Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Almost Forgot!

Last night T and I went to a performance of The Rite of Spring in downtown Boston at the Hatch Shell. Outdoor concerts are lots of fun--T and I went to some in Spokane and Sandpoint, ID. It's always so nice to take a blanket and sit in the cool of the evening with good food, good friends, and a nice bottle of wine (in cleverly-disguised plastic cups!). I made a cake, which we brought to the yummy picnic of pasta, grapes, cheese, salami, and crackers (thanks, Tina!). After the concert we went up to the roof of Tina's house and chatted for a bit. Here are a few pictures I took last evening. Fun times!
Concert at the Shell
Oh, and did you know that basil flowers?

Bike Update

I'm still riding my bike to and from work. It's been nice, over all. There are those mornings when I really don't want to do my hair that certain way (to fit under my helmet) and when I really don't want to huff and puff all the way up that last, long hill only to stop and huff and puff some more until my body cools down a bit. But really, I do enjoy it :) and it makes me feel like I am exercising more, which is always a good thing. I've noticed my quads, though, get tired more quickly now--I hope it's just a transition phase and not an indication that I'll be a weakling forever--but thank goodness for "granny gear" on bikes! I have yet to ride in the rain--I have no fenders on my bike so that might be a bit wet. I also have yet to ride downtown, really. I've ridden to the movie theater nearby, but not to the yoga studio where T goes. The ride down would be fine (easy, in fact), but riding back would be one long hill from the 1/2 way point. I don't know if I'm up for that quite yet. Anyway, stay tuned for more updates in the exciting chronicles of Annie Riding A Bike :) (or something like that)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Shall We Dance?

So--I've been missing Spokane's fantastic dance scene (no joke--Spokane Dance is a quality studio!), and T and I finally decided to start looking for some place to dance in or around the Boston area. After a rather lengthy online search, we found a few near-ish places where we could practice a bit. And last night was our first night out dancing! I still miss Spokane Dance, but it was good to dress up again and put on my (favorite!) dancing shoes to tear it up on a real dance floor. We're both pretty out of practice, but it was still fun :) Then today I dug out all my old dancing notes from undergrad dance classes and private lessons. I took dance lessons for three years at GU and loved every minute of it! Of all the dances, my all time favorite was West Coast Swing. Buddy Schwimmer, one of the greatest swing dancers ever, came to Spokane Dance occasionally for weekend workshops. He is so amazing! I was fortunate enough to have taken a few private lessons with him, and several group lessons. (Here's a video of his son and daughter dancing, followed by a demo of Buddy and his wife. This man can move like you wouldn't believe!) Here is a better video of Buddy and his wife, Laurie (only the first 1/2 of the video). While I remember thoroughly enjoying every minute of the dancing, deciphering my sparse notes on the subject were another matter (even a copious-note-taker like me has a hard time jotting things down while dancing). T was good enough to let me play teacher for a little bit and helped me decode my notes: 'kick-bat-change, kick and press, cross, step, swivel, step, step" (etc, etc, etc) :) So we're enjoying getting back "into the swing of things" (if you will allow the pun) and are looking forward to perhaps taking lessons in the fall. Also, dancing is turning out to be fabulous exercise--I'm sore today in places I never would have guessed! Hopefully between dancing, walking, biking, and yoga I can get back in shape.
This is Benji and Deborah Szekely in a Jack and Jill competition--I'm pretty sure that these two dances are all lead-and-follow (meaning that they were not rehearsed or choreographed beforehand). So amazing. I want to dance like this when T and I go out (especially the second dance)!! This is Benji and his cousin, Heidi, the most amazing dance partners EVER (also, in 2006, Benji won the SYTYCD competition. And I've actually danced with him!). The video explains it all--this is why I love west coast swing. I want to dance like Heidi; I want Benji to teach T all he knows. Here is another video (the performance before theie first video here). This is Buddy and Laurie Schwimmer, Benji's parents and Heidi's uncle and aunt.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Smarty Pants

