Monday, May 30, 2011

Let the picnics begin!

We need a weekend to recover from the weekend. 

Non-stop picnics. That's what's been going on since Friday. We started with a cookout on Friday night for J and P, to celebrate their {shared} birthday. Well, I call it shared. Their birthdays are actually a few days apart. 

Steak and shrimp and golden cake with chocolate frosting. Nothing fancy. Just lip-smacking good food.

And fancy water.

Which is really just water with slices of lemon and lime floating in it. Gives it a nice, light citrus-y flavor. 

And since it's not plain water, I call it fancy water.

See K marching in the town parade on Memorial Day? And waving her flag? She didn't drop it. Whew. 
Sissy had her pool open on Sunday. Those three insane, crazy, wild people went in the I-can-see-pieces-of-ice-floating-in-this-pool water.

It was hot enough to go in the water. The air temperature was crazy hot for Memorial Day. But that water? No sirree. Not me. 

It has to melt a little before I get in it.
We had dinner with M and the Hammer on Saturday. Their son, J, made wasabi crusted salmon and cod with an orange ginger sauce. Grilled asparagus. Steamed rice. Pure deliciousness.

And he's only fifteen.

He's going to make some woman happy someday. Scratch that. He made three women happy on Saturday night. 

After dinner, the Hammer and the Man chatted it up while M and I worked on our altered books. The younger set disappeared to play some sort of video game.

Wait...are they still called video games? Something tells me that's old school now.

See E smiling on the end there? She was modeling for me on Sunday afternoon. Until I made her laugh. Then she was lost to me. I couldn't get a photo smile out of her at all. Only giggles. 
The Man and I watched K march in the Memorial Day parade. Along with a few hundred other people. It was a very small crowd this year. I think the thunderstorms that ripped through the area in the morning scared everyone away.

What a shame.

It's an honor to stand and give thanks to the men and women who have proudly and selflessly served our country.
The Man laughed the entire time the girl scouts and boy scouts marched by. We were standing by a rather large puddle and every leader from every troop/den kept saying, "And don't step in the puddle!"

You could see it on the kids' faces. They so badly wanted to jump in that puddle. It was all some of them could do to restrain themselves.

I was standing there, camera in hand, ready for the kid who dared to defy the leader. But not one did.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~ John McCrae
These little babies went everywhere with me this weekend. I made them to bring over to M's house. And made them to bring to Sissy's house. And brought more of them to the T's camper on Monday.


Don't ask. Don't question. Just make them. And don't tell anyone. Then you won't have to share.
So that's how we ended a fun-filled, spectacular weekend. Sitting outside, under a shaded porch along the side of a brook, listening to the water flow and feeling a breeze blow.

Our fourth and final cookout of the weekend spent with good friends, eating good food, and soaking up the good weather.

Life IS good.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friendly {Flours}

Sissy and I were thrifting a few days ago and I found this pretty aluminum flour canister. I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for.

Right now it's holding some roses that have seen better days. I giggled when I took this picture and saw the word "flour" lining up underneath the "flowers". 

Maybe it will stay a {flower} canister after all.
A friend is looking for a photo of Lily of the Valley blooms. 

Mine are on the downside and a wee bit sad looking. Actually, very sad looking since the bottom blooms have jumped off the stem.

Pesky little blooms. Don't you know I want to photograph you?
I shot these this evening, after the sun had gone down. I had to kick up the ISO too much, I think. These look grainy to me. 

But I don't have any more Lily of the Valley. I hope T has some. Especially since she lives way far up North and maybe they haven't finished blooming there yet.

T, if you read this posting before next Wednesday, bring some Lily of the Valley to me and I'll give it another shot. 

Ha. Get it? Shot?

