Saturday, March 31, 2012

Anxious (a day before A to Z kick-off)

Okay, so tomorrow kicks off the A to Z Challenge, where I am to write 26 posts corresponding to each letter in the alphabet.  I've been to the official Blogging from A to Z site, and I have to say, it made me a little nervous.  Like with most things, many of my fellow bloggers seem way more prepared than I, and way more together.  I have no theme.  I have some posts roughly sketched in my head, but nothing actually written out.  So here's to flying by the seat of your pants.  That seems to be my style.  I'm really looking forward to giving it an honest effort, reading some new stuff and meeting some new people along the way.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Getting Away

How wonderful it is to get away for a little while.  I said goodbye to my twenties in Savannah.  Lots of eating happened, lots of walking, and the delicious sleep of those getting a break from their kids, the afternoon nap.

Gulping down a chocolate malt outside Leopold's

Leopold's Ice Cream is a definite must try. We ate there our first night in town.  Honestly, I'm normally perfectly happy with ice cream for dinner, but my husband insists on something with a little more sustenance.  Luckily, Leopold's also serves sandwiches, so that night everybody won.  I recommend the Leopold's Club.  It's ham, roast turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato on toast.  As far as dessert, I almost always get a chocolate malt the first time I go to an ice cream parlor.  It may be boring, but I think a chocolate malt tells you a lot about the kind of place your patronizing.  Edward had a scoop of their Honey Almond ice cream.  We both agreed that we had never tasted something so creamy and delicate, yet still so much like honey.

Live Oaks in one of the squares.  The Tree of Life is synonymous with Live Oak for me.

When I go back, I think I could eat breakfast every day at this place, Harris Baking Company.  I didn't get my raspberry custard tart, but their chocolate-covered profiterole was phenomenal.

It may not seem like it, but we did do more than just eat our way around Savannah.  I have to mention Vic's on the River though.  I had pork belly sliders with apple slaw.  So delicious, need to recreate at home.  For dessert, the Peach Trio consisting of peach cheesecake, peach ice cream, and the best four words I heard down there:  fried peach bread pudding.

I don't think I have ever spent as much money on honey as I did at The Savannah Bee Company.  We were on a honey kick after that ice cream.

Colonial Cemetery at night

Our last night there we went on the City of the Dead walking tour.  For anyone skeptical about ghost tours in general, I would recommend this one.  It educated you on the darker side of Savannah's history, the part you probably won't get on the trolley tours.  I found it more tragic than terrifying, though I won't lie, when we were told we could get up close to Hag House, the majority of the group (myself included) elected to keep our distance.

Now it's time to get back to real life.  I still have my not-quite-emptied suitcase on the living room floor, the kids bag has not been unpacked, and all our projects we left behind are yelling at us.  It was great to get away, but still, it's nice to be back.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I'm calling this weekend a success.  It's a tough call because even though we got a lot of work done, no projects were actually completed.  It's hard to feel good about things when your upstairs hallway has a toy chest and bookshelf in it, there are (even more) cardboard boxes in your bedroom, and your boys have to sleep together in the guest bed since their beds have drawers and tools and small appliances scattered on top of them.

Okay, now that I'm thinking of the chaos that is my upper floor, not to mention all the dirty laundry that did not get done over the weekend, it seems I am using an unusual metric to measure success.  It was just such a nice weekend.  My youngest sister came up to help us out with house things and it's always great to hang out with her.  Saturday evening, our next door neighbors knocked on our door and invited us to an impromptu get-together they were throwing for St. Patty's day.  I'm still overwhelmed by how lucky we are with the neighbors we have.  Sunday we painted, spent some time outside, and ate ham.  Doesn't that all sound great?  And I love the way outside smells right now.  Things are blossoming. I'm not sure from where it comes, but when I step outside the faintest perfume lingers on the air.

Anyway, I have a lot of work to do by Wednesday night.  My husband and I are spending four days in Savannah, GA to celebrate my 30th birthday.  I can't wait!  My parents are watching the kids and dogs and we  plan on sleeping in, walking, sketching, and lots of eating.  I appreciate any recommendations for things to do or see.

Oh, and I really think this breakfast is what cinched the weekend for me.  There is a wonderful New Mexican restaurant tucked into a strip mall about 8 minutes from my house called Mateo's.  I've had this for brunch there a couple of times, and started making them at home.  They are simple and special and just a nice change from breakfast as usual.

