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June 2008

Oh noes!

Oh no, I've been tagged by Alexis at Knot Sew Crafty!

The thing is, I have been tagged two other times by two other people and have not followed through on the tags. I feel really bad about that! So I'm going to go ahead and do this one and hope that it makes up for not doing the other two. Except I'm not sure how interesting this will be, but I'll try.

Out of all the unimportant things about me, I'm supposed to pick six to tell you about.

Hmmm...

  1. I went to a boarding school for high school. Except my junior year, when I did home study. Because I hated high school and I especially hated boarding school.
  2. I'm left-handed and really wish V were too, but I think she's going to be right-handed.
  3. I prefer serial commas.
  4. I am constantly thinking about what to name the next child.
  5. I am constantly lusting after photography equipment, computers, computer software, and workshops or classes that either I can't afford or don't have time to take.
  6. When I was a kid, my father used to take me to the zoo. This was in DC. When we'd get off the bus, I'd write "hi" in the sand beneath a tree on the sidewalk. When we'd get back to the bus stop, I was always disappointed that no one ever wrote anything back.

See? Not all that interesting. If I can find the other times I've been tagged, I'll do them. So if you tagged me before - let me know! I know Sheri was one...

Oh yeah, I hate to tag people - so if you're reading this, consider yourself tagged if you'd like to play along and then leave me the link in the comments.


Seahorses and stingrays

We've been having some fun this week, exploring our surroundings. Yesterday, we went to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. I haven't been to the aquarium in Atlanta, but I like the Aquarium of the Smokies much better than the one in Chattanooga. If you're in the area, I recommend it.

Here are some pics.

First, some of those mountains I was talking about.

Smoky Mountains

I loved this white seahorse. What a beauty!

White seahorse

I could watch the jellyfish for hours. R and V left me there to take some pictures and while they were gone, a young woman who appeared to be one of a large tour group of Mennonites came up and asked me if jellyfish would hurt you if you touched one. Um, yeah, they can do some damage. But look at how pretty they are. She also wanted to know what you would feed one. Um ... plankton?

Jellyfish

I also dug this stingray. He likes just hanging out in the water, relaxing. So we have something in common.

Freshwater stingray

We've been busybusy all week. So I think this weekend we're just going to relax, maybe hang out in the pool like a freshwater stingray. Then it's back to the usual schedule on Monday.

Sigh.


Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! Here's my favorite dad, acting all kinds of silly with Miss V.

v DaddyBaby 040

v DaddyBaby 045

And a little bit of swinging...

v DaddyBaby 100

v DaddyBaby 069

They're so sweet together.

v DaddyBaby 013

And thanks to the people at Shutter Sisters and the America at Home project - I won an America at Home book that comes with a custom cover! How exciting! As Sarah-Ji said - Yay!

Edited to add: And I got Shutter Sister's Daily Click today! Fun! Thanks SS!


Oh my at the pie!

We went out to lunch. We're starting a diet tomorrow. On the day before Father's Day. Desperate times and all.

But today, lunch was good. We went to Litton's in Fountain City.

Litton's

Oh my at the pies! The cakes are on the other side. They were equally wondrous: red velvets, Italian creams, and strawberry cakes. When's the last time you had a slice of strawberry cake? For me, it was probably when my grandmother was alive, so the 1990s. I miss a good strawberry cake. I am now aware of how much for granted I took strawberry cake. I am regretful of my mistake.

Litton's desserts

But this is the one I came for.

Litton's whole key lime pie

This was the first time we'd been to Litton's and I had heard how wonderful it was. It was really bright, cheerful, and pleasantly noisy in the front of the restaurant. I was a little disappointed to be taken through a maze and then seated in the back of the restaurant (stack of canned ham shanks not shown).

Litton's back room

But then the burgers and onion rings came. But no tomatoes. &#%! salmonella.

