We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Laughter :-p!

    Tomorrow I'm going to be posting various tips about coffee. I was gonna do it today, but I forgot to verify one little detail with Brian. I just called his cell phone to leave him a message, hoping he'd call me back on his lunch break with the answer. Then I heard his phone ringing in the other room... guess he won't be calling me back today.
    So... which other thing was I going to post today? I did have several other things in mind which I could choose from.
    But then I opened an email from Karen G_ski. It contained a link to a You Tube(TM) Video, and ever so surprisingly (to me at least), my computer downloaded it (I did have to let it start, click on pause, wait sev-er-al minutes while it finished downloading, use the courser to push the bar back to the beginning and then click on 'play'. My wait proved to be oh so worth it!!!)
    Karen had written, "Had to pass this on haven't laughed this hard in a long time." at the top of her email. I was up for a good laugh. And I wasn't disappointed. It was indeed a good laugh!!!
    The video clip is of the comedian 'Jeannie Robertson'. I had previously seen a clip of her doing a routine she'd titled something about "Don't go rafting with Baptist" or something similar, and had enjoyed it immensely!!! This clip had to do with "Pound Cakes". It's funny!!! ;-p  Which fits Jeannie's cretto of "Keep Um Laughing"
     I hope both that your computer too lets you download and watch this clip, and that you too enjoy and get a good laugh out of it. After all, laughter IS the best medicine!!!

      POUND CAKE

   [in case your computer doesn't allow you to follow that link, here is the web address for the clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=-YFRUSTiFUs#t=65]

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Another edition of "Whit and Wisdom" from Brian ;-)

It's once again time for "Whit and Wisdom" from Brian, which has been copied and pasted here from his Facebook page -

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.


We hope you have enjoyed this edition of "Whit and Wisdom" from Brian, because there are more such things yet to come ... ;-p

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a neat place to EAT!

      Way back, after Byron and Cyndi had gotten married, just Brian and I had gone to visit them for a weekend. That Sunday, Cyndi had not been feeling good and Byron had had to work for awhile, so Brian and I had set off exploring. Turns out that the direction we headed off into, is pretty much closed up on Sunday's. That resulted in us driving further than we probably would have. And after a while, we went from being 'kind of hungry', to "let's find someplace to eat!". 
    The first real restaurant we came across, we pulled into, but for reasoning's that we don't now remember, we just weren't that thrilled with the looks of the place. As we started to pull out of their driveway, another place caught our eye. And the things they were promoting on their digital front sign sounded good. It was close to St. Patty's Day and they were promoting a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner, as well as a Lamb dinner. Brian likes both, and I was willing to try something new, so we pulled in.
    The name of the place is Simon's Restaurant, and it's located at 2 W. Roosevelt Road, in Villa Park, Ill.
    We had gotten there shortly before noon, so we were just in time to see the 'Sunday Church Crowd' arrive. We found them very interesting and fun to observe. We were impressed with how cross racial lines they were. There were blacks and Mexicans and obviously Greeks and Caucasians, all sitting table to table and smiling warmly at one another. We were also impressed with how cross income groups they were. While some weren't flaunting their wealth, they wore it oh so subtly well!!! And there were others whom you'd dub 'hicks'. But like I said, everybody smiled warmly at one another, and lots of them seemed to be regulars, whom more than nodded at one another. Nice!
    Getting there when we did, had also then allowed us to view a whole lot of their menu choices, as they were paraded past us to their destinations. What a colorful interesting parade! Everything was served with garnished flare! Somewhere in their kitchen, was a culinary garnish-er whom took pride in their work! The fruit platter with a huge scoop of chicken salad in the middle, was a colorful, multi-textured, arranged not dropped on the plate, inspiring work of art! All this time latter, I can still close my eyes and picture it's beauty.
    Not only were all of the passing dishes pretty to look at, most all of them were also mouth watering appealing. We had already started on our dinners, and were enjoying them immensely, but "doesn't that look good!" Oh man! 
    We liked the place so much, that not only did we make mental notes to take the "kids" there sometime, but I also jotted the name and address of Simon's down in my calender/reference book. We didn't want to have to try and remember where it was and what it had been called!! (I'm sure none of you ever have that problem. ;-p)

    So time has passed, and even though we have visited "the kids" several times, it just never seemed to work out to take them there. But this time we were determined that WAS going to work out. It didn't on Saturday, which was fine, so we set Sunday as our goal. Wouldn't ya know that Ms. Analyse took a long nap on Sunday. ;-p. But that was okay, because she was in an extra good mood afterwords!
   And as you could guess by the picture, she charms everybody she encounters!
   We found out that they (the restaurant) run special features EVERY Sunday. And due to the owners Greek heritage, several of those specials are always Greek cuisine. They also always feature a good ole ham dinner, a fish dinner, and something made with chicken. "Sunday Dinners"!  :-)
    Right when we started looking over the menu, Cyndi had gotten all excited. They had "Saganaki Flambe" as an appetizer!!! We had no clue what she was talking about. But man was she excited! ;-p  She explained that it's a thick slice of some type of cheese that's been fried, they light it on fire when they serve it to you, and then put the flames out by squeezing the juice from lemon wedges onto it. We were both intrigued and curious, so we ordered some. She was right, that's really good!
    Brian (aka: "Pappy!!" :-) ordered their Greek Combo which contained Lamb roast, Moussaka, and Spinach Pie with HUGE burgundy/red pitted olives and small chunks of Fetta cheese. He declared all of it delicious!! And, "we have got to bring Brent here!" (Brent loves lamb!)
   Cyndi had some kind of a roast beef and cheese sandwich, Byron had Veal Parmesan, I had turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans, and we ordered Chicken nuggets for Ms. Analyse. Her's cost $5. The PLATTER came with ten(10) larger than McDonald's sized chicken nuggets and a heap of thick fries on it. Yup, she had a couple of day's lunches brought home for her. ;-p
    At the end of your meal, everybody is served a small scoop of a soft serve ice cream, which our waitress described as "choconilla" flavored. She was right. It was a mixture of vanilla with a small amount of chocolate in it. Smooth. And tasty. And it cleared any hidden spices out of your mouth, like she had told us it would, "that way, you don't latter regret what you ordered". ;-p!
     Ms. Analyse greatly enjoyed her ice cream!!! Yup, she was feeding it to herself via a spoon. Well, most of the time. The fingers did get submerged into the bowl too. ;-p

