Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Yes, I Really Do Have Family

And, this is one time I can prove it.  Check out Grandma with the Big Yellow Tupperware Bowl!

 This is Taylor and my oldest brother.  We spent Thanksgiving Day at their house.  I like to point out that he's the oldest.

This would be yours truly wearing a garish turtleneck (what was I thinking?), my SIL and nephew, Matt.

This woman is just plain crazy.  I'll have you know she cleaned her plate.

We subjected these cousins to a bowling game.  This smile belies their extreme boredom at hanging with the old folks.

Again, the OLDEST brother, and his wife, Kathy. Thanks for feeding us!

Here's the MIDDLE brother's boys.  You can see that no one in our family was blessed with the "tall" gene.

I rest my case.

 My oldest and dearest friends, Mike and Rose.  I love them more than my luggage.  But, boy, they tire me out when I visit!

Steven and their youngest, Angela.  Angela always takes a good picture.  Steven, well, ......

This is Angela and her REALLY GOOD SPORT boyfriend, who put up with us and entertained Taylor so she wouldn't have to spend time with the old folks.

If it looks like I just rolled out of bed, well, I did.  We went to the bar at 9 am to watch ManUnited play.  Yes, that's a beer in my hand.

This is Rose, her oldest daughter, Jennifer, and Steven at a beautiful vineyard in Hillsboro, Missouri.  I tasted a wine that hinted of pickle juice.  I swear.

Wonderful friends, and a pretty darn good tootin' boy there.  (love the glasses!)

 Family.  Friends.  It was a real treat to see them all in one weekend.  On a holiday.  For that, I give thanks.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Five Days

In five short days, I managed to eat:

Jack in the Box Tacos
Stuffing, times two
Mashed Potatoes
Cream cheese with onion pepper jelly relish stuff
A ton of Party Mix
Rose's Potato Chip Dip
Potato Chips
Casa Gallardo Chips and Salsa
Fried Zucchini
Rich and Charlie's famous salad
Pasta Carbonara
Cheese Garlic Bread
Toasted Raviolis
Syberg's Chicken Wings
Pretzel Bites with Cheese
A Full Irish Breakfast
MORE Toasted Ravs
MORE Cheese Garlic Bread, this time with Provel Cheese
MORE of Rose's potato chip dip
Onion Rings and a Pepper Jack Burger from the Village Tavern

And, Now I am going to explode.  BURP.

So much for that diet I've been on the last four months.   But seriously.  St. Louis has the BEST food.

(pssssssssst:  it was all delicious!)


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Ju Style. (for Mels)


 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Did you see the ugly little elf outside your door this morning?  I'm just wondering where he got those fancy shoes, and what they're going to do with the beetle.  I'm also wondering just what this has to do with Thanksgiving.

Okay, NO WAY am I eating a turkey with a face like this.  For one thing, I can't even tell if it's a boy or a girl.   Either way, it's just plain creepy.

Guns.  Bullets.  Charlton Heston would love this guy.

Do NOT want to see how big the turkey was from where THAT wishbone came.  Holy Moly.  That's T-Rex territory.

Speaking of creepy.  All the pretty children are lined up to go into Thanksgiving Town.  They are guarded by an evil looking mutant dog, and the words wish for you to "Join the Turkey Line" with me.  I'm eerily reminded of Jim Jones on this one.

Now, how in the world is that small boy going to chop off that big old turkey's head?  And, where do they grow these turkeys so big?

I have no idea people.  No idea.

Caught Napping

Well, not really.  I have a few things in my brain and on my computer for this long holiday weekend, but I've been too busy socializing to write anything interesting.

I hope you will hang in there with me.

I wish you all the most wonderful of holidays.  I hope you have the warm fuzzies, and fully enjoy the holiday time.  I cherish each and every one of you. xxxx

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Please Pass the Party Mix

 I've talked about my grandmother many times on this blog.  If you haven't read any of those posts, just know that she is absolutely my favorite person on the planet.  She is the coolest, kindest, most wonderful woman, and she inspires me on a daily basis.

