Tag Archives: food

Evading cabin fever

I had the best intentions to blog yesterday, but it didn’t work out.  It shouldn’t really be working out today, either, but I’ve bought Simon’s silence with an oatmeal cookie (we baked them this morning.  Pecans, dried cherries, cranberries and blueberries. Yum!)

So here we are.  Better make this quick!

Our weekend was pretty darn close to perfect.  On Saturday we went up to Cleveland to check out West Side Market (I had SUCH a fun time there last fall with Megan and Marin, and wanted to share it with Jeff) and play tourists for a while.

I love that place; it’s well worth the drive!  Of course, it’s completely different on a Saturday morning than it is during the middle of the week (DUH), and crowds are, err…not our favorite thing.  But Simon was snug in the Tula, so Jeff and I dodged the crowds and bought all the pastries our canvas bag would hold:

And fancy olives.  And dolmas.  YUM.

So crowded.  So neat!

Then we walked over to Great Lakes Brewing for lunch.  I had fish and chips; Jeff had a ridiculously good beer, one of their brewery exclusives (I had a few sips) and a really good brat with pierogis (he alleges.  Like hell I’m touching a flesh-stuffed intestinal tube.)  Simon made do with scraps from home, like usual. Poor baby.

We weren’t quite ready to head back to Akron after lunch, so we decided to check out Cleveland’s natural history museum.

And there we saw OMG DUCKS!

Pretty sure this was the highlight of Simon’s little life; he was absolutely captivated.  And chilling there with his sleepy eyes in his little stroller, it was more than a little reminiscent of an old man sitting at a nursing home (and would’ve been sorta sad if it hadn’t been so cute :-P).

We eventually dragged him away, though, and he quickly resumed his ornery toddler-y ways:

Little stinker. He’s my favorite.

As one might expect, he conked out on the drive home and was OK with a quiet evening with Mama Daddy.  On Sunday we just hung out around the house and did some chores; pretty quiet.

Yesterday was “challenging”.  Someone was in full-on Toddler Mode all day, and it wasn’t necessarily the person you’d expect.  By 5:00 I was ready to scream, so we escaped to the post office and the grocery store (exciting!), then picked up Jeff from work.  Jeff made the very wise decision to entertain Simon almost all evening, leaving me free to unwind (you know…do dishes and laundry. :-\)  It was actually a pretty good time for everyone.

He determined earlier today that sleep is for babies and since he is a big boy, naps are completely unnecessary.  See how well that worked out:

We worked on a nap for 2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission in which I took a nice long shower while he stood at the baby gate and talked to me.  I warned him that his days of endless pacifier boob are numbered, but to no avail.  Toddlers are not well known for their foresight or appreciation.

So, bedtime tonight should be interesting. I predict he’ll either  go down in 5 minutes, or 75.  Who wants to take bets?

I’m starting to feel guilty about parking my butt in front of the computer for so long, so I’d best be off.  Simon and I have been reading “Where Is Your Nose?” off and on as I write.  He can now consistently identify his eyes, nose, mouth, chin, ears, hair, tum, hands, knees, and feet.  Even when the book isn’t in front of him.  Big smart boy!  Tomorrow we start calculus.


I should be sewing

I talked to Aunt Judy yesterday and she told me that the quilt tops I’m sending her way are next on her list, which means I need to get my butt in gear and, you know, actually send them.  Which further means (check out my amazing reasoning skills) that I need to finish the one, rather than just gaze lovingly at the stack of fabric on my sewing shelf. But that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?  So instead I’ll just sit here and piddlefart around and eat grapes until Simon wakes up (at which point I’ll kick it into gear and start sewing.  Promise ;-))


I just cut myself a thick slice of that bread from Tuesday’s dough pic, but then completely neglected to take a photo before slathering it in Nutella and cramming it in my gaping maw. So, sorry.  But also yum.  Seriously, go check that out if you want a hearty-yet-soft bread recipe.


