Thursday, August 28, 2008

Farmers Market Find

I went to the Farmer's market again today. (although I was not as green as last time, in which I rode my bike to the location. Mom was with me this time and we have only one bike.) While buying some yellow grape tomatoes, we were convinced to try something new:

This picture is not mine. It comes from here.

These are called ground cherries (other names include: husk tomatoes, cape gooseberries, chinese lanterns, golden gooseberries, strawberry tomatoes, etc. as seen here.) They come in their own little wrappers and taste more like pineapple or something sweet than a traditional tomato.

I can't stop eating them. They are like little balls of happy! Mmmm. I wonder where I can get some more??

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Very soggy musings

I am in Florida at the moment, visiting my grandmother. This in itself is hard - to see her so frail and so unlike herself is heartbreaking, and the awful thought of "Is this the last time?" is a heavy weight. And to add to that, it hasn't stopped raining the ENTIRE time we've been here. I mean it. Tropical Storm Fay has set up residence over Florida, so there has been nothing but awful, awful weather. Soggy and gloomy and sad.

Due to all of this, I've had far more time to think than perhaps I should. I have seen happy things happening to several friends lately - not the types of things that are just magical coincidences, but rather things that have been worked on and planned for, but I just didn't know about until it has come to be. I am happy for them, of course, and celebrate with them, as it should be.

Things like this have strangely made me sad, because they are showing me that I still haven't accomplished the things I want to do (or at least try to do). Why haven't I done these things? Fear. Laziness. Fear. Tiredness. Uncertainty. Fear. I realize that I am just too afraid. Afraid of something that might be hard, or expensive. Afraid of failure. That's a big one. I'm too used to being Miss Perfect, which I am trying to escape from... with some help. But it's a very long and windy road.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

BackPost 7/01/08: Corning Museum of Glass

I've been meaning to get up the pictures from the trip we took right after school let out, but they have been on the back burner... at least here's a start!

Matt and I went to the Corning Museum of Glass while in upstate NY with Matt's parents. It is an AMAZING museum! We spent the good part of a day there - seeing exhibits, wandering, having lunch, and my favorite thing - making a blown glass ornament! What a fun, fun place. I totally recommend it to anyone and everyone. Truly something for all can be found there!

Blowing my brains out?

TD looks Jumbo-sized!

Beware! Scientific content!

Lots and lots of cool exhibits to see.

The photos from the day are here.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'd like to thank the Academy...

Marisa of "The True and Tall Tales of My Fantastic and Brilliant Life" nominated me for this award. It doesn't seem to signify anything except a hoax!, but it's certainly cool that she decided I deserved one! (Award, not hoax!) I guess I'll take awards no matter how I get them. :)
Supposedly, there are "rules:"

*Put the logo on your blog.
*Add a link to the person who awarded you.
*Nominate at least seven other blogs.
*Add links to those blogs on your blog.
*Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.

Despite the hoax stigma, I will nominate people purely because, in my mind, they DO deserve awards. Take it if you want, but other than that, you are welcome to simply enjoy the nomination. I will not, however, nominate seven people. Just the people I want to. So there. ;p

Rebecca of World Wide Wood (Best use of craftiness)

Kate of My life - as I know it - (Bravest - she's moving to Texas!)

"Dolphin" of Jewels - (Brand new "Mommy Blogger")

Eleni of Len's Thoughts - (Literary and Musical diva extrordinaire)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Strauss!

On Sunday, I got to witness two of our friends tie the knot. Unfortunately, Matt wasn't able to make it - we were up until 4am the night before, visiting the hospital... he got awful, awful food poisoning! So while he slept and recuperated, I traveled down to the Berkley Plaza to see Marisa and Eric become Mr. and Mrs.

The wedding itself was beautiful. I'd never been to a Jewish ceremony before, and found it to be touching and very personal. They both looked so amazingly happy - and I cried! The reception was very nice as well - so much amazing food at the cocktail hour (kudos to Marisa for choosing hummus - a must have when we get together!) and the dinner was lovely, too. Overall, just a sweet and wonderful time. May you have a lifetime of happiness and joy!

My pictures are here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

BackPost 7/30/08: Annie's House!

