Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday

Every Tuesday I'll be posting two pictures for you, maybe not the two-fer you were looking for, but hopefully it will brighten your day!

Dylan got a trike last week. His feet don't quite reach the pedals yet, but he loves it!

Our first Iris of the season bloomed on Sunday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Beer tasting

This is what I just heard from the kitchen:

Dave: "Did you write on the blog about my beer tasting?"

Me: "No, you really want me to write about that?"

Dave: "Yes, it's information people want to know."

That's what I'm here for people, to provide you with information you want to know.

Dave is having a beer tasting at home. At Kroger you can pick your own six pack and he got Blue Moon's Rising Moon, Sierra Nevada Summerfest, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sweetwater Summer Blue, Sweetwater IPA & Dos Equis Amber. So far he has liked the Rising Moon the best, but it was also the first beer he tasted and how he's had a few so he's not sure if the beers mixing together have skewed his taste. The Sierra Nevada was his least favorite, which he was surprised by because usually he likes the hoppy beers. Right now he's having the Sweetwater Blue "It's got a strong blueberry smell, but not a strong blueberry taste". Dave was just trying to talk as I was typing his quote and I sushhed him, his response, "You can't shhh greatness". This is what I deal with daily people.

Tune in later for the results of the pick your own six-pack and Dave's favorite spring/summer brew. I'm sure you'll be on the edge of your seats...

A long year

It's been along year for our family. Marvin passed away a little over a year ago and my step-dad, Gary passed away in late February. Today would be his birthday. He'd had a rough few years dealing with the effects of radiation and chemotherapy after throat cancer. He was in remission for over 5 years, but the effects of the treatment stayed with him making it difficult to swallow, eat and in general just feel well. After many doctor visits and even a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN not much could be done to alleviate the blood pressure issues, swallowing difficulty, frequent pneumonia and tiredness.
While I don't think anyone should tell someone who has just lost someone that the person who has just died is in a better place, because what you really want it them here on earth with you. BUT I do know that he has finally found peace and know that he is certainly with out pain. Which is what we all wanted for him.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Step one done

Here is a better close-up before we pulled the bushes out.

We got quite a bit done on Saturday regarding the bushes in front of the porch. Our friend James came over Saturday morning and got to work with Dave on cutting down the bushes so they were more manageable. Then they hooked up the chain to the stumps to pull out the bushes by the roots. The first bush came out pretty easily, surprisingly since it had the largest root system. The other ones took a little more work but were pulled out in the end.
Starting to cut away at the bushes

It's quite a change to see the front of the house now, without the bushes, it really does open it up a lot. And if you look around our neighborhood, all the houses that have porches have bushes in front of them that really hide them. Unfortunately we got quite a bit of rain this afternoon so we were not able to plant new plants out front. We did power wash the driveway. Which took FOREVER. But wow, there is such a huge difference in the driveway now. And yes, I did work for an hour power washing, so Dave can't say I didn't do anything today.
Since Dave has Monday off he is going to get the plants for the front. We are thinking some native grasses, maybe a hardy hibiscus (we had hibiscus in Florida and LOVED them). If anyone has any suggestions on what to plant let me know! We also have some large decorative rocks that we are going to put out front.
Also a BIG thanks to our friend James for helping us out this morning, we couldn't have done it without you!
We also pulled out the RR ties from the hosta bed behind the deck, we need to get new ones and finish that too. Will the work on this house ever end? No is the answer, because we still have to paint the front porch, mulch and plant the rest of our garden. I hope you enjoy home and garden posts because that is what you are going to get for awhile!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Trimming the bushes

It's really more like yanking out the ugly bushes in front of our porch than trimming them, at least that is the plan for this weekend. For months Dave has been talking about how he hates the bushes infront of our porch and we should get rid of them. I've been a little slow in accepting this because while I don't really like the bushes Dylan can play on the front porch with his sand and water table and no one will see him. Not that I think someone is going to come and snatch him, but it is just nice to have the privacy. We are going to replace the bushes with other smaller bushes, maybe azaelas, and then some decorative grasses for ground cover.
Here's a photo of what the front looks like now (ok, not really now, last fall, but it really looks about the same, see the huge bushes infront of the porch, those will be gone). I will post the after photo on Saturday evening or Sunday to let you know how everything goes!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dusty blue

Last night Melea and I went bridesmaid dress shopping. I am lucky to be one of the chosen few to be bridesmaid in her and Bob's wedding this September. The first issue we had to tackle was the color of the dress. Melea has a very specific blue in her mind for the color of the dresses and other aspects of the wedding. For a while she wasn't sure it existed, but then she found some ribbon in that bluish gray color and realized that it was indeed something that maybe a dress or other wedding related paraphanalia could be found in. After looking through a few books of color swatches we finally agreed that dusty blue was indeed more of the correct blue than cloudy or any of the other blue variations we saw. After finding the color it was time to try on dresses from Forever Yours, since that is the designer who hold the perfect color of blue. The first dress I tried on was in taupe, really taupe, who has bridesmaid dresses in taupe and friends that look good in taupe? It did have pockets though, but as Melea commented the pleats on the front looked like garage doors, maybe in another color it would have been better. Here's a photo, obviously not of me, or the dress in taupe because then NO ONE would buy it.

The second dress I tried on was another strapless dress, sweetheart neckline in clover. I love green, so the color was much better and I think it would look good in dusty blue too. The dresses below are two-tone, which we wouldn't get, but the pleating is cute around the middle and bust and the dress looks good on. Luckily we all don't have to get the same dress, just the same color and fabric.

This dress dress was super cute on the hanger and black (really because most dress look good in black as we all know). But when I tried it on it looked like a city skyline on my chest. I think you need to be really skinny and have big boobs for this one. Unfortunately I have neither...

