Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tackle It Tuesday - Organizing Your Space Part 4

All that progress I made on the basement pre-Christmas Take Down, has been lost.  All the boxes from Christmas decorations, wrapping and such are sitting in what should be my space.  I have more stuff spread out on the other half of the room.  And the tree, though bagged, is basically at the bottom of the stairs.  Super convenient as a reminder to put stuff away, no so convenient if you want to proceed farther into the basement, which I don't.  It's a mess. 

I need to get back at it, though.  I was so close.  Much like sorting and purging your supplies, you may need a break, because it can be overwhelming.  That's okay.  It's getting back at it that matters.  So. . .get back at it!

REPOST: January, 2013

You know back in the day of film, photos were limited to how much film you could afford and, subsequently, have developed.  You didn't know if you had a roll of blooper shots or not, so you worked at taking the best shots you could and you thought more about the shots you took.  Nowadays, it's all digital and we snap away with no regard to costs or what we're shooting; if you don't like it you delete it.  But with digital photography how many of us have the discipline to really go through and delete all the bad shots?  How many of us take 100's of photos at a single birthday party or kids' soccer games?  There is something to be said for film. . .if nothing else it was more manageable.  Digital photos can quickly become a nightmare for a scrapbooker, in just shear volume, not to mention storage of the images and the prints.

Today we're looking at organizing our photos.

Taking digital photos shouldn't be any different in thought processes as it was when you shot film.  Be intentional about what you take photos of.  Are the photos you take telling the story you want to tell.  Is the photo you're taking for your scrapbook or wall or maybe something else?  
Organizing your photos, whether the actual prints or the digital images, or both, is probably one of those decisions you'll want to really think about, but only because a major shift in your process could be a big pain in the butt.  Well, it would be if you wanted to affect the change going back to apply to every photo you've ever taken, rather than changing now and moving forward leaving the old system in place.  ANYWAY. . .think about this:  
  • Topic - If you're more of a themed scrapbooker, this method may be your thing.  This idea is more along the lines of Stacy Julian's "Photo Freedom" or "Library of Memories" where your scrapbooks are based on themes like family, each of your children, places you go and so on.  Your photos/images folders would be set up in a similar format, whether you sort your downloaded images into appropriate folders or you sort your printed photos into boxes labeled as such.
  • Project - If you think in terms of projects, or looking at photos makes you think, "Oh, I can make a mini book based on this" then sorting your photos/images based on the project will help you cut the time when you're ready to start.
  • Chronologically - This is probably the easiest of the three methods and the one that may be your ticket if you scrapbook chronologically - not so much what order you create your layouts in, so much as how you store the finished layouts.  This system is simply sort according to year and month.  You can further define it by event, holiday or season, as well.  
Time to do a little organizing and paring down.  As I mentioned at the beginning, if we're shooting digital we snap away willy-nilly and then wonder why we're overwhelmed when we look at the thousands of photos to scrapbook.  It's time to organize and formulate a process.  Start by sorting your photos into whatever method you've chosen to use.  While you're sorting toss (or delete) photos that are blurry, eyes are closed, or you've got 10 of basically the same photo.  If you just can't bear the thought of tossing and/or deleting any, create a cold storage where you place prints you probably won't use, but they aren't in your main system.  I loved this example in, "The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker" by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvy (which is where I'm pulling the inspiration for this series):  If you have 5000 photos, using seven photos per layout would create 714 layouts that would take you 1,428 hours to complete at a cost of $3,570 (that's with each layout costing you $5 each)."  I'm a scrap-as-many-photos-as-possible creator, but even I know there are bad photos and photos I won't use.  Why clutter my computer, my storage and my mind with more than is truly workable?

Finally, it's time to store and/or display your photos.  There are any number of ways:  your traditional photo albums - are they out where they are accessible and viewable?  Maybe you download all your digital images to DVDs/CDs.  With the advent of direct viewing of television programs you can have your digital images rotating on your TV or computer screen.  Do you display random photos in your work space, or maybe you showcase recently finished layouts in your home or work space until they go live permanently in your albums.

