Friday, May 25, 2007

The Best Things in Life are Free

Free or Really Cheap Indulgences in Reading, PA. Now with Bonus Links!

The meme that wasn’t really a meme, but seemed like a good idea from Sarah Louise

1. The GoggleWorks-FREE Admission daily visit this amazing arts center with over 30 artists studios 4 galleries & a 131 seat movie theatre. Ok, movies are $5.50 -$7.50 to see a neat art-house film. Still a bargin! Visit on Second Sunday (the , duh, second Sunday of each month) and there are all sorts of hands on activities, demonstrations including wood turning & hot glass and most of the artists are in their studios.

"The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts is a community arts and cultural resource center located in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania. It is one of the largest, most comprehensive interactive community arts centers in the country. The GoggleWorks offers an exceptional opportunity for visitors to experience and learn about the arts in a working studio environment."

2. Berks County Wine Trail-FREE visit a winery, most have free tastings. It is a nice trip (ok, I'm not including gas in this) Admittedly, price goes up if you decide to buy some of the wine. yum!

3. Concerts at the Bandshell-FREE the music is always free, bring a blanket or a lawn chair and sit back & relax! You can buy food or bring food if you want to spend an extra couple bucks.

4. Picnic at Grings Mill-Almost nothing if you you’re your own food. Pack your own lunch or stop at nearby Panera if you are feeling indulgent. Really broke? Just go down to the Mill & take a walk

5. Movies in Centre Park-FREE. Summer time movies after sunset . Snacks are cheap too!

6. Reading Fairgrounds Farmers Market. Free to get in & spend what ever you want on the rest of the stuff. It's neat to walk around & check out the various stands. Some of them have been around for years & years. Hungry? grab lunch at Jambalaya J's Dixie Kitchen. YUM!!

7. Reading Phillies Game $7 - $10 minor league ball, major league fun! Visit The Girl in Funland. She is usually working the whiffle ball or mini-golf. Watch Sumo wrestling or see produce race around the field between innings.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Kiki, out of her mind! cont'd

So after a little ranting & nagging, we developed something resembling a plan for the weekend's graduation festivities.

All that has gone to heck!

Yesterday I was told that instead of having a leisurely brunch here at the house, we are transporting brunch & picnicking near the boy's school so we can accommodate his party & senior trip plans. An Annoying, but manageable turn of events. Really, his grandfather is flying in from across the country, so we want to be sure he gets to spend some time with The Boy. And, seeing how the The Boy himself is vehicularly challenged, we pretty easily made the adjustment.

This morning, two days before graduation, we found out that families were not in fact invited to the party of the friend. Especially large groups of family. (We will be 9 including all traveling grandparents, companions & siblings) I certainly understand this from the point of view of the poor mother giving the party ("what, my son invited everyone's family too?? I didn't agree to that...") So now we are making an additional meal. Very casual, but we have to find room for 9 people to eat. It will be too hot to eat inside, and I don't have enough space outside. The alternative would be to haul all the food, beverages and what-have-you to yet another location and hope that we have everything. I couldn't get excited about that.

So now, instead of working I'm posting and will go grocery shopping shortly, so I can spend the next couple days cooking & running back & forth to various school related events.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kiki, out of her mind!

Another weekend has disappeared incredibly quickly here in Kikiville. I don't really know where it went.

I know there was some time in the garden. Mostly HP in the garden. I went out to help (after the inevitable grocery trip), but was pulling the violets to meanly or not in the right place or something. Then when asked about a good home for the verigated Hosta. Every answer I gave was wrong. too shady, too crowded, too sunny, too not-the-answer-I-was-looking-for *sigh* it's a good thing that the garden is looking great! He has planted the herb garden. Taking a photo is still on my list of things to do. But then breathing is currently on my list of things to get around to.

I am continuing to pound my head against the wall work on trying to get the lovely folks at(name your foundation) to give money to the arts organization that is paying me to ask people to give money. So far it is just work & no results, it takes a while to know if you are successful.

Begging for money has kept me busy. We are also trying to give the house a deep clean. It is past due & the Father-in-Law is coming this weekend for The Boy's graduation. The Boy is officially done with high school & off to college (with a hefty scholarship I might add). Yay Boy!

So we've cleaned & dusted & still have 3 1/2 floors to go. I swear we made some progress. But throw in a couple hours of hauling The Girl around & helping her mother. We just didn't get as much done as we hoped.

But I did make a yummy dinner last night. Sea Bass with a chile & spice rub. I don't remember what was in it besides chili & cumin & oregano & salt & pepper. That is probably most of it, but it was good. Along with some steamed broccoli & cheese sauce. Yum. A good diner was had by all!

