Saturday, November 5, 2011

remember, remember the fifth of november

Remember, Remember 
The Fifth of November
Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
We see no Reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be Forgot.

Friday, October 14, 2011

seeing double?

I came home tonight and the October issue of Bazaar was sitting on my counter with this picture of Lady Gaga on it...

Is it sad that the first thing that crossed my mind is, without makeup, how much she looks like Edgar Winter circa 1972??

Am I the only one who sees it?? (I know I'm not because independent of me saying anything, Countrymouse said the same thing! Either we are both old as dirt or we really do think the same... or both.)

One last time... (and I'll make it easy for you...)


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

sweet nothings

I've been trying to make friends with the camera on my cell phone.  Most of the photos are blurry or just plain bad, but I kinda like this one I recently took when Countrymouse and I stepped out to one of our local places for happy hour. Buy one-get one free drinks and half price oysters... whoo whoo. (This was taken using the Instagram app for iPhone.  It's a lot of fun.)

I can't quite remember what he was saying when I snapped it but I do remember it was totally inappropriate!  (I love that man.) 

Mignon McLaughlin said,    

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."

I wake up every morning thankful for him and look forward to the adventure the day will bring. Life is good.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

knowing when it's time to leave

REM announced yesterday that after 30+ years together, the band has "broken-up".  Michael Stipe had this to say, 
“A wise man once said—‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it. I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way. We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”
I know, I know, probably not the biggest news of your day. (I think more people were talking about the new Facebook layout!) Yet, it's still a strange notion, for me at least.  I clearly remember listening to REM for the first time.  I was not quite 20 years old. My friend Martin had bought their album Murmur (yes, album... as in vinyl) and put it on a cassette tape for me. I almost wore that tape out.

I felt as if I was listening to musical poetry... arguably obscure, but beautiful nonetheless.  After listening to years of synthpop and new wave music, REM's quiet, introspective sound was exhilarating. They quickly became my favorite group and have remained one ever since.

I only got to see them play live once.  It was early on, probably 1986 or 1987, in a small art deco theater in Cleveland.  I sat the whole evening mesmerized.  (Countrymouse was less than impressed with the show. Stipe still had some issues (shyness? agoraphobia?) when performing then and had his back to the audience most of the evening.)  I remember "Superman" being one of the highlights of the evening.

To mark this end of a musical era, I offer two songs.  The first, "Radio Free Europe"... the song that started it all...the first track off their first full-length album, Murmur (as well as their first single).  This video also marks their first television performance.

The second, "Find the River", their final track off what is generally considered to be their greatest work, Automatic For the People.  A fitting song to say goodbye to a group of musicians that have been with me throughout my entire adult life.

Me, my thoughts are flower strewn
Ocean storm, bayberry moon
I have got to leave to find my way
Watch the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes
Nothing is going my way

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

tunes for tuesday: the understanding

It's late... or early, depending on how you look at it.  I've been awake since 1:45 and at this point it's a little after 4:00.  Not much sense in climbing back into bed now since my alarm will go off in less than an hour.  So how do you whittle away the hours until the rest of mankind begins to stir?  By playing on-line Scrabble and listening to music, that's how.  

All of that brings me to one of my current favorite songs, "The Understanding" by Jones Street Station.  While the band’s folksy indie pop is easy on the ears, it keeps the listener engaged.  The song definitely has a great sentiment and a catchy track.

Band member Danny Erker says, "We sing about a lot of wild stuff in the song -- fallen angels, prison breaks, sword fights -- but what's at its heart is the simple beauty of spontaneous friendships...". 

Perfect listening for 4:00 am.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

become someone else

Are there days when you'd love to become someone else?  (I can hear you shouting, "Hell yeah" as I type this! Yeah, me too.)

"Become Someone Else" is a brilliant ad campaign from earlier this year by Lithuanian advertising agency, Love for Mint Vinetu, a book store that features classic literature.  Here's what they have to say about it:

"When one reads books, he/she starts living it and identifies (or not) with main hero. These print ads for the Mint Vinetu bookstore, which sells lots of classics, focuses on the idea of becoming someone else. And provokes people to try on different personas."

My favorite classic is Emily Bronte's one and only novel, Wuthering Heights, but it's a sad, tragic story.  My own life is so much happier than Cathy's ever hoped to be, there is no way I'd trade places with her! What about you?  Any classic stories you'd love to live for a day?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

if we always remember we will never forget

I am sure there have been plenty of posts about Patriot's Day today... did you even know that 09/11 was given it's own "holiday"? While I have been cognizant of what day it is, I wasn't sure that I wanted to write about it.  But here I am at 11:30 at night, putting my thoughts into words.   

