Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene Recap and Lots of random pictures.

Thursday, I went with Tex to stock his house for the hurricane.  We ran errands for his dad then had dinner there.  Tex has an amazing garden at his house.  He is able to grow anything, while plants tend to wither in my mere presence.  I can kill any plant, just give me a week.  It's a little pitiful, but whatever, I make a great Georgia Tea!!  I took a couple of pictures of the tomatoes we had on our burgers.  These were some of the very best tomatoes I've ever tasted...and I would know, as I am a connoisseur of tomatoes.  I LOVE them!!! 

Yellow & green tomatoes

Yellow & green tomatoes, and yes, they're fully ripe!
Those green tomatoes are fully ripe and might just be the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.  So juicy and ripe, they taste like sunshine and goodness! 

I know everyone was watching the news last weekend as Hurricane Irene made her way up the Eastern seaboard.  We took a lot of precautions, such as taping our front window, removing and storing patio furniture and putting Marc's new BBQ grill IN the guest bedroom and tying the smoker to a tree...  

Marc and I evacuated our house because we live about 4 blocks from the Great South Bay.  We stayed at his sister, Jennifer's house.  She and her husband, Jay, had a brand new air-bed they let us use for our 3 night stay at their house.  We're very grateful for our friends here, many of whom offered us rooms in their homes.  Jennifer & Jay happen to live closest to us, so it was the most convenient place for us to stay.  

I took pictures of the entire interior and exterior of our house for insurance purposes, loaded up the car, stopped by the liquor store and headed to Jen &Jay's on Friday evening.  I had gone into work for the night, but Marc called me and said we would have to evacuate, so one of my co-workers offered to close for me and the MP let me go home to secure our belongings.  

Saturday, I returned to our house in the morning to pick up a few things and double check a couple of security things.  Irene wasn't to hit New York until very late Saturday night.  I went back to Jen & Jay's and we began the Hurricane Party.  We had a blast with some of their friends and Marc got stuck at work for about 17 hours.  He missed a lot of the party, but at least he made it home before the hurricane made it impossible to drive. 

Hurricane glasses!

The Bar

More of the bar...The important stuff anyway!

Beth, Lisa, & Jennifer

Hurricane cake.  It was tasty!  "GO AWAY IRENE!"

After playing "31" and before we started playing Quarters

My sister-in-law, Jennifer
We came back to our house on Monday.  We weren't able to get to the house on Sunday because there was a tree down in the street that is the only entrance to our neighborhood.  So yesterday we got to come home and were thrilled to find out that we had absolutely no damage here whatsoever.  Thank God.  I really didn't want to have to deal with flooding and shattered windows.  The storm was more like a very windy rainstorm.  At Jen & Jay's house we lost power when a tree fell and took out the power lines.  Thankfully, Jay has a generator and we were able to have power in certain places in the house.  

So now, I have experienced earthquakes, tornadoes and a hurricane.  I think a volcano eruption and tsunami are the only two I am missing, and I have to say I can totally do without them too!

I downloaded some new music the other day while I was playing on I-Tunes.  That is a dangerous little store.  I LOVE music and it looks so harmless to just click "buy" once you hear a clip of the song...a few months ago, I harmlessly clicked  bought my way to over $300 worth of music in one sitting.  You just don't realize how fast it adds up! I try to limit it to about 15 songs at a time now.   AH! The point...I was going to say before that little sidetrack that I bought some music that I am really loving.  I'm gonna list for you the songs I bought and the artists who sing them.  Check them out, especially if you like Country music.  I LOVE it and don't have a Country station on the radio here in NY.  BOOO!!

Pistol Annies is a side project by Country Artist Miranda Lambert and 2 other lovely ladies.  I am really liking what they're doing so far!

1) Boys from the South - Pistol Annies 
2) Hell on Heels - Pistol Annies
3) Bad Example - Pistol Annies
4) Gunpowder & Lead - Miranda Lambert
5) White Liar - Miranda Lambert
6) The House that Built Me - Miranda Lambert
7) I Don't Care - Darius Rucker feat. Brad Paisley
8) Remind Me - Brad Paisley feat. Carrie Underwood
9) That'll Make You Wanna Drink - Easton Corbin
10) I Can't Love You Back - Easton Corbin
11) Roll With It - Easton Corbin
12) A Little More Country Than That - Easton Corbin
13) Don't Get Me Started - Rhett Akins
14) Barefoot Bluejean Night - Jake Owen
15) If I Die Young - The Band Perry
16) Draggin' The River -Blake Shelton feat. Miranda Lambert

These are some great songs, some new, some old.  I am LOVING them and their addition to my I-Tunes library... 

