Birds of a Feather

Friday Five January 31, 2014

Filed under: The everyday — kcfeather @ 8:47 pm

It’s been a long one.

1. Every little cafe at every place of business has one dish that is far, far worse than it sounds like it will be. Today, I found that dish in the cafe in my building (a “crispy pancetta salad” which was neither crispy nor contained much pancetta). Ultimately, I ate a few bites, and then had a chocolate-covered pretzel for lunch instead.

2. The temperatures rose above freezing today! Woo-hoo!

3. We are DEFINITELY rooting for the Seahawks this week.  And by “we”, I mean “I”.  C (as usual) just hopes it is a good game (but he’ll probably have some Skittles, too).

4. This is a crazy story.  All I can say is, please be careful when carrying a Stradivarius across a dark parking lot.

5. Major drawback to growing up in the Evergreen State – I never learned to identify deciduous trees, like this one (a sycamore, perhaps?)

Major benefit: everything else (I think “Evergreen State” pretty much says it all.  None of this dreary mid-winter…well, maybe dreary, but at least there is green!)

Name the tree with the beautiful bark!

Name the tree with the beautiful bark!


Because everyone needs a good laugh on a Wednesday… January 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kcfeather @ 2:30 pm

…I present you with the list of places that C has lost his wedding ring (in order, ending with the most recent)

The picnic table in the courtyard outside our first apartment on Comstock Circle (for 6 months – approximately months 3 – 9 of our marriage)

He must have taken it off and left it on the table during one of our last outdoor dinners of the year (Septemberish, because you know – it gets “cold” in California). One day (in March) I was pacing around the perimeter of our building while talking with someone on the phone and saw it sitting there. I ended the phone conversation almost immediately upon spotting it and dragged C outside to see exactly where he had left it.

His backpack (also about 6 months; survived a cross-country move)

Initially C thought he lost it at the gym and visited the gym and the police lost and found several times, to no avail. He discovered it 6 months later, still in his backpack, within minutes of buying a replacement (albeit a cheap one) online.

The spare change jar we keep in our bedroom (sometime in 2013)

C looked around for at least a day or two; I found the ring within minutes after he told me that it was lost.

The finger of his glove (last month)

I guess the ring came off without his noticing as he pulled off his glove one day. C couldn’t find the ring (and it got warmer, so he didn’t use the gloves immediately). The next time the temperatures plummeted, he pulled on his glove, and lo and behold…the ring!


It does give me hope that we’ve gone from stretches of 6 months down to just a few days before finding the ring once it has been misplaced.


Friday Five: Freezing January 24, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — kcfeather @ 6:49 pm
Addison Street, the night of the snow

Addison Street, the night of the snow

1. Greetings from the land of the Polar Vortex. I’m still not sure I understand what the Vortex is, but let me tell you – it’s cold! On Tuesday we had over a foot of snow, and today walking into work I almost froze (it was about 8 degrees, not counting any wind chill). I had a major first this week – hiring someone to shovel our snow, since C was out of town in 80 degree LA. Money well spent. It’s not supposed to go significantly above freezing for at least the next week.

2. I went with a few cousins last night to see the Philadelphia Orchestra, and it may have been one of my favorite orchestra performances that I’ve ever attended. It was a great program:

Rimsky-Korsakov – “Battle of Kerzhenets,” from The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh

Tchaikovsky – Violin Concerto

Musorgsky – Pictures from an Exhibition

The Concerto was amazing, but I think the three of us loved the Musorgsky best of all. In any case, a definite highlight of the week (and the rush tickets were only $10!)

The beautiful herringbone ceiling of the Kimmel Center, at intermission

The beautiful herringbone ceiling of the Kimmel Center, at intermission

3. C was gone for a week (first camping in the desert and then working with a colleague in Pasadena). It was plenty long for him to be gone, but I had a great time seeing lots of friends while he was away. On the Monday holiday, I took a drive up to Bethlehem (“the Christmas City”) to see an old friend. We had a great time – Bethlehem is quite lovely with a dusting of snow. I even came home with a Moravian star of my very own!

4. Last week (before he left town), C was miraculously excused from jury duty! You can guess how he felt about that.

5. I have never been a house plant person, until recently. But I’m a total convert (at least for now). Since we moved out East, I find that I really miss the green in the winter. And, house plants are a pretty reasonable way of decorating on the cheap (which I feel is the only sort of decorating that makes sense in our current place, since we’re hoping to buy a house of our own in the not-too-distant future).

To date, I’ve had decent luck with succulents and cacti so long as I don’t over-water them (which takes some doing), but I realize that I’m really pushing my luck with the small fig tree that I picked up on a whim at Ikea last weekend. I’m not sure if we have enough light, but I can’t get enough of the big green leaves in the corner of our living room!

Indoor greenery and my Moravian star

Indoor greenery and my Moravian star


Friday Five January 10, 2014

Filed under: The everyday — kcfeather @ 2:55 pm

Happy New Year!

We are so glad to have made it through the crazy weather of the last week and a half, with just a very small amount of water in the basement. A brief recap: After a snow storm* last Thursday night that was sufficiently large to close the universities, Sunday it warmed up enough that all the snow melted. Then, on Monday night/Tuesday morning, temperatures plummeted (this was the “Polar Vortex”) – it was 3 degrees when we woke up (and -18 degrees when taking wind chill into account! Since then, the temperatures have been slowly climbing back up.

The screenshot of my phone shows the craziness if you look at the highs, starting on Tuesday with a high in the teens, Wednesday in the 20s, Thursday in the 30s, Friday (today) in the 40s, and (supposedly) tomorrow in the 50s. Wild!

*Weather is all relative. In Philly, this was considered a snow storm, but I don’t think the same amount of snow would have caused universities up in Boston to close down (on the other hand, they plow the streets up there!) And my Quebecois colleague laughed at the idea that it was a “storm”. On the other hand, this video of weather reports in California really made me chuckle!


All this yucky weather has been a great opportunity to dive back into quilting. Such a great rainy/snowy day activity (that it can be done while watching a movie – or football – is an added bonus).

Like many Americans (or maybe this is a more international phenomenon?), we often use January as a chance to reset some habits – particularly habits surrounding exercise and eating! So far, we’re doing pretty well.

In terms of exercise, we finally found a gym that will work well for us. We’re not super picky, but had three main criteria, and this one meets them all: it’s convenient (on the way to/from work for both of us), it’s cheap, and not too smelly! C usually goes before work, and my plan is to start going on my way home from work, now that we’ve figured out my membership.

In terms of eating, we’re not going quite so hard core as in years past (Month of Salads) – but our main goal was to eat more meals at home. A week and a half in, I think we’re doing pretty well. Our favorite new recipe thus far is this surprisingly tasty tuna sandwich (which we had alongside chard, just to add some leafy greens into the mix). My goal is to try one new weeknight dinner (read: not too complicated) recipe a week.  I’ll share any gems I find!

I’m headed up to New York tonight for a day-long women’s conference tomorrow, which I’ll attend with a few friends from church. A year and a half in to life here in Philly, and I still can’t get over how great it is that NY is under 2 hours away.

Go Seahawks!!