Thursday, July 30, 2009

Amber & She Is At The River House So I Took This Picture Of The Vegetables

[CRD actually remote blogged this. Haul this week included: cabbage, potatoes, garlic, slicing cucumbers, lettuce, tomato tease, summer squash, red Russian kale, bok choy, basil to pot, peaches, eggs, orange flowers. Thanks for remote blogging, CRD!]

Amber & Woodland Adventures

Me and the kitties took a little nature hike today. Well, not all of the kitties. Woody stayed under the bed in Mary's room, resting from his night of galloping the full length of the apartment. And Pickles remained on the very edge of the house, watching the adventure but close enough to the front door to run back in should danger appear.

Ginger and Tiggy fed off of each others' bravery and ventured onto the steps behind the house, with Tiggy stopping to graze along the way.

But Ginger soon proved himself an off-road kitty and took to exploring the bush.

It seemed like he deliberately took the path through the thickest weeds. Luckily, his white fur and yellow name tag don't camouflage very well.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Amber & Summer Rain

There were storms earlier-- complete with lightning, thunder, and frightened kitties. It has cleared now, but the porch is still a little too damp for sitting out.

Dinner will be a fritata with greens, new potatoes, scallions and bacon, served on the porch, I hope.

Amber & Ceiling Fans

Also unexpected is the amount of amusement being above the ceiling fans looking down provides to the kitties.

If you click on the photo to see it larger and then look on the top shelf at the top of the stairs, you will notice Tiggy occupying the highest possible spot in the entire house with a clear view of the fans below.

Amber & The Unexpected

It's kind of damp and foggy this morning. Although the door is open, Woody, Ginger and Tiggy all prefer to be inside. But not this guy.

Who would have expected that the one cat who was so terrified in the car that he pooped and peed himself would be the one to explore the deck this morning? His new name is Pickles the Brave.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amber & Every Reading = Valid

Vacation can mean different things to different people and kitties. For some people, it can mean sitting on a porch watching the river roll by, listening to the breeze in the trees, and eating a mid-day pickle snack.
For some kitties, it can mean chasing ants, lying in the sun on cool wood floors, and exploring under beds and emerging covered in dust bunnies.

And there are things we share about vacation that some people and some kitties share. Like: eating salad.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amber & It's Not Just Cats

Googlers of watermelon cats, meet watermelon guinea pigs.

So maybe the answer to the question "Why?" is just that watermelon is delicious?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Amber & Blue Cake Wishes

Happy Birthday to Nick!  Today is the very special anniversary of the day he joined us on this planet (well, some of us weren't here yet).  He's a very special person and is nice to kitties.  We should all be glad to have him among us.

Here is Nick with some French cousins, his nieces, sister, dad, and soon-to-be sister-in-law.
  Nick is, of course, the one with his face closest to the blue cake.

Happy Birthday Nick, from all of us at Amber &, and especially your buddy, Woody.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Amber & Iced Drinks

Earlier this week, I noted one thing I do that I know is bad for me. It started me thinking about other things where I make a hedonistic choice, where my enjoyment of the thing overrides any resolutions about not tempting fate. One such indulgence is iced beverages.

I have one just about every afternoon at work. Sometimes I have an iced green tea, with lunch at times an iced thai tea, sometimes a pombupani, and sometimes I go from tempting fate to assaulting it with full force and have an iced decaf coffee.

I know iced drinks are bad for your digestion. And I know my tummy really doesn't appreciate them. Why oh why? Because they are so refreshing. And I like straws.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Amber & Farm Share Week

Beets with greens, scallions, slicing cucumbers, white onions,
peaches, pan de champagne, multi-grain loaf, lavash crackers,
zucchini,yellow squash, eggs, red leaf lettuce, arugula, cilantro
plant, Chinese cabbage, flowers.

Amber & Laps Swum

I went swimming this morning before work. I swam laps in the medium-speed lane and also did stretching in the family lane. I like taking the water aerobics class, but it doesn't always fit into my schedule and sometimes it can be a little intense. When I get wiped out before the class ends, lest I pass out and drown, I just sort of float away from the other blue-haired ladies and make my own swim.

