Reggie says…

You put on your shoes, you’re obviously leaving. If you’re not going to take me with you I am definitely not getting out of this cage.

Loving: The knife show

Last weekend we introduced Mike’s parents to our favorite guilty pleasure: Cutlery Corner. It’s on one of the home shopping channels we get on DirecTV Friday nights, and I swear we can watch it for hours without getting bored. It’s so ridiculously ridiculous you can’t turn away. The host, Tom O’Dell, is a southern drawlin’ camo wearin’ riot. He sort of goes in and out of the camera view, sometimes knocking things over and talking in a signature slur. But he loves those knives! And you will love those knives! And then by the end of the show he’s so excited he’s put together these packages that contain approximately 5,000 knives and gigantic samurai swords all for $199! What a deal!

I used to watch jewelry television when I lived in Colorado and spent way too many nights in front of the TV. And it was pretty brilliant. But nothing matches the knife show.

I don’t know what this is, but it’s lovely

It seems like this year more than any other I’ve noticed the trees flowering. It took so long to become spring that I guess I’m soaking it up more than usual. All over town trees have sprouted pink, purple and white buds and I just think they’re gorgeous. I have no idea what they are, but they’re pretty. Someday when I actually own a house and can plant a tree, maybe I’ll learn.

This one is in my front yard.

Oops, I took out the door

I love old houses, and I have loved our last two rental houses, each about 80 years old. However, the driveways are just ridiculous when it comes to modern day cars. Granted mine is much bigger than what I usually need. But it’s not that big.

Both of our driveways have had giant metal gates that you had to open and close every single freakin’ time you wanted in or out (especially with le dog). But they’ve also been situated so that if there was more than one car in the vicinity you’d have to do an approximately 16-point turn to maneuver into the garage. Which is not the worst thing in the world. It’s just that when you have to make a 16-point turn plus open and close the gate four times a day you start to get a little irritated.

And when you’re tired after a long weekend of hosting parents and scrubbing out the inside of said car, you might do this.

Yeah, oops.

I tried to squeeze in the garage next to the other car with too little space and scraped the entire car door.

And you know what would be nice? If I wasn’t already paying a gadzillion dollars a month just to own the car in the first place. (That’s mistake #1. Do not lease a car and then buy it.) So, I guess my car door will be rockin’ some extra white paint for a while. If you know how to fix this kind of thing cheaply I’m open to suggestions.

Grandma says…

If I go to any more potluck church dinners I’ll have to go on a diet. Maybe church membership is culprit in the obesity cycle! (Most) of us are incapable of running/working it off!

My grandmother is an extraordinary woman and a very regular letter writer. I save them all. Her little nuggets of everyday life are what I’ll have when all the emails have disappeared into cyberspace.

Reggie says…

I will not leave my post and I will not abandon my bone.

Zucchini Bread

Finally, gardening comes full circle. Last year’s garden produced a lot, but mainly zucchini. Millions and millions of them, it seemed. We would go out one day and see a few orangey flowers and then a few days later we’d be hauling in watermelon sized zucchinis and scratching our heads as to what to do with them. So by the end of the summer when I had fed the entire newsroom with massive zucchini and I felt bad about tossing them, I started bagging them up and throwing them in the freezer. And finally, nearly a year later I had one big bag of shredded zucchini left.

So, I made zucchini bread, of course. Who wouldn’t want to see those green shreds mixed with three cups of sugar and a cup of oil?

This recipe is from Paula Deen, and with the exception of the time I made it in Colorado and it sank into a two-inch tall pathetic heap of sweet bread, it’s perfect. Soft on the inside, a little crispy on the edges. It makes two good-sized loaves.

Zucchini Bread

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, eggs, water, zucchini and lemon juice. Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Bake in 2 standard loaf pans, sprayed with nonstick spray, for 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean. Alternately, bake in 5 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

Signs of spring

Thank God.

A second bloom on my peace lily plant.

The first hosta of the year.

Daffodils. Plus a gnome.


This one I could have done without.

Loving: Delight.com

I don’t have the budget to shop online whenever I feel like it, but I have to make the occasional exception for Delight.com. They don’t carry a lot of items a la Amazon, but they do seem to pick just the right ones to carry. Plus they have a daily discounted special. I’m not even gonna get into everything I love there. Just spend some time clicking through it (and be prepared to break out your debit card).

When you get your package in the mail it’s always neatly packaged with a couple of stickers or other freebies and a handwritten note on your invoice. Which is nice, because if you’re going to eat my paychecks, you should at least say thanks.

Loving: Chico Bag

Mike’s brother and his wife gave us (well, I took it) a Chico Bag for Christmas and I’ve been grateful to have it at least a dozen times since. I just stuck it in my purse because it folds up so small, and whenever I’m buying enough stuff to fit into one sack I pull it out and use it.

Even though I reuse plastic shopping bags for trash sacks, I always have more than I know what to do with, so this is one more way to keep from getting them. At Target, especially, it seems like they force you to take extra bags. Oh, you asked for paper? Why don’t I put your eggs in an extra plastic sack? And why don’t I put about three things in your canvas bag so that I have to add at least a few more extra bags to your cart? I don’t get it. I worked at Target and I don’t remember being told to load up hippies with plastic sacks.

You can buy them at health foods stores or online, and I think they’re only $5.