Friday, August 30, 2013

Flashback Friday

About 12 years ago Hubby and I were once again building a deck. This time it was on Sean's college house and it was about a month before we got married. It was a family affair and my parents were there along with Sean's parents and brother. It was 102 degrees out, much like it is now, and we had a great time. I dug around and found the pictures taken during that hot weekend and on Saturday I had Rich take a reenactment picture to document the next (and probably not the last) deck building experience.  Here they are side by side, the older one on the left is just a picture of a picture so the quality isn't so great. We were 22 years old at the time. Just babies. Hehehe....

I couldn't resist sharing this next picture because it cracks me up. That would be my future mother-in-law with her signature "flare". Love you Randi!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

Look who ate dinner on the almost finished deck? We did! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pesto kind of day

My deck building boys have put down their screw drivers and returned to their desk jobs so it's just Greta and I again. I thought "what better thing to do today than to make something yummy". We were outside this morning watering the garden and I decided on a tasty batch of pesto. So first things first, in early spring plant more basil seeds than you'll ever use in your entire lifetime. Plant that basil in your garden and strawberry bed and then watch it grow into three feet tall bushes. Then gather a bowl and your three year old helper and go pluck several cups of basil leaves. Make sure said three year old knows the difference between (toxic) morning glory leaves and basil leaves.

Next thing to do: shell 1/3 cup of pistachios. I like using this recipe for pesto because it uses pistachios instead of the traditional pine nuts. I usually always have pistachios in the cupboard. Place pistachios,  1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese and two cloves of garlic in food processor. I bought this el cheapo food processor for $10 at Wall World, works great. Pulse it until everything is pulverized.

Place 2-3 cups of packed basil leaves on top of crumbles, and give it all a squeeze of lemon juice. I think the lemon juice keeps the basil from turning brown. Put the lid on the food processor and turn it on low while slowly drizzling olive oil through the lid (usually there is a little hole in the top for liquids). It will blend up into this lovely pesto. Salt and pepper it to your own preference (if you used salted pistachios you won't need much if any salt). It's so good scooped onto carrot sticks, Wheat Thins, cucumbers, anything! I found a recipe for Chicken Panini's that uses pesto and is so delicious. Enjoy!

Pesto with Pistachios 

2-3 c. Basil leaves
2 Garlic cloves
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. Pistachios 
1/2 c. Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day 6

Hubby has been home for 6 days now building the deck and it's coming along. Here are progress pictures from this morning. We are lucky to have Rich here today helping out too. The decking is going down well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Holy Joists Batman!

It's really starting to look like a deck!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Moving right along

I'm starting to have what looks like a deck on the south side of the house! Woo hoo! Tuesday afternoon a large truck delivered two big bundles of wood that we ordered on Monday. Hubby has been out there ever since bolting things together. It's starting to come together. Perhaps by the end of this weekend I might have a finished deck. Oh how exciting!

Monday, August 19, 2013

School review, Deck progress & Dimes.

Today starts the first full week of school. Wesley hasn't figured out the whole five days of school and then two days off for the weekend. He's always still very surprised and pleased when he has days off for Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday he came up to me and said "Now let me get this straight, tomorrow I have school right?" I said yep and he thought about it for a second and said "Yeeeessss!". He loves school and that makes a Mom happy. Personally, I think he loves recess but it's all good.

He still holds my hand when I walk him inside. Last Friday he held hands with Greta as they tromped ahead of me into the school. It made my day. He likes hugs too. Every day at the end of school when his kindergarten teacher lead them out to the waiting parents, he would wrap his tiny arms around her and give her a hug goodbye. He did this every day of the school year. I wasn't sure if he'd do it now that he's in first grade so I kept my eyes open when his new teacher lead them out on Friday. Sure enough he gave her a hug goodbye. He's a sweet kid.

We had a weekend full of progress. The deck project is moving again. After nearly a month of rain it looks like we may have a reprieve. No rain for the next 6-8 days. So wood is being ordered today and (hopefully) delivered tomorrow. Rich and Sean got the 4X4 posts set on the footings yesterday and he's hoping to get the rest of the week off of work to get the deck done. I'm so excited!

We had a little excitement last week. Tuesday Greta thought it would be a good idea to eat a dime. Yep, a dime. She ran up to me screaming that she just choked on money. I asked if she was ok and then asked where the money was now? She sheepishly said in her tummy. I know it was a dime because she was playing with one earlier. So I called poison control to see what they recommended. They said they would like to know that it wasn't stuck in her esophagus and recommended an x-ray. I called my pediatrician to see if they had the equipment to do that without (another) trip to the ER. The nurse said they normally don't worry about objects under an inch and if she is able to breathe properly, eat bread and drink water then I shouldn't worry about it. So we watched and waited and apparently the dime wasn't a problem. I can only assume it passed without any issues (because I'm not sifting through anymore poo). Greta is 3 years old for roughly 32 more days, I suppose she's going to occasionally act like it. Ugh.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Grade

Wesley started first grade today! He was excited to go and see his friends again. I'm happy he's so happy. Looks like it's just Greta and I again.....until she starts 3 year old preschool the beginning of September.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lobsters, Cubicles and Beauty Queens

