mellymell: (Default)
Chris and I have been rocking out the outdoor projects for the past couple of months. We built a short fence out of cedar (which smells just like pencil shavings) around our A/C units with a gate so we could access the water faucet back there but also dampen some of the noise from the machines. It seems to work on both counts and gives us a little hidden storage and a nice clean look there. It also makes our patio seem a little more enclosed and private and so we've been contemplating not building a deck on top of it but rather tiling over the concrete (because I've seen it done and it looks super easy) and maybe later installing French doors in place of the dining room windows and building a covered deck over there. Regardless, we have got to rebuild our back steps ASAP. They're rotting and falling apart and they were a hazard even when they were brand new because of the odd angle at which they were built, so that needs to be fixed.

In building that little fence (by the way, we feel like total experts on fence construction now), we had to move the ornamental grasses that were there in front of the A/C units before and after much contemplation and consideration, I decided to create a new garden there that would envelope the little Japanese maple we had planted out from there before. I rearranged the grasses so they curved around creating a backdrop for the maple and I really like how it turned out. It needs more plants, but for now, it looks great! We finished it off with some mulch this past weekend while Chris' parents were here to keep Jonah entertained. I have a strong desire to plant some hardy ornamental banana trees there.

Also, on Saturday, we mulched and weeded the garden that's under the dining room windows and now borders the new A/C fence and this new garden. I need to get some summer annuals in there pronto, but it looks good for now, as the gladioli and cannas have risen and are thriving in all this rain (as is everything else). Just before dusk, we managed to get two flats of veggies and herbs planted into our now six 4'x4' plots for such. We went to Flowers Nursery out Briley this time (they've supplied All Seasons with their heirloom tomato plants in years past). They sell all their stuff in 4 packs of plants, so we wound up with 8 types of tomatoes, 8 types of peppers (though we missed a habanero and will need to remedy that), 2 types of eggplant, 1 each of zucchini, straight neck yellow squash and cucumbers. We planted the 4 packs little clusters that we'll sort of grow as one plant. I've never tried anything like this before, so we'll see how they do. It sure was much cheaper!

We picked up basil, tarragon and dill to put in our herb bed along side the peppermint, chocolate mint, thyme, oregano, parsley and sage we had there last year. Last year's basil plants turned into a huge shrub that crowded out our blueberry bushes. We'll see if these do as well.

Apart from all that, about a month ago I planted seeds in rows for 4 types of lettuces (a romaine, a bibb, and two types of leaf lettuce), a mix of 3 types of baby cabbages (red, green and savoy), a baby bok choy, cilantro (yes, a whole row of it) and green onions. I'm going to try to do successive plantings of those until it gets too hot for them to thrive.

We didn't get around to moving our raspberries, so I'm just going to have to be vigilant about keeping them contained. They really need their own space. They triple in size every year. I'd also like to start an asparagus bed.

Also, have I mentioned how much I absolutely love our garden shed!? We picked it up the weekend Chris bought his truck and got it all set up and stocked and I just totally love having it there. Again, it's really provided great storage in a tidy package, just like the fence around the A/C units. I sure hope I have before pictures of our yard when we bought this house somewhere. There was seriously no landscaping done when we first bought the place. We now have 7 gardens and we've planted 6 trees, 6 crepe myrtles and 15 shrubs, not counting the ones we've lost or the blueberries and raspberries.

I absolutely love this time of year. All the leaves are in, the growth is exponential with each rain and everything is still lush and new before the summer heat and drought comes.
mellymell: (Default)
Included in my last long post about all the things was a mention of a distant neighbor/professional handyman/musician (because that's Nashville for you) coming to take a look at our problematic gutters. We had a bit of rotting around our master bedroom window as well as some around the gutter that ends at that same window. We assumed it was the gutter causing the problem. But as he began to pull off a couple of completely rotted 2x4s & the soffit, he found the culprit. Our master bath is right there as well and apparently, instead of being built properly, the exhaust fan just vents into the corner of that soffit. Yes, warm, moist air trapped in an entirely wooden soffit with no where to go seemed like a good idea to whomever constructed our house and the building inspector who passed it.

