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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Anniversary, Excellence, and Hoot Owls

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Anniversary, Excellence, and Hoot Owls

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Bobby and I had a fantastic 15th anniversary yesterday. We went to Woodberry Kitchen downtown for a much more extravagant meal than we usually spring for. Woodberry sources all of their foods locally; they purchase from local farms that we know and get our own stuff from, including Springfield Farm, where we get all of our meat and dairy.

It was a divine meal. We each had a glass of local wine and started with a flatbread with a mix of Italian cheeses, honey, and fresh basil. We also shared the Boh-battered asparagus. For our mains, Bobby had the Springfield ribeye with au gratin potatoes and spring pea macaroni salad, and I had the Spring Valley spelt noodles. Bobby talked me into sharing a chocolate pudding for dessert.

We spent our evening, sitting outside on the back patio and listening to music. It's been disgustingly hot the past few days, so the cool night breeze felt wonderful. I have a lily that I transplanted and has needed some extra TLC during the hot weather, so when it was time to go in, I was watering it around the roots when Bobby flew into the backyard, really excited and telling me to come out front. We have a big toad that lives in the front garden (his name is Fred), but he was more excited than would be justified even by seeing Fred doing something really cool. However, he called me out to hear the deep and haunting hoots of a great horned owl! Although we had a screech owl that would visit our maple grove last summer (if you've never heard the call of the screech owl, check it out on Cornell Ornithology--it's really spooky!), we've never heard a great horned owl around here before ... or "the GHO" as Bobby has taken to calling it. We walked up the gravel part of the road, hoping to get a look at it, but it stopped calling, so we couldn't locate it. We're hoping to hear it again.

In other news, Bobby and I got our PRAXIS scores in yesterday. Actually, I got my English content scores in on Friday ... well, I got a big envelope from ETS and, opening it up, it had a royal blue folder with the word "EXCELLENCE" on the front in gold. So I guessed that I'd passed the PRAXIS. Actually, my scores were in the top 15% for both the English content and Principles of Learning & Teaching tests, hence the EXCELLENCE folder. I'm wondering if I'll get a second EXCELLENCE folder for the PLT or if they'll cheap out on me and just send the one for English. I got the highest score possible on English, so I guess the PRAXIS people have validated that I know English. Bobby passed both of his tests too, which makes him eligible for an Advanced Professional Certification and a pay raise.

This afternoon, I was in the backyard, setting the table for lunch. There is a rinky-dink airport down in Westminster that people mostly fly in and out of in little biplanes and such (although occasionally we'll see a sleek private jet going over and I'll wonder WTF someone who can afford a private jet is coming to Carroll County for!). There was a little plane flying over, probably on its way to the Westminster airport, since it was flying southwest ... and suddenly the engine stopped! Luckily, it restarted, but that was weird!

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Your dinner sounds marvelous. And what fun - I adore owls and have since I was a child. Congrats on your and Bobby's scores, also. Nice that hard work paid off :-)

    - Erulisse (one L)
    • I love owls too--they're so cool! I hope we get a glimpse of this one!

      Thanks for the congrats. :) It's a relief to have another hurdle cleared!
  • High five on your PRAXIS! And that sounds like an excellent dinner. Apparently, the "traditional" 15th anniversary gift is crystal, and the "modern" one is . . . a watch. Either that means a watch with some really ugly bling on it, or it means that now might be the moment to go spring for some nice stemware for local wine.

    Hey, does that mean that you might start your own vineyards for making that local wine? What with your chickens and your bees, I wouldn't be totally surprised . . . If your bees produce enough honey, you could make local mead.
    • High five on your PRAXIS!

      Thank you! It wasn't a hard test but it was still pretty cool to get the highest possible score (and good in that it means I might actually finding a teaching position sooner rather than later).

      Apparently, the "traditional" 15th anniversary gift is crystal, and the "modern" one is . . . a watch.

      We might be weird in this, but after 15 years, we are so done with giving gifts for every occasion. The dinner at Woodbury was our gift to each other! It cost a heckuva lot more than we ever spend on dinner otherwise ...

      spring for some nice stemware for local wine.

      I'm laughing because, after breaking nearly all of our nice glasses, we finally gave in and just bought a flat of Mason jars. :D

      Hey, does that mean that you might start your own vineyards for making that local wine?

      We're growing some grapes in the side yard with the hopes of making some homemade wine. We actually have buds this year, so we may get a handful of grapes! Bobby also has a hops vine in one of the back gardens. And mead from our bees is definitely a possibility too!

      When it comes to self-sufficient living, we clearly have our priorities straight. ;)
      • we finally gave in and just bought a flat of Mason jars. :D

        I like. I have two jars-with-handles that were designed as mugs. One I got from a coffee shop in Madison, and the other I got (also in Madison) from a convenience store. That jar really was a jam jar, with a handle so you could keep the jar as a drinking glass afterward; I bought apricot jam, and, yes, it was mostly for the jar. It wasn't very good apricot jam. Anyway, the convenience store was right across the street from my building, and it was always kind of sketchy, and it never seemed to have very good stock or many customers. I like to think that it was a front for some illegal drug runners or something interesting like that.

        We're growing some grapes in the side yard with the hopes of making some homemade wine

        That is, if you can hold back from just eating the grapes straight from the vine! I've been around grape vines, and it's harder to do than you'd think. Grapes are so . . . convenient. They're like potato chips. You just keep popping them, and then suddenly there's nothing left for wine.
        • Our Mason jars don't have nearly such an exciting story. They're just plain ol' canning jars from Baugher's Farm! :D

          Grapes are so . . . convenient. They're like potato chips.

          This is true. We have a Concord vine, which we both love. We also love Concord wine (and no Maryland wineries make it, so we have to go to PA when we want some), but the question will be if we can keep our hands off the Concord grapes long enough to get enough to make wine?!
          • Would it be cheating to mention that Concord grapes make really good grape cake?

            This is a recipe that comes from my French cookbook, and it's one that I often make for my birthday, because I am lucky enough to have my birthday just as grapes really start to come into season. Usually, I use Concord grapes, though this past birthday, my best friend and I used champagne grapes instead.
  • Congratulations on the anniversary and on the exam results! That dinner out sounds like my sort of celebration. I love basil.
  • huzzah on the score! :D especially after that debacle of taking the tests. O.o
  • Not only do you know English excellently well, you have a royal blue folder to prove it now! Congratulations! It sounds like it might be a handy thing to wave at people at strategic moments.
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