Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I've hung up my dress-for-success clothes, and pulled my domestic "genes" out of storage.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Where The Daylilies Bloom...Or Not


There were orange daylilies blooming everywhere. 

Everywhere...but not at my house.

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Mr. Goo Shoes


Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Mr. Goo Shoes

The neighbors had them; the gas station had them; even empty lots had them.

But not moi.

I was enamored with their long and lanky, stems. 

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Mr. Goo Shoes

Wherever they grew, they looked so natural, and at ease...not "planted" or "planned." 

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Mr. Goo Shoes
I had to have them.

I looked all over NJ. 

And New York.

Even Massachuesetts. 

Not one nursery stocked them.

"We don't carry them any more because they're too invasive."

Well, hello, that's exactly why I wanted them.  I wanted them to multiply and spread like wildfire...or at least, like wildflowers.

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

And, what, exactly, did they mean by "too invasive?" 

Like Little Shop Of Horrors, invasive? 

Were the lilies going to start singing "Feed Me, Seymour?" Yeah, I could see how that would be annoying.

But since I hadn't yet seen any of the neighbors' homes being strangled by daylilies, this "invasive" thing didn't scare me.

I wanted some. 

And I was determined to get them.  

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Mr. Goo Shoes

I considered sneaking out in the middle of the night with a shovel to dig a few up from the side of the road, but I just couldn't, because...

...well, because they don't call me Ms. Goody Two Shoes Ms.Toody Goo Shoes for nothing. 

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Photo by Mr. Goo Shoes
One day, when I went to pick up Junior Goo Shoes at a friend's house, his parents were outside thinning their patch of orange lilies.

I hit pay dirt...

...they  were ready to toss them in the garbage, and were happy to give me some. 

I only took about eight plants, because I figured that in no time, they'd run riot in the yard. As much as I didn't quite believe all this "invasive" business, I didn't want to chance it, and have them start growing out of my kitchen faucet. 

In hindsight, I should have taken as many as I could fit in a Louis Vuitton Neverfull Tote Bag.

Invasive?

Here they are, four years later.  While they've definitely multiplied, frankly, I'm a bit disappointed that they haven't lived up to their aggressive reputation. 

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Granted, they've had a tough go of it. Last year, the deer ate the buds before they had a chance to bloom. 

This year, they did blossom, thanks to Mr. Goo Shoes' diligence with deer repellent spray.

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Over the years, I planted other varieties of lilies...

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

But I'm partial to my favorite...

Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Lovely Lilies by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The lilies are starting to fade, which means that summer is winding down.

At least I know they'll be back again next June...

...as long as I can keep the deer from devouring them at their annual "all-you-can-eat" buffet in my garden.

Linking With:

 Ms. Toody

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slice Of Life: Sad Sadie

When we came home yesterday, this is what we found.

Sadie had taken some stuffed animals out of Junior Goo Shoes' room, and left them in the hallway. 



I guess it's her way of letting us know that she misses him while he's at camp :(


Ms. Toody

Friday, July 19, 2013

"I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" - Super Easy, Super Fast Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho

I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

So, how's the weather been lately where you live?

Here, in New Jersey, it has been HOT - HOT - HOT- HOT - HOT…as in 5 days of a heatwave, with one more tomorrow before it breaks.  

Mr. Goo Shoes and I finally made it to the beach today for the first time this summer. It was 97 degrees -- how could we not go?  


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I'd rather do anything but cook in the best of circumstances, so after coming home from the beach all hot and sweaty, it's just not going to happen.  All I want to do is hop into the shower (there's nothing quite as wonderful as an after-beach shower, is there?), and just grab something cold out of the fridge.  

I'm a big fan of chilled soup in the summertime, so I whipped up a batch of Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho before heading "down the shore."

I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Before we get to the gazpacho recipe, here's a little lesson in Jersey lingo...People from NJ do not ever say they are going to the beach...nuh-uh.  If you said that to another Jersey-ite, they would look at you and say, "Huh?"  If you want to be understood around these parts, your must say...
We are going "down the shore."
I went "down the shore."
He is "down the shore."
We hit so much freakin' traffic heading "down the shore."

