Monday, May 25, 2009

Siesta Key Pics

Siesta Key/Sarasota, Florida

Okay, I finally got through the 600-some-odd photos we took and tried to pare them down. There's still a bunch, but hopefully they are somewhat interesting and enjoyable. Click on the photo to see them all. I am sure I'll be looking at them all week, still wishing I was at the beach! Enjoy!

PASS #7!

I have so much to catch up on - golf lesson #3, my new stash from the bead show, our vacation to Siesta Key... but this was the best thing to come home to after a much-needed, relaxing, beach vacation, despite a few cloudy and rainy spells. This was especially a surprise, because out of all the exams I have taken, I came out of this one feeling the worst. The big man upstairs was definitely with me on this one. And it is much appreciated! Exam #8 is next Monday, so the updates may be a little slow in coming. I'll try to get some vacation pics up, at least. A Happy Memorial Day to everyone, and a special thanks to all the men and women in uniform who protect and have protected our freedom, especially my military friends!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Floppy Hat Day

I can't remember the last time there was a Floppy Hat Day, but I know it's been several years. Back when I was in school, there was an annual Floppy Hat Giveaway Day in April at a Georgia Tech Baseball game. This weekend, we were thrilled to discover that Sunday was going to be Floppy Hat Day! We got there about 30 minutes before the game, and was able to snag our coveted white hats just in time - it was getting near the bottom of the box. Our collection is pretty complete now - I believe we have navy blue, macaroni yellow, pale yellow, and now white! I think we missed a year here or there way back when, but I think we have all the colors covered now. The team pulled through and got us our second win of the weekend at the bottom of the 9th, so we came out with a series win again f$u, which should get the team up in the rankings this week. Since it was the last regular-season home game, it was also Senior Day (3 seniors), Mother's Day (all of the players' moms got roses and got to stand on the field for pregame). Depsite a few showers intermittently during the game, it was definitely worth staying until the end. Go Jackets!

Adventures in Golfing - Lesson 2

I had my second golf lesson yesterday. We started off by riding in our golf carts to the start of the first hole on Celebrity's golf course to learn how one actually starts a game. (Side story: Coach Jeanne has wanted everyone who has not driven a golf cart to have a chance, and drive with a passenger that has driven one before, so I haven't gotten to drive one yet! I first drove a golf cart on my Uncle's nursery property in Houston - I think I was maybe 11. It was the first thing I ever got to drive, and it was fun!) She showed us how the tee boxes work, how to read a scorecard for information on the holes, the yardages, etc. Then we drove back to the training facility for our lesson. We were missing one class member, and another class member didn't get the email, so we didn't go over our mental game quizzes this week - probably next week. We did some stretches using a golf club, then did a quick review of stance and our mini swing. Then we got to start working on building our power swing - full back swing, but stopping the follow-through just after hitting the ball (she calles this swing "some-none" because the back swing is above your hands, but you stop the follow-through below the hands, and the mini-swing "none-none" since you are not lifting the club above your hands). She had golf club shafts with a sliding tennis ball fitted on them. When you swing the "club" back, the tennis ball slides down toward the handle. When you swing and stop just past center, the tennis ball slides back down to the end and gives you the feeling of the weight of the golf ball being hit. This was an exercise to help us channel our energy into the ball. Then we did it for real, with an iron and real golf balls! That part was the most fun - actually starting to hit some balls, and with the "plumb line" technique she's showed us, they actually go pretty straight! Her goal is to have us hit the ball every time, and never miss. Coach Jeanne also stressed the importance of muscle memory and ending on good hits so your brain remembers the good ones. So we all ended our lesson when we felt we had hit several good balls in a a row, and have a few exercises to practice this week on our own. Up next week: the short game!

Happy Mother's Day to the moms!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sublime revisited

We made another stop by Sublime Doughnuts on the way to work this morning. DH has more of a descriptive review of the place the first time we went last week. Today, I tried two of the day-old doughnuts, which are buy-one-get-one-free: a S'mores doughnut (choc icing w/graham cracker crumb dusting and marshmellow in the center) and a Yin Yang twist (twist of regular and chocolate dough). Both were good cold, and after a 10-sec zap in the microwave at work, they were even tastier. Still did not beat the fresh strawberries n cream one I had last week, though. DH tried the honey glazed cinnamon twist, and it was very delicious! Not sure if he would rate it better than the caramel apple fritter he had last week, but I think they were both his kind of doughnuts. This place is going to be dangerous, as it is on the way to work...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

ARE #8 scheduled!

