At least I’m making some progress…
I really must get off this computer.
The last set of visit-pictures (for now.)
Mark: He’s the man
Brian: I’m the man.
Because look at this AWESOME pergola he designed!
Brian- I’m sorry that I ever (silently) doubted you.
Mark and Maureen- Thanks for all your help!!
(Company-Free sounded too negative.)
Well, my in-laws are heading back to Oregon, Brian is working, and Joseph and I are back on our own.
I’m not sad, though, because tomorrow, we will be heading to Oregon ourselves, and getting our fill of company.
Here is a collage of the weekend:
so that you don’t have to sit through millions of individual pictures.
Although, I’m sorry to say, you will have to sit through a few more.
I wish that I had something witty to say to close this post, but Joseph has been getting up at 5:30 again (Why, God, Why????) and my brain is a little slower to start.
And I have a new (not quite completed yet) awning/pergola in my backyard!
It is really huge- keep in mind that Brian is about 6’5”, and my Mother-in-law (in the “begonia” colored jacket) is about 5’10.”
We’re talking some serious shade possibilities when it is finished.
And some serious stretching to reach my hanging baskets I planned to hang onto it.
Joseph has been having a great time hanging out with his Grammy,
“helping” his Grandad and Daddy,
and just generally getting into mischief.
(I am holding back Joseph from touching a super-sharp saw, while he plays with a medium-sharp screw. You win some, you lose some.)
A few random things to share that I can’t piece together cohesively into a single post:
1) My “Unplugged Friday?” Not so much. Turns out that I am pretty addicted to the computer.
I wouldn’t have shared this with you, but Brian threatened to tell you all if I didn’t. Supportive husband that he is.
To be fair, though, I only checked the weather so I could report it to Brian, the status of Stellan (a baby from a blog that I read who has been in the hospital the past few days), and to email my cousin Julie.
It hurts to be so honest.
2) We have some new neighbors who moved in this weekend.
They have a Doberman and a Rottweiler.
Warms a mother’s heart.
3) I got out my new pepper-spray for the first time today when I had to answer the door to a strange man.
He turned out to be innocent and very friendly.
But he didn’t see the pepper spray triggered and ready to blast that I had in my hand.
You mess with the bee, and you get the stinger.
So, if you come to my door unexpectedly some day, then no sudden movements.
For your own good.
4) Joseph got a new table and chairs courtesy of his Aunt Christin.
He thought he was pretty hot stuff.
Especially when he stood up.
5) When I see this picture of Joseph and his sucker, I want to squeeze him until he pops.
6) Joseph said “ANIMAL” this weekend. It sounds suspiciously like “APPLE,” but we’re counting it.
Well, the in-laws are here for one more day, and then I am sure that I will have a million and two pictures to share with you.
Until then, I must go and continue being the hostess-with-the-mostest.
(AKA Leave Joseph with Maureen while I go to the mall.)
Since I am going un-plugged tomorrow, I thought that I would do my normal Friday feature a day early.
Plus, I am trying to distract myself from buying Joseph this cute shirt that I found online… Just say no, just say no…
This week, my Friday’s Favorite is:
A no-spill spout for water-bottles!
I seem to be physically/mentally incapable of remembering a sippy cup for Joseph. Ever. I don’t know what it is.
Now, all I have to do is pop this little gem into a bottle of water and voila! No spill sippiness for my little parched baby!
The only down side is that, if you leave your child unattended with said water bottle, while you are- I don’t know- coveting wicker cake-stands at Target, he will be able to unscrew the non-spill spout, and dump the entire bottle of water in the middle of the aisle.
My Friday’s Not-so-favorite is:
Joseph’s obsession with light switches.
Seriously, on-off-on-off, I get it!
Who taught this kid about light switches?
If this goes on much longer, I may have to gouge out my eyes so that I have something to do.
End of rant.
Well, here I go. Unplugged Friday.
I am totally dreading it.
What will I do? Interact with my child? Clean my house? LAAAAAMMMMEE!
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
My in-laws are coming into town, and I am really looking forward to it!
And by, “really looking forward to it” I mean that “my in-laws read my blog.”
