Monday, July 29, 2013

Homemade Lemonade

67.  make lemonade from scratch (7/29/13)

As a kid, I can remember my mother bringing out a bottle of Minute Maid lemon juice at dinner time, to put on broccoli with a little butter.  I'd read the back of it, and there would always be a recipe for lemonade.  Always intrigued me, but I never did it.

Brian and I love fresh lemonade, but the closest thing we come to is Newman's Own.  And let's face it, Newman's Own extra virgin lemonade is pretty awesome stuff.  Still, I thought that someday, someday I'd like to make my own.

Well, tonight was the night.  I had purchased 12 lemons at the grocery store last week for that purpose last week, and I just wasn't going to let $6.00 worth of lemons go bad!

The Lemons.
I've always thought that cobalt blue and yellow are a cheery combination.  As is navy blue and yellow.

The Helpers
These two are always willing to lend a hand in the kitchen.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook in hand, we moved to turn these into drink!

They were a little harder to juice than I realized....but we got the job done.  While we were juicing, the simple syrup boiled on the stove.  After that cooled for a bit, we mixed it with the lemon juice.

It's important to note:  this just makes lemonade base.  If you drink this straight, you'll pucker for sure.   Equal parts base and water is key.  I made sure to tell Hubby that before he just grabbed the pitcher in the fridge and helped himself to a cold cup of base.  (bleeecchhhh)

First Tall Glass
One sip and it told me two things:  1, it needed more sugar.  and 2.  sooooo fresh!

Look at's pale and not at all yellow.  That tells you how much artificial coloring is added to lemonade mixes.  I'm not afraid of some artificial certainly has its place.  But lemonade mix just doesn't taste like this.  Hubby said it tasted like summer.  And it does!

So....was it worth it to make my own?  I'd say yes.  I certainly won't be doing it like this all the time.  But it makes for a happy treat.  And now, I want to make limeade.  I love fresh limes!
Cross-posted at The Blue Plate Special, my food blog.  Come and Visit!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bummer. stubborn streak in my twenties has caught up with me again.

In 1997, a friend came to visit me at college.  She spent the night at the dorms and we were driving to our hometown the next day.  It was warm at the beginning of March, and the ground had thawed.  Later on it froze again and as I was walking out to my car that morning, I put my foot in a hole that had frozen and fell.  It was one hell of a nasty sprain, and I can still remember the pain!  Still, I drove the 65 minutes home and dropped my friend off at her house two miles away.  When I got home, it had swollen to the size of a softball.  My mom took one look at it and said that we HAD to go to the ER.  A few hours later I had an air cast, crutches and a stern "Keep icing it and take good care of it" from the doctor.

It was a New England winter, and classes weren't exactly close to my dorm.  And after a whole, the crutches got old and I said "Oh hell, I'm better off without these."  And I walked everywhere, ignoring the doc.

I'd like to find my 20-year old self and smack her for being stupid.  I know that we all feel like that, like we're INVINCIBLE when we're young.  But if I had listened, I wouldn't have had my ankle roll in my office today.  I was walking across the room, simply walking.  I didn't trip or anything.  And BOOM!  I heard a little "crack" and instantly knew I was in trouble.  I had a resident in the office at the time and my cry of "AAhhh!"   kind of freaked her out.  I did make it back to my desk, and someone else came running to see if I was all right.  And brought me a bag of ice.  I was thankful for people around today, because working alone has its perils.

I had already taken the afternoon off, to contend with some house business on the old place.  But Brian insisted on taking me to the minute clinic, where they gave me an x-ray and determined that it's not broken.  However, they did say that I have an old fracture that's calcified on its own.  So I guess I can no longer say that I've never broken a bone.  Now I've got a clunky air cast, a shuffle around the house and lots of ice and ibuprofen.  And a wonderful husband who also is a good nurse.   Hope this heals quickly.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What Summer Should Be

This is what summer should look like:

Friday:  both of us having the day off.  Well, Hubby had the day off because he had been sick the day before.  But still....all of us home together is nice no matter what the reason.

Will had a friend over, and we filled up an inflated pool in the backyard.  I say "filled up" but really, what I mean is that the kids let an inch or two get in the pool before starting a water fight.  And then I joined in and it was FUN!  I simply cannot resist aiming a hose at squealing, giggly kids.    Afterwards it was ice cream sandwiches and popsicles all around.  And then I took all three boys to the movies to see "Turbo."

And then last night a bunch of my knitty friends came to see the house!  Lots of snacks, knitting and laughs.

Saturday:  a trip to the library with the boys.  We brought home a huge bag of books.  Will's working on a little reading program that I made up, if he reads 30 books he'll get a prize.  Prize is to-be-determined.

Later on, we're taking them to an inflatable arena, and then out for frozen yogurt.  Another great day!

Tomorrow's going to be full of not-exciting stuff.  Like laundry, and cleaning and getting ready for the week ahead.  But you've got to have a bit of that to keep the rest of the week going.  Here's to summer days, and summer nights too!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Generation Gap

One of the quickest ways to make a parent feel old?  Questions like this one:  "Mom?  What's a phone booth?"

