Wednesday, August 19, 2015

It's worth it just for the cheesemonger alone.

It has become an absolute MUST in my book to visit the little Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth whenever we visit Chelan each year.  An adorable little town nestled in a valley with towering, lush, green mountains surrounding it?  Hanging baskets and pots just overflowing with petunias - at least 5 in front of every shop?

Bavarian pastries?  The occasional traveling preacher who shouts hellfire-and-damnation at the top of his voice in the central square?*  Those reasons alone are reasons for me to want to go.

But the cheesemonger?  Oh, the cheesemonger.  It's my favorite.  My souvenir from Leavenworth every year is the same:  a big old hunk of cheese from the cheesemonger, which I devour in its entirety (we're talking to 1/4 to 1/2 pound of cheese) on the hour drive back to Chelan.

I also enjoy taking cheese-loving selfies and sending them to my sister, Alexis.  Actually, I've only been doing it the past two years.  But I will continue to make this a happy tradition.  (You're welcome, Lex.)  I can't find my selfie from last year - last summer, as you know, was a bit ca-ray-zay and I can't find half my pictures.  I found out I had cancer right when we got home from Chelan last year, so those vacation pictures, plus any more from the remainder of the summer, are...somewhere.  Quite possibly on my parents' computer's hard drive.  Which I forgot to check when I was home for the 4th of July.  (D'oh!)

But I do have my selfie from this year:
It's, um, a neat picture.  All pictures of me are...neat.  (Meaning, not neat.  I'm really, really unphotogenic.) Yes, my hair looks almost strawberry blonde in that light.  It was an unfortunate box dye job.  I have some greys, but don't want to pay a professional to color it, since my hair is only like an inch and a half long.  So not worth it yet!  When it's longer, it will be a different story.  We (meaning Ben and I - Ben's favorite thing in the world is to dye my hair.  I think this is seriously so adorable) tried a different brand and color, and voila - I'm a strawberry blonde in certain light.  In other light, my hair is the color of Carrot Top's hair.  If you add the Angry Eyes the girl in the Ulta makeup store gave me back in July, and if my hair had been coming in curly instead of stick straight (not that I'm complaining - stick straight hair has been The Dream my whole life!  I'm lovin' it!), heck.  I would be Carrot Top's doppelganger.  Hang on a minute; let me find my Angry Eyes picture:
Hahaha!  See?  Carrot Top hair color, Carrot Top eyebrows.  Kay, take a minute and scroll up and see the real thickness of my eyebrows (I overplucked in the nineties - didn't everybody?  And now they won't grow back), and then scroll back here to see the comparison.  There is a WHOLE other story about this little eyebrow makeover.

Short version:

1)  It was supposed to be a free consultation.
2)  It wasn't free.  It was $25.  Which I found out AFTER the consultation.
3)  I think the eyebrows look a little bit better with actual makeup on other parts of my face:
4)  But it's still a whole lotta eyebrow when all I've had for 20 years are the skinny ones.  I'm used to them.  And they won't freakin' grow anyways, so to get dramatic eyebrows like these, I'd have to basically paint them on every day.  I don't know if I want to invest that amount of time on a look I'm not completely sold on yet.  Who am I, Cara Delevigne?  Have you SEEN the eyebrows on that girl?  Yowza.  I mean, they work for her.  Don't get me wrong.  But they're...intense.  Note:  Yes, one of my front teeth is moving.  I am not happy about it. Note #2:  Yes, Mom, you were right to counsel me in the beginning to keep the enormous caterpillar eyebrows I was born with.  But I had a little college rebellion and ate only cheesy breadsticks for every meal and plucked the crap out of my eyebrows.  For a rebellion, it wasn't so bad.  Except for the whole trip-to-the-hospital-because-my-body-couldn't-poop thing.
5)  To get this thick eyebrow look, all I needed was to buy two products, totaling $50!

