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November 4th, 2017

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Autumn continues it’s slow arrival.

Our weekends always seems to fill up in November and December. Today, we had Mark’s parents, his brother, nephew, twin nieces, and family friends along with their daughter and two grandchildren over for lunch. For all of them except his parents, it was their first time seeing our home. For about three and a half hours, our house was as full as it’s ever been. Full of laughter, conversation, and the sound of children playing. I always forget to take pictures during these things, but here’s two I did manage to take:

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Tomorrow, we’re seeing my parents for lunch in Greensboro at an Asian restaurant to celebrate mine and my mother’s birthday.

We were going to try to squeeze in a trip to the Renaissance Fair this weekend too, but this morning we had a change of heart and decided not to go. I love the Ren Fair. This will be the first year since 2009 that I would be going. It’s become a bit of a tradition for me. As sentimental as I am, having to bail on these things usually upsets me; however, I’m okay with skipping it this year. My life has gotten busy lately. Not just with work, but with all the new people in it that I’m trying to make time to see. When I think of driving to the Ren Fair-which is in Charlotte-it feels more like a chore, an obligation. I’d rather wait and go next year, when I can enjoy it.

Oh, we also took a trip to Durham today. Mark picked up the new iPhone from the Apple Store. I hung out in Barnes & Noble, bought Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradburry, and snapped this photo for the Black and White Facebook Challenge:

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I was looking at someones black and white photos today and thought “gosh, I hope nobody tags me to do this”. The universe must have heard me…because an hour later Cody tagged me. Oh well.

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October 31st, 2017

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Happy Halloween!

This is our first Halloween in our home, and I’m not sure how many trick-or-treaters we’ll have, but we’ve got a few bag of candy, just in case.

Here’s the picture of the changing leaves on the patch of trees across from the upstairs library/guest bedroom. Fall!

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The weather has stayed pleasantly chilly this week, too.

Yesterday, I wrote about 500 words on a short story. I’m hoping to finish the first draft the week.

I’m starting a new novel today. Barbary Station, a debut novel by R.E. Sterns. Several advanced readers have described it using the phrase “lesbian space pirates”. How can this not be awesome! Here’s a link, if you’re interested.

Be safe tonight, and remember to have fun!

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October 30th, 2017

Happy Halloween eve!

Yesterday I finished Phillip Pullman’s Book of Dust volume 1. As “equal” trilogies go, it’s exactly what you would want. By the way, “equal” is Pullman’s term for the trilogy, as it is not a prequel or sequel to the original His Dark Materials books. It feels like the original books without becoming the same story. It’s a slow build, and reads very much like the first half of a three part novel rather than a full story in it’s own right. I’m already ready for the next one.

Halloween will be our three year anniversary, so Mark and I went to Brasa to celebrate and ate way too much food. But a trip to Brasa is worth a little digestion discomfort.

The leaves outside the second bedroom/library window are starting to turn orange and brown. After a long, uncomfortable southern  summer that seemed to never end, autumn is starting to emerge. It’s 7:52, and already dark, or I would take a picture. I’ll try to remember to take one tomorrow.

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October 28, 2017

Took some time today to finish working on a professional development course on sensory integration. The course has been intense. It’s part of a graduate certificate and I’ve been working on it for the past month. The content, however, has been invaluable. I’ve already used what I’ve learned from the course in evaluating and creating treatment plans for my preschool aged patients. They’ve been provided with more targeted OT services because of the knowledge I’ve gained from the course. Yay for lifelong learning!

Side note: I went to a Barns and Noble cafe to sit and work. Is there anything more intoxicating than books and coffee? Sitting there, listening to a lecture accompanied with powerpoint slides and taking online quizzes took me back to my college days, where B&N cram sessions were a constant thing.

Now, to go do something “non thinky” for a few hours…

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Our DC Vacation-Day One

Over Labor Day weekend, Mark and I took our first official vacation, excluding out-of-state trips to visit family.  Since it’s only about a four hour drive from our house, we decided to visit DC. I’d driven through the city once before and stopped for dinner, but this would be my first proper visit to the city.

 

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We were greeted with rain on our first day. It wasn’t the weather we’d hoped for since we’d planned to do a lot of walking, but we grabbed an umbrella and set off. The city was dead on Saturday with congress out of session and lots of places closed or operating on shorter holiday hours. Some of the areas we walked through were practically ghost towns–very different from a normal day in DC, I’m sure.

 

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After my first DC metro ride, where I did my best to look like a native and read a book on my phone’s Kindle app (All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders, if anyone is interested) we started our day with breakfast at Open City. I had an ice coffee and one of the best omelets I’ve ever eaten. Eggs + broccoli = heaven.

 

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We took the train back to Union Station and, since it was pouring rain when we got off, headed to the closest of our planned stops: the Post Office Museum.

 

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Our next stop was the Library of Congress. We toured the exhibits, went to the balcony overlooking the main reading room to snap some pictures, and then checked off one of my bucket list items–got a LoC library card!

 

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Our cards granted us access to the reading room, where we browsed the library’s book collection. We perused several sections. I found a book listing synopses of science fiction short stories that had been accepted for magazine publication dating back as far as the 1930s. Anyone who knows me can imagine how much fun I was having by being in the belly the world’s largest collection of books.

