Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blue Skies

Originally uploaded by nicciwashere

Last weekend's attempt to make it up to Cleveland for the Burning River Roller Girls semi-finals was pretty much epic fail. I wasn't feeling well, but we trekked up to Columbus to have lunch at Schmidt's Sausage Haus anyway. I didn't even make it through five bites of creme puff. If you've ever had their creme puffs, you know that's a travesty.

The day was pretty, though. That was a nice counterpoint to feeling icky and missing out on some really great German cuisine.

The candy shop next door to Schmidt's had Savannah Candy Company praline mix. Sometimes things just show up where you least expect them. One of the most memorable things about Sav is that shop on River Street and those pralines. Reminders of my time there are everywhere.

little black nose
Paco was happy to give me kisses when we got home. What's better than snuggling a puppy in bed while you're recovering from illness? Not a whole lot.

The summer class is progressing beautifully. It's an amusing, educational, and only rarely facepalm inducing experience. Good crits on novel excerpts, and entertaining writing from some fellow grad students.

I'll be editing the Licking River Review in the upcoming academic year, so get those submissions ready, peeps. It's blue skies from here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mya & Nate's 4th Birthday Party : June 5

Icing Face
Icing Face
Originally uploaded by nicciwashere

The focus on this isn't the greatest, but I couldn't pass up this photo of Nate's very serious icing face. Birthday cake is srs business, just like hunting Easter eggs (as you can see from several blog posts back).

I don't know how he managed it, but there's icing in his ear. The combo of colors on his face indicates he partook of his own cake (blue Batman), and his cousin's cake (pink princess). He's a cake man for sure.

While Nate and Mya were playing in the yard, Tony was crawling like a madmad (miniature) for parts unknown (aka the fence's edge). He paused to have his portrait made, because that's what badass babies do. I can say, "I knew him when..."

Tony the Speed Crawler

Not to be outdone, this little girl dropped by the fruit bowl every two and a half minutes to stealthily clean out all the blueberries. She had absolutely no interest in the many other fruit. I respect a girl who knows what she wants, and goes right for it!

Blueberry Eater

I baked a cake for the party, with the decorating help of my lovely assistant Farmboy. We used a homemade marshmallow fondant, which is a pretty simple recipe. It's also easy to make if you don't mind kneading powdered sugar into stiff, sticky icing for about 20 minutes. I'm sure it would be more of a joy to work with given a few cutters, punches, and proper tools. (As everything usually is. The right tools go a long way.) At about 1:30 in the morning, we called it quits on making icing grass.

I hope the cake was delicious, because it was definitely made with love... and some frustration/joy that comes of trying something for the first time on a deadline. I would say the 4th birthday was a success. Sugar highs and giggles all around.

Waterfall CakeNate & Cake

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Mya, Nate, & Paco

Mya & Nate with a Leash

I'm not really sure what's going on here, but I think Mya and Nate decided someone should be on a leash since neither of the dogs was. Paco's in the background completely ignoring them. Too much ground to run around on, not enough time for pestering little kids!

Memorial Day Weekend

Kids in the Sand
Kids in the Sand, a photo by nicciwashere on Flickr.

Memorial Day, for my fam, was a day all about hanging out by the newly filled above ground pool (which ended up being uneven), watching the pups run around, since we just got the gate in (also uneven!), eating delicious grilled and baked ribs (BBQ and teriyaki everywhere), and swimmin'! Some genius also gave the kids squirt guns, and there was the inevitable result.

Here you see Mya, Dylan, and Nate (my great niece and nephews!) and my niece Brittani coming over to chat with her kids, or confiscate a squirt gun, or something like that.

Later in the day, Dylan built a most excellent mountain of sand with a tunnel through the bottom, but Paco (one of the pups) decided he would play the part of a demolition crew. He walked over and crushed it with the swipe of a paw... with the inevitable result.

Our fence is complete, after a few issues with the construction. Tracy, my sister's fiance, came over to redo the posts that the first crew botched. George & I took over slatting, and we finished the fence in record time, with just a little sunburn to show for it. The painting has yet to be completed (it's a delicious espresso bean brown by Behr), but it looks pretty good aside.

Mom planted some wisteria bushes, which are just lovely. They'll take a while to grow to their full glory, but there's nothing like sitting under the fall of those beautiful purple flowers in the summer. I can't wait!

The icky orange (back of the house) paint will be replaced with a colorful mural as soon as I finish a design, between work for a glorious summer writing workshop, and my own novel's progression. Just the step of putting up this privacy fence seems to have opened up a whole world of possibilities for our home. I think we're all intent on making it a much more beautiful place to live.

The kids sure seem to be enjoying it!

Oh, wait. It looks like the adults were enjoying it too. Ribface.
Some of our guests were messier than others, but all enthusiastically showed their ribface pride, even Dylan's friend!

bbq ribs go over pretty well