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.)

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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.

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