Thursday, May 29, 2008



Yes, I know I am shouting. It is because I am that happy. I passed the Praxis exam that I need to get my Ohio teacher certification. But I didn't just pass, I rocked! I got 192 out of a possible 200 points. Oh, yea! I am just that good. I know, I've taken this test before (or at least one really close to it in CT and did well), but that time I knew I would pass. This time I was a bit more worried because I haven't taken a teaching class in like 5 years. I guess it just proves that I am a good teacher, not just a well educated one.

Now I need to write my big $110 check and start sending out my resumes again - gosh, I hate that process! Hopefully I will get a job soon and be done with all the interviewing/looking. I really am hopeful! What an optimist I am...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday was GREAT! Sunday was pretty darn good also. Monday though had its ups and downs. J slept in (the only day all weekend I let him) and I played around on Facebook and talked to my mom and sis. Once he awoke we decided that we needed to tackle the ever growing number of dishes in the sink (both sinks were full and we were being lazy). We opened the dishwasher to find it never drained. We emptied the dishwasher and began to try to siphon the water out to diagnose the problem. We found a broken wine glass and thought that the shards of glass were the cause of the problem. Running and re-running the dishwasher proved fruitless. The dishwasher wasn't draining and J and I had both sucked in too much nasty water through the drain tube to continue. We did successfully wash all the dishes because although it doesn't drain, it still washes.

During one of the attempts to get the dishes clean, J and I took a ride up to The Hills Market because of a post from Sopressata. We bought a ton of stuff. J was most excited to find real bagels - honest to goodness looked like bagels from home - bagels. We also got some Walleye fillets, mussels, cheese, wine, beer, liquor and a small amount of morels. Yes, I know a little of everything. We then stopped to get movies b/c tonight was a free redbox rental night and went home to continue to tackle the dishwasher.

After deeming the dishwasher needed a professional (I will call about it tomorrow - until a repairman can come out I think I will be filling it, running it and then siphoning the leftover water because I just can't bear to wash dishes by hand.

We then made the morels. I have read about them on the many blogs I read. I know that it is coming to an end of morel season, so I had to try them. Here is what we did. Just a simple recipe. First we melted some butter and olive oil in a cast-iron skillet:

Then added the morels:Kept stirring them:

until they were good and sauteed:

then plated them with some salt and pepper:

We both agreed they had a great earthy taste that would be great in a soup (albeit a very expensive soup). I have about as much that I haven't yet cooked so I will think of a new way to cook them later this week.

For dinner, we weren't totally hungry so we took out the cheeses that we bought and had one of my favorite dinners - a wine and cheese dinner. This is something that has taken J a few years to appreciate. But now he sure love a good stinky cheese, a creamy goat cheese and some fig compote for dinner, accompanied by a nice bottle of wine. I know this was the second time we had cheese this weekend, but its a holiday and two of the cheeses we had were leftovers, so its all good....

We watched Sweeny Todd - J didn't want to watch it and felt even more duped when he realized it was a musical. Although it was rather dark, it was a good story with some great actors. Glad I watched it, but I won't watch it again. J also rented and is going to watch National Treasure 2, but until then, he's happily playing Guitar Hero.

J's going to AC for a golf tourney from Thursday night to Sunday night, so if you have any movie recommendations for me, they are more than welcome. I'm thinking - No Reservations, PS I Love You...any others?

Birthday ideas

Yes, I know, there are 3 months and 3 days until I turn 29, but I am sure that there are some of you that are already thinking that far ahead. I know I think that far ahead for you. If that is the case, you might want to check out Its a great place for ideas for ME wonderful ME! Ok, I know a bit ego-centric, I get that way when forced to watched dumb movies with J. This site will get updated more regularly as my b-day approaches so feel to check back at it often and continue to buy - haha. I sound a bit like my dad and I know that Beth will appreciate the site, and will start her own wishlist soon.

