Thursday, December 27, 2007

Unusual C&D Traffic


To take a break from the Christmas chat....

Last night at work, I looked out the front door and saw a very long boat docked at our town dock. It looked odd..I wasn't sure what it was or where it was from. About an hour later 4 chilly guests walked inside. They looked cold and like they had come from a boat. I asked it they had been on that boat that just docked. They said yes...which sparked this interesting post. They are crew from the ferry, Freedom. They have just passed through the Panama Canal, crossed the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys on their way from San Francisco to New York City. Freedom worked with other ferry's taking tourists to Alcatraz Island. In January, it will carry visitors to Ellis Island. The ferry holds 450 passengers. You can read the New York Times article here.
Ed Jerbic, the captain, has been sleeping behind the pilot seat in a tent partially covered and NOT insulated. He was freezing and decided to treat himself to a night in our cottage next to the restaurant. My staff enjoyed meeting the 5 person crew and hearing about their voyage. Ed has put together a blog...it is really interesting and has fascinating photos.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Burberry and Flannel?


For Christmas, I got my mom a Burberry purse. She opened it and right away my makeup wearing,doll loving, purse loving 3 year old niece, Aislyn grabbed it and slung it over her shoulder. She looked at it and carried it around the house, put all of her toy keys and baby doll bottles in it then went to bed with it. For all of you Burberry lovers...before you gasp one more time...it is a fake. That night I found it in her bed, so I took it out and put in near the tree. The next morning 6am or so...my sister wakes me and says where is mom's purse? Aislyn is crying and holding her new baby and asking for the purse. I found it and gave it to her. We sat in bed and I talked to her about the purse. She opened it and told me to look in at the "trash" or crumpled up paper to keep it's shape. Then I told her it was Gram's purse and she said she wanted one. Next trip to the flea market will include a Burberry for Aislyn. Only 3 and already expensive taste!

Go Tell It On The Mountain


During my trip to TN, I was able to attend Landen's Christmas Program at his school. His class sang Go Tell It On The Mountain and a poem about the candy cane. He did such a great job and knew all of the words. Landen is the one in the bow time below the angel.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching
Over silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light.

Refrain

The shepherds feared and trembled,
When lo! above the earth,
Rang out the angels chorus
That hailed the Savior’s birth.

Refrain

Down in a lowly manger
The humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That bless├Ęd Christmas morn.

Refrain

After the program we went to his classroom and he showed me around. I saw his cubby, all of his neat Christmas projects and I got to meet his homecoming queen. WHAT?? Homecoming queen in pre-K???? You got it...Landen is the Pre-K Homecoming King and Kailee is the Pre-K Homecoming Queen. His school has a king and queen for each grade for the Homecoming Basketball Game. They will make their debut in mid January. What a cute king and queen!!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cocoa in A Jar


While I was visiting TN, I helped my sister make some teacher gifts for my nephew and niece. I decided to have Landen help me make Cocoa in a Jar. An idea that I got from Posie Gets Cozy. They are easy and fun to make...the perfect project for a 4 year old. He had a great time doing it. It kept his attention and kept him up way past his bedtime, which I paid for the next day! Something that a "spoiling aunt" always forgets...3 and 4 year olds need naps and bedtimes!!!!

Here's a photo of my helper in his apron!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas in Ridgeside


The week before I Christmas I flew to my mom's home in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a visit. I was also a recruit to help with her neighborhood Luminarie and Open House Night. Her neighborhood, Ridgeside, has a 60 year old tradition of placing luminaries in front of each home, lining all of the streets. They light them from 6-9pm on the Monday and Tuesday before Christmas. It is truly beautiful. People come in carloads to tour the neighborhood. Longtime residents told me that many years ago the cars lined up to drive through the neighborhood.
On the first night, a few homes are open to tour and enjoy fellowship and snacks for all of the neighbors. My mom's home was one of them. Everyone enjoyed themselves and I was glad I could help. Click here to see a video of the sights in Ridgeside this Christmas.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy

Aren't we all this time of year. Ok..I admit. I haven't been posting. I am sorry. This week I was in Chattanooga, TN with my mom, sister, nephew and niece. We had a wonderful time and I will post photos TONIGHT....I promise, Ginger. My shopping is finished, the decorations are all up. I haven't baked anything...but I have made some really cute cocoa jars, which I will post about later. That's about it...the pneumonia really kept me down, I didn't rest as much as I needed...so it lasted a little longer. Those are all of my excuses. Check out the site later. You can also view a video of our tree that Jeffrey made here.
Happy Holidays!!!!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

I am finally feeling better. Sunday I started to turn around...so I started some Christmas decorating and made a wreath. I had a lot of loose greens my mom used while she was here and I cut up some pine and holly and VOILA!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Hot Tea, Chicken & Rice, and Rest

If those all sound like a remedy for sickness....you're right. I am sick. I have had this "thing" for two weeks now. Can't seem to shake it. The doctor might be calling in more meds for me tomorrow...depends. So while I have been hanging out at home and trying to REST (something that I don't do well) my mom has been visiting. She came into town to decorate the restaurant and make some decorations for folks on our town holiday house tour. It was a very nice visit and we had fun. She helped bring out the Christmas decorations at our house. Since I didn't feel like taking a photo and downloading it....I snapped this with the Photo Booth to give you a sneak peek.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

11.22.03

Happy Anniversary

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today, four years ago I married the man I dreamed about marrying for a long time. I hope he'll have me for many more.

