Sunday, December 20, 2009

continuation of the great blizzard of aught nine

took dad's advice and went sledding on a cardboard box. Didn't go as well as you might think. this is me launching myself down the hill.
and chloe's turn
my AWESOME, violent snow angel. the snow is over my knees in the front yard.

Aaaaand work is canceled for tomorrow! Now what am I going to do??

the great blizzard of aught nine

more pictures coming!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

ruby + snow

This was taken at about 10 am this morning. Now it's up to Ruby's chest and armpits. It's 3pm and we have broken the record for snow in Dec, and it's still coming down!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Harper's Ferry hike

Where I ate my PB & J.

Along the George Washington Parkway. You can see the outline of the DC skyline in the background - this is where I called you from Mom!

The merging of the Shenandoah and Potomac into one, with the town on the right.

I took myself to Harper's Ferry for a walk in the sunshine and 70 degree weather. I'm thinking it's the last time I'll get to enjoy it until March or April. The colors were still hanging on, although the rain from the week knocked off a lot. I love this place and I can't wait to explore more of West Virginia and the Shenandoahs.

Friday, November 6, 2009

October we hardly knew ye

Where oh where did you go, tenth month of the year? You are gone, and so is my old roommate. My new one is here, and, thankfully, a little more compatible with me. She's so west coast Seattle, in a good way.

Any who, here is a recap of the trip that I took to Indiana...

Fall colors (for you mom!) at the Purdue Research Farm, where I 'helped' Sam gather samples for work. I also helped conduct some groundbreaking wheat genetics work (ie. I put lots and lots of samples in numerical order and then weighed them).

Sam and I at an outing to a downtown bar. I miss cheap drinks and good friends.
More spotting of "the LEAF," this time on Anna (and Sam's) street. They live close enough to downtown you can walk. Although I'm not sure how they do it once it's below freezing.
Anna and me at the corn maze! It was the scariest and funniest thing I've done in a long time.
Helping to make spaetzla: German egg noodles. See? I'm GERMAN! Also, we were watching the Florida - Arkansas game on Anna's laptop, trying not to throw things (like wooden spoons) at it.

I'm so thankful that I got to spend time with friends, and I didn't have to pay for my plane ticket. I think all work conferences should follow my friends around so I can visit for cheap.

Monday, October 12, 2009

pumpkins and a pup

Yesterday, Alex and I ventured out to (Western?) Northern Virginia to enjoy the lovely fall weather. It was a high of 70, with clear skies and a light breeze. I brought Ruby along because she's been lonely since Scooter left and doesn't really know what to do with herself. We visited Sky Meadows State park and Hollin Farms pumpkin patch in Delaplane, VA.

Having no pumpkin patches of the real kind in Florida, Alex and I had never been to one and didn't really know what to expect. It was big, with no discernible rows (I guess it would be hard to keep the vines in line...). But I was mostly surprised by all the thorny weeds in the patch. Pigsweed was a huge problem, as well as other stickers that I couldn't identify. Then the vines themselves were very prickly. I should have brought my work gloves!

Ruby found a pumpkin she liked. They also had free-range pigs fenced off to one side of the patch. Ruby didn't know what to think of them and started barking and growling at them before getting closer. In her defense, they were really big.
Alex and her pumpkin. Her's weighed 14 lbs. Mine weighed 16 lbs. I had no idea they were so heavy!
Before we hit the farm, we went on a hike in the park. We went up a trail with lookout in the name... we should have realized that meant hiking up a steep incline. Alex and I were huffing and puffing, while people kept passing us on the way down, completely unaffected. Little children, dads pushing strollers, old ladies smoking cigarettes. I think we chose the wrong direction to start the loop... But we got to the top and had lunch. It was a beautiful view!

Friday, October 2, 2009

dig chivalry a hole, I think it's dead

I've often heard that chivalry is dead, but I've never really thought there was much truth to it. I've always had guys hold open doors, pay (or at least offer) for movies, food, etc, even when it's not a date, and generally be nice. Maybe I just know very sincere guys, or perhaps the Southern stereotype prevails.
But I've noticed since moving North a definite lack in this area. Guys I've met here don't come to the door when they pick you up. It's happened to me a couple of times and happened to my roommate tonight. The guy calls or texts and says they are outside. Really? you can't walk 20 steps to my door and knock? And holding the door open... well that is truly rare. It's disheartening that my generation can't get these simple actions right. I'm all for independence, but I think these actions are more about respect than anything else. I guess I have a new standard to measure my dates and friends by.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

one this day exactly a year ago...