Speaking of food (since apparently that’s all I’m capable of at the moment), have you seen the Italian Wonderpot recipe going around Facebook lately?  It really seems too good to be true.  So in the name of Science!, last night I made it for dinner.  Here’s an awful picture just a few minutes before it was ready to serve (you let it simmer down until most of  the liquid is evaporated/thickened):

That’s a horribly unappetizing picture, I know, but the actual dinner was pretty good.  I used whole wheat spaghetti instead of fettuccini, and stirred in some garlic chicken sausage that I’d browned in my cast iron, just before serving.  Our family’s consensus was that it was all right, but grossly under-seasoned (this even after I upped all the seasonings).  Next time I think I’ll used Trader Joe’s diced and fire-roasted tomatoes instead of plain diced tomatoes, will add more salt, and maybe 16 oz of spinach instead of just 8 oz (the benefit of 8 oz, though, is that I could convincingly tell Jeff the green flecks were just herbs ;-)).  I also think it would be good with Trader Joe’s basil linguine.  But all in all it was a good, easy weeknight dinner (with enough leftovers to keep us in lunches for a week!).  Add a side of roasted asparagus and a good salad and you’re set.


Yesterday during the day we made our pilgrimage up to Cleveland for Trader Joe’s, and my total was about 1/3 less than usual (even though I bought the ingredients for 10-12 meals, just like always).  Part of that is because they didn’t have a few things on my list, but mostly I think it’s because I’m a lot less inclined to dawdle and loiter and browse when I have a tiny tornado pushing the shopping cart than when he’s snugly wrapped on my back.  He was OMG SUPER NOT INTERESTED in making the trek home, though, and I didn’t feel like facing a 35-minute car ride of screaming, so we hit up Panera for soup and a bagel (and then a diaper and some boobies) before heading back down to Akron.  He slept in the car but only fitfully: overall, definitely not his most satisfying morning.  I think it may make more sense to do subsequent adventures in the late afternoon (bonus: then Jeff can haul in the groceries when he gets home from work.)


Today was the penultimate storytime of the late-winter session, and it was a little bit smaller group than usual.  Possibly not coincidentally, Simon warmed up a lot more quickly than he has in weeks past.  Today he was actually brave enough to dance with the librarian for a moment, and grab his own shaker out of the music basket.  Progress!  He even pitched a fit when it was time to leave, which was embarrassing but also sort of reassuring.  The librarian is going to be out on maternity leave starting in May, and with Garfunkel coming in July the spring session may be our last.  I’ll miss it!


After a quick stop at Chipotle for a mama-baby date, we went to a new kids’ consignment shop that just opened a few weeks ago (the owner is a young mom who’s been advertising it on the Facebook baby/kids resale group I follow).  She had a pretty large amount of stock, but nothing much that I felt we needed, and most everything was WalMart/Target brands anyway. I got him one little Gymboree shirt for this summer, but think I’ll have to head back down to Once Upon a Child (down in Canton) for a few other things he needs.


Well this one isn’t going to win any “fascinating blog post” awards, is it?  Have a sleepy Simon by way of apology:


And now, of course, he’s awake and I’ve got to get my butt off the couch.  Until next time!

Yay stuff!

This has been SUCH a busy week.  Yesterday I was moving CONSTANTLY from 7am until 10:30pm.  Work work work.


To pick up my saga where I left off (since I know you’d be disappointed if I didn’t :-P), on Tuesday I verified with our landlord that unfortunately a replacement washer is *not* included in our lease (boo), and then got to go washer shopping (whee?).  I found one at a well-reviewed used appliance place for less than $200, the same model of Kenmore that my parents have.  Our last set in St. Louis were Kenmores, too.  I love those.  You can’t kill ’em.


We ran a couple more errands on Tuesday, too, and I canned 4 quarts of the apples from last weekend’s adventure, into unsweetened applesauce.  And I have this little doohicky that makes things go RIDICULOUSLY FAST!

I actually got it on clearance at Target at the end of last season, and I think it’s the best $13 I ever spent.  I was able to core, peel and slice my whole pot full of apples in about 15 minutes.  That usually takes me HOURS.


Our local grocery store also had 20-quart stock pots on sale for $4.99 each this week, so I picked up one of those and did Wednesday’s batch of applesauce in it, instead of my big Le Creuset pot.  I was able to do 5 quarts of applesauce in one batch (cook the apples down in the stock pot, then heat the sauce in the Le Creuset).  So two days work = 9 quarts of applesauce.  And that’s less than half our haul!