First thing I should say - Matt is awesome. He remembered that this was a place I wanted to go and made it happen. So cool. Major brownie points. :)

On our last day at the shore, we took a little drive over to Monmouth University, the school where Marisa spent her undergraduate years. Years and years before I ever met her, though, I knew this place. I just knew it as Daddy Warbuck's house in the movie Annie.

Wilson Hall, as it is known at Monmouth, is the actual house (interiors and exteriors) that were used for the film. The house is in the midst of being refurbished, but it is still the same on so many levels. We walked into the great hall, I looked up at the ceiling, and had a moment of awe - my childhood dream come true! So so beautiful. Despite the oppressive heat, we rambled throughout the entire building (including sneaking into original and amazingly beautiful bathrooms!) and I took tons of pictures, all of which you can see here.

Of course, I wanted to play the organ (see it next to the stairs?) but it was locked.

I was an Annie fanatic as a kid.... I knew the movie by heart, could sing and dance my way through the songs (on vinyl, baby!) to the point where I thought I was Annie for about a month! How my parents put up with me refusing to respond to my name (and referring to them as "Miss Grace" and "Daddy Warbucks!") is a feat of parenting I didn't know was possible!

Me... Then. Is this why I still go through times of wanting to dye my hair red?
I especially love the shining, glowing locket around my neck!

Me... now. Can I tap-dance down the stairs, now, Matt?

So yeah. This was a bit of a big deal to me. :) So, so cool.

BackPost 7/26-30/08: A few days at the shore

After the craziness of the workshop I attended (and a lot of other things, too), it was time for a little R&R. We spent the weekend - plus a few more days - down at the shore, and it was WONDERFUL.

On the rainy Saturday, we went bowling, and experienced four power outages while there! Lucky for us, though, the guy in charge was hanging out near us and he was persuaded to take us on a tour of the pin setting area! SO COOL! (Pictures)

Bowling with my "Male Harem" :)

Matt and I also went to Jenkinson's for a bit one day - to play skeeball and eat boardwalk foods, not burn in the sun!

TurtleDuck loves the ocean!

On the last day of our trip, we got up super early to see the sunrise at the beach - something I've wanted to do for a long time. It was hard to get up so early, and was cloudy and hazy, but still beautiful. Well worth it, and something I'll do again!

The calm before the craziness of a hot summer day!

It was a fun time, and I hope I'll get back again once before the summer is over. The ocean calls to me! (more pictures)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

BackPost 7/23/08: Marisa & Eric & Monster Golf!

Our friends Marisa and Eric are getting married... tomorrow. We'll be there to celebrate their big day, but we were able to get together more casually before the big day.

We met up for some lunch at California Pizza Kitchen and then planned to head to Monster Golf. Unfortunately, Eric had to go to work, so he could only stay for lunch. But Marisa came with us to play! It was a lot of fun... the vibe is cool and I like the black light concept. Fun times!

Pictures from the wedding will come later... :)

Pictures from the day are here.

BackPost 7/19/08: The Woods come and visit!

The organizational prowess of Rebecca Wood descended on my pathetic room and whipped it into shape before my very eyes! I had a lot of organizational issues and it had completely gotten the better of me, so my sweet friend gave this to me as a birthday present! She is able to work wonders, let me tell you! It was amazing to get to spend some time with her, too - I miss her a lot! We meant to take a "before" and "after" picture of the room, but it didn't happen. It looks wonderful, though - and so much more peaceful! :)

In the evening, we all met together for dinner - Becky, Peter, Catherine, Matt and myself. Fun times, even with a two-year-old who had a VERY long day! She is so curious, and was fascinated by the flashlight on my keyring, leading for a light show!

A future pianist?
Pictures are here.

BackPost 7/12/08: Jenny Leaves Again!

My dear friend Jenny came back to the US to live/work while her husband, Will, was on his third tour with the Army. We had some good times and many cups of coffee... an addiction for both of us!
His tour is just about over (thank God!) and she had to go back to Italy... but before she went, we wanted to hang out one last time, at Cafe Archetypus. Such fun! I'll miss her a lot!

UPDATE: Jenny Will are coming back for a quick visit once Will gets home.... hurray! I'll get to see her at the end of August!