Today was fairly quiet on the (quarantine) home front. The biggest news was that it rained, which is almost unheard of in Los Angeles in May. When I awoke this morning with my window open, I could hear the pitter-patter of rain. I was so excited. I love the rain. I dislike heat intensely, but never tire of the rain. As soon as I got up and saw that everything outside was wet I knew what my agenda was going to be for the day. Gardening. At this point, I am racing against the clock to beat the sweltering and oppressive summer heat, which is pounding on my door. Like last week, whenever I see that we are going to have a cool day (that would in the 70's in the West Valley), I know exactly what I will be doing. I returned from my walk, checked in with my students to make sure they were set, changed into my gardening clothes, and out I went. Miles, my trusty hedge trimmer, and I hit the slopes and started doing some un-gardening. I was able to cut down about 8 huge shrubs that I had been eyeing for some time. It was exhilarating. Miles helped me haul away bushels of rosemary and old leaves that looked like they had been there since the dinosaurs. Around noon, Miles headed back into the house, and Catherine came out to take his place. She is a rock star in the garden. She works hard and doesn't turn her nose up at any job. With her by my side, we made terrific progress. After fixing everyone lunch, I headed back out and spent the rest of the day chopping, shoveling, and hauling. It was another back-breaker of a day, but so gratifying. My clean-up crew came out at around 3:30 to help me bag and haul piles and piles of leaves, branches, and rocks. They stepped right into action, like the professionals that they are, with their rakes, shovels, hoes, brooms, dustpans, and giant garden bags. It has become a seamless operation. So not only are we ready to start our own catering company when COVID 19 finally lets up, but we can launch a landscaping business on the side. The Lieblich Landscape Company. It has a nice ring. As soon as we headed in and washed up, everyone was in the kitchen helping with dinner. I had shrimp peelers, lemon zesters, salad makers, and pudding stirrers. We whipped up the most delicious dinner and had fun in the process. After dinner, clean up, and bath, I suggested to the kids, they start a new tradition before bedtime. I called it the Nightly Reading Party. They each chose two picture books, sat around Catherine and Graham's cozy table, and read to each other. It occurred to me that it might be a good way to get Catherine and Miles (who have been reading less during quarantine) to get in some more reading time. I checked on them twice, as I penned this post, and they seemed to be enjoying the party. With any luck, we can make it a new nightly tradition, instead of the usual running of the bulls in the hall that normally takes place.
I was too busy breaking my back in the garden to take any photos, so it looks like Miles absconded with my phone and took this award-winning shot of some of our tools.
This was the treasure that Catherine and I found in one of the shrubs we but down - an old birds nest.
Miles stole my phone again and took this photo of napping Fitzy in the house while the kids were doing their school work.
The shrimp peelers.
The lemon zester.
The salad maker (with a black eye she got yesterday when Garin tried to jump over her and on to the bed, but didn't make it).
The pudding stirrer with his protective eyewear..
A perfect garden salad prepared by Catherine.
Shrimp with Lemon, Garlic, White Wine and Fresh Dill.
Jasmine Rice with Sautéed Scallions, Ginger and Lemon Zest. It went perfectly with the shrimp.
Banana Pudding for desert.
The launching of The Nightly Reading Party.