Since I can’t post pictures…

I’m going to tell you a few lessons learned today. As a recap, all my fun photos from my trip are on Patrick’s computer now with a random dude in College Station who fixes computers because I broke Patrick’s computer on my way back from my trip. Get all that?

Anyway, here is what I learned today.

Lesson 1: I learned that you shouldn’t pack a gym bag when you’re running late for work. Things that look like gym clothes are tricky and try to deceive you. You wind up grabbing gloves when you meant to grab socks. You wind up debating on whether you should skip the gym and drive all the way home or whether you should borrow socks from a stranger. You learn that you’re willing to forsake foot hygiene after a nice lady who swears she doesn’t have athlete’s foot offers you her slightly used socks. (Note to self: wash and return socks to nice lady without athlete’s foot.)

Lesson 2: If a cop pulls you over, do your best to look as un-nervous as possible. Today, on his way to take his broken computer to aforementioned computer-fixer-man’s house, Patrick got pulled over for doing a 41 in a 35. Because cops (and the idea of additional unneeded expenses in the form of speeding tickets) make Patrick uncomfortable, he didn’t smile and act like a chipper schoolgirl. So, the cop said Patrick looked nervous and told him he would need to search the car. Patrick obliged; the cop found nothing and thankfully, he sent Patrick on his way sans ticket. So if you get pulled over, smile and act like you just won the lottery. It’s what they want.

Lesson 3: Texas is too darn hot.

Lesson 4: Sometimes, you can’t beat a simple dinner. I made pasta tonight with homegrown tomatoes and pesto made with basil from the garden. Patrick said it was exactly what he wanted for dinner. At the end of the day, the best thing you can learn is that you just made someone’s day a little better and that you’re still loved even after you broke that person’s computer.

FAIL

I was so excited to post tonight. I had already drafted it and everything. But then my clumsy self got the best of me. We turned Patrick’s computer on tonight — the one I had taken to Cleveland with me — and inexplicably the screen was completely broken. At first it was just blobs of pink. Now, it’s hideous blackness. His precious computer. The one with all his documents. The one with his music. The one with all my pictures and projects. Somehow destroyed during my travels yesterday.

What an epic fail.

So instead of posting about my wonderful trip back home, I’m going to go mope and feel guilty. See you in a few days I hope, with stories of the amazingness that was home. In the meantime, I have a lot of back rubs to give and amazing dinners to cook.

Ice, Ice Baby

As I filled my ice trays last night, I thought about the fact that my last blog was more than two weeks ago. I’ve been in Alabama during that time to see family, and my return back to Texas last week was also a return back to my day-to-day routine. Aside from an unplanned trip to the vet this week with Fish Taco (he’s on the mend), everything has been status quo lately. Truth be told, I’ve wanted to write for days but couldn’t think of a topic. Last night I had a moment over the sink, holding my plastic ice trays: “I could blog about ice.”

“That’s stinkin’ ridiculous,” I said back to myself as I stuffed the tray into the freezer, sloshing water onto the floor. In addition to being clumsy, I talk to myself.

But then this evening, I discovered that one of my newfound podcasts, The Sporkful, recently did a show about — tah dah — ICE CUBES! Apparently, they’re kind of a bone of contention among drink snobs. Something about the surface area to volume ratio… You can listen to the entire podcast here (it’s episode 73).

Somewhere along the way from their liquid to solid state, ice cubes have gotten fancy pants. How about some legos in your drink?

It’s hot as Hades in Texas, and that means I’m making iced tea like a mad woman. But ice trays can do more than make ice: the little plastic vessels are multi-functional tools. When I make pesto, I freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. That way, I have individual servings when I make pasta. You can also freeze leftover broth or sauce this way.

You can also use your trays to freeze coffee, so you avoid diluting your iced coffee with regular ice as it melts. Homemade Simple also recommends using trays to organize your office or craft supplies (admittedly, I’m not sure how well this would work, but feel free to try it for yourself).

Sometimes though, the best use for an ice cube tray is regular old ice, and regular old ice happens to be one of the main ingredients in my new favorite treat. Patrick and I are trying to visit Dairy Queen less frequently, and we’ve found a lovely substitute for ice cream. Almost nightly the last week or so, we’ve been making mango lassis. They’re much healthier and are deliciously refreshing during a hot summer evening. Interestingly, I don’t like mango fruit by itself. But when pulverized with yogurt and ice, I find it delightful.

To make the lassis for two (or three if you do small servings), take one large mango or two small mangos and peel the skin off. Cut the fruit away from the hard stone in the middle. Put the fruit, about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of plain yogurt (Greek yogurt will make a thicker drink but regular yogurt will also work well) and 6 ice cubes in a blender. (This is completely optional, but I also add a few drops of vanilla stevia extract.) Blend the ingredients until the mixture resembles a thick milkshake. Depending on your blender, you may need to add some milk to get things moving. Pour into glasses and enjoy!