Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Now that's entertainment

Yesterday the kids finished their homework and chores in record time. So, I decided to take them to the mall for dinner and run some errands. There was an arcade just inside the food court entrance, and Charlie just about had a stroke when he saw it. I was not about to indulge that pinball wizard fantasy so we moved on. I know, I'm mean but I was hungry.

Despite all of the culinary choices, we dined at Chic-fil-a. As we were sitting in the eating area Samantha spied a mall cop. But she calls him a mall police. I don't know why but I think that is funny. The mall 'police' is fascinating to her because, hello, a movie was just made about one and he saved the day. Who knows what may unfold before our eyes. As she watches him intently, he stops his patrol and stands near our table. Oh, the excitement of it all. To see a mall cop up close. This began the whole discussion of whether or not he carries a gun. All the while he is talking into his walkie talkie.

"I don't see a gun.." "Do you think he has a taser gun?" ... "Is he getting ready to taser someone?" I am getting annoyed because they cannot eat while watching the mall cop. He just might taser someone when they take a bite of a chicken nugget. And then they would miss the action.

Finally, another mall employee walks up with a towel. He wipes up a spill the mall police has been guarding. No taser action needed. And my kids were able to resume their dinner.

After our dinner and a show, we walked around a bit, Charlie and Sam were amazed at the amount of stores and kiosks that are in the mall. "Look mom a... ". " Look over here." "Can we go in here?" It was a case of mall sensory overload. I didn't realize how rarely we go to the mall until I saw how they were enchanted by it. Charlie ended the outing by saying..."I wish we could move out here because I would be at this mall all the time."
And I'm sure he would.

Now you see why there are days in between my posts. And you probably wish I would skip some more.

Have a happy day.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Here we go....
(thanks Janet)

1. "In a hole in the ground there lived _____." a groundhog

2. "_____ but that ain't no matter." .....

3. "After dark the rain began to fall again, _____." and I slept well

4. "_____ from the hold of the Spanish galleon." Mice ran

5. "There was a hand in the darkness, and _____." it stole my cookie

6. "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, _____." and the unprepared

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____! hanging out with my family, lunch with the in-laws (it was postponed from last week), go for a long walk with my family.

Have a happy day.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Nothin' says summer like a fish and crisco

This past summer while we were at my parents house on the lake, my brother caught a big fish. This is him with my cute nephew Will. Not that my other nephews aren't cute but this is just one of them. He just had a birthday and you can read about that here.

This fish inspired our dinner... a fish fry. Yummm. I will let you experience this through pictures. And not very good ones at that. But believe me it was much better than I make it look.

First, my dad cleaned and filleted the fish.

Next, it is off to the frying station... this is outside because we don't want the house smelling like the fry station I worked at during high school. Uhgg. I hated smelling like a fry pit. That and the oily skin it produced was the bane of my high school experience.

Next he put the fish in a plastic trash bag with some corn meal, salt and pepper. And shook it to coat the fish. Which is why this picture is blurry. This is my dad trying to humor me while I took endless pictures and got in his way. He really was very patient.

Then when the grease was hot (about 325*), he had to quickly put the fish in. Watch it intensely. Then remove it at just the right time. This picture is really blurry because I was getting in the way while dad was trying to get the fish out quickly.

You have to do the fish in batches. So, the shaking, frying and intense watching went on for awhile. I would run the plates of cooked fish inside to be kept warm in the oven. But this meant I got to 'test' each batch without being caught. I always volunteer for the 'runner' job.

ok... that picture is blurry because I am a lousy photographer. And I am sad to say that I had to think about that word photographer, 'picture taker' is what actually popped in my head first. So sad.. but true. This is why I am not allowed to be the fryer in the fish fry.

My 'runner' job had another perk. When I brought the fish inside, my sis-in-law, Donna (oh, hi donna. how are you)

was making


And I had to 'test' them too. How could I possibly resist? Delightful, they were.

Have a happy day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Fill Ins

Thanks for your suggestions to my decorating dilemma. Please keep 'em coming. I will post pics when I get something done.

Friday Fill Ins is something I found over at Quiet Life with Miz Booshay. I wanted to start putting them on my site, so I emailed her. That is the first time I have emailed a blogger I don't know personally. Would you believe it... she emailed me back. And directed me to where to get them. I find these fun to do. And hope you do too. Put your answers in the comments. Enjoy

Friday Fill Ins...
thanks to Janet at Friday Fill Ins

1. When I look to the left, I see_____. (an empty plate)

2. _____ is the room that has the best view in my home. (master bathroom)

3. Let it work _____. (itself out)

4. _____ done dirt cheap! (Dirty deeds)

5. _____ is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share. (reducing comsumption of the Earth's limited resources)

6. If you have any _____ feel free _____. (humor... share it)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____! (relaxing... lunch with the in-laws...take a nap with my hubby)

Post your answers in the comments.

