Monday, August 30, 2010

Two Balls, A Basset Hound And An E-Collar

Last Wednesday was a big day for the Cheezers, poor little guy! He not only went to the vet to get neutered (snip, snip), but he also got microchipped and his rabies shot...and a spiffy little collar to wear for the next week! His surgery went very well, even though I played the nervous mom all day worrying about the guy, and Antoine was able to pick him up later that day. When I got home he wasn't nearly as sluggish or drugged as I expected him to be, but he was certainly tired and NOT a fan of his new fashion accessory, the E-collar! I, on the other hand, found/find it ridiculously amusing...hence I know have lots of pictures of Cheese wearing said E-collar! So, for your viewing pleasure:

"WTF, Mom? What is this thing?"

"Please take it off! Pretty please!? I'll love you forever!"

"Okay, now you're just mocking me! You're an evil, evil woman! I will now shun you!"

"Excuse me, did you forget that I'm shunning you Lady!? Remember, for this cruel and unusual punishment??"

"Okay, I'm back...but only out of desperation! Look at my sad, pathetic face! Please, take pity on me! Don't you love me??"


Sidenote: Those little crossed legs make my heart go pitter-patter! It's just too much!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Busy Week, But Saturday Was Fun!

I've been pretty busy this week, hence the absence of new posts! Sorry for neglecting you and this blog, but duty calls!

Anyway, before this busy week started Antoine and I had a little free time together Saturday and we decided to take full advantage of it! First we decided to treat ourselves to some tasty breakfast at Findlay Market! We love Findlay and we go there as much as we can! We enjoy checking out the various stands and proprietor's goods and we love trying new things. One thing we've been meaning to try for the longest time is the breakfast at Ms. Helen's Grill. I can't tell you how many times we've passed that stand (it is on the way to Dojo, so we've passed it more than we should admit), seen Ms. Helen herself behind the counter smiling back at customers, and said, "We really need to try that place sometime!" But usually we've already had breakfast or that pint of gelato is burning a hole in our bag while simultaneously calling out our names! [Oh Dojo, you are a fickle mistress!]

Well, Saturday was the day! We made our way to Findlay and almost immediately decided, after scanning Ms. Helen's breakfast menu, that we would be having two croissant sandwiches. I got the bacon one and Antoine got the sausage sandwich! When we received our freshly made breakfast sandwiches, we took a short time to marvel at the enormity of the croissants before we began eating! Huge croissants, buttery and delicious! The bacon was top notch, the sausage was good, but I'm definitely a bacon kind of girl! It was an all around deliciously satisfying breakfast! And I will definitely return in the future (and probably get the same thing).

After breakfast we made our way downtown to the public library. They currently have two book arts exhibits (a Cincinnati based one and a national one) right now that I've really been wanting to see, so I of course dragged Antoine down there with me! I marveled at the books, while Antoine marveled at my nerdiness! Here's my favorite book(s) from the The Keith Kuhn Memorial Artist's Book Exhibit called Marking Time:

I find this astonishing. Each miniature book in this little library/box is about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches tall! They're tiny and so very impressive! As you can tell, some of them are even leather bound with gold tooling! Truly a work of art!

After the library we made our way to CAC where we FINALLY got to see the Shepard Fairey exhibit (just a day before it closed for good!). It was as good as I expected! Here's some of my favorites...

I think this might just be my absolute's enormous and I love all the different patterns and textures!

What a wonderful way to spend Saturday morning! If only all Saturday mornings could be like that (and not spent at Sbux, like tomorrow morning)! Oh well! Hope you guys have a great weekend! I'll be cleaning like a crazy person in preparation for my parents coming into town Labor day weekend!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Probably One of the Tastiest Salad's Ever

I saw this salad on Pioneer Woman a couple of months ago and was intrigued by it! It wasn't your traditional salad...which I'm usually not a fan of. This looked like something I could sink my teeth into and I liked almost all the ingredients (there weren't any tomatoes...yay!). The only thing is it seemed like a "party" salad. By that I mean, it seems like the kind of salad that would feed a hoard of people...not just Antoine and I. So I waited...I waited for an opportunity to present itself...a party that needed a salad! And it did...last Sunday (you know, not yesterday...the Sunday before)!

