanging out on lines:)

Hope you have a Happy Easter Kate and a relaxing staycation!

Deb said...

Enjoy your spring break...I love my clothes line...the clothes just feel like they have sunshine in them...saves money too...

forgetmenot said...

You worked hard on the curtains and windows! Love your photos of the cardinals--just beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend. Mickie :)

Tammy said...

Had to come back to let you know that I made your fabulous carrot salad last night and both the hubby and I LOVE it. Thank you for sharing that recipe. It's a keeper!!

thecatalanway said...

Just home from a good long road trip and all the dogs say to tell you that though it's nice to travel it's so good to stay at home and just BE!
I could echo many of the things your readers have said - as always it is wonderful to read your thoughts and somehow I imagine I hear your voice coming through. I love the quote - I need that today. we came home to a house made chaotic and horrible by an unrepentent teenage boy who had parties in our absence. So also your fresh clean curtains and sparkling windows gave me a sense of peace that does not exist here today! My bed sheets are horrible - so upsetting. but tomorrow I will wash them in very hot water and hang them out on the terrace where they can dry while the swifts swoop and call overhead. I have never owned a dryer so can agree with you that air drying is the best. And I like hanging things out - it is quite a meditation.
Now you've had my 'drivel' I will go and make some much needed tea. Lovely to see all your lovely photos and your dinner made me want to come round and share it with you. A hug Kate x

Lori said...

Lovely post, Country Girl, as always! I hope you enjoy a wonderful spring break. Loved the picture of the red bird ... that just made me smile! Along with the sheets flapping in the wind. I've told you before but must say again your blog is exactly what I aspire for mine to be. I've got a long way to go ... less words, become a better photographer, etc., etc.

sharon said...

nothing like the smell of fresh sheets hanging on the line. Aaaahh
Love it! enjoyed your post..

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

That carrot salad sounds amazing.

Enjoy the rest of your break that hopefully won't involve any more climbing up and down ladders.

Have a great week.

Jan's camera said...

Sounds wonderful Kate. I miss being able to hang clothes out to dry. Lovely photos. Enjoy your vacation.

BB said...

Totally trying the recipe!!!

Mary said...

Oh my goodness, that red cardinal photo is amazing!

As I was reading your post, I was remembering how wonderful laundry smells when it dries out in the sun... and I thought how nice it would be to have clean, shiny windows... :)

And I'm definitely making that carrot salad! ;)

Dawning Inspiration said...

Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful break for you. I hope it is. Gorgeous images as always.

Daryl said...

come wash my windows .. no ladder necessary ... enjoy the break .. xo

Hilary said...

I knew that saying was familiar. :) Beautiful images. There's nothing that conveys breeze and sweet smell like laundry on the line.

I wish I could taste cilantro the way that most people do. It's vile to me but the salad sounds lovely otherwise.

The JR said...

Mississippi will miss you

great looking salads

Cloudia said...

sweet post. enjoy your break.

Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral



Sheila said...

Sometimes it's just nice to stay home and enjoy life, even if it means a little house work. Have a great week off.

Mental P Mama said...

I hope you are having a nice week, my friend. You can always come up here for a quick visit;) I am not working on Friday.....

Andrea M said...

Oh Kate, I love your blog and the beautiful way you see things. I could sooooo use a weekend in a manor house! Thanks for letting me visit from my kitchen, it always makes me smile!

Lili said...

I adore the simple elegance of your everyday life Kate. From the chores to the birds to that beautiful and exotic looking salad, everything is so fantastic! xo ~Lili