mid-may home doings

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We've been deluged with rain again here in the Chicago area. Just like last year, there's localized flooding. My back yard has standing water in several places, but thank goodness our basement is dry. I much prefer the few sunny days we had before all this rain. 

Clementine loves to be outside with me. I sometimes let her out on the front porch and I stand right there and watch her, but after a few minutes, she tries to run away. I found this pet tent on Amazon and ordered it for her. This way she can be safely outside with me. The tent is six feet long, so a nice size. Not sure what she thinks about it though.

I haven't done much in the way of flowers yet this year since we're just now warming up, but so far, it looks like yellow is the predominant color theme. There's still sooo much yard work to be done and more plants and flowers to be purchased.

I'm sprucing up my patio furniture this year with new cushions. I ordered these blue Sunbrella cushions from Target. Love the color!

Now all I need are cushions for the backs of the seats. I picked out two sets of these colorful paisley cushions from Overstock. They have all the summer colors I love and will go perfectly with the blue Target cushions, the red wicker stand on the patio, the red vintage bench that sits nearby, and all the yellow flowers. (I also noticed how dingy this wicker settee is. Power washing is yet another thing on our outdoor to-do list.)

This past Saturday when it was warm and sunny, wet got a nice start on the yard work. We planted the coleus plants in-between all the hostas and ferns in this shady area on the north side of the house. The coleus is tiny right now, but I know from past experience that they fill out beautifully. I might buy a shepherd's hook with a hanging plant on it for this area for some height interest.

Hubby got the tomato plants planted in pots. He mixes potting soil with our own compost. I believe three of the plants are cherry and pear tomatoes (one or two yellow) and one is San Marzanos. We've never planted that kind of tomato before, so I'm excited to see if they grow well. If you are a cook, you probably know that San Marzanos are the best tomatoes.

More spring beauty from a walk around our neighborhood:

I believe both of these are crabapple trees...

An empty lot on the next block filled with blowy dandelions...when I was a kid, I loved to pick these, blow on the fluffy, white seeds and make a wish.

I haven't been doing a lot of baking because I would fill up on sugary goodies, and we all know that's not good for us. But my rhubarb was prolific, so I wanted to put it to good use. And nothing goes better with rhubarb than strawberries. I made a strawberry-rhubarb crisp last week and delivered some to a friend so that we wouldn't eat the whole thing. 😉 This past weekend, I made yummy strawberry rhubarb muffins. This recipe calls for vegetable oil, which I never use, as it's a toxic oil. Please substitute a good baking oil, such as avocado or coconut. If you'd like a streusel topping (and who wouldn't), I used the one found in this recipe. I noticed she has other strawberry rhubarb recipes on her site, too but I haven't tried any of them. 

I just looked at our 10-day weather forecast online and it looks like this Tuesday - Thursday will be the only days without rain or thunderstorms. Ugh! Looks like I won't get all my planting done until June.

Hope you all are keeping well and sane(ish).


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