Monthly Archives: August 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

1.  Well, my attempt at re-jamming the jam didn’t go so well, so we’re just going to slap a label on the jar and call it “Peach Waffle Spread”.

And get a new recipe.

Or better yet, just buy a jar for $1.39.

2.  Today I’m going to make peach butter in the crock-pot because it doesn’t require pectin and I’m ready to get a little success under my belt and speaking of belts, mine is a little tight because Mr. CPQ has been making peach salsa which I’ve been enjoying with copious amounts of chips.

Serranos in Mr. CPQ's capable hands

Salsa in my capable stomach

3.  I bought myself some flowers on Sunday at the Farmer’s Market from the two ladies who make arrangements from buckets of flowers thrown in the back of their truck.  I’ve watched them for years create the most amazing bouquets that they sell for only $10 apiece.  They have made me happy, happy this week.

Odd pod in the flower arrangement. Looks like a prickly squash, but it's hollow inside.

Orange of my favorite flowers

4.  This Modern Family video with George Clooney made me laugh and love him even more.

5.  I can’t think of anything for 5 because it’s only three days until my dentist’s appointment and that’s pretty much all I can think about.

Have a nice day.

Let’s just rename this the Fail Blog

I would blog today, but I have no power.

I mean, literally, no power.

The lights blanked two hours ago along with all my plans for productivity because I was going to hit the ground running this morning and accomplish great and mighty things before meeting my friend Samantha for lunch, but now I’m just trying to figure out how I’m going to show up quasi-presentable and hopefully without smelling rank.

Fortunately, we’re meeting at a hole in the wall Mexican joint and there’s no way I’m divulging the name of it for fear that someone else I know will show up to see my unwashed hair that got slept on funny.

In addition to power fail, I also have canning fail to report. Mr. CPQ and I went to the farmer’s market yesterday and bought a half bushel of peaches and spent hours peeling, cooking, and water bathing only to have an epic pectin fiasco.

On the bright side, C was able to salvage the peach goo and turn it into a habanero peach BBQ sauce that will knock your socks off and I’ll get added experience in perfecting my jamming technique because after freezing six quarts and canning three pints, I still have over half the box left so I’m going to try, try again. (And can anyone tell me how to avoid having all the peach bits float to the top of the jar?)

Peaches and Habanero. The habanero juice got on the cutting board, which got on the apple, which was my snack, which ruined it.

This weekend also held kitchen timer fails (I ended up with meatball hockey pucks and bricks of banana bread), a wardrobe malfunction (that caused me to be late to Sunday School), and a mishap with killing a spider that sent hundreds of her just hatched babies scurrying through my laundry room.


Other than that, i don’t have a lot to report. Hopefully the lights will come on soon so I can upload some pictures and in the interim, I’m going to throw on some presentable clothes and head out for lunch.

Because when it comes to meeting friends for chips and queso, failure is not an option.

Have a nice day.

Updated – 2:00 p.m.

Power’s back on.  YAY!

Five on Friday

1.  I think I made it through the entire week without a list, and that’s just not cricket.

2.  I went to the dentist’s office yesterday to pick up my Valium prescription.  Yes, it’s time to start singing “Crown me with many crowns” because I’ll be going in next week for two of them plus 5 fillings, and yes, I did just say goodbye to Hollywood any plans for a meaningful vacation for the next year, but hey, at least I’ll still be able to eat corn on the cob when I’m 90.


3.  I also went to the eyebrow waxing place for the first time since I got them threaded.

Which was four months ago.

Which is how long it’s taken for them to grow back.

I will never complain about wax burns again.

4.  Speaking of burning, I think my sense of smell has gotten wonky because I sense that something’s burning all the time.

Or maybe it’s a sign that I need to clean the toaster crumb tray, the burners on my stove, the dryer hose, and the air vents.

5.  Speaking of cleaning, I need to find something fresh and unwrinkled appropriate to wear on our date tonight.  Mr. CPQ and I are going to Bonefish Grill to have dinner with people I don’t know, and it’s always challenging for me to figure out what to wear when I don’t know the other woman’s style.

Not that  I’m insecure.

It’ll be a great time.

Have a nice day.

