Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chalk it up!

Angela Henrie posted this picture the other day. It was her inspiration to paint a wall of her home in chalkboard paint. While I absolutely love this image, I am drawn more to the ultra bright mirror frames on the wall and the hot pink curtain print. This is the picture I have been saving with high hopes. My little man wants a jungle mural in his room. I, unfortunately am muraled out. I have no desire to even start another one, but with a wall like this he could design his own ever, changing mural!! Only problem...he doesn't want a black wall.

A number of years ago I painted a small section of my kitchen in chalkboard (no, this is not my kitchen, but I'd sure love it!). I had images of daily menus, grocery lists, witty quotes. You know good grown-up stuff...Nope, I get aliens!! Sometimes they are seasonal like this guy. He has "springtime wings".

I also painted the cedar closet door which is located between the two boys bedrooms, and visible from the den. It is really cute at Christmas and Halloween. The rest of the year it is a playground!! This is a "Pirate Humpty Dumpty battling Sponge Bob"! I love it. It really encourages creativity. I hope Angela enjoys her chalkboard walls as much as we have ours, and someday little man is getting the whole room!!

My kitchen, Spring Alien!

Friday, June 26, 2009

For those of you waiting for the extra fat count in your diet, I'm sorry to say, Chicken Fried Friday is on hold this week. The big T-Ripp leaves for camp tomorrow morning...5 weeks in Arkansas, so we had a "going away" dinner instead; grilled steaks and fettuccine Alfredo (still plenty of fat, just not fried)!

I am not at liberty to give details on these pics. They apparently have something to do with deep, dark camp secrets. Now that the "T" is a counselor he is taking these things VERY seriously!!! I will say up until a month or so ago the rubber band gun, um, I mean thing above was his BASS GUITAR!!!! After many, many hours of sanding, grinding and wood burning outside in the heat (100 +) it is something pretty cool! Callie has been working on hers too, but she doesn't leave for a couple more weeks.

It has something to do with the "Metal Head Mansion" They built last year...The wonderful thing about summer camp is it is a kids world. Adults do not have to "get it". Nor are they expected to!!

The work in progress!

The Metal Head Mansion after construction last summer (2008).
Bon voyage, my son. Have a blast!!!
(as if I need to tell him!)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

They are full, plump and purple, and they are almost ready!! Last year we only had a few grapes, so we just ate 'em up. This year there are so many...what should I do with them???

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Produce Day

Friday was Produce Day at our house...Here we are after a morning at the Dallas Farmer's Market sorting it for the group. Aren't we amazing?!?I'm sure I don't have to tell you that's not us, but we did spend the morning at the market buying produce for our produce co-op. We, would be my 14 year old daughter, Callie and I. Our group consists of 12 families, and one person shops for everyone, every other Friday, then divides everything out evenly for the others to pick up. It's a great system. Everyone ends up shopping once every 6 months, and we always have fresh produce!!

This is at Paradise Produce at the Dallas Farmer's Market. I usually purchase from them when I by by the case, and then I'll go to the Local Farmer's sheds for extra goodies.

My car is to small for this load, so I have to borrow Hubbies for the day. If he could see me backing it into the loading dock with all the gigantic trucks, I'm sure he wouldn't be so generous!! We did good. There are so many local fruits and veggies in season. We got peaches, plums, avocados, tomatoes, summer squash, peeled garlic, jalapenos, cilantro and tons more. We only got lost once on the way back!! Round trip took about an hour, and then another hour to sort for everyone...not a bad gig!!
Some if what twenty dollars bought!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Chicken Fried Friday...

Okay... For those of you who really know me, you knew this was coming!!!
Break Through video of the Year!!!!
Zac Brown Band
"Chicken Fried"My plan was to give you the video. Maybe when my kiddos wake up tomorrow, they'll teach me how to do that!!!

