Today was amazing.
(Tangent – I was just sitting outside and you know how beautiful doves ‘coo’ when they’re sitting? When they’re flying not so much. Lol. It’s like this … Um … Squawk asthma croaky thing.)
After laundry, I woke my son and we met my parents at a local casino for brunch.
I’m stickin’ with the no cow or pig diet. (Yes, I cheated … I was CRAVING meat whilst it was ‘that time of the month’ and regretted it VERY soon after. My body HATED having red meat in it. And told me so. Crazy that I was used to it.)
Here’s some more fun pics.
Nic trying his first snail …
He actually ended up liking it.
My desserts …
And yeah, I ate every single bite lol!
My mum and me. I swear, she looks younger than ME in this photo! I guess I have good genes and should be very grateful!!!
Fun with … I dunno. I’m so ‘app’ lost!!!! I don’t have a cell phone. I don’t know if this is face swap or face thingy or whatever. But, I do know I love this pic. 🙂
Me and my crab!!! I HAVE given up red meat and pork – but not seafood yet. I can’t. I love it. And as long as it has LIVED and has a fighting chance in the ocean, I’m ok with the capture. Not like factory farming. 😦
My bird and I.
My beautiful mum and I. Saying ‘bye for now’ on the way to the garage where this awaited …
PLUS! Vegan shampoo and conditioner – and some beautiful heartfelt cards.
And here’s the whole family.
We had a lot of fun today.
Then Nic and I went grocery shopping and I paused in my head and thought ‘this is amazing. We’re going home with groceries and just spent time with people we love’.
So, yeah. I don’t take things for granted. I spent my birthday wearing my grand mother’s ring and loving my mum and loving my son and a thank you hug to my dad …
Life needs to be appreciated EVERY day!
I’m just glad to be alive at 47.
And NEVER going to lie about my age. It’s a miracle. EVERY SINGLE YEAR!
I’m so glad each of you were born and HAPPY HAPPY Birthday to YOU!
Regardless if it’s your birthday or not, you have one, and I’m glad of it!
It was so lovely and quiet here this morning – and my laundry lady is back!
Then other patrons started filing in. Now there’s a hum and buzz and a chatter.
I did at least have a few moments alone with my laundry lady – able to ask about her health and tell her I had missed her. She said in her absence, (she’d been filling in for other people due to a shortage in staff) that she had told the people working her usual Sunday to be sure to have coffee made for me.
How sweet is that?
Yesterday I was extremely busy. Ended up going to bed at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night exhausted. The only thing I didn’t get accomplished? My room and bath of course.
The rest of the house is spotless and the fridge is full.
I actually teared up at one point. I had put all the groceries away and in between cleaning, I was also cooking.
Then it dawned on me.
Where am I going to fit these finished dishes???
And it was such a “1st world problem” and such a wonderful puzzle – because I knew with my whole heart what that meant.
I had a bounty. I was blessed with amazing food and a home in which to cook it. I didn’t even mind cleaning. Because that meant I had a shelter.
This morning I sure am feeling the labor of yesterday though. Tired and aching. In a good way.
When I’m finished here – I’ll be going home to pack. I’m house sitting today and tonight, which means my bedroom and bath won’t get done again, but I will get some time with my parent’s cats and of course, the pup Meesha.
Guess that also means I won’t be attending the Oscars 😉 I’ll just leave my ball gown on the hanger and send my apologies to the academy.
Happy Sunday everyone! Hope your fridges are full and your hearts are peaceful.
I’ve not had time to cook – and need to be in the mood. We’ve been eating crap. I’m not going to lie. Ready made meals for the men of the house, and as for me? I eat when I’m hungry only and will participate in anything that is available.
So I downloaded a recipe or two and was determined to make them!
Eggplant Lasagna – which I’ve never made, but have enjoyed. And, I knew I had to make some quiches again.
3 day weekend – perfect time to do this!
Oh, and as for the fan girling – that has everything to do with the Force Friday – the Force Awakens released some toys, and if you’re any kind of consistent follower of mine, you know I’m a total action figure/collectible nerd and was eager to see what was out!
George Lucas was quoted as saying he made movies he wanted to watch.
I remember pretending to be the Princess on the primary school playground.
I had the original action figures – (where, oh WHERE are they now?!)
It fed my fantasy mind.
When Empire Strikes Back came out, I squealed in the theater. I did the same for the next 4 movies – regardless of their merit. I. Love. Star Wars.
End of story.
So, today, we went and checked out the toys! I couldn’t buy any, but SO wanted Luke. (We have to assume there’s a flashback, because he’s young in this action figure AND there’s one of Darth!)
(Yeah, you can see they were pretty much sold out – but there’s Luke. 😦 I wanted him to come home with me.)
In the second photo from the top, you can see the figure gripping my finger. I think it wanted to come home with me too. 😉
OK. So after fan girling out, we went to the 99 cent store.
This is where I vent.
I paid freaking $3.00 per piece for the eggplants I needed at Safeway. When we were in the 99 cent store, guess what I stumbled upon??
