Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Enchilada Update!

I have to tell you... After work last night I rushed home to make More enchiladas for dinner. Yes!

First, because the chicken enchiladas I made Sunday night were so fantastic Brandon actually cracked a smile over Dinner, and second because I had to do something with the remaining Three dozen tortillas. Clarity is not something I usually take to the market with me - I have a recipe in my head and since I cannot be bothered to write it down I end up Over-buying on everything I need and always leave with a bunch of other Stuff I don't, that's also totally unrelated to the dish. It's like driving; I'm so busy answering e-mail, talking on the phone or changing CD's in the changer that I do everything but drive. Market shopping is the same way, and since Brandon was with me I had his, "Oh! I forgot, let's go back to the... section for the ..." to further test my concentration. So I couldn't decide between the soft taco or the burrito grande size Tortillas so I bought three bags of the soft taco size and two bags of the burrito grande. I'd never attempted Enchiladas before Sunday so I had no idea which size baking dish I'd use, and I knew William would want Quesadillas so I figured lots of both size Tortillas couldn't be bad. But in the end, with 25+/- tortillas in the kitchen there had to be More enchiladas!

This time though I did Steak, and they were just as Amazing! I grilled skirt steak (no time to marinade so I rubbed it with Pisto's Sensational California seasoning) and when it was just about medium I pulled it off the grill, let it rest 10 minutes, then sliced it into fajita-like strips. I added the usual... Cilantro, red onion and crushed garlic (because old Habits die hard) and some tomato, then I tossed in some green pepper strips I sautéed in Olive oil for a few minutes. Oh! This time I used Mexican Fresco cheese instead of Monterey Jack to go along with the shredded Mild cheddar I used. I added the enchilada Sauce to the tortillas before I rolled them and then topped all my Enchiladas with a little more of both cheeses and the remaining sauce. I bought a small can of Enchilada sauce last night instead of the Jumbo can I bought on Sunday, which was Perfect.

Let me tell you, Mexican at our house is now strictly Enchiladas because they blow my Tacos and burritos away... And, I do them pretty well too. I hope you'll try Enchiladas soon!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Enchiladas!

After the storm passed I went to the Market to pick up baking potatoes for dinner. I marinated boneless chicken breasts overnight and planned to do the Usual grilled chicken with baked potatoes. But when I got to the market Mexican came to mind so I passed up the potatoes in exchange for Cilantro, avocados, limes and tomatoes and decided to try Enchiladas. I've never made enchiladas and didn't expect much success. But look!
For my picky-eater, (William) I made Cheese quesadillas
I grilled the chicken breasts, then diced them. Added chopped
red onion, crushed garlic, Cilantro, diced tomatoes and a mix of 
grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses. A little Enchilada 
sauce and Rolled them up. I covered the finished Enchiladas with
a little more Sauce and grated Cheese, then baked them for 
fifteen minutes at 375 degrees. Served them with a little Sour
cream and my Famous guacamole... So Easy, so Good! Who knew?
After dinner I found Bing napping in the Solarium
Sweetest Cat in the whole World!
Doesn't even know I'm here...
What a Life!

Rain, rain Go away!

Got chased out of the pool by Thunder, lightening and a whole lot of Rain this afternoon...
So I grabbed my Camera and my Umbrella and went for a Walk!
There's something Special about a Garden in the rain
Splish, splish, splish...
Dots of Sunlight on the Hostas by the pond
They Glow!
Hosta blossoms - smell Amazing!
Here comes the Sun!
They don't seem to Mind the rain...
Love the way the Moss has taken over this Birdbath
The creek
I'm being Watched!
More hostas
The last time I walked down this Trail in the rain
a frog hopped onto the top of my foot - I'm wearing 
flip-flops agin so I think I'll skip it!
The new Sunlight is providing this Little hosta its own Spotlight!
When the rain stopped Steam came 
up off the grass and the road
The Black-eyed Susan love the Rain!
And, so do I... But on days while I'm at work, Please!

New and Old Finds!

I need another Set of Pyrex nesting bowls like we need another Car in the driveway... But I've been watching this one particular set at Dee's Antiques for about three months now so I was determined to Buy it if I was Lucky enough to still find it there. 

Dee buys estates in the Area and what sets her apart from other Dealers is that after she makes her money back, Dee marks all the remaining items from the Estate down by 50%. Love that! So when you come in, Dee or her assistant hands you a flyer that lists all the estates NOT marked 50% off - Everything else in her shop is 50% off and even the estate codes on the flyer not 50% off are still always discounted 20%. The great news is that my bowls were still there, but the not-so-Great news is that the code on them, "DA" was still listed as one of the not-yet-50%-off estates. 

