agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I'm always reluctant to twitter/lj/dw/g+/etc my/our vacation as we go because I do not like to announce to the world at large that we are away from home.  This puts a crimp on one-liners like: "12 people for dinner at M&D's house" or "just back from Caravan Theatre's Midsummer Night's Dream: excellent!" or "swimming in the Shuswap - so good!".

There's also the issue that these little mots juste will notifiy people whom we haven't contacted that we are in their neighbourhood, and indeed, have not contacted them because our days are filled to the brim and we won't be able to see them.  After the fact is easier to forgive than during the fact.

So we went to Tappen BC:
http://www.tractorhouse.com/BusinessDirectory/Detail.aspx?CRMID=5210019&cptid=3
This co-op is where Mom & Dad pick up any parcels that can't be delivered to them, so it qualifies as the local post office, which is something that very few towns in BC have any more (certainly not a place as tiny as Tappen).

My Aunt (Dad's sister) & cousin (daugher of aunt) from San Francisco were/are here, and so we got to see them.  I think I have mentioned the long tentacles of the Goodwin Clan before (probably in another forum), and at the dinner was also a second cousin once or twice removed.  Her grandmother was a Goodwin girl.

At the dinner we tried a new-to-us red wine: Sunnybrae Winery Bastion Mountain Red:
http://www.sunnybraewinery.com/
The vintage showing on the page is 2010, but I am sure the vintage we purchased was 2006 - very very good.  Those of us who like red wine slurped down the two bottles in record time.

We also went to the Caravan Farm Theatre's production of a Midsummer's Night's Dream:
http://www.caravanfarmtheatre.com/
It was very good, as their productions always are, but we were slightly disappointed because one of the features of most of their productions is the use of the farm horses as part of the cast (as horses, in a completely normal-horse kind of way, but very effective), and there were no horses in this one.  The production was fine, and worth watching, but because there is a common expectation that the horses will eventually show up, the fact that they didn't was slightly distracting.

And we went swimming at Herald Provincial Park:
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/herald/
As well as camping facilities, there is a day picnic area with beach.  The photo at the above location shows approximately where we were swimming.  The water is still very high for this time of year - it looks like early June levels - and the lake is slightly twiggy and muddy, and cooler that usual - but not cool enough to keep us out of the water.  :)  It was so excellent!

The time went really fast.  Oh well, we left while people were still wishing we would stay, rather than staying until people were really wishing we would leave, so I think that is the correct way to proceed.  :)
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So.  Week nine was good, but only two days long, and then I went to Tappen to prepare for the family reunion - and never got a chance to log into *anything*  *anywhere* - so it doesn't really count.  Then week ten was consolidating the additon of a few new family members on FB, so I did sign in to FB at work.  But no FV, so maybe we're good.

The family reunion was for the Sorgens.  My dad's mother was a Sorgen.  And, like the earlier clans of Goodwins, the Sorgens never stopped having babies until the gumball machine shut down - so there are bazillions of them and they have a family reunion every year.  This year my mother offered to host it.  Normally it is in Alberta somewhere, and people bring their fifth wheels to the farm of whoever is hosting, but my folks don't have a farm, so it was the new Elks Hall & campground in Salmon Arm.

The Elks Hall was great, and I strongly recommend it, if you need a venue in that part of the country.

The biggest thing is that the host site was on the other side of the Rockies from where most of the Sorgens and affiliates live, and the Roger's Pass has always been a white knuckle experience, even in a dinkie little car - never mind a monster pick-up towing a fifth wheel.  So, the turn out was a little low.

And the caterer bailed two weeks before the event, because we were so few, so we bought and cooked.  I only showed up for the last two days of preparation: my parents and aunt & uncle living in town spent a lot of time buying and cooking and freezing.  Getting everything from their deep freezes to the hall was an all day event in itself.

We all had a great time though, and I may attend next year's back in Alberta.  :)


In other news: Sam is having trouble with his teeth.  When I got home on Sunday, one of his big upper vampire fangs was out on the bed.  Most of Thursday and all day yesterday he could hardly bear to open his mouth to drink.  I have an appointment for him on Monday, but if he had continued today the way he was yesterday, I might have shown up at the vets anyway.  The problem is that the vets is closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday, with no one there, so I don't see how having him in a cage there would actually be of benefit.  Anyway.  He is sleeping better today, and actually eating a few things, so I think we will do until Monday.