Have a happy day!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Decorating Dilemma

Not alot going on over here at Bri's Tiki Bar these days. Who am I kidding, there never really is. Lacrosse is just starting up for Charlie and we go to the barn every week for Sammy. Their school is starting a track team so, I think I will sign them up for that.

So, since I don't have alot to chat about I am going to ask for help with a problem that has been haunting me for a couple of months. This....

We repainted this room and I don't know what to put on the walls now. At first, I didn't want to put anything up because I enjoyed the new color so much. Now it just bugs me because the room looks ... well, it just looks unfinished. But do I put up art? We did have 3 light house pictures up. But I'm just not feeling that anymore. Do I put up photos of family in some sort of display like this?

Or do I save family photos for the halls and out of the way places?

Then what do I do with this entertainment center? See where the candles are? That looks kind of sparse. I used to have family photos there but now I don't know what to do with it. The boat we just didn't know what else to do with it either.

I like this lighthouse picture because it has scripture with it. But I am not sure about the cut glass candle things on the sides. I was thinking of putting a taper candles with coffee beans around them inside the hurricane part. What do you think? Please be my Candace Olson of Divine Design.

Oh, the wall color is a light gray. And the window treatments and pillows are blue, tan, brown and gray. I like the mix of warm and cool colors.
Thanks for any and all suggestions

Have a happy day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

For better and for worse

As I laid my head down to sleep on Sunday night, I thanked the Lord that I didn't have any aches and pains, nor the feeling that I was going to throw up, and not the slightest rumblings in my bowels. I felt as though I was going to get a good night's sleep after having to fight for my life with the stomach virus (or at least that's what it felt like). But a good night's sleep was not in store for me that night. You see my little Peanut got the stomach virus and was up on and off all night. First, she would run to my bed. I would be jarred from my sweet dreams with..."Mom, I think I'm gonna be sick". I would in turn say "Quick, run to the bathroom". Then the mom routine of damp cloth on the forehead, water to rinse her mouth and tucking her back in. This would happen about every two hours. Finally, about 20 minutes before my alarm went off I was awakened by my Charlie who came in to say... "Mom, I've got a leg cramp. Will you rub it?". Sure climb on in. Here's the $20,000 question. Did my man wake up once during all this commotion? NO! Crazy! How can he sleep through all that running around??
I just don't get it.
But then again, I sleep through the smoke alarm and he gets up for that.

I remember when the kids were babies and I would be dying for sleep. I would hear them cry in the night and tell my man... "Honey, they're crying for you. They're saying 'daddy'." He fell for it in his sleep deprived state and would get up to take care of them.

Anyway, back to the Stomach Flu '09. My man had the stomach flu a couple of days before me. We had it about the same amount of time. He lost 10lbs! I only lost 4! Seriously, even when sick he can loose more weight than me. So not fair! Not that it is a competition or anything. But if it was... not fair!

Have a happy and stomach flu-less day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Because sharing is what friends do

I just want to share some sites that humor me. Check them out

Cake wrecks... is where professional cakes go wrong. Sometimes it is misspelled words other time just all out bad decorating. Either way it is funny.

Passive Aggressive notes... Oh how this site is write (ha ha get my pun?) up my alley. Some can get naughty but for the most part very humorous.

Post Secret... this is where people write/draw their secrets and send them to this fella. There are actual books of these too. Some are cute. Some funny. Some sad and some that make you go hmmm. Some people get real creative with their presentation. I always think what would I send in? I haven't come up with one yet. Oh, the guy updates every Sunday.

Just a few I wanted to share.

Have a happy weekend

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's in the genes.... ain't nothing I can do.

The other day my boy wanted a potato as a snack. Being as lazy as I am, I told him we will be eating dinner soon so if he could just hold out that would be great. I thought he was asking for a baked potato. About 15 minutes later he asked again for a potato. I said I don't want to bake a potato just wait for dinner. He said Noooo, just peel it and cut it up.

I can eat it with salt on it.

Ok.. that is simple enough and I didn't think he knew what he was talking about. Sure enough, he ate it as soon as I set it down in front of him.

'Where did you learn that?',I asked.
'From daddy and he learned to eat potatoes this way from Grandpa.'

Do you remember Grandpa?
Need I say more?