When rumblings of a backyard bbq last Sunday began I immediately told my sister, "I've got a salad I could make!" So, Sunday morning when we made our way to Findlay Market I brought along with me a list of about 15 or so ingredients with me! Right off the bat I had decided to omitted the jalapeno peppers, since I'm a wussy when it comes to spicy things (and I know my sis is too). Also, I decided to halve the recipe. According to PW's recipe it says it serves 6...but that seemed like an awful lot for just 6 I figured a half recipe would suffice!

I ended up finding all my ingredients that I needed at the farmer's market except for the cashews and the cabbage (they might have had it there, but apparently Antoine and I couldn't pick napa cabbage out of a crowd...we need some cabbage edjumakation!).

Anyway, the salad was pretty easy to put together...just lots of chopping! There were a couple of slight variations I made however. I accidentally bought a green pepper instead of an orange pepper, but that was no big deal! Also, I bought lightly salted cashews and didn't toast them in a skillet like PW said to...but I really enjoyed them as is! Their slight saltiness didn't overwhelm the salad by any means! I used a little extra lime juice in the dressing, which was really nice. And I went easy on the ginger, which I'm almost sad I did...the ginger gave the salad a great flavor. I halved the amount of linguine (since it was a half recipe), but I wish I would have put more really soaked up the flavor of the dressing (soy, seasame, garlic, and ginger) and it was a nice contrast to the cabbage...therefore it would have been nice if the cabbage/linguine ratio was more 50/50 (mine was more like 70/30). Also, I left out the bean sprouts for people to add to their bowl of pasta, since Antoine and Christian don't like bean sprouts.

It seems like a lot of pasta, but don't be scared! It adds a lot to the balances out the crispness of the cabbage, bean sprouts, and bell peppers! [photo courtesy of PW]

Here's a photo of how my salad turned out...

Not as pretty PW's, but not bad!

The verdict: Absolutely delicious! I really liked it, and so did everyone else! It was light and fresh tasting. The flavors all blended together very well! Everyone had two portions (two small side salads worth) and I still had a bunch to take home. So, the half recipe made A LOT!! I'd say it would have fed 10 people easily, as a side salad to a meal. I would also advise that if you want to make this for yourself (aka for less than 6 people), I'd make the dressing, combine all the salad ingredients except the cucumbers, cashews, and linguine and then just make the individual portions that you need and store it all separately. It didn't keep well. The next day I took some for lunch and I felt like it was too soggy! The cucumbers got really mushy and kind of gross and everything else kind of lost that pleasant crispness it had had the day before! So, I'd keep things separate, then everything should be peachy!

I will definitely make this salad again! I thought it was a hit for sure! Satisfying and fairly healthy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sunday Fun-day...Findlay Market, BBQ, and Cheese Time!

After an exhausting and fun day at the paper marbling workshop we had plans to have a somewhat relaxing Sunday with my sister and bro-in-law and two of their friends. We had originally had plans to go canoeing on Whitewater River in Indiana, but so many couples canceled that, in the end, only the six of us were left. So instead of canoeing, my genius bro-in-law had the idea to smoke some ribs at their place and have a generally chill-time hanging out, drinking, and eating!

First though...we all made our way down to Findlay Market for some goodies we would need for the backyard BBQ. And of course, Findlay Market means Dojo least to Antoine and I! We got our usual pint of half Vietnamese Coffee and half Sea Salted Caramel. Michelle and Christian (aka sis and bro) walked away with two pints! And Kit and Andy (aka super cool friends of sis and bro) also took home a pint.

Mmmm, I love thee!

After mass shopping at Findlay, Antoine and I went home to let the Cheese-man out and take a little family nap together (we were still recovering from Saturday, and I guess Cheese was recovering from missing us on Saturday!) After the nap, we headed over to my Michelle and Christian's (with Cheese in tow) to do some more relaxing. Since their yard is almost completely fenced in, and ours is not, we were able to let Cheese run loose in the yard! He loved it! We threw his ball around and he was running all around the yard like a mad/happy dog! I have photographic proof of the complete joy Cheese experienced from running around the yard acting like a total puppy...

