Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hair Product Fail

A lady should never reveal if she colors her hair but, I'll let you in on a secret. Just between you and me.....I've colored my hair since high school. Shocking, but true. I don't even really know what my natural color is anymore. I am quite afraid of letting the color grow out just to find that I'm not the blonde I was growing up. It's a shame I cannot face. To head off embarrassment at the forefront, I color regularly. Varying shades, highlights, etc. but my stylist always treats me right. She's the best. Being the best, she likes to recommend hair products when I'm at the salon. I don't know if this makes her the best, or just a good saleswoman, but, it works. So, when I went from brunette back to blonde earlier this year, she recommended a sulfate-free shampoo. It was AG's Colour Savour and it was glorious! It smelled delicious. It was also $20 for a less than 8 oz. bottle. The Colour Savour conditioner was the same price. Now normally, I wouldn't spend $40 on hair products in one go but this day, I asked John to pick it up for me when he was having his hair cut. "Don't buy it if it's more than $20," I said, not knowing the cost initially. Well, he came home with both bottles and said, "It was exactly $20, so I bought them anyway." What a guy. Months later, on the verge of empty bottles I thought, I'm not spending $40 again. I'm going to try to find another sulfate-free line.

Thus......the fail. Oh sure, I was enticed by the commercials for L'Oreal's Everpure sulfate-free line. Knowing the cost of L'Oreal and that I could purchase it at my local Drug Mart, I was pretty stoked. I had read a review somewhere that a user liked the available scents too. Perfect. I marched myself down to the corner and started sniffing. There are two scents available, Rosemary Mint and Rosemary Juniper. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not too fond of smelling like a hippie, which is what these reminded me of. That, or chicken. I smelled both over and over and chose the lesser of two evils, Rosemary Mint, thinking it would maybe be invigorating.

Excited to try my new purchase, I lathered up. The smell was off-putting but I figured it would fade throughout the day. It's never good when you're hoping a product you use wears off. That should have been a clue. I used the Everpure for a total of 3 days. By the third day I realized I was suffering from what some other reviewers were, flat head. The shampoo weighed down my hair like crazy making it limp and lifeless. Though it didn't look greasy, it certainly felt greasy. Also not good. So, while I only paid $6.99 for it, I'm stuck with a whole bottle of this unusable shampoo. I will say, I bought the "moisture" one because that scent was preferable. They also had sleek shine or something, although I can't see how that one would help the life in my hair. And volumizing, probably should have bought that one. Hindsight. Anyway, if you're looking for a sulfate-free product to prolong your color, pass on this one.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Resilience

Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities, by Elizabeth Edwards, was on the Express shelf last Thursday so I snapped it up before I delved into some longer reads, and after finishing another quite slow book. What I thought would be a nice little tell-all about her cheatin’ man, was definitely not. She even admonishes readers (oops) towards the end for thinking they would find the sordid details of her husband’s philandering ways. As the title states, this memoir was definitely about Resilience. Edwards spent a lot of time discussing her 16 year old son Wade’s death by car accident and how she survived, as well as her multiple bouts with cancer. If you weren’t sympathetic to her plight before, you definitely would be after finishing this quick read. I feel badly knocking it but it was just so-so. The book was kind of all over the place. There’s something to be said for using time jumps as a writing style, etc. but I just didn’t care for it here. She also spent a lot of time talking about her parents and childhood, which I didn’t think necessary. I wasn’t too crazy about this one and ended up skimming a lot of it, unfortunately. I don’t know if it’s because it wasn’t what I had hoped to find, or just, well, that was probably it. While we all face adversity, we all have our own ways of dealing with it. I don’t really need to have someone else tell me how to cope. Sorry. I think I would prefer her actual memoir, Saving Graces. Maybe I’ll try that in the coming weeks as my book bag is full of To Be Reads currently.

