Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Corn and I

Well I finally tested for corn. It takes two weeks to get offending foods out of your system. It also gives you two weeks to decide what to test with. I settled on generic Corn Chex with soy milk. Sure enough. I had a reaction. Unlike the other foods I tested it seemed to be fairly mild. The reaction (stomach pain and nausea) only lasted about 15 minutes. So I am corn positive, but mildly so. Maybe some further exploring this corn thing is in order. I will be REALLY sad if I have to give up my popcorn. Sniff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend Food Fun

Reading a book slowly is a new idea for me. Usually I swallow them whole, but Vie de France was just so delicious that I wanted to nibble it down. After two weeks of a little here and there I have finished it and find myself wanting to read it again and again. From this book I got one of the best recipes I have found in a long time.

Oven French Toast

Bread (about half a loaf of what you have around)
6 eggs
about 1 cup of milk (or soy milk)
1 tsp vanilla
cinnamon and nutmeg

The night before, whip the eggs, milk, vanilla (I used vanilla soymilk so I skipped this), cinnamon and nutmeg together. Tear bread into pieces. Fold into the egg mixture. Let sit in the refrigerator over night.

The next morning, preheat the oven to 400*. The eggs mixture should have been mostly absorbed by the bread. Place the bread pieces on a buttered cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and golden. Serve with fruit sauce or maple syrup.

Saturday we went to the farmer's market for some produce. Lou had never been and the boys were tired of going, so Lou came with me while the kids listened to their book on CD in the car. It was so pleasant. LOL! There were so many farmers there that there were tents set up in the parking lot. I found some real gems: a $12 basket of peaches, fresh green beans and zucchini, some organically grown heritage tomatoes in purple, red, and green and tiny tomatoes in yellow and red.

Italian Veggies

4 small Zucchini
1 small Onion
1 cup tiny Tomatoes (optional)
Olive oil
Garlic salt

Heat approx 2 Tbs of olive oil on medium. Slice zucchini and onion into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Once the oil is heated add the veggies. Cook until just softened and add whole tomatoes and a sprinkling of garlic salt. Cook about five minutes longer.

After a spicy Italian supper of Pasta with sausage and mushroom sauce and these veggies we needed something sweet to do with the peaches. Lou had mentioned that he really liked peach cobbler so I dug out his Mom's old recipe and tried to make it "Heather friendly"...

Peach Cobbler

One large can peaches (or 4 ripe peaches)
1 cup sugar (plus about 1/4 cup for fresh peaches)
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup milk
1 stick of butter (I used Willowshed all soy margarine)

Slice and peel fresh peaches and add sugar. Melt butter in oblong dish at 350*. Mix flour, sugar and milk (I used vanilla soy); add to melted butter; add peaches with juice and bake at 350* for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.

It took mine about 45 minutes to bake. Maybe because of the non-dairy products? I don't know. Either way Lou and I are having a hard time not eating it in one sitting. Somehow I think there will be more desserts in next week's menu...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Picnic and Pool

I love when school starts. Know why? The parks are EMPTY! LOL! There is nothing so fun as meeting friends for lunch and some water fun...

unless that something more fun is somehow ending up in one friend's pool. Thanks Cathy!!

There was even entertainment. She calls this "backwashing" and the boys loved it. ;oP

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ohio Trip Pt 3

Tuesday morning we got up early, no fire alarms thank God, and had a little breakfast before heading out. While Dad was getting gas I ran to the Red Box across the road and got three movies for the kids to watch on the way home. I had checked the night before and it said I could drop them off again at ANY Red Box! I'll let you know if I get charged. ;o)

We hit the road and the construction was not AS bad on the southbound side. We were making pretty good time and I kept thanking Dad for agreeing to go to Abe Lincoln's Birthplace with us. All these years of north to south and back again and we have never seen most of these places along the way. I was stoked!

