Sunday, May 25, 2008

One more painting project done

I mentioned recently that we have a white house, and I'm trying to change that. Well, check another white room off the list. While my husband was off whacking people with large sticks (more on that in a later post), I painted the half bath. It's a Sherwin Williams paint called Storm Cloud. Basically a dark gray with some serious blue in it. We have high ceilings and light fixtures and floors in the bathroom, so it worked well (I think). Plus it coordinates nicely with the pale blue bamboo towels my mother-in-law got us for Christmas. Oh, and the paint was no VOC, which meant I didn't have to choke on latex fumes all weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The cats

The furry creatures that share our home deserve a shout out today. Currently they're lazing around the house wondering what I'm doing here. And I'm bothering them with my camera.

Gracie: my old girl--16 this year! Jim calls her "favorite mew" because she's so easygoing. You'd never know it, but she's also the alpha cat in the family. She smacked Hobbes around more than once, and just did as I was typing this post.

Hobbes came with the husband. Not a bad bonus. He's a beautiful Siberian. They're talkative, which you can see in the last picture--he's chatting while I get a shot of him looking out the window. And I love the first picture, because his tail is almost always moving--especially when he's begging for food.

Carmen. Jim calls her "evil mew" because she's an "aggressive breed", or so the vet says. She likes to get her own way and will stop at little to get it. Every night at dinner, I usually get a smack on the arm from her--she apparently can't go an entire meal without some attention.

Carmen and Hobbes. She loves to sit on the tower and dangle her arms. She's keeping a close eye on her mortal nemesis Hobbes (I think she's just afraid of the big gray thing and tries to assert her authority). Hobbes doesn't care in this shot, because Daddy gave him drugs. Mmm, catnip...

Pictures, at last!

I got to work from home today. Which meant no 100+ mile commute (thus saving me $11 on gas). And they let us quit early before the holiday. So I have a little time to upload my pictures from last weekend. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend!

Mementoes from the wine festival. A lovely bottle of Tuscano, and my umpteenth wine festival glass. Anyone want some free wine glasses?

What the field looked like at Camden Yards 1 minute past scheduled start time. This does not look good.

The field right before play started, at 3:36pm. It's not often the grounds crew gets an ovation, but when they hit the field to remove the tarp, we went nuts.

Checking the lineup cards before the game. The ump in blue on the left is Mike DiMuro. He and I graduated from college together. No, I don't know him. But I still think it's cool that a fellow alum is now an MLB umpire.
Play ball! *swoon*

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Weekend in Baltimore!

I swear, one of these days my life will calm down and I can actually upload pictures to go with my stories. But for now you'll have to read the article and not look at pictures.

So, I lived in Baltimore for almost 10 years. I loved it there. I met my husband there. I got married there. I still have friends there, some of whom I met after I left (thank goodness for the Internet). And I haven't visited in forever. Until last weekend.

My main reason for going was to help my friend Chris the winemaker at Wine in the Woods, ( )the wine festival to kick off the season in Maryland. Chris works at Woodhall Vineyards, ( and he makes a mean chardonnay, along with a host of other yummy wines. I got to pour wine alongside my friend Jason, and finally delivered his birthday present, about 2 years late ;) I got to see my friends Katie, Karen, and Gail, and to see Gail's husband and adorable son. And I had a wonderful dinner with Chris and Angie. I hope to do it again soon, guys.

My second reason for going was to catch an Orioles game. Jason was game for a soggy day at Camden Yards and a good 5 innings of baseball (after a 2-hour rain delay!) before I had to head back home. I really hope to see at least one more game at The Yard before the season is over.

As a bonus, I got to stay at the hotel where we had our wedding reception. I just love the memories that come flooding back every time I go there, and it was so close to the festival. Score!

Friday, May 9, 2008

My roses are here!

We have a white house. Even the neighbors call it the white house. Off white exterior, off-white walls, off white carpet and linoleum--well, you get the picture. I've been slowly adding color both inside and out, and I wanted a punch of color in the landscape. So I ordered 3 climbing rose bushes--2 for the pillars on our front porch, and one for the railing off the back porch. They came today:

They may not be much to look at (yet), but give them time. The 2 going in front are a beautiful red, and have Irish names that we love (Dublin Bay and Irish Heartbreaker), and the one going in back is a multicolor rose called Joseph's Coat. I can't wait for summer!

Christmas in May!

My Daddy picked me as his Christmas Secret Santa, but our wires got crossed when it came to a gift. But a nice box arrived in the mail yesterday:

Better late than never--ain't that the truth!

Inside the box was this. It's a Lladro figurine called Friend of the Butterflies. I love the butterfly in her hair.

Spring is sprung!

Things finally started sprouting, and blooming, in the Poconos over the last couple of weeks. It was time to take an inventory of the yard:

This rose is my accomplishment of the year. I bought it after seeing an article in Southern Living that it had survived Hurricane Katrina, and some of the proceeds of its sale were going toward relief to Katrina victims. It's only supposed to be hardy down to 28 degrees, so I built it an igloo in an attempt to get it through a PA winter. It rewarded me with this:

It's going to be a good growing season!

This weekend we're assembling a raised garden bed. We bought all the materials, and now all we have to do it put them together--and get rid of this:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Food, glorious food!

I got this e-mail from my husband yesterday afternoon:

I am going to make the following things tonight

The steaks for actual dinner
Some of the chicken I am going to cook for chicken cheese steaks
Some will be baked
And I will leave some for you and the crock pot.

What do you think of this??!!!

Oh and lots of nummy potatoes
(he has his own language sometimes ;)

Now, what girl wouldn't be thrilled to have her husband cook for her?

True to his word, he was hard at work in the kitchen when I got home. There was chicken in the oven, chicken on the stove, and chicken and steak on the grill. He was madly chopping potatoes to mash. We dined on the steak, potatoes, and some corn, and had a ton of leftovers to eat during our busy workweek.

So I have baked chicken with a BBQ marinade, grilled chicken with a honey BBQ marinade, and chopped chicken for cheese steaks to look forward to this week. And more mashed potatoes than we've ever made. Those will go well with the bratwurst I got on Sunday.

Thanks Jim, you're pretty mango.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What do you mean, no snacks???

I picked a bad day to have an empty snack drawer at work. Hypoglycemia started setting in around 11, and that makes me cranky.

So my plan this weekend is to hit my favorite organic store and get my yummy favorites. Roasted salted pumpkin seeds (I could eat these all day), blue corn chips (ditto), and vanilla almond granola. Gotta love the bulk bins! Plus, at long last, the farmer's market starts again for the season on Saturday, so I'm stocking up on whatever fruit is already available.

In the meantime, I stopped at the cafeteria for something, anything to eat. I got 2 containers of nuts--pistachios (they make me think of my dad, since he loves them), and extra fancy mixed nuts. Because I'm extra fancy.