Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oh Yes I Did!

Take a picture of what was probably the most awesome sandwiches I've EVER made!

I'd like to present - Smoked Turkey, Provolone, Pesto-Mayo & Cherry Tomato Panini's

It kind of goes without saying but, I LOVE my Panini maker?


Monday, September 28, 2009

Delicious Panini Goodness

This weekend I purchased a Panini machine and Oh MY GOD! Such deliciousness! I find myself wondering just HOW I went all these years without one.

On Saturday I made Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Panini's with London Broil (okay, the meat was little dry, so if I try it again the meat will have to be very rare and sliced paper thin.)

Yesterday I made Tuna Melt Panini's with cheddar cheese on fresh Italian bread and the bread? ooooohhhh the BREAD! So toasty, So tasty!

Today I'm going to step it up a notch and make Smoked Turkey with Tomato, Provolone and a Pesto Mayonnaise spread. I'm thinking of adding bacon too but that just might be too over the top.

My husband is working from home today and come lunch time, he's not gonna know what hit him. As I handed him the Panini I made on Saturday, I paused and said, "I'm trying to figure out just when I went from the luckiest wife in the world, to you becoming the luckiest husband."

And let's not talk about what all this bread is doing for the diet... okay?

Today's Kick-Ass I-pod Shuffle Tune:
Yes, I DID walk today but I dedicated the walk to my dog Anna. This made it more of a leisurly stroll so to speak, with lots of stops for sniffing rocks, trees, grass and just about EVERYTHING else. I didn't walk fast, I just allowed her to set the pace. No evil looks from passersby, just lots of admiring nods as to the beautiful animal I was walking.

Since the pace was slow, I spent time listening to the more relaxed music on my I-pod. One of the songs I enjoyed the most, instantly took me back to the first time I saw THIS, one of my all time favorite classic television moments.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thanks... And there's MORE!

My deepest thanks to all of you who went over to Smugmug and shared the love with Nature Girl. She positively GLOWS every time she reads a new comment.

I was surprised to find this morning, she's added even MORE of her stunning photos. You can see them here.

Now, I have to be honest and tell you that if it were me, and I didn't know Nature Girl, there's NO WAY I would believe a 16 yr. old took those pictures. But I swear to you, they're ALL hers. She has remarkable patience and an incredibly steady hand. My favorites are her macro shots but they're ALL pretty amazing... And I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

I'm Trying.... I'm REEeeeAaaaalllllLLLYY Trying

So the boy still doesn't have his drivers license... The reason being, he has to accrue 60 hours of driving time before he's able to apply.

60 HOURS!!!

Yes, he needs the practice but dammit, I'm the one riding shotgun 99.9% of the time!

I'll say it again...

60 HOURS!!!

Today he was driving to school and was nearing the point where he needed to make a right turn.... but.... he.... was.... STILL... IN.... THE.... LEFT.... LANE!!! I had made a pact with myself when getting in the passenger seat of the car that I would NOT say ANYTHING during THIS trip.
a) Because I sound too controlling.
b) He's got to make responsible decisions for himself.

So here we are... STILL IN THE LEFT LANE... When my daughter says, "Hey, aren't you going to get over?" and yes, I couldn't help myself, I immediately echoed her words.

That's when he went, "Huh? Uh, Oh yeah... I forgot where I was going."


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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Nature Girl Gallery

If you've got a moment or two today, I'd like to invite you over to THIS site.

My husband had offered to sponsor Nature Girl with her own Smug Mug Gallery. We think it's time she start sharing her photography gift with the world.

I'm sure she'd be ABSOLUTELY THRILLED if you left her a comment or two... And go ahead, add the link to your browser, I'm pretty sure she'll be adding photos all the time.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nature Girl Photography

So the other day Nature Girl and I took a mini photo safari around the front yard at our friends house. The results of some of my shots can be found here... But I thought I'd dedicate a special post to these pics:

Well looky, who do we have here? This not so little guy/gal? would like to say Hiya!
(I was able to get this shot with the tutelage of Nature Girl. She was all, "Okay, wait, wait, refocus, wait, okay, take it NOW!" All while holding her own camera and that giant bug!)

