did someone say haggis?

This weekend was a lot of fun. It was also busy and frustrating and damp. But first, just a few pictures from the conference earlier this week. First, just one from the tour we took our Chinese and Japanese delegates on Monday morning:

I didn't really run up the stairs, but I did demonstrate the fanatical, jumping celebration at the top. Have to leave a good impression, you know. ;-)

Lunch one of the days had these babies as part of the dessert:

Those are chocolate covered strawberries with gold dust. Holy hell.

Then just two of my kick ass room at the Union League, which is freakin' gorgeous!

Anyway, so Friday dawned damp and a bit dreary. But was someone sad by the forecasted rain?! Hell no... because I got to break out my new spiffy rain boots!

When I got home, I had a lovely autumn-y surprise waiting for me too. My sweet boy had decided to cook up a whole apple themed meal, starting with apple cider while I waited for dinner to finish:

Then we had these fabulous pork chops with pan roasted apples, and an apple cinnamon sauce to go over top:

They were amazing... the apples and cinnamon went so well with the pork. Just delish.

Apparently they were pretty easy too:
First Trav browned both sides of the pork chops with a little salt & pepper, then removed them from the pan. He then added a bit of apple cider and a pat of butter to the pan and deglazed it. To that he added some cinnamon, a little brown sugar, and a hint of nutmeg. Once that got going, he stuck in the apple rings (from one very big apple), and simmered them until tender. Then he put the apples to the side of the pan and stuck the pork chops in, and simmered them until done. So good.

And of course, to drink with dinner we had some of my favorite apple wine.

What a great cook my boy is... and what a lucky girl I am! :-)

That night it was all about house work. First we had to figure out how to fix our toilet, which decided to break and not flush. Apparently the loop which holds the chain on the flap that lets the water out had broken... so once we saw that, it was pretty easy to replace.

The rest of the night we spent working on the floor of the guest bedroom. There is some leftover shmutz from the carpet, which we've been carefully trying to remove. Plus we had to sweep and vacumn multiple times to get up the dust and dirt from all the other work. Then we washed the floors with this hardwood cleaner.

This is how it looked after that. Its not actually so glossy, it was still wet... but we're going to get a polish to put on next, so it will be a bit shinier. It looks a lot better, but there are definitely some beat up parts. We'll have to do some more spot fixes, then wash it again, then put the gloss on and we should be done with that part.
Hopefully we can finish the floor this week, during the week, and next Sunday can be "day of wainscoting"!! Have I mentioned I'm ready to be done with this room?

Saturday (the Quads birthdays... Happy Birthday Alex, Anna, Katy, and Maddy!!) also dawned a bit gray and dreary, but we pushed ahead with our plans for the day:

I LOVE the Celtic Classic, and it had been a few years since we'd made it. We walked up and down multiple times, checking out all the vendors, eating, and completing a rather difficult "scavenger hunt" where to had to get different vendor signatures. All for a silly CD, but it was mostly about pride. ;-)

I bought this ring (which I'm wearing today on my right hand):

We also stopped to watch a few of the events, although unfortunately I missed my favorite... the caber toss. We did see this one though:

(Throw the haybale over the stick?)
We also got to see/hear some bagpipers:

Next we stopped for a bit of food. We weren't sure what to get at first, but Travis had something he wanted to give a try: Haggis. Now, haggis is definitely one of those foods that its probably better if you don't know what it is before you eat it!! But we had seen it and heard about it for so long, we figured we had to give it a shot. Plus its a Scottish specialty, and I am part Scottish. ;-)

Its also one of those meals you don't want to look at too hard before you eat it either:

But we did try it:

And it was actually pretty good!!

It tasted a bit like scrapple (which we love... another food you probably shouldn't ask, "what's in this?") mixed with corned beef hash. I wouldn't eat it all the time, but we'll probably get it next year if we go back!

One unintentional bonus of driving up to Lehigh area and back... getting to see the first of the trees that are starting to turn! There are definitely little patches of red and orange on some of the trees, and I love it. We also picked up a pumpkin candle, for that smell of fall! Lol.

Sunday also started off a bit gray. I met Ro for walking, but it had started to rain on our drive over. We decided to run to a diner down the street, get some hot chocolate... then see what it was like when we got out. Well, as soon as we left, it stopped raining! Of course! So we had our hot cocoa, then headed back to the state park.

(Ro, 22 weeks)
We did one loop, and just as we were finishing up it started raining again... more then just a drizzle too, so we decided to head home. Well, again, got about two or three miles down the road and it stops raining. And when I got home, sun! Lots of it! Go figure. So I ate some lunch, checked my email, then headed out to do another 7 miles or so. Well, I only got about 4 or so because again, it started raining... and if that weren't enough to do me in, well there were also the peals of rolling thunder (rolling peals of thunder?). So I called it quits. The universe telling me I had walked enough for the day, and I should take a break. :-)
Instead I took a nice, relaxing shower... dressed in my cozy PJs... lit our new pumpkin candle... and put together the ingredients for the first pot of beef stew for the new fall season. We set it to cook today, for a great dinner awaiting our arrival home. Mmm. Can't wait.

As for today... well, I'm definitely busy, but its quiet since half of my office is out preparing for Rosh Hashanah. So a good day for getting stuff done!

Well, time for me to finish up so I can grab some lunch and get back to work! Happy Monday!

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