Thanksgiving in Kuwait – Gobble Gobble!

InstagramCapture_11f69ee1-9fad-492d-9045-c57dadd46f54I gotta tell ya – I love Thanksgiving!  Reminders of everything that is good in your life and all the reasons you have to be thankful, turkey bird, good friends, family – what’s not to love?  This year we just had a really small dinner – just the Coopers and us.  I smoked a turkey and while I just barely got it off the smoker before it hit 168F it was still pretty good – a little dry but a great smokey flavor.  Other than the temp on my smoker being waaaay higher than it should of been smoking that big ol’ bird was a cinch.  You bring the thawed turkey the night before, stuff it with some aromatics (apple, onion, celery, sage), rub it with a high smoke point oil, a little salt, and boom you’re ready for the smoker.  I smoke with hickory because that’s what we like and it makes the outside smell like campfire.  Fixin’s wise we stuck to the basics.  Stew’s loaded mashed potatoes – the potatoes are really nothing more than a conveyance for all that is good in the culinary world – cheese, butter, bacon, garlic – mmmmmmm.  Anita did her magic five cheese baked mac-n-cheese.  I did a sausage dressing, mushroom dressing, and doctored up some Stove Top (for Anita).  Sydney requested some scalloped potatoes so we had another potato dish.  I found some local (shudder I know but it was actually really good) corn so we had some really crisp and sweet corn on the cob!  we of course had a green been salad too.  Tina made an amazing sweet potato casserole, an ambrosia salad, and two stunning pies – apple and pumpkin!  We enjoyed an excellent bottle of wine that Bill Robinson gave us last Christmas so it was a real stuff dinner all around!  All of us here in Outer Godwinia hope that you had a very Happy Thanksgiving too.

 

Birthday Bowling & Lo Mein!

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The birthday girl at lunch!

Well as we mentioned earlier the party part of Sydney’s birthday had to be pushed back as Anita wasn’t feeling 100%.  So after a week rain delay we were back to birthday central!  Sydney wanted P.F. Chang’s for lunch so our first stop was to the Chang.  We hadn’t been for a very long time but other than Anita couldn’t find her dynamite scallops on the menu everything seemed in order.  Despite the fairly robust menu Sydney’s favorite is just their plain lo mein noodles.  My thing is the Mongolian beef and Anita actually likes to try new things.  We added in an Asian salad and an order of lettuce wraps and hoped we’d still be able to move after lunch!

We needed to be able to move because we were hitting the lanes after lunch for a mini bowling tourney!  The Cooper’s even joined us and we had a blast.  The lanes were full due to some ‘real’ tournament so we got to bowl in the VIP lounge!  Awesome.  There were just four lanes in there so for a good chunk of our three games it was just the six of us in there.  Sydney crushed all six of us as the big winner for the day.  I only fell once (took my shoes off as they were too small).  No one lost any fingers and a great time was had by all.   Pics below.

The Fall Colors Are Out!

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Tom the Turkey sitting below Sydney

This time of year is always a bit busy.  Halloween, Aunt Sissy’s birthday, Sydney’s Birthday, Thanksgiving, class parties, birthday parties, lots and lots and lots of stuff.  Fun stuff, just lots of it. We love decking out the halls for each of the holidays so as soon as we started packing up Halloween all of the Thanksgiving decorations started coming out.  It took us a while this year to get them all up but you’ll have to wait no longer as the fall leaves are all out!

It’s always fun trying to figure out where everything needs to go in a new house but we think that things fell into place fairly nicely this year.  Enjoy the pics below and be on the lookout – just a couple weeks until Turkey Day and then Christmas comes out!

Godwin’s Hollow on Flickr

Wide shot over the city while we were moving it into the new place...
Wide shot over the city while we were moving it into the new place…

So for the few of you that stop by from time to time and haven’t noticed our little LEGO city – Godwin’s Hollow – it exists.  Much to the chagrin of Anita it actually takes up a sizable chunk of upstairs.  Anyways, Sydney and I enjoy adding to it as often as we can and most folks who stick their heads in when they stop by the house are generally impressed.  It’s by no means the largest or most detailed LEGO city layout out there but I’d put money on it holding that title in Kuwait.

Back to the point of the post.  Over the last few years we’ve been posting pics of Godwin’s Hollow on our Flickr page, our MOC Pages page, and a few other places online.  Believe it or not our little Flickr page rakes in about 1200 hits a day – not too shabby for something with only LEGO pics that’s not really advertised anywhere.  Back in September we posted up a few new additions to the city (a strip mall, travel agency, re-vamped farm, etc) and our Flickr page went nuts – we wrangled in nearly 12,000 hits in one day back then:

11,967 hits in one day!
11,967 hits in one day!

Beyond that, we even got picked up for the front page of TLG’s own fan creation site – Rebrick.com:

Godwin's Hollow on the front page of The LEGO Group's Rebrick.com!
Godwin’s Hollow on the front page of The LEGO Group’s Rebrick.com!

