Thursday, August 30, 2007
August is almost over--can I get a HUZZAH?!
We had a cool, dry night last night for the first time in weeks and weeks...I had some iced tea on the porch in the evening, and we had the windows open all night. Heaven! I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel of enormously hot and humid days. August sucks!
I dragged home an enormous bag of books from the used bookstore today, after cashing in the last of my trade-in credit. It made me think about the conversation I had with my grandma a few weeks ago, when she was talking about her overloaded bookshelves and the stacks and stacks of books around her house.
Grandma is afflicted with a very large dose of the "can't-throw-it-away" virus, which I have made a large effort to avoid inheriting, but I have to say I can totally relate to the satisfaction in her voice as she mentioned the stack of books by her chair. Having a giant pile of books waiting to be read is like having a fully-stocked pantry: you know you're prepared.
Coming out of the bookstore, I saw a sign for the restaurant down the strip mall, which calls itself a "tortilleria." Talk about your bastardized hybrid words! But it's very pleasant to say out loud. Try it!
Although I am eagerly awaiting fall, the earlier nighttime is bugging me a little. We try to go walking when Todd gets home from work, but it's almost full dark by 8:00 now. On nights when he doesn't get home till 6:30ish, and then we have to eat dinner, and then drive 15 minutes to the park...well, it's cutting into my walking time!
I guess I'll have to switch to the mornings, but evenings are so much more pleasant. It's something to look forward to, whereas morning walks are like a chore. And it's nice to have Todd with me, too. Monday and Tuesday nights, he roller-bladed while I walked--the first time he's been on rollerblades in about five years. He wanted to get more of a workout and get his heart rate up...let's just say he succeeded!
It's so weird to see Senator Larry Craig's name in the news...he was Senator when we lived in Idaho in the mid-90s. I feel sort of bad for these closeted guys who are so trapped in their own sexuality. How much healthier it would be if they could just safely express who they are. Maybe someday...
I got a scrapbook page picked up by Simple Scrapbooks...it's an oldie of Todd and his buds fishing for striped bass. I'm happy they wanted it, because the pictures are just excellent.
I've lost 13 pounds. It's hard-fought sometimes, and it's also hard to be patient. But overall, the healthier living process is going well.
Now that I'm ready to break out of my summer silence, I'll try to get back to my blog. Seems like summer just isn't a writing time for me.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I am so ready for fall!
There's a chat about fall crafts at Two Peas this afternoon...I'm putting up my Halloween sampler here so I can link it there. I stitched this about ten years ago, and I just love it...wish I could have it up more than six-eight weeks out of the year!
I think this sampler is my favorite thing I ever cross-stitched...and I cross-stitched a TON of stuff back in the days before scrapbooking took over my life!
Monday, August 06, 2007
We met my brother and his wife and two of their friends in Charlottesville on Saturday for a Nickel Creek concert at the Charlottesville Pavilion. The Pavilion is at the end of the Downtown Mall, which is a several-blocks stretch of the old city that has been bricked up and planted with trees and turned into a wide pedestrian mall. There are lots of shops and restaurants in the old buildings along the mall, and the pavilion is down at the far end, sort of sunk down in a little ridge so lollygaggers on the mall can't see the stage and get treated to free concerts.
However, this placement of the pavilion ensures that not a breath of fresh air can penetrate the tent on hot, steamy nights. And it was hot and steamy Saturday night!
Here we all are, looking pretty good for being extremely overheated:
The concert was good, but a little disappointing. The band brought Fiona Apple with them as a "special guest," which turned out to mean that they sang her songs for probably almost half of the set. Apart from a funked-up bluegrass version of her hit "Criminal" and a wonderful cover of "Walking After Midnight" (you can't go wrong with Patsy Cline), this was not really what we wanted to hear. Fiona's deep voice is wonderful, and she blended fabulously with Sara Watkins' high soprano, but they should have incorporated her into their songs, I think, instead of the other way around. Then they closed the concert with three or four Fiona songs in a row, and came out for a one-song encore, which they all sang together.
It just wasn't really what the fans were expecting. This tour is called "Farewell for Now" as the band members are ready to move on and try out other paths, and it seemed to me that the set list should have been chock-full of all the songs the fans want to hear one last time.
Here's a mediocre shot of the stage...Sara Watkins on violin, Chris Thile on mandolin, their tour bassist whose name I can't remember or find at the moment, Fiona Apple, Sean Watkins on guitar:
There are much better pictures of the band on their website. They are an extremely talented group of people!
We ran into my cousin Alan, who lives in Charlottesville, at the concert, and had breakfast with him the next morning. Then the Harrisonburg contingent departed around lunchtime to get back to their assorted kiddies, and Todd and I strolled around on the Downtown Mall for a few hours, buying books and eating burgers and the best fries I've ever had--piping hot, salty, doused in malt vinegar. Yum.
Here's Todd at the burger joint, Five Guys:
Here's a shot of part of the mall:
Drove two hours back home, showered, and went to some friends' for a fantastic dinner (pork tenderloin and risotto) and came home and collapsed.
As I said to Todd, "It's fun to do stuff with people." You can tell we don't get out much.
(This week I'll be doing double walking to work off the ice cream, chorizo, cheese, burger, fries, risotto and brownie pie that entered my mouth this weekend. It was worth it, though!)