Sunday, July 31, 2011

Triple Bogey

I played golf three times this week, and I'm trying not to act like a martyr. I took my first lesson last week after promising Don I would get going on it. I couldn't think of anything to give him for our 25th wedding anniversary, so I promised I would take golf lessons and golf with him once a week. I went overboard, I know.

I like my instructor. She starts at square one, assuming you know nothing. Either that, or I just looked like I knew nothing, and she knew where to start with me. The goal of lesson one was to get the ball in the air. It's not as easy as it sounds. First, you have to set up correctly (grip the club, bend your knees, stick your butt out, relax your arms, look at the ball). It's a lot to remember.

As I golfed this week, I tried to keep a positive attitude and enjoy myself. I remembered the time I golfed with Peter, Daniel, and Brian Petak in 2008 when I knew nothing. We had a grand time. Peter was the only one who took things semi-seriously.

I wanted to be Brian's partner, but he insisted on riding in the cart with Daniel. I don't know why...

It turned out OK, because Peter and I beat them (I think), and we had a great time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Reluctant Entertainer

I'm trying to be more of a "Hostess with the Mostess", as one of my friends would say. That is someone who willingly invites people over to share meals and time together. I don't do it often enough, and I feel guilty about it.

I read the book, The Reluctant Entertainer, over a year ago. That's when I discovered the website that accompanies the book. It has tons of information about having people to your home. You will find recipes, decorating ideas and Sandy Coughlin's Ten Commandments of Hospitality.

We are actually having friends over on Tuesday night, so I will be pouring over her ideas this weekend.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Farm Team Expansion

I stopped by Tammy's farm today to see all the newest animals. When I've been at Tammy's house in recent months, it was always too wet to visit the livestock. But today was a beautiful day. Tammy now has seven goats, ten turkeys, three dogs and some number of bunnies. Her husband, Dave, does a goat head count once a week to make sure she doesn't bring any more home. I couldn't keep track of the goat's names, but I do remember their personalities.

I had two buttons on the sides of my shorts, and this goat would not leave them alone. She wanted those buttons in the worst way.

This is what happens when you bottle feed your goats. They think you are their mother, and when you visit, they fight over you.

These two sisters are inseparable. And adorable, I might add.

These two were fighting over me. Actually, it wasn't me, it was my buttons.

This group of four called a conference to see what to do about all the commotion I caused inside the fence.

Three of these lucky turkeys get to parade around the fair and then get eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The other seven just get to be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Old Lady Smell

In a few short weeks, Daniel will move in to his off-campus house with 6 or 7 other guys. To equip his bedroom, he needed a dresser. Shopping at garage sales didn't produce any finds in the furniture department, so when we spied an Estate sale sign on Saturday, we decided to give it a try.

An old woman died, and everything had to go. By the time we arrived at noon on the second day, it looked like all that was left were nighties, dishes and tacky plaid chairs. But when we went to the basement, we were surpirsed to find a dresser in good condition.

The woman running the sale said we could have the dresser for $50. We said we would think about it. She said she'd throw a plaid chair cost. Daniel told her he didn't need a plaid chair. When she found out Daniel was a college student, she said he could have the dresser for $25, if he could get it out by 2:00 that day. Sold!

There is only one problem with the dresser. It smells like an old old dead lady, according to Daniel. Actually, it smells like rose-scented drawer liner, but he can't tell the difference.

I knew Daniel wouldn't rest until the smell was eradicated, so I began to consult my trusty family and friends on the fine art of smell removal.

Becky suggested he store his dirty socks in the drawers for a couple of weeks. Carolyn told me about an odor absorbing product found at Home Depot. I decided to go with Carolyn's idea.

When the friendly greeter at Home Depot asked me if I needed help finding something, I said, "Yes, I need something to remove old lady smell." Without hesitation, he replied, "isle 4, shelf 2, on the left."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Marshmallow Krispie Squares

Peter's golf team leaves tomorrow for three days of golf in Michigan. I was in the middle of packing some snacks for the team when I thought of making Rice Krispie Treats.

