General musings on the ups and downs and ins and outs in the life of a 30 something, unmarried, life loving, some times interesting and sometimes not, mostly happy girl just trying to figure it all out!

Friday, April 30, 2010

A Perfect Margarita

Thankfully, my life has not had time to create any more drama since yesterday. Except for when the cat climbed the bookshelf this morning and nocked the clock off of the wall and the dogs reacted so that you would have thought:
#1: Something was trying to kill Van (my brave baby! Ha!)
#2: Tommie was trying to kill what was killing Van.

This morning, as always, I am dreaming of Margaritas. If you know me, you know that next to a nice glass of red wine there is nothing I prefer to a good Margarita!

While I was in Wisconsin, Annie and I debated the perfect Margarita recipe. She learned to make hers from a cocktail guru for the yacht and I learned to make mine from a very sexy Costa Rican. My story was better, but in the end we decided a combo of recipes was the best way.

Fresh lime juice really is the key. I have an electric juicer (purchased solely for the making of Margaritas), so that makes it easy. It's in storage, though, so lately I've been slacking to the mix and it really isn't as good. Lime's are expensive, too. So at best use half mix and half lime juice.

Orange Juice is the secret ingredient, though! It makes them perfect and just sweet enough. And always on the rocks! Frozen dilutes it too much. If you have to have frozen, use a few ice cubes but freeze the mix or lime juice and OJ. Much better!

So here's the recipe Annie and I wrestled down:
1 shot tequila (Cuervo Gold is good, of course, or a better label. But I think Sauza Gold mixes really well)
1 shot fresh lime juice (or half mix, 1/2 juice)
1 shot Gran Marnier (You can skip this if you don't want to buy the Grand Marnier and add about a 1/2 extra shot of Tequila and extra OJ)
1/2 to 1 full shot of OJ, depending on how sweet you like them
Pour all of that over ice in a shaker or a separate glass (not the serving glass). Shake it up or pour back and fourth between two glasses until well mixed.
Rim a glass with margarita or kosher salt and pour your cocktail in! Yum!!

I'm not huge on flavored margaritas, but every now and then I get a hankering. If you like them, then go for it! Mango is the flavor I've found that I like, but Strawberry is popular too. If you want to do it on the rocks, put your fruit in a blender or food processor and pulverize it. Use it instead of OJ. If you want frozen- freeze the fruit first!

However you like your Margaritas- Drink up! It's summer time, and they're divine with everything!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Curse of Montezuma -aka- Kim & Steve's Wedding

So guys, remember when I asked you to pray for a great wedding? You failed me! All of you!
Actually, in the end, all was OK. The actual wedding event went off well. And by the grace of God, the bride and groom didn't get sick until they were upstairs in their wedding suite. The stuff hit you hard and fast! I was A-OK, and within 20 minutes I was throwing up. Poor bride. She didn't quite make it to the bathroom and left an unfortunate brown smear on her marital bed. It's OK, go ahead and laugh. It's really all there is to do.

We've dubbed the illness "The Curse of Montezuma" or "The Screaming Shits," whichever you prefer. The wedding is to be known as "The Wedding of Ill Re-Toot" for all of history. Last count, of the 25 people at the wedding 13 fell to the curse, and Annie caught it twice- making that 13 1/2. I do have some nice pictures and a few good laughs, so here we go...




First and foremost, this blog post must be dedicated to the Flynn Family Toilets, who endured so much with seven sick people in the house at once.



Very little of the originally predicted drama came to fruition- probably because we were all too sick to stir up any trouble. But at any rate, on Thursday evening we had a family spaghetti dinner at Kim & Steve's and it was a great event! This picture is of Kimmie, Sally, and her two ex husbands. They actually got along well; Mo with his refined, suaveness and manners and Tom with his burly dirty-old-man-Santa Claus self. They dubbed themselves husbands-in-law and no drama ensued there.

After the diner on the porch, we all headed over to Kim's best friend, Sandy's, house for even more wine and to meet Ursula, the mannequin who presides over the manor.

