Strong Women and Whiskey

not for the delicate palate

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Location: Oxford, Pennsylvania, United States

I've found that if you speak as if with authority on nearly any topic, most people will believe you. This frightens me.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I have to apologize for any lack of bloggitty goodness it's been a hectic few weeks.

So now-- now that almost everything is set that can be set -- now I freak out. Of course, because, it doesn't take much brainpower to tie raffia around 60 wedding favors, a basket or two, my head, the kitties, the rabbit.... I digress. Anyway, it's just a bit odd realizing that this upcoming weekend is my last weekend as a single woman -- well, not married, anyway.

I think for men it's different. Doug will still be Mr. Doug and have the same last name -- but me? I get to change my prefix and my last name (of course, you know I've written my new name a whole bunch of times, right?)

So it's like a whole new identity, indeed, for me it is. Not only will I be a married woman, but I've given notice at the company where I've worked for the past 8 years (i'm 26 - you do the math) and will be working part time or close to full time until I start massage school. I'll probably also be taking a bit of time completely off so that I can work around the house and be there when the contractors are there. Doug is cool with this -- or -- as cool as he's letting me see him be. I know he's a bit worried.... but I just haven't been human lately with some of the work I do. That, and I've had dreams of doing this for the past five years -- eventually opening my own spa. I think that's one of the best gifts he could give me -- a chance to follow my dreams. I'm a lucky girl.

So, on the super-short notice of the wedding we have everything sorted out. We did not lose our deposits, but converted them into services. We have a tent, chairs, and tables. We have a caterer -- my cousin handled that call and set it up, which lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and makes this whole thing seem "real" -- and hopefully tasty. She really just rocked, I had written anything good from the caterer off.

What I personally like the best about this is that since it's short notice, we've been able to distill out some of the stuff we didn't like so much -- for example: Wedding Cake. Yes, I like it, it's pretty and all that. If we were still having the big wedding, we'd do a cake. What I think is really cool, is that we're getting a big ol' pile of Apple Cider Donuts from Millburn Orchards -- they are a cult favorite in this region -- sooo tasty, and fresh baked that morning.

Lexi threw me a bridal shower while she was up here on HER vacation. I was so impressed, the whole theme was "pampering" I got my first ever pedicure, some really cool presents and to spend time with my bestest closest girls. Everyone was so impressed with how Lex pulled that together especially since she planned the whole thing from home in Hawaii!

Well my lunch break is almost done -- will have to blog more later -- I can't believe how much has developed since the last time, so I'll have to get better about it in the future.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


I need to know what this plant is before I destroy it -- I want more, though.

Here's what I know:

blooms are white and clustered, they did not start blooming until very late in the summer. it appears to be vine-like shrub, almost like a honeysuckle. it grows wild on the property, seems to like to cling to other plants like the bramble we're trying to clear out. VERY fragrant, heady perfume, almost like a jasmine or honeysuckle. i looked for a kind of honeysuckle that matches and have been unable to locate, however. any assistance would be good.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

let them bleed

I love me some Tori. Places I've seen Tori:

Washington, DC
Newark, DE
Columbia, SC
Atlanta, GA
Camden, NJ
Baltimore, MD
Camden, NJ

...and yes, drove to SC and GA only to see the show and come back the next day:) It's a sickness, I tell ya. Or a balm. This last show, you could see her, I don't want to say age, but there was definately some of life's weather on her face -- funny by the end of the show, it was not longer visible - as if she and the audience were symbiotic vampires -- as if she took a teeny bit from all of us -- I like that thought.

enough rambling now. i want cookies.

Which Tori Amos song are you?

Precious Things

School. Religion. Sex. All disappointments. Let them bleed.

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Foodie Thoughts

Stephanie over at Dispensing Happiness (well and Matt) have piqued my interest again. I have recently recovered from the craving for fried chicken brought upon by her quest for perfect fried chicken (I didn't cave and fix any, I'm getting married in a month, folks I don't want to gain any more weight!) but now, out of the blue, Matt posts a tutorial on barbeque. I suggest ya'll check it out, it was very comprehensive. Of course, NOW, I can't get it out of my head. I love bbq in whatever incarnation it takes.

One of my fondest memories with an ex of mine is when we got several racks of ribs and just went wild experimenting with rub & sauce combinations. Another is over Memorial Day I managed to make two batches of country style short ribs in our itsy bitsy grill.

Slate had an article on this fellow that drove cross country seeking barbeque that made me want to revamp our entire honeymoon plans! Check it out here and see if it doesn't make your mouth water. Oh since everyone has their own opinion of the best sauce -- if you're going to buy it already prepared, try Sweet Baby Ray's -- after years of searching, I found the one I love best. :)

okay time to wipe off the drool.

The weekend was good. Jon and Jen came down and brought lobster! I was so excited, I've never actually had lobster before in it's whole form. It was quite tasty AND Jon prepared it which was even cooler. I love to cook but it was nice to have a guest cook for us. I think we had a very good weekend altogether.

