Saturday, September 19

7 Things, Plus One Box of Possibilities

A while back, Carol from May Dreams Gardens tagged me for a meme. I know that I've done this "Seven Things About Me" meme before, and frankly I'm not a very exciting (drama-finding, larger-than-life) person, so coming up with seven interesting things is going to be a struggle.  But I like Carol, and I really don't feel like doing anything productive right now, so I'm giving it a try. Here goes:

1.  I play a lot of volleyball.
I started playing volleyball in adult leagues a few years after I got married, and have kept playing through the years. In the summertime I play 4's, 6's and even a lower-level (upper intermediate/BB, as opposed to open/A/competitive) women's 2's league. My favorite team is my Thursday indoor competitive 6's team, though.  We have a good team (including my boyfriend Steve) and great chemistry, and I can't wait until we start playing together again next week. 

Speaking of Steve...



2.  Here's something scandalous, after all:  I'm dating a younger man. 
Okay, it's not really that scandalous.  I'm not dating Steve because he's younger... in fact, all of the guys I've dated previously have been my age or within a year older than me.  I'm dating Steve because... well, because he's Steve.  :-)  And outside of a few amusing comments from various friends, and a few cultural references from our childhoods that we have to explain to each other, I never really remember on a day-to-day basis that he's 26 and I'm 33.
 (But I have to point out--just in case Steve is reading this--that I may be older, but he has WAY more gray hairs than I do already! ;-) 

3. Speaking of gray hair, I am NOT going to be one of those women who constantly colors and touches up her hair when it turns gray.  
I hope it turns the pretty, silvery-white color that my Mom's is... but if it isn't, then I will probably just cut it short and choppy and punky, so it has some attitude.

 
4.  I have a deep love of architecture.
I seriously considered going to school for architecture, or at least art... and still wonder whether I shouldn't have done so.  Regardless, I definitely appreciate both.  And part of what I love about Cleveland is that many of its beautiful buildings were created during the Art Deco period, which is one of my favorites because it's a mashup of contrasts (like opulence and modern efficiency.)

5. I hope that I never, ever, EVER have to eat meatloaf again.
I know, this is a silly one. But once when I was a kid my Mom made me sit at the table until I ate every last bite of my meatloaf. (This, by the way, is the worst thing I can say about her... she is an amazing mother, and I consider myself extremely lucky!)  I didn't like meatloaf all that well prior to this particular evening... and after choking down numerous bites of cold, icky meatloaf amid tears, I downright hated it.  Ugh!

Luckily...

 
6.  I love cooking.
So I don't ever have to worry about having to make meatloaf for lack of recipes and ideas. My friend Jessica and I like to trade recipes, and when we get together we are known to indulge in making ridiculously gourmet epicurean feasts. During my visit to Cincinnati chronicled in the photo above, she introduced me to Jungle Jim's (heaven!) and I showed her that roasting a whole chicken is so easy that someone who makes her own delicious ice cream doesn't need to be intimidated by it at all.

Almost done with this meme!  So I'll end with one more confession:

7.  I have a secret admiration/envy of Martha Stewart.
Okay, it's probably not such a big secret given how much I read her magazines.  And people who know me and have seen my messy, eclectic house are probably laughing right now.  But I aspire to cook as well as, decorate as interestingly as, garden as efficiently as, and generally housekeep as amazingly as Ms. Martha.  Maybe some day.

And that brings us to the end of this meme... so it's time to show you the "Plus One Box of Possibilities" from the title of this post:


Apples! Steve's grandfather has a huge old apple tree in his backyard, and we stopped by there for a quick visit and some apple-picking today. I filled up the big, old (trashpicked) antique trug shown above, plus another bag... and could probably go back for the same amount again, there were so many fruits weighing down the boughs.

It's a great old tree, missing some limbs but perfect for a little climbing nonetheless. And these apples are heavenly--firm and crisp, with a really good balance of tart and sweet in the flavor. Could they be Gala? Macintosh?  Nobody has any idea: According to Steve's uncle Mike, his parents had actually purchased a crabapple tree for planting, and were surprised when it started bearing regular, full-sized apples in subsequent years.

It doesn't matter what kind they are, really... they're going to be an apple pie with walnut streusel, an apple crisp, and probably some apple-clove butter, too, by the time I get done with them. Anyone have any other all-time-favorite recipes that they would like to share? I certainly seem to have enough apples to give them all a try!

26 comments:

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Great post, Kim! You cradle-robber, you! LOL! Having met both you and Steve, you guys make an awesome couple! It's not that big of an age difference. Great photo of the two of you!

I like Martha Stewart, too. She's a smart, savvy, incredibly talented woman.

Carol said...

