Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Northern California Trip

I had a great visit with my friends, Diane & David. We visited some wineries in Napa and just hung out at the house experimenting (ok...Diane cooked) with food.

Since Diane has done such a great job documenting the trip, I will just send you links to her posts.

Food at Bottega restaurant in Napa.

Hanging around the house with Diane & David.

Bottega lunch photos....and a photo of Michael Chiarello.

Tasting wine in Wine Country! Yum!

Thank you for a great visit Diane & David!!

Monday, July 20, 2009


I just finished Honeymoon with My Brother and Anthony Bourdain No Reservations, Around the World on an Empty Stomach.

Both books make me want to travel and try new food.
I have always loved to travel. Although international destinations are not currently on the menu for me, I have vowed to myself that I will see what I can either by car or plane in the coming years.
Portland, Utah, Montana and exploring New Mexico are on the list. I have a planned trip to the 4 corner's area (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah & Colorado) are on the menu for next month with the kids. I am also off to Napa with Diane this coming weekend and hope to hit Portland in the next few months. I see Portland as a long weekend like I did on my trip to Seattle.

I love to see new things and eat new food and look forward to exploring for years to come!

Here's to eating my way to as many corner's of the world as I can...YUM.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tie Dyeing!

We got some shirts at Mighty Mud Mania and some of the volunteers had dyed their shirts so I thought I should pick up some dye on the way home. I like the Dylon cold water dye better than Rit dye. Just my $0.02. The very white shirts...
Hannah putting the dye on hers...
Simon with Kyle watching...

The shirts "soaking" up the dye.

Hannah's with her 3 favorite colors.
Kyle with his finished shirts.

Hannah & Simon with their finished shirts.
I also dyed some yarn I had floating around in my closet with the left over dye.
The orange is for Hannah for her finger weaving.

Mighty Mud Mania

I won a raffle at work so I could take a free day off work and take my kids (and one neighbor kid) to Mighty Mud Mania. Here we are all clean and ready to go.
Kyle in the mud.....
Simon before he hit the mud....

and all muddied up....

Kyle watching Simon finish the obstacle course.

All 3 kids at the end after getting a light shower to remove some of the dirt.

It was HOT! Although there was no mud for the parents, I decided to cool off by getting doused with water by the fire hose. It felt SO GOOD!

It was nice that the kids could get a good amount of the mud off them before we left.
Our bedraggled bunch at the end of the day after hitting the obstacle course and a mud pit or two.

A great morning in the mud.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's CSA Sunday Again...

The CSA had floweres this week. I love the fresh flowers.
I got fresh beets last week and this week. I finally used them. I have never made fresh beets before but they are easy. Just boil them, let them cool and the skins come right off. I made a basic salad after they cooked.
Hmm...what could be under the plates??
Tofu (firm tofu). I am trying to eat less meat and so bought tofu to put into a Thai Curry. I read that before use that I should try and get the excess liquid out of it by placing something heavy on it. It came out nicely firm.

Sadly, again.....there was nothing I had to go out and buy when I found a recipe for Thai Coconut Curry with Sweet Potatoes & Spinach. I already had the coconut milk, curry paste,
and fish sauce. A very distinct taste that does make a difference in Asian cooking.
Yum! Lunches for this week.
Like I told someone this week.....I will love you through food but you need to be willing to try new things.

Garage Sale Finds

I got two side tables from a garage sale for $4 each. Hannah & Simon are in need of night side tables so I knew when I saw them, I could paint them.
Here they are after I finished painting them. Blue for Simon and Orange for Hannah.
Now if only I could find a dresser for Simon.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Not all wine & caviar

As if it were.......

I love music. Mostly country, 70-80's, light rock and some harder rock. I can listen to a song and tell you how that song related to my life.

I have an ipod full of music that makes me smile.

I'd like to tell you divorce is is not. The part where you get to 2 years down the road is a good place to be. However, there are still challenges that face you from time to time.

Dating....different than pre-kids and a whole new set of rules. I heard this old song by Garth Brooks recently, Learning to Live Again, and I smiled because for me it is true. Sometimes dating is a challenge and there are days it feels like it is killing me.

A friend of mine has more music than I do and alphabetizes it (What??). When I visited I downloaded the Eagles album, Hell Freezes Over. A great album I remember listening to in grad school in Fargo, ND. (Why yes, the movie Fargo did come out about the time I drove to Phoenix.) However, I never listened to the whole album. One song that I have been enjoying (I love the Eagles anyways) is the song, Learn to Be Still. I smile when I hear it because I spent a lot of years with someone that looked for happiness over "that next green hill" and never found their happiness right in front of them. I try to find happy in every day and find a way to enjoy every day.

A final song for the song, Here, by Rascal Flatts. Yes, I know it about love but I think it is very true about my love for my children. I would not have wished the chaos of divorce and the pain & agony that goes with it on anyone. BUT, I think every step was worth the peace and calm we have in our lives to day so that we can be HERE.

Before you feel bad for me...this is a post about how HAPPY I am in life. I wish I was creative like song writers so I could express myself but I am not, so I love music that helps me crystalize the thoughts floating in my head.

Life is good. ;) Hope you enjoy the music.

Holiday Weekend

I love Gladiola's...don't ask my why but they are my favorite flower. I know I could pick something super expensive but I really do enjoy them in any color. I found some pretty red ones this weekend. Seemed appropriate for the 4th of July.
I found the cat holding up the bar stool on Thursday afternoon. Kinda looks like she is in jail....
but she isn't. :)

We visited Dad & Linda for lunch on the 4th and then headed north of us for fireworks. However...there meant holding up chairs and waiting. Thank goodness for Nintendo DS.
Here we are about 20 minutes before the fireworks. Thankfully we hit Dairy Queen early before the line got out the door!!!
Don't ya love our new patriotic foldable chairs??? ;)

Community Supported Agriculture

I have been wanting to try a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for awhile but most of them have pick up at very inopportune times so I have held off until recently. I found Lewis Hen House & Veggie Farm that has pick up at my local Farmer's Market every Saturday morning. Plus, they send out an order list so I do have some control over what I get every week. The photo below is part of what I got this week.

I like to cook and try to find new recipes that use what I have on hand. My rule of thumb is that if I have about 85% of what the recipe calls for (the main ingredients) I can improvise the rest. I found this recipe for Eggplant, Pepper & Squash Ragout.

Eggplant.... Squash.....Peppers & Onions...... Finished Ragout. Tastes good and looks pretty.

Last our "Stay-cation"

One of the local resorts was running a special a few months ago for their hotel to fill it up in the summer months. As usual, my kids have to make funny faces.
We were waiting for the bagpiper to play over the golf greens. (That's Dad & Linda in the photo below.)
On Saturday we spent a good part of the morning in the pool with the lazy river.

Hannah relaxing with Grandpa.
This is the view from our hotel room balcony.
I tried to take some quiet time...ha, ha, ha....after we went to the bookstore by reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. It was a good book.
That evening we went out to see the bagpiper again. Simon was enjoying seeing the turtle in the pond.
A family photo on Saturday night.
One final dip in the pool on Sunday morning and then......
Off to drop Hannah off for sleep away camp (her first time away for 4 nights).

She had a great time and enjoyed that she got to go with friends so it wasn't quite that lonely!
She came back....happy, but admitted she missed her brother. The calm lasted about 20 minutes and they are back to their typical normal sibling selves.