Friday, November 28

the thanksgiving challenge

It was our turn to spend Thanksgiving with Brian's parents this year. The problem? Brian's dad was having knee replacement surgery the Monday before Thanksgiving and was scheduled to come home on Thanksgiving day (everything went fine, by the way). Obviously, he was not going to be able to travel and Brian's mom was not going to have time to cook.

Brian's brilliant idea was to make hamburgers or something on the grill and have that for our Thanksgiving dinner. I upped the ante and proposed cooking dinner at our house and transporting it to theirs. That said, I didn't get too fancy with the meal. I figured the logistics were enough of a challenge. I normally don't get very fancy with Thanksgiving, anyway. There are things people expect to eat on that day, so that's what I make.

Since it was just the five of us, I didn't have to make an enormous amount of food. I prepped what I could on Wednesday night and made the rest of the stuff on Thursday. We didn't go there till suppertime so that helped with the cooking since I had all day to do it.

I packed everything up and off we went. Brian had a great idea to put the mashed potatoes in a slow cooker. Everything else, I just wrapped in foil. I put the hot stuff in the oven at 200 when we got there, so it would stay hot while I made the vegetables and the gravy and Brian carved the bird. I have to say dinner turned out pretty good. I made a pecan pie for dessert. I'm not much for nuts, but even I liked it.

There were just enough leftovers for us all to have another meal so at least we don't have to spend the weekend coming up with creative ways to eat turkey.

Tuesday, November 25


Here are the "before" pictures from our renovation project, for those of you who didn't get to see the mess of a building we bought.

Sunday, November 23

office tour

For those of you who missed the open house, here is a tour of the office.


As if I didn't have enough stuff to do this weekend, we bottled two batches of wine last night. One was called "Pacific Quartet" and it was a white wine blend (on the sweeter side). I thought it was pretty good. And the other was the chocolate raspberry port. It was quite good, too. I don't know how much of it I could drink because it's really sweet, but I bet it would be good with dessert (cheesecake, maybe?). It almost makes me want to serve a multi-course meal with different wines for each course. Any takers?

Saturday, November 22


I got my Costco fix today, so now we're all stocked up. I probably have enough meat in the house for the next four months (it doesn't hurt that I already had a half of a side of beef in the freezer). This time, I dragged Brian and Jacob with me so that I could load up two carts! Brian had to replenish the office supplies anyway so he was needed for the trip either way.

I've been wanting to go there the past few weekends, but we were too busy working at the office. While I probably could have put my time to better use today, I also did not want to go after Thanksgiving when all of the holiday shoppers are out. So, that left today. They were pretty crowded, too. I think my next trip will be on a weekday, but it probably won't be till spring.

open house

Metal lettering for Prime Design Solutions

Last night, Prime Design Solutions held an open house to celebrate the completion of the major interior renovations. Colleagues, friends, relatives, and clients were in attendance. We had a pretty good turnout, but I wasn't sure how many people to expect, so we have a lot of leftovers. No surprise there, because I always buy too much food. But, no one can ever accuse me of not having enough food!

Everyone seemed to have a good time and a few folks even stayed after "closing time". I'd call the party a success. This marks the end of our breakneck speed to finish the interior renovations. Thank goodness. We're going to take a couple week break and resume activities there in December. There are still a few things to wrap up (mostly closet and trim-related). But, at least we won't have to go there three days a week anymore. We are so far behind with things at our house, it will be nice to concentrate on it for a while.

Sunday, November 16

one more week

This is our final big week for remodeling the office. The "grand opening" is this Friday, so we're going to be busy the next few days, but after that, we'll be going there much less often. That will be nice. Goodness knows we have been neglecting the house all year.

We have all of the major stuff done at the office, now we're left with little things like trim and whatnot. Obviously, whatever we can get done before Friday is a bonus, but I'm ok with the way things are right now. I am looking forward to getting a break from that place, though.

Friday, November 14

iron man

We rented this one for family movie night. I always want to like the big-screen versions of the comic book superhero story (Batman, Spiderman, the Hulk), but I never do. This movie was the exception. What a great film! It was very entertaining, that was for sure. The funny thing is that I thought Robert Downey Jr. was an odd pick for this part, but he was absolutely perfect. The special effects were, of course, amazing. I'm looking forward to the sequel already.

Three thumbs up!

Sunday, November 9

lucky number slevin

This was a really good movie. We both enjoyed it very much. I don't want to say anything about the plot because that would give everything away. It was of the suspense variety, though. And it had a nice twist at the end. I always like a movie with a nice twist. It featured an all-star cast: Josh Hartnett, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, and Lucy Liu. It was definitely one of the better movies we have watched this year.

Tuesday, November 4

oh, snap

We spent our weekend the usual way--working at the building. I'm down to all crap work now like painting in closets. I found some more things to touch up in the kitchen, but that counts as crap work, too. Brian installed most of the floor last weekend. I did my part by acting as the human clamp (I stood on the planks so they wouldn't move while he was installing). We would have gotten done had we not run out of material. We have one small strip that has to be done before the cabinet installation and the closet area as well. The small strip is probably going to end up being filled with some floor scraps we have because we need to install the cabinets next weekend. I had to order some more flooring and who knows when it will be in (it's on backorder from the manufacturer). Normally, we overestimate our materials, but since the flooring spanned three rooms, I guess we should have given ourselves a larger margin of error. I'll have to remember that for next time.

Saturday, November 1


Yesterday was Halloween and, not coincidentally, trick or treat night here in Upper Yoder Township. Jake went as a Death Eater from the Harry Potter books. He looked pretty cool (here's a pic from his school Halloween Parade. hint: he's the scary looking one). We had close to 60 kids, which seems to be the average. The weather was pretty decent, too (especially considering that we had snow earlier in the week). Brian took Jake around, along with the neighbors, while I stayed home and passed out the candy. I got a little chilly sitting on the porch, but Brian said it was nice if you were moving around. Jake also went trick or treating at Brian's parent's last weekend, so we have enough candy around here to last till next Halloween.