How this works for me:

With the advent of Project Life, December Daily, Week in the Life and other more focused projects, intent of the photos taken can be different.  Like my PL photos are random shots:  food I make, screen shot of my latest walk (yes, I'm walking!).  While photos for my traditional albums tend to be event based.

I have no system, or rather I have no process for converting my images to prints - and I really should have one.  My storage system, however, is chronological.  I download the photos off my camera according to the date they're taken.  With the exception of Project Life, or other mini projects, my photos are printed online.  I wait for a sale and upload a group of photos for printing and mark my digital folders that those photos have been uploaded, or uploaded and printed.  I don't complicate my system.  I don't tag.  I don't rename shots.  I don't change the meta data.  The date of the photo is pretty much all I need to sort the printed images into my system.  Once my prints arrive, they are sorted into Cropper Hopper photo keepers by year, month and event.  I use note cards to mark the information and move along.  I used to scrapbook purely chronologically, but now I hop around a bit, though my photos remain in a chronological system.

I have my traditional albums out in the family room, and have gotten into the habit of pulling down baby albums for a particular child when their birthday approaches.  I should probably just pull down a random album for a week or more for people to look at - if they're out, they'll be looked at - otherwise they're in the room but ignored.  I have chosen to take part in the special projects (Project Life, December Daily, etc.) in part, to get current photos out for people to look at.  I want to share all these great memories with the family and friends that wander in and out.

Happy Tuesday,

If you have a system that's working - great.  There is a system for everyone - from the super simple to the more complicated; it just depends on what level of organization you want.  There are free programs like what comes on your computer to Flickr, PhotoBucket and about any online photo developer like Snapfish or Shutterfly, to pay-for software programs like PhotoShop (I'm sure there are others, but I'm using a free program and am not versed in the pay-for software).  Your system may also be a combination of these - maybe your sort chronologically but you also pull out or print copies to sort by topic.  Again, knowing how you work will help you find the system that works for you.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, January 27, 2017

Food for Thought

Like the basket of pinecones I forgot to take down with the Christmas decorations, this week's posts covers the recipes I used during the holidays.  It's long, because it also includes this week's menu . . . but lots of good stuff

This was the first year I decided to do something for Christmas Morning breakfast and needed something easy.  Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole was perfect.  We, thanks to having children, are usually up early.  I went down and assembled the dish before everyone was down and ready to rip into stockings and presents.  I used dehydrated potatoes because the grocery store was out - C.L.E.A.R.E.D OUT!  I rehydrated them the night before, and browned the sausage the night before.  Then it was just assembly.  My ever-doubting family thought they'd be waiting for the casserole and they'd be starving - cook time is stated as four hours - but as usual, my cooker cooked faster, and it was waiting on us.  Declared a winner and a must-do-again.

My side of the family hosts Christmas Day and I needed something appetizy to take to my parents.  Caramel Apple Cream Cheese Dip.  Holy crap, this stuff is addicting!  Easy-peezy to make and you can't stop eating it.  At least we couldn't.

Christmas Eve is for my hubby's side of the family, and I needed a salad.  Not knowing for sure whether we were having ham or turkey (we had both) I opted for something seasonal, this Spinach & Pear Salad with Dijon Mustard Vinaigrette was the pick.  I tripled the recipe because I was taking it to feed a crowd.  The dressing recipe calls for water, which made the dressing really thin.  Next time I'll leave it out and it should coat the salad just fine.

The Monday following Christmas we hosted a dinner at the house for the in-law side of the family, who were in town for the holidays.  I needed something gluten-free and hearty enough that I didn't need a lot of sides to fill people up.  This Quinoa Chili wasn't just good, it was filling and filled with great nutrients - plus gluten free and meat free.  I served it with Everyday Cornbread.  I doubled-and-a-halved the recipe to be sure I had enough.  While I didn't cook it in the slow cooker, it wouldn't have fit anyway, I did serve it from one and refilled it as needed.

