28 May 2012

My Babies

They are watching Puss in Boots for the second time this weekend and I am feeling blessed to witness them growing up.  They've been in the pool most of the weekend hopefully getting worn out (because their mama sure is!)...

Me and Mine
I am so proud of these babies...so hard to remember how things were before them...

Roast Host

So I mentioned a couple of posts back that we were going to roast a pig this weekend. The first time I had lechon was back in April 1999 at my mom's house in Florida. Scott, my sister and I drove to Pinellas Park to pick up a pig that someone else had roasted for us.

It was definitely a fun occasion...

Trying to get out of the box...
And no part of that pig was wasted.  All family members left with baggies full of pork to enjoy in a another meal or two.

Uncle Pete (RIP) was joking about using the pig's teeth to replace some of his own!

Peace

The first pig roast we did ourselves was back in February 2008 when my mom and sister got back from the Philippines. We were celebrating our birthdays (mine and my sister's) in the typical Filipino fashion, by roasting a pig and inviting a bunch of people over to eat.

PigRoast 046
Emi decided to try a pig's ear...I believe they call it ChicharrĂ³n...
[Note: This was David's first experience with lechon and he wasn't as adventurous as his big sister (no surprises there). He saw the pigs on the pole and opted not to have any pork at all.]

We did the roasting in our fire bowl and had a hard time keeping the temperature consistent and at one point the pig's sutures came apart and emergency surgery was performed. But the pig turned out wonderful and we sent everyone home with lechon after the kids had scavenged parts like the ears, eyeballs and brains. Kids are gross!

The next time we roasted a pig was in April 2009 for Scott's birthday.  We thought that the pig would be done by 2:30 pm, so friends and family came by early to have a drink or two and check out the pig.

Nols and Mark
This was 2 hours AFTER the pig was supposed to be done...
Pork was finally served around 7:45 that evening so you can imagine what shape our guests were in...




So this time the guys got busy prepping the pigs early in the day Friday. They decided to get 2 pigs as they were deemed a little on the small side and they also decided to build a pig pit this time.

Home Made Pig Roaster
My brother-in-law, Gabe, with the piggies.

Getting There
My man having a turn turning...
Shortly after this picture was taken the guys had an emergency situation (as per usual) in that the pole broke in the middle. They had to run to Home Depot to make repairs.

I didn't capture a lot of pictures that day as I had to be at Emi's school (her last day of 4th grade!) to run the Sundae Bar after lunch. And then later I was busy playing host in the back yard. It was a very nice time with my family and friends. Loved seeing the kiddos running around making new friends and catching fireflies!

It was a great start to a summer filled with promises of more fun with family and friends!

27 May 2012

Table Time

Back in November I really wanted to paint that table in my sun room.  Many things have happened in the past 6 months (new job, travel for new job, random kidlet activities) so I finally got around to it on Friday night.

I didn't spend a lot of time on it. I just sanded off most of the paint/finish/residue and then I wiped off the top and applied tung oil.

Sanded
Smoothing the top a bit (and removing some art project residue)

After the tung oil soaked in a bit, we hauled the table back into the sun room where I painted the base a pretty Jamaican Sea Blue. While I like the progress I've made, I don't feel that the table is complete.

Jamaican Sea  paint and Tung Oil
Not Quite Done

I think the base needs to be distressed a bit and the top needs another coat of tung oil...

This was sort of what I was going for...


Maybe I should let the kids knock around a bit with it before I try my hand at distressing it?

24 May 2012

She's Back!!

We got Salty back from the shop Tuesday and she looks so much better than she did last month.

Hey there, Girl!
Welcome Home!
Remember this?

Trampoline on Disco
No way that just happened!

Well she has a brand new windshield, repairs and fresh paint on the hood and roof, new headliner and some sexy raised lettering.

Raised Letters
Rowr!

Hood Damage

This is what she looked like before...

No More Oxidized Spots
And that oxidized spot is now gone! Yay!

Looking forward to tooling around the town on this long Memorial weekend, running errands and hitting some yard sales...

We're hosting another roast at our house (lechon) to start off the weekend (my nephew is graduating high school!). In addition to the fun family celebration time,  I'm hoping for some quality time in the pool and finishing my book (11/22/63).

I hope you guys have a fabulous Memorial Day weekend!

19 May 2012

Poolside Progress

Several months ago we began the task of removing the hot tub.

