Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life


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Dining Out

I’M BACK!

I have been so busy it has been hard to find time to write but I have also found I miss writing my blog and I have had several people contact me to make sure I was ok so I will start getting you caught up with our busy life.

We got an evening invitation to Greenville Tech. Cullinary school dinner so we attended that with our friends Al and G. Ann.   This one was a Russian theme dinner.   Delicious as always.   Last year we went to another Russian meal  but this menu was totally different.   The meal was really perfect.  I couldn’t find anything not to like.

Russian Menu

Georgian Beet Pkhali   – This was fabulous.
Sliced Yellow and Candy Stripe Beets in Garlic Walnut Sauce
with Baby Greens and Fennel Salad

Pureé of Root Vegetables
With Siberian Pelmeni Dumplings, Wilted Cabbage and
Horseradish-Chive Foam

Salmon Kulebiaka – perfectly prepared
with Wild Rice and Mushroom Filling
White & Green Spring Asparagus
Dill Sour Cream Sauce

Plum Baba
with Vanilla Poached Plums and Poppy Seed Cookie

Newcomers had their first Beermeister gathering.  This will be a monthly meeting to sample and discuss beers.   Bob and I certainly aren’t as interested in beer as we are in wine and don’t like the heavy dark beers that the real beer people like but it was fun and we had a good turnout.  I’m sure we will go from time to time.

Our big splurge was something called Sip and Sup on March 2.   The location was on the rooftop of a wine bar in downtown Greenville.   It was expensive but very unusual and worth it.  What first caught my eye about the event was that it was paring a Chef from the Green Room here in Greenville, a restaurant I like, with a Chef and a winery called Chateau Elan, a vineyard and winery and resort outside of Atlanta.   A couple years ago I spent a long weekend there with a girlfriend when they had a wine festival and food and wine paring outdoors in the vineyard and it was fantastic.

Chateau Elan provided the wine and the two chefs each made courses so we had two different wines,  two appetizers, two entrees, two starches, two vegetables, two breads and two desserts.   There were about 30 people there.   There were only 5 of us over 30 or so which surprised me.   On March 2 it was still pretty cool so I was glad we dressed warm.   Bob didn’t believe me when I told him I thought we would be eating outside.    Here is the menu.  As you can see we had plenty to eat and we brought home enough in take home boxes for 6 more meals!

Appetizers  – Both appetizers were excellent.   I couldn’t pick a favorite.
Ahi Tuna Tar Tar
Sesame chips and spicy ginger glaze
Chef Patrick Long
Wine – Sauvignon Blanc

Shrimp Escabeche
Tomato-avocado bruschetta with blood orange gastrique
Chef Justin Kurtz
Wine – Pinot Noir

Main Course
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Apple Relish
served with roasted brussels sprouts, parsnip and celery root mash
Chef Patrick Long
Wine – Scarlet – Liked this wine

Rosemary and Sherry Braised Lamb Shank a  -This was delicious

(Somehow Bob talked the chef out of another Lamb Shank to take home and we had 4 more meals out of it)
Confit fingerling potatoes and roasted garlic haricot vert
Chef Justin Kurtz
Wine – Muscadry

Desserts
Brown Butter Cake with Balsamic Soaked Strawberries
Chef Patrick Long

Lavendar Chocolate Cake
Almond lace cookie with orange chantilly cream
Chef Justin Kurtz
Wine – Port

One interesting side note, the city requires them to have plastic glasses.  ICK  for wine tasting.   So why am I more in danger of cutting my feet on a roof top vs. a restaurant or a sidewalk?

Fay on the deck before dinner.  As you can see no leaves on the trees yet.
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The table set where we ate

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Dessert

IMG_0248 I would definitely go if they do this again, just when it is warmer.   Chateau Elan right now doesn’t sell wine here but they want to establish a presence.  In Georgia the only grape you can grow is Muscadine, which is not one I like very much, but they are trying new things with the grapes to make it much less sweet and I must say they are making progress.   They had a sparkling appetizer wine that was drinkable.   They make a wide variety of other non muscadine red and white wines but they bring the grapes or juice in from outside Georgia.  If you are around Atlanta this property is a must see.   Resort and golf course and spa are fantastic and then there is the winery.   One of the largest I have seen.  Learn more here http://www.chateauelan.com/

Siip is a very nice spot in downtown Greenville  to just go have a glass of wine and appetizers and look around the city on a nice evening.  I might be the oldest person there but that’s ok.

https://www.facebook.com/SipRooftop

After abstaining for awhile I am back into buying groupons, deal chickens and living social restaurant discounts.  Looking forward to some new dining experiences.


