Thursday, August 30, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 25

First the cars came out to vroom, proving to me that there is still some childhood left in these growing bodies. However, just in case I wasn't convinced, the Green Machine was requested last week! Oh Happy Day! I think this fine piece of equipment is now nine years old, and hasn't seen the light of day in over four years.
My son had his friends over for dinner while the power was out, (since I happened to be the one who had just bought a huge package of ground beef to make burgers on the grill, and wasn't sure how long my refrigerator would be down). The mention of the Green Machine was met with cheers from the guys. The next thing I knew, the boy and I were hauling it out of the basement. It made me happy that I am a pack rat!
I was happy to be outside and pleased that everyone was careful and took turns!
Having the electronics turned off and enjoying the simple things made me happy.
It made me happy that the few turnovers were met with much laughter and no injuries.

Stop by Leigh's place to see what made other people happy!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Random recipes

So many things, so little brain power left to form complete thoughts! I've been dabbling with some insomnia lately, not a lot, but enough to know that I do not find it enjoyable. I have also been reminded how strongly I gravitate towards the kitchen when I am feeling stressed. Here, I'll show you...
Zucchini relish? Sure, why not?
Dill pickles. Hope they are good. I will not know, as I do not like them Sam I Am.
Bread & Butter pickles. Crinkle cut for extra pizazz this year!
The boy says this tomato had some balls showing up here (on salsa day, no less).
Not a terribly effective defense against onion vapor, but desperate times...
22 jars of salsa on the counter, 22 jars of salsa...
Maybe three batches of cupcakes weren't necessary for two girls to decorate.
Mmmmm...cheeseburger. 12 year old girls are clever!
I really need to get to bed, and I think this teaser deserves its own post...
Oh yes, there will be bacon!

Thanks to Stacy for dishing out the random!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 24

If a recipe says to broil something, I am not making it. I have no level of comfort with that setting on my oven. Quite frankly, the gas grill is not my friend either. The ingredient yeast used to frighten me off, until the day I cracked my big girl knuckles and actually kneaded some homemade bread. Tomatillos were another ingredient that put any otherwise seemingly delightful dish on the do not attempt list, simply because I did not know what lied beneath the festive wrapping.
Oh, so a tomatillo is a giftwrapped tomato...sort of.
My father's kitchen is a safe haven from wayward cuts of meat, high oven temperatures, and scary vegetables. Sure, those things all lurk there, but he can ward away frightening directions with a wave of his wooden spoon. When I forwarded a recipe for him to try that contained tomatillos, he replied that he enjoyed them and we would make the dish during our weekend visit. It makes me happy to be in Dad's kitchen.
I try not to doubt the guy who worked for a butcher starting at age 14. All steaks are not equal.
 I hope there was a lot on your plate that made you happy this week.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Before I left the house today, I specifically asked that the garbage and other odds and ends on the kitchen counter be picked up. When I returned, the same little piles were winking at me as if they had won. I made a reminder announcement, complete with pointing gestures. The boy enthusiastically replied "Oh, THAT crap? I wasn't sure what you meant." I assured him that, in the future, I would not be disappointed to find that any junk on the counter had been dealt with.

When I walked onto the front porch, I saw this little arrangement...
So now we are camouflaging dirty dishes?
I do not think my niece was the guilty party, but something seems a little shady in her getaway scene.
What's in the purse lady?
Nobody is fessing up to this crime against blue people...
Who hates the Blue Man Group?
The cars are still vrooming, and you will be happy to know that green efforts are being made with the addition of a Prius.
I think this one makes more noise on the track than its real life counterpart does on a highway.
I honestly don't know what a chocolate covered cherry smells like. Indulgent? Maybe? But do I really want to be eat the room deodorizer?
Mmmmmm, toxic gel.
Well, the New York State Fair opens across town this week. I read that it was recently named one of the best state fairs. I bet it was in the top 50. (OK, I admit, it was supposedly in the top 5.) In case the usual cast of deep fried food offerings wasn't promising to clog your arteries tight enough, this year there has already been talk of the Big Kahuna Donut Dog. It will be a hot dog wrapped in bacon served in a maple glazed doughnut, instead of a bun. There's no word from the fair on the amount of cholesterol in the meal. (I am pretty sure if you are ordering it, you've left your Weight Watchers' point conversion chart and the low cholesterol diet sheet your doctor gave you at home on the counter.) There is a wine tent at the Fair as well. Speaking of which, make sure to see what randomness Stacy has going on this week!