Oh I do love canning.


I’ve also been making cinnamon rolls like there’s no tomorrow.  I did one batch for us, and then decided to get on the neighbors’ good side by making a batch for them.

In a marked departure from tradition, I sprinkled just the tiniest hint of nutmeg on with the cinnamon and sugars, and then put some maple flavoring in the icing.  It’s like eating fall.  OM NOM NOM AUTUMN.  (Here’s that recipe again, if you’re interested)


The new washer was delivered on Wednesday morning, and I spent all afternoon and evening chugging through the massive laundry pile that built up over the past two weeks.  I’m *still* not all caught up, but a lot of that is because I’m doing a wash-strip-rinse-rinse-rinse-wash-strip-rinse-rinse-rinse on all the diapers (two loads), to try and get out all the built up detergent and ammonia that crappy old washer was (unbeknownst to us) failing to remove.


Don’t tell anybody, but I actually think stripping (and just normal laundering!) diapers is kind of fun.  They’re so fluffy and soft and nice smelling!


Today, though, was the most exciting!  First we got to go to the HYUNDAI DEALERSHIP!  wheeeee!!!  And we got to eat breakfast there (cheese sticks, granola and banana!), and play with A BASKETBALL!  And Mama got her car fixed!  And it was under WARRANTY!

Yeah, it’s not exciting.  No matter how I spin it.


On a completely different (and legitimately exciting) note:  Ohio Mart!


I had been looking forward to this for SO LONG, until Jeff and I actually looked at our calendars and realized that it conflicted with his cousin’s wedding in St. Louis.  And given that Jeff has to go to that silly place called “work” every day to earn “money” so we can “eat” (Ugh.  PRIORITIES, MAN.), he wouldn’t be able to go with us on Thursday or Friday.


Which meant that we had to have a Weekend Adventure in the middle of the week, with only 67% of the usual adventuring team.  But we pressed on.


Ohio Mart!


I present to you the finest photo ever taken at the festival’s interest:

Blurry back of a stranger’s head? Check!

Photographer’s finger in corner? Check!

Lack of discernible subject?  Check-CHECK!


Simon was none too impressed, either.

Actually, that picture was taken about 15 minutes before this happened:

This was the perfect situation to have the stroller, BTW.  No Jeff to help bear the load, a bunch of random crap to haul, and a baby who suddenly finds the wraps to be more exciting than sleep-inducing.  So I wore him about half the time, and strolled him the rest.


I shouldn’t have been surprised about the demographics represented here, since we went on a Thursday morning and all.  It was mostly retirees, “ladies who lunch”, and a handful of other young moms.  All other things being equal, I think I prefer adventuring on weekends.


It was nice strolling on the beautiful grounds and window-shopping in the booths (a lot of the stuff wasn’t really my taste, but was pretty anyway).  And then there was…the rest.  Take the World’s Largest Assemblage of Fun Fur, for example.

That hurts my eyes.  And my heart.


I also saw this craft, which falls in the category of “cute idea, crappy execution”:

I could see myself putting together something sort of like that (only better… ;-)), maybe in blue/white, for late winter?  I’d use Lamb’s Pride Bulky or Lion Brand Thick ‘n Quick and do it a little more thicker and rustic looking.  I can see it in my mind.  It looks nice in there.*


But ANYWAY.  The gardens! And the hall!  I wish we could’ve gone inside (but I decided to save that for sometime when Jeff can come :)).


I think I’m going to doctor up this photo and make it my phone wallpaper.

Have I mentioned I love autumn?


I also love food (because duh).  I pretty much gorged myself all day.  With hot spiced cider!


And pumpkin roll!

I know I’ve said it before, but I’m seriously going to have to breastfeed forever so I can gluttonize guilt-free.  Or else take up ultramarathons and/or Zumba once the last Hoopling is weaned.  Probably ultramarathons.  Less silly looking.


I’ll wrap up with a picture from the end of our visit (not coincidentally, about 5 minutes before it started pouring rain):

(My mom showed that to someone at her work, who said “He’s so sweet I could get diabetes just looking at that picture!”  I concur, work lady.  My wonderful sugary babyface!)


