Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Bailey on the boat (with a spectacular hairdo)

This is Bailey on Labor Day 2010, one year after the beautiful and talented Dr. Jana Korsch at Alabama Veterinary Specialists saved his eye from almost certain death.  I've talked about this before, I know, but the one year anniversary makes me giddy.  Especially since the way Bailey spent this Labor Day is in stark contrast to last year's:


So here's to you, Bud!  You and the Beans rock my world.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Lemon Chicken Soup for the Soul

A lot has happened since I last posted.  Jay and I have (with the exception of a few things in a closet) finished moving to Birmingham.  Edie is as happy with her lot in life as ever.

I finally graduated from law school one week before the graduations of two of my dearest friends, and the photographic results of all events were pretty amazing.  (The especially hilarious ones are worthy of their own post and will be saved for a later post.)

I've left one job and started a new one, and that transition has been harder than I initially imagined, mostly because I just really miss the team/family I left behind in Tuscaloosa.  However, I must say it is quite nice to call Jay up and say "Hey, dudeface, you want to come eat lunch with me at Davenport's?", and he can be there in fifteen minutes.  I miss my sister and my RoboBear that I left in Tuscaloosa County, and I miss Tuscaloosa's Sitar f/k/a Maharajah of India.  (Sorry UAB Sitar...your food is not as delicious.)  Things feel so different even though really so little has changed.  I only live an hour or so away from where I used to live, but it feels a world and a lifetime away.  I've had little time to do 'me' things because of the new job and this test thing that I have to take in two and a half weeks.  (Just a little thing, you know.  Rhymes with tar.)  The only creative thing I've really gotten to do is cook, and that has been forced upon me by the contents of our CSA box through Snow's Bend Farm in Coker, Alabama.  (Which is a good thing and one of the reasons I wanted to do it in the first place; I need to try new foods and figure out ways that I like them.)  However, tonight's cooking adventure (during which I looked over materials about Alabama Civil Procedure) was purely selfish on my part.  All ingredients had to be purchased at the store before coming home, which again, is mostly my fault for not having been to the store lately. 

One of the best things about Birmingham has been my discovery of Taziki's Greek Fare.  There is one near where I work, and their salads and lemon chicken soup have become a lunch staple for me.  Well, tonight, I made their wonderful lemon chicken soup for myself, and it was more of a success than I expected!  I found the recipe for it at, of all places,  I, of course, went ahead and made a whole vat of the stuff, which, in hindsight, may have been a mistake, but I was hungry when I started cooking.

Taziki's Chicken Soup

1 quart Taziki's chicken soup broth (recipe at right)
2 ½ cups (firmly packed) chicken, picked from bones
½ cup carrots, grated medium
½ tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
½ tablespoon Greek seasoning
4 to 5 cups basmati rice or orzo pasta, cooked  (I say use the rice.)

Combine all ingredients in a small stock pot. Heat over medium heat for 10 minutes or until soup reaches 165 degrees. After completion, add ¼ cup of cooked basmati rice (or al dente orzo pasta) to each cup of soup. (Note: Pick chicken from bones but do not chop it.)


1 ½ gallons (or 24 cups) canned chicken broth
6 to 7 pound chicken
1 ½ cups yellow onions, roughly chopped
1 ½ cups celery, roughly chopped
1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
1 ounce fresh thyme
2 bay leaves

Add all ingredients to a large pot. Bring to boil. (We boil the broth uncovered but you may cover it while boiling.)  After boiling, allow broth to simmer for 45 minutes or until chicken is tender or falling off the bone.
Remove chicken from pot. Allow to cool. Strain and discard all vegetables. Skim or separate fat from broth. After chicken has cooled, pick and set meat aside to cool. (Note: Unused stock can be frozen.) Makes 3 quarts.

Jay is at some co-op social tonight where they eat and have trivia, and I am home alone.  There is only so much bar review I can take at one time, but my breaks from that have mostly been frustration that my soup wasn't done, hurt at some rather insensitive text messages (I mean, really people, Bill and Ted had it right...Be excellent to each other), and sheer panic at the thought of the last two months and the few months ahead.  My mood has been rather black, and while I still feel like Vocal Adrenaline has showed up at my school and sung Another One Bites the Dust, the perfection that is this Lemon Chicken Soup comforts me.  Knowing that all it takes is a little internet research, a few ingredients, and the most basic of cooking skills to make one of my current favorite restaurant dishes in the comfort of my own kitchen is quite reassuring.  Things will work out, and eventually, I'll feel right as rain.

