Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend Update - What Could Go Wrong?

Are you awake??

With the AutoCAT software, I don't need a alarm, and was up to first light, the smell of coffee wafting down the hall

With a house out in the country, back far from the road and lights and a huge high top bed with old fashioned quilts in the guest room (and a sip of Jameson before bed), I slept like a rock.  Barkley had  settled down by Mr. B. and Midwest Chick's bed, where he used to lay along side of Schmoo the lab.  He is comfortable there, and I'm glad he is at home here as I am.

Mr. B. always cooks us up a great breakfast.  Todays started with (yes, they are NOT extinct) chocolate malted dinosaur pancakes.  His Dad made them for them when they were kids and when I said I'd never had one, he vowed to remedy that.   That's a full sized griddle so that is one big brontosaurus.   I have to say the chocolate and the malt, with a dollop of molasses in the batter made for one great pancake.
With that, some  chopped Amish Bacon from Beef Mart.
 It looks like Dogosaurus wants some bacon.
The afternoon brought sun, and a chance to go hike around their land with Barkley in tow.
The wood is evidence of quite a bit of work, trees that fall in severe storms resulting in wood for future days. The wood gathering days are fun in and of themselves, Og and his family joining in, the men working hard to clear the downed timber and chop it up while the women folk do safe things like teach the Oglette how to drive the tractor backwards.  Yee ha!
Today there were no chores, just some time to relax and enjoy the Spring that took its time getting here, where one could get out and get things done.
Mr. B. had Barkley on his lead as we headed back deep into the property  Barkley had been at the crash pad all week while I worked and  he was chomping at the bit.  He was also still sulking a bit from the grooming and nail clipping before we left Indy ("I smell like a french poodle AND they put a scarf on me").  So, when we were well back of the house and road Mr. B. said "it won't hurt to let him off the leash?"

I said "no!"

Midwest Chick is grinning and thinking "no, what could go wrong?"

He was off like a shot.
To the only deep mud puddle around.
Even with the zoom lens, the remaining photos were a blur of splashing water and muddy dog.

Oh wait!  There's more!!
 Barkley spotted the pond.  Oh well, it least it will help get him cleaned off.
Barkley - come back here!  He had a grand time splashing around before pretending he heard us and coming back up the hill.

Then it was time to fetch the stick.  The BIG stick.

Mr. B. throws, and he's off.

 Big Stick!!  Mine!!

After some more "fetch" it was back to the house to hose off Mr. Barkley.  Barkley does NOT like hoses, sprinklers or cold water from either and will forcibly try and get away from either.  He was also very muddy.  Mr. B. is quite strong and very determined. The cats watch and wager over who will end up more soaked..

Socks   - I'm wagering $2 on Mr. B.
Goldie - I'm betting on our black brother.
Everyone clean and sort of dried off, it was time for a little afternoon refreshment.

Barkley, it's not going to work, I've seen those sad eyes before when I had the Yuengling out, besides you've had all the excitement you need for one day.

After some music, relaxing and conversation. it was off for a drive through the countryside to Santiago's in Portage, IN with Mr. B. as our designated driver.  It was an outstanding meal with husband and wife, K. and T., friends both on and off the Range. (And the waiter only lifted his eyes slightly when T, a tall, stunning brunette, said "you can light a match with the laser!!)

The chips with the salsa were fried tortilla, not corn, a light, crispy change of pace and seasoned perfectly, the menu with a great assortment of grilled meats, homemade soups in tureens big enough for a family and traditional dishes.
The food was indeed as good as Midwest Chick and Mr. B. said.  I had the beef fajitas (no green peppers).  With a plate of fresh tortillas on the side and steak this good, there was no way I was going to go home hungry.
Five hungry adults had full delicious dinners, with four adult beverages and  one soft drink and a shared appetizer and the tab was less than $67.  We will definitely be back, for the company as well as the cuisine.
As the skies grew dark we drove back to the house, for conversation, quiet time with the four legged critters and then sleep, as I would have to head out in the morning. Barkley was snoozing hard, tired out from a full day of country fun.

I have a few vacation days coming up, going to spend a little time back home, before joining back into the fray.

But when I go back to work,  I'll have some fun memories tucked away at home.
Love - Brigid and Barkley

Friday, April 26, 2013

Good Clean Fun! - Weekend in the Country

After having just a single day free of duty in the last couple of weeks, I have a LONG weekend and Barkley and I made plans to head up to North Hoosierland for some Lab Therapy with Midwest Chick and Mr. B. as soon as that time off started.

Og is off at a fencing tournamet (no extra charge for that mental image), but will try and stop by and most of the usual gang will be around.  Rolling into that long driveway is always like going home to family.  We so miss Schmoo the Lab, but we can still connect, this small band of furry and not so furry friends. I, for one, know a big black lab that loves it up there amongst his other "people", the cats, the open land, full of birds and rogue squirrels (not to mention the smell of Mr. B.'s incredible cooking).

Stuffed, rolled, and rotisserie grilled pork with all the trimmings is one of his specialties. There's also a great little restaurant we're going to check out tomorrow night as well, friends, good food and fun.

Mom - I distinctly heard Midwest Chick say this was MY recliner.

