Saturday, November 27, 2010

Still Here.

Yes, I'm still here! Yes, I still blog! Yes, I have not forgotten Smithellaneous!

Um. I mean, no, I have not forgotten Smithellaneous. (I think all that turkey has gone to my brain.)

I took Nathan to the airport yesterday morning and he is now safely back in Florida. Sniff. And sob. (The sniffing and sobbing is due to the fact that he is gone, not due to the fact that he arrived safely in Florida. Just so you know.)

The best part of our 2-hour drive to the airport is that he and I got to have uninterrupted mom/son Talk Time. Love it.

However, I did not love hugging him in the airport drop off lane and watching his curly head disappear into the building. But I did love the knowledge that he will be back home in a couple weeks for Christmas. And more turkey!

I've taken 1.8453 bazillion pictures in the past week and my challenge now is to edit them down to just 1.2143 bazillion pictures and post them here. Along with their accompanying stories. And stuff.

It's been grand having my sister, Debbie, and her family in town. You don't know realize (when you live as far away from family as we do), just how much you miss being with people who knew you way back when. People who know everything about you and still think you're pretty okay. I'm so thankful to have family members who are also my dearest friends.

Debbie, Randy and Steve and I are going to sing together in church tomorrow which should be lots of fun. We sang full time on the road together for 7 years (even longer with Debbie, since she traveled with us before she was married) so we've got a few musical miles under our belts. (Not to mention turkey. Under our belts.)

So . . . I'm looking forward to that musical moment in the morning! (How's that for a bunch of m's?)

I will do my very utmost to have a few pictures (and stories) posted by the end of the day. Thanks for continuing to stop by and check in on the Smiths of Smithellaneous.

Happy Saturday after Thanksgiving to you!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Second Post Today! Warming Rolls Answer!

I completely forgot that I had said I would report on pre-making dinner rolls and then warming them in the crock pot in order to free up the oven for Thanksgiving. (Thanks for the reminder, Sam.)

After trying out this tip a few days ago, I decided I would give it about a B or a B-.

I wasn't quite sure of a couple things: whether I should set the crock pot on low or warm, and whether or not I should cover the crock pot.

I left the rolls in for about an hour for about an hour and turned them a couple times so the bottom wouldn't get overly browned. They got nice and warm but Steve thought the bottoms were a bit too crispy and I thought the texture wasn't quite as good as I would have liked.

Still, if you really need to rolls warm and the oven is tied up, this is an idea that works. It just doesn't work perfectly.

If anyone else tries it, let me know how it goes!

(PS. From what I understand, this tip is for heating rolls that are already thawed, not for thawing frozen rolls.)

Becky Smith’s Version of The Miranda Rights. The Great Pitcher Question. A Helpful Black Friday Link.

This particular fact is not widely known, but people who stay overnight in our home (relatives or not) are immediately escorted to a secret, padded, thick-walled, isolated interrogation room and read my own personal version of the Mirdanda rights.

The reading goes like this:

“Anything you say (or do) can and will be used against you in a court of law in a Smithellaneous blog post. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”

If the person does not agree to the full intent, meaning and purpose of the reading of this particular law, they are asked (very nicely) to leave.

I mean, no hard feelings or anything, but I am a blogger, for cryin’ out loud. I blog! And if I don’t have any material, what am I supposed to blog about?

I’m just sayin’ . . .

With that in mind, my poor little relatives gracefully (not to mention graciously) have been putting up with my ever present camera and brimming-with-blog-ideas brain. The running joke for the day after any given incident or conversation was, “Be careful! That’s going to show up on the blog!”

Case(s) in point:

My delightful nephew, Caleb, volunteered to make scrambled eggs for breakfast. His actions were duly noted, photographed, and posted. (Yes, my version of the Miranda rights also applies to breakfast.)


Sarah came and sat with Caleb and I for a few minutes before she left for school. She and Caleb get along famously since they both love words, puns, quotations, reading, music, and computers.


A slight crisis presented itself at breakfast when I discovered that these (rarely used) glasses were irrevocably stuck together. (Note to self: Do not try to stack square glasses.) Steve saved the day when he came down and told me to spray Pam cooking spray into each corner. Voila! Instant Stacked Square Glass Separation occurred!


The men of the house breakfasted together, sipping coffee and discussing great, deep, and thoughtful manly man topics. (Um. The fourth man—Nathan—was still snoozing. College Dudes would rather snooze than discuss deep things, when given a choice.)


Suddenly Caleb told Steve, “Aunt Becky’s behind you taking a picture!” (Refer to Miranda Rights.)


Steve has never been one to shy away from a picture. Which is a good trait to exhibit when married to someone like me!


Later on (when the College Dude had at last bestirred himself) the Four Guys went to the Wright Brothers Memorial.

Caleb and Randy are airplane aficionados, so it was an especially meaningful outing for them.


They also climbed Jockey’s Ridge, which ranges from between 80 and 100 feet tall.

Copy of jr2

The two younger fellas said, “Let’s race to the top!” The two older fellas said (and I quote), “Ug.” (I just love quoting older fellas.)

So all in all, it was a fun day! I got pictures, I got blog stories—what could possibly be better?

Before I close, let me address the burning question that 5 out of the 19 commenter's on yesterday’s post referred to: The Pitcher.

As in this Pitcher Picture. (And no, I don’t think it’s possible to say that three times fast.)


The quite simple purpose of the pitcher is that the well water in our house is not the most tasty for drinking. Steve installed a reverse osmosis system in the kitchen for most of our drinking water needs and so I filled the pitcher (happily purchased for $4 at an outlet store) with freshly reversed osmosified water so that Randy and Debbie wouldn’t have to run up and/or down the stairs when ever they wanted water. (Both of them drink quite a bit of water.)