And I need new glasses and shoes, and I don't want to shop for either.  Bah.  We're going to go out for soup, instead.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Sage Bread Stuffing

1pkg. bacon (one pound or 500 grams, in rashers)
1pkg. sausages or bulk sausage meat (pork)
1 med to large onion (yellow)
1 stalk celery
3 to 5 slices bread, white or brown cubed and dried in slow oven
chicken broth, small tin or container
parsley 1/3 cup fresh chopped
sage 8-10 leaves fresh or 1 tlbs dry,
thyme 1/2 tsp
savory 1/2 tsp
salt & pepper
Boiled and peeled chestnuts, chopped.

If using sausages cut casing lengthwise with scissors and peel.
Dice bacon and fry, add sausage meat, breaking it up into small pieces as it frys. Add chopped onion and continue frying till the onions are soft and sausage is cooked.
Meanwhile, place bread cubes in large bowl, add chopped celery, chopped herbs and diced chestnuts.
Add finished bacon mixture to bowl and stir together. Deglaze frypan with some chicken stock and add to bowl. Add more chicken stock, enough for the desired wettness ( it will dry some in cooking). Salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff turkey, and cook turkey normally.
Or put into casserole, cover with foil or lid(if heating in mic) and bake for 30 to 45 minutes in 350 oven, remove lid for last 6 to 10 minutes.
As you know you can add more or less of any ingredient, bread can be rustic homemade, french, multigrain, any kind at all. You may have to adjust the baking time depending on the size of your baking dish. Good luck with it.

The above is a current snap shot of my Mom's ever evolving drool-inspiring sage chestnut stuffing recipe, you lucky dogs. I've added sizes that I know, and I will add others as I find them. These are in the (notes).

I get my spelling skills from my mother. :)

agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So, there was much organizing, and making of lists, and losing the lists, and finding the lists again shouting hurrah, and so on and so forth.  Off we sailed at 11:15 am, and arrived just after the caterer (we had stopped to pick up hand sanitizer, and I couldn't find the bloody stuff in the mega-superduper box store), and then we were off: setting out the extra food, finding the garbage bags, consolidating trays as they get skimpy, and so on.  And we clean up after the first party and prepare for the second party.  And we do the same again.  And we're cleaning up until 9:30 pm, and we stay and chatty chat chat for a bit, and we finally come home around 10:45 pm.

And this pathetic little orange face peers in at us from the deck.  I had managed to leave Chuckster out on the deck the whole time.  No pan, no water, no food.  And no place to hide once the fireworks started.  Poor little rat boy.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
SOGP & I paid for the meals at both events because the whole thing was our (my) idea.  One cousin, at the last minute, said he was coming and bringing his wife and four kids.  Only he showed up.  Because he didn't bring his family, we had mega leftovers and so at the end I was bullying people into taking things away.  I offered some to him, and he sneered at me.

I was steamed enough about that[1], since he was the reason we had so much excess food, but then my Mom told me she saw him earlier complain about the food and throw a whole plate of it away[2].

Right.  That's it.  *He's* not invited any more.

Okay.  There are not enough of us to have a proper Ogg quarrel, but I can see how therapeutic it would be.    : )

[1] - I mean: all he had to do was say, "no" - lots of people did.  :)

[2] - It was very nice food.  I've definitely had worse.  :)  I'd order from that caterer, The Bread Garden, again.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
This past Saturday, on Halloween, SOGP's mother celebrated her 90th birthday.  I decided that she deserved a party, so I started out organizing a family party.  What we ended up doing was an afternoon tea party (lunch) for all her cronies in the housing coop she lives in, and an evening family dinner.  60 to 70 people at lunch, and 30 people at dinner.  It was a lot of work, but her grandkids pitched in beautfully, and she had a great time.  Also, although the forecast was for rain, we had the most beautiful day, with glorious sunshine and no wind.  Beautiful.  I even managed to order the Governor General's greeting in time.

She really had a great time.  :)
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So.  It has all been a little overwrought this last while.

I had a two weeks' off and spent the first week spending a lot of money I haven't yet made.  Ah ha ha.  (My lenses are insane - my astigmatism and whatnot is so bad that my lenses are never less that $400 - and that so does *not* include the frames.)  Okay, yes, I bought a wireless laptop, whee.  :)  And I bought two new pairs of shoes and had three more pairs resoled.  Argle.

