Funny stories... tales from the road... life with us.

Friday, April 25, 2008

One Word Answers

I have a couple of friends doing this on their blogs, so I thought it would be a fun challenge. Here goes:

1. Where is your cell phone? kitchen
2. Your significant other? funny
3. Your hair? boring
4. Your mother? giving
5. Your father? wise
6. Your favorite thing? kitty
7. Your dream last night? work
8. Your favorite drink? tea
9. Your goal or dream? family
10. The room you're in? living
11. Your kids? future
12. Your fear? terror
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? content
14. Where were you last night? meeting
15. What you're not? mathematician
16. Muffins? warm
17. One of your wish list items? appliances
18. Where you grew up? "'burg"
19. The last thing you did? mulch
20. What are you wearing? cozies
21. Your TV? enormous
22. Your pets? mischievous
23. Your computer? laptop
24. Your life? busy!
25. Your mood? tired
26. Missing someone? yes
27. Your car? CRV
28. Something you're not wearing? watch
29. Favorite Store? Williams-Sonoma
30. Your summer? lake
31. Like someone? many
32. Your favorite color? red
33. When is the last time you laughed? walking
34. Last time you cried? London
35. The person who sent this to you? myself
36. Who will/would resend this? unimportant
37. A good book? cookbook
38. A good movie? Capote
39. A good song? Songbird
40. One word to share? grace

This is not a "tag," but if you would like to copy and paste, then add your own one-word answers, I'd LOVE to read yours!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A few of my London thoughts

(by Rob)

We embarked for London with only some US dollars, our credit card, and an ATM card in our wallet for money. Once we got there we bought a pass for the tube with our credit card and after alighting at the station nearest out hotel stopped at an ATM along the way for our first handful of pound sterling. I called our bank and credit card companies to let them know we'd be in England (so they'd hopefully not auto-deny all of our purchases) and it ended up working great.

One pound sterling is worth nearly two USD currently (plus London is a pretty expensive city anyway) so everything was just really expensive.

There are pubs everywhere. And said pubs all have an extended sill along their outside windows for the purpose of standing around outside while you suck down a few pints. It was awesome. But thanks to the food poisoning I didn't feel much like having a pint from Tuesday on. Oh well. Also I never did find a place that served "Old Speckled Hen" on tap. We even made it to a pub that our guide book specifically mentioned as having that but the bartender said it wasn't on that day. I was expecting room temp beer everywhere (which would have been fine with me I think) but most every place had most of their kegs cold (Guinness, Fosters, Strongbow, etc) and 4 or 5 kegs with fancier pulls kept at a cool temp. At least that seemed to be the system to me. We'd end up hitting one (maybe two) pubs a day and I'd have a pint or a half pint.

Spamalot is awesome.

Definitely got a taste of the British wit all over the city. At one pub a gentleman's seat gave way and he crashed to the ground -- we were sitting outside. It was a little scary in the moment, but later he and his friends were laughing about it and I called over that I was terribly impressed he hadn't spilled a single drop of beer when he fell. To which one of his buddies replied (without missing a beat) "He will later."

Most of the museums are free, but they make up for it by charging an arm and a leg on admission to most of the other things. :-)

The plane trip out didn't seem very long at all. The plane trip back seemed looooong. We had bulk head seating both ways (blessed leg room) and the flight out left around 9:30PM EST. I took a sleep pill after dinner and ended up sleeping a good 5-6 hours of the 8 hour flight. The flight back left about Noon London time (7AM EST) so I didn't really want to sleep very much as I wanted to get back to EST as quickly as possible. So with no sleep to pass the hours it just dragged.

We had a great time in London, can't wait to get back to Europe. So many places to see. I just wish the USD would flex a bit of muscle.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Random Things About Me

Carrie tagged me to list seven random things about me, so here goes!

