Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Cotton Candy Clouds

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Tiller: “Mama? Are the clouds flat?”

Me: “Flat?”

Tiller: “Yeah, flat.” She lies on the couch and points up. “Like the ceiling.”

Me: “Um, well, no, they are kinda poofy.”

Tiller: [Face lighting up with joy and recognition.] “Oh! Like cotton candy!”

Related posts:
Our Eyes are Like Doors
Growing Chocolate and Wonder and Hope

Sheer Bliss

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

So, Todd went to Chicago this weekend to meet fellow Auburn boys, Brian and Tom. And to see the Pixies. Yes, I am the best wife in the world for not pitching a hissy fit that he was flying to Chicago to see one of my favorite bands ever. (Yeah, right. You know I didn’t take this lying down. I made him promise that I had a free pass if they came anywhere in the Southeast on this tour. So, if you want to go, let me know and you will be included if it comes up. ) In all seriousness, Toddler really deserved this weekend, as he is the best husband/Daddy combo ever, and he has been working his ass off for the last six months.

I decided that I would go visit my parents at the lake for the weekend. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to after the kids go to bed, and i love taking the kids to the lake where they can run free in the trees, and fish, and crawl around in the bushes and get wet and muddy. They get to learn about life in the food web via fishing and all of the dogs decimating a nest of baby squirrels. I worry they don’t get enough of that. Nature Deficit Disorder, if you will. We thought it was going to rain all weekend, but it ended up being really nice weather on Saturday, so the kids played, and I did some yardwork for my dad (leaves and pruning bushes, mostly.) So, about noon, just as i popped open a beer and was finishing my yardwork cleanup, i heard this . . . running water sound. It was pretty loud, so it didn’t take long to locate the source – the spigot in the front yard had sprung a leak. Water was bubbling up out of the ground.

This was one of those moments where i thought to myself, I should not say a word about this. Just let it run. If I say something, Cecil is going to want me to help fix this. I have fixed a leaky water pipe in this yard before. This will not be fun. Keep. Mouth. Shut.

I am dumb. I said something. We decided to eat lunch before starting to fix it. I like that when I am at the lake, I can eat things for lunch like turnip greens and leftover Old Clinton BBQ and wash it down with a margarita. (My sister had come down that morning with my nephew Dash, and god bless her, the first thing she usually does when she gets to the lake is make margaritas. I couldn’t let her drink alone, no matter how much leaky pipe i had to fix that afternoon.) After that Dad had me knee deep in mud before i finished the damn margarita.

I dug and dug and was a complete and total Goat Man in minutes. After digging a couple feet down all around the spigot, we found the trench where the water line was. In the true spirit of half-assed construction, and wiring that is the lakehouse, the water line is in the same trench as the power. So, I was digging in a hole that was quickly filling with water and through which electricity was running. Brilliant.

I did not get electrocuted, although that might have been sweet relief from my father telling me how to do everything. Twice. Because just saying it once might not sink in through my thick skull. No, everything must be stated twice. If something isn’t working, and I am trying to figure it out, while I am doing so, my father repeats his instructions. Over and over. Just taking the volume up a notch each successive time.

I finished the margarita, which was helpful both in regulating my attitude, and because I could then use the cup to bail the water out of the hole. That’s what you call forethought and ingenuity. I will just pour myself this drink, so that when i am done, i can use the cup to bail out a muddy hole filled with water.

About this time, we decided to turn the water back on, and find out where the leak was. It was, of course, right below ground level, on the pipe running up to the spigot. Not in one of the pipes running through the yard at all. Basically, this means that I didn’t really need to dig up the whole damn trench anyway. Sigh.

Dad and I went to the hardware store to get a replacement pipe. Just trust me when i say that trips to any store with my dad are a nightmare, but especially to a store where they sell things men would be interested in: manly things like trucks, lumber, tractors, fertilizer, nails, power tools, knives, guns, or ammo. I love him, but he really likes to “talk shop” with whomever the resident expert is on any subject. I usually stand around avoiding eye contact with the other folks in the store, while pretending to be really interested in joint compound. This time, I stood in Ace with mud from head to toe and checked out the vast array of dead deer heads on the wall. People walked by me like i was an insane person wandered in off the street.

We headed back to the house with our pipe, just in time to meet the neighbors who had come over to visit. This is another thing I find humorous about the country. People just show up at 2 pm on a Saturday, with a cooler and a chocolate lab on the back of their golf cart or Gator, and everyone starts drinking. In this particular instance, the two gentlemen were decked out in their Bulldog regalia and informed me that they were “tailgating.” They didn’t have a tailgate and weren’t in Athens, but i liked the spirit of it anyway.

