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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lone Star Rally 2013 (Day 2)

Looks like the after match of Hurricane Raymond has done a number on Austin and surrounding areas. Throughout the night, my phone would notify me that we were in a Flood soon as mine would finish, Chuck's would go off.  I was too tired to even get up and turn the darn thing off.  Chuck finally got up around 3am and turned his off. 
The news reports upwards of 15" of rain in some areas. We on the other hand are dry. There are lots of water rescues all around us.

We delay leaving until around 10:30 and the sun we are seeing now is a bit deceiving. We will be heading towards what is left of the storm.

As we cross one of the rivers in San Marcus cars are parked on the sides of the bridges as people are getting a look at the raging water.

As we get out if the town there are several side roads closed due to the high waters.

I hate to day orbit!?????What????

We are traveling 183 and the skies are getting darker as we go. We sit and wait for one of those really long trains to pass in the town of Lulling. I have to say the trains always amaze me. 
As we sat and waited for the train to pass I get a text from Doreen saying she needs a potty stop. Well I have to say that was what her text said. Here is is and you can be the judge.

Chuck had seen a donut shop so we turn around and go back. The lady working there wasn't sure what was going on but we all purchased donuts and drinks and of course took advantage of the restroom as well. :)
Allen informs us that he has burned his frog togs again. Nothing like the smell of burned frog togs in the morning. Heck if he keeps this up he is going to have to resort to cutting them off and making shorts out of them....LOL 

When we get back on the bikes the sun is shining and it has really warmed up. We all agree we wont need our jackets and if the weather warrants we will stop and put them back on.
We ride for quite awhile before it starts to darken again. Chris says we have gone from the 90"s back into the low 70"s. I for one am cool. Not much further down the road the mist starts getting pretty thick so we pull to the side of the road and get out jackets. A little farther and the rain is really falling. I see a restaurant and we decide to eat some lunch and let the weather move on out. 

The little restaurant didn't have any customers when we drove up. Two of the waitress were sitting on the porch. I think they were waiting for us!

Snowflake Donuts!  GOOD!

We sit and eat some really good food.  The waitress was extremely attentive and have to say we had a good time.  As we finish and walk out, the skies have once again turned to sunshine.  It was time to get on down the road, so we get back on the bikes and head out. 

Our next stop is to gas up, and the mist is trying really hard to make us slow down again, but we actually headed south (I think) out of the station, and showed the rain gods we weren't interested in getting any wetter. 

Our ride into Galveston was very pleasant.  The overcast skies stay with us most of the day, but we are able to get there dry.  We make it to the hotel around 5pm, and get our rooms, and get unpacked.  We decide to go ahead and drive toward The Strand and see what is going on there. 

The vendors are all set up, but according to most of them, today was a wash out.  The rains finally let up late in the afternoon.  It was apparent they had gotten a lot of rain, as the tents were still dripping, and there were water puddles everywhere.  Glad we let the storms move on out! 

Dinner is at Fisherman's Wharf tonight.  We sit outside, and it is pretty nice.  They have a fan blowing on the guys, and they are a bit cool....but we are informed they can't turn them off.  Oh well, we make the best of it.  As we sit there, the guys have the side that looks out towards the water.  Chuck comments on the yacht that is sitting on the water by our deck.  It is the "Boardwalk".  Our waitress informs us that it is owned by the gentleman that owns this restaurant as well as the Willie G's next door.  Not only does he own those restaurants, he owns about any restaurant that has "fish" on its menu.  Plus the guys owns the Golden Nugget....

Thanks to our smart phones, Chris pulls up some information on this guy.  Sure enough, he is quite the Billionaire!!!!!  It cost 5 Million Dollars a year just for the upkeep on the yacht we are starring at.

He is here this evening with some of his management team having dinner.  Well, isn't that special!!!!  If you are interested in learning more.....Boardwalk Yacht

The food was really great.  The factoid was even better.  We had a great evening and it was time to walk back towards the bikes and go back to our hotel. 

