Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 4

Salesman: What do you think of this color?

Me: The red?

Salesman: Yes.

Me: Oh, no. I have a red house. I can't have a red car.

Salesman: ......

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 3

Greg: Hello?

Me: I'm calling you as I drive out of the Hyundai dealership!

Greg: Sweet! What are you driving?

Me: Oh, um. My Volkswagen.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 2

Salesman: So, what do you currently drive?

Me: A 1998 Volkswagen Golf.

Salesman: Oh, great car, great car!

Me: Um.... OK.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Family Dinner Series Week Eleven

For Family Dinner Series Week Eleven, Uncle Bud and Gilbert Hoss invited one of their favorite coworkers, Fitzy, over for a feast. Though we all know Fitzy is a great guy, he still surprised us when he arrived with a ham steak as a hostess gift, the most important detail being that the ham steak came from one of his own pigs.

Kids, pay attention. THIS is how you get invited back to a second Family Dinner.

Uncle Bud had decided that he wanted to cook for the evening, a chicken recipe he learned from our older sister while paying a visit to her house. The rest of us watched in wonder as Bud expertly laid the chicken in the dish and coated it in catalina dressing and cranberry sauce.

But then things derailed when we realized no one had told Bud he was supposed to preheat the oven. How was he supposed to know? He had never used the oven before! Just the grill.

Luckily Family Dinner is anything but strict with a schedule.

As the oven preheated, and the chicken baked, I threw together some Stove Top stuffing and a side salad. Then we all snacked on Gilbert Hoss' most excellent focaccia with garlicky olive oil dip, while Fitzy regaled us with stories of raising livestock and shoeing horses.

How appropriate that we were already in a barn!

After dinner, we finally got around to doing our stocking gift exchange, which included puzzles, a fishing knife, and a bottle of pinot grigio. The best gift, however, was the one the boys bought for Kathy Lee, our feline in residence.

She played with it for the rest of the night.

Conclusion? Invite more people who raise livestock to acquire more meat.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Adventures in Car Shopping Vol. 1

Me: Ooooh, how great would it be if I got heated seats?

Coworker: Bridget. You want heated seats and crank windows? You may have to make some sacrifices.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Uncle Bud on Beer

"You really want me to buy you Bud Heavy? Why don't I get you some real beer?"

"What do you mean, real beer? Bud Heavy is the realest beer there is!"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Taxes and Psychology

Sometimes I go away to remote ski condos and realize, wow, I am off the grid. How am I going to talk to the person I need to interview for this article?

Luckily, some people are so excited to be in the paper that they are more than understanding and flexible with their own schedules and against all odds, I turn in the article ahead of deadline.

Such was the case with local psychologist Amy Wood. I only wish I didn't work a half hour outside of town. Because her upcoming lunch series sounds like something I could really get into.

Kennebunk psychologist, author, offers fresh approach to success - 1/6/11

Some other times my car breaks down and I realize that somehow I am going to have to get to that school board meeting I agreed to cover three weeks ago, and the next thing I know, I am curled up in one of the town hall's comfy chairs, snacking on a bagel and reading a book for the hour and a half before the meeting starts because that's when my ride could get me there.

Luckily I'm reading a really good book.

Lucky also that I am genuinely interested in learning more about all of the upcoming RSU 21 related votes. I like being an informed taxpayer. And I like shooting the evil eye at the cynics in the crowd who scoff at upcoming expenses. FYI: don't sit next to me if you're going to "pffft!" every time someone talks numbers.

RSU 21 chairman urges towns to stay in district - 1/6/11

Of course, I am speaking as the daughter of two public school educators.

Cynic, your taxes have paid for my whole life. What do you have to say now?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Family Dinner Series Week Ten

Family Dinner Series Week Ten got off to an interesting start when Uncle Bud sent me a text message ten minutes before the end of my work day that read, "Call me ASAP".


Text messages like that make my heart race. Since I had just started my new job, I didn't really feel that I could excuse myself to call him right near closing time. I waited at my computer in a cold sweat until the clock struck 5, and then raced outside to find out if Bud had burned down the barn.

"What's up? What's going on?" I asked, panicked.

"Oh, Hoss and I are getting some french onion soup going," Bud said. "Are any of these pots OK to use?"


With the anxiety attack safely behind me, I drove home to get dinner started. While I had wanted to make bowtie pasta with sweet peas, salmon, and cream sauce, I knew the salmon wouldn't fly. Gilbert Hoss doesn't like seafood, Uncle Bud periodically chooses different fish to cop attitude about, and I didn't want to risk missing the protein mark with my new friend Jesse, our guest for the evening.

So I nixed the salmon and picked up some sausage.

The cream sauce was a little... stickier than I intended... but the boys convinced me to use it without additional doctoring (that's where I get in trouble) and sure enough, the dish panned out.

Thank you, Three Tomatoes restaurant of Burlington, Vermont for the recipe inspiration. Thank you, Gilbert Hoss, for again raising the appetizer bar with the aforementioned french onion soup. And thank you, Jesse, for furthering our wine education with the addition of Root: 1.

One of these days we'll get Uncle Bud to turn in his root beer for a wine glass.

Conclusion? If you can't get your boys to eat their vegetables, glue them to sausage with a cheesy cream sauce. Works like a charm.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Year of the Fish

One of the things I love about living in a small town is when I interview someone for the newspaper, and in the process discover about seventeen different ways that we are connected to each other. Conflict of interest is such a relative term.

I had a great time getting to know Holly C. Ross, the artist behind Fish House Designs. Her bright and cheerful paintings perfectly capture everything quaint that I so love about Kennebunkport.

Fish House Designs artist releases 2011 calendar - 12/30/10

And someday, she said, she would love to paint my barn!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Uncle Bud on Car Shopping

"I really like the shape of the Prius."


"Yeah, I mean, it doesn't really look like a sedan."

"You're right. It doesn't look like a sedan. It looks like a turd."