Sunday, May 31, 2009

Progress in the Kitchen

Another weekend of kitchen demolition and re-construction! This time, D had the help of our son who provided some much needed muscle and also his math skills to double check those measurements! For the better part of the day on Saturday, I was without a sink, dishwasher and counter. But by the end of the day, it was pretty much all back in place, even if we do have to use the old sink and Formica top for a few more weeks. Sloooooowly, it's taking shape! Hopefully by next week, we'll be ready for the measurements for the quartz tops to be taken so we can get them ordered. I still need to find a kitchen faucet, tile and lighting. While all this was taking place at my house, I was over at our daughter's house helping her with a garage sale. Now I'm not a fan of garage sales. I know some people can't pass them up and know how to find some treasures, but it's just not my cup of tea. I have held a few over the years and every time I do, I wonder why I bothered since it is almost more profitable just to take the stuff to Goodwill or somewhere and write it off as a donation. But it is kind of fun, especially when it is a neighborhood event like this one was. I was able to help her out, got rid of a few things ourselves, and spend some time with B and J and little J (who were here with our son, J. Confusing isn't it!) The weather was finally turned beautiful here. This weekend was gorgeous. After boxing up the last of the leftover rummage, I enjoyed the rest of the day and played with my grandson. He loves to sit in the grass and be outside. Of course he was wearing his new Harley shirt, so I had to get a photo with the little cutie! We've been lucky to see him pretty often for the last couple of months but I swear, he changes so much each time!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Partying and the Ponies

The busy weekend, part 2. In addition to a baby shower this past weekend, we took time to celebrate D's birthday Saturday. Yep, the guy is over 21. At least some wise guest thought he should be reminded of that! We descended upon our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Rosita's. We had a nice group of friends and family join us to help celebrate. Too bad some other family members couldn't join us as there are plenty of them with birthdays this week too. So an official Happy Birthday goes out to Jen, Jody and Sarah! We ate plenty for all of you!
On Sunday, we had a great time at the horse races at Churchill Downs. Rain was in the forecast, but it turned out to be a beautiful day. We live pretty close to there, but have only been to the races a couple of times. Of course we've never been to the Oaks or Derby, that's out of our league, but it's still a fun thing to do on any regular race day.
Some of us, were not too so lucky with our $2.00 bets.

Then there were a few enthusiastic winners in the group. I guess this must be E's lucky week. (She just got accepted in the Masters of Engineering Management program at Northwestern! Way to go, E!)
And Grandpa B had a very good day at the races too. I think this was the first time he'd been to the horse races and he came out way ahead. A whole $19.00 !Over all, we all had a great time. It was amazing to see so many families, even with small children, there. Churchill is really a wonderful facility and makes for a nice entertaining afternoon, even if you don't bet on the ponies.
Thanks for stopping by. Back to some quilting and sewing this week. Hopefully I'll have something to show for my efforts next time. In preparation for house guests, the sewing room and basement were cleaned and re-arranged last week. So hopefully that will help me organize my thoughts and plans for the next project without getting sidetracked! Wish me luck on that!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Baby Shower Brigade (Post # 200 !!!)

The baby shower brigade arrived at my house Friday afternoon. After a little last minute favor and decoration assembly, things were ready for the party. Yes, there was Starbucks involved and please don't say anything about my wimpy fig tree in the corner.
E brought cookies from Deerfields near Chicago. They were decorated with adorable little elephants in blue and orange and placed in little bags with some circus peanut candy. Hostesses for the shower were the future aunts Ali, Erin and Jen (who unfortunately was not able to come to due work commitments) and the restaurant was Adrienne and Co. Bakery and Cafe. They served a wonderful "light" lunch of sandwiches, veggies and fruit and also made the cake(see below!) Here's the expectant mommy checking out the gift table and the jungle tree decorated with baby items. Some of the ladies enjoying their lunch and games.
Of course what's a baby boy shower without a Harley Davidson onsie! Bet you can't guess who that was from!
Here's the cake! Of course it was just as yummy as it was cute. Note the circus peanuts on the sides of the cake too. Adrienne did B and N's wedding cake so it was only appropriate that she bake the baby shower cake.
The mommy-to-be surrounded by gifts and diapers. She received soooo many nice things and I don't think they'll have it all stowed away very soon.Family members in attendence were left to right, Grandma Mary, Mommy to be, Aunt E, Me, Aunt Ali, an Great Grandma Pat.

My favorite photo of the day, my girls!

And we couldn't leave out the Daddy of the NFL player-to-be! I'm sure by next fall, the little guy will be wearing this little warm up suit every Sunday!