I've threw together a few meals, nothing awfully spectacular-- I did make a great dessert:

take 3/4 cup or so dried blueberries. cover and soak them in some red wine (I used merlot) with honey and nutmeg until they plump up a bit

while doing that, peel, have and de-stone 4 large firm peaches

where the stone was, take a spoon, grapefruit spoon, or mellon baller and make the indent larger.

place peaches dented side up in a casserole dish, fill with reconstituted blueberries and drizzle wine mixture over everything. (note: to keep them level, slice a bit off the bottom to make the bottoms flat)

add a thin pat of butter to each peach and cook for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees. I suggest cooking covered and then cooking uncovered for a few minutes.

I served this with french vanilla ice cream, but I'm sure whipped cream, heavy cream, frozen yogurt, or creme fraiche would all work well.

It was tasty!


so the kitchen people are coming for the final estimate and measuring on monday. i'm really excited about getting it underway. we'll (i'll) have a baking center, lots of counter space, large gas range, convection oven, decent fridge and a pantry! that is heaven to me, I've got some cornish hens in the freezer to celebrate the occasion when it's all done.

We're becoming quite handy as of late. the tile in the laundry room looks like a pro did it. I did the grout and D has a great eye for laying out the tile. I was really impressed. Of course, I've been hobbling around with a broke butt (well glutes and hamstrings) from doing the grout, but eventually it will get better. I hope.

Went to the RenFaire last weekend with J and J-- we had to introduce them to the joys of food on a stick. All kinds of food on a stick, and big fat turkey (emu) legs. Yum! The best is the chocolate covered frozen cheesecake on a stick. Didn't know they had those in Tudor England, eh? Oh and mead. I love the stuff from the Linganore Winecellar in Mt. Airy, MD. It's so tasty. We have to go out there in a few weeks to purchase some for the wedding.

I've been trying to sample mead from different wineries and meaderies. So far nothing besides that has really struck me as something special. One that proclaimed itself to be the same recipe used for centuries in Ireland was absolutely disgusting, another had scotch added. The most recent was okay, infused with apricot, but had an odd oily aftertaste. I'm considering making our own, one day, especially if we put in an orchard and have bees.

So that's about it. I'm looking for suggestions on what to serve for the mini-reception. I love the autumn theme, we have perfect wedding favors -- maple sugar candy maple leaves. I know I want spiced cider, mead, and these delightful apple cider donuts made by Milburn Orchards. Other than that, I'm up in the air. Maybe pumpkin bars, some smoked meat, some cheese and some good bread. I was thinking about petit fours or something chocolate, but I'm not sure yet. I'm open to good, classy, harvest-y suggestions.

Oh, and Welsh cookies, I need to find them. I have a recipe, but it's an ancient one, I found it on a website devoted to cooking and baking in the pre-modern ways... like 1400, 1500, 1600 a.d. ways -- I can't think of the name for it, but it was really interesting. however it involves preparing the cookies using a cast iron griddle. I just don't have the time at the moment. I know a place that sells the, just don't know if they'll get here in time!

okay it's time for bed and stuff, then another day in at my overworked, understaffed office. *sigh*

Thursday, September 01, 2005

October 8, 2005

We've moved the wedding date. Frankly, I'm already burnt out on the house stuff, and work. Knowing that I have another winter possibly as hellish as this summer has been at work of planning prior to the wedding was not good. The constant looming stress has been not good. The way the expenses just kept piling up were just not practical at this juncture. We need to focus on the house, we want to get married, and I'm not willing to sacrifice our relationship for the wedding.

Several of my friends (vicki was first) basically gave that advice. At first it didn't seem to apply, but now, well now is different. So rather than put things off to alleviate the stress, we've opted to bit the bullet.

Unfortunately it is a bit upsetting since many folks I hoped would make it probably won't be able to, plus the smaller guest list. So we figured we'll have a HUGE party in about a year and everyone better make it to that. Like the kind of party that really lasts a few days --

For now I have a dress (two actually), 1 confirmed bridesmaid, a minister, a rehearsal dinner, a site, a groom, 2 confirmed groomsmen, a possible flower girl, the rings, and a daily prayer for clear weather on that day since it will be outdoors.

Did I mention we made this decision late on Sunday night. Not bad, I think,

Should be good though -- ceremony at 11, "light refreshments" reception after for about 1-2 hours and a caravan of folks to go to the Renaissance Faire with us to finish out the day. Did I mention the elements of the dress? Cotton velveteen in dark green, boning, silver embroidery (knotwork), hoop skirt, chemise, black and silver brocade. It's being custom made -- I found the seamstress on eBay. If it's a lovely as the rest of the work looks, she'll be my new favorite person. The other dress is just as gorgeous only simpler, again dark green cotton velveteen but a creme satin chemise -- very nice, and her site catered well to larger woman which was refreshing.

That's about all for now. I need to sleep so bad my eyes are burning.