Friday, July 31, 2009

Domestication 101


+ this....

+ a process that I have no pictures of because I was elbow deep in tomatoes and hot water....


I am so proud of myself! I called my mom to ask for directions and then set out on my adventure.

I'm hopeful that I don't kill us all- but my mom assures me that she's done it this way for 47 years....and I've been eating them all my life too so I guess they are pretty safe.

I can't wait to open a jar in the middle of winter and have the taste of summer pour out.

I am so domestic!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

My appointment with the orthopedic surgeon went well (considering the options).

I got a cortisone shot (I'm not a fan), a knee brace, an order for 5 weeks of physical therapy and, a CANE. Yup- I'm an 87 year old woman.

The alternative could have been the determination for surgery....but my Dr. Z is pretty confident that I can avoid that. I'm really hoping he's right.

I am thankful for doctors with great bedside manner, a super sense of humor and lots of certificates on the wall touting their expertise!

I found the best fresh peaches....and Cooper loves them!


I am thankful that scurvy prevention is still going strong!!

For years, our garden has had zinnias. I adore them. My parents have them in their garden too and always have. I grew up with zinnia's all summer in every room and it feels like home to me.


I am thankful for family traditions and hope that we're creating some for Cooper that will stay with him always.

This year in addition to zinnia's, I planted gladiolas for the first time. I love them!! I actually bought the bulbs at the dollar store. There is something so odd about the random mix available at any given time at the dollar store. I saw these, and rolled my eyes- I figured they wouldn't grow and it would be a waste of my dollar. But then I noticed one pack that had a single green sprout poking out. I couldn't walk away. I planted them and promptly forgot until a few weeks later they shot out of the ground almost overnight. Jon asked what they were and it never dawned on me that they were the glads until he said- did you plant some sort of bulbs? They are so amazing and look much more complicated than they are. I think they look perfect in the vase that my parents gave me for my 40th- hooray.


I am thankful for trying new things and for small successes!

We went to dinner tonight and got a surprise from Jon- we're taking a cruise!! Cooper is beside himself and honestly, so am I. We are counting the days.

I am thankful for surprises, for my sweet hubby and for cruises that apparently are at the lowest prices in 24 years!!

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


One of the greatest parts of having a garden comes after the harvest.....when you turn the months of hard work into something delicious.

With the exception of the red pepper and purple onion....this is home grown!


And the final product....


I could bathe in this stuff!!
We let it sit overnight so the flavors really meld.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Corn and Tomatoes

Our goal with planting the corn was to be able to enjoy at least one meal of corn and tomatoes.



We did it!! Although, Cooper discovered that he wasn't a huge tomato fan and ate corn and Captain Crunch instead!!


The corn was so sweet and tender.....
eating our corn!

One of our favorite tomato combos....

I love summer!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thankful Thursday and general ramblings....

So, I'll start with a disclaimer....what follows may not reflect 100% positively on my hubby, but it will make you laugh (I think!). He's really an intelligent person, but quite frankly his spelling is terrible and at times his grasp of the English language worries me (usually after a few drinks- but still). Like the time that I complained that he really wasn't very thoughtful. And his response to me was- I am VERY thoughtful, I think nice things all the time. Ummmm- clearly we do have an issue, because that's NOT what thoughtful is. I need you to ACT on those nice thoughts. Still a work in progress.

Anyhoo- tonight we went to the mall with the dog (yes, our crazy mall allows dogs- it's strange but really lots of fun!). We ate dinner and stopped at a video place and then went to the 3 Dog Bakery. They have great little training treats that are puppy bite size and perfect for working on getting that silly dog to do what we need her to do. While we're looking at the 15 thousand items in stock Jon says to me in a super loud voice- Hey, check out these bitchin' fries. Suddenly you can hear a pin drop in the place and I turn around to see what in the world he's talking about. This is what I see.

bichon fries
Uhhh, honey- those are bichon know those little white fluffy dogs- bichon frise......don't you get it- bichon fries....frise??? At this point he is laughing so hard and I am trying to keep it together but it's just not working. Really honey- bitchin' fries???? I'm pretty sure they are running a family operation and trying to keep it clean. For goodness sake.

