Mother/Daughters Weekend

This year, instead of the Annual Longest Yard Sale trip, we decided we’d spend the weekend at the Hall Resort.  Located in beautiful downtown Atoka,  complete with pool and room service (if requested), this private full-service resort provides bed, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, individualized tours and, of course, a happy hour designed for each of its guests.

The Happy Three–CCQ Daughter’s, Jabber’s, and Racer Daughter’s special wine glasses, reserved for annual weekend get-togethers (above)

The Happy Trio (above)

                      Outdoor Tiki Bar on the covered patio

The two girls lounge around the pool

Covered patio with Tiki Bar

       A private tour was arranged for Sun Studios.

Above, a row of guitars used by famous singers–on the far left is one used by Johnny Cash.  To obtain his unique sound, Mr. Cash wrapped a dollar bill around the neck of the guitar, loosened the strings a bit, and developed his unique sound–similar to drums–for a ‘beat’ background to some of his songs.  Seems that drums were not allowed (at that time) on the stage at (I believe it was) the Grand Ole’ Opry.  The tour guide said, this is what is known as being ‘tight with a dollar bill.’

Inside the Recording Studio area, still used today

A photo of Elvis recording in the studio

A photo of the icons of Rock and Roll captured ‘jamming’ together in Sun Studio.

From Sun Studio, we ventured to the Blue Monkey, a mid-town (Memphis) eatery.

   

The weather forecast threatened storms, so we headed back to the Resort–where we found some evidence of high winds, but not much rain.  A relaxing evening was spent under the covered patio and watching fireworks!  Our hosts had thought of everything!  (There was a festival in Atoka that day and the culmination was fireworks which we could see from the pool area.)

We all had a grand time!  Wonderful resort, we’ll go again for sure.  (Thank you CCQ Daughter for the great weekend.)

Discovery

It was the third day that we’d been searching for Lincoln.  In the evenings, we’d been entertained at son and daughter-in-law’s house with dinner, been taken out to dinner, and visited some local sights–here are a few pictures:

Here is the main lobby of a large sporting goods store called “Scheels” in Springfield.

Outside the store are statues–took a picture of the two Grandsons on a statue of Abe Lincoln:

There is also a large, three-columned fish tank at the front of the store.

There is a large one of these on which to ride inside the store:

  So, of course, Son and one of the two Grandsons rode it:

One evening, Jabber got to see Grandson take his archery lesson.  He is impressive!

His instructor–a woman archery champion!–gives him pointers as he prepares to shoot.  He hit the bullseye several times!

  From a distance of 15 feet.  Grandson is 7 years old and already very good at archery.

Another evening, we dined here:

And it was here, I believe, that Thumper disclosed her love for four-cheese grilled cheese.  Only the one she ordered had six cheeses.  None-the-less, Thumper insisted it was delicious and had four cheeses:  one, two, three, four, three, four she counted.  We didn’t disagree.  She liked it!

  “Vinegar Hill’

One can see the Capitol in the background from “Vinegar Hill.”

Thumper walking towards the restaurant door.

The restaurant had interesting decor:

  

Old windows and chandeliers hanging over diners

After dinner, we walked the hall of the building–and who do you think I saw?

It was my old friend, once spotted at a yard sale in Springfield when I was up for a visit.  He’d found a home at a Pawn Shop!  And now he has a crown.  Suitable for the King, indeed.

Also in the adjacent display were:

 and 

and…..

Quite a menagerie!

Springfield has many artists, some who paint murals on buildings like this one in the parking lot:

The final day we went to the Lincoln Tomb.

Yes, we found Lincoln.

Or sort of…….

“Sort of” because the man and the myth have become so intertwined it is difficult for anyone to know exactly who he was.  A man of many moods, some brooding, some jovial.  He could be gentle and very caring as evidenced by his beautiful words, but he could also be determined–‘made of stone’ when it came to his belief that no man (or woman) should live in slavery.  Nothing would deter him–not even the deaths of 1 1/2 million Americans on both sides of the Civil War.  He was absolutely determined to emancipate the slaves and save the union of the United States of America.

Seeing his tomb was a solemn experience.  

The Search Continues

Not so bright and early, after a nice breakfast in our hotel, we set off to find Lincoln.  We arrived at the Lincoln Museum and spent 5 hours there, enjoying the various movies, plays and educational exhibits which were available.

This is the setting INSIDE the museum!  Yes, a replica of the White House along with some statues which represent President Lincoln and his family during his administration.

“Wait a minute!” Jabber interjected, “Who is that woman standing next to Lincoln?  She doesn’t look like a statue!”

