Ga to Va, and back again

The kids used to have Babba Day, where they would get to spend the day with Babba (Kevin’s mom). This time they got Babba Bonanza, where they got to spend more than a week with her. She flew down on Friday, spent the weekend with us, she then drove the boys and me back to Va, we spent the week there, she drove us back to Ga, and then she flew home. How awesome! Here’s how our time was spent.\
Friday: Picked Babba up at the airport. Her plane was delayed so we truncated our plans. We were still able to take a quickie tour of downtown, the cute squares and historic buildings; stop at Leopold’s for ice cream; and took the boys to the beach. Babba and the boys had a blast playing in the water. Every time I tried to take a pic though, Babba would throw sand at me! So, no pics of her from that event. Sad. We came home to the hot lasagna I made earlier. YAY for great timing.\
Saturday: Dolphin tour and dinner at a seafood place that had a great view of the water. I had crab, two types of shrimp, and scallops. YUM! (Erm, Kevin had an allergic reaction to the fresh scallops. Not so fun.)\
Sunday: Church and fabulous homemade enchiladas and tortilla soup. Wooo. Babba sat next to an outgoing woman that I’ve decided should become my new BFF.\
Monday: Drove up to Va. Long day. Babba drove since I have a notorious light foot and we wanted the drive to only take one day. She asked me to stay awake for the entire drive and entertain her while she was driving, which was the least I could do. But, staying awake the whole trip??? Waaah.\
Tuesday: Babba treated us to lunch at a Japanese Steakhouse, the boys’ favorite type of restaurant. Then I did a bit of shopping- both at stores, the internet, and Babba’s closet- yay! I scored the most beautiful pink flats from Babba. And some white flats, and (faux) snake skin flats, and black flats, and beige flats, and another pair of pink shoes, and…\
Wednesday: Took the boys to the LDS Temple’s Visitor Center, a greasy diner for lunch, this amazing park (we had an awesome train ride there too!), and a butterfly house.\
At some point in the week I exclaimed, “Don’t make me go back!” Babba had been treating us really well- turkey dinners, fresh peach muffins, trips to new playgrounds. And I’d been sleeping on some magical, pillow-topped bed that allowed me to wake without pains in my legs and back.\
Thursday: I don’t remember much of Thursday. Oops. I know Grandpa played frisbee golf with the boys in the yard after dinner. It’s now Brian’s favorite game. ETA- I think the boys decorated t-shirts with Aunt Heather. Oh, we also went to the library to score some cheap books for sale (I found The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide for \$1!!) and then let the boys play at an indoor playground. (No sunscreen means no outside play.)\
Friday: The boys played with our old neighbors, Daisy and Mico, and then checked out a new playground with Babba, while I did laundry and took a nap. It was like everyone’s-favorite-activity day!!\
Saturday: Drove back home. Babba made excellent time, woot. Kevin made an excellent dinner. Woot, woot.\
Sunday: Babba flew home. Brian cried.

What I’ve Been Up To

I’ve totally redone the categories, so they’re more tag-like. I’m also slowly going through all the posts I did while I was on Blogger, over 600 of them, and moving them to their appropriate categories. It’s been fun going back and looking at some of the stuff I wrote a few years ago. It’s a lot of fun.\
Tonight, I got to my posts around September 11th, now in a new category called terrorism that’s slowly growing. I expect the memories to come flooding back when I get to the sniper attacks here in DC. For us, they were almost worse than September 11th. It went on longer, and had the whole area wracked with fear for so long – all at the same time the anthrax scare happened. All of it local, all of it random, all of it could strike anyone at anytime.\
Keep an eye on the categories. They’ll keep moving around, and I’ll be redesigning the archives page in the near future.

The Little Man

We were going to the doctor this morning, Jen and I. We were early and decided that we should check out the mysteriously named Yas Bakery on the way. We entered to the smell of fresh mint and exotic fruits and spices. After passing a refrigerated glass case filled with assorted strange loafs and pans of tofu, we came to the pastry case, filled to overflowing with baklava, dozens of different small cookies, odd but tasty looking gooey treats, rock candy and a little woman in a white apron with olive skin and a gigantic smile.

I decided to try the baklava and asked for six pieces (not all for me, of course). When she asked if there was anything else, I spied the gooey tubes. About the size of cocktail wienies, they glistened with what looked like corn syrup. I asked what they were, and she quickly took two out of the case and her small hand came over the case to offer them to me. They were sticky, but the pastry was still slightly crunchy when I bit into it, releasing the honey inside. It was amazing. I added six of those to the six baklavas, and the bag of “super seeds” I had picked up from the “seed table” in the middle of the small store.

When I went up to the register, the little man came out from the back. He asked us with a thick Greek accent if this was our first visit to his bakery. It was. He threw up one hand in a triumphant salute and scurried behind the pastry case where he produced two almond cookies, one for Jen, one for me. The small shortbread was covered with paper-thin slices of almond and garnished with what I think were ground pistachios. It was very dry, the almonds slightly sweet and woody, but delicious. He then came around the case to face me across the counter where he promptly rattled off all of the amazing confections he could create and then produced a photo album. He proudly displayed pictures of baklava towers, three-tiered wedding cakes, a picture of the little man wearing an apron holding a frosting sleeve at the ready above a half-finished masterpiece.

We paid, and I decided never to pass up the chance to visit the little out-of-the-way on the way to the doctor’s places of the world. I will always remember the little man and his family in their little sweet-smelling bakery and the cookies. Trips to the grocery store for milk and bread are quickly forgotten.

You’d think that if you

You’d think that if you fax someone something, the fax was received, and nothing further was said that everything is kosher, correct? I guess not. I just got another letter from the honorable and competant Virginia Office of Taxation saying we owe them \$5000 for 1998, a year in which I don’t think I travelled outside the state of Arizona, and am pretty sure I lived in Tucson. I mean, my employer says I was employed in Tucson and didn’t transfer to Virginia until February of 1999. I faxed them a signed letter from the head of the HR department stating that fact. It doesn’t take much investigation to see that my address was 373 N Wilmot Drive in Tucson, Arizona until February of ’99.\
I know they’re just people doing their job, but dammit, do it right! I’m tired of dealing with this when it’s obviously their error and if they expended any energy at all, they’d know it too. It doesn’t take much thought, people!