Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas at Home

What a wonderful time we had while home for Christmas. The ride home was uneventful, after the fog lifted. Robin had the bed all set up, and the dogs were so happy to see us. Jax slept with us for a bit, then went to stay with George and his Mom. Every morning they came in to give us our morning kisses. I suppose they are missing us now.
Connor came to sleep over on the week-end before Christmas. We have this recipe for old fashioned cut-out cookies that my grandmother handed down. As a child we made them every year, and decorated them. That was a tradition I kept up. Since we've been on the road I haven't made them. This year we had such a good time. Connor counted the cookie cutters and found out we have 70, yes 70 of them. I was surprised at the final count. We had so much fun doing them. Wait till you see the picture. We shared them with Tom's sister, Beckie, and our son's family, and our Moms. There are only 2 left for Tom here. I guess we'll have to cut the recipe down and make them for ourselves while traveling. My grandmother used to have them in her cookie jar all the time. She would cut them out in these great big circle, and sprinkle them with sugar. I remember as a child going to the cupboard for them.
What fun I had baking. I made lots of cinnamon buns and sticky buns. I had taken my bread maker home so I could do it for every one. I also make this good pecan chocolate chip bread. Of course That is one of Robin's favorites. Robin and I also made ravioli. Years ago my mom gave me a pasta maker. I haven't made them foe years, but Robin wanted them for Christmas Eve. I told her she had to help. We made both cheese and meat. She has plenty left in the freezer for later on. She couldn't believe it was so easy to do. Kind of time consuming and tedious, but well worth the effort. We had lots of cheese filling left so we made stuffed shells. Boxed shells. We used some of our sauce from Trader Joe's. It was so good.
Christmas day was really just like it always was. Going next door to Tom's mom's, and having dinner. I had baked the ham and stuffing and made the gravy the day before. I added the sweet potatoes. Mom made creamed potatoes and cheesy spinach. Beckie made some deviled eggs, and her son brought some cookies. Tom and Jenn just have to bring Connor. That's enough for us. Connor shops at school every year. This year he gave me a cute pink bracelet. I told him I would wear it every day. So if you see me with it on and it doesn't match what I have on, too bad.
The day after Christmas we went on over to Tom and Jenn's. Connor showed us his new drum set. He played (?) for us for a bit. Then we got to play Uno Flash. We got it for him for Christmas. Everyone had such fun. Tom says he won't be winning that game anytime soon. You have to think fast and make your move before the buzzer goes off. And you never know when your turn is coming. The game decides. I suggest it for everyone.
Now we are back with Emily after a beautiful day of traveling. The only thing yesterday was a four car accident that was mostly a fender bender that involved a U-Haul trailer. There weren't many trucks on the road, so it was a nice day to travel with cloudless skies and we had fun seeing the different license plates. I'm thinking the other travelers were thinking South Dakota was far away from home. Little do they know, we are home where ever we are. We just didn't have Emily with us. Tomorrow we are on our way South. Hopefully, we will find some warmer weather.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Home for the Holidays

Well, we made it home to Plains, Pa. Emily is in storage in Tennessee. The folks were kind enough to let us keep her plugged in, so the furnace will go on if she gets below 40. She is winterized, and all set to endure the weather till we get back. Tom says we'll head south as fast as possible when we get back. There's no snow, but we'er just not used to the cold. I've been doing some baking. Tomorrow Robin will be home, and we will be making some homemade ravioli. I havent done that in years. We used to have then for Christmas eve dinner. The kids love them. On Saturday Connor will be sleeping over. The plan is to make the Christmas cut-outs that we've made every year since we were married. It's an old recipe from my grandmother, and a family tradition. Tom and I have a system. Connor loves to do them. We have lots of fun decorating them. I think I must have about 50 cookie cutters. Everything from a set a of lips to a cactus to the state of Pennsylvania. I have stopped buying them now. The recipe make so many I wouldn't have room in the motor home. Besides, there's just no room to carry the cookie cutters.
Tonight we plan to go to a basketball game to see Robin's cheerleaders. I suspect we'll be busy till the day we leave. We still have to find a nice day to go to Upstate New York to see my Mom. It will be a day trip for us, but you just never know about the weather up there. It can be nice one minute, and then if the lake effect snow starts you're doomed. We'll just have to pick the right day.
The tree that we usually carry with us was left home this year. Robin put it up before we got home. She then put the garland that we put over the slide-out on her mantle. It looks nice. We'll have to get a nice picture for our Christmas greeting. Maybe Connor will be in it. Maybe the dogs. We'll see. It's nice to be home, but it's probably the last time for a while. We just aren't that fond of the cold. Besides, I have a hankerin' for some gulf shrimp. Maybe even some Louisianna cajan meals. Yum Yum!!! Stay warm if your up north, and enjoy the warmth if your down south.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Adiarsville, Ga.

Cloudland Canyon is left behind. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The folks we worked with were great. It was cold up on the mountain, and the snow we had a couple of days before we left and melted. We came south for about 65 miles, and are camped here at Leisure Time Campground. It doesn'y have much to offer, but our neighbor Joan from How Kola lives here during the winter. We've had a nice chat with her, and then the rain came. The plan was to go to Marietta. Trader Joe's is there. We haven't been to Trader Joe's for quite some time. There are no stores in the northeastern part of the country, so we have to wait till we come south. The idea was to pick up some wine, some spaghetti sauce, and see what else caught our eye. I spied some salsa that looks pretty good, and a big bag of chips to go with it. Tom sampled some of their coffee. If we had gone there last, we probably would have bought some of their other goodies from the freezer section. Everything looked so good.
From there we went on to Sams Club. I wanted to pick up some Chai Tea. Our store in Wilkes-Barre doesn't carry it, but the one in Scranton does. Well, this one didn't either. Tom got some blueberry muffins(one of his weaknesses), and I picked up some pecans for baking at home. The next time I see the tea, I'll pick up about 5 cans of it. I have a mugful every morning, and I'm beginning to get down to the bottom of the container. Maybe we'll be able to get to Scranton in the few days we're home.
Next came Wal-Mart. We picked up and UNO FLASH game for Connor for Christmas. He is such a good game player. He loves UNO ATTACK. Beats us more often than not. Also we added some stuff to the pantry. But of course, that the way it is when you go into Wal-Mart. You always come out with more that you went in for.
Then we went to Gondolier for a meal. Now, there are 2 types of Gondolier restaurants. At the time we didn't know this was a take-out, counter serve type. The one we went to in Tenn. was a nice sit down type. The food was as good as last time, and the meals were cheaper, but the atmosphere wasn't there. I brought home half of mine, but Tom ate the whole thing. He said if they had had bruchetta he would have bought half of his home, too. Then it was time to come home.
It rained all day, very heavy at times, but it seemed to not be bad when we were going to and from the car. Tom just opened a couple of windows. It's getting warm in here with the sun shining so bright. It feels good. Now if we can get Emily up to Bristol, and then drive home, we'll be set for the Holiday. Wish us luck. This may be the last time we try to do this. Oh well, there's no time clock to punch. No time limit to go here or there. When it's good to go, we'll go.