Thursday, June 30, 2011

I think he has mixed feeling about this . . .

. . . probably something between joy and elation.


* * *


Background:  Between a semi-suspicious looking mole (me) and a reflux issue (her), Heather and I have been spending a fair amount of time at the doctor's lately.  So, she's had doctor on the brain.  

A couple of days ago, Heather woke Eric up by putting her face right next to his and saying, "Daddy?  Grandpa Corry is a doctor!"

Eric sleepily replied that this was correct.  Heather continued with this statement until Eric was a little less groggy, at which point Eric pointed out that we had a few other doctors in the family, namely Uncle Jacob, Uncle Mark and Uncle Scott.  Then we mentioned that Aunt Becca was a nurse, Aunt Tamara and Aunt Krista and Grandma Cantwell were teachers, and daddy works on the computer and at the lumberyard.  (We didn't get to attorneys, engineers, or dentists--sorry about that guys.)

Heather seemed content with the conversation at that point, and she puttered around the room as Eric and I finished up getting dressed.  However, a few minutes later, she ran into the bathroom where I was applying mascara, excitedly saying,

"Mom!  Grandpa Corry is a doctor and he is a tractor driver!!!"


As if to prove her point, she proudly signaled to one of the pictures that we keep on our wall outside the bathroom.  This picture, in fact:

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Turns out, Heather is more right than she knows.  It just so happens that today is Grandpa Corry's last day of being a full-time working doctor.  Starting tomorrow, it's all tractors all the time.  I honestly don't think he could be much happier about it if he tried.

Congratulations, dad.

(Don't think this gets you off the hook for our medical needs though.  I've got your number on speed dial.) 


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How I WISH I would have packed that old pair of red heels!

Remember waaaay back when I promised you pictures of a whole garden of shoes?

You didn't think I'd forgotten, did you?

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So, a word of traveling advice:  If you ever find yourself in San Francisco, be sure to stop by Alamo Square.  After you get tired of looking at the shoe garden*, you can just turn around and snap a picture of these awesomely vintage SF homes, which comprise what is probably my favorite view in the whole city.

(I know that makes me the absolute opposite of unique, but being unique has never been one of my top goals in life, so I'm okay with that.)

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*Eric (who didn't actually see the shoe garden first hand) is convinced that this is some kind of art project, probably for some class or something.  If he's right, this could be a temporary thing.  It sure looked to me like it had been around awhile though.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Embracing My Age--Part II

So, a few weeks ago, Heather, Eric and I were crashing a casual little BBQ that was being held in the back common area.  The invited participants were all people who live in our townhome community, but they are the southside dwellers, where we Cantwell's are northside dwellers.  In addition to living on the opposite hemisphere from us, most of the people there are in their early to mid-twenties, as opposed to Eric and I, who are (a-hem), not.

Anyway, as we were there, at one point the conversation turned to Star Wars, and specifically, wookies.  A few of the women there weren't exactly clear on what a wookie was, and so ever-helpful, I explained it.  At which point, one of the men mentioned that it's only natural that I would know all about wookies, being married to Eric and all.

Then, the same man thoughtfully stated, "You know, I bet Eric (who wasn't at the party at that precise moment) is old enough that he was able to see that movie in the theatre the first time it came around."


(Ummmm-ya think???)


Still helpful, I informed him that yes, Eric and I had both seen Star Wars in the theatre back in our younger days, a few times, actually.

They were astounded.  Not only once but a few times?  How was this possible?

I reminded them that back in the day, we didn't have VCRs or DVDs, so the only way you could see movies was in the theatre, or at a PTA-sponsored movie series, or (in the case of The Sound of Music at Easter), on television.

You would have thought I'd told those kids that I had come across the plains in a covered wagon.  


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Jaws dropped, eyes widened.  I felt old, old, old.  I would have been depressed about it if I didn't think it was so funny.  (The fact that my 2-year old daughter was romping through the grass with their little kids didn't hurt either.)  The few in the group that were just a little bit older veered the conversation off so that we were soon talking about the Disney Sunday night movie, and how for many of us, it was the only television that we were allowed to watch in Sunday.

For a while after that, I ruminated on the experience, and was mildly indignant at the response I got from my neighbors.  "I'm not old!" I would think to myself.  "I'm in the prime of life!  I'm still with it!  I'm absolutely keyed in to our world, and all the good that is in it!"

And then last night, as Eric, Donna, Steve and I were hanging out playing cards while grooving to the likes of Barry Manilow, Marvin Gaye, America, George Benson, and the Carpenters-- and loving every minute of it-- I realized that I am old after all.

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Truth be told, I'm totally okay with that.

(Today anyway.)