Have I told you that I’ve stopped consuming alcohol Sunday-Thursday? Well, I have. At least, I’m trying. No, I’m not a heavy drinker. No, I’m not knocking back swill after swill of the hard stuff. However, I do enjoy a glass of wine, not necessarily even a fine wine. It relaxes me and also makes me sleepy before bed. The problems with this are three-fold. While many doctors recommend a glass of red wine a day for its various health benefits, my “one” glass was typically more like 2 – 2 ½. Not so good there, right? Also, I was finding that while alcohol does tend to make you drowsy, it also has a proven tendency to wake you up in the middle of the night when your body realizes, “Hey – where’d my booze go?” and gets all agitated. I was waking up multiple times a night (although some of that was Sadie related) and not feeling rested at all when my alarm went off at 5:30 am. (Yes, you read that right.) And thirdly, my weight loss has not been going so well lately. In fact, the scale is moving ever so slightly in the opposite direction. True, I’ve backed off the cardio a bit since my foot problems began but I’m still working out. I should not be gaining weight. Save for some weekend calorie indiscretions, my weekday diet remains balanced, except for the alcohol. There are little calories hiding in those highballs people. So let’s add this up…..2 ½ glass of wine (though sometimes white or worse yet, rum and diets) = 300 extra calories + no sleep (also a hindrance on weight loss) + the downside health-wise of alcohol consumption in the long run, and we’ve got a little predicament on our hands here. Thus, my self-imposed solution. No alcohol Sunday-Thursday. So far…..day 3……so good. I’m already sleeping better. My body is thanking me for the absent calories and my wallet is thanking me for not drinking wine like it’s water. (Jesus’s miracle don’t come cheap.) I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Please note – newly imposed rule does not apply on vacation, where alcohol can be consumed any day and even during the daytime hours, when partaking in wine tastings in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Only two more weeks!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Duffle Bag Teaser

I have had this fabric, again, for a number of years. I also have had a desire for a quilted duffle bag for quite some time after having discovered Sadie had gnawed a hole in my rolling duffle so I can't zip up the side. Thanks, girl! Anyway, while Vera Bradley makes beautiful luggage, her prices just don't suit. Thus, the fabric. It's two-sided, polka dot on one and a pretty paisley that apparently does not photograph well.














I bought a pattern for a duffle bag but upon review, realized it would create a satchel much too small for my purposes. I needed it to hold, at minimum, 2 nights' worth of clothes, etc. The pattern I bought would have only made a 22" long bag. That's barely one night with the way I pack. So, I said to myself, "I can make my own pattern. Easy peasy!" And that's what I've done. Here's Sadie helping me cut it out.














Stay tuned......hoping this duffle can make its maiden voyage to Niagara Falls in 17 days!

Six little glasses cases.....

At work today I realized that tomorrow, being my last meeting as President of the professional association I'm a member of, I needed to bring gifts for my outgoing board members. Oops! Being budget-conscious, I didn't really want to spend a lot (read: any) money. So, I figured I could whip up these quilted glasses cases lickety-split. There are 6, see? I had all the fabric on hand. I think they'll like them. This isn't my first rodeo on the glasses cases. I've made this Simplicity #5598 pattern many times. So, I wrapped them up and off they'll go to my meeting tomorrow!

The Red Tent

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant has been on my 'to be read' list for awhile now. I heard a lot of good things about it and finally picked it up at the library. It's a Biblically based work of fiction about Dinah, only daughter of Jacob. I don't really feel like summing up the rest of the plot because, it's pretty long. Also, I'm ashamed to admit that the only reason I really recognized any of the characters is because I have seen Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat twice. It's that family. Years of Sunday school and church going and that's what I get. Pathetic. Anyway, The Red Tent was beautifully written but I'm not gonna lie, it's a pretty slow read. It's not super exciting either but it's a good story if you're looking for a literary departure from the norm.

In weekend news.........the Asian Cultural Festival was kind of a snooze. I tried some food I never had before (Lumpia from the Phillippines) but I wasn't very impressed. I did like the green tea ice cream and the red bean ice cream, yes beans, was surprisingly really tasty. My good old standby sweet and sour chicken did me proud too. But other than the food, there weren't very many booths of other things. And having experimented leaving Sadie out of her crate for 2 hours at that point, we headed home.

