Getting Caught Up

Hey there.  Long time no post.  How’ve you been?  Busy?  Yeah, us too.  We unpacked the last of the boxes today, so we’re looking forward to a whole lot of the following:

Sunshine Sleepies

Two weeks ago, we made the move from highrise hell to a cute condo north of Old Town Alexandria.  We’re right off the George Washington Parkway, just a hop skip and a jump from the Potomac on one side, and Buzz and Rustico on the other.  The new place certainly has its challenges, including a tiny kitchen (at least when compared to our last two):

New Kitchen

but it makes up for it with sunlight and a washer and dryer and no elevator and trees and quiet neighbors and lots of things for Mina to climb:

Nobody puts Mina in a corner

This weekend I was supposed to be in class Friday night and all day Saturday, but due to a registration snafu, we unexpectedly had an entirely free weekend ahead of us at 5pm on Friday night.  We took advantage of it and went on a date, watched a lot of football, and found farmers’ market treasures on a very hot Saturday:

How much does $4 get you?

8 pounds of peppers for $4!  I roasted most of them while SB relaxed after lugging them (and lots of other stuff) around the market for too long in the sun.  They’ll make for fantastic eating in a few months.

In other news, a frittata miracle occured Thursday night:

Fritatta in the panFrittata out of the pan!

The secret? Amply coating the bottom of the pan with butter, then spraying the sides with non-stick spray. Genius.  Now that things are a bit more settled, I’m hoping that we can get back to more regular adventures – and also more regular blogging – around these parts.  Until then, please make sure you’re registered to vote, and keep cool and out of harm’s way.

The Carlton: A Condominium

Tonight after picking up our mail I got on the elevator with two other guys who live on our floor.  I only know this because when asked which floor we needed, we all said “Five, please”.  One of the guys, an older gentleman with a walker, told us that when he bought his condo in 1972, the place was fancy, and he knew everyone on the floor.  He said that there was a skating rink out back by the pool, and a nice fountain in the courtyard area between our building and The Brittany (no word on whether it is also colon A Condominium).  Guess this place used to be nice after all!

By the Numbers: June 2008

Our total grocery spending was down this month, but that’s likely because our eating-out spending was up as a result of Bonnaroo.  Beginning July 1, we started tracking our eatings-out in order to provide us with better budgetary numbers going forward.  We’ll be moving to a new place in the fall, and being able to accurately calculate our expenditures will be important for our fiscal well being.

I’m really proud that this month we neared 50-50 on our market/non-market spending!

Thursday Morning Cuteness

The most ardent supporter of our local eating efforts?

What are you eating, Mom?

Miss Mina, who is very interested in everything that we eat, but especially local meats and veggies.  If the local food movement needs a spokescat, I’d happily volunteer her services, as it’s really time she earns her keep.

By the numbers: May 2008

Look! I can use Google to make charts and graphs!

Am I sure how we spent $428.43 on groceries and other household-y stuff last month? Not really. I mean, we have the numbers, but I’m not sure what they mean, exactly. There were a few splurges on alcohol, lots of cheese and meats for a fancy picnic, and things like that which put us over our budget for the month. On the whole, though, I think we’re coming out about the same as we were previously – we’re just buying better things, and eating better meals at home. Last night I was trying to remember exactly what it was that we ate prior to two months ago. I think a lot more frozen things.

A June Miracle!

Something kind of magical happened yesterday, and I just have to tell you about it.  On our way to our parking spot last night, we drove by the Place Where All Large Household Things Go To Die in our apartment building.  It’s usually populated with beat-up couches, office chairs, and other abandoned furniture.  All of that stuff was there, of course, but! to our great surprise and delight, so were two screen doors.

Instead of windows, our apartment has sliding patio doors in both the living room and the bedroom.  The bedroom has a screen door, which is lovely because we can have fresh air at night, but the living room door – the one that goes out onto our balcony –  does not.  Since our cats are prone to escaping and other such hijinks, this is a significant problem.  Either we can have our door open with the cats carefully supervised, or we can have the door closed and rely on the fresh air from the bedroom.  You can see how this might be a pain in the ass, and how the appearance of the screen doors was a bit of a miracle.

It took much finagling – including trying to get the door in two separate elevators, up five flights of stairs, and through our building’s lobby – but we did it!  And now we have a screen door, and it’s fabulous.

Weeding (tip of the week!)

I’m engaged in a never-ending battle against the accumulation of print materials.  You might have guessed that this was a problem, given that we’re a household of librarians who also have a small cat that likes to bite paper.  Sonya tipped me off last week to a great option for my no longer needed books – Powell’s!  Instead of having to sort through my books, load up a laundry basket, drive around to the myriad used bookstores, and get pennies on the dollar – you can enter in your ISBNs, review their offer, and then ship the books (postage paid) off to Oregon for their resale pleasure.  The only downside to this arrangement is that you get store credit instead of cash dollars – but really, that’s fine by me.

Powell’s Books – Sell Us Your Books

Easter Eggs Easter Eggs la la la

We dyed Easter eggs last weekend with my Mom (while my dad and brother played Rock Band), and I think they were exceptionally cute. Dyeing eggs is such a rewarding activity – it’s so easy to make something really pretty really quickly, which is probably why it is appealing as a family holiday thing. Frankly, I don’t really understand why we don’t dye eggs at other times of the year.

E and Shane egg

Decorated egg


Shane egg


Mina's egg


E egg


I <3 E egg


Easter eggs!


Have we mentioned that we got a new kitty?

Day 181 - 1/19/08

Miss Mina Miyo joined us on my birthday, January 16.  She is a 10 month old tabby with 30 pounds of energy packed into a 6.9 pound body.  She is super duper cute, and we’re awfully happy to have her.

Wherein I Whine Again

Mass transit whinge: While waiting at the bus stop this morning, I saw the bus to Pentagon City approaching from a couple of blocks away. I moved towards the normal boarding point, while another girl started sprinting towards the bus stop from about a block away. As we both moved to the correct location, the bus pulled up, barely slowed down, sort of stopped about half a block past the bus stop, and then continued on down the street without ever coming fully to a stop or acknowledging the few of us who were waiting for that specific bus. Jerk bus driver.

Internet whinge: Our cable is out again. A service guy was at our place last week (I think) after our internet service went out, but our cable tv remained on. Bizarre, right? He fed us some line about the wiring in the building and not being able to get a fast connection in (or was it out?), and claimed to fix it – and then yesterday, it went out again, same deal. Really, really tired of this!