Third Time’s A Charm! #CoffeeTalk

Well, third time’s a charm! I discovered the diagnostic lab was open for a few hours on Saturdays so I got myself over there yesterday morning right when they opened. There were already a few people waiting, but it cleared out fast and I was in and out in 30 minutes. So yay. That’s out of the way! She said the bloodwork results should be to my doc within 24-48 hours so I should be good to go for my appt on Wednesday. AND now I can start taking my Vitamin D3 and Calcium/Magnesium, assuming that those are the first supplements anyone with potentially weak bones should be taking.

It was a brisk, chilly morning that felt like fall so when I got back from the lab, I spontaneously decided to get our fall clothes down from the attic. I lassoed my husband and a couple of kids, and we tackled that mighty task. It took the better part of my day, but I feel thoroughly accomplished.

This is a picture of all the stuff we got rid of. I KNOW!!! In fact, my husband bagged it up and took it right over to the thrift store before it had time to start collecting dust in our garage.

donations

The summer-to-fall transition is always more challenging because fall/winter clothes take up so much more room. During the summer months, we can get pretty sloppy but I have to make sure everything is super organized for fall/winter if we’re going to have enough room in our drawers and closets. So I spent some time decluttering, dusting and re-organizing our walk-in closet. I even managed to consolidate some of my husband’s stuff so I could take over a few of his shelves. Bwahaha!!!

I went through EVERYTHING I own and tossed anything I haven’t worn or am just plain tired of, and I still have too much. I finally allowed myself to get rid of some pieces I’ve kept for the past few years “just in case”. I’m tired of them taking up space when I don’t really wear them. I always feel a bit guilty giving away perfectly good clothes, but I always tell myself that if I’m not going to wear them, it’s best to let someone else enjoy them. We always donate to a non-profit thrift store that supports a local Christian prison ministry. I even have friends who shop there so I know my gently worn clothes get recycled and bless others.

I also went through my kids’ closets and put aside a pile of their nicer things for friends and family members. I hate waiting to get that bin out of my house, but at least it’s neatly packed up and labeled and waiting in the garage for my mom’s visit.

The summer clothes that we’re keeping got boxed, labeled and put into the attic, along with some of the heavier winter items that we don’t need yet.

It feels so good to have everyone’s drawers and closets cleaned out and ready for the fall season. I kept out some of my lighter clothes for my tropical trips coming up this fall, so I’ll have to do one more final sweep before winter sets in, but for now I feel like everything is in good shape! And I’m about ready to start wearing boots. Yahoo!!

Last night we had tickets to go to Longwood Gardens for their last Fireworks show of the season. I’m like a kid at Christmastime when it comes to fireworks. I can’t think of much I love more. Unfortunately the weather forecast was pretty bleak. It rained off and on all day, but Longwood doesn’t close for anything less than a full on thunderstorm so I knew we needed to dress accordingly and go prepared to be damp. I wasn’t about to forego my pricey tickets, and I love fireworks enough to watch them in the rain. Plus we had dinner reservations, and my inlaws were joining us too, so we were really looking forward to the evening.

(In full disclosure, our family membership to Longwood is comped as a part of their influencer program, but our dinner and fireworks tickets last night was totally on us.)

We got there along with throngs of people in rain ponchos (evidently no one else was about to be deterred by the weather either) and placed our seats on the lawn and then headed over to the The Terrace for our dinner reservations at 1906. There was a BBQ event last night, but it was sold out so we “settled” for dinner in the restaurant . . . I kid. It was hardly settling.

1906 is totally my kinda restaurant . . . locally sourced, sustainable, fresh, every bit as delicious as it is artfully presented.

We started with cheese plate, all locally sourced artisan cheeses. That made its way around the table exactly once.

local cheese plate

Then I had an arugula salad with blueberries, radicchio, frisee, toasted pinenuts, wildflower honey vinaigrette. It was gorgeous and tasted as good as it looks.

salad

Dinner was a sirloin with bordelaise, grilled zucchini, dreamed red bliss potatoes, roasted shallot and blue cheese. Four of us ordered this plate, and it was absolute perfection. I rarely order a sirloin but whatever the chef did to it, it was tender and flavorful and every bit as good as the pricier cuts of meat that I usually prefer. I tried to get a picture, but it was blurry. It’s hard to get a good photo of steak!

Finally, the dessert menu came out and everyone was in the mood to indulge so I joined them. I had NO idea how I would feel after eating a dessert, now that I’m well over a month sugar-free, but I figured it was a good time to find out! I would have split it with someone, but I was the only one who wanted the chef’s special — a hazelnut mousse presented in a chocolate shell.

hazelnut mousse

I ordered it along with an espresso, planning only to nibble but of course I ate most of it. So sue me. I’m happy to report that I felt fine afterwards, and this morning I feel fine too. I don’t want to make dessert an everyday habit but I am glad I can indulge on occasion with no obvious ill effects.

As we were finishing up dinner, we noticed the sunset peeking out between the clouds and we all marveled at our good fortune. The fireworks show was going to be dry after all!

We made it down to the field just in the nick of time. The fireworks started as soon as we took our seats, and they did NOT disappoint. It was a good 30-40 minute show, accompanied by Beatles music.

fireworks

I got that photo on my Moto X. Crazy, right!??? After I got that one, I shut down my phone and just enjoyed the show. It was spectacular. Who needs to go to Disney World to see fireworks when you have Longwood Gardens in your backyard??

I’ve been their fireworks shows before, but the Beatles music really made the event last night. Well played, Longwood!

If you’re local and thinking about visiting Longwood Gardens this fall, the new Meadow Garden is supposed to be magnificent, and I’m told this is the most beautiful season to experience it.

This Washington Post article describes the meadow as “more than three miles of mown paths and boardwalk that wind through and around an 86-acre field of grasses and wildflowers.”

The grass paths may seem simply there, but they were laid out carefully to lead you through a journey where vistas would shift into focus and stop you in your tracks. Its central loop ensures a different way back. A peripheral path between the meadow and its woodland border offers orchestrated views and takes you over three bridges and past four pavilions.

There is something about the meadow that reaches deep; it is vital and still, nostalgic and bleak — like the memories of childhood and of dreams.

It definitely sounds like one of those exhibits that you could spend hours discovering and taking in, and the photos on the website are breathtaking.

I’m terribly bummed I wasn’t able to see the Meadow Garden last night, but I didn’t want to walk more than I had to on my injured feet and my kids have little patience for horticulture. I hope to make it back sometime this fall (sans kids) to experience it (and maybe I can even sneak in lunch at 1906 . . . )