Sunday brunch

No time for much of a Sunday post today. I’ve spent the last few days doing almost nothing but working on a renovation of my home office. I’ll be back to work in about two weeks, and I’ve decided that if I’m going to be working from home (and I am) that I am going to have a dedicated space (with a door that can be closed at the end of the day) and that it is going to be a nice place to spend 8 hours. So, I haven’t been writing or thinking much.

I’ve been listening to audiobooks, sanding, and painting–sometimes while carrying Rocky in his baby sling, which adds a whole new level of challenge to the enterprise.

It’s been a nice space to hang out. It faces the south and has a good-sized window. I feel fortunate to have the dedicated room and a job that will let me work from it. It has felt good to do something concrete that gets me out of my head. I’ll share pics when it’s further along.

Although it was 100 degrees here yesterday (and is supposed to be the same today), I’ve felt the turn to autumn in the mornings this week. They are chilly in a way they never are in July. This morning I got out early to pick blueberries and and tomatoes.

I planted only two tomato plants in the spring, and they’ve turned into a jungle.

This mess of plants (which includes some over-run parsley) is being held up by three cages, and today I added a piece of spare lumber to get an especially heavy section off the soil. The blue blueberries are mostly done, but the pink ones are still going strong.

I’m thinking of making a blueberry crumble tonight. This morning it was really lovely to scramble some eggs with tomato, onion, and basil–all grown in the garden. I also made a lemon blueberry bread, but it’s still cooling so I can’t tell you how it is yet.

I hope you are well. Thinking especially about my friends in the midwest who were blindsided by the derecho (a word I didn’t know until this week). Take care, wherever you are, however you can, and best wishes for a good week.

12 thoughts on “Sunday brunch

  1. Kate says:

    Your bread looks amazing and I see and feel your tomato jungle. A friend recently told me how she trellises her tomatoes and I’m going to try that next year because mine are a MESS. They’re productive at least!!

    I’m glad you’ll be able to work from home and that you have a dedicated space for it. I’m looking forward to seeing how you’ve made it yours – I always love your spaces. It breaks my heart in the best kind of way that you do it with Rocky in a sling.

    I hope you have a great week, Rita!! It was so good to hear what you’ve been up to this week.
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    • Rita says:

      I was hoping I’d somehow magically become the Tomato Whisperer–or at least figured out the right kind of tomato plants to buy–but a friend let me know that everyone’s tomatoes are going gangbusters this year. Whatever kind of gift it is, I’ll take it. The idea of a trellis is intriguing. I’d be interested in learning more about that.

      Rocky breaks my heart in the best kind of way all the time 🙂

      I hope you have a great week, too.

  2. Marian says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re going to be able to work from home, Rita, and that you have the space in your house for a dedicated home office. My son worked from our home for the first couple of weeks of his co-op in July, and it was important to both us and him to try to make the space as nice as possible. (We didn’t know he’d only be working here for a short time, but it was still a relief to be able to do something concrete for him.) As soon as the weather cools, I’m going to re-paint my youngest son’s room. Normally I dread painting, but I find myself looking forward to it; perhaps it’ll help me get out of my head the way it’s helped you get out of yours.

    My garden looks just like yours 🙂 .

    I hope you have a good week, Rita.

    • Rita says:

      Hi Marian,
      I worked from home all spring, but I worked all over the house. In some ways that was nice, but after awhile it wasn’t so much. I lost the distinction between work and home. I’m hoping to be able to create more division between the two.

      As for painting as a mental health tool: Highly recommend. I think a key for me, though, is being able to listen to audiobooks. Otherwise, it can give me too much time in my head. But, there’s something really nice about the combination of getting lost in a story and physically moving and seeing a concrete result of a day’s labor that helps me feel better. Mentally, at least. Have been having some killer back pain underneath my right shoulder; I’m sure its from the repetitive movement with the brush.