Indeed.  She isn’t.  She’s me….errrrr….she’s YOU, Jabber.

Not to be outdone, Girlfriend had to stand next to the statues, too….

And, then, of course, Thumper had to just get up close and personal!

  Inquiring minds want to know…..

This enactment was extremely well done with holographic effects.  The ghosts seemed ‘real’ and told some of the reasons to study history, what it must have been like to be a soldier during the Civil War, and showing some of the more interesting aspects of the treasure-trove of memorabilia available for researchers.

We did locate some records about the Todd family (Lincoln’s wife), and later at another location, we found this:

Although there were statues and many pictures of Lincoln, he wasn’t here either.  So after a full day in the museum, we ventured across the street to tour the train station.  It housed and highlighted items from the movie, “Lincoln” in which Sally Field and Daniel Day Lewis starred a few years ago.

Springfield’s Lincoln museum is fascinating.  It’s definitely an important addition to history and truly makes Lincoln’s era come ‘alive.’  We recommend you go!

Looking for Lincoln

And…..we were off!

Girlfriend, Thumper and Jabber took off for the Land of Lincoln in search of…..Lincoln!

Springfield, Illinois is located smack-dab in the center of Illinois, so it was a day-long road trip to get to our destination.  Jabber’s son lives there.  First on the search was a trip through the Illinois State Capitol building.

  The Senate Chamber.  Not meeting today.

The building has recently (and is currently) undergone renovation.  This is where our current President worked prior to becoming the President of the United States.  Son pointed out his seat, in the back row.

Son explains some of the history of the building to the girls (above).

But….pretty soon…..

Thumper and Girlfriend took their seats–Presenting The Honorable Girlfriend and Honorable Thumper of the Illinois State Senate.

Thumper looks pretty comfortable in that seat, doesn’t she?

The ceilings were as gorgeous as the walls.

 One of the statues of former notable politicians in Illinois history.

Girlfriend and Thumper contemplate the history of Illinois, but they are in search of Lincoln!

Above, the outside of the building and the dome….inside the dome below.

This is the dome in the center of the Capitol building–it is magnificent!

Looking down from the second floor of the rotunda under the dome (above).

Girlfriend decided to google where Lincoln might be while Thumper has decided that, no, Lincoln definitely is not here.

 

We tried looking in the House of Representatives in the Capitol building, but no one was there, either.

To get to the building, Son had taken us underground, through the tunnels and Rathskeller–what an amazing walkway it was, too!

View of one side of the Illinois State Capitol Building.

We had a private, wonderfully educational tour of the building–but we didn’t find Lincoln!  Tomorrow we would search elsewhere.

Why did the chicken……..

“Another chicken joke?” Jabber asked in a tired manner, “didn’t those go out way back in the 80’s?”

No.   It’s a story Leader told the other day after class.  That happened to her.  About a chicken…..

Leader telling the story.

I’ll do my best to repeat it here:

Leader was at the end of a very long hallway at the YMCA, with her back to the longest portion of it when she saw a staff member she knew and said hello.  The staff member responded.  Then the staff member stopped and said, “A chicken just went into the men’s bathroom.”

Leader stopped what she was doing, looked straight ahead (again, not looking down the hallway) and said, “Do you realize what you just said to me?”

“Yes.  A chicken just went into the men’s bathroom.”

“Are you awake?” asked Leader.

“I tell you, A CHICKEN JUST WENT INTO THE MEN’S BATHROOM.”

Leader turned around but saw nothing.  The men’s bathroom door was closed, several feet down the hallway, so she walked in that direction.  A young pre-teen boy walked towards her and entered the men’s bathroom.  She waited.  Fairly soon, a senior gentleman emerged from the bathroom.

Leader stopped him and said, “Did you see a chicken in the bathroom?”

The man looked at Leader, slowly shook his head, and then rather quickly walked away from her.

She waited.

Soon, the young boy emerged.  He had a backpack on, she noted.  Stopping him briefly she asked, “Was there a chicken in the bathroom?”

He walked away after looking at her as though she had lost her mind.

She knocked on the door.  Nobody answered, so she peeked in.  No one was in there.  And no chicken.

People being people come up with explanations for sightings like this:  obviously the child must have had a remote controlled chicken.  Right?

Right?

Where does one get a remote controlled chicken?

I have no other explanation nor does Leader.

She can only imagine what the elderly gentleman is thinking.

Celebrating Good Friends, New Friends and The Fourth of July

Henri Peroit is celebrating the American Fourth of July even though he is French. Here he stands ready to greet the guests.