This was not first time we made this Maple Whiskey Turkey.  It's just the first time I remembered to post about it.  We've made it for a couple Thanksgivings.  The first time we made the brine, we then keg roasted the bird.  I think that roasting process overwhelmed the flavors of the brine, because the second time we made it I oven roasted it and you got the whiskey and apple flavors - it was delish!

I had rotisserie chicken and I had the dry ingredients for my go-to cornbread (Everyday Cornbread) mixed and bagged (just subbed in the mix for a box mix in the Casserole.)  Enter Chicken Tamale Casserole.  It was really good.  My only change would be to either reduce the sugar in the cornbread or leave it out completely.  I love the touch of sweet when it's plain cornbread, but with this recipe I think I'd like it without.  I also tried a new enchilada sauce recipe, this 5-minute Blender Enchilada Sauce is awesome, a nice spice and heat, and super simple.  It also makes quite a bit, so I froze the remainder, which is enough for another recipe.

Sometimes you want something bright and fresh, even when it's a frozen tundra outside your window.  This Grilled Greek Lemon Chicken fit the bill.  It was lemony, and bright with Greek seasoning.  Grilled indoors it was moist and tender.

Meatless-Monday and Pumpkin Chili.  Usually, when I read a recipe, I can get a feel for it, or a taste for it, before I make it.  I couldn't do that with this recipe - I wasn't sure about the outcome.  It was creamier than a typical chili, thanks to the pumpkin puree, and thanks to the beans, it was filling.  I did double the recipe, and because we like cumin, I doubled that, but stuck to just two tablespoons for chili powder.  The recipe doesn't call for salt, but it needed it.  Also, the black beans I've been using lately have been breaking down (and leaching some color) with long cook times, so I held off adding the black beans until about 15 minutes prior to serving.  I needed to re-season after adding the black beans.  I topped with green onions prior to serving, and then had sour cream on the side.  Avocados when have been a good addition as well.

Because I made the Pumpkin Chili above, I had leftover pumpkin.  Hello, Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Nut Cookies.  These were awesome.  However, for me, they required more cook-time to set.  Though the dough doesn't look it, it's quite wet (extra flour might work, as well.)  The texture remains somewhat "sticky" so storing them can be an issue - single layer, parchment between and a light cover.  A cookie jar worked, somewhat, after the cookies sat overnight uncovered on cooling racks.

While this was good - creamy without being heavy, the Chicken Fettuccine Bake wasn't what I expected.  I think I was thinking "alfredo" but it's not.  LOL, nowhere does it say that.  However, it was a nice chicken casserole without a cream-soup base.  I thought I had sun-dried tomatoes, but didn't and that might have had me keeping the pin, but I have others I've tired (and to try) so I opted to delete the pin. You will need to check the seasoning - salt especially, and, for my tastes a bit more cheese (I didn't get that Parmesan flavor), top with fresh parsley and it would be a good go-to meal.

This Easy Quinoa Pizza Bowls was crack-a-lackin' good.  I used my go-to Pizza Sauce - which made about half what the recipe calls for, but I found a tablespoon in the bottom, and between the layers, was plenty and actually left me with sauce.  I opted for pepperoni, green pepper and red onion.  I diced the pepper and onion fairly small and cut the pepperoni into fourths, so you had nice bites throughout.  My ramekins are larger around, and more shallow, maybe 6" x 2" and those worked just fine.  I asked the kids, is it filling enough?  Does it need a side - I was lazy and didn't make anything.  It was surprisingly filling, but the kids are sausage fans, so they thought maybe add that, plus what was already in it.  They also thought rounding it out with garlic bread, or a salad would be nice, but probably not both.

My 8 y.o. likes to cook, and because he was home from school and looking bored I asked him to help me with this Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup.  Super simple to pull together and the roasted red peppers were a great addition.

