Saturday, October 18, 2008

Getting Excited

I am getting excited about our upcoming trip to NYC next weekend. In fact, I will be en route this time next Saturday. Yay! One of the things that I am most looking forward to is the Village Halloween Parade on Halloween night. Its supposed to be one of the biggest Halloween celebrations in the WORLD! How cool is that? I've looked through some of the photos from previous years, and its definitely NOT for kids. It looks like more of a Mardi Gras type of celebration. Some of the peeps were buck-naked with nothing but body paint on, and apparently in the parade, that is acceptable. HAHA! I read that if you show up in costume, you can join the parade. I think I would rather stay in one spot and watch. If you walk the parade route, you would miss too much. But you can pretty much guarantee that I will be there on the 31st.

I am also curious about how the Amtrak adventure is going to go. We decided to try out the train mode of travel just this once and see if its any less of a hassle than flying. I have heard good reviews, and some really bad ones about Amtrak, so we shall see. One thing I did read over and over is that the schedules are a reference point only. We are scheduled to arrive in NYC at 7:30 pm. I've been told that if we make it by 11:00 pm then we should consider ourselves lucky...haha. Oh well, we have left that first evening open, so at least I won't be panicking that we are going to miss something. If it takes that long, but I have the option to get up and walk around while we travel (like to the dining car, or whatever) then I would still consider it a bonus.
I HATE being stuck in an airplane seat for hours on end. Besides, when you figure in that we have to drive for 2 hours to Raleigh just to get to the airport....well, it really IS a hassle.

Anyway, we have tons of things that we want to see and do. I will take a lot of pictures to share, even at the risk of looking like a stupid tourist....LOL. I need to spend some time this week trying to figure out what to pack. Apparently the days are going to be nice, and the nights very chilly. Of course, with my hot flash temperament, I could easily wear a bikini in sub-zero climates and feel perfectly comfortable, so its probably not going to be as difficult to pack as I am imagining.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Marshmallow is a strange word, isn't it? Its one of those words that I would love to know how it came to be used. Maybe I should get my son, the linguist, to research that one. And while my daughter, the biologist, probably doesn't know or care about the origin of the word, I have to tell you that she made us a huge pan of homemade marshmallows last night. Homemade, like from scratch!!! And I also feel compelled to tell you that if you think you know what marshmallows taste like, you don't. Not really. Not until you taste these homemade ones. Oh My Lord they are GOOD! When she first poured the batch into the pan to cool it was all thick, heavy and sticky. Kind of like marshmallow cream. I questioned her about that, but she told me to be patient and just wait and see. So we took off to go to the gym for a while, and when we came back, and she started cutting it up into pieces (that are then rolled in powdered sugar for even more extra yummy-ness). I got a chance to taste one. And she was right, they puffed right up all light and fluffy with the exact same texture as a marshmallow out of the bag. Only tastier. I never knew you could make these at home.

ETA: Ah ha, I looked it up on my own. Marshmallow is a plant that grows near salty marshes. The root of the marshmallow plant used to be used to make the puffy confection. Nowadays, people mostly use gelatin, but the name stuck. So, there you go.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If I offended...

If I offended anyone by this post: "How can this be?", then I apologize. I didn't mean to call anyone who voted for Bush stupid. There are several members of our own family who probably voted for Bush, and none of them are stupid. What I meant to imply was that it is incredibly stupid, and incomprehensible to me that the woman I was referring to thought Obama was an "Arab". I still feel that way. I would defend my position that this woman is stupid, right to my death.

It is probably not a good idea to blog about heated subjects like politics (or religion) on a public forum. But this upcoming election is a huge and important event, and I guess it is weighing on a lot of people's minds. It is mine for sure. And I am grateful that we live in a place where people are entitled to make their own decisions, and cast their own vote. Its one of the things that make this a great country. What makes me angry, sad, and fearful for our fate as human beings on this planet is that people would base their choice on something as arbitrary as race. In today's world so many of us are bi-racial, or multi-racial (is that even a word??) that it baffles my brain and makes my head hurt to think that someone would vote based on that. You all certainly have the right to vote for whichever candidate you prefer. But please, please for all that is Holy base your preference on the issues at hand, the stance your candidate takes on current affairs, and NOT because you don't like the color of his skin, or whereabouts that his parents might come from.

And if you happen to think that Obama is tangled up in some twisted, far-reaching conspiracy to sneak a muslim into power so that the middle east can make a beeline for world domination, then please.....dear Lord, PLEASE go and get yourself some help. They make medications for that kind of thing now.


I had one of those fantabulous days yesterday. My daughter came home to visit right around lunchtime, and I invited my son and daughter-in-law over to eat with us. I made chicken quesadillas and flan. Authentically Mexican food. For a daughter-in-law who is authentically Latino. And who can cook. It was something I had never tried to make before, and if you know me at all, you know that I am VERY tentative in the kitchen. I know I complain about how much I HATE to cook. And I do, seriously, but its mainly because I never learned how other than by trial and error on my own (emphasis on the word "error" here). My mother was a NON-cooker for the most part. She, bless her heart, had the ability to burn and scorch even stuff out of a can. So I feel out of my element in the kitchen. Ill-at-ease, and always vigilent for the next disaster to strike (oh and they do...they always do). But yesterday, my attempts at Mexican food turned out pretty good. Well, there was the one failed flan on Sunday night, but I got up super early and rushed out to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to try again. Monday morning's flan turned out fine.

Anyway, everybody ate, and nobody died, although I always am suspicious that people just eat my cooking out of politeness. But then, last night, we all congregated again to chat and to play cards, and they asked me....ME....the non-cooking, fearful of the kitchen woman if they could heat up the left-overs and eat again!! And that made me happy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Stuff...

So, my multi-talented daughter-in-law got hired to do some freelance photography with our local newspaper here "The Daily Reflector". She really does take awesome pictures, and she was thrilled to have the chance to do this. We are thrilled for her, too. Anyway, I wanted to share the links for her first 2 assignments. So, enjoy: