The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cucumber Anyone?

This is your official warning that this post might shock you. Might send you in to a tail-spin. Might give you nightmares.

About garden food.

At least I think it is garden food. I have yet to try it.

You see.... my Dad has had a garden ever since I was an egg in my Mom's belly. Except for that may be a little bit of an exaggeration as I don't think he actually started his garden until I was three.

I just get a kick out of saying "an egg in my Mom's belly". I'm "TMI" like that.

Anyway.... His garden has always been his pride and joy. Kind of like another child. Or a pet that can do tricks. He feeds it, waters it, takes naps with it, and sings it country music.

They have such a special bond that some times I can't even tell them apart. Kind of like when you start to look like your dog.

It's true. And I know you know what I am talking about.

This garden thrives EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. It supplies the entire Lake Murray community with it's delicious veges. It supplies my family with it's veges. It makes me dream of the day when I can create such an incredible garden. Especially tomatoes. I would be thrilled if I could just grow some tomatoes.

And herbs. And squash. And corn. But mainly tomatoes.

However, it is a known fact that the only skills/talents that I got from my Dad is my ability to make people laugh and abundant hair growth.

So, unless the garden will grow because of my joke telling.... I will be depending on my Dad for produce.

And now for the point of this story......

My parents are going on their weekly trip and they needed someone to take the excess veges from them. So, my Mom stopped by work the other day with a plastic bag. I should have known that something was up because she had a stranger helping her carry the bag. They were both out of breath upon arriving in the store.

And then she opened the bag and showed "it" to me. I say "it" because I still have not verified that this vegetable is actually a cucumber......

I immediately took a picture of it with a pencil (for comparison) and sent it to Kev. This cucumber weighs about 5 pounds. It is so obnoxiously large that it should truly be in a county fair gardening contest.

Which is why I am hosting one in my back yard today. I'm all about winning prizes. And since my Dad is out of town.... the recognition will go to me.

But let me guess.... you can't really grasp the idea of how huge this cucumber is. Can you? So, I took another picture with the biggest cucumber I could find at the grocery store.......

Kev can build his biceps with it. We can hollow it out and ride down the river Huckleberry Finn style. I could glue it on to the side of the house and we could have an extra bathroom. The possibilities are endless.......

Are you still not sure how big it is? Because I took another picture....

There. I hope that satisfies your curiosity.
After brainstorming for hours on what we were going to do with it. We finally decided on....
Making cucumber sandwiches for lunch. And calling it a day.
I hope the taste impresses me as much as the size.
I can't wait to see how big his watermelon turns out to be.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Adventures in Eating

I love to cook. Kev loves to grill. We love to eat. And so I decided to give you a summary of our meals for the week.

Just for the heck of it.

And to answer any questions you may have. About what we ate this week. Because I'm sure it is the first thing that you think of when you wake up in the morning.

At least it is what I think of.

What I ate, what I am going to eat, and why do I have to shower everyday? It is a waste of my time by the way. Showering.... not eating. And sometimes I just wish it was the future and someone had invented a shower that did not involve water and could be done in the car on your way to work. It would really help me to manage my morning a little better.

And my car would always smell good.

But this post is about food.... and not how clean I am or should be.... so, here are some of our meals for the week....

Kev has grilled just about every weekend this summer. And I seriously look forward to it ALL week. He has become quite the grill master and is willing to try anything. Well.... I take that back... not necessarily anything because he was not thrilled with the idea of grilling grapes, slices of cheese, or chocolate pudding. Even though I asked him nicely. He's stubborn like that. And cautious. And responsible.

Every thing that I am not.

Anyway, this week he grilled a delicious New York strip steak along with some red and yellow peppers.

I was responsible for the sides... which involved crushed red pepper and fried onions. Those two spices/garnishes will make any meal "fancy" and will "wow" your neighbors. Except for ... now that I think about it.... the fact that I wear shoes and a shirt in to Walmart "wows" my neighbors. It is just how it is around here.

You get used to it.

Unfortunately, I FORGOT to take a picture of the pork skewers and grilled pineapple salsa that Kev made the day before. Apparently my hunger got the best of me that day. But let me tell you.... it was good. Very good in fact. And something we had never had before.

It enriched our lives.

I also tried a couple of new "country" recipes. I made a honey jack cornbread recipe from the current "Taste of the South" magazine. I threw in some sliced jalapeno peppers. Because everybody knows that hot peppers ensure a great evening. And they did not disappoint. I also made a healthier version of fried okra. I got the recipe from Kelly at "Kelly's Korner" blog. Yum Yum. Throw in a pork chop and cheddar-jack mac n cheese... and you have a winning "country" meal...(minus the banjo... plus the sound of the "forever starved for attention" rooster)
And just to shake things up a bit we had breakfast for dinner. It is definitely one of my favorite things to do. I grew up having breakfast for dinner... as a special treat. I like it for two reasons.... you get to actually savor it because you are not having to rush off to work or school or church... and it makes you feel naughty.
Well, at least it makes ME feel that way. But most things do because I'm always up to something.
I took a picture of our breakfast delight. I posted a picture of our breakfast delight. And then I promptly deleted it. Because my food picture taking skills are not so great and that one was particularly disgusting.
I didn't want to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Date With Mom

It wasn't a birthday. It wasn't an anniversary. It wasn't a holiday.