Have a happy day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Luck 'O the Irish Supper Club

A couple of weeks ago, as I was going through all the mail that came while we were on our cruise, I came across a little bag with a lovely green ribbon on it. I was totally (how 80's) thrilled when I realized it was the menu for our supper club. I saw the theme was Irish Saloon. Then I immediately looked for the recipe I was to make. Sweet Rindy assigned me a salad to make. Whew, relief rushed over me. I can handle a salad. Let me just say, this girl knows me. She knows I am no foodie. I have a tough time putting together a can of soup.

But the salad was no ordinary salad.... no, it is some fancy pants salad with beets and fancy lettuce. I as I looked over the recipe to my dismay the beets were not of the canned variety. I had to roast them myself. Never in my lifetime have I had a one on one encounter with beets. Sure, I have seen them at the salad bar. I have even seen them in my sister in law's pantry, but purchase them, handle them... No.

Let's go back a moment in time... here is the recipe
Shamrock Salad
Beets with Watercress and Bibb lettuce
1 bunch of medium red beets, trimmed and scrubbed
3 Tblsp white-wine vinegar
2 tsp whole grain mustard
1 Tblsp finely chopped shallot
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed
1 medium head Bibb lettuce, leaves torin into 1 inch pieces
freshly ground black pepper

First off, I never knew that beets were really red. I thought they had to sit in dye. I have no clue what watercress is. And is bibb lettuce different than romaine or iceburg? Imagine my dismay when I was at the Food Beast (grocery) and I did not see Bibb lettuce on any of their little signs in script font. I must have stood there at least 3 minutes silently reading over the signs and looking at all the lettuces. Finally, I picked the one with the most ruffly leaves, because nothing says bibb like ruffles.
To my delight, they did have a sign for watercress. Which let me clue you in, this is just one leaf clovers. That's what it looks like. And the beets were close by. The shallots, yes, I know what they are, thank you very much, were a bit harder to find. I figured they would be next to the scallions. But they were hanging out with the onions.
So, off I went to the condiment section to find whole grain mustard, which my man says is not the same as deli mustard. Well, NONE of the jars said 'whole grain'. So, I bought the fancy little jar that looks like upscale deli mustard... it said it was stone ground as opposed to a machine doing it.
Back to the beets, I had to trim the ends of off. As soon as I did this... red was everywhere. Beets literally drip red. Just carrying the stems to the trash I dripped red on the floor. It was like something out of CSI.
I wrapped them in parchment and foil and baked for an hour and half. I assembled the dressing, tore up the ruffly lettuce and picked one leaf clovers. I did forget to peel and slice the beets after they finished cooking. I made my man do that since I was already dressed. I didn't want to look like Lady Macbeth going to supper club.

All that to say that the salad was delicious. I will definitely put beets on my salad again. I made the vinaigrette dressing again last night for my salad.

Thank you Rindy for having pity me and assigning me the salad. I did get to experience something new and enjoyed it. And that my friend is what supper club is all about.

Go check out Rindy and Robin Sue's (there is a link there but for some reason it isn't changing colors) sites for more on the night. Isn't Rindy's house lovely? I think she should do posts on decorating. You only see her dining room but the whole house is gorgeous.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On second thought, I should have taken home ec.

I have been posting about the cruise this week. Let me give you a glimpse of my welcome home. Our flight got in close to 11pm. My folks and the kids came to pick us up. Charlie was asleep but Samantha stayed awake to greet us. After telling me how happy she was to see me, she launched right into how Grandmother made "the best' mashed potatoes for her. With a sparkle in her eye, my first born told me I had a lot of practice to do to come close to the mashed potatoes my mom made for her. Gee thanks and I missed you too.

Then she went on to tell me of the fabulous salads Grandmother made. I looked at my mom, who was beaming, and said what kind of salad did you make. "Oh, I just chopped up romaine and added some bacon bits, shredded cheese and sliced hard boiled eggs." I turned to my daughter and told her the only thing different than my salads is the hard boiled egg. Sammy then enlightened me... "Yeah, but Grandmother put it together for me". Clearly, it is all in the presentation here. Chopping the lettuce and putting the bags of bacon bits and shredded cheese on the table are no longer going to cut it. Lessons in motherhood.

When Charlie woke me up the next day, he told me of the sausage balls that Grandmother had made him for breakfast, on a school day no less. He informed me that he had not had these since the last time he saw Grandmother at Christmas time. Again, slacking at the mom job.

Here is a compilation of photos of various times my mom has made these with the kids. I keep meaning to post this... now is the time.

Let me give you a little tutorial on the elusive sausage ball. You will need 3 cups of Bisquick, 3 cups of shredded cheese, and a pound of your favorite sausage.

