Jun 25, 2013


It's been over a week since I have looked at the computer.  I just have had very little to say- recipes for ordering pizza and suggesting grabbing Mexican aren't particularly earth shattering.  It's been so lovely and gracious of my parents to take us in during this renovation, but we are all ready to be back home.  Back to our own routines, back to my own bright kitchen, back to our own toys and yard, and back to our cosy little house.  I keep setting out to write down some delicious recipes, then I remember that cookbook is at my house.  Or my kindle charger.  Or my big furry dog.

Of course, when I popped by today, the fact that my front beds have become a jungle of weeds did not escape me.  Maybe another week here won't be too, too bad. . .

Jun 17, 2013

Summer Reading

So, in case you are interested in some light reading recommendations-

 Oh, this book detailing the lives of outrageously wealthy Singaporeans is too much fun.  The New York Times decries the escapist read as this summer's "Bergdorf Blondes".  It's outrageous, and hilarious, as well as being a twinge educational about another culture.  Hey, we get our culture where we can during the summer months around here.  I'm a bit sparse on the intellectual front these days.

I downloaded this debut novel on a whim the other night, while suffering the throes of insomnia.  Although it's rather formulaic, this novel chronicling the travails of a young Manhattan divorce attorney from North Carolina is well-written and a fun diversion.  As a lawyer, I enjoyed the legal stuff (the author is a former divorce attorney) and depiction of big firm life, with all its insanity.

Finally, I'm reading some nonfiction with my remaining few brain cells.  Do not fear though, it reads like a novel.

It's a fascinating portrait of the 1960's, the space program, and the pressure placed on astronauts' families to be perfect.  Be prepared to have google image handy, because The Astronaut Wives CLub does contain pictures, but you will want to see more of each of the couples discussed.

I'm off to read about the Apollo missions now- can't put it down!

What have y'all been reading?  Obviously, I am mentally prepared for fluff only these days.  No heavy tomes allowed.

Jun 14, 2013

Five for Friday

I have been rather unmotivated when it comes to sitting down at the computer, so I thought a little linking up might inspire me.

1.  Okra Chips:
 Inspired by a Natalie Dupree recipe, this okra is Morgan and Dell Harper's new favorite.

Slice about 20 okra from tip to tip on the diagonal to get a long thin slice.  Toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.   Bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through.

These crunchy morsels taste just like fried okra without the added mess and waistline damage.  A perfect accompaniment to burgers fresh off the grill, this okra might not make it off the cookie sheet without being completely devoured.

2.  This tankini/bikini set from Target- I bought the stripey bottoms, and plain navy bottoms, a navy bikini top, and a striped swingy tankini top.  I can brazen out the bikini pre-lunch, then after my BLT throw the tankini top on over the solid suit.  Check out all the Mossimo mix and match suits- darling colors, and a great price!

 3.  I'm listening to Mary Kay Andrews' latest on my iPod right now (as an enticement for exercise or chores), and it is such a delight.  Now, don't be expecting any earth shattering literature here, but a light easy summer read about a. . . lifestyle blogger!  Ha!  I'm loving all the insider scoop on big-name bloggers, and their relationships with advertisers, plus a generous dose of home remodeling and of course, luuurrrvvee.

 4.  Speaking of home remodeling, ours is coming along.

We are coming along!  The shake will be painted the greenish gray of the gutters,  and a window will replace the plyboard hole.

You can really see in this picture how the roof line has changed- it used to follow the line of the stone wall.  I am going to feel like a princess in my redone digs- if you can't find me, I might be hiding/reveling in my new closet!

5.  Look at these darling fabrics Mama and I picked up at Hobby Lobby the other day-

We (and by we I mean Mama) are going to make some darling little reversible swingy tops and bloomer sets for Miss Priss.  With little pockets on the front?  With ric rac trim?  Too cute!  Ha, I laughed with my mom that we better get a lot of fabric, as Dell Harper will likely be three by the time she has a chance to make them.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!  

