Monday, September 27, 2010

Each Breath taken is a Turn of the Page

This past week my family experienced the ultimate high and the lowest of lows.

My beautiful niece K married the love of her life N in February of this year. They were surrounded by only my sister, her boyfriend, N's parents and the Judge that married them. They were married on a loading dock where they had met at college 7 years earlier. It was the perfect setting for them. They had a reception last weekend in Madison and we had a blast-as evidenced by the above photo. The reception was last Saturday.

This Saturday we said goodbye to our Uncle Paul. The rain that has flooded the area in which I live finally gave way to a nice, cool fall day with a blue and puffy clouded sky, and peaks of sun were shining through-I believe it was Unc smiling down on us as we gathered at his home and shared stories, took pictures, saw relatives we hadn't seen in years.....and ate. We joked that we weren't sure that any group of people could out-eat a houseful of Scandanavian Lutherans! Of course, my Uncle was born and raised in Germany, but his wife Aunt Jean, our side are the Scandahovians! We eat when we are happy, we eat when we are sad. We just eat. And those counters were groaning under the weight of smoked salmon, Swedish meatballs, hotdishes of every imaginable kind, cheese, cookies, bars and of course, gallons of coffee. While I know that he will be missed by everyone he touched, we are all grateful that his pain and suffering have ended. He can dance and sing and play in Heaven. All while watching us celebrate his life and light, and watching us eat at his table.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I just wanna be a sheep, baa baa baa baa

Okay, it is a totally corny lead in, but the only thing I could think of with Shepard's was either Christmas, or my favorite song the little kids sing in church each year. Just the little voices singing "I just wanna be a sheep, baa baa baa baa" makes me smile every time I hear it.

It was my first day off after my three day weekend, and it is usually a wash out as I'm so tired I just sleep and sleep....and then feel like I have accomplished nothing and then stress out about getting everything done the next day so I can go back to work. I am not trying to complain about working, it is just after a 12 hour overnight, your body just can't bounce back to a normal schedule. I woke up at 11 and decided it was waaaaay too early to get up (since I could barely keep my eyes open long enough to look at the clock) and slept another 2 hours. And then laid back down to take a quick nap. And then I needed a plan for dinner. Since Dude is on light duty, he is working in the office during the day while he recoups. I found a recipe on my desk for Shepard's Pie and saw I had most of the ingredients, so made it up as I went along.

Shepard's Pie (Based on Kraft's recipe)
1 pound ground beef
2 pounds potatoes, cut up to cook and mash
2 cloves garlic, peeled, but whole
3 ounces Philly cream cheese, room temp
1/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 cup shredded Cheddar Jack cheese, divided
1 cup beef gravy
1 small can corn
1 small shallot, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown ground beef with shallot. Stir in carrot and simmer a few minutes. While ground beef is browning, put spuds in pan of cold water; add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes until fork tender. Add brown gravy and corn to beef and simmer over low heat while mashing the potatoes. I took the cloves of garlic out then mashed since DQ isn't a big fan of garlic. The potatoes had a nice, light garlic flavor. Mash the potatoes with the warmed cream, then beat in the cream cheese and a 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. The spuds will be a little stiff. Pour the hamburger mixture into a 9x9 glass pan. Spoon spuds onto the top of the beef mixture, and spread out to cover the beef, edge to edge. Sprinkle on remaining cheese and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn broiler on low (if you have a broiler function in the oven rather than a separate drawer) and brown the cheese. If not, just leave in the oven a few extra minutes so it is browned and bubbly.

I think I could be a sheep if my Shepard made this for me......

Monday, September 13, 2010

Grown Up Slushies

When I did my post on cleaning up my cupboards, there was a picture including a little green bag that I said was something fun and I would be posting about down the road. The day has come, as I made it yesterday before leaving for work.....and had about a third of a cup when I got home this morning!

I had gone to a baby shower this spring (during my awesome purple cast days) and the hostess served some frozen wine slush. I had never seen it and she had found it out at a huge craft show that is held at Canterbury Downs here in Minnesota. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and even managed to figure out a way to hold it and use the spoon!