Probably.  :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lessons of Moving

Jay and I are officially moving to Birmingham, and the cleaning up and cleaning out process has taught me a number of things:

1.  I am a sucker for charitable organizations that send address labels to me.  I threw out nearly ten different types of address labels last night, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I will find more before this is all over.  (Plus the notepads, greeting cards, etc. that they send.  I'm not sure how I got on all these mailing lists because, while I donate to a few charities, it isn't very much or very often.)

2.  I need a specific place where information regarding various electronic items we have can live.  I have unearthed discs that came with computers that died ages ago, booklets about cellphones that are long gone, and software that is long outdated.  This stuff needs to be in a place that I check fairly often to figure what needs to go away and what should stay.

3.  We have entirely too many socks.  Especially white, athletic socks.  Jay and I both work in professional environments, and the embarassing amount of white socks that we have is ridiculous.

4.  I have some very pretty kitchen things that I've never used.  I love them, but I'm not sure I will ever use them.  And I don't want to end up just keeping things because I like them.  They don't have sentimental value, and I can think of people in my family who would get much more use out of them.

5.  As much as I love all my books, they are a PAIN to move.  But I still can't bear to part with them.

6.  There are a lot of things about Tuscaloosa I'm going to miss.  My co-workers, the proximity to some dear friends, the Quad, Sitar (Indian food heaven, in my humble opinion), the Winn Dixie right next to the apartment, my people at my Books-a-Million, and other things that I won't think of until I pass them and realize how much I'll miss them.  Tuscaloosa has been good to me, and I will miss it dearly.  Heather and I are already planning a trip for at least one football game.  Roll Tide.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I've got no pictures for this, but my kicking out the clutter initiative has kicked into high gear in the past few weeks.  My family has been cleaning out an old storage building that's falling in behind my grandmother's house, and my husband and I are moving to another city.  (Closer to "home" home and his work; I will be commuting for his last year of school.)  The sacking of the storage building has been wild.  Since the ceiling is slowly but surely collapsing, most of the things that were in there have ruined.  We filled up one dump truck already, burned about another dump truck load of old cardboard boxes and beautiful but utterly ruined vintage fabric, and we've managed to save a few 'treasures'.  Some old family pictures that somehow escaped unscathed.  Some old toys of my mother's.  Countless old glass bottles and vases.  Some of the not-so-treasures?  Snake skins.  Rat nests.  Wasps.  Bees.  More bees.  Moldy pillows that crumble at the touch.  The previously mentioned vintage fabric that was filled with moth and rat holes and covered in mildew.  My grandmother didn't realize how bad the state of the building was, and it's really been a learning experience for all of us about what to save and what not to save.  (And when to throw it out.)
My husband's and my move is going to be a slow thing.  We're not going to be out of our current place until the end of May, so I'm going to stay there during the week while he's at the new place.  It isn't the greatest set-up, but it's easier on gas and our sleep schedules.  He's got a bed, a table, and some chairs at the new place, and I'm bringing a load of stuff in my van each time I drive there.  The whole process is forcing me to clean up and clean out, and since we've got two months, I can do it at my own pace while making time for work, school, and state of mind.  I'm tackling a dresser in our bedroom tonight.
Oh, and I'm getting a baby niece today.  :)  Happy thoughts and prayers to my sister-in-law!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snapshot: A Study in Bailey

I posted these on facebook a while back, but I thought I'd share them here as well.  Enjoy!




