July in Texas… 2022.

Sure it is.

So, I spent a surreal hour of our recent beach vacation ordering a 6 pack of plan B and researching birth control implants for my not-even-sexually-active 15 year old, just in case Texas decides to go full Handmaid’s Tale and outlaws contraception instead of the Handmaid’s Tale *Lite* we have going on now. So that was fun. (Yes implants are okay at that age and last 3 years, and Amazon has 6 packs of emergency contraception available still with a 2 year shelf life.)

It feels like the early days in the pandemic, when everything was surreal, all over again. I’d recommend everyone have a current passport and know the expat laws (Panama and Portugal are good options, Canada has a teacher shortage so welcomes those in easily). Or, at a bare minimum, have a place in a blue state, preferably one that has an international border, to land if you need to. (Hi Aunt Val! We may be calling you…)

Also… gonna be a weird July 4th. Gag me if I have to hear God Bless the USA even once in the next few days.

But! Just like the English fishwife out for a stroll on September 6th, 1940 and stating the war really wasn’t so bad… let’s do some blogging, shall we!

I bought a few bags of native plums from a lady in town and spent an enjoyable time recently making jelly. The plums were tiny and dark red on the inside.

Cooking down these beuts
Worst. Spaghetti Sauce. Ever… or the pureed plums. One of the two.
That made more jars than expected and why wouldn’t I have taken a better final shot, like damn.

So here’s the thing- plums have a WILDLY variable natural pectin content and these were on the high side- so this jelly turned out a bit stiffer than I like as I should have ramped back the powdered pectin because of it. Also, I should have added in a little more lemon as it could be a smidge brighter. But you don’t, like, ad lib with canning, so I followed the recipe exactly. It’s still good! And I was so proud- and what with the imminent collapse of society it sure is a useful skill!

In other news, back in January my friend told me her younger sister was getting married in June and she was going to grow all the the flowers for the wedding as her sister is very hippy dippy about some things and didn’t want florist flowers. I love my friend. I also know her gardening skills. So I immediately put in triple the zinnias, cosmos, and gomphrena I had planned for in our own garden. So with my harvest and her 4 blooms we had enough for the 78 arrangements!

Here is the second box I took over to her house

We did the arrangements in two stages- greenery on Friday, and then the flowers on Saturday. Then Monday morning (when the wedding actually was) we transported them and set them up. It was, and I’m not overselling it here, WILDLY successful and so, so much fun to do with my friend.

First harvest of greenery, we ended up needing twice this amount. (That’s a salt gun for flies in the background, fyi)

The baby’s breath on the bottom right was the only things purchased aside from the vases. Why can I not resize this picture but can the others? Tis a mystery.

We made 78 small arrangements like this one, and 8 larger ones- then placed them down the center of the tables
Successful crunchy granola wedding in the city park at 9am!

It was so, so fun, and we got so many compliments. And I was told so many times to go into business doing these… but I’m all for not bastardizing every passion for money, you know? It was fun and such quality time spent with my friend- that was enough. She is my MOST conservative friend too- so I sent her this before I headed over to do the arranging with the text “What to wear, what to wear…”

I wore the black one.

She and I are diametrically opposed politically… and still agree on about 98% of topics are are respectful of the others right to their opinion and reasoning on the other 2%. We should all have friends outside our own bubbles and she and I laugh our asses off whenever we’re together. It’s a good system and I’m totally her token Democrat friend.

Anyway, with all that flower growing, flower arranging, and canning I feel like I should get some calico fabric and make a bonnet or something. Or that the impression of me would be that I’m this awesome little homemaker or something, and that’s so far from the truth… just ask that contractor I wrote about in the last post! House still smells like dog, send Febreze.

On the reselling project… I had some wildly successful finds and sales lately. Best so far being this one:

I bought this for $5.99 and sold it for $210 in less than 18 hours. WOOT WOOT!

So that fish painting/thing is an original Gyotaku, a Japanese practice used by fisherman in the 1800s to record their catches and that turned into it’s own art form! Weirdly I had once done this at an event at the Witte museum when I was a kid so I recognized it. Yeah… I’ll take a 3,405% profit, cool cool cool.

And then there was also this one:

Something about 60s enamelware captivates me and is SO easy for me to spot and pick out on a shelf… but I can’t really explain why. Maybe its the colors? Sheen? I don’t know. But I DO know that $3.99 for this $125 Lantoni sizzling server was a good deal. We have kept this one as it’s useful for keeping meat warm at the table and I do love that green. I SCOURED the store, but there weren’t any more unfortunately, even though they were originally sold as a set of 4.

And, lest you think my local thrift store is nothing but treasures, we have this:

So that up there is a handmade egg separator…. that looks exactly like blobfish. And do you know what design a blobfish egg separator really needs on its side?

If you guessed “Hummingbird,” you win!

Wonder what the thrift stores in Portugal are like…

12 thoughts on “July in Texas… 2022.

  1. I love everything about this post. EVERYTHING. And I have so much respect and envy for your flower skills. And also that you GREW ALL THOSE FLOWERS. FOR YOUR FRIEND. You are a rockstar.

  2. This was such a delight to read, I mean, other than the nightmare that is the political situation for you guys. I can’t even. But those flowers! How wonderful. I laughed out loud at “So with my harvest and her 4 blooms we had enough for the 78 arrangements!” Four blooms!

    1. She and I laughed at that too! And that her original plan was to “do” the flowers the morning of… I was just like: “oh you sweet summer child, no”

  3. So sad to see what is going on in your country with the recent decision etc …
    Our plum tree is quite a prolific producer here in Canada, and quite welcoming to new comers!

    1. I appreciate that! And how adaptable are plums if they will grow in Texas AND in Canada? Are they the coyotes or cardinals of the fruit world and can just survive everywhere?

  4. Love your ‘What to wear’ t-shirt collection for your conservative friend, Lauren, and those flowers WERE spectacular, nice job! And Minnesota would welcome the Alanizes with open arms, no doubt about it. The Supreme Court is very scary.

  5. I’m amazed at the flowers you grew for the wedding. If a wedding depended on my contribution of homegrown flowers no one would be getting married. You’ve been busy.

    1. Thank you! It’s all growing lots of your sure shot, tried and trues ! That’s not the time for trying new varieties that may not work out!

      1. Or the kind of flowers that don’t measure up. We have loads of poppies, but can’t you just see them wilting and the petals falling off? No need for confetti when you have poppies. And this time of year, up here in Canada, it’s hard to come up with any sturdy flowers for a wedding (from one’s own garden, that is).

Comments are closed.