I was driving to Jax to meet my sweet girl (who I thought was a boy).
I can't believe it's been a year to the day since I got Ruby. So much has changed. She's gained 60 lbs (although she needs to lose those five pounds the plague us all). She goes potty outside (all by herself!), can walk on a leash (we are still working on it), and (tries) to catch balls. She really loves soccer balls and birds. Although we have our bad days (my DVD collection is permanently marked, we don't know if it was Ruby or Scooter), and the house is constantly in need of sweeping/mopping (I adore the little tumble weeds of Ruby hair that sit in the corners and blow across the hallway) she is my baby. I love my Rubykins Rubelets!

Friday, July 3, 2009

first crop...mocking me.

Some of my salad greens with some smothered steak and potatoes. I haven't bought salad in about a month and hopefully can keep it up.

I also picked my first zucchini... except it wasn't a zucchini. I've been growing cucumbers. I checked my tag. They were supposed to be zucchini. I should have been paying attention, but it wouldn't really matter because by the time I would have noticed it wasn't the right color, or shape it would have been too late to replant. And I don't know what the foliage looks like for either, since I have never grown them.
It wouldn't be a problem, except I don't like cucumbers. And I can't cook with cucumbers. This one turned out exceptional. If I liked cucumbers. I guess I have something to share with my neighbors and coworkers without having to save any for myself. But my tomatoes are coming along nicely and I should be able to pick my first cherry variety tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quotes from the kids this weekend:
Will: "I think I have fleas. Like a dog or cows."
Kaity: "you are skinny. My daddy is hairy."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I miss about FL

There were obvious things I would miss about Florida when I left. My family, my friends. But never having lived outside of the state before, I didn't realize how much I would miss the little, seemingly insignificant things...

  • Cuban Sandwiches (made with REAL Cuban bread, baked with a palmetto leaf)
  • small critters (lizards, frogs, bugs...) although VA has a lot of small birds, it seems to lack...
  • large, crazy lookin' animals (come on. Gators, roseate spoonbills, manatees, sandhill cranes. CRAZY lookin' animals.)
  • strong storms that blow through and leave that delicious smell hanging in the so-thick-you-can't-breathe air
  • Sitting outside on the back porch of Tim and Terry's... Or Cafe Gardens...or any of our other regular restaurants in the 'ville.
  • Satchel's (could be covered by point above. but so good and missed so much, it deserves it's own bullet.)
  • Publix
  • Beaches within a 1.5 hour drive
  • sandy soil
  • Gators in the water
  • Gators on your plate
  • Dillard's shoe department
  • The crazy wackos that make FL their home (seriously, I always suspected we tipped the scales with the crazy, but now I know I was right. I think it's the combination of being Southern, the heat, and the swamps. All of which I love.)
  • Old orange groves
  • eating watermelon, while floating in the lake
  • Old Florida souvenir stands
  • Spanish moss smothering oaks (THAT'S what is wrong with these trees... they are naked)
  • Boiled peanuts (I want some. right now.)
  • Floating on the river/springs (preferably with boiled peanuts)
  • The culture that has sprung up that is uniquely Florida. It's Southern, but done from the swamps.

Ok I'm going to stop now. I'm getting homesick. I just wanted to take some time to write some of these down so I can properly appreciate them when I go to Florida for a visit next week.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Garden Update

It's been a little over a month since I planted my garden, and it's looking great. I had a little episode with some birds who were determined to carry it away, piece by piece, but they have since moved on to greener pastures (unrelated: the dogs have caught two birds. TWO! I don't think they are falling out of the tree. I mean, they are birds).
My lettuce is doing much better than I expected. I harvested my first (bunch? it's leaf lettuce) on thursday had a salad with it, and still had left overs. I harvested again today and have another quart baggie. I'm still not sure how to clean it effectively. I think I need a salad spinner.
Since I took these pictures, I've added plastic netting to keep the tomatoes in line. they've started overwhelming the peppers and the second row of lettuce (which is between the tomatoes and sunflowers. It doesn't get much sun...).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

my own little piece of land

i built a raised bed garden for myself! I ordered the metal corner pieces off-line because the only place it could be was my front yard and I wanted it to be presentable for my neighbors. and lets be honest, there was a 50/50 chance it wasn't going to be presentable, especially if i had to use tools. But I didn't read the product description and i had to use my drill anyway. It was completely successful, mainly because my father gave me a crash course in the drill before he left me to fend for myself in the cold, cold North. So glad my parents made me an independent person.
On to the bed! I got the boards cut to size - untreated wood of course. look how much grass we have now that the dogs can't go in the front yard! The roomie 'mowed' with a weedwacker the day before this. I wish I had been home to see it. I put down newspaper (that my neighbor generously donated) to kill off the grass and filled it with a mixture of horse manure, soil and compost.

