Bon Voyage

On my way to a much needed break from reality.

I am headed here:

and here:

on this bad boy:

Looking forward to a girls vacation with Lacey, Elizabeth and Reema!


He's Back

My brother landed back in the good ole U. S. of A. at 1:30 this morning. 

They made a stop in Bangor, Maine-and he should already be home in South Dakota, by now!

So glad to have him back safe and sound on American soil.

Me and the now Captain at his graduation party at the Broadmore in CO 
I'm so glad to have him home and looking forward to taking this down tonight.



We just found out everything has to go, even the newly remodeled kitchen.  The rehab company just made the recommendations to our insurance companies-here's hoping everything gets approved.  I've got a feeling it's going to be a long journey...

Goodbye Master Bathroom
Goodbye Walls
Goodbye Ceiling
Goodbye Floors
Goodbye Crown Molding
Goodbye Guest Bathroom
Goodbye Carpet
Goodbye Kitchen
Goodbye Guest Bathroom
Goodbye Light Fixtures and Ceiling Fans

Goodbye my sanity....

Hello dust, destruction and many more nights in a hotel room.

Would you like to join us for a glass of lemonade?  Life just handed us a bushel of lemons...


Floating Away

No, I'm not talking about the tubing trip I was invited to go on last weekend.  I am talking about my house that was flooded-due to an unfortunate incident with a pipe and our master bathroom.  We no longer have any flooring on the second floor and no ceiling on our first floor.  Carpet gone, walls stripped, wood warped, lighting fixtures fried.

I hope to never walk run into my house again to see water pouring down from every light fixture and air vent, only to go upstairs to be standing in 6 inches of more water.  I'm just glad I knew where the master water valve was.  I even had to get a security guard go find Josh at his office, because I wasn't sure what to do next and he wasn't answering his phone.  A plumber fixed the line within 30 seconds, and we spent the next 10 hours with a wet vac, our steam cleaner and on the phone with insurance until the clean-up crew came.

After working longer and harder than I ever have in my entire life yesterday-the cleaning crew didn't leave until 5 am.  We are playing the waiting game for the next three days to see what dries.  Then we will know if more need to be ripped out before the repairs can begin.

Right now, we are safe and sound in a hotel down the street-it's impossible to sleep with all the drying machines and the warm "optimal drying" temperature in our house.  We have kept a really positive attitude about everything, and are glad that only "things" were lost.  I'm sure there is a looooong road ahead, but we'll make it!

Now, I get to check off a lot of my home project WAY ahead of schedule, but we've been wanting to put in new carpets and hardwood.  Now we'll get to along with a new ceiling, light fixtures new bathrooms, paint, etc.


A Pop of Pink (and green)

Well I am finally joining Trish in celebrating all things Pink & Green.

Yesterday I stopped by Cox Farms on my way home from work.  After I saw all the gardening goodies my friend Lacey got, I couldn't help but go the very next day.

Here are some of my additions to replace what Virginia's hot summer temperatures have taken away.

In true pink and green fashion.

Pink Gerber Daisey's


I now have a lot of basil plants, I'm hoping to make some pesto down the road and not feel racked with guilt each time I pick some!

There's lots more where that came from, hopefully I can get everything planted later today!



To my pleasant surprise AMC was running a marathon of the second season of Mad Men last night.  I'm so glad that my DVR is set to record every. single. episode. What if I missed it?  I shudder to think.

Who else is so excited for the season starting next week?  What's to come for the new ad agency and Betty's new life?

Then a few short weeks later my guilty pleasure of housewives now in my own hometown.

I am going to be logging some serious late summer TV time.  I may as well spend as much quality time with my couch while I can.  Football season is fast approaching, and I won't know which way is up or really which SEC city I have just left or are headed to is more like it.   So long to sofa time, and hello to interstate 81-we'll be seeing a lot of each other.

A rather interesting thought process taking me from my favorite TV shows to college football, I'm a lonely tailgator, what can I say?


Favorite Summer Recipes

I couldn't resist to share my top 2 favorite summer recipes. 

So chicken salad is my all time favorite year-round, but it is an especially nice summer treat, here is one of my favorite ways to make it:


1 pound cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
2 cups green seedless grapes
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
2 stalks celery chopped
1 cup mayonnaise (Dukes or Kraft are my favs)
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. poppy seeds
White or black pepper, to taste

Combine chicken, grapes and pecans in large bowl; set aside. Stir mayonnaise, sour cream, honey, poppy seeds and pepper in small bowl to blend well; add to chicken mixture. Toss well to coat. If desired serve salad on lettuce leaves.   I like mine on a croissant with lettuce and a tick slice of fresh tomato. 


