Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dinner, Bocci Ball and Goodness

After putt-putt there was ice cream, and after ice cream there was the drive home, naps for the kiddies and infuriating rounds of spit for J. and myself. They weren't really infuriating. It was the first time during the busy weekend where she and I just sat, played some cards and shot the shit, which was nice. The kids woke up after a while and then there were some impromptu activities: playing in the sandbox, batting and throwing (I don't think I was made to be the pitcher for tiny people baseball games...actually maybe I was, since they hardly ever hit the balls I threw). G. at one point got into his dad's car.
For dinner the kids had pizza. This particular plate was C.'s.
And this was G.'s. Notice the green and blue of the plate here. I don't know why, but the fact that my childhood friend and I purchased this flatware as a wedding gift for J. and V., and that they actually use it, gives me an immense sense of accomplishment. I remember going to the linens n' things in Kingston, NY with childhood friend/J. to purchase a gift and being--at 20 years old--entirely uncertain about what was appropriate or useful for two people getting married. At the time I lived with my friend S., a fervent Pfaltsgraff supporter, so the fact that these dishes are Pfaltzgraff is thanks to S.
Grown up dinner consisted of cucumbers with vinegar, barbeque from the party and coleslaw. Man, barbeque is goood. Maybe I should put that on my list of things to do down here in Tennessee.
Later on bocci ball was played. People think I'm joking when I say I carry bocci ball in my car at all times, but I'm not. V. has an established love of horseshoes and I think bocci is natural extension for him. G. had a pretty hard time grasping the basic tenet of bocci (leave the pretty silver ball where it is) and had to be whisked away in order to have any game played/no children getting beaned in the head with heavy metal balls; he was not happy about this. Nonetheless J., C. and I played a few good rounds...C. has a future in the sport, I think. Then V., C. and I played a little. I had only met V. oh so briefly during their wedding days (I was a bridesmaid) and then once just after C. was born, so it was nice to actually get to know the partner and husband of a dear friend. Also, the man can fix things. The handle to my bocci ball case has been useless for god only knows how long and within five minutes of realizing this, V. had found a screw and got out the power drill. Now it's like some serious country sorcery, all able to be carried like a brief case instead of an extra large box of pizza. Winners, all around!
This was my last night in Scottsville, and it was lovely.

Putt Putt in Charlottesville

On Monday we drove into Charlottesville for bagels from Bodo's. I had a toasted everything bagel with salmon cream cheese. It was decent, not the best ever. The cream cheese was a little liquidy, which was partially because the bagel was toasted but, I think, it would have been a little loose regardless.
Then we went to the local mini golf location and played a little. Note to most everyone: five year olds and three year olds aren't really into getting the ball into the hole legitimately...or at all.
It was fun nonetheless:)

Mini High Life

After the fishing the kids went to bed and the adults stayed up and played Hollywood Rummy. I drank a few beers, some regular sized, some mini. I thought these bottles were really cute.

Fishing in The Rain, Just Fishing in The Rain

After the party we went back to J. and V.'s house where a little regrouping took place. Once that regrouping was put into order, and birthday presents were played with -water balloon fights, it turns out, aren't quite as effective if the balloons will only pop when they hit the grass/if you throw them at thirty miles per hour (too hard for little people)- we went a fishing.
It started to rain as we arrived but there was a nice dock enclosure to wait it out. It was super pretty.

Then we got down to the fish at hand.

I think this is the brim or crappie (crappy?) that I caught. We never quite had the timing to get a picture with me and any fish that I caught, so I get confused about whether I caught the fish or if I was only taking the photograph.
Another fish.
And yet another.
The last few fishing experiences I had were all with lures, not live wormy bait. I baited my own hook, making sure that the worms wouldn't be able to slide off on their own and let me tell you that it's kind of gross and definitely messy. I found myself with dirty wormy hands and nothing to wipe them off on...until J. graciously told me that she had been using her own jeans and I could too...this made me a little prissy, that I wouldn't simply get my own jeans dirty, but ugh. Actually, in the end I dirtied my own jeans just because it seemed ridiculous to make J.'s pants an mudbath. Heh. Like bloodbath, only with mud!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Birthday! Birthday! Read All About It!

Sunday was C. and G.'s collective birthday party. The boys were born a few weeks (and years) apart and so their combined party fell between G's third and C's fifth birthdays and included....a monster bouncey truck!

There was barbeque, macaroni and cheese, grilled veggies and other nice fixins.
And a cake, of course.

V.'s parents have a nice spread.
Watching little people unwrap gifts in a frenzy is pretty cool, though hard to photograph.