I've scheduled ARE #8 for 6/1. I was not wanting to study during my vacation time in mid-May, but ARE #7 prompted a small change in strategy for my test-taking. Since my feeling after General Structures was the worst of all the ones I have taken (you come out of these having no idea how you did, and like you've been whacked about the head for a couple of hours with some boxing gloves), I've decided to wait on my results before taking Lateral Forces (essentially part 2 of Structures). Normally one would want to take these back-to-back, since the material is related. If I passed GS, then I will take LF in late June. If I did not, then I'll have to retake Structures under the new 4.0 format in 6 months, which combines GS and LF, and that would render me taking LF useless whether I pass it or not in the current test format. Anyway, all I can do is wait on the results, and in the meantime digest as much Pre-design information (probably the most scattered and comprehensive of all the tests) as possible. Maybe being on a relaxing, do-nothing, beach vacation will actually help me get more studying done! Here's hoping...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Adventures in Golfing - Lesson 1

I had my first-ever golf lesson on Saturday, with three more to go. I'm taking them with a group of women through AIA netWorking Women, a committee within AIA Atlanta that promotes teamwork and relationships between architects, designers, and partners in allied professions. The lessons are being held at Celebrity Golf Club in Tucker, and our instructor is Jeanne Dooley, whom I liked very much. In our first class, we learned about width of stance, body position, basic grip, arc of the swing, and practiced hitting with a mini swing. The hardest part was keeping the stance, body position, and mini swing in balance while standing on a half-round foam log! My lower back and rear were not surprising a little sore yesterday. Time to start working out those muscles, since I'll be using them the next few weeks. Next week, we work more on the swing and also talk about the mental game. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Crafty Spurt

I got the crafting bug this week, since I was taking a little break from studying for my AREs. I'm a new fan of Amy Butler, and happened across a few of her patterns that were discounted due to a little outer packaging wear and tear at Knitch last weekend. (Knitch is where DH bought me some wool yarn so I could knit a cool coordinating hat to go with my awesome new indigo blue winter wool coat for my anniversary gift - it's the traditional 7th anniversary thing.) So this week, I decided to try out one of the easier ones to feed my crafty itch. I made the toiletry/clutch bag (largest one) out of the Stash and Dash Bags. Since we are going to the beach in a few short weeks, I thought it would be handy to have a little wristlet that I could throw my wallet, phone, and maybe a few other small things into. Although I did not use Amy Butler fabrics, I think it still turned out pretty cute with these fun floral coordinates that I found at Joann:

Side 1:

Side 2:

I also made Amy Butler's Birdie Sling a few months back with the Amy Butler Ginger Bliss fabric (which is discontinued) that Val brought back from me from the big quilt show in Houston, but kept forgetting to photograph it:

The bottom fabric and lining (sorry no pic) is the Ginger Bliss, and the top is something I found at Joann to coordinate. It's been a handy shopping bag!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Another year older and wiser

I had a great, not too eventful birthday, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Work went by pretty quickly. DH and I headed out for birthday dinner at Baraonda (link down on the right in my "Fave Eats" list). We shared the calamari appetizer, the Proscuitto di Parma pizza (best pizza EVER!), and of course, my free birthday dessert, tiramisu! Now I have had tiramisu many a time, and do have particulars about a good tiramisu (like, cream cheese is NOT a substitute for mascarpone!), but the one we had last night was one of the best, truly sublime pieces I have ever tasted.

After dinner, we headed over to Midtown Art Cinema to catch a special screening of Road to Roubaix, a documentary of the famous Paris-Roubaix, cobblestone-ridden, bike race in France each April. It was very interesting (certainly not something I would *ever* want to attempt!), and I can't believe the stamina of these riders that take on the race!

Speaking of sublime, we finally stopped by "the doughnut place" that several people have been telling me about this morning to grab some breakfast.
Sublime Doughnuts is located at the corner of 10th and Hemphill, where the old West Campus Bookstore used to be by Tech. See that strawberries and creme doughnut pictured on the website - THAT'S what I had for breakfast this morning. Go try it - 'nuff said. Happy Friday!