Waiting, waiting…..for the party to begin!

    

Coffee and dessert plates are ready, too.

China:  Royal Doulton 1992 Stanwyck; flowers are from Granddaughter’s wedding last weekend.

Jabber set the table in red, white and blue.  Girlfriend and her husband, “The Pro”,  had guests–The Pro’s brother and his wife, Mr. Winston and Mrs. Salem, had come for a visit.  A celebration was in order.

Mr. Winston chats with his new friends.

Mrs. Salem enjoys a visit with her new friends before dinner.

   “The Pro” (Girlfriend’s hubby)  who  exhibited his expertise in slicing the pork loins.

                                                               “The Pro” and TMWLH (on right)

Vanna’s hubby, “The Engineer”

What are we having you ask as well you may?  Well….

Before dinner, we had small tomatoes halved and topped with Lobster spread, Wesleyan cheese with mango and pineapple on Ritz crackers and drinks–wines, iced tea and lemonade.

For dinner, pork loin wrapped in bacon, marinated in a soy sauce/brown sugar and spices, slow-baked for 3 hours in a 300 degree oven;

potatoes au gratin (recipes below);

fresh green beans;

Fresh sliced beets–I loved how the color of the foods reflected the red, white and blue for the occasion.  Meat, tomatoes red; blue cheese crumbles and potatoes white; beets blue!

fresh greens topped with sliced fresh beets and bleu cheese crumbles

French baguettes; and a delicious dessert prepared by Girlfriend.  (White cake with strawberry and cream cheese frosting–yummy!)

We enjoyed our evening and getting to know our new friends, Mr. and Mrs. Winston-Salem.

Girlfriend and Sosew with the entire ‘male crew’ in the background!

                                               Mrs. Salem on left, Vanna on right.

We had a wonderful time!  This was a fun dinner party to put together with a theme.

Here are the recipes:

PORK LOIN

(from Facebook link)

3 pounds Pork Tenderloin cut into 4 pieces total

1 pound bacon

3/4 cups Soy sauce

1 TBL minced onions

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1 TBL white wine vinegar (or white vinegar)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 dash pepper (or a few grinds of the peppercorns)

3/4 cup brown sugar

Wrap tenderloin pieces in bacon all the way around.  Place in a large Pyrex glass baking dish or other large oven-proof container.  Poke holes in the meat with a fork.  Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl, whisk.  Pour marinade over the meat and refrigerate, uncovered, 2 to 3 hours or overnight.  (I marinated the meat for about 24 hours to allow the marinade to sink deeply into the meat.)

Take the entire pan, sauce and all, and place in a 300 degree oven for about 3 hours (you can check it after 2 hours, it may be done, but I baked it for 3 hours.)  If the bacon appears to be browning too much, cover with foil after 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  Remove from oven, allow to sit for about 20 minutes so the meat can soak up the juices in the pan.  Remove the meat and carve into thin slices.  This recipe will serve at least 12.

Potatoes Au Gratin

(www.onceuponachef.com)

This served all 9 of us, with plenty left over.

Grease a baking dish–I used a 9 X 11 Pyrex glass baking dish

Whisk 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper together.

Grate (I used a zester) about 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into a separate bowl.

Set both aside.

Peel about 3 large Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), and slice them very thin.  For this step, after peeling the potatoes, I cut them in half lengthwise and put through the food processor slicing disk.  Made this step go much faster!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange some of the potato slices, edges overlapping, in a single layer on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese over the potatoes and pour 1/4 of the cream mixture over the top.  Repeat forming 4 layers.  Pour any leftover cream over the top.

NOTE:  If you make this ahead and place, (covered) in the refrigerator, the top layer of potatoes will turn brown (overnight).  I did this, so I was not as pleased with the appearance of the potatoes when I placed them in oven, but it had no effect at all on the taste–and after they were baked, they looked a bit browner than they might have, but they were just fine.  This dish takes a while to make and assemble, so if you have other foods to prepare, making it ahead of time seems prudent.

Bake in the 350 degree oven uncovered for about an hour.  The potatoes should be fork-tender when pierced with a knife, and golden brown on top.  Let the dish settle and cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Granddaughter’s Wedding at Terian Farms

The beautiful couple, Amber and Eric Martin

Best friend of bride, Bridesmaid Jessica, and Mother of the Bride, my beautiful Jenny.

Grand Entrance into the Reception!

Maid of Honor and Sister of the Bride, Ashley

Niece of the Bride and Flower Girl, Kylee

Father of the Bride waits for the ceremony to begin.

