Thursday, December 31, 2009

Skate Skiing

Wednesday, I skate skied for the first time. The sport is so hard both classic and skating. These professional athletes make it look so easy. I liked it but every time there was a slight incline and I mean slight, I would flounder. Brad wanted to check out the North side of the ski center. Instead of taking a break, I skied with him. Stupid! The North side was "flatter" but we had to do some climbs to get to the flat section. Of course, I found that out after I was out there. I had to herring bone up all the little climbs. Bitching. Brad was a trooper. He hearing is bad so he probably didn't hear me bitching much anyways. We had a blast. At one point I did yell to him as he waited for me at the top of a climb; "If I could catch you, I would kick you ass!!"

Thursday, we all skied like old pros. Or that's what we told ourselves. Damn, it is hard but I love it. I was able to skate up the little risers double and single poling. If you watch the video, imagine how easy they make the sport look. If I was on the course with those women, I would look like a turtle in snow and that is pretty slow!! But I still had fun.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Winter Wonderland

We are off on a little excursion in Redfield/Osceola, NY cross country skiing. The high temperature of the day was 22 but the winds were howling. Dinner was at the Reservoir Inn, a gas station converted into a restaurant and motel. The guys had Delmonico steak with mashed potatoes and veggies, I had a mushroom Stromboli and Karen had the ham steak and mac and cheese special. We classic skied for about a hour and I was tired. Today shall be interesting as we have seven hours to ski!!! I guess I will start with skate skiing for the first time. Brad bought me skis and boots for Winter Solstice. I will have to use some one's poles or rent them as I need 135 cm poles.

We stayed at a "B&B" in Redfield, NY, a town with a population of about 300. Our housing arrangements are more like a boarding house than a "B&B" but it is sufficient. Another couple with two little boys are staying here, too. They are sledding all over the place. They are from Wilkes-Barre and have stayed here for snowmobiling past winter seasons. Snowmobilers are everywhere.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blessed Winter Solstice

All I want for Christmas is two feet of snow, two feet of snow, two feet of snow!!! We are set for the storm with cat litter and food. The shovels are out and the cars are parked in the driveway in a way to limit Brad's shoveling (I will probably be doing the shoveling as I need the upper body workout and Brad back is bad). We are already sipping tea watching the snow fall. It is Smeagol's favorite thing to watch after birds and swirling leaves. Brad is making the calls for cross country skiing. Happy Solstice!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sangiovese

This is my new favorite wine. I tried it at Wines & More and thought; Ew? The taste was a bit tarry and smoky. But I had tried other wines before it and I was HUNGRY so I thought my taste buds were probably off.

Well, I really like it. This is the brand I tried from W&M and paid $10 a bottle! I cannot WAIT to finish off the bottle tonight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

29!

Damn. No wonder I cracked on my little, six mile ride home after my last full class tonight. First, I thought all the stress that built up the last 15 weeks taking my first graduate class came pouring out of me on my ride home at 7:30 p.m. tonight. My mind went wild with thoughts. I am too shaky and hungry I cannot even type let alone think.

Wow. It was COLD riding home and I got blown over twice, too. I have egg rolls in the toaster oven with tortilla chips and ORANGE cheese, a handful of chocolates and a glass of wine. No, I am not PMSing. I guess I hope to de-stress and warm up!

All ready to relax while watching the Steelers. Right~Not sure how that is going to happen.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tuscan Mac N Cheese

I picked up this recipe from the Turkey Lady at Central Market the other week. Fantastic and easy to make.


Yes, I altered the recipe. I did not add the olives even though I love them (others do not) and I did not top with a tomato because I do not like toms on my mac n cheese.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Apple Walnut Crumb Pie

Are you a man or woman that needs to gain five, ten, fifteen or even twenty pounds? ... Then here's the pie for you!

I love this time of year. I buy a couple bushels of apples a year and go wild making apple pies and crisps. Cameo is my favorite apple this year.

