Tuesday, June 30, 2009

it's always the ones closest to you...

In the event of a disaster--man or nature made--the status quo of the Haves and Have Nots changes--dramatically. One of the many preparation measures for survival of said disaster is to ensure that the freshly minted (and unhappy with their plight) Have Nots are unable to locate and access your stash. While I fully endorse Sharing, I am vehemently opposed to Stealing.

Apparently I need to work on my caching skills.

The wee villain plundered the chocolate stash.

Monday, June 29, 2009

When people care out loud amazing things happen...

Once again, the man who in a past life would have been my Baby's Daddy has taken a stand in a way that only he could...and singing in Farsi...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Mommy's gotta do what a Mommy's gotta do...

Last night at supper...

Jacob, for your birthday do you want cupcakes or cake?


Anything special on it?

Um...frosting. A
frosting cake!

Right. Frosting. Anything else?

Oh! Barney! Like Hannah had for her birthday.

Think, think, think...how do I get him to change his mind without having to explain that the chances of me making him a Barney cake are pretty much, oh...nil.

Hannah's birthday was her
first birthday so she had a baby type birthday cake...how about maybe something else that you like?

A Robot!

Oh, Sweet Lord. Really? A robot cake?

Yeah! And use the Force!

I'm gonna need to use something to pull this one off.

So last night there I was...baking a cake, wrapping presents and trolling the interwebz in search of a Plan for a cake. In the end I settled on simplistic.

Jacob had no idea that this cake was created. As I laid the piping bag down I decided that everything else I've done for this party can be a complete and total disaster. The new pool could have a rip in it (it wouldn't have if I hadn't been quite so aggressive with the air compressor). The sky could bust loose and dump a summer thunder storm on us (it didn't--we enjoyed a beautiful non-humid evening). The rest of the food could taste like sawdust (not quite, but it was eatable). I really didn't care. Because my son had The Coolest Cake--ever--for his 4th birthday.

I think they liked it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Redundancy...for when there's too much going on to write a real post...

I'm doing my best to get organized for Jacob's birthday tomorrow...all responsible adults are working Saturday morning so I had the brilliant idea to cook supper for everyone. I know. Me. Cooking. The Burning Hands episode was my attempt to make an enchilada sauce ahead of time. More on the cooking adventures later.

Meanwhile, another Hibiscus plant is in bloom. Somehow these plants have managed to be perennial. Resembling dead sticks stuck upright in the dirt in the winter they manage to perform beautifully every summer. Amazing.

Even though I'm not quite tall enough to get the great close up, Jules, this one's for you...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Things I have learned today...

While chocolate does indeed help (thanks, Jules!) playing in the dirt goes a long way towards alleviating one's self pity.

Self-inflicted physical pain also tends to take one's mind of of one's mental angst.

Apparently, and previously unbeknownst to me, I have an adverse topical reaction to raw chilies. More specifically--chili oil. I have had blister burns that were more bearable than the way my hand has felt for most of the day--and my right thumb still burns. It was a couple of innocent looking jalapenos--not some vicious variety of habanaro or scotch bonnets. Fortunately I managed to crawl to the computer before attempting to cut off my right hand at the wrist and beseeched the google gods for advice on removing myself of chili oil. I also learned that I am not the first person to ask such a question. Always a good feeling to know one is not alone in one's idocity.

For the curious: soaking in rubbing alcohol works. Sorta. It at least got me back to Funtional. Which is really all I hope for everyday anyway.


My annual reminder that I too can thrive in this environment and culture burst into bloom yesterday. While I paused and admired their beauty, the Hibiscus blooms failed to offer the comfort they usually do. Just the opposite in fact. Today I miss Africa so badly there's an ache deep inside.

It might have something to do with my sister and her family currently being aboard a plane due to land in Nairobi in a few hours. And the knowledge that they'll be having supper with our parents tonight. While I am thrilled beyond measure that they are able to make this trip it does little to lessen the homesickness. And while I have also received emails from both of my parents this morning assuring me that we all will indeed be making plans for my own little family to visit the Motherland it will always be just that...a visit. The knowledge that it will never be the trip that my very being craves--the Move--weighs heavier than usual this morning.

Enjoy the flowers, won't you? I'm going to sign off here and go work on recalibrating my mental state. Wouldn't it be nice if it was really that simple?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hand-me-downs of another nature...

This list was more difficult. Due more to an inability to put concepts into words than for brevity. And it has only been in recent years that I've come to realize the magnitude of gifts handed down from my dad.

It's never wrong to stand up for what you believe in--even in the face of adversity

Poetry is actually pretty cool

An unquenchable desire to know Stuff and to know how Stuff works

More importantly--how to put Stuff back together once
I've taken it apart in a quest for knowledge

Even girls need to know how to change a tire and change the oil.

Whenever possible, use the proper tool for the job--even if it means you have to go out and purchase that one specific tool you need. Everybody will be happier for it.

