Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place, and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe!
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, May 22, 2015

friday five: mail order

What is your most recently mail-ordered item?
I don't think I've ever actually mail-ordered anything, so I'm going to count Amazon orders:  index tabs for my Bible and a hair trimmer for W.

What's a catalog you've always wanted to order from but never have?
dELiA*s... Yay for the 90's! I used to spend hours looking through the catalog and making lists of what I wanted, but I never actually bought anything.

What is physically the largest item you ever mail-ordered?
Um, a giant-sized box of toilet paper.  It's cheaper than buying it in the store...

What catalogs do you still receive in the actual mail?
Oriental Trading (I got things from them for our wedding) and  Drs. Foster and Smith (pet supplies)

What are some obscure or unusual catalogs you've received?
I can't say that I've ever gotten any odd catalogs...

Monday, May 18, 2015

9th Avenue International Food Festival

On Saturday, W., his dad, and I went to NYC for the 9th Avenue International Food Festival.  A local bus company ran a trip up, which was really nice.  We got to relax and not worry about traffic or the weather (more on that later), for $35 per person.

We got to New York around 10:00am.  The festival didn't officially start until 11:00, but we wandered over anyway.  There were a few stands that were already serving food, so we started sampling!

Around noon, W.'s great-uncle, who lives in Brooklyn, met us.  He's lived in NYC since the 1960's, so he knows pretty much all the neat things that you wouldn't normally see as a tourist.  He walked us through part of Manhattan, took a nice long walk through Central Park, and then back over to the Food Festival.

We ate some more with W.'s uncle... Then, he took us to The Little Pie Company and got us one of their famous "Sour Cream Apple Walnut" pies, and a mini carrot cake to take home.  We had a quick drink in a local bar, and then he went back to Brooklyn.  W., his dad, and I walked around the festival for a few more minutes, then killed time in Times Square until it was time to meet the bus.

As you can see, I put together a nice little picture of most of the food we ate.  (We tried to get pictures of everything, but we missed a couple.)  Also - we shared most of this, so we're not totally fatties... Here's what we had:
  • Pad Thai and Thai beef with a red chili sauce
  • Thai iced tea
  • A "mozzarepa" (an arepa filled with mozzarella cheese)
  • Jamaican ginger beer
  • Pierogies - potato/cheese and cabbage - the cabbage one was better, I thought
  • Spanakopita (Greek spinach pastry)
  • Tiramisu
  • Alligator sausage
  • Empanadas
  • Garlic naan
  • Zeppoles (Italian fried pastries - similar to a donut, but much better)
  • A German bratwurst sandwich
  • A gyro
  • Dill pickles
  • Baklava
  • Drunken noodles (from the first Thai stand we went to)
We got back on the bus around 6:45pm, and left the city shortly afterwards.  It had drizzled off and on all day, but it started raining more heavily as we got into New Jersey.  Then it got darker and rained more heavily.  All of a sudden, several peoples' iPhones went off, with an alert that there was a tornado warning for the part of NJ that we were driving through.  Everyone was pretty tense, but, other than a lot of lightning, we didn't see any severe weather.

We got back home around 10:00pm, said hi to the cats, showered, and fell asleep.  (My mom came earlier that night to feed the cats and give Molly her insulin.)  Between all the walking and all the food, we were exhausted.  It was a good day - we plan on going back next year.  W. wants to get a hotel room and go both Saturday and Sunday.  We'll see about that...

Friday, May 15, 2015

friday five: paddles

What experience do you have with canoes, kayaks, and rowboats?
Canoes - my sister and I used to canoe at camp, and sometimes on family vacations
Kayaks - none
Rowboats - I was in one once at camp, didn't really like it...

What experience do you have with ping-pong?
I used to play every so often in youth group and college, but I haven't played for years.

If you were spanked as a kid, which of your parents' implements did you fear most?
I wasn't ever spanked, so this doesn't really apply to me!

What experience do you have with live auctions?
I think I've been to four (my great-grandparents' estate auction, the estate auction for the man who was my neighbor growing up, an auction for my other childhood neighbors when they went to a nursing home, and an auction when my grandma got remarried the other year).  I don't really remember the first two.  I got a bunch of books at the one when my neighbors went to a nursing home.  The one when my grandma got remarried was one of the first things that W. and I did when we first started dating.  There was a really bad thunderstorm and I bought some jewelry.

When were you last up a creek without a paddle?
We had a lot of issues getting the renovations done to the house prior to moving in, and we were semi-close to losing our mortgage because the floor guys were refusing to install our laminate... It worked out in the end, but it sure felt like a desperate situation.

