Friday, July 30, 2010


It's Date Night.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Speaking Of Day Trips: A Two-for-One

I've been saving up my birthday money for my die-hard favorite store - the J. Crew outlet in Cincinnati. This is not like the outlet up in our parts, what with the rinky-dink storefront and half-hearted displays of weirdo shirts that look somewhat familiar, but upon further inspection, were stitched from the left-over fabric from a batch of last year's mens boxers that didn't sell particularly well in the first place.

This is like a real J. Crew store, but with sales. Lots of sales.

It even has a Crewcuts, but I don't dare venture back there.

Or, I do venture back there, but I don't touch anything.

Or maybe I do venture back and touch things, but I don't ever, ever buy anything, because what little girl needs a J. Crew habit? And honestly? Kids get dirty. And their clothes should not cost more than their Mama's. And they really don't even care. And some little-big boys will only wear shirts made of mesh with a number plastered on the back.

Or maybe, maybe I buy one little Crewcuts shirt, but only because it's on sale for $5 and it says "Ruby's Crab Shack" on the front.

But only then do I buy. Only then.

Only then. Only then... even if it's the cutest little girl stuff on this side of anywhere...Only then...I have found that it helps to repeat this mantra ad nauseaum...Only then.

Here's what blogging will do to you. It will skew your grip on reality in such a way that you find it acceptable to have your husband photograph you with your Auntie Anne's lemonade, out in the middle of the plaza.

Upon playback, you'll realize that he did not include your itty bitty bag, and you'll make him take another one.

Even if it's 97 degrees in the shade and you let your hair air-dry {again} and you're wearing the skirt with the hole in the back that you safety-pinned closed because you are afraid to sew, and there are people around, you will still do this.

Because you have lost your ever-loving mind.

And because a personal paparazzo is a terrible thing to waste.

What will $50 get you at the J. Crew outlet? Well, I'll give you a hint. It fits in a bag roughly the size of my abnormally large hand. In this case, it happens to be a purple silk, ruffly top that may or may not inspire a confused look by one's husband; and a men's heather grey sweatshirt, that is already destined for a star on the FPFG walk of fame, come Winter.

Addendum 2:
I guest posted here today. Have a look see.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Our 5-hour Vacation

We recently surprised the kids with an impromptu visit to Silver Beach.

We lined 'em up on the couch post-breakfast and broke the news.

Each expression perfectly summarizes the individual wearing it. Calvin played it cool and may have even been a little nervous. Ruby was so excited and overboard that she probably didn't hear where we were going, and Silas saw an ideal opportunity to shriek without consequence.

We packed our lunch, so this trip didn't cost us a dime.*

At midnight, the night before, I realized that I really needed to make some salsa for the trip. Ladling it into the margarine tub the next morning, it hit me: I think I may have a problem.

Our day consisted of digging...



Baywatch practicing...

Then - a salsa break.

I think the raspberry is the very picture of Summer, don't you?

We spent a little time at the Super Size splash pad - the perfect antidote to a fresh sand coating.

Home boy did much better than I had expected, although he did endure a moment of sheer panic when he was caught up in a torrential splash pad downpour. He emerged bearing a strong resemblance to a drowned rat. Cutest rat I'd ever seen.

As we were walking down to claim our parcel of sand, I said to Cory, "This is something Silas would have never experienced in Korea." He's been with us for four months and I alternately marvel at how quickly the pages have flown off the calendar and realize that four months is really nothing to a toddler who lived a whole life before us.

After just 3 hours, we packed it up. We're wimpy like that and we don't care who knows it.

Heading home, we hit the McDonald's drive-thru for a Diet Coke for CMB, where the drive-thru lady was the frosting on my day. She was genuine and funny and joy-filled. She called Cory "Sweetheart". I don't think I would be all of those things if I was passing paper cups through a little window with an awkward bow-tie around my neck. So, it's settled - that's who I want to be when I grow up - the Mickey D's drive-thru window lady with the smile as big as Lake Michigan.

*Parking is typically $8, but they don't take debit cards and couldn't break our fifty, so we parked for free!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Corner

I have not been to a single flea market this Summer. Not one. single. time.

I think part of it has to do with my heart changing about this sort of thing lately, but I'm not going to pretend that I have no desire to get my junk on. I won't pretend for a second that there's anything wrong with a little flea action.