And then there was the pinata. The almost indestructible pinata.
This kid was particularly good at whacking the thing with all she had.
C. had a tendency of hitting the pinata off its hook.
See what I'm talking about.
Serious concentration.
Even more concentration.

Following through.

At one point the adults took over the bouncey thing...well, not all of them...I refused.
The kids were pretty enthralled by this reversal.

Birthday bubbles.
V.'s father showed me and J.'s mom their garden and let us pick some onions. He also gave me radishes and lettuce. Mmm, mmm. While it may be rather well established that I'm not a particularly avid gardener, I love it when I know people who are!
It was a great afternoon. The kids all had a great time, as did the adults I believe. I thank V.'s parents/family for letting me participate in the day.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Mum Mum Mummy Cat Cat

Yesterday J.D. stopped by and told him of my plan to not use the internet for two days. Epic internet fail. Here I am, blogging. Definitely internet contact right here and now. I have all these photographs that I want to put up and to delay, well, to delay doesn't seem to be an option in my brain. I like the idea of being disconnected, of having to rely solely on myself for entertainment and to live without caring about any possible email I might miss, but the fact is that I'm a weak one. Unless the things I am most used/addicted to truly are absent, I will use them. This has been true for so many things: cheese, beer, cigarettes, couches, washer/dryers, cable television, potato chips, goo goo clusters...pretty much impossible for me to resist.
I went to the library yesterday and checked out six books in an effort to say no to satellite television and the internet. We'll see how that goes. I've also actually seen a way out of the murky mess my novel has become...or a way to sink deeper into it, I'm not sure. The problem is, and has always been, my immense lack of discipline and responsibility. So I have an idea on where a character could go/end up, but if I don't write it out and work with it, then it's just one more idea in an overflowing basket of unrealized potential. Whooee, I sure got up and out of bed with a few things on my mind.
These pictures are of a mummified cat that J.'s husband V. and his father found while they were doing something with the foundation of an old house. V.'s dad said that judgng from the angle of the body, the cat must have died in distress, perhaps hanging from an electrical wire. They figured it probably happened when the house was originally built in the 1800s, if I understood correctly, which it's possible I didn't (were there such things as electrical wires in 1800s houses...hello ignorance). Either way, I thought it was pretty cool.

Speaking of live cats. Zul was a champ on the drive to Virginia for the most part. I tranquilized him an hour or so before we left in an attempt to keep him calm and collected so that no car crash would be part of our future. And it worked! While in Virginia he had to stay out on J. and V.'s deck and/or in their garage since V. and G. are allergic. I was a little worried about what this would do to Zul's psyche and I do not think he came out unscathed, but he's doing pretty well now that we're in Sewanee. That said, he did also just puke and I am going to go get him some frontline and heart worm medication because I don't trust him not to eat infected bugs/mosquitoes not to want to get a piece of him. Also the kitchen had a bit of an ant problem when I got here so I've been putting out ant killer but with an eye towards keeping Zul from ingesting any of it. Stress results, of course.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dinner in Scottsville

On Saturday I started driving south for my vacation in Tennessee. My plan was to spend a day or so with J. and her family in Scottsville, Virginia. This plan unfolded brilliantly. I arrived about 6 hours after I filled my car up with gas in Philly and just in time to do some rock searching with J's older son C. J.'s mother and her mother's husband were also down for the weekend and picked up steaks for dinner.
There were different kinds. I think I had a New York Strip? Somebody did, maybe it wasn't me.

Mmmm. Potato salad, steak and corn. What a great welcome!
J. had a moment of sheer genius that led directly to the making of Kahlua milkshakes. Quite tasty.

Moxxarella Sticks c/o McKenna's

On Wednesday I met up with N. at Mckenna's. I hadn't seen him since our dim sum eating from a few months back so it was fitting that we met back up in one of the first places we socialized. The beer, as always, was cheap. The food, since that Irish woman left, rather forgettable but definitely cheap. I had mozzarella sticks and N. had a $2.75 cheeseburger. Then we went to my deck and played some cards. B. stopped by as well. By the time I return to Philly (I'm in Sewanee) N. will have left its environs, so this was a nice way to end a Philly friendship.

Happy Hour c/o the Belgian Cafe and the Kite and Key

The Belgian Cafe is a nice place for good beer. Rogue Chocolate Stout is a good beer. Creamy. Rich. Chocolate-y without tasting strangely like metal.
The Hitachino Milk Stout was fine. I liked how it looked more than how it tasted.
There was whiskey at Kite and Key.