Monday, March 30, 2009
Thursday night, I went to dinner with a couple of the other neighborhood moms. It was a really good night out, and I am starting to feel less like an outsider, so that's definitely a good thing. Friday, I made sure Daphne took an early nap so she could finally play in the cul de sac with the other kids after school. I took her down there and her little Peanut eyes got huge when she saw all the kids with their scooters and sidewalk chalk and bubble machines. Then her friend Lauren, a big kindergartener, came running up going, "Daphne! Daphne!" and that made me almost cry. We spent a good hour and a half outside, with kids for her to play with and grown-ups for me to talk to. I actually know every neighbor on my block, except for one, by name. It took years to meet just a handful of people in my old neighborhood.
Speaking of neighbors, below is a picture of someone who actually lives in my back yard under our potting shed:
So cute, huh? It is a groundhog (which, by the way, I found out is the same thing as a woodchuck). At first we thought we had a skunk living there, so this was a very pleasant surprise. Since I am the one who saw it first, I get to think of the name. Daphne wants to name it Snoopy. Kev and Jeff want to call it "Chickens" (long story). I would prefer something that sorta goes with Pancho, like maybe Lefty or Cisco or Consuela, but I have a feeling Snoopy is gonna stick. You learn to pick your battles with the Peanut. Anyway, you should see this little guy run. He (she?) is really fast! I will try to get it on video sometime if I can.
Jeff was here over the weekend, and treated us to a Hibachi dinner Friday night. Those guys are so impressive. And the food was really tasty. Saturday, we all went to lunch at the Hamburg Doner (aka the Mighty Midget), which was having a one-year anniversary celebration. The best part about that was the free delicious split pea soup they were giving away on the patio. Their regular house-band, Dave Pepper, was playing, and Daphne did her best to request a Kinks song, but they couldn't hear her tiny voice. Oddly enough, they played a Kinks song anyway. Not the one she asked for, but it worked. It would have been more fun if it hadn't been raining.
Sunday, we went on a breakfast adventure that involved a long long drive, but ended up about a block from home. Another long story. After that, Kev went to buy his new birthday bike while the rest of us napped.
Cool bike, isn't it? Not quite as cool as mine, but pretty dang close. Of course, Kev was excited when he brought it home, and wanted to go for a family bike ride. But as he was hooking up the Burley, it started to rain. The bad news is, it was a pretty short and unpleasant ride. The good news is, I finally heard thunder in Virginia. We sat on the porch and enjoyed the storm, which was very short, and then it was puddle jumping time for Daphne, while I took some post-storm pictures of the increasingly pretty things blooming in the yard. I am glad that Snoopy/Chickens/Lefty had a safe place to ride out the storm.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
This morning, Daphne was eating breakfast. She suddenly started talking about some place that has "...orange carousels, and blue carousels, and green carousels, and it's aMAZing!" So I asked her, "Where is this place?" And without even a second's pause, she said, "New Jersey." Hmm.
We decided she should paint it. Please press "play."
Now, I have only been on the Jersey turnpike, so I can't really say for sure, but I don't think anywhere in New Jersey could possibly be this beautiful. I think I may write the Governer and see if he'd like to hire Daphne for a little PR work.
I actually did use the buttermilk to make biscuits, but they weren't really that great. Just a vehicle for the butter, really. I whipped some honey into the butter, which was good. Next time I will probably put in some honey and cinnamon and make pop-overs to put it on. Mmmmm...
(Hint: Just make a little bit and use it up quickly. If you plan to make a lot and keep it, you have to get all the water out or it will turn rancid. Loads of info on butter-making on the internet if you Google).
One of the nice things about moving to a new house in the winter is that your yard in the spring is a total surprise. This tree is growing in my front yard. I have no idea what it is. It has just been sitting there since we moved in, completely bare, and then suddenly THIS happened. It's so pretty. I feel kinda dumb not knowing what it is. I have been seeing these trees everywhere, so it must be pretty common. So let me know if you know what it is. There might even be a prize.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
This is so true. Every single bit. Thanks, Brad. Thanks, The Sneeze. And thanks, guy who composed and filmed this greatness.
It's the small plastic tub
of good lobster bisque
It's the milk that won't froth
no matter how hard you whisk...
I'm gonna be stuck on this all day.
(PS. You might not like this if you've never actually been to Trader Joe's).
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Then yesterday, Daphne suddenly declared it to be "Lantern Day" (see above, Daphne in her Lantern Day outfit). She gave all her guys pretend baths, and then put teacups on all their heads (below - don't know why the photo is rotated that way, sorry):
and after a short break for Family Band Time, we all watched Dumbo and ate strawberry shortcake. I am really hoping that we can make Lantern Day a yearly tradition. It was fun. Everybody was in a good mood. And we got to have really good food on Lantern Daaaayyy.
Friday, March 13, 2009
By the way, I just found out that Domino magazine is no more. March is the last issue. Boo hoo.
- I love the color,
- I made (knit) it myself,
- it represents Fall,
- it reminds me of my good friend Emily who helped me with the pattern,
- it is made from alpaca (soft and not too itchy), and
- it is generally groovy.