Surprisingly, it only took him 5 hours and cost less than $250 for him to replace the vent hose, all the rotten wood (with composite which will never rot again), properly vent the fan and put everything back together. But everytime he knocked on the door to show me what else he found, it just seemed like it got deeper and deeper. I totally felt like I was talking to Holmes. He even wore overalls! He also had more piercings than I do. ;)

The gutters, it turned out were just clogged downspouts. Or so we hope.

Posted via LjBeetle
mellymell: (Default)
First, I want to say that, although I didn't go back and reply to all the comments on my step-mom, I really appreciate everyone's sentiments and well wishes and thoughts and prayers on the matter! It really touched me that people thanked me for the update, showing that our family are not the only ones thinking about it. So thank you guys so much for caring! The procedure is really fascinating and medical science just amazes me. They don't understand what the stem cells are doing or how they do it, but they just know it works at this point and that's sort of amazing in itself.

Now, the other things. )
mellymell: (Default)
A lengthy, photo heavy entry on our trip to Asheville is festering in the browser on my laptop, but there's other stuff going on... mostly gardening.

Today, we had to bid farewell to our largest tree. I noticed while I was out in the yard with Jonah on Monday that it was leaning considerably. We've been keeping an eye on it for a couple of seasons; watching it lose large branches & develop holes between the roots & the soil. A guy came out to look at it yesterday morning & suggested we get it cut out as soon as possible. The tree had three leads that met on about a 2 or 3 foot tall trunk. The lead that aimed directly at our neighbours' house had developed a crack all the way through the trunk to the ground. I'm honestly not sure what was still holding it up. Once we accepted his bid, he called up his climber to come out & help him tie it off to one of the other two leads, which were still sturdy & healthy, so it wouldn't fall on our neighbours' house overnight before they could get back out this morning. Now there's a huge hole in the yard & I don't just mean the one in the ground. The whole yard is changed it seems. We're going to go out this weekend & find the biggest maple we can get to replace it.

On the plus side, while they were out here, we had them cut out the burning bush which was way too big of a shrub to be where it was (I had to severely prune it twice each spring), as well as the two holly stumps that WILL NOT DIE! Both of those had been cut out before we bought the house. Both stumps kept sprouting up from the roots. One was in the front garden where I wrestled with its roots every spring & fall as I was planting. I'm very glad to have those all gone! I also just realized that was the last of the landscaping that was done before we got our hands on this place. All prior foundation plantings are now gone. I can now finish putting in the rest of the 8 flats of pansies I started planting last weekend, unobstructed by stupid holly roots.

Also, we just now have the first tomatillos on our plant. Lots of them! Hope they finish before frost.

Other than that:
I'm wrestling with fabric options for my bridesmaid dress (wants vs budget vs fabric snobbery) as I begin putting together my mockup.

Jonah's potty tra ining is still going well with slow but frequent improvement.

We've got one more "free" weekend before we pretty much have stuff every weekend until the end of the year.

We finally have another soccer game this weekend. We missed 2 weeks ago & last weekend was a bye. I'm sure Jonah has missed it.

Jonah's teacher asked me about my jewelry yesterday which sent me scrambling to renew expired listings after handing her a business card. I'm utterly embarrassed by how much I've neglected that stuff. I've got a ton of stuff that needs to be photographed & listed. A ton of stuff that I made almost a year ago & never listed. Yes, it's despicable. My last entry on my jewelry blog was freaking lamp pulls! Maybe I can squeak out an hour or two per week to devote to this. Agggh! Too much stuff, no time!