Finally, today, the fleas aligned and I was Allegan bound.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I was served a double-dip of devastating news, with a side-car of stomachache.

The stomachache alone would not have stopped me. I didn't puke, after all. A stomachache isn't real unless puke is involved. And I haven't puked in TWELVE years. Twelve. 12. Read it and weep. (And yes, feel sorry for me that this is what I have to brag about.)

Then I got a phone call, piggybacked on an email, which translated into buckets of tears and two more raspy-voiced phone calls.

Everything is fine in this house. These worries are not my own. But they involve a couple of the people I love best, so they really are kind of my own. That's what we do - we share burdens. We take on the pain of another. With proximity playing a role, I am able to carry just a tiny corner, but that little corner is deceptively cumbersome. I lost sleep last night, thinking of two who were losing sleep in other zip codes.

I called of the flea.

I spent my morning, instead, awash in new tears while sitting first in a metal folding chair and then in a wooden pew.

I cried over loss and confusion and loneliness. I cried over safety and love and acceptance. Faith. Hope. Sad mingling with joy, sharing a path down my cheeks.

There is no place I would rather have been today. Fun as it is, sipping a lemon shake-up, hugging fleaish friends, would not have lightened my load. A cart of finds would not have carried a corner of my corner.

I sit with my back to a near-dark sky and my heart aches more than it did a couple of hours ago. That's how it always works, isn't it? Hurt can't hide so well in shadows.

While this may seem a little here-nor-there, I want to share something I stumbled upon just a few nights ago, with the help of my Lovely - Becks.

It will take up less than 10 minutes of your time. It is worth it. Here's a lady who grew tired of carrying life on her shoulders, alone.

Ann Rice - author of Interview With A Vampire, to name just one: (if the video keep stopping to buffer, push pause for a couple of seconds and try again!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

This Must Be Your Lucky Day

I'm ba-aaaaaaaack! It's Throwback Friday, ya'll, and we're kicking it old-school, circa Winter '10, with a trip down Grocery Store Confessional Lane.

I'm going to get right down to business, because I can hear you clamoring all the way from here.

But first, I have a disclaimer - My budget's all shot in the hiney. Silas swept in and with him, another mouth to feed. Go figure. Also? We're in the midst of significant change around here, and cooking is my Warm & Cozy. Sue. Me.

Without further ado, I give you the list!

Except I feel compelled to also point out the fact that it's a triple-digit heat index here. It's that time of year when all anyone wants to eat is watermelon and cold cereal. And salsa. And cheesecake.

It's been hotter than snot here for two weeks running and just to throw my peeps off I've served soup twice. Hey - once you've downed a piping hot bowl of minestrone, who really cares where the mercury has landed? You'll find yourself in a January state-of-mind. And you'll thank me for it.

Sweet Corn Charlie's (local produce stand)
1 dozen ears of sweet corn - $5
2 tomatoes - ??
1 vidalia onion - ??
Total: $8.00

90 count floss thingies - 1.99
Kids Crest - 2.17
Bananas - .73
Cilantro - .69
Old Orchard Apple Raspberry frozen juice - 1.18
Diced tomatoes - 1.06
Meijer wheat bread - 1.19
Spaghetti - .48 ($1 off coupon)
Black olives - 1.49
Paper Towels - 1.49
Canned whole tomatoes - 1.49
Prego spaghetti sauce - 1.92
3 lemons - 2.00
Santitas tortilla chips, Baby! - 2.00
Suave shampoo - 2.12
Italian bread - 2.29
Caesar vinaigrette dressing - 2.67
Kix - 3.17
Cinnamon Chex - 3.29
Right Guard Antiperspirant because Cory is a deodorant diva - 3.69 (ouch)
Strawberries - 2.00
2 cans tuna - 1.18
Red grapes - 1.57
1 head red leaf lettuce - .88
2 heads ol' fool Romaine - 1.82
Bing cherries - 3.95
Baby Kosher dills - 1.99
2 limes - .50
Sausage patties - 2.19
2 boxes raspberries - 3.00
Seedless watermelon - 3.99
2 bags Lays potato chips - 3.99
2 gallons 2% milk - 4.00
Whole wheat sub buns - 2.00
Grape tomatoes - 2.00
Quaker rice cakes (2 bags) - 2.50
Eggo frozen waffles - 1.67
Subtotal - 77.04
$10 off coupon from pharmacy
Total - 67.04

Grandma's Pantry
Pearled barley - 1.25
.6 lb hard salami - 2.12
.7 lb honey smoked turkey - 3.62
.5 lb provolone - 2.08
Total - 9.07

Grand Total - 84.11

Not too impressive, right? Well, what if I told you that this will last us THREE weeks??!

