Sunday, April 27, 2008

Homemaker Update

I am going to claim success with my first poker party. Now, I didn't actually play a single hand of poker, but I played a game called "31" and two games of Yatzee. Yatzee is definitely more my style. Tim thought I was a little crazy when he saw that I was taking photographs of the food that I had prepared, but I have a method to my cooking madness.

For example, if the antipasto tray was a hit, I would want to remember exactly what I had put on it. If the new recipe for Texas Caviar was a hit (which it wasn't), I would want a picture with my recipe post. I have my reasons. Finally, when I asked him to take a picture of me with the food, it was simply because I am always the one taking the pictures and so rarely in the photos. However, I start to pick myself apart in necklace wasn't out, the shirt makes me look pregnant, I should have better posture...oh, well. I asked for it, right.

I found out that taking pictures of food is harder than it looks. I never realized that lighting was so important when taking pictures of things other than people. This is the only food photo that actually looks decent.

Food is not the only thing on my mind today. I have grass on my mind too. I have been trying to grow grass in my shady backyard for a few weeks and I am starting to see the rewards of my obsession. The dirt is slowly being replaced with green stems of grass. I tell everyone who is interested in my not-so-secret weapon with growing grass...peat moss. It has made a world of difference.

Other good news on the gardening front, three out of four replanted hostas have returned! It makes me feel like I have a little bit of a green thumb. Also, some perennials that I planted last year have returned in full bloom. I didn't have a lot of confidence that they would return. The yard is coming together and we have until Mother's Day to get things in order because that is when I will be moving some hostas and planting some annuals.

Finally, I will probably be missing from my blog again this week. I have parent-teacher conferences and it will be taking up a lot of my time and energy. Along with that, I will be attending a professional development seminar.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Texas Hold 'Em Night

I haven't had much to say lately. Shocking, I know. Life has just been rolling along the way it should.

One of my New Year Resolutions was to be more social. Put myself out there as says. Last weekend, I followed through on this resolution with a cookout with two co-workers and a spouse of a co-worker. They enjoyed the blue-cheese burgers that we grilled.

I am stepping it up a notch this weekend with three couples and a singleton for a poker party. Now, I am not sure why I chose poker, but it seemed like a fun thing to do. I always feel like people loosen up a lot when they are playing card games.

Part of being social is making yummy dishes for my guests to enjoy. Tonight, I will be serving Texas Caviar, olive cheesy bread, western cheesecake, smokies, chicken skewers, and an antipasto plate that was copied exactly, food for food, from Our Kitchen Sink. She has great recipes. I'll let you know how it all works out.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Go Time

I am prioritizing a few things. I will be working on the following things like my life depends on it...
  • growing grass in my shady backyard.
  • my feet...scheduling monthly pedicures. I believe it should be covered by insurance but I don't think that is going to happen.
  • wearing bermuda shorts as much as possible...not the flowery kinds, but the long and cute kind with cute belts.
  • eating Lean Cuisine flat bread sandwiches for lunch.
  • parent-teacher conferences...I have so much to prepare and will not be leaving work until I have at least four reports done a day until they are all completed.
  • listening The Weepies and their new album that came out today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fight for Penn

Hillary Rodham Clinton stopped by Haverford College today. Hey, why not! Michelle Obama stopped by the other day too. I guess my place of work is the place to be for the fight for Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see her speak because it was a closed gathering for mothers and daughters. Oh, well. I am holding out for Barack to make a visit. It would also be fantastic if Bill Clinton would visit Haverford College.

I feel the pressure of time since the Pennsylvania primary is less than a week away. There is a part of me that thinks Hillary can beat McCain. There is a part of me that thinks Obama cannot. I worry about him in Florida. However, I am thankful that it doesn't all fall on my shoulders, but it is such an important election that it feels very big. Also, I feel like I am hurting Hillary's feelings if I vote for Obama. I feel like I might be hurting Obama's feelings if I vote for Hillary. See...I have turned this whole campaign into a junior high lunch hour where I can't decide where to sit.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let's Play Hardball

Before I write another word, let me say...I think John McCain is an American hero. I respect him and I respect his stance on clean and honest campaigns. I think he is a man of character.

