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Monday, August 25, 2008

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today, I married the love of my life. What can I say about the past year except it’s been sweet, full of laughter, love, a few snarls, and wonderfully comforting. That last bit may not sound like much, but it’s felt like home: summer afternoons with the Rainbird sprinkler chattering away, giggling children on Halloween night, delicious homemade meals shared together and with friends, sleepy Sunday mornings, and stolen kisses.

Although we’ve been together for over 5 years, this past year has been a giddy new adventure. I still get proud goosebumps at calling him “my husband”, tax forms are different for me now, as well as the mail that arrives to our house under my new name. Things are more permanent and we both share the comfort knowing we are part of something bigger than ourselves.

We will celebrate by trying to recreate some of the amazing experiences we shared from our wedding day to our 2 week honeymoon on Vancouver Island, B.C. and in Washington state. We’ll have dinner at the kitschy German restaurant where we had our wedding reception, to include swinging beir steins and an oompa-om-pah-pah German band. We’ll defrost the wedding cake I made; a gift for both of us on our wedding day. We’ll drink champagne and eat triple cream cheese with fresh fruit. We’ll even order cheesecake from the most out-of-this-world confectional at Pike’s Market in Seattle.


Ooof, then we’ll diet! :-)

But most of all, we’ll hold each other close, steal a few more kisses, and be grateful for each and everyday we have with each other.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Something Other Than Fay

So, over lunch today, hubs and I discussed the dramz over Michael Phelps and his appearing on the Frosted Flakes cereal box versus Wheaties.

“Well you know people have their panties all in a knot over this. Frosted Flakes has all that sugar and only 1/3 of the fiber.”

“Fiber gooooooooo-ooood.”

“I heard General Mills couldn’t or wouldn’t cough up the dough, so that’s why he’s not on Wheaties.”

“Maybe Wheaties is old-skool. You know, like who eats Wheaties anymore?”

“But that’s not the point. It’s just AMERICAN for an Olympian to be on the Wheaties box. It shouldn’t be about the benajmins. He won’t need the money.”

“Maybe he doesn’t like the color orange?

(LOLz photo from: Iasshole)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Alright Fay, Go the Hell Away!

Day 3: Rains and wind gusts over 50 mph still continue to make life miserable.

Umbrella casualty = 1. Natives are getting restless (meaning me).

No moar!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Thinking of My Friends

This will be an interesting week for some people here in Florida. The "potential" hurricane Fay is set to bear down on my West Coast friends in the next 48 hours, and, well you know how that goes. Those of us that are more seasoned are planning for this to be a real rain-maker, which is good. We need the rain.

It's pretty bad when you wish for a Tropical Depression just to get the rain. Speaking of, why do they call it a Tropical "depression"? Shouldn't it be named something more appropriate like "Tropical Fury" or "Tropical Irritation", or even "Tropical PMS?" There doesn't seem to be anything depressing about it, except the long lines at Home Despot and the non-stop media frenzy.

Still, that doesn't take the edge off. We all know "it ain't over till the fat lady sings" and a "Tropical Pain-in-the-Ass" can turn into a nasty hurricane overnight. To all my friends out there on the West Coast: take care and be safe!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If You Like Pina Coladas

You can thank me later for that juicy little ear-worm I just planted in your right ear. Wrath of Kahn people!

I bought these cute, little popsicle molds from Bad Breath and Beyond last month and I totally thought they would rock with those sippy straws for leakage, but they don’t. But that didn’t stop me from rocking the blender with some fresh fruit. Dole, eat your heart out!

Pina Colada Popsicles (makes 8)

½ can of pineapple chunks with ½ of the juice
½ can of coconut milk
2 very ripe bananas
½ cup to 1 cup Pina Colada drink mixer

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender till smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for 8 hours. Slurp up!

**Note: If you don’t have popsicle molds, Dixie cups will work fine with a wooden popsicle stick inserted. Wait till the mixture is halfway frozen, but soft enough to insert the stick.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Power of Compost

When moved into this tiny little starter-home over 4 years ago, we had big dreams. The house was on a cul-de-sac, with a big yard and a conservation area behind the property. It was perfect.

Even though the house was only 2 years old at the time, the previous owners left a lot of work for us to do. From painting every interior surface, to French drains, to tiling the whole house & new carpet (we actually had contractors show up for that one!), to resodding the lawn with an irrigation system last year, we’ve pretty much have touched, scrubbed, tilled, and handled every inch of this house. We’ve made it into our little paradise.