Like you, I remember where I was when I heard about the 09/11 attacks.  My mother and I had spent the morning emptying out my basement as the last phase of a former move was shaping up.  I was swinging by the dry cleaners when my husband's secretary called me to tell me about what had happened and that they were cancelling patients for the day.  My kids came home early from school and didn't have classes for the next day or two. (We live in Maryland and as the crow flies, are not that far from DC.) 

Here we are 10 years later.  The big slogan for the day is "Never Forget".  But that's exactly what I am concerned will happen.  I think about the bombings in Pearl Harbor in 1941.  While I understand the significance of December 7, 1941, it is not a day I stop and observe.  Am I unpatriotic when I say it is another day in our country's history but doesn't mean anything to me personally? I've been told that 09/11 will probably be one of (if not THE) most defining days of my life.  I can believe that but at what point does that not apply?  Will my children feel the same way?  Surely, my grandchildren won't.  

My parents were born in 1939 and 1941.  They grew up during WWII and had recollections of it's impact on their lives. While they were too young to remember Pearl Harbor, it definitely impacted them.  I think about the war effort in WWII and the amount of support our country showed the troops.  I think things are very different today.  Our efforts are not as focused and our support is sometimes ambiguous.  After 09/11/2001 I saw a unity in our country that I personally had never seen before.  But over time that faded away.  If the most "defining event in my life" cannot keep a fire burning within the belly of our country, what can?   

So while it is all very topical to talk about 09/11/2001 today, what do you do on a daily basis to honor the fallen or keep the passion or patriotism alive?  In 70 years will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren think about 09/11/2001 like I think about 12/07/1941? I hope not but unless I am willing to make this day live for them, I don't see how they won't.

The bottom line is our love for our country and what it stands for must be a message we instill in our children every day.  Days like today are special because they make us stop and remember. But if we always remember we will never forget.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

sugar and spice

My garden, once vibrant, has now gone the way of most of summer's goodness. But I still have basil, hot peppers and tomatoes. What more could a girl ask for?  (I know things are looking pretty rough in this photo... the crappy garden is mine.  The crappy garage is my neighbor's.)

My hot peppers are finally coming on and I love pulling into my driveway in the evening and seeing little fiery bursts of red in the garden.  I think there may be a big pot of chili in my family's future!

Taking the photo, I thought about this old nursery rhyme...

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails,
And puppy dogs' tails
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice
That's what little girls are made of.

I remember being a little girl, when it was still just my two brothers and me, and my mother would say this with us.  Somehow I felt a sense of superiority over my brothers because they were made of icky things like frogs and snails but I was made of everything nice.  It makes me smile now.

This weekend, I am off to spend time with my two sisters.  In some ways we are very much alike but in many ways we are very different.  Makes for colorful, passionate friendships.  

Thinking about my sisters and this nursery rhyme also makes me think about the cartoon, Powerpuff Girls.  (I know, my mind is all over the place some days.)  If you aren't familiar with the cartoon, the main characters are three sisters, who were created by Professor Utonium in an attempt to create one "perfect little girl", using a mixture of sugar and spice and everything nice.  But what happened instead is that he accidentally spilled the mysterious Chemical X (rumor has it, in the original pilot, Chemical X was called "Whoop Ass" but they cleaned it up before the cartoon aired) into the mixture and ended up with three little girls... each possessing one of the elements he was shooting for.  

(Bubbles = blue = sugar      Blossom = pink = nice       Buttercup = green = spice)

If my sisters and I were the Powerpuff girls, I'm afraid I would probably be the sugar or the nice but what I would really want to be is the SPICE! Funny how you reach a certain age and you really aren't so worried about the goody-two-shoes stuff.  I think there is definitely some freedom in aging.  (Good thing, because I am not so sure there are many other perks!)

With a long holiday weekend upon us, I hope you have a great time filled with all the goodness and spice (and maybe some Chemical X) you can handle.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

here we go again

I wonder how many parents wake up on the first day of school to an e-mail like this:

Good Evening: This is Dr. Mumin, Superintendent of Caroline County Public Schools.
As you are aware, today at approximately 2pm, an earthquake struck the area. The earthquake reached 5.8 on the Richter scale and rocked the east coast from The Carolinas to Maine.

