Boxed In…

It’s called Simple Box but there is nothing simple about loading a box container. There are sections of the box designated for medium, heavy, light and very light weight. The boxes will be lifted at a tilt to load and unload off a truck so the weight and the tie downs are crucial for a successful journey and delivery.

We weighed every box and item that went into this moving container. In the middle shot Andrew is weighing the box spring that would be the last item put in the container in the very light section.

Monday was our only forecast this week of a full sunny day so we called all hands on deck and worked from morning to night to get all 6100 pounds in and secured.

We all had very sore muscles and tired legs and arms but were thankful for a job completed well and with love remaining amongst the workers! We couldn’t have done it without our helpers. Tuesday was a light day of work for me as my body needed recovery time. Friday is staging day here. It will be interesting to see the results of that.

Hope all is well with all of you.

All In A Days Work…

…the first stage of the kitchen cabinet installation was completed! We had a weekend filled with hard work and lots of fun. My brother Tim (on the right) arrived with his dear wife Letty late on Thursday night for the weekend. On Friday, because of Tim’s expertise in cabinetry and installation, Dear, Josh and Tim had all the cabinets installed in Josh and Laura’s kitchen. Our son in law Andrew has also been working alongside Dear on the complete renovation of the kitchen/eating area of J & L’s home but he has classes on Friday and had to wait for Saturday to join in the fun.

While the guys worked on Friday Letty and I shopped at a couple Goodwill stores and had lunch at Ariana (an Afghan restaurant). We bonded with the hostess/owner who spoke Russian to us and offered us the most delicious roasted pumpkin appetizer (pictured in the center) which was her mother’s recipe. I will be on a quest to try to duplicate it. When I asked her about the spices in the dish she was close-lipped, guarding the family recipe! We enjoyed Lamb Shashlik for our main dish and each had a cup of the restaurants special steeped tea.

On Friday night we had a full house for dinner and dessert. Letty and I made chicken fajitas and Letty made her signature Mexican rice and beans. I was photo challenged and only got one shot of the fajitas in process not the nice finished product with tri colored peppers and onions mixed in. Oye! We had a pumpkin dessert that I will be posting on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog on Thursday.

On Saturday the men (Dear, Tim and Andrew) headed back to Josh and Laura’s to work on trimming out the cabinets, electrical, installing the island pendant lights, and taking out a few more walls to add much needed insulation in the home. The girls, Letty, my sister Lana, Katie, Laura and I had a girls day out shopping and eating lunch together.

Our favorite store of the day was Charming Charlies. Do you have this store chain where you live? We all were able to find something we liked and we each left with an item or two or three.

On Saturday the guys took a lunch break, too, and ate at a Mexican restaurant together while we were eating at Coho. We all gathered in the evening at our house when the days activities were done and enjoyed left overs.

On Sunday after church we headed to Josh and Laura’s again and Tim and Dear added some finishing touches to the kitchen. Tim added the knobs and pulls, in less than an hour with the jigs he made. We were all so impressed! Dear tweaked the electrical while Josh added insulation to some walls. The ladies gave their expert opinions and guidance! We went out for one more meal together before Tim and Letty had to fly back to Southern California.

Our kids really appreciated the willingness of their uncle to fly up and add his expert assistance and skill in completing the kitchen cabinets. They would have never been able to complete this project so quickly without his help. Because my brother has the gift of helps and service this was not work for him but a joy! Thank you Tim and Letty!

Happy Monday to all of you. We have a free day today so time will tell what calls to us…

Foodie Friday ~ Artichoke

Spring Fling is the Foodie Friday Theme this week. Everyone at my house loves artichokes and for Foodie Friday I’m going to share the fast easy way we choose to enjoy this Springy looking vegetable! Gollum at Designs by Gollum is the hostess of this weekly Blog Food Event.

 

First find nice firm artichokes. Cut the stem off so you have a flat base. Cut the top say up to 1/2 to 1 inch straight across. Snip each leaf at the top to get rid of the sharp prickly part. Rinse really well and lay upside down with some of the liquid in a microwavable dish. Cover the dish and microwave on high for approx. 5 minutes for one. I did these for 10 minutes for the two and they were perfect.

 

Put the artichoke on any plate (be careful it will be very hot) Aren’t these artichoke plates Springy looking that I got from Goodwill for cheap?!  Next choose your dip of choice. Dear likes mayonnaise, I like Ranch Dressing, the rest of my family likes Italian dressing. Put a little  on the plate in the nifty section made just for it. Peel off one leaf at a time and dip the end that was most connected then scrap off the goodness with your teeth. (I love that soft focus you can fix photos with cuz now you can’t see all my wrinkles on this close up of me with the leaf) As you get farther into the center the leaves are more delicate and you can scrap off more goodness to eat, or even eat the whole leaf except for there always seems to be a little prickly part you need to avoid. Now here’s why they call it a Artichoke (maybe)…

 

See that fuzzy feathery part of the choke. This is the part you need to discard because you will probably choke on it. We use a spoon to scrape off all the fuzziness to get to the very best part the heart of the artichoke, you’ll need to apply a little pressure to remove the fuzzies from the heart but be careful not to scrape away the heart. After scrapping off the fuzz, sometimes I even rinse this part off to make sure I got rid of all the fuzzies, yep I’m a little paranoid that way. Now you can eat the heart and it’s solid artichoke yumminess. Make sure you add a little more dip if you got low in the eating process at this point :0)  This is a fun appetizer that we always enjoy at our house!

