Sunday, June 25, 2006
Joe was obviously a bachelor back then. His Kari lived back home in Ohio. He had an efficiency apartment on the other side of town from us... no tv, no computer, no thrills, etc. He would visit us frequently and even watch the house when we were away at times. If we would have had more room, we would have let him live with us. When we first moved there, we had service for 4 as not many more dishes would fit in our small kitchen. We figured we could eat twice without doing the dishes. When Joe came along, I told Keith I needed to get out service for 6. He was a regular for dinner and he seemed to appreciate home made meals. It was nice for us too because it's a little bit easier to cook for 3 than to cook for 2. Anyway, it was nice that Keith had a pal to hang with, especially when I wasn't home.
One time Joe's fiancee came into town with a few of her friends for the weekend. We figured we wouldn't see much of Joe other than to meet Kari. He lit a candle in his tiny bathroom and shortly thereafter they all went out for dinner. As they arrived back at the apartment, the bathroom was on fire!!!! They had forgotten to blow the candle out before they left. It's amazing that they returned when they did. It melted the shower curtain, the shower head, a picture frame, burned up some toilet paper and some towels. They got the fire out, but there was a good bit of damage to be repaired. They all came to our house to shower and sleep for a couple days as the smoke was just too much for them. Funny thing, we not only got to meet Kari, we got to visit with her and provide some accomodations.
I think Joe was sad when we left Kentucky. There are few things we truly miss about being there and Joe is definitely one of those things. I'm so glad that we got to see him this weekend. He seemed delighted that we were there. The wedding was beautiful. The ladies wore lavender summer dresses and carried white daisy bouquets. The bride was glistening in her gown and smiling ear to ear for the entire affair. Her father was one of the ministers and Joe's former pastor also had a part in the ceremony. There was a lovely cake reception in the church basement... and then we motored home for Amanda and John's picnic. I can't wait to have the film developed!
This is Jordan, modeling one of the neat bedroom arrangements in one of the cabin displays at Old Fort Harrod State Park. Kentucky is ripe with history from the Civil War era. While living there, I finally realized WHY Keith is such a history buff and why he is so infactuated with the Civil War. He grew up surrounded by it!
Friday, June 23, 2006
The first thing you've gotta do is get yourself a French Press and some good quality coffee beans ground for a french press. The course grind of the french press and the brewing technique used allows for maximum flavor, intensity, aroma, feel, taste, and presentation. Then pour yourself and a friend a nice hot mug of coffee. DO NOT add any cream or sugar during initial tasting. This alters the original taste, feel, and texture.
Smell and Aroma
Our sense of taste is directly influenced by our sense of smell, so when we taste a coffee, we should smell it first. I personally find it helpful to open the bag and gather some of the aroma of the beans before I pour my fresh brewed coffee into the cups. Cup your hand over the mug, then slightly lift up and inhale deeply. What do you notice? Describe the aromas? Some examples of aroma or scent are earthy, spicy, floral, nutty, fruity, and/or citrusy. Keep in mind, one coffee can have one, some, or all of these scents depending on the complexity of the coffee blend, the region it was grown in, and the experience of the taster.
When tasting a coffee it is important to slurp it first. There are two reasons for this. 1) It is HOT! You could burn your tongue. If your taste buds are burnt, your coffee tasting experience is contaminated... ruined... done! 2) It aerates the coffee as it enters your mouth, allowing the coffee to penetrate all tasting areas of ones mouth. I also like to do a double slurpping technique where I slurp the coffee into my mouth, then put my chin down and slurp again having two slurps on one mouthful. What do you notice? Describe the taste. Here is what to look for:
- Acidity: Not the actual pH of the coffee. This refers to the cleansing attributes of the coffee. Does it feel tangy? Does it make your mouth feel clean? You will notice the acidity on the sides and the tip of your tongue. A comparison test to help you learn to identify acidity is to sip on a small cup of orange juice while also sipping on a small cup of coffee and compare the acidity between the two. Coffees with high acidity are described at bright, tangy, or crisp. Coffees with low acidiy feel smooth and tend to linger in your mouth.
- Body: This is the "weight" of the coffee. No, not how heavy it is in your mug, but how heavy it feels on your tongue. Coffees that are more full-bodied tend to feel heavier. The flavor stays in your mouth longer, whereas a light bodied coffee will not linger... feeling light. A comparison test to help you learn to identify body is to compare whole milk and non-fat milk.
