Friday, January 1, 2010

Good morning from the first day of 2010

Hello my friends and welcome to a New Year. A Blank Slate. A New Beginning. The only New Year's resolution I ever kept was the one when I decided not to make New Year Resolutions.

Today is not some miraculous fresh start. We are still the same people we were yesterday, and the day before that, and the week before that, and the year before that, and even the decade before that. Every day is a new chance to do something different than we used to. Every morning is a new opportunity to do something better than the way we are used to doing it. Each moment is a fresh start to make a change, make a difference, make an impact, make it memorable. Do not get bogged down in the promises made to do too many things, too differently than you did 'last year'. Get motivated every chance you have to make a slight change you can live with until it becomes habit and then do it all over again. You didn't create the mess/problem/situation/ overnight in one fell swoop and you can't fix it, clean it up or undo it overnight either. There are so many clichés that remind us of this.
  • One day at a time
  • The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step
  • All good things in all good time
  • Patience is a virtue
  • Don't bite off more than you can chew
Well, you get the idea. So my advice today (not that anyone asked for it) is to look at your life, your plan, your agenda, your calendar and try to be more realistic about it. Try to enjoy the tasks you take on instead of taking on tasks that overwhelm you. Learn how to say 'no' (politely). Don't be afraid to ask for help. When you offer to help - mean it! Be kinder to yourself. Be kinder to others. Smile! Tell the people you love how you feel. I think the most important thing you can do for yourself and the people you love is to take better care of yourself. Drink less, smoke less, weigh less. Smile more, laugh more, love more.

Have an awesome year and remember to stop and smell the roses, or the laundry - fresh and warm from the dryer, or the baby, or that spot right behind your spouse's ear, or any other of the other amazing things out there that we take for granted every day.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2010. That is so strange to write/type/think!

We had a great day! It started out with a visit from Vicki and Patrick. They stayed in town an extra day when they heard we were coming through and seeing them is always special.

Then we went to the hospital to visit Big Richard. We had plans to see him and Aunt Nancy but between the time we made the plan and today, Big R wound up in the hospital with a blood clot in his leg. They expect him to be fine and home by the weekend!

Then we went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants - La Truffe Sauvage. The food and service were, as always, divine!

Here is the New Year's Eve dinner menu:
1st Course

Maine Lobster & Porcini Mushroom Risotto
with asparagus tips
Natural Sea Scallop, Jerusalem Artichoke & Black Truffle en Croûte
vermouth and leek sauce
Fresh Tagliatelle Pasta with Shaved Winter Perigord Black Truffle
Parmigiana Reggiano, truffle cream sauce
Smoked Wild Alaskan Halibut
potato galette, caper blossom, vodka crème fraîche

2nd Course
Oxtail Consommé
shrimp quenelle, white truffle oil, cheese straw
Morel Mushrom Velouté
colossal lump crab, celery root chips
Arugula, Clémentine & Ruby Red Grapefruit Salad
Parmigiana Reggiano crisp

3rd Course
Angus Beef Tenderloin au Poivre
Gorgonzola cheese dauphinois potato & spinach au gratin
Colorado Rack of Lamb Navarin
with ratatouille & black truffle mashed potato
Filet of Dover Sole
with colossal lump crab, asparagus, tomato confite, pomme vapeur and sauce Cardinale

4th Course
Chocolate Bûche de Noël
traditional holiday dessert with moist sponge, chocolate butercream & dark chocolate ganache
Raspberry Crème Brulée
our white chocolate crème brulée with fresh raspberries in a crisp puff pastry shell
Baba aux Rhum
brioche with currants and lemon, made tender with dark rum and topped with vanilla whipped cream
Petit Pot de Crème au Chocolate
a small, rich and powerful chocolate custard with a hint of coffee

Between us all, the only things we didn't try were the Smoked Wild Alaskan Halibut, the Filet of Dover Sole and the Baba aux Rhum. Everything was delicious and I had a cappuccino with my dessert. We also had a wonderful bottle of Zinfandel - a 2005 Turley from Dusi Vineyard, Paso Robles. It was lovely.

