New Project Consumes…

My new project consumes my days and nights. I’ve had no time to really sit down and blog. In fact, tonight’s Cooking School post was typed 10 minutes before it was due; this led to the disaster of accidentally overwriting week 3’s class. I need to get this project to a safe level so it doesn’t take up so much time. Good parts of this are: work generated = money coming in. I can’t let it consume, though.

To that end, I have decided to sit down and catch up on everything – again – and try to keep things caught up. I’ve actually got internet in the house again, as a result of this new project. The internet was a necessity. I can start working on things at home again!

Without further adieu…

Remember Jen canned some grapes? They are yummy and set up really well. When they are opened, they taste a bit like the fruit cocktail grapes you get from the store. Except it’s all grapes (the best part of fruit cocktail except for the cherries, in my opinion) and they are homemade! No extra “preservatives!”

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Yum!

Also, she was making her first batch of bread. As is common, she missed the part where it said to cook for 15 minutes at 450 degrees before reducing to 350 degrees for the remainder of the 55 minutes…

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She threw it back in for a few more minutes and we got this:

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It worked rather well – for a goof – and we have used it for random bread feasts, sandwiches for the children and other things. Yes, making our own bread is now a permanent addition to our home. Even the Nanny can do it! If she remembers to look at *all* of the directions, that is.

And, having read that part out loud to the Nanny, she says, “Yes, it is true. I tried. I failed. Woe is me.”

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I have had Jen piecing these together while I worked on another idea I had. She has had no clue what she was making until I posted this blog post. She’s designing it. I’ll do the final stitch work. It’ll be cute … I think.

The idea started from a blog post I found awhile back. You can read it HERE. The idea is really good and, while I am making these a bit bigger than the original talks about, I’m not quite done. It might actually look like what the author of that tutorial intended. Right now, I’m waiting for Jen to finish outlining what I am going to stitch on my machine for the quilted parts

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That’ll be full of lines when she is done.

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On Monday, Brendan had a dental visit. Both of my boys are very good about going to the dentist. Since they’ve had some great visits since they started going at 1 years old, they have nothing really to fear. They do what they are told (except for the x-rays) and the dentist never has an issue. Of course, they also have had no cavities in their years, either!

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Mr. Sucker. He takes all the water out of your mouth when the nurse (dental tech?) is working on your mouth. I think this is the boys’ favorite part, personally.

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Such trust! Can you imagine having the trust and faith of a child that someone you don’t really know will not hurt you? Quite honestly, the ladies and dentist at this place are amazing and have done well with my boys for their years coming in.

They go to Baker Dental and have since Caiden was 1. Every six months, they go in. Right now, they are staggered – they both go every 6 months but their appointments are a few months apart. The dentist and the dental technicians are very good with the boys and, if you’ve a child coming up on the age to have their teeth checked, you need to pop into see these guys.

They are not all fancy like the other places you hear about on the radio. They are quick and efficient and get the job done. My boys can play with the trains in the waiting room if we get there super early but, if you arrive on time, there is no time to play. It’s a very efficient in, get the job done, out again.

Don’t fret! The dentist always makes time for questions during the procedure. He doesn’t rush at all. He makes sure the child is comfortable and knows every step of the way to what to expect. And, since my boys don’t watch a lot of television, I don’t have to worry about them getting addicted to watching it at that fancy dentist place we hear about on our radio!

What makes my children not fear the dentist? First off, they’ve never feared any doctor or dentist. I’ve never given them cause to do so. They’ve had shots, x-rays, blood draws and other things. However, the way I act around them gives them the confidence to know that things will be ok – no matter what is required.

Caiden has been hospitalized so much, you’d think he’d fear the doc. Nope. I always explain. When he had to get blood drawn a few months back, I even said to him, “Yes. It’ll hurt. The doc has to do it so he can figure out what is wrong. I promise you – it will hurt but not for more than 2 minutes. We’ll count the seconds. Ok?” My son was perfectly fine with it because I was honest and told him exactly what to expect.

I was bawling more than he was. I still can’t figure that one out. Why does it hurt me so badly when he is the one in pain? It must be a mom thing. He actually comforted me – he said, “Mom? Why are you crying?” “Because you’re hurt, baby.” His reply? It was simple, “It doesn’t hurt any more. You can stop crying, now.”

I love him.

Back on track. Brendan at the dentist. Everything checked out fine. Have to floss the back teeth a bit more. No cavities. Jen’s happy about that one. She’s actually got, in her contract, a clause that says, “If the babies get a cavity, you have to pay $50 to mom and dad.” Why? Because it’s her job to bathe and teeth brush the little devils. Always has been, since the days I was working. I’m such an ogre.

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They have a dragon stuffed animal with teeth that Brendan can practice brushing. The nurse actually watches him do it and sometimes tells him if he missed a spot. It’s cute. What I don’t like is that sadistic smile on his face while he is brushing the dragon’s teeth!

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Trying to get x-rays. He was trying. He really was. Of course, all of us adults understand – those hard plastic pieces they stuff in your mouth hurt! I can understand someone that small having a hard time getting x-rays!

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Pretty pictures of pretty teeth!

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On Monday night, we were wrestling over a ball. You can see it in Caiden’s hand. We were also playing keep-away with it. The boys didn’t like that one so much. Dad and I were too good at it…

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Jen and I took down the Christmas and cleaned out the fireplace room at the same time. We took everything out, cleaned the floors, put away Christmas, and then put everything back in its pre-Christmas places.