TWO SEPARATE groups of old ladies stopped behind me and started cajoling Simon to smile for the camera as he posed in this little setup. 😀


(I also texted that picture to Mona, Miss “Orange County winters are so cold!”, and she started chastising me for not having Simon bundled up enough in the harsh midwestern air.  It was 75*!  Silly California friend.  I miss her :))


Yay for OhioMart!


Kathy, I only wish you could’ve come along 🙂  We’d have had a blast!


This has gotten long enough for tonight.  Tomorrow I’ll show you my most exciting find from the festival.


What’s your favorite autumn activity? (we’re on the lookout for more weekend adventures…)




Christmas, etc.

As I write this I’m currently trying in vain to keep my lap cat-free.  It’s not working.  Just thought you should know.


The days leading up to Christmas were super busy for me (and, I’m sure, for other holiday knitters and crafters ’round the world 🙂).  Then I was off work all last week, and Dr. Who is on Netflix streaming, and I have all this lovely stash yarn to knit up, and…you know how it goes.  Not a lot has gotten done 😀

This was our first year hosting the big family Christmas Eve dinner (and, since we’re moving to California next year and then DC after that, it may have been our only shot at the gig).  My parents came into town on 12/23, so Roxie got to have some quality time with her Granddad…

(I think they were both happy with that arrangement)


and I enlisted Mom into indentured servitude, making a table runner from a length of fabric I’d picked up at Hancock:

See how happy she looks about driving 250 miles and then immediately being forced to slave over a temperamental sewing machine?



The next day (Christmas Eve), Dad taught me how to prep a turkey:


That’s also when I learned that for some reason, turkeys come with severed necks in their chest cavities:


Fucking disgusting.


This is the most awesome picture ever and I think I’m going to ask it to be lasered onto my headstone.  With the caption, “Julia Child she ain’t.”

(Err…what’s the past tense of “ain’t”?)


The finished table, complete with Mom’s runner:

Isn’t it pretty? I’m so proud 🙂  The white tablecloths were borrowed from Mom, and Jeff’s cousins brought a bunch of folding chairs when they arrived later that day.  The holiday china was a gift five or six years ago, and I got the sage green napkins at World Market (they were half the price of the IDENTICAL Christmas napkins; the only difference being that these didn’t come in a pack with a cartoon reindeer on the label.)


I made those namecards – the snowflake stickers from Target are all matchy-matchy with the pattern on the runner.  And the thingies on the plate were Mom’s idea (via Pinterest, I think):  “reindeer noses” of Whoppers, in muffin papers wrapped in baggies.


(Yes, that is where I get “it” from)


And of course, my little Type-A self had to plan – and label – each serving dish before cooking!

I don’t know where the Zoloft post-its came from, but I giggle a bit every time I use one.


I’d been looking for a small, non-tacky garland for the dining room hutch, but I never could find one.  So I kept it simple:


While Mom was making the runner on Friday night, I baked a red velvet cake.  And then on Saturday morning, I frosted it.  Like so:

The brown flecks are toffee crunch bits from the cake decorating section at Michael’s.  Alicia gave me the idea for the red velvet cake – originally I was going to do another turtle cheesecake, but I was sort of tired of those, having made three in as many weeks.  Then I was going to make a plain chocolate bundt cake, but decided I wanted to do something just a bit more special.  Then I was going to make a pumpkin cake, but was out of canned pumpkin.  So…red velvet it is!  I’d made red velvet layer cakes before, but not a bundt cake.  So I used this recipe, though I was initially dubious about the lack of sugar and chocolate. I also threw out their cream cheese frosting recipe and went with my own. I was really happy with how it turned out! 🙂


While I was cooking, Dad and Jeff chilled out with Roxanne:


and Mom found Macbeth, then actually persuaded him to let her pick him up!

Six years we’ve had that cat, and that’s the first time he’s let Mom hold him (and only the third time she’s even seen him!).


Shy cat is shy.