Memorial Day weekend wrap up coming soon.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend - Day 2 - Hocking Hills

So today we went to Hocking Hills. The hour drive takes you through the farm country of Ohio. You see silos, cows, horses, etc. Once there though, we were in the middle of forests. There aren't tons of words to describe this place but beautiful. I am sure these pictures don't describe the place, but we'll give them a try:

And that ends the day. J just came in from playing cornhole with our neighbors, its 9:30 and we will figure out what to do for dinner or if we are doing dinner at all?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The best day in CBUS yet

So Memorial Day weekend always sneaks up on me. Its not that I don't know its coming, as a teacher, it is always the reminder that report cards are due soon and the kids are officially checked out after this last vacation day. Its that I always have a good time and I never have any wild and crazy plans.

This Memorial Day weekend started off that same way. After walking the dog and returning an only OK movie ("...Before the Devil Knows You're Dead") I came home to a great surprise. My BFF Marci had driven down from Cleveland to surprise me. She only stayed for a few hours so we didn't do much, but it was so nice to have a face from home in our home.

We went to Target - her idea, not mine. Then had lunch at the North Market, so Marci could get some Vietnamese and her BF could get something not Vietnamese. Then we walked to Jeni's for some ice cream and ate it on the back patio.

Then Marci and her BF were back to Cleveland and it was only 2PM. So what do you do at 2PM on an absolutely beautiful day? You pack up the lawn chairs, throw on a tank top, and get Bear ready for some park time.

J, Bear and I enjoyed some much needed sun and fun. I got to read some People magazines, J played with the dog and then we played some catch. It was a fabulous way to spend 3 hours on a Saturday. J loves catch, more than he loves beer (see he is growing up) and now that we have a "chuck-it" I can satisfy his catch desires as only Figa used to be able to. I also got to satisfy some of my barefoot desires.

Bear happily enjoyed being the "monkey-pants" in the middle during our game of catch.

J said it was his favorite way to spend a Saturday. A combination of finishing a book he loved, playing catch, and even reliving some childhood mischief with the Pop-Its. He never did get to the NY Times, but that was his choice, not the lack of time.

You'd think that was all, but no! We then went to a great gourmet market we had both heard good things about - Weiland's, bought some beer, cheese, wine and pre-made burgers.

We had a great night cooking them up on the grill. See it was a fabulous day filled with no real fireworks, but total satisfaction!Tomorrow we will venture off for a hike in Hocking Hills. I have to remember to charge my camera for that adventure! Can't wait! We were also invited to a BBQ at a our next door to our next door neighbors. We really do live here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What makes one a runner?

So I've now been running 3 times a week for a little over 3 miles a run for about a month. I've found this gel stuff that I swallow down before a run and it helps with the body and fatigue throughout the run, so I am doing the 3 miles without a problem. Yet I wouldn't classify myself a runner. I want to run a marathon in October, but I still don't think I'm a runner. What makes someone a runner? I guess liking all that running makes someone a runner :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend roundup

So Sunday was supposed to be a day for J. After lunch though there were things that I wanted to do (since we were in the neighborhood). We stopped at the Giant Eagle to get stuff for dinner - steak, baked potatoes, roasted broccoli, and brownies - yum! J found tons of great wine deals so we walked out with enough to fill our wine fridge - plus some. Then off to Target. I had to pick up one thing, J wanted to look at movies and of course we got stuff for Bear.

We stopped at the Urban Gardener to pick up some cilantro (we didn't see any on our herb trip on Saturday) and we bought a house plant since we figured we were grown up enough now to take care of a plant. I have no idea what kind it is and I forgot to take a picture. Sorry!

Finally, J could do what he wanted to do - read the paper and talk on the phone about MarioKart. I left him to do as he pleased. The evening ended with dinner, watching the Yankees lose - so sad, and a few round of MarioKart. We both kinda like how it brings us back to out college years. Those were the days!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Resturant Review: Jimmy V's - Grandview

So today I told J that since yesterday was all about me and what I wanted to do, today was his day. For lunch he chose Jimmy Vs. He had read a few review of it online and thought that he would give it a try. One of the things that J had read a lot about was their wings so we felt that we had to give them a try. Our order was a Philly panini with fries (Js order), I chose the Philly burger, with a side of onion rings and we shared the wings with blue cheese and celery (you pay an extra $2.50 for them.

