Friday, August 28, 2009

August Synopsis

It's been a while since we had a good post, so here's the catch-up post:

We kicked off the month with several veterinary visits in a few days. Dr. Regina visited Mattie for yet another round of treatments for her ear infections and allergy issues, and Cooper for a slightly scarier procedure - a tumor removal from his abdomen. While Ashley had a nervous week in anticipation of her "baby boy" going under the knife, Cooper eagerly anticipated the surgery and tooth-cleaning for his reward. I'm pretty sure that this is the only house that cooks their tiny black dog a rare strip steak after a doctor's visit. As you can see, he was quite excited about it. He also got to have a "doggie cigar" and a glass of scotch with that, but Arnold made us take that photo down since he's a bit of a teetotaler.

Casey's taken several trips to South Carolina for work, which resulted in a few good photos. Here's one from Clemson's Death Valley - obviously this summer before the start of football season. Though the picture doesn't show it, this stadium seems massive to be located in the middle of campus (as opposed to Carter-Finley situated out at the fairgrounds). Not too shabby of a facility, although we still remain quite partial to the ole' State College grounds.

Here's a few other photos just for fun. See if you can guess where they were taken from:

In other news, our crazy neighbor continues to mow our grass - and"mowing" is a stretch - cutting the lawn at several different heights, mowing some areas and forgetting others, and completely ignoring our requests to let us take care of our own landscaping.

Speaking of which, our quite fertile backyard produced several volunteers this summer, most notably five cherry tomato plants and several types of basil. During July and August, we were averaging about four pints of small tomatoes per week, with about another two pints rotting on the vine! This was a nice surprise, given that our intentionally cultivated larger varieties produced hardly anything, and our planter-box herb garden was supplemented nicely. Needless to say, we ran out of ideas for things to do with cherry tomatoes, and resorted to giving away a lot of the bumper crop.

Joe and Toni joined us for the NC Beer, Bourbon, and Barbecue festival on August 15th - it was a pretty fun event, although mixing all three of those in the dog days' sunshine resulted in just a touch of seasonal discomfort. I hope the event planners can move it back a month or so in the coming years. Sweating and "glowing" aside, it was a fun time, and we even got some small commemorative glasses.

The master bath is coming along, and we'll have a complete wrap-up post and picture gallery once it's finally finished. We'll also post about our Labor Day camping trip to Mt. Pisgah, and in a week or so, expect a report of our odyssey to our nation's capital to visit some of the clan currently residing in that area!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Baking Illustrated Challange... is it even possible?

So, this month's bookclub book was Julie and Julia. Basically, (for those who haven't read it or seen the movie) this lady, Julie Powell, dedicates a year of her life to cooking all 524 recipes in Juilia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Since I'm hosting bookclub this month at our home, I've been trying to get my hands on an used copy of the book to make it a 'theme night'. So far, no luck; but that's where Google is very helpful. I'll post pictures and an update on what I end up cooking (BTW: Bookclub isn't until August 26, so I have a little time to plan)

It got me thinking... maybe I should attempt to bake my way through Cook's Illustrated: Baking Encyclopedia. Is this crazy or even possible? We'll have to have volunteers from our friends, neighbors (well, maybe not them) and homeless people to help eat it all, that's for sure.

Anyway, we've both started new books this past week (well, I finished mine two nights ago). Casey is reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 6 got him hooked) and The Last Fish Tale by Mark Kurlansky. I was reading The Lovely Bones. It was good, a little wierd, but had a really interesting take on what Heaven will be like. I won't spoil it for those who want to read; but I do recommend it.

Also, this weekend is going to be awesome. Daddy and Toni are coming to Raleigh to attend the NC Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival with us. 40 types of bourbon, 60 types of beer and tons of BBQ. Could it get any better? We'll post pictures and a few thoughts on Sunday.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Aunt Sue!

Just a quick note to say "Happy Birthday" to my dear Aunt Sue. Sorry we're so slack and can't remember to call but we'll put the card in the mail this week!! We love you!