Then I planted! tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, herbs, lettuce and sunflowers. I feel like the lettuce won't do well and i think i might have overplanted, but i can always thin it out later.
And I made a discovery! We have wild strawberries growing along the side of the house. not good to eat, but they are pretty and cheerful.

In which we eat a lot of cake, shaped like a cup

I had two wonderful gals pay me a visit for my birthday: the lovely Dawn and Jodi. I have known Jodi for approximately 6 years (we can't ever decide when we became friends!) and Dawn is her twin, who also happens to be the talented photographer for my sis's wedding.
We ate,
we touristed it up,
we went to a musuem,
we walked,
we shopped,
we ate some more,
we danced,
we watched a sheep get sheared,
we went to another musuem,
we walked some more,
we shopped some more,
we laughed,
we ate a lot more,
we watched some movies, and the rain,
we got some random comments,
we watched a family fall down on the metro-with bikes,
and finally, ate even more.
I took all of 3 photos during the weekend-blame it on me trying to be a good host. But Jodi did an excellent job of blogging her trip.
We also conducted a terribly unofficial survey of cupcakeries in DC. We visited 2 of the 4 I know of: Red Velvet in Pen Quarter and Georgetown Cupcake in Georgetown. Georgetown was the ultimate winner. It's a good thing that that store is difficult for me to get to... otherwise I would be an expert.
I'm sorry I've neglected you, my blog. It's not because I don't have anything to share - I just haven't felt the draw. Brief recap:
I went to work.
explored some woods/beach like area
had a birthday
had some visitors
planted a garden
That seems to sum up the last couple of weeks of my life. I also got my VA drivers license and my new VA GATOR tags! They have the old UF logo on them. I love them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

National Cathedral

Last Saturday Alex invited me to go to the National Cathedral to see the blessing of the tartans. When England was occupying Scotland, tartans were banned to try to discourage the clan mentality. So Scotsmen hid scraps of their tartans and had them blessed by the priests. So this ceremony was a recognition of that. We didn't know at the time that it included a full-fledged sermon. We got to see the bagpipers come in, but decided to duck out before the long lesson began and wander the gardens. It is an absolutely beautiful building, and belongs in France instead of DC. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Like comparing apples to... apples?

I am very picky about the variety of apples I eat. I can't help it. I'm spoiled. I like Galas. They are very tangy and don't seem to be as dry or mealy as the Delicious varieties. But, of course they are more expensive. I shop consistently at two grocery stores: Giant and Harris Teeter. Giant is a normal mid-to-low end grocer. Harris Teeter is much more high end. I got apples at both stores and happened to end up with one from each store at work. I couldn't help but compare them:

Wowza! The Harris Teeter apple is huge compared to the Giant. This is why I spend more at Harris Teeter! I buy 5 apples a week... the HT apples probably weigh twice as much. I ate the HT apple today. I've decided it's too much for me...I want my small produce, please! 

And yes, I've been reduced to blogging about the size of my produce. 

Cherry {Bloom} Bomb

It's Cherry Blossom season in DC... meaning hordes of tourists. Also, April showers. Last week right at the peak of the blooms my office building took a walk down to the Tidal Basin. It's about a 10 min. walk, and there was about 50 of us. The weather was overcast and dreary, but luckily it didn't rain that day, just the day before and the day after. So the lighting wasn't the greatest, but I would trade that for the massive amount of people who went on Saturday when the weather was gorgeous. I went to the Mall and that was close enough for me.

Did I mention I took these pictures while trying not to lose the group? Meaning I didn't have much time to compose shots or consider light. I think they turned out pretty well considering I was sprinting.

The title of the post comes from the Spoon song You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb, which was playing when I started this post. Also, it's strange that I now have multiple posts with the word 'bomb' in the title, and I'm not even referencing '90's slang.