Flora envy

Once upon a time, the hubs and I owned a beautiful house in Ohio.  An airy center-hall Colonial, recently remodeled, in an eclectic little neighborhood just half a block from bars and restaurants.  It was a gorgeous house:

(Seriously: that house was, quite literally, ten times the size of our current apartment.  You could have crammed two of our apartment in the master bedroom alone.  That’s Ohio for ya though.  Le sigh.)

Upon purchase of this house, I immediately began to make big plans with the lovely flower beds that ringed the yard.  Gardening!  Pretty plants!  How fun!

Fast forward three years and we actually had to hire landscapers to make everything look acceptable before we put the house on the market.  As it turns out, rather than a green thumb I have a black thumb of death.  Our flower beds looked like a bad botany project for the entire time we lived there.  And don’t even get me started on the patchy brown expanse that should have been a lawn.

(Incidentally, my black thumb extends to houseplants as well.  I once managed to murder a cactus.  This is high on my list of reasons why the idea of having children frightens me.  If a plant is apparently better off in a barren desert than under my tutelage, what does that say about my ability to care for more advanced organisms?)

Anyway.  Somehow I forget all of that on days like today when all of the world is in bloom.  All of a sudden, I’m hit with a massive longing for flowerbeds again: to putter around my yard in the evening among the fireflies and tend to pretty plants.  Or to be greeted with beautiful blossoms every time I open my door.  Like these white ones in Washington Square Park today:

Or the extensive selection of fresh herb plants on display at the Greenmarket:

Moment of inspiration: I could turn our fire escape into an herb garden!  How awesome would that be!  It would be so pretty and it would smell good and I’d have fresh herbs for cooking and –

Reality check, Shelby.  You don’t need to turn your fire escape into an herb graveyard.

Someday, we will have a real house again.  With a yard and everything.  It seems like that would be such a luxury now, sitting in this tiny apartment in the middle of a concrete city.

I should have treated those poor Cleveland plants better when I had the chance.

Today’s EAT:  Remember that Seinfeld episode about the Big Salad?  I think about that every time I have a dinner like tonight’s.  Because it was a big delicious salad.

Roasted chicken, strawberries, candied pecans, and goat cheese over greens with homemade balsamic dressing.  And a whole wheat sourdough roll from the Greenmarket.  A most refreshing meal on a sweltering summer night like tonight.  (Er, spring night.  But it sure as hell feels like summer!)

Today’s DRINK:  Guess what’s baaaaaack!

I really find zero shame in cracking a bottle of two buck chuck now and then.  I always pick up a bottle or two when I go to TJ’s wine shop.  In my experience, the Chardonnay is much more drinkable than the other options, but really for under $3 any of them are a great value.

And arguably, it’s at least a step up from wine in a box.  (Which is still a brilliant invention – RIP, its mastermind, who passed away at 92 this week.)

Today’s RUN:  I am a total weenie when it comes to running in heat.  So the gym seemed like a great idea on this 90-degree afternoon.  I did 3 miles easy on the TM (24:30) followed by a pretty decent total-body lifting workout:

  • 4 X 10 reps of lat pull down – 6 plates
  • 4 x 10 reps of bench press – 70-lb bar
  • 4 x 12 reps of shoulder press – 15-lb dumbbells
  • 4 x 10 reps of squats – 105 lb bar
  • 4 x 10 reps of quad press – 77 lbs
  • 4 x 8 reps of hamstring push ups (I can’t seem to find anything online that describes these, but they’re one of my favorite exercises!  Note to self, future blog post on these.)
  • Push up ladder, 10 down to 1

I have been really slacking on strength training the last few weeks, so I was proud of myself for putting a solid hour in today.

Today’s QUESTION: How hot is too hot for running outside? I get pretty darn cranky if I have to run in anything over 80 degrees.


17 responses to “Flora envy

  1. Totally depends on the humidity for me. I’m from Arizona and have had lovely runs when it is 85 degrees out (and like 4% humidity). Now I live in Iowa and an 85 degree run on a summer day here sounds like death to me.

  2. Your house in Ohio is absolutely gorgeous! If were buying an already built house I would want it to look like that! Amazing! We are moving near the beach and we are building, so we have a stilt home..

    I’m in FL so the humidity plays a big part in it.. it could be 65 out, but if the humidity is in full swing running sucks. 80 is to hot to run on a non-humid day. I’m currently looking for a treadmill, i can’t train for a half in the FL heat w/ outside runs. no way.

  3. oh, to live in suburbia! i’m not sure i could hack it, but it seems nice in theory… as long as i hire a landscaper, as i too am a plantkilla to the extreme. or i’m just lazy and forget to water things. yeah… that could be it.

    once i tried running in the middle of an august day on hilton head island, south carolina. i ran ten minute miles and fainted when i got back. started seeing stars and stuff. very scary. never again.

  4. I also worried that I would not be able to take proper care of a small child because of my experience killing succulents that Lincoln would try to keep alive in the bathroom. The good news is that the small children are not inclined to suffer in silence, they tend to let you know when they feel deficient in an area, whether it be shelter, love, nourishment, dry nappies, or as in Calla’s case, the car keys and iphone.

  5. I have a black thumb too…although my husband has the green thumb so I let him do this stuff.
    Oh I wanted to get the recipe of the balsamic vinaigrette recipe you posted but the link takes me to the candied pecans instead.

  6. If you miss housework, here’s an open invitation to work on my lawn in Jersey! But it was really the space, not the yard you were craving, huh? I feel you, obvi – as much as I know I need to get out of the ‘burbs, there are some conveniences and pleasures – space, quiet, trees, basement – that are really hard to part with.

    I almost always run in the early mornings, so heat is less of a factor for me. When do I start COMPLAINING about the heat, you ask? At 60 degrees. Sometimes cooler.

  7. No, you do need to have an herb garden on your fire escape! Last year, we grew basil, cilantro, mint, and parsley, and also a small tomato plant. Having fresh herbs around really made a difference in even the simplest meals (basil on an ordinary bowl of pasta? yes!). Just make sure you wash off the “city sweat.” Ew. 😉

  8. What a gorgeous home!

    I think the humidity bothers me more then the temp. The humidity seriously sucks the life out of me. Same with windchill in the winter. 24:30 for 3 is easy, eh? that is fast to me 🙂

    Oh and Seinfeld references abound at our house, too. Especially big salads!

  9. “Incidentally, my black thumb extends to houseplants as well. I once managed to murder a cactus. ” … “If a plant is apparently better off in a barren desert than under my tutelage…”

    Wow! I seriously just laughed Propel out my nose trying to stifle an out loud laugh about this! (My job is not fun enough to laugh at without raising suspicion.)

    And I kill house plants too. And any other plants. Chris and I have big plans to bulldoze our flower beds this summer and put an end to their misery.

  10. The man who created boxed wine died? That’s sad! 😦

    Your home in Ohio was beautiful! I am with you…places with great costs of living are not to be underestimated! We live in Tulsa which is sooo cheap compared to Chicago, I love it! And we’re probably moving to Ohio next…more great cost of living!

    You’ll get that garden back, don’t worry 🙂

    I don’t run in 85 or warmer. I prefer warmer running weather than cooler, though!

  11. Pingback: On fireflies and memories « eat, drink, run

  12. Pingback: Return of the black thumb | eat, drink, run

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