Litton's burger, sans tomato

And then the pie came. It was the best key lime pie I've ever had. Seriously. I'm not just saying that. It was a wondrous thing to behold. Not so tart, just sweet, homemade deliciousness with a real lime flavor. Goodness gracious me. After lunch I was all, I never want to eat that much again! But now four hours later I'm looking at this picture and thinking gimme that pie! I must be strong. And never look at this picture again.

Litton's key lime pie


Bored

R has been out of town since Monday afternoon (he'll be home this afternoon!). It's been a long week, as it usually is when he goes away. We went out Tuesday, but that didn't last long. I love being at home, but this morning I couldn't take it one more minute. There's just nothing to break up the time when my sweetie doesn't come home. So we went to our favorite park and did some swinging and sliding.

v Concord Park & area 064

v Concord Park & area 112 cr


Can you see Mama's eye?

I read once about this trick to use when photographing kids. I forget where I read it or who said it, but the trick is to ask the kid if she can see your eye through the lens. You're supposed to get a really cool shot of the kid looking thoughtfully and intently at the lens. Maybe V just isn't old enough to understand such tomfoolery, but the three or four times I've asked her if she could see Mama's eye through the lens, this is the look I've gotten.

v on the porch 104 b&w


Seashell soup

Milk glass bowl

This is a wonderful, light summertime soup that your dolls should adore.

First, get a lovely serving bowl and add seashells. The prettier the bowl, the more tasty the soup. It doesn't matter what kind of shells, though, so use whatever you have around the house. Dolls love a variety of flavors, so mix it up if you've got 'em.

Then add some fresh herbs - flat leaf parsley, cilantro, leaf of pansy - whatever you have on hand. To that add a sprinkling of fine dirt to season.

All the makings for seashell soup

Then add some water from the hose (well water, if you can, but city water will work too - there will be just a slight difference in flavor) and place on a large, flat rock that has been sitting in the sun for a bit (not shown). Allow water to heat and flavors to mingle for about an hour. Stir gently every so often.

Dolls have told me that it tastes even better the second day. If you make some for your dolls, I hope you'll share some photos with me and let me know how they like it.

And if your dolls enjoy that recipe, be sure to try out Gerbera Soup as well.

A light summer soup for your dolls


Pinkie Pie

Pinkie Pie 1

V has discovered My Little Pony. R got her a little plastic one, but she really loves this stuffed Pinkie Pie. For forever I've been calling V my pumpkin pie. Then we started playing a game - are you a sweet potato pie or a pumpkin pie? Are you a rhubarb pie or a pumpkin pie? She knows for sure that she's a pumpkin pie.

Then R started asking her if she was a Pinkie Pie or a pumpkin pie. This gave her a little cause for concern - she wasn't sure how to answer the question. Finally, R told her that she could be both. Now if you ask her if she's a coconut cream pie or a pumpkin pie, she'll say pumpkin. But if you ask her if she's a Pinkie Pie or a pumpkin pie, she's both.

From what I can tell, this pony has so much love in her heart, it's coming out her eyes. I almost can't bear to look at it.

Pinkie Pie 2


...superior pickle factory workers

As I've said before, I used to work at a company that typesets books, mainly for university presses. We didn't actually print the books, we just did the typesetting. I was responsible for making sure the books looked the way they were supposed to look: points and picas and running heads and balanced spreads.

Along the way, I would occasionally find lines of text that struck me as inspiring or funny or just plain weird. I'd cut them out and tape them to my wall. Just today, R moved the filing cabinet from a closet to right near my desk and so I was able to find the folder that has all my quotes.

I have 14 quotes total. I hate to think that I may have lost some or left them on the wall at my desk in that horrid little trailer where I worked, but I probably have.

This seems like a lot of build up for just a short little quote, so I'll share three tonight.

First, the inspiring:

...the eye comes to rest on the sky, not on any terrestrial feature...

Next, the funny:

When are they going to expose us to the cow?

