Happy Long Weekend

Hello blog world!
Just checking back in to wish everyone a happy Memorial Day!

Hubby and I have actually been camping with my family all weekend, but we’re back home now. We got home late last night and collapsed into bed! I’m so excited to have a day off today just to relax before getting back to work on Tuesday.

We went camping at the same place we’ve gone every Memorial Day since I was 4 or 5. It’s a very simple campground. Lots of dirt, bugs, and trees, but it’s so beautiful. They have archery, swimming, sailing, fishing, basketball courts, and of course, family and friends. It’s very relaxing. My family has gone camping a few times a year since I was little, and this is my favorite place to go. I am not a huge nature person, but for 2 days, I can make it work.

When we got there on Friday, Hubby and I were setting up our tent near the water. He said, “I think I see fins out there.”
I said, “No way. I don’t think they get sharks or dolphins here.”
He said, “No, really, look!”
Sure enough, he was right! There were about 10-15 dolphins playing in the water near the dock. So we ran right out to the dock to get a closer look. They were just swimming around in small groups about 10 feet away from us. What a beautiful way to kick off our weekend! I just couldn’t stop smiling.

Meanwhile, thank you to all of our servicemen and women, and all of our veterans. You sacrifice so that we don’t have to.

Friday Thoughts

Now that it’s permanently hot outside, I think we can call it summer! Hubby and I finally had to give in and turn on our air conditioning.  We’re very proud though since we haven’t turned on the ac or heat since last September!

So in honor of summer, here are some of my favorite things about this time of year:

1. Sundresses

2. The pool

3. The beach! Oh if only I could live at the beach.

4. Fresh produce

5. Having a sun tan. (Should I admit this? I do wear sunscreen! I promise.)

6. Buying new sunglasses

7. Going for walks when it cools off after dinner

8. Family vacations

9. Driving with my windows down

Happy Friday everybody! What are your favorite things about summer time?

Pasta Carbonara/Alfredo/Cheesy Deliciousness

Well, last night I made Pasta Carbonara. Or so the recipe claimed! In my opinion, it was more like a pasta alfredo, with some bacon thrown in to give it a carbonara-ish swagger.

The way I cook is like my mom. Sometimes I use recipes as a starting point, but I rarely follow them exactly. I like to mix it up or switch things so I know we’ll like it.

So here’s my recipe for Pasta Carbonara Alfredo. Regardless of the name, it sure was tasty!

The cast of ingredients:

3 cups of penne (or other pasta of your choice. I used farfalle)
8 bacon strips, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup butter (about 3/4 of a stick)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried (or fresh) parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to directions. (Boil water, dump in noodles, cook until ready.)


Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.

Remove bacon from skillet, set aside, and toss in the onion. Cook the onion until slightly browned.


Remove onion and set aside.
Add half and half, butter, garlic, and parsley. Cook and stir until the butter melts and ingredients are combined and bubbly.


Drain the cooked pasta and add the noodles to the cream mixture.


Add in the bacon, onions, and Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine, place in a bowl, and say, “Mmmm” while enjoying.


This was good, and I served it with some Texas toast, which is hubby and my new favorite side dish. Probably not the healthiest, but it sure is tasty!

Overheard

Hello!

Just a little snippet to entertain you this afternoon.

Last night, hubby and I went into Target. (We had to get a new blender. Our old blender broke and we couldn’t face one night without our daily smoothie.)

We paid, and as we were walking out, we overhear this gem, from one Target employee to another.

Target Employee #1: “Hey! How are you? You got the baby tonight?”
Target Employee #2: “Yup, I left him in the trunk.”

P and I look at each other.

Emily: “Did she really just say that?”
P: “Um, yes, she really just said that.”

This provided great amusement, as we proceeded to  ask each other, “Hey, you got the baby tonight?” for the rest of the evening, followed by maniacal laughter.

After the 172nd repetition of the conversation, I said, “You know, I feel like maybe we should’ve called the police or something. What if there really was a baby in the trunk?”
P: “It couldn’t have been a baby. Maybe it was a dog. Or a plant.”
Emily: “Yes, because everybody refers to their plants as a baby.”

Pounding the Ivories

There’s this thing we grownups have to do, and it’s called work.

I think that an actual grownup would probably call themselves an adult, not a grownup, but you know. I’m really just a child who’s forced to do adult things like pay bills and put money in an IRA.

P likes to say that he brings home the bacon, but I always argue that we bring home equal bacon. Then he keeps saying it just to bug me, so I eventually ignore him.

He really does work hard to bring home the bacon, or money, or whatever it is that they pay him.

My work is not an 8-5 office job. Really, I have multiple jobs, and I go from place to place.

