Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Our Family is Expanding

Oh no, don't worry it's not me.

We got a call last night from one of my husbands brothers and they wanted to skype with us.  I should tell you, I wasn't in the mood.  I am feeling pretty cranky and grumpy this week.  Hint. Hint.  Anyway, since we haven't seen the nephew since last Christmas we did it. 

We talked to my husbands little brother for a while and then his wife An, came in with Ryan.  They sat down and Ryan started to bounce on his mom's lap.  They had written across the front of his onsie "Future big brother!" 

It wasn't a shock that they are expanding their family.  They have become great parents and while I know they both think a girl would be a nice addition, I'm hoping they have another boy.  We already have three girls in the family and someone needs to even the odds for Ry.

So come the summer we will be adding to our family.  I am pretty excited about it.  I'm the awesome Aunt that gets them the loudest, funnest toys we can find.  Their parents always love me for that. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When scratching just isn't enough

My husband is the funniest guy I know.  But his humor is very understated and sometimes dry.  To know his is to love him.

The Captain had his yearly check up the other day.   He has a new family practitioner because his long time doc retired.  This new doctor is young and so far, so good.  But he doesn't seem to appreciate the Captains humor as much as the last doctor did.

While in the middle of his exam he asked, "Are you doing self scrotum checks?"

My husband rubbed his chin and with a twinkle in his eye replied, "Well every once in a while I have a scratch.  Does that count?"

Doc didn't even crack a smile.  Me.  I rolled out of my chair laughing.

Maybe you just had to be there.

Monday, November 28, 2011

They Do Exist!

I had a wonderful holiday weekend and found myself suddenly thrust into the Christmas spirit.  It may have had something to do with the continuous play of cheesy christmas shows on Hallmark, ABC Family and Lifetime or it may have been the adorably cute commercials they only roll out this time of year.  

For me, my favorite holiday commercial is this one. 

Unfortunately I don't see to many commercials with the invent of the DVR, but this one I found myself stopping and watching quite a few times this weekend.  And it made smile.  Every time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our menu is simple but filling

I am so looking forward to Thursday.  Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday.  I get to spend it with friends and family sharing memories of Thanksgivings past and wonderful food.

The Captain and I enjoy tradition.  We like to sorround ourselves with good food and good friends.  Our offerings have changed over the years but sentiment remains the same today as it did twenty one years ago when we started.

Our dinner will consist of fried turkey, which the Captain has mastered.  (I am so smart.  Not only do I not have to use valuable oven real estate to cook a turkey, I don't have to cook the turkey at all.  Plus, once you have a fried turkey you can't go back to the dried oven variety.) 

I make a home made southern cornbread and biscuit dressing.  This is a recipe that I developed after moving to the south and being exposed to all of these wonderful southern cooks.  This recipe has stood the test of time at my table for more than fifteen years now. 

We also offer up mashed potatoes, green bean casserole (this is made with the condensed soup, onions in a can and fresh green beans.  I draw the line at canned.  If I could convince everyone that the homemade variation is better I would make that instead, but sometimes you have to let tradition stand, just because my culinary skills have improved doesn't mean they really want the menu to change.  And if I'm honest here, I like this version of the casserole myself.)  Rolls, gravy, and the prerequisite berried cranberry sauce.  Now, I must confess.  Normally I make this from scratch too.  But this year I had a special request for the stuff from a can.  I could have made both, but decided there really wasn't any point.  Homemade cranberry sauce is super simple, but sometimes you got to give the guest what they crave and this is particularly true when the requester is your significant other.

Pumpkin pie and coffee round out our dinner. 

So tell me, what are the must have's for you and yours on Turkey day?

Monday, November 21, 2011

My trip to the grocery store

On Sunday a good friend of mine and I went to the grocery store to stock up on our supplies for Thanksgiving.  While we were there, I overhead a conversation that took me back.  To that first Thanksgiving I hosted with the Captain who had yet to become my husband. 

These two young ladies were standing in front of the selection of boxed potatoes when I passed them.  Their buggy overflowing.  Stove-top stuffing, canned corn and green beans.  A frozen pie along with cans of cranberry sauce and a frozen bird.  It was quite obvious they were doing their shopping for Turkey day as well.

