Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

Tried to do a bit of cleaning up around here today. First, we had to make an early morning trip to the tire store for new tires because of the flat on the way back from Florida. We then ran to WalMart for some things, and I splurged and had a manicure!! I have had maybe four manicures in my life, one each time I was a mother of the groom and another time that I can remember when stopping in at WalMart. I had noticed on our way back that all my nails were long, and pretty much the same length. Thankfully I was able to hang on to them until we got back home. I have found out today that nearly everything I do around here involves my hands, and usually water as well. I am trying to keep my nails looking nice but it is very hard to do!!
Tonight, we babysat with Jonathan. I had really missed seeing him while we were gone. His mom and dad had dinner out and we took Jonathan to his first high school basketball games. One of the local schools has had a tournament during the holidays for over 50 years so we went to watch. We saw most of the girl's game and the first half of the boy's game. Jonathan was so good and was interested in all the activity.

Getting home from the game, we got the grill going and started the shrimp and oysters, while I gave Jonathan a bath. We used seasoned salt, olive oil, and a few other spices for our cooking. During the time we were trying to get them ready, my phone rang and it was Brandon. We had dropped off about 30 oysters and several dozen shrimp at his house on our way home from Florida. He was calling to blame me for him being miserable!! He had eaten all the oysters and I am sure he helped Samantha eat some of the shrimp as well. He was a bit more precise in his cooking, concocting a butter with chives, cayenne pepper, garlic, and some other things that he put a spoonful of on each oyster before he grilled them. He said they were quite awesome. They baked the shrimp and I think Brandon said that Samantha made shrimp quesadillas out of hers. Marci and Jeremy got here just as we were finishing up the seafood and tried it out. I think they enjoyed it as well. We still have quite a few oysters that we must eat/cook up fairly soon, as well as more shrimp. I can tell you one thing, I have had my share of oysters on the half shell in the past week, and have enjoyed them greatly!!

Jeremy and Marci brought champagne, and we sat down to watch tv and see the New Year in. Needless to say, the old folks fell asleep so the young people packed up the baby and took off for home. We never even opened the champagne!! I hope they didn't think us bad hosts.....

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home sweet home.....

Before we left, we put some swings up for the grandkids at their new place.End of a fun day.Tunnel in Mobile, AL
We made it home safe and sound!! We got on the road a bit later than usual, having coffee at the diner with Millie and Kristy. Greg even trusted me to drive a couple of hours while he read a book. We stopped for a late lunch in Lake Charles at Steamboat Bill's where we again ate seafood!! No problems until a truck passed us just outside of Houston and the driver pointed at our truck. Greg pulled over and we had a flat!! Yuck!! He pulled off the highway onto the service road and we were back on the road with a spare tire in about an hour. We also took a detour to drop off some oysters and shrimp in Round Rock with Brandon and Samantha. We got home about 9:00. We were thankful to have made it home safely.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


This afternoon, Greg took Millie and I riding around through the old neighborhoods, seeing how things had grown and changed. Then we detoured by Joe Patti's Seafood Market to do a little browsing in anticipation of what we would buy before heading back home.

This is the most amazing place. Every kind of fish you can imagine, and many are brought right to the side of the market by these boats, having been freshly caught. They are cleaned right there off of the dock. And probably the most amazing thing of all is that with all the different kinds of seafood, the market doesn't have a stinky, fishy smell, like at our local grocery stores...Yuck!! Greg says that fresh fish doesn't have that nasty smell so the stuff that we get at home is not fresh!!
Mullets.....I don't think we will be buying any of these.
I think these were labeled local stone claws, whatever that means.
I would be on such a seafood overload if we had this much fresh fish around. But I guess like anything else, you eventually get tired of it and the novelty wears off and you go back to burgers and chicken. I do know that we will be heading back to Texas with fresh oysters....the rest will be determined at a later date.


Saturday afternoon found us visiting with the grandkids.

We had already sent a box of gifts in case we didn't make it for the holiday. But we brought Kaila an MP3 player. She kept it in her ears nearly the whole time we were there.
Bricen got a GeoTrak train set. Papa helped put it together. It was really cute and looked like lots of fun. And appeared to be somewhat indestructible.
We had a good visit.

Oysters....or not.....

Saturday for lunch, we went in search of oysters on the halfshell. But it wasn't so easy this time. We went to our usual oyster bar and got seated before we found out that they didn't have any oysters!! An oyster bar without oysters? What is with that? We left and Greg's comment to the owner on the way out was that having an oyster bar without oysters was like having a steakhouse without steak. I think the guy might have gotten the idea that we weren't very happy. We tried another spot, The Fish House, only to find out that they didn't serve halfshells until after 5, but we stayed and ate lunch anyway.
The scenery was great.
Greg got the special of the day which was some type of shrimp with grits and yaya....whatever yaya is. He let us sample and it was quite tasty.
Millie and I got the seafood gumbo and it was really probably the best I have ever eaten.