   So-o-o, if your ever any-where's near Villa Park, Ill, we highly recommend that you drive yourselves over to Simon's Restaurant! Every day of the week their menu contains good looking and sounding selections. But on Sunday's, they take it notches higher!
    When (not "if", WHEN) you go there, let us know what you ordered. ;-)
    Don't know where "Villa Park" Ill is? Neither did we originally. ;-)  Thankfully for you, internet based maps or "Tom Tom's" (TM) can locate it easily for you.
  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Another Movie Time ;-)

     Another one of the movies which I recently rented was, "Letters To Juliet", which was released in 2010. 
     The main main character  is "Sophie", and is played by 'Amanda Seyfried'. Amanda also played a 'Sophie' role in the movie 'Mamma Mia'. Personally, I thinks she looks a whole lot like our friends Phil and Sue B.'s daughter Emily (:-)). 
     Another of the main characters is named 'Claire', and the role is played by Vanessa Redgrave. I admire 'Claire's' class, style, and personality. 
    The web description of the movie reads, "An American girl on vacation in Italy finds an unanswered "letter to Juliet" -- one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover's Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by a the "secretaries of Juliet" -- and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter."
    
    
I definitely enjoyed this movie too!!! 
    I liked how 'Sophie' honestly evaluated her relationship with her fiance'. 
    I enjoyed the subtle nurturing that 'Claire' gives to both her grandson and 'Sophie'.  
    
I appreciated how the movie reinforced that both 'Claire' and 'Lorenzo'  (Claire's long lost love, played by Franco Nero (whom was a good looking older Italian man let me tell you! [at least he was in the movie. I don't like his web profile picture ;-p] ) HAD loved the mates they had been married to for years and were now widowed from. It wasn't that their marriages had been 'love-less', it was just wondering if their first love was still out there .... 
And that part was ever so romantic!!! (also comical as they found some of the other men named "Lorenzo Bartolini" still living in the general area.)
     And as for the scenery they showed of Italy... Be-U-Ti-Ful!!!  

    
As I stated in my posting about the movie 'A Good Year', "for my girl-friends whom live 'near-by', yes, I am willing to watch them (this) with you, even though it would mean watching them (it) again.  o;-p "
     

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another "I found them" 8-/

Or should I have written, "Another I'm still wondering about myself..." ?

Do you remember me mentioning in one of the posts about 'Christmas 2010 with our kids', how I had used plastic bags for some of the stockings, due to not being able to find certain material? And then in the posting about how we had spotted Elvis, I had mentioned looking for fabric with strawberries on it?

W-e-l-l, I found the 'missing' material that I knew I had put someplace logical. Someplace where I would easily be able to get to it once I got around to making the stockings. Where was it? Inside the box my sewing machine goes in. Yup, someplace logical.

I went to get my machine out so that I could do the repair work on a couple of things Cyndi had asked me to. We were headed their way, I should fix them and take them to her. As I opened the box, there sat the two missing pieces of material. I rolled my eyes. Then I sighed. And then I rejoiced. Now I COULD make Cyndi's stocking out of the original pattern Strawberry Shortcake material like I had planned on doing. :-) (Cyndi collects the early Strawberry Shortcake). And I could make one of the grandchildren one out of the material that I had picked out when Byron and I were shopping for tie material for his wedding. ;->

So next week, I think I'll sew up some neat Christmas stockings. Get them done before the season is again looming down on us. And yes, then I will go into the attic and pack them away with the other stockings.

I'll probably do a posting showing you the new finished stockings. And then come Christmas time, I'll show you how all of them look hanging in the front entry along the staircase railing. Why? Because I'm a girl and we like doing that kind of stuff! o;-p

But in the meantime, yup, I'm still wondering about myself .....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

:-) !!!!!

    This evening after Brian gets home from work, we are headed to go visit our 'out of state' kids. :-D !!!
    THIS evening!!! :-}
    We, as in only Brian and I. :->
    Our "out of state kids" - Byron, Cyndi and our adorable young grand daughter. :-]
          Here is a recent picture Cyndi sent me of Analyse. She's getting so-o big!! (She's  twenty (20) months old now.)
    We are taking them the box springs and mattress set we nabbed for them when some friends were getting rid of it, as well as the chair we had gotten for Analyse for Christmas (it wouldn't fit in their car.)

    Instead of crashing on their couches, Brain and I are spending our nights in a hotel. Happy Valentines to us! ;-)

    Brian is taking Monday off as a vacation day, so we are headed out Fri. evening, and heading home Monday evening. :-D
    Don't worry, during our absence our home will still be well occupied and guarded. The "boys" and Boo will still be ta home.

It's Movie Time :-)

     I am facing a new dilemma here lately. The newest 'specialist' that I am seeing for my on going Vertigo, is a chiropractor. He qualifies as a 'vertigo specialists chiropractor' due to his physical therapy style of treatment. He uses a mixture of massage, pressure points, and "popping". It's not always pleasant (in-fact, a few times I have had all I could do not to INFORM him to "knock it off!!"), but amazingly, it is working. I no longer constantly feel some level of dizziness, let alone frequently feeling like at any moment it could again take off at super speeds. Yes, sometimes I still do get dizzy, but that is oh so much more endurable than the constantly feeling it!! And yes, certain types of motion still set my eyes off. But I am making progress the right direction! :-) ! :-> ! :-D !
    However, as is usual with life, along with the good comes some challenges. One is that if I am not in bed, I am wearing the foam neck brace. 8-/. Not a fan!
    The second is that I am feeling better, and thus I want to start tackling things! (For now, projects. Not quite up to tackling the people around here, yet anyways ... o;-p). But the chiropractor does not want me to. In-fact, he has very clearly instructed me to take great strides in resisting the temptation. He wants me to maintain a very low level of activity for a couple more weeks yet. Yes, seriously. I asked. Once or twice .... o;-p
    He says that the areas he is freeing up, need time to get use to their freedom, not resettle in where they didn't belong. I do want to get better. All of the way better. As in, he's finding great evidence as to what some of the roots of my frequent migraines probably are. To be free both of the constant vertigo and tons of the migraines, that would be dreams come true!!! Oh yeah! 
    So I am trying to take it extremely easy. But I'm feeling better, so I'm getting bored. Big time. "Just how much patience is it I am suppose to have Lord?". "More". That is always his answer. And I have this feeling it always will be.
    
