Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Which We Buy a House (and Destroy a Shuttlecock)

"OK.  So we're headed to...."

(Apparently sending a text like this sends future grandmothers into cardiac arrest.  I can't imagine why.)

"...the title office."

Finally, after a year of waiting and wondering and waiting some more, we have purchased our house.

Here we are at closing this afternoon.  I actually remembered my camera and was brave enough to take some pictures.  It's so weird to be done with all of the crazy paperwork and meetings to explain paperwork and phone calls to resolve paperwork issues.  What are we going to do without our daily conversation with Irv the Swerve, Loan Officer?  Steve has been so persistent through this whole ordeal, for which I am extremely grateful as I probably would have thrown a bucket of tears at the mortgage company and given up.  But now here we are in our very own house.

We really are more excited than this photo depicts but this was post-badminton and we were tired, sweaty, and itchy.

Speaking of badminton, we have a net strung up on our clothesline in the backyard and we occasionally grab our two functional rackets and shuttlecocks and head out to prove how terrible we are at the sport.  Tonight showed some improvement (I think we got the shuttlecock back and forth over the net about 4 times in a row at one point) and we played until this happened:

"For parties...for weddings!"  Or funerals.  We hummed taps as we bore the deceased shuttlecock to the sideyard.

Steve got busy with the shovel and we had a proper ceremony.

"From petroleum you were formed, to...dust you shall return?"

Rest in peace, little shuttlecock.  You gave us cause for many disgusted remarks and grimaces.

(Then we played Horse over in the Catholic Church parking lot's basketball "court."  And I royally lost.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I love, love, love summertime.

I love waking up with the sun streaming in the window and the fan blowing the cool morning air through the window.

I love spending a good forty-five minutes getting caught up in Deuteronomy and thinking that the verse says, "If anyone among you becomes poot..." instead of "If anyone among you becomes poor...."

I love scrounging up enough ingredients to make some really tasty (and healthy!) scones for breakfast.

I love finally having our house buying fiasco wind down and knowing that we will be able to close tomorrow evening.

I love reading the Durants.

I love having "quiet time" with Steve.

I love discovering that the italian ice at the Tastee Trolley is dairy-free, fat-free and way less expensive than an ice cream cone or a snow cone.

I love the sun and the breeze and having little girls oogle over Florianus in the park.

I love knowing that we have an evening of games and friends and food to look forward to.

It's been a good day.

Baby Talk IX

One more doctor visit more to go?  I hope it turns out that way.  Or maybe this is the last one.  Who knows?  In short, everything looks groovy.  Baby Rodgers continues to be a cooperative little gal and is all positioned up, so the waiting game continues.  It's good, though, because we are enjoying the last few days of being just the two of us as we eagerly anticipate being the three of us.

I was reading some interesting things about preparing your pet for the arrival of a baby.  The list of tips included the owner using baby shampoo and lotion for a few weeks so the pet could get used to the smell, carrying around a baby doll, and even bringing home blankets and undershirts worn by the baby in the hospital and placing them in the pet's space.  Hmm.  These may be good ideas if we treated Florianus more like a person, or if in his canine state he was more prone to attacking small children, but since neither of these scenarios are the case, I think I'll just let this slide.  Florianus has always been particularly good around small children, and I doubt that babies will be a problem.  And if he develops a particularly naughty attitude after the arrival of Baby Rodgers we will deal with it.

We made a birth plan a few weeks ago and ran it by the head labor and delivery nurse up at the hospital, as well as our doctor.  They were very supportive of our preferences and seemed to indicate that the hospital staff would be flexible and willing to comply as much as possible.  After reading about so many situations to the contrary, I'm really grateful that we don't have to buck a well-established system or deal with folks who are rigid in their ways.  This is when living in a small town and having a small hospital has its perks.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Bunco last night was just jolly (as usual) with lots of laughs, goofy conversation, and totally spaced out moments.  I know I'm tired when I start looking at the dice all laid out on the table and try to remember if I'm playing Yahtzee, Bunco, or Risk.  Next time we have Bunco there will be two babies there!  Woo-hoo!  They should both be well-accustomed to the sport since they have been attending Bunco regularly for the past few months.  Baby Rodgers was definitely eager to play and kept attempting to poke herself out of my right side.  Silly baby.

