Sunday, May 27, 2012

When Cold Weather Makes You Fat.

Hello again.
Friday morning, the first morning of "The Rummage Sale", dawned cloudy and chilly. I was up and showered by 6 something. The sale wasn't set to begin until 7. HA! People were there at 6:15! (it was worth it. They pulled in close to $2500)

I wore a hoodie sweatshirt. When I used to live here, that would have been enough. But, as John Pinette is fond of saying, "Nay, Nay!", that was a Nay, Nay for me. I ended up vibrating from the inside out and wrapping a blanket around me. Which was good for a good portion of the time I spent in the garage. However, every time I stood up to walk...I started vibrating again.

My mother had asked me early on in the day if I could please make some banana bread with the nearly black bananas on the counter. Of course, I said yes. Somehow, and my recollection gets a little fuzzy here, that turned into a chocolate 4-layer delight, a cherry crisp, a cherry crumble pie AND said banana bread.

I'm not entirely sure what time I went inside to do all of this. My aunt helped out with the 4-layer delight. I know at 1 something I was only done with the banana bread batter and I had to kick my mother out who trotted into the kitchen to suddenly prepare a ham for supper. Dude!! Their kitchen is not really made for more than one person at a time if anyone plans to move and get things done.

I am standing there preparing banana bread batter from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe on my phone (oh thank you, God, for iPhones!) and suddenly realized that Hey! This recipe makes two loaves!! Panic ensued. My mom currently has two bread pans, I needed four. Banana bread takes an hour to bake! Thankfully, my mom had a four mini-loaf stone from Pampered Chef that was rediscovered during 'The Purge'. (btw, my mom is having her first home party on Thursday! Let me know if you need anything!) So, moving right along, I got my breads banged out.

Then I moved on to the cherry crumble pie crust. That had to bake and cool first. The cherry crisp was easy. I just lightly greased a glass pan, schlopped two cans of cherry filling into it, made a 'crisp' topping w/oatmeal, brown sugar, flour and butter and baked her up. Oh Lordy. Good stuff.

I made the crumble pie from a mish-mash of recipes. Pie crust from BHG cookbook (from like 1968), cherry pie filling from the store, almond crumble topping from (LOVE her stuff!! I'm totally buying her cookbook!). The crumble turned out Uh-Mazing!! Cinnamony, almondy, crumbly.....

I've informed my daughter that these are keepers and going in the recipe box when I get home. I will make these desserts again. Oh yes. I will.

**I promise to post recipes and/or links to recipes as soon as I can!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

More about WI

So we are still in the purging process. We are in week #2 of my trip to WI to help my parents. Last week was all about getting the business closed and the office purged of all unnecessary items. Many was the cranky comeback and fussy feud....all chalked up to a stressful, heart-saddening situation of having to let go of something you've poured your heart and soul into. Since then the cheer factor had increased substantially....until this morning.

We have entered another cranky zone. Lots to do and clean and you just slap on a smile and say 'yes ma'am.' We will get through this. None of this is ever fun, but OH SO necessary! That way no matter where life blows them they are not buried under this overwhelming pile of crap! I kid you not, we found an entire 12 place setting in the upper cupboards of my mom's kitchen that she didn't even recognize and couldn't remember buying. WHA?!?! So, she decided to keep them and use them and get rid of the set she is currently using in the rummage sale. Good for her!

My Dad finally let me help him yesterday, so I got to ride in the truck with him and help get tables for the garage. Then we got busy pricing all the tools he is selling from the business. He seemed like he was about as happy as a pig in a mudhole getting all his stuff organized. You should see some of the stuff he's selling!

I have been trying to say 'no' as much as possible to the 'you want this?' question. I only have so much space to take things back. However, I did say yes to the water feature my dad purchased and then had stuffed in a shed for years. My back yard and the birdies who play back there will thank me for it. I, also, said yes to some ramekins, a deep spring form pan and some plant holders for my herb garden. I fear the pile keeps growing....:-/

I also got to see my old yarn store and buy some yarn I forgot to bring with me. So glad to see something I started still living on. :-)

I will sign off for today with a tah, tah for now! More updates soon.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Back in WI

Well, after my parents' visit, I came back with them to help them with some events in their lives. My parents are closing their business because of an injury my Dad sustained while working. He is basically being forced to retire. They are also having a super huge rummage sale over Memorial weekend to help get rid of things. They are going through their personal boxes and purging and they are selling off all of the office equipment, furniture, supplies, etc from the business.