It was just a regular old day. Just like any other.

Which means it was a perfect day to celebrate a relationship between a mother and a daughter.

And so we did.

At our favorite place. Cinnamon Hill.

We have been going there for as long as I can remember. Which means that these days... as far as my "remembering" is concerned....... This was my first time.

Seriously, though. We have been visiting this enchanted place for 18 years. This place holds many an incredible memory for me. Many Mother's Day brunches, Kristen's bridal luncheon, countless birthdays, sister bondings, and special lunch dates.

This place has changed multiple times over the years. With multiple names. It has been an upscale restaurant, a lunch buffet, a brunch buffet, and a catering business. Some owners have lived on the second floor. Some have lived in the carriage house. Some people have had their weddings here. At one point it was for sale. For an entire year. I drove by it every day and dreamed of owning it. To live in. Not only am I fascinated with this historical home, but it is my favorite style of house.... old, masonite, tons of character, possible ghosts, needs some work here and there (sounds like I'm describing myself)..... and can you imagine the incredible kitchen. The incredible commercial sized kitchen. Heaven on Earth.

Currently Cinnamon Hill is home to an amazing gift shop. They have things that you never realized you needed. Things that would make your life complete. Things that make you laugh. Things that make you cry. There are some things that make you laugh so hard that you cry. But I will let you discover those for yourself. You could literally spend hours looking through each room. It makes your heart happy. It puts your mind at peace.

And luckily they also serve food. In a quaint, magical little section of the house. Now named Vera's Veranda. They specialize in tea and lady food. Both of which I am a HUGE fan. This is also the place where I first discovered Wickles. You know... one of my favorite things.
It makes me laugh to watch people try them for the first time. The look on their faces is priceless. And then they usually cough. And their eyes water. Because the pickles are so awesomely intense. And perfect for me.

We dined on the salad plate... consisting of pimento cheese, chicken salad, and broccoli salad... and drank pomegranate tea. A lot of pomegranate tea. I know this because I had the shakes and twitches for the rest of the day.
And uncontrollable giggles.
Especially when I saw this picture.......

Side note: Before you go picking this apart..... let me just go ahead and explain a couple of things. First of all.... in attempts to "fluff" my hair before the picture..... I ended up doing a weird and creepy comb over move. I did NOT ... I repeat... did NOT fix my hair this way on purpose. Believe me. When I left my house it was straight and styled and not looking like an 80's rocker's left over coif. Second of all. I'm obsessed with scarves. I love them, people compliment me on them, they make me feel hip. However, this particular one is obnoxiously tight around my neck. Which looks painful and uncomfortable. Both of which it was not.

So....Lunch was absolutely incredible. As usual. And we spent three hours talking and enjoying each other's company.
And everything that a mother and daughter should do on a regular old afternoon.
And it was a wonderful day.
I encourage you all to spend more time with your families. It's important.
And delicious.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Favorite Things

Here I am. Did you miss me? It has almost been a week since I last posted. And before my last post... I had pretty much posted every day. Which is insane for me... and probably insane for those of you who only read once a week and had a lot of catching up to do.

I'm better in small doses. At least that is what my family tells me.

And most strangers.

However, I can't seem to do ANYTHING in small doses. Except for sleep and exercise.

But enough about that.... because I have some fabulous "favorites" to tell you about and I can't waste another minute!


Are you familiar with how incredible these little guys are.....

First of all. They are a berry. And let's be honest here. Who doesn't love a berry? A sweet, tart, juicy red berry.

They also help to cure bladder infections. (But I won't go in to detail on how I know that)

Unfortunately, I know someone who doesn't love berries. Or bladder infections. In fact, he pretty much despises them. They make his tongue curl, his lips pucker, his eyes roll back in to his head and his kidneys ache.

I won't name any names..... but planting trees is his favorite hobby.

Anyway. The point that I'm trying to make is this: even if you do not normally like berries (you are weird)... you will LOVE these berries and you will LOVE the recipes that I put them in. And you will be thankful that you have had the pleasure of eating these tiny delicacies.

And Kev is living proof of this statement.

You see... I got an AMAZING recipe for tuna fish. Plain ole canned tuna. Like this....

( Yes, that picture was taken of a shelf in my pantry. Don't look around too much. It is rude. )

Now let me just stop right there and tell you about my issue. Ok.... "our" issue of eating tuna fish from a public place. It will never happen. Because that is a rule that I have set for this household.

It is all because of something that happened when I was 15. And yes, there was a time when I was wrinkle free, mustache free, and stress free. It was when I was born. I've pretty much looked the same since my 1st birthday. So, don't try to imagine me otherwise.

So, I'm 15. I get my first job. And it is at Subway. You know... "the 5 Dollar Fooooooot loooong" place. So, my job was to make the tuna. In a super large tub. With MY HANDS. WITHOUT WEARING ANY GLOVES. (We also made all of our sandwiches without gloves. Because it was the 70's and no one cared about germs back then. Or grooming their eyebrows. But that is another story) If you just threw up a little in your mouth... I understand. I did too. Every night that I worked that job. And I swore off tuna from a restaurant. For life.

And the day that I met Kev.... I told him that my only stipulation in our relationship was that he was never to eat tuna unless I made it.

And he said "what the heck" because that is a pretty easy rule to follow. Especially if it is the only one.

