Thursday, April 30, 2009

Restaurant Review- Puerto Vallarta, Newington CT
2385 BerlinTurnpikeNewington, CT 06111Tel: 860-667-8080

The Berlin Turnpike is an ugly, boring line of strip malls, box stores and chain restaurants. But nestled within all that boringness is a bright yellow and blue slice of delicious Mexico- Puerto Vallarta. Walking into the double doors of this restaurant, you are hit with an energy that feels exciting and ethnic at the same time. There was a short wait with adults and kids waiting for a seat. Some guests spoke Spanish to the hostess, often a good sign of authentic food.

The wait was brief and we were shown to our table. The atmosphere is a little dull, rows and rows of booths. The dining area is quite huge with some table and chairs way in the back. Our waiter greeted us quickly with warm chips and homemade salsa. We ordered beers (they have Pacifico one of my favorites). The chips were delicious, crisp and not too oily and the salsa was amazing. If we had spoons, I might have eaten our little bowl of salsa like soup. It was thin but full of flavor.

The menu is quite large, ranging from taco/enchilada plates to plates of authentic Mexican food, such as the Arroz con Pollo and Carnitas de Puerco. I ordered two shredded beef tacos in soft shells (which comes with rice and your choice of beans) and Dave ordered the Arroz con Pollo. We opted for a second bowl of chips and salsa (and beer) rather than order appetizers. Our second bowl of chips were steaming hot when they arrived and still glistening from just being cooked. Our meals arrived quickly and piping hot! My tacos were moist and full of flavor, quite substantial meal. The rice and beans were perfect portion and flavor. Just perfect dish. The Arroz con Pollo was delicious. It was sliced chicken in a mild red sauce with peppers, mushrooms and onions with slices of perfectly ripe avocado served on rice with tortillas. The flavor was reminiscent of ketchup, but in a good way. The chicken and vegetables tasted perfect together- peppers still having a crunch when you bit them. It wasn't my meal to eat, just try, but I wasn't sure what to do with the tortillas. Do you make a little taco? Use the tortilla to sop up the red sauce? I don't know but the flavor was outstanding.

This restaurant has a patio for warm weather dining and while it is set back from the Berlin Turnpike, I'm not exactly sure how pleasant it will be out there. Though I'm willing to try it. An excellent value and delicious Mexican food that isn't a burrito (but I did spy some on the menu) this restaurant is absolutely worth going back to again and again. We talked about ordering a large dish as takeout and bringing home to share, but then we would miss out on the bottomless hot chips and delicious salsa as well as the fun looking frozen drinks other were ordering. I know the margaritas are outstanding from previous visits. This restaurant is good for a large crowds or for a quick casual bite. I recommend for a night out with friends or a quick causal bite, not quite a romantic setting. I give this restaurant 3.5 stars overall.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend of Nothings

Well, that's not true, we did a whole lot of stuff but nothing really story-worthy. For those who had their noses glued to the TV because of the swineflu probably also saw that New England had record breaking warm weather this past weekend (in addition to the Red Sox sweeping the Yankees and some truly spectacular Boston basketball, despite the loss). It was just over 90 one day, a truly amazing jump into summer. This weekend we actually did a whole lot. We slaved over the lawn and gardens most of Saturday and then sat on our porch and read our books while our muscles and joints began to ache. Saturday night we grilled burgers and ate outdoors! YUM! Sunday we Marched for Dimes for charity and did some chores, bought some more dehydrated cow poo for our square foot garden:

Notice my fancy watering device is MISTING the garden. Yes, I found my dream watering device. You know, the one I wrote about weeks ago, yes, it's mine. I love it! Ok, back to the garden, don't be fooled though, it's empty except for two squares. One is broccoli in the square with the orange pot next to it (I can see it but I know where to look) and some peas are placed in the square closest to the hose reel. You can't see those, they are under the poo. SO FUN.

Then I did some of this:

It's a rough life, but someone has to live it...

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm the plumber in this household, dammit!

Sleeping in, alone (husband to the gym) I awoke to the doorbell Saturday morning. I knew it was early, maybe 8:30, and ran downstairs to find the Ben Franklin plumber guy. Oh right, we were scheduled for our annual check up! Darn, so I got some pants on and let the guy in. Scot. With one t. So he walks in and explains what he is going to do (check all waterways) and will find me when he is complete. Perfect.