Then I spent nearly a week at my parent's place.  It was beautiful and very hot.  They have air conditioning and it was terrific.  They also invited people over for the big meal of doom, and had to spend the next day recovering because they are not only no longer in their thirties, but they are no longer in their fifties.  My SOGP drove up, and I bused up, and we are still talking to one another, so it was a win (last year it was not so good because SOGP came by bus with me - and he HATES the bus).

Then, on the morning I left, my Dad had his heart attack.  He has been waiting for this heart attack for 25 years.  Our family tend to be short dumpy fatties with heart troubles, and none of the men in Dad's family had previously survived their fifties.  Dad's dad was dead at 56 and had been ill in bed from a stoke for a long time prior.  Dad's oldest brother died on the operating table at 46 - there wasn't enough heart left to do any bypasses on.  My Dad's second oldest brother died at 52 after bypass surgery in his late forties - and he only hung on that long because it meant that his wife qualified for a larger pension.  One of my cousins died about five years ago at 50.  And so on.  My Dad has basically been feeling the fine edge of the sword of Damocles on his neck since the 70's.

He wouldn't let us help him but sent Mom and I off to put me on the bus.  About 15 minutes after we had gone, he called a neighbour, who is a paramedic, and he took one look at Dad and called the ambulance.  Fortunately, as soon as Dad realized his *spell* was probably a little bit more than just hard work in the heat on an empty stomach (he was on the roof cleaning out the gutters, waiting for me to be ready, so that he and Mom could then have breakfast in town after they got me on the bus), he took an aspirin.

So.  Dad was in the hospital from the 31st of July onward.  Because of lame-brained efforts at "rationalizing"the health care service, in order to get the angiogram test and the stent surgery in a timely fashion he had to stay in the hospital the whole time.  If he had gone home, he would have lost his place in line and would have ended up waiting months for the angiogram, and who knows how long for the stents.  I could rant about the gutting of the health care system by the current bad man in office in BC, but maybe another time.

So, my Mom was in and out of town twice a day during that time, since she spent much of her time with Dad.  Then, when she would get home in the evening, there would be people visiting and phoning, so she was getting pretty frazzled.

When Dad was sheduled for surgery in Victoria, Mom drove down to stay with us one night, and then I went with her to Victoria so that I could see Dad after the surgery, and then they wouldn't have to stop in Vancouver on their way home.  Important because that would add an additional 3 to 4 hours to an already 10 hour day for the drive home.

I think having me around helps Mom a bit - since we can natter on and on, which we both find comforting.  But I also think that having me around stresses my parents because they have never really come to terms with the idea that I am older than five, and so they feel they have to protect me from everything.  If I start to do something, they both feel the need to leap up immediately and help me.  Not that either of them can sit still for two minutes anyways, but you know what I mean.

They got home yesterday at 4:30 pm, and I can only hope that they spent the whole day vegging out, but my money would be on them doing housework and getting groceries and entertaining well-wishers.

That would be my folks.

Yay!

Aug. 12th, 2009 01:09 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Dad was expelled released from the hospital this morning.  He is so okay that he has even been given permission to drive the car when they make the trip home.  Yay!
agoodwinsmith: (Default)

My Dad has his stent operation today.  There was an irregularity, but all in all seemed to go okay.  He is being kept overnight at the hospital and then he and Mom will spend another day in Victoria before heading home.  Mom is very tired.  I would like to see them spend two days before going home, but I come by my stubborn pigheadedness naturally, so I doubt they will.

agoodwinsmith: (Default)

I went to Tappen for Easter.  This involves a bus ride over the Coquihalla in spring.  Argh.  Going was only slightly scary; coming back was much more scary.  Greasy sleet and fog and insane amounts of traffic all hanging from various precipices on curves.

However, Tappen and Salmon Arm are always lovely, even when it is early spring, and the ground is just brown flattened dead vegetation, crushed under the weight of the snow that is no longer there.  I don't care for Kamloops, never have, but just 80 kms away, it is heaven.

I went to visit my parents, but the bonus was that my Dad's brother's daughter's daughter & her husband were visiting with their new baby.  So cute.  3.5 months old, so mostly just big big eyes staring at everything.  The only time she made a fuss was when she was left out during Easter dinner.  Once she was brought back, and allowed to fall asleep at the table on her Dad's lap, she was happy again.  She fell asleep reluctantly, though, frowning all the while in futile resistance.

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