  Centerpieces were lovely!

  

  

  

Bride with her Daddy dancing.

Sister, Mother and Niece of the Bride

Aunt and Uncle of the Bride (Jessica and Andrew)

Uncle and Aunt of the Bride, Toby and Mandy

Buffet table

Buffet table at opposite end

Cousins of the Bride

Cousin of the Bride

The weather was perfect–cool and clear–the Bride and Groom were simply lovely. The wedding and reception were elegant and the food was delicious. What a wonderful event. Congratulations and best wishes to the happy couple. I love you.

Wedding Weekend!

For lovely Granddaughter Amber and her handsome groom, Eric.

Rehearsal dinner was Friday night at Stoney River in Nashville–what a beautiful event that was!  Here are some photos:

The beautiful bride (left) and her equally beautiful mother, my Jenny.

The handsome Groom, Eric.

The Groom’s parents, hosts for the evening, Dan and Barbara.

Bridesmaid and one of the bride’s best friends, Jessica and her husband Adam.

A great photo of the groom, fourth from left; his brother-in-law and two sisters (bridesmaids) are to his left and his groomsmen are to his right.

TMWLH converses with Maid of Honor, Ashley’s boyfriend, Lucas.

The flower girl, Kylee, with her mother and Maid of Honor (and sister of the bride), Ashley.

The Bride’s paternal Grandmother, Cathy.

Bride’s maternal Grandfather and his wife, Alice.

Table decorations.

And the meal?  Oh my goodness!  I did not get any photos of the food presentations and I regret it.  Not only visually delectable, but also delicious.

Starters:  whiskey shrimp on country toast; vine-ripened tomato and mozzarella salad

Entrees (choice):  filet mignon, Oscar style; Scottish salmon, lime chicken

Sides:  au gratin potatoes, haricot verts, burgundy button mushrooms

Dessert platter:  white chocolate cheesecake and chocolate fudge cake

A wonderful event at the start of the wedding celebrations.

A Hunting We Did Go….

“A Hunting We Did Go, A Hunting We Did Go, Hi HO the Merry-O, A Hunting We Did Go!” Jabberwocky happily reminisced about all the fun things we saw today.  “Not to mention the treasures we got, too!” Jabber said, but she didn’t mention.

So I will….

Yes, Weeders–it was Saturday and two of our favorite community sales were held today.  We had to decide which one to choose…..it is always a difficult decision.  But since Sosew lived in one community, we decided to go there first.  Besides, she agreed to come with us if we would pick her up.  So we did.

Girlfriend found an area rug for under $10 (I don’t recall the exact amount); Thumper found a fun sign which said, “Kiss The Cat” and while I can’t explain exactly why anybodies would want to do such a thing, she knew.  (Thumper being a Bunny of the highest quality generally knows about these things.)

SOSew found two pairs of Coach tennis shoes which Jabber REALLY wanted, but they didn’t fit Jabber.  They did fit Sosew….Jabber still hasn’t gotten over it.  They were so cute!  Vanna found a Chico’s shirt which she promptly put on.

What?

Oh yes, she HAD on a shirt before, but she liked the new one so much she just changed shirts.  The reason, she said, was that her first shirt was sleeveless and she wanted to cover up her ‘wings’.  I informed her that we ALL had ‘wings’ and we should really be proud of them as they showed we were angels.   Somehow this didn’t seem to make Vanna any more pleased.  The shirt did, however.

Cupcake was in a bossy mood today, too, telling everyone that she, and only she, would sit in the back seat.  She planted her water container there in the holder and got quite miffed if anyone else tried to take her spot.  Cupcake found some books which looked unread (but how does one KNOW they were unread I ask you) and some lovely pillows on which to lie while reading said books, unread or not.

And Jabber!  Well, Jabber found some wonderful treasures which began with:

Yes, Weeders, a gen-u-ine silver birdcage on a stand!  For $5.  It’s perfect in the mint garden.

“You don’t HAVE a bird!” Jabber declared, “but on the other hand, it looks big enough for TMWLH…if he could get through the tiny little door.”

Ignore Jabber.  That was meant as a Joke, Jabber.  We all know that a dog house is what a man is placed in should he misbehave.  I don’t have one of those, but I DO have a kennel….

But I digress….

What did you ask?  Oh….

Well, yes, it’s a mint garden.  I do have some pots with herbs scattered in there, but the mint has taken over and I’ve let it, so I just call it my mint garden.  Got a problem with that?  If you do, then YOU come pull up all that excess mint.  Besides, it does make a nice flavoring for iced tea.  When I think of it….

