A Couple of Trips to Pittsburgh
Berlin, OH - Events of Saturday, August 15 to Saturday, August 22, 2015
One of the reasons we decided to stay in Ohio all summer is so we could spend time with Lydia. On Saturday, August 15th, we drove to Pittsburgh for the day to do just that.
Lydia is really growing, and she is developing a personality. She is also on the verge of starting to walk. When Lora, J. Michael and Lydia were with us in Berlin for the Memorial Day weekend, Lydia pulled herself up to a standing position by herself for the first time. By her birthday in the middle of July, she was able to pull herself up and work her way along the couch while holding on.
Now, Lydia likes to hold onto your hands and walk all over the room. She has learned to twist her body to get you to change directions to go the way she wants to go.
Lydia is also able to get herself to a standing position and stay there for a short period without holding onto anything. Any day now Lydia will be able to put it all together and be able to walk completely on her own.
Since Lydia is starting to be quite mobile, Lora and J. Michael decided it's time to do some serious baby-proofing of the house. J. Michael is just beginning to recover from back problems he has been having for many weeks. Since he is still unable to easily bend, stoop or climb a ladder, Paul spent much of the day helping Lora and J. Michael with the baby-proofing. He installed a baby gate at the top of the stairs and he installed tie-down straps on book cases, on Lydia's changing table and on a chest of drawers to prevent them from tipping should Lydia try to climb on them.
We also spent time watching Lydia play. Although Lora and J. Michael's boxers are very gentle and patient with Lydia, she really seems to love Freeway because he is more her size. She can't throw very far yet, and her aim isn't very good; but she likes to throw toys for Freeway to chase.
Later on Saturday afternoon, Lora and J. Michael treated us to dinner at Bahama Breeze. Lora, J. Michael and Margery each had a Firecracker Shrimp appetizer for their dinner along with a side salad. Paul had chicken with cilantro crema. He also sampled a couple of the Firecracker Shrimp. Everything was delish!
We usually share a Chocolate Island for dessert when we go to Bahama Breeze, but this time we stopped at Scoops for ice cream on the way back to the house instead. Since it was a hot day, it was a great way to end a delicious dinner.
We headed back to Scenic Hills and arrived just as it was starting to get dark.
J. Michael had the following Friday off work. He and Lora were thinking about going to a late matinee, so we offered to go to their house and baby sit. That way, we would get to see Lydia again, and Paul could install the child-proof latches on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets that he didn't have time to do the previous Saturday.
Paul not only had time to finish the baby-proofing, but he also had time to give the truck a much-needed bath. It was filthy from driving back roads of Berlin during a rain storm a while back.
Later in the afternoon, we ordered a small pizza and a 6-inch Italian sub from Hunner's Pizza for the two of us to share for dinner. Since Lora and J. Michael weren't back from the movie yet, we decided to eat in the living room so we could watch a little TV while we ate. We used a snack table for our dinner, and we temporarily relocated Lydia's highchair from the dining room to the living room.
When feeding Lydia, Margery held the bowl of cereal in her hand, and she put the jar of baby food jar on the foot rest of the highchair. We thought it was really cute the way Lydia kept looking down every time she got a bite of baby food instead of cereal. She could easily see the cereal in Margery's hand; but since she couldn't see the baby food, she was trying to figure out where it was coming from.
The other thing that is cute is the way Lydia is becoming aware of cameras. When she sees one, she knows she is the center of attention and begins to grin, laugh and ham it up.
And just look at all those teeth! She has at least 8 of them.
Lora and J. Michael got home from the movie around 6:30. They saw "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation." We had seen it the day before, and we all agreed it was an excellent movie.
After saying our good-byes, we headed back to Berlin. With the sun going down earlier these days, it was almost completely dark by the time we got back around 9:00.
On Saturday afternoon, we fired up the smoker again. This time we smoked shrimp. It was the last batch we had left in the freezer from our stop last fall in Lower Alabama. We marinated them for about an hour in a little olive oil, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Then we added several tablespoons of melted butter to the pan before placing them in the smoker. Unlike pork and turkey that take hours, the shrimp only took about 20 minutes at 200º.
We were afraid the shrimp wouldn't pick up much smoke flavor in that short a cooking time; but because the shrimp are small, 20 minutes is plenty of time for the smoke to penetrate. They were outstanding!
We continue to enjoy our time in Ohio's Amish Country. It has been a very relaxing summer.