Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
I don't want to give the impression that we stayed in all the time. We went out somewhere nearly every day, to do something, no matter how simple the pleasure. The Waffle House is a southern must-try if y'all head out this direction for a visit.
Mom finally agreed to sit at the Waffle House bar since all the boothes were full. And since it was something different for her, we had to document with a picture. Heather and I had grits and waffles to stick to southern traditional.
And we checked out some other finer points...
Thursday, December 27, 2007
My family was not super anxious to do loads of sightseeing this trip since Christmas is special enough in itself. So mainly we've been hanging out. It's been all fun and games, starting with the Christmas baking tournament. Competition was fierce but we all maintained our smiles and good manners. Sometimes we teamed up to form "The Storming Sisters" (Heather and I) or the "Gruesome Twosome" (Paul and I) and the "Sassy Seniors" (Mom and Dad), but mostly we maintained our independence with our recipes.
Below, is "Mighty Mom" scoring super points with her classic Southern Boiled Custard drink that we enjoy every year as a tradition.
Introducing my sister Heather, "Burbee The Baker" making another classic, Nanna's Shortbread, with a bonus twist of whole wheat flour. These were delicious! She scored points for having made the recipe that was polished off first.
Friday, December 21, 2007
We have Mom and Dad wedged between the coffee table and couch with their pillows under the tree. Dad keeps knocking the lower ornaments off the tree and the tags off the presents everytime he turns over. But my parents are always good sports (they consider this camping) and say they've been real comfortable. They've even turned down the air mattress to sleep in a "bedroll" for ease and practicality.
Now, Heather, the super sport of a fun sister that she is, said, "Hey, I'll just sleep in the doorway of the spare room." There was no room to fit all the way in the room and not much room in the dining room unless she slept under the table. But this has worked out, and she brought her electric blanket, so she's been good.
We had some grand plans for sight-seeing this week, but we've been having so much fun watching movies, eating, talking and driving around town, that we've decided to just take it easy on this visit and just enjoy Christmas and being together. Next time we'll do the trip to the beach and the mountains for dad to try the fishing, etc.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We were taking our first readings, looking up each time a golfer set up on the tee to make sure we kept our eyes on the ball. Not more than 5 minutes passed when a line drive came barreling straight into the back of the SUV. No damage done, and so we waved the golfers on and tried to look relaxed. Throughout the day a few balls landed in the trees overhead, a few to our right, a few to our left. We ended up being there all day because our pump wasn't working and the well went dry. What was supposed to be an hour on the golf course turned into 3 and we were there to wave at all the golfers, cheer them when they made a good hit and look the other way when the ball landed in the sand pit. I think we made them nervous, and yet they were good sports asking if we got hazard pay and, "surely that's not your personal vehicle you have parked there." And then, "you are brave souls, and "any oil in that well?" We have never had so much company when sampling and I felt kinda like we were on the boardwalk at the beach back home.
Starting Saturday, Paul and I have been really busy lately getting ready for my family to come out for a visit. :-) We have the furniture situated to make the most of the little floor space available for sleeping, a drying rack set up for all the towels and the fridge stocked. Oh, and we got garland and a tree up and decorated. That's what we've been doing for the last 3 days.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
But this time the flyer said something to this effect, "come join us for a complimentary holiday breakfast on your way to work." A nice surpise! But then I proceeded to forget all about it and it wasn't until this morning as I was riding through the complex on the way to work when I saw the staff outside the office with a big picnic table full of food. Cars were pulling in, Missy was running food to the cars with a big smile, and then the folks would drive off to work. I was greeted by name (which I am still amazed that they know since I'm hardly ever in the office)from halfway across the parkinglot and asked if I would like breakfast. Missy offered to take my Christmas cards into the office to save me a trip to the mail box and Nadine unpacked the breakfast kit so that it would fit in my backpack. I got a choice of bagel from Panera and an orange juice. It was such a simple gesture, but the whole swift 2 minute exchange was so warm and inviting that it really changed my whole attitude about going to work this morning. I could smell the cinnamon wafting from my backpack as I was pedaling down Sharon Rd.
