Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

What’s up, Kittens? The Zollifolks have had a busy week. We were in Florida for three days and I’m not going to lie, it was 9000 degrees. Seriously, look it up! We almost DIED.

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It was pretty, though. This is the view from the restaurant where we ate dinner.

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They didn’t have an air-conditioner, and I got so hot I actually took off my blazer and sat in PUBLIC in my spaghetti-strapped shirt.

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We were in town so that JD could shoot photos of one of our communities. I went along to supervise. Moon went along to eat out every meal.

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Moon was bored out of her skull until the staff found crafts for her to do, and let her work serving the residents their ice-cream. If I’d known she liked serving the elderly, I would have let her bring me my dessert eons ago!

On a side-note, the dress she is wearing was given to me by my husband about 18 years ago.

Speaking of things you don’t care about, we got back just in time for me to get to the Non-Life Master bridge tournament that was happening in Marietta.

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I don’t want to brag so I won’t mention how I did.

Feel free to email me if you’re wondering. Or if you can’t read the headline, or see the images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Life

Last night our electricity went out due to the storms so we had to sit around with candles and do old-school stuff like TALK. Turns out there’s a guy and a young girl who live in my house. Who knew? At one point Moon said, “This is great. You can’t use your computer like you did that one time at the lake.”

Okayyy. I guess a certain teenager is a little resentful. Perhaps we need a little more “unplugged” time.

Speaking of the LAKE, we went a few weeks ago.

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Moon and her BFF, Jemi, had a great time riding the inner tube. Question – Do they still call it an inner tube? Back in MY day, I rode an actual tube, like this -

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Which made riding and not killing yourself a tad bit harder. Anyway.

The girls had a great time until the line broke.

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But we forged ahead by tying the much shorter rope to the boat. “Hey Girls, want me to hand you a soda?”

Later, JD decided we needed even MORE excitement and let Moon drive the boat.

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Just Moon. Her BFF, Jemi, most certainly did not. That would have been dangerous. In fact, we put Jemi on shore with a life jacket and a life guard while we drove around in really fast circles.

The End.

I realize that this is not the most riveting story, but it does have a point. One day my daughter can read it and remember that I did, in fact, go to the lake WITHOUT my computer.

The wi-fi out there is the worst.

 

#TBT Moron Test Kitchen – Spicy Saltines

This was originally posted 5 years ago. I was in Livingston for the family reunion, and I’ll be heading there again tomorrow. Hopefully mom will have some crackers!

My Aunt Faye gave me this recipe weeks ago and I did it immediately. Then I promptly forgot the instructions. I’m sure she can leave a comment to tell me where I went wrong. This is not a spoiler alert – I ALWAYS go wrong.

The ingredients are simple. A package of ranch dressing, 4 sleeves of saltines, red pepper flakes and CANOLA oil.

Me: Do you have any canola oil?

Mom: No, use Olive Oil.

Me: Faye was adamant, she said it MUST be canola oil.

Mom: Use Olive Oil.

Me: But..

Mom: Just USE IT!

You should know I get all of my cooking skills from my mother.

The recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 oil (I think) but Faye says to  trim it back  to 1 cup. It also calls for 2 tablespoons of red pepper, but she says to use 1. I come from a long line of cooking rebels. Anyway, put the red pepper in the oil and set aside for an hour.

Now add the package of ranch dressing and stir well. Put the crackers in a large bowl with a lid and our the oil/pepper/ranch over them. Then gently turn them over and let sit. Then turn them over again. Then again. You get the idea, until they are coated evenly. One recipe I read said to use a gallon zip-lock bag and shuffle around for 15 minutes.

Okay, I didn’t HAVE a bowl with a lid. So when I turned it over, oil just ran out on the counter. Eventually, we just pronounced it good enough and ate them.

Moron Test Grade: Undecided. On the plus side, it was SUPER easy. Aunt Faye raved about them and a similar recipe has 5 stars on www.RecipeZaar.com.

On the con side was that I threw up after eating 200. FYI, throwing up saltines is like heaving sawdust. Of course, I didn’t use CANOLA oil. Or the correct bowl. I consider the whole thing inconclusive.

I would like to try it again with some oyster crackers . Or better yet, I’ll wait for Fay to invite me over. Fay? I can come over right? Hello? I promise to only eat 100. 150 at most.

The Reveal

As I mentioned, while Moon was away at camp JD and I decided to redecorate her room. She has been hinting over the last few months that she was ready to let go of the pink and green theme and try something a little more mature.

