Vegetable Soup

Do you know what you put into goulash?  Everything.  The same is true with a good vegetable soup.  Do you  have some green beans?  Throw them into the pot!  Leftover grilled vegetables from last night’s dinner?  Don’t be shy; put them in the soup.  Did you find a bag of frozen corn in your freezer?  Well, have at it.  Corn is GOOD in vegetable soup.

(I speak like I am an experienced cook.)

(Shh!  Don’t tell anyone.)

Tonight I have a little bloggity goulash / vegetable soup for y’all.

I’d say this blog post will be like tuna salad, too, but yuck.  Because you can hide a wealth of garbage in tuna, and that, my friends, is why you should NEVER, EVER — NOT UNLESS THE APOCALYPSE HAS HAPPENED AND YOU WEREN’T RAPTURED UP, AND ALL THE FOOD YOU CAN FIND IS TUNA SALAD AT THE LOCAL SUBWAY TO SURVIVE ON — order it in a restaurant.  Then you might have to actually eat it.  But unless that happens, make your own tuna salad at home, because a disgruntled deli employee can sweep the floor in the morning and empty the dustbin right into the bowl of tuna and mayo and chopped celery and spices, and you’ll never know the difference when you order your sandwich at noon, until you get a piece of gravel from the parking lot stuck between the gap in your front teeth.

But yes.

I really just have a couple of odds and ends for you tonight, like two ingredients in your slop-it-together recipe, and I don’t have a lot of words.

(Or so I say.)

(Usually I can just keep typing for another sixty-four minutes, even though I ran out of credible stuff to talk about an hour earlier.)

(It’s a gift.)

1.  Yesterday, the youth pastor at our church drove up the mountain and did some fun-ness with the kids at camp.  While I was sitting in the salon, having a pedicure and debating the visual pros and cons of a simple French pedicure vs. Pinkened Sunset on my toes, Pastor Adam sent me a text message.  It said, “He’s having fun.”

That was it.  I had no idea who Pastor Adam was talking about.  Who was having fun?  Because I pretty much had no idea WHERE Adam was even AT.

And then this snapshot came through on my phone 10 seconds later, and my eyes filled with tears, because I am a sentimental sap who can cry in a good Hallmark commercial, and look!

In all of Pastor Adam’s daily busyness, he took a minute to stop and take a picture of the boy for me, who was far away at camp, and it melted this mama’s heart.

The boy is clearly enjoying a good archery lesson, because I think he’s determined to become the winning tribute in the next installment of The Hunger Games.  Indeed, that boy of ours IS having fun, and that makes me happy.

I just hope he’s enduring the heat, because listen.  In Small Town, USA, the first two weeks of June are ALWAYS dedicated to monsoon season, during which it rains and rains and pours some more, until Noah becomes a titch worried about the weather.  This translates into OH MY GOODNESS, BUT THE TEMPERATURE ON THE MOUNTAIN IS FRIGID when it’s raining down here.  So, without looking at a weather report, I assumed that the weather would follow the typical June pattern.  I had no idea that we’re obviously smack in the middle of El Nino or El Santa Maria or El Whatever, which caused us to hit 96 degrees yesterday, with a hot wind that is usually only enjoyed in the Sahara Desert.  I’m just going to go on record and state that this could very well be the summer that Small Town burns up to ash.  And, in assuming that HELLO, JUNE; WELCOME, RAIN, I packed the boy jeans, jeans, and another pair of jeans, as well as several long-sleeved T-shirts for his week at camp.  And then I packed him three different sweatshirts, hoping that he’d always have a dry one, because my boy’s survival skills are limited.    In fact, Christy and I discussed this on the way up the mountain with the boys on Monday.  She mentioned, “If Scott and I didn’t tell Gage to go to bed or shower or eat, he would sit on the sofa and watch TV for two weeks straight before he realized that he was hungry and tired.  He’d never go to bed; he’d never eat dinner.”  And this?  Well, this sums up the boy’s life, too, because unless I tell him in a loud voice, “KEEP ONE SWEATSHIRT DRY ALL WEEK BY HANGING IT UP ON THAT HOOK BY YOUR BUNK,” it will never dawn on him to actually DO this.

And then, thankfully, I threw in a couple short-sleeved T-shirts and a pair of shorts for sleeping in, and I called it good.

And then we went up the mountain on Monday afternoon, where Christy and I quickly realized that the temperature was equivalent to the surface of the sun.  I guess if the boy sweats too much, he can cut the legs off of his jeans, because I packed the old ones.

2.  Today, two of my nieces (Miss A and Cousin R) opened a lemonade stand, and I am always a sucker for cheap, watered-down lemonade so that little people can earn enough American dollars to buy Polly Pockets and four-foot-tall licorice whips.

Their business was booming on the sidewalk in front of Hubs’ parents’ office, and I’m pretty sure it was because of the meticulous artwork that went into the sign.

The dripping lemon slice disguised as the “O” in LEMONADE is my favorite part.

When I pulled up at the curb, Miss A charged my Suburban and said, “Buy some lemonade!”  And Cousin R yelled, “It’s 50-cents per cup, but if you don’t have any money, that’s fine; you can get a glass for free!”

Oh, people.  How I love being part of a family business, especially when it translates to FREE-NESS ON THE INVENTORY.

(Naturally, I paid them in real change.)

(Naturally, I overpaid them.)

Here’s Miss A, who is also known as The Nanny around these parts, because she has become quite good at cleaning Thing 2’s closet, putting away all of our baby gifts, and giving the little man a bath.

And then there’s Cousin R, who we like to refer to as The Babysitter, because she is quite good at rocking Thing 2 and calming him down when he gets a bit fussy.

Apparently, business at the lemonade stand was good enough that when Thing 2 and I arrived at Hubs’ parents’ office, the adorable entrepreneurs simply shut things down.  They collected their money.  They divided the cash between themselves.  They realized that they probably had enough coins to buy themselves each a years’ worth of college tuition and a collegiate sweatshirt to go with it.  They packed up the table, and the chairs and the fancy sign.  They ate the remaining cookies.

And then they got down to what they had been waiting for all afternoon — the business of nanny-ing and babysitting Thing 2 for an hour while I ran out to a friend’s house for a bit.

That’s a whole lot of cuteness wrapped up in those last two snapshots.

And that pretty much does things for tonight, people.  Carry on, and y’all have a happy Wednesday evening.

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