Monday, July 30, 2012

Beat the Heat!

I am very behind in my blogging lately.  I've been trying to average about six blogs a month on my summer vacation, but I don't think I'm going to make it this month.  I've been too busy getting outta town.  Not full on week-long vacationing, but long weekend getaways  (more on those to come later) that refresh you after a long and insanely hot week on the home front.

Yeah, see that 103 over the Washington DC metro area.  That's where we are. 
Second hottest place in the country!  Hotter than Florida and California!

Holy heat wave, Batman!  The number of days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit this summer has been ridiculously high.  Every morning my honey sends me a text message before he drives off for work (Yes, we are that cutesy still!  If you are scoffing right now, you're just jealous.) and recently a new component has been added to those message.  Hidden in among the I love you's and the have a great day's is now a weather report and beat the heat directions. 

"It's supposed to reach 102 today, so please try to stay in the air conditioning and remember to put on sunscreen if you are going to be in the sun for more than a minute, my love."

"It's going to be really hot today.  The heat index is saying it's going to feel like 110 degrees.  Stay inside with a cool beverage and I'll see you soon."

Isn't it sweet how he wants to keep me cool and sunburn-free?

What's a little heat and humidity among friends?
I've been sending similar messages to him, as my honey's job requires him to be outside walking between buildings several times a day. My messages to him are usually filled with promises of cool showers, cold drinks, and frozen treats awaiting him when he gets home.

Pomegranate popsicle, anyone?
A tall, cold glass of iced tea to the rescue!

After all these days trapped inside because of the extreme heat all I can say is, "God Bless Willis Carrier!"  For those of you who don't know, Carrier was the inventor of the modern air conditioner.  Without him, we'd all be melting this summer.  Thank you, Mr. Carrier!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How do you know if he's the one?

With Google's autocomplete feature,
you don't even have to know the whole question you are about to ask.

How do you know when you've found "the one"?  Is it when you don't notice anyone else in the room?  Is it when you only want to be wherever that person is? Is it when the nervous jitters of falling in love finally settle down into the calm nerves of being in love? 

How long do you have to know someone before you know they are "the one"?  Can you know at first sight?  After a few dates?  A few months?  A few years?   The topic of "how you know" and "how long before you know" came up while I was talking to a friend of mine recently.

The reason I pose the question to you, my readers, is because my friend and I had wildly different answers.  My dear friend Gertie, a sage veteran of the Pat Benetar school of love, believes that you need to know someone for a couple of years before you can really know all aspects of their personality and truly make an informed decision about your future with that person.  I don't believe that there is a minimum amount of time that must pass before you can know.  That said, I also don't believe that there is a time limit for knowing.  It all depends on the people involved.

Maybe your answer depends on your personal experiences with love.  Gertie has been down loves winding roads before.  She's had to take a few detours, has hit a few dead ends.  Needless to say, she is a lot more wary and cautious where love is concerned than I am.  I haven't hit any dead ends and very few detours in my search for the one. 

I never told any man those three little words before my honey.  Don't get me wrong.  My honey is not the first guy I've ever dated.  I just never felt about anybody else the way I feel about him.  Guys have said those three little words to me before, my honey is just the only one that got to hear them back from me. 

Okay, so this is five little words.  My bad!

Here are the best answers I have for the questions of when and how long before I knew he was "the one":
  • Within thirty seconds of meeting him, I knew I was interested in my honey.

  • Within a minute of reading that he had taken another girl to a Caps game, I knew I was in trouble because I wanted to cry.

  • Within three dates, I knew I could see myself spending the rest of my life with my honey. 

  • Within three weeks, I knew I couldn't stop myself from telling him I love you.
  • Within three months, I knew I never wanted to send him home again.

(Okay, maybe that last one was closer to two months.  Six weeks?  Fine, five weeks is my final offer, but I really had something going there with the threes.)

All I know is that when you know, you know.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Just Call Me Miss Smiley

I haven't been writing much lately.  I wouldn't call it writer's block, just not much going on that seemed blog-worthy.  Well, not even that there hasn't been much going on, there's been plenty going on around here.  In the last week, we've had friends over to the house for dinner, had his family over for dinner, had dinner with my family twice, went out to dinner out with my mom, and played a round of mini-golf with his whole family.

We've been really busy this summer and most of it is self-inflicted.  My honey really likes having people over to the house, so we usually have his parents or his best friends over for dinner about once a week.  I really like spending time with my family so we're usually over at my mom's house a couple nights a week.  Throw in a baby shower, a few runs to the dump for his mom, and a Game of Thrones marathon and we had a packed week.

I'm not complaining!  I'm really happy right now.  I have a near-constant smile on my face lately, especially if a certain handsome honey is nearby. 

This is what I look like most of the time now.

Since it's summer vacation, I have a lot of free time on my hands.  Some of that time is spent in domestic pursuits.  I finally had a culinary success!  I made absolutely delicious pork barbecue last week.  It was awesome!  The making of a successful meal was awesome, the pork barbecue was just really, really good.  Plus, there is the never ending laundry pile that grows even as I am running the washing machine.

Some of the time is spent working on personal pursuits.  I am an avid genealogist and I use my summer down time to do research on my family tree.  Gotta love and how easy they make it to do research from your own home.  This summer, I have two objectives for my genealogy project: 1) incorporate the data from the newly released 1940 census into my online family tree and 2) create a family tree for my honey.  My honey told me not long after we started dating that he thought he was Irish because of his red hair, but he wasn't sure because he didn't know that much about his family history.  The perfect challenge for a summer genealogist! 

