Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thanksgiving/Christmas Illinois 2006 photo op.

First trip to No. 2's apartment this past week revealed that it has SEVEN doors. Once inside, I felt like I was in one of those Science Fiction movies where the escape from the maze is through THIS door...or maybe THAT door. Pick the wrong door and you go down the rabbit-hole. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I had a good time there; despite the small size, the place has great warmth and character (like its residents). We had brunch and dinner there on Thanksgiving Day. Silly-O (pictured) brought deviled eggs, which were scrum! Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Saturday after Thanksgiving, No. 2 and I checked out some downtown Chicago activities like Christkindlmarket (a German Christmas tradition). She bought a cashmere scarf from this particular vendor. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting We also checked out the ice-skating in Millenium Park. I was VERY glad we hadn't planned on engaging in that particular activity. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Inbetween visits with No. 2 et al, I spent some quality time with my oldest friends in the Chicago area. Always great to see them! Got a call from the mysterious unidentified uncle while there; how great is THAT? He's doin' fine. Here, we'd taken a little trip to see B'Hai temple. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Last (final) stop was back to see the tree at No. 2's. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting As they say, "From our house(s) to yours!"


No. 2 said...

Hi Momma! It was great having you down. Now I'm back to the same old song and dance. I put together my computer cabinet today which took all of 3 hours. That thing was a pain in the A$$!! We decided it looks kinda funny in our apartment, too, but it serves it's purpose. Next on the list is a small chair so we will actually be able to SIT at the desk. Our bar stools are too tall for that thing.

Glad to see you got some pics up already from your trip, too. Although, I'm thinking next time I'd like to SEE the pictures you take of me BEFORE they go on the internet. But who do I have to impress, right?

And you picked a perfect week to visit as the weather was GREAT while you were here. Today it has been raining on and off all day and if my bar-fly weathermen are correct, it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

Hugs and Kisses!

And Diane, hope you enjoyed your IL trip, too. We got a chuckle knowing you were concerned about our being abducted. Pity for the ladies who actually WERE abducted, but lucky on our end.

Diane said...

I'm so far behind in emails and everything else in life, it's not funny. Maybe if I had a nicely stocked liquor cabinet it would be funny. I'll ask Santa to get me one.

GREAT pics!!! No. 2, you are GORGEOUS! You guys sucked up all of the good genes, didn't ya?

Yep, I got my worrywart hat on right away once I heard the news report of the hostages. Of course, the Chicago area being such a small community, I figured the chances were pretty high of it being you two.

It was a good trip for us. Left Thursday evening about 7:30. Everyone slept while I drove. Got to Bloomington about 6:00 a.m. and had breakfast with my mom at Cracker Barrel. *barf* Then back on the road and up at the first group of relatives by 9:00 a.m. or so just south of Rockford. Then off for lunch in DeKalb and another group of relatives. Drove by my Dad's but he wasn't home. Then to another group of relatives near Dixon about 3-ish and then back south to Bloomington, plopping at the hotel just in time for beddy-bye after picking up some Greek food (which is nonexistent in Oklahoma). Man, oh, man were those beds comfy!!! Cheap hotel (EconoLodge) but the beds were pure heaven!

Next morning, off to my grandparents in Chenoa for a couple of hours. My Canadian uncle had popped down for the get-together and was staying with G'ma/pa. Then to a park to let the little bundles of joy run off some of their ornery. Then to the turkey feast at my aunt and uncle's house -- big group of relatives there, including mom and both brothers. Then to Mom's for Cody's birthday celebration (turned 13 on the 25th) and both bros came for that, too. Mom had Christmas gifts for all and David brought everyone gifts back from his trip to Greece a couple of weeks earlier. Steve got an x-rated bottle opener that I snagged for a key chain. :-D Then back for another night at the motel.

Met Mom and bros for breakfast at the truckstop across from the hotel Sunday morning then hit the road. Traffic sucked bad most of the way but we still made good time. Left at 10:30 a.m. and home by 9:30 p.m. Got to snag some Whitecastle on the way home! Woot!

