Date Night

IMG_6072We had a visit to a familiar place to celebrate Tom’s birthday. The Bombay Bicycle Club in San Antonio is where Tom and I had our first date. IMG_6070The decor looks the same as I remember. Those were fun days. These are fun days. The only change is that we don’t hide things from each other for fun….we have enough trouble remembering where we left things…..

Tom and Sue

Tom and Sue

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Once A Year

Once in a while, you may come across a group of people who just seem to click. I am involved in a group of artisans in Wilson County, who work together in order to put on an event that combines so much talent, it is destined to be something no one in Texas will want to miss. Everyone in the local community surrounding Floresville, Texas looks forward to all the creative offerings that are available at the event called Once A Year. A variety of items are hand made, from baby clothes to Peanut Brittle like you have never tasted. Rhew Orchards has pecans and peaches. Their peach ice cream is an art!!!!They make special order peach pies, cobblers and ice cream year round. I could go on and on just about the tempting food……The hand sewn quilts and Christmas ornaments are exquisite. Several one of a kind jewelry items are going to be hard for me to resist. Antiques will be abundant throughout the three day sale.I am working on new paintings and ornaments just for this marketplace. Once A Year 2010 will be held on November 11, 12 and 13th. Contact me  for  location, times and more info.

Queen of the Rodeo

We would have loved to get Grand Moye on a horse, a pony really. We just could not take the chance, even though our trusty little Welsh gelding is the most intelligent and laid back equine I have ever known. Luckily, my mother-in-law did not miss the experience. We kept her busy and entertained with plenty of other great activities during her visit to the ranch. Tom and I had fun dressing her up like a cowgirl. “She looks like a doll”He said.

Ready to ride the Range

She loves the scenery along the drive from San Antonio to Fairview, always commenting on the trees and cows and as excited as a child the whole way. She amazes me in so many ways. It was only the week before Thanksgiving that she fractured her pelvis. She went from a wheelchair to her walker which we hoped she would be using anyway to aid her balance at all times. She is slim and trim and has the appetite of a teenager. We grilled ribs and corn on the cob. Bread and butter, fresh green beans and a salad completed the feast. After dinner she had a slice of chocolate cream pie while we listened to a recording from 1957 of her five children at Christmas and a story told by her mother about The Cow with no Tail.

Grand Moye, Kirby and Tom

We tucked her in bed early with her pets who now live with us, Kirby the cat and Oakie the beautiful Pomeranian. They let her sleep late. We kept checking in on her while Bridgette the goat and Francie our horse peeked in the back door at her. Tom finally woke her up, so she would have plenty of time to help him with all the ranch chores. He told her she better have a hearty breakfast to start the day.Chilaquilles with flour tortillas, potatoes, tomatoes along with lots of hot cowboy coffee and fresh squeezed orange juice. “I won’t be able to eat lunch”she laughed. Before we hit the trail, she spent an hour reading her Valentine’s greetings via e-mail. Tom drove the fence-line and they fed hay and water to the Longhorns and horses.

Cactus Jack

They stopped off at the barn and Grand Moye was surprised to see Buffy and Fluffy, two Vultures who call this home.

Fluffy

When we arrived at her apartment, we had missed lunch, but the building was brimming with Valentine cheer and there were platters full 0f heart shaped cookies and baskets of fruit on tables down the hallway. A musician was playing the piano and her friends were glad to have her back. Our good byes are usually tearful, but I left her smiling and I have no doubt she will take a great nap and dream about the fun times at the ranch.

Supersize Me

Sunday morning Tom fixed pancakes and scrambled eggs for our great nieces Anna and Avery. They were both stuffed and Anna said.”I won’t be able to eat lunch.”After a few hours of playing in the barn and riding the ponies, she changed her mind. The temperature was around 32 all day and were all running around working up an appetite.We had a few hours of taxi driving for Peyton’s friends before we had an opportunity to go on a fast food frenzy. As we drove from one end of San Antonio to the other,dropping off kids one by one, we passed Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, Wendy’s,Whataburger, Church’s Fried Chicken, Fred’s Fish Fry, 6 McDonald’s and a million taco stands, including a new one named Sir Vesa’s….. Anna wanted bean and cheese burritos and Avery wanted a cheeseburger with tater tots. They both wanted slushies. Just hold your drink out the window, I told them. Violå!!!! Instant slush! Sonic was our first stop for  their slushies and Avery’s cheeseburger & tots. Next stop was Taco Cabaña. We cracked up laughing because they gave us two spoons with the burritos. They are great for launching re-fried beans if you want to have a food fight, I told them. “Great” Anna said. She couldn’t wait to try this with her little brother Max. I dropped them off pretty quick after that. LaLaLa  LaBomba! Sorry,  Mama Ashley!

Aw, Shucks!

Tom spent some time looking at recipes for our cook-out last night. He discovered a good one for corn on the cob. We usually buy fresh corn, soak it in ice cold water, wrap it in foil, grill it and add butter and seasoning after shucking. The recipe we chose called for frozen corn, so we went with it.  We discovered a great seasoning that will be a staple from now on.

