Thursday, September 30, 2010
Today would be a great jammie day, but we both need to go to town and get a few things done. I am re-doing a pearl bracelet and I need to buy a gold toggle. Hmm, didn't realize I didn't have any, so I'll pick that up locally. And I will get back to my laptop comparison shopping. It is proving to be quite a challenge, but I'm up for it...and learning a lot in the process! Are y'all familiar with WiMax? And quad core processors??? :)
Life isn't fair, but it's still good!
Have a terrific Thursday, y'all!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
I need a new laptop, and I want one that is fast (is the i7 the fastest processor these days?), has Win7, media card slot, HDMI, webcam…all the bells and whistles. My current Dell Vostro 1500 is 3 y/o, and is getting cranky, despite the new hard drive. It is not dependable, and it is slow, so it needs to be my secondary machine.
All my programs are windows based, so a Mac isn’t the answer unless I want to buy all new programs (won’t happen!), and the combo machine only runs Windows XP, not Win7, and I really need to move on up to Win7.
So, any suggestions out there? I spent quite a bit of time on the phone yesterday with the Dell Dude, so I’m trying to get educated before making my purchase.
And I thank each of you for the kind messages about losing my sweet nephew. Our family is gonna miss him.
Life is an echo; what you send out comes back. ~ Chinese Proverb
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Heaven welcomed a new angel yesterday, one that was expected. My sweet nephew Paulie, born 42 years ago with Down Syndrome, is suffering no more, breathing the sweet air of heaven, and released from his earthly body that required an oxygen tether for the past few months. He told his family in the wee hours of the morning that "Unka Mickey is here. I saw him. He said everything's gonna be OK." And it was. I'm sure Unka Mickey and Grandmother were vying for first position in the welcoming committee!
I can smile at that thought, but get sad in my selfishness in wanting more hugs and kisses from this loving guy. He was truly special.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save *stuff* for a special occasion. Today is special. Celebrate life!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Another photo from the unknown 'bored farm kids' series. That's a lotta hay, but the construction of this one probably wasn't too hard to do. Dick could easily put this one together with all his toys.
There was another nicely painted fall hay bale at the Mayberry farmer's market, but I just couldn't bring myself to take a photo of it. It had y'all spelled wrong...and that is just WRONG! This is a contraction for "you all" and should be spelled properly...y'all...NOT, and I repeat NOT "ya'all" or "ya'll." So there.
We are still getting drizzle, which we needed. I am enjoying the peacful, soothing sounds the drops are making as they are falling through the leaves outside.
I wish for each of you a peaceful Monday, y'all!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Dick and I will have all four grands here for an overnight tonight. We may be bonkers and hitting the bottle by bedtime! I'll be fixing crockpot lasagna so that I won't be tied to the kitchen when they arrive. Wish me luck. All around! Come help if ya want to!!! We'll share lasagna and our bottle with all helpers:)
This is what I'll be making, since Lisa asked...I'll let y'all know how it turns out:
1 ½ lbs spicy Italian sausage
1 L onion
1 L container ricotta cheese
2 jars pasta sauce
1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
Chop onion and sauté with mushrooms. Add sausage, cook till brown and drain off fat.
Layering is important. Cover bottom of crockpot with sauce, then add one layer of noodles, one layer of cheese, one layer of sausage, one layer of sauce, one layer of noodles.
Repeat as many times as you like, making sure top and bottom are sauce.
Cover and cover 6-8 hours.
~~How easy is this?! And friend Janet swears it is good, and she knows her pasta, let me tell ya!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Here is the recipe, if you want to just take my word that this is good:
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hrs in oven (crockpot: 5-6 hrs on High)
1 whole Chuck Roast, 2 ½ To 5 Pounds
Salt And Pepper To Taste (be Generous!)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 whole Onions, Peeled And Sliced Thick
5 cloves Garlic Chopped
2 cans Beer
1 teaspoon Ground Thyme
½ teaspoon Rosemary Leaves
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
Season meat generously with salt and pepper. Sear meat on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove meat from pan. Lower heat to medium.
Throw in onions and garlic. Stir for 30 seconds. Pour in beer, and add thyme, rosemary, and salt to taste—about 1 teaspoon. (Do not undersalt!) Add meat to pot, push to submerge, and place lid on pot.
