Thursday, March 16, 2017

Spending Time in a House Full of Love

Our road trip continued with time in Western Massachusetts. Rick's main purpose of the trip may have been to sell his wares at a trade show. Mine was to not only help him but especially to spend time with Elaine and Randy. Randy is "the middle brother" in Rick's clan and the best part of our time on the road is being with them. This time, it was extra special because they hosted a small dinner where we could meet some of their friends (who, not surprisingly, were just as fun as they are!).

The theme of the dinner was New Zealand food, as that's their "heart place," and the site of their recent travels. We had amazing kebabs (not kebobs)...

...and tornado potatoes with a wonderful Gruyere topping!

I told Elaine that it had to take her hours to prep up all the veggies for the kebabs -- tomatoes, onion, pumpkin, squash -- and wrap them with bacon. Oh, yes it did, but WOW!

For dessert we did something called the Tim Tam Slam. Tim Tams are little chocolate cookies.

You bite off opposing corners, dip them in your hot liquid and slurp it up through the cookie quickly!

Randy's concoction was coffee ice cream with kahlua and vodka. You couldn't drink a lot of it but on a bitter cold night it was a perfect way to end the dinner!

Of course I had to bring a bit of Michigan with me! If I'd known it was more than the four of us, I would have brought a bigger pie! But with the Tim Tams, just perfect!

The next day Rick and Randy went on a hike. Meanwhile, I couldn't resist taking a few photos of the many birds that flock to their feeders.

I put the zoom to the test with this chickadee!

And I am wild about cardinals, anytime, any place. I missed the shot with five or six of them, but this one posed!

After the guys returned, Rick and I went to the Norman Rockwell museum where there was also a Hanna and Barbera exhibit. (More on that later!) We explored the town of Stockbridge, NY and returned home for a family dinner and time with Pickles and Daisy.

Pickles and Daisy are cats. Pickles is one of the coolest cats of all time, right up there with the Marmelade Gypsy and Lizzie. He's a senior but still unbearably sweet.

Daisy is the fluffier version of sleek Pickles and she, too, is a love.

But they don't often photograph together!

Look like twins, don't they? Both great cats!

We were out early the next morning, the impending blizzard motivating us to get home before the east was snowed in. Randy and Elaine's pond was definitely looking cold!

Past the Shaker Village...

...and on the road. Where we were continually warned about the weather.

Home now, safe and sound and no blizzard to shovel. If we hadn't left when we did, I think we'd still be there!  Lizzie was glad to see us and it's time to do laundry. But oh, what fun! Thanks, Randy, Elaine and and all who made our trip terrific!


Linda @ A La Carte said...

What a great dinner! The dessert looks like such fun and Kahula and vodka, yes please! Glad you got home safely. Cute cats!

Sandra Cox said...

Oh what fun and what creative cookery!
Those babies are toooooo sweet.
Glad you're home safe and sound.

Valerie-Jael said...

Wonderful photos of the wild life and not so wild life. That food has got to me, oh my, I'm drooling just looking at it. What a great host to prepare all that. Enjoy your trip, hugs, Valerie

Joanne Huffman said...

Family, feasting, and fun in the Berkshires. It sounds wonderful.

Marcia said...

Tornado potatoes! MUST try. YUM!
Looks like you had a wonderful time. Good thing you left when you did though. ;)

Mae Travels said...

Great trip and great ending -- no blizzard driving!

best... mae at

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I have a friend who lives in Australia who sent me some Tim Tams. They are fantastic, but I never tried the TimTam Slam. Rick's SIL went all out, didn't she? I was truly impressed with all the work she must have put into the kabobs and potatoes.

Lovely photos of the birds. That cardinal was out of this world.

Bleubeard loved the photos of the cats. They are adorable. Squiggles wasn't interested in looking at the computer. He was just glad they didn't invade HIS space.

So glad you are home and safe. From what I've seen on the weather channel, you would have been caught in a horrible storm otherwise.

Lynne said...

Don't you love being in another's world for a bit
and then arrive back home with new ideas,
loving the travel,
appreciating home . . .
Thank goodness you missed the storm . . .
Love those "double take" cats!

Jennifer Richardson said...

I love your adventures and the tables you share:)
And your big beautiful heart - how you do community.
And now, in addition, I'm hungry:)
Biggest of hugs,

La Table De Nana said...

