Monthly Archives: July 2013

Pedicures

I’m relatively new at professional pedicures- I’m odd in that I don’t like to be touched- especially by people I don’t know. I fought for many years going to have a pedicure also because I’m very ticklish as well but a bit over a year ago when I was visiting my cousin in Texas, she insisted that I go with her and have one done. I had no idea that they rubbed all that stuff all over your calves and legs. It was kind of nice but still a little weird.

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So. I’ve been a few times now and am actually liking it- for the most part. I do like how my feet feel afterwards except for the little bit of soreness from the pushing back of the cuticles. That just flat out hurts. How about you guys? Do you like a pedicure? Does the cuticle pushing hurt? How do you feel about the exfoliating and the leg massage?

The girl who did mine this time kept laughing at me when I’d do that little jump off my seat when she touched the bottom of my feet. I can’t help it. It’s reflexes. LOL!

I usually pick a shade of pink. What color do you like?

I’m heading out to the Romance Writers of America convention in Atlanta on Tuesday, the 16th. If anyone is going, let me know. I’d love to meet you for a chat.

In Honor of Mother

IMG_20120311_153238Don’t run for your calendar. It’s not Mother’s Day. FYI – if you DID check your calendar, you are WAY late on those Mom accolades. 🙂

My mother’s birthday is this next Tuesday, the 16th. She will be 89 years young. And I would like to honor her with a few words. Especially this year, since we just had a medical scare with her that, well, to be blunt, scared the crud out of all of us “kids”. However, I’m glad to be able to report the scare has passed and she is once again back in her own home, driving, and being the independent person myself and my 4 siblings have tried to model ourselves after.

My mother was born to a father who worked in sawmills and a mother who worked as a telephone operator. Post high school, she started some business courses, but soon found full time employment. One of the things she did for fun was roller skating. It’s funny because that’s also something I loved to do. I even managed to instill that fondness for skating in one of my daughters. Three generations of women skated at the same roller rink—until they tore it down and put up a car lot. Sigh.

Mom worked full time while raising us kids. There are five of us. Dad worked, too, and we didn’t see him much. So I consider Mom to be the biggest influence in my life. She taught me…

  • Right from wrong.
  • That helping was better than selfishness.
  • That making mistakes is part of life and we must both learn from them, as well as right the wrongs when we can and apologize.
  • That family is everything.
  • That laughter pushes the hurts away.
  • That humble feels better than bragging.
  • And probably the biggest lesson I ever learned from her, was that it was okay to be my own flawed self. That I am loved no matter what. 🙂

So, after a month of excessive worry over her illness, and blessed relief as she rallied and returned to good health, I, along with my two sisters and two brothers, celebrate our mother. My brother said it best when he told the hospital doctor that our mother is “exceptionally amazing”.

She is the best of the best.

Happy early birthday, Mom!

Love,
Laurie

July

imagesJuly is the epitome of summer. Yes summer officially starts the 21st of June but it’s July and maybe August that I usually associate with summer. Maybe it’s because of the 4th of July with picnics, swimming, camping and of course fireworks on a warm summer night.

Starting with May I’ve been doing a blog post on the month and have enjoyed the research but I have to say July surprised me when I looked up myths. This is what I found.

1. No one actually signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th or even during July 1776. The first signature was on August 2 and the signing wasn’t completed until late November. One good thing about the time span is we have to have one date to celebrate and in this case July 4th is as good as any.

2. Paul Revere didn’t ride solo. There were actually 3 riders.

3. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on the 4th of July.

4. Fireworks were brought over to the Americas around the 1600’s. The very first 4th of July celebration was in 1777.

I’m not a big fan of fireworks at least not backyard ones. Some of the displays are fantastic. What I think about when I think of July is;

• 4th of July
• watermelon
• blueberries
• sunny hot weather
• refreshing air conditioning
• lakes, river, parks

These are my first thoughts, what about you, what does July bring to mind?

An easy summer grill-mate – kabobs…or is that kebobs?

Fourth of July this year was supposed to be a hot day in my corner of the world. It ended up somewhat overcast, but I had a barbeque to plan and needed things we could cook on the grill, rather than in the oven. We had one other couple joining us for dinner that night. It’s easy to find meat to grill. I needed a carb. We’d thought about corn on the cob, but the pickings were slim at the store.

So I fell back on a camping favorite-kabobs (or is it kebobs?). I picked up some canned whole baby potatoes and green and red peppers. Soaked the kabob sticks in water for a couple hours, then skewered the potatoes and chunks of peppers on the kabobs. My friend, who’s amazing at opening a cupboard and finding a meal, made a concoction of olive oil, garlic, and basil and we brushed the kabobs with that.

In only a few minutes on the grill, we had a delicious carbohydrate to go with our pork tenderloin and turkey sausage. Add in some homemade coleslaw and strawberry shortcake for dessert, and it was a yummy evening.

A couple more notes about the kabobs. Cooking these made me realize how much I like grill-singed peppers. I’m going to have to start playing around with cooking them on the BBQ. Also, you can add chunks of chicken to the kabobs for a full meal on a stick.

So for us, this American holiday was a nice, relaxing evening with friends. Until about 9PM, when all the fireworks started up. It was three hours of flashes and skyrockets, and war-zone level noise.  But it’s only one day a year. And we walked next door to see our neighbor’s three-year-old daughter’s eyes aglow as she watched the pretty sparkles in the air.

