Tuesday, December 30, 2008
And while it was absolutely wonderful, I am so happy it's over. I have to admit, this splitting Christmas between families is exhausting. AND both of our parents are still married to each other, I can't imagine what it would be like celebrating with any more family! Wow. Exhausting. And of course, last night, as we lay in bed, thoroughly drained, tossing and turning, we both wondered why the heck we couldn't fall asleep? (that's frustrating).
So onto resolutions... I make them, my husband doesn't. And I keep them in my planner and review them throughout the year and at the end of the year go through to see how many resolutions I kept. Shamefully I already threw away my resolutions for 08. But I didn't do so well which explains why I threw them out.
When I get a good list for this year, I may or may not share. But one of my resolutions will be to stop swearing. I have been noticing when people do and don't swear and their swearing really makes me flinch. Especially when people enunciate their swears. It's not unf*ckingbelievable. It's unF*CKINGbelievable. It's a bad bad habit that I am embarrassed of and need to eliminate certain words from my vocabulary. Like the F word. And the S word. And probably the B word. Not sure about the A word. At times that can be endearing. But not when accompanied by -hole. Hmmm... I'll work on that list.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
So Christmas began yesterday
with a celebration with my brother, sister-in-law and the munchkins. I missed the comment from the little Bug who was looking out the window saying she thought she saw a red nose in the sky. How adorable! Presents were opened, little munchkins were thrilled, excited, tired and then sleeping. And my brother was close behind them. I can understand though. The Christmas build-up every year seems longer and longer. I'm not surprised if Christmas parties occur in late November anymore. It's just madness. But as I sit here at work, brimming with excitement for christmas number 2 of 4 to be celebrated this afternoon with my dear husband I wonder why I didn't take this day off? Who the hell can work on Christmas eve? Who SHOULD work on Christmas eve? But can I sit here and totally screw off until 11:30 or so when I can comfortably leave earlier than our normal early departure? I gave my assistant some work to do this morning and she, with her Christmas Carols playing loudly, yelled (yes, shouted) at me to stop giving her work, don't I know it's Christmas eve? I know she was joking... sort of. Seriously, who the hell can work on Christmas eve? Who SHOULD work on Christmas eve? Tonight Santa comes. And holy moley, that is SO fun. There are presents under the tree (mostly mine b/c my sweetie doesnt' wrap until the last day) and they are ready to be opened. I am ready to open them. I even let sweetie open a present this morning...
Merry Christmas everyone!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
So to all my ladies out there- I love you!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday we headed to NYC to see Diana, Scott and little Isabelle. It was SO fun to see them, spend such good time with them and play a little bit with Isabelle. She is so happy and smiley and fun to play with. She was also really fun to watch eat! So cute. So we had dinner with them and then headed out for Hungarian dessert and then Saturday Night Live. We are not huge fans of SNL but Jenn suggested we put our name in for tickets and we got them with Hugh Laurie and Kanye West as the hosts we decided to go. It was really cool to see how the show was created and how it was organized: the stages, cameras and the people on the set. It also happened to be Amy Poehler's last show which was really neat to see. What I was most surprised at is how much the actors laugh at the skits when they are not on camera. It was cool, if anyone has the chance to go, I recommend it!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Our Christmas tree's branches are lovely. Gosh, I LOVE this time of year. Saturday we got our tree, wreath and branches/rope thing that hangs on the mantle. The tree is perfect... well, ok, it's a little crooked. It looks like it's leaning but I think it's just a crooked stem (oh please don't fall over, christmas tree...) It is decorated with colored lights that make me think of little candies. A few years ago my parents gave me some of my childhood ornaments (you know, the ones with my name on them or the ones I made, complete with photos of when I cute -and awkward). So I don't have a 'designer' tree this year, as my husband calls it. (my first tree as a grownup had only ball ornaments, it looked lovely but was deemed a 'designer' tree b/c of the uniform ornaments).
Its funny, as a grown up, I made certain decisions about Christmas-time. As a kid, I HATED taking out the tangled, sometimes rusty hangie hooks to hang the ornaments. So I decided, as a grownup, I will not keep those damn hangie hook things year after year. I will make the sacrifice and purchase a new pack for 99 cents every year. Having new hangie hook things makes hanging ornaments a lot more enjoyable- of course, that is when you have enough hangie things for your ornaments. This year we ran out of hangie hook things... I guess there was a reason my parents always held onto those stupid hangie hook things. Those parents, they are so smart!
Friday, December 5, 2008
So I head out, this week, to find a bathing suit. FYI- finding a cheap bathing suit in December in New England is a silly idea. Be prepared to pay serious coin. I had some goggles buried in a drawer and was not sure if I would buy a swim cap. So I head to the Sporting Goods store, find a suit, try it on and this feeling washes over me. I swam competitively for 13 years growing up. I basically grew up in the pool and in bathing suits. Summer in our back yard, winter/spring in the high school pool, saturdays for 8 hours at swim meets. It felt so familiar to squeeze that suit over your hips (the first time you put a new suit on it doesn't fit right. You need to get in the suit and then get wet. It kind-of molds to your body). I find the right size and head out to find a bathing cap.
