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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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September 15, 2012

I AM actually still alive!

But it sure has been a long time since I posted anything.  Not sure why...I've been dabbling at this and that, spending nice times with friends, etc., but I guess I just wasn't in a reporting mood. :)

But good ol' Chris reminded me once again that it had been too long so I finished the last little piece of cross stitch I was working on and can at least invite you to see it and two others that I've finished during this "quiet spell".  Just click on the Needlework tab above and then use the link there to my cross stitch page.  Two are very autumnal and I think that's what has inspired me to get some stitching done.  I love autumn - the colors and just the feeling of change.  Although I mentioned in my last post how I was just wanting to pack up and get in the car and go somewhere and with autumn coming along, my wanderlust is going into high gear.  I'm going to have to do some Googling and see what might be nice for an overnight visit or two from here.

The third cross stitch is definitely Halloween and I was going to have another Halloween one done by now but simple as the pattern was, I struggled around with it til I finally threw it in the trash.  Should have done it sooner than I did because it became more and more obvious it just wasn't working.  I changed the pattern around some and that didn't help, plus which I was stitching on black fabric and there's nothing too much worse than that.  Very aggravating overall and next time, after I rip out and restitch 2 or 3 times, I'll know to call it quits.

Speaking of autumn, the weather here has been pretty spectacular - mostly gorgeous blue skies with big puffy white clouds (or no clouds at all) and it's still getting into the lower 80's each day, but dry, not humid, and the nights are cooling down so nicely.  Just love it!

My two "do daytime stuff with" pals have been out of town more than they've been here it seems like, but this past week Brenda was back from one of her trips and we spent a real nice day in Charleston.  They have a Home Goods store there and we both like going there.  And I was so glad we did because I was wandering around and lo and behold, there was the exact type of wine rack I've been looking for for quite a long time.  I wanted one that stands on the floor but I didn't want it to cost a whole lot and the ones I found on line were all pretty high priced.  This one holds way more bottles than I'll ever have at one time, but I'm going to take some liberties with some of the spaces.  It dawned on me I can fold some of my Bon Appetit magazines and slide them into the spaces and I think I'll get two or three really big flowers and stitch them in a couple spaces.  Another nice thing is that if I can find a nice small lamp I can put it on top and get a little light in what is a kind of dark area in the evening.

























Today is the annual chili cook-off event in Huntington which has been going on for years and years.  Way back (way back!), I attended my first one (and maybe it was the first one period) and came home so inspired by all the seasonings the contestants were using that I came home and made a batch of chili using some of what I saw and it was wonderful.  I had always just used (try not to laugh too loudly) a can of tomato juice and some chili powder (well, onion powder too probably and salt and pepper - I don't even remember how I used to make it, probably because it wasn't memorable).  I pretty much have stuck with how I made that first batch although at some point I got the idea of using leftover pot roast meat instead of ground chuck and that really made a difference also.  So, I'm going to go investigate now and see if I can find any that isn't "blow your head off" spicy and have a little tasting.  It does seem like a lot of people make chili hot, hot, hot!

And, I'm back.  I lucked out and got two chilis that were spicy but didn't finish me off.  Would have been even better if I had been smart enough to get something to drink before I was loaded down with cups of chili.  One was made with slow-roasted pork and green peppers, among other things, and was quite tasty.  The other was pretty traditional chili (don't remember if it had any meat) with big hunks of fresh tomato and was also real good.

And I took some pictures - very off the cuff photography here - no trying to get the perfect shot!

A very large dog on the left....and a very small dog on the right.  I had just finished taking the big dog's picture (his name, strangely enough, is Renaissance) when a man said "now you ought to take a picture of that dog" and pointed.  It took me a minute to find what he was pointing at!  I think that's about the smallest chihuahua I've ever seen.  (and I have no idea if that's how you spell it).








And an exotic bird and two very red-haired lads...


And the rest are just various and sundry - there's one that is a mountain of trash and even with all that already collected, every trash can I saw was filled to overflowing and the maintenance people were hauling away carts of it (probably to add to the mountain).  So based on that alone, I guess you can say the cook-off is a resounding success.










That's pretty much it I guess.  I started off the day with a 2-mile walk that I've been doing on cool mornings and when it's a cool Saturday morning, I treat myself to a stop at the bakery on the way home and get a chocolate croissant and some demi-baguettes.  So I did that, now I've had the two sample cups of chili, and since I'm on such a roll, think I will probably grab a sandwich at Pita Pit tonight for dinner.  And then maybe a stop at Starbucks for a little chocolate.  What, me worry? :)

4 comments:

Mary Lynne said...

Just had a nice note from Diane in AZ (one of the ladies I'm hoping to meet!). She writes:

"Loved all the little goodies you put on your blog. I especially liked the cute Halloween sign you did. Pics of the chili cook-off were fun also."

Thanks, Di - I loved seeing the photos of recent trip in Colorado too! :)

Christopher said...

MMMM.... chili! That just sounds like fall. Temps are dropping here (into the gorgeous range this week) but you can feel the coolness waiting in the background---I love it!
I like the "Boo!" piece - with the little ghost eyes on each letter :)
And your wine rack will be a convenient place to lay out a platter of nibbles - I initially thought that is what was on there in the photo, vs. a decor item!
Guess I'm just hungry tonight!

Chinch said...

Love your fall needlework -- all three pieces but perhaps "boo" the most because it's the most unusual. What I also love is how you have them arranged. And, yeah, I think Chris must have been extra hungry but it's my breakfast time and I could sure go for one of those chocolate croissants!! Our weather also turned to cool and not humid and so I had to go buy some more bricks -- I seem to think of a new place to use them every time I walk around the yard. xoxo

Mary Lynne said...

Gosh, for a minute when you said cool weather and buy more bricks, I had to wonder if you were going to build a fireplace! Glad to hear you're not. :)

And Chris, I'm wondering if you'll be expecting to see nibbles when you come for your visit. Actually, that's a tray of potpourri which when I find something else nifty to put there I will replace.

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