Oh, to be nine again!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Oh, to be nine again!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
This house of ours had a deep, painful void. A place of emptiness... cold, vast and unpleasant. Yes, that's the only way to describe it! Oh, not really, but it makes the story more interesting, don't you think?
In our eating area of the kitchen, we had a wall with a nothingness quality to it. We tried to fill it with plants and then commenced to ignore it's unfinished appearance. We looked for just the right hutch for more than two years. Who knew it could be so difficult to find the right piece of furniture! What we found was either of the wrong style or, more often, the wrong price range. You know that range...way too much!
I had a little time recently and secreted myself away to Topeka and I saw her. At first my mind could not, would not register what I was seeing! There she was and she was perfect. She was newly made in an old style using salvaged wood. So she has a comfortable, well-used patina. I fell deeply in love with her...now what would my husband think?
If she had known the state of her chariot, she may not have agreed to come home with us. Our truck is a classic, a 1975 Ford that was once used to deliver monuments to the local cemeteries. It must have had a life before stone deliveries that involved emergencies judging from the light on top?!?
It's not safe to drive this particular truck more than 55 miles an hour, but we were in no hurry. My boys refuse to ride in it anywhere beyond town for fear a door will fall off. We brushed all this aside because our hutch needs to come home.
A moment to talk about the store where we found this hutch: Gallery Classics. It's a wonderful store filled with Belgian antiques and all manner of gorgeous house decorating accessories. If you are in Topeka or even the state of Kansas, you may want to stop in at this store. I know it's not the first time I've told you to drive for hours for something, but if you've taken my advice and had some Ted Drewes custard, you'll be loading up this weekend to visit Gallery Classics. I just know it!
We gently laid her better half in the truck, carefully strapped her in and headed home. We nearly killed me carrying her into the house. I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to carrying furniture, even though my incredibly patient husband has the heavy end.
Once we got her positioned, we stood back and thought...just right. It will probably take years to fill her shelves, but that's ok, as I imagine the collection of keepsakes will eventually tell our family story.
"Honey, about those curtains."
I think I heard groaning.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Shhh... please don't tell this profusion of flowers it's darn near the middle of October!
And what of these beauties...they've been fooled into thinking it's still August.
Those tall grasses! They're just too smart, spurting out their fall seed pods. Yet they are unmistakably retaining a summery green glow.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
You may have noticed a trend in my cooking...lots of pasta, red sauce and fresh ingredients (where possible). It's because these foods are comforting to me. Strange, I know. They come warm out of the skillet or the oven (in the case of the dish below), they taste great, they're filling and they're healthy. I can't help it...knowing I'm responsible for feeding the four men in my house leads me to spend a lot of time trying to find healthy, tasty foods.
Some of my garden plants this summer were teeny, tiny compared with normal growth. My zucchini plant was one and it didn't produce any harvestable veggies until the very end of the season. After sauteing a couple and a few chilly nights, it was time for some comfort food!
Pasta Bake with Zuccini
1 16 oz. box of Ziti, Mostociolli or Penne (I only use about 3/4 a box)
1 lb. ground beef
Red Sauce (in a hurry, Newman's Own Basil and Tomato is delish)
4-6 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesian Cheese
A Zucchini, chopped (size based on how well your family likes zucchini, my theory is smaller is less noticeable...)
Start your pasta a-cookin'. As you can see I throw in whatever I've got.
While the pasta is cooking, brown the ground beef, pour off the grease and add your tomato sauce. Spice her up if you like. Add your zucchini for a minute or two, just to soften. The zucchini will finish cooking in the oven.
Mix the sauce together with your noodles.
Dump the whole she-bang into a casserole dish.
Shread some mozzeralla over the top and sprinkle with Parmesian. Cover with foil and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until slightly bubbly and serve. Yummmmm-O.
Now that's comfort food!
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
It's possibly a hormonal imbalance??? I'm so relieved. I was beginning to think I had early brain atrophy. As I've mentioned before I'm taking some classes at a nearby college and I've been studying for a midterm. I read a practice problem, calculate the answer and check to see if I'm right. My forehead is beginning to hurt from thunking it down on the table after each wrong answer. In almost every case, my reasoning has gone haywire and I've left out a step or two.
Well, that dreaded end of the monthly cycle has passed, so I'm hoping my hormones and my brain power are on the upswing... and fast. My test is tomorrow. Please root for me gals (and guys)!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
A parade filled with chants of books, novels and reading.
The merry group walked down the mainstreet of Emporia to the auditorium where the honored authors would speak. Speak they did. Weaving tales of childhood days curled up with wonderful books, early attempts at writing and finally success. The authors added stories of the "real" people, animals and places that inspired the books they've written.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
With much anticipation we put in a vegetable garden complete with raised beds and a wind-blocking wall. We've marveled all summer at the bounty.
The first signs of warm weather brought out the neighborhood buddies to wrestle around.
An early season basketball game got the boys fired up.
More fun was had this summer in the canoe on the backyard pond. Not only this hual of fish, but swimming, splashing and general mayhem. Oh, and how could I forget...the leeches!
Aaaah! The evenings of baseball have now been replaced with evenings of football. I have a deep appreciation for baseball's non-contact element. It's also noteworthy, in that it's reminiscent of my youth, when I frequently attended Cardinal Baseball games in St. Louis. Now, it's my boys playing which beats watching the pros ANY day.
We enjoyed watching our nephew, Marshall, play Lacrosse. Youngest longingly watched and wished to move in with his cousins so he, too, could play.
As for me and enjoying a summer evening with my girlfriends, no worries there, we'll just move those antics right inside!
How can we not enjoy the dog days of summer??? However, in the meantime, we turn our attention to those unique cold weather activities that conjure memories, comfort and fun. For me, it's making hearty foods like soups and stews, and anything requiring the use of the toasty oven. It's fires in the fireplace. It's seed catalogs in January and of course, the holidays and all the tradition and...craziness that goes along. Summer, until we meet again...