Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Dinner That Wasn't

This weeks goal is to try and use some of the food from our freezer - no need to purchase food when there is yummy stuff in the freezer waiting to be turned into dinner. SO... Monday was chicken ravioli with pesto sauce thanks to Tom. (very tastey) Tuesday was my turn. I decided on Crab Cakes with a sauce i concocted out of plain yogert, dijion mustard, white wine and dill. All leftovers or things we just had on hand. I added some butter, reisling, garlic and old bay seasoning to the frozen soup and preheated the oven. While the oven was heating I put some cloths away and watched some TV, thinking my timing was excellent as Tom was on his way over for dinner. *sniff* *sniff* What is that smell? The oven doesn't usually smell... I looked at the oven and realized there was smoke in my kitchen. But why?? Maybe I accidently turned on a burner and melted something? That seems to be where the smoke is coming from, the back of the stove. Nope, nothing. Stove is off, nothing is melting, flaming or otherwise burning.Theres nothing in the oven. Or is there? I opened the oven door and smoke billowed out. Just a word of wisdom - it is good practice to remove things like pans with drippings from the oven prior to preheating the oven. It was nasty smelling and the kitchen was cloudy. At this point I decided I could either get angry or I could see the humor. So, chuckling, I called Tom and sugested that maybe he would like to take his lovely wife to be out for dinner :)

We decided to try a sushi place just down the street -

Soft Shell Crab Roll

Taco Mexicano Roll

Always a favorite, but this was extra good

I was a little disappointed about dinner, but I did manage to make Tuesday's dinner tonight (Wednesday) and it worked out ok. The dijion sauce turned out really well. And since sushi is proabably my favorite food ever, I can't complain that I had to wait a day to serve my meal.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Meet Joe the Beagle

Tom and I decided that our house, yard and hearts are big enough to include a dog. We decided to adopt a 12 and a half year old Beagle named Joe. We thought about changing his name, but decided that at 12 + years he should probably be allowed to keep his name. Joe has been a wonderful addition to our family. He is well behaved, never makes messes or jumps on people or furniture. Initally we thought that his old joints would not let him climb stairs and gave him trouble getting out of the car. It seems though that hes a bit of a manipulater as he can't get out of the car when we want to leave him at home BUT is perfectly capable of going up and down stairs if he wants something or someone. We are very glad that Joe is a part of our family.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Years

I would love to tell you all that I am so excited to blog about New Years, and I am. But in reality what i am doing is procrastinating the days goal of painting the downstairs bathroom and hallway to the garage. There’s just so many tiny corners!! I've been off most of the week, so on Monday I painted the upstairs bathroom. Its a pretty blue color that coordinates well with my warm brown Longaberger baskets (shhhh... don't tell Tom that i actually took my baskets into Lowes with me and stood there making sure our paint selection was the best color to coordinate with my baskets. I also wouldn't mention that the paint people were highly amused by my baskets. He'll role his eyes at me and probably shake his head too!) Tuesday was my first day at my new job and after lots of paperwork and a chat with my new boss I have decided that i think this job will be ok. That said, i actually have a cubical. A cubical!! I’ve always had an office (even if it was a shared one) or worked out of my car. I’m an office drone! Actually I’m not, I’ll be spending a lot of time out of the office doing visits with participants (that’s what my new clients are called, “participants”). Anyway, enough random speak of paint, baskets and new jobs…

Tom and I were able to spend a long weekend with my parents in Arthur over new years. Mom and I did a lot of wedding planning, a lot of revamping things we thought were set in stone. Over Christmas the topic of wedding came up at Grandma’s house and it was nice to hear other perspectives and ideas. We are very much a talking, discussing, planning family. Many big life events/decissions (or little ones) are brought to family and discussed or reviewed. This often takes place at grandma's kitchen table late in the evening. That said, the unspoken rule is, after you have been given a fair opportunity to share your thoughts, you are expected to not come back days or weeks later with a new view or thought you didn't share earlier :) The discussing is not open forever! So over New Years we took some of those ideas and re considered a few things about the wedding.

