Friday, September 28, 2012

Y, As a Matter of Fact, Yes We Did!

I dragged Dave out on another one of my shenanigans the other evening.  

I made him hike the Y with me.

In response to those of you out there who are asking, "Why (or Y) would you do such a thing?"  My answer?  "Because it was there."  Boom goes the dynamite!

Dave and I took our sweet time getting to the top (liar, liar, pants on fire!), as we huffed and puffed and practically blew a gasket by reaching the tippy top of the Y (that part is important) in 35 minutes.  And, then?  And, then we laid down, right then and there, and gave up the ghost.

And now that we've safely made it to the top of the Y and safely back down, my response to the following quote is . . . REALLY?  YA THINK?!!!!!  Read on:

"If you climb a mountain for the first time and die on the descent, is it really a complete first ascent of the mountain? I am rather inclined to think personally that maybe it is quite important, the getting down, and the complete climb of a mountain is reaching the summit and getting safely to the bottom again." 
                                                   --Sir Edmund Hillary

Yeah.  Like Sir Ed, I'm also inclined to think that not dying on the descent is somewhat important.  Perhaps it might even fit more into the "extremely important" category as opposed to the "quite important" category.  Just my take.  

As I was descending, hoping to complete the entire summiting a mountain and getting safely to the bottom again deal, I was literally mincing!  Mincing, people!  With my feet!  Do you know what that looks like, mincing?  Think of someone taking tiny, teeny, teensy, itty, bitty baby steps so she doesn't experience this monstrous episode once again.  You guys!  That's all I could think of as I was descending from that big white Y.  By the way, that monstrous episode left me with quite the aethsetically pleasing accessory in the form of this:  

So, yeah.  There's that.  Hence, the mincing.

In any event!  Our 35 minutes up and 35,000 mincing steps down makes for a pretty great shenanigan, don't you think?

Monday, September 24, 2012

You Have No Idea How Much I Want This To Be Simply Stellar!

Please, please, please, moviemakers--  
please do right by my favorite musical of all time! 
 *praying, praying, praying*

Friday, September 21, 2012

F.R.I.D.A.Y. Guest Photographer

Don't judge.  I know this looks bad and that I will be deemed such a slacker since this edition of our rollicking F.R.I.D.A.Y. roundup took place ages ago.  Like, uh, years ago, it seems.  But, like I said, don't judge.  It's just that sometimes stuff comes up.  

Hey!  Not that this has anything to do with anything, but have you seen on my blogroll over there?  Look to your right.  Over there.  See it?  Right there on my sidebar? You really ought to go check out that website.  Just for fun.

Anywho!  I am pleased as a petunia to announce that this F.R.I.D.A.Y. photo was taken by none other than the famed photographer, Kimball, P.P.P.G.E.!  Those very hilarious grins on our faces are the direct result of watching Kimball, P.P.P.G.E., trying to manhandle the camera all the while making every effort to simply point that thing in our general direction.  His reputation will only get bigger and better after this photo shoot, no?

Kimball, P.P.P.G.E. even managed to capture Aldolpho who was hanging out upstairs in the VIP suite.
Photograph taken by Kimball, P.P.P.G.E. 
(Professional Photographer and Professional Grandson Extraordinaire)

The photograph below was taken at our previous F.R.I.D.A.Y. hoohah by a passerby we accosted.  Notice Kimball, P.P.P.G.E., trying to hide his trepidation and concern about the passerby's photography technique.  From the look on his face, it doesn't appear that Kimball was super impressed.  

Aldolpho, as usual, was trying to hog all of the attention.  One of these days, he's going to get left behind.  
On purpose.  He better watch his P's and Q's, is my friendly advice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Know It's Not Smoked Reindeer Cheese, But . . .

Christian with his icky yummy squeeze reindeer cheese!

Today, in honor of Christian's six-month anniversary of being on his mish (six months!  I know!--sometimes it feels like six months, sometimes it feels like six years, I won't lie), I decided to make a very traditional Swedish cookie as my way of feeling close to my awesome elder!

I just love this guy so doggone much, and I readily admit to missing him like the dickens.  I thought that by my making these cookies and thinking of him while firing up the ol' Kitchen Aid that I might not miss him so.  It worked.  Sort of.  Well, no it didn't.  I now actually miss him more than ever.  BUT!  We've got to remember that we have six months down!  And, Christian is so happy serving where he is serving and doing what he is doing, who am I to be a whiner about that?!  Det är underbart! 

These cookies were a cinch to make, and they turn out very much like a shortbread cookie.  The next time you are missing my darling Christian, you too may want to give these a go!

Drömkakor or Swedish Dream Cookies 
(Adapted from SAVEUR)
Makes 3 dozen

1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
8 tbsp or 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Oetker vanilla sugar packets (9 grams each, 18 grams total; see image on right) (I didn't have this so I just dumped in a bunch of vanilla extract!)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Heat oven to 300°F. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until pale and fluffy, 1–2 minutes. The butter/sugar mixture should stick evenly against the side of the bowl. No lumps. Add oil and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Dromkakor or Swedish Dream Cookies
I'm going to convince myself that these turned out like they are supposed to; I truly have no idea.
Christian will be none the wiser!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Oh. There Goes the Brandy. Too Bad."