1. I don’t mind housework, but I hate cleaning up cat messes. I leave that fun job to Rob!
2. I’m pretty sentimental about stuff that belonged to my grandmother. We were really close and I have all sorts of things that were hers that I cherish. Not expensive stuff, but little items like the hand mirror she used everyday when fixing her hair, little salt and pepper shakers that sat in her china cabinet (now my china cabinet), and some round playing cards with which she played endless games of solitaire.
3. I have a knack for winning radio contests. I’ve won concert tickets, comedy show tickets, ice skating tickets, etc. Today I won dinner for two at a swanky new organic restaurant in Bethesda and some dancing lessons at a local studio. Whoo hoo!
4. My eyes are as blue as they look. People sometimes think I have colored contacts, but I don’t! I have my mom to thank for the blue.
5. I love to try new recipes, especially when we have company. Rob thinks I’m nuts, but it doesn’t make sense to try a full recipe out on just the two of us, so I wait for more people to feed. Then, we can enjoy the leftovers!
6. I’ve changed my driver’s license, social security and passport, but haven’t updated my name (almost two years later) on anything else. Credit cards, house and car titles, utilities, etc., are all still waiting to be changed to my married name. It’s so much hassle to change everything!
7. I remember meeting Rob long before we “officially” met and thinking he was kind of aloof. We were at the mall, and my mom and I bumped into his sister and mom (we already knew each other). We chatted for a few minutes, and Rob stood there with his arms crossed, looking bored. I remember telling my mom that he seemed kind of rude! HA! Little did I know….

Thanks to Carrie for helping me – I’m tagging anyone who hasn’t done this list!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday Top 10

It's Tuesday! I missed last week's list since we were traveling. I missed doing it! Here goes for this week:

1. Today's walk outside. It's been raining here for the past few days, so I've had to walk inside on the treadmill. It was nice to get outside today for my daily walk and enjoy the fresh air!
2. NyQuil syrup that helped my sick hubby sleep better last night (which made it easier for me to sleep soundly too!). He's stayed home today and sounds better, but still is sickly.
3. The Office. This show is hilarious. Rob and I are watching last week's episode on the Tivo as I type! I have a friend who doesn't like the show, and I'm convinced it's because he's a teacher and doesn't work in an office. If he did, I think he's appreciate it more!
4. My sweet kitty, who is back home with us after a 2-week visit to my parents'. They were nice enough to keep her for us while we were gone, and I'm glad to be back with her. Always entertaining!
5. A nice home to live in. I've been seeing so much on the news about people losing their homes, upside-down mortgages, etc. I'm thankful that our townhouse is just perfect for us today, with room to grow.
6. London photos! I love looking at what we were doing 6,000 miles from home, just last week. Somehow it all seems like a million years ago.
7. Almost finalizing a big contract at work. I feel like I've been working on this for two years (not literally!) and I'm glad that we are almost, almost ready to move forward. Then the real work begins!
8. Having a few minutes each day to check in with friends on their blogs and find out what's happening with their lives. I'm thankful to have caught up with so many friends of the past.
9. Kraft "Food and Family" magazine. If you don't get this FREE magazine full of recipes and tips, go to the Kraft Web site and sign up for it now.
10. Cadbury Flake chocolate bars from London!

Monday, April 21, 2008

A few London photos...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Back from London!

Rob and I just spent a week in London! We left last Thursday and returned home today (Friday). What a great vacation! I'll add some photos later, but wanted to jot down a few things while they are still on my mind. Here goes:

Some of my favorite London memories:
1. London Walks Tours - we went on two of these great "walks", which were basically groups of people who all met at a tube station and spent two hours diving into a specific London topic. I loved the "Shakespeare's London" walk, where we went to the new Globe Theater, saw the site of the old and walked in Shakespeare's footsteps. We also did the "Jack the Ripper" walk, which was very interesting. Both of our guides were excellent and very entertaining. If you go to London, definitely go on a "London Walks" walk.
2. Visiting Stonehenge. I'd been before, but really enjoyed it this time and liked the audio guide (didn't have that 12 years ago!) that explained the history and mysteries.
3. Schweppes' lemonade. Seriously, I drank this everywhere! It's kind of like a lemony Sprite (that's how I ended up with it to begin with - I actually ordered a Sprite and got this instead). So yummy. Too bad I don't think they sell it in the US. :(
4. Rob yakking in front of Buckingham Palace. Yep, you read correctly. He ate something funky (we suspect it was a pork bun he got from a street cart in Chinatown) and ended up with food poisoning. He thought he felt okay to go to the changing of the guard, but ended up puking in the middle of it -- and in the middle of the crowd. Lovely. He'd already been trying to make his way out of the crowd when he puked (I was staying for the rest of the changing and was meeting him back at the hotel). Next thing I knew, a cop was pulling me out of the crowd and recommending that we leave. It was kind of scary! I felt horrible for him, and he spent the day sleeping. While he rested, I took a walk, went to Harrods and saw my new favorite musical...
5. WICKED! I love, love, love this show. I've been dying to see it for ages, and I walked down to the theater about 15 minutes before it started (Rob asked me to go so he could get some rest and I'd quit banging around in the dark room), and I ended up with a second row ticket for only 15 pounds. Excellent! Who cares that it was the very last seat on the row - I could see perfectly and really loved the whole thing. Walking back the 10 blocks to our hotel in the rain and dark kind of wigged me out, but it was worth it.

