Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I wish I had a picture ...

... but we devoured it so quickly that there was no time:

Shrimp and polenta (for two or three servings)

polenta (one roll of the prepared polenta)
1 vidalia or other sweet onion (large), sliced thin
Raw shrimp (enough for three people), shells removed
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4-1/3 cup sherry or white wine
2 wedges of Laughing Cow french onion flavor cheese
3/4 cup half and half
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley

1. prepare polenta according to package directions so that it is heated through when the shrimp is ready to serve.
2. sautee the onion slices in a little olive oil until well cooked and browned (caramelized)
3. in the meantime, sautee the sliced mushrooms until well cooked and browned.
4. add the shrimp to the mushrooms and cook over medium until just done.
5. remove shrimp and mushrooms to a plate.
6. in the same pan, pour in the wine and deglaze the pan over medium high heat.
7. reduce heat to low.
8. add the wedges of cheese and the half and half to the wine in the pan.
9. stir and cook over low until the cheese melts and the mixture has the consistency of a light sauce (if too thick, cut with a little water).
10. add the shrimp and mushrooms to the sauce, and toss to coat.
11. Individually plate: two or three slices of polenta, top with caramelized onion, then pour a portion of the shrimp/mushroom/sauce mixture over all. Garnish each serving with chopped parsley.

Dig in and say ahhhhh ...

- Catherine
PS:  Thanks to Number 4 for helping me cook and to Hubby and Number 4.5 for cleaning up!

Monday, June 27, 2011


On Friday they delivered a package that was so banged up the end had burst wide open.

Miraculously, none of the contents had slid out.

I am not amused.

- Catherine

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I caved

I am blogging today from my Android tablet. This is something I never thought I would own, believe me. I couldn't see the point of it. I didn't need my email that close to me. I didn't need it for entertainment. I didn't need it.

I hereby eat crow.


The 10" Acer Iconia won me over. Why? Because it works. And by that I mean it accomplishes real work - this tablet can create and edit documents and spreadsheets, and it seamlessly integrates with my Google account and calendar. 

And that's why I bought it.

And love it.

And will nevermore (quoth the raven) be without it.

- Catherine
PS - the tablet doubles as an e-reader too - now that's entertainment!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I finally have pictures!

Wanna see??

I thought you would!

These aren't the professional photographs yet, but they're pretty good candid shots.

Abbi's Dad and I walked our daughter down the aisle.

The groom's parents, Larry and Linda, walking down the aisle:

Abbi's stepfather (my Tim) escorted her stepmother, Robin, down the aisle:

Here's Abbi getting ready in the bride room:

Detail of the dress, with Great-Great-Great Aunt Florrie's brooch fastened to the middle of the flower:

Abbi has been a dancer since she was little, so there was plenty of dancing at this wedding, including the recessional and the entrance into the reception:

The family shot:

The food and decorations:

My personal favorite of all the pics so far because it perfectly expresses the carefree enthusiasm of the day:

I sang (and made it through without tears!). Tim and Robin read the Scripture readings. Bob (Abbi's dad) gave the blessing for the reception meal. Larry and Linda spoke about their son at the reception. And we finished the night by dancing our feet off. A great day! And one of the most fun weddings I've ever attended!

- Catherine

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's Wednesday and I am lame

I didn't get to the weekly Hodgepodge today -- my apologies to Joyce, who always has such great questions for us!

Yesterday was my 53rd birthday and everyone has been asking me if I did anything fun.

I worked all morning.

Then my aunt took me out for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. THAT was fun.

Then I worked some more.

Then I went to the salon to have my hair colored. I had a little nap while I was under the dryer (fun). I'm told my mouth was hanging open but I wasn't snoring.

Glad to hear it.

Then I did some yard work (fun), shared a glass of wine with my next door neighbor (fun), and took over the digging of dirt (un-fun) so that Tim could attend Tuesday night prayer group at church (good for him).

It was the digging that did it. I couldn't move when I got done.

But it took care of my weight training for a while, that's for sure!

No, I don't do weight training, but that's a mere technicality, right?

- Catherine

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Taking one for the team

I got to play my favorite position of catcher at today's church softball game.

Unfortunately, the bat got thrown one too many times and I couldn't jump away fast enough.

So I've got a knot the size of a tennis ball on my right thigh muscle. It's already turning a lovely shade of purple too.

I'm ready for another dose of ibuprofen and some analgesic muscle cream. And then to bed. With a good book.

I already had the chocolate cupcake that I felt I'd earned. Maybe I'll deserve another one when I try to get out of bed tomorrow morning.

- Catherine

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge -- the start of summer!

1. Do you and your family enjoy camping? What do you enjoy most/like the least when it comes to family camping? When was the last time you camped? We love camping, especially if we are at our favorite Wade Lake, where clocks and cell phones are put away and time is measured strictly by the sun and our own hunger pangs. The pictures below are from our last camping trip -- August of 2010. Can't wait for this year!!

