Monday, June 29, 2009

Aerial Afternoon

While dh was in the Air Force, he flew quite often privately. When he was home on leave, he used to take me on short trips via small planes. I don't remember the last time he was in control of a fixed wing aircraft. Since becoming an Army rotary wing pilot, other things (Chinooks) have taken lead in the flight category. He's always thought about taking the boys up though, but has just never had the opportunity. Recently, he's been talking to one of the pilots that he works with who does a lot of fixed wing flying in his spare time. They set up a fun afternoon flight which included a plane big enough for the boys and me to ride in at the same time on a flight around town.
Devon was first to ride in the copilot seat.
Prepare for take off, we're going full throttle!

Back seat excitement! Look at the sweat beads on my face! I'm not sure if those were from the heat or the flight. LOL
We circled around town, then landed so the boys could swap places.

I thought this was a cool photo of Dev, with the reflections from the back and front of the plane in his sunglasses.

Aerial view of town which looks bigger from the sky!

Surrounding fields. The farmers have been harvesting the wheat. We saw one tiny little combine down there, but I couldn't get a photo of him.

Look at the grip he has on the controls! He was so serious though he couldn't see over the instrument panel! LOL

We made it back safely! The boys had a blast and talked about this all afternoon. What a memory!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In the Zone...

the "I'm watching tv, enjoying this cinnamon sprinkled graham cracker and not paying any attention to the mother with the camera" Zone.

I love him - even when he ignores me and even when he has cracker crumbs on his face. *heart* I love those eyes and those teeny tiny freckles too! I even love that scar from the bicycle mishap a few years ago. He calls it his Frankenstein scar. Oh, and I forgot to mention that smile - the smile he gave me when he decided to acknowledge me being almost right in his face with my camera! LOL I love that smile too!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bug Collections


If you were to say that Gary's friend, Carlos, is a bug collector, that might be an understatement. But, there's no other way to put it. He is a major Volkswagen fan, has a backyard treasure trove or maybe graveyard full of old Volkswagens in any form or fashion. I'll share some photos of that in the next day or so. But for today's post, I wanted to show you some photos I took a few weeks ago in his office.
His office is also his toy room. The first time you walk in, your mouth falls open because one whole wall is lined with shelves and on those shelves are toy bugs.

I think there must be every toy VW that was ever or has ever been made. He's purchased some of these, but mostly people give them to him.
It's crazy. You could spend hours in that room and never see every single one of them.

I usually leave thanking God it's not my room and I don't have to dust those shelves! LOL

Monday, June 22, 2009

Life and Lemons

Life has been going along for us at the crazy pace. Thankfully, we're keeping up, so we can't complain! Summer is here in full force with the hot temps! Thank goodness for air conditioning!

The boys and I have been making fresh lemonade recently. Fresh squeezed lemonade came into the picture and outbid Country Time with the recent purchase of this juicer at an auction. (Same auction as the Jadite and dolls...)
Pretty, huh? Yeah, and it got the job done, but not without having to pick out seeds. I don't like picking out seeds. So, the second time we juiced lemons for lemonade, I pulled out my other juicer - the one with the strainer holes to catch the seeds.
It's a good thing I don't really want to juice lemons as a stress reliever or something because little hands ALWAYS want to squeeze the lemons. They think it's cool. :)


Squeezing or juicing lemons is SERIOUS work. Or maybe it's sour work. This looks more like a sour face, wouldn't you say?
One thing that you get from fresh squeezed lemonade that you don't from Country Time is pulp. Give me a glass of orange juice with pulp and I complain. But give me a glass of fresh lemonade with pulp and the first sip becomes a great big gulp! One sip equals half the glass gone.
Maybe I should be drinking out of bigger glasses!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Auction purchase

Saturday, we went out and about looking for bargains and just enjoying the day. We saw an auction sign and decided to stop in and see what was up for sale. Of course, my eyes were peeled in search of anything creamy and green - then I spotted it. A spouted mixing bowl with a handle. Love at first sight. Well, not really first sight because I've seen them before in antique stores, but didn't fall in love with them because of the price tag on them. So, I had to decide what to do. I got a number just in case Gary found anything of interest. He did not. What to do? What to do? I opted to stay while they left. LOL I sat there for a good three hours just watching the crowd. The owner of the estate which they were auctioning must have been a major doll collector. There were some major doll collectors in the audience that day too. One doll went for $625. Yeah, we're in a recession...

A guy behind me caught the attention of the guy picking things off the table to auction and told him to auction that bowl. MY bowl. I gave him an evil look. I don't know if he saw it or not, but at that moment I determined he would not leave with MY bowl. LOL But I was also determined that I wasn't spending more than $30 for it. LOL It could be his bowl for more than $30. As you can tell by the photo, it's MY bowl.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Bundt Pan Story


I promised in the pound cake post to come back and tell you the story behind the bundt pan. I keep promises. :)

My mom has this apple nut cake recipe that she makes in a bundt pan. Years ago, she bought a cast iron bundt pan and started making her apple nut cakes in it. She passed down her other bundt pan - the aluminum one that comes in two pieces, so your cake is easily removed from the pan. Every time we go "home", Mom bakes an apple nut cake. It used to be she baked them for ME because that's the cake I always requested for my birthday when I was younger. But lately, she cooks the apple nut cake for Devon. *I've lost out to a grandkid.*

Devon asked me once why I didn't make apple nut cakes like Patpat, so I gave in and tried. He never liked mine because they didn't taste like hers. I could never figure out why. I used the same exact recipe - cooked it for the same exact time, etc, etc, but he never ate but one piece of mine while he could eat the whole cake of hers.