We left with a 10 pound bag of potatoes for 99 cents by the way.
I’m definitely shopping there first for produce from now on!
OK! So the domestic Goddess part.
I made the infamous $6.00 eggplant lasagna.
Which, was more labor intensive than I thought – but SO worth it. Delicious!!!!
Was also the first time I worked with Ricotta cheese, and it was fun!
Then I did the quiches.
The men of the house are dubious about the eggplant, but loopy over the quiche – which is good.
It’s so nice to have fresh, homemade food in the house. Having an extra day off was a definite motivator to be in the domestic mood today.
If they don’t cotton to the eggplant lasagna, I’m fine with that. It’s mine! ALL MINE! Muah-ha-ha!!!!!!!!
I did make them take a bite though, and they both liked it.
Wishing all of you a happy weekend – and … may the force be with you!
I could have sworn Monday was the 30th – so when I spotted gummy eyeballs in a store I had to have them. (This is going somewhere.) I figured I would put my little pumpkin/ghost bowl out a few days early in anticipation of October. I love October! By Halloween we desert residents find the need for a light cardigan at night and sometimes even long pants! My favorite Seasons in the desert are Autumn and Winter.
So out came the bowl –
Dark, I know – but he likes it that way. We all know I have a fondness for gummy eyeballs – I’m reminded of this photo – can’t recall the post.
It wasn’t until Saturday that I realized I was ahead of myself by more than a few days … as my son pointed out ‘Now our house is like Wal-Mart’ – Not true! ! I have no Christmas decorations up yet!
Funny thing is, I awoke to being tagged in this photo on my Facebook account by a friend – they know me – they really do.
Saturday was also Facebook food day.
Ever see a recipe someone posts on their wall and think – ‘hmmm, that looks good, I should try that’ and then never do? Yeah, me too.
Saturday however, I made these.
I actually pulled it off! If you’re one of those people that makes a hot meal in the morning for your family (i am not one of those people) then I’m giving this two thumbs up and recommending you try it.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees – pop a slice of ham in a muffin pan – crack an egg right into the ‘ham cup’ add whatever tidbits please you – I just used red onion, sharp cheddar, salt and pepper. then cook for 15 minutes. Ta-da!
I was dubious about how the egg would end up being cooked, so I scrambled a couple. I prefered the whole egg ones. I’d describe them as over medium. SO good.
Then it was off to my moms for lunch. She had lured me in with promises of hors d’oeuvres, smoked salmon and goat cheese salad AND dessert. Not much gets me out of the house on a Saturday – but seeing my mom, eating and getting to watch a movie she recorded and said was hilarious had me heading out the door.
The salad was … EXQUISITE! Everything complimented everything else on the plate, it was hard not to get a perfect bite on every forkful.
Heres another Facebook recipe that had shown up. Turned out to be a lovely memory for my mom and I, as she would make baked apples when I was little.
Also, it was fun playing with the little pastry cage. She put hers on her dog’s head and I imitated Hannibal Lecter by putting mine over my mouth. Yes, playing with your food is acceptable.
I was stuffed.
Oh and the movie? ‘Big Ass Spider’ which WAS hilarious thanks to Jose the Security guy and the protagonist the Bug guy.
Mostly because of Jose. He delivered lines that literally had me laughing out loud for all the right reasons – considering it was a SyFy movie. You know what I mean – Sharknado is fun to watch, but none of us watched it for the acting.
The scene in the morgue had me in stitches – no pun intended.
So make a Facebook food – watch Big Ass Spider and put out your Halloween knick knacks if you want to! Life is short! In the meantime, I’m working on a controversial piece that is requiring lots of research – so the musings will be a little more serious next weekend.
We met very near the chandeliers we had joked about. I had just given my car over to valet and entered the Paris Las Vegas when there she was. My best friend.
Timing couldn’t have been better, and given the sea of people, nothing short of a miracle that we found each other at all.
Rewind to Christmas.
Santa brought me a cold/flu of some sort. Wasn’t that nice? I got through the day, and kept a smile on my face – but the day afterwards, I stayed in bed.
I never do that.
Crawl onto the couch when I’m feeling under the weather – yes. Stay in bed all day? Nope.
I had no choice. My head felt like I had angry bees with sledge hammers in it. Someone must have also sneaked Rice Crispies into my sinuses and ears.
I was SO determined not to miss my lunch date on Friday that I let my fever run. (We have fevers for a reason no? The body’s way of fighting whatever has invaded our body?) I hydrated and coughed and even had that sexy gravely voice. Joking aside, I haven’t felt that rotten in years, and I was starting to fear I would miss seeing my friend for our annual get together.
I had posted my status on Facebook – to which my friend’s mom commented: Don’t get Lisa sick!
That made me smile – such a mom thing to say – and if my fever hadn’t broken, I would not have taken the chance of doing just that.
But break it did!
I still felt about 40% of my usual self, but excitement cloaked my lack of physical energy with a mental enthusiasm.