The set was still marked $45.00 and truthfully, given its condition (unused), was not unreasonable. But as I walked around the old Farm house looking at other things it occurred to me that, "DA" might stand for Dee's Antiques (brilliant, I know) and therefore, my bowls might be part of a collection not of an Estate so they may never make it to the 50% mark down. So I went to talk with Dee about them. But before we could get to the matter of the bowls, I had to ask Dee how she was doing since our last visit and about her dad (Dee cares for her elderly father who suffers from Alzheimer's disease), which launched us off into a chat about her recent Beach vacation! 

Dee explained that since her brother, who lives at the Coast full time came over to care for their father for 10-days, she was able to take a Much needed break. During our conversation Dee went out to her truck to grab her digi-cam to show me some of the Fantastic photos she took of the Sunsets from her beach house and of the amazing Oak trees on her property. Any way, it was so nice to Catch up with her and I almost forgot about the Bowls! Almost... 

I started off by offering Dee my card and asked her to ring me when estate code, "DA" comes up on her list of 50% off Estates because the Set of nesting bowl I wanted are Marked with that code. Of course, Dee said she'd call me but she couldn't guarantee the bowls would still be there (the mark of a Good saleslady!) Then she asked me to show her the set because she Thought she could do better Today. Yea! Bottom line, Dee said she would do $28.00 for the set, which was close enough to 50% off for me! So I took them, and I grabbed two other smaller Pyrex bowls that were part of an Estate already marked 50% off. 

I also snapped pictures for you of the Pink nesting set I picked up at Lost in Time a couple of months ago. I really like visiting the Lost in Time antique mall because the turn-over of Items is fast so they Always have something new! We were there last Sunday and picked up a full set of Gym lockers. So fun! The stack stands almost 8-feet tall and has 7, cubbie-style lockers just like we had in School. Each locker has vent holes on all sides, a number plate on the front and place for a padlock - It's out in the garage now and is the perfect organizer for our shoes, suntan lotions, our beach towels and the terry Chaise covers I use out by the Pool! Of course, getting the Boys to put their shoes Away is still a work in progress, but we're getting there! 

Speaking of boys... When I went into Brandon's room (aka my home office/guest bedroom while he was away at College) to set up my new Thomasville lamp on Friday, I noticed a huge pile of his clothes covering my Pink slipper chair. Even his hanging dry cleaning was lumped into this Dump-pile. So I asked him about it...  And, Brandon's reply? "Oh, that's my closet since my closet is Full of your Junk." First of all, Junk? Second of all, that weak answer is what's supposed to pass as an Excuse for not putting away his Clothes these days? So I fixed his wagon, and in the process, I discovered an old Find of mine!

So I organized his closet... and Guess what? Although I do keep our winter Feather beds and my supply of down Pillows, my note card and stationary sets and the laser printer I rarely use in there, the closet still has Plenty of room for Brandon's clothes! ALL of my stuff is either on the floor of the closet or in organizer bins lined up on the shelf. There was absolutely no reason Brandon couldn't Hang up his clothes! Are you surprised? I'm not! 

Nevertheless, organizing his closet did net me the discovery of a Tray I bought two+ years ago at Salem Creek. I bought it because it was part of their Guest bedroom display and since I was buying up all the decorative throw Pillows on the display bed, I took the Tray too. But while I decorated Brandon's bed with all the pillows, I didn't see the tray Fitting into the room so I put it away in the closet. Seeing it again yesterday I Realized it would look great on my Dresser and work nicely as a spot to Park all my perfume bottles. If nothing else, the tray will make it Easier for me to move all my perfume Bottles when I dust my Dresser each week! Now that it's out, I kinda regret not using it sooner. Thanks, Brandon! 

Okay, on to the Bowls...        
This is the Pink set I discovered at Lost in Time
They are unused and Perfect and look Great in my kitchen
Teal-print bowls from Dee's - They don't match but the
larger one is perfect for beating Eggs and the small one
was just too cute to pass up! And, at 50% off, I couldn't!
This is the Set I was after. I love the Bird motif!
So sweet!
They look as Great in my cabinet as I imagined they Would
An old Find made New again!
Moving the Bottles won't be such a Pain anymore

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dinner!

