From the Smokies to the Rockies

I took a quick trip to Denver this weekend to visit The Boy, who is now living the life in a great apartment with a garage, crown molding, daily trash service, and his double reclining couch. Must be nice!

Denver seems to be a great city. Especially for those interested in good health (me!) – there were walking/biking trails everywhere, plenty of parks and outdoor activities (most cars had bike/ski/boat racks), and a majority of citizens with BMI below 25 (or maybe 28… haha, still better than here in the south!).

We had a great, but quick, 43 hours together. Activities included:

  • Estate sale-ing and thrifting (you didn’t think I could visit a new city and not look for Pyrex, did you??)
  • Exploring Denver’s Highlands Street Festival
  • Scouting out the best Thai food in Denver (and being slightly alarmed when we walked into an empty restaurant at 6:30… luckily other people eventually dined there too!)
  • Driving into the mountains to see Central City and Black Hawk
  • Introducing The Boy to “The Glee Project” and “Extreme Couponing”, with which he now loves (seriously!)
  • Experiencing Duffeyrolls, which are basically a cinnamon roll and croissant hybrid. Delicious way to start the day!

Sadly, the only picture on my camera to remember the weekend is of the monstrous rice krispy treats sold at the festival:

DSCN1621

Advertisements

The Sunday before the Storm

Happy Sunday to you all.

Today was my big day to get out of the house and get things done. The snow/ice on the roads yesterday morning kept me house-bound, although I did get a rebellious streak in the afternoon and snuck out to the gym for a workout (the roads were fine!). Tomorrow brings a terrible winter storm from the south, and so today was the fun day.

Starting off at an estate sale.
I had been wanting to go to this sale since it started on Friday, but the weather kept me from it (it was 30 miles away). And so today, on the 3rd and final day, I made it there. Luckily, the last day brings 50% off prices, so I left with a nice milk glass deviled egg plate for my mom, as well as an old 1970s calendar tea towel. Could’ve been a lot better (for driving an hour!), but I assume the pyrexics beat me to it.

Followed by going to work and catching up (in case tomorrow is a home snow day).
Nothing much to report at work. I love it when I show up on the weekends and everyone looks confused. Why are YOU here?? haha.

Followed by baking Hilary Clinton’s famous chocolate chip cookies.
I realized I haven’t made these cookies in forever! While the Kitchen Aid was seizing away on the counter (it’s missing a foot and makes horrible sounds now as it mixes), Harley ran and hid in the corner to escape the mixing monster, and I had trouble hearing The Splendid Table coming from the radio.

And looking forward to an evening of leftovers, sewing, reading and TV.
I still have 2 Christmas mug rugs that need to be bound, as well as a book that needs to be finished, and some Lebanese “meat” stuffed pitas left for dinner. After reading this post, I was very excited about trying out this recipe, but it wasn’t quite as wonderful as I had hoped. It was my first time cooking with Gimme Lean ground meat substitute, and I’m not sure if it was the Indian/Middle East spices that I didn’t like, the meat substitute, or if I just don’t like dishes that are supposed to be meat. Maybe that doesn’t appeal anymore. All I do know is that I ate the entire sheet pan of roasted broccoli with my hands while waiting for the pitas to finish cooking. Oops. Roasted broccoli could probably win my affection over a chocolate chip cookie. For real.

A beautiful fall weekend!

Exhibit A: New pyrex fall display, complete with pinecones and homegrown pumpkins:

DSCN0915

Exhibit B: Dogs sunning themselves in awesome 70 degree weather:

DSCN0925  We had to say goodbye to Harmo today, sniff sniff. She is now making her way to a lovely 50 acre farm near Ithaca, New York. We’ll miss you all, Harmo! (Sheff already misses her and is showing it by howling at the banana bread on the counter. The saddest sounds I’ve ever heard him produce, it’s killing me!)

Exhibit C: A trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park today to take in the peak fall colors!

DSCN0937

DSCN0947

DSCN0945 We drove all the way through, from Tennessee to North Carolina.

