Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crepes I shall dream tonight

Little did I know that I would be standing 3 straight hours in the kitchen making 48 tiny crepe quiche lorraines this evening. Quiches that Jason will bring to his Halloween breakfast party at work tomorrow morning, along with his pumpkin. I'm glad my mom is here to help me, because making tiny crepes takes up so much time. After the crepes were done, I placed them into tiny muffin molds and filled it with the egg batter, bacon, hard boiled eggs and cheese, and baked them. Batch by batch. by.batch. (because I only have one darn silicon muffin tray).
All said, I still enjoy being married to my wonderful husband. The same man who said the quiches were only "quite nice". He is right now watching his football game with my dad.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Friday

Played Empire Rails with Jason tonight, and my mom volunteered to be the banker.
I lost to Jason by one turn. Darn.
Jason kept telling my mom that I cheat. If I did, I wouldn't have lost, would I?

Bonding with the kids

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Monday, October 23, 2006

Brunswick Stew Weekend

We spent the Saturday over at my in-law's place for Brunswick Stew. Family members came from as far as Ohio (and Malaysia, if you count my parents) for the weekend. It was nice to meet almost the entire family for this annual tradition.

The original Brunswick Stew, according to Brunswick County historians, was created in 1828 by black chef, "Uncle" Jimmy Matthews. As the story goes, Dr. Creed Haskins, of Mount Donum on the Nottoway River and a member of the Virginia State Legislature for a number of years, took several friends on a hunting expedition. While the group hunted, Jimmy Matthews, Dr. Haskin's camp cook, hunted squirrel for the evening meal. Matthews slowly stewed the squirrels with butter, onions, stale bread and seasoning in a large iron pot for many hours. While the hunting party returned they were reluctant to try the new, thick concoction but, one taste convinced them to ask for more.

Since that time, Brunswick Stew has been prepared by many different stew masters and they continue to produce large batches of the "Virginia ambrosia" for church functions, local fund raisers, family reunions, and political rallies.

Brunswick stew is now most commonly made with chicken, or a combination of several meats, which might include rabbit, beef, and pork. Onions, corn, and tomatoes are usually included, and many recipes call for lima beans, peas, and/or okra.

Friday, October 20, 2006


We found a goodies bag on our front door yesterday morning. Inside were a box of mint chocolates, some German wafer chocs, a box of halloween jelly beans, a kitchen towel and a "Boo" wooden door sign. On the bag, was this note :


We drove around to see how many other homes have been boo-d and picked out our "victims". I filled 3 bags with different goodies and halloween deco and we drove around the neighborhood tonight and left those bags on our "victim's" front door. I love doing this!! Boy do I like this neighborhood!

Happy Birthday Mom!

It was my Mother-in-Law's birthday on Thursday.
We had plenty of family, pizza, ice cream and cake!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oh what a week!

Definitely felt like we had a whirlwind vacation. I regret not having blogged as the events rolled by because now, I don't know where to start!

We drove to Raleigh last Saturday morning, saw some of Chapel Hill and stayed with Barbara and Joe, got to meet Phillip and Selena, and we spent Sunday at the State Fair.
I told Jason that I wanted to see atleast one side show at the fair. So I paid $1 and walked into the one that said "Head of a girl and body of a snake". There, inside this little cage was a python on a table but it had a head of a blond girl. I figured it was just a fake head but then she started moving her head, blinking her eyes, moving her lips and throat. It was rather disturbing.
My parents had a good time too, and they got to taste a little bit of the State Fair food. I was relieved we didn't lose them amongst the crowd.
You may have read in Jason's blog about the unfortunate incident we encountered after the State Fair. We got back to the car and realised we had things stolen from the car - Father-in-law's new Q phone, Jason's Zen MP3 iPod thingy, my video camera and mom-in-law's unopened birthday present from Barbara. We called the police, waited for the police to come and made a report. Eventhough we may be able to replace what we had lost, we will never be able to replace the videos we had taken. What a way to end a beautiful weekend.

We were all poofed by the time we drove 3 hours back to Charlotte. Threw some new clothes into the luggage and were off to the mountains the next morning. Parents-in-law rented a neat little cedar wood cottage that had great views of the mountains with the nicest and comfiest bed. Almost as nice as Hampton Inn's. The fall colors were breathtaking. Lots of reds, yellow and orange. We stayed two nights and got home late Wednesday night.
Took my parents to Grandfather Mountain. My mom did really good on the swinging bridge and Jason took her up to the top whilst I was worried to death. It was very windy and foggy.
It rained all Tuesday so we stayed in for the most part of the day and just took a foggy drive to Valle Crucis to the Mast General Store and stocked up on candies. On Wednesday, we took the scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway , up to Jefferson town to visit the Cheese factory and back to Boone, bought some apples and back to Charlotte. The mountains are always a nice breakaway.
We also got to meet Aunt Janet and Uncle Phil who was visiting from Ohio.

