Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cluj, Romania - City views

A couple of weeks ago, Steve and I met our friends, Dan and Ana, in Romania for some fun. Our first day was spent in Cluj, the capital of Transylvania, where they used to live.

They took us to a cafe for lunch. We had Varza a la Cluj, which is a dish made with seasoned cabbage mixed with minced meat and served with smoked pork. It was yummy!

 Then, we took a walk around town.

This is part of the original wall that used to surround the city.
 We took a short climb up a hill to get a view of the city from above!
 Colorful isn't it?

Dan decided to photo bomb the picture!

And here we are laughing at him!

Here is the menu from dinner. The current page lists the types of pălincă. It's their popular liquor made from fermented fruit.

Thanks to Dan and Ana for taking us around town!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Halloween-themed garter (for my friend's wedding)

My grandma is amazing. She is so creative and makes all kinds of things very well. She makes such great quilts. She makes entire bed sets for baby cribs. She makes dish towels, purses, pillow cases, and designs that she puts on clothes. I have a friend getting married that really likes Halloween. It's her favorite holiday. They are even putting little pumpkins on the tables at her wedding as her touch of Halloween. I thought that a Halloween-themed garter would be a great gift so I searched online but couldn't find anything decent. What's a girl to do? Well, I went to my grandma! She said she could easily make one and already had some fabric that would work. She did a fantastic job! What do you think?

It's hard to see all of it, but it's made with a black spider web fabric and has a sheer orange ruffle around the bottom. I love it! If you are reading this Grandma... GREAT job. You are so very talented, and I love you lots! :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Switching off electronics to save money

I read an article recently that said you could save money by turning your wireless router off at night. It gave a list of electronics and the cost of energy used while they are on standby:

Annual energy usage while on standby

Source: Ecotricity
Wireless Router (e.g. BT Hub) - £21.92
Printer (Laser) - £18.26
Set-top (Satellite) - £18.26
Amplifier - £12.18
Compact Hi-Fi - £12.18
iPad charger - £12.18
Nintendo Wii - £12.18
Set-top box (Freeview) - £7.31
Alarm Clock - £6.09
Microsoft Xbox 360 - £6.09
Modem - £6.09
Sony PlayStation 3 - £6.09
Air freshener plug-in - £4.87
CD player / Tuner - £4.87
Television (Plasma) - £4.87
Video Player - £4.87
Inkjet printer - £4.26
Desktop PC - £3.65
Nintendo DS - £3.65
Oven (Electric) - £3.65
Microwave - £3.04
Television (CRT & LCD) - £3.04
Mobile phone charger - £2.44
PC monitor (CRT) - £2.44
Electric toothbrush - £1.22
Childs night light - £0.73

What do you think? Do any of you turn these things completely off when they are not in use (maybe when you are at work) or overnight? Some of you may think, "Well, it's not that much money." Okay, what about just trying to reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the energy your use?

We unplug the printer when it is not in use as well as our small kitchen appliances (yes, even my beloved coffee maker, which has a clock. Hey? It's not like I can't turn around and read the time off of the microwave.) and chargers. I am guilty of leaving my computer on standby for days. I think I'll break that habit.

But seriously, what about the wifi? What other areas are easy to save that I just haven't thought about?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Want to see some stunning views? Walk from Stonehaven to Dunnottar Castle.

First, I've got to say that since I've been incapacitated and on the couch, I've been watching this show on MTV called Catfish. For those of you who don't know, it's a show where two guys investigate online relationships when one of the partners is suspicious that the other is lying (maybe pretending to be somebody else). Man! You guys need to be careful with online relationships. People will steal entire profiles. I've seen, on this show, people have their cousins get in an online relationship with their best friend while pretending to be somebody else by using some model's pictures. I've seen women and men use other people's pictures and just refuse to FaceTime or Skype because they didn't like the way they looked. And some of these went on for YEARS. Did you know that you can drag your photos from Facebook or your social network of choice into the Google search field, and it will bring up all webpages where your photo is located? Pretty neat trick. Any way, I've been sidetracked by shock and awe.

Let's get to the lovely stuff. The walk to Dunnottar Castle from Stonehaven is so nice. It's steep in a few places so I wouldn't go when it's wet. It's only a 1.5 mile walk one way (3 miles total). First though, let's get serious. We had to stop at The Bay for some Fish and Chips.

See the haar (sea fog) moving on to land?

After lunch, I drove to the harbour and parked on the carpark past the Tolbooth Museum. It's free to park there. Then, we walked along the harbour past the pubs and hotels along the water and turned right on Marischal Street. As you walk along, you should come to a sign pointing the way.

Getting a little steep!

I love the views of the harbour!

The haar is taking over.

This is the war memorial on top of the hill.

I didn't take pictures inside of the castle because I have plenty of posts about that! So here is the walk back to town.

This is a really nice walk. It's not very difficult. It just has one or two steep climbs but if you take it slow, I feel like anybody can do it! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Food Poisoning and Fever

Well, I'm finally able to write some. We spent a few days in Romania, and a day or so after we got home, I was struck with food poisoning. I've been sick for days. First it was just discomfort. Then, it was pain for day. Then, well, you know what comes next. Ugh. Misery. From everything I read, I tried to eat normally (although I did eat lighter), and I was constantly drinking water or juice. I read that other drinks packed with sugar such as Gatorade weren't really necessary. One article I read said that women should have at least 10 glasses of water each day, and men should have about 12. Of course, those numbers depend on weight, age, and activity level a bit. At any rate, when you have symptoms of food poisoning that cause dehydration, you are supposed to drink more.

Mostly, I did just that and rested on the couch while binge watching Anime. Hey, we all have our guilty pleasures. I asked Steve to make sure not to share hand towels. I'm not sure what I have, but I read that salmonella can be contagious. I cleaned the bathroom, door knobs, light switches, remote controls, and phones.

After all of that, I woke up at about 9:30 this morning, rolled over in bed and saw Steve.

Me: "What are YOU doing here?"
Steve: "I'm siiiiick."

Yep, he is sick too although not with the same thing I have. He has a fever.

It's times like these when I miss my family more than usual. It was great getting up each morning and having somebody here to share coffee and breakfast.

Cacie in her PJ's taking the dogs out.