Embracing my age Part I here.
Carpenters Image from American Weekend
Covered Wagon from Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, June 25, 2011

great separately and even better together

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Heather outside the Logan Temple--October 2010



I love fountains.  I love the deliciously unique sound that they make, I love how they cool everything down, I love dipping my toes in the water (when it's not prohibited), I love holding Heather's hand as she walks around them (if they have a little walk-able ledge, like the Logan Temple fountain has).  You get the idea.

You all know how I feel about stone lions.  They fascinate me.  They intrigue me.  I think they are fun, and majestic, and I love imagining backstories about them and how they came to be where they are.

Sooo . . . 


When Kami sent me pictures of this guy, it was a little like Christmas morning.

(Well, perhaps I overstate there.  I mean, this fountain isn't actually in use at the moment.  There is no water bubbling up and over those cement bowls, is there now?  So, Christmas morning is going a little far I suppose.  Perhaps a more appropriate comparison would be to say that when Kami sent me these pictures, it was a little like a groundhog day on which Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, giving the firm hope of imminent spring.  Not Christmas perhaps, but still a day worth celebrating.)


Anyway, back to the promised pictures . . .

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What's that you say?  You want to see it up close?


You got it!

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Thanks Kami!

(Kami found this fine specimen in Logan, Utah.  To be more specific, she found it on Quail Way in Logan.)


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Organic and Locally Grown!

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Welcome to my atypically sparse (word-wise) review of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.  


I wonder if Californians leave citrus in unlocked cars the way the rest of us leave zucchini?
(Could anyone be so lucky?)
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Eric weighs the merits of various citrus, in the search for the perfect pomelo.

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I like the Pineapple in the back.  They look like little spiky bushes, adding a nice contrast to the roundness and sameness of all these apples.


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My interpretation of this (in my opinion, pretentious) breakfast/brunch menu:

Fried Eggs on Bread
Oatmeal
Yogurt 
Toast
Scrambled Eggs 
(Or are they eggs with crossword letters printed on them?  Either way, the word is misspelled.)
Coffee
Asian Tomato Juice Cocktail
Lemonade with  a completely pure sprig of herb in the glass
Lemonade with a regular old pesticide-ridden strawberries inside
O.J.


My mocking of the menu notwithstanding, the market continues to be one of my favorite things that we do in San Francisco.  I love the atmosphere, I love the people watching, I love the food.  I especially love the opportunity to experience something very different from what I experience at home.  Between the seven different kinds of oranges, and the chocolate bars spiked with Habanero chilies, I definitely got that.  







Monday, June 20, 2011

the best nest

One of Heather's favorite bedtime storybooks is The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman.  Probably every two weeks or so, Eric and Heather will snuggle on our old green couch, reading about Mr. and Mrs. Bird and their search for a home that will satisfy Mrs. Bird's every whim, while all the time Mr. Bird is perfectly content with the nest he has.

My favorite part of the whole thing is hearing Eric's measured voice, reading the words,

"I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world, my nest's the best."

When it's my turn to read (which is pretty infrequently), I always sing that part, and Heather always gets after me, telling me that "That's not a singing part, mom!"

It is though.  It is absolutely a singing part, if you ask me.

Several months ago, I was contemplating making a list (and perhaps posting it here) of all the things that I loved about our townhome.  I'd had two close friends move into brand spanking new homes, complete with backyards, garages, decks, pristinely clean carpets, and that new paint smell; and as happy as I was for them, I'll admit to being just the tiniest little bit envious of their new digs.

As it turned out, I made a mental list (including things like not having to remember when garbage day is, being able to clean our entire house in a matter of two hours, having much less space in which to search for wayward shoes, and especially our oh-so-affordable mortgage), and that was sufficient enough that I never got around to making the physical list.

(And, let's be clear here--I have no room to complain.  I've been in homes where three generations of a family were sharing a two bedroom apartment.  Grandparents sleeping every night in the hide-a-bed in the living room, a walk-in-closet turned into a baby room.  I think I can handle my home just fine, thank you very much.) 

Lately however, it's a whole different story.  I'm not sure what has changed, if it's been something inside of me or something outside of me, but for the past month or so, I have been absolutely in love with our nest, and with my life in general.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the two other birds that share that nest and that life with me.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

New

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L-R, Henry B. Eyring, Thomas S. Monson, Dieter F. Uchtdorf


This picture was taken a few years ago at the press conference in which it was announced that Thomas S. Monson would succeed Gordon B. Hinckley as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that Elders Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf would made up the rest of the First Presidency of the church.

I love how happy they look.  I love how full of hope they look, and how united they appear.  Eric likes the picture because he thinks President Monson has kind of a dazed look about him, like a "what in the world am I getting into now" kind of thing, while Elders Eyring and Uchtdorf are looking absolutely relieved that the weight of the whole church isn't resting on their shoulders.