In which I consume an a-maizing amount of corn products

It was Groundhog Day at Casa de Carpool.  Around noon I received a tweet from Heather asking if I was up for visiting my Mexican grocery store again for lunch so that I could properly translate her order so she’d get the shredded chicken taco instead of the cow brains.    And since I’m not one to ever forgo the opportunity to eat tortillas, I agreed to meet her there because it wasn’t enough that I ate tortillas yesterday for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and breakfast again this morning.

I ate the exact same thing I had Tuesday minus the fiery green sauce and plus some baked goods then wandered the aisles holding Squishy Baby while Heather bought Mexican cokes for her daughter’s upcoming birthday.

Heather's babies

Then we went to A.C.Moore to peruse the yarn aisle and talk about projects that we wanted to do and yet lacked the requisite skill to do them.  This is pretty much standard for the two of us, though she’s the craftier one and I just pretend to be crafty because I like to hang out with her.

Our A.C. Moore experience was much nicer than when she and I went to Jo-Anne Fabrics last week and talked about sewing even though I don’t own a machine and couldn’t tell you an A-line from an A-bomb.  We didn’t stay there very long because we kept getting twitchy looks from those Jo-Anne ladies who immediately pegged us as rank amateurs and made us feel very unworthy to darken their doors because our craft project did not involve words like “selvage” or “serger”.

So we shook off the dust from our sandals and went to get yogurt because everyone knows and understands “extra-large with sprinkles, por favor.”

Have a nice day.

Tuesday Tidbits

I’m eating lunch at my favorite Mexican market and, as usual, people are looking at me in that “one of these things is not like the other” sort of way.

I was going to get the lunch special until I saw it was a little “parts” heavy so I stuck with the usual carne asada and carnitas tacos.

They are delicious but word to the wise, the green sauce you see on the left is calibrated for the native palate.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off in search of a glass of milk.

Monday Musings

We had a good weekend with Mr. CPQ’s side of the family in the mountains of Western North Carolina.  It was cool and rainy and perfect weather for coffee sipping on the back deck that had the railings down for needed repairs.

And I thought I was nervous at the Grand Canyon.


On Saturday the menfolk took off for Jukebox Junction, a hamburger joint one town over, and my mother-in-law and I went to a quiet little restaurant for some girl time and we sipped chai and watched the rain through the windows.

We also went browsing at the general store with the creaking wooden floors and the basement full of open candy barrels .

They have some of my favorites there such as the Pop Rocks that we never dared to drink with a Diet Coke for fear that our mouths would explode and we would die like that kid that everyone talked about but no one knew where he lived.

They have Bit-O-Honey, which is my mom’s signature candy.

On long car rides, Mom would give us Bit-o-Honeys and Peanut Butter logs, mainly because I think they would stick to our teeth and we’d be quiet for fifteen minutes.

The store has something for every occasion.

And things that are good for what ails you.

Later that afternoon, Mr. CPQ and I had an hour to venture out together and as is par for the course we went to the grocery store and perused the aisle (there’s only one) for some jams and jellies to take back home.

Cool beans - never seen any like them before

Mr. CPQ bought unrefrigerated meat and dairy products…

While I did a double take over in canned goods….

And a good time was had by all.

Have a nice day.


PS – Winner of the Freebie Friday necklace is Mary from Ridiculous Lab.  Congratulations, Mary!

Here are your random integers, generated with replacement:


Timestamp: 2010-08-23 12:29:03 UTC

Freebie Friday

Because my 11 year old cut his own hair, the week before we went to see his grandmother.

Because I’ve had a bad attitude.

Because I’ve had a complaining spirit.

Because I also did a little emotional eating over homework.

Because I burned the Rice-a-Roni.

Because my kids ate it anyway.

Because I’ve used my flat-iron for a week and haven’t burned my hair up or the house down.

Because I’ve survived a crazy month in a temporary assignment that was supposed to last  two weeks.

Because no one ate the ratatouille I cooked.

Because I got to spend time with this little one who ate my ice cream.

Because I did a little therapeutic shopping.

Because I bought a cute sweater.

Because I bought a necklace to match and a second one just like it to give away.

All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me something funny that happened to you this week.

