Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekend Recap

Yo, peeps. It's hot as balls here in the Ga. Yes. That's country. But it's damn true. The hubs and I went outside like an hour ago to finish up the mailbox (which we successfully did! yeah!) and my hair is still DAMP from being outside. DAMP, I tell you. Because I was sweating so badly. At 7:30 at night. Oy.

And, listen, all my Longhorn (that'd be Texas by way of Dallas) peeps, like I said on Facebook, I ain't getting into a pissing match with you about the temps. I have been in Dallas in July. And it was hotter than balls. I can't even describe how hot it was, but it lingered somewhere on the edge of inducing spontaneous combustion. Seriously. I'm just saying it is H. O. T. here. 'Kay? Anyhoodle, I thought I would do a quick Weekend Recap of the past 24 hours, so here we go:
  • We went to pick up a few things today at the Publix, and, you know, I love my local Publix. The people there rock, and because I am such a chatty girl, they all know me. And because they know me, they love me, natch. I had Happy Birthday sung to me by my favorite cashier (out loud, in the middle of the day, and sung quite well!). The customer service boy let me bring in my pool float and he had it blown up. The Apron meals lady and I share cooking tips. Some weeks, the high point of my week is going to the grocery store. It may seem sad to you, but I say seek joy wherever you can find it.
  • The hubs and I watched Taken last night from good 'ol Netflix and it was a such a GOOD movie. One of the best I have seen in a while. I always enjoy a well-crafted action/thriller. Plus Liam Neeson is sorta hot. I think it's the accent.
  • Today, we went to see The Proposal with Sandra Bullock. I was pleasantly surprised that it was better than I thought it would be. I love Sandra Bullock anyway--I think I could have a girl crush on her, for sure. I was particularly happy the movie opened at #1. Nice to know a woman in her 40's can open a movie. Maybe H-Wood will start making more romantic comedies with older, smart women and hot, young men. Sounds like a plan to me.
  • My hubs is great because he let me talk myself out of doing a proper house cleaning this weekend. "We haven't been here that much," he says, and "The floor looks good to me." Loves him. (I DID clean the toilets with some disinfecting wipes though; Bunny ain't nasty!).
  • It has been an easy cooking weekend, and my latest creation was tres tasty: Chicken Almost Cobb Big Salad.
Spinach and arugula topped with sliced tomatoes, sliced hard boiled eggs, grilled chicken, bacon and blue cheese. I forgot to pick up an avocado at the Publix, but it was still very delish!
  • I am on a reading tear and have finished two more books the past few days--The Friday Night Knitting Club and The Summer of My Southern Discomfort. I know the latter was not in my bedside stack, but America's Boy and The Friday Night Knitting Club were so heart-wrenching in their endings, that I needed to slip in a lighter read before I started something else that might be a difficult read, emotionally speaking.
  • I am glad the mailbox proved to not be as difficult as thought. Though we still need to reattach our numbers, at least we can get mail tomorrow. I say "success!"
  • I am excited my nephews are coming to spend a little time with me this week, and I have been preparing for their stay. This is the first time either have spent the night with Aunt Bunny and I hope it goes well. As long as no one ends up in the E.R., I say "success!"
Well, I gots to go peeps. Time to work on some work so I can take a day or so to be with my boys. I will be back soon. I hope. Heck, what the hellz am I talking about? You can't take down the Bunny! Love ya!

Cat Nap

I think I have already shared that K.K.'s favorite outdoor napping spot these days is beneath the Adirondack chair nearest our French doors onto the deck.

She likes to stretch out there in the shade, near her food and water bowls so she doesn't need to travel far for a snack or sip.

She just makes herself comfortable beneath that chair, on those somewhat cooler deck boards.

She looks so sweet, but I am sure she is dreaming of chasing baby bunnies and moles and then playfully torturing them until they wind up love offerings on our front mat.

I envy her careless kitty ways--eat, nap, hunt, eat, nap, hunt.

She has a good life. She is a lucky kitty to have found us. But we are lucky to have found her too.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

We Country

At one point, as I stood outside earlier today in the searing heat, I thought of the infamous Britany Spears defense to carrying her child in her lap while driving: "We're country." And I thought that because, hell, we're country. But educated country, I will say.