2. Did you attend a summer camp when you were a kid? Is that a happy or not so happy memory? I attended a week of church camp each year at a place called ... no joke ... Mt. Misery. Overall I enjoyed it, although I recall the food being practically inedible.

3. Over the course of your life, what have you probably spent more time pondering than anything else? Injustice. It is something that really, really bothers me and that I find impossible to accept -- both for myself and for others. 

4. Which of the seven natural wonders of the world would you most like to see? There are many lists of 'wonders' but this is the standard natural wonder list-Mount Everest, The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, The Harbor of Rio de Janerio, Paricutan Volcano and The Northern Lights. I don't have a preference. Is that bad? If I ever had the opportunity to see any of them, I'd be happy.

5. What was your first real job? Working the counter at a local flight training school. Happily I was there for only six months or so -- longest six months of my life. The pilots/instructors were arrogant creeps who sexually harassed all the female employees. Unfortunately, those were the days when sexual harassment was something you either had to put up with or you changed jobs. I changed jobs.

6. Lemonade or Sweet tea...which do you prefer on a hot summer day? Lemonade, especially if it's fresh!

7. What is something that always brings a smile to your face? These days, it's our back yard. I could sit there for hours, enjoying the warm weather and the sunshine. And the gnomes.

8. Insert your own random thought here.  Randomly speaking, life is sweet, sweet, sweet!  

Monday, June 6, 2011

I can't even figure out how to start this blog post. It's meant to be a weekend update but I'm afraid my brain is still not willing to switch from weekend to Monday.

So I can't think very well.

Where was I?  Oh yes -- we had two days of absolutely glorious weather. I hit the Farmers Market early Saturday morning and then spent the rest of the day working around our yard.

Plants were purchased.

Plants were potted.

There can be no real garden until next year because we have too many other urgent tasks around the farm this year.  But the garden-to-be was roto-tilled, and Tim will work the soil well before we start gardening in earnest next summer. The plan is to till the soil twice this summer and mix in some good fertilizer so that we are up and running next summer.

But this Jersey girl couldn't resist just a few tomatoes. Thus, this year's garden comprises the following:

Exactly three tomato plants in big 5-gallon pots.

To put it in better context:

Behind the tomato plants is the vast expanse of what will be next summer's garden.

I also have fresh herbs growing in pots on a sunny bench at the edge of the woodland:

I cleared a  bit more of the thorn thicket that has been taking over the side of this property for the last umpteen years. I can't bear to take a picture of it because hours and hours and HOURS of effort thus far have resulted in a clearing of perhaps five feet by five feet. There are many, many more feet of densely tangled thorn branches yet to be cleared. This promises to be a years-long job, by my calculation. God only knows what I will unearth as I slowly clear it all away.

Yesterday we played softball and I actually hit the ball. I fouled out, but I did hit the ball. Major accomplishment, believe me!

And now, Monday awaits!

- Catherine

Friday, June 3, 2011

And we danced!

Pocatello summers are full of outdoor community activities, and a big favorite on Wednesday evenings is known as "Revive@Five." This is a free, open air concert held in Old Town, hosted by one particular (rotating) restaurant each week, and incorporating the Wednesday version of our semi-weekly Farmer's Market. Tons of people attend and the atmosphere is light and fun.

This past Wednesday, I took my 88 year-old aunt to Revive@Five. I am trying to make sure that she is involved in the greater Pocatello community as well as the more insulated community of her assisted living residence. Revive@Five features both music and food -- two of my aunt's favorite things -- so it seemed a natural fit.

We arrived shortly after five o'clock and set up our lawn chairs. The band was good -- very good, as a matter of fact. Their repertoire of new country as well as classic pop/rock songs was well-executed and full of crowd-pleasers. As they swung into "My Brown-Eyed Girl" my aunt turned to me and said, "let's dance!"

I laughed because I thought she was kidding.

She wasn't.

We made our way to the cement pad that serves as the dance floor on Wednesday nights. To my utter surprise, she began to move her feet in time with the music. Then followed a little shoulder action. Then a saucy little wag of the head. No wild movements, but she danced.

And danced.

And danced.

The only time she didn't dance was while she was eating her Greek Gyro (her first).

Two hours later, I took her home.

She beamed the whole way.

If I live to be 100, I will never forget the night I danced with Aunt Muriel in Old Town at Revive@Five.

And that saucy little wag of the head.

Who says you can't live a little in your twilight years?

- Catherine

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

And now she's married!

...and I'm still sorting out pictures.

But I do have a few candid snapshots to share:

Big sister Erin zips up the dress.

The bride and her college friends, who traveled from the States to be part of the big day.

The white gold filigree brooch pinned in the center of the flower is an heirloom from my great-great Aunt Florrie. My mother would have been very happy to see it on Abbi's wedding dress.

Mama and Dad walking Abbi down the aisle:

The couple's first dance as man and wife:

Abbi and her beloved sister Erin relaxing at the head table.

It was a lovely ceremony.

I managed to sing "The Blessing."

And I didn't cry.

The food and dancing at the reception were wonderful, and my little girl is now a missus!

Welcome to the family, Rich!!

- Catherine