Karen, Me, Alexis, Kobe, Dad

My sister flew in from Seattle for Father’s day weekend to hang out with Dad & Karen and Gramps and Tom. It was quite the family weekend. Red eye flights, shopping down town, genealogy exploring and circus playing.

Of course, any time I head to my Mom’s house I pack in my hoops and my fire fans. Open space? Yes please! Mom is so much better at hooping than either of us! Even though I ended up bruised and sun burnt, it was a great afternoon in the sun.

This time as I was throwing my fans and fire box in my car I heard “Performing fire?” Um, yes. Who are you and how did you know that?? Most people have no idea what my fire fans are when I’m carrying them around. Apparently my neighbor is a tattoo artist and sees fire performers at conventions. Awesome! I left my second set of fans with Mom so she can practice. (She promised not to try lighting them till I’m back though. Safety first!!)

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First go at pickling

Pickling supplies

We harvested a ton of peppers a week or so ago. It quickly became apparent that we could never use nor give away nearly enough. I didn’t mean to grow all hot peppers, I swear. I tried to plant two different varieties of sweet pepper that apparently were mislabeled at home depot. Instead of a sweet bell and a gypsy pepper I got a jalapeno and cherry red hot. That’s in addition to the jalapeno and cherry red hot I had already planted. Oh well…. canning time! I’ve never canned before, and of course I decide it will be a brilliant thing to do before heading out to a wedding. Right… but all the jars sealed, they look like pickled hot peppers are supposed to look, so seems all went according to plan. Still not sure, as we haven’t popped open a jar yet, but we’ll see.

Then, wedding! It was fun, I danced all night, and only took pictures of people waiting on the train platform to head back into the city for the ‘after party’. Where I realized I never grabbed my ID and couldn’t get into the bar. Ug. Cab ride home for idiot Nicole.

The NJ Hellrazors

Sunday was for relaxing, watching cheesy movies and finishing laundry. Then…. to derby! Jen O is on the NJ Hellrazors, and they had a home bout, at a roller rink that happens to be 30 seconds away from Chris’ parents house. We made dinner with his folks and headed over to the rink to watch Jen-O Go-Go zoom around the track. The Hellrazors slammed the other team, something like 175 to 69. It was awesome. Jen’s so fast! She skated as a jammer a whole bunch of times, and racked up a ton of points. Super rad. Now to get her wearing some stripey tights….

sunset in Jersey

Yeah, I needed this. The weather was beautiful. There were some foxes playing in the yard, but it was too dark to get a photo. Lightning bugs streaked up from the yard. I finally got to wear my black ribs suit (again, too dark for a photo, it was a night swim) and set off the fireworks I bought ages ago. The night wasn’t quite what I expected,  but the water was warm, and the close friends good. Hotter in the city, but its nice to be home again.

VNA Far Hills, NJ Spring Rummage Sale

First weekend in May means time for the VNA rummage sale! Of course, after a weekend sorting through Gramps’ attic the prospect of elbowing my way through crowds for some new used Stuff wasn’t supper attractive. However, the weather was forecast to be beautiful, I was looking forward to seeing a good friend I haven’t seen in ages, and its tough to pass up a nice opportunity to curl my toes in the Hunterdon County grass. Throw in Mother’s day weekend, and a trip to NJ was pretty inevitable. Turned out to be quite nice. I kept my buying to a minimum, mostly focusing on costume materials for the upcoming fire performance (in July).

strange shoes

I did, however, buy these shoes. They’re like decapitated cowboy boots. Or elf shoes. Or shoes to wear when hiding in cottages deep in the woods, planning on how to kidnap children and ply them with candy to get them nice and plump for whatever various spell you plan to cast. Yeah. They’re ridiculous. They don’t look too awful from the side. But from the top… the toes seem to get longer and pointier. I don’t know how I’ll wear them. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to leave the house with them on my feet. But they were the strangest shoes I’ve ever seen, and were $8 and I couldn’t turn away from the challenge.

Other than the shoes, I picked up a few shirts, the aforementioned costume materials, some nice lace curtains and a cute little clay pot that I intend to keep filled with flowers from my front garden. Which, by the way, has increased by another pot. Which I didn’t buy. Its the same kind my block captain gave me after the last planter was stolen, so pretty sure its from her. I’ll ask her about it when I see her, and I put a little note on the pot that says “Thanks!”

playing with the hoop

Hanging out at my Mom’s house on Saturday meant that I could finally play around with my hoop without worrying about flinging it at a car or over my backyard wall into the neighbor’s. I got her in on it, and the two of us tried, with varying levels of success, to do more than just spin the thing around our waists. Those hooper girls make it look so easy, and let me tell you- it isn’t. We spent just as much time falling over laughing as we did hooping. We both agreed some instruction could do us some good. I left my hoop with her, as I’m going to be getting another one from Lauren. She made my first, too. I love it, but its really huge, which is what you’re supposed to use for practicing, but in close quarters in the city, its a bit unwieldy. I hope Mom has some fun with it!

flowers from the fish store!

I love my local fish store, Ippolitos. They always have the best fish, and lately the shopping experience has gotten more and more entertaining. And this weekend- Chris surprised me with flowers from the store. I love that you can buy fish, veggies, bread and flowers all at the same place. The other weekend they had balloons out front. No particular reason, just to have balloons. If you’re in Philly and need something to make for dinner, do yourself a favor and swing by the store… you’ll have a great experience and walk away with delicious food.

cheese from Tria mmm...