She also happens to be the person who introduced me to Chex Party Mix, or as I simply call it, "Party Mix."  (no Chex!)  When we would visit her for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, she would always have a huge batch waiting for us upon our arrival.  It was always stored in a BIG yellow tupperware bowl, circa 1970.  She kept it in the laundry room, so it was easy to sneak in, grab a handful, and mysteriously, the amount of party mix would decrease.  I was usually too stuffed from eating party mix to fully enjoy the wonderful Thanksgiving meal.  (NOTE:  this picture with the two of us was taken at her house in Atlanta, about 1993?  I think I might have made that pie, I look awfully proud?)

Fast forward a whole bunch of years.  Grandma has since moved out of her Atlanta house and into a Catholic retirement home in St. Louis. When she moved out, she invited me to come take things from her house.  I took that yellow tupperware bowl.  And, every year since, I've made party mix on Thanksgiving and Christmas.  To me, it screams holiday, and it reminds me of all the great Grandma times I've had in my life.

You can see here, the cast of characters, including the famous yellow bowl:

Here is that gorgeous yellow bowl, all on its own.  I'm sure the special plastic makes the goods taste better?
(Fill me please!!!)

 This is the batch getting ready to bake.  I don't use pretzels or peanuts.  One, I don't like peanuts, and two, everyone just brushes the pretzels aside, so forget them.

After baking for a magical hour, into the bowl it goes, and Voila!!!

 It is now OFFICIALLY the holiday season folks. 

Thanks Grandma.

Friday, November 19, 2010

One of My Favorite Things

Yeah, for many years now, Harry Potter has been a big part of our lives.  I can remember reading the book to Taylor while she took a bath, and the two of us getting completely engrossed in the story and the characters.

We brought Steven into the fold, and we all became addicted.  We read the books as soon as they were released.  Taylor would read it all in one sitting, while Steven and I would listen to it on audio while traveling.  We fell in love with Harry, Ron and Hermione.  I consider Dumbledore to be a moral compass in my life.  I wept at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, and seriously fell apart when it was all over after book 7.

In addition to reading the books, we all see the movies together.  We go the first day it comes out, and go to the same theatre.  It's probably one of my favorite family traditions that we have.

We went again, today, to see Harry Potter 7, Part One.  We're all a bit older, but it doesn't matter.  It's still a magical experience for all of us.  And, as much as I look forward to the final movie in June, I'm going to be crushed when it's over.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Now What?

Well, there goes my shot at being Queen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

This House is Always First

As soon as Halloween is over, there's a house in Goose Creek that sets up for Christmas.  I've driven by the back of this house for years now, and they never fail me. I can always see the Christmas decorations peeking around the corner.   Today is the first time I actually drove by the front of the house.  Needles to say, I wasn't disappointed.

Wow.  I was looking at all of this at 8:00 in the morning.  WOW.

I mean, you've got trains, carolers, deer, lights, big candles, Santa on the porch, and on and on.

Now, is Snoopy there year 'round, or is this a Christmas thing?  

And, no house in South Carolina would be complete without the Christmas deer wearing their bows.  

I can't WAIT to drive back at night when all the lights are on and the blow up snowmen and Santas are up and running.  I just think I'll wait until it's a bit closer to Christmas.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Casa Linda = La Hacienda = Los Arcos

I do love me some Mexican food.  I love salsa so much, at times I honestly think I could drink it. 

I love the white cheese that tastes so yummy shredded, and even better when melted.  (and best when melted with some Chorizo in it!)  I do love my margaritas, lots of salt on the rim please! 

For some reason, the tomatoes take on a special yumminess when topping a perfectly cooked quesadilla.  (last night's version was creamy spinach quesadillas!)  We know that all the lettuce hides something delicious underneath.  (check out Mary's dish from last night---)

One of my favorite things about Mexican food is that it doesn't matter where you go, you can find a good cheap place that serves good cheap food.  And, more often than not, the menu looks like this, no matter the city or state:

And when we go for Mexican food, this is what Steven eats:
Something for everyone, and everyone is happy.