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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Opposites attract

So I have a firm belief in the "opposites attract" theory.  I have no empirical evidence of this, just a gut feeling based on my own experience.  Erik & I are opposites in just about everything non-important.  He's a lefty, I'm a righty.  He's got blue-green eyes, I've got brown eyes.  He's lucky . . .I am not.

Erik gets mad at me when I tell him he is "lucky."  I'm not really sure why, because he is the luckiest person I know.  You remember that Seinfeld episode where George's luck gets better, Elaine is the unlucky one, and Jerry always evens out - well, Erik always evens out - in fact, most times, he does better than even out.  It really never fails.  Tonight was no exception.

I am leaving Thursday night after VBS to go to my hometown to visit family.  Since tomorrow will probably be rushed, I thought tonight would be a nice night to grill some steaks, cook up some potatoes, and eat a nice meal with my husband after we put the kids to bed.  On the way to VBS, I stopped at a local grocery store, Friedman's, and picked up two big, juicy steaks.  A nice NY Strip for me and a Delmonico for Erik.  Yes, we have steaks in our freezer, but our steaks weigh in at about 3 ounces - if we are lucky - not exactly what you think of when you are in the mood for a good steak. 

The steaks were beautiful - or so I thought.  I brought them into the church with me during VBS and put them in the fridge there.  Remembered to get them back out and bring them home with me.  Get home, get the kids settled, and as Erik is putting them to bed, I break them out of the cellophane packaging.  I open Erik's and it is thick, firm and has a beautiful of pink marbling.  I open mine, a little giddy with anticipation of how good these steaks will taste and as I remove the cellophane, I notice two odd colored greenish gray spots that I didn't notice in the store because there was a large "USDA CERTIFIED ANGUS" covering them.  As soon as I saw the spots, I knew my dreams of a thick, juicy steak were over.  I put my nose to the steak and sure enough, it was SPOILED!  I could have cried - I was craving a steak all day.  What makes matters worse is that this is the third item I have purchased from that particular store that has spoiled!

I sucked it up, went down to the basement and defrosted a package of our Jersey cow Delmonico's for myself.

Here is the finished meal for Erik.  Erik selected tonight's fine china, by the way.  Doesn't it look so yummy?  Mmmm - and garlic roasted potatoes - it just hit the spot!
Here is my plate.  Yes, those are TWO Delmonico steaks.  They are about 1/4" thick and about the size of a deck of cards.  Usually we joke and say that our Jersey beef could be advertised as "perfectly portioned."  And it really is.  Most nights, this size portion is perfect for our family.  
But tonight I just wanted to cut into a THICK, Juicy, NY Strip.
See how one of my steaks fits on top of Erik's Delmonico?  Ridiculous!
How perfect is this meal?
Erik cuts into his steak . . .
Mmm. . . thick and juicy - and the perfect pink center (sorry for the blur).
After discovering my rotten steak, I caved to the defeat and depression and cooked up something else I have been craving.  White cake with whipped white icing and fresh berries.  
Dessert:  It makes everything better.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A perfect summer day at the beach . . .

We spent the most glorious day at the beach Sunday.  That's right - even here in Western Pennsylvania, we are able to enjoy the beach!  Well, the beaches of Lake Erie that is.  
Erik informed me Saturday that he was thinkin' he'd take us all up to Erie for the day on Sunday.  It was supposed to be warm, beautiful and NO humidity.  The perfect summer day.  And it was!

The kids couldn't get over the vastness of the Lake (I admit that sometimes it awes me as well).  To look out across the water and see it meet the horizon - it is just like the "real" beach at the ocean.  So cool.  

You know how we all have an idea of how Heaven will be?  Well, in my imagination, I believe that part of one's experience in Ultimate Knowledge in Heaven will be being able to look back through time and see how things were hundreds and thousands of years ago.  I know, it is silly, but I bring this up because watching the boats on the Lake, explaining to Walker that huge, big ships can navigate this lake to ship supplies and goods across the country made me wonder what early settlers thought when they encountered these Great Lakes where they could not see the other shore.  Were they like, "Man!  There are oceans everywhere?"  or did they realize right away that it was a Lake?  Other things I wondered:

  • Who figured out that they could float big ships on the Lakes? Did they start off with small canoes and then upgrade until one got stuck?  How did they know how deep it really was?  
  • Did people hang out and enjoy days at the beach then the way we do now?
  • How hot must it have been to wear a wool swim suit?  
So, like usual, I digress, but those were interesting questions that I will try to explore with the kids this week.  That's the beauty of having a computer - we can google some of these questions and get some answers!

Here are the photos from our day.  

Walker & Will work on digging a hole.  We tried to fill it up with water but the sand just filtered the water through.  
Erik, who hates hanging out in the sun, was such a good sport.  
Can you tell this guy wears pants year round?  Oh - see that little white patch between his tan arm and his sleeve?  He didn't realize that his shirt had pulled up and that little patch got sunburned.  Poor guy.  That & the tops of his feet.  
Maggie is showing off her her "castle."  I don't know where she learned about sand castles, but she wanted to make one.  Unfortunately, all we had to build it were the 5 gallon buckets Pop got them.  5 gallons of sand is too heavy to turn over in one piece - so we compromised and just piled up sand and she smoothed it all out.  She was happy which is all that mattered.
Maggie & Walker working on their sand projects.
Walker showing off his hole.
Kids playing with Erik in the water.  The water was pretty cold - or maybe I should say the sun wasn't too hot, so the cold water wasn't as refreshing as it could have been.  The kids were shivering every time they went in the water, but those little fishes kept on swimming!
Will got pulled back a little bit in the waves and was taken by surprise.  Can't keep him down though - he popped right back up and kept going.  He really enjoyed crawling around on his belly in the shallow waves.  
All the kids enjoyed belly crawling on the beach.
Maggie & Erik sort through the sand to find sea shells, glass or other beach treasures.  
Swimming like fish!  Walker wanted to know if there were any sharks in the water. 
Walker is digging for treasures too.
Will didn't mind putting his face in the water at all.
Will steals a drink of Daddy's cherry Coke.  
Even on his day off, Erik finds time to get his hands dirty and run the heavy equipment.
Beach toes:  Will
Beach toes: Walker
Beach toes:  Maggie
Will is trying to figure out how to lie back on his elbows like his brother.  He couldn't figure it out for the life of him.  It was hilarious to watch!
After our day in Erie, we headed home to Vacation Bible School.  As we left the church, the sun was setting and it was just too beautiful not to take a picture!  The perfect end to the perfect day.  I taught Walker that old saying about the sky - his version, "Pink sky tonight, sailor's de-night."  Tranlation: "Pink sky at night, sailor's delight."  I couldn't have said it better myself.