Hoping everyone is alive and well. I'm curled up with a warm throw watching the Ladies of London, hence, it's not too hard to write a post at the same time. A good movie...well, that's when I get behind in blogging.
I wanted to share a great family get together we had at the lake this past weekend. I applaud The Husband for planning it, he is super excited about getting the kids together for some activities up north other than just holidays. Everyone was there except Jeff and Deirdre...their baby is due in early February and they felt it best to stay close to home.
Here's a shot of the happy group looking like they scaled Mt. Rainer. Emily took the picture and I was down in the warming shelter with little Madelyn. As you can see, there wasn't much snow. That didn't stop us.
Ready. Set. Go...
I can't tell you how hysterical this is to watch. The screams and laughs are what made it worth being out in 26 degree weather. Having two year old Elsie experience something so new like this...watching adults act like kids, must have been incredibly amusing for her. Kevin took her down the other side of the hill which wasn't as steep.
She is a real Midwestern trooper and she's not letting go of her baby either. She never complained of the cold and is a true daredevil on top of it. I'm amazed at how fearless she is.
I wanted so bad to hop on a sled...I can be pretty adventurous but I was worried about my back. My doctor really planted a seed in my head that if I didn't work on getting in shape and do the exercises I learned in physical therapy, I'd have a lot of limitations. I knew I was nowhere near ready and I had visions of my lower back held together by screws. And let me add, while going downhill is fun and a little rough, walking back up dragging a sled is pretty unappealing as well!
Emily wanted to have a little fun, too, so I snuggled with Madelyn in the warming shelter, which wasn't so warm. There was a huge stone fireplace but as we were the only crazy people there due to the lack of good snow, it wasn't lit and we didn't feel it was safe to leave a burning fire. I was fine however, and Madelyn slept through it all. Any chance to have that little peanut in my arms is good enough.
The fresh air and a long leisurely lunch at a nearby ski resort made Elsie very tired. She took a nap but daddy woke her up after two hours so she'd have a normal bedtime. I love how Mary Clare and Kevin have a tight schedule. She was still a little cranky but was content to watch a few Mickey Mouse shows on an iPad.
This is the first time she was at the lakehouse. She settled in naturally and I can't wait for summer when she can play outdoors on the beach and in the water. Still, this weekend wasn't too shabby.
Madelyn had a good 'ol time, too, although she won't remember it. She was just there to make us smile and love her.
I was so excited to see the newly upholstered furniture. We had found a really fantastic family owned business in a nearby town to redo three pieces we couldn't bear to part with. When they were finished we gave the people the code to get in the house. We have cameras inside so we can be pretty confident in situations like this.
This is one of 2 glider rockers we have had forever. They are so comfy, I love to sit and read in them, rocking the whole time. Or just fall in a trance looking out at the bay.
This is the settee we bought at the same time as the gliders. The camel back makes it quite unique. All of these pieces were in super shape; when one lives in a home that gets used on various weekends and 2 weeks in the summer, the wear and tear is minimal. This is another really comfy piece. You can't stretch out on it but we have a nice little conversation corner here, not to mention the dogs love to lie here and watch out the windows for anything that moves.
I'll share better pics later as I have an end table I'm going to bring up from here and a sweet nautical lamp. We also have curtains, blinds and maybe someday, artwork. Hmmmm....if only The Husband and I can agree.
Maybe all of this cold weather talk has made you crave a warm, comforting meal. Yep, I'm giving you a recipe for my very own tried and true stew and I promise, if you make this version you will never go back to the one you've been doing. As always, you can substitute veggies and seasonings. Let me know if you try it and love it like we do.
Jane's Beef Stew
1 lb. beef stewing meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 c. flour
2 T veggie oil
1 c red wine
3 c. beef broth
1 c each chopped onion, celery and carrots
1 medium red potato, cubed
S&P to taste
1 t dried oregano
1 T dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Toss the stew meat in a large bowl with the flour while heating oil in a large oven proof pot or dutch oven. Brown the cubes on all sides over medium high heat, turning when meat loosens from bottom of pot. Remove to a plate and set aside. Carefully add the wine and stir, scraping up bits of meat off the bottom of the pot. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the meat, veggies and spices and continue to boil 5 minutes. Stir well, cover the pot with a lid and place in preheated oven at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Remove and adjust seasonings to your liking. Serves 4.
Hover over the pic to Pin if you wish. You will love this! In this particular stew I used some Brussels sprouts sliced in half. Use up what you have in your veggie bin or just switch things around as you prefer.
I'll be darned, but even though we now have Internet at the lake I continue to read one book after the other. I read a great review of this book in People magazine and ordered it on the spot. I'm halfway through and savoring it. Since I'm not so great at reviewing books, check it out at Amazon.
See ya soon!