Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Georgia on my mind

I took a quick trip down to the Atlanta area to visit my family this past weekend. Solo.

The primary target of visitation was my Mamaw (Dad's mother), but my dad and sister drove over from New Orleans to visit, and my Aunt Mary Jane (Dad's sister) and Uncle Alan, Uncle Steve (Dad's brother) and Aunt Gail also live in the area, so there were lots of people to hug!

Here we were sitting in Mamaw's new apartment at Heritage of Peachtree, an assisted living facility that she moved into this summer.

Claire displaying her early Christmas present.

Sam and Andy made some artwork for Mamaw, which she taped to her wall.

I was blown away by the fall foliage. It was an unexpected perk of the trip to be surrounded by so many beautiful colors. I also enjoyed the Georgia accent (which is slightly different than Alabama or Texas), as one gentlemen told me outside, (spoken in your best male-version of Paula Dean), "I feel like I'm livin' in a wah-tah culuh."

Mamaw and I took a walk around her building on Saturday morning. I walked, she rode.

On our way to meet everyone at The Olive Garden for lunch, sunroof open. It was in the low 70s that afternoon. Light years away from what I left and came back to in Canada!

Fayetteville was designed with golf-cart transportation in mind, and here we were driving under a mini bridge.

Dad following behind us.

That afternoon we headed to Mary Jane and Alan's house, where we met the newest addition to their family, Cali.

They adopted her from a Great Dane rescue facility. I think she's half Dane, half Retriever. Georgia, their other dog, also came up for a scratch.


Enjoying the lovely weather in the backyard. Mary Jane, Gail, and Claire.

Alan, Mamaw, and Dad.

Mamaw requested a Dad-and-Uncle Steve picture because they look so much alike.

The next day we took a nice Sunday afternoon drive out to Steve and Gail's house.

Mockingbird Lane, which leads to their place.

Gail was showing me the pictures of their property after a tornado went through a couple years ago. Hundreds of trees were torn away, garage doors blown in, and poor doggies in their doggy houses picked up and thrown down the road by the tornado. Luckily they survived.
There were also a few pictures of their horses, non-tornado related. I believe that's why we were smiling here. :o)

This was a fruit and nut cake that Gail was in the process of making. She had four of them; two sherry-soaked, and two brandy-soaked. They need to be "fed" weekly for several weeks in row. The finishing touches will be a layer of homemade marzipan, then a topping of royal icing. Oh, how I wish I was spending Christmas at THEIR house.

Mamaw taking a whiff. They smelled GOOOOOOOOD.

Gail had also just taken out a loaf of freshly-baked bread. Mamaw called dibs on the end-piece.

We got home that evening just in time to play Sevens with the ladies.

Mamaw dealing out.

Short trip, but I'm SO glad I got to go - it was great to see everyone. And thanks to my wonderful husband, who encouraged me to leave the boys with him for the (long) weekend. That's true love. ;o)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Marta and Pupy visit! ...a belated post.

Otto's mom and dad came up for a visit in (ahem) August. (I've also neglected to post pictures from out trip to British Columbia this summer. Hopefully that will come soon.)

Probably the most exciting part of their visit was our trip over to Banff/Canmore/Lake Louise. We hiked the 2km hike from Lake Louise up to the Lake Agnes tea house. There were some BEAUTIFUL vistas to behold along the way.

This was a lake on the way up to Lake Agnes. If I hadn't waited until now to post this, I'd probably know its name. (Mirror Lake?)

Sam resting.
Getting closer!

We took several breaks, and finally made it up to Lake Agnes in about 4 hours. Compare that to a 45 minute trek down.
And the tea house. Word to the wise: if you, too, plan on taking this hike, pack a lunch! As there is VERY limited seating at the tea house, and there's no to-go window. :o)

So happy to be DONE! At least with the going up part.

On the way back down.

Marta and Pupy, back at Lake Louise, right before the all-important celebratory ice cream cones. We made it!!

The next day we walked around Banff, and showed them the Banff Springs Hotel. I LOVE that hotel. It feels like you're walking around in a castle.

The Royal Family.

And there were rapids behind the hotel. I think we've only been here in the winter, because as we were walking behind the hotel we heard an unfamiliar sound. Apparently on other visits the water was frozen and there WAS no sound.

Their trip was rounded out nicely back here in Red Deer with several visits to resale shops and garage sales, Marta and Pupy doing LOTS of cooking, a Latin American festival of all things (1st annual in downtown Red Deer!), and a night out to eat at Earl's. Come back soon so we can do it again! :o)

Halloween 2010

A couple days before Halloween, we made our first pizza of the season.

And remember, one of the main reasons we make pizza up here is to warm up the kitchen.

We're trying a few new dietary restrictions (again) to try and help with the boys' allergies. So this pizza crust was half whole wheat, half oat flour, and no yeast (along with some oregano and basil thrown in). Not bad, but it doesn't deliver that crunch that an all white flour with yeast crust will give you. But overall, a D for DELICIOUS! (This one was just the appetizer; there was another on the way in the oven.)

Sam brought home a spider hat that evening that he had made at school. Very cute.

Acting! THANK YOU!

Surfing spider.

Mick Jagger?

And here he was singing some songs with his classmates at their Halloween party.

And, the finale on the 31st. May I present to you... TWO NINJAS!! WHAAAAAAA!!!!!!

The neighborhood didn't know what hit it.