Monday, November 2, 2009

Cedar Point

It seems that there is a continuum of how much I like roller coasters. Here is a handy illustration.

By using this graph, you can see how much I would have WANTED to go to Cedar Point. I'm not a roller coaster newbie, and I'd never been. Jason assured me that it would be tons of fun. And, once I got past that first hill, it totally was.

We went during the last week of August. It was really really the perfect time to go. It was cool enough that we were comfortable, but it was still warm enough to enjoy the water rides (at least for a minute). We didn't wait in a line longer than 15 minutes, except once.

The best roller coaster, in my opinion, was , well, I was going to pick one before I got to this point in the sentence, but I really can't! Millenium Force was huge, and awesome and I have to innterrupt this blog post to tell one of the funniest things EVER.

When Jason is scared on a roller coaster, he doesn't scream, he doesn't close his eyes, he doesn't barf (thank God). Instead, he talks smack to the roller coaster. After the first hill on millenium force, I heard him yelling things like "is that all you got?" and "fun times! fun times!". I amlaughing out loud about it right now. When I heard him it was immediately added to the list of reasons I love him Reason 6,234,452,354: He yells at roller coasters.

I on the other hand, try to scream, and I fail. A long time ago, my cousin pointed out that on the first hill (if you refer to the graph above, a high fright level place) I open my mouth wide to try to scream, and nothing comes out. Yeah. After that I yell and I'm having fun. But I turn into a silent movie star when on that first hill.

We now return you to the sceduled blog post. Maverick was also awesome. When we read that the first hill was a 95% drop, we didn't believe it. As we were going over we both yelled I BELIEVE IT. It kinda knocked my head around, but was awesome.

Another aside, this is a video of the first roller coaster I ever went on. Thanks Dad, for riding with me, and singing "Get a Job" while we were cranked up the first hill.

Raptor. I love the raptor. It doesn't really scare me as much as others, maybe because I start high up in the air. We offended a ride operator by revealing this lack of fear. He responded that "the raptor is the 7th most intense coaster in the world" Sorry dude.

Thought Mantis was going to be my favorite since Jason doesn't like it. I loved it, but I really can't pick a favorite.

Ah, Magnum. Old. Hilly. DEATH. We didn't snap the lap bar down far enough and felt like we were going to fly out the entire time.

I noticed just now that I didn't talk about any wooden roller coasters in a positive fashion. I like wooden roller coasters, but they make me feel OLD. I don't remember Judge Roy Scream or the Texas Giant hurting that much.

So, I can't pick a favorite other than Cedar Point in general. It was great. Can't wait to go back next year. I leave you with this video of the Maverick.


That's the nicest word I could come up with for my blog schedule. I wish I could pinpoint one reason that I don't update regularly. But, alas, it's not lack of inspiration, (I think oh, I should blog about that all the time), time, or desire. I think I'm just lazy. Yup. I'm feeling all squidgy today, because we're deciding whether or not to move. It would cost us more a month, but it would be a whole house, a lot more space, and most of all for me, a real kitchen. I think I'd enjoy that. There's a second bedroom for Jason to have a racing room (seriously his idea, I'm not about shoving all of his stuff where you can't see it) and a mud room for all of his fishing accouterments. (oooo good word). The house needs some work, but we're up to it, and we can make it our own. What would you do?

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some more thoughts on other things. But now that I've said that, it's a jinx.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Texas! Part 2

We spent the next day with the fam, and I was really glad to. I like Indiana and all, but my family (extended and otherwise) is awesome, and having them live so many states away (and in other states as well) really stinks.

Jason has some things in common with my Uncle, and I'd never even thought of it before.

We visited Papa's house an got a nice tour of his studio. I don't know why he won't smile.

Papa said there was an armadillo living in one of his bushes.

I looked at about 10 different pictures of all of us together, and there's not even on where we're all smiling, or even looking at the camera.

The next day we were on our way to Palo Duro canyon. We stopped at one of the nicest rest stops ever, with the most frightening signs, EVERYWHERE.

We drove all day again, and saw an actual cattle drive. We also saw about a million wind farms. It was a long, fast drive. Mom had a great theory. The reason the speed limit is so high in Texas is that if you're going to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, you'd better go fast.

W arrived in Canyon that night and were duly impressed. It was really amazing, the 2nd biggest canyon in the US. We stopped for pictures, then made our way down to have some dinner, and see a show.

The show was Texas, and it had been performed for 40 years at the stage in the canyon. You'd think that in that time, they could have made it awesome. Instead it was rather amateurish. My eyes didn't bleed, but it wasn't awesome either.