Two big thumbs up for Inglourious Basterds! I think, even if you've never seen any other Tarantino, you'll like this one.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Outstanding Orzo

I want to share this recipe for Baked Orzo with Roasted Red Peppers, Tomatoes, and Zucchini with you that I came across in the NYTimes. I made it tonight alongside my pot roast and it was uh-mazing! I forgot to take a picture. Sorry. It was kind of labor intensive for a side dish but, I was able to make it a few hours ahead and put it in the fridge because you finish it in the oven. Hence the Baked portion of the recipe title. I need to have some more people over to make this for. It makes quite a bit. We had my cousin for dinner but he's just happy to have a meal he doesn't have to make for himself. While he was complimentary of the dish and had about 3 helpings, he probably isn't the most discerning palate. You dig? Anyway, this side is healthy and tasty. Give it a try for your own tastebuds!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

100th post!

This is my 100th post, everyone! I only know that because Blogger told me so. In honor of this landmark day, I'm sharing my pizza with you. On Fridays, John and I like to pick meals for dinner that don't take a whole lot of effort. Homemade pizza is a regular on our menus. I harvested 2 baby tomatoes from my plant on Thursday and reminded John to eat them on his salads, as you know, I don't care for plain old 'maters. Our homemade pizza is usually white garlic herb pizza and it's delicious. I make the dough, this time we went whole wheat. John mixes the white sauce (chopped garlic cloves and butter) and then we add herbs from my balcony garden. My mouth is watering all over again just typing this -- good thing there are leftovers. Anyway, at some point I said, "We should put the tomatoes on the pizza!" So, we made a margherita pizza. YUM! And voila.....Doesn't that look tasty? Pretty much the only thing I didn't do was milk the cow to make the cheese. I love when you know where your ingredients are coming from and what goes into your food. It also helps to have a trusty Breadman machine so you don't have to do the kneading yourself. While the Breadman works, you can watched your DVR'd episodes of two shows you've been patiently, or not so patiently, awaiting the return of.....Flipping out on Bravo, and Project Runway, now on Lifetime.


Is it sad that I watch as much reality TV as I do? I feel like it's ok because I don't watch the trashy ones (i.e. More to Love, Rock of Love, etc.) I love Jeff Lewis on Flipping Out. He cracks me up. But my favorite person on there is Zoila, his housekeeper. If you haven't seen Flipping Out, just know that Jeff is OCD crazy and everyone on his staff has to placate his needs. As for Project Runway, I really enjoyed the All Star Challenge that led into this season's premiere. And I was really happy for Daniel Vosovic because I thought his Bryant Park collection on Season 2 was really strong. I remember liking who actually won that season and now I can't remember her name. She was Asian, 10 points if you can tell me her name because I'm too lazy to Google. Anyway, Althea, on the new season, is from Oakwood (Dayton represent!) I agreed with who went home, actually the guy who made that awful nightgown could have gone too but I wasn't as annoyed by his personality as I was by Ari, who is OUT.

Big day today! We're going to an Asian Festival and seeing Inglourious Basterds. Full report to come!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sewing Victory!

No joke, I've had the fabric for these pants and they have been all sewed up to the hems and waistband for 5 years. FIVE YEARS, they have languished in my fabric bin getting carted from apartment to apartment. No more! I say. Also, "no more" to the 2 pairs of dress pants (one mine, one John's) that have been casually draped over one of the dining room chairs for a few weeks now. I'm a slacker, what can I say. Anyway, I fixed the rip in John's pants and the hem on mine. Then, I remembered a pair of corduroys that are pretty flood-y, so I went ahead and let the hem down on those too. Being on such a roll, I pulled out those 2 pairs of nearly finished PJ pants and went to work. I even practiced a new stitch on my machine with the one pair...serging! This is really exciting and I think I need to research all the possibilities that a serger can offer. Sorry I didn't take any close ups of the serging. Next time. I think it'd be cute around placements. Anyway, here's the fabric.
On the left is a seafoam green flannel print of takeout boxes and fortune cookies. The fortune says, "Your future is bright." On the right is a dark madras plaid that's really lightweight. And check out the finished products! They're big and baggy, just the way I like my PJ's. No, I'm not a heifer, they are really big on me, intentionally. And so, after the last debacle, I think at least my sewing future now really IS bright!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stupid Mandibles

My jaw hurts. It has hurt all day. I'm going to go ahead and attribute this to my nocturnal teeth grinding. When I'm stressed out, or really just in general, I grind my teeth at night. Sometimes, I grind so much that in the morning it hurts to open my mouth. Do you have this problem? The dentist wants me to get a $300 night guard (yes, like when you have braces) to combat this affliction. Pass, I say. Someone also suggested a sports mouth guard. Cause nothing says restful night's sleep like putting in a mouth guard and getting ready for some tackling. Maybe I'll try that though. The cost is more attractive and man does my jaw hurt. I've got a lot of stress. My 2+ hour commute home tonight didn't help that any. The chilled bottle of wine John had for me did help though. That was nice.

