Saturday, August 29, 2009

We drove an hour for cheese...

Today, the plan was to visit Montpelier, and then visit a quaint Mennonite-run store in Madison County - Yoder's Country Market. But, thanks to tropical storm Danny, we didn't make it to Montpelier. It rained all morning, and even though the sun made a brief appearance in the afternoon, everything was muddy, so we decided to scratch the historic aspect of the adventure.

On the way to Yoder's, we saw some skydivers jump out of a plane - then we watched their landing at the nearby airport. Pretty cool to watch, but I will never be the one jumping!

So, what we ended up with was an hour drive, in addition to coming to Fredericksburg from RVA, to buy some cheese and bologna. Don't get me wrong, this is good cheese and bologna, straight from the farm...but really?

It is cute though. And picturesque:

On the way home, we stopped at the revamped "Spotsylvania Towne Centre" to walk around like every high-schooler in town. BTW, that is the last time I will call it that - it will always be Spotsylvania Mall to me!

I trust you all had some comparable adventures today - don't be jealous :)

Tomorrow's agenda: "Defiance," homework, and sleep. Lazy Sunday, I have missed you!

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Patchwork project

A while back I got a bright idea, albeit unoriginal, to make a quilt out of some of my dad's ties. I was picturing specific ties that I remember from being little, like the navy one with golfers all over it or the one with burgundy/blue diagonal stripes (that he used to wear with a light blue shirt and gray suit).

So, when I was at my parents' in June I raided his closet! The diagonal stripes were nowhere to be seen, but I got the golfer one, along with some others. I realized I didn't have enough ties to make a whole quilt, so I also saved some shirts from the Goodwill pile - like a Redskins polo and a dress shirt I know he hasn't worn in years. But these will remind me of him always.

One day while perusing the internets I came across this patchwork dog...everyone had one of these when they were little right? I vaguely remember carrying one around by his nose, dragging it on the floor because he was almost as tall as me. So I think the quilt will turn into said patchwork dog that Leah and Kyle can drag around until:
1) its nose falls off from wear
2) he/she discovers whatever fancy gadget all the other kids have
3) the neighborhood bully makes fun of him/her and it is banished to the bottom of the toy box

Options 2 or 3 will seal the dog's fate as 'childhood box' fodder, never to be seen again.

Unfortch, my suitcase was dangerously close to costing me an extra $15 on the way home, so I couldn't bring the shirts and ties back with me. My mom can ship them or I'll wait until next March to start my project. Until then, I'll keep busy with True Blood and reruns of Gilmore Girls :)

Best episode of True Blood ever!!!

And here is my favorite non-Eric moment. Enjoy the snark...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cake Wreck or no?

You decide...

Here's my inspiration (courtesy of Ladies Home Journal):

And here's my version...

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Card night

Last night was card night. For the boys, that meant poker. For the girls, a different kind of cards. But both groups had a good time...

Bonnie and I decided to introduce Crystal and Sharon to the wonderful world (read: cult) of card-making. We set out all of our scrap paper, stamps, markers, and other supplies, and we made some cards. We laid out pre-cut pieces to make the first one, to get them used to the process, but after that it was a freeforall - pick your colors, stamps, and go to town!

Here's a pic of the huge mess we made:

And some of my finished products - forgot to take pics of the others' cards:

In the other room (the slightly louder and more vulgar room), were the boys, playing poker.

Here are the boys (Eddie, Nate, Dave, and Joe):

Nate after a BIG win:

Joe has never played poker before, and I think the boys took advantage of him - notice how many chips are not in front of him:

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Brunch at The Jefferson? Yes, please...

The plan for day 2 of Bonnie's birthday weekend was a girls' brunch at the Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond. We've always talked about going there and Bonnie suggested it for her birthday - so I ran with it!

After a few arguments about where to park - we disagreed about whether the No Parking or 2 Hour Parking signs applied on the weekends - I decided to bite the bullet and use valet, which I knew would be an investment. Fortunately, when the attendant took my keys and asked me the reason for my visit, he informed me valet is complimentary if you're there for brunch! Yay! It's the simple things that make me happy...