My First Quilt

A few months back I completed my very first attempt at making a quilt.  I bought a pattern and some fat quarters and set to work...probably close to a year ago.  The pattern I made was for a small lap quilt and involved simple squares and rectangles, and yet, after I cut the squares out, they languished for months waiting to be stitched together and become a quilt.  This is what my final product looked like:

It isn't the fanciest or most complicated thing in the world, but it is mine.  (And it is pretty sturdy!)  It's really more of a toddler quilt size if you ask me (but then again, I like a full sized blanket for covering up on the couch), and I plan to make one for my little cousin for her second birthday.  I would also like to make one that is four times this size for use on a bed, but, sadly, I think most of my bigger projects will have to wait for after the bar exam in July.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Buddy Love

Jay and I have two adorable dogs, the nearly 12 year old Bailey (aka Buddy Boy) and the four and half year old Edie (aka Beadie and Beans and all sorts of other names).  Bailey had a very rough 2009 (as did a lot of us in my family).  He got an eye infection in August that wouldn't heal and had to have a corneal graft done on Labor Day because his eye was perforating.  I thank God for Dr. Anne England at Vestridge Animal Clinic for recognizing the problem and getting him to the beautiful Dr. Jana Korsch at Veterinary Eye Care in Bessemer, who spoke sweetly to him and managed to save his eye.  Then, two horrible days before Christmas, he was attacked by a much bigger dog while playing outside and required a week-long stay at the vet school in Auburn and a bunch of stitches.  If he hadn't been wearing a Santa suit with a big fuzzy hood, he probably would have died.  (No joke.)  He's always been finicky about eating; he doesn't like it when his collar hits the plate, so he only eats around the edge and then 'grrs' until someone rotates the plate.  Same thing when the water bowl gets around half empty.  The past year or so he's taken to waking me up in the middle of night to be put on the bed because he can't jump up on it anymore.  Needless to say, he's a pretty needy little dog.

We recently did away with our bed frame and put our boxspring and mattress in the floor so that our aging Buddy Boy could jump on the bed without assistance and jump off without injuring himself (he's missing a disc in his back, and we'll do whatever we have to to make sure that back stays uninjured). He's a very happy boy now and can easily get on the bed to do that adorable rooting around in the covers thing that he loves.  (He did it again for me today at lunch because he loves me and wants me to be happy.)

And yet I miss his little whine at 3 a.m. every morning when he would want on the bed.  He needed me, and he knew that I would unfailingly and without complaint (and often with a giggle) pick him up and snuggle him next to my side.  I miss knowing that his inevitable collar shake would turn into an inevitable series of snorts which would turn into an inevitable series of 'grrs' and then an inevitable whiny bark.  We were a team, and even though Jay is truly his 'person', it was always me that he came to when he needed a lift.  I truly miss this neurotic bedtime ritual, but I know it's for the best, especially since I need sleep and he needs a happy spine.  All of this just goes to show you (and me) that, as needy as this crazy little dog is, I still need him far more than he will ever need me.

My sweet Bailey on the beloved Green Blanket.  All the dogs love this thing.

Jay and Bailey Christmas 2008.  This was the Santa suit that saved him; it has a lot of tiny holes in it now where the Enemy Dog's teeth barely made it through.  Dog clothes don't seem as ridiculous when they save your dog's life.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning's Weekend Update

Very little fun has happened around the Courtney household over the past view days.  Jay has a big test in his machinery class, and I've got to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination on Saturday, so, needless to say, we've actually been studying.  I've also been walking nearly three miles per day with a friend of mine, so even my 'fun' time that I've been using for sewing projects has been taken up with work this week.  The blocks for my quilted sewing machine cover are still lying on the kitchen table, just waiting to be paired up with some batting and stitched.  They'll just have to wait a little longer.

However, cooking is still a great pleasure of mine, and since we have to eat, some tasty bites did happen this weekend.  I made my dear friend Melony's famous enchiladas for a party Friday, cooked chicken on a bed of carrots, onions, and celery Saturday, and made pear-raspberry pies with butter that I MADE MYSELF (thanks to !) and Jay's grandmother's ('Grandma') Green Rice on Sunday.  And there are plenty of leftovers so that we have lunch this week, which is far better than spending $10 a day on lunch or buying fast food.  Anyway, here is the Green Rice recipe for any who want it.  I nearly swooned when Grandma opened up her little recipe box, plucked out the card, and let me copy it.  Enjoy!

