Monday, February 25, 2013

Mindless Monday, Restaurant Review (Dinner at Klingler's European Bakery), Quotable Quotes, A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part One, The Story of Austin - Part Two, Easy/ Breezy St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Roxie and Mike went on their Father/Daughter February Date Friday night. It has become a "steak and baked potato night" which is Roxie's favorite meal.

They ate at Firebirds behind The Galleria, and a good time was had by all.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Klingler's European Bakery is now opened for dinner. It has been opened for dinner for a month, but very few people seem to have gotten the memo... which was good for me and Mikie when we went on a date Saturday night. Dim lights, quiet atmosphere and really good (German) food made for a totally different dining experience than Klingler's at breakfast and/or lunch.

NOTE - You know I love Klingler's for breakfast and lunch. It's just much busier and noisier during those times!

Mike went totally German on me and ordered Jager Schnitzel (pan fried breaded pork cutlet with mushroom sauce).

It's so much more fun to order a "schnitzel" than a pork cutlet.

I decided to have the Pan Seared Salmon (which was wonderful) with German sides.

Potato Dumplings with Gravy turned out to be mashed potato balls floating in a bowl of delicious brown gravy. The only thing better than mashed potatoes with gravy are mashed potato balls floating in gravy.

I went out on a limb and ordered the Purple Cabbage even though our server wasn't able to exactly pinpoint the "taste description."

"I'll just say it is different... and some people seem to really like it."

I would have to agree. Purple Cabbage is really different... and I'm sure someone somewhere likes this dish.

We also had Lentil Soup. I have heard about lentil soup, but I had never tasted it before. They served the soup in little square bowls. (If you've known me five minutes, you know I'm crazy about square dishes, so when they set a little square bowl in front of me, I was all kinds of excited.)

Lentil soup required a little "adapting" on my part. It's sweet. I'm totally a "sweet" person when it comes to candy, cakes and desserts, but I usually do not care for sweetness in my main entree.

I will say the lentil soup grows on you, and I would order it again.

We finished off the evening sharing a piece of Black Forest Torte... which was light and SWEET and good.

Except for the Purple Cabbage, I can wholeheartedly recommend the Klingler's dinner if you're in the mood for a little German fare.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Austin spent his 22nd birthday with The Lovely Melia. Josh had to work Saturday, and since I wanted the entire family at the birthday party, we rescheduled for next Sunday and Melia made The Boy's actual "birth" day really special.

They drove to Huntsville and spent the day together. They went to a movie at the Monaco, walked around Bridge Street Town Centre and had a nice dinner before returning home Saturday night.

She gave him Harlem Globetrotter tickets. That was a great gift, and now I'm wishing we all had Harlem Globetrotter tickets. Hmmm.

RANDOMNESS #4 - The Story of Austin - Part Two

Really, the choosing of Austin's name wasn't very difficult. We made lists of all the names we liked. We read several Baby Name books. If I didn't like one of Mike's choices, we crossed it off the list. If he didn't like one of my choices, we put a little star beside it.

But one night we said Austin, and we both agreed we liked it. We said Austin Faulkner. We liked that, too. We had already agreed we wanted him to have a "family" name, and Michael was the obvious choice for that one. Austin Michael Faulkner. Not difficult. No big discussions or fights. No tears. It was very easy to name him. And we immediately began referring to him by name. "Do you think Austin's going to like the teddy bear border we picked out?" "Do you think Austin is going to spit up a lot?" "Do you think the way I'm gaining weight, Austin is going to weigh 14' 2" by the time he gets here?"

Yes, I was still gaining weight at warp speed. Thankfully, I had not started gaining weight until I found out I was pregnant, so when I hit 47 pounds on the scale, I knew by the next visit I was going to be the big 5-0! And we all know what that meant... another talk with the doctor about my "caloric" problem. (I had already received four such "talks/lectures," and I wasn't looking forward to number five.)

One week later, and nine days from my due date of March 2, I did indeed tip the scales at 50. The nurse weighing me said, "The doctor is not going to be happy with you today."

To which I replied, "I am an intelligent 29 year-old woman who at any minute is going to give birth. I am thinking I do not want any more lectures from a man who has NEVER been pregnant!"

She must have delivered the message, because my visit with my doctor was incredibly short wherein he informed me "nothing was happening," and he said he'd see me in a week.

I was a little disappointed about the "nothing was happening" part, but I could hold out a few more days. It was definitely time though. My maternity clothes were tight (caloric), my ankles were starting to swell (caloric) and sleeping had become next to impossible (caloric).