And I’ll randomly pick a winner and mail it to you.

Because it’s Friday.

And because I want you to….

Have a nice day.


One comment per person, and comments will be closed on Sunday night around 8 pm EST.

Water, water everywhere & not a drop to drink

I was in the middle of fixing supper yesterday  (beef stroganoff in case anyone wants to know)  when the water went out.  It’s not unusual to have low water pressure in the summer months since we’re on a community well and our neighbors put a strain on it filling their swimming pools, but it’s rare that we’re completely out.  I dialed the help line, entered my zip code, and heard from the Ms. Automated Customer Service that they were aware of a water emergency in my neighborhood and that a technician had been dispatched and I could feel free to hang up.

So I did.

Four hours later, I was putting smelly boys to bed because the water still wasn’t on, so I called back, punched in my number, heard Ms. Automated Voice Lady say once again she was aware of an emergency in my neighborhood, but this time, I punched 0 enough times to get put through to a real live person who had no record of anything being wrong in my neighborhood and she would have a technician call me.

Which he did.

And he asked me if I had been shut off for non-payment of my water bill.

That would be a “no”.

Then he asked me to get a flashlight and go look at the meter at the street and the first words out of my mouth were “I have three boys.  Do you think I have a flashlight in this house that hasn’t been disassembled for parts?”

He had three kids, too.  He told me he’d call back in twenty minutes to give me time to find a bulb, the spring, housing, and salvage a few D batteries from the toy box collection of robots.

Flashlight in hand, I walked down the very dark driveway to the scary meter box that has creepy crawlies in it, but I knew that I had a serious problem when I sank in six inches of watery mud as I bent over to pick up the lid that was floating on top of the river that was flowing out of the box.

Broken water main.

Flowing since 4:30.


Oh, and Mr. CPQ was out of town.


So I spent a couple of hours hanging out with Thomas from the water company at the end of the driveway and taking sneaky pictures as he dug up the yard because he inadvertently ended up breaking another part of the pipe in his attempt to fix the first part.

And we kept the neighbors awake with the rumble of the idling diesel truck and the flood lights that bathed their windows.

And Mr. CPQ got home after it was all over.

Have a nice day.

In which we help my mom wear her cute shoes

My mom called me yesterday wanting some technical assistance on wearing her sandals that have a strap between the toe.  It’s uncomfortable for her and she vaguely remembers one of you saying something long ago in a comment about buying some sort of cushion to wrap around the strap so it wouldn’t be as bothersome but Mom didn’t remember what post the comment was on or who said it.

I’d rather not dig through the archives. Has anyone had this problem and found  a way to solve it?

Have a nice day.

In which I attempt to be Chi-Chi

Notwithstanding my fondness for spas, purses, and pedicures,  I would never be accused of being a real girly-girl.  I’m very comfortable in shorts, tennies and a t-shirt, minimal make-up and hair thrown back in a ponytail.  But as I was telling Whimzie, I’m not 20 and running fifteen minutes late to Intro to Music class anymore, so maybe it’s time to raise the personal appearance bar.  Hence the mascara and my latest purchase, a flat iron.

I was a little nervous to use the flat iron at first.  It may or may not have had something to do with the fact that the lady at Sally told me to use thermal spray protectant on my hair prior to using it and on the back of the bottle in big bold letters it said COMBUSTIBLE and it made me a little nervous to be using flammable materials on my head in conjunction with an instrument that heated to 450 degrees.

Things that make you go “hmmmmm” and grab the fire extinguisher.

Just in case.

I asked Whimzie what to do because she is the queen of all things hair related (she had TWO sets of hot rollers back in the day) and I think she was a little nervous for me because she sent me three or four IM’s about what to do and not do when I tried it for the first time.

She knows when to be appropriately alarmed.  She saw the results of many a bad encounter with a curling iron in college.  I think at one point she considered just taking  it away from me altogether.

I was clearly an amateur.

I think I managed to use the flat iron somewhat appropriately because Mr. CPQ was appreciative of the results and let’s just be honest, anything that remotely resembles effort is better than my usual look.

Now if I can just work on the wardrobe and make-up a little…..

Have a nice day.