Cook in oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until meat is fork tender and falling apart.
Shred meat with two forks. Serve on dinner plates and spoon juice and onions over the top.
Serve with very crusty bread to sop up the juice.
~~Dick gave this two thumbs up. This recipe is definitely a KEEPER. Plus, it was a cook once, eat twice meal. Yeah, baby! That's the way I like it.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Ivana asked for my recipe for the casserole I took to the Christmas dinner Saturday night. I have made this dish since I was tall enough to reach the stove, learning from my mother (who was a fabulous cook), but do you think I had a recipe written down? NO.
So I assembled the needed stuff:
And started putting it all together, and then decided I really needed two cans of yams for our big crowd, so here is the recipe…more or less…adjust according to taste:
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 L cans yams, drained
½ - 3/4 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ c milk
1-2 Tbsp vanilla
4-6 Tbsp butter, softened
Optional: orange flavoring
Using mixer, mash up the yams till all lumps are gone, adding more milk if needed. Place in 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Add topping (below), and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.
½ c butter (or more), melted
1 c chopped pecans
8 oz box frosted flakes cereal, coarsely crushed (I use a Ziploc bag to crush them in)
Mix all together and place on top of yams.
And this was the present that Joy wound up with in the Chinese gift exchange:
What to do with that??? I don’t think Joy wants to drink out of that glass, so it’ll probably reappear at next year’s party…unless her son decides he wants it! I traded my turn for a bottle of Chardonnay that Bill had gotten, but you know I didn’t get to keep it for very long! Instead, I brought home a Dr. Seuss book for old people. Fitting.
Everyone had fun.
Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift. Go out and enjoy it, y’all!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Haley had 7 students yesterday for some stampin’ fun at her house. We made variations of these four cards, and had two tags to ‘play with,’ but I decided not to stamp them yet. I can always customize them when I decide how I want to use them:
Check out that red bling for the ‘eye’ of the skull. That perky peacock also is sporting some bling in his tail feathers. Fun and easy. Really. Novice Joan made these very same cards without any problems at all. Haley is a great teacher who makes learning these techniques easy peasy!
Joy is coming over this afternoon so that we can hopefully finish up the BSP annual scrapbook that is presented to the outgoing president each year, and would have been finished already if SOMEONE had stayed home this summer. We are sooo close to it being DONE, and we want it to be so.
Life is short…make FUN of it, y’all!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
As if the early morning baby mole in the house wasn’t enough excitement for the day, Missy next brought in this critter:
Ewww…I don’t like snakes, especially in the house! I knew it was a simple, harmless black snake, but puhleese…not inside!!! I think he was pretty stunned himself, because he wasn’t moving much, so I quickly got the dust mop and shook it in his face. He latched on to one of the strings and I promptly took him outside and dumped him on the ground, hoping to never see him inside again.
That would be a WRONG assumption on my part! Missy brought this slow learner back inside later in the afternoon, but Dick was home and he played MY HERO and took the snake outside, even further away from the house. Hopefully Mr. Sammy has smartened up a bit and will slither off into the woods. And stay there. Sheesh!
So today will find us back at our church after being away for so long, then I am going to a card making party at Haley’s house for the afternoon, having some creative fun with my gal pals.
Go out and do something today that makes you happy, y’all!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I see sunny skies and cooler temps here in the No. GA Alps. As the nights get cooler, we'll have more and more color popping out each day. This is one of my favorite seasons. Come on, fall!
So Dick is back playing on the tractor today and working to get a road into a subdivision we have for sale. Go, Dick, go. He loves working outdoors.
And me...well, I'm enjoying a quiet morning of blog reading, while listening to the birds chirping through the open windows, and planning what have-to needs doing first. Somewhere on the agenda I am making a sweet potato casserole to take to our BSP 'Christmas in July' dinner party tonight. Oh really, it is September, the calendar sez, NOT July! That's OK. A party by any name is still a party...and I need to find two gifts in my stash for the Chinese gift exchange, a/k/a stealing a gift! We'll have fun. And the guys attend our socials, so Dick knows dinner is not at home tonight and he needs to be on time! Bless his heart, that man's gonna be late for his own funeral.