So that’s the answer! Wish I had some more dramatic story to tell in regard to the pitcher, but that’s as good as I can do!

And in another comment, Nancy asked,

How do you keep the end of your kitchen counter free from the clutter stuff? :) It seems that things just appear out of no where on the end of my counter even when I just cleaned it off!


Nancy, I don’t think I have a real great answer for that question because I’ve never really thought about it! I guess I’d have to say that when I cook dinner, I try to clean as I go along. I have also (occasionally) given The Lecture to my family members and asked them to please put miscellaneous stuff on the smaller counter beside the fridge, since it isn’t as readily visible when one walks through the front door.

So I don’t have any really good tips—I’m just thankful (here on Thanksgiving Week) that the counter does indeed stay clear about 71% of the time!

And speaking of Thanksgiving Week, here is a bonus link for you, provided by Wyatt, our wonderful computer guru friend.

It shows Black Friday ads, all in one place.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do Not Ever EVER Do This To Your Husband

The relatives are coming, the relatives are coming! (Oh wait. They’re already here.)

Yup, in all their wondrous, magnificent relative-ness, my sister, Debbie, brother-in-law Randy and nephew, Caleb, arrived from Wisconsin at about 11 pm last night.  (My mom decided she wasn’t up to the long trip after all.  We all miss you, Mom!)

Steve and I sent Nathan and Sarah to the Norfolk airport to do the Relative Pick Up Run (four hours round trip) since we were still in the throes of getting the guest bathroom finished before the actual, genuine relative guests arrived.

You may remember these pictures from yesterday?


IMG_1113  IMG_1110

That was then--and this is now.



We even fancy-folded the toilet paper so that The Relatives would feel like they had stumbled into a posh hotel by accident.  (They weren’t fooled.  But we tried.)


And I was ever so excited to have acquired a pile of new matching towels and wash cloths that I could neatly fold and arrange.  We had found a whole stack of them on the clearance shelf at Wal-Mart.  There are few things in life more rewarding than seeing new linens, neatly folded that were bought on clearance.  Ahhhh. 

(Why no, I don’t get out much.  Why do you ask?)


After the Folding Of the Towel Ceremony had been accomplished, Steve and I started scrounging around the house for some sort of something to hang on the bathroom wall so that it wasn’t quite so bare.  We happened to remember this (un-hung) picture of a lighthouse we had climbed when we went to the Bahamas on our 20th wedding anniversary.  We’d had the print matted and framed nine years ago and--voila!  It unintentionally ended up matching our newly redone bathroom. Not to mention, it ties in well with the coastal/ lighthouse-peppered area where we live.


And then?  I was extra excited to remember that I had this Kleenex box in Nathan’s room—with lighthouses on it!  Blue lighthouses!  To match the light house print!   I was so happy!  Not to mention excited!   I mean, it’s not everyday that my Kleenex box coordinates with my decor.  Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.


Even though the bathroom was coming together quite swimmingly, the office/temporary storage area wasn’t faring quite as well.  Steve walked in and said, “Honey, what should we do about the office before Randy and Debbie get here?”

I said, “How about if we just close the door.”

I just love “close the door” cleaning solutions.


Okay.  Now.  Are you possibly wondering what I was referring to in the title of this post?

Well, here is the Official Explanation of What NOT To Do.  (You might want to take notes.)

When your (very tired and mentally exhausted)  husband is standing on the bathroom sink at 9:30 pm, and when he has his hands all over wires and all manner of wiring paraphernalia in his quest to change out a lighting fixture do not . . . I repeat. . . do NOT sneak up behind him with a camera and take a picture, especially—and this is quite important--a FLASH picture.

Why?  Because a sudden bright flash occurring out of nowhere in the midst of a wiring task could very easily cause your husband to come very, extremely close to having a very, extremely serious heart attack.


To Steve’s credit, he did not yell at me in disgruntled husbandly fashion. He merely flailed his arms around wildly, jumped straight up in the air and hollered in a highly concerned manner, “What shorted out?”  (Not that I’m counting or anything, but I think he now has fifty-two extra grays where he didn’t have gray hair last night.)

The following picture was taken after I had asked for (and received) express permission to do so.  I did not repeat my previous mistake.  And I will never repeat that mistake.  Ever again.  Because I sort of like my husband in an un-heart attacked state.


Finally, a few more photos of the finished project.

Ahhhh . . . . such a nice change.


IMG_1254 IMG_1250



Monday, November 22, 2010

Mama Heart. And Art.

In about an hour, I’m leaving for Greenville.  Again.  Today the Happy Medical Procedure is to have a ton of stitches removed.  (Having fun. Wish you were here!)

Nathan landed right on time in Norfolk Friday night.  We immediately whisked him away to the nearest Pizza Hut since you know how much College Dudes need nourishment.


It just made my mama heart smile to see my two little chickadees sitting together again after seven months.

It also did my my mama heart good to see the aforementioned chickadees bustling around the kitchen doing dishes.  (Note: the window to the left of Nathan will have curtains up by this afternoon; the Curtain Project was in process when this picture was taken.)



While the kitchen got whipped back into shape, the upstairs bathroom (which Nathan and Sarah use) didn’t fare so well.

IMG_1109 IMG_1110 

And so to boost the morale of the inhabitants of said bathroom, I did something I haven’t done even one time in all of the forty-eight years of my existence on this earth.  I attempted a bit of cheery, uplifting artwork to designate whose glass was whose.


I think I may decide to cease all my other life pursuits and go back to college to study art.  I am just that good!

(You can stop laughing now.)