From there we headed over to visit cousins of Ken's and Aunt Nancy who is staying with them until Big Richard can go home. We had a great time catching up and discussing all sorts of things (including religion) and playing with pet rats and watching the ball drop while sipping champagne and then watching fire works! I will post some photos tomorrow (I hope).

In the mean time let me take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very happy and healthy New Year. Somehow, the years seem to be going by faster and faster and it's never too soon to tell the people you love how you feel. I hope my friends and family know how I feel and I hope all of you let your loved ones know how you feel, too.

Happy 2010!
~ Kass

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Trying to catch up

I promised you photos from Florida - both of the space in which Ken masterfully parked the RV and of the view. Here they are!

Can you believe he managed to get the RV backed into this space between the two palm trees?

As you can see from the photo on the right, he had to back it in far enough to clear the tree so we could open the slide. It was pretty amazing to watch!

I think you will agree, though; the view was certainly worth it! These photos were taken from inside the RV.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another rainy day in Lake Charles

Good morning and welcome to another soggy day in the city of Lake Chuck. Today is a 'working' day. We have lots of errands to run and this afternoon I am getting a remicade treatment. For those of you who don't know me well (or at all), I have Crohn's Disease. I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful doctor here as well as at home. The staff at each office are equally wonderful and I'd love to nominate them all for 'Office of the Year' awards. I am SO happy to be able to see Karen and Dr. Nichols while I'm here in La. They have been SO good to me over the years. I am so grateful they arranged for my treatment while I am here so I can stay on schedule. I get the IV infusion every 8 weeks like clockwork. This treatment is incredible and is the difference between my being a functioning human being and a crumpled version of myself, in pain, laying on the couch not able to move. Sadly, that is no exaggeration.

On the list of things to do is a med run at Wallyworld, pick up a check that should have been mailed but wasn't (ages ago!), buy stamps and mail out the cards that are late, get a new battery for my watch at the dive shop (special watch, special batteries) and we need to remember to eat lunch before my appointment.

The day's highlight will be visiting with our dear friends - Matt and Annie and their 3 kids. When we left town there were only 2 kids so this is a reunion and a meeting. I can't wait!

I'll post this now so I can get going and I promise, I will let you know about our Florida days as well!

Happy day before New Year's Eve!
~ Kassidee

My own cute cats

Here are six of the seven cats that are traveling with us. The 2 together on the left are litter-mates. Ishky and Iggy. (Full names: Ishkabibble and Ignatz). The short version of their story is that they fell through a hole in a ceiling at about 3 weeks old and their mom took off with her other kittens. I bottle fed them both and was supposed to only keep one. When it came time to give one up, I was in tears. Ken finally relented and said I could keep them both if he could name them both. They are very sweet cats.

The grey one in front and the orange one are technically my mom's cats. They are both rescue cats from the animal shelter/pound in Ma. The grey one is Izzy (Isadore) who was a kitten when we got him. We brought home Zeke (Ezekiel) the same day. He was already full grown but he was exceptionally sweet. They can usually be found curled up together, as well.

The last pair are Joshua aka Joshy and Moses. Moses is the white fluff ball who I inherited from my vet. They used to keep office pets and this one decided he liked 'going out'. He wandered into the day care center next door and would visit all the classrooms. The problem was they were on a busy road and so they decided to find him a home. Ken said his name should be Moses because he is always trying to get to the Promised Land. We were out of town when Moses brought home the black and white kitten. The kitten would run out from under the house when Moses was let out in the morning and then hide back under the house when Moses came home at night. He was so small he hid under the lawn mower, too. We named him Joshua because Joshua followed Moses. Those two were indoor/outdoor cats until we moved to Massachusetts. We used to live on a dead end. Now we are on a busy road. They aren't thrilled, but they adjusted.

