August 3, 2009

An Olga Sunday

Posted in Journal tagged , at 8:34 pm by Jenn

Sunday was a very “Olga” day.  It started off with meeting friends that Scott and I met when we were posted in Belarus for lunch in Old Towne Alexandria.  This was the first time that I’ve seen Dave and Olga since I left Belarus and I was very happy to be able to meet up with them again.  We (Dave, Olga, Heather (sis) and I) met for lunch at Las Tapas in Old Towne (one of my favorite Spanish restaurants).  We had a nice lunch, a good chat and made plans to get together again this coming weekend.  I’m going to introduce them to Chesapeake Beach – maybe grab a bite to eat at BilVil….

Here’s a picture of us at lunch –

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After lunch I had planned to walk around the corner to Knit Happens to meet someone I’d been wanting to meet for almost 2 years….another Olga.

I met this Olga online on Ravelry.  I was in living in Belarus and  I didn’t know any knitting terms in Russian so I sought out help and lo and behold, Olga responded to my email.  What luck and what a coincidence to find someone from Belarus living so close to my home in Maryland.  I promised myself that I would meet her in person when I came back to the US and Sunday I did just that.

When I walked in to the store I recognized her right away.  She was organizing some yarn and stopped to greet us….she looked at me, then Heather (she recognized Heather from a previous meeting) then back at me and said….”Jenn”?  I said yes, she came over, we hugged and said how nice it was to finally meet in person.  I introduced her to Dave and Olga.  We all chatted for a few minutes then Dave and Olga left and Heather and I stayed and shopped around a bit. I  bought a cute project bag to replace the one I lost in DC a few weeks ago – that still ticks me off!

Olga is awesome, I’m hoping to get together with her before I leave for Chile.  She and her husband are heading to Japan soon which will be an amazing adventure for her, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing many awesome creations come out of her experience overseas.  Olga is a wonderful knitwear designer.  She’s in the process of publishing a book and I’m very excited for her!  I’m also planning to knit at least one of her designs in the very near future….I hope….The Trifecta Scarf.  This scarf is made from a yarn that I’ve not heard of before called Spud and Chloe.  They don’t carry it at Knit Happens, but they do have it at Fiber Space which was nearby so Heather and I made a quick trip over there to check it out and to check out the sample scarf they had on display.  The scarf is awesome and so was the Miss Babs roving that they had displayed….of course I couldn’t pass that up!

And as if I needed to find one more place to spend money – as we were walking to the car we happened upon Potomac Bead Company.  THEY HAVE CLASSES!  Note to self….if you want to save money – STAY OFF OF KING STREET!

So there you have it, an Olga filled, addiction filled Sunday!

June 8, 2009

Front Porch Cocktails

Posted in Journal tagged , , , at 11:12 pm by Jenn

FPSFrontPorchLOGOsm.jpg image by Hukegreen

Scott and I got back yesterday from visiting our friends Larry and Emilie (and their two great kids – Lawrence and Kate) in Sneads Ferry!  We had a great time.  Larry and Emilie were two of our favorite people in Sneads Ferry so when they invited us to come spend a couple of days with them during our break in the US we gladly accepted. 

The best thing about Larry and Emilie is that they are chill.  No muss, no fuss, just chill.  We love it.  We sat around and drank beers, and wine.  We ate seafood, salsa and key lime pie and just caught up on life.  It was great.

When we get back to the states we hope to settle down in Sneads Ferry very near Larry and Emilie so that we can enjoy many more front porch cocktails!

Of course, I do have a couple of pics, but as usual, they are stuck in stupid camera, probably never to be seen again!  Didn’t I say I was buying a new camera?

December 21, 2008

Local Dining

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 10:36 pm by Jenn

Last night we finally ate at a local Azeri restaurant….FINALLY.  We’ve been here for 7 months now and eaten out every week since we’ve been here and last night was our first Azeri dining experience. 

I really didn’t know what to expect for dinner actually.  On Friday Scott said, to me “Hey, Ben wants to know if we want to go for pork chops and vodka on Saturday.”  Me, being me said sure.  I had no idea that it was going to be like this…

The 10 of us meet at a local bar.  We then pile in to one car and one taxi and head off to the restaurant.  I don’t know what the name of the restaurant was but it was near the Azercell building just off of the old Airport Road.  It didn’t really look like a restaurant at all.  It was a two or three story, dark building.  We entered gave our party name (there were 10 of us) and then were escorted outside, through a courtyard, in to another building, up the stairs and in to a private room where the table was set, and salads and pickles were on the table waiting for us. 

There are no menus.  Brian (one of the members of our group) just said….”who wants pork?  who wants chicken?” and then ordered.  He also ordered fresh pomegranate juice, fanta, water and vodka.  Russian Standard vodka.  two bottles, one for each side of the table. 

The salads and the pickles were interesting.  There was a plate of greens…things like dill, cilantro and basil I think.  This stuff is just eaten like a palate cleanser…in between pickles.  The cilantro is really yummy!  There was bread, pickled tomatoes, pickled plums, cheese, cucumbers, pickled cucumbers and yogurt.  Now the yogurt was in a glass at each place setting.  Scott tasted his.  Vangie tasted hers.  I attempted to taste mine, but when I tipped my glass the yogurt didn’t move.  I mean it was NOT moving.  Stuck.  So I opted out of the yogurt tasting at that point.  Besides, there were some little dust fibers collecting on top so I really didn’t want to taste it anyway.