The shorter of the two was standing post behind the buggy handle while the other one braved the wilds of senior's to forage through the box potatoes.  As she was perusing them it was obvious she was getting more and more confused as she mumbled to herself.  Finally, a break in the stream of shoppers, she turned holding up two boxes.  Looking at her friend she asked, "Which one should I get.  And what the heck is Yukon?  Is that where the potatoes are grown?"

Her friend responding with nothing more than a shrug had the young lady grimacing as she turned back facing the wall of boxed potatoes once again.  "I just don't understand the difference."

Feeling her pain, because lets face it, we have all been there. Maybe not the box potato isle in the grocery store.  But at one time or another we have all been faced with making that special dinner.  If your smart you pull a Holly Hunter in Always and buy it pre-made passing it off as your own.  If your not so smart, like me, you choose a holiday to make your dinner party debut and cook the turkey with the neck and giblets still encased in the plastic inside the bird.  To this day I maintain that it made the turkey that much moister, the Captain maintains I tried to poison our guests.

Hiding a smile, I stepped up next to her and asked, "Are you looking for something particular?"

Turning, gratitude ringing her smile, she wilted a little in relief. nodding.  "Yes ma'am."  (She called me ma'am, but I decided to let it go.)  "We're making Thanksgiving dinner and I am trying to decide which potatoes to go with?"  Holding up the boxes so I could read the fronts she continued, "What's the difference and what does Yukon mean?  Is that where they grow them."

Smiling, because I couldn't outright laugh at her, she was so earnest, I gently explained that Yukon was a type and pointed to the sack of potatoes in my buggy.  She was baffled.  I then recommended that she just pick the box that held the most appealing flavor.  Her friend piped up, "Can't we get both of them?"

I thought that sounded like a plan and it seemed they both agreed.  If not they probably would have spent another couple of hours debating the merits of bacon and cheddar vs. sour cream and onion.  (I shudder to think this will be served at Thanksgiving dinner, but then I remember they were about twelve so their guests will be close in age and probably think it's delicious.)

As she placed the boxes in the buggy she thanked me and then asked, "Does it look like we have everything?"

That time I did laugh as I looked over their stock and took note of the prideful gleam in their eyes.  They were excited about the day, which prompted me to take it serious.  "Are you making your gravy from scratch?"

Panic erupted from her in horrified waves, "Gravy?"  Eyes wild, she turned to her friend and said, "I don't know how to make gravy."

Feeling everyone one of my forty some years and closer to my Grandmother than I ever have before I pointed her in the direction of the canned gravy and made a suggestion regarding crescent rolls.  She thanked me profusely and as they turned away I heard her say, "This is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever!"

My friend and I delighted in this story all the way home.  But mainly it reminded me of being that young and on my own in the world for the very first time.  How excited I was by the prospect of that Thanksgiving.  It reminded me that even though I had a major turkey blunder that first year, we still have great memories from that day.  It also reminded me of how much I am looking forward to it this year as well and that hasn't dimmed over time.  The faces around our table have changed over the years but the sentiment always remains the same.

My advice: check the bird really well before you put it in the oven.  Sometimes those turkey people get sneaky and shove a bag in the both ends.

Happy Turkey Day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Heat Wave: One more reason to dislike them.

This months Book Hungry read saw me come up to bat for the selection. 

During our last "meeting" Karla made a comment that she enjoyed a good mystery.  It got me thinking that I hadn't read a good-or any-mystery in quite a while.  I decided to search out one for us to read for November's selection. 

Since I am a huge Castle fan...okay, Nathan Fillion fan.  Sue me.  He is totally hot and I can see myself enjoying a nice heat wave and black-out with him.  Based on my love of the characters and the show I thought this would be a great continuation.

It wasn't.

Not that the book was bad.  Okay, it wasn't that bad.

But when I sit down to read a book I want to be whisked away.  In all honesty, because I am a big fan of the show I was able to picture Castle and Becket as Rook and Heat but that was where it stopped for me.  There were some great one liners in the book, but I can get that from the show. 

