Sunday, May 23, 2010

There's so much in Philly...

It's impossible to see and/or photograph it all.
 A bust of Ben Franklin made of keys donated by schoolchildren.  Keys because of his discovery of electricity.  When you're close to it you can see that they just pressed the keys into the shape because it still looks like it's covered with keys.                                                   Cobblestones made from the ballast of ships bringing supplies to America

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       The funny guy who made our cheesesteaks.

The meeting house of the Free Quakers who supported the Revolutionary fighters.  Betsy Ross was one.

The Liberty Bell

The building where the first Congress met.  Get it?  The Lower House and the Upper House because one met on the lower floor and the other met on the upper.  They still call them that today.
 
                          Independence Hall                                                                    
The Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society
This guy was in the Visitor's Center.  He is in character as the man who ran the first circus in America.  I tried and tried to get him to talk about his real identity, but he was quite serious and never broke his act.  He only cracked a tiny smile once.


Some of Philly...

This betrays my abject ignorance of important things but I never realized how much Philly is integral to the history of the formation of the United States.  It was the first capital of the US, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written there, the houses of three branches of government were originally built in the same block, the first flag was made there and so, so much more.  It's pretty awe inspiring to visit and humbling to realize I'll never be able to fully appreciate the gravity and importance of those times.  People don't take the time to thank the men depicted in this room for their sacrifice and dedication to the tasks that they set themselves to accomplish.

This is in the Constitution Center.  In most of it you can't take photographs, but people were sneaking them here.  There were a lot more of these statues and you can see plaques imbedded in the floor at their feet that had their name and state on them.  We also went to the Ancient Rome & America exhibit that shows how much ancient Rome influenced the founders of the country and Americans as a whole at that time.
"John Adams referred to the Constitution as “the greatest single effort of national deliberation that the world has ever seen” and George Washington wrote to the Marquis de Lafayette that 'It (the Constitution) appears to me, then, little short of a miracle.' "  See this quote and many other interesting facts here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

And another thing...

I got this from Etsy for $4.50!  Look at the size!  Not easy to find in vintage patterns.  I like the princess lines and the asymmetry of the side tie.  They call it a housecoat in the longer version and a dress in the shorter.  Naturally, it's fragile and unmarked.  I haven't even unfolded the tissue yet.  I hope all the pieces are there.  Even if they're not, it's simple enough that I can probably wing it...should I ever decide to make it.

Score...

One for MOM...a Dritz Bound Buttonhole Maker...never even opened!  The "Holy Grail" (as defined by someone else who managed to find one) for any serious sewist has been acquired after much stalking on Ebay...and not for $75!  Why did I not know about this before I made two of this dress for Catie?!  You will notice that is a total of 18 bound buttonholes!  All lovingly and painstakingly handmade.  I am such a good mom...
I managed to snag it because I did a lot of footwork.  If you really want one do this:  Search for "Dritz" on Ebay.  Then look for listings that don't know what they have.  I saw this in a collection of old sewing things that the person listed as incidental to buying an old sewing box.  It wasn't readily visible in the collection and she only listed it as a Dritz item, not the actual name of the device.  I won it and then asked her not to even send the box because it was ragged, dirty and old.  I also found the larger one like this that is for making welt pockets at the Mennonite thrift store for $1...  ;0)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This is why...

I am so worried about poison ivy...it is vicious.

Frenchtown, NJ...

A covered bridge on the way.  Almost the entire trip was through a canopy of trees and almost every tree is festooned with poison ivy...no joke.  It's that thick around here.

We went there this past weekend.  It's little town on the Delaware River that is trying to be touristy.  They are succeeding, but it isn't too far gone yet.  Cyclists come and ride along the river and there are some cute little shops.


It was a peaceful, green drive for us and we ate outside at a tiny restaurant.  The couple who sat next to us were funny and friendly and they had a dog that Bella sniffed at.


A look into the kitchen of the restaurant.  It's hard to see, but these are rock show posters from my era.  There were also framed vinyl record covers from that same time period in the bathroom...The Mothers of Invention, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Iron Butterfly.  It was obvious that the owner was a heathen sixties hippy who never grew up...


Cute old house.










There is a yarn shop there called The Spinnery but we didn't get a picture of that.  I bought a skein of Romney, I think, and a magazine.
Frenchtown is also the home of the author of Eat, Pray, Love and her husband.  They have a shop called Two Buttons that I visited.  It isn't quaint or old.  It is full of Asian products like buddhas and beads and countless other kitsch.  Because I wasn't interested in that sort of "art" and it was 80F and 88% humidity, I wasn't into it at all.  I just went in to say that I saw the author of Eat, Pray, Love's shop...and I've never even cracked the book.  It has been made into a movie, though.  Maybe I'll see that.

My 21+ meals...

Catie wrote a post about their 21 favorite meals and meal planning.  I do sort of the same thing but I'm not as good at planning as she is.  I have a Weekly Meal Planner sheet that I've been trying to fill out each week.  What usually ends up happening is that I make a tentative plan based on what we have to use up then I amend it as the week unfolds.  I hope to build up a bunch of these and then I can go to them when I want to set up an automatic plan that I can just regenerate effortlessly.  My guys are pretty easy but I have made a fews things they don't really like.  (I use organic and/or whole wheat, brown stuff whenever possible and they don't complain.)
Here are some main dishes they do like:
1.   Butter Chicken
2.   Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas-this is like the one I use except I put some of the sauce in with the chicken filling
3.   Pork Tenderloin baked with a spicy barbecue rub that we bought at the Outdoor Expo.  I'm going to have to figure out how to reproduce it.
4.   Spaghetti-standard, everyday made with Prego or whatever; when we get to Idaho I'm going to go back to homemade sauce.
5.   Cincinnati Chili-no vinegar and I put the beans in the chili
6.   Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich
7.   Classic Meat Lasagna
8.   Sticky Chicken-use 1 teaspoon salt and only one chicken for all the spices; you can also use a cut up lemon, lime or orange instead of the onion
9.   CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza
10.  Stir Fry
11.  Stromboli-this is just an example; make pizza dough, roll it out and put pizza-y things in it, but not too much moisture; cut in slices and serve with hot spaghetti sauce to dip it in
12.  Pot Roast with carrots and mashed potatoes
13.  Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream
14.  Tuna Casserole
15.  Chicken Monterey
16.  Bean and Cheese Nachos
17.  Spicy Pork Chops, Rancher's Style-from a New Mexico cookbook; Jeff grew up there and he likes NM food
18.  Crunchy Pecan-Crusted Chicken Fingers
19.  Italian Sausage and Shrimp with Linguine
20.  Mexican Style Shredded Pork
21.  Beef Barley Soup-season to taste and don't use bouillon
22.  Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
and others that I make up on the fly...