Tuesday, February 25, 2014

52 weekends ago ...

... our biggest complaint was, "Oh, but it's so windy."

Well, all I can say is that I have no idea where your February portraits would've been done this year, Jess, between the ice, the mud, the Polar Vortex, more ice, more mud, and more Polar Vortex.

Original post here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is February over yet? It's not? Are you sure? Really?

I left for school the other day and the bloom was still closed--three hours later, she had opened up.

The second one will be open by tomorrow morning.

Stretch those leggies ...

Penny figured out that she could walk on top of the three feet of snow on the deck.  Apparently this is easier than sitting inside and crying about its existence.

I put away anything remotely reminiscent of winter or Valentine's Day--I'm officially D-O-N-E with winter.  DONE.

I potted this up with succulents later in the day--need to rephotograph that.

I just repotted that guy on the left--I should probably retake this picture too since it looks so much better now.

I put away the snowflake garland and all the little bottle brush trees.  Sick of it all.

Recently, my mother-in-law gave me this gorgeous and extremely intricate afghan--her mother-in-law (Ron's grandmother) made it along with another one ... I had pictures of the other one, but I must have deleted them by mistake.  Anyway, Joanne knows that nobody in the family loves this stuff more than me, and she gave me one of the two.  It's shockingly heavy--it could easily cover you head to toe in bed.  The pattern is a star interspersed with a popcorn stitch.

Right now, it's in my family room (on the chair next to that green desk, above).  It's extremely delicate despite its heft, and I'm scared to death of ruining it by mistake.  I can't just put it anywhere because I don't want the Fluffs sleeping on it--it's not like I can just toss it in the washer to remove the fur, and I like to avoid dry cleaning as much as possible.  Granted I wash and (air) dry all of my silk and cashmere clothing here at home, but no way am I putting this in washer for no other reason than it would tangle all those fringe tassels into a horrendous knot.

Thank you, Joanne!

Yes, this one gets washed and dried pretty frequently (the afghan, not the Fluff).  Pearl gets so upset when the afghan disappears down the basement.  She sits on the bare leather couch and tries to bore a hole through my forehead with her eyes until I put it back.  Does that remind you of a little girl you once knew, Mom?  I guess two little girls ...?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day in the city

Last week, I had the chance to meet up with one of my favorite professors on the Main Line.  She suggested we go to "this new creperie in Wayne"--she's been a bunch of times because her kids are really into it right now.  It was so cool (and the food so good) I knew I had to come back the next week for Valentine's Day with Ron (who was taking the day off from work even though it's not Christmas!!! WAHOO!!!).

Our plan was to go to the creperie for lunch, jump on the train, bring down a whole bunch of stuff for Leslie, drop all of it off, and then move on with our day.  We had already stocked our fridge with leftovers so we didn't have to cook when we arrived home (since getting a table at a restaurant would be impossible).  Now all we needed was for it not to frickin snow for five minutes ...

Creperie Bechamel in Wayne--dine in, take out, and BYO! It's a little far for us to take-out, but good to know.  I think Mom, Leslie, Eileen, and I need to do a lunch here ..

Ron ordered the winter BLT since arugula, goat cheese, and bacon are three of his favorite foods. I had the scrambled veggie, and we split a caramel s'more crepe for dessert.

Pretty pleased with himself in his new shirt and suns.

In my head I look like Tami Taylor.  Clearly, reality is something totally different. But don't tell me that.

My scrambled veggie--my only gripe? Real china, please.

Caramel s'more with real whipped cream. omigod.

We didn't rush, and when we were ready to leave it was 1:30pm--just enough time to jump onto the 1:41 train.  Walking to the station, however, we realized that we probably didn't have enough cash to buy tickets on the train, and the ticket office which would typically take a credit card was closed.  So Ron sprinted to find a bank while I shopped for used books in the station cafe. He made it back 30 seconds before the train pulled up, we jumped on, the train pulled away, and then I frantically realized, "Hey. Wait a minute!! Where's all of Leslie's stuff?? Where's all the bags of stuff that she needs for this weekend???"  We both slammed our palms to our foreheads and groaned, "It's still in the car!!!"  The guy selling tickets thought this was hilarious, sold us passes that would allow us to jump on and off as many times as we wanted all day, and we got off at the next stop and waited for a train to take us back to Wayne so we could collect all of Leslie's stuff.  Luckily, we were able to grab the next train into the city at 2:11, but it was not what I had in mind after a leisurely lunch. Oh well.  At least we didn't remember after we arrived in center city ...

(And Leslie, you really should not feel bad about this!)

Leslie made this garland on her own--she punched out all the hearts (in different sizes and colors), punched a hole in each one, and strung them on skinny brown twine.