The real show was above us. Both in the amphitheater and on our way back to the hotel, I coudn't keep my eyes off the stars. It was truly amazing. If I've not said it before, I'll say it again, the sky really is bigger in Texas.

The next morning we took a jeep tour. The owners thought we were brave since, for them, they'd had a lot of rain the night before. To us, it was nothing, a few inches, and I remember 2 years ago 12 inches in12 hours, but they promised that if anything looked unsafe to pass, we would turn back.

The tour was really great. The guide was informative, and entertaining. The ranch he works for owns half of the canyon, and they use it. It's a working cattle ranch, even thought we only saw one cow. He looked kinda lonely. We got to get out of the jeep and walk around a little on interesting rock formations. There were lots of cacti. We saw a roadrunner, but failed to get an actual picture, he ran off. We looked over the edge. Jason wanted me to stay in the jeep.

After the tour we hiked just a little bit. Jason and I would really like to go back and camp overnight in the canyon. We saw deer, and more cacti. We drove back out of the canyon, and then we were headed home, but the long way. On the way to Indiana we stopped at a cheese place in Missouri that apparently no longer exists (we keep finding disconnected numbers) and we saw a tumbleweed. Jason says that it was just a weed, since it was stuck on a fence. :P

Friday, September 25, 2009

Texas! Part one

Jason, just to let you know, it's hard to type when you have to make an x with your hands.

Only a week after we came back from Florida with Jason's family, we were off to Texas with mine! My family is from Texas, and I spent many a summer there when I was younger. We all piled into the van it was me my brother my ma oh my pop and my little sister all jumped in the car. We headed downtown to the gallery mall.

WAIT. That's not even a meme. At this point it's just an old Will Smith Song. Extra points if you remember it too.

In real life, it was Jason and I, my parents, my bother and this:

My parents' new puppy, Penelope. She's a schnoodle. It took me 4 times to type that. She's half poodle, half Schnauzer and all teeth. But she's cute!!!!

We started our trip in Arkansas. I know that's not really Texas, but Mom's goal after retirement is to see all of the presidential libraries. Little Rock was just enough on our way to really qualify.

Penny, although cute was not allowed in the library, so we took shifts.

I has excited to see that there was a space exhibit there. I really do love all things space. If given the chance, I would 100% go into space. I wanted so much to go to space camp when I was a kid. Jason makes fun of me now because I saw a preview of the new show "Defying Gravity" and I said "OMG It's a show in space! It's a show in space!"

Anyway (I'm feeling awfully stream of consciousness today) in this exhibit there was part of Mir. As in the space station. It was a cool exhibit but something about the inside of that pod made you dizzy. Instantly. I went in around 4 times, and it never went away!

The rest of the Clinton library was kind of uneventful. There was a replica oval office, but we couldn't go in! I don't see the point of having the replica to see if we have to stand outside. Also, they knew I was coming, so they got out the Chihuly. For whatever reason, the docent that heard me say "look, a Chihuly" was really really impressed that I knew what it was. From Little Rock we were off to Whitesboro!

We drove and drove and drove (insert some more "droves" in there). And arrived at the hotel in the early evening. We checked in and invited my Aunt Dawn and Papa over.

Papa really is awesome. He's in his 90's and is completely independent. Not just independent, but a witty, sharp, extremely talented artist. He spends his days painting lovely things, and gave Jason and I a second painting while we were down there. It's really beautiful, of a beach in Cozumel (we didn't know that's where it was when we picked it, but more on that later) then we went to bed. Crash.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Shoot!

I'm not very consistent, but I am contrite. Sorry I haven't updated. I don't have ANY good reason. A certain awesome blogger emailed me, and it was like the wall of procrastination between me and the blog seemed short enough to climb.

I'm going to update again, soon. I promise. (okay, I already set something to come up tomorrow, ha!)

p.s. I love this picture, we went to see the King Tut exhibit at the children's museum, and it turned out to be Star Wars Saturday. I was admiring the R2 (love) and there were storm troopers everwhere. I asked for a picture. When it was taken, one of them had just told me "look scared". It's hard to look scared when things are so awesome.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


It's been a busy summer. We had looong ago planned to go to Florida with Jason's family. We were going to drive down, and stay a week. Then gas prices went waaaaaaay up. So we thought we would fly. Then Jason took a pay cut. We just didn't see how we could afford it so we told everyone that we probably wouldn't make it. Then, as a last minute thing, Jason took a look online at flights, and lo and behold, we could get down there, and back, for about 300 total! So we called his family back and started to pack!

