Saturday, July 31, 2010


was this garage sale find! I am on the garage sale hunt again after a break for a few years. For several years I was in strangers' garages at 7 a.m. with any mention of Little Tyke toys. Now I'm helping my dear daughter outfit her first college kitchen! Looking for good used pots and pans, etc. Anyway, I LOVE my Pampered Chef food chopper and to find one at a garage sale for $1.50 was the best! Actually, I think I'll give my daughter my very used one, and keep this one for myself! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


One of our favorite days in Florence, Italy was this one! The cooking teacher sent it to me in this form. I was selfishly trying to decide if I wanted to keep these recipes for myself or share them...OKAY, so I'm sharing...I don't know if I'll really be able to reproduce them or not here, anyway. We just don't have exactly the same ingredients. I am kicking myself now for not buying the aged balsamic vinegar when I had a chance to over home and it's $89 a bottle(same brand)! So anyway, what I learned from this class was to use FRESH ingredients, locally grown, and that food in Tuscany is not very spicy. I hear Southern Italy has spicy foods, though. May have to plan another trip...unfortunately that trip probably won't be in the next 5 years!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Recently some friends from Colorado were passing thru and spent a night with us. They and their 4 kids are all on Gluten-Free diets after being tested the last year or so. I was kind of worried about what to feed them but thankfully my husband has been on many business trips with him and has learned about eating this way.

We had grilled pork tenderloin, scallops, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, mandarin orange salad, mixed fresh fruit and raspberry sherbet! Kind of momentous for me to make all this fresh healthy stuff, so obviously it deserved a picture and a blog post!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


So we celebrated another birthday! My son is now 19 years old. That is just too weird. Makes me feel, well, uh, you know...

Anyway, in the morning, he said he didn't really want to do anything for his birthday (with us) and I just can't deal with doing nothing for him, so we told him after some gift giving that we wanted to take him and a few friends to a movie in the evening. Soon after he left the house we receive a text from him stating he just wanted to have a few friends over. We were okay with that. I can bake a cake, order a few pizzas, no problem. First it was for 5 friends. Then later it grew to maybe 10 get the idea. Anyway, the birthday was a success - impromptu party with I really don't know how many kids - parents dutifully in the back bedroom with our own pizza/movie. They stayed way past my bedtime watching youtube and playing some kind of clapping game!

P.S. Lest you think we are terrible parents, we did have a family birthday party earlier in July!
There's always one at the party who doesn't seem to be having fun...see him? LOL
Awww...sweet friends!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Which weird pic from Italy is your favorite?

Nasty muskrat swimming in the river
Or how about some fresh chicken...with the head still on it?
Better yet, skinned rabbit!
So I had this cute picture of a baby playing in the water, when BAM! Sunburned stomach walks into view...
Okay, I guess maybe you had to be there for this one, but this guy's pinching heads off sardines. Right next to a gelato store! Sardine gelato, anyone?
This creepy mime just snuck up on everyone...
Italian junk food!

Monday, July 19, 2010


We're B-AAA-C-K! Back from the Italy trip we considered one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities! Hopefully we'll return someday, but it was just something we really wanted to do, with our daughter being a student there this summer. It was wonderful, seeing sights 2,000 years old, incredible churches, awesome statues and artwork, and the gelato...oh the GELATO is really as good as they say. One day we had gelato 4 times!!! But that was because we'd been hiking and it was incredibly hot. That is the ONE THING I WOULD CHANGE NEXT TIME: go in spring or fall! But we wouldn't have seen our daughter and the Harding University-Florence (HUF) group then. I think the heat is like OK's it just that we aren't normally out in it between 12:00-3:00 p.m. And especially not on black cobblestone streets with little breeze and green spaces. Still, it was AWESOME! Here's a few pics:

Eating Italian food!
Florence Baptistery doors of bronze by Ghiberti
10 Euro gelato - we shared - after that we always made sure they understood we wanted the 2 Euro size!
Ponte Vecchio bridge -rebuilt in 1300's - last one standing after WWII
view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
THE David by Michelangelo - didn't know I wasn't supposed to take pictures!!!
One of our favorite days - cooking in the olive grove!
Cinque Terre hike - wishing we had a ride on these Vespas!
Another Cinque Terre view of a village - see how sweaty I am from the hike between all the villages?
Monterosso beach - the reward at the end of the Cinque Terre hike!
Our daughter's "free travel group" at the Spanish Steps in Rome after we treated them to Hard Rock Cafe!
The Colosseum is beautifully lit at night!
The entire HUF group at the Arch of Titus in the Roman forum.
We got to hear their "reports" on the different antiquities in this area so they made great tour guides!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


We are doing something we haven't done since 1990 - leave the kids behind for an extended period of time. Wow, I'm starting to sound like an old fogey, quoting dates like that! In 1990 we left our 10 month old baby girl for 10 days while we vacationed in Hawaii. We used almost all my husband's points on American Airlines and Marriott to do it. But it was sooo worth it! Our daughter was barely walking. Thank goodness we got to see that before we left!

Today we are going to Florence, Italy, to see that baby girl. If you're my blogbuddy you know she's studying abroad this semester. Using those airline points again to get one flight free and staying in the Rome Marriott free also! And yes, we're leaving the boys behind. No complaints from them, they're busy! (Hopefully they won't bring it up in years to come) They're in good hands, though. Got some newlyweds taking a break from apartment life to come and stay with them.

So, I'll miss you! Kind of. Blogging has become a daily part of my routine, either reading or posting! Watch out for the slide show coming soon!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


It has been too long since I've been around kittens!!! These were a great source of entertainment to the kids at my sister's house recently. AND they are six weeks old now, so they are up for ADOPTION! Let me know if you need one of these little guys and we can fix you up!