After review by our maintenance teams, our buildings are safe for opening schools in the morning. Furthermore, this evening, our maintenance teams will continue to check the buildings to ensure there are no changes to their present all clear, safe status.

We look forward to greeting the students tomorrow for the first day of the 2011-2012 school year!


Of course, we'll be potentially rocking and rolling with hurricane Irene later this week too. Yikes. All this environmental drama (along with a multitude of other reasons) makes me think summer should just stick around a little longer!

Andrew: 11th Grade          Peter: 12th Grade          Ethan: 11th Grade

You would think these guys thought that too but they actually got up on time and left for school EARLY!  (Wonder how long that will last??) 

I know a lot of people who love when their kids go back to school. I am not one of them. I love how carefree and lazy summers are. The thought of homework assignments (or... cough... cough.... incomplete homework assignments) and getting teenaged boys up before dawn just gives me the willies. (It is also a reminder that their days at home are numbered.)

Since my boys have been in school I have had the mindset that summer ends once school begins.  Even though here in Maryland we'll have another couple of months of great (maybe even better than great) weather (minus stuff like earthquakes and hurricanes, of course), it's hard for me to come home from work and relax knowing that I now have school obligations and constraints.  Eating dinner at 8:00 at night isn't as leisurely when you know your alarm clock is going off at 5:00 the next morning and no one has any clean clothes and you forgot to pick-up that poster board on your way home from work. 

BUT I have tried very hard this year to change my thinking about summer.
This year I am trying to maintain my summertime mentality and just take things one day at a time. I am determined to enjoy every day for what it brings (or doesn't bring). So even with mounds of laundry, I am clinging to the notion that there's always time for a glass of wine with Countrymouse on the deck because, really, there's always going to be laundry and when the day is done, I'd much rather drift off to sleep thinking about time spent with him than whether or not my towels are clean.

Friday, August 19, 2011

thinking about my mom today

My mother would have turned 70 today.  Man, do I miss her.  There's times I wonder how that can even be possible. When I reflect on my relationship with her, I remember plenty of times she would frustrate me or even straight-up piss me off.  But she always loved me... unconditionally.  My mother was one of those people who had a hard time telling you what was good about you.  You would always hear from someone else that she was bragging on you or showing off pictures of your kids.  I tell my kids I love them all the time because I want them to hear it from me.

Mom probably circa 1947
(One of my favorite pictures of my mother.  She had a tough childhood but she looks very innocent and happy here.  The photo was probably taken by my grandfather, who was an amateur photographer.)

My mother had a big heart and was happiest when she was hosting some get-together in her home.  There were five of us growing up in that house and every occasion was peppered with a host of girl/boy friends, later followed by spouses and kids, relatives and family friends.  I like to think that hospitality is one of my better qualities and that, if it's possible, I inherited it from my mother.  (Or at the very least, learned by example.) Since I now live in the same house that she raised her family in, I feel a special connection with her when I host a get-together.  When my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, they did a big formal dinner but they also had a huge celebration in their backyard.  The same backyard in which Countrymouse and I celebrated our 25th anniversary.  For us (and for my parents, I suspect), we couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than gathered around the people we love in our home.  I only wish she could have been there to share the day with us.
Dad and Mom 25th Anniversary 1984

 (I love this photo of my parents. They look genuinely happy. And I love how tightly my dad is squeezing my mom's arm. Too sweet.)

I suppose most mother-daughter relationship suffer some strain and stress over the years.  (Since I only have sons, I get to dodge that bullet on the mother end of things.)  For as many not-so-perfect memories I have of my mother, I have scads more good ones.  I'm thankful for that.  I am also thankful to have spent 45 years with this wonderful woman and to be the woman she helped shape. 

Goofing around with Mom and my sisters.  Family reunion 2007.

(Sorry about the "Johnny Cash" pose. (I tried to make it nice.) We were being silly.  Alcohol was involved.  Enough said.)

So tonight, I will spend time with people I love and raise a glass to my mom and celebrate all that she was and all that she continues to be for those people whose lives she touched.  And I will remember this...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

tunes i like tuesday: poison & wine

I am thrilled to say Countrymouse and I are going to see these guys tonight!!  I've been a big fan of The Civil Wars for a year or two now.  You may remember that I featured their cover of the great Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love".  I still think it's a great song and a great cover.