My parents hardly ever discussed finances with us and I have no idea how expensive swimming was, it was just something we always did. But I do remember driving to some scary part of a nearby city for this remote discount store for speedos b/c they were so darn expensive and if you're swimming in a suit (and as you get older, 2 or 3 each day) they wear out quickly, get rips and become see-through and sag at the butt, so you need a few to get you through the year. And the plastic bathing caps- those rip and tear, you can easily go through 1 a month. So now, buying my new speedo (for $50!) and thinking about a bathing cap, I head over to check them out. While they are really cool-looking: faded colors from dark to light, they are also $12. Holy crap, for a head condom? So I decide not to get a cap and grab my suit and go home.
I get home, put the suit on and throw some clothes on and that feeling came back again. Thinking about what I need to pack for my way home. Oh man, how many times growing up did I forget to pack undies for the way home and have to go home commando? We don't have a designated 'swimming' towel so I grabbed a bath towel. I have some Ultra Swim (shampoo to help keep the chlorine out of your hair), a comb, a winter hat (so your hair doesn't freeze).
So I hit the library first, while I'm there, ask for directions to the high school pool, get a little map drawn and head over. I'm very nervous and picture myself wandering around an empty high school trying to find the pool, but it's the very first door! I open the door and that feeling comes over me. The warm, moist air, the smell. The sound/echos. Oh wow. So I walk around the corner and find a really nice pool! It's warm in there, reasonably clean- not spotless and not packed with people. only one other swimmer (and 5 lifeguards). I pay my dues, head into the high school locker room, change, grab my goggles and head out.
Standing at the edge of the pool, toes over the edge, I am really comfortable. I am thrilled to finally come swimming. I dive into the pool, goggles in hand, and OUCH!!! I must have pushed off with my ankle. Damn it. I breastroke to the other end, legs together, throw some goggles on and start swimming. It felt wonderful. I felt great. It felt like two things finding their way together: me and swimming. I know HOW to swim, but my body doesn't really fit into a suit the way it should, my arms were burning, my ears had water in them, gurgling around and a few times I swallowed a bunch of water- all in a days swim... I start going a bit more, try some flip turns, the throbbing in the ankle going away and suddenly, I'm OFF! I am swimming, I feel great, I know I have a pretty stroke and that makes me feel great. I love the feeling of stretching out as far as you can. I never was a big kicker so not using my legs was fine. I felt wonderful.
I can't wait until next week!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Wednesday I got out of work early. I called around to a few of the gals for a drink but schedules didn't work out. I got my hair done, went home, changed into pjs and drank wine and pretended it was Friday (watched previously DVR'd tv shows while my husband fell asleep on the couch). Thursday we woke up, got dressed and headed to the in-laws for a yummy thanksgiving dinner. Ham was served which made me a happy little clam. We had appetizers, 'dinner', dessert, then a second dinner consisting of English muffin pizzas and pumpernickle and swiss cheese sandwiches and (of course) second dessert.
Friday- breakfast out with the in-laws and a rainy ride home. After that we laid around, read our books, watched tv, still in pjs (no shower) and then I decided... hey, I think I'll paint the window sills today. So I primered the windowsills.
This is where it gets weird. I woke up on Saturday thinking it was Sunday and realized I hadn't really done a darned thing this weekend. So, after dragging myself out of bed, I made sauce and breakfast at the same time. While hubby was making meatballs I put up the christmas lights outside. Then I painted the windowsills and we made homemade pasta. After the pasta was made, I made the Christmas Eve lasagna (and an extra b/c we had extra everything). We decided the windowsills looked so good we could remove all the doors on the first level, remove the hardware and hinges, primer and paint them, replace the hardware and hinges with some updated ones and rehang them. This included a trip to Home Depot (for anyone who is newly married- is it me, or does this damn trip ALWAYS result in an argument?)
Sunday: made the trip to Home Depot and another miracle! We did not get into a fight. I felt it coming on but then it passed. Oh, thank goodness because we have a lot of work ahead of us. We decided Saturday night that we could paint a coat of primer and paint each night during the week, so the job didn't have to get rushed through this weekend nor wait until next weekend. But, when we got all the stuff at home depot, and I've been a slacker-ass, I primered all those damn doors. TWICE! And shoot, they look so good, even withOUT the paint on them. A billion times better than that crappy dark wood we previously had. I held back on doing the painting today bc i was getting tired, hungry and crabby. While I was painting, hubby was replacing all the hinges on the doorframes. I was feeling a little rushed and didn't want to rush through this job and make it look sloppy. I had some lunches to cook for the week (which I had to cook twice because the first time I didn't cook the chicken all the way through). I made some more protein nuggets (with pumpkin).
Off to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and hopefully that's it. After all I feel like we've accomplished this weekend, it sure makes up for being a slacker-ass for the past month!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- Beers at Vaughn's with Jenn and Stefania. Stefania is a new friend, we have tons in common and it was truly wonderful to meet her. I hope I run into her again sometime.