OOHHH! Just kidding, Maureen, just kidding!
I actually am looking forward to it, and not just because she is bringing me presents!
My father-in-law is providing free manual labor for our wood awning set-up, and my Mother-in-law loves to watch and praise every little thing that Joseph does.
In fact, I bet that she will think that the light-switch trick is super neat.
And I will nap and paint my nails.
Plus, they are all-around fun people, and I LOVE showing off Joseph to family.
Well, better go “finish the dishes” (buy that shirt…)
Tonight on Thursday’s Culinary Adventure:
(On top of scones from a mix)
It seems like everywhere I go on the internet, I have been finding articles on lemon curd!
( And advertisements for breast-enlarging-pills, but THAT adventure wouldn’t be culinary. More like Thursdays Necessary Adventure…)
So, I decided to take it as a sign from the blog-gods, and make some lemon curd of my own.
I originally had planned to make a lemon cake to top with the curd, but when I read the recipe, I started sweating uncontrollably.
Hard recipes = profuse sweating = an unhappy Caitlin.
So, I chose a scone mix from Krusteaz that only requires 2/3 cup of milk.
I found this recipe for Lemon Curd here.
You will need:
- Whisk together the zest, sugar, and eggs in a saucepan.
For those of us who do not have lemon zesters (who wants to buy me one??), you will have to make do with a cheese grater.
Be sure to watch your knuckles!!
Nothing hurts worse than an open wound covered in lemon juice.
(I must say that, despite the acute agony that I was in, I was grateful for the little touch of drama that this would add to the post…)
- Stir in the butter, and cook over low heat- whisking often- until everything gets all melty and smooth, and the curd is thick enough that you can see your whisk marks in it.
The magic of the internet.
-Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Otherwise, you will have to make do with crepes, waffles, pound cake, angel food cake, …
And that’s all there is to it folks!
Taste Testers Say:
Caitlin: I like it! But I can’t help feeling like I may have permanently injured my knuckle for something that I could have easily purchased at the store…
(For the record, Mom, my bed isn’t made because the sheets are in the dryer. Otherwise, it would be made. For sure. I promise.)
Brian: It tastes like lemon yogurt. I like it, but lemon yogurt is cheaper.
(He’s digging post holes for our new awning we are putting up this weekend!)
The lemon curd is really fresh and tangy- but it DOES taste a lot like lemon yogurt. Did I do something wrong? I was expecting more of a lemon-pie-filling taste.
Next time, I buy a can of lemon pie filling and open it.
And eat it.
The other night, I was outside in my yard, minding my own business, and picking up toys.
Suddenly, I heard the pop of a BB gun.
Our property backs up to a trailer park, with an irrigation canal in between. The sound was coming from one of the trailers directly behind us.
I heard it again.
I climbed up on our ladder (for some reason- Brian? Can you help us out?- we have a ladder set up on our back patio) and peeked over the fence to see that a man was standing in the back yard of his trailer, firing his BB gun.
At what? I wondered.
Oh, at the innocent, defenseless squirrel who was running around in his tree.
Let’s pause for just a minute.
First of all, this was a MAN who was doing this, not a teenage boy.
Second of all, I understand (barely) that sometimes squirrels need to be killed because they are, say, eating all of your filbert crop.
*cough* My in-laws! *cough*
This man was shooting at a squirrel that was just sitting in a tree that happened to be in the backyard.
No crop eating or anything.
Just killing things.
I wanted to yell, “What are you doing? Stop that!!”
but I had to physically restrain myself,
because, if there is one thing I have learned in life, it is to not yell at big, burly men holding guns.
Especially if you value the life of your pet cat.
So, I hurried down off the ladder, grabbed my things, and started to run inside, but not before I saw him kill the squirrel.
I’m sorry, dear readers, it’s true.
Don’t you think a gal should be able to be in her backyard without having to witness the deaths of defenseless creatures?
Don’t you think that I should somehow make that man my new best friend so that he doesn’t come and attack us one night when he is bored with squirrels?
I burst into tears, and rushed inside to tell Brian.