On New Years day Tom consented to be the chef and we had our 2nd annuel post Christmas fried rice dinner at Glen and Sue's. It all started last year when dad gave Uncle Glen a sample of Tom's fried rice. Later that weekend we decided to make fried rice for Glen, Sue, Todd and Shelby. That became a much larger group by the time it was all said and done - and a tradition appears to have developed. This year Brian came over to the house to have a fried rice lesson. Tom thinks nothing of making fried rice, but because we did not grow up with the ingrediants or style of cooking its a bit of a novelty. Plus, its really good!!

the cooking lesson begins

chicken fried rice - Tom says he never used chicken in fried rice before we specifically requested it last year. This year he marinated the chicken in some Tom Style concoction - it was really tasty

My Personal Chef  ;)

We had so much rice, we put it into crockpots - 3 really big ones
By the time it was done, we had 56 cups of cooked rice (before the meat and veggies were added)
There were leftovers, but not as many as you might think

Shrimp fried rice

I always think the eggs look like the difficult part

Our menu turned out to be quite eclectic - there was plenty of fried rice - chicken, shrimp and cabbage bacon (my favorite!) There was also apple and pecan pie with dad's homemade ice cream. Yummi!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Christmas 2009

We had a quiet Christmas this year; I worked on Christmas Eve and Tom came to the hospital and ate Christmas Eve dinner with me in the cafateria. Christmas day we spend relaxing at our house and Christmas evening i worked for a few hours. We did head to Nappanee for a day trip Sunday to spend some time with my family. As usual, we were not bored...

Getting packed up to leave - Joe decided that he A: wants to go to grandma's too B: is planning on driving
Best part was it took FOREVER to get him out of the car. He kept acting like he couldn't manage it.
Our thinking was that since he doesn't go upstairs or downstairs, his old joints must not do steps... More on that later!

Pulling into grandma's, looks like everyone is here!

The boys decided to see how high they could stack the boxes

They did manage to get it above the fan blades

"Think its gonna fall?"

This is a pic of them taking down the tower, it actually fell as i snaped the pic, their catching those boxes as the fell. Note the pile of boxes on the couch

Playing games

laptop time!

Just hangin out

(Phil is demonstrating proper technique learned from growing up with 7 siblings)

Mom's Pretty Christmas Socks
Every year i buy her the ugliest christmas sockes i can find and every year she wears them!

Chistmas Buddy!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Changes and a New Year

Hi Everyone! Its been far to long since we have blogged, so I thought I had better give everyone a quick update. I (Dori) can't seem to manage the card reader for photos tonight, so i'll show you the detail of Christmas and New Years in another post. At the momment we are in Illinois enjoying "Christmas" with my parents. I started a job PRN (as needed) job at a local hospital in November, so i spent much of the actually Chistmas holiday/weekend on call or working in the ER. We did manages to squeeze in a day trip to Grandma's house in Nappanee over Chirstmas weekend, which as great.

Its been an emotional week. On Christmas Eve I received a job offer from an insurance company and although its not a job that I would have chosen a few years ago, after much thought and consideration I did accept the position and on monday I resigned from my current position as a consultant for long term care facilities. It was much harder to write my resignation than i ever thought it would be. As a social worker, I have always considered my job to be much more than just a way to earn money. I loved being a consultant and two years ago when i started the job was a great fit. I loved the travel and the constant change and even the chaotic schedule. I love being the person who has the skills and ability to access a situation and then fix the system so that it functions properly. I love being the person who puts out the fire. However, in the last year my life has seen a lot of change. All of it good! But change none the less. Tom has always been supportive of my career and very understanding of my travel, after hours phone calls and last minute schedule changes. However over the last several months it was becoming more and more clear that I am the one who was not OK with the commitment my job takes. As I thought about leaving the job that i always wanted and have loved every minute of for the past two years I realized that its not just the resignation that brings emotion, but the changes in my lifestyle that have brougth the resignation about. My fiance, house and furchildren need me (or at least, they really like when i'm around :) But in reality I am realizing just how much I enjoy the stability that they offer and the life that is promised within the walls of that house and the circle of what has become our tiny family. This is not to say that this transition does not come without complications and frustrations. Blending our different backgrounds and cultures is sometimes automatic and easy, but then at times it is suprisingly difficult. There have been a few times that we have just not been on the same page. Sometimes getting on the same page again means finding a compromise. Other times it means changing an outlook, mindset, perception or lifestyle. Those are a bit harder to figure out. But we do figure it out, because its vital and so worth it.

So thats whats going on in my life and in my head these days. Chistmas blog with pictures to come...