I finally decided it had to do with her pan. Her cast iron bundt pan makes the crust a nice brown crust and the cake is tender and moist inside. My cakes in my pan never had that pretty brown crust and the outside tasted the same as the inside. Her pan is just better!

So, the search began for a cast iron bundt pan for me! Guess what? You can't find them. Companies have stopped making them and they are a rare find second hand. Mom did find one a few months ago, but the man wanted $75 for it. Sorry, no deal. I'll just wait and get the cakes at her house. LOL

I searched the antique stores and auctions here along with the yard sales that I stopped in. No cast iron bundt pan. :(

When we went to MS on our way to AL a few weeks ago, we were dropping the kids off at mil's. Mom and Dad came to visit us before we left again on the rest of our journey to AL. She got out of the truck and had something behind her back. I hugged her and asked what she was hiding thinking all along it was something for the boys. She had a mischievous look in her eye, so I had no idea. Then, she pulled a plastic bag around to her front and handed it to me saying, "Happy Birthday!" I took the bag and screamed when I realized what it was! I hugged her I don't know how many times! She'd found it in an antique store while visiting my sister in North AL - and paid $30 for it. A steal in our opinions!

I used it the other day to make my pound cake. Soon, I'm going to break down and try the apple nut cake. Soon. :) I'll let you know how that goes and if Devon deems it as good as Patpat's.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

This is so yummy! The ingredient list is sinful, but, it's so good. I have adored this recipe since the first time I had it, but had never made one for myself. I made one recently to take to a company picnic. Sharing it with others was the only way I could justify such a recipe. Goodness knows my waistline doesn't need this cake sitting around on my kitchen counter for any length of time. :)

I always call it Miss Wanda's Pound Cake because she seems to always have one when we visit her house. I was glad she decided to make one when we were there visiting during our trip to AL a few weeks ago. :)

The recipe:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks butter, softened)
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
3 cups sifted all purpose flour (I used self rising and skipped the salt)
1/4 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10 inch or bundt pan. Beat butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla flavoring. Sift together flour and salt; blend into creamed mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for five minutes turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.

This was almost too much for my cake pan, but it was just right really. Maybe the AP flour would have done better in that bundt pan, but I don't keep it on hand most of the time.

Isn't it pretty? :D

I was scare of turning it out of the pan because I was afraid it was going to stick. It came out perfectly though! Yay!

Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar and then you're done!

*Story of the pan is coming soon. It's a good story! That baby was my best birthday present this year!*

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Step on a crack...

This morning I'm enjoying quiet as the rest of the fam sleeps late. I got up earlier and went for a walk around town. It felt good to be out and about. I have neglected any form of exercise in a major way lately.

I left the house and walked south, dropped a movie off in the slot at Movie Gallery, then continued south to the Eisenhower Center. It was nice and peaceful down there with only the birds chirping to keep me company. I found myself watching the sidewalk. The way it was laid out did not fit my stride so I kept stepping on the cracks or seams where the sections met. I laughed at myself for feeling twinges of guilt for stepping on the cracks. It all leads back to that children's rhyme, "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." I decided it was crazy for a grown woman to be feeling guilty about stepping on the cracks of the sidewalk. Funny at the same time to be worried about it. I silently apologized to my mother and then made myself look forward and ignore the sidewalk. LOL I did notice when I got back on the regular sidewalk along the street that my stride fit better. ;)

Whew, it's already Wednesday? I had to really think about that when I typed in the title. Not a lot going on around here this week. After the past two weeks of busy-ness working on our house in AL and being on the go, being at home seems rather boring. But, it is truly good to be back in our own space. I hope you have a great hump day and remainder of your week!

Oh and I'll share a photo just because photos make posts more fun. Hmmm, what to share...

When we were in AL last week, I took my camera out to the shop of the guy where we were staying. He has lots of collections, so it was fun to look for things to photograph. These old car radios caught my attention at some point. I'm going to try to be a better blogger, so I will save the other photos for another day.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Be a little shell-fish


Gary LOVES, I mean LURVES!!! oysters on the half shell. I swear I think he could live on them and saltines alone. It's not that he gets them often here in the middle of America. The only oysters that are abundant here are Rocky Mountain oysters and well, we're just not going there. *shiver*

When we were in AL last week, we had to eat at Pop's Oyster Bar the first night. I chose a Po Boy sandwich. Are Po boys only available in the south? Does any other part of the country call sandwiches Po boys? Hmmph, I hadn't ever thought about that... Anyway, he got his first dose of GULF oysters on the half shell. And he'll tell you, they have to be Gulf oysters to be good. Sorry to you NW Pacific girls, those Pacific oysters just don't cut it in his book. LOL I tried one or two that night. They aren't bad if you put enough hot cocktail sauce on them.

We went a few nights later for his second dose. I opted for crab cakes that night. I sampled a few more of his platter. More hot cocktail sauce and the salty cracker. The sweet tea was the kicker though!

The THIRD time we went to Pop's, Gary just bought a thirty pound bag of oysters with the intention to shuck them himself and share with the guy whose house we were staying in during our trip.

So, they sat around the pool with screwdrivers and other tools in hand shucking the oysters and asking for more crackers and sauce.






They worked on shucking and eating until they were stuffed and the bucket of shells was full.


He was a happy camper and had had his fill of oysters on the half shell until next time we're close to the Gulf. Who knows when that will be.

Oh, and he shared with me that night too. He was even nice enough to shuck some for me and not make me do it myself. That first photo is of my share before the sauce was added. Who'd have thought I'd actually like them too?!?!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

M. I. A.

I've been Missing In Alabama. Have you missed me?

We're back home now. I'm a year older (had a birthday while there, didn't celebrate it - too busy working).

I'll give a better update later this week. I'm tired and ready for my own bed right now. :)