Monday, August 29, 2016

i bet the patriots didn't have to worry about glass lids

Well, I walked in the door from work on Friday night and Matt was standing in the dining room wearing this.

Contrary to what you might think, he is not starting a landscaping business.  He's just getting ready for the fall and hundreds and thousands and millions of leaves he hopes are going to fall on our lawn this fall.

After he took off his leaf blower, he made the BEST pizza for dinner and then went downstairs to work on our wall.

I haven't mentioned the great wall of Pennsylvania here because it's a difficult thing to talk about.  It's part of the reason I haven't been blogging lately.  I always blog at night in the family room, but for the past week or so the family room has looked like this, and the time spent down there wasn't exactly relaxing.

The first floor of our home originally had a garage and a family room.  The previous owners expanded the family room into the back half of the garage.  And then, instead of making a wall between the family room and garage, they just stood two bookcases up and called it good.

It looked nice, but it wasn't insulated, so it was freezing downstairs in the winter, and there were gaps where you could see into the garage.  There also weren't any electrical outlets so anything we wanted to plug in had to be plugged in around the corner.  Painting the family room is the next project on our list, and building a wall is part of that project.

Matt slid the bookcases out last weekend waited until the room looked like this to tell me, "Might not be able to get drywall up for a few weeks, so welcome to the garage family room!!!"  He said that last part in a game show host voice like it was FUNNY while I had a heart attack on the couch.

Luckily for both of us things moved quickly, and we have a wall.

On Saturday afternoon the mail was delivered, and with it two shipments of freeze-dried food from Patriot's Pantry.

You might be wondering what Patriot's Pantry is, and I'm here to tell you it's "food for the self-reliant patriot."
Which I am now, evidently.

If tragedy strikes Matt and I can live for 6 days on freeze-dried Traveler's Stew or Liberty Bell Potato Cheddar Soup.

Matt walked into the kitchen when I was taking these pictures and asked what I was doing.

"I'm taking a picture of this so I can write a blog about it, because it's funny," I told him.

"It's not funny," he said, "it's serious."

You say Granny's Homestyle Po-tay-to Soup, I say Granny's Homestyle Po-tah-to Soup.

On Saturday night I was cooking actual potatoes on the skillet for dinner.  The knob on the glass lid was loose, so Matt got a tool to tighten it up.

I walked over to the sink while Matt tightened the knob, and unfortunately, as my dad would say, he didn't know his own strength because he tightened it too much and the entire glass lid exploded.  

Teeny tiny pieces of glass flew EVERYWHERE.  

All over the floor.  The counters.  Into both sinks.  Into the dishwasher, which was open.  Into the potatoes on the stove.  And, worst of all, into Matt's arm, which was bleeding everywhere.

We both stared at each other for about five seconds, and then jumped into action washing Matt's arm, getting the glass out of it, getting out the shop vac, and sweeping up the shards.

On the plus side, no glass got into Matt's face and my kitchen floor has never been cleaner.

But that's the story of how we ended up spending a wild Saturday night at Bed Bath and Beyond cashing in our 20% off coupon for a new skillet.

We got a new one, but it also has a glass lid and I'm a little gun-shy to cook with a glass lid again.

Maybe I'll just serve Traveler's Stew for the new few days.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

gold medal weekend

I didn't have work on Friday, so my mom and I decided to pick my niece up early from daycare because who doesn't love getting a jump start on the weekend?  Unfortunately Annabelle was getting a cold so she was a little under the weather, but we didn't let that get in the way of a fun afternoon.

My brother and sister-in-law have two cats, and sometimes cats bother me and sometimes they don't, allergically speaking.  I was fine the whole day, but on the way home my face started to itch, and by the time my mom dropped me at my house my eyes were swelling shut.  Matt and I originally had big plans to go to Senor Salsa for dinner, but when I walked in, he said, "Wow, what happened to you?" I knew I wouldn't be showing my puffy, red face in public, even for a three cheese burrito.

We decided to order out, and when he asked what I wanted, I said, "I cannot make that decision right now.  I will eat anything."  And then I went upstairs to shower and put on my PJs, and when I came down Matt was walking in the door with a BOX of food.

I guess an order of two cheese steaks (Matt got double steak, double cheese), loaded fries, and mozzarella sticks is when you graduate from the take out bag to the take out box.


We settled in on the couch to watch the opening ceremonies of the games of the thirty first Olympiad but that's a story for another post because I have lots of thoughts on the Olympics.

But here's a teaser.  At one point in the ceremony, there was an interpretive number with dancers weaving fiber optic fabric, which represented something about the earth and creation (I didn't quite catch the meaning because someone was being critical), and it was then that I realized this is our first married Olympics.

And by August 21st we might be in marriage boot camp or we might have a second television.

Or possibly both.

My face was so itchy that I had to take some Benadryl, even though I knew it would make me sleepy.  Thank goodness we were following the Spanish alphabet because I had to go to bed after the Estados Unidos made their entrance.

On Saturday Emily and I went to a flea market to see what we could find.

Do you know what we found?

Old gloves.  By the hundreds.

And old ties.

And some new ones!

But the hardest section to pull Emily away from was the old wigs.

Just kidding, she was totally grossed out even touching this one and as you can tell, wouldn't even bend her arm.

I did find some cool globe bookends.

The flea market is kind of in the middle of nowhere, and as we drove by miles and miles of farmland to get back to the highway, I told Emily, who is in the school of agriculture at Penn State, that she was looking at her future.