Who, “sympathetically,” pointed out that:
a) He used to kill squirrels all the time. (If I had known this I may not have married him.) Granted, he was a teenager, and they were eating his parent’s crop of Filberts.
b) My dad is a hunter. (For food, people, for FOOD!)
Very unsatisfactory in the comfort-department.
So, I did what any hormonal, teary, animal-loving girl would do.
I called my Mommy.
Who was equally horrified and upset.
I guess that answers the question about whether or not I should get a squirrel feeder…
I don’t want to lure them to their deaths!
I’m sorry, dear squirrel, that you picked the tree of such a sick, white-trash, Idahoan to sit in.
(original image found here)
I will not be blogging this Friday, as I am going to participate in Kimba’s Unplugged Challenge.
That’s right, folks. All day on Friday, I am stepping away from the computer!
No blogging, no emailing, no looking at mindless Youtube videos, nothing. I am actually a tad nervous; but I think that it will be good for me.
It is a time for me to refocus on my “real life.” (AKA laundry, dishes, mopping, child-rearing, etc.)
I thought that I would give you guys a few days to prepare yourselves for my absence.
Guess what I got in the mail a few weeks ago from my sweet friend Suzy:
“What?” You say, confusedly, “a coupon?”
Oh no, dear reader, not JUST a coupon, that is a coupon for Dawn Direct Foam- the best dish soap known to woman.
(Really, is any dish soap known to man?)
Suzy remembered that I loved the stuff, and that I hadn’t been buying it lately due to recent “budget enforcements.” (Aka, The Tight Wad called Brian) (Just kidding, love!)
So, being the thoughtful gal that she is, she noticed this coupon in the paper, cut it out, and mailed it to me- so that I could Foam Directly without the guilt.
Really, she spent 44 cents to save me 50.
Isn’t that just the nicest?
Thanks Suz! You’re the best.
the best next to Dawn Direct Foam.
(The first “Getting To Know You” is here.)
Since first interviewed my number one man, Brian, the natural choice for this week was my number one woman- my Mom! (Isn’t it weird that, since I have no female children, she is still my number one gal?)
Mom was nice enough to interview with me over the phone while on her way to church:
1) So, Mama, how is it having such an adorable, sassy, writer extraordinaire for a daughter?
Humbling. You are so funny, that it makes me feel like a fuddy-duddy. (The woman speaks the truth…)
However, people say that you are a lot like me, so perhaps it’s flattering!.
2) Please rate your children from Best behaved to worst behaved, starting, of course, with Carrie:
As Children: Carrie (I told you), Daniel, You, and Christin.
As Teenagers: Carrie, You, Daniel, and Christin.
You were a very naughty child. Very naughty. Just ask Daniel!
(my brother had the blessing of my presence for the most time since he is the closest to me in age.)
3) 4 children, 14 grandchildren, why do you think we reproduce so uncontrollably?
We all like sex.
I mean, we all have healthy sexual relationships.
I mean, we all have a tender heart towards children.
4) After being married for 37 years, what is your best piece of advice?
Laugh a lot. Not in a ridiculing way, but just in enjoyment of each other.
Whatever it takes.
5) How about your best advice on being a mother?
Try to be cheerful. In the middle of the night, in the early morning, whatever. Just be cheerful. I think that I am a very cheerful person.
-Annoyingly cheerful if I remember my teenage years correctly.
Well, okay then. Be as ANNOYINGLY cheerful as you can.
6) What do you remember about my childhood?
We were just able to enjoy you more. Your joy of discovery, all of your different stages. We weren’t in survival mode anymore, so it gave us a different perspective.
7) Why didn’t you intervene during my horrible awkward stage?
Oh, honey, styles change. In comparison to those around you, you looked cute! Everyone was awkward then.
(She has to say that because she’s my mom!)
8) Seriously, you don’t look a day over 35 (I’m working my way to Number 1 Best Kid… ) Do you have a beauty secret or tip?
Just to smile. Everyone looks better when they smile.
9) Wildflowers + You = Best Friends. Why?
They are just so serendipitous. (I swear, she used that word.) No one plants them, and yet there they are! It is like a little hidden treat.
10) Share with the world- how did you feel when you found out little Whoopsie-Daisy-Caitlin was on the way when your other kids were 11,9, and 6.
