Monday, February 28, 2011

Rainy Monday Wish List

Do I really NEED butter molds?  No.  Do I WANT them?  Heck yes.

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Kathy for winning the LRHS Ten Thousand Views Drawing for Fabulous Prizes!  Check your mailbox during the next couple of weeks for good mail!

Thanks to everyone who commented.  It was really REALLY good to hear from all of you.  Even though I am mostly writing this for Daphne, I'm glad to know that there are a few other people out there who enjoy something or other about this blog.

I have a lot of catching up to do, but I won't be able to get to it now.  Duty calls.  But I'll be back soon.  Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Take THAT, Blogger

Thank you, YouTube.

Who Has Taken My Child?

So, I'm in the kitchen breading some schnitzel, when Daphne calls, "Mom! Come see my show!" So, I look in the playroom, and there is my child, the one who is "just not into princess stuff" and who gets mad if you dare tell her she looks pretty ("I want to look COOL, Mommy"), surrounded by colorful sparkly ribbons, wearing a pink tutu and silver slippers, and twirling around waving a white handkerchief.


"Mom! Watch my Sparkle on Ice show!"


I wish I could show you the video. There is a whole song and dance about "It is so nice, to sparkle on ice..." but blogger isn't letting me post videos for some reason.

Daphne said, "Mom, you wanna know why I'm doing this?"

Yes, please.

"Because everyone needs to be a little bit sparkly every day."

Awesome. I think I'm gonna make a t-shirt of that.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Are there really only three people interested in the Fabulous Prizes I have offered in the "Ten Thousand" post below? I am trying not to let this hurt my feelings. But it is, kinda. And I know there are at least 13 people out there who read this because you are taking the polls. So I am extending the deadline to midnight Friday. Prizes may or may not include music and recipes. Possibly t-shirts. Maybe even Girl Scout cookies. And other. So, comment and win!

President's Day Weekend of Fun

 Well, our big holiday weekend is about to come to a close.
It was a good one.
We got to spend time with my grandma.
We went to breakfast at Eggspectation.

 I made homemade vanilla ice cream
and added smashed up Thin Mints.
 Daphne made a book store for her dogs and
read them a whole story.  By herself.
 Kev painted the dining room.
It is my favorite place in the house.
And my Christmas flowers bloomed! 
Thanks, Uncle Pat.

There was also turtle feeding, couch shopping (failed), hot dogs, a movie (The Town), a Daphne/Daddy date to Sport Bounce, a Northern Flicker sighting, and lots of playing outside.  At the moment, it's cold outside and smells like snow.  Winter's Last Stand.  I am sleepy, and I haven't taken my Project 365 picture for today, so I better go do that.  Hope your weekend was good.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


It is a beautiful day.  I reckon it's at least 68 degrees.  Maybe 70.  Daphne had a friend over, and we all ate lunch outside on the porch. Then the girls played in the yard.  No coats necessary.  No boots.  So great.

Then we walked Daphne's friend home, and on the there and back, we saw mockingbirds, chickadees, a woodpecker, this hawk:

 And this great blue heron:

The birds are here.  And that means spring.  My mom said it might snow on Tuesday.  Impossible.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ten Thousand

Well, I am excited to report that, according to the Blogger Stats Recorder Ticker thing, the LRHS reached 10,000 views yesterday.  I wish I knew who the 10,000th viewer was, but I don't think there is any way to figure that out.  But still, I think this is an occasion worth celebrating with a give-away.  So, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post by midnight Sunday, and you will be entered in a drawing for Fabulous Prizes!  The comment can be about anything you want, but please, no swear words. Yes, you have to leave an actual comment.  That means that lurkers cannot win unless they are willing to reveal themselves.  I don't know exactly what the prizes will be, but they will be pretty good.  There will probably be some Nutella in there.  Good luck, and thanks for reading this stuff.  Winner announced Monday!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Ours was good...all about food. We had planned to go out Saturday night, but our babysitter is on crutches and my parents were out of town for the day, so we decided to celebrate Valentine's Day by cooking together at home.

Saturday night, we had corn and crab bisque. If you know me, you know I love a good bisque, and this one was really good. My first time to use crab, and luckily it worked out well. I didn't take a picture of it because it was pretty boring to look at, but trust me, it didn't taste boring. Recipe here.

But on Sunday, we got fancy, and decided to make boeuf bourguignon. It was definitely a two person recipe. It wasn't hard, it was just time consuming. Lots of steps, lots of different pots and pans. It was very French and very fussy. And it started out with boiled bacon, so we were a little suspicious.
Daphne worked on signing her Valentines, while Kev and I cooked. He was in charge of the meat and I was in charge of the vegetables.
Below is what the French call a "bouquet garni" which is basically a bunch of herbs tied together which is later removed. This is when I first put it in and the meat and vegetables started to simmer in a whole bottle of red wine.
And here we are, a few hours later, herbs removed:
It really was delicious. Worth all the time and French fussiness. But I guess if you pour a whole bottle of wine on just about anything and then cook it for four hours, it's gonna be pretty good. Daphne even liked it, and we'll get at least one more meal out of it. Here is the recipe, which we stuck to almost exactly, except we added some sherry because the sauce seemed to need something sweet. We served it with Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta, from the Pioneer Woman (recipe here). The French would probably not be too happy about that. But it was good, and I think it worked with the beef. A little bit French countryside, a little bit Oklahoma ranch. Works for me. We'll probably have the leftovers over pappardelle pasta. I think the traditional choice is potatoes, but that seemed a little boring to me.

Anyway, it was a good weekend of cooking with Kev, again without arguing, so I was happy with our Valentine's weekend.

