I thought this shot was a nice reminder of "hearth and home." I am happy to be back home after our trip to visit my family. We had a relaxing and enjoyable visit, but four days away is plenty.
The days since we've returned have blurred together, and I'm not sure exactly what I've accomplished. I guess that's the sign of a good vacation, so I'm not complaining. The shot of the fire was taken on the night we returned home. Adventure Guy made it while Swim Chick, Gym Girl, and I were at the mall, having ventured out to spend their gift certificates and do some returns. They had a wonderful lesson on exactly how far $30 does not go at Abercrombie & Fitch, and after having added in some of their own savings to purchase two things each, stated that they liked their new things but thought it was silly for some people to have so much clothing from there. My work here is done.
Adventure Guy and I spent the rest of the evening enjoying the fire and watching Inside Man on DVD. I was drawn into it more than I had expected since I had planned to just read while he watched. It was an interesting role for Jodi Foster. Adventure Guy proclaimed he was glad he didn't pay money for it in the theater because "it didn't go anywhere."
Yesterday we slept in rather than going to church. I got started on one of my New Year's resolutions which is to get caught up on my photo album. That involved actually uploading the pictures we've taken since April to Snapfish for ordering. Then we headed out for lunch and a movie with the kids. We saw The Pursuit of Happyness. It was well-done though fairly depressing for the majority of the film. It was interesting seeing Will Smith act with his son Jayden Smith, who did a nice job in the movie.
Last night we went out for New Year's for the first time in many years. We have two couples we often spend New Year's Eve with, and this year everyone was able to get a babysitter. We went to a local lounge that's been open about a year. The crowd tends toward the older demographic and offers dinner and dancing. I like an excuse to dress up, and it's nice to feel young rather than old at a bar! Two bands played, the first more big band era stuff and the second more 60s, 70s, and 80s. We had a great time. I also was one of two finalists for the trip to Europe that they gave away at midnight, but, alas, I had to settle for second prize, which was a $50 gift certificate to the establishment. We'll enjoy using it later, though probably not as much as we would have enjoyed the trip to Europe!
Today I'm in the process of making Black-Eyed Peas for lunch. No good Southern girl would pass up serving these for good luck on New Year's Day. There are lots of variations, but here's my recipe. I serve it with cornbread. Enjoy!
1 lb. black-eyed peas, cooked
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 to 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped with seeds removed
8 slices bacon, cooked
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. basil
1 large bay leaf
1 tsp. chopped garlic
hot pepper sauce to taste (I use 10-12 drops)
Crumble bacon and add to peas. Saute onions, celery, and peppers in bacon drippings and add to peas. Add remaining ingredients, simmer 30 minutes. Can be served over rice.