For several miles she talked about how much she would like to live in the wilderness, but then she got a look of concern on her face and said, "Umm...maybe there's more civilization the other way."

Yes, and that would be called Philadelphia.

We eventually made our way home, and I haven't left the house since because, Olympics.

Just kidding.

Kind of.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

what i've been reading: july

Today I'm linking up  with Steph and Jana for Show Us Your Books.  Here's what I read in July.

I was all over the board this month.

First up.

River Road by Carol Goodman
I would give this 3.5 stars.  It was about a college professor who got some bad news at a work party, and then hit a deer on her way home on a snowy mountain road.  She woke up the next morning to a detective at her door informing her she was a suspect in a hit and run that killed one of her students.


The woman's own daughter had been killed in a hit and run on the same road years earlier, and the investigation uncovers some similarities between the two tragedies.  The professor works to clear her name and find the driver.  The story kept my attention, had some good twists and turns, and even had a little love story weaved in and you cannot beat that.


Nantucket Nights by Elin Hilderbrand
First of all, this book made me want to move to Nantucket.  It sounds so quaint and picturesque.  This was about three friends who go swimming in the middle of the night, and one of them goes missing.  The search to find her uncovers some a bunch of hidden secrets.  The ending was okay, but if I'm honest about this book, it was a little boring.  And by the end I couldn't keep straight who was having affairs with who.  It was a little much.


Columbine by Dave Cullen
I had heard so much about this book and decided  to give it a go, even though I knew it wouldn't necessarily be an entertaining read.  I was 11 when Columbine happened, so my memory of it is mostly the major headlines.  Many of which, as it turns out, weren't necessarily true.  This book details the media coverage of the tragedy and what they did right and what they did wrong.  It also covers the law enforcement response and investigation, and what was known about the shooters before April 20, 1999.  Parts were very difficult to read, but I couldn't put it down.


I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron
I drive a lot for work, so I listened to this as an audio book curing my trips, which was much more entertaining than flipping through radio stations.  I especially liked how Nora talked about getting her start in the publishing industry, and how she worked her way to the top.  She's also funny, which is a plus.


Dave Barry's History of the Millenium by Dave Barry
I love Dave Barry.  I think he is the most hilarious writer.  I listened to this as an audio book too, and I was CRACKING UP as I drove down the highway.  I had this playing one afternoon when I picked up my sister, and even though she was tuning in halfway through the millennium, she was laughing too.  It's totally ridiculous but that's what makes Dave Barry so funny.


The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
And this time Elin made me want to move to Tuckernuck Island.  I loved this book.  Two very different sisters, their well-meaning mother, and their quirky aunt spend a summer at the family's old house on the island after a broken engagement.  Over the next few months there are some new romances and unexpected discoveries.  Best of all, there is a happy ending.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

bad things happen in threes. at a minimum.

Two weeks ago my parents set off on a much needed vacation.  I didn't mention it in real time because Emily was home alone, and I was in charge of homeland security (self-appointed) while they were away.

Unfortunately, they left the house and Murphy moved in because EVERYTHING THAT COULD GO WRONG, DID.

The afternoon they left Emily had an unfortunate, literal run-in with the corner of her bed.  She initially thought she might have some broken bones.  The injury was self-diagnosed of course, because she takes after me in that regard.  Birds of a feather.

Luckily the injury improved and the first crisis was over.  But speaking of birds, Emily called me at work on Monday and said, "Sky died."

Sky is (was) my mom's classroom parakeet, and he was spending the summer at my parents'.

"Umm...are you sure he's dead?" I asked.

I'm totally your girl in a crisis.

"Oh, he's dead," Em said.  "He's laying on his side on the bottom of his cage with his eyes open.  He's is definitely not alive."

She should switch her major to veterinary medicine.

"Well," I said, "You're going to have to get him out of there."

"I don't want to," she said.

Sky had been a little under the weather in the weeks leading up to my parents' vacation, so his untimely death wasn't a complete surprise, but I could tell Emily was less than thrilled that he waited until my parents were 600 miles away to fly to bluer skies.

On day three of my parents' vacation, the check engine light came on in my dad's car, which Emily was driving for the week.  Emily dropped it off at the mechanic and I picked her up there and we went for a walk and talked about every single thing that could be wrong with the car, because give us a tough situation and access to google and suddenly we are professional auto mechanics.

Emily summed it up perfectly when she said, "It could be anything.  The transmission might be shot, or the gas cap might not be on all the way."

The next morning, the diagnosis came.

The gas cap wasn't on all the way.

The rest of the week was fairly low key, but Emily slept over on Saturday night and we decided to celebrate Bakery Sunday, which is a tradition Matt has been unsuccessfully trying to get off the ground for two years now.

As we rounded up our shoes and keys Matt said, "I have a funny feeling we're only celebrating Bakery Sunday because Emily is here."


But sadly, we pulled up to the bakery and it was closed.

Shut down.


So we drove to another bakery and got twice as much as we should've but we felt it was well-deserved.

Speaking of baked goods, our garden is going gangbusters.  In particular we have a surplus of eggplant and zucchini.  I made zucchini bread last week and then used two zucchinis last night to make "ravioli."

We'd finished our zucchini bread and I decided I really enjoyed having that around, so tonight I made chocolate chip banana bread.

It's like Bakery Everyday around here.

Who needs vacation?!