I was pretty busy cooking all day.  Our final menu ended up being:


  • Nasty 1970’s-esque pinwheel things that everyone descends upon like locusts on the wheat crop
  • Cranberry-covered goat cheese with sweet-salty crackers
  • Bean dip + chips from Jeff’s cousin


  • Turkey (yay! It worked!  Nom.)
  • Mashed potatoes (family recipe) and gravy (Dad’s recipe)
  • Sweet potato casserole (adapted from here. And I will never reveal the secret changes.  But it was good.)
  • Green bean casserole (adapted from here – no onion crunch topping; I use pearl onions instead and just sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.)
  • Olives (TJ’s finest, yo)
  • Hot rolls (Grandma’s recipe – it’s like the cinnamon rolls, but not rolled out and just cut into 15, then baked the same)
  • Brussels sprouts (loosely based off this; a vast improvement over my usual method of “just steam the fuckers”)
  • Salad from Jeff’s cousin


  • Red velvet cake
  • Snowball cookies (I make mine with Ghiradelli mini chocolate chips, and pecans.)


None of these people starved to death on Christmas eve:



After dinner was over and gifts were exchanged and Roxie made an impassioned plea to run away with her new best friend (sorry, Dad.  Roxie’s got a new love, and it’s Jeff’s cousin Paul)…


Then everybody left but Mom and Dad, and Jeff and I washed the dishes and settled in for this:

(Christmas Vacation, of course),


and this…

(Two Buck Chuck, of course)


Well, in no time flat, I was out.


Mom and Dad got here at about 9:30 on Christmas morning, and we did our presents then.  Highlights included a dinosaur-bone-sized-rawhide:





We only let Wozzie nom half of that, because (TMI, but she’s a dog so it doesn’t count) OMG those things give Roxie what we affectionately call The Ass of Doom.  We may be ready to give her the other half sometime in June.  Or maybe next time she’s at Grammy and Granddad’s, so she can stay out in the yard. 😛


But she’s happy, so that’s all that matters.


In the realm of “gifts which don’t make the recipient fart”, here’s Dad with the rug I latch-hooked for him (to add to his vast collection of elephant stuff):

Funny story, this.


I got the kit to make that when I was a young teenager – ’round 2000 or so.  EVERY SINGLE YEAR since then, I’ve undergone the same process:

1)Take out partly-finished elephant latch-hook rug

2)Vow that “This year’s the year!” to finish elephant latch-hook rug

3)Work fervently on elephant latch-hook rug for period of time lasting between two hours and two days

4)Lose all interest in elephant latch-hook rug shortly after realizing latch-hooking is incredibly dull

5)Sort out another Christmas gift for Dad, and stash elephant latch-hook rug away for next year


This rug – in its unfinished state – has accompanied me on no fewer than FOUR discrete moves and to THREE separate cities.


Funny thing is, though, that when you work on something in fits and starts over the course of eleven (!!!) years, it *will* eventually become finished.  Somehow.  And that’s what happened this year:  with just 1,500 threads left to place, it only took two evenings’ effort to finish.


And now I don’t have to move it to California.


My parents really outdid themselves this year on our gifts, too: I got an ice cream maker for my KitchenAid, a Tibetan singing bowl:

(which I’ve lusted after since forever ago)

and a bunch of cute clothes from LLBean (have I ever mentioned I like LLBean?) and Life is Good.  Life is good 🙂


I gave Mom a donation to their favorite animal shelter, and collars for Maxie and Eliza (it’s tradition).


Jeff gifted me with a framed print of one of my favorite PRB paintings:


and some bling (yo!):


and I gave him a personalized bookplate, some handknitted socks (photos forthcoming), books, and assorted video game paraphernalia.


Before Mom and Dad headed back to KC, we had cinnamon rolls (Grandma’s recipe), eggs and turkey sausage for brunch, and then Jeff and I spent the rest of the day knitting (me), playing video games (him), and annoying the dog with the singing bowl.  Turnabout is fair play, after all.


Of course, there were handknits too (oh so many handknits), but I’ll save that for another post:  this is getting ridiculously long as it is, and I need to get off my duff and go put away Christmas decorations 🙂


Happy new year!

Strange Folk 2011

Friends, I mourn.

Because I have just attended what I fear may be my last ever Strange Folk festival.*

So, of course, I appreciated the hell out of it while I still could.

