Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blueberry Picking

Voyage Home

Luke and I had great trip to Memphis and Mississippi.
It was sweet to see old friends and dear family and friends.
We certainly don’t get to see them enough.
Our return flight was carefully selected so that we could have lunch in Memphis, board the afternoon flight home where Luke would promptly pass out for his afternoon nap.
One part of that plan was thwarted.
On our two hour drive to Memphis from Mississippi Luke quickly fell asleep for the entire ride.
Thank goodness the flight home is just under two hours.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for lunch.
Three cheers for hashbrown casserole!

When I checked in I asked for the bulk head row in the front
and was silently accommodated by the not so friendly airline person.
How much did I l-o-v-e that I got the aisle seat and that the seat next to us was empty?
It was a blessing for sure.
For me at least.
Not so much for the stodgy Englishman sitting in the window seat.
Luke kindly and softly greeted him with several hellos which were generally ignored except for the occasional confused glance from the stodgy Englishman with faux Prada black rimmed glasses.

Enjoying his very own seat.

I have to share what was our worst behavior on the plane.
We were in the row behind first class, with direct access to the curtain separating steerage and first class.
Several times, before I was able to stop him, Luke would pull back the curtain and screamed at the top of his lungs, “HI PEOPLE!”

I really did try to stop him.
But he is quick.
And I had to control my laughter.
And at least he wasn’t screaming bloody murder.


After our Memphis visit Luke and I
made our way to Mississippi to see my Mom’s family.
Our Mississippi visit included three main parts: family, food, and pool time.
It also included a heat wave and a ridiculous amount of bugs.
I’m talking 107 degrees Mississippi hot and 6,834 bugs per person.

SaSa, Luke, and Lindy

SaSa, Luke, and Camille

About that food…
My grandmother, SaSa, made a totally awesome dinner on Monday.
I think she cooked all day and it oozed Southern goodness.
Somebody counted and there was something like 3 main dishes and 15 or so side dishes.
It was food fabulous.

SaSa cooking one of my Southern favorites, fried okra.

We were grateful for my Aunt Genia’s pool given the brutal heat.

Papa Joe and my Aunt Diane watching the fun.

Hayden played so kindly with Luke.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Luke and I had a quick stay in Memphis last week.
We visited my dear friends Jenni and Camille.
Our first stop was Camille’s absolutely positively charming home.

Then we headed to our more permanent accommodations at Jenni’s house.
Our accommodations came with a built-in playmate, Elena!
Do you see the painting on the wall?
Jenni’s sister Megan painted it and I am obsessed with it.
Have been for years.

Watching Batman

For dinner on Saturday night Camille and Jenni had a Saladpalooza!
Lots of fun and I think you should do it for a summer dinner with your girlfriends too.
One of Camille’s salads required a watermelon.
Camille cut her watermelon and was surprised to find it was a yellow watermelon.
Did you even know they came in yellow?!
It was good. Tasted like watermelon.

Elena feeding Luke yellow watermelon.


Sunday morning we went out for a wonderful breakfast.
Seriously, a wonderful breakfast.
I talked about it for hours afterwards and thought about it for days.

Confidential to my Memphis Friends: Camille, Luke has asked for you twice since we got back. Jenni, Luke likes to whisper your last name to me.

Pool Love

The daily afternoon thunderstorms seem to have ceased
and we can finally enjoy the rooftop pool!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Burning a Pizza

Last night around 11:30pm some guy down the hall burnt a pizza.
Maybe I should say he incinerated a pizza
because the fire alarms went off,
there was smoke,
most people in the building evacuated
and several fire trucks arrived.
We were allowed back in after about 30 minutes or so
BUT my 20 month old son had been awakened with alarms and flashing lights.
Can you imagine getting him back to sleep?
My darling 20 month old is taking his second nap of the day and his poor parents are struggling.

Do you think the pizza burner is taking a nap right now?
Should I go bang on his door and then run?
That wouldn’t be kind to the pizza burner who just moved to the building this month.
He must feel like such a boob.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Alameda

As a rule, I believe that Clarks shoes are reserved for teachers over 40 or women over 50.

I broke my rule.
And I encourage you to break it.
I was in need of a new wedge summer shoe.
And look what I found made by Clarks…
The Alameda.

Unmatched comfort.

You are welcome for this public footwear service announcement.

P.S. I do not receive anything from anybody for passing this good information along.

P.P.S. If you aren’t a teacher over 40 or a woman over 50 what are you doing wearing Clarks anyway? Wear the awesome shoes while you can endure the pain.

