Thursday, July 30, 2009

something to read - a new saga

I have books. lots of books. serious, tongue and cheek, scary, thought provoking, entertaining, empowering, nonesense, good to own books. lots of books. most of them I hope you've read or at least have on your to read list. Maybe some you've never heard of. Maybe some, after I mention them you'll go back and reread now that it's not high school or college required reading and it'll mean something completely different for you now.

My books are in bookcases and shelves in the office, in Daughter's room (my extensive Children's book collection resides there) and in the Master bedroom (The Judson related books live there and you'd probably be surprised with how many I have.) Well, the ones in the office are right here to my right. I look at them multiple times a day, but really, have little time to sit down and read or reread them these days.

but hopefully Something to Read will be more than a monthly update as I go back and read/reread books I own and tell you a little about why I love them and why you should read them. I picked up _Catcher in the Rye_ a couple of weeks ago to reread for probably the 5th or 6th time because I heard about _60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye_ by John David California (pseudonym) a stand alone sequel of _Catcher in the Rye_ that has J.D. Salinger all up in arms and suing about its release. (As far as I can tell, it's only being released in England, but I'm sure if you try hard enough you can get a copy stateside).

Here are a couple of links if you're interested in the story:
from Reuters and The Book Seller in the UK
Talk of the Nation also did a bit on it, I'm sure you can find it at

So, the news story reminded me of good ole Holden Caufield and how he hates phonies. I wanted to see if my view of him has changed since the last time I read about his crazy New York City weekend.

Anyway, it has but I won't give you the actual 'review' until I'm finished reading.

I'm a habitual underliner and highlighter when I read and it's always interesting to go back and see what I thought was important/interesting enough to break out the pen or highlighter for previously. maybe I'll include some of my past high lights.

go get started on _Catcher in the Rye_ and I'll try to finish it up by the end of the week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

wordless wednesday: fun at the zoo playground

Monday, July 27, 2009

5k training is back on track

as you already know, Husband and I started training for our first 5k when Son was 4 weeks old. When he was 6 weeks old, we started a program called Couch to 5k (a 9 week program) and I found some great podcasts to run to so we wouldn't have to watch a clock.

do the math: Son was born on April 6. Today is July 27. it's been 16 weeks. and I'm only on week 4. I could list all the excuses as to why we took time off or I stayed on certain weeks longer but really, they're just excuses and some only as interesting as "I was really tired."

Husband ran his first 5k a month ago tomorrow and is currently working on Week 6 to decrease his time for his next TBD race.

I use my iPod and he uses the Shuffle I got him for Father's Day so we can run at our own paces. oh, and I push Son and Daughter in our double stroller (with infant seat attachment) while on my jog.

I never NEVER never realized how much more work jogging with the stroller was until today when I jogged without it for the first time. Yes. I know it weighs 22 pounds (even more with the attachment and Son's infant seat) Yes. I know son weighs 15 pounds. Yes. I know Daughter weighs 25. but I still didn't think it'd be that much different jogging without it.

I've been stuck in a rut on Week 4 and this is really what I needed to break through the wall and advance to Week 5.

I've decided that I'm not entering a 5K until I can do it without walking. That's my goal. Time is irrelevant. I just don't want to walk.

There's one coming up that Mandy told me about. I think Husband will end up entering it. because it's a night race and he's been wanting to do one of those. Right now the plan is we take turns so one of us can stay with the kids at the finish line (unless we find a stroller friendly one to enter together, that'll be the rule for awhile)

Anyway, that's my update on our mundane 5k training.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

They call me Tater Salad Ross

it's true. I make great potato salad and if I can find my recipe (modified from my mother's) I'll pass it along, but that's not really the purpose of this post.

I come to you today with dirty finger nails and a bucket half full of potatoes.

Today was the day, the day I dug up our potatoes. We had them in 3 squares of our square foot garden. The potato plants flowered and the foliage was beginning to die. so, according to gardening experts, they were ready.

I'm not going to lie. They were smaller than I'd expected. I guess the super fertilized pesticided potatoes at the grocery store gave me unfair expectations for my small harvest. I dug up about 3 dozen of varying sizes. and here they are:

Potatoes are one of my four favorite foods so I love them lots of different ways, but we do have a pretty standard way we eat potatoes. That's probably what we'll do with about half of them tonight: roasted with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever else seasoning goes well with what we're eating. mmm, mmm, mmm. seriously, I love eating potatoes.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food Day Friday

yum. seriously. I'm not even going to tell you how fast we can eat a jar of Nutella in my house. Here are some Food Network recipes.