This is now my new favorite picture of Cheese! Look at that tongue!

After an hour or so of puppy playtime, I made my way to the kitchen. My sister was making some of her famous coconut rice pudding while I was making a special salad to go with the ribs (but more on that later). When I was done, Cheese was thoroughly pooped, so Antoine and I took him home to go to bed and we got freshened up for dinner (it was like 110 degrees out, with humidity and everything, so I was in desperate need of a shower!). Good thing my sis lives about 2 minutes down the road from our house...makes things handy!

When we got back, the ribs and chicken were almost ready...

My bro-in-law was like a school boy on crack...he was so excited about his smoked ribs and homemade bbq sauce! And with good reason!

Look at that insanity! Wowzers!


Christian had gotten the ribs and chicken at Findlay Market and you can taste the difference...local/organic is always tastier! I'm a wimp so the ribs were a bit too spicy for me, but the homemade bbq sauce was fab and the chicken was fan-freaking-tastic! Yum! A perfect end to the weekend!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Skip's Bagel Deli Review

Antoine and I don't frequent the Mason area (aka Field's Ertl exit) very's just far enough away that it seems too far away. But every once in a while we'll drive north to the Field's Ertl exit to go to JC Penney and/or the non-weird Walmart (I don't care for the new one on Red Bank). Last Wednesday was one of those days. Antoine had a JCP gift card my mom gave him, of course (she works at JCP...and has for many many many years), for his birthday...and I'm not one to pass up a trip to JCP (it's the place I grew up shopping at and I even worked there throughout high school and off and on in college). We decided to head up there after work, do some shopping and then grab something to eat. A while back one of Antoine's work friends had recommended Skip's Bagel Deli, saying they had the best breakfast sandwiches EVER (I was skeptical, because, as you may already know...Antoine makes the best breakfast sandwiches EVER). Off to Skip's we went...

Sorry, I forgot to take pictures while we were a picture of the bag will just have to do!

Unfortunately we got there about 30 minutes before they were going to close. We were afraid that they might not be serving there regular sandwiches anymore and we might just have to settle for a bagel and cream cheese. But when we asked if we were too late, they were very nice and said "Of course not!" We ended up not getting a breakfast sandwich, since we were pretty hungry from all that shopping and wanted some more substantial! And that's what we got! I got the Dagwood (sans tomato and ham) on an oat bran bagel. It was so freaking good! There sandwiches are made with Boar's Head meats, so it was super flavorful! The banana peppers were fantastic and added a lot of flavor to the sandwich. And the bagel was tasty, great texture and not at all dried out like I was expecting it to be (since we got there so late). And it was enormous!! I only ate half of my sandwich there, and ended up taking the other half for lunch the next day! Oh it also came with a side, I got pasta salad, but I wasn't a fan...there was way too much dressing on it! Antoine got a sandwich that I think was called the Crosley (I think? Or maybe, the Ranch Club, who knows!); turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese and ranch. He wanted to get it on the honey wheat bagel, but they were out so he settled for the honey wheat bread instead (he said it probably would have been best on the bagel, although the bread was ok). He liked it, but after trying mine he said he wished he would have gotten that! For his side, Antoine got the potato salad, which he liked.

I loved my sandwich so much that I started to crave it the next day (note: this isn't unusual for me, I'm worse than a pregnant woman with the cravings I get). So, when Saturday came around and we had to take a packed lunch with us to Columbus for the marbling workshop I thought why not stop by Skip's on the way and pick up some sandwiches (plus we were out of bread for PB&J sandwiches)!

So, Saturday morning we stopped at Skip's around 7am (when they opened) and got breakfast and lunch for the day. For breakfast I got a chocolate chip bagel with blueberry cream cheese. The bagel was very tasty and, again, the texture was great, but I wish there had been more chocolate chips in it. The blueberry cream cheese was fantastic! It made the bagel! It was fresh and flavorful (Antoine agreed), and it actually had chunks of real blueberries in it!! Antoine got a cheese bagel with regular cream cheese and he was very happy with it! He said he liked it better than Bruegger's or Panera's cheese bagels...he said there was way more cheese! For lunch, Antoine and I both got the Dagwood...