Who said this:

"Take your casserole and give it a little shimmy!"

Was it:

A:  Lady Gaga
B:  Elvis Presley
C:  Julia Child

And, the correct answer would be . . . 

C:  Julia Child!

And, how would I know such a trivial thing?  Why, I was watching a couple of  original 1963 episodes of "The French Chef" on PBS on Saturday while sweating my guts out on that torture device otherwise known as my treadmill, that's how I know such a trivial thing.  And, I'll tell you what--that Julia Child was so entertaining, so unrehearsed, so unabashed, so at ease, so totally at home in that kitchen, without a care in the world about any misstep (and there were several), that she caused my time of agony on that blasted treadmill to be amazingly fun and fancy free!  That was a muuurrricle, ya'll!

Other notables from these episodes of "The French Chef":

--Julia's awkward sidelong glances at the off-camera clock.

--The kitchen counter hits a 6' 2" Julia at about mid-thigh.

--Julia "accidentally" (yeah, right) pours vermouth instead of oil into the pot.  Twice.  (See the 3:29 mark and the 20:05 mark.)  Says Julia with a shrug, "But, that doesn't make any difference."  Doesn't make any difference?  Vermouth = oil?  Hilarious!

--I kept hearing a train in the background.  I swear I did.

This is simply stellar television in my book.

Watch French Onion Soup on PBS. 
See more from The French Chef.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Childhood Rhyme

I remember when Ashley started kindergarten at the ripe old age of five (but going on ten intellectually--smart as a whip, that girl!) her teacher taught the class a little rhyme on the first day of school.  I had never heard the rhyme before (but then again, I was 20-something but intellectually going on five--my kids did NOT get their brains from me {boo}).

Anywho!  The little first-day-of-school rhyme went like this:

Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
The other, gold.

A circle is round,
It has no end.
That's how long
I will be your friend.

So sweet.  

Last week, Dave and I had the very fabulous pleasure of meeting up with one of those long-time friends (I can't say "old friends" because she ain't old!) from our awesome Naperville days.  WARNING:  Sappiness ahead!  Those dear, dear friends from those Naperville days were my sanity, my lifeline, my family-away-from-family, and I will continue to love them all until the day I up and kick the bucket.  And beyond that.  

As Dave and I spent a couple of ours with darling Kaaren, we were reminded yet again of how blessed we are to have these friends of gold.  With all of our new friends in our friend cache, we're never going to let go of the old.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Hey, Mr. EcoLife! Please Don't Take Away My (Eco)Life!

I know that to certain random people, it may mean nothing, but actually my life means a little somethin' somethin' to me and mine.  So, I say, "Hey, Mr. Man Who Was Driving a Very Large and Very Heavy Truck Directly Behind Me, please don't plow your EcoLife truck into the back of my car and take away my (eco)life!  I could tell that you were absolutely fascinated with your texts or your emails or your viewing of 101 Dalmations (whatev) on your phone, but in the future, please keep your eyes off of your phone and put them smack dab onto the back of my car!  Especially when you're vehicle is traveling forward?  Straight at me?  Thanks ever so much.  You're a lifesaver!"  (yuk, yuk)

I took this photo during a stop so I could avoid being a flat-out hypocrite.  I hate it when that happens.  Which it does.  Often.  Well, not too often, but often.  Or, sometimes.  But, not too often.  Just, sometimes.  Let's just say that I do try to avoid it if I possibly can.  Mostly.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Next Best Thing!

If we can't have Ashley, Jordan, and this adorable little face and his gangster signs (say whaaaaa?) here in person with us, at least we have this!  Kimball's animated expressions simply float my boat!

Just joshin' about the gangster signs, btw.  I wouldn't know one if I saw one.  In fact, I may have even thrown down a sign or two without even realizing what I was doing.  Now that I think about it, that may explain a lot of things, actually . . . .

Monday, September 03, 2012

Now, Let Me Get This Straight . . .

The Princeton Review once again came out with their lists of rankings of U.S. colleges in categories such as "Most Beautiful Campus," "Biggest Public School Bargains," "Best College Dorms," etc., etc.  

For the thirteenth year in a row, Brigham Young University has been ranked the big kahuna, the top dog, the big cheese, the don of the "Stone-Cold Sober Schools."  In other words, you ain't gonna find too much imbibing going at BYU.  (As far as you know.)  They're number one, guys!

So, when I came across this shiny little thing at our neighbhorood Piggly Wiggly the other day, I had to wonder whether The Princeton Review mixed up BYU with West Virginia University which also made it to the top of one of those lists.

Oh.  And, which list was it that put West Virginia University as number one?  "The Top Party School of 2012," of course!  PAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRTTTTTAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY! Yeeeooww!  

*Schools on the "Stone-Cold Sober Schools" list are those at which surveyed students' answers indicated a combination of: high personal daily study hours (outside of class), low usages of alcohol and drugs on campus, and low popularity on campus for frats/sororities.  And, a BYU keg fits in there how?