Monday, July 30, 2007

Let Them Eat Quiche!

edited to add: I ate one of the leftover slices of this for lunch the next day.
It. Was. Awesome!
I think I like it even more cold on the second day! YUM!!!

Crabmeat Quiche, originally uploaded by lla.

Today did not start off in a promising fashion... I desperately needed to go grocery shopping, as there was nothing edible in the house. However, I was feeling wildly uninspired. None of the usual meal suspects sounded appealing; yet I had no new ideas.

Just as I was pondering if I could get away with serving PB&Js for dinner for the rest of the week, I spied the recipe for Crabmeat Quiche courtesy of Kim at Vintage Pretties...

"Hmmmmm, " I thought. "This could be good..."

And it was

Kim presented this recipe with the statement that she's never met anyone who didn't love this quiche. How can you go wrong with that? So decided to try it.

I'm glad I did - it really is quite good! Of course, I did mess about with it just a tiny bit, since it seems that I am incapable of preparing a recipe as it is written.

Instead of the called for can of crab (my grocery only had 6 ounce cans, and I didn't want to skimp) I used 8 ounces of claw meat that I found at the Seafood Counter. I also heaved a pinch of dried mustard and a few drops of Tabasco in there as well. Mainly because I think just about any savory egg-based dish tastes better with those two things.
(Oh - and in an embarrassing moment in which I reveal just exactly how WT I am, I must confess: I didn't have any mayonnaise. So I used Miracle Whip.* Don't judge me too harshly...)

It went together very quickly, and easily - and was a HUGE hit with both Bubba and Schecky. Kim, you are right - it's definitely a keeper.

I'll be making this again, for sure. But, me being me, I'm already trying to think of ways to guild the lily... As good as it was, I'd like to add something to it to make it more rustic, a little less rich. The wheels are turning.... what to add? what to add?

Asparagus seems the logical choice. 'Cept none of the three of us are big asparagus eaters.** Artichoke? Hmmmm - perhaps too assertive? That might overwhelm the crab. Spinach? Sun Dried Tomatoes? I definitely want to add some color, and some texture - just for fun...

It will be fun to see what this evolves into. Thank you, Kim!


I served this with just a simple salad that was tossed with a Cajun French Dressing and some blue cheese! Yum!
(Although, I took the above picture before I dressed the salad...)

*As a side note - I think that part of my adult fascination with Miracle Whip is that we *never* had it when I was a child. My mother thought it was trashy. It always seemed somewhat mysterious and forbidden. And now - I pretty much always have some in my fridge. Again, don't judge... :)

**Again, for me, blame this on my mom. Sadly she didn't think asparagus was trashy. So she served it often and I hated it. There are some really traumatic recollections from my childhood that involve being forced to sit at the table, staring at 3 lone asparagus stalks, long after everyone else had been excused - only to be allowed to leave when I either ate them, or it was bedtime. If I didn't eat them before bedtime, they would re-appear on my plate at the next night's dinner. Ugh. Traumatic, I say. I *can* eat asparagus now, but I prefer not too...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

How Time Flies...

Young Schecky - on the eve of his 3rd birthday
This sweet little guy has grown up so fast!

Here's some proof...

Skinny Legs and All

These jeans were a little bit long as recently as the beginning of this summer...

Happy Ninth Birthday, Schecky.
It still leaves me somewhat speechless when I realize that even after nine years, I still love you a little bit more everyday...

You're a good egg - so smart, still so sweet, and man-oh-man are you funny!

You make your Daddy and me proud...

Friday, July 27, 2007


Pal's - quite possibly one of my favorite restaurants in the world...

OK - this photo has virtually nothing to do with this blog post.
It just makes me happy - and since I'm in a celebratory mood... I thought I'd share.

Why so celebratory? Two reasons, I guess...

1. Internet Access has been restored to the House That Crazy Built. And it only took 3 freaking weeks. I still have nothing nice to say about the FWs at my Internet Service provider, so the less I say, the better off we all are.
Suffice to say that the battles with Customer Service will begin in earnest. On Monday. Having dealt with Technical Support for hours a day, every day for the past weeks - I think I need a holiday. Rest assured, however, that I will be in touch with Customer Service on Monday, and I will let them know exactly how horrific this entire ordeal has been.
(Basically, my plan is to beat them like a pinata, and see how much, if any, free stuff falls out. And then, we're probably going to change ISPs anyway. Not particularly nice of us, I know - but believe me, they've earned our disrespect.)