Do you remember what it looked like?

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We’d changed the curtains to gray and moved the desk around since this photo was taken, but basically it’s been the same since she was born.

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Not any longer!

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We painted the walls a light gray, got a new bed and shelving unit, hung some cool artwork, updated the bedding, and got a seriously cool chandelier.

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When closed, it looks like the death star!

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Pull a string and it opens up to emit more light. We also moved the cool Hatch Show prints into her room.

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The shelving unit is on casters so that she can move it if she wants.

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The girl was PLEASED. Yay, a parenting win! Now I can relax and rest.

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Or begin cleaning out the spare bedroom where I stashed all of her junk. Whichever.

 

 

Moon Room

Moon Pie is away at camp this week so JD and I are living it up! We actually went inside the perimeter last night to do a little shopping. Of course we were shopping for MOON, but still. We headed to IKEA because we’ve decided that while the Moon is away, her room will get an upgrade.

First, a new bed:

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It’s not exactly what she wanted, as it has a headboard, but it’s low and black so she should be happy.

We also got her new linens:

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In her favorite colors, black and gray. And because she wants NO dresser and NO desk, a simple shelving unit:

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The one we bought doesn’t have the doors on the bottom because that would make too much sense and Moon want’s NO clutter. Who is this kid??

We’re going to drag out her white bed, desk and drawers sometime today and then paint. She’s had the bright green room since she was a baby, but now we’re going a little more sophisticated and doing a gray.

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Okay, not THAT sophisticated.

When we’re done, we’re hoping she’ll have a nice, teenage room in a gray pallet. Should anyone be concerned it’s too dark, let me remind you of the room she asked for:

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Not a bad compromise, Kittens, amiright?

When bored.

I took Moon to the doctor today for a check-up and she wouldn’t even let me LOOK at her, much less take her picture. I was reminded of a time when she was a little more amiable. The post below was originally posted Sept, 2009.

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The Moonpie and I have a habit of being late for the eye doctor. It’s not my fault, really. They are just so darn far – 45 minutes away, and we only leave 30 minutes before the appointment. Okay, so it IS my fault.

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And when the receptionist says they’ll still TAKE us, but only AFTER the other people, we just roll with it.

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We kill time by playing the, “Who Can Make the Silliest Face and Most Annoying Noise” game.

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It’s amazing how quickly they find a way to fit us in.

Hair today, gone tomorrow (7 years ago today)

(Freeda is still here and going strong. This blog however, seems to be winding down. I’ll try to find interesting content before we say good-bye.)

Sorry. It’s late.

Do you know what every summer for the last 7 years has been like? Sort of like working the janitorial shift at Hair Clips. THIS is what happens when the weather gets warm -

_mg_1678Huge clumps of hair fall out of my dog. The above brush was from ONE quick swipe over Freeda’s coat. The brush is unnecessary, anything  - petting, feeding, sleeping – will cause little hairy tumbleweeds to blow around my house. It’s as COOL as it sounds. I must sweep five times a day, and yet there’s always more. Until now.

That’s right, we FINALLY decided to take Freeda for a haircut.

_mg_1682This is JD explaining “Spa Day” to Freeda.

_mg_1684This is Freeda saying, “No Thanks.”

In my naivete, I thought we’d just stand there and watch. I SO wanted to document the whole process, but no, they sent us away and said to come back in FOUR hours. Yikes. Dogs are such divas.

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We finally got the call that she was ready. Rachel couldn’t wait to see the result.

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Whoo Hoo. Freeda couldn’t wait to see US.

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Hey, where you going?

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Uh..you got her Rachel?

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Wow. She’s really in a hurry to show off her new “do”. It must be a girl thing.

10 Cool Things

I was all set to blog about New York when I got to the blog and saw that I already did! I guess I ought to read Zolligirl once in a while. I’m sitting at home with the hubby watching The Tony Awards and we’re enjoying all of the performances, but especially the one from On The Town. That was the show we saw last week with Moon, which reminded me that Moon has seen and done a LOT this past school year.

Here’s 10 Cool Things Moon Did/Saw during the 2014-2015 School Year

1. Chicago via segues

2. The Broadway show, On The Town, complete with hanging out afterwards and getting the cast to sign her playbook, NYC

3. Singing along at The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville.

4. The show Wicked at the Fox Theater, Atlanta

5. A Half Ironman in Oceanside, California

6. Learned about pirates and the history of Charleston, South Carolina

7. Partook in a Seder for Passover

8. Ate dinner in Grand Central Station, NYC

9. Had a macrobiotic breakfast on Rodeo Drive, California

10. Went to 4 concerts and saw Goo-Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley, Maddie and Tae, and Dwight Yoakem in concert.