We were headed for Treasure Island Florida. I know that sounds very mysterious and islandy, but it's a town, on the gulf coast, so an island so much. It's a really neat little town that still has a lot of historic charm.

The only way we could afford to go down was to make it just a weekend, but the airlines were surprisingly helpful on that front. We could fly in really early on friday, and then leave late on Sun.

So, I coerced my wonderful parents to get us to the airport at 4:30 Friday morning. We arrived in Florida around 8:30 or so, and went to breakfast. We left our luggage at the hotel, and went on kind of a tour of the area. We stopped at the Don Cesar hotel, which was really cool. It reminded Jason and I a lot of West Baden in style. It was also very pink.

We then went to Fort DeSoto beach and played around at the pier. We saw rays and lots of little fish in the water. There were plenty of people fishing, but nobody catching. It was a realy beautiful day.

When we got back to the hotel, our room was ready. There had been some talk of an upgrade, but not really to us, just overheard between the staff. When we walked in, we realized it had come to fruition. The room was HUGE! It had a full kitchen, a living room, and the requisite bed/bath combo.

You know what? I'm just realizing that almost every hotel room we stay in ends up having one thing odd, or broken in it. Just this past weekend, we were in one that half of the light switches didn't seem to do anything in. Hmmmm. Well, in this room there were 2 oddnesses. One was the only clothing rack was only waist high (I'd brought 2 maxi dresses) and in the dresser, one of the drawers opened on it's own. Eventually I shut it hard and the handle fell off. Ooops. Lucky I know how to work a screw.

ANYWAY we got into the room and we changed into our swimsuits for a trip to the beach. We hung out at the beach for a while, and both Jason and I got beat up by the ocean. The water was rough that day. I managed not to get sunburnt! YAY!

I remember laying out as an activity. My skin wasn't always so sensitive. I used to bake in the sun all summer, but now I wear spf 70 when I go out and pray for shade. I guess it's better for me anyway.

That night we had dinner at my sister in law's husband's parents' house. How's that for a mouthful. I'm never sure what I'm supposed to call those relatives by marriage. We had some great chicken and rice and yummies out on the lawn which ended at the backwater. There was a dock and Jason fished. He wasn't having too much luck, but a hungry heron sure hoped he would.

He'd been fishing before we ate, and he put his pole down to come to dinner. We didn't want the heron to get hooked, so he left the hook (with a tiny bit of chewed over bait) in the water. As we finished eating, we all noticed that the end of his pole was curving quite a bit. While we ate, Jason had caught a catfish!

We all went down to sunset beach for guess what? A sunset.

The next morning we had a mission. Months earlier, Jason had suggested we go parasailing. I said very nicely that I would wave to him from the boat and that I hoped he had a good time. He tried and tried, and I was considering swallowing my fear, when several friends told me that it was fun, and I should definately go. So, here I was, Saturday morning, in my bathing suit, on a boat with a parachute that looked like a smiley face.

My fears were not so much allayed when the workers on the boat had marijuana leaf tattoos, and had what I feared was an ironic sticker about employee drug testing. Then, they turned on the stereo. Sublime. Nothing but Sublime. Hmmmm. (actually it was the perfect music for that morning)

Jason had convinced his sister and her husband to go parasailing too, and we had parents in the boat as well. They were going to take our pictures. The boat took off into a beautifully clear morning. I was really nervous, we were up first.

They gave us some very quick very simple instructions, and then asked Jason and I to come to the back of the boat with our harnesses on. Did I mention I was nervous? They hooked us on to the parachute and told us we wold take off sitting, and land standing up. I was, at this point, slightly more scared than a snowman in the sahara. The boat sped up, and I was instantly, incredibly, completely, at ease.

It was like floating. There was no sense of falling, it was as easy as falling off a log. Which we didn't. We went up the full 1200 feet and stayed there for 15 minutes, which was NOT long enough. Landing was just as easy.

After everyone who was planning to had gone, we managed to get Jason's dad and Carolyn to go too! They said they had a great time!

When we had all changed into some dry clothes, we headed off to Tarpon Springs to go to the sponge docks. We'd had fun there on our honeymoon and were just too close to not go again. Turns out that it was Christmas in June...

That night, Jason and I dressed up to go out to dinner which turned out be okay food at a bar. It was my choice. I should have let Jason choose.

