Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I'm bored.
Not the it's 7:50 on a weeknight and there is nothing on TV bored; but the I have nothing going on right now bored. Work has been slow this week, making me long to be at home, but once I'm at home I'm restless and wish I had work to do.
Dishes are done, floors are clean, and bathroom fixtures are manageable. I could probably do a load of laundry, but Jamo isn't home and there is no way I'm going outside in the dark to our creepy basement. Any time I'm home alone and have to go down there, I always end up sprinting back inside, fearful that someone is chasing me. I know it's an irrational fear, but I guarantee you have had that feeling before and fought off the urge to run. Well not me, I just run as fast as I can to safety. I'm sure I look really cool.
I've tried to stay on top of our cooking for the week; Monday I made a few things to take for my lunches this week, and tonight I attempted my first pot roast to have for dinner the next few nights. So there really isn't much cooking that needs to be done either.
But even if I had some of these chores to do, I'm not sure it would alleviate this boredom. It seems to be a deep-seeded unsettled feeling; something I can't really put my finger on. Maybe it's a lack of challenges, and/or a lack of goals and goal directed behavior. I need something to move me, something to inspire and motivate me. I feel as though I have plenty of passionate and creative energies swirling around inside me that need to manifest themselves in some productive facet. But what is it? What should I be doing with my time? What is my calling in life??? Way am I here? AAaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. Kidding of course. (Mom, I'm just kidding)
Perhaps I'm just feeling a little existential this evening and need to veg out to some World Series baseball and get a good night's sleep.
Perhaps I also need to turn these pointless ponderings into useful brainstorming. I have plenty of hobby aspirations I could pursue, but most are somewhat costly to get started, and thus not a wise allocation of funds. My ovaries and I are continually thinking (day-dreaming) of something that would eliminate my boredom forever, but alas, that too must wait. Sigh.  I've recently looked into some volunteer opportunities, perhaps I should follow up with those. Or better yet, maybe I should quit whining about something so trivial, (especially considering the number of people with larger issues to fret about) and get myself off this couch and go do that load of laundry. The creepiness of the basement can't be any worse than my current over-dramatic and outta control thought processes. Ladies I'm not alone in the occasional emotional train-wreck of analytical thoughts, right???

Eeeesshh. This is going no where. I'm going to go check on my roast and hope my husband gets home any minute so we can talk about the Cardinals pitching, or Dooley's press statements today, or anything besides my current obsession with my boredom.
I've got to find something to do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Give me a C!...Give me an O!!.......

If you can finish that phrase, then you have a special place in my heart.
My big, fat, Cougar-pride filled heart.
What is Cougar Pride you might ask?? Well it's a little hard to explain; maybe to understand it you have to be a graduate of the school "on a hill in Dickson Co.", and know the difference between the 200 and 300 hallways, and remember what year we won the football state championship, and know the correct way to make a tissue paper ball, and still remember every word of the alma mater. Maybe then, you understand Cougar Pride. :)

And even though high school was a long time ago for me, I can't help but still be so proud of my sweet little hometown. And thankfully, I'm not alone....
The girls ready for the DCHS Homecoming game
Now as much as my group of friends still love our high school alma mater, we don't frequent the games often; time, distance, and busy schedules usually interfere. So when the occasion presents itself for everyone to be together and soak up some Cougar Pride, we take it.

Sweet, supportive Jamo...twitter kept him occupied.

Cougar in training!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

6 egg wonderfulness

6-egg cake.
Ever heard of it?? Probably not.
It's the name of a cake that my family has made and enjoyed for years and years. I have no idea if that is the actual name, and/or who coined it. I'm clueless as to if any other family has ever enjoyed this cake, or if my Grandmother was the original creator.
I like to think that it is a very old fashioned recipe that most cooks retired years ago, and the Bradleys are the lone family clinging on to this delicious antiquated Southern dessert. This is probably not the case, but my romanticized brain likes to think so. My Grandmother would always serve her 6-egg cake with ambrosia, an old-timey term for fruit salad, furthering my day-dream that we are time traveling to the past whenever we eat it.
I now wish I would've asked my Grandmother where the recipe came from, and why we call it 6-egg cake, instead of something not quite so obvious. But maybe the mystery behind its origin is part of its allure.

