Archive | August, 2009

The great community of Red Rock

31 Aug

As most of you know, my sister and I celebrated our 25th birthday this past Thursday. Since we have such a large and extended family, we usually end up having a birthday weekend. Nice, right? (My pants beg to differ…too much cake!) Today we headed to the small community of Red Rock, just outside of Sylvester, GA, to grill hamburgers with my dad’s side of the family and generally act uncouth.

I’m going to split up our afternoon at my grandparent’s over a couple of days since it was packed full of excitement and interesting moments. As my dad rolled the grill from under the oak tree by the pasture fence, Jordan loaded up the kids into my grandfather’s golf cart and set out on a scenic tour of the yard, tractors & cows. (My grandparents live on a farm…if you haven’t caught on) The rest of us circled around an industrial sized shop fan and yelled over the hum of the swirling blades about what we had all been up to lately. Off in the distance you could hear the screams and excited laughter of the kids going 5mph down my grandparent’s drive way. The speed was almost too much for them to bear. ;)

Once the kids were done with their ride, Wren and I got behind the wheel and set off to “re-live our childhood.” Wren took me on a danger filled ride around the front yard, dodging a cedar tree and swerving around a small garden gnome that was holding a carrot. Next she took me out on the open road, literally, so we could pay a visit to my Uncle’s house. His house is next to my grandmother’s, though a large cotton field separates their houses. I was the designated “rear view mirror” and Wren the “car dodger.” We mostly spent the trip in the lane of on coming traffic, so we could see a car if it were to sneak up on us. We made it to my Uncle’s house in one piece and immediately turned around to tempt fate once more on the way back to my grandmother’s house. As we neared her driveway I turned around and saw a car coming for us. I suddenly felt like a mobster and wished that I had a tommy gun in hand. With a mixture of terror and laughter I yelled out, “Wren, they’re gaining on us!” We both cackled to the point we almost cried as we made a sharp, left turn into the driveway and away from the Buick that was hot on our tail. To finish off the golf cart mayhem, we put the cart in reverse and turned doughnuts in the driveway. Good times…good times. :D

Tune in tomorrow for more tales from Red Rock.

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Tortilla Terrific

30 Aug

Today was a day of firsts at our house. I baked & iced my first cake all by myself. Awesomeness. It was fairly decent looking and tasted fabulous. *patting myself on my back* I only had a slight melt down when the icing wasn’t working for me. *wink* Well, not a melt down really, but tension was running high in the kitchen during the icing process. I think after another cake or two I’ll have my technique down pat. :)

Jordan has been into Mexican recipes here lately. We’re planning on busting out some authentic Tex-Mex here soon and he’s been dying to try his hand at some homemade tortillas. So, at 9:45pm we set out to make some. After a quick trip to the grocery store for some more baking powder, we set to it. The dough making process was going well until it came time to heat the pan. I was leery of setting my cast iron skillet on high as the directions instructed, and I was soon rewarded with a smoke filled house and a ruined skillet. My poor skillet. As I type, it is sitting burnt and rejected in my carport…smoldering over the fact that it was shown up by a newer, more flashy skillet. I’m planning a memorial service for tomorrow. After the skillet and temperature issues were fixed, we were turning out fresh tortillas at lightening speed. I was rolling them out and Jordan was cooking them. They are delicious!! Nothing beats a fresh tortilla. I will never buy pre-packed tortillas again. We have already inhaled half of the tortillas we made and are anxiously awaited the morning when our consciences will allow us to eat more. Jordan is already reading up on corn tortillas and I am sure that I’ll be picking up some Masa Harina tomorrow. Oh Mexico, you are good to us.

