Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I have an unreasonable fear of spiders.

Not generally speaking, but specifically, spiders that reside in my raspberry patch. I have this unreasonable fear that I'll be out there picking away (with nobody else home, of course), and I'll get bitten by some poisonous spider (probably a black widow) and I'll die, out there, on the north side of the house. Or else, I'll get myself to the hospital only to discover that since I didn't see the spider that got me, they can't give me the proper antidote.

I tried reading up on backyard spiders to steel myself, and reassure myself, but the writer only started talking about poisonous spiders, and it didn't help.

Right now, my plan of attack is:
1. Always have my cell phone on me, in case of spider attack.
2. Always look before I pick up anything I can't see
3. Never, ever let your guard down.

After raspberry season, my fear of spiders will return to it's average "cautious distance."

Time to go pick some raspberries.

Friday, July 24, 2009


So a co-worker/office-mate/friend's last day at work was today, she's taken a better job closer to home, and I'm ecstatic for her, I think she'll be a wonderful director. Since her desk is bigger than mine, after offering it to other office-mates, I'm moving into it, since my desk's busting at the seams.
She leaves at 4:30 every day, and I leave at 5...and today I had 10 minutes before I could leave, and not the focus to do anything. So I moved some files from my small desk to hers (my new one). Is this too soon? I kind of felt like it was, but also, it was a spare 10 minutes, which don't come often at my job. What do you think? Thoughts, advice?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I did it!

I made jam for the first time this year. I've made jam before, but this time it's different.

It's not freezer jam.

I canned it...

All by myself- without one of those expensive canning pots and racks.

I did buy a jar lifter and a jar funnel-because (especially the funnel) will help with other tasks..but I used a big pot to sterilize the jars and equipment, and the big pot also to process the jam-I used a vegetable steamer in the bottom instead of a rack.

Here are my babies:
There's only one problem:
I'm so proud of them, I don't want to eat them! Especially as I look toward a whole year before the berries are ready again! I want to save them for the depths of winter when we need a taste of summer!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


We went to a friend's barbecue last evening...every year, the rules are "bring a chair and a dish to share." Since there's always the salads, and fruit, and cookies, etc. I like to bring something different. I devised a tasty (I hoped) alternative to the traditional "dish to share:"

BLT Layer Dip:
(This recipe makes enough for a 9 x 9 pan, if your family/friends love BLTs, I recommend doubling the recipe)

1 pound bacon
1 package cream cheese, softened (I use Lite)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 TBS chopped herbs (use what you have, I used parsley and chives)
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced.
Salt and pepper to taste

I bake the bacon on a sheet pan at 375 for about 15 minutes, or until it's crispy. drain the bacon on some paper towels. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and herbs in a medium bowl (I use a hand mixer to make it smooth and creamy). Chop or crumble half of the bacon into the cream cheese mixture, reserving the other half. Add salt and pepper to taste (I also used a few teaspoons of the bacon grease/drippings to make the bacon flavor throughout the cream cheese, but if you use warm bacon, you shouldn't have to do that).

At this point, you can either refrigerate the cream cheese mixture for later, or assemble the dip now.

Spread cream cheese mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. Cover with shredded lettuce. Add diced tomatoes on top of that. Finally, crumble remaining bacon on top of that. Serve with potato chips, or toasted white bread slices (I used toasted baguette slices, you could use any white bread, but I recommend cutting them into bite size pieces)

Enjoy (The dip was gone in less than an hour!)

Friday, July 17, 2009


Looking for something different for dunking those carrot sticks, potato chips and celery sticks? How about Honey Dijon Dill dip? I created this last weekend and it's awesome. It would even be good on salad or a sandwich. I don't measure anything, but here is an approximation of how I make it. Adjust seasonings to your own taste!

1 cup sour cream ( I use lite)
1/4 cup mayo (also lite)
1 TBS dried dill (or 2 TBS fresh, chopped)
1 tsp. honey
2 TBS dijon or whole grain mustard
1/2 tsp. mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine, let sit a few minutes to blend flavors, and enjoy!
Also, it appears that I'm going to have a plethora of cucumbers and zucchini (also yellow squash)...taking orders now!! (Also accepting recipes/freezer advice!)

Monday, July 13, 2009


I should blog. I have things to talk about: The delicious pasta salad I made last night. The yummy Hamburger cheesey-mac I made last week. How I took my jewelry to a festival and sold exactly 1 pair of earrings (and only 'cause I think she felt sorry for me not selling anything). My garden is growing...and I have japanese beetles in my raspberry patch. But I lack the motivation. I/We've been out until at least 9:00 5 out of the last 7 nights. I went 2 weeks without grocery shopping. So, until tomorrow night (a cancelled rehearsal means a free evening!) here is something I stole from Crunchy Chicken:

Monday Meme - things about me

A - Age: 25

B - Bed size: Full

C - Chore you hate: Taking out the compost

D - Dog's name: No dog. My brother's dog's name is Duke. My friend's dog's name is Skyler.