I love you more than...anything.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tag...I'm It

So...I guess since I have been tagged TWICE recently and I haven't done either one..I guess it is time to do it now. Kathleen and Victoria...thank you!!!

Here are the rules:

* Link to your tagger and post these rules.
* Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
* Tag 3 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
* Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

My Seven Facts....

1. I have been to the Martha Stewart show THREE times.

2. I have worked on and off at the same restaurant for 20 years.

3. I love to do Sudoku puzzles before bed.

4. We live up the street from the third busiest canal in the world.

5. I don't like mushrooms or whole tomatoes.

6. My grandfather used to call me Toody Woody...after Natalie Wood.

7. I cry easily...but I also laugh a lot.

I am tagging....

Royal Mom
Traci
Paula

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Reunited...soon


The camping trip is over...so the kidnappers have given Batman back to the original kidnapper..in hopes he will reunite him with Robin. It was lots of fun...and I think the furry kidnapper liked it the best. Thanks, Batman for visiting. I hope you learned lots of new and creative ways to beautify the Bat Cave.


Monday, November 5, 2007

Batman: The King of Domesticity


As the hostage situation continued....so did the softer side of Batman shine.

He loved taking spins on the spice carousel.

Batman also read up on what bulbs to plant now would look best at Chez Hostage House for the spring.

He also helped with changing the sheets and doing laundry...

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Change of plans...

Since the close call with the kidnappers, Batman decided he better make the most of his stay. So, he started to enjoy being held hostage by them...partaking in all of the activities.

Decorating the mantle for Thanksgiving


(he means...knew...but he was soo excited about feeling like a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, he didn't know how to talk.)

Are things getting out of hand?


Bad kidnapper, bad!

All tied up

After the attempted escape...the kidnappers decided to keep Batman with them at all times...

While Robin is in the great outdoors....


With lots of other men...bonding and building fires...Batman has been hostage at an undisclosed location. When his kidnappers are at work or napping...he is stuck in a jack-o-lantern. Until he tried to escape...then......

Dun dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnnnn


Stay tuned for what will happen next....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Dynamic Duo SPLIT UP!

There seems to have been a problem in Jeffrey's plan to kidnap Batman and Robin from Parra Grafs. Robin is enjoying his time on the Appalachian Trail...Batman is not. Batman's kidnappers have other plans for him...

Happy Halloween


I know it is a few days late...
The elementary school behind our house has a neat tradition. They have a halloween parade around town on Halloween. It's fun to see the children dressed up and everyone cheering them on. Here are some of my favorites from the parade.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Come Out, Come Out

Here I am. Sorry it has been sooo long. Too long. I haven't been able to catch up with all of the blogs I read, much less a few other things in my life. Last Tuesday, I was promoted to the general manager of the restaurant where I work. It is a nice promotion and I am very excited about it. You see...I have worked at the restaurant on and off since I was 15!!!!! I've kind of grown up with that place...It has seen me become a bus girl, graduate high school, become a server, go to college, graduate college, join the working world, meet the man...who I feel in love with and married...and now finally the GENERAL! WOW! The journey wasn't always easy...but in the end...I am content.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Last Summer Rose


I noticed that the last summer rose was blooming this week. It's from our climbing rose bush. It only seems to bloom early and late. It looked funny as the only bright color in that part of the garden. Last night we turned the heat on to take the chill out of the air. Sweaters and jeans...here I come.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pumpkins, Corn, Gourds = FALL


I will finally admit Fall is here. The once green rows of corn that I drove by all summer are now brown and some have been harvested. Roadside stands are loaded with mums and pumpkins. So I finally caved in and bought a few pumpkins for here and the restaurant. Yesterday, I visited Filasky's in Middletown. It is a local farm that has pick your own pumpkins and lots of other fall delights this time of year.

I found a few gourds to put on our mantle and browsed the unusual pumpkins and gourds around the farm. I have seen many of them before, except for this one. It was really neat how the orange and white colors were strung together. I bet it would be pretty lit up as a jack-o-lantern.

It was fun to just walk around and see the different shapes and sizes of the gourds.



WELCOME FALL!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Salmon & Spinach in Phyllo


The other night it was very late...and I wanted to make a quick dish for dinner. I found this recipe and had the salmon in the fridge, so I thought I would give it a try. It turned out wonderfully and very easy to make. I found the recipe in Cooking for Two or More Cookbook from Pampered Chef.

