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A Bug's Life

It's been a busy, but lazy, week.

I ran a bunch of errands early on, picking up things from places off my usually travelled circuit. We've had our HVAC people, plumber and the Maytag people all out this week to address various household/appliance repairs. Now that that's all behind us, it's time to schedule our quarterly pest control appoinment. Life rolls on.

On Wednesday, beefhyde and drjekyll joined us at Guilford Courthouse Nat'l Military Park for the Independence Day celebration. We attended the memorial service for William Hooper, John Penn and Joseph Hewes, the three North Carolina signers of the Declaration of Independence (the former two being buried in the park). We observed the firing of the cannon (several times, actually) and Beef and I practiced our quillmanship, ultimately adding our own names to the replica of the famous document on display in the museum.




Afterwards, the festivities moved to our house where we played a little Guitar Hero and I actually beat Alan! took advantage of the sunny weather and grilled out. I portioned a beef tenderloin into some nice filets and managed a tasty approximation of Prime Only's garlic glaze, despite drmellow's initial skepticism. The others, we doctored with what has affectionately become known as the "house spice"--Montreal Steak Seasoning™. I baked the rest of our 10-lb. bag of SCV Vidalia onions, thus eliminating yet another bulky item from the larder.

Following dinner, we staged our own little fireworks extravaganza, breaking in the middle to watch the professional display at the downtown ballpark from the front porch. We then moved our set-up around to the front of the house and set the rest off in the street so that our neighbor with MS could see them from his window. You can see them, too, thanks to drjekyll and YouTube.

I was pleased with how well our new torches worked, also. They did a great job of keeping the evening bugs away until Beef's ankles began to get attacked toward the very end. Fortunately (or not), she was a stronger mosquito magnet than I was! Backstory on the torches: A few weekends ago, I admired some short, iron torches that cohoon had picked up for the beach house. They had very attractive poles. After learning where they came from, I checked several stores around Greensboro, to no avail. One evening last weekend, I stumbled upon the tall (6") version at Guilford Builder's Supply (my new hardware store of choice) for $12.99, then regretted not getting a pair when I couldn't find the shorter ones anywhere else. It turned out to be a good thing that I didn't buy them; when I went back on Tuesday, they were the July promotional item--on sale for $5.99. I bought four then, and (to my surprise!) drmellow actually suggested we snag a few more. Hopefully, they will still have some.

Yesterday, I embarked on a mini-shopping expedition--fun to do every now and then. I met feiheli for lunch in W-S and we tried out Winston's Eatery, a cozy little place tucked into some renovated brick factory buildings off of Brookstown. It's new enough that it hasn't been discovered by the masses yet. I'm sure that will change. I had a tasty cranberry-apple-walnut and havarti salad with jalapeno honey-lime dressing and a yummy raisin spice muffin, with a perfectly sugared crust. I make the same salad (sometimes with pear) at home regularly, so now I have a new dressing inspiration. I really should bake some stuff, too, and use up some of my flour stores. Ninety degrees is just too hot for baking.

After lunch, we scooted over to Borders to cash in our free specialty coffee coupons since they were due to expire tomorrow. H had to dash back to work, so I picked up a book to browse through--a William Morris retrospcetive--while nursing my drink. It was going to be heartbreaking to leave such a well-executed volume on one of my favorite designers behind... but then I realized I had plucked it from the bargain shelf. It was not $40, but $5.99. Fantastic! A new addition to my ever-expanding design library. I also picked up two other $5 finds: the Dictionary of Theories (ideal bathroom reading) and Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. Catching the tail end of the movie on TV the other night reminded me that I've never read the rest of the Leatherstocking Tales. I should add those to my towering queue.

A stop by Salem Creek yielded five, new, tiny, glass fruit and veggie ornaments for my kitchen Christmas tree--a pear, banana, orange, red pepper and lemon slice. In addition, I found a darling, hooked chairpad for the ladderback in the dining room (eee! sheep!), which reminded me--I need to see about finding someone who can duplicate the broken chair slat. I've taken a second one out to copy, but I doubt I could duplicate the curvature (they're bowed) even if I could copy the shape. One more thing to add to the list. Also caved and bought a new Vera Bradley bag and change purse in Mod Pink Floral, one of the new colorways out for fall. The colors are so rich... I want to lick it.



Finally through killing time, I met up with aunt_toad who took me on a tour of "Southside" Winston so I could plot my course to the church on Tuesday night for my ESL training. I did not want to be driving aimlessly about in Happy Hills after dark. In the course of our travels, I finally located the Shell station, which I've been haphazardly hoping to happen upon since learning of its existence in high school. Turns out, it's on the corner across from the church. I'll get to drive by it every week! *zen*

While out and about, we stopped in Old Salem to hit the college bookstore so Aunt Toad could get an alumni license plate holder, but were 4 minutes too late. Instead, we visited the bakery and I procured some cherry wheat bread and cinnamon raisin buns from the "ancestral hearth" (Winkler's). Heh.

To end my day, I spent 20 minutes or so trying to coax aunt_toad's dogs out into the yard with Frosty Paws™, which was kind of fun. If I lived closer, I would have a good time training them to use the electric fence.

I can't hear this song anymore without thinking of the Liberty Mutual commercial. That was some good advertising there.

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