It may not be Prada, but it's good enough for me. It will never go out of fashion because it was never actually IN fashion. It is timeless, if you will. I love my spirally scarf.
Here is last night's 70's "casserole concoction" as Kevin decided to call it.
I called it "Chicken Surprise." It wasn't very good, but it wasn't awful. The best part was the bread crumbs. There were a few moments of kitchen panic when I realized I was out of breadcrumbs (this is almost unheard of), but I happened to have a little left-over sourdough loaf, so I made my own in my very under-used food processor. Problem solved! I am sad to say that there is more Chicken Surprise in the fridge, so somebody's going to have to eat it.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Saturday after breakfast, we went to the farmer's market to get eggs, meat, and cheese, and some apple cherry cider. Banjer-Dan was there again with his banjo, playing whatever anyone might ask him to play. Then Jeff headed back to DC and the rest of us went to a craft fair at the rec center.
Sunday we spent the morning outside. Daphne just wanted to dig in the dirt. At least she didn't try to eat any. Then we hooked up the Burley -
- and went for a short bike ride -
After the haircut, I took her to the soft playground in the mall, and we had lunch and rode the carousel. She let me shop a little bit, so I got a couple things for spring.
Friday, March 06, 2009
We just got back from the birthday party. Daphne got to get all dressed up. She was excited. She said, "Mom, I am going to make some new friends at this party!" But she spent a lot of the time hiding because the party guests were mostly loud shouty boys brandishing swords. Plastic ones, but still dangerous. It was a knights and princesses party. Luckily, her friend Lauren was there and of course there was birthday cake to make it all worthwhile. And to my great joy, the birthday cake was actually CUPcakes, so there were no candle-blowing germs for me to fret about.
I am now completely exhausted, and Daphne is all wired on cupcakes and juice. I am about to attempt naptime, but I'm expecting a battle. At least there won't be swords.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Here are a few LRHS quick-hits:
Daphne's new favorite band is the Kinks. She loves them. Her favorite song is Sunny Afternoon. We had a 20 minute conversation the other day trying to answer the question: Why is there a big fat mamma trying to break that guy? Today, she decided that King Street (the main drag in Leesburg) should be called Kinks Street, and she actually cried when I told her I wasn't allowed to change the names of streets. She also likes Hank. (Williams). (Senior). Daphne is cool.
Tomorrow I am taking her to a birthday party. I am totally freaked out about the kids blowing out the candles. I saw this episode of Food Detectives, see, where they proved that birthday cakes are practically dripping with bacteria after the candle-blowing-out ritual. Million Dollar Idea: someone should really invent some kind of removable cake-guard for these situations. I took Daphne to the local pharmacy today, and my nice neighbor, who happens to be the pharmacist, gave her the FluMist, and a lollipop to sweeten the deal. Better safe than sorry. Don't even get me started about library books. I am trying to just let it go.
Tomorrow night, Jeff is coming out from DC to join us for First Friday. Should be a good night out, especially if the nice weather sticks around.
Tonight I am making another recipe from the One Dish Meals cookbook. It is called Mexican Pork Pie. We shall see.
And finally, my goal this weekend is to get the bird feeders hung and filled. Spring is coming, and that means new birds. Gotta be prepared.
Daphne is up from her nap now, so I better go. Maybe we'll play outside for a while. I could totally use a break from Wow Wow Wubbzy.
Monday, March 02, 2009
We did a lot during their visit. Wednesday night, we went to Fireworks again for pizza. Thursday, I stayed home while they went house-hunting in Manassas. Thursday night, they stayed home with Kev and Daphne while I went to my neighbor's house to play Bunco. This was an interesting experience. The group that played is called Junior Women's Club of Loudoun, or something like that. It's a group of women who do community service types of things. So, I may join, but I have to think about it. I think there is an oath and maybe even a candle holding service thing, so I'm not sure it's for me. That being said, the ladies were all really nice and there was good food. When I got home, Jeff and Kevin were debating Communism vs. Capitalism, and my mom had her head down on the table. I sorta wish I'd stayed a little later at the Bunco.
Friday during the day, I went down to Manassas with my mom and Jeff for more house-hunting. Friday night, they babysat so Kev and I could go out. Our big date was a trip to the outlet mall in search of pants, and dinner at a Thai place that adjoins one of the local gas stations. The food was surprisingly delicious! The fact that I was up all night with a sick stomach is probably just a coincidence.
Saturday, I went into DC with my mom and Jeff, while Kev and Daphne had a "Daddy Weekend." (Thank you, Kev!) I had a blast. We got to see a lot of sights and eat really good food and ride the Metro. Mom got tired, but Jeff and I went out after dinner to see Washington after dark. It was COOL. I hadn't seen the Lincoln Memorial yet, and to see it at night was awesome. And if you haven't seen the Korean War memorial, I recommend doing that at night as well. But don't take your McDonald's in there:
The next morning, we ate the free hotel breakfast, and took my mom to see the White House. It is a pretty cool thing to see, even though I had been there before. You can get pretty close to it in the front, so it's easy to get good pictures: