I love June!  While I don’t necessarily enjoy the frenetic race to reach the finish line at the end of the month, it is usually a month filled with happy occasions like the end of the school year and graduation (our youngest graduated from high school this month), weddings, birthdays (Irwin’s was on the 18th) and Father’s Day. The last couple of weeks are often chaotic and exhausting, but the days are some of the longest and the weather is finally truly warm. AND…summer finally arrives.

 

Graduation

 

Summer Arrives

These are the days I cherish, the days I long for all year. The days I hold firmly in my heart as I wade through mountains of snow in the absolute darkness of late afternoons in December.  I cling to these early days of summer as I begin the count from the shortest day of the year to the longest and am always astounded to have made it back again, another year under my belt.  It is cause for celebration: A time to truly be grateful for all that we have. And what better place to do it than in the country; where we can focus on the basics of a quality, slow home lifestyle.

 

Slow Home

 

Busy Bees

 We arrived in the country on Friday and were greeted by our neighbor Jeanne, and our four-week old garden.  Jeanne had baked a strawberry/rhubarb birthday pie for Irwin from scratch with fruit she had gotten at the local farmer’s market.  The smell of the sweet fruit wafted through the air and the plate was still warm to the touch when she handed it to me.  The garden offered up rose-colored radishes along with growth by leaps and bounds.

   

Home Made Birthday Pie

 

Rosie Radishes

Although Irwin is not big on birthday celebrations, we have grown to understand how really special each one is so we began his birthday with the gift of a waffle maker and my preparation of a delicious Belgian waffle batter from scratch along with fresh whipped cream.  The result was so delicious, that I have vowed never to use a mix for either waffles or pancakes again.

 

 Waffle Maker

 

Breakfast Remains

Then the boys gave Irwin a very special gift and card and it was then time to pass the Kleenex. 

 

A Kleenex Moment

The rest of the day was spent relaxing and taking some family photos and ended with an easy barbeque and consumption of Smores cupcakes I made thanks to a recipe shared by @RidgelyBrode

 

Four Out of Five (Middle Son Had to Work)

Smores Cupcakes

Simple and sweet, we ended the day driving our youngest to camp. 

 

The events of last weekend may not seem out of the ordinary in any way and that is exactly my point.  It was a simple relaxed birthday weekend that we were privileged to share as a family: A privilege that we would like many others to have the opportunity to share for years and years.

 

And so, we are welcoming summer with another kind of celebration.  A celebration that we would like to share with all of you.  Through the power of social media, we have collaborated with Sunbrella to introduce our latest Pretty in Pink for Life piece to benefit Susan Komen for the Cure CT.

 

Our Latest Pretty in Pink 4 Life to Benefit Komen

This fabulous fuchsia powder coated Mid Century iron ottoman covered in Sunbrella’s Canvas- Hot Pink 5462 and Steeplechase-Malibu 56064 fabrics is phenomenal and is perfect for summer fun either indoors or out!

 

So please help spread the word and help us find this wonderful ottoman a home so that Komen CT can benefit from ALL the proceeds of the sale.  It is our way of sharing the simple pleasure of birthdays with others.

 

For Details on this piece:

www.irwinfelddesign.com/index.cfm/product/1182_13/pretty-in-pink-4-life-mid-century-fuchsia-sculptural-ottoman.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past Saturday night we hosted our first “Road Party” in the country and it was  spectacular!  It was attended by nine families including ours and was so successful, we have decided to make it an annual event.            

Our House

 

Unlike suburban neighborhoods with streetlights and sidewalks, our road in the country is light-less and dirt. While our home is situated close to the road, most of the other homes that dot our road are nestled in the mountainside at the end of dirt driveways, many of which are a half mile long or more. 

Our Road 

 

That being the case, it should come as no surprise that after ten summers in the country, we knew little, if anything about our neighbors.  But all that changed last summer, when we met our new neighbor Jeanne and her dog Zippy.

