Thursday, December 30, 2010

happy 5th birthday, little ladybug girl!

My baby is 5 today! She's an inquisitive, excitable, active, wonderful 5 year old, and we are very happy and thankful she is part of our family!

Five years ago today...Mr. BikeMan was preparing to deploy just two days after our Little Ladybug Lady was born.

Ilsa woke Mr. BikeMan and me up around 6:30 this morning, ready for her special day to start.

Yes, Ingrid is as moody today as she looks in this picture. She's having a hard time yielding the spotlight to the birthday girl.

Ilsa got her wish of a new dollhouse for her birthday, and a Baby Stella baby basket for her favorite dolly.

Ingrid found every ladybug item that Ilsa owns, and created a ladybug display to help her celebrate her birthday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

a nice quiet week

So, here it is 7:45 am on the Tuesday morning after Christmas. The girls are sitting on the couch eating dry cereal and watching a DVD (it's Christmas break after all -- a time to let the rules sort of lax, huh?). I'm drinking coffee out of my new stainless coffee tumbler (green of course) from Mr. BikeMan. It was definitely time to replace the old, trusty one. The bottom fell off last month. It almost matches my green new iPod Nano. I've finally entered the 21st century and have an mp3 player! It made standing for 4 hours cooking Christmas dinner go by a lot faster.

The hits this year were Ilsa's space pop up book, the "Rainbow in Your Room" rainbow projector and one of those big pillows with arms on them that allow you to sit up and read in bed. Ingrid seems to be most fond of her Doctor Who Visual Dictionary, a fashion design template kit and mermaid-ponies castle (don't's ridiculous).

The big, threatening snowstorm that was supposed to immobilize the Greater Washington DC area on Christmas night never hit. We got a dusting that looked like powdered sugar on a pastry, which was really, really pretty, but that's all. I love snow, but after seeing what has happened to the upper East, I'm thankful that we didn't get the slamming that was predicted.

Next comes Ilsa's birthday on Thursday. Wow, she's going to be five. Can't believe it. I think I'm more excited to give her her gift than she will be to get it (well, I hope not, but I'm just so excited about it -- but I have to assemble it tonight. (Shhhhh. Don't tell her. It's a dollhouse.)

Hope all is well in your homes, and just as uneventful and pleasant as it is here in my home.

Friday, December 24, 2010

not that i'm waiting for it or anything...


It was almost brilliant. Really, really fun, but not my favorite Christmas episode. That distinction goes to The Christmas Invasion.

Merry Merry Christmas!

Signing off for a few days. I wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Can you spot the typo? This poster was proudly on display at a local Mickey D's drive-thru.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


A few weeks ago, we awoke to the sound of an ambulance siren halting in front of our elderly neighbor's home. That siren had been inevitable, of course, given how frail and elderly Ursula is.

Ursula had been a German war bride brought back after World War II. I bet she had amazing stories to tell. Problem is, I didn't think to ask her to share her stories, and now I won't have a chance to learn about her singular history.

Two weeks ago, Ursula fell. She was all alone in her home, but close enough to a telephone so that she could call 911. The rescue workers came, but couldn't get her door open, even with their "magic key". I had a chance to stand outside of her door along with a few other neighbors, speaking in hushed tones about how concerned we were for her. Ilsa was scared for her, and drew her a picture which I brought over before the door was opened by Ursula's daughter, who had to drive over from a nearby city.

Urusla is now in a nursing home, never to return to the home she shared with her now-deceased husband for 50-plus years. I wish I had taken the time to sit down with her over a cup of tea and get to know her. Sure, I brought her a loaf of bread once, and I spoke to her a few times, but is that being a real neighbor? I hope I learned my lesson.

Friday, December 10, 2010

a christmas decoration brag post

Ilsa's favorite ladybug ornament
Notice that The Doctor has decided to pay Christmastown a visit...typical because aliens always invade on Christmas on Doctor Who.

Ingrid's special ducky ornament

The tree...the new camera does a good job without a flash

The advent calendar -- I dug myself into a bit of a hole with this. I set the expectation last year of a little treat in each pocket every day. It's hard to be creative 25 days in a row and to not break the bank, too!


Our beautiful HABA nativity set. The newborn Jesus has yet to make his appearance. We hide it until Christmas Eve. I see the traditional penguins are paying a visit, as well.