Little man felt left out...you know, fair blog time!

while the traveling Mr. wells is spending his days getting drenched at the US Open, here's what we're doing at home in the hot, Texas sunshine...Tripp and I spent the evening watching the ultra hot "Tripp" in "Failure to Launch". You know, here in Texas, we are so proud to call Mr. McConaughey our own (unlike some others from my own High school-J.S.)! That would stand for Jessica Simpson. Funny, though we've seen this movie a hundred times, it takes on a whole new meaning watching it with an almost grown kid, who looks at his name-sake in the movie as a GOD! Even he got a chuckle out of it. (the only reason he was at home to watch a movie with me is his girl friend is at summer school at OU, and all his friends are at camp, or the school trip to Italy)!!!! I'll take the precious time any way I can get it!
Here's what the girls were working on...decoupaging their camp trunks. I really shouldn't show them until they are finished, but it looks so fun already!! The inside is lined in mirror! Too fun! You probably can't see the details, but they are way cool...even a bit of ELOISE!!!
Happy Summer Thursday! I have to shop for my produce co-op tomorrow. Next post from the Dallas Farmers Market....

I have been wanting to do heavy white slipcovers for some time now to use in the spring and summer months. Our house tends to be dark even with the newly painted white walls. Mr. Wells feels they are not practical for our family of five and two dogs. He obviously doesn't get the glory of a WASHABLE/Bleachable White! I know with so many of you out there with these lovely things they must not be too hard to care for! Is it worth it? Let me know.

Image from Cote de Texas - Pink House lll

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Life doesn't get much better when one of your current favorites performs with one of your all time favorites at the CMT Music Awards. Our house was ROCKIN' with this one. I hope you witnessed the "Little ole place where we can get together!!!!! Love Shack baaaaaby, Love Shack, Love Shack!!!" Sugarland style!!!! Rock on friends!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Little Man wanted to post his latest accomplishment!!! He's been working on this loose tooth for some time now. Actually after seeing the yellow in this picture, he will be going for a cleaning!!!

I have two giant THANK YOUs to two of my favorite blog friends!!! Visit their amazing sites for the details!!
Thank you, Bunny!!!

My toes are so happy!!!

Thank you, Angela!!
My tastebuds are so happy!!!
I still don't know why my hot sauce is so green. Too much cilantro maybe??
Still workin' on the smokin' labels!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Finding a Needle in a Haystack!

Have you ever found a needle in a haystack? No, I mean lost something priceless and found it against all odds?
My precious friend, Polly, recently lost three anniversary bands each one was 2 to 3 carats while cleaning at their farm in Kansas. She was Murphy oiling all the woods of the house with other relatives, and slipped the rings into one of the front pockets of her fishing shirt. Most everyone had already packed up and left taking bags of garbage to dump at various dumping sites when she realized they were gone. After tearing apart the house with no luck, she started to call the rest of the family with the garbage bags. They were not in the bags that had not been dumped. At this point it was already dark and her eighty year old father-in-law had made his dump and was back at his home, so Polly and Brooks made their way back to Dallas broken hearted. Polly called me on the way home in tears, "I know your not Catholic, neither am I, but my sister said Saint Anthony is the Patron Saint of lost objects...get praying!" So we got to praying, "Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, Please come down, Somethings lost and must be found".
Bright and early the next morning Polly called again. Her Father-in-law had gotten up at dawn, gone to the dump, found their garbage bags, gone through each one and on the bottom of the very last bag mixed in with the coffee grounds he found all three rings!!! Unbelievable!!
In honor of Saint Anthony I made her this Ankle Bracelet with two little saints dangling off. Hopefully one of them is Saint Anthony! How is that for divine intervention??!!??

Friday, June 12, 2009

Chicken Fried Friday

Come on, really, which fries look better to you??
If you said the bottom ones from a fast food joint, not to be named, shame on you!
There is nothing better than home made fries with a juicy backyard grilled burger, fried chicken fingers even a grilled steak (some people do call these "steak fries"), and they are so super easy.
Home made french fries:
Enough russet potatoes for your family (I usually use 4 rather large potatoes for our family of 5)
Cast Iron Pan (an absolute must!)
Crisco shortening or oil
Paper towel lined pan