- Fancy dinner in front of the TV with my husband
- Husband fell asleep before 10. Watch What Not to Wear and Say Yes to the Dress
- early wake-up call on Saturday. Several attempts to do minor fix-it things in the house. New dryer delivered and installed. laundry.
- Jenna and Luke arrive, make beer bread, eat Stromboli and beer bread
- Shop at mall with Jenn. Buy more presents for me than for Christmas. Feel selfishly fulfilled.
- Hot date with husband. Bosc Wine bar in Avon. YUMMY.
- To bed by 10pm
- Wake at 10 o'clock! (what a lazy bum). Husband cooked breakfast and made coffee. I stayed in PJs and read my book. Showered, grocery shopped, donated a frozen turkey, made hamburger sliders and sweet potato fries.
- Early to bed.
- FINISHED MY BOOK The Yellow Raft in Blue Water and I'm onto Silver Bells our book club book. This seems to be an easy read. Next up is The Glass Castle. I am looking forward to that one!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So I lay in bed thinking about other things. I even polled the audience. Hubby rattled off things that make him happy, and I truly believe they do- the house, the yard. The yard makes me happy too, because it makes him so unbelievably happy but it can't make the list. BUT, I think I found my number two:
This quickly led me to number three. Which is similar to puppies:
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
This was a good weekend for us, we visited with some family and celebrated birthdays all around and I cooked a TON of food. I bought some turnips and sweet potatoes on a whim at a farmers market last week. I've never cooked turnips but they looked so great and yummy. So I made a stir fry with turnips, sweet potatoes and shrimp for lunch. yum! I made a Cumin Rubbed Pot Roast with Sweet Potatoes and Turnips. I tried for a potato and turnip gratin but that didn't work very well- too watery and not enough cheese. I also made some blueberry muffins and pumpkin cupcakes for the birthday celebration. Dear hubby made a western scramble (ham, onions, peppers) and fruit salad for the birthday celebration.
It's getting to be holiday season, I can tell (not by the tickle in the back of my throat) but by the recent requests for Christmas lists and chatter about Christmas budgets. I was shocked to see candy canes in the grocery store because it doesn't yet feel like Thanksgiving is coming up soon either. To me it feels like August, still. I know that's weird. Maybe September. What happened? When did autumn happen? We had such a mild 'autumn' it's hardly been chilly. But the leaf blowers heard throughout the neighborhood signify the changing of a season. And the lack of neighborhood chatting we do b/c we're not in the yard and it's dark so early. Though, this is a fun time of year. I love this time of year. Not yet stressful, almost the calm before the storm!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
What we had for dinner last night: Pork Tenderloin with mexican dry rub, homemade refried beans and broccoli.
What I'm reading: on the second to last page of Same kind of Different as Me. Getting ready to start: Like Water for Chocolate. And Bookclub tomorrow. WHOO HOO!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Foot Update: considerable progress with the range of motion and pain free steps/motions. I feel so much better I'm going to attempt an easy visit to the gym/bike. I hate the bike, but I need to do something.
What we ate: tonight we tried some Halibut steaks, pan fried in oil, garlic and shallots and white wine, topped with some leftover home-made pesto, wild rice and broccoli. We were impressed with the steak-i-ness of the frozen halibut (not from BJs) and would definitely try again (perhaps with the 8 tuna steaks for 10.99 from BJs?)
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Foot update: the foot is still sore but improving. I might try driving tomorrow. The swelling and pain is subsiding but my toes look like I dipped them in blue dye and the dark bruises on each side make it look a lot worse than it feels. Pictures are inappropriate for the blog since they are incredibly gross (but they do exist b/c it is slightly unbelievable)
What we had for dinner: Sauteed Turkey Cutlets with Orange Cranberry Pan Sauce, wild rice and carrots. It was DELICIOUS!
From Cooking Light:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 (2-ounce) turkey cutlets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.
While butter melts, sprinkle cutlets with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge cutlets in flour; shake off excess flour.
Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until butter turns golden brown. Add cutlets to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove cutlets from pan; keep warm. Add juice, mustard, and cranberries to pan, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 2/3 cup (about 5 minutes). Serve sauce over cutlets.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Last night we went to Jennifer Taylor's CD release party at Toads Place in New Haven (www.jennifertaylormusic.com) Jenn is my oldest (longest) friend. We've known each other since middle school. Our friendship has gone for months at at time without any contact but whenever we get back together, it's like old times again. She has always been incredibly talented musically and it has been fun to watch her grow from Thursday night gigs at Tailgators in Derby to her full time job of 4-6 gigs a week throughout New England. I've seen her perform in Manhattan, on the Cape, and throughout Connecticut at various bars and restaurants. She has grown as a woman and as a musician. She has truly found herself and everytime I see her she seems happier. Even through some really difficult times, she's found humor and lightheartedness, so much more often than I ever could.
