Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!


Enjoy your day of pumpkins, witches, and trick-or-treaters. I hope to be home early today to meet some ghosts and goblins at our door.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Well, that was one big fat false alarm (for us at least)


The husband called to let me know they closed his company early because of snow north of us. Apparently his company is located on the dividing line between *yawn* and *the world is ending*. He walked outside to--nothing. No snow, no rain, nothing. Just wet roads.

I did head over a pass or 2 that looks like it got 4-5" of snow, but our humble abode was not affected, not even by the raging wind that blew most of the night. Thank goodness. It's too early for snow.

For those of you who responded to my "too early" post, I guess I haven't lived in PA long enough to get October snow. Not sure how to call this one...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Update: snowing in NJ

Wet snow is falling (or, rather, blowing) outside. Looks like a fun commute.

Snow. In October.

I'll preface this by saying that, living in the Poconos, we have a lot of choices for "local" news. We can pick up weather reports for NYC, Philly, and the areas around Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Allentown. So we have a lot to choose from. Our morning usually starts with the Scranton news, followed by the Allentown news, and my drive in consists of mostly NYC news. So the weather reports can vary.

Our goofball weather girl in Scranton (no, she's not a meteorologist, so I feel justified in calling her the weather girl) predicted 4 to 8 inches of snow in the Poconos today. I told my husband she was smoking crack. Our meteorologist in Allentown predicted 1 to 3 inches of snow in the higher elevations of the Poconos, and a dusting to an inch in our neck of the woods. OK, that's more realistic, especially looking out the window this morning.

Oh, and BTW, the Jersey shore will get rain and 60mph winds today, northern NJ should expect snow (and the NYC radio station was reporting it live), Philly will get rain (but it should stop in time for the stupid World Series game to finish up), and there will be a mix in between.

So here's my daily weather report: the Poconos started the day with a rain/snow mix, NJ for the most part has rain (but higher elevations, like that pass I drove through to work, will have snow), and we get to repeat the process tonight and likely tomorrow morning.

If I get pictures of October snow, I'll be sure to post them. This kind of thing happened in Colorado, but I've never seen it this early in PA.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Last Dance

We took our 3rd and final dance class of the session last night. It was fun--we had learned enough that the teacher just let us glide around the dance floor for a while before she added our final new steps. We got to "twinkle" last night. We're not very good at it, but we managed to get the basics down.

I have learned to trust my husband a lot in the last 3 Mondays, and I think he has learned to communicate better. We were able to incorporate most of the dance modifications into some interesting combinations with very few missteps--for the most part, I didn't try and lead, and I didn't try and overanticipate what he wanted to do. He was able to guide me around with little effort, and with a smile!

We're certainly not as graceful as my parents (oh, how I wish I could dance like them), but we might be able to give them a run for their money.

Due to scheduling conflicts we won't be able to do the 3-week tango session, but my husband is already talking about taking classes at the "official" dance studio down the street from our house. Now that sounds like a good time...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Ah fall, my favorite time of year in the Poconos. The trees turn a riot of reds, yellows, and golds, with the occasional evergreen to give some contrast. I love nothing better than driving across the Delaware River in the morning watching the entire mountain in front of me slowly turn color.

I thought we'd have no time to check out the fall bounty, but we lucked out and got to take a little drive today. Here's what we saw:

A flaming tree in Milford

Red maple leaf at Grey Towers. I have a ton of pictures like this--each leaf is a different color.

Trees near our house

It was a gorgeous day here, and the local fauna thought so too. I got some great shots of this butterfly getting lunch.

Pictures to make my dad jealous

I recently mentioned to my mom that I found a small box of heirloom tomatoes at the grocery store. She said, "Oh, your dad loves heirloom tomatoes, and he'd be so jealous that you had some!"

So I thought I'd share what they looked like, and what I did with them.

My bounty. You might notice they're resting on a recipe for roasted tomato salsa, courtesy of SO easy. Roast the tomatoes and a couple of peppers under the broiler with some olive oil and garlic until they char. Throw into a blender with lime juice, salt, cilantro, and cumin, and blend until they reach the desired consistency. Note: Don't try and substitute lemon juice for lime--it's just not the same.


