nostalgia is everywhere

My coworker has this purse that makes me all nostalgic. It’s acid-wash denim, with a small embroidered rose in the bottom right corner. I so had one exactly like it when I was a kid — somewhere around 8 – 10. I recall being pretty accessory-obsessed. I had a doorknob full of purses on my closet (this denim one, a fluorescent chartreuse one, a white patent leather one, a gray one that was my mother’s and probably a few more), and inside there was (maybe it’s still there) this rack meant for ties, but it had my mom’s old belts (I find myself wishing for the thin silver one sometimes). I also had at least one drawer full of beaded necklaces. 

I’ve been looking all over the internet for a picture of this particular purse, but I can’t find it anywhere. (Though it seems like a lot of people are re-purposing jeans and making them into handbags.) 

I still have a fondness for purses and shoes and jewelry. 

And apparently, so does my daughter. She was sporting these yesterday on our weekly trip to the farmers market.

more memories

Yesterday, Bridget asked about one of the photos from our honeymoon that’s hanging up in the dining room. It was that question that led me to pull out our our travel memorabilia. 

The photo was one from our day near Amden. In my opinion, it was easily the most picturesque place we’ve been. And as I’ve written previously, we had a lovely room and enjoyed the company of some guests and the proprietors.  But my blog post didn’t reveal the name of the place we had stayed. Thus, I pulled out the big accordion folder where I keep all our travel ticket stubs, brochures, receipts and postcards. Of course, I had notepads or pamphlets from all the other Swiss places we stayed except for this one. Fortunately, we still had the big book of Minotels from the trip and this one was marked (not that there were many in the area to begin with) – The Bellevue in St. Gallen. Perfect. 


The hotel isn’t a hotel anymore.  It’s a Buddhist retreat. I guess that means that we won’t be able to go back and visit. Not 100% a bad thing though; now we can’t be disappointed that our stay the second time is not as wonderful as our first. 

snowball, please?

I’ve was off from work this Monday and Tuesday as our daycare provider is on vacation, and so I took the kids up to my parents’ house in Arbutus for a little visit. I had the perfect afternoon in mind: we’d hang out at the house for a while, have lunch, and then walk down to the corner of Sulfur Spring Road and get ourselves snowballs; then we’d walk back, take a trip over “the little bridge” (above) and run around in the sprinkler in the yard when we got back since Bridget would probably be sticky. 

Things did not go as planned.

There are TWO snowball stands at the same corner and both of them were closed. And there weren’t any signs with hours, so there was no telling when they’d be open (if at all on Monday). So instead we went down to Rita’s. I love Rita’s, but there’s one down the road here at our house, so it wasn’t really special. If we hadn’t been on foot, we’d have gone down the road a bit to the Ice Cream Cottage, but it was too far to walk. After we picked up some water to take with us on the way back, we did at least get to go across “the little bridge”. However, the sprinkler was a bust. Bridget got in her suit and we got it all set up and she wasn’t having it. Didn’t even get a tiny bit wet.

Ah well, it was still a nice visit with my mom.

Thing is, I am still, two days later, thinking about that damn snowball. I want one. I might have to start my own stand in order to get one “Baltimore style”. It didn’t even occur to me that snowball stands might not exist in Virginia. I’ve lived here for just shy of a decade and it never occurred to me. I never wanted one. And now, now I can’t stop wanting one. 

some more

Since we got a brand spanking new iMac with a crazy big screen (TWENTY SEVEN INCHES!) I’ve been going through our zillions of photos and enjoying browsing through them without them being obscured by seven tiny one pixel wide lines. I am particularly enjoying the old Antoszewski/Graham photos that I scanned a few years ago. Some of the ones I like the most I really don’t know too much about.


This woman, for example, looks awesome. Clearly, a baby has just been Baptized in Baltimore City.  [UPDATE: This is my Great Aunt Dolores (and now that I know that, I can see that it is her) and the baby is my dad!]
Next up, my Great Uncle Mike (on the right) looking quite dashing left). An interesting character, that guy.
Some people (a few of them Great Aunts, I think) posing with a giant bottle of Old Forester Bourbon. There are several other photos in this alley, so it’s someone’s house — my great grandparents’ maybe.
Finally, some delightfully chubby babies.


digging out

We spent the weekend away from the house visiting friends and family in Maryland. They got over 20 inches of snow, and it seems like we did here as well. When we left our friends’ house yesterday afternoon there was a little slush on the first road, but everything else was almost 100% clear. (My parents live on a snow emergency route, so there was no question that it would be plowed.)