So last night, as her crew is setting up the stage and her family and friends gathered at Toads Place, I felt this amazing giddiness. I was so incredibly excited for her. This is her 3rd CD but the first big CD release party I've been invited to. I mean, this is TOADS PLACE. That's a big deal! After catching up with her parents (who came up from NJ) and her sisters and brother, the lady who's kids Jenn and I babysat for (and that dang doll that would NOT stop crying until we rested the couch on it) and bunches of Jenn's friends I've met throughout our friendship and gig-going, we stood waiting for Jenn to come on stage. I was giddy. I'm not kidding. I was grinning ear to ear and giggling to myself. I was SO excited.
She comes on stage, cool as a cucumber, of course. The crowd is cheering as she grabs her guitar and the band starts playing and she starts singing. WOW. Her music feels different. It feels fun and serious at the same time. The lyrics (my favorite part of music) are like a story of her recent life. And she has had a killer year. One song is called In this Past Year (I think) which is really a great song. She called it a country song but had a Jenn flair to it. It mentions some things that make me realize it's time for me to get an update from her... like the fist fight (Jennifer, what happened?) and waking up in the guardrail? (oh my god, I didn't know that's how it happened!?!) All her music felt JUST like her personality. It felt fun, upbeat, and lively- even though there is some seriously heavy stuff in the lyrics.
So I stood there, grinning ear to ear, looking around at all the people who love her, listening to Jenn pour her heart out in her music and I felt an incredibly deep and profound sense of pride. And DAMN she sounded so good! I am so proud of my friend.
So, this morning when I opened the CD to play in my car on the way into work, she brought me to dumbfounded tears when I was reading the lyrics (my favorite part) and saw the dedications. Jenn, thank you. You are a true friend and I am humbled to be noted on your CD. I am so thankful call you my friend. I am thankful to share in your successes and I am so happy to see you pull yourself out of the hardest year ever, to find success in your career, your life and to have found true love. You made it. You are on top, baby. And I am so proud.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Jenn Taylor's CD release party at Toad's place tonight (Thursday) at 8pm
UCONN Football Saturday
Dinner with friends Sunday
Life is good, but I have nothing to report...
Thursday, October 9, 2008
1- Perhaps it is because I live in New England and for the last 5(?) years of my life Tom Brady has been my boyfriend
2- Perhaps because I've had the surgery myself and want to share something special with my boyfriend
3- Perhaps I know how quick the 'recovery' is but how long it takes to actually trust your new knee (as I would suspect the greatest football player in the league would need to relearn to do)
4- Perhaps it's because since Tommy hurt his knee, there haven't been any pictures, articles, comments or pictures (did I say that?) of him anywhere in the media
But seriously, what took him so long?!?
And the same with his buddy/pal Coach Weis!?! I have a few ideas why Coach Weis hasn't gotten the surgery yet actually. I suspect it either has to do with his already-screwed-up legs from his botched stomach stapling surgery but perhaps it could also be that unless you intend to be active in your regular life, you can live with a busted ACL. Since Coach Weis's weekends probably (I am speculating here) don't consist of pick-up basketball games or a volleyball game at a neighborhood picnic, he can live without the surgery. However, for a quarterback, playing in a game where men the size of my car are trained to clobber my poor sweet beautiful Tom as hard as they possibly can- yes, he definitely needed that surgery.
As you can imagine, I am relieved to hear Tommy had the surgery. I just wish I could be there to comfort him and care for him. As my husband puts it when I mentioned Tom Brady being my boyfriend: He'll just knock you up and leave you for a supermodel. My response was: That's ok, I'm married.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
When our division was smaller and filled mostly with men, our fridge held very few items b/c most of the guys went out and bought lunch. There was the occasional takeout container but mostly was filled with, I know this is sexist, the girls' yogurts and salads. As an employee of a small office, I enjoyed the open fridge space greatly. I would often bring my lunch to work on Monday for the whole week. I kept a drawer as 'mine' and was very good at emptying it each Friday.
As our division grew, more and more people began using the fridge. There's the weight-lifting crew who ate 3-4 chicken breasts and raw potatoes (I swear) daily, along with a 4-pack of protein shakes. Then we grew into whole other floor... with no fridge (two floors of people, one fridge). And the fridge got more and more crowded. This is when I began using an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack, kept next to my desk. This was also when those nasty emails starting coming, sent to the whole office stating things like 'the fridge is a privilege and should not be abused' and 'please remember to tag your food with your initials' or 'do not eat other people's lunches' and my favorite 'whoever put the soda in the freezer and forgot it, it exploded. Don't put soda in the freezer'.
Then began the RULES of the kitchen. There were 10 0f them. Some were things like:
*your mother doesn't live here, clean up after yourself
*do not put dirty dishes in the dishwasher if there are clean ones still in there
*don't leave your oatmeal bowls in the sink soaking. Any found in the sink at the end of the day will be thrown away.
I have since moved to another floor with a less filled-to-capacity fridge and am loving it. While we don't often get milk for coffee consistently so it goes bad before we realize we have it BUT we are not fighting for space. What I don't understand hasn't been said, yelled or posted, my personal pet peeve, is
DON'T PUT COOLERS IN THE REFRIGERATOR.