Today, the kids had their class Valentine's Day party. And just like always, there was craft, snack, songs. In that order. It was cute, as usual. Daphne had fun singing with her class.
After school, we dropped our stuff at the house and took a walk. It was nearly 70 degrees, so a walk was required. We went to lunch downtown at the Leesburg Restaurant, and met some friends there. We made it home before the ridiculous wind started blowing. It was awesome. No coats and hats necessary.
I guess it's time for a new poll, but I'll have to think of one. I'm being paged into the other room. There are new library books waiting to be read. Happy Valentine's Day!

(Note: Daphne's Valentine cards at the top were inspired by these. What a great idea. I wish I could take credit. )

Monday, February 07, 2011

Good Music Monday

Here is a video of Ray LaMontagne. He is my new favorite. In fact, here is another one.

Please forgive him for selling his song to that insurance company commercial. The one with the red umbrella. Buy his music. It is great.

The Mysterious Wongee

Above is a Wongee. The little circles are bubbles. The big black circle is his hole, and the bump is the dirt pile from digging the hole. Wongees are purple sea creatures (or sometimes blue) with six tentacles. Most of them live in the Pacific Ocean, but there are a few Atlantic Wongees. They eat seaweed and rocks. They do not chew the rocks, they swallow them whole. They are about the same size as a tricycle. They don't bite. The purple ones are very friendly. The blue ones are very shy. When they play, they flap their two top arms. Wongees get big muscles from eating seaweed. Seaweed is a lot like Swiss chard for Wongees. They turn black when they are afraid or angry. From Daphne.


There hasn't been much time to blog lately, so I thought I'd post a few pictures of "What's Been Going On Lately." Above is Daphne in her most recent clubhouse...this one is for her "Rain Club." She hung out under that umbrella and blanket and sang a 20 minute song about rain. I may post a video of a little of that. It was kinda funny.
Thursday night, we walked down to the pub (it wasn't that cold, Mom) to see our favorite locals, Big Al and friends. Doggo (below) came with us. We had fish and chips. Yum. And Daphne wanted to be my "shirt buddy."
The pub was all decked out for Valentine's Day, and the band was great as usual. FYI, they play every Tuesday and Thursday night. Check them out. Kev is going to be taking some lessons from the guitar player later this month. Maybe he will someday get to sit in with the band! That would be so cool. Daphne would love it.
Speaking of Daphne, she has been very good lately. We instituted a new policy before Christmas, where if we catch her being good, she get's a SpongeBob sticker. For every 20 stickers, she gets to choose a prize from the "treasure box," which is an orange Ikea box full of stickers and little toys. On Saturday, she filled up the page, so we decided to do something special.
We took Daphne to Historic Downtown Winchester (home of Patsy Cline!) and we went to the Dicovery Museum, which is a science museum for kids.
We went there last summer with some friends, but Kev had never been, so this time he got to join us. We had a great lunch at a place called Brewbaker's on the pedestrian mall, and then went to the museum, where there was rock-climbing:
And various other activites of a mostly scientific nature. Here we are in the infinity mirror:

It was a big day. Really fun.

Sunday, I ventured off the beaten path and made salmon for dinner. One of my friends is very generous with her recipes, and this one is a keeper. Daphne even loved it. We actually watched the Super Bowl last night, or most of it. I was really only interested in the commercials and the half-time show. I think they must have put all the good commercials at the beginning, because I didn't see any that I thought were that great (we turned on the game around the 2 minute warning in the first half). I sorta like the Black Eyed Peas, and the half-time show was visually pretty good, but they sounded awful. Slash could not have looked more disinterested, and Usher was just silly. And why, WHY, did those people come out with boxes on their heards? Anyway, the whole thing was kinda meh, and I didn't care anything about either team. So, we'd probably have had more fun watching a Star Trek (we have the whole first season on DVD and we're slowly working our way through). But it was OK, I guess. Daphne decided that the Packers are her FAVORITE team in the WHOLE WORLD, and she put on her plastic knight's helmet from the dollar store so she could be a football player. This is probably the first time she's ever even seen football...we NEVER watch it. On a related note, I am excited to say my brother is getting us tickets to see the great Texas Rangers play in Baltimore in April. Can't wait for that. It will be fun taking Daphne to her first baseball game. I hope she has as much fun as I did going to see the Reds play when I was little.

OK...time to do something productive before I have to pick up the Peanut from school. Hope you all had a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Grits Talk and a New Poll

So, according to the poll, 3 of you love grits, 2 hate them, 5 think they're OK, and 3 have never had them. I, as you know, am one of the three who LOVES grits. AND HOW! Admittedly, though, grits need a lot of help. Haters of grits probably haven't ever had good ones. Grits tip #1: DON'T get them at a diner. They will be paste-y and tasteless. Grits tip #2: You can't go wrong with cheese. And bacon doesn't hurt.

Pictured above are creamy cheddar and bacon grits in a cast iron skillet. Serve with some spicy shrimp and a green vegetable of your choice, and there you go.

If you are on the fence about grits, here are some places to go get good ones. Locally, try the shrimp and grits at Tuskies. Delicious. Or come to my house and I'll make you some. If you know anywhere else, please let me know. In Dallas, you can get awesome grits at Hattie's in Bishop Arts, or at the Dream Cafe. House of Blues has good ones too, on their Sunday Gospel Brunch, which is really fun.

Today I found out about a place in Dallas called Good 2 Go Tacos. They have sausage biscuits and gravy tacos. That's right. As well as other very inventive tacos which are less evil, all made with fresh local ingredients, I think. Plus, inside is a coffee bar. I must go there as soon as possible. If anyone goes, please report.

OK, as promised, a new poll on the right. Please vote. And give grits a chance. You won't be sorry.