 

It was early afternoon when I suggested, reluctantly, we leave the library and go find somewhere to eat. However, before we left, Mark had something else he wanted to share with me.

 

In the Library of Congress,with all the books as witness, Mark asked me to marry him.

 

I said yes.  

 

Tears of happiness were shed.

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Before we left the library, we stopped at the gift shop and bought souvenirs to commemorate the occasion. On the steps of the library, I took a picture of us.

 

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We had lunch at Pizzeria Paradiso.  Afterwards, we explored two nearby bookshops.

 

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Tired from all the walking, we headed back to the hotel for a nap before going to dinner at Ping Pong, a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown.

 

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We stopped for gelato at Dolcezza Gelato and walked around Chinatown before going back to the hotel room and collapsed from exhaustion.

 

 

 

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In Which I Attended a Deliciously Nerdy Wedding

I’ve been a little behind on my blog posts lately.  Turns out this summer was more eventful than I thought.  This wedding was actually held on June 25th in my hometown.  I was honored when two of my favorite people in the world asked me to be a groomsman as they tied the knot.

I really don’t know any non-nerdy people, and they’re wedding was deliciously nerdy…in the most literal way.

Behold: white chocolate Lego bricks!

 

In addition to the edible goodness, the wedding festivities also included a Man of Hornor speech with references to Game of Thrones (and, of course, that wedding), and Funko dolls for each member of the wedding party.  The bride and groom put a lot of thought into each doll, making sure they gave each person a character they would enjoy.  I was given Sam from Halloween, which is one of the few horror movies I can stand to watch.

 

Overall, the day was a great start to what will be a story-book marriage.

 

 

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In Which I Post a Good Thing

Last school year I provided occupational therapy services to students in about 5 different schools throughout the county where I work.  All of my schools had this poster prominently displayed, either somewhere near the front entrance or along one of the main hallways.  It always made me happy when I saw them.  Who knows what they’ve meant to a struggling student who needed to see an affirmation.  Sometimes a piece of paper can be everything.

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…you

 

 

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In Which I Dine at Crafted the Art of the Taco

Two food related posts in a row!  The last one contained fudge, this one contains bacon.  My next post should probably contain a personal vow to sign up for Crossfit (spoiler alert: it won’t).

I went to Crafted the Art of the Taco in downtown Greensboro tonight.  This is my third time and cannot say enough good things about this place.  Every dish I’ve ordered has been truly phenomenal.

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I mean, as an appetizer you can get a mason of bacon with camel and chocolate dipping sauce.  What’s not to love?

They do a variety of tacos, but also some other dishes like salads and burgers.  My burger had white cheddar pimento cheese on it (Whaaaaat!) They have a few vegan options too.  If you’re in the area I’d definitely check them out!

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In Which I Attempt Baking (sort of)

I like to cook.

My repertoire is pretty limited.  I tend to stick to go for casseroles or crock pot dishes.  As I remarked to my boyfriend the other day, if I see a recipe on Pinterest with more than 5 ingredients I’ll scroll on without a second thought.  Still, I enjoy the act of preparing food for myself and others.  It may not be fancy, but hey, almost anything you make at home has to be better than MacDonald’s, right?

I might love to cook, but I’ve never been much of a baker.  I’ve tried a recipe here or there with varying amounts of success.  I don’t have a big sweet tooth.  When I’m looking for desert, a bowl of fruit or an iced decaf coffee drink with a little Splenda is usually enough to satisfy.  Plus, baking takes time and precision.  When you’re working from a baking recipe you can’t just dump everything in a dish, put it in the oven, and walk away.  Science is required!  This takes more brainpower than I’m willing to muster.

Maybe I should amend the first sentence of this blog to say: I like to cook…things that cook themselves.

However, as I’ve said before, I recently began working as a school OT.  It’s the last week before summer vacation, and celebration is in the air.  Field days, graduations, pizza parties, ice cream sundaes in speech therapy sessions- everywhere you look someone is bringing in food for some reason.  So I thought I’d join in too.  I decided to bake some treats to share with my coworkers.

I wanted to make two things, so I’d have a backup in case one dish turned out bad or I blew up the kitchen or something.  After searching “easy desert recipes” on Pinterest I found two I liked.  One was a Rainbow Frosting Fudge recipe that basically involved combining the title ingredient with white chocolate chips and refrigerating it.  No baking involved, hence the “(sort of)” in this blog’s title.  The second dish, however, involved some baking-but only a little.  It was a chocolate chip cheesecake bar recipe.  While it did involve some measuring and leveling and mixing, it was fairly simple.  I whipped up both dishes yesterday evening and brought them to work today.

My coworkers enjoyed them immensely.  One called them “scrumptious”, and three people asked for the recipe.  When I told them how the recipes were prepared, they couldn’t believe how simple they were.

Overall, I’d say my first foray into baking went well.  Maybe next time I’ll try something a little more complicated.  But only a little more complicated.  There is the whole “I like cooking things that cook themselves” issue after all.

If you want the recipes, they can be found here:

bettycrocker.com Rainbow Chip Fudge

Ebay.com Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookie Bars

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Rainbow Fudge
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Cheesecake Bars- before cutting