Seriously people, coolers are IN-SU-LAT-ED, which means, it will prevent transfer heat (or cold)! So what this means is, take your big honking cooler out of the freaking refrigerator or take your food OUT of your insulated device and put it in the fridge. If your cooler works, which is should because it's big and taking up more than your allotted space in the fridge, it is not utilizing the cooling effect of the fridge ONLY TAKING UP SPACE!
Currently, on our floor, there is a polite little sign posted saying at 4pm there will be a clean out and everything perishable with no initials on it will be thrown away. I would have done this earlier this week, however I'll be out of the office next week and realized it's not worth my effort, yes, I'm a jerk. But I suspect the following will be thrown out:
Half eaten sheet cake, presumably for someones birthday
Half eaten pie
cottage cheese/fruit container that has been in the fridge for about 2 weeks now
several plastic shopping bags with one or two items in it
a 24 pack of string cheese that has been in there for about 2 months and not opened
4 gallons of milk that expire soon, but no one drinks them until they've gone bad and their cereal breakfast is ruined.
Once that gets cleaned up, we'll be back to our euphoric open-spaced fridge and I'll be happy, but that person who keeps putting their insulated cooler IN the fridge, you are an idiot and don't deserve to use the fridge space.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
The financial sector is in complete and utter turmoil and we are rewarding these screw-ups with a big fat check. They never have to work again, and probably couldn't find a job where anyone would hire them. Imagine the interview process:
Q: Please tell us about a time you were able to resolve a large problem in a way where everyone seemed to benefit
A: Well, when running fill in the blank company
Golden parachutes are complete and utter BS and should not be given or awarded. What sort of message is that sending? Hey CEOs, it's ok to screw up but be sure if you do to screw up big, but be sure to set yourself up with a killer severance package regardless of what happens to the company? That is very very wrong.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
We arrived Friday at Midway around 9:30 am, central time. The time zones are all screwed up there b/c the county that South Bend is in doesn't believe in daylight savings time (or something like that) so depending on what time of year we go it's either equal to central or eastern time. This year it was equal to eastern time which really makes the flight times complicated. And to further complicate things, our hotel, in Michigan City, was in a different time zone than ND, the same as the airport. So all weekend I had no idea what time it was, thank goodness my sweetie is very good at that.
We head to South Bend for breakfast at Nick's Patio (there was no patio) and a really lazy day walking around campus on one of the most beautiful days of the year. There wasn't a cloud in the sky(and it was pouring cats and dogs in New England- hee hee hee). We saw the Gold Dome, the Basilica (where the players go to mass every Saturday before the game), the Grotto, the bookstore and a whole lot of beautiful sky. We even sat on a bench before the pep rally where this old guy (like in his 80s) was scalping his tickets. He talked to everyone 'who do you think will win the game?' or 'got tickets for the game tomorrow?' One guy bit and asked about the tickets. The old fellow said he only had one, but it was on the 50 yard line about 11 rows up. The guy looked really amazed and thrilled. Then the old guy said it's $100. Sidenote: the ticket process is really competitive and complicated weighing in how much money you donated and some other stuff i have no idea about but once the tickets are gotten it's quite unethical to sell them for more than face value. It's sort of a gentleman's handshake type thing. People who do sell them for more than face value tend to have their names dragged through the mud- people are relentless about this. Ok, so back to the old guy. So the young guy leaps up and says- no way, you don't sell tickets for more than face value and walks away. The old guy sort-of shrugs and says something about some annual fee he has to pay for season tickets and wants to make up the cost, but the guy is gone. About 30 minutes later he comes back and the old fellow gives him the ticket for $65 and then jumps on his bike and rides off. Quite a funny scene.
It's amazing to be at a ND football game. It's nothing like any UCONN game. There are decades of tradition and respect built into every game. My absolute favorite part of the ND tradition is when you walk into this amazing and mammoth stadium, the ticket takers make a strong point to look into your eyes and say 'Welcome to Notre Dame Stadium'. To every person! It's so cool! The band has about 36 hours of straight activities beginning before the pep rally on Friday night, to the drums section playing at midnight in front of the building with the gold dome. On Saturday fans line up on the sidewalk to cheer on the players from their walk from mass/service to the stadium, all dressed in suits. The dorms have bbqs selling burgers, dogs and brauts to raise money for dorm stuff. Green with body paint people running around. The band has these 'guards' that clear the way for them through crowds. It's a bunch of guys who wear kilts and do a sort of march in front of the band. So the band does a march through campus and into the stadium and people line the streets to cheer them on and clap to the ND fight song. You enter the stadium, and are personally welcomed, which is so cool! It's really old-school with no jumbotron and bleachers throughout except for the high roller seats. All students are given tickets to every home game and all sit in different sections depending on their seniority. They never sit through the whole game, have certain participation in the game (during kick offs they do a cheer, at 3rd down on defense everyone takes their keys out and jingles them (for a key play). I don't think there is music that is piped through loudspeakers, only the band and they can fire up just about anyone. Some songs they play have the entire student section doing things along with it. It is so incredibly cool! AND, oh, my second favorite part- they often have an air force flyover during the national anthem. I just love that. It is truly something to go to a ND game. An ultimate experience to be part of something so big. There is so much respect at a ND game- for the players, for the students, for the band (who ever would have guessed?) for the tradition. I think that's the most amazing thing- the respect for tradition.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
AND, yesterday I bought my first Christmas present. It's for Sus, my sister-in-law. I'm excited because I've grown so tired of looking at lists and buying exactly what's on the list. And this is so fun b/c I think she'll like it and she didn't even ask for it! Whoo hoo! But on that same topic, it's nice to get someone something they actually want or will use. I go back and forth with the gift lists- it's helpful to give to people who may not be around me too often, so they may not know my style or size or what I wish I had, but might not 'ask' for it on a list. But I think what I need to do in order to maintain this no-list stuff is to do more shopping.