Remember my challenge from late last week?  By Thursday evening I’d finished the largest portion of the calf.  I knitted during the entire Cardinals game – and on the train, both ways – on Friday night.  Then I woke up at 7am on Friday, knitted the foot, and kitchenered-off at about 9:30 while Jeff was in the shower.

I had plenty of time, dudes. No sweat.


(That color is accurate, if a bit overdark).

Further proof (photos taken Saturday evening back at home):

And then I’m all, “Holy shit did I really just knit a pair of knee socks in 5 days?”

There HAS to be a 12-step program for knitting.  Please tell me there is.

I love those knee socks, though.  The yarn is glorious, and made that much more special by the consideration shown in its procurement.  It’s the perfect combination of knitting + love.  Jeff rocks.

Anyway.  Strange Folk.  (My mind is way too scattered lately…)

That banner gives me a happy.  A sight for sore eyes.

I think this was the largest I’d ever seen the festival:

In a way, approaching that field was like coming home.  I knew exactly what to expect, but at the same time I had no idea what I’d find.  I love that feeling.

I also love how they have the adoptable animals strategically located near the entrance/exit, and these awesome directional signs scattered about:

Kitten cheeks = universal navigation.

I really wanted to take these babies home with me:

I bet you can guess how THAT turned out, though.  ::sigh::

(Tenth Life, y’all.  Great organization.  Give them money, or take a cat.)

After Jeff dragged me away from the kittens, I started yarn bomb stalking:

I love it.

So cool:

You know Jeff and I can never resist a cupcake:

It provided the vital energy required to go forth and shop.

Speaking of shopping (and people-watching :-)):

We also nommed gyros (Jeff) and chicken sausage in dubious casing (me, and I won’t be doing that again.), and caught up a bit with Kara, Deborah, Sharon and Mindy.  Allegedly Kim was there, too, but I didn’t see her.

All this went down with a background of great music – every singer/group I heard was fantastic, especially the harpist: who knew that “Space Oddity” lent itself so well to the harp?

The booths were all amazing this year: great variety, and very little duplication of genre.  All my favorites were there, as well as some newcomers.  Everyone I spoke with was super nice,  and my only problem – as usual – was that I was unable to purchase something from everyone.

(I’m also, apparently, too shy to ask people to take photos of their booths:  I didn’t get a single one, even of Dyeabolical and their primo location.)

I was good.  As good as I could be.

This was my favorite: Lets Be Friends had a whole bunch of super adorable furry stuffed”Woodland Friends” monsters, and I wanted to take them all home with me.  Until I saw that she also had mystery Woodland Friends: you buy a little felt bag…

And open the top stitching, to reveal your mini Woodland Friend inside!

That’s about the cleverest thing I’ve ever seen, and I love my tiny new Woodland Friend.  (He’s destined to live on a shelf in an eventual Hoopling nursery, I’m thinking.)  I hope the shop owner puts some of her other Friends online soon, for you to see!  They’re all just so adorable.

(Update 9/27 – I just found some great photos on Flickr, from another festival attendee.  Here are the full-size Woodland Friends!)

This apron was my “big” find, a half-apron from Thimblism:

Check out that print:

Is it not absolutely fantastic?  And I love a half apron with a pocket.  So useful.

I also found a yarn (of course):

That’s my first dose of Dyeabolical Bling sock, and I think it’s destined to be some pimpin’ winter socks.  I may invent a pattern and call it “Pimpin’ in a winter wonderland” and it’ll have mountains and snowflakes and swirling drifts.  And bling.

I also got some more Candle Kitty tart melts and a little tealight:

These are seriously the best-smelling soy candles ever.  Love it!  (I got the melts in “Amish Harvest”, and it’s amazing and complex and wonderful.)

And from Rar Rar Press, a “Knitta Please” button:

My life is now complete.

Bonus Woodland Friend goodness:

My face looks happy, but my heart is sad: because now there’s no more Strange Folk.

Thank you, Strange Folk, for all the memories.  And music.  And food.  And stuff.

PS>For a fun sense of deja vu, check out previous posts here and here!

PPS>Upon reflection, it turns out I incorrectly attributed the source of my awesome necklace in last year’s post – must’ve gotten my business cards mixed up.  That necklace was from Anna Ourth Jewelry, and this year I had to go by her table and tell her how much I love that necklace.  And wish to purchase all the rest of her inventory.


