Category: Family

Cabin Life!!

Family
Cabin #10 Westmoreland State Park, VA

This past weekend Susan and I took the kids to the Northern Neck of Virginia to the Westmoreland State Park located on the coast of Westmoreland County, VA. We rented a two bedroom log cabin with a massive stone fireplace as the center focal point. One of the highlights of the park is a .69 mile hike that opens up to Fossil Beach. The beach is a small strip of sand flanked by two massive cliffs. Apparently high tide sweeps over the beach and unearths fossils to include shark teeth. We however, did not find any. The cabins were built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) and is one of the original 6 State Parks built in Virginia. This trip was so enjoyable that we are already planing another cabin trip to Douthat State Park in the Spring!!

Amanda’s Fairy Garden

Art!Family
So, this is my front yard now

Well, Amanda has been busy. We now have a fairy garden in the front yard. It looks pretty cool, in a Pinterest kind of way. But I got up this morning and the bridge and a few buildings were were overturned. I think I saw some chipmunks running from the crime scene wearing “Resist!” t-shirts. But I may be wrong. Here’s a few pics of this new land. Click the first one to embiggen, then click on the right side of the picture to run through them.

Fourth of July Week at the Beach

BeachingEatingFamily

Don, Amy, Emmalee, and Alexis drove all the way down from Michigan to spend the week with us in Rehoboth Beach. They arrived Sunday. Brenda was there to greet them. I arrived Tuesday evening, and Amanda and Arty joined us on Wednesday evening. The weather played along perfectly, with sun pretty much every day. Some days were crazy hot, but on the beach there was no humidity and a nice offshore breeze. We watched the Rehoboth Beach fireworks over the ocean on 7/3 (because Rehoboth does not believe in calendars, I guess), and over the Delaware Bay in Lewes on 7/4. We enjoyed a lot of great food, and I for one, had a great time! Here’s some pics – click on one of the thumbnails below and to the right of the image to run through them.

With the Richmond Sussmans at the Beach

BeachingFamily
Lily Playing in the Sand

I joined Brian, Susan, Dane, Nick, and Lily at the beach last Saturday. Brenda arrived the next day. I had to leave on Wednesday, because of the unfairness of the world, but I had a terrific time during the time I was there. The weather was perfect the entire time. It couldn’t have been better! Click on the first picture to embiggen, then click on the right to run through them all. I’ll let Brian or Susan add pictures from the 2nd half of the week.

2019 Mountville Baseball Championships

FamilySports
Julian hitting an inside the park home run that was ruled a ground rule double because reasons. He scored anyway.

Last Thursday 6/13/2019 grandson Julian and his team the Mountville (PA) White Sox began their championship tournament. I was there for the first 3 games. Ultimately, they played 6 games and came in 2nd place. Go Sox! Here are a few pics of the first 3 games. Click on the first one to embiggen, then click to the right to run through them.

Recipes for Kelsey

EatingFamilyRecipes
Tuscan Chicken Soup and Chili

Kelsey asked for a couple recipes of the food that she was able to choke down when she lived here. First one is the Tuscan Chicken Soup. It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. Oddly enough, I think it’s an old Weight Watchers recipe. I got it from a friend at work. He said he often makes it for guests and that they always like it. In fact, I just made it a couple days ago, and there’s a bowl or 2 left over in the fridge right now. Yum.

Tuscan Chicken Soup

  • olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Cup chopped onion
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • about 3 14.5oz cans of chicken broth
  • 1/2 Cup uncooked orzo
  • 1 – 14.5oz can of stewed tomatoes (chop up the tomatoes, but keep the liquid and add to soup)
  • 1 – 16oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (fresh ground is best)
  • 1 – 6oz package of fresh baby spinach
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook garlic and onion in oil about 5 mins until tender. I ususally cook the onion for a couple minutes, then throw in the garlic Add chicken and cook about 5 more minutes and crumble the chicken as it cooks
  2. Add the broth and the next 6 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer about 20 minutes until orzo is done.
  3. Stir in the bag o’ spinach until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with cheese. Eat the soup.