That was fun! You need to plan to come to the next Garden Bloggers Spring Fling so we can meet you in person. And bring some of those home baked goodies.

Thanks for playing along!

Pam/Digging said...

It's nice to see a picture of you at last, Kim. You and Steve make a handsome couple. I'm older than my husband too (by 2 months). :-)

Meagan said...

At LEAST art?! &@$#%!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Kylee, thanks. I think we make a good couple, too... but I'm biased! :)

Carol, the next one is in Buffalo, so that's a definite possibility! Just a 3hr drive... I could do that in the same day if needed. Should be fun...

Pam/Digging, so you're a cradle robber, too?! ;) LOL. Thanks for the compliment. And yeah, I usually don't post pics of myself at all and here are 2 in one post. Must be a full moon tonight or something!

Easy, there, Meagan! I mean "At LEAST art" as in, "Somewhere in the larger realm of art, at least... if I didn't narrow it down to the more specific subcategory of architecture." C'mon, you of all people should know that I would NEVER trivialize the importance of art. :)

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Love this post Kim. How very nice to get to know you a bit more. Well done on the craddle robbing thing. ;-)

BTW my parents tried to force me to eat food that I didn't like either when I was a little girl, but that didn't work as I threw it all up again. (Excuse the visual.)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You cougar you...tee hee.. Actually this is how it is supposed to be because men don't live as long as women. Smart choice. You two make a handsome couple.

Long ago I played volleyball. Not competitively but it was fun. Yes, this brought back some fond memories.

Those apples are gorgeous. Seeing them made me want an apple pie too.

Meagan said...

Yes, but the opportunity to leave a comment including a cartoon explitive was too tempting to resist.

mothernaturesgarden said...

I love architecture also. How about all those fantastical buildings in Dubai?

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Yolanda Elizabet, I should have thought about that... I could easily have thrown it up (it was that yucky) and maybe that would have better expressed my dislike of meatloaf! lol.

Greenbow Lisa, good point re: the living time. (That said, he does have some pretty good longevity amongst the men in his family. Hmm... :) If you were here, I would share--there's plenty of apples for pies all around!

Meagan, you are hereby authorized to randomly sprinkle cartoon expletives throughout any comments you make on my blog. And can you mix in some of those punctuation words, like "POW" and "Shazaam!" too? That would be cool. :)

mothernaturesgarden, aren't they amazing?! What really gets me is that they can build things like ski resorts there. The functionality is amazing!

Gail said...

Fun post! Mr I is 10 months younger then me...it only bothers me on those milestone birthdays! gail

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Wow, you came up with some interesting new things. Don't feel funny about dating a younger man - I married one. He's 5 years younger than me and, yes, he also has way more gray hairs. My goal is to go gray naturally too. Fortunately, I've got good genes in that regard & don't have to start worrying about it for a long time. I hope my resolve holds out.
Sorry I don't have any apple reciepes for you. I don't like to cook, and I really am the bizarro-Martha.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Gail, the only time it really bothers me is when I wonder if it bothers him! (Or someone else important to him, like his Mom, brother, sisters, etc.) Ah well, if not that, then I'm sure I would find something else to worry about, right?!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter... :)

Kerri said...

Hey, I think photographing slugs having a romantic interlude qualifies you as "drama-finding and larger-than-life" ;)
You two make a great couple. If you're compatible then what does age matter?
Any form of art is fascinating and fun in my opinion...drawing, painting, architecture, decorating, music, writing, etc. You create wonderful vignettes in your garden. That's a form of art!
I could tell you a really gross story about why my hubby refuses to eat meatloaf :)
I wonder if those apples are Empire. The picture and your description fits them perfectly. They're our favorites, and we eat them more than any other apple.
Yum! All those apple recipes you're planning to cook are making me hungry. Ever try apple dumplings? They're soooo delicious!

Deborah at Kilbourne Grove said...

Hey Kim, I also have Martha Stewart envy, I have every one of her magazines since she started publishing, and I even have a few newsletters that she used to publish before starting the magazine. Wow, they really take up a lot of space.
Thank you for adding me to your blogroll, I will add you to mine.

lauby1 said...

Kim, I don't know about Martha Stewert, but Steve, now there is a very nice and respectable gentleman. I felt for him (and Jeff and Dad) when Ed Hocule(sp?) called a false start on the entire Brown's offensive line...

In regards to the many apples you have just picked, have you thought of making your own applesauce? A co-worker of mine has a recipe that I want to try as I am picking apples this coming weekend. I'll send it to you if it's any good.

C

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Kerri, LOL re: the slugs!!! (And thank you for the compliments on my garden, too--you're too sweet.) I just emailed over my request for your apple dumpling recipe!