I didn't feel like toasting up sandwiches with the soup, but these Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds looked easy.  And they were.  They were also really good with the soup.  They look really thin in the photo, but the recipe calls for 1/4" cuts which kept them slightly crunchy.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Valentine's Day Prep

Are you ready?  

Me. . .half way.  I picked up Valentine's Day cards for the 8 y.o to hand out.  This will be his last year for classroom parties.  Next year they start heading out for field-trip-style parties, and I don't remember if they still give cards to classmates.  But, for this year, there's a box of Rouge One themed cards waiting for him to assemble.

In the past we have given tiny treats to the kids on Valentine's Days:  books, socks, t-shirts, etc.  I expect I'll do something similar this year, but cards, are always integral to the Day of Love.

Whether you simply give cards, or cards and gifts, to family, friends, or make up treats for teachers, homemade cards are always special addition.  If you get the Card Kit, it's even easier.  You get all the goodies you see above, plus instructions for creating cards.

These are just two of the six card and one goodie bag that Wendi Robinson created using the kit.  If you haven't ever tried a kit, this might be the month to do so.  Share some love and add a homemade touch.

Go.  Create.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

We Are

After last week's travel, things quickly settle back in to normal routines.

  • Named Arvada Hockey Mite Intermediate Player of the Week
  • Hopefully for her, Old Navy #employeediscount
  • When you get your husband a Pellet Smoker for Christmas
  • Family Game Nights everyone plays
  • Same rink, new weekend, unfortunately not the same playing.  Someone's head wasn't quite in the game
  • Dogs riding in cars
  • His hair does the same as his brothers' hair  #hairgelrequired
  • An impromptu trip down south and the breath-taking Sangre de Cristo Range
  • This could be the road to a future cabin getaway
  • When part of the reason you look for property is proximity to hunting and fishing and this is the sign you get
  • Views from Westcliffe . . . I could stand to look at that

Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tackle It Tuesday - Organizing Your Space Part 3

Those hopes for catching up over the weekend - I got some of it.  Sort of.  I did finish my house.  It is officially out-of-season; and that was the big one.  I did a menu for almost the entire week.  I needed to hit the grocery store to make Monday's dinner, so I still need a plan for Thursday and Friday (which probably means another trip to the store.)  I also cleared the laundry room of all the giveaways stacked in there.  They are boxed and waiting to be put in my car.  I also have the post started for recipes that I forgot about over the holidays.  I would have gotten to more, but we took an impromptu trip to down to southwestern Colorado, and that took all day.
But, you just carry over the remaining and keep plugging away.  Much like dealing with your creative space, whether it's tucked away in kitchen cabinets or you have a full, dedicated space.  You keep plugging away, because in the end de-cluttering is freeing and inspiring.

Repost:  January, 2013

I've talked a lot about my work process for being creative.  Knowing how you work is important as you purge your way through your space and/or supplies.

Today is about finding out your work flow.  

  • Design First - means some type of design element inspires how you start your work, whether it's a font, a color combo or some other element.
  • Story First - you have your title in mind, maybe you've already written your journaling.  Creating your page is because of the story you're telling.  Everything you select once you know your story, supports its telling.
  • Photos First - it's all about the photo(s).  Your ideas about your layout and journaling come from the photos themselves.
  • Supplies First - the products in your space are all the inspiration you need, whether it's the plaid of a paper or the sparkle of the buttons - you see the product and you know what photos you want to pair them with.
This is where the book comes in handy, because the workbook has a quiz to help you figure out your process.  If you're not sure what your process is sit down to create and just pay attention to how you work.  Are you flipping through your kits first?  Or maybe you have a journal of things your kids said.  If you're always looking for tools for your layouts, you'll know you need to round them up, maybe into a station of sorts, but at the very least keep them out and at hand.  If you never reach for the sketch books but they're lined up on your table, it's either time to pass them on or at least move them behind close doors and make room for something you do need at the ready.