More on the week later.

Create Your Own!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Still talking techy

I got my laptop back on Wednesday evening. (Thanks to Jason) My I.T manager told Jason that it is guaranteed to log me into the VPN now.
But guess what? I tried it and it failed. Same problem. Either I am the real jinx here or the laptop just doesn't like me, or both. Feeling frustrated, I started meddling with every icon that I could find. I found that the Symantec Firewall had been enabled, and when I disabled it, I could get into the VPN!!! Walla!!!
Then I started thinking... was that all it took to log me into the VPN? If I had figured that out 2 weeks ago, I would not have had to put everyone through this trouble. Then again, why didn't my I.T Manager figure THIS out 2 weeks ago??? Hmmm...
So anyways, I got my "feel good, proud of myself" moment which lasted for a good 30 minutes. Then I got swamped with work and didn't go to bed till past midnite.

Today, I discovered I could not download Adobe Reader because of some security settings which requires the administrator's password. Ugh.. when will this end????

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Techy and me do not mix

I am still laptopless after 2 weeks. The old dinosaur vacuum-cleaner-sounding laptop finally broke down. My company replaced me with a new fancy schmancy IBM laptop. Unfortunately, it refuses to log me into the VPN. I took it back to my I.T manager last Thursday and he, too, doesn't have a clue why it would not log me in. Everything else worked fine. He mentioned something about firewalls and codes and some techno mumbo jumbo.
Thus, I have not been able to do much work on the database for 2 weeks now. Not that I am complaining much because it gives me more time to spend with my parents. But my work is piling up and I'll be working like crazy once I get the laptop back, which is.... this evening. Anyways, I'll be glad to finally be able to clear the pile of work. I am the type who hates going to bed at night knowing my work is unfinished.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Pa!

Without having to repeat ourselves, Jason has already posted about the weekend on his blog. So I'll do the honor of posting the pictures and a brief update.
Just scroll down to see what we've been up to over the weekend.

Create Your Own!


Saturday night, we went to Waldhorn for Oktoberfest. Every year, The Waldhorn restaurant holds 3 weekends of Oktoberfest festivities where Germans and non-Germans alike converge on food, Oktoberfest beer, fun and a dose of German Gemutlichkeit.

We also invited our neighbors, RC & Betty, to join us. They were dressed in their German costumes and lederhosen. Dinner was plentiful and good. My wonderful husband had also arranged for the waitress to bring out a surprise blackforest cake and a candle on it to celebrate my dad's birthday which falls on Sunday. He was surprised for sure.

After dinner, we adjourned to the big tent outside to join in the festivities. It was really crowded and we shared the table with five crazy young out-of-towners. 3 of them could speak Bahasa Melayu because they spent 7 years in Indonesia. How ironic for us to meet someone who could speak Malay in a tent of thousands of people.

There were lots of dancing and shouting and singing and drinking. My mom earned herself a chicken hat from my mom-in-law for dancing the chicken dance. One of the guys at our table had also coaxed Jason to go dance with my mom.
We had a great time. I felt like I was on vacation in beerland:)

The chicken dance song is still stuck in my head.

Flea Market

Saturday morning, we went to the big Flea Market near Statesville. It was chilly, breezy and drizzling with rain and we made sure my parents were wrapped up in warm clothes. This was their first feel of cold weather since arriving on Monday.

We browsed through all the interesting knick knacks and walked from hall to hall and also the outdoor stalls. I don't think we covered the entire market. There was just too much to see.
I managed to find a pair of ear-rings for my mom and Jason found his cast-iron pancake pan.

Create Your Own!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

I still can't believe my parents are here! I am so happy!!!
We had dinner last night at my in-law's place and they got to meet the rest of the Barker clan. My parents were entertained by the boys. Cooper and Wrenn were in their best behavior and really charmed their way into my parents' hearts. The kids might have thought it was Christmas again with all the gifts and souvenirs distributing around.

This afternoon, I took them to their first lunch here in Charlotte (since they were too tired to go anywhere yesterday after a 28+ hours flight) - Arby's!! I think they love it.

They also had a feel of what it's like to stand in line at the post office.

Tonight, they'll get a taste of what the kafeteria feels like. And we'll take them grocery shopping.