So I go about planting new seedlings for our square foot garden and Dave comes back from the gym. He heads upstairs to do some more working out/stretching and I go back to planting and watering the little guys when I realize Scot, with one t, has been upstairs for a while. So I head up to see what is taking him so long and whaddaya know? Scot is chattering away with Dave about a plumbing issue.

Now, I'm certainly no whiz when it comes to home repair but when it comes down to the two of us, I tend to be the solver. When the plunger in the sink wasn't working, Dave started pushing it down and lifting up from under the water, rather than fixing the stick thing under the sink. Heck last weekend I 'fixed' the toilet at my Grampa's house by installing a new chain in the tank. I am constantly fixing things by jiggling the handle, sticking my hand down the back of the tank, figuring things out and fixing them. I'm not sure I'm better at it, but I'm the get-in-and-figure-things-out gal and Dave is the let-me-do-research-and-maybe-hire-someone (sorry honey). When I was a kid I would follow my Dad around watching him fix stuff. I LOVED being his helper and handing him tools. If we had more tools (or a circular saw) I'm sure I would be unstoppable. But, for the most part, when something is minorly broken in the house, I fix it. Or at least attempt to.

So back to Scot with one t. So Scot_ is explaining to Dave about a drainage problem as I arrive in the upstairs bathroom and say, 'when there is something to discuss, I want to be involved'. Scot hardly hears this b/c he look is looking at Dave during the entire explanation. Dave can tell I'm peeved but I am holding it in and trying to be adult-ish about this. If something needs to be fixed, I want to know all the details. So Scot begins again looking straight at Dave, telling us the options (Snaking for absurd amounts of money, stuff to pour down the drain etc). He glances quickly at me but is talking to the MAN of the house. I wanted to jump in between the vision line and scream, "I'm the plumber in this household, dammit!'. But I didn't. Scot went about his business continuing on through the house and when he was done doing the initial check I (Dave wasn't around) asked him a question about the temperature of our water.

So Scot does some more inspecting and comes to a conclusion. He asks me to go to the basement so he can show me some things. I let Dave know that Scot has something to say to us. Not because I think Dave cares but because that was what I wanted to be done to me when they were upstairs talking about our home without me. So we go downstairs and whattayano Scot looks directly at DAVE and starts telling him the issue. WTF? I was the one who asked the question! I was the one waiting for the answer! Sure, Scot glanced at me. But even after I ASKED HIM FURTHER QUESTIONS he STILL looked straight at Dave with the answers. I asked about pumps, and pipe sizes and demolition and still, not an answer to me, the plumber of this household, but Dave. I was thoroughly annoyed. I sensed my sweetheart could feel the heat coming from my earlobes. We asked a few more questions, all answers directed to Dave. Final decisions were made, of course, by Dave and off went Scot.

WHY OH WHY don't people realize that girls (even cute little girls) can be good at BOY stuff. Just like boys can be good at girl stuff? I was the lead on this plumber visit. I ran point on this. I made the appointment, I did all the previous years work with the plumbers (I know a lot about basement faucets, truly). I actually know quite a bit about home fixings. I am good at that stuff. And I won't ever hire someone who doesn't consider me at least half of the decision-maker, if not the complete decision maker.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Restaurant Critic, Take two- on the road- Seattle

So, to begin with, did you all notice the CHEF of Barcelona commented on my last blog? Hello! HOW COOL IS THAT? Thank goodness I wrote a good review, huh? So I've been on the road traveling and have some quick tidbits from my journey... in Seattle

I had dinner with my Aunt Liz at the Tamerind Tree in Seattle WA

This place was really hard to find, tucked in the Chinatown International District in a shady looking strip mall. Once found, nearly missed by the white banner sign among Vietnamese supermarkets, this place is an oasis. It's so warm and gorgeous on the inside with burnt orange walls, tasteful decor and a fire pit. It was perfect for a dreary evening. The food was fine, I don't consider Vietnamese food to be spectacular but is always good. A standout was the dessert, 4 mini scoops of homemade ice cream. We opted for the poppy seed, ginger, coconut and chili. Yes, chili pepper. Be careful with this. It's fun to try but it's spicy and cool at the same time. The poppy seed was surprisingly delicious. It was my favorite. The ginger had some warmth to it too and coconut ice cream- hello, delicious! The service was too quick. It seemed like a place to get in, eat and get out. I would recommend this, and the outdoor seating area would be fantastic on a warmer day/night. I give it 3 stars.

