Friday, January 28, 2011

Deployed...

My heart deployed a few hours ago...
Thanks to the Ranger's sweet girlfriend we have photos of the hour before...

And, of his GTI that he loves so much all covered
up at the Ranger compound for safe keeping...
And of the bird... that carries all our stuff, plus us, Mom
No movie, no munchies, no seats... We all just find
a spot to get comfortable on top of all our bags
He told me he's just going to work...
I told him he can go to work... As long as
he makes coming home to me job #1...
Because to this Army Mom, it's the
most heroic thing my Ranger can do!

Friday, January 21, 2011

See you later...

This is the reason I quit flying to Ft. Benning...
Sure, driving takes four times longer; but I've yet to find a commercial pilot willing
to stop in Gaffney, South Carolina to let me off to shop at the Pottery Barn outlet
there. Something my personal driver is more than happy to do for me! This
morning we timed our departure from home to coincide with the exact
time it opened. And, we did well - We were only 6 minutes early!
Next to a Tiffany's, Trader Joe's, Dean and Deluca, Lush, Chevy's and a Williams-
Sonoma outlet, a Pottery Barn outlet is what our home city needs the most! I
always feel like such a Schmo buying PB at full price in the stores or on-line
because almost everything they offer there can be found at their outlet
at a fraction of the cost. Especially furniture, duvets and tabletop!
It's very difficult not to go crazy and buy it all... But somehow I manage not to!
After Gaffney it's only 4 hours to Atlanta, and then an hour and twenty minute
push to Ft. Benning where we find the pot of gold at the end of our journey-rainbow!
This is our 9th trip in less than two years. This time, we're at the
Double Tree in Columbus... It's not, Club Level at the Grove Park... 
 But that's just because there can only be one, Club Level at the Grove Park!
Nevertheless, this Double Tree will do just fine... Especially since we managed to
leave the door propped open while we were out all evening and came back to find
my MacBook, camera and everything else of value right where I left them - Whew! 
So we're here visiting our Ranger ahead of his deployment early next week. As
always, we are thrilled to see him, just sad because of the reason. We've been
through this before, and it's no easier this time. In fact, it feels a bit harder
this time. Sunday will be tough. But we all agree, this is not Good-bye...
It's just, See you later!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A little bit of everything!

This exhibit enlightened me in so many ways... Just when you think you know
all there is to know about a subject, a tiny detail pops up, compelling you to
study it again. The dear Mr. Rockwell, his life and his iconic, all-American
art did me that favor yesterday. And now, my new favorite is this! 
However, the Rockwell exhibit was just one stop on yesterday's full agenda...
We began the day at Sur La Table in Greensboro where I had no trouble whatsoever
spending the birthday gift given to me by SpaBoy. After SLT, we stopped in Burlington
where I cashed in the free-birthday gift offer made by Sephora. Following a brief stay
there and a quick dash through the Le Creuset outlet, we finally headed to Raleigh! 
After the museum and stops at Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware and Pottery
Barn we went to dinner at Angus Barn. Ever since I learned that their executive
chef is an Iron Chef, I've been dying to go back to meet him. And, meet him I
did! Chef Royal even gave me a copy of his episode to take home with me! 
However... It devastates me to tell you that only one of us in our party of four
received a steak that was properly prepared. After our meals returned horribly
cooked a second time, we all gave up and asked to see the dessert tray! To her
credit, the manager was completely embarrassed, and worked Very hard to
make it up to me. First, she forgave our $270.00 bill, and then, as we left,
she presented me a basket overflowing with goodies from their famous
country store! Oh well... At least our dinner company was perfect!  
Speaking of perfect... We spent a little time at Lush! I picked up more
bathbombsbubble bars and several of my favorite massage bars!
Oh!  I must tell you that the birthday pound cake presented to me
at the Angus Barn was the best pound cake we've ever eaten! We
didn't know that last night since we ordered the crème brûlée...  
But we know it now!
So my Trader Joe's raspberry tart will just have to wait its turn in the freezer!
Before I go, I have to tell you about my Sur La Table find! Do you see it?
Moo!
I've been looking for a new bowl for my island, and
this one has the Personality necessary to fit right in!
In fact, she has personality to spare! I've seen it at SLT before; however, at $60
I passed... But on sale yesterday for $35.99, Missy Moo became a must-have!
Now if you'll excuse me, there's only one thing left for this
heart-broken Dallas Cowboy fan to do on Sunday afternoon...
Serve up some of my shredded chicken nachos and wish the New York Jets a win!