The mystery itself didn't do anything for me since I knew from the minute he was introduced who our bad guy was.  Overall I was disappointed with Heat Wave because I had such high hopes for Mr. Castle.  I think it kind of took something away from my passion for this wonderful character I love.  They make such a big deal about how great of a writer he is (which he isn't, and thank god it's Richard Castle's name on the book and not Nathan Fillion's) and how he is included into the inner circle of some of the greatest crime writers of today (which I believe if they read this book that would no longer be the case.)  It was more like reading a script for the TV show then an in depth crime novel.   

And if your a fan of the show and expected nothing more than that type of entertainment you won't be disappointed.  As it was, I think I will just stick to watching Castle in stead of reading Castle.   I get way more eye candy from my TV than I do from the words, or at least from these written words. 

Did I mention that Nathan Fillion is a big bite of yummy?  Well, he is!

But I am not to be deterred.  I am going to find us a good crime novel for one of these reads if it is the last thing I ever do.

Have you read it?  What did you think?


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If this doesn't excite you...nothing will

In case you somehow missed it.  The story that started it all for our little book club.

To say I am excited is such an understatement.  I absolutely cannot wait for this to come out.  I will be making the trek to an actual theater to watch this one.  Too bad I can't plan to see it with the rest of the Book Hungry Ladies.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Yes...he lights up my life

Are you guys starting to feel the spirit of the holidays yet?

I don't know if I mentioned this before or not but I love everything about the holidays.  In fact starting in October I like to think how we are going to decorate and light up the house for Halloween..  Starting November 1 I'm turning my attention to Thanksgiving and then Christmas.   

Last night the Captain advised me he wants to set the lights on the house to music this year.   When we first started talking I thought this was a great idea.  I had already found a pattern for nutcrackers that he agreed to cut out of plywood for me to paint and a couple of candy canes to cross over near the front door.

Then he showed me this video.  Now I am officially scared.  Especially since he said we need to start working on it this weekend.  What did I get myself into? 

Did you see the part where it called for 42,000, yes you read that right, 42,000 LED light?.  I can't even imagine what 42,000 LED lights look like.

Yes (big sigh) I will keep you guys posted.  Promise.

Get those juices flowing

This weekend was jammed packed. 

But the best part is what is happening today.

The Captain has jury duty.  Yep, you heard me.  Or, you read me.  To say that I am happy about this is such an understatement.  I  have had jury duty and served six times.  He has done it once.  And he wasn't even selected.  So, forgive me if I am enjoying this.  Even just a little.

In other news I did something I have wanted to do for a long time this weekend.  I test drove a mini cooper.  We are looking at getting a new car and this is the one I want.  The Captain isn't convinced, but since the new car will be mine, he doesn't get too much of a say.  Actually, I really did want his input, but he kept insisting that since it would be my car it didn't overly matter much to him. 

After test driving, I am thinking about building one from scratch.  This way I can get everything in the car that I want including the color.  The only problem is they have a new coupe and while I was pretty sure I wanted this one...

I am no longer certain.  After seeing this one I am a little conflicted. 

To be honest I have been driving a company vehicle for so long, I didn't care what it was.  But now with the idea of adding to our stable plus me getting to choose has encouraged me to look around and see what is out there.  I have had my eye on the mini for a while and think I would really love it. 

What about you guys?  What's your dream car and what do you think the car you currently drive says about you.  I'm thinking I would look pretty hot zipping around town in this little two-seater.  Swear to god, just looking at this picture is getting my blood pressure up.  Who knew a car could be such a turn on.  And sexy to boot!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Bringing a man to his knees

Giving you something to smile about as you head into the weekend. 

Men really are the weaker sex. 

Just saying.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The first of the "F" stories

I've told you guys before how the Captain is a true weekend warrior. 

When we built our house in 2000 we were both anxious to get in and push up our sleeves and make our mark on this house.  And we did a lot.  There is not one inch of wall space that doesn't have paint on it.  My formal dining room was converted to a book room and bookshelves and doors were added because who needs two dining rooms? 

We hung blinds and drapes.  Beefed up baseboards and door frames.  Went searching for thrift store finds and reinvented them with sanding and paint to give them a new look for our home.

We've added tile, and installed our own hardwood floors.  (That was a job you can read about here, Boys Comparing the size of their wood.  That title alone got me 46 hits and I was only two months into blogging.  Oh, the power of sexual innuendo.)  We built a fence and landscaped the grounds completely.  And it only took seven years.