The first course of food comes, it is little handmade lamb sausage type things.  I didn’t eat them.  In fact I didn’t even try them.  I could smell them and that was enough for me.  There is something about the smell of lamb fat that just gets caught in the back of my throat…I can’t do it.  There were some nice little fried potato things that were tasty…except for the fact that they were served on the same plate as the lamb sausage things so they had a little lamb fat juice on them….the vodka killed the taste.  In fact, the two bottles of vodka were gone shortly after this course was served and two more were ordered, and consumed rather quickly.  For some reason we were doing toasts every 10 minutes or so…yeah, that was smart.

The main course was served and it was grilled chicken, grilled pork and eggplant.  Unfortunately the eggplant contained a LAMB FAT surprise, so I didn’t eat that, but the meat was really tasty.  They also brought plates of pomegranate and a dish of some plummy sauce stuff that was good with the pork.

More vodka – yes really.

For dessert we were served sliced fruits.  There were 3 kinds of apples, clementines, kumquats, something that tasted like a starfruit, but wasn’t a starfruit and jam.  Just jam.  Good jam, cherry jam.

Next they brought tea.  They serve the tea in little glasses, not cups, glasses.  Kind of like the size that the pimento cheese comes in…you know, the kind grammy’s save and use for juice glasses.  That size, but fancier than the pimento cheese ones.  I put a sugar cube in mine, and a slice of lemon.   I watched the guy across from me put some of the cherry jam in his.  Interesting.  I tried it.  It was good.

More vodka…which at this point is beyond necessary.  One member of our party who shall remain nameless was TRASHED by this point.  We were all pretty amused by him and I’m sure he was hating life today as he is supposed to be flying back to the states.  He hadn’t packed yet and had to do a little work today before he leaves.  Yeah, he’s probably not going to drink vodka for a very long time.  Scott probably won’t either.

I’m skipping a lot of the story because I’m looking at the word counter now and it’s at 750 words.  I can remember having to write 500 word essays in school and complaining.  LOL. 

Anyway, Scott was trashed.  Not as trashed as the other guy, but trashed enough to be getting on my nerves.  I wasn’t drunk enough to think he was funny.  He decided he was going to watch tv before going to bed….around 2am I was awakened by the sound of him praying to the porcelain gods.  LOUDLY.  When he was finished he walked back out to the living room and as he passed the bedroom he was mumbling something about “bad pork”…yeah, um, it had nothing to do with the liter of vodka that he consumed.

So that’s it.  Our first local dining experience.  Would I do it again.  Absolutely.  With less vodka of course.

September 28, 2008

BratBQ and other news

Posted in Journal, Purls of Wisdom tagged , , , , , , at 1:57 pm by Jenn

When we went to Germany Scott’s mission was to bring back brats.  And he did, lots of them.  Last night we had a BratBQ at the casa de Smart.  We didn’t have as many people as we expected, but we had 7 total, a ton of brats, food and drink and a lot of fun.  I made 3 bean salad and pasta salad, a cake and brownies.  Allison made roasted potatoes.  We had chips, dip and beer cheese.

The guys played Playstation 3, Danny entertained us with his guitar and Allison and I amused ourselves with www.yearbookyourself.com .  I’m serious, if you haven’t tried it you are missing out on at LEAST 10 good laughs and a few Oh My’s.

After everyone left and the place met “Smart Standards” I headed for the bedroom to finish that scarf I’d been working on.  No, not the Clementine Shawlette that I’ve been working on since May.  No, not the Clapotis that I’ve been working on since July.  The No Name scarf that I started last week.  LOL. 

Mission accomplished.  Now today I just have to figure out the proper way to block this thing and I’ll have a wearable item when it dries.  It seems that I’ve finished that scarf just in time too.  The weather here is only supposed to be in the low 60’s today and for the past few days…3 at least, we’ve had rain.   Yep, you heard right.  Rain.  In Baku.

In other news I’m getting ready for the holidays.  I’m having a Cookie Exchange and sending out the announcement tomorrow.  I’m making my Christmas list via a wishlist on Amazon this year.  I’ve posted a link to it here on my blog for easy access (hint hint) and I’ve decided that I’m going to give a few basic knitting classes to some of the women here who want to knit.  AND, I’ve ordered a bunch of yarn and koolaid and plan to have a Dyeing Party!  FUN FUN FUN!

AND, while I was doing my grocery shopping this week I happened to find a few cans of A&W Rootbeer.  Yep, you guess it

Rootbeer floats.  Not anywhere near as good as the ones Dr Rootbeeraka Jerome used to whip up, but they were just what the Dr. ordered.  Rootbeer heals all you know!  It’s funny too because I had just sent Jerome an email saying that I hadn’t been able to find any rootbeer here, and then there it was.  It was like he “wished” the rootbeer to appear for me.  Thanks Jerome!

Now I’m off to block that scarf!