On our way home, the highway in Maryland was wonderful. Bare pavement and just about all the lanes were clear all of the time. And then, we entered Virginia. I don’t know what they were doing in Virginia yesterday, but they certainly weren’t plowing to the same standard as Maryland. On the American Legion bridge, they had two lanes closed and were loading snow INTO A TRUCK to take it away. The beltway had about 2.5 lanes clear. And even major exit ramps — like to 95 in Springfield — were sketchy at best.

Now, keep in mind that we live two major roads off of the highway. The first road was great; all of the lanes were cleared. The next road, another busy street, still had a layer of snow on it, meaning there was little hope for our street. Before leaving, we pulled the truck into the driveway with the hope that the plow would go to the curb. No such luck.

Poor Brendan had to get the shovel from the house, make us a path to the garage, all while leaving the car in the street. Thankfully, we have great neighbors who let us put our car in their driveway for the night. Bren got the hard part shoveled (above) and helped our neighbors shovel more of their driveway in the dark last night while I got the kids to bed.

I took the above photo this morning. I had been hoping to wake up to a freshly plowed street, but alas, it was not meant to be. Someone did put sand on it, though. I know Maryland is a smaller state then Virginia, so they have less roads to plow, but it still seems like they know how to manage the situation much better in Maryland.

rabbit hole

Just spent some time going back in the Bridget gallery and good lord has she grown up! She’s looked so big to me for a while now, but looking at her just from last fall compared to now it’s amazing how much of a little girl she is now. She’s really lost a lot of the baby. It surprised me more how much of a babyface she had even a year ago. She seemed so grown up to me at that point in time.

All that stuff people say about it going so fast really is true (I suppose that’s why so many people say it).

quite nice

This weekend was really great. Yesterday was the much anticipated TU ReU. Yes, it actually all came together. The pavilion at the McKeldin Recreation Area was just about as perfect as it could be: just the right size, in the shade, right next to the playground. Just about everyone could make it, too. I packed my camera, but ended up taking ZERO pictures. Hopefully others who did will send them around. Everyone seemed to have a really great time. We all made each other the usual promises to see each other more often, but you know, who knows. Everyone has their people that they still talk to.  I certainly will try.

Later on, after a bit of driving around trying to figure things out, a few of us hung out at the Victoria Gastro Pub. In a bit of a classic move, it was right across the parking lot from the hotel where my friends were staying and I didn’t even notice until we were inside. There it was, right out of the window! Inside it was really nice. Great atmosphere. The food was good, too. Though I’m not sure why it took as long as it did for the first round and our food, what we ate was yummy. The beer choices were quite extensive, and a lot of the beers from the Muskoxen QFTB were on the menu, but the ones that I sampled were only just OK. Maybe just a matter of what was selected. However, Shade’ did order some cocktails both were pretty horrible.

We also had reservations at the gastro pub for brunch today. Same sort of experience. Food was excellent: French toast for Brendan and his mom and eggs benedict for me, but it seemed to take a bit (although being Mother’s Day brunch, it’s not too unexpected). The waitress was really great with Bridget, too.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. (You know, except for the traffic on the way home.)

wait a minute…

One of my friends from college has decided that we should have a reunion of sorts. It’s a good idea. He’s also decided that I should be in charge of planning it. So here I am, in charge.

Like I said, I think it’s a good idea, but it might be a little weird. I mean, most of us haven’t seen each other in at least 7 years. Longer for others.  I skipped my high school reunion because there really wasn’t anyone worth seeing, but I actually do want to see everyone from college. 

 It’s funny, I have this tendency to sometimes just disappear when my life takes a new direction, but I also get nostalgic. Those two things fight each other. 

We’ll see if this thing actually comes together…

Reyers – The ONLY place I got shoes as a child…

I got a frantic call from my mother tonight to tell me to turn on CBS Evening News. This was playing:

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When I was growing up, Reyers was billed (still is) as the "World’s Largest Shoe Store." I remember when it moved from the little store on State Street that you see in the flash-back footage into it’s current location, which used to be a supermarket.

One time, when I was little, my mother tried to take me to get shoes somewhere else to get new shoes, and the entire time were were in the other store I kept saying, "I don’t know why we’re here, I ONLY get my shoes at Reyers."

EDIT: I failed to mention that Jessica’s grandmother is from Brockway, and she and her sisters used to drive to Sharon for the express purpose of getting shoes at Reyers. We call her to see if she wants anything every time we head up there.


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.