Monday, October 31, 2011

Pot Roast, Pinot & Pumpkins! It's Fall :)

I am LOVING the fall weather we are having.  Well, Saturday it seemed more like winter...but it's back to fall now :)

Sunday I made my mother's pot roast in the crock pot.  I do this every year when fall finally arrives.  Granted, I make it many times throughout the fall and winter...but my mother's pot roast being made is what "officially" kicks off the change of seasons in my house.

(this is not a picture of my actual pot roast.  i was too hungry to stop to take any photos!)

Now, YOUR mother may make her pot roast the same way, but this is MY mother's recipe.  Understand?  Good :)

T's Mother's Pot Roast Recipe

1 large beef chuck roast roast
8 medium new potatoes
12 carrots, peeled and cut
1 can Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup
1 pack of Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Place the roast in a 6 quart crock pot, after browning the meat on the stove.  Wash carrots & potatoes, peel and cut the carrots and place them all around the roast in the crock pot.  Pour the Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup over the top of the roast, and then sprinkle the Lipton Onion Soup Mix over the soup.  Add 1 cup of water.  Turn crock pot on Low setting for 8 hours.

I've gotten out of my regular cooking regimen, and I'm really missing it.  So, this week I plan to catch up.  Tonight TEN's uncle from Phoenix is coming to town, and we will be having supper with him.  We're going to Shula's, and more than likely I'll have this:

(Shula's Jumbo Crab Cakes)


(Shula's Filet)

I'm leaning towards the crab cakes though, because another night this week we will be dining at The Outback in support of a local school (thanks mrs.mfc). 

Where I'm more than likely to have this:

(Victoria's Center Cut Filet)

Back at the ranch.....that leaves 3 additional nights for cooking!!

I've purchased everything I need, and am really looking forward to fires in the fireplace while enjoying wine and trying some new recipes.  TEN just got back from a week out of town for work, and I'm leaving Saturday for a week in Boston.  I'm taking this week for myself to just "catch up", in general :)

What are your favorite things to cook, eat or do to celebrate the arrival of fall?  Or, are you in morning?  I used to be in mourning, but somewhere along the way....I really fell in love....with Fall!


Topless or Not Topless? That Was The Question....

Halloween didn't quite turn out as planned for me.  Or for TEN. 

Remember that I said I was going to be be the Chiquita Banana girl? 

And TEN was going to be this Mexican of sorts?

Well, my costume arrived Friday.  I found it on my neighbor's porch for some reason, but was pleased it had arrived in time.  I ripped open the box, and pulled out the skirt.  It was fabulous!  The basket for my head...awesome.  The maracas...100% authentic.  The shirt....


Seriously.  No shirt.  Great.  I almost cried, but I didn't.  I told myself I really didn't care about Halloween anyway.  I'm too old to care.  I would just go to the party as T.  So there!

Saturday morning TEN and I went to a few places to find some extra accessories for his Mexican costume.  Along the way we found a witch's hat.  And a plastic cauldron.  I've never been a witch before.  And so....

(me & Marilyn Monroe...witchy women)

The funniest part is that I had everything in my closet that I needed for my costume.  Even these:

And this wig:

Along the way, TEN found another costume.  He's saving the Mexican until I can get my Chiquita Banana gig together.

(Witch w/a cauldron for purse & Mr. Luck)

Even Louis' Halloween costume had a bit of an issue.  This year TEN insisted that Louis be something "manly".  You may remember that last year Louis was this girl bumble bee:

Personally, I liked the girl costume better than the boy costume. 

This year TEN picked Louis' costume.  We ordered a Small, but apparently Louis is an extra small.  I had to break out the needle & thread.  It was the best I could do, and he wouldn't let me snap a photo with his ears on, but....

(Yoda I am)

I giggled the whole way to day care today.  I hope he wins :)

Happy Halloween friends!  I hope your Halloween has more treats than tricks.


Friday, October 28, 2011


I like this quote.  A lot.  I think that so many of us attempt to judge ourselves by the measurements of others. 

Perhaps that is why we are so often disappointed?

I saw this on Facebook yesterday, and it made me smile.  Sometimes the simplest of statements are the most genius.  Wouldn't you agree?

So here's to being yourself!  To excelling at what you do best.  To kicking up your heels and going for it :) 

If anyone has something snarky to say, it's probably just because they're jealous.

Have a lovely weekend! 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hola! Mi nombre es T. ¿Cómo estás?

TEN was going to be a Mexican Tequila Ranch Hand Farmer El Rodeo Server such thing for Halloween last year.  As it turns out, that didn't happen.  So, he's decided he will be that this year.  I don't really have a photo of his costume, but it's something along the lines of this:

Truth be told, neither of us have been very excited about Halloween this year.  Every year it's a big to do, starting months prior.  This year I've had way too many truly important things going on to worry about a Halloween costume :(

It really wouldn't bother me one bit if TEN and I skipped the Halloween Party this year.  It's been the same old thing, with the same old people, for the last 5 years.  I'm kindove over it. 

BUT...we're going. 

So, I needed to be something...and I really didn't care what that something was.  The forecast is now calling for rain, and so I have ordered the following "plastic" costume to wear out Saturday night:

Yes, I realize that this is more of a Spanish/Latin Dancer costume than a Mexican Tequila Ranch Hand Farmer El Rodeo Server type thing like TEN.  But it's plastic.  And there is a headpiece with grapes and bananas and oranges and such on it.  I've secretly always wanted to wear a basket of fruit on my head ;) 

So, there you have it.  I've also purchased the maracas.  Because what good is the costume without those?