Needless to say, we will be on a quest for the oysters until we leave!!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I am in total plant heaven overload when we are in Florida. I only dream of having a yard and plants like here. The temperature differences between Central Texas and Florida don't seem to be that great but it is the humidity that makes all the difference to the plants.

The camellias were everywhere and really beautiful.
I could just walk and walk in Millie's yard for hours, seeing something different at every turn.
The colors on this coleus were much brighter than the camera shows.
Ferns love it here.
This ornamental pepper was pretty colorful.
Oh, and this was someone on the phone, eating a sweet, reading a book, in the hammock, on his mom's deck. He wasn't mad, he just forgot to smile for me.....


Headed to Pensacola for a few days, leaving the day after Christmas. The trip was uneventful although a bit warm for December. By the way, we are NOT on the motorcycle!!

The GPS was leading the way......again.....

The sunset was very pretty as we came over the bridge coming in to Pensacola. We were tired from our trip so visited a bit and called it a day.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Mimi Mug

It finally arrived....

I think Jonathan had a fun first Christmas!! He got plenty to keep him busy for the next year, and a few more years after that!!
As most kids, he enjoyed the wrapping paper and bows the most.

Merry Christmas, y'all!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Look what we got in the mail yesterday.....

I love the picture of Jonathan!! He looks like he is posing. Of course, mom is helping him a bit!!

Fun Weekend

Yesterday started out very foggy. It was an eerie look, appearing that the camera could see more than the actual naked eye.

Brandon and Samantha invited us to dinner in Round Rock to celebrate my birthday so we headed south. We decided on a restaurant called Gumbos. We sat on the patio with stuffed mushrooms and a bottle of wine until a table was ready. If you look closely, you can see the "legs" on the wine, which means the way the wine runs back down the glass once it is tasted or swirled.
Everything on the menu looked SOOOOO good. Greg got stuffed trout, Samantha got a seafood pasta, I got red snapper with crawfish sauce/dirty rice, and Brandon got the special of the day, which was some type of steak. Needless to say, all of it was very good but Greg and Brandon got the best deal. Greg's stuffed trout was a very large portion, and you can see by the picture that Brandon's steak was nothing to laugh at, and it was cooked just right being very pink in the middle. I tried to take a picture of my plate but it was a little close and didn't come out very well.
We spent the night and came home mid-morning today, after good conversation over freshly ground coffee and cinnamon rolls.
Samantha is again feeling well. The nursery is ready, just two months to go. Can hardly wait. We had a great time. Thanks for the great birthday dinner and the unique candle holders and the Estee Lauder perfume. Luv ya!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Black Eyed Pea Chili

This recipe was in our local paper yesterday, in an insert called American Profile. I have gotten several good recipes from it. The ingredients were simple, and it has been really cold here for several days so sounded good. I made it last night and it was very, very good.

Black Eyed Pea Chili

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 (15 oz) cans black eyed peas, undrained
1 (14 oz) can diced unsalted tomatoes, undrained
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
2 tablespoons chili powder

Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add sausage: cook until no longer pink, stirring constantly. Drain sausage on paper towls; discard all but 1 tablespoon pan drippings. Add onion and celery to pan; cook until onion is translucent, stirring constantly.

Add black eyed peas, tomatoes, tomatoes with green chilies, and chili powder. Stir in sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Ladle into soup bowls.
Serves 10.

Tip: Freeze leftover chili in zip top plastic freezer sandwich bags for individual servings.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jonathan at 5 months

Jonathan came to visit today after lunch so his mom and dad could put up Christmas lights outside. He still can't quite sit up so I found just the spot for him in the empty laundry basket, with pillows stuck around him. He sat there and played with his toys for the longest time.
He was really in a good mood today.
Morgan always tells him how cute he is. I told her we might be a bit partial.
He liked chewing on the cloth book better than reading it.
OK, I think he has had enough of the laundry basket.......

The Moon

Morgan and I were forced to do a little mechanic work last night when her battery died at school. Greg was at a basketball tournament. Morgan did a great job removing the old battery and installing the new one. While we were outside, we noticed that the moon was HUGE!! Someone had told me that it was going to be very large Friday night. This picture doesn't do it justice.
When we got back home, it was already dark. This picture came out kinda weird because of the guard light beside the tree. It gave everything an eerie glow. And the moon was still bright and beautiful.