So, I make tuna fish every now and again. And Kev says "thanks for remembering to feed him" and we spend our non-exciting meal exchanging pleasantries and handshakes.

But then I read this blog: and she created the most incredible tuna fish recipe ever.

You mix it with mayo, red onions, relish, almonds, and cranberries. And then you pass out from the anticipation of the delight that is about to touch your tongue. I am telling you right now that cranberries mixed with tuna makes for an awesome sandwich.

We will never be able to eat tuna any other way.

I encourage you to check out her site. But only if you are prepared to be amazed by some wonderful recipes.

And just for the record. I made the same recipe minus relish and almonds plus pecans and rotisserie chicken. And it was almost as good. Definitely a "make again" meal.

I wonder what I will throw a cranberry in to next.....


Ok. I have an addiction. I've told you this before. You should not be surprised.

I LOVE this stuff. And I LOVE that they keep coming out with new scents. Limited Edition scents. I buy every single thing that I see that says "Limited Edition". Because that means it is special and might be worth some money in the future.

Collector's Febreze.

That is how I will retire.

The new scents for the summer are..... "Summerfruit" and "Pomegranate and Sparkle".

I never knew what "sparkle" smelled like. But now I know that I love it.

And last but certainly not least is....


I. have. officially. found. the. most. incredible. treat/snack. ever. created. For real folks.

Have you ever heard of Harry and David? They make the yummiest stuff. They are mainly mail order but some bigger cities have stores. I was fortunate enough to receive a gift basket from them for Christmas one year. And I haven't been the same since. So, you can imagine my delight when I went to Barnes and Noble to buy a book and saw a small selection of their confections at the check out counter.

Unfortunately, I started hyperventilating. Slipped on a banana peel. And fell on my back.

The associate was only able to help me after deciphering my eye blinks. And this is what I requested.....

Moose Munch. Caramel popcorn with cashews and almonds. OH. MY. GOODNESS. All I have to say is that I better see this stuff in my stocking this year. It is worthy of a Christmas morning surprise.

On the back of the box it says.... "pour out some of this delicious popcorn confection and watch the Moosterious effects. The mood lightens. People frolic. Mirth happens. That's the power of the moose."

I couldn't make that description up if I tried. And my mood did lighten. And I did frolic. And I don't know what mirth is.... but I'm sure I did it. And all was well with the world that day.

I tried to save Kev a bite. I really really tried. But the box was empty when I got home. I'm not sure how that happened.

And every single bite was worth it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Biggest Loser UPDATE

Remember The Biggest Loser. A competition I competed in. In April and May.

You can read about it in my archives. If you choose to refresh your memory. On my ups and downs of becoming healthy.

Let's just say that I came in second. A winner was never announced. Results were never given out. The contest and the contest creator just vanished in to thin air.

And apparently so did my drive to get back in shape.

Kind of.

Meaning that I have been inconsistent. And unfocused. And hungry. And lazy.

Basically like a cat. Except for I don't leave "presents" around the pool in hopes that a human will step in them.

Just to recap.... I competed up until I left for the beach. I lost a total of 18 pounds. I went down a size in my jeans.

And everything was right with the world.

Then came the infamous beach trip. The trip where I ate, drank, ate, and ate. My only form of exercise was jumping over waves. And acting out country songs.

Don't ask. It will embarrass my family.

So... I gained 8 pounds.

And then I punched my genes (and my newly downsized jeans) and told them to get the heck out of my house.

When they refused to leave. I had no choice but to get refocused. And get back on track.

So.... I lost 5 pounds.

And then Kev got me this.....

Not just any ole bike. But a spinning bike. As in the kind of bike that I rode several times a week in my most favorite class at Gold's Gym two years ago. The kind of bike that gets my juices flowing. That makes me curse. That makes me want my mama.

And Kev didn't just surprise me with it. He actually set it on top of me. While I was eating a block of cheese and drinking a frappacino and wishing I was wearing an outfit made of marshmallows. So I could eat them any time of the day.

With such a heavy piece of equipment sitting on top of me. It was going to be impossible to act like I didn't know we had a bike.... to say that I had forgotten about the bike.... to get up and use the bathroom without climbing over the bike.

It was time for me and the bike to get to know each other.

And it was going to be painful.

Almost as painful as the time that I got to know a handful of jalapeno peppers. The key word there is "hand"ful as my hand almost fell off.

The bike is something else. It is intense. Exhilarating. Sweaty.

It makes me very sore.

And I love it.

Kev even got me some DVDs to play while riding. My favorite one is where the instructor talks you through scenarios to get your blood pumping. To get you to ride hard and fast. For example... she explains that you are trying to pass your friend for bragging rights. Then you have to pass a group of biking "snobs" who think they are better than you. And then comes the biggest challenge of all.... you have to pass doberman pinchers who will try to bite your ankles!!!

Folks!!! Do you remember my horrid tale of being a child and having to ride past these horribly mean dobermans who would bite at my ankles??? It is an ongoing nightmare. And now this instructor makes me fight through my fears and ride as fast as I can to get past the dogs.

And I scream out loud the whole time.

And I call the dogs "doo-doo heads". Like my Dad taught me to.

And then I remember that I am just watching a video. And the dogs are make believe. And I tell the cops that were called anonymously to my house that I am sorry for their inconvenience and they are welcome to leave. And to please remove the straight jacket.