Ever since I bought my special pan for Oreo Brownies, I have also used it when making Rice Krispie Treats. It works great. Here is how I do it:

Marshmallow Krispie Squares

3 T. butter
6 c. mini marshmallows
6 c. Rice Krispie cereal
Sprinkles (optional)

Spray individual openings in pan with PAM.
Melt butter in a large non-stick saucepan over low heat.
Add marshmallows and cook gently until they are completely melted and blended, stirring constantly.
Take pan off heat and immediately add cereal, mixing lightly until well coated.
Spray a spatula with PAM. Scoop some of the mixture up and put in one square of the pan. Press down. Repeat for all twelve squares. Top with sprinkles if you wish. Press sprinkles down so they don't roll off.
Let the treats cool for 10 minutes in the pan. They will pop right out. Wrap individually or put in an airtight container.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pooch Psychology

Riley's Thundershirt arrived today in the mail. I was all set to use it when the storm rolled in, but luckily I read the directions that came in the package first.

The instructions say to avoid using the Thundershirt during times of anxiety until he gets used to it when he is NOT feeling anxiety.

The first step in using the Thundershirt is to offer your dog a treat using the folded up Thundershirt as a "plate". What??

This is because dogs become more trusting of something that brings them food or anything that they associate with food. So this is an easy trick to create a positive association with the shirt.

Look at Riley being a good boy. He sits until I tell him "OK".

The next step will be putting the Thundershirt on Riley when he is going about his normal business. I think I will put it on him before he eats his dinner. That will make him love his shirt.

Believe it or not, the instruction sheet says, "most dogs really enjoy wearing their Thundershirts, and many dogs even go on their own to where their Thundershirt is stored when a storm approaches."

We shall see.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Corn Mush Bags

My very first blog post recorded a sewing adventure with corn hole bags. The bags have held up for over a year. It was someone's bright idea to store the corn hole bags in a sealed plastic bin on the deck this summer since the corn hole game is a permanent fixture there.

A couple of days ago, I noticed there was some steam inside the plastic bin holding the bags. Yesterday, Daniel opened the bin because he and his friends were going to play a game with them.
I heard him yell to me, "Mom, the corn hole bags are hard!" I didn't know what to think of it, and I didn't have time to check it out. We didn't have any backup corn hole bags, so he and his friends went swimming instead.

Tonight when I was watering my plants, I saw the corn hole bags again. I picked one up, and sure enough, it was hard as a rock. I brought it inside and showed Don. He and Daniel thought maybe it was so hot outside (95 degrees) that the corn popped. Since the bags were no longer of use, I decided to open one up and investigate.

What I found made me want to throw up. It looked like a mixture of regurgitated corn and mold. Yuck!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bridal Show

Katherine and I attended a Bridal Show this afternoon. Neither of us had ever been to one, so we didn't know what to expect.

This particular show wasn't very big. It was hosted by Executive Caterer's at Landerhaven. There were a number of wedding vendors set up at tables, but it was clear that Executive Caterer's wanted you to notice their skill at hosting a reception. They had winter, fall and summer theme rooms set up with sample decorations and food.

As we approached each vendor's booth, Katherine was afraid of what they might ask her to sign up for. There were vendors for photography, DJ's, teeth whitening and invitations. There were vendors for limos, gowns, photo booths and plastic surgery. What a business!

We didn't stay long...just long enough to collect all the free stuff we could. Katherine did say she liked the gown hanging outside one room, so I took a picture of it. She would look nice in it, but I think she would hold her bouquet a little lower.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


When Riley was a puppy, he showed no signs of anxiety during a thunderstorm. I was very happy about this because our previous dog was a basket case. I thought it would be so easy since Riley didn't seem to notice the rumbling and booming outside the windows.

But, as he grew and became more protective of his family, he began to be more aware of his environment. Thunderstorms are particularly bothersome to him. He's exhausted this morning because he was up most of the night running around the house crying and panting. He doesn't shake and have accidents in the house (like Stoli) thankfully, rather, he seems like he wants to protect us from something terrible that is about to happen.

Around 2 a.m., I remembered an ad I had seen on TV about a product called Thundershirt. It is a tight t-shirt that velcros around your dog's body to keep him calm. I can think of more than one use for this shirt around here. For instance, Riley does not like riding in the car. Maybe the thundershirt would help. Riley cannot stand it when someone is in the pool. Maybe the thundershirt would help. And, of course thunderstorms.