You get the idea.

Mr. Goo Shoes, being from Brooklyn, would never say "down the shore" even though he has lived in NJ for 11 years.  He' s real rebel, that Mr. Goo Shoes.  He will always and forever consider himself a New Yawka, so he is exempt from having to say "down the shore." 

And if he did say it, it would sound more like "down the shaw," and no one would understand him anyway, so he might as well continue saying he went "to the beach." 
It's just easier on everyone that way. 

We headed to Seven Presidents Beach in Long Branch, NJ -- Exit 105.  (Another thing about New Jersey...we reference places by their exit number on the Garden State Parkway. So next time you meet someone from NJ, and you want to know what town they live in, just ask what exit they're from).


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

There was a slight breeze on the beach, so it wasn't deadly hot, but the sand??? OMG - hotter than walking on coals! Not that I've ever walked on coals and can make a true comparison, but still.

If I had brought the gazpacho with me for lunch, I swear I'd have cooled my feet in it.


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

The sand was so hot, people were running from towel to towel just to get from the ocean and back. We came back to our chairs to find the two cutest little boys standing under our umbrella, giving their hot little tootsies a break from the sand. 

We spent three glorious hours at the beach, and then two hellish hours in traffic to get home, so I was glad to have the gazpacho waiting to greet us when I opened the refrigerator.


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Like most of my recipes that I've been making for years, I have no idea where this one came from, other than the fact that I clipped it out of a magazine.  So if it's yours, let me know, and I'll give you credit. 


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Some notes about the recipe…

  • I  omitted the jalapeno.  It seemed like an oxymoron to have something hot in my cold soup. But if you like spicy, by all means, add it in.
  • I used canned pineapple juice instead of fresh because…well, I couldn't be bothered, honestly. 
  • I used kosher salt instead of sea salt.
  • I used olive oil, not avocado oil. I bet it is even more awesome with avocado oil.
  • I left out the macadamia nuts because they just didn't appeal to me in this recipe.
Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho
(serves 4-6)

4 cups chopped pineapple
4 cups peeled, chopped cucumber
3 tablespoons minced jalapeno
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped raw macadamia nuts

In a blender, process 3 cups each of pineapple and cucumber, 2 tablespoons jalapeno, 2 tablespoons scallion, lime juice, pineapple juice, and salt at high speed until smooth. Taste and correct seasoning (because the sweetness of pineapples varies) and add jalapeno and salt to taste.

Add the remaining pineapple and cucumber, the cilantro, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of avocado (or olive) oil.  Pulse the blender quickly a few times -- the gazpacho should remain chunky. (Depending on the size of the blender jar, this may have to be done in two batches). Stir in the macadamia nuts. Divide the gazpacho among serving bowls, drizzle with remaining avocado oil, and sprinkle with remaining jalapenos and scallions.


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Are you ready to give it a try?


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes


I'd Rather Do Anything But Cook" Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes
Enjoy!
Linking to:
Red Fly Creations Simply Create   
504 Main Tickled Pink
Jennifer Rizzo Fabulously Creative Friday
Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading
The Tablescaper Blog "Oh The Places I've Been" Friday
Common Ground Be Inspired Friday
It's Overflowing Share Your Creativity Saturday
Debbiedoos and On Sutton Place Pinterest Blitz Saturday
Life On Lakeshore Drive Bouquet of Talent
Jam Hands Recipe Sharing Monday
By Stephanie Lynn Sunday Showcase
Between Naps On The Porch Metamorphosis Monday
Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesday
Ms. Toody


Monday, July 15, 2013

Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day"

Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day" by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

My favorite day of the year was this past Saturday…

Visiting Day at Sleep-Away Camp!!!

For the uninitiated, Visiting Day is an event of epic proportions.  

It's right up there with Christmas, Chanukah, Halloween and the Superbowl.  

Bigger, maybe.


As soon as they board the buses to camp, kids start working on their "What I Need For Visiting Day" lists.  

If you are not familiar with the ritual of "The Writing of the Visiting Day List," I can tell you that it is Very. Serious. Business. 

In fact, it is the Jewish equivalent of Letters To Santa.


Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

A great deal of research goes into preparing The List. 

Campers pay close attention to what their friends have, so they can ask for the water bottle that Dan has, the mouthwash that Jared has, and the sweatshirt the counselor has. 

They compare lists with cabin mates to make sure they are not forgetting anything, which explains why the bunk ends up with 12 bottles of Febreze on Visiting Day.

The Lists translate into SUV-loads of provisions brought to campers, who, in the span of three weeks, claim that their shampoo bottles have exploded, their battery-operated fans are broken, and that 18 pairs of socks are missing.

Before we even receive The List, Junior Goo Shoes always mentions it in his first phone call home:

"I'm sending you The List of things I need you to bring on Visiting Day."

What on earth could he possibly need?

Didn't I just send him off to camp with two trunks the size of cruise ships?...(and I do mean Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, not those smaller ones)…

Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Although I have packed enough toiletries to last five years, and clothes to dress the entire state of California, Junior Goo Shoes needs more of everything. 

And then some. 


Like, for instance, his huge baseball card collection...and the dog.  

The List does include legitimate things, such as sunscreen and bug spray...


…but these are strategically included only to get our attention, sprinkled in between the things he really wants, like toys and expensive anti-bed bug sheets. 

He knows that because we are vulnerable…because We MISS Him...it is the perfect time to ask for $150 sunglasses. 

Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Well, I've got my own Visiting Day list called "No Way in Hell Are You Getting That," and I'm putting the sunglasses on that list.

Back when Junior Goo Shoes was a new camper, he asked for a bunch of stuff to get him through the rest of summer...as well as a plea to take him home…


...which will totally ripped my heart out. I cried not just through my entire pedi, but the mani, too, worrying about what exactly, does this mean

He's asking for all this STUFF, but he's not planning on staying?

I especially appreciate when The List includes helpful information, like where to find the requested items. I suppose the thinking is if it's easy for me to find, he's more likely to actually get it.


Inevitably, The List includes something like "my orange frisbee thing" that we have to turn the garage inside out to find…


And every list includes…CANDY. 

        Notice "take me home" in between Shampoo and iPod speakers).


If I am lucky, I  receive The List well in advance, so that I have adequate time to google things, like "What is a vuvuzela and where do I get one?"


Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

But more than likely, the letters will arrive just as we're getting in the car to drive up to camp.


On "Erev" Visiting Day, we load the car and make our pilgrimage up to the mountains. 
(*For my non-Jewish friends, "erev" means "night before.")

In the morning, we patiently wait behind barricades, laden with bags of goodies…


Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

…waiting for the camp owner to give the signal to start the Parental Stampede…

Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

We run all the way to the bunk, shlepping all our stuff…

...and after hugs and kisses and lots of "You grew so much since you left" comments, it  takes Junior Goo Shoes less than two minutes to ask…

"What did you bring me?"

We apologize that we couldn't find the Cyber Fire toy, and explain how we went to seven toy stores in five states to try to get one.

Which is when he looks at us and says, 

"Huh?" What Cyber Fire toy?"

So there's the kicker...He doesn't even remember what was on The List.

The only thing he cares about is whether we brought two things:

Candy…

and

Charmin Ultra Soft Toilet Paper.

Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

This year as we were saying our goodbyes, Junior Goo Shoes says the unthinkable.


"Can you take all the candy I didn't eat, back home?"

WHAT????? 

My very first thought was, should we take him to the infirmary? He obviously must be delirious with fever. 

WHY??????
"Because, every year, half the kids throw up after Visiting Day. 
Justin has thrown up every single year. 
Take it home because I don't want to throw up." 

Wow, have things changed. 

My little boy is growing up. Sending candy home… now that's a Visiting Day first. 


Letters From Camp: "What I Need For Visiting Day by Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

How fitting, because this is his last Visiting Day as a camper.

Sob…(that's me, not him). 

I'm actually gonna miss those lists.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

We Rented A Waterfall!



We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
Are you fortunate enough to live in a place where you can look out your window and see an ocean, a lake, a stream...a waterfall?

We aren't.

I don't even have a battery-operated water feature on my deck. Just a hose.

