Archive for February, 2013

Celebration Time

On Sunday, Feb. 17, we headed south to meet up with Eric and Jordan and go out for lunch to celebrate his recent completion of the PGA Professional Golf Management Program. Woo Hoo and Congratulations Eric! We are very proud of you!

Congratulations Eric!

Congratulations Eric!


Of course his gift had not come in the mail yet (it of course arrived on the following Tuesday), but we couldn’t go empty handed so we brought along a bottle of champagne for him, and will deliver the goods soon (I hope).

We went downtown in Moline and ate lunch at the River House Bar & Grill. I was ecstatic when Paul pointed out to me that fish tacos was on the menu. They were delicious as was the Italian Margarita I had to go along with them. Everyone else liked their choices as well which included a cheeseburger, grown-up mac and cheese and a grilled chicken sandwich. I will definitely find a reason to go back for the fish tacos again :>D.

Fish Tacos -- the best!

Fish Tacos — the best!

Italian Margarita -- I'm going to have to find a recipe for these.

Italian Margarita — I’m going to have to find a recipe for these.

After lunch we walked a block west to look at the mighty Mississippi, and stopped for a Kodak moment.

Eric and Jordan

Eric and Jordan

Family time

Family time

On the way back to the car, we detoured to the John Deere Pavilion and went inside and walked around the big machines and crawled up in a few as well. It was an impressive display of farm equipment from lawn tractors to antique farm tractors to the ginormous cultivating and harvesting machines.

Big boy toys.

Big boy toys.

All together such a nice day!



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… so why hasn’t this darn cold taken a hike so I can celebrate it as planned? Still coughing, still without much get up and go. So I think it’s going to be a low key day and I’ll take a rain-check on celebrating another day next week.

First surprise of the day – Sue came early with a delicious carrot cake and presents. A truly stunning shades of purple bracelet that I cannot wait to wear, and a lovely sweater too! She is such a sweet and thoughtful sister.


I was excited to get this beautiful bracelet from Sue (even though I was with her when she bought it — I totally forgot about it!) It’s a stunner!

Leslie sent presents in the mail and I finished opening them on my birthday. The delicious and healthy oatmeal muffins I opened right away and have been eating. Awesome boogie woogie music CD and a book on Florence, Italy.


Music and book and love across the miles! Oh my!

Poor Paul is sick too – suffering with the flu and just no energy and not feeling well at all. Once in awhile he’ll get up for an hour or so, but it wears him out and he’s back on the sofa in no time. He spent the afternoon watching movies, and I spent it upstairs working on my Vision Board for the One Little Word class I’m taking online from Ali Edwards and Big Picture Scrapbooking. I had already done a digital Vision Board which I really like, but wanted to try the cut and paste version too. At first I didn’t think I had enough variety in magazines to make an interesting board, but I looked through a couple PDN photography magazines as work and decided that yeah, I should give the hands on version a try. It was actually a lot of fun. I love the images I found and they work well on the board together. I couldn’t let go of my tendency to keep everything straight and aligned – but oh well – that’s just the kind of designer I am.


One of the ideas behind a Vision Board is just to use images and words that “speak” or “appeal” to you. Don’t try and rationalize why you are using this image or do any planning. Let it just happen!


Love some of the travel images. It makes me want to go places and take photos. Is it too late to turn that into a career?

Oh yeah, I was watching Season 2 of Arrested Development while working on the Vision Board. So hilarious! Love it, love it, love it.

I had nice conversations with Eric and Leslie too which always makes my day. Leslie said Eric has posted a sweet Happy Birthday message to Mom on Facebook – which is just his sweet nature. Love my son and daughter, and I appreciate that they were here in spirit and kept a germ free distance.

I ended the day with cake and ice cream and a little wine.


Cake and wine and ice cream. It works for me.

I also watched the Netflix instant download movie Bernie (Jack Black – what a different role! Not the funny ha-ha comedy I thought it would be but interesting and amazing to me that it’s a true story and a lot of the people in the movie doing the “direct to the camera” commenting were real Carthage, Texas people who knew the real Bernie).

I also got new running shoes (one pair to keep for gym (e.g. clean) and one for outdoors, and Amazon gift cards (what to buy?, what to buy?).


Will these be the secret weapon in the “Beat Jimmy” goal for 2013. We’ll see. (although I am concerned about the 19 day vacation, 4 weeks before the race. I don’t know that I’ll be keeping the practice going in Europe). Oh well. We’ll see.


All and all, I have no complaints on how I spent my day. At 57, having now lived longer than either my mom or dad, I appreciate and am grateful for each day – whether it’s fun on the run, of the comforts of home.

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We had our annual Superbowl party and it was fun with friends and feasting.

Thanks to Sue for coming in early to help with the last minute preparations. We had so much good food. I thought the Caprese Dip was really tasty. The Avocado hummus was OK but didn’t knock my socks off. Fresh fruit was a big hit and we had an abundance of desserts. Mary Lynn brought Kris’s chocolate pudding pie, Sue brought gingerbread and hot butter rum sauce, Kris brought Dirt Dessert, Peggy S. brought a warm pineapple cake, and Gayle brought some decadent chocolate and peanut butter intensely rich bar. No – that wasn’t all, and no, I didn’t try a little of everything but I had my share. I’m sure the scale will reflect that in the morning.

With my cold, my ability to taste is diminished, so I didn’t overdo it as much as I might have if taste buds were working well.

We were happy to have little Lillian join us for her first Superbowl and all the kids were excited that Paul unearthed the magic of the toy drawer. For kids, it’s like a treasure hunt – they love it. The favorite find was the balancing bird – which has always been a fave.


She appears to be having a good time!

Keith won the prize for coming up with a guess closest to the winning score and took home the fantastic prize of the football shaped deck of cards and score-sheet  If we had been giving out prizes for the best dressed – that would have been Gene (also winning for the largest number of servings of dirt dessert (or chocolate pudding pie – I forget which).

Same time, next year.

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It’s been a long time and I’m kind of surprised that Word Press hasn’t shut me down.

I’m back because I’m doing Ali Edward’s One Little Word project, and the word I chose is Connect. And my focus for February is to Connect with Words and that includes cards, notes, emails and to jump start the blog again.

So JUMP! Here it is February, and Superbowl weekend to be exact. We are having a get together on Sunday night so most of the weekend is spent in prep mode (although somewhat while dragging my butt around as I have a cold, the first in about three years) and I run out of energy off and on.

The Superbowl menu includes:

What is done: Pulled pork, cookies and cupcakes, half the veggies and chex mix in oven.

This doesn’t look that yummy in the raw state, but after it cooks all day, it’s quite delicious.


This is easy and tasty. The triangular pieces of bread (left side) were used for dipping and they are simply the super thin buns, toasted, and cut into eight pieces.


Just have to have a cold glass of milk with these.


Perfectly sad that I didn’t take a photo of the finished cupcake. I will next time. The batter on these is really thin, enough so that I was worried that they would turn into cake but they did. The other oddity – is the last step involved adding one cup of boiling water. Which turned some of my egg whites into little white blobs. So definitely make sure your eggs are well blended before adding the boiling water.

What is not done? A lot, plus a trip to the grocery store. So I should end my small break and get back to it until I run out of steam again.

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