Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today has been a typical fall day, perfect for working in the yard, raking leaves and otherwise getting the homestead ready for winter.  Clear blue skies, bright warm sun offset by the cool light wind.  While the yard full of leaves called us, we opted for other pursuits instead.

Six-year-olds playing flag football, for one.  It's quite incredible what dedicated parents and coaches can elicit from a bunch of wild boys on the field -- they were working on "the reverse" and actually pulled it off a couple of times.  Our nephew, kiddo #1, is a football nut and would watch and/or play 24/7 if he could.  He was staging games of throwing and diving catches practically since he could throw a ball -- in fact, he has a war wound from diving into the edge of a railing during one such event a couple of years ago now.  He has passion and heart and an incredible ideal about how the game should be played...which at times drives him to frustrated tears and sucks the fun out of it for him.  Today happened to be one of those days.
How do any of us learn to translate all of that emotion into constructive action?  To know it's OK to be upset, to honor that, but then get back in the game trusting the value of our place?  Or to give the game up when it no longer fulfills us?  He's six...he's got many more experiences before he works that out for himself.  But it's a heavy lesson we all need to learn first hand.  Thankfully, we have partners on the, compassion and words of encouragement help.

After the game, we took a beautiful drive to see my mom, who lives near Lake Minnetonka.  Long winding roads canopied with trees that are a mecca for bicyclists everywhere.  We introduced Trooper to my mom's new puppy, Faye, a bi-blue Sheltie -- cute as can be and smart as a whip.  Her endless energy seemed a bit much for Trooper, twelve-and-a-half years her senior, but she was a good sport.  We helped with some chores at my mom's and headed for home.

On the way, we called my dad to wish him a happy birthday (Happy Birthday, Dad!).  He'd have rather been salmon fishing at the mouth of the Little Huron for his big day, but for the weather in the 40's and driving rain and wind (he lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), he was napping and watching Michigan State whomp University of Michigan on TV instead.  I asked him what was for dinner tonight (don't we always want to know what's for dinner??), and for his birthday he opted to make his favorite Beef Stroganoff rather than go out.  Who could blame him with that weather?  In honor of my dad's birthday, Terry and I think we'll make his stroganoff for dinner tomorrow.

With most of the afternoon still at our disposal, the yard continued to beckon, but we made the difficult choice to kick back and relax instead...the leaves will wait.  Call it procrastination or self-preservation...doesn't much matter.  Sometimes, downtime is the only logical choice.//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
In the spirit of downtime and being good about eating our leftovers, tonight is what we call "On Your Own Together" night where we head to the fridge and the pantry and see what calls to us.  My go-to is almost always a Quesadilla of some sort or another.  Tonight's is: Chicken, spinach, black beans, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado and Cholula (LOVE that stuff!).  Put all the goodies on half of a 7" tortilla, fold the other side over.  Set it on a skillet heated to medium, no oil needed.  When slightly brown, flip it over and cook another couple minutes until that side is lightly brown.  Put on a plate, cut in half, top with sour cream or salsa or whatever you like.  Dig in!

Tonight, we continue with our ongoing Spite and Malice card tournament.  It's a form of double-solitaire that my mom taught me how to play when I was a kid.  When Terry and I first started dating, I taught him how to play and we've had a game going ever since.  We even have a special notebook we keep with the cards so we can keep track.

I better get my game on -- looks like he's winning!

In honor of today's dog adventures, we opened the Rosenblum Cellars' Chateau La Paws 2005 Cote Du Bone Roan (love the name and this label!).  I picked it up probably two years ago at The Wine Thief (and the Ale Jail), owned by our friends Paul and KaTrina Wentzel. Check out their website -- sooooooo cool!  To the wine: Dark, inky, velvety with rich berry fruit.  Not sure it goes with Quesadilla in particular, but very smooth and easy drinking.

Enjoy your Saturday night!

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