It’s Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas…

Forget Sees Candies, forget Chukar Cherries, forget homemade fudge. For Christmas 2008, Derrick has already decided what each and every one of you is receiving from the Smith family:

That’s right: Garlic and Jalapeno Pickled Asparagus. How, you ask? How could a man as unassuming as my husband come up with such a sophisticated, impressive gift? Well, he actually received a jar of pickled asparagus from a co-worker for his 35th birthday. It was meant as a gag gift, but Derrick took one bite of the jalapeno and garlic concoction and was smitten. He ranted and raved for weeks about how delicious the asparagus was, how it would make a great Christmas gift, and please, please, please couldn’t I learn how to can something, just this once? (The nerve! My pantry is full of cans…of pop.)

You all know what a doting wife I am, so of course I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and got the job done. My good friend Cara (who will be partially responsible for any damaged relationships due to this gift) was kind enough to help me with–okay, do most of–the work. She is a true canning/cooking whiz and shared some of her talent with me (thank you, Cara!) Will any of the three people reading this blog think less of me if I tell you that this is the first thing I have ever canned? Ever. I’ve done freezer jam, but the art of canning has eluded me. Until now. The pickled asparagus has given me a shot of heartburn, I mean, confidence, that has me excited to try canning some peaches in August. But don’t worry. We won’t burden you at Christmastime with sweet, juicy peaches. We know your family is dying for a bite of Derrick’s Special Garlic and Jalapeno Asparagus. We’ll keep the peaches for ourselves. Happy Holidays!

Rappin’ Rodney

Do any of you remember this song by Rodney Dangerfield, circa 1983? We used to sing it to my dad at the dinner table and thought we were hysterical. Rod was always such a good sport–about everything. So this past week it was fun to honor him for Fathers Day and, more importantly, his 60th birthday! Please forgive the blurry photo–it is a result of my careless photography, not my father’s lack of handsomeness, which hasn’t diminished a bit over the years! When someone you love has a big b-day, its a nice time to reflect on that person’s qualities, and here is a non-inclusive list of my dad’s:


successful (in his career and otherwise)

faithful (to church and family)
a leader and example in every way
Some may think this list a bit optimistic, but if you know my dad, you know that it barely scratches the surface. Every girl thinks she has the best dad in the world, but I happen to know that mine really is. Happy Birthday, Rappin’ Rodney!
p.s. Here is our attempt to take a picture of ourselves. I know…very adolescent, but Rod was a good sport and played along

Tim Russert

Tim Russert
1950 – 2008

I’m surprised by how sad I am at Tim Russert’s sudden passing today. He was my favorite newsperson, and I feel somehow like I just lost an old friend. He always exuded alot of warmth and optimism; very refreshing in the news world. I will miss seeing him on “Meet the Press,” especially during this election year. Hats off to him.