Monday, May 24, 2010

Porch Sittin

What a lovely, warm, pre-summer night. When Crystal got home from work tonight she rang my bell, which prompted me to uncork a bottle of Starlight Red from Huber Winery. It was almost Pavlovian. We very much enjoyed the slightly sweet, chilled red wine, which got grapeier (oh, it's a word) as it warmed on this nearly sultry evening. Chad got home about half way through the bottle and the three of us enjoyed the evening on our porch. At dinnertime they decided to order a pizza from Circle City Pizza, the place I ordered from last night. I waited 2 hours for my pizza last night, but theirs was delivered in 45 minutes. We all agree it's a good-not-great pizza. By the time the pizza arrived Crystal had opened a bottle of something from Alto Vineyards, a decent winery near Phil, in southern Illinois. I like Alto Vineyards because they are a sponsor of Carbondale, IL public radio, but this wine was not as yummy as the Huber Starlight Red.

All in all, a very satisfying first night with the new neighbors.

New Place

I live in my new apartment now, and it was a much easier move than I'd expected-- it took about 45 minutes to unload the moving van, which is a great incentive to never buy anything ever again. Each move I've made over the past year I've moved less and less stuff, and I still have a fully furnished place to live.

So, this picture shows the selling point (the renting point?) for me with this new apartment-- I love love love the woodwork around the doors and windows and baseboards. This is a camera-phone picture, 'cause I just don't think it's necessary to walk all the way over to the table to get my camera and cord.

The weirdest thing about the move, however, is that I lost my travel coffee mug. I remember bringing it out of the car with me last night after a trip to Meijer, but I can't find it in the house anywhere now. I keep thinking it will turn up, but things are clean and organized throughout the apartment and still no coffee travel mug. :(

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Place That Will Remain Unnamed

I'm all about the whirlwind weekends lately. This time Crystal and I went down to southern Illinois to spend some time with Phil. We did lots of fun stuff in a pretty short time, and probably the most unique place we went was this place, where we got in trouble by the owner.
This place is crazy! Crystal was especially entertained by the fact that the ducks are poised to come in for a water landing.
We had fun drinking root beer and eating over-priced seafood, then the owner walked by and told us photography was not allowed.
Seriously? You make your place up to look this crazy and you don't let people take pictures of it? Not very cool.
We put away our cameras and somberly finished our root beers.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Indiana vs. Illegals

So the big news this week is that Arizona has this new law regarding immigrants, right? I'm not paying a lot of attention, but I think that's what they're all talking about on NPR. The past couple of days an Indiana politician has mentioned he likes the Arizona law, and maybe he'll try to get a similar law passed here. I've not done too much research on the issue, but upon hearing this proposal by the Indiana politician my thoughts were, 'hmmm, this seems like a bigger issue for Arizona, which shares a huge border with Mexico, than Indiana, which shares a huge border with Illinois.' Guess I was wrong, because I saw this truck in the parking lot at Walmart today.
Can you read that? It says 'border volunteers.' After living in Texas and Nevada for the past several years, where I had to speak MRI Spanish on a regular basis, I guess I underestimated the need for border patrol and legislation in my home state.

You can tell this truck is for use around here, because the camo color scheme is Midwest.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whirlwind Wine Weekend

A couple of weekends ago Dad, Mollie and I went to a lot of wineries. We'd started a wine trail a couple of months ago, and we had to finish it before the end of May if we wanted to get the prize for completing the trail. So, with an embroidered blanket on the line, of course we got going early to hit the remaining six wineries. I didn't take lots of pictures because it was rainy and truthfully, I often forget to pull out my camera. Like, we ate at a cute little place in former Indiana state capital Corydon, but I didn't even think about photographing it until right now.
The above picture was taken at a rather scenic winery. I like that you can sit on the deck and see the vines to the left and cows to the right. It allows you to think of the finished products-- the wine and cheese you'd like to be enjoying. Unfortunately this is not the place to go for wine-enjoyment, at least if you are me. First off, this place is called Best Winery or Vineyards or whatever. What a stupid name. I mean, perhaps their last name is Best, but still, if your last name is Best, you should find a better name for your wines. And the wines are pretty sweet, but even their sweet blackberry and raspberry wines are not as good as many others I've tried. Also, this place is not easy to find. I do not recommend trying.

