Friday, July 29, 2011

I'm a Sidewalk Surfer

Aren't these shoes cute? I've wanted them for a couple of years now, and tonight the Des Crew headed out to go spend a gift card. Imagine my surprise when I found the last pair of these size too big. I took them to the customer service guy and he looked them up for me. He determined that there might be one pair left in Berkeley, California, but I would have to have the customer service desk call and confirm.
I took my little slip to the front desk and she called California. I admit, I was concerned that some California girl was already wearing my shoes, but I remained hopeful.
The call took over ten minutes during which we (yes, "we." I bonded with that CSR tonight!) got put on hold and transferred three times and I got sent back to the shoe department to grab the pair that was too big, and then the computer froze up, and everybody panicked because the store closed ten minutes ago, but in the end, the Berkeley store is sending my new shoes to Roseville early next week. I got the very last pair in the entire company. The whole country. Maybe even the whole world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Grand Pickle

In my opinion, cucumbers are the lemmings of vegetables. The guys that no one really notices and take on the flavor of whoever they're hanging out with. If the onions want to jump off a cliff, so will the cucumbers. I guess it's safe to say that God created cucumbers to take on strong flavors in order to make them actually enjoyable.
That being said: I think it is important to confess that I will eat just about anything if you put enough vinegar on it (insert joke here).
Also, I have hated plain cucumbers my entire life.
So...when I lost my marbles and planted two cucumber plants in the garden this spring, it became necessary for me to figure out to do with all these cukes.
Obviously, the answer is to pickle whatever cukes I can pry out of my husband's greedy little fingers. I found a recipe for Spicy Refrigerator Dills on and knew they were the pickles for me!

Everything I need...Chop!

Let sit at room temperature for two hours.

Fill jars.Cute, huh?
Label and refrigerate for ten days.

Garden Update: For Real

I am finally able to post an update on our garden! I am so proud of it...I couldn't narrow down the photos. Please indulge me while I share.

First, for posterity, here is a picture of the front of our house. The Snap Dragons haven't really filled in like I had imagined...and they are not variegated like I thought they would be, but they look pretty cute!The garden! I just can't believe how it has taken off! I took these pictures five days ago, and even now, the cucumbers have continued to grow and the tomatoes are bigger than ever.Early Girls.
Strawberries.Bell peppers.
Heirloom: Lemon Boys.

Beautiful basil.

Beets for pickling.


Heirloom: Cherokee Purple.

"Beefy support" for my aggressive killer cucumbers.

This guy is currently being pickled.

These guys were turned into cucumber salad.


Richard's garden stone. Shirley made one, too, but surprisingly, it can not support the weight of a mommy stepping on it. Or maybe it's not surprising.


Better Boys.

Will there come a time when I can't remember what we did or didn't do with a specific vegetable? I hope not! The day after I took these pictures, the tomatoes sustained a lot of wind damage. They drooped over and got completely tangled. They are looking better, but I was pretty worried for a couple of days. The truth is, this is just a TINY fraction of the tomatoes we're going to have and if some don't survive I'll still have tomatoes coming out my ears.

I just can't imagine what it must have been like to have to grow food for your family and depend on the family garden for a whole year's worth of food! I think about pioneer women, and women like my great-grandmothers who tended gardens every year in order to feed their families. I am so thankful that if this doesn't work out I can still go to the grocery store for fresh, healthy food!

New Computer

Richard: You should take the plastic off the cover.
Erin: No!
R: Are you gonna take the stickers off?
E: No!
R: Can I open the battery?
E: No!
R: Why?
E: Then it's not new anymore!
R: You're crazy.
E: Why don't you just sneeze on it and break it in.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I'm a heavy.

Sometimes when one of us has a headache, it feels really good to have the other lift straight up on our heads to relieve some of the strain in the neck. I'm sure we are a chiropractic nightmare, but, hey. It helps. Last night, I asked Richard to do this for me.
Richard, lifting: Grunt, strain, grunt.
Erin: The human head is heavy, isn't it?
Richard: Well, actually, I think it's all the other stuff attached to the head that makes it heavy.
Erin: Are you calling me fat?
Richard: I,, wait. Ah. Um. Oh, I uh... What?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Garden update...sort of.

I am unable to upload pictures of my garden lately, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that it is OUT. OF. CON. TROL.
Getting pretty excited around here.
Gotta go look up pickling recipes.
HOPEFULLY, pictures coming soon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

What Harry Potter Means to Me

So...I went at midnight last night to see the last ever Harry Potter movie.
It was funny: as the movie drew to a close, I couldn't help but feel sad. Harry and I have been friends for a long time. Longer than I've known my husband. Longer than I was in high school. Or college. Longer than I've been a parent. Or known who I want to be when I grow up. We have a history.
Say what you want about the Harry Potter books, but something much bigger is going on here for me. Something bigger than the story on paper. His story has become a part of mine, simply because he's been here all this time. There are other characters that are a part of me--Kinsey Millhone, Anne Shirley, Emily of New Moon, Nancy Drew, Jose and Ursula from *One Hundred Years of Solitude*, and Clay from *Memoirs of a Demon.* I know they aren't real, but I carry them with me and always will.
As an adult, the books that have made a lasting impression on me are fewer and far between than when I was a child. A book that lives and breathes and grows with you is a rare and cherished thing.
I have felt for a long time that God shows his abounding love for me in fictional literature. He created me this way--to read and write and enjoy. I am so thankful for his intricate planning and love for me that I can find such joy in the written word and turn my face to him while doing it.
Anyway, Harry, I'll miss you. It's been a good run.