June 25, 2016

Women's Rights National Park

I recently made a trip up to Women's Rights National Park in Seneca Falls, New York. I drove up through Pennsylvania into the Finger Lakes region of New York. It was gorgeous- mountains, valleys, farms, barns, animals, lakes, and pastures. I happened to be driving by Cayuga Lake around sunset. Beautiful! But the real purpose of my trip was to see where the first women's rights convention was held, back in 1848.

The chapel in which it was held has mostly been destroyed, but there's a building on the corner that's sort of been built around it and incorporates some of it. One of the rangers was telling me about it. Again, the rangers here were very friendly! And one of them liked my Wonder Woman backpack.

The visitor's center had some great exhibits about the convention and the women's rights movement.

Outside the visitor's center, a stone wall had the Declaration of Sentiments etched into it, as well as the names of the signers and the men who attended to support them. Water flowed down over the wall. It was neat.

It goes without saying that I stamped my passport here, right?

I really enjoyed my trip. I felt grateful to all the women who fought for our rights. I wish I could thank them.

June 14, 2016

Chicken marsala

I've only ever had chicken marsala in restaurants. When I saw this recipe in The Food Lab cookbook, I had to try it.

I know it doesn't look like much, but it was very good! It was pretty easy. Dave liked it a lot, which is always a plus. The chicken cutlets cooked quickly, and while the pan sauce had quite a few ingredients, cooking that was quick, too. This is a make again meal.

June 8, 2016

A tribute to my beagle

I lost Kenobi a couple of weeks ago. I thought it would get easier, but it hasn't. I'm consumed by grief. I cry. I can't sleep. I check to see if he has water, but his bowls aren't there. I suppose it goes to show what a special dog he was by how big a hole he left in my heart. I'm struggling to deal with his loss, so I will try to remember the joy he brought to my life.

Kenobi loved blankets. He completely wrapped himself up in them. All the time. He did it in my bed. He did it in my office. He always had to have blankets. It didn't matter if they were his blankets or mine. Who am I kidding? They were all his.

Just like these clothes...Dave made the mistake of leaving clothes on the floor. Well, Kenobi saw that as a bed. Clothes or jackets left on the floor became instant Kenobi beds. They didn't even have to be left on the floor. If I left my clean laundry on the bed and walked into another room, I'd come back to find Kenobi on top of it.

I work from home, so Kenobi kept me company every day in my office. When I needed a break, I could go over and get a hug or a snuggle. I took breaks to walk him during the day, too.

Kenobi slept in bed with me. He especially liked to snuggle next to me under the blankets. He would stand by my head near my pillow and wait for me to lift up the blankets so he could go under. If I didn't do it right away, he'd stare at me. Then he'd start to lift up the edge of the blankets with his nose to try to give me a hint.

Kenobi was loving and friendly and his tail was always wagging.

When I moved in with Dave, Kenobi opened his heart to him, just as Dave did to Kenobi. It was great to see how much they bonded. Dave said it was easy to love Kenobi because I loved him so much that it was infectious. Dave misses Kenobi, too.

Kenobi liked to watch tv.

Sometimes we watched tv in bed, and sometimes he would sit on the couch next to me.

When Kenobi was younger, we'd go on long walks together. He loved meeting other dogs and new people. Once he got older, he preferred to lounge around.

Kenobi loved the sun. If he could find any spot on the floor where the sun was shining, that's where he would lie down. He really loved being outside in the sun. I'm thankful that on our last day together, I worked outside on the deck for a few hours, and Kenobi was outside with me, lying in the sun.

I think back to when I first brought him home. He was about one and a half years old when I adopted him from a beagle rescue. I thought to myself- What will our relationship be like? Will I love this little stranger? Will we get along? Will he be a good dog?

It seems so long since he was that little bundle of energy, with so much more brown hair.

How could I have known that he would be the best dog I ever could have hoped for? He was my companion and my friend. He made me happy. He was a part of me.

I'm grateful for every day we had together. I miss him. I feel the pain of his loss every day. I just want to kiss him on the head and give him a hug one more time. I loved him. I still love him. I hope he knew how much. I think he did.

Goodbye my sweet boy. You'll always be in my heart.

June 4, 2016

Chicago rocks

I went to Chicago recently for work. I only had a few free hours on my last day between the end of meetings and my flight, but it was enough time for me to know I want to go back.

Chicago is pretty!

Chicago architecture is beautiful. There are a lot of interesting buildings. I walked around a bit through a nice park by the lake. My first Great Lake! And I saw this bean:

I don't know what this bean is, but there were birds sitting on top of it. I think it looks pretty neat. I only had a few hours, so I had a hard time deciding what I would do. I ended up heading to The Field Museum.

Sue the T-Rex greeted me as I walked in. That's not her real head on there. Her real head is upstairs, at a vantage point where you can look down at Sue. They said that Sue's real head was too heavy to go on her body in the display.

Two cool exhibitions happened to be there while I was there- women photographers and the terracotta warriors of China's first emperor.

I liked that there were terracotta horses, too.

And generals.

Okay, enough about the warriors. I just thought they were really neat. I never expected to be able to see them outside of China. After the museum I went to check out the lake again, then headed to the train to the airport.

But there's so much more I wanted to see! The planetarium, the art museum, Wrigley Field...Next time.
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