*Unless the winds of fate change and for some reason we’re still living in St. Louis this time next year.  Which is highly unlikely – pending some clerkship-related anomaly – given that Jeff has received a lovely job offer in Washington DC.

DC Saga: Saturday

Saturday morning we decided to do the tourist-y thing together (so much more fun than doing the tourist-y thing alone):  Smithsonian stuff, the national mall, and a boat ride.

So we had to have a POWERBREAKFAST! at Founding Farmers:

(Nothing says “hardcore” like egg whites, fresh veggies and whole grain toast.  Amirite?)

Jeff also let me sample his buttermilk pancakes with cinnamon-infused maple syrup:

Seriously delicious.  And look at that little syrup distribution system!  So cute.


And since we’re on the MAGICAL INTERNET and you don’t have to watch our 10-minute walk and train ride…


Ta-da!  Look!  We’re at the Mall!

Here’s my first artistic portrait series, inspired by the works of art at the Smithsonian.  I call it, Annoying one’s husband as you walk down the Mall.

“1:  Studiously ignoring the wife.”

“2:  About to sneeze.”

“3:  Post-sneeze nose rub.”


I don’t even know.  He’s gonna yell at me for putting this up:

Can anyone tell me why I took this picture?

Ooh but this was the most exciting of all.  Behold:  a tract in the bathroom at the Washington Memorial!

I tried to dry my hands on it but the pages were too slippery and non-absorbent.

(Has anyone cornered the market on towel tracts yet?)

Here’s Series 2, entitled Annoying one’s husband while he waits for you to finish taking pictures of tracts in public restrooms.

“1:  Observing from a distance.”

(And look at that guy in the blue!  I’m so good, I’m even annoying *other people’s husbands*!)

“2:  About to make the kill.”

[“3:  Here Jeff, have a soggy tract.” has been temporarily removed for cleaning and restoration.  Our apologies for the inconvenience.]

And now, a quiz:  Am I standing at the base of the Washington Monument, or in front of a nondescript office building?


We walked over to the White House next:

Though I can understand the reasoning, I don’t really like that they keep the public so far from the building.  Makes me pine for those days ’round 1902 when the T. Roosevelt children and I would play and tumble about on the lawn, and have secret picnics in a copse of trees.

Y’know.  Those days.

This isn’t just an empty signifier of abstract philosophy.  It’s me saying “fuck war” as politely as I can.  I told Jeff that I almost wish there was a draft on, and that women were eligible, just so I could register as a conscientious objector.  I don’t think he believed me.

This is what got me so pissed off at pointless fucking wars started to line greedy bastards’ pockets:

Not to get too political (hahahaha who am I kidding?) but I mean, did we – as a country – learn NOTHING from Vietnam?  Ugh.

(I hope we do move to DC, just so I can take part in any number of protests.)

(I tried protesting here in St. Louis once, but Jeff said that ranting at him in the living room isn’t the same thing as protesting.  Especially when he already agrees with me.)

If there was ONE THING I wanted to do in DC:  hug Jeff.  If there was ANOTHER THING I wanted to do in DC:  see the reflecting pool.  So, of course, they drained the stupid pool:

Very impressive, huh?   I’d worn my swimsuit and eb’rything.

My favorite stop on the Mall was (big surprise) the Lincoln Memorial:


I tried to read the whole Emancipation Proclamation and Second Inaugural Address as carved on the monument’s side walls, but there were just too many people jostling around and hitting my ankles with strollers (seriously, who carries a stroller up those steps?!) and brushing me with their sticky Banana-Boat-scented shoulders.

Though I guess that’s what you should expect at a tourist destination on a Saturday in June.

(Digression #2 – see that guy off at the left, with the striped shirt and backpack?  That’s a “Harold”:  the quintessential obnoxious, clueless tourist.  By the time I left DC, I was SO FUCKING SICK of the Harolds, and their female counterparts – the Irmas.  Everywhere you go, Harold and Irma are standing – rather than walking – up the left side of escalators, or asking for directions, or gawking at street corners.  Goddamn.  Sweaty, overweight Harolds and Irmas fanning themselves with brochures, or blocking the sidewalk to take family photos, or trying to parallel park their Dodge Grand Caravan.  Fucking tourists.