But I digress!

More about our travels:

We stopped at a house where we’d had great finds last year.  This year the sale was for the benefit of Happy Tails, a no-kill animal shelter.  And for the Brownies, too, evidently.  At this sale, the Brownies were selling cookies:

Aren’t they a cute bunch of little Brownies? (No, no!  The Brownies were not available for adoption–the animals at Happy Tails were available for adoption.  PAY ATTENTION!)

And guess what?  Cupcake was a Brownie and said her goal at that age was to grow up to be a Girl Scout!  Girlfriend, when she saw this photo, said, “Well!  You’d think she’d have BEEN a Girl Scout by now!”  But no, she is a Cupcake instead.

Yep, there is Cupcake still wanting to be a Brownie or a Girl Scout or something……

The Brownies were taking contributions for Happy Tails, selling cookies, and handing out goodie bags (for free!) for shoppers’ DOGS!  Poppy was so thrilled when I came home and told her I’d found some things for her.

  This bag contained six treats such as:

         

And then, Jabber found some other treasures including:

These were $2 total.  Two weeks ago, Jabber found another few of these, and then last week one glass, and this week four more.  It seems that people all decide to dispose of their old items–the SAME items–at about the same time.  Perfectly lovely summer glasses for fun.  And Jabber just loves to have fun.  And pretty things.  And to drink wine….   Well, yes, that too.

Three panels @ $10.  New.

Let me explain–Houdini made a portion of the drapes disappear in the office.

This she did a couple of months ago, whilst teething, by eating off one corner and the weight in said corner of said drapery.  Since then, the drapes have been gathered up and held above Houdini’s mouth grasp, but they really needed replacing.  (And I suppose I shouldn’t tell you how Houdini does her magic tricks, but in this case, we figured it out.)

We retired to Sosew’s for a lovely cup of coffee and bagels.

“What do you mean you ‘retired’?” Jabber  indignantly stated, “You retired YEARS ago!”

Yes, yes.  I did.  What I meant was, Sosew hosted a little gathering at her house.  We’d all had ENOUGH treasure hunting for the day.  Besides, we’d already had to do a drop off earlier at Sosew’s as we’d filled up the van after only ONE BLOCK of shopping.  It was also very hot by  10:30 or so and getting warmer.

At the gathering, right in the middle of our very deep conversations about washing machines, Thumper put her hands up in the air, making circles with them as she is wont to do, and interrupted us for a word from our sponsor with a commercial.  Thumper is wonderful at impromptu commercials.  As we all know.  And which I DID get on video.  However, I regret to inform you that my very life has been threatened should I post such videos on this blog, so I won’t.

However, I will say that after everyone got home, we received this photo and a message which said, “This is what I was talking about!” via smartphone from Thumper:

Bridal Shower

Here is the future bride, my Granddaughter:

Amber is a lovely young woman, our eldest Granddaughter, who is presently a teacher.  He’s a lovely young man, too, and we are so happy for both of them.

Ashley, her sister, is the maid of honor and threw a bridal shower this past weekend at my house–so I have lots of photos.

We had hoped to have the shower outside, but instead we had showers and held it inside.

Some of the guests:

        

Some of the lovely gifts:

    

    

  Kylee is Amber’s niece and will be the flower girl in the wedding.

The food and decorations:  (this was a 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon bridal shower)

Menu:  chicken salad sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls; chips, celery with Buffalo Chicken dip; crackers and cheeses; petit        fours and wedding dress cookies; Mimosas, tea, and ginger Ale.

      

        

Games:

1.  Groups of 5 dressed one member in a ‘wedding dress’ made out of tissue paper.

2.  Each guest received one of each:  mustache glued onto a popsicle stick and lips glued onto a popsicle stick.  These represented the bride and groom.  The Maid of Honor had previously asked the bride and groom the same questions, but separately.  She read the question out loud to the group along with ONE of the answers.  Each person voted whether the bride or the groom had given that answer.  Example:  How many children do you wish to have?  The answer read was ‘two’.  If the guest thought the bride had given that answer, the guest held up the lips to her mouth.  The guest who made the most correct responses won.  (I didn’t get a photo of the lips and mustaches, but they were quite cute and very clever!)

(Ashley was in charge of decorations and the games.  She also planned the menu.  CCQ Daughter and yours truly did most of the food preparation.)

Here is the group photo:  (I took the photo, so not in it)

(And as Murphy’s Law would have it, the rain stopped right when the party was getting over!)

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