Monday, February 22, 2010

To the world...

this is a peanut.

To me, this peanut...

is the world!


Friday, February 19, 2010

Puppy Feet

I wrote about Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, in my first post. Before recently, I was an occasional reader of her blog. I would read a few of her most recent posts and scan through some of her latest photographs every now and then, and that would be the extent of my relationship with Ree. But, here lately, within the last 2 weeks, Ree and I have really become the best of friends.

If you haven't met Ree, let me give you a little background. She grew up living, what I would call, a charmed life. She lived on the 7th fairway of a golf course with her country club parents. She dreamed of the big city, so she attend college in L.A. and fell in love with city life. After graduating, she planned to move to Chicago to attend law school. But during a short trip to her hometown in the time between California and Chicago, she met a real, live cowboy, Marlboro Man, as she calls him. Marlboro Man is a 4th generation cattle rancher--lives and works on the same land that his great-great grandfather lived and worked on. Two COMPLETELY OPPOSITE people met and fell in love--a cowboy with cow manure pumping through his veins and a city girl with Starbucks pumping through hers. I guess the rest is history. They married, have four children and live out in the boonies on a working cattle ranch.

I'm mesmerized by it all. If nothing else, you should visit her blog to see the
pictures of their land. Really, really gorgeous. Something most of us can only dream about seeing one day. The icing on the cake is that Ree is a great photographer, so the pictures make you feel like you're there with her.

Anyway, all that aside, I've gone back to the beginning of Ree's blog, and I've been reading her "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" saga of how it all started with her and Marlboro Man. I'm addicted, I tell you! It's truly laugh-out-loud funny. Kevin is forever asking me, "What are you reading?" "Are you talking to your boyfriend on that computer?" He doesn't understand--doesn't know my best friend, Ree. If he would just let me introduce him, then he would understand. But he wants no part of it. His loss.

It's destiny that Ree and I would become friends. I know that now. I came across something today that was very validating for me. Ree and her family got a new puppy, Charlie, a Basset Hound, for Christmas 2007. She introduced Charlie to her friends shortly after Christmas. If you look at the entire post, you'll fall in love with Charlie and want to immediately run out and adopt a Basset Hound! But it's what Ree says at the very end that bonds us together...
This is Charlie. Courtsey of The Pioneer Woman.
Ree says Charlie's paws "smell rather salty. Kinda like Fritos." We are sooo best friends! I say that about Bailey's feet all the time! And Kevin just chuckles at me like I'm CRAZY. It's true! Puppy feet smell like Fritos! It's science! The Pioneer Woman and I say so!

Sincerely, Leigh

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Little Stinker!

Somebody's been busy!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Uuuuuggghhh...It's Time to Clean the Toilets

I love a clean house, but my house is far from it right now. The furniture is covered in a layer of dust, there are tumbleweeds of dog hair blowing across the hardwood floors and the toilet in the guest bathroom is growing that dreaded black ring. Uuuuugggghhhhh. Worst part is I just vacuumed on Sunday. I vacuumed EVERY ROOM--Olivia's room, the guest room/office, mine and Kev's room. Even the rugs at the front and back doors. I cleaned the wood floors in the living room, dining room and foyer, and I cleaned the tile floor in the kitchen. So how can there already be tumbleweeds of dog hair flying around??? Curse Bailey's hyper-shedding--it will be the death of me. My never-ending battle. A battle I'll never win. I can't wait for spring. When my pink hyacinth peak through the mulch, I'm taking Bailey straight to Pet Smart for a buzz cut! I can't stand the hair anymore!!!!!!!!

As for the dust...yet another battle I'll never win. I love the house when its freshly dusted. The slight hint of a lemony Pledge scent in the air. Aaahhh! I think I'll move into a wine cellar. That's really the only place where dust is permissible. You want to see a layer of dust on those old bottles of wine. It makes a statement of fine aging. It's dignified. So why is it not that way when the dust is on my coffee table?

Oh, and the toilet. Well, what can I say? I've ignored it until it simply can't be ignored anymore. It spews filth at me every time I lift the lid. I've even avoided that bathroom for the last few days because I'd rather not deal with it. I'd rather not be up to my elbows in a filthy toilet slushing Clorox under the rim. But, I guess it must be done, and the sooner the better. If I would just suck it up and tackle the throne, I'd have a great sense of accomplishment--another one of those things that I just love!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Just for Kevin