Sampler lovingly made by Monroe, LA native Susan Sartor Graham

Louisiana Cajun Seasoning has 0 fat, 0 calories. It is gluten free and contains no MSG. Use it like salt and pepper. It claims to be great on everything, including salads. Can’t vouch for that yet, but try sprinkling it on frozen corn on the cob,add a pat of butter, wrap it in heavy duty foil and grill it!!! Tonight we are going to try it on Tilapia……

Last Night and the Night Before

I could not wait to get home Friday night. Tom and I had a cook out planned and we wanted to get started before sunset. I thought we might just walk down to the tank and sit on a blanket and eat a salad, but I should have known better. I saddled up Pony Boy and he was my couch for the evening, while the Gourmet Chef grilled bell peppers, zucchini, carrots and onions to compliment our jalapeño and cheddar cheese burgers. Pony Boy munched on hay and was content to hang out with us. We had a radio, but it was more fun to listen to the Cara Caras (Mexican eagles) and the Owls as it got later. Last night was even more fun and Tom had the whole day to plan our feast.We had corn on the cob, roasted on the fire, green beans on another grill, chicken and sausage on the 3rd one.

Spooky's first pony ride

Noche and Okie stayed home (their choice)and I was a little bit worried about bringing Spooky. I thought we might lose her when it got dark, but she stayed near us all night. She even went for a ride on Pony Boy. Sky was really good, too. She did a little exploring, but never wandered off to far.

Every day opens up new possibilities for fun that only could be realized by living out here with the solitude, open land and abundant wildlife. Just recently we have been excited to see several deer on our property for the first time ever. Last week, I started putting out corn so that they will appear on a predictable basis.There is a big buck and at least four doe in his harem. I can’t wait to see little Bambis in May. If I feed them enough, maybe they will hang out here more often and try some of Tom’s roasted corn on the cob! We took lots of photos that are posted here. Check out Just Saying to see some of the ranch recipes.

49Th Annual Greek Funstival

Last year’s event at St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Church was so much fun, we could not wait to go back this year.St. Sophia The children were just as precious and we recognized some of them. Ta Adelfakiaready to dance2 boysI talked to one of the older boys and he told me that they practice every Sunday. You can tell.happy heartsthe starsthe older boysdancersIt was fun just to watch the dancers, but last year I joined in when everyone was invited to participate.  We met a gentleman named Will Beason and he was getting some last minute instruction before he and his friends joined the fun.

It's all Greek to me.....

It's all Greek to me.....

I never did catch on, but Will looked great! the amateursTom took lots of photos that we sent to some of the dancing stars.good spotWe loved the music, the musiciansand sampled some of the gourmet cuisine. My favorite was the Spanakopita, spinach with feta cheese and Greek herbs baked in layers of filo. We also tried the Dolmades, rolls of beef, rice and herbs wrapped in grape leaves. We picked up a few souvenirs and look forward to next year.

Tom in his Greek fisherman's cap

Tom in his Greek fisherman's cap

jingle jangle all the way For more photos, click HERE St. Sophia is located at 2504 N. St. Mary’s St. at Ashby in San Antonio, Texas. There is free parking and shuttle available. The Funstival is held every October. OPAA!!!!!!!!

Swining and Dining

p-j-sandwich

We are taking all precautions to insure that Miss Piggy does not get exposed to the flu of any kind. We wash our hands and sterilize the plates before we fix her slop. We tried to get her to have a sip of red wine for the antioxidant properties of “resveratrol and the flavonoids” but she opted for a sandwich with organic peanut butter and grape jelly. We added some vitamins and flaxseeds and she is limiting the number of visitors until further notice….dinner

less chance of a Canine or Feline outbreak here, either. antioxidants

My Kind Of Town

We walked just about everywhere that we wanted to go. The weather in Chicago was especially nice over the week-end before Saint Patrick’s Day. Lots of the same stores that we have in San Antonio, but bigger, like Borders,Barnes & Noble and the Target on Roosevelt is two stories…. HUGE. We bought a broom and a dustbin and I am sure I looked like a bag lady carrying them  along Michigan Ave. That’s OK, better that than a tourist with a fanny pack. I even got stopped for directions a few times. Art Effect on Armitage in Lincoln Park is my favorite store. Very cute stuff . Their web-site is shoparteffect.com.They have lots of bird themed items.  I bought a silver owl keychain.I wish I had bought the owl wine stopper also……next trip, I will. 

It was freezing that day.....

It was freezing that day.....

 crossing-borders1

The Opera and Giocos are located on South Wabash  right around the corner from  Christopher’s apartment on Michigan Ave.

opera-in-chicago

 

RCP and Kevin

RCP and Kevin

 

The food was great! We had dinner at the Opera with Kevin one of Christopher’s best friends in Chicago from SMU. It seems that where ever we ate in Chicago we were served enough food for three meals. We had leftovers for two days from dinner at the Opera and Sunday brunch at Gioco which have the same owners. 

Gioco's

 Gioco has a great Sunday brunch. There omelets are really good, but so is their fettucini with bacon!!!  We had a great time visiting with the wonderful Thrall family. Jenn and her parents Jeff and Susie.  Jenn and Kevin are getting married in June. 

Omelet with asparagus

Omelet with asparagus

The fettucini was so yummy!!!!!!

The fettucini was so yummy!!!!!!

This pasta was enough for our table of seven to share  and we had it for dinner the next night. It was weird not having Miss Piggy and the goats to share leftovers with, but we managed ……

a little blurry we spotted this place thru the cab window

a little blurry we spotted this place thru the cab window

Aurelia’s has great pizza and salads, too……The phone number is (312)994-2000.