Hershey’s Creator

We went to Pennsylvania for Good Man’s birthday last weekend. After we managed to Not Get Shot, we went to Hersheypark and explored the glorious land of milk chocolate.

These cows on our fake factory tour ride emphasized the milk part.

Singing Cows

Peanut Butter Cups!

Good Man

Say Cheese!

After our freebie ride, we bought the opportunity to make our own chocolate bar. We had to wear a hair net, gloves because of our wedding rings (even though we never actually touched chocolate), and an apron.

Using a computer, we chose our base (milk, chocolate, dark). Then we chose up to three inclusions (if I remember correctly, the options that day were raspberry bits, pretzel, toffee, nuts, chocolate chips), and if we wanted sprinkles or not.

We watched the chocolate bar being made on a conveyor belt before going off to design our wrapper while the bar was cooling.

Then we were able to watch the bar being boxed up and labeled with the creation date, our names, and our zip codes (the info was encoded in our ticket).

It was pretty cool!

Looking Like Mother

Fake Chocolate Maker

Good Man’s Bar

Shake, Shake, Shake on My Bar

Coated in Milk Chocolate

Good Man’s Sprinkles

Good Man

My Custom Bar

Chocolate Stacks

Setting Sun

Heading Home

Not Too Nice

We had Thanksgiving Dinner at a coworker’s house today. Good Man brought one of his coworkers, and one of her friends. (My coworker takes in “the strays” and was more than willing to have more guests.)

While we were eating, Good Man’s co-worker said that she liked dealing with him at work because she always knows what to expect. “He is not too loud, not too quiet, not too nice, not too mean…”

I just started laughing. I knew it was intended as a compliment, but hearing your husband described as “not too nice” isn’t quite what you’d expect! Especially when your husband is a super easy-going, nice guy!

Gobble, Gobble

Today was an early release day and, as expected, the kids were nuts.

Near the end of the day, while we were in the hall, a grade level coworker told her students to “Be quiet. Act like turkeys.”

I smiled. And waited.

Sure enough, her kids started to gobble.

“I said be quiet.”

One student rightly (and very confusedly) said, “But you said to act like a turkey. Turkeys aren’t quiet.”

I had been stifling my giggles, but I couldn’t hold them back any longer. I laughed and nodded.

Teacher said, “I know, that didn’t come out right,” and started laughing, too.

I apologized to her later, for making her lose face in front of her students and she said, “Oh hell, I was being a turkey!”

“I Think We Might Get Shot.”

This weekend, Good Man and I were supposed to go on a hike at a state park on Pennsylvania. We’d get to see one of three iron bridges on the state, there were few trails, so it’d be hard to get lost. Sounds great, right?

Except that the park was undeveloped, which meant no rangers and no toilets, and every single car we passed was full of hunters in blaze orange.

We don’t own blaze orange.

I looked at Good Man, who was managing the car quite well on a pot-holed old state road and said, “You know, I think if we hike, we might get shot. I’d go off in the woods to do my business, and then I’d get shot.”

Good Man nodded, “I think so.”

So instead, Good Man and I went to the fossil pit. Shortly after we started searching for fossils, we heard gunshots.

Good Man looked at me. “No hiking.”

House Falling Down Near Swatara State Park

House Detail

Perfect Timing

I end up with a lot of Korean books through a former co-worker’s daughter, who volunteers at a library. All of her library’s Korean discards end up in my hands.

Which is great, except when my Korean bookshelf (yes, I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to Korean/about Korea books) is overflowing and I am covering a bookshelf worth of space next to it with more books.

Good Man and I sat down and pulled out a bunch of books for Diana’s (growing) family. But that only took care of one box of books…

I emailed a coworker and asked if her parents attend a Korean church, thinking maybe I could pass them on and her parents could bring them to church. No dice.

Good Man came home last week and said one of his co-workers had randomly asked him if he had any Korean books she could borrow. Awesome! So we sat down and pulled out two-and-a-half boxes worth of Korean books.

When she came over to get them, she was so thankful. I said, “I don’t know what kind of books you like, but I know when I was in Korea, I read all sorts of English-language books I would never read, just because they were in English.”

“Yes, yes,” she said, “exactly. And if you get more…um…please let me know!”

In a few weeks, I’m set to meet up with my old co-worker for another set of books. I wonder how many I can pass off to Diana and Good Man’s co-worker…

Prince William Forest Park, Take Two

On Saturday, Mark, his Lover, Good Man and I went hiking at Prince William Forest Park. This was the second time Good Man and I were there in as many months, and we took a different route this time. We covered 7.1 miles using directions from Hiking Upward.

Very early on there was a small family cemetery featuring a well-kept stone…and then the other one.

Robert A. Taylor



Following the Orange Blazes


Fall Colors


Beaver First, Fungus Later

Pet Rocks

Fern and Maple

Good Man Refuses to Smile

Taking Good Man’s Lead

Standing on a Taller Rock

Leaves Before Trees

Trees Before Leaves


Clear Cut

Sinking Sun


Red and Gold

Ball’s Bluff Regional Park Hike

During the weekend, Good Man and I went to Ball’s Bluff Regional Park for a five-mile hike with the local Sierra Club. (In the end, I think it ended up being only three miles, actually.)

Good Man really wanted to go with the group so we could meet some new people. But we ended up stopping a lot to talk about plants and take pictures, which made Good Man whisper, “They are all like you.”

It’s true; I do like photography.


Fall Colors


Full of Holes

Good Man






Eastern Garter Snake


Good Man, Take Two


Woodpecker (Sapsucker?) Holes

Ants Leaves on a Log

Red, Yellow, and Brown

Blazin’ Happy

Ball’s Bluff Cemetery

Flying High

Soft Color-Rich Crazy-Quilted Baby Book

Inspired by a soft book I found online at Homegrown Happy, I sewed up a soft color block book for Diana‘s baby shower gift.

This was a fun project. It was thrifty, because I had scraps in every color other than yellow and orange. (Apparently I don’t dig yellow or orange.) I enjoyed playing around with the textures, and deciding which fabric scraps to use, too. (Some of the scraps actually came from fabric Diana gave me a long time ago.) It was my first time crazy quilting, so this was a good project to get some practice on.

I didn’t take photos of every page, but these give you an idea of what it looks like. The book turned out fairly well, I think!


Yellow and Green

Blue and Purple

Clean Car

You should always keep your car clean.

You never know when you’re going to be interrupted while doing four hours straight of back-to-back parent-student-teacher conferences to be told that you need to move your car because the construction workers are dragging pieces of the school down the street and your car is in the way.

(Yes, I really did mean “dragging pieces of the school down the street.”)

Because when that happens, and one of the parents offers to move your (new to you, aptly named Irene) car, there’s really no other answer than “that would be great, thank you so much.”

And if the car is clean, you don’t need to worry about incriminating evidence of your wild hiking trips or soda-filled weekend car trips.