Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Live From KSC, It's Rollout!

THIS. IS. AWESOME. As in, full of wonder & awe. I had no idea it would affect me on so many levels, and I am so grateful to be here. Thank you, FooZer. <3

Monday, May 30, 2011

Can You See Me Now?

Right now I should be paying bills and getting things in order for the week ahead. So this is how I decide to spend my time...procrastination is my middle name lately.
What's with me and critters lately? Our backporch friends, the lizards, are really cool to watch. This guy had a dewlap on top of his head!

This dude is serious about being camouflaged!

We took a break from flexitarianism today (I like to think we're flexitarian, which is mostly veggies and little meat, but it doesn't always work out. I think it's just mostly me, Jack is one by force.) and Jack grilled up lots of meats. I'd been craving a steak (which is REALLY unusual for me) ever since I tasted a Bloody Mary with A1 in Savannah last week. (which also had pickle juice, olive juice and worchestershire in it, awesome!) So while he flexed his bbq-ing muscle, I started on tomorrow's dinner.


Fresh mint, parsley, olive oil, garlic, lemon...yum! Add cukes & tomatoes to couscous...

This was great just by itself, but tomorrow it goes in a wrap with some chicken!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Almost There!

I guess it depends on how you count. When I'm counting down, I never count the current day or the day of the event, making MY count 8 days till departure! In the 8-9 months since this trip started taking shape, time has flown by. It's almost like having a baby: dreaming about it, planning it, the realization setting in that it's actually going to happen, then the "big event" (this trip however, will be much cheaper in the long run). With so few days left, it's almost all over but the flyin'. ; )

Page 1 of the itinerary. We arrive two days ahead of the tour though, and will be hoofin' it around London on our own! Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London...I am literally so excited I could bust! Our English friends have taught me how to make the British hand gesture equivalent to...you know...(just in case) and what NOT to say, ie. "fanny" (this means something naughty!)

 The map for days 1-4! This will stay in my day bag until I'm sure I have all the pubs memorized! ; )
Stay tuned as packing continues this week...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Wind" Wednesday!

I know it's Wine Wednesday, but let's talk about this guy first....

Running down to the last minutes to get out of the house this morning for the foot doctor in Merritt Island, I dash into the spare room to finish getting dressed: throw stuff on the desk, turn around..."HELLOOOO!!!" What the heck? Jack wouldn't throw one of those rubber snakes down for me to find, would he? (especially not since I'd been in and out of this room numerous times this morning, long after he left for work. Duh.) This little fella was lost. Don't know how he got in here, but I was sure we both wanted him outside. I gingerly threw my towel over him, scooped him up, and while holding him wayyyy out in front of me, headed for the front door. WAIT! Not finished getting dressed. Back yard, it is! Don't let my bravery fool you; if this was a palmetto bug, I would've been screaming, shivering, dancing around, etc, but this guy I could handle. Oh well, better than finding a rattlesnake (Chris K) or a gator (as seen many times on local news) outside your door!

One more thing: a couple of us girls went to bingo last night at the Knights. It was insanity: Lyn: "What's that noise? It sounds like an oxygen tank. Is it the balls making that noise?" Me: "Umm, look to your left." (yep, someone on oxygen), while the lady behind us won SEVEN times (over $500), and way too much fun not to do again! So look out, K of C, next time there'll be even more of us! Especially when that cute guy in the baseball cap is the caller! (that would be Jack :)

See all the "Un-dobbed" numbers?! No cover-all for me.

And the wine?

Tonight's wine is: beer. Verrry good beer. We had it in Savannah, and when I sent a picture to Jax, he was super excited to know it was available there, as the distributors in this area are fighting to carry it. So the hunt was on to find it to bring home! It's malty & hoppy, named after the creator's bike trip from brewery to brewery through Europe. Heaven.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil (Actually, less than 48 hours)

Road trip! We WERE heading to St. Simon's Island this weekend with our besties, but plans changed and we headed to Savannah (Umm, YAY!). The hotels outside of the city were much less expensive than ones downtown, so when hearing we would be at exit 102 in Pooler, GA, Jack and FooZer were both like, "Oh, wow! That's where the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum is!" REALLY?! WHO KNOWS THESE THINGS?! To which my first thought was, "Lord, please don't let me die of boredom." No. Really. (BUT, the restaurant in the museum is a 1940's style pub. Cool.) Turns out it was super interesting: I'm now up to speed in understanding the Brit's involvement in WWII (definitely a plus for the trip), spoke to some British visitors regarding weather over there right now, AND answered a trivia question at one of the talks! Yes, ME, I did! Anyway, here are some fun pics from the weekend : )

By the chapel on the grounds. Oh yeah, there are some planes there, too ; )

Obviously, a model of a bombing. Amazing stuff! Now off to Savannah!