A couple weeks ago, Dude and I went to a local county fair and walked around the buildings that hold all those businesses hawking their wares. You know the ones: waterless cookware, ginsu knives, vacuums, jewelry, Avon, Tastefully Simple, etc. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one of those slushie machines you see at gas stations and some bars. Vino Frappe. I so had to sample that! Tasty, tasty is all I can say. They had a special going on so I got two bags and giddily skipped out of the building in search of junk food-found that too.
It is as simple as can be: mix the contents of the bag in a large plastic bag or freezer safe large plastic container. Stir in a bottle of wine and then fill the bottle with water and add that. Stir to combine and freeze for 3 to 6 hours.

I scraped it up like you would with granita and spooned it into my glass. The tastebuds are doing a happy dance.
Here is the site of the company who I bought it from. You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Booger Turns 17

17 years ago this afternoon, we brought this little one into the world. Who are we kidding-I did all the work. My water broke and we hurried into town with Hermit Crab and our dog and dropped them off with our friends. Went to the hospital.....and waited....and waited....and waited some more. Seems like she was being a little stubborn (should have been a sign of things to come) and they gave me meds to sleep and gave me the evil pitosin in the morning. 4 hours later she came screaming into the world.

She still screams, but now with bad words and hand gestures. Makes a momma proud.

We took her to one of our favorite restaurants, Rudy's Redeye Grill. The food is always wonderful and service has always been great.

My marinated sirloin-no fat, every little morsel was edible.

Boog got the pulled turkey with smashed spuds. It is a little washed out due to the flash in the dark interior, but holy moly rocky, there was a good two pounds of pulled turkey on her plate. A pound and a half came home with us. I didn't get a picture of her cake, but they brought her out a little warm chocolate cake with real whipped cream and a strawberry sauce. It was good, but really sweet. I love the look on her face, like "oh my gosh, how am I going to eat all this?"

Booger and Dude.
Speaking of Dude, we ended up in the emergency room this morning at 3:00 AM. He was out working on our 'new' old boat and it is sitting on it's trailer so it is a good 3 feet off the ground from the back deck of the boat. He had his step stool set up at the back of the boat so he could go in and out of it while he is working on it. He stepped up to get his scissors from the inside of the boat and the stool tipped sideways, sending him to the floor. He fell to his right and put his hand down to break his fall. And ended up breaking his wrist. He comes into the bedroom where I am watching Cold Case and waiting for my sleeping pill to kick in. Asks "whatcha doing" to which I glance over at him and give him the eyebrow. Then he sits on the bed and I realize he is shaking and breathing oddly and he says "I think I just broke my arm" just like "I think the milk has gone bad". I jump out of bed and start putting clothes on telling him let's go and he wanted to take a shower since he was sweaty and full of epoxy and grease. Got him into some jammy pants and a t-shirt and took off. I think he was in a bit of shock since he never shut up....all the way to the hospital. Dude doesn't talk much-I talk too much. 15 miles to the hospital-never shut up. He broke it in two places but it was a clean break. They put a splint on him and told us to call the orthopedic clinic when it opened to make an appointment to go in and have them review his X-ray and cast it. And all he could think of was it was going to mess with his overtime days he had scheduled. He can't work in the plant with a cast-just like when I was on light duty when I had mine. If they can't find something for him to do-with him being right handed, it may be difficult-he may have to do short term disability. Which really sucks for a paycheck, especially since HC just went back to school and we wrote a big check for expenses and property taxes are due in 4 weeks. But, then I think-it could have been so much worse. He could have hit his head, and I wouldn't have found him until morning since he often works through the night out there due to our work schedule. So we eat ramen and live on the pasta and hamburger in the freezer-it most certainly won't kill us. But considering the jokes he made about my arm, he may have to be teased a little, just because I luv him so much. And I will make up good stories to tell at work about what he did, while he isn't there to defend himself.......
It is the little things, really, that make life so grand.

this should have been posted on Sept 7, but while taking care of the gimp (hee hee) and other stuff, I didn't finish until 12:30 on the 8th. Not a big deal, but in case Drama Queen finds this, I need all details to be in order :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

C U in a couple

I'll be back in a couple weeks. Taking Hermit Crab back to school this weekend and Drama Queen starts her senior year (and it is a mess right now...) and we have a wedding and a few other things going on, so as soon as all the mayhem has cleared, or at least has been reduced to a manageable pile, I'll be back. Why did Arnold just roll through my head?

Happy Fall everyone!