Monday Musings – Giants, Borders, and Hero’s

Happy Monday ladies. We had a fun chat about our upper arms yesterday. The different ways we approach the subject is as varied as we are and fun reading here. I often think the comment section is the best part of this blog:) Here are a few things on my mind this week:


My daughter has been isolated in her apartment in Vancouver, B.C. for way, way too long. Because she has dual citizenship, she was able to cross the closed border and drive home this weekend. I couldn’t be happier! These are scary and sad times and I really needed to hug her. Because the drive takes longer than one day, my son and I drove to meet her at the halfway mark. We shared adjoining rooms at a motel then I drove the rest of the way home in her car. She will have to quarantine when she crosses the Canadian border but we all felt it was worth it to be together. cover of just mercy bookOn the drive down we listened to “Just Mercy” which is mind-blowing. It’s been named the most influential book of the decade and is one of the most powerful true stories I’ve ever heard. Bryan Stevenson is an attorney, social justice activist, and hero who has dedicated three decades to helping the poor, incarcerated, and condemned.


I finally got into my local Talbots on Friday, which felt like old home week. I was anxious to see new merchandise but the sales floor was still full of older merchandise. My favorite salesperson told me they’re in the process of opening boxes to get the new things on display so I’ll go back this week and try on some new things. Hopefully, I will able to do a dressing room diary.

Some new finds at Talbots

Land of the Giants

Do you remember that show? That’s what I am reminded every time I look at our new veggie boxes. I think know my husband went overboard planting things but we had no idea how robustly things would grow! What we have the most of right now is zucchini and Summer squash. I’m talking about 12” zucchini and a lot of them. Everyday!spiralizer for veggies I’ve ordered this spiralizer so we can start eating them as pasta but I need more ideas. I have no idea why I need 7 blades but I suppose it will make sense when it arrives. With things as they are, I can’t give them to neighbors and hate to have them go to waste! I’d love any recipes you can share.

When our tomato crop comes is I will have a much better idea what to do with it because we also have tons of basil:)

What’s keeping you busy these days?

Be well and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.


  1. Stuffed zucchini. Hollow out one of the large ones and save the pulp. Mix that with cooked rice, an egg, tomato, onion, garlic, some Italian spices. Moz or parm cheese over the top and bake until the zucchini is tender. I sometimes add meat. I want to see my brother in Alberta, and I’m a dual citizen, but I don’t want to fly. So good you got to see your daughter.

  2. We used to laugh and say only one of us in the community needed to grow zucchini and we would all have enough! I like the styles at Talbots but most of their colours are cool so they don’t work for me.

  3. Zucchini pickles and relishes are good on pork sandwiches. A friend gave me a jar of bread and butter zucchini pickles. First time I had those. I just love yellow squash fresh and cooked with onion in butter but left a little crispy. Not to crazy about any frozen or canned squash. Looking forward to new clothes post.
    BTW you have the best photos in blogging. Those are beautiful!

  4. Francesca B says:

    Hi Cathy,
    So thrilled your daughter is home with you all. Mine is home for a week recovering from city turmoil and strife which was endless last week, of police helicopters right overhead their apartment, violent protests just streets from their place and sirens and looters. Very very difficult week as a mother. Last night she said to me “its is so peaceful at night here I will be able to sleep…” and I could see her body start to relax….and her face start to smile.
    Enjoy family time Cathy. It’s such a gift 🙂

  5. Elaine @ Following Augustine says:

    Zucchini grows like that here too, though our gardens are just beginning to peek through the ground and it will be some time before we’re harvesting anything. I like to shred zucchini and freeze it in one cup packages. Throughout the winter, I add them to soups, chili, etc. Because zucchini has such a mild taste, it adds vegetable content without changing the flavour of whatever I add it to.

    1. Shredded and frozen would also work in smoothies. I like for my smoothies to have more 3 veggies like carrots, spinach, zucchini, squash, etc. and 2 small servings of fruit like banana and berries or mango. I go easy on the fruit and more on the veggies. During the heat, a nice cold smoothie is perfect.

      1. Elaine @ Following Augustine says:

        What a great idea, Pat! I often make fruit smoothies for breakfast that include low fat yogurt, skim milk, and protein powder, but I never thought of adding zucchini. I will definitely be trying that.

  6. Besides writing the great book, Just Mercy, Brian Stevenson has a charity working to provide assistance for those who are treated unfairly in our law system, among other good works. It is called EJI, Equal Justice Initiative and it has a A+ on charity watch for the way it spends it’s money. If others are like me and trying to think of ways to help while living my own privileged life they might give it a look.

  7. Catherine says:

    Glad you got to see your daughter. I haven’t got to see my son in person since Christmas. We are all in Canada but crossing provincial borders is a challenge. He is in Montreal which has been very hard hit, he prefers me to stay away and he really can’t leave. Thanks for the book recommendation! Here some stores have change rooms open. They are steaming the clothes before putting them back on the floor. I will be interested to hear what is happening when you and others are able to get back into stores.