I had lunch the next day at Purple Cafe on 4th Ave and Seneca (I think) in Seattle WA. Now this place is spectacular. Seriously, LOOK at the picture below. When you pull open the 8 inch thick metal door you walk into a wide open space. The ceilings are so high with woven metal sheets for the ceiling cover. There is a cement topped bar in the middle of the room and behind it is a tower of wine. It is a cylindrical wine tower, 14 shelves (standing bottles of wine) high and about 20 feet in diameter. There is a staircase around the wine tower to help obtain the luscious libations and according to the friendly bartender, at times it is necessary to scale the wine tower. But I didn't witness that. I grabbed a seat at the bar and a friendly woman a little older than me said, come on closer, I don't bite. (being from New England, I was skeptical but after a self pep talk in the bathroom I concluded she wasn't crazy and I'm fairly certain she wasn't hitting on me, so I went back out and we chatted, er, I mostly listened and she shared too much information.) Carol, that's her name, recommended the tomato soup and offered some of her wine to me. I declined tasting the wine but did order the soup. It was good. It wasn't bad and it wasn't fantastic. It tasted creamy without cream- when the chef blends the soup to provide nice texture. The spices and flavorings were done well. It tasted a lot like marinara sauce (and a soup I make at home). I also ordered the hangar steak with smashed loaded potatoes. With Carol deciding on dessert, she finally decided on the Tangerine Chocolate Tart, which sounded absolutely delicious, but unfortunately they were out of that dessert. At that, she decided to cancel her order of Drambuie and head out. She offered some more friendly chatter and then proceeded to give me her phone number if I had some free time this (or next time) I was visiting Seattle. I took it dumbfounded, unsure of how to respond. I smiled, took it, and went back to eating my lunch. The hangar steak was cooked well. Still juicy and heavily seasoned. It tasted almost too salty but it worked well with the potatoes. The potatoes were heavenly. I'm not one for mashed potatoes so I was surprised I ordered this, but it was a creamy cheesy potato smash. Red potatoes and red onions, cheese, butter, parsley spices. Really special potatoes. I decided to also order some coffee. This IS Seattle, after all, and the coffee was not a disappointment. (I will admit, I am a Coffee Snob. Self proclaimed. I'd prefer to drink tea rather than bad coffee. I don't NEED coffee, but I love it.) So this coffee (ordered to warm me up because I was quite cold every time the giant door opened) was out of this world. It was french press coffee. It comes in a lovely fantastic glass pot that you press the top and it presses the rich creamy coffee from the grounds into the pot and then it is poured into your cup. Oh dear, this was so delicious and JUST what I needed. Purple Cafe has an excellent atmosphere although it was cold in temperature when people came in. I would also imagine it could get loud at dinnertime. For lunch, there were various size groups, work folks, people heading to opening day Mariners game, friends, jeans and suits. The menu offered small plates, pizzas, salads and large plates. This was an excellent spot for solo dining. The barkeeper was super friendly but didn't hover. Plus, I got some digits! I wondered if I could convince any of my other meetings to move to Purple so I could eat here more. Though I would ask for a seat far from the door. This was fantastic and I recommend this with 4.5 stars.

This is a quick review. I wasn't that impressed with this place. The view is fantastic AND the restaurant spins. I think it's 1 rotation per hour. So on a lovely day like the night I dined there (also happened to be half price wine night and we took too much advantage of that) the view took your breath away. A waiter faux pas, like when they took our appetizers away along with our flatware but didn't bring new knives with or before our main dishes arrived. Then when we asked for some knives, they only brought 2 (there were 5 of us dining). We asked again, they brought two more. So we asked one more time and they brought 5 sets over. Just embarrassing. I ordered the halibut and it was forgettable- bland, unfresh (perhaps frozen?) and slightly unappealing on the plate. The standouts of the meal were the bread pudding which had a savory flavor to it (perhaps rosemary?) and the pancetta wrapped goat cheese which was decadently sweet and salty. I'd give this 2.5 stars for food and service but when you add in the view and atmosphere I would bump it to a 3.0. It's somewhere I think people should go to see what it's all about, but not a fine dining experience. Perhaps a fantastic spot for brunch!

