Thursday, July 7, 2011

Coming Home Day - Rescheduled for October

Have you ever experienced something where you think you're ready to talk about it, and then as soon as you have to call your best friend, you break down/cry/just can't do it?

Best friend, forgive me - because you're probably going to read this before I can bring myself to call you. My heart hurts, and I'm just not ready yet. But I need to get this out somewhere, so here it goes.

I've tried my hardest to be brave over the last 367 days while Christopher was away.  I say away, because it's almost like he could be at college.  Until I let myself remember that he's deployed, in Korea, and there are people shooting at him. ::tears::

When Chris left, July 5, 2010 it was supposed to be a 1 year deployment, with a 2 week leave in the middle to come home at Christmas.  I could make it to Christmas, that was only 6 months! Except, his leave request got denied at Christmas, so he couldn't come home.  And then my grandmother passed away, and he couldn't get home on such short notice. And then it was almost July 7th, the day he was supposed to come home and join my family for a week-long vacation.

Cue sometime in May, I forget when - we found out Chris was going to be stationed at Fort Campbell, which happens to be in Kentucky, the middle of freaking nowhere. So, in his attempt to get placed at a different base (preferably Ft. Drumm, NY), Christopher's Colonel helped him make the best decision for himself.  I respect that he needs to make these decisions for himself, but that doesn't make it much easier to hear when you're stateside, and he's thousands of miles away.

Christmas 2009 - the 4 most important people in my life
The good news is - Chris was promoted to specialist, and got a medal.  Yay Boy Wonder! The bad news is, Christopher won't be home for another 90 days.  Now I know 90 days isn't forever, and in the scheme of a year, what's another 90 days? But right now, when he was supposed to come home today, 90 days is endless.  I miss my little brother, and all I want is a hug. So I'll bake my heart out for the next 90 days, put my eating out budget money into the US Postal Service, and try to remind him how much we love him. But boy, do I need a hug.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens

In June, I visited the Hillwood Estate/Mansion/Gardens with some of my favorite women! Myself, my mom, Kevin's mom, my mom's cousin Ann, and Bethany spent the day there. 

The house and gardens belonged to Marjorie Merriweather Post and she was the heir to the Post cereal fortune.  I first heard about the mansion due to their exhibit on Marjorie's 3 wedding dresses, as well as those of her daughters.  The Belle's exhibit was beautiful, but was such a small part of what they had to offer.  We also had lunch, enjoyed the gardens, and went on a guided tour of the house.  I think that we all agreed we could have sat on the lawn and enjoyed the flowers for hours on end.  It must have been a tough life (kidding). 

Some people may disagree with me - but that house is cluttered! I have spent quite a bit of time at other houses turned museums, but this one is a mess.  Oh, and I can't talk about the house without mentioning the overly pink bathroom/dressing room mess going on in Marjorie's bedroom. 

Regardless of my personal opinion, it was a really great day, and a fun excuse to drive down to DC and visit my best friend! Next up - bringing the best friend to the Brandywine Valley! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

CSA - Week 5

This week is by far the most exciting week so far for our CSA share for the summer! The variety is amazing, and I'm very excited to try some new things as well as some old favorites!
Share included: Swiss Chard (colorful stems in front), Dill, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, red leaf lettuce, zucchini, carrots, red potatoes, kohlrabi, and snap peas! That's quite a haul for one week!

I've got quite a few ideas going on - swiss chard is going to find it's way onto a pizza tomorrow, cucumber and onion salad for a 4th of July party, and I need to bake some zucchini bread for my husband!

I'll do my best to remember to take pictures and include recipies, but I'm awful at this follow-up business, so keep your fingers crossed!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lemon Orzo Salad - Yum!

So, let me tell you what happens when you make Lemon Orzo Salad for dinner - you end up with this:

The original recipe very loosely based on this recipe: Grilled Salmon with Dill and Lemon.  I made that recipe once and really loved the dill and lemon flavors, but wasn't crazy about the overall recipe.  So - Orzo Salad is easy, and costs about 5 dollars, as long as you have the dill!

Lemon Orzo Salad
1lb orzo (cooked & cooled)
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh or jarred)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1 cup sliced/diced FRESH DILL

Mix the dressing ingredients together, then toss with orzo.  Chill for 1 hour.
Optional additions that are popular in my house are:
  • sliced almonds
  • feta cheese
  • pistachios
So, try it out and let me know what you think!