     Due to the need to take it so easy, mixed with the boredom, recently I have rented a couple of movies. And being the wonderful friend that I am, I am going to be telling you about them, so that you too will rent and enjoy them. And no, you don't have to get Dr.'s permission to do so. All you need is the desire for a good romantic comedy movie time. [And for my girl-friends whom live 'near-by', yes, I am willing to watch them with you, even though it would mean watching them again.  o;-p]

    Today's movie 'review' is about the movie "A Good Year" which came out in 2006. I had never seen it before, just stumbled across it while looking for a movie off of U-Verse. Benson and his friend Crystal came in while I was watching it, and I learned that it is one of Crystal's mom's favorite movies.
   The web description of the movie reads, "A British investment broker inherits his uncle's chateau and vineyard in Provence, where he spent much of his childhood. He discovers a new laid-back lifestyle as he tries to renovate the estate to be sold."
     The British investment broker is played by Russell Crowe. And might I say that he is  enjoyable to watch. ;-) He plays all of the various aspects of his character named "Max" to a tee!  As does Freddie Highmore, whom plays the role of a young "Max" in the 'remembering' scenes.
    I immediately recognized the actress who played 'Gemma' as also playing 'Kalinda Sharma' in the TV series 'The Good Wife'. The actresses name is Archie Panjabi. In this movie, she played "Max's" secretary.
    There is one male character in the movie, whom at first I knew that I knew him from something... but what?!  Then the way he said something suddenly made it all clear. ;-p  In the movie 'A Good Year', the actor Tom Hollander plays the part of 'Charlie Willis'. But what I was remembering him from, was the movie 'Pride and Prejudice', where-in he plays the roll of "Mr. Collins". You know, the uppity, egotistical in a laugh at him way, clergy relative of Mr. Bennett. Yeah, HIM!! ;-p! Tom's web bio states that he was also in "The Pirates of The Caribbean" movies as well as "Gosford Park", which is a movie we own, so I'm going to have to re-watch it to see what he played in it. I didn't mind him in 'A Good Year'  ;-p.

     Any-ways, I definitely enjoyed 'A Good Year'. I found some parts extremely humorous!!! His memories from his youth, heart warming. His reevaluating his life, realistic. And the countryside of Provence, INVITING!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WHAT?!?!!

     I have made it a habit to always scan through all of the emails which end up in my "Spam" folder, before I click the 'delete contents' button. Every once in awhile, I find that something ended up in there which should have landed in my regular email 'in box'. Sometimes it's something from someone I frequently get emails from. And while I'm sure Special agent Tim McGee from NCIS could do some checking and find out how this time it ended up in the wrong box, I am f-a-r from that computer savoy.
    But the other day I got quite the surprise as I was scanning down the contents of my "Spam" folder. The type of surprise that bring your eyes to a screeching halt and makes your head start shouting "W-H-A-T??!!?!??!!!!"
    The sender of one email was listed as being "KGB".   K  G  B  !!!!!! Oh my goodness!!! I thought them and all of their connected paranoia were things now in our past. But there it was. In big capitol letters. Yikes!
    Then the calming reassuring part of my brain spoke up, trying to reassure me that it couldn't possibly be the "KGB" I was thinking of. It just couldn't be. Right? "O-kay Cheryl, what does the subject line say the email is about? It's probably from some company who's initials break down to KGB. But why in the world they would let that happen AND promote themselves as such, is beyond me. So-o, what does it say in the subject line'?"
    "Save up to 90% on what you love to do in your city!" Oh my gosh!!! THAT didn't help at all!!!!!!!! They are the "KGB" and they know what we like to do and where we like to go in our city. YIKES!!!!!
    I deleted it.
    That night I told Brian about it and we had some good chuckles over it, remembering how the "KGB" and "the Nazi's" use to be quite the scare.
    But that wasn't the end of it. Every single day since then, there has been the same subject matter email in my "Spam" folder from the "KGB". I have to admit, it's kind of creepy.
    If I should come up missing, please pass this information on to the local authorities!  o;-p

Monday, February 14, 2011

Boo :->

     In honor of it being Boo's birthday today*, I decided it was the perfect day to do the "directory of postings about Boo" which I had been thinking on doing. All of the herein listed postings, will be ones from our old blog. He has become such a character!! And what a different dog he is now from when Brent first brought him home!! Majorly different! In so many good ways!!
    About the * , technically we don't know Boo's precise birthday. The pound had told Brent that they could tell he was 'this many months old' when he was brought to them, thus meaning he had been born in Feb.. Feb. 14th was then chosen as his birthday, due to it being an easy to remember date ;-p.

   "Directory of postings about Boo - his arrival --> 2009"

   October 14th, 2008 - "new family member"

   February 8th, 2008 - "Our house is used on a time share basis . . ."
        by both the humans and the pets  

   March 25th, 2008 - posting
       second "~" - Boo and the pizza delivery
       fifth "~" - Boo won the wrestling match :-P !

   May 6th, 2008 - Help for extreme Boo drooling
       or any dog, for that matter

   May 23rd, 2009 - "Animals in Heaven"
      nothing directly pertaining to Boo - but fitting never the less

   May 26th, 2008 - Boo the guard dog :-D

   July 19th, 2009 - "Yesterday"
     part of it is about Brent working in the basement and carpeting the basement steps :-p!

