Saturday, May 30, 2009

West Virginia Weekend

Last weekend was Memorial Day weekend, and we spent parts of the 3 days across the border in WV. Lessee, on Friday, we decided to go to the Kroger in Fairlea - just for something different - and we stopped in Lewisburg on the way home to let the girls play in the water fountain downtown.

I haven't laughed so hard in I don't know how long. Abba wasn't too interested after a fountain spray surprised her, but we couldn't get Hannah out of the water. I don't think her feet touched the ground for more than a minute or two the whole time we were there! Now, to be sure, she was fueled by sugar free gummy bears.

And speaking of sugar free gummy bears, my advice to you is, "don't." Because when we got home that night we surprised them with a camp-out in the back yard. Andy set up the tent and we piled in with our sleeping bags, books and lanterns. As soon as the sun set, Hannah felt some rumblings (frogs?) that had her sleeping in her own bed. Abba followed around midnight. Beware the sorbitol....!

Anyways, on Saturday we were back in West (BG) Virginia to visit Lost Caverns. Which we found (gotcha) to be a perfect adventure for our little family. Of course the girls were mostly interested in the gift shop and the wishing well filled with shiny dimes and pennies, but they didn't complain too much about the long walk (slick in places), the chilly temperatures or mama pointing out endless formations. I got a kick out of this sign....if you're not sure just what it is, be sure to catch the clue painted on the bottom left hand side [insert snide comment about West Virginians here]. I won't bore you with cavern pictures - which, to a point, all look the same in this region - but it seemed like there were an awful lot of rock slides and stalagmites that used to be stalactites. Just an observation, that's all.....because we'll definitely explore this place again.

Finally, on Sunday - or was it Monday? We chucked on over to White Sulphur Springs to enjoy the Dandelion Festival Parade. I think I didn't used to be a parade girl, and maybe one day I'll go back to not so much liking watching folks go by, but ya know, I really enjoy it! First of all, its legitimate people-watching, there's candy being thrown to you (or AT you as was the case by a rowdy bunch of Dandelion princesses), and there are loud, loud noises from Hogs, Internationals and a variety of rescue vehicles. We had a blast:

(those Hogs were a little too loud for the Sugar Baby, who found safety in a perch on Daddy-o's leg...)

Maybe its because of my Littles, but I think it is such great entertainment! Love it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

funny website

Some of these pictures really made me laugh.....some of them I didn't "get".......some were downright bizarre, and others might need to be censored, but nonetheless, check out:

there are no words with which to title this post.

This is how I know Han needs to take over certain personal hygiene activities of her own:

"Better be careful of your hands mama."

"Why?" <teachable moment, right? 'cuz I'm getting ready to remind her that we always wash our hands after we go to the bathroom, ..................

"Cause there's frogs that come out of there, too."

There was simply nothing more I could say. Because then she got up, washed hands and walked outside to play in the sandbox.

Like she doesn't have frogs in her bottom.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Civil War in Lewisburg, WV!

We enjoyed visiting the campsite of the Civil War re-enactment in Lewisburg, WV last weekend, but for some reason I only took a couple of pictures. When I win the lottery, I'm getting a better camera.

Here's a picture of the girls with their great-great-great-great-great granddaddy:

Next year, we're hoping his team will win ;-}

Incidentally, I'm reading a biography by Bruce Catton, U.S. Grant. I guess as a Virginian (excuse me, A Virginian), the topic of the leader of the Northern Army during the War of Northern Aggression has been somewhat off-limits. Seriously, though, I've appreciated this perspective - I dogeared the page last night with the calendar turned to the early months of 1860. Did you know that Grant and Lee (and Stonewall Jackson, and George McClellan, to name a few) all served together in the war securing Texas' place in the Union? Fascinating to see how their early careers overlapped.

Today is Park Day, and we're meeting the friends at noon. I've got lunches to pack, a house to straighten (why? for the people who are NOT beating a path to our door with a full-price purchase offer!).