My genius husband got another paper accepted at a conference! (That's why he's a smarty pants--in a good way, though!) The first of his papers that was accepted was for a Lonergan conference in CA at Loyola Marymount. It was great fun to fly out west, leaving behind the dreary, barely-spring of New England for the sun-shiney temperance of Los Angeles! T took me with him for that conference, and my parents drove down to hear his paper. We all stayed at my sister's apartment in Long Beach, which was a little warm, but still tons of fun! I got to go shopping with Momma and V, and Daddy and T went to the conference all weekend, being all geeky with other Lonergan buffs. This paper wouldn't take us to exotic, far-off places, but it's right here in Boston this November. It's the North Eastern Political Science annual conference and, apparently, it's fairly affluent--there are lots and lots of presenters, and prizes for the best papers. The only small trouble is that T still needs to write the paper (technically, it was just his proposal which was accepted--essentially the first page of his paper). So, hopefully he gets that written soon! :D See? T's always enjoyed reading this to anyone who will listen! This is Giulia and Michael, my sisters' kids.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Piano and the Joy of Music

I've always sort of played the piano. I am by no means a phenomenal pianist, but I love to play. Whenever I was stressed or worried, or even elated and bubbling-over with joy, I could sit down at the piano and let the emotion seep out into the notes. I suppose that sounds a little cliché, but it's just the way it worked for me. And I'm glad of it. When T and I were in CA last month, I got to play the piano I grew up with. I don't know much about pianos, but our piano isn't a Steinway or a Yamaha.. I think it's Kawai (it was purchased in Japan by my mother's family when they were stationed there), but it was a wonderful piano through the years. Ahh, I can't explain what a great feeling it was to sit down and play the old, familiar, memorized songs and hit every key correctly, if only because the muscle memory is still there. I was able to play almost perfectly songs that I struggle with on other pianos. It's amazing how precise muscle memory is, and how much a slight difference in key size matters. One of the best things about playing the piano in CA was that all my nieces and nephews were there, too--I had a non-critical audience! I could only remember a small handful of memorized songs, but I played those with gusto and the little kiddies loved to dance to them! They would ask for certain styles of songs, "Aunt Annie, play a ballet song" (Music Box Dancer). "Aunt Annie, play a FAST song!" (The Spinning song). "Aunt Annie, play a night-time song" (Little Boy Blue). Their favorite, by far, was the Spinning Song. Giulia, my oldest sister's oldest kid, liked it so much that she kept asking to hear it after T and I left: "Mommy, can you play the Spinning Song, please?" "Mommy doesn't know the Spinning Song, darlin'." So I sent Summer a copy of the sheet music the other day :) Hopefully Giulia doesn't put too much pressure on her to learn it superfast. But other than the songs I had memorized, I got to refresh my memory on other songs I'd learned throughout the years and use the original sheet music. One of my favorite songs, Gounod's Ave Maria set to Bach's First Prelude, I learned from my mom's mom's sheet music from the 40s. In fact, my grandmother's name is still written on the front. She was a great singer--could have been a famous radio star if she hadn't married my grandfather :) (And we still have some recordings of hers--it's amazing how much my mom and my sisters sound like her (in different ways and different ranges) when they sing!) I also played around with some Christmas songs I learned long, long ago... It was a great way to spend the afternoons (that is, the afternoons when little children weren't napping at Grandmama's house) in the summertime desert heat. The other great part about playing with little kids around is the way they are fascinated by it! The older kids wanted to show me what they could do (T's siblings do this too), "Look what I've learned, Aunt Annie!" and the younger kids wanted to play with me. But they tell me that they can't sit on my lap--they're not really playing the piano unless they sit on the bench right next to me :) I would thump out a simple base beat and let them just plink away on the high-note keys. One of these days I'd like to record some of those "jam sessions" because they're quite adorable. I think the next thing I need to work on for family piano time is learning songs they kids can sing to. T's family is great about this (they nearly have a string quartet in the family, though). Every Christmas, all the family members in town get together for a night of carols! There's a piano player (usually Mum, but Grandma Peterson plays the 12 Days of Christmas because all her children like to go superfast by the end of the song just to make it difficult for her--but she's never phased), a harpist, three violinists (at least), a cellist (sort of, T), and LOTS of voices (with pretty good harmonies, too)! I've even started practicing more here in Boston, on the pianos in the music department at school. When I get off work early, I head on over and work my way through a song book I got in grade school. Maybe I'll have a greater variety of dancing songs for the kiddies next time we visit CA or WA :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Craftiness and Things