Now to see more Foodie Posts visit Gollum at Designs by Gollum!

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.

Before and After ~

Like BooMama I had high hopes to show you some before and after photos from the big project at our house…the basement. But alas we aren’t anywhere near the “after” stage yet so I defaulted to this smaller project that I’m working on.

 

These are some of my many tablecloths. This type of storage makes them hard to get to, to see, and to stay wrinkle free. I’ve been wanting to change this for a long time.

Now this is much better. I can see them more easily and they don’t get wrinkled. I’m still in process. I have lots of tablecloths. The next stage to this process is to arrange them in sizes. My table has 6 leaves so I use several different tablecloth sizes depending on how many people will be seated around my table.

I’m going to leave you with a photo of the stage our basement is in even though I’m not the one working on this project. My involvement includes feeding the crew and keeping them hydrated. Once in a while I have to make a mad dash to the Home Depot for a needed item. :0)

 

For more Before and After click on BooMama above…

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!

Pampering Myself ~ How to Eat Out Alone

 

I have learned over the years to pamper myself when the time is right. I also can rationalize a dinner out any day of the week. So…because Dear has been in Seattle at a Pharmacy conference since Friday and I’ve been home alone I decided to have a treat and go out to dinner on my last night alone. I started the eating out alone experience when I was out of town at sports tournaments, etc. I learned that it’s OK to eat out alone. The first couple times it was awkward but I’m “way over it”. I like to eat early so Happy Hours are ideal for me. You can eat at a nice restaurant instead of a Fast Food Joint!

Tonight I hopped into my car and drove a short distance to the Safire American Bistro in Camarillo. The bar has great tables for two for a single person to feel comfortable at. These tables were out of the main hub bub and not real conspicuous. They have what they think are deals on their happy hour menu. I’ve had better deals elsewhere but this was nice never-the-less. (Is that one word?) I ordered their Safire Salad which was wonderful $5.00. I love that it had garbanzo beans (chickpeas) in the salad and Parmesan shavings. The tomatoes were grape tomatoes and not the scary salmonella tomatoes that are causing havoc across the US right now. Sheesh the $7.00 gourmet pizza was a medium size not a personal size so I brought 3/4 of it home. I suppose $7.00 for a medium gourmet pizza at a nice restaurant is a good Happy Hour price…

Ummm, I wasn’t going to mention it but since it’s in the photo collage the gin martini was $6.00.  And since you are eating out alone, only have one drink please. 🙂 Now how do I rationalize this meal that cost me $23.00 with tip you ask, yes I generally tip 20%. I figure since Dear’s company is paying for all his meals the last 5 days we’re way ahead even though I splurged. Do you see my reasoning?

The pampering didn’t stop with dinner. When I got home I brewed myself a cup of tea and had a slice of Amish Friendship Bread that Willow sent home with me yesterday. Very yummy, Willow!

 

This is a new brand of tea I’m trying from St. Petersbourg, actually made in France. A Russian blend of China, Ceylon and India teas with natural scents of bergamot, lemon, lime, orange, mandarin, and flowers. (Earl Grey, citrus fruits and flowers). I love the little muslin tea bags.

Dear comes home tomorrow, yippee!

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage. They have blacked out all those photos on my blog posts. OH BOTHER! I’m slowly cleaning up my posts.

Recipe Round Up ~ Sandwiches

Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Sauteed Zucchini

I saw Rachel Ray make something similar to this and I didn’t write down the ingredients but played it by ear to recreate something similar.

 

For the sandwich I used fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil. Any bread you like will probably be fine. I used a white farmers bread.  I cut the crusts off. I layered cheese, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil on a slice of bread then topped it with another slice. I heated a large frying pan with olive oil dipped each sandwich in the egg and milk mixture and then set the egg coated sandwich in the pan.

 

When browned on one side I flipped it over and browned the other side. Rachel Ray served something similar (she used sun-dried tomatoes and cut her bread in circles) and served it with some sauteed zucchini. Here’s how I made my zucchini.

 

Cut zucchini, drop into pan heated with olive oil. Salt and pepper well. Cut a bunch of scallions and add them to the zucchini. Grate or press a couple cloves of garlic over the zucchini. When the zucchini is done add some grated Parmesan on top. (I think Rachel Ray added some chopped parsley to the dish also).

Enjoy! For more Sandwich recipes head over to Dorothy’s at Field Stone Cottage.

For my Calzone Recipe that I posted earlier this year click here.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!