Monday, September 22, 2008
In the end, the chicken didn't fit on the new grill, so we had to cook in the oven (with the beer in the stand. The chicken cavity was too narrow to push the chicken further. We have lots of funny chicken/beer pictures. But this is my favorite. hee hee hee
We also spent the morning with the munchkins at the park Saturday! What a treat. They are cute as pie and it is really fun to play in the park with them. Especially b/c I fit on the slides so I can slide down after them. Here are some great picts!Little guy was tired this day. But it was the first time we saw him while he started walking so it was fun to watch him walk and explore:
She was having so much fun giggling and running around. She LOVES the swings! And I love her shoes!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I have been thinking about joining facebook. I am not sure what I will do while on it, but the 'con' is I can't access it from work. And I just don't see myself checking in very often at home. But I can't help but wonder if that would increase my contact with far-away friends and learn what they're up to on a more regular basis.
Funny when you talk to someone and it's been a long time since the last time you chatted. I find myself having nothing to say - 'so what's been up?' 'oh, nothing much' But if I talked to people regularly, I'm sure I'd have WAY more stuff to talk about...
How about that the house in our neighborhood caught on fire last night! Ok, well there were no flames coming from windows or anything, but 5 firetrucks, about 30 firefighters, 2 hydrants tapped and the ladder truck was used. The firefighter on the ladder broke open a top floor window and smoke came pouring out. then they put a big red fan (why is all fire fighter stuff red?) and the smoke poured out. No one was hurt, lots of neighbors standing around looking (at 10:30 pm I met a new neighbor!) and lots of sirens, lights and hoses. Very very exciting. But I have to admit, if a friend called from long distance, and they asked 'what's up' that story probably wouldn't be what I mention. weird.
So does anyone read my blog? Would facebook be a better option? I just don't know. But if anyone has an opinion about that, please send a note. I'm curious.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Now, for all you parrotheads out there who love Jimmy Buffett as much as I do realize the irony of this. Jimmy Buffett, a hurricane, concert, etc. Heck, he even has a song named "Tryin to Reason with the Hurricane Season". I thought to myself, 'this is my Notre Dame football game. If it's raining, we are still going' and Dave never voiced any concern or disgruntlment about the weather and this monumental event. Friday night, Dave gets an email from Stubhub alerting him the concert time has been moved from 8pm to 3pm.
On Saturday morning, at 11:15 Dave and I are out the door. We have a change of clothes, some rain gear and a 6 pack of beer. We didn't plan to tailgate for hours b/c of the worrisome weather. Enduring a concert in the rain is very different from tailgating in the rain. So we arrive around 1. Walk around, armed with our tall-boy Miller Lite (we tailgate in STYLE) and Dave experiences a very subdued Parrothead crowd. Sure, there were RVs that looked like pirate ships and women flashing for jello shots. Shrimp on the BBQ and lobsters boiling in pots heated on a char-grill. It was a honed-down version of a Buffett concert, but still the grass skirts, hawaiian shirts, beads, coconut bras and one, very exposed, very hairy... fairy. He had on some red roushing materials, something thonglike- I saw his butt crack, and looked like a nutcase and a fairy. Lovely.
So as the time gets closer to get to the concert, Dave and I head in, armed with a waterproof blanket, rain jacket and a Landshark Lager flag we picked up on the way in. We find a great spot in the lawn, close to the bottom, front and center. We sit leisurely, sipping more beer waiting for the concert to start. It begins with some guys on stilts dancing to 'Feeling HOT HOT HOT' (which it was. It was hot and humid. Sticky hot and humid- but no rain... yet.)
Jimmy Buffett comes out next, he's in a T shirt, shorts and no shoes. He sings a few songs I never heard (must be newer) then starts to sing an old song. As the skies open and and Hanna lets loose her fury. And what did the parrotheads do? Dance, laugh, sing and embrace the hurricane. Jimmy made a few comments about the weather out in the lawn (much of the seating was covered, but not the lawn). So he sings and sings. And we wet Parrotheads dance and laugh and sing. I look down at our waterproof blanket and there is a slowly growing river of water running over it, so I ball it up and shove to the side. The rain comes down harder, the beer flows better, the music continues. Then the rain stops. The music and dancing do not. MAN, it was fun. Then the rain begins, harder this time. People are slipping and falling into the mud (or sliding down it like a dirty slip N slide), Jimmy Buffett is singing and enjoying himself, and I did too. Man, I had a great time. It was so fun, rain included. It was so perfect, at a Jimmy Buffett concert, to be stuck in a hurricane and the concert still went on. In my opinion, the concert ended rather quickly- he came out for only one encore even though I was yelling for him to sing more, it was a great concert, as always. And I think Dave had fun too! I love that boy!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Jenn has been working hard at preparing and releasing her 3rd CD. It's been a few years since her last release and I am very much looking forward to it!
