7 Quick Takes Friday (volume 33)

Happy last Friday in May! Is it nice by you? May’s been very lionish for many parts of the country, ours included. Heavy storms rolled through last night again. Even so, much happens around the weather; lots this week in fact, some things a bit momentous (see #1). So, pull up a chair, grab your coffee (or, ::shudder:: tea) and let’s chat.

-1-

I need to find a way to stop time. A pill; a spray; a quick word? Any one have ideas? I can’t believe that this is my baby. It was just yesterday that I was holding a tiny little package of cuteness in my arms, marveling at this little gift that had been brought into our lives. Yesterday that gift walked across a stage and graduated from preschool. Kindergarten. I have to practice saying that because it keeps getting stuck in my throat.

-2-

Last week I was sitting in the bleachers watching Dudette’s Tae Kwon Do class wrap up. The instructor called her and the two other black-stripe students to the front of the room and told the class that those three would be testing for their yellow belts on May 27. What???  Dudette has only had her black-stripe belt for two weeks, but as of 4pm EDT today, she will be a full yellow belt and out of the “little kids” program and in the regular Tae Kwon Do curriculum.   Again, anyone have that spray, potion or pill? Too fast. It’s going by too fast.

-3-

This is my herb garden. It’s in one of the flower beds in the front of the house because that’s the only place that there’s even a possibility of sun hitting (you can see it dappled on the bricks behind the garden). I love this garden though. Lavender, rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano, dill, parsley, chives, mint and leeks. Now the race is on to see whether I can use them faster than the critters eat them!

-4-

Dudette’s Tae Kwon Do do jang (school) had an open house last weekend and some of the instructors did what we rarely get to see them do; show off what they know. Mr. Franklin is Dudette’s main teacher and if you watch for a few seconds, you’ll see him jump in the air, do the splits and break two boards being held way up there.  (And yes, many of us Mommies have a bit of a crush on Mr. Franklin.) One of my co-crush friends took this video and Hubby has even seen another mother taking pictures of Mr. Franklin’s backside. We’re a sorry lot.

-5-

The list of magazines for June is taking shape. It started with receiving the new issue of Bon Appetit. You’ve seen it; the one with Gwyneth Paltrow on the front, right? From glancing through the recipes there, that woman can truly cook. The second was at the check-out line at the grocery store; Cooking Light. With summer (swim suit season) approaching, it seems like a necessary choice. Then, yesterday we were out shopping and the skies parted, the sun shone and a direct ray landed on a magazine at the same time the Hallelujah Chorus started playing. It was a special issue from Fine Cooking. Are you ready for this? A breakfast issue. All breakfasts. Expect a lot from this one.

-6-
It’s Memorial Day weekend. This holiday means something very different to me than it does many Americans. My parents (and myself for that matter) are immigrants. My mom was born and raised in Belgium, my dad in France. Mom’s family hid American soldiers in their basement as they marched through her country and freed it from the Germans. My dad turned 18 two weeks after D-Day. If it had happened the other way around, the Germans, as they did with all 18 year-old Frenchmen, would have shipped him off to a work camp. It’s because of the Armed Forces that my parents lived, met, and married. I wouldn’t be without them. My gratitude runs so very deep.

-7-

Dish of the week. There was no consulting with other family members for this one. I chose on my own and it’s the Classic Charcoal-Barbecued Chicken from Cook’s Illustrated. The semi-homemade sauce is outstanding  and the grilling method gives perfectly cooked chicken with a nice crispy skin. Definitely finger licking fantastic.

That’s it. The sun is shining and I’m headed out to the food pantry for the morning. Since Dudette is out of school, she’s going with me. I hope you have a fantastic day. Be good to each other.

7 Quick Takes Friday (volume 32)

Happy Friday! After almost a full week of rainy, cloudy days Dudette woke me bright and early because the sun was shining. Thanks for joining me for a few ramblings and general goofiness. Do you have your coffee or tea? Cool. Put your feet up and read on.