Anyway, shout out to M.S. on his day of birth. Holla!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Come on, Sam!

I want to let you in on a little secret. John loves Sam Adams. I would say it's our household's beer of choice. While we enjoy trying other breweries, you can please John by bringing Sam Adams as a guest in our home at any time. We prefer the specialty brews: Cherry Wheat, Honey Porter, Summer Ale (so refreshing) and of course, the winter pack (which is the best!) John's favorite Sam Adams is, far and away, the Octoberfest. It may only be August, but he has been on the lookout for this elusive brew for about 2 weeks now. I was getting a Sam report on a regular basis. "July 15th. That means Octoberfest is coming soon." Friday I get a call from him while he was running errands at work. "They didn't have the Octoberfest. But.......there are 2 bottles of it in the Autumn mix!" HAPPY DAY! There was a lot of joy on that faced as he cracked his first Oktoberfest for 2009. And I'm such a good wife, I relinquished my bottle to him today. He's plotting when to drink it so he can savor it closer to the normal release of the full cases. I'm enjoying the Dunkelweizen (while watching my DVR'd Mad Men - YES!). So I think the point of this post is to ask if you could please let me know if you see the cases of Sam Adams Octoberfest to notify me of time and location so that I might continue being an awesome wife. Thanks!

~Only 24 days until Niagara Falls~

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crafting FAIL

My hair dresser is pregnant and due in a few weeks. I wanted to make her something for the baby. I have some crafting skills, you know. I wanted to sew something, but I didn't just want to make a blanket or bibs. I thought I could be a little more creative than that. Well, maybe it wasn't my creativity but, it was my research skills that found this fabric alphabet on Happy Together.

Way cute, right? And I thought, I've got plenty of scraps. I could make these rag quilt letters. Yes, he will just be a baby now but in a year or so, the letters will come in handy when learning his ABC's and we all know I love to read. So, a couple weeks ago, I got to work. Cutting and cutting and cutting (3 layers plus cutting out the letter patterns) and then sewing and sewing. And trim trim trimming some more. I was ALL done. The last step was to wash and dry them so they'd fray up and get raggy. And thus, the crafting FAIL.
See the B there? Well, it was attached in a mess of strings and fraying and they were all stuck together. I worked really hard on these and for what? NOTHING. I give up. No handmade baby gift for my unnecessary hair appointment this week. Fail.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Two Days

Yes, Mr. Draper, right away. Whatever you say, Mr. Draper. Your wife is having another man's baby. You should maybe leave her and come live with me, Mr. Don Draper.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finger Lickin' Fifteen

I've actually been looking forward to the next Stephanie Plum installment, Finger Lickin' Fifteen, by Janet Evanovich. As much as I protest that I only continue reading them because I've read all the others, they are a nice departure from my normal stuff since they're suspenseful mysteries. I also think Evanovich is getting better at writing them. Improvement is always good, right? Anyway, in this one, Stephanie Plum is back helping Ranger (I prefer him over Joe Morelli anyway) try to figure out who is breaking into his properties. Lula witnessed a murder and so they're also trying to figure that out. I won't go into too much detail because they all basically follow the same formula. If you've read her others, I think you'll be pleased with this one. I give this, my 28th (I think) read in 2009, a thumbs up for its mild amusement and ability to never let me figure out who the murderers/thieves/whomever they're after (sometimes I'm slow). Anyway, go ahead and pick it up!

