0 Olympic Fever

I don't know about y'all, but we definitely have Olympic Fever around here! Tod and I picked up take-out Friday night so we could stay in and watch the Opening Ceremony (which always reminds me how little I know about the rest of the world--I'd never even heard of at least five countries in the Parade of Nations). We've been loving the swimming and cycling, and yesterday, I even got sucked into the USA/Croatia women's basketball game. 

This afternoon I think we're going to try to tear ourselves away from the television so we can spend some quality time on the beach. I only wish I still had this awesome bathing suit (see below) so I could show my Olympic spirit on Sullivan's Island. (This suit was definitely one of my favorites. As for my sister's suit, I think it looks like something Jane Fonda would have loved, don't you? Gotta love the eighties!) 

Go Team USA!


0 Check out these melons.

Get your minds out of the gutter, people. I'm talking about actual melons here.

But first, remember (this post) when I talked about my goals for 2012? Here's the relevant excerpt:

11. What's the #1 goal you want to accomplish in 2012?

Goals are so great, but the #1 part of this question is so stressful because I always have a basketful of goals floating    around in my head. For example, here are some of the goals that went on parade today: (1) learn to be married (I guess this one should be my #1); (2) sew a piece of clothing (to actually wear out of the house!); (3) learn to use my new camera (see question 7 above); (4) buy a new camera (I guess I skipped a step on #3); (5) join a CSA and eat/cook the random fruits and veggies that arrive each week (I'm working on arranging this one right now); (6) pay more attention when people tell me their names (I'm terrible at names!); and (7) spruce up (and organize) the blog. I think it's good to mix serious goals with fluffy ones. It keeps things interesting, not to mention much less stressful.

As of today, I can say that I'm (well, we're) working on number 1 and having lots of fun along the way. As for number 2, not so much. The sewing machine is living inside a pillow case right now, but with so many friends expecting babies, I know I'll break it out sooner or later. Number 3 is a work in progress because I managed to accomplish number 4 when Tod and I received an amazing camera from my sister and her husband as an oh-so-generous wedding gift. (Yay for wedding gifts!) Number 5--join a CSA--well, yes, we've done that, and that's why I want you to check out my melons. (Again, get your minds out of the gutter, people.) I'm pretty sure that number 6 will be a lifelong challenge for me because names always seem to elude me. Finally, if you've noticed the grassy new header and the simpler blue/green design here, then you can tell I'm working on number 7. I know there's lots of room for improvement with the blog, and finding time recently has been difficult, but check back soon for more updates (like new pages and labels, hopefully). Of course, if you have any other suggestions for sprucing up the blog, definitely let me know.

Okay, let's get back to those melons. Tod and I joined the Rosebank Farms CSA for the summer season, and every Thursday, we pick up a big bag of fruits and vegetables from our neighborhood store, Burbage's. 

This week, we received what could be the biggest cantaloupe I've ever seen in my life. 

I tried to put it in perspective for you by placing it next to an eggplant we also received this week.

But then I realized an even better way to put it in perspective: by placing it next to the watermelon we received in a previous CSA bag. (Granted, the watermelon is smaller than your average watermelon, but still. Have you ever seen such a gigantic cantaloupe? It's honestly larger than a very-large-headed person's very large head.)

Oh, and as for those two little tomatoes you can see sitting in the window in the first picture, at one point we had a row of at least ten of 'em, so we've definitely been enjoying lots of sliced tomatoes, tomato sandwiches, and homemade sauces.

My kind of lunch: a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich, enjoyed with a Newman's Own chocolate cookie.
And remember when Tod asked for permission to cook supper last week? (Just read the post before this one if not.) As I suspected, the menu included eggplant, and Tod did a great job experimenting with a somewhat unfamiliar fruit. Here's his take on grilled eggplant parmesan.

While I was very lazily sleeping in this morning, Tod was washing the cars (the crepe myrtle blossoms that I love so much are doing a number on them), so now he's taking a nap. 

I think he's earned a few slices of watermelon, don't you?


0 True Story

I'm stretched out on the couch with the computer in my lap, and it looks a bit like it might storm. Or, well, it looked a bit like it might storm, so Tod and I put our walk on hold, and even though I can see bits and pieces of blue sky out the window, here I sit stretched out on the couch with the computer in my lap, running shoes still laced to my feet.

Tod joined me on the couch for a while, but he just walked into the kitchen. And although we're in separate rooms, we're only about fifteen feet apart.

From the kitchen, he asks me, "Can I cook supper tonight?"

I do not have to think before answering him. "Umm, yes. Please! Of course!!"

"Do you care if I try something new? If it's not good, I'll cook one of the pizzas in the freezer." 

Seriously? He wants to cook for me and thinks I'm worried about what he's going to cook. Umm, no. I'm not worried about that at all. (Plus, we discussed how to sweat an eggplant this morning, and we received a couple of them in our CSA bag last week, so I think I have an idea of the menu.)

"Honey, you can cook anything you want to cook. Do you want any help in there?"

And here's the best part so far: "No, I want to do it by myself," he says (not unlike a toddler). "Is that okay?"

"Umm, yes. Please! Of course!!"

And just when I thought it could not get any better for me on this non-stormy Tuesday night, he asks me another question: "Can I get you a glass of wine while you blog?"