DSCN0951

And a vegetarian feast with friends to carve pumpkins:

Corey’s, on the right, is “Steven P. Cyclops” and mine is Skully, on the left.

DSCN0931

Hope everyone else has had a great weekend! Time for me to get in bed!

Comments on the day

Massage

Was pure bliss. Loved it. It’s located in a resort here, nestled among the smoky mountains. We should rent a cabin there. Oh wait, there’s this whole house in the mountains I live in. haha. Back to the massage – I left feeling so refreshed and relaxed! But I do feel like my morning shower was wasted, since I left with greasy stringy hair thanks to the massage oil. Other than that, it was great.

Garage Sales

Must have stopped at a dozen garage sales on my way to/from the spa. I swear, people must be getting desperate, selling their underwear and half-empty bottles of shampoo/lotion. Come on people! Where is your vintage Pyrex!?

Oh, here it is :)

DSCN0910 

I found this set of 4 Pyrex cups in the “Harvest Home” pattern, which was only made during 1981-1983 (older than me = vintage). They also came with the matching Corelle bread plates, and for $2 I couldn’t pass it up. Plus, the money went to a Martial Arts academy, and I have to support mountain children learning to defend themselves, right?

DSCN0908

Perfect for fall! And yes, I am using my Autumn Harvest 403 mixing bowl as a centerpiece, filled up with Harmo’s handpicked pine cones from the driveway. We’re very Martha-Stewart-like here.

College Football

Today was the infamous Georgia/Tennessee game. I have gone several years in the past, both in Athens, and in Knoxville. I always cheer for Georgia and I always wear my red and black. Today I chose a muted red shirt, so I didn’t scream “egg my car!” to the locals. Several of the garage sales I attended had the radio tuned in to the game, and when I heard the score, a smile crept on my face. Go dawgs!

Harmo’s Car Therapy

Harmo is now sporting a fancy schmancy car harness. Makes her look even more like a St. Bernard, out to search for human remains on a snowy mountain. haha.

She likes it just fine, and we took it for a 15 minute spin this afternoon. I can’t tell that the harness did anything; she wasn’t really restricted anymore than usual (can still try to force herself onto my lap while I’m driving). But I do think she’s getting better in the car. This time she just laid down,  with her head in my lap. Not bad. Can we extrapolate her behavior for a 15 minute ride to a 12 hour ride? Hmm… that’s a good question for Sheldon:

image

Today’s cooking:

Made delicious potato soup for dinner. Chatting online with The Boy during cooking has left potato starch on my keyboard. Darn.

Dessert will be a warm pumpkin scone with cinnamon glaze and a glass of pseudo 2% milk. Impressed? I found the recipe here, had all the ingredients waiting for me in the pantry (I used canned butternut, which is apparently what canned pumpkin often is anyway!), and decided to go for it. They are now resting, on my redneck cooling rack (= upside down muffin tin) while I finish this and the dogs watch the last few minutes of “Never Been Kissed”. Yes, they like Drew Barrymore. 

Time to get glazin’ — Good night!

A new cover

One of the difficulties perks of having such furry dogs is having a furry car. I swear, if I roll down my car windows to enjoy the fall weather, my car turns into a snow globe on wheels – except that it’s dog hair flying around instead of snow .

My christmas 2009 wish list included “car seat cover”, and Santa listened. For the past year, I’ve used this nice waterproof seat cover that clips around the headrests and protects Matrix’s precious interior. It’s worked fairly well…. but now has ripped and RIP’ed.

So.. plan B.

How about those vintage sheets I’ve been buying lately? You know, for my sewing/quilting projects that some day I’m going to get around to.

Well… I checked my inventory and found a twin fitted sheet in a psychedelic floral pattern. I had no plans to sew with a fitted sheet, but thought it would work well as a car seat cover.

And voila!

 DSCN0905

Looks pretty awesome, right? Harmo must’ve liked it – she jumped right in when I opened the door to take a photo.