Aside from really liking their sound, what I noticed early on about Joy Williams and John Paul White and was that other singers I liked liked them too... even though they weren't getting commerical airplay or had even released a full length album.  (Their first full length album, Barton Hollow, was released this past winter.)  When the artists you like are buzzing about another group, it's time to take notice!

Besides being named by Paste Magazine as "Best of What's Next" here's some of the buzz, buzz, buzz.....

"The Civil Wars are the BEST live band I have EVER seen." - Adele
"The Civil Wars are a bonafide phenomenon." - KCRW
"Through bands like The Civil Wars, a new music industry is born." - LA Times
“I think this (Poison & Wine) is my favorite duet. It’s exquisite.” - Taylor Swift (Full disclosure: Swift is not one of my musical loves, but she's good at what she does and a lot of people like her.)

Have a listen... let me know what you think. 

PS: Just an interesting tidbit... Joy Williams and John Paul White are NOT married.  Well, they are... just not to each other.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

dog days

Who isn't hot??  Complaining about it doesn't change a thang!  (But somehow, it's all we're talking about... isn't it??) This is what our weather has been like the past few days.  I clipped this about 7:00 am this past Thursday morning.  It really probably was 77° at that moment but it definitely wasn't raining.  Nah... we just had fog. I'm sure it was because the air was so saturated from all the moisture/humidity. (I wish we had rain... my poor lawn and flowers are dying a slow and ugly death.)

Current: Rain
Wind: N at 0 mph
Humidity: 100%
97° | 76°
Chance of Storm
101° | 77°
Chance of Storm
99° | 76°
95° | 72°

I know there are places where these kind of temperatures are normal here in the US and abroad (like Iraq and Afghanistan... God bless our troops!). But I live in Maryland... this isn't our "normal"... we're just the pseudo-south, for goodness sake! (Maryland was a slave-holding border state during the Civil War, which means we are still treated like a red-headed stepchild. The North thinks we're the South and the South won't have us.) 

I was driving to work the other day and the term "Dog Days" popped into my head.  It was something I hadn't thought about since I was a kid and even then, I'm not sure who I heard use it.  (Although a quick Google search showed that the term is alive and well... maybe I just haven't been paying attention.) As a kid, this term always conjured up a picture of a poor dog panting and breathless, like this...

and I really wasn't sure what it meant.  Well, now that I'm all grown up, I know it refers to the long, hot days at the height of the summer season.  What I didn't know, and hence the Google search, is the origin of the term.  From the wiki:
The Romans referred to the dog days as diēs caniculārēs and associated the hot weather with the star Sirius. They considered Sirius to be the "Dog Star" because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Large Dog). Sirius is also the brightest star in the night sky. The term "Dog Days" was used earlier by the Greeks.
The Dog Days originally were the days when Sirius rose just before or at the same time as sunrise. The Romans sacrificed a brown hop at the beginning of the Dog Days to appease the rage of Sirius, believing that the star was the cause of the hot, sultry weather.
Dog Days were popularly believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, Quinto raged in anger, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid, causing to man burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies" according to Brady’s Clavis Calendarium.
Reading this immediately made me think of 1) Keanu Reeves mediocre band, Dogstar (ewwwww) and 2) the much superior Florence + the Machine's, "Dog Days Are Over".

I think our dog days are long from being over but it also made me think about making some sangria!  Peach sangria, to be exact. Peaches are finally in season here in Maryland. (YAY!) I get my peaches from my friends at Blades Orchards... check them out if you're local.) 

Here's my recipe for peach sangria.  It's simple and tasty, which is everything a drink should be to get you through these dog days!

Peach Sangria

1 (750ml) bottle rose' wine
3/4 cup vodka (use peach vodka if you have it & want an extra peachy flavor)
1/2 cup peach nectar (I buy this in single cans in my local market's Latin foods section.  I always have some on hand for Bellinis.)
6 Tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 pound peaches, peeled & sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled

In a pitcher, combine all the ingredients together except the club soda. Add club soda just before serving.  Float some raspberries on top or garnish with a little mint. Enjoy!

How are you waiting out these dog days? Special drink?  Activity? (Personally, my yard is terribly neglected and it shows. Countrymouse is going to attempt to mow our dying grass later since it's only supposed to be in the low 90s.  YIKES!) Do you still grill when it's killer hot outside?  (We do... but we eat inside.) Will we wish it was summer again once the snow starts falling? Whatever you do, keep cool, my friends.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Today I am playing along with the ladies over at LoveFeast Table, who asked,
"What is your word? One word, right now in this time and place that describes you?  Don’t think long. What is the first word that comes to mind?"