I'm just not even going to think about writing again until after the new year. Okay, one quick thing: it's important that my romance is just something to get readers emotionally invested in the characters & that it doesn't become the focus of the story. A romance is not a plot! I refuse to even open my document for fear of getting sucked in (or seeing how bad it is after some distance). After talking to some people about it at Dragon*Con, I realize just how many questions are still unanswered. I've only scratched the surface here. Huge project is ENORMOUS! I think my next big question to answer will be "why is there a war & how does that all fit in?" I've got to stop filing these away under "answer eventually" & start picking them off one by one until the blanks are filled.

I suppose I'll stop rambling & relax some tonight. The weather is absolutely gorgeous lately, if not a little chilly for my tastes at night. Having the windows open during the day has been nice, except for today when I was inundated by the smell of two stroke engines. Maybe I'll get the Asheville post fished up tomorrow.

Posted via LjBeetle
mellymell: (Default)
Thursday morning when I returned from taking Jonah to school, I started, at first just pulling up the dead stalks that used to be asters in the front garden. I have four groups of lovely little asters that were starting to sprout this year's foliage, so I thought it was time last year's depart to compost. But I couldn't stop there. I opened the garage and got clippers to trim up the dead ends of various Dutch and German irises that had risen from the ground prematurely, only to be yellowed or browned by various freezes over winter. I still couldn't stop. Not while my pansies were springing back to life with vigor and colorful new buds practically begged me for a dose of fertilizer. So, I sprinkled out some "Colorburst" granules and also some slug/snail bait on the asters, since I saw a few munching on the baby leaves there. At that point, I stood back approvingly then inspected the liriope for any new growth. Still no new blades peaking up, so I've got time to cut them back without having to worry about cutting off the tops of this season's growth.

I grabbed another cup of coffee, then headed to the back yard to clean up the veggie bed and the bed of annuals in front of the dining room window. Chris had started the dining room garden a few weeks ago while we were out in the backyard doing nothing in particular (or maybe daydreaming about a deck). Then, I decided while I was at it, I would go ahead and prune the trees back there. I dragged the rake and a trashcan around to pick up behind my work. Then noticed an increase in the mist that was coming down. I opted to save the grasses for another day (I've got five plants of two kinds of miscanthus in the back around the HVAC units which need to be cut down like the liriope in front, to make way for this year's growth). I also chopped down the raspberry brambles and clipped a couple of the taller branches off of the blueberry plants to hopefully encourage bushing. I noticed one of the river birch trunks is starting to get its trademark peeling. Quite lovely and I'm looking forward to watching that clump grow.

So, spring has sprung in the yard, though I'm sure we've got some wintry weather still in the forecast for even the next month, perhaps. I managed to get everything prepped for spring growth before lunch on Thursday and felt really accomplished. I have, however, resigned to not doing too much new in the yard this year. We might build a deck. We've got a section of overgrowth (privet and Virginia creeper mostly, with some trumpet vine and pokeweed for good measure) to clear now that we've torn down that side of the fence and we'll replace what's there with a row of crepe myrtles, I think and maybe intersperse with lower growing shrubs like azaleas and/or nandina or something.

Other than that, I'm not messing with seeds, other than direct sow this year (can't go without my lime green zinnias). But I'm not cutting any new beds, apart from digging up this overgrown section to replant it. I want to spend a week at most in April planting summer annuals, herbs and veggies and mulching. I've got too much else going on this year for this to be a huge focus consuming all my free time for a month. But, I certainly don't want to do nothing out there either. Also, I know the fruit/herb bed is going to require some battling of nut grass this summer as it comes back and I'm sure I'm going to have to battle this overgrowth we're about to yank out for a while as well. Also, also, my indoor plants could REALLY use some TLC.

But, in the realm of table saws and nail guns, we finished the fence yesterday with the exception of cutting the tops off the boards and posts. I hope the dogs appreciate it. It's only taken us 1.5+ years to finish that project (three installments, starting July 2008 the other two more sensibly in March 2009 and 2010).

