Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Story

If you missed the first episode of this new special series:

I'd highly recommend that you see if The History Channel is repeating it in your area and start watching.  THC has been plugging this series for what feels like 6 months with commercials during our  favorite THC shows (American Pickers, Pawn Stars) so we gave in to the pressure and gave it a try last Sunday night.  It's great -- the CGI effects are amazing.  After watching this, if you don't feel grateful to our Founding Father and Mothers, well, you're made of stone.  In all fairness, the commentary is a little weak (I doubt Michael Douglas is an expert on the Pilgrims but he apparently had something to say about them).   Other than that, I really recommend it.  The second episode airs this Sunday night.  

Have a nice weekend!

UPDATE:  I fell asleep during last Sunday's episode.  Oops.  Hope it gets a little more interesting for me.

50s Friday

My friends and I look this excited when we talk about mops...
but only if there is a pitcher of sangria involved.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joe 4, Julia 0

Go here to learn the history of these cooking posts....

I made this as an appetizer on Easter and it was good enough for us to eat as "dessert" earlier this week.  It takes literally 10 minutes to pull together: 

Brie and Pear Galette
1 Trader Joe's Pie Crust, thawed
4 oz. Brie (rind removed), cubed (I used a little more)
1 pear, thinly sliced (I prefer a large pear)
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
fresh ground black pepper

Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Place the pie dough on a baking sheet and scatter half the Brie over the center, leaving the edges clean.  Arrange the sliced pears on top of the Brie.  Scatter the pecans on top, and then add the remaining Brie.  Fold the edges of the dough in to create a "picture frame" around the filling leaving the center exposed.  Grind a little black pepper over the filling and bake 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden (I had to bake mine 25-27 mins but that might be my oven).  Cut into wedges or squares to serve.  Serves 4-6.

I wish my food photos were as attractive as the Pioneer Woman's.
The spotted cookie sheet doesn't help....

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mysterious Mallards Roam Burbank

"There's a duck on our front lawn."
Those are the words I heard Lee say this morning as I was hurrying around getting ready for work.  I joined him at the window and, sure enough, there was a beautiful Mallard duck sitting on our grass.  Where did it come from??  It's not like we live near a creek or pond -- we're smack-dab in the middle of suburbia.  In fact, we're on the edge of suburbia, as there's a McDonald's 2 blocks away.  I was worried the duck was hurt so I grabbed a piece of bread to see if he was hungry enough to follow my trail of bread crumbs.  He did -- and then I saw another duck!  Two ducks on our lawn!  Nate and Lee were at the window watching me.  The ducks weren't super impressed with my bread (perhaps I should have toasted the bread since it was 7:15am??) but they eventually ate all of it.  I went back inside and joined my guys in watching the ducks waddle around our grass.  I thought about those ducks all day  at work and, when I got home, I asked Lee what had happened to them -- he didn't know; they vanished as mysteriously as they had appeared.

Friday, April 23, 2010

50s Friday Returns!

For all of you sewers out there....
don't you just love a green sewing machine?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Tip

Happy Earth Day!  I thought I'd share a recycling tip with you.  It's not a mind-blowing "a-ha" kind of tip but it may spark some creativity and recycling in your own house.
For some reason, old houses tend to have very tall kitchen cabinets....I've owned a step-stool for years because every apartment I've lived in in my adult life (all built before 1940) had kitchen cabinets that were ridiculously high.  I wish someone could explain to me why this is since people back then were probably shorter than we are now.  Anyway, in my previously homes, I used the very top shelf to hold cookie cutters, my Thanksgiving platter, a soup tureen, etc. -- all stuff that wasn't used a lot.  When we moved into this house last year, I decided to try something else.  Now I store my special occasion table linens on the top shelf.  And how do I store them way up there? 

Can you tell what those are?  They're zippered plastic bags that you get when you buy sheets, blankets, towels, etc.  I could never part with them (another tip is using them to hold your shoes in luggage so they won't get your clothes dirty when you travel) and I'm glad I found a good use for them.

Wow, I really need to straight up our mug/cup shelf.  Embarrassing. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did They Braid Each Other's Hair and Crank Call Boys Afterwards??

Pillow Fight Day was April 3rd -- we missed out, didn't we?  The Los Angeles fight was held in Pershing Square, around the corner from my office building in Downtown Los Angeles.  There are a couple people in this video who had some serious issues to work out apparently...sheesh.

Monday, April 19, 2010

March 16th

This is my calendar at work -- did you know this March "holiday" existed?  I'm going to mark it down for next year so I won't be able to miss it!