This weekend included a lot of driving. I went my Mom’s, drove over to Verizon (still no new phone though, boo), and then drove to South Orange for a huge family night. It was nice to drive around Hunterdon County, roads that I’m actually used to. It helped getting used to the new car. Driving home on the turnpike- well, I was pretty sure I got lost getting off the turnpike, but turns out I was going the right way after all. (Which was a huge relief because it took two hours to get home, so it was already rather late.) And I parallel parked my car without crying! I know for a lot of people that’s not a big deal, but I freak out about parking. I never really had to parallel park before, and of course now I live in South Philly where its the only option. I’ll have to get better at it eventually, but its pretty nerve-wrecking for now.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. Some grocery shopping, some cheese and wine at Tria for lunch, some cheesy movies, and a delicious dinner. I made mashed potatoes! My favorite food ever.

Hoping the week goes well.

cornbread

Tonight I bought a car. Ate some sushi. Drank some Squall. Made some cornbread. Watched some hockey. And am about to start knitting to get this sweater for Alexis finished. I am happy about all of it except for the car part. Ugh. I pick it up tomorrow. The sales lady kept trying to tell me I could take it home tonight. Right. Like I really wanted the first time driving my car to be in rush hour traffic on trolley tracks. No way lady. Picking it up tomorrow at 10:30. I got really great financing, put a good amount down, the whole transaction was pretty fiscally responsible. Apparently I have great credit. Woohoo.

 

Chris and I went out to Kisso after the car dealer, I needed a cheer up. (Kisso never fails for that) My dune-reading-friend-from-work showed up after we’d been there for a bit, but he sat across the room with his lady friend, with his back to me. We’d talked about places to go in town, and I knew we’d run into each other sometime, but there wasn’t really a good way to casually say “Hi”. Oh well. Hope he enjoyed it.

snail necklace

Last weekend I swung by the craft store, braved the horrid fake-flower-stench and picked up some jewelry making supplies. I’ve had a great pirate-coin necklace from my dad that needed a chain, and was inspired by this photo (I have coins, too! I could wear that to work! Yay, I have personality, I Am Not A Drone!) to re-make a necklace that Colleen gave me… it had a great center piece of a fossilized snail, but the rest of it was a bit short and always caught on my hair (the reason she gave it to me in the first place. She has super awesome curly hair, and it really didn’t mix with the necklace). The one problem is that it is tough to take a good photo of (a) a necklace I am wearing and (b) black beads. Oh well.

So now off to knit, and to pick up my car tomorrow, and to meet up with Gaeson & Megan and deliver baby booties to their son Gaston (hopefully he isn’t too big for them already!), get dinner with Chris’ parents, drinks with my cousin and get used to driving and parking in the city… deep breaths, deep breaths.

 

 

Me and Chip (I didn't hit him in the face though)

Holy paintball batman. Never thought I’d throw on the fatigues and run around playing army in the woods. But it was really fun! (Even without the fatigues). Chris plays on a softball league with a bunch of our friends, and Mauer (the organizer of the team) decided paintball would be a fun end-of-season event for everyone. If we had over 20 people, we would be able to play on our own field, so it was come-one-come-all. I’m not on the softball team, and originally hadn’t planned on going. I still wasn’t sure when I woke up in the morning that I really wanted to go. But Chris convinced me it would be fun- and it was! It was really beautiful weather, and a fun day to run around in the woods. Only a few of us had ever actually played before, so it was a really fun group of people to go with. A few editors I’m friends with ended up going, and a bunch of Paula’s doctor friends, so I definitely wasn’t the only non-softball person there. We split up into pink and green teams (marked by an armband) at the beginning of the day, and aside from a little shifting, mostly stayed on the same teams the whole time.  My team wasn’t so great on the communication part of team-work, though.

The Great Escape (yes, they played music from the film)

We ended up losing all the larger games, although we kicked butt in the 6 on 6 (vs the 12 on 12 larger games) “Great Escape” course. Every game was some variation of capture the flag. One hit and you’re out, you hold your gun up and walk off the field. Doesn’t sound complicated, but it was surprisingly tough to figure out if you were hit or not. Sometimes they wouldn’t break, in which case you were still in. Sometimes it would hit your gun or your mask, and you wouldn’t feel it, but would be counted as out. Theoretically you could call the refs over for a paint check, but hearing anyone in the masks was tough, so they weren’t always on top of it. We played a massive game on the castle field at the very end, our two teams against another large group, with a bunch of kids. At first we joked around about feeling bad about shooting kids- but they were evil! They called us names, wouldn’t go out when hit, and consistently shot at people walking off the field. The parents were worse sports than the kids- not being very sportsmanlike examples for the children, that’s for sure. It was fun to be able to storm a castle, but next time I think we’ll stick with our group.

 

The Great Escape course was brand new, so the refs were still figuring out how to control it. You’re not supposed to shoot someone closer than 15 or 20 feet, but on a course like that, its tough to avoid. My team won the first round with lightening speed. The second round was confusing, and I don’t think anyone won (the refs stopped paying attention to the game to discuss how to judge something, and the four or so of us left couldn’t figure out who was still in the game). I did get Chip in pretty stylish fashion for that game, though, which was fun :-) I also had the Hollywood film move of the day, when I ended up one of the last people on my team, and a girl from the other team ran by me with the “bomb” to put into our base. I got her a whole bunch of times, very dramatic, and she lunged forward to throw the suitcase in the window- it would have been a fantastic death scene in a cheesy action movie. Of course, we lost anyway. Oh well. Pretty sure this will become a tradition. Next year I’m going to try to get some of my dancer girls in on the action. Yay!

 

Yeah, we're hardcore

(All photos stolen from Mauer’s facebook page…. I didn’t bring my camera up to the field, figured I’d just end up breaking it. Although I did actually take the one of the Great Escape field.)