It's not true, but that would be impressive, right?

As for the week's menu - I decided to keep you in suspense. I know.

Now scoot back from the edge of your seat and pour yourself a bowl of cold cereal. Do it in honor of me. And watch FNL while you munch. That's what I'll be doing in about 7 minutes.

-Grocery Girl

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This Salad Will Break Your Heart

I am a bonafide salad fanatic.

I have no explanation for why or how this happened.

I do have one significant requirement - no creamy dressings. Ranch is sacrilege. Creamy Italian is dishonorable. And don't even get me started on Thousand Island.

I'm a big fan of the chopped salad. I do not appreciate bulky lettuces. A memo to the people - head lettuce is best lettuce. It is cheaper. It is healthier. It lives longer in the crisper.

For this, I used a mix of red Romaine and plain ol' fool Romaine. Diced smallish.

I grabbed the early birds from the garden, which included a couple of black cherry tomatoes that embody a very disconcerting bruised hue, but are tasty, all the same.

I also used green beans from the garden, snapped and blanched.

To round it all out, we had diced cukes and zukes from the garden, along with chopped artichoke hearts, canellini beans, pine nuts and fresh-shredded sharp cheddar. Oh, and garden beets! I forgot them until after the photo was taken, just as I sat down to dive in. Close one.

The dressing was my fave dijon balsamic vinaigrette, found here. I will never love another more. But it's true what they say - buy the good vinegar. It matters.

Yo, if this is bird food, pass the wings and bunk me in a nest.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Long Road to the Point

I am not a runner. No way, no how. I have in ingrown fear of exercise -- I fear losing weight.

Stay with me.

I've been a skinny minny all my life. I routinely add 5 pounds to my weight on my driver's license. I'm now at that age where I'd love for someone to cut a few slices off my muffin top, but leave the rest, thankyouverymuch. What if I set out to do myself some good and in the process, my arms get skinnier, and my hip-section retains its own personal hour-glass figure?

Still, in one of my favorite recurring dreams, I am simply running. It feels so good and I'm always amazed at how far I can run. Now Cory is training for a half-marathon and I'm freshly inspired, theoretically speaking.

I have a bucket of excuses at the ready, but tonight - I ran. And I walked-walked-walked-walked-walked and then I ran a little bit more.

I was alone. On the road I grew up on. The rain misted just enough to capture a muddy rainbow. I passed an old farm and saw my high school band teacher standing in the field. I passed by row upon row of field corn that dwarfed me. I heard nothing but my shoes on asphalt.

Before long, the rain came down harder - dripping down my face, soaking my t-shirt. I thought to myself, "I should cry!" In books the girl always cries in the shower or in the rain, "where no one can see my tears" (cue violin). It struck me - I have not one single thing to cry about. Dang! I was itching to try on some faux angst. Nothing sounded more sensational than a girl running on her home-grown road, two kinds of drops coursing down her cheeks, dripping from her chin.

Slowing down at the telephone pole, my near-miss with roadside drama averted, I was seized by the irrational fear of my High School boyfriend driving by and laughing at me. (It is clear even to me that should I opt to make walking-walking-running a regular part of my life, it would be wise to invest in a music-playing device or similar mind-wandering-restraint.)

I soldiered on, wishing the whole experience were half as euphoric as my R.E.M. version.

I was stared down by a herd of cattle who were largely unimpressed with my efforts.

I was so utterly content. Breathless, too. But mostly - content.

I started complaining to Jesus about Cory's job situation. Without weighing the truth or calibrating the consequences, I blurted out, "YOU choose!"

I was an exasperated child, tired of trying to figure it out.

You choose.


For the past two months, one of my fears has been that we would make the wrong choice.

I have no idea when I decided that this was up to us. I know better. I thought I did.

With rain in my eyes, with my ratty t-shirt stretching heavy, I came face-to-face with Epiphany. I was quiet enough, tired enough to hear the Truth.

