Tag Archives: ice cream

Best Week Ever?

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Let’s be honest, a lot of times I use this blog to vent about things.  My frustrations at Initech, problems with friends, lack of a boyfriend.  You, my faithful readers, bless your heart, have stuck with me through thick and thin, why I’ll never understand.  But my blog averages 10 hits a day, which means someone, somewhere, finds these ramblings entertaining.

For once, though, I’m not here to ramble and complain about my life…I know, happy dance!  For once, I am here to celebrate this week, and name it the Best Week Ever!!!*

I think it’s the best week ever because it was so unexpected.  Vacation weeks, and birthday weeks, they’re amazing weeks, but you know they’re coming, so the excitement level is already ratcheted to HIGH ALERT before the week even kicks off.  No, I think the best weeks are the weeks where you don’t expect anything to happen, and then a million things do.

To start my week off, I won a $100 Ikea gift card in a monthly sweepstakes.  For those of you who have never met me, or know very little about me, Ikea is my mecca.  I love that store maybe more than life itself.  All of my bedroom, living room, dinning room, and kitchen ware have been purchased at that store.  I love the style, the functionality, and the additional storage space all of their pieces provide.  I love (ok, hate) the wordless instructions that accompany every purchase, and the swearing, broken nails, sweat, and exhaustion that accompanies each box.  I love that they sell Swedish meatballs, that they have ice cream for $1, and you can have free coffee any time you want with your Ikea family card.  If I could get married in Ikea, I would (and, let’s be honest, I will probably try).  Simply put, I. Love. Ikea.

And they offered me a $100 gift card.  Me!!  ME!!!!  I’ve already spent it, fyi, at least in my head.  I know exactly what I’m getting, to replace my old Ikea furniture.  If anyone wants a fu-chair let me know, a very reasonable asking price has been sent (Fu-chair…??  Don’t worry, most people don’t know.  It’s a chair that unfolds into a single bed.  Great for dorms.  I’ve had ppl sleep on it all with surprisingly positive reviews.  It’s an amazing investment).

So that was the first good thing that happened to me.  The next was an unexpected surprise that was thoughtful all the same.  As many of you know, I’m taking decorating classes right now, trying to become a better pastry decorator.  I have to practice, though, which means finding reasons to bake people cakes.  I have a co-worker who has a daughter with a birthday party this weekend.  I made her a deal–I’ll bake her cake for free, no strings attached.  You’d have to be an idiot to not accept, and she’s not an idiot, so she said yes.  One princess cake coming up!  Today, though, she came in with a Visa gift card for me, since I offered to make the cake for her daughter.  It’s nice to know that there is still some unexpected kindness in the human race.  I was completely fine with making this cake for free, since I need the practice it will provide, and out of no where I’m rewarded with a wonderful new gift card.  That’s two in 24 hours.  I am striking it big this week!

My final surprise this week came from Macy’s.  Who doesn’t love that store??  Apparently they’re having a huge sale this weekend, and guess what they’ve marked down to their lowest prices of the year??  Kitchen Aide mixers.  Oooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah!!  Again, I love baking, but I’ve never been able to afford a Kitchen Aide.  The Rolls Royce of mixers.  I’ve been saving, though, and have several bazillion gift cards lying around my house (sense a theme here??).  So this weekend, I’m taking myself down to McKnight road and buying myself a Kitchen Aide mixer!

I love weeks like this.  Even a stressful day at Initech can’t bring me down!  I have new gift cards to shop with, a cake baking in the oven that’s Barbie pink, a new mixer on the way, and Friday off.  Life’s looking up for ole Lis here!!

I hope you’re having as fabulous of a week as I am!  For real.  And if not, let’s hang out, and I’ll brighten your mood.

See you soon!

Lis

*Within the past 26 week cycle.  Excludes birthday celebrations.

