Posts Tagged Colin

Where'd the Weekend Go?

15 November 2009
Is it really already Sunday night?  How the heck did that happen?  I feel like I was just cuddling into bed, thinking of all the weekend held, and now here it is SUNDAY??? Wow.
I lucked out tonight.  I got my husband for an extra night – of course, that’s because we got to the airport so late, that he missed his flight, and so we then had to deal with the stress of that situation, and a screaming child the entire way home, but hey – whatcha gonna do?  I know what I’m going to do! I’m going to see the silver lining and say, “WOO HOO! We got extra time together as a family!”  Unfortunately for him, it was the last flight of the day, and now he has to wait until tomorrow night to leave.  I don’t remember any other time that he’s missed his flight in all these years of his flying every week.  He did once forget his wallet at the house, and I had to speed through the streets of LA to go get it – but other than that, he’s always got his stuff together.
We had a nice family weekend.  Last night my mother, her husband Ed, Colin and Jake came over for a little early birthday celebration.  With Jeffrey leaving for the week, it was really the only time we could all get together.
It was nice and low-key, and great to see my mother after a couple of weeks.  She had been down in Mountain View visiting my sister and my beautiful little niece Sydney.  I missed her, but am happy she got to spend time with the new baby, bonding and getting to know each other!  Colin and Jake arrived after Colin’s soccer game, and brought the loud voices, the funny stories, high energy, and of course, lots of entertainment for Ellie Graye!
Uncle Jake is so darn silly!
I made some simple appetizers, lasagna and a blackberry jam spice cake, and mom brought a salad, roasted garlic and some delicious fresh bread from the Lamb’s Bakery.
Store-bought Boursin dressed up with pretzels!

Caprese with tomatoes from the garden (we ripened them indoors) and basil from mom’s kitchen window

The spice cake made with my homemade blackberry jam 

the table (can you tell I love white? It’s so versatile. I’ll write about that someday)

Jake serving mom

Ellie’s Bampa Ed

In honor of my birthday, Colin decided that he was going to be the bartender for the night.  I should have known better: at our Halloween party, he made our friend Sharon one hell of a shot.  I was standing at the beverage table, serving something to a newly arriving guest, when he came up behind me,
“Missy! Missy! I gotta make a shot. What do you have? What do you have?”  I don’t know why, but he ALWAYS repeats things.
“Uh, who’s it for – guy or girl?”
“HA! It’s for Sharon!”  He looked like a two year old imitating a monkey, jumping from foot to foot, scanning all the booze, his hands moving all over the place.
“Ok, well, then why don’t I go get some of my homemade coffee liqueur and we can make her something nice.”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Here! Let’s use this Mad Dog 20/20 and Boones Farm”
Ok, before you jump to conclusions about the quality of the parties we throw, let me explain something.  My husband is a jokester, a BIG jokester.  When we moved here to Deer Park and started hosting new friends in our home, he thought it would be funny to see what kind of reactions we would get by just having low-quality, white-trashy, cheap alcohol sitting on our bar shelf.  He went out and bought Night Train, Boones Farms and Mad Dog in several flavors, and placed them along side our bottles of Grey Goose and Belvedere.  No one has ever said anything, unless he points them out – though we’re still wondering why some of the Night Train is gone from one of the bottles!  Who did that?!?! Hee hee, I have a funny feeling someone was playing a joke on US!
That is the basis of my wary attitude towards Colin’s bartending skills. So last night, as he was scanning all my flavored vodkas, I was cringing and trying so hard not to just take control.  A few minutes later,  he presented me a martini glass filled with a slightly pink drink with black flecks in it.
“Here, try this,” handing me the glass. “But don’t….”
Tasting his drink…
“Don’t SMELL it” was what he was about to say. I took a deep breath in just before I took a big sip, and WOOOOOOOSH – I was coughing and snarfing my drink everywhere.
“Woah!” I exclaimed, laughing, sneezing, and falling over all at the same time. “It’s good, but ground pepper up my nose isn’t exactly the happy birthday I was expecting!”
His concoction of watermelon and jalepeno vodkas with a splash of Sprite was delicious, but much better WITHOUT the freshly ground pepper floating on top! Of course, being the childish siblings we are, we then had to try the trick on mom and Jake (my husband doesn’t drink) – both with the same results.  It was pretty funny, I must admit!
The ingredients minus the pepper for snorting

Unfortunately, I didn’t catch her reaction a half-second later!

