Why I Will Never Meet a Famous Person

Last night was much-anticipated at our house because it was the night Mountain Man was in Lynchburg for a minor league baseball game.  And we had free tickets.  Talk about a good Thursday night plan!

In case you don’t know who Mountain Man is, he’s sometimes on Duck Dynasty, which we greatly enjoy watching on TV.  So here we are, twenty (thirty? forty?) feet away from someone on one of our favorite TV shows, and we didn’t meet him.

There he is!

There he is!

I seem to have a bad personal record for this type of thing.  One of my more embarrassing life moments happened at the tender age of three when I ran up to Minnie Mouse at Disney World.  Happy little me didn’t notice the HUGE line of kids waiting to meet Minnie, so I just went in for a hug.  Big mistake.  Turns out the moms with the kids didn’t think cutting in line was cute at all. 

And then there was the time I was standing 10 feet from Pete Sampras, my only real athlete crush back in the day.  I didn’t want to inconvenience him on his way out from a match, so I just stood there like an idiot wishing he would come up to me and introduce himself.  Right.  We didn’t meet.

Last night’s logic?  Well, the line was long, and I didn’t have anything to say to the man.  Sure, he seems great on TV, but I didn’t have any burning questions to ask or any souvenirs to be signed.  So we took a long-distance picture, enjoyed the game (complete with beard contest), and ate a giant sale pizza when it started to rain.  Success.

See, still happy.  Maybe someday if Giada and The Pioneer Woman are chatting 2 feet away from me, I’ll actually say hello.  Until then, I’ll continue enjoying our very non-famous life.

Back to School: Weekend Show and Tell

Okay, so I’m not technically going back to school this year.  It’s been a few years since I bought my favorite notebooks and pens before heading off to new classes.  I love school supplies though.  Love.  And I love the feeling of a new school year.  It was always bright and hopeful and exciting on that first day.

So to honor my love of back to school and all that it involves, here’s a show and tell of our weekend visiting Norfolk:

Blue BellThat is the single best picture I can imagine to explain the weekend.  I grew up in Texas, and Blue Bell ice cream hasn’t been available where I’ve lived since I moved away from Texas after college.  Since 2006, Blue Bell has just been a part of my past–a delicious, wonderful memory.

Not this weekend.  Blue Bell came to the Hampton Roads, Virginia area right before we moved away.  But, well… it’s kind of expensive.  It isn’t too expensive for celebrating with friends though.  We splurged on Blue Bell this weekend, and it was perfect.  There’s nothing like a weekend in a place that still feels a little bit like home with friends who feel like family and a bowl of ice cream that tastes just about perfect.

Peanut as SiAnd that picture is a merging of two of my favorite things–our dog Peanut and Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty.  Sometimes when I have a few spare minutes, I do things like give my dog a beard and glasses from the Duck FX app (which is free, and thus was downloaded instead of the more popular Beard Booth app).  I had a few spare minutes this weekend.  Those minutes were filled with coffee and friends and walking on the beach and long, flowing dog beards.

SquashThis picture is something we came home to–new home.  Our garden is doing alright.  Not everything has sprouted (there were two planting days, a few weeks apart), but the squash and the corn and the peas (Beans?  I always forget.) are thriving.  That is a close-up of some new leaves on one of the squash plants.  They’re healthy, and if plants had feelings, I think they would be happy, too.

It was a good weekend.

Ducks, Pigs, and Polar Bears

It has been a fine Wednesday, Jack.

Whether or not you got that reference, you should definitely watch Duck Dynasty tonight.  Scott and I have been hooked since we saw an episode a few years ago, and we happily watch reruns all the time.  Tonight isn’t a rerun though, it’s the season premier.  We’ve been looking forward to this night for months.

And how did I celebrate this momentous day?

I started with the great fridge de-molding of 2013.  It was pretty epic.  And now that it’s over, I can relax in that wonderful feeling you get after you finish a dreaded project.

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I used a homemade cleaning mixture that my mom recommended.  It was 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, 1/3 white vinegar, and 1/3 rubbing alcohol.  And thanks to that potent mix, I’ve never been happier to see a dated but moldless fridge.  It looks beautiful now.  For more homemade cleaning solutions, there is a great list with recipes at Young House Love.

There had to be more celebration, what with it being Duck Dynasty day and de-molding day all in one.  So in the names of all things Southern, I pulled out a few recipes from my favorite chefs and made a small feast.  It was a take on the week’s accidental theme–pork chops and squash (it’s what we had in the fridge, and I have plans for other exciting meals with other exciting ingredients later in the week).  Even after eating pork chops and spaghetti squash so recently, this was delicious and just different enough.

First, I made squash casserole, Giada-style.  We made this recipe about six times last summer, with the dozens of fresh summer squash that came straight out of our mini veggie garden.  With the lack of garden earlier in the summer, there was also a lack of squash and “Verdure al Forno.”  Thankfully, Scott’s dad came to the rescue with a supply of garden-fresh squash.  I mixed it with some zucchini for color and texture variety, and presto.  Giada would probably be sad to hear that I call her recipe squash casserole, because it’s a lot more than that.  The veggies keep their shape well and don’t get over-cooked, which is key.  And the heavy cream, three-cheese, and breadcrumb combo is magical.

There were substitutions made, as usual.  Monterey Jack cheese for Fontina (which we don’t have at our local grocery store), and Parmesan for Romano.

Then came the pork chops, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.  The other recipe from earlier in the week had more flavor, but PW’s recipe cooked up juicier, so it’s a tie.  And to go with the cheesy squash casserole, the simpler pork chop flavor just seemed right.

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This was kind of the perfect summer celebration dinner, if I do say so myself–delicious homemade food, a tasty glass of wine, and lots to look forward to.  And do you see that polar bear?

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That is the polar bear from my favorite pair of pajama pants.  Even with splattered green nail polish all over them, they’re still the best.  They’re comfy and cute, and they make me happy, happy, happy.

So all things considered, it was a successful day.  Mold was vanquished.  Pictures were hung, boxes were unpacked, and as soon as Scott gets home, Duck Dynasty will be watched.

Holiday in the Woods

I certainly grew up in a family that liked to eat, but my husband’s family is all about the Thanksgiving feast in a way that my family never was.  There are about 10 side dishes and leftovers for every branch of the family to take home.  It’s kind of amazing.

Scott being Si from Duck Dynasty (the tea glass is key)

So that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days–eating.  The comical twist in the story is that while rushing out of the house on Wednesday afternoon, Scott and I forgot all of our toiletries for the trip.  No toothbrush, no deodorant, no anything.  Fortunately, Scott’s family is generous, and there are these things called drug stores all over the place.  Even with those good things, I went 4 days using my finger as a toothbrush, not brushing my hair, not wearing a lick of makeup.  It added a tiny bit of rusticity to the holiday.

On top of that, I went hunting for the first time in my life.  Or I went along for a hunt, anyway.  Scott and I sat in the woods for a few hours (almost–it got really cold!), and I looked around and read my book in turns.  Scott is a better hunter than I am, but at least I did my best to not talk.

The main wildlife we saw that morning was a racoon that we treed nearby.  Accidentally treed.  The poor guy looked really cute at first and took a nap far up the tree.  Then he got really agitated that we wouldn’t leave, and he wagged his tail really hard and made weird sounds at us for the next hour.  It was kind of disconcerting.

That one morning of cold adventuring will last me a while.  Scott, however went out again the next day and met with more success.  Something about a wife flipping book pages and a racoon hissing in a tree didn’t work out too well for him.