Green Rice

1 package frozen spinach thawed (I used a big bag a fresh spinach, chopped off the stems, and cooked it down)
2 small cans cream of mushroom soup (you can use cream of chicken or any other kind that you prefer)
2 small cans mushrooms
1 onion, diced
1 small can evaporated milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups cooked rice
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Put the spinach, eggs, evaporated milk, and vegetable oil in a blender/food processor.  Blend until it looks green.  Mix rice, soup, mushrooms, onion, and cheese in a separate bowl and then add the blended ingredients.  Butter one large or two medium sized casseroles and pour the mixture into it.  Bake at 350 for one hour. 

I'm not crazy about spinach, especially cooked spinach, and this is a great way to get picky eaters (like I am) to eat it.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kicking Out the Clutter: Combining Decluttering with Craftiness

One of my favorite bloggers has recently started a 'Kick Out the Clutter' initiative.  I thought it was a neat idea, and I decided to finally take some action this weekend.  I finally threw out some old cardboard boxes I'd been saving; some were for items that I thought I might need to return whose return date is long expired and the others were just good cardboard boxes I thought someone might need if they were moving.  After they were gone, I couldn't believe how much space was freed up!  I'm still on a pretty big sewing kick, and so I combined my next decluttering project with a sewing a project: a memory quilt.  I had planned to do this with high school t-shirts, then undergrad t-shirts, then law school get the idea.  But it just never got done; partly because I couldn't decide which shirts to use and partly out of sheer laziness.  Well, this weekend I picked twelve of my white, grey, and red shirts from my entire University of Alabama experience and slaughtered them with a pair of shears and a rotary cutter.  I saved only squares from the back and any small design that may have been on the front, and this was what ended up on the cutting room floor:

I considered saving what was left for scraps, but I don't like to use jersey material unless of I have to (i.e. when making quilt blocks out of it), so I tossed the pile.  And It.  Felt.  So.  Good.  I didn't really get started on the memory quilt yet (I'm finishing up a quilted sewing machine cover right now), but I did clear out a heck of a lot of drawer space simply by getting rid of the parts of the shirts I didn't need anymore.  I'm not sure what my next Kicking Out the Clutter project will be since I could just walk in my front door and pick a corner or surface, but I hope it feels just as satisfying as this one did.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Name Applique on Towel

I better admit something about myself now: I love things with people's names or initials slathered on them.  I'm into just about anything personalized because, well, I don't really know.  Maybe I just like knowing what belongs to whom?  Regardless, the adorable personalized onesies my sister-in-law received at her baby shower (yes, the same one where she got a personalized wall hanging from me) made me want to go monogram crazy.  However, you can go ahead and add hand embroidery to your list of "Things Amy Can't Do"  and an embroidery machine to your list of "Things Amy Doesn't Have".  So how do I get my fix?  Why, I just go back to the wall hanging I made for Madeline and applique things!  I can't really personalize something small (like a onesie) with anything but a letter, but you know what everyone needs?  Towels.  Sounds kind of dumb, right?  Well, it kind of is, but still, it's an item that gets a lot of use and washing, wears out over time so it needs replacing, and can be personalized with all but the longest of names. 

I tested my towel applique skills out first on Valentine goodies for my little cousins, Ella and Wren.  I loved how Ella's turned out; my biggest quibble with it was a wonky spot on the "A".  (I forgot to take pictures of them, but just trust me.)  I royally jacked up Wren's towel, and she ended ended up with just a heart appliqued on her towel.  It was Valentine's Day, after all.  That little project inspired me, and as I mentioned in my previous post, a very special little boy recently had a birthday, so I made a towel for him, too!  While I was happy enough with it and his mom loved it, there were still things I would have done differently.

Now that I've done this a few times, I've got a few tips I wish I'd had before I started doing it.  (I, hard-headed as I am, just dove in and looked up solutions to my problems later.)

  • Make sure your machine's tension is right for satin stitching.  I've got a Singer Simple, and because I've only ever really done basic straight stitches, this isn't something I have to think about that often.  I had the good sense to adjust the top thread tension, but I kept jamming until a loosened the bobbin tension a little as well.

  • Be careful when cutting, especially if you are using printed fabrics.  Notice that my "N" and "H" could have been more symmetrical.

