The Gill Family Webpage

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Mom, this one's for you:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dinner time!

Well it's October and that means it's time to harvest the garden!

I've written before about how Zoe enjoyed picking the tomatoes this summer. You can see her picking tomatoes with Dad and feeding them to Mom in the pictures. I can't wait for next summer - I wonder what else is good for little fingers to pick? I bet she'll get a kick out of planting seeds and watching them grow too. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

This year, in addition to the vegetables we planted, we had a bunch of herbs residing within the dirt. By far, the most frequently used herb we planted was the basil. Don't get me wrong - we used the rosemary and oregano in potato dishes, the parsley in Italian dishes, the thyme in Asian dishes or in Everett's homemade jerk sauce, and the mint in various chocolate desserts, fruit salads, and a myriad of refreshing refreshments! But basil is so versatile!

Let me let you in on a little secret recipe we call "Lauries", named after my crazy friend, Wauwie (she'll be here next weekend so there will be more stories to come I'm sure!). Anyway, what you do is take triscuits, place a thin slice of fresh tomato on top followed by a leaf of fresh basil and topped with Cabot sharp white cheddar cheese. Then place in the oven until browned. Let me just say you have never tasted summer until you have tasted one of these! So good!

But last night we harvested the rest of the basil and made pesto. Enough pesto to last our entire winter! I do love to cook and I look forward to eating copious amounts of the green stuff this winter!

You know, it truly is the little things in life that make life.

[Editor's note: the previous sentence is complete.]

UPDATE: Everett has informed me that the basil goes between the triscuit and the tomato so the triscuit doesn't get soggy and the basil doesn't get all brown and icky from the heat. Whoops!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Christmas in October

Everett won. He had been looking for a Vespa for a while now, continually looking at the classifieds, various scooter shops, and Craig's List where he eventually found this gem: a 1978 red Vespa. It even came with 2 helmets! Unfortunately, it also came with a razor sharp kick stand which found its way into my husband's leg. The first, and hopefully only, injury from the scooter arrived only two days after we got it in our driveway.

From Everett, "It is a 1978 P200E. The 200 is the engine size (200 cc's). It is cool and I am cool because I own it." What a humble guy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Comic relief

As you might expect, things have been kind of sad in the ol' Gill Household these past few days. But we're working through our grief and talk often about the good times with Colmar. When we get too down, we look to Zoe who brightens our day immensely. Whether it's her huge smile or giggly laughing, she always provides us with a smile.

Last weekend we went to Oktoberfest in Historic Germantown in Nashville and Zoe provided smiles to more than just her parents. There was this guy who was playing this...machine? (Side note: what is that thing called? I tried googling it, but what search terms does one use?*) Anyway, whatever it was, Zoe loved it!

You can see from the picture that she sat down and made herself at home on the ground in front of the Magical Music Machine and watched the silly man in German garb sing aloud while the monkey clapped his hands together. Then she got to dancing (see video) and she gathered quite a crowd. Everytime the guy stopped playing to rewind his music (the Magical Music Machine was kind of like a big music box where he inserted braille-like paper and cranked it through), Zoe would make the sign for "more" and grunt in his direction. The guy - as well as a few others - thought it was very cute!

Notice Daddy and Christine in the background:

I usually only post one video per entry, and the one below is kinda screwy because I forgot that my camera doesn't rotate videos, but I had to post it because it is so Nashville. Only in a Nashville based Oktoberfest would you find a Magical Music Machine playing Johnny Cash!

*UPDATE: Everett to the rescue: it's called an Organ Grinder! But I think I like calling it a Magical Music Machine better!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Goodbye Friend

It is with a very heavy heart that we announce that our kitty, Colmar, has passed from this world. Our only comfort is in knowing that it was quick as she most likely did not see the car that caused her untimely death. She was probably chasing a fly or a leaf across the street when it happened and so died doing what she loved to do: playing.

Colmar was more than a cat to us. She could be construed as our first engagement gift to one another. Everett moved into my apartment in September of 2004 with the expectation that we were going to be engaged very shortly thereafter. We talked about getting a cat and someone in my department had a cat who conveniently just had 5 kittens. I called Everett on the phone at work and asked him what he thought. He said it sounded like a great idea, but I hesitated. I reiterated that this was a big commitment we were about to make getting this cat and we weren't even engaged yet. He just said calmly, "We're getting the cat." He might as well have asked me to marry him right then.