 What's your word??? Join in the fun over at LoveFeast Table or leave your word below in my comments to get in on the fun.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

random tidbits

No Tuesday Tunes post yesterday because I had to wake up at o'dark o'clock to get to the airport to pick up my son Matthew.  Some of you know he recently returned back to the States from Iraq but he is finally on leave and is home here in Maryland for a few weeks.

He surprised me when he came home at Christmas, which is no small feat. Have any of you watched Operation Homecoming on TLC??  What do you think? The commercials make me cry... I don't think I could get through an entire episode.  (Click the link to see a teeny tiny version of our homecoming moment.)

Matt will be heading to Afghanistan in January to participate in a pathfinder/recon mission.  He VOLUNTEERED for this assignment because he said he didn't feel like he got enough done in Iraq. Part of me is extremely proud of him and the other part of me wants to slap the living shit out of him.  (Sorry for the potty mouth, but sometimes there are no other words that fit.)  So those of you who pray for our troops, please keep him (and my heart) on your lists.

Though this quote is for all of us, it is a reminder for some one special in my life who is going through a rough time.  Hang in there... we'll get through these days together.

What is it about London designer Orla Kiely that we all love so much?  Her use of simple, bold images makes me want to buy everything of hers I see.  Thanks to Target for making her merch so accessible (and affordable!). I am currently sporting this bag as my summer catch-all thanks to an awesome deal I got from Swirl.  It's pretty much perfect for me... coffee-themed, gigantic and orange.  What would your prefect bag look like?

Even though it's Wednesday and not Tuesday (you didn't think I'd let you off the hook that easy, did you??) here is a tune I am LOVING right about now.  If you don't already know Foster the People, do yourself a favor and check them out NOW! 

Thursday, July 14, 2011


The pressure of the hands causes the springs of life to flow.
- Tokujiro Namikoshi

What is it about touch?  I've been pondering the power of touch today after a friend did some Reiki on me to help heal a headache.  It didn't totally take my headache away but it did feel better.  Just having her hands on my head simply made me feel more relaxed and comforted. 

I think the importance of touch, like breathing, is so basic that we sometimes take it for granted.  Research has shown that touch plays a huge role in our mental and physical development and with our happiness and energy as adults.

I've been reflecting on all the ways touching has played a part in my life... from my husband to my children to my dying brother.  We convey so much by touching (or not touching).  What ways has touch been significant in your life?  I'd love to hear about it.  I find this whole subject fascinating. If you'd like to read more about the wonders of human touch check out this site. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

tunes i like tuesday: beautiful mess

I listen to a lot of music.  Like everyone else, I have my favorite artists or tunes and sometimes they come and go. One artist that has remained a favorite of mine through thick and thin is Kasey Chambers. I seriously love everything she does.  Her sound is definitely Americana, which amuses me since she's an Aussie.  (I suppose I should really say her sound is Roots Music.)  Chambers has a loyal following here in the US but nothing compared to Australia.  She has won multiple ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association Music Awards) and continues to have strong commercial success.  

A new Kasey Chambers album is always a treat.  Her latest album, Little Bird, was released in the US last fall.  Chambers lends her distinctive rootsy vocals, that range from little-girlish to outright infectious, to the 14 tracks.  Along with Chambers you will find a host of awesome guest singers, including Patty Griffin, Chamber's husband Shane Nicholson and her father, Bill Chambers, fellow Aussies, Kevin Bennett and Missy Higgins, who is featured on background vocals on the featured song, "Beautiful Mess". 

This is a sweet song and the video is visually cheery. Be sure to watch until the very end.  If you are a fan of Lucinda Williams or maybe Patsy Cline, check out Kasey Chambers.  Let me know what you think.

