Travel Bracelet

My mom bought me a gift for my trip, I thought it was going to be a practical thing cause that’s the kinda gal my mom is.  She surprised me and bought me a Pandora Bracelet.  She calls it my trip bracelet.   The beads on each end she calls waves, because I am going across the oceans.  The almost look like tires, so either way they are perfect for the thought of traveling.  Then you see the suitcase, self explanatory.  Finally you see the elephant with is representative of Tompaul and I going on the trip together (its one of our favorite animals).

On today’s list I have to work on some Christmas presents, make desert for Thanksgiving, and get ready for Steph’s visit.

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Music and All God’s Creatures

Recently I have discovered two major muscial acts.  The first is Neulore. Their album Apples & Eve is one I could hit repeat on again and again.  I downloaded it on iTunes.  They describe themselves as folk, but it is unlike any folk I have heard, they are part Weepies part AutoVaughn.  They are from Nashville, check them out.

The second is Parry Gripp.  His song Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig) is free this week on iTunes. I unsuspectingly downloaded it and was hooked.  Apparently he writes songs for Hoops and YoYo…another awsome part of life.

Early Morning Light

Daylight savings time ending is bittersweet.  On one hand it is dark when I go home, which I don’t like.  On the other hand I wake up earlier and am more awake.  Meaning I get up at a reasonable time now (6:30) like I did in the summer and now I actually have time for my 30 minutes of my light therapy.

That is the terrible conundrum of being seasonally affected.  The light will help me feel more awake in the mornings, but if I can’t actually get my butt out of bed to use it nothing will ever improve.  The sunlight variation here makes me miss Nashville all the more.

This first six months of my fellowship is almost over.  I guess I wanted to take stock in what I have been up to am I achieving my goal?  Am I becoming myself?  I think I am getting “better” at least.

What have I accomplished?

-I am working on reading EVERY Lloyd Alexander book (getting close) and EVERY Agatha Christie.  I have some more dramatic literature, but I can’t bring myself to it yet.

– I am making my way through excellent tv that no one watches.  Red Dwarf, Avatar: the Last Airbender, Fry and Laurie, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Doctor Who (okay people actually watch that).

– I am exercising regularly, even though my clothing doesn’t fit any better.

– I am cooking exciting things, becoming adventurous.

– Tompaul and I are becoming in sync again.

So what does this bring us to?  My trip.  Oh it is coming, and I just can’t wait!  Three months of traveling with Tompaul, exploring.  Learning, seeing doing!  How frickin’ awesome!

Oh sweet weekend!

These past two weeks have been crazy, I haven’t stopped moving from St. Louis to the rally to today.  Non stop I say!  Work has been filled with complex cases and I am loving it but I have been challenged again and again.  Enough talk of work.  Blogging has taken a back seat also because our internet is ridiculously slow.

This weekend came none too soon.  High lights of  the week include a lemon risotto, which was fabulous; a salted caramel hot chocolate, which I think is better than the pumkin spice latte; and I finished season one of Avatar on Netflix.

Right now I am drinking my Vanilla Cinnamon Black Tea from Trader Joe’s, cozy in my chair watching the Secret of Kells.  So far is it is visually amazing.  I wish I had seen it at the Belcourt on the big screen.The images are so compelling, layered like the famous book itself.  Pictures within pictures.  Insular style at its best.

I recently finished another Lloyd Alexander book.


The Wizard in the Tree.  I love Lloyd Alexander’s writing.  Its about adventure, exploration and discovery of family.  In his books family takes many forms with many types of people.  Lloyd Alexander is big on heroines and discovery of one’s gifts.  I also like his love of cultures, old culture.  Culture is what makes us who we are and defines a people.  Sometimes that can be lost the modern life.

’tis the season for reason

What was the rally for sanity and/or fear about?  The idea that the extremes of society do not represent society.  The majority of Americans are not socialists or Tea Partiers.  Just because an American wants to legalize pot does not make them a leftist marxist.  Or because they don’t want universal healthcare they aren’t a tea partier.   As Americans we are more complicated than that.  We want to work together and are tired of being told to be afraid, angry and that the world is ending.

So what was the rally like?  Fun.  Tompaul, Tom and I left Baltimore at 8 am.  Figuring we should be able to get decent views at that point.  We packed lunches, signs and wore sensible layers.  We drove to the Greenbelt Station on the green line.  An there were TONS of people already there.  We made our way up to the already full metro cars and crammed inside.  I thought “Wow! This is super tight.” Little did I know….