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After

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And the other side… after.

I’m using my pictures to remind me what I’ve done this week. I’ve been so busy between the lawsuit and the project I was hired for, I have forgotten most everything I’ve done. Without my camera and pictures, I’d have no clue!

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Made some more Herb Bread from scratch. I sent home a loaf with Mark (ex #1) and he gave it to his brother and wife. The brother actually texted me today to tell me how awesome the bread was. So, of course, I offered to send home some more to him along with some homemade garlic butter. It’s not very often his brother compliments me on anything! However, since his wife gave us some bread once when we needed some (before I started making my own), it seemed only fair to send him more. That’s one of the many things we made tonight.

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Restaurant Review time! I’ve decided to start doing that with places that we go. It started because of this place: Grandpa’s Bar-B-Que. Several years ago, his storefront was not too far from where I live now. When I first popped in there, I was curious what he made. I told him I had never been there before and he proceeded to bring me a sample of everything he makes. I had some cornbread, some pulled pork on a sandwich and a taste of the coleslaw and potato salad – if memory serves. What I remember was how good the food was and how very solicitous he was about me and my first experience with his restaurant. I ended up ordering dinner from him and taking it home that night.

Shortly after that – maybe even a year – the building he was using was bought out by a huge company that was going to level the area and build something else. He has been “homeless” since and trying to keep his restaurant open. He has been in the Trackside Mall (a great antiques place with 3 floors and endless opportunities to empty your bank account). He has been at the Farmer’s Market. He hasn’t really had a “home” since he was booted out of the building he was in and he has struggled, for years, to keep things going. I’ve found him randomly and purchased food when I could.

When Mark and I were hanging out on Thursday, we went downtown to walk some of the old shops down there. I walked around and dragged Mark with me, kicking and screaming. We did a few stops and then decided it was time for lunch. I saw a sidewalk sign for Grandpa’s Bar-B-Que and we decided to eat there.

Of course, the food was still amazing. He even brought out a sample of his gumbo without our prompting and didn’t charge us for it. We were stuffed clear full and had to walk some more just to burn it all off. He sat down with us, as is his way, and was telling us some more of his travels in trying to keep his restaurant open. He’s a likeable old man and very active for his advanced age. He loves to sit down with his customers and chat while they eat. Some may be turned off by that but I’m telling you, it’s completely worth the time to sit and chat while eating his divine food.

I talked Mark into going back there for dinner on Wednesday night and that’s what we did. We took the family and went to eat. An attempt to help him stay open – that was my thoughts. Of course, the good food helps with that decision!

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Waiting to give our order. The boys were slightly hyper but settled down a bit when we finally got our food. We ordered the $35.99 family dinner of chicken, ribs and two sides. We picked mac-n-cheese and mashed potatoes. When we heard they were out of mac-n-cheese, we got the beans. The boys, Jen and Mark liked the beans. I didn’t try them.

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Always a brilliant smile and some chatter for customers. This is “Grandpa.” I told my boys his name was “Grandpa” but he was not their “Grandpa.” They took to him like a bee to honey in a flower.

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He’ll ask your name ten times but that doesn’t matter. He is friendly with so many people, it’s easy to forget who was who and ask again. The point is, he cares. He wants to be a part of every person that comes through his doors. He is a natural at being a “people-person.”

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The simply scrumptious gumbo that was brought to us, free of charge, because we had raved about it so much. He has to be careful – he’ll go out of business being so damned friendly and giving. Of course, leaving a nice tip on the table to add to the cost of the bill is a polite thing to do with people like this.

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Grandpa even brought out some split-pea soup for the boys to try. Brendan said he loved it. Caiden said it was “alright.” Grandpa was very pleased to find the boys liked his soup. However, Brendan ate all that and a lot of dad’s gumbo!

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Dinner arrives and this is only a small sampling. The chicken hasn’t arrived yet – it was still cooking. We surprised him by coming back for dinner after such a filling lunch.

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In addition to all that food, we received a plate full of chicken. It was part of the $35.99 Family Deal; however, we didn’t expect this much! We ended up taking so much of it home.

The boys had a great time telling Grandpa all about their lives while they ate and the adults stuffed themselves so full, walking was difficult. Even then, we had 2 stuffed full to-go boxes to take home!

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The important thing with children this small is to make them feel like what they are saying really matters. I know this, you know this, everyone knows this. Grandpa is very good at it. He listens to every word they say and interacts with them in all the ways they want and crave at such a young age. You can see the expression on his face, where he is *indeed* paying attention to such a small child.

Even Brendan was stuffed full. He got a to-go box for his own food to take it home when he couldn’t fit any more in his belly.

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And, of course, before we left, Grandpa came back to visit for a few more minutes. The boys had to show off their jackets…

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We went home and on Thursday night, we ordered a delivery of a pint of gumbo for $10 plus tax. Yes, Grandpa’s Bar-B-Que really does deliver! The gumbo is addictive, so delivery is a good thing. I do feel bad because I forgot to give the driver a tip. I counted out the $10.60 and completely forgot the tip. I’ll have to fix that, at some point.

My recommendation? Go downtown and check out Grandpa’s Bar-B-Que. Go one time – if only to keep an Idaho Falls legend alive and in business. It’ll be worth it. I guarantee. The food, the service and the company you’ll have at your table will make it the highlight of the day.

That’s it for tonight. Catch y’all on the flip side!

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Categories: Canning, Local Business Review, Quilting, Trips | Leave a comment

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