What I'm glad to leave behind:
1. People. Smoking. Everywhere.
2. Crowds, crowds, crowds. These weren't really in the sight-seeing areas, but on the tube and in the train stations. Chaos!
3. Rain. Sun for two hours, rain for 15 minutes. Repeat. It was so strange, but at least it stopped after about Tuesday, and we had a sunny (but still cold!) rest of the week.

More memories -- and photos -- to come!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back in a Few...

I'll be out of pocket for the next few days - catch up with you soon!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Tuesday Top 10

Time for the weekly top 10... here goes!

1. Health of friends and family. I've seen too many stories lately of children with illnesses, mothers with cancer, and so on. I'm thankful for health today, and hope that it continues.
2. My parents. I've talked with them every day this week, it seems. They are taking care of our kitty while we escape for vacation soon, so they deserve extra kudos, since she's a hand-full!
3. Check, check, check. I love checking off big projects from my list at work, and today I was able to complete a few that had be lingering.
4. A delicious strawberry/spinach salad recipe shared with me by Rob's Aunt Janet. She had it at Easter and it was AWESOME. Can't wait to make it!
5. Reading blog friends' "Tuesday Top 10" lists. So inspirational, and I love catching up on each others' lives.
6. A good job. I saw the report last night that 80,000 jobs were eliminated in March, due to recession fears. I'm grateful for full-filling (and sometimes even fun!) job.
7. New khaki pants. Sounds trivial, but I live in these on the weekends and have been searching for a new comfy pair. Finally found some in the Lands End section at Sears.
8. Pink Lady apples. Yum yum yum.
9. The sunshine. It's been gray here for the past few days, but the sun peaked out this afternoon.
10. Chick-fil-A! Our church is doing a fundraiser there tomorrow night, raising money for an upcoming mission trip. Gives us a good excuse to go!

Have a great week!

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Powell Family

I've been following the sad story of Ethan Powell, a sweet 18-month old who was diagnosed with leukemia at his three-month check-up (I believe). Ethan is the son of Ben and Becky Powell, who were at Harding after me.

Despite the best efforts of the doctors at St. Jude's, Ethan lost his battle this weekend. My prayers are with this heartbroken family. You can learn more about Ethan's story on his Web site:

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Catching Up

I remember when I was growing up, my parents would claim to "sleep in", but they'd be up at 7:30 a.m. I thought they were crazy. That wasn't sleeping in! Now, I get it. If I can sleep until 7:30 a.m., I feel like I've hit the jackpot. :)

I spent two days last week in New Jersey. Blech. I was in the Meadowlands, so I could see Manhattan just eight looooong miles away. I'd rather be in the city! Regardless, it was a great two days of meetings. And, a couple of co-workers and I enjoyed a dinner at a great local Italian place, Barelli's. It was straight out of "The Sopranos." Great food and interesting ambiance.

Today (Saturday) has been productive. We ran about two hours of errands this morning, I've been for my daily walk, and the laundry is laundry-ing. Now I'm ready for my nap!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Tuesday Top Ten

It's Tuesday night after dinner, which means it's time for my weekly "Tuesday Top Ten." Here goes...

1. A beautiful walk outside today. It was 75 degrees when I got home, so Rob and I suited up and headed out for a long walk in the sunshine.
2. The book "Eat, Pray, Love" -- Rob's parents gave it to me for Christmas and I've just finally started reading it. It's excellent and I am looking forward to my train trip (for a business meeting) to New Jersey tomorrow, so I'll have time to keep reading!
3. A pretty blue, monogrammed toiletry bag that came today from LL Bean, in preparation for an upcoming trip. It's perfect!
4. Having some time today to catch up on a few blogs and find out what's happening with friends.
5. The show Medium. It's freaky and weird and I really like it. I always Tevo it and watch it during the week. Recommend!
6. Pretty new blue sweater that I picked up yesterday.
7. Green tea. I drink a mug of it every morning and didn't realize how much I appreciate it until my work's hot water heater stopped working and there was no hot tea - I'm glad it's fixed!
8. Reconnecting with an old high school friend on Facebook and catching up. We haven't seen in each other in eons, so it's nice to be back in touch.
9. Eating dinner every night with my sweet husband. I know a lot of couples who do their own thing at night. I love our dinners together and time set aside to catch up and just talk.
10. For Leann, warm buttermilk biscuits with Nutella!

Enjoy your week!