Obviously Sydney and I were really impressed with ourselves at that point.  The fact that that many people just wanted to take a look is really cool.  The LEGO community is a very mutually supportive group and we’ve received lots of great comments from other fans and were even asked for instructions for one of models once!

First referral from Godwinsq8.com!
First referral from Godwinsq8.com!

And yesterday we had another milestone of sorts.  We had the first hit to our Flickr page from this site!  Sydney kinda just gave me the 40,000ft stare when I told her but I thought it was pretty cool – so whoever clicked on over – thanks!

If anyone is interested feel free to stop by either Flickr or MOCPages to see more of Godwin’s Hollow.

 

 

In case you’ve not heard…

Election 2014The mid term election results are – for the most part – in and a bit of faith that I had in my fellow Americans has been restored.  I’m not saying that everything is going to be hunky dory from here on out as there are still vast numbers of people out there who want nothing more than free stuff from the government but I thought that for the moment we might be able to enjoy at least starting to move in the right direction.  What better way to savor the moment than with a little song?  From the fine folks at The Blaze I give you Pat Gray’s rendition of the Harry Reid Song.

 

Happy Halloween!

Our hosts for the evening - the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter...
Our hosts for the evening – the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter…

For the first time in what seems like ages Anita and I got dressed up for Halloween and even attended a party!  Our friends, Ken & Tina Cooper, went all out this year and a had a little costumed get together last night – it was AWESOME!

There were lots of folks and some of the costumes were really impressive.  My costume involved printing out a “Five-O” badge and affixing it to my office entry card, slicking back my hair, then wearing my best Hawaiian garb to go as Dano (Sydney’s been watching the new Hawaii Five-O and this seemed like the best bet for a costume that involved shorts and sandals!) Anita was her usually chipper sock hopping self so I thought we both did alright on the costume front.

In typical Cooper fashion there was tons of grub (to include some AWESOME bacon wrapped ‘lil smokies) and many many excellent adult beverages.  The music was fun, the company was great, all in all a really fun night.  Anyways, enjoy some more of the pics below!

Patching Anita’s Tire

Since we had to retire the Death Star Anita has been driving around in something that Kia is trying to pass off as an SUV.  Maybe it is for folks below the 38th parallel but for Godwin sized peeps it’s a bit snug.  We’ve driven worse in Kuwait but it’s no Death Star.  Anyways, after school started Anita’s noticed that one of her tires was running a little low and even after filling it up a few times it seems to always be flat.  I mentioned it to my buddy Ken (brewer of some of the finest ales and lagers available locally) and he said any of the little auto shops would be able to patch it up for me lickety split.  These little shops are about as numerous as the street cats in Kuwait so there was no problem finding one right around the corner from the house.  I drove over, pointed to the tire, told the guy I needed a patch, and in less than five minutes I was back on the road 1KD lighter but with four fully functional tires.  If you’re in Adan these guys did good work, were quick, and cheap.  No idea what their name is but they’re the corner shop in the little area right at the intersection of 207 and 3rd Street.  They’re in the blue circle on the map below.

Family Fright-day!

Next weekend Anita and I are attending a Halloween party and since it’s on Halloween night we thought that yesterday we should do it up and have some Halloween fun of our own. The TES Halloween Disco was last night too and while Sydney and I were in the kitchen cooking up a storm Anita was at school helping decorate.  Sydney and I spent the morning on several different treats.  We made a caramel and candy popcorn (Pirate Treasure Popcorn), purple popcorn balls stuffed with candies (Monster Mash Popcorn Balls), caramel apple bites with toffee, pecans, and salt, and some Halloween moon-pies.  Once Anita got home from the disco decorating we gathered up our goodies, our recently costumed drinks, and settled in for a couple spooky movies.  Well, we watched Holes and Ghostbusters so nothing too spooky.  It was a fun day all around.

Halloween in Kuwait – 2014

Well the house is still a work in progress but since the guys are coming over this weekend to play some cards we thought that we should go ahead and get Halloween out.  Everything has been out and spread over the tables for a few days but we managed to actually get everything in place in a matter of hours.  Something of a record for us.

This year the crazies have apparently clamped down on Halloween parties and candy and decorations being sold so our little display might be all the Halloween fun Kuwait’s gonna have this year.  Well that not’s true, a couple of the schools are going to have discos/fairs and our friend the Coopers are having TWO parties – one for the under four foot tall type ghouls and one for us taller folks.  I’m going as Dano from Hawaii 5-O – oh yeah, a badge, Hawaiian shirt, shorts, and sandals – so rockin’ that costume!  We’re also going to have a Family Fright-day before Halloween – Sydney and I are cooking up a bunch of goodies and are gonna watch some spooky movies with said goodies and Halloween candy galore!

So anyways, enjoy the pictures – we’ll post more up of the Family Fright-day and the Halloween parties but for now here’s the house.

Raising the average height by at least two inches…