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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Exploding Grill

Ok, the grill didn't really explode.  But Sisi thought it would be a catchy title.   And we did have a grill snafu that could have exploded.  So...

At the end of last season the grill didn't work right.  I put it away in the shed, and then because sometimes when you let things rest like that they fix themselves (cameras, alarm clocks, fighting children, for example) I tried again this spring to use the grill.  It still didn't work.

The grill was dirty.  The grill was frighteningly coated inside with a thick layer of whatever coats the inside of a well-used grill with a neglectful owner.  Tar?  Ash and grease?  (I remember my mom used to use cigarette ashes and butter to get rid of stains on wood furniture.)  I thought perhaps if I cleaned the grill it would work right.

So I went to The Jewel and bought some stuff called Goo Gone!  I sprayed and scrubbed (I also bought a box of brillo pads) and sprayed and scrubbed.  I disconnected the tank to clean that area and noticed...the tank was very light.  Probably empty. 

Rats!  I thought to myself.  I didn't really need to do all this cleaning. 

But, I think, yes, I really really did.

Anyway we connected the new tank and lit the burners and the grill seemed to work. 

We fired it up at dinner time (I love saying "fired up!") and placed the brats on the grill, and then...

Flames began to shoot out the front of the grill frame.


Today I will be buying a new hose to connect the tank to the burners.  So that we don't have an exploding grill firework display for Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Quiz Time

Here is a quiz:
It's not easy being...

1.  Green,
2.  A lazy blogger, or
3.  A Cubs fan.

Ok, i'm not green so I can't say.  But I am a lazy blogger and that's easy.  The correct answer, then, must be....A Cubs Fan. 

To wit:

Tie game, bottom of the ninth, 2 outs bases loaded.  Cubs need one out...a strike out, a force play at any base, a pop up...any old kind of out will do.  Then we can go to the 10th inning for a chance to win. 

Did I mention we had lost 10 games In a Row?

Three balls, two strikes, full count...and the Cubs pitcher, a good relief pitcher, (usually)...hits the batter. 

Game Over.

Did I mention that makes 11 games lost In A Row?

Worst record in major league baseball, (well, tied with the Minnesota Twins that is.)

New Quiz:

It's not easy being...

1. A Minnesota Twins fan?
2. A....nevermind.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gardening without Garbanzos

That's right, not growing these:

Today I made my traditional annual nursery shopping trip to Growing Grounds and Casey's.  (Yes I went to the Kiwanis Mother's Day Plant Sale yesterday but apparently the Kirk women bought all the good stuff on Friday!)  I told every clerk that I was buying my own Mother's Day gift but the REAL gift  is to go shopping all by myself.  Thank you to The Player who mowed the grass AND kept the kids home and safe and happy while I shopped all by myself!

I bought:

2 tomato plants
1 hibiscus plant with red blossoms

verbena (purplish and white)

some red star-shaped flower I can't name
some purplish bushy flower I can't name
rosemary (smells so good!)

cilantro seeds
1 strawberry plant
1 spiderwort plant

1 delphinium plant

Sisi and I planted much of the afternoon.  After she performed The Beanie Baby Show...with acts by Beanie Babies that were (sorry Sisi...) much less impressive than her theater design.  The curtain (made of kleenex) lifted impressively with yarn attached to corners of the curtain that made it rise...quite professionally!

We planted and planted and planted.  A wonderful mother-daughter afternoon.  And she also made herself a bow-and-arrow out of shoestring, branches and feathers. (Inspired by The Hunger Games, I'm guessing.)

Already coming up in the garden from previous gardening endeavors:
green beans
snap peas
nasturtiums (spicy edible flowers, yum!)

AND...the perennials that are in full swing this year are the bleeding hearts, Sweet Williams (most impressive blooms right now!), peonies, and creeping phlox.

I'm tooting my own horn!  As a gardener.  Cause no one here seemed very impressed with my efforts.  Just wait until the veggies start pouring in ...  I'll remember who was naughty and who was nice about the garden back in May....bwah hah hah!  (If you watched the new Muppet movie you will think to yourself "maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh!)  (If you haven't watched the new Muppet movie run out to rent it right...now...bwah hah ha!)

Of course there is that derned hydrangea that never blooms... 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Smarter than a Fifth Grader, Older than Buckwheat, Bigger than the Moon

This morning Sisi used the word "rue."  J-dude didn't know what it meant.  She told him, then I told her "you are smarter than a 5th grader!"  Which J-dude didn't like too much.  Then we compared heights AGAIN and Sisi measured taller than J-dude AGAIN.  Which J-dude didn't like too much. 

He still went along on the shopping trip for her birthday gift:  roller blades, AND pads for all joints and bony places.  He also picked out a couple small gifts for her himself the other day when she wasn't around.  So her big day, #10, should be a good one.  Cake tomorrow.  Gifts on Monday, the actual big day!

While we were hanging around this morning I thumbed through the WGLT Guide and saw that the featured act in this years Free Summer Concert sponsored by WGLT will include Buckwheat Zydeco! 

Me:  Wow!  Buckwheat Zydeco! 
Kids:  Who is that?
The Player:  Is he even still alive?
Me:  Let's check on the internet.  It could be a trick!

Me:  Yes, still alive and...younger than you.

I hope I don't come to rue that statement.

On to other news:  The moon tonight will be bigger than the moon.  ?  I don't understand but I guess I'm not smarter than a fifth grader!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Muddling Through

After the NCC Steering Committee meeting last night some of us headed out to the Medici to converse on important topics such as

1.  Is iCarly (a show for pre-preteenagers) a violent show or is it touching and funny in spite of the character Samantha's propensity to push Freddy around?

2.  Did one SC member's doctor  tell him to "get a hot mama and be cheerful" or "you've got a heart murmur so be careful"?

3.  What drinks other than a mojito require "muddling" of mint?  (Answer...the mint julep of course, coming into it's prime this weekend with the running of the Kentucky Derby!)

I confess I did not know that mint had to be muddled for these drinks.  I did not know muddling was something other than what I feel I am doing some days when I can't get anything finished.  I did not know that there is a kitchen utensil called a muddler.  I probably have one in the back of my scary utensil drawer.  Yes, the drawer that may well have a snapping turtle or gecko living in it for all I know.

So, I looked up muddlers on Wikipedia.

And I found there some other drinks, from South America, that require muddling.  One is from Brazil and called "caipirinha" which means "little hillbilly" in Portuguese.  Gotta love that!  It's made with a spirit called cachaca plus sugar and lime.  No mint.  The sugar and lime get muddled.

Wait!  The Little Hillbilly is the "national cocktail of Brazil."  I didn't know countries had national cocktails!  Excuse me...

Ok, not all countries seem to have them.  So much for the plan to muddle my way around the world tasting national cocktails.  But Thailand has one called The Siam Sunray made with "a shot of vodka, coconut liqueur, a dash of chili pepper and sugar, lime juice, a few slivers of lemongrass and ginger, with the whole mixture shaken then strained into a glass with ice and soda water." (thank you Wikipedia for the recipe.)

Perhaps an International National Cocktail Party is in order.  Then we could muddle around on the deck and celebrate the following May 6th holidays:  National Beverage Day, Tourist Appreciation Day, and No Diet Day!

And in case you get sick from mixing your muddled drinks or muddling your mixed drinks, it's also National Nurses Day!