Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May's Mish-Mash

Here's a mixture of miscellany from the month of May!
Hyun Wook, my former homestay student from South Korea, and his mother visited for a couple of days en route to his brother's graduation from Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was wonderful seeing them again!  Hyun Wook has the distinction of staying the longest in my home--six years--while he completed the intensive English program and then his associate's and bachelor's degrees.  During that time his family made several visits and his brother also lived in my home for a year.  Yes, the Cho family is very special to me!

* * * * *

This is what happens when you have a soggy spring and an old, kaput lawn mower!  If you're thinking that looks pretty pathetic, I totally agree!

So, I splurged this month and bought this fancy little machine! The old mower had left me frustrated and cranky, not to mention totally humiliated more often than I wanted to remember. Repeated yanks on the cord  extracted mostly whimper-whumpfs from the mower, and I'd end up dragging it down the street until I found a neighbor with some muscle. This new, self-propelled mower starts with a key--let's me save face AND my sanity.
* * * * *

I've got lots of pretty flowers in my yard, but my yard is not pretty.  The weeds have been growing gangbusters and it's been too cold and rainy to do anything about it.  Well, that plus I've been too tired.

Does anyone know the names of these flowers?  I think the yellow is called candy-tuft, but what are those blue flowers? Weeds?  They just voluntarily planted themselves in my yard and I just kindly let them!

* * * * *

I'd like to pick a bunch of these gorgeous lilacs to bring into the house, but this bush has completely gotten out of hand!  All the blooms are way up at the top--about 15 feet or so!

My golden chain tree looks quite nice in this photo, but it is really sprawling out of control and needs some serious pruning. Obviously, I have some major yardwork to do this summer!

* * * * *

And finally, here was tonight's dinner.  It's been eons since I made taco salad!  I couldn't remember what ingredients to use, so I did a quick Google search, but none of those recipes sounded like the taco salad I remember my mom making, so I combed the recesses of my memory and came up with the following: 
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 ears of corn, lightly steamed, then sliced off the cob
1 basket of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 can olives, sliced 
1 avocado, diced into 1/2 inch chunks
1 pound hamburger, cooked, crumbled, fat rinsed off with hot water and then seasoned with 1 rounded teaspoon each of cumin, chili pepper and paprika, plus salt and pepper to taste.
2 cups ( approx) of corn chips broken.

For the dressing I mixed a little mayonnaise and salsa together.

I put everything into a very large bowl and mixed it all together.  It turned out to be simple, yet very filling .   Actually, it tasted quite good.  Some shredded cheddar cheese would have made it even better.

Well, that's the mish-mash. for May.

Homestay Mama

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mount Vernon Tulips

For my birthday this year (in April) we went to the tulip festival in Mount Vernon.  I love tulips!

There are always acres and acres of tulips in a rainbow of colors.  The tulips draw people from around the world. 

Toshi and the crowds of people in the background.

I love this color combination.

Tae and Toshi out in the fields.

 Red tulips are my favorite.  I especially like this photo.

More colors with the Mount Vernon hills in the background.

Tulips with an unusual shape.

Patriotic tulips and grape hyacinths.

 Love this colorful tulip bed--just look at that shimmering florescence. 

I'm awestruck with the huge variety of colors, shapes and sizes. 

Toshi and Tae by the windmill.
Our trip to the tulip festival was part of my birthday present.  Tae and Toshi also bought a cake from the Korean Bakery near my home.  Their cakes are just the way I like them--not overly sweet--
and they are so pretty.  
 Toshi bought my birthday card and made sure all my homestay students signed it.  
I had no clue he was doing this.  What a wonderful surprise!

Just look at their sweet messages! They make this mama's heart sing!

It was a most wonderful birthday!
But that's not all!  For the rest of my birthday present, Tae organized a kitchen clean-up.  He emptied the trash and cleaned the kitchen with a little help from Toshi.  What a thoughtful young man!

I think I'm one very lucky (and a little spoiled?) homestay mama!