Saturday, January 24, 2015

AWOL (Absent WithOut Leave)

Hard to believe that I've been gone so long...don't really know why and can't say I didn't have the time...I just never set aside the time.
 
I'll catch you up on the kids later but, believe me, they are growing like weeds!
 
I've been in a cooking funk because husband would rather eat out...when I do cook...well...
 
Today I cooked my first Dutch baby. Have no idea where the name came from...haven't tried looking it up.
This is what it looks like straight out of the oven...can't really see it, but the middle is puffed up...that settles flat.
Dutch Baby
3 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup all purpose flour
 
Oven 425 degrees.
Put butter in a 10" cast iron skillet. Put in oven.
In blender, blend eggs on high for one minute. Slowing blend in milk then flour blending 30 seconds.
Pour into hot skillet.
Put in oven for about 20 minutes.
 
I dusted with powdered sugar then drizzled my slice with maple syrup.
 
OH MY!!! This was like eating custard. Soooo gooood.
 
Husband didn't get up and out of bedroom until after 9 at which point he wasn't sure if eating a Dutch baby sounded good at all. LOL
 
Since he normally doesn't eat breakfast, I didn't worry about lunch at noon. When I did get up, I got out my #8 Griswold Dutch oven that I paid a whopping $18 for at a thrift shop in Delta Colorado while on vacation a couple of years ago.
 
First you start with a roux.
 
Husband walked into the kitchen, looked in the pot then at his boots and pronounced that the roux was almost ready since it was almost the color of his boots. 
 
He was so excited that he even chopped the vegetables. This is an unusual occurrence which happens only a couple of times a year. The last time I asked for help...this time he volunteered. I definitely thanked him!
 
Look quick before the lid (Griswold - matched the Dutch oven and cost considerably more than $18!!) goes on.
 
FINISHED!
 
A bit of rice in the bottom of the bowl...a sprinkling of Gumbo filet on top to help thicken.
 
DELICIOUS even if I do say so myself.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Isabel

 We had a wonderful weekend! Isabel and her mother came for a visit. :D We had frogs in the pool, so of course had to have a frog rescue.
It was strictly catch and release - catch out of the pool to release in the pond. (There are SIX in the cup!)

I can get this one! I expected her to go in, but she didn't...she didn't catch the frog either.

Time for some water dipping...and pouring.

Pawpaw supervises from the sidelines.

The STREAK!

The next day we went to the Pittsburg Art & Wine Festival. We really enjoyed ourselves because it wasn't a big to-do! The humidity was horrible as is evident by Isabel's sopping hair.

She had a switch and was switching at Uncle Jonathan. When he would grab the end, the smile left immediately as she said, "Mine!" As soon as he turned it loose she would come at him again.

My garden... 

I was so disappointed when I discovered that my husband did not like to garden. Isn't that what you are supposed to do when you are retired and have TEN acres? Sigh...so this was my idea for this year. Tomatoes in old flower pots and a brittle bucket. Doesn't matter the "venue," I am going to get a few tomatoes!

They do have to be watered every couple of days. And since they are in containers, if they are still alive as it gets hotter, we can move them into the screen room out of direct sunlight.

A word about the pool. It looks a mess. Even though it is clean and algae free, it does not look it. And did you see the "bull-nose" tile edging the pool? The pool man who came out and looked at the pool said that it needed to be drained, cleaned with muriatic acid, then refilled...to the tune of $1500. He also said that he'd never seen the edging do that. Of course what happened, is that tile is not sealed so that when it rained it became saturated and then when it froze, the water expanded and "popped" the tile. 

When we made our offer on the two-year old house (bank repossession), we deducted the value of the pool. The bank readily accepted our offer. I tried to get Sam to knock a couple of holes in it to fill it in. He didn't want to then and still, even though he complains about the pool, does not want to fill it in now. Our budget being what it is, it has to stay this way for a couple more years until my Tahoe is paid for. We are aiming at the winter of 2016 for a pool renovation.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birthday Boy!

 Cain turned TWO!


 


Brother Colt is a sweetaholic...
 
 
...and an Evel Knievel in the making!
 
After a great catch by Dad, he said, "Wow! That was too fast. I'm not doing that again!"

Friday, March 14, 2014

February

February 9 was the beginning of my third BFF cruise. We were supposed to leave Galveston at 4 p.m. Unfortunately, our ship was stuck out in the Gulf waiting on the harbor master to open the port. It had been closed due to fog.
 
Our first warning was about 8:30 a.m. when Sam called to tell me that he'd had a call to let us know about the fog delay. Earlene got a text message. She and I both signed up for information.
 
We drove around Galveston and finally decided to eat some good seafood. While we were eating, one of the ships waiting was finally brought in. The restaurant had windows facing Galveston Bay and several tables' of people started cheering. We received notification that our ship, Carnival Magic, would not start boarding until 7 p.m. We had some wait time to kill so we went into a couple of stores and took the ferry. We were laughing and having a great time as I was pulled into the inspection line. I talked to the officer, he asked me to get out and open the back of my Tahoe. As the hatch came up I heard, "Tell him if he unloads, it he has to put everything back." (We had luggage and totes and etc. for five women back there!) The officer grinned and said that the other officer just needed to look. He asked where I worked. I smiled and told him that I was the administrative assistant for the Morris County Judge. He looked at me, then in the Tahoe. I told him that Nancy in the front seat was the administrative assistant for the Morris County Sheriff's office. The three sitting in the back seat: Earlene is the Daingerfield city librarian, Rosemary is a dispatcher for Gilmer, and Beckle was the troublemaker retired clerk from the Gregg County DAs office and her husband was a retired highway patrolman. He said, "You ladies continue having a great time." "D 
 
As you see, the fog started rolling in again.
We were worried that they would close the ferry, so as soon as we got off I pulled a "u"ey and got right back on.
We dropped the luggage off at the terminal about 7 p.m., parked the Tahoe, and took the shuttle back to the terminal. We got split up. Two got onboard about 10:30. We all finally got onboard and to the room after midnight. They had already eaten so we went up to the Lido deck for plates of food and went back to the room to eat.
 