We named her Colmar after the small village in Eastern France that we visited months before. We fell in love with one another on that trip, and for my part, that was when I knew that Everett was The One.

Cole was more than a cat to me. She was my buddy. She kept me company wherever I went. She slept on my pillow almost every night. I would wake up with my head on her backside and my hand underneath her soft chin with her paw laying on top of mine. When I was on maternity leave last summer, Colmar would follow Zoe and I on our morning walk about 3 houses in either direction. She would wait there until we got back and then jump up out of the brush as if to say, "Gotcha!"

Colmar was almost dog-like. I had her trained to jump about 4 feet in the air to get a treat from my hand. She would come when called. We would play hide-n-seek. She was a loyal friend.

I don't regret allowing Colmar to become an outdoor kitty. She loved being outdoors. You could not keep that cat inside! She would sit at the door pawing at it and meowing the most pitiful meow until you let her out. Even if it was 3 am. We would either have to get up to let her out or sometimes I could coax her back into bed with us by calling her and then petting her until her purring was steady and loud once again.

Between you and me, the worst part about this whole thing is that Zoe will never know what a great cat Colmar was. Cole was just starting to let Zoe come near to her. She even let Zoe pet her sometimes, as long as I supervised. On the other hand, I'm glad Zoe is still too young to really process what has happened. I'm not ready to explain the tough "why" questions to my daughter yet.

I still can't believe that my Kitty Puppy is gone. I am happy that she lived a good life with a lot of love though. The last time I hugged her was the morning of the fateful day. I was brushing my teeth and she came into the bathroom, sat on the toilet, looked at me, and meowed. She wanted attention and I gave it to her. I scooped her up and petted her fiercely. I cupped her face in my hands and rubbed her eyes with my thumbs and gave her kisses.

We'll miss you kitty.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Being informed

All this election talk has really gotten to me. Actually, what's gotten to me is all the misinformation that is out there. One of the greatest gifts we have as Americans is the right to choose our elected officials. But with such a gift comes responsibility. People have the right to vote for whomever they chose, but I hope that your vote is the result of an informed choice.

One way to be informed is to read. Read the newspapers, the on-line 'zines, the candidates own websites, and websites that are not affiliated with either party (either in an official or unofficial capacity). We've been trying to teach Zoe an appreciation for the written word via exposure to our local paper, The Tennessean. I'm not saying that this is the best newspaper, but it's a start.

Every morning, Zoe and Daddy get up, get the newspaper from the driveway, get a cup of coffee for Dad and a sippy cup of milk for Zoe, and then they sit and read. It starts out with Dad reading the front section of the paper while Zoe looks on. At some point she finishes her milk and then takes an interest in either the newspaper or gets one of her books for Daddy to read to her. As I wouldn't want to disrupt this father-daughter ritual, I stay away. Okay, I'm catching a bit more shut-eye in the bedroom. But still, they're bonding!

On this day, I came out into the living room to behold this image:

Zoe is actually reading the classifieds section. It has pictures of doggies and kitties for adoption and she loves to point at them and say "woof, woof". It just cracked me up looking at her with her legs crossed and holding the paper as though she were truly reading it! So I think Zoe is going to be in a good position when she's old enough to vote...only another 17 more years!

Now if we can just make it through this election...yes, we can!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


The hike was a wonderful success! We raised money and awareness for a good cause, and has some fun in the sun while we were at it!

The morning started out a little chilly, but by the time the hikers arrived at 9am, the sun was out and it was promising to be a hot day.

We had over 300 hikers, over 60 volunteers, and countless other benefactors. Think about that...

Three hundred people were able to take time out of their busy Saturday mornings to come hike for a good cause. Sixty people took time out of their busy weekends to come volunteer for a good cause. Many others took time out of their busy lives to donate their goods, services, and time for a good cause. If you ever feel as though the world is lacking for good people, I urge you to volunteer for a good cause. I promise you'll see that all of humanity is not lost.

Thanks again for those were able to join us in person or virtually!