Yeah, I guess that I'm bragging, but I think our house looks pretty good this year :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

real sonic screwdriver...honestly!

I apologize for the salty language in the comments, but I just HAD to post this link. British engineers at the University of Bristol are developing an honest-to-goodness working sonic screwdriver.

I am such a geek, I'm getting geekier and nerdier the older I get.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

heart attack

So, Mr. BikeMan was gone the entire month of November. He left November 1st and came home last night (December 3rd). Well, save Thanksgiving weekend, which wasn't planned.

So it was Wednesday, the night before Thanksgiving. I had just finally settled down onto the couch to watch a movie on Netflix (that X-Files movie from last year -- hey, I never finished it...) when my cell phone rang -- Mr. BikeMan checking in at about 9:30 pm my time, 6:30 his. He asked me to do him a favor, to go outside and take an eye-ball measurement of the length of the chains on the tire swing because he had seen an "attachment" for the swing and wanted to know if it would work out. I opened the front door, and HE WAS STANDING THERE! 10 DAYS EARLY! I screeched. He startled me thoroughly! Ilsa must've heard the taxi door close or something, because she started to come downstairs. Mr. BikeMan wanted to keep it a surprise, so he ran around the corner and hid. Ilsa said, "Mommy, did I just see a man with a backpack downstairs?" Hahaha. I swept it aside and got her back into bed successfully.

He was able to stay with us the entire Thanksgiving weekend, and flew back out to Colorado Springs on Monday. Now I know why he had convinced me to buy a small turkey "just so that the girls get to have a little Thanksgiving on the actual day" (we were going to wait until he got home this weekend to have a family Thanksgiving meal). He must have known early in the week that he was going to come home early! Wheeee!

10 things for which I am thankful

I haven't made one of these lists in a while. It's about time I did. In no particular order:
  1. Mr. BikeMan is done with his month-long road trip. He came home last night!*
  2. Christmastime is here (queue Charlie Brown music...)
  3. I actually had the forethought to buy hats, mittens and scarves before the cold weather hit on Thursday.
  4. My girls are happily coloring together. In the same room. From the same box of crayons and pens. Wow.
  5. I have a hair appointment today -- mmmmm, the smell of an Aveda salon.
  6. Ingrid actually likes math now that we have pulled her out of the Spanish immersion program.
  7. Ilsa has been making her own books -- she just made her own counting book with the following pages: 1 Doctor (Who) with 1 TARDIS, 2 bad guys (a Cyberman and a Dalek) 3 ladybugs; 1 Ilsa, 2 flowers, 1 flower, the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and a Slitheen. LOL!!!!!
  8. I found the Christmas version of Cadbury Mini Eggs at the PX yesterday. Screeeee!
  9. When I put up the Christmas tree on Tuesday night, there was only 1 string of mysteriously dead tree lights in the box.
  10. I participated in my first NaNoWriMo and actually did it! 50,282 words in 30 days. The story is totally crud, and it's mine, and no one will EVER read it but me!

*See post "Heart Attack" for the whole story

first pets

The girls have been hounding us for a pet. We aren't in the position right now for any sort of high maintenance animal like a dog or cat, so we opted to get them a small goldfish tank. We each have our own fish:

Ilsa's pink Glo-Fish (which I just learned is a GMO fish - yerghhh) is Ladybug Star Candycane
Ingrid's spotted Guppy is Aquamarine Bubbles Candycane
Mr. BikeMan's Guppy is Hamlet
Mrs. BikeMan's orange Glo-Fish is Ophelia (see, I told you I was obsessed with Hamlet right now...)

Monday, November 29, 2010

cyber monday alert -- all bbc video titles on sale at amazon!

It's the mother lode of costume drama, Doctor Who, mysteries and all sorts of BBC wonderfulness over at Amazon! All BBC DVDs and BluRay are on sale.

I am liking Cyber Monday...much better than that Black Friday nonsense.

Friday, November 26, 2010

the play's the thing!

I've been on a Hamlet kick this week. Found this. Funny stuff.