If you visited here today looking for something healthy, sorry. It is made with skim milk and contains protein. so there's that.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Story of Gracie

Since I profiled Gracie in Wordless Wednesday, I figured I should tell you her story. How she came to live in our house, if you will.

Before I tell Gracie's story, I must tell you Josh's story because they are related. Josh is now buried in our front yard, by the mailbox. Husband (then Fiance) found Josh one night by the mailbox. He was really skinny, so Fiance lured him into the house with my turkey sandwich meat and bacon fat. yes, Josh loved bacon fat. Fiance called me, so me about this 'cow cat' he found and asked if I wanted to keep it. I said yes and immediately drove an hour to come meet this unnamed cow cat.

There are so many great Joshy stories:

  • There's the one where Josh loved to sit on the toilet or in the tub.
  • the one where he managed to climb into the ceiling of the basement and was literally IN the house.
  • the one where he decided one of my shirts was his and would carry it around in his mouth and run up and down the basement stairs with it
  • or the ones where he's fetch his toy mouse and bring it back
  • and I'll never forget how he'd sleep on the small of Husband's back every night and naps on weekend.

but to tell the story of Gracie, I have to tell you the saddest story of Josh, when we found out he had feline leukemia. We'd only had him about 3 months at the time, but he was definitely a member of the family. Our vet gave us a massive amount of medicine for our Joshy, but nothing worked and he just kept getting sicker. Next, he suggested blood transfusions.

yes, ok. we'll do that. out with the bad blood, in with the good. sure.

one problem. the vet's 'blood cat' had already given blood that day, so they couldn't take any more just yet. The vet called the Blount County Animal Shelter to see if they had a cat we could borrow for blood. Then (and this is a pretty bizarre part of the story) they sent Fiance and I on the thirty minute drive to pick up the borrowed cat. Anything for Josh. We get there and the man hands us a cat carrier and says, "her name is Princess and she's the healthiest cat we've got." great.

so we take Princess to the car and I play with her and tell her how much we appreciate her blood all the way back to the vet. The Vet encouraged us to adopt Princess, the blood cat, and we agreed. First she needed her feline leukemia vaccine, before we could bring her into our infected house. so she stayed at the vet for two weeks after that.

after two transfusions Josh still wasn't getting any better and the decision was made to just make him as happy and comfortable, keep giving him the medicine but to stop the transfusions.

The day Fiance went to pick up Princess, we learned that she had been adopted two other times but brought back and before Princess, her name was Cookie. After Princess Cookie came home with a pink collar on, we got to work on her new name and took the pink collar off. how unimaginative is it that we named our grey cat Gracie? lame.

it was Christmas time. Gracie was mean (she bit my nose the first day we had her). Josh was dying and Fiance was planning a secret wedding. (man, that's another post I need to make) We got married on December 29, 2006 and I didn't know about it until December 28 when we went to get the marriage license. We left on the 29th for our Alaskan honeymoon and Gracie stayed at the house with a clean litter box and lots of food and water. Josh was boarded at the vet so he could be monitored and fed properly while we were away.

We called the vet everyday to check on him. Josh died on New Year's Morning. Husband and I both cried when the Vet called to tell us.

We got home, picked him up at the vet and buried him with his favorite toys, including my shirt that he loved and the shirt that husband was wearing the night he found Josh.

It was quite the transition to get over Josh while helping Gracie adjust to her new home.

Gracie is still mean. After she'd been here a year, she seemed to realize that we weren't taking her back to the shelter and seemed to calm down quite a bit. She is definitely one of us. She loves to catch bugs. She sleeps in our bed every night. She tolerates all the love Daughter gives her quite well. She only drinks running water and refuses to drink out of a water bowl. She's the second best cat we've ever had. Her only toy is a ratty old busted stuffed animal called "Mr. Pumpkin." She loves when Daughter pushes her around in a laundry basket. And the only time I've ever heard her purr was the first day we had her right before she bit my nose. Daughter calls her, "EEEE EEEE"

Gracie, biting my finger after we'd had her about a month. She didn't like us yet.

after drinking out of the tub.

That cat. She's a monster and we all love her.

wordless wednesday: cat stew

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not My Child

my child did not accompany me to wal-mart and sam's club a mere 2 minutes after finishing that bowl of peaches, dressed just like that AND covered in peach juice.

And she certainly hasn't refused to take that necklace off for a record 3 days. even wearing it in the shower.

nope. not my girl.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Spirits Sunday - American Honey

Wild Turkey American Honey

ok, imagine what Wild Turkey tastes like. now, imagine what honey tastes like. alright, now put them together. That's American Honey. seriously.