2. It's another all-party, all-the-time weekend around here. Schecky's turning 9* on Sunday! WooHoo!

Oh - and of course I can't forget yet another thing that is making me blissfully happy - all the sweet comments and emails that I got whilst I was offline! Reading them all, even belatedly, brought a smile to my face, every one. Thank you so much for all the internet commiserations, and all the lovely, lovely birthday wishes!

The 39th birthday was quite low-key and not at all traumatic. I got to sleep late, got to eat Thai food, and read my Harry Potter book all day. Not particularly exciting-sounding, I know (Hey! Cut me some slack, I'm like old and stuff!) but it was just what I wanted.

I truly enjoyed the HP book. Don't worry, no spoilers here - but I will just say that I am in awe of the attention that J.K. Rowling employed while she crafted these books - and she does remind me that writing is a craft; her level of detail is truly masterful. And the way that she ties everything together, and never seems to forget a single thing, and is able to weave in loose ends from all the previous books? I'm just in awe... One very happy fan-grrrl here.

Anyway - it's nice to be back, and I'm working on getting all "caught up" on your emails and blogs... I really missed the blogosphere, and all my lovely friends here!

*NINE? Sweet Cracker Sandwich! When did that happen? Where did my baby go???

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm..."

Photo taken by Leo Reynolds. (Thanks, Leo!)


How did that happen????

I'm sitting in the parking lot of Borders -- once again borrowing WiFi -- and eagerly awaiting Bubba to return with my copy of the new Harry Potter book.

It's good to be the birthday princess...

And as I wait, I am totally singing this song...

Happy Reading, and Happy Saturday to us all!

Friday, July 20, 2007


Yup - 15 days later, and we're still not back on "teh internets".

I wish I could say that I'm developing a sense of humor about it. But I haven't.

I wish I had something cute and fun to say - but spending several hours (and for once I'm not exaggerating for comic effect here!) a day -- EVERY day -- on hold and then dealing with ineffectual customer service reps? Well, let's just say it drains all the cute and fun right out of a girl...

Who would have thunk that you could go two whole weeks without accessing email, without reading blogs, etc?* It's like living in the past again, and I - for one - am not all that enamored of it...

Ah well, think of all the lovely catching up I'll get to do!

DEPRESSING BUT INTERESTING SIDE NOTE: Last night, at about midnight after holding for more than 45 minutes, Bubba spoke with some very high-level service tech - who told him that Earthlink is having hideous problems in the Atlanta area. According to the tech, they don't know why it's happening, there's no apparent cause; and they don't seem to be able to fix it; it's very sporadic with no rhyme or reason - but that some people have been without access for over a month!!! Aw - hell to the no to that!

So - going to try to research this some today - (of course, ironically, how do you blog about not having access if you don't have access???) This is the first story of this kind that we've heard from them - and believe me, at this point, we've heard pretty much every story imaginable about why it's not working. Sad part is that if this guy is not lying to us, then every other person we've dealt with has. And, if his story's the true one - well, it doesn't sound like it has a very happy ending...

I hope that you are all off having wonderful adventures! I'll read about them someday, I hope!


*Occasionally, when there's something that I just *have* to do, I'll borrow a laptop and then go somewhere and borrow internet access too. But the laptop is very slow, and I feel very clumsy with it. And it's tough to juggle it all with a very bored Schecky - so I've really only been getting online for the necessities. And the occasional whinging post about how I don't have Internet access....

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I'm Not Dead...

although it would seem that my internet access still is...

I'm back from TN - which was lovely, lovely, lovely.
Simply all of it...

And I can't wait to share - I've got lots and lots of pictures - but seems like I'm going to have to.

Wait, that is.

The FWs at my ISP promise to have it fixed by Thursday - which, for those of you who are counting, brings the total amount of "time out" to exactly two weeks. Too bad patience has never been one of my better virtues...