Friday, January 14, 2011

PopChips, delivered!

As you know, I've been following a program using CLEAN products
to help me drop a few pounds... 92-pounds in six and a half months
as of today, to be exact! And, the only thing I'm asked about more
than how CLEAN works, and what I eat is what I snack on! And,
what I love to snack on more than anything else is, PopChips!   
Of all the unhealthy snacking I once did, I found that giving up my favorite Kettle chips
was the most difficult... Fortunately for me, I stumbled upon PopChips in October so
my suffering was relatively short-lived! You may remember that I had a pretty tough
time finding PopChips in my area, and that after I wrote to them, the good people
there sent me this sample pack. I'm so glad they did! Otherwise, I wouldn't
know how fantastic the other varieties, besides the original, BBQ and the sea salt
and vinegar flavors that my Target stocks, truly are. I love the sour cream and onion! 
 However, despite the fact that I've been cleaning out both Target stores in my city
for several months, and have been begging them to carry all of the great PopChips
flavors, Target has yet to get with the program. So this week I took matters into
my own hands and ordered PopChips on-line. Shipping was cheap, and on-line,
my fav PopChips are less expensive by the case - I win! Now I have plenty of my
favorites to munch on! I keep a couple of bags at work, and even one in my truck
for those times when you-know-who just has to stop for Doritos and candy bars
during our road-trips. This shipment also means I have plenty of my yummy
PopChips to share, since I end up giving away as many PopChips as I eat!
PopChips is the Perfect snack, and they are all-natural too!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday President Nixon... And, to me!
I have everything a girl dreams of having at my age... Health. Plus the benefit of two
very happy and healthy parents, the love of a fine man, two handsome, healthy
and spoiled, but always grateful sons, a fantastic job, and certainly more
friends than I deserve! Remember when we thought 45 was old? HA!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Out with Christmas, back to Halloween!

Bing knows something is up!
And, indeed there is! I was out of bed super-early, for a Sunday and at the
market to pick up all the goodies I need to prepare a huge breakfast and a
yummy dinner later. We'll have both boys and their girls to feed so I'm
planning meals and baking a dessert too! And, all of this is going on
while we're in the process of de-Christmas'ing the house too!  
But first it's dessert, which is taking us all the way back to Halloween!
I've been wanting to try this leftover-Halloween-candy Bundt
cake that I first learned about here. Oh, by the way... If you are not
already a fan of Cathy's and reading her beautiful blog, you must!
Don't let this fool you... Unwrapping all this candy was a pain!
Thank goodness sweets don't call my name... Otherwise, this would be dangerous work!
I got a set of Pourfect bowls for Christmas. They
were part of this year's, to-me-from-me haul! 
Don't you just love those kinds of gifts?
I do. They're my favorite. And, best of all... No wrapping required!
Next Sunday I'll be knee-deep in the, to-me-from-me birthday gift haul!
And... There we have it!
Leftover-Halloween-Candy Bundt cake!
Now all it needs is a melted Guittard chocolate glaze!
Because all that Halloween candy may in fact not be sweet enough!
Now for contrast...
A little white chocolate glaze!    
Oh! I have to tell you!! I found Martha's 2011 limited edition cake
stands at Macy*s in Monterey! And yes, I said stands, as in set!
As in two! I called my Macy*s here to see if they would hold a set for me until
we got back; however, they didn't have them... Thankfully, Santa-mom put them
under the tree for me. And, since USAir was on its best behavior, they made it! 
Want to know a cake-glazing clean-up secret?
I place a sheet of plastic wrap under my rack!
This so beats...
Washing a sheet pan!
By the way... I prepared the Ranger's favorite meal for dinner this evening!
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and... Nothing green!
It's sure been a while since there were six of us around the table...
All we need now is Mom and Dad to make it eight!
They know how to get here...
Which leaves me wondering what they're waiting for!
Now that dinner is over...
It's dessert-time!