Thursday, September 30, 2010

Forty-Eight Down, Two To Go

A wonderful thing happened to me on Monday. I was able to finally check off another state from my Never-Visited-States list! We stopped in Kentucky for fuel! I have flown over it countless times and considered counting that as official. Despite its central location in the middle of the country, we have never landed in Kentucky prior to this day. At least, not since I have been working here for almost four years. Can you believe that? Four years?!

The weather was bad enough in Philadelphia that a non-stop flight from Addison in Dallas, Texas would be cutting it a little close with fuel reserves. We consequently planned a fuel stop along the way...and guess what happened to be on the way? The Bluegrass State itself! We quick-turned in Owensboro on the western side of the Kentucky, simply because the weather was still really nice there. And it had a control tower. It's always nice to have someone sitting in a control tower with binoculars, guiding your every move, when you are at an unfamiliar airport. I have found, through lots of personal experience, that most controllers are pretty neat and more than willing to help. Especially in a place like Owensboro, Kentucky, where perhaps they might not see another airplane in the traffic pattern for two hours. In lots of busy airports, we are intentionally on our toes and ready to be taxiing in strange territory. But sometimes, by using my nicest voice possible on the radio frequency, the controllers are happy to help us find which taxiway is best to get into the FBO ramp. It's amazing what happens when you are nice to air traffic controllers.

After getting some gas and refilling the coffe pot with some fresh brew, we were on our way to soggy Philadelphia. I love this town. Mostly because I don't dare go out at night. I enjoy weather like this, if only because it makes me want to curl up by the fireplace and read a good book. For some reason, I had neither with me during my sojourn in Philladelphia, PA. But I made do with other forms of joyful entertainment. And the joy had absolutely nothing to do with eating dinner two nights in a row at Longhorn Steakhouse. Nothing at all!

Kentucky down. Finally! Vermont and Alaska to go.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jackpot and a Half

I consider myself pretty feminine as an adult, though that wasn't always the case. Growing up, I cared more about playing outside and catching cowboy outlaws than wearing pearls and painting my nails. As I've matured, I've come to realize how much fun it is to dress up and be all girly. For years, I have been on the look-out for things to help outwardly show how I feel on the inside. But when I find finally something pretty, it's impossible to justify spending money on a sparkling necklace or beautiful earrings. Thankfully, all of that changed today...

Being on the road provided the opportunity to explore stores close to my hotel. I went into Burlington Coat Factory this morning because they had some pretty window displays for things for the home, which happen to be my favorite things in the world to shop for these days (for some unknown reason). I decided to wander downstairs into the clothing section, and boy, am I glad I did! I scored with discovering their accessories department. Name-brand necklaces of every style and color, for only $7.99 a piece! I may have gotten a little carried away in my selections, but I was so tickled to get earrings and a necklace for such a great price! I was impressed with their variety and was able to find several pieces that made my heart go pitter-pat. In the end, I scored eight necklaces and and five pairs of earrings for under $70. After checking the original price tags to see what normal people spend in normal stores, I was elated...most of them were marked at around $40 a piece! Yippee!

So I'm a little excited. I doubt this enthusiasm would have been present twenty years ago, but I now love being girly and decorating appropriately. Thanks to such a great find today, it will be a little easier from now on.

Which one is your favorite?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

At Last

For six harrowing weeks every fall, I am older than my husband. He is nice about it and only teases me every other hour or so. And then the glorious day arrives when he ages and becomes the same number I have been dealing with for a month and a half.

Just such a wonderful occasion occurred this past weekend, and now we are even. To celebrate, I had to make something sweet with his favorite candy bar. Chocolate cake/cupcakes with Snickers chopped up inside. Caramel butter cream. Crushed Snickers on top. Caramel drizzle. It really was a recipe for success. I thought I had solved the world's great paradox by discovering the "nut cup" to bake my mini cupcakes. But they were met with hostility and grief when, thanks to the Snickers sinking and melting on the bottom and creating a suction between cake and cup, the cupcake wouldn't come out without a fierce struggle. I think they look cute, even if some of the yumminess remained in the bottom of the cup. I will blame the Snickers and think these cups would work well in normal, non-Snickers circumstances. I took the mini cupcakes to John at work to share with his coworkers. Then I came home to frost his double-layer Snickers cake. I think I eliminated his Snickers craving for the next year!

When John got home from work, we opened birthday presents. He finally added some things to his Amazon wish list, and just in time for his big day. He got a lot of fun tools to start building things around our house. I think he is planning on building me a buffet for our dining room! He got some levels of every size, a square, some replacement drill bits, and a spine-aligning contraption that, quite frankly, scares me to death. And, because I wanted him to have more fun opening things he couldn't guess right away, I surprised him with the new Mario Galaxy 2 for his Wii. John is such a hider of emotion...sometimes it can be hard to tell if he likes something. But his face lit up after opening every box, so I guess the evening could be called a success.

Something else that made his day? Eating at Joe's BBQ in Gilbert. Birthday boys eat for free. So we patiently waited in line, knowing the anticipation and salivation would be worth it in the end. John got the jumbo BBQ sandwich with beef brisket, mac and cheese, and baked beans. These baked beans are the reason we had Joe's BBQ cater our wedding dinner two years ago...pure heaven! I got a stuffed baked potato with pulled pork. It was one of the greatest dining experiences of my life since I've never had such a delicious baked potato! Yum! I will skip the expensive bottled ginger ale next time, since Canadian Dry beat it hands-down.

After we gorged ourselves at Joe's, we headed home to recuperate and eat some cake. John blew out some candles while I sang a few words (literally, just a few words before the awkward silence caused me to stop). Then we watched a movie to finish the evening. We have really been enjoying our new Netflix account since we signed up about a month ago. We were waiting for John to finish school and then to get into a new house. Check and check, so Netflix is back!

Happy Birthday, Old Man. I sure am glad I'm yours.
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