Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Your patience is appreciated.

Kindly continue to wait for the upcoming post that will feature a photo of.....

(dum, dum, dum!)

My coworker, Jimmy Carter, and myself. Need I also mention that we will be standing beside him as he sits on his BIKE. That is correct. Jimmy Carter, greatest humanitarian alive, rode his BIKE from his house to Plains High School to meet a group of Japanese students and welcome them to his hometown. My sweet coworker (who, I should mention, is 7 months pregnant) thought she was going to cry.

He is just as cool in person as on TV, folks. Even the local media people, who film & interview him all the time, kept saying things like, "I can't believe he rode his bike!" The Japanese kids were so cute. They sat very politely & listened to him speak, and the minute he was done, got out their cameras and started snapping. (I was only slightly jealous of the cameras.)

Pictures also to come of the Rhino's visit to Atlanta. His mother was kind enough to bring him up here so that we could play with him.... I did have a heart attack during the visit, when of his own volition, my husband got the child out of his car seat. The Rhino emerged unscathed, undropped, and in a good mood. (Miracles do happen, people.)

The Summer Shade festival rocked, and from it, we brought a new friend home to live with us, in our very tiny (but growing!) Collection of Agrarian Folk Art. Lindsey named it that while we were waiting on the artist to return to his booth so we could pay him.

In other neighborhood news, an orangutan briefly escaped from his enclosure over at the zoo this weekend. We only live a short walk away, but the little dude didn't even get out of the zoo itself. They had him tranquilized & back where he belonged in about half an hour. I was disappointed that I didn't get to see a big, hairy, orange ape walking down the street.

However, since I did get to see the nation's 39th president ride his bike down the street, I don't think we can count the weekend a total loss. :)

Who's coming to visit next?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


These shall be presented to you in a numbered list:

1) Tomorrow, I will be visiting Plains, Georgia, where I will probably stand in the presence of my very favorite President, Jimmy Carter. It feels like Christmas Eve, I tell you, and it is entirely likely that I will not sleep well tonight. Did I mention that I like my new job? ;)

2) This weekend, I will get to see Kinsley & Ryan, and *hopefully* Julie & Melissa, after having seen Erik, Naomi, & Kenzie. Holy cow. Did I mention that we're also going to have a festival here in the park?

3) My vintage kitchen swap package came from Maria! Observe:

Maria sent a handmade apron for me & a matching one for the dish soap, a Scrabble tile message that says "Top Chef," which you can see in its new home chez le micro-onde, a hysterical milk-holder, cookie cutters (numbers! to match the letters I already have!), and a set of vintage condiment jars. As a treat (or langiappe, for you Louisiana folks), she sent the Freestyle scrapbooking book, which is great. Thank you again, Maria! You are too sweet. Thanks also to Mica, for hosting the swap. Did I mention I love swapping?

4) We will be headed back to our new church (we think) for our fourth visit. Please note that this is more church than we attended the entire time we lived in Jackson, barring funerals & weddings. I think it's a good fit, although, as usual, we're the only people in our demographic without kids. The difference is that at this church, there are all kinds of families. Makes me happy.

I hope everyone has a truly fantastic weekend - here's hoping next week is cooler.

An Entire Post Dedicated to Melissa.

I have been very remiss in blogworld for not acknowledging the lovely dishtowel that Melissa sent to me. So, without further ado, here you are:

The towel was chosen, I suspect, to match the blue & red theme of the kitchen. Kindly ignore the glare coming through the kitchen window - I wanted to get a shot that showed the blue walls. This towel rocks, and I am very afraid to use it, so it currently resides there on the pot rack. Unlike me, however, Lindsey is not afraid to use towels, so I'm SURE he will wipe his icky hands on it soon, and that will cure me, as well.

Thank you, Monkey dearest. I love it! :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

oh dear

Last night, we had the pleasure of eating dinner with my very favorite professor from Tulane. Dr. Ramer teaches Russian history, which I took. Often. And, it turns out, with Caroline, though we didn't particularly know it. He convinced me to go to Paris over Oxford or Dublin, and told me that I should be friends with "Miss Hecker," as she seemed like a nice person. He set us up well, and we sent him a picture of us together in Wenceslas Square in Prague as a thank-you.

