Water or A.C. – too hot for anything else

I made it home from my whirlwind DC trip and girls weekend…a little tired and needing some serious rest before a big work week. It’s about a million degrees outside in Gville so any activity that does not involve either water or AC is out of the question….unless it’s a means to an end. C. decided we needed a little exercise so today we road our bikes to the pool to have lunch and relax (ok…so the distance from the house to the pool is about the equivalent of a DC block or two …don’t discredit the fact that I, AGH, road my bike to the pool). I couldn’t decide whether I should feel empowered and proud to wheel into the country club on a mountain bike or to feel a little embarrassed and unsophisticated. I decided in the end to feel proud for giving my heart a little exercise…I mean it was up hill on the way back. That counts. Not to mention the fact that we were very green in our activity!

Dinner is served

After a long day at work, I came home dreading “whipping” up something for dinner. My lucky day….my dear MIL had a fab dinner prepared for us. I think I like this in-law living. Clothes that I had in the dryer were neatly folded and placed on the stairway for us to take upstairs, dogs had been fed and walked and a gourmet dinner awaited. Can we stay forever?

I have to stay this is the first time I have ever come home from work with dinner prepared from start to finish and dishes done NOT BY ME from start to finish. This is the best new thing YET! For dinner my MOIL prepared grilled sockeye salmon with a light glaze, fresh corn and a spinach salad- and fresh fruit for dessert. Yes I think I can get used to this. The salmon was fresh from whole foods. Sockeye is red salmon or blueback salmon, and is an anadromous species of salmon found in the Northern Pacific Ocean and rivers discharging into it. It is considered endangered in some areas (hopefully not where ours came from). I’m not usually a fan of salmon but this was fresh, buttery and delish. Not “fishy” at all. She prepared it with a very light marinade that gave it just a sweet salty complement.

And as an aside….Salmon is a great food to eat 24 hours before a big event…a party, a meeting, etc. because it will give your cheeks a natural rosy glow.

Bon Appetite…and cheers to many more nights like this!

Give em somthing to talk about

I love to break the rules. Isn’t it fun to give em something to talk about! Day one at the in-laws. I head out to work-7am- cute kaki seersucker suit, fab tortoise brown heels, big chunky stone necklace. Neighbor walking dogs. I politely say good morning and hop in my car and am off to work. Later in the day, the gentleman I saw earlier in the morning approached my father in law to inquire about the “young lady” leaving his house so early in the morning. My FIL politely told him I was his daughter in law and that we would be living with them for a few months….The man looked at my FIL and quickly said, “Well that’s good. I thought you were having a menage a trois!” Seriously, I am red-faced, embarrassed just thinking about it. OK- I don’t want to think about that anymore.

So today, I figured I’d give em a little more to talk about- this time on purpose. My in-laws live across the street from the country club and the road is busy. After an afternoon at the pool, reading and visiting with my dear friend JH, it was time to take the dogs for a walk. I’d already changed clothes three times…morning walk, yoga, pool. I didn’t feel like changing again. There was only one thing to do….walk the dogs in my bathing suit!!!!!!!!! I threw on a wrap so I wouldn’t be completely obnoxious…but to set the scene for you- Blue bathing suit (no K it wasn’t a polo), bright yellow wrap, BIG blue wide brimmed hat, big fab sunglasses and flip flops. I was quite a site strolling down the country club road. I feel certain the neighbors are now really wondering what is going on at the H house! Why walk the ordinary walk when you can spice it up….these cc folks need a little spice!

To have and to hold….from this day forth.

Before you get married you hear these horrible stories about other people’s mother in laws. I’ve heard of situations where the MIL insists that you join them at the Club for Sunday lunch EVERY Sunday, the MIL who insist on having a key to YOUR house and feels free to let herself in from time to time to “fluff and puff”, the MIL who judges you for everything and the husband who thinks nothing you do is as great as his mother, and lest I not forget the MIL who insists everyone wear matching white outfits for a “family” portrait on the dunes of the beach and then sends out the embarrassing photo to 500 of her closest friends. (My apologies if any of the above is offensive to you…it’s just not my style).

So in my 20’s as I kissed a lot of toads, I had the fear of God bestowed in me that I would end up with the prince who came along with the MIL from hell. What if the MIL was a dictator or even worse…a complete pushover? What if she was stuck in the 50’s? What if she was mean and over protective? It could have made for a life of misery. I think that part of my dating process was as much about dating the right in-laws as it was dating the right guy. I needed a total package to live happily ever after….

And luckily for me, I found the perfect combo of mother and son! Last night we spent our first night living with the in laws while our house is being renovated. For many, this would be sheer drudgery. Six months with a mother in law privy to every move we make. But for me, it’s going to be a fun adventure. My mother in law is nothing like the women described above. She is totally respectful of our life and our privacy. She is always there when we need her and NOT when we don’t. What an amazing quality to have. She has graciously welcomed us and our two four legged children (one of which…dear Woo…who has no manners what so ever and does whatever he wants whenever he wants and the other has an insatiable appetite for paper- eating mail, magazines and hard cover books).

