Sunday, August 24, 2014

quality literature: eleanor & park

if you're looking for a sweet, light-hearted, feel good book, this is your winner.  it's a delightful quirky teenage romance and those of us who were children of the 80's will enjoy it just a little bit more than most.  i liked it so much that i've gotten a few copies to read with my girls at school.  the last three words are my favorite.  what a perfect ending.  :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

texas: gone fishing part two

well, i totally didn't mean to leave you hanging for over two weeks.  i'm sure you've been dying to know if g caught any more fish while in texas.

 why, yes.  yes, he did.  isn't she a beauty?

this is where we went fishing on day two.  it's just the little drainage pond in my sister's neighborhood.  incidentally, ponds are called tanks in texas and lakes are called reservoirs.  i think this must directly relate to it being such a dry state where water conservation is critical.

of course, while g was fishing, i was taking photos.  the grasshoppers were an amusing subject once more.  I think I mentioned earlier that my brother-in-law gave me one of his old zoom lenses.  it was useful in getting these photos of the grasshoppers in the wild rather than my earlier post in which my son had to catch all the grasshoppers for me to photograph.

 then the cows were fun to watch through the zoom lens.  it's like bringing along a set of binoculars.

isn't this mama and baby pair the cutest?

i never could have captured this dragonfly without the zoom lens.  these jokers are fast and cautious.

pink flowers that i had missed the day before as they were a variety that closes up when the sun's not out in full force.

i found some nice dried flowers that were interesting little bits of architecture.  it reminded me that there are still pretty things about in the fall after the pretty colors are gone.

these pods were way interesting.  i found several and am way curious to know what the flowers looked like.

we're enjoying a relaxing low key weekend here.  those are much more important now that school is back in session.  the weeks just fly by and it's hard to get everything done.  g's shirt here makes me laugh.  we picked up two on clearance at the bass pro shop in texas.  we also picked up three fish tees at gander mountain outdoor shop during its grand opening near home.  those were g's back to school clothes.  he wears a fishing shirt almost every day.  ha!  he likes what he likes.  :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

jbs mercantile: august gallery updates

i decided i must get back on the wagon with project life and perhaps the best place to start is at the beginning.  that would be january for me.  oops!  the problem with this choice was that i had already decided i must work with my august jbs mercantile kits which are decidedly beachy in theme.  i'm always up for a good challenge though and i'm rather delighted with the way this spread turned out.  i used papers from the book (yes, you get an entire book!) in the antiquarian to back all the pockets down the middle.  i've never done anything so consistent in project life and i really like the look.  i also used several of the vellum overlays from the historian kit to house my journaling.  the doilies worked nicely for snowflakes, of course i had to use a fletched arrow when my seminoles won the national championship, and what do you know my kid even ate an ice cream cone the same week that we got snow.  you can use a beach kit in january and it's not even that hard.  ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

texas: gone fishing part one

well, i was going to put all the texas fishing photos in one post, but i was too tired to do it last night and i ran out of time to get all the pictures edited this morning.  i know you wouldn't want me to be late for school, so here are just the few i took the day we took g fishing at a state park.  while the grasshoppers are definitely bigger and better in texas, i'm not sure the state parks are.  this one wasn't nearly as awesome as our local tennessee ones.  it was kinda hot and empty.  and no good for fishing.

we did see a heron fishing though.  that was kinda fun.  and my brother-in-law had given me a zoom lens to play with.  that was kinda fun.  and i took a serious nap on a picnic table.  that was kinda fun.

he finally caught one.  wheee!  we can go home.

Monday, August 4, 2014

menu plan: garden eats

summer started with this huge basket of lettuce from homer's farm and a burning desire to work more veggies into our dining rotation.  sadly, most of the lettuce wilted as i didn't know how to store it properly.  i have since researched better refrigeration options.

we did manage to salvage enough large leaves to try our hand at lettuce wraps.  we put way too much bounty in them and they overflowed.  turns out lettuce does not hold quite as much as a tortilla of similar size.  we're not cultured enough to know exactly what goes in lettuce wraps either, so we improvised.  mine had yellow rice, ground beef, and tiny bits of raw carrots.  they were really so fresh and tasty.  g, of course, needs to put cheese on most everything, but really i wouldn't suggest that unless you are a child.