Heart in the Kitchen

During this season of life I feel like a short order cook.
But really I have the heart of a baker.
I don’t pretend to have time to bake.
And I wouldn’t dare to bake while Luke is napping in our cozy two bedroom apartment…a baked good is not worth rousing a napping child.

Don’t have time to bake either?
Oh, not a good baker?
Don’t worry.
All is not lost because of King Arthur Flour.
King Arthur Flour doesn’t just supply flour.
They have a baker’s catalogue and website.

My current favorite is the traditional scone mixes.
You can even buy organic scone mixes.
The lemon blueberry scones are fabulous.
I can’t wait to try Cranberry Orange and Chocolate Chunk.
I’m currently coveting the mini-scone pan.

And I think the maryann cake pan needs a home on my shelf.
Wouldn’t you think I was fancy if you came over and I gave you a slice of honey lemon cake with blueberries on top?

Go forth and bake.
Oh, and you are welcome.

P.S. I do not receive anything from anybody for telling you about the goodness of King Arthur Flour. Well, except maybe your good will when you enjoy your own scones.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Living in themiddleofnowhere is
so much more tolerable in the summer.
Only only because of my access to fresh local produce.
I checked my email this afternoon to find an email from
a woman in our building whose daughter married a local and prospering farmer.
There is an abundance of zucchini, squash, corn, and cucumbers at the farm and
she had free extras outside her front door!!

We grabbed our bags and with one quick elevator ride three floors up
we happily took home one amazingly huge cucumber and three mighty zucchini.


Luke and I visited Linday at school today.
Can you say pint size celebrity?
Luke tolerated his adoring subjects like any good celebrity…
quietly with a suspicious but friendly gaze.
I on the other hand had to take a few deep breaths.

Father Son Walk

Luke woke-up early on Sunday
so Faris took him for a walk on the boardwalk before church.
They strolled our pier before the real walk commenced.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Reading

Looking for a good book?
Me too.
Here are four books you are sure to adore, broken down into Camille Categories.

Don’t Read Lounging by the Pool…if you have a little one to keep an eye on.
These two books are so good you will forget you ever had a child in water.

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
I double dog dare you not to finish this gripping book. You will repeatedly ask yourself if it really is a memoir.

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Emotionally intense. I cried. And I promise you never saw it coming.

Perfect Summer Reading

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
You will want to join the Society and will plot ways to have fictional characters write you a letter too.

Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
My sweet friend Camille gave me this book and I wish Camille and I had a summer like that in New York City.

Editor’s Note: Except for Summer at Tiffany, my darling Mother gave me all these books. I get almost all my books from her. I h a t e to read a bad book and Linda acts like my reading editor.

So those are my book recommendations.
Now you recommend some to me!
But don’t you dare recommend something lame.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I don’t usually keep dessert in the house.
I like to think of it as self defense.
Last week my onetruelove was politely wishing for dessert.
Since he is my onetruelove, I made him a blueberry pound cake yesterday afternoon.

It is yummy.
It is easy.
I think some of you might like to make this too.
Take it to a picnic or a barbeque at a friend’s house.
You will be the dessert hero.
The recipe is from SaSa, my grandmother in Mississippi.

Blueberry Pound Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
½ cup oil
3 eggs
1 ½ cups blueberries, rinsed and dried
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together except blueberries. Blend until smooth. Fold in blueberries. Bake in a greased and floured bunt pan for 1 hour.
Hint: To prevent blueberries from sinking in the mix, lightly roll them in flour before adding them to the mixture.

A Marine Museum Visit

There was an intense thunderstorm this morning.
Lovely to watch over the Chesapeake Bay in our pajamas. We enjoyed listening to the rain, watching the lightning, and gasping at the rolls of thunder.
Not so lovely when you think about staying inside with a 20 month old.
I decided Luke and I would venture to a marine museum in our county.
I wasn’t expecting much. Just a nice outing on a rainy day.
I didn’t pay much heed one of my neighbors glowing recommendations.
I was wrong wrong wrong.
It was AWSOME.

Maritime history, estuarine biology and paleontology.
Aquariums full of fish, crabs, jelly fish, and oysters.
Tanks of fish, turtles and horseshoe crabs you can touch.
(Luke loved touching them!)
Otters and a marsh walk.
A boat basin and a shed with smaller water crafts.
Oh, and there is even a sandpit thingy kids can dig around in and find sharks teeth to take home.

And because I live inthemiddleofnowhere and it was a Tuesday morning there was hardly anyone there.
I cannot wait to take Faris.