Dinner at the Waterfront Grill, Seattle WA
I was requested to review this restaurant so here you are, Paul. When you walk into this restaurant you are taken by the clean open space and also the breathtaking view of the water. The piano is immediately upon entry with a lovely tune being played by a human (fancy). The bar runs along the front wall. There are decorated (not set) tables throughout the restaurant which is a great idea to make it look not-empty on a slower night. The hot tables are obviously at the water at the far/back wall. Many diners had their sun glasses on as the sun was setting. The waiters wear tuxedos and our waiter was TRULY fantastic. His name was Justin and he walked us through the menu, was courteous, friendly and respectful. He was patient with our questions and actually made me feel like I might actually belong in this schmancy place. Prior to that I was feeling a bit out of place. It doesn't have a hip/trendy vibe like Purple. This felt like an old money restaurant. Where those who have their chauffeurs drive them and their butlers make their reservations go. There were 4 of us dining, all ladies, and that made for an especially enjoyable evening. The wine was fantastic and we ordered the crab cocktail and the wicked shrimp, at Justin's suggestion. The crab was really delicious, clean and fresh in perfect little mounds. It was just crab, no mayo, no spices (not that I tasted) just a simple plate of sweet, fresh clean crab (with no work). It was really spectacular. The wicked shrimp came in a brown spicy sauce with some toasted rosemary bread to sop up the sauce. The sauce was startlingly spicy, quite thick and a tad sweet. The shrimp were cooked to perfection. Wow. I'm not sure I've had shrimp cooked quite right like this. They were soft and plush, not hard and firm. It gave slightly when you bit into it. Just delicious. The sauce was a little much, perhaps because the shrimp were in a bowl full of it. Perhaps a different plating option with less sauce allowing the shrimp to be more of the star would have been better for me.

I ordered the halibut. Again. I ordered it because I was disappointed with the meal I got at the Space Needle and Justin said the halibut was fresh and just in. It came with spinach and shaved fennel and an orange vinaigrette on top. When the plate came it looked better than the Space Needle, you could see some golden from the cooking and some of the crushed pepper used to season the fish. The fish tasted better than the Space Needle but I wanted it to have a little more carmelization from the cooking process. The salad under the fish was lovely however the vinaigrette seemed to be only on one side of the plate which was strange. I was so full I couldn't finish my meal (practically a first ever) but it was lovely. The overall cost of this meal was not outrageous. I think this could be a great place to go for business meals, to impress someone, first time meeting the future in-laws, mothers/fathers day etc. It won't break the bank but will cost a pretty penny. And if you can get a table at the window and a waiter like Justin, it'd be worth it. But probably not every weekend. I give this place 4 stars. This is excellent for an intimate dinner. Not good for large groups.

I am incredibly lucky to have a job which carries me all over the country and allows me to eat in fancy restaurants. Of this trip to Seattle, Purple was by and large the standout and I can't wait to get back there and try something else. Oh, and the business in Seattle was good too.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

My New Dream... Restaurant Critic, Barcelona, West Hartford

I always wanted to be a restaurant critic. Seriously, who wouldn’t love to be paid to eat out and then opine on the experience? I don’t know how to gain a reputation for a good reviewer but I sure am a good eater. Perhaps that's a skill I could add on my ‘Restaurant Reviewer Resume’. But seriously the Hartford Courant food reviews are a joke. I know newspaper budgets are being cut, but that they reviewed Pollo Tropical is just a disgrace. AND this is not the only chain restaurant reviewed! There are additional reviews for dining establishments who serve on their finest disposable plastic. Furthermore, the ‘reviews’ offered tend to be ‘I ate this, she ate that’ but rarely comment on the quality or complexity of the dish, the appearance, the service, the atmosphere or the overall experience of the meals. It's not going to make or break a restaurant. It’s a shame.

I’m not sure I qualify as a foodie. I like to cook because I like to eat. I like to eat out because I get to eat without cooking or worrying about doing the dishes. I love the Food Network, even if I never attempt to make any of the dishes I watch Paula Deen (too much butter and bacon) and Rachel Ray (ok, I have tried and they never take 30 minutes for me), I still love watching. I don’t eat out as often as I wish. Unfortunately my waistline and wallet won’t allow it. BUT, I am going to review restaurants- everywhere I eat and/or drink, whenever I do. I’m going to review it right here. On my blog. Because perhaps when my dream of becoming a Restaurant Critic comes true I can add my blogging under ‘experience’ on my bio.

So here's my first review:
Barcelona Wine Bar West Hartford Center Parking Lot
Barcelona is not an easy place to find. When I say it's in the parking lot, it truly is. And even when you are in the parking lot you have to look for it, the door isn't visible from the lot. But after you turn into the public lot either from La Salle before Penzey's Spice House or from Farmington near The Toy Chest look for the wood fence which is actually the wall of the open air patio for warm weather dining.