Then perhaps, a trip to a local range to say hi to another friend who is a member,  just to make sure they didn't redecorate the ladies "powder room."
The men's bathroom decor is a more simple.
After, there's Yeungling in the fridge in the garage, steam engines in the barn and there's no telling what we might get into tomorrow.
Besides the area is home to the infamous Beef Mart (and you all that that was a euphemism :-)
Home of Amish Bacon, how can we NOT have a good time?

Especially when there's chocolate malted dinosaur pancakes to go with them.

We'll talk to you all Sunday. - Brigid and Barkley

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time to Play Hostess

One of the East Coast Gun Blog Gang and his wife were traveling through Hooserville today, the halfway point on a long trip to a family wedding and are going to stop and visit Barkley and myself. Since they likely don't want to advertise their house is empty I'm not going to say who it is for now, but I'm looking forward to it.

I  offered up a bed and bathroom of their own so they can avoid hotel expense and get a home cooked meal  (dog hair on your clothes, no extra charge!)

Supper was put together earlier, a pan of beef enchiladas in sour cream/green chili sauce so all I had to do is bake them while I made some cornbread and steamed some broccoli, then a little sprucing up to the place before they arrived.  The place was almost company ready.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pistols and Pie - Sunday at the Range

The flooding in and around Indiana, fortunately didn't cover the road into the range, but the Eagle Creek dog park was looking a little damp this morning. The flooding was more than I've seen in the years I've lived here, claiming the two lives of two good men in Hamilton County. Many other counties look like they need draw bridges.

But fortunately, the drive was clear, the range was open, and my friends arrived on schedule.

I haven't shot a pistol since before the holidays. Due to Big Bro's illness, with ensuing leave and care needed.  He's holding his own with the chemo and radiation, so I'm going to take a couple weekends for myself, free of beeper finally.  This was long overdue.It was very cold but a beautiful day, There was a father and young daughter going over the basics and the few range officers on site, but due to the early hour and temps in the low 30's, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

The backdrop had definitely been perforated but I had a fresh target. The first couple of shots were way low, the third, too high. One of the range officers recognized the Norwegian curse words as they left my mouth and came over and gave me a hint on my trigger pull; overeager, the first shots were way too snappy. I heeded his advice and the next shots migrated to center and stayed there for the most part.

I was surprised how rusty I'd gotten in just a few months. That's why scheduling practice time, whether warm or cold, for some range proficiency is essential for self defense shooting.  I also recommend training with certified instructors for beginners or just honing your skills.  In just a few months of leave and desk duty,  my"up close and personal"  skills went from "tactical ninja" to "OK if attacked by elderly Panda on Ambien".
As I worked on my draw and my target. . .

Tam had her 22 blasting away like a nail gun.
It wasn't long before I was out of ammo and I needed to get home and let Barkley out for his daily constitutional. I told Tam - "I'm heading out, going home to make pie".  I noticed the eyebrows go up. . .  "Maple Bourbon Walnut Pie . . ." (I'm evil that way).  She grinned and said "remember I'm your best friend. . ."

I said goodbye to everyone and thanked the folks at Tactical Firearms Training who keep the range running on the weekends for the public. Check their website for a listing of NRA pistol classes for men, women, beginner to advanced.  (the addy is on the picture below).  Their instructors are knowledgeable and patient and all of the staff that works Eagle Creek are just the nicest bunch of folks you could meet.
And don't forget to pick up a copy of  TFT President Guy Relford's Gun  Safety and Cleaning for Dummies! 

Soon, it was home to happy Lab and a pie pan. The recipe I made up with stuff on hand, maybe it needs a catchier name.

Snappy Trigger TartCuss the Target Custard?  "Oh Nuts!"  ?? 

I'll keep it simple.

Maple Bourbon Walnut Pie.  Walnuts caramelized with honey, butter and  a pinch of cayenne, in a homemade crust over which is poured a custard of pure maple syrup, eggs, Bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon and teeny hint of orange zest.

Pistols and Pie.  Sunday afternoon doesn't get a whole lot better.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Posts From the Road - Born to Be Mild

I had a rental car that was apparently too small for even clowns to use at the circus.  Still it ran, and I was able to get a bag the size of a Chihuahua in the small trunk.

I remember the old days of flying somewhere, where some airports had a "crew car" you could borrow to go eat  if you bought  a tank of gas.  Most were a 1978 Buick that would occasionally catch fire, but they were free.  One, in some desert area, came with a free snake sunning itself inside (watch out!windshield viper!)

Enterprise, who has always taken great care of me, offered to upgrade me but I don't care to pay the difference out of pocket so I took my clown car and pretended to be driving the vehicle above.  With  the seat all the way back, classic rock on the stereo and red hair flying out the window, people didn't laugh too hard.  Besides, I get to be home soon.

You all be safe out there.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tactical Sleep Over - Part Deux

Tactical Sleep Over was a success. 

Of course, people's imaginations run wild at such a thing.   Why, such events would have to include:





 Car Squid gets a ride to the store


I need more toys.  You need to go to the pet store


Sorry to disappoint, but  it was good clean fun, nothing was permanently blown up and everyone kept their clothes orderly (though a Swiss army knife manicure was performed on someone as we did our hair)

This morning, the household was up early as someone had a plane to catch, then a trip to town to have brunch with Tam in the city.

The place is awfully quiet now.  But it's still full of laughter and memories.
Mom - when are they coming back??