I wonder if she would have done a better job!
We ended the night watching the Notre Dame game and opening gifts.  Mom gave me an adorable serving platter with a matching serving knife/utensil that she had purchased in Buffalo, NY before moving out here.  I could have used the pancake molds for the delicious pumpkin pancakes that i had made earlier Saturday morning…honestly, they’re scrumptious!  Jeffrey surprised m

e with the coffee pot to our wedding china – it’s beautiful, and way more than I had anticipated for my birthday.  He also must follow my blog closely, because he picked up the chopper I had seen a couple weeks ago at Williams-Sonoma!  I’m thrilled and canNOT wait to use it!

the best brothers in the world!

not so happy about how the Irish played

how I watched the game!

I’ll have to plan a party around this decor sometime….

I love how elegant the lines are on this!

I can’t wait to chop!

Everyone left around 9:30 pm, and I just couldn’t rally to go see Boots play at Dante’s.  I was just too exhausted.  So I crawled into bed, and tried to sleep.  Unfortunately, Ellie was awake at 1:30 am, screaming and uncomfortable; we cuddled and rocked and snuggled for about an hour and a half.  As many of you know, I’m all for letting a child “cry it out” when it’s necessary, but in this case, she was genuinely uncomfortable, frightened, and in need of some mommy time.  I was in desperate need of sleep, but it’s amazing how when a little person needs something, you somehow find a way!
I have vivid memories of a little boy and his sister in my past having difficult nights of sleeping because of constant jet lag. Several nights, I was found sleeping in the hallway between their two doors so that they both could hear me say, “Get back into bed” or sing, “Tender Shepherd, Tender Shepherd, Let me help you guard your sheep!” When you love a little child, it really is amazing what you’ll do for them – even if you do it a little begrudgingly.
“TENDER SHEPHERD, TENDER SHEPHERD,” was sung rather harshly on more than one occasion after multiple nights of only a few hours of broken sleep!  In fact, sometimes I’d want to change the words to,
“GO TO SLEEP, YOU LITTLE BASTARD, I’M TOO TIRED TO DEAL WITH THIS…” (if you know this song from Peter Pan, you’ll realize that the words fit perfectly!).
Honestly, I highly doubt I’m the only person who has felt this way about the self-sacrifice it takes to raise a healthy, happy, well-balanced child! I bet there are more than a few of you who are sitting there, shaking your head, laughing, saying, “Oh YEAH! I totally know that feeling!”
As far as my animals go, Dr. Frank is really on the mend – he’s looking better every day.  His sheath is no longer swollen, he’s gaining weight, and he’s high as a kite!  I’m so relieved, and am almost ready to humbly say that maybe my vet does know what he’s doing, and admit that it might possibly have been a bad reaction to something in the Timothy Hay that I was giving him.  I’m not there YET, but am getting there!
I did have

to take Boots in to get his anal glands expressed again (I have to take him every 2 – 3 weeks).  We need to have them removed, but after having spent so much cash on Frank over the last few months, Boots is just going to have to deal with a sore butt.  Poor Boots. I shut the car door on his tail tonight. Yeah, I know. I suck. He was fine, other than a squeal of pain, but that delighted Ellie Graye so it all balances out!

Aaaah, joy. Here’s to parenting, missing flights, pets, and birthdays you want to ignore! CHEERS!



Mom and her beautiful dog Cassie – with Jax begging for some attention!


Boots saying, “Let’s PLAY!”

Ellie: “Nah, I’d rather step on these.” 

She loves her spoons!

