Monday, February 27, 2012

old homestead on the property circa 1900

The cabin was a little more primitive than we had anticipated...Just kidding!!

1840 log cabin
 This is the cabin and it was absolutely perfect in every way.  Will was...amazed into speechlessness!  I kept it a secret until we pulled up in front.  He says he'll never be able to fully trust me and I've assured him that I can't see me ever doing this kind of surprise, again.  Fun, but exhausting.  Plus, this quickly became our favorite place on earth so I figure we'll be back and with his full knowledge.  The entire place seemed custom made just for us.  Full of our favorite things.

complete relaxation
 Does it get any better than this?  Fire blazing, feet up, reading the good book.  Ahhhh... how wonderful it felt to be warm!  Funny how I have to go to a primitive log cabin to get warm.  The willow branch rockers were intensely comfortable and we spent hours relaxing in them. The cabin was built in the 1840's but a small addition on the backside contained all the modern amenities. Very nice kitchen and bathroom.  Central AC and heating. The bedroom was in a loft above the living room.  Down pillows and mattress pad.   

ye olde gate

It's very secluded on 40 acres of woods and up against a national forest.  At night, when you turn all the lights in the cabin off, walk a 360 around it- no lights to be seen, anywhere.  Do you know how rare that is?  The stars were brilliant.  My favorite element was the lock on the front gate!  The drive meandered back into the woods about 1/4th a mile.  We locked the gate when we went in and never unlocked it or left the property.  No interruptions or intrusions.  No possibility of interruptions or intrusions. No phone, no TV.  They had a nice CD player and we did listen to some music, occasionally. 

into the wild
There were Turkish robes by the back door for trips out to the hot tub.  Lost count of how many times we took a dip out there.  Sitting in perfect 102* water while the snow is flying...sublime.  At nights, the skies would clear and make me wish I knew more of the constellations.  They had a guest book on the coffee table and I got a good laugh out of several of the entries. The one about the extended tick inspection brought a chuckle.  But my favorite entry was by a self-proclaimed "cry-baby."  Her favorite author was Stephen King.  You see where this is going, don't you?  Her husband kept teasing her by saying, 'What was that?"  "Did you hear that?"  It would seem the cabin was too quiet, too isolated and too dark at night for her.  And she boldly said that no way was she going outside the cabin at night, "You guys are CRAZY!"  Funny how some folks feel safer around people and some folks feel safer away from people.  There's a story behind that, I'm sure.     

ye olde hot tub
   We had the best time of our lives- absolutely giddy.  I'm so glad we discovered this little log cabin in the woods- and so glad there are people willing to share it.

25 years of being married to the world's greatest guy.  life is good

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hey guys!

Just grabbing a couple minutes before Will gets home from dropping one of the boys off at work... I've been planning a romantic weekend away for the past few weeks.  And actually been keeping it a secret.  I know my family and friends are amazed at my newfound self-control.  I blab everything to Will.  Everything.  Can I just say that I won't be doing this again.  Of course, I have yet to see the expression on his face when I reveal my big secret.  I have the car and the cooler packed and told him when we would need to go and "pick up" our surprise.  I've rented an isolated cabin in French Lick, IN.  Ask me if I'm excited.  So excited that I've been miserable.  I've told the kids and they've had an easier time keeping it a secret than I have!  Will will be especially surprised as I've hardly spoken to him over the past week for fear that I'll spill the beans.  Poor baby.  I got his clothes packed without it coming out.  I've been following him around canceling his plans behind his back when he makes them.  Exhausting! Everyone's been very understanding and I think they enjoy being in on the surprise, too.  He has nearly stumbled over my secret a dozen times.  I'm traumatized, you guys!  More than ready for a little vacation! 

Made that table runner this week- still need to add the side borders.  "Tulip Bells"  And look at the malt ball!  Dark chocolate and huge!!  Quadruple coated and oh so yummy.  Gotta get!  Catch you up on the details of our "runaway" when I get back!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Mundane Monday and Seeing Red...

Sorry I've been missing in action.  I've been having technical difficulties and once I finally got all of that ironed out... well, you know me, didn't do the ironing... it's been a struggle to get back in the swing of things.

I worked on this redwork quilt for Valentine's Day.  No, I didn't finish it, but it was fun to play with, just the same.  The redwork is 24 blocks depicting a boy and a girl for each month.  At first, I was going to put them in order, but decided that the kids had a lot of fun trying to figure out which boy and girl belong together and to which month.  So, they are randomly spread out over the quilt.  I have the crazy blocks(stack the deck) all sewn up and put in and now I'm working on a wordy border.  I found a little ditty that describes each month of the year in one word.  January- snowy; February- flowy;  March will be blowy.  I'm not sure how I'll work them into the borders, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Paul's serving bowl of Shepherd's Stew- compared to John's more reasonable portion.  Shepherd's Stew= a thick venison stew with onions, english peas and carrots served over mashed potatoes.  Garlic drop biscuits on the side.
"She boils vegetables!"

My Mom-in-law was never known for her cooking efforts or skills.  It just wasn't her thing.  I don't recall her ever saying she disliked it.  But I do recall that everything was cooked at the highest heat attainable on a gas range and the oven was used as dish storage.  When Will and I married, she soon realized that I enjoyed cooking and did so on a regular basis.  I've never been into froo-frooery and so a fancy cook I'm not.  But I try real hard to make sure no one pushes away from the table hungry.  I think she was impressed with my skills because I soon heard her say, "Nina is such a good cook!  She boils vegetables!"  And if you knew my mother-in-law, you'd know that if she said something once, she said it a hundred times.  Upon her announcement of my stellar accomplishment of boiled vegetables, people would ohhh and ahhh... and give me the strangest looks.  It was awkward as I haven't any idea what they were thinking.  "How does boiling vegetables make her a good cook?"  "Is this some kind of family joke?"  After a couple years of this strange compliment, when it just didn't die away, I asked her to refrain, stating that she was easily pleased and other folks may not comprehend the depth of her affection for my "boiled vegetables."  Within a few more years, she felt brave enough to attempt boiling vegetables under my watchful tutelage.  Put potatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage wedges into a big pot.  Cover with water, sock the lid on and boil.  Salt and pepper to taste, add butter and voila!  Boiled vegetables!  Youda thought she'd created a culinary masterpiece!  "I always wondered how you made the soupy part!"  Yep, secret ingredient- water.  Kinda crucial when ya boil things.  And I will never forget how she treasured that "soupy part."  She would recycle that stuff for a week- boiling other vegetables, like green beans in it!  (But I'm proud to say I have never boiled a green bean- it's already quite dead and it seems just plain cruel to torture it further.  In WV, we cook our beans until they are "dry" with a little chopped onion and garlic and, if you're feeling froo-frooey, bacon grease.)

So, today, I boiled vegetables.  Made me smile and weepy all at the same time.  It was quite tasty- glad to know I haven't lost my gourmet touch!