Then, it started... Sally woke up sick Friday morning and overflowed Steve's toilet (filled with "Montezuma Curse") into the bathroom. By the end of the day, Chris was down for the count as well.
         *Side note, Chris got along well with Beth (baby mama #1) and her husband. Unfortunately, Angie (baby mama #2) called drunk one night and was out cheating on him with some random Pee Pee Cola druggie. Good news, though, they are back together now. Disgusting.    
                                                                                                                   

Back to wedding bliss... for the rehearsal dinner (sans the rehearsal) we headed out for Friday Night Fish Fry, a Wisconsin tradition. The bride wore a cute polka dot dress and topped it off with her princess crown. It was GREAT! They served us family style: Blue Gill, Waleye, Perch, potato pancakes, cole slaw- delish! It was completely perfect except that Sal was sick, but insisted on going along. But she hung in like a trooper.

 After Friday Night Fish Fry I headed over to Sandy's with Beth to crash so I didn't have to sleep with Sally. Sandy has turned an entire room in her house into a closet and we proceeded to party in the closet. We drank wine and dressed up. I decided to wear this adorable vintage 50s outfit to the party on Sunday. I was so great- it looked like some little lady had worn it to tea!


Saturday morning Beth and I got up and went (champagne in hand) to the Inn to decorate. We did all of the table decor, toasting flutes, etc- and I think we did GREAT! Everything looked beautiful.

Then the drama started in earnest...
The mother of the bride was still sick. But the brother of the bride, unfortunately, was recovered enough for he and his father to kidnap the groom and take him off into Lake Geneva. We tracked them down, and I won't repeat my words, but we managed to get him back with about half an hour to spare. Chris was drunk the entire wedding and tried to pick up every woman in site- including me. Eww. The father of the bride (the nasty one, not the suave one) showed up to give away the bride in cut-off jean shorts, a blazer and tie, and boat shoes. Let me remind you- the wedding was at a four-star Inn and Restaurant. He looked like a moron. But we managed to get the wedding off without a hitch and it was beautiful! The appetizers (Asian-style calamari and crab dip) were Yum! And diner was divine (regardless of the fact that I threw it up 5 hours later). Annie and I vetoed the regular turn-down service and did our own in the wedding suite. All tipsy people were chauffeured home safely and all was well, so we thought.


After arriving home and having a few post-wedding glasses of wine, I hit the sheets about midnight because I was so exhausted. About 20 minutes after lying down I began to feel queasy and within 10 more minutes I was throwing up. The quote to best describe the illness is from Uncle Gary: "I had no idea you could feel this bad and still be alive." I can't tell you anything about the Sunday party because I wasn't there. Annie and I stayed in bed the entire day (which is bad since we were really in charge of handling the party) moaning and sipping ginger ale.  I know they served lamb sliders, green onion pancakes, mussels, king crab dip, crab cakes, and about 10 other things. But every time I smelled it through my door, it just made me sick again. I somehow figured out how to cancel my flight for Monday morning, because that obviously wasn't happening. I managed to make it up for breakfast the next morning and have a biscuit, but it didn't stay down. So back to bed. By that evening I was able to go sit on the back porch and have more Ginger Ale while everyone else had beer and margaritas- the injustice!


On Tuesday I was feeling pretty good and Annie was back to normal, so we headed out shopping for a bit and for some lunch. I got to pairs of BKM Jeans- does anyone know what those are? They fit great! We continued getting calls about who the newest sick people were. I tried to get into the day and have fun- I never get to be with Kim and Annie. But by that point I was upset at missing getting to see Niki and Nathan and meet Loielei and I just wanted to get home! I never in my life thought I'd be eager to return to Pee Pee Cola. So I re-booked my flight and $300 extra dollars later, I was home.