Now, check out a real version:

2009 Royal Shakespeare Company's very cool and engaging version with David Tennant as a quite bi-polar Hamlet and Patrick Stewart as a cold, cold Claudius. This was the same cast that performed the play at Stratford at the RSC; there is a few "company" feel to the production, even though it was filmed on location, not on stage. Really, really cool camera work. Not too modern to be weird, though. No liberties with the story, either. Stewart won an Olivier Award for his performance.

1996 lush and epic version with a brooding Kenneth Branaugh and regal Derek Jacobi; Kate Winslet is a beautiful and heartbroken Ophelia.

1990 version with Mel Gibson before he went off the deep end; Glenn Close, Alan Bates and Helena Bonham Carter

1948 with Laurence Olivier. Gold standard and classic, but honestly (please no tomatoes), the Branaugh and Tennant versions are so much more engaging, not because of the color but because of the emotional whiplash portrayed by the actors. Olivier is just so controlled.

Do yourself a favor and skip the Ethan Hawke version -- Denmark Corporation? Really???

Monday, November 8, 2010


Turn up the speakers....THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!

Read about this Random Act of Culture, here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

gulliver's travels movie

Not quite accurate to the classic novel, but sure looks GREAT! Thanks to Ms. Enchanted Serenity of Period Films for posting this.

Monday, October 25, 2010

funny dream

So I woke up smiling this morning. No, for real...actually smiling. Last night I dreamed that I had forgotten to buy Halloween candy for neighborhood trick or treaters, so Mr. BikeMan and I were running around desperately trying to find candy to hand out to the kids pounding on our door. We came up with chili and garlic flavored mozzarella sticks (because they were individually wrapped - I don't think these actually exist, but kind of a good idea, huh? Like pepper-jack cheese sort of...) and 30 seashells (yep - shells from the beach).

So today, right after I dropped off Ingrid at school, I hightailed it to the store and bought Kit-Kats, Fizzy Skittles and Dum-Dum lollipops so that the neighborhood children wouldn't be subjected to seashells and string cheese.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Not earth shattering, but it's my tradition to herald the yearly arrival of the Honeycrisp apple at the grocery store. Bought my first 3 pounds last week. Apparently, I'm not alone in my adoration of the Honeycrisp. And there's this site, too. There were 9 pages of Google hits, but I didn't go beyond page 1.

Perhaps I'll go compose an ode.

old town alexandria

We finally visited historic Old Town Alexandria yesterday afternoon. Didn't take as many pictures as I should have, but I'm sure we'll be back. One of the most interesting places we found was the VeloCity Bicycle Co-op. Mr. BikeMan has passed this place for months as he makes his way to and from work (via velo of course). The Co-op serves as a place to learn bike maintenance, tool sharing, and general bike joy.

We also found a kilt shop, The Kilted Nation. The owner was out of town up at ComicCon (lucky guy), but his utterly delightful parents were watching the shop. Ingrid and Ilsa have decided that they now want kilts for Christmas. The website doesn't show their entire inventory. One neat product they do carry are velcro-closure children's kilts which could literally be worn for years and years as the child grows.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


The always-compelling White Horse Inn radio broadcast had a very interesting discussion last week. Click on the Almost Christian link in the "Listen Now" widget.

lego creations

Here are some cute Lego creations that Ilsa made this morning:



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

nanowrimo 2010

Okay, I'm doing something that is insane, crazy, wacky, unrealistic. I have signed up to participate in NaNoWriMo 2010. Yep. I'm going to write a "novel" in 30 days. No one says it has to be actually good, it just has to be 50,000 words - maybe just stream-of-consciousness drabble. It's kind of a fun exercise, though. Click on the banner to the right to learn more about the yearly project.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Mr. BikeMan caught a humorous typo on Ingrid's school lunch menu.

October Lunch Menu full

Here is the text from the bottom right-hand corner (click the photo to view in Flickr):

October Lunch Menu

So, is a student free to retaliate if they feel their lunch is gross?

Monday, September 27, 2010

chad and stephanie

But they aren't us... he is really outdoorsy and she has REALLY cool hair (because it's like mine hee hee hee) but that's where the similarities end. But wouldn't an Amazing Race adventure be, well, amazing?

the best weather forecast EVAH!

Mr. BikeMan makes fun of me because I am a weather junkie. One year for Christmas he bought me two books on weather forecasting. I love them! But all the while he says, why don't you just look out the window and see what the weather is doing? I get a certain thrill when that red crawl appears on the bottom of the TV screen and that creepy repeating buzz sound blares... It's Weather Time! He rolls his eyes.