Now I'm hoping to turn my focus to getting this house cleaned and organized and perhaps take up some crafty stuff again. At least until Chris decides to start building a deck or install hardwood floors downstairs. (plz help)
mellymell: (Default)
Before and after comparison of what's been done. )


Also, the foyer urinal, err, fountain. )
mellymell: (Default)
While I'm trying to rally the energy to clean up the kitchen and figure out what's for dinner, I just thought I'd pop in to say...

IT'S FINISHED! THE BATHROOM IS FINISHED!

Ok, so, actually, it's not completely finished. I still want to get new tub/shower faucets, a wall cabinet for over the toilet, a recessed light for over the tub and a threshold. But, since I don't have any of those things, that means I've basically run out of work to do. Also, it really needs a good cleaning now. But I'm hesitant to do that until I get everything else installed for the inevitable drywall dust and whatever else I may stir up in the process. Pics later.

*falls over ded*

I think tomorrow will be spent getting this house back in some semblance of order.
mellymell: (me at arches 2005)
Yesterday, I:
1. Cleaned up our construction site a bit.
2. Finished prepping for paint (I swear, white plaster on white walls with basically spot lighting, I kept finding spots I missed while sanding).
3. Painted (2 coats back-to-back, looks fantastic, very warm and dramatic, something about the color of coffee with cream).
4. Cleaned up from painting (removing tape and what not).
5. Put a coat of sealant on the floor and vanity top.
6. Inhaled more than my fair share of noxious fumes. If I had tried to smoke a cigar at that point, I might have combusted.

During all of that, which admittedly started much later in the day than I wished for it to, I was drinking coffee, finishing my final cup around 7pm.

I am an idiot.

So, I awoke to, faintly bouncing 'round the room, the echo of whomever spoke. )

Also, writing advice from Kerouac )
mellymell: (Default)
Items that are crossed off actually got done.

Things I wanted to get done on the renovation last week:
1. 2 coats of sealant on the ungrouted tiles.
2. Grout.
3. 2 more coats of sealant on the entire floor.
4. Prep walls and paint.

Things we wanted to get done over the weekend:
1. Grout. (after which we will both indefinitely have black cuticles)
2. 2 more coats of sealant on the entire floor.
3. Prep walls and paint. - ~50% done (plastering is done, sanding is more than half done)
4. Pick out and purchase vanity, mirror, faucet, & light fixture.

Things that weren't planned to be done this weekend but were done anyway:
1. Measure for and plan a deck.
2. Half clean out a garden that never had the dead plants cleared in the fall after the first frost.
3. Half stir the compost pile.
4. Trim up cedar tree in front of compost pile and remove trumpet vine that was wrapped around it.
5. Rid the yard of dog crap.
6. Frustrate Chris with my elven nature. (He asked me what to do about a tile that the corner cracked on after they were installed. I didn't know what to do and was giving him a "both ways have outcomes" sort of answer which was the only way I knew how to respond. But it frustrated him to no end. He just wanted an opinion and I didn't have one. I needed more information to have an opinion. Never ask an elf for advice. They will always answer both yes and no. Just sayin'.)
7. Trash the house with a flurry of packaging from renovation acquisitions and general construction stuff.
8. Acquire a fountain for the foyer (was marked down 50% because Home Depot had it on display in their greenhouse for a while). This makes Chris very happy and replaces the one he built that I wouldn't let him turn on because it splattered water all over the hardwoods. To me, it just sounds like a faucet has been left on somewhere.

So that said, we have a lovely, though cheaply constructed vanity with a marble top and a matching mirror. A fantastic light fixture to go above it which we almost missed at Lowe's because it was hidden amongst lame flowery stuff and was so contemporary and understated it didn't stand out much. And one of those awesome faucets that reminds me of an old hand pump.

All that is sort of the carrot at the end of the stick to keep me sanding and sealing and doing all this tedious work to get the room ready to install all the fixtures. I'm still not sure if I want to do Venetian plaster effect in there or not. We're going to wait and see what the base coat looks like. If we like it, it'll save us probably a day of work and about $50.