Serenity now...

I've missed everyone bunches and hope that you have all been having lovely, wonderful crafty adventures!

And can I say a great big YAY! for businesses with sloppy WiFi boundaries???
I feel like such a pirate - "borrowing" internet access...

And a great big BOO! to service technicians who not only do not fix the DSL problems, but who do go and muck with the regular phone lines so that now they don't work correctly either. GAH!
That's right - now the regular phone line is out of whack too!
Did I already say "GAH"????


Sunday, July 08, 2007

There are not words…

There are not words to describe how frustrated I am with my so-called Internet Service Provider…

Or, more accurately, my Internet NON-Service Provider, since they decided to stop providing me with “teh internets” in the wee hours of Thursday morning.

Oh – how I wish I were Capello... I know she would have the words to perfectly capture how I feel about the fuckwits at Earthink...
(Although, honestly? - “fuckwits” seems like a very good start…)

Between us, Bubba and I have probably spent upwards of 14 hours on hold over the last three days with technical support. And yet - despite numerous “trouble tickets” and even more assurances that “service should resume within the next hour” blah blah blah… - still, I got nothing.

Schecky has learned several interesting new words over the last few days. Pretty much every single one of which will guarantee that I’m called in for a parent teacher conference should he ever choose to repeat one while at school.

I've come to the shocking realization that I’m really rather quite spoiled. I’m used to being able to access any piece of information the moment that it occurs to me that I want it. Such as:

I’m frustrated about not being able to WikipediaPaul Revere” when Schecky asked me a question about him. I actually had to go to the library to see if I had any books that had come in. I’ve not seen the people take apart the iPhone on YouTube yet – even though I keep hearing about it. Yesterday when I was curious about what the weather was like, I actually had to go outside and look! Usually, I just visit… Yes, I realize that I may be overly dependent on the internet… it’s a sickness…

Plus – I’m going into withdrawal here... I may be a cranky little hermit, but I do so enjoy checking in on “my blogs” and seeing what everyone is up to. I’m a little bit lonely…

Anyhow, I am typing this up quickly, at Whole Foods*, of all places – I stopped in on my way out of town in order to make sure that all the bills get paid while I’m gone.

I’m off to Tennessee, to visit my parents and spend the week in my much-loved hometown. Yay! So, there should be more radio silence from this corner for the next week while the Scheckster and I enjoy the mountains for a spell. (Although, honestly, this whole summer has been quiet here in CookieLand, hasn’t it???)

Admittedly, I’ve not been everywhere in the world, but I still suspect that East Tennessee has got to be one of the prettier places…

I hope you all have a lovely week as well!

*Many thanks to the Caretaker – the clever one who taught me that my Whole Foods has WiFi. He’s a smart one, that boy is… Cute, too!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Home Invasions at the House That Crazy Built...

Yay! I didn't get eaten by a possum!

Although, you are forgiven for perhaps thinking that I had - it's been mighty quiet here in CookieLand since I last checked in, all traumatized and such. However, I think you'll understand when you read about the host of visitors (some welcome, some not so much) that have been dropping by the House That Crazy Built in the last few days...

Let's begin with the possum...

When last I spoke with you: it was evening and I'd barricaded people and cats upstairs, possum(s?) down in the basement. The next morning I woke up and called Animal Control the second they opened for business.

Not real helpful, my Animal Control.

Seems they really only exist to enforce leash laws.
And, if you've ever spent any time at all in the park near my house, you would see that they are not particularly good at that. I'm not complaining, I don't mind the dogs. I'm just sayin'...

That leaves two options: a "wildlife removal" service, or the D-I-Y route. Since I am the cheapest woman on the planet, and since Sarah pointed out that many of these services advertise that they have "Financing Available", I decided to go with rolling up my sleeves and taking care of business myself.

So - I go downstairs, and try to find the possum again.
And I can't.
Surely PossumBaby didn't just leave of his own accord???? Then I realize that he's a possum. And therefore, nocturnal. So, wherever he is, he's sleeping.
I decide that I'll look again at night.

In the meantime, I put both the Things down in the basement. Hoping that if PossumBaby wakes up and smells "cat" - he'll hightail it out of there lickety-split.

