Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I am obsessed...

If only I knew what all the damn knobs meant.

Don't worry, I won't bore you with 800 pictures of nothing, I'm just trying to get the hang of it before we leave for our DISNEY CRUISE tomorrow! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Guess what these two rascals got me for my birthday?

Yes, these two.

I'll give you a hint:

One more? well, I am just a novice, unlike my wonderful friend .... so one more clue:

Holy Mackerel- I am in for a BIG treat in the world of hobbies. Turns out, I'll have to set my cross stitching aside while I figure out how many wonderful ways to capture my amazing family.

Thanks, Husband.
Thanks, LMC!

.... update....

okay, last one... seriously. Husband had these spider lilies sent to me last Wednesday.... aren't they still beautiful?

The Story- Part II

No, this is not a continuation of the story of how Husband and Wife met, but rather a comment about it from me to you.

I love reading it. I've gone back through and reread it over and over- picking out my favorite parts, editing and enhancing before returning them to their spot in the story. I love it. The summers, the on-agains and off-agains, the worries, the reliefs- it's all there, and I still left so much out.

Everyone should write down the story of how your husband met your wife. In detail. It really is just wonderful to put it into words, to save and to share. Don't waste words with "we met at the library." There is no libretto there- no panache- no zip- it's boring!

There have been very few "How I Met..." stories in my life that are not just awesome. It makes me want to write more "HIM..." stories for your enjoyment and entertainment- but mostly for mine. I might start with Miranda. or LMC. or Shannon. or any other.

So, stay tuned. You could be next.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


It's been a good run at the last four days. Our Thanksgiving feast was awesome. My BFF brought her beau to town for us to meet-- he's awesome. They're awesome. There's a future there. Another South Georgia family joined us for supper last night & brought their own chef in the Captain's mother. Georgia won. And today, oh today. It's 75 degrees outside and lovely.

Just Lovely.

We slept in this morning- all of us- until after 8. Who does that?! Husband in the shower, I scoop LMC out of her bed and our day is off with a bang at a snail's pace. Husband and Wife sitting around the dinner table eating Thanksgiving leftovers for breakfast and strewing the newspaper across the floor and table as LMC giggled her way through Mickey Mouse.

Too beautiful to be inside, we dress in our snappy casualist gear & head to the mecca of Yuppy-Ville. Georgetown. While Capitol Hill might actually be Yuppy-Ville, our Vineyard Vines has to be purchased from somewhere. Two and a half hours later, LMC is half asleep on her daddy's shoulder with her mother holding fistfuls of large shopping bags, compliments of Husband.

Christmas was in the air as the sun shone down on the brick sidewalks with the last of the leaves falling off the trees.

A dirty diaper was the only thing that dampened the moment. And with the woes of potty training, that dirty diaper was not the worst thing that could have happened. Lunch at Martin's Tavern, a conversation about our future and our plans, we arrive at a toy story where she found a pink bike with pedals that she rode up and down the two aisles of the store. (No such thing as a department store here!)

It was a good day. It was a great Thanksgiving. It has been an amazing stay-cation. Cheers to the holidays! Cheers for family! Cheers for love- new love or six years and counting love. Husband heads back to the salt mine tomorrow for back breaking shifts and schedules, but it is days like this that we get to string together so rarely which remind me about the devotion to family and the wonderfulness that blossoms from it.

My gratitude to my husband, my daughter, my friends and family is overwhelming. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One more before the day is done

I love a well set table. Always have. 

And... ohhhhh.... look what Husband bought me! I am now the proud owner of --what I like to refer to-- my DC china!

It is the Diplomatic pattern by Mottahedeh. I saw it at a museum gift shop last week & could not get over how beautiful it was. Who had a surprise "I love you" present involving 6 of these bad boys? This girl.

No Boxes!