So, that's my trip. I still have to go through all of the pics and I might even get them posted one of these days. I'm not too comfy with posting my relatives pics without their permission so maybe I'll bug them and see if they grant it.

Oldnovice said...

Everyone slept while I drove.

I woulda liked to be a fly on your brain during that experience. If you're anything like me (and I figure you are), that was the highlight of your trip. :-)

Drove by my Dad's but he wasn't home.

We stopped at No. 2's dad's, but he wasn't home either. Must've been an Illinois "dad" convention going on.

So, Wavey Davey made the trip to IL, too? He's from down here (AZ?), IIRC.

after picking up some Greek food (which is nonexistent in Oklahoma). Man, oh, man were those beds comfy!!! Cheap hotel (EconoLodge) but the beds were pure heaven!

Food and beds...the LITTLE things that make trips worthwhile. I had another stab at a Chicago Roast Beef sandwich, but I'm beginning to think that *I* make a better one than they make in Chicago. B&J spent some time talkin' about great beds at some place they're fixin' to visit this next year.

I don't think I could make it driving straight thru from Ill to TX (or vice-versa). No. 2 did it ONE year, but she's never deigned to do it again. Turned her off roadtrips, as I recall.

I'm not too comfy with posting my relatives pics without their permission so maybe I'll bug them and see if they grant it.

Well, you've got 2-3 people over and above the maybe 10 people who look at my blog (half of whom are relatives), so you might consider approval forms of some sort. I don't think either of us are earmarked to internet fame, though, and the odds of seeing one's picture on your blog or mine are probably something like .002%. You're just lookin' for another reason to procrastinate on puttin' the pictures up. I know how this works. I couldn't download mine until I bought new batteries! No. 2 thought I was kidding about how quickly this camera sucks the power of batteries; I wasn't!

So, we're all safe and sound and I have no more excuses for not making the holiday cookies. Damnit!

Diane said...

If you're anything like me (and I figure you are), that was the highlight of your trip.

Yep, I LOVE driving at night. The quiet, the peace, just me and occasionally the radio... and snoring and farting and "Mom, pull over cuz I have to peeeee!". I've driven cross-country so many times and I never tire of it. Of course, it was easier pre-kids. Still enjoyable, though.

BOTH brothers were there. David's in Phoenix and John's in Chicago. Plus an uncle from Phoenix, more cousins from Chicago, one from Toronto, the other uncle from Ottawa -- all in addition to the regular Illinois folks. Pretty cool.

Chicago roast beef? I didn't know there was anything special about Chicago's roast beef. I'd kill for some Chicago pizza right now, though!!

I'll try to take a look through the pics tonight to see if there are any I'm comfy with posting. There are sure to be some. I still won't post clear pics of others' faces, though, without their permission. What can I say? I'm a nut.

Today is candy-making day here. Guess I'll go toss something on to start stewing for dinner and get my butt in gear on the candy.

Diane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Diane said...

Sorry. Computer burped as I clicked and it double-posted. Oops.

Oldnovice said...

There was a time in my life when I enjoyed the solitude involved with driving. I even had a motorcycle and enjoyed the solitude involved with driving THAT. <-- Ain't youth grand?

Candy-making, eh? I've gone so far as to buy almond paste to make marzipans. That was about 10 years ago and I might/not have tossed that can of almond paste since. I might try it sometime in the future, but seems like time goes much faster now that we're older.

It'll prolly be another week without cookies here. Em wanted to drive down to Louisiana for some gaming, so we left Monday morning and got back last evening. Today'll be laundry so I can hang it outside; spring weather is back! Also need to get to the city health club and run some other errands.

No. 2, I asked Em if we had an Ikea around here, because I liked those mats they sold for outside the doors. Closest one is North Dallas, he said. For what you paid for that little computer cabinet, I would dismantle it (another PITA), return it, and look around for something more compatible. I'm quite sure they're amenable to returns for ANY reason.