The harbor was, of course,closed again. About 10 a.m. we left dock. Everyone was anxious to get going!
 
One of the good meals. This was from the Mongolian Grill where they cooked to order. Delicious!
 
We were supposed to go to Key West first, but because of the delay, our scheduled was changed. Freeport Bahamas was our first port of call.
 
 


 
Then Nassau Bahamas
Nancy did not feel well so she stayed onboard and enjoyed a quiet retreat from the rest of us. ;)
Earlene and her sister took a two hour tour around Nassau. Rosemary and I did not want to be tied up for two hours so we passed. One of us heard "ferry to Paradise Island $4." That's what we did...round trip fare and tip $10. :D
 
 
I got a few photos of docks and peeks at homes of the rich and famous, but they don't mean much to me. It was just an enjoyable boat ride.
 
Back on ship Earlene and her sister said that they drove through some ritzy neighborhoods. I'm glad I passed on that ride.
 
Through a window...
 
..and FINALLY Key West. Because of rescheduling due to the fog on our way out, we spent just a short time in Key West. We all jumped on one of the trolleys for a tour that was a bit over an hour.
 
 
 
 
 
Then we started it again, but got off and did some walking. I bought Cuban tobacco rolled in Cost Rica (I think) cigars for the sons. We then ate more good seafood and had a slice of key lime pie. Of course the restaurant faced the water.
 
More food back onboard...tomato soup...
 
...yes LOL tomato soup!
 
The ship was hooking it back to Galveston when Saturday night the Captain announced that there was a guest with a medical emergency. We turned and headed toward the coast of Louisiana to get in helicopter range for a medi-evacuation. We never heard how she was doing so prayed that she is well and safe. That put us about 3 hours late...but no one was complaining...arriving in Galveston. But of course the port was closed due to fog again. We finally got into port at 10 a.m. when we should've already been off the ship. We were off by noon and headed home stopping only for a hamburger, potty breaks, and fuel (so that everyone could square up what they owed for the trip).
 
I walked in the door a little after 7 p.m. and saw these. :D
 
Sam had already brought my bags in. I flipped the big one down, unzipped it and plowed through my stuff. AH-HA, says I as I pull his Harley shirt from the Bahamas out of a bag. :)
 
This is my last cruise. I do enjoy it, but since we are not all "on the same page" finance-wise, we don't do many (any) excursions. I have decided seeing only the pier and the tourist traps surrounding it is not my idea of visiting a foreign port. I want to truly SEE it.  One of the others said that they would just go without me...I told her my feelings would not be hurt. However, two of the others have health problems and the long walking is too tiring for them. We are talking about driving trips - at least three of us would like to go to Fredericksburg Texas for a long weekend. Maybe Hot Springs... or New Orleans but not during Mardi Gras.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Time Flies!

 Don't you just love this charming old house?
With the red nandina bushes touched by the sun as it settles towards its nightly rest.

This house has a history...
located just east of our public library it is a Henley family home and now owned by Don Henley of The Eagles...

Sam and I were blessed to spend a few days with the grandson while their mother was out of the country with her job.

Read Colt's shirt. Every shirt I found had "Grandmother" or "Grandma" or "Grammy." NONE had "Granny." So...I broke out my trusty embroidery machine and made him one.

OH! Sam with the cutting boards he made for Brook and John for Christmas. Jonathan is in a camper and has no room but I think he's put in an order for a knife block.

Isabel turned THREE! She wanted a pirate party and her favorite color (of the day) is yellow. Guests were encouraged to dress in their pirate finery. I hoped Sam would agree...then one day he asked if I'd make him a big shirt. WELL YES! It even has 3 inch lace at the cuffs AND he has on a pierced-look hoop earring. :D
I dug in the back of my closet...found a dress with a denim skirt. Unbuttoned the skirt and pinned the points at the waist. I had a yellow gingham skirt from old-fashioned day at church about 25 or so years ago...had to add some elastic to the waist. I was going to make a corset and decided that would be too time consuming. Would you believe you can buy a brand new made-to-order corset on eBay for $10???

A few yellow sashes...Jonathan's rubber band gun for my pirate pistol and Sam made a wooden cutlass for his weapon. Arrrgggghhh! Matey! What colors be ye a flyin'?

Well...birthday girl preferred to run wild through the house. When I nabbed her for the photo, she went limp. Me thinks this pirate has been in the rum and needs keel-hauled. ;)

Jonathan's storage unit was robbed. Two weeks after the last time he was in the unit (locating his big shirt that I made for him to wear to Celtic and Renaissance festivals), I found the lock gone. One big plastic foot-locker type tub held his dad's stuff...Jonathan was just shy of his thirteenth birthday when his dad died.

We were both scouring Facebook resale/man cave sites. I was checking eBay and Craig's List a couple of times a day. Jonathan found one of these knives for sale...

I scrolled down and found another item that belonged to him. When I clicked on the thief's FB page...he had no privacy settings. He bragged about his dumpster diving and about stuff that people threw away...photos of three more of Jonathan's belongings were posted and mention of a fourth. Law enforcement was contacted. Thanks to his non-existent privacy settings, a warrant was served, he was arrested, many - probably most of the stolen items were recovered.

But not all. My first husband's memorial book from the funeral is gone as is my son's first best friend, Freddy. ;)

Many other items are gone as well. Jonathan will be making a list so that the judge will know what is still missing...including his toolbox and tools...