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.