Santa Fe Crepes

Heat butter in a large skillet, then dip a tortilla into French Toast batter and cook both sides until browned.  That's your crepe.  I like to fill it with plain or vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit, and granola.  I top it with a little of the same.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thinking about the Future

This poem came to mind today.  I'm unsure why.  It will be years before this is relevant in our lives.  We were painting the boys' room, and I was thinking of future reflecting on the past.  I hope the author does not mind me sharing.

To My Son's Girlfriend
by Michael Miburn

I'm tempted to ask
what you see in him.
Although you probably 
see the good that I see
I wonder if you realize
how much he is my handiwork,
or which of the qualities 
you daydream about in class
are the ones that I take pride in,
his cordiality, for example,
or love of silliness.

It's uncomfortable for me
to think of anyone else
loving him the way I do,
possessing him in a way
that only his mother and I 
have ever possessed him,
and I can't deny being jealous,
not so much reluctant
to share or relinquish him
as resolved to remind you
that he's been around
longer than your love,
under construction if you will,
and that each cute trait
or whatever occurs to you
when you hear his name
I feel proprietary about,
like a woodworker
who makes a table
intending to sell it
but prays that no buyer
will recognize its worth. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

With an Egg on Top

Isn't it amazing how a fried egg on top transforms a sandwich?  A BLT is one of my favorite sandwiches anyway, but add an egg, fried just right that the yolk oozes oh so slightly (or as my husband prefers, drips out the sandwich onto his plate), and you've crossed the line into gastronomy.  That reminds me, later this season I'm going to have to reproduce the The Bacon, Lettuce, and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich I've had at Saint-Ex downtown D.C.

We made these BLTE's last night with Salt and Vinegar Broiled Fingerling Potatoes from Umami Girl.  The potatoes were way too vinegary (and I'm one who likes to lean over the pot and inhale while the vinegar was boiling), but she did warn that they were intense.  I love the idea, so I'll be tweaking it soon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Saving Time

It's been a little while.  I would love to say that it's because I've been incredibly busy with lots of projects in the works, but the truth is, I just haven't been feeling like writing.  It makes me a little anxious about April, when I've challenged myself to blog every day except Sundays.  Strangely, I've been reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, a book on writing.  Three things have been happening while I read her book:

  1. I'm getting very excited about looking, and listening, and writing.  Forget whether I have anything meaningful to say, I just want to put it down. (I admit that I've not put much more than a few notes to myself down, but I'm really pumped to do more.)
  2. I'm laughing a lot.  I was a little apprehensive about starting a book on writing, worried that it would be dry and slow.  This book is anything but.  I have actually laughed out loud at some of her anecdotes and her sarcastic, paranoid way of looking at things.
  3. I'm thinking about spiritual things.  Not exactly sure where this is coming from.  She mentions her faith several times in the book, though not in any great detail.  I suppose it's all this looking and listening.
As well as reading, I've also been really getting along with my boys.  I know that sounds horrible, but the truth is that there are weeks where every day is "one of those days."  Last month I felt that Max and I were going head-to-head every time I asked him to do something, and then suddenly, something just switched.  I gave up trying to make him do things, and he started choosing to be more helpful.  Then there are the things he says.  His drink is "nice and cold;" his strawberries, "nice and sweet;" his cereal is "part of this complete breakfast."  (Ok, maybe we've been watching too much TV.)

Today we went to Snow and Story Time at the ice rink.  I bundled them up in hats and mittens to give them a taste of the winter we didn't have.  With red cheeks and noses we left the building, took off our coats, and have been enjoying this 70 degree afternoon.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sixteen Trees

It rained yesterday.  All day.  I have sixteen trees in my small back yard, which rather dashes my hopes for a vegetable garden.  I started to get excited though, at the idea of what the rain will sound like this summer when the trees are fully clothed.  Which reminds me, I really need to get Max and Sam some rain boots and rain coats.

Yesterday we watched The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and made chocolate chip cookies.  That's what you do on a rainy day.  I tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe from the latest issue of Bon  Appétit  .  The flavor was incredible, but I need to do something differently; they baked too large and flat.

These are two fairy holes that Max and I found.  He gets very concerned that the dogs will bother them.    I think I may make a small Easter wreath or some other decoration for their entrances.  The arrival of Spring is a big deal for fairies, after all.

It's forecast to be 66 degrees and sunny today.  No lions here.