Here is an awesome buttery, sugary pie ever - Apple Walnut Crumb Pie (I love this cookbook, too. Brad's Aunt Jean gave or lent them to us and I use them often.)

3 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored & sliced
1/4 c unsalted butter
juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
cloves and nutmeg to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons rum
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c unsalted butter
vanilla cookie crust (7 oz finely ground vanilla wafers, 1 cup finely ground walnuts, 2 tbs confectioners sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 c melted butter. Combine all ingredients in bowl; mix well. Press over bottom and side of 9 in pie plate. Line w/foil. Bake 5 for 10 minutes longer or until light brown. Cool to room temperature. Freeze for 30 minutes.) I cheated and bought the Nabisco Vanilla wafers crumb pie crust. Then I wanted to place the crust in my pie pan to make it look "homemade" and it all fell apart! It was too small for the pie pan so I ground some walnuts, melted some butter and made the crumb fit the pan. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a T except for the "cooling and freezing the pie crust" because I ran out of time.

Combine apples and 1/2 c butter in large saucepan over medium heat, stirring to coat apples as butter melts. Add lemon juice, sugar, salt, cloves, nutmeg and 1 tsp cinnamon. Simmer until apples are tender, stirring frequently. Mix cornstarch, vanilla and rum together. Add to apples. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

Mix chopped walnuts, brown sugar, flour and 1 tsp cinnamon in bowl. Cut in 1/4 c butter until crumbly. (Okay, I lied a little bit about following the recipe to at T but no time to note my deviations.) Spoon apple mixture into chilled Vanilla Cookie Crust, heaping higher in center. Sprinkle walnut mixture over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until brown. Cool on wire rack for 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Prep time: 30 minutes (NOT!!) 10 servings (really tiny slices ~ maybe 6 real slices)

I have already made the pie twice in the last 24 hours. I majorly lowered the sugar content and added more rum to the apples and into the crumb topping. Rum is liquid sugar so the second pie should be just as yummy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Business Time

I heard this song on XPN and about fell off my ball chair! Hilarious!! I called Brad and he was in a meeting (not listening to XPN). Damn. So I find the YouTube clip to email him. After seeing the clip and laughed even harder. I know, this has probably been around a while but I don't get HBO and do not surf the web that often. :-)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

What Is Love?

Let's see if I can be brief and to the point. For the last month, both Brad and I have been slackers with our diet and riding. After having fantastic home made macaroni and cheese, roasted chicken, apple pie, lots of wine and beer and more home cooked food (and wine and beer) at a house warming party, Brad organized a three hour ride for today.

I knew I was going to crack but I was told it would be easy. "We are all carrying about 5 or 10 extra pounds"... "We're going to start the ball rolling and work off the overhang." Cory's English friends call the belly, the gut, an "overhang"! So pleasant - but that's what it is.

Ed, Doug, Brad and I met Marcy and George on our way to Middle Creek Wildlife preserve. We were an hour and half into our ride around Middle Creek and Marcy and George turned back. The guys had pushed the pace here and there and it was okay. Sometimes the extra weight is great on the flats. Hmmm. The key work is flat.

Middle Creek is not far from Eagles Peak. Brad got a bug up his butt and I was doomed. "Aw, honey, you will be fine. Let's go up Yellow Mtn. instead of Pain Mtn." Right. And I followed. After I finally made it to the top with Brad trying to be a trouper by keeping me company, I told him no more climbing. Damn, when I am in shape, I suffer over these climbs. F***! with 10 extra pounds, I wanted to hurt someone. So he quickly and happily rode off to the other guys to do the rest of their crazy ride down and up the other side of Eagles Peak. I rode back down Yellow Mtn at 50 mph then turned onto part of the Pain Mt TT course to get some extra miles to meet the guys at the bottom of Eagles Peak. Thank goodness for some alone time so I could regroup and not flip out on Brad. We are so lucky that I can be a trouper and laugh about these crazy rides. I knew I could not do anymore mile plus climbs as we had at least an hour and a half to get home and it would not be a flat ride. Especially with Bradley leading the way.