Crazy and memorable to say the least. Sorry the alignment is all off- it won't let me fix it. I guess I'll end my saga with the story of the wedding cake:

Kimmie wanted Sal to make the cake. She made Hummingbird Cake with Cream Cheese frosting- Yummy! I get this call while I'm decorating at the Inn and all I can hear is screaming laughter.
After Sal made and iced the cake, Annie walked into the dining room and yells up to Sally, "Mom, you forgot to ice an entire side of the cake!"
Sal: "Annie, honey, I did the entire cake. It's decorated and ready to go."
Annie: "Mom, I am looking at the cake and there is an entire side not iced!"
So Sal and Kimmie traipse downstairs to check it out and everyone was a bit baffled until Lucy, the Carin Terrier, scurried by with icing on her face.
It seems Lucy jumped onto the table and licked the icing off of one side of the cake.
The solution: re-ice that side, re decorate, and never tell a sole!
Toodles!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wedding Belles

So, I'm headed off to Wisconsin today (The AC Shuttle picks me up in 20!) for Kimmie's wedding. Friday is her 50th B-day and Saturday is her wedding... first marriage!! Both of Kimmie's dads (real dad and the one who legally adopted and raised her) will be there... meaning both of Sally's ex-husbands will be there! Sally, Annie, Kimmie (bride) and Steve (groom- who Kim met in jail for drunk driving, but who is a total angel), Chris (Sally's son who is just out of jail for drug use and theft), real dad, and me are all staying together. Plus, Chris' baby mama (Max's mom) and her new hubby (most adorable couple ever) will be there. Thankfully his nasty new baby mama is not coming. She just got off of life support after doing some back Crack. You just can't make this stuff up!! This is going to be HILARIOUS!!! I'll take pictures!

Pray for a great wedding!!

After all of that, I'm headed off to Texas and my precious angel of a best friend and to meet my new niece, Lorelei Rose Kickel! (How cute is she??) Plus, I get to play with my completely adorable child model-worthy nephew!

Love to all, see you back on May 2nd!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Farming

So maybe I'm not actually "farming," more like gardening, I guess. But I feel like a farmer! I'm so excited about all my plants growing and coming up. Here's some progress photos:

Tomato bushes which really look more like tomato trees! Their stems are so thick!

Bloom I showed about a week ago. Some of the flowers are dying, which means a tomato will start to form. Slow progress, folks!! But check out all of the other blooms now- major tomatoes to come!

Cucumber plants: burp-less (yay!) and pickling. I have this amazing pickle recipe I can't wait to try.

Zinnias planted from the seeds I found at Gran's when we were cleaning out her things. There's also sunflowers and sweet peas in there!

Gorgeous roses Sal has blooming

My nemesis and the reason all of my plants are fortressed with fencing. Chickens are a pain in the ass if you're trying to grow things. They eat everything!

Green Beans AC and T will be having for dinner in about 30 days - YAY!! And those taller plants are sweet peppers.

Nasturtiums- they make beautiful orange flowers that are eatable and so pretty in salads!

Fresh farm eggs, and the only reason I tolerate the chickens. They are SO much better than store bought! Ummmm!

Wine glass which is a staple in my gardening. My Granny's rule: take a glass of wine out and talk to the plants while you water and weed. It seems to be working!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kae

Happy Birthday to Kae! She gets two birthdays this year- one in Guam and one in the U.S. Kind of unfair, but OK.

I was at the barn the other night brushing her horse and reminiscing about our childhood there. She recently was given back her horse, Baby. When we were little the horse she loved, Jackie, was pregnant. She was bred to have a Paint, which were in high demand then. Katie wanted that baby SO bad, and the lady who owned Jackie told Katie that if the baby was born solid (no spots) she could have him for $500.00; an unheard of price for his bloodline. Katie saved her money for months and we prayed and prayed! Katie and I read through all of Sally's breeding books about how to care for a pregnant mare. Once, we calculated the proper number of carrots that Jackie should have daily to make sure the baby got enough vitamins. It was about 10 a day, and Jackie really liked that discovery. We groomed her and bathed her and walked her around and around the pasture to be sure she got enough exercise. When time got close for the baby to be born, we spent nights in the hay room next to her stall waiting and keeping watch. Somewhere, we have a video of those days I need to revive.