 I feel positively ancient, trying to explain that once upon a time, if someone wanted to make or receive a phone call, they had to stay HOME.  There was no carrying a phone with you.  And....if they weren't home, they missed the call.  Period.

What's something your kid said or did that made you feel old?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Blank Canvas

OK, we've been living in the new house for three weeks.  And it's really feeling like home, even to Joey.  Just this morning he let us know that he loves it here by lying on the kitchen mat and snuggling against the cabinets.  This is his way of "settling in" and accepting.  That, and he isn't Velcro Dog anymore.  :)

So now that we've been here for just a little bit of time, I'm starting to get decorating ideas.  My decorating theme in the last house....oh who the hell am I kidding.  There was no theme.  There was a couple of framed pictures, some things thrown around and clutter and chaos.  So if you consider that a theme, I was rockin' it.  Since we're going to be living here for quite some time, I want to take the time to decorate and make it feel like it reflects us and our taste.  But honestly, I'm not sure what "our taste" is.  I guess I will find that out along the way, it's kind of an adventure.  And thanks to Pinterest, a very fun one at at!

The first room to be done will be the boys' bathroom.  This one will be the easiest, since it's just paint for the most part.  Our realtor kept referring to this house as "the girl house."  It definitely has a very feminine touch:  pink master bedroom, cherry wallpaper in the family room, etc."  The bathroom for the boys is painted lilac.  With a fluffy white curtain on the window and the switchplates have flowers and makeup brushes on them.  Doesn't get "girlier" than that, I guess.  If they liked it, we'd keep it.  But since they don't, we're getting rid of it.

This is not a boys' bathroom.  Clearly not.  So it will be the first one to work on.  I'm thinking that with the green tile floor (which I'm not crazy about but not replacing) that green will be a theme.  Nothing too juvenile either, or licensed characters because the kids' tastes vary daily.  Sean loves Cars right now, and Will's really into legos.  And although they both love penguins and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I don't want to do either one as a theme.

Here's our pink bedroom!  (Complete with messed-up blinds that Joey attacked when he got spooked by the neighbor mowing our lawn.)  We will be purchasing new bedroom furniture soon and I am thinking that a light turquoise color in the walls would be really pretty.  Brian loves the idea of an accent wall behind the bed, like we have already.  Of course, both of us want this pink-striped-and-flowers wallpaper GONE.  That's as far as we've gotten though.

And our master bathroom.....very boring, quite blah.  No idea what colors yet, but the woodwork will (hopefully) be done over in white to match the beadboard, and this countertop is going.  Along with the faucet....that's definitely going too.

No hurry, the adventure is just beginning.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Our house has a wooded area behind it, and after that is an on-ramp to the MassPike.  I don't notice it much during the day, but can hear trucks on it at night.  It's taken some getting used to but I'll get there.   Despite the proximity of the highway, there's plenty of birds sing-songing in the trees and Brian even saw a hummingbird this weekend on the deck.  

Brian and I were each outside alone with the dog at one point today, and this guy was in the backyard, munching on plants.  He was actually eating dinner while we were eating dinner, and wasn't afraid when I came out to snap his pic.  I don't know if it's the highway or what, this bunny wasn't skittish.

And look!  bookends:

Luckily, Joey didn't notice the bunnies.  I don't know how...I think that he smelled them but didn't see them as they blended in well with the scenery.  Hopefully they'll continue to be crafty and we can be vigilant!

Monday, July 1, 2013


The weekend brought the emptying of our storage unit on Saturday, and with that, MY YARN!!!  

I put it in storage back in April, so when I started looking at the bins, it was kind of like shopping again.  Well honestly, I probably do have enough yarn to open a small yarn shop.  And I'm sure that my husband thinks that when he sees it (but is nice enough to keep it to himself.  We accept each other's "crazy" around here:  he deals with the yarn and I'm cool with the yelling at the TV when the Philadelphia Flyers are on.)  So anyway, you've heard of a "yarn diet" where a fiber enthusiast (I say this so I don't tick off the crocheters) insists that they're going to only knit down their stash?  I'm on overload, or perhaps a "yarn binge," if you will.    So many ideas, so many projects!  And I want to start them all at the same time!

On my needles:

A pair of gorgeous blue socks for me.  In fact, one of them is almost finished but I kind of got sick of looking at it so I put it in the "hibernating" pile.

A sweater for my niece's birthday in November.  It's proving to be a quick knit.  However, even the quickest knit comes to a grinding halt when you need to change needle sizes and don't have the one that you need on-hand.  (I know, but it happens)  So I ordered it yesterday and will probably see it in about a week.  Augh!

Simple baby blanket for charity.  I've always got one of these going, just something in garter stitch with an eyelet edge.  There's also a few baby hats for the December box for Stitches from the Heart.

I've printed out the pattern for Brian's sweater, and it's going to take some reading/measuring/swatching.

And who knows....the startitis is pretty bad right now and I might just give in on casting on something else.  Knit all the things!!!