Cut potatoes into lengthwise wedges and then cut them into strips to your desired taste. I usually leave the skins on, but if you prefer them peeled, peel before cutting.
Fill pan about half way with oil. You do not want to over fill because the hot oil will pop and is very hazardous if boils over. This is the trick, heat the oil over med. high heat until a wooden spoon causes immediate bubbling when dipped to the bottom of the pan. Do not let the oil start to smoke. Place potato strips in hot oil very carefully, in a single layer. Do not crowd them or they will get greasy. Watch them constantly and turn after a few minutes. You want them lightly browned on both sides. remove potatoes to paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Repeat for the next batch. I usually have at least four or five batches. The potatoes do cook quickly, but allow about thirty minutes of attention to them in your preparation. Serve with ketchup or ranch.
Sometimes, usually when hubby is out of town, we make a batch of these, cover them in chili and cheddar cheese. Pop into the microwave to melt the cheese, and top with green onion, bacon, jalapenos, sour cream, etc. This is not only delicious, it is guaranteed to jump start your new diet and workout plan!!!!!!

Toto, I Don't think We're in Kansas (Texas) Anymore...

Spring in Texas can be just as harrowing as Dorothy's Kansas! We were just a few miles from a two tornadoes Wednesday. This was the first time in years we have had storms like these so close to home, and as might be expected, my travel'n man was gone. We fared pretty well. The hail crushed two of my newer hydrangeas, all of my potted plants blew over and broke, my flag pole on the house snapped in two and the flag was in a neighbors' yard, but we only lost power for a short time (some people still are without power!) What I find totally wild about the whole ordeal...My kids, except Little Man, didn't bat an eye. They could have cared less. When I was young, I would have been terrified. They for whatever reasons (I think they actually learned it in school) think a tornado can not hit a metropolitan area! They just sat and watched a movie until the power went out. Little man is still clinging to me. You always hear on the news people say "It came out of nowhere and caught me by surprise". I don't get this at all. I knew it was coming early in the day. The air was silent and still all day, the sky was low and green and the dogs would not leave my side. Nature certainly gives us clues. Maybe it's just that I've lived in Tornado Alley all my life. It feels very Creeeeeeepy when these storms are in the air! It continued to storm all day yesterday. Hopefully my man can get in the airport today. I saved the tree limb clean up for him, just so he would know it really did storm. He seems to think I exaggerated the whole event. Me? Never!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

When this guy gets the Ice Cream man try this>>>
Frozen Trix Yoplait Cotton Candy yogurt.
What we HATE at our house? Hearing the Ice Cream man for hours while standing on the curb with money in our hands, sweating in the 98 degree sun, but never seeing him go by the house!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I am so confused!! Gilmores, are you new or old??

I think all my excitement was for nothing...The "New" episodes the TV promised me are apparently re-runs of the final season. Bummer dude!

They are still pretty new to me because I didn't get into the show until they were re-runs anyway, but I was so excited to think there were never seen episodes to look forward to.

Are there any other Gilmore Girls lovers out there??

I am soooo sad. The Gilmore Girls don't start until next Monday.
Sniff, sniff, sniff.
with more time, I think I'll plan a viewing party!

We had a great summer kick-off weekend.

Two pool parties and a sleep-over tuckered this little guy out (I love how he held onto his balloon through out his nap)! I hope your weekend was as festive.

Tonight is the start of the new Gilmore Girls season, finally!!!!! This is the only show I watch. I can't wait!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Jury is in...

The Jury is in...
It has been a good three weeks since my elusive dining room table top arrived at our door. after waiting almost three years for the table I expected I would be writing how wonderfully happy I was the night it arrived. Well, anytime I make a change in my house it usually takes a day or two for me to get used to it, another day or two to swear how much I hate it, and then I usually come around and proclaim how much I love it!! This was another story. After having a very small glass topped table, that I realize now really completely blended into it's surroundings, covered in iron and mercury glass candle holders and a white porcelain centerpiece, a great big wood table top really stood out, took up a lot of room and did not look good with my ultra romantic candles and slip covers, cushions and centerpiece. I hate to say I was a truly ungrateful person. It had to go, but I let it stay for a bit, changed my centerpieces, went back to the original iron chairs and pretended it did not exist. I woke up this weekend, and the jury had come in...I think I like it!! In all honesty, it actually goes more with our house and decor than all my candles did. It compliments the iron, the deer mounts, cow hides and wood. After all wasn't this why I wanted it in the first place? "My Favorite Room" which is my favorite shop has some brown velvet trimmed place mats and cream linen napkins which would look great (I hope. I thought my slipcovers would look great...they did not)! And we all fit around it with room to spare! So, the table has bought itself a bit more time. It has some wonderful free form places that are open in the middle-this is really cool, and some natural markings that make it really unique!
What do you think????

