Summer seems to be fading... it didn't rain for 28 days, according to the National Weather Service here. It was too hot and dry this August to do much of anything outside, so I haven't run, biked or anything for quite a while. Lately, it's been chilly, and it rained most of last week. Even so, I tried to keep my plants watered, but you'll notice I failed... I am bad about watering! I do have a few successful plants still going strong...
I think I'm the only person in this neighborhood who has done any planting. We live in townhouses. Everyone else seems completely satisfied with what the contractor planted. I don't want my house to look exactly like the one next to me and the one 4 doors down... I know it takes some extra time and care to have extra plantings, but it's so worth it. We have 5 Rose bushes that bloom all summer... sometimes bigger blooms than others, if the Japanese beetles don't get to them first. In the spring, my beautiful Peony bushes are my favorite flowers to see. I debate whether to leave them on the bush, or to cut them and put them in every room of the house. Also, my Azalea bush blooms pink blossoms. I love to see that bush grow-- we planted it just days after we moved into thsi house. In the late winter, my Heather blooms like purple lavender .... very nice to see after a long, gray winter. I imagine that one day we'll live in a lovely little cottage and I'll plant in every available inch of dirt some kind of flowering plant, but first I must learn how to take care of them the proper way, eh?
I love that the weather is getting chilly-- it's a great sign that we are headed into fall. I like the summer-- hot weather, going on vacation, especially to the beach, hanging out with friends and family, being lazy, cooking out, etc.- is all very fun for June and July, but by the time August rolls around, I am ready for the heat to pass and a new season to begin. In my family, that means soccer season. My dad coaches, my brother coaches, my mom faithfully goes to all the games, and Jeremy and I become fanatics. Since he's such a big Virginia Tech football fan, I worried that he might get bored watching too much soccer. I've heard it from so many Americans- that soccer is just not exciting enough. There must not be enough concussions, injuries, steroids, big money, ... who knows. I like watching a game every once in a while, especially in person to big school games-- Maryland or VT-- , but I think it's more about the tailgating food for me! :) Anyway, fortunately, he really likes soccer. He'll get into strategy talk with my dad and brother, and go as crazy as I do at the games. I don't know too many of the players anymore, just a few, but I 'll always root for them. Last year was a good year for the team, even though they didn't' make it to the finals. I don't' think there was a single boring game last year- every game was so exciting- 7 Overtimes, great goals, good shots, bad referee calls, bad cards-- can't wait for this year.
Anyway, so fall brings great soccer games, football games, the leaves changing colors around here, pumpkins, squash, festivals, Halloween.... things not everyone would be excited about, but I sure am! I guess it's still officially summer, though, so I'll just have to look forward to all that.
This has been a great weekend. On Friday we went to Roanoke for the night. We went to Carlos' Brazilian, which is one of our favorite restaurants. Even though it rained the whole time, we had a great view of the mountains from where we sat. We could even see a vineyard in the distance. Just check out the menu. I had a Brie, Artichoke and Spinach soup that I could have just jumped in it was so good. I usually have the Artichoke Chicken and Pasta, which is made with Brie, but I was in the mood to try something new.
I tried a Paella made with Saffron rice, Clams, Chicken, Oysters, Scallops, Sausage and such..... I'd never had Paella before and it was really a nice summer dish. A little smoky, spicy, sweet, and seafood. We ate dinner early so that we could meet up with Jeremy's sisters at a reasonable time, and it was fun to check out who eats dinner early (5pm).... we were by far the youngest diners in the place!
Off we went to meet up with Jeremy's sisters and niece. They're all living together now, in a little town near Roanoke. One of them just moved here a week ago from the West. Leslie and her daughter Ellie have lived in the Roanoke area the whole time I've known them, but the sister who just moved her, Sam, I've only seen 2 times before Friday. I imagine it must be like a sorority living in that apartment, doing all kinds of girly stuff like late night movie watching, staying up late talking about boys and hair and stuff. Jeremy isn't as fun to talk to about hair or makeup or clothes and such! :) Anyway, we met up with them here and hung out, had a very nice time. Ellie, who you may recognize, found a stash of books and buried herself in them. It's funny to watch her read- she's so engrossed, and nothing distracts her from the book- no matter what goofy faces or funny voices her mom or uncle use.