At Rocks on the River at the Bohemian Hotel on the...river.

There's an awesome view from the restaurant/bar up top as well. Neat place! We didn't eat there as the menu was small & pretty pricey. And we were still full from lunch. And breakfast. And the great drinks that Jeff from "Pour Larry's" Bar set us up with right before this. (this picture has been extremely cropped, can ya tell?!)

A boat named "The Peacemaker" docked in port. It was owned and operated by some members of  The Twelve Tribes Community. Don't ask. The tour of the boat was free, which was within our price range.

Here we are again! Are you tired of us yet? See Mitch and Laura in the background?

It was reallllly hot, so we stopped for THE best ice cream on the planet. So far. Chocolate mocha with hot fudge, pecans and whipped cream. All sugar free. That's what I tell myself anyway.

Outside the Savannah College of Art & Design's Theater, next door to Leopold's. Hmm, that Manolo Blahnik...he's somebody...OH YEAH, he designs shoes! The ladies were all sporting some pretty cool footwear.

In to the cool of The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for Saturday evening Mass. Thankfully, we were in church when it was "Rapture Time". We saw people looking at their watches right at 6:00. Besides us. Then, Westboro Baptist Church was protesting at the cathedral today. Sorry we missed them, for a number of reasons. -_-

Local wine from Meinhardt Vineyards. Jacks loves the peach wine, so we picked up some more to bring home. Since there's no glass allowed by the pool (which was wonderful after such a hot day), I chose a lovely waxed paper cup from the room. I'm 100% class.

Stopped and saw Mitch and Laura's beautiful grandbabies on the way home. What a grand weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Happy Grape Day!

 This new wine (to me) was purchased on Melissa's advice, and very good advice it was! The zin was getting a bit heavy, so a switch back to Pinot sounded nice, maybe since the days are getting warmer. This is just what the doctor ordered in a Pinot; smooth with lots of berry notes. It's kinda weird that a grape can give berry flavors! It's produced in (northern) Italy ~ Publix, $8.99. Recommend!

Dinner tonight was a fast salad, one of Lindsay's favorites:

I added cooked chicken to make it a "meal".

The Dressing:

1/4 cup lime juice
1 Tbls honey
1 finely chopped jalapeno, seeded
3 Tbls snipped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt

The Salad:

1 bag baby spinach
4-6 ears fresh corn, husked & cleaned, cut off cob
grape tomatoes
3/4 cup cucumber, seeded & chopped
1 cup chopped chicken (optional)
fresh black pepper

Whisk together lime juice and honey until well combined; stir in jalapeno, cilantro, salt.
Add to salad mixture and serve immediately.
Cool and fresh!

Got my travel docs today!!! 20 days (not 22; my counting was off!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Penne with Roasted Asparagus

Just a quick post...made this for dinner tonight; it was different and very good! A quick, fresh tasting meal!

Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes in a 400° oven. Sooo tasty.

The balsamic butter. I've never cooked a 1/2 cup of vinegar before, but it really cooked down to just a few tablespoons! Then add brown sugar & butter. Mmmmm!

Toss it all together, and top with parmesan. The balsamic butter soaked right into the pasta, and gave it such a nice flavor. Dinner was ready in about 20 minutes!

PS. 23 DAYS! The bombs and "faux" bombs in Ireland are not even a consideration. God save the Queen!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Final Flight

There were too many clouds to see Endeavor from the house today. This is Laura's pic, sent right after lift-off, so I thank her for that. It's so much more real than the "official" pics. Godspeed!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

It's Officially Summer!

Because I said so! I feel like this weekend really kicked off the next couple of busy, travel-packed months! So I kinda feel like a kid who's starting summer vacation. Off I go:

Our hotel in O'town. See the pretty red mesh bag on the bed? Contents: eyemask, lavender linen spray, and EARPLUGS. Did I take this as a sign of what could possibly lie ahead? Noooo, I just thought, "Wow, neat gift packet!" A hotel by railroad tracks and Interstate 4 = a rough night of sleep.

See?! Doesn't this look like fun?! I haven't been to a concert in a few years, and it was a blast! We saw the Plain White T's (think: Delilah, Rythm of Love, 1 2 3 4) and Parachute (She is Love, Something to Believe In), and both bands were great live. These feet, however, are not meant to stand for 6 hours on a wood/cement floor. Next time, concert venue with seats.

The party girls!

Great voice! And really cute guys for the younger set. : )

So after a fun night of music, yesterday was followed by PF Chang's and shopping. Then home to make antipasto salad for yet another (I know!) get-together. What can I say? We love to talk and eat.