But one thing that has stayed true through each and every home project is this.  Every single time we do something the Captain inevitably draws blood upon himself.  Now, for the sake of full disclosure, I should tell you he is not a clumsy man.  He is very careful and particular.  But it doesn't seem to matter.  When he is working at home, well let's just say, I have an emergency kit specifically for home improvement projects.

One of my greatest finds is a futon I have in my bookroom. (I don't know why we don't call it a library.  I guess bookroom was what I called it when we  moved in and it sort of stuck.  Now that's what everyone calls it.)  When we were moving from the last house the support 2X4 was broken in the back.  (Okay, that's not how it happened.  We had a party and a friend needed to crash because she had too much to drink and when we tried to pull out the futon we learned rather quickly that you don't use that bar as a foot rest to leverage the futon to fold out. But I like the other version better.)

For about three months the Captain told me he would replace it.  But there was a lot of stuff getting done around the house and this little project seemed to keep getting pushed back further and further on the list.  Until July 4th of the same year.  We were having a BBQ.  Burgers and beer and mixed drinks.  Which meant that some of our friends would be crashing for the evening.  (Kelly's rule: If you drink at my house you don't drive home from my house.  Everyone has to have a designated driver.  No exceptions.)  Suffice it to say we had a lot of friends crashing regularly.  Hey, these are all ex-Navy peeps.  Have you ever partied with Navy peeps? 

That morning he decided to tackle the job at the last minute before the BBQ started at noon just in case we needed some extra sleeping arrangements.    He had to drill (I still cringe when I type that word) holes into the wood.  He laid everything out and was working in the garage while I was getting the last minute kitchen duties done.

About twenty minutes later he came in with a paper towel wrapped around his hand.  At first I didn't think anything of it, because we hadn't fully learned of his propensity to hurt himself during projects yet.  We had only been in the house since April and this was July.  The biggest projects we had done so far was putting together all of our furniture and setting up the house. 

"Do we have any band aids?"  There was a whiteness around his mouth that I didn't attribute to pain for another ten minutes. 

"Sure, honey.  In the bathroom."  Setting aside the pasta salad I was working on, I washed my hands and went to our bathroom to retrieve them.  When I came out he was laying on the floor at the bottom of the bed holding his arm straight up. 

Laughing, I asked, "What are you doing?"

Breathing deep he countered with, "Can you put peroxide on this and wrap it for me?"  Things finally started to click together in my head.

"Wrap it?"  The white paper towel is taking on the color of pink cotton candy and I can see a dribble of blood racing down the arm he is holding up in the air.  Looking at the little mermaid band aids, I suddenly had no idea what to do with them.  (By the way did I mention that I have a blood phobia.  At the site of it I feel queasy and have been known to pass out.) 

Sitting down on the bed I could feel those tell tale butterfly's take flight in my stomach and started swallowing in an effort to stave off the urge to hurl.

"Honey?"  He lifted his head to see what was taking so long.  Catching site of the band aid box he informed me, "we're going to need something a little bigger than that."  He smiled in an attempt to smooth over the situation.  I hadn't been successful in my attempt to hide my phobia from him.  "Maybe some gauze and bandages."

"Gauze and bandages?"  I sounded like a whispering parrot who was being stalked by something big and ugly.

"Yeah, I hit my hand with the drill.  It's pretty deep.  I need for you to clean it and wrap it."

"Is it bleeding?"

He looked at me as if I had sprouted a new head.  "Is it bleeding?"  Yes, that was disbelief you heard in his voice.  "Duh!  Yes, it's bleeding."

"Oh no," I moaned and fell backward on the bed as visions of a bloody hand danced in my head.  "I feel queasy."

"You feel queasy?"  Now he had moved to outrage.  "You cannot pass out on me now!"

Trying to breathe through it so I didn't, I leverage myself up and tried to be strong for him.  "Just breathe, just breathe, just breathe," became my new mantra.  "Okay, let me see."  I was proud of how strong my voice sounded.  All he heard was the panic.

"Maybe this isn't such a good idea."

"You think?"  It's good to know I could still be sarcastic when necessary.

