Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Scout turns 23!

In a dark moment I ask, "How can anyone bring a child into this world?" And the answer rings clear, "Because there is no other world, and because the child has no other way into it." ~Robert Brault
Don't we all wish they could be small again for just one day?  How is it that he is 23?  
Can't be possible.  But I am so thankful that he is here on earth with us!
Happiest of Birthdays, Scout!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Mealplan Monday #217

I'm happy that freezer clean-out week is over...leftovers are good and all, but...
Monday - Taco Chili (freezer meal), fritos scoops
Tuesday - Leftover Nashville Hot Chicken on garlic toast
Wednesday - Sausage with Red Beans and Rice, chopped salad - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SCOUT!
Thursday - Stovetop Easy Cheesy Chicken Bake, skillet kale
Friday - Southwestern Hashbrown Bake with salsa, sour cream, avocado
Saturday - yoyo
Sunday - Cheese Tortellini Bake, salad, garlic knots, birthday cake for Scout!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Blue skies and planting ahead!

This week has been a booger with Austin's water problems, my still sore bicep and hurt index finger, a trip to the doctor for a well-woman and labs, and rain.  Plus, its been super busy at work.  But guess what we're gonna have all weekend?  SUN!!!  So, yesterday I stopped at a Home Depot near the hospital and discovered they have a very nice plant section.  Bopping around I found two choices for the front landscape shrubs:
This one is called Olive Martini Elaeagnus - a good choice because it will do well in full sun, needs little pruning, and will do well as a border or backdrop bush, which is what I need out there.  I've been seeing it in other yards and I love it!
This one is the dwarf version of Loropetalum - Purple Daydream.  Although I love the color and the leaves, I might need something a little taller for the area I am planting, although this one will get 2-3 feet tall.  And in its favor is the fact that it is both deer and drought resistant, and it can grow in either sun or shade.  
Hmmm...choices, choices

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Planning for a pretty table

Nothing makes me more excited about life as a family as Thanksgiving does!  When The Girl visited this last weekend, we sat down and made out the menu and the lists.  The menu doesn't hold too many surprises because my peeps look forward to having all of their favorite dishes.  So I get creative with the table!  Yesterday I started gathering the table things.  Last year's table was very pretty I thought - a mix of lace  doilies and burlap and crystal.  We even pulled down my late MIL's silver.   The year before I had fresh flowers in a thrift store vase. Each year its a little different.  But what to do this year?
In advance of figuring all of that out,  I cleaned out the cabinets next to the fridge.  I had to locate the chargers which will get a new coat of spray paint, and make room for the new red wine glasses I bought.  I noticed that the very top shelf was sagging due to the weight of the glass plates up there.  So I found a spot for them down below the counter, turned that top shelf upside down to correct the bend in it, and wah la!  More space and no noticeable sag.
Moving the plates gave me more room to store glassware up top.  It doesn't look so crowded now, so I'm not tempted to start a pile for Goodwill!  We still have a ton of plastic glasses to drink from - a few of those can go, I think.
I realized last year that I bought the wrong type of "wine glasses".  Turns out, they are iced tea goblets. Cue sad face.  I wondered why the wine didn't taste as good as it bad.  The right wine glass does make a difference!
An idea for the tablescape is coming to mind...something involving a mixed collection of candles, a grapevine wreath, some fall leaves and flowers, and some spiffed up chargers. (I'm thinking a much softer gold)   Now to get some candles and pretty napkins!
Do you plan a pretty table, too? 

Monday, October 22, 2018

(un) Mealplan Monday #216

This week we are eating out of the freezer to save a little grocery money this spendy month!  There is plenty in there...
Monday - Ranch Pork Pot Pie
Tuesday - Sloppy Joes, coleslaw
Wednesday - BBQ Smothered Pork Chops, scalloped potatoes and carrots
Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas, corn
Friday - Lazy Daisy (HEB) Meatballs, rice, broccoli
Saturday - YOYO
Sunday - Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs, BBQ beans, chopped salad

Friday, October 19, 2018

5 thing Friday - jewelry, rain, chicken salads, bookcase, The Girl

Recently, Hubby and I had our 33rd wedding anniversary.  He hid a familiar pink bag in the coffee cupboard where I would find this pretty inside:
 And it really is pretty, but when I saw the price of it, I about choked.  I wore it for a couple of days and put it carefully back in its box.  Back it goes, sadly, for a number of reasons, but especially because I need it like I need a new hole in my head.  So I picked a stack ring to wear with a birthstone ring he bought me long ago and I am pleased as punch with it.  My tastes are getting simpler, I think.
Everyone (I assume) in Central Texas is sick to death of the rain.  Lakes and rivers flooding, humidity and mold.  Ugh to it all.  Hooray for no drought, but come on - this rain has been epic- two to four more inches today and tomorrow with 14 inches so far.  I really feel for the folks in Kingsland and Marble Falls.  And by next weekend, we will have to make sure the canoe is still tethered to its tree since I'm sure our neck of the lake will be back up.
I was pretty regular about making salads during the summer - they are fairly easy to prepare and store, and dinner is ready when you get home.  Yesterday I made a version of The Girl's Greek Salads: romaine, cucumber, olives, grape tomatoes, feta, and some chicken I seasoned with lemon pepper before I plopped it into the crock pot.
I left my peeps the salads, some Greek dressing, and a note reminding them to make garlic toast...
 ...because I aim for the kitchen to look like this when I leave the house - dishwasher chugging along, counters and floors cleaned...ahhhh...makes me wish I could stay home for the day, but I leave around 10:30.
 I added some Fall to the bookcase in the den - nothing fancy.
 I found this sign at Dollar Tree, and the little gourds with faux plants at Target.  I added a little DT moss around the base of the plants.  I love that moss can elevate a simple fake potted plant!
 The Girl's two recent foster kitties got adopted - hooray!  While she was recovering from the flu they were a source of snuggles.  Almost makes me want one.  Almost.  She will be here tomorrow with Teddy - she is heading into a busy time at work leading up to Thanksgiving so Teddy will walk us daily (weather permitting!) to get us ready for the Turkey Trot!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Its not just about the wine...