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Are you making the most of your life?

I just read this article in the online magazine The Week: http://theweek.com/article/index/257824/are-you-making-the-most-out-of-life-heres-how-you-can

I thought the info was really good and something I will keep in mind.   Here is a summary of what it says

Aim for a bit of these four each day:

1. Happiness: Feelings of pleasure or contentment in and about your life.

2. Achievement: Accomplishments that compare favorably against similar goals others have strived for.

3. Significance: A positive impact on people you care about.

4. Legacy: Establishing your values or accomplishments in ways that help others find future success. [Just Enough: Tools for Creating Success in Your Work and Life]

Measuring life by one yardstick won’t work. And moving through the four sequentially is a mistake too.

A favorite quote of mine by Warren Buffett sums it up:

I always worry about people who say, “I’m going to do this for ten years; I really don’t like it very well. And then I’ll do this…” That’s a lot like saving sex up for your old age. Not a very good idea.


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Old Cigar Factory and Waterfall photos

Thought you might enjoy seeing some photos today.   This first group is The Old Cigar Factory -Built in 1882 and historically used as a warehouse for cigars and cotton, The Old Cigar Warehouse is now one of Greenville’s premier event venues.  With 45′ ceilings, exposed brick and stained floors, the Warehouse is sure to inspire the most creative of events.  Featuring over 7,000 square feet of event space, a great list of approved vendors and full event support, we are the perfect location for your wedding, corporate event or private party.  Located in the heart of Downtown Greenville’s West End, the opportunities to host high-end, diverse events are endless.  It is really an impressive space.

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This next group are from the hike Bob took on Wednesday to Old Indian Camp.

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What I have been working on

It isn’t all fun and games at our house.   The last 6 weeks or so I have been really busy with websites and blogs for people.  I am using some new tools – wordpress.com, weebly.com and godaddy.com to build websites that are easier for me to do, look good on mobile devices and that my clients can maintain them self if they want to.  You can see there is quite a bit of variety.

I am redoing the silentwitness.net web site which is a large site.  It’s not done yet but is really coming along.  This is with weebly.com. Take a look at before and after. 

This is a redo of an old site to:  lauriegrengs.com and was built with wordpress.com

This is a redo of another site:  robingetman.com and was built with godaddy.com

A new site for a fellow woodworker built with weebly:   annswoodzart.com

New blog at wordpress.com.  This one is still under construction too.  right4yourbusinessblog.wordpress.com 

Now I can get my email box and desk cleared

And last but not least a new site built with weebly.   This one isn’t done yet and I don’t know if the look will stay the same.   Probably a bunch of typos in this one.  anneblythe.weebly.com

New blog at wordpress.com.  This one is still under construction too.  right4yourbusinessblog.wordpress.com 

Now I can get my email box and desk cleared out and work on some of my things that have been on the back burner.


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CPR, Pop up restaurant, more fun

I forgot to mention that Bob and I took a 3 hour class at OLLI on the new CPR procedures and learned how to use the defib machines in many buildings now.  Very helpful.   Hope we never have to use it.

Several plans for the week were changed because we were snowed in.  On Saturday went to a Pop Up Restaurant dinner.   A pop up restaurant often features a new chef who is trying to build their reputation but don’t have a restaurant yet so they do a special event often in some place you would not expect it.   This one was at The Old Cigar Factory, a gorgeous two plus story brick building with food by Chef 360.  We had a delicious four course menu with wine paring and live jazz.  Here is the menu and check out that price.  Excellent food, wines, service, music and atmosphere and value.  We had the soup, beef and chocolate cake.