I am definitely not brave enough to actually hold insects of this size but for 'Nature Girl' it's well, second nature.
I am consistently amazed that she can hold the camera still enough with one hand to manage clear, crisp macro shots. Eventually our little friend wanted to get a better idea of just exactly what this big black thing was. If it were possible, I think our Mantis buddy would've started taking his own nature pictures.I have to tell you, at one point when I was shooting my macro shots the mantis climbed onto MY camera and I managed okay until, I felt this guy sneak up beside me and start flicking his tail against my right arm....That's the only time I let out a scream.

Oh yeah, my Kick-Ass I-Pod Shuffle Tune of the Day: C'mon, like the Beatles EVERY I-Pod should have AT LEAST one song by this artist. It's a perfect walking beat, add a little bounce and maybe a little hip movement and your walk becomes a half-dance... And when you pass someone looking at you with a smirk... Just smile, nod and keep on shuffling.

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A Quandary

Our dog Anna is getting old...However, that doesn't stop her from becoming an unbearable nudge EVERY morning over going for a walk... And her favorite spot is 'The Walking Park.' The minute she sees me fill the water bottle and grab the leash she bounds over to the front door, tail wagging furiously and whimpering pathetically. She can scarcely hold her shit together until she's in the van, perched on the back seat and if we don't get there fast enough, she starts whimpering again.

Now this is all well and good UNTIL, we get about halfway through the walk. Then her advanced age begins to take its toll and I start to look like as big an A-Hole as Michael Vic, dragging my poor gimpy dog around the park, trailing 5 feet behind me.

Would you think me EVIL if you saw me walking a dog th
at looked like this? (Advance to :28 and again at 6:32 and again at 7:34 and there you have Anna, my very own Lassie Come Home.) What am I supposed to do? Leave her at the door, sad and dejected? I'm hardly getting a workout when after the first mile and a half I'm slowing to a crawl and turning around every minute or so to play out a scene from 'Brian's Song' saying, "C'mon, you can make it!" All while others walk past me either looking at Anna with pity or to me with contempt.

I could walk her around our neighborhood but I'm here to tell you that my old dog would still feel slighted if I left her behind. I'm thinking maybe I'll try to walk her in the evenings at the park, along with my husband who also complains that I walk too fast for his liking.

As for my Kick-Ass I-Pod Shuffle Song of the Day:
So OK,
THIS song has a really kick-ass beat that seriously got me pumped and moving when I otherwise felt like dragging. I seriously doubt however, this would be one of Anna's favorite tunes. I wonder though, if they'd consider selling doggy I-Pods? Hmmmmmmm?

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Summers Last Sigh

The boats are dry docked...

There's a touch of red on the tips of the trees...All those books I'd hoped to have read before summers end? Still waiting for their spines to be cracked.

The days are shorter...The flowers are sharing their last fragrant blooms...

There seems an audible sigh at the close of each warm day...So, here comes the sucky cold weather... I'm really gonna miss you Summer.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Wave Action

The above photograph illustrates just why my bathing suit stayed packed in my suitcase this vacation.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Why we won't have a tan after vacation...

A very brief break in the clouds:
Cloudy with a very good chance of wind:
And More wind:
And MORE wind:
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White Capped & Wind Blown

Last year it was Hurricane Hannah, this year it's just like a hurricane but without the weather service christening the weather with a name.

For the past three days we've been mostly holed up in the beach house, ducking out of the wind and the rain between visits to the nearby shops. Fortunately we ALL like eachother and we have a plethora of books, games & puzzles to keep us occupied. While the 13 of us are capable of entertaining ourselves at the cottage... There are, inconceivably, 3 CRAZY men out golfing in this today. My husband however, has always told me it NEVER rains on a golf course.

This is the view of the ocean today from the deck off my bedroom:

And this is a view of the furniture on the deck off my bedroom (kinda reminds me of the sinking scene in Titanic.):

Last night my husband was griping about the amount of banging the kids were doing so late at night. I think he should've been upset at the patio furniture instead.

