Sunday, November 25, 2007

All That Remains....

Thanksgiving is over. The turkey is gone (except maybe enough for one sandwich), the table leaves are stored, the dishes all washed and the bedding is waiting to go in the laundry. You can see some of the remains of Thanksgiving 2007 here with these photos.We didn't have a huge dinner but there was certainly enough food to go around. N's mother joined us since her husband and other family were out of town and E made it in from Chicago area late Tuesday night. It was great to have her home again for a few days. We missed having J & J but know we'll all be together for Christmas (one month from today !!!).
Of course we had dessert! B made an excellent new creamy pumpkin pie that was a keeper and I made a streusel topped pumpkin pie with a cheesecake layer. It was good, but I think plain old pumpkin would have been better and much less work!

Of course we convinced E to take a short ride on Dad's new Harley! I'm not sure if she enjoyed the cold ride. Her comment was that she's too much of a control freak to ride along - guess that means we'll just have to get her to learn to ride her own! (Just joking E, I know it takes getting used to and even then, not for everyone)Late Friday morning, E and I braved the crowds and the traffic and headed to the malls. We missed the crazy early birds (on purpose!) and didn't have any parking or traffic problems. Usually we find all kinds of interesting things when we're off shopping together, but this time we only came home with a candle and eye-shadow! (No shoes, not that we didn't try!) The highlight of Friday evening was the arrival of my aunt and uncle from Ohio. It was great to see them again and spend some time catching up. We reminisced late into the evening as Uncle L went through a box of keepsakes we'd brought back from Kansas. On Saturday we did a short driving tour of downtown Louisville and the Churchill Downs area. They even rode along as Dennis had to make a stop at Bluegrass Harley Davidson to pick up some missing parts for his helmet microphone. The girls joined us from their marathon day of shopping for lunch at the Irish Rover. This is another one of our favorite restaurants in Louisville and we have taken just about everyone who has visited us there. L & S made an early start home so they would get home in time to see the KU-Missouri football game but S had to give Beamer one last goodbye kiss:)
Then she had to take her turn on the Harley. Dennis is so proud to show off his new toy! We've promised that one of our first overnight rides will be up to visit them in Ohio. It will have to warm up first! It will probably be next spring before we're ready for a trip like that. Thanks for visiting Uncle L and Aunt S! Come back again!
Our weekend continued with dinner out Saturday night with B & E. N had to work so he missed a great meal at Mojitos. I can't find their website but they are owned by the same folks that have Havana Rumba but Mojitos is a tapas bar. We ordered about 8 different tapas plates and I guess I enjoyed the meal (and my mojito!) so much I forgot to take any photos. I'm sure we'll be back again soon so I'll try to get one then. It seems that eating out is a family entertainment!
Hope you all had as nice of weekend as we did!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving From Our Family to Yours

I am thankful for all of you who've been faithful readers, even while I'm still learning all this!

If you have time today - please send a comment with ONE thing that you're thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day 2007.

Have a great day - I know we will! Now off to the kitchen!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Look What's New!

Okay, now you know just how crazy we are! We are now officially Harley-Davidson owners! As much as we've enjoyed the V-Star, we've been thinking that we would like a bigger motorcycle that would be more comfortable on the longer trips that we hope to be making. And as long as we were going to do this, we might as well do it right. This is a 105th Anniversary Ultra Classic Screamin' Eagle and it is gorgeous! We just picked it up last evening (See the photo of Dennis loading it on the trailer!) at Blue Grass Harley-Davidson in Lousiville. We had our name on the list in case they got one in and were surprised when they called yesterday morning. We also had our name on the list at Louisville Harley-Davidson . The sales staffs at both dealerships have been great to work with.
We are really excited about taking the new bike out on some nice trips. At least we were lucky to have a beautiful day today with temps in the 70's. Dennis rode off to work this morning before 7 am and made it home early to pick me up so we could get a few miles in before the winter weather arrives tomorrow night. We are really going to enjoy this! As soon as spring gets here, we just might end up in your neighborhood!
PS- How many of you got the hint in the November 11 post?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A November weekend

I don't have much to write about this weekend. We did manage a short motorcycle ride this afternoon. It was pretty chilly but the sun did come out for a while so we enjoyed the last of the fall colors as we drove up through some of the Knobs area. There are some scenic roads with colorful names like Honey Run, Whiskey Run and Daisy Hill Rd. Some of the farms have pretty new homes or well kept older farm houses but there was a fair share of shabby mobile homes with scary dogs and old cars in the driveways. We just kept riding until we finally found a road we were familiar with and headed home. My legs were beginning to get numb and it took me the rest of the day to finally warm up. Of course Dennis claimed he was just beginning to feel the chill! He's still riding the motorcycle to work on the mornings that aren't frosty so I guess he's building up his tolerance for cold!