  8. It has been an unusually cold start to the gardening season. Torrential rains have been keeping everything wet, too. The only thing growing is garlic planted last year, which is a small miracle in itself, because often garlic winter kills. Most of a row survived! I’ve learned that zucchini takes up too much precious space in our short-season garden, so I grow root crops that we really enjoy, like carrots. Nothing beats home-grown carrots. Now the wait begins to see if the seeds washed away or rotted in the cold, and if we’ll be replanting. Gardening certainly doesn’t pay for itself here. It’s a hobby. Anything that grows is worthy of a celebration. In the meantime, the early tulips finally put on a show. They came up after the late tulips. This hobby has mysterious ways.

  9. Shirley (GA) says:

    Looking forward to your Dressing Room Diaries post – here in GA, I haven’t found a store that will allow you in the dressing room yet! Good luck!

  10. Hi, Jennifer–
    I am happy and envious that you’ve been able to arrange some time with your daughter. I follow your blog faithfully, and you’ve led me to many wardrobe-savers. Accordingly, I’ve clicked on the links, which in turn I hope is helpful in keeping this blog “on the air.” I want to express a bit of dissatisfaction with the ad placement in today’s blog, which I’ve not noticed before, and which I found confusing and troublesome. As I scrolled down, ads appeared on the right (fine) for “NewChic” and then in the Middle as a photo the SAME SIZE as your content immediately above where you indicated to click a link for “Some New Finds at Talbot”–which are pictured BELOW the intrusive “NewChic” ad insert. At first, I thought those two NewChic things were the Talbots items. There is nothing about your Talbots finds to make them stand out as the actual content, even your little “Favorite” hearts aren’t really noticeable. I understand the need for the ads for blog viability. But is there something you could do to make your content stand out to distinguish it from the ads? What I did was spend some time hovering over the pics to see where the window would take me: googleservices or api.shopstyle in order to know for sure. But that was sortof a hassle, and my eyes glazed over. As I said, I do understand the rationale for the ads. I just don’t want them to obscure the content to the point where I click on nothing.

    1. Thank you for telling me! I’ll email my Ad company and see what I can do.

  11. Pamela Amendola says:

    We love zucchini but last year we had so much we got tired of eating it. So I tried experimenting with freezing it. I peeled it cut it into chunks, blanched it and froze it. When I defrosted the zucchini it was a bit mushy but i was able to shred it in my food processor and made delicious muffins and bread this winter. This year I’m going to try not blanching it.

  12. I like zucchini sliced longways brushed with olive oil and cooked on the grill. Maybe you could donate to your local food pantry?

  13. Another pasta substitute….slice it length wise, fairly thin, and use it in place of pasta in your favorite lasagna recipe. It was wonderful! You can also cut it into long chunks, like steak fries, and bread it to fry in either your air fryer, bake in the oven, or fry in oil.

  14. Try slicing and dehydrating your zucchini (oven baked at a low temperature overnight). You can enjoy them as is or save them in baggies in the freezer to add to things later.

    All veggies become extremely tasty when dehydrated. It’s easier than canning and takes less room.

    You can also donate to food banks.

    1. Yes, I was thinking of food banks but wasn’t sure if they would take it. I’ll call around to check.

  15. Lee Dorner says:

    Some of our zucchini favorites:
    Sauté slices with onion, garlic in EVOO, drizzle with lime juice. Or sans lime add can roasted tomatoes or fresh, basil too!
    Grill horizontal halves brushed with EVOO, garlic powder optional, finish with cut side up and sprinkle on Parmesan cheese til melted.
    Horizontal halves again, in microwave a few minutes, then cut side up spread with sour cream, top with shredded cheddar cheese, let melt.
    Of course S&P all to taste. Helpful to salt zucchini before cooking to release moisture. Will keep it crisper.
    I foresee caprese Salad in your future!

    1. Yum!! That sounds so amazing. Thank you. The sour cream one sounds fascinating. Yup, caprese salad all the time here:)

  16. Tes to Just Mercy! Read the book and saw the move a few weeks ago on Prime. Highly recommend it! If you’re on Pinterest there are lots of itching recipes to try.

  17. The movie version of “Just Mercy” is streaming for free on multiple streaming services during the month of June. https://www.justmercyfilm.com/

    You can’t go wrong with chocolate zucchini bread!

    Enjoy your time with your daughter. We so miss our family in Oklahoma, including our only grandchild, but are not yet comfortable traveling across the country.

  18. If you’re into baking (for me, I consider it a form a therapy), here’s a great zucchini bread recipe to use up some of your harvest. It freezes well, so if you bake a bunch now, you can enjoy in the fall and winter!

    Double-Chocolate Zucchini Bread
    Makes two 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaves

    4 large eggs
    2/3 cup honey
    1 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tsp salt
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    2/3 cup all-purpose baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
    3 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    4 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed to remove excess moisture
    2 cups chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease two 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, oil, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
    3. Add the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa and flour, mixing until well combined.
    4. Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
    5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.
    6. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, save for perhaps a smear of chocolate from the melted chips.
    7. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool 10-15 minutes before turning them out of the pans onto a rack.
    8. Cool completely before slicing. Store well-wrapped at room temperature.

