Team Hensley

Team Hensley

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a pox on both our houses?

For at least a decade my parents have endured mischief in their silverware drawer. Gradually, all of their forks have disappeared and been replaced with mysterious forks from different sets. They have the same number of forks they started out with, but they are now mismatched. Nobody knows how or why this happens.

The Hensley household seems to be suffering from the same affliction.

We should have eight of these forks:

Instead, we have seven of the original set and this mystery fork:

Where did it come from? Where is our eighth fork? What is the meaning of this?????

Coincidentally, Lydia visited us last week. Now I'm not making any accusations, but that seems suspicious to me.....

Friday, November 26, 2010

Our first Thanksgiving.

This year was the first that Nate and I have spent Thanksgiving together. Since we are going home for two weeks in December, it didn't make sense to travel to Texas. So, we invited other folks who couldn't make it home for the holiday. This was good for two reasons: 1. it gave us a chance to get to know some cool peeps in Nate's program. 2. It kept me from spending all day crying about how we weren't stuffing our faces with our families, who I miss so much.

We borrowed a big table and a couple of chairs from the church where my office is. We grabbed a couple more chairs from the lobby of our building. And we asked one couple to bring their own plates because we just didn't have enough!

I baked brie for an appetizer and two pumpkin pies with homemade whipped cream. Nate made the turkey, dressing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and some deviled eggs (isn't he dreamy?). His brined turkey was completely delicious. Many around the table proclaimed it the best they had ever had.

Some of our lovely guests waiting to eat.

The whole crew around the table for dinner. Nate and I sat at the heads of the table, which was accidental, but kind of funny now that I think about it. I guess we're the Lord and Lady of our sweet little apartment.

There was lots of laughter and good conversation.

And, a bit of dancing, of course.

All of our guests are folks that Nate has met through his MAPSS program.

This is Tyler and Marina from Maine. They are getting married in August. Tyler studies Russian history and Marina has a journalism degree, but is working at a mediterranean restaurant while she looks for a job in her field.

This is Jonathan from New Jersey. I'm not sure what he studies, but I do know that he makes killer mac and cheese.

Here are Marcie and Josh from Albuquerque, who you met in a previous post. Josh also studies Eastern Europe. Marcie will start a nanny job in January. She is tops for Chicago tips. For example, she told me that the Chicago public library will let residents check out museum passes for free. So good to know! She's also an amazing cook. As true New Mexicans, they brought mashed potatoes with green chiles. Yum!

Mischa celebrated her first ever Thanksgiving with us. She is from the Czech Republic and studies the migration of Vietnamese people into Czechoslovakia. I am proud to say that my pumpkin pie was the first she had ever tasted.

Last, but not least, Charlie, who has become Nate's Chicago bestie. Charlie is funny and sarcastic and completely unpretentious, so you can see why he and Nate became fast friends. He is from Seattle and studies American history, with a focus on prisons during the progressive era. Here he is at the end of the night trying to steal our cats.

As you can see, we had a pretty good crew. Everyone agreed that we need to get together more often. Unfortunately, Nate and I didn't get a picture together, but here's a not-so-flattering shot of me finishing off the brie.

And here's a blurry one of Nate getting everyone's attention with a flute solo.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Xoxo.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lydia's Here: Part 2.

Chicago misses you already, Lydia!

I just dropped Lydia off at the blue line headed to O'hare. I'll see her in three weeks for Christmas; otherwise, there would have been a lot more tears.

We had a great visit. Monday we walked around the neighborhood, visiting Hyde Park's awesome bookstores, checking out the Hogwart's-like campus, peeping through the windows at the Frank Lloyd Wright house, and ooh-ing and aah-ing at the beautiful Rockefeller Chapel.

We then met some of her Chicago friends at Gino's East for some delicious pizza.

Yesterday, we went to Chinatown where Lydia treated us to a delicious dinner. Nate poses in his meow hat with Hello Kitty.

My sister's favorite dinner consists of tons and tons of mac and cheese and piles of crab rangoon. She didn't get any mac and cheese, but there was a ton of food. Nate is shocked to see so many noodles.

After dinner, we posed as our Chinese zodiac signs by their statues. Lydia is a tiger, I'm a rat, and Nate is a horse.

Today we went downtown to go to the Sear's Tower (technically the Willis tower these days). Turns out, Chicago is super huge! It snowed (!) today and was cloudy, so these pictures aren't very good, but you still get the idea.


The skydeck was super scary. At first, I could only put one foot out there and hold on to the wall.

Although I was very sad to see her go, I know she is glad to get home to her own bed, see her pooch, and get back to 80 degree weather. Lyddie doesn't do cold. She claimed today that Chicago was uninhabitable for humans.

Most importantly, our hard working teacher got to get in some good rest and some quality time with two cats who are really going to miss her. They love a good napping buddy.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone. Tomorrow, Nate and I will host our very first Thanksgiving dinner together. Wish us luck!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lyddie's Here!!

My delightful, beautiful, giggly sister chose to spend her Thanksgiving break in Chicago with Nate and me! I have her here until Wednesday and have been busy showing her all of the Windy City sights.

Yesterday, we rode the train downtown to Millennium Park. In the winter, they turn one of the plazas into an ice skating rink. We snapped some photos at the Bean, then watched the ice skaters for a long time. There were a couple of teenagers causing mischief, which kept us very entertained as we looked on from above the rink.

I tried to get a nice picture for Mom with the fall foliage. Unfortunately, as Candy describes photographing Owen, it's like shooting a moving target. The difference is she's 24.

Then, she ate her first Chicago hot dog. I realize now that this blog should have been devoted to chronicling people's hot dog eating experiences, since that's what it is actually about.

We then got on the El and headed to Lincoln Park. It's a cute little neighborhood with boutiques and the best cupcake place ever, Sweet Mandy B's (thanks for the recommendation, Rachel!). These cupcakes are french toast, chocolate with chocolate icing, pumpkin, yellow cake with chocolate icing, pumpkin with cream cheese frosting (so good!), and snickerdoodle. Yes, if you come to visit us, I will take you there.

Today, we're visiting some Hyde Park museums, walking around in Wicker Park, and eating deep dish pizza. And luckily, it is 65 degrees today, so our San Antonio gal isn't having to suffer the cold.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Amalgamated Items

Happy belated Birthday to my mom!
It's getting colder in Chicago (finally). The leaves actually change color here. A lot of the trees are bright red. The ivy on the U Chicago buildings has turned orange:
Here are some new friends we have. They made us dinner last night. Josh (the boy) is in two of my classes. His wife's name is Marcy.
Some of our friends came into town for the Campaign to End the Death Penalty's convention. Randi was instrumental in putting on the convention, and she did a very good job. Everyone was real impressed.
We went to a vegetarian restaurant in...Wicker Park? Maybe Buck Town? Anyway, it was pretty good. I had black beans and rice with plantains covered with a spicy chipolte sauce. And french fries on the side. Cos I like french fries. Here's what Randi had:
Randi also got a fancy Bloody Mary that came with a fried pickle. It was fried with corn meal and was real good. Here is a pickle toast. Laura is posing in the background.
I have maybe three weeks of school left for this quarter. I have three papers to write. Barf.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Belated birthday wishes.

Although it is several days late (in true Nate and Randi fashion),

Happy Birthday, Old Toe!

Hope you had a great one.

p.s. maybe your birthday present to yourself should be a trip to Chicago...