On the road again…just can’t wait to get on the road again

June 5, 2014 § 8 Comments

Hey folks…for the last year, we’ve been living in two different places.  I (Libby) has been in Eugene, Oregon, and Dave has been in Texas.  It has been tough.  We tried to make it work, but we missed each other (yup…we’ve been married a bunch of years, and we still love each other hugely).  Dave tried to find work in Oregon, but discovered that no one is hiring space station simulator engineers….imagine that.  Meanwhile, I wrestled with a very cool job, but missed my husband, and I missed human spaceflight.  There’s nothing like launching people into space for giving one a sense of perspective.  While I loved Eugene, I kept wondering about that huge bigger-than-myself-goal.  It just wasn’t there. That’s not to say that Eugene isn’t the BEST PLACE EVER, because I love it here.  Truly.   I probably shouldn’t even say that, because now everyone will move to Eugene, and it will turn into Chicago or something, which would be terrible (Chicago is cool, so calm down, all my friends from Evanston…it’s just not Eugene).

So, bottom line:  I’m moving back to Texas.  I asked Dave to come and get me, and he (such a sweetie-pie), is driving out to Eugene to help me with the transition.  He and I will load up a truck and a car with stuff and dogs, and then begin the week-long journey back to Texas.  I’ll never be through with this place.  Eugene is lovely, and I’ll be returning.  Actually, I’ll be back in July, and later in the fall…probably next spring, too.

Deviled ham spread: A favorite with “menfolk”

January 8, 2014 § 10 Comments

Last weekend, I found a vintage cookbook from the 1970’s.  It’s from a Junior League in Alabama, and the recipes are marvelous.  It’s fun seeing what people ate back then, but I especially like the regional and family names for recipes…concoctions like “Carol’s Confetti French Dressing,” and “Aunt Mary’s Whiskey Cake” make me think about my own family traditions.  I can’t wait to try “Vera’s Blizzard Balls,” which turns out to be ordinary dinner rolls…still, with a cool name like that, don’t you think there’s a really fabulous story in there somewhere?  Speaking of balls, there are also “Brickle Balls,”  “Fruity Balls,” and “Aunt Cissy’s Balls.”

In the Appetizer section, along with such offerings as “Crabmeat Mould” (mould spelled with a “u” just to make it extra special) and “Brantley’s Crabmeat Spread”  I happened upon a recipe with canned deviled ham as an ingredient.  Canned deviled ham is what Dave and I keep in the pantry for camping trips, or when we’re starving, or when we run out of catfood (yes, Underwood canned deviled ham is really that awful).  It’s very salty and pretty blah.  It’s what you eat when there literally is nothing else in the house.  At all.

Since we actually have a couple of cans of deviled ham leftover from our camping trip to Oregon, I thought I’d try making the “Deviled Ham Spread” from my vintage cookbook.   I made some modifications, adding extra seasoning mostly.  With my changes, this stuff is pretty good…actually, more than pretty good; I really liked it.  It would be great for an appetizer at a party.  Even though it starts out with off the shelf ingredient basic like canned deviled ham, it’s actually delicious…just don’t tell your guests what’s in it.

Also, just to let you know, according to my cookbook, this is a “favorite with the menfolk,” but I liked it too, being a girl and all.

Ham spread from the 1970’s: For menfolk

1 4.25-ounce can Underwood deviled ham spread (or 1/2 cup of liverwurst)

8-ounces cream cheese, softened

1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place all ingredients in a bowl, and use a fork to mix well.  Serve to menfolk with crackers or sliced vegetables.  If you use liverwurst, act like it’s a secret ingredient, and your Aunt Cissy (the one with “the balls”) will disown you for giving away the recipe.

On the hunt for mid-century modern

September 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

My sister and I are big thrifters, especially when it comes to mid-century architectural furniture.  We’re always on the lookout for Danish-modern pieces from the 1960’s, and the Pacific coast is our hunting ground.

If you’re bothered by profanity or a lack of enthusiasm for contemporary Christianity, read no further, because this post is likely to offend you.

I’ve been looking for a desk for Dave.  Requirements are mid-century, teak, and something that can be closed to hide the bills and paperwork.  I found something new here in Oregon, but thought the price was a little high.  The following exchange is between me and my sister Kristin, and I apologize for our lack of respectfulness (I’m green, she’s blue).

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We moved…to Oregon!

July 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hello, and sorry for having been away for such a long time.  The reason for our silence is that we moved…to Oregon.  If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you’ve probably figured this out already.  Libby’s taken an assignment in Eugene, and Dave’s gone along for the ride.  Our trip was half a continent, and it was quite a ride.

Map

When you’re traveling with really big dogs, you can’t stay in a regular hotel.  Hotels, motels, and even the cheesiest establishments refuse to let you stay there (even the places that are supposedly “dog-friendly” set a weight limit on your pet’s size, and don’t even TRY to sneak in three HUGE dogs, and act like they weigh less than 35-pounds each).  So, we decided to get to Oregon via camping.  For our three huge dogs, this seemed like the most practical way to get from Point A (Houston, Texas) to Point B (Eugene, Oregon).

About a month prior to our trip, Libby mapped our route, and made reservations at the KOA campgrounds along the way.  KOA is Kampgrounds of America, and they are fabulous, by the way.  We figured it would be a 4-day expedition to travel from Texas to Oregon.  About 8 days prior to our Estimated Time of Arrival, Dave was able to get an additional day off from his employer.  So, we decided to leave one day earlier…this entailed a few hours on the internet for Libby to reschedule the KOA reservations for the trip, moving everything one day back to allow us to leave a day earlier than planned.

Our new, albeit slightly revised, itinerary had us leaving Texas at the end of June.  Dave had his Mercedes SUV filled with two dogs (Addie and Doodle), and he was pulling a trailer packed with possessions that we figured to be necessary.  Meanwhile, in a separate vehicle, Libby packed one dog (Otis) and a cat (Alexander…Chief-the-DIY-cat  didn’t come because he’d passed away several weeks prior).

With the exception of navigating a 3-hour traffic jam leaving Houston, our first day passed without incident.

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In Huntsville, Texas, we passed this HUGE statue of Sam Houston.  Texans love Sam Houston, and this statue is a beautiful rendition of him.  You can’t miss Sam, unless you’re driving with your eyes closed or something.

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The animals were mostly well-behaved, especially Otis.  Usually afraid of riding in the car, he seemed to enjoy the experience.  Otis spent the first day on the road eating dog biscuits and looking out the window, while Alexander pooped about a billion times in his crate (okay – NOT a billion.  Alexander pooped twice, and it was so stinky, it FELT like a billion).

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Meanwhile, in Dave’s car, Addie and Doodle wrestled and took turns trying to back-seat drive.  The first day seemed slightly traumatic, but upon reflection it was actually very calm (note to self:  it is usually a bad idea to travel cross-continent with wrestling dogs and a pooping cat).

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