#13 – Tomatoes!

So, I’ve been away from my computer for a bit just lovin up this summer!  (Oh my gosh, I love summer!)   But, I did think it necessary to let you know that this has happened…TWICE!…TOMATO EATING!  I’m not super thrilled about it but, I’m getting some peer pressure and it seems to be entertaining for some of my pals, and, well, the news seems to be that they’re good for ya soooo… maaayyybeee… I don’t know…Are you a tomato fan?

Getting ready to eat a fork-full of pico de gallo. Unsure at first but the tomato flavor gets kind of masked.

A little sniff before chomping on a cherry tomato…


Not as terrible as I thought but…

#10 – FAIL!

Oh!  It was a beautiful day here yesterday!  Sun shining, blue sky, a few fluffy white clouds, warm, but not too hot.  It seemed like a great day for kayaking.  So I rounded up my good friends, slapped on some sunscreen, secured the roof rack, loaded the boat up and things looked something like this…

All ready to go!

Got to the lake and things looked something like this…


Aaaaannnnd…kayaking – OVER!  Before it even began.  Cue sad trombone music.  So the lake itself was not technically closed, but the boat rental place was, which meant that my friends couldn’t rent boats and who wants to kayak alone?  Well, I guess some people do, ya know, for the peace and solitude and all, but I was looking for some fun time with my girls. No sweat. It’s summer!  We got ice cream instead.  Not a bad trade.  Stay tuned for more kayaking adventures.  I have some wave riding plans in the works…(yikes!)

The Category Cloud and #23

Have you noticed the category cloud there on my home page?  It’s the green words that tell you what I’m up to.  Each time I categorize a post with one of those words, the word gets bigger.  The more I do something, the bigger the word.  Have you noticed the biggest words?  “FOOD” and “EATING”!  “Recipes” and “wine” are medium sized.  “Running” is tiny.  It’s sad, but true.  (Yet, yummy.)  I need to get moving!

So, even though it was super hot and humid here on the first day of summer (95 degrees!), I grabbed one of my best pals and we set out for a hike.  We packed up lots of water, some snacks and Caroline’s Camera then trekked into the woods. We walked. We spent some time frog watching. We walked. We scrambled over boulders.  We walked.  We listened for bears.  (They live around here!) We walked and walked.  Under the shade of lots of trees, it was cooler than we expected.  Judging from the sweat that was dripping down my forehead and causing my hair to curl, I’m sure we were getting a good workout, but with all that FOOD and EATING I’ve had going on, I thought I just needed to kick it up a notch.  And that’s when I decided to scale a tree.  No big deal.

Cool, huh?  Did you know that I’m an award winning tree climber?  It was a little tough at first but once I got going…OK. I confess.  That’s a trick pic.  I’m actually laying down on the tree that must have fallen a little while ago right across our trail. (See what we did there? My friend is a good photographer!)  When I showed this shot to some other friends they thought I really was just shimmying right up that big trunk.  It reminded me that things can appear differently depending on our perspective and also that we get to make our lives by the stories we tell ourselves.  I could tell myself that I’m a FOOD EATING blob or focus on being a TREE SCALING HIKER. I actually want to be both.  Well, not the blob part, but I do love food!  What would end up in your category cloud? Get out there, get moving and make a good story!

Location, Location, Location – #26

I think I’ve got a pretty sweet deal going here.  In anywhere from a half hour to two, I can be in Philadelphia, the Pocono Mountains or at the Jersey Shore.  (Not this! More like this.)  I can also make it to New York City by train or driving.  With all these great places so close by, there’s almost no end to the fun things I can do!

I think I’ve always been grateful for my general location and the experiences it has afforded me.  I remember thinking about this in grade school, when learning about the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross and other such important events and people in our country’s history.  I would read about Philadelphia in my textbooks and think, “How cool is it, to live in this place where so many important things have happened?” I remember thinking about it while on a whale watching trip.  The sea was a bit rough that day and a family sitting close by was very seasick. They commented that they were from the mid-west and this was their first time seeing the ocean in person.  It wasn’t a pleasant meeting for them, and I couldn’t get over the idea of being an adult and never having experienced the ocean.  I think I had sand on my feet before I could even use them to walk.