No, I’m not a traveling salesman. Or saleswoman.

What I consider my “main job” is teaching piano lessons. I have around 20 students, with a few more starting this summer, and I love it. I was a piano major in college, and it really wore me out on the performance side of music. Being a music major is hard work! Teaching piano is hard work too, but it definitely has more fun parts to it.

One day a week, I teach lessons at an after-school program.  One day a week, I teach lessons at a music academy in town. The other days, I go to people’s houses and teach their kids there.

They are all ages from 5-14, and all different levels, though I have a lot of beginners.

Here’s a funny anecdote from one of my recent lessons.

We’ll call this student Steven. Steven is in kindergarten and is 6 years old. In the first lesson, we cover finger numbers. Each finger gets a number, starting with your thumb being number 1, and so on.  We do activities and games practicing the finger numbers.

One game I use is Simon Says. Here’s the conversation between Steven and I while playing Simon Says.

Emily: “Simon says play a high note with finger number 3.”
Steven: (counts on his fingers) “This is the bad finger.” (As he sticks out his middle finger to show me)
Emily: “Well, it’s not a bad finger for piano. We have to use all of our fingers.”
Steven: “This is the devil finger!”
Emily: “Ummm…”
Steven: “Yes, it’s the devil finger because God uses it to point at the devil.”
Emily: “Okay well, um, can you play a high note with it?” (Inside my mind, I’m trying not to laugh. Because the scariest thing that God could do to the devil is definitely pointing his middle finger at him. Definitely.)

I’ve had lots of beginner students, and this is the first time anyone has ever said anything about the middle finger. I admit, it’s always been in the back of my mind, but I figure, most 6 year olds don’t really know about it or think about it.

I think from now on, when I teach finger numbers, we’ll just skip calling the middle finger “number 3” and just call it “the devil finger.” Has a nice ring to it, don’t you agree?

Jack Bauer Saves the World…Again

Since we moved into our new apartment in January, hubby and I have been watching 24. I didn’t start watching 24 when it was actually on tv until Season 7. Hubby watched it from the beginning, but that was a while ago, so we made it our mission to watch the whole show. All 8 seasons of it.

Last fall, we watched our way through The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, both of which are awesome sitcoms, by the way. So funny and entertaining. But the episodes were short, only 20 minutes, and we finished them pretty quickly.

Now, 5 months after we started watching 24, we are currently on Season 6.

We’ve watched so many episodes now, that we just find some things funny.

The countless exchanges between Chloe and Jack that go like this:

“I need it now Chloe!”
“It’s going to take me a while Jack! I have to refigure the satellites and get through the mainframe (insert other technical jargon here).”
“I need it now Chloe! It’s our only lead!”
5 seconds later: “Okay Jack I got it.”

And the way Jack always says, “We need him alive!” and yet somehow, the Very Important Person who is the only way to stop the madness ends up dead.

After 6 seasons, the plot gets a little predictable.
Step 1- Something terrible happens to the United States.
Step 2- Jack is the only person who can help, so he must come out of hiding, break out of prison, leave his family, etc to save the world.
Step 3- Jack and CTU are foiled again and again as they try to catch the bad guys. They manage to stop nuclear bombs and nerve gas from killing the whole country, but they just can’t catch the bad guy. It’s always down to the last second, and the bomb is 1 millisecond away from exploding, but phew, Jack stopped it just in time!
Step 4- Jack falls in love with a bimbo. (This occurs simultaneously with Step 3, but I thought it deserved special mention)
Step 5- The President says, “Jack, you’re our only hope. Do whatever you need to. I’m sorry for asking this of you.”
Step 6- Jack risks his life, catches the bad guy, and saves the world.

Also somewhere in there, he and daughter Kim fight, he tortures people, and at least one of his friends will die.

I guess I’m just a sucker for good over evil. Who doesn’t love to see America win, the terrorists lose, and Jack Bauer emerge without a scratch on him after saving the world?

Friday Faves

Should it be “faves” or “favs?” Anyone know? I’m not sure on the proper abbrev for the word favorite. Or favourite, if you’re feeling British. I do know that abbrev is the abbrev for abbreviation. Because I’m so cool and hip like that.

Maybe I should just stick with “Friday Favorites.” At least then I know I’m right!

1) Iced coffee. Made as a cold brew in my French press. Yum!

2) Triple coupon week at the HT. I love free groceries!

3) Strawberry picking and strawberry eating.

4) Diane Chamberlain

5) House Hunters

6) Texas toast

7) Hugs from hubby

8.) Clean kitchens

9) Smoothies

10) Jack Bauer

Happy Friday!

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