Hiatus Highlights

“Yes, I will give to those who give of themselves, untold Joy and Bliss; and what is more, I will lead them by the hand along those petal strewn paths of Eternal Joy.” 

~Sri Sathya Sai Baba

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I have severely fallen behind on my 2-3 posts a week goal here at oHo. Professional and popular bloggers will tell you the importance of sticking to your blog schedule when you first start out to build discipline and storyline, etc. It can be rough at first, with the inevitable doubts that arise. Does anyone even read this anyways? What is the point?

My absence here has less to do with those doubts and more to do with the slow takeover of my normal life. There have been doubts, yes, but there has also been part time jobs responsibilities, relationship crises, healing, and a TON of garden work. You cannot expect to have summer vegetables without back-breaking labor in spring, nor life without some stumbling blocks.

We've put in several gardens here at the house including a trellised front-yard bed, lush container gardens and a spontaneous alley garden that Ron has nicknamed "the ghetto garden" plus we've installed a full-fledged, fenced-in vegetable patch over at a friend's,  There have been so many great moments and highlights from the past several weeks that I just wasn't able to share with you all: al fresco dining, potting benches, drying herbs on our new herb rack, peonies in bloom, taco night, cupcakes and a strawberry pie surprise from my neighbor (Thanks Lyric!), thrift store treasures and the soon-to-be launching of my vintage etsy shop, The Fickle Fern.

Now, I am about to begin a two month job working as Costume Supervisor on National Geographic's Killing Kennedy. I am excited to be jumping back in to the film business and working with my friends again, but I have a feeling, from experience, that there won't be as much time for blogging. I will if I can, but chances are, by the time I am back, summer will be in full swing and I'll be super excited to document riverside picnics, grilling parties and tomato harvests.

See you all in July!


An Accidental Cinco de Mayo

You can probably tell by the lack of recent posts here that I've been pretty busy elsewhere. So busy, in fact, that I almost let a holiday slip by uncelebrated. And this on a blog whose theme is about highlighting the causes for celebration; a possible catastrophe! Okay, just kidding. I guess if you set out to make each day a high occasion, then it wouldn't be so bad missing a holiday here or there. Nonetheless, Cinco de Mayo almost came and went.

That morning I invited two friends over for cocktails and munchies, unaware of the actual date. I had an unopened bottle of Trader Joe's Bloody Mary mix in the back of my fridge just crying to be cracked and shared. Noel and I had been trying to reconnect over the last two weeks to no avail, but this time things clicked into place.

Noel is co-owner of a local pickling company, Pickled Silly. (Check 'em out; I styled and photographed the main image on their website!) Her and her business partner, Sandra, make a delicious array of fresh and crispy pickles, but it was their spicy okra that took special place at the table today; the brine was our mixer and the okra, the garnish. With over 20 years of restaurant and bar experience, my beloved Ron was our bartender of choice. He cracked pepper, sprinkled smoked salt and stirred the spirits with professional mystique, all while carrying on a conversation about the common lawn weed, oxalis. Our Bloody Mary's were made with gin instead of vodka; a pleasant change from the traditional spirit of choice.

I'm a lightweight, and while I sipped on my one, perfectly concocted cocktail all afternoon, my three compatriots knocked back their Mary's with vigor. We drank and chatted on the back deck until late in the afternoon, gnoshing on homemade pickles and honey roasted peanuts. It was an incredibly pleasant, laid back day. Glancing at the calendar in the evening and realizing it was the fifth of May just made the impromptu gathering that much more serendipitous.


Happy Montage Monday: Backyard Haven

I really love Spring, guys. It is undoubtedly my favorite season. Myriad flowers bloom everywhere. Brand new leaves pop seemingly out of nowhere on twigs and branches painting a canopy of green overhead. On certain days we get a fleeting glimpse of Summer when the weather is warm enough for sandals and hammock lounging. I press open a good book or glossy magazine and could sit for hours, bathing in the first hot sun of the year.

My backyard is a haven in Spring: rustic, wild and pure. There is almost no grass here; medicinals and weeds naturally populate the yard. I am beginning to like the un-manicured feel of this rental property. Vinca vines with blooming periwinkle hold hands with english ivy and virginia creeper (and also happen to be one of Nabby's favorite nap spots). The grape vine on the fence sends out its green tentacles and the first buds appear on the hydrangea and gardenia. There aren't any mosquitoes around the water barrel yet, and the local birds flit about searching for nest material or baby birdie food, making quite a racket each sunrise and sunset.

This photo montage is a snapshot of my dearly beloved backyard haven. May it inspire a relaxing day out-of-doors.


Let's Be Neighbors

Did you know Saturday, April 27th was National Neighbor Day? I didn't.

A chance encounter surfing the web brought this to my attention, and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to thank my awesome neighbors for being, well, awesome, and the best excuse to bake something sweet.

Ron took over in the kitchen, making the scrumptious cinnamon swirl buns that were such a hit at Easter. I purchased pretty pink packaging materials and set about writing notes to each neighbor.

The card read something like...
"Happy National Neighbor Day!
Ron and I are just tickled pink to have you as our neighbor."

I delivered them one-by-one. My upstairs neighbor gave us a cool Jamaican CD in return, and my next-door neighbor, Lyric, took these great portraits of her two young girls biting into the goods. Aren't they precious?

Lyric is a fantastic portrait photographer with a knack for capturing the natural warmth and charm of children, infants and families. Check out more of her work at LyricHasslerPhotography.com.

I think I might have been under the misguided impression that this was one of those informal national holidays, like National Rubber Eraser Day (April 15) or Blah, Blah, Blah Day (April 17).  (No seriously, those are, in fact, National observance days in the month of April.) Turns out this Neighbor Day was a community-building, grassroots event partly inspired by the Boston Marathon events. (Here is the link to find out more).

The 27th of April actually shares holiday coverage with Babe Ruth, Prime Rib and something called 'Tell A Story Day'.  There might not be any more room to make this an honest-to-America holiday called National Neighbor Day. Only time will tell. Note: this should NOT to be confused with National Neighborhood Day on the third Sunday in September.

My head is spinning. I fully recommend you read the full list of bizarre National Days here.

Okay, so I inadvertently lied on the card. Big whoop. I also didn't get a chance to don my apron, as Ron did the baking, but I did have the pleasure of visiting each of my immediate neighbors to see their faces light up and enjoyed some pleasant chit-chat.

Plus, we've got leftovers! Win. Win. Win.

This was such a success, and I felt so good afterwards that I have half-a-mind to play around with that-there list of wacky holidays and come up with random acts of kindness for each month out of the year! Whose with me?

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