And I hope your Saturday has some fun planned in it, y'all! Life is good...
Friday, September 17, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Mickey Mouse is a treat at Grammie's house. And Handy Manny. We are hearing animal sounds...and counting, in Spanish. And reading books, in English.
Next activity: chalk drawing outside, then lunch. And naps.
Come join the fun. There is always room for more kiddies at Grammie's house!
Happy Thursday, y'all! Wishing you miles of smiles...
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Making a little progress here, one project at a time, with a little blog reading in between doing *stuff* to make the *stuff* a little dull.
Happy hump day, y'all! Now back to the scheduled paper sorting, filing...
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
My sweet daughter needed a baby sitter tonight, so she bribed me with bringing dinner AND two sweet boys. Don't tell her I would have kept those sugah factories, even without the dinner! BBQ in the crockpot is smelling mighty fine.
Don't think I'm neglecting my blogging friends...I'll be catching up as I can, you know, between all those above mentioned activities.
Enjoy what's left of your day!
Monday, September 13, 2010
We do have a/c, but only by using our generator and roof air. First stop: Dick's shop for freon. We want the moho ready for an Oct trip.
My afternoon will be filled with de-camping. Ugh. But being home is always good, even with a pile of laundry. There will be some good sugah to sweeten the welcome back!
Happy Monday, y'all!
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Sunday, September 12, 2010
Don't know how far we'll get tonight, but Dick drove for 6 hrs yesterday. He doesn't mind the long distance driving, nor do I, so we'll see how today goes. It is sunny and warming up. No A/C unless we run the generator. The shop guy moved the compressor and let out the freon. Y'all know how happy that made Dick, especially when said compressor didn't need to be moved. One of many problems, but we are rolling, and that's all that counts right now. Home soon!
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Saturday, September 11, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
All I want is a bubble bath, sez Missy…
She was NOT a happy camper on the road yesterday. She wound up being draped across the back of my neck for over an hour, watching traffic go by, and being a whiney butt. We love her anyway. I don’t know what her newfound fascination with tubs is all about, but she checks out each and every one of them…and seems happy.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Dillon area. It is still pretty, with autumn appearing here and there in yellows and shades of gold, peaking out amongst all the dead trees. Now those are a sad sight to see, and are providing fuel for the fires still blazing in Boulder.
So what is the news for today? Go or no go? No go. I delayed posting until we had confirmation: We will stay in Cheyenne one more night:( Dick just got back from the shop, and there is no way the moho will be ready today. Heck, we are now just hoping for a Saturday completion! It is what it is.
Life is still…good!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Our girl really knows how to relax. Missy claimed the second bed as being HERS, although she did sleep some in her own padded bed over there to the left…when she wasn’t sleeping with us…
Well, I promised photos of our local sightseeing, but the weather didn’t cooperate. It rained! And Boulder is the place that really needs the rain, what with their serious wildfires going on there. Bad stuff. And flooding in Texas…go figure.
We drove over the the neat town of Frisco and visited El Walmarto and a few other shops before lunch (should have taken photos first!). It was raining when we stepped out of the restaurant, so we headed back to the outlet shops that we missed yesterday, since we were trying to find something requested for Doodlebug (that store is no longer here, Amy, so no boots for the boy).
Shoe update: Dick 2 – Sandy 0
OK, my zero is only because I didn’t find anything I really wanted/needed, but I did pick up a few beading items:) Stuff I needed!
We stayed up too late watching Backdraft, so a nap felt good after all our eating and shopping yesterday.
Today we’ll go on back up to Cheyenne to check on the progress (or not) of the moho repairs, still hopeful for a Friday fix.
The Griswolds adapt. That’s just the way we are. Tomorrow will be a better day, Miz Scarlett (remember that line?).
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
We left Cheyenne yesterday and continued our pursuit of lemonade by going south to Silverthorne, CO, traveling along the Colorado River. We have camped many times on this road in BLM sites, and will do so again, but for now, we are camped in a nice motel that accepts pets. Missy does not like car travel, and complained for about 10 minutes (Miss Whiney Butt) before settling down in her bed and enduring the trip. She can be so ungrateful at times. How many kitties get to travel all the way across the country?
