Thursday, June 30, 2011

365 Days of Personal Correspondence - 6 Months Update

As the end of the first half the year arrives, it's time to share an update on how well my goal of writing 365 pieces of personal correspondence in 2011 is going! After getting ahead of schedule in January and February, my pace slowed in March (29 cards and letters sent), April (11), and May (21) then rebounded in June (39 so far). Altogether I'm only a couple short of my one-a-day goal (178 of 181 complete!).

As the photo suggests, I've had fun sending cards for lesser holidays like St. Patrick's Day and Easter. I've found it helps to have cards, stamps and a pen with me, either in the car, when running errands, or in my bag when traveling. I'm looking forward to the second half of the year!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cleveland Area To-Do List

Things I'd like to do or see while we're visiting this summer
The Fairport Harbor Marine Museum is the first Great Lakes Lighthouse Marine Museum in the State of Ohio, as well as the United States. The museum, which also has a small gift shop, is located at
129 Second St., Fairport Harbor, OH 44077.
Open on Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays & Legal Holidays 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.
Admission to the Museum and Tower Adults - $4.00, Seniors - $3.00, Ages 6-12 - $2.00
The lighthouse is 69 feet tall so it should be an easy climb.

Tuesday- Thursday 12-5pm Friday - Sataurday 12-6
Hours: 11am - 6pm Monday - Saturday - Tastings by appointment -
phone: 800-252-3197
July-October: Mon -Wed 12-5, Thurs, Fri, & Sat 12-9pm, Sun. 12-6

Also hoping the new Market Garden Brewery on West 25th will be open soon!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Artopia Recap

Saturday evening, five of my friends and I volunteered at Artopia, the major fundraiser for Big Bend Cares. Big Bend Cares provides education and comprehensive support to people infected with or affected by  HIV/AIDS. Literally hundreds of artists donate pieces of art, and local businesses contribute gift certificates and items. Most goes to a series of silent auctions, but the best of the art (as judged by a jury of local volunteer experts) is sold in a live auction.

we all wore volunteer badges

The Director of Development and Support Services, Perry Thomas Snead, is an Alpha Chi Omega alumna. This event was her baby, and it was great to get out and support her as well as a great cause.

here we are at the event: from left to right me, Marc, Jenn, Perry, Britain, Chris & Kate

We were excited to see that local business owner Susan, of Chrysalis (another Alpha Chi alumna) donated this great butterfly pillow to the auction.

We all had different tasks while volunteering. Britain, Chris, Kate and I worked to gather silent auction bids after each gallery closed, and placed winning bids on the board for all patrons to view. Jenn & Marc worked the live auction noting winners and the final selling price. Kate worked as a ring girl, notifying patrons when the galleries would be closing, giving everyone a ten-minute warning to get in their last bids. Chris, Kate and Britain worked to display and showcase art pieces during the live action.

When we first arrived, we had a chance to tour all the galleries. Jenn, Britain, Chris and I placed bids on a few items. I didn't win any of mine, but Britain and Chris took home three pieces (see below) and Jenn won at least one gift certificate.

Kate admires the art in one of the silent auction galleries

Chris with Accession One - Emergence by artist Peter Barry, which he and Britain won. It is the 3rd painting from a series of 5 and is about the process of personal emotional/spiritual change.

The second piece B and C won is an abstract by Linda Van Beck. The artist noted that originally the billows were to represent water lilies however as the painting evolved it felt more like the wind became more important than the water lilies.
The last piece B and C took home is titled the "Eiffel Tower in Winter." It is a simple but evocative black and white photograph taken in 2005. 

Overall, it was a great event, very well attended, and tons of fun (especially the live auction - lots of audience cheering and encouragement of deep pockets! I saw one piece go up to $2500!). I hope we're in town for next year's event and can attend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Beach Reads

A sample of what we were all reading at the beach!
 A few from Chrissy's pile: How to Tame a Modern Rogue and To Defy a King

 Mom enjoyed The Lucky One

John read Crystal Gorge Book Three - The Dreamers and Red Mars (see left stack, below)

Gayle's pile (on right) included All I Ever Wanted, The Cinderella Deal, Nothing But Trouble, Practice Makes Perfect, Dinner First, Me Later? and How to Tame a Modern Rogue (wonder if we really had two copies?). Gayle says, "I'm a fan of Rachel Gibson & Jennifer Cruise - I'll read anything of theirs. Fun beach reads."

I am reading (on the kindle so no fun photos) Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time (as recommended at Recruitment Training), A Knight's Enchantment and with Thomas, The Trumpet of the Swan 
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time A Knight's Enchantment The Trumpet of the Swan (full color)

Chris read and really enjoyed The Year We Left Home.
The Year We Left Home: A Novel

I didn't get a photo of the stack of books Ethan (age 10) and Elliot (6, though he told everyone he is 7) brought along but one that their Mom was trying to get them to read looked great to me: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. (It was a Newbery Honor Book for 2010.)
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Friday, June 24, 2011

Metropolis (OBX) Review

A week ago Wednesday we had a great meal with great company on adults night out at the beach. Mom and her grandsons had a date too with pizza (thanks Jessica for the Pizzazz recommendation) and then a walk down the beach to Dairy Queen for dessert.

We chose the restaurant because it was close, and because with the word martini in the title we figured it would not be filled with children! Metropolis Martini and Tapas turned out to be a great decision.

After being seated and told the drink specials, the chef came to our table to tell us about the food specials. They all sounded so great that we put ourselves in his hands and let him craft our dinner. Great decision #2. Here is a recap of most but not all of our meal:

We started with an Artisanal Cheese (Mano from Wisconsin and Maytag Blue) Plate with Fresh Fruit (apples, strawberries and blueberries) & Dried Fruit (brandy-soaked golden raisins), Nuts (curried pecans) & Crackers and Charcuterie
yum, bleu cheese!

Next we had bowls of the soup of the day, Cream of Asparagus, which had super sweet lump crab in the center of the bowl, sprinkled with garlic bread crumbs and finished with truffle oil: 

Next up, fresh porcini mushroom with goat cheese pizza.

Black and white sesame seated tuna with sushi set up (soy sauce, wasabi, and pickled ginger). The wasabi was Extra Hot!

Chris reacting to the extra hot wasabi.

Tartar of Columbia River King Salmon. So delish!!

Duckleg Confit w/ House BBQ Sauce, Toasted Corn Pudding & Local Peach Chutney. Chris' favorite!

Seared Wild Alaskan Halibut with Fennel Salad and North Carolina Blueberry Gastrique

"Carolina Creole", Shrimp, VA Country Ham and Mussel on Carolina Rice w/ Zucchini, Tomato & Onion in a Broth of White Wine, Butter & Cajun Spices. Christian's favorite. 

Seared Columbia River King Salmon with Cucumber Salad and Yogurt. Gayle and I loved this, so much in fact that we practically ate the whole thing before we remembered to take its picture!

A testament to how good everything was - tons of empty plates! 

Great decision #3 was to have dessert! 
 Vanilla panna cotta with fresh fruit. Creamier than I expected. Yum!

 Chocolate. Need I say more? 

Local peach bread pudding (that was so light it was more like a souffle) with a fried peach (with funnel cake batter) and bourbon vanilla cream. Chocoholic Gayle said this was better than chocolate. High praise! (The peaches were perfect, fresh, sweet, juicy; I had a peach martini with fresh local fruit that was stellar.) 

Altogether it was a great evening!

520 Old Stoney Road
Corolla, NC 27927
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