  • This may seem obvious, but curved letters are much harder than straight letters!  (At least for me.)  Go sloooooowly, or else you wind up with the "O" above.

  • Since the terry cloth fabric of the towel is so thick and relatively sturdy, you can just use a coffee filter for a stabilizer.  Trust me.  And coffee filters are way cheaper than stabilizer!

  • Use some sort of adhesive backing to essentially 'glue' your letters to the fabric before sewing.  For a project like this with lots of little turns and corners, pins are for the birds.
If you want more detailed information about machine applique, visit  She's got lots of great tips on all sorts of craft projects, and her sewing/craft and mom blog are both great reads!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mexican Ravioli Casserole

Jay, David, Mama, Nina, and I all attended the 10th birthday party of a friend's little boy this weekend.  His name is Noah, and he wasn't supposed to live a few minutes after birth, much less the ten spongebob and happiness filled years he's had so far.  Among a few other less life-threatening issues, he's got hydrocephalus and only makes it every day because of the shunt in his head, so, needless to say, every birthday is a Big Deal.  So what does this have to do with food?  Well, what's a good party without plenty of good food!  This year his mom had the party at her apartment complex's clubhouse, and we were expecting a pretty good crowd, which we ended up having.  Noah's mom brought stuff for a taco bar, another friend of our brought her famous enchiladas, and I decided to bring some kind of mexican casserole.  I love to make this Mexican lasagna type stuff with layered corn tortillas and various fillings, but I also have a great recipe for Mexican Ravioli that I got out of a Lake Magazine (and modified to my tastes) a couple of years ago.

For a 7x11 dish (a weird size, I know) you need:
1 9 oz. packaged refrigerated  cheese ravioli
1 lb. ground beef with a little taco seasoning dashed in after cooking
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black beans
1/2 medium red onion, diced
Fresh cilantro to taste, I like about a quarter cup fresh, chopped cilantro
2 cans enchilada sauce, I prefer medium, but you can get it mild or hot
1 package shredded cheese, I use the Mexican four cheese blend.

Cook the ground beef and dash in the taco seasoning.
Drain your tomatoes and black beans.  Mix together in a bowl with the onions and fresh cilantro.
Pour enough enchilada sauce into your baking dish to cover the bottom of it.
Layer, from bottom to top, one layer ravioli, half your ground beef, half your tomato/bean/onion mixture, and half your remaining enchilada sauce.  Repeat for your second layer, using the rest of your ingredients.
Bake at 400 degree for about 25 minutes, then take out, cover it with as much or as little cheese as you like, and bake until the cheese is melty enough for you.  (I like it just melted, but others like it a little more browned.)

I hope you like it as much as my family does, and you can always change and swap ingredients for those that your family prefers.  When I found this recipe, it called for chicken instead of ground beef, green onion instead of red onion, and a tablespoon of cumin, which I never put in because, though I love it, I associate it with delicious Indian food and don't know how I feel about it in a Mexican casserole.  I liked it just fine with the chicken and green onions, but my eaters weren't as crazy about it, so I changed it up.  Voila!  A one dish meal everyone can get behind.

And because I know you, just as everyone else, wants to see a picture of our dear Noah, here he is:

This is Noah and I playing the game where I kiss his hand and make loud smacky noise and he gets all giggly and happy.  It's one of my favorites because it's an almost surefire way to get him to smile, laugh, and hug you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Snow Day Lessons

It snowed in Alabama last week.  (And it stuck for a little while!)  As many of you may know, this is a rare treat for us in the Deep South, and just the threat of snow causes milk and bread to fly off grocery store shelves faster than SEC football gear the week after a big game.  My parents' home is on an open part beautiful Lake Martin, which means that the snow that does come down generally just blows away.  This is why, whenever it snows and I'm home in Tallapoosa County, I go to my grandmother's house in Dadeville, Alabama.  She's in the last house on her street, and it's a big lot with plenty of trees that make for fun snow pictures.  She wasn't feeling well enough to play outside with me this year, so I just took pictures of the landscape.

View from her back porch.

Old equipment out behind her sheds.

Snow in trees looks magical to me.

Woods behind her house.

Snowy yard.