"Sure honey, let's climb Eagles Peak, Yellow Mtn, Texter Mtn, ..."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paris

The weather is true to England ~ foggy, dreary and damp. We walked Nathan to school and now we are having coffee and checking emails/blogging/shopping.

We arrived in Paris around 3 pm on Friday, 6 November. We had fabulous weather as it was to rain the whole weekend. It was cloudy at times but we did have sun and warmth for a November weekend. When it did rain on Saturday, we happened to be having lunch. The sun shined for our long, climb of a walk from the Galeries Lafayette to Sacre Coeur.

Views from the flat in the 13th arrondissement (district). Cory is pointing at the Sacre Coeur off in the distance.
Eiffel Tower in the distance.


Original metro stop arch ~ designed in the early 1900s by Hector Guimard.
.
Tea and coffee break in the St. Germain arrondissement (6th).

Un anniversaire Cory!

Europe has smaller versions of our cars so I was priviledged to sit in the back with the baggage. Mari drove on the right side of the car; driving on the left side of the road as they do in the United Kingdom, as I tried not to get sick. I would have been fine if I had not whipped my camera out to take pictures! We were pressed for time as most adventures go and Mari drove like a wild woman. At first I was thinking Jo was driving and was having a heart attack as I tried to figure out how she did not crash us while driving and talking while looking back. Right.

We took the National Rail from Royston to Kings Cross/St. Pancras Station to take the Eurostar to Paris. We celebrated Cory's 40th Birthday in first class. Champagne all the way, baby!! The attendants almost left us the bottle. Instead, we made them work very hard to keep our glasses filled. The ride was smooth and we had fabulous service. I could not tell when we travelled under the Channel. Just amazing engineering!! Off to walk Nathan to school.




Friday, November 6, 2009

Long Weekend in Europe!

I have arrived in England safe and sound. Drinking two glasses of lovely wine watching the Phillies lose while I waited for my 2hr delayed flight really helped my nerves. Then another bottle on the plan helped me sleep. Yay.

I am a bit freaked on flying anymore which sucks because I love to travel. As we get ready to depart, the pilot apologized for the delay as the plan had technical difficulties that had to be resolved before flight. Ugh. So the plane made it across the pond, will it make it one more time for my flight?! Yes, yes, I will have more drinks on the plane.

Another dilemma that I had was I packed two bottles of champagne in my checked luggage. Since I am on a long holiday of six days, my bag had too much room for the bottles to break. I packed all my clothes around the padded and zip-locked bag of champagne and shove an extra fleece just for protection. They survived the trip, too.

I am off for Paris today to celebrate Cory's 40th birthday with her English friends. I must be off to take the Eurostar in first class. We will have champagne for breakfast. Lovely!! I will write more when I return. Au revoir!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

MUHAHAHA!

I did the scooping and Brad did the carving. This is how I felt after my little scary incident below with a clueless construction dude. We brought home two of these pumpkins two weeks ago. Squirrels ate the tongue, ears and teeth but they pretty much survived until the recent rain. I am holding out one more day to light our pumpkin. The other one with the hat ate it with the rain. All mushy and buggy. MUHAHAHA!



Helmet smashed and broken.

Yea, it sucks but it comes with the territory. Wear your helmets. Period. We were not riding fast as there was road work that had construction people directing us where to go. Then a clueless construction dude walked across the road from the left, across TWO lanes of traffic. Yes, two lanes. So he stopped in the middle then continued walking while not looking. What was he thinking?!! Brad yelled at him but I guess I did not hear him or Andy due to the jackhammering and I was paying attention to all the gravel and cuts in the road. I was SO close to missing the guy as he froze then he decided to move as I was riding right at him. I went left and he stepped back and my front wheel grazed him enough to take me out and into the other lane of traffic. I swore a lot looking at the front end of a car about two feet away. I then grabbed my bike and mindlessly walked to the side of the road as Brad gathered himself not to hurt the guy. Nothing broken, thank goodness just the usual bruises, scrapes and bumps from crashing.