In other game news, Steve has been attempting to get me into strategy games.  I just plain ol' don't think as logically as he does and rarely do I see ahead far enough in the game to make really smart plays, but it has been fun.  Plus, he gets to win and that makes him happy.  It's all about having a swell marriage, right?  Our next goal is to master Axis and Allies (haha).

I saw the most a.dorable turtle crossing the highway in front of our house when I was driving to Bunco last night.  I love, love, love turtles (hence the registering for turtle-themed baby bath items at Target) and this little guy was so cute as he diligently stumped across the road.  It was a great temptation to stop and scoop him up and take him home, and I even called Steve about it, but I think that by the time I would have been organized enough to stop he would have been contentedly making his way through the neighbor's garden.

Here is a totally amazing recipe that meets my latest recipe requirements.  It is fast, tasty, inexpensive, and can be made entirely in a skillet which prevents my house from turning into an over-sized oven.  Whoever painted the windows shut on the west side of the house needs to pay our air conditioning bill, thank you very much.

Veggie Cheese Ravioli
1 package (9oz) refrigerated cheese ravioli
2 small zucchini, julienned
1 med onion, chopped
1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives
3/4 tablespoon Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Cook ravioli according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet coating with cooking spray (I actually used olive oil here and it worked better), cook zucchini and onion until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, olives and Italian seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  Drain ravioli and add to pan; stir gently to combine.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Makes 3 large servings.

This was yum, yum, yummy.

I've got a busy day ahead, which is nice.  Steve is working overtime on a day shift (I could so get used to this routine again...keep praying!), and I'm off to Kearney with Mom and the Heathens.  And there is stuff to get done before all of that happens.  Toodles!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baby Talk VIII

First off, I would like to say that I have the bestest grandmother and aunt on the planet.  They threw a totally awesome baby shower for Baby Rodgers a few weeks ago.  Not only was it filled with lots of pink, but I didn't have to do anything embarrassing.  (Baby showers are somewhat less nerve-wracking than bridal showers due to the reality that people aren't going to give you any awkward lingerie.  Clara thought she would be funny and put her gift in a Victoria's Secret bag, but I already knew what was contained therein.  Ha.)  Steve and I spent the next day setting everything up, and now we have a beautiful rocker/glider, stroller, car seat (properly installed, I might add), and crib/playpen/bassinet/thingie.  We have more fun toys, books, clothes, bath items, goes on and on.  We even have the super-cute diaper bag all packed up and ready to go.  We are definitely blessed with very thoughtful and generous family and friends.  This Baby is certainly going to be spoiled.

As far as Baby Rodgers herself is concerned, the weekly appointments reveal that she, too, is all set up and ready to go.  I'm of the opinion that she is trying alternative methods of escape, namely digging and poking out of my side at about midnight each night.  She is very diligent in this activity which lends to the probability that she has inherited her father's ability to stay up late and her mother's inability to sit still for very long.

I made 21 frozen meals today in five hours.  I was super-tired and didn't feel like seeing a casserole for a long time after it was all done, but I trust that these efforts will be worth it during the weeks when nobody feels like cooking.  We have three bags of chili, two bags of veggie jambalaya, two pans of chicken enchiladas, two pans of burritos, two pans of spaghetti casserole, two pans of lasagna, two pans of turkey and wild rice casserole, two pans of alpine meatballs, two pans of meatball casserole, and two pans of Santa Fe chicken.  Did I count right?  That is 21 isn't it?  I have to say that while I don't think the whole once-a-month cooking is my thing (I like cooking too much to turn it into a one-day marathon), it was a positive experience.  I was glad that I spent the time planning which meals to make, assembling an accurate grocery list, and acquiring the necessary storage containers/labels.  It was also good to stick with casseroles that had either chicken or beef or beans as the main protein, with rice or noodles as the "filler."  Saving prep time by cooking the same things at once was very helpful.

Oh dear, so much for talking about Baby.  This post should be titled "Casserole Talk I".

 Is the due date really two weeks from today?  Crazy, I tell you.  The great thing is that tonight is Steve's last night on his regular schedule before the plant goes into its yearly Shut Down - so he will have the next several weeks completely off.  I hope that Baby comes sooner rather than later so that we will have more time to adjust while he is off of work, but I also know that my ideals and reality will probably be different.  In any case, we're excited (and nervous).