Monday, May 7, 2007

A Beautiful Weekend of the first week of May

(Rhododendron in bloom and Amar working on the garden)

Both Amar and I have been under the weather for a few weeks (Amar got a flu which persisted for more than two weeks and I was recovering from a minor surgery which I had in early April), but we finally came back to our usual selves and enjoyed the beautiful weekend of the first week of May together to the full for the first time in the past several weeks. The weather was perfect, grass and trees getting greener and greener everyday, so many different kinds of flowers in bloom everywhere, and the sky is blue and big (not small like I used to see in Tokyo!) .... this is one of these times when I feel that life is almost perfect!

We started the Saturday morning with Scottish oat scones which I made referring to a newly-found recipe. I liked their crunchiness and crumbliness (which must come from the oat flour used for a half part of flour), but Amar was a little bit disappointed by them because he always associates "scones" with NZ scones which are not very crumbly. (But afterwards he added that he would enjoy them more next time because his expectation would be different.)
Natsuki, who tasted one when she came to our house on Sunday morning for my piano lesson, enjoyed it and she liked the crumbliness too :-)

(Left: Oat scones Right: Sake(=Japanese rice wine)-yeast bread with adzuki beans that I baked on Sunday)

On both Saturday and Sunday Amar and I did a lot of gardening and house chores together, Amar mowing the lawn and Michiko weeding the garden in most part. I spent as long as 13 hours in total just weeding over this weekend (from Friday to Sunday)! Despite this hard work, there are still so much left to do... (;@_@;) It does seem true that "gardening is all about weeding", as someone said... and weeding seems endless:-( However, it is quite enjoyable to do gardening (even when it's only weeding) when the weather is so beautiful.

(Left: Binding daffodil's foliage after the flowers are finished Right: the first peony flower in our garden)

On Sunday evening we had dinner with Patricia and her husband Josh at their place. We had a BBQ at the outside porch with a company of their dog Valentino (nickname Tino). It was a very pleasant evening, with the perfect weather (though a bit chilly in the end), good food and nice company. As I mentioned in another post (about my tea ceremony demonstrataion), Patricia has lived in Hiroshima, Japan for two years as an assistant English teacher (AET) from 1999 to 2001 and she and Josh travelled to NZ as their honeymoon two years ago --- so as a couple, they have a kind of sense of affinity to both Japan and NZ, which Amar and I found a rare combination. Perhaps partly because of this strange coincidence, it didn't take us long at all to feel relaxed and comfortable with each other. It's such a shame that they are thinking to move back to Patricia's hometown in Kentucky as early as this summer! But we still feel very lucky to have at least met them before they leave.

Here are some pictures from the evening...

Left: Appetizers: Roasted pumpkins with grilled tomato&garlic sauce (by Michiko) and Tortilla chips and salsa (by Josh), Right: a Yummy BBQ of chicken, beef and vegetables on skewers (by Josh)

Tino (left) and Amar and Josh (right)

Patricia and Josh (left) and a dessert (Strawberry cheese cake by Michiko)

No comments: