Tuesday, July 27, 2010

i am the half blood prince

Harry Potter, the boy who lived, is alive and well in our household. House pillows in Sadie's Etsy shop, rereading the series, collages of favorite movie moments and great anticipation of the November release of Deathly Hallows, Part 1. Here is a magical film that Sadie made yesterday.
The song is alohomora by pogo.

Friday, July 23, 2010

golden tan of a lifetime

Have you listened to the Summer Job Series on NPR's All Things Considered? Listeners are invited to share their stories of memorable summer jobs. Have you ever heard of corn tasseling or wondered about the people who play your favorite characters at Disneyland? There are some great story tellers out there! Click here to read the transcripts. Here's the story I submitted this morning. I would love to read it on air!

Golden Tan of a Lifetime

When I was growing up in Hico, Texas, where the population was only about a thousand at the time, high school kids could either haul hay or work at the Koffee Kup Kafe, which is what I did. Once I mastered the mile high meringue and discovered the perfect ratio of vanilla syrup to Coke and perfected the precise art of cutting a multi-tiered club sandwich, I decided I needed a change of scenery. I found it one summer, along with the golden tan of a lifetime, at a tree nursery just outside of town. Five mornings a week, our rag tag crew piled into the back of a beat up Chevy pickup at crack thirty, a.k.a. 6 am, and our supervisor, Leon, drove us out to the fields. It was a scene straight out of Cool Hand Luke. He dropped us off at the end of a mile long row of pecan trees and picked us up at the other end in the afternoon. Each of us had a spool of twine we fashioned as belts and all day we trudged down the row, tying each tiny pecan tree to a wooden stake, in three places, to help it grow straight and strong for selling.

Did I mention that summer was a record breaking scorcher?!? 100, 101, 102 degree days. Consistently. Once I forgot my thermos of ice water, but thankfully, Leon always left a big orange water cooler in a central place for anyone who needed it. Anyone ended up being one person, my crew mate Cecil, who treated the jug like his personal hydrating station. With filthy hands, he dipped in his tin cup and chugged it right over the open top of the cooler. I watched in horror as the water dripped down his face, through his grizzled beard and back into the jug, brown as lake water. I never forgot my thermos again.

There was romance in the field too. The highlight of my day was catching a glimpse of Scott, a football playing college boy home for the summer. That fall, I went on to accompany his parents to watch him play in West Texas, stopping at every Wendy's from central to West Texas. But that's another story for another day.

Even though the work was monotonous, the camaraderie was enjoyable. A friend and I always worked one row apart, facing each other, and tied at the same pace so that we could chat the day away.

As it turned out, that camaraderie was the most productive thing about the job. Right at the end of summer, as we finished our work day, a fierce Texas thunderstorm blew in. Sheets of rain and buckets of hail battered our little saplings, and our summer of work was torn to bits.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


This is a gift from my friend Kalynn. 500 artfully placed pins. Kalynn has a very tidy sewing space. She even likes her pins nice and tidy, all straight with yellow heads; nary a white or even classic silver to be found. My willy nilly multi colored pins of varying quality in this container and that make her a little batty. Her attempts to convert me have backfired. Can't you see this is too cool to actually use? Not one pin disturbed. I love it and you Kalynn!

Monday, July 5, 2010


How was your Fourth? I sniffled my way through Toy Story 3 and we enjoyed a nice fireworks show. Over the weekend we also learned to make fresh pasta with an awesome family. It was really fun. Kitchen Aid pasta attachments now top my list of must haves.

You just have to drink great wine when you're making fresh pasta. Great wine is even better when served from a cool, hand blown decanter.

The sauce was fantastic. The recipe was from Marcella Hazan. Here is a terrific link to lots of her recipes.

Bella and Cookie are ready to eat!
Our thanks to the Pasquinelli's for all the fun!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

a neighborly fourth

Suggestions for a neighborly fourth:

1. Bake a cake. Any flavor. Box or homemade. It doesn't matter. That isn't the point.
Frost with white icing. Decorate like a flag. Hint. Blueberries make an awfully nice field of blue. Tasty too.
2. Grab a handful of paper plates and plastic forks.
3. Walk up and down your street with cute children in tow. Or spouse or friends. Or pets.
4. Knock on the door and offer a slice of flag cake.
5. Have a nice chat and move on to the next house.
6. Don't stop knocking until the cake is gone.

Boom. Happy 4th.

*This post originally ran in 2009. Being neighborly never gets old!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

fuel for thought

Charcoal or gas? What camp are you in? Talk amongst yourselves. This post might provide fuel for thought. Pun most definitely intended. You might also enjoy this list of top grilling tips from Country Living. Have a great weekend!

images via garden and gun and country living
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