When we were settled, the first thing I wanted to do was start a compost pile at the edge of the conservation area. Take a look at this pathetic amaryllis on the bottom left of this photo.

After 2 years of a continuous diet of leaves, cow chips, grass clippings and kitchen scraps, this thing is almost as tall as I am! I’m 5’6”! The compost pile is behind the amaryllis and has turned this thing into a monster. Luckily, I was able to repay my cow chip supplier friend in Deland with big, healthy clumps of amaryllis for her garden.

Grow baby, grow!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Viola!

Well, we finally finished the guest bath! Just as promised, here are some pics of before, after, and during. PhotobucketI'm also putting in a collage of the "during" pics. Now granted, this is the FIRST time I've ever done anything like this ever; however, I'm pretty durned proud of myself! Hubby did help quite a bit; he did the plumbing, demolition, and mitre saw. We have a good system; I do the detail and he does the technical stuff. It took us a week to strip the bathroom down to the floor, scrape the sub-flooring, fix the mildew/mold issue (the previous owners had a leak at one time...nasty!), cut the tiles, do a dry run, set the tiles, grout, baseboards, caulking, new toilet, new vanity, new granite countertop/sink combo, new mirror, and I re-tailored the old shower curtain to be longer and make the room look bigger. WHEW!
Photobucket
Although it wasn't a big area, it was a major PITA, mostly because we didn't know what to expect and what "we would do different". Fortunately, we get to do this all over again this week on the master bath; however, the tiled area is much smaller (toilet, shower, and vanity are in separate areas). We're ready!!

Photobucket

Friday, August 08, 2008

LWOP

I’ve been out sick this week. Only one day from work, but it still was enough to zap most of my energy for the week. What is it with that fine line you draw when calling in sick to work? You don’t want people to think you’re a slacker, but on the other hand, they need you to come into work, but don’t want you there at the same time!

Personally, I don’t want my coworkers even NEAR me if they’re sick. Go home! Don’t come to work with your germs and spread them around (like one of my coworkers did to me). You don’t have to prove how dedicated you are by dragging your wheezing, sneezing, coughing, snotty, mucous-laden arse into the workplace! I’m no martyr by any stretch and will stay home even if I have a bad headache (sinus migraine), because I know I’m not doing anyone any good by being miserable.

Those are what sick days are for! O.k., off soapbox for now…

In other news, the guest bathroom is done and looks wonderful! I will post pics after this weekend when we have all the extra pieces-parts put back together again. Next week, the master bath gets done, which should be easier since it is smaller (go figure).

In other, other news, I made German Potato salad this week and it was divine! The only thing I remember my father knowing how to cook was German Potato salad, and it was always a special treat.

German Potato Salad
(my way)

8 – 10 medium potatoes, peeled & cut into bite sized chunks (I used Yukon Gold)
5-7 strips of bacon, diced into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Salt & Pepper

Cook potatoes in boiling/simmering water till fork tender, drain and return to pot. In a sautee pan, cook bacon over med-high heat till golden brown, add onions. Cook onions with bacon till both are nicely browned, set aside. Mix apple cider with sugar in a microwave safe container and heat, stirring regularly, till sugar is dissolved. Pour cider vinegar mixture, and onion mixture over potatoes, stir gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Just Peachy, or was it a Pear?

I actually got a little time to play in the kitchen this evening and I only had one thing on my mind: Vanilla Pear Cardamom

You see, ever since Ohiomom at Cooking in Cleveland mentioned her Cardamom Pear freezer jam, I've wanted to make it. It just sounded...so good! But life, jobs, and remodels all got into the way.

But being me, I wanted to tweek Ohiomom's recipe a little by adding a scraped vanilla bean into the mix. I was sure the results would be deeply vanilla, with a slight tang, then an exotic spiciness. But I was disappointed. The jam was just too vanilla-y and cardamom-y, and all over just too much "y". I think I've just discovered that I don't like cardamom. Oh, well...I'm sure I'll find somethind to do with 6 half pints!

Back to Wine

We bottled my Lemongrass Mint wine this weekend and it has turned out to be a wonderful surprise. It's a very light, refreshing summer sipper, not hot at all (not too much alcohol). I'm very impressed and think it would be devine with some sort of spicy Thai dish. Each batch of wine I make gets better and better.

Just in case you're wondering, we don't have 500 bottles of wine stacked up in the spare bedroom or anything. So far, the most wine I've gotten from a batch was about 12 to 15 bottles. We do give a lot away, and in fact have to be careful we save some for us!
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