Nothing Beats A Great Pair Of L’eggs

Tomorrow we’ll be home (tonight we’re in Memphis at my brother and SIL’s house), but we had a grand ole time in sunny Florida. The boys have been so much fun, and may I just say? The appetizers-for-supper idea?

PERFECTION.

Now granted, if we had husbands with us, the appetizers idea wouldn’t have been nearly as successful because they would have been wondering when we were going to eat The Real Supper, aka The Supper With All The Meat. But for Janie and me (or, as your various and sundry reality television participants might say, “for her and I”), the appetizers worked beautifully. Can’t recommend them enough.

And as is the case on most trips, we had a few Favorite Things emerge. For instance.

These pickles are divine. And this was our second jar, because the first jar? ALL GONE.

We arrived at the beach armed with plenty-o-magazines (I also took two books, but for some reason I gravitate to magazines at the beach. Maybe it’s because I read two sentences of a book before I’m all Look! Pretty water! Shiny sun! Sand! SAND! SANNNNNNNNNNNNND!)

Anyway, we found a new favorite magazine on our trip. But please forgive the poor photo quality because my camera has decided it’s no longer interested in focusing consistently. It just focuses when it wants to. It’s very moody, my camera.

Great articles, incredible recipes, and if you watch Food Network as frequently as we do, you’ll love all the behind-the-scenes articles on the shows and the chefs.

And please let me show you my sassy, out-of-focus hat that is my new best friend forever and for always.

Got it at the Walmarts for ten bucks. Will wear it for years and perhaps bronze it at some point. It’s the first hat of my whole life that sits with authority on my abnormally large-yet-flat head.

It also works beautifully when I’m wrestling crocodiles in the outback.

Finally, I mentioned this on the Twitter earlier, but it bears repeating. There was a sweet, elderly woman who I saw in the pool (not at the pool – IN the pool) several times this week, and each time I marveled at her ability to keep her entire body submerged in the water while every single strand of her hair stayed completely dry. It was obvious that she’d been to the beauty shop before she got to the beach, and she was preserving that ‘do like nobody’s business. It was remarkable, really.

So yesterday I was gathering all of our noodles and towels and goggles and whathaveyou, and I saw the older lady on the other side of the pool. I figured she had just walked up because she wasn’t in the water yet and was still wearing a very cute cover-up. She was visiting with her family, making sure everybody had enough water and whathaveyou, and as we walked in her direction I found myself thinking how sweet it was that she’d made the trip to the beach. She had to have been in her mid-80s, at least, but Granny was turning it out with some sassy swimwear and appeared to be all manner of adorable. Just watching her made me smile.

And then – when we were just a couple of feet away from her and her family’s table – do you know what I noticed? DO YOU KNOW?

Granny was wearing support hose underneath her swimsuit. Not medical hose – just really nice, sturdy pantyhose. In sort of a Travel Buff shade. Sandalfoot, of course – no reinforced toe. She was poolside, after all. And y’all know that all I could think of was Dolly Parton in Steel Magnolias: “I haven’t left the house without lycra on these thighs since I was 14.”

I’m telling you: Granny and her poolside hose blessed my heart. She looked fabulous. Her legs had a lovely, even tone, and quite frankly she possessed an air of confidence that I can only hope to have when I’m in my mid-80s. Now granted, she was probably burning slap up, but as we all know, fashion often requires sacrifices.

And honestly, those sacrifices are so much easier to make when you have a really good control top.

The end.

Beachy Keen

This past Saturday morning the little man and I woke up early – reallllly early – so that we could head down to Florida with my sister-in-law and my nephews.

See how bright-eyed and alert they were? Those five hours of sleep they’d gotten the night before did them a world of good. However, they livened up as the day went on because by mid-afternoon, we were at the beach, doing our by-diggity best to give the Clampetts a run for the money.

Really, all we were missing was a big ole rope running around the car. And maybe a couple of hay bales strapped to the top.

Since we’ve been here we’ve spent almost all our time at the pool, and given last week’s run-in with the rebellious mole, that means I’ve spent the last two days wearing something akin to full-on body armor. The other vacationers have been kind enough to pretend that they don’t mind sharing the pool with someone who essentially looks like she’s ready for an ATF raid, and they’ve all been very gracious and welcoming when they haven’t been eyeing me suspiciously and avoiding me at all costs.

All Jokey McKidderson aside, we are having an absolute blast. A. and I have perfected a pool trick that we are currently calling “The Power T,” but the name may change tomorrow. Mainly because we may not remember the name tomorrow. But when we made up the name yesterday afternoon, we thought it was ROCKIN’ with a side of EXTRA AWESOME.

The boys have had so much fun together, and tonight, when Janie and I went in another room so that we could watch “The Next Food Network Star” in peace, JUST AS THE GOOD LORD INTENDED, I had just gotten settled under my comfy blanket when I remembered that my phone was in the kitchen. So I hopped up, walked back through the den and noticed that each boy had a can of warm Coke. For their burping contest. A. is apparently very dedicated about honing his burping skills because just this morning my precious, blessed child ran up to me, burped in my ear and then said, “Hold on, Mama. Gimme a second. I want to burp in your mouth.”

Sweet, sweet memories. Tender times.

And just in case you’re wondering if we’re doing any cooking, let me just assure you that when I call my sister-in-law The Queen of Appetizers, I have very, very good reasons.

On this trip I have eight reasons, in fact. Eight cream cheese-laden reasons.

Tonight Janie used some of that cream cheese to make a little something called Hot Bacon Swiss dip, which is essentially a pound of softened cream cheese mixed with a cup of Swiss cheese and a few chopped green onions, then topped with crushed Ritz crackers and baked until bubbly. At which point you top the whole concoction with crumbled, crispy bacon.

And then you give thanks to the Lord, who is good and worthy to be praised.

We also made this salsa, which, as Janie pointed out earlier, “totally counts as a vegetable.” So we’re eating extra healthy.

I don’t know exactly what’s on the agenda tomorrow, but I’m guessing it involves some combination of pool / turkey sandwiches / cream cheese / warm Coke / burping contest. With no small degree of sunscreen application and reapplication thrown in for good measure, because PLEASE REMEMBER THAT MAMA’S A WEE BIT PARANOID.

By the way, this afternoon I asked A. if he’d take a picture of the view from our balcony, so he did.

You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy, you know, up-close photos of screens.

Wish you were here.