Either way you look at it (and I can certainly see some of what Eric sees), it's a fun shot, and one of my favorites.

(I also like the striped ties that Pres. Monson and Pres. Uchtdorf are wearing.   Not because I'm a striped tie kind of girl, but because they remind me of Joseph Nelson, my (now deceased) mission president.  He was always after the young elders to wear conservative ties, and wide diagonal stripes like this one were generally a top pick.)












Photo courtesy of More Good Foundation

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Doug comes through in the crunch!

As you no doubt have discovered if you have been following this blog at all, we Corrys are a group of the least competitive people you will probably ever meet.

(Note, if you believe that, read here.)


So, it may surprise you to learn that a few days ago, while looking over the lion collection on the blog, I became very concerned at a little phenomenon.  What phenomenon, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you.

The Bob & Barbara Family vs. the Scott and Marilyn Family USoSL Phenomenon.  

See, while it was actually a woman named Corrie who started who started all this lion-watching wonderfulness, and it's a woman named  Lyn who holds the title of most lion pictures submitted, the fact is, the family of Scott and Marilyn hold the record for having the most per-adult-capita members of USoSL at 50%.  Prior to today's posting, the Bob & Barbara Corry family's USoSL percentage was a measely 43%.  *

But, wait!  With these three beauties, we welcome another Corry into our Society, and the Corrys are now neck and neck with those pesky opponents.

Whew!

All three of these pictures were taken in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  Doug reports that his family have spent the last four years walking past them on their family walks around the neighborhood.  As they are moving from Ohio to Texas imminently, he determined to snap these shots before it was too late.

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This set might be my very favorite in the collection.  Talk about quirky!

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*Please feel free to check my math and/or correct me if I'm wrong on this.  Scott and Marilyn have three grown children, and all three are married, right?  So, out of eight adult family members, four of them (Harmony, Jeff, Nate, and Scott) are USoSL members.  Bob and Barbara have six grown children, all of whom are married.  So, out of  fourteen adult Corrys, seven of them (Barbara, Charlotte, Robert, ShaLiece, Jacob, Melissa, and now Doug) are USoSL members.  Yes?  

Friday, June 17, 2011

He absolutely meant it as a compliment

Eric quote of the week:

We were shooting the bull as I was loading ziploc bags full of cooked chicken, beef, onions, and chicken stock into the deep freeze.  I remarked how good it felt to have so much prepared, and then, mid-gloat I switched gears and started wondering aloud if maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have things so well organized.  I speculated that perhaps having everything set aside and ready to eat was tempting fate and maybe I was just asking for something bad to happen that would cause us to actually need all these organized meals.  (yes, I realize this is semi-neurotic).  I brought my point home by saying something to the effect that if something happened to me and I was bedridden for awhile, my mom could come up and easily feed our family for a month or two just from our freezer.

At that point, Eric snorted and said,

"A month?  Are you kidding me?  Your mom could feed a 

family for a year with one chicken!"



He's right of course.



p.s.  It occurs to me as I re-read this that I haven't given Eric enough credit.  The fact is, if I were bedridden for awhile and we had a freezer full of meals, Eric could feed our family for a month or two with or without my mom's help.  He's pretty handy with the microwave & stovetop, that guy.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I did just watch "Food Inc." and read "The End of Overeating" though, so really, all bets are off.

Today I discovered that it's just as cheap to purchase rotisserie chicken from Sams Club as it is to buy the whole uncooked chicken.  The whole chickens were 89 cents per pound in groups of two, which ended up being between $10 and $11 for the both of them.  The rotisserie guys were $4.99 each, so two of them were $9.98.  So, I bought two rotisserie chickens, we had about 1/4 of one of them for supper, and I threw all the rest in a stock pot with carrots, onions, dried celery, and some spices for an hour.  A little bit of straining and chopping, and now I have six quart-size freezer bags full of shredded chicken, and a stock pot full of broth in the fridge.  Tomorrow morning I'll scoop the fat of the broth and put what's left in quart-size freezer bags for future use too.

It feels so good.  

Looking back over the past few months, I'm feeling pretty domestic about myself, a little health-nut-ish, and even perhaps a little bit pioneer-y.  I've made jam twice, and made Greek yogurt more times than I can count.  I learned to make chicken stock.  I've chopped and frozen onions, and even pureed cauliflower, which I sneak into our scrambled eggs and potato and cream of broccoli soup, adding a bit of extra fiber and vitamins to our diet without anyone being the wiser.  (But mom, I will absolutely draw the line at bananas and/or wheat germ in the waffles!)

Back in April, Eric and I took some of our tax return money and purchased a deep freeze, which has changed everything for me.  I'm a sale watcher these days, knowing that if I find butter or meat or frozen veggies for a good price, I have the room to stock up a bit without having a food avalanche every time I open the freezer.

