Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Weekend Scenes

The official move - all in 24 hours

unpacking and unpacking and unpacking

Colin's first new house find. We let him go later

Pizza on the grill

Colin's birthday party two days after the move.
Yes, we are insane.

Bouncing into the night

Thank goodness for Grandmas who bake cakes
We never would have pulled it all together.

A few of the tomatoes that survived the move and the blight

It's been a long, stressful, and unfortunately drama filled weekend. We are settling nicely into the house, the kids love it, we love it. We still have days :coughweekscough: of unpacking left, but it will get there. I'm on overtime for opening the next two weeks too. I'm not ready for summer to be over - but I am ready for things to fall into a routine again. I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Weekend Scenes . . .

Just a little late.

It's been so.crazy. here!

We're moving in one day now (!) - but we still took a little vacation last week. Kicked it off Wednesday, which happened to be the 8th anniversary of my 21st birthday. We left to go to camping and to the Phish show on Thursday. We had to wait for some friends to get out of work so we left maybe 5ish.

The whole way there I'm nagging Kevin about watching his speed. I'm a fun person to drive with, really. I don't clutch the door or brace my arm on the ceiling or nag excessively about the way we're driving. Really. I mean, who does that? Not me. :ahem: moving on . . .

So - we pull into this bizarre parking lot at 7ish or so. I'm pretty confused cause I'm not seeing campgrounds anywhere. It's at the back of a neighborhood but past all these horse stalls. I thought it was a pretty strange place for a state park, I'm thinking that we check in here and go somewhere else. So I'm looking around all dazed and confused like - and every time I ask what this is, what's going on, every one (3 friends and my sister in law and Kev) laughs and telsl me we're going to dinner. Now, not that we happen to be an overly sarcastic bunch or anything - giving me any reason to doubt them - but I was pretty sure they were making fun of me. I could not figure out what was so funny and what in the world was going right over my head.

Oh. We actually are going out to dinner. What? Why?

Oooooh, cause it's my birthday and my husband was super sweet and completely surprised me with dinner reservations!

Ooooooooooohhhhhh that's why he was a little heavy on the peddle - to get there in time and all.


And that wasn't it! Two more of our friends, who were meeting us the next day - felt bad about not being there for my birthday dinner - so called ahead and paid for my meal! (I got the scallops - nom!)

And theeeeeennnnnn - my sneaky husband disappears and comes back with a cake. That him and his sister baked. And frosted. And drove with two hours with, without me knowing. And put candles on it. And brought it into the restaurant. And sang happy birthday to me. (I turned purple).

What a sweet birthday - and what a sweet husband and friends I have.

Then camping and the next day - off to Phish! It was hot. Really hot. Like melting hot. But also a ton of fun! Phish has grown on me. I saw my first show when I was 18 and VERY pregnant with Evan. That show happened to be on my birthday too.

My next show was 6 years later - Coventry, VT - their "last show". That was an experience (and also across my birthday!) 2 days on the highway. In the rain. Then we were all told to turn around and go home - there was no way to get everyone in because of all the mud. So thousands and thousands of people parked their cars on the highway and hiked in. We were 15 miles back - but some people were as far back as 40 miles. 2 seconds after crossing the gate into the festival, I snapped my ankle and spent the next three days wearing duct tape, gauze, and hiking boots.

Then it was another 5 years - Hampton VA for their first show back, and my first indoor show.

Now - this past week. Yet another birthday show. More than the music( that I've grown to love) I love the crowd. The community. I love watching the lot fill up and become this little temporary town. It's indescribable, really, and completely amazing. It's worth it, every time. The cost, the drive, the traffic - all of it.

From there - we drove across NY to the Catskills for my dad's family camp out/reunion. My dad has 11 siblings and for the past 15 years or so we all (his siblings and spouses and their kids and spouses and their kids) all get together somewhere different and camp for a few days together. It's a wonderful tradition.