Go on ahead, God. You choose. I'm just along for the run.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Trading Up

Today I stumbled upon a perfectly encapsulated summary of my life. That it was so metaphorical would have been enough. That it was entirely lovely was a gift. That I noticed? A miracle.

I was never a little girl who dreamed of being a princess, but I was a little girl who dreamed big. And often. I think all little girls do it. (I sure hope so.) And although I bypassed the ballerina phase, I whiled away a few fistfuls of hours imagining the endless possibilities of my future.

Never once did I fancy myself the mama of a brown-skinned baby with hair that tangles at the mention of a comb. Never did I close my eyes and imagine the weight of a little gymnast body in my arms, with delts that could make big boys cry. I never knew there was a specific, blissful heart-ache reserved just for the sound of a little girl lithp.

I step in from the heat that renders my lungs swamp-land, from the humidity that waves my hair. I breathe solace in my mudroom. Never could I have imagined the possible magic of a mudroom.

My eye is drawn to my unsexy, on-sale dryer upon which the image of my whole life rests. I was once that little girl playing dress-up. And my big plan? Well, I got it all wrong.

But the getting it wrong was the very best part.

The getting it wrong was only the beginning.

The getting it wrong meant I traded in a lab coat for a tiny, purple tutu.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Playing Tricks

Life plays tricks on me sometimes.

For instance, my calendar is telling me that it's Sunday evening, when in reality it has to be Tuesday. Or maybe Wednesday? All I know is, I most definitely did not partake in a weekend.

Some of us did.

Calvin got to go For Real camping with his Daddy. For Real camping entails the pitching of a tent on ground that is not located in one's own yard, toilets without flushers and mosquito bites to beat the band.

He's gone and learned how to catch a fish, this one. He casts his line like he means it and reeled in a small-mouth bass entirely on his own, while Daddy lazed around the campfire, some 20 yards away. Or so the story goes.

I enjoyed "camping" for just two short hours on Friday night. Then Ruby got sick and I spent the rest of my "weekend" cuddled up with her, and doing my best to harness the energy and will of Siley Pie, which turns out to be no easy feat.

Here's the thing - I'm really not a camp girl. I enjoy what I know of it, but my knowledge is quite limited. I was not Born to Camp. It may have something to do with my long-standing aversion to outhouses or it may be related to my woeful hair that really must be washed daily.

It's not that I'm a wimp, though. No, it's definitely not that.

In theory, I should have been more than happy to opt out of "camping". But there's something I haven't told you about said camping trip - she was there.

You don't believe me? I'll prove it.

Lawsie Law - it's her. Camera in hand.

I know I've told you this before, but we lived next door to each other our Sophomore year in college. We shared a wall, ya'll. And I cannot remember one single conversation with her. It's all a travesty, if you ask me.

I had my reasons. I was busy color-coding my mens XL American Eagle flannel shirts and teasing my bangs. I was busy writing sonnets and day-dreaming about boys who would be but a memory just one short year later, upon the entrance of CMB.

The point is - I was a stark-raving fool to have missed out on her.

So we hatched a plan to meet up while they were in town. We were a collective ball of nerves, the two of us. But while our mutual introversion-spurred awkwardness could very well have spelled disaster, it didn't. As it turns out, we had plenty to talk about.

And then night fell and the little girl got sick and I never saw her again.




The moral of the story here? Go meet your neighbors. Do it today. You just never know what treasure may wait one door down.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day Colors

This day was painted with broad strokes of color.

Swimming pool blue.

Raspberry red.

Camp-fire orange.

No late-fees amber.

Fountain Pepsi fuchsia.

Lucky-in-love scarlet.

Giggle-box green.

Cutting garden pink.

But my favorite color was not one that hinted celebration or voices raised.

It was not one of mouth-watering taste.

It was not one of still-life beauty in wait of a frame.

Today, my favorite color was the burning-forehead grey of my sweetest girl.

My favorite color was "my tummy hurts".

My favorite moments were carrying her too-warm body heavy down the stairs; tucking it into my big people sheets, clean from the line; sharing a pillow as she drifted sad; burrowing my face into chlorine curls; feeling the rise and fall of her chest; whispering prayers into her ear and the ear of One who heals.

