Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Projects and Stuff

I'm not sure if it's the glorious weather we are having or not, but I have had a bee in my bonnet to get nagging little projects around here done. 
As often happens, one little project morphs into several projects, seemingly unrelated to one another.
One such series of projects began with my linen/place to stash stuff that doesn't belong anywhere else cupboard in our bedroom. 
I organized the sheets and actually got rid of those that fit no bed in our house. 
Hmm......extra space....imagine that.
I then sorted through the area of stashed stuff. 
This included award certificates from the kids...gobs of extra school photos before I got smart and order the minimum each year.
  This took longer, but I sorted, filed and tossed a bunch.
During this project, I found the wallpaper samples that LPP and my niece collected years ago to "rejuvenate" the dollhouse that my Grandparents made my sister and me.
Which leads me to my next project.
The dollhouse.
It has been sitting, unused in the garage for years, so I brought her in. 
As I opened the doors, the memories from my childhood rushed back.
  My sister and I used to spend hours playing with it.
Grandad built it for us and Grandma decorated.
  The curtains and bedding was all made by her hands.

Special stuff.
As we removed the furniture, we set up a furniture hospital of sorts where we glued and painted and cleaned as necessary.
All in all, everything was in remarkable condition after all these years. 
I decided with LPP, way back when that she could redecorate the house to her liking. 
Well, as often happens, life got in the way and we never did. 
Chalk it up to the "middle child gets the short end of the stick" syndrome.
Anyway, as SPF was looking at the rooms, she said, "I'm thinking I'd like to move a wall".
Ummm....nope. 
I'm not as accommodating or nice as Chip Gaines. 
She did switch the dining room and kitchen...she wants to add upper cabinets and an island eventually.

The bathroom was always my favorite room...I think I just liked the beaded curtain.
I still do.
We still have the details to finish...art on the walls as well as light fixtures and towel racks.
My grandparents left no detail undone.
But for now, we have moved the dollhouse to the playhouse in the yard (another thing that was to be LPP's and never finished). 
I know that my grandparents would be happy to know that this gift will once again be loved and enjoyed.

Took me long enough!
I'm sorry, LPP!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Words

I am always interested in "new" words that are included in the dictionary and often times,  wonder WHY????? 
The old argument, "Ain't ain't a word" no longer holds water as it's in the dictionary.
Although, I adamantly disagree that it should be.
Anywhoooo.
There are also words that debut in a given year.
These are the words that debuted the year each of our family members was born.

LEGO
ART DECO
SUPER SIZE
APPLETINI
PODCAST

Interesting.
What word debuted the year YOU were born?
Check here.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Truism


May the sun always shine on your windowpane,
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain,
May the hand of a friend always be near you,
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
~Irish Blessing
Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, twilight, outdoor and nature
Photo taken by LPP in Northern Ireland

Saturday, March 25, 2017

A Confession and a Recipe

As much as I enjoy cooking, there is something satisfying about throwing everything onto one pan and being done.
Cleanup is even better.
SPF  loves shrimp, roasted veggies and salad and this concoction satisfied all three.
Since I discovered the recipe on FB as a video, I had SPF watch it and write the ingredients and directions down, which she did.
As we set out together to make dinner, all seemed to be going well.
We chopped, shredded and seasoned. 
We did not add chili powder to the veggies or shrimp.  Figured the dressing would be enough for our tender tongues.
Boy, was THAT a good call.

As I was mixing the dressing ingredients, it didn't occur to me that the 1/2 Tablespoon was a lot.
We tasted and immediately our tender tongues were both burning! 
I dumped half of the dressing out and re- added the non chili powder ingredients in the proper increments and  tasted again. 
Is was still spicy but doable and all in all, the salad's warm ingredients over the fresh spinach was a terrific combination. 
We laughed at our mistake and we all assumed the recipe should have been 1/2 TEASPOON. 

It wasn't until the following morning when returning the spices to the shelf, that I discovered the REAL reason for the heat.
Not only did I double the amount of pepper....I used the WRONG pepper.

YUP.
1/2 TABLESPOON of cayenne.
Not 1/2 TEASPOON of chili powder.
We both goofed.
I think my goof was more painful, though.
I tried to doctor up my lunch the following day by adding some cooling strawberries and walnuts.
It was still spicy, albeit tasty and we are going to try this again correctly.

It has the potential to become a favorite.
And the story is kind of comical.

If you dare, here is the recipe and the link of the video.