  August 30th, 2009 - "Boo and the doorbell"

  October 1st, 2009 - "Boo and the Gatorade bottle"

  November 10th, 2009 - "Another Boo Story"
       his response to my suitcase :-p!

  November 19th, 2009 - "Stories about our "boys" ;-} "
       First one is about Brent, Boo and the bed blankets :-p
       the last one is about Brent, Boo and "Welcome to parent hood ;-p

  December 15th, 2009 - "Another Boo Story"
       Boo and the TV remote control :-p!

  December 23rd, 2009 -  "Analyse and Boo ;-} "
      funny story about Analyse and Boo and kissing :-p !!!"

   You've given us many smiles "boo-boy"!! :-D


Valentines Posting -

HAPPY  SINGLENESS OVER AWARENESS DAY
- or -
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

- either way -
IT'S A DARN GOOD EXCUSE OF A DAY TO EAT CHOCOLATE   !!!

Love can be all kinds of 'warm fuzzy feelings'. And it's wonderful when it is! But at it's root, Love is a decision. Go HERE to read more about that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

wonderful plain muffins

    In Feb. 11th's posting I had written, "We had our Pork Loin Stew with wonderful plain muffins. Don't know what I'm referring to? 'Stay tuned', I'll do a posting about them yet this weekend. :-> "  I am happy to report that I am doing that posting today. And yes, it is still within "this weekend". Go me! o;-p

   When you say the word "muffins", people either immediately think of their favorite muffin flavor, such as Blueberry -or- they start humming that song, o/~ "Do you know the muffin man? ..."o/~   ;-p 

   But as I had written, the muffins I am posting about today are "
wonderful plain muffins". There is no fruit or veggies, or even special spices added to them which make up their flavor. There is a little sugar, as well as butter, but they don't dictate the muffins flavor. There flavor is hard to describe. All I can say is that they just taste good. Especially when paired up with certain types of food.
   Foods such as Goulash (When the "boys" learn that I'm making goulash, their response is always, "oh good! Goulash and muffins!!"), and stews, and some soups, and I of course can't remember what else right now. 8-/

   For the record, I got this recipe off of a Jiffy (TM) box years ago now. Sometimes it's still on there, other times it's not. The time that I went to use it off of there and it wasn't on there, I was oh so disappointed. But I learned the lesson! The next time that it was on there, I copied it onto a 3 x 5 card and stuck it in my recipe box!!!
   Also for the record, I'm talking about the BIG box's of Jiffy Baking Mix (TM). The big ones which are like 9 x 13 in size, not the little sized box's.
   And again for the record, I'm referring to the regular recipe style, not buttermilk or any other flavored one.
   One more "for the record" - Jiffy (TM) mix and Bisquick (TM) are interchangeable products. Jiffy (TM) is made right here in Michigan, so I prefer to buy it. But which one I end up with, depends on what is available in the store I end up at. 


   Muffins:
   2 Cups Jiffy (TM) baking mix
   3 Tablespoons Sugar
   3/4 Cup Milk
   1 Egg (slightly beaten)
   2 Tablespoons Melted Shortening (Butter)

   Combine ingredients. Stir well. Batter will be slightly lumpy. Fill prepared muffin cups two thirds (2/3) full.

    Bake at 400 for 15 --> 20 minutes.
    Wait about three minutes and use a thin knife to help pop them out of the pan.
    EXCELLENT served very warm! With Butter of course ;-)
  
   I had made a double batch, which produced 16 muffins. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
  I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

~
"Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'
(http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/)
~ "Full Plate Thursday('s), hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/)
~ "(Foodie Friday's)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Are these Wit or Wisdom?

It's again time for "Whit and Wisdom" from Brian, which has been copied and pasted here from his Face-book page -

on Feb. 2nd, he had posted -
"
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience."

Back on Jan. 13th, he had posted -
"
Before entering a battle of wits, check your ammunition."

Do you too see a collation between the two?
I'm wondering whom exactly he's dealing with that's bringing these to mind. 


o;
-p


Friday, February 11, 2011

Stew from Leftover Pork Loin

    At the bottom of the "directory posting about grandchildren" (I am so blessed! :->), I mentioned that I was headed into the kitchen to "attempt making a winter stew using up the left over Pork Loin in the fridge". I had also said, "Hopefully it will turn out delicious. If it does, then yup, I'll be posting about it". I am ever so happy to report that it did!! :-) !! (Actually, I'm THRILLED that it did. ;-p). So as promised, I am now posting about it.
   Yes, this qualifies as yet another "Improvised" recipe. Which in turn means, yes, I do that a lot. Improvise that is. Around here, those are referred to as "Tonight's Specials". Sometimes they result from a desire to use up left overs in a different way than they were served the first time. Other times they come about due to my walking into the pantry and asking myself, "what can I make up out of what is still sitting in here?". Thankfully, my guys are good sports about trying the creations. Also thankfully, the mass majority of the time they (the 'tonight's specials') get
at least a "it's okay" vote. But sometimes, they get a full thumbs up / "write this one down and save it" vote. Thus was the case with the Pork Loin Stew.  :-D!

    Here is a picture of the main stew ingredients.

 (the piece of meat does not look very big in that picture. It was about an eight (8) inch long piece)

    After having sprayed the inside of the crock-pot, I then cut the left over pork loin into small pieces. Yes, small pieces. We prefer getting a mixture of all of the ingredients in a spoon full, versus this time getting a big chunk of this, and next time a big chunk of that. But that's just our preference. You are welcome to fix yours the way your household likes it.
   --> Bonus tip here about cooking the Pork Loin. While most people are now preferring 'lean meats' (which means meat without much fat on it), when you purchase a roast or loin cut meat to cook, make sure you get one that DOES have a good thick slab of fat the whole length of one side of the meat piece. Why? Because it is the juices flowing from the fat into the meat during baking, that first help make the meat juicy not dry, and secondly help add flavor to the meat. You are then welcome to slice the fat that's left on the meat after baking, off of it, before slicing and serving it. But leave it on there during the baking part!!!
    (
-->) Also, place the meat in the pan with the layer of fat facing the top of the pan. That way, both the juices and the flavor will ooze down into the meat while it's cooking, not just fill the bottom of your pan.
    (
-->) On top of that now facing up layer of fat, is where you want to liberally apply your spices. This time for the pork loin, I had put on a THICK layer of garlic powder, a medium layer of Lawry's Seasoning Salt (TM), and a light layer of Leaf Thyme. It made for really good pork loin!!!