She’s 13. When I was 13 I’d been to 1 concert – The Osmond Brothers – and traveled as far as Cookeville, TN almost 25 miles away.

Obviously, fun skips a generation.

The Education of Moon

It’s been another exhausting, but fruitful, day in the big city! Since my big event isn’t till tomorrow, we decided to do another day of sightseeing starting with a visit to the Museum of Modern Art. The highlights included seeing Van Gogh’s, Starry Night and several Jackson Pollock pieces. The lowlight included some interesting art by Yoko Ono. Like:

The five-and-a-half-minute film consists of a series of close-ups of human buttocks as the subject walks on a treadmill.

Moon was not a fan.

My friend Jeanette has a super cool mom who just happens to live in NEW YORK, so she met us for dinner. And by “met” I mean “paid” which is my favorite kind of dinner! We ate at a yummy restaurant in Grand Central Station and I have photos but am way too tired to upload them, so stay tuned for later.

Afterwards, she hit the subway for home and we hit the streets to see a Broadway show called, On The Town. It was very well done and we had super close seats, (Row A) so that made it even more special. When it was over we waited outside and got some of the actors to sign our program. Again, pictures to come!

It was 10 pm and none of us felt like taking the subway so we walked. The wrong way. Twice. It wasn’t a huge deal, I mean I was HOPING I’d get to see the neighborhood named Hell’s Kitchen, and we were in luck! Thankfully all of the streets are numbered here and it didn’t take long before we figured out that 42 is lower than 43 and perhaps we should turn around.

By the time we leave on Saturday we’ll be practically locals!

Take a moment tomorrow and remember to pray for me. My talk is at 1 and I practiced what I was going to say today with Moon and JD. Moon commented that I said UM about a 1000 times but other than that, I was great.

 

The City That Never Sleeps

Country Mouse is in the big city and I have to tell you, New York is not for everybody. Sure there are awesome restaurants on every corner, but there are also 1284 people per square foot, and a lot of them are smelly. Still, my trip has been fun.

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I now no longer want to drive MYSELF to the airport like some kind of commoner. There is something nice about seeing your name in a car with LIMO plates. It’s even nicer when you don’t have to actually pay for it.

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As soon as we got checked in to the hotel, we made our way down the street for some Italian food. I did extensive research for the trip and had a list of all of the restaurants and/or food trucks in our vicinity. Just kidding, we just walked until we found a place that didn’t say $28.00 per entree.

I was so tired from traveling I made the family come back to the hotel for a nap. The city may never sleep but I do! I woke up in time to go dinner, then we hit the hay.

 

 

 

 

 

This morning we sent JD down to Starbucks for coffee and breakfast, then we hit the town. First stop, the SUBWAY.

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People in New York always act like traveling is so easy – “It’s just a couple of stops on the Red Line.” WhatEVER. We took THREE different trains and made FOURTEEN stops to go FOUR miles.

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That’s the Statue of Liberty back there. We could have taken the boat over but after all of those stops, I was about tired of New York Mass Transit.

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It was a short walk to the Freedom Tower.

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The 9/11 Memorial was very impressive and incredibly moving. We went inside to the museum and even though it was hard, I wish every American could go through it. They’ve done a great job memorializing those lost that day.

After another quick lunch, this time at a deli, we took the subway BACK fourteen stops to the hotel. Since it’s been 90 degrees in NYC, I wanted to shower before heading to my editors office!

We got a nice tour, some free books, and generally walked around pretending we weren’t total posers.

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As we were leaving, my editor mentioned a chocolate shop across the street so of course we needed gelato.

We’d taken a cab to the office, but afterward, we got to ride MORE subway trains and since it was now five, so did all of Manhattan. I’m pretty sure I felt up at least one poor woman.

We made it to the hotel in time to brush our teeth and go back out the door. We were meeting a friend’s daughter and her husband for dinner, and since I was over the subway, we walked.  It was only about eight blocks, no biggie.

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Until we came outside and found it raining. Luckily, New Yorkers have that down to a science and before the sidewalks could get damp, several impromptu umbrella salesmen had set up shop. We had a $5.00 umbrella before we’d gotten to the cross street.

And now, I’m finally back in bed. Whew. I’m going to be exhausted by the time I get home. And also, fat. And also, BROKE. But I was at least two of those before I left, so no biggie.