Although I'm excited to move into a house, it will be sad to leave the Hamptons and the real nice community feel that's there and the top-notch staff.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Plenty of cabinets to store all the gadgets, and a nice big pantry for my can and jar collection.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The best thing to warm the joints and bones is split pea soup. It's so easy to make in the Crock Pot if you have one, and I prefer to get it all prepared the night before, stick the pot in the fridge (I have a crock pot that has a removable pot that fits inside the metal cooker part), and then just set it in the cooker in the morning and plug 'er in. Who has time to cook after work when there's lots of spinning and knitting to do?
Here is my favorite, classic recipe for split pea soup:
1 lb. bag of dried, split peas
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped (add the leaves whole on top to add to flavor, and remove after cooking)
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 ham hock
~1/2 tsp. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste (the ham hock is quite salty so make sure you don't add to much)
1 Herbox vegetable bouillon (does not contain MSG)
~6 cups of water
Add everything to the crock pot, no need to dissolve bouillon, and cook on low heat. I leave mine in for the whole 8-9 hours I'm gone to work and it turns out great. Remove celery leaves and serve.
Monday, December 3, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
Monday - late night at work (relatively) packing the rental truck with all our gear for the next day of field work. Had to get to bed early because of next morning's early rise.
Tuesday - Ended up having to book a hotel for impromptu stay to finish the job the next day. I had no overnight toiletries and change of clothes or computer or knitting or spinning to keep me occupied. So I pouted about my unfortunate situation and went to bed.
Wednesday - came home, unpacked and went to bed early- really tired.
Thursday - got involved in making a big dinner, did some knitting on the sweater. I was in an exciting transitional part where the instructions stated to slip stitches onto scrap yarn for the sleeves and begin working on body portion of sweater, at which point I decided to add some texture stripes. Consequently, I knitted until bedtime.
Tonight: I would like to share my recipe from last night's dinner and knitting progress. Also got some more fiber from Tanglewood Fiber Creations to start spinning. Stay tuned!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I love the hardwood floors! They will be stained a walnut color.
View from "the gathering room" of the kitchen and front entry way.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Needless to say, as soon as we moved to the couch after lots of talking and eating, I fell asleep for a short nap... a few times, since we stayed till nearly 1:00. Not being a night person anymore because of the early mornings during the weekday, I struggle to keep up with the rest. But at least I wasn't the only one, because as soon as Tracy sat down she was out for the rest of the night other than about 15 minutes when she woke herself up for part of the conversation and went right back to sleep!
At Tracy's they have a tradition of going around the circle and everyone states what they are thankful for, which I thought was really neat. So this is what I am thankful for: family, our health, a fantastic husband who is also my best friend, new friends and old friends, good jobs, the comforts that we have, feeling so welcome in a new city. These are just a few. But I am truly thankful for these things every day and at least I don't feel that Paul and I take any of these blessings for granted.
As for today, it is a playground. Paul is already searching the internet for Black Friday specials and I'm about to do some spinning or knitting. Later today we might go out and get some Christmas shopping done during the sales or go see our house progress or maybe not. Having no solid plans is so nice sometimes!
I have started knitting the Anniversary Sweater and it's moving right along so I keep spinning more yarn to keep up with the knitting. I'm nearing the end of what I have carded so I will soon need to do some more carding to keep up with the spinning to keep up with the knitting. I was going to originally card everything first, but I get bored doing the one step forever, so I keep going back and forth to change it up a bit. I'll post pictures when I get a good full bobbin of the single yarn and then the plied yarn.
Oh, and I've given up keeping the whole thing hidden from Paul. There is so little time to work on it if I only work when he's not here. He's just trying to not pay too close attention to what I'm doing.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
These pictures are taken around my apartment complex, but my whole ride to work is pretty.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I hadn't blended fiber before but had read some about it in books and magazines. So I gave it a try using a bit of book technique and a bit of my own.