I actually got the same exact sandwich I had got the time before...down to the no ham, no tomato and on an oat bran bagel! And like before, delicious and hearty (again, I only ate half of it). This time I got chips to go with it...and I think I will from now on.

Antoine got the Dagwood (with no tomato...a man after my own heart) on a cheese bagel! He devoured his! He also got chips, they had a pretty decent selection!

I would most definitely go back to Skip's again! I love the texture of their bagels and their Dagwood is excellent! And super tasty blueberry cream cheese! Plus, I really do want to try one of their breakfast sandwiches! So, if your in the Mason/Loveland area and craving a bagel definitely give it a shot!

*Update: Yesterday afternoon I had to take one of our students home after she cut off the tip of her finger with our board shear (not a pretty sight, but she's doing okay). Anyway, she lives up near Kings Island, so after I dropped her off I thought to myself..."I think I need a bagel". This time around I went for the blueberry bagel with blueberry cream cheese!! It was amazing! Not only did the cream cheese have real blueberries in it, but so did the bagel! And they went really well together!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Paper Marbling

This past Saturday Antoine and I woke up at the butt-crack-of-dawn (actually, the sun wasn't even up yet...we're talking 5:30am people!) to get ready and make our way to Columbus for a paper marbling workshop. We were sleepy (we actually had to stop and get some coffee at one point, because we were so out of it), but excited for a full day of paper marbling.

There were a total of 6 people taking the workshop, including Antoine and myself. Antoine and I were the only two who had not previously taken a marbling class from Ann, or done any paper marbling period! So, we were the definite newbies of the group, which I was okay with. Antoine was also the only guy in the class and the only person there who wasn't involved with libraries or the he quickly became the teacher's pet!

After introductions, a discussion about the roots of paper marbling, and a brief tutorial on how to alum the paper (applying alum to the paper allows the acid-free archival quality paper to actually absorb the pigments) we were off! Each person shared a bath/tray with another person, so naturally Antoine and I were paired up!

Here's Antoine with his very first marbled paper! Which happens to be one of my favorites that he did!

Here's Ann demonstrating how to do a specific pattern.

Here I am placing pigments on top of the water!

There were various combs and tools you could use to achieve different patterns and designs.

Voila! It's kind of like magic when you lift up you paper from the never looks quite as amazing in the bath as it does on the paper! It just comes alive once it hits the paper!

Here's Antoine's first marbled paper!

Here's another one of my favorites of Antoine's.

He really did a great job, in fact, so many of his I like more than my own!

In the flyer for the class we were told that experimentation was of course, I went overboard and brought 4 different types of cloth to try out, plus a ton of different papers. Here's an example of one of the types of cloth that I brought and that actually worked...some did not! But I really like this one!

Here's one of my papers that was actually done on a turquoise colored paper so it made the blues really stand out!

I also brought two pieces of mat board, one for Antoine and one for myself, to experiment's mine! It's wild and crazy but I really like the way it turned out!

We had a great time, however, by the time 4:30pm rolled around we were exhausted! Did I mention there was no air conditioning and it was like 100 degrees in there?!? No? Well, it was!! It was very uncomfortable and draining, but most of the time we didn't mind because we were having so much fun! I cannot wait for my department to do paper marbling! Now that I'm a little more comfortable with it, I like to see if I can come up with some better stuff! What I have now I'll definitely use to make some books though!! And I'll probably be stealing a lot of Antoine's paper for books as well!

Monday, August 16, 2010

So Much To Report...