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chicken Fried Friday

Okay, there is something I do really, really well, and I will gladly take all the praise I can get for it! I can fry! Be it, shrimp, crab, steak, deer, eggs, bacon, potatoes, artichoke hearts, pickles or chicken I can fry it the best! I never, ever, ever toot my own horn, but I can fry! The joke in our family has been for the past twenty years that this is my job security, keeping in mind, my job is HOMEMAKER! My three kiddos' friends all come for dinner when they hear I'm frying, and that is often! Usually at least once a week. When Mr. Wells is traveling a lot, you are guaranteed a great fry when he returns (especially from the West Coast-apparently ya'll are way too healthy out there)! Tonight we had fried drumsticks, my personal favorite, but this story is not about the chicken. This story is about the side dish... Growing up, my mother had her favorite dishes she cooked together, and her mother had the same menu, as did her mother. One of these dishes was Summer Squash (yellow squash) with fried chicken. I HATED it! I thought I still hated it, but sometime in the last couple years I started to CRAVE it. Funny how this happens, but now it is my FAVORITE! It tastes like family, home, love. You lucky friends are going to get a family heirloom recipe. I swear this is good, if, of course, you like summer squash, but keep in mind, I hated it until I was 40! So, it is worth trying.

2 pounds summer squash, cut into 1/2" chunks
1 med. onion, diced
1/2 cup water
2 TBL butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Optional: (these are good, but I rarely do them. The above is good enough!)
1 egg, hard cooked and chopped
2-4 TBL sour cream

In a frying pan (I always use cast iron!) bring the squash and onion to a simmer in the water and butter. cook the mixture, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the cover, boil off the remaining water and mash the mixture well with a wooden spoon or potato masher (I am convinced the mashing is what makes this so good). Drain off any liquid. Add the salt and pepper.
If desired, garnish with the egg, or stir in the sour cream.
Serve hot.
Now, If ya'll join me as friends and followers, maybe I'll share my frying secrets!!!
I do hope you enjoy this. It is one of my COMFORT foods. I only make it in the summer when the squash is in season. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Hey Mom, I'm a Senior!!!"


Why does this break my heart? Could it be that he was atcually skipping (no, not classes, physically skipping) when he shouted it? So happy to be the big kid, thinking he's a grown up, and ready to leave my nest.

My goal for his senior year is to slow the hands of time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

This is why I don't get anything done when my kiddos are home!! While cleaning out kitchen cabinets to paint the next section, I came across Mr. Wells' grandmother's old ice cream glasses. Little one proclaimed about that same time he had never had a Hot Fudge Sundae. I honestly don't know how that can be true because they are one of my favorites! Yep, you guessed it. The clean out and the painting got put on hold (yet again!) while we indulged on Baby Banana Splits!
I think this recipe originated from an old Martha Stewart Magazine. I've used it for years because I like it's thick consistency, but be careful not to over cook it or you get fudge!

1/4 cup packed unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup light cream or evap. milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBL unsalted butter
1/2 tsp Vanilla ( I use a tad more)

Combine all ingredients except the Vanilla.

Cook over med. heat, stirring until mixture boils.

Boil 3 min., stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in Vanilla.

Sauce thickens as it cools. Thin if necessary with more cream or milk over low heat.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I want this tree swing sooooo bad!

I think it would be the most wonderful summer project for a 17 year old kiddo and his little brother!

Don't you?

Has anybody out there made one? It can't be difficult!