i remember my big sister making fried green tomatoes when i was a little girl.  i have had these several times this summer.  they are oh so good.  we had this corn tortilla mix flour in the pantry and it is fried green tomato frying perfection.  it's really more of a corn meal, but a fine grained cornmeal.

they are absolutely delicious with bacon and eggs.  i can't get enough of them.  and don't worry.  i've already earmarked "food photography" as a personal goal for 2015.

 these beauties were all from homer's farm and went into a beef stew idea that a friend told me about.

the before picture is much better than the after.  the cabbage chunk is having an awkward moment.  i tried to photograph it again the next day, but the rice came out looking like maggots and that didn't seem too appetizing for you.  the stew was okay, but not that great either.  i asked the same friend the next week for spice suggestions and she said she uses ginger and garlic, neither of which do i like.  i will have to put more thought into it next time.  i still think the dish has potential.

stir fry, i have discovered, is an excellent use for all those bell peppers.  i seem to be very good at growing peppers.  we actually loved this mix.  it was bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and baby carrots with chicken and jasmine rice.

i tried to slip in some tomatoes on a sandwich i made for g.  i knew better.  i do not like raw tomatoes, so of course my son would not.  the rest of it was awesome.  leftover taco meat with a layer of cheese and fried egg.  and on a side note, banana peppers fry up so well in taco meat.  they are much milder than even bell peppers, but add a bit of textures and veggie goodness.

even slightly cooking tomatoes makes them completely tolerable.  here they are on tortilla crust pizza.  g will even eat them this way.  i took the idea for tortilla pizza from the bbb living blog.  two thumbs up from me and g.  three actually as his little friend liked it too.

tomatoes and bell peppers making another appearance, this time as fish fillet garnishes.  plus a little stir fry on the side.

tacos with lettuce from the garden.  how fun to just step out the door to pick just enough for dinner.

and a few sweet johnny jump ups to garnish my niece's birthday cupcakes.  i love my garden.

now that school has started back, i'm needing to get back into a menu planning routine.  i took the first step in that direction this evening by going to the grown up grocery for the first time in a month.  we spent $175 and that was after taking off the $60 for my excellent couponing and sales watching discounts.  painful.  i'm not quite ready to make a real plan yet, but at least we have solid options.  next week i'll play martha.  until then, many happy dinners to you and yours.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

quality literature: the fault in our stars

this was good.  i enjoyed it.  it didn't blow me out of the water, but it was solidly good and enjoyable and did make me cry a time or two.  recommended. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

jbs mercantile: project project life

the papercrafting kits are sold out already, so i thought I should dip into the historian since it is still in stock.  the historian is designed to work well with project life and since i need to get a move on with project life, it is pretty much a perfect match for my scrappy needs at the moment.  not to mention that it's also very beachy this month and i do have beach pictures.

i had a hard time choosing the photos to use.  i love so many from this day.  i finally decided to use the ones that went best with all the little stories that i wanted to tell.  i think i will get some of my favorite pretty ones printed larger to hang on the wall.

here is the spread with the page i shared yesterday.  while i really don't care if my pages match, i went ahead and made these two obviously go together with the gold puffy stickers since they are from the same day.  i like it.  the day and the spread.  :)

jbs mercantile: august reveal

well, i surely meant to finish up all my loose ends last week, so i could start august with a clean slate.  yesterday was the first day of school and prepping for it (as well as getting ready for a new month at jbs mercantile) totally kicked my butt.  i took g to cracker barrel for a celebratory dinner after school, then we ran by target for school supplies on tax free weekend.  by the time we got home at 7:00, i was completely exhausted.  i laid down on the couch with chichi and promptly fell into a coma.  poor g had to put the cold stuff in the fridge for me.  i managed to get up at 8:30 just long enough to get ready for bed by 9:00, lol.  whew!

the first day was great though!  i have a couple new boys from egypt and the promise of a new russian student on monday.  i have an amazing crop of freshmen and i'll be teaching elementary school again for the first time in i think eight years.  i feel like it's going to be a fun year!

and here is a page celebrating july.  sunny days and lazy days and beach days.  but even school days and hard work days and exhausted days are worth celebrating.  i don't take any of them for granted.