I tell you my foot hurts something fierce. At the moment, I'm rolling it over a frozen ice bottle. This is quite a shocking feeling but hopefully it will make some of the pain subside. I'm not a happy camper. At least tomorrow is Friday!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Patience, Grasshopper

John and I finally booked our fall romantic getaway to Niagara Falls! We've been talking about it for months and decided it was time to shit or get off the pot. (Can I pull that phrase off? Is it a bit too off color for me?) We knew we wanted to stay one night by the falls and go to the casinos and the next night at Niagara-on-the-Lake and go to wineries and see a show at the Shaw Theatre Festival. So far, the only thing we know for sure are dates and where we'll lay our heads. I have really high hopes for both the Sterling Inn and Spa , a boutique hotel with only 41 rooms and....hardwood floors, steam showers and breakfast in bed! and the Almar House Bed and Breakfast chosen for its price and access to free bicycles. We've never stayed in a boutique hotel or a B&B so this trip will be quite an adventure. Throw in free dog sitting by John's mom and you've got yourself a trip! It also coincides with John's birthday. Yay Hooray!

So, I suppose the point of this post is to tell you there are 19 work days and 28 total days until our trip. :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

We Are All Fine Here

We Are All Fine Here by Mary Guterson was checked out by me on one of those days where I start wandering the aisles of the library. As we know, this usually doesn't turn out well. When I pulled it off the shelf, I noticed a quote on the cover stating it was 'laugh aloud hilarious.' OK, I dig that. I'm always looking for a book that is truly funny. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of those books. A super brief synopsis is that Julie is pregnant either by her husband or her college boyfriend when she already has a 15 year old son and is dissatisfied with her life. We Are All Fine Here had its chuckle moments but I wouldn't really recommend it. I really hate when I can't say definitely, "yes, read this book." Someone, in this case Guterson, probably spent the better part of a year or more pouring her heart into this novel and it just fell flat. And since you've probably never heard of it, it clearly did not meet rave reviews, save for the cover's 'laugh aloud hilarious.' Anyway, skip this one.

Yesterday I went to the podiatrist...FINALLY! Have I told you that it feels like I'm stepping on a nail in my right foot while running? If not, it does. Thought I'd best go get that checked out. As it happens, my right foot has four strikes, according to Dr. Joseph. 1) My 2nd toe is longer than my great toe (his term, not mine). Yes, that means it's a little freakish. It also means if I'm wearing my normal size shoe, chances are good that toe is being pushed up a bit. 2) My toe knuckles are improperly aligned. Due to my 2nd toe's length, the great toe knuckle is an inch lower than it should be and puts lots of pressure on the ball of my foot. 3) I have tight achilles tendons and calves. Tightness in these areas = added ball pressure. 4) I have the beginnings of arthritis on top of my foot due to all the other strikes. ARTHRITIS! I'm freakin' 26 years old for crying out loud. Bottom line, my orthotic inserts are being re-fitted to accomodate my strikes and I'll have them in 2 weeks. The downside is that their effectiveness is best the more I wear them. This has the potential to mean that I should really be wearing tennis shoes whenever possible. I don't care for this diagnosis. I have many shoes that will simply not fit with the orthotics. Not sure what I'll do about this but if you see me in tennis shoes and a skirt, you'll know why.

And lastly, a zumba tidbit for you. There was a new woman in class today. She didn't pay me any nevermind but I was keeping my eye on her. Mostly because she had her water in a crystal mug. No joke. I heard her say it was plastic but it looked like cut crystal and was wide open. I guess if you're new to a class and you've never seen a Nalgene, Sigg or plain old bottled of water, you might think plastic crystal mugs were the right thing to drink out of. I wasn't really watching her moves because it was a kind of intense class. I was also wearing my Karhus to zumba for the first time so I was paying attention to how my feet were reacting to those (not well, sad to say). The music for Low Riders started, "All my friends know the low rider...." You know that one? And I hear her say, "Oh, I used to dance nude to this." WHAT?! Firstly, you don't know anyone but this other crazy lady (figures) in this class, what makes you think that kind of information is ok to share? Secondly, I want to thank you, weirdo crystal mug drinking lady for the visual that I now have of you dancing nude to Low Riders. Please don't return to this class and go back from whence you came.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recap-a-go-go

What a weekend! I knew it would be quite a whirlwind and I was right. My parents came in on Friday for their 2nd visit in a month’s time. We scrambled our schedule a bit to host them again so soon but it was fine since we probably won’t see them until Christmas. Friday night I went to get my dress for Ashley and Yan’s wedding (on Saturday!) altered. My mom went with me and as I pulled up to the building I nearly had a heart attack when I realized the sign was missing and the storefront was empty. Not knowing any other tailors (although I’m certain others exist) I wasn’t sure what I’d do and had a mini panic attack until I realized there was a hand-written sign on the door stating a new address. Phew! Over to the new store, in and out quickly and my dress will be ready on Tuesday. This is a trial run alteration. I have loads of skirts, pants, etc. that are too big for me but that I don’t want to part with. I’m hoping to have them all taken in so I don’t look like a bag lady when I wear clothes that are too big for me.