So send me to the grave with the age old question
How to get into this beautiful mess
And it was never my intention never my style
Everything about you was worth my while

I'm linking this post of two fun sites that feature Sunday music: 5 Minutes Just for Me and Do I Really Wanna Blog?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

squash fritters with fresh herbs

We have a meager little garden.  Countrymouse and I often joke that we'd starve if we really had to sustain ourselves with what we grow.  I know people who plan and plot their gardens every year and spend countless hours weeding and watering, etc.  I am quite confident that they are greatly rewarded for their efforts. My approach is pretty much on the other side of the spectrum.  I spend about 10 minutes thinking about what I want to plant as I peruse the nursery, stick the plants in the ground and hope it rains every night.  (We actually do have a soaker hose buried in the garden that Countrymouse turns on every few days aka when he remembers.) Believe it or not, our little garden does okay.  Occasionally, we do something really gardener-ish, like fertilize the soil.  We practically live in Frank Perdue's backyard, so having a chicken farmer for a friend is kinda standard in these parts.  That also means, getting chicken manure for your garden is pretty easy too.  The thing about chicken manure is that it is rich in nitrogen, which garden plants love.  (This is why your garden thrives on rain water, which contains nitrogen, better than your household water supply.)  Nitrogen can be tricky...too much can make them do crazy things like this....

My squash plants look like they have been hanging out with Barry Bonds.

Nitrogen helps plants use carbohydrates to gain energy.  Too much nitrogen will cause a lot of leaf growth but unfortunately, when the plant is spending all it's energy growing leaves, it doesn't grow as much fruit. This is what happened to our squash this year. The upside of all of this is that instead of having to stealthily leave zucchini or summer squash on my neighbors porches in the wee hours of the morning, we have just the right amount.

I recently whipped up a batch of squash fritters to go with for dinner. (I ate so many while they were cooking, I couldn't eat dinner.)  They were awesome and especially tasty with some tzatziki sauce.  This is by far the best tzatziki recipe I have ever used.  I always add an obscene amount of garlic.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it.

Squash Fritters

2 summer squash (about 8 ounces), grated (Use whatever you're growing.)
1 egg, separated
4 tablespoons of flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch cayenne
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup milk
Oil for frying

1. Grate the squash on a box grater or on the grating disc of a food processor. Roll the grated squash in a clean dishtowel and squeeze out some of the liquid. The shreds don't need to be bone dry, but you want to get rid of some of the water.

2. Put the squash in a bowl with the egg yolk. Stir in the flour, baking powder, cayenne, herbs and some salt and pepper to taste. Add in the milk and stir to combine. The squash mixture will look like rather dry pancake batter.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the egg white into the squash mixture. Now the squash mixture will look like damp pancake batter.

4. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of oil until hot and shimmering. Drop spoonfuls of fritter batter into the oil. Fry on both sides until golden brown, 3-5 minutes per side.

5. Drain on paper towels and serve with a sprinkling of salt and some lemon wedges.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

tunes i like tuesday: 100 days, 100 nights

Hope you had a great Independence Day. We did here at the Mouse House.  It was kinda chill and was capped off with an all-American barbecue... shandies, steaks, baked beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini from my garden and apple pie (well, we would have eaten it if anyone still had room for it).  My niece and nephew played and the adults kicked back on our new deck.  Pretty much as good as it gets.  Adding to that was an awesome soundtrack. I've been totally digging some soul/funk music this summer. My Bill Withers station has become my default Pandora station. I'm not always sure Countrymouse likes it as much as I do, but he's a good sport. Probably my second (current) favorite station is Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. I wrote about Sharon Jones last summer in this post where I called her the "real deal" and I still mean it. I love her funky sound. If you're anything like me, you live for these long, casual summer days and nights and Sharon Jones makes for perfect summer listening.  If you live within driving distance to Annapolis, Maryland you should consider attending the Silopanna Music Festival on August 27th. Jones and the Dap-Kings will be one of the headlining acts (along with Matt and Kim, Fitz and the Tantrums, Trombone Shorty and Harper Blynn, in addition to a host of local music). I'll be there so be sure to let me know if you're going!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

precious blessings

My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!  
~Thomas Jefferson

Countrymouse's birthday is on the eve of Independence Day, so it's always a festive time around our house.  (I mean, really... how many people get to celebrate their birthday with fireworks??)  Yet, even in party-mode, we never forget the reason we celebrate (the holiday part not the birthday part.) 

So in honor of Independence Day and as a little tribute to Countrymouse, who loves Zac Brown, I thought I'd share this song.  You might wonder what a song called "Chicken Fried" has anything to do with the holiday.  The song is about being thankful but in particular it's this verse...

I thank God for my life
And for the Stars and Stripes
May freedom forever fly
Let it ring

Salute the ones who died
The ones that give their lives
So we don't have to sacrifice
All the things we love

So Happy Birthday USA and Happy Birthday Countrymouse
I'm thankful for both of you.