I made this cheesecake on Saturday as a special Valentine treat for Kevin. Kevin loves cheesecake, and not the Jello-No-Bake Cheesecake. He likes the real deal. I've never made a cheesecake for him before; although, I've thought about it many times. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not the world's best baker.
I think it's because I'm not in love with my kitchen. If I had endless counter space, under cabinet lighting, dual ovens, a restaurant-grade gas cooktop and a fancy KitchenAid stand mixer I could be the best cook in the world! Instead, I make do with my few square feet of counters, my dim overhead lighting, my flat-top stove with single oven (I really shouldn't complain about my stove--it's fairly new, and it's convection!) and my hand-held mixer. No wonder I can't bake. No wonder my baking attempts end in the stove incessantly beeping with an unknown error code flashing on the display. And this fiasco was all over brownies from a box!
This is why I've never attempted making a real cheesecake for Kevin...until now! I must have felt very confident when I decided to do this. I carefully followed the recipe. Two and a half pounds of cream cheese and 7 eggs later....voila!...A darn good cheesecake! The recipe is a New York-Style Cheesecake with Choice of Toppings from Emeril. It's absolutely out of this world! If the batter didn't have 7 raw eggs in it, I would have sucked it through a straw! You should make it TODAY! Don't wait for a special occasion--you'll only be depriving yourself! I would send you a piece if I could! Hope you enjoy!


Walking--It's a Tricky Thing

Looking at these pictures makes me want to scream...."Who said you could be a big girl!?!" This morning she was just a baby girl, and, somehow, before lunch time, she turned into this big girl. How did that happen?? Holy guacamole! I don't see a baby at all. I feel like I've been struck by lightning.

Despite my meltdown, walking is a huge accomplishment for Olivia. Doesn't she look proud of herself! I'm proud of her. But my heart still aches. Is that what being a parent is all about? Having your heart soar and ache at the same time??
That's a quality your heart
acquires with your first child,
I guess. Talk about a double-edged sword!



Olivia's First Snow Day

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olivia seemed to really l
ove her first snow! It was so nice waking up on Saturday morning to a winter wonderland. Snow makes things peaceful and clean. We didn't have it for long. There was hardly any trace of it by Sunday other than the balled lumps in in our neighbors' yards from forgotten snowmen. Oh how I love snow days. And this one was so special because Kevin and I got to share it with "Little Girl."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm New at This...

So, my first blog post. Ready!?!........Happy Valentine's Day!

I haven't started a blog before now because I've always been skeptical of the countless "bloggers" out there. I mean, do you really have anything THAT important to share with the rest of us? Anything useful? Anything brilliant to impart?? Anything that the rest of us really care about???

Let me ask those questions of, No, nO and NO! So, despite my skepticism, I've decided to join the "blogger" masses so that I may share what's important to me. My hope is that you'll find something that you too find important, something perhaps useful, hopefully something that's slightly brilliant and that you will care about.

I visited "The Pioneer Woman's" blog yesterday. If you don't know Ree Drummond--aka The Pioneer Woman--she's someone you must get to know. In short, she's a woman after my own heart--city girl turned country woman, and she does it all! Anyway, in honor of Valentine's Day, she started a running list of all the things she loves. Since reading her list, I've been keeping a mental list of my own--a list of all the things I love. I think it's a good exercise. You should try it. You'll surely learn something about yourself. Perhaps something you didn't know or something you forgot that you once knew. I'll share a few "loves" from my personal list.

I love.....

My Olivia!
Kevin's blue eyes
Clean sheets
Wendy's Frosties
"The Holiday"
Meg Ryan
The way Olivia smells after her bath
The HBO series "Band of Brothers"
My family
Clean teeth
The Biltmore House
Hilton Head Island
Clemson Football
Clemson in the fall
Yankee Candle candles
Snow days
Wood burning stoves
Home improvement of any kind
A clean car--inside and out
Putting my cold feet on Kevin!
My sister
My morning coffee with hazelnut creamer
Peanut butter and banana sandwiches with a cold glass of milk...YUMMM
Crock-pot macaroni
BBQ ribs
My granny's biscuits
My granny's cornbread dressing
Hair bows in Olivia's hair
The smell of baby powder
A clean house
Snuggling Bailey
A bargain
"Dirty Dancing"
Cookies-and-Cream ice cream
"Southern Living"
A shopping day with my mom
Christmas traditions
Bed time
Anything Kevin cooks
Ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies
Pulling my hair back
Manicured nails
Kevin's big family
A sense of accomplishment
A neat and tidy yard
The smell of freshly cut grass
Looking at houses that are for sale

Olivia's eyelashes
A good laugh
The fact that my parents are now grandparents (of 3!)
Spring mornings
Sunday mornings--we can hear church bells outside our house
Watching Kevin with Olivia when they're not looking
Kevin in his Clemson hat
A comfy t-shirt
A nap on a rainy day
Christmas decorations
Old school Dave Matthews
The Fray
Low humidity--it's good for the hair!
An open sunroof on a sunny day
Night-night kisses for Olivia
Matthew McConaughey

Knowing the answers to questions on Jeopardy
Date nights with my hubby
Medicated chapstick
Reusable shopping bags
Genuinely nice strangers

What do you love??

Until next time...