When you enter the restaurant you feel as though you stepped into a New York City or San Francisco restaurant. There are some trendy chandeliers that look like they came from Ikea (but really work in the space) and funky wallpaper. The entrance boasts a beautiful hutch with the reservation book and a beautiful big vase of fragrant lilies. The main room has high tables that are half booth/half chaired tables and a bar runs along one wall with big mirrors above the bar for good people watching. There is a patio separated from the main dining room by crisp etched glass. The patio is covered with retractable awnings and furnished with heat lamps. The chairs outside look like some cheap (Ikea again?) plastic retro style but also on the patio are some expensive looking leather living room furniture in the corner. The clientele range from people in jeans and sweatshirts to those in button down shirts and dresses. A bachelorette party arrived as we were leaving. This would be a great place for a big group.

Our waitress greets us with a warm smile and you get the genuine feeling she likes working there. Then she proceeds with one of my pet peeves. She says, "So, have we been to Barcelona before?" I hold in my contempt and smile and say yes. She continues to speak to us using the 'we' pronoun (rather than 'you') the whole night. She helps us order a bottle of wine, a lovely Spanish wine for a steal of $39. And then excitedly tells us they just received a pig from an Oxford farm so if we like pork we should order it tonight because it's nice and fresh. I'm not sure how but she proceeds to tell us about the making of HeadCheese. I consider myself an adventurous eater but eating eyeballs, brains and whatever else makes up the gelatinous (but according to her, heavenly) HeadCheese is not in my future plans tonight. We smile and order some Tapas as appetizers.

We decided to eat main dishes tonight rather than a dinner of tapas per Dave's suggestion. But in the past we've ordered practically all the tapas on the menu. They are delicious. They come out quickly and steaming hot. This night we ordered the Herbed Goat Cheese with Wild Mushrooms in a Balsamic Reduction and the Tortilla (Espanola) as appetizers. The waitress brings some steaming crusty bread to our table, cute in a terra cotta flower pot. She talks a bit more asking, 'So are we (she meant you) here for a special occasion?' We tell her no and she proceeds to pour two glasses of our bottle of wine without offering a taste to make sure it's not corked. This formality of wine ordering is fun and sometimes awkward but still part of dining. Even in a cheapo restaurant, you are offered a taste of wine to make sure the wine isn't corked. You're not tasting it for preference or flavor. You are checking to make sure it doesn't taste or smell like the wet beach or a wet dog. I was shocked that she brushed right over this fantastically formal tradition but I held in my gasp. The wine was delicious, by the way.

After the tapas came, we ordered our main dishes. I was underwhelmed by my main dish options so I settled on the Churrasco (skirt steak, chimichurri sauce and sweet potato fries) and Dave got the Chicken Al Pimientos (Chicken with a white wine cherry peppers sauce). The waitress informed us that the chicken takes about 20 minutes so we decided to choose another tapa to endure the wait, she offered to come back after a few minutes. After flagging down the waitress, we ordered the pork (since it was fresh AND local) tenderloin with butternut squash and apples. Our meals came out in a very quick 20 minutes (before the pork tapa) and smelled delicious. The food was spectacular. The sauces were absolutely perfect. The chicken was moist and the pepper sauce was mopped up with any extra bread we could get our hands on. The skirt steak was cooked to perfection and must have been rubbed with a lovely spice mix before it was cooked (seared maybe?). The chimichurri sauce had a garlic/parsley tang to it which was nice to add to my steak bite in very small doses. The sweet potato fries were addictive although a bit soggy from my sauces pooling in the bottom of my dish. And lets not forget the pork tenderloin tapa. This was amazing. It was really tender and cooked perfectly. Not too pink, but not hard and dry. The butternut/apple mix was sweet enough to top ice cream, but still quite yummy (yes, that's an official restaurant critic term). Eaten together was a carnival in your mouth.