See you around the chicken coop!

words, continued

I must have been tired when I wrote that last post. Somehow I got on that think while lamenting the fact that I love to play word games like "Boggle" and Scrabble, but no one in my family - maybe a couple in my extended family - likes to play them.
I have high hopes for Hannah, though. She asks me for the "word of the day" and says it has to be a word she's never used before. Yesterday it was particular. The day before it was discretionary. Now, I usually have to come up with these as we're driving down Route 60 into town, so my creativity is dulled by the outstanding spring view outside. (Is there an artist other than God who could create that many shades of green on the mountainsides?)
Speaking of God - the Bible refers to words many, many times, and this is some of what I was mulling as I mowed the lawn. Of course, there is the Word of God, but I was thinking more about exhortations and warnings or descriptors of words: In Psalms, David complained that his enemies "twisted his words," that words are like "arrows," that "words of hatred surround" him, "how sweet words are," and words "are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords."
David's son, Solomon, warned that we could be "trapped by the words of our mouths," (THAT was written for me), that "reckless words pierce like a sword," and - my favorite - "words of a gossip are like choice morsels." Here are just a few references that pierce my heart and remind me to guard my tongue, as it reflects what is in my heart.
At the other end of the spectrum - - do you remember "Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy" from Saturday Night Live about - lessee, its been at least 10 years since I could watch it w/o falling asleep..... Well, I never "got it." I never thought it was funny or too clever. Maybe I was thick-headed (no comments please) or it was just over my head. Heavens, I hope not!
Well, that's the end of my "word" posts. Thank you for reading this amalgamation of words! (HEY! What do you think - is that too big of a mouthful for a four year old??!)

Monday, May 18, 2009

thoughts on writing

I love words. I'm not a numbers gal; when it ocmes to anything past simple addition and subtraction I get a little bleary-eyed and lose focus. But word - ah, words - they take me anywhere. I was thinking about all of this as I was cutting the backyard this afternoon. Somehow, out there in the warm sunwith the buzz of the blade and a faint scent of burning oil from the John Deere, thinking of words was much more profound than anything I can muster to type here.
But a couple thoughts: Wordmasters. Ever read Ernest Hemmingway? Too late I discovered the power of the scarcity of his written word. I actually took a course in Hemmingway at George Mason as an elective in my English program. It wasn't until a couple years later, though, that I re-red those books, and then everything the man published, to drink in his simple style. Emotion and dialog and melancholy in sparsely-written pieces. Should make for quick reading, but it takes awhile to sink in.
As for me, my style is chattier, stream-of-consciousness, and (I hope) folksy. I don't get the rpactice to write now as much as I'd like - nor do I get much chance to read. I'm five minutes behind learning parenting skills, how to be a better wife, household management - necessary skills, but they sure don't take me to Europe - or big game hunting in Africa.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

rug fun

I don't think this story is disrespectful of my husband, but if you do, let me know and I'll censor/edit it. It is pretty funny, though.
Back when Andy and I were a-courtin' he lived in this nifty bachelor pad over in eastern Chesapeake. He was fixing me supper over there on night, and I had made myself at home - taking my shoes off to hang out for the evening. I walked into his kitchen, which was some sort of smooth tile or Pergo-type flooring, I think. I took a couple steps and about fell and broke my neck!
WHY is your floor so SLIPPERY? I wanted to know.
Because I Pledge it, of course! Here, look!
And with that, Andy took a couple of trots across the living room and zoomed across the length of the eat in kitchen.
Well, I was (you think I'm going to say, "spellbound at his cleverness" right? well I'm not.) flabbergasted that someone would create a death trap in plain view in a nice duplex in the suburbs. But that is just what he had done. I went on to explain that while I hate to dust and avoid it all costs, nonetheless I know that one does NOT put Pledge on the floor as it is a precursor to pain.