And finally, the just plain weird:

Some may have felt that some of the seasonal help might be smarter or more beautiful than they were, but that they themselves were superior pickle factory workers.

Right now, it's after 9pm and I have not yet started to work for the evening. I'm sitting here with one of my cats on my lap and the Iron Chef on. Love that show. Better get to work, though -- those bios aren't going to proof themselves...


The morning was sultry

Today we went to the zoo. The heat! Oh my. We were wilting, as were the elephants.

it was really hot

They have a butterfly exhibit with a koi pond. Pretty!

koi

We took the short way around because it was just that hot. But the trail eventually gets tree cover, which we thought would bring some relief from the heat. We were wrong. But look at this cool tunnel.

tunnel

I think we'll be staying in the rest of the afternoon. I'm an indoor sort of girl.


Sweet tea and plum juice

sweet tea

I was having lunch the other day with my standard drink of milk and I started thinking that I would much rather have a sweet tea. Sweet tea always reminds me of summer and Grandmama, so that started me thinking of all the summertime drinks I loved when I was a kid.

Grandmama made her tea not so sweet. Always a saver, she put in just enough sugar for you to know that it wasn't unsweetened tea. She always made it fresh for dinner (lunch) and supper (dinner) in a yellow McCoy Hall teapot, pouring the hot tea over large glasses of ice. It drinks mighty nice when the weather gets hot outside - and you don't have air conditioning inside (except for the window unit that they never ran). I remember in college, I had a friend who came down to school from Vermont. The first time we ever went out to dinner together, I ordered a sweet tea, and she turned up her nose at it. I was incredulous. I told her she'd better watch herself, because sweet tea would catch her soon enough. By the end of the summer, I was laughing when she'd order a sweet tea. I told her I remembered her saying she'd never drink sweet tea. "But it's so hot here," she said, "and besides, it's gooooooooood." Yeah, that's what I thought.

Another favorite, of course, was Coke. Do I remember the last time I had a Coke? Um...no. Not because I don't like it, mind you - I could drink it all day. But, well, you know. Coke. High fructose corn syrup, lots of calories. Anyway, let's not think of that today ... Coke! I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. I'd like to buy the world a Coke and keep it company. It's the real thing, baby. I remember drinking it from the bottle (perfection) and playing the game under the cap - never winning, of course, and always ticked that my cousin Leanne was one step ahead of me in the game. Then one day my granddaddy decided Chek Cola was much less expensive, so he switched to that. It wasn't the same.

If it wasn't Coke, it was Budwine. Budwine was a cherry soda pop originally named Bludwine because of its red color. If I could find me some Cheerwine, I'd put it in a glass and pretend it was Budwine and I doubt I'd know the difference. I remember thinking Budwine was really cool because they started making it about two years before my grandfather was born. Unfortunately, they don't make it anymore.

My favorite summer drink had to be the plum juice that Grandmama made. They had a plum tree that grew these tiny, tart plums that weren't very good for eating. The neighbors had the same kind of tree and they never trimmed the branches that hung over on our side of the fence, so Grandmama considered them fair game. She'd gather tons of plums and put them in this big, metal bowl that she would heat on the stove. I'm fairly sure she added water and she definitely added copious amounts of sugar - anything beyond that I really couldn't say. She would boil it all, then pour it through a cloth to strain it, then bottle it in Coke bottles with the plastic caps. The bottles weren't airtight, though, and after a few weeks the juice took on a fermented taste. That's when we knew it was ready to drink. Grandmama would only let us have a bottle occasionally, so that it would last all summer. All the neighborhood kids loved it. We thought it must be wine, since it was fermented, and we'd often quizz each other on whether or not we were acting drunk after downing a bottle.

I have a box of decaffeinated Luzianne teabags that I got a couple of weeks ago. Usually I make my tea really sweet, but I'm trying to lose some weight so I think maybe I should cut way back on the sugar and call it remembering my childhood instead of dieting. Maybe I should check out some thrift stores for a nice yellow teapot.