This weekend was crazy busy and crazy fun! I've got so much to post on I don't know where to begin! So consider this a teaser post...aka a taste of future posts to come! Here's your appe-teaser:

  • Paper marbling workshop in Columbus (on Saturday): So fun!
  • A mini restaurant review: another attempt at playing foodblogger
  • A trip to Findlay Market, BBQ, friends, and fun with Cheese: complete with a hilarious picture of the Cheese-ball!
  • A deliciously wonderful recipe: Mmm!
Tomorrow (or Wednesday...since I have the day off tomorrow and might get side tracked by doing nothing/having fun) I'll address the first thing on the list, the paper marbling workshop Antoine and I went to in Columbus! Stay tuned!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Another Reason I Love My Real Job...

A couple of months ago I got an email from one of our volunteers (my favorite in fact) telling me about this paper marbling class coming up this August in Columbus. She had taken the class before, therefore, was on the mailing list. The instructor, Ann Woods, is a pretty well known paper and calligraphy artist, especially known in the Columbus area with her work with kids and paper marbling...
I had seen Ann demonstrate Turkish paper marbling about a year earlier at a conference I was at...and I was blown away! It's such an interesting process. The color/pigments sit on top of a pan of water, then you drag a comb or other tools through the pigments to make a design. Then you place a piece of paper on top of the water and have a beautiful piece of marbled paper! Now, of course, it's way more complicated and difficult than that...but still so cool!

So, once I saw the listing for the workshop I immediately begged Antoine to take the class with me! I thought it would be a fun little activity for us! He, of course, agreed. Then I told my boss that I was planning on attending and she suggested that I try to get the university to pay for it, as training (since we have all or most of the supplies to do paper marbling in our department, we just don't have the knowledge or instruction to do it!) And what do you know, my request was approved, so not only is the university paying for me to go to this class (from 9-4:30pm tomorrow), but they are also paying for my gas and mileage to get there...SWEET! And on top of that...I get a day off next week to make up for me "working" tomorrow! It just can't get any better!

Basically, Ann supplies all the paper, pigments, and tools, but she said we could bring any additional paper, broad, or cloth if we wanted to experiment! So Wednesday Antoine and I went to the fabric store to get various types of cloth to try out and then yesterday I raided our department's straps of paper and board to find things to experiment with! I'm so excited! It should be a really fun class! And I'll try to take some pictures and maybe even a video or two during the class! I'll report back to you guys on Monday or Tuesday! Hopefully I can produce something half as pretty as these...

Have a happy, safe weekend...and try not to melt!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Walk in the Park...Err, I Mean, Yuppie Residencial Neighborhood

This weekend Antoine and I pretty much had opposite schedules...mainly Antoine worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at his part time job and I worked Saturday morning at Sbux. The main upside to this was that I got to spend some quality time with Cheese! Friday night he was not in the most pleasant of moods...puppy tantrum and accident fest '10. But Saturday and Sunday he was an all around sweetheart and good dog! There was much snuggling on the couch and napping by the two of us and it was fantastic!

It's funny how you get a puppy or kitten and they start off so small, but as they get older and bigger you can only notice the change in waves. Because I'm around him so much it's hard to notice that he's growing. It was only when I lifted Cheese up into my arms to take him down the stairs this weekend (he had just woken up from a nap and didn't want to go down on his own) that I realized just how much he's grown! Now he seems so big, compared to when we got him three weeks ago...but at the same time, he's still so small! Before I know it though he'll actually be bigger than Gui (aka, the enormous cat who we suspect to be, at least part, Maine Coon). Oh, here's some pictures of Cheese with his new ID tag (sorry they're not the's very hard to get a good picture of him, unless he's sleeping!)...

Isn't it just adorable!? It's so original...I love it (and Etsy!).

Anyway, yesterday morning Antoine and I had a little bit of time together before I had shopping plans with a friend (= good times) and then Antoine had to head off to work. So we decided to get breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Montgomery, which was delicious! Then we stopped home to pick up the Cheese-man to take him on his first official walk. Cheese's walk experience has been confined to our small street, rest areas along 71, and roaming around (always on a leash) in my parents yard (about 5 acres). But he's never been for a real walk...until now! We loaded him up in the car and headed over to Mariemont, an idyllic residential area about 15 minutes from our place! I used to live there about three years ago with Amanda, and it was my favorite areas that we lived in! And now it's one of my all time favorite walking spots in Cincinnati, because it's quiet, safe, very few cars on the road, and there are lots of trees! Plus, there's usually not a ton of people around...just the occasional resident out for a walk/job or strolling along with their dog(s). So it seemed like the perfect place for Cheese to take his first walk since I didn't want him to be too distracted/overwhelmed and until he gets all his boosters I don't want him to be around too many dogs.