It's been a wonderful, busy weekend and I've got more to share, but it's getting late so I'll get more posted tomorrow night.

And hard to believe but this is my 200 th post! I should do some type of give-away to celebrate but unfortunately, I'm too tired to think about that right now. Maybe I'll surprise you with a random drawing in the next few weeks. Send me a comment and that just might help me decide what to do!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Busy Weekend Ahead

Busy, busy weekend! There's cleaning, shopping, and cooking going on here at this zoo! House guests are on their way and tomorrow is the day of B's baby shower. Also Grandpa D's birthday so we won't leave him out. Many photos will be shared at a later post. And I just noticed that this is my 199th post! Can you believe it?
Have a great Memorial Day and weekend! Right now Mr. Oreck is calling my name so guess I'd better go vacuum!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chapter Two of the Vacation Chronicles!

Here we were, on the road for the second half of 2500 mile motorcycle adventure.

We followed our new Pennsylvania friends, Brad and Val, across the state of Arkansas, through a corner of Missouri, down across Tennessee, a small corner of North Carolina and into the mountains of northern Georgia, This took the better part of two days with a whopping 480 miles the first day. For me, that was the first time we traveled that far on the Harley all in one day. Luckily we avoided the rain and only had to deal with strong winds the first half of the day. Day two found us racing to get up and on the road ahead of another rain storm.

We didn't quite make it! We soon drove out of it but still watched the skies around us. I love this photo of the Tennessee hills as we approached Chattanooga. Thank goodness for our rain gear and the Weather Channel radar iphone application!

Here's our fearless leader, Brad on his 2009 Harley Davidson Screamin Eagle Road Glide.

And here is courageous Val, on her 2005 (?) Screamin Eagle Ultra Classic. They've ridden all over the country and been in just about every state. We met several women who ride their own bikes this past week. I certainly do admire them, but I know it is something I would never try. Life is so much less stressful when just riding along in the passenger seat!

Our final destination, Copperhead Lodge! Located just outside Blairsville, Georgia, this is a resort community dedicated to motorcycle enthusiasts. It was a great location for the CVO Harley Ribfest. Of course many of the same people were here that were in Eureka Springs, but lots of others too.
Isn't this a beautiful fireplace with the motorcycle rock work?

This photo was taken from the back deck of our cabin one morning. There were several other cabins back in the trees behind the lodge. Where we stayed, we were treated to an automatic alarm clock, courtesy of the chicken farm next door! The lodge houses a small restaurant too. FOOD PHOTO for those of you who look forward to them! This was D's prime rib dinner. One of the funniest moments of the trip occurred when Dennis asked for his potato. It was so small that he didn't see it on his plate next to that big hunk of meat! (You had to be there. It was much funnier then!)
Ribs for the Ribfest were provided by "Hogbreath" but Eddie tended the smoker and did a fine job!
We didn't want to try to keep up with the large group rides on the twisty, curvy roads in the area. But we enjoyed riding with Val and Brad and even stopped and shopped in a couple little towns. We did manage to find the larger group having lunch at a small German restaurant in Helen, GA.
Of course we battled the raindrops just about every day. Even as we headed out Sunday morning and stopped at the site of the kayaking events of the 1996 Olympics. One last group shot with Val and Brad. Another vacation is history. But we've got fond memories and new friends. We enjoyed riding with and getting to know our Pennsylannia, Texas and Iowa friends and many others. We hope to cross paths with many of them again at the next CVO Harley event!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Vacation - Part One

If you are curious as to how we are spending our vacation, here's a hint!

The first few days were spent at the annual CVO Harley Central U.S. get-together in Eureka Springs, AR. This is a group of Harley owners who all ride Screamin' Eagles. If you would like more details check out this site to see where my husband spends his "spare" computer time!

We spent some time riding some curvy Ozark Mountain roads. Enjoyed some "grub" at a local eatery! This stop on our group ride was the Ozark Cafe in Jasper, AR. Their coconut cream pie was yummy!

Made some new friends. This is Rob and Anita from Amarillo with their Road-Glide.We dodged some rain drops and had to stop to don our rain gear several times.
We even attended our very first Harley wedding! The bride requested that their vows be celebrated with the roaring of the engines of the dozens of Harleys in attendance. Another first!
A Harley wedding cake of orange and black Krispie Kreme donuts.

We saw a little of downtown Eureka Springs. Unfortunately we didn't get back there to do any serious shopping or sightseeing. Maybe next year!

Avoided more rain drops. This time under the overpass on our way to the "Pig Trail".

