Family is Awesome

S on SnowdoniaAfter last Tuesday’s awesome news, we got some more great news on Friday–the Artist got a short-term job at a firm that’s pretty darn awesome. And then later on Friday, some rednecks came to town! It’s Ole Redneck and Young Redneck, my brother and nephew. It’s really great to have them coming to visit, since my brother has never been to our house before and my nephew only had once. Usually we visit them when we go back home for Christmas. But my brother had some extra time off work for vacation, so they came on over for the week. We live so much closer to back home since the big move, so we’ve been able to see so very much more of our family.

They had just gotten finished with a quick camping vacation to meet the Duck Dynasty guys and go to a few sites in Louisiana from the show. My nephew got Si’s autograph, which he just loves because Si is basically his hero.

So they came to visit us, and we went blueberry picking, which we do every year around the summer solstice. And then the two rednecks, the Architect, and I went to a dance show that some of my friends were in. Old Redneck had a good time and enjoyed having an experience different from what he usually does.

When we came home, K and the Artist had made some blueberry ketchup (did you know you can make ketchup out of any fruit?) and they made some yummy ham sandwiches with it. Old Redneck dribbled some on his chin, so K helped.

blueberry ketchupYoung Redneck loves video games, so he’s spent a fair amount of time playing them since he’s gotten here. He likes to play games where he can drive cars around. The Artist shows him how it’s done.

vidjergraems

 

On Sunday we had a nice relaxing day and went out and grilled. It was nice. Then yesterday, since everyone but me was at work, the Rednecks and I took a nice, long walk around town for several hours. We stopped off to take a picture with Young Redneck and a sculpture called “Captain Jack.”

Captain JackIt’s been so nice having them in town and getting to spend so much more time with them that we usually get to. Even just a few weeks ago, we went back home for the weekend to visit Mom and Dad for Dad’s 60th birthday. We went for the weekend, which was something we never could have done before, when there were 800 miles between our home and our parents. Dad’s cake had so many candles.

so many candles unlit

It took us a long, long time to light them all.

being lit 2

candles being lit

As we finally got all the candles lit, we got this picture with my dad and all his kids and grandkids. Did I mention there were a lot of candles?

so many candles all the kids

When Dad blew them out, it was a smokesplosion!

smokesplosion

 

 

On Work/Life Balance, as well as tasty cocktails

K on treeI’m sure the part of this post about work/life balance will be nothing that no one has said before, but the biggest issue in my life the last few weeks has been my work/life balance, which is really a shame.

At the end of the year, two of my co-workers quit. Both of them had job responsibilities that I am ultimately responsible for, and which I am the only other person in the company who knows how to do them. And both of them worked in another location that’s a 3 and a half hour drive from where I live. So for the last two weeks, I have been traveling out to the country where that location is to fill in for their work. In order to be able to complete the bare necessities of their responsibilities, I was still working over 12 hours daily, and not even touching many of the projects I have been working on. Which is obviously stressful. Luckily they have convinced one of them to come back, but now I have to work extra to catch up on my responsibilities. I am traveling this week for a training session, and again next week to help a coworker gain new skills. Which means that I’m traveling four work weeks in a row, which is unusual for me.

Last weekend the Artist and I had to take a trip back to the city he used to live in for a wedding shower party. At least that was fun, but it was a 7 hour drive round trip that we did Saturday and Sunday.

The point is, that I feel much like I haven’t seen S since she moved in with me, which is of course sad because I miss. She is also sad because she feels like I’m not around enough. This is really a shame, because on the one hand I feel like I’m not getting enough done at work, and on the other, I feel like I’m not spending enough time with my family. I know that that is a pretty regular feeling for most people, but it’s really what has been weighing on me lately. I have not been working on any of my projects because I’ve been traveling so much, so there’s really very little for me to share with you.

The one bright spot these last few weeks has been an event that we discovered in town. It’s called Iron Bartender, and every week this bar brings in two bartenders each week who compete in three rounds of cocktail making. The audience gets to try the cocktails, and you can purchase them if you so desire. It’s fun to watch, and it’s like research to determine where the best places in town are to go for cocktails. It has really given me something to do on a weeknight to relax a little.

