Saturday, November 14, 2015

Last Vacation post

Here it is November and I am finally finishing our vacation posts. These last two are of some food you can only get (or it was originally made) in the small town where my aunt and uncle live. 

First up Sceamin' Mimi's. An ice cream shop that sells flavors like lavender along with traditional flavors. We took a walk down there one evening and that place was so busy. 
Totally worth the exercise and calories. 

Now this is my aunt's business. When I was little and we would visit I would watch her get ready to go to work in her dad's restaurant. We went to that restaurant often through the years. I loved the house dressing (made with anchovies) so yummy. As time went on her dad retired and the restaurant was no more but my aunt and her brother have kept the family food traditions going. First they had a deli for a few years a few towns away from where they live. Now they are distributing minestrone. While there I asked for some. It is available in gallon bags. There was no way I'd be able to eat a whole gallon during the few days we were there so my aunt opened one and gave me a jar of it. Yummy.

I am so glad that we were able to get out of town for a week. Especially since life can be hectic and I'm not sure when we will be able to go away again.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Another vacation post.

When I was growing up and we would go on vacation we always took the time to visit the small town cemetery where my maternal grandmother and several other family members are buried. 
Once I was married and my hubby came with me I was a little surprised when he said it was fun to go to the cemetery with my family. I have always loved to go because it is an adventure trying to remember where everyone is buried. I loved hearing my mom and her cousins 
speak about family members and the people they grew up with. 
Since we were close we set up a time to go and place flowers on all our family's graves.

The cemetery is at the end of a one lane winding road up a hill that has several houses on it.

The grandma's grave. There was a red rose bush planted here and that was one of the reasons we visited frequently to help keep it trimmed back and looking good. The grave stone has lost its footing a few times but it was looking good on this day.

My grandfather. 

My boys have only been to a cemetery once when their grandfather was interred.
 It was very hard for my youngest as we walked around.

Back down the hill and in town. This is a foot bridge but it used to be the bridge to come into town. See how narrow it is? I remember traveling over it to get to my cousin's house so scary especially when big trucks would need to cross too.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Biscuits and chocolate gravy

When I was a young teenager my next door neighbor asked me to ride with her to her mom's to pickup her kids and stay a few days. We drove the six hours and stayed with her mom. In the morning she made biscuits and chocolate gravy. I had never had chocolate gravy before. I was hooked but have been unable to have it until I saw this recipe on the food network.

Now I used canned biscuits but the gravy tastes exactly as I remember. So good and a once in a while indulgence.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Crazy Cake

My cousin from Let's Make Mud Pies posted a cake recipe and asked what our favorite was. I replied that Crazy cake was a favorite growing up and it's my favorite chocolate cake. She hadn't heard of it and I promised I would write a post about it.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
6 to 8 Tbsp Cocoa powder
2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Vinegar
2 tsp Vanilla
1 cup Oil
2 cups Water

 In a large bowl sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda and salt
 Make three wells in the mixture.
 In a separate bowl pour in but do not mix vinegar, oil and vanilla. Pour into wells. Pour water overall and  beat by hand. Do not use mixer. Pour into greased and floured pan.
 Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until tests done with toothpick.
It comes out almost black and the top is a little firm. Oh so yummy.

Sonoma County Fair

Growing up we visited the fair as often as we could. It was always a great adventure for me because my mom would let me go off with my two girl cousins and meet at designated times for a meal. This was before cellular phones and we always knew we could find our moms hanging out near the pavilion and the food under the shade enjoying the free music.
This time we went just us four - the hubby, me and the boys. Hubby and the youngest loved the tilt a whirl.
I was excited to find my favorite foods a cinnamon roll and a combination plate from the mexican  food vendor.

The hall of flowers is always amazing. It is best to go the first week because towards the end the flowers start to die.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Family get together

My amazing aunt decided to have my uncle invite everyone over for a meal potluck style while we were visiting. There were about 35 of us there. Three generations.
Left to right. Ron, Skip, Teri, Cleo (my mom) and Daniel (my oldest).
Me, Tania and Cindi - we spent many summers having fun together.
The descendants from my great Aunt Arlean.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A break from the current posts.

We are in the midst of vacation posts and I have to stop and remember. The hubby's aunt and MIL's sister passed away early Friday morning. She'd had a heart attack and there were complications during her surgery. She was on a ventilator several days and now she is at peace and with Jesus. So thankful for the family that I married into.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Bodega Bay and coast drive

On Friday we drove up the coast to Bodega Bay and made the loop back to the town we stayed in.
Playing chicken with the waves.
Goat Rock Beach. For some reason I always call it Goat Head.