Some people have a hard time breaking the work habit. Really now, we're on vacation!Now we're on the second leg of our journey. With the leadership of our new friends from Pennsylvania there will be more to this adventure. Check back again to see where they've led us and if we can stay dry!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

The best Mother's Day to everyone! Moms, Moms-to-be, Daughters, Sisters, Nieces and Aunts and also to my blog world friends - enjoy the day with someone special!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pre-Travel Tidbits

Progress on the cabinets will slow again as we are getting ready to gather our leather jackets and helmets and pack the Harley and trailer for a few days on the road. Hopefully the weather will clear and we'll have a dry trip. But if not - all the more stories to tell, I guess.

Thought you might like to see one of the new features of the remodeled kitchen that I'm going to really enjoy. My big Kitchen-Aid mixer will now be at finger tips notice to mix up something sweet and fattening! I used it today to mix up some oatmeal cookies and it was great! D thought he should raise the butcher block just a little to be even with the counter top (this is still the Formica - new ones will wait til June) but I like it a little lower. Since I'm short, it makes it nice to see what's going on and easier to add ingredients. When stored - it is out of the way and not taking up counter space. I lost some cabinet space but I think it's a good compromise. You can see above the base cabinets on either side of the new gas range. The doors aren't quite ready for the uppers but he'll be able to finish that up soon after we return. I'm actually kind of liking the open shelves for now. Having them open makes me make the effort to stay relatively organized!
Beamer has a new best friend! Meet Mr. Automatic Feeder. He is nearby at 7:00 AM waiting for his breakfast and again at 6:00 PM when he is expecting his supper. This will come in handy though when we're gone next week and our neighbor won't have to worry about getting here at the same time every day to feed this poor starving cat!

A few weeks ago I received a package from my sister. Inside were two aprons. One was my first ever sewing project for 4-H and the other was this. Neither one of us is sure where it came from. We think it is possible that Mama made it for her mother back many, many years ago. There was a time when she made some projects using gingham and cross stitch. But the condition that it is in makes me think it is probably newer than that and perhaps someone gave it to her or she made it when we were both expecting our first babies back in 1978. Although it's kind of big on me and not the most attractive style, it's fun to reminisce about our sewing heritage but sad to think there are some questions that will remain unanswered. So chalk one up for blogging as our grandchildren will have some way to go back and have access to the tidbits of our lives!

Now you'll have to excuse me as I really should be doing laundry and packing for the motorcycle trip. Fitting everything in is much easier now with the little trailer but there are still some things I have to limit ( such as shoes!). I might be able to get a post or two from the road - so check back in a few days to see where we end up!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Before, During and Other

I've been talking about this for almost two years now and I bet you all thought it would never happen. But we're finally ready for the next phase of the kitchen remodel. There's a before shot..... Now here it is during, complete with the mess of the contents of half of the cabinets spread across the counter tops. Since we are doing the demolition and re-construction in stages, I think I'll be seeing a lot of this.
And here's another "during" photo. The upper cabinets are installed, but doors and shelving won't be up until later this week. But what this doesn't show, are the completed lower cabinets, new microwave and the under cabinet lighting. So progress has been made! I'm hoping have most of it completed by Memorial weekend when we're expecting house guests. But since we've got a vacation planned for a few days before that - we'll see! Before the kitchen became a construction zone, I did a little baking. This is Rhubarb Crumb Cake using a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. We used to eat a lot of rhubarb when I was growing up. Especially Rhubarb crisp but this recipe combines the crumbly, sugary goodness of the topping of a crisp with a nice moist cake and not quite so much rhubarb. Yum!

On to the list of other random things here at the home front. Last year, the pink dogwoods were so beautiful around here that I decided to (have the garden center) plant one in our backyard.

Oops, someone planted a nice white dogwood instead! At least the garden center admitted their mistake and instead of digging this one up and re-planting a pink one, they gave me a good deal on a second tree. Hopefully, this one will be pink!

Sewing project this week was putting the binding on the little quilt that B pieced and I quilted for her little "peanut"! If anyone ever hears me say I'm going to put satin binding on a quilt, please, please, please, stop me! Maybe it was the combination of the Minkee backing and the satin, but I had the worst time getting this done and I'm not proud of my workmanship at all. But maybe little "peanut" won't care and he'll just enjoy cuddling the softness. I actually remember having a "blankey" with satin binding on it when I was very little and my mother had to replace the worn out binding because it was so well loved. I appreciate her efforts so much more now!

Hope you all have a great week. This will be a busy one around here!