Yesterday, I met up with Ashely for a fun morning of pastries and shopping! We both love good sweets and so we went here first. The closest thing Lex Vegas has to Paris. We chatted away and feasted on their yummy quiches, croissants and cookies! So yummy. Then we headed here, to wander up and down the aisles of "antiques."
Most of the stuff is overpriced, and lots of it is junk. Even so, it's still fun to imagine where it all came from, and when... She and I both seem to be drawn towards 50's and 30's stuff...especially photographs, postcards, and such. Duke has all kind of strange stuff hanging from the celings-- old VERY original signs and displays-- the one I think of first is a Cinderella-like carriage held by 2 graceful Greyhounds, which displays some vintage dolls and says "Seeing Is Believing".... ? We found some fun jewerly and I got a nice embroidered linen runner, a children's stories book from the 50's and some old postcards. Fun.
After that, I waitressed. Officially, I don't waitress anymore. I'm not on the payroll or schedule, but I get called in a lot lately. Twice a week, typically. I started again because of all my car issues (being unafforable issues), and now it's nice to have extra spending money for a day trip somewhere or something. Last night was hopefully it, though, as far as being asked to come in to waitress. I guess I forgot many of the reasons why I wanted to quit so many times before:
1. Do people realize how they speak or act towards waitresses? Snapping fingers in the air? Talking to me while I am trying to talk to another table? Who needs it?
2. College people. I've lived here my whole life, and love both of the colleges. One of the colleges, in particular, seems to attract some folks who act like they own the world. Good people, smart people, but some very snobby people. A lot of them don't even look you in the eye, which says a lot for me. They make no reservations, call in at the last minute requesting a party for 3, but bring in 15 and expect you to make it happen. I got chewed out by a woman yesterday because her watch said "5:00", mine didn't, the restaurant's didn't, but remember, HER's did, so she wanted the doors opened (we unlock the doors at 5), her table ready, and food on the table in 5 minutes. I understand that when people are hungry, they are monsters (I get that way, too) but at least couldn't they try to talk NICE, even if they don't feel nice? I don't often refuse to serve a customer, but I refused to deal with that woman.
3. Tips. You see your servers running. Getting you your food when it's hot. Drinks. Bread. As a customer, I hope you realize that I am only half of the deal as far as your service. I can only bring the food, not make it. I can only serve the drinks from the bar, not pour them. So if things dont' taste how you like it, or drinks don't come to you in the seconds that you expect them, please realize that there are other bodies responsible for parts of your service. If you don't like the food, please tell me that when I ask you "How Is Everything?" Also, please realize that waitresses DO NOT even get paid minimum wage (they get paid half of it), that they have to tip out close to 20% of their tips to bussers and bartenders, and that 15% is no longer the acceptable tipout. Oh, if you're from Europe, please know that tips are not included as part of the meal!
4. Lazy co-workers. I know they're everywhere, but man, there are some big lazies in the restaurant industry. You know who you are.
Alright, I think I'm done.
Finally, after work, I met up with Ashley again, and we headed to the Palms. VMI was having a reunion, and my good friend Justin was hanging out, having come down from DC for that. I don't miss the Palms- the crowded bar is smoky and you have to shout over all the noise, but it was good to see Justin. He is one of those very honest friends of mine, whose opinion I value very much. He's got me thinking about some things I've known for a while, that this will definetely be my last year teaching, and that I really do want to get back into the Arts. Ashley was being her usual goofy self, and she put on some cadet's hat and was hamming it up. Wish I had that picture. These are two of the truly funniest people I know!
I don't think he really licked her face.
Then, because I am an old lady whose carriage turns into a pumpkin at midnight, I headed home. I have lots of great memories from college of the Palms, but it's just not as fun for me. Finally I made it home to my little family- Jeremy, the dog, cat and bird. :)
Well, that was a long one! Hope everyone's having a great weekend. Enjoy Monday off (hopefully you don't have to work)!