August 29, 2010

Peach Pie

I woke up on Saturday morning and had the desire to bake a peach pie. I'm not really sure why...maybe I wanted to eat peaches? Or it seemed like a very summery, American thing to do? Either way, Kern kindly offered to help me execute my peachy plan and the results were spectacular!

We started with the perfect filling: peaches, sugar, butter, and cinnamon

We rolled the dough out, cut it into strips, and rolled them into spirals for the lattice

Kern measured the pie and cut the lattice perfectly
The completed lattice work: masterpiece!
The finished product...it tasted better than it looks!

August 24, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon

The Marine Corps Marathon is October 31st this year. I'm not running the marathon, but I am running the 10K. This is my first official race...as in I get a jersey, a number, etc.

Kern is running the marathon and has been training really hard for it. I came across some interesting history of how this particular marathon came about:

On October 17th, 1975, Colonel Jim Fowler wrote a memo to his superior, General Michael Ryan, outlining his concept for a Marine Corps Reserve Marathon. The idea was to promote community goodwill, showcase the Marine Corps, serve as a recruiting tool and finally, to give local Marines an opportunity to qualify for the legendary Boston Marathon.

As Fowler’s memo explained so well, “The name marathon evokes military history and is the kind of event which the public finds in consonance with the image of the Marines.” General Ryan loved the concept, and helped it receive approval from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Louis Wilson.

The first MCM was held on November 7th, 1976 with 1,175 participants (New York only had 123 participants in its first running, six years earlier). Then as now, runners began and ended the race at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia – a fitting location for a Marine Corps event.

August 17, 2010

Summer '10 throwback: Faith and Sir Paul

The first week of June, I was able to go to the Library of Congress to watch Paul McCartney be the third person to accept the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. His two predecessors were in attendance: Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder. Much to my surprise, there were several other celebrities there too: Faith Hill (see evidence below), Emmylou Harris, Jerry Seinfeld, the Jonas Brothers, and Jack White.

The evening started with a reception in the Jefferson Building of the Library and from there everyone migrated into the Coolidge Auditorium. The musical performances began with The Loma Mar Quartet (they have been working with Sir Paul in arranging 9 of his songs for string quartets) playing selections from Working Classical. The Lang Lang played A Leaf on the piano. Finally, the one and only, Sir Paul McCartney, ended the show by playing Yesterday. As an encore, he came back out and played Blackbird. It was surreal to be in a tiny auditorium just fifty feet from a Beatle.

Mississippi Girls!

Sir Paul with the Quartet behind him

August 12, 2010

Severe Thunderstorm...

"National Weather Service has issued a Sever Thunder Storm warning for the District Of Columbia and Metropolitan area. Scattered showers & Thunderstorms will affect the Washington area until 745AM Thunderstorms will contain cloud to ground lighting along with Locally heavy rain hail size of quarters with damaging winds in excess of 60MPH Storm moving southwest at 25MPH."

I can confirm this because...when the bottom fell out I was down by the Capitol finishing up my Thursday morning run. The rain was pouring down so hard that I could barely see to run home. There's no better way to cool off after a run!

August 10, 2010

Getting up early

I didn't think of myself as a morning person until after college. I really never thought that I would enjoy getting up to run before work, but I do. In June, Kern and I joined the Capitol Hill Running Club. He is training for the Marine Corps Marathon and I am running the 10K--both on October 31st. It is hosted by the Marine Corps Liaison Offices in the House and Senate. We meet at 6:30am at the Grant Statue in front of the Capitol on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Our running routes and lengths are varied, but we usually run between 4 and 5 miles on the weekday mornings. The Saturday runs are longer--for those training for the marathon. Kern does those...they meet at 6:30am and run 10+ miles. I am really looking forward to running my first official race (and getting a SHIRT!). My goal is to run the 10K between 50 - 55 minutes.

I've also enjoyed getting into the habit of early morning exercise. First of all, it's pretty much the only time it is bearable to exercise outside in the summer. When I arrive at the Grant Statue at 6:30am, the sun is rising and casts a beautiful pink glow over the Capitol. By the time we finish running, the sun is already hot and I am glad to be finished for the day. Secondly, I feel more awake and motivated to eat well for the rest of the day. Thirdly, morning exercise allows me to be able to meet a friend after work, run errands, or go home and relax without feeling guilty about not working out.

And finally, to close with a quote by the man whose photo is on the $100 bill: "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

August 09, 2010

Retraction

Thanks to the Leadership in the House of Representatives, I must publish a retraction from my August 3rd Post regarding the August Recess.

MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2010:

On Monday, the House will meet at 7:00 p.m. in Pro Forma session.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2010:

On Tuesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business.

Yep, we're back in session this week. That's all.

August 06, 2010

Keep a Quiet Heart

Elisabeth Elliot is a Christian author and speaker who has had a fascinating life filled with all kinds of trials and experiences that many of us will never face. Below is an excerpt for her book Keep a Quiet Heart. Her wisdom is sound and concise. She puts a humorous spin on the way many of us end up feeling and acting sometimes. It can be from habit, when we don't even realize it or because we are going through a hard time. The important thing for Christians to remember though, is no matter what you are going through, it is nothing that Jesus has not felt himself. That said, here's a reminder that our actions and what we choose to focus on (our pain OR Christ's sovereignty in all situations) can have a big impact on the way everyday life plays out.

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable:

1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.

2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.

3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.

4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.

5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and wherethey're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.

6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matter. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what other expect of you.

7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.

8. Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.

9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it' at now.

August 03, 2010

Ahhh...August!

After a brief hiatus, I'm back!

July was busy...I had family and friends in town, went to my cottage on the Eastern Shore, and to Mississippi for Mary Jane and Greg's engagement party.

August is synonymous with slow on the Hill, a very welcome change after a busy summer. I am looking forward to working through some projects that have been stacked up and getting reorganized.

The heat still rages outside, so to battle the hot temperatures, our friends are going tubing in Harper's Ferry, WV this Saturday. This will be my third year to visit River Riders and experience a refreshing day of floating down the Shenandoah River.

Maybe I will make time to post some pictures from my summer adventures...starting with seeing Paul McCartney perform and meeting Faith Hill to Mississippi on the Mall to Screen on the Green to the Eastern Shore.

It's one of my August goals.

So stand by (hopefully) for a fun backlog.

What is the most fun thing you have done this summer?