What are you going to be for Halloween this year?  Are you excited?  Am I just getting old because I'm NOT excited about Halloween this year?



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Westie Wednesday

I've been sleeping on the couch, and setting my alarm for every two hours, so that I can poke Louis to make sure he is still alive. 

No, I'm not crazy!  I just thought we may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.  Yes, I do have a carbon monoxide alarm.

TEN and I each bought one after we watched a program about a husband who killed his wife by carbon monoxide poisoning.  It was totally intentional, and I trust TEN and all, but I still bought one.  Just in case.

Anyway, I was laying on the couch after grocery shopping and started to have a horrible headache.  Look here at what Wikipedia says about the side effects of carbon monoxide poisoning:

Symptoms of mild acute poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, headaches, vertigo, and flu-like effects; larger exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart, and even death.

My headache kept getting worse, and then I went down to the basement to do some laundry.  I smelled the most horrible "gas-like" smell.  I have an ANCIENT oil furnace, and immediately became convinced that the pilot light must be out and the oil fumes were what I was smelling. 

(this is not my furnace, but mine looks about the same.  my basement, on the other hand, is much cleaner :)

I became convinced that Louis and I were being POISONED!  Look here at what Wikipedia says about where carbon monoxide poisoning originates:

It is often produced in domestic or industrial settings by older motor vehicles and other gasoline-powered tools, heaters, and cooking equipment.

Alas, the pilot light was burning.

Then I thought I was crazy.

And so, I took Louis and we went outside. 

BUT headache got better!  And he started perking up!

I came back in and tested the carbon monoxide alarm.  It appeared to be working.  I then turned every single ceiling fan on high.  I turned the heather completely off, and put on winter PJ's and heavy socks.  I bundled Louis up in a blanket, and I set my alarm for every 2 hours.

You see, TEN is out of town.  He is the only person I would have confessed my crazy to without being embarrassed.  And so...I decided that by waking up every 2 hours I would be able to keep Louis and I safe IF we really were being poisoned.  Somehow it seemed like a really good plan.

And it may have been?

Both Louis and I are still alive, I'm happy to report :)  I've not turned the heat back on in the house, but now the fans are off.  Louis has lots of extra blankets to snuggle with if he gets chilled while I'm at work, and the heating/air person is coming to check out the situation for me. 

So that's what has been going on in Louis' life this week.  He's been poked and prodded, on a regular basis, by his crazy mummy.  He's gone to day care to get him out of the house as much as possible.  I've had my thread and needle out, trying to take in his Halloween costume.  It ALMOST fits him.  And...he's got a new friend.

Oh.  Did I not mention that?  Here, have a look at the new pup in Louis' life...

Westie Licks,

T & Louis

Monday, October 24, 2011

And Then There Were More

Because one should never publish a post until everyone has had a chance to upload their weekend photos to Facebook, here are a few more :)

(the entrance foyer of the plantation house)

(the dining room)

(the library)

(who says only The Royals can do it?)


And Then They Were One

Saturday afternoon we all boarded a chartered bus, wedding gifts in hand, to travel to a very old plantation on the James River.  

An hour later we realized that we were in the absolute middle of nowhere....but it was totally worth it :)

(the gift TEN & I gave the grooms)

(TEN and I waiting for the ceremony to begin)

(the grooms - reading their vows)

(the place settings)

(wedding favor)

**NOW....Because I hate Blogger with a passion, but really want to show you these photos, I'm going to do a grouping of sideways pictures.  Please turn your head to the right........

(the grooms coming out of the plantation house)

(the grooms at the alter) to the left please....

(TEN and I after the ceremony)

Excellent.  Thank you :)

We danced into the night, and met so many lovely people.  One of the grooms works as a fashion forecaster for menswear, and he travels to Milan and Paris regularly.  Some of his friends from Europe made the trip for the wedding, and meeting them was a treat.  The NYC fashion crowd was there, dressed from head to toe in black, and then there were their "Virginia friends".  We were decked out in plaid, bright colors, etc.  Because really...that IS how we do down South, don't you know?

Another lovely wedding weekend behind us, and now it's time to get down to business!!

The Annual Halloween Party is THIS Saturday, and I still haven't got a costume.  I have no idea what I want to be, and I'm about to start panicking.

Ideas?  Anyone? 

Let's discuss....


Friday, October 21, 2011

And Then There Was Chanel....

Last night Marilyn Monroe and I went to a benefit for pups & kitties. 

It was called "Purses for Paws", and the idea is that when a family member is in hospice care their pets often become a burden for caregivers :(  This wonderful fundraiser helped generate the money needed to assure that these pets are able to stay with their owners until the end, AND that the pets also have their needs met.  It also helps to find new homes for the pets once their beloved owners have passed away. 

Although hospice and death are not pleasant things to dwell on, the energy last night was all very positive.  Pet lovers and purse lovers alike came to support the cause :) 

Most of the auction items were purses, but there were a few other prizes as well!  Like this pearl necklace, from a local jeweler, that "Lucas" is modeling:

The purse I really wanted was part of the live auction, rather than the silent auction. 

I had my paddle, and was determined to win it. 

And win I did! 

My very first Chanel bag, and I am so very excited!!  I know that I will treasure this bag for years to come, and I will never forget the good cause that purchasing it helped to support.

Thank you, Marilyn Monroe, for wanting to go with me to Purses for Paws :)  Every time I carry "her" I will be reminded of our evening, and having to use your paddle to win because mine was covered in Cab Sauv :-o  hehehe....

Louis was very pleased that we went to support the pups, and he thinks my new bag is nice.  Not nearly as nice as his chewy stick, of course, but nice enough.