BE FOREWARNED: LENGTHY POST!
It's been forever since I last blogged but I had good reason. We went on a little trip - twelve days gone! And then there was the prep days ahead of it and the returning-to-normal days afterwards. On top of that, I got our taxes done just before we loaded up the car plus did a bunch of work for my guild's quilt show, including getting car signage ordered and picked up and my progress report written since I wouldn't be attending the quilt show meeting. Whew! Exhausted just remembering all of that!
I'd like to take a moment to tell you about our taxes. We, like a lot of folks, got a bigger return on our federal moolah. Maybe it was because my husband retired last year and started drawing his pension plus social security. I don't know but it made me happy. What didn't make me happy was ALL THE PAPERWORK this year. We rolled all of our 401k funds over, bought out his military retirement and transferred the time to civil service, and probably other stuff too. Anyway so much paperwork was involved this year. I hope 2019 filing is only half this bad!
On with our trip! I was surprised to see snow in eastern PA since it was the end of March.
First stop was Spring Lake Heights, NJ for my cousin's daughter's bridal shower & luncheon. It was quite the shindig! Can you say fancy??? There were approximately 75 of us to celebrate and it started out with an antipasto platter and make your own Bellinis with a champagne fountain. Next was spring salads and entree choice between Chicken Marsala, Crab-Stuffed Sole, and Penne Regatta. There were platters of Italian cookies (including cannolis!) and a pseudo wedding cake for dessert. There were also games and I came in 2nd on one of them. Here's my "Win-Win" picture.
|Grapefruit Bellini with strawberry and my prize: Figi White Sands Hand Soap with Coconut Oil|
One of the main reasons this was an important event to attend (besides it's all about family) was for my mother to see her older sister. It's been over a year since she saw her and my Aunt Jinny's health was in question. Here's a picture of the two of them with Katie, the soon-to-be bride.
|Mom (85 YO), Aunt Jinny (90), and Katie (?)|
|Megan (Billy's Girlfriend), Billy (brother of the bride), |
Shawn (bride's father), Katie (bride), & Theresa (mother of the bride) -
Bride's Family in the Back Row
Ellen in the front row
Ellen & Shawn (Brother & Sister) are my cousins
The next day we packed out and visited with another brother/sister duo of cousins. Spent a few hours visiting and catching up with them. Sadly I forgot to take any pictures! Loser!!!
We then drove from Spring Lake Hgts NJ to Aberdeen Proving Grounds MD. We checked in at the TLF (temporary lodging facilities) which is currently contracted out to Holiday Inn Express. The building has been there a while but the beds were comfy and we had a full kitchen. There was also a full breakfast served every morning. We stayed there three nights and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Maybe we didn't get the cinnamon rolls that Holiday Inn Express is famous for but we also got a substantially reduced rate. Not a bad compromise!
The reason for the visit was to see where Aunt Jinny was now living -- Caraway II Assisted Living in Elkton MD. The staff seemed very nice and quite efficient and caring. Unfortunately as we were leaving Aberdeen heading south, we received notice that Aunt Jinny had been admitted into the hospital due to fever and possible pneumonia. Mom was very concerned. However, the next day we received word that my aunt was on the mend, no pneumonia but the fever was due to an UTI. (On our drive home, we received further word that Aunt Jinny was out of the hospital and back to Caraway.)
Next stop was Waldorf MD. I was very excited to see Sarah, Jared, and Amanda of course, but it was Brody Charles Hoover that I really wanted to meet.
|Selfie with Brody! Lol!|
We enjoyed four nights with the kids. First day I ran down to LaPlata to one of my all-time favorite quilt stores: Material Girls Fabric Boutique. I bought a couple background fabrics, a pair of matching Moda Candies, and these:
I loved the basket-weave colors and those plump chickens & polka dots just HAD to come home with me! Lol! That night Sarah joined Fred, Mom, and me for a seafood dinner at Captain Billy's. Crabs are not in season yet so we had to make due with scallops, tilapia, rockfish, and shrimp. Poor us! Hahaha!
The 2nd day there was Amanda's baby shower. It was quite a full house and she received a lot of gifts for the baby. Jared was up bright & early to start smoking two pork butts for pulled pork sandwiches. Later he grated two heads of cabbage for the accompanying cole slaw.
|Let the shredding begin!|
|Jared working hard yet enjoying it!|
|Baby Shower Table of Goodies|
|My Cupcake - YUM!|
|Stuff, stuff, and MORE stuff!|
|Jared & Sadie enjoying the gift-opening|
|Family Portrait 2019|
Amanda, Jared, Sarah, Me, Mom, & Fred
On our last day, the guys relaxed while Amanda put together the "family cradle" for Brody and washed & put away the clothes & blankets she received at the shower. Mom, Sarah, and I went to a winery located not even 15 minutes away from where Jared & Amanda live. We enjoyed getting out and tasting some local wines and just enjoying each other's company and conversation.
We left the next day, making sure we stopped in Lewisburg WV for lunch at Arby's. Jared & Amanda recommended it as one of the nicest Arby's they've eaten at and food is fresh, hot, and plentiful. We totally agreed!
After spending the night in Ashland KY. we were on the road again making time to stop at a Rest Area. I had made chicken salad before leaving MD and we ate the sandwiches that I made. It was chilly but nice to eat al fresco.
|Sheep farm located behind the Rest Stop. Beautiful!|
We made it home that afternoon around 3:00 with just enough time to get Gracie from the kennel, pick up milk and salad fixings at Aldi's, order pizza for delivery at 6:00, and grab a glass of wine to watch Jeopardy. My brother & sister-in-law arrived at about 5:15 on their way through to MO so they could enjoy pizza & wine dinner with all of us! Cheers!
PS: I WARNED YOU THIS WAS LONG!!!! Sewing pictures will be posted tomorrow and I'll be linking up with Friday Night Sewing with Friends!