We started out the day by winterizing the camper. It wasn't too hard, since we never even got it out this summer. We had every intention of going camping but we couldn't figure out a way to pull the motorcycle trailer and the camper at the same time with the truck that we have. Some states do allow you to double pull, but we didn't feel comfortable doing that. So we are thinking of selling this camper or trading it in on a toy hauler 5th wheel or a motor home. Right now we're leaning toward a toy hauler but haven't decided on anything yet. We'll probably wait and look at some of the RV shows early next year to see what is available.

Here's a better photo of little Leo. B brought him over last night to meet Beamer. Poor Leo wanted to play, but of course Beamer is not always very sociable to other animal guests. I think he might learn to tolerate Leo as long as he is still this size. They'll just have to come visit more often. Thanksgiving may be very interesting! E will be here lateTuesday but she's not bringing Decibel this time. It will be nice to have her home for a few days! I'm sure this will be a weekend of food and shopping. J & J are going to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving with her family. We'll miss them but holidays are all about sharing with the in-laws !
Hope you all have a nice Thanksgiving week. If you are traveling, please be safe. If you are cooking, please don't burn the turkey! And if you are eating - go ahead and have the pie!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving - almost! I just thought I'd post a photo of my front door greeter. He's a remnant of the old Main St. Mercantile days and I wish I could remember the name of the crafter that made him. I don't know if you can see the little sign on front - but it says "Eat Beef". Just a small reminder of family reunions out on the farm! I'm sure some of you will remember:) It won't be long until it is time to decorate for Christmas. When I walked the subdivision I see some neighbors already have some decorations in their yards. I hope we can get some lights up again this year. It's not Dennis' favorite thing to do but he was so wonderful to climb up on the ladder and string a few along the eaves last year - maybe again ? It does make the house look so much more festive - especially since we don't get much snow here to make it look like winter ( not that I'm complaining about that!).

I finally got the quilt assembled! Now just to get it quilted. I've found a lady in Louisville that does long arm quilting so I'm taking it to her on Monday. I've never attempted to machine quilt one this big so I think its best to have someone else do it. I can't wait to get it back. Hopefully she can get it done before Christmas! I've got another project started - but can't say any more than that about it!
Today was Thanksgiving dinner at Dennis' office. Every year they have a big pot luck dinner for all the employees(over 100) and usually I send baked turkey breasts and gravy but I guess they are having the meat catered this year. So my contribution was this Mandarin Salad Oriental. It's one of my favorites so hope they enjoyed it. It's a good thing I've still got some old Tupperware left! If you still need a salad for Thanksgiving dinner, I'll share this recipe with you.

Mandarin Salad Oriental
1 3 oz. pkg. ramen noodles (oriental flavor)
1/3 c. sliced almonds
5 T. Sugar - divided
1/2 c. veg. oil
3 T. White vinegar
1 T. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. hot sauce
1/2 head iceberg lettuce - torn
1//2 head romaine lettuce - torn
5 celery ribs - chopped
3 green onions - chopped
1 - 11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained

Remove flavor pkt. from soup mix and set aside. Crumble noodles in a shallow pan and bake at 350 for 10minutes or til toasted. Remove from oven, cool.
Cook sliced almonds and 3 T sugar in small nonstick skillet over med-low heat, stirring constantly about 5-6 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and almonds evenly coated. Remove from heat and set aside (I eliminate this step and just toast the almonds without the sugar)
Whisk together flavor pkt and 2T sugar (or 1 T Splenda blend), oil & next 5 ingredients.
Toss together lettuces, celery & onions. Drizzle with dressing. Add noodles, almonds and oranges, toss. Best if served immediately.

Enjoy !

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Home Security?

Meet my new grand-puppy! This is Leo the guard dog! He doesn't look too threatening - yet:) Actually, he's a pretty mellow little fellow. The new parents are happy and doing well.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All Dressed Up and No Where to Go

It had to happen sooner or later. This was the first weekend since we got the motorcycle that the weather didn't cooperate so we could take a nice ride. We'd made plans with D & B, but as soon as we got ready and stopped at their house, it began to rain. Granted it was just a light rain, but with temps in the low 50's it just didn't look like a good idea to take off on the hilly roads of the Knobs.
The highlights of the weekend included a little jacket shopping and breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Friday was vacuuming day and Beamer enjoyed some help with his grooming routine. Maybe if I did this every day, we'd have less cat fur floating around the house!
Friday night as usual is dinner out for us so we drove over to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, La Rosita Grill in New Albany. The food is probably as authentic as you will find in this area. Last spring, E's friend from Mexico was thrilled to find that they served some of her favorites from home. They have quite a variety on their menu but I ordered my old stand by, a chimichanga. The old store front building is certainly not fancy, but we've always enjoyed our meals there and there's usually plenty left for lunch the next day. More football this weekend too. I watched KU beat Oklahoma last night, the Packers cream Minneapolis this afternoon and now painfully watching the Colts and Chargers. Hope Peyton can pull it together! Mostly I've been working on the Christmas quilt and almost have all the package blocks machine appliqued. I will be glad when I can start piecing it all together and find someone to machine quilt it for me. At least my machine applique skills are improving!
I'm counting down the days til Thanksgiving! Can't wait to have family home for a few days. Hmm- maybe I should start planning what to serve for dinner.
Have a good week!
(PS - something exciting might be coming - there's a clue here somewhere!)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hobby (and Dentist) Day

