Monday, February 05, 2007

All Kinds of Good Things

So it’s still cold here. But it looks like a heat wave is building and we will have highs in the teens later this week! I can’t wait. When I left the house the morning, the actual air temperature not counting wind chill was -16 degrees. If you don’t know what that kind of cold feels like, well I guess you don’t live in a cold climate.

It seems like the weather was the topic du jour all weekend. A lot of the bloggers who write from the southern states were saying how cold it was there and if you are used to highs in the 50’s and 60’s then I guess it could be considered cold. However, I beg to differ and don’t think you know from cold. It was so cold here this weekend that you could actually and literally throw boiling water into the air and have it turn to snow as it fell. THAT is cold.

The weekend was good but holy moly it went by quickly. Friday night I ran errands and picked up dinner from Cousins Subs. We have lived where we live for almost 5 years. It is about a half mile from this particular sub shop and yet Friday night was the first time I have patronized it. I can tell you that it won’t be the last. The guy at the counter was friendly, funny, and engaging. The bread was fresh, the ingredients tasty and PACKED onto the sandwich. Bob really liked it, so it won the “Bob” test. I don’t know why we haven’t been there before, but it will be a regular part of our “sandwich” night from now on.

Saturday was packed with stuff. I meant to get up around 8 but my bladder woke me at 6:30 and my brain would not shut up. So I got up and made cowboy stew and monkey bread. The stew was for me and Bob, the monkey bread for my friend Lisa’s birthday breakfast brunch. (Quick aside and basic cowboy stew recipe: brown 1 to 2 lbs ground beef with some onion and garlic. While that’s browning combine the following in your slow cooker; 1 can rotel tomatoes, 1 can black beans with lime and cilantro, 1 can Mexican kidney beans, 2 cans crushed tomatoes, 1 can corn drained, 1 can green chilis, 1 packet of taco seasoning, 1 packet of ranch dressing seasoning. Once hamburger is browned, drain and add to slow cooker. Cook on low until all ingredients are mixed and heated thoroughly. This is a hearty meal that we usually eat with taco chips and garnished with cheddar cheese and sour cream.) I left the apartment at almost 10am and the temperature thing-y on our van said the outdoor air temp was -12 degrees. Brunch was fun. I don’t get to see these particular women very often but when we do get together we yak and yak and laugh. This time we met at one woman’s house and each of us brought a dish to pass. I brought the monkey bread, someone else brought cheesy potatoes, someone else brought an egg bake, etc. The food was delicious. After we ate, we talked and caught up. We half-heartedly joked about joining forces and resources and opening our own coffee/tea shop. I could totally see this happening except the 6 of us are all so different that it might be quite the challenge personality-wise. Anyway, we finished our time together with prayer and encouragement. had enough time to run to the store, get home, eat lunch (breakfast had long settled), and shower for the next event. We were going to go to Stillwater for the MDA Winter Wine Down. We stopped on the way to pick up our friends and then made the trek east for fun. And fun was had by all. It was a great event and one that has possibly outgrown its home at the Water Street Inn. The place was packed with people sampling wine and great food. There was live music and dancing. There was a silent and live auction. There was wine. There was a “heads or tails” game played for a trip. There was wine. And while it was frigid outside, the Inn was warm and cozy, maybe because of all that wine.

I played the wine pull. For $10 you choose a bottle of wine from hundreds cloaked in brown paper bags. They range in price, type, size, and quality. I pulled three and ended up with 2 chardonnays and a blush reminiscent of a white zin. One of the chardonnays I got is called Fat Bastard and I can’t wait to try it. The blush came from a local vineyard. I tried it at the tasting table and really liked it. I pondered buying a bottle from the distributor who was there and while I thought about it, I went to the wine pull and pulled that very bottle. Score! We had a great time, met some great people, ate, drank, danced, and left warm and happy. The frigid cold woke us up and conversation flowed as I drove us home. I tell you again, the local MDA is an amazing organization that takes such good care of the people who need them most. We love their events, we love their staff, and we love anything affiliated with MDA.
We got home around 10:30 and Bob decided he was so excited about MDA that he would go to the bar across the street to try and drum up donations for the Stride and Ride fundraiser. (Keep in mind this event does not happen until June.) I found out the next day that he met a guy who plays in the Steve Miller Band. They hit it off and talked for over an hour. The guy gave him his wife’s new CD and he gave Bob his phone number. Bob meets the most amazing people and becomes friends with everyone. He is amazing.

Sunday I didn’t go outside at all. I cleaned, I made dinner, I got our tax stuff ready, and I sat in front of the TV and vegged. Oh, but I didn’t watch the Super Bowl at all. I didn’t miss it, but I am bummed that I missed Prince’s half time show. I didn’t remember under after the third quarter had ended.

Today dawned cold and blustery but still brought good things. Bob had physical therapy and dropped off our tax stuff. I found out that the monthly Muscular Dystrophy magazine’s March issue will feature Bob’s story and a photo! I also had the author of that story contact me to tell me she passed my name and Flickr site to their art director and will keep me in mind for photos should the need arise! I don’t allow myself to get too excited about this because it could amount to nothing, but still…to have someone in magazine publishing say that my photos are good and to pass my link along to their art department, well that’s just a boost a girl can learn to love. Granted the art department guy could just hit delete and never think of me again, but I hope he won’t.

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