Pure magic. 🙂

Train Travel as an Indoor Sport

by Theresa Scott

Earlier this week I had the chance to travel by train. We passed some of the loveliest bays where the tide was out and the mudflats stretched on for at least a mile. We passed acres and acres of tall green trees—some close to the tracks, some in the distance. I found viewing islands and water and forested land relaxed me and slowed my pace for the day. In a nice way.

And what a chance to see birds! Long-legged herons dotted the beaches, their gray feathers blending in with the gray and taupe sand. Bald eagles were a rarer sight. I saw one on this trip, and he was soaring lazily along an air current. Crows and hawks hang out on the beaches too, looking for snacks and chatting with kin.

There were not many people on the long stretches between cities. For mile after mile, we passed beaches and saw only one or two people at a time. Of the folks we did pass, it seems that trains going by are an invitation to give a friendly wave.

It struck me that the train is actually a small community of core workers who are responsible for serving a larger, mobile community of passengers who whirl through the train orbit and then spin off to other universes (train stations) to do whatever it is they must do, and who may never return. If you work on a train, it must be like having a ton of unfinished stories told to you every day as the train roars past the trees and water and towns.

As a passenger, I found it to be a relaxing experience. If you find yourself looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience this summer, or if you are pondering a day-trip or a short trip somewhere, you may enjoy taking a train to your destination. If the scenery doesn’t entice you, perhaps chatting with the other passengers will entertain you. Or, you can always look at the birds.

Crazy World -It’s a Wonder I’m Sane

My life has been nuts for a while now. May 2nd is when I can trace it back to for this wild run. That’s the day I got a new client and life hasn’t slowed down since. He’s lucky I like him since the other lawyers on the case are driving me over the edge. I’ve also had two dental surgeries since then as well as another case that has about 7 lawyers I’m dancing around with- who have no sense of boundaries- emailing me at 8:45 pm on weeknights, on Saturdays, Sundays, etc.

So, this chick here (me) who’s brain is running at 99 miles per hour for weeks says (at her office today), “Tomorrow is backyard fence day. I don’t know what to talk about.”

My paralegal asks, “What about Arby? Have you talked about Arby?”

I’m like, “What? Huh? Why would they care about Arby?”

My brain starts spinning about this lawyer who is a friend and has been for like 30 years and I’m wondering what in the heck I’m supposed to say about him and what she even means and she goes silent so I’m really losing it trying to figure out what to type for this post.

So then she starts talking about this bakery near Arby’s office and says I could write about it. Well, heck, I’ve never even been in it, what was I going to say about that?

Brain still in overdrive, I’m thinking my head just might explode and then, then, then…

THEN! LIGHTBULB!! He’s over the backyard fence!!!!! The back of his office abuts the back of mine and he’s always saying we need a ladder to pop over the fence and visit each other.

So, is it any wonder I’m sane? I work with a woman who made me go through all these mental gymnastics when she could have merely said, “Arby’s office is over the privacy fence and so is the bakery. Why don’t you tell how he’s always asking you to climb over and visit? Or how he says he’s going to do that?”

See how easy that was? Geez.

For you who celebrate Independence Day, have a wonderful one!! As for me, I’m going to rest my lil ole brain.

A Smelly Weekend

This weekend my house has been filled with a pungent aroma I never imagined I would smell in all my 37 years with my husband. The aroma is that of garlic, something he totally hates the smell and taste of and thus something I never use, although I love the flavour. I’ve known him walk out of restaurants and dinner parties because of it, and it’s one of the main reason he doesn’t like going out for meals. So you can imagine my surprise, nay, shock at him asking me to buy several bulbs of it when I did the weekly shop Friday.

160px-Garlic_Bulbs_2Had he blown his mind, lost his marbles, decided to be adventurous after all this time? None of these things. We grow a lot of our own vegetables and Dave had read in a gardening magazine that a spray made from garlic will get rid of black and green fly, something our broad beans, one of our favourite veg and the only one we freeze, are suddenly plagued with. He decided to give it a go.

Now, there is a lot of sense in this idea as it is well known around the Mediterranean that garlic keeps away the mosquitoes and probably why a lot of it is used in continental cuisine. Indeed, it is probably this fact that led to the ancient practice of hanging bulbs of garlic around your neck, in windows and doorways to keep away evil spirits and vampires. I haven’ t seen any vampires whilst abroad so it obviously must work!

The recipe for this spray consisted of mashing a whole garlic bulb in a pint of water. I told him not to put all the water in the food processor, just a few drops and top up after, but no, he put the whole pint in the machine and switched on. The garlic and water overflowed the bowl, spilled over the work surface, sprayed the walls, dripped down to the floor, and even into the dishwasher. Great! And guess who was left to clean up? Yup, me!

Dave’s second attempt proved more successful and the mixture is now fermenting in the garden shed ready to be mixed into a gallon of water next weekend and the plants sprayed.

The house smelled of it all weekend but he didn’t dare moan. In fact, he commented that it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, and thankfully Saturday was a pleasant day and I could leave the doors and windows open. This brought me a rather enjoyable after effect as, sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine as I read my book, the fountain bubbling in the pond, wafts of garlicky smells drifted across the lawn from the kitchen, bringing back lovely memories of holidays abroad, and if I shut my eyes I could imagine I was back in Greece again for a few minutes.

800px-Broad-beans-after-cookingI’ll let you know if this stinky concoction works but what I am left wondering is if the beans will be infused with the flavour of garlic – something I’ve dared not mention to him. The taste will tell!