Fifty bucks?  Who am I, Paris Hilton?  I don't think so.  That didn't happen.  Okay, half of that happened.  I got the eyebrow pencil.  Which is, arguably, the nicest eyebrow pencil I've ever had.  It had better be, if it was $25.  #stickershock #buyersremorse #itsneverhappeningagain #makeupshouldnevercostthatmuchIdontcarethatmuchaboutitandhardlyeverhavetimetowearit

So yeah.  Back to Leavenworth and my adored cheesemonger.  So I went on downstairs (it's a downstairs establishment, like MacLaren's in How I Met Your Mother [an addiction that Ben and I both enjoy]), and when I walked up to the counter, the dude remembered me!  I'm trying to figure out if he was pretending to remember me (which, in Kar Land, translates into sweet-talking me) so that I'd buy a lot of cheese, because I don't look much like I did a year ago.  Maybe it was my Extremely Magnetic Personaaaaaaality!  Haha!  Anywho, whatever.  His sweet-talking worked.  He had me sample a few new cheeses that had come to their full age, or whatever kind of cheese talk you use for that.  I really liked the one you see in the top picture.  And I took not one, but TWO pictures with my cheese:
That's the entry to the shop.

Oh, and by the way, they have a Cheese-of-the-Month Club, in case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas...  I'm dead serious.  (See you those gorgeous hanging baskets?  I die! I'm in Gardening Withdrawal [GW], since I don't have a garden anymore at the ugly townhouse where we live.  I'm seriously thinking next year of getting window boxes.  And hanging baskets.  I gotta do something gardeney.  I'm dying without a garden to take care of.  I did have two porch pots with some really happy begonias this summer.  So there's that.)

I must warn you - if you don't have a lot of money to spend, Leavenworth might not be the place for you. It's mainly shopping.  And I really do hate window shopping.  Why waste my time looking at stuff I can't buy?  But the cheesemonger and the hanging baskets make up for it.  And the Bavarian pastries.  And, of course, the hellfire-and-damnation preachers.*

Gage, window shopping for a birdhouse:
Which he didn't get.  He chose some Minecraft character miniatures, of course!  Nothing says Bavaria like Minecraft character miniatures.  Even if he had wanted a birdhouse, I wouldn't have gotten one.  I don't want to encourage the pigeon vermin around here.

Also, consider yourselves lucky that you don't see Gage's other hand down the back of his shorts.  It is a constant nowadays.  You can ask anyone who who has spent any amount of time with us lately.  Gage is an official Bumb Grabber, in the grand tradition of S kids.  Actually, I don't remember Dylan or Micah being Bumb Grabbers.  But Sadie sure was. They like the feel of their buttcheeks, evidently.  Gage also likes the feel of another part of his anatomy, but we won't get into that.

I keep begging  Ben to let our family take a Bavarian Photograph - it's like the Old Time Photographs you can get at state fairs and in Old Town ___________ (insert any city in the western United States here), but with Bavarian costumes!  The lederhosen, the fraulien-in-bustier-and-serving-steins-full-of-foamy-beer kinds of costumes.  It matters not that I've never drunk beer, or that German bustiers are a little bit...slutty-looking. (Is this because of Halloween?  Did Halloween do for German bustiers what it did for old-fashioned Nurse Costumes?)  I want to be a fraulien in a bustier and holding a stein, dang it! I could make it modest!  I would arrange my billowing tunic underneath the bustier into a modest one. (And yes, technically, I'm a frau, not a fraulien, but I doubt fraus wear bustiers.  Perhaps they do.  I'm not schooled in age- or status-appropriate traditional Bavarian garb.  I just think it would be fun to wear a bustier sometime.) By the way, do you know what the worst German-or-perhaps-Transylvanian-I-didn't-really-pay-attention-in-bustier movie costume is, according to Kar?  This one, from Van Helsing:

You want to know why?  From far away, during her fighting scenes and all, that stitching in her chestal area looks like...n words.  Not that n word.  The n word I have a struggle saying.  I'll give you a hint.  I no longer have n words.  Get it?  I also struggle with the fact that Ben has a Hollywood crush on Kate Beckinsale.  Hmph.  (I'm allowed to have Hollywood crushes, but he, on the other hand...Hmph.  I may institute a "Let's keep our Hollywood crushes secret" rule in our marriage.  I'm a jealous sort.)

You guys will have to talk Ben into letting us take an Old Time Bavarian Photo next year.  It's on my bucket list.  Oh.  And it just occurred to me that frau-in-bustier photos might look better when one has two items to, ahem, boost.  That would have looked really, really funny if we had done that this year...  A bit lopsided.

Thanks to my sweet mother-in-law for getting some souvenirs for the kiddos.  They love them. Dylan saved his souvenir money to unlock some stupid thing on Stupid Minecraft.  That game was created by the Devil himself.  Ask any mom.  They'll tell you.

*I actually really dislike hellfire-and-damnation preachers.  Does that tactic actually work??  I'm more of a catch-them-with-honey kind of a person.

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