2003 | House of Horne

Blog-a-versary

Well, everyone, it’s time!! One year ago yesterday we started up our joint blog, House of Horne. It took much urging and encouragement on the part of my patient husband and webmaster but I am so glad he kept at it! This past year I’ve really appreciated the little outlet our blog offers. Friends and family literally around the world have told us they enjoy reading our little snippets and seeing the photos we post.

So I am here to say thank you to all our faithful readers. You cannot imagine what a treat it is to hear out of the blue from someone that he/she visits our blog! We always enjoy discovering a new reader or flushing out a lurker.

Given we are celebrating our first blogaversary, I have a proposal: we’d love to continue to learn who our readers are. In that spirit, would you do us a huge favor and if you aren’t too shy, hit the comment button to say hello and let us know you visit the humble House of Horne? Please don’t let the fact that you might have entered a comment or two in the past stop you. The more, the merrier!! We look forward to your feedback and thanks a bunch!!

Trials with Toes

Life was getting dull around here (ha-ha), so I decided to stir up things a bit. It was perhaps a painful way to do it, but it has made things more interesting, to say the least. What exactly did I do, you ask?? Well, I broke my little pinky toe on my left foot: snapped it like a twig in fact.

You can pretty much be sure your toe is broken when after you stub it really hard, you look down to see it sticking out from your foot at a 65+ degree angle. How disheartening. It was enough to make me cry, more from sheer and utter frustration than pain, though the pain was certainly there too. I think the thing that was most annoying to me beside the obvious inconvenience is that I did the same exact thing to the pinky toe on my right foot five and a half years ago. That time the toe stuck out almost to a 90 degree angle and I broke it when I made contact in the wrong way with my dog’s leg. No, I did not kick the poor animal; I tripped on him!

When I broke the toe yesterday it was no amazing sports injury, just a bad interaction with a plastic Little Tikes slide that I tried to walk past too quickly and obviously, too closely! This time in the emergency room there were no numbing shots before the doctor manipulated my poor toe. I recalled from my last broken toe experience that the shots were much more painful than the break and was determined I would not allow the medical personnel to torture me in the same way again. Instead I opted for them to “set” the toe minus the anesthesia. Well…..that hurt……a bit.

The doctor tried to talk to me about staying off my feet but after I laughed and informed him that I am the Mommy of three children aged four and younger he just told me to do my best not to overdo it. And thanks to some wonderful help from some wonderful folk, life has gone on fairly smoothly. Jay, despite heavy work commitments and critical meetings and presentations all this week due to Nortel’s periodic User Groups, raced home immediately when I first called him to take me to the Emergency Room. What a blessing to have him with me throughout the most painful part of my ordeal. Mommy/Grammy Horne has helped tremendously with several aspects of child care and transportation to various activities, greatly supplementing in Jay’s unavoidable absences due to work. Our friend Kimberly took Abigail with her earlier today to do some grocery shopping for us and after she returned, she made lunch for all of us and saw that we were settled for naps. We had several additional offers of help which I actually turned down because we were really ok. So thanks to all of you who were ready and willing…how comforting and encouraging to know there are many people who care for us so tangibly.

As for me, after two seriously broken toes in a few years’ time, I am contemplating the wisdom of wearing shoes around the house from here on out, but have no firm plans toward that end. Sorry, Jay!!!

Dinosaur Chat

Recently, Abigail’s preschool class has been studying a unit on dinosaurs. While we are impressed with how much she has learned about these animals, the concept of “extinct” seems to have eluded her, at least so far. How do I know this? Just listen in on the conversation we had today at our lunch table. My, my.

A: Mommy, sometime can I buy a Triceratops in dinosaur land?

M: What???

A: I would like to buy a Triceratops, because I’ve never done that before.

M: And what exactly do you suppose you would do with a Triceratops?

A: Well, I could take him on a little walk, and teach him how to play. That would be fun.

M: MmmHmmm. And where would this dinosaur live?

A: Oh, he can live in our backyard. That’d be good.

M: Oh.

Jonathan (Jumping into this interesting conversation): Could I buy one sometimes too, Mommy? That will be fun.

A: Actually, I think the Triceratops would be lonely so we should get a Mommy and a baby. Then they will be happy together.

(By this point, Mommy is speechless, but is thinking quietly to herself that the pony Mark Dishman keeps promising to send us to keep in our backyard sounds really good!!)

Tired Nicolas!

IMG_2425_small.jpgThis morning while I busied myself with some household chores, I made an attempt to keep the children nearby so we could talk. Abigail of course very happily sat down at the kitchen table with her paints and began creating a masterpiece of sorts. But my efforts to keep Nicolas (our 14 month old) nearby failed as he desperately wanted to go upstairs by himself to play in the “loft”. I let him go for this is currently his favorite place in the house to play (maybe because it was off-limits for so long because of the stairs) and I turned my attention back to my laundry.

It occurred to me shortly thereafter that all was quiet upstairs. There was no chortling, babbling, or banging of toys in the room overhead….what had happened? I climbed the stairs in search of Nicolas and at last located the little guy. Apparently overcome by fatigue, and completely unable to get himself into his crib, he’d had the good sense to climb into his big brother Jonathan’s bed with his favorite bunny and one of his passies and was fast asleep with his curly blond head perfectly positioned on the pillow. I had to take a picture!!

Abigail on Seeing God

A few minutes before sunset, I was driving in the car with Abigail and Jonathan. The sunroof was open so the kids could enjoy the clouds, which were starting to light up. Abigail suddenly piped up:

A: I saw God peeking out! Yeah, yeah, I saw God peeking out from the sky, from heaven. He looked like Jesus. And He’s really big… He was really bigger than you, Dad! I saw Him by the strings.

