Sunday, November 22, 2015

Swept Away to Disneyland!

As many of you know, my daughter and her family “swept” me away for a bit of a vacation to “the happiest place on Earth” so to speak; Disneyland!

Not only were we there for Disney’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, we were also there for Mickey’s Halloween party!!!

Tabitha and Noah, my amazing grandchildren, most certainly got into the spirit of things by dressing up as Mario and Luigi:)

Of course, the Disney “gang” was there too:)

The “kids” managed to get a picture with Mickey. Quite a feat considering they were lucky to be the first ones online. Psst…they got “inside” information from a pixie:) (the big “kid” is my son-in-law- Jason:) Not to worry, there’s a picture of Michele and the kids with Goofy below, lol


I’m not much of a ride person myself. Although, I was “encouraged” to go on a quiet kinda driving around the park ride which wound up be a racing car event! Actually, I don’t remember the name of the ride but, it wasn’t half bad if you overlook the fact that I got soaking wet!!! (That California sun managed to dry me up pretty darn quickly)

Noah and Jason had a blast at Radiator Springs. They even posed for a quick wave:)

Tabi had fun at Bugland. She was just a bit cautious when it came to bumping into that slower couple in the background:)

There isn’t one thing that I didn’t find spectacular about Disneyland. However, I did have a few highlights that really knocked me off my feet. (actually, both of them gave us all a bit of a break from walking. According to my Fitbit, three days of walking around the park in earnest, not counting the day we arrived or left, totaled just shy of 64,000 steps!

The Paint the Night Parade, seating accommodations were curbside, yes literally sitting on Main Street’s curb, but oh my word, I would NOT have it any other way!

Perhaps my very best favorite seating accommodations were at the Wine Country Trattoria Restaurant. The prices were a bit over the top, especially for the kids, but the ring side seats to the World of Color extravaganza included in the dining package (actually no sitting was allowed but we were up front on the rail) made up for the exorbitant prices. My braised lamb shank with polenta was $44.00 as was Michele’s Herb-Roasted Chicken Breast with Fettuccine and Jason’s Filet Mignon with Mashed Potatoes. As for the kids, Noah’s, Chicken fingers were $29.00 as was Tabi’s Macaroni and Cheese! None of our meals were exceptional…

I did manage to figure out how to take a video at the World of Color. (hopefully I uploaded this snippet of it properly) Those two little bobbing heads are Tabi and Noah. Since the entire spectacular extravaganza took place on the water and they were up at the rail, they happily got drenched!!! We were standing right behind them:)


Needless to say, we had a wonderful time. From the minute we pulled out of my daughter’s driveway in Idaho I was ready for anything, lol…We made many stops along the way, taking our time getting there. We spent a few nights in St. George, Utah, Henderson Nevada and even got some gambling done in Mesquite:) Jason took the kids to the hotel pool which as the kids described was humungous!

Yoo Hoo, I just had to buy a Disneyland cookbook:)

Although the recipes are pretty basic, there are lots of colorful Disney character pictures:) Unfortunately, I just never got around to making Tabitha the potato soup she requested while I was there but I did whip up some home made chicken soup, chocolate cake, and Noah’s favorite cookies.

The kids have very busy schedules and when we got back from Disney, they had tons of school work to make up for the days they missed. The next time we get together, I may try tempting Tabi with this Yoo Hoo Stew which sounds like a combination of both chicken and potato soup!

I’ve been home almost two weeks now and reality has settled in with just a few bumps. Marion was in the hospital for the past 6 days. I’m writing this post on Saturday with the hopes of posting it tomorrow (Sunday) morning. She’s weak and has lost more weight but the doctor says she should pick up in a week or so; fingers crossed. Her caretaker, while I was gone, didn’t report any problems but it seems, according to Marion, there were a few issues when it came to keeping up with her medication and the kind of food she will and will not eat. (I guess I spoil her:)

Marion is expecting guests for Thanksgiving, although, they haven’t definitely told us yet if they are coming for sure. Thankfully, I always have guest meals in the outside freezer, including frozen prepared apple pie filling. The rest will be as basic as basic can be; like it or not! However, if anyone has a nice boozy punch recipe, I’m all ears!!!

It doesn’t look like I’ll be back to regular blogging any time soon. I will be dropping by your delicious blogs as time allows. Hope all is well in your little corners of the world. I feel so out of touch with you all. Hopefully, good Lord willing and the creek don’t freeze, things will be back to normal soon:) Louise:)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Summer of...

Butterflies and Hummingbirds!

The good news is, Marion and I had our day(s) in court and we succeeded in keeping things as they are. In other words, we won our case. Unfortunately, the last couple of months have been excruciating especially for Marion. She has been in and out of the hospital for the past month or so. To be perfectly honest, I have lost all track of time but, she is now home and doing better than she has been. Fingers crossed and lots of prayers...

As for me, I am getting into the swing of things once again. As you can imagine, it has been utter chaos around here. I can't even begin to tell you what my "To-Do-List" looks like. Little by little I will be tackling it. Sadly, I don't see me coming back to blogging for a while. I am going on a much needed vacation in October courtesy of my wonderful children! I plan to take lots of pictures and share them with you some time in Novemember.

You all have been so wonderful through these most difficult times. I can't even begin to tell you how much we appreciate your kind words and thoughts. Thank you so much for not giving up on us. I think with time we should be back to our "old" selves:) Thank you soooooooooooooo much, Louise

I hope you all are doing well. I miss each and every one of you and look forward to the time we can all virtually be together again:) Louise

If it weren't for the many butterfly plants in the garden, I'm sure Marion and I would not have had some of the peaceful afternoons we were able to squeeze in throughout the Summer. One such plant is this stunning Blood Flower whose Latin name Asclepias comes from Greek meaning medicine and healing. Also called Sunset Flower, it is in the Milkweed family the same as the perennial Butterfly Weed which you can see above in the picture with the two Frillary butterflies. Contrary to the Butterfly Weed, the Sunset Flower or Mexican Butterfly Weed, yet another name for it, is an annual up here in Pennsylvania.

Milkweeds are not only beautiful and easy to care for, they are very important host plants for Monarch Butterflies. (they are also deer resistant:) I can tell you for sure, the hummingbirds don't mind having them around either! I find it quite interesting that the Sunset Flower blooms and seeds at the same time. The seeds are such fun to watch as they float by when the wind blows whisping them through the air. Of course, I am saving some for next year. I read some where that at one time, the silk from the seed pods was used for stuffing pillows. You can find more fascinating tidbits about the Sunset Flower here.

P.s. That really is a blue butterfly. I don't fool around with changing the color in pictures. I'm lucky I know how to snap and crop them no less deal with hues and saturations, lol...