Here's Cheese in the car on the way to Mariemont! He looks a little grumpy because he just woke up from a nap!

Antoine and Cheese strolling along in Mariemont! Cheese was pretty good on his leash, even though he wanted to smell EVERYTHING (that's a Basset Hound for ya!)!

Awe, this is just too cute! His ears were all dirty by the end of the walk, from being drug on the ground and occasionally stepping on them!

Stopping for a little break...he was already pretty tired! Good thing we only did a short walk!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Moving On...

I've always been one to embrace change, realizing that change is a good thing and things tend to happen for a reason! Well, now I feel like kicking change in the face because it's taking away my best friend. Yesterday was Amanda's last day in Cincinnati. Her and her fella packed up their apartment and moved to Indianapolis today! Yes, I know it's only two hours away from Cincinnati. And yes, I know I'm being a complete drama queen! But you know can just shove it, you meanie! I'm sorry, I apologize for my rudeness...I'm a little distraught! Here, let me explain why...

It all started about 7 years ago, give or take. I was just a lonely, scared freshman at Xavier trying to figure out what the heck I wanted to do with my life (i.e. do I want to major in English or it made a difference! Like your major defines you as a person!). My freshman year wasn't exactly the most enjoyable year of my life (that's putting it nicely)! I was living in a dorm, I went through 3 different roommates in one year (one of which tried to off herself via Advil...but that's a different story), and I had a full class load. I was also coming to terms with the fact that, while I had a good number of friends in high school, making friends in college wasn't that easy for me! I was shy, I avoided all the usual gathering spots of my fellow coeds (i.e. the student center and the cafeteria), and I almost never talked in class...that is, until I met Amanda.

Amanda, who was a second year transfer student from Chillicothe and also an English major, was in two of my English class and a history class. In our English class, where she sat right next to me, one day we started making conversation with one another (probably reveling with one another in the absolute kookiness of our professor). Eventually we became study partners. And then, in the summer when I mentioned that I was looking for an apartment near campus (because I couldn't stand dorm life) she mentioned that there was a two bedroom apt opening up in her building...and would I be up for a roommate!? Well, I thought to myself, this chick doesn't revolve her life around soccer and guys (roommate #1), she doesn't appear to be a cutter or mentally unstable (roommate #2), and she doesn't look like she could karate chop me into oblivion (roommate #3...the only dorm roommate I actually genuinely liked and didn't drive me nuts)..."HELL YES!".

So, that was the beginning of Amanda and I! We were roommates for four happy years. And in those four years we became fast friends. Actually we became more than that...we became HLPs (Heterosexual Life Partners...a name we coined for ourselves and others whole-heartily agreed with! We came up with it while sharing a house with a lesbian couple my Senior year at XU...when we acted like more of a domestic partnership than they did). We would go grocery shopping together, study together, I would make dinner and she would do dishes! We watched Gilmore Girls together, and I forced her to watch countless reruns of America's Next Top Model! She's the person I was with the first time I got drunk, and many times after that! We were fish parents many, many fish (RIP Dustin Hoffman and David Duchovny...two of our favorites)! We traveled England, Scotland, Wales, France, Colorado, etc. It was all around good times!

Two years ago, we finally parted...I moved into my own apartment in Oakley and she moved back home for a short time. Then, she came back to Cincy and got her own apartment in Clifton. Still connected at the hip, just no longer grocery shopping together, I was there when she started grad school at UC and she was there when I got both my jobs. We were there for each other to support each other in our various relationships and personal endeavors. Basically, what I'm trying to say is that my HLP has been integral part of my adult life!

We've studied abroad together: eating our peanut butter sandwiches, exploring castles, hopping on trains to Inverness and Caerphilly, playing "10 pence" (UK adapted "Quarters") in our flat with other students, walking through Green park, attempting to order a ham and cheese baguette in French without knowing what the heck we were saying, etc.