Please save the date, it's a Thursday but seriously, you have to go! It'll be awesome!
Check out her website to find out when and where she's playing next. Go to: www.jennifertaylormusic.com then click Shows.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Cathy also recommended a website which take a bit of getting used to, but really neat. It's called www.mapmyrun.com you have to register (it's free) and you can map out runs you want to do or have done. It saves them and tracks the mileage which is cool. But you can also search for runs in your town or area.
Looking forward to the next run but wow, that website makes me excited about running more.
Thanks Cathy, for revving up my passion again!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Bookclub tonight- at Jenna's house. She's doing really well. Book was called Black and White which was really an interesting read. Quite easy but loaded with emotional heavy stuff. Interesting to see what bookclub thought, but more interesting to see if we actually talk about the book. I hope so.
I'm hoping to run with Cathy on Wednesday night. There's a running group starting in West Hartford Center that runs about 3-4 miles ever wednesday. I hope it works well for me b/c sounds really cool!
This weekend Jenn and Ryan are having a Fish Fry and then I'm off to Scituate for a little R&R sans Dave. Bummer he can't make it but I'm looking forward to being up there.
Monday, August 4, 2008
So it's one week countdown to Dave's birthday which is very fun. We have plans to have dinner at Sauce in Glastonbury (how do I make the link on my blog to that website, that'd be cool). we are very excited about ordering rice balls- apparently they are little pockets of yumminess. Really excited about it.
Oh, and I made yummy lunch for this week. I made sauteed onions, peppers and grilled some steak for salad (with chick peas and tomatoes and feta). It was so delicious. I can't wait to eat again tomorrow. But heading to Jenna's tonight for falafels.
This week: looking forward to dinner with Dave, Jenn and Ryan at Black Eyed Sallys. Hartford is doing that pre-fix meals for $20.08. Last year we went to Carbones which was absolutely excellent. Looking forward to seeing Ryan- it's been a few weeks!
See, nothing really all that exciting. I'm sure next/this upcoming (I always mess that up) weekend will be great. we're also thinking about going to Newport or Block Island for the day too on Saturday. FUN
Oh, bunch of nonsense, but felt pressured to write something. I'm still loving the pictures of the chickens though.
Monday, July 28, 2008
So we're looking and taking pictures and telling them that they'll soon be my dinner when the farmer comes around in this HUGE tractor and waves me over and tells me to climb up so I can see the turkeys. The turkeys live in this big giant pen where they eat seeds and bugs and grain (that's grown on the farm, shipped up to a turkey feed manufacturer and processed and then brought back). They run around and chase each other and as the farmer demonstrated, if you gobble at them, they will gobble back.We then hit some standard G'bury farms: Roses, Dondero, Robbs (where we bought eggs), Belltown. Old Maids is the only certified organic, the rest were just yummy and wonderful. Lots of berry pickers!
Saturday night we had Jenna, Brian and Luke over for a feast (made by Dave)- homemade pasta, meat sauce and some non meat for Jenna. It was delicous and a great visit with the Serigneses. Really wonderful. Thanks Dave!
And Sunday, after the most amazing thunder and lightening storm I have ever experienced at 4:30 in the morning, Dave and I headed to Bev and Chris's place on the lake. It was a really great visit with them, though rainy. We had an intense and full-of-trash-talking game of UNO. Chris beat me out by 5 points from being the winner. And Dave and Bev competed for the highest score. Very fun. We're hoping to get a visit in with them (and the sunshine) sometime this summer.
What a great weekend. Man, this summer has been so incredibly relaxing. I'm just loving it!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I need to go home and change into something a bit nicer after work but whoo hoo! So very exciting. Ooh yay!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Friday we took off from work. We had a big lovely breakfast (cooked in our fab new kitchen) of left over pork tenderloin, onions and scrambled eggs, coffee (equal parts Starbucks French Roast and O'o Hawaiian Farm Organic Blend), cinnamon chip scones and toast con marmelada. Yum! Then we packed up a little picnic and headed to Crystal Lake in Ellington. This is a really lovely clear lake. There is a small beach the public can use for a small fee. There are trees that make shade on the beach and is just a lovely spot. We spent the day there, then on the way home, stopped to spend a ridiculous amount of money on lobsters for dinner. The guy had a heck of a time getting the the lobbies into the take-home bag but soon we were heading to our house with lobsters in tow. We also grabbed some snackie foods and dessert and enjoyed ourselves a little feast on the back, complete with prosecco. YUM. What a wonderful way to spend our houseaversary (one week late).