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C is for Corn Maze

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Another Initech-free weekend.  You’ll never believe this, but I actually had the opportunity to accept another job offer this week and I turned them down.  I know, after all the complaining I do about Initech, you’d think I’d be willing to switch jobs for just about anything.  And I am; this just just happened to be in the 0.1% of things I do not want to do.  Ha.  So for now I’ll be staying at Initech, chasing my dreams from a distance.

It’s autumn, though!  Such a wonderful time of year!  Pumpkin, apples, spices, cider.  The crunching of leaves as you walk through your yard to retrieve your mail.  Dense fog cover in the morning, hillsides that display God’s full Creation in a blaze of color and movement, the smell of wood fires starting to burn.  And corn mazes!

As I told you in my previous post, the one and only “corn maze” I went to in my life was so lame a 6 year old could’ve figured it out.  I’m 26, so….I figured it out in about 15 seconds.  It was super lame, and I was super bummed I spent money trying to have fun at such a disappointing place.  I swore next year it would be different.

We headed up to Mercer PA for a Cool Springs Corn Maze.  The place was hopping: Mormons, youth groups, Brownies, Girl Scout Troops.  We might have been the only non-family, non-group affiliated people wandering around.  That’s kind of how we  roll, though.

The entrance to the maze is marked with a large painted cutout of a train, much like the Hogwarts Express.  If I had only brought my luggage cart, I would have charged full steam at the plywood.  Alas, I forgot it at home with my owl and cauldron.  But I’m going to be honest, I dunno why the entrance was marked that way.

Fun advice if you ever go to a corn maze: don’t let the 15 year old lead the group when she refuses to use the handy map they provided us.  Taylor lead us all over the place, up on trail and down another.  Heck, in some sections her and Matt created their own trails.  It makes it really challenging to know where you’re at when you’re stomping through corn stalks trying to “find another path to try”.  It was pretty bad.

We walked through all of this. Some of it several times…

Eventually, after emerging into a pumpkin patch and snatching a few pumpkins for the road (who has a pumpkin patch in a corn maze!?) we settled into our Dora-inspired roles wonderfully.  Erika was our French-speaking Dora, Matt was lame-o Diego, Taylor was Boots, and I was Map, since I actually started using the map.  We were very lost for awhile, which automatically meant we all had to suddenly pee, and then we found our trail and made it out to the end.

The end of the maze was a magical place full of pumpkin cannons, friendly goats, sewage slides, and free ice cream.   Oh, and enough John Deere equipment to have me slightly confused as to what state we actually were still in.  There was so much going on it actually took us awhile to get through everything.  Guess it’s a good thing we weren’t lost in the maze longer, we might have missed the free ice cream.  And who doesn’t love free ice cream?

In the end the day was about as silly as you can imagine.  A little bit Amish, a lot a bit red neck, and a whole lot of climbing through grained plants looking for an exit.  I’m not sure what human thought to originally cut paths through their corn crops and charge people a small admission to walk through it, but I must congratulate them, whoever they may be.  It was a ridiculously fun time, and really, that’s all I want from my weekends!

Off to bake some cupcakes!  Apple spice might be in the works today.  Or maybe some cinnamon crunch.  Hmm, the possibilities are quite endless.

Lis

W is for Waves and Water

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Let me start out this post by saying an adventure to the lake never EVER goes as planned.  This year’s adventure included smoke, dead bodies, slides from hell, and a side trip to a jet ski graveyard.  It’s seriously like the making of a horror movie.

My friends and I have been going to Crooked Creek State Park for about four years now to go jet skiing.  One of my good friends’ family owns some, and occasionally they let us take them out on the lake.