We survived the massive blizzard of '08 together. Determined not to be holed up in our apartment on Amanda's birthday we roamed around for hours playing in the snow and acting like 5 year olds!

We drove half way across the U.S. to Colorado together. We hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park together and Amanda discovered that she was a chipmunk whisperer.

We nearly suffered heat stroke in St. Louis in the middle of August together!

We've celebrated birthdays together...some good, some bad (and some where Amanda gets all creepy with her beer bottle)!

I wouldn't trade the last 7 years for anything. They've been some of the best years of my life...and Amanda's partly responsible for that! I'm going to miss having her here, just a 10 minute drive away.

At Red River Gorge on our ritual girls weekend away with my sis and her bff.

Blizzard of '08: Amanda wandering around Mariemont in the snow.

I know she'll only be two hours away, which isn't that far...but I can't help but feel scared and uncomfortable with this change. I'm sure things will be fine. But this change, this sense of not-knowing doesn't sit well with me! I miss her already, more than I can express! I feel disconnected and somewhat alone, like I'm losing a piece of my history. But if the last 7 years have taught me anything, it is that things happen for a reason and with everything there is a balance and a purpose. So, we shall see!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Reunion

I know what you're thinking...I totally glossed over the family reunion I just attended this past weekend! I'm sorry but I was a naughty girl and didn't take a single picture all weekend. I am ashamed! Please, try to refrain from throwing stones...I bruise easily (it's the fair skin, you know)! I felt like I had to have some evidence of the reunion if I was going to talk about hence no in-depth analysis of the reunion...UNTIL NOW! (Can you tell I've had some coffee this morning?!)

Anyway...the reunion. It was good times and I got to see a lot of folks I haven't seen in ages and even some little folks I've never met before! See, my Dad's side of the family is big and Catholic (i.e. lots of weddings and baby showers to attend) and, for the most part, has I see them, or most of them, every year or so. My Mom's family on the other hand, not so much. Half of the family lives here in the OH...including my grandparents and an aunt and uncle. The rest of the family lives in either New York or Missouri! My other aunt and uncle (the ones that live in NY) I see about once a year, since they visit regularly around Christmas. Their kids, on the other hand, I haven't seen in maybe 5 years or more (at the very least)! Crazy! And some those cousin's kids I've never even met before!

So, basically, what I'm trying to get across is that this reunion was long overdue (haha, book humor! Wait, why is no one else laughing!?)! Here's a picture of the whole gang that I so cleverly stole from my brother-in-law who was snapping away with his new snazzy camera this weekend:

Our little gang (i.e. my parents, sis, bro-in-law, Antoine and I) are on the right!

Also, allow me to clarify what my family means by "reunion". Sure, some families might thinks this involves having t-shirts printed up and group outings and activities...oh no, not to the Bruce's! For us it's gathering at my uncle's house, not too far from Lake Erie, and basically just chillaxing! It involves lots of food, a camp fire, maybe a game or two, and (in this case) lots of booze! There was beer, bourbon slushes (provided by my sis and bro-in-law) and spiked punch (made by yours truly...and again almost solely consumed by yours truly). There was also fishing and playing in the creek by the young hooligans! And even an impromptu haircut from my Aunt Sharon for my Mom! It was good times, and after about 7 or so hours of food, drink (which I proceeded to spill on my jeans halfway through the night! And yes, I was slightly inebriated...I'm not going to lie!) and family I was completely exhausted! Luckily my Dad played designated driver and Antoine and I were able to nap on the way back to my parent's house!

Oh, also, I hid behind a plate... sounds more provocative than it actually is! My brother-in-law was attempting to snap a sweet picture of Antoine and I, but I rebelled and hid behind this plate! I'm crafty like that!!

And here's a super sweet picture of Cheese sleeping on his new bed at Mom and Dad's!

*Like I said, all pictures in this post were craftily stolen from my brother-in-law! Muahahaha! I'm so very evil, can't you tell!?!