The oldest is like his momma he could stand there all day and look at the ocean.
No loop trip is complete with out a stop at Candy & Kites. 

The boys are like me MUST put our feet in the cold ocean.

The Charles Schulz Museum

One of our things to do while there was to go to the Charles Schultz Museum. The hubby loves all the Charlie Brown movies and we thought it would be fun. We were right. 
This picture is the gift shop and gallery.

Stained glass window.
A painting from Charles' home when his children were young.

There is also an ice skating rink there. We did not ice skate but watched others.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The House

We arrived at the house we rented in the evening and waited for the owner to text the key code to us so we could enter. We settled in and decided to go grocery shopping at about 7 pm. We needed to stock up for the week and eat some dinner.This is the ladder to the loft - yep it's like a ladder not stairs. The boys tried to go up but the height bothered them. So it was mom that slept up there every night. 

It seemed as if this was an office at some point. The front of the house is on a one way road that is a state highway that goes through town.

Oldest got his own room.
Small bathroom.

We slept the first night and I woke up before everyone else (like I usually do). I didn't want to wake anyone so I went out the back door and drank my coffee and called my mom who was in the hotel down the street from us. We talked about our drive and our trip to the local Safeway store. After a few minutes she said "Now that you've stayed in the house one night let me tell you what your aunt and uncle said about it." I paused because I couldn't imagine what it could be. She said that a while ago there were some ladies arrested there because the business that was there was doing more than massages. We had a chuckle. I made sure to tell the hubby about it to warn him because my aunt would probably bring it up. She did not bring it up around us our our boys which I was thankful for and I do not think the boys knew about it. Later that week we had a family get together at my aunt and uncle's home. Earlier that day the hubby and the youngest had gone to the park to play and the oldest and I were lounging around the house - I was in my robe. I heard a knock on the back door and I thought that maybe the repair man was there because the owner had texted that she was sending someone to repair the dishwasher and washer/dryer combo unit. I looked out the peephole and there was a man standing on the porch, his truck was parked in the driveway and it looked like he was a maintenance worker. I opened the door with my oldest towering above and behind me. The man said, "Oh I guess this is not what it used to be." I said, "No, it's not." He apologized and left. I told my aunt once we arrived at her house for the get together. I kept praying over the house each day we were there, help us leave a good mark on this house Lord.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Car

Ha ha!! Yes the hubby loves old movies and he likes the movie "The Car". I thought of it after I typed the title of this post.

Anyway, as I stated in my previous post we reserved a full size car. When we arrived to pick up they were out so we automatically got an upgrade to an SUV well it's more like a crossover. A Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. We were excited for more leg room for our boys. It is a cute car and easy to drive. Not that good for long drives because the seats are firm and you have leg room but not wide leg room. We left early about 4:30 am and arrived at our destination at 5:30 pm. We stopped once for a meal and a few times for restroom and gas. The traffic out of the city was bad and it took us an hour longer than I had planned.

We packed as much as we could and too much because I like to be prepared for any weather and with snacks for my three guys. See that grape Crush? That is the hubby's favorite and it's good we brought it because not one of the three grocery stores had it. 

It was interesting driving a new vehicle and finding out what all the buttons did. We thought that it was a good idea to try out a vehicle before we start seriously looking for a new (to us) one. There are a lot of vehicles with this body style Ford, Nissan, Toyota, Buick, Chevrolet just to name a few. I have seen a lot of them around town and we know that this is not the type of vehicle for us. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Vacation Planning

It all started back in March. The hubby asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I said I wanted to go on vacation to Northern California where a lot of my mom's family resides. We haven't been there in 13 years and I wanted to see them and have my kids experience the County Fair. He looked at me and said, "Let's go!"

We discussed the specifics, where we would stay, how we would get there, how do we pay for this. I had been researching for a few weeks and starting to put away some money in hopes that he would agree.

Firstly I thought that the hotel in the small town that my uncle lives in is a great hotel, we'd stayed there last time we were in town. But with two nearly grown boys with us this time it would be VERY cramped and we all like our own space, well except for the youngest he wants to be around someone all the time. I looked at VRBO and asked on facebook if others had used them. I found several and one house in particular that would be the same price as one hotel room. I asked a couple of questions, received an answer and after a few days the owner offered a discount. The hubby said pay for it now.

Secondly I looked into renting a vehicle because our youngest vehicle is 18 years old. We like to use Avis and my sister in law suggested we go through Costco to save. Costco saved us $60. Hey, that is a meal out. I reserved a full size car hoping that they would automatically upgrade us to something a little bigger.

Thirdly, I saved and saved. When asked what I wanted for my birthday from our relatives, I said money or gift cards. I used that to pay cash for our expenses while we were there.

