Maaaaah! Look, it's the bus!

>> Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Literally the words coming out of his mouth as the bus rounds the corner

Walking with Papa and Avery lasted about 10 feet. Then the question- "Mama, can I run?!"

This kid has been waiting for school to start since like June. Seriously.

I'm a first grader, mom.

Avery. Not so much the morning person.

There it is!!!

Lined up and waiting (note who's at the front of the line).

And they're off!

And thus begins the first day of school.


Umbrellas, Little Boys and Sunflowers

>> Monday, August 30, 2010

Spent a lovely, drizzly afternoon at Maplewood Farm with the boys and their good buddy, Walker- son of my best friend and family that owns the farm.
This is Sabi (Wasabi) he followed us around the zinna patch and then decided he was all set when the puddle stomping began!

Busy as a bee, so the saying goes...

Inspecting all the cool gadget and vehicles, a necessity for three little boys.

Oh my gosh the sunflowers...

Getting these two to cooperate with a smile proved near impossible.

Save for this one -out of focus- shot that I managed to snap. Boys.


For Ed

>> Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who loves the $h*T out of me. I love you too, baby. :)


Menu Planning Monday

>> Monday, August 23, 2010

Summer gets crazy, I haven't menu planned, or infact even properly grocery shopped since before we went to Maine back in July! The kids start school next week, so I'm trying to get back to a somewhat normal schedule... here's to hoping!

Monday- Jalepeno Cheddar Burgers with Nacho Chips and Fresh Tomato Salsa
Tuesday- Lemon Pepper Drumsticks on the grill with Couscous and Salad
Wednesday- Baked Mac and Cheese with Salad
Thursday- Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast with Caprese Salad and Cucumber Salad
Friday- Grilled Skirt Steak over Mixed Greens with Black Bean Salad
Saturday- Abby's birthday party- eating there!
Sunday- Tonya's birthday party- cookout at our house!

Head on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie for more great menu plans!


Linguine with Asparagus in Lemon Cream Sauce

>> Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yesterday I spent a lazy morning lounging around in bed browsing through the tv channels when I came upon a show called Bill's Holiday on the new Cooking Channel. Bill Granger is the chef and in the particular episode I saw, he used fresh seasonal ingredients to make a supreme variety of light and bright pasta dishes.

His food has been on my mind for the last 24 hours- Inspired by watching him make Tagliatelle with Fresh Peas and Lemon I decided to make a pasta dish using the basics of his sauce, but with a touch of zing from some shallot and red pepper. Following his cue of using seasonal and fresh produce, I chose garden fresh asparagus and tomato as my veggies.



8 oz linguine (I used spinach linguine)
1 cup fresh asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch rounds- leave tips whole
1 1/2 TBSP butter
1 1/2 TBSP E.V. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
2 TBSP minced shallots
1/2 Tsp red pepper flake
3/4 cup white wine*
1 Tsp freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

*Sauvignon Blanc works well with this; any reasonably priced bottle is fine- the important thing is to use wine you like the taste of when drinking it!

2/3 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes (garden fresh if possible!)
6-8 leaves of fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
freshly grated parmesan cheese

In a large frying pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots to the pan, cooking for 1 minute, then add garlic and red pepper flake, stirring and cooking for an additional minute.

Pour in the white wine and simmer until reduced by half.
Next add the lemon zest and cream and simmer for another 3-4 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, prepare your pasta according to package directions. Add the asparagus in with the pasta for the last minute of cooking- It should be bright green, but still firm.

Drain well and toss with sauce to combine.

Garnish with fresh grape tomatoes, basil and parmesan cheese.

Serve immediately.

Having finished our tasty dinner at 9:30 pm, I have decided that Ed and I are Europeans living with American time constraints. We would be much happier to dine later, entertain later and enjoy life much later into the evening. Unfortunately, we have to wake up in the mornings, so we live on coffee. LOL. Bah!


Slow progress with the patio and a heartfelt thank you

>> Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First off, I'd like to thank everyone who commented and emailed me when we lost Errol last week. He was really the best little doggy (and I'm not even a dog person, lol!) We miss him terribly but are so blessed that he was a part of our lives for 7 years.

Now on to other things. I posted previously that we were installing a patio in our backyard. We did fine on the excavation, though it was slow because we did it all by hand.

After our 3 day weekend, we put in a few hours each night when Ed got home from work and finally had the ground cleared out to a depth of 7 inches and the string lines all run and levelled, etc. Ed picked up a rented plate compactor on Friday (the 13th, should have known better!) and when he pulled the cord to start the engine, the cord came off in his hand and the thing was busted. And of course the rental place was closed all weekend long.

So instead of something like this going on

I started looking a little like this

To get on with my story, for around $60, we bought 2 hand tampers from Home Depot and we began the long and painful job of compaction by hand.

All in all, it's not a difficult or skilled process, but for those who don't know, this is an 18'x20' patio with a 3'x8' walkway- which has been dug to 19'x21' to allow for the plastic edging we have to put in. This is the scale drawing I did when we were initally mapping out our plans

Needless to say it took hours to do each layer.

First we compacted the ground. Then we laid a 2" layer of gravel and compacted that.

Then we began our second 2" gravel layer. At which point, we began to realize that the 40 foot tall black cherry tree in our backyard was seriously dropping some cherries into the gravel- a problem not only because it will affect laying the bricks, but a finished patio would wind up covered in cherry stains!

So after talking it over, we decided to call an arborist and have him come check out the tree.

Which turned into this

And this

and this

and also this

and finally this

My yard looks like a warzone and I am about to go outside with a leaf blower to try to get all the cherries into one area so I can get them off of the gravel.

I am beginning to feel like this is the patio that will never get done.

Oh btw, the rental place DID give us our money back, plus a 20% discount on a future rental- which will come in handy when we decide to rent a wet saw for cutting tiles when we redo our bathroom... (don't freak, honey, I'm not saying it's on the to do list -yet- one thing at a time!)


What a good Fluffa

>> Wednesday, August 11, 2010

and the best Little Wiggle an Auntie could ever have. We love you and will miss you!

Errol Charron


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