Saturday we woke up, did a few things and realized we enjoyed Crystal Lake so much on Friday that we decided to go again. We sat in the shade of the tree this time, to beat the heat, which was about 95 with about 95% humidity. WOW it was HOT this weekend. It was a lovely day spent at the lake again, lots of reading and some plans to make a vegetable garden next spring which is incredibly fun to me!
Sunday Jenn and I met for a giant breakfast and then headed to Bev and Chris's place on Pauchaug Lake. What a lovely lake. We laughed at Izzie's fear of swimming and enjoyed a well cooked lunch (thanks Chris). We took a lovely and relaxing boat trip with Chris's parents and then headed home.
This was exactly the weekend Dave and I hoped for. We specifically wanted to relax this summer and enjoy the area around us. It was amazing. We did very little work and got tons of relaxation in. What a wonderful weekend- ahhhh... summer in New England. LOVE IT!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Yesterday was our House-aversary which was cute, eating on plastic plates and we cheersed our plastic cups too. Amazing it has been a year. And with the kitchen, wow, it looks so different. (picts soon).
I finished Belong to Me by Marisa De Los Santos last night. It was interesting and a little rough. The preceeding story called Love Walked In was beautifully written, hopeful and bright, just a wonderful story about how love exist in ways you might not have imagined. It was so amazing and in all my readings, I haven't re-read any book except that one. It was just as beautiful the second time. But Belong to Me was harsh- there were some ugly characters, some meanness and perhaps a bit too cold. I didn't love the characters like I did in Love Walked In. While some were the same, in Belong to Me the people were dislikable at times and I didn't like that. I would WILDLY recommend Love Walked In. Not sure I'd recommend Belong to Me, but happy I read it, even though it disappointed me. Now I'm on to Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
Meeting up with Diana and Scott and their little baby Isabelle tomorrow night in New Haven. They live in NYC and am so excited to get to spend some time with them. Maybe we'll bring our camera to take picts of little Izzy. Happy Weekend!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Kitchen is not done yet. We were supposed to have the counters installed today but there is a delay in the fabrication of the countertops. This is a huge bummer. We're also experiencing a plumbing issue which is scary and gross. We noticed a pretty steady leak in the basement that I'm sure was leaking all night long. And it seems like all our kitchen water/waste that went down the kitchen sink has ended up in our downstairs tub... our contractors working on it. :(
But the little baby bunny makes the day a beautiful one! Cute little bunny. Reminded me of one of my favorite books growing up where a grownup bunny goes to the doctor for a checkup and in the bottom corner of the book a little baby bunny (or was it perhaps a mouse) goes to the doctor too. So cute.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
So we sort it all out, tell hotel management and get on our way to Hana, though driving very carefully and quite timidly. Those who've done the Road to Hana know that being timid on that road is a bad mix. The road to Hana was amazing. People say it's about the journey, not the destination. But they don't mention that taking your time to (and past) Hana is wonderful but getting home isn't all that leisurely and beautiful. Ok, for those who've never done it. There is a cliff on one side of the road and mountains on the other. The road has hairpin curves all through it and the road is barely wide enough for two cars to be on it. There are places where only one car fits you need to wait for oncoming traffic to pass through. It takes you from the shore to the rainforests, to black sand beaches and waterfalls. It was beautiful. Truly amazing. Scary as hell. At the end are the Seven Sacred Pools (which actually aren't sacred- probably b/c all these unholy people have been swimming in them, and there's more like 20 pools, but it sounds nice and is breathtaking. This is a view of the ocean, looking out from the Seven Pools
Friday we decide to head out for breakfast and on our way out (I backed out of the parking spot) I noticed we had a semi-flat tire. Unbelievable. I got the Engineering crew to help me change the tire and we found a goodyear tire (Lahaina Tire) to help us fix the one with a nail in it. The lovely man did it for us for no charge. So wonderful. So sweet. It was great. So we went to breakfast, headed back to our hotel. We hung by the pools and appreciated the cloud cover we had to make the sun a bit less scary. We did some snorkling at Black Rock (which happened to be right at our hotel). And ate at Pacific'o (Chef McDonald and his farm). the meal was wonderful- I think every single one of the waitstaff and managers came over to introduce themselves to us and asked what we liked most about the trip to the farm (it was in their computer system that we'd done the farm tour). The biologist who gave us the tour of the farm was working at the restaurant that day as a host or something and kept bringing us extra glasses of wine etc ('on the house') We felt like celebrities! Just for taking a tour of a farm! Very cool. And then Saturday, off to Oakland. Oh man, what a trip. It was just amazing. Just truly wonderful. The part that made Hawaii so beautiful were the people. During our car ordeal, people were very helpful, the waitstaff everywhere was so friendly. Our surfing instructor is Dave's idol. He had a pretty sweet life, I admit. It's a wonder why more people don't move to Maui. Really. While floating in the waves one day we brought up the topic of retiring there. We'd have to save a lot lot lot more money but would be pretty amazing!
Ok, so that's our Hawaii recap. Amazing. Wonderful. Stress reducing. Just wonderful. I wish we were still there.