Oh, and a note about construction and remodeling: expect the unexpected and don't expect your builders to have done stuff to code. Chris yanked out the original light fixture yesterday to prep for painting. When he did, there was a box installed, but it was in the wrong place. So they had dragged the wire out, took what looked an awful lot like a hammer and just banged out a spot in the drywall to where they needed the light to go, put a big staple over the wire to secure it to the stud and then wired up the light. Great. Wonderful (though not to code). Except our light fixture was narrow at just the right place to expose that box. Moving it to the other side of the stud or putting in a drywall mounted box were not options. On the other side of that stud, the vent pipe for the drain was too close to squeeze one in. Eventually we resolved just to pull the box out, since what was there wasn't to code either and just leave the wire stapled to the stud and patch up the hole to suit our new fixture. Chris maintains they must have designed and installed things for a 31" vanity then instead installed a 36" (since it seems it would be on center for a 31"). Given where the plumbing is and the fact that it was impossible to install a box on the other side of the stud, I'm betting the plumbers did their thing and the electricians came in and did their thing and said, "fuck it, we'll let the finishers deal with how they're going to install a light fixture here." And so, they did.

About the deck, just don't ask. *sigh*
mellymell: (Default)
I really don't have time to give a full rundown at the moment because I've got an enormous mess of a house to deal with and a body that is only half functioning with which to work. Everything hurts, even my fingertips somehow. Yesterday was like a 12 hour yoga practice with a break for lunch. But, I can post the progress pictures of the work we've done on the guest bathroom thus far.

Follow me. )

Still to do, seal tiles, grout, seal grout, paint. Then purchase and install new vanity, mirror, light fixture, hardware (like towel rack, shower curtain rod, etc.). Then reinstall toilet and accessorize (though I almost hate to cover up this gorgeous slate with a bath mat).

All this out of a "hey, let's paint the bathroom this weekend" idea of mine that was born from a good mood and motivation stemming from nice weather on Thursday last week. *facepalm*

Also, water saws are wicked cool!
mellymell: (Default)
Picked up the unsold clothes yesterday and was disappointed to see only about 15-20 sold (if my counts are right). I immediately decided I'd try to do more than just the sale in November. The good news is, most sales will work with you on tags and consignor numbers from other sales. So all the items that are tagged won't have to be re-tagged in most cases. I've got my eye on four more sales. I won't be shopping any of them, since Jonah is set for everything but shoes and socks, both of which I prefer to get new.

I'm exhausted today for some reason. Mostly I think it's because I didn't get very good sleep last night. Took me forever to finally fall asleep and it wasn't very restful.

A fair and balanced weekend (no, it had nothing to do with Fox News, I assure you). )
mellymell: (Default)
Just keep tagging, just keep tagging, just keep tagging, tagging, tagging. . .

Needless to say, I did not make last night's drop. I've got until noon today to get these clothes to the church holding the sale. I at least have them all on hangers and sorted into seasons (as of going to bed last night). So, now I have a better idea of exactly what has to be tagged and it's about 2/3rds of it. I have a lot of stuff that still has tags on it. Ah, my mother-in-law, buying more than we can use (and buying onesies for a 2 year old?). She just sees a deep discount and can't resist picking it up, even if it's fugly or we have 10 of them already. She likes to do it though, so I don't say anything about it. I'll be glad when this is over.

Sushi again last night for dinner. Turned out much better, though still not quite right. We need to get our knives sharpened too. Badly. Jonah also discovered he likes pickled ginger. ;)

Got the first of two packets of pansy/viola seeds in yesterday. As it turns out, my order with the other company did not go through, so I placed it again yesterday. I found some lime green pansies and couldn't resist. So, it'll be lime green, shades of blue (a type that opens pale sky blue and matures to cobalt), and apricot/peach up front. Then, of course, I'll do yellows and reds for the back bed near he dinning room windows. I've got enough seeds for the equivalent of 7 total flats of flowers for $30 (including shipping, which was basically the cost of another packet of seeds from each place). Not sure when the others will come in, but I will get these sown next week. I'm determined! Then I shouldn't have to do much seed shopping in the spring, except for the direct sow stuff like the zinnias, cosmos and marigolds.

