Buggy Issues

Have you ever noticed that listening to the crickets chirping outside your open window at night is a beautiful symphony of fall that will lull you to sleep?

But one cricket chirping incessantly under the freezer in the basement is so annoying it drives one almost to insanity?

10363853_10204754165637991_3338193488871808662_nAnd leads to extreme methods of extermination.

Or that a few fruit flies enjoying the ripening tomatoes on the counter can easily be ignored.

But if left unchecked – those few fruit flies can become an militant army in the midst of a covert invasion almost overnight.

IMG_20140917_131721_498Which leaves you fighting a losing battle armed with several fruit fly traps and massive amounts of apple cider vinegar.

But sometimes the most annoying bugs are the ones you don’t see – the ankle biters.

These are the seemingly invisible ones that attack you in the grass and the yard.

You don’t even know were there until the next morning when you when you discover your ankles and feet are covered with tiny little itchy bites.

These – my friends – are the pressing issues that bug me today.

Summer Memories

The weather is changing.

We’re digging out jeans and hoodies.

Math books replace video games.

IMG_20140909_123306_896Suddenly fall is here – the apples and pumpkins and pears are ripe.

But wait a minute! Where did summer go?

What happened to all those amazing blog posts that were floating in my head but never quite got written?

Like the one when Pedro and his sweetie went to the amusement park and he was so twitterpated that he forgot to secure his almost new iphone.

10155233_10204207406334835_52607616920929299_nThey found it in several pieces under the Tornado roller coaster.

That was a costly mistake.

Or the amazing posts about all my garden produce.

Green beans. Zucchini. Yellow squash. Cucumbers. Sweet corn. Melons. Tomatoes. Peppers. Kohlrabi. Lettuce. Radish. Broccoli.

And the one about my flower garden. Yes – I have a flower garden! With beautiful flowers that make my heart happy.

IMG_20140909_132032_352An actual garden – not just planters. And the sweetest rain gauge ever.

But those posts never got written.

And now summer is over.

Gone in a whirlwind of work and play.

Loads of laundry on the line.

Yummy meals on the grill.

Miles of lawn mowing.

997045_699086316851761_7600441534126401443_nAdventures with friends.

Hours in the garden, planting, weeding and harvesting.

Making memories with family.

County Fair then State Fair.

Hundreds of jalapeno poppers.

Good books on a hot summer afternoon.

But I blinked and it’s over.

Gone in a heart beat.

Packed to the brim and running over.

But it was all good, my friends. Really, really good.

Last Hurrah of Summer

We had one last hurrah of summer over Labor Day weekend.

One last weekend together with my family before the activities of the fall sucked us into it’s whirlpool.

10653704_699084826851910_2769751935112440105_nMy parents. Siblings. Spouses. Nieces. Nephews. Cousins.

Family.

Three generations under one roof.

Filling every minute. Squeezing out every bit of fun.

10665127_699086726851720_4637055652839721326_nTubing down the West Fork with cousins – twice.

Eating.

10698500_699086250185101_2754532246494617138_nHiking to the rock – twice.

Eating.

10414519_699084843518575_95587905122534132_nLaughing till our sides ached.

And eating some more.

10639453_284309921761555_8818700014860785146_nSitting on the porch watching the storm blow in – feeling the changes that were surely coming.

Remembering the past.

Relishing the present.

Anticipating the future.

Making hot sticky memories to enjoy all winter.

One last hurrah.

Lunch Box Surprises

I pack my husband’s lunch every day.

Not only is it cheaper and healthier – it’s also faster for him.

That gives him time to call me every noon.

Ulterior motives. :)

When I’m really on top of things I get his lunch ready in the evening so I just need to pull it out and put it in his lunch pail in the dim light of early morning.

It’s when I’m not with it that things get interesting.

Like the time I grabbed a container from the freezer thinking it was left-over lasagna. It wasn’t.

My poor husband got a frozen hunk of left-over pinto beans.

Oops.

But even when I have things prepared – my mental capacity isn’t always the best first thing in the morning.

I few weeks ago I had his lunch prepared – but I grabbed the wrong container. I sent him a frantic text at noon when I opened the fridge and saw his main dish was still inside.

I asked him what he had for lunch.

His response – the yogurt was good.

Oops.

In recent days I’ve sent him an over ripe banana, stale pretzels, and the container of left-over smoked turkey meat instead of the smoked turkey sandwiches I had made for him.

But the one he really laughed about was the plastic container of dry, uncooked noodles that I grabbed from the cupboard in the haze of early morning thinking they were peanuts.

Poor guy.

And he never complains. (Well – except for the pinto bean incident!)

He should get a medal, that man of mine.

Homemade Montreal Seasoning

homemade spice mixIs anyone else addicted to the Montreal seasoning mixes?

It doesn’t matter if it’s the steak or the chicken mix – we use this stuff on a daily basis!

We add it to our burgers, layer it on our roasts and sprinkle it on our chops.

It’s even the secret ingredient in our scrambled eggs.

It’s such a staple in our diet that running out is akin to a catastrophe! But it has happened – more than once.

It was during one of those times that I discovered you could actually make your own blend!

I played around with several recipes until I came up with this one that we now use almost exclusively.

It may not be exactly like Montreal – but it’s close enough! We call it our “house seasoning” and make it in bulk!

It takes almost no time to mix up, uses spices I already had in the cupboard, and can be personalized.

If you like it spicier Рjust add more cayenne.  Or swap out smoked paprika if you like a warm smoky taste.

Montreal Seasoning

7 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground rosemary
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika

Mix together in a bowl and store in a cool dry place.

(Or Рif your like me Рby your stove in an old spice  bottle because you use it all the time!)

Enjoy!