Friends, Family, and Furry Friends

5 November 2009
There seems to be a direct relationship between the level of stress in my life and the amount of time I spend in the kitchen each day.  Looking at my To Do list this morning, I realized that I had carried one item from one list to the next for weeks: “Lemon-Sage Wine Mustard.” Yeah. I’ve been talking about making and canning the mustard for over a month now, and today I decided it had been put off long enough.  As I started prepping the ingredients, I happened upon 9 lbs. of tomatillos that had gone undiscovered in the crisper.  One more week and they’d be more suited for the compost pile than for eating, so suddenly the mustard seemed to once again be less of a priority.  Out came the cutting board, and I got down to business cooking the tomatillos for freezing (they need to be cooked before they’re frozen!).  Of course, while taking the first batch of tomatillos out to the freezer, I noticed 2 heads of cabbage. OH MAN! Those would be bad by tomorrow or the day after, and I can’t stand the thought of losing any of the produce that I have left, plus, Ed (Mom’s husband) LOVES my pickled cabbage.  So the mustard got bumped again.
By the time my friend Amy showed up to visit, I was in the middle of cooking tomatillos, pickling cabbage, and soaking mustard seeds in wine.  The kitchen was a disaster, but Ellie Graye was in bed napping.  Having Amy there really helped me to relax and took my mind off Frankie.  I was so happy to have her sitting there, watching and chatting while I was working that everything took three times as long, but I really didn’t care.  As I smelled my way through my adapted kimchi recipe, she reminded me, “Don’t forget to write that down.” If only I had stopped at the moment and done exactly that!  Far too frequently I use a recipe as a “base” and then add what my nose tells me to, but forget to write it down, so I have to figure it all out again the next time I make it.  Such is the case with this batch of cabbage — I know I added ginger when the recipe didn’t call for it, but there was something else I threw in there at the last minute that I just can’t recall!
Starting the fermenting process
Despite having the distraction of Amy, I still managed to get everything done – and I enjoyed myself as I worked!  She cracks me up! As she was leaving she commented, “Wow. I just sat here and did nothing while you made…you made…MUSTARD!?!?!” I giggled, realizing how incredibly odd that sounded – and how much more odd that would have been when I was living in LA.  But somehow here at Deer Park it just has to be that way; my Hollywood life seems so distant!
It’s sweet and yummy and unique!

After Amy left, I braved the wind and the rain, and went out to check on Frank who seems to be doing a lot better.  I’ve ordered new hay that I will pick up tomorrow (they’ll give me 10 bales free since they want to keep my business, and are pretty sure their hay was dry when it was baled).  I’ll super inspect it, and move on from there.  I’m feeling hopeful today about his prognosis; I’m not sure I have a reason to feel hopeful, but I definitely do.  
Ellie Graye was, as usual, non-stop.  She’s constantly moving, constantly learning, and constantly full of energy!  She’s got so much personality!  Her “thing” today revolved around her pajamas: yes, her pjs. She decided that she wanted to wear them like a cape – arms only, no feet!  It was a riot.  The entire day she wore her pjs like that, sometimes holding the feet in her hands, other times letting them drag behind her like a second set of legs.  It really was comical to see.
Whenever the phone rings, whether we’re in the car or at home, Ellie’s eyes light up and she says, “Papa!!!” or “DaDa!”  She loves talking to him on the phone.  She’ll smile and say, “Hiiiiiiiiiiii” and then hug the phone or blow kisses.  I finally had the camera close by to capture some of the cuteness.  She’s definitely daddy’s little girl!
*note the dress under the pjs!
Ellie’s Uncle Colin came by this evening to visit and catch up.  It’s been quite a while since he and I have spent time alone together, so it was extremely nice to have him around to chat with.  Earlier in the day I had started bottling a few of the infused vodkas that have been brewing since June and July, so he did a taste testing of the Spiced Wild Plum and then the plain Wild Plum.  As usual with him, the Wild Plum won – he says the Spiced Plum tastes a bit like pie.  I made him chicken tikka masala, and served it with Trader Joe’s Flatbread.  I hadn’t had Indian food in ages, so I was happy to pull out the recipe and have a scrummy yummy dinner.  

Mommy MUST have been tired, because the TV was on!!!

Scrummy Yummy, Delicious!
Uncle Colin, Boots, Jax and EG played for ages, until Ellie hit that over-stimulated, over-tired mode, and took it out on Boots.  She’s at that stage where she understands but is testing how firm my rules and boundries are.  She stopped just before hitting him a third time, looked at me, then BAM. She hit him.  So, off to bed it was!  
Boots is definitely having some health issues again.  He’s extremely guarded with his kidney area, and is acting a bit out of sorts.  He’s needy and cranky, and just isn’t his usual bubbly self.  If he’s still not feeling well in the morning, I’ll have to consider taking him in.  Ugh. My animal situation is ridiculous!
Ok. I feel sleep coming on – I’m not even going to bother editing…  
The struggles of life make the good times all that much more enjoyable, right??? 🙂 

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