How this works for me:

My approach starts with products.  It's one of the reasons I'll probably always be a paper scrapper; the tactile feel of the supplies.  I love the colors.  The patterns.  The sparkle.  So yeah, products kinda do it for me.  I pick a kit and then pull photos to go with it.  Followed by the design, whether I use sketches or just push stuff around.  For me title and the journaling come last.  

Because I know this about how I work, it translates to how I set up my space.  Knowing I need to see my supplies to use them, means that the supplies I use most are sorted (for the most part) by color and are kept where I can see them.  But things like my tools, which aren't as big a deal to my design are stored behind closed doors.

Take some time in your process to figure out how you work so you can set up your space and your supplies to help that process and you'll find your time is spent creating not searching.

Like previous posts in this series the majority of the information is inspired by the book "The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker."  Read Part one and two, if you missed them.

Happy Tuesday,

Friday, January 20, 2017

Food for Thought

This is the weekend I'm doing a lot of catching up.  Catching up on un-decorating the house - the 18 y.o. got the tree down, shoved into its bag and dragged to the basement.  Catching up on actually putting the decorations away, they are "staged" outside the store room.  Catching up on finishing the basement clean-up.  Catching up on going through my clothes for donation.  Catching up on getting my 2017 calendar filled out.  Catching up on menu planning and grocery shopping.  Catching up on getting all the giveaways in the laundry room inventoried, boxed and dropped off.  Catching up on posting all the recipes I've done over the last few weeks.

With the two older boys away for the weekend on retreat I should be good to get a decent dent in that list.  Hubby's birthday is tomorrow, and while we will do something with him, the larger celebration will be next weekend when the boys are home.  We also have a hockey game, but the time is such that I can get a couple things in before heading out.

I found I had a lot of recipes I hadn't posted, even though I don't feel I've done much cooking lately, I broke them up or this would be one helluva post.

One night I needed a quick side, and found these Baked Parmesan Baked Potato Halves.  Holy cow they were good and so easy.  I added a couple extra potatoes, but would have been fine with the recipe as stated.  The only other seasonings I added was salt and pepper, but as the blogger states, possibilities are endless.  They reheated the next day for lunch, I added toppings to make them more meal like.

New Year, New Goals.  1)  Going meatless once a week and 2) More fish (it was going to be once a week, but I'm thinking twice a month would be more realistic.)  So, Monday arrived and brought these Chorizo & Sweet Potato Enchiladas (used my go-to Enchilada Sauce.)  They were warm and saucy with just enough cheese.  I loved the sweet potato, and bonus points to me for using the poblano pepper, something I'd have left out for fear of the heat.  I was pleasantly surprised they had a lot of flavor and not a lot of heat.

So this was supposed to be Slow Cooker Turkey Burgers, what it ended up being, because I didn't get them in the slow cooker before hockey practice, was George Forman Turkey Burgers.  While the slow cooker would have worked, the Foreman Grill worked just fine, and fast.  They were juicy and well seasoned.  I couldn't find the aoili recipe mentioned, but found a basic one and used that instead - still good.

Needed a dessert.  A fast one.  These White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies came together fast, and because it made just a couple dozen, it was in and out of the oven before dinner was ready.  They were light, slightly chewy, and I loved the pops of cranberries - dried cherries would be awesome, too.

This Crispy Garlic Parmesan Salmon was my fish-meal for the week and OH MY GOODNESS.  It was awesome.  Everyone loved the crunchy top and the fish was moist and tender.  Tip - if you see the fat cooking out, it's over done and drying out.  15 - 17 minutes is what it took for mine.  They were fresh fillets and pretty big.

I'm a one-dish and done fan.  Skillet Chicken with Orzo and Olives fit that bill.  A flavorful dish for a handful of ingredients.  I doubled the recipe for in-law dinner night.  I love the idea of the bone-in-skin-on thighs, but the sauce just made the skin soggy.  I'll use boneless, skinless next time.  I'll still get the browning and the good bits, but much easier to eat.