We rode home then drove to the ER. All I can say is if you don't have to go to the doctor's office or ER, do not. Everyone is sick. I have not been watching the news so I had little idea how crazy the "flu" is. Brad grabbed a face mask for me and I told him to leave. I ended up being there for three hours and people kept pouring in with sick little babies. Brad did come back for the last hour as we waited for the cat scan result (mild concussion).

I went to work yesterday as I thought I would be okay. The doctor said to rest and don't do a lot of concentration or anything you have to focus on. I thought I felt fine (little blue pills do wonders). I should of listened as I am paying for it today. Even with a mild concussion, it was tough to concentrate. I don't remember what I worked on yesterday. Today, I was (more) easily irritated, had a headache and said things that should not have been said. After I inserted my foot into my mouth, I finished up a job and left work (a little too late). Wow, I am exhausted. I know, I shouldn't be typing so I will sign off for now as the head is still achy and I need to take another little blue pill.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Road Trip to Hull, Massachuetts

My home computer's hard drive died so it has been a while for me to post. It was very painful to loose some pictures and videos from the last few months. Luckily I had copied most of my photos but I lost about two months of pictures that I thought I really did not care about until every once in a while I would remember a fun photo of a group of us riding through Smith Island, Maryland, or the Pelicans sitting on the posts at a rundown fishing dock, or the dreary weather and bright colors of Provincetown, Massachuetts or the fascinating 90-second video of those 510 ton generators moving along at two-three miles an hour. Sure, I can eventually watch the Discovery Channel about the generators but how much fun is that when I had my own personal video without commentary. I think photographs are an easy way to capture and catalog our memories. This is my reminder to all of us to back-up our computers regularly as the little things as losing a few photos and (a lot) of music can be costly.

Enjoy some views of boats, beaches, bikes and lighthouses in and around Hull, Massachuetts in late September.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Git'R Done ~ Italian Style

A couple weeks ago, Areva, delivered TMI's two new (French constructed) 510 ton generators in Port Deposit, Maryland. All I knew was in a couple of weeks, the procession would be disrupting our afternoon ride we call the "Stick Ride". Last week we rode through "road closed" barriers and walked through dirt and gravel while sub-contractors worked on reinforcing the bridges that the generators would be traveling over this week.

Friday night, the gigantic generators arrived in our back yard. Since they do not travel on the weekends (except for one exception next Sunday night 9/27 after midnight since they will be traveling across a major highway), they sat parked, heavily secured by the Pennsylvania State Police. Karen and I detoured our ride loop to check them out. About 20+ people leaned up against the barriers drinking coffee and talking with perfect strangers. The PA State Police gave us a few facts (33 million in security, 26 axles broken down to 12 & 14 axel units with hydrolic lines, 208 wheels, moves a maximum of 3 miles per hour...) I decided I had to see these things on the move. After our ride fabulous ride on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I headed into the office and changed my week off for Vegas to taking Monday morning off to watch the generators. Yea, a stay~cation to ride, sit and ride.
Saturday's pre-ride festivities. Later, I find out that the crowds grew by the hour and PA State Police and Areva staff were busy all weekend long answering questions and guarding the generators.



Monday: We were like Nascar fans that sit on the side of the road watching the trucks carrying the cars driving by on the highways. We sat watching the generators move. I think the difference with the generator fans is that we watched in amazement and awe at the art of moving these massive engineering masterpieces. The Fagioli, moving crew think the crowds are amazing. Someone mentioned they move oil rigs and other massive items all over the world and have not had the crowds that the generators draw.


