Monthly Archives: October 2010

Monday Musings

Oh, my heart is full this morning after having spent the last four days hanging out with my mom and dad.  On Friday morning we dropped the kids off at school and went to the fair and wandered the exhibit halls.

And because the bulls in the china shop boys weren’t with us, I finally got to go to the pottery exhibit and oohed and ahhed over all the things I could buy if only I had enough cabinet space in my kitchen for storage.

But the main reason we went was to eat so we hit the four “must have” categories of roasted corn, polish sausages with peppers and onions, caramel apples and funnel cake.

We saw the crowds lining up for the Krispy Kreme burger and I had to take a picture of it but I didn’t taste it.

Shockingly, I have my limits.

The rest of the weekend was spent decorating which meant that Mom and I had to go to HomeGoods and T.J. Maxx.  While we were on that side of town, we just happened to see the billboard that announced the grand opening of The Container Store so, of course, we joined 873857985693875 other people who wanted to be part of the excitement.

Sunday was church and three attempts to eat Mexican food before we found a restaurant that was open at 11:30 and then Dad and Mr. CPQ napped watched football while Mom and I set out pumpkins and mums by the mailbox and hung a fall wreath. We capped off our time together with a farewell feast of brisket and Mom’s  potato salad for dinner.

And the skies parted and the angels sang, “Hallelujah.”

They’re headed home this morning by way of the outlet malls in Eastern Tennessee.  A big part of me wishes that I could go with them (I miss them tremendously already) but I have only to look around my house and see the repairs that Dad made, the pretty touches Mom left and the small container of potato salad on the shelf in the fridge and the sadness is eased.

I am so blessed to be their daughter.

Have a nice day.

Three Things Thursday

1.   My mom and dad are coming today for a visit and I’ve been so excited to see them that I’ve been cooking some of my childhood favorite meals this week in anticipation of their arrival.

I went deep into the Vault of Forgotten Foods and pulled out Polynesian Chicken which was a company’s coming stand-by recipe my mother fixed in the 70s.  In my 40 years I’ve never met anyone else whose mother fixed it:  shredded chicken in a cream sauce ladled over rice and topped with crumbled bacon, chopped peanuts, and, wait for it, raisins.

Sounds  disturbing, I know, but there’s something about the combination of creamy and salty and sweet all mixed together that made it DIVINE.

And let’s face it, everything’s better with bacon.

2.  The North Carolina State Fair is open for business and I’m hoping to go twice while  it’s in town.  We’ll take the kids one evening, but I also sneak off by myself during the day while they’re in school because I enjoy wandering the exhibit halls and seeing the blue-ribbon pies and jams (an activity to which my people vociferously object), eating an ear or four of roasted corn and not sharing my funnel cake with anyone.

What does my tribe enjoy?

Listening to their mother scream in terror while they rock the cart at the top of the Ferris Wheel.

3.  Before and after shots of the new hair:

While attempting to take this picture on the deck, I was startled by my neighbor who happened to be working in her back yard.

She was startled by seeing me take pictures of myself.


They can really make your life awkward.

Have a nice day.

Sweet Sixteen

I’m slightly sentimental and before I had the blog to chronicle the daily happenings of life, I kept all my old calendars so that I could refer to them to see what we had done, who we had seen, who got married, had a birthday, etc.  Those old calendars have been helpful to remind me of important dates and note the time that has passed.

There is one date, though, that keeps getting transferred to every new family calendar  year after year because it’s very meaningful and never fails to bring laughter when it rolls around every year; the anniversary of Mr. CPQ’s and my very first date together.

I was very recently removed from a horrific breakup and not really ready to start dating anyone again when I met Mr. CPQ.  He, however, knew a good thing when he saw it and even though he knew I was being pursued by another guy, was determined to get me to go out with him.

He called me on a Sunday afternoon and in his ever-so-casual way suggested that we get together on Monday night to go out for pizza.  And do you know what I said?  In the most indifferent and horrid way possible?  I said, “I’ll go out with you but you need to understand we are not going to call it a ‘date’.  We are going to call it an ‘activity’.”  There was a slight pause while he thought long and hard about what he had just signed up for and then he told me I could call it whatever I wanted.  Shooting myself further in the foot, I then continued down the reckless path and informed him that I would not dress up for him.

My next book?

“How NOT to Get a Boyfriend”

And he said, “Fine.  I’ll wear a sweatshirt.  Is that casual enough for you, your Royal Highness?”

And I said, “Fine.  Pick me up at 7.”



And so I wore minimal make-up and my Notre Dame sweatshirt because I would eat bees for Lou Holtz and didn’t know he hated the Irish and he wore his CU sweatshirt which I still don’t know why he has it because none of us have people there but, whatever, and we went to Old Town Alexandria for pizza at Armand’s which is now tragically closed.

And because I was raised in a family of boys and clearly have no regard for appearances, I helped myself to plenty of pizza while we talked about our family and background and towards the conclusion of the meal he generously offered the last piece of pizza to me, fully expecting me to turn it down since I’d had three pieces already and I took it.

And he sat there in stunned silence.

And then said, “You’re not really a side salad kind of girl, are you?”

And I cackled out loud and then we went to Ben & Jerry’s for ice cream where he had the fudge brownie and I had the vanilla, and sixteen years later, we still have fudge brownie and vanilla ice cream in our freezer living in peaceful harmony.

And I still fight him for the last piece of pizza.

I love you, Babe.