One of the things I've noticed about the east coast is that quite a few people are amazed that T and I are so "handy" (as they say). We did, after all, remodel our bathroom by ourselves! But, coming from the west coast, I found it rather amazing that people here are amazed that we are handy and crafty. "Isn't everyone crafty?" (I suppose that is true, but the creativeness comes out in different outlets. One of our friends doesn't consider herself "handy" but is a phenomenal pianist. Another of our friends isn't, say, good at tiling, but he got his BA in drama and tells the most hilarious stories!) I suppose it's more of the type of craftiness or handiness that amazes people. I can knit and sew, but (at least to the older generation on this coast) that is something that all young women should know, "And good for you for learning those things these days." T can play the cello and has a thorough knowledge of classical music (thanks Mum!) but that, also, is something every young person should know. People seem to be more impressed that I can operate a jigsaw on my own, that I've used air-compressor tools, and that T has built houses and can fix most of our plumbing problems. They are amazed that we want to update our kitchen and are considering doing it all by ourselves. But, then again, we come from a land of pioneers, who did everything themselves anyway! Some people over here are impressed that I make all the cards we give people. T doesn't believe in buying cards for people, and he's helped me invest in card-making things. I have all sorts of paper (mostly scraps we save from magazines and invitations and letters) and I get the $1 stamp deals at Michael's (only on the west coast--do they have Michael's' in Boston?!). I do tend to splurge on the stamp pads a bit, but the longer they last (and the more you use them) the better the return on your investment. If I get the really juicy stamp pads they stamp well right up to the end. I also have markers, crayons, colored pencils, a good paper cutter, some of the shape-hole-punches, and a few pairs of the fancy-edge scissors.I'd have to say that making cards has become my most creative outlet. I used to paint ceramics before I got married, but T and I just haven't had the space for me to spread out that type of task. So now I make cards--spilling paper doesn't stain rugs, and if you leave a crayon out of the box it doesn't dry up. (And with the size of our family it's a good thing we don't pay $3.50 per card we send--for birthdays we have 17 on my side and 11 on T's, then at least 10 anniversaries and C'mas and Easter cards. Not to mention any special occasion cards--weddings, baby showers, thank you notes, etc, etc). But really, I love it :) I spend a few days at a time and spread out all my miscellaneous tid-bits and stamps and go to town! I hope I'm able to continue making cards when we have kids. It might be a bit more difficult (and I may not be able to do it on the floor anymore), but I think it would be fun. T's mom always has all the kids make cards for the birthday person. It's so great to receive a nice thick envelope on your birthday with at least 7 completely beautiful and randomly-stamped birthday cards! So, even though the craftiness seems to vary from coast to coast, I agree with the motto of The Paper Source (awesome scrap booking/stamping store)--"Do something creative every day." No matter what it is! :)
These are some of the cards I've made recently.
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Friday, July 18, 2008

My Love Is A Squirrel

At a friends' house the other day, picking out a movie to watch, I happened upon Disney's Sword in the Stone. We didn't watch it then, but they let me borrow it and I just finished watching it--for the first time in years! And let me tell you, so much makes sense to me now! It was as if the most profound mysteries of my life were made clear! (well, maybe not the most profound ones) The most entertaining party of the movie for me this time around was the scene with the squirrels. The way those two girly squirrel(y)s flirt with Merlin-squirrel and Arthur-squirrel reminded me a lot of how I flirt with T when I'm at my silliest! For instance, when T and I are walking along holding hands, I like to let go of his hand and put it (his hand) on top of my head. I'm not sure why I do this, it's just silly (and it makes T laugh--usually he kisses me too). T doesn't understand it either but he likes to laugh at/with me. Another game I like to play is "tickle T with something," which something usually ends up being one of my ringlets :) I like to be annoying about it and do it while he's facebooking or watching a movie (usually a movie that I've already seen). Sometimes we play the "melty wife" game. When I'm really tired and T tries to put me to bed, I become all melty (some of you know how good toddlers are at this--if they don't want to be picked up, they release their arms and somehow manage to slide out the bottom of your grip). Sometimes the "melty wife" game becomes "clingy wife" when T starts to run away :) And sometimes it's the "smother T with kisses and hugs" game, which I usually play when he comes home or before we go to bed or when he's done something (anything) wonderful for me. That's a nice game, and as long as it's not too hot, T doesn't mind playing along :) Oftentimes I get so silly with all my games I just have to let myself giggle for a little while, hiding in blankets or a pillow or behind my hair... And, as a small side note, I couldn't help but wonder if J.K. Rowling watched Sword in the Stone when she was younger? Because, from the descriptions in her books, I imagined Dumbledore looking a lot like Merlin. Also, what about the intelligent owl that follows instructions (granted, Archimedes doesn't deliver letters). Then there's the fact that Harry and "Wart" (Arthur) both happened to be orphans; and Arthur's foster father, Ektor, though a bit more compassionate toward his Wart, reminded me a lot of Harry's uncle, Vernon Drusley--not to mention the similarity between the surly, dumb (though, granted again, not fat) son Kay and Dudley-kins. And then there's the wizard duel between Merlin and Madame Mim. Now, this is not meant to be an attack on the Harry Potter books--I've been enjoying them very much and I'm not trying to criticize Rowling's creativity. Perhaps it was even that, since I had seen the Sword in the Stone before reading the books, the characters Merlin, Kay, and Ektor were lurking somewhere in the depths of my mind as I read the books. But, it made me chuckle as I watched the movie :) So here's to Sword in the Stone and all the wonderful associations it has!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mossy and Tangle