Me and this bike are going to end up being best friends. I just know it.

On a side note.... I want to give you an example of the level-headed, portion controlled, health(ish) fanatic that I married. His name is Kev. In case you forgot.

You see... He won a Hershey candy bar at my nephew's birthday party. A Hershey bar that any one else in my family would have demolished with their teeth in a matter of seconds. However, this lucky Hershey bar lasted a week.... piece by piece....

This is a picture of it more than halfway through the week. The week that Kev spent eating it. A few rectangles a day. That is all he needs to be happy.

I am forever amazed. By his eating habits.

Maybe one day a little of it will rub off on me.

Like when pigs fly.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My First Gourmet Dish

A family cookbook.

Special recipes submitted by each female family member.

To cherish forever.

And I couldn't be more excited about it.

My cousin, Angela, is putting the cookbook together for us.

The same cousin who is expecting her first child in about a month and a half.

I'm amazed every day as to what all she is able to get accomplished. There must be more hours in the day in Pawley's Island. There has to be.

Well, this was the week of submission. Actually, she requested these recipes back in March. Which should have given me plenty of time to think.

But for some reason.... March quickly turned in to July. So here we were Monday night deciding on what we should submit.

Now you all know how much I LOVE to cook. And bake. And I have endless recipes that I have collected over the years. I had no idea how I would ever narrow it down.

Kev suggested writing down my favorite things to cook/bake and then choosing from the list. I was going to do that. But then I got sidetracked with a frog. And you all know how that story ended.

(Which... by the way... I am typing this at 2:30 am on Thursday morning. And.. yes.. Froggles is once again sitting outside by the pool. Staring off in to the palm trees.... and I am determined to let him be. To not sneak outside for a picture. Because how many pictures do you really need of a frog. Even if he is our new pet.)

I finally decided that I would do a main dish, an appetizer, and a dessert.

One of my FAVORITE desserts is banana pudding. My cousin Brandy's banana pudding. It is so rich and creamy and delicious. And I wanted to make sure that the recipe made it in to the cookbook. So, I submitted that one for Brandy.

Then I decided to submit Kev's new favorite dessert. The blueberry pineapple crunch cake. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. I've made it three times in the last couple of months. Mother's Day, Beach trip, and 4th of July. And I've drooled over it on this blog with my words. Every time. It is an interesting dessert for Kev to love so much. Which makes it even more fun to make. Not to mention that it is easier than replacing a roll of toilet paper. Except for I seem to have a lot of trouble getting that done.

I'd rather make the cake.

Next I chose the appetizer. Now, we all know how much I love appetizers. I make entire dinners out of appetizers. I have been known to order up to three appetizers at a time at a restaurant. Finger foods are fun!

I wanted to go with a layered Greek Dip. I found a recipe for it years and years ago. I made it for Bethany. We fell in love with it. And it became a staple in my house every time she came to visit. There is one problem though. I lost the recipe. It is no problem for me personally because I have the ingredients memorized. But the measurements.... not so much. I kinda just make it up as I go along. I tried to picture amounts in my head. But I was never really that great at math. So, I gave up. Because the last thing I would want is for me to stretch the truth on a measurment and one of my loved ones makes the recipe and it tastes horrible.

I could be shunned for life.

So, I went with spinach/artichoke dip. Yes, the one from Paula Deen. And yes, the one that makes my eyes light up. Sometimes I even start singing in French. Or Italian. Let's just say that I sing the language of where the dip orginated from. And it better not be English. Because that would be no fun.

I can't help it. It is so good.

And that just left the main dish. I needed something that everyone seems to like. Something that everyone in the family had eaten before. Something that would be recognized as a "Kim and Kev" dish.

And I chose my Baked Ziti.

Back in the day. Let's say.... 13 years ago. I was a true Hamburger Helper every.night.of.the.week. gal. Throw in some spaghetti. And we were livin' the foodie life. Cooking wasn't my passion. It was my responsibility. And I would have been just as happy to sit there and eat a block of cheese. Or two.

And I did that often.

But then one day... I came across a recipe for baked ziti. In a random magazine. And it looked so "gourmet" and "difficult to make" and beautiful. Because of the peppers. And I knew that I had to try it. To impress Kev. And to give him a reason to keep me around.

I remember it being this huge ordeal. So much work. Took forever. But a couple of days ago when I was writing the recipe down. I realized that it is one of the easiest recipes I've ever made. And I laughed at how hard I used to think it was to make.

Over the years, I have made this dish multiple times. Especially for family gatherings. It was just what "Kim and Kev" did.

And yes, our names go in quotes as if we were one person. Because... freakishly... sometimes we almost are.

So, in honor of my first "gourmet" dish. I decided to make it for dinner this week. Except for I wanted to challenge myself. And I CUT THE RECIPE IN HALF. Do you even realize what a big deal that is for me? I cut NOTHING in half. Because I worry that we will run out of food. We will leave the dinner table hungry. We will break out in hives.

It worked out great. And we survived just fine. And we didn't have to eat baked ziti for leftovers the entire week. Because it makes a ton. FYI.

You start out by cutting 5 peppers. 3 red and 2 green.....

I love red and green peppers together. They are so pretty. It was like Christmas in July.

You cut them in chunks like you see in the picture. Unless you have a smaller pie-hole. Then you might want to cut them a little more.