It's definitely on our bucket list to own a home with a water view... 

Someday.

For now, Mr. Goo Shoes and I need to satisfy that desire by vacationing in places that have a room with a view.

I must say, we outdid ourselves this time...

We rented a waterfall for a week. 

And I don't mean a little trickler…it was a big, loud, bonafide waterfall, with a name and everything...Niobe Falls. 

Oh...and it came with a house, too.

This was our backyard…

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com  

Look and listen... it's only 30 seconds.


This little paradise is just outside of Woodstock, NY, in the Catskill Mountains...only 90 minutes from home.

But it took us a long time to get there, as we actually started on this journey about a year ago. 

Last summer, I was still working at a TV network, where I'd been for many years. 
I had been thinking for awhile that it was time to wind down my career, but I was conflicted. 

Mr. Goo Shoes and I talked for months about what I should do.

As I joke with him now, the conversation we had one night last August, is what pushed me over the proverbial waterfall's edge, so to speak, and made me leave my job…

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

He said:
"Picture this. We can rent a little house 
for the entire summer up in the mountains,
 and relax...just think how peaceful that would be."

The picture he painted was so enticing, how could I not quit? I didn't even wait for the paint to dry on that picture…I resigned. 

Although the plan sounded idyllic at the time, the truth was, we had no idea whether we would even like being in the mountains for such a long stretch. 

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com


Rather than jump in with four feet, Mr. Goo Shoes and I decided to dip our toes in the water, and see what it would be like to spend just a week in the mountains. 

Our online search for vacation rentals led us to The Waterfall House.


We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
As we headed up for vacation last week, I was hoping that my expectations hadn't gotten the better of me.

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
I needn't have worried. If this spot isn't a piece of heaven, I don't know what is. 

Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
The house is charming. Almost every room has a view of the falls, or the stream, but for this post, we'll stay outside for a tour of the property. The interior, and the Woodstock area, are worthy of their own posts.

Put your bug spray on, and follow me.

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
Head out the back door to the porch. 

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
The trees partially obscure the view to the falls, but just imagine eating your Rice Krispies on this porch, while listening to the sound of rushing water, and gazing at the stream below.  

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com
Walk around to the front of the house, which leads to the garden. 

Just before the arbor, turn right…

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

...Head down the path through spectacular garden of lillies…

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

To the little bistro table perched across from the falls. 

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

It's the perfect spot for morning coffee, and to get the creative juices flowing…

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

And what could be better than cocktails at your own private waterfall?

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

(Let's ignore the fact that we got eaten alive by mosquitoes. This is NATURE!)

Then, open the gate and head down the steps for a closer look…


We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

Get up close and personal… 

Feel the spray on your face.

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

Don't drop your camera in the water!  



We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com



Who needs Ambien when you have this? If only I could bottle it somehow and take it home for sleepless nights.

We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com


Happy...Happy...Happy.

It is exactly the picture Mr. Goo Shoes painted for me. 

Who knew he was so artistic? 


It's like having my very own Vincent Van "Goo."


We Rented A Waterfall: The Waterfall House Niobe Falls NY  by mstoodygooshoes.blogspot.com

Linking To:
Red Fly Creations Simply Linky Party Thursday
The Charm Of Home Home Sweet Home Thursday
French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday
Common Ground Be Inspired Friday
504 Main Tickled Pink
Serenity Now Weekend Bloggy Reading
Debbiedoos and On Sutton Place Pinterest Blitz Party
A Little Claireification, Cooking With Curls, Little Miss Celebration 
for Best of the Weekend
It's Overflowing Share Your Creativity
Too Much Time On My Hands Get Schooled Saturday
 Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk Saturday
Be Different Act Normal Show and Tell Saturday
Life On Lakeshore Drive Bouquet Of Talent Saturday
Nifty Thrifty Things Nifty Thrift Sunday
I Heart Naptime Sundae Scoop Link Party
Creative Jewish Mom Craft Schooling Sunday
By Stephanie Lynn Sunday Showcase Party
Between Naps On The Porch Metamorphosis Monday
 Little Red House Mosaic Monday
The Tablescaper Seasonal Sundays
Ms. Toody