Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Stickhorse Cowgirl V: Oh, The Places You'll Go!
OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
"Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away! Oh! The Places You'll Go!
...You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights."
I couldn't help but think of this wonderful book by the incomparable Dr. Seuss when I began writing this post. I spent many years working with preschool children in the classroom, so Dr. Seuss is a favorite! Being by nature a tentative (to put it mildly) person, I love the "safety" of home with my feet on solid ground! Of course I know that familiarity and routine implies a false notion of "safety". No one ever knows what lies ahead (and that is a blessing), but it's only my deep desire to see new places that compels me to climb aboard an airplane (clammy palms gripping the armrest), or to spend an entire week aboard a ship, feeling the immense power of the sea below us with no land in sight!!!! "C"'s photos pretty much tell the story of where we went and it was so wonderful to go far away to new places I've never been and to be waited on hand and foot! Oh, I could so get used to having "staff". The succulent pineapple and smorgasbord of fresh melons were part of a never-ending banquet which also featured rack of lamb, oxtail soup, salmon and fabulous desserts of course--even Baked Alaska! Although, I feasted to my heart's delight, I can honestly report that I actually still fit into the clothing I packed before we left! Yes, Dr. Seuss is right! There is fun to be done, fears to be conquered, adventures to be experienced!
Of all the places we visited, I enjoyed San Juan, Puerto Rico the most. The architecture was amazing and although an old city and certainly not the cleanest I've ever seen, it reeked of charm and history! I could spend a lot more time there, and the shopping was the best of everywhere we visited.
This trip was a much needed respite. My husband and I rarely travel. His job is of the self-employed variety in which no work equals no pay and someone just might steal your customer out from under your nose! Yes it IS a dog eat dog out there! He takes an occasional day off for an extended weekend hunting trip, but rarely ever more than a day. Our last "family" vacation was over ten years ago, and our kids are grown now and have left the nest. This trip made me realize more than ever that getting away is something that we really need to do. We need rest and relaxation for our own personal physical and mental health. From now on, even a weekend away from home can count as a mini-vacation! But I'm waiting for summer - glorious summer!!! The only downside of the trip was having to leave the perpetual summer of the Carribean and south Florida, to return to the cold, bleak winter at home. Fortunately the little snowstorm gave me a few days to rest up before returning to work last Friday.
Hope everyone had a wonderful St. Valentine's Day! I celebrated by making a yummy favorite dessert which is a classic, but so easy to prepare. Cherry Clafoutis! How perfect for this holiday of LOVE or just a great way to sweeten up dreary February! Here's the recipe from Tracy Porter of www.tracyporter.com
2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter + l T. to butter pan or dish
3 Cups fresh or frozen cherries, stemmed & pitted if fresh (sweet or tart)
1/2 Cup sugar + 3 Tbsp.
4 large eggs
1 Cup whole milk or cream
2 Tbsp. brandy
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 Cup all-purpose flour + 1 Tbsp.
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, or a cast iron pan of the same size. Mix cherries in 1 Tbsp. flour and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Lay cherries in pan.
Combine sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk,flour, brandy, nutmeg, salt, and butter in a bowl and whisk---or give it a whirl in your food processor until smooth. Pour batter over cherries in buttered pan.
Bake until golden & puffed up (center should be set), about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar or a scrumptious dollop of freshly whipped cream. Serve warm.
I discovered this luscious custard with cherries on Tracy Porter's website and you can even watch her make it on a little video! "C" and I both love Tracy Porter! She is a fabulous designer who sells the most wonderful fashions, jewelry, and home decor, but the best kept secrets for me are the wonderful little five minute videos--some of which demonstrate making something decorative which is not beyond my ability! Hope you'll check her website for ideas! Listen to her radio program on Toginet and you can win $250. in merchandise in her regular weekly contests! Even if you have champagne taste on a beer budget (like me), you can find amazing deals on her clearance page! Be sure to tell her you heard the news from the Stick Horse Cowgirls--we'd appreciate it! And, if you're wondering, no we do not have an "in" with Tracy Porter! In the spirit of St. Valentine's Day, and in solidarity with our many blogland friends, we are just all about "sharing the love"!!!<
Mid-sized city, Somewhere in the South!, United States
We are "C" and "V," two baby-boomers who have been through thick and thin--50+ years of best-friend togetherness.
C is a divorce attorney, separated from her husband of 40(!) years--at age 59 he ran off with a thirty-year-old-never-married-mother-of-two and has now fathered another--and we're not even divorced! A very hard time for C.
C has one grown son--no daughter-in-law or grandchildren yet! (Drat!)
V works in a community based instruction program in a public school, helping special-needs students learn life skills. Mother of three, grandmother of five!
For 50+ years we've laughed together, cried together, and we've learned a lot! We love, love, love writing and want to share with you! Please come share, too!
Check out our posts under the label "Stickhorses" for more, but suffice it to say that these cowgirls started their lives together riding stick horses. Stick horses have come to symbolize the power of dreams and imagination for C and V--besides, we love cowgirl spirit!
You and the mother of the man who done you wrong are going to raise chickens together? I love it. I hope you become international stars in the chicken-raising world, and when you (and his mother and your chickens) are famous, I hope he comes crawling back, pleading with you to take back his poor miserable, not-famous self. You go, girl!
Thank you, thank you, thank you! On to International Chicken Stardom!! C
YET ANOTHER STUPENDOUS COMMENT!
SimplyJoolz (see our blogroll for link) said these kind words about the travails of C:
I love this story -its like a well written novel. I can't wait until the part where C kicks the useless husband between his hanky and his small change pocket! Lol!
It's coming, Joolz! C
PS - thank you all for your comments. They so give me a lift--often just when I need it!
C's SINGLE AGAIN POWER
Below is a list of things I'm learning to do--wish I'd started years earlier! It feels so good to list my "Power Accomplishments" for you, and I'd love to hear about yours!
Replacing the back fireplace refractory panel. Who knew?
Jacking up the front porch with my new, red, hydraulic jack!!
Learning to shoot and getting my Conceal-and-Carry license! (Power rush!!)
Purchasing tires...all by myself!
Buying and installing (!) the lawn tractor battery! Again, not rocket science...
Putting a new end on a ruined looooong extension cord. One prong was missing, and we replaced the plug-in. (Who knew you could do this??) I feel so, well, powerful!
Cleaning Tractor Air Filter
Dealing with fire ants--boy, are those suckers tuff!
Gettin' that utility pole installed.
Ordering gravel (SB 2!)
Replacing hydraulic hoses
Learning about the lawn mower (engine stabilizer!).