Again with the chorus: "Umm, yes. Please! Of course!!"

Now how's that for a true story? 

I'm pretty sure I'm on to something good here, although I shudder to think what the authors of this book would have to say to me right now. 



0 Shrimp & Grits with Roscoe and Scooter

Heads on.
Heads off.
Peeling and deveining.
Cheese grits with Rosebank Farms jalapenos.
Onion, bacon, garlic, and spices.
Shrimp, cheese grits with Rosebank Farms jalapenos, onion, bacon, garlic, and spices topped with fried eggs. Oh, and some white wine.

All in all, a pretty good Saturday night!


1 Dear 209B,

Thanks for being such a great first house for Tod.

Although I don't have any true before pictures (this was way before the blog days), we sure did enjoy ripping out the green carpet and the yellow countertops and replacing them with something a bit more, let's say, updated. 

And we enjoyed painting and hanging and arranging and rearranging. We'll never forget all those weekend projects you offered us--especially those trips to Lowe's (and then those trips back to Lowe's to return the wrong part and buy the right part). Oh, and remember that time we hung a rug on one of your walls? That was pretty crazy. But you were always such a good sport about things like that. 

We'll always remember cooking in your kitchen while listening (and I'll admit it, dancing) to the beach music tunes chosen by Grady Brown. Walking the dogs (all three of 'em, in fact) in your neighborhood was just the best, and, oh, do you remember that time we spread out an old quilt in the backyard just because we could and just because we wanted to get a little bit closer to that October blue sky? Because we remember it. Your tree branches certainly knew how to put on a show for us.

We really cannot thank you enough for all those lazy weekends, all those times spent together watching movies, playing Uno, sharing meals, and chasing dogs who never could quite get the hang of those slippery hardwood floors. Oh, and let me say a special word or two about your bathtub. Not only did she provide shelter from the storms for Heidi, but also, she's the only bathtub I've ever met that is long enough to fit my spindly shanks. To say I'm going to miss her is an understatement. (Sitting in our bathtub in Charleston makes me feel like I'm sitting in a suitcase.)

In all, 209B, you taught us lessons about ownership. About sweat equity. And even about electricity. You were such a good and patient teacher. So thank you.

And speaking of lessons about electricity, remember how we spruced you up to go on the market? We took your tired brass chandelier and turned your dining room into a bistro. 

We scrubbed, we cleaned, heck, we even broke out the pressure washer to make sure you looked your best. (And when I say "we" there, I really mean it. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the loving family members who helped us along the way. You know who you are, and we love you.) 

And by the end, we had you looking so great that someone else came along and wanted you. And we were so proud of that. And of you. 

So last weekend, with happy/sad hearts (yes, that's a real emotion), we came back to you one last time, to pack you up, to say goodbye, to let you go. 

Once again, we worked like dogs. Errr, well, our dogs don't work much, but you know what I mean. 

We moved furniture. We rolled up rugs. We boxed up all those little things that made you feel like home. And we tried to show you how much we've loved you, and we tried to thank you for being such a great first house. 

Oh, and we sweated. Because who doesn't enjoy a move on a 103-degree day?

But slowly but surely, we emptied the cabinets. 

We made piles of things to go here. To go there. To go anywhere. 

Emotions were high at times. But there were light moments too. Like when we spotted the cutest little paw prints on the planet in the dust. 

Or when I enjoyed the most delicious blueberry cobbler for breakfast. 

Or when I took a break from all the work to take pictures of some of the most beautiful flowers around.

In the end, though, we loaded everything up and said our goodbyes.

Thanks for the memories, 209B. You were such a great first place, and we'll miss you.


1 Now Hiring

Umm, yeah, we're thinking we may need a docent.

Tours begin every fifteen minutes.


3 Better

I'm feeling better about things. I honestly breathe better (and Tod would probably agree that I'm a lot easier to be around) when the house is clean and organized. Yes, I know that makes me just a little bit crazy. But I'm comfortable with that because I know I'm not the only one. (You know who you are if what I'm saying makes sense to you.)

That's why when I had a day off yesterday (and Tod didn't), I knew I could get some cleaning and organizing done. It was time.

So after moving a whole bunch of stuff around, the dining room went from this . . . 

to this . . . .

Zelda was on guard because she did not want me to clean out her toy basket.

And although it's highly embarrassing to share this (just trying to keep it real though), here's the closet that was just begging to be cleaned out yesterday. Woah nelly.

After cleaning out and straightening the odd little mini shelves on the right, I pulled everything out except Tod's shirts that live in this closet. 

Where did everything from the closet go? 

In a giant, overwhelming pile on the bed. Naturally.

As of this morning, the closet looks like this. It's still too full, but it's better. And sometimes better is as good as it gets.

Although cleaning and organizing occupied most of my day yesterday, I took breaks to do fun things. Like taking pictures of a lizard that hangs out near our front stoop. (Yes, that's fun to me.)

I also snapped a few pics of our sweet girls. Heidi does not trust cameras.

See what I mean?

Zelda, on the other hand, loves 'em.

She also loves helping me change the sheets.

Unfortunately, she tires easily and is not very good at hospital corners. But man is she cute.

Okay, it's time for me to go get ready for a big weekend of moving even more stuff around. More on that later!
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