And so, I am thankful for moments in our marriage that truly make me laugh. We have them a lot!!

On Sunday as we were packing to leave the river, I took a weird step and felt a terrible pain in my knee. It almost took me to the ground and felt a little like something moved to a place that it shouldn't be. I got myself together and hobbled inside to try and recover. By Monday, it was clear that things were not getting better so I went to our clinic at work. They sent me to an sports medicine clinic where I was x-rayed and told that based on my symptoms and they type of pain I was having that I had torn my meniscus.

Until that moment I didn't even know that I had a meniscus. They loaded me up with directions and crutches, told me they'd schedule an MRI and I'm to see the orthopedic surgeon next week. You have GOT to be kidding me- surgery?? Well, only maybe. So, I've been gimping around all week and have been quite cranky about the whole inconvenience of it all. I am noticing a difference but things still aren't right so I'm getting more convinced that it really is a problem.

I am thankful that it's not worse than it is and really, for my general good health which I take for granted WAY too often. Crutches are not fun but at least they are temporary at best and in no time I'll be back to "normal". That's not the case for many people. I am so blessed with my health- we all are.

Not being exactly mobile this week has left Jon in charge of the kid and the pup. Always a good story there-

They took Gypsy to a self wash dog parlor to give her a bath. Evidently, she wasn't a fan!
gyp at the wash

She did come home looking so sweet and fluffy and smelling delish. Although she's still struggling with potty training, I really do love that puppy.

I am thankful for the joy that our new pet brings, that she seems to sense that Cooper is the one who needs her most and so she seeks him out and showers him with licks and wags of her tail. He's not ready to say that he loves her more than Savannah (he's loyal, that kid!) but he sure does think she's pretty special.

Tomorrow is Friday. I have to go to court for a traffic violation. My license plate tags had expired. This is one of those jobs that I absolutely believe needs to belong to Jon. Regardless of whether it's my car or not. Mechanical stuff and upkeep falls into his realm (as does the trash). Unfortunately, he doesn't share my thoughts and so consequently I've been driving on an expired tag since April and didn't realize it until the policeman called it to my attention. Honestly, in the scheme of things, not even a blip- just irritating and a waste of my time and money. I'm hopeful that they'll drop the charge since I can prove that I've now updated my registration (ok, I just did it today, but that's not the point).

I am thankful that I've got the funds to renew the crazy tag and to pay the ticket should they not throw it out of court. I take for granted how much we have and how blessed we are to have jobs so that the money continues to come.

Exciting news at the river- a guy is coming to paint our external door, the sunroom and our bedrooms. I am thrilled- and it is CHEAP!! I love that things are so reasonable at the river- because people there are carefree and love life and have no concept of busy or overwhelmed or stressed out. I dream about that life. I need to pick out colors- I love that part!!

I am thankful for the river house and everything that it means to each of us- a place to relax, unwind, be unplugged, be together, play, rest, focus on the good things and create memories for us that will last a lifetime.

This post is getting long.....there are a gazillion other things.......for my mom and crazy phone conversations, for Friday nights with the girls, for clothes that make me feel pretty and better yet, skinny, for West Wing re-runs and the Today Show, for living in a cul-de-sac, for rearranging the living room, for building new relationships at work, for comfy beds and cute flip flops.

I am so thankful!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009



Lately, Cooper has had an affinity for big shirts....weird. He's obsessed with wearing Jon's sweatshirts or t-shirts and quite frankly, it's annoying. He can't walk, can't function and looks nutty. Today he dragged out yet another big shirt as we were leaving the river and I couldn't take it. I tried to get him to put on his clothes, but he wouldn't have it. I checked my drawers and found a long sleeve t-shirt that I adore from eons ago. He didn't need much prodding to put it on and it's way more manageable that anything that Jon has!