- Flavor: This is the best part of the coffee tasting. The more experienced you become in coffee tasting, as well as how well refined your palate already is, will determine what flavors you are able to detect in any given cup of coffee. Some flavors are so subtle that only a veteran taster may notice, whereas other flavors are so obvious that you may pick that flavor up at the smelling step. Flavor is also determined by the growing region. Latin American generally tends to have cocoa or nutty flavors and sometimes fruity and tend to be very acidic. African/Arabian generally tends to have berry, spicy, and citrus flavors. Asia/Pacific generally tends to have herbal and spicy in flavor. By having one cup of coffee on your first tasting, you will probably not be able to identify all, some, or even any of these flavors. You may think that it just tastes like coffee. Comparison test would be to have three different types of coffee, one from each region for example, and taste those in different orders to compare and identify the different flavors. *Flavor here does not mean that a nutty coffee is going to "taste" like nuts. It is a descriptive term.*
- Location: Where in your mouth are you tasting the flavors? Is it on the tip or side of your tongue? That would be acidic. Do you feel it in the valley of your tongue? That would be heavy bodied. Swish it around in your mouth. Let your cheeks taste it. Do you taste it on the back of your tongue? That would be less acidic.
This ties in with flavor. Once you identify a certain "flavor" of a coffee, (cocoa, nuts, berries, etc.) it is good to do the entire tasting routine over again while pairing the coffee with a similar pastry, dessert, or even fruit. For example, have a small piece of chocolate with a coffee that has "cocoa" flavor. The more subtle the flavor is, if paired with that flavor, will bring it out of the coffee. When tasting with a pairing, it is a good idea to use small portions. Pastries should be cut into bitesize pieces. Put the piece in your mouth, then taste the coffee with the pastry still in your mouth. Remember to slurp! Swallow the pastry and coffee together.
Belly up and become a Coffee Snob!
This morning Keith is having one of his mandatory "coffee tastings." He has to taste all the Starbucks coffees and document his observations and suggestions for pairings.
As per Keith: The very intense aroma is earthy yet slightly spicy and sweet. It also smells somewhat smokey. The coffee is not very acidic as it does not leave a clean feel when you swallow. It just feels like the coffee is still there in your mouth. It is a very heavy coffee in the taste, but the feel in your mouth is very light and very complex. It is a very sweet coffee and has an extremely subtle carmel taste to it. If paired with a vanilla caramel or a carmel chocolate bar, the carmelly taste is intensified as well as the sweetness. I can picture myself sitting on a veranda in Rome with a cup of this Roast as I watch the sun drop down behind the colliseum.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Pour yourself a glass of ice cold milk and flavor it with a flavored creamer. I have chocolate caramel creamer... Mmmm... it's good in a glass or even on cereal!
For those of you who have litter boxes to clean... I've invented my very own Litter-genie. I have a small waste basket next to the box. I take my left over shopping bags and line the basket with them. Put the first one in, then another on top of it, and another, and another, and so on. Every day I pick the litter box, tie the bag, and tomorrow I'll use the next one. You can pitch it daily or keep using the next layer until you decide it needs dumped.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Evenings have been full of this and that! Last night I hung with Amanda until after 9PM. There is much to do in preparation for her party. Tonight I had to run to the grocery store and am in the midst of making a cheesecake for Keith's company picnic. Tomorrow... is the Starbuck's company picnic! Keith works in the morning and the evening. Keith is going into work early tomorrow to pressure wash the floor mats at both local stores. Then he is off for the afternoon, but works again in the evening for his usual shift. I wonder if I can get off early for the picnic tomorrow? I guess I will have to - otherwise Keith will not be happy! Friday we are off to Mansfield Ohio for a wedding. We'll spend the night and be back just in time for Amanda's picnic party. I feel bad that I cannot be there to help her set up for it.
Other things I'd like to be doing... housework? Ya - it NEEDs done! Laundry is slow going. So are dishes. It's so hot in here! I'd really like to paint the spare room before the Valentine's arrive. The room is rather empty and the walls are washed. Keith has puttied many spots that need to be sanded before we can prime it. I'll be happy if we can just prime it before company arrives! I'd also like to check the air conditioner in the basement to see if it would work for the spare room while we have company.
