in bloom, headaches, and an awesome drink recipe

I was away last week for work, and took these pictures of our cherry tree before I left. Now it's in full, beautiful bloom. And it's been raining for days, so I only took one quick iPhone pic a couple days ago, between showers. While I was away, I kept the cutest little jam jars from a hotel I stayed at, bought waaay too many Jelly Bellys, and had some lovely visits with coworkers. (I really do work with the best people! It's too bad that I only get to see them a couple of times a year.)
One of those lovely visits inspired me to make a new drink yesterday. It's made with equal parts lavender syrup, fresh lemon juice, gin (if desired) and tonic water, and finished with ice. I added some vanilla bean scrapings in as I made the lavender syrup, and it's so, so good. The super-brief recipe and picture are here. It's a perfect, civilized, delicious summer drink. Enjoy!
I forget what flowers I determined these are. English bluebells, I think. We have hundreds and hundreds of them in our yard, and I love picking giant handfuls in to brighten up the kitchen. They have the lightest, loveliest fragrance. And they're so pretty.

I should have mentioned it sooner, because it may be gone from newsstands now, but the May issue of Country Living magazine was particularly terrific. Like most magazines, I find that some issues are just better than others, but that one really stood out. I read it for the second time today, and kept it to read again. Which is unheard of. So if you can get your hands on it, grab it quick! The June issue is already out, so it may be too late. I'm guessing that you may be able to get a digital issue for your device, so check out their site. Worth it, for the inspiration. I promise. (They didn't pay, coerce, or ask me to post about it! I just loved it.)

I know I've mentioned my headaches here before, but they have been particularly awful lately. I've had more days with headaches over the past few months than without, and it's decidedly un-fun. It just casts an icky haze over everything, and I don't like taking as much ibuprofen as I have been. Some days, it doesn't even touch the headache, and I'm nauseous by bedtime. Ugh. I've decided that this also isn't normal or desirable, and I've got a few plans of attack. I visited my dentist a few weeks ago, we chatted a bit, and he's confident that I'm grinding my teeth as I sleep, like just about everyone else. Which may well be the cause of my headaches, so I'm having a fitting for a bite plane this week. I'm really hoping that I can get the finished product soon and that it works quickly. Someone else recommended reflexology, and since my massage therapist does that and I have an appointment with her tomorrow, I'm giving that a try, too. Hopefully those will do the trick - at this point I don't really care how or why something works, I just need the headaches to stop. Wish me luck!

There. Tomorrow starts another week, back to my regular work routine. (I'm looking forward to summer! Soon!) Hope you've had a lovely, headache-free weekend!

(Edited to add: in case you'd like to see all of my Instagram pictures, you can browse them all here.)


  1. Katie P.5/26/2013

    I have a bite plate that I wear (read: intermittently). I generally never get headaches as a rule so I know when I start getting them..I gotta wear it. It really does make a huge difference (and saves your teeth!) Hope you find some relief!

  2. I'm so sorry that your headaches are getting worse! Having headaches is awful, I used to suffer from them a lot too and for days on end. It really spoils a day. My solution was drinking loads and loads of water each day to prevent my blood pressure from getting too low. I hope you find your solution soon and that the dentist visit and the massages work!!


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