Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

I'm finishing the year laying in the recliner.  I've been sick for the past 3 days and I still have no voice to speak of (ha ha...get it? no voice to speak of...?)  Forgive me, I'm medicated.  Oh well, I think I'm on the mend, John went to the store this morning and got me some new meds, so I'm hoping to be back on my feet by the weekend.

I hope everyone has a happy New Year's eve, and a fantastic New Year's day.  Don't forget to eat your black-eyed peas tonight or tomorrow to clinch the deal for good luck in 2016!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Movie Review --- Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I've waited a while before posting this, just in case you haven't seen it yet.  In any case, there may be a few "spoilers" here, so if you haven't seen it -- TURN AWAY!! ha!
As you may know, my reviews aren't that detailed anyway, just my impressions about the movie.

We were treated to the movie by JR and Ashley, he bought the tickets a month ago for the first night at the downtown RiverCenter mall.  I never knew how cush that theater was! Big wide seats that recline! Yes -- recline!  Come on, all other theaters, you need to get on that bandwagon now.  What a great way to watch a movie.

I was expecting big crowds, but I'm guessing most of the seats were pre-sold, because it wasn't bad at all.  The seats are pre-assigned, too, which I really like since you don't feel so rushed.

That all being said, I really did like the movie.  Definitely stayed true to the "Star Wars" world that was created in the past 6 movies. I liked the mix of the new, young generation and the older generation from the first movies.  I felt like cheering every time one of them showed up on the screen -- in fact some people in the theater did!

Things I loved -- they added in a lot more comedy then we got in the older movies, the two new hotshots, Finn and Poe, reminded me so much of Luke and Han.  I liked Rey's spirit and dedication to waiting for her parents to come back, and I really loved the new droid - BB8!

Things I didn't love -- they stole all the joy from Han and Leia's love story.  Damned! I hated that they didn't really have an "and they lived happily ever after." Not happy about that, writers.

John thought this movie was a duplicate of one of the older stories, A New Hope. The same old death star (just called something else) and a role reversal of the bad guy being the son instead of the father.  I have to say the son wasn't quite the same scary guy his grandfather was.  He also wasn't happy about how fast Rey found her Jedi powers.

But I still loved it, and I'll see the next one.  I hope they don't make us wait another 10 more years!

After the movie, I got to take my first Uber ride.  Since we had walked over from JR and Ash's home, we rode back to a hip restaurant for dinner, Azuca, which has some fancy Latin food.  It was delicious!

 I had the shrimp pasta frontera...
John had a vegetarian dish...

I wish I had taken a photo of it, but if you go, definitely try the fruit creme brulee....oh my!!! We all shared one dish -- it's plenty.
What a nice evening.  Here's a couple of shots of downtown San Antonio landmarks lite up for Christmas.

A Very Merry Christmas....

We have had a really wonderful holidays this year!
Last weekend was "Schwencke" weekend, starting with the annual Schwencke Women's Breakfast.  We all gather at a local restaurant for breakfast together and catch up on what's been going on with all of us.  We started this tradition many years ago with Mom, when our children were all small.
This year we went to Whiskey Cake in San Antonio.

Then the very next day we had the Schwencke Christmas.  It was so great to catch up with everyone! These are all of the cousins (minus one who wasn't able to make it.) 
And here they are again with their husbands, wives and kids.
Next year I have to be sure we take a picture of all of us "old folks" too.  We were so busy talking I didn't think to take out the camera much.

Christmas started for us with mass on Thursday evening at the little church in Lakehills.  The Koenig's joined us, and after mass the girls went over to check out their nativity set.  This is all new for Joss. She can point out who Baby Jesus is, though.

Then on Christmas morning, we had brunch with them at their home, as usual.  The girls got to show us all of their new toys from Santa.  Again, I did a bad job of using the camera.  I don't know what's wrong with me lately -- just not in the swing of the camera thing.
 Sadly, only thought to take a shot after the food was all gone!
Joss is showing me her new bed!

Then we had Christmas lunch out here at the house.  It was a great day.  John and I exchanged gifts before everyone got there.  I got the garden related things that I asked for and he got the welding set he wanted.

