Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Weekend Recap

I know. It's Tuesday and I'm writing about last weekend when it's nearly time to start thinking about next weekend. But yesterday I felt lazy. Uninspired. Tired. Maybe it was the heat & humidity, who knows, I just didn't want to be on the computer. Of course I read blogs on my phone and stayed 'in touch' that way, but... I had a nice day reading some new magazines and reading Smokin' Seventeen, the new Janet Evanovich novel. Her Stephanie Plum novels are always quick reads for me, but they also almost always make me laugh aloud a few times and re-read some parts for giggles. It was nice to read something light & silly after spending time last week reading The Moment by Douglas Kennedy, which is really, really good and thought provoking and sweet and bittersweet and just a wonderful read.

It was a busy weekend, but then again, what weekend isn't?! I'm going to recap our whole weekend, not just food, because my original intention with this blog was that it not be just about food, and, well, obviously that's not really been the case! I really do have a lot more interests than food! Like movies. We spent Friday evening curled up on the couch watching Red Riding Hood. It was better than we expected and I won't say much else for fear of spoiling it for anyone who wants to see it but hasn't.

Saturday we drove south to Peters so I could get my hair colored & cut. CUT. Not trimmed. It was time for a change! Often I feel a little silly for driving a half hour just to get my hair done, but I've been going to SZ for so long that it's like getting together with friends. Usually M, E, and L are all there on Saturdays and we catch up on what has been going on in our lives and talk about all sorts of things like TV shows and movies and such. SP usually reads, or he joins in, the girls all like him and think he's super sweet to take me to my hair appointments and endure the gossipy girls! This time, I got a lot of my length chopped off, so I am getting used to having my hair just short of the hair line in back of my neck. I think that means I probably got around 5 inches cut off. I keep squirting out way too much shampoo & conditioner in the shower because there's half as much hair and I'm not used to it! But it feels so cool and nice and takes much, much less time time to deal with it in the shower and then after showering.

Anyway, the other perk to trekking down to Peters for my hair appointments is that my friend L lives there and it's a great chance for us to visit her and her family there as opposed to her visiting me during the day in Robinson (remember, I no longer drive). We met L and her family at Grande Italian Restaurant, which is near the Ace Hardware store.While SP & I looked over the menu and waited for L, we enjoyed some fresh brewed iced tea and breadsticks: We knew before we arrived what we wanted to order: a sausage & mushroom pizza. Our last and only meal at GIR was last July and we really liked the pizza. We liked the rounds of sweet sausage instead of sausage crumbles and we liked the canned/jarred mushrooms with their GIR's seasoning mixed into them.So that's what we ordered. And it was again tasty. The medium pizza has 8 cuts. We each ate 2 and we took the other 4 home. L and her youngest son shared a plain cheese pizza. Her husband had a BLT. And the oldest son ordered the Child Spaghetti & Meatballs:It seemed like a huge portion for a 7 year old, but he ate it all except for a few strands of spaghetti. It was really nice to have lunch with all of them and catch up on everything from summer vacation plans to home improvement projects to the kids school & sports.

After lunch, we decided we were too full for ice cream at Sarris. We both were sad because we were so close, but even a scoop is huge and we were sure we'd never be able to agree on just one flavor, plus, SP usually gets their shakes while I prefer ice cream. So we headed back to Robinson to drop off the pizza and then go see a movie at the Settlers Ridge Cinemark.

As usual, that was a frustrating experience, more so than usual this time. Aside from the usual lack of available parking because it's so crowded, it turned out that the 4:15 and 8:15 Harry Potter showings were sold out by 3pm. We didn't want to see it in 3D, we didn't want to see it at 6:15pm or after 9pm. SP likes to use the ticket kiosk outside, which always annoys me because it never works, but he's enamored of machines and gadgets and computers so there we were, in that darn heat & humidity, annoyed at the parking and sold out shows and sweating and bickering about what to do now. See it at 6:15 and eat dinner at 4:30-5? No, too early to eat since we just finished lunch. See it at 6:15 and eat dinner at 8:30-9? That's pretty late even for us. Skip the movie and do the grocery shopping? The list was at home and I didn't feel like it. There is nothing worse than bickering and being unable to make a decision. So we walked over to the newly opened Ross store. I figured I could have my first ever trip to a Ross and while inside the a/c, I could look up other theater information.

Sadly, there was no cell service inside the store. I was even more annoyed because, honestly, I thought the store was kind of junky. It didn't seem very well stocked, but maybe there had been a crush of shoppers that morning who had cleaned out most of the merchandise? I just didn't like it, it seemed random and jumbled, and I won't be back any time soon. Next we went next door to Michaels, and I think the new Michaels stinks, too, because my primary interest is cross-stitch and they do not have a very good cross-stitch section. Yes, they sell floss and hoops and needles, but there are no large cross-stitch patterns and of the small ones, none are the nicer Gold Collection patterns. It's way, way, way smaller than the cross-stitch section at the old Michaels over by the old Barnes & Noble. There was no cell service inside Michaels either, so I huffed out, annoyed even more.