Jun 9, 2013

Calamity Jane

That's what my week has made me feel like. Y'all have all heard about the car incident.

Then Dell Harper was struck down by an ear infection (grumpiness starting Thursday, diagnosis Friday).  My sweet girl does not get sick very often, so when she does. . .

The world is ending, y'all.

Also, Morgan got in a fender bender last week (rear-ended), so he has been in a rental car.

Oh, and Buddy got sprayed by a skunk Friday night.

And the temper tantrums brought on by not feeling good?  I am attempting to combat a pesky fear that this is not feeling unwell, but instead a drastic personality change, but it keeps creeping into the back of my (tired) mind.

The child would not even eat a cookie tonight.  She's going back to the doctor for sure if that kind of behavior continues.

Anyway, I am reminded of an old column of Erma Bombeck's about communicating with toddlers-

                    When I said "No," they giggled; "Not now," they bit me; "Come to Mama," they ran into          
               traffic; "Let me see what is in your hand," they ate it; "The strained lamb is good for you,"  
               they blew it back into my face.
                    Communicate with a toddler?  I'd sooner take my chances with an untrained, excited    
               puppy on a new white carpet.

Sing it sister!

Anyway, tomorrow is a new day.  I'm off for a vat of wine, hot bath and a nap.  Probably simultaneously.

 Also, I owe so many people emails.  Please forgive me.  I am wading through my correspondence, after a deadly combination of summer lassitude and vacation bible school exhaustion.  Oh, and the aforementioned toddler.

Jun 5, 2013

Poop in the Pool

Thank you all so much for all the kind words about Tuesday's incident.  I am thankful for the happy ending, and hope my warning helps someone else.

On a lighter note, I must confess that I felt a little relief at the afternoon rain today, as I am feeling a little trepidation about going back to the pool.  First year of law school, I was known as That Rosh Hashanah Girl for some time, due to a professor's displeasure at my lack of awareness of the high holy day's date.  It was a very public shaming, and for some time afterwards, people knew me as That Rosh Hashanah Girl. Not my favorite moniker.

I don't particularly want to be known as That Lady Who Locked Her Baby in the Car and Had to Call 911 either.  I confessed my embarrassment to a friend today.  She immediately replied,

"Hey, at least your kid didn't poop in the pool!"

We both shuddered.  Getting the pool shut down because your toddler poops in it?  Well, kids don't mess around.  They will find you if you mess with their pool activity.  Some of those middle schoolers are the same size as me, and far more ingenious with a lot more time on their hands.

So, I will return to the pool tomorrow with my held head high (and windows rolled down).  After all, I'd much rather be That Lady Who Locked Her Baby in the Car and Had to Call 911 than That Lady Who's Baby Pooped in the Pool.

Jun 4, 2013

A Precautionary Tale

Well, I am still shaking over what happened to Miss Priss and I this early evening.  We were about to head home after a late afternoon at the local pool.  I was a bit annoyed, because Miss Priss decided to walk/fall back into the baby pool, right after I got her into a clean, dry dress and diaper.
I stripped off her wet dress and shoes, threw them in my unwieldy canvas pool bag, and headed to the car.  I unlocked the doors, stuck my bag and keys in the front seat, then loaded Miss Priss into her middle rear seat.  When I shut her door, I heard the click and beep that signals the locking of the doors. Unbelieving, I pulled on all the doors, frantically trying to open one, while the baby stared at me bemusedly.

I frantically shouted at a stranger walking out with her children, asking if I could use her phone.  She did not have one on her, and looked rather confused until I gasped out what just happened, and explained my phone was in the car.  Luckily, my friend walked out right at that moment.  I borrowed her cell phone and called the car dealership to bring me my spare, as they had possession of it.  They said they would be on their way immediately.

Then I thought about the best-case-15-minute drive that would most likely be 30 minutes in traffic from the dealership to the pool.  I called Pop-A-Lock, on the stranger lady's advice.  Their wait was an hour.  They said to call 911.  Luckily a friend who is a doctor rolled up at that moment, and instructed me to do the same.  I took the advice.