My Kick Ass I-Pod Shuffle Tune of the Day:
What? You don't think I walked today? YES, Yes I did! Fortunately it wasn't raining at the time but if I didn't have this extra girth the wind might have just lifted me up and taken me out to sea. I didn't walk yesterday due to rain aaaannnnd a bit of laziness, I'll admit... So today's walk started out with seriously burning calves but I was determined to plow through. I was really losing hope that ANY song would have an effect on the pain in my legs until THIS song came into rotation. Now this is the beauty of the I-pod, how a song can transport you to a place where fatigue and aching, burning muscles are no longer in the forefront of your conscience.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I found this one on the site of a fellow blogger and fell in love with it...

"Jessica. For God's sake," he said. "Allow me to do at least one common courtesy for you. In spite of what 'women's lib' teaches you, chivalry does not imply that women are powerless. On the contrary, chivalry is an admission of women's superiority. An acknowledgment of your power over us." - Beth Fantaskey, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

What a beautiful thought to share with both my daughter AND my son. Maybe you'll want to share it with yours.

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My Husband - The Fashion Plate

So the old man needed some new clothes for vacation this year. Not a problem. However, I discovered recently, the guy needs a little instruction on exactly HOW to dress.

Seems he doesn't exactly know what to DO with new clothes. He spent the entire day walking around like this:

And I thought it was bad when he walked up to his brother and pointing to the large strip of XL's that ran down the front of his new shirt said, "Look, my shirt comes with a cool logo too."

I can dress him up but I sure can't take him anywhere.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Death of Summer & Common Vernacular

Our Bethany Vacation usually begins the weekend after Labor Day, so this is the first year we've been in town for all the end of the summer festivities. On Saturday night we had the pleasure of listening to and meeting the members of the Beatles cover band, Fabmania... Four really nice guys who look, dress and sound the part. All the while maintaining the character and accents of the fab four. It was only after I got into a side conversation with 'Paul' about where we were both from and that he works in my home town, that the Liverpool accent kind of faded... Naturally.

Later, I was talking with my beach house buddy Janet, who is herself British, South African born and spent a great deal of her life living in Britain. I expressed that it might've been funny for her to introduce herself to the members of Fabmania, possibly giving them the impression they were being mocked (I have a rather twisted idea of what's funny... Speaking of which, I'd really like to hear Janet do a Benny Hill impression, which knowing Janet, it'll be a cold day in hell before that happens.) My very British friend Janet, in typical British form, obviously didn't see why I found this idea quite so hilarious. Anyway, I realize Janet's accent and the Liverpool accent are quite different. I mean, have you ever noticed that when the Beatles talked, whatever they said always came out sounding like a question? Case in point "He's Paul's Grandfather."

So Janet and I get to talking about the different accents in England and I say something regarding the 'Liverpoolian' accent. She looks at me and says, "Liverpoolian?" (exactly as a Liverpoolian might say it) and she says (very British like), "You mean 'Liverpudlian'." "LiverPUDlian?" I say, "What the heck is LiverPUDlian... Why that just sounds derogatory!" Cause I mean, how does someone who comes from a place ending in 'POOL' end up being referred to as a 'PUDDLE?' Why, I think that's just rude. The argument ensued as to which was the proper reference and only until we looked it up on Google did I admit to being wrong. Leave it to someone from Britain to KNOW the proper vernacular for someone who hales from Liverpool but it continues to boggle my mind. Puddle indeed!

So back to the end of summer festivities. Last night the adults went out for dinner together and left the kids to fend for themselves (put down the phone, childrens services division doesn't want to hear that we expected a bunch of teenagers to procure their own dinner), when we got a call from Chloe who explained that she a the others had been quote: "Touched by DEATH!" Expecting they'd had a close call with a rude tourist behind the wheel, my husband asked if they were okay. Turns out there's a ritual here in Bethany called, 'The Death of Summer.' Mourners gather dressed in black, a dirge is played and a woman walks around with a long black scarf and wipes away the 'tears' of the vacationers and tells them they've been touched by death........... Creepy? Yes! But I guess everyone has their own way of kissing summer goodbye.

My Kick-Ass I-pod Shuffle Tune of the Day:
For high energy you can't get much higher than THIS tune. I own the cd of this band or should I say, Orchestra and nearly every tune exudes this kind of energy. So I'm certain this won't be the last time I post a link to this tattooed genius.