2014 Menu

Enjoy the below pre-fixe menu for only $50 per person.  Taxes and service charges include.
1st Course
Appetizer to share:
Seared Tuna in English Cucumber with Kim Chee &
Hummus with Flat Breads, Olives topped with feta cheese and served with Veggie ChipsAccompanied with Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Brut Rose, France

2nd Course
Your choice of:
Winter Hot House Greens with Roasted Garlic Roma and Grilled Veggies
served with a Pesto Vinagrette or Cusabi Dressing
OR
Roasted Corn and Green Chili Soup Crème Fraiche with Garlic Flat Breads
Accompanied with Civello White, California

Bread Service: French Baguette with a fresh herb butter

3rd Course
Your choice of:
Bourbon Ginger Fire-Roasted Salmon with a Blood Orange balsamic drizzle
Roast Filet of Beef with a Guinness demi & onion jam
Chicken Country Captain served on a bed of tomato, peppers & Caribbean Dried Fruit
All entrees served with steamed asparagus, fire roasted carrots and smashed garlic & chive potato
Accompanied with The Calling Pinot Noir, Dutton Ranch

4th Course
Your choice of:
Double Chocolate Bunt-Melba
OR
Fried Cheesecake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Accompanied by Terra d’Orzo Zinfandel Port, Amador County

It was delicious, every part of it, and we would definitely go again.

Sunday we went swimming and then to Furman for a play: “These Shining Lives”.   Another perfect production by the Furman students.   This was a story I had never heard before.  Their case changed history for companies and their employees.

In the 1920s, The Radium Dial Corporation provided job opportunities for young women who might not otherwise have the chance to earn an income. Catherine Donohue initially took the job as a way to supplement her husband’s pay. Earning what seemed an extravagant sum of up to $8 per day, and on the heels of gaining the right to vote, Donohue and the other “radium girls” embraced the newfound confidence and independence inspired by the vocation.

In the 1920s, The Radium Dial Corporation provided job opportunities for young women who might not otherwise have the chance to earn an income. Catherine Donohue initially took the job as a way to supplement her husband’s pay. Earning what seemed an extravagant sum of up to $8 per day, and on the heels of gaining the right to vote, Donohue and the other “radium girls” embraced the newfound confidence and independence inspired by the vocation.

The job was simple – painting glowing numbers on watch dials. The women were told to dismiss possible health concerns of the paint. In fact, radium was touted as beneficial to the body and used to treat a wide variety of ailments in the day.

Over the years, those luminous watch dials translated to more than money for the women who painted them. The radioactive paint also led to tough choices for the workers, and the fight of their lives.

Based on actual events, “These Shining Lives” follows the story of four women who find lasting camaraderie and the courage to stand up to the company that stacked the odds against them.

In addition to these fun activities I had an Artist Alliance meeting and OLLI Art meeting.   Bob went out to lunch with his buddies and went hiking at Camp Old Indian, just a few miles north of us.  It was a 4 mile hike and he went with the Newcomer Group.  All in all a good week, in spite of the snow storm.   I am welcoming this  70 degree weather with open arms and windows.


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Valentines cards, chocolate and music, Madam Curie and more

I met with my girlfriend G. Ann and made Valentine cards.   I sent them before I took pictures.

With three other girlfriends I went to a chocolate party. Dinner was included with the party at the Hungry Drover restaurant.  I had a yummy loaded baked potato.  We made a gooey low calorie chocolate cake with no eggs or shortening (except for the real whipped cream on the diet cake).  The liquid was coffee and I didn’t especially like that but that is my personal preference.  Then we made little circles of chocolate,(think like pie dough) into what should have looked like roses.   Mine were a dismal failure.   Next on to making truffles.  Oh my goodness, they were delicious.   I did share those with Bob.  We also made chocolate boxes with lids.   Some were heart shaped and mine was a swan.  Her head is on the left.  Really pretty easy to make, you just need the molds which are pretty inexpensive.  It is about 5″ wide and really lovely.chocolate_swan chocolate_swan._openjpg

Last Sunday we went to the Warehouse Theater for Viva Las Divas, two women and a great 6 piece band that performed love songs from the 40′s and 50′s.   A very enjoyable evening to get us in the mood for Valentines day.

