Friday, November 26, 2021

Much to be thankful for

Thanksgiving was here and done quickly, but I savored all of it. 
I set the simplest of tables, just pulling out what I had.  Added a leaf, hauled in a chair from the kitchen, set out the gold chargers, wine glasses, silver flatware.
To what I already had in the middle of the table I added a few pinecones,
then I printed out names, added more pinecones and assigned seating.  The white plates will be next to the food buffet in the kitchen.
Done.
I started a fire in the firepit on the patio, newly power washed.
Bubbie came home from college and made rum balls.  Where did this kid get his mad cooking skillz?
Firstborn greatly enjoyed tending the firepit.
We pulled Hubby's smoke kit out and they finished off his cigars and most of his tobacco.  I think it was fitting, as this is how they remember Dad sitting outside by the firepit on Thanksgiving Day.
LA, The Girl, top of Dutch's head!
Dutch, Scout, Bubbie.  They bundled up in blankets and socialized and laughed and it was amazing.
They enjoyed Cranberry Bourbon Sours, courtesy of LA.  They came bearing gifts for my birthday, too - flowers and a balloon, a pretty glass lidded candle, chocolate, a handpainted pot with aloe vera, a handmade necklace, and warm pumpkin bread.  There was much love.
I hated to leave the cozy scene, but it was my holiday to work...and it was an easy shift with no tragedy.  I was home in my bed with a leftover turkey sammie and a glass of wine by 11:30.
Slept soundly!
Today I pulled all of the leftovers out and made individual meals for myself, Bubbie, and The Girl.  Emptied and re-loaded the dishwasher, put away the silver and the chargers, cleaned the floors and started laundry.  But for most of today, I will rest and relax.  Maybe decorate the Christmas tree.
And maybe go get some more firewood...
Happy Weekend!


Gina

Monday, November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving week meals 2021

It's Teddy's last week here with The Girl and myself.
It seems like he is more comfortable at the new apartment, so I think they will both be just fine.  But maybe that's what I want to think...

Monday - Cranberry and Almond Chicken Salad sammies
Tuesday - Tilapia of some sort, a frozen veggie
Wednesday - probably take-out pizza {mom off, cooking day}
Thursday - Thanksgiving Day {lunch at noon, mom works 3-1130 p.m.}
Friday - Beef Taco Rio Nachos {mom off}
Saturday - TBD {mom works 7-noon}
Sunday - Turkey Soup {decorate house for Christmas}

Since I will just be cooking for one, making a menu is going to be tricky going forward.  It may become something of a "what I cooked and ate" sort of thing.  My goal is to Keep Life Simple and focus more on things I want to do with my free time.  It will be a work in progress!


Gina

Friday, November 19, 2021

5 thing Friday - swing, booze, lunch out, Christmas tree, coffee

Not in order, as per usual...
I dismantled the swing at Highlands, then realized I could not fit it into the back of the truck.  Whomp, whomp.  I took the seat part home and left the frame there.  We will take the mower home on the trailer so we'll just load the rest of the swing then.  But I was proud of myself for blazing a path to it with the weed whacker, hauling it several yards UP the hill, and figuring out how to move and secure the truck bed cover.  I also re-appropriated the stone pavers it was sitting on to the back of the barn, and that was the hardest part...
While I was at Highlands, I took our mini "bar" out from under the barn's kitchen work table where it was hidden.  Dumped two (dead) scorpions and a (ditto) lizard out of the plastic bin, and took the booze home.  We will use the bourbon to brine the turkey and I don't care if the rest of it goes down the drain.  That box with its ironic sticker is going, too.
Eating out with my mother always sounds like a good idea until we are actually at the restaurant and she's hungry and impatient and fairly sharp tongued with the staff.  There aren't enough chips and salsa in the world to make up for poor service.  She told me that next time I visited, she would make me cornflake chicken and a baked potato.  Sounds good to me.
The Girl and I have spent probably around three hours total trying to cypher out why the top of her pre-lit tree is not functioning.  She finally gave up and bought lights to fill in.  Putting lights on a pre-lit tree is frustrating, to say the least.  I plan on helping her put ornaments on it this week.  Then we will work on mine!  This is a 100% change for me, Miss "Its Thanksgiving Don't Talk to Me About Christmas".
We could use the merry as soon as possible.
Oh how I miss Sunday morning coffee at Highlands watching for deer and listening to the birds as Hubby slept in.  This table sits where Mabel used to live and I miss her, too.  I slept many a night and made many a meal here at the back of the Barn.  It was my weekend home.
So much change this year.