The plumber made it out yesterday and took the full two hour appointment time to check out our system. As it turns out, we need a few things replaced (or so he says). It was all a little shady though. He wrote up a quote for all the work that he felt needed to be done, but gave three prices. One, the price we'd pay if we weren't club members; two, the club member price; three, the price he'd be willing to do it for if we called for him specifically, because he felt the prices his company charges aren't fair. At least two of the things we could easily do ourselves (replacing flappers in the toilets that are leaking a bit, they charge $117 to do that, he said he'd do it for $10 each). Our water pressure was also up really high and I'm not sure he did any other diagnostic to determine that the regulator wasn't working other than just noting it was only rated for 75-90something PSI and our pressure was up at 110 (because Chris cranked it up back when we were trying to run more than one sprinkler at a time). Another one of the things was replacing our washing machine hoses with no break hoses. I think that's something we could handle too. So, all in all, I think we're going to look up the few things that actually need to be replaced and see how hard it would be to do it ourselves, then go from there. And I don't think we'll be renewing our membership because it seems the come out and do these checkups to tell you that you need $500 worth of work done and charge an insane amount for the work they do (would have been $1000 for the club prices). Him being, perhaps, more open with me than he should have has made me start to think about finding another company to do business with. I'm starting to question all the work they've done for us now. The techs are great and do a good job, but the company itself and their pricing seem suspect.

The HVAC guy will be out Monday morning, since we had a rather vigorous thunderstorm at our appointment time yesterday. After all, who wants to stand out in the lightning fiddling with HVAC units if they don't have to?

Now to attack this tagging with a quickness!
mellymell: (Default)
Friday night we tried the new Nuvo Burrito in East Nashville. It was. . . meh. Not bad, but I won't be rushing back there. Not while Baja is in town! Their guacamole was good, but tasted a lot like ours with less [or no] lime and pureed into a uniform, albeit thick, consistency instead of leaving it chunky, like we do (which I prefer).

[livejournal.com profile] gondoriangirl has been generously offering to share her employee discount at World Market for a while now. Saturday, after balancing our budget and discussing it at length, we decided to take her up on it and bought two new leather armchairs and a matching love seat for the living room. She was even gracious enough to bring the two chairs over after work, since all three pieces wouldn't fit in our collective cars.

Sunday, I listed our fugly old couch on Craigslist for free and a couple of very appreciative college students came to pick it up that afternoon.

Monday, Chris took the day off. The new component cabinet that Chris ordered at the same time as the parts for his new Hackintosh arrived and we assembled that with little difficulty, but much time. [livejournal.com profile] arymetore & [livejournal.com profile] witchcat07 had invited us to the zoo with her brother and sis-in-law and their kiddos. Although the kids didn't interact much, I think they all had a great time. As for me, I'm always entertained by the zoo. I noted that the playground area, which we hadn't spent much time in until now, really would be a great place to take some pirate costume pictures, especially if someone had a tribal Jack Sparrow costume. Too bad Chris won't let me make him one.

After we left the zoo, Chris Jonah and I headed to La Hacienda (as seems to be a zoo tradition) for an early dinner of some cool, refreshing ceviche and tacos (well, I had a torta). On our way home, Jonah passed out in the car. Once we got home, he was a little fussy but settled in eventually to watch a movie. I wrestled with him for about an hour to keep him out of Chris' hair while he got some things done. After that, I felt absolutely exhausted between that and being out in the sun and humidity at the zoo all afternoon. So, I proceeded to do nothing for the rest of the night while Chris picked up the pile of packing materials we had accumulated over the weekend.

Yesterday, I spent a fair amount of time breaking down said packing materials so that I can take them out to a recycling receptacle besides ours (since there's quite a large stack of large pieces of cardboard from the furniture and two full kitchen trash bags full of styrofoam). Then just generally got the house back into shape. I'm pretty sure I've eradicated all little bits of styrofoam from the bottom floor of the house.