Finally, one morning while we were at school, or on the way, the baby came. Naturally, we skipped school that day. Not a spot was on that horse! He was as Bay as the day is long! And oh, did we cuddle him! I don't believe he slept on the ground that day- he was splayed across two or three laps.

Katie spent weeks pondering a name for him, but eventually "Baby" stuck. His registered name is "I'm an Answered Prayer." She trained him, broke him, showed him, taught on him. He's bomb proof for her. But when she went off to college, she sold him. Then, about 6 years later the couple that bought him for their granddaughter gifted him back. So Baby is home again, ironically living back in the very stall he was born in. And I pray my Kae is soon too!

Katie, for your birthday I pray for an easier year for you to come, joy, peace, more beautifully answered prayers, and at least 10 carrots a day just for good measure. ;)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bro-in-Law

Guess what?!?! My cutie Brother-in-Law (affectionately referred to as "Montana" by me) is coming home in about a week! Well, not "home" home, but back to Guam and away from Iraq, so good!

In honor of his return, I would like to tell the story behind this picture and of how he and Kae (the sist) met. You're welcome, Kae!

I was dating this person that we won't mention and he, Kae and I went to a winging party at the Fish House one night. Justin was there, and he and the person we won't mention were buds from Corpus Christi. We had actually met Justin one night a month or so before, but he was too afraid to talk to Katie then. Thankfully he was considerably drunker at the winging party. We get there, massive numbers of boys wanted to hit on Kae (seriously, I turned away at least 5 in 10 mins that I knew to be no good. That's what sisters are for). For some unbeknown reason, I let Justin through. He and Kae hit it off right away, they danced and danced and Justin dipped her and whacked her head into a chair. This was some cause for concern, but he was so distraught that it was actually hilarious. At some point, Justin complimented me on my very cute, very pink necklace. He then decided he should model it and stole it for the evening. This went on for much of the night and I didn't see much of Kae until it was time to leave. We said goodbye and then found Justin wondering around in the parking lot. It seems his roommates had returned to Milton without him. In a rather strange turn of judgement for us, Katie and I took him home and made him sleep on the couch with the person we won't mention. He hung "his" pink necklace in my blinds in the living room and Kae and I left them there until we moved as an ode to Justin.

For some reason I can't explain, Justin had swim trunks. So we all went boating the next day. Meaning: Katie and Justin parked themselves at the front of the boat and talked the entire day while I kept the Margaritas flowing. To this day, Justin craves my Margaritas and writes of them longingly from Iraq. Not so bad to have a hot bartender as a sister-in-law, I guess!

For the following week, Just drove me completely insane with texts regarding the beauty of my sister. I was finally so annoyed that I just gave him her number so he could annoy her.

The next thing I know, Kae has married Justin and moved to Guam! HELLO! I had no idea what I was starting. Katie is a remarkable human being that has survived life on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean by herself for 7 months while Justin was deployed. She deserves as much respect and credit as he does, so say your prayers that their reunion is magical and perfect! They live on a tropical island, so I'm thinking the setting will be good...

Love you Kae and Montana!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Road Trip with Laura Hamlin

This is a true story.
I'm driving with Mama to Louisiana for Easter and she looks at me while we're crossing the Mobile Bay Bride and says, "Ashee, can you get me a glass of wine?"

"Sure Mama, we can stop and I'll open a bottle for you." (My parents always have a drink at 6, regardless of where we may be. I am accustomed to them having a drink in the car. We're from Louisiana. When they were kids, it was legal.)

"Oh no, sweetheart, I have some in the glove compartment and a glass. It's twist-off."

All I could manage was hysterical laughter while I poured her her wine. My Mama is hilarious!

Airport Antics

Before I start this story, can I comment on how cool it is that Sarah lives in Switzerland now?!?! I want ot be her BFF forever.