Really, really upset. I cried.
We had gotten rid of ALL of our baby things, Daniel was starting Kindergarten, and I was looking forward to the new phase in my life.
I couldn’t believe it when the test was positive. I just stared and stared at it.
Then, that Sunday in church, I saw a cute little 3 month old baby girl. I thought, oh look, that’s not going to be so bad! Then, she threw up all over everything, and I thought WAAAAHHHH! NO!!
(I’m not going to lie, this answer was a little humbling…I know that she feels the opposite now.)
11) Christin, Carrie, Caitlin, why was Daniel left out of the “C-club?”
We were just done with C’s at that point.
-But what about “Caitlin?”
That was a coincidence, actually.
12) How do you feel about me living in Boise? Do you cry every night, or every other?
Every other. (She has to say that to keep the other kids from getting jealous.)
It is really hard; it always feels like someone is missing.
13) Who is your favorite child?
I can’t answer that.
- But you’re winking at me over the phone right now, as a signal. Right? Right?
Last week, Brian mentioned to me that he was in need of some more undershirts.
Do you remember when all of his undershirts mysteriously vanished?
Some of them have come home, but the rest are still out gallivanting around Boise.
And the ones that DID come home…well…sometimes I get a little distracted doing Joseph’s laundry, and I forget to wash BRIAN’S, and then he has no undershirts, and then he cries, and…well, you get the idea.
I agreed that, instead of making a commitment to do his laundry more regularly, it was much easier to just go buy more shirts.
You pick your battles, people.
So, Joseph and I made a special trip out to Target.
Mind you, I was sick at the time.
And, Joseph HATES SHOPPING so much that after just a few minutes in the cart, he started crying, wiggling, throwing his head back in anger, and actually hitting the cart.
My trips to Target are not what they once were.
We survive the trip, we get home, unload all of the groceries (I had to get a few things at Target- like a new skirt- just to make it worth the gas.) and I present the t-shirts to Brian.
He gives me a pat on the head for a job well done, and praises me on my commitment to wifely-awesomeness.
I beam, and nod humbly (really, everything I do in life is for the praise it brings me..) and say, “Honey, could you put your new undershirts away in your drawer for me?”
“Sure!” he says and trots off to the bedroom.
Wow, that was easy! I think. How nice that he is feeling so helpful!
Then, a few hours later, I went into the bedroom.
This is what I encountered:
TECHNICALLY, the shirts are in the drawer…
Oh how I laughed.
Oh how I cried.
And then I ran to get my camera so that I could share it with all of you.
(Sorry, Brian, I just couldn’t resist.
The world had to know.
I love you and appreciate that you make me look SOOOOOOOO good as a housekeeper, wife, and general tidy-up-er. So, thanks.
Oh yeah, and thanks for working so hard and making all of the money around here while I lounge on the computer eating jellybeans and online shopping.
Hello, Blogworld! Caitlin is back!
The good news is that:
a) I am going to survive
b) I am getting back to most of my daily activities
c) I don’t have to eat nearly as often, since I have an all-you-can-eat phlegm buffet at my immediate disposal!
Did you have a good weekend?
Our family was productive, productive, productive.
Spring fever hit hard over here, and we spent most of the weekend outside planting things.
For example, a new tree in our yard; an Autumn Blaze Maple :
We ran into some sprinkler pipes, an electrical line, and a wooden object that looked suspiciously like a coffin. (Later we discovered that it was just a mysterious chunk of wood.)
Also, Joseph was a big helper.
Well, a CUTE helper, anyway!
I got my garden planted!!!
Now, I am sure that I put the lettuce too close together, or I shouldn’t have planted everything at once or what have you; but that’s how you learn, right?
I did leave some room on the right hand side to plant a second crop of whatever grows well.
And, in case you are wondering, YES I am terrified that everything I just planted will die and that all of our money and work will have been wasted.
AND, I don’t actually believe that the seeds I planted will grow.
Seriously, who plants a teensy tiny seed and grows carrots?
Not me, as we will surely find out.
Oh well, at least the “Garden Death Tally” will keep things interesting around here!
Hope that you all had a great weekend!