Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Cool" Tub Fun!!!

So, this is totally redneck.
But, its hot outside and we really don't care.

Matt was given a hot tub (before I came on the scene) about 10 years ago.
We used it a lot when we were dating.
Over the last 5 years, we haven't used it so much.

Last summer, my super smart husband had the fabulous idea to get the tub cleaned out and use it for the summer, without the heater.  It was fantastic!

This summer, he had an even better idea.
Which I don't have pics of yet...but rest assured, they will turn up on the blog at some point because its entirely too funny.
So, he decided that we needed a practical way to keep the water cool.
Most people would think....just throw some ice in there.

Not so smart.  Ice cubes would melt really quick and have no impact on the temperature of the water.

He said we needed large, solid pieces of ice.
His genius idea....save our used gallon milk jugs...fill almost to the top with water (leave room for expansion when freezing).
Freeze in the deep freeze;)
We currently have 3 gallon jugs and 2 half gallon buttermilk jugs:)

We just let them float with us for a while in the water and they cool the water perfectly!

Here is a pic of my boys enjoying the "cool" tub....without the frozen milk jugs;)
Notice the placement of the golfcart...
Matt said it served a dual purpose..
1.  Provided shade
2.  It put his beer cooler within arms reach

Matt is going to kill me for putting up this one, but,
I can't help it I love Bubba's bottom.

I promise we slather him with sunscreen....he came out of the womb this color and hasn't changed one bit.
He has an olive complexion just like Matt.  Although, his bottom is pretty white...

So, this is how we enjoy our hot, sweltering afternoons. 
Maybe you should come out and join us!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Scoop!

Ok, so, I've been keeping a little secret, well, its not a secret for some people, but in Facebook and Blogland, it was a secret.

Prego my Eggo, I'm 14 weeks pregnant with our 2nd babe!
We are thrilled!
I am srsly exhausted!

We found out while we were in DisneyWorld.
Kind of fitting....its the happiest place on earth and we got some happy news;)

Anywho, I don't have any real complaints....except the HEAT and I'm tired in the afternoons.
Praise the LORD, Bubba takes a 3-4 hour nap in the afternoons.  Because this is exactly the time of day that I just need to rest.

So, not only have I been slacking on the blog, I've been slacking at home.
Laundry has piled up, toys haven't been organized and picked up.
I've let things go longer than I normally would...I am a procrastinator by nature:)

Its been an adjustment, even bigger than being pregnant with Rutledge.
I am feeling tons better as I can see my way out of the 1st trimester.

So, I will keep you all posted on the details of the pregnancy, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I can't wait to find out the sex on August 31st!

I CAN wait to see this thing again....

The Medela Pump in Style, was essential to my breastfeeding success because I had an OVERSUPPLY of milk. 
There was a time when that pump was used after every single feeding.
EVERY SINGLE FEEDING.

So, I was a dedicated pumper for a few months, then, I really only used it when I was away from Bubba, which wasn't often. 

Everyone that has come in contact with me and my pump has been traumatized.
I realize this is way too much information, but, peeps, when you have a child attached to your bosom, some things cease to be personal.
Its natural.
The Lord intended it, therefore, I do it, and I TALK about it.
My hope is that I can encourage another mama to give breastfeeding a try!

Ok, so, back to the pregnancy.
I'm a little discouraged this go round because I'm already wearing a couple of maternity things...
With Rutledge, I didn't need maternity clothes until the 5/6 month mark.
My body has just changed.
I'm fine with it...its just different, that's all.

So, now everyone is in the loop!
Cousin Sarah, I hope you are happy;)
We can even play a little game...
What is the sex of Baby Rogers #2???
Matt and I both think its another boy....which thrills us of course.
A girl would thrill us as well.
We honestly do not care what we are given.
Healthy babe and healthy mama are all we ask!
The Chinese Birth Calander predicts we are having another boy and it was right on with Rutledge and with everyone else I know that has used it;)

Uncle Pep and Aunt Elisha are expecting a baby girl!!!
The first girl child for the Rogers' clan!
They found out on Monday morning and we think Uncle Pep is scared to death!
We are more than thrilled for them:)

Whatcha think about all this?
We have a lot going on!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our Roadshow Experience!