The atmosphere in Barcelona is fun and young. The wallpaper and funky decor gives it a city feel though the strange location helps limit the crowds. The tv in the corner gives the feel of less-than-fancy-schmancy which is nice considering many of the other West Hartford Center restaurants. The staff is wonderful, professional and attractive. This is a great place for a moderate group of people and for an intimate, romantic date. I'd be ideal for a first date too! I give this place 4.5 stars. Strongly recommend

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grampa's Garden

2007 was a busy year for me. There were some wonderful parts of the year (getting married, two honeymoons, buying a house) yet it was also the year I experienced a deep and profound loss. My Grampa died on April 18th. He was so special to me and we had a very unique and precious relationship. There is never a good time for a death, but it being springtime almost seemed like a cruel added touch, at the time. His funeral was filled with beautiful springtime flowers- daffodils, tulips, crocuses and the colors and flowers around him were enough to take your breath away. He was a fireman (but retired longer than he worked- God bless him) and the red tulips and flowers filled the room and his gravesite. Some of the arrangements were sent back to his house after the funeral and left at his house with the thought the bulbs would be transplanted in his yard.

But after thinking about it (and after trying to dig holes into the cement one calls earth next to his house) I threw down the little shovel thing in frustration and decided to take the bulbs home with me to plant in the yard of the soon-to-be-ours home. I kept them in sun, then the garage (two things you aren't supposed to do with bulbs) during the summer and one afternoon in September decided to shove them in the ground by our driveway in the seemingly last patch of un-gardened yard. After I planted them I wondered if they would grow. I hoped they would grow. And as I wished, Autumn became Winter and Winter became Spring and whaddayouno? We started to get some sprouts? Last year I took daily photos of these little sprouts as they grew, amazed that something I planted grew but also it was like Grampa peeking his little head out and reminding me the world is beautiful. I dubbed it Grampa's Garden.

This year, back from Jamaica we noticed some sprouts in Grampa's garden. With all the snow we've had this year piled up on Grampa's Garden, there were only a few days his garden wasn't white. Since then, I've been watching, waiting for some color to pop and today I spied some yellow. I especially love when the red tulips come out but they all are so special to me and a reminder to stop at Grampa's garden, even for a few seconds, and admire the wonderment of mother nature and to pause for Grampa's sake.

Thankful For...

So I was reading through my journal a few nights ago. You remember, the journal that I resolved to write things I was 1) thankful for, 2) proud of and 3) would do better daily. It’s interesting to read through the past ones and try to remember each day. One day I was proud of not yelling at my coworkers. Gosh, that’s kind of sad and funny at the same time. But another, the one I got the biggest laugh at was when I was thankful for material things. Yes, I actually wrote, I’m thankful for material things. I have no idea what it was that prompted that entry. But man, what a good laugh.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

And so it begins...

Ahh yes, this time of year brings the peek of warm weather, which prompts my ever growing ‘to do’ list. We were fortunate to live in a beautiful home with a lovely garden. We love the garden, the beautiful flowers and the herbs the former homeowner has left behind. However, the former owners did NOT leave an instruction manual with what to do, when and what the names of the plants are. This has been an interesting learning process, although it is an exciting and stressful learning process not anywhere close to being mastered. It is the time of year I begin deciding which new garden tools to buy (because I constantly lose them in the plants or dirt- why are all garden tools green or brown???) what color my new garden gloves will be (hot pink) and begin to invent various tools to help make this gardening year easier than the past years.

One of the things I am obsessed with is a bucket vest. I believe I’ve invented the name of this device, but I have finally found what I am looking for. It’s a device that wraps around a 5-gallon bucket to hold all my garden tools while providing a place to dispose of weeds. I’ve asked for this for all the gift-giving events in the past 8 months or so, but never got my most coveted desires. However, with the Christmas acquisition of a pop up weed bucket, I believe the bucket vest is now unnecessary. I do still desire a device to carry my various hand-held garden tools- kind of like a tool box for garden tools. This new desire is really one I find myself. I know what I want. Now I need to search for its existence.

Another thing I’m obsessed about is a soft spray nozzle for the hose. We have begun our vegetable garden, and since we’re starting those delicate little sprouts from seeds, they will be sensitive little ones in the beginning. A harsh spray will harm my little babies, and I need to protect them (from everything- frost, harsh sun, spray, rodents, wildlife, you name it). I envision this soft spray nozzle to have a long tube extending from the handle and a spout similar to those rainforest shower heads you can find in fancy hotels.

So a trip to Home Depot (or maybe Lowe’s) is planned for this weekend, I am excited to start looking for my new devices, my garden tool box and to get working in the yard. I’m thrilled to start envisioning the new growths and am still wishing for most of the plants from last year’s garden to grow again this year. Ahh springtime… I love it!