Monday, May 30, 2011

Taking the Plunge

Here she goes, off the starting block on the last day of swimming.  We love Miss Jenine!

Strawberry Fields Forever

 Well, it is the end of a long Memorial Day weekend, and I haven't blogged in a while.  There's a lot to catch up on, but I'll try to keep it short.  My computer is more or less fixed now (Thanks, Kev!) so I can blog more often.  I need to backtrack a little to last Wednesday, which was Daphne's last swimming class.  Above, she is getting a certificate from her AWESOME teacher, Miss Jenine.  Daphne made a lot of progress since September, when she told me she was quitting school and never ever getting in the pool.  Wednesday, she jumped off the starting block and went all the way under water.  And it was HER idea!  I have video, which I will post when my Flip software gets re-installed.  I am so proud of her.  She was really brave.

On Friday afternoon, Kev came home early and we joined some good friends on a strawberry picking adventure.  We took White's Ferry across to Maryland (this time in the car) and drove to Homestead Farm, where the pickin' was good.  We ended up with more strawberries than I thought we could ever use, but three days later they're almost gone.  We've had strawberry milkshakes, strawberry shortcake:

and strawberries on our cereal and on salads.  I froze some to use later for smoothies.  I made strawberry freezer jam: 

 I just used the recipe on the Sure-Jell pectin box.  It is GOOD!.  I used the "less sugar" pectin, which only calls for three cups of sugar instead of four.  And it was still REALLY sweet.  We had some on biscuits this morning, which helped cut the sweetness some.  Maybe by blueberry picking time, I'll have my act together enough to make cooked jam. 

I also made strawberry ice cream, which we had last night:
And also yesterday, Kev grilled some salmon on cedar planks, which is a method we've never tried before.  It was great.  Here is the recipe we used.  There was one on the plank package that looked good too...maybe we'll try that one next time.  A quote from Daphne:  "I LOVE THIS SALMON!"  So, that's something.

Today it was really hot.  Upper 90's.  I successfully managed not to step foot out of the house.  We have spent the day doing various projects around the house, preparing for next weekend.  We'll have Daphne's preschool graduation, her last soccer game, and her birthday, and Kev's parents are coming for a visit.  It should be a lot of fun.  I am off to check on Kev.  He is busy repairing the squirrel wall.  Happy Memorial Day.  I hope you had some strawberries.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Polaroids Rule

This is a picture of me and my Uncle Danny in 1971.  I'm happy to say he is doing better and better every day at the rehab therapy facility.  Today he had to go back to the hospital for some more x-rays, which almost didn't happen because of some kind of mix-up.  Luckily, my mom and my two aunts, Kathy and Karen, were there to take care of business.  You don't want to mess with my mom and my aunts.  Anyway, the xrays indicated that things are going well...the news could not have been better.  So yay!  Now, it's back to rehab for intense OT/PT.  It won't be easy, but he can handle it.

I love Polaroids.  Here is another one of me and Danny from 1974.  I was about six.  I remember this day.  I remember going for a ride on that motorcycle.  I just can't believe my mom let me go.  And with no helmet! 

Now she barely even lets Daphne go on the monkey bars without having a nervous breakdown. 

For the record, Daphne is not allowed on motorcycles.  Ever.  Not even when I'm dead. 

Oh, I'll know.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Computer is Still Broken, Blogging Anyway

I am going through blog withdrawal.  My computer is broken.  It won't boot up, and Kev hasn't had time to look at it.  I fear the worst, but maybe he can fix it.  Time will tell.  In the meantime, I've been using Kev's computer, which I don't like for several reasons, but at least it's something.  Just wanted to blog a quick blog to catch up on things before I forget, so here are some highlights from the last couple weeks:

  • Kev and Daphne made my belated Mother's Day breakfast the Sunday after Mother's Day.  Crepes.  So great.  Then we went to ride White's Ferry (above) the only ferry across the Potomac River.  It was about a five minute ride over to Maryland, where we took a short hike.  Kinda cool.  Daphne enjoyed it.
  • We've been eating meals on the porch as often as possible.  Food is better that way.
  • On Saturday, Kev and I went to Vintage 50 here in Leesburg, and I had a Lobster Grilled Cheese.  After I finished it, I overheard the people behind us talking over the menu and saying you just should never combine lobster and cheese.  Au contraire, mon frere!  This was one of the best sandwiches I've ever had.  Lobster meat, melty brie, and basil.  Delicious.  Weird, but delicious. 
  • Last night, I helped Kev mow the lawn.  This was my first ever lawn-mowing experience.  Don't tell Kev I said this, but it wasn't so bad!  In fact, I kinda enjoyed it!  But I wouldn't want to do it in the heat of the summer, especially when the gnats are bad.  Kev said mowing the lawn is worth cooking five dinners.  I mowed half the lawn, so I figure he owes me 2 1/2 dinners now.  I'd like gumbo, please.  Or eggplant parm.
  • I took Daphne to a birthday party yesterday at Pump It Up, which is a bounce-house/giant inflatables place.  She had a blast.  We have two more similar birthday parties on the calendar in the next couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, I am planning a little party for Daphne's FIFTH birthday.  It is going to be very small this year, but fun nonetheless.  She is also having her preschool graduation next week.  Exciting times.  More on all that  later.
  • Maybe the Mavs will win the NBA championship this year!  That would be cool.
  • Here are some things I want to do if I can ever get my act together:  Make a new cushion for the porch swing, make pasta with my pasta-making tools, learn how to make berry preserves.   Strawberry season is almost over, though.  Maybe next year.
OK...I hope to be back on line for real very soon.  If not, I'll try to pop on here via Kev's computer from time to time.  Have a good week!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Computer is Broken. Again.