Monday, May 11, 2015

long (busy) weekend

after the surgery, zonked out on anesthesia and painkillers
I was off from work on Friday.  Originally I was going to go to Lancaster with W.'s grandma, to pick up some flowers and garden decorations.  However, Molly had to have surgery, so there was a slight change of plans...

Starting on Tuesday night, Molly just wasn't herself - laying around, nipping when we petted her face (which she usually loves), etc.  On Wednesday, W. had off in the morning, and Molly hid in the closet the whole time.  When I got home from work, she was flopped onto our bed, and had drooled everywhere.  I called the vet, and he said that it was most likely a bad tooth.  He checked her out on Thursday morning, and two of Molly's premolars were inflamed, and had to come out.

I had to have her at the vet between 8:00 and 8:30am on Friday.  I cried when I dropped her off.  (I'm a huge softy, especially when it comes to the cats, and she looked so sad when I handed her carrier to the vet tech...)  Then I got home, and poor Missy didn't know why Molly didn't come back with me.  She followed me and W. around all day looking like this:

Anyway, Molly got home around 4:30, and was fine, other than being pretty drugged up.  Two days later, she's back to normal - she's eating dry food and is back to begging to have her face petted.  She still has stitches, but they should dissolve in about a week and a half.

On Saturday, I did a mini-update to the bathroom.  My dad helped me to install a towel ring and towel bar while W. was at work, and then I painted the vanity and added new hardware.

The towel racks don't look very dramatic in the pictures, but it's really nice to not be tripping over the free-standing one we had on the floor, or knocking over the little one that was sitting on the counter.

I'm beyond thrilled with the vanity re-paint, though!  For about $40 (gallon of paint plus new door pulls) and a couple of hours of work, it looks completely different.  We priced getting a whole new vanity when we moved it, and it would have been a few hundred dollars.

We only have two other major things to do in the bathroom now - a new medicine cabinet, which I need to order from IKEA, and a shelf.  (The shelf can't go up until we see exactly where the new medicine cabinet comes to on the wall.  Also - why is it hard to find lighted medicine cabinets that aren't thousands of dollars?)

Sunday was Mother's Day, so we did church, then went to see W.'s grandma and my mom.  I got my mom a popcorn plant.  The flowers look sort of like popcorn, and when you run your hands over the leaves, it smells like buttered popcorn.  (I got one for myself too, but it's not blooming yet, so I'll post pictures once it looks more alive.)

I also finally watched Guardians of the Galaxy this weekend, which I've been meaning to do since it came out last year.  I really liked it, but I can see why some people didn't.  It's definitely a goofy comic book movie.  I'm a Chris Pratt fan, and it has a fun soundtrack too.  (See below!)

Friday, May 8, 2015

friday five: vinegar and brown paper

What kinds of vinegar do you have in your pantry?
(regular) white, balsamic, and raw apple cider vinegar

What was the last purchase you made that was carried home in a brown paper bag?
a bottle of wine, a month or so ago

What home remedies do you swear by?
I really only have one - if you have the hiccups, you can stop them by swallowing a spoonful of sugar.  (However, it tastes disgusting, and it's hard to do, so there's that...)

How many Jacks and Jills do you know?
No Jacks, and only one Jill... I went to high school with her.

How would you rate your gift-wrapping skills?
Maybe 8 out of 10?  9 if I'm feeling really patient.

Also - apparently this topic was inspired by the rest of the rhyme of Jack and Jill...?  Here's some random historical info that I thought was semi-interesting.

Monday, May 4, 2015

weekend of nerdery.

On Saturday, W. played in a Blood Bowl tournament near Harrisburg, so we spent the day up there.  He didn't do great (he lost all three matches...) but didn't come in last place, so that's good.  He also won two models and an elf army.  According to him, that's about $150 in models; he was pretty excited.  The tournament was also raising money for a local children's cancer charity, and they raised over $4,000.

(This model is a test paint that W. did, to mess with colors for his team - he played Orcs yesterday.)

I hung out at the tournament for a little while, then went to the mall.  I saw the new Avengers movie, since W. didn't really want to watch it.  I'm a big Cap fan, and I hate Tony Stark, so I really enjoyed the movie.  (Spoilers?  Tony Stark is a semi-bad guy in "Age of Ultron."  Well, maybe not bad, but at the very least he causes the bad guy...)  Other random thoughts from the movie/previews:  It looks like the Falcon is going to be playing a bigger role in the future (yay!); "Ant-Man" looks dumb, but not as bad as "Batman v. Superman;" and I can't wait until "Captain America:  Civil War" comes out next year.

Sunday was pretty laid back.  Church, groceries, hanging out with the cats.  And I relaxed on the patio, enjoying the beautiful weather... it looked like a painting outside:

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