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Archive for November, 2010

I got back to Maine a few days ago after spending a nice, relaxing, relative-filled Thanksgiving in Indiana.  Holidays at home (and it’s always home) are the best, because we have so many entrenched traditions that it feels wrong somehow when the day doesn’t follow a very specific agenda.

The Wednesday before Turkey Day is our annual girls’ sleepover at my aunt’s house.  Traditionally, all the aunts and female cousins hang out, drink, eat, watch that movie with the armadillo (I can’t remember the name at the moment and Google doesn’t like it when I search ‘What is that movie with the armadillo?’), and ultimately have a sleepover.  Sometimes, the local ladies go home to their own beds, but this year we had a solid showing – 10 people spent the night! 

Thanksgiving is literally stuffed with plans – the Turkey Trot, brunch, singing Alice’s Restaurant, mandatory rest period, and finally, dinner (complete with up to 14 homemade pies), and the drive back home.  This year, due to terrible weather, we didn’t go to the Turkey Trot (a first in who knows how many years!), but the rest of the events were exactly as expected.  Which is how it’s supposed to be.

this is a fake picture - our dinner is MUCH BIGGER!!!

The rest of the long weekend was spent lounging around my parents’ house – alternating between the living room couch, the kitchen table and the heater we like to sit on in the living room, preferrably under a blanket to capture all of the heat.  I also had a belated birthday dinner complete with presents and enough visitors to warrant a kids’ table. 

gift from my folks - back ordered...better not snow before December 18th!!!

Now it’s back to work.  I’m officially 18 days from turning in my final graduate school paper, and I’m trying to think of something to do that evening to celebrate properly (the big blowout party is the next day at the dive bowling alley bar).  Phew.  My to-do list is blowing up so back to it…

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My 30th birthday has already lasted about six days and I don’t expect the festivities to die down for another week or so.  The big family dinner is after Thanksgiving, and all my sisters will be there to celebrate yet again with me.  Drew and I had planned on spending a weekend in Boston sometime this fall, and with our somewhat insane and difficult to coordinate schedules, the only weekend we both had free just happened to be over my birthday.  What a great excuse!

I obviously spend a lot of time down in Boston for school, and some of my favorite friends live there, but I rarely get a chance to wander around, or go to museums or just hang out.  Usually, I’m running from the train station out to school and back late at night, which is just not the same!

On our trip this time, we arrived late Saturday morning and had lunch at Flour Bakery in the Fort Point neighborhood.  We had great sandwiches and a cookie (posted photo yesterday!).  Then we walked over to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) where we wandered around looking at kooky modern art for a couple hours.  The building is actually quite beautiful and it’s right on the Boston Harbor, so that was a plus.

How...well...modern!

View of Boston from under the ICA

We finished our evening hanging out with our friends and eating Spanish food in the South End.  On Sunday, we finagled ourselves bagels and headed home.  On the way, Drew and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have lunch at this crazy theme restaurant called Kowloon.  The whole thing is like a tiki/polynesian/asian explosion on Route 1 in Saugus, MA.  Click on the link to get the full effect, but the food was terrible as expected, and we got to gaze at wooden palm trees and sit next to a fake boat.  What’s not to like??

All in all, a great 30th birthday weekend.  As my sister Laura said in her birthday card, 30 should agree with me because I’ll now have lots of adult social capital.  That terminology is a little over my head but I’ll be sure to clarify with her in a couple days!

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Since it is obviously out of the question for Basil to come with us on our trip in January (can you imagine?? It gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it!), a big obstacle for us to overcome in our trip planning has been, what to do with Basil?  Neither of us have an easy person around here (like our parents or siblings!) who we can push him off on for a month, and even though my friends are amazing for having offered to watch him, I just feel crummy making them deal with all of the Basil quirks – like the fact that he eats breakfast at 5am. 

We planned for Basil to spend at least some of the time at Kamp K-9, our amazing boarding facility that Basil loves and we love because he loves it.  As you can imagine, the costs really add up.  We researched pet sitters, house sitters, and even looked into pet airlines to fly him down to Jacksonville for a vacation but we don’t live near a large enough airport for that.  Fortunately, Drew’s dad offered to fly here and spend a couple weeks chilling at our house and hanging out with the B-man.   Unfortunately, Drew’s dad’s plans fell through.

So last Sunday, I finally spoke with Kamp K-9 about keeping him for the entire time we’re away.  Yes, it’s a long time, but they’ve had dogs for several months before.  And as Luc (the owner) said as he put our reservation in, “We’ve had dogs longer than 5 weeks, but not dogs as loud as Basil.” 

I said he could reconsider if he wants.  He hasn’t called yet.

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Amazing Lens

For my birthday last week I asked for a new camera lens.  The fact that I know enough (or have friends that know enough) to even ask for a lens gives me a certain sense of pride regarding how much I’ve learned about photography this year.  Here are a couple of the photos I took over the weekend…I was hanging out with my Russian friend Mike during the photos of vodka and smoked fish – because Russians like that sort of thing!

Cookie from Flour Bakery

These taste much better than they look 🙂

Russian vodka. Not so yummy.

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Updated Life List

I’ve been reading this book called “Creating Your Best Life.”  It was recommended to me at the Gutsy Girls workshop last month.  The book focuses on creating a Life List, though it’s pretty academic – lots of study references, etc. 

I’ve been inspired through reading the book to update my life list and make some of the vague items more measurable/doable, and add some fun things that I hadn’t gotten around to yet.

Check out this link to see the improved list!  Oh, I updated the header picture a couple weeks back if you read this in a Reader instead of on the actual site.  Cute!

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The Big Reveal

The geeky sewing project I’ve been working on since August is safely in the hands of its rightful family.  That means I can finally (FINALLY!) post some pictures of the final piece.  I spent two to three hours every day on this project (except for maybe one day a week) and it went with me to Ithaca, Washington DC, Meadville and back and forth to Boston a dozen times. 

To give you an idea of dimension, the piece is 9″ x 12″ and each square (of which there are 10) are about forty stiches by forty stiches…that’s 1,600 per square, not including the border.  Each square took roughly a week to complete and the border/outlines took another week.  Whew!

Finished and in its frame!

Such a peanut!

whew....21,000+ stiches!

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Amazing Photos

I won a photo shoot from AllyRey Photography as part of a company auction.  I will be using these for Christmas cards, etc., this year so I’m only going to post a couple.  You’ll have to wait to see the really great ones!

hanging out in the woods

candid

he looks cute but is secretly evil...

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