Today started off with the hubs and I doing our best Laurel & Hardy Home Improvement routine trying to install our new mailbox and post. Of course, we know we suck when it comes to this type of shizz, so we knew it would be a disaster. See, our mailbox post had been wobbly at best for weeks (rotted) and then, on Thursday, the door of our rusty-ish mailbox fell off. Em. Yeah. Country.

So last night, we toted out to the Home Depot and bought a new box and post to the tune of $40. Who knew that shizz cost so much?? Then, with post hole digger in hand, we planted that puppy in the ground this morning. Hell, we even gots out the level and made sure it was all level and such! Then, we put the box together. Then, we realized we in no way at all knew how the hell to attach it to the post. Luckily, we were still standing there cussing and scratching our heads when the postal lady rolled up. Oh well. We have until Monday to get it up.

Then, I worked in the veggie garden. Spreading chicken shit. Literally. Yeah. Country. The veggies needed some fertilizer I thought. (BTW, it's not REAL chicken shit but dehydrated Black the Black Kow). So I spread shit like no there was no tomorrow. Here are a few garden pics:

Behold the Bunny Veggie Patch! This photo was taken from our bedroom window, which gives the best view. Front and right are the "regular" 'maters, peppers in the middle, cukes on the back fence. The cukes are still going to town, and the 'maters are still languishing as far as blooms/fruit, but I am hoping the shit will launch them into gear.

Here are my roma tomatoes. The bare spots are newer plantings. The circled area in the back is my "backup basil" since the basil on my deck was doing so crappy. It's growing like a damn weed in the dirt!

I moved my planters of cherry tomatoes out of the garden and over on the edge of the daylily bed. No big reason, but I needed more room in the garden and they needed more sun.

Here is my harvest for the day--cukes and a few cherries, including the yellow teardrops. The green one fell off when I was moving the 'maters so I decided to keep and hope it will turn.

We worked outside until early afternoon and, I swear, I could feel the sun broiling my skin. I have taken to wearing tank tops outside now (Country. Sorta.) in an effort to combat my bad "farmer tan" (Yep. Country.). I was so dehydrated from sweating, I still don't think I have peed even though I have drank like a gallon of water.

For dinner tonight, I decided that heating up the kitchen was just not necessary, so I made the Panzella salad again. This week, and the rest of summer for that matter, cooking is going to be all about anything that doesn't require heating up the house. Last night, I made this:

I totally pulled this out of my butt....or head..., but basically, it is frozen cheese tortellini (which cooks in 5 minutes stovetop) tossed with chopped salami (which I had in the fridge for another recipe), steamed (in the Ziploc steam bag!) asparagus and a vinaigrette of fresh lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with grated fresh parm. Easy-peasy and super quick. Very nice chilled today for lunch (we ate room temp-ish last night).

Sometimes, on summer Saturdays, the hubs and I have cocktail hour and I will make a little appetizery dish and we will have drinks--well, I drink alcohol, he has a ginger ale. Today, I served the Trader Joe's white bean hummus with toasted flat bread, and I enjoyed this ready-mix cocktail:

When I went in search of the Tuscan Lemonade, I could not find it. But I did find this. It is an pretty good substitute for now, I must say. Mixed with some fresh mint and lime slices and served super chilled, this mojito is quite refreshing.

So, peeps, I am off to watch the Saturday night movie at Casa Bunny, and spend some quality time with the hubs and girls. Hope you are having a good weekend. Later taters! (Okay. That's kinda country too). B.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Finally Friday

Thank the Lord! It's finally Friday. I know, I know, technically, every day is Friday for me physically, but mentally, I give myself the weekend off and try not to think TOO much about all the shizz going on with the job and such.