Unwrapping the paper towel all I saw was mangled flesh and blood.  And that was enough.  Later he would tell me that I went ghost white even as my eyes rolled back in my head.  Thank goodness I was already sitting on the bed, my fall was soft and cushioned.

Of course he was stuck sitting on the floor, bleeding profusely with no one to help him, wondering if he could in fact bleed to death from the hole he drilled into his hand.  He did make it to the bathroom and was able to clean it out.  Unfortunately, I came around to the sound of his cursing and screeching.  Since we didn't have any gauze bandages we had to improvise and use something that he would not like me sharing here on the blog.  But it worked. 

So now I have shared my embarrassing failure as a wife.  Thank goodness we never had children.  Could you imagine?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bringing you some good cheer

The middle of the week finds me slammed at work and at home.  I am currently trying to tackle three beta reads, updating and tweaking my finished WIP for submission and settling in for winter and the holidays.

Last night I had to go to the local discount office store.  On the way I passed a house that is already decked out for Christmas.

This bothered me.  It seems every year we are in such a hurry to get there.  The stores put out the decorations earlier and earlier.  Next year they will probably be up before Summer ends.  Hey, I know, why not just leave them up all year?

Of course I bitched and moaned to the Captain about this later in the evening and he, always the smart one, pointed out that maybe I was looking at this all wrong.  Maybe they had put their Christmas decorations up early, not because they were trying to rush it along, but because they were trying to capture the feeling that seems to envelop people during this special time of the year.

Let's face it, right now we could all use a little good cheer.

Now you see why my heart still shimmers for this man after all these years.  He is too darn smart for his own good. 

And if I hadn't had my own head up, well let's just say somewhere it should have been, I would have seen that particular lining myself.  But thank goodness he's around to nudge me back to the straight and narrow when I stray on to bitch lane.  What would I do without him?

Who keeps you on the straight and narrow?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sweet Heath, oh how I love thee.

I missed Friday.

How did I do that?  I had a posting all written up and scheduled and then on Friday, nothing.  Did blogger eat it?  Because quite suddenly it's gone.  As in no longer there.  Pisses me off.  Mainly because I didn't save a copy of it on my hard drive and this one had humor.  Oh, I know, all of them have humor.  Okay, in my mind, all of them have humor.  But I'm pretty sure this one knocked it out of the park. 

It was the futon story. 

Now I have to start all over again.  From scratch.

Do you have any idea how hard it it is going to be to recreate it now? 

Yes, I am going to try.  But I don't have  high hopes.

In other news I didn't check my weight and measurements this week.  Not because I think I didn't lose anything, because I know I didn't lose anything.  Instead of being a good girl last week I chomped down on the left over candy.  Maybe the idea of buying what you don't like wasn't so bad after all.  Maybe, I will try that one next year.  And maybe, just maybe, pigs will fly out of my derriere. 

I seem to have misplaced my will power when it comes to Heath and Snickers.  Yeah, yeah, and let's not forget the Butterfingers.  Why didn't I think to borrow some (will power) from someone else?  Yeah, I dunno either.

Why is it that will power is always around when I don't have any candy?  Another great example of things that make you go hmm.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Going the Distance

You guys are still wondering about the fence and the futon stories right?

Okay, I did promise to tell you.  And I like to always keep my promise.

First off, there are a few things you need to know about the Captain and  his projects.

          1.  He always finishes what he starts.  (Good news for me)
          2.  He is a tad obsessive about it being right.  (Can you say Mr. Perfect?)

About two years after we built our house I decided I wanted to put a tile backs plash behind the stove.  It was just drywall and the grease was getting more and more difficult to remove.  I did my research.  Picked my tiles, got the supplies and set up ready to start my project. 

You should know that when I first started he was in the garage working on something else.  But before long curiosity got the best of him.  (Calling him curious is my way of being nice here.  Just so you know.) 

I moved the stove out, set down my drop cloth, marked my pattern and mixed the compound to adhere the tiles to the wall.  I had only placed the first tile.  The first one.  When he came in and started to explain to me what I was doing wrong.  Honestly, he just can't help himself.  He looks at a project as another chance at perfection and for me I just see something creative I did myself.  If it isn't perfect, I can live with that.  I like the marks of a weekend warrior being visible in my house.  It's what makes it mine.