Highschool, it’s not for the weak of heart

28 Aug

I discovered something today while I was eating lunch. I had stopped by TJ Maxx on my way home because I had a gift card that was dying to be spent. Unfortunately, I did not find anything worthy of my card during the 5 minutes I was in the store. ;) So I rushed home, hoping that the dark skies overhead would not open up before I got home. (My windshield wipers are substandard to say the least…*wink*) Once I got home and got my fix of Denny love, Jordan & I headed out to Subway…because we like to eat fresh. After waiting far too long for a simple sandwich, we sat down and tried to eat as quickly as possible before I ran out of time. We had just gotten seated when what seemed like half of the Westover High senior class entered to get their sub on. Their close proximity to our table reminded me of how much I hated high school and just how awkward I had felt in high school. I thought the awkwardness and unease was just because of my age at the time I was in high school, but I soon discovered it was any relation to a High School that made me feel that way. Suddenly I was wondering if my hair looked okay and if I had any bread stuck in my teeth. Who knew a group of scrawny, hormonal teenagers could create such anxiety in me. We finished our subs quickly and counted ourselves lucky that we were past that stage in life and we that we were able to escape the judgemental stares of the high school students. Ick.

Dude, it’s my birthday

28 Aug
This morning Jaden came into my bedroom and asked me what day it was. I told her that it was Thursday, August 27th. I then waited for her to wish me “Happy Birthday,” instead she lamented over the fact that she was wearing the wrong underwear. She has some of the day-of-the-week underwear and evidently had neglected to put on the “Thursday” pair. She rushed out of my room without another word to say. Thanks, Jaden. ;)
The work day passed by slowly, with the thought of chocolate cake that evening getting me through. After work we all headed over to my mom’s for shrimp scampi, cheddar biscuits and salad with some chocolate cake for dessert. Mmm!

I am under the impression that your body realizes when it’s your birthday and just ignores the influx of calorie consumption that day…kind of like a freebie. So I ate until I could hold no more. I was miserable, but I had a lot of fun getting there. :)

After cooking the shrimp scampi, I discovered the my mom had a bit of Pinot Grigio left over. Since she didn’t have a re-cork to seal the bottle, Jordan & I were kind enough to take care of it for her. ;) Mmm, Pinot Grigio in a Halloween cup…the only way to experience it.

Of course, once the meal was done, Wren got a hold of the camera and started taking “candid” shots of everyone:

Hey, my nose itched!

…Jaden put on her party hat…

…The cake, complete with tie-dye candles was prepared…

…Wren & I shared a little inside joke…
…blew out our candles (take 2!)…

…and passed out the cake.

Afterwards, Wren & I opened our gifts and ooo’d and ahh’d over them for the rest of the evening. :)

Thank you to everyone for all of the birthday wishes and gifts. It was a fabulous 25th birthday!

The Thorny Beast

26 Aug

After a 4 day break, I am back and hopefully have re-acquired my blogging mojo. Between work, cooking, cleaning, homework & laundry I have find myself exhausted at the end of the day and just plain not in the mood to do anything other than sleep.

I have, however, been able to clean, fold & put away all of my towels, if that makes you feel any better. I have a lot of towels, which is convenient. You can go forever without have to wash towels. Eventually I end up going to the linen closet to grab and towels to find that it is bare. *sigh* Then comes the long and tedious task of doing load after load of towels.

Also during my absence, I was able to tackle these two, tall and thorny things growing out of my bushes at the edge of my back yard. I’m not sure what they are, only that the have thorns the size of nails and my hedge clippers have a hard time cutting threw them. I like to think of it as kudzu’s evil cousin. Yesterday I trotted out to the bushes with my shears in hand to take on the beast. I was “smart” and decided to wear my Crocs…which are strictly used for yard cleaning purposes. I hacked down one tall shoot of the thorn-covered stalk, tossed it on the ground at my feet and went on to cut down the next. FYI: If you happen to have this hideous weed in your yard, do NOT step on it while wearing Crocs. The blasted thing went threw my shoe and into my toe which resulted in a lot of hopping and screaming. The little piggy who decided to stay home is not at all happy today.

