Saturday, May 31, 2008

SATC, Biltmore, and my failed attempts at saving the world.

So Dixie, her roommate, Rhett, and I all went to see SATC Friday night. I don't want to comment on the movie's plot, because I don't want to ruin the surprise for anyone planning to see it. I will, however, say that I was VERY DISAPPOINTED at the ending. Boo. Anyways, what also added to the crappy movie experience was the fact that the theater was filled with moms, WITH THEIR 12-13-14 YEAR OLD DAUGHTERS. The movie is rated R. There is full-frontal male nudity. Why on earth would you want your young daughter to see that? Dixie pointed out that some girls have only seen the TBS (read: edited) version of the show, not the episodes as originally aired on HBO, so maybe they didn't know how dirty it actually is. Who knows. I'll just say that I felt uncomfortable thinking about all the impressionable young minds around me.

Tomorrow (June 1) is our 1 year anniversary. To celebrate, Brett took me today to Asheville, NC to Biltmore House. It was freakin' awesome. We overhead a little girl who was excitedly telling everyone in earshot that Biltmore is where Cinderella lives. If you've never been, you can check it out here. Anyways, it took us well over two hours to complete the self-guided tour, mainly because I'm a classical music/art nerd and I wanted to see/hear everything. I was blown away by the house and all the amazing pieces inside: 16th century tapestries, a chess set that used to belong to Napoleon Bonaparte, etc. We checked out the gardens next, then spent the rest of the afternoon tasting at the Winery. We did the chocolate-and-red-wine tasting first, then sparkling wines, then several more types on our own. My favorites:
1. Chateau Reserve Chenin Blanc - I normally don't do whites, but this pleasantly surprised me. We brought this one home to break in my new wine chiller.
2. Biltmore Estates Syrah - My favorite varietal of all; however, I didn't buy any, because Biltmore's was more expensive than some better Shiraz/Syrah I have at my house already. 
3. Century (mix of Syrah, Cab, Pinot) - I don't LOVE the cab, but the blend was smooth. 
4. Reserve Select Sec- The only sparkling wine that wasn't crazy dry. The fruity-ness was nice. 
We ate dinner in downtown Asheville and picked up cupcakes
 for dessert as to-go; we were way too full to eat them at the time. Overall an amazing day!

A rather humorous update to my water-saving endeavors:
After finally buying a bucket to save my cold shower water in, and after remembering to use it, I placed the bucket in the shower while it warmed up Friday morning. I set it on the raised shower-seat (we have a separate bathtub), removed the handset from the holder, put it in the bucket, turned on the water, and went to put out the dogs. On my way back to the bathroom, I heard a strange sound, followed by a huge gush on water. You guessed it: the bucket, as it filled, tipped off the ledge and onto the shower floor. Because the handset was caught inside, it literally ripped the handset from the holder. Water was shooting everywhere from the shower head. Luckily the shower head had only come unscrewed and could be fixed. Ultimately, though, a huge waste of water. Silently avowed to do better next time.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Agggggggggghhhhh frustration!

So I am pinning on Friday. Which (for you non-military people) means I am getting promoted, which means new rank on all my uniforms. Since my recent acquisition of a sewing machine, I have vowed to do my own uniform alterations. Flash forward to tonight. Apparently I bought the wrong color of thread, because it looks like shizzzz. So I guess I will be stopping at Michael's (I didn't feel like stopping today and instead went to Wal-Mart and bought what looked closest to "BDU green"- hence the wrong thread color) after all. Anyways, that's strike one.

Part of the reason I stopped at the store on the way home was to buy a bucket. Here's the rundown: my shower takes FOREVER to warm up in the morning. After reading Crunchy's blog entry concerning the challenge to save water, I decided to obtain a bucket in which to catch the otherwise-wasted water, which I plan to use later to water my plants. Stopped at Wal-Mart (I know, I know, Wal-Mart is not the place for wannabe crunchies, but that's a discussion for another day) and ended up buying a bunch of stuff, not including a bucket, which I failed to realize until I got home. EPIC FAIL.