She made Valentines for me and mom too--mine's the one with the turquoise bento box (perfect for school) and mom has the beige heart bowl from West Elm.

And we each received a Fresh lip gloss! ooo la la!!

It was 3:30 at this point and I had been determined to go the Art Museum, but now I wasn't so sure.  Typically the Museum closes at 5pm, but since it was a Friday AND Valentine's Day they had their Art After 5 thing going on and the Main Galleries stay open until 8:45.  In my head I really wanted to do that, but I felt so tired for no stupid reason. Even if we had taken a cab, I knew I would still be too tired to enjoy the art, so we just started walking around instead.  We started east down Walnut toward Old City and decided we would just go from there.

Of course some jerk had to graffiti the prettiest bus shelter ever.

The slush was outta control. I had on one of my favorite outfits (basically the same one I'm wearing here because my mom is going "WHICH OUTFIT?") which easily accommodated my big black rubber boots, and thank God for 'em.  I accidentally sank into a snowy cesspool that went halfway up my calf on Broad Street, so really: Thank God for them.  Meanwhile, the THOUSANDS of women wearing Uggs in this mess? (I'm not exaggerating--thousands of women wearing Uggs in this mess!)  Screwed.  I really did feel bad for them because there's nothing worse than ruining something that's nearly impossible to clean.

At the same corner of the snowy cesspool, Ron had to carry a lady's two kids across it because they were scared and didn't have on tall shoes (their mom had on Uggs).  I stood on the ice covered median and watched as their mom sang Ron's praises as he lifted them over a black-grey, filthy, disgusting snow bank (to avoid the cesspool) that came up to my waist.  Typical Ron.  (Did I ever tell you about the time he carried the luggage all the way down the steps at the Florence train station for the oldest woman I've ever seen? I'll save it for another time.)

But seriously, those were your options at this corner: Climb up and over a four foot tall snow bank, filthy dirty and covered in two inches of ice. OR, walk around the snow bank and through six inches of the filthiest water you've EVER seen in your WHOLE life.  Thank you, Philadelphia.

We crossed the four lanes of traffic and the mom goes, "Whaddya say to the nice man?"

"THANK YOU!!" sang the two girls decked out in pink and red.

We laughed.

Doorway over the Jefferson Medical College

Two Willows without fangs--I'm just noticing the sheepies here.

Near Washington Park, across the street from the nut shop.

6th and Walnut in front of the Curtis Center. I wanted Ron to see the Tiffany mosaic in the atrium--I hadn't seen it since college when I showed up here to take my GREs (in their dungeon of a windowless basement).  But, we had to look at it through the front windows because ...

... they were setting up for a Valentine wedding and the catering team wasn't giving me the friendliest vibe.  My cousin's getting married here next year.  I guess I can see the mosaic then.  The ushers were doing photos out front--they looked great. Black tuxes with black bow ties and red boutonnieres and matching black Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses.  Fresh hair cuts. Done.

Washington Square--lovely park.  Much quieter than Rittenhouse.  Did you also know that it's a mass grave for thousands of nameless people?  Doesn't knowing that make your day better?

omigod that rooftop patio!  Will it ever be useful again???

I knew this would be my last shot because the light was so dim.

We had walked down 6th all the way to Pine and then started back west toward Leslie's.  Pine Street is really lovely, and I found two stores that I hadn't visited since college.  They literally hadn't changed at all.  Also Mom, there's a yarn shop there too.  The owner was ALL over the scarf you made me (and the felt heart pin that I was wearing).

I found this St. Francis statue--I already have the same one, but mine's in rougher shape. I found mine for $3 ... theirs was $42.  (Sorry Mom, or I would've bought it.)

We trudged our way back to Rittenhouse, I grabbed the Valentines Leslie had made--she was busy getting ready for dinner--and we headed back to Suburban Station.  Every restaurant was packed. It was so much fun to see all the people sitting in the windows--a lot red or black lace being worn by the ladies.  On the sidewalk, there was me in my big rubber boots and then the rest of the female population in mini skirts, sheer tights and stilettos (all of the slush from earlier was still there, so I don't know how that worked out for everybody--I was fine. Although my hair was a real wreck).

The 7:45 was fifteen minutes late (typical), and we made it back to the car an hour later.  We were exhausted.

I made some boozled hot chocolate when I came home (Ron had made pink marshmallows the day before--I better remember to give Leslie some tomorrow ...)

The best part about having fun on Friday is that the next day feels like Sunday, BUT IT'S NOT--it's only Saturday!

Penny's really depressed that she can't go on the deck in the snow, so she sits on my lap and watches out the window while I read books or kill way too much time on Pinterest.

Don't tell Penny that Willow goes out in the snow all the time ...

And that's it--thanks for such a fun day, Rinaldo! I wish you had days off more often : )