We have begun planning the menu for the F-I-L. He is only in town a short time, and we are running around for a lot of it, so I had to come up with simple, take-it or leave-it type things. The menu as it currently stands:
For the late arrival Friday night. IF they (F-I-L is bringing a companion) are hungry, we will have some herbed goat cheese, some focaccia made with left over home-made pizza dough some bruchetta and some marinated artichokes. A simple late-night snack. Saturday is up & out for Baccalaureate at 9:30 & they are staying at a B&B so I don't have to worry about breakfast. Luncheon follows the graduation ceremony, another meal off the list, then off to a party given by friends of The Boy. Not sure we are going to have to deal with dinner at all, but again I might. So we are planning, a light dinner of Carrot-Ginger Soup and some crusty bread. So the meal to plan for is Sunday brunch. After all that running around all weeekend? yep. Sunday brunch. It is looking like I'm going to whip up a quiche with shrimp & caramelized onions and serve that with some grilled asparagus and perhaps some breakfast sausage. We can toast up what ever bread is left from the night before and call it a meal. Wheew! It sounds simple enough, but really? we'll have to see.

Oh, neglected in that menu planning is the Thursday night choir concert. The Girl is in the school choir and so we have thought we would be nice and feed everyone prior. Everyone being The Girl, her mother (TheEx) and Her mother (TheExM-I-L). Really, can some one just pound my head with a hammer now? I don't have enough going on & I agreed to throw that in the mix? Dear Internets, wish me luck!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Plant of the Day

Do you have any idea what this plant is?

I've been living in my house for 5 1/2 years. I'm on my 5th beautiful spring in my delightful little garden-yard. I've admired & enjoyed this little plant. With it's abundant sunny yellow flowers dotting the leaves as it vies for space beneath the honeysuckle & trumpet vine, this is the little plant that could! Ok, the plant isn't so little--given a little leeway, it might think it can take over that section of the yard, but it behaves when asked nicely. And, until today, I had no real idea what this was. I had heard it may be some type of coreopsis, or possibly lantana, or maybe it's one of those, you know... but alas no definitive answer. UNTIL TODAY! I actually saw one, for sale at the garden shop. It was $30.00, but had no identifying tag in it. Ok, one step closer, it's a $30 shrub. of some sort.
So we asked the girl that works there. She dug through the pot looking for a tag, shrugged her shoulders and PLUCKED a poor innocent flower from the baby and went in search of an answer. And the mystery plant is.... (a drum roll please)


Common Name: Japanese rose
Genus: Kerria
Species: japonica
Cultivar: 'Pleniflora'
Skill Level: Beginner
Exposure: Partial shade, Shade
Hardiness: Hardy
Soil type: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Moist
Height: 300cm
Spread: 300cm
Time to divide plants: September to November

Also known as Jew's mallow or quite simply as Kerria, this is a popular spring flowering shrub, just a single species from China but with several lovely varieties. It will grow almost anywhere, and soon develop into a thicket of tall graceful stems as suckers grow from the creeping roots, but it is best kept out of direct sunlight to avoid bleaching the flowers. In this form these are fully double, like golden pompons, ideal for illuminating a dark corner or north-facing wall. Chop round plants annually to restrain their spread. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

And now we know! I bet you sleep better tonight, I know I will. Now if I can figure out what else is growing out there, I'll be able to make it through the spring.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

HolyJuan: 10 Attributes of Really Lazy People

HolyJuan: 10 Attributes of Really Lazy People


Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Kiki out of time

Wow, I feel like I've been running around in circles lately.
I have pictures of the latest raku firing to post, when I get a chance and who knows what else is on that camera.

Just finished a very successful fundraiser. Final Talley is not in yet, but attendance was HUGE!

Time on the internets has been mostly spent doing research for the project I am currently working on so sorry to neglect my loyal audience (both of you).

Also spending time in the yard getting ready for the Garden Tour coming up in about a month. My husband decided we would be on it & now we are trying to whip it in to shape. He has started the herb garden which will hopefully look fabulous by the time of the tour. I'll try to get pictures of that.

This afternoon's activity is to attend The Boy's lacrosse game. I made carrot-cake muffins with little "H"s on them (he attends The Hill School) and will be putting together some fruit salad. I am feeling very suburban mom here. The weather is glorious looking forward to sitting outside for the game.

Have a happy day!


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Kiki, just out


Note to self: Don't forget you have a blog.
Don't forget to do something fun, exciting, interesting or yummy to post in said blog.
Don't forget, when in doubt, make it up.

I've made nothing fabulous, just dinner the past couple nights. Tonight was a quick grilled chicken w/a raspberry grille sauce, cumin & pepper. While quite good, not earth shattering.

Last night was pretty good. Shrimp in a sauce w/ onions, garlic, tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Would have been better if I hadn't used the cheap cheese, but it was in the mysterious cheese drawer & I needed to get food on the table.

Monday I tried to do another pizza on the grill. I thought I had the trick of getting it onto the grill figured out. Turns out I didn't. We had calzones (or was it stromboli? I'm not sure which) on the grill. At least they tasted good!

Oh well. This is what I get for posting for the sake of posting. I really need to be more interesting!


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