There must be other people like him, because I found out about this website this morning:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

masterpiece mystery alert: sherlock in october

PBS' Masterpiece Mystery will be showing two Sherlock episodes on October 24 and October 31. Sherlock is a modern retelling of Sherlock Holmes, and is co-created by the 5th season Doctor Who (Bow Tie Doctor #11) team of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss.

Apparently three stories were produced, but only two are being show on PBS this fall.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

on hold

FYI: It's 12:05 in the afternoon, and I've now been on hold waiting to speak with a Verizon FIOS billing supervisor 42 minutes and 03 seconds. I simply asked for a supervisor. I'm stubborn enough to keep holding, but my better sense says that I'm probably in permahold.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

it's a go for surgery, doctor

100_8635, originally uploaded by BikeBookBread.

So this morning I wasn't feeling great. Probably didn't help that I got up this morning after having had no dinner last night, and promptly ate a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting for breakfast. Blah...way way way too much sugar on an empty stomach. It sent me reeling for quite a while. The girls were quite concerned, so Ilsa got their toy medical kit out and decided to make me feel better. I had the blanket over my head, so she worked on my feet. Shots, blood pressure, plastic bandage, the works. Mr. BikeMan snapped this picture after her prescribed course of treatment was complete.

Monday, September 13, 2010

a new funny blog to follow

I may be behind the times, and you may already know about this one, but I've found a great new blog to follow: Catalog Living - the lives of the people who live in our catalogs.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

tireswing bliss

So, we got this fancy tire swing set up finally.... I have a feeling we'll have a hard time getting the girls OFF of the fancy tire swing. Mr. BikeMan started researching tire swings on the web. He found a guy up in Massachusetts who makes these seriously great swings. You can choose small or large tires, the chain color, ball-bearing 360* rotators, etc... It was shipped via FedEx and arrived 3 days after we placed the order. I love promoting small businesses... here's a link to his site, "My Tire Swings".


Saturday, August 28, 2010

make your own fun and then give it a name

My sweet Ilsa has a knack for making the most mundane items into an afternoon of fun. Today she found the big old package of TP from Costco and turned the wrapper into a sleeping bag, and the TP into a pillow. She actually started to cry when Daddy, Mr. BikeMan, said it was time to put the wrapper into the garbage. (I was kind of afraid she would want to sleep with it tonight...) Her slightly weepy reply, "You mean I have to throw Sleepy* away?" Yes, she named the wrapper.

*Ilsa has a tendency to name inanimate objects. Took us a long time to figure out what "Fluffies" were... anything "cute" per Ilsa is a Fluffy. "Mommy, I just love Fluffy trees. They are so cute they make me want to cry." What is a Fluffy tree? It's a PINE tree, the kind with long needles. But why do they make her want to cry? Out of joy? Nostalgia for Charlie Brown's pine-Christmas tree? They do look sort of fluffy in the distance, I suppose. But this one had me scratching my head: we were watching Doctor Who on Netflix this week (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know she's only 4 and watching Doctor Who). When she saw a Dalek inside of the "flying garbage can" for the first time, she cooed, "Oh Mommy, it's a Fluffy!!!" Now THAT THING is not cute -- it looks like a slimy Octopus. Last night, she asked for her Story Napkins. She wanted to sleep with them. (Hence my concern about wanting to have Sleepy, the Costco toilet paper plastic wrapper with her in bed...definitely a case of "This Plastic Bag Is Not A Toy!") Story napkins, it turns out were some pretty paper cocktail napkins with butterflies and flowers on them... she had played with them yesterday. She was using them to tell a story about the butterfly in the flowers.

I may never have to buy her another toy again.


Ingy Badingy starts public school first grade the week after next, and I'm really quite bummed about it. I had thought we'd be home-schooling. I just haven't reconciled myself to the fact that she's actually going to be attending public school rather than homeschool. Mr. BikeMan has assured me that if it becomes apparent that it wasn't the right choice, we'll pull her; but still, at this time last year, I thought we'd be reveling in the arrival of boxes of new curricula, excited with the thought of starting ancient history, Latin or Greek and field trips on the fly.