Anyhoodle, yesterday, two of my girlfriends and I decided to take a (long overdue for me) trip down to the DFM (that would be Dekalb Farmer's Market) and then have an early dinner. On the way, I wheedled my friend S. into taking my by the W-S so I could spend the gift certificate that was burning a terrible hole in my linty pockets. If you remember, my sis and her fams gave me a W-S GC for the b-day. And here's what I gots:

A Wusthof paring knife! Whee! Now I have the triumvirate of cutlery from Wustof: a chef, a utility and a paring. This paring knife is called a "sheep's foot" and I chose it because, according to W-S, "the size and shape of this knife provide just the right amount of leverage for small chopping and mincing jobs, while guaranteeing the accuracy needed for trimming, peeling and paring." Sounds like a plan to me! I also had a return of another gift and picked up this little gem, as well:

Apparently it was just put out yesterday so it is BRAND NEW but I am seeing lots of slaw, hashbrowns and potato pancakes in our future. I also picked up this pan this week with the remainder of my b-day money from my bro and his fams:

I know, I know! I have lauded my IKEA grill pan here for'eva, and I still do lurves it, but I decided to upgrade to the Caphalon model only because I have about lurved my IKEA pan to death....and because this one was a stealy-dealy at the W-S outlet! My IKEA pan is all crusty and the non-stick is chipping off and I thought this version might be more sturdy and hold up better to my use and abuse. I am holding onto the IKEA though until I have a chance to judge this one. And judge I will, you don't worry! I WILL be reporting back.

So ends my culinary birthday of salt & pepper grinders, knives, graters, casseroles, wine glasses and grill pans. It was all good and has me all prepped for lots of good eats in the months to come.

Anyhoodle, back to the DFM. We perused the aisles and I purchased some produce and such. My friend S. was a DFM virgin and was a wee bit overwhelmed. You have that feeling the first time. Trust me. And we didn't even see but half of it. S. was, however, properly impressed with the prices and selection, so we shall be going again sometime in the near distant future.

After the DFM, S. and E. and I went to nearby Decatur and, on the recommendation of another friend, dined here:

Brick Store Pub. Y'all, I was so PISSED I forgot my camera, because this place was SO pic worthy! All exposed brick, heavy wood door, folk arty, stained glass, cool waitstaff, etc. I stole this shot from their website. The good news is my friends and I loved it enough that we plan to go back, so I will not make the no-camera mistake again. Lots of great beers too, of which I chose the beer of the day:

Bourbon Barrel Aged Brown Shugga'. Yo. You gots to know anything with the words "bourbon" and "shugga" in it has gots to be good. This beer was specially made for the Pub's 12th anniversary. Here is the (edited) descrip from the card: "The flavor profile consists of wall-to-wall caramel malt coated with brown sugar and toffee pudding, and drizzled with caramel syrup. Bourbon, vanilla and wood tannins are present from the barrel aging process. Words like viscous, velvety and luxurious come to mind. Pure-liquid poetry." (yes, E. and S.--I STOLE the card when you were not looking. I didn't say anything because I did not want to involve you in my crime.)

Y'all. Pure liquid poetry, indeed. This beer is swoon-worthy, from both the exceptional flavor (Which I have been dreaming of every since....I am in pure lust. Seriously. It may be the best beer to ever cross Bunny's lips.) AND the alcohol content, which was a woozy 9.5%.

To top it off, the Brick Store food was simple but tres tasty and oh-so-affordable. Sadly, as we were leaving, E.'s hubs called to tell us Michael Jackson had died. A reporter today called it "the day the 80's died." So sad.

So, I have to wrap this up--the gutter guys are here putting up our gutters! Woo-hoo! And I have an appointment at the DOL this morning for some resume and interviewing help and I don't want to be late. I hope everyone has a GREAT weekend--B. loves you all!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

She's a Beauty

Think what you want, peeps, but this cat? She's a beautiful cat.

From her lime green, kohl-rimmed eyes to her velvety shaved (for now) fur, she's a queen among kitties.

Beauty, she says? Whatever. You bore me. Peasants.

R.I.P. Michael Jackson

Y'all. I am in shock. Michael Jackson is dead. Michael Jackson is dead? WTF? The first album I ever bought, ever, (and it was a vinyl album!) was Thriller. Yes, he had his issues in later life. Who doesn't? That doesn't take away the fact that he was an undeniable talent. A legend. What a tragedy for his family, his fans and, most of all, his children.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hump Day Holla: The Garden Porn Edition

Yo, dudes, there is a dearth of dullness going on at Casa Bunny. Yep. You know me. It's either a feast of fun or a bevy of boredom (but, damn, am I GOOD at that alliteration! can I get a job just coming up with alliterative phrases?? I would ROCK!).