“Harold and Irma” is a designation Jeff and I came up with several years ago in St. Louis, for the idiot suburbanites who would ride the Metrolink once a year to attend a Rams game, who would jostle about on the train and giggle helplessly and get their purses caught in the doors.  The term translates nicely to all tourists, everywhere, who happen to be in my way when I’m just trying to fucking go someplace.  I can’t stand Harolds and Irmas.)

We escaped the crowd inside the Lincoln Memorial after just a few minutes, and retreated to the back portico where we could sit and swing our legs and watch traffic and drink Diet Fanta.  It was my favorite.

It was getting pretty warm and crazy sunny, so I busted out my parasol (if by ‘parasol’ you mean ‘umbrella purchased at CVS *after* the Thursday night rainstorm’) as we walked toward the Smithsonian buildings:

Contrary to Jeff’s initial statements, I was *not* the only white girl doing this on Saturday – I saw at least two others.  (and about 40 old Asian women tourists, but that’s beside the point)

We decided to see the museums piecemeal rather than try to catch everything in one go, so we just hit up a few exhibits each in the Natural History museum and in the American History museum.

This was my favorite:


Yes, that’s THE Stephen Colbert portrait.  Err…one of them.

Lol.  “Portrait.”

(See what I mean about thorough placards?)

And here’s its prestigious location in the American History museum:

Right by the staff offices and restrooms.  Only the best for Mr. Colbert.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen the famous ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz:

When I was a kid – 11 or 12, maybe – Mom and Dad took us to a traveling Smithsonian exhibit when it stopped in Kansas City.  I remember going, but I even more distinctly remember being way too cool to look at anything, choosing instead to stand off to the side and look aloof and awesome.

God I wish I could go smack my preteen self.

The hat that Lincoln was wearing the night he was assassinated:

Have I mentioned my little Lincoln obsession?  No?

Oh!  But THIS.  This was the best:


This is about as close as I’ve ever come to a religious experience.

You can’t actually go in (duh), but you they did set it up with plexi-glass “bubbles” that you can step into so you can see the kitchen from all sides.

It was amazing.  And I would’ve been able to appreciate it even more if Irma and Harold’s 20,000 obnoxious grandkids weren’t screaming and running around the whole time.

But still.  Damn.

From there we went to the Natural History museum, where we sat outside and I ate the best damn soft pretzel of my entire life.

And then we went in and looked at dinosaurs:

I wanna know what this giant sloth and sabre-tooth cat were talking about:

“Hey man, my breath stink?”
“Does your breath stink? Seriously?  It’s so bad my nose just fucking fell off!  You smell like a dead animal.”

I decided to perform a little social experiment.  I stood next to the fish tank for two minutes, and counted the number of times some Harold came by with his stupid kid and said “Hurr hurr!  Look Aiden!  Nemo and Dory!”

8 times, y’all.  8 times in 2 minutes.

When I couldn’t handle the Harold-ing anymore, we decided to leave and go someplace that we could be Harold and Irma.  Jeff had bought a Groupon for a 2-hour cruise thingy on the Potomac, so we did that:

And that’s the only evidence.  It was fun, though.  Even if I did spend the whole time thinking we were traveling east, while it turns out we were really going south (Fucking maps.  How does it work?!)

Good thing they didn’t let me drive the boat.

After that, we went home and… (guess?)…watched IT Crowd, ate reduced-fat Oreos, and fell asleep by 10pm.

Friday Favorites – 10/29/10

I do this too.

White bean and artichoke dip. Mmmm…


Babywearing testimony.  Wonderful.

Hmm…am intrigued by this future.

Holy crap I could haul EVERYTHING with this!  Including my detarded goggie!

I still have trouble with this concept.

This is on my list of “things to make when Jeff’s gone next summer and can’t complain about me serving mushrooms for dinner.”

Makes ya think, doesn’t it?

Childhood epitomized“.  YES.

Interesting read re: “Dirty Jobs” (and not just the TV show)

Ten ways modern obstetrics ignores evidence.

So pretty and festive!

How to pre-draft fiber.  My spinning is about to get a lot better.


If I were rich, and had Hooplings