I tried on a few other dresses, but kept coming back to the green one with the slight pleating. I think there are some other stores in K-town that carry the Forever Yours line, so we're going to have to see what they have to try on as well. I'm hoping that I have another month or so at least before I have to order the dress. My weight loss is going along pretty good, but any additional pounds I can loose before I have to order the dress will be great and hopefully lead to less alterations when the dress comes in!

All photos from

Birthday dinner

Today would be Marvin's 63rd birthday. We are going to celebrate it by going to our favorite mexican restaurant, Chez Guavara. Marvin had taken us there a few times when he & Carolyn would visit and loved their margaritas as much as we do, so we decided Chez Guavara would be the place to go. We've also invited a few friends to go with us to dinner, in true Marvin style, everytime he & Carolyn would visit he would always ask if we wanted to invite friends to dinner. Dave is the same way, whenever we go anywhere, he's always calling someone to see if they want to come along with us.
Tonight should be a good time for all of us to share stories, since everyone that's coming had met Marvin multiple times, that's what he would want, for us to be out having fun on his birthday, that's what he would be doing. He lived everyday to the fullest and enjoyed every minute, he knew he was on borrowed time. I guess we are all on borrowed time, WE have to remember to seize the day. Carpe diem

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

One year

Today is a hard day for our family. Today it will be one year since Dave's dad Marvin passed away. It's hard to believe it's already been a year. As I'm sure those of you who have lost someone close to them know it's the little things that remind you of someone and make you miss them. When we were buying my Jeep last year we had so many questions that we would have called Marvin about, but couldn't. He was Dave's go to for everything. He always had an answer for us and helpful advise, we miss that. We were at church a few weeks ago and the Apostles Creed was the response, the Apostles Creed was also read at Marvin's funeral. Everytime I hear it now it makes me cry. I know it's been a hard day for everyone who knew Marvin. He is still greatly missed by his family and friends. He touched so many lives, even people who had only met him once or twice have a great "Marvin" story.
Rest in peace Marvin, we miss you every day.

The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
On the third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thanks a lot Home Depot

Dave picked the D-man up from daycare today and I met them at Home Depot so we could get plants for our garden. I was hoping to get a few varities of tomatoes, a red pepper, jalapino, basil, asparagus and seeds for peas, cantaloupe, lettuce and spinich. We had no problem finding the seeds, but there were no jalapino, red (or green for that matter) pepper or asparagus plants. Also, there were only a few varieties of tomato plants. I was pretty disappointed, I would have thought the Depot would have had quite a few different plants. Usually we go to Mayo Garden Center, but they close at 6pm (I know, who closes at 6pm? in a retail business) so we couldn't make it. So if you are planning on still getting plants this year I wouldn't recommend the Depot for your plant buying.

In other news Melea and I are going bridesmaid dress shopping on Wednesday after work, I'm pretty excited about that although I have some work to do if I want to look decent in the dress...

Perfect roast chicken

I am a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain. Every week we DVR No Reservations, I can't wait until I have the opportunity to travel to Sardina and Provance. All I want to do when I get to these places is go from cafe to cafe trying all the wonderful food! The last episode of No Reservations we watched was on cooking techniques. I like to think that I have watched enough Food Network and read enough blogs to know what I'm doing in the kitchen, I can take a backbone out of a chicken, I can chop things to the desired size without cutting my fingers off and follow just about any recipe and have it turn out. Dave, not so much. He does a great job grilling and he used to be a wonderful omlette maker, but that's pretty much where things end for him. It is well known that he cuts himself rather frequently with knives and other sharp objects and about 5 years ago stabbed himself in the leg with a pocket knife as he was trying to saw a limb off our Christmas tree while it was resting on his leg.
SO...I thought he might be able to learn something from this show. It was a really good episode and I even learned a few things. One of the segments of the show that Dave loved was how to roast a whole chicken. I've roasted whole chicken before, it's not that hard. I have a great recipe from Ina Garten that works great. Dave, however seems to have forgotten this because when I made the whole roast chicken last night he thought it was the best thing ever. I can't say it turned out any differently than before when I've make them, but Dave was sure it had. I think it was just because my chicken came out of the oven looking just like the one on TV.
Being a marketing person I find that pretty interesting, and seeing in my own home the effect TV can have on people and how they percieve things.

Ham Towne

Well it's here, the blog you've all been wating for, Ham Towne. Dave thought that Ham Towne would be the perfect name for my blog and since I couldn't think of anything else more exciting Ham Towne it will be.
It's pretty tough writing the first post for your blog, especially if it's something you want people to read and come back to, which I do. So maybe I'll just start with posting a photo of Dylan (of which this site will have a lot of because he could be the cutest kid on the face of the Earth and since I am his mom I am not bias at all...) and a story from this weekend.
We had beautiful weather this weekend in Knoxville, sunny, blue skies and no rain. Dylan loves to play outside and Sunday afternoon we were outside playing, he was having a great time going down his slide when out of the corner of my eye I see Kobe walking down by the fence line. Then I see something in her mouth. I ran inside as quickly as I could so I could close the sliding glass door because I didn't want her to bring whatever she had in her mouth into the house. She come strolling up on the deck with nothing in her mouth so I figured she ate or dropped whatever she had cought. I decided to go down to the fence line to see if I could see any remenants of what she had in her mouth, and thats when I saw a silver, severed tail and a severed midsection of a...snake!! If you know me you know I am deathly afraid of snakes, even parts of snakes, the tail was still twitching...gross!

So that's what you are going to get on Ham Towne, stories about cats, Dylan, Dave & I and food. Hopefully my food photography will get better and I'll be able to post some photos.