I paced and watched Miss Priss grow increasingly hot, while my panic grew in equal measure.  The presence of the doctor friend reassured me enormously (even though he is a gynecological oncologist) . He conferred with another man on breaking windows with hammers, and the other man fetched ice and the lifeguard for when the fire department arrived and got her out.

At this point I have a rather large contingent of friends around me, which was soooo wonderful.  I tried to remain calm, and not recall all the horror stories I've heard about this very thing.  Other moms shared stories about the same thing happening to them.  We counted my good fortune that I was at a crowded pool with lots of friends and help, and the fact that Miss Priss was sopping wet to help keep her body temperature down.  I have no idea what the temperature in the car was, but I am sure it was close to triple digits if not higher.

After about 10 minutes (the road where the pool lies is closed and they had a tough time getting there), the fire truck arrived.  At this point, I realized what a scene I had created.  Firetruck pulls up in the presence of a large group of children?  All eyes on you for sure!  Anyway, the firemen used their tool to crack the window (at which point I could take a breath), then unlock the car.  I jumped from the front seat to the back, and yanked my sobbing, hot, sweating child out of the car.  Thanking the firemen, the doctor and I hurried back to the baby pool, where we sat, and rubbed ice on my bawling child.  Popsicles were delivered by other friends, much to her delight.  She gradually cooled down to a normal body temperature, and with the lifeguard and doctor's blessing, and ventured back to the car to go home.

I must admit, I was downright terrified to put her back in the car.  I was relatively calm the whole time, but I am still shaking now that it is over.  I wanted to share this with y'all, especially since it had a happy ending.  I still don't know how the doors locked- if something in my bag hit the keys, computer malfunction, or some other unlucky stroke.

So here is what I should have done, and will do in the future.

1.  Keep my windows cracked whenever I leave my car.  This would have solved a lot of the immediacy of the issue, and she would not be trapped in a sauna with limited supply of oxygen.

2.  Keep my keys in my pocket (which I never have) or place them on the roof (which is my normal routine).

3.  Keep a couple spares in very close locations including ones other than my house (which was locked up, with an out of town husband).

4.  Before calling Triple A, a locksmith, or anything else that will take longer than 7 minutes, call 911.  The firemen were amazing, and there in a jiffy.  Since they have emergency training, it is a lot better to have a fireman unlock your hot child, than a Pop-A-lock guy.  No offense to locksmiths of any kind, but 911 will be my first call if this ever happens again.

Here is a terrifying/helpful article that details other ways to prevent car heatstroke- it is most likely when the child is asleep and forgotten in the backseat.

Now, I am off to drink a glass (or eight) of wine, calm down, and prep for 15 kindergarteners and VBS in the morning!  At least I will have no time to dwell on scary situations in the past tomorrow!

Jun 2, 2013

The Living is Easy

I just have not been able to make myself sit down at the computer.  If it was outside, perhaps I would have better luck, although it would most likely be promptly drenched in sprinkler, hose, lake or pool water.  We have filled our days with playmates and bathing suits.

Please note the sippy cup and lack of beer.  Oh, how my life has changed!

Are you sick of pictures of my baby?  I don't blame you.  We had a fun little visit from Erin- it involved some of Dell Harper's favorite things- playgrounds, water and BOYS.  She was just enthralled with Hudson in particular.  I can't believe we forgot to get some pictures of the kiddos running through the fountain.

I'm helping with Vacation Bible School all this week, so it will either cause me to have the discipline to write down a ton of delicious recipes for y'all, or I will be so exhausted that I will be unable to communicate entirely.  I might be mute and subsisting completely on fresh tomatoes, okra and string beans.  Mmmm.

Question- do y'all feel a certain affinity with the season of your birth month?  For example, I adore summer above all, and I am an August baby.  Morgan loves fall, and his birthday falls in late September.  Coincidence?