Thor is the only cat not in the picture. He had a sister who was mostly black with a little bit of white. She was in my yard and hurt. She had abscesses on her legs. I brought her to the vet and 200 dollars later she still didn't make it. It was very sad. The next day I saw her brother. He was a lot harder to catch because they were both feral and he wasn't hurt. I got a 'have-a-heart' trap so I could bring him in and get him fixed. I figured even if he didn't stay with us, at least he wouldn't procreate. Well - he wasn't too keen on the humans in the house but he sure did like the 4 legged creatures. He would come out of hiding every time Moses and Joshua came in or any of the cats wandered through the room or when the dogs came in from outside. His full name is Thornton Wilder - but we call him Thor for short. He still isn't overly trusting of people but he will sleep on the bed now and let us pet him. He is very sweet but I think he still prefers 4 legged friends to the the 2 legged kind. He is white with orange spots and a ringed tail. I'll try to get a photo of him out here soon.

Now you have met the cats. I'll put up some photos of the dogs as well, the next time I get a few minutes. All donations to pet food and vet bills will be gratefully accepted! They are worth every penny but it sure does get expensive! LOL

I'm off to bed - have a great night!
~ Kass
Daagh and his kids and I were in a shop in downtown Athens. This cat was sitting in a basket on the counter. I expected the people working there to be cool since they had a funny cat - but as soon as the flash went off I was reprimanded. I was informed that they had a 'no photo' policy in the store. Oh well - I guess they should post that somewhere or not have such a cute cat.

Florida Escapades – not to be confused with Florida Ice Capades! (The last copy and paste from Florida)

I believe my post about the travails of getting to Florida ended with our arrival in the sunshine state and my husband’s miraculous job of ‘parking’ the RV. I will try to fill you in on the rest.

I must start with a HUGE thank you to Ingrid for allowing us to park in her driveway and for allowing us to hook up to her electric. That can only be followed up with another HUGE thank you to ‘my dad’ who is the one who rigged all the wiring to work in the first place. It was his invitation to the 51st Anniversary Dinner that started this whole RV excursion in the first place.

We went to dinner the first night we were here with Ingrid and Bernard. Joan wasn’t feeling well and we left mom behind as well. We knew the next few days would be busy and we didn’t want to overtax her. We went to The Clock Tower Grille only to find out it had gone out of business since the last time Bernie had eaten there. (Oops!)

On to a restaurant called Flakowitz. It sounds like a name you would call someplace you can’t remember the exact name of – but that really IS the name of it! They survive because they cater to all the alta kockers who are sad they left New York. “What is an alta kocker”, I hear you ask. The translation I found says an A.K. is an old fart.

Flakowitz serves stuff you see on Delancey Street. Knishes, kishka, kasha vanishkas, sour pickles, tongue, brisket, flanken (only on Fridays, sadly for me), chicken soup with matzoh balls, overstuffed sandwiches, potato latkes, and babka. We had a fun time in there and Ken committed the ultimate sin – he ordered a tongue sandwich and a glass of milk! That’s my husband.

The fates are against me. I cannot continue on about Florida because it is starting to drizzle and it is supposed to rain. As badly as my computer is behaving I do not want to kill it completely by drowning it! I will have to continue at another time or from a different location or both.

Happiness and Joy,
~ Kassidee

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lake Charles, La

Welcome 'home'? It is nice to be here when I know it's only a week. It is overcast and threatening to rain. I already miss Florida!

I have no time to post right now but wanted to at least say hello. I should have internet access the whole time we are here which is at least 5 days if not 7 so I should be able to catch up and get up to date.

Looking forward to that!
More soon,
~ Kass

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Moving on

Hello! This post will be short but it's better than no post at all. Tomorrow (Monday) we are leaving Florida and heading west to Lake Charles. As I wrote on facebook - I'm looking forward to seeing friends and family and then moving on! LOL

I have another post to copy and paste when I have a few more minutes and I still want to give you more details about our stay in the sunshine state.

I hope everyone is doing well and having fun. Onward and upward toward the New Year!

~ Kassidee