I attended the Hardball College Tour with Chris Matthews at Villanova University today. John McCain was Chris Matthews' guest. It was interesting to see how the show was produced and exciting to be a part of this democratic system. However, I was disappointed that John McCain did not spend any time talking about his domestic policies, especially the economy. He talked a little about over-spending and pork barrel projects, but not about the $100 a barrel for oil or the mortgage crisis or health care or that a dozen eggs are now almost $4!

Lots and lots of Iraq (and let's not forget Iran).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

How I Spent My Weekend

There are weekends when it flies by and I can't think of a single useful way that I spent my time. However, this is not one of those weekends.

Friday night was spent doing one of my favorite things. We stayed in and watched There Will Be Blood. This was a movie that I have been wanting to see since it first came out, yet I never got to the theater to see it. I thought it was very good. The music throughout the film made me want to jump out of my seat. I kept waiting for something horrible to happen. Of course, Daniel Day Lewis was amazing, but it was Paul Dano who impressed me the most. With his calm yet creepy revivalist preacher character, he made the movie all the more interesting for me.

I have taken to my yard like my life depends on it. I want to grow grass in shady areas and I will. Besides my quest for grass, we mowed and cleaned up a number of flower beds. The hyacinths are blooming along with my daffodils. Sadly, I decapitated my first tulip of the year in a weed-wacking frenzy. I hope that is not a sign of things to come this gardening season. This is not an actual photo of my hyacinths, but let's pretend it is.

I joined my co-worker Allison and her husband at a local pub called TJ's Everyday. They call themselves a 'drinkery' and for good reason. They have over 200 beers from which to choose! I enjoyed a pilsner from a local brewery named Victory.

Monday, April 07, 2008


I was laying on my couch watching a squirrel out my dining room window. All of the sudden, an Eastern Screech Owl landed on the nearby branch. This was a rare thing in my urban neighborhood. It wasn't any larger than seven inches tall. He spent about five minutes on that branch, but I hoped that he would stay longer. I assume he was just starting his dusk activities of hunting and eating and just couldn't stay.

My backyard has been quite bird busy lately. I saw my first cardinal of the season and the blue jay this weekend. I think they were trying to eat my grass seed.

Saturday, April 05, 2008


I opened the windows in my house today. The fresh, spring air is enough to make that moment happy, but it also reminded me about how much I love my house. Windows on all sides that allow a cross breeze and the sounds of spring to filter into each room.

I bought fresh blackberries today. I didn't know that this little pint of blackberries would give me a gratitude moment, but it did. I was standing in my kitchen, all by myself. No music. No lights on. I was standing in front of my kitchen window cleaning my fruit purchases of the day when I popped a dark purple berry in my mouth. It reminded me how much I love fresh fruit. Simple.

I cleaned out two flower beds today. I pulled the old hosta stems and leaves from the fall. A task that should have been completed many months ago. I raked old leaves. Another task long past due. As I pulled away the decaying plant life, little sprouts of new hostas were poking through the mulch! It made my mind start to plan, scheme, and decide on how I will compliment these favorite plants this spring.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Five Year Olds Would Love to Vote

The circle time turned political at kindergarten today. Just like the rest of this country, the five year olds are divided between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. It all started out so simple...

We decided that we would work towards a dessert party if we are respectful and quiet during Quiet Time. If we reach our goal, we will then have a vote on what dessert it will be!

Then, one of my more passionate students volunteered, "Well, I am voting for Hillary Rod Ham Clinton." Yes, the 'Rod and the Ham' were separated like they were individual words. In the eyes of some students, this could not go without an endorsement for Barack Obama so they threw their support behind Obama.

During this time, I could not get the conversation to come back to what I wanted to talk about. Democracy in action with me trying to push it down. No one said anything about John McCain, but he is a non-issue here in Pennsylvania. All eyes on Barack and Hillary. So, when all was said and done and the children who wanted to say something spoke, Barack was the winner.

Again, I was not encouraging this conversation. I just wanted to talk about Quiet Time, but the people must be heard.