The online family tree I created looks a bit more professional than this one.

I started out with my honey's name, his parents' names, and where they were all born and started building a family tree from scratch.  One side of his family tree became very easy to research after my honey's mom heard about my project.  My honey texted her a few questions about birthdays for aunts and uncles one night and the next thing I knew she was flooding his phone with names and dates of relatives he'd never met.

"You thought red hair made you Irish?! Hahaha!"

But the coolest part of the honey family history project was being able to solve a family mystery.  My honey's paternal great grandfather was orphaned as a child and no one in the family knew anything about that side of the family.  While looking up his great grandfather in the 1940 census, I was able to find out the names of my honey's long lost and previously unknown great, great grandparents and their parents and so on and so forth.  Mystery solved!  I still haven't found any Irish relatives yet.  The red hair might just be a genetic fluke.

When I'm not trying to be the next Julia Child or researching multiple family trees, I'm having fun flirting with my honey via text while he's at work.  That might have something to do with the perpetual smile thing, don't you think?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Joint Holidays

or How To Be Embarassed And Overfed By Relatives

As has become the standard on holidays now, we had two places to go this Fourth of July.  His family was having a family reunion at his parents house starting at noon and my family was gathering at my grandmother's at four o'clock for her annual Fourth of July BBQ.  The family reunion is a fairly rare event for his family, while the BBQ at grandma's is a yearly event for my family.

"You WILL attend my Fourth of July barbecue
or you will NEVER hear the end of it, young lady."
You'd think that would make it easy to choose which event to attend.  Go to his family reunion this year and catch up with my family next year.  Oh, but life is never that easy, is it?  My grandmother's Fourth of July barbecue is a non-negotiable event for my family.  Attendance is not only expected, it is mandatory.  I'm told that my grandmother sends out invitations to my great aunts and their children and grandchildren, but I've never seen one personally.  My grandmother just assumes that my mom and her siblings and all of their children will show up every Fourth of July, regular as clockwork.  Once in my youth and folly, I chose to go to Las Vegas with some friends for Fourth of July weekend.  It was nine years ago and I still hear about "the year I missed the barbecue" from my grandmother. 

Needless to say, skipping the barbecue was not an option.  So, my honey talked to his mother and was able to arrange the timing of events so we could attend both.  The family reunion would start at noon and the BBQ was set to start at four.  Other than dealing with oppressive heat and the possibility of getting stuffed from too much home cooking, we were all set.

Family Reunion Fun!
My honey was a little nervous about the family reunion.  It seems his father and aunt don't always see eye to eye on things and he was worried there would be some tension or an argument.  Maybe it was because I was meeting the rest of the family for the first time or just an abundance of holiday spirit, but everyone was on their best behavior.
Sort of...

Within minutes of our arrival, my honey's brother had told their aunt how he thought my honey should "knock me up" so we could get a jump start on a family of our own.  Wasn't that sweet of him to share that thought? Not!  This was not the only embarassing moment at the reunion, just the first. 

"Miss Lainey, are you and my uncle married yet? 
Well, when are you going to get married?"
his neice asked with the whole family listening.
My personal favorite was when my honey's father was getting ready to say the blessing before everyone dug into the food and my honey's neice turned to me and asked if we were married yet.  When I said no, my honey's neice proceeded to ask why not and could she be a flower girl when we did get married.  Meanwhile, everyone is standing around listening to this conversation, starting to laugh, and teasing my honey about the pressure he was going to be getting from all sides to propose pretty soon.  No pressure there, right?  After that, his mother and aunt felt the need to share the stories of how their husbands proposed to them.  Maybe they were trying to give my honey some ideas?

Of course, my honey's mom joking around by telling his aunt that I am an enabler that encourages my honey to cheat on his diet was also pretty high up on the embarassing list.  Offering him one bite of cheesecake from my plate and telling him that it won't kill him or wreck his diet does NOT make me an enabler! Does it?  In spite of these hiccups, the family reunion went very well.  Everybody ate, everybody socialized, everybody went home happy.  At 3:30, my honey and I made the rounds of hugs and goodbyes in order to hurry off to my grandmother's house for round two. 

There are plenty of nuts in this family tree.
Blessedly, my family didn't do anything too embarrassing.  They just overwhelmed my honey with sheer numbers.  My grandparents and one aunt and uncle had already met my honey, but there were about twenty cousins and two aunts coming that he hadn't met before.  My honey went into his shy mode and got very quiet for a while once everyone started arriving en masse. 

His family gathering had consisted of sixteen people, only six of which were new to me.  My family gathering consisted of more than thirty people, twenty of which he was meeting for the first time.  And that was a really small gathering for my family.  The last time we all got together for a family funeral and did a head count, there were almost a hundred of us.  What can I say?  There's a lot of us.  My grandma was one of five and each of her siblings had four or more kids and now the kids and grandkids are having kids. 

We'd already eaten sloppy joe's and assorted picnic foods at his mother's house.  At my grandmother's place, we were force fed cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and meatballs.  Baked beans, fruit salad, cole slaw, and potato salad.  Corn bread, watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberry shortcake.  There was a ton of food and my grandfather was keeping a vigilant eye on everyone's plate to make sure they had enough and encouraging them to go get a second helping.  The barbecue was pot luck and since my honey didn't want to offend any aunts or cousins, he had some of everything.  By the time we got home, he had a belly ache and didn't want to go anywhere to see fireworks, so we watched the fireworks from the National Mall on television.  We also got a surprise from the neighbors across the back fence who put on a small fireworks display in their yard that we could watch from the back porch.  All in all, it was a fun, busy Independence Day.