I can't even describe how beautiful this hotel is! Dave took me there when we first started dating, but we didn't stay long enough to soak it in. This time I could see women in their period dress walking around, bellboys hustling and bustling, and hear horse-drawn carriages outside. We visited a gift shop downstairs while they were preparing our table, and Bonnie read an anecdote about a fountain inhabited by alligators. Cick here for a version from their website (not sure where 'Virginina' is).

The waiter later told us another story about ladies at the turn of the century wearing baby alligators on their dresses, like we wear brooches now, as an accessory. Um, ew.

Back to the brunch - there were so many selections to taste that we didn't know where to start! Do we want breakfast, or lunch, or breakfast then lunch? Choices, choices. All of the food was great, as were the Mimosas...we had a great time!

Here is a group picture, from the grand staircase:

left to right: Melissa, Bonnie, me, Crystal, and Ashley

Bonnie and I outside, waiting for the car:

And my favorite picture of the outside of the hotel, taken by Ashley:

Good times.

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Come on January 2010!

Bonnie's 30th birthday weekend :)

This blog may be unnecessary since Bonnie has described it on her own blog, but maybe I'll add some extra details :)

We've been looking forward to this weekend for weeks or months...we used to take road trips like this all the time but then life happened, and we have to structure our time a little more now. So this was the best of both worlds - structured, but reminiscent of old times.

Saturday morning, our first stop was Brick House Diner, a little dive Dave's parents discovered. In my opinion, best breakfast in Richmond. I haven't done much research, but it would be hard to beat the down home feel of this place. The coffee cups have Richmond advertisements, there is an antique clock restorer next door, and there is no shortage of blue hairs there on Saturday mornings. Love it.

Once we downed our pancakes and Belgium waffles, we were off to Natural Bridge, VA! First stop, Virginia Safari Park, a drive through zoo where the animals are so conditioned to know that car equals little white bucket of food pellets that they will walk right up to you and stick their heads in, as if to say "Food for me? Food for me?"

Our first experience was the apparent sexual assault of an alpaca. It was unnerving, but we couldn't look away - the handlers had it all under control, with the use of a whip-like device. That was a little unnerving too. I had flashbacks to the circus.

Through the park we saw deer, emus, camels, cattle that I have tentatively identified as "Virginia longhorns," and gazelles:

Bonnie was licked by a zebra when we had the nerve to spend too much time looking out the windows on the other side of the car, looking at this guy:

And another one of the animals was just being goofy:

When we were finished at the park, we drove south to see the Natural Bridge, "20 stories of solid rock, carved by the fingers of nature." I'll share one picture of the bridge...

...but since everyone and their mothers have been there, I'm going to quickly move on to the faces and objects we saw in the rock formations. Kind of like finding pictures in clouds, but of the geological nature instead:

Here is George Washington:

A buffalo:

A ram:

Lastly, an Indian chief:

When we got back to the Visitors' Center, we walked through the wax museum (free with the bridge pass, because no one would ever pay to see this thing). I have no comment, but I do have a picture of Thomas Jefferson. This pretty much sums up the quality of this place:


To finish out the day, we stopped in Staunton, took a picture of the huge watering can, and had dinner at the Mill Street Grill. I highly recommend "The Packard" if you make the trip.

Then it was time to head home. This is where you think my blog will die down and end? No. We were all tired and hot and sweaty and about to fall asleep, but couldn't because someone needed to drive home. So we decided to do what all high school girls on a road trip do to stay awake - TEXT OUR BOYFRIENDS! Just kidding, that's illegal you sillies! We sang our hearts out and developed sign language versions of the songs we were singing. Here's our play-list - we know these songs aren't cool or trendy or even good, but they are SO fun to sing in an obnoxious way:

New Radicals - "Someday We'll Know"
Nick Lachey - "What's Left of Me"
Celine Dion - "My Heart Will Go On"
One Republic - "Apologize"
Elton John - "Tiny Dancer"
Journey - "Don't Stop Believin'"
DMB - Crash
Alison Krauss and Robert Plant - "Please Read the Letter"
Blind Melon - "No Rain"
Avril Lavigne - "Girlfriend"

There may have been more, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind.

Stay tuned for Day 2 of our weekend - to be posted soon!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I miss Dwayne. More than normal.

Someone asked me a question today, and my first thought was: "That is the most random question I've ever heard and I bet Dwayne knows the answer."

So what did I do? I walked upstairs to that corner cube right by the mailboxes where he used to sit. Only he wasn't there. Ouch.