I make myself laugh.

~~~~~~~~~~

K babysat for Sissy last night so she could go to knitting class. Since K is a fairly new driver, I make her text message me when she's leaving somewhere so I know she's on her way home. So when she left Sissy's, K sent me a message. Sure enough, twenty minutes later, she pulls into our driveway.

She took the turn a little quick, I thought. And as I was thinking that, I heard a funny noise. Sort of like the noise you hear when you put the car in "park" and it hasn't quite stopped yet.

Not that I've done that.

K came flying into the house, "There's smoke coming from the car! I didn't do it! And the gauge is all the way to the top! I didn't do it! Do something! Ack!"

The Man jumps out of his chair, with me right behind him, and we quickly ran outside to see what was going on. 

Steam. That's what was going on. Steam. Not smoke.

And the car parked smack in the middle of the driveway, blocking anyone from leaving or coming in.

The Man said to K, "This is steam, K. And why'd you park in the middle of the driveway? Now we can't get out."

To which K replied, "Steam? Smoke? All the same, Dad. And the car was going to explode. I had to get out of it fast."

Oy vey, drama. 

An appointment with the mechanic tomorrow. And a lesson on the difference between steam and smoke for K.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flower Power


Well, hello, Mr. Sun! It's so nice to see you.

I better take your picture before you flit off to some other part of the country.

~~~~~~~~~~

I was admiring the sweet little pink flowers that are blooming now. See them on the right? Don't ask me what they are. 

I don't know.

I don't know the names of any flowers other than the basics, like tulips and roses. That makes me sound like a bad flower person but it's just not my thing. I like flowers. A lot. I love looking at them and taking pictures of them. 

But I don't like planting them. Uck. All that dirt. All those bugs. And worms.

And I don't like watering them. Oops. Forgot again.

I really hate weeding. Er, was that a plant? How was I to know? They all look alike.

And pruning them? Or trimming them back? Uh, what does that mean?

I suppose one day I'll have to take care of them, and love them, like my darling mother in law. And you know what? When that day comes, I'll do it lovingly because it will connect me with her. And I really love her.

But not now. For now, the flowers belong to her and I get to photograph them.

Thank you, Mom.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Beach de Nile, or Soup du Jour

I've got beach on the brain.

I don't know why. 

It's cloudy. 

Cold.

Rainy.

Hmmmmm, maybe that's why I've got the beach on my brain. 

I'm in denial.

I saw a woman walking around today in a turtleneck sweater, for Pete's sake. A turtleneck. In May. Two months into spring. Am I the only who thinks that's crazy?

Bring on the beach, I say. Even if I'm wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. And cuddled under a blanket.

~~~~~~~~~~

(photo courtesy of www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com)

It was so chilly here today, I decided to make lasagna soup.

Oh my. It tastes just like lasagna. My family devoured this. And requested it again tomorrow. It's that good.

It's lick-the-bowl-clean good, that's how good it is.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some Serious Stuff

Girls weekend.


The guys went on a man fishing weekend way up North so we girls decided to hang out together for the weekend and do things that didn't involve much work.


Read : cooking.
That meant potato pizza on Friday night.

Although while the rest of us were playing board games, Sissy made Glazed Doughnut Muffins for breakfast the following morning.

She didn't get the whole "no cooking" thing. But we're really glad she made the muffins.
All the girls were very serious this weekend. 

Of course, I told them not to smile in these pictures. Sometimes I like serious shots.
But even without me telling them, it was a quiet, serious kind of weekend. 

I think we were missing the guys.

I wonder what Piglet is doing, thought Pooh. I wish I were there to be doing it, too. 
We needed to do something happy so we made cupcakes and decorated them.

With lots of colored frosting.

But, nope, still no smiles.
So out came the big guns.


Happy girls.


We sat and made these for a couple hours.


You can't make these and not smile. It's just not possible. Er, that's a lot of negatives in there. But I think you catch my meaning.


When you're feeling a little blue, go and make a happy girl. Guaranteed smiles.
The morning light is just gorgeous at Sissy's house. 

When late morning rolls around and you're feeling a bit out of sorts, don't worry; you're probably just a little eleven o'clockish ~ Winnie the Pooh

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Knitwit Night

PW was working on thumb gussets tonight at knitting. I'm not sure what was going on in her corner, but there was a lot of muttering. 

A few words that will not be repeated. 

And many cries of, "Teacher!"

I think she's knitting some fingerless gloves. The ones that cover the wrist and palm but leave the fingers exposed. Evidently those involve some sort of fancy-schmancy gusset knitting that kept perplexing PW. 

Teacher kept telling her what to do but I don't think PW believed her. See the skepticism on her face?

And, totally off topic, doesn't that look like the biggest cup of coffee you've ever seen? It looks freakishly oversized. Like that much caffeine could seriously harm you.
PW brought the yummiest snack tonight.

Chocolate Eclair Stuff. At least that's what I'm calling it.

The bottom layer was a giant cream puff, topped with the vanilla custard layer. She plopped whipped cream on top of the custard layer and drizzled the whole thing with chocolate syrup.

Double yum.
Teacher showed us this scarf she had been commissioned to make. The Queen was kind enough to model it for us. 

Size medium, all my knitwit friends.

I thought they were little skulls, connected together in some sort of creepy way.

Teacher thought they looked like little Chucky dolls. Remember that VERY.SCARY.MOVIE, Chucky? No, thank you. Not around my neck.

Know what they are?

Gingerbread men. 

I think I'll pass on this one.

Ferris Wheel Fiasco and Stinkweed

Aaaaaarghhhh.

This photo is making me crazy.

I have a vision in my mind of what I want it to look like and it just won't happen. I sat in front of the computer for two hours tonight just trying to make this photo turn out the way I'm envisioning it.

I did not envision it orange.

Or bright.

Or tropical looking.

I pictured it darker. And more ethereal. Way more ethereal.  Aaaaargh. I'll be back at the drawing board tomorrow night.

I'm too tired to work on it anymore.