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Monday, September 07, 2009

Sleeping through the Sunrise

My husband and daughter are nuts! They get up every morning of vacation at O-dark-thirty so they can photograph the sunrise. It's VACATION for heavens sake... In my book, sleeping in on vacation is not only mandatory it's a God given RIGHT!

The result of their efforts is however, quite spectacular!
My Kick-Ass I-Pod Shuffle Tune of the day:
Maybe I'm just in a mode because we had the opportunity to see a the cover band of this group on the boardwalk the other night but when THIS song came on rotation during my walk, I was in complete sync with the beat... An awesome FEELING!

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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sand Blasted

Last night, after an amazing, family prepared dinner, of ribs, potato salad, coleslaw, fruit salad and corn on the cob (beach eating, at its finest) my sister-in-law and I mutually agreed that if we were to partake with wretched excess, we must also exercise with wretched excess. So we laced up our sneakers and off we went a mile or so down surface streets to a pod of high-rise condos. After working our way through the parking lot at the far side of the buildings we located a beach access and made our way out across the sand. Did we walk the shore line along the hard packed sand? Hell No! The REAL workout is the walk through the mounds of loose sand... And I'm here to tell you, even my ARMS hurt today... My ARMS??? How can that even be possible?

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Beachward Bound

It's here, it's FINALLY HERE!

It's time for our annual family/friend vacation to Bethany Beach. Since our vacation falls at the VERY end of the so called, 'Vacation Season', it seems like I'm always bidding others adieu whilst I long for some getaway time of my own.
As my Father-in-law used to say, "I'm not complainin' just explainin." Because the nice thing about vacationing after Labor Day, is the diminished crowds and mild weather. MMMmmmmm, I can almost smell the salt sea air already.

I've been busy packing and organizing ALL day but I did have time to listen to my i-pod whilst I mowed the lawn this morning, so the wait is over....

Here is your Kick Ass I-Pod Shuffle Tune of the Day:
How about something with a little Latin flavor? I had goose bumps the first time I heard this song was when it was performed LIVE at the Grammy's. The message is such a positive one... Lively, Foot Stomping, Wave your arms and Take on The World kind of Positive!

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

The Mouth of Pain

There's a distinct difference between the way my daughter and I look at Orthodontia.

Whenever She has an appointment looming on the calendar, she begins to dread the days leading up to it. In stark contrast, whenever I have an appointment coming up, I look forward to it with great anticipation.... Because I like pain? Duh! NO! I'm no masochist. I'm excited to see the orthodontist because I look at it as being one step closer to straight teeth. You see, my daughter has difficulty looking at the Big Picture. She lacks VISION and NO, I'm not saying she needs to see an Optometrist.

So last week my daughter had
her appointment with Dr. 'Game Show Host' the Orthodontist. She was miserable a couple days leading up to it and then miserable for two days after due to the discomfort of having her braces tightened.

Yesterday was my appointment, I couldn't wait, my teeth are coming together so nicely, I was excited to have Dr.
Game Show Host, note my progress. He told me, "Things are really moving along nicely." And then his assistant replaced the upper and lower wires with piano wire and today I'm sitting here worried about how much it's going to hurt when I eat my morning oatmeal.

Just to be a complete killjoy, my daughter said, "Oh, he says 'Things are moving along nicely' to EVERYBODY Mom."
I'm certain in a couple of days my mouth will be back to normal... Well, as normal as it CAN be when it's full of metal and piano wire, but I am determined to be impressively stoic in the meantime... Just to prove to my girl that one doesn't have to be a baby about these things.