Thanks for going out with me even though I was and continue to be psycho.

Have a nice day.



Tuesday Tidbits

After months of letting my hair grow, I chopped it off last night.  I tried a new stylist that I found on Yelp who was close to my house and after a year of fruitless searching, I think I’ve found The Guy that will make my hair related dreams come true.

I like that he didn’t laugh me out the door when I walked in with a pony tail showing off my inch long roots and he talked to me a good 20 minutes about his vision for my hair which was great because my vision was somewhat clouded by the brown helmet I’d been staring at for the past six months.

More importantly, he talked me out of going back to bangs because he said I was so very close to completely growing them out and it would have been a wasted effort if I cut them back in.

He gets me.

I’m so going back.

Anyway, I’d post a picture of my hair with which I’m very happy but I forgot to take a picture before I left the salon (it had great lighting) and now I’ve slept on it and have bed head so I won’t be posting anything until I’ve showered.

Local friends, his name is Scott at Warren Scott Salon.

And when you see me, don’t let my inability to blow dry it like he did sway your judgement.

Speaking of running (we weren’t, but I needed a segue because I’m determined not to make a numbered list today), I went to Raleigh Running Outfitters yesterday to buy a Strassburg Sock because I have plantar fasciitis stemming from wearing really bad shoes for an extended period of time and it still hasn’t gone away.

Isn’t that the ugliest thing you’ve ever seen?  I came in last night after my hair appointment looking all cute and then crawled into bed wearing those socks and Mr. CPQ said “The top half of you says ‘Sassy’ but the bottom half says ‘I’ve given up.'”

I smacked him.

Have a nice day.

Monday Musings

It would have been nice of Mr. CPQ to tell me that I needed to see our agent this week to get a blood test in preparation for renewing my life insurance policy BEFORE I spent the weekend eating ribs and cheesecake.

Have a nice day.


Prawn Stars

Heather called me yesterday and said “Hey, today’s Harvest Day at the prawn farm.  You wanna’ go?”

I’d never been to a shrimp farm and thought that would be a fun thing to do so we piled in the car with her ferals and drove 45 minutes out to the middle of nowhere to find this place that she’d read about in the paper.

What we didn’t realize was that we weren’t actually going to the farm  but to the farmer’s house to pick up the shrimp that he had already harvested and was storing in large plastic ice-filled swimming pools in his front yard.

And guarded by the pit bull running loose.

Cause nothing says sanitary like having a dog run around raw seafood sitting out in the sun.

And so we got out of the car and wandered into his yard and picked up the shrimp that we weren’t quite sure if they were dead or alive, made pleasant talk with the farmer as he poured a bucket of crustaceans on the grill and stood very still while the pit bull sniffed Squishy Baby’s toes.

And then we went back to Heather’s house and she said, “Do YOU know how to clean a prawn?”  and of course I didn’t because my shrimp comes frozen in a two-pound bag from Costco but I was not to be deterred and told her, “That’s what we have Youtube for.”

Grammar snobs, please ignore my ending a sentence with a preposition.

The Youtube instructions told me to pull the head off the body but that would have required me touching the shrimp and I wasn’t sure it was dead dead and I was feeling a little squeamish about pulling off his head while the eyes were still attached so I chopped off the head with a knife.

From three feet away.

And then I realized I was going to lose way too much meat that way so I faced my fears and just ripped the head off the next one and it wasn’t so bad after that.

Heather had the willies and didn’t want to look at them anymore gave me the shrimp heads to take home and I made six quarts of shrimp stock from them.

And had fun scaring the boys by chasing them through the house with shrimp heads in my hands.

Have a nice day.

In which I undertake a new endeavor

I don’t know why they called it the 600 yard “dash”.  That certainly would NOT be the way bystanders would describe me running the timed trial held every quarter at boarding school as part of our PE grade.

I dreaded 600 yard dash day.

I had nightmares about it.

I feigned illness, couldn’t find my socks, developed mysterious medical conditions that had heretofore been undiscovered, all in an attempt to not have to run one and half times around the gravel track that encircled the main campus.

And yet the PE teacher heartlessly disregarded my pain and made me do it, every single time.

I should have used Mr. CPQ’s line with him, “Baby, I’m built for looks, not for speed.”

Somehow, I’m thinking that wouldn’t have worked out for me.

He was an evil man.

Flash forward to high school.  I joined the basketball team and started to embrace the concept of exercise and sweat, mainly because of the possibility of owning a WAY COOL letter jacket, and I found I enjoyed the conditioning drills because they involved sprinting followed by periods of rest and allowed me to eat chocolate Ding-Dongs and grape juice for breakfast every day and not gain a single ounce.

All that to say, I have embarked upon a new activity for the express and sole purpose of allowing myself to bake and eat cinnamon rolls for the rest of the fall and winter season and not look like Jabba the Hut when spring comes around next year.

Hold on to your hats because I downloaded a Couch to 5K app last night and I just completed Day 1 of the program.


I have several friends (Heather, Janet, Tracey, have I missed anyone?) who are currently on a running kick, and I think we all know by now that I am nothing if not a band wagoner and they told me that if they could do it, I could do it because it’s running with frequent breaks so as to not appear like running and thus I am taking them up on their challenge and I am becoming a runner.

Oh, that makes me snicker.

And I’m going to document it here because I’ve learned that there’s no quicker way to kill a commitment than by publicly stating it on my blog.

Have a nice day.