I, mean, the most exciting thing to rock our world this week was the snake, which, for all my big 'ol baby friends who said they wouldn't come over 'til it was gone, seems to have gone onto greener pastures since it has not been spotted since Sunday.

Monday I spent ALL DAY, literally, searching and applying for jobs. I applied for 15 POSITIONS! 15! I swear, if I don't get at least ONE interview, I am giving up and selling a kidney on Craigslist and calling it a day. Or joining a commune. Or something. There are jobs out there, but HOW THE HELL you get hired for them eludes me. Seriously. I know these companies hundreds of resumes, but you would think I could get ONE interview. ONE. I need a new tactic I think. But I am not sure what that would be.

Yesterday, I took the Pepster to the vet for her annual shots and such ($ka-ching!$) and we wound up putting her on arthritis meds because she has been super gimpy lately. I hope it helps, but it ain't cheap. $1.70 a tab. Seriously. Luckily, she doesn't need a whole pill and not every day. See?? Everyone over here at Casa Bunny is getting old and sad.

Last night, I rounded up a few friends to go listen to a local singer-songwriter at the nearby cantina. We had a good time and held the rowdiness down to a dull roar. We shall go back again in a month-ish--maybe it will be to celebrate my new job.

So, other than that, all I gots is some fresh garden porn. Here is the latest:

This shot of K.K. is priceless. She likes to lay in the shady daylily bed to nap and I caught her coming out of the bed, in mid-yawn. I actually took this last week, before her shave, but forgot to post until now.

I just think this up close shot is stunning. The color. The form. I lurves it.

There are TONS of blossoms all over my cuke plants. We gonna be rollin' up in some cukes soon. Very soon.

Like enough to make pickles. I picked two more today. Whee. If only my tomatoes were starting to go to Fruit Town.

These are my newly planted cherries which seem to be doing well so far. I will have to split them up soon if they keep going like they have been.

Here are my teardrop yellow cherry tomatoes, finally making some fruit. A few is better than none, I suppose.

My orange cherries are still doing okey-dokey. They are making some new fruit--again, not much, but some.

Here is an artsy-ier angle, for those of you who appreciate the artsy.

And my romas are finally putting out a few green fruits, as well. I actually called the Extension Office this morning to ask what the hellz I could do for my 'maters, and they did not know. Apparently, everyone's tomatoes are doing shitty--I was told they are "shocked" from all the rain after a long drought. WTF?? Well, hell, I am shocked at all the time and money I have spent on tomatoes and yet I don't have any. I just hope the next few weeks will bring them around.

Well, I am off for Wednesday afternoon pool with Bobs. It's the high point of my week lately. A little breather from the stress of my sad life. So, later taters! Love, Bunch

Book Revalations

I really like this passage from the book Inappropriate Men by Stacey Ballis. It resonated with me.

"I never was good at potential. I always turn a little bit of potential into a whole lot of fantasy. And then I crush into reality and get bruised."

Yep. That pretty much sums it up. Back later with some Hump Day Holla.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Catching Up on the Cooking

Peeps! Now that I am doing up BGR a little different, I sometimes forget to post about certain things. Such as cooking. But in all honesty, I haven't been doing a whole lot of new shizz recently. For inst'c, last week I made some old and new standards: Tuna-Orzo salad, steak quesadillas and the shrimp salad I made a few months ago.

But, yo, Bunny has been rockin' the past two days! Yesterday, we had over my moms and pops for Dad Day Dinner and I whipped up some freshness!

After leaving my sis' Saturday, I ran by the local Trader Joe's and purchased these awesome mixed new potatoes--purple, red and gold. I decided to chop and roast for dinner.

I don't think I've ever used a purple potato before, but look! It's purple on the inside too! Kewl! I also cut up some carrots to roast with the 'taters--a last minute addition since they were starting to sprout.

I also bought this pack of mixed heirloom cherry tomatoes at T.J.'s--again, red, gold and purple. I threw them together in a non-lettuce salad of diced cukes (from MY GARDEN! YO!) and diced onion, and drizzled the whole mess with good EVOO and balsamic vinegar and a little peppa and $10 salt.