Ok, I know there are a few peeps out there that are dying to know whether we had trash or treasure.....
well, we didn't have trash;)
And, we didn't over pay for our treasure.
Matt was more than pleased with that information.

We started out on Friday afternoon, headed down to eat a good supper @ Felix's, and boy was is FINE!
I wish I had a pic of the amazing sauteed grouper with crabmeat oscar.
Take my word for it, amazing.

We woke early on Saturday morning and drove the 1 hour and 15 minutes to Biloxi.
We found the Convention Center very easily....parking was not so easy.
We quickly realized that arriving early was the only way we got a parking space because there was a Rodeo going on in the opposite side of the Convention Center.

Anywho, we (Matt) unloaded our treasures and we headed for the front door, but not before I made friends with the man that parked across from us.  I noticed his plates said New Mexico, so, of course I had to ask him if he really drove from New Mexico.  He said that he had and that he had been trying to get on Antiques Roadshow for 5 years.  5 years!
How did we get tickets so easily?

Anywho, he was very kind to take our picture in front of the Roadshow sign.
Cell phone quality, sorry!
Cameras were not allowed and phones had to be turned off once we were in the "holding" area.

Here we are!

And here I am with our items to be appraised.

Initially, we were only going to take 1 of the 4 chairs Matt bought me for my birthday last year.  Then, last week, his mom decided that she would like us to take the framed Chinese tapestry I'm holding in the pic above.  Her grandfather, Frank Bellamy Rutledge, Sr., was a pharmacist in the Navy in 1908 and he was on leave in Shanghai and purchased a couple of items, including the tapestry.  So, we brought it along because it was small and easy to carry.

The only thing we knew about the chairs is this:
circa 1840's
Gothic Revival

We didn't know what kind of wood, if they were really from the 1840's, where were the chairs made, was the leather upolstry original, did we pay too much....these were the things we wanted to know.

So, when you enter for tickets on the Roadshow, they let you give a preference for ticket times.  I chose 9 a.m. because I knew that we would have to go home the same day.  Upon arriving, we had to show our tickets and were directed to the 9 a.m. corral of the huge corral of time slots.  This was a fun time because everyone is checking out everyone else's stuff.

People were not shy about checking out your possessions.
It was fun.
It was also interesting to see what other people consider "treasure".
Beauty is DEFINITELY in the eye of the beholder.

So, after about 20 minutes of being "corralled", we were told to pick up our items and prepare to move.
Also, we had to turn off our cell phones.  If you didn't turn it off and it was detected you would be bounced out of the Roadshow.
We were then directed to the Category Tables.
There are 20 categories for appraisal.
The lady gave us a furniture ticket and an Asian Arts ticket.
Then, we were shown into another large room that was staged for filming.

They only used a small portion of the room for filming, we later decided that was because it was easier to control people and your filming area or "stage" is easier to maneuver for the t.v. cameras.
A circle was made with these big blue felt screen things and they had category signs hanging on them with a table in front and anywhere from 2 -6 appraisers for each category.

We headed for Asian Arts first...the line was short.  There were holding lines outside the blue circle and volunteers would bring a couple of people out at a time for appraisals.  You literally cannot move once you are brought inside the blue....you can however, crane your neck and see what interesting things other people have;)

So, we found out that the tapestry is dated correctly, its from 1908 and its from Shanghai.  Its also silk on silk embroidery.  It was also a major tourist piece from that area and there were literally thousands upons thousands made.  Therefore, not valuable.  Except to us, as a family treasure.  The appraiser was very kind and helpful in giving us information on how to better preserve the piece.

Next, was the furniture line.
We waited a solid 30 minutes to see an appraiser this time because there were lots of pieces of furniture to be seen.

Eventually, we were directed inside the blue area and saw a very nice appraiser whose face lit up when he saw our chair.

I told him what I knew about it and then he filled in the blanks.
The chairs were not made in the 1840's, they were made in the 1860's.  They are made of oak and were probably made in Belgium or the Netherlands.  The leather is original and in great condition.  We paid $150 per chair and they are worth $250 per chair at auction.
Good Deal!

All in all, we were very pleased with the experience and thought it was extremely well organized.
So, there you go!
Our Roadshow experience!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Its time, Its finally time!!!

Its finally time
for
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW!!!