In my OLLI history of the south class we are up to WW ll and the early 50′s.   As horrible as the war was it really helped the south because much manufacturing was built here along with many military bases and the prosperity continued into the 50′s.   I imagine the next class, which will probably be cancelled because of the snow storm, will be the Civil Rights movement.   Can’t wait.

I took about 15 OLLI students to the History Museum here in Travelers Rest and then on to the Honey Bee store.   People really enjoyed it and as always, I learned so much.   Learned how the Swamp Rabbit Railroad got it’s name, because it was a small railroad and the cars kind of hopped down it.   Does not sound like a smooth ride.   Also learned that for a few years the city was divided in two because of a feud.   Our speaker at the Bee store was fabulous.   What incredible insects they are. The store sells all kinds of local honey and honey products as well as provides supplies to other bee keepers.

OLLI had a Chautauqua program featuring Madam Marie Currie.   Those performers sure make history come alive.  Also was appetizers and wine before the performance.  I think this is the fourth Chautauqua program we have seen.  Can’t wait for summer so we can go to some more.

Bob and I have become involved with a group at OLLI that wants to bring some programs or classes or field trips around 3 D printing.   I have heard of it but had no idea it had grown as much as it has.   The potential sounds like something from a science fiction movie.   Definitely will be a disruptive technology as it continues to grow.

We went to see Eric Dittleman, a mind reader who was on America’s got talent, at Furman.   We were the only two people in the audience over 20.   He was great.   Can’t figure out how he did most of his tricks.    It was a cross between mind reading and magic.  He seems to play mostly on college campuses but was also just on the Ellen Show.   It was free!

On Saturday night we went to Newcomers Cocktails R US which is always fun.   There were just the right number of people there, including 4 couples or singles that were brand new to the area and of course many people who Bob and I knew well.   What a great group this has been for us to get to know people.

Also went out to lunch with a Meet Up group in Travelers Rest.   Met a woman who is a middle person for the sale of hemp seeds.   I had never heard of them but now I want to learn more.   They are very good for you.  It may be hemp but it’s not marijuana.  I hope to get her to speak at an OLLI class.  We had a very interesting conversation.

Of course there are the usual trips to Furman to go swimming 3 times a week and I have quite a few websites I am working on right now.   Also still have meetings with our Travelers Rest Artist Alliance group and the OLLI Art on the Wall committee and the OLLI bonus trip committee.   I had a hard time getting in my naps this week.

If you are wondering if this is an unusually busy couple of weeks the answer is no.   Most weeks are like this.   Bob and I continually say we can’t believe how busy we are and how much fun we are having.   This week lots of things are being cancelled because of the snow and ice storm coming in.   There are lots of big fluffy flakes coming down right now.   We have plenty to eat and Bob has the generator ready to go if we loose power.  Cats have plenty of food and kitty litter so they are happy too.   Sabrina does not like the snow at all.   Smoky won’t even venture out.   We have dozens and dozens of birds at the bird feeder.   They must be filling their little tummies to get through the storm too.   The squirrel keeps trying to eat too.   He crawls right in the feeder, it is just a domed open feeder.

bluebird

Lots of bluebirds, cardinals, finches, wrens, tufted tit mouse, mourning doves and lots that I don’t know what they are.


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Woodworking – marquetry, modern art and pyrography birds & new box

Bob has been busy.   Here is his latest box.   The wood grain is gorgeous.  It is  about 11″ by 7″ by 2″.  The wood is Bubinga from West Africa and the ends are dyed black which was something new.

Wooden Box

This pyrography piece is 7 1/2″ by 11 and is the third time Bob has made this one.   We thought it came out quite good.

large_ducks

This is a fantasy bird and I love it.   It is about 7″ by 9 1/2″

styilized_bird

He has been wanting to do some modern art type marquetry and this piece was inspired by my mothers crazy quilts.   He wood burned the “stitches” around the pieces of wood.   This one is called “Pretty in Pink”.   It is about 10″

pretty_in_pink

This last one turned out really, really nice.   It is called “Mother and Child”. It is about 10″.

mother_child

So far the people we have showed these last two to have been very complimentary.   It’s a great way to use up all the little pieces of wood.   The pictures don’t do them justice.

Now we are trying to figure out a way to hang all of the art work without putting lots of holes in the wall.   We have a couple ideas.

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