“Happy New Year” Woo Hoo it is 2015. I really want to leave 2014 in the dirt, because that is where it belongs. I’ll save that for another day/blog. It is a beautiful, sunny warm day in Richmond, VA. I am celebrating New Year’s Day with my guys, the husband Michael and our two sons, Matthew and Connor. We are going to the, “Winter Classic.” This is an outdoor hockey game hey do every year on New Year’s Day. This year it is our Chicago Blackhawks vs. the Washington Capitals. We are huge, huge Blackhawk fans. Going to this game was just a dream/wish come true. The tickets were way out of our budget, especially because my husband lost his job last year and we were unemployed, but the Christmas Angel’s came through and we were able to get the tickets. And they were not just any tickets, they were really great seats. If it had been at an actual hockey rink, you would have said you were on the, “Glass.” My youngest son Connor was over the moon with excitement as he is the leader of our Blackhawk’s fan club in the family. He has been with the team since he was a little one. Matthew had his new camera that he got for Christmas with him. We all had on our Winter Classic gear. The guys got new sweaters, (I call them jerseys) the exact ones that our Blackhawks were wearing. Connor was wearing Kane #88 and Matthew was wearing Sharp #9 (I think). I had on a hoodie with the Winter Classic logo and the husband was wearing my Hossa sweater (jersey) with the same hats the Blackhawks were wearing during the morning skate. So we are all ready to go.
We were leaving from Richmond, so we had about a 90 minute drive. Connor made sure we were up like at 7am (we were staying at, “The Jefferson” hotel. I’ll post pictures of that on another blog, because that’s another story…”The Legend of the Stairs” Oh my it was a beautiful hotel. I told Michael that is where we are going to stay from now on when we come to Richmond. Sorry, getting off topic, but it was a magnificent hotel, anyways back the Frain’s Road to the Winter Classic.
We got to the game about noon at the Washington Nationals Baseball Park. It was a sea of red, because the Washington Capitals were the home team so their sweater’s were red and ours were white. We did see some Blackhawk fans and that was pretty cool. We were like high fiving, and fist bumping them because we were sure we would leave victorious. We were just all so happy to be there, at an outside hockey game and it was a beautiful day. Sunny and in the 40’s.
We got to our seats and they were just perfect. My face hurt because I had not quit smiling since Connor woke me up that morning. This was just the perfect way to start out our new year. Making new memories with the people that are the most important people in our life. The guys looked great too. Really happy to be there with us as a family. What a Happy New Year 🙂
The game started on time, they were worried that they would have to postpone it because of the glare from the sun but they were able to start on time. So I’ll give you the highlights of the game. Our seats were perfect, the weather was perfect (except my toes were a little cold because I had to go with the stylish boots, rather than with the warm ones, uggghhh). It was a good hockey game, except they lost boo hiss 😦
The memorable parts of the game were we just about got into a fight. I just forgot where I was, a hockey game hellooo and I was wearing the visitor’s sweater. It was a close game. We were tied with 12 seconds to go, when they called a penalty on our Captain, Toews and he went to the box. That meant we were short handed by 1 guy and yes those stupid Capitals got a goal and took the lead. First all what referree gives a penalty with 12 seconds to go in a tied game??? I’ll tell you, an incompetent one. Then when they scored the goal, the people in back of us banged my husband and Connor right on top of their heads. O M G I thought I was going to jump out of my seat and start banging on their faces. Now I’m a small middle age woman, with a not so small disposition. Connor was ready for a fight and the husband just didn’t get what just happened (Thank God !!!) Matthew the calm one of the bunch just turned me around and said mom just let it go. Well the game was over, and we lost. The people in back of us were just a couple of no class drunks, so we headed for the exits. As we are all filing down towards the door, and they are chanting CAPS, CAPS, CAPS suddenly there was a moment of silence and the words just came out of my mouth, I said to Connor, “How many Stanley Cups have the Capital’s won ??? Oh that would be none !!!” The Blackhawk’s have won 5, 2 of them as recent as 2013. Well the entire crowd wanted to jump on me, but they didn’t and we got out of there in a hurry 🙂
All in all it was a good game and we all had a really fun time and made some really great new memories. That is what we all needed to do to start our new year off in the right direction. New memories with the ones we love. Happy New Year to all, and Happy Blogging.This was the picture I took on the way back to Richmond, VA
So I have renamed my title. I guess I’m still a mom, but I’m more than that. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being a mom but it’s time to move on to my own life. Scarlett represents something totally else for me. She is a fictional character, “Gone With the Wind.” She is strong, and she doesn’t give up. She is passionate about what she believes in and she will fight for those beliefs. She has a spine of steel and she will not bend to be liked or accepted. That is me. People have always taken my kindness for a weakness and that is their 1st mistake. I gave a lot of myself away but I’ve kept the best for me. Now it’s my turn to see what I can be. I’m still standing and that says so much for who I am. I do not compromise with the devil. He is in back of me and always will be. I have God as my witness and that is all I need. So I hope you will read my blog. I promise you it won’t be boring, and it won’t always be sweetness and light. It will be real, like me and you. Come along for the journey.