(Just imagine with me for a minute just how good that feels.  Reeeaaallll Good.)

I celebrated the freezer purchase by taking the advice of some of my friends (and one of my brothers) and buying the Bountiful Baskets multi-grain bread, as well as the whole wheat stuff.  In the past I had been leery to buy because they come in 5-loaf bags, and with no freezer space, I just couldn't see the three of us eating that bread before it had a chance to spoil or go stale.  Not a problem now though.  I gotta say, I love that bread, and at $2 a loaf, 50 calories a slice, and whole grain nutrition practically bursting from every bite, I feel really good about it all. Heather's a big fan as well.  At pretty much exactly the same time I started buying Bountiful Basket bread, Heather started becoming a bread eating girl.  As in, Heather now pulls chairs over to the microwave, climbs up counters, pulls bread bags down, opens twist-ties, and eats slices of bread completely naked (the bread, not Heather), and without me knowing a thing.  Coincidence?  I think not.

The other day, Heidi was teasing me, asking me if I was turning into Layne.  I laughed, and assured her that I would not be making my own cheese or starting a goat-raising enterprise anytime soon (by which I mean not anytime in this lifetime).

Layne totally  made this cheese.  I totally lifted this picture from her blog without asking her.  I think she'll forgive me, but I'm not positive on that.  Check back here in a few weeks.  If the picture is still up, then I think it will be safe to assume that I'm in the clear.   


Not that I don't admire Layne.  I do.  I'm just pretty sure that I don't have that kind of dedication in me at this point.  Baby steps, you know?  Baby steps to health and wealth.  Geesh.  I should write a book.  That title alone would guarantee a best seller.



Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'cuz I just knew you were hankering for another recipe

So, a week ago Saturday, yours truly made the pizza of all pizzas.  We had some extra broccoli (like a lot of extra broccoli), and I had been going through my old magazines, taking out recipes that I wanted to try, and found this one for Garden Fresh Pizza from Better Homes and Gardens.  (I haven't subscribed to BH&G for over a year, so that should tell you how often I go through old magazines.)

I decided to make it for our Friday evening meal.  Then, I read the recipe more closely and found that you have to let the dough sit for (you're not going to believe this) 12 to 24 hours.  At that point I toyed with the idea of scrapping the whole thing, but I persevered and started the dough, and we had cereal for supper on Friday with the hopes of a real treat on Saturday instead.

I'm so glad I did.  


All three of us agree that this pizza is delicious, and that's saying something, since Eric's not a big one for food that is loaded with as much goodness as is loaded on this pizza. 


The thing is, this particular recipe manages to cut out excessive fat, salt, and sugar without sacrificing taste.  It uses some fun tricks to make the pizza flavorful and satisfying without adding a lot of calories.  For example, it uses feta cheese, which isn't low-fat by any means, but has enough of a bite to it that you don't need to smother your pizza with it to feel like you're getting enough.  Same story with the sausage.  Using chorizo sausage (a word to the wise--frying this up will make your home smell eye-wateringly spicy for a good six hours) gives a whole lot of flavor and punch, and you don't need (and won't want) to use very much because they it is so very very spicy.


I don't want to get into trouble with BH&G, so rather than printing the copyrighted recipe, I'll just provide the link to the goodness here.


A few modifications we made:
I used 1 cup white flour and 1 1/2 cups white wheat flour.
I used regular tomato sauce rather than the no-salt variety.
I used arugula instead of radicchio, as radicchio is pretty difficult to find around these parts.
We sprinkled truffle salt on top--delicious addition!
The next day, we chopped up some leftover rotisserie chicken and put that on top too.  It was good, but I think I like it better without.

And now, just to brag a bit, here's a picture of what the pizza is supposed to look like . . .
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And here's what my version looked like:
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Obviously I'm proud of my achievement.

Probably overly proud, all things considered.

(But really, what else is new?)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Drive Guard Lions

USoSL devotees, we have a new member.

I don't think I can improve upon the words of our newest inductee, so I'll just give it to you straight from the horses (lions?) mouth:

e-mail written to Charlotte Cantwell, dated May 29, 2011

Charlotte,
As promised, here is the first cut at the lions in this area.  Lets call them "The Drive Guard Lions of Brentwood/Nashville".  All but the fountain were found at the head of driveways of some of the biggest houses you have ever seen.  I call them the 100 acre lawn houses.  I am hoping to start a blog (if I can figure out how to do it) and include stuff like houses, churches (a lot here) and other stuff observed while on our mission.
Time permitting.  Take care.
Elder and Sis. Packer

Here's hoping that time does permit Elder & Sister Packer to put together that blog.  If these lions are any indication, it's sure to be quite interesting.


(update:  That blog is UP!)

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