Off to Vegas I went.
The red roped entrance to the only way you can get to the restaurant is manned by a very well dressed secret service looking gentleman – with an earpiece and shiny badge.
Lisa advised we had reservations and we were escorted to the elevator.
It wasn’t until the doors closed and we began our ascent, that Lisa joked “I hope you’re not afraid of heights.”
But I was still cloaked in excitement – and impervious to such phobias in that moment.
The elevator stopped – doors opened and …
“Are we on the right floor?”
We were. This is the first thing you see!
Lisa and I are huge chef/food fans. If they had said we could sit in the kitchen, I’m sure we both would have leapt at the chance.
But then we would have missed the amazing table we were seated at.
The very right side corner in the top of the above picture was to be our spot.
The bottom photo shows an advertisement for the restaurant – which, also happens to be our table.
Best seat in the house.
Directly across from the Bellagio fountains.
We were brought menus that weren’t read for a while – too much to talk about!
But hunger won out. We decided to start with appetizers, well, an appetizer and an entree that we decided would also be an appetizer.
Our drinks arrived first – I had the most amazing concoction … Cucumber Lemonade.
Who thought that up? I’m glad they did.
Bread and then a tiny vessel (I’m sure it has a proper name) of cauliflower puree with rice cracker seed ‘balls’ was placed in front of us.
It was like cauliflower pudding. Cold and adorable and delicious!
The appetizers followed – Cold Foie Gras Torchon (Duck prosciutto, fig compote, Brioche) and an Assortment of French Cheese (with Walnut Raisin Bread and Apricot Chutney.)
I was leery of the fig compote – I’m not a fig fan. But I was absolutely going to try everything! I’m SO glad I did. It was incredible!
(Lisa made me eat my micro greens too.)
More chatting – catching up … the staff kept coming by but I wasn’t letting the food go. I know neither of us wanted to rush the time together, but I also didn’t want to rush the culinary experience! I was determined to savor each bite.
Eventually we let them take the plates (not without me asking for the remains to be placed in a box that would come with me.)
I had the Baked Crepes. Filled with Artichokes, Roasted Tomato Coulis and Basil.
Lisa ordered the Aged Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Potato Gratin and Vegetables shared the plate with that.
Every bite was delicious – and yes, I made it over to Lisa’s plate too.
There was nothing to box from the entrees. Plates were cleaned.
More chatting – and the fountains had started doing their fountainy thing.
You can imagine, there was so much to look at and so much to talk about – but we did eventually get around to dessert.
The Creme Brulee and Triple Chocolate Cake with Creme Fraiche.
The cake was deceiving – it looked like fudge! Seemed as if it would be dense, but our forks slipped right through and how they made all that chocolate so light and airy had to be some molecular gastronomy trick.
I had been escorted to the bathroom earlier (Yes, it was ‘that’ kind of fancy – “Pardon me, where are your bathrooms?” “May I show you?” Why yes, yes you may.) and told Lisa we had to go back before we left.
So after reluctantly prying ourselves away from the table – we went to freshen up and of course, take some photos.
We took ‘selfies’ to a new level at the fancy vanity.
Oh, and the top left was while we were waiting for our table, and the top right was taken by our very sweet bus boy.
We definitely needed to walk some of that lunch off – so we almost made it to the elevator when I remembered my cardigan was on the back of my chair. Retrieved that and past the kitchen we went – glancing longingly at the behind the scenes action – then down the Eiffel Tower into the belly of the Casino.
We walked outside for a bit – then back inside to explore Paris.
It was getting late in the afternoon – I live in a different time zone and knew I still had to navigate the Vegas roads to find my way to a Freeway I was familiar with before the sun got any lower in the sky.
(That’s a whole other post – Vegas drivers are bonkers! I was shaking at one point – with people taking the 75 mph signs as a minimum, not a limit. Barreling down on me, as I squinted at upcoming signs to watch for my exit – which, I missed. I learned a) I’m pretty sure I need glasses and b) If I ever do win the lottery, I’m hiring a driver for long trips on scary fast roads!)
Tangent over – let’s get to the difficult part.
Goodbyes are hard.
Lisa stood with me in Valet – and for some time after I had my car and was trying to merge into the exit lane. This became comical as she stood beside my car on the sidewalk as cycle after cycle of green/red lights afforded me only inches of movement.
I finally turned onto the strip and looked over my shoulder to see her in the crowd – but could not.
Giant sigh – sad heart.
We talk almost everyday – she knows everything there is to know about me. The good the bad – and the things we only ever tell one person. And considering how willing to share I am, you know those things are deep and very private.
She makes me laugh, she knows my likes and dislikes, my hopes and dreams – and she encourages them or brings me back to reality – depending on the situation.
And yet, I only get to see her once a year.
And I was not going to let a fever take this day away.
I feel a little silly – my eyes watering while I type those words. I just miss her you know?
I miss my friend.
And I’m so glad I got to share such an amazing experience with her.
So until next year – I love you Lisa. And thank you for crossing one of my bucket list items off.