  19. Haha! This reminds of the story of the Iowa farmers during zuccini season who used to sneak into church parking lots during services and leave piles of zuccini in people’s back seats to get rid of them. LOL.

    So glad your daughter is with you. This is such a challenging time, and I’m sure she’s thrilled to be there.

  20. Paulette Levy says:

    Eye opening–our book club read and discussed Just Mercy last winter, before the lockdown. Compelling, sad. Some mentioned there was a TV movie or theater movie made or just being made. Not sure of that, though…
    Your veggies will provide quite a few Meals…yikes. Maybe bake a few dozen zucchini breads? Lol.
    I have a small garden, mostly flowers and herbs and two tiny wee little tomato plants, since I planted them in late May, as advised for New England. Our growing season is not like yours…you’re lucky! I probably won’t see tomatoes til late July.
    I’m reading a few Louise Penny mysteries featuring inspector Armand Gamache. They are wonderful! Just visited Caoe Cod (Massachusetts) and tidied up our cottage near the bay there. With the recent travel bans etc around here, it was our first opportunity to get there ……late for us! Sadly very few businesses were open.

    1. I fear for the small businesses. I don’t think many will survive.

  21. My advice is to keep a close eye on your zucchini and pick them while they are still small. We were completely overrun with them last year. I’m so glad you got to spend time with your daughter. I haven’t seen mine since Christmas.

  22. Oh, Jennifer, I so wish my daughter (who lives in Canada) could visit me in the US! She has dual citizenship but is afraid to cross the border in case of difficulty getting back home to her husband and four children. Darn that border! Enjoy your visit.

    I just a read a zucchini recipe that I am going to try. Just cut and roast with yellow squash, , onions, peppers, and mushrooms – after adding a little olive oil and seasonings. Then use a hand blender to purée into tomato sauce. Serve sauce over pasta, sprinkled with cheese. I know I am going to like this dish!

    1. Wow this sounds awesome. I’m trying it. They just opened the border for relatives so she should Check again. I hope she can visit you.

  23. Joyce Reardon says:

    Family is so important! We celebrated my sons birthday yesterday so we were all together which was a blessing. I still haven’t planted my basil. This week! I have the spiralizer. You will enjoy it. 7 blades, 7 different shapes!
    Have a wonderful week!

  24. Good that you are all together again!

    I own a Spiralizer and it great for any solid vegetable! Tomatoes however, won’t work in it if they are ripe. You could try to spiral a solid green tomato and I bet it would make fantastic green tomato fries! Let me know!

    I wish I had the nerve to shop online because I would love to have that sundress with the pockets! It’s beautiful!

    Enjoy your harvest!

  25. I totally agree with you about Bryan Stevenson’s “Just Mercy”. This is a must read for everyone! It is especially timely right now. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables – love it fried in a skillet in a little coconut oil, or cooked on the grill! Enjoy!

  26. Great for you to have the visit with your daughter! Zucchini overload at our house, too. Besides the usual bread, muffins, cake, and grilled, I make various stuffed “boats” such as taco (with hamburger, beans, corn, salsa), Italian (meat sauce, cheese), Asian (ground pork, water chestnuts, hoison). There’s a great poem by Marge Piercy “Attack of the Squash People” that you’d enjoy.

  27. It’s so great to hear that you found a way to bring your daughter “home”. We worked so hard to create our homes, the safe zones for our families. It’s all so meaningless without our family being there. We need to gather. With baby steps and thoughtful planning we can slowly get back to our new normal.
    I have Just Mercy on my list of future reads. What a timely book!
    Our little garden is just getting started. Our spring weather created a real challenge for the little plants, my flowers included. Now, lots of watering to stay ahead of the strong, hot winds that have been torturing the garden. Can’t wait for those first tomatoes!!
    Have a great week ladies!! ☀️🌸

    1. I agree about our homes. They’re our sanctuary and we need family around us!!

  28. Your Garden sounds Awesome, Basil into Pesto freezes lovely. Tomatoes Salsa, Spagetti Sauce and other Matvelous dishes.
    Here on Lake Huron Radishes are 3″ high, just now planting Tomatoes and Cucumbers.
    Love the Summer Harvest, looking forward to Markets and Garage Sales.

  29. Jacqueline vigeant says:

    You can shred your zucchini and freeze them to use in future zucchini bread or muffins.

  30. So happy for you that your daughter was able to visit. In my part of Canada, we are now allowed to visit in groups of up to 5, so I was able to see my sister for the first time since January. And since she used to be a hairstylist, she trimmed my hair. Bonus!
    Golf courses finally opened here, so that is keeping me busy now. Although it is strange not having the “apres golf” socializing, especially with my ladies league who are a fun group of women. Now we just wave to each other on the course.
    I’m looking forward to your colour analysis journey. I’ve been doing some research of my own and find interesting some of the new concepts out there. It has evolved quite a bit since I was involved with the 4 seasonal approach in the 80’s.

    1. I’m glad you can golf. Ours opened a few weeks ago but I don’t golf!

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