Again it was a great day and we stayed Dry!!!!!  At this point in the trip, not sure how much more burning Allen's Frog Togs could have handled.  ;) 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lone Star Rally 2013 (Day 1)

We haven't even left and we have made some changes to our route. The rain gods are trying very hard to mess with us on this trip. Plans are now to go the westerly route. We will be taking 81 in Oklahoma and continue on 281 though the east side of the Texas Hill Country.  The tropical storm "Raymond" is the cause of the weather issues.

As we pull out we are wearing our rain suits. The temperature is really nice and is in the 70's. Our first stop will be Chickasha to meet up with the Darlings.  As we pull into the gas station it starts to sprinkle just a little.  It's looking like we are going to be getting wet, so we take a quicker route down the HE Bailey Turnpike.  

We breeze down the highway  hitting small pockets of sprinkles but nothing bad. We continue into Texas with the overcast grey skies. We actually have a few breaks in the clouds and see sunshine every once in awhile. 

We make it to Jacksboro around noon and we decide to grab some lunch.  Checking the Urbanspoon app, I find a place that has burgers....and we are hungry, so that is where we will be eating.  It is called "Herb's Hamburgers".
We stop at what appears to looks like a dive.
There is no place to sit order and then take your burger with you, or sit outside at one of the two picnic tables.  At least the weather is cooperating.  The burgers were really good.

We are ready to get moving again and as we get on the bike we start getting a few drops of rain.  Never really rained hard on us. Just mist every once in awhile.

We ride and dodge the rain drops all the way to Lampasas.  By that time it is time to stretch our legs.  The local DQ looks like a perfect place to do just that.

We get inside and Doreen notices Allen's rain suit has a hole on the one side of his leg. Looks like he and his muffler had a meeting and the Frog Togg lost.   He cleans off his muffler before the material has really baked on it.  We all got a good laugh out of it, and as if it has never happened to any of us before....RIGHT!!!!!!

Back on the bike we make our way towards Austin. We hit one area of pretty heavy rain but all in all it wasn't bad.

We get into the Austin evening traffic and are about to burn up. Rain suits and 100% humidity just don't mix while crawling at a snails pace  with 10,000 cars. Once we got moving again it wasn't that bad.
We make our final stop for the night in San Marcos. The lady at the desk tells us the heavy rains are due here at midnight.  
As we get ready to walk down the road to eat it starts sprinkling and we make a quick u turn and go back to our rooms. Pizza is ordered and we sit and watch the World Series for awhile. 
Not a bad ending to a great day of riding with friends. Time to sleep and see what we are in for tomorrow. Predictions are for 10" of rain. :(  Little did we know what we would wake to the next morning.  
Goodnight world

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hot time in the kitchen with Jalapeño Jelly

Is it a right of passage to want to make jelly?  I ask you this because, my sweet husband informed me yesterday while I was cooking up my FIRST batch of jelly I had ever made, that it was something "old" people do.

Now if that doesn't get you riled up, maybe slicing some jalapenos would!!!   I told him that if we grow stuff, and we don't want it to go to waste, we need to can it.  Of course, like I said above, I have never canned anything!!!

As a child I remember all the green beans, beets, chow-chow and many other things that my grandmother would "put up" every year and put in the cellar to use throughout the year.  It was a big deal to go down in the cellar and get a few quarts out and take back to the kitchen for her to spice up and fix for our family get together.  Now, on the other hand, I never in my life remember my mother doing this.....nope, she never did!

I think with all the Pinterest and Facebook post, it just makes a person want to go out on a limb and try something they have never tried before.  I even made ice box pickles last year....yep, and then last year for Christmas gifts, I made Vanilla.    I know, you think I am probably a domestic goddess, but I am hear to tell you, this is about as far as it will go.

My friend Diana, had an abundance of tomatoes this year.  She blanched them, and then put into freezer bags and put them away

.  I am sure this winter when she goes to make stew or something like that, she will be so glad she did this.