Weekend Highlights

Nate making some new friends:

Nikki finally put together her vintage button bracelet 
while Lee was hangin' with his buddies Saturday night:

Bought this little vintage gem at the GCC Swapmeet:

Lee discovers a giant hole in his shorts on Sunday night --  
after he wore them on Sat. night and at the park on Sun. 
His undies were totally showing. 
I nearly peed my pants with laughter:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

We weren't very good at teaching Nate sign language but he does have 2 signs that he uses a lot.  One means "all gone/done" and the other means "I love _____."  Tonight after his bath, Nate signed that he loved my earrings.  Oh sweet boy!  Earlier in the evening he signed that he loved crackers and the neighbor's sprinklers so I'll take his declaration about my jewelry at face value. 

We have a plastic potty in our bathroom now.  Nate keeps standing in the potty.  He must think it's a stool or something.  We have a long road ahead of us in this department, I can feel it.

I think it's time to wash the bath toys when you and your son are playing with a plastic sea crab and, when you squirt water out of the crab's claw, a disgusting amount of brown gunk comes out and lands on your son's neck.  Ewwww.  I'm going to regret admitting that.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oinks and a Dancing Machine

Most toddlers make cute little animal noises like a gentle "woof" or "meow" from a dog and cat.  Not my son.  His first animal sounds have been that of an elephant and a pig.  I have yet to get the elephant noise on tape but here is my little piggy's some other stuff that I haven't a clue what it all means.  Nate has to oink during the animated portion of Mary Poppins (yes, her again) as you'll see here.  This is all part of our nightly ritual.  Enjoy!

It's a Mary Poppins World and We Just Live in It

Mary Poppins is HUGE in our house.  She provides us with a little after dinner music every night.  Every night.  To the people she's close with (uh, Nate) she's known as Mm Pop.  I decided to take advantage of her "power" and earlier this week told Nate that Mary Poppins brushes her teeth every morning and night (Julie Andrews does have a lovely smile).   Good grief, I should have thought of this ages ago because teeth brushing has never been so easy since.  He willingly sits on a stool in the bathroom and let's me brush his teeth.  Sure beats holding him down on the floor with my knee as he wiggles about and cries.  Mm Pop rules.  Literally.  I wonder what else I can say she likes?  Veggies?  Naptime?    

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia! 
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia! 
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! 
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! 

Thursday, April 1, 2010


We have more stuffed animals than we can handle but many of them have become dear friends (remember this post?).  A lot of Nate's stuffed friends were given to him when he was a little guy.  The one I'm going to introduce to you now is named Ruby.  Bob and Lorraine Ruby, a couple from our church, gave us this teddy when Nate was born.  It only seemed natural that he (yes, it's a he) be named Ruby.   Ruby sits in a rocking chair in Nate's room and is there every time we sit down to read a book...which we do a lot.  Part of our nighttime ritual is to say good night to everything in Nate's room -- Ruby, for some reason, always gets a special "good night."  Sadly, Lorraine Ruby passed away unexpectedly about a month ago (as an aside, being a pastor's wife can definitely stink when you're out running errands and your husband calls your cell to tell you that somebody is sick or has died.  Crying in the middle of Joanne's Fabrics was a little awkward.)  That first week after Lorraine's death, saying good night to Ruby was difficult for Lee and I but now it's nice to see Ruby and think about Lorraine (and Bob too).  Dear Lorraine, I miss you and enjoyed your feisty spirit when we'd talk at church.  I wish we could have spent more time together (I learned at your service that you and Bob moved 17 times in  the first 16 years  of your marriage -- how did you do that????)  So here's a special tribute to Ruby:
 A young Nate and Ruby -- June 2009

Ruby likes to ride the fire truck

Feeding Ruby a Teddy Graham, which seems kinda wrong 
(like giving a cow a hamburger)

Best pals watching cartoons
(if you're wondering,
that's a water spot on Nate's jeans not you-know-what)

Lemi Remove the Knife from My Back

From my bedroom window, I saw the gentleman with the large duffel over his shoulder walk away from my house and head next door.  In his hand were several colorful boxes.  He had obviously left a free sample of something on my doorstep.  My mind began to wonder...

I immediately thought (happily) "I hope it's chocolate."
Then I thought "I bet it's a new breakfast cereal."
My next thought was "well, Lee will like it if it's coffee."
So what did we get?  This:

I'm the proud "owner" of 4 samples of a new environmentally friendly dishwasher soap.  I don't have a dishwasher.  Thanks Lemi Shine.  Nice of you to pour salt in the wound.