The Pearl Buck House

The week after Christmas I went to Quakertown to meet Mr. E’s parents. I was both terrified (meeting the parents seems like such a big deal) and also a bit relieved. I figured if they didn’t like me it was better to find out a few months in. Anyway I am not someone who drives an hour and a half in the car without going to a museum, gallery, historic house, something. So when I out to dinner with a dear friend (who happens to be a curator) she recommended the Pearl Buck House. I had never heard of the place but she said that they would be decorated for Christmas and had nice tours. After much consulting with Mr. E we decided to go in the morning and take a tour. I pulled out my SLR (who was feeling so neglected) and had a grand old time.

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Pearl Buck has an interesting life story. She lived much of her youth in China and that influence was seen throughout her home. She also believed in mixed race adoptions (both in practice and her personal life). Many, many children lived in her farm house. She also had a daughter who had something that we now know as PKU which is a protein allergy (for lack of a more medical explanation). The only reason I had heard of this is because a dear friend of mine has a daughter living a wonderful life with PKU (the kids Mom is a museum educator. Kid is living the dream! haha). Pearl’s daughter was institutionalized from a very young age and spent the rest of her life there.

Anyway the tour was really interesting. The guide showed us a lot of the things Pearl did so the house was kid friendly and you could see the Asian influence throughout the house. They also do a festival of trees and we got to see those as well!

Would you believe that I didn’t take a SINGLE selfie with Mr. E? He isn’t into pictures and social media like I am (in that he has a rather aggressive hatred towards it) so when we’re together I forget. *sigh*

After the jump check out some pictures.

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Links for the week 1/18/2015

Work this week was … interesting. So I am going to enjoy my Sunday off by organizing and spending it with some friends.

Some links from the past week:

I am by no means a professional photographer (bhahahahahaha can you even imagine!?) but there are many out there who are. Here is a guy whose image was used by Kenneth Cole without his permission and the YEARS it took to correct things (although the story doesn’t end with everyone being happy). Read his story Here. 

Have you met this years Gerber Baby? So sweet. Makes my heart melt. Check her out Here.

A missing manuscript was discovered at Duke University and was recently returned to Mt. Athos. I love when priceless artifacts are returned to where they belong. Read the tale of woe Here.

An awesome artist spent a lot of time in a Starbucks drawing Middle Earth on cups! They look awesome. Here.

Did you know women who use Twitter and Instagram are less stressed. Awesome article Here. (Also check me out on Instagram (Katherkear) and Twitter @Katherkear )

Some fun photos from the Samsung:

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We finally got some snow. I of course had to trudge through it to work.

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#FamilyDinner night. The Brother and Suzi don’t like to wait.

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PS: I went to the casino with #TheFra and she gave me 20 bucks. And I walked out with 150!!!!!!! Yay!

Girls Christmas

As I’ve mentioned (here and here) I was some pretty awesome friends The Girls and I have a long standing tradition of celebrating the Christmas holiday the Sunday after New Years. At that point we’ve all finished all are family holiday parties, the New Years Eve hangover sleepiness has abated and are ready to see each other.

As you may have noticed I love a theme. (Anchors anyone?) So this year when thinking about the party we I decided on a hot chocolate bar. I decided on this because Tara does SO much baking during the holidays. So I knew we would have a ton of desserts to go with the Hot Chocolate bar.

I simply cleared off her buffet and moved the Keurig onto it. I poured all the toppings I could think of into miniature containers and set it up in a workable/cute way.20150104_140526
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We also had dips to start with. I used there recipes: Skinnytaste Hot Spinach dip, Crab Rangon Dip, Velveeta Rotel Dip  and my new 3 dish crock pot that I bought myself for Christmas. We had all the best vessels for getting the dips to our mouths and laughed a lot.

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Over the hot chocolate we opened gifts (I’m spoiled). And laughed some more. All and all it was the PERFECT way to end the holiday season.wpid-20150104_171913.jpg 20150104_140717

*Sorry about the pictures. The lighting wasn’t great and I forgot my SLR.

Links for the week of 1/11/2015

What a week. Full of good things. For family dinner night on Monday I made a lovely meal of chili with all the toppings (including Fritos!!).  I also spent some good time with Mr. E. This new relationship and learning about each other is a lot of fun. Hope you all had a wonderful week.

Some fun articles I read this week:

A few years back when I first started knitting I really didn’t have the money to keep me in yarn (I slowly amassed my hoard). So when a local yarn store owner offered to provide the yarn for charity knitting I jumped on it. I like this idea I found in Facebook better. Buy some cheap yarn make a quick scarf and leave it somewhere with a note for someone to take it. I’m going to get some yarn this weekend and get to work! Look at this Here.

You can now livestream some funerals on the internet. How do you feel about that? Read about it Here.

You are getting an extra second of time this year. It’s a leap second. What will you do with yours. Here.

When you think about getting married most people think about what if’s. What if the person gets sick, loses all your money, cheats etc. But what if one of the people has a mental breakdown. How do you deal with that? What do you do? Here is a wonderful article about what one couple did. Here.

Some photos from the Samsung:

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I made pancakes with M&M’s in them. SO GOOD!

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Mr. E and The Brother went to Canada last week. They brought me back MANY of my favorite things. I’m spoiled. (Also,Cadbury buttons are my crack!)

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Dinner Friday night with my darling Suzi. Chocolate stout pictured in my hand. I only had a sip BUT I loved it. (Thanks, Mr. E for the picture.)