1 t. basil oil or olive oil
4 c. baby spinach
Salt & pepper
8 sheets thawed frozen phyllo dough
nonstick cooking spray
2 skinless salmon fillets (4-6 oz. each - 1 1/2 inches thick
2 tbls. garlic and herb cream cheese spread ( I made my own)

Preheat oven 425
Heat oil in sautee pan, add spinach, season with S&P. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove and set on paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Lay one sheet of phyllo on work surface. Spray with cooking spray. Repeat each layer and press together to create a stack.

Season salmon with s&p. Spread 1/2 cream cheese on filet and top with spinach and repeat. Place salmon on phyllo stack 2 inches from the bottom on the short end. Fold in the longer sides towards the salmon then the shorter side and wrap up. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the salmon, seam side down on tray.

With a bread knife, make three diagonal slits across each bundle. Spray bundles and bake. Bake for 11-13 minutes until golden brown.

ENJOY!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Think Pink!


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Don't forget to wear your pink and support the cause in some way. I have been collecting the pink Yoplait Yogurt lids and I am going to send some in real soon. Thanks to Anne, I found Design Her Gals is doing a virtual walk. I signed up today. It is the third day and they are in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Best Wishes Edward & Lacey


Well...the weddings have ended. The big ones, anyway. On Saturday, Edward and Lacey were married. It was a lovely reception and everyone had a great time. I used to babysit Edward when he was 2 years old and up to 10 or so...wow...I kind of feel old..but not really. Best Wishes to both of you!
Martina from Blueberry Moon Pastries did a great job, as usual on the cake. It was a white cake with a buttercream frosting. Lacey's aunt made the beachscape centerpieces and their color was a turquoise blue...very pretty.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

While We're Talking Southern...


I had to tell ya'll about this recipe I found in Southern Living. I bought an issue of Southern Living for my mom, who had her knee replaced two weeks ago. I thought that a bunch of new fall magazines and candy would be nice for her to enjoy while she is recuperating. Well...I really enjoy reading Southern Living and I had to flip through the magazine before I sent it to see if there were any good stories or recipes. Sure enough I found Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies. Jeffrey really likes Carrot Cake so I thought I would try a small batch to sample. They were FANTASTIC! To save time, I cheated and used shredded carrots in the produce department. Next time, I'll definitely shred my own, those were too thick. I omitted the raisins. Also, remember to put the icing in the refrigerator to set before spreading it on the cookie. I also think you need more powdered sugar than this recipe calls for. What a wonderful fall treat! Ohh by the way...the next day in our P.O. Box was a September 2007 issue and subscription to Southern Living someone "very special" sent me. THANK YOU!!!! It was much easier to mail off the care package to my mom after that.

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
3/4 cup grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1 (16.5-oz.) package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1. Toss together first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir raisins into carrot mixture.
2. Tear cookie dough into pieces, and stir into carrot mixture until well combined.

3. Drop cookie dough mixture by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto lightly greased baking sheets. (Dough should make 24 cookies.)

4. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are crisp. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Remove to wire racks, and cool 10 minutes or until completely cool.

5. Turn half of cookies over, bottom sides up. Spread each with 1 Tbsp. chilled Cream Cheese Icing. Top with remaining cookies, bottom sides down, and press gently to spread filling to edges of cookies.

Cream Cheese Icing

5 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
2. Add remaining ingredients, beating until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes or until spreading consistency.
Yield: Makes 1 dozen sandwiches

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Paula's Shrimp


Last weekend, I found a recipe by Paula Deen in The Lady & Son's, Too cookbook for fried shrimp. I was expecting a heavier batter, but they were delicious. The batter reminded me of the onion ring's batter at Nikki's in Chattanooga. Next time I want onion ring I am going to make this batter and use Vidalia Onions...YUM!

Battered Fried Shrimp
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 cup of ice water
1 egg
2 tbls. melted fat or vegetable oil
2 lb. uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on.
Vegetable oil for deep frying

In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar and salt. Beat in the ice water, egg and 2 tablespoons fat or oil. Dry the shrimp. Heat the oil for the frying in a heavy pot until it registers 375 degrees. Dip the shrimp in the batter and then drop them in the pot of oil carefully. Fry until golden brown...just few minutes will do the trick. Drain on paper towels and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Last Hurrah


This weekend will bring our wedding season to a close. We will still have some, but no more outdoor large parties. On Saturday, we will have a wedding of 120 guests. The groom was a neighbor that I used to babysit...how old do I feel? We have had several weddings in the past few weeks...I have been neglecting blogging about them. Here are some photos of weddings we have held recently. I think I stopped getting excited about them and taking photos when we lost power one night during a wedding and it never came on. Luckily, the guests were almost fed and they didn't mind the lack of light and fans on our patio.
This cake reminds me of a Zeta Tau Alpha cake. I was a ZTA in college. The colors are turquoise blue and steel grey.

This ceremony was so pretty along the canal.

This is a centerpiece I made from leftover flowers from a wedding. Those big green spiky balls are called Monkey Balls...furry little things. They are not as pictured here...but that's what the florist called them.

Table setting from last Friday's wedding...the martini themed event.


The Martini Cake from Papa's Bakery in Wilmington, DE

Lots of greens and turquoise in the past few months...this week is sky blue.