Back to the jalapenos.  I found the process to be really easy.  It wasn't long and I had those little green guys in a bath of sugar and cider vinegar.  They cooked for 10 minutes, and then the magic pectin was put in.  I followed the instructions to a T.

I had bought these cute little 4oz. mason jars, and I poured the mixture into them.  Never doing this canning thing before, I got a large cooking pot out and put water in it and got it boiling.  I placed my little jars in this water and boiled them for 10 minutes.  I loved hearing the jars pop ever so quietly in the boiling water.  As I removed them from the water they continued to "pop".  Guess I was successful at sealing them  :)

The jars of jelly are now doing sitting.....waiting......turning into jelly, I guess.  I hope!!!  Diana and I were texting later and I was telling her about my canning experience.  She asked if I tasted the jelly.....TASTE!!!!!  Heck, I forgot to even taste my creation.  This could be the worst jelly in the world.  Oh my gosh, what was I thinking, or not thinking.  Every cook taste their creations, don't they....well, maybe not!

This girl sure didn't.  Dang, what is wrong with me.  :)  If all this domestic goddess thing works out, and the jelly is edible, I am planning on making some for Christmas gifts....can't you see it....Little red bows on the cute little mason jars... a block of creme cheese, and a cute little box of crackers.  Now I am thinking that will be a special little gift...don't you!!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Break 2013

I was very excited to get to spend some much needed "grandparent" time with our favorite Grand Daughter Cooper this last week.  Seems her Fall Break and her moms are different weeks so I get to have an assistant with me for a few days.  I was hoping she wouldn't get bored at the store, and I am here to tell you, she didn't.

Cooper is a total joy to be with, and she got to do the normal things that I do know the to Starbucks and get the Batista to make the usual iced caramel coffee for me.  Cooper was a hot chocolate kinda girl, and Naomi made it to perfection for her. 

We went by Walmart and picked up some new markers and found a couple of projects to do as well.  We colored, and glued, and. It and created.  Today, Cooper also found out if you don't know how to do something, you just "google" it, and find someone that does.  We made a paper star!!!
OK, so that was day one....what's next?   

Thursday, we hit the door running.  It's McDonald's for breakfast, and then then bank....and yes, I brake for garage sales.  You can never start them too early, right?!!

I wish I could say we found some wonderful bargains, but we didn't.  Cooper tells me I can't stop at any "grandma" garage sales....they have to have kids stuff.  Before this demand was made I have to admit I found a cute glass pedestal and it came home with me. :)

I am really glad that the store was actually kind of quiet this week.  The slow down of business gave  Cooper and I time to play.  Cooper asked me to make a star out of paper the first day she was with me.  I "googled" it and by golly we cut out a star.  Day two, she requested paper dolls....of courses, we "googled" it and made that happen as well.  

Friday is our final day together, and Mayee and Kylee were coming to the store to play with Cooper.  Those girls really did play.  Maycee and Kylee had to make stars and paper dolls and color them.  The girls decided to play "school".  I remember as a child doing the same thing.  It was so refreshing to watch them play....not with IPads, or phones, or anything mechanical.  Only thing mechanical were their sweet brains, and they were in full gear.  I was the Principal, and Maycee being the oldest, was the Teacher.  Oh what fun they had.  It was a really nice and fun day.  The kids laughed and had so much fun.....and me, well, it was a very good day for me too!!!!

So glad my mom and Louie brought the girls (great grands)  to have a play date with Cooper.

I think we have had a really great three days together.  Pops and I are going to miss Cooper's sweet "good mornings".  The dogs are going to miss the belly rubs and sweet kisses.  What a wonderful child you are Cooper.  Your Pops and I are so very lucky to have you for a Grand Daughter.  We love you so very much and even more!!!! Can't wait till our next sleep over.

Thanks to our son and daughter in law for sharing her with us.  Love you all.