Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Au Revoir Hottest Summer Ever

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I hate to say it but I am not sad to see the month of August go. We are still baking down here in sunny N.C. but having the calendar turn over to September is doing wonders for my mental health because I know the cooler temperatures are on their way.

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There are lots of things that I will miss about the summer months. Like shopping at the Farmer’s Market for fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and peaches.

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I have had better luck at the Farmer’s Market than I have had with the garden in my backyard. The local deer population feasted on my tomato plants early in the season but luckily did not come back for round two. My tomato plants have sprung back and are just now loading themselves up with lots of green tomatoes. So, I should have a very late season crop this year. And I am not complaining. I LOVE TOMATOES! We have been enjoying lots of them this summer. Our favorites have been Caprese Salads and tonight I made Panzanella with some leftover Ciabatta bread from dinner on Sunday. Delicious!

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And nothing beats a BLT with summer tomato slices. And the Farmer’s Market was also the source of the cucumbers I need to make my pickles.

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I made my last batch of pickles for the summer the other day.

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On Friday, I am headed over to Chapel Hill to visit my daughter who just started her second year at the University of North Carolina. She said the last batch of pickles I sent to school with her were scarfed down the same day she brought them back. I’ll have to double or triple the number of jars I take with me when I go later this week.

I am hoping that Hurricane Earl doesn’t come ashore on the Outer Banks of NC like they are predicting today. And I hope those who have vacations booked there have Hurricane Insurance. There was talk of evacuations earlier today. First the tourists will be evacuated and then the locals. Major traffic jam waiting to happen. Did you know that “Lisa” is one of the Hurricane names slated for this year??? That is if we get that far down on the name list. Might be fun to have a Hurricane named after me….just hope it’s one that doesn’t bring misery and destruction. I will be staying tuned to the Weather Channel and keeping my fingers crossed that Earl decides to stay out at sea.

Tomorrow I am having a Professional Decorator/Home Stager come and consult with me on some updates for our house. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes. I am so excited to get a “professional” opinion!!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Computer Error Message


A friend sent me this today saying that finally there was a computer error message that she understands.

This is exactly what I needed to see on this particular Friday!  :)

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Drunken Noodles

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Are you big fan of Thai food???  I love how fresh tasting Thai food can be and have to say that we have only started to search it out in the last year or two.  While we were in Alexandria, Virginia, the first restaurant we dined at was called Mai Thai which was located at the end of King Street right next to the Torpedo Factory area and the Potomac River.  We both ordered the Drunken Noodles off the menu.   It is a dish that is made with wide rice noodles, chicken, onions, red and green bell peppers, fresh tomatoes and fresh basil.  I am not sure what is used to make it “drunken” but wow is that a flavorful dish.  I think it is a fairly common Thai dish…but to me it was very exotic.   Wonderful!!   But be careful, it was way more spicy than either of us was used to. But, that was a spicy plate of goodness.  Next time we will definitely order it with less “heat”. :)

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If you like Thai food…this restaurant comes highly recommended.

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And we had built- in entertainment.  This guy thought he was a real “wheeler-dealer”.  Talked on his cell phone almost the whole time.  Then his blind date showed up and he had lots to tell her about how impressive he was and the fabulous life he was living.   And now for a close up of “the pants”.

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He was Mr. Fabulous!  Now, personally, I think these pants belong on golf course.  But who knows, maybe we were sitting next to the next PGA Golf Champion and didn’t know it?   (I hope Karma doesn’t come after me and post a photo of me in something hideous that I might be wearing and post it to a blog!)  Still, I couldn’t resist snapping the photo.  :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love and Today’s Questions

Not much going on around here this weekend. The weather is STILL hot and humid and I am sooo over it! Hurry Fall!

I talked my husband into going to see Eat, Pray, Love yesterday. I LOVED the book and thought the movie was good but I was hoping to LOVE it more than I did. But the scenery was beautiful and who doesn’t like Javier Bardem?

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Afterwards, of course we had to go out for Italian food and we tried this odd little restaurant in High Point. The food was good, white table cloths on hard plastic booths, and a one-man easy listening music man playing the soft rock hits of the 70’s and 80’s. My shoe stepped in something sticky on the floor under my booth bench seat. We couldn’t get any reception on our cell phones and the clientele was definitely an older crowd. Did I mention the food was good? Anyway I am happy to check it off my “list”. I have driven by it many times and always said we should try that place one day. So we did. And, we won’t be back. :)

School starts this week! :)

I stripped the wall paper in my powder room this week and almost have all the glue washed off the wall. Now, I have to choose a color to paint it. My whole house is painted with those Tuscan colors of green, gold, and burgundy. We need a change and not sure what direction to go. HELP!

I am going to make my last batch of PICKLES for the summer today.