To take a jet ski out on the late, though, we need to do the following:

  • Take the PA Boating Licence test, pass it, and be able to show proof of this (as a fun aside, in the state of Pennsylvania, if you pass your PA Boating test you can drive any non-commercial boat on any legal Pennsylvania waterway.  By sitting for a half hour test, I’m allowed to drive juts about anything, just because the state feels I’m a mature and confident person on the waterways.  The test, might I mention, is open note, not timed, and, let me be very clear, was not taken alone.  And yet I can now drive boats.  Huzzah!)
  • Sign a legal waiver stating we will not sue the owner of these jet skis, or any of his family members, if any accidents or deaths are to occur while on this trip.  This include the vehicle ride to and from the lake.  We often advise new members to not sign the waiver until we get to the lake, just in case we die in a fireball of a car crash on the way there.  You know, on those back roads we travel.

So you can already see what kind of trip this is shaping up to be.  It’s a ton of fun, don’t get me wrong, but it never seems to go exactly as we expect.

We started the trip out with a fun story about dead bodies at the bottom of the lake.  Urban legend apparently states that several years ago a man was boating on the lake and mysteriously disappeared.  They found his boat, his car, and all of his supplies, but no man.  He simply disappeared.  Some people are convinced his dead body is floating at the bottom of the lake, weighed down by the rocks that took him to his watery grave.  This was discussed at length on the car ride up there.  What we would do if we found a head bobbing in the water.  Would we scream and drive away?  Or simply stare at it in a silent horror?  I wish I could say that was the worst problem we encountered on the trip.  But it wasn’t even close.

This time it was the jet skis.  Last year, for example, we broke the pavilion tent covering in a sudden hurricane.  The year before that we tipped one of the jet skis completely over, and could barely get it back to shore.  This year, though, about 10 minutes after getting the one jet ski onto the water, it suddenly and inexplicably started to smoke from the engine.  That’s right, in the middle of the lake it seemed as though one of the jet skis was having either mechanical or electrical problems.  Those problems that cannot, and SHOULD NOT mix with water.

After towing the boat back to shore, we found out that the engine had over heated and melted some of the wires together against the metal frame, making the ski unusable.  So we were down to one jet ski only 20 minutes into the trip.  And it wasn’t going to get any better.

The second ski suddenly died in the middle of the lake.  We repaired it, took it back out, and for a bit it ran smoothly.  But just like that, it died again, and wouldn’t restart.  We now had two unusable jet skis about a mile down from the boat dock.  And let’s not forget, there’s a dead body lurking somewhere.

We managed to get the second ski started again, and towed both boats back without problems.  We still had about 4 hours on the lake, with food, corn hole, tubing, and lots of laughter.  Not to mention near perfect weather.  It wasn’t a bad day in the slightest.

One of the funniest moments came after the jet skis were back on the dock, and we had changed into our mandatory sweats for the ride home.  The park has a ridiculous park by the dock, what is surely some sort of playground code violation.  It has this crazy slide built into the hill, and for years we’ve been saying we wanted to stop and ride down the slide.  Just to see what happens.  This year, we finally took the plunge.

It was a slight disappointment, but, like the rest of the day we made the most of it. And like the rest of the day we ended up laughing through most of it.

After stopping for some ice cream on the way home, our last stop of the night was a jet ski bone yard, to drop off the broken boats for repair.  It where old jet skis go to die.  Dozens upon dozens of them piled up, waiting for a part, or an owner, or a final dismemberment for pieces.  Good thing they weren’t my jet skis, because I’m not sure I’d be OK leaving my own boats there.  Such a sad final resting place.

(I’m happy to report the jet skis were repaired there, and are currently back on the water.  I guess they did make it out of there alive.  Not so sure every case ends that way, but I’m glad ours did)

Here’s why I love my.alphabet.weekends.  You can plan them out all you want, but sometimes crazy things pop up and you have to roll with it.  Like a smoking engine, dead bodies, and a ridiculously lame slide.  I can plan these out all I want, but it doesn’t matter if I’m not willing to sometimes roll with the punches.

I’ll be back next week with a brand new adventure announcement, and some more fascinating reports from Initech.  I’m sure that’s what you’re looking forward to the most.

Until then, happy Labor Day weekend, and enjoy the extra day off!

Lis