I'd really like to ride the horses. Rene'e has asked me many times and my heart is in it... but with so many other priorities it's just not happening as I'd like. I keep saying... after this or after that... when is "after" going to actually happen? Maybe July 1st? Who knows?! Believe me Rene'e... I WANT to go and we will definitely do so very soon!!!
I keep thinking about my friend Jill whom I have not seen for a while. Back in the spring we visited each other often and talked a lot. Ever since Keith and I have been going to church in Bakerstown, I have missed seeing her (and some of my other friends too). I need to call her. She doesn't have e-mail... YET! I can't wait until she does! She stayed with us in KY a couple of times, which was very nice. She's a dear friend. I miss her.
Happy Anniversary to Wendy and Cory.
Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad. Glad you like the bed. After all these years you deserve it.
David's birthday is next week... Joyce's shortly after that... also my friend Jane's... the list goes on!
OK - better check that cake and call Jill. G'night all.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Happy Father's Day to my Dad... Shown here on my wedding day... probably the happiest day ever (for both of us - he he he).
Some special memories of my Dad...
- One time we went to pick him up at his reserve unit. There were so many soldiers walking around and they all looked the same. Mom said "There he is!" and we said "How do you know?" "Because of the way that he walks." Dad had a very unique bump in his walk that distinguished him fromt he others. Sure enough... it was him.
- When I was hospitalized for falling off my bike, I remember looking out the window and seeing him walking towards the hospital entrance. He brought me a Strawberry Shortcake nighty and I was WAY impressed. I wore it until I grew out of it and then I left it hang in the closet for years as a keepsake.
- I remember waiting in the parking lot for him to get off work at Pullman and then we went swimming at Moraine. I was pretty little and he took me out into the deep water. FUN.
- He taught me how to put up electric fence and how to repair it. He and Paul built this A-frame shed for my horse to live in. Thanks to both of you.
- We used to cut wood with Dad. We girls were given the task of picking up kindling in 5 gallon buckets. This was not the most joyous of jobs, but thank goodness he knew how to keep us warm all winter. He even taught me how to build a fire in the woodburner.
- Whenever we had time off school for a dentist appointment, if Dad took us to the appointment, he always took us for lunch afterwards.
- He helped me find and buy my first truck - 1983 Chevy Scottsdale. SWEET! I loved that truck. Thanks Dad. I would have been lost without your help on this!
- I remember the first time he met Keith. I woke up, went down stairs, and there he was on the front porch with Keith... smoking a cigarette, talking about army and civil war stuff. Not long after that... I married my Dad. :)
- One time , he rode to Kentucky to drop me off and take my truck back to PA. It was a short visit (over night), but a long ride. Thanks for helping me out Dad. We did some shopping at Walmart and had breakfast at Waffle House before he went back home.
- Dad loves the Grandchildren. When they are small he pushes them on the swing and sing to them. As they grow he encourages them to ride their bikes and play other games outside. Whenever I visit with Dad, he tells me all about them... every one of them...
There are many things to remember and many things to thank my Dad for. This only but a snippet. I wish you a splendid day Dad. Enjoy!
Friday, June 16, 2006
We rode the Pirate Ship first. There are these hidden sprinkler systems that made me laugh when they caught those passing by surprise. There is a statue of a pirate that remarkably resembles one of my problem-child type physicians. Hmmm... I wish I would have had my camera. From there we ventured onto some other miscellaneous rides, and of course... onto the Phantom's Revenge. Ye-haw! We stood in line for a long time to ride The Exterminator, but we loved it! We rode some cheesy rides like The Turnpike and some goofy Garfield 3-D ride (DUMB). As the day passed our energy weakened, so we hit the Log Jammer. We only got a little bit wet, but it was refreshing!
This place is ripe for "People Watching." There was this one guy that was pretty shabby looking who had a giant nose ring. I'm not talking a pretty diamond stud... I'm talking a bull sized nose ring that made me say "OUCH" just looking at it!!! You can't tell me that this guy wasn't making a statement. It must be something like "Hey look at me because I need attention so bad that I pierced my nose with a half inch thick hunk of metal!" I wonder if he hides during an electrical storm?