E - Essential start your day item: Finding my glasses

F - Favorite color: Red. Or purple. Or Green.....

G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: Silver/Platinum

H - Height: 5'3ish

I - Instruments you play: Clarinet, piano, guitar, saxophone, percussion, autoharp, vox, recorder, a teeny bit of fiddle/violin and another teeny bit of trumpet. I'd love to learn the oboe and more of the trumpet.

J - Job title: Recreation Specialist, although my digital signature at work says Associate. Jerks, someone made that wrong. Gr.

K - Kid(s): None. I talk to the plants and fishie like they're kids though....

L - Living arrangements: 2 bedroom rented house

M - Mom's name: Cindy

N - Nicknames: Meg, Mega, a resident at work calls me "Geraldine..."

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Something when I was very small (like 3 weeks old) but I don't remember what it was for...

P - Pet Peeve: people who don't accelerate to highway speed before merging in front of me.

Q - Quote from a movie: "this doesn't mean that I like you." (Cool Runnings)

R - Right handed or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: Two younger brothers and a younger sister.

T - Time you wake up: As late as possible. Ideally 6:30, realistically 7:00

U- Underwear: always

V - Vegetable you dislike: peppers

W - Ways you run late: Blogs, facebook, myspace...

X - X-rays you've had: teeth, arm, foot

Y - Yummy food you make: Are you kidding? Everything I make is yummy!

Z - Zoo favorite: Flamingos...only cause it's the only place I can see them here :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Odds n' Ends

We've put a deposit on our wedding reception location, it's a place I'm really excited about...

Our Date:
September 18, 2010 Our Location: The Rosamund Gifford Zoo! A beautiful reception room with great food options for a reasonable price. A focus on locally available foods, with an eye towards environmental responsibility. All the proceeds go back directly to the animals of the zoo! So excited!!! Our ceremony location has yet to reveal itself to us, the zoo is available, but not until evening, and we want an afternoon ceremony, preferably outdoors with a contingency available in case of rain.

Any thoughts? Also, preferably clo
se to the zoo.... Our wedding website (still not a lot of information, but check back regularly!) I've been working on some jewelry to give and sell..here are some photos, what do you think?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Farmer's market

I didn't get to our regional market this Saturday, for obvious reasons. Since I desperately needed produce, Mom and I decided to check out our local "downtown farmer's market" on Tuesday (as I had the day off). What a pleasant surprise!! A couple dozen local farmers, including some who make their own butter, a local flour mill, and a free-range meat producer! I got everything on my "Market" list, and more!

I've decided that I'll hit up this market on Tuesdays on my lunch break when I can't make the regional market on Saturdays...


Wednesday, July 1, 2009



in the week since my last post, we've:

~Been to Asheville, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

~Put a deposit on the venue for our wedding...more to come on that later.

~Discovered another neat farmer's market, right under my nose (again, more later)

~Are heading to a festival this weekend about an hour away. Good thing I have Friday off to pack!

We took 2 days to drive from Upstate, NY to Asheville. Day 1 we drove to Alexandria, VA to spend time with Mike's sister. We ate at a restaurant called "Ted's," owned by Ted Turner, and featuring his free-range bison meat on the menu. Delicious! This chain is environmentally responsible, using recycled paper and biodegradable straws, among other things! It was great to catch up with Mike's sister, and I finally got to meet her BF also (3 years later!)

Day 2: Virginia. A lot of Virginia. 8 hours worth. Virginia's a nice state and all, but you don't feel like you're making much progress towards your highly anticipated goal when you don't cross a state line for that long. Also, we ended up in Tenessee (yes, we were supposed to) and entered Asheville from the west, heading east. Found our hotel, and I got to meet one of Mike's oldest friends. Met another of Mike's old friends, and after the rehearsal dinner, headed out to jam at a friend of a friend's:

The Smoky Mountains

Jammin' on the porch

Day 3: Breakfast at our villa, a quick dip in the pool, and a beautiful wedding!

The happy couple

Smokin' bluegrass band at the reception!

Day 4: Said goodbye to our NC and headed east. Waffle House for breakfast (ya just can't get good grits up north!) and we were on our way. Made it to Mike's other sister's house outside DC just in time for dinner and playing with the niece and nephew. So adorable! Caught up with his sister and brother in law (soon to be mine too!).

Day 5: Head for home. Realize we printed directions home from sister #1's house, not sister #2's house where we were. No map. No GPS (broken, or something). Rats. Follow instinct, end up headed for home. YAY! Meander through Pennsylvania, stop at a mall for lunch and to purchase pants for Mike (he needed new ones, we were "out," etc...) Got home, Mom brought dinner and took laundry...YAY MOM!

Such is the adventure of our vacation. 5 days together nearly nonstop. And we're still talking and on good terms! Only got lost once (finding our hotel) and had some great food along the way.


More on our own wedding plans tomorrow...or maybe Friday...