Ever since we moved into our new house in December, I've been taking pictures of our food.  Since I thought it would be oddly mean to post those pictures in an album like our other pictures (as if to say "ha ha, see what I made? You can't have any!"), I decided to create a separate food blog.  Recipes will come from cook books, magazines, websites and other blogs- so basically everywhere.  Oh, and there will be some of my own original recipes, too.  The new blog is called "The Vintage Table," because that's what I have in my kitchen- a vintage table. For now, I've only posted one recipe, but rest assured that more will be coming.  Hope you like it!

Click here to see the new blog.
This Memorial Day Weekend, Clayton actually had a long weekend off!  I wanted to go to an arts festival, or camping.  Clayton plead too masculine for an arts fair, and the weather wasn't looking good for camping.  Luckily, we found some fun British shows on Netflix, and I had the brilliant idea to ask his brother, Davy, to hang with us for a day.

So it was that the majority of the weekend was passed in alternating between moaning about the heat, and taking turns glaring at our broken air conditioner (as if dirty looks would scare it into proper behavior).  Mostly we drank lots of water, and only ventured out on our walks at night.  However, on Sunday we shaped up long enough to put on real clothes and go meet Dave in Jacksonville.  We arranged to meet him at Walmart, thence to go to the zoo I had discovered on the magical interwebs.  Here Clayton and I made a couple mistakes.  First, that we'd be meeting Dave at *the* Walmart; second, that Jacksonville has a "zoo."  It turns out, Jacksonville has at least two (2) Walmart stores.  Two!  Dave first went to a Walmart, and it only took him maybe ten minutes to drive to the Other Walmart, where Clayton and I were parked.  Dave groaned when we told him our next destination, but, I suspect, it was morbid curiosity that propelled him to jump enthusiastically into our vehicle with little further protestation.  

When we arrived at the "zoo," we thought seriously about turning around without parking, but for some reason none of us insisted on it, so soon enough we were walking up to the tiny ticket booth and asking for admission.  The establishment claimed to have 80 species, but we're pretty sure that was counting the natural wildlife that can already be found in North Carolina.  Almost all of the snake cages were disturbingly empty, and the happiest looking animals were cows and goats.  Several of the exotic animals were repeats, kept in cages all over to make it look like there were more of them, even though they were often alone.  The saddest sight of the day was probably the saddest little monkey.  He came up to the edge of his cage when we called him, and he kept looking at us with a sad face while we talked to him.  When Dave took out a piece of gum for himself, the monkey quickly thrust out his little hand in desperate supplication, giving Davy the full glare of his Sad Monkey Face.
The Saddest Monkey
About 30 minutes after entering the zoo, we exited it, having seen all the creatures it contained.  The boys agreed they were hungry, and that they wanted to do something else, but they couldn't decide what order to do it in.  I suggested we get food first, and then talk it over.  Dave directed us to his favorite Mexican place, where we all enjoyed some really delicious food and drinks.  After that, Clayton wanted to see Camp Lejeune, so Dave gave us the grand tour.  With some daylight remaining, we went to the base's beach, and walked on the sand and splashed in the waves for a while.  Camp Lejeune's recreational possibilities exhausted, we headed back into Jacksonville to see "Men in Black III," which was surprisingly good.  After the movie, we said good-bye and went back to our respective homes.  I think we all agreed that the zoo was the worst idea ever, but we all had fun that day still the same.   

Click here to see more pictures.
So it has been a while since I last wrote on here.  The bad news is, now I have to remember what we've been up to the last few weeks.  The good news is, I have lots of pictures to remind me!

In my last post, I told you we'd be at the Cherry Point Air Show.  More precisely, Clayton and his co-workers had to work the air show.  Everyone at their shop was on duty throughout the weekend, so there were plenty of Marines at all times to fuel the planes, jets, helicopters and trucks.  The guys were especially proud of the "Wall of Fire," which all the articles about the show will tell you was detonated by an E.O.D. team, but forget to mention was filled with the right mix of fuel and oil by one of the Marines Clayton works with.  Below, I've posted someone else's video of it on the sixth.  However, the BEST wall was on the night of the fifth, because the fire really stood out at night.
Here are some of my own pictures from the show.  I'll post more in an album on the pictures page.  There were lots of static displays of old planes, as well as some modern ones that are used in the field today.  A good part of the flight line was dedicated to carnival-style food vendors.  The food they served was actually very good, but as expensive as could be expected.  The rest of the weekend, Clayton and I chose to fill our cooler with drinks, cold cuts, sub rolls and other goodies to feed us, so we wouldn't have to keep shelling out for fried chicken strips.

On Saturday, Clayton's brother Dave came to the show with us, so he kept me company while Clayton had to do work things.  Over all, the weekend was very fun, and the weather was perfect for the show (a little on the warm side for me, but sunscreen and water were my best friends).  Also, I got to meet more of Clayton's co-workers' families.  This has made me feel a bit more in touch with the other wives, since I actually know what they look like, and even some of their names now.
This weekend is the Cherry Point Airshow.  Clayton's working it, fueling Blue Angels.  Tonight, I saw one of these parked just outside the shop.  Bonus points if anyone knows its name! (No cheating!)   I will be hanging with the guys and their wives this weekend.   The rechargeable batteries are plugged in, so definitely expect lots of pictures  

It happened again.  Clayton asked me if I'd seen "Fill-in-the-Blank-with-a-Movie-I-Have-Never-Heard-of" and then sighed when I said no.  Apparently he is keeping a list of these gaps in my knowledge of popular culture, so I expect any day now a huge marathon.  Probably starting with "The Wrath of Khan."
We have been having so much fun for the last week!  On the 28th, Clayton and I went to the beach.  We walked in the sand, splashed each other with the salty water and poked dead jellyfish with sticks.  Also, we bought some fresh strawberries, which had us very excited, because they were so perfect!  Even the biggest ones were sweet fruit all the way through.  A few days later I was excited, because when our Netflix came, we got three DVDs instead of two.  Turns out, I had ordered Ben-Hur, which even in digital form is a two-parter.  

This last weekend we had a cookout with some of Clayton's coworkers and their families.  A good time was had by all.  We brought our grill (oh yeah, we have a grill!  It's propane, if you must know) and cooked hamburgers and hot dogs. Others brought beer, soda, chips, and dip.  Not to mention some interesting condiments, such as ketchup with Tobasco sauce in it.  After eating, Clayton and I got out our gloves and favorite baseball to play catch, while some of the others tossed a football, and still others sat at a picnic table and visited.  As the sun was setting, we went home to put our leftover food away and change.  Then we met back up with some of those who'd been at the picnic, and we went bowling until midnight.

The bowling alley on base is quite nice, and it makes for cheap, wholesome fun a Saturday evening.  Some of the guys drank a bit and sang along with the music.  Unfortunately for us all, many of the songs were so insanely popular at the moment that they wore at our nerves.  When the lady behind the counter used the PA system to wish a certain girl in the establishment a happy thirteenth birthday, which was subsequently greeted with screams/squeals of excitement, our group all let out a collective "Ahh!  That explains everything!"  So as we bowled, we took turns taking the initiative and summoning up better songs on the digital jukebox (since we obviously couldn't trust the birthday girl to have good taste). 

Regarding my last post about the critters in our driveway, keep checking out the pictures of our adorable little neighbors.  The little tree frogs in particular love our trash bin, and since they won't stop being cute, I won't stop taking pictures of them.