In case you are dying to time travel with me to a warm, Southern kitchen of ole', here is the recipe:

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
Dash of salt
6 eggs
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp almond flavor
1/2 to 1 tsp of another flavor (I used vanilla)
Mix ingredients in order given, adding one egg at a time, blending well.
Wax paper the bottom of a bundt pan and butter the sides and stem.
Bake at 315 for 1 hour.

I made this cake last Sunday and it was gloriously easy. I accidentally used a whole teaspoon of almond flavoring instead of half, but I ended up enjoying the flavor. And even though I knew better, I used salted butter to grease the pan, leaving the edges of the cake with a slight salty taste. But to be honest, I kinda liked that as well, and may use salted butter again next time. It is great with fruit salad, sweetened strawberries, and even just plain. I would not recommend icing it, the richness of the cake is enough. 

Overall, the cake was a delight to make and consume. I feel like making a 6 egg cake is a rite of passage as a Bradley girl, and I'm hoping to continue the tradition for my new little family.
Golden Yellow Deliciousness

I think I'll make another one tonight.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

60 Years Young

Mom turned 60 on September 25th.......... 60!! I can't believe it.
As Sadie said when she realized Mom's age, "Whoooa Grandma, 60 is a lot!!".

I've never thought my mother looked her age, and I definitely don't think she looks 60, even with the new graying hair (which I love). She is often forgetful, and having a conversation where she hears everything you say is becoming rare. But she looks like a million bucks, exercises more than people half her age (way more than I do), works hard, takes care of her family, and doesn't have any signs of slowing down. Pretty amazing for being 60 I'd say. 

We had a great family party in celebration of her.  I was in charge of the cake, and was excited to use a fresh-outta-the-box-wedding-gift cake plate, and implement some cutesy party decorations I've seen on the interwebs.

My favorite part of the evening, and hopefully my Mother's too, was the unveiling of the list the family had compiled for her.  A list of the 60 Things We Love About Mom!! Granted it may seem like a cheesy gift but Mom loved it, I mean loooved it. Her immediate tears were a sure sign of its success.
Numbers 22-28 are Sadie's ...adorable

 Hope you had a great birthday Mom. We love you!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I'm in hobby heaven

I pretty much haven't put my new camera down since I got it in February; if it wasn't so heavy, I'd probably wear it as a daily accessory.  But after a while it gets a little old taking pictures of my husband, food, plants, and random farm animals. So you can imagine my excitement when some of my friends asked me to take pictures of them. I was overjoyed, honored (to say the least), nervous, anxious, felt under-prepared, and overly excited. Taking pictures of live, real humans with honest emotions and breath-taking expressions is a wonderful prospect, but also a nerve-racking one for an amateur hobbyist like myself.
I gladly accepted their requests, but insisted that my work be pro bono due to my limited experience, amateur status, and lack of the equipment needed to produce the professional results commonly seen in today's pho-tog industry. (I have a pretty good camera with a decent lens,  but would need upgraded lens and all post-processing software to really be proud of my work). Despite these setbacks, I decided to jump on the great oppurtunity to increase my skills, spend time with my friends, and mainly do something that I truly love: taking pictures and capturing memories.

My first subjects were my dear friends Daniel and Jennifer who wanted some pictures of their first pregnancy. They are one of my favorite couples on the planet, and I was so touched they asked me to photograph such an exciting time. (Talk about being nneerrvous)

Daniel and Jennifer are high-school sweethearts and truly bring out the best in each other. Their personalities are easy-going and humor-filled; a perfect combination for a anxious first-time-picture-taker like myself.