I hope to make a Tomato Tart later today as well and will post the recipe when I do. It’s WONDERFUL!

It’s been a few weeks since 'I’ve done the questions over at MannLand 5. So here we go.

1. If you could host a Reality TV show, which one would it be?

That is a hard one to answer. I don’t really watch a lot of reality TV. I guess I would have to say “Survivor”. I could never be a contestant on that show because I like my soap, toothpaste, hot showers, normal food, and clean clothes too much. But, as the host, I could stay in a hotel while doing the show and retreat to my hotel room after inflicting misery on the contestants. :)

2. Do you put your seatbelt on before or after you start the car?

I put my seat belt on before I start the car.

3. Shave or hair removal cream?

Shave. Has the smell of those removal creams improved any? I remember trying Nair as a teenager….couldn’t get past the rotten eggs smell.

4. What's your favorite feature in a house?

Lots of windows for lots of light.

5. What is your favorite "Fall" scent?

Anything with cinnamon baking in the oven. And I like the first scent of burning leaves for about 1 minute and then I am over it. If I smell burning leaves too long I get a headache.

6. What TV show are you looking forward to seeing the most this Fall??

Not sure. I was looking forward to The Real Housewives of Washington DC which just started this month…so far I am disappointed. ( I like Bethany Getting Married but I am not sure if it’s coming back.)

7. Personal Shopper or Personal Chef?

That is a hard question. I really don’t like to shop so to have someone else do that for me would be wonderful. But, a Personal Chef would be so nice and I could learn all kinds of things watching them prepare our food. Hmm….I’ll go with Personal Chef!

8. What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of "Fall"?

Halloween. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler temperatures, the color of the leaves, and pumpkins on the porch. It can’t get here soon enough for me this year!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Freezing Corn

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Now I am sure there are some people out there who might happen across my blog today and think “Why is she showing us how to freeze corn?  Everybody knows how to do that!”  Well, I’ve never done it before and thought why not give it a try.  It’s got to be healthier for you.  There is less salt and of course the taste is so much better.  So why not give this a try.  And it was easy.  I’ll be making a run to the Farmer’s Market again later this week for some more and I’m going to do it again!  This corn is very tasty.  But I wish I would have done this a few weeks ago when I was able to get Silver Queen corn.  Now that was delicious. 

I followed the directions at this site and it couldn’t have been easier.  Here is the link:  HOW TO FREEZE CORN.  It’s a great How-To tutorial. 

I purchased 12 ears of corn for $3.00 at the Farmer’s Market.  Now that’s a bargain.   I shucked all the husks off and trimmed off any “not so nice” parts.  While doing this I brought a large pot of water to a boil.  I boiled 6 ears of corn at a time to blanch them for 6 minutes. 

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Then I took them out an placed them in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. 

I slid my knife down all sides of each cob of corn and cut off all the kernels. 


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Then I put all of the corn in zip-lock baggies and wrote the date on them with a Sharpie pen and moved them to the freezer. I was able to get six bags with one cup of corn each. 

That’s it.  Yet another thing that is so easy I now wonder why I haven’t been doing this all along!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pentagon Memorial

We were able to get a small amount of site seeing in while on our trip to Washington DC.  We decided that we wanted to make a special effort to see the Pentagon Memorial especially since when we were there last time with our kids in 2003, repairs were almost finished to the outside of the building from when the terrorists flew the airplane into the building but no memorial had been established yet. 

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I did not expect to be so moved and touched by what I saw when visiting the Pentagon Memorial.

The Pentagon Memorial is a memorial park built on the grounds of the Pentagon in Washington DC to honor the memory of the 59 passengers on board Flight 77 and the 125 people in the Pentagon who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

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Construction began on June 15, 2006 and the memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2008 by President George W. Bush.

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We exited the Metro at the Pentagon and then followed the signs along the sidewalk directing us to the memorial.  The Pentagon Memorial is a two acre park that is located on the west side of the Pentagon building. 

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At the entrance area you will find this monument with the names of all the victims inscribed on it. 

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There are paths to follow as you move throughout the memorial.

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As you move into the memorial park you will find 254 benches that are cantilevered over a pool of water.  Each victim’s name is inscribed on a single bench.  The pool of water is lit at night and the park is in the flight path of Ronald Reagan International Airport and can be seen by the flights arriving and taking off.  

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The illuminated benches are arranged by the victim’s ages spanning from the youngest, three-year-old Dana Falkenberg, who was a passenger on Flight 77, to the oldest, 71-year-old John D. Yamnicky. 

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The park has 85 Paperbark Maple Trees planted in it.