I went to Food World and was buying MORE FOOD. I was halfway through my shopping trip when I sneezed.

Uh, oh. If you are a woman who is 38 1/2 weeks pregnant and has put on 50 pounds, you know sneezing is a no-no. "Well, this is just great," I thought to myself. "I'm 29 years old, and I just wet my pants... in public no less! I put myself between my buggy and the food shelves, and waited for someone I knew to walk by so they could walk behind me to my car (for embarrassment sake). No one. Great.

I decided to wait five more minutes and then I would just walk out by myself. I figured that would be when I saw everyone I knew in Cullman.

About that time, a pregnant lady with a small toddler in her shopping cart came around the turn. I didn't know her, but I knew she'd understand. As she started to pass me, I asked her my special little favor. She was so sweet. Her face just melted into compassion, and she gladly offered to help. She left her buggy at the register... I left mine in the aisle, and we both got empty buggies and with one in front and one right behind, she walked me to my car. "I can never thank you enough," I said, relieved.

"If this is the most embarrassing thing that happens to you while you're pregnant, you'll be very fortunate. Are you having twins?" she asked.

"No. I have a caloric problem," I whispered.

"Don't we all, honey. Don't we all." And with that, my helper and her toddler waddled back into the grocery store.

To make a long story much shorter, at 2:00 the next morning, my water broke. Mike and I got ready to make the hour long drive to Birmingham to finally meet Austin face-to-face. We called our parents and the hospital, and I was getting ready to take a quick shower and do my hair and make-up before we left.

First mistake... I told the nurse I was going to take a quick shower and do my make-up before we left.

"Oh, no. You get down here right away. You do not take a shower when you're an hour away from the hospital."

"Well, I take very quick showers, and I'm not having contractions or anything like that. I'll be just fine."

"No, ma'am. You get in that car right now and get to the hospital." She was so bossy, and I was hoping she was going to be off-duty before Austin was born. I didn't want one of the first people he came in contact with to be so unpleasant.

I told Mike what she had said as I was going to the bathroom to get my shower and do my make-up. "No. We're doing exactly what they said to do," he said. I knew he was nervous about delivering on the side of the road... but my hair was not clean, and at 2:00 a.m. I was the kind of girl who needed a little make-up. (I didn't want Austin to be traumatized when he saw his mother for the first time.) But Mike was already dressed and taking the suitcase down the stairs to the car. He immediately came back up the stairs and hurried me along and into the car. I was not a happy camper.

"Well, I guess I could take a shower this afternoon after Austin gets here," I finally agreed as I went digging for lipstick in my purse.

We arrived at the hospital in record time (no traffic at 2:45 in the morning), and we waited for Austin's arrival. Nothing. Three hours later. Nothing. Five hours later. Nothing. But they did decide to start the "drip," which would hurry my contractions along. Nothing. Finally, the doctor decided an ultrasound was in order to see what the hold-up was. Austin was "oblique lie," which in layman's terms means he was side-to-side instead of head down ready to be born. Hmmm. Well, what were we going to do?

"We're going to have to perform a C-Section," the doctor told me. So within 45 minutes of the C-Section decision, I was holding my Austin. He was beautiful. He took my breath away. His name fit him perfectly, and although I had thought he would weigh at least 14 pounds 2 ounces, he came in at 9 pounds 6 ounces.

I could hear my doctor thinking, "And the other 40 pounds you gained were... caloric!" I didn't care.

I would worry about that tomorrow... along with my dirty hair and a few other surprises. None of that mattered at that moment... 1:15 p.m., February 23, 1991. Not one bit.

My Birth Day stories are almost as long as my Mikie and Belinda story. Sorry. We'll finish it up Friday. Promise!

RANDOMNESS #5 - A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part One - The family keeps changing and growing (up), but basically after 16 years of going to the mountains, we’ve got this trip "down."

Everyone arrives at different times during the day and evening the Friday of our trip. We have nothing planned for Friday or Friday night. It is a travel day. Our one and only goal is to “get there.”

And once we are in the cabin, we explore, claim our beds and chill.

When the kids were babes, we arrived at the cabin on Friday, and we didn’t leave the cabin until check-out time Monday. Getting six kids under six up and ready and out the door does not a vacation make.

They were happy at the cabin, and when the babes were happy, the grown-ups were happy.

The hot tub was a swimming pool.

The big weeping willow at the foot of the hill was a fort.

Sticks were swords and guns.

A walk down the paved road in front of the cabin was an adventure where anything could happen.

And if a snowflake happened to fall...