Cook 1LB. of ziti noodles. I used whole wheat. Just for that extra fiber. We are getting close to 40 folks.

Mix cooked noodles, peppers, 20 oz can of diced tomatoes (minus 1/2 of juice), 8 oz. Monterey Jack, 8 oz. Cheddar, salt and pepper in a big bowl. Pour in to a 13x9 baking dish. Pour 1 cup half and half over top. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more.

This is before it went in to oven....

And this is after. It is that simple. And it is delightful. And delicious. And fun to eat. And a good alternative to eating a meal with meat. Because it is filling. And there is a lot of cheese.

And that is all there is to it. I have now introduced you to the dish that started my love for cooking.
You should feel privaleged. And maybe a little hungry.
Be on the lookout for some amazing family recipes. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Easily Entertained


It comes cheap for my family.

It doesn't take much to get our attention. Make us laugh. And make us blow milk out of our noses.

Because we are laughing so hard.

Except for I don't drink milk very often. Which is why my bones are so brittle.

I have, however, spit my drink across the room upon laughing. But that may or may not have been because I was trying to see how far I could spit. And not because I couldn't contain my laughter.


My childhood was full of imagination. Full of taking something simple and creating hours of entertainment.

We all (siblings) have taken this imaginative quality and carried it on in to our adulthood. Which ensures the children of our family have the entertaining trait.

Kev has it too. Whether he admits it or not.

And that brings me to the point. The point of this post that explains what so easily entertained us. For hours.


You know the irresistible little random designs that you can stick where ever you feel like it.

Like on Kev's workout equipment. Or his car. Or his bathroom mirror.

Kev hates stickers.

I love them. And am amazed at how one little sticker can make a child's day. A smiley face, a star, a unicorn, or a stamp. Yes, stamps. They are adult stickers. And I smile every time I stick one on an envelope.

I used to have a sticker book. A book where I could collect all kinds of stickers and keep them in one place. To show off to anyone who would listen. Even if they wouldn't listen........ I would just run after them and force them to look at my book. Until they pinched me and told me to leave them alone.

I have been pinched multiple times. It is not so bad.

So, stickers were brought to the beach house. And yes. I am still telling stories from the beach house. And I will probably be telling them until I turn 80. Because there is so much to tell.

The stickers were brought for the Settles' skit. Remember this....

They used them to make "chin faces". And then sang a song.

Cute idea.

Then skit night ended. But we had not seen the last of the stickers.

Because they showed up here.....

And here....

And we laughed and laughed. And high-fived each other. Just for kicks.
Until they showed up here.....

And everyone had to go in to a "time-out" until the chaos could be brought to order. Even though it was my Dad who had gotten out of control.
And technically he is the man in charge.
Except for that he acts just like one of the kids.
And now you know why I don't act my age.
Isn't there a saying that goes... "You are only as young as you act"?
Or maybe it is something about how you feel. Which doesn't work in my favor. So, let's speak of it no more.
And that about wraps up this post. Except for this important message....
Stickers. An endless form of entertainment. Go buy some. It will brighten your day.
But don't take them to a Switzer family gathering if you are offended by inappropriate behavior.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Peak Into Our "Middle of the Night" Life

Your Welcome.

Because I know when you read the title you were thanking me. Out loud.

Why do I always look so haggard in the mornings?

Why does Kev always look so fresh faced?

Why are our next door neighbors always running their electric table saw? I have a bad feeling that it is to cut up body parts. Or pieces of wood in to the shape of animals to put in their front yard.

I should probably learn to mind my own business.

But sometimes my business is no fun.

Anyway. Where were we?

Oh yes... I was finally going to answer your many questions of what I do in the middle of the night.

And it is NOT sleep.

Because I am ridiculous. At least that is what Kev tells me.

I try. Believe me. I try so hard. I go to bed around midnight. I get in my most comfortable position. I close my eyes and I fall asleep.

For about 30 minutes.

If I'm lucky.

And then my eyes fly open. My mind starts racing. And the couch calls my name.

I've tried breathing exercises. Tylenol PM. And.... well, I guess that is about it. Apparently, I give up to easily.

Kev has tried giving me pep talks about sleeping and how it is good for me, tucking me in so I'm comfortable, always keeping the sheets fresh and clean, and playing the harp.

Not really on the harp thing. But if he did.. it would be hella cool.

Sometimes, I go for days without sleeping. Sometimes a whole week.

One time Kev made a chart. To keep track of my sleeping. He said I would receive a star every time that I slept through the night.

Without wetting the bed.

Ok - not really wetting the bed. Even though I have asked him if it is ok. Because it sure would make my life easier to not have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Except for I am already awake. So it doesn't really matter.

But the star chart..... It stayed pretty empty. I received NO prize at the end of the week. And Kev gave up.

And now he is so used to my comings and goings in the middle of the night... that he usually doesn't even notice.

So, for your enjoyment, here is a peek in to a night at the Snyder's residence......

It is a plain old Sunday night. I have to be at work at 8am. I have to be up by 6:30am... at the latest.

It is 1:30am.

That means that it is actually Monday.

I put together a post for my blog.

I watch a little tv. TLC, Food Network, or Bravo.

I read the latest Paula Deen magazine.

I pull out my check book and write a couple of bills.

I think about all of the things that I need to do on my day off this week.

And then I think about how I will probably not get the majority of them done.

