It was a wonderful weekend with new girlfriends at a small lake in southern Indiana.  Impressive how 5 women can share a single small kitchen and yet produce such wonderful food, shared together outside “al fresco”.  We all learned something about cooking from each other.

  • Fennel, which most had never cooked with, has a strong licorice smell, but when sliced and cooked under the fish on a cedar plank, added a wonderful mellow flvavor.
  • Roasting vegetables is so easy;  toss chunks of veggies in olive oil and add Sea or Kosher Salt and pepper and cook at 400 until done.
  • Cook shrimp, then marinate in a mix of olive oil, lemon, basil, and garlic and chill…mmmmm!.
  • Soak chopped apples and pears in 7-up to keep from browning while you prepare the rest of the salad;  greens, Craisins, cashews, and gorgonzola or blue cheese (no, the cheese should NOT be forgotten;  its a great addition!) with a nice sweet poppyseed dressing.

P.S.  We worked up quite an appetite on the boat (insert “Gilligan’s Island” music here) as the boat didn’t perform quite as expected (insert “African Queen” sputtering engine sounds here) and had to be towed to shore…twice! Susan proved to truly be the ‘hostess with the mostest’.


Lots going on this week in domestic diva-land.  Here’s a pic of a fabulous Strawberry Cake I made last weekend for the family “April Birthday Party” for sister, brother, mom, and sister-in-law. Okay, I admit it was a little crooked…but that’s how you know its REAL and homemade, right?

Mmmmm! Strawberry Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Stay tuned for more projects of the week;  I’m working on crafty things and baking for a Thursday night Women’s Candlelight Dinner for 400 church ladies.  My table of 8 is themed “Sweet Shoppe” aka “Sweet Church Ladies” and features cupcakes, candy, homemade fudge, etc.   I’ll have pictures later in the week!

Oh, wanted to also post these pics from my drive to work today…at least once a week I like to get to work slowly, perhaps stopping to take photos, or else stopping for coffee and a cover-to-cover read of the newspaper.  It puts me in a much mellower and peaceful mood at the start of the day!

97,819 people visited the Indiana State Fair on Saturday.  I was not counted as one of them, as I got in free with my badge….but I arrived at 8 a.m. to walk 3 miles with Gov.Daniels’ wife, Cheri in the Heartland Walk for Health, then manned the Indiana State Museum booth in the DNR building all day. 

Daughter met me at dinnertime for yet another walk around the perimeter of the fair, taking in the baby cows, piggies, and yes, the food!  That day I sampled or ate a pulled pork sandwich, an ear of roasted corn, a cookie, a funnel cake, and a lemon-shake-up. Yum!   Here are some pics:

Summer’s over, school’s back!  Well, for youngest son, that is;  middle kid has one more week before Purdue starts.  2 sophomores in the family this year;  one h.s. and one college.  H.S. started today, bright and early with 7 a.m. marching band practice, right up to 5:30 p.m. end of tennis practice, for a very full day.  I’d imagine he’ll drop like a tired puppy when he gets home tonight!

Here’s a  pic of he and his grandma on Tuesday in Chicago, for a quickie day-trip just before school started.  Yup, we drove 4 hours, paid $29 to park on North Michigan Avenue (well, Rush Street) for the day, and 4 hours back;  (and car overheated and we had to open the windows and blow heat full-blast)….and all he has to show for it is 3 new pairs of socks!  No, really, we had a wonderful day with my mom, including a fabulous lunch at Bistro 110.  The weather was perfect and we had a great bonding time together!  Sadly, no Garrett’s popcorn, as they closed the Michigan Ave. store 😦


We look forward to the holidays all year. Then, it takes at least a month or so to recover from it all!

Somehow it all came together; all the presents were purchased and wrapped, Christmas cards with the kids and dogs’ photo were mailed and arrived before Christmas, hubby’s side of the family came over on Christmas Eve for a great ham dinner, then nice egg casserole for breakfast….then we headed to Chgo. for MY family’s Christmas celebration. *urp* and of course we ate quite well.

Today is the 1st day of 2008. Amazing. How can 7 years have passed since the dreaded Y2K? We had 2 nice celebrations last night with 2 different groups of friends….sorry that we had to split the night, but glad that we have so many good friends who understand us, seem to like us anyway, and care about us.

So, on to a new year. We pray it will be a better one. We both finally have good jobs that we enjoy and that appear to be very long-term, with good benefits. We pray that our finances will come around somehow, though we don’t know how God will work that one out….I guess that’s what faith is all about; trusting that He will provide.

We have a daughter graduating college this year, a son graduating high school, and a son graduating 8th grade. <whew> It will be a big year of turning points. I continue my master’s program and hubby continues his push for promotion at work.

Happy New Year! Be grateful for all you have and may you get all you need and deserve in the coming year.