I did Carolina jumbo Shrimp on the indoor-Barbie! First, I marinated them in lemon juice and olive oil and then seasoned them with some Pike's seafood rub as they grilled... Yum!
I tossed the Grilled shrimp with some steamed Broccoli into a Sauce 
I made with butter, crushed garlic, heavy cream and grated Parmesan 

Friday, July 25, 2008

Who buys a $100 lamp?... Silly man!



Ah... Friday! And, Friday off from work... Even better. Sale at the Thomasville Outlet... The Best!

Bingee and I started our Friday morning off in the usual way; snuggled up together until 10:30, which was nice. I left him to snooze a bit longer while I showered and got ready to go but had to disturb him to strip the sheets off the bed. Poor Bing... After I got the laundry started I dashed over to Thomasville. I received a Flyer in the mail this week from my favorite sales lady over there announcing a Sale so I had to go... Of course the only way I can buy more furniture is to move one of the boys out into their own apartment (Now there's an Idea!) and give them what we already have because the last thing we need is more furniture. But I couldn't not go so I decided I'd just look and focus on finding a lamp instead. I brought my desk lamp into the Bedroom to put on the new Table next to my fabulous new chair. So my desk needed a New lamp. And, boy did I find one... It's Perfect! The clear crystal base Allows for an unobstructed view out the window and the rectangular shade looks Very smart, and it weighs a ton. Retail on it was $225.00 but at the Outlet and today, on Sale I paid only $89.00. Yea! Of course, when I told him what I picked up he said, "Shame on you, who buys a $100.00 lamp?" Hello, McFly? There isn't a lamp in this house I paid less than $100.00 for - but of course, he does Not know that. When I got home this afternoon I found the new Shades I ordered from Pottery Barn for the bedroom were delivered. Again, not about to share with him how much Those cost!

I took a few photos at the Outlet for you. They now have the Sage Felicity sofa and chair on the floor so I asked about getting the Sage slipcover for my chair and ottoman but they've sold out. Poop! I also saw a beautiful blue velvet sofa I like, but again - no room at the Inn, so I had to leave it there.  

Any way, I've just put the new Shades on the bedside lamps and they Look great! The square shape is Better suited to the lines of the new bed and match the Lamp shade on the table. The round shades were fine but these are Better and the bright white linen compliments the New paint color we chose for the walls. 

Now I'm off to throw dinner together. I stopped at the Market for Carolina jumbo Shrimp, garlic, butter, lemons, Parmesan and Penne and a Peach torte for desert. After dinner we're going to see Wall-E again. We enjoyed that Film so much the first time and want to See it again!

Happy Weekend! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not easy...

I couldn't wait to Share these photos of what I saw in the Garden this evening after the Storm we had - But I have to admit it's not easy to post after Bryan Adams. It thrills me to See my photos of him here and I will miss him as the posts about our meeting and his Concert fade off into my Archive. Sigh... But I know he would want me to Go on. Ha!

Any way, being in the Garden this evening after the storm was Fantastic! I've never seen so many Cardinals or finches and the frogs were as loud as I've ever heard them! Everything was glowing and seemed oddly Brighter awash in this eerie Amber light going on. The hostas around the pond are Amazing! Just as we were about to go into the house the sky turned Bright blue - Take a Look!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A little Bryan Adams for You!

Bryan Adams, Up close and Personal...

Met Bryan Adams this evening just before his Show...

Signing my CD (provided as part of the VIP package)
Yum!
This is what, All-that-and-a-Bag-of-Chips looks like...

Bryan Adams watching me watch him - Nothing better!
Want to see more photos? Go Here

For you, because if I learned anything in Kindergarten, it was the art of Sharing!

This is what front row, just left of center with Mr. Adams tonight felt like... Enjoy!


video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So what did You do all weekend?

What I've learned during this 4, 10-hour day work week experiment at HbI is that having a three-day weekend allows us almost equal time to Work at home! I did manage to squeeze in some Me-time with a pedicure and some shopping on Friday afternoon, and then Friday evening we attended a sold-out showing of The Dark Knight (Batman). And, just a little bit about that... After Heath Ledger died many said the role he had just completed in this Film as the Joker haunted him and that because of it, he was not able to Settle down or sleep - Thus, the need for Prescription medicines, which we all know now contributed to the end of his Young and talented life. But just how talented this young man was I did not know until Last night...

While I was more of an Archie comic book reader, I thumbed through my share of my brother's Batman comics and I have to say that while Jim Carrey played the Riddler, and Jack Nicholson played the Joker, their performances felt like just them giving us their Interpretation of those Characters - However, Heath Ledger was different, he was The Joker. Hands down, the best performance of his Life and one I fully expect will earn him a posthumous Oscar.