Because I would rather swim.

And then I look out the kitchen window on to the back patio....

And see FROGGLES!! or Toadstool. Or whatever the heck you want to call him.

He is looking at the pool with delight on his face. And probably hoping that the idiot girl who lives in the house does not come out with cardboard and try to rescue him when he doesn't want to be rescued.

He is so intense. Not moving a muscle. If frogs even have muscles to move. I don't really remember 9th grade science.

Or any science for that matter.

But I have to get a picture. At 3 am in the morning. It is a necessity. For me to be able to sleep.

So, I open the door to go outside. Hoping and praying that Kev doesn't wake up, hear the door open, assume I am a burglar, and tazer me. Even though he would probably enjoy tazering me as it would give me the opportunity to get some sleep. And would be payback for something annoying that I had done.

I creep out with my camera. I am barefoot. Pants-less. ( NOT pantie -less. I do have some dignity) And in a nightgown/t-shirt. ( It depends on how much I weigh as to what the item of clothing is).

And this is the picture that I take.....

Do you even see him? or her? Staring intently at the pool. Wishing the creep that is showing way too much skin would go away.

Froggles never moved. Not an inch. I took several pictures. All of them looking just like this. Pure photographic genius. I don't know why I ever thought I needed to take some photography classes.

I was so excited about my picture adventure. That I ran inside and texted Kev all the details. So, he could read about it first thing in the morning.

When I was driving to work. Half asleep. Chugging my mud tea. And practicing speaking intelligently with my "no sleep" slur.

I think I finally got in bed around 5 am or so. To take a little nap before my alarm went off.

Did I mention that Kev was sleeping like a baby the entire time. Or maybe more like Rip Van Winkle as babies tend to wake up all throughout the night.

Are you happy that now you know what I'm doing while you are sleeping? Or does it just freak you out?

It freaks me out. A lot.

But then so does most of the things that I do.

I would end this post here. And wrap it up with a closing statement. Except for the very next sleepless night (Monday) this is what I saw outside....

Froggles AGAIN! But this time he/she was staring right in to the kitchen. No more wishing to swim in the pool. Only wishing that the crazy lady will go away and never return. Hoping that giving the "stink eye" will scare her off once and for all.

Showing me who is boss.

I still went outside. Got pretty close and snapped this picture. And then I realized that maybe Froggles did think he was staring at the pool. But all of my flashes have blinded him and he has no idea where he is.

Then I told myself to get some sleep. And leave the wildlife community alone.

I am now wrapping this post up. It is 1am on Wednesday morning. Another sleepless night.

When I got home from work tonight (actually Tuesday night). Kev informed me that he found my check book in the pantry. The check book that I was using to write bills on Sunday night. The word that came to mind was "dementia". Because that is the only explanation for my bizarre behavior. That or "no sleep".

I wonder what else I have thrown in the pantry......

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thirty-Nine Years

I'm going to take a guess and tell YOU what I bet YOU thought this post was about.

My age.


You laughed out loud because you thought I was about to lie about my age. Because I look so much older. Than 39.

And you were probably thinking that Kev looks old enough to be my son. And you were about to ask me if "my son" was going to help me out with my groceries.

And I was going to give you the stink eye. Forbid myself to ever shop in your grocery store again. And promise to stop laying out in the sun, stop drinking so much caffeine, and to sleep every now and then.

But then again. I'm just assuming. And every one knows what assuming does to you.

And I would hate for that to happen.

So, now I will tell you what "39 years" represents.

This couple's marriage.....


I haven't even been alive that long. Almost.

What an amazing feat. What a incredible accomplishment.

What a reason to celebrate!

And so they did. At the Polynesian Resort in DisneyWorld.

Now if you just fell out of your chair in absolute shock that my parents would go on a trip to Disney.....

Then you #1. Have something wrong with you. #2. Have not been paying any attention to this blog. #3. Probably need to get a "life alert" bracelet. Just in case.

Of course they went to Disney. Because that is where all celebrations must be held. If you want to have any fun.

The Polynesian is their favorite place. Of all time.

It reminds them of Hawaii, pineapples, and sneaking in to other people's pools and swimming where they don't belong.

They do things like that. For thrills.

First, they arrived... and got leid.....

Sorry. It was necessary for me to say that. It is expected of me.

They took the ceremonial hotel bed pose....

If I've only said it once... then I haven't said it enough. Hotel bed poses are a MUST in our family. We want to show the world where we slept on our trip and how many germs we rubbed on our bodies from the comforters.
Curly snack anyone?
Next up was their romantic anniversary dinner. A luau.
Dressing up like tropical flowers is encouraged.

They were even given a special moment to dance. In front of everyone. As they were applauded for their longevity. In marriage. Not on the dance floor.

And they had an amazing time.
A well deserved, incredible, amazing time.
Thirty-nine years is so hard to fathom. I am only on year 14. In 25 years I will be 101 and Kev will just be turning 50. I'm strictly giving our ages based on looks and total body health. And taking in to account that I seem to age like a dog.
Regardless, I hope to be dressing like flowers, dancing, and posing on beds. Even though it will be in the privacy of our home.
Because that is how we roll.
This loving couple is my Mom and Dad....
And we love them very much.
Congrats on your 39th year. Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Favorite Things


True story. Kev rescued a frog. And his bravery and kindness made me fall in love with him all over again.