Time for a hobby update. I've finally finished two books and am working on another. I used to be able to speed through an average length book in just a day or two but lately it seems like I'm taking a lot longer than that. Could this new obsession with blogging have something to do with that? I've been surfing the vast sea of quilting and rv'ing blogs and every day I'm amazed at how creative some people are and how easily they can publish a post on their latest project or trip. I guess I've got a lot to learn yet about this stuff!

I finished Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and probably will add this to my list of favorite books. This was the latest selection by our little (un-named) book club and I hope they all liked it as much as I did. The combination of interesting characters combined with a little fantasy and an enchanting setting makes this story about the reunion of two sisters a pleasure to read. I truly hope this author will consider making this into a series of books. There is so much more I'd like to know about the Waverlys.
I also finished Stoner and Spaz by Ron Koertge. This was the selection for I35 Book Club and it took me longer to find the book at a bookstore than to actually read it. If you go to the link for the club you'll find Sarah's review. She did such a great job explaining the characters you can see why she is such a great teacher (not to mention she's one of my two favorite nieces!) I did enjoy the book but some parts are a little disturbing and some may find it hard to think that this is what kids facing now.
I'm now reading Full of Grace by Dorothea Benton Frank. I've read several of her books and have enjoyed every one of them. I don't think this one will disappoint me either.

Here's the progress on the Christmas quilt. I've got all the blocks assembled but now I'm in the slow process of appliqueing the packages. In fact I should close this up for now and get back to that. I spent the morning at the dentist getting a tooth prepped for a crown and bridge so I didn't get my morning walk. It is cool but nice out so maybe I should get outside first. I need to clean out a few frozen annuals from the flower beds too. So I guess I'll close, go outside and walk, do a little gardening then come back in and quilt while watching Oprah!
Until next time!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Football, Food and Fair weather !

We are not huge sports fans but we do enjoy following a couple of NFL football teams. As I sit here trying to come up with a blog post for this week, I am trying to watch the Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriot game. So excuse me if I get side tracked while watching Peyton and the guys. We've been Green Bay Packer/Brett Favre fans since our days in Wisconsin and we are always glad to see them on a winning streak for old times sake. Someday maybe we'll be able to see one of these teams play in person.

Saturday was another gorgeous fall day so, of course, we got out on the motorcycle again. C & G joined us on a scenic route up to Madison, Indiana. We took a few back roads and enjoyed the fall colors along the way. I think they are probably at peak now but I didn't get any photos that really do them justice. Madison is a beautiful Ohio River town with a bustling downtown business district and many restored 19th century homes and buildings. It is famous for the Madison Regatta boat races that are held every summer and they also have a wonderful art fair in the early fall, the Madison Chautauqua. Once we got to Madison we stopped for what we thought would be a quick lunch at a historic tavern. Unfortunately the waitress had not been trained very well (if at all) so our service was questionable but the food was pretty good. The guys headed up to the Yamaha dealership to get a new visor for my helmet while G and I browsed the shops on Main Street. She and I have a lot of the same tastes when it comes to shopping the cute little gift shops. It's a good thing we were on motorcycles or the damages could have been much worse! We also stopped at Margies Country Store which is also a quilt shop. Lots of neat stuff there in what at one time was a butcher shop. Our midafternoon snack was ice cream at Mundt's Candy Shop. Yummy:) (Some of these websites are not loading for me tonight, so I hope if you try them later they will work. If not, here is another link for reviews and photos of Mundt's. The old soda fountain is really neat.)

We hope there are more nice weekends like this as we are not ready to put the bike to bed for the winter. One thing we have enjoyed since moving to this part of the country is that the winters have not been unbearably cold and snowy and it is possible to get nice days even in January. Days like yesterday where the air has that fall scent ( kind of like a mixture of tart apples and burning leaves, if that makes sense!) are a blessing, especially when they come on the weekend!

Today was a little too windy to get out and ride and Dennis is still recovering from a cold so we didn't do much. I was in a cooking mood again and made a pumpkin pie and a pan of lasagna. There will be leftovers of that for a while! Now the football game is over and the Colts lost their first game. Oh well, guess it's time to have a piece of pumpkin pie!

Come join us for dessert!