Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet the brood...

I graduated from the University of Vermont. With a Bachelor of Science. From the school of agriculture. I was even inducted into Alpha Zeta. The agricultural honor society. Yet during my four years there. I never sowed a single seed. Nor handled an actual animal. Unless you count a hairy frat boy or two. After a night of quarters. Heck, I didn't even have a plant in my dorm room.

I wasn't a crunchy granola. I didn't wear Birkenstocks. Or live in Slade Hall. With the clove-smoking vegetarians. But I did attend of a few of their monthly pot lucks. Because my parents took off to Europe. And forgot to load money on my meal card.

I was basically a city girl. At a country school. But UVM was my school of choice. Because of the easy access to some great skiing.

Maybe it's karma. Maybe it's the residual fumes from Slade Hall. Maybe it's this damn fear of cancer. That prompted their adoption.

But we've had them about a month now. It's about time I introduced you all. So without further ado. Meet our newest family members.



 and Lola

Also known as ...
Nugget, Patty and Fingers.
Yes. We have a sick sense of humor.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

When the temps hit the triple digits you take your kids to the pool...


Yup, we can now add pool to the list of important life skills we've taught the ballerinas. (Ranking high on the list. Right behind darts.)

And as expected. LB was much more comfortable in this setting than her big sister.

But luckily, she still thinks this gumball machine is filled with glow-in-the-dark, super balls.

But, I'm sure it won't be long til she figures out why her quarter bought her a ping pong ball when there wasn't a single ping pong table in the place. I know she'll have that mystery figured out long before the Big Ballerina does.

Side story: BSD and I first met at a party through mutual friends. That night we played pool together. If someone had had a camera that night, there would have been pictures taken just like those above. Just insert my image in place of the ballerinas in these photos. Circle of life, baby. Circle of life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ohana means nobody gets left behind...

I've mentioned before that BSD was born in Hawaii. Of two haoles. Whom I'm not sure can even swim. Yet in his mind. This is BSD's family.

When we were dating. And relatively young. And living on the North Shore. BSD never missed a paddleboard race. He'd see that race posted on the bulletin board at Foodland and he was always the first one to turn in his registration form. The opportunity to paddle among pro surfers. To get a t-shirt with an "official" Da Hui logo. Not one of the "fake" ones you could buy in a surf shop. Gave him such a major woody.

To his credit, these races were pretty hard core. Paddling from Sunset Beach to Waimea Bay. While laying face down on a massive surfboard. For four miles. Often in some pretty choppy seas. Was not an easy task. BSD definitely earned those t-shirts. And wore them proudly.

Now remember, we were dating at the time. Which means you do things you wouldn't normally do. Just to impress your date. See where this is going?

Yes. I did. I signed up to paddle in one of these races with BSD. Me. The non-surfing, non-ocean swimming girl from New York. We drove down to Waikiki and BSD rented me the longest surfboard he could find. He was such a sport. He stayed by my side the entire time. Even as every last entrant paddled by us. I know he was chomping at the bit to get on with the race. Yet he patiently paddled beside me. Cheering me on.

After many grueling hours. OK, maybe about one mile into the course. Water safety rode up on his jet ski. Told us I was drifting too far out to sea. Then towed me to within yards of the finish line.

I paddled the last few lengths to the finish. Ran the 100 yards up the beach through the chute. Got my tshirt. And sat. Waiting for BSD to paddle the rest of the course. Poor BSD. I'm pretty sure he came in dead last. But he didn't care. He still got his tshirt. And he wore it proudly.

I never wore mine. Never felt worthy. We still have it. It's packed up in a box in the attic. Along with BSD's other race tshirts that he has since retired. So...ballerinas. When we're gone. And you're going through our old things. Keep your eye out for that box of tshirts. They meant a lot to your dear old dad.

Fast forward...15 years? BSD now sponsers his own version of Da Hui's North Shore paddleboard race. On August 21st, the third annual race will take place here in Virginia Beach. Some people will paddle the traditional prone style. Some will stand up and actually use a paddle. And this year there will even be a few kayaks. There will be handmade trophies. A custom made surfboard raffled off. And tshirts. Of course.

The Big Ballerina will be paddling a special new board.

Styled after a traditional prone paddleboard.

Complete with a fancy water bottle and chin rest.

A board made especially for her.

By her dear old dad.

As for me. We're not dating anymore. 

I think I may finally sit this one out.
Crossing the finish line in 2009.

 But I think I'll get BSD a pair of those "black shorts."
So he can continue to live out his fantasy. I think he can wear them proudly.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

thanks bunches...

Thank you to all of you who have commented on my new header. It kind of freaks me out when I log on and see that giant billboard of "myself." But I think it's tons of fun. One of these days I'm going to get a new layout that includes a less obtrusive header. For now though we're all stuck with the super-size meal deal.

Now I can't take all the credit for the header. Actually I can only take a tiny portion of the credit. I took the self portrait. But then this super cool girl. Who many of you already know. Who just happens to have the same name as me. Had the brilliant idea to turn it into a header.  And then she so graciously created it for me. Sending me lots of samples to choose from. So....Kim...

