blog_banner 20

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Meet Marcus Aurelius Ross.

Meet Marcus Aurelius Ross.

To be continued... ;)

A day big enough for an elephant.

Elephant weathervane.

Last(!) Sunday, the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium held a birthday party for the baby elephants. Being the elephants' biggest fan, Lauren was in attendance, of course.

Elephant Day.

At first, I was kicking myself a little because many people at the zoo were toting a "serious" camera, while I just brought my point-n-shoot.

The King.

However, I have to say that I don't feel like I'm missing much when I take photos with my Canon Powershot. For example, here we have your standard, run-of-the-mill photo of the king of the Jungle.

The King up close.

Zoomed in - now that's The King of the Jungle.

Elephant crossing.

But getting back to the elephants. There were lots of elephant related activities and displays.

Who's the tallest?

Mark is in denial that Ben Roethlisberger is taller than he is.

Modelling her sun visor.

Lauren's favorite was the make your own sun visor booth.

Mommy and Lauren.

Here she is again modeling her visor and posing with some woman. Oh wait, that's me. You usually don't see me appear in photos of our travels, so I'm easy to forget.

"Little" family.

Oh yeah, and there were the elephants themselves too.


This year, the zoo installed a new shark exhibit to complement the polar bear exhibit. We like to make fun of the polar bear exhibit because the zoo always runs these wonderful adverisements with the bears frolicking in the water with zoo visitors looking on in awe. In reality, there is a sign at the exhibit explaining that the bears are only in the water 10% of the time. We've never actually seen the bears in the water for ourselves, so I was thrilled when this lowly shark swam over our heads.

Just chillin.

While the polar bear exhibit is overrated, by far the most under appreciated and superior exhibit is the meerkat habitat. How hilarious is this little guy?


Kids can crawl through the tunnels and then pop up in bubbles around the exhibit to get a up-close look. Here's Lauren checking out Mr. Casual.

In the end, Elephant Day was a great success, and I'm glad Lauren got to celebrate her passion (As much passion as a four year old can muster) with those who share it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Go badgers.

Burton Badger.

I had hoped to share these photos eariler in the week, but we've been busy managing an unexpected crisis. After two problem free weeks, Lauren has done a complete turnaround and no longer wants to go to school. So we've been spending tear-filled evenings every day this week trying to get to the bottom of her sudden change of heart and doing our best to ease her anxiety. Thus far, the only things that we can get out of her is that she doesn't like rest time and that she misses us.

Burton, Ohio.

Last Saturday, we made our second trip to Burton, Ohio. These Ohio Historical Society signs must be new, because they've been popping up all over the place.

There were lots of bees!

As I've mentioned before, the dealer attendance at Great Geauga Antique Fair that is held in Burton has been dwlindling. This trend has unfortunately continued, however the one thing that was plentiful this time were bees. They were everywhere.

Vintage Christmas.

Many of the dealers had some great displays. This is the time of year when they pull out the Christmas merch.

Milkshake makers.

I've decided that I need a milkshake maker.


You know that I loved all these globes. This dealer also had a big box filled with vintage game boards for $2. I bought one, of course (See below).

Vintage cameras.

This dealer had boxes and boxes of vintage cameras. I probably would have bought one, but we already have a couple of our own that came from Grandma Gert.


We now interupt the antiques to bring you...STRUDEL!!!

A man and his strudel.

Cherry cheese strudel to be exact...yum!

Belle's American Grille.

Speaking of food, I don't think I've ever taken a photo of Belle's American Grille, the place where we eat lunch when we're in Burton. They have excellent home-cooked food. I'd love to tell you about all the great things that they serve, but all we've ever had is the Pecan Chicken Salad. Since we only eat there twice a year and we love that darn salad so much, we just can't bear to try the other fare at Belle's, but it sure looks good as it passes by our table!

Paint-by-numbers painting.

I actually purchased a few things this trip. This paint-by-numbers picture was only $5. The dog reminds me of Sammie. It was painted by a man named John Dee. I wonder what John Dee would think about some lady in Pittsburgh buying his painting?

Ticking stripe pillow cases.

Love these ticking stripe pillow cases. They were $5 as well. They have zippers and everything. I opened one up to find that it still contained some goose down. I wish I could find some in blue.


I purchased this Parchesi board for $2 for decorative purposes, but then I found a complete set of game pieces at another booth for $5. So I thought, "Why not?"


This fun letter "m" was only $2.

I also got a big oval frame for $15 and another braided rug, also $15. So I think that I made a decent showing. Good thing, since the September Geauga show pretty much marks the end of antiquing season for us. Until next June...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Surprise package.

Surprise package.

Last week, we received a surprise package from our good friend Dolores. She lives in Napa, where apparently all the good stuff is, as proven by Dolores's expertly chosen gifts.

Brass elephant.

First off, we have a brass elephant, which we promptly gave to Lauren because we thought that she *might* like it. He quickly joined his brethren at Elephant Central, otherwise known as Lauren's room. Dolores also included some brochures about everything there is to see and do in Napa. We think she might be trying to tell us something. Hmmm...

Good smelling stuff.

Next was some fabulous smelling soap, a sachet of lavender from her neighbor's garden and a pretty ceramic tile coaster. On the coaster is written, "As moonlight unto sunlight and as water into wine." Cause they're all about the wine in Napa.

Napa goodies

Then, some tasty food items: olive oil, mustard and Dolores's famous biscotti. Dolores - how did you know that mustard is my favorite condiment?

French stuff.