We were so excited. We didn't tell our children until a few weeks before we left. We wanted school to be over and Vacation Bible School to be completed.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The past month - a preview

Okay so much has happened the last five weeks that it may take several posts to get it all out there.

1 - We went on vacation for a week.

2 - We came home and were resting.

3 - The MIL went into hospital with A-fib.

4 - The MIL came out of the hospital and has been with us for nearly two weeks.

5 - The oldest started band camp.

I hope to post about each event with pictures. Well, vacation pictures.

Here are a few to whet your appetite.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Quick Check In

Saturday, July 18th.

My nephew's birthday!!

In case you are wondering I an still getting used to the hubby's new schedule. That is part of the reason I am not here as much.

Staying steady on the weight now. Last month's check up was good. Cholesterol in normal range now and triglycerides almost there. Re-check in 6 months. Still eating mostly good (staying away from carbs -  you know bread and all things made with flour, potatoes, sugar). I say mostly because yes I did have a piece of the youngest's birthday cake and some dump cake on 4th of July plus I have my coffee every morning with coffee-mate, milk and sugar.

We have some traveling planned soon and are excited to get out of town (it's been about 6 years since out last trip).

The MIL is staying steady and we are really watching to make sure she uses both hands on her walker.

Summer is nearly over and the oldest starts band camp in 16 days.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Yes it happened.

I posted this on my Facebook feed two weeks ago: Choosing to focus on the positive after hightailing it from Coronado and Eastern to Maryland Pkwy and Desert Inn when we found out we were at the wrong place for the MIL's doctor appointment. Checking out the lady said that "girlfriend is rockin' the lipstick today". If you know my MIL you know how much she LOVES her lipstick. 

Then later in the evening: Second doctor's appointment with the MIL. This "living in the middle" is hard. Still need to figure out what to make the boys for dinner...get the hubby up and off to a couple loads of laundry and hit two drug stores for the hubby's and MIL's meds.

Then it happened. Midnight, I'm nearly asleep, the boys are zonked out, I hear the ice going in the refrigerator. Okay I think she (the MIL) is just getting new water and ice, no big deal. Then I hear a little more noise - seemed normal to me. Sleep comes. I notice through the night it is bright as if the MIL has left her door open and the light is on, Okay sometimes she needs more air circulation at night. Six o'clock, I get up, walk by her room and she is asleep on the floor. Yep, that noise I heard, she fell.

At first I feel guilty but then I feel relieved that we have carpet and she is okay although a little bruised. It is going to had happened two other times at my SIL's house in the past six weeks. We are encouraging her to ALWAYS have her hands on her walker and keep the walker in front of her at all times. Mistakes - they happen - it is so hard for people as they get older to recognize that their body does not react as it did twenty years ago. 

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the 
elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord
Leviticus 19:32

Friday, April 10, 2015

Check in

Today is April 10th.

Hoping this will be a longer and more informative post. I am tired so we will see.

Went to the endocrinologist on the 26th of March. Results - doing better and keep up the good work.

Pounds lost according to their scale : 12.5 - 14 according to mine.

Blood work : cholesterol down 25 points, LDL down 10 points, HDL up 3 points, triglycerides down 59 points. Still not in normal range.

My thyroid levels have changed because of the weight loss and I may have to go on a lower dosage.

Recheck in 3 months. The PA seemed to think that they would be in the normal range by then.

I am now down 18 pounds on my scale and having to wear a belt with all of my jeans, capris and shorts.

We had an eventful (for me) Spring Break. My mom went to the doctor with mild chest pain and they had her go directly to the emergency room because they also found she had an irregular heartbeat on Monday. She finally was put in a room at 10 pm. She stayed overnight and had a nuclear stress test and echo-cardiogram - they didn't find anything wrong.

She came over on Wednesday and stayed the night with our boys so the hubby and I could have an overnight hotel stay. It was nice to be able to just spend time together without other distractions. We went out to dinner at Lucille's. It is one of the hubby's favorite places to eat. He loves the fried okra.

We of course had an Easter celebration. The youngest dyed the eggs, decorated the sugar cookies and had his egg hunt. The older is too cool for that stuff. We went to my sister in law's after church and ate ribs,  baked beans, corn and deviled eggs.
The hubby and I celebrated 26 years on Wednesday the 8th.

Last night was our "Let's Talk" Women's event at our church. We had a panel (of which I was one) that discussed how we deal with depression in our family. I was encouraged that our Pastor's wife wants to bring these type of discussions so that we can help each other heal and support one another.

How was your Easter?

He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. 
Come and see the place where he lay. 
Matthew 28:6