I didn't grow up reading a lot of fantasy, per se. I suppose I was exposed to enough of it, through fairy tales and cartoons, but I didn't read a lot of it myself. Then I went to GU. My second year there, I read CS Lewis' The Magician's Nephew in my Philosophy of Ethics course. Later on I took the same professor's course on CS Lewis and worked my way through the all the Chronicles of Narnia, the space trilogy, a large portion of Lewis' essays, and his master work, Till We Have Faces (I should read that book every year there's so much to glean from it!). It was as if a new world opened up to me--that fantasy, good fantasy written with the intent to tell a good story, could be so uplifting was novel and exciting. Even when T and I started dating (T, the Tolkien-buff whose mother predicted that the woman he married would have already read, and loved, the Silmarillian before T met her), I hadn't read a word of Tolkien, though I had been taken to see the Lord of the Rings movies with friends. Tolkien was a new world, too--Middle Earth and hobbits and elves and orcs and Ents and all manner of strange and wonderful creatures. T and I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy aloud on our honeymoon. I think Tolkien intended much of his writing to be heard aloud. It was grand. Then... I found MacDonald, the "Grandfather" of the Inklings (the writers group to which both Tolkien and Lewis belonged, as well as fabulous writers like Lewis' brother, Tolkien's son, and Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams). MacDonald's fantasy is truly strange and wonderful, in the best and most bizarre senses of the words. His writing transports the reader so effortlessly into another world that, as it happens, is right outside one's window. I read The Golden Key again today. Of all his works I've read so far, I think this one sums up particularly well MacDonald's writing style, his sense of the truly masculine and feminine, and his clear grasp of reality (and eternity) and how fluidly he transforms it to fantasy outside-of-time. If you have an hour or so to spare today, I recommend reading this story. We are all a Mossy or a Tangle, making our way to the land whence the shadows fall.
"As they walked they waded knee-deep in the lovely lake. For the shadows were not merely lying on the surface of the ground, but heaped up above it like substantial forms of darkness, as if they had been cast upon a thousand different planes of the air... After a while, they reached more open spaces, where the shadows were thinner; and came even to portions over which shadows only flitted, leaving them clear for such as might follow. Now a wonderful form, half bird-like half human, would float across on outspread sailing pinions. Anon an exquisite shadow group of gambolling children would be followed by the loveliest female form, and that again by the grand stride of a Titanic shape, each disappearing in the surrounding press of shadowy foliage. Sometimes a profile of unspeakable beauty or grandeur would appear for a moment and vanish. Sometimes they seemed lovers that passed linked arm in arm, sometimes father and son, sometimes brothers in loving contest, sometimes sisters entwined in gracefullest community of complex form. Sometimes wild horses would tear across, free, or bestrode by noble shadows of ruling men. But some of the things which pleased them most they never knew how to describe."

