Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Friday Can't Come Soon Enough

Since Antoine began consulting, Thursday has become the day of the week I look forward to the most, because it's the day he comes home.  Thursday has become the day that feels like Friday used's strange, but nice.  Well, this week is a little different.  This week Antoine isn't coming home of Thursday.  Instead, half way through the day on Friday I'll be heading up to Chicago for the weekend.  I've been wanting to meet up with Antoine in Chicago since he started this project.  So I figure, why not take advantage of the long Labor day weekend and hotel rewards points and make a little vacation out of it!

Chicago has a special place in my heart.  It's the first place that Antoine and I went on a trip together.  I remember it was late October, we were on a pretty intense "love high" and spent a weekend exploring the city, getting lost, and listening to music.  We ate at Lou Malnatti's, took pictures of our reflections in "the bean", got lost looking for Garrett's popcorn and sat by the water, cuddled up in the cold.  It sticks out in my mind as one of my favorite trips that we've ever taken together.


So, needless to say, I can't wait for Friday to come.  We have plans to swim in the hotel's pool, eat some Chicago-style pizza, see the fireworks (the last of the year) at Navy Pier, go to the aquarium, have dinner at a fancy-schmancy steakhouse, and visit the Botanic Gardens (probably my favorite out of all the gardens I've been to).

If you've ever been to Chicago, any places you would highly suggest checking out while we are there?  How about you, what are your Labor day plans?

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Cheesy Flashback

 For your Friday enjoyment here's some vintage pictures of Cheese from the first couple months after we got him.  I can't believe it was over a year ago now when we spontaneous decided to check out this basset hound puppy for sale in Chillicothe.  But even more remarkable is the fact that he was once this tiny!  Oh, baby melt my heart parts.

courtesy of Christian 

Sorry, for some reason I can't flip this.  You'll have to crane your neck.  But it's cute, I couldn't leave it out!

 As you can tell, he slept A LOT in that first month or so.

 Happy Friday all!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekend in Instagram

 Cotton Candy flavored Snowie to cool off from a hot weekend.

 The little baby watermelon that's growing in our garden.  It's a little bigger than a softball now.

 The Cheese-man, on the way home from an exciting visit to the dog park (one of two trips to the dog park this weekend).

 Egg and cheese sandwich, courtesy of Antoine.

 I used my new juicer for the first time this weekend!  I had fun experimenting with all the variations.  Here's one of my favorites so far.
 There's nothing quite like a spontaneous trip to Jungle Jim's and a crap-ton of impulse buying!

Sunday morning brunch at Cheesecake Factory.  Behold, lemon ricotta pancakes! YUM!

After two trips to the dog park Cheese was completely covered in mud...oh the joy of having a dog that's so low to the ground!  Bath time for the dirty Cheese!

Sunday dinner included itty bitty ears of sweet corn from our garden.  Quite tasty!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tiny Orange Mutants

I've been having a case of mushy-brain lately my entire life, and I completely forgot to post about the recent veggie harvests from our garden.  Not that they've been spectacular or anything.  Although Antoine did pick six tomatoes off of ONE of our tomato plants on Sunday; I think I taste salsa in my near future.  Salsa or tomato sauce...I haven't decided for sure yet.  Anyway, about a month or so ago I finally harvested our carrots.  I followed the directions, making sure they were the right diameter and whatnot and carefully plucked them out of the ground.  And this is what I found:

Mutant carrots!!

Arguably the most "normal" looking of the bunch

 This one reminds me of a lobster claw

They looked weird, so what!  Who cares!  The important part is the taste.  And they tasted....LIKE DIRT!  Limb dirt.  It was not pleasant.  Even the Cheese-man was not a fan.  Oh well.  

In other news, our green beans were THE SHIT!!  Definitely planting more green beans next year!  And no carrots.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Memory Attack!

At one point over the weekend, while at a family reunion at the uncle's house, I found myself sitting in the dining room with my mom and my aunt looking out the sliding doors to my grandma on the porch.  I began reminiscing about the summers I spent at my grandparent's house when I was little.  This is something I find myself doing more frequently these days, as it is summer and my grandparents are now approaching their 90s.  It's these memories that stick with me more than any others I possess.  Many of them are among my sharpest, clearest memories I have of my childhood.  For someone, like myself, who has a horrible memory that means quite a bit.

Every single memory, every pleasant, nostalgic feeling warms my heart beyond compare.  They transport me to a time that shaped who I am and what I love today.

Swimming in the pool next to the pavilion with a blue plastic diamond at its peak, with my grandma watching over me.  In the kitchen, perched on the little faux leather stool with the old homemade teddy bear in hand, making fake phone calls from an antique phone mounted on the wall for decoration.  Nestled under the wood dining table with an ornately carved center pedestal playing with dolls and mimicking the recent Gilligan's Island episode I had watched.  Learning to paint seagulls with watercolors under the guidance of my grandma.  Closely watching my grandpa cross stitch.  The gaudy brown sofa with giant flowers that felt like sandpaper when you sat on it.  Carefully placing a coaster on top of the glass of iced tea I had put in the mailbox for grandpa (while he mowed the yard), so that bees wouldn't fly into it.  Making grilled cheese sandwiches, with garlic powder sprinkled on the butter, for lunch with grandma.  Watching Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C./MASH/Days of Our Lives/Price Is Right/Gilligan's Island/Beverly Hillbillies/I Love Lucy/The Andy Griffith Show/Bob Newhart/The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.  The soft light creeping in through the windows of my grandparents mobile home, making it feel shaded, cool and safe.

I will be deeply sad when that place is no longer there for me to visit many years from now.  When those faces are gone.  But those memories, I will hold them close and tight for as long as I possibly can.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What I Did This Weekend...

  • Made fruit pizza for the first time:
 mini fruit pizzas

  • Shot a bow and arrow for the first time:

  • Snapped an arrow in half by ricocheting it off a tree (who knew that was possible)
  • Saw my HLP
  • Ate delicious grilled cheese (the Parmageddon rocked my world!)
  • Became engrossed by a teeny-tiny one-legged grasshopper, who I didn't name but I should have

  •  Drank too much on Saturday, but didn't get drunk (7 beers over the span of 10 hours)
  • Played the game "Spoons" with a bunch of pre-teen second cousins...and kicked their asses!!
  • Took more pictures of flowers:

  • Played in the creek by my uncle's house
  • Found a skull (complete with jawbone) of what seems to be a raccoon
  • Took said skull home, even after Antoine called me a weirdo
  • Witnessed a bunch of relatives getting trashed, and a certain one (one of the three pictured below) fall down:
  • After Antoine shot a gun for the first time, with my uncle...I told him REPEATEDLY that he cannot get a gun because I hate guns!!  (Are you listening Tran?)
  • Laughed out loud at the exhausted faces Cheese was making on the way back to Cincinnati after spending the weekend playing with a 8 month old Great Dane puppy:


  • Tried my best to convince Antoine to play hookie this week from work/consulting and stay home with me.  Sadly, it didn't work :(