Well, we might as well have been on the highest peak in Colorado slushing down the slopes and drinking hot chocolate by the gigantic stone fireplace in the Lodge.

Our cabin years when the kids were mere babes were magical (and chaotic and messy and loud).

As the kids became older, our plans changed a little. Bev and the big boys took a turn cooking Saturday night dinner and Katie, Roxie, Zac and I took a turn cooking Sunday night dinner.

That has worked out well these past few years, and Bev and I are planning on dropping out of the "cooking dinner" part of the trip in the next couple of years. It's time these kids started earning their keep!

The kids were more restless as they became teenagers, and we tweaked our mountain trip a little more.

We spent one day in town together enjoying an activity. (The Aquarium, ice skating at Ober Gatlinburg, Dixie Stampede, etc.)

The next day was our mountain day, and while the kids were in, out, up and down, we all enjoyed the cabin.

This year, our planned activity was snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg. All six of the kids/young adults were excited, and when all the old adults got together Friday night, we started planning.

The snow tubing tickets were sold on a first come/first serve basis. You couldn’t just walk up to the counter at 1:00 p.m. and buy six tickets for the 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. snow tubing group.

AND you couldn’t buy them the day before...

OR over the Internet...

OR from a scalper...

Because there isn’t such a thing as a "snow tubing scalper," you see.

I’ll be honest. Getting 11 people out of the cabin by 8:00 a.m. (ages 15 to 70) to stand in line in the freezing cold is nearly impossible.

Who am I kidding?

I didn’t even know they still had a song service at our church on Sunday mornings because The Faulkner Five are ALWAYS fashionably late.

We look good, but we’re late.

So I’ll change that statement to read, “Getting 11 people out of the cabin by 8:00 a.m. (ages 15 to 70) IS impossible.”

There. That’s better.

Mike was willing to get up and slip out of the cabin at 8:00 a.m. to go purchase the tickets. He stood in line for over an hour in the cold and snow, and bought six tickets for the 1:00 to 2:30 snow tubing event.

Mike was our hero.

By the time he called to say he had the tickets, Bev and I were trying to get everyone ready to leave to eat at The Pancake Pantry by 11:00. That meant we needed to leave the cabin at 10:00. (It wouldn’t take an hour, but we wanted to play it safe in case traffic was bad.)

“I don’t need to come back to the cabin if y’all are almost ready to leave for Gatlinburg. Do you want me to head to The Pancake Pantry and stand in line for tables?” Mike asked.

“YES! YES, I DO!” I yelled inside my head.

Outside my head, I said, “Oh, Honey. I don’t want you to have to do that.”

“No problem. I’ll grab a cup of coffee and head to the restaurant.”

By the time the rest of our group parked in Gatlinburg and walked to The Pancake Pantry, Mike was at the front of the line and we all sat down.

Mikie should get extra stars in his Heavenly crown one day, I think.

But just in case that doesn't come about, I made a mental note to dismiss him from kitchen duty Saturday night.

Standing in line, pancakes and snow tubing. How much more fascinating can this story get?

You’ll have to wait and see Friday morning!

Quotable Quotes - I'm still in a "mountain" mood, so I've chosen two very different, but very good quotes, on the subject of MOUNTAINS.

"Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain." Richard M. Nixon

"One way to get high blood pressure is to go mountain climbing over molehills." Earl Wilson (It took me a minute, but this one is TOO true.)

Simple St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Shamrock Shakes - Don't forget to treat you and yours to a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's during the month of March. It's a fun and easy way to put some "green" in your day!

St. Patrick's Day Breakfast - This would be a cute and easy tradition to start. Serve green milk and Lucky Charms on St. Patrick's Day morning.

I'm telling you, little guys and gals LOVE eating "green." And I don't mean salad and turnip greens!

Have a lovely, rainy, blustery Monday. I'll be back Friday morning with Weekend Happenings, The Story of Austin (Part Three), A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part Two, plus more, more, more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda


  1. I happen to love purple cabbage - I cook mine with apple cider vinegar and apples. It's a wonderful mixture of sweet and sour. Of course - I love all German foods - even the gross ones. It's nostalgic for me having lived there several times.

    I've already purchased my little containers of Lucky Charms cereal (purchased with coupons) and plan to include a note - I'm Lucky To Have You - on each one for the big day. Not sure about the green milk yet - kids are still picky.

    Have a great week!

    1. The cabbage sounds the same except the girl said they cooked it with a lot of ginger. I could definitely taste apple.

      And it smelled good, too.

      I usually have quiche when I go for breakfast and lunch, but Klingler's make their quiche with black forest ham. It is wonderful!


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