I will blog a blog as soon as I can.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Bacon + Chocolate

In the car on Friday, I split one of these with my mom and Jeff.  It was surprisingly good.  Who knew?


So, I found out about this website called "Foodspotting" where people can post photos of food they recommend from various restaurants around the world.  So cool.  If you are thinking about going to a certain restaurant, you can check the Foodspottting site to see if anyone has posted photos of the food they ate there.  Sometimes there are brief reviews as well.  And if a photo you see has lots of "noms," it means others have tried and liked that particular menu item.  Check it's kind of fun to see what people have posted from your favorite restaurants.  I added a widget to my sidebar for my own pictures of food.  The most recent is the Kentucky Hot Brown I had on Derby Day at Buckhead in Jeffersonville when we took my grandma to lunch.  It just seemed like the appropriate thing to eat at the time.  I also posted the above photo that Kev took in DC of his Acadiana Sorbet Trio.  Yum.  Thanks to Jimmy B for the link and the new hobby.  I just hope I don't embarrass Kev to the point that he stops taking me to restaurants.


Sunday Morning - New Albany

Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, and the District of Columbia. That's where I've been during the last three weekends. This past weekend, my brother and I drove my mom to Indiana so we could see my Uncle Danny in the hospital, and so she could stay a few weeks to help out with his recovery. It was a quick trip. We drove all day Friday, spent time with my Grandma on Saturday, and drove back all day Sunday. We managed to work in two visits to the hospital, some Pizza King, and a stop at the Zesto. A good trip. My uncle is getting a little better every day, which is very good news. He gets to leave the hospital today or tomorrow and will be moved to a rehab therapy facility. I was really happy to see and talk to him.

Sunday Evening - Leesburg

Kevin and Daphne had a big time while I was gone. They did some shopping and gardening and playing and they went out to eat a few times. I arrived home in time to go out for a nice Mother's Day dinner. Next week, they are making me breakfast. I can't wait for that. I missed them. It's good to be home. And I think this time, I'll be staying a while.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Big DC Weekend

On Friday afternoon, Kev and I packed up the car and headed for the Nation's Capital for a belated anniversary weekend away. We packed a lot into our trip. Here are a few highlights:

We stayed at the Carlyle Suites near Dupont Circle. Very nice. I highly recommend it. It is very art deco and has those memory foam mattresses. I will tell you I am now a huge fan. I usually wake up all crooked and stiff and sore, but not after sleeping on the memory foam. Yay NASA!

We did a lot of shopping, including a stop at Red Onion where Kev used a gift certificate from Christmas to get some pretty good stuff on vinyl. We also went to Mitchell Gold Bob Williams furniture store and purchased a new couch for the TV room. We've been in the market for a long time, and we finally found just what we were looking for. Great store, too. No high pressure salespeople breathing down our necks. Goodbye, brown couch! At last!

We saw an amazing Cuban jazz piano player at HR-57. Chuchito Valdes. How great is that name? If we ever get a pet, it will be named Chuchito. This guy played the piano like no one I've ever seen. Check him out on youtube sometime. Incredible.

We saw a really good movie called Win Win at the E Street Cinema. REALLY good. Paul Giamatti is great.

We went to Ford's Theater to see where Lincoln was shot. Very interesting.

We had several great meals, including a dinner at Vento. I had delicious butternut squash raviolini. Yum. I recommend this place highly if you're in Dupont Circle at dinnertime.

And we had a great Sunday Jazz Brunch at Acadiana. Look how happy I am:

I had the "pain perdu" appetizer (a piece of french toast with bananas foster sauce), and the shrimp and grits and tasso ham entree. For dessert I had bread pudding. It was all really good. Kev's food was good too. I think it was probably worth the $30/person.

In between all the food and shopping and so forth, we walked and walked and walked some more. It was great. I got to spend time with Kev and hang out in a city. A real city with STUFF in it. And PEOPLE in it who go out and do stuff. I needed it. I feel refreshed. Thanks, Kev.

And thanks to my mom and dad, too, because while we were off in DC, they were holding down the fort and taking Daphne to her various weekend activities, like birthday parties and soccer games:

She FINALLY got to play. It was the first Saturday in weeks that it didn't rain. We missed her while we were away. It's good to be home.