Even though it was my idea to rescue him. From the pool water.

His name is Froggles. This is not the same Froggles that used to live in our swampy pool a couple of years ago. However, frog names are hard to come up with. Give me a break!

We were introduced to him a week ago. I was walking past my kitchen window and saw him happily hopping around. Looking for a mate.

Animals seem to fall in love in our backyard. It must be something in the bird seed.

I waved. Welcomed him. And went on about my business.

Until last night....

Kev told me that Froggles was sitting on the top step of the pool and he was worried that he was going to jump in.

You see... even though a frog probably loves water. The chlorine would do a number on him.

Like 5 or 6.

And if you get that joke. Good for you. Because I don't know why people say "do a number" on something. It makes no sense. And does not scare me one bit.

However, what I mean to say is that poor Froggles would not appreciate all of that chlorine. And Kev would be cleaning frog out of the pool skimmer.

So, I came up with the idea to rescue him. Except for I could not remember how to pick up a frog with my bare hands without screaming and dropping him on the concrete.

Plus I don't like warts.

Since my sister's kids were no where to be found. Kev came up with the idea to scoop cardboard under his bum and gently help him out. Except for it is midnight. And we are in our pjs. And our neighbors are probably sleeping and dreaming away about all the great deals they are going to get at the flea market in the morning. And would not appreciate me screaming at the top of lungs when the frog jumps up in my face.

I'm a very nervous and jumpy person. It is a result of my caffeine addiction.

And fear of frogs jumping in my face.

So, after one try of me stretching my arm out as far as it would go. And Froggles hopping away from me.... closer to the edge.... Kev came out and took over. And in a matter of seconds Froggles was happily hopping away back to the grass. Thankful for another day. Not that he actually said that... but I'm pretty sure I saw him look over at us and wink.

And now that I've done a little research on frogs. I realize that Froggles was actually a toad. And it is even harder to come up with a nickname for a toad. Which is why I hope we never meet again.


Ignore the blurry, poorly taken picture. It doesn't do these delightful treats justice.

Have you ever heard of them? They are the best pickles you will ever eat. Ever.

I discovered them at Vera's Veranda in Lexington. It is my favorite place to go for lunch.

On the plate... they just look like a regular old pickle. A pickle that you may or may not eat depending on how much room you have left in your stomach.

But that name.... Wickles. It just makes me so happy to say it. And for that reason, I had to see what it tasted like. And I've been hooked on them ever since.

These pickles have some kick to them. And by kick... I mean the strong flavor of them goes all up in your sinuses and makes you scream "howdy". At the top of your lungs.

And then Vera makes you eat outside.

I like eating outside.

So, I assumed that they were a special treat made especially for this amazing lunch spot/gift shop. And I would go there specifically to get them.

Until I found them at Publix. And not only do they have the Wickles Pickles. But they have banana peppers, relish, and jalapeno peppers.

And my life just became complete.

Kev loves them just as much.... if not more. He is a pickle eating fool.

He added this great discovery to his list. His list titled "Reasons I married Kim". Just in case he needs to remind himself. And it just so happens that "Discovery of the most delicious pickles ever" made it to the top.

I'm pretty sure that means that I secured myself another year.


You are lucky. You get two food places/items this week.

Because I am hungry.


This place was another great discovery of mine as we have not always been fans of Asian cooking.

I went there once on business. And had the most delightful shrimp fried rice that I've ever had.

This place is classy. Which means it is cat free. Which gave me the encouragement to try some other dishes. Which made me fall in love with the place.

After trying multiple dishes off of the menu. On multiple visits. I decided to bring some home for dinner. Unfortunately, we do not have this delightful restaurant in Columbia. So, it has to sit in the car for at least an hour if not more before it is served to Kev. And he still loves it. Even when it is lukewarm and smells like my car.

And we have been some Asian food eating maniacs ever since.

After all... my name is Kim.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I DID NOT... Never... Forget Father's Day!

Father's Day. June 21, 2009.

We ate too much. We laughed too much.

We celebrated our Dads.

Too much!

I kid. I kid. Too much.

It is in my genes. I got it from my Dad.

You can never celebrate your Dad too much.

Father's Day was the day after we got back from the beach. And my original plan was to post all of my stories from the beach BEFORE I posted about anything else.

And I planned to post all of my stories within the week. Of returning from the beach.

Have you ever heard the saying...." Plan ahead... and God laughs"

Think about it. It is true. You never know what the next day holds.

Either that... or I am horrible at following through on my plans.

I like to blame others for my shortcomings.

It makes me feel better about myself.

Anyhoo... the point of this post is about Dads. Which I am not one. So, I should NOT be typing anything about me. Even if I am starved for attention.

Except for I was the reason that this man became a Dad. I am his first born. The reason for his gray hair. The reason he wears ear plugs when I am talking out loud in the room.

I say things to embarrass him sometimes.

Girly things.

Like unicorns, glitter, and pink.

At least that is what he wishes I would say.

It is the burden of having five daughters.

Inappropriate conversations.

My Dad also goes by another name. Gran.

He is a Grandfather to five children. A Dad to six children.

And a Father-in-Law to three children.

I mean adult men.

And we all love him VERY much!

We celebrated him with a cookout at my parent's house. My Dad grilled up some delicious steak, chicken, and shrimp kebabs. Mom made some fabulous sides.