On the bright side...I found an awesome new blog today. It's called The Girl Who Ate Everything. If you're a foodie or just intrigued by food in general, you should check it out. Too cool. 

Also, after weeks, no MONTHS of trying to discern the nature of the amazing sauce served at Saigon Noodle House, I finally have an answer. Whenever I ask one of the waitresses there, they always tell me it's a secret. The joke is on them now! Robyn of TGWAE (see above) discussed it in one of her entries. The wikipedia description is here.  It turns out that it's called Nuoc cham, and mainly consists of fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, and water. If I get ambitious I may attempt to make it at home. In the meantime, I will be checking out the Vietnamese store downtown. 

Tomorrow morning marks my latest attempt at getting back into the workout mode. It has been so hot and humid here when I get home from work that I never feel like running, so I have decided to try running first thing in the morning instead. Will let y'all know how that turns out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Catching up.

Sorry it has been so long since my last post! Between it being the last week of my master's class, busy times at work, and Brett being at the house (a now occasional, but hopefully more frequent, and by December graduation a permanent occurrence). So in chronological order from least recent to most:
1. I was so happy to see Whitney win ANTM! I only dvr four shows: A
NTM, Iron Chef, Talk Soup, and No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. I don't really get into most tv shows. Anyway, to see a full-figured (def. not plus-sized) model win was awesome. She surely deserved it- she took the most flack from the judges from week to week, but as Mr. Jay said, she stomped it to the death on the runway while Anya fell flat on her size-zero ass.

2. Dixie and Sean came to visit last week! So much fun. We took them to our favorite place to eat in Warner Robins (Saigon Noodle House) and drove them around the base. On Saturday we drove up to Alpharetta for the Eagles concert. The lawn was the most boring one I have ever sat in. All old people. But the band rocked out and Joe Walsh stole the show. Boo for beer costing $10 a cup, though. Looking forward to Buffett with the Runyons and Peevys! 

3. Bark in the Park was the next day (Sunday). We took Savannah and Chuck to the Braves game and had a blast (the Braves even won!) Definitely considering season tickets for next year. The dogs were actually really well behaved. Chuck slept for the better part of the game, and Savannah enjoyed getting loads of attention and treats. They looked extra cute because they stayed the night before at an awesome kennel (owned by the "dad" of Duke from the Bush's Baked Beans commercial, by the way) and Savannah was freshly groomed. The kennel even had a bone-shaped pool! It is ranked by the Travel Channel as one of the top places to take your pet. I highly recommend it. You can check out Pet Lodge Pet resort here. 

4. I finally finished my Counterintelligence class! Yay! I have a week off before I start my next classes (Assassination and Deception in War). I love that I get to take classes with names like that. 

5. Currently enjoying a few more hours of my four-day weekend. Chris' birthday/graduation celebrations were this weekend so we spent lots of time with family. Also hung out on the lake all day yesterday. I got burned despite the sunblock, but we had fun. Savannah has learned to climb the ladder onto the dock to get out of the water, and spends most of her time fetching 
balls, diving off the dock, and knocking people off their floats so she can use them. We are seriously going to have to buy her her own. Chuck mainly sleeps, but he'll float around on my tube and is starting to fetch in the deeper water. I will try to get a video/pics of the two of them later. This one is from last year. Notice Savannah the float-stealer! 

6. Went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. Loved it! Cate Blanchett is one of my favorite actresses, btw. 

Now back to vacation, more later. We're headed off to Wendy's in Clemson for lunch via the boat. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DAR, craziness, and Top 5 info...

Sorry for the delay in this post...things have been absolutely crazy around here! But on the plus side, that means plenty to write about. I'll begin with answering the questions from SallyAnn and then catch up with the rest.

5 things under $5 that I couldn’t live without

  • Coffee- I hate to think what morning would be like without it
  • Pens- I am really particular about my pens and which ones I use. Steal my pen and suffer the consequences. I will track you down!
  • Bottled water– I know the bottles are bad for the environment. But I keep a stash in the car at all times and it helps me avoid both buying and drinking soda.
  • Bandaids– I am a total klutz and am always hurting myself. These make sure no one else has to see the wounds.
  • Puppy pee-pads– They keep Chuck from peeing on the carpet until his bladder gets strong enough to hold it better!

5 favorite movies

  •  Juno– It makes me laugh, it makes me cry, and I absolutely love the soundtrack.
  • Evita–I can sing the entire movie. Seriously.
  • Lady and the Tramp –My favorite Disney movie.
  • Monty Python- It makes me laugh my butt off every time.
  • Forrest Gump- Enough said. 

5 baby names I love
NO NO NO. I already have lost several names to public popularity and friends. I will not divulge any girl names. I will say that I like old-fashioned, classic names.

For boys: Max (um, hello, I am married to Maxcy Pearle Nolan IV)

5 songs I could listen to over and over again 

  • Anything from Reba McIntire's For My Broken Heart cd. No.1 listened to tape as a kid. 
  • Drive (For Daddy Gene) by Alan Jackson- my dad used to set the tape so it would play a particular verse when I started the truck. Smilin' like a hero, who just received his medal...
  • Don't Stop Believing by Journey. Pure, unadulterated 80's music. Greatest. karaoke. song. ever.
  • Banana Republics- favorite Jimmy Buffett song 
  • TIGER RAG!!!!! 

5 people who have influenced me in a positive way

  • My parents- crazy but made me who I am. 
  • Brett- who makes me feel bad when I am cynical and mean. He de-Yankeeified me.
  • My grandma- always there for me. I love her tons!
  • Meggie- our relationship has undergone a complete transformation and I'm so glad for it!
  • Savannah- technically not a person, but she is teaching me to be a good mom! 

5 things that are always in my purse

  • Cell phone
  • Wallet
  • A million tubes of lip-gloss
  • Gas receipts
  • Planner/calendar

5 moments that have changed my life forever

  • Marrying Brett
  • Commissioning
  • Stealing home to score the winning run, Cambridge vs. Maplewood, 13 innings, 1999. 
  • Leaving little ol' Cambridge Springs for Clemson and never looking back
  • Getting on the plane for my first deployment

5 obsessions I have now

  • Gardening
  • Learning to knit
  • America's Next Top Model
  • My latest diet/workout scheme
  • Working on our house!

5 places I would like to go

  • Italy.
  • Erie for more than a few days to visit friends and family.
  • Hawaii.
  • L.A. (shopping spree with Heather)
  • Fiji. 

5 kitchen tools I cannot live without

  • Towels for all the messes I make.
  • Flexible little spatulas. 
  • The Magic Bullet blender!
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Coffee maker

I want to start by saying that I should definitely be doing homework right now. My Master's class (Counterintelligence) is over on Sunday and I have several assignments due. But I feel as though I've been writing for work all day, so now it's time for writing for fun.

Today was my first DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) meeting. It was actually a lot of fun. Granted, I was the youngest one by at least 30 years, but there's something to be said for surrounding yourself with positive people with tons of life experience! Background info: both my grandma and Brett's grandma are members of DAR. My grandma and I trace our ancestry back to Hugh Stewart, who was born in Massachusetts, died in Pennsylvania, and served in the Revolutionary War as a member of a militia from Vermont. More info forthcoming, but here's the website if you're curious.

When I got back from DAR I spent a little time in the garden. I cannot believe how much I love it. Between that and my attempts at knitting/sewing/cooking it's no wonder I fit in at DAR! So far my tomatoes are ripening and I have green beans ready as well. I have some tiny peppers (cayenne, habanero, and bell) and some squash and cucumbers on the way, too. I would post pictures, but my camera is broken. I dropped it last weekend when Charleston (puppy) jumped off the boat and into Lake Hartwell. 

Luckily Brett is bringing his camera with him this weekend. I am soooo excited- Dixie and Sean are coming to visit our house!! We are headed to see the Eagles in Atlanta on Saturday, then are taking the dogs to Bark at the Park (Braves' game) on Sunday. Can't wait! 

Random thought of the day: I was taking a break from writing today and cruising Amazon when I recognized one of my favorite books when I was a kid. Inspired, I jotted down a list that I plan to purchase and add to my library. My goal is that the time Brett and I have kids we'll have all the books we liked to read when we were young, plus more. I think that  surrounding your children with great books is one of the greatest gifts you can give as a parent. Here are a few that came to mind:

1. Jacob Have I Loved

2. Number the Stars

3. Bridge to Terabithia

4. The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler

5. Little Women

6. The Little House Series (Brett actually me it for Christmas)

7. My Side of the Mountain

What were your favorites?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Finally back on the diamond!

After a solid week and a half of daily physical therapy, I am firming convinced that therapists are sadists. However, I won't get into the specifics of why I feel this way, because the ladies over at the clinic gave me the okay to play softball again and for that reason I can't hold a grudge. YAY!

The 116 ACW team happened to have our first game tonight, so I actually got to play. Since I haven't been able to practice, I didn't get to start. I did get to play the second half, though. I can't say I was disappointed in that; if I were coach, I'd do the same thing.  Anyways, I can field normally and throw 100%. I still can't completely get my hurt finger around the bat, but I make do. In my only at bat I hit a dinky ground ball, but still reached on an error. Then, on the next play, my teammate hit a single. I took second, and rounded the bag with a big lead to see what the center fielder would do. He throw to third, and the third baseman missed the throw. So naturally I decided to take the opportunity. One great (if I don't say so myself) slide later, I was safe. I think coach wanted to kill me because we were down a few runs, but he forgave me when I managed to score a few pitches later. So yay for awesome coaches from back-in-the-day who taught correct sliding technique. We ended up winning, by the way.

Oh, and since Brett is done with school for the semester, he is here at the house. YAY!! He came to my game and brought the puppies along. Of course the dogs got plenty of attention from all the kids there. We did a little yardwork when we got back, and cooked spaghetti for dinner. Yum. 

Now back to working on the master's work I swore I'd finish tonight but first....

If anyone from Warner Robins is interested, I'm taking volunteers for Meals on Wheels for the next few months. It's a lot of fun and they really appreciate it. 

I have my first DAR meeting next week. Nervous but excited. My grandma is totally pumped, too.

A big Happy Birthday goes out to Sally Ann! Feliz cumpleanos!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Being a pet mom is tough!

So I meant to write on Friday but I ended up being super-busy. I had to go to the physical therapist again and it sucked as usual. I also had to go to my follow up with the surgeon who operated on my finger. Fingers crossed (literally), that therapy goes better next week; otherwise, I have to have more surgery to have the pins put in. I just want it to be better so I can play softball again! (Base league starts this week.) To top the day off, Savannah (my golden retriever) started throwing up. A lot. All over the house. At first I figured she had just eaten something disgusting, which she tends to do with some frequency, and was trying to get it out of her system. By that night she still wasn't eating, but she didn't seem lethargic at all. We went to the vet on Saturday as she and Charleston (new Cocker puppy) both needed their yearly shots. Dr. Ross agreed with my assessment and said I could continue giving her more Pepto (I had started with that Friday also hoping it would help). Sure enough by Sunday morning she was fine. Crisis averted.

On a funny note, Chuck jumped off the dock on his own on Friday. Hilarious. He also jumped off the moving boat when Brett and I took the dogs with us when we went fishing today. As soon as I can find fresh batteries for my camera I will post pics. His whole body went under the water, and he just (sat?) there treading water as we circled the boat back around. Brett wanted me to grab him with the fishing net, but I managed to pull him out without it. 

I am also currently taking donations from anyone with extra motivation. I am really behind in my counterintelligence class right now, and I need to have a record-setting week productivity-wise to catch up.  If I can manage to stay on track I will have my master's (Strategic Intelligence) by this Christmas. Any interested parties let me now!

Random notes: 
Does anyone else watch The Soup on E!? Love it.
Totally jealous of Heather (rockin' it in San Antonio right now)- wish I could be there, girl!
Shout out to Ashley, who turns 24 this week! 

To do:
Finish assorted sewing projects.
Stake beans.
Initiate war on fire ants in yard.