Speaking of Harmo, look who’s growing more fur to contribute to the snow globe.

DSCN0899 DSCN0901

What a cutie :)

~~

The weekend is upon us – and I have a few fun plans of my own:

  • Half-priced massage tomorrow at a nearby resort & spa (thanks, Groupon!)
  • Garage sales and thrift stores, and perhaps a barn full of antiques if I’m lucky
  • Cheering on the dawgs against the vols!
  • Attending the Foothills’ Fall Festival

Quick exciting news to get out of the way:

  • The US Open started today – so my TV will be tuned to ESPN2 for the next 2 weeks :)
  • Sheldon, aka Jim Parsons, won an Emmy last night for best Actor in a Comedy Series. I was so overjoyed when he won. It was a similar to feeling as when Roger wins a grand slam (see above). Makes my heart happy :)

OK, so hoping everyone is having a great Monday and a lovely start to the week! I’ve been busy working on school menu analysis for future Go, Slow, Whoa schools. Seeing this news article was inspiring, but comparing the school children of Portland, Oregon, to those of East Tennessee is probably an unwise decision. :(

My weekend was lovely – spent Friday night with my mom going to thrift/vintage stores, eating crepes for dinner, seeing Eat Pray Love, and ending the night with Rita’s frozen custard. Doesn’t get much better, does it?

Saturday and Sunday were in Nashville with The Boy. Went to the Tennessee Flea Market – held the last weekend of the month at the state fairgrounds. How on earth did I not know about this event when I lived there???? The place was packed with people and full of stuff. We headed straight for the area with real junk treasures, as opposed to the tables of cheap socks, shampoo and office supplies. Come one people.. who wants to go to a flea market to buy new stuff you bought in bulk??

Anyway.. I was able to find some pyrex. And I must admit, I was surprised to see that The Boy had developed quite the eye for spotting pyrex out of a crowd (or maybe he was just trying to speed up the process so we could leave, haha).

I came home with my first piece of Friendship:

DSCN0787

love this pattern!

As well as this orange divided dish that the guy sold cheap, but it unfortunately didn’t have its beautiful sunflower/daisy lid :(

DSCN0788

And… here’s the new set up in the laundry room! The colors work quite nicely, don’t you think?

DSCN0785

A weekend of adventures in the sun!

Sunday evening is always a lovely time to get things organized for the week. I said goodbye to my weekend guests earlier this afternoon, after they successfully jumped out of an airplane with Skydive East Tennessee. They both had a great time and felt it was worth the time and $$. I joined them for support but still have no desire whatsoever to follow suit!

image

Yesterday was spent in Townsend tubing the Little River. This was preceded by quick trips to Dick’s Sporting Goods for water shoes (on sale for $10, although the tubing place also sold better quality ones for the same price!)

Tubing was a lot of fun! I will admit, we could have used a little more rain – the river was fairly slow and shallow for much of the 1.5 mile course – but there were a few rapids that were quite exhilarating! I managed to stay put in my tube with no flipping, and actually got a good amount of sun on me! When The Boy is able to visit next, we will definitely be returning (although anyone know where we can find size 15 water shoes!?).

My food choices have been less than healthy this weekend, including a delicious grilled cheese with chocolate milkshake yesterday after tubing (to replenish sun-burned calories) and a mad dash to Sonic today after sitting at the skydiving center for almost 4 hours (I haven’t had mozzarella sticks in years!). Combine that with lemon cupcakes and a frozen Reese’s Cup (recommended by my coworkers, but not highly impressive) it’s been quite the caloric splurge weekend. But hey, that’s what birthday guests deserve, right? We did have a healthy grilled dinner last night, with zucchini, squash and potatoes straight out of my garden. Balance is key :)

So now, just prepping for the next two days of work, and then it’s vacation time again! Flying back to Houston (haven’t been home since Christmas!) to see the parents for a few days, and then returning to the farm with my mom + dogs. And a stop to pick up a Pyrex purchase along the way :)