Next stop was Claire's first birthday party; the daughter of my sweet friend Keeley.  I love, love, love this family and was about as excited to photograph Claire's party as I was to spend the day with the Nash clan. Jameson came along for this party too; he's a great sidekick and partner. It was a really fun day- thanks for including us! :)

Such an adorable little girl!!

And last but not least was my best friend Meda. She is a beautiful person inside and out and I knew that taking her pictures would be an amazing experience. Meda is a very soulful and impassioned person and I anticipated that her emotions relating to the magnitude of the event I was photographing would translate beautifully through the camera. And they did.
These are only a some sampling of the maannyyy pictures we took that day. The last photo is my absolute favorite. Maybe one of the favorite pictures I've ever taken. (And of course Meda gets all the credit for it...I just released the shutter button).

The emotion and expression in her face is gorgeous.

Thanks friends for allowing me to help capture your memories!! I had a blast!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Loving the Gridiron

The hubby and I have spent the first day of October doing one thing and pretty much one thing ONLY; watching college football. And lots of it.
We had friends over last night, which meant we did most of our weekly housework chores Wednesday and Thursday night. Then this morning we were able to finish up the rest of our to-do list before the east coast games got under way. Hubs paid the bills, went to the dump, mowed our lawn, and cleaned the glass doors (his weird OCD pet peeve that he insists on doing every week). I took our car to get an oil change, stopped by Chappels for a few grocery items, and made our early lunch.
I had a few things on my to-do list for today besides football; I've been wanting to make a 6-egg cake for weeks, I need to look through my cookbooks and make a grocery list for this week, and there is always laundry to do. But I've been nursing a yucky sinus infection, and with the headache, sinus pressure, and lack of energy, I decided to give in to the lazy temptation to join my husband in hours and hours of guilt-free football.

Between our TV, Jamo's computer streaming ESPN 3, and his awesome remote-control skills allowing him to switch between channels, these are the games we watched today:
Mississippi v. Georgia
Arkansas v. Texas A&M - welcome to the SEC Aggies!!
Buffalo v. Tennessee
Northwestern v. Illinois
Auburn v. South Carolina - entertaining game
Michigan St. v. Ohio St. - total snooze fest, Big 10=booorrriiinnnggg
Arizona v. USC
Clemson v. VA Tech - shocked by that outcome
Baylor v. Kansas State
Alabama v. Florida - wish there was a way for both of them to lose
Nebraska v. Wisconsin - again, kinda boring, didn't live up to the hype
Notre Dame v. Purdue
and now we are watching some of the west coast games:
Fresno State v. Ole Miss - c'mon Rebs, don't embarrass the conference
Oregon St. v. Arizona St.

Oh, and we caught a little bit of the MLB playoffs: Cardinals v. Phillies. this day really awesome, or borderline pathetic????
I guessing the answer varies per person, but for us, it was pretty darn great.

The Fighting Okra

The Bouldin/Clardy family garden had an interesting rookie year; some items were quite bountiful, while some had a dismal showing, to say the least. Thankfully one of our more fruitful ventures was one of my all-time favorites: okra!!
I knew from the beginning that if our okra did well, I wanted to make hot pickled okra. And I knew I would need my mother's help in doing so. She was very gracious with her time and knowledge, and walked me through my first canning experience.

We used a combination of two recipes, adding in what we had available, and substituting for things we didn't. Our garden was over-run with cayenne peppers, so we added a few of those in each jar. Some jars we used dill weed, and some we left with just garlic, cayenne peppers, and/or jalapeno peppers. 

We had to wait 5 weeks to taste the fruits of our labor; definitely a lesson in delayed gratification. But last week Mom and I were able to open and taste the slimy little veggies...and they were delicious!!! A tad tangy, full of flavor, and with a good deal of heat, although I wouldn't mind if they were a little spicier. I will probably add more jalapenos to a few jars next time.
Oh and this blog post title? Just a little tribute to my affinity for Delta State University, home of the ''Fighting Okra". Not kidding.