Thursday, February 16, 2017

All My Valentines

The Yummies of Valentine's Day 2017!

I meant to post this a little closer to, you know, Valentine's Day. Unfortunately, the card reader on my computer decided to stop working when I tried to download these pictures from my memory card. Dylan and Jake came over and spent a couple of hours trying to figure out the problem, but no luck. According to my computer, no card reader even exists in my desktop's little world!

So Dylan and Jake joined us for dinner after they declared my "ancient" computer hopeless (I think I bought it almost eight years ago, which is about eighty in computer years), and today I reverted to downloading my photos using a cable direct from the camera to the hard drive, like in the olden days. 

Anyway, Valentine's Day was, thankfully, a low-tech and low-stress event around our house. All the kids came for Sunday dinner and exchanged goodies. Mark bought cute sucker "bouquets" for each of the kids, and even sent one to Jacob when he was in the Phoenix area last week to see his friend Sean, who'd recently had his first baby. Or, rather, Sean's wife did. Dylan and Jake got to take time off to spend three days with Jacob at our Phoenix resort, but I couldn't get away from my responsibilities. It was so sad to have Jacob just three hours away and not get to see him!

As for me, I got each of the kids a small box of candies, as I do every year, and each of the kids got a small box of candies for Mark and me. The two smaller boxes in the top photo were the ones Sarah and Dylan gave me. I thought it was sweet that they both chose roses. I gave Mark the big heart box of Hershey's "Pot of Gold" candies, and he gave me the cute little teddy bear.

There's something about that greasy Chinese food...

The actual Valentine's Day fell on a Tuesday this year, of course, so I went off to work while Mark spent the day at home, what with Tuesday and Wednesday being his days off and all. He sent me a very sweet text at school to wish me a happy Valentine's Day. After I got home, we went to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, China Wok, and left an hour later feeling uncomfortably stuffed, as always. It is so yummy!

No, there were no fireworks and there's no great romance, but my life is nonetheless richly blessed. I feel so privileged to spend my life with people who love me and treat me like I matter to them. My sweet children are the light of my world, always there for me when I need them, and even Mark blesses us with his patience, kindness, quirky sense of humor, and upbeat attitude. And those are the things that speak love to our hearts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The House

The House, a "burger joint" located in Show Low.
January 31, 2017

Last night Mark and I decided to check out a restaurant we'd never tried before, based on recommendations from friends and family. The House is located next to the KFC in Show Low and features a small menu of "burger joint" foods which center mostly around, not surprisingly, burgers and sandwiches. 

Most of the burgers offered were quite creative, featuring interesting ingredients and combinations (such as the Margarita Burger). Mark, however, wanted a plain old-fashioned burger, so he ordered the Burger Barn with pepper-jack cheese. As for me, I got the Chicken of Clubs sandwich which was, interestingly enough, served on a burger bun. It was quite good, rather spicy, with a large chicken fillet, pepper jack, avocado, spinach, tomato, and red pepper aioli. 

All burgers and sandwiches at The House come with a large side of their home-cut and home-fried potato chips. I loved them. They reminded me of my beloved original Lays chips, which I crave often. Mark liked them, too, but he's more of a french fry kind of guy, so he would have like to have the option to order fries instead.

I apologize that I forgot to get pictures of our meals, which were served in cute little folded brown boxes with a long pickle spear. By the time I remembered, we were down to not much more than crumbs.

Next-door is the Red Barn Creamery, owned by the same family.

Right next-door to the restaurant is a little ice cream shop called Red Barn Creamery, and we headed there for dessert. Owned by the same family, this shop also offered an unusual array of flavors, such as a bacon and pinon nut ice cream, which they mix and freeze by hand themselves. Mark tried a sample and said it was pretty good, yet he still chose the more traditional flavors for his bowl. I wasn't brave enough to try the bacon but I did try a couple of others. I've never liked my sweet and savory flavors mixed. French fries dipped in a chocolate shake make me shudder! Fruit mixed with cottage cheese makes me gag (but I like tomatoes with cottage cheese). Even barbecue sauce is too sweet to go on meats, in my opinion.

I did remember to take this shot of our ice cream,
although Mark was pretty well into his bowl by this time.

We both ended up with the same two flavors: strawberry cheesecake and cookies-and-cream. Except Mark wanted his cookies-and-cream on the bottom and I wanted my strawberry cheesecake on the bottom. The last few bites absolutely must be your favorite!

We felt the ice cream prices weren't too bad. The large bowl was $5, the medium was $4, and the small was only $2.50. We chose the medium because we were pretty full right after eating dinner, even though the large size was clearly the better deal.

Cute displays in Red Barn Creamery.

We both felt that the food was quite tasty, so we would recommend checking out The House, if you haven't already. Just don't expect a huge menu with tons of selections, and don't expect it to come cheaply because it's "just a burger joint." Our meal of burger-with-chips and sandwich-with-chips and one very small soda in a plastic cup (I usually just have water when we eat out) came to $24, not including a tip. Even so, I'm already thinking there are a few more sandwiches on their menu that I'd like to try out someday! 

And a display of old ice cream scoops.