I was pantry raiding when I made this Cajun Angel Hair.  I had it all on hand, though I subbed the white wine with chicken broth.  It was lovely and creamy, with just the right amount of cajun seasoning.  Great to serve up after shoveling walks.

I'm off to do more catching up.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Tackle It Thursday - Organizing Your Space, Part 2

I'm currently working on getting my tree down. . .yes, I know.  All the other items are taken down, though there are a few items that need to be boxed in the living room, the tree is the last.  I have two of the three ornament boxes packed.  I need to get the last down, so the boys can disassemble the tree before they leave this weekend.  After that, it's time to get back to my studio space/basement and finish that area so I can get to making a habit of making Me Time.

It's always good to go through your creative space and the things in it.  Sorting and purging, reorganizing storage and arrangements that don't work.  Just don't use the "my space needs to be gone through" as a reason to not work.  

REPOST from January, 2013 

The following ideas are inspired by, "The Organized and Inspired Scrapbooker" by Wendy Smedley and Aby Garvy.

Today it's about getting inspired - and not just inspired to purge, sort and clean.  One of the keys to organizing your space in a manner that works for you, and inspires you, is to be intentional about what you bring into your space.  To do that:

Be aware of what inspires you - when you realize what inspires you it will help you choose the photos to work with, the products you are more likely to use and it even helps you get rid of what doesn't inspire you.  Not to mention how it will help direct what you bring into your space.

Gather your inspiration - wrap your inspiration around you like a cozy blanket.  Whether you tack things up on the wall in front of you, use much-loved items within your space or use Pinterest to keep track of your ideas, having them at your fingertips is key.

Pick your organization method - all the ideas in the world won't help if you can't find them.  There are any number of ways to organize - it's what works for you.  It may be more than one thing that works and it may also take some re-doing to iron out what isn't working.  These are just a couple ways to think about it:  
  • Organize Randomly, just having your inspiring ideas grouped together - this is not the "pile" method, but rather a loosely organized system - think ideas pinned to your wall or maybe it's several baskets lined up on your desk holding various ideas. 
  • Organize by Category like by color or techniques or tips.  
  • Organize by Project by collecting all your ideas for any project into one place.

Store and display your ideas - here is where knowing your working style will help you with your purchases - your intentional purchases.  If you have to see everything - looking for great containers that hold your items while being able to see them and then group them nicely within your work space (this works even if your works pace is the kitchen table.)  Gathering items that have meaning into your space will continue to inspire (and decorate) your space.  If they happen to be containers, all the better.

Inspiring storage could be:
  • Vintage or handed-down dishes, bowls, baskets or other containers that double as decor and are great for holding items.
  • Books, binders and magazine holders allow for corralled, but easily accessible storage of ideas torn from books, sketches, notes on ideas, print-outs from classes or blogged techniques to try.
  • Jump rings are an inexpensive way to hold ideas for layouts, sketches, tips, techniques, or, if you are a closed-not-visible kinda storage person, supplies that are stored behind closed doors (paint, stamps, dies, etc)  Just sort out accordingly and bundle on to a jump ring and string up the rings.
  • These days - Pinterest - is just a click away.  Shoot set it to be your homepage when you turn on your computer for quick inspiration.  It's a great place to look for ideas you haven't even thought of but will know it fits when you see it. 

How this works for me:

I know from reading through the book, the questionnaire in it and years of working myself through several incarnations of my space that am a "Closed and Visible" kind of person. This means I like the neat and tidy look of seeing my supplies (the majority of my containers are clear or translucent) but with lids to keep things in check.  Containers without lids don't work for me - it feels clutter-y.  If I can't see it, I'll more than likely forget I have it - case in point, my stamps which are stored behind closed doors.  I also know that books and binders to keep track of things I can't see doesn't help.  I'm not a tear-er-outer of ideas.  I've torn and the pile never gets flipped through, it just clutters my work space and in the end they get tossed.  Pinterest has been my virtual "tearing out" that totally works.  I have recently discovered I love the farmhouse/cottage look.  I like items from the 30's, 40's and 50's.  I love colors, which makes it hard to narrow down which to use in my space.  On the other hand knowing this has helped me when it comes to storing my supplies.  Because I think by color, I know that sorting a large portion of my supplies by color works for me.

