Mar 10, 2011

Fire jumping....

It was wood cutting time again.

Tim did the cutting.  He also cut down another tree.  The kids did the picking up.  We had a rental tractor here, so we used it to haul all the branches over to our fire ring.

Lots of little branches, twigs to clean up.  They are a pain to mow over in the summer!

Abe dumping a load on our fire ring.  I think it got a bit oversized...

Mar figuring out how to drive the tractor.  After a few perplexed looks, she did it!

Connis is pooped.  No, she has not been working as long as she'd like you to think she has!

The cozy little fire ring is now a serious bonfire!  Oops!

Conni saw the fire get out of the ring, hollered at us, and we came running.  Our nice new sod was on fire!

Abe trying to stomp it back.

Trying to wet the sod down around the ring.

Once everything was ok, of course Abe had to do something like this.  Scared me to death at first.  Yes, I am well aware of the "what if's".  Put these words together and this is what happens!
male + youth + energy + challenge

You can see by his face how hot it was!

Glad he got that out of his system after only 4 or 5 jumps!
Next time, we won't build the pile so high or big!

Mar 3, 2011

Tim's 45th birthday

To celebrate Tim's birthday, I decided to spoil him with something I know pleases him every time - a nice dinner.  Tablecloth, china, flowers, wine, and courses - the works!  I chose one of his favorites: Chicken Madeira.  It is a lightly breaded and browned chicken breast with a delicious wine reduction sauce.  First course was the soup: Creamy Butternut Squash Soup.  I served Parmesan bread sticks with it. Next was a salad with his favorite homemade vinaigrette, followed by the main course: the Chicken Madeira and Roasted Asparagus drizzled with a butter and balsamic sauce. Last course was dessert.  I tried a new recipe: Spiced Pumpkin Mousse.  Yum!
Here is the table that Conni set.  The goblets are old - passed down to me from my grandmother.

And the very first flowers out of my yard: Snowdrops.

Parmesan Bread sticks rising.

The finished product tucked in a towel and ready to serve.
Abe pouring some bubbly.  It was so good - the part that he didn't fizz on the table. Notice the wet spot right beside him...

Marcis's dinner plate.

Spiced Pumpkin Mousse.  Crumbled gingersnaps in the bottom and a whole one on the top for garnish.
After dinner and the dishes (I ran the dishwasher 4 times that day) we went into the living room to open presents.  On Tim's wish list were the following: black and brown belts, cuff links, and a small farm.  Try working with that one!  He didn't make it very easy for us this year. 
Got the cuff links.

Cutting up.

John Grisham has excellent timing.  Every year, his new book comes out right before Tim's birthday.  My mom has gotten Tim the latest book every birthday for about 10 years!  Thanks Mom!

About the small farm.  This has been a life-long dream of ours.  It is still in the "some day" plan.  This year, this is the best I could do.

Enjoying his farm.  Straight out of the attic. 
Happy 45th to you, Tim!  We love you!