Years ago Jon and I took an amazing anniversary vacation to the Gulf Coast- I think pre-Cooper but potentially after he was here (hate that the years are running together!). I'm pretty sure it was pre! Anyhoo- we stopped for lunch at Lulu's, which at the time was in the original location on Weeks Bay. We had the best lunch and could have stayed forever. I couldn't leave without a commemorative t-shirt.

Seeing it on that silly kid all these years later.....I love it! He looks so little, and so happy and so adorable. We had about 30 minutes alone tonight while Jon ran a quick errand. He said, "Momma, let's do something fun while Daddy's gone". Hmmmm- quick fun? I've got the perfect thing- S'MORES!

And for 20 minutes we had the best time....eating s'mores, telling him about Lulu's and having fun just the 2 of us.


Jon came home and thought we were nuts- but that just made us laugh even more because we are!!

Hope you have a great week-

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just Wondering.....

Cooper asked me for an apple this morning. I got all excited and thought we had turned a nutritional corner and he was craving fruit. We didn't have any apples, but I offered grapes or blackberries. Nope- wouldn't work. A few minutes later he said emphatically, "it's out!"

And just like that, tooth #3 is out.

And just like that, it's all over. His sweet baby grin is gone and a big gappy one has arrived.
close up

But I adore that gappy grin and even though it's there, it doesn't mean that he's all grown up. He's still little and sweet and innocent....and he was over the moon at the thought of the tooth fairy arriving.

Or so I thought.

"Hey Momma? I'm just there really a tooth fairy?? Or is it you?"

Apparently Quantaz (who's name has not been changed to protect the innocent) has informed my child that there is no tooth fairy....and there is no Santa.

Remind me again why I work to support my family and as such pay to send him to camp each day so that he can socialize with others and pick up crazy ideas and leave his childhood innocence behind????

And so, as calmly as I could, I said that I thought it was really sad that Quantaz didn't believe in magic.

And then he picked up his tooth, put it into the glow in the dark tooth shaped container with a secret compartment so the tooth doesn't get lost inside that Santa brought and lovingly placed in his stocking and said- "that's what I thought".

Please stay deserve to be happy and carefree and to believe in the magic at least for a little while longer.

coop & gyp


Sunday, July 12, 2009


Recipe for a great 7th Birthday-

1 package of cupcakes (chocolate with white icing)
1 container green sugar
1 "7" candle


3 fun balloons


1 tent
1 happy birthday sign (recycled from years 1-6)


8 scavenger hunt clues & prizes


1 pool (on loan for the evening)


1 pizza
12 juice boxes


1 fire pit (c/o cousin of the year!)
fixin's for smore's
3 flashlights for flashlight tag
2 great friends


Mix well- makes 1 happy kid!!


My favorite parts? Before the party started, he and Jon were putting up the tent. He ran over and gave me the biggest hug and said "I just wanted to give you a hug- I'm so excited about my party"....and afterwards, "Momma, that was the best party ever. From now on, I want to have sleepovers for every birthday!"

Totally worth the sleep that I didn't get on Friday night! And if I had worked on it for months, I don't think it could have been any better.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Tomorrow is Cooper's birthday party (uh-huh...23 days after his actual birthday- who's counting!). He wanted a sleepover....I said he could have 3 friends and then changed my mind and said 2. I figured, start small. There will be other sleepovers.

I said that we could have a camp out and they could sleep in a tent- it seemed like a good idea until he really thought about it. Now, he's decided that perhaps sleeping on the floor in the family room would be better. There will be other camp outs.

Typically, Cooper's birthdays are big events- not big in size at all (clearly, we're not in need of crowd control with 2 kids) but big in terms of planning. As in- I usually start planning months in advance....agonize over every detail and throw myself into near exhaustion to get ready for an event that will perhaps be remembered for 6 months afterwards. As I sit and type this post, I am looking at a pile of laundry on the sofa, a pile of puppy poo on the floor, haven't thought about a cake, let alone ordered one, haven't been to the grocery store for food and am not quite sure that I know where the tent is (which may not be a problem since apparently he's not going to sleep there). There will be other times to be a freak.