Today's Kick Ass I-pod Shuffle Tune:
Now you just KNEW I was gonna through some FOB in here didn't you? This tune came into rotation nearing the end of a good strong walk. Anna was at this point, kinda dragging a few feet behind me. I kept turning back to her and saying, "Are you doin' okay girl?" Then she'd step it up a few paces and eventually fall back again. When this song came on though, I just couldn't help myself. I pounded out the beat but when the chorus hit, I started jogging. Anna half galloped along and when the chorus ended I'd start pounding out the walk again. Then the chorus would hit and off we'd go. If Anna could talk, I'm quite sure she would've been cursing me a blue streak because seriously, she had a marjorly pissed off look on her face.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sky Gazing

Astronomy has never much been 'My thing'... I think it's because I just can't wrap my head around the idea of 'The Universe'... It's quite enough for me to try to focus on 'This Planet' and everything IT encompasses. Is there life out there? Perhaps, maybe, I don't know. All I know is, it's just too much to consider. So I don't care, call me narcissistic.

For my husband and my daughter though, star gazing is becoming a bonding experience. My husband received a telescope for his birthday this year and he and the girl child are so excited by each new discovery.

Today, they got up at Oh-dark-thirty so they could see this:

Amazing isn't it? Can you guess what star that is?

Surprise! It's not a star at all, it's this:

It's the Space Station and it flew over our house at 5:32 am this morning.

In my husbands words, this is what they had to do to prepare for the sighting:

We had to figure out which way WNW was (we did this the night before)…

We used google earth to find North relative to the front of the house,
We then magnetized a needle, put it in a cork, floated it in water, and found north that way,
Finally, we located the North using the North Star.

Then we drew compass points on the driveway in chalk based on the results of the various methods. The needle method differed from google and the north star (which agreed fairly well), so we went with the majority opinion.

We went out this morning at about 5:25 and sat on the sidewalk facing WNW, positioned so our little tree in the front yard blocked the annoying street light… and watched.

Of course, eagle-eye Sarah spotted it first, slightly north of where we had 'computed' it to appear. It moved quickly, going from horizon to overhead in about 2 minutes. We watched with binoculors and Sarah tried a time exposure with her camera. After it went overhead, we got up, went to the driveway, and watched it some more.

A very nice way to start the day.

A very nice way to start the day, indeed! A Dad and his Daughter bonding under the stars... Well, it makes for a wonderful life. Where was I? In bed, asleep, of course!

Kick Ass I-Pod Shuffle Song of the Day:
First off, I have to fess up and admit to not walking this morning. I'm giving the dogs a rest, meaning my feet AND the actual dog, 10 yr. old Anna. She's been gimping around too much to subject her to 3 days in a row. But anyway, this song was in my rotation yesterday and while it may be a little too 'Alternative' for some of you, it's got a kick-ass pounding rhythm. Anyone else out there a Blue October fan?

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

TNS Tuesday - The CSA

Gee, I haven't written about The New School in ages and since it's getting to be that time of year again... Back to school time, that is... I thought I'd share with you all what some of the members of the school have been up to.

It wasn't until late June that land was acquired by Omnia Humanitas (an off-shoot humanitarian group of The New school) for a farm or CSA, which stands for 'Community Sponsored Agriculture.'

The way a CSA works is at the beginning of the season members buy shares to 'Sponsor' the farm site. As items become ready to harvest, members pick up there freshly grown vegetables once a week and reap the rewards of healthy organic produce for a very minimal cost.

Vegetables are coming in with such bounty, I scarcely have room in my fridge to contain it all. Here are just a few of the items being cultivated. These were taken back in July. My daughter is the official photographer for the project.

With this project I've been given the opportunity to try vegetables I've never eaten before. Who knew I'd like 'Chard'? I've taken to being a little more adventurous with cooking the veggies too. One night I cut up yellow squash, green onions and chard. I minced some garlic and sauteed everything in some olive oil, sprinkled some sea salt and fresh cracked pepper and viola! It was delicious! My kids, unfortunately are gutless wonders when it comes to trying new food. Especially something green.

Today I'm really going to take the plunge and roast some fresh beets. I've never had a fresh beet before but I'm damn well gonna try one. I'll let you know what I think.

Kick Ass Shuffle Tune of the Day:
This tune didn't just make me feel good... It had me feelin' 'Hella Good'... Oh, I just totally gave THAT one away.

By the way, I'm not the craziest person at the walking park. Yesterday I saw a woman holding her I-Pod up to her mouth and singing into it. I had my ear buds in at the time so I'm not sure if she was lip syncing or treating everyone to her own special brand of I-Tunes.

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