Husband had several requests for tomorrow's Thanksgiving feast-- macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, and corn were at the top of the list. After trying (and failing) to explain that those were Easter foods and not Thanksgiving foods, he mentioned his grandmother's banana pudding.

Now THAT I can get on board with!

A phone call to Miss Lucille left me without a recipe as she is sick and could not finish the ingredient list. Her coughs over the phone left me rattled and she promised to mail it to me.

So, here I am-- the day before Thanksgiving without a recipe in the mailbox. That's okay though, because I swiped my mother's "The Joy of Cooking" several years ago and it has every recipe imaginable. After much research, I spent $30 (yes, three-zero) on gluten free vanilla wafers (I'd only need $15 worth) and commenced with the my maiden voyage of banana pudding.

Ten minutes into the recipe does the chef finally realize that she is making homemade vanilla pudding- like, from scratch! No boxes! It was so easy, too! I did not even know it could be made without a box! Egg yolks, whole milk, cornstarch, sugar... I said it was good, I didn't say low fat. LMC was a little unimpressed with my whisking abilities until the vanilla goodness was in front of her.

"More rocket soup, puh-leaseeee Ma-Mee?" (it was the first please I got all morning)

The table is set.
Most of the food is cooked.
LMC's dress is ironed.
The house is clean.

We are ready to be thankful!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Who had the most fun?

One of  My most favorite person was recently married and Shannon is just about as awesome as it gets.

She's cool.
She's fun.
She's smart.
She's witty.

She is part of Team Prom- which should be really all I have to say.

She's just... well, she's great. And I absolutely adore her. When she called last year to tell me that there would be a wedding, I did not care the cost. We were going to be there. With bells on.

And the bells were on...

I believe it is very safe to say that while the Cagles did not know many people at the wedding... we did not need to in order to make friends. 

First place, right here.

Go Team.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The End

He came. After all the go-arounds and around-gos, he showed up and folded into Team Prom as if he had been there since the beginning.

John was speechless. It was okay though, H-MGPQ spoke for him.
About a month later, Husband would ask me on a date upon his return from being a camp counselor at Camp Rainbow- a place for children with cancer.
I would, very hesitantly, say yes.
He picked me up from my apartment, the white lilies he sent changing the air to that of a garden. I loved flowers and had forgotten that.
He opened the passenger door for me. I forgot how much I liked that, too.
He took me on the fanciest date ever. I had never eaten at the Bamboo Room and felt ten kinds of elegant with this handsome Husband.
He paid. He remember his wallet. He opened the door for me again. He told me to open his glove compartment. I did.
A folded piece of paper...
"Husband! Call me! It's your turn to buy! 555-4693 -Wife"

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If only it were the cleaning that caused injuries

The Cagle girls should not be allowed to drive-- we have established that. Good news though, my mirror has been replaced!

The Cagle girls should not be allowed to cook-- we have touched on this. But, let's establish this statement.

Where is LMC right now? Welllllll.... she's cuddled up in her daddy's arms with her frozen Elmo (picture the original Boo Boo Bunny made out of a washcloth and bring it forward about 25 years) on her left middle finger.

Oh yeah, she did it. The same eye that got me got her.

We were cooking corn chowder & she had poured in the chicken broth. I was closing it up and was about to move on to the next step (dunking the corn cobs to soak in the soup- chef's secret...shhhh) when the red of the eye flipped from off to on and she just wanted to touch the red shiny thing.

I actually heard it singe.

Poor thing. Poor mom felt like an idiot. Poor baby could not begin to scream to stop screaming. Her little bottom lip quivering and her face turning red as she tried to find her voice for the shriek.