I haven't wanted to leave the house because I've felt absolutely rotten from allergies; my doctor prescribed Zyrtec and it isn't touching them.

I then made the realization that summer is almost done and here we are Where George Walked, and we haven't been to one historic site since we arrived over a month ago.

Then there is the loneliness factor (see last post), and I started feeling very sorry for myself.

We haven't really landed at Church yet, and I just don't know if it's where we should be.

So I decided I had better complete a Fruit of the Spirit reality check (see Galatians 5:22 - 26).
  1. Love (I Corinthians 13) is patient and kind; it is not envious, boastful, arrogant or rude; it doesn't insist on its own way; not irritable or resentful; rejoices not in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth. It bears, believes, hopes and endures. Love endures. Reality check: let's go right to irritable. Oh good grief. Could I have snapped any more this week? I tend to use, ahem, that time as an excuse. Well, it isn't an excuse. I should employ self control. So, the next time that Ilsa asks me for the 9th time in a row if she could sit on my lap, I will not not not not snap "NO!" at her.
  2. Joy (James 1:2) is not based upon circumstances. So, those blooey blues were not showing Fruit, huh? Watch this object lesson:
  3. True Peace (Philippians 4:7), which only comes from Jesus himself is far bigger than anything we can understand. I don't understand why certain situations are playing out the way they are right now, but I need to lean on His peace. He understands the big picture.
  4. Patience. Self explanatory. So, does this mean I should have played the dreaded, loathed, worse than water-boarding torture game, Candyland with the girls, and not manipulated the situation to guilt him into playing?
  5. Kindness. My words have not been kind.
  6. Goodness. Hmmmm. What is goodness? The Greek word is chrestotes, which means moral goodness and integrity, benignity or kindness. So, when I said that I would be done on the computer "in a few minutes" and I wasn't, I was not exhibiting goodness, as I was not showing integrity, or truthfulness to my word. Yikes.
  7. Faithfulness. Trust and holy fervor, born of faith relating to God, according to the Greek lexicon for this specific word, pistis. Well, I haven't been showing holy fervor. In fact, this past week I have seriously doubted why I was even attending church at all. Running through my mind were thoughts like, "I don't act any differently as a parent than how I perceive non-Christians act towards their children. I shout, scream, have no patience, am not showing any Godly example to them..." But as Mr. BikeMan reminded me, "what do you think we would act like if we weren't attending church? Wouldn't it be a lot worse?"
  8. Gentleness. Mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness. See 5.
  9. Self-control. "The virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially sensual appetites." I can say that in this area, while not 100%, I'm not receiving a failing grade. Unless you count too much web-surfing (though not unworthy websites) having a lack of self-control. But I did send that pair of shoes back to Zappos, and I did walk right past the Philosophy counter without buying that Bubble Gum Blowout-scented bubble bath, and I did not purchase that big bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the Halloween candy display at the Commissary. On the other hand, I stayed up way too late watching too many streaming Netflix episodes of Doctor Who when I should have been in bed, and I should have done the laundry instead of putting it off while I did other stuff, and I did spend way too many hours on the Well Trained Mind message board, even though these are all great things in and of themselves, I need to have the self-control to know when to stop. So I guess less than 100% is a failing grade, huh?
So, how do I improve? It's not under my own power, that's for sure. The Fruit of the Spirit is not The Fruit of The's from The Spirit. As soon as I acknowledge that I can't do it by myself, the riper that fruit will become.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This post is not meant to be maudlin. It's just that I'm, well, lonely. Moving every three years has its advantages but the loneliness is one aspect which is impossible to get used to. The girls keep me occupied, but I can't really have a chat over coffee with them, or ask them to be a part of my book club, or ask them to help me decide between the black and fuchsia Dooney & Burke and polka dotty Le Sportsac casual purses upon which I have my eye. I can't really do these things with Mr. BikeMan, either. As to coffee, he's off at work. As to book club, my tastes run one way: eastward "across The Pond" - Austen, Gaskell, even Jasper Fforde, etc...; his run straight towards post-apocalyptic, dystopic fiction. And as for the purse discussion, the answer would be in the form of a question (like Jeopardy), "don't you already have a purse?"