Take some time to think about what inspires you, how you think and what you currently have in your space that either works or inhibits your work.  If you're feeling totally lost as to what you like or your style, surf a little on Pinterest, even if ultimately you don't use it.  Start with Apron Strings' Board Studio Spaces.  Next use the search field with key words like "craft storage," "craft spaces," or "scrapbook spaces."  Just pin what appeals to you, don't think too much about it.  Then go back to your board(s) and you'll start to notice patterns.  Colors that appeal, or styles you lean toward.  Even storage ideas, or at least a method to start with and see if it works.  You'll also see things you don't like, try to identify what it is.  Like maybe you love the storage cubes, but all the paper is just stacked and it looks messy to you - hint, you might be a Closed and Visible, or Closed and Not Visible kinda gal.  (Read Part One if you missed it.)

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We Are

I'm back.  My house is still standing.  I counted heads, they are all here.  Nobody seems to be sporting a black eye or broken bone.  No sign of a party - that or they are exceptionally good cleaners, which, if so, why aren't they able to do that all the time?  My 8 y.o., who stayed with my parents, contemplated staying there.  He was bummed to hear we were on our way home.  Apparently life was better over there.

We enjoyed our trip, despite the ice storm that hit the Midwest and had us rethink our stay and way back home.  We are not travelers who need to "sight-see."  We enjoy the travel there - hubby likes to drive and I like to do nothing - and we'll poke around, but down time is what vacations are for us; no places to be, no plans to be made, no timetables to hold to.  We have family members who don't understand this, LOL.

  • We leave and she finds her person to spend the next four days with.
  • Girlie discovered Bob Ross.  We've had fun watching some of his shows on Netflix.  (She's been watching them all.)
  • Heading East.  Little did we know this would be the last sun (and dry roads) we'd see for the next four days.
  • We ♥ Schlotzky's (the ones near us are gone) and, sadly, couldn't wait to have lunch when we passed the sign on the highway.  Had we been able to return home the same way, we'd have planned some meal around it again.
  • It had just been in the 50's before our arrival - and would be again, the day after we left
  • Here in Colorado below freezing temps and precipitation means snow - not rain  #goesagainstscience
  • 3/8" covered the car one morning.  #stilldon'tgetit
  • Still hanging with her person
  • Eight games, four days
  • Pioneer Woman's  The Mercantile store, deli, restaurant and bakery.  It was a lot to take in.  It was even harder deciding what to bring home, but I managed
  • I've never done the Fan Girl thing.  I have to say it was odd feeling.  I've read her blog since long before she was on Food Network, read her books, cooked from her cookbooks, admired her photography and loved her stories.  To be in the store I'd read so much about was weird.  We returned later to eat dinner and that was odder still - the menu items were recipes I had in my cookbooks (contemplated cooking myself) or that I'd see her make on her TV show.  The food was delish. . .but it was surreal.  While she didn't come into the store the afternoon we were there, her husband did, and that was bizarre and funny - nope, didn't attempt to get a picture with him, though others did.
  • Doing my favorite thing - absolutely nothing!
  • We rediscovered some of the 80's country we used to listen to.  Seemed like the right background music to our travels through Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Ice Storms. . .pretty to look at, not so fun to drive in
  • Meanwhile, back at home . . .
  • Picked up the first goal in the game
  • When your personal cheering section picks up a few more members
  • Was named Player of the Week by Arvada Hockey, but also picked up a Player of the Game for his goal, scrappy play and hustle during the second set of games during the tournament
  • More good play.  His team ended the tourney with a 6-1-1 record
  • This was as close as we were going to get to Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo.
  • When the roads looked good
  • Is it any wonder he didn't want to come home - full belly, heated blanked and screen time
Happy Wednesday,