Happy Eliza Jar

When Alan asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I said, “Happy Eliza Jar.”  So one night Alan took a jam jar and a bunch of index cards, and wrote one happy memory of us together, or one reason he loves me, or one goal we share for the future on each slip.  It’s my favorite gift ever!

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birthday dinner, in photos



hot pot at Yummy Garden Restaurant

Angus beef, sliced thin

swirl the beef in the boiling broth

cooked beef

dip in sauce


Multi-colored birthday cake!



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Shiny Sink

For the second time today, my sink is empty and all my dishes are done!  And the reason is….

A comfort mat!  I’ve wanted one for a while, and finally bit the bullet at Target today.  I’m not a huge fan of the design, but  it blends into the floor pretty well.  They had solid colored mats (pro!), that were bigger (pro!), but they were thinner (con) and twice as expensive (con).  I am pleased with this $9.99 version.

The floor in front of the kitchen sink is now the most comfortable place to stand in the house.  I’m hoping this is an incentive to do the dishes after dinner—my least favorite chore.




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work day

Today is a work day for me (Eliza).  I’m at Starbucks, and I have to get through the following today:

50 pages of Corporations

5 library assignments

3 chapters of Natural Law, Natural Rights for Philosophy

Skim/review Research Methods materials, midterm coming up

Work on annotated outline for my independent study

Journal work—clear inbox, recruit helpers for upcoming cite-checking workshop

But the good news is that once this (excluding journal work) is done, I’m set for the week.  Since I only have classes Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I do best when I finish all my school work before classes start Tuesday.

Here we go!




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changing the color-scheme of the house

About two years ago, Alan and I hosted a work “party.”  Many of our church friends and family came, and we got a *ton* of work done in one day.  One of my favorite parts of that day was the painting.  In one day, my friends painted the entire inside of our house.  I had picked out a limited color palate, since our house is only about 1000 square feet.  The whole house is tones of warm gold/beige, warm olive green, and muted lagoon-blue.  And I love it.

But the outside of the house on the other hand…

siding before

I describe it one of two ways:

1. It’s like the previous owners went to Home Depot, and found picked two gallons of paint at random from the “poorly-mixed” section, and haphazardly painted the window trim.

2. It’s a bad lipstick red, and a foundation make-up beige.

I don’t like it.

Fortunately for me, the white siding on the house was breaking off, so Alan acquiesced to re-siding the house.  (Yay!).   I got to choose the siding color, and we went with “stratus,” a mid-toned warm gray.  I chose a Martha Stewart color, Picket Fence, for the trim (and shutters eventually), and a nice yellow for the front door.

It’s taking some time to do the re-siding (I’ll do a whole post on the project soon).  But I’m thrilled with the way the new color scheme is turning out.

Here is a picture from this morning:

porch before

partially painted porch

You can see the new gray siding, and the yellow door.  I hoped to get the entire porch painted today, but had trouble wrangling the ladder.   I only got painted as far as I could reach standing between the bushes and the porch:

I also painted the column on the right gray, which sets off the white of the porch even more.  I’m thrilled to get rid of those horrible colors!

Here’s a tight shot of just the front door:

gray siding, yellow door

Most everything is in need of another coat (or two), but I’m beyond excited with the new color scheme.  Hopefully all the foundation/lipstick will be replaced with gray, yellow and white in another two weeks or so!




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Paralia, Greece

I visited Paralia, Greece as the fourth of my five weekend trips this summer.  I traveled with my friend Emily, whom I met on my first weekend trip.  She and I were looking forward to a relaxing weekend at the beach.

Paralia is pretty much just a resort town.  The town is comprised nearly entirely of hotels, souvenir shops, and restaurants.  The beaches in front of the hotels are jam-packed.  So Emily and I walked a few km down the beach to a more secluded spot.

We rented chaise lounges—three Euros for the whole day!  Plus, that price included a cold drink delivered in an ice bucket.  It was a great deal :)

We arrived at the beach around 10, and spent the next six hours in a loop of: swim, sun, shade, read, sip cold drink.  It was delightful.  The weather was warm, the water was refreshing but not too cool, the sun was cozy, the shade was always available.  I am a convert to the beach bum vacation!

We spent both Saturday and Sunday in this fashion.  Saturday evening we went to a seafood restaurant.  I guess there is another industry in Paralia: fishing.

The dinner was nice, although the service was a little slow.

Overall, Paralia was the most expensive place I visited all summer.  The hotel was a full 55 Euros a night, which at the time seemed super-expensive.  But after I returned, when I was telling people about my trip, I realized that 55 Euros (roughly $75) is far less than you can get a decent hotel for in the U.S.  The cheapest decent hotel is $100 a night, if you can get a good deal.  If you can afford the airfare, traveling around the Balkans is delightful and affordable!



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