They stood with my dad, drinking beer, while I got down in the hole and fixed the pipe, and all the while they were telling me how to do the job. “Don’t strip it now.” “You need to get it tight,” and so forth. The only saving grace to this was that they made me drink their moonshine (all the way from Silver City, Georgia! Peach flavored! Straight outta the mason jar!) and I needed two shots to make sure it tasted alright, but after that, I felt much more equipped to deal with the peanut gallery.

We finished up and the pipe was fixed, and then my kids wanted to fish, so I sat on the dock and enjoyed another beer in the late afternoon light, while making sure they didn’t plunge into the lake. I untangled crossed rod and reel lines, and put minnows on cane poles, and I was muddy, and hanging out with the pack of five or six dogs that always seem to congregate in our yard whenever we visit. It turned out to be a pretty nice day.

I was thankful for the lake and the good weather, and the company of my kids, and even my father, and some big, dumb, wet and muddy dogs. It is funny how disconnecting from the tv and the radio and the internet, getting outside in the fresh air, working, getting muddy, hearing your own breathing and the sound of your child’s laughter and dogs barking and growling and wrestling in the yard can make you feel relaxed and at peace and like all is right with the world.

Oh, and then I finally had my shower. There is no better shower than a post-yardwork, muddy Fall day, very hot shower. Then a steak dinner.

Sheer bliss.

Fireside Epiphanies

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Ribs, Beer, and Smores are awesome together. Sonic Youth is perfect fire-gazing music. Firegaze, if you will. And, on a sad note, I have become that dude who says, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding, if you don’t eat your meat.” on Another Brick in the Wall.


The Creekers

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

The Creekers got together last night for a cookout. We had the usual fun, and we got to meet the newest Lil’ Creeker, Connor. (Not to be confused with honorary Creeker Conor the Elder.) Thanks to Dan and Wendy for hosting, and to Owen’s oldest, Ian, for making me feel like Betty Crocker and eating four helpings of my baked beans.

Wherein Todd and I Put the Hurt on Five Dozen Oysters

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

Spent the whole day on the beach and then went to Indian Pass Raw Bar for a very late afternoon lunch. We hadn’t been there since before we had kids, so we kind of wondered how it would be with kids. No need to worry – The kids did awesome. We still didn’t get them to try oysters, so they had Grapico and Fanta Orange with a hot dog, while todd and I annihilated bay oysters. I am not kidding either. We had two dozen raw oysters for an app. Added some gumbo (honestly? Not that great.) Ate a dozen baked oysters. Then had another dozen raw and an dozen steamed for dessert. Best meal I’ve had in memory. (And I ate at Rathbun Steak this summer.)

It also has a wall of coolers, a la convenience store, where you grab your drink of choice (beer or soda). You then take your beer over and pop it open yourself on a bottle opener on column near the bar. They bring you oysters on lunch trays, with plastic forks, and paper towel rolls on each table. None of those silly two or four saltines to a package deals here. Each table gets a whole sleeve of saltines, with more if you need’em. Todd and I had a hot sauce tasting test. We both prefer Crystal for long-term eating, but the local Port St. Joe’s Ed’s Red is a fave for its heat; it goes well with oysters. I should also note that this is the kind of place where you ask the fisherman sitting at the table next to you what they are having, and they say, “Here,” and stick a fork in their food and hold it out for you. (It was crab-stuffed shrimp, and it was out of this world.) I laughed out loud when I heard the same fisherman remark to his fisherman friend that “this beer is making me sleepy. We need to start drinking liquor, clean out the boat, and get back out there!” Love that.

The kids loved the wall map with push pins marking customers’ hometowns. I enjoyed reading the notes from world travelers – I wondered what the germans and scots really thought of the place.

Me? I think it’s the bee’s knees. This place can’t be beat. Except for their Gator problem. It is heavily Gatorated, with a blue and orange checkerboard linoleum floor, and many Madonna con Tebows on the wall. I noticed a number of Georgia fans there. As I was leaving, I remarked to the one wearing an “Athens: College town with a football problem” that after the TN game, we did indeed have a football problem, and that I was going to tell Coach Richt that i saw them eating at a Gator establishment. A well-dressed, and kinda snooty-looking woman with them said, “I have a thing or two that I’d like to tell Coach Richt myself.” Well-said, Ma’am.

All in all, the best day I’ve had in ages. AGES.

