Birds of a Feather

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.

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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!

1.
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!

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2.
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).

3.
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!

4.
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.

5.
Go Seahawks!!

 

Christmas Benediction December 24, 2013

Filed under: Holiday — kcfeather @ 9:59 pm

Merry Christmas Eve from Isle of Palms (where we’re celebrating Christmas this year with my family). We cannot complain about the unseasonably warm temperatures (in the 70s our first two days here). We’re about to head into town for dinner at Magnolias followed by a candlelight service. Tomorrow we’re staying on the island. No gifts this year (too hard to travel with), but we have lots of fun games (Anomia and Tenzi are our new favorites), good books to read, a beach to take long walks on (especially if the sun sticks around), and all the ingredients for a delicious Christmas dinner.

Before I sign off for the rest of 2013, I thought I would share this benediction from our church’s Lessons & Carols service earlier this month:

May the joy of the angels,
the eagerness of the shepherds,
the perseverance of the wise men,
the obedience of Joseph and Mary,
and the peace of the Christ child
be yours this Christmas;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.
Amen

 

Poetry Corner: First Snow December 13, 2013

Filed under: Poetry,The everyday — kcfeather @ 2:41 am

This past Sunday morning, we were at the Lessons & Carols service at our church. Partway through the sermon, I turned slightly to the windows and saw: snow! It was early – all the forecasts said it was not supposed to arrive until much later that afternoon. The snow continued to fall throughout the service, and then started falling heavier as we headed out (it was falling fast enough that after stopping for thirty minutes for lunch – pho – we nearly had to dig the car out before slowly driving back home). The snow in the city is not the same as the snow that Mary Oliver describes, but the first snow is the first snow, wherever you are – and the calm and (relative) silence are special.

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Our window box, early afternoon

First Snow
Mary Oliver

The snow
began here
this morning and all day
continued, its white
rhetoric everywhere
calling us back to why, how,
whence such beauty and what
the meaning; such
an oracular fever! flowing
past windows, an energy it seemed
would never ebb, never settle
less than lovely! and only now,
deep into night,
it has finally ended.
The silence
is immense,
and the heavens still hold
a million candles; nowhere
the familiar things:
stars, the moon,
the darkness we expect
and nightly turn from. Trees
glitter like castles
of ribbons, the broad fields
smolder with light, a passing
creekbed lies
heaped with shining hills;
and though the questions
that have assailed us all day
remain – not a single
answer has been found –
walking out now
into the silence and the light
under the trees,
and through the fields,
feels like one.

Near the river, at 5 pm

Near the river, at 5 pm

 

TGIF (Five on Friday) November 22, 2013

Filed under: The everyday — kcfeather @ 9:01 pm

1.  Last Friday, I threw out my back.  In the past, I have had lots of issues with my neck; this is the first major incident with my lower back.  The doctor said, “This will probably be a lifelong journey” – which is slightly depressing.  But, the pain is subsiding and I have a referral for PT (and I now feel guilt-free about booking a massage). If I had to choose one of us to have back problems, I’m glad it’s me. Mostly because on a practical level, I’m weaker so of less use around the house anyway. Also because I feel relatively certain that it’s not very fun to be the person tasked with all dish-washing and cooking, not to mention always being on call to re-heat the hot pad. Thanks, C!

2.  The options for passing the time when you have limited mobility are not too many (especially when you throw in the painkillers that make concentrating on reading nearly impossible).  This is when I really appreciate Netflix.  We’ve caught up to the present on Scandal (which is very soapy, but also pretty fun to watch), and have been enjoying Friday Night Lights as well (though we’re still only in Season 1 and have a long ways to go!)  I’ve been hearing great things about The Fall, so that series might be next up in the cue.

3. Also mundane and health related: the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with a dairy free diet, which has turned out to be a little eaiser than I expected (and has had the desired effect of a less irritated stomach). I’m now going to start experimenting with adding dairy back in a little bit at a time. While I miss dairy less than I expected, it does rule out an awful lot of baked goods (probably better for me anyway), and for this reason I was pretty pumped this past weekend when I realized that our favorite banana bread recipe doesn’t have any dairy at all. And so, while I was on the couch nursing my bum back with a hot pad, C whipped us up a batch. Insider tip: banana bread is just a little bit tastier if you toast the slice before eating.

4.  We’re starting to get excited about Thanksgiving (in Dallas with C’s family) and Christmas (in Charleston with my family).  Once C leaves for Dallas tomorrow morning, I have every intention of pulling out the Christmas decorations and turning on the Statler Brother’s Home for Christmas.  I know you’re supposed to wait until after Thanksgiving, but since we’ll be gone that weekend, why not get a head start?

5. TGIF!  I realize that’s a pretty lame #5, but seriously – though Fridays are always exciting, today in particular we are both SO READY for the weekend.  Between my back pain and several late nights of work for Clayton this week, it couldn’t have come soon enough. We’re just hoping and praying that the car alarm that went off every 15 minutes all night last night will decide give us a break tonight.

 

Weekend in Washington November 21, 2013

Filed under: Travel Reports — kcfeather @ 2:31 am

Since the beginning of September, one or both of us has been out of town for five separate weekends (and, we’ve pretty much been sick the other weekends). While we’re ready for a break from the whirlwind, we’ve really enjoyed our weekend travels. Earlier this month, I headed down to DC for my friend (and former roommate) E’s wedding.  C was supposed to join, but due to an abscess tooth he didn’t come for the first night, and instead waited for the painkillers to kick in before he took the train down in time for a post-wedding dinner on Saturday night.

I don’t have photos from the wedding, but you’ll have to trust me that everything was beautiful and so elegant without feeling stuffy at all. It was fun celebrating the new couple and catching up with old friends.

I do, however, have photos from several walks around the Mall – and the Tidal Basin – that I took over the course of the weekend. In short, I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful fall weekend – the air was crisp, the skies were blue, and the trees glowed with fall color.  But you don’t have to take my word for it!

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