Well here is my new journey as a,”Chef!” OMG what a fun experience. I am going to learn how to get paid for what I have been doing for the last 35 years, cooking. Although I have to admit, after attending class and being in the Kitchen with these professional Chef’s I realize I don’t know how to cook at all. I entered a recipe contest for Kraft and that was a new experience. All of it is so fun, but I am so exhausted when I get home at night. It is a good exhausted though and my wonderful husband drives me down and picks me up everyday. Door to door so it is really a very easy commute. I put a picture of my recipe in here. It is really amazing going back to school after all of these years. I have the best husband in the world. He told me it’s my turn now. You really have to love a guy who says that. 35 years of love… The name of my recipe is, “Grilled Pork Tenderloin Flatbread with a Fig Balsamic Vinagrette and Feta Cheese.” I am going to one of the best culinary schools in the country, Kendall College. It was right around the corner from where my boys went to school (The Chicago Academy of the Arts) and I always dreamed of going there. Michael (the husband) told me I could go there someday and he always keeps his promise because he is he best husband and father anyone could have ever had. I love you Michael !!! You are the best. ❤
Well if I’m going to talk about a loss, I am first going to have to talk about a win. The Chicago Blackhawk’s 2010 Stanley Cup season. It all started in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was in a hotel room with my kids. I don’t remember the hotel only that is was across the street from the Mall of America. We were in Minneapolis on a short vacation. The guys were going to see the Minnesota Twins vs. someone (I don’t remember who).
I wasn’t a hockey fan at all. You see I have 2 boys, along with the husband, and that is all my family does with it’s recreation time. If there is a ball or puck involved they follow the sport. My husband is a die hard Chicago White Sox fan. That was our first date, the White Sox vs. Milwaukee Brewers. They were in the American League so that should tell you something about how long this relationship is because now they are in the National League. Actually when I think about it, I think they are all die hard baseball fans. They watch football and basketball, and they like the college football too. My youngest, Connor is the die hard hockey fan. He is the one who got us all into hockey.
Hockey didn’t do much for me. I went to a couple of games, but it was just okay. Well then everything changed that day in Minneapolis. They were in the finals. I was sort of watching/listening to what was going on but whatever, it was just another hockey game to me. I think they were playing the Pittsburg Penguins but don’t quote me on that. Well they lost the game and Connor was very upset because he said they should have one. He wanted them to win so bad and so did all the other guys. I tried to cheer him up. I told him someone has to win, someone has to lose, blah, blah, blah. He just told me mom you don’t understand, it’s not just a game it’s the C U P. Well I guess I better start watching so I do understand.
The next game came. It was early in the day I think. Me and Connor were watching from our hotel room. Matthew had to go back to Chicago for some dance thing so he was taking the bus and wasn’t there. So the game is on and it is getting real nerve wracking. I mean it was intense. I couldn’t take my eyes off of this game. I think they were in OT so next goal, someone is going to win oh my God !! They had to win because they just had to, this was the C U P !!! Next thing I know there is Patrick Kane swooping in for the shot, he shoots he scores. They just won the Stanley Cup. Connor is throwing me on the bed. I was so happy when they won. I forever was christened a hockey fan. From that moment on I was hooked. To see Patrick Kane fall to his knees, the passion he was feeling. Well I have never seen anything like that in my life.
Miss Elsa is our oldest dog. She is a Carin Terrier/Bichon Frise. If you don’t know what kind of dog that is, think of Toto from the Wizard of Oz. She has a beautiful coat that comes from her terrier side. On her belly and 1 of her paws is white, that is the Bichon Frise. Our other dog is Bella. She is a soup hound that we got from the local dog shelter. We got her when she was a puppy. She looks like she has some German Shepard, Golden Retriever and Labrador. We are not really sure, that’s why we call her a soup hound, a b c. She is a very happy dog. Most definitely the Omega, not the Alpha. The Alpha is Miss Elsa. Then there is Mr. Jinx, a Tuxedo Cat who lives in the basement. No one knows how old he is or what his story is. He ended up outside of our home on a freezing January morning. Someone rang our doorbell and dumped him, carrier and all, on the front porch. Ding dong dump. Poor little kitty. But really what kind of person does that? I really think I might know who did that, but I’ll save that for another day.
Well we definitely are not cat people. We really only have owned dogs. We had Mr. Hemmingway before we got Miss Elsa and Bella. Mr. Hemmingway was also a soup hound from the local shelter. He was part German Shepard/Rottweiler. He was a good dog, very loyal and but a little territorial. He was the
protector. But he was a tortured soul. He always looked so worried. Well he was a great dog, but time marches on and so did he to the Rainbow Bridge. R I P Mr. Hemmingway, we will never forget you.
On that bitter cold, January morning when they ding-dong dumped Mr. Jinx on the porch I became a cat person. The first thing we did was call animal control because we weren’t cat people and we have two dogs and we were broke and had no place to put him and blah, blah, blah, blah. So they came out and I asked him what would happen to this kitty and he said, “The cat would be destroyed.” Those were his exact words. OMG, well I guess we just got a cat.
I told the animal control person that was unacceptable, and I guess we will just have to keep him. So off we went to the pet store to see the vet and get all the supplies you need to own a cat. Where are we going to put him. Mr. Hemmingway was a little curious and he was like, “Really, another little furry thing that is going to annoy me. I am old and I really can’t handle all of this change. Why can’t we just keep things the way they are.” Miss Elsa was rabid when it came to this new addition. Come to find out in her breed they use to kill cats over in Europe for the Royals because they thought that cats carried the plague. So in Miss Elsa’s dna, it was killl the cat at all cost. The only problem with that is that Mr. Jinx was a trained survivor. He was even declawed and he could handle Miss Elsa. So this would mean I was going to have to figure out a way we could all co-habitate under the same roof without anyone getting hurt.
Mr. Jinx is a very nice cat. He was well taken care of and he is definitely an indoor, domestic cat. He has the most beautiful green eyes and the cutest little black nose. He would get along fine with the dogs, but Miss Elsa will not let Mr. Jinx be. Her bark is definitely not even close to Mr. Jinx’s bite so they have to be kept apart. I’m quite sure Mr. Jinx would put a serious hurt on her and I can’t let that happen. Miss Elsa is my little old lady and I love her to pieces.
At first we kept Mr. Jinx in the laundry room but that was not a big enough space for him. Not to mention Miss Elsa would go crazy all the time when she saw him. Well he ended up in the basement and it has worked out well. During the day the dogs are out and about in the house and Mr. Jinx is down in the basement catting around. About 8pm at night, we take the dogs out for the night and then put them to bed in our bedroom and then it’s Jinxy time. Mr. Jinx comes up from the basement and cats around the house all night. In the morning, my husband is usually the 1st one up. Mr. Jinx and him have coffee together. They are the best of friends. We all live very peacefully here together except when Miss Elsa gets out and chases Mr. Jinx downstairs. I hope for Miss Elsa’s sake she never catches him.
Well I am stuck on this one, so I think I am just going to go on to the next day..
She was of normal stature for a woman of her age. I’d say somewhere in her mid-sixties. Yet her smile was larger than life. She was so happy to be here among us all, speaking to the audience about her new book she had just finished writing. Her energy lit up the room and we were all sitting on edge of our seats with her every word. She was more than an author. She was your mother, your sister, your best friend. She was so in the moment with all of us. She calls us her girlfriends and she takes us everywhere with her. And she really does.
Her hair was a brown, shoulder length. Not much make-up that I could see and her smile was so genuine. She was on a book tour promoting her new book, but she made it feel as if she had just driven up the street and stopped by the local bookstore after dinner. She signed every copy and it was such a pleasure to talk with her.
I took my granddaughter, Gabrella with me so that she could have that experience of meeting an author. I have been following Susan Branch for as long as I have been a homemaker. I think I started following her right after I got married. She is inspiring and her blog just lifts up your spirits. I love reading her books and making her recipes. She gave me a new love of tea & towels. She doesn’t have any kids but she has Joe, her husband, and two of the most lovely cats. Her stories keep you coming back for more. I try not to read her books too fast because then I don’t have anymore to read until she writes another one. Sometimes I just re-read one of her older books. Her books are like a big quilt on a rainy day, or a pot of tea in front of the fire on a winter’s night. She also has a blog I follow and she takes comments from the girlfriends. That would be us, who follow her blog. Sometimes she responds back and that is just so cool. She’ll even make it more exciting by having a drawing and if you make a comment on her blog you are automatically in the pot to win what she is giving away. I love you Miss Susan 🙂