And in other news. . . )
mellymell: (Default)
I never get sick this often. My immune system must just really be sucking lately. I don't get it. I'm eating better, taking supplements, exercising, doing all the things they tell you to do to keep your immune system strong and mine is just not serving me very well right now.

Yes, I'm sick, AGAIN! This time, it feels like a different animal. It started Tuesday with just a slightly scratchy throat when I woke up that lingered but didn't get worse or better all day. I took my standard immune boosting supplements after dinner and hoped that would at least shorten the duration. Yesterday, I woke up and it was even worse. I didn't have any sinus pressure or much drainage, but I definitely had the sore throat, a little bit of a headache and just generally felt drained all day. I couldn't do much more than lay on the couch. At least it was a running rest day. Today, I'm feeling even worse. I've got the sinus drainage going today, couldn't even speak more than a whisper when I first woke up, might have a slight fever and I'm just generally feeling like I've been hit by a bus.

My in-laws were up last weekend and my father-in-law in particular was coughing, sneezing and sniffling as he kept himself dosed up on OTC stuff. My mother-in-law swears it was just allergies, but as Chris pointed out to them, the last time they came up with something self diagnosed that was supposedly non-contagious, we all got sick the following week. In fact, she called on Tuesday to make sure we weren't sick, since Chris had mentioned that. That was the very day I first had a little scratchiness to my throat. This sucks!

As icing on the cake, the roofers are here today. So, if I didn't have headache when I first woke up, I'm going to have one for the rest of the day as they incessantly pound over our heads. At least it's only going to take one day. Better to get it over with, just sucks it's on a day I feel like total crap. The house is falling apart though. There's over 24 hours of dishes in the sink, 2-3 loads of laundry that need to be folded and at least another 2 loads that need to be washed. All the floors need to be done. I just don't know if I've got the energy today. Maybe if I just take it one little thing at a time and go slowly, I can at least get some things picked up around here.
mellymell: (Default)
So, we had these 4 pounds of peaches and about 8 oz. of blueberries to use fairly quickly. The peaches weren't so great out of hand. They were a bit tart and clung to their pits, despite being a good dark rose color and soft on the outside. So, a cobbler it would be. But I didn't feel like making a cobbler dough. So, a crisp it would be. But I didn't want to do an oat crisp like I would for apples. I looked up the cobbler recipes from Alton Brown's "Cobbled Together" episode and combined his peach rhubarb cobbler recipe with his berry crisp recipe. Here's what I came up with:

Blueberry Peach Crisp Filling
4 lbs. peaches, sliced (peeling optional)
8 oz. of blueberries (I would imagine it would work just as well with frozen berries)
1.5 cups of sugar
1/4 cup of cornstarch

Blueberry Peach Crisp Topping
1.5 cups pecans, coarsely chopped (or stick them in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin)
ginger snaps coarsely chopped to match nuts (I wish I had quantified this when I did it, but I'd have to say it was about 15-20 1.5 inch round cookies, probably wound up about 2 cups or more crushed)
10 oz. of all-purpose flour (approx. 2 cups)
1 1/3 cup of sugar
8 oz. of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

Mix the filling together in a 9x13 baking dish.
Break up the cookies and nuts and toss them in a bowl with the flour and sugar and mix thoroughly. Then add the butter cubes and mix in with your fingers until mixture looks crumbly. Top fruit with an even layer of nut/cookie mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-45 minutes or until fruit is bubbly and topping is slightly browned.

Would also be awesome if you mixed some crystallized ginger in with the fruit. The topping almost tasted like granola. Chris had made some ginger peach ice cream on Sunday (the only peaches in it were some peach preserves, but it had lots of crystallized ginger and more ginger snap cookies broken up into it). We topped the warm cobbler with a scoop of the ginger ice cream. Winning combination!


Catching up from the weekend )

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