OHMYGOSH - A BUNCH OF FRENCH STUFF THAT MUST BE FOR ME!! I've wanted one of those little Eiffel Towers for so long!! I literally squealed out loud when I saw it. And then do you know what happened? LAUREN PROMPTLY STOLE IT FROM ME AND I HAVEN'T SEEN IT SINCE. Mark told me that Lauren said him a couple of days later, "I always wanted one of these."

Dolores even thought of Daisy and included a new toy for her. She likes it.

Dolores, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your thoughtfulness. What can we say - you really pay close attention to us!

In other news, we had a very busy weekend - day trip to Ohio (again) on Saturday and the Pittsburgh Zoo for the elephants' birthday party on Sunday. I'll be posting photos from both days later in the week.

9/21/2009:  7th Wedding Anniversary

And today is our 7th wedding anniversary. I want to get married again. Getting married is fun.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Got your back (Or random Wednesday).

Just for fun, I thought I'd post some random photos taken in the last few weeks that have been idling on my camera cards. As I was editing them, I noticed that I take a lot of shots from the back. Case in point...

Lake Arthur.

...Mark and Lauren peering out at Lake Arthur.

Washington's Landing.

And enjoying the city skyline at the bridge to Washington's Landing.

Dogs and cats living together.

Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria!

Eggplant sandwich.

Anyway, we haven't had a good food photo for a while (Oh wait, there was that one from the Greek Festival.). Unfortunately, we didn't grow eggplants this year. Instead, this weekend we stopped at a farmers market and picked up a couple so I could make my favorite summer sandwich: fried breaded eggplant with a slice of ripe tomato sprinkled with Parmesan cheese all between two slices of fresh baked cheese bread. This loaf came from Panera. I ordered a small loaf of Three Cheese bread that was supposed to be $3.99, but the girl gave me a gigantic loaf that I think cost $5.99. Then she proceeded to charge me $2.79. I was too darned confused to bring the mistake to her attention.

Primative gameboards.

Lastly, a little bit of decorating. I finally found a seller on eBay who makes fabulous hand painted primitive game boards. The roulette wheel is my favorite.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A very big day.

And we're off!

To say that we have a lot going on right now, would be an understatement. Yesterday was Lauren's first day of preschool.

First day of preschool.

There had been a lot of angst in the decision to enroll Lauren in preschool (After this, the college application process will be a breeze!). Just about every preschool in our district only lasts a half day. Since Mark and I both work, there isn't anyone available in the middle of the day to transport her where she needs to be. So after much deliberating, we chose a place outside of our district that offers full day enrollment, where she would attend for two days a week.

Upon hearing of our plans, family members, friends, neighbors, the mail carrier, the lady that checks us out at Target, etc., etc., expressed concern about how well Lauren would cope with being away for that long, especially given that she's never been away from family. Despite the desenters, Mark and I had faith that she would be fine.

Leading up to yesterday, Lauren was very excited to finally be going to school. When we dropped her off, she went right over and started mingling with the other children. In fact, she could've cared less when we left.

This was a very good thing, because yesterday was also the day that my parents were moving to their new home, located about a mile from our house. So while Lauren was at school, we were busy transporting various things from one house to another, cleaning, getting furniture into place and just plain ensuring that no one had a nervous breakdown in the process.

Shopping for toliet seats.

It's not everyday that you get to do things like go toliet seat shopping with your parents.

When I checked in with the school mid-day, the teacher said that she was "having the time of her life." As expected, however, she only ate a bite of peach during snacktime and wouldn't try the vegetable soup at lunch. She did eat her cheese crackers though.

Thankfully, the rest of the day flew by, and before we knew it, it was time to pick her up. When we stepped inside the classroom, she was too preoccupied playing with the other kids to notice, so the director called to let her know that we had arrived to pick her up. Did she run over to us, relieved to finally see a familiar face? Were we showered with hugs and kisses?

Absolutely not. She got one look at us, started to shake her head, and then burst into tears because she didn't want to go home. I thought the crying was supposed to happen when you dropped them off?

She was pretty inconsolable all the way to the car. After she calmed down, the first thing she said was:

"I met a boy. His name is Robbie."

Home Depot carts rule.

Oh, dear.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Off to boarding school.

Western Reserve Academy.

We spent Labor Day at an antique fair in Hudson, Ohio at Western Reserve Academy.

Western Reserve Academy - Ohio Historical Landmark.

Western Reserve Academy is one of the top prep schools in the country. So if we ever need to make good on the boarding school threat, now we know where to send Lauren (On second thought...).

One of the lovely homes near Western Reserve Academy.

The school is nestled in a to-die-for neighborhood, where all the homes are painted white with black trim.

Hanging with the Pioneer.

In attendance was the school's mascot, The Pioneer.


There was also a trolley...


And music...(Originally, I was going to crop the lady to right out of the photo, but I thought it was much more interesting to keep her in there. Yes, that's a dog in the stroller. You see this phenomenon often at antique fairs. We once even saw a lady pushing a cat in a carriage!)

Hudson Burial Ground.

And a spooky graveyard...

At the popcorn cart.

And a popcorn cart. Say, is this an antique fair or a theme park?!

Antique display.

Yes, there were indeed antiques. Like Zoar, this show contains almost exclusively quality primitives.

Beautiful (and functional) statue.

I loved this beautiful (and functional) statue. But, as I always ask, where would we put it? Mark says that if the lady would have had a price tag on it, it would be standing in the middle of our yard right now.

Kid who's been to too many antique fairs.

Is that the face of a kid whose parents drag her to too many antique fairs? Smile for the camera kid, or remember what Mommy said about boarding school!

Playing Ms. Pacman.

Lucky for her, we closed out the day with some good old fashioned technology at the turnpike rest stop.