I am a Mama who marvels at sharing all the colors of this life. But grey is where I matter most.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unleash Your Inner Psychologist

I had a dream last night. A new spin on a classic.

I was back at my old high school and it was time to change classes. I went to my locker to get my books, but I couldn't remember exactly which locker was mine. I kept going down the line and I knew the combination for every lock. I was thinking, "How crazy if all this time, the combinations were the same for each locker! Sneaky." But as each locker opened, I would discover that none of my things were in it. Wrong red locker. So down the line I went, opening opening opening lockers. And the clock was ticking and I knew I was running out of time.

In my professional opinion, I think I might be feeling just a sliver of anxiety over time-sensitive matters such as selling a house, finding a new house, finding a job for the Mister...

I find myself yearning for the day when all of it is settled. When we are settled. We're in Limbo Land, and this town ain't big enough for the both of us. I've willfully allowed the hanging baskets and the window box to die an ugly and untimely death. There are unplucked weeds. It's true.

But there there are also Littles, soothing me like ginger lemon tea. There is my honey, catching the frets as they ricochet off of me and tossing them over his shoulder like the old news that they are. There are flowers, calming me like a salve.

I'm ready to live these last Summer weeks with a new kind of peace and a new kind of joy. Or maybe they're the old kinds. Maybe they're the Good Ol' Days, coming back around and slowing down just enough for me to hop back on.

It may periodically trip me up - this odd existence. We have joyfully surrendered with the assumption that change would steam-roll us right into our next phase of life. As it turns out, God isn't interested in steam-rolling us. He probably knows it's too hot and sticky for a bunch of steam right now, anyway.

One of these days, opportunity will arrive. On a bicycle, I think. Or maybe rollerskates. A pogo stick? That would be fun.

All I know is that when "it" lollygags 'round the bend, I hope it finds me with a smile on my face. And maybe a clean shirt and blow-dried hair, but I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Round II - Jen & Em

Day two of Luckiest Week Ever was right swell.

I adore Jen.

Do we just radiate serenity and contentedness, or what?

Don't judge. Drastic double chins call for drastic measures.

And Jen was nice enough to play along, too. She had sympathy for me and my girls. That's what I call my chins - The Girls. I know many of you may have, a time or two, referred to other, finer features as The Girls, but for me, it's all about the chins, Baby.

Back in college I yukked it up with the best of 'em over Richard Fish waxing poetic on the virtues of the waddle.

I'm not laughing anymore.

FPFG: I can count on one hand the number of times I have blow-dried my hair this Summer.

Jen: (It's true what they've been saying - she's let herself go. Poor thing. Maybe she just needs someone to listen...)

FPFG: Do I have corn in my teeth?

Jen: (Smile, Jen, Smile! Make her think she's sort of normal! So very sad...)

Jen: FPFG, I think you should consider leaving your farm once in a while. I think you might benefit from some...civilization! I'm just sayin'.


Jen: Also, as your friend, I'm here to tell you as nicely as possible that your hands are even more claw-like in person. Especially when you hold them like that.

Jen: (I still can't believe she put peppers in the salad!)

FPFG: anyways, our house is for sale. You should buy it! We could pick blueberries every Wednesday and have book club every Thursday and every Friday, we could have dinner together! Friday Night Fajitas!! You like peppers, right?

Jen: (Note to self: Never again stray North of Kokomo. It's just not safe.)

Jen: (Please. Stop. Talking! Is it 3:00 yet?)

I love our day, JJ. I loved every sweltery moment. I loved the blueberry picking and the Dented Can browsing and the back-roads driving, but I especially loved the lemon bar eating.

Next time, let's actually take some pictures, M-Kay?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chillin' Like a Chicken Villain

It's settled - The Coop Keeper and I? We're thick as thieves.

I have so much to share about our day...

But ya'll, I'm tired. So very, very tired.

And I need to get my energy up, because tomorrow is Round Two. With Her.

(I ask myself - what fortunate deeds have I done to deserve this week of goodness?)

For now, I'll say only this: Tonight I will sleep with a smile on my face and my heart topped off, because of this here lady.

She filled me up with joy and nonsense. My favorite combination.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where You'll Find Me Tomorrow

In a fantastic, last-minute turn of events, I will be heading West to visit her, along with my Mama, Rubester and Calvin.

