Three hours of spring & a hell of a meal

Y'all! I wore shorts OUTSIDE for three hours today. It was bliss, despite the glare from my fish-belly-white legs. I raked, trimmed, did some mulching and uncovered a toad. Maybe he was finishing up his under-leaf winter sleep. 

Jack thought he was awesome. Oliver asked to hold him and though he at first responded, "Ugh, he's mushy on my hand!" came around and cottoned to the little guy too. Jack stroked him gently and he croaked several times before we carefully placed him back under a quilt of wet, decomposing leaves. 

Nearly struck dumb by the beauty of sunlight glowing through a crocus's lavender petals, I told the boys to grab drawing pads and colored pencils and try their hands at memorializing the scene. I put towels down so the damp ground wouldn't soak their bums, and draw they did. I  took art for years as a child and am so happy that my boys love it too.

 My cute bugs

My cute bugs

 Jack's and Oliver's crocus drawings

Jack's and Oliver's crocus drawings

A dear sitter came, and I cleaned the room of my own (AROMO). It felt so good to work out there for a while, writing uninterrupted in the quiet hum of nature.

And then on to dinner.

This warm salad, my caramelized fennel, leeks and orange, never disappoints. It's such a simple combination of flavors and textures and pairs beautifully with a variety of entrees. 

 caramelized fennel, leeks and orange

caramelized fennel, leeks and orange

Tonight, more halibut plus shrimp. T made a quick marinade of red pepper flakes, orange, coriander, olive oil, lemon and salt, and we tossed everything together, pan-roasted it and topped with cilantro. Satisfying.