Tiller’s Birthday Party

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

We had Tiller’s fourth birthday party on Sunday. The weather looked iffy, but it turned out just great. A little overcast but not hot and the mosquitoes weren’t too bad. Tiller wanted to do the costume party again this year, so that was fun, and makes for fun pictures, too. And of course, I love the Halloween stuff, so it is an excuse to buy more Halloween decorations.

Tiller wanted to be a Princess. Again. Rollie decided to be Spiderman. Again. Part of me wishes she would want to be something like a Doctor, or an Archaeologist, but when i see how into it she gets, with the crowns and the wand and the jewelry, and the ridiculous red Christmas socks with pink sneakers, I just give in to it. As a parent, I have to always remind myself that she needs to find her own interests and that anything that encourages her wild imagination is a good thing, even if it’s a damn Disney Princess. As long as she doesn’t start any Damsel-in-Distress crap, we’re all good.

All in all a good time.

Tiller Rides the Rock Wave

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Tiller saw her first show today. She is three. Okay, not an actual concert, but she did check out of preschool early and go see Phoenix with me at Criminal Records. (Good mother? Bad mother?) It was pretty damn crowded and, evidently, hipsters don’t let kids go to the front so that they can see over all their cold weather hats, so I held her up in the back while they played. Note to self: Get there earlier to score room up front. She liked the songs she knew (Lisztomania and 1901) and kind of put her head on my shoulder and hummed and patted my back during the others. That was sweet. They sounded pretty good, especially his voice. I was proud of Tiller picking out the instrument when they played the keyboards. She said, “Piano!” which is close enough for me. She asked me while we were waiting “Why are there no other kids here?” Then later, we saw another one. She was being taken out of the store, so I guess she lost interest. She was about the same age, but damn, was that kid all decked out. She was wearing rainbow legwarmers for God’s sake. Whatever. . . Tiller totally outlasted her. In fact, tills made it through four songs, and only lost interest when they played Lizstomania for the second time. (Evidently, they had technical difficulties the first time, and they were recording it for radio.) I rewarded her with pizza at Savage. They had pizza at Criminal, but i know better than to mix Tiller, pizza, and comic books. All in all, a nice outing on a beautiful day.

Glad I went, too, as it continues the rock and roll wave I’ve been riding of late. I saw Yo La Tengo a couple weeks ago both at the instore at Criminal and their show at Variety. Sunday night, I saw Frightened Rabbit and We Were Promised Jetpacks at Masquerade. (Great show!) Then last night, Todd and I saw Dr. Dog at The Loft. That was the best of all the shows, in my opinion, and i really like Frightened Rabbit a lot, so that is a pretty bold statement. I still think the Frightened Rabbit album is my favorite so far this year (Thanks for the introduction, Spaceboy!), but Dr. Dog’s musicianship was amazing. They sounded great vocally and they were the tightest band I’ve seen in ages, especially in a venue of that size. Added plus: Got to hang out with Robin and Vanessa.

I haven’t seen this many shows in a one month period in ages. I cannot REMEMBER seeing more than three bands in a week in . . . probably since before I had Rollie. It has really reminded me of how much I love seeing live music and that I need to remember to stop saying, “I don’t have time for that” and start saying, “I need to do this for me.”

Video from Criminal today. Guess not too many folks are back to work and posting video yet, because this was the closest I could find. Sound is great, though. Kind of bummed that I couldn’t find any video of the Frightened Rabbit or Dr. Dog shows. Found We Were Promised Jetpacks, but the sound was kind of funky. Same with the Yo La Tengo. Oh, well.

Yo La Tengo, Beer, Me, Me, Me.

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

So, Todd is in NYC all week for work, and he gave me the afternoon off yesterday, so that I could have kid-free time before the week kicks into gear. I rode down to L5P with neighbor Scott and his friend Seth. Ah, the glamour of arriving anywhere in a minivan. Nothing like it.

We proceeded to Criminal Records for the 4 pm Yo La Tengo instore. Scott bought the new album and got it signed. He is a record nerd, which always cracks me up. He is v. knowledgeable about music and we like a lot of the same stuff, and I even like him despite the fact that he likes Phish. YLT played a short set (mostly new stuff, including the fun “Periodically Double or Triple,” and a Beatles cover – name? Cannot remember) bantered with the crowd in their usual witty and self-deprecating way, and sounded pretty good. A fun time, despite the fact that I am coming down with a cold, and it was hot as Hades in the damn place.

