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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, June 01, 2009

Our Week In Myrtle Beach, SC

I cannot believe I'm already writing this to say I'm back from the beach. It surely was just yesterday when we were leaving for a week at the beach. Sheesh! We had a good time but I was ready to get home and we even came home a day early so I had the weekend at home to re-transition. I swear, as I get older not only does the time go by faster but transitioning back and forth (home to beach/beach back home) is harder. It's like a time warp occurred and really upsets my inner balance. I feel like the beach trip was just an overnight dream. Weird, weird!

But we did have a good time together. Here are all the ones that got to go:
Stan & I
Eddie & Kathi
Katie & Dustin (Katie's boyfriend)
Evans & Chelsea (Evans' fiance)
Aaron (half the week)
Peggy & Angie (half the week)
Ronnie (half the week)
Jenny & Brett
Luke & Hannah (half the week)

The Harris' rented a 5 bedroom house in Ocean Lakes and we had our 5th wheel RV pulled out in Lakewood. I took 3 of my dogs and Lee and I stayed with the dogs in the camper but we spent our days at the house in Ocean Lakes.

The worst thing that happened was my beef stew. I decided I was going to cook up a big package of beef stew meat with lots of fresh veggies into a huge stew and freeze it for one of our dinners at the beach. Then it was just a warm up and, voila! I spent all one day browning a big bunch of stew meat and prepping the veggies and filled my 8 qt pot up to the top. I simmered it and began to put it in 2 gallon Ziploc freezer baggies. I carefully double bagged and held it on the countertop to reduce the strain. I got the 1st set of baggies filled (1 of 2) and began on the 2nd set (2 of 2) when the double bagged Ziplocs just split (both of them at the same time) and spilt half of my stew in the floor, a BRICK KITCHEN FLOOR! A brick floor is not the easiest to clean and mop. I just cried! My niece and Dad cleaned it up for me because I was past it. Well, I got myself together and decided I would make a smaller pot, you know, stiff upper lip, on with the show and so on. So I spent another afternoon making a 4 qt pot of beef stew with all new meat and veggies. This time it worked and I got it in the freezer. Then I hauled that 8 qt pot and both very heavy bags of stew to the beach. When the family finally decided what night to eat it, it was after lunch so I didn't have time to thaw it normally. So I put it in the 8 qt pot on the stove on a low temp. It was 2 big chunks of stew (too big to fit in the microwave) and the lid didn't fit. I babysat it all afternoon and kept fussing with the temperature and stirring it. Finally it thawed enough to put the lid on it. My bad shoulder kept me from being able to lift the lid and stir so I left it up to Stan to stir it for the last hour. A couple of times I told him, "Stan, I smell something burning, check the stew." Both times he said, "It's something on the burner, not the stew." Finally he said, "Sharon, the stew is scorched!" I just busted out crying all over again. Sure enough, all that stew was ruined. What a waste of money, time, and effort! But, Stan patted me and soothed me and Stan's sister must have told all the young people how upset I was and every one of them ate the stew anyway and complimented me on how good it was. That really touched my heart! So it turned out OK anyway but what a story they will laugh about!

Sharon's Huge Pot of Beef Stew

5 lbs+ of beef stew (dredged in flour mixed with dry oregano, salt & pepper, then browned with some oil)
3 big onions, diced and lightly browned in oil
10 large tomatoes, washed and quartered
6 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
Salt & Pepper
6 potatoes, peeled, washed and diced in big chunks
3 fresh green bell peppers, washed and chopped
6 lg fresh yellow squash (aka summer squash or crookneck squash)
6 fresh carrots, washed, peeled and sliced
Optional: 1 head of fresh broccoli, with stems cut off, washed and broken up into fine florets

This will make a BIG pot of stew. After browning meat and onions, place in 8 qt (or bigger) stainless steel pot and put on the burner. Place tomatoes and garlic cloves in Vitamix mixer and liquify and pour in the pot with the meat and onions. Add some water and the seasonings and herbs. Bring to a boil and then cut temperature down to simmer until meat is getting tender. Add the vegetables and cook until they are cooked through. Ready to serve or freeze.

Source: Me! and I just throw things in without actually measuring so the measures are approximate and you can do more or less without hurting it!

Now, I will share all the photos I took throughout the week! Remember you can click on the photo to see photos larger. Here is the house they rented.

Our trailer

Our first evening

We played a game on the beach.

Evans fishing

Jenny feeding Brett prunes before going to bed.

Then she had to give him a bath!

Peggy & Stan making breakfast

Eddie went out everyday to sweep the beaches with his metal detector.

Jenny taking Brett for a walk.

I babysat Brett a lot in the afternoons so he wouldn't be outside too long. And every time I hold him in my arms, he goes to sleep! I'm better than a sleeping pill. Here he is taking a nap on the bed beside me while I read a book. I can't get any sun and I get too hot on the beach so I stay in the house most of the time anyway. My family has skin cancer history, I have had to have places removed and some of my medicines warn you to stay out of the sun while taking it. I get sunburn and sun poisoning too. So, all in all, it's not for me. You don't find me laying out on the beach!

The kids are always in for anything! They have so much energy. They fished, rode banana boats, swam, shopped, built sandcastles, rented a boat to go fishing, etc. Here they are fishing in the little pond that the house was on.

Jenny caught a branch!

Early mornings (of course, any time before noon is considered "early" for everybody but Stan and I).

We went to Nance's for supper one night.

Jenny gives Brett his first taste of Southern hushpuppies with honey butter. (Of course, she just swabbed his lips with the butter, but he loved it!) So cute!

Time for baby Brett to go to bed so Great Aunt Angie rocks him!

Jenny takes Brett for an early walk.

We did a couple of short shopping trips. Here is Lee buying his Dad a present from the beach. He bought something for Melinda and Jenny and Hannah.

It took the golf cart and Stan's truck to carry all the beach paraphernalia to and from the beach.

Some quiet time and conversation during a cloudy afternoon.

Peggy telling a joke!

This photo turned out real fuzzy but it is so sweet I had to use it somehow. Notice how he is grasping and holding on to my shirt even while he is asleep. He would also hold my finger a lot when he napped in my arms or on the bed while I read.

Katie and Chelsea watch Evans and Dustin play ball on the beach.

Notice the reflection of Stan and I in Brett's mirror finish sunglasses!

I believe this little boy loves his Great Aunt Sharon!

Jenny took Brett down to the edge of the water and let him get in some wave time!

Brett's got his confidence now!

Evans and Chelsea tossing the football.

Chelsea looks like she's doing a dance to the sun god, but she's reaching to catch the football!

We had a brief rain shower as they worked on a big sandcastle. Dustin and Luke worked through the rain and then they all got back into it.

Now they decide to cover Dustin up with sand. He's such a good sport!

Even Eddie got in on it! Dustin teased Eddie by saying, "You've been wanting to do this for a long time haven't you?"

Evans tenderly makes sure his friend is comfortable! ROFL!

Then they made Dustin have a child's body.

Katie walks all over Dustin!

Katie rules!

"OK, guys, this is enough!"

Dustin starting to get up. He said it was a real ab workout to pull out of all that damp sand.

He made it!

Peggy wanted to visit Fat Harold's because her boyfriend spent a lot of time there throughout his life. Last week he was voted as a Legend of Fat Harold's.

Family Game Night. We played a game where everyone wrote down 5 words that started with a certain letter of the alphabet. Then we folded them and put them on the coffeetable and mixed them up. We paired with a partner and when it was our turn we grabbed a paper and tried to describe the word. We had 30 seconds until it was the next couple's turn. It was hilarious!

Well, that was our beach trip!

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