And - since I feel some guilt at essentially ignoring the fact that there's a wild animal *inside my house*, I roll up my sleeves, and I get to work - tackling the embarrassing sty that my house has become.
This will seem both important, and prophetic, given upcoming events...

Evening comes. The house hasn't looked this tidy/clean in... definitely months, if not years. I put Schecky to bed and go downstairs for a PossumBaby hunt. Still can't find it. Is this the one time in history that the "ignore it and it'll go away" strategy has actually worked????

Wake up the next morning - still seem to be possum free! Yay! No one in the house who's not supposed to be. I fix Scheck some breakfast, and walk with him to the camp he's attending. I come home, and as I walk in the front door I notice that the Things are staring avidly into the fireplace.

Too avidly.

There's a bird in there. He's trapped behind the fireplace screen.

We have chimney swifts who build a nest in the chimney every summer. They're really cool little birds - they eat about a bazillion mosquitoes and only stay in Atlanta between the months of April and October. Then they fly to Peru. Like I say, they're neat little birds and I am always excited when they return and nest in the chimney.

In. the. chimney.
NOT in the house.

Long story longer - I lock the Things away, put on my industrial strength work gloves (which were purchased after the Great Bleaching Incident of '07) and catch me a bird. A shoe box and much squealing were involved.

Bird In A Box

Such a cutie!

The shoe box was one of Schecky's - he seems to collect them. I really just grabbed the first one that I could find, but I was fortunate in that it had - for some reason - a little porthole cut into the side of it. Once I got BirdBaby out of the house, he showed no sign of wanting to leave the box. He just stuck his little bird head out of the porthole and watched everything intently...

Chimney Swift

I'm happy with how this was all resolved, too - after calling a bird rescue organization I was put in touch with a lovely, lovely woman named Erika - who hand-raises chimney swifts that have fallen out of their nests. And she just lives in the next neighborhood over! She came over, and got BirdBaby and took him home where she added him to the brood of TWENTY SIX that she's already caring for!
Funny note: at one point when I was speaking to her, and we were talking about what to do with BirdBaby - she said "I'm already taking care of 26. What's one more?" Oh, how I had to bite my tongue to keep from blurting out "Ummmm - 27?"
I figure you really don't want to sass the nice lady who you hope will take a bird off your hands...

I Don't Think These Shoes Are Quite Right For That Foot

So, I'm seemingly rid of possums, and baby birds both.
Wonder what the universe has in store for me next???

The answer came quickly: a plague of houseguests!

Actually, I'm kidding.

About the "plague" part, at least - because there were houseguests galore! But much to my delight and surprise, I really enjoyed them all. Which is strange, given my curmudgeonly and socially awkward tendencies. Typically, I do fear company like normal people fear the plague.

We entertained Bubba's parents - who decided to come into town on the spur of the moment, we got to spend some great time with our friend, the actor, between his performances at the Fox. And the biggest delight of them all was getting to meet up with my best friend from high school the amazing GeekyMom, and her family. We didn't do anything fancy - just called out for pizza, but I had the nicest time with Ms.Geeky and her whole GeekyFamily.
Actually, GeekyMom was stopping in town on her way to defend her dissertation today. By the time you read this, she'll be Dr.GeekyMom! Yay!

So the past several days have been a whirlwind - all of it good (well, with the notable exception being fretting about the PossumBaby...)

It's weird, I really am very hermit-like and I so often feel really uncomfortable around people. And if I'm supposed to be"hosting" or "entertaining"? Forgetaboutit - that just ups the angst even more - worrying about what I'm doing wrong, or what a "good hostess" would be doing... Ugh.

To my delight and surprise, there was none of that this weekend. Maybe it was just too busy too fret. Maybe this is a sign that I'm actually not as awkward or as hermit-y as I think I am. Who knows.

All I know is that when I sat down to eat lunch today - the first meal that I have eaten without "company" of some sort since Thursday - and instead of thinking "Thank God, I'm finally alone" (which is the kind of thing I usually think) I thought "I had fun this weekend..."

I need to remember that the next time the prospect of entertaining comes up...

And speaking of entertaining? I hope everyone's 4th of July is exactly that!