Monday, July 20, 2009

This n That to Catch Up - July 13th – 20th

Ok, since I’ve not posted since Sox ate the Motorhome, let’s catch up a bit.

On Monday, July 13th, we were still in Carlinville. On our morning walk, Kurt, one of the park attendants at Beaver Dam told us about a new restaurant in Carlinville, so we decided to give it a try for lunch.

Magnolia’s is a neat little restaurant in an old restored schoolhouse in the heart of Carlinville. Click here for their menu, hours and photos. The two guys that own the place have also been restoring the old Catholic church that’s attached and live in that. The service was great. Ken and I both had the Magnolia Signature Salad served with warm homemade rolls.
We liked these so well that I took a shot at replicating back home and have provided the basic recipe here. The picture is from the at-home attempt which was a hit with Ken.

Cindy’s version of Magnolia’s Signature Salad

For two salads:

1 Romaine heart, chopped (I think the restaurant also added Spring Greens as well)

¼ cup Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese, crumbled

¼ cup Pecans or Walnuts, chopped

¼ cup dried cranberries

About 8 sliced strawberries

Poppy seed dressing

(They offered this with added option of grilled chicken topping but we didn’t go for that though might try it at home next time).

Monday afternoon Ken moved Kyle’s mailbox which was rather haphazardly posted in his yard and attached it to the pillar on the front porch.

Jenni and Kyle made us supper at Kyle’s before Kyle had to head out to a soccer practice. He is working with one of the partner’s brother coaching an 8th grade team.

On Tuesday, Ken and I packed up and headed home. Since the blower wasn’t working yet, we kept the generator running so we could use the coach air conditioning.

We were surprised to find the mailbox crammed with mail since it wasn’t supposed to be off hold until Wednesday. That pile of mail kept us busy for several hours and since we hadn’t had consistent internet access this was also time for catching up on emails.

Our gift to Trevor for his graduation was to be a new laptop. He and Ken decided that he really liked Ken’s laptop which was only about a year old and Ken wanted a smaller one so Trevor took Ken’s and Ken got a little Acer Aspire. Based on reviews we ordered online so we could get the 6 cell battery which lasts up to 6 hours. We found the best deals with free shipping on and had the delivery in about 3-4 work days standard shipping.

Ken and I are not very good at sharing laptops. We both have very personal preferences on how things are set up. When I no longer had my laptop from work we decided that since we were so happy with the Acer we’d order a second one.

These are set up beautifully for our way of using laptops. They come with a slot for the camera memory card, 3 USD ports, and even a speaker and webcam if you want to use Skype. I expected that the smaller keyboard would be a pain but within a few minutes I was able to key as quickly as on a standard keyboard. Because they are so small and lightweight, we bought a protective sleeve for mine so I can carry it in my purse—with free wifi popping up everywhere, we are going to see if it’s a big deal not to have our own $60 a month air card. The other thing that Ken really likes is that these little Acers come with Windows XP instead of Vista. He really hates Vista!

Wednesday they delivered our hardwood flooring and Ken figured out how to fix the A/C blower on the motorhome. Thursday I mowed the grass, Ken played golf and then we went shopping at the local farmers market. Friday I did a walk and lunch with the ladies from work and Ken did lunch with his Friday lunchtime buddies. Friday evening our friends, the Ellsworths from Atlanta, GA joined us for pizza and to play croquet. Kyle and Jenni came back to Quincy for the weekend to attend a wedding so we did some used furniture shopping with them on Saturday. On Sunday they went to Kmart and bought a 7-piece patio furniture set on “blue light” special. Sunday was also our day to start organizing for our next outing—pick up prescriptions, menu planning and groceries, laundry.

Before leaving our home base we thought we’d leave you with some pictures of our backyard gardening efforts.

Our backyard would definitely be missed by both Ken and me if we choose next year to go full-time, but then it is also part of the burden of having to get back to Quincy in order to keep things in order.

Next post, we’ll introduce you to Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Recreation Area.
Hugs, C

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