Chili

Chili is one of those “make it up as you go along” kind of recipes. The basic recipe is a chopped onion and a few minced cloves of garlic cooked in oil until they start to soften. You can also add some chopped green pepper and/or jalapenos if you like that kind of thing.

Add about 2 pounds of ground beef and cook until it’s no longer red, breaking it up as it cooks. You can also use ground turkey, or rough chopped chuck for chili, or a combination if you want.

Then add a large 29oz can of crushed tomatoes, and four 14.5 oz cans of small red beans or kidney beans or whatever beans you like. I usually dump in a 12 oz can of V8 juice and/or a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes because it usually needs more liquid and I like tomatoes.

You need to put in about 3 tablespoons of chili powder to start, and some cumin is nice, about a tablespoon. Add some pepper, maybe a teaspoon or so. Be careful with salt. It’s easy to over-salt. I’d put in just a little, maybe a teaspoon or so, then add small amounts as it cooks if you think it needs more. Remember, you can always add a little salt, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there. Taste it as it cooks and add chili powder or whatever you think it needs more of or what would be good. It will need more chili powder. Worcestershire sauce is good in chili, as is some liquid smoke, if you like liquid smoke.

Let it simmer over low heat until the beans are the correct degree of softness and it thickens up a bit. Put in bowls and if you want, add cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, cornbread or crackers on the side, whatever. Eat the chili.

Julian and Olivia Visit

EatingFamily

Julian and Olivia and their parents stopped by yesterday to wish Amanda a happy birthday, and to kick off St. Patrick’s Day.  Amanda made some St. Patrick’s Day cookies for them, and put together goodie bags full of St. Patrick’s Day enchantment.  Then we all went out to dinner in the Mosaic District.  I was great seeing these guys.  We’ll have to do it again soon!

Click on the first picture below to embiggen, and then click on the right to run through them.

Nick: Soccer Star!

FamilySports

Nick taking the ball down the field

Grandson Nick was recently selected to play on an elite travel soccer team, so Brenda and I went down to Richmond to watch Nick play one of his last YMCA soccer games before he he moves up to the big leagues.  Today, his team dominated.  After the game, we went over to nearby a restaurant called “Fest,” a German Beer Garden with many wonderful draft German beers, sausages, pretzels and other great German fare; perfect for 9 year olds and their parents.  Dane took command of the community chalk board at the restaurant and a splendid time was had by all.

Brenda’s Birthday!

Family

Both the Richmond, Va.  and the Lancaster Pa. Sussmans helped Brenda celebrate her birthday this weekend.  Happily, the weather played along and was beautiful both Saturday and Sunday.  Saturday, after a little front-yard football, we all went bowling, natch’.  Then today we all went to Lake Accotink Park and watched spring move in, finally.  Click the first pic below to embiggen, then click the right side of the picture to move through them.

 

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Cats Are Assholes, part 1,745,092

FamilyThat's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown

So, it’s Christmas Day, and Maggie, one of our new cats, decided to climb about 50 feet up a neighbor’s hickory tree.  Then, of course, she can’t get down.  The temperature was supposed to drop to the  low 20s tonight, so we can’t just leave her up there, or so I’m told.  We called Adam from Out on a Limb Tree Service and he came out on Christmas Day, climbed the tree and grabbed the cat. It’s a Christmas miracle!  Thanks Adam!  Here’s video Amanda made of Maggie being saved.  Click a picture to embiggen and then click on the right side of the picture to run through them.


 

 

 

UPDATE:  Maggie has a very large  2-3″ gash on her belly.  Looks like she may have been attacked by a hawk or some of our local Northern Virginia fauna.  Brenda and Amanda took her to the 24 emergency vet.  I’m taking bets on how many thousands of dollars emergency vet services on Christmas will cost.  Does anyone know how to set up a Go Fund Me Page?

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