Speaking of, let’s take a moment to discuss my thoughts on dressing for Fall in the South, shall we? I automatically think that you are a complete idiot if the temperature is in the 70s and 80s and you wear any of the following:

  • Long sleeve shirts*
  • Wool caps or hats
  • Cardigan wrap sweaters
  • Wool plaid skirts
  • FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, knitted or wool scarves?
    *These are merely questionable. Why not a short sleeve?

I then bought a couple of CDs (browsing without children! No hand-holding! Awesome!) and then went next door to The Porter. I had not been there before, and I LOVED it. Great beer list; knowledgeable, witty, friendly staff; comfortable bar stools; good pub food (at least what I had – the Porter Poppers – was excellent). I love the atmosphere and had a wonderful, three-beer afternoon to myself, sitting at the bar, reading for a couple hours, periodically looking up to watch the folks outside walking by in the rain.
I am my mother’s daughter, so I did chat up some fellow patrons and the bartender. Met a couple people who had driven all the way from Florida to see Yo La Tengo. I am always impressed by road-tripping music fans. (As long as they like good music, of course.) And then another guy sat down next to me. Turned out we had both grown up in Atlanta and knew some of the same people. Georgia and Ira from YLT came in, presumable for dinner, and walked to the back of the bar. Todd arrived, having pawned the kids off onto my dear sister. We had another beer and chatted with the Atlanta guy, nodding our heads as the conversation got weird, and involved his life and death experience, and how he saw levitating beers come up out of their glasses and float in the air. Nope, not kidding. He said all this with a straight face, and I love my husband, because we both just nodded like we were listening seriously to him, and never took our eyes off him. Nodding, nodding. But we know one another well enough that we were having an unspoken conversation that went something like this:

Todd: “Did he just say that he died and then came back to life?”
Me: “He just said that he and the chick from the band BabyShakes watched their beers leave the glasses and float up solid in the air and then splash back down on the bar. No one else there saw it.”
Todd: “Yep. Did he just say that she understood all this, and that he figured out the whole thing in numbers and did the math? Were there numbers after the decimal point?”
Me: “Yep. They had a connection. What the fuck is he talking about? Is there a mathematical formula for crazy?”
Todd: “Yes, evidently, there is, and he has solved it.”
Me: “I’m going to chug the last few sips of this beer, then excuse myself to go to the ladies’ room.”
Todd: “I’m gonna get the check and pay up.”
Me: “Tip the bartender well.”
Todd: “You know it.”
[Aloud] “It was so nice meeting you. You take care now, okay?”

After that, we paid up and met Scott and Seth at Vortex. Not my favorite place to eat, but Scott wanted it, because he can’t eat there with children. This is a common theme for parents. It is like when I don’t have kids with me, I choose where to sit based on it being where I wouldn’t usually sit with the kids. This is usually the bar.

The best part about this was that I got to see the first quarter of the Bulldogs playing Arkansas. The rest of the night, I received stellar and timely text updates from both Brett and Jason B. It was much appreciated, and Brett got extra points with Todd for his unsolicited Auburn updates, including the non-score-related “Auburn fans have a Brokeback Mountaineers sign.” Good job, boys. Will be watching the DVR-ed version this afternoon.

We headed over to the show. I ran into a guy i knew in Athens named Roger. We caught up for a while, and then I headed down to see the show up front. YLT were good, as always. Todd and I discussed the fact that Ira always seems to bring it full-tilt. I like the fact that he is aging, but still seems to rock out and have a blast just like a teenager. I have seen them quite a few times, and they always do a good show, but this was not one of their better ones, in my opinion. This probably owes more to the fact that they played mostly new stuff than to any deficiency on their parts. Highlights for me were still the more rockin’ older songs: Deeper into Movies, Autumn Sweater, etc. Autumn Sweater sounds different every time that I hear them play it and i loved this loungier version. Georgia did a few songs. I love her sweet voice, and that she is such an enduring rock chick. In the face of so many bombastic female voices in rock, her quiet modesty is refreshing.
Yo La Tengo, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA. Sept. 19, 2009
Afterwards, we met friends Gretchen and Brownlee at The Porter for a last beer. (Feeling kinda ookie, I opted for a water.) And headed home! All in all, a great day despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. Hopefully, the memory of my mostly kid-free day will get me through the week ahead.

Livin’ on the Edge

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Todd and I sometimes get crazy when the kids are away.

Pop Rocks and Coke

Missed the game, but hit the Galaxy

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

On Rollie’s actual birthday, we were supposed to take him to the Braves game, but it was pouring and we decided maybe we should bag it and just take him to dinner. Anywhere he chose. He chose Galaxy Diner. And he wanted a banana split, dang it.

Braves clobbered the Padres and we missed it. But we had fun anyway.