I am considering the $36 investment.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Space Invaders

My favorite room in the house has been overtaken. I used to consider the sunroom a place to sit and relax, but tonight I realized the space has been invaded.

Peter is working on his Beatles jigsaw puzzle, so he took over the table.

He moved the decorations from the table to a nice spot in the center of one couch.

He stores his golf clubs in the middle of the room.

And his hats and balls on the floor. 

It's making me crazy, but apparently it's not bothering Riley one bit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's Good to be Home

I've been on two vacations already this summer, and they were both so active that I feel I need another vacation to recover. But I am happy to do that vacation at home sweet home. Besides, my baby (Riley) missed me. I've heard dogs don't really have a sense of time, but Riley sure does get all fired up when we return from a vacation. He runs around the house doing his happy dance while we chase him and try to give him a hug. It sure seems like he missed us.

We played outside today while I was burning my Bratwurst on the grill. Riley wanted to find some chipmunks, so I played along.

Riley thinks he found one, so he comes to get me. I follow him down the stairs to the wood pile.

I tell him the chipmunk is in the tree, and he believes me. I'm so mean sometimes.

After our game, Riley still loves me and I love him too.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Peter!

Today was Peter's 17th birthday. Even though we are out of town, we managed to celebrate. We went to the beach, played tennis and went to Dan & Lynne's for dinner. We also gave him some presents and ate ice cream cake (his favorite).

Dan & Lynne had us over for a farewell dinner

While dinner was cooking, everyone took turns rowing the raft on their pond

I just watched

Some of us ate lobster

And then we had cake!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Freedom Trail

We drove in to Boston for a whirlwind tour today. We decided to stick to the Freedom Trail to see the most we could in the time we had.

We started out at Boston Common by the Frog Pond

We knew we were on the right track as long as we followed the red brick road

The Granary Burying Ground (est. in 1660). John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Robert Treat Paine were buried here.

Peter & Anna in the Old South Meeting House

Josh & Katherine outside Paul Revere's house

We stopped for lunch at the Cheers restaurant in Quincy Market just in time to see the beginning of the USA women's soccer game against France.

Daniel & Lily along the trail in front of a restaurant.

We took a little break in the King's Chapel, where the pews were set up more like dining booths without a table.

Centerville Pies

Lynne told us about the Centerville Pie Co. on Monday. It is located about 10 minutes from our rental. It was made famous because the owner sent some pies to Oprah Winfrey when she was staying on the Cape for Eunice Shriver Kennedy's funeral in August of 2009. 

This pie company makes regular pies (berry, apple, banana, etc.), but they are famous for their chicken pot pies. They also make beef pies, Shepherd's pie with mashed potato or sweet potato topping, and clam pie. We tried the chicken and beef pies. We all agreed they were excellent, and if you are ever visiting Cape Cod, you should try them.

The photo is of me with the beef pie right out of the oven. I also look like I came right out of the oven because I got too much sun at the beach!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beach Day

Today was a day to just kick back and relax at the beach. We chose Craigville Beach in Centerville because we planned to have Centerville Pies for dinner tonight. The beach wasn't too crowded, there was a nice breeze, and the water was warm. Perfect.

Studious beach goers

Not so studious beach goers

While we were at the beach, it didn't seem so hot. There was a very strong breeze that kept us cool. So when we got back home, everyone thought it would be a good idea to play tennis. It was about 90 degrees in the sun with 90% humidity. I think it was the sweatiest I have ever been in my life.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Soaping Up

Outdoor showers must be a common feature of homes on the Cape. Dan's house and the rental both have them. Dan's outdoor shower has a door, but our outdoor shower doesn't. The owners of the rental property told us not to worry because the neighbor next door is 112 years old, and she can't see or hear very well.

So far, Daniel is the only one brave enough to try the shower in the backyard. He actually loves it, and has used it every afternoon since we've been here. The optional "door" is a towel hung over a bar. He does use that just in case someone happens to walk by.

I happened to walk by with my camera while he was soaping up today.