It must be so hard to be two.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thirsty Thursdays

It was Thursday and there was a home game. H-MGPQ & I were back. We paid our $8 to get in, grabbed $1 cups and headed to the top of Section 22 as there was a new prom committee meeting. The weekend was around the corner & there were plans to be made. 
It seems we were always making plans. 
John was there, poor guy, looking lost like a puppy without H-MGPQ. He really liked her and she really liked southern boys. After spending 4+ years in Michigan, she was ready to be back in God’s Country. Their relationship blossomed out of nothing and was surprising to everyone. She wanted a boyfriend like she wanted a heart attack, but she liked the attention and he liked her- so it worked, for the moment. 
The meeting called to order, someone excuses themselves to pick up a new round of $1 cups. The innings pass and people cheer. T-shirts are shot out of a gun and we are sweating with the heavy heat that comes every May, leaving every October. The seventh inning stretch rounds the corner and the meeting is concluded with a relocation specification to Somewhere. 
Somewhere in Augusta-- what a great name for a restaurant/bar. 
“Where are you going?” can easily and with a hint of cockiness be answered with “Somewhere.” As if to say- MYOdB.
Team Prom leaves the field and reconvenes in the backyard of Somewhere. Overhead twinkles light the area and the smell of fresh grass floats over the fence from across the way-- across the way being the Augusta National and fresh grass being code for sickly sweet smell of fertilized greens. These are the places we call ‘our backyard’ or ‘first dates.’ Girls that know nothing about golf are found with golf shoes & a visor one week out of the year. Boys secretly dream of playing The Course and contemplate if it is easier to go pro or become a member. We would learn later in life that going pro would be the answer.
John was with us and the rest of Team Prom were sitting around a wrought iron table laughing at something that alludes me at this moment. It was another great evening. John leaned over and said, “Hey- have you heard from Husband yet? He said he was going to call sometime this week I thought.”
“No, it’s cool though. I haven’t been waiting by the phone or anything.”
I pause. I am contemplating. Who am I kidding? I was full of false courage- there was no thinking to it. My purse appeared in my lap, my flip phone in my hands before I could think it through.
“Hey, John- what’s his number?”
H-MGPQ laughed and said, “Uh-oh, she’s got another in the crosshairs.”
I stick my tongue out at her like the 6 year old I feel like as the phone rings in my ear.
“Husband? Wife. We’re at Somewhere and someone just bought a fresh pitcher. See you in 20?”
My hands were shaking- who was this girl? Where did this false courage come from? Whatever. He could be fun to pal around with.
“20? There better still be a pitcher when I get there.”
“If not, it’s your turn to buy.”

Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's Wrap This Up.

John might have seen it.
John might have made it up.
Either way, John needed reinforcements within Team Prom. He was not going anywhere- the Mediatarian Goddess (AKA: Prom Queen) was way cool & he was way into her. So much so that he would travel half way around the world to find her in Greece to profess his undying love. True story.
The weekend was upon us. The glorious too warm to be inside and too cold to actually be in the pool weekend stretched out before us. Prom Queen was with John when I came by her pool that afternoon to make plans for the evening. A round of high fives and we start weighing our options.  As a lull in the conversation approaches, John finds a break and speaks up.
“Hey, Wife. I know someone who thinks you’re hot. He asked for your number, can I give it to him?”
“Uhhh... I’m not really wanting to date anyone. But, who is it?”
“SAE, Husband?”
“Moultire, Husband?”
“Uh, yeah, I guess... listen, do you want me to give him your number or would you just rather say I forgot?”
“oh... um... yeah... you can...”
I pause. Here I am, fearless about everything... except a relationship. Those always end poorly. I cannot do this. 
There are my sweaty fingers. Is it hot out here? 
MG-PQ laughs and says, “Come on, Wife? Seriously? Husband’s hot. How long are you going to tread water? How long?”
She was right, the worst that could happen is he’s not fun and we move on to the next.
“yeah... HELL YEAH... Yes.” [gaining some composure] “You can give him my number. Please. Thank you, John.”
“Ya sure?”
“She’s sure,” MG-PQ says and tosses a towel at me. I’m blushing.
Fast forward a few days. John & Husband are playing golf... or exercising... or drinking beer on the river... I’m not sure and it does not matter... but, the conversation breaks down something like this:
“Hey, you remember my girl, MG-PQ?”
“Yeah, she’s hot. We should start calling her Hot MGPQ.” (we would and still do)

“Well, she’s got a friend who thinks you’re cute.”
“No sh*t?”