We have been pretend friends for over a year and she lives less than two hours from here. 'Twould be criminal not to meet in person, though it has us both a bundle of nerves and silliness.

That's her, below. She's had a rough life. But I don't judge...

For your reading displeasure, I have included our entire email thread related to this visit. Don't hate me. It's my blog, and I'll bore you to tears with random nonsense if I want to.

July 10, 2010
6:18 PM
From: FPFG
To: The Coop Keeper (TCK)
Subject: Don't have a heart attack

Are you scared yet?

This is very last minute, but what does your Tuesday look like?

Would you be at all interested in company for part of the afternoon? Or does that thought make you hivey? You have to be honest, Smarty Marty.

If this doesn't work, we'll figure something else out. Just thought I'd run it past you!

-Shanny Bo

July 10, 2010
6:23 PM
From: TCK
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Shanny Bo
(do you like your new nickname?)
I'm sitting here now, catching up on facebook - the garden walk ended an hour and half ago - for today anyhow - oh my gosh I had a ball - met a few people that read the blog - SO freaking fun! One gal actually brought me bacon! How fun is that!?

Tuesday sounds fine and perfect! I'm taking Aaron out for breakfast that day, but we'll be home - who all shall be with you? I want to make sure I prepare - will you have lunch with me?

The garden will still be weedfree - so it's a good time to come! LOL NOW, I might not let you upstairs in the house - oh dear, ok, I'm getting nervous, but in a very good I can't wait to meet you way - so - come on over!

The weird thing - right now - I don't know what to do with myself. I need to water a little, and push the mower in the back yard a little - collect eggs - make sure the girls have water - stuff like that - but I feel like the pressure is off - and it's a good feeling - but a weird feeling -

: < >

July 10, 2010
7:14 PM
From: FPFG
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Oooh...Hoorah! I'm so glad you're not hive-riddled.

And I'm SO happy to hear that today went so well! To know you is to love you. That's what they all say. (You didn't know???!)

I'm trying to twist my mom's arm into coming up from Ohio on Monday, so she will likely be with me. And maybe Calvin and Ruby, but definitely NOT Silas.

Oh Lord have mercy, he is a handful. A really cute handful, but still. So I will happily take advantage of Cory's "relaxed" schedule and leave Silo with his daddy.

Two questions:

1. What would be a good arrival time?
2. What is your exact address?
3. What can I bring?
4. Promise me you won't stress and over-vacuum.
5. I am totally fine with not seeing the upstairs. I sort of dread when people ask for "the tour", because our upstairs is mostly disastrous.
6. What can I bring?
7. Promise me you won't stress.
8. My floor is covered in sticky rice right now, if that helps take the pressure off.
9. I just remembered how much you value a really clean home and now I'm nervous about the day that you come to my house.
10. I don't know how to count.
11. I don't know the difference between a question and a statement.

Gossip Girl

ps- Did you see that new Big Brother-ish show with all of the old bachelors/bachelorettes that's coming on in August?? I'm so all over it.

July 10, 2010
9:05 PM
From: TCK
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Oh Shannahan - I might get all 'Misery' up on you and break your legs and just keep you here forever - cause:

1. You are adorable.
2. You make me laugh out loud - and not too many people can do that ...
3. I really need some help around here.
4. I love you heaps.
5. I'm scary in real life.

Of course I'll be over vacuuming and stressing and freaking, and cleaning the hot upstairs - it's ok, cause that is just WHO I am. You'll be disappointed in the 'real' house - the blog makes it look all wonderful and nice, and it's just a small house that smells of musty basement.

By the time you get here, I'll be an old woman (think of the photo) standing in the driveway with one flower. LOL - that's not really funny, but I'm just tired enough to think it is....


Arrival time - it don't make me no never mind. Anytime. You know I'm up early - I'll just be so happy to see you. I so hope your mom will come - please tell her I said so. I have baby animals that need her love.

Bring you (and no beets) I really can't think of anything you need to bring hon - what will the kids eat? I can plan on lunch, or just snacks - I suppose it will depend on what time you get here....

I can't promise I won't stress - in fact, this will be so perfect, cause I was just thinking today, what shall I stress about this week? : < >

Your rice dilemma does take the pressure off - but I trump you with smelly guineas on the enclosed front porch, and a yard sale chair sitting in an awkward place, and spider webs everywhere and windows that haven't been washed in a coons age - and a newly found wasp nest in a rotted bedroom window.