The rest of my hedges needed to be cut, but I’m still waiting for my doctor to give me the go ahead, so I decided to wait. I did, however, make note that my bushes grow an inch per week whereas my neighbor with the immaculate yard has bushes that never grow. They stay perfectly shaped and trimmed all year. (I’m pretty sure that his “green thumb” has magical powers) I’ve tried talking to my bushes when I trim them, asking them to please take things slowly and not get in too big of a rush to grow, but they never listen. (Really, I do talk to them…I figure if I’m swinging at them with two, sharp blades that they’d appreciate a kind voice) Needless to say, I think that they are deaf.

Cake? Let’s not talk about it

21 Aug

Last night I spent three hours making a simple cake. That was almost as painful to type as it was to experience.

I sat at supper, thinking about how I’d like to make a nice dessert for my family. I then remembered that I had the ultimate coconut cake recipe in my recipe box. (Side note, whenever I type the word “recipe,” I sound it out in my head like this: Re-see-pee) Anyway, after I finished eating, I hopped up to make a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up a few items for the cake. Four stores later and several whispered expletives, I finally got what I needed. My “quick trip” only took an hour. Geez, I’d hate to know what I lengthy trip for me would be like.

By the time I got home to start the cooking process, I was….well, irritable at best. The cake baking step went well, much to my nerve’s delight. Then came the icing. My cool whip was too frozen and the condensed milk to cool whip ratio was all wrong. (Who knew that cool whip could get too frozen? Not me.) To salvage the icing/topping I had to get more cool whip to thicken it back up. This meant that I needed more cool whip. Thankfully Jordan deciphered the look of desperation in my eyes and ran to the store for me. Fifth trip to the store and the icing/topping was still not the proper consistency. At this point I felt that it was imperative to consider the safety of my family and let the cake chill in the fridge, per the directions of the recipe.

Jordan was a trooper. Despite my mood and frenzied activities in the kitchen, he was cool as a cucumber. Kudos, dear. :)

After the cake fiasco was over I climbed into bed, hoping to sleep soundly and to not dream of cake. That’s when the storm rolled in. I then spent the next twenty minutes trying to convince Jordan to let Denny come sleep with us. Surely he was scared to death. (Okay, I know he’s a dog, but I think of him as my furry child) Jordan reasoned with me and we settled on putting him in the living room, away from the windows so the storm wouldn’t “frighten” him. (There was much eye rolling coming from Jordan at this point)

At the end of the day I had a cake with runny icing and a whimpering dog which was now within earshot of out bedroom. Ahhh. Life is good. ;)

Denny, the dog casanova

20 Aug

Sorry folks, I know that this is a little late. Just pretend that the time stamps reads as 08/19/09. It’s not for lack of time to write,but just lack of decent information to write about. Yesterday was d-u-l-l. Things didn’t get interesting until late last night, after the kids had gone to bed and I’d stared at the screen for an hour, willing something interesting to pop into my head. Alas, my neurons had ceased firing and had gone to bed early. After an unsuccessful hour had past, I decided to give up and lay on the floor with Denny. This is when it got interesting. I’d been glancing at him from over the top of my laptop screen for the past hour, feeling sorry for him. He looked so lonely…desperate for attention. I willingly obliged and curled up next to him. Denny, seeing that his ploy had worked, sprung to life and began biting all the tender parts he could find on me. FYI, Denny, I’m not a dog. I’m a human being and we do not bite for fun. After several minutes of harassment, I bit back. He looked at me like I had committed the ultimate sin…and I felt guilty for a few short seconds before he renewed his assault on me. This is why we keep a large comforter lying around…for safety. Mind you, Denny isn’t being vicious, he’s just playing in his own way. So I dove for cover and waited for him to find his way in. He loves this. I guess he’s the dog and I’m the badger…I’m not really sure. I eventually crawled out from under my shelter to give him some love once he’d calmed down. Denny took this a different way and proceeded to “put the moves” on me. The horror…doesn’t he realize that I’m his mother? (Well, in a way) So, for my birthday next week, I will be getting my dog neutered. Yea for me. ;)