    Next I cut up the red skin potatoes. Yes, I left the skins on. For one, they add a nice color to the finished product. And secondly, the skins contain a whole lot of the nutrients. 

    I cut up enough potatoes to equal the amount of cut up pork loin, which was sitting on one side inside of the crock-pot.
   Next came the onions. Yes, I chopped them up very fine, knowing full well how much they shrink in size while cooking. Seeings how several of the onions in the bag were past just sprouting, I knew these were going to be strong flavored onions! I didn't want the end result to taste like onion stew. 

    While the pork loin was already deliciously flavored, I wasn't sure it was enough flavoring to carry through all of the ingredients. And I did not want a totally bland tasting final product. We didn't have (seldom do actually) any real garlic, so I added a liberal sprinkling of the garlic powder.  
    Then came the carrots. These, I peeled. Why? Because I do not like the texture of the cooked carrot skins. Yes, they too contain nutrients. But I don't like their texture!!! You are welcome to do it which ever way you prefer. ;-)
    I then referred to my recipe for "Old Time Beef Stew", to figure out what other spices I should add. I didn't go with all of them, seeings how this was pork not beef. And I added one that the beef recipe didn't include. More of the 'improvising'. 
   Next came pouring on the water, mixing everything up real good, plugging in the crock pot, setting it to high, putting the cover on and walking away. :-)

   The idea had been to serve it that night for supper. But then it turned out that I was going to be the only one home. Doesn't life often work out that way? Tis best to learn to flow! Brent stuck the inside crock of the crock pot in the basement fridge for me, before he headed out. The next morning I brought it back upstairs, set it inside it's base, and left a note for someone to plug it in around noon, before heading off to the chiropractor ( the latest specialist helping my vertigo). .

   
--> Bonus tip here about using your crock-pot after having refrigerated the liner. You CAN cook something for several hours (or less) in your crock-pot and then stick the liner straight into the fridge (I usually place a hot pad on the fridge shelf first). HOWEVER, you then need to let the liner loose some of it's coldness before you again start heating it/cooking with it. Otherwise you risk the possibility of it cracking on you. That would then spell disaster!  [I recommend about an half hour 'loosing the chill' time.]

   When I got home, the crock-pot had been plugged in (thank-you Benson!) and was on the 'low' setting. I stirred everything and turned it up to high. The carrots were still 'crunchier' than how I like them in a stew. Turned out for the best that I hadn't served it that first night, huh? God's timing is amazing!!!

   As mentioned, I had poured water over everything. That then made the cooked product soup like. But 'stew' is thick, right?
  
--> Bonus tip here about how to thicken the water to make it stew like. I am not including pictures of this step, because it turns out looking very unappealing, at least from my perspective. And from the look on Brian's face as he walked by and saw me then adding it to the stew, my perspective is right. ;-p!
   (
-->) Using a ladle, remove a lot of the liquid from the crock-pot, with out also removing any of the meat or veggies. Yup, it takes a slow hand and patience. The good news is, that it's another one of those things where practice does in turn make the process easier. ;-). Place the pulled off liquid in a small sauce pan. Once your sauce pan is about three fourths (3/4) of the way full, turn the burner on high and stir. Once the liquid starts to boil, turn your heat down and start adding flour. I dump quite a bit in, then whisk it - whisk it good! The idea is to break apart as many of those forming lumps of flour as you can. Once you've conquered that amount, add more flour and keep whisking!! You can now turn the burner off. You know you have added enough flour, when your mixture is a considerably thick lumpy looking blob of  goo. Hey, I warned you that it's not very unappealing looking! o:-b.
    (
-->)Scoot as much of the meat and veggies as you can to the side near the top of the crock-pot, and dump the "goo" in. Wait a minute or two, and then stir everything in the pot together. The "goo" look will vanish, and your end product will start resembling stew instead of soup. ;-)  Put the lid back on the crock-pot and let it cook for another ten minutes, or longer if grandpa calls to talk to your husband right then. (More of life's 'timing' that's best to just flow with! ;->)


   We had our Pork Loin Stew with wonderful plain muffins. Don't know what I'm referring to? 'Stay tuned', I'll do a posting about them yet this weekend. :
->  [ I did :-)  Find it HERE ]

   But for now, here is the recipe for "Stew from Leftover Pork Loin":
       You can write down that this recipe came from Cheryl B. :-)

   Left Over Pre-Cooked Pork Loin
   Red Skin Potatoes, chucked small (enough to = the amount of cut up meat)
   Finely Chopped Yellow Onions
   4 - Peeled and Finely Chopped Large Sized Carrots
   Garlic Powder
   1 Tablespoon Salt
   1 Teaspoon Sugar
   1 Teaspoon Pepper
   1 Teaspoon Paprika (I use Spanish Style)
   1 Teaspoon Celery Salt

    (Next time I will also be adding 1 Tablespoon of  Leaf Thyme)
   4 Cups Steaming Hot Water