Tom , me and five gazillion people leaving the metro station downtown.The theme for the day was “Where’s Waldo?”This was one of my favorite signs.This is my sign…and another Waldo.

Upon arriving to the mall there were people EVERYWHERE.  There were people selling signs, handing out signs, buttons etc.    

We made our way as up front as we could go.  We were in the middle of the green between the national art and air and space museum.

This is our view.  The tent in the middle is for hearing impaired.  This is another view of the stage.This is behind us.This was one of my other favorite signs “The Civil War was an Inside Job.”  Note the people fill the steps of the museum.See people (aka Waldo) even climbed into the trees to see.

Here is a view from the stage (from HP).  We were behind the first screen on the right.  We couldn’t see the stage where we were because that tent in the front was blocked.   As you can see there are people up to the Washington Monument.

This is  Tompaul using his zoom lens to see the stage, you still couldn’t really see anything.

The music was good….

The Roots and John Legend

Ozzy, Yusaf and the Roots.

Tony Bennett

If you blow up the picture you can see Tony Bennett’s orange tie.

How many came?  Well HuffPo estimates about 215,000. There were tons dressed up in costume for Halloween. The rally ended at 3pm but we couldn’t use the mobile phone towers til about 3:30.  The following pics were taken from 3:30 on, when tens of thousands were still in the mall.This was taken over 45 minutes AFTER the rally was over.

This sign is for Steve and Sharon.

All in all it was a good time and I was quite thankful to be able to go.  It was a good time.  It was good to see so many people coming out!

’tis the season for squash

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites.  I read this wonderful recipe from Molly Katzen’s “Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without.”  Spaghetti Squash with Sage and Caramelized Onions.  The pictures below are poor quality as Tompaul has the camera…these are all taken with my blackberry.

First you take your Spaghetti Squash and look at it.  Love it….I SAID LOVE IT.Then you take your super sharp knife and cut it in half.Then you scrape out all the seeds.  Throw them away…we don’t need them cause we live in Baltimore and don’t have a garden.  Take this and place on a baking sheet with foil covering and a bit of oil.  See my MISTO.

Bake at 425F until you can insert a fork easily. Then use your fork to scrape out all the wonderful spaghetti.Then rebake it at 375F for another 30 minutes with caramelized onions and garlic.Top off with sage and parmesan cheese (my own addition).

The flavor was nutty and worked well with the parmesan cheese. It was quite tasty, autumnal one might say.

Girls Weekend: St. Louis

It’s been a long time coming!  This weekend was the annual girls weekend, but the first one I have been able to attend.  From Maryland, New York and Florida we converged on St. Louis to stay with Kristin.

We arrived Friday night and so commenced the weekend of hanging out.  It was good to laugh and relax with such good friends.  I for one was grateful to leave my pager behind and catch up.  That may be because the night before I was up till 5am and was running on 2 hours sleep.  Amy and flew in from Baltimore together…which was good because I needed to tnap in the airport and she made sure no one did cruel things…anyway.

Saturday morning Kate made an amazing coffee cake, I helped mix the strudel.  Then off we went to the biggest attraction, the arch.Inside is a nice museum.  Bears were prominent.  Here is Lisabear and Katebear. We thought it would be a great idea to go up in the arch.  Apparently this was designed in the 60s.  You go up in the arch in these “pods.”  Each pod fits 5 people.  So it requires you to go up in definitive groups.  We  were red 8.

While we were waiting there was much to see and do…Mark Twain anyone?Finally it was our turn to pod up!

Then we got to the top!  The thing about the top of the arch is that it sways about 9inches.  So we got up to the top and it made me woozy headead. Its like in my head I felt like I was swaying but my body said I was standing still.

It was good times!

We had dunch at the Brewery.  I got a delicious chitoptle black bean burger and tortillas.  For dessert we went to The Cup, a cupcake eatery.  We bought 6 to share!  My favorite was the pumpkin harvest.

Today we had brunch at Cafe Osage.  I had an AMAZIN huevos rancheros.  We ate outside and had lots of coffee, sunshine and good food!  Then off to Kristin’s church The Journey.

Almost time to run….how sad!  But it was sweet too, and if I didn’t have a good time I wouldn’t be sad.  We will have to do this again soon.