After settling in, Dick and I went for a little retail therapy at the local outlet shops, where we each found a few things. After having to empty our moho closet so that the guys could work on the engine beneath it, Dick complained about all my shoes and put me on a shoe buying ban (yeah, right). So HE wound up buying a new pair of loafers! Dick 1 – Sandy 0. I bought a case of Harry and David’s Pepper and Onion Relish. It makes THE.BEST.DIP ever…just mix half a jar with a block of cream cheese. Delish.
Any time we are in the area, we always eat at The Historic Mint, a local restaurant that has been in business since 1862. You go over to the meat market case, pick out your choice of steak or seafood, then cook it yourself (guy job) on their grill. Great salad bar, as well as lots of side dishes to choose from…and it’s always good to dish up some mushrooms and onions to grill along with the hunk of meat….here…
Dick was not a happy camper to learn that needed moho parts didn’t get ordered until yesterday. Hopefully they will arrive today. There isn’t much we can do but wait, and waiting is not our strong suit. Just sayin’.
So we will just enjoy the Colorado scenery today, and maybe go find a bead shop. Or shoe store. Sounds like a plan to me, y’all!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
What a difference a day makes. Sunday was totally crowded here in Grand Lake, with people and cars everywhere. Monday, not so much…and that was nice for us.
Putting the canoe in the water seemed like a good idea, until we drove down to the lake saw the whitecaps, then got out of the car and felt the blast of the 49 degree air, made worse by 25+ m.p.h. sustained wind gusts. Wimps are us. The canoe stayed dry.
But we did enjoy a brisk walk around a small park at the west end of the lake, where we spied this wooden arch bridge over a cove off to the west…
…and so we had to go drive over it. And see how everything looked from bridge back east. Not a shabby sight:
We piddled around town, rather than paddled around the lake. That lake will still be here for another visit. We then drove up to Grand Lake Lodge for lunch. It was closed for over three years, and is now back open on a limited basis for food and drinks. Well, the ‘food’ is only appetizers, so we learned. And a bit pricey for what we got. But we did enjoy a guitarist and the fire pit, so that was a bit of compensation. Maybe. Definitely enjoyed this view:
And Dick had to check out the old cars parked outside:
All in all, we had a lazy day. That sometimes a good thing to have.
So today the Griswolds are heading to Dillon and poke around there. Life is good!
Monday, September 6, 2010
No laboring for us today, here in Grand Lake, Colorado. We plan to put the canoe in the water…after it warms up a bit. It is sunny and beautiful here at about 45 degrees this morning. Plus, we are in no hurry to do anything, and are just enjoying being lazy.
I did ‘labor’ the other day and made this necklace for a little sweetie pie and was going to deliver it to NH:
So now it will get mailed instead. It is made with freshwater pearls and pink cat’s eye beads. Even wee girls need real pearls! And I also made two pairs of earrings, but failed to take photos. I left one set (black agate) for the motel maid as a thank you.
Estes Park was super crowded with people yesterday, so we made haste to get away from there and enjoyed the 48 mile drive from EP to Grand Lake through beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park. Almost the whole way has been resurfaced since we were here a few years ago, plus there is a new campground on the GL side.
There wasn’t much snow left up top, and with all the clouds hiding good sunlight, I didn’t take many photos. We were sad to see all the devastation the pine beetles have done to the trees out west, and the park was not spared. They are at least cutting down the dead trees near buildings and places where falling trees will be a danger to the folks.
We drove back into the park at dusk, and were disappointed that we did not see a single furry critter. Normally, we’ve seen dozens of animals: deer, elk, moose, and even a wolf. I sure hope we have better luck this evening, because we’ll be right back up there to check it out.
Have a safe and fun holiday, y’all!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Where can we go that isn’t too far away from Cheyenne? Leaving our moho in the shop is a hard thing to do. Maybe we should stay here. No, the shop is closed, so we might as well go some place just a bit more interesting.
We’ve seen Cheyenne; we visited Laramie and enjoyed Ahi tuna at Altitude and saw the countryside…
Grand Lake, CO, here we come…by way of Rocky Mountain National Park! Grand Lake is a small town that has beautiful scenery, a micro brewery that offers good beer/food, and a lake…and we have a canoe that hasn’t been in the water in far too long.