Roasted Shrimp and Veggie Salad
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup yellow bell pepper
1 cup red onion (we did not use onions)
1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
Place onto a rimmed sheet pan in rows and drizzle olive oil over each.
Sprinkle chili powder (we omitted) and oregano, salt and pepper.
Bake at 400* for 10 minutes.
Scoot veggies to either side of pan and spread 1 LB peeled, deveined shrimp in the center.
Season shrimp with olive oil, lime juice, chili powder (did not use), salt and pepper.
(We seasoned the shrimp in a bowl and just added to pan)
Return to oven and bake for additional 5-8 minutes until shrimp is done.
Add top bowl of spinach and toss with dressing.
Dressing
3 TBL lime juice
2 TBL Olive Oil
1 TBL honey
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt
pepper
Shake in a small jar until combined.

Enjoy!



Thursday, March 23, 2017

I Failed...Mostly

St. Patrick's Day kind of snuck up on me this year.
That and the sad fact that our kidnicks aren't little anymore. 
I just realized I have a label just for St. Patrick's Day to the right...check it out for fun of the past...although NOW I feel even more the flake!
The milk turned green as always (although I think the leprechaun might be getting a wee bit colorblind in his old age....the milk looked bluish in the glass.
Added to the pancake batter, it was decidedly green., though...magic, I tell ya!)
We were able to have Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner, even though it fell on a Friday during Lent.
Our Monsignor approved as it is a Feast Day.
I began several years ago, cooking the beef in the crockpot with 3 cans of this glorious beverage.
I turns out tender, moist and flavorful.
And there is a can left for me!
I used the glass my sweet hubby bought for me in Salzburg of all places.
Pretty nice..


 THIS is pretty nice too!  
Accurate as well!
This was from a FB post...not mine.





Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Over the River, Through the Woods to Berlin We Go


I am so far behind in posting about our trip to Germany in November. 
Sheesh! 
When I last left the trip, we had spent our final day in Munich and were heading to Berlin. 
LPP had class on Monday, so we had one last meal in Munich before heading out early on Sunday morning for the 5 - 6 hour drive in The Beast.
We ended up eating our final Munich dinner in a very dated Italian restaurant, Pizzeria Alla Scala a few blocks from our hotel.
The service was poor, although there seemed only to be one waiter when we arrived and the food decent at best. 
I will say that the elderly owner presented our youngest with treats that won most of us over.

This place had the menfolk in the van drooling on Sunday morning. 
I must say that looked to be a pretty sweet showroom.

We also passed the Olympic Park.



And then to the Autobahn. 
As we cruised up the country, quaint villages appeared, always centered by a church tower. 







One thing that I loved. 
On Sunday's semi trucks are not allowed to drive on the Autobahn!
We passed several rest areas that were filled with trucks just hanging out. 
They had chairs and portable tables set up and were relaxing, I suppose. 

It reduced the number of vehicles on the road and allowed us to stay in either the center or right lane as the Porsche's and Lamborghini's flew past on our left.


The weather was nice all the way and the changing scenery as we travelled north was interesting.
Although not everyone was as enamored as I was.




Germany, as much of Europe, are invested in wind power. 
We saw many wind farms on the way.


These barriers appeared on either side of the Autobahn we passing through towns.
Maybe to reduce sound?
All in all, the Autobahn was much better that I had feared. 
I know driving on it was a bucket list item for my hubby, but I was not as excited 
I have changed my mind, although I don't believe that we Americans could handle it here.
There are speed limit signs when approaching on and off ramps and through cities.
I found it fascinating that everyone obeyed the limit.
Cars noticeably slowed  when they should and sped up accordingly.
It was cool.
As we found ourselves nearing Berlin, we decided to stop in a town about 15 miles away for dinner.
After several attempts, and minor meltdowns, to follow maps to a specific restaurant, we parked and walked in Potsdam.

  As it turned out, we walked through the Near Garten and happened upon Cecilienhof.
As it turned out, Cecilienhof is the former home of Crown Prince William and was the site of the Potsdam Conference .
In the summer of 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin gathered for a series of meetings and negotiated how best to punish Germany for bringing Europe through WWII.
The postwar map was officially drawn here.
Fascinating and it was just the tip of the iceberg regarding the history we would experience firsthand in the next few days.
After a further failed attempt at dinner, we drove on into Berlin and checked into our lodgings.


When I reserved this place, I knew it was a small apartment with enough beds for us and that it was in the general neighborhood where LPP's apartment was so we could meet her after classes easily.
What I did not know is that this place was perfection! 
Very modern  and well appointed. 
It overlooked a street that was ideal for people watching. 
It had two bedrooms, kitchen with dining, a lovely living room and large bathroom. 
It also was just a short distance to the rental office where we were able to park the van overnight.
It was wonderful. 


We walked a block or so to dinner and relaxed over food and a much needed alcoholic beverage.
After walking back to the apartment, LPP left to walk to hers.
THAT is a strange feeling. 
Watching your daughter walking down a street in Berlin...alone to her apartment.
And realizing that it's okay and that you are very proud of her.
I'm anxious to share Berlin with you soon.
It was so much more than I had expected.
In case you care to catch up on this trip this far....

Day 7