We came back home Monday - and are now spending these last days in 95 degree heat with through the roof humidity, packing the last of our stuff - getting things lined up and ready to go - and in 2 more days - we'll be off to the dream house!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

TIme, how it flies

8 more days until the big move


Coming soon - recipes for sour cherry vodka and blueberry jam!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Birthday Season

I must have been tired last night, after the kick off to Birthday Season since I posted the homemade treats without the vanilla ice cream recipe. Don't worry. It's up now - so go read it and try it. You won't be sorry. Unless of course you've already discovered home ice cream making, in which case you're probably on to better and fancier things than plain vanilla.

Anyway. Birthday Season - it's begun. 6 birthday's in 6 weeks. My mom's started it off yesterday. It was nice - we just went over for dinner (basic bbq - hamburgers, corn on the cob, macaroni salad) and cake.

We're on a, um - tight, budget so I picked a couple flowers from the garden and added in some basil and parsley for green put them in an old milk carafe and tied a little ribbon on. I also gave her a bottle of the strawberry wine. Even though it's not ready to drink yet!

My birthday is next (followed days before by my friends who is not included in our birthday season count)

Colin's comes next - poor guy. The problem with his, is that it falls during my mandatory overtime and so it's always a scramble to get his put together. It does always come together, but it's hectic. This year we are also moving the day before we planned his party. Or not planned his party. We have no idea what we are doing yet.

My sisters is the last one in August.

Evans is mid-September, and my father's is the day after - officially ending birthday season.

Just in time to start planning Christmas! Heh.

I've been eyeing these birthday flags I keep seeing - and I'm thinking about trying to put together some before Colins birthday. I know that's kind of crazy. I still have a quilt I have to finish. It's just a tiny one though. And we're gone 5 days next week. And we're still packing.

But I really like these. And really want some for this year. So I think I really need to find the time.

Here's what I'm talking about:

A Birthday Banner, at Soulemama

Happy Birthday Garland on Etsy

Even More Garland Examples

So, you see - I just have to make something like this. I mean, c'mon. We have a Birthday Season. I'm pretty sure we need these.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home-made Treats

We've been doing a little bit of at home treat making:

Vanilla Ice Cream

This was our first experiment with ice cream - and I'm incredibly pleased with the results! I don't know if it's much cheaper than buying prepackaged - but I still love being able to make things at home and having control over the ingredients!

edit: oops! the recipe!

This recipe was for my vintage handcrank machine - but I ran it through our new electric model (long story) and it came out great!

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream

2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups light cream
4 tablespoons vanilla

Scald milk. Add sugar and salt to milk and stir until dissolved. Add cream. Stir in vanilla. Cool over night in fridge. Turn into freezer and freeze per manufacturer's directions.

Makes 2 quarts.

:was going to take a picture, but didn't have my camera - and then the boys ate it all! Next time, promise! Next up, chocolate ice cream:

Chocolate Syrup

Great on ice cream or for chocolate milk! It does have a bit of sugar - you could experiment to see what works for you. Maybe try some xylitol in place of the sugar? Also, the syrup does come out a little thin. It doesn't bother me, but you could probably thicken it up with some corn syrup.

1 cup of cocoa powder
1.5 cups sugar
dash of salt
1.5 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix in sauce pan. Boil 3-5 minutes, sauce will thicken slightly. Keep in fridge. I'm not sure exactly how long the shelf life is but I kept our last batch in the fridge almost 2 months before it ran out, and it was still good.

:Picture is from last batch, but you get the idea!:

Strawberry Yogurt Pops

Not really a recipe, more of an idea. We've been making our own popsicles all summer (again, it's fun, cheap and I can control what goes in!) So this past week we pureed up some vanilla yogurt and strawberries that were frozen back in June. That's what that the picture was in the weekend review - poured them into our molds and froze away!

Quick, easy, healthy, cold(!) snack!

They were a bit too yogurty and thick. So next time I would use more berries and less yogurt (I didn't measure, I used the bottom of a large carton - maybe a cup? And about the same in berries) Or maybe thin it with milk or cream? Can you freeze cream? Or pudding! Yum. I think pudding.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekend Review

Avett Brothers. ♥

Bluegrass Ramble Picnic

The husbands band - Boots N Shorts

Cooking with Colin - Homemade Treat Recipes to come!

Hope your weekend was a summer kind of peaceful!