this and that

Is this not the perfect lunch?
Unless, I guess....
you don't like tomatoes.
Up until 11 years ago, I didn't like raw tomato. It was only after a trip to Italy and it's lovely bruschetta and the amazing balsamic we brought home with us, that I realized, "Hey, these things are pretty good!" I still won't sit down to a plateful of plain tomato slices but said slices, if heirloom quality with salt, olive oil, vinegar and some basil? Yum!  And over bread? Even better!
I kept telling my husband, "You better get over here and get some of this before I finish it off. No, really, hurry." But, alas, he was too busy and generously said, "Have at it, " and I finished the entire plate all by myself.  Ohhhh, naughty and delightful!

Doesn't that picture below look like a science experiment?  I guess it kind of was....the incredible rising yeast.  The bread from said yeast was a fail this time.  I tried a different recipe that called for the loaf to be baked at 200degrees for 45 minutes.  Um, what? No, it was a colorless, doughy lump.  BUT it was yummy sliced very thin, brushed with olive oil, toasted under the broiler and then used to suck up all the tomato juices.  (I used the balsamic reduction I talked about here.)
We enjoyed a week of this and that.  Kids and their friends, boating, cooking, organizing, making a compost bin, weeding, Lake Michigan yesterday with friends, enjoying two days with other friends at their cottage, campfires, s'mores, bike riding (am not so much enjoying my sore you-know-what).

This girlie had been eagerly anticipating for weeks going to her very first birthday party (of her little girlfriend across the street).  I can't get over that she's old enough to do that and how old she looks in these pictures.  How is it that my baby is almost five??!



I'm so thankful for all the this-and-that He gifts us with.
I continue to count the ways......#1,045 - 1,056

her all gussied up and ready to go, radiating excitement
her face in the mirror taking in the beauty He's created in her
fresh produce on the counter
ability and resources and desire to create with food
neighbors who drop off baked love on a plate
their legos scattered everywhere = creative minds at work
endless blue-green water and trillions of sand grains for us to enjoy
wet towels and suits slung over the porch railing
newborn robins under the deck, new life
friends who know and are known
her, blogging again, her simple, contented life and how it blesses
His living words, grace to my ears

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