Monday, July 28, 2008

fried smelt 'n' figs

two of my favorite things, both of which i only am able to have once a year.

imagine my joy when today i was able to have both together! what a combination! gourmets of the world are taking note, i'm sure. oh, and i washed it all down with a vernor's ginger ale.

fried smelt i only get when i'm visiting my parents in michigan. for those who are unfamiliar, smelt are little fish with the heads chopped off, rolled in batter, and deep fried. you eat the whole darn body... spine, fins and all. a few years ago i did a post on bortell's fresh fish market south of ludington on lake michigan.

figs i can usually only find at whole foods market in chapel hill. but today at the meijer store in ludington, there they were... 2 packages for $4! i was moronic with delight. the produce shoppers must have thought i was nuts.

so, on the way home from our shopping trip, i savored each bite of my lunch. it was heavenly.

you can go vomit now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


i promised a post on my summer reading, and i'm as good as my word. for those uninterested in kid lit, just stop reading now, for that is where i have been engrossed. the reading list was chosen for me by h, my rising 4th grade reader. he is neck-deep in "harry potter and the goblet of fire," but has a short stack of books he'd like to read before he jumps into h.p. #5. i try to read everything the kids read so we can discuss it afterward (although i admit skimming junie b jones and magic tree house) and this summer list is no exception.

the first book he chose was "the city of ember," a first novel from author jeanne du prau. i suspended my disbelief, and buried myself in the city below the ground along with the main characters lina and doon. i would have LOVED more character development, more descriptions, more logical explanations... but alas, i had to realize that it is a kids book. from that point on, i enjoyed it for exactly what it is; a courageous adventure story with a cliffhanger ending. will they escape ember before the city dies?

which brings me to h's second choice, the follow-up to the previous book, titled "the people of sparks." kinda gives away the ending of the first book, huh? it's a good "lord of the flies"-style what-if book that gives kids an idea of tolerance versus anarchy. it was more depressing and less adventurous than "ember," but still i'm looking forward to reading the 3rd installment in the series, titled "the prophet of yonwood," which supposedly explains how the emberites ended up in the city underground.

but instead h assigned me to read "the tale of despereaux," a newbery award winning book by the author of "because of winn dixie," kate camillo. his teacher read it to the class this past year, and he loved it so much that he begged me to buy it, read it, and then proceed to make s read it. this is a lovely, well-told fairytale with charming characters and enduring themes. it worked it's magic spell on me, and i understood why h was so taken with it. sophisticated yet simple, it told the tale of a little mouse who dared to be different, and where the consequences took him.

although i'm clean out of kid books for the moment, i did pick up "shadow of the wind" by carlos ruiz zafon and am thoroughly enjoying it so far.

now onto our summer listening...

last month weezer came out with their new album, their third self-titled album, but i call it red. i replaced "high school musical 2" in the cd changer of the ol' minivan with this, as hsm2 had run it's course with my brain. the kids were instantly absorbed, and made me play the first 3 songs on the album over and over until i almot got sick of them. we proceeded on to the entire weezer library for variety, and they are choosing their favorites among the repertoire. h likes "say it ain't so," and "the greatest man that ever lived," while s is prone to "pork and beans" and "island in the sun." she likes the "dip-dip's" in that one. my enduring favorite by weezer is "the sweater song."

at sam's club i found a "woody woodpecker" anthology on dvd. woody is one of the few old cartoons they DON'T show on boomerang which is a howling shame. he's hilarious! walter lantz was a genius. the kids are cackling their butts off, something like they do while watching "tom and jerry." nothing like the oldies but goodies, is there?

i would write about the summer movies we've seen thus far, but i'm out of breath.

hope your summers are all pleasant and may they all be filled with good reading, listening and watching as ours has.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


i greet you once again from the lovely western shore of michigan. we will be here, as usual, for an extended amount of time, soaking up the rays and enjoying the cooler temperatures. my parents are always kind enough to host us without either losing their marbles OR kicking us to the curb. so, for THAT, i thank them profusely.

i realized it's been awhile since h made a blog appearance. his hair has gotten really long, and is now, in fact, longer than his sister's. this creates no end of glee for the girl, who has morphed into a camo-garbed tomboy this summer. so here is h in his goggles after having explored the depths of lake michigan. this is the first year, believe it or not, that he has consented to swim underwater. we never pushed him, and after 9 long years, he is finally discovering the joys of swimming.

we were lucky enough to have a visit from my high school pal tracey and her son kailash who are normally found on the small island of koh tao off the coast of thailand in the gulf of thailand. the kids spent a fun day in the sand while tracey and i reminisced. below is the lovely lady who was once my maid of honor about a zillion years ago...

that's all for now. today is a wee bit overcast, so i may take the kids to a movie or sumpin'. although, it's terribly tempting to curl up with a good book while they're giggling at old woody woodpecker cartoons! more on what i'm reading in my next post. promise.

Monday, July 07, 2008

locks of love

s had been thinking about her hair a LOT lately.  it was long, it was heavy, it was hot, and it took a long and painful time to brush the tangles out each day.  still she loved it, and when we went for a trim last week, she wasn't quite ready to say goodbye.

she thought some more, and when i went to get MY hair trimmed today, she had finally decided it was time.

our friend christie took the kids to see "kit kittredge" so i could have time to pack for our long trip to michigan tomorrow.  i gave her the option of taking the kids to "snip-its," the cool kids' salon by the theater, to do the deed.

i was kinda sad to miss the big event, but was VERY excited to see the finished product.  here she is, holding her hair that is destined for locks of love.  that is... after she shows grandma & papa.

cute, huh?  and much more spunky & practical.  and don't you just LOVE how she kept the hair wrap she got in myrtle beach back in april?

oh, and the kit kittredge movie?  the 9 year old boy proclaimed it to be better than iron man.  figure THAT one out.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

stimulating conversation

i'm just so curious...

what did YOU do with your economic stimulus payment?

wanna know what we did?

we paid our quarterly taxes with it.  

the irs stimulated ITSELF.  a whole new concept!


Friday, July 04, 2008

ding, dong the helms is dead

oh, gosh darn it, that iconic paragon of my great state of north carolina died this morning.

now what will folks think of our state?