Archive for May, 2009

Holiday w(h)ining
May 26, 2009

bottles

While relaxing in the backyard on Memorial Day (and the end of my long vacation), I noticed one of my old friends (Shutterbug) sent a message on Twitter that she was looking for an adventure companion for the day.  I definitely wanted to make the most of this vacation.  It was just my day and I responded in time.  (say what you want about Twitter, but I get the greatest deals and find out about cool stuff even in only 140 characters)

We made a date to visit a local winery, to allow Shutterbug to take pictures and so we could test out the free wine tastings.  It was a gorgeous day in a wonderfully beautiful and peaceful location.

perfect vineyard

cask

We packed some cheeses, chocolate, and other assorted goodies for a picnic after the tasting.

picnic

It was such a perfect ending to my vacation.  Perfect weather, beautiful scenery, good wine (maybe too much?), good food, wonderful company, and fabulous conversation.

grapevines

Sally’s Beach Adventure
May 25, 2009

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I just returned from a lovely visit to the Gulf in Ft. Morgan, Alabama.  Barbie and I packed up the car and headed down mid-week.  Much love to Bama, whose family’s cabin we visited.  Bama was already gone, after spending the first part of the week there, but we visited with Bama’s mom and her friend.

beach 1

Note how far away the water is from the cabin...

Note how far away the water is from the cabin...

beach 3

beach 4

The first couple days were nice, but a bit windy.  The sand blasted you if you stayed on the beach too long.  Can you see the wind blowing around on the top of the sand dune?

sand

beach 5

beach 7

Then, the wind started picking up more on the third day, so we (natch) hit the outlet mall.  Don’t worry, we didn’t do too much damage.  But we did have gelato for dinner at the best little spot.  Who says billboards don’t work?  Worked for us!

On the last day, I woke up to find that the Gulf of Mexico had moved in closer to the cabin…and under the cabin!  Apparently a tropical depression had been moving in.  Now notice how close the water is to the cabin now.

storm 1

storm 2

storm 3

Yes, that is water under the cabin and a wave slowly drifting towards the deck.

storm 4

So we packed up the car and headed home.  It rained the entire trip back, but it was fun adventure no doubt!

beach 6

Summer Grillin’
May 18, 2009

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Inspired by my new lawn chairs and a trip to the grocery store, I decided to fire up my grill for the first time in almost 5 years.  Shocker, it worked like a charm!  I got some yummy salmon filets and corn on the cob.  I used a meat rub that a someone sent me from Seattle a long time ago; a little spicy to start, but the brown sugar caramelizes on top and makes it sweet!  Grilled the corn with some butter, salt, and garlic pepper.  On the side, I made some mushroom pilaf and a small salad.

Call the fire marshall, Sally plans on grilling out all summer!!

My new favorite thing
May 13, 2009

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Sally’s hooping!  That’s right, that is my new hula hoop.  Yes, hula hoop!  I have been taking a hooping class and love it!  Not only is it a great workout, but it’s fun.  I’m learning all kinds of tricks, and I can’t wait to bring it out at all the summer parties and bar-b-ques.  Don’t think I won’t do it.  Send your invites now and challenge me to leave the hoop at home!!

Happy Hooping!!

eyes & ears
May 7, 2009

What I’m currently watching…

The Wire
Thanks to Kentucky (and my inability to turn down a challenge) I am completely and utterly hooked on this HBO series!  My Netflix queue has had nothing but the entire box set for the past two and a half months.  Kentucky warned me that it is an addictive show, and I thought I could withstand the draw, but I was wrong.  This gritty, crime drama has such compelling characters.  I love the way they shoot the episodes as well, as if you are really there eavesdropping on the activities.  The best part, you don’t even know how well the story lines interweave until you’re a few seasons in.  I’m on the final season right now.  I don’t know what I’ll do without my fix of McNulty, Bubbles, Kima, Bunk, et al.

What I’m currently listening to…

Circus (Britney Spears)
Go ahead, judge me.  Are you done?  Thanks again to Kentucky, I went to the Circus tour in Las Vegas last month.  I was originally more excited about the trip to Vegas than Britney, but I figured it would at least be a good show (or a good trainwreck).  It was an incredible entertaining experience.  We got our money’s worth with the circus performers alone!  So, after having that much fun at the show (while  moderately sober no less), I decided I should at least get the album.  It came in yesterday and I spent the evening listening to it.  Darnit, that stuff is catchy!!  And who doesn’t love some (as Perez Hilton said on the big screen before the show) “crazy bitches in fucktastic britches!”  Yes!  He did say that and who am I to argue with a queen?

Fantastic Weekend!
May 3, 2009

I love when I take an otherwise dreary, rainy weekend and make it fabulous!  Friday, I relaxed after work with a good friend, a bottle of wine, a movie, and great conversation.

Saturday I started off right, with a steam and a therapeutic massage.  (I highly recommend scheduling a massage several weeks from now, then getting the pleasant surprise when the appointment rolls around!)  The weather was still pretty damp, so I put off visiting the craft fair.  (unfortunately they canceled it for weather)  But I finally put my tomato plants in the ground and planted my herbs and pepper plant in containers.

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Lemon basil and Thai Star basil in container on left, Greek Columnar basil, Italian parsley, and Dill in containers on right.  A baby pepper plant in the white container and two kinds of tomatoes in the ground!

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After cleaning off the mud, I caught up with lots of friends at a housewarming party.  Then ended the night, with the First Saturday Gallery Crawl in downtown.  Bouncing around to several art galleries, checking out the great art is always a blast.  And free!

Sunday, I joined friends for a Slow Food Hot Dog Day at the cutest hot dog weenery.  Yes, I did just use that word and it was fantastic.  The gourmet dogs were great, but the toppings were more than I could fit on one bun!  Then I spent some quality time at my favorite east side coffee shop until my next adventure.

After catching up over a glass of wine, I went with a friend to the latest ecoChic Swap!  I loved my last ecoChic adventure and once again this one did not disappoint.  I even won two of the raffle prizes, $50 gift certificate to a vintage store and gift certificate to yoga classes I can take with my ecoChic buddy!  Here is my fabulous haul!

haul

Yes, I did get more shoes!  I know I admit I have a shoe problem (is it really a problem?), but in all fairness, I took four pairs there and only came home with three pairs!  A pair of fabulous red boots, some purple striped wedges with ribbons that wrap around your ankles, and cutesy black patent mary jane peep toe heels!

shoes

My final haul in addition to the shoes: Brown Gap jacket, brown striped purse, purple wallet, pink workout tank top, brown sweater dress, cute fancy tank top, Levi jeans, plaid pants, red shirt, Benetton summer top, and floral wrap blouse.  I got some great things for work and some fun clothes too!  Next one is September and is vintage only.  Time to start scouring thrift stores for vintage stuff to exchange!  After our haul, my ecoChic buddy and I had some dinner at a fun little east side Mexican restaurant.

What a fabulous way to spend my weekend.  I wish all my rainy days were this much fun!