I picked up a Jr Ranger book for the boys to work on, but knew pretty quick that we would not be able to finish it. Dad was in a hurry to see the park and leave again. I tried to keep the kids moving through the museum and then the park. They are used to having all day to play at most of these areas. As we were about to leave I noticed that Mom and Dad were talking to a couple with a camera set up. As I got nearer Mom said, "Heather I think you should talk to them." Turns out they were making a documentary on National Parks and wanted someone to interview. Of all the times to be recorded. I had car hair, no make up, and I was wearing my "So long and thanks for all the fish" t-shirt. Sigh. I agreed. They got it all set up while we joked about people with no teeth wanting to be on camera. The lady asked, What to National Parks mean to you. Do you think they are important and should be preserved? I answered the question expecting another and they looked at each other and said, wow, well that was perfect. Thanks! That was it. I'm sure not going to win any awards, but I was glad to help them out. If I end up in the documentary, don't laugh. Okay, go ahead because I will!

The rest of the trip was spent stopping about every hour. We did finally make it home just after dark. I am exhausted. :o)

Ohio Trip Pt 2

Sunday morning we headed to church with NO idea when it started. LOL! We came just 15 minutes after Sunday school had started so we killed some time before the late service. Griffin was really excited about Jr Church and went off without a backward glance. Afterward we had to hurry back to the hotel so Dad could make his tee time. ;o)

While we were at Taco Bell for lunch Griffin hurt his head. "Look Mom! Take a picture: I'm Haaaaaarry Potter!"

While Mom visited with Aunt Susie, the boys and I spent some time at Pete and Sara's house. Johnny and Mary came over with Dave and Christian and the seven kids had a ball. The boys were moving this HUGE bucket of water. Took them a while but the finally got to the trampoline and dumped it out. LOL!

Sunday night Dad and I were on our own while Mom was out visiting again. The kids really wanted McDonald's and since it was one of the six restaurants in walking distance, we headed that way. Dad took the boys on over while I crossed the road to Subway. As I was crossing this beat up old car went by and someone yell out at me, "Hussy!" I looked at what I was wearing. Nope not that. Only thing I can figure is that I looked like someone else. I got a good laugh out of it anyway. Who calls anyone a hussy anymore? ;oP

Monday morning I was up early and headed downstairs to try to get breakfast up to the room for Mom and the boys when the fire alarm started to go off. Now these hotel alarms are NOT playing. They make your skull ring so that even if you are deaf you are NOT missing the fact that it's ringing. I went to the front desk that was just around from the continental breakfast area and the hostess assured me (30 seconds after it started) that this was a false alarm. Alrighty then. I took the last of the food to the stairs and rushed up knowing that there was NO way the kids were still asleep. Sure enough Mom was trying to get them all to the door as I rushed in. I related that it was a false alarm as the alarm stopped and restarted. Mom got dressed quickly as we discussed that this girl had no idea if it WAS a false alarm since it kept going off after she'd turn it off again. I mean really, how did she know? The kids dressed quickly (we were all getting a headache at this point) and rushed out the back door with our electronics, the boys blankies and breakfast. We ate on the curb while the alarm continued to blare inside. We gave up on showers and make up and headed on out to pick up Aunt Kathy.

Our first stop of the day was an antique mall in Findlay. Griffin got bit by a bear.

We may sue.

I really liked these little animals. No idea why, but they were just really cute.

Aunt Susie met up with us there and we headed into town to eat lunch at a little breakfast cafe called Cafe Marie's. They had lots of breakfast fair and some lunch options. I am always scared of the smaller places, but they were really great and worked with me on my order. Not he first case of queasy! After lunch there were some errands to run, but we found time for some ice cream....

Everything there looked great, but the ONLY thing in the store I could have was a candy stick that was old and chewy. Sigh.

This is what Ohio looks like. At least the part I grew up in. Fields that are separated by trees and a few houses (the white dots) with big barns.