I Can't Wait
September 2011

Scott removed the last remnants of the hot tub while I was at work yesterday. And today we tamped down dirt, rearranged flagstone and added pebble. It's almost like the hot tub was never there...

What hot tub?
What hot tub?

We are not going to build a cabana this year but we may construct that pergola. Right now we are concentrating on utilizing the space we have without breaking the budget. And I've got flower beds that need some attention... and if things go right tomorrow, I might get that table in the sun room painted...

14 May 2012

Good Eats - Asian Noodle Salad

I would like to totally recommend this salad.

The first time I made this salad a couple of years ago I followed the recipe exactly as Ree had written and it was marvelous! My whole family enjoyed it and the only complaint/critique was in regards to the bits of ginger, so the next time I made this salad (which was fairly soon after), I used my garlic press to make the ginger blend in much more. Success!! It has been a great go-to salad for warmer weather and I love to have this for leftover lunch at work.

See?

This makes my heart sing!

My favorite thing about this salad besides the crunch factor is the sauce which is sublime! Olive oil and sesame oil with soy sauce and lime with ginger and garlic and brown sugar and CILANTRO! Oh my!

And I'm not a huge fan of linguine (unless it comes slathered in garlicky clam sauce or alfredo!) so I substituted with angel hair pasta yesterday.  It made the salad a little lighter but I think the salad would be just fine without pasta.  Or maybe instead of pasta, subbing in spaghetti squash "noodles" or zucchini spirals?

Yum...will have to try that this summer for sure!

I hosted Mother's Day lunch for my mom and sisters (and the guys and the kiddos)  yesterday and I made 2 huge bowls of this stuff - one with jalapenos and one without - and chicken lettuce wraps.

The Asian half of me was very happy yesterday!

13 May 2012

New Order

I feel so extraordinary
Something's got a hold on me
I get this feeling I'm in motion
A sudden sense of destiny *

* from "True Faith" by New Order

We spent a good chunk of the day today working outside and in the sun room. We've been without window treatments in the sun room since we took down the 70's blinds almost 3 years ago. This makes the room unbearable in extreme temperatures. Yesterday I found some blackout drapes at Target (42"x84" panels) for $13/panel so I got enough (4) for the north and south windows and was able to use tension rods ($12 each x 2) to hang the drapes. It has made a tremendous difference already.

Blackout Shades
These khaki shades will do for now.
I got more hardware today for the long west sliding doorway but I was only able to procure 2 more panels because my Target is out of the khaki 42x84 panels. We got the curtain rods hung tonight and will try to procure 4 more panels to call it a day with window/door treatments in that room.

I also moved my seedlings out to the garden today. I hope and pray something survives. I am excited at the prospect of growing my own kabocha squash as it was so difficult to find. And if we can grow some of that wonderful watermelon that we enjoyed last summer...that would be too cool as well. I have more tomatoes growing in planters and I tossed a couple of snap peas into the pot that the Passion Flower used to live in...so we'll see!

Late Start
Fingers Crossed
Something else we moved from the sun room to the great outdoors were the 3 little hens. They are about 6 weeks old  now and Ozzie is definitely letting them know where they are in the order of the coop.

Pick on someone your own size, Ozzie!!

The poor baby chicks have been forced to roost on top of the henhouse...

Pecking Order

Soon they will be big enough to sleep inside with the rest of the chickens. The girls can be mean, especially Einstein, the hen who was previously at the bottom of the pecking order (she's the one who matches Ozzie). She's probably happy to have someone to pick (peck) on these days. It's hard to watch when for no apparent reason Ozzie will charge across the coop and peck down into the middle of the threesome to disperse the babies.

Oh well, I hope you are having a better weekend than they are!!

08 May 2012

Ocho de Mayo

Oh we had a nice Cinco de Mayo, but I didn't get around to blogging about it until today...

The best thing that happened that day is that Ketiesha came over with some goodies!

Chicken with Mole
Chicken with Mole Sauce - my favorite dish of the day!

Flan!
So pretty! And tasty! Best flan I've ever had!
I didn't photograph my contributions because they weren't pretty, but they were devoured - quesadillas, refried beans and chips & salsa. And Scott's mom brought over a Mexican inspired crustless quiche which was also very yummy.  The leftovers hit the spot Sunday morning and Monday for lunch (Thanks, ladies!).