Yet, here I sit in limbo. Mom has appointments that don't need me. Dad took off out of town too early for me to tag along. I dont have a vehicle.....So it's me and Fox News. I finished my crocheted backpack except for the straps. I finished my knit blanket except for tucking in the ends and edging it. I'm bored with those two things, but there is nothing else to do so.....*sigh*

Oh wait! Mom just got off the phone and said that I need to drop her at her appt and go meet someone at the shop so they can look at a fridge and some office furniture. Not exciting, but gets me out of the house! Woohoo!

The pictures are day one of the office clean out!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mom and Dad's Visit: Post # 2

First, let me say this: I mean no disrespect to anyone who lives in or loves New Orleans. :-)

Today's post is about the trip my Mom and I planned as a quick overnighter to New Orleans since none of us had really been there. Tony was there when he was 18 (with his high school sweetheart, no less).

We got into New Orleans late morning/early afternoon on a Thursday. The Thursday of Jazz Festival, which we had no prior knowledge of. So, if you are conjuring an image in your mind as to how this little overnighter is going to are probably right.

The hotel, on the outside, was quaint and looked the part of a New Orleans Super 8 if I ever saw one. The lobby was friendly and cheerful and welcoming. The staff was great to work with. Very accommodating and quick with our check-in, even though we were several hours early for the check-in time. He even gave us a map and marked off all the best places to go and all the best routes to take to get there. That is where the calm ends for about the next 5 hours.

We got our cookies hauled up to the third floor, still very enamored with the hotel. We get to our rooms (thanking God they are in the air conditioned hallway) and we open the door. Let the scary begin. Burn marks, stains, and chunks missing in the carpeting. The bathroom is so old and dirty looking that you swear it hasn't been cleaned in ten years...although you are pretty sure it has been because it doesn't smell how it looks. I was almost afraid to use the beds, but the sheets were crisp.

We leave the hotel saying to ourselves "this is only for one night". We headed to the French Quarter! Yeeha! We're gonna go see New Orleans. We get off on the Canal St exit, which is 240B in case you were wondering. We start heading down Canal St and realize....hey, we have to go left and A) there are no normal streets and B) they all say 'no left turn'! How is this going to work?! Another thing we realized is that following the little pedestrian 'danger /red hand-don't cross here' is optional and you better keep your eyes peeled so you don't inadvertently end up with a new hood ornament.

Somehow we finally made it onto Basin St and got down to the Visitors Center. Beautiful facility. If only we could have just stayed there....

We left the Visitors Center and promptly got lost. After our little detour, we got ourselves down to Decatur and turned into the madness. We drove down past Jackson's Square and Cafe Dumonde and The Market..... And turned right around to try and find somewhere to park. We entered city parking which turned out to be $6 to park in an alley on the Riverfront. We quickly found out that New Orleans is NOT wheelchair friendly. We crossed streets, we walked blocks, we looked at artwork, caught a couple street performer acts, ran into people actually practicing witchcraft...which I'll admit freaked the poo right out of me for a second or two...and I took very few pictures, much to my chagrine. There was only one store we were able and willing to drive my mom's wheelchair into. Very cute store. Picked up a few souvenir items and ventured back out into the madness.

We made it back to our vehicle and swore we weren't doing that again. Figured we would come back the next morning for that beignet experience at Cafe Dumonde...because it just couldn't be that crazy in the morning! Everyone would still be sleeping off the night before! Right?! We navigated our way to Mazant and 'dined' at The Joint. It's a BBQ place that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. Guy declared it was BBQ done right! He said he took a train to flavor town! He was not being 100% truthful. While it was good, it was not amazing and I would not go there again. Although, food is a highly subjective thing. Everyone likes something different.

