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Manic Monday: And now, a break in the insanity

After back-to-back, wall-to-wall dance dress rehearsals and recitals this past week, we have reached a place of calm. At least for the time being. I keep checking the calendar, sure I must be missing something because it’s eerily quiet, too much white space in what is otherwise a totally full schedule. But I think it’s for real, even if it’s only a temporary reprieve.

Despite being incredibly busy, it’s been a good couple of weeks. (I’m realizing I’ve been too busy to even post Manic Monday, so I’m a bit behind.) Here’s the scoop…

Bookshelf: Amazon just delivered my copy of The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality by Kyriacos C. Markides. (Yes, I still like to hold a real book in my hands when I’m reading.) I bought this book on the spot after reading this blog post by Brandon Vogt. Sounded too good to pass up. I’m hoping those wide open spaces on our evening calendar will allow for some reading time.

Menu: Dennis and I are continuing our quest to visit every brew pub in the Capital Region. So far so good. Let’s see..Where have we been since I last left you? Ah, yes, last week it was The Hollow on North Pearl in Albany. More craft beer, this time American-style instead of Belgian-style. And great food and decor to boot. I loved the mason jar light fixtures throughout:

mason jar lights

I opted for the eggplant stack with a side of homemade gnocchi — because I couldn’t decide which dinner to choose. In the words of St. Therese of Lisieux, “I choose all!” Here they are. In the second one you can see the layers of seasonal vegetables, which in this case included tons of asparagus. Yum.

The Hollow eggplant

 

The Hollow eggplant close up

Dennis had the “surf and turf burger.” Looked awesome. A big fat burger topped with shrimp. Take a look:

The Hollow burger

And we washed it all down with some brews. I went for Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale. Dennis went for the Ithaca Flower Power IPA. Both were great.

The Hollow ale

Sideshow: I love to sit outside on my deck at dusk and watch the bats fly overhead. I do NOT love coming downstairs in the morning to find a dead bat in our entryway. Yeah, that happened. First time in our 14 years here. I’m really, really hoping it was just a rogue bat that decided to venture into new territory and was not just one of many tenants living in our attic. Since the bat was obviously flying around our house at night and Chiara’s door was open, we were pretty concerned. Dennis whisked it off to the lab that morning for testing and by mid-afternoon we knew that it was not rabid. We believe we can thank our trusty house cats for making the kill, finally getting a chance to put those claws to good use on something other than my favorite chair. (You know we were stunned by this discovery since we didn’t bother to document it with a photo, as we do with everything else in our lives.)

GPS: A new category this week! Where have we been (besides hanging out in pubs). How about the State Capitol? I never get down there, at least not inside. So, one lunch hour, when Dennis needed to drop something off at the press office, I tagged along. Here are a few shots from around this beautiful building. Stop by for a visit if you’re in town.

Here’s the famed “Million Dollar Staircase.” Photo doesn’t do it justice.

Capital staircase

Here is a tiny glimpse of the interesting but sort of creepy heads that are carved into the walls surrounding the staircase, and another detail of a dragon:

Capitol heads

Capital stair detail

This is the hallway in the Senate lobby:

Capitol hall

And a really beautiful staircase just around the corner from the hall of governors:

Capital stairs other

Quotable: This week’s quote comes to you courtesy of my my ever-so-funny Chiara…

Chiara: Can you believe Dad didn’t buy any salami? That’s terrible.

Me: Salami’s not good for you.

Chiara: But it’s a special occasion! It’s Pentecost!

From now on we will have salami on every Pentecost. I think this is how family traditions are born.

Soundtrack: My sweetie emailed this video clip to me last week, and I just love it. One of my most favorite Austin artists, Darden Smith.

 

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