Hope y'all are having a good week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A little M.I.A. this week

This week was pretty mundane overall, and I didn't have much to blog about.  This weekend is supposed to be quite the doozy, if you're listening to the weatherman.  

The entire eastern seaboard is bracing itself for Hurricane Irene.  I've never been in a hurricane, so I have no idea what to expect.  I have friends who have weathered this type of storm in the past, so I took their advice.  I filled my car with gas, got cash out of the ATM, went grocery shopping and filled the ice chest with ice in case we do lose power.  I also went with Tex yesterday and stocked up on beer, wine, & liquor.  I don't know if we will have to evacuate or not; I've been watching the news to try and find out.  Marc and I will evacuate if we have to, but are really hoping it doesn't come to that.  If evacuation happens to be the case, we have been offered a room at Tex's house.  So everyone cross your fingers and say a prayer for us way up here in the north east.  We'll be weathering the storm this weekend.  I charged my kindle so at least I'll have books at my disposal!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Tonight's dinner and other musings

Tonight for dinner, I just kinda looked in the fridge and started grabbing stuff.  I haven't been really grocery shopping in a little bit, so I used what we had in the house.  I came up with cajun rotini with blackened chicken & sauteed shallots with red & yellow bell peppers in a white wine dijon cream sauce.  It was delicious!!! 
First, I sliced the shallots, chopped a clove of garlic and sliced the bell peppers.  Then I sliced the chicken into long strips.  I tossed the chicken into a bowl with blackened seasoning so it would be well coated.  I heated some olive oil in a large skillet and added the chicken and veggies.  I squeezed the juice of one lemon over the mixture.  I cooked the chicken through and then used my tongs to put the meat & veggies into a separate bow.  With the skillet still over the heat, I added the white wine to my glass  deglaze the pan and then added the dijon mustard.  Once that was well mixed, I added some lemon zest, sour cream and salt.  I let the sauce simmer for a few minutes to thicken then tossed the meat & veggie mixture with the sauce and added the boiled pasta to the mix.  It was really delicious and just spicy enough.  I love cajun spices!!!  I wish I had taken a picture, but the description will have to be enough this time.

Yesterday, Marc and I hosted another BBQ in the monsoon rain.  Marc pulled the smoker off of the deck and under the canopy of the pine tree in our back yard.  It kept him a little drier than if he just stood out on the deck.  We made 4 racks of baby back ribs, 2 racks of country style ribs and a pork shoulder.  I also made deviled eggs with bacon, cole slaw and potato salad.  Tex came over and brought fresh homemade guacamole and spicy pepper infused vodka, which he proceeded to make a kick-ass spicy bloody mary with.  He muddled limes and cilantro to add to the bloody mary, and I have to say, I don't think I ever want another bloody mary without it!! It was SO good!! The spicy vodka mixed with the freshness of the cilantro made such a crisp flavor.  I'll definitely be stealing his recipe!

After the BBQ, Tex and I got online and bought a plane ticket for my best friend, Michelle (who will be Shell from here on out, 'cause that's what I call her!) to come see us in New York!  I can't wait; she's never been here.  She's also never been on a plane, but that's another story.  Shell is coming up to visit and go to Oktoberfest with us!! She has been my best friend since we were 10 years old.  I'm so excited that she's coming...I just wish October wasn't so far away!!!

I hope y'all have a good week ahead!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Husband!

Today is our 3rd wedding anniversary and my grandparent's 57th wedding anniversary!  Happy Anniversary, Grandpa & Grandma, you've been a great example for a long lasting marriage!  
Marc & me on our Mediterranean Cruise

Tonight, we're going to dinner at the Capital Grille in the Chrysler Building in Manhattan.  I can't wait!  We like to try out all of the nice steak houses in Manhattan and see which one we like best.  Last year, I was arriving back from Mexico on our Anniversary, so we just went to a local restaurant for Pasta night.  We're both really excited about dinner tonight, as we have heard great things about this particular restaurant and their menu sounded scrumptious!

This past weekend, we went out to Shoreham to see some friends Marc used to work with.  It was a very fun crew and the backyard is just beautiful! We had a great time catching up with  friends we hadn't seen in a while.  I fell in the pool while trying to just put my feet in the water.  It was hilarious, although I did nearly jerk my shoulder out of socket trying to catch myself.  I'm sure the look on my face was priceless.  Too bad no-one had their camera out at that particular moment, we could have been rich from America's Funniest Videos!  I've added the pictures we did get to take while hanging out.  It was a lot of fun and definitely needs to be repeated soon!!

Love how they labeled this; twinkies, ho-ho's and devil dogs.  Hilarious!

The back yard was gorgeous

Important things...Must have BAR!


The pool...and the spot I fell in!