Spaghetti alla John at home and a relatively early night before my…..big day!

Saturday was the day I agreed to substitute teach my zumba class. I was super nervous. I had practiced my playlist a bunch of times but I was doubting my abilities and just not really knowing what to expect. I got there early and got everything set up. To my surprise, there were only 6 people at class that day. Saturday’s class is small but not usually that small. I decided that it was for the best. And my nemesis was not there, so I was feeling better already even before I started. All in all I think I did okay except for a few mistakes that probably no one would have even noticed if I hadn’t yelled out, “sorry!” after them. Sheesh, what’s wrong with me? Also, up until the minute I was starting I realized that when I do the routines, I’m facing the instructor. But as the instructor, I would need to turn around for at least some of them. Then, I’d be backwards for the class. That confused me and everyone. So, I spent most of the class facing the mirror. I’ll have to think about that more in the future. So, everyone clapped for me and I was beat after it was done. I didn’t stop at all during the class because I didn’t want to look stupid. I’m also not typically a woo-er in class. If you’ve been, you’ll know what I mean. But, for posterity’s sake, I let out a ‘Woo’ for them. It felt….odd.

I got home and cleaned up and my mom and I made our way to Waynesville, after only a couple wrong turns. Stupid detour. I should start bringing my camera with me more often. Pictures would jazz things up, no? Anyway, sans camera, we had a delicious little lunch at the Cobblestone CafĂ© and took in the shops. I bought some square candlesticks that I’m just in love with. I have crystal candlesticks to put them in but I’m now on the hunt for some white ones. I think that would really set off the color (brown spice!) nicely for fall. I’ve also discovered what would be my new favorite fabric shop if I need lots of upholstery done and curtains made. We looked at every last bolt in the Fabric Shack all the while lamenting that I had no need for that type of fabric. They were beautiful! Unfortunately, it wasn’t until we were halfway down the street that I remembered I’m changing the color scheme in my living room and am looking to sew covers for my throw pillows. Current accent is a brick-ish red. I’m leaning towards a terra cotta, orange-y accent. I really wanted yellow and green but I think that’s too summery. Anyway, I shall have to return to the Fabric Shack in the coming weeks to purchase said terra cotta fabric for my under $50 living room makeover. More on that to come as plans develop……..

It was crazy hot and humid Saturday, yo. We were sweating it up hiking all over the street but I was reserved and only spent $13. Oh and $3.50 on an iced chai. Not bad…….then we went for pedicures! I chose Plugged in Plum by OPI because I read somewhere that purple is hot for fall and since we’re headed into fall, I’m now ahead of the game!

The golfers returned and we had dinner at City Barbecue. YUM! A little euchre, a little wine and before we know it, it’s midnight! Crazy.

My mom and I went to church Sunday morning while John and Eric played another 9. We even had time to go to the pool after church. It was hot, the water was frigid and there were plenty of noisy children…..and annoying grandparents. It wasn’t the relaxing time I had hoped for and I didn’t get any color. Meh. Try again this weekend.

Then they got on the road and we had our condo back for a few hours before my aunt came for an overnight as well. Busy B&B this weekend. Looking forward to getting back to normalcy in the coming weeks. After this wedding we have 3 open weekends with no plans!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

What is the world coming to?

Yesterday, I got 2 texts from my mom. I got the second one first and it said “hit balls tonight……see you later.” I was a bit confused, as you can imagine. My mom, to my recollection, has never used the words balls when discussing anatomy in my presence. Then I realized she had done it again. Something she is notorious for.......unknowingly typing a text message with too many characters thereby forcing a sequel message. I'm not sure why her Blackberry allows this as I do not have a Blackberry. Maybe someone who does can teach my why this occurs. The first message, which I read 2nd, stated they were seeing a movie on their way down from Cleveland and Eric said maybe he and John could ……”hit balls tonight.” Golf balls. At the driving range. At a certain age, cell users should have to pass some sort of texting test. This type of technology should maybe not have fallen into my mom's hands.