I saw a couple of gals that had a half a head of short hair and a half a head of longer hair. WHAT the ???
I know they say that obesity is like one of the greatest problems in the US, but I'm telling you that there is an abundance of teenage girls out there flaunting it ALL. Tight cloths, short short short shorts, bare bellies, butt cracks showing... you name it.
OK, I suppose I'm showing my age now.... these kids run and cut ahead of you in line just dying to get ahead. What's that all about? As if the ride is going to close before they get to the front??? I suppose I remember as a child "planning" how to ride the most rides in the littlest time. This place is genuinly made for kids! It was annoying to have these sweaty kids that I don't know crowding me in line. I make Keith stand behind me so I can stand back away from the one in front of me. (I don't like to be touched) I am amazed at the number of kids with potty mouths! I was thinking... if that were me in line (at that age) and there was an adult in front of me, there is NO WAY I'd be cussing.
We played a few games. My theory is that this is nothing more than throwing money away, but Keith likes to try, so as long as it was in the budget... we played a few. We even played a sea creature hunt video game together. We had to shoot the sharks and the sea monsters. I was amazed that this game lasted a long time, and it was fun to do it together. We played the arcade car race game (just like they have at North Park Clubhouse Lounge). The machine was actually broken so the attendant gave me 2 free games. Nice. I came in 8th place both games. I'm wondering if maybe there were only 8 cars racing? I have no idea. All I know is that I have trouble keeping it on the road in those games. On the way out we played some dumb game where you spray water into Garfield's mouth. Keith won. We got a dumb little yellow Tweety. So we played three games to win that and we each paid a buck a try... so Tweety cost us $6. Uh... why do we waste? I don't get it.
Keith thinks that Starbucks should contract with amusement companies such as KW. A lot of teenagers are in to coffee and foo-foo drinks. I bet they would make a buck.
The day all inclusive was worth it.... time and expense. We enjoyed each other's company and the beautiful day.
The bales were perfectly sized this year - not too heavy and not too light. As it goes, we usually form an assembly line of sorts. One person tosses off the truck, the next tosses up to the stacker, and the stacker.... stacks. Duh. I was one of the stackers this year. I got to climb up as high as the rafters... Yippie! I don't claim to be the best stacker, but I try.
The work comes with sore and swollen fingers, a few hay scratches which inevitably ends up like a rash (at least for me), and lungs full of dust that will pass in a day or two. One night we were discussing how bringing in hay leaves us exhibiting our hard-core selves. Rene'e had a piece of hay stab her up the nose. Obviously she had a nose bleed. The general response is to wipe your face and sometimes blow your nose on whatever is closest... usually your shirt. Me... I had hay down my shirt... and mixed with a bout of poison ivy it was not pretty. I unashamedly reached down my shirt and was picking the hay and dirt out of my bra. Oh well... gotta do what ya gotta do... right? Ahhhhhhhhhh... but the workout is worth the efforts in the end. Our fine four-legged creatures will eat high on the hog for the months to come.
Rene'e says we need about 900 bales I think. Thank goodness she found another helper this year, Josh. He's been a real gem. Now at the end of the week, I cannot even remember when the hay started. I just know that we had a couple nights full of it and there is more to come. A few times we took Lee's flatbed truck to get it. We could fit about 75 or so on it. I even drove for one load. Another load came by trailer... another by horse trailer... and still more by the wagon. It feels like and endless task. Are we there yet?
One load we got on the flatbed we had tied it down good, but not good enough. It was dark out. When we backed up to the barn we realized we had lost some. With horror we darted for the 4-door truck to go find them before someone wrecked as a result. As we tore out of there... we spotted them... on the driveway. WHEW!!! We were amazed! We only lost 7 so it wasn't like an entire truckload.
I think the workout will last a couple more days and then we'll hang it up until next summer.
I can never resist this pose. We think it is odd that she likes to be under the covers.
Uh oh... we found her stalking under there!
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Friday, June 09, 2006
Thursday, June 08, 2006
I took this test myself and was not surprised that my theology fell in line with that of my denomination. Interesting...
FYI - JD Walt is the Dean of Chapel at Asbury Theological Seminary.