It snowed here a little bit last week; I took a few pictures, but nothing stood out as begging me to blog. The freeze that came before the snow triggered an immediate color change to the tree leaves on our street. Em and I had really lost track of seasons and when they change across the US, as we both thought I'd be seeing the cornucopia of color in the Illinois forest preserves. I was disappointed to see the trees barren of leaves; Bob and Judy said, "They're still there...just look down to see them." Our neighborhood now has the leaves on the streets, as well. Louisiana's leaves have changed now, too.

No. 2 said...

You missed quite the snow storm here last week. I'm contemplating getting a remote starter for my car. Not just to avoid the cold, but when I start my car to warm it up, I have to leave it unlocked and I'm not too happy with doing that on the street that I live on.

And if you do get around to some holiday cookies, I would LOVE some of those. I forgot which ones they are, but they are the ones that are a loop and fold over at the ends. I want to say uelebagels? Or something like that? But I can't remember if those were the other cookies.

Also, had a girls night out last night at the bars across the street. It was great because I didn't have to drive, but had a wicked hangover all day today. Jen said she's not allowed to hang out with me on work nights anymore. She wasn't quite up to par herself today.

That's about the news. Just trying to get ready for x-mas!

Oldnovice said...

And if you do get around to some holiday cookies, I would LOVE some of those. I forgot which ones they are, but they are the ones that are a loop and fold over at the ends. I want to say uelebagels? Or something like that? But I can't remember if those were the other cookies.

Close enough, and I knew you wanted these because you said, "Forget about sending me the OTHERS and just send me THESE!". Heh. I may send you some of the others I'm making, but I'll make sure I include a whole lot of these, too. You'll need to be protective of them if you want them all for yourself. I have that down: "You say the cookie is 'alright, but you like the other ones better'. FINE; they're all MINE!"

I'm gonna try my hand at some candy this year, too. Blame Diane! I still have that can of almond paste (according to my inventory file), so I'm gonna try some Marzipan and some 2-minute fudge. You might want to try that 2-minute fudge yourself, No. 2. What could possibly go wrong?

As you can see, I'm still talking about doing it instead of doing it. I did shop for most of the ingredients, though. I owe Em a sweet potato pie today, too.

In other news, the weather isn't quite warm enough to do some gardening today (which had been my plan before another coldfront came through), so that's put off until next week when the temps will go back up to 70 or so. In addition, we have pharoah ants again, both in our bathroom and the guest bathroom. We're not talking ants in massive quantities; just 4 or 5 max, but the poison has lost its effectiveness and seems to be simply causing confusion/drunkenness: "I know we're supposed to walk in a straight line, but do you remember which direction?" "What's a line (sic)?"

Oldnovice said...

I figure we're currently running about a week behind on things, as we just started at the city health club yesterday and did the errands I mentioned previously.

The weather here right now is WONDERFUL! High 60s yesterday, 74 today, and going up to 80 by Saturday. I'm gonna get some lettuce and stuff planted on Saturday.

No progress on the cookies, but I did order a new stand mixer. It should be here next week. I think you already have one like it, Diane.
That'll make the cookie making go MUCH faster, but folks still won't get the mailed ones until January. I figure it's better that way because you won't have holiday company and can eat them all by yourselves. :-)

Monday, we saw DeJa Vu with Denzel Washington. It was a great flick, in our opinions. Yesterday, we did the club and some shopping for sale staples, today we'll do the club again, Tuesday we're gonna see the Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. That's pronounced hat-SHEP-soot. Check her out...she ruled as a woman. Em also wants me to look into trips somewhere for January. We'll make sure we're home when you come down, though, No. 2.

What are y'all doin'?

Diane said...

Duke and Nellie have their schedules completely screwed up since returning from our IL trip. Both of them have not been going to sleep until between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. That means I don't get any sleep because it takes me forever to fall asleep. Bleh. I'm cranky. And, yes, I've been waking them early and keeping Nellie from taking naps (Duke doesn't take naps). They don't care.