We got in the car, started blasting the a/c, and decided to try for a Harry Potter showing between 4 and 6 at Destinta in Bridgeville. Surprise: we got there at 4 pm and got tickets to the 4:20 showing where there were maybe 30 other people - ?!!

We've read all the Harry Potter books and seen all the movies, so we enjoyed this final film. If you're not a HP fan, you won't care for it, and why bother jumping into it on the last movie, part 2 of the final book? I confess I got a little teary, and I saw SP swipe at his eyes as well.

After the movie, we headed to Aladdin's in Mt. Lebanon for dinner. We both really like Aladdin's and wish they would open up one in Robinson. SP started with the V9 Soup: On the one hand, I'm surprised SP ordered soup because it was so hot. On the other hand, he loves soup, so I'm not surprised. I dipped some of the pita basket in his soup and it was tasty, especially with the feta. SP ordered Taza Chicken Salad for dinner:It's "A flavorful mix of freshly chopped spinach and romaine, squash, zucchini, grapes, dried cranberries, tomatoes and chopped marinated grilled chicken, tossed with our Honey Dijon dressing and topped with pine nuts and feta cheese." He enjoyed it a lot.

I ordered my usual: the Ali Baba Pitza:"Pureed eggplant sliced tomatoes, feta cheese, char-grilled slices of eggplant, slivered calamata olives and sprinkled with oregano." I never get anything else, always this, because I like it that much.

Our original plan was to share dessert, but we ended up ordering 2 desserts. One was a white later cake with strawberry between the layers and a creamy white icing:The other was a chocolate layer cake with Kahlua flavored icing and that's all I remember of the description!Both were tasty, and we both took bites of both desserts. We ate maybe 1/3 of each and took the rest home for dessert on Sunday & Monday.

Sunday morning/afternoon was mowing, shopping, and laundry plus trying to watch the Women's World Cup soccer game and before we knew it, we had to head out to a family birthday dinner. SSO chose Silk Pagoda for her birthday dinner.It's in Greenfield, so we had to leave around 3:45pm to get there in time for a 4:30pm dinner. I felt like a senior citizen, meeting that early for dinner, and since it was about 3 hours earlier than we usually eat, neither of us was hungry. SP ordered a Seafood Hot & Sour Soup for Two:He said it was OK. Not as hot/spicy as a regular hot & sour soup, bits of shrimp and scallops and what was probably that imitation crab.

I ordered fried dumplings:I don't know why I bother. Maybe I just don't like dumplings anymore, but it's been a long time since I've enjoyed a good fried dumpling. I always end up disappointed. These were... meh. I swear some of the ground pork looked pinkish to me, and my stomach cannot handle any pinkish meat, so all I risked was 2 dumplings, especially when I felt a few twinges in my tummy.I took the other 4 dumplings home and later that night we re-heated them in the oven and shared them, along with the leftover pizza from GIR, for dinner.

So I can't really say much about Silk Pagoda. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals. To me, it's just another Chinese restaurant, and since Chinese/Asian seems to bother me these days (whether it's the salt or grease or MSG or whatever), I'll probably only be back if someone chooses it for a birthday meal.

It was an unusual weekend for us. We try to stay within the budget we set for ourselves, and that usually means eating out only 4-6 times a month, depending on where we eat and how much it costs. This weekend, we ate out 3 times, and by Sunday night, we felt sort of 'blah.' We didn't get to do any cooking on Sunday for the week, and that's something we really enjoy and that makes dinners during the week less time consuming and stressful.

The early Sunday dinner plus random leftover food later that night at home had SP's glucose levels all over the place Sunday night. Even before bed, he was having trouble, with the glucose monitor beeping as we watched True Blood & Torchwood. Sunday night is the first time in a very long time that I can remember him having to get up during the night to eat something. Monday morning, there was a noticeable decrease in the blueberry muffin mound along with muffin crumbs on the kitchen counter! It was even more surprising because of all the carb he ate from the dumplings, pizza, and leftover cake. I had been worried about him going too high, not too low. But that's diabetes sometimes - no matter that he's been living with it since he was 3 and no matter how well he knows himself and can count carbs, sometimes, you just don't get it right or you change your schedule just a bit and you have a crazy night of your glucose monitor beeping a lot.

Monday both of us were exhausted. Neither of us slept well, a combination of the heat and of SP needing to get up a lot and eat. He has to stay up until his blood sugar level goes up (or down) so it's tough to be well rested when your sleep is interrupted a few times for 20-30 minutes at a time. And since I worry, I was awake, too, but pretending to be asleep so he wouldn't feel bad about waking me and trying to not be an obvious worry wart!

Hopefully, next weekend will be a wee bit cooler and less humid, and maybe we will eat out only once so we'll spend less and feel not as blah, and maybe we'll get to cook a yummy meal on Sunday so that we can have meals ready for dinner next week.

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