I'm not nearly as hard on anyone as I am on myself. Please don't stress WHEN I come to see you, which will be soon.

I have no answer for 10 and 11 - those are your issues.

Oh Shanny BO - I'm super excited to meet you and hope we will have engaging banter in real life. I met some people from the blog today, and it was INCREDIBLY fun - such fun peeps - so I'm thinking we'll be good, plus, I just talk alot, and even talk more when I'm nervous, and I know I"m going to be super nervous to meet you, cause I really like the online you. Plus, I may scare your children since I think they are adorable. I once told my girlfriend's four year old that I wanted to cut her up and eat her with a fork. It frightened her - I didn't mean it literally, but ....well........

You are still coming over right?

: < >

Are you talking about the Bachelor Pad? OMG - I'm so all over it. I've given up being embarrassed by watching such drivel - I can't look away.

July 12, 2010
7:53 AM
From: FPFG
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Well, I'm all abuzz over here. My mom is due to arrive here later today, so ready or not, here we cooooo-ooooome!

I imagine we'll leave here sometime around 9:00 ...which would put us to your place around 11.

I do not want you to be feeling like you have to feed us lunch! I could always pick subs or something up on the way over?? Let me know what you are thinking but I forbid you from thinking you have to do anything involved. We are EASY to please.

We'll probably plan to head back out around 3.

Or is that too long???

Ugh. I'm getting hivey!

Just kidding.

And woman, I had BETTER see vacuum lines in your carpets... that's all I'm saying. I'd better see 'em.

Bo Bo

July 12, 2010
9:40 AM
From: TCK
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Oh Ma Goodness - I'm so excited. So.

So glad your momma is coming!!!!

Guess what? I just woke up. Heavens, it felt so indulgent. The chickens aren't too happy about it, but they'll get over it. I hope I have enough eggs to give you and mom some, I've been giving alot away lately, and I'm not sure what's in the fridge.....

Speaking of eggs - do you like cucumber sandwiches? I love them and thought they'd be good since I have cucumbers ready in the garden, but the kiddos probably wouldn't like them much - are they coming with?

Do you like coffee? I thought I could roast you some beans today. Oh and make sure there is room in your car for the junk I have for you!

Let's see. OK - well this is my plan - I'm going to clean today - which seriously, I would be doing with or without you. I like cleaning. And it realllly needs it since I've been outside all the time lately - I am nervous about you seeing the house, cause that is how I am.

Depending on how tired I am, or how in or uninspired I am - I will plan a nice little lunch here for us - or I will treat you guys to the Tastee Top down the road - they have good bacon cheeseburgers!

Oh Bo Bo - I think we will be fine and talk non-stop - or we will be awkward and you will leave at 11:30. Time will tell!

Looking SO forward to your visit!!!!!!!! You do know that I'm taking pictures to blog about it right!?

I have to go vacuum now, the driveway looks dirty.


July 12, 2010
9:07 AM
From: FPFG
Re: Don't have a heart attack

I am SO pumped to see you!!! I already know I love you.

And I like the Tastee Top idea. (I also like cuke sandwiches...) But I mostly like the idea of you crossing that one thing off your list and who doesn't like a bacon cheeseburger?? But no way in Hidey Ho am I letting you treat! I just won't do it.

So here's the deal - We're coming. With 2 biggish kids. And a mama. And we will dine out. And I'll leave room for the junk. And we'll have a BALL! And of course, I'm taking pics, too. Duh.

Also - JJ's coming here on Wed. Holy Schmoly! I'm a lucky girl with a lucky week. And I'm so excited for mom to meet the both of you!

ps - My mom and I are both not coffee drinkers. The only coffee nut around here is Corco...but he doesn't count.

pss- He does count, I guess, but I'm mad at him right now... ;)

July 12, 2010
10:18 AM
From: TCK
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Oh my oh my!~ I'm excited.

OK - no coffee beans for the bodofyous - but I'll send some for The Corkinator - and hopefully you won't still be mad at him (don't you hate that? I was mad at Glenco on Sat night). Do you have a grinder?