   For "thickening" -
   Liquid removed from cooked ingredients
   White Flour

    Early in the morning, chop your meat and veggies up into small size pieces. Add them to your crock-pot as you go. Once they are all in, add a nice layer of the garlic powder on top. Stir it in good. Then add your other spices. Pour the steaming hot water over the top of everything, allowing the spices to flow down into the pot. Stir everything for a minute or two. Put the lid on the pot, plug the pot in, set the setting to "hot" and walk away.
    If possible, a couple of times during the day wander into the kitchen and stir everything up good. If your not at home and thus can't do this, don't fret it. It will still taste really good!!!
     About a half hour before you plan on serving it, remove a lot of the liquid from inside of the crock-pot, place it in a sauce pan, and use the white flour to make your 'goo' (aka: thickener ;-p). Add the 'goo' to the crock-pot, wait a minute or two, and then stir it in thourally. Wait about ten more minutes (during which the lid is back on the crock-pot) before dishing up your stew. Enjoy!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
NEXT WEEK, I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

~
"Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'
(http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/)
~ "Full Plate Thursday('s), hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/)
~ "(Foodie Friday's)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

About another blogger / blog site

    Jennifer B. is somebody that we know in 'real life'. She is also one of our blog followers (:->).  She posted something on her Face-book page the other day, which really caught my interest. Here is what she had written, "some of my favorite bloggers are having a meetup in grand rapids. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. hyperventilating, just a little bit."
    I commented, "Like who?"
    This was her answer, "tieka from selectivepotential mainly. she's wonderful and gorgeous and runs an amazing blogspot. it's being organized so that those attending will be going to the Body of Art event and then out for dinner/drinks."
   A fellow area blogger was having a blogging 'meet up'?!!? My curiosity had been scratched and I had to learn more. Both about the meet-up, as well as about the blog owner.
   So I did an internet search (the search engine that starts with a "G", whom I've gathered we aren't suppose to list by name due to some copyright stuff...?) for "Selectivepotential". Turns out that that is suppose to be two separate words. "Selective Potential". ( <-- click on the blogs name to visit the site).
    Jen was right, Tieka (pronounced Tee-kuh) is cute! In her profile, she lists that she "loves personal style, marriage and adventures".  I really liked the outfit she was wearing in the pictures posted on Feb. 7th titled, "A Snowy Road". She has a cute kind of retro style that she pulls off well! No, I don't plan on trying to copy it. I doubt it would be labeled "cute" on a fifty some year old. ;-p
    The bloggers 'meet-up' is scheduled for February 25th. Go HERE to see her posting about it, as well as a list of some of the bloggers whom have confirmed they will be in attendance.
    I myself shall be using the list to check out who other bloggers in this area are.
Just might find a new friend :-). One whom I might actually be able to introduce to my sons to prove that my 'blog friends' are too "real people" not just imaginary friends. o;-p 
   After having checked out Tieka's blog, I left this comment back to Jen on her face-book posting, "I went and checked out Tieka's blog. Your right, she is cute and wears some cute outfits! Her blog is majorly different from mine, huh? Hoping you enjoy your time at her shin-dig - "
    And I hope that some of you who read this, enjoy Tieka's blog as well. Only, p-l-e-a-s-e don't like hers so much that you no longer read mine.  o;-b! chuckle, chuckle ....



[I'm listing this under "friends that I have via blogging". Tieka, I hope that's okay.]

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Directory" of the postings about "The Grandchildren" from the year 2010.

      I'm feeling 'the blues' today, so I know I've got to do something(s) to try and pull myself up out of it. Insert here - Why are they called "the blues"? I like the color blue! Shouldn't these feelings be called 'the dull browns' or something?  Nothing against the color brown either, I like that color too. But ya must admit that there are some dull shades of it that just fit better with these melancholy feelings, than shades of the color blue do. Elton John's song "And that's why their called the blues" does not answer my question, it just expounds on what type of feelings the expression entails. So that's no help. Do any of you know why?
    So anyways, I've got 'um, and I know I need to do something(s) to pull myself up out of them. Thus I figured that today was the perfect day to create the:
   
    "Directory" of the postings about "The Grandchildren" from the year 2010.

Cuz ya know how much I smile when talking about my little sweetheart! :-)
   And besides, I had promised that I would do one, and I KNEW all of you were looking forward to me doing so o;-p.


January 7th - "the BoUnCiE seat" (pictures)

January 22nd - "Called Byron - funny story there!!!" (the story had happened back in Nov.)

March 2nd - "They kept the secret ;-D" surprise visitors from out of state and a silly game with grandma ;-p 
(picture)

March 9th - "The Surprises Continued :->" while the out-of-state "kids" were here for a surprise visit {pictures - Analyse + Xander}

March 23rd - "Cute Grandma Tales ;-}" "
she started doing this ever so adorable, heart touching thing" while sitting in my lap.

March 24th - "the second (grandma) tale" tucking her hair behind her ear

April 21st - "Timing can be humorous!" a comment and picture from Brian's face-book page

May 21st - "Silly girl ;-p", singing and dancing via our phone connection (picture)

June 10th - "I'm back home again - ", at Cyndi's INSISTENCE, I stayed for a few days after the B-day party.

June 13th - "Chocolate B-day Cake :-)" (includes cake recipe) {pictures}

June 19th - "The "green" quilt" (aka: "My secret project") the quilt I made for Analyse (pictures)

June 21st - "The Princess has a throne  :-)" (her seat in front of the window) {pictures}

June 29th - "Show-N-Tell :-)" (pictures from her B-day)

July 20th - "On the sink" two girls hairbrushes ;-)

July 22nd - "our weekend", the out of state "kids" were here for a short visit (picture)

July 29th - "A toddler now"

Auguest 7th - "
from Brian's Facebook page -" (picture)

October 25th - "I was trying to be helpful..." by turning off the baby monitor and closing Byron's bedroom door ....

November 14th - "I'm Thankful For:"  "
Oh Lord, thank-you for my grand daughter!!! Thank-you for allotting me the honor and privilege of becoming a grandma :->!!!"

November 16th - "Our first 'real' phone conversation"

December 9th - "o/~ "I'm so happy and here's the reason why" o/~" - announcing that a second grand child is on the way :-)

December 11th - "Remembering a FUN garage sale"

December 30th - "Flowing of Christmas with our kids (2010)" (part 1) {picture}


December 31st - "Christmas with our kids (2010)"  (part 2) {pictures}

   Doing this posting did help my "dull browns" (;-p). Counting your blessings / reminiscing about your blessings IS therapeutic!