Gina

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Overnight French Toast

 I love making overnight "French Bread" casseroles in the Fall.  There's just something about zapping them into the oven and coming back a short while later to a hot and delicious one pan breakfast.  I like them both sweet and cinnamon-y, simple and dolled up.  Its a Christmas morning tradition here, too.  And now and then when I am needing to use up dibs and dabs of bread, eggs, and milk I make one just because.
It wasn't the prettiest but even so!

This particular time I used some leftover oatmeal bread, some sugar free raspberry jam, small amounts of both evaporated milk and heavy cream, about three eggs, a little sugar and vanilla, and a few pats of butter.  I baked it for about 45 minutes at 350 after letting it soak in the egg and milk mixture all night.  The kitchen smelled like sweet butter and raspberry - YUM.  Originally, this was going to be just regular ole French Toast for dinner, but The Girl had dinner plans, so I decided I would save it for breakfast today.  
I sprinkled on some powdered sugar and served it with turkey sausages.
What luxury on a Wednesday! 


Gina


Monday, November 15, 2021

New life meal plan #12

Just under the tall tree in the photo, is where the swing sat at Highlands: 
Still a pretty view...but no more swing

Monday - Grilled Lemon Chicken on Caesar Salad
Tuesday - Oatmeal Bread French Toast, turkey sausages, green smoothie
Wednesday - Seasoned Grilled Pork Chop, twice baked, carrots
Thursday - Happy Hour*
Friday - Gorgonzola and Cranberry Salmon Patties, broccoli, buttery rice
Saturday - Eating here with friends
Sunday - TBD, but The Girl and I will celebrate my birthday

*On Thursdays, The Girl has a standing dinner date with a friend of hers, so I thought I would start doing a Happy Hour/snakatizer dinner for myself on my way home from work - every other Thursday.  


Gina

Friday, November 12, 2021

5 thing Friday - dealership, portrait, yard, Christmas, Thanksgiving

In no particular order...
Last week I took off from work a couple of hours early so I could run a quick errand then head to the Subaru dealership for a recall repair they have been hounding me about.
I should have know when I drove up that it was going to be a very loooong wait...in fact, the "service advisor" didn't even call me over to his desk until I had been there 20 minutes (for a scheduled appointment!) then told me it was going to be a two hour repair when I was originally told 30 minutes.  No thank you.  Just keep hounding me, but I have a weekend to attend to.
I dislike car dealerships.
Removing the portrait on the right from its frame yielded the treasure on the left.  Two portraits of Hubby's Dad, the spitting image of Bubbie, I might add.  I scanned them into my computer then added them to the family portrait album. 
I wish I could have met him, but he passed when Hubby was 13.
The grass is thriving in the back yard after years of neglect.  I removed that plastic chair that was back there by the crepe myrtle because tacky.  I was going to take it to Highlands, but I think we don't need more junk out there, either.
I started thinking about decorating the Christmas tree early this year.  I am going with a mixed metals, greenery, and burlap vibe.  I'm not spending a bunch on this, but I do want to decorate the house for Christmas - simple but pretty.  I don't want to stress over any of it.
Same for gift giving.
Usually by this time every year I have some sort of involved, complicated schedule of events/cooking/shopping etc. for the holidays.  Not so much this year.  I texted the kids as to what they might want to bring to our Thanksgiving dinner and I think we have the basics covered.
I think Keep Calm should be our family theme this holiday season.


Gina

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Getting it together

Another weekend, another two days of taking control of my space at home.  And by that I mean that I am gradually cleaning and straightening and purging and putting my own stamp on all of the spaces around the house.  And I have so much more to do but I'm being intentional about it.  
This past weekend, it was the backyard and patio.
The massive BBQ grill that had lived in the "red rocks" area of the backyard was moved to the garage.  I think it will go out to the curb on the next Big Trash day as I don't see myself ever using it.  The failed herb garden The Girl had going on the deck got removed.  It was just too enticing to the critters.  The turquoise Adirondack chair in the yard is going to Highlands.  I removed an antique barometer Hubby had nailed to one of the patio posts, as well as a retractable clothesline I haven't used in years.  I cleaned leaves and other debris out of the red rocks area and moved my potted plants to the patio.  The antique milk crate and red wagon went to the garage.(temporarily) I tossed all of the assorted deer antlers and a goat skull (ugh).  The only thing I want to have back there is trees and a porch swing, and that is coming back home possibly this weekend.  After the area is powerwashed, it will be a clean and open space for us to hang out for Thanksgiving weekend.
Lots done and it felt productive!


Gina 

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