Oh, and Dad, here's the latest batch of heirlooms I picked up at the farmer's market on Saturday. Jealous?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

5 things I love about my husband

1. He knows how to make me smile or laugh, and he does it often.
2. He's probably the most interesting person I know.
3. He keeps an eye on our $, which is especially important these days.
4. He's willing to try new things, as evidenced by our ballroom dancing lessons.
5. He's super smart without being arrogant about it.

Love you!

Happy Birthday + 1!

Dear Baby Brother,

Happy Birthday! I can't believe you're 33. I still remember when Dad came into my 2nd grade classroom (in his uniform, no less), and Sister Betty let him tell me I had a baby brother. I'll be honest--I was excited :)

Love lots and lots,
Your big sister

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dancing with the...Stars?

The husband and I started ballroom dance lessons last night. We figure it's a low-commitment activity, since it's only a 3-week class, and if we like it we can sign up for other dances that strike our fancy.

We're learning the waltz and the foxtrot. I must admit, of the 2 couples in the room, we had the best rhythm. OK, we're still counting in our heads and trying to remember which foot to start on half the time, but we got the steps down pretty well and my husband can even guide me around the floor without us looking like idiots.

I must admit, now I realize why my husband gets nervous when I drive the car (meaning he has no control over things). When dancing backward in a finite space, it's very odd to know that you're quickly approaching a wall or other obstacle and you have to trust your partner not to send you crashing. So far, so good ;)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Anniversary Weekend!

Oh, the food we had.

We decided to save our money this year, and just treat ourselves to a nice dinner Saturday night, along with a champagne brunch Sunday morning. Both delivered beyond expectations.

We visited the Cherry Valley Bistro for dinner Saturday. Our appetizers were awesome--crab cakes for the husband and roasted beets with field greens and bleu cheese for me. We each had steak and for the first time ever, I finished my dinner before my husband did. It was so tender I didn't even need the knife. We shared some of the smoothest merlot I've ever tasted, as well as chocolate cake and a berries n cream martini for the husband. I got tea in the cutest tea pot ever. I've already found it online and it will be mine soon.

Brunch was at the Stroudsmoor Inn, and exceeded expectations. Everything was included--a giant buffet, plus extras if you ordered from the kitchen (I had eggs Benedict), mimosas, champagne, and/or bloody Marys, and dessert. I forgot how good German chocolate cake can be. All for $20 pp. Once again, we will definitely return.

I'm debating ever cooking for myself again. Just kidding ;)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy anniversary to us!

To celebrate, here's our proposal story:

To set the stage, we had already been "unofficially" engaged for about 3 months. We had met with a priest, set a date, reserved the major vendors, picked out our rings, the whole shebang. But J had never said the 4 magic words. I didn't care. When your Taoist boyfriend goes with you to chat with a Catholic priest about getting married, and starts plunking down money for non-refundable deposits, you know he's serious. My mom didn't get an engagement ring until her 5th wedding anniversary. I could wait ;)

We were living in different states at the time, and swapping weekends to visit each other, and it was my turn. J took me for an afternoon in this lovely town where we go to a Celtic festival every fall. And every time, we have our picture taken in front of a big stone Celtic cross. On this particularly hot summer day, we had some lunch and J said we should "walk it off". Mind you, it's in the mid 90s with high humidity. I thought he was nuts.

We get to the spot where the cross usually stands. It's gone, and he's crushed. I can't understand what the big deal is. Unbeknownst to me, he's reaching into his pocket for the ring, when I see a landscaping sign on the ground surrounded by weeds. Just before he pulls out the ring, I say, "Nice landscaping! Look at all the weeds!" Totally killed the mood. Oops.

So J suggests we walk down to the river. Next thing I know, he's on a knee with my ring asking me to be his wife. Despite the fact that the wedding was well on its way to happening, I cried like a baby, squealed every time I looked at the stone, and of course said yes.

Now, my dad is an old-fashioned guy, and said no one was marrying his daughter until Dad had met him and given his blessing. My first words after I regained my composure were, "You have to call my Dad." Their conversation was my favorite part of the day.

J: "Hi, your daughter says I have to ask you to marry her."
D: "Yep"
J: "Well, I'm asking."
D: "OK"

Then they got all schmoopy, we filled my mom in on the news, and I promised to take pictures.
112 days later, we were married.
Thanks J, for asking me to be your wife. I've enjoyed all 1096 days of it so far, and can't wait for tomorrow...