   Now on to step #2. For me, cooking can also be therapeutic. So I decided to attempt making a winter stew using up the left over Pork Loin in the fridge. I had potatoes and onions on hand, and our neighbor Chris just brought over some carrots I called and asked to borrow. Hopefully it will turn out delicious. If it does, then yup, I'll be posting about it. By the way, how did you guess that I would? o;-p

   But before I go to the kitchen, here are a couple of pictures of my sweetheart :-)
            (taken in March 2010)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Fudge Brownies :-)

     I had intended to make a different dessert yesterday, but ended up making my brownies instead. They went better with the wraps Brian made (which I shall post about soon). Let me tell you, just thinking about the ones still sitting in the pan in the kitchen, yeah. Note to self - STAY OUT OF THE KITCHEN!!
   I made this recipe up myself years ago now. So you should list the recipe as coming from "Cheryl B." ;-)

   Fudge Brownies :
   2/3 Cup Butter
   1 1/2 Cups Sugar
   4 Tablespoons (1/4 Cup) Water
   2 Cups Nestle (TM) Semi-Sweet Real Choc. Morsels
   2 Teasp. Vanilla extract
   3 Eggs
   1 1/2 cups Flour
   1/2 Teasp. Baking soda
   1/2 Teasp. Salt
   (optional) 1 Cup chopped nuts   (I like them in it, my family doesn't)

   Preheat oven to 325.
   In a sprayed saucepan, combine butter, sugar and water. When thourally melted and mixed, add the Nestle (TM) morsels and vanilla. Stir until morsels melt and mixture is smooth.
   Remove from heat, add eggs and beat well. Blend in flour, baking soda, salt and nuts (if you've chosen to).
   Spread in well sprayed 9 x 13 x 2 baking pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

   Can be let sit 8 minutes and served warm, or cooled all of the way before being served.

~ ;-> ~ ;-> ~ ;-> ~ ;-> ~ ;-> ~ ;->
You might also enjoy this posting, which tells about adding a secret ingredients that just WOWS the brownies. ;-> ( a legal secret ingredient o;-p)
" (-: Brownies :-) "

:-> ~ ! ~ :-> ~ ! ~ :-> ~ ! ~ :-> ~ ! ~
These brownies are easy to make when you need a 'chocolate fix' (o;-p), as well as an easy Valentines treat 



:-) ~ :-) ~ :-) ~ :-) ~ :-) ~ :-) ~ :-) ~
As with the hot chocolate pudding, these brownies are good served warm with a scoop of ice cream :-)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Sweet Sunday('s)", at "My Sweet Creations" (http://tastingmysweetcreations.blogspot.com/)
~
"Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)
~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'
(http://somedaycrafts.blogspot.com/)
~ "Full Plate Thursday('s), hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/)
~ "(Foodie Friday's)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

Friday, February 4, 2011

from Brian ;-p

It's once again time for "Whit and Wisdom" from Brian, which has been copied and pasted here from his Facebook page -

""The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you can never know if they are genuine." - Abraham Lincoln
"

Our son Benson then left this comment - "Everyone knows that Al Gore stole the idea from Honest Abe."


We hope you have enjoyed this edition of "Whit and Wisdom" from Brian, because there are more such things yet to come ... ;-p

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2009 "Directory" about "the grandchildren" :->

   I first started creating what I dubbed my "directories", with hopes that they would help me find when and where it was I had posted something. Yes, on this blog we have the ability to 'label' posts, and we gladly use it. But we hadn't had that option on our previous blog site, and there were a whole lot of postings on there we still frequently refer to. Postings which I hoped would be easier to find again by listing them all in subject related "directories".
    My hopes were fulfilled! I have found this methodology of keeping track of certain types of postings to be ever so helpful! So I kept creating them. And then after having been on this site for a year, I decided to continue making them on a yearly (or as appropriate) basis for different 'label' categories. It is so-o much easier to scan through a year long listing of that type of postings looking for one in particular, than it is to scroll through all of the individual postings.
    Thus, I have decided to make a "directory" for yet another of our 'labels' categories. And I doubt it will surprise any of you to learn that the newest "directory" is for the 'label' titled "The Grandchildren". o;->  You did know we are grand parents, r-i-g-h-t? o;-b   To one absolutely adorable impy girl, as well as one grandchild still growing inside their mother's womb. We are so blessed! :-D

    This then is a "Directory" of the postings about "The Grandchildren" from the year 2009.

(yes, from our first blog). And yes, that also means I shall soon be doing one for the postings from 2010. Something for you to look forward to, huh? o;-p


January 9th - "Baby News" -
according to the ultra sound it's a girl; and they chose the name Analise Christine.

April 27th - about the Ill. baby shower

April 29th - my gifts for the Ill. baby shower

June 9th - "Introducing... :-} "  complete with some new born pictures.

June 18th - "The Big Yellow Envelope" (to us from  ? )

July 7th - "Visitors :-D"  Analyse's first visit to MI

(part of) July 9th - "still smiling"

July 28th - "B1, C2 and A moved v/"  (more pictures)

(parts of) August 26th - they were here for a visit again

(parts of) September 10th - Labor Day weekend

Oct. 7th - "How Could I Resist? o:->"  Thanksgiving bib (pictures)

November 1st - "This Grandma's Tale / Tip"  Analyse and the computer

November 3rd - "Grandma's and the 'raspberries' :-p"

November 5th - "Our favorite Trick-or-Treater" (picture)

November 20th - a children's consignment shop

December 22nd - "a grandma / grand-baby story :-}" while rocking her to sleep

December 23rd - "Analyse and Boo ;-}" kisses

   I sure had fun reminiscing while scanning for and then sort of re-reading all of these!! I'm sitting here with a very warm heart and a smile on my face. Analyse, I LOVE being your grandma!!! ;-)
                                
                               ( a picture from our files of her )

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

We're moving ... o;-p (NOT weather related)