The boys and I admired all the Queen Anne's Lace and Clover. I think the Ragweed was getting to all of us. There was also a good bit of a blue flower that I can't find. Nuts.

Aunt Kathy and Mom weren't done spoiling the boys for the day. We headed to Lima to Chuck E Cheese...

We got Aunt Kathy home just in time for her meeting that night.

Mom and I took the boys by the cemetery to see if John's grave was taken care of. It was.

This is my grandparents' tombstone. It is one of the nicest ones I've ever seen. The house is the one they built - literally, my Grandpa built the house himself - and there is a tractor out front (Grandpa's hobby) and quilts hung out back (Grandma's hobby).

The last stop of the day was Anderson Tractor supply. Griffin's personal heaven...

G was thrilled to find a John Deere made JUST for him QT-1 for GQT!

We were whipped after a long day so we packed up the room and got ready to leave in the morning. Before bed I prepped Dad for a stop on the way down at Abraham Lincoln's birthplace so I could count Tuesday as a day of school. :o)

Ohio Trip Pt 1

My dad is very strange about travel. Well, maybe not strange since there seem to be quite a few people that can sympathize. It's not that he minds traveling, it's just that he doesn't like to stop. I remember the time we made it all the way to Bluffton (550 miles) in just eight hours. He was especially proud of that one. It should have come as no surprise that Dad asked for our bags on Thursday night, packed the van and was at our house to pick us up at 7 AM. Friday, travel day, was spent rushing up to Ohio, although with the boys in tow and long stretches of construction, it took us twelve hours to arrive. Dad was not pleased.

Here are the boys at Aunt Kathy and Uncle Dave's house.

Aunt Kathy and I with the boys.

Uncle Dave couldn't resist a silly picture! LOL!

After some chatting we all headed down to the local Dairy Freeze. We ordered ice cream, shakes, hot dogs, BLT's and more ice cream. By the time we left we had gathered several more relatives and headed back to Kathy and Dave's for more talk and some pie until almost midnight.

The next morning we slept in...

Despite the fact that we HAVE a pool, the boys were really anxious to swim. I took my book down to read and warned the boys to be careful since the indoor pool area was so loud I couldn't hear a call for help over the normal squealing. G let me know that I was being watched...


Austin and Carson

After I took this picture I thought I might want to feed G. Hmmm.

Mom called me about then and said that we were invited to visit with Uncle Mike, Aunt Donna and my step-grandmother Dorothy. I shooed the kids out of the pool and we got dressed with enough time to hit a couple of yard sales. LOL! Yes we were yard saling on vacation - BECAUSE I had forgotten C-boo's shoes at home. Yes, we did score a NEW pair in his size that I liked with his suite: Black canvas pirate loafers. CUTE!

Lunch with Dorothy, Mike and Donna was at KFC where luckily I can eat. Not a lot, but I have a couple of options and that is better than most places. We talked about the best places to see in London and Paris and how their gorgeous lavender fields are coming along. By the time we dropped Dorothy back at her house (popped across the street to Brandy's yard sale), we had just enough time to get dressed for the wedding.

I don't take pictures at wedding ceremonies. Flashes from one camera can mess up pictures from another person's camera and the bride's family is paying for a photographer - so DON'T DO IT! ;o) Here are a few shots from the reception:

Five tables of Andersons.

Aunt Susie, Mom and Aunt Kathy.

Cutting the cake - hi-ya! April was having way too much fun with that knife.

The first dance...

Carson was loving the crayons and color pages for the kids. Isn't he looking good in his suit?

Dance floor!

Austin hits the dance floor:

Austin and Johnny learning the dance.

Go Griffin!

The boys were SO funny. They really got into the dancing. Austin would dance and then fake falling in the floor or off the stage. Carson is my dancer and he was brakin' it down! G boogied his pants off a couple times, but caught them just in time. I even got up there and danced a couple of dances with my guys. We stayed long enough to help clean up a bit and then headed back to the hotel for some much needed shut eye.