Also, I looked up 'Empire' apples and the description fits them exactly, I think. According to Wikipedia, 'Empire' wasn't introduced to home gardeners until 1966... and Steve's uncle said that this tree was planted "about 50 years ago." I'm going to see if he can nail down a year to see if 'Empire' is a possibility...

Deborah, every one?! What a lot of space, but also what treasure trove of gorgeous photos and ideas that must be! I'm jealous. :)

Craig, I'm glad you like Steve. :) But, really, you should have felt for YOUR FAVORITE SISTER, too, during the Browns game! :-P

I actually did try to make some applesauce in the slow cooker overnight. It turned out to be something between applesauce and apple butter, which was definitely fine. (I got tired of cutting apples, though, and quit so I didn't get enough apples in for the amount of spice I had added... so now it's "ice cream topping apples," because it's really good with vanilla ice cream to cut the spices.) That said... send over your recipe, please!

CONEFLOWER said...

Sorry I didn't get into this post sooner.

I MARRIED a younger man. David is 9 years younger than me. It's been wonderful. We've been married 27 years so that speaks for itself. And now that I'm past 67, he has promised to "turn out the lights" for our little family.

p.s. I'm only now starting to slow down a bit but he paces himself to match me. How's that for a sweet husband?

Frances said...

Hi Kim, so nice to see you and your volleyball partner! So you must have been a bicentennial baby? And I shuddered about the meatloaf, having made at least one of my four kids sit at the table to finish their dinner. The youngest still has an aversion to meatloaf because I put green olives in it, like my mother did and his mini loaf, which was supposed to be without the olives contained one. To this day he holds it against me! As for the hair dying, all I can say is, better not to start for the roots growing out are killer. Unless you are prepared to shave your head, and don't do that in December like I did. Too cold!
Frances

Muum said...

I did the '7' meme, too. had to laugh about Martha Stewart. I have a fascination with her, too, but try to rationalize it by comparing it to a train wreck; you know you shouldn't look, but you do anyway.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Coneflower, your husband definitely sounds like a sweetheart. :) But I don't think you have to worry about him "turning out the lights" for your little family just yet--you seem like you're so full of vim & vigor that it will be a while!

Frances, you are correct: I was a bicentennial baby. (Speaking of babies, I feel a certain emotional bond with your youngest now, by the way! lol.) You are soooo right about the roots. I once dyed my hair black (because it was the only color I hadn't yet tried) and it never did wear out even though the box said "temporary hair color"... so I had to get it cut, and bleached 4x in one afternoon to get the black out. Needless to say, that cured me: I haven't colored since!

Muum, I'll have to go read your "7" meme... and I'm LOL at the Martha/train wreck comment. So true! :)

Layanee said...

Kim, you are always interesting and you could add to your meme that you never take a bad picture! Looking good even if you are young and have not gray hair to worry about. Enjoy your youth as it goes fast. As for the younger man....it would only matter if he were twelve and you were nineteen. Adults are adults and it is a joy to find someone you can't live without. Love the bouquet.

Annie in Austin said...

It's lovely to see you both looking so happy, Kim - and your seven things were fun to read - thanks! The apples from Steve's grandfather look wonderful. My experience with free apples was fruit so blotched & wormy you got very little for pie once you cut out the bad parts.

Ah yes, the Bicentennial...my suggestions that we call our unborn child Thomas Jefferson or Abigail Adams were outvoted. Think your mom ever entertained doing something like that to you?

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Oh, Layanee, that's so true... it is a joy to find someone who you enjoy spending time with. :) (And I didn't say that I had no gray hair, btw. Just that I don't worry about it! lol.)

Annie, lol, I doubt that my Mom ever did think about that. Although maybe I look like an "Abby," more so than a "Kim," and she should have?! ;)

The apples are actually not bad at all, worm-wise, btw. There are some bad sections, and I've thrown out a couple of whole fruits, even, but for the most part they've been completely fine. I got lucky there for sure!

Sylvana said...

You two make such a cute couple!

I recommend my apple pie. It has rum in it! Rum makes everything better.

Pam said...

I secretly like Martha Stewart too. Well, I mostly just get her Halloween issues - but the gardening issue is generally nice too. The bummer is that she often has quite informative articles, dang it - and her gardens always look so amazing (could it be due to having...STAFF?). Plus, her dogs are well-behaved. I wonder if her dogs every eat her tomatoes????

My grandmother had naturally dark brown-black hair until her mid-70s, when it seemed to grow grey overnight. I'm still a natural blonde at 50, and suppose I'll just get a mousy light brown at some point...maybe then I'll die it a beautiful grey!

Fun post!

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