-My menu's for dinner were getting a bit stale so I implemented "Seafood Friday" about six months ago. Ever since we've been enjoying all sorts of new (and maybe questionable) seafood dishes. Recently we switched it from Seafood Friday to Seafood Saturday (has a nicer ring doesn't it?) so that Rich could join in on the festivities. We've been having fun trying all sorts of new dishes but mostly salmon and changing it up with snow crab legs about every 3-4 weeks. We found a wild caught cedar plank salmon that was pretty good (although very hard to cook through). I'll throw in bay scollops and shrimp dishes every so often but it's rare. I thought it was time to change things up last Saturday so I bought a whole lobster and a sushi sampler tray. I'd gotten the sushi before and love it but the kids hadn't tried it. I told them they could have a piece of candy if they tried the sushi and, by golly, they tried it. Greta liked it, Wesley not so much. Greta is my little seafood lover though and can usually eat more crab than I do. The lobster was another story. We were lacking in knowledge on what to do with the poor creature so after he was cooked we just cut him open down the back. This exposed his body cavity which was filled with what I refer to as a "guacamole" like substance (goodbye appetite!). We did dine on his tasty tail and claws but all in all not something I would buy again. It was a good experience for the kids (and adults as well). 

-Last Friday was Family Fun Day at the hubby's work so into the car we piled and off we went for an afternoon of fun. We got to see his new cubicle and enjoy a bounce house (in the rain...have I mentioned it won't stop raining?). This year, I must admit, it was poorly planned and we had to wait in line a very long time for more food to be cooked. Waiting in line with hungry children is not a pleasant experience. But we made the kids very happy by going across the street to get an ice cream cone afterwards. That's what they will remember, not the long lines and wet bounce houses.

-I finally made it into the 21st century and bought a smart phone. Forever I'd had a Tracfone, you of those little pay by the minute cell phones? It's not like I go many places or have a load of friends to keep contacts for, I never felt like I was missing out on something. Well my little tracfone finally bit it (well it didn't officially die it just took too long to wake up) so I went to replace it and found I wanted something more functional. When I wanted to go for a walk or run in the evenings I liked the idea of tracking my speed and progress so I'd take hubby's phone with the running app on it. I also wanted something with a decent camera I could have in my purse without taking the big camera. So I'm now the proud owner of a LG Optimus l9. Still a pay by the minute phone but this time through T-Mobile (still very inexpensive). I've been having fun with the free apps and found one called Cymera which takes pictures and then has a "beautify" button in which you can change hair color, size of eyes, makes you thinner and so forth. I haven't laughed so hard in quite some time as I did the other night. My parents came over and I took pictures and "transformed" all of us into beauty queens (or maybe just queens in some cases...hehehe). It was a good purchase and I'm having way too much fun with it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Moving on up

I have two tortoises. The oldest being eight years old. Cecil has been in the same tortoise table since he was a hatchling. He' large now. He's been sharing his small indoor home with his brother (from another mother) "Billy Bob" for a year now. They get to go explore the great outdoors once in while when the weather permits. But the weather has not been permitting them outdoors in some time now. It won't. stop. raining. Ugh. So I figured it was time to build them bigger indoor digs. They are enjoying their massive new pen galloping around and kicking up their heels with glee.....not really. They both just lie there like tortoises do. But I can see the thankfulness in their big tortoise eyes. 

Their old pen was a mere 2 foot by 4 foot and their new pen is 4 foot by 6 foot. It pretty much takes up any and all spare space in the bird room (where they live). It's actually my old work room. I keep my sculpting and painting supplies up there but I stopped working up there because who wants to work up in a tiny room with nobody around except five rather loud cockatiels? Not me. I sculpt on the couch now. Anyways, here are the new digs. It's not beautiful but it was completely made out of scrap lumber I found in the shop, not a single cent was spent to build it.

Construction. Had to cut all the pieces and bring them upstairs to the room to assemble. Caulked the edges and sealed the bottom.

Slid over to the corner it doesn't take up too much room. So much more room to grow in. Filled it with 3 bags of cypress mulch (which by the way inhibits mold and bacteria growth).

Happy little torts.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

It keeps coming down!

Well we haven't floated away yet! The rains just keep coming and coming. It's nearly a daily occurrence of thunderstorms that drop inches and inches of rain. I do believe our drought is over. Ponds are filling up that have been bone dry for two years. It's simply wonderful to see green lush grass and a garden that is spilling over (with weeds anyways!). I just wish it would dry out long enough to get the mower through it all. But beggars can't be choosers.

One of the downsides to all this rain is that the shop has been flooding. The shop that houses my fresh new 250 bales of hay for the year. There is a sky light along the top of the shop to allow light in (which is nice) but it also is a weak point for leaks. The foam between the sky light and the roof has been separating and falling out which allows water in. So this weekend Sean and Rich got up there and riveted the sky light panels together (where the cats have been getting into the shop) and then sprayed expanding foam in the gaps. So far so good! We have a dry shop for the first time in a long time. Thanks Boys!

The rain has made everything grow so nicely. The strawberry bed has exploded! I planted strawberries around the base along with basil and pole beans in the upper tier. The pole beans did ok but the grasshoppers finally found them and ate nearly everything but then the morning glory from last year reseeded itself and took over. The basil is huge! Every week I go out and pick a big bowl full and make pesto. It's so delicious. Miss Greta loves to go out there and fish around looking for something (anything) to eat. She usually finds a strawberry or a tomato but will settle for a green bean.

If you'll remember I bought three goldfish this spring for the koi pond. The odds were decent that I'd get a boy and a girl fish and apparently I did because the pond is full of tiny little baby goldfish. I get quite a kick out seeing all those darting little fish. Perhaps I'll have to net a few out to save over the winter. Hope you all have a nice and (hopefully) dry week.