OK, on to the story of the day.
We have a long-standing tradition at the farm of embarrassing each other at the airport. I have no idea how it started. We rode stick horses in once to pick up Katie, dressed like farm hands to pick up Sally’s daughter Kim, and one Christmas when Maxwell flew in we brought a huge sign that read, “All I Want for Christmas is Max!” But I think Theresa and I may have outdone everyone a few weeks ago.

Sally is known for wearing ridiculous outfits (spandex pants story to follow soon). Her taste in clothing is great at times, but also tends to fall into the category of eccentric, perfectly matching her personality. So I decided the best idea was to peruse her closet (not an easy task in of itself) and chose the worst clothing we could find, put it on and head for the airport. My always-eager partner in crime, T, agreed.

We chose our outfits, made signs (yes, I spelled couture wrong), had a Margarita, and headed for the airport. AC pre-warned the night guard we were coming to keep us from being arrested. We arrived 10 minutes early, took our positions, and waited. We started getting crazy looks from the onset, and one man thought we were so funny he took a seat next to T and waited with us. When we informed him that we had dressed like the person we were embarrassing, he simply had to meet her.

We waited…and waited… and waited. And we were starting to get itchy, because we had put on some of her bras and stuffed them with socks to try and recreate her huge boobs. At about 9:00 I started getting upset because her flight was supposed to land at 8:30. We had stood and waited while two flights de-boarded and paraded by us. But no Sally. I did a sweep and checked the airport. No Sally. At this point I was freaking out a little and we decided to try and get someone to help us. Now, imagine trying to get assistance from anyone in the Pensacola Airport at 9:30 at night, much less dressed like an idiot with sock-boobs. Eventually, some very nice man managed to ignore our dress code and explained her flight was an hour late. I proposed a drink in the bar, but T forgot her ID so we did an ice cream run instead.

Finally, at about 10, Sally arrived to T and I jumping up and down without signs at the end of the walkway yelling, Sally! SALLY! We looove you! We love you so much, we want to be JUST like you! Look, we dressed JUST like you! See, it’s YOUR clothes!!” In spite of the fact that we were exhausted and a bit deflated by that point, Sally was wishing she didn’t know us! I believe, “Jesus, please don’t let them be here for me,” were her exact words.

Despite a rocky start, I believe that so far T and I win the embarrassing airport moment competition!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Tomato

So I have MAJOR Spring Fever this year! It's bad. And yesterday I went out to check on my plants and my tomato had a flower- which means it's going to make a tomato! I was so pumped, I even told the man at the liquor store when I was buying tequila! Sally told me you'd think I was having a baby.

I called my Paw Paw and asked him how long it would take for my flower to make a tomato. He said 30 days! NOT ACCEPTABLE! So, to entertain myself, I've decided to track the progress. This will probably bore you, but I'm obsessed. So here it is.

Ashley's 1st tomato (I was going to name it, but I have to eat it eventually and that would just be sad).
April 12, 2010; Day 1


All About Ashley

My photo
Spring, TX, Southern, United States
Playing with and keeping up with my nephew and niece take up a lot of my time. Van Geaux takes up the rest of it. Work is an afterthought most days! I like to be outside- but not when it's too hot. I get bored at my desk all day. Niki keeps my world spinning and without her and AC I'd lose it. My work ethic crashes at 4 p.m. daily and I live my sweet puppy and my hedgehog whenever I am not at Niki's. I truly believe naps are quality pass-time events, and sometimes I say bad words at work. I'm pretty sure I'm insane on multiple levels and I believe rules don't apply to me.
It seems that my life is quite entertaining. I didn't realize this myself, but was informed of it by my friends- who are rather entertained by tales of my life occurrences.

I'm far from a professional writer. These are just stories, comments, and other items for simple amusement. Hopefully it's a fun read, as Shannon plans to edit it into a book one day! Maybe we'll become famous, and maybe we'll just have some good laughs at my expense (and some other characters in my life). Either way, happy reading!















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