(Editorial comment: it is my guess that “the strings” referred to power lines.)

J: (intervening into this little monologue by asking her one of her standard catechism questions) Abigail, can you see God?

A: No.

J: But…

A: But He always sees me… but I saw God. I’ve never seen God before. He gave me a special treat. I got to see Him. That was fun!

(Snip much more dialogue on the topic that I can’t remember… Abigail was quite excited.)

Then, returning home at night, more dialogue, with a few more choice quotes:

A: Dad, can you see God?

J: No, because God is a spirit and has not a body like man.

A: I can’t see God either, because it is dark.

J: That’s nice, honey.

Salsa, Round II

After speaking with a cook from Mexico, I made a couple changes to my recipe. Maria Teresa claimed that cumin, for all its popularity in the U.S. when preparing Mexican dishes, was rarely used in Mexico. So I dropped the cumin. She also recommended fresh tomatillos. Now, at that point, we are talking about a completely different salsa, but I decided to see what it was like.

The batch I just made with this recipe is cooling, but the initial taste was mediocre at best. I may just be a bit partial to red tomatoes, but we’ll have to wait until it cools to give it a fair judgment. I like the green salsa at Luna de Noche, but I’m not convinced its green on account of tomatillos. Anyway, here’s the recipe. The next batch will use fresh red tomatoes.

Jay’s Chop Chop Salsa

Heat index
Whole jalapeno including seeds and hot chili pepper = very hot
Half of jalapeno without the seeds and mild chili pepper = mildly warm

Ingredients
Important: use fresh ingredients!
2 lbs of small green tomatillos
1 diced large jalapeno pepper
1 diced large green chili pepper
1/3 cup diced yellow onion
1 lime
1 crushed garlic clove
2/3 cup diced cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar

Directions
Husk and wash the tomatillos. Put and put them in boiling water for 2 or 3 minutes. Put the tomatillo, garlic, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the processor. Process thoroughly. Add the jalapeno, chili pepper, onion, and cilantro. Process until the consistency looks appetizing. Place in covered container and chill. A couple of hours of chilling will help the flavors to develop. Serve with El Milagro thin corn tortilla chips.

Things I Learned Whilst Trying to Buy a Tablecloth

One sunny afternoon this past week, the children and I headed out toward the church, to set up a dinner table for our church’s annual WIC Welcome Back Meeting and Dinner. I just had one “quick” errand to run first: return a pair of shoes I’d bought for Abigail. As I was in Marshalls returning the shoes, I had an idea: why not quickly stop by the linens section in back and pick up a pretty tablecloth to go with my china setting for the above-mentioned table? I actually have no fullsized tablecloths of my own which will work with my simple cream china though my MIL has kindly lent me the use of several of hers along with their nice oak dining table which we are “babysitting” for them. But all her cloths are solidly colored (with good reason: her lovely china is patterned with many colors in it) and I was hoping to find something with a bit more of a design to it.

It was a fun idea, but back in the linens section I came up empty. The patterns I liked were all the wrong sizes and the right sizes came in patterns I could do without. No big deal. While I was out, why not just check the other Marshalls just 10 minutes away? The advantages (or disadvantages depending on how you look at it!) of living in a large metroplex!!

Three hours and 7 discount stores later, including that second Marshalls, a Tuesday Morning, Steinmart, Nordstrom’s Rack, and others, I had no more reached my goal of a tablecloth than when I started. The kids, who each nap everyday and by this point were well beyond when those naps should’ve started, were wondering why I was torturing them by dragging them all over North Dallas and through countless stores. Meanwhile, my WIC table was still not begun. But by this time I was determined (read “obsessed”). There had to be a perfect tablecloth somewhere for a good price that I would absolutely love and which would beautify my table for the Ladies’ Dinner.

Wish Lists

Upon the requests of several family members, I have updated our (Tricia and the little Hornes) Amazon wish list.

Here is the link.

FYI: A good amount of these items may be found at Target, Walmart or Sams for better prices. Thanks, and happy shopping!

Jay’s Chop Chop Salsa

After nearly 10 years of being in Texas post-college (I’m not factoring in the college years since I mainly ate at Blimpie and Taco Bell), I still hadn’t found a store bought salsa that I liked. Numerous restaurants serve up a tasty offering (I particularly like Luna de Noche’s… anyone have their recipe?), but the countless brands sold in grocery stores just haven’t worked for me.

So… I’ve been working on my own recipe. The third generation version is tasty, so I thought I would go ahead and post it. The “chop chop” in the recipe name refers to the manual dicing with a knife and processing in a food processor. Those are the two main activities involved in the preparation, which was one of my main concerns in creating the recipe. That’s also why I’m not using fresh tomatoes… you’d have to boil them or something and remove the skins. Too much work!

Jay’s Chop Chop Salsa

24 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1 diced fresh jalapeno (remove the seeds for more mild taste)
1 diced fresh green chili pepper (hot or mild to taste)
1/3 cup diced fresh onion
1 lime
2 crushed fresh garlic cloves
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. sugar

Put the tomato, garlic, salt, cumin, and sugar in a food processor. Cut the lime in half and squeeze both halves into the processor. Process thoroughly. Add the jalapeno, chili pepper, onion, and cilantro. Process until the consistency looks appetizing. Place in covered container and chill. A couple of hours of chilling will help the flavors to develop. Serve with your favorite thin corn tortilla chips… or, if you want to use the best chip in the world, go with El Milagro.