You can also check out her fabulous wine selections here!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 23

While keeping a small tear at bay, I mentioned last week that this was the first summer in a long time that nobody vroomed cars in our driveway. My daughter's response was that summer wasn't over yet. A few days ago she headed to the basement to get her supplies.
Decisions, decisions. Who's first?
This is a winners' circle of sorts.
This van has been delivering pizzas for over 25 years, and was passed down by my brothers.
I remember a day when those cars looked bigger in those hands.
Call in the track sweeper!
It makes me happy that this activity has stood the test of time. The tracks are my husband's from when he was little, my late grandfather built the ramp for my son many years ago. The cars are a combination of hand me downs, grocery store bribes to make it through the checkout in one piece (can't beat the ninety-nine cent price), gifts and some favorite characters. The designs still look pretty much the same, but the thought process that goes in to each one seems more involved with greater purpose. There is much lively discussion between my two kids. They have yet to humor me with the loop the loop this year, as their goals are different, but we still have three weeks before school starts.

I know these tracks will gather a great deal of dust in the near future, but I am so happy they made an appearance this year. It never fails to attract interest from any age, and has inspired at least two other families to start their own collections.

Visit Leigh to see what made other folks happy this past week!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Random Reminder

I am giving you all plenty of notice, ten weeks to be exact, that my birthday is coming. I realize I may have missed out on the Baby Babu opportunity, so I wanted to make sure to allow plenty of time for shipping on either of these gems. Never underestimate the inspiration the world's tiniest monkeys can create...
Poseable limbs? Will wonders never cease?
Forget getting jewelry for me to wear, as Cleo-cat-tra is rocking the bling like nobody's business...
All hail, indeed!
I am a little concerned that our year is going to have fewer days, but as least my fortune grants me a full year's worth of wishes...
OK, I admit that my first thought was that the Chinese calendar was different. How could a cookie have a typo?
We are going through a little bit of Olympic withdrawal here at the homestead, but at least we have this gal to remind us of how lazy we were in the name of supporting our country...
My daughter and I noticed the woman driving behind us taking photos of our van flair. I hope she was amused, and that she is not currently making fun of me on her blog...
As if I'm not really the Darth of this star

I think that's all I have this week. I might have lost a chunk of time reading the Hunger Games trilogy over the past five days. Now the withdrawal beings...

I bet Stacy has something going on over at her place to entertain us!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Next at bat

This is a recent exchange of texts between the husband and I that had me ready to run home to get the popcorn ready for the epic adventure tale I was surely to be regaled with.

Husband: Had to deal with a (barely) live bat in the office this morning.

Me: Your own office? I was right around the corner. [Meaning I was near his office building...and so ready to lend my expertise.]

Husband: In our common area.
Me: And you were the bravest around?

Husband: Uh, something like that.

Me: I sure hope you get a yea award.

While I sensed that my efforts were to be put to shame for my past experience with an indoor bat , I was still glad that our dynamic duo proved competent. I called for silence on the couch later that evening while we all gathered round as Father began his recap. (Of course I am allowed to interrupt because no detail can remain unknown and no seemingly witty comment can go unspoken.)

Apparently as he was walking from point A to point B at work, he saw something on the ground that was grey and furry. 

"Did you call my grandmother to ask her opinion on all possible options?" 

(Brief pause and that look.)