The next day we got in some good beach time, cuban sandwiches, and shopping. We had ice cream at a really delightful place with writing on the ceiling and candy wrappers for wallpaper. We tried to see the shuttle launch, but it got postponed due to weather.

Our trip home was interesting, filled with delayed flights and running, but we made our flights, and so did the luggage. You go AirTranica.Why are the advertising to people who are already at their mercy?

Our next adventure would be longer, but less beachy. Until next time, Make Mine Marvel.

that was kinda odd, wasn't it?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Failbread.

I can't seem to bake. On your way home from Texas (maybe I should post about the trip), we stopped at an outlet store and we got this:

It's a cast iron pan with little holes in the shape of fish! We were going to play Lost and make us some fish biscuits. Jason asked me to make jalapeno cornbread, and being the ever bookish librarian, I found this recipe on the internet:
2 c. canned cream-style corn
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2 c. dairy sour cream
1 1/2 to 2 c. grated Cheddar cheese
1 (4 oz.) can jalapenos or green chilies, seeded and chopped
2 c. corn bread mix
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. chopped onion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2 inch pan. Combine corn, corn bread mix, oil, eggs, sour cream, cheese, onion and jalapenos. Pour into pan. Bake about 1 hour at 350 degrees. Recipe can easily be halved.

I halved it, poured into the fish pan and the corn pan we already had (one is pre-cleanup, the other is post, can you guess which?) and put it in the oven. For an hour. Oh, BTW, because I learn lessons from the past, I greased both pans excessively, with butter.

After an hour, I took them out, and they still felt squishy. I put them in for another 5 min, and then another and then another, so on and so forth until I felt we were past the point no return. The fish were really brown. The corn was crispy.

I managed to get them out of the pans with a knife and some creative avoidance of had burning (this time). However, they never became anything I would call cornbread, or any type of bread. They weren't even bread-like.

I think something must be off in that recipe. While I was making it, I kept thinking that it was too much liquid, and I think that was my fatal flaw. So, while they look okay, it was more like a quiche or souffle than cornbread, the egg was the only thing holding stuff together. Not that tasty.

Jason says we should try a recipe form the Stubbs book next time. Hmmmm, Genius.

On the upside, I also made lemon bars that I stuck to each other, and some pretty good hush puppies. We didn't take pictures of them!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Zucchini Cakes

I grow GIANT zucchini. I was unaware that you were supposed to pick them when they were young for best flavor and least seeds until a few days after I picked these specimens.

I know there's not that much for scale in there, but it's about as long as my forearm (minus hand) (I mean, I still have hands, just the zucchini isn't that big) (of course you know I still have hands, how would I be typing this otherwise?) (well I guess I could have a Stephen Hawking thing and have it talk for me without using all of my hands) (or I could dictate)(but then every post would be about kangaroos)

ANYWAY I had 2 big ones. I decided to make another Pastor Ryan recipe, zucchini cakes. I shredded one up, and I had to add 3 eggs, and another quarter cup of bread crumbs.

I fried them in the cast iron skillet, and kept the finished ones warm in the oven. Starring in that picture is my other new friend, a lodge cast iron enamel baking dish. It's blue. It was on clearance at Bass Pro Shops. AWESOME!

We had them with pasta and vodka sauce. I thought the vodka sauce went great with the zucchini, better than ranch!

These were definately yummy, and I'll make them again!
next up, stuffed zucchini. I've also got more cucumbers than I can handle. Anyone know some good recipes for those???

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pot Christening

I've decided that I'm going to attempt to make Pastor Ryan's (via PW) Chicken tikka masala in my new apple pot. I know, I know, it's not really anything that requires a dutch oven, but that's what I want. It's my favorite Indian dish. Except, it's not really Indian, it's English. I'm not going to make it until after we get back from Cedar Point next week, but I'll post pictures then! Thanks so much for all of the suggestions...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New Toy

I love kitchen toys. I saw this months ago, and just recently, I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday. My wonderful husband knew just what we should get. Yup. He's a genius. This is what I got for my birthday (via amazon)

It's a 3 quart cast iron enamel pot. I couldn't get over how cute it was, all apple like, and green. It's HEAVY, but it's a piece of cookware that I hope will be a really nice kitchen addition.

Here's my dillema.

I love this, I went through 2 to get one without chips (the chipped one pictured above was replaced with ease by lodge) and it has a great place in the kitchen. but....


It seems like it would be great for all kinds of things, but I don't want to make canned soup in it first time out, or something that boring.

If there's anyone still out there, what suggestions do you have? What can I make in the apple?