This past weekend Keith replaced the light fixture in the upstairs bathroom. Finally we no longer have to shower etc in the dark! We had bought a fixture for the downstairs bathroom, but that project is on hold for a while and we needed one for upstairs because the one up there had totally quit working... SO... we just used the one we had bought for the downstairs bathroom. It's so bright now!
I worked on cleaning the spare room this past weekend. I'm hoping that Keith might at least prime it before the Valentines visit at the end of this month. We have talked about how to decorate the room. We have no children, so there is no childish theme to be had. It's fun to dream about decorating though. I think we have settled on making it a "country" room of sorts. I think the colors will be beige, navy, and burgundy. We obviously have not picked out linens yet... we'll paint first. I'd like to have a shelf in there to display some of my moo moo stuff. This room will be the guest room in our house... if we ever get any guests...
I'm falling behind in cleaning this week. All the floors need swept. The dishes need done. There is laundry to do. The grass needs mowed. The car needs washed. You name it... we are behind! Ugh.
Well bloggers and friends... It's late so I'll end this here.
This mornings meeting apparently went off without a hitch. I had prepared all the materials and handed the presentation to my boss on a jump drive and he and my co-worker handled it from there. The first part of the day was mostly a bunch of bouncing around, but after lunch I finally was able to sit and work.
By 7 p.m. I had completed 3/4 of the work that I should have had done LAST Friday!!! I'm so behind!!! Tomorrow I will pull the rest together. When that is done I have a bunch of docs wanting temporary privileges, so I'll work on that a while. Sometime this weekend I will finish the prep work for Monday's Credentials meeting - which happens to be my deadline. I'll feel so much better when that is over! I think I'll take a day off late next week to make up for some of my OT during the week.
Monday came and went quicker than ever. I worked during the day. We prepped for some big meetings. I had the truck towed to the mechanic. It's going to cost me a small fortune, but I will be glad when it is fixed. Monday night I attended my ladies Bible study. Our discussion started with baptism in general. We also reviewed our reflections of our study of James 2. It was refreshing to meet with my lady friends on this note.
Tuesdays work included attending the quarterly department and general staff meetings. Do you ever wonder what this entails? It's a bunch of doctors getting together to talk about things that pertain to them. Much of it is about patient care and some of it is how to make their lives better at work. We review quality data to show how well we are doing with some of our ongoing projects for best care practices. We talk about the hospital and its future and those sorts of business topics. We had a Powerpoint presentation, which I was responsible for setting up and operating during the meeting. No biggie... I used to do that all the time before I went to Kentucky.
Wednesday was a wild and crazy day at work. There was a re-organization of our office. One position was eliminated. Ouch! I wish this person the best in her endeavors in finding another position and pray that it comes quickly and without much difficulty. This ordeal was a little uncomfortable in process, but things are ironing out now. We have all taken on additional responsibilities to make up for the gap. I was called upon to prepare the PowerPoint presentation for Thursdays meeting, which was like taking a step back in time for me. None-the-less, the work was done... and my credentialing work had to wait.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
As tradition would have it, there was a baptism at church this morning AND a welcoming of those junior high students confirming their faith. We have been attending the Bakerstown United Methodist Church lately. We have found that attending this church is a good idea for the time being. While we love our Butler First Church Family, we are trying to be thrifty with our fuel consumption. Also, when Keith works late on Saturday night and then early Sunday afternoon, we feel rushed in our travels. This church is right around the corner. We like the people and there is plenty of opportunity to serve there as well.
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Keith and I hit the local Starbucks for coffee this morning. From there we ventured out for a drive to North Park. We checked out the boat rental place - $10 per hour. Uh, if I'm going to pay that much, I'd like a motor on it please! Keith says it's great exercise, just like golf. I say, if I'm going to PAY for exercise, I'm going to go to the gym. From there we hit Soergel's Market. I love these kinds of places. They have an array of items that could take hours to see it all. I think we might have to make a trip here when the Valentines come. The kids would love it! The neatest part was the inside bee hive display. You've got to see it to believe it! They have a petting zoo, greenhouse, fruits and vegatables, bakery, deli, and even wine tasting.
Well, that about sums it up for now. I'm hoping that Paul might be available to help me move my truck today. Right now, the car and the truck are costing us a pile to keep running. UGH! Thank goodness we have at least ONE reliable mobile.
Enjoy the weekend everyone. It is a beautiful one!