The film is violent, Dark and action-packed, and while the story goes as all other Batman movies before it, (Bruce Wayne and the damsel cannot be together because of his night-time Gig fighting back Evil forces alive in Gotham) Mr. Ledger's performance sets this installment apart from all the rest in a Very memorable way. So much so that in the Scene where he's walking away from a Hospital complex he just destroyed I began to cry. I don't know if it was the absurdity of his Look in the Nurse uniform he was wearing or the way that Evil, funny, but somehow sad Joker face paint looked in the shot or the way he Tilted his head and twitched/shrugged his shoulder after the last blast... I can't be sure of anything except my inability to Stop tears from rolling Down my face. Especially Weird for me, given the subject matter and since Hugh Grant and romance couldn't have been further away... But since last night I've thought a lot about that scene, my emotions about it and Heath Ledger, and what I believe happened is that it was at that moment in the Film when I realized I was witnessing something within him Cross over to something that was perhaps a bit beyond his control. I don't know and I cannot be sure but Whatever it was, I can tell you it was a lot more than I expected for my $7.50!

So now it's Saturday and it's all about completing the Bedroom - Yea! Here's a walk down bedroom-memory Lane:

This is the Master bedroom a few days after we arrived at the house. Imagine finding this at the end of your 3,318 mile drive from Monterey! The house appeared clean the day we signed the Full-price offer to the Sellers with our realtor; however, three months had passed since then and once she knew the Cash was in the Bank, the former owner apparently Overlooked cleaning the house the way I apparently overlooked her Wallpaper! We ended up spending three nights in a hotel because I wouldn't bring my Luggage into the house, let alone Sleep in it. And, if I sound bitter, I am! I come from the land of Turn-key so our buyers in California not only got my Perfectly clean house but we also left them several great Wedding gifts to make sure they'd Enjoy their new home on the very first Day - Which is what I expected on this end, especially in the land of Southern Hospitality. So this is the bedroom before... Looking back, all I can say is that we deserve BIG credit for seeing what they refer to in the house-buying process as, Potential!
Five minutes after the wallpaper came down and the walls were painted - Much better!
It took a few years but we Finally found the right bed
And, a few Years more to get over our Fear of
adding Color back into the room - But today was That day!
It's Waverly Home Classics and the color is called Summer Cottage...
But I call it Cool, crisp, clean, calming and yet still Inviting and warm
I've got my eye on something at Pottery Barn for over the chair!
Add a set of new blinds and This will do just Fine!
Now we're off to spend the Evening with Bryan Adams...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christmas in July!

Christmas came early today when I learned that Brandon was eligible for his very own Insurance policy with USAA. As of today, we are No longer responsible for Brandon's car insurance. WooT! 

The nice man at USAA told Brandon he's eligible for USAA dependant membership through my 26-year relationship with them, which of course is only possible because of my Father's 47-year relationship with USAA. My dad became a member in 1961, just before he married my mother in March of 1962. I have always been grateful to have USAA on my side and have never forgotten that it's only because of my Dad's sacrifice and service to his Country. That's why Brandon's disregard for the benefit and the Law where his speeding is concerned Bothers me as much as it does. God knows Brandon's done nothing to Earn the benefit, the same way I did nothing to earn it! So losing my USAA insurance because of his stupidity was Not going to happen, and is exactly why I fought so hard and agreed to do Whatever the court told us to do to get the Prayer for Judgement we needed to prevent USAA from dropping us after the Last ticket Brandon brought home.

Membership with USAA has Big, Big benefits that extend to all areas of our Life - Car insurance, homeowner's insurance, brokerage, savings and checking accounts, Life insurance products, mortgages and credit cards, all at unbelievable Low rates. Over the years we've taken advantage of everything USAA offers. So if Brandon wants to keep it he'll have to manage his Speed and do everything he knows he Must do to Drive sensibly.

So now it's up to him. Today Brandon begins his association with USAA - as a Twenty-year old young man who has just acquired a car the Insurance industry regards as higher risk, Brandon enjoys ridiculously low Insurance with no payment up front and it'll only get Better the older he gets and the longer he goes without a Problem. 

On we Go! 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Done Deal

Out of Storage and back on the Road!
Mr. Ender told Brandon he raced Porsche for twenty years
so he certainly understands the Need for speed... But
then he said, "This is the 73-year old grandpa in me
talking you you now... Take it slow, okay?" My kinda guy!
Bye, Mom!