I think this will be my new party dish. Lotsa Italian-ey veggies, meats and cheese with fresh dressing. Easy peasy.

THESE are some fun gals! We always have fun, especially with the Table Topics app, which can keep us talking forever. Beck's theme was bruschetta (crab, bacon/tomato & fontina, pesto, etc, yummm!) so we really went with all kinds of Italian stuff. Good thing I had veggies and brown rice for lunch! BEVI!

26 DAYS!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

And Today's Selection IS....

It occurred to me that I haven't put my favorite, cheap (inexpensive) wine on the blog yet! This Sutter Home is (to me) slightly rich (but not heavy), with a medium plum color and a nose of berry (and according to their site, black pepper) The tannin is subtle, making it smooth, yet with a slight bite. Hey, how do ya like that?! Maybe I'm gettin' the hang of this. I buy it a Publix, and it's usually on sale for anywhere from 2/$9 to 2/$12. My kinda price. They don't carry a very large supply, so it's frequently out; when I see it, I grab it. 


My friend, red Zin.

As a footnote : ) I got another shot in the heel today. According to Dr. Lynch, I wasn't supposed to be going to Power Hour. Crap. So until take-off, I ride the blasted bike and do some weight machines. Oh well, it's for a good cause. Departure: 29 DAYS!!! And the tour director's name is Terry. That can only be a good thing. I think.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

To Mom With Love ♥

The first year without you, Mom. It's a different Mother's Day, but we were so blessed to spend last year's together. I miss you. ♥

My favorite. ♥

Dad's favorite. He said Mom had "bedroom eyes" and carried it in his wallet. Mom said she was just tired. ♥

Love the peddle-pushers, Mom. You were all that. And that is ONE CUTE BABY. ♥

Hangin' wash in a dress and little heels while Dad watches her. (And I mean that in a good way) Class act. ♥

I get my partyin' spirit from this gal, I can assure you of that! ♥

For my Dad. Grandma Weaver, Dad (Mom thought he was super sexy in a hat), Dad's sister holding my sister Patti, and my aunt's daughter in front. He loved his Mom. She was only in her early sixties here, hard to believe. It was a hard life with 13 kids. Dad thought the sun rose and set on her. I think it did, too. ♥

My lovely mother-in-law, Virginia. I couldn't ask for a more wonderful second Mom.

Another picture of Mom Ehrig, the day she became a saint. ; )

A special shout out to all the fabulous women in my life: sisters, sister-in-laws, friends, nieces, niece-in-laws, aunts, cousins, cousins by marriage, Romans and countrymen. (couldn't resist!) I love you all. ♥

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It's a Hat Kinda Day

Now THIS was fun! I know... "Any excuse to party, right?" Yep! I literally knew nothing about the Kentucky Derby until this week, and man, does it seem like a great time! So the girls and I set out to making our hats and some traditional Derby food for yet another fab get-together.

My hat. I wanted to channel Julie Roberts, but succeeded only with a copy-cat kinda dress; forgot the gloves, and went with Dollar Tree flowers, but not bad.

Let the games (and betting!) begin!


Carolyn went with traditional and simple. Lovely.

Jen's style is young with a glamorous touch, just like her personality!

Linda & Nicole went with lady-like but whimsical! So much fun!

Laura's choice was perfect as well, and according to her, blended Eliza Doolittle and Mrs. Howell! LOVEY! I mean, LOVELY!

Annie knocked it out of the park with her Derby! It was gorgeous! (and very flammable...sorry about that...)

And the winner is (very hard to choose as all the hats seemed to fit our personalities nicely, and they were all just wonderful!) .....

Carol's stunning creation (ya like that?!)! Her hubbie said she could have bought a custom designer hat for less! Not true! Those pesky hubbies, they just don't get it...


Who wouldn't have fun with this group?!



Becky's cheese grits, which she loathes, but we just love!

 Annie's Hot Browns in mornay sauce were to die for! Ohmygosh!

Carol's Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. When she offered to leave the last piece for me, I happily agreed!
Fantastic! (and alotta work)

Linda & Nic's Bourbon Balls. If you weren't tipsy to begin with, have one of these. Not for children. Unless you want them to sleep. Yummmmy!

My burgoo. Tip: DO NOT use imitation (read: Great Value Brand) worchestershire. Lea & Perrins only. Seriously, what was I thinking? Laura and Annie came to the rescue, and doctored it up with a WHOLE bottle! That's some spicy burgoo!
This recipe called for green peppers, carrots and cabbage, and Annie said, "Uh, no way!" So I left those out. : ) 

What a great night with some super fun gals! For the derby today, I drew Midnight Interlude & Mucho Macho Man. Come on, fellas! Mama needs a new hat!

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