July 24, 2014

Summer Reading

Updating the blog during the summer is difficult. Everything just slooooows down, which is fine by me. We all need a break and do-nothing time now and again.  I've spent the summer thus far doing clean-up projects around the house which is not exciting at all. And when I'm not completely exhausted from that, my butt is on the couch flipping through shows on my DVR in the air conditioning.

I am not a summer lover.

Soon we are leaving on vacation #2 of the summer. I can't remember when we've ever done that before! I am not complaining and feeling fortunate that we're able to swing it this year.

So in honor of the up coming trip, I picked up some summer reading for the boys. Won't they be thrilled to learn they will spend some time reading on the plane! They should feel lucky their schools only require them to read ONE book over the summer. Am I right?!

I wish my boys were readers but they are not. So much for reading countless books to them when they were small. I was the same way when I was their age so I guess I can't fault them for it. We've searched high and low for a genre that keeps them interested to no avail. Why would they want to read when wifi is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

The one on the left is for me as soon as I finish the current book I'm reading on my Kindle. The Grisham book is for Bud. I hope I can convince him to give it a try. (He can choose whatever book he wants to read.) I always loved a good crime story (I just finished Gone Girl) and he enjoys the TV show Castle so I thought maybe this could be a winner. The Chocolate Touch is for Boo. He *loves* chocolate so this was a no-brainer when we saw it on the summer reading list. It seems a little young for kids going into 5th grade but who am I to argue. I didn't create the list!

Here's to getting them to use their mushy summer brains!

July 22, 2014

Tweenager's Appetite

I might be ready for school to start again. My kids are enjoying a very, very lazy summer but they are eating me out of house and home.

For a SNACK last night, Bud ate a bowl of cucumbers, a bowl of watermelon, a bowl of fruit loops and then he washed all of that down with an entire bag of tortilla chips. The whole bag. He ate every last crumb.

I hope he's growing?! Football starts next week ... I'm going to need a second job just to pay for groceries!

July 15, 2014

Death by White Fencing

I'd like to punch the person in the face who created white vinyl fencing. It's pretty, it looks nice, and it provides privacy but it's a pain in the ass to clean. Normal people would use a power washer (but ours is broken) and we had some concerns that the fence might be too brittle in some areas to withstand the force of a power washer so that left one option: hand-scrub it.

I can tell you this: it's an awesome workout
and I'm tanning nicely.

I'm not done yet.  
And there's a slight chance I will need shoulder surgery
in the near future.

Home ownership is not for the weak!

July 9, 2014


Boo is doing a soccer camp this week that runs each night at our local field. It's a good thing to get him off the couch since my boys are enjoying the ultimate lazy summer. 

On Monday night I had just set up my chair, sat down, and started talking with one of the other moms when I suddenly jumped up and screamed OUCH! I instantly sensed I had been stung by something but by what? Because we saw nothing flying away or laying on the ground - it was really weird. But I pulled up my capri's and saw the red pin-prick on my knee and man, it hurt! The next question directed at me was "are you allergic?"  

Hmmm... I had no idea. I've never been stung by a bee before. 

So good news - I'm not allergic but it's now almost 48 hours later and the itching and burning is insane!  I'm fairly certain it's burning because I'm scratching it so much. I can't help it. Nothing is helping!

I googled for images of wasp stings and I'm fairly certain that's what got me. The little assholes!

But I'm curious ... this venom injected into me, does it have numbing properties? My knee has been bothering me a lot lately, very achy, etc.  I had an MRI about 9 years ago and was told I had thinning cartilage and had a cortisone injection.  I was starting to think it was time to go back to the knee doctor but maybe the wasp sting is helping?! Maybe I can arrange to get stung once a week?!

July 8, 2014

A BBQ Kind of Weekend

I hope you had a nice July 4th. We did, despite the threat of a hurricane coming up the coast. Thankfully Arthur didn't come close enough to the Jersey shore to effect our weather too much. Friday was a little gray but overall, a decent day. We hosted a Family BBQ at our house on Saturday - and what a perfect day it was! Sunny, breezy, 82ish degrees and no humidity. It was so nice and so unexpected to be able to shut off the air conditioner in JULY!

The kids had a blast with these, of course!

The pool deck flooring is complete but we still have to add the finishing touches to the outside, add the railings, and some paint to the re-used steps. But at least it's functional for accessing the pool.

I kept the food for this BBQ s-i-m-p-l-e.  Appetizers were cold shrimp, pepperoni bread, and chips and dip.  Dinner was grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, with all the fixings and sides of baked beans, fresh pasta salad and macaroni salad.

For dessert we had a fruit tray, thick fudgy brownies, Tastefully Simple Almond cake (with the rhubarb-strawberry spread), and freeze pops. My mother-in-law also brought a large strawberry shortcake from a local bakery.

It was a classic BBQ from beginning to end. Sometimes simple is best!

July 2, 2014

BBQ Chicken Wontons

My friend and I were chatting the other day and I was asking her what she had been eating lately because I needed some inspiration. She told me about these "bbq-chicken-wonton-things" that she had been making for lunch every day for the past two weeks!  (Apparently she's in a rut too!)

But you know what? I think I could eat these every day too. They are good! Great for a lunch change-up or an appetizer for a party.

Here's what you do:

~ Grill some chicken. Dice it up and add your favorite BBQ sauce. 
~Lightly spray your baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Take a wonton wrapper, fill with a piece or 2 of chicken, broccoli slaw, and some shredded cheese. Place seam-side down on your baking sheet.
~ Lightly spray the finished wontons with cooking spray.
~ Bake @ 400 for 12 minutes.

That's it.


July 1, 2014

Deck 60% Complete

Did I mention we were replacing our pool deck? We had grand plans of just using "Deck Over" paint on it to spruce it up, but then this started happening:

Awesome.  It's crazy what pictures show. Painting over this deck would have been a waste of time and money.  But then of course came the series of rainy weekends and weekends when it was nice, my Husband had to work. And before we knew it, it was time to go on our trip and now it's JULY and the deck isn't done and the pool isn't open!


On Sunday we made some great progress with the deck and the pool is now open and ready for swimming, even though getting into the pool might be challenge. But I have boys. They always find a way!

32 screws per board length. It's amazing I can still use my hand. My Husband did the cutting and spacing while I did the majority of the screwing. I was allowed to use power tools!  Team work!  With any luck, we'll have the rest of the boards down this week and then he can reattach the stairs. Then we can make a decision about the railings....  something that doesn't require paint!!