-1-

We were out running errands as a family and stopped at the recycling center to get rid of a bunch of boxes.While Hubby and Dudette enjoyed some bonding time over trash I people-watched. Specifically a well-dressed woman who was throwing out paper in another bin. A piece of paper missed the bin and gracefully floated down so it was just under the metal container; still reachable, but only by going to one knee and reaching for it. The woman, while willing to recycle, apparently wasn’t willing to bend down just a little to pick up her litter. She looked at it, shrugged a little, finished stuffing the paper in the bin and walked to her car for another load. On the way, she happened to glance over and saw me watching her. I looked down at the paper and over at her again. Her chin came up a little, she looked away, got her load and proceeded to dispose of it, ignoring the piece of paper on the ground. I considered going over and picking it up for her, but didn’t want to become a star on the next episode of COPS.

-2-
Have I mentioned that  Dudette received her black stripe in Tae Kwon Do last Friday? Look at my beautiful little girl standing at attention and focusing on the instructor, just like she’s supposed to. Now if that could translate to home, I’d be way thrilled. Of course, as she continues her lessons and moves up to yellow belt, all I’m doing by letting her take these classes is get to the point where she can kick my sit-upon.  Boy, did I not think this one through.
-3-

I’ve told you before that I can’t get good natural light pictures because our house is surrounded by trees, right? I thought I’d show you how surrounded we are. There it is, right under the A pointer and all those glorious oaks and tulip poplars. I love it and wouldn’t trade it because when the temps climb into the upper 90’s come summer, the shade helps keep it in the upper 80’s instead. But, pictures in natural light aren’t going to happen unless I go down to the street, and I’m not going to do that.

-4-
I was headed to pick Dudette up from school when an oncoming 1-ton dump truck turned left directly in front of me, causing me to hit the brakes hard. Righteous ire overwhelmed me, knowing that the driver figured he could do what he wanted because he was so big. Wanting to let him know that I protest his actions and was, in fact, mighty miffed, I laid on my horn only to hear it go “meeeeep.” Pathetic. The Subaru will be enrolled in a muscle car academy as soon as I can find one for it.
-5-
You have all seen Toy Story, right? It’s unfortunate that the claw “game” doesn’t really give up the toys as readily as this one did. Dudette has been enamoured by them and desperate to give one a try. She finally had 50 cents to call her own and brought it with her when we went for ice cream yesterday because they had a claw machine. Both Hubby and I warned her over and over regarding the difficulty and improbability of getting anything. She promised she understood. She promised she wouldn’t cry. She didn’t understand and she did cry. In fact, she sobbed. It was heartbreaking. Five minutes later she was planning the strategy for the next time. Could I have a gambler-in-training on my hands?

-6-

Every Thursday night before heading to bed I’ll log onto Facebook and there is a word that is being thrown all over peoples’ pages and posts. Scotty. I had no idea who Scotty was. I have never once watched American Idol. The first time I saw him was on the local news and that’s how I found out he was a local boy and was seriously good. I wish him luck. Reality laughs in my face every day so I have no desire to watch reality TV (including the heartbreak of those who don’t continue on so that Scotty can) when I want to relax. Instead I escape. I watch Castle. I love Nathan Fillion. Love him.

-7-

Dish of the week. This was a no-brainer. The Italian Grilled Chicken from Cook’s Illustrated won hands’ down even though the lady looks like a porn star. It was tender and incredibly flavorful. I didn’t have a pair of bricks so I used my cast iron skillet to press the chicken against the grates while it cooked. Perfectly done skin on the grill was so, so good. Having the herbs under the skin was even better.

That’s my week. And now a sunny, glorious beginning to the weekend. I hope you’re able to enjoy the day, take off your shoes and squish your toes in some fresh green grass, and lie in the sun for a few moments. Maybe even go on a picnic. Be good to each other.