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Monday, June 22, 2009

6/22/09 Road Trip and NSV's

I'm back from my long weekend with DS2. We had a great time with my family. We left early on Friday and arrived in Columbus for an early lunch (white-knuckled trip with pouring rain until we were almost there). I was supposed to be on mushies the whole day and then start solids Saturday (post-fill), so I chose some cottage cheese for lunch. I brought flowers from my garden and between those and Mom's we made about 8 arrangements and took them over to my Middle Sister's to start prep for the party. We worked until dinnertime and I was able to get down a little thin crust pizza and mixed fruit salad back at Mom's.

Saturday found Mom and I (and two of her Herb Society friends) on a two hour trip down to a lavender farm for a festival (sorry, I forgot my camera but found these pics of the farm online-no, I don't know that cute little boy). It smelled like heaven as we pulled into the lavender field to park. She'd signed us up for two classes so we went off to the 'Mediterranean Cooking with Herbs' class. As I've said before, I'm not the chef in our family, but I was excited for this class. I have a nice herb garden (most cooks would kill for…my neighbors do come to take snippings occasionally at my urgings) and I'd like to learn to use more of them. I always dry some herbs each year (mainly for show in my kitchen and basement rack), but the only things I really use fresh are the basil to mainly make pesto or my mozzarella/tomato Italian flag salad, the tarragon for a chicken bake dish DH makes, and occasionally some chives, dill, or oregano for an occasional recipe. The teacher is the regional cooking expert for Macy's department stores (I think she works a lot with brides, etc.) and she was very knowledgeable. I'm inspired to try to incorporate the fresh herbs more now while they're in season. We had a meal of bread, salad, chicken, pancetta, and cookies all incorporating the herbs at the end of the demo. I almost had a stuck moment as I was carefully eating the herb salad (I thought I chewed very carefully). I was trapped at an inside table with people all around or I would have gotten up as I could feel the sliming about to start. I was panicking and I'm sure the folks across from me saw my eyes watering…but then it passed in a few minutes. I quickly gave Mom the rest of my salad saying I'd taken too much…whew…that was a close one!

The Lavender Festival was wonderful, but small (about 20 vendors and the classes), so then we found ourselves with about 3 hours to kill before our next class. It was almost 90 degrees out so after the 'cut your own lavender' trip to the field and shopping the vendors (I bought; 5 plants, a pair of beaded earrings for DD's birthday in August, and 20 wooden garden markers for DS2's vegetable garden that he can decorate) we looked for a shady spot and bought some lavender ice cream from the Mennonites who had an ice cream and baked goods booth (they had a small John Deere engine attached to the ice cream maker…cool to watch). I asked for only one scoop…OMG that ice cream was wonderful…fresh cream from the cow…a scoopful of heaven!

Our last class was making a framed picture from pressed flowers and Mom is going to be doing this at one of their Festival's at the herb garden she volunteers with weekly, so she was very excited. We were done in record time (the heat made us work fast) and we were back in the car for our trip home.

Then off to Middle-Sister's for my nephew's HS graduation party (he's in a college program now to become a police officer). It went perfectly; no rain and lots of fun. We collapsed after pitching or bagging up the extra food around midnight.

Sunday we stayed until late morning so I could spend some more time with Dad for Father's Day. I gave him a nice box of smoked salmon, which he loved. Unusual gift, I know. DH and I (and the kids) twice visited DH's sister and her family when they lived in Alaska for 2 years. We took my only brother on the second trip. He loved it so much that he and DH arranged a fishing trip there (in a motor home for a week traveling the area) a few years later and they took my Dad. He loved getting the salmon they caught smoked and so the salmon I bought him was labeled as being from one of the rivers in Alaska that they fished…he noticed right away. 
 
We got in the car for our 3 ½ hour ride home and DS2 said 'It was a great weekend!' and high-fived me as he said 'It was a nice trip with just you and I!' I forget that the baby of the family, even at 13 yrs. old can still need some quality one on one time. We played Mad Libs most of the way home and stopped at McDonalds for lunch (I ate ½ a grilled chicken club sandwich…went down fine).


Had a nice evening of playing Frisbee in the backyard and grilling out for Father's Day back home with the family (Happy belated Father's Day all you Dad's). Tomorrow is the Jimmy Buffet concert with 2 neighbor couples (can't wait) and Thursday morning we leave for PennState with DS1 for our orientation (staying at the old colonial Nittany Lion Inn on campus overnight-run by the PennState hospitality program, so it should be fun). DH took off the rest of the week for all this, but I'll try to post some updates when we have some down time. I'm off to the Drs. (routine) with the boys and then on to DS2's guitar lesson (he AMAZES me with his talent...no idea where it comes from, but it's great for each kid to find something they're good at).

Today is my two-month bandiversary and I'm down 19 pounds since surgery (most of that, just post-op though). I'm just hoping to keep losing or at least not gain during this 6 week wait for the next fill. Sorry I went on and on as usual, just catching up. Have a great week all!!! I'll post some pics I just took of my garden later.

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