  (I thought I should add that "NOT weather related" part, seeings how we're still in blizzard conditions here. I wrote up the draft for this particular posting early last week, back before Brent began to wonder if he'd ever be able to leave his plow truck! Read the posting... you'll soon catch on as to why then we are moving o;-p)


    Last weekend while I was looking on line for new pictures to use for our "Seasonal Smiles", I happened upon a picture of this dining room which I just fell in love with. I sent the link to the picture to some friends, along with a note which this is an excert from. "While looking for something else, I came upon this picture today." ... "Beautiful, yet friendly looking. Classy, yet not stuffy. WON-DER-FUL!!! YES PLEASE!!! :-)"
    For your viewing pleasure, here is that picture:

    {I found the picture via THIS link}

    Thursday I decided to use some of the words in the address for the picture and see if I couldn't find information about the building the dining room is housed in. I chose to use the words, "Thornewood Castle" to start my search. BINGO!  Immediately I had the a lead to the places official web site.
    Once the site downloaded, I just started smiling. What a beautiful structure! To me, it reminded me more of a wonderful, perhaps English, estate (with estate being the key word there) then it did a castle. And yet while it definitely resembles an estate, it's not one of those daughting type of places. You know, the ones that look like they are too classy for a person such as yourself to enter. This one looked classy, yet inviting. Not only did it grab your curiosity about what the insides were like, it gave you the impression that you were not only welcome, but encouraged to enter and find out. Nice!
    Then I read the very first paragraph in their left hand side bar. "Thornewood Castle is a 500-year-old Tudor Gothic historic site known as “the house that love built.” " OH - MY GOODNESS !!!!! Come-on! Byron had named our original blog "The House That Love Built"!!! And then when we moved to blogspot, together we had changed it to "The Bz House That Love Built". And now I'm reading that this beautiful estate is referred to as "the house that love built"?!?!?!  "Okay Lord, I'll take it!!!" o;-p

    As I went over the page, I discovered that the place is located in the state of Washington. In-fact, "Thornewood is 12 miles south of downtown Tacoma and 42 miles south of downtown Seattle in Washington State, USA.".  Oh my goodness. Just last week my blogging friend Nan had been encouraging me to come to Seattle and visit her. Seriously! Let's see, on NCIS 'Special Agent Jethro Gibb's" doesn't believe in coincidences. "Umm Lord, I hadn't planned to move across the country ...", but then I looked at the house again ... and re-read that first paragraph ... Hummmm. "But my 'kids' are here...".  We'll have to employee them to work in what ever business we use the place for! (I just did an 'Abby' arms crossed / head nod there. o;-p)

   I scrolled up and clicked on "Gallery". In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have. But I'm glad I did!!! :->!
   First I looked through the "Castle Exterior". All of it's gorgeous.
   Then "Castle Interior". The sub-heading read, "The interior of Thornewood Castle is comprised of 54 rooms, including 22 bedrooms and 22 baths." Yup, definitely going to need to hire help! The only thing besides changing a bunch of the pictures that I want to change, is there doesn't seem to be a library. Come-on, such an estate with out a library?!? It will have when I live there. o;-p. One with my dream window seat.
   On the "Castle Interiors" page, there was a link to the "Suites". Not sure which one we should chose to be our own private room. Most likely one of the ones with a view of the lake .... . Then as I scrolled down further I read, "These apartments are adjoining to the castle and may also be reserved for overnight stays." GOOD! Our 'kids' can have their own little homes right on our estate!! o:-]   (Oh, and they will no longer be available for outside rentals. ;-p)
    The next 'gallery' link I clicked on was for the "Secret English Garden". Cool! Brain has ALWAYS wanted just such a thing!! ;-p  And then they won me over by the picture of two young girls having a tea party in the garden. Gracious!
     I HAD to click on the "Weddings" link in the gallery. HAD to? YES!!! Because "my" Kate's reply to the email I had sent out with the picture of the dining room had been, "I want my wedding reception in THAT room. I'm just saying. :)". See?!?!!! o;-)  Question then becomes if we can be there in time for Brent and Kayla's wedding this October. Kayla had always wanted a princess themed wedding ... ;-> After all, one of the pictures does show a black and white themed wedding reception. And with that many bedrooms, well... we could house at least some of the relatives from both sides. At a price of course, chuckle, chuckle.  Oh and Kate, if Steve doesn't work out, you could always marry one of our sons and live on the estate - be our resident doctor.... o;-b!
     Any of our 'already married' friends could always book a 'repeating your vows' ceremony with us! ;-]
    Benson, you are going to be thrilled with the link title "Statuary"!!
    There are also links such as "Dock and American Lake" and "Christmas" (Brian, they showed a train track in one picture. Wonder if they'll leave it behind for you? ;->), and "Seasonal", and "Historical".
    Then came the gallery titled "Medieval Stained Glass". Above the pictures it reads, "Most of the windows of Thornewood Castle are filled with Medieval Stained Glass inserts. To add to his Castle and complete his construction in 1911, Chester Thorne purchased a special stained glass collection from a Duke in Europe who had spend 40 years collecting this collection salvaged from 15th &16th century churches. These are remnants, saved from a time when books and other works of art were being destroyed. Some pieces have specific dates on them, such as 1563 and 1650. There are approximately 100 of these special pieces in the house. In the past, a couple of university professors came to photograph and catalog our collection. They stated that there is not another house, that they know of in the United States, with this kind of collection."  " "Kids", I want you to be extra careful when cleaning those!" ;-p!
   
    There were all kinds of links under the heading of "History", as there also were under the headings of "Events" and "Weddings" (as in, info. about having weddings there, not just pictures of weddings there like were featured under the "Gallery" heading), and "Lodging".

   As you can see, I thourally enjoyed my visit to their web site!! What a beautiful inviting place!! ""Kids", are you with me on this?"  "Ummmm Brian ......" o;-p

(Seeings how your all snowed in today, you can take a couple of minutes and follow some of the links. Bonus! :-D)