I didn't take very many pictures that day either.  Major fail. Here are a few that I did take:
 Joss got some "MiMouse!"stuff -- she loves Minnie!

 KT with her haul!

 Reaching for my phone....little urchin!

The Hoyt's joined us for lunch!

A wonderful Christmas -- now on to New Years!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Missing Dad today, 8 years later....

Thinking of you today, Dad.  It's been 8 years and I still think of you often and with love. Miss you terribly.  I wish you could have known these two little great grand-girls of yours...they are quite something.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fall Garden Notes, December 17, 2015

Probably the last "Fall" garden update for the year, we're going to switch to "Winter" very soon.  Where has the time gone?
I harvested the first of the lettuce this past week - and I picked the first of the greenhouse tomatoes, too.  So pretty!

 Sleeping Lady tomato
The two plants are covered with green tomatoes!
 The red cherry tomato has bloomed and this plant is about 5 foot tall already.  I'm going to have to start clipping it to the greenhouse side to keep it supported.

That's about it for the garden.  John's been cutting up and stacking wood in the small barn - it's pecan wood from JR's house (he had a tree cut down) and needs to season for a while.

 Today I cleaned up the turkey house -- the compost bin is now filled with good turkey poo and used hay, and the turkey pen smells like newly cut hay.  Nice and clean. Turk and Grey have learned to deal with each other, and I'm able to let them out into the back garden during the day now. All and all, he settled in with us pretty fast.  I'm putting a heat lamp on for them during these freezing nights.

Christmas 2015

We've slowly finished decorating -- the tree is up, and the gate is decorated.  I've put up a few things out on the pavilion, but I'm just not in the mood this year.  Don't know what the problem is, but I'm hoping the "spirit" will kick in soon.  We have several Christmasy events this weekend, so I'm sure that will help!
 Our slightly crooked tree - reminds me that I have to start wrapping gifts!
The outdoor tree - John started wrapping it in lights last year and added a few more this year.  I love to see it shining out in the yard.
The gate is lite up.  There's a wreath on it, too, but can't be seen in the dark.
I put my mother's nativity set under the tree this year.
Joss is fascinated by it. She does the "baa" sound for the sheep, "moo" for the cow, but doesn't quit know what to do for the camels!  
 I've been baking a few goodies for the holidays.  I made cake mix cookies, Nuts 'n Bolts, Christmas Crack, and some chocolate chip cookies.  Tonight I made poppy seed kolaches.  John's favorite thing, I think.

Hope you are all enjoying the last few days before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer....

Another trailer for a movie I'm really looking forward to.  It's sadly lacking in real tidbits about the movie, just a peek really.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Star Trek Beyond

It's a great day for upcoming trailers!! Here's the new Star Trek movie coming out in July! It's going to be a great year to be a nerd.

Independence Day Part Two! It only took them 19 years.....

Okay, I'm in!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Fall Garden Notes, December 7, 2015

I finally was able to harvest some of the greens from the greenhouse and the main garden this week...some kale, spinach, radicchio, and mini pak choy.  I used the spinach right away in a breakfast egg casserole.  Yum, so delicious!
The main outside garden is growing and doesn't seem to be affected by the few frosts that we've had.  There's a couple kinds of kale here, dwarf Siberian and scarlet kale. I like to cut the leaves young and tender, and these plants should last me all winter if it doesn't get super cold.
The collards are growing, too.  These are Morris Heading collards.
The white carrots look good, although they have a long time to go.
These are the green cauliflower and DiCicco broccoli, I think.  I've lost track of what's what.
More of the rapini broccoli.  I need to clip these.
Still surprised that the lettuce isn't affected by the frost.  We had 28 degrees for a couple of nights, and it sails right through.
Here's a closer look at the Lotta Red -- it's such a deep red -- just beautiful.
Crisphead and Burgandy Boston...
Here's a closer look at the Burgandy Boston.
The celery is growing slowly....
Inside the greenhouse, the red cherry tomato plant is finally starting to bloom.
My crazy Methley plum tree set a couple of blooms! It's obviously totally mixed up about what season it is.
And a parting shot of the red oak leaves -- they've finally changed colors.  Very late this year, but still quite pretty.