Sunday, February 26, 2012

I blinked

Did you ever kind of "lose" a week?  You know, it is Saturday and then you blinked and it is Saturday again?  That is how this past week was.  I blinked.  And it is now Sunday.  One day past last Saturday.    You following me? 

This week we've been battling the crud, but I think everyone is on the healing end of it now. 

It is nice to be able to think to a week ago when everyone was feeling much more chipper.  I wonder if generous portions of wine tasting at Cooper's Oak Winery in Boonville had anything to do with our chippiness (yes, chippiness is a word - trust me, ok?)

We've visited a lot of wineries over the years.  This one beat them all in terms of generosity.  Rather than stand at the tasting table to taste a few vintages, we were invited to sit down on rather comfortable bar stools.  Then the pouring began.  Dry reds? Sweet Reds? Dry White?  Sweet White? Ice Wine? Port?  The selection was endless and the quantity poured were insane.  After the third wine, it became apparent sober chauffeurs were a must.  There is a first time for everything - the first time I've asked a winery to pour less wine.  We brought a bottle or two (or six or seven) home with us.  It was that good!

Bill, Tessa, Jim, Deanna, Alicia, Greg at Cooper's Oak Winery

We then headed down the street to a bar/restaurant for good ol' greasy burgers or whatever everyone ordered.  I kind of lost track.  The younger crowd (which means everyone except Jim and me) went boot shopping before the wine tasting.  And they each bought a pair of boots, the bums.  I was jealous.  See Greg's?  The picture doesn't show it well, but the top of the boot is blue.  Blue!  The bums.

Greg showing off his new boots
Thanks for inviting us along kids.  We had a great time!

Reagan escaping down the drive
Today is a breezy Spring-like day. Jim and I played hooky from all responsibilities.  After Church we packed up our cameras and headed for the country roads in search of barns (after a short side trip to Bandana's for BBQ).  I'm hoping to join in the "Barn Charm" blogs this week.  Stay tuned.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Everyone needs a fetish

I’ll admit it.  I have a kitchen knife fetish. 

Fresh home made bread demands one certain knife.  Meat requires a different type.  I even use a different kine of knife to cut an angel food cake than for, let’s say, a chocolate cake.  There is a paring knife from Jim’s mom with a blade thinned by years of use that is great for slicing tomatoes and onions.  Jim made a number of knives over the years.  One has a sturdier blade that I like to use when cutting turnips.  Whatever the knife - it has to be sharp!

My dear dad is partly to blame for this fetish.  He was very precise in which knife he used for what… and it had better be sharp! Probably my first indication that he had become overwhelmed with taking care of my mom and his own health issues (that we weren’t even aware of at the time) was the day, while fixing supper for them, I reached for a knife to slice potatoes.  Oh.My.Gosh.  It was dull.  Never in my life had I encountered a dull knife in my parents’ home. 

Dad taught me how to use a knife.  He also taught me how to cut up a chicken when, in my early teens, I would much rather have been reading a book than dealing with a bloody chicken!  But that was dad.  He insisted, and I didn’t dare say no.

So now I have a knife fetish.  You would think with this collection of knives (I just pulled out the ones I use minus steak knives), there would be no need for any more.  I certainly didn’t know I had a wish for any more knives.  But sometimes you wish for something without realizing it.  Right?


What did Jim give me for Valentine’s Day you ask?  Why knives, of course!

Nice, sharp, molded to the shape of my hand, knives.


What I like about these knives is the ridges in the blades.  Food, especially the dreaded starchy potato, when sliced, does not stick to the blade.  It is amazing!  What am I going to do with the rest of my knives?  Keep each and every one, of course.  They each have a purpose. 

And they are sharp!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

My Guy

He knows how to make a girl feel special.

For 40 years he has protested he doesn't know how to cook.

He never ceases to find ways to get to me.  So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I came home from work and found my man puttering around the kitchen as if he belonged there.  I mean, don't get me wrong, he does belong there - but usually as the Sous-Chef.  The one I give commands to.  "Do this, do that, chop this just so, please get the spice I can't reach out of the cabinet." He's the one who cleans up after I make the meal.  Or at least he was.  I believe a new tradition has been born. 

He did remind me that he is the one who grills burgers in the summer and used to make a mean pot of soup on the wood stove when the kids were little and off school for snow days. But that doesn't count as "cooking".  Does it? 

He found a recipe for fried apples.  I didn't know there was such a thing as a recipe for fried apples...  I just throw in a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a skillet with the apples and wala! His were unbelievably good.  Maybe I'll use his recipe the next time I fry apples.

Brown Sugar and spices for the apples... a little more butter, please...

 As he was building a fire (yes, we had a roaring blaze in the background as we dined), he happened onto a recipe in the newspaper he was using to get the fire started.  It was for a honey mustard glaze for the rib eye steaks he was already planning on grilling.  Oh my word they were good!

