Saturday, August 29, 2009

Quick, Call the Guinness Book of World Records

I think Husband and I have the world’s smallest tomato on our hands. We had just about given up on getting any tomatoes. Even though the plant was still growing tall, the extreme heat this summer took its toll on it. The poor plant was just in survival mode. But then we noticed a small, pea-sized green bud. And now it’s our beautiful, smaller-than-a-penny tomato.

For me, it’s proof that hope is all around us.

And now the real challenge will be figuring out who gets the first (and only!) bite of the little tomater.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Comedy, Take 3

The first comedy show that Husband and I ever saw together was actually on our very first date. He took me to a nice Italian dinner and then to a comedy club. I was impressed that he came up with such a clever date idea, and I also happen to really enjoy watching stand-up comedy. We had never heard of the woman that was the comedian, but we took our seats, eager for the show. In short, it turned out to be 2 of the most awkward hours of our lives. The comedian’s act turned out to be extremely vulgar, and the fact that it was our first date made it that much more uncomfortable. (I figure the only way it could have been worse is if I went with my grandma.) We were both too polite to say anything, so we both sat there, dying inside, worrying about what the other was thinking. My face was probably a permanent shade of red for most of the night. We laugh about it now because neither one of us said a word about the show afterwards because we were both so embarrassed. But, even with the awful comedy act, we still had a great date (and it obviously all worked out!) Our second comedy experience together was completely different. We were newly engaged, and we went to see Jerry Seinfeld perform. This time, we laughed so hard for two straight hours, until our cheeks almost hurt from smiling and laughing so much. It was one of the best nights of my life. Tomorrow we’ll try out another comedy experience. We got tickets to see a local show. I figure it will rate somewhere between the two extremes. It won’t be as good as Seinfeld, but let’s hope it’s (much) better than the first show. But based on our past experience, it probably will be memorable either way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heaven in a Muffin

I decided that I wanted to make some sort of dessert for Husband’s new team (he’s in the same unit, just a different position). Before you say something like “how thoughtful of you,” I should probably disclose that I have a tendency to use any reason possible to make sweets. (Example: I recently brought brownies to Mexican-themed pot luck.) Anyway, I found a recipe for chocolate chip muffins, which looked pretty good. They were surprisingly easy to make. And I completely underestimated how good they would taste. I took my first bite when they were still warm, and the first thing that came to mind was, “this is heavenly!” In case you can’t access the link, here is the recipe: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup light brown sugar 1/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup milk 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 (11.5 oz) package of chocolate chips (I didn’t use the entire package) 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (I skipped the nuts because I didn’t have any) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, stir together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of the dry ingredients. Add the milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from muffin tin to wire rack, and cool for 5 minutes. --------- It ended up making 15 muffins for me, instead of 12. Oh, and I didn’t let them “cool for 5 minutes” before eating, but maybe you’ll have more patience than I do. :) Enjoy!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The road to insanity...

...starts with a single beep. The smoke detector in our hallway decided to let us know at 5AM that its batteries were low. I closed our bedroom door to block out the noise, so we could get a little more sleep. Husband had to dash off to fly this morning. We briefly talked about the smoke detector, and he told me he’d fix it when he got home. That sounded like a great option, if I wanted to slowly go insane throughout the course of the day. I’m not sure what’s more annoying – the high-pitched beep, or knowing that the next high-pitched beep is only 21 seconds away. (Sadly, yes, I counted.) I bought some 9V batteries, got out our ladder, and replaced the battery. Hear that? It’s silence, also known as the sweet sound of success.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I’m back, after a wonderful 2-week visit with my parents. This was probably the longest stretch that I’ve been there in a couple years, and it was one of the most fun visits.
Sadly, I’ve learned that no matter how long a vacation is – whether it’s 2 days or 2 weeks – it always feels like it lasted only 5 minutes.
And, in no particular order, here are a few of the things I brought back with me:
- sand in my shoes - a slight tan - clean clothes (thanks, mom, for doing laundry!) - salt water taffy for Husband - recipes from my parents’ cookbooks - a memory stick full of pictures, including:
the botanical gardens we visited, where we quite literally stopped and smelled the roses

also from the botanical gardens the beach, which I think still looks pretty even on a cloudy day

- homemade chocolate chip cookies from an afternoon baking with my mom - a couple of new work outfits - the memories of all of our adventures - fresh basil and oregano from my parents’ garden And speaking of gardens, I’m happy to report that the tomato plant grew quite nicely while I was gone. In fact, it’s already waist high!

But, with all my focus on the tomato plant, I forgot to tell Husband to look out for our basil plant, too. As far as its status, well, I’ll let the picture speak for itself:

(At least, I’m assuming that this withered stick is the formerly vibrant basil plant.)

That’s ok, though. It was a small price to pay for a great 2 weeks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Julie and Julia

We saw the movie Julie and Julia today, and we loved it. It was funny and charming, and for the first time ever, I can say that I enjoyed the movie more than the book. I left the theater with a strong desire to: a) catch the first flight to Paris, b) eat anything covered in cheese or butter, and c) say "Bon Appetit!" in my best Julia Child voice. [I couldn't do (a) or (b), so I settled for an enthusiastic (c).] We planned on going straight to dinner afterward, which I realized later was a brilliant plan because looking at all the good food in the movie made me hungry. If you see it, too, I wish you happy viewing - and eating!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

At the beach

After being here a week, I've decided that almost any activity is infinitely more fun when it's at the beach. So far, we took a walk at the beach, had breakfast at the beach, and ate lunch at a restaurant at the beach. In short, the excitement of being "at the beach" has not worn off for me. But, with views like this, I wonder, will it ever?

Monday, August 3, 2009


I just arrived at my parents' house for a 2-week visit. I'm excited to have this time to see them. (And in the interest of full disclosure, I'm excited to see the nearby beach, too!) My new job doesn't start until the end of the month, so I have a few more weeks of carefree summer. Before I left, I did a huge grocery shopping trip for Husband, where I shopped with reckless abandon, pretending that I've never heard of "low-fat," "light," or other such healthy options. And I'm not sure what was bigger: my cart full of hamburgers, bacon, and other meat, or Husband's smile when he saw his dinners for the next couple weeks. While Husband will be fine in my absence, I'm not sure I can say the same for our plants. When I asked Husband if he wouldn't mind watering the tomato plant, he replied, with a puzzled look, "We have a tomato plant??" Let's just say that I won't be expecting any tomatoes when I get home.