Throw it all together in a large bowl... My man said this picture looks like a turd in sand. Our cup of tact and class runneth over.

And mix it all together. This is best done by hand. If you find another way, have at it and then let me know... cause I don't like this part.
This is where my mom said... "Bob, she's taking pictures for her bog again."
Yes mom, this site is mired down in muck but it's correct pronunciation is blog, with an 'L'.

Anyhow... your mom and her assistant incorporate the ingredients while you document the process.

And if her lovely assistant drops any on the floor you have your furry vacuum around to clean up. I know it's blurry but I think the dog is wearing Mardi Gras beads. What can I say she is a party animal. Ba dum dump.

Then you bake them at 375* for 15 to 18 minutes according to your desired doneness. My dad likes them very done, where they are on the verge of being briquettes. But to each is own. We serve them up with mustard. Delightful.

As you can see you can shape these anyway you like. My daughter likes to make them into snakes. What can I say, she is a little off. I like to make initials. Again, whatever floats you boat.

You can make these in advance. Keep them refrigerated and bake later. I should probably do that since I am falling in my mom ranking.

On another note Charlie said he liked my dad's car better than the van. Because his car is so smoooooth.

Have a happy day.

Cruisin' highlights

Here are some highlights of the cruise I must relive at your expense. This is like therapy... talk through it because it was real even though it seems like a fading dream. Oh, how reality has crashed my party. These highlights are in addition to the food, which was delicious as well as endless during our vacation.

My first favorite was bioluminesce bay in Puerto Rico. We kayaked out to the bay through the mangrove trees.It was a moonless night and all we had to see where we were going was the guide and the glow bracelets attached to the kayak in front of you. After a little bit of kayaking I began to see something in the water. At first I thought it was the reflection of some lights. But then I realized that there was no light around. As the oars stroked through the water it stirred up the plankton in the water and they emit something that glows. Kind of like fireflies. Once we got to the bay it was just us the glow of stars above and then the glow of the plankton beneath us. I would scoop up the water and let it run through my fingers. It was like watching glitter or pixie dust fall from my fingertips. Beautiful. Like something out of Disney's Fantasia. We couldn't capture it on film because the flash canceled it out.

Being with our friends (there were 18 of us in all) and getting to know them better was awesome. We all took a catamaran to a beach in St. Martaan. The man and I had been to St. Martaan before and we loved it just as much this time. Below is a picture of a few of us on the catamaran.

Ok... I was thrilled to death when we walked into the room one night and there was a towel animal on the bed. That sealed deal on my cruise experience. I am easily entertained and that entertained me for awhile taking it apart and trying to recreate. However, just a few days later a class on making towel creations was offered. I was there before they unlocked the doors. Here is what I learned....

You know the slide they show on the Carnival commercial. This is me on it. Obviously, I have no pride or shame since I am showing pictures of myself, in a bathing suit no less, on this site. It will be shut down for sure now.
Finally, we had several hours between the ship docking in Miami until our flight home (about 12 actually). So the man and I took an excursion to the Everglades. When the alligator show was over we had the opportunity to hold a baby alligator. I almost came out of my skin with excitement. (Picture the ladies when Oprah mentions her favorite things) After all, I was a huge fan of the crocodile hunter, God rest his soul.
I hate snakes but I am willing to hold an alligator. And let me just say this, I almost sent some kids to the hospital getting to the front of the line. My man was embarrassed but stood by his girl. And apologized to all the kids and their parents that I had to 'smack down' to get to that gator. Since he got my back in the smack down I will post his pic with the gator.

Finally, I just want to say how much I miss Carlos the cabin steward. Oh sweet Carlos please come make my bed. And tell me ... Have nice evening Ms Sabrina....

The dream fades like the twinkling of the plankton in bioluminesce bay and back to reality I am.

Have a happy day.

Monday, March 2, 2009


My man and I just got back from a week long cruise to the Carribiean islands. Oh, what a wonderful time we had. Sunny days, beautiful beaches, food, food, and more food. And laziness to a degree I have not experienced in awhile.

I was really hesitant to go. We went with nine other couples from our neighborhood. We had the best time. Laughing and joking around. We all came back friends. Thank goodness.

My parents came to watch the kids. And they had a wonderful time together as well.

I had hoped to blog before I left but I was so stressed trying to get everything ready it just didn't happen. Because this is what my house looked like just hours before my parents came.
Have I mentioned how neat my folks are? Well, they are very tidy people.

But we had a wonderful time. We left this...

And came home to this...

We are happy to be home with the kids but oh how we miss the beach.
Have a happy day...