Bag of Baby Spinach
Carton of Strawberries sliced
1 cup candied pecans
Container of gorgonzola, blue or feta cheese

Toss in Large Salad Bowl and top with Poppy Seed or Balsamic Dressing



Summer Linens

My current summertime look for our table:

Courtesy of Vera!

(although I will probably add some of those items to my linen collection eventually).


My husband buys fresh cut flowers every week.


I think we should go for some more colorful flowers this week.  I was planning to pick something out at the Farmers Market on Saturday, but decided to read a book and watch the Cooking Channel instead.  By the way - who else is obsessed with the new Cooking Channel - I can't get enough of it.

A close up of the flowers:

I just love the hand painted design, and bright colors!  It almost makes up for all the flowers I have killed so far this summer in my flower boxes.  Apparently no one likes a week with temps in the 100's and no rain, including my flowers.  I will be heading to the garden center to find a few replacements for those who couldn't stand the heat, may they rest in peace. 


Copy that, America!

I thought I'd share an email that we got from my brother about how he celebrated the Fourth while deployed.

Hello to everyone!

With only a month left on my deployment we took some time to celebrate July 4th. None of us had the day off but we found ways to celebrate.  I had pre-flight duties on the 4th where we crank up a jet and run
through all the ground checks and make sure it's ready to fly when the primary crew arrives.

Along with taking a few snap-shots we had some fun and ended every radio call with "America". When we called to get clearance to start engines we said: "Ground this is Bone-11 standing by engine start, America!".  Best of all the ground controller caught on and responded "Bone-11 engine start approved, America". Not wanting to sound unprofessional and to make sure everyone knew what was going on we replied "Bone-11 copies approved, America!". At this point the three of us in the jet were laughing out loud and had to take a second to get our act together and continue running the checklist but it was a great start. We finished up all of our checks and handed the jet over to the prime crew and watched them takeoff.

I flew with my crew on the 5th and am going to fly again today. It's always great being up in the air and having the chance to provide overwatch for the guys on the ground.

I hope all is well with everyone back home, I can't wait to join you back in America!
Murph and his crew

His deployment mustache has come in nicely-ha!

God Bless America!


My Recent Obesssion

I have totally been digging fresh fruits and veggies this summer.  I'm talking actually getting the recommended 5-7 daily here, it's been awesome!

Along my gastronomical journey, I have eliminated one of my beloved favorites, ie the Gyro Platter from my favorite lunch spot.  Imagine a plate of warm pita bread under a heap of gyro meat served along side a greek salad topped with tzatziki sauce and a nice dolma.  This was once a weekly (if not more) indulgence, until my nutritionist told me gyro meat was the Mediterranean equivalent of a hot dog.  Sadness and denial set in, but I have not gone back for my beloved Gyro Platter since.

I have a serious affection for Greek/Lebanese/Mediterranean Food.  Love numero uno:  Tzatziki Sauce.  My current plan doesn't call for much dairy, even coming from super healthy, thick and creamy Greek Yogurt.  So I had to find a replacement and fast.  Enter my husband picking up a sample platter from the Lebanese place down the street from our house.  Too tempted not to taste, but trying to stay "in the box,"  I sampled some hummus - HEAVEN!  Now hummus has never ranked too high on my list, but I think that's because I always bought the crappy pre-packaged kind-which I really don't have an excuse for since every grocery store around here has a hummus and olive bar.  Problem was I am usually too busy eyeing the cheese section to notice any healthy alternatives.

Want to know what blows crappy pre-packaged hummus out of the water?  Homemade hummus!

Oh yes, I made my own.  And have made about four batches since and plan to make another batch tonight. 

The players:

Chick peas, garlic, lemons, Tabasco, salt, tahini and olive oil.

I play around with these ingredients each time I make it, swearing the next time I will add less tahini and olive oil (I don't use that much in the first place), but still trying to keep the added (although healthy) fat to a minimum.  Don't worry I never swear to add less garlic!

Basics:  Grind up four cloves of garlic in the food processor, then add two cans of drained chick peas (reserve liquid) and the juice of two lemons.  Keep that food processor going.  To get the hummus to a consistency that works for you add the reserved liquid from the chick peas and tahini and olive oil.  Once at a good consistency, flavor with some Kosher Salt and a few dashes of Tabasco Sauce.

Oh and a new way I found to juice a lemon/lime.  I microwave for 10-15 seconds, then roll on the counter and cut three slices from the sides. 

You won't believe how easy and how much juice you'll get.      


In Case You Didn't Know

This is one of the most fun games ever. We may or may not have played it 100+ times in the past five days.

Hope you enjoyed your fourth! Can't wait to upload pictures and share all of our fun times with you! For a sneak peak here are some pictures that my friend took where we watched the fireworks at Iwo Jima!

It was a great setting!