This time I am throwing caution to the wind and letting it happen on it's own. I'll grab some cupcakes, clean up the poo, fold the laundry, find the tent and buy some snacks. Because in the end, he's a simple little kid who just wants to have a sleepover with a few of his pals.

I think I can handle that, thankfully.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th Recap

Our tradition has been to spend the 4th of July at the river. We watch the fireworks from the water and get to see displays from all around us. It's typically just us and our river family and we always have a great time.

This year, we were invited to spend the 4th with Jon's aunt and uncle and their family in the mountains. The thought of no heat, no humidity and no bugs plus the opportunity to spend some time with his family made us jump at the chance! To say that we had a super weekend would be an understatement.

It was heaven!

A few highlights.....

(his name is Wilbur & Cooper adored him!)

Pigs Feet
(somehow Jon & Hugh got obsessed with these and couldn't stop)

& plenty of laughs

(Aunt Sarah is the best- she wore this hat all night and periodically shared pearls of wisdom with us)

What 4th is complete without some sparklers and those worm things that grow when you light them?


Some highlights from the famed pigs feet experiment...


The mountains are incredible. We took a hike and could see for miles.

Although the view from Aunt Sarah and Uncle Bill's was great- we decided to add a little adventure and borrowed the deck of an empty home nearby. About 25 other people had the same idea....and technically, we had permission (sort of). Regardless, the fireworks were fantastic and being able to look down (or right at them) was certainly easy on the neck!


The weekend was non-stop and centered around family and creating memories. This one goes down in the books as the best 4th of July ever!!

Thanks Aunt Sarah & Uncle Bill- we love you!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday

As much as I've tried not to think about it, the fact remains that turning 40 is a big deal and that it should be celebrated with at least a little pomp and circumstance.

I really had a fabulous birthday- we celebrated in TX with an incredible fajita fiesta at Jon's cousins house. And on the actual day- with dinner at a great little tapas place that I adore! And then at the river with my parents (and my cake).

Last week, Diana and Jennifer lured me out to dinner with them to celebrate my 40th and my request was Vietnamese food. Delish. At the last minute, they decided (or so I thought) that my big day warranted a little more ambiance than our favorite dive had and they switched the venue. I'm nothing if not flexible when it comes to food and went along not thinking that anything was up (although Diana did meet me for a pre-dinner spring roll and glass of wine).

We were meeting Jennifer at the restaurant, and as I turned the corner I saw my friend Maile sitting at the table inside the restaurant. And the only thing I thought was- "oh look, Maile's having dinner here too!". Not until Diana gave me this happy/excited nod and I realized that another friend who didn't know Maile was sitting with her did it click that they had planned a little surprise par-tay for moi.

How great is that!! They truly spoiled me and made my birthday complete.

40 mosaic

I am thankful for wonderful friends with giant hearts!

It's a 3 day weekend because the 4th is on Saturday and I couldn't be more thrilled! I am thankful for having Friday off and for being able to celebrate this country that is my home. We're doing something different this year (we usually go to the river) and are heading to the mountains to spend some time with the other side of Jon's family.

Hope you're doing something fun!

Happy 4th of July!!



Cooper is newly obsessed with something called a tech deck- an item that last week did not even exist in his world. Thanks to a kid at summer day camp he not only knows what they are but he is insistent on having one of his very own.

He talks about it every. single. day.

This was the conversation yesterday morning:

Cooper: Daddy, Momma is going to take me to T@rget today after camp so that I can get a tech deck.

Jon: Really? Why do you think that?

Cooper: Because I'm psycho.

Jon: Is that right???

Hmmm.... psycho, psychic....not so different if you think about it!!!

Have a great day!!