But I had been married for just about ten years at this point and had already learned that it wasn't worth the fight we were sure to have if I dug in my  heels.  So I surrendered my trowel and relinquished my spot behind the stove and he eagerly moved in and took over.  As he spent the next hour explaining to me the proper way to indeed install the tiles and give it an artistic flair I sat on one of the kitchen stools reading a magazine.  I was a good wife and hm-um'ed every once in a while. 

When he was done it did look good and I will admit I would have been frustrated with the problems he had with the grouting process.  But overall he did it better than I would have and worked harder on the tile placement. 

Almost as if I had planned it that way, right?  Nope.  I really did want to do that project.  So when I decided to carry the theme of tiles behind the sink I made sure he wasn't around when I did that one and didn't even mention that I was planning on doing it until it was a done deal.  Of course he had to come home and re-work the grout for me-there were some imperfections that only he could see-which was truly appreciated.  (Insert eye roll here.)

Overall, we do work well together, but in marriage there is give and take and for whatever reason he likes to be in charge of household projects.  I'm okay with letting him have that.  His heart is in the right place and like I said earlier, he is a perfectionist.

I really am a lucky girl.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

An Awe Moment

My favorite trick-or-treat moment this year.

If you read my post yesterday, you know I dressed as the Grim Reaper on Monday.

While I was handing out candy, I had a lovely encounter with an adorable little boy.  He was trick-or-treating with his dad and I watched how his dad halted at the end of the drive to let the little boy make his way to my door for candy by himself.  One of those poignant moments in live. 

It was still early yet.  More twilight than dark, when this towheaded young man came racing up my walk.  I had positioned myself in a chair between two Halloween Trees, waiting for unsuspecting youths to do exactly that. 

As I raised my head and he saw my make-up he skid to a sudden halt.  "Who're you supposed to be" he demanded?   In the background I caught his father grin and shake his head, clearly proud.

I didn't have to smile as it was painted on, but I couldn't help myself.  His voice was one part terror, three parts morbid curiosity.  In as deep a voice I could muster I announced, "I'm the Grim Reaper!"

Cocking his head to the side, clearly not frightened he demanded, "What's the Grim Reaper?"

Thinking quickly I responded, "I eat little boys."

Straightening up suddenly, but not willing to rush off without his candy, he pushed his bag forward and squeaked, "Trick-or-treat."

After dropping a few pieces in his bag he turned and raced down the drive to his dad.  As they walked down the street I heard him ask in an excited voice, "Dad!  Did you see, that was the Grim Reaper?"

I watched as his father put a hand to his sons head in that universal dad sign and say, "I did, son.  You were lucky to make it out alive."

Delighted, that moment carried me the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Halloween Hangover

Me:  The Grimm Reaper
The Witch
Last night was so exciting.  There were ghosts and goblins.  Phantoms and train conductors.  Ghouls and ware wolves.  We got a prince and a frog, football players and cheerleaders, Yoda and even a garden gnome.  (Him I wanted to keep!)  When the night finally ended I had given away a bunch of candy and was so ready for bed I couldn't keep my eyes open.  My Halloween was a total success. 

The Graveyard
Everyone forgets how much I love this holiday.  I guess sometimes, even I do too.  I can't tell you why this time of year is so special.  I guess because there is magic in the costumes, community in the trick-or-treating and just all out plain fun in trying to scare the kids.  For whatever reason this brings me much joy. 

It's a White Wedding
The Captain didn't make it home in time to partake last night.  He said he was working late.  Okay, so this one time I am going to let it slide.  Actually, he was pretty bummed that he missed most of it.  His favorite part is talking with the kids and handing out the candy.  He isn't up for scaring the kids the way I am, but hey I never said he was perfect.

Let me out!
We got lots of compliments and my front yard became photo central, which I appreciated.  To know that in a couple of years kids will look back on these photos and remember the Grimm Reaper with the tricked out house tickles my funny bone.  I posed, they posed, they played around the tombstones and then they got to go home and pig out on the candy.  Over all it was a huge success. 

Serious Sid

Now what can I do next year????