We went back to our hotel. My mother stating on the way "If we hadn't already paid for the rooms online, I would pack my bags right now and never look back!" Instead, we all collapsed in our rooms for the night (around 7pm) and called it good.

We arose the next morning with great intentions of eating a tasty beignet at Cafe Dumonde. We ended up driving down Bourbon St to get back down to Decatur (not realizing you could just drive down to N Peter and avoid all of that). What an assault on the senses. I hear my 17 year old daughter, from the back seat, telling my 15 year old son, "Close your eyes Teo!! Don't look! Oh my poor, innocent eyes!! I'm going to have to scrub my brain with bleach now!!" That girl cracks me up!

We pulled up to Cafe Dumonde right behind 3 tour busses pouring people onto the sidewalk. You've got to be kidding!! That was the straw that broke the camels back.Needless to say, we skipped the Cafe Dumonde experience and turned our car towards home.

My daughter was none too pleased and behaved as though she had somehow been cheated. We may go back to New Orleans. This time we know what we definitely DON'T want to do. I will also pay much greater attention to the festivities happening in the city so I can avoid the crazies.

Don't get me wrong, people don't bother me. Heck my parents were dope smokin hippies back in the day, but I can only handle so much crazy.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mom and Dad Visit:Post #1

We'll just start off my parents' visit with this little window into their vacation. LOL

They don't get many vacations or much time away, much like the rest of us, and they work too hard most of the time. My Dad has fairly worn himself out a few times in the nearly two weeks they've been here. He is the king of 'The Project'.

We enjoyed a short afternoon at the beach within the first couple days here. Since then, it's been off to the 'git-er-done' races. He put shelves in a useless closet under the stairs and made me a brilliant, new pantry. He helped me hang up all my family pictures and my Terry Redlin and Norman Rockwell plates. He then got busy cleaning my garage, but worked himself out of a job there. He's made shelves for my daughter's room, a shoe rack for the front entry and built a lean-to in the back yard. Eventually, he had to sit down. When my Dad sits, he sleeps. BUT, not only does he deserve the rest, he NEEDS the rest. His body is still recovering from a bad shoulder injury that required surgery a few months ago. Hence, the picture I have for you today. They were both sacked out and not drooling, so I thought taking a picture would be appropriate. :-)

I am going to end this post now. I am on my phone and I have the hiccups, so I keep hitting the wrong letters. Too. Many. Corrections.

The Mother In Law Blanket

I've been steadily working through one of the boxes of yarn my mother in law sent down for me. Most of this particular box contained partial skeins....perfect for a scrap-ghan, right?

I expanded my 'do it your way' scrap -ghan and added another row to the second color. I like how fast it's working up. I've been edging it with an oatmeal color this time, as opposed to the usual black or dark brown I tend to use. It has only taken me a few days to get this far. I've had quite a bit of time to crochet lately.

The partial skeins spoke 'Florida' to me, so I have been trying to keep the palette sandy, natural, beach-housey (real word? Lol)....Floridian. I like the way it's coming along. If you've ever been over the bridge going into Perdido Key from will understand this blanket. The beach houses and condos are all hyper-pastel colors, the sand is a beautiful white, the Gulf waters are dark blue and teal and green.....and nature just pops! So, I'm pretty happy with the way this color palette is coming together! :-)

My hunky monkey didn't move, so he got his picture taken with the blanket. See? Sit still too long in my house and your liable to get decorated with crochet....:-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Pennies from Heaven

Goodies from my Mom-In-Law...3 boxes packed full of yarn in every color....inspires me to sing this little ditty from Louis Prima...:)

If every time it rains, it rains, pennies from heaven (Shubby Dobby)
Don’t you know each cloud contains pennies from heaven (Shubby Dobby)
You’ll find your fortune falling all over town
Each red and yella umbrella is up up up up upside down and...

Trade them all for a pack of a gum, sunshine and ravioli (Macaroni)

If you want the thing you love, you must have a pizzioli baby
And when you hear thunder don’t run under a tree
It be pennies from heaven, for you and for me