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The cantilevered benches are arranged so that when a visitor looks at the name inscribed on the bench and lifts their eyes upward…if they see sky they can know that that victim died on board Flight 77 and if they see the  Pentagon when they lift their eyes, they can know that that victim died in the Pentagon building when the plane hit. 

Visiting this site was an amazing experience and visiting this site truly was one of the highlights of our trip.  I cannot recommend it enough.  Click here on Pentagon Memorial for more information on this unique and moving tribute to those who lost their lives on that horrific day.  God Bless America.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Hotel Monaco Alexandria, Virginia

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We stayed in a wonderful hotel for our trip to Washington DC called the Hotel Monaco.  It was located on King Street right in the heart of Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia.  It really was the perfect location for us.  

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After we arrived, we had the valet park our car and we truly did not need it again until it was time to go home.  The hotel is much larger than I expected and is one of Kimpton’s “Boutique” hotels.  I enjoyed staying here mostly because it was such a nice change from the Marriot Courtyards and Embassy Suites we usually stay at when we are traveling with our kids.  But since it was just the two of us we decided to get a “grown ups” hotel.  :)

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The room was spotless when we arrived.  The King size bed very comfortable and the decor was lovely.

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I especially loved our bathroom.  It had marble floors and tile in the bath tub area and also had a marble sink area.

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And I loved the black and white motif wall paper.  

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And look what was waiting for us in the closet.  Animal print bath robes!!

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Here is the one of the chairs for the desk.  I loved the fabric that had a state of Virginia theme in black and white.   My black and white suitcase fit right in.

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We loved this lounge area.  The fabric on the lounger was a deep chocolate brown and cream.  And look at that lamp!

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I absolutely loved the square shape of that shade.  The little side table had an ice bucket, some short glasses and a set of wine glasses.

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And this was the view out of the window of our room.  It really was the perfect location with one of the many Trolley stops right outside the hotel.  And look, right next door was a CVS Pharmacy so if you forget your toothbrush or run out of your “industrial strength humidity lock out hair spray” (and believe me you really need it here at this time of year)  you can run right next door.  :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Old Town Alexandria

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We are back from our trip to Washington DC and we learned a couple of thing while we were there.  

Number 1:  August is NOT the best month to travel to our nation’s capitol.  The heat.  My God the heat!! 

Number 2:  Don’t mess around with back pain.  But more about that later.

The entire time we were there the heat index was over 100 degrees and the air was thick with humidity!  There is a lot of walking to do when you are in DC.  We took the Metro to get ourselves around town and then did some mega amounts of walking which would normally be no problem and actually welcome as a great form of exercise.  BUT not when its over a hundred degrees.  But we are troopers and we made the best of it.  We stayed right on King Street at the Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria and it really was a perfect location.  Right in the middle of everything and easy access to a Trolley that took us to the King Street Metro Station which allowed us to get anywhere we wanted to go. 

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Old Town Alexandria is historic and  incredibly quaint with it’s brick sidewalks, shops and restaurants.  Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from this marina on the Potomac River in an area call the Torpedo Factory Art Center where artists work and show and sell their pieces of art. You can visit 82 artists' studios, six galleries, two workshops, and the Alexandria Archaeology Museum.  And you can sign up for an art class with The Art League School.

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Scenic boat tour of the Potomac are available here too.  We toyed with the idea of taking a star lit river boat cruise and the idea of taking the water taxi to see the Washington Nationals play baseball.  The lack of time and the heat factor led us to say No to both these ideas but maybe next time!

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There are also restaurants here too.  Dine while looking out over the harbor.

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We came across this guy who was playing patriotic songs like God Bless American by swirling his fingers around the top of glasses filled with various amounts of water.  It sounded beautiful. He was amazing. 

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We strolled up and down the street several times a day having to make the difficult decision of where to eat and shop.  And all this strolling leads me to the second thing we learned on our trip and that was to not mess around with back pain.  My poor husband went to great lengths so that we could take this trip together.  I think he crammed in a little too much yard work the weekend before we left and when you combine that with a 5 hour drive in a car with the world’s most uncomfortable seats and mega amounts of walking…..let’s just say he was incredibly uncomfortable and we cut our trip short.  Immediately went to a Chiropractor when we got home and he is mending but ever so slowly. 

Anyway, like I said we made the best of the short time we were there and I’ll have more to post about it throughout the week.  Tomorrow I should have the photos of our hotel.  It was decorated so nicely.    We are happy to back!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Taking a Much Needed Mini Vacation


I will be taking a short blog break and squeezing in a much needed mini vacation.   My husband and I are headed to Washington DC for a Getaway.  We are going to see and do all the grown up things we missed when we were last there with our kids.  We have reservations at lovely hotel, plan to discover fun new restaurants, do some shopping, and see all  the sites that would bore little children. :) I will be sure to take lots of photos.  

A bientot!

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