Anyway, in addition to convincing Lindsey to teach the Federalist Papers to 11th graders, he also suggested looking up Hugh Laurie on Youtube. We did that this afternoon. Oh. My. Gosh. That man is hi-LAR-ious, as Natalie would say. I loved House, but had to quit watching it after the Australian guy kissed the little girl a while back. Anyway, Youtube the man. He did some funny stuff in the 80s in England, and sings, plays piano, and plays guitar, and does all of that well. And hysterically. And intelligently.

Dr. Ramer also recommended looking up the Proms, which are a serious of concerts held all summer in London. The last night, there is an audience sing-a-long, complete with waving Union Jacks, and everyone singing Rule, Britannia, and Jerusalem. It's very moving, right up there with Casablanca, when Victor Laslo has the band at Rick's play the Marseillaise after the Nazis start singing beer hall songs. That led me to a recording of the 2001 last night of the Proms, which was on September 15. Necessarily, it was more somber than in previous years, and they played Barber's Adagio for Strings, which you will recognize from a great number of movies. The video on Youtube has video from the concert interspersed with footage of the towers, Lower Manhattan, the rescue effort, firefighters, etc. Lindsey came home just in time for me to be bawling at the computer. Do not let it ruin your night, but it is definitely one of the most powerful things I have seen regarding 9-11. I told him to show it to his kids; I think it would be very useful for middle schoolers, who were little kids in 2001. It's not gory, especially, and it's graphic enough to be heart-rending, without sounding like a video game.

In order to get me to stop crying, we then looked for my favorite SNL skit of all time, which Chris Parnell & the other guy rapping the "Chroni-WHAT-cles of Narnia." You cannot find it on Youtube, (it's at NBC.com, thank you Google), but you can find the West Coast response, which is also brilliant and hilarious.

The point, you ask?

I am now afraid I might be addicted to YouTube. I sat down at 4:45, and it's not 7:22. Lindsey was dispatched for Chinese for dinner.

Oh, dear.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Amy thinks I'm nice.

That's right, my Bucket Swap partner Amy has given me the Nice Matters award. That was so sweet of her! It was kind of easy being nice to such a cool partner. Thank you, AMY!

Now I'm supposed to pass it on to seven more bloggers, but a lot of people seem to have already gotten it, so I'm going to do a shortened list. Here you are, in no particular order:

1. Melissa, better known as Monkey
2. Lennye
3. Carrie
4. Sarah (another one)

Feel free to snag the button & pass on the love. Thanks for being nice, because as Lennye often preaches, manners do show.

In other news, the briefly sick kitty is going to be well again, which is a good thing. We have a fun new vet in Decatur, and the people there are very competent. We also are beginning to think that we have a puny kitty, as she gets sick WAY more than we do. If there is an outbreak of feline plague, she will catch it. Mark my words.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A brief reflection

So y'all might remember all the way back to early June, when I promised you pictures from my cousin's graduation. Here, finally, is a picture. That's Steph, the lucky grad, in the middle, and her sister Amy on the left. I spoke to Amy today, in light of some drama that was going on in her world, and it made me really appreciate my college experience. Amy is in her senior year at Radford, in Virginia, and Steph just started her freshman year at Penn State. While there are many, many, MANY days when I wish that I was back at Tulane, or just in New Orleans, I also have an amazing collection of memories from those four years. Granted, I went to college in the most stupendously wonderful city on the planet, and had the opportunity to live for a year abroad, which probably helped. (In fact, Amy & Stephie's sister Laura was absent this particular weekend because she hadn't returned from her study abroad in Germany.)

Why am I boring you with all of this? Well, perhaps because, for once, I am actually feeling a spirit of gratitude for the experiences I was fortunate enough to have, rather than a spirit of jealousy that I'm not getting to do what my sweet cousins are doing.

Lately, I've been whining (A LOT) about wanting my Subaru wagon NOW, and Lindsey keeps patiently reminding me that I have a perfectly functional car, and that with the world going to hell in a handbasket, that just maybe my having a Subaru wagon NOW is not that important. Especially compared to say, what's happening in Darfur (good news on that front today, though), or our continued embroiled state in Iraq, or even some folks here in our neighborhood who lead pretty difficult lives. I'm really trying to jump on this gratitude bandwagon, I promise.