Sure-We’ll have some challenging days…like those when I don’t want to talk to anyone but she wants to know all the nitty gritty about my day and there will be days when she definitely doesn’t want to deal with me or sweet Woo. But at the end of the day…we’re family…and this situation is just temporary!

Thanks to my MIL for embarking on this awesome adventure with us!

100 Kisses for 100 days

CELEBRATE! Today we reached 100 days of new things! So to show my appreciation to C. for going along with me on this incredible journey…100 kisses! I am pretty sure I have NEVER kissed him 100 times in a row. I love him, don’t get me wrong, but that is a lot of kisses.

He certainly wondered what the heck I was up with my crazy behavior. But needless to say, he didn’t complain about this something new!

And thank you to you for being loyal readers and supporters. Keep sending your ideas to me and remember…if you like what you read…pass it on!

Will work for peanuts

If you grew up in the south, chances are you love boiled peanuts. I have been savoring the delish salty flavor of boiled peanuts my whole life. As a little girl, my brother who is 11 years older than me, would wake me up late night on saturday nights when he came home so I could watch Saturday night live with him and eat boiled peanuts. He always stopped at a convenient store on the way home and purchased a couple of cans of boiled peanuts so we could have a little snack together (keep in mind he was 17 and I was 6!).

So yesterday C. informed me that he banned dry roasted peanuts from the boat because they are too messy…really? Fish guts are ok but a few peanut shells are ok? Male logic – go figure. He did say that we could stop and get some boiled peanuts…apparently they are acceptable because they don’t make a mess???

We headed to the lake and stopped at a convenient store just before the boat landing. My lucky day…there was an old dude selling boiled peanuts in the parking lot. $4.50 for  large container. As I strolled in the store…happy as could be, I asked the peanut man- “so are your peanuts ready?” He responded, “I sure as hell hope so. Why else would I be here?” Oh dear…a grouchy old man.

All I needed was a little cash. Luckily they had an ATM. Unluckily- it was out-of-order. What’s a girl to do? Beg her husband for cash? That would seem to be the logical thing to do…but C. doesn’t ever have cash.

Next- barter with the man. I NEEDED those peanuts. So I went over to explain the situation to Mr. Peanut Man who was smoking cigarets. Allow me to set the stage- Beat up pick up- a little rusty and several shades of gray. Small trailer with a wooden contraption holding a caldron of peanuts. Man is old. Not many teeth. Old fashioned overhauls and white undershirt, chain-smoking. Then there is me. Cute black dress, big wide-brimmed boat hat, tori burch flip flops and pearl earrings.

Ok folks- not my first rodeo here. I grew up showing horses and I know about these old-fashioned country men. Surely I can barter this one out. So I approach him and begin to explain the situation. I don’t think he cares (or understands). I offer to buy him several packs of cigs in exchange for the peanuts. His response – “the cigarettes cost too much in that store.” Then- “I don’t understand how you could buy cigarettes when you don’t have any money”. oh dear…this is a hard one. So I pull out my debit card and explain that I have money but I can’t get to it because the ATM is broken. Back to square one. We stand there staring at each other a few minutes. C. has made a b-line for the car. He is not going to be part of this transaction. There is nothing in the store this man wants- doesn’t want a coke, or nabs or a hotdog…nothing.

desperate times call for desperate measures. I must have some boiled peanuts. My aha moment…I have a check. Mr. Peanut Man agrees to take a check! SUCCESS.

These boiled peanuts were so worth the $10 I paid for them (yes- I gave Mr. Peanut Man a little tip for his trouble). And for the first time in my life…I had to really barter to purchase boiled peanuts.

Emily Post would be pleased

Don’t you think the demise of a hand written note is tragic? Nothing, I mean nothing, replaces a hand written note. People rarely send notes these days. I get the occasional thank you note, but never a note out of the blue written by hand, stamped and mailed (with the exception of my dear friend RCR). Why pen something out when you can email, text, facebook or twitter? Instant gratification.

My grandmother wrote me almost every week when I was in college. She rarely had anything to say, but it was so fun to get her note in my SPO (mailbox). It did help that she stuck a $20 in there every now and then. I always thought it so amusing that she closed each- Isles of view- Mama. I can see her sharp-pointed penmanship…a little shaky as she aged. Oh and she sent the mini-page each week. Though I had long outgrown the minipage, she had saved it for me my whole life and I guess it was something she just didn’t want to give up (and I have to admit, I enjoyed reading it even in college…it reminded me of home).

So today, I wanted to extend words of encouragement to a couple of friends who were going through a hard time and words of happiness to friends who are soon to give birth. I started to pick up the phone to call one…and I started to send a quick email to another…and I even started to send a quick facebook message to a friend I haven’t seen in while…but then I remembered the joy of receiving something in my mailbox other than a credit card offer or a bill. So, I grabbed my pen and began to write. It only took a few minutes and a couple of stamps. Presto…a piece of sunshine in their mailbox. Today’s something new is a practice that I plan to continue. It made me feel great and I know the recipients would agree that the heartfelt message was much more meaningful than a quick 21st century communication.