My Wonderful Husband

I have no huge, specific reason for writing about my sweet husband today. He's not a new father, he doesn't have a new job, it's not his birthday or our anniversary, he hasn't just come home after a long absence. It's all the little, every-day-wonderful things he does that has prompted me to tell you about him. I've been slacking quite a bit in my exercise routine and the other day I asked T for a bit of help--"Push me out of bed or remind me how I want to slim down and feel better." So, instead of actually pushing me out of bed, he hands me my phone so I can record my temperature (haha, that may sound funny--but since we don't turn on our computer at home very often, I keep a record of my waking temperature in the calendar in my phone (which is right by our bed) and then transfer the temps all at once). After getting dressed for his exercise, he comes back in to make sure I've not fallen back asleep. When we're done exercising, he makes me breakfast and packs the lunch so that I can take a bit more time to get ready for work. At Mass, he lets me go first in line for Communion. He's always willing to help in the kitchen if I'm too tired or stressed or lazy to keep it clean or to make meals. He sweeps the floors and vacuums the rugs when I ask him to (and often when I don't ask, too). He cleans the bathroom if it needs to be done. He helps pick up the house with me when we have company coming. He truly appreciates all the things I make for him--food, clothes, cards, camera cases! I'm sometimes amazed at the whatsits I've made him that he keeps for years. T loves my family. I know that may sound strange, but not everyone really enjoys their in-laws. T and I are both lucky--we have wonderful families on both sides and we get along with everyone very well! T is a good sport, too, when it gets a bit overwhelming at my parents' house. He plays with me! Who says you can't be a kid forever? He holds my hand... a lot :) He takes walks with me even though he's already gone running and biked to and from work and walked all over campus carrying heavy things and just wants to sit at home and read his books or his newspaper. But the most amazing aspect about all these things is that he does them without complaint. In fact, that's one of the things that I admire most about T--he almost never (never) complains, about anything. If he's irritated, he sometimes goes stonily silent, but he can usually shake himself out of it without grief. And even if I'm cranky he doesn't let it get to him and tries his best to cheer me up, to help me see the bright side of things, to see God's will in the suffering or frustration. He strengthens my hope in persistent desires and spurs me on to do God's will joyfully. He makes me laugh if I'm crying (and sometimes makes me cry from laughing too hard!); he tells me I'm beautiful when I feel ugly; he holds me when I need to feel safe; he supports me when I'm weak. He's just exactly what I need when I need it. So, thanks for all you do for me, my Sweet Husband-Love! I love you a million-billion-six!
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Monday, July 14, 2008

World Youth Day

I just read this article on the U.S. Byzantine Catholic website on World Youth Day this year in Australia. When I read this paragraph
"Young people of past World Youth Days are now adults and know up to what point this experience has been wonderful for their lives," said the priest. "Today's young people, tomorrow's adults, will also know that Sydney is close, and that hope and love in the Church's future and in that of the whole of humanity also depends on them."
I was reminded of my own first experience of World Youth Day in 2000--in Rome for the first time since the creation of the event in 1986 (that is, the first "international" World Youth Day; there are world youth days in Rome every year it is not held somewhere else). I went to Rome with 25 students and 5 chaperons from my home parish in CA. It was a deeply moving experience to be in Rome for the first time in my life, to see all the wonderful sights, the works of art, churches, and, of course, the witness of thousands of pilgrims (actually, for this one in 2000, I think it may have been millions). Following the instructions from the WYD website, I packed all that I would need for a week (including shirts that would dry quickly so I could hand wash them and wear them again) into one backpack. I packed a small fleece sleeping bag (no pad) and did not bring a pillow. We slept on the floor in an Italian school in Colleferro, about an hour southeast of Rome. We took the train into the city on the two or three days we went there. It was hot. Rome in August is very warm and quite humid. I remember drinking copious amounts of water; I do not remember needing to use the bathroom very often. It was very crowded. The general audiences in St. Peter's square were stuffed with pilgrims--in order to make it through the crowd with a group of 30, we had to hold on to each other very tightly and pull each other through the masses of people. But it was all so wonderful! Each line we had to stand in gave us an opportunity to meet new people. Every moment we stood still, hemmed in by the crowd, gave us a moment to think or rest or simply see. The official "theme song" for WYD 2000 was "Emmanuel" God With Us. I remember young people chanting things like "John Paul II, we love you!" To which JPII would respond, "Pope John Paul loves you all!" He was very young at heart!! My deepest impression of that world youth day, my first, is that the Church needs her young people, and that the Holy Father loves them all deeply. He needed us; he wanted us to become strong leaders in the Church; he wanted us to know that Christ loves us and deeply desires a relationship with us. He wants to be with us. What I realized was that I mattered--quite specifically--to the future of the Church. In 2002, by an act of God, I was able to attend my second World Youth Day, in Toronto, Canada. This, too, was a very moving experience. If my pilgrimage to Rome was mostly about the Holy City, my journey to Canada was mostly about the people I met and friends I made (you can tell this by the pictures I took!). I went to Toronto with a group from Gonzaga, before I even was a student there--the summer before my freshman year began. We were all lucky enough to be housed by various members of St. Bartholomew's parish, and I actually got to sleep in a bed this time!
I stood less than 20 feet away (on a friend's shoulders) and watched the pope as he passed by in his pope-mobile. That year's theme song called us all to be the salt of the earth, and the light of the world. Our Holy Father told us, that summer, "You are young. But the pope is old." We didn't believe it--we all shouted "No!" and began afresh our chants of "JPII, we love you" or "Giovanni Paolo *clap, clap, clap, clap, clap*" We weren't ready for him to leave us yet... I can't recall him saying he would see us in Germany in 2005. I know it was in headlines and whatnot, since that's when the next WYD was set for, but I don't remember JPII actually saying it . Perhaps he knew. And now, though I haven't been able to attend WYD 2005, or this year's gathering in Sydney, Australia, I feel I am able to share, in a very special way, in the experience of those few (those happy few) who are currently making their journey to join thousands of other young people in the wide embrace of our new pope--Benedict! I was so glad to hear he continued the WYD tradition--I feel it has become so important to the Catholic youth of today to know they are loved, needed, and prayed for. It is true that "today's young people...will know that hope and love in the Church's future, and in that of the whole of humanity, also depends on them!"
I hope the world youth days continue well into the future--as a constant reminder to the world and to the Church that the future is in the hands of our young people. I hope my children are able to someday attend a world youth day, perhaps in Rome even, and know how deeply they are loved by the pope. I have hope in the future of the Church--hope that has come from meeting hundreds of "kids like me" who are passionate about their faith and truly want to know Christ and see Him in all people.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Born on the Fourth of July!