Honey mustard glazed rib eyes on the grill

A bottle of Nobelis Chambourcin Wine - perfect!

Table for two - candles lit, wine poured, salad ready to go

What do you think?  Did Whiskey get a bit of fat from those steaks?
 Of course Whiskey did not get left out.  We shared tid bits of our meal with him... but only tid bits.  He has a muscle body to maintain, you know.

No matter how romantic the setting, time has to be set aside for the nightly ritual of catch the toys.

Two out of three ain't bad
The evening ended with the sound of much needed gentle rain coming down.  What a peaceful sound to go to sleep by, safe with the new found knowledge that he does know how to cook.  I wonder what's for dinner tonight...

Thank you Jim for a wonderful day after Valentines Day.  I love you.

Up next... what he gave me.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stop the harassment

I am fed up.  An organization that is supposed to be my friend, has become my enemy. 
After another sleep plagued night, I finally fell asleep at 4 this morning.  Jim quietly left for work, careful to not wake me.  Then the telephone rang.  8:00 is not an unreasonable time to call on a good day, but this morning... not so good.  And in my opinion, there is NEVER a good time for telephone solicitations.  The American Institute for Cancer Research was the one calling.  Again.  I sent them the following email:
For months now your robo-caller has been calling me at all times of the day, beginning at 8:00 am and ending at 9:00 pm.  Sometimes you call once a day, more often, though, you call at least two times.  If I answer the call, I get a dial tone.  If I don't answer the call, it rings just long enough to set the answering machine off.  Stop already!  As an 8 year survivor of breast cancer, I have a positive outlook on life with a belief that I can survive just about everything.  However, I'm not certain that I will survive the harassment of AICR. 
PLEASE remove 573 xxx-xxxx from your call list immediately.
And no, I don't care to make a donation.  As with most individuals I know, I carefully choose which organizations receive donations of time and money - and I choose to NEVER donate to any organization that invades the privacy of my home with telephone solicitations. 
Cancer Survivor

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Post-It Note Tuesday

Life has been "routine" lately.  Not much to blog about.  So I've decided to join Jeannie at Jeannie's Happy World for Post-It Note Tuesday.  Easy-peasy just post thoughts.  I believe the originator of Post-It Note Tuesday no longer plays, but Jeannie does!

So here you go!  If you'd like to play along, just click here.

So, is it sunny where you live?  It is here.  Enjoy your day wherever you are!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Now I know

I've been spending my time labeling posts so I can make some rhyme or reason out of things when I begin choosing posts to include in the blog book Tess and Bill gave me for Christmas.  I so wish I had used labels when I first began blogging.  Shame on me!

As I (rather slowly) have been backtracking,  I come across drafts that were never published.  Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night with a head full of thoughts and write a few sketchy phrases on my computer and then go back to bed.  And then the next morning I find myself scratching my head, thinking "where was I going with that thought"? 

I came across this post entitled "Now I Know" that I started over a year ago.  Here is what it said:

cousins dying
never understood why mom would tell me when a cousin of hers I didn't know died
over 100 cousins both sides
now I know why

It didn't take me long to figure out where I was going with these thoughts. 

Although my immediate family is not large - two brothers and one sister, their kids, spouses, and of course my own husband, kids, spouses, grandkids, etc.  The numbers quickly begin adding up, but they are nothing compared to really large families.  My parents came from families with 8 and 13 children.  The number of relatives is huge.  I have hundreds of cousins.  Many I no longer know.  I could pass them on the street and not recognize them.  But that doesn't mean I don't care.  I know of them and I mourne them when they die.

And that is where the thoughts of this post started.  Quite a few aunts and uncles and a number of cousins have passed away over the past few years.  This includes my own dear parents.  When someone dies, I always feel compelled to call my children and tell them.  For the most part they don't know these people, other than sometimes with a faint recollection.  When I tell them somebody died, they say things "What did she look like?" or "Was he the one..." 

My own mother would always call me when one of her Aunts or Uncles or Cousins would die.  And I was like "Was she the one..."  And I would wonder,"Why is she telling me about these people I've only heard of and don't know?"  And now I know.  It is because they are important.  They are part of our heritage.  They are relatives, whether we "know" them or not.

So to my dear children, the next time I call you to tell you that someone you don't know died, just smile or act saddened (whichever feels right at the time ) and indulge me.  I do believe it is just something that a generation must do when they get to this time in their life.  Just wait.  It will be your turn next - and your own kids can roll their eyes at you.

Another thought now pours through my head.  The numbers continue to decrease.  Where I had hundreds of first cousins, my own children have 12 first cousins.  Their children already have more than that, but not by much.  Is this a good thing (reducing the population of the earth)? Or a bad thing?  I have no answers.  Just questions - and a compelling need to pass unnecessary informataion on to my children.  Love you guys!