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Where I Wasn't And What We Didn't.

I am not at the zero energy prefab house kit.

Greetings from where I *wasn't* this weekend.
*I* was in town, helping support Richmond's newest farmers market, My Manakin Market!

Here's some pictures from Opening Day at My Manakin Market, with over 40 farmers & vendors and over 800 people attending the first day!

I'm rather historically partial to Virginia's Manakin area, so it is thrilling to help launch a market filled with such an abundance of wonderful local, natural produce, meats, wine, and artisans and many friends. Here's my own Manakin history:
Camp Manakin.
I love how in this picture
I'm sitting next to Evelyn,
I wish she were
the same age now and
I, my current age,
so we could talk more
about those times.
She was always
SO good to me.
We also celebrated a six year old turning seven on Sunday.

*AND* it was Mother's Day, so while celebrating the six-year-old-turning-seven, we also celebrated those of us in the Mutha Hood!
(Thanks to my friend Carrie R. for sending this on:)

So I'll let Handsome Husband fill you in on HIS Saturday, spent on the land at the zero energy off grid prefab house kit.

"There's not a whole lot to say; we finished the radiant loop with the backup heater, I mowed, glued on the foam to the foundation perimeter. We were only there six hours. Our first priority this week is to finish preparing the rainwater cistern for burial. The second is to recess a section wall to the system cabinet by ten inches to provide space for the water filtration system space access from the central bedroom."

Ehrrrrrmmmm, back to me.
As usual for this time of year, I am studiously and methodically preparing for ICFF.

Here's some of my past ICFF adventures...

Annually I ensure I am well prepared by: 1. delaying buying a train ticket until I go, "Oh, ICFF is next week!" 2. Head over to Core 77 to see what interesting things I will miss now that I've just booked my train ticket for the wrong dates 3. Think, "I should probably call C. and P. to see if they want me to stay with them..."

Anyhoo, it is a GORGEOUS spring afternoon, the birds are tweeting, the doors are flung open to the breeze in the mid-century modern and the 8year old is rocking OUT to David Bowie. "But I'm not interested in Little China Girls."
>> Give ya another year or two, you'll be singing a different tune, honeychile...

This mid-century house's courtyard floorplan is *gorgeous* but I can't ever capture the three doors open in a photograph at the same time, it's too wide. Here's some differently angled pictures to give you an idea. The first glass door is in the bedroom, the second, in the middle of the house that faces the front door so you literally, when approaching the house, can see through the front, through to the back and into the garden; and the third, in the dining room, facing the bedroom.

A great place for a party. And speaking of party: I made the Birthday Cake, and although I tagged this post "recipe" you need to know that you can pick any ole' cake recipe you want. C., a chef,. should be proud of me! I thought, "It can't be hard, because all you need to do for baking is 1. measure and 2. follow directions." #Foreshadowing

Instead of purchasing pre-made icing filled with preservatives and fake, cancerous artificial dyes, grab a bowl, mix in some confections sugar, a tad o' water, and some dollops o' raspberry jam from Mrs. Esh or whomever, yourself. Or crush in some organic strawberries. Or slip in some of Mrs. Esh's juice from her pickled beets- they won't taste it. Get creative. Got old tumeric sitting in the cupboard way too long? You've now got non-spicy tasting yellow icing. Want blue? Add pureed frozen blueberries! Throw in flavorings- heck the jam adds taste, add in some homemade cream cheese, a dash of fresh lemon juice for whatever taste you seek...
[The *icing* was deelish, the batter,  not so much because I did not follow directions.
It kinda tasted like salty sand.
But I *doused* that in homemade icing and the chillunz et it UP!]

Really, it's so easy *I* could do it! And when you sit back and taste your delicious icing, and compare the cost and ingredients and goodness vs. REALLY bad ingredients, you think,
"Oh my gosh this is like people who were raised on instant dry-flash-frozen mashed potatoes feel like the first time they boil, add butter to, then mash a potato for the first time: Awed at the ridiculousness."

Because I had so much fun Saturday at Opening Day for My Manakin Market, drinking a glass o' sangria at ten a.m. with my friends ("The children? I have no idea where they are...oh, there they are, rollin' in the poison ivy! Guess that'll learn 'em, hey this sangria is nice, isn't it, Cheryl...") got me inspired to make sangria for the child's Birthday Party. I mean, it IS Mother's Day and I have to make the ladies happy, y'know?

That's where I seripenditiously saw Sally Mullikin of The Inn At Three Bridge post this recipe on Facebook! And she's a bed & breakfast owner so I bet that stuff is GOOOOD. ‚ÄéHere ya go:
Sally Mullikin Takes Grayhaven Winery's Sangria Recipe And Powhatan's It Down And Then We Make It And Of Course Replace Like 1/2 The Ingredients
1 can lychee fruit in heavy syrup
1 cup sugar-1cup water reduction of simple syrup
3 lemons, 3 limes, orange all quartered
two 16 oz jars of organic strawberry lemonade
and three bottles of your favorite white wine
Back in our mid-century modern, we see ourselves as our little own happy oasis.
We are *so* fortunate to have so many Huckleberry Friends... here, there, and everywhere... 

And as I get ready to journey to ICFF, running towards my friends in New York, I'm already missing my Virginia clay, glad it's still stickin' to my boots as I head into the Big City missing our many friends in the Fan and Pamplin and Northside... but not this bland, they-done-taken-mah-chickens-away block, ha.

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