As the character Katherine says in Under the Tuscan Sun, "Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way."  Too often we complain about the weather life throws at us instead of embracing it; I for one am guilty of this on a near-daily basis.  "It's too cold" and "It's too hot" are probably two of my most spoken phrases.  I seem to only like weather when it is convenient for me, snow on my days off work, rain when I'm in my pajamas at the house, and Alabama heat when I can be out on a boat on Lake Martin. 

My utter joy at the snow last week has made me rethink my love/hate relationship with Alabama's weather.  I had a professor in college who asked our class what we do in the morning after we wake up.  Everyone said mostly the same things, take a shower, eat breakfast, make coffee, etc.  I added to the list that I check the weather forecast online every morning.  He then asked, "Why don't you just look out the window?", and I told him that I liked to know if it was going to rain so I knew whether I needed my umbrella.  He suggested that I just take my chances and that if I got caught in the rain, to enjoy it the same way I would a sunny, 72 degree day.  I thought about what he said then and learned to enjoy rain and other yucky weather when it suited my life that day, but I never really accepted his comments.  I'm ready for that to change.  Though I can't promise to immediately embrace whatever weather the good earth sees fit to bring me, I'm at least going to try a little harder.  So even though this has been one of the coldest Alabama winters in my lifetime, I know it's going to be very hot in just a few shorts months, and I'm going to appreciate the bitter cold and scarves and coats while they last.  Bring it on.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Jay's sister is having a little girl this spring, and I wanted to give his sister and the new baby, Madeline, a great baby gift, not just another pack of onesies.  Unfortunately, she already had many of the things she wanted and needed, and the things she still needed were a little out of our price range.  (Hey, we're still students after all.)  So I decided I'd try to make something for her.  Jay's aunt cross-stitched his sister's name onto a large piece of fabric and had it framed for her when she was a little girl.  The hanging is still on the wall at my in-laws' house today, and I thought, "Hey, it'd be neat to do the same thing for her little girl!"  Unfortunately for all of us, I can't cross stitch.  Let's be honest:  I can barely straight stitch with my sewing machine.  But the idea had been planted, and I could find nothing in a store that I liked so well as the idea of stitching Madeline's name, and having it framed. 

Then, inspiration struck.  I remembered this framed picture of appliqued fabric flower cutouts that I'd seen at Anthropologie last summer, and I decided that my sewing machine and I, distant friends though we were, could band together and do this for my soon-to-be niece.  I took a trip to my local Hobby Lobby, also known as my dealer, found some cute fabric that I thought might match Madeline's bedroom decor, and went home to start cutting.  I opened Microsoft word, typed Madeline's name in all caps, and changed the font and font size to match my project.  I printed out the letters, and then used my rotary cutter to cut the fabric to match. 

I didn't want to use a satin stitch (very close zig zag stitches) to applique the letters because I didn't want a nice 'finished' look to the project.  I wanted the edges to fray a little, giving it a more childish, crafty look, so I just used a straight stitch and sewed the edges of the letters onto a piece of off-white cotton.  It was not a perfect job, but I was happy with the result because it was my first real sewing project in ten years.  (And I thought it was kind of cute.)  I had it framed at, you guessed it, Hobby Lobby, and this was the final result:

(Pardon the smudges and glare on the glass...I'm not a professional photographer, though it is something I'd like to learn!)

Now the worry was that my sister-in-law wouldn't like it, either because it looked so homemade or didn't match Madeline's room or she didn't have space for it or...something.  I was just very unsure of myself and my work.  However, my worries were unfounded.  She loved it, and it matched Madeline's decor so well!

This is a picture of it hanging above Madeline's bed, courtesy of Elizabeth Duvall and cropped by me.

The point of my little (or not-so-little) story is this: don't let what you can't do stop you from creating something.  You can always learn a new skill, or you can take the ones you already have to do something else that's just as good.  Happy crafting!

Welcome and Introduction

Greetings to all! I have started this blog as a way to keep a record of our lives and interests right now, not as a way to annoy all our friends with tales of homemaking and happy coupledom. I just want to share what I'm doing with cooking, sewing, studying, and everything in between.  I hope you’ll get a little something out of our adventures and misadventures, and maybe you'll enjoy the ride as well. :)