Fast forward to our humble home (which is for SALE! buy it!) and our happy family of four. A couple weeks ago when sleet and freezing rain was part of our daily weather forecast, I was desperate for something to stave off cabin fever for me and the Littles.
A-ha! (as great - er, bad ideas are generally prefaced...) I remembered the combination of Pledge and wood floor.
So I did it.
In the hallway.
We scooted and slid for the better part of a morning until we broke a sweat. Then I replaced the hall rug and forgot all about it. Including forgetting to mention it to Andy.
So....after a couple weeks of near misses and almost falls, last week Andy was the one to reap the benefits of introducing me to Pledge floor sports.
We three girls were outside and the neighbor's dog came barking loudly as he ran across the yard toward the littles who were on the swings (there's a run-on sentence for ya!). Andy, ever on the alert for his girls' safety, went flying out of the office, down the hall....or at least, down in the hall. He went sailing on that rug and down on his knee. If you ask him now he'll be glad to show you the wine-colored injury that is evidence of the wrench he took at the kneecap.
Now, it is Not Funny, because my husband was hurt. But if you picture it, you might feel a tickle in your belly at least.
Well, today, in order to avoid potential lawsuits by potential home buyers, I glue-gunned rug pads to two new runners in the hallway, thereby averting future humorous - I mean, painful - adventures.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Small Town fame

Hannah made the paper again!

That's our girl!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cake Wreck Site

I waste copious hours of my life lurking in the blogosphere, and every now and then I stumble upon a site that leaves me giggling till the tears come, suppressing my gag reflex or reading wide-eyed, absorbing new (and questionably relevant) information.
I've lost too many hours on this site, exercising my belly muscles as I laugh out loud.....
Who knew confections could be so hilarious?!


If this blog were a plant it would be dead from infrequent feeding and watering and occasional boosts of Miracle Grow when I remembered it.
I've been spending stolen moments on Facebook - uploading pictures this time and taking time to caption them. Here's a link of the pictures, if you're interested. From the 1980's so prepare yourself!

And if you know us you know us, you know that we want to move. So its been a flurry of cleaning (yuk), patching up, touch up painting, downsizing and organizing. Our home has never looked so good!
There are a couple of homes out there that we are interested in - VERY interested in - and I have to pray every day that I won't be disappointed if they sell before we get a contract on our house.
So far, our house has been on the market about 4 days. I'm hoping that this weekend - when it is in the newspaper - will be the one where we get some serious hits.
That said, today and tomorrow, especially, are going to be full out assaults on dust bunnies, spotted floors, looming laundry, disorganized chaos and the ilk. Especially the ilk. Wish us well.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pork Recipe

In honor of Swine Flu Hysteria, I thought I'd share a delicious pork barbeque recipe that I enjoyed with my family last night. (You do know, don't you, that you don't get H1N1 from eating pork, right? Anyways, its got enough vinegar and a long cook time that no heebeegeebies could survive!) I would like to say that it rivals Pierce's BBQ in Williamsburg for taste, but you'll have to be the judge.

small pork butt, pork roast or country style pork ribs (not spare ribs)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Cook for 4-5 hours on high in crock pot (if frozen - or cook 6-8 hours on low). Remove meat, set aside to cool. Remove drippings, put in bowl for fat to congeal in fridge.
When meat is cool enough to touch, separate meat from fat, bone, etc. and return to crock pot. Pull apart big chunks, but don't have to shred it at this point. Discard fat, add juices to juice in bowl in fridge.

Add to meat in pot:
small can (8oz) tomato sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
several-to-many dashes Tabasco or Texas Pete (you want to taste the heat as you swallow, but not in every bite)
sprinkling of salt over it all

stir well to mix

turn crock pot to low - cook for at least 2 hours;
when fat in fridge has hardened, discard the fat and pour juices back into pot. Stir. Cook awhile longer to get all those good flavors just right...then enjoy.

Let me know if you made it and what you think!