Here’s a picture of me drinking one of the winning cocktails from last time. It was a pear vodka cocktail that had cardamom bitters, Grand Marnier, champagne, and fresh ginger garnished with a pear and a sprig of fresh rosemary.

Salud!

Iron bartender

 

Oh, and that lady in the background is the talented bartender who created the drink. Yum! It was delicious and almost like a lighter version of the Eenie Beanie Peartini.

Tenth Anniversary and a Refashion

S on Snowdonia

Last weekend was my tenth anniversary with the Architect! We started dating way back when I was sixteen. And it’s just been the most wonderful decade! Difficult, for sure, especially considering we spent half of that time in a long distance relationship. But so many wonderful times together visiting each other on the weekends and figuring out adulthood.

We celebrated by going to Vermont. We had a really nice time and a lot of delicious food, but sadly, we only took two photographs the whole time, so I don’t get to give the play-by-play. Ah well. Here are the photos we did take.

 

Granite mineThis is a granite mine we went to see. It’s 600 feet deep. That crazy blue of the water is due to the suspended granite dust stirring around, it’s not toxic. But we just stood there staring into the deep.

Granite mine S

 

You might recognize that blue skirt from one of the refashion in this post. See, I really do wear them! Anyway, that’s the end of our photos from our trip to Vermont. I told you we didn’t do a very good job. But we were there to relax and enjoy our anniversary, and I’m actually pretty proud. We usually take a million photos on vacation, but this time it just didn’t occur to me.

So, in order to provide you guys with a post of substance, I have prepared a new refashion! The day I came back to work, one of my coworkers put a plastic bag full of clothes on my desk and told me her neighbor asked her to drop them off at the thrift store. Knowing I’m about the same size and in no way averse to wearing other people’s clothing castaways, she brought it to me to go through before she dropped it off at the thrift store. I only picked out two things–a plain long sleeve t-shirt and this:

black and white before

 

I was really interested in refashioning this. I simply can’t imagine why you would want to wear this shirt in real life or what occasion it would be appropriate for. So I was inspired to save it for the drapey fabric.

black and white during

 

First thing I did was make it a tank top by chopping the sleeves off and hemming it at the shoulder. I’ll admit I had a difficult time with this refashion. The fabric was difficult to handle and really didn’t want to do what I wanted it to do, so I ended up just putting it on and then pinning and tacking it in a few places to make it hang straight. I had wanted to take the sides in a little, but decided against it after fighting the sleeves so much.

black and white after topAnd I ended up with this top. I wore it out with the Architect to our favorite cocktail bar and had a grand old time. I really like the way the brightly colored skirt adds to the black and white, though I do think it would look better if the skirt were a bit shorter and pencil-ier.

But I wasn’t done! I still had those silly sleeves lying around. black and white after scarf

I made them into a scarf! It might come in handy now that the weather is in that confusing time where it can’t figure out whether or not autumn has come yet and half the time is chilly and half the time is blisteringly hot.

black and white after hoodAnd forgive the fuzzy photo, but the scarf can double as a hood! This will be very useful to me once it’s a bit colder. See, I have a very difficult time with hats. You may have noticed that I have a whole lot of hair, and that I nearly always wear that hair in a bun. Well, that bun gets in the way of nearly every hat. I have a few preferred solutions to that, like wool headbands, but I do like wrapping a scarf over my head most days. This will be handy for days that can’t decide whether my ears need to be covered or not. Scarf…hat….scarf…hat!

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

K on treeHello and welcome to Two 1/2 Eggs! It’s me, K. See that picture over there on the left? That means I’m the one writing. You’ll see it at the top of all of my posts. It was taken just after hurricane Irene knocked over a tree in our neighborhood.  When S is the one writing, you’ll see a different picture there. We’re trying to ward off confusion so that you will all be able to keep track of our twinly ramblings.

S’s picture was taken in Snowdonia, Wales on her honeymoon. She and the Architect climbed all day, and took this photo on top of the world. It looks like this:

S on Snowdonia

Welcome to our new blog, where we will be writing about what is going on in our lives. Our mother taught us to be good storytellers, so we’ll be telling stories as well as writing about craft and home projects we’re working on and interesting books and articles we are reading and thinking about.