His first thought was that it was a mouse, until he noticed the pointy ears. The animal's health status did not appear good. He mentioned his finding to a woman in the nearby office. She was not pleased.

"Did she scream?" 

"Not quite, but almost."

My blood was starting to really get pumping, as I knew my mild mannered husband was about to get to the part where he donned his cape and became the office hero. I excitedly asked what he did next.

"I put a piece of paper over the bat and maintenance was called."

"Paper? You covered it?"

"Yes, that was the woman's request."

"Huh?" (starting to feel deflated) "So did you label the paper so people knew not to lift it?"

"No, but somebody else did when it was necessary."


"Yeah, somebody almost stepped on it."

I was not impressed. Further discussion revealed that the injured bat managed to scoot out from under the paper a little bit, prompting someone to put a trash can over it.

"Yes! Why wasn't that done to begin with? So how did they manage actually removing the bat?" (I needed to know if it in any way resembled my own experience, or if I could at least pick up some pointers.)

"Oh, I don't know, it was gone when I got back from my meeting."

"So let me get this straight, your text that you dealt with a bat basically amounted to you putting a piece of paper over it?"

"I guess so."

"I feel tricked! I was led to believe that this was going to be some great story that I could perhaps even blog about. You didn't even take a picture did you?"

At this point my son suggested I just "embellish a bit", but I told him there still wasn't really much to work with. I am just finding comfort in the fact that I clearly do not have to turn over my Section 5 Category: Flying Rodent Badge of Courage Honor Good Enough Effort!

I do need to mention what a good sport my husband was when I called him just now to confirm how he knew it wasn't a mouse. I also reviewed that his role was the paper and calling maintenance, at which point he admitted that he had someone else make that phone call. This gives a whole new batch of opportunities for me to claim to have "dealt" with something!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

52 Weeks of Happiness - Week 22

It's pickle time!
I am so glad there is a farm stand nearby that I can support when the harvest starts rolling in. The women are always so helpful and patient as I fumble trying to decide what I want to buy, and how much of it. They have never once suggested that it might be a good idea to write down what I use each year. We all know it's true. It makes me happy to stop by Williams Farm in Cicero.
Kirby or pickling cucmbers
I am happy to be trying a different variety of cucumber for the bread and butter pickles this year. (That is easy to say now, but I am sure there will be a few moments of panic.) Hopefully we all learned a lesson from last year's debacle...the one in which someone turned down the temperature in the refrigerator in the garage...where the cucumbers were many frozen cucumbers!

Canning makes me happy because the results are yummy. It also makes me happy because it satisfies that incessant need I have to do something productive every day. I can point to all of the jars on the counter and say "THAT is what I did today".

Visit Leigh to see what is making other people happy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Random pieces

Time to empty out this week's batch of random to make more room in my brain for other important things. We have a lot to cover, so let's get to it with a...
My inner 12 year old thinks the doolittle is funny too. I know I'm not know who you are!
My fifteen year old son's friend brought this to him. I think it speaks for itself.

Darn! My husband is a Bills fan. Otherwise I would clearly have his birthday shopping finished!
Stylish? That was surprisingly not the first word that came to mind.
Ah, summer! Playing outside, throwing a ball around, waving tennis rackets, paddling kayaks...accidents happen. The big threat though is what a Jolly Rancher candy can do if you bend it with your teeth...
He didn't really chip his tooth though. He chipped the filling from when he had previously chipped that tooth.
Can somebody point out any reason why this marketing technique of adventures in cut and paste would work? The selective bold font seems equally as ineffective.
I don't really want to go to a chiropractor that looks like he could crush me like a bug, nor one with a freakishly large head.
So after years of threatening to expand one of our local malls into a tourist destination the, drastically smaller than originally planned, new section opened last week, and the name changed...Good-bye Carousel Mall, hello...
I can only assume your cars are gassed up or your flights have been booked?
Just because... 

Hopefully Stacy will have time to take a break soon from her random reset and cleanup. Stop by to see what random is flying over at her place!