“Yeah, you might remember her from Athens. She graduated a year ahead of us.”
“Who? I didn’t keep up with that class.”

“No, she was our year, just left early. It’s Maiden Wife.”
“Wife? No Sh*t. I thought she was with someone or married or something.”

“Nope. Yeah- listen, she wanted me to give you her number. I can tell her I forgot if you want.”
“Wife? Geez, she was always so much fun. Are you sure she’s single?”

“Yes. She asked me about you.”
“Yeah. Hell yeah. Yes. What’s her number?”

Saturday, November 12, 2011

There was ONE victory in the kitchen Thursday night

Well, the celery root fries were a huge flop. BUT, the almond encrusted halibut with lemon butter sauce... raging success.


And gluten free.

Almond Encrusted Halibut

1 large halibut fillet, skinned with your awesome boning knife
1 cup sliced almonds, crushed
3/4-1 cup RICE KRISPIE TREATS crushed (yes, I am serious. Panko ain't GF, but Rice Krispies are!)
1 egg
freshly squeezed lemon juice

Remove fish from wrappings & let sit on counter for about 20 minutes before breading. In one pan, crack and scramble egg. In second pan, combine almonds & Rice Krispies.

Dredge fish in egg, flipping to coat. Pick fish up and place in center of almond/RK, pressing down. Flip and pick up crumbs, pressing down into fish. Shake off, immediately place back in the egg and then back in the almonds/RK. Flip to coat and press crumbs into fish.

Sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and let sit while oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 400 and cook for about 15 minutes (until internal temp of fattiest part is between 125-130). Remove and immediately cover with foil for an additional 10-20 minutes, allowing fish temp to rise another 10-15 degrees (140).

Too healthy for you? Oh, don't worry... it gets better.

Lemon-Butter Sauce

2 sticks butter, melted (yes, I am very serious)
2 eggs
juice from 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
1/2 tsp salt

Make a double boiler with a pyrex bowl over small pot with simmering water. Before the water and bowl get hot, crack both eggs in bowl and start whisking. Switch on heat. Add lemon juice and salt. Slowllllyyyyyyy drizzle in the melted butter, continuing to briskly whisk, incorporating all the butter... all two sticks.  Continue whisking and remove from heat. Keep in bowl on double boiler, whisking occasionally until ready to serve.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Celery Root

I've always wanted to get a little creative with a celery root as Alton Brown makes them sound delectable and healthy- two things that usually do not go together for this palette. At Eastern Market yesterday a celery root was produced from the bottom of a cooler.

It looked like a tumor. Not only did it look like a tumor, it looked like a teratoma- it could have been an undeveloped twin. There was hair. There was dirt. Whoever was brave (dumb) enough to realize that the celery root was food must have either been a pledge of the caveman fraternity or just a glutton for punishment. The purveyor of celery root probably died from trying a mushroom. Or choking on a squid.

The recipe said to chop into matchstick size fries and roast for 40 minutes at 450. It seemed long, it seemed really long. But, having never cooked a celery root- who am I to judge?

Well, those instincts should have prevailed- 40 minutes at 450 created black twigs, a smoke alarm, and a screaming two year old... "LEEN Ohhhh KAY! LEEN Ohhhhh KAY!"