It's a little know fact that I was a lifeguard after high school. I worked at the New Britain public pools. I really enjoyed it, except when I had to work the kiddie pool which was always overflowing with toddlers. My lifeguarding experience was totally like you see on TV, only with less beach, more people of color, and less David Hasselhoff.

Oh, and we wore brighter orange suits.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Amber & Prices We Pay

Sometimes, we do things we know are bad for us. Like: We have that second shot of Sambucca to toast our eternal friendship with our college friend, even though we had four tequilas earlier and only weigh 102 lbs. And we pay the price later, perhaps in the form of a black eye or a wicked hang over.

I am living on the edge today. Used to be that my Distinguishing Characteristic Property was red lipstick. But then, Kevin pointed out that my lipstick was on a list of those that had lead in them. And, I decided that I had already lost enough brain cells during my summer as a lab assistant at Technical Coatings. I now only wear the lipstick on special or business occasions. Except for today.

You see, my nose skin is all blotchy and horrible from using the pump shower soap at the Y after swimming instead of my very expensive face soap. (I am sensitive; I cried over CRD's post yesterday.) You can't tell in the photo above because Photobooth nicely porcelainifies my skin. But, I thought that red lips would help distract from the red around my nose.

I'm not sure if it's working-- maybe because I am, right now, losing brain cells that would help me decide if it is working.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Amber & Weather Patterns

I have this theory of weather that I learned from a friend. "Tomorrow will be basically like today but maybe a little hotter or colder and a little sunnier or rainier." This summer, that theory has failed me in a big way. Many a day have I been caught bare-toed in freezy breezes, or besweatered in sweltering sun. But, imagine the comfort I felt when I checked the 10-day forecast today and proved my theory to be true.

Tomorrow will be basically like today, but maybe a little more T-Stormy or Scattered.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Amber & Heavy Metal

James has done it again.

Sometimes, when James seems movies that I am not going to see, usually because they are too scary, I ask James to tell me the movie. He recounts the basic plot, throwing in some analysis and notes about the direction and acting. It's the next best thing to seeing it myself, and even better when it's a scary movie. So, I asked James to tell us the story of the medal. He relates the following.

When I started competing this summer for the first time, I was hoping to maybe get a medal eventually in Grade IV, which is the entry level. The best would be to get an AGL, Above Grade Level, on my score sheet. If you get a bunch of these, it means you're playing well enough to be in Grade III.

So far this summer I won a Silver and a Bronze in Piobreachd. And nothing in the March competition, which I feel is my weaker skill.

Today was the last competition before my wedding. I played well in Piobreachd, but I didn't realize I mixed-up a bar in the tune, and so was disqualified from placing. Then I had an hour to go before my March competition. I was very nervous and played the March many times off in the woods. I didn't like how I was
playing at all and was filled with despair over it. I finally decided I'd just play the tune slow and try to express it fully. In front of the judge, as I was playing, I thought it sounded well, and I had fun playing it.

After it was over, the judge chatted with me and gave me a lot of helpful feedback. He also told me he was going to give me an AGL, the only one he had given so far that day. Later, when I went to check the results, I found out I had won First Place in March. So with the summer almost over I have a Gold, Silver, Bronze and an AGL. Now I can retire from the bagpipes and take up competitive Glockenspieling.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Amber & Blooms

My farm share flowers are in bloom! (Diana, what are they?)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Amber & Summer Fridays

Today feels so, so hard. My neck hurts from hauling around 26 lbs of meat yesterday. It's really, really humid out. I have a TON of work to do. Vacation is just out of reach, but close enough to distract me. And, I forgot to bring the salad I assembled this morning to eat for lunch.

But really, it's almost the weekend, I have some lovely lovey kitties waiting for me at home along with a salad I forgot to bring to work, vacation is right around the corner, and I have a jungle growing on my desk.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Amber & Week 5 Farm Share

Green chard, scallions, slicing and diva cucumbers, juliet tomatoes, peaches (!), new potatoes, red and white turnips, romaine lettuce, bok choy, and a kholrabi stem. Plus, eggs and flowers (photo of flowers TK so Diana can identify their breed). Extras: sheeps milk yogurt, granola, kielbasa, italian sweet sausage, hot dogs, chicken breasts and thighs (meat for River House).