Busy weekend entertaining many guests = not really a relaxing weekend at all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nom nom nom

This week's dessert (to quench my insatiable sweet tooth) is Pina Colada Cake from Eat Better America. If you like pineapple, coconut and fat free desserts, do yourself a favor and whip this one up. So simple, so delicious. Not the best match for this glass of Cab Sav from Barefoot (enjoyable for $5.99/bottle) but, it's all I had. I'll suck it up. That is all. Off to finish my slice for the night.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Revolutionary Road

I was on the hold list for Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road FOREVER. And last week, I was finally #1. Having not seen the movie and only having vague knowledge of the plot, I was really looking forward to this one and all of its critically acclaimed glory. It's the story of Frank and April Wheeler who live outside of New York City in the fifties. Their marriage is not particularly a happy one. Frank works in an unfulfilling job; April takes care of the children, unfulfillingly. There are affairs, a possible move to France, and quite an unfortunate ending (I hope that doesn't give anything away.)

Though ultimately pretty depressing, I loved Revolutionary Road. The characters were so well developed, and not just Frank and April either. All of the secondary characters, however brief their appearance, were so well written. I can't wait to see the movie now. I don't like seeing movies before I read the book, if there is one. I also don't always like going into a book already having a picture of the characters in my mind, as I did with this one since I knew who played Frank and Alice. I already think the casting was spot on but, I'll confirm that for you once I rent it from the library. If you can get your hands on a copy of Revolutionary Road, read it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Harvest

When my parents were visiting last weekend I asked their advice on my tomatoes. Some of them were bright red but also mushy on the bottom. As I feared, they were bad. Begrudged, I picked them, brushed the bugs off my hand (ew!) and tossed them. But, yesterday I picked one that wasn't mushy on the bottom and was the brightest of reds. Green thumb reinstated! I, not liking tomatoes, gave it to John to put on his Super Summer Salad Sunday Supper - which was a Southwestern Spinach salad with corn, black beans, chicken and homemade honey lime vinaigrette (Ole!). He deemed the tomato delicious. I asked him a few times if he was just saying that to make me feel better about my lousy gardening skills but he promised it really was good. I think there are approx. 10 or more babies growing now, still green. I'm still hoping to harvest enough for bruschetta or salsa. Guess we'll wait and see......

Remember my Underwear Challenge from many months ago? I vowed not to buy any underwear and see how long I could manage with just the free pair coupons from Victoria's Secret. Well, I lasted until August 2nd because the VS organic cotton pairs were on sale for $3.00 and they're the best! So anyway, I think I last between 5-6 months. Now if I could only bring myself to adhere to a Shoe/Purse Challenge.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vino for me

Valley Vineyards is quickly becoming our new favorite place! Too bad it's so far out of the way. It's a nice drive, unless you're re-routed around a street fair and cruise-in that takes up the entire town of Lebanon. But, yesterday, we made it anyway and met C & J there to catch up. We haven't seen them in FOREVER. I'd say since spring. So, it was good to hear what they've been up to and then go see their lovely new home afterward. This time at the VV, we tried the dry tasting tray. Now, I love a good Cabernet Sauvignon but we were not crazy about the 9 wines that came on the dry tray. So much so that we went and ordered the sweet tray directly following. Much better! We bought a bottle of the Concord and called it a day. And now I'm really looking forward to our September Niagara trip. Vineyards aplenty!

Our B&B is bustling this coming weekend. My parents are coming back again for a 2 night stint Friday and Saturday. I'm hoping my mom and I will actually get to Waynesville this time and that the guys' tee times aren't rained out. Then my aunt is staying over Sunday night. Busy, busy. It also means, we don't really get a weekend. Oh well. We like guests and we probably won't see my parents again until Christmas.

In running news, my new shoes came in and had their first run yesterday. Unfortunately, I still had my foot pain. I was pretty bummed when I started feeling that about halfway through my run. It means I need to seek out the sage advice of a podiatrist and go from there. I'm not interested in having surgery so I suppose, if that's what's needed, I'll just stop running. Stay tuned....