"I've a Yankee Doodle sweetheart, [he's] my Yankee Doodle joy!" A bit from a musical I saw years and years ago. Always gets stuck in my head for the fourth of July because of the line which is the title of this post :) ---------- It's been a crazy long weekend after getting back from CA at 7 in the morning on Wednesday! Luckily, my boss was nice enough to not require my presence in the office the rest of the week, so I got a lovely two-week vacation! As it is, I got sick this weekend and had to work from home today, but that was alright with him, too. What a great boss! T went in to work for a bit on Wednesday to check in and also for an interview later that morning. After the interview, though, his boss told him to go home and sleep. It was good. Our sleep schedule was all messed up having changed timezones and taken a red-eye flight back to Boston. We slept a lot on Wednesday and Thursday. But because we slept, we were up later than usual! We went to see Hancock Wednesday night with two friends (and ate some yummy chinese food!). The movie was thoroughly enjoyable--for the first half. Part way through the film a rather complicated character relationship arose and I think the directors/writers took the story in a weird direction. I don't regret seeing the movie, and I don't think I wasted my money, but I won't see it again. Too bad--I really like Will Smith and the first half was lots of fun. Then on Thursday, T went to work some more and I faded in and out of consciousness while trying to to unpack. I must have done it, though, because we were all unpacked the next morning, just in time for our Fourth of July! We had D and M over for breakfast, which was fabulous. M is getting so perfectly pregnant, rounding out her sixth month. To me, she is what women should look like pregnant :) We had a nice time over a late breakfast, I got to use my pretty china, and we had a good, lazy conversation while we decided what we were going to do for the afternoon (we were all invited downtown to a friend's rooftop to watch the fireworks that night). We decided to see Get Smart (a weekend for movies!). I really enjoyed the film--but probably due to more reasons than just the movie. For one thing, we were much more rested going in. We also got popcorn, which is a complete rip off, but made me happy because I love popcorn :) Also, T got such a kick out of one of the previews and was laughing so hard, it put me in a properly humorous mood for a silly, parody-type movie. And surprisingly, the movie wasn't overly crude--the humor was mostly slap-stick stuff, but it was enjoyable and pretty clean. After the movie we all came back to our house. M took a nap and T and D and I got ready for dinner with several other friends. Burgers and summer corn on the cob! It was pretty yummy :) We had tea while we chatted for a bit and then we all headed downtown for dessert and to watch the fireworks. We had a very delicious strawberry shortcake! And I have to say that the first half of the fireworks show was pretty darn cool. I'm sure the second half was great too, but due to the lack of wind over the Charles River, we couldn't see a majority of the spectacular spectacle. I've posted some photos and videos of the fireworks. Enjoy!
4th of July
All in all, a grand celebration with good food, good friends, and great memories!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monday, Monday

Yesterday, Momma and I canned all the apricots we've been picking off her tree of abundance as they ripened. It was my first time canning and I had quite a good time, though mostly all I did was pit apricots. Momma even made me some apricot pineapple jam, since I can't find any in the stores without corn syrup (nasty stuff). Can't wait to try my new jam! And Giulia helped me for a little bit, which was very cute. I was sure to give her the most ripe apricots so that she didn't have to strain her darling little thumbs too much as she pried the two halves apart and picked out the pit.