Here it all it plated with some herb grilled chicken breast. Pretty AND yummy! The 'rents seemed to love and made happy plates, so it was all good. For dessert, my moms picked up the following treat at the Publix:

Fresh fruit cake. O. M. G. This cake was da' bomb! Light, fresh and delish--it was a perfect end to my fresh meal. The "icing" is whipped cream and it has berries, kiwi, peaches, grapes--lordy, lordy, it was so good!

Tonight, I decided to copy my friend B. and whip up a delicious frittata. No recipe here, dudes, just creativity. I will try to give the basics.

First, it helps to have a LARGE oven-proof skillet. Brown a roll of the yummy sage sausage from the Publix. Next, throw in whatever veggies you like or have that are about to go slimy. I chose yellow and orange bell pepper, followed by baby spinach. Cook them all until done to your likeness. Next, beat and pour ten eggs over the meat and veggies. Lastly, dollop the top with your fave cheese--I used feta.

Let the frittata cook on the stovetop until mostly firm but still a little runny on top. Then, pop it under your oven broiler until it is lovely and golden like shown above.

For the side, I also purchased this roll of polenta at T.J.'s Saturday. Bonus: it doesn't have to be refrigerated until open! Slice it in quarter-inchish slices and then throw in a skillet with a little EVOO.

Grill the pieces, liberally doused with S&P, until slightly golden. I never could get mine good and golden--maybe I should have placed under the broiler....

Here it all is plated. I made a "relish" of the leftover heirloom cherries to top the polenta. Y'all, this meal was damn good, if I say so myself. Thanks, B., for the direction.

SNAKE UPDATE: The hubs, in a tizzy of reptilian paranoia, tracked the snake all day yesterday, until he felt he had to kill it. He went out, threw a concrete block at it, got after it with a shovel, but we are not sure he killed it. Let me tell you, it's hard to garden carrying a shovel in anticipation of snake retaliation. But I managed to do it this morning.

BOOK UPDATE: I finished America's Boy by Wade Rouse yesterday. Whew, peeps. What a good tale. I sobbed like a baby--in a good way--the last 30 pages. Now I am a Rouse stalker. I friended him on Facebook even. Word.

Well, I've gots to go--we are off to the dump and to get an ice cream cone. The fun never ends at Casa Bunny, that's fo' shizzle! Oh, yeah, but first, we have to go pick up some dog poop off the floor. Whee.

Later and love, B

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bunny Country Safari

Holy Mother of Pearl! We have a big 'ol snake in our yard! The hubs spotted him on the perimeter of my vegetable garden this morning (the mo-fo better stay AWAY from my cukes!) and has been tracking him every since.

We think he is a (harmless) King snake but all we really know is he is black and very, very long. Like six or seven feet.

Personally, I am more scared of poisonous spiders than poisonous snakes (Though I did shot these photos with a zoom. Word.). However, I do wonder if it could eat K.K. But that cat is tough. She killed another baby bunny and left it as a "love offering" on our doorstep last night. Now I am afraid the mother bunny will retaliate and devour my fledgling garden. Of course, that could be how the baby bunny got caught to begin with. To which I say, "get 'em girl!" After all, bunny loyalty only goes so far.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Reading, aka Books by the Bed

I have chosen the books I will be reading over the next few weeks of summer, and here, photographed on my bedside table, is what they are and why I am reading them, in no particular order:

1) America's Boy by Wade Rouse: My new fave author, Jen Lancaster, recommended Rouse's new book, At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream, on her blog. I decided to backtrack and read this book, his first, instead. The book chronicles his childhood in rural Missouri, where he struggles with growing up while coming to the realization that he is gay. The tale is couched around telling stories of himself, family and friends. So far, it is funny, touching and bittersweetly sad. Love it.

2) The Space Between Before and After by Jean Reynolds Page: This past week, I was grousing to a friend about how long it had been since I read a truly GREAT book. Something that just really made me go "WOW." Something that I hated had to end. Something I had to sit up to 1 a.m. to finish. She suggested this book. Let's hope it has the "WOW."

3) My Life in France by Julia Child. The movie based on Julie & Julia (the book) is coming out in August. I loved the book, and cannot wait to see the movie, but as a complement to Julie's story, I want to read this autobiography of Julia to enrich the experience.