~~~~~~~~~~

I bought lots of flowers yesterday. Sissy and I stopped at a local flower and plant place and got lots of perennials, a flat of annuals, and some herbs for my herb garden.

Er, I mean the Man's herb garden.

I had to branch out and buy some red flowering plants, and some white ones, and some yellow ones. I really wanted to buy the pink and purple ones, but I'm not allowed.

Mom commented a few days ago that all the flowers blooming in our yard right now are pink or purple. And we need other colors.

I took that as a hint not to buy any more pink or purple flowers.

~~~~~~~~~~

Eeek. The strawberry plants are taking over the garden. The Man had no idea they would grow as good as they are, or spread as far as they have. We have to move them and get them out of the garden. He's afraid they're going to take over. Kind of like an alien species.

Speaking of taking over, we have this horrible stuff growing in our grass called tick-me-off weed. Well, that's not its real name. 

Its real name is stinkweed. No, that's not its real name either.

It's called chickweed. And it's everywhere. It's horrible.

I think our two year lawn plan is going to be a five year lawn plan.

We need professionals.


Monday, May 16, 2011

A Lesson in Social Skills, otherwise known as "Prom"

She was absolutely lovely for their prom.

He was dapper and poised.

The Man and I invited P and his parents to our home for photos before the prom-goers gathered at the town green. It's a tradition in our town for prom-goers to meet on the town green, at the gazebo, and take lots of photos with their dates and their friends. And the limos. Don't forget the photos of them lined up in front of the limos.

It was a wonderfully sunny day. And warm. Which was a good thing since most of the young ladies had on barely there dresses. 
Meet Bond, James Bond. Junior, that is.

Doesn't he look nice in his tuxedo?

They had a wee bit of trouble getting his boutonniere to pin onto his jacket. I had to help pin it. P handed me the pin with trembling hands.

I mentioned this to the Man as we were driving back from the town green after all the pre-prom picture taking was over.

He looked at me incredously. "Of course he was nervous. He came over to pick up a pretty girl for their first date. Which is the PROM, for gosh sake. He's dressed in a suit he doesn't really want to be wearing. Meeting her parents for the first time. And dragging his parents along with him. I'd be throwing up, if I was him."

Oh. I didn't think of it that way. 

Other than the trembling hands giving me the pin, he looked cool as a cucumber.

The Man and I were very happy with our daughter's choice of prom date. He was poised, well-mannered, shook our hands with a firm grasp and calmly introduced himself to us. All in all, a very nice young man.
K is used to being in front of the camera for me so she had no trouble smiling pretty in all the pictures. He was a little more hesitant. I had a hard time coaxing a smile out of him.

Until I told them to look at each other.

Then he started smiling.

By the way, this is a great tip. Tell a couple to look at each other and they almost always start smiling. And if you're trying to get friends to smile, tell them you don't want them to smile. And to be very serious. Guaranteed laughter every time. Start clicking right away and you'll get some fantastic shots.
The town green was a mob scene. You can kind of see that in the photo above and the photo below. It was a fun time, chasing these two around, trying to get pictures of them and their friends. It was like trying to keep kittens in a box. We'd gather three or four friends, and while we were searching for other friends to throw in the picture, the initial friends would scatter.

Ridiculous. 

But I have lots more pictures from that night.

I'm only showing you my absolute favorites. And I haven't shown you any of K with all her friends.