Off we go. The Griswolds have a plan…and will enjoy some lemonade from the lemons. And hope that the moho will be ready to roll by Friday, as projected.
And speaking of, since the engine problem has complicated our date to meet up with family on Thursday in NH, we all decided to cancel the visit and re-schedule. Bummer…another lemon added to the lemonade, y’all.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
We don’t like seeing the coach in the shop, but here it is, in the bay of the Cummins place. At least it isn’t stuck on the side of some desolate road.
They have finally isolated the problem…a nut holding a $5 part wasn’t tight enough, and that set off the chain of unfortunate events that has us grounded in Cheyenne. Bugger.
We’ll stick around here today and perhaps finally do some local sightseeing. Dick actually ran into John and Karen from our caravan yesterday morning in Home Depot! Dang…I missed seeing them, but Karen called me and we had a nice chat. She recommended a great place for seafood over in Laramie, so we may wind up there for dinner tonight.
Dick said the good news is that this problem caused him to find that air intake hose that was loose, and that alone could have caused MAJOR engine damage. There is always a silver lining to every cloud…if you look for it.
So now we’ll go have some fun…and wait…and wait, probably Friday is when we will be able to get back on the road. Bugger.
Come along with us and see where we wind up next. We are gonna have some fun!
Friday, September 3, 2010
But, it could have been worse. We could have been in the middle of nowhere; we could have had an accident (one deer narrowly missed us the other night); and any other scenario you can think of that is not good. We are just trying to make lemonade out of our pile of lemons.
Long story short, the moho engine has an ‘owie.’ A serious owie. Hopefully all of the parts for an “inframe overhaul” (whatever that is, but Dick sez that is what it needs), consisting of a new head and turbo, plus an exhaust manifold, will be here tomorrow. We paid a bunch of money for those things, and they dang well better show up and show up SOON. Monday is a holiday and the shop will be closed. Great. We had plans to be in NH on Thursday, and plans before that to visit friends in Ohio.
Our life is now on hold. We’ll know a little more today, then decide how and where to proceed. This is life on the road and we just deal with it. We found a pet-friendly motel, and Missy is grateful for that and has settled down. She does not like riding in cars and let us know it yesterday on the ride around town trying to find a place to stay. She immediately sniffed out every square inch, found her bed, and took a nap. I refused to let her have the remote, and she was sure sniffing it.
We obviously don’t know how we are now spending our weekend, so please tell me about yours.
Life is…still good…and certainly never dull, y’all!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
We said goodbye to Casper. Who knows where we will be tonight, but we will enjoy the scenery all along the way. This is one big, beautiful country. How blessed we all are!
Enjoy your day...and give someone a smile; that warms the heart. Life is good!
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Dick found out the hard way when he forgot to remove his wallet from his jeans before putting them in the dirty clothes pile. I opened the washer door to remove the permanent press items, and out popped a photo of g/dtr #2, followed by photo of g/dtr #1, then a black wallet. And some wadded up paper. Not a good sign, especially when the following items were missing:
…his driver’s license (who’s gonna drive the rig to NH, then to GA? Not me!)
…his Golden Eagle Senior Pass (he can live without that for now)
…his pilot’s license (doesn’t need that one any time soon)
So, what to do? Where are these hard plastic items??? They are not caught in the rubber gasket. Surely they did not fall down that itty bitty space between the drum and the gasket? Yep. That’s exactly what happened. They spun, hit the door, then fell.
It took a flashlight, a bent coat hangar, my assistance with my jewelry tweezers, and MANY tries to fish all 8 (yes, there were 8 missing cards found, not 3) up and out of their hiding place. Maybe MM learned a good lesson, bless his heart.
At least the drizzle ended for a few hours yesterday, then began again about the time we arrived at the Elk’s Lodge in Spokane. Bill and JeanAnn Miller are members, so they got to sponsor us and Paul/Betsy Hughes as guests for the evening. Who knew you could camp for cheap at an Elk’s Lodge??? And get an inexpensive meal, plus entertainment. Sign us up!
So this morning we say farewell to our friends and will be on the road again. I'm not sure where we’ll end up, but it will be a good adventure I am sure. And we will enter Mountain Time. That sounds good to me!
Come along for the ride…