Holy Jolly, yeah!

We’re having a few folks around this afternoon to celebrate the holiday season. Our idea for food is finger foods and there’s really no theme, just all the things we think sound good/taste good. We are breaking the rule of never make something for the first time when company is coming. I get it, but come on. If we don’t like it we can all pitch it into the trash can. I’m pretty sure our friends won’t walk right out the door.

It’s the same thing when someone notices my terrible dusting job. They have two choices; pick up a dust rag or get over it.

The better-half and I are taking the last week of the year off and, frankly, I should have re-evaluated my life choices and taken the last two weeks off. It’s been a lot this year.

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Just a typical day

It’s a rainy day and this is a usual photo opportunity on a day like this. She’s going to be sad tomorrow when we both go back to work. Cat sleeping

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Baltimore weekend

We went to Baltimore this weekend with a friend who had never been. We spent most of our time at the Inner Harbor and I think the next time we are in the city we will skip this area. We’ve both been to the aquarium multiple times and, while blasphemous, we don’t need to do it again.

We took the train and then rode the Charm City Circulator to get to the hotel and most of the rest of our transportation was by foot or ride share.

For the most part the food was fine and honestly the taco joint on plastic plates was my favorite. That and the Cafe Poupon’s coffee was stellar.

Let it be said how much I love riding the train. The better-half and I have loose plans to take another trip north and plan on the train.

Restaurant list:
Tir Ana Nog
Cafe Gia
Cafe Poupon
Taco Fiesta
Rusty Scupper

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New York trip

A few weeks ago I took the train north to NYC to visit my oldest niece (known on these pages as Nut1). She has been working at an internship all summer and I thought it would be fun to visit. Except for the 4,000 degree temperatures, the trip was a huge success.

In the few months she’s been away, she’s turned into an adult. She navigated all our subway trips, figured out how to get us to where we wanted to go, picked restaurants and made suggestions on plans.

While I enjoyed our excursions, what I liked most was hanging out and having wide ranging conversations.

Some snaps:
191 St subway

Hadestown set

View of mural from High Line

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In the new column

For the better-half’s birthday I bought him an Ooni pizza oven. In our first session, we had a crispy critter but we are getting better at cooking at such high temperatures.

After paying for a rack for our car, in 2015, we finally purchased a tandem kayak. We spent some time on Sunday in the boat and we need practice and we need more comfortable seats. But on the whole, I’m thrilled to be back on the water.

Taking a break

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So we’re back to masking at work and I am unclear what I’m going to do mask-wise when I fly to Denver in July, but outdoor concerts are back! We saw David Wax Museum, Guster and The Wood Brothers last week. Yesterday we saw Bonny Light Horseman and Bon Iver and later this month it is the Black Crowes with Howlin Rain.

The funny thing is while the bands were all good, some of them are definitely out of practice. The best so far? Bonny Light Horseman. They were tight and it felt like they really wanted to make a connection.

I’m hoping for tickets to be available for a Brandi Carlile show in September. I’ll actually sit in the rain for her :)

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Don’t believe the hype

We live down the street from what used to be an old folk’s home (assisted living, independent, nursing care) and last year the business was sold. The new owners are turning it into a 55+ community so only independent living. They are about 80% occupied and most of the people needing care have been moved out. The thing that hasn’t changed is the near constant calls to the fire department to come lift someone, check on the facility when a defibrillator is activated, fire, and god knows what. Our fire department is the first responder so the EMTs show up riding on a rig with sirens right past our house. The weekends are the worst. Last Saturday there were at least 4 calls, maybe 5.

We’ve started a game that has us guessing the emergency code (published on our city’s emergency website). We are so often right. If the fire truck is blaring sirens and speeding, it’s a heart problem. If they are cruising without sirens and not that quickly, someone has fallen and can’t get up.

We won’t be moving down the street when we are 55+ or older. I’m not going somewhere that advertises itself as vibrant when I’m presented with the facts there is a hot mess at the end of the street. The other retirement community in the neighborhood has zero fire trucks rolling through the neighborhood. I’m not sure how that works. Do they have a deal that includes no sirens or if it is just SO much better run? That community has a larger footprint and does include assisted living and nursing care. My point is they have a large population of sicker residents and emergency vehicles aren’t crowding the gate.

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Relaxing, we are

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You blink and it is gone

April just flew past.

We went to Easton, MD in the early part of the month. I went to Phoenix in the middle of the month and we are about to head to FL in a few days. This is the most travel we’ve done in years. I wonder why.

We also replaced our porch rug. The old one was terribly faded and we went with a different pattern, but the same colors. Two more years of committing to that color palette is OK with me.

And, that’s a pretty good sum of what happened in April.

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Marching right outta here

Man, March has been windy as hell and today there were tornado warnings all over the area. I ended up sitting in a stairwell at work for what seemed like forever but was probably more like 45 minutes.

The better-half and I are going to take a very quick trip tomorrow afternoon through Saturday late afternoon to the eastern shore of Maryland. No good reason other than we haven’t done something like that in forever.

Then in mid-April, I’m flying to Phoenix for a conference. That’s a little nervous making, but I’ll mask up and do my best. In very early May we’re both getting on an airplane and headed south for a handful of days in the Keys. Never been and looking forward to it.

I know there’s another variant out there so I’m also aware that all these plans could get screwed, but I really hope they don’t.

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