The pieces that weren't future coal were actually pretty good- so, we'll try tumor fries again. Just not today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Brave Big Brother as a Feverish First Filial

An-Ew is one of my all-time favorite kids. He really is. While not nearly as laid back as his brother, “John Jetcher,” he is out-going and very personable once he gets to know you.
JJ has known me since day 1 of his short adventure here on earth. Well, maybe not Day 1-- but no later than Day 33. An-Ew, well, I was a new comer to his little world & that’s okay. An-Ew and I are big buddies, but if Mama Bits leaves the room, An-Ew is at her heels, saying, “WAIT! Mommy! WAIT! I come, tooooooooooo!” leaving me, LMC, and JJ hanging out, eating chips and waiting for our duo to happily return. 
As for JJ, he actually hops out of his mom’s arms and into mine- which makes me so very happy. Of course, LMC will leap out of my arms, her stroller, or off a horse to get to Mama Bits for LMC to “kiss on da nooooooseeeeee. Right DERE!" then... "Ride in Mama Bits’ strower with John JETCHER!” An-Ew, well, sometimes I get a high five, and sometimes just a very polite nod from behind Mama Bits' leg. And, that’s okay, too- he’s a really cool kid & after about 10  minutes of hanging out, we are old pals- sometimes even walking with me to take the trash or get water- those are big moments in the bonding between An-Ew & Wife.
I have taught him about Oobleck (corn starch + water = big messes & big fun) and he has taught me about “da bery big giant in da corner over hereeeee.”
We’re buddies. As long as Mama Bits is around, we are big buddies. He is shy, and it is very charming. The ladies are going to love it.
Mama Bits has been a life saver & life preserver up here, showing me the ropes & letting me know time and time again that I am not crazy and yes smocked dresses are precious on little girls. She was my MOH at the Cagles Wedding Part II & my Catholic sponsor (St. Jude- patron saint of lost causes is my saint). She offered to keep LMC on my birthday so I could celebrate turning 30 in style-- a pedicure and an exercise class (which was ALL I had been wanting to do since moving five months prior) and is one of the few people that I truly believe knows what it is like to have a husband who works All The Time.
Her Husband is a patent lawyer. Now, the only patents I know about go on my feet, but her husband “Mister” is an extremely smart lawyer who does some pretty hefty lifting at the office. The laws that rule ideas- not a 9-5 kind of place to practice. He works nights. He works weekends. He works. He works as much, if not more, than Husband. It’s impressive- both on his end & Mama Bits’!
It’s a wonder she had time to get pregnant with their third. 
Okay, so what does this all I have to do with the Life Of Cagle? Poor JJ- he just started walking about two months ago. He is short. He is still walking a little like a drunken sailor. Right now, he looks a little beaten up having fallen more times than not.
Earlier this week, a date was made for An-Ew & LMC with Mama Bits, Wife, & JJ tagging along. She warned of a fever, and I laughed it off, “Husband brings home all kinds of germs to our house. It’s always better when we’re together! Come on over!” Lunches packed and a quick trip to our 1056 square feet found the fellow homemaker with her children at our door. 
“Y'all kiss the puppy and go inside,” I always say.
LMC kisses and walks inside the door.
An-Ew kisses and walks inside the door.
JJ kisses and walks inside, before deciding Uga needed one more kiss...
Bad idea.
He turned, toppled, and bit it square on his forehead where a previous cut and bruise were still fresh. 

I scoop. I run. 