      I hope you have a good week, too. 🙂

  3. TD says:

    Rita, it seems to me that you do a lot of renovations yourself. And so I’m wondering if you by chance know the answer to a question about my 1940 bathroom tile. When I purchased the cottage, I showed as a creamy white tile (the old standard with a curved round top which is blue) After I moved in I learned that the blue is paint to my disappointment. Some areas are chipping blue paint and the lovely original mint is the real original tile. I would have preferred the original mint! But some many people are told to make sellable changes. The blue paint is definitely not latex paint as it isn’t or doesn’t peal. It must be some sort of enamel which certainly fooled me!! Do you know of an good way of removing the blue paint so I may enjoy the lovely original mint trim?

    I absolutely would love to see photos of all the painting and changes you made this summer!!! I am just amazed at the amount of energy that you have to do all you do. Rockie is adorable sweet in his sling.

    The selecting the room with a close-able door and south window is a great choice for daytime work at home. I ran my art business from my home for 13 years at that house with a east front and south side windowing. When my husband got home he literally would tell me that business was closed and I had to come out of my work office to join him and relax. He physically decided that the French doors needed to be closed until the next morning (as I would wonder back in there to check for land line messages or check on things about my business. It took a lot of self discipline to actually work at home and then shut down at home. So I can really understand your reasoning! You might even want to add one of those flip signs “OPEN” flip to “CLOSE”. I loved working at home and I hope that you will too. All the best creating an enjoyable day space. Smiles.

    PS I want a slice of your lemon blueberry bread with those pink unknown berries? I can almost taste it in my imagination. That would be too much of a chore for me to bake.

    • Rita says:

      Hi TD,
      I don’t know the answer to your tile question, but a place you might want to start is the Retro Renovation site; there is a collection of posts just about bathrooms. I really love this site and its creator’s mission to appreciate and preserve modest post-WWII homes (which is exactly what I have). I do like a good home renovation project–good thing, as I could never afford to pay someone else to do all the things I want done! 🙂

      When all our schools closed in March, it felt like a real treat to work from home. It was. I love being at home. As the spring wore on, I lost some of my feeling of home at home, so I’m trying to figure out how I might maintain that when I go back to work soon. Part of that will be creating a room I want to be in during work hours. With smart phones (surely a misnomer) our lines between work and home had already become so blurred. I want to be able to do some things to really begin and end my work day going forward.

      The pink berries are a variety of blueberry–at least, that’s what the former owner said in a note she left for me. They are a bit more tart, but in a really nice way. I combined the blue and pink in the bread, which was really easy to make. Not much of a chore (and I’m not a baker, so my standard for “chore” is really low), and I can now testify that the recipe is pretty good!

      • TD says:

        Fabulous and Fun! I thumbed through and plan to look at the ideas and advice. Definitely retro! My home is not retro at all, but vintage.

        I do know how work and home can blur, especially if expectations of your employer establishes your personal cell phone number to be used for work contact to bosses and general public. Getting your employer to provide a business cellphone (which is a separate number paid and owned by the employer) is how we dealt with that issue.

        You are definitely on the right plan to separate a room and designated hours!

        • TD says:

          PS I will add that I would not anticipate that our educational system would provide “teachers” a business cell phone. Sad in our local news, a 47 yo elementary school teacher who worked over 20 years passed away today from COVID. Do what you think is best for you first.

          And, I too am not in any kind of financial situation that I could pay for remodeling. I’m only paying for the functioning needs of operation of housing myself such as AC, plumbing and electrical. Everything else will be my own labor of what I’m capable. Age limitations and disabilities… Doing my best that I can.

    • Rita says:

      I was wondering if the storm got to you. I have an Iowa friend who only just got power back yesterday. I really just can’t imagine that on top of everything else. I’m sure it was traumatic, and I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with that.

      My jungle (and keeping it reasonably tamed) has been good therapy this summer. Not looking forward to losing that when the weather changes.

    • Rita says:

      Having the ingredients on hand is primary criteria (which means I never try a lot of recipes I’d like to). This was also easy and quick, other primary criteria. Hope you like it!

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