It's an "Exceptionally smooth liqueur blended with pure honey and bourbon whiskey" according to the bottle and I could not agree more.

My fabulous friend, Tina, brought some for Husband and I to try on her latest visit to the great city of "where we live." Neither of us had heard of it before she mentioned it and were definitely interested in trying it.

On their arrival, the American Honey was put directly in the freezer. We poured short glasses and sipped it straight. MAN. honey and bourbon. seriously. It's very much not an everyday have a drink drink. In fact, Husband and I still have about 1/5 of the bottle left that we're saving for when the weather turns cool.

I also tried it with unsweet tea. (because when I drink bourbon, it's either with coke or sweet tea, or just over ice depending on the smooth-ness.) And I'd have to say it is good like that, but not really it's intended use. it's meant to be enjoyed chilled and over ice.

it's 35.5% alcohol.

I recommend waiting to try it until it's football season. maybe Iron Bowl weekend. It'll be cold by then.

I have a finger sucker

Daughter abandoned her pacifer when she was about 4 months old and switched to full time thumb.

Son has always gagged any time any artificial nipple of any kind has ever been presented to him. The past few days I have caught him in self-soothe mode. He sucks on his middle and ring finger. only time will tell if he, too, makes the switch to full time thumb.

it's all fun and games until someone falls asleep

Friday we played outside most of the day. Daughter loved it. She's a big fan of being outside whenever possible. She's also a big fan of wearing her raincoat, whenever possible. Husband got home about mid afternoon and started wheeling her around in her wagon. And boy does she love the wagon.

I kept hearing them singing, talking and babbling. And by that I mean, Husband was singing and talking while Daughter chatted in a language we haven't grasped yet. After close to an hour, I peek outside and Husband is still wheeling the wagon around. And Daughter is bobbing around like a buoy.

yes. asleep. sitting up. in the wagon. So, I get the camera, take a picture of slumped over Daughter and bring her in the house for a proper nap.

slumped over. out like a light

sleeping off the fun.

This kid just goes and goes and goes until she's worn out, wakes up and then it ready to do it all over again. She's pretty amazing.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Food Day Friday - THE bread

You know that homemade bread I haven't been able to shut up about on twitter? Well, it's Food Day Friday!

I know what you're thinking. what a horrible picture! surely, this isn't the amazing bread Christy hasn't been able to shut up about on twitter. I asked Husband to take the picture for me while I was nursing son, and this is what I got. imagine the bread sitting on a cobalt blue platter instead of the pizza stone it was cooked on. oh, Husband. I love him so much that I barely cared that I didn't have a great picture for Food Day Friday.

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough (it'll be better with bread flour, but all purpose works fine)
3 1/2 cups of lukewarm water (and another 2 cups for later)

1. In a large bowl mix yeast and salt into water. Stir in flour. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours or up to 5 hours. Of course, the longer you wait, the more work the yeast does, thus more dough.
2. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and knead. Put dough on pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes.
3. Place broiler pan with 2 cups of water in it on bottom of oven. Preheat over to 450. you may have to remove the top rack of the oven so the bread has enough room.
4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Bake until well browned, about 40 minutes. Cool and enjoy.

I've been eating this bread with butter or nutella. Also, last time we made it, Husband added 4 tablespoons of Italian Seasoning to the dough between steps 1 and 2. it was a great addition.

tonight when we make it, I'm also going to make the garlic paste from last week to top it with. seriously, bread is one of my 4 favorite foods. and this bread does not disappoint.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Adventures of Daughter

Seriously, of everyone alive on the planet, I think Daughter has the most fun. Last night, after I finished folding and putting away three baskets of laundry, she claimed the baskets as her own. her own bed, that is.

She got Husband's pillow, three of her stuffed animals, and her Manny blanket and settled in for the night. we really thought she was going to sleep in there. When it actually came time for bed though, she opted for her own bed.

It may seem like she wears this diaper a lot because this is the second time she's been wearing it in a post, but she only wears it every few days or so. maybe this diaper just makes her more creative and inventive in the things she does. also notice the filthy Manny shirt and dirty yogurt face.

Onions, the second ones.

Husband with the second batch of onions we pulled up last night for meat pies that didn't quite work out.
We planted red (geez, there are actually purple. purple onions. so why do people call them red? I have no clue) and white onions. While they could stay in the ground longer (and the majority of them are still there) we've pulled a few when we wanted to eat onions with a meal and didn't have any in the house.
Husband pulled 2 red and 2 white almost two weeks ago for a salad and they were pretty great. albeit much smaller than store bought onions. but the ones that he pulled last night were larger. so if we actually leave them in the ground until the stems fall over and die, they'll be even bigger still. I'll have to post pictures then too.

