Balloon, rain, and cute offspring

I love this picture of my son Virginia kindly posted on her fabulous blog, Great Moments in Parenting. On a rainy summer morning after his dental appointment, we stopped into the local grocery store where he insisted on bringing his balloon and looking at the colored water display in the store’s cafe.

Please forgive the long silence. I took a break from furniture for awhile and got to play my violin a lot more this year. I’m almost finished with a chair I found in someone’s driveway trash and will find the time and energy to post about that. After that, a new bed for my boy and some personal things behind that.

Til then readers, *mwah*.

 

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So this doesn’t have anything to do with furniture, but as someone with a music degree, I laughed at the blogger’s observations of and experiences with classical musicians. I freely admit we’re a breed of our own.

Café Casey

 

I wanted to be a professional musician, but I did not have the chops. So I began my evil plan.

I had two choices for college. One was an Ivy League college that I didn’t exactly like and, as it turned out, didn’t exactly like me.  The second was the University of Rochester in upstate New York. It was filled with friendly people who let me stay with them for a weekend and drink–much better marketing.  And this school just so happened to have a music school attached to it—the Eastman School of Music.  It was a postern of fate.

Had I told anyone—a single soul—about my plan to attend the Eastman School of Music they’d have committed me on the spot.  Eastman was one of the Big Three. It required some element of musical preparation or training. But I was going to take it completely off…

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Little almond milk update

Once again, here is Blendtec’s almond milk recipe with my own modifications:

3/4 c. raw almonds

3 1/4 c water

1T sugar (I use organic evaporated cane juice)

dash salt

splash of vanilla

Throw in the almonds and blend at speed 10 for 30 seconds. Stir up the grounds with a spoon and pulse for 10 seconds as needed to get a pasty consistency, usually just once for me. Add in the rest of the ingredients and hit the “Whole Juice” button.

My Blendtec Total Blender broke about a month ago as I was making almond milk. Something clunked loudly as I was pulsing, then rattled when I picked up the base to see if it was ok. We had to send it in for repair and went without it for 3 weeks. First world problems, I know.

We also use it to make green smoothies every day with spinach, kale, and fruit, and felt crummy the whole time without them – tired, lethargic, and grouchy.

The point of all that is to say that we went with store brought almond milk, the unsweetened vanilla flavor. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t come close at all to fresh almond milk when we got our beloved blender back. There’s just no comparison.

On other things, I was straining the grounds from the milk while my 3 year old little boy watched me. As I scraped the grounds into a container he said, “Bird poop.” On the menu for next week: bird poop brownies.

Next up: an aqua vanity and more drawers used to hold liquids! Stop using your drawers for liquid storage, people! I’ll even add “please.”

almond grounds blendtec almond milk

“Bird poop.”

Wear that potato sack, and wear it proud

Image

Best scene ever. Husband’s timing is genius.

don't climb the giraffe zoo kids. @Coffee Under The Umbrella

This zoo clearly understands children

So this wraps up my unintended and unofficial series about a few Texans in the midwest. The image below is the current menu at the Grand Cafe, where we took my husband’s grandmother for lunch in her hometown of a small town in Iowa, where anyone who didn’t have blond hair and blue eyes was looked up and down questioningly generations ago (yeah, I would’ve been kind of screwed). It’s an adorable little restaurant on Main Street with its walls covered in kitsch and newspaper clippings of locals. Examples follow.

small town Iowa cafe menu

No, this was not 30 years ago, this was 2 weeks ago

Because all Norwegians run with their hands in their pockets. My husband sure does! Gets a laugh outta me every time we see one of those signs in central Texas – and can he run with those hands in his pockets!

Nordic Crossing sign

The Norwegians are coming! The Norwegians are coming!

I don’t think they actually had Pepsi.

Old Pepsi Sign

Old Pepsi Sign

Be beautiful being you, just in a sack. You’ll look like a sack and feel like a sack, because you are in a sack. You’ll be charm personified. Plus I hear the French look is hot now.

potato sack

What real women do.

Apropos.

Tex license plate in Iowa

They were expecting us

Upon our return home, we unpacked to find a little note from the TSA explaining how badly they felt for breaking our lock.

broken suitcase lock by TSA

Hugs and kisses, the TSA

Thanks TSA! I feel incredibly safe with you breaking my locks now.

Gender and Betty Crocker (Or, This is not a political post)

So we’re a couple of 30-somethings and are pretty modern in I guess most respects. My husband is very supportive of me and contributes to the daily grind of childcare and most household duties. I really have no complaints about that.

My mother-in-law told me a story about my father-in-law, who died in 1986. They were in the kitchen together, drying dishes. A knock came at the door and FIL immediately threw the dish towel to MIL and told her, “Don’t let anybody know I was helping you.”

She also told me stories of how she would look out the window as he was returning home from his job as a meat cutter to see him accompanied by a coworker or two. On entering the house, he announced that Mr. Coworker was having dinner with the family. This is not how my family operates.

So this week, I rooted through her cookbooks and stumbled onto this glorious finding, Betty Crocker’s 1961 edition of her cookbook. It provided me with an evening of entertainment and thanking God for not putting me here on this earth in the 1960s when gender roles were much more categorized. Because you all know how much I love my power saws. Did I mention my husband has a vast collection of essential oils?

Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook 1961

Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cookbook 1961 in Technicolor!

So here is a quick tour for your enjoyment.

Betty Crocker says Refresh Your Spirits before you cook.

Not those kinds of spirits!

Betty Crocker kitchen

Stepford Wives working in the test kitchen

Let the Family Help You!

Let the Family Help You! Specifically, not your husband. And be sure to wear comfortable clothes, like your pearls and a dress.

Random picture

A random picture of a cherub to help you learn the first 2 letters of the alphabet.

reduce recipes

Only if you are good at math. Don’t even bother otherwise. “Math is hard!” says Barbie.

For those home-ec emergencies

For those home-ec emergencies. Mine is, “Order pizza for you two and I’ll see you when I get back from Olive Garden.”

How to freeze food.

How to freeze food. If you’re not an Eskimo and don’t live near a frozen body of water, it’s a lot more complicated, so tough.

A $.02 Lemonade Stand

Back in the day when lemonade was spelled with an “i” and cost only $.02.

(PS – I’m sure the recipes were fabulous. I’m dying to try the stuffed beef heart!)