So, I've been busy trying to keep my eyelids open, my brain functioning, and keeping the housework from getting completely away from me.

And some genealogy. Working on Cody's birth mother's line now. Got some info from his birth great-grandmother during our trip. The whole bunch is Scandinavian. I know next to nothing about that. I hate not knowing stuff.

P.S. I LOVE my KitchenAid mixer. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

Oldnovice said...

Duke and Nellie have their schedules completely screwed up since returning from our IL trip.

Try a tablespoon of booze in the last drink for the night. It'll only be effective for @ 5 hours, but it'll get them to sleep. 'course, by now, they're so damn tired that waking them up is the problem, right?

The whole bunch is Scandinavian. I know next to nothing about that. I hate not knowing stuff.

We know a little bit about that, don't we, TEAM? We can only work around Sweden and Norway, though. If his roots are in Denmark, wait...we have family in Denmark, too...Norwegians in Denmark. If it's Finland, we have nobody...except those guys we met in Germany, but they're probably dead now.

Went to bed at something like 9:30 last night because I kept falling asleep on the couch, but awakened by maybe 1 or 2am, finally rising around 3am to read for a while in the hopes I'd get sleepy again. PFFT!

Been looking into cruises the past few days. Em wants to go somewhere again. First, he said he wanted to go in January and I found a cruise we could afford in January, but it was for the very same week that No. 2 is coming here. Heh. HE remembered and I didn't remember, so I've been looking for things AFTER No. 2 comes. Thing is: Our passports have expired. *I* have everything (except the $$) ready to take to the passport people to get a new passport, but Em's been dragging his feet. The date for "must have passports to go ANYWHERE outside the continental US (including Mexico and the Caribbean)" is January 23, 2007. So, we need new passports to take a 4-day cruise in early February.

We've never been on a cruise, so we want to "taste" one. We're thinking about something that leaves from Galveston (half-day drive from here) and spends 4 days or so doing what cruises do. The destination isn't even terribly important; we just want to try out the cruise atmosphere without spending an arm/leg on a cruise because we've met a lot of people who L O V E cruises like Diane loves her Kitchenaid Mixer. We're still in the planning phase on that, but I expect to book something soon.

This new health club is working out fine for us, I think. We did Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday of this week there for over an hour, going on to shower, etc. at the end. I'm struggling to get Em to do cardio and legs, but he's doing a LITTLE bit, and I'm hoping to get that LITTLE bit to a BIGGER bit with gentle prodding.

After the club this week, we ate leftovers accompanied by a protein drink. Em's gotten so skinny that I fear he might have sarcopenia...ergo the protein/weight gain drinks after workouts. Next week, however, we won't be able to have our protein drinks every day and will be lunching out a few times. Tuesday, we'll be going to Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. Wednesday, we'll be going to The Women's Museum in Dallas (after lunching out), and Thursday, we'll eat at home (with the protein drink) and then drive No. 1 to the airport to see her dad and sibs for the holidays.

I'll try to send some yule bukkes with No. 1 for you, No. 2. In addition, (using the same dough), I hope to make some fattigmand to send along. Lucky made this when I was a child, but I never made the fattigmand for y'all as children. It's a whole 'nuther experience, so I'll try to get those made, as well before No. 1 flies away.

I'll send some to you, too, Diane, as these cookies are important to Scandinavian the interest of Cody knowing his roots and all.

What else? Bob got a stent put in to unclog his arteries this past Tuesday and is doing fine now.

Diane said...

Sweden's the place indeed. At least as far as my current info. I'm sure they all came from somewhere else before that, like everyone else. I figured I'd be pestering you about it one way or another but not until I know enough to know what questions to ask in the first place.