We arrived at Winzenwald Winery right after the rain. It's a cute little place with the owners behind the bar pouring the tastes, which I always appreciate. They had this German Mai Wein (May Wine) that, although quite sweet, was pretty good and neat-- it had hints of strawberry and apple and cinnamon. Also not so easy to find, but if you happen to be in the area (I'm not sure what area that would be... it's south of I 64, that's all I know) it's worth a stop by.

One of my favorite wineries in Indiana is Turtle Run. The guy who makes these wines is passionate about wine-making. He's got an extensive list of many dry wines, both red and white, and everything I've sampled has been really good. It's just neat to see this guy excited about what he does, and that he does it well. This is the first stop I want to make at the Vintage Indiana wine festival this year, I think.

We also went to Carosel Winery, which didn't impress me because the college-aged girl behind the counter was aloof and the wines were not memorable. Didn't buy anything there. French Lick Winery was good in that I enjoyed many of their wines, but bad in that they are in a big, ugly warehouse. I'm not saying I only like wineries in the country, but if you are in a less bucolic setting, at least make it look nice. Oh, Hubler or Huber was the last winery we hit. I'm also torn on that winery-- the wines were well done, but the tasting area wasn't run very efficiently. I really liked their Vignoles, and they have one of those light, slightly sweet reds like that one I like at Easley Winery (which is a mile away from my new home (I move next weekend!)).

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ok, Here's Some of the Pictures

Crystal and I were walking around the neighborhood Friday evening and saw this in the street about a half block from our house.

My brother-in-law's aunt gave Laura and Phil these big coats to wear to a Reds game when it was cold last weekend. Mom was very impressed with the coats.

The Future of the Blog

Will I keep doing this regularly? I have lots of pictures saved on my camera and phone, but haven't blogged it all out yet. I think I probably will when my computer is fixed again, or maybe when I get settled into my new place-- both events should happen in a couple of weeks.

I have a picture of the soup I made for Mother's Day, and the cake Mollie made for Cinco de Mayo. I've also got some pictures of some wineries.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Patient of the Day

This afternoon I returned from lunch got the exam room ready for the next thing on my schedule, an MRI brain. I've been in a very friendly mood at work lately, so I was pretty chatty with the woman who was there for the brain scan. I started telling her what to expect during the exam and asked her why she was here. Turns out a few weeks after her 40th birthday last month she found a lump in her breast, which lead to mammo, biopsy, and diagnosis of cancer. She's had lots of tests in the past couple of weeks to see if the cancer has metastasized, and has plans to meet with her doctor later this week to get all the test results, then will start chemo at the end of the week.

She was so nice and friendly and open... I really admire her optimism. We see lots of people of various ages and myriad ailments, and it's pretty interesting to see how people deal with illness and adversity. Some people get this 'woe is me' outlook, and it's sometimes difficult to sympathize with those patients.

Also, I admire the couple (or maybe more) of you reading my blog who have also beaten cancer.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I Heart Thai

After spending three hours this afternoon at the salon having my hair cut and colored, I was ready for a great meal with some good people. That makes it sound like the food was better than the company, huh? Let's say I enjoyed the food and the company equally.

What did I do? Who was I with? Dad and Mollie have been interested in trying out Thai cuisine, so we all met Scott, Crystal and Chad at Siam Square in Fountain Square. All the guys finished every last noodle of their pad thai, Crystal had the fabulous drunken noodles, and Mollie loved her sweet and sour chicken. Oh, I had a peanut curry with chicken, spinach and broccoli. Yum! What I like about this place: they have a great and reasonably priced beer and wine menu. What I don't like: they only have low-med-high heat levels. I like a place with a larger scale... I like to order spice level 3 or 4 out of 5, depending on the dish and my mood. Crystal and I did order med-high spice level, so I guess it worked out ok.

But I surely do love Thai food! I've been to this place twice, and each time I just can never decide what I want to eat-- last time I asked Phil to choose from the 3 or 4 I'd been able to narrow the field down to. Next time I'll either get the eggplant stirfry or the shrimp/calamari with veg. Or the drunken noodles.

Link to a Recipe

This sounds good.... it's created by one of the guys we're going to North Carolina with