And I made him a card. With an old picture of Shannon and me scream crying on Father's Day. I'm sure for no reason. Maybe our bonnets were too tight. I wish I could share the hilarious picture with you. But I don't know how. Which is why my Dad is re-creating our faces in this picture.....

Scream crying actually looks pretty funny if I do say so myself.
We were also able to go to dinner with Kev's Dad that evening. It was a very eventful evening at the "coolest" hangout in Lexington. Fatz Cafe.
Let's just say that SOMEBODY's strap broke on their dress. And SOMEBODY wasn't wearing a bra. And SOMEBODY has NO business going out in public.
Especially on Father's Day. With a broken dress strap.
The dress is now laying on the floor of my closet because of it's unworthiness to hang with my other belongings.
And how in the world did a post about Father's Day seem to get back to me/myself/and I again.
I need help.

We love you Dad and Glenn! Happy Dad's Day!

"Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Sour Sixteen?

Sour? or Sweet?

What do you call it when a guy turns 16?

I mean... the guy that I am referring to is pretty sweet.

But guys are opposite from girls. Most of the time.

However, having a sour sixteen party doesn't sound like much fun.

And we had a TON of fun at this guy's party.....

This is Michael. or Mike. or Mikey. or Mr. Muscles. He is our nephew. Our very first nephew. The reason that we became an aunt and an uncle. And we have officially been in our roles for 16 years.

And that makes my dentures hurt.

But we love this kid.

I mean .... guy. SO much.

And for the record... we love his girlfriend, Sam, too.
Mike has grown in to a wonderful person. A person we can't get enough of.

He is so much fun to hang out with. He keeps us entertained. He makes us laugh.

It is great that we love him so much because he will be responsible for taking care of us when we are old.

But don't tell him that just yet.

It might ruin his day.

And he definitely deserves an incredible day.

To be honored as a big brother, son, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend.

So, I guess that "sweet" is the right terminology for his 16th. And I mean "sweet" in the coolest way.

Mike. We wish you a million tons of wonderfulness for your sixteenth year.

Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Skit Night

Skit ~noun ~ A short theatrical sketch or act. Usually comical.


My family doesn't know any other way to be.

And thus begins another tale from my childhood........

A tale in which skits were a part of every week. Like baths and brushing teeth.

In fact, I think skits were performed more often than we took baths and brushed our teeth. But this post is not about our cleaning habits. So let's move on....

We were constantly having impromptu performances to show off our talents to one another. It would not be out of the ordinary to peer in to a window of our home and see the following....

Kim (me) - showing off my Girl Scout badges - with details

Shannon - playing the piano

Holly - dancing a jazz routine ... costumes included

Kristen- doing a cheer or a gymnastics move

Dave - playing the tuba

Bethany - ballet dancing

Mom - singing

Dad - telling jokes and clogging at the same time

Yes, we were a talented family (?) always on the ready to perform whether you liked it or not.

And I haven't even told you about all of the plays we put on for each other and the neighborhood. We even sold tickets. Door to door. And our neighbors ACTUALLY paid to see us perform.

I tried that the other day. In Gaston. Just for old times sake. Let's just say that it resulted in things being thrown in my face. Such as boiled peanuts, banjo strings, pork rinds, and shot gun shells.

It's a tough world out there. On my street.

Enough about that.....

On with the show.....

We came up with the idea to have skit night. For old times sake. Elijah was the skit coordinator. He approved or denied the skits as they were presented to him. And created the show agenda including an intermission.

And let me just tell you right now...


I seriously laughed so hard. And enjoyed every single second of it.

It all started with my parents.....

They performed "Cowboy Buckaroo". Complete with costumes and choreography.

They worked on this routine for MONTHS! And it did not disappoint.

My Mom had absolutely no idea that my Dad's wooden horse was inside his pants.
UM...That sounded weird. But I meant literally. You can see it in the picture.

The laughter could be heard from miles around....

And then there was Elijah....

This cute little "stranger" told some jokes. Hee Haw style. With his Mom....

Such a precious performance. One that we tried to recreate throughout the rest of the week.

"Well, Hiiiii Straaaanger!"

Then we had Dave and Elijah tell some interesting Presidential facts....

Then Bethany and I performed "You are my sunshine" upside down chin singing style....

Our performance names were "Taco" and "Friola"......

The Settles family performing an original song "Oh my Daddy" upside down chin style.

Obviously, this form of entertainment is very popular in my family.

After intermission.... We moved outside to the porch.

This was were we experienced a "Chicken Tetrazzini" cooking class.....

This "class" was performed by Kris and Dave. What you may or may not be able to see is that Holly and Laura are crouched down behind them. And are the "arms" of this operation. Dave and Kris had no idea what the girls were going to do. They just had to ad-lib based on what the arms were doing.

After getting strawberry glaze, salsa, flour, and whipped cream smeared in their face.... while drinking glasses of milk..... our family was laughing and clapping Jerry Springer style.
That is a great way to describe us. A Jerry Springer audience.

And last but not least......

We had J.C. The Magician.

He seriously did some amazing magic tricks. I was blown away. Baffled. Amazed.

He included every one in the group. And put on an amazing show.

And we took pictures. And laughed. And clapped. And enjoyed each other so much. And ensured that this skit night would be an everlasting memory in our minds.

I demand an ENCORE!