But it doesn't stop there. Blogging is a really interesting animal. You start a blog. You put yourself out there. You find others who blog.

Some you like. Some you don't.
Some like you. Some don't.
Some like you. Then you use words like bitch or ass. And then. Some don't like you anymore.
Some you connect with. Some you really get to know. Some you wish you could create a community where you all lived close enough to hang with IRL.

Kim is one of those people who'd have a house on my street. She's real. She's raw. She's hilarious. And she totally overshares. But she's also sweet. And generous. And thoughtful. Totally my kind of girl.

Not only did she make my new header, but she noticed that I take too many pictures of my beach cruiser.

So she sent me this...

Is that not the coolest t-shirt ever? I love it! You rock, Kim!

thanks bunches.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ten on Ten: August 2011

It's Ten on Ten. August 2011 edition. Temps still hovering around the 100 degree mark. But we're busy at work on the backyard beautification project. So we spend the majority of our days dripping sweat. And taking multiple showers.

Will post about our exciting projects soon. For now it's all I can do to get these 10 photos up. And my head down on my pillow. Night peeps.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Friday Night Fish Taco Showdown

Fish tacos are a main staple at our house. BSD grew up in southern California eating them regularly at John's Fish Market in Dana Point. Or heading over the border into Mexico for some 'real deal' tacos de pescado straight from the street vendors.

When we lived in San Diego we made our share of border runs for some lobster tacos in Puerto Nuevo. Complete with handmade tortillas. And the best margaritas both south and north of the border. Margaritas that knocked you on your ass when you got up from the table. Maybe it has something to do with those worms in the tequila bottles.

Since moving east, we have spent the past 10 years tweaking our fish taco recipe. We've finally landed on one that is a bit of a departure from the authentic baja fish taco. But one we love nonetheless. So much so, that we often invite friends over for fish taco fests.

I'm sure I've mentioned that BSD is quite the talker. And self-promoter. He'll tell anyone who will listen about his 'famous fish tacos.' So, after years of shameless cheap talk, it finally came down to this.

Yes, indeed. There was a Friday Night Fish Taco Showdown in our cul-de-sac. All of the neighbors, even some who've never made a fish taco before, were going to throw down. Unfortunately, the temperature that night was well into the triple digits so there were a few less entries than promised. But the diehards, like BSD, showed up ready to rumble.

A broad range of fish "tacos" was represented. From BSD's more traditional Baja fried fish version. To Chef Jim's grilled rockfish tacos.

To Miss Jan's fajita style seafood tacos. To Miss Debbie's ceviche.

There was plenty of food to be sampled.

And plenty of judges to go around.
(no, that Smirnoff Ice does not belong to these minors. pinky promise.)

 Some working very hard.

And some who took their duties very seriously.

Spanish lessons were even included. No slacking off on the learning around here just because it's summertime.

And if you were annoying in any way...

After the very official votes (tally marks scratched on a paper plate passed around the table) were cast, Chef Jim was proclaimed the 2011 fish taco king. 
With all the bragging rights that go along with the title. For one year. Giving BSD 364 days to continue tweaking his famous fish taco recipe.  Juego de!

Monday, August 1, 2011


I love surprises. I love to plan them and pull them off. Watching the recipient's reaction is always such a high.

I always loved conspiring with my mom to show up on my grandmother's doorstep, in New York, unannounced. The shock on her face always made me giddy. And I loved hearing her repeat, "I vuz so soooprised," over and over. My grandmother is now in her 90's. BSD finally talked me into stopping these surprise visits. Buzz kill.

And then there was the time my dad and I went in together to surprise my mom. BSD and I drove up from Virginia to New York, arriving late in the night, so that my mom would wake up to find us there first thing on Mother's Day morning. Perfection.

On Saturday, the tables turned. Our doorbell rang. BSD answered it. I was in the kitchen. I heard him say, "Come on in." I had no idea who was at the door, but I was not pleased that he was inviting someone in when our house looked like a bomb had gone off. I walked to the front door to intercept. And that's when I saw her. A ghost.

I stood there frozen. My mind was spinning. Who is this person? I know her. I know her well. But HOW did she get here? This isn't possible. A ghost was standing in my hallway. 

I think I scared her as much as she scared me. She tried to talk to me, but I just kept mumbling, "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!"

When I finally came to, I reached out and hugged her. Tight. And then I started crying.

It's been almost 10 years since I've seen her. My BFF from elementary school. My partner in crime in high school. And then my college roommate for the first two years. Was suddenly standing before me.

We both have two kids. Her oldest is already in high school. And her youngest in middle school. I've never met either of them. And she's never met my ballerinas. Until this weekend.

We went out to dinner last night. Our husbands (or maybe it was just BSD) chattered away as we scratched at the surface of catching up. Her sons, so sweet and well-mannered, barely got a word in. I wanted to get to know them better. But the evening flew by.

We needed more time. I needed more time. We need to make the time.

I miss you already.