On that note, I'd like to include this picture, as well. Those, dear friends, are gluten-free chocolate chip muffins. They taste like cardboard, except for the chocolate chips. And sweet Caroline was kind enough to make us feel like they tasted good, since we were trying to give her a treat. Lindsey, bless his heart, made them himself, complete with unflavored gelatin resulting from an Internet search for substitutes for some ridiculous ingredient we would never use again. That, people, is something to be grateful for.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

a first.

Today I found out what it's like to have a normal, adult job. I have friends who work in places other than schools, and they talk about "going to lunch." Now, we have, on occasion, gone out to eat on teacher work days, but it just has never felt like "going to lunch." I have also heard of schools where parent volunteers do enrichment activities with classes a couple of times a year so that teachers can "go to lunch." I have never worked at a school like that.

Today, my coworker & I went to visit our friends the archaeologists at the Department of Transportation. They are very cool folks, & they helped us with a little project. Then, they looked at us and said, "do you want to stay & go to lunch?" After assuring ourselves that, yes, we are responsible adults & can make a decision like that, we went for Mexican. I think we were both a bit afraid that some sort of authority was going to come & get us for actually eating with other adults away from work. (We eat at the cafeteria in the Twin Towers because it's a pain to go anywhere else, so it's still sort of got that school lunch feel, although the food & decor are vastly superior.)

After finishing lunch, we went back to work, and nothing happened. It was amazing. They should really bottle that feeling, I think. They should also let teachers, on occasion, "go to lunch." The results might be shocking.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I believe I have already mentioned how much I love mail. In fact, I might have mentioned it in connection with the same person who sent today's GREAT mail.

Pictured at left is the present Ryan sent to me. In case you can't read the title, the book is called Me & My Pseudo Aunt Sarah. Since most of our friends have kids, but we don't, I am often called Aunt, but it is rare that I get that title in writing. Presumably, Ryan had a little bit of help from his cool mom in putting this together, and it is the story of a day-long field trip that Kinsley, Ryan, & I took late last winter to High Falls, Dauset Trails, and Melissa's house.

My favorite page from the book talks about me being a "hands-on" teacher, since I tried to teach Ryan how to climb a rock. It was pretty funny, and Kinsley captured a great look on our faces, as I am seriously trying to explain this rock climbing thing to Ryan, but he is staring at me as if I have lost my mind.

And just for your viewing pleasure, here are some other pictures from that trip. Looking at my little book made me so happy, & brought back great memories of that day. THANKS RYAN (& KINSLEY)!!

<-- Kinsley & Rhino

Ryan, confused by his
pseudo-aunt Sarah's
explanations --->

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Good times.

So last night we headed out I-20 to Madison to see our friends from Lindsey's days with Georgia 4H. We played at the park, ate pizza, and attempted to see a movie. We also got to see our friend Erik's office. (He's a financial planner, and a fantastic one should you be in the market, ahem, ahem, Melissa.) That cute little kid above belongs to Erik & Naomi.

These two darlings belong to Grant & Shannon. You can see Grant below, with Jay & Kelly's youngest.

Grant is a funny story, because he's from one county over from my family in Indiana. He went to school with my second cousin, & his dad worked with my uncle. It's a very small world up that way. It was fun to meet his parents (they were there, too) - his dad sounds just like my uncle, complete with, um, interesting language.

This is Kelly & Jay's oldest - such a sweetie, and a fantastic picture-poser. She's probably the only two-year-old on the planet who sits still for her photo ops.

If we have kids a quarter as cool as this crowd, Lindsey & I will feel very blessed indeed.

(And just for the record, the movie was Racing Stripes, so Lindsey & I were not really one bit upset that we missed it.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Camera cord has been retrieved - I know many of you (meaning me) are grateful.

So, better late than never, here are some of my fabulous swap items from Amy!

They came packaged in a HAT! Isn't that a cool & summery idea? Much more ingenious than the bag I made for her. She had several little orange & yellow bags containing my treats. She sent a cute little yellow pail with sunflower seeds (going to be in progress this weekend), a little ball & ruler, crafty treats & an S pictured below, and darling orange salt & pepper shakers! (Keep an eye out for their artistic photo later...)

Here's my very groovy spotted "S." Melissa is going to be SOOO jealous; she's on a letters kick.

And here are the crafty items. Amy made me a personalized notepad holder & darling summery magnets. There is now a created by Amy corner on our fridge:

Better late than never, right? Anyway, thanks Amy for being such a sweet partner, & for the fantastic summer treats - I love them!