Our tickets arrived in an unmarked enveloped via old fashioned United States Postal Service.
Nothing fancy.
I CANNOT WAIT.

When you enter into the Roadshow ticket lottery, you can request a time slot for your tickets.
Of course, I requested the morning tickets.
Low and behold, I got em'!

So, Matt and I are making an event of it and I'm very pleased.
We will leave this afternoon and drop Bubba off in Lowndes County with our dear friends, the Vaughans.
He is very excited about spending the night with "da gurls".
The Vaughans have 3 sweet "gurls" that love them some.....
Bubba.
I can't blame them because I love me some Bubba too!

Anywho.
My 30th birthday is Monday, and, since we really celebrated that occasion along with our upcoming 5th anniversary in New England, I have no need for anything fancy.
My only request was seafood....lots of seafood.
So, after we drop off Rutledge, we are heading South on 65 and our objective is to eat supper on the Causeway.
So, we made a reservation at http://www.felixsfishcamp.com/.
Nothing fancy, just good food and live entertainment.

In the morning, we will drive over to Biloxi and see what the Roadshow is all about!

We are transporting 2 items to be appraised at the Roadshow.
The #1 item is 1 of the 4 antique chairs that Matt surprised me with for my birthday last year.
The #2 item is an antique Chinese tapestry that Matt's great-grandfather brought back from China at the turn of the 20th century.

So, we will find out if we have trash or treasure!
Maybe, we will meet the twins!

Anywho, we are both ready for a little together, sans Bubba, time.

We hope this post finds everyone healthy and happy and ready for the weekend!
Adios!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Tomato recipe....

Ok, so this recipe isn't really mine.
Well, I modified it, so technically, I can call it my own;)

About a month ago, Matt's dad, Pop, tore his quadricep tendon.
He had to have surgery at Jackson Hospital to repair said tendon.
It took forever for his dad to get into surgery and around suppertime, Matt and his mom, Sweetie, were in need of a good meal and a good drink.

They headed over to Old Cloverdale and decided to pop into Sinclairs.
Matt ordered the fish tacos and a Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sweetie ordered the special, Tomato Stack and a Dirty Martini.
As soon as the plates were on the table, Matt realized he made the wrong choice.

He proceeded to call me during the meal and describe what was on his mama's plate.
I about DIED.

Pan-seared Beefsteak Tomatoes
Shrimp
Scallops
Lump Crabmeat
Light Cream and Wine sauce

This is our version.

I made a traditional hollandaise....I know, I know.  But, Matt said he wasn't impressed with the sauce at the restaurant.

I pan seared the shrimp and scallops and then covered it with another plate to keep it warm.

Now, the superstar, my sliced tomatoes.  You should slice really thick, we didn't because our tomatoes weren't very big.  I would say that your slices should be at least an 1 1/2 inches thick, probably more along the lines of 2 inches.
Place the tomatoes in your skillet and cover with a thin layer of shredded parmesan cheese.
Now, broil.
But, watch it carefully.
You just want to melt the cheese and let it get a little crusty;)
Sidenote!  I used the time while the tomatoes were broiling to reheat my hollandaise over my double boiler!!!  Then, I added about 4 oz of lump crabmeat to my sauce....YUMMO.

Now, plate this masterpiece!

Add some seafood....

Then, sauce.

These servings look mighty polite.
After this photo was taken, we promptly loaded our plates with more seafood and devoured the whole thing.

Utterly divine and husband approved!
From my kitchen to yours!

Sidenote.  I would say that for appetizer or light meal served with salad and bread, count on 1 large shrimp, 1 scallop per person, along with 2 oz of lump crabmeat for the sauce.

For a heavier meal, we each had 6 shrimp and 4 scallops and I used 4 oz of lump crabmeat for the hollandaise.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thanks, Sarah!!

A special thanks to Cousin Sarah who tried one of my recipes and let me know in a big way that she and Cousin John LOVED it!
 Check out her post about my Tomato Pie:)

And, Sarah, thanks for offering to share the prize!!!
I love prizes;)

Blueberry Picking 101

The most important thing to take with you is a toddler that knows their colors.
Tell said toddler to pick only the blue "bluebellies".