Be inventive

Learn from every experience...builds character!

If you're going to learn something, learn it well. Practice often.

Easy on the clutch

Motorcycles are, indeed, Amazing Things

Use the front and rear brakes together

Love animals

It's never too late to learn new things

Read. Read. Read.

Computers are Useful Tools--know how to use one!

The written word can be a very powerful tool--use carefully and judiciously.

Choose your battles

It's never too late to broaden one's mind

Be strong

Be independent


Love out loud

Treat each day as an amazing gift

Love you, Daddy! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Neil Gaiman take note...

There's a picture of a Fairy hanging up on the door frame. Jacob colored it this afternoon and asked to tape it somewhere. I told him I'd love to have it on display. Then he said he wanted to put it up as a sign to say, "No fairies allowed".

"Well, that's fine too." I told him, "They do tend to be more of pests than anything else."

"No, Mommy," he replied. "I don't want fairies here because everyone knows they walk on poop all day."

Well, everyone knows that now.

*in case you're interested about the stamp look here...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sweet smell of summer...

The Mimosa tree in back is in full bloom and emits a very heady almost jasmine scent.

And the little ones spend most days frolicking in and around the play set.

It's very important to have garden helpers.

Happy Almost Summer!

Wednesday morning chuckles...

For the record, class, this is not really the way to go about your life... but don't let that distract you from the humor!

Cow & Boy

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

yes, we have no tomatoes...

But we do have blossoms.

And one wee tiny green tomato.
Tomato sandwiches in a couple of weeks!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The one with the confession...

From the very beginning, Sean knew there was another man in my life. And he was okay with it. He even paid for me to go visit this other man...of course he came along--we're open like that.

Beth recently posted a list of her favorite songs according to the alphabet. Her "H" song was Hallelujah with Jeff Buckley covering the original by Leonard Cohen (one of music's Greats). My comment to that was that the first time I heard Jon Bon Jovi cover the song it made me want to have his babies...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

told you it was genetic...

My favorite, most played with 6th birthday present...Legos. Some from this set are now being enjoyed by my own children...

Since they'll be gone for Jacob's birthday, my sister and her family wanted to go ahead and give Jacob his birthday present...K'nex with Legos--two of his most favorite toys combined!

He got to play with them. I promise. He wanted to build the spider but others were doing much more Interesting Things elsewhere so Sammy and I finished it for him. Though he did stop by to check our progress.

(bottom two pictures courtesy of my sister!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The one about smoking...food, that is...

It was pouring down rain to begin with! The man is Dedicated to his craft.

The brick shelter was already on the property when we moved in and it was quickly dubbed, "The Grill House".

You really didn't expect me to provide a list of ingredients, did you? If you want the recipes then you have to ask him. All I can tell you is that one pan has stuff in it to make up the brine for the brisket and the other has stuff in it to brine the shrimp. The meat was in the bath overnight and the seafood simply needed about half and hour--30 minutes that made a huge
difference! They were so flavorful.

Scoring the fat layer after its bath.

Applying the dry rub...once again, ask him if you want to know what's in it. I do know he used the top portion of our spice cabinet...and it was tasty!

Smoking and checking the temp. Our digital remote probe thermometer died a couple weeks ago and we just haven't ordered a replacement...so he had to do things the old fashion way with an instant read meat thermometer.

The slab of meat was treated to a very lovely beer steam bath after this, and the results were tender, juicy, flavorful and very little left over.

He'll tell you that it was too dry and he's just not pleased. Tell him to shut up already--that's what we did. Why are cooks their own toughest critics?

The one about the birthday cake...

The Birthday Man requested a Lemon Pound Cake...something I've never made before. Grandma used to make a very tasty version out of yellow cake mix and lemon pudding. However, since becoming very conscious of what goes into our bodies, I do my best to stay away from cake mixes. Made from scratch is not only healthier, it's cheaper. (I did leave my favorite white whole wheat flour in the cupboard and used unbleached white flour instead--something I'm sure the Niece and Nephews were thankful for.) My sister (Hi, Donia!) also makes a rather scrumptious lemon pound cake and I was a tad nervous to venture into her territory since they would be joining us for the festivities.

Jacob, once again, was quite the helper. Even helped ice the cake later...completely unsupervised. That was a surprise.

I have in my possession my grandmother's red and white checked
Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It has yet to fail me on baking recipes.

No, the cell phone was not staged. Sean was instructing at the range all day and kept texting me and whining about...er, um...chatting about the Stupid People and their crazy antics.

That's also Grandma's bundt pan...it's never failed me either. It looks like fake eggs and butter worked just fine!

Someone really, really wanted to help Daddy blow out his candles...he was restrained until we had at least finished singing. Just imagine if I'd put all forty candles on there--we'd have all needed to help out!

Wanna slice? There's still some left...and it's good too!