 

Links for the week of 1/4

I missed this post last week. Who knew that life would be so busy in the New Year? Although this week is a little slower then the last month or so. While The Brother was gone I started having dinner Monday nights with the girls and this week we had Ikea Swedish meatballs, lingoberry sauce, egg noodles and green beans. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to keep in touch with Suzi and Tara since are lives are … a little crazy.

Some fun articles:

A wonderful discovery was made this week when a 4,500 year old tomb was found by archaeologists. The tomb is believed to be the wife of Pharaoh Neferefre. The name of the Queen had been previously unknown. So this is a WONDERFUL discovery. Check it out Here.

Some doctors are looking at historic paintings and diagnosing the people in the paintings with certain ailments. I’m a little on the fence about this. Artists throughout history have had various skill levels and I think that diagnosing through the painting with no context is hard. That being said it is also an interesting take on art. Read about it Here.

As a knitter I can tell you how important sitting down and spending some time with my wool is. I did not know that is was a proven fact that knitting cast off anxieties. From Mail Online Here.

So one of my guilty pleasures is curling up with a good romance. Jane Eyre is by far my favorite book of all time. Well I’m also an Austen Girl (tell me who isn’t?!). This Buzzfeed articles highlights a few of the gorgeous locations from Austen movies over the years. Here

Do you believe in vaccinations? It’s such a hot topic over the last 10 or so years (or maybe that’s when I became old enough to notice). I believe that if getting the chicken pox vaccine will keep me from getting the chicken pox lets do it. Lets eradicate the world of these terrible diseases. Don’t the people from the Middle Ages wish there was a cure to the plague. ANYWAY, Bill Gates commissioned artists from around the world over to start a open conversation about how life saving vaccines are. See the article and works of art Here.

Some photos from the Samsung:
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Know what this is?

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It’s a new year.

I have never been much for resolutions. When I was a child and it was the thing to do I of course made them (and never kept them). As an adult I joined Weight Watchers 2 years ago  January 4th. But that wasn’t  a resolution it was just time. 100 (ish) pounds later and it was a great decision.

Last summer around when my Mom got really sick for the last time I decided it was time to get my shit together. I pay all my bills on time and I’m working on my student loans (sigh) but there always seemed to be more week then money and I really wanted to start having a real savings. So when the Sebring breaks I can fix her. (Or in this case of Mom dies I can drop my life and run to Ohio and maybe give a tiny bit of money to help with expenses.) I was doing pretty well and feeling confident in my abilities. At the same time I kicked butt at weight loss. I cleaned and organized my two rooms at home. I felt like I really had my shit together. Fast forward to Mom dying.

Now 4 months later my room is disorganized. All my drawers are full of junk. I don’t have any savings. And I gained a lot of weight over the holidays. (My favorite jeans don’t fit.)

So I’m slowly getting my act together. I restarted the Dave Ramsey envelope plan and I also started the 52 week savings challenge. I’m hyper organized with this which is good. Accounting for every dollar of money spent.  So far (a whopping 1 week in). I’m doing really well. I have a tiny bit of money paid. I’m ahead on my bills and I’ve got enough spending money to get me through the week. If in a month or so I’m still doing well I’ll check back in and explain more about what I do. wpid-20150109_105149.jpg

Today is the first day that I started my new schedule at work (work Monday-Thursday and Saturday). So I’m off today (Friday). I did all my laundry this morning and I organized one of my dressers. I feel good about that.

Before and after.

Before and after.

It’s also Friday and although I haven’t eaten wonderfully I have tracked every bite since Monday morning. The scale is moving in the right direction and I’m hoping that I don’t look like a cow at the wedding I’m going to at the end of the month.

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Have a great weekend and look out for my link post. It’ll be up Sunday and I have some great articles.

Happy New Year.

wpid-20141231_235418.jpgBoy oh boy was 2014 a year to remember. And move past. So many good things happened. Friends made. Relationships built. Travelling done. And  some not great things. Loss. Sadness. I’m so ready for 2015 and all it has to give me. To start the New Year right I did what I’ve done most of the past 10 years. And that is spend it with who I’ve affectionately named “The Girl’s “. We were all there minus 1 (Tara always works). And we also celebrated with a few others. Melissa and her husband Jeff hosted and Christine and her boyfriend were also there.

The evening started off with me getting out of work around 3:30 (thanks UNC) and going home for a little knitting time. Followed by Suzi coming up and getting ready at my place. It was a bit like we were teenagers again.wpid-20141231_183115.jpg

We picked up Mr. E and met up with The Brother and headed to the party.

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Did I mention Jeff is a chef? If i didn’t let me tell you. Jeff is a chef. The food was phenomenal. I’ve had many a not great New Years Eve meal (restaurants are over packed, food is cold, service is terrible, overpriced). Not this meal.

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Then in typical 19th century fashion we retired to separate rooms. The men to the “Man Cave” and the girls sat in the living room watching Dick Clark’s NYE. I don’t know what the boys were doing but it must have been awesome if they didn’t want to spend the evening with a bunch of beautiful women. (#JustSaying)

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I had a cold for the holiday and here I am with my trusty cough syrup. Who needs wine?!

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The Brother and Suzi — being themselves.

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Around 11:55 the boys stumbled came in and joined us. We anxiously waited for the ball to drop. I kissed Mr. E at midnight. I took a #selfie with Suzi, Ali and Mr. E (like you do). And we went outside to watch the highly illegal very fun fireworks show next door. (Where Melissa’s dog escaped and tried to hide under a car.)wpid-20150101_000100.jpg

A good one from Ali.Who is always the life of every party we go to! wpid-20141231_235450.jpg

Happy New Year. I have a little post about what I’m hoping to do in the New Year drafted. So stay tuned!