Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Fair Trade

Alan has inadvertently taught Duke the cutest, yet sly and underhanded trick.  Duke, like most dogs, likes to put things in his mouth that don't belong there.  Hair ties, socks, and squirrels come to mind.  We tried pulling and prying the socks out of his mouth, teaching him "drop," and scolding him for being "bad!" and other guilt trips.  It didn't work.  He just looked pitifully sad yet determined to not let go.  So one day Alan decided to make a trade with Duke, and would say aloud "wanna trade?"  He'd take Duke over to the doggie treats and Duke would drop the item for a Pupperoni.

Some time later we noticed Duke coming right up to us and sitting obediently with a sock clenched in his mouth.  Still wouldn't let go unless there was a trade.

Now it's developed into him bringing socks or other items he thinks he shouldn't have and politely dropping them in your lap.  "Here, I'm not supposed to have this.  Beggin' Strip?"

I can't say no to that face.

Monday, June 20, 2011


My morning coffee time got interrupted.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Told you I was going to cook more...

A friend of mine gave us a basket of fruit and vegetables that she mistakenly ordered too much of from Bountiful Baskets.  She wouldn't let me pay for any of it, so I've been diligently trying to put it all to good use.  We're big fruit and veggie eaters anyway, so it hasn't been tough.  We've had salad, banana bread, steamed artichokes (a first attempt), and we've eaten lots of watermelon, cantaloupe, and peaches.  Thanks, Cindy!!  Today I decided to try homemade french onion soup.

Check out my reflection in the spoon.  Ha.

So I let Alan know that I would see him at lunch because "remember, I'm making that french onion soup."  Being the good husband that he is, he knew not to accept a spontaneous lunch invitation from anyone today.  So I get it all ready, time the melting of the cheese just right, and have it all plated and ready for when he walks in the door.  But he didn't walk in the door.  For 20 more minutes.  I finally called only to have him tell me he was just now getting in the elevator!  Grrr...

But it didn't matter.  Turns out that when the soup continues cooking in the oven IN the bowls you're going to eat out of, it stays REALLY, REALLY hot.  It was good and I'll make it again someday, but maybe not until winter.  I'm not a soup person, and 108 degree heat is not helping matters.  Tomorrow's forecast:  110.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Banana Bread

I've made banana bread for as long as I can remember - who hasn't?  It was probably the first thing I ever baked, and I've always used my grandma's recipe, until recently.  I just felt it wasn't turning out as moist as I'd like, so I started experimenting with other recipes.  One night I fell asleep and burnt a loaf.  Another time I didn't have vanilla and had to use maple syrup.  Once I even poured the batter into the pan only to realize I forgot the pecans.  The list goes on. 

Today I wanted to try again.  I made Momma Callie's Banana Nut Bread from "Down Home With the Neely's."  I followed the recipe exactly (or so I thought), poured the batter into two small loaf pans, and as I was cleaning up realized the recipe said TWO eggs, not THREE.  Geez Louise, what is my problem?  Is my late grandma's ghost tampering with things because I'm abandoning her family-loved recipe?!

Obviously I had to wait until the bread was ready to check the results.  I was hoping the only effect would be a positive one - that the extra egg would make it more moist.  Thankfully it was very moist and very delicious.  Click on the link above if you want to try it.  The only thing I did differently was change the baking time.  Since I made two small loaves, I baked them for only 40 minutes. 

Can't wait to warm up a big slice and have it with my coffee in the morning! 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

What to do

This is the first official week that I'm home for the summer.  I have plenty to do but am worried about getting restless.  Restlessness makes me feel blue.  I don't like to have a million things going at one time, but I do need something to do.  Monday was the typical first day back from vacation where you clean and do laundry and go grocery shopping.  Good and busy and productive.

So my plans this summer are to pretend we're moving soon and therefore needing to get the house ready.  I'm going to pare down anything and everything by giving stuff away, throwing stuff away, and possibly garage selling stuff away.  This means I have closets to clean out and pantries/cabinets to reorganize and declutter.  I'm hoping my efforts will somehow divert buyers' eyes from the 1960's kitchen and tiny bedroom closets.

Aside from the house, I told myself I would spend at least 30 minutes a day on something school related, whether that be lesson plans, reading industry stuff, or (God forbid) actually going to the school.  None of these things has happened yet.  Maybe I should start with 15 minutes.

And lastly I plan to cook more and keep exercising.  There's a direct correlation with the two - if I cook more I must exercise more in order to EAT more.  I like eating.  I like summer.  I plan to have a good one!