So, you frequent movers, how do you find friends? I don't want to come across as that needy nut who grabs at friendship, but on the other hand, I can't just sit back like a wall flower and wait for the suitors to come and ask me to dance, either...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

stylish way to open your garage door

I think I might ask Mr. BikeMan to make one of these for our future dream house (that's WAY in the future...)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beloit College Mindset List for Class of 2014

The yearly "I'm getting sooooooo old" reality-check has been published. You know the list that catalogs all the stuff that you remember, but this generation doesn't, like "Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry," and "They've never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

appalachian trail

Someday, Mr. BikeMan wants to hike this:

We had no idea that our journey to visit our friends (see previous post) would lead us across the famous Appalachian Trail. We had to stop and take a picture on the way home. When we started the car back up, we smelled something burning. At first we thought it was the cigarette lighter spontaneously starting itself (it was glowing red - turns out it always glows red when the headlights are on because there's a red light behind it...had the car for 4 years and have never noticed this), but when we got home, we found out that we had driven all the way home with what appears now to be a ruptured universal joint boot (I don't know what that is, but I sound smart...). Didn't we just sink a chunk into the Subaru before we drove all the way across the continent?

different paths, same destination

You know those friends whom you don't get to see very often, but when you do re-connect, your conversation just picks right back up where it left off? Those are the friendships worth cultivating and keeping. Mr. BikeMan and I don't have a huge social circle. We've moved a lot, but have always seemed to find this type of friendship in every location we have been placed.

Today we had the privilege of catching up with our best friends from our time in Spokane. We have not seen them since 1999 (?). We haven't even talked on the phone that many times, but we have always kept tabs on each other. We now live within 90 minutes.

Now here's the cool part: we've taken separate paths in life, but have come to many of the same conclusions. About politics. About education. About food consumption. About less is more. About family. About culture. We have read the same books. Enjoyed the same movies. We had many, "you read that book?" moments today. We even watched the same obscure independent film last week. (Oh, here's a film recommendation: Arranged.) Here is a great website recommend as well: Front Porch Republic.

Friday, August 13, 2010

pink curlers, bread bombs & rainy days

Ingrid got it into her pretty little head that she wanted to try out hair curlers. (Where does she get this stuff?) I figured it was a cheap and fun distraction, so we purchased old-fashioned pink Goody foam curlers...just like my sweet and dear Grandma wore every night. I have fond memories of my cousins and I setting each others' hair at Grandma's house when we got to have sleepovers together. We would then listen to "Mystery Theater" on the radio (creepy squeaky door, footsteps...scary organ music..."Good Evening, and welcome to Mystery Theater..."). Inevitably, my oldest cousin would sneak in just before we were asleep and scare the snot out of her sister and me. Sometime during the night, at least one of us would grow tired of the plastic curler pins digging into our heads, and we'd pull all the curlers out. Ingrid made it all the way through the night. She really does have a beautiful head of hair...

Occasionally, the bread just doesn't turn out as expected. I guess I haven't quite found the sweet spot in this oven. The bottoms are black (not pleasantly charred) and the top isn't quite as crusty as expected. I was making these loaves as a gift, and unfortunately will probably just become (delicious) croutons for tonight's Caesar salad.

Ilsa is the proud new owner of a ladybug umbrella from Grandma and Grandpa.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

how we spent our summer vaca...saturday

This Saturday has been the most beautiful weekend day we have experienced since we arrived. The humidity was manageable, the temperature was lovely (about 85) and the skies were blue, dotted with puffy clouds. There was a tiny breeze. I even saw a blue swallowtail butterfly flutter by. Perfect summer day.

Did we tour The National Mall? Did we visit Mount Vernon? No, instead we spent it pressure washing all of the hard surfaces around our home. We started at 10:15 am and finished at 4:45. (The hose ran the entire time, nonstop. I wonder how big our water bill will be...) Mr. BikeMan and I are both horrendously tired and we will be SORE tomorrow, but the trade off was worth it. Check out these before and after pictures.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

TEAL presents Sisters

I must get my hands on a copy of this book!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Struan is a bread of Scottish origin which is traditionally made with whatever grains are left around the house. I used steel cut oats and rolled oats along with home-milled whole wheat for this 100% whole grains loaf (well, I did dust the top with white flour). Yummmmmmmy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

this is so cool! I want it for my birthday...