4) The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I borrowed this book from my moms and it was buried in my never-ending stack of reads, however, it was lifted to the top because another book-loving friend has the sequel from her moms and offered it to me. So, guess I better get on reading Part 1 so I can move onto Part 2.

5) The Kite Runner by
Khaled Hosseini. I know, I know--this book has been out for a LONG time, but I never got around to reading it and I recently saw a preview for the movie on a Netflix rental, and I now have a burning desire to see it, however, I have a fairly hard-and-fast rule that I always read the book before seeing the movie. So, again, I need to get on reading it.

My Day with the Boys

Yesterday, my sis and I made plans to spend the days together and, because the day was looking like it would end about rush hour traffic time, my sis invited me to spend the night at their home, which is about an hour south of mine.

So, I mosied down yesterday morning and we headed off. Her sons, A. who is 8 and M. who is 6, were at football and art camp, respectfully, so we swung by their school to pick them up. A. apparently had a glorious morning, making four touchdowns but enduring a kick to the hip, a jammed finger and a shiner on his nose.

The good news is, after his nose caught the ball, the ball fell into his hands and he made one of his touchdowns. A. will be the smart AND athletic one--he likes to win and he will be successful in everything he does. You know, the quarterback who is also the valedictorian. I just hope he remembers to have fun along the way as well. If not, Aunt Bunny will be there to remind him.

M. made some amazing pieces of art at camp, reinforcing the belief that he will be the sensitive, creative one.

Though he falls into pouting and crying a little TOO easily sometimes, he is a sweet, honest child who is curious about everything. He is the storyteller, in a good way, weaving elaborate tales of things he has seen and childhood fantasy. And his current gap-tooth grin, combined with his lethal left dimple, just slay me.

Yesterday continued to reinforce what I am becoming more and more acutely aware of--time is slipping away so fast and I have been missing too much of life. While I want to find a job, as a friend told me, a job is just something you have to do so you can do the things you want to do. I think I have worried too long missing out on a "career" and making enough money, but I didn't worry I was missing out on so many other things. That's all changing for me.

After picking up the boys, we headed for IKEA, which I have not visited in a long, long time (January? December? I was still employed....) Anyhoodle, I didn't buy much--a few frames for some artwork I have needed to get up, a few kitchen utensils--but I did fall in LURVE with these:

IKEA has these new super cool backlighted glass panels--I think they may call them "wall lights" or "wall lamps." LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

I have been trying to decide where in my house I could put one. I tell you, if it was 14 years ago and we were getting married, I would be furnishing my house at IKEA. It is cool, fun, hip, colorful--everything I like to think I am and want to be.

After IKEA, it was way to hot (104 degrees is what the car temp said!) to go to the pool, so we stayed in and played Wii and Aunt Bunny actually WON--trouncing the boys in bowling but miserably losing in golf and baseball. Then, to dinner (wings! beer! no, not for the boys) and home for movie: Paul Blart, Mall Cop, a perfect caper for adolescent boys full of silly, physical humor and slightly off-color jokes for the adults.

After I left this morning, I did a quick run by Trader Joes--and I should have a few things to share with you from there soon-- and ran a few other errands and then home for chores. So, I better get back to it. Never enough time, but you know what? If the floor doesn't get mopped this week, so be it. I will always have memories made yesterday. Word.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cukes and Cats

Ok, I know this is my THIRD post today, but I may not be back for a few so I want to leave you satiated. First, some garden education:

These, my peeps, are lemon cukes--they look like little lemons but are ACTUALLY cucumbers. Seriously. Or maybe it's better to say they look like lemons on the outside, but on the inside....

They look like cukes. And they taste like cukes. The funny thing is that I didn't even know I BOUGHT these, so I was a little freaked when they started fruiting. In fact, I threw a couple in the woods because I thought they were "stunted" regular cukes. But then, when ALL the fruit started looking that way, I realized what was up. In other news.....

KK is finally warming back up to me after the shaving. Of course, I had to indulge her in a lengthly head rub to get her to show me some love, but still no purring.

Yep. That look says she is still pissed, but she ain't stupid enough to pass up a guilt-induced head rub. Smart kitty.