Zippy and Charlie became fast friends and Charlie (as well as Irwin & myself) eagerly anticipated Zippy & Jeanne’s impromptu visits before or after their afternoon walk.  Jeanne, living here full time for half the year had managed to meet more local people in her first month here, than we had met in the ten years previous and it was through her that we finally met some of our neighbors last Labor Day.

Zippy & Charlie: Best Buddies

 

This year Jeanne had a brilliant idea.  She suggested we collaborate and host a “Road Party” to get to know more of our “hidden” neighbors. Because there is nothing we enjoy more than hosting a party, we immediately offered our home for the event.  Jeanne dropped mailers in every mailbox and under every front door she could find on our half of the road (the road is over three miles long) asking people to RSVP and bring an appetizer, side or dessert.  We had no idea who or what to expect and the result was more wonderful than we could have ever anticipated.

Our neighbors regardless of whether they were able to attend or not, called and emailed telling us how much they loved the idea of a road party. Despite never having any discussion about specifically what anyone was bringing, the collaboration was astounding and the resulting menu blended together seamlessly and needless to say, the buffet was plentiful.

In keeping with our slow home philosophy, we re-purposed cloth napkins and dishes that we had originally purchased and/or made for our children's B’nai-Mitzvah years ago and made a tablecloth from an upholstery fabric remnant.  Using our own silverware, the only disposable items used at the gathering were about thirty plastic cups, which were recyclable.

Tableware set up: Nothing Disposable Here

 

Irwin took two colors of napkins from the assortment and in lieu of napkin rings, he used a roll of twine we had and rolled and tied each napkin with a simple twine bow; an easy and inexpensive touch that made tremendous visual impact.

Re-purposed napkins tied with everyday twine

 

Irwin then strategically placed cut flowers from our garden in vintage silver plated champagne glasses as well as a collection of vintage vases we have accumulated over the years.  He supplemented our garden’s bounty with flowers Jeanne had purchased at a local farm to complete the arrangements.

Vintage silver plated champagne glass with farm flowers

 

More home grown flowers

 

Farm Flowers in our vintage vase

 

More local flowers in a vintage silver plated bowl

 

 

And...More local & farm flowers

 

our miniature roses

 

And the food, have I mentioned the food? Well, all of the food we prepared as well as the food that our guests brought was made with locally grown or purchased ingredients and was amazingly fresh and tasty.

Irwin's Fresh Mozzarella, tomato & basil salad-locally grown with toasted ciabatta bread & hummus

 

 

a new twist: hummus served in margarita glasses

 

 

Can't you just smell the fresh basil?

 

 

Jeanne's home made roasted chicken salad

 

My home made pasta w/arugula pesto sun dried tomatoes goat cheese and local grilled corn

 

Our neighbor Gloria's garden salad made form vegetables she grew in her garden (sorry for the leftovers photo)

 

Drinks including water, Iced tea and my special vodka cocktail

 

Jeanne's home made peach & plum pie made with locally grown fruit

 

 

my home made cupcakes

 

 

 Charlie: Ready for guests

 

 

 

Although I stopped taking pictures when the guests arrived, I must list the delicious additions they contributed to the event:

  • A home made Ceasar salad
  • A home made Goat Cheese & Pesto Torta
  • A home made grilled summer squash salad ( squash grown in neighbor's garden)
  • Home made crab filled finger sandwiches
  • A fruit salad that included sever types of locally grown plums as well as peaches
  • An assortment of local artisanal cheeses
  • A rustic peach pie made by a local farm as well as a mixed berry pie from our local Biodynamic farm

But more than the wonderful food, the time spent getting to know our neighbors was priceless.  We met new neighbors to the road as well as long standing residents; weekenders like ourselves as well as full-timers. We shared a meal as well as our love for this special place on our planet and as the evening came to a close and we cleaned up, we all agreed to do this again next year.

 

Glasses that we frosted for oldest son's bar mitzvah in 2001 now staples in the country

 

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