Emi and I did a bit of garage saling Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Emi got a dress, a fajita pan and a pancake pan for $2 total and I got 2 turquoise dresses, some overalls (I'm headed back to the 90's and I don't care who knows!), a cute Banana Republic black skirt, a blue floral blouse, a star tee (I will probably give to Aubri because it may be a bit too tight), a charcoal gray polo shirt (Harold Powell) for Scott and a precious little lamp for just under $10 total for me.

$5 lamp
Isn't this cute?

We got outside with our neighbor's pole saw (Thanks, John) to trim up some of the jungle in our back yard too even though it was so hot and humid Sunday afternoon. I didn't factor in all of the bundling we'd have to do so it took a while to clean up the mess from the mulberry tree and what looked like a poison ivy tree (it isn't).

I also amended the soil in my garden bed with 6 bags of topsoil and now I need to move my mini-garden out there before the weekend.  The hardiest plants in my sunroom are my free plants - kabocha, watermelon, tomatoes and whatever else was in the compost pile. Kabocha was new for me this year and so is Quinoa. I hope I get a good yield this year!

So, did you do anything exciting for Cinco de Mayo? 

03 May 2012

Blue Skies

Never saw the sun shinin' so bright
Never saw things goin' so right
Noticing the days hurryin' by
When you're in love, my how they fly

Can I just say that I am soooo glad that soccer is over?  This week the only activity we had planned after work/school was Emi's choir concert the other night. And it was lovely. Emi got up and scatted while the choir was singing Blue Skies. My sweet little girlie...

13 years ago it was a different story for us...


On May 3, 1999 I was working on test procedures at the National Severe Storms Lab in the "tornado bait" trailer on North Campus. As I was wrapping things up for the day a concerned co-worker asked if I had a safe shelter to go to that afternoon because the weather was ripe for tornadoes. He showed me the radar image and there was a big red circle around Oklahoma. He knew that we didn't have a shelter and we had joked about me having to dive into a ravine for safety. I reassured him that I'd be at my father-in-law's office in the city and that we would probably be safer there than at home. My FIL is an optometrist and his office was located at 119th and Western.

On the way to the city I heard the weather warnings on the radio and I was getting a little panicked. When I arrived we turned on the TV in Scott's mom's office to have a look at the radar and hear what Gary had to say. Gary was telling us that if you weren't under ground, that you might not make it...to get underground now!

Me, my husband and his parents were huddled in a circle and praying because we didn't have time to do anything else. We thought this might be it for us and I fully expected to feel bricks from the building falling on our backs any second. The wind and noise got really loud outside and as the tornado passed (over/around) us, it sounded just like a freight train.  Somehow the building stayed intact and instead of being crushed to death, we found ourselves outside incredulously watching the tornado churning with debris over the nearby neighborhood... where my sister and her family lived. I had such a feeling of horror seeing that...

After the storm there was a eerie silence and darkness. I tried to called my sister immediately and there was no answer. We left my father-in-law's office to head towards their home but first we wanted to see if we could get through to my sister's neighborhood. There were power lines across the streets on Western so we couldn't drive through.  We were outside at Scott's parents house trying to get in touch with my sister and listening to the helicopters flying overhead. I imagined that this was what it might be like in the middle of a war at night.

We got a hold of my sister finally and after we confirmed that everyone we knew in the area was safe, we took the back way home (I-44) to Norman and headed straight to the Red Cross. We felt so helpless but we wanted to help so we gave blood. And then we went home (way out in the country by the lake back then) and rested. We got up early the next morning to head up to my sister's neighborhood and I remember it was pouring rain so hard that it was difficult to see. The National Guard turned us away and my sister's neighborhood was cordoned off to outsiders.

My sister's church was in a huge metal ball across the street from its original location. I took off work the next day to help clean up debris on her church property and I remember the mud and the mess and the smell.  No one tells you about the smells after an F5 tornado (or any tornado) hits. Even though there were no human casualties in the vicinity of her church, there were plenty of animal casualties and the smell of death was thick in the air. I heard they found a dead horse in the West Moore High parking lot after the storm.

My mom called from Florida a few days after the tornado after she'd seen the images of the truck wrapped around the tree on TV (and after she'd already confirmed we were safe) just to make sure we were really ok...again.

I feel very fortunate to have made it through such a historical meterological event unscathed (and another smaller event partially scathed). Did I ever mention that I survived Hurricane Camille?

Here's hoping for nothing but blue skies for a while...