Hubby and I enjoy going to a winery for more than just the drinks...
as of this post I counted 27 wineries that we have visited, and a few distilleries and breweries, too.!
 Save The World
We carry cards or a dice game everywhere we go...
Garrison Brothers
And sometimes we take our "of age" peeps
Who may or may not understand the finer points of wine...
But still like hanging out with us!
 Wedding Oak Winery
 And a lot of the time, there is live music to enjoy.  
 Bell Spring Winery
Especially on pick-up party day.
 And it's always a little different each time.
 Torr Na Lochs
It's nice to sit and listen to a musician as you sip your wine and enjoy a snack.
Bent Oak Winery
Or just sit and enjoy the ambience - I love the feel of this particular one - there is so much to look at, the lighting makes it cozy, and the place smells amazing with scented candles going.  And it's hidden in an industrial park!
 Driftwood Estates Winery
Other wineries have expansive views where you can park your folding chair and enjoy a snack on the lawn.
 Wimberley Valley Winery
 ...or beautiful shady yards where you can find your own giant oak to sit under for an afternoon.
The holidays at wineries are also super festive!  Above is the wine bottle tree at WVW, and at Perisso's.
Because some people like to get into the Christmas spirit...
 Flat Creek Estates
And in the spring they do fun things like crawfish boils
 And most of them have very friendly owners who like to educate you about their vineyard, and let you roam the property.  I think the vines are fun to walk through.
Some make their own food, like wood fired pizza - so good!
 Torr Na Lochs
Or seasonal appetizer plates.
 But most of them will also let you pack a snack to enjoy, as long as you aren't right up next to the tasting bar.
Driftwood Estates
And some of them even have food trailers nearby...
Pack your snacks and your card games, grab a couple of folding chairs, and hit the road exploring some wineries.  Texas is full of them and they are such fun, beautiful places to hang out on a weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Mealplan Monday #215

Monday - Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops, baked potato, broccoli/cauliflower
Tuesday - Roast Beef and Mozzarella on Sourdough, sliced tomato, chips
Wednesday - Beefy Pasta, green beans
Thursday - Greek Chicken Salads
Friday - Honey Garlic Chicken (oven this time) rice, seasoned peas
Saturday - TBD (mom on call)
Sunday - Southern Corn Chowder, Honey Butter Dips

Friday, October 12, 2018

5 thing Friday - clock, wine, placemats, dinner out, selfies

Hubby's sister had this antique clock that had belonged to his mother.  Once his brother in law passed, it was brought to him.  I winded it up and set it on a bookcase to see if keeps time.  Sadly, it gradually runs behind.  I might have to find another place for it to live until we can get someone to clean and re-set it.
It's kind of fussy and not really our style, but...sentimental.
We finally opened the bottle of wine we bought at McReynold's - the one we jokingly refer to as the "winery we shut down" since we bought the last bottle.  The owner at Westcave Cellars told us it's actually a sad story - the vines were not cared for and are not salvageable.  The winery is for sale.  And this bottle tasted to me like dense raisins.  Not the best merlot I've ever had. If only we had a few million dollars and the knowledge to open our own!
 Wal-Mart had these pretty placemats in store and I bought one for the dining table.  I love the colors - sorta fall-ish and they coordinate with everything else in this room.
So I decided to buy more of them for our Sunday dinners.  It was actually cheaper to purchase two packs of three of them on-line than it was to buy one or two in store.  That made no sense, but ok.
 Hubby and I ate at my favorite Austin restaurant on Friday night.  We sat at the bar, enjoying happy hour with smashed guacamole topped with cotija and toasted pumpkin seeds (SO GOOD), then had a fabulous dinner.  Grilled Ruby Trout for me, Chorizo Pork Medallions for him.  The waiter brought us a chocolate mousse dessert on the house and we had great bottle of wine to go with.  All of it was a splurge and so good!
 The next day we helped one of our favorite breweries celebrate their fourth anniversary...
 ...then bopped around Pottery Ranch again.  I want to get a couple of these pots to flank the front door at Highlands someday - aren't they pretty?.  And Hubby wanted to price some new wind chimes.
On Sunday we stopped by Bent Oak, as we are now member of their wine club.  The owner is a friendly guy - he saw us trying to take a selfie and said "here, let me do that!".  Yes, I am pretty selfie challenged - see photo above!


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