Here's the round up:

My burger was a great homemade burger and quite juicy, just the way a medium rare should be. It was topped with sauteed onions an peppers and shredded provolone cheese. The cheese wasn't totally melted (you don't normally see shredded cheese on a burger), but it didn't effect the taste. Overall, a good burger, but I don't know if its one that when I'm craving a burger I would go back to.

J's Philly cheesesteak panini - ribeye steak, same topping as my burger and lots of fresh cut fries. When asked about the sandwich - Js response - it was good, the fries though, they were fresh cut. Needless to say, he didn't rave about it, so I don't think he was in love with it.

Finally the wings:

They did not arrive before our sandwiches and when asked about them, our server had clearly forgotten them. He brought them out as we were about halfway done with our meals. If it was up to me, I would have just said to skip them, but J loves wings (as do I) and he wanted to try them since he ha read about them. We ordered the hot wings and the definition of hot in Ohio for wings is certainly not the same as the definition for hot in the NYC area. These also had a creamy sauce, that was almost as though they already had ranch on them. Also, having to pay extra for blue cheese and celery - that a rip off. We were not impressed. They were good, but nothing like a Thurman's or Press Grill's wings.

Overall, I don't think we will venture out to Jimmy Vs again, except maybe to eat on their back patio. Its big and has a pretty water feature and gets lots of great sun. OK food it always better when eating it on a patio on a summer day. Today was just a bit too chilly and too windy for the patio.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Race for the Cure

This morning I woke up early to run the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. There were supposedly 40,00 people registered to take part in this event. It brought tears to my eyes as I started the race to see so many turn out for such a worthy cause. As a for the event as a runner, it was a bit tough. There were just so many people that I didn't really hit my stride until at least a 1/2 mile in. I also don't know how far I was from the start and how far I was behind when I crossed the start. My final time was somewhere around 38 min, but I know this so well because I had to walk across the finish because it was so jammed up. This is one of the few times I wished I had my own timing device. Needless to say, I am glad I participated in such a great event. I will do it again and again. It was also a fun way to get my training in for today. Next week I am thinking of doing the rescue run. I might run it with Bear or I may just walk it with him.

Spring Planting

We started an herb garden last summer and loved it. We just grew your run of the mill herbs and some tomato plants. We also grew some arugula, and although we both felt it was a bit "peppery" for a salad full of the stuff, we loved having our own fresh lettuce. We ate a lot more salad. So this year, we wanted to make sure we got some lettuce also. Here's our "All Star lettuce." I hope it grows! Right now it looks a bit weak:

This afternoon we went up to Grandview and did our spring garden shopping. We bought flowers, herbs, tomatoes and lettuce. When we got home J said he didn't think we would have time to get all the planting done before it started to rain. We first did the flower pots:

Notice the plant closest to you is not a flower (yet). It is what is called a citronella geranium. Its a natural mosquito repellent. It smells totally like citronella (its really strong).

After I finished planting those, it still hadn't rained yet, so I planted the tomatoes:

I know they don't look like much yet but soon I should have multiple tomatoes to make one of my favorite summer salads - tomatoes mozzarella and basil. So of course I planted some fest basil (we got 3 plants because we love this stuff so much). Come August we will be begging people to take this stuff because it grows like a weed:

Here is one side of the herb garden:

Finally, I planted the rest of the flowers, watered everything and put some of the compost juice (as J refers to it - hot garbage) from the can of worms (I'll post about that some other time) and in I came.

Its still not raining and we don't get the Yankees v. Mets game here in OH so, I am going to go on and watch some episodes of Ugly Betty that for some reason are just not Tivoing. We also need to go spend some time upstairs watching Lost, but its paper time for J. He loves that time and doesn't like to be disturbed.