My goodness, I only have so much time to blog tonight.
And here is my absolute favorite shot of the night. 

I have no idea what they were looking at, maybe his mom or dad standing near me with a camera. 

But I love the look on their faces, especially K's.

Just beautiful.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Night

School years always seem to close with a flurry of activity. Especially when your child becomes an upperclassman.

ACTs. SATs. Prom. Banquets for this, that, and the other. Awards ceremonies for the other, that, and this.

And this year, a National Honor Society induction.
Her dad and I were so very pleased with her tonight.

She performs well in school. Hours of homework each night. Honor Roll student. Top of her class. Member of our local ambulance and an MRT - the high school members help man the ambulance during the day. Vacation Bible School volunteer. Children's Church leader for elementary school children. Vocalist on the worship team at church. Student Council. Special education classroom volunteer. Color Guard. 

Honestly, I don't know how she does it all.

Or how we drove her to everything. That's a lot of miles.

She works hard. It's so good to see her rewarded for all that hard work.

Way to go, K. And way-to-go to the rest of the inductees tonight. They're all hard workers.
You know what I've noticed about blurry flower photos?

They can make not-so-pretty flowers look beautiful. Especially ones that have gone past their prime.

Maybe there's something to that.

Looking at something with a slightly different focus can make it look better.

~~~~~~~~~~

Sitting here blogging and watching this movie:


Fantastic movie. One of my favorites books of the Bible. Esther.

And some of my favorite passages are in this book: 

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

One Night with the King. Watch it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring flinging by....


Lilac fragrance lingers in the air right now since they are almost in full bloom.


The Man pruned them ferociously last fall and it worked well.


We. have. so. many. lilac. blooms.


Canning jars and vases lined up, waiting to be filled with these glorious blooms. Tomorrow morning I'm harvesting as many as I can to bring in and perfume my home.


Do you remember picking lilacs and bringing them to school to give to your teacher? We used to pick a bunch and wrap a wet paper towel around the stems and then aluminum foil around that, climb on the bus and hope they made it to school before someone sat on them or broke them. I think every teacher had a big bouquet of lilacs on her desk. 


I loved walking into classrooms and smelling lilacs.
J's plant that he gave me for Momma's Day. It looks so pretty on the periwinkle chair.

I think I paid two or three dollars for that chair at the thrift store this past winter. All it needs is a little sanding to age it a bit and maybe a glaze, if I have the time.
Almost gone. The tulips are throwing their petals wide open right now, almost flinging themselves out in a blaze of color. Their edges are curling and there are only a few left that close up tight when the sun starts to go down.

The rest of them stand tall, petals dropped here and there at the base of their stems.

I really don't like it when spring flowers go past. I miss them. And I'm reminded of how fast time is passing.

Please slow down, Mr. Time. You're always in a rush.
The sun was fading and a lone dandelion seed head was lighting up so nicely.

I know. They're weeds.

But I like them.

*Sigh. Day is done.

~~~~~~~~~~

A patron asked for a book this morning, at the library. He was looking for the third book in a Star Wars series and the title was "Darth Bane".

I wrote up a request slip, went to put it in the purchasing drawer, looked down at it and started giggling.

I wrote, "Darth Babe".

Whew. Good thing I looked down. I can only imagine my director's face as she searched for "Darth Babe".