Paul, Marc, Chris, & Matt

Matt, Gavin, Marc, Paul, Tom, John, Pat, Chris & Joe

Gina, Pat & John



Little flowers

Little flowers

Brian & Marc

Brian, Marc, John & Tom

Yankee fans!
I hope y'all had a splendid weekend and have a great week to come.  


Friday, August 5, 2011

Fundraiser & Road trip recap

This is going to be really long with lots and lots of pictures because
I didn't have a chance to update the blog while I was down south this past trip.  We had a lot going on, and I didn't want to take the time away from friends and family; I was having way too much fun!

Tex and I left NY on Tuesday morning and drove straight through 21 hours to my Mom's house in Arkansas.  That's the shortest amount of time I've ever made it driving to Arkansas!  We thought we would crash once we arrived, but both just napped for about an hour and were up for the rest of the day.  Tex was really excited that Mom's house has a big 'ole front porch and rocking chairs.

We sat outside and watched the sun set over the Ouachita Mountains and looked at the cows in the pasture. 

Beautiful rays from the sunset!

I LOVE watching the sun set off Momma's front porch, there aren't many places prettier than that!!

On Thursday, we went to Waldron to Tyson to pick up the chicken they donated for us, and then to Lake Ouachita later that day to see friends who were camped there.  

On Friday, we went to Hot Springs to get the rest of the groceries we would need for the fundraising dinner.  Mom, Tex, and I got everything we needed and headed back to Sims and Oden.  Then, my friends Priscilla and Dessie met Tex and me at the school cafeteria so we could start preparing the sauces we needed for Saturday.  We brought along our I-pods and got to work chopping onions, garlic & shallots to use in the sauces.

Tex & the chicken...All of the chicken!

Don't steal Pris' job!!

Me, about to check on the vodka sauce
We got up Saturday morning and went to the school to make all of the rest of the food.  We were expecting about 125 people to show up for the dinner, and we were pretty close on our guess.  We totally overestimated how much those 125 people would eat, however, and cooked enough food for about 300 people!!! I totally can cook for an army!  

Some of my very best friends came down to help us raise money for the scholarship, and this was a very successful venture.  I received a check in the mail today from one of my friends who was unable to attend and his donation put out total right at $6,000!!! 
me & Jimmy at the dinner.  He's one of my very favorite people in the whole world!

Tex and me...the cooks!
The great thing about having grown up in a small town is the true sense of community that doesn't exist in large towns or cities.  Everyone knew Justin down here and came out to visit and have some food with friends.  A few of the soldiers who served with Justin in the ARMY came down to Arkansas for the dinner as well.  We had guys from Wisconsin and Texas drive all the way to help us keep Justin's scholarship alive!  

One of the guys rode my step-dad John's harley ( a 1994 heritage softail classic) up to the school so people could check it out.  It is called the Soldier bike and has a completely custom paint job.  It has members of John's family that were in the military, and it's just amazing to see.  John's nephew, Jeremy Salyer, is the artist.  He's incredible!

We had a great time with everyone and are so grateful for the community's support of the Justin M. Estes Memorial Scholarship.  We had a great turnout and are definitely making this an annual event!  Best Buy had a crew of 10 people come out to help us serve food and work wherever needed.  They are also making a donation once the corporate office checks their hours off!! Isn't that awesome?!?

Troy & Nathan helping in the kitchen

Me telling Christian where to have the best buy crew work

The 10 best buy crew members plus their General Manager!

Jimmy removing the center of the door so the Soldier bike could come inside!

The Soldier Bike


The line for dinner!

More of the line for dinner

Enjoying the feast

Mom & Me handing out raffle prizes

More prizes

Paul won!

Calling the numbers

Handing out the prizes again

Jess won the picture I took in Turkey!

Derinda, Priscilla, Brandy, Dessie, me, & Michelle

Us girls again!! Wonderful times!

After the dinner, my friends came back to Mom's house to drink beer unwind and visit.  We had SO much fun together!! I love going home and seeing all of my friends.  I LOVE y'all so much!!!

On Sunday, Tex, Shell, and I went to Hot Springs to have dinner and go out for a while. We went to the Big Chill and then to Longshot's and had a great time. I have a couple of pics from there, but I can't get them to load from my phone.  Grrrrrr....

On Monday, Tex and I left Arkansas and headed for Kentucky.  We visited with my Dad & his wife, my sister, nephew, and sister's boyfriend.  We forgot to take the camera along and didn't get pictures.  We've gotta get better about that!  We arrived about 2:30 am on Tuesday and stayed the night.  

We left Kentucky Wednesday morning to head back to New York.  We had a great trip and made great friends and memories.  I can't wait until I get to move back down to Arkansas for good!!  We drove a total of 3,300 miles on the whole trip and would do it again in a heartbeat.  Best roadtrip ever!!!