Monday, July 13, 2009

not me! Monday

I definitely did NOT let Daughter run around the house completely naked all weekend, because I was tired of doing laundry. and I also did NOT do the same thing with Son during his lounging time.

I definitely do NOT think naked cleanup is easier than clothed cleanup. Luckily, we don't have any carpet in our house, making all the things I was NOT allowing her to do be easier to clean up. (and because there were no diapers worn in the house this weekend I can skip washing diapers until Tuesday!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Spirits Sunday

Much like gladys, I love Jesus, but I like to drink a little. "Spirits Sunday" has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit and everything to do with alcohol. teetotallers beware.

"Spirits" are actually alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of greater than 20% and I'll probably be talking mostly about wine which only contains between 9% and 16% alcohol. BUT I already post a Wordless Wednesday and I didn't want to include a Wine Wednesday in the mix.

Spirits Sunday it is.

Now introducing my first Spirits Sunday.

I found it at Whole Foods Market and it's actually on their Top Ten Wines for the Summer list. I forget how much it cost, but it was under $10.

"The Bunny Wine" is a fantastic Reisling from Germany. As far as I can find, the winery doesn't have a website, so what I know about the wine, I read on the label and experienced in tasting it.

It has pretty great peach and pear aromas. It's really light and fruity. and of course, best served well chilled. It'd be great with hard cheeses, pastas and cream sauces and light seafood meals. We drank it a few weeks ago and I'm pretty sure we just had vegetable hash with it.

Husband and I really liked it. He was actually surprised it was as good as it was because I'm notorious for picking wines based on the coolness factor of their labels and not on much else.

Rieslings are great wines for people who think they don't like wine because they've had some room temperature red wine once and was completely turned off.

the alcohol content content was 10%, it has a cork and it's a 2007 vintage.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Day Friday ... garlic/parm/olive oil paste

with no pictures. boo.

this morning Husband and I decided we wanted hamburgers for dinner tonight. great.

now here's a little insight on how we eat our burgers. We don't use traditional hamburger buns. We use flat out wraps. They taste great and are better for you and less filling than hamburger buns. Of course, we were out of flat wraps.

but we had sandwich bread. hamburgers on sandwich bread? soggy? yes. so we came up with a paste to put on the bread and toast it for a firmer hardier bread.

and now I share with you the Garlic/Parmesan/Olive Oil Paste.

I roasted two cloves of garlic. mashed it with a fork. added about 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese until it was blended into a big clump. Then I added enough olive oil until it was less of a clump and more of a paste. (I seriously have no idea how much olive oil I added. If I had to guess I'd say between 5-10 tablespoons.)

Then I toasted the bread just a little - no color, just crispness, spread all the pieces of toast with the paste, put it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes. and yum.

It was a Friday Night hit.

Monday, July 6, 2009

scarf makin' maniac

this is one of my latest scarves. last week I switched from a K 6.5mm needle to a bigger N 9.0mm needle. it has made a HUGE difference! the scarves are bigger and I'm finishing them a few hours faster than before.

Last summer I started crocheting scarves for my parents, brother, his fiance, sister and brother-in-law for Christmas. but I ending up making about 20. my mom took the extra ones with her to work and sold them all for $25 each. that was very exciting to me. especially exciting to the checking account. it really helped out a lot when money was tight. so I started thinking about selling them on a larger scale.


yes, I think I'll try that.

so I've been crocheting my little fingers to the bone in my spare time. incidentally, my spare time is 4:00 every weekday when I watch Gilmore Girls, about 30 minutes before bedtime and every time I'm riding in the car with Husband.

I'm planning on listing them around the end of August because, really, who is looking for warm comfy scarves when it's 97 degrees outside?

Tiffany has a great blog about her knitting.

and truth be told, I'm a bit jealous of her ability to read a pattern. I have got to figure that out in order to broaden my crafty horizons.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

water water everywhere

it rained all morning. YaY.

I was able to fill up all 18 of our old gallon milk jugs plus both the kiddy pools. double YaY.

I'm excited that we can use rain water for a few weeks to water the garden.

that might make our utilities bill .37 cheaper next month! :-)

hooray for rain.

ALSO, daughter picked a squash Friday that was definitely a few days away from being ready to be picked. but she did anyway. then marched up to the top of the yard, sat down on a brick and started biting her barely ripe squash.

that girl ...