He is deposited with Mama Bits who barely had her coat off. Peeling him off my shoulder and onto hers, we see a golf ball size whelp which had formed in the 10 seconds it took getting him from Point A to Point B. It was purple and growing. It looked awful.
We freak, like little girl seeing a big bug kind of freak. I call Husband... he is, after all a pediatrician training for intensive care... and he said, among other things, if he yaks- bring him in, otherwise, cold compress & time.
Well, he yakked. And off to the ER mother and son go. 
An-Ew was a very brave big brother, because I knew if he had his choice- he would be on an adventure to where Dr. Husband works (much like the adventure when An-Ew hopped on the elevator and the door closed... without an adult. Dr. Husband found him in the lobby). He cried when Mom & Brother left, but quickly rallied with his head on my shoulder. LMC was jumping out of her skin she was so excited that he was staying. He looked at us warily and politely asked for some Mickey Mouse.
A nap, a snack, and a few races in the hall later- he is tuckered and being so, so very brave. He wanted to cry, but didn’t. All he really wanted to do was sleep. 
What we did not know and what we should have known, was the fever was indicative of Mouth, Hand, and Foot virus. 
Oops. My bad.
He was not sweating during his nap because he was wrapped up in fleece and down in our bed, he was sweating because his fever was breaking. 
Double Oops. That would be totally my bad.
The poor guy didn’t feel well! felt like a wet puppy on a cold day with blisters on his paws and not a speck of edible food in sight.
After a CT scan, 6.5 hours at the ER, and two taxi rides for Mister to scoop up the feverish first born.... An-Ew, Mama Bits, and JJ are in quarantine until HFM goes away. 
LMC keeps asking, “What An-ew doing? What Mama Bits doing? What John Jetcher doing?”
“Honey, they’re probably wanting to climb out of their skin right now.”
“Ohhh... kiss An-Ew? Fell bedder?”
“Soon, honey.”

Living Here.

I love living here. I love getting out of our 1056 square feet and stretching my legs in the city. It's fall here, and truly fall. We sleep with the windows open while listening to the trains on their tracks and bells dining their arrival. The skies are overcast with a heavy cold wind stirring up the ever changing leaves- DC is the first place to call home that truly has four seasons. Four lovely, best of all things, and totally different from the previous... seasons.

Today I dropped LMC off at school, saw a familiar face on the road and drove to a museum without the use of my GPS.  Parking was easily found on a narrow side street and an iPhone app paid the meter as my change purse was empty.

Walking the marble and tree lined streets, the crimson and flaxen leaves start to shower me as the wind picks up. My purse swinging by my side & a waft of someone making breakfast nearby caught my attention. Rounding two corners and stepping inside, there was shelter found from leaves and wind. Two quick hours later, my phone buzzes to acknowledge the ever present parking meter.

Leaving the museum, the parking officer  (who was not writing me a ticket, rather the car in front) & I exchange pleasantries and a high five before passing by the White House, under the Friendship Archway indicative of any chinatown, and rounding the Library of Congress before heading to Eastern Market where fresh Halibut, celery root, and sweet potatoes were purchased for tonight's dinner.

I parked a second time and a stroll on a brick sidewalk kicking the leaves and smiling at those passing. The lady at the veggie counter gave me a flower and the meat man gave me a discount.

It's a good day. It's a great day.

I'm not from around here & I don't make bones about it, but this place can really feel like home if you let it.

I have really come a long way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Short & Sweet

That is exactly what she is-- short and sweet.

When walking on the busy city streets she is told that she needs to hold our hand.

"NO! I hold my hand." And... sure as the wind blows, her right hand grasps her left and she is off. How do you argue with that or explain why a hand should be held that is not hers?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Rocket Soup

LMC is a handful, but a fun one. Today is too cold for these thin-blooded Georgians to go outside, so we are wandering around our 1056 square feet looking for stuff to do.

Cooking always holds her attention for more than five minutes, a batch of Split Pea... excuse me... ROCKET Soup is prepared and she says NO. NO like wock-IT soup, Ma-Mee. NO LIKE.

But, when you put it in a cup with a fun straw... it's amazing what she wants and loves.

More? More, Ma-mEE? More, PEEEEEZE?

You got it, Baby.

There is more than one way to skin a cat.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tabling the story

I'll get back to it, I promise. But, at this moment-- there is so much going on around the house that I don't want to miss!

LMC tells Husband every day when he leaves for work, "All done work, Da-Dee" and makes the motion with her hands.

We're potty training and having more successes than failures.

She dressed up as a COW for Halloween & even had a "Al-o-Wheeeen purse"

Life is so full right now, so-- we'll get back to it. Don't mean to leave ya hanging, especially so close to the end.