My most recent cause for loving my locale was a trip to NYC with a bunch of friends from work.  We went to the city to celebrate the beginning of summer and take in a show.  It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon.  We stopped in to a great pub for drinks then had dinner at a cute, little, Italian place.  We chatted and laughed lots so we had to hustle to the theater, but we all made it to our seats in time to see the Broadway production of Sister Act. Raven Symone played the lead.  (Remember her?)  It was funny!  The singing was amazing!  The dancing was fabulous!  And I thought to myself, “I love this! Why don’t I see more shows?”

Sister Act
at The Broadway Theater
New York, NY

Soooooo…number 26 on my list will be to see at least one more Broadway show this year.  Maybe 2.  I’m thinking Wicked or The Lion King.  Haven’t seen either!  I’ll be taking your recommendations starting………now.

Additions and Revision

Ugh.  Work has had me busy this past week, so I didn’t get to do anything fun from my list.  Wait. I did start a new book.  It’s good.  I’ll tell you about it later.  I had other fun though.  There were parties and bike rides.  I held a peeing turtle.  Well, the pee part wasn’t that fun, but who doesn’t love turtles?  Anyway, I’ve had this list on my mind. I’ve been scheming up a few additions and I have one revision here too. I’ve decided that if I put it on the list, I’m going to try my very best to make it happen.  I can revise by adding, but not deleting.  I am soooo looking forward to my upcoming vacation time and summer fun.  Here’s a bit of what I might be up to…      Continue reading

#15 – Vidalia

It’s outdoor dining season!  This week, I got to enjoy a tasty, al fresco dinner with some good friends at a super adorable spot.  Vidalia Restaurant is a quaint, little BYO place just off the main street in Lawrenceville, NJ.

I had passed this restaurant while on a bike ride a few days earlier and was so charmed by it’s patio dining area. The owners have turned their side driveway into a sweet, open air dining room with a white picket fence, big umbrellas, pots full of colorful flowers and strands of twinkling lights.  I couldn’t wait to get there to eat! 
I tried my best not to look at the menu beforehand, thinking I might like to be surprised by the choices.  I made it a few days too, but then I had to go online to make a reservation, and that’s when I peeked at the dinner selection.  One thing about me is that I often enjoy the anticipation of something about as much as the event itself.  Which was true in this case because I enjoyed thinking about artichoke francese as I finished up my day at work, artichoke francese as I picked out a bottle of wine and artichoke francese as I waited for my gas tank to fill up on my way there.  Most of all, I enjoyed eating artichoke francese while chatting with my friends and sipping said wine. Outside!  Ahhhh…

Vidalia Restaurant

There were also some salads.  I couldn’t pronounce mine, Insalata Palermetana, which consisted of organic baby leaf lettuce, shaved parmigiano, fennel, oranges, and almonds; drizzled with homemade honey infused balsamic vinaigrette.  My friends both had an asparagus appetizer that seemed to be wrapped up in some yummy bread and Insalata di Mela, organic spring mix lettuce with walnuts, gorgonzola, apples, and topped with the same honey balsamic dressing. 
The meals were delicious, the atmosphere was charming and the company was the best!  I’m definitely going back and I know exactly what I’m getting next!

#14 Lunch

Do you pack or buy? I try to pack. I don’t really have time to go out to lunch on weekdays.  I can buy lunch in the cafeteria where I work, but the options are limited, so I try to bring something from home most days.  Jars of peanut butter seem to have a way of multiplying in my cabinet, so I can always, and often do, throw together a PB&J.  I’m most happy, though,  when I can make a big batch of something tasty over the weekend and then divide it into smaller portions for lunch during the week.  In a short amount of time, I get to check “Make Lunch” off of my to-do list for the whole week, or most of it, at least. And while I’m working hard all morning, I get to look forward to a nice meal at break time.  If you like to do the same thing, I’ve got a recipe to share… Continue reading