Monday, December 5, 2016

What the week holds, and bourbon on the patio

I got about five pics from Thanksgiving day and here are two of them:
For real.  We were having a good time and I just didn't think about taking photos!  After a huge lunch we spiked our root beer and Vanilla Coke with bourbon, then played games on the patio all afternoon.  We had a fire pit going and the weather was perfect.  We will remember the fun we had, pictures or no.
Teddy loves having a backyard to play in.  He was one worn out doggie by the time Sunday rolled around - moving on Wednesday, Thanksgiving on Thursday, the tree farm on Friday, the Burnet property on Sunday...he probably need a rest from his mini vacay of running laps like a looney and smelling all of the good smells.
This week, I am on call, which may complicate things a bit - we'll see.  Monday there is a mini tree activity at work I would like to attend, a Winter Band Concert with my favorite euphonium player on Tuesday, PT and regular doc appointments for me W and TH, then on Friday, my friend Carol and I are going to San Antonio to see BILLY JOEL!  Her family bought the tickets, her hubby is paying for our room!  Saturday I am off and will take her here and here for wine pick up parties.  Meanwhile, Hubby and Bubby (and friends) will be working on his Eagle Scout project at the church near our house.(I feel a tiny bit guilty, but it's Carol's birthday and we almost never get a chance to do a fun Girl's Weekend!)  The holidays here are no holiday from biz-zee.  
What does your week look like?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Adventures in moving

Last week we moved The Girl from her two bedroom apartment on the third floor, to her one bedroom apartment on the 5th floor.  It was an all day doing, commencing at early-thirty.
We packed a peanut butter waffle breakfast and headed for Houston.  According to The Girl, it was storming there, but it passed through before we made it into Houston.  
Scout and Bubbie were thrilled, as you can see.  That's before they knew The Girl had a sofa, recliner, kitchen table and chairs, desk and chair, gigantic pine dresser, three night stands, queen mattress and box springs, baskets full of stuff, a cabinet, a hutch, bookcase, dog crate and bed, and a billion pounds of clothes and household items to move.   I didn't get pics of that process - we were way too busy making multiple trips back and forth between apartments that were approximately two blocks and two floors apart.
Hubby might have behaved poorly, since he was exhausted already.  I might have not been allowed to lift anything due to my elbow.  Teddy might have whined and cried a little in his crate, then pee'd in the service elevator as we were trying to wrap things up.  We might have mopped and vacuumed every spec of old apartment and made multiple trips to the dumpster.  And The Girl might have lost her $100 apiece apartment keys, then found them when we stopped to get gas on the outskirts of Houston going home.
I took a few pics of the apartment all moved into, though.  I wanted to remember how it looked in case I bought her some things for it.  As the boys delivered boxes, I unloaded them and set the empties out in the hall.
 I wanted her to come back to a calm and organized space.
(Look closely and you can see her "laundry room")
 That bottle of bourbon did not stay, however...
 Her new place is nicer that our first house!  Lots of room for Teddy and she to be comfortable in.
The moving crew was pretty worn out.  While we waited for a load of cleaning rags to wash and dry we even put the Christmas tree up.  Then we packed up the leftover pizza and some frozen items into a cooler and headed back to Camp Rustown to get ready for Thanksgiving the next day.  All in all, I'd say it was a successful, if not always delightful, transition.  I hope she and Teddy enjoy the new space, and I am glad we could get all of her things safely there and ready for the holidays!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Savory Sweet Cheeseball

I made a delightful cheeseball for Thanksgiving! It's only about the second one I have ever made - I guess for the longest time I thought cheeseballs were some complicated matter...but no, they are so easy!  I doubled the recipe and stored half in the freezer to take to work and that worked out great, too.  So here is what I did:

Sweet and Savory Cheeseball
2 blocks cream cheese, softened a bit at room temp
4 c. grated cheddar (use the small grating holes)
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
Small bag dried and sweetened cranberries from Trader Joe's (about a cup)
sliced almonds
 I mixed the cream cheese with the green onions on the lowest mixer setting,
 added in the dried cranberries...
 followed by the grated cheddar. 
 I hand stirred it, too, to be sure there were no big clumps of anything.
 I divided the mixture in half (froze one of the balls as is) and rolled the other half in sliced almonds, then covered it and stored in the fridge.
The next day we enjoyed it on my MIL's vintage cheeseball dish with crackers while we waited for the bird to roast and we played card games.  It was a huge hit - sweet, oniony, and crunchy with almonds.  So good!  And it struck me: you could change up this very basic recipe with any kind of mix-in's and seasonings, too.  I think another one will definitely be on the menu for Christmas!

Friday, November 25, 2016

5 thing Friday - Littles, birthday fun, wineries, sussies, exhaustion

I was going to post about Thanksgiving today, but I don't have any energy to get my pics organized, and I didn't take all that many was a great day, low stress, lots of good food and some game-playing fun.  We are all laying around, most of us still asleep!
When we were making room for Firstborn to stay in The Lounge, I found this cute pic of myself when my kiddos were little.  I stuck it on my memo board above my desk.  It's a sweet reminder to me of when my peeps were smaller.  Sometimes I miss those days. You can see their individual personalities even then.  They'll always be my littles!
Sunset at Torr Na Lochs.  Last week Hubby was up at the property waiting for a dumpster to be delivered, so I met him up there and afterwards we enjoyed a bottle of wine.  Looking forward to being able to do that more often, for sure.  He spent the whole weekend loading trash, and I planned on heading back out to the property on Monday when the dumpster guy retrieved it.
A friend of mine brought me some birthday sussies on Sunday!  A sweet Christmas-y print of a small trailer (like Mabel!), a pretty bracelet,
and this candle with a sweet winter scene.  We will be putting up Christmas today and the candle will live in the front room - it smells divine.
 Another winery - this one on my birthday (Monday), Texas Hills Vineyards in Johnson City. This one has a patio that overlooks the vineyard and some very friendly owners.
The Cab Franc was pretty delightful out there.  We headed back over to the property and enjoyed a nice campfire with Scout and his girlfriend.  Hubby and I made Shrimp Alfredo then practically passed out - Hubby has been working hard to fill the dumpster up with trash we are clearing from the land.
Mabel's kitchen is small, but convenient.
Hubby has been pretty tired lately - about like how Teddy looks here, after going through the stress of moving The Girl on the day before Thanksgiving...more on that to come.  Hopefully he will get some rest the coming weekend.  Today we will visit the tree farm and put up some Christmas.  But most of us are flat out pooped so I'm sure there will also be lots of laying around, playing cards, and eating leftovers.  
Happy Day after Turkey, everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2016

What the week holds, and a beautiful bouquet

On Friday I cleared off the dining table and made it pretty for Thanksgiving.  I'm pretty excited about being off ALL THIS WEEK.  As you are reading this, I am celebrating my 56th birthday by cleaning my house and getting ready to bake...I am so looking forward to a beautiful and relaxed dinner with my peeps!
Fresh flowers on the Thanksgiving table are a must for me.  I didn't want to spend a fortune and I wanted to enjoy their beauty for more than just a day, so I bought them on Friday and arranged them just before driving out to Burnet to meet Hubby.
 I spent $9 on flowers and $1.50 on napkins, then added other things to the table that we already had.
A thrift shop vase, some turkey S&P shakers I've had for 30 years, a scrap of burlap ribbon, gold chargers I bought at HEB years ago, and the fall tablecloth I love but have rarely used.  I even pulled the crystal goblets out of the china cabinet.
If anyone looks reeeeally closely, they might, just might, be able to tell the sunflowers are faux.  I wanted to add some big color, but all the sunflowers at the store looked a couple of days away from drooping.  Faux sunflowers to the rescue, and I already had those, too!
I just need to add silverware to the place settings, and pull down the clear glass dinner plates, and we are ready to go.  This week will go by fast and is full as ever...I have cleared all of the things off the calendar that can wait, but on Tuesday Bubbie and I will go get his driver's license (finally), then we will go help The Girl move into her new apartment on Wednesday, then The Girl and Teddy will drive back to Austin with us.  Friday we will cut the tree and put up Christmas around the house. Saturday I start another 40 hour week.  What does your week look like for Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 18, 2016

A fun use for those eleventy billion corks...

I pulled out my huge vase of corks to use them, finally!  I had pinned several ideas of things to make with them, but nothing really jazzed me until I saw how WVW used decoration in potted plants.
I poured them into the potted plants out back - they will help keep the potting material from drying out while adding some whimsy and beauty.  I love using natural materials like cork - if they weren't real, I didn't keep them.  No plastic foam corks in here!  I'm hoping the squirrels won't find them appetizing - that's why Mr. Owl is standing guard.
 Guess I will have to start to start saving them up again for other crafts...
As chance would have it, we are enjoying happy hour at Torr Na Lochs today after we work on filling up the trash dumpster at the Burnet property.  Onward, to the weekend...

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The calm before the Thanksgiving storm

On Sunday, Hubby and I enjoyed some breakfast with the in-laws, then headed out to Wimberley for the wine pick-up party at Wimberley Valley Winery.  In the food pairing room they had this beauty:
I love it!  You could tell there were tiny white lights in there, too, but they weren't turned on.  And the cork ball on the top is perfect!  I got a couple of good ideas on what to use my corks on - they had them in potted plants by the front doors.  So I'm going to add them to my large potted plants tomorrow.  Plus, we admired the wine barrels, which we are eying for a table base.
 The last couple of times we've been to this winery it was rainy.  So it was especially nice this time to sit out in their large "backyard".  Way out there by the fence is an alpaca, and they had several burros, too.  So peaceful.  And Hubby could enjoy his cigar while admiring the view with me instead of being stuck in the cigar bus.
 But the trees - gosh, I love big trees.  While we sipped we admired them,
 ..and this really cool deck - not high off the ground at all, and cut to fit within this group of oaks.  Lots of ideas here that we want to take to the Burnet property - trees, deck, picnic tables, Adirondack much to do on our "little project" out in the country.
It was so nice to sit out here, talking about everything and nothing, enjoying the calm before the holiday storm.  Which began for me today, since I had much shopping and planning to do before next week.  It makes me want to be on a regular Monday thru Friday schedule even more, just so we can enjoy these sorts of days, just the two of us.


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