When the kids are busy, the adults get to play!

Seesh. Glad the long weekend is nearing its end. Not to say it hasn’t been fun, but it is nice to curl up in the AC and catch up with Game of Thrones.

Two family parties on Saturday and Sunday, and a softball BBQ for Monday. Friday was prep day. Which basically meant I biked over to Reading Terminal for some shopping. Veggies from Iovine Brothers, a box of lady fingers from Kamal’s,  2 pounds of small tiger shrimp, 2 bone-in-chicken breasts, and the most ridiculous amount of sausage I have ever purchased. Sweet Italian, Spicy Italian, Andouille, Feta and Spinach, all chicken or turkey from Martin’s. Combined with the chicken breast, it was a total of 19 pounds of meat. Quite a bike ride home! we brought some of the sausage to Chris’ folks place. The day was full of grilling and chasing kids.

Next day- not a BBQ like I thought. Oops. Guess I bought too much sausage! Family event number two- a birthday party potluck. Sausage into the freezer at home. Guess we’ll just have to have some people over to grill!

Softball and BBQ

Finally to Monday. Some nice sleeping in, and trying to avoid the heat. On to a double batch of jambalaya and a loaf of cornbread for a cornbread competition. We’ve never actually doubled the recipe in one pot before. It looked like a WAY huge amount of food. Not a bite left though! Quite a hit. I don’t think I’ve heard that many compliments about a dish in ages. And while Kevin might say his cornbread won the ‘contest’, by the time we left I didn’t see any of mine left. So pretty sure I rocked that, too.

I’m constantly surprised at how much people love the jambalaya that we make. Not that it isn’t good. I absolutely love it, too. But I know it isn’t really all that complicated. True, we’ve slightly modified the source recipe (from this book) over time to make the adjustments necessary (like no clam juice. Yelch.) but I think the real important part is that we use good, fresh, local ingredients. Someone asked today if we used a pre-packaged spice mix. The funny thing about that is that the only “spices” that get added are salt, thyme and cayenne. Everything else is just from the natural flavors… well, chicken stock could count as a spice, too, I guess. I’m glad everyone loves it. I’m also glad I put a serving away before we brought the tray over to the field. Hello, delicious lunch. :-)

Summer in the city…..


My Spring flowers out front.

nightime softball in West Philly

Last night it really felt like Spring. Softball season is here, and yesterday was a 9:00 game. Chris plays on a ‘beer leauge’ with a lot of our friends, out in West Philly. I’m not a part of the team because (a) I really hate playing softball and (b) I’m REALLY REALLY bad at it. pretty sure (a) is because of (b). But anyway. I am pretty good at keeping score. And sneezing. Apparently I have Spring allergies this year. Seems to skip every few. Full force last night. The team won (go team!) after being behind by 6 runs and playing a really great inning. Double play at first! (yeah, long-tall-Gaeson!) Home run when up at bat (double yay Gaeson!) Tie score, extra inning! Win by a run! Clearly Gaeson won MVP. Which with this team means you win a toy from “Kinky Quizzo” which most of the team goes to after the game. Leaving for work at 6AM means that I can’t really pull long nights anymore, so I bowed out before the migration to quizzo.

Tonight- more games! Pizza and Settlers of Catan with some hardcore settlers fans. The pizza should be here soon, the guys are showing up at 8:00, the windows are wide open. Hello spring!


Me and Chip (I didn't hit him in the face though)

Holy paintball batman. Never thought I’d throw on the fatigues and run around playing army in the woods. But it was really fun! (Even without the fatigues). Chris plays on a softball league with a bunch of our friends, and Mauer (the organizer of the team) decided paintball would be a fun end-of-season event for everyone. If we had over 20 people, we would be able to play on our own field, so it was come-one-come-all. I’m not on the softball team, and originally hadn’t planned on going. I still wasn’t sure when I woke up in the morning that I really wanted to go. But Chris convinced me it would be fun- and it was! It was really beautiful weather, and a fun day to run around in the woods. Only a few of us had ever actually played before, so it was a really fun group of people to go with. A few editors I’m friends with ended up going, and a bunch of Paula’s doctor friends, so I definitely wasn’t the only non-softball person there. We split up into pink and green teams (marked by an armband) at the beginning of the day, and aside from a little shifting, mostly stayed on the same teams the whole time.  My team wasn’t so great on the communication part of team-work, though.

The Great Escape (yes, they played music from the film)

We ended up losing all the larger games, although we kicked butt in the 6 on 6 (vs the 12 on 12 larger games) “Great Escape” course. Every game was some variation of capture the flag. One hit and you’re out, you hold your gun up and walk off the field. Doesn’t sound complicated, but it was surprisingly tough to figure out if you were hit or not. Sometimes they wouldn’t break, in which case you were still in. Sometimes it would hit your gun or your mask, and you wouldn’t feel it, but would be counted as out. Theoretically you could call the refs over for a paint check, but hearing anyone in the masks was tough, so they weren’t always on top of it. We played a massive game on the castle field at the very end, our two teams against another large group, with a bunch of kids. At first we joked around about feeling bad about shooting kids- but they were evil! They called us names, wouldn’t go out when hit, and consistently shot at people walking off the field. The parents were worse sports than the kids- not being very sportsmanlike examples for the children, that’s for sure. It was fun to be able to storm a castle, but next time I think we’ll stick with our group.


The Great Escape course was brand new, so the refs were still figuring out how to control it. You’re not supposed to shoot someone closer than 15 or 20 feet, but on a course like that, its tough to avoid. My team won the first round with lightening speed. The second round was confusing, and I don’t think anyone won (the refs stopped paying attention to the game to discuss how to judge something, and the four or so of us left couldn’t figure out who was still in the game). I did get Chip in pretty stylish fashion for that game, though, which was fun :-) I also had the Hollywood film move of the day, when I ended up one of the last people on my team, and a girl from the other team ran by me with the “bomb” to put into our base. I got her a whole bunch of times, very dramatic, and she lunged forward to throw the suitcase in the window- it would have been a fantastic death scene in a cheesy action movie. Of course, we lost anyway. Oh well. Pretty sure this will become a tradition. Next year I’m going to try to get some of my dancer girls in on the action. Yay!


Yeah, we're hardcore

(All photos stolen from Mauer’s facebook page…. I didn’t bring my camera up to the field, figured I’d just end up breaking it. Although I did actually take the one of the Great Escape field.)




The weather was beautiful. The team a little sparse. Tie score. A nice way to spend an evening.

lightning bug!

lightning bug!

Chris’s team had another softball game, I got to keep score again. It made way more sense this time, and they actually won! 14 to 2. It was a slaughter. It was a later game so we hung out afterwards for an impromptu practice. Which meant, for the first time, that I was around for twilight and the emergence of the lightning bugs. Its been way too long since I’ve seen them……..

yay! Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

Chris got talked into joining a softball league this summer, I declined the team since I am really (really really) terrible at softball. Its just no fun for me to keep missing the catches and swinging at air. But that said, I like cheering the team on, and I started to learn a new skill- scoring! Its far more complicated than I thought it would be. But its kind of a fun challenge. Its nice to have an excuse to sit outside in nice weather, cheering on my friends and playing with the dogs that come to the field. As and added bonus, the field is only a few blocks away from my office, so I can head to the early games right after work. I don’t think I’ll make every game, but my first one was definitely a good time.

Mauer and Sophie

Mauer and Sophie