Can I have this TARDIS cake for my birthday? (The blue Police Box one - if you don't understand why in the world I want this, you must not be a Doctor Who fan...). I bet we would have cake for weeks, because of course, it's bigger on the inside.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

observations from the fray

So, we've been here about three weeks now, and I've learned a few things about The East:

1) Some persons believe that parking spaces are worth risking one's life (*see below)
2) Don't shop on Saturday or Sunday unless you really want people to growl and scowl at you
3) A quick trip for an outing or just running errands will take, at a minimum, three hours, usually more
4) Don't leave home without the Garmin GPS, but don't always trust it

*So, we were at Whole Foods on Saturday morning. We had hoped to go out for a nice sit-down family breakfast, but time ran away from us (see observation #3). We were at a (surprise, surprise) really cool bike shop in the neighborhood where The Too Cool For You Peoples hang out (apparently) (see growling and scowling #2), and there was a really big and neat looking Whole Foods grocery store across the street, so across we went to grab something from their grab-and-go eating area. They had a great breakfast bar set up. On our way in, we saw two older gentlemen (in pretty swanky vehicles) actually hollering at each other in the parking lot. Mad Man #1 had swooped in his smallish and agile vehicle (wrongfully so...we saw it) and stole Mad Man #2's parking space, AS Mad Man #2 was backing his largish tank-type SUV into said spot. Door slamming. Wives screaming. Awful. (I kept thinking about Fried Green Tomatoes "To WANDA!") But wait, there's more. We went back (self-infliction of pain?) that afternoon to grab a high quality steak for the grill and AGAIN, we witnessed two men fighting over a parking space at the same exact store. Different men, though. Good grief.

Regarding observation #4, don't always trust your Garmin. We had located a Wal-Mart, and it took us into the heart of Downtown Washington DC. We drove past The Mall, through Georgetown, were sent around several roundabouts, and into a neighborhood with boutique hotels and fancy stores. Yeah, right, like there's a Wal-Mart on Massachusetts Avenue. This little excursion took us one hour -- and we travelled a sum total of about 10 driving miles.

Here are some happier topics. This gas oven ROCKS pizza. Look at this crust char! Awesome.

Here's Ingrid's Pink Palace of a room. The girl loves pink.

Our Mid-Century inspired furniture is great in this 60's mid-century vibe home. Note the homage to Costco in the bottom right corner.

You saw the before picture of Ilsa's room, well, here's the after.

The Big Pear has found a place, but still needs to go up on the wall.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

new, promising film production company, "beloved pictures"

Check out Beloved's upcoming projects list. Here's a teaser: one of the films involves a bus to the afterlife.

Friday, July 16, 2010

our work cut out

We are officially in our home. Woo hoo! The move was not that bad, but as with any move, there are always a few bumps and things that make you wonder, "what were they thinking?"

Like how the unpackers emptied all of the boxes in this room and put EVERYTHING onto the bed? They followed this same procedure in Ingrid's room, and our room as well. So, in order to make the beds, we had to take everything off: bathroom towels, bedding, toys, shoes, clothing, pictures, etc... I think it would have been better had they left the boxes unpacked.

When they unpacked the kitchen, I asked them if they could unpack onto the shelves. They told me that they don't put things away. So, they just dumped them onto the shelves. I found carving knives NEXT to the knife block, blades exposed and all mixed up with cups and dishes. Yikes. I'm glad I was still half awake when I found them, or else there might have been the second trip to the ER in a week.

But my favorite find so far has been the upside down, open, empty box of Biz laundry detergent powder in a box of laundry room supplies like clothes pins, dryer sheets and liquid laundry detergent. The Biz box is empty because the entire contents are now spilled outside of the box. The laundry supplies weren't even supposed to be packed (I had set all of the cleaning supplies and chemicals aside). Nice. At least it smells really good.

We also have gained some insight into the girls' personalities: Ingrid couldn't work fast enough to get her room completely tidy. It is already organized and beautiful...the only room in the house that is even close to looking normal. Ilsa, on the other hand, couldn't start playing with her toys fast enough. She had every toy box and carton that had been placed into her room open and strewn about. Her room is crazy.

I got the TV, DVD player and PS3 set up. Tomorrow I'll get the kitchen and dining room cleaned up, the iMac set up and the stereo hooked-up. And then come the books books books books books...
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