OK the Tastee Top it is! It's a cute place and they have pickanic benches out there, but it's also close enough to where we could come back here and still eat warm food. We could have a pickanic out in the outpost, or in the Squirrel - I'll have plenty sweet mint infused tea to drink and some sort of sweetness - a pie perhaps? A grunt? A betty? Or Shanny's favorite - a cobbler? Now if one was to make a cobbler for you - would one put sour cherries, raspberries, rhubarb or blueberries in it?

I will have to deal with guilt over not making you lunch. But given the fact that I'm crippled from yard work at the moment, and that my hands will work to the bone vacuuming today - I suppose it's only right that we eat out - and the kids will probably like it better. And I'm so treating. Just get that thought RIGHT out of your head.

I'm frightened for Calvini. I might frighten him. I have a cat named Calvin. I can't wait until they meet. I can't assure you that Rubilicious will not be traumatized.

Lucky you getting to see Jen tomorrow too!!!

I can't wait for the day that all the farmgirls are united. What a day that will be.

I'm going to go clean the toilet now. Please notice how clean it is when you visit.

Thank you.

July 12, 2010
10:22 AM
From: TCK

Re: Don't have a heart attack

almost forgot! The kids can play in the Blue Lagoon if you want them to! Just pack their suits - it's about 3ish -4ish feet deep. I have floaty rafts.


July 12, 2010
3:38 PM
From: FPFG
Re: Don't have a heart attack

I'll have them bring their suits! And as for the other question? Raspberries or sour cherries, but really, any fruit'll do.

Woot woot! We're coming, alright.

July 12, 2010
5:15 PM
From: TCK
Re: Don't have a heart attack

Just back in from hitching up the wagon and going to town. I got some popsicles for the chitlins and ice cream for our cobbler. I'll surprise you with a flayva.

I'm so totally not stressed, it's crazy. Having such a fabulous day. Looking so forward to your visit! The garden already has weeds in it and I don't give a hoot! I actually just stopped at the garden center, believeitornot, as I'm already planning a new bed. I just needs me some money, and lots of it. I want to plant more trees.

Well - there ya go - you'll be here and gone before you know it - and what a tale we'll both have to tell.

Be careful driving.

Do you need detailed directions? Are you really going to ask ME for them?

Wear your seatbelt.

Tell your mother I might freak her out with how excited I'll be.

Two baby chickens hatched today under the brood machine AKA Phyllis. I'm so excited for Calvy and Rubles. They will have baby chickens. A good photo op, no?

OK - I have to go wipe things. Exactly how tall are you? Do I need to wipe the top of my fridge?

hugs a plenty


Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Day in Food

I had lunch with Sarah today and it was about doggone time.

We met up first at the Farmers' market. How I love thee, Farmers' market.

She will be cooking up some Moroccan stew and a peach pie. I'll be making Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad, along with something blueberry/rhubarbish.

Over my Panera Greek Salad she gave me all the skinny on her newlywedness. Word on the street is, I get first rights on the For Real wedding pics, pending their arrival. I'm thinking this calls for a full-blown FPFG interview with the bride. Don't you agree?

I knew you would.

The scary part is, she said she would be interviewed by me only if I would then be interviewed by her.

My adolescence - most of which she was privy to - flashed before my eyes. And then I thought of all of those times I called her that name. And then I get all hivey and my pits got clammy and in an unfortunate knee-jerk reaction, I hissed "Ozzzzzzzzyyyyyyy....".

In retrospect, that may have been the wrong response.

After lunch, while Cory and Calvo went fishing, and Silo napped, Ruby and I made cupcakes.

And then I made this for dinner with pea pods from our garden. (And no, Martha Stewart is not paying me...yet.)

I implore you to make this drop-dead delicious meal. Especially if you happen to have an Asian child or two in your care. Calvin had seconds, then a cupcake, then polished off the rest of the rice. White rice - it's in their blood. I've never seen anything like it. Kimchi? That's another story...

After the Littles were tucked in, us Bigs hit the garden and came in with a bucket of loot, including our first very woeful looking Pink Girl tomato. I'm hoping to high Heaven that her sisters buck up and represent.

And speaking of woeful...have you ever seen a sorrier excuse of a pie photo?

Alas, the never-ending peanut butter pie finally gave up the ghost. It was time. A memorial service was held in the North cornfield. Please send more pie in lieu of flowers.