Sunday, January 30, 2011


I was given an electric smoker for Christmas. In January I started trying it out.

My first attempt was a chicken. Easily acquired from the base commissary. I was also able to find some wood chips in the Four Seasons on base (a home furnishing type store - where Kristi got the smoker).

The bird was tasty. I would say it tasted as good as it looks in this picture.

I think I cooked it at an elevated temp. I'm still learning the secrets of the smoke.
Combine the cold temps (40's) with me not knowing the ins-and-outs of the new cooker combined for some quickly cooked meats. If you know anything about smoking meats, time is the variable and it should be long. Temps should be low and slow.

I've since then made it my mission to become an excellent smoker.

I cooked a Beef Top Loin the next week. This week it's a Pork Tenderloin.
I'm not sure when the kids will revolt, but until then each Sunday provides an opportunity to experiment.

Send us feedback if these pics are too grainy? I'm using the new method of posting pics. I have to significantly reduce the resolution of the photos to ease the strain on the upload bandwidth.

If you want to try some smoked have to come to Italy :)

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pics from Tony

I posted about Tony's visit a few days back. I worked today on getting a better plan to upload pics until I get real internet in the house. A mix of picassa and some upload from PC to ipad.

I decided Pics of Tony would be an easy upload test. When he was here...he posed for two pics. One with me and then one with the kids.

here goes trying the new pic upload...with lower resolution photos.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


So, I think maybe, just maybe we have the photo thing finally sorted out. It's a long complicated process, but since I adore my three readers, I'll go ahead and suffer through the pain.

We had a beautiful Saturday with nothing planned, so we decided to jump in the car and head east to a little town called Aquileia. It is a small town near the Adriatic Sea and was once a colony of the Roman empire. It's only about an hour's drive from here, and we had heard about the Basilica being a point of interest. Besides that, it was near IKEA, and I needed to make a trip there for some house items, so we were killing two birds with one stone.

The Basilica was worth the drive. I think even the kids were impressed (in spite of the cold, did I mention it was near the sea, and the winds were chilly)

The entire floor of the church was covered in mosaics started in the 4th century. After having made mosaic figures for a nativity this past Christmas, we were all impressed with the amount of work and creativity that went into this project.

The pictures above show just the middle of the hall, there are mosaics under our feet, and behind each set of columns. And there were even more underneath the bell tower in a crypt.

We walked on a raised glass platform throughout and just enjoyed looking at the pictures. There were depictions of Jonah being thrown into the sea, of him being eaten by the sea monster, of him being spit out by the sea monster and of him under a tree. There were depictions of Jesus and disciples in a boat with nets overflowing with fish. Another was this picture of a tortoise and a cock.

This is an ancient depiction of light (the cock) defeating the dark (the tortoise), and there were at least two different places with this design.

Since the town was a Roman colony, there are not surprisingly some Roman ruins to spy as well. We walked along this path and enjoyed looking at some of them...mostly we enjoyed noticing that on the other side of the fence from these ancient ruins are some soccer fields.

Fantastic few hours.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


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Still trying ...

Since internet seems to be even further off than we hoped, I'm back to searching for alternative methods of using pictures. Let's see how this works.

Here's a picture of Riley in our little town's square.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

One picture at a time

Every morning Lucy comes out of her room with some blankets and her pillow and sometimes a book. She then sets up a little nesting area where the tile floors are warmest...she knows all the warm spots.

Of course, if she wouldn't wear summer nightgowns she might find that she doesn't need to do this anymore!

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First Guest

We were fortunate to be able to host our first house guest a few weekends ago.

We were expecting to spend an hour or so at the airport terminal visiting with Ted's cousin, Tony. He is retired from the Air Force and now works as a civilian for Uncle Sam. He was heading for a deployment, and his flight plan included a layover here! We were thrilled. (on a side note, Tony was heading out to replace the same guy in the field that Ted replaced here...this guy's been replaced by a T Gatlin twice), such a small Air Force.

When his flight got delayed until the next day we were bummed, but still looking forward to seeing him, even if just for a little bit.

He arrived at the terminal, and all six of us were there with some chocolates to say hi and visit for a couple of hours. After about 30 minutes, we realize his flight is being significantly delayed, and they're bussing guys to dinner. We offer to pick something up from the food court and bring it back to him. Soon we are spread out on the tile floor with an impromptu picnic of greasy chicken and burgers.

It wasn't much longer when his flight got delayed for two days. Italians are sensitive about their quiet time, and the takeoff Saturday would be too late without some noise waiver, which they weren't able to acquire. Since Sunday had the same quiet time rules, the flight wasn't going anywhere before Monday.

After Ted convinced the folks that he would be responsible enough to take care of Tony for a few days and get him back to the terminal on time, we headed to the house with an extra person in the van.

YIKES! Is the house clean? Am I ready for company?

We had a nice time. We went driving around a little on Sunday morning and found some lunch at an Italian restaurant. Then we headed out again in the evening and found some PIZZA!

The kids loved him...Lucy was calling very loudly from the back seat. "Tony...Tony...Tony" so she could tell him all about her doll, Waywar. Cory found out from Ted that Tony used to be in the Marines, and he pestered Tony for story after story.

It was great to catch up with him. We would like to visit with him on his way back home, but I'm sure he'll be anxious to get back to the states and not spend a few extra days in Italy.

We have some pictures to share for this story, but the silly iPad wont
Let us upload them. Still waiting for home internet service. We also have some more travel stories, but we've been waiting for the internet to be hooked up or the iPad to let us upload again. We might have to cop me up with an alternate blog plan.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Technical Difficulties...

We have been trying to post a couple of different stories about some of our recent adventures, but our internet connection isn't supporting the photos...and honestly, anything we have to say is not nearly very interesting without the photos. So bear with us...maybe we will have Internet at then house next week...maybe.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Daddy can you teach me to ski?

The other day we drove up to the mountains. They are amazingly just 30 minutes we can be at a Ski Resort Town. Piancavallo. I haven't skied since college, so I'm sure I'll be a little rusty...but I have to teach the kids since we are this close. Teach may not be the word - expose them to the sport might be more appropriate.

They have a few slopes and about 5 lifts with mostly easy to moderate runs. There is a x-country park as well as a snowboard fun park. This area will be perfect for the kids to learn on. They also have a sledding area. On this first trip we decided free sledding would be great for the kids. They also have an ice-skating rink. I'm sure it's no freedom-rink, but we'll have to try it anyway.

It's kind of like being in Colorado Springs, with the mountains so close, but it's even more dramatic that we can be sunny and 40-50deg here at home and then in less than an hour be up in mountains skiing.

This should be fun!

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