I figured I’d start off with a discussion of what’s going on in our lives in general these days.

I’m most of the way done with my MBA program. Only three more weeks! And then I will have so much more free time. These past two years have been pretty stressful while I’ve been working full time and getting an MBA. Pretty soon thereafter I’m going to be moving away from the city I’ve lived in with S and The Architect for the past four years, and then I’ll be living with The Artist! I’m feeling so ready to end five years of long distance. I’m really excited about that!

S has been having fun trying new projects and hobbies lately. She started a worm composting bin, which she is humorously enthusiastic about. I’m sure she’ll post about it eventually, but it’s funny to watch her get excited every time she feeds them. She opens the box and then yells for everyone to come over and see how many worms she has. We know. We’ve seen. They’re wormy. She’s usually at dance rehearsals a lot, but not as much lately. She still dances in the living room all day every day. She’s also, for the time being while I’m so busy, the house cook. And she’s gotten really into taking ugly old clothes and refashioning them into new, cute clothes.

nevada kI went to Reno, Nevada over the weekend to go visit the Artist for the Fourth of July. He’s there for three weeks for work. It was really fun! It was my first time there since S and I went when we were little kids to go visit our brother when he lived there. He’s 12 years older than us, and was living there to be near his father. We were probably four years old when we went, and I mostly just remember going to the Circus, Circus casino and throwing darts at balloons to win stuffed animals.

We went tubing down a river, which was really fun! Other tubers were practically throwing alcohol at us. Someone gave The Artist some Captain Morgan, and someone else tossed me a beer. But during one of the whitewater parts of the river, we almost died. The Artist fell off his tube in such a way that he ended up wearing it like a backpack, face down in the water. I tried to pull him out, but I fell off, too. We ended up just tumbling through the water until some guys from the shore came and pulled us out. Thank goodness! Later, we went to eat all you can eat sushi! Yum! We also went to the Circus, Circus casino and found that old dart game I remember playing. It was still there!

For the Fourth, we went to a little mining town called Virginia City. It was really cute, and we watched the fireworks there. What’s funny about it is that it’s a cute historical town, but prostitution is legal there, so there were actual brothels. Also the fireworks didn’t go higher than the mountain. In the distance, we could see the smoke coming off a mountain, which turned out to be the Bison Fire. I said something about it to a guy who lives there, who said he was probably more used to fires than he should be. The West is so crazily low populated though! The fire has burned 21,000 acres and has only destroyed two unoccupied structures.

943290_10101171070761679_124288331_nWe went mountain climbing on Mt. Rose the next day. It was an 11 mile hike up an 11,000 foot peak. The views were beautiful, but it was a very long hike and was difficult for me because I’m used to living at an altitude of about two feet above sea level.

The day after that, my legs were so sore I could barely walk. We went swimming in Lake Tahoe, which one of the Artist’s friends said was practically like an ice pack for your sore muscles because the water was so cold. The lake is said to have a monster named Tessie living in it. For dinner, we went to a Mexican restaurant where they give you  crayons and paper, and I drew Tessie as a giant crab. And we drank margaritas because electrolytes are good for you.

nevada k and the artistOn my last day in town, we went back to Virginia City, where we went on a tour of the mines. It was weird because the tour guide was very similar to my brother’s dad. Actually, my brother’s dad was present in my mind the whole week. The Artist and all his friends kept saying how cool it was, which is true, but because I’ve always associated Reno with my mom’s ex-husband, these was this weird sense of him the whole time that changed the way I saw the place.

The mining tour was pretty cool. Apparently Virginia City had a huge deposit of silver ore, which was worth millions of back-in-the-day dollars. But the mining was really hard because the ore went down diagonally and got really deep, and the groundwater was 130 degrees. So they kept having to pump out super hot water, but the mines were very hot, and a lot of miners died young because they would snowshoe to work and then work in over a hundred degree heat. It was so hot that when they were working in the deepest part, they had to work for 15 minutes then cool off for 15 minutes. But they made $4.00 per 8 hour shift, which was an unheard of salary at the time.

It was a very fun trip!

And again, welcome to Two 1/2 Eggs! Be sure to come back! We’ll be trying to update weekly.