The "moving crew" from Italy drove these generators on trailers using joysticks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dogs and Kids

One of the luxuries of not having kids or dogs allows us to pack a bag(s) and go for a weekend. On a dreary, rainy day, we packed for the Cape to pick up an old Raleigh Ober ordered off of Ebay.I love road trips. As usual, I had four bags to his one. Some were shared as I packed food for the drive and then my school books (taking my 1st graduate class after being out of university for 11 yrs). I quickly researched the happenings for the area and got it in my head that I wanted to head to Provincetown after we picked up the Raleigh in Hyannis. The weather rained for most of our drive on Saturday then the sun came out when we arrived at Hyannis. We had lunch at a local spot, nothing spectacular except for the Foncite Napoletana (eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese topped with marinara & melted cheese). It pays off to travel with food for the drive so we can splurge on a great meal or two and arrive in record time (even with bad weather). After picking up the bike, we drove to Provincetown.
We decided to stay in town as the weather probably allowed for some places to have openings. It was slim pickings but we found a place a block from the main street; Commercial Street. The rain started to fall lightly but we walked the streets for drinks, food and football. I loved the town and I would go back in a heartbeat.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Smalltown, USA

I painfully entered the 62nd Annual Hard Crab Derby with Brad's family. The weather was fabulous at the Southern-most town in the State of Maryland. With nine crabs entered in the derby, we had to go and watch the heats. Nathan, Rachel and Brad stayed back at the condo to rest and study.

Our crabs were scattered throughout the heats. With seven heats of 50 crabs, the first three crabs made it to the final round. We all left after Max's heat with none of us in the final round. Rox stayed to watch the rest of our crabs race.

When we got back to the condo, Rox texted that Brad's crab, Cavendish, finished second in his heat; making it to the final. So we hopped in the van just in case we needed to be ready for the podium. Brad's crab needed some of his teammates to help him out as he did not finish in the final three. The winner was a local who won last year. Top prize was $500. We think it was fixed!!

Wow? Is this a Luna Moth? I think the poor thing is dead. Bummer, so beautiful.

My consolation prize - a picture for my pretties. :-)

62nd National Hard Crab Derby

Miss Crisfield was busy with her duties at the Hard Crab Derby so 4th Runner Up was kind enough to pose for a picture.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shoes


I have become more practical with my shoes and fell in love with Danskos. (I would kill myself in the above shoes!) We have an outlet center about an hour away. Today they have a sale and a few of us from work are going this morning. The ironic part is that we all wear the same size so there may be some fighting over shoes within the car. I mentioned that we should have a shoe coop. We could come to work with flip flops and decide what shoes to where out of our pool of Danksos when we get to work.

I just finished doing some yoga so I don't get too aggressive while shopping. And the bonus today is that today's shoppers get a free bag with a purchase. Yay!! Like I need another bag. I actually started giving some away. Aaaah. Breath in... Breath out. Wish me luck!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cruisers




We took our cruisers out for a Friday night spin for ice cream; hit the record on the DVR to tape the last few holes of the PGA; made it downtown Lancaster around 7:30 but did not get ice cream as the line grew as we tried to lock the bikes.

Instead, we rode up the alley to Carr's Restaurant for a beer. Tim Carr, the owner, has outdoor dining in the alley-way Fridays and Saturdays for the summer. Fabulous idea! capitalizing on First Friday's for sure. It is a great space dining in the alley. Tonight featured a a jazz band (last week was a bluegrass/folk band). I was dancing swing in my seat to Duke Ellington. (It don't mean a thing, when it ain't got that swing...) We enjoyed the evening then weaved our way around town on our way home to see the final second round holes of the PGA. (The pictures are from last Friday's, First Friday. The city was hopping! The Central Market building is to the left. I will post other pictures of that weekend later.)

It was betting night and I had Tiger leading by four under and the closest guy would be Harrington. As betting goes, I won and lost. It was painful as we watched Tiger get ready to chip in his third shot and the tape stopped with the club head paused up against the ball. Ugh. So here I am checking the Internet to see that he bogeyed the 18th. UGH! Yet he is still four under leading into the third round. Tiger, you are the Emperor!

Someone made the comment that he has the Emperor's ??? Two kids (of each gender), a Swedish wife and the millions. Huh? I thought the comment was pretty out there. He has the awesome talent to back it all up, though.