Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Believe in Santa Claus

If you're 5 years old what movie to you pack when you are going on summer vacation?
Why, a Christmas movie of course!
What is a hot day by the beach without a good ol' wintertime classic?!??
The Year Without A Santa Claus


I am sure all of you know the Heat Miser/Cold Miser songs.
I'm too much...da doo do do...

Who doesn't tear up when they hear this song?

Oh, Ignatius, you're not too old for Santa Claus.

Just believe in Santa Claus

Like you believe in love

Just believe in Santa Claus

And everything he does

Wipe that question from your mind

Yes, he does exist!

Just like love you knows he's there

Waiting to be missed

Just like love I know he's there

Waiting to be be missed

Nothing like cooling down on a hot summer day with a classic Christmas movie.
Gotta love those kids!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Easy Chicken

We eat a lot of chicken 'round these parts. It's so easy and versatile that it ends up in so many of our meals. Whenever I sit down to plan the menu for the week it will easily have 5 days of chicken dinners in it. And then I review the menu and say, 'okay girlie let's think of some non-chicken meals'. Besides the obvious and regular pasta dishes I really need to seriously think about non-chicken dinners. I usually come up with a few, and then I get a headache so I just throw some chicken in the oven and say 'bob's yer uncle!'

Sad, but true.

So, in honor of my short supply of dinner ideas of the top of my head (and Uncle Bob) I bring you 'Easy Chicken'.

Gosh I wish this thing had an echo button. That's how you've got to say it:
EASY CHICKEN...CHICKEN...CHICKen...really loud with a slight echo...sounds good, eh?

Anyhoo, here's what I do when I do not feel like scouring all my countertops and sink because I am afraid of someone coming into my kitchen with a black light and showing me that I have salmonella all over everything: phew! that was a mouthful

I pour a little olive oil into the baking dish and sprinkle a little salt and pepper in there too. I swirl it around in the dish and then put the chicken in the dish and rub the chicken with the oil on both sides.
Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

This is where my daughter comes in and says, 'oh, I love seeing raw meat the same as what lions and tigers eat...' She's a nut that one...

Speaking of lemon squeezy I had one handy so I squeezed some lemon juice on top of the chicken and then put a slice of lemon on each piece.
I cover the dish with foil and then stick it in the oven. Depending on the amount of chicken you have cooking times will vary, but I did these 3 breast for 20 mins and then uncovered for about an additional 10 minutes.

I usually cut a piece in the middle just to make sure there is no pink.
This photo cracks me up and I just had to share. Doesn't it look like a face? Poor guy lying on the side of his face with a lemon for an ear!

Sorry, hope you don't think I'm too weird...please, come back!!

This is so easy to do when you are running back and forth to soccer practice and the barn and dentist appointments and eye appointments and....well, you get the idea...

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Heart Dogs

I have a friend. Her name is Christine. We were friends in high school and she could stuff a whole cupcake in her mouth.

This is why it is so important to stay in school, kids. How else would you learn which of your friends could stuff a whole cupcake in her mouth?!??
Drop-outs don't learn this kind of stuff.

Every year, on her birthday, we would sit in the cafeteria and sing the requisite song and then Christine would proceed to stuff a whole cupcake in her mouth. We were very dignified young ladies. The first time she did it we all gasped. The second time she did it, we cheered! And thus cemented the high school tradition of trying to stuff a whole cupcake in your mouth (a la Christine) on your birthday!!

She was the only one who could ever successfully do it.
Hip Hip Hooray!!

Christine is also a wonderful artist.
You're either born with it, or you're not.
I was not.
Christine was.
A gift indeed. The gift that keeps on giving.
I wish I had been blessed with that gift, but enough about me, let's talk about Christine.
She started her own business. A pet portrait business. Guess what she named it?

Isn't that a great name?
She has painted other species of pets, but dogs are her main focus it seems. Which is a good thing because she is really good at it.
(and I wish I was, but enough about me...geez!!)

Some time last year Christine came up with an idea she entitled '30 in 30' which roughly meant she was going to sketch (just sketch) a dog every day for 3o days. 30 different dogs in 30 straight days. Hence, 30 in 30. Once those 30 days passed she was then going to spend a week on each sketch--turning it into a portrait of the dog (she mostly does oil paintings, but she was going to do a few different mediums with this project). This would take 30 weeks.

I just thought...maybe she should have called it '30 in 30 in 30'. I'll have to discuss this with her at a later date, and probably ask for a cut of the's only fair! No? oh... hmm...what was I saying...oh yes..30 in 30 (in 30...ahem).

This was quite an undertaking. Even for an accomplished artiste. So, to help a sister out I sent her all the photos I had of dogs. I had quite a few because most of my family members and neighbours have dogs and I like to take photographs.
So she is really lucky to know me.
Oh, ahem, sorry, I don't know where that came from. Quite rude if you ask me. humph!

Christine ended up choosing about 5 dogs out of the million photos that I sent her.
One I gave to my darling friend, DeeDee. It was a portrait of her dog, Penny, whom we all refer to as 'the barn dog'. This dog has the best life. Penny went from the pound to a 70 acre horse farm in the blink of an eye. I can't wait to read her memoir.
Another was of my sister's late, great dog, Ceili. Ceili had passed away the previous year, so when I presented this portrait to my sister at Christmastime there were tears. We all still miss Ceili. 16 years of memories that will never be forgotten.

AND...can you tell I saved the best for last?? Oh boy oh boy...she even chose my big, hairy, slobbery St. Bernard. My darling Hoss. I just got the painting from her today. She did a wonderful job (as she always does). I am still searching for the right place to hang it. Right now it is perched atop the piano (and looks quite good there), but I'll let you know where I put it once I decide.

Every time I look at the beautiful painting of Hoss I will think of Christine. And then I will remember how she could stuff a whole cupcake in her mouth. And then I will think how she is so lucky to have such a wonderful talent. And my grandchildren will tell their grandchildren that 'this here painting was painted by a girl that could stuff a whole cupcake in her mouth! That's what Granny always said (but she was always a few cards short of a deck).'

Art. It truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Hoss likes it too.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This was a day for...

Today's blog was inspired by this one. However, since I am writing this at the end of the day it will just be a bit different and probably not as eloquent.

Thanks for the inspiration, FPFG!

Today was a day for sunscreen and bathing suits

Reading by the pool

Kiwis and blueberries

Splishes and splashes

Jumps and flips

Crossword and Sudoku puzzles

Watching little feet dance across the floor

Tumbles and backflips and cartwheels

Picking out the best dress in which to twirl.
Twirl factor of a dress is very important!

Listening to music

Watching little fingers create original music as they move over ivory keys

Movies and snuggling

And sweet dreams