Miss you sunshine.

The Soloist

Dave and I rented a few movies on Sunday night because our Netflix selections weren't doing anything for us at the time. We got Coraline, The Soloist, and A Haunting in CT.

Coraline: I thought this was going to be a cute Pixar-ish kids' movie. Not so much. It was dark, presumably like Corpse Bride or Nightmare before Christmas - I've never seen either so I am guessing. It is a classic tale of someone thinking the grass is greener on the other side, wrapped up in a little pink bow. But in this case, the grass was no so green...more like red, with flames, and pitchforks. Get my drift? Never take for granted the lot you've been given in life - even if it is drab and your parents write articles about plants for a living.

The Soloist: Great film - based on the true story of a relationship between a homeless man, Nathaniel Anthony Ayers (the character repeatedly spelled his name, like they do on "Intervention"), and a reporter who writes a series of columns about Ayers' life. You guessed it, they develop a relationship deeper than either expected, and the reporter, Steven Lopez, inadvertently oversteps his bounds while trying to get Ayers back on his feet. The film doesn't focus on which mental illness Ayers suffers from, but does it really matter? He had the talent and perseverance to go to Juilliard, but his music education was cut short by his inability to cope with or manage his illness. He chooses to live outside where he can hear the sounds of the city, and I get the impression those sounds drown out the many overlapping, overbearing, and overpowering voices in his head. They comfort, threaten, and warn him - and his only peace comes from the works of Beethoven...he closes his eyes, listens to the symphony and everything else goes silent.

Haven't watched the 3rd movie yet, but we better watch it tomorrow - $1 every day you don't return it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Just sayin...

Kirk ~ 1989

Kate ~ 2009

Kirk should get royalty payments every time someone bashes Kate's haircut!

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Last post about the mud bathroom...

...and then you'll never have to hear about it again!


Tonight, I made the curtain for the bathroom:

Not too shabby.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Mud bathroom is mostly done

Dave says: "It'll be the nicest room I ever peed in."

How eloquent.

Tonight, Dave and I decided to work on the mud bathroom. We hung up the wall cabinet, replaced the toilet seat, and mounted the towel bar. And when I say 'we' in this scenario, I mean Dave. Once he was done with that stuff, I cleaned and put all my what-nots back in there.

Now I just need to patch the wall and repaint by the light (which is not on my short-term to do list), and we'll be done!

I'm still not a fan, but it's growing on me. Here are pictures:

This is the widest shot I could get because it's so small...

Close-up of my fake starfish - there are real ones in there too :)

The $5 towel bar

Don't look too close at my bad patch job!

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

How awesome are these?

I'm thinking of tomato recipes to serve in these bowls!

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Stamp Club!

Second Wednesday of every month is Stamp Club night. Ashley and I go to our Stampin' Up consultant's house and have a card workshop. Last Saturday, our consultant, Delaine, hosted a special stamp club event where we paid $25 to make 25 cards. She always comes up with the best designs, but of course she lets us put a bit of our own style into the cards!

When we got there, she had all the materials set out for us to make 5 cards out of each design. So we made our five of the first design, and then shifted around the table, musical chairs style, until we had finished our 25 cards. Some designs definitely took longer than others - usually the ones with ribbons that have to be tied in tiny knots - and then there was the fun conversation that distracted us from finishing too :)

Here are close-ups of the 5 designs we made:

Vintage black "Thanks:"


I should have made this one a baby card:

Polka dot birthday wishes:

70's appreciation:

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Craft room update...

(Pardon the blurriness, the sun was too bright, even with the blinds closed)

My craft room is pretty small, so I've been trying to think of a creative way to save space, and not get rid of some of the small things that clutter up the desktop. I had Mason jars with markers, thread, brads, little stamps, and other things, but all those jars lined up took up pretty much all of my work space. So sometimes when I want to make something, I have to carry the tools downstairs to make it...which defeats the purpose of having a craft room, no?

So, I decided to use some of the wall space that was previously covered with a large dorm-style bulletin board. I hung up a shelf and lined up all the Mason jars on it. Under the shelf, I hung a smaller French message board that I made a while ago. It holds less memories, but it's much more stylish and grown up.

Here are some pictures of the new setup. I always forget the before picture! Maybe next time...

New clean desktop!

Here's a close-up of the jars:

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