(Is the lack of sleep showing? LOL)

Hey, I just sent you an invitation to view the tree, living people details and all. To get to the Swedish part, find me (I'm the "home person"), then click down to Cody (son) or to Steve (spouse), then find Tammy -- that's the birth mother. You can then follow her line up. It's a tiny line so far as I just got the little bit of info at the end of November. Mucho research to be done on that branch and it's all in handwritten notes so there are bound to be many mistakes as I misinterpret the handwriting scribbles. Anyway... Feel free to peruse it one of these days if you're bored. Or not. Either way, I'll still manage to bug you with a Swedish question or two one of these days. ;-)

A cruise? You couldn't pay me enough to take a cruise. Too many danged people packed together for my taste. And then there's the part of being stuck in the middle of the ocean with no way out. And being under someone else's control at the wheel, er, helm.

I have no idea what those cookies are you mentioned. I'm gonna go look them up...

Oldnovice said...

I have no idea what those cookies are you mentioned. I'm gonna go look them up...

Might help if I spell them correctly, then. You'll probably find fattigmand bakkels and gjort (put a slash through that o to make an eu) horns. This be what we're talkin' about here. The gjort horns are what we call jule bakkels and the fattigmand bakkels are what we call fattigmand (no bakkel). LOL.

And Bob got a stint...not a stent.

Looks like we're not gonna try out the cruise thing at this time. We have issues outside of the ones you mentioned, Diane. First of all, we'd assumed that such big ships as cruise ships wouldn't rock and roll much. BZZT! Sea-sickness is mentioned and neither of us do well at sea with rocking and rolling. In addition, it seems like all the cruise descriptions revolve around dining and we don't go on vacation to eat. LOL. So, it's gonna take some xtra xtra research before we plunk down money for a cruise and I don't have time to do that research right now. We might do something like fly to Vegas for a few days instead or fly to San Diego or just drive down and spend a few days in Galveston. Don't know yet; Em and I need to put our heads together on it.

Oldnovice said...

We booked Las Vegas instead of a cruise. The rates were good and we get to stay at the Stratosphere (our favorite place to stay on the strip) for pretty damn cheap. Flights were cheap, too, so it all made sense.

I think we're there from 01/21 thru 01/25, No. 2, and you'll be there on 01/22, so maybe we could all get together: Dana, Lou, Davey, You, and us. I'd really like to see Davey's bamboo floor. Actually, I'd like EM to see Davey's bamboo floor, because he's gonna do something with floors within the next year or so and I'm pimping bamboo. :-)

Diane: If I was supposed to get an invitation to something, I haven't. Maybe I misread.

Got my new mixer, but haven't even had time to finish reading the instructions yet. I did find what looked like a good-enough bread recipe to make for some lunch meat I bought on sale yesterday, but we've got pretty full plates this week, so it's been hard to find time to finish the instruction booklet. I'm hoping for tonight on the bread (after dinner...if I still have energy left after dinner). We're off to the club, followed by lunch at the Montgomery St. Cafe, followed by Kimbell.


Diane said...

I think my head is going to explode. Steve started feeling off yesterday or the day before, bad headache, then generally sick and nasty with a nice little case of pinkeye. I really don't want this headache to turn into his thing.

I'll resend the invite to Ancestry for ya. Okay, done.

Got a free bunkbed off of Freecycle yesterday but the van caught on fire while on the way. Nice. No one hurt but it wasn't pretty. Thanks to a full bottle of water for drinking handy plus a grocery store bag boy who knew how to quickly come running with a fire extinguisher when called, it's still drivable. Stinky and a bit uglier but drivable. It was only interior stuff burned.

I'd much rather get my excitement in the form of a Vegas trip, personally. The stratosphere. Isn't that the Bob Whatsisname's tower thing at the far, poorer end of the strip? If so, I stayed in a rent-weekly, one-room kitchenette, crackhouse kind of place right behind there the first few weeks I was in Vegas. I'd love to go back there (Vegas in general, not the crappy hotel) some day to see how much things have changed. The food was usually good and almost always cheap, drinks could be had for free, and entertainment of all kinds was easily found. I never was much for gambling, though. Never gambled with my own money, only other's bucks. Of course, I never won anything either.