Amber & Dirty Floors

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that, although I had vacuumed and Swiffered wet the floors last night, they were even more dirty this morning. And, really, really dirt-y.

The boys seemed just as curious about the dirt pile as I was. In fact, they called my attention to it first thing I woke up. Pickles coincidentally wanted to lie down just where the dirt pile was.

In other unrelated news, the dill plant mysteriously disappeared from its pot. I guess it ran away from home.

What a morning of mysterious coincidences!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Amber & Birthday Feast

Yesterday was Kevin's pusses tenth birthday. It's hard to believe, but that means that the black puss, who was once a tiny bat-eared baby, is now an elder cat.

And the gray boy has finally grown into his wise, but not wizened, gray appearance.

To celebrate, Kevin and Diana gave the boys a special meal of sardines! Here is the gray beast overcome with anticipation.

And here is the ultimate silkster posing with the box patiently, awaiting the reward for being ten years a good cat.Finally, the boys indulged in their fancy, very special birthday treat.

Although some of the boys didn't necessarily wait to be served.

But, it's that kind of initiative that makes the pusses, and America, great.

Happy birthday to the boys and to their kitty parents who took excellent care of them all these years!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Amber & 8th Grade

There are so many memories in this photo. And I am only Facefriends with one of them.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Amber & Modern Dance

I'm working the box office with Nick for his sister's zesty dance
performance, He Who Burns. Remember, Amber & readers get free tickets
if they write to me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Amber & Birthday Sister

My sister, Candice, is a super person. I am incredibly proud of how kind, funny, and spirited she is. When she was a little gal, she was also the most adorable baby.

Can you believe those picture-perfect eyes? She grew up way too fast and, before I knew it, was graduating from college.

A little known fact about Candice is that she majored in Pirate Studies. Here she is after having landed her first job on board a ship.

The pirate life isn't all stealing booty. Here she is during some down time with her co-pirate, Gina Of The High Seas.

And, of course, pirates spend a good amount of time on land. Here she is exploring fierce jungle with her special pirate friend, Bernardo.

I am sure glad she has someone special who appreciates how beautiful she is, both on the insides and her Pirate Outside, too.

Here she is winning a pirate trophy.

She took first place in the Plank Walking competition. But, the great thing about Candice is that, despite all of her hijinx as a Pirate, she is still incredibly sweet. I remember how good she was with Woody when he was having an asthma attack as as an example.

I love Candice. She is a super important person in my life.

P.S. A special birthday ball of love for Amy, with whom my sister shares this special day. Like Candice, Amy is beautiful on both sides, both in and out, and I am super glad to know her.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Amber & Farm Share Week 4

Eggs, broccoli, cucumbers, snow peas, blueberries, purple kale, green chard, a loaf of bread, poppy lavash crackers, blue corn tortillas, granola, scallions, turnips, a dill plant, and sunflowers (not pictured).

Amber & the House

After yesterday's post, some (one) of my dear readers asked to hear more about the River House.

The house itself is in Milfordpennsylvania, right on the shore of the Delaware River. The house has five key elements: the dwelling, the deck, the lawn, the spit and the walk into town. The photo above was taken from the spit, from which you also can swim across the River to New Jersey, looking up at the dwelling and the deck. Here is another shot of Jimmy, enjoying the lawn with the dwelling sort of visible in the back.

As you can tell, one of the key attractions is how secluded it is. For example, based on surrounding streets and following the stream down to the spit, I am pretty sure the house is somewhere in the trees in this satellite shot.

Here is a view of the covering trees from in front of the dwelling, looking up at Jimmy on the deck.
The lawn is good for afternoon resting and having lunch in lawn chairs, while the deck is fabulous for evening meals cooked on the grill and also morning coffee while reading magazines.

The beauty of the dwelling shouldn't be overlooked, though. Here are Baby Alicia and Jimmy in inclement weather hard at work.

The house is owned by some mysterious man who knows Mary Kay whose mother, Mary, knows me. I have been going there for many, many years with some sizable heart-wrenching breaks in between. Woody and Tiggy are old River House pros, but this will be the first year for Pickles and Ginger. I think we're all going to love it. I know I will.