Looks like you fit in perfectly everywhere:) So lovely to have homes away from home:)
I wouldn't but it seems like it..great bird shots!

Deb said...

Looks like a fun time. Daisy, Pickles and the chubby chickadee...too cute for words.

Elaine Oberle said...

Thanks for the lovely post! This was so much fun and we love when you "stop by" and visit.
I would be happy to share the recipes for the kebabs or the tornado potatoes. Please visit again soon!

My name is Erika. said...

You know I grew up in central Massachusetts and I have never been to Stockbridge-even though I now live in New Hampshire. It looks beautiful. And those kitties-is it easy to tell them apart? I think you had a good trip-and what a fun dinner. A little exotic and fun to discover new things. :) Glad you missed the snow- that would have put a damper on your travels for sure. Hugs-Erika

Tracy said...

Oh, such food... and good times! LOVE seeing all this, Jeanie! And kitties too... twins at the! Pickles--what a great name! VERY glad you got home and safe before the big storm! ((HUGS))

BeachGypsy said...

That looks like a fun trip and wow, I can almost smell that good food cooking!! You said bacon, right?? YUM!! Pretty kitties! The museum sounds interesting, is it a very big place? wow, I can't believe how much snow hit so many people....looks so cold and deep! Do y'all have any plans for the weekend?

Rita C. said...

Terrific zoom photos of the birds, Jeanie! The food looked scrumptious. Can't wait to hear about your trip through the Rockwell Museum.

shoreacres said...

I didn't think any cats could be cuter than Dixie and Lizzie, but I must say: that pair is delectable. I'm glad you made it home safely. I love winter, but I do not in any way appreciate winter driving!

Katie Clooney said...

Looks like a wonderful trip Jeanie. Hope you didn't get caught in the snow storm. Those Tim Tams look right up my alley. Have a wonderful weekend.

Victoria Zigler said...

Glad you had such a great time, and also that you made it home before the storm.

The French Hutch said...

Oh Jeanie, I know this was a wonderful trip for you and Rick. Spending time with family and then hearing about their travels with all that amazing food! Such a beautiful town and I would love to explore that part of our country. Love the winter bird shots. Happy the blizzard didn't hit!!! Home is always perfect after being away. Enjoy the weekend.........

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Looks like a wonderful trip! It's so great when you really mesh well with family members. That's not always the case so when it does, it reminds you to be very thankful! Those cats look adorable! Love that they are matching. I do sometimes wish we had gotten a sibling for Oscar when we adopted her. We were gone for a really long day on Wednesday as we had a venue meeting followed by a mentor couple meeting so we were gone from 7:15 am to 9 pm and when we got home she was 'velcro kitty' (Phil's description). I made a tuna sandwich and gave her some on a plate and while she was excited to eat it, she kept stopping to peek around the corner to make sure Phil was still there!! So we don't exactly have an 'independent cat'. We haven't left her alone much, though, so that's just how she's been raised I guess!

Anyways, I am getting off topic here (but I know you like hearing Oscar stories). I am glad you guys had a great visit! Those kebabs look amazing! Lots of work but delicious results!!!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Great pictures, love the birds. What a great trip and the food looks wonderful WOW.

Such pretty kitty's.

So glad that you got home before the storm started and you got stuck in the middle of it. It's always so good to come home, isn't it.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Ruben was just at UMASS Amherst!

Carola Bartz said...

That looks like a wonderful trip and visit. The food made me hungry - and that dessert! Oh my! Yummy yummy. Lovely cats, and glad you made it home with no blizzard. By the way, I'm wild about cardinals as well, especially we don't have them here. I saw them in PA and was so happy about that.

Marilyn Miller said...

Well Pickles and Daisy looked like fun additions to the visit. How fun to also sip through those cookies. I will have to try that one of these days.

~*~Patty S said...

Ever since an Australian friend visited and called kabobs KABABS we don't say it any other way lol
Those potatoes sure look yummy too.
Lovely bird shots and kitty kats too

Red Rose Alley said...

Oh my goodness, that red cardinal should be framed, Jeanie. Great picture of the woodpecker. Our woodpeckers look a bit different here. We have the red-headed woodpecker, and their whole head is a bright red. They are the funniest bird, and see them all the time at the trial. You take the best cat pictures, Jeanie.


Popular Posts