Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Happy List ~ Dinning, Martini, Flowers, and S'mores

I cannot believe I have not posted all week, nor even caught up with any blog friends this week.  It has been a very crazy and busy week for me.  I have been trying to get everything ready for a week from Friday.  It is hard to do errands after work during the week because of what time I am off and I am also trying to get as much of my online class in prior to vacation.  However, I did have a good weekend.

Friday Todd took some time off work for us to have dinner out.  We went downtown and ate at Graze.  It was our first time.  This was my view while we waited for a table. 
I have to be honest I was a little disappointed we were not seated on the patio because the temperatures were wonderful then, now they are freakin' hot like most are in the Nation.  I am not a fan of 100 degree weather and then add the heat index.  (Plus side, the tomatoes are loving the warmer temperatures, now if the stinking ground squirrels would not gnaw on them!)

Todd and I ordered the Amazing Grazing.  It was three courses, the first was soft pretzel bites with fondue cheese.  A first for me with fondue and soft pretzels.  I know what rock did I crawl out from under?   Second course we had this oriental spring roll with a different sauce to dip in it.  I liked the sauce there was a little kick to it.  We also had an Asian BBQ rib and a salad.  Third course was some Dim Sum Green Beans (very good, it had some Asian spices and crispy onto fresh green beans), Chicken Lips (a mild buffalo sauce added to long chicken strips), and Steak Brochette (Thinly sliced steak cooked medium rare, placed on a bed of sauce with crab meat mixed in - this was so divine) I am glad we shared the meal with one another.  I took small amounts this way I was able to enjoy a little of everything.

Prior to being served Todd wanted me to have a martini.  Graze is known for the best martini's in Iowa City area.  I am not a huge fan but he really wanted me to have one of the bubbling martinis.  We found one we thought I might like.  We were right!  He even took a sip.  He did not get one only because after dinner he was going to go back to work.
Lemonadini, very good.  It is not a strong tasting drink, so I can see how someone could order one after another and get drunk on this drink, as for me, one was all I wanted due to calories.

North Liberty had their BBQ and Blues Festival.  Remember I said we always have wanted to go but for some reason we never did.  I remembered why we have never went, it always RAINS.   We were able to manage to make it after 7 pm because the rain stopped.  However many of the vendors ran out of ribs.  We still enjoyed the dinner we ended up getting and the music.
We came across this artist.  He was painting as the music was playing. Although we were there for a short while, we did have a good time.

Sunday came and the kids were over for dinner again.  I made Eggplant Parmesan, homemade bread, and we had a wonderful garden salad, yep all the ingredients came from our very own garden, we had Romaine lettuce, loose leaf iceberg lettuce, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, green pepper, kale, and Swiss chard  the eggplant was from our garden as well.  It was around 100 with the heat index and we had to have a bon fire.  Kera wanted to leave early so we had to begin before the sunset. 
I really was not enjoying the fire when it was as hot as it was, but we created a monster...
This kid loves his s'mores. 

My Starfighter and Stargazer Lily opened for the first time.  I planted these flowers over five years ago and this Summer is the first time they have ever bloomed.  I think the Casa Blanca never made it from the rabbits eating it every year.  We added a rabbit fence around this little flower bed and it has done wonders. 
 Below: Left is one of the Stargazer Lilies, middle is a Hosta flower, right is the Starfighter Lily.  The hosta plant came up a couple of years after I planted the lilies.  
I thought I had transplanted all of the hostas to other gardens but this little one showed up a few years later.  I am afraid to move the oriental lilies now they are finally blooming.

 I need to get back to my online class so bye for now.



  1. Dinner sounded yummy, as did the lemonadini. Taj is getting so big!

  2. LOL Your weekend was much better than ours.....we were dodging storms again, and we had a terrifying straight line wind come through here yesterday knocking out power all over town....then traffic lights were out, which made it a paint to drive into town (to the studio).

    I'm like Taj.....I love my s'mores! He's growing up so fast....I can't believe it!

    Shanley might end up at Iowa for her PhD so I'm making a mental note of places like Graze. :)

  3. I'm so happy to see you out enjoying life Jolene, and your pics are beautiful as always, especially of your lit'l Mr. Man there. What a cutie patootie he is, and a blessing to this world..

    1. Thank you Mimi! He is our blessing for sure.


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