A few weeks ago, we were headed to Birmingham for a 3rd birthday party.  Shoutout to Caroline!
Since we were going to be on the road, we decided to make a day of it and head southwest of Birmingham and visit with Matt's grandparents in Demopolis.
We also decided that it was a great opportunity to stop at "The Farm" on our way into Demopolis and pick "bluebellies".

Tutoo and Papa, Matt's grandparents, planted numerous blueberry bushes a few decades ago.  They are still thriving!
Matt has fond memories of people wearing their "blueberry aprons" with lots of pockets on the front and sides to hold the berries as they were harvested.

We had to make due with grocery sacks.

Here is a pick of the bushes.  They are slightly overgrown this year because they haven't been pruned.


After we had a tutorial on how to pick the berries, we turned him loose.

He was very good at his job:)


Of course, Matt had to get me in "pickin' action"

These are the berries closest to the ground, they obviously hadn't gotten enough sun yet.

These are the berries a little higher up the bushes.

Our harvest after 20 minutes of picking.
It was super duper hot and humid.
I think Bubba could have picked all afternoon because he had a throwdown when we were packed up to leave.

After our "quick pick", we headed into Demop and had a nice afternoon visit with Tutoo and Papa.
It was a lovely way to spend a summer day!

BTW, it couldn't be easier to freeze your harvest until you are ready to use those little antioxident gems!
1.  Do not wash your fresh berries
2.  Place your berries, in a single layer, on a clean jelly roll pan (or a cookie sheet with a rim)
3.  Freeze until they are hard like marbles, it doensn't take long at all
4.  Place frozen berries in a freezer safe bag and store in your freezer

These berries are perfect for adding to banana bread, pancakes, muffins, oatmeal, cobblers, pies, etc.  The only thing is this...don't thaw them before you toss them into batter or something because they will turn into a mushy mess!  For example, if you are adding them to banana bread batter, simply toss a couple of cups of frozen berries into your batter and bake as you normally would.  For pancakes, sprinkle them on top of your batter after you pour it onto your griddle, flip your pancakes once and your good to go!

So, get yourself over to a "U-Pick Berry Farm" and harvest some goodness!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ummmm, yeah. I have a blog....

So, if you are one of my 5 faithful readers;), you may have noticed that I haven't written a decent post in a while.....
I'm sorry, its just been hectic.
Sickness, heat, daytrips.
We are just beat!

Rutledge is going to accompany me to the North Country tomorrow.
Then, Wednesday, we head up to Arkansas (The Land of Opportunity), birthplace of Muver,  to see my grandmother and Great Uncle Bob.
Muver is an only child, so, all duty to the elderly falls on her shoulders.  Its a tough thing. 

Its Nana's birthday this weekend and she has "requested" a reception at The Wildflower, aka  "The Flower", the lovely retirement facility where she now resides.
Nana is quite bossy.
She has already ordered her own birthday cake to ensure that there are plenty of leftovers that she can take back to her "suite", where she will promptly put herself into a diabetic coma.

I'm not kidding. 
Nana is diabetic but doesn't take care of herself.
Her little freezer at the "Flower" is stocked with chocolate ice cream and cookies.
She once accused my sissy Amelia of "stealing" her Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.
It wasn't a pleasant thing....

So, Rutledge will get to hang out with Uncle Bob on his little farm while Muver and I throw together a reception.

On another note, I have been quite busy in the kitchen!
I have tons of new meal ideas and recipes to post....and I hope you like them!
I'm hoping to schedule some posts to pop up this week while I'm out of town.

So, thanks to everyone that has checked in on us.
Its been a rough several weeks, but, we are recovering and moving on!

Friday, July 2, 2010

There is a pox on our household....

A pox of the chicken variety.
My babe has the chicken pox.
And tonsilitis.
It ain't fun peeps.

I actually cried at the pediatricians office.
Rutledge was crying and I couldn't soothe him and so I came apart too.
Dr. Jim said that we were having a streak of bad luck but that it just happens.
I felt better after that.

Then, I cried on the phone to my mama.
Then, I cried to Matt.
Then, I cried some more with my babe.
I felt tons better after all that squallin' and coming apart.

All 3 of us got a good nights sleep last night.
That really helped.

So, our weekend plans have been canceled.
We will be enjoying the 4th at home.
We are bummed, but, ya' know what?
Everything is going to be ok.

It just will be!
We hope that everyone has a great, safe 4th of July weekend!