Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Vintage Heart Swap, #2!

The lovely Dolly, who writes at From My Cherry Heart, is hosting her second annual Vintage Heart Swap. Sign-ups are open until January 9th, I believe. This is a fun one. To see my treats from last year, just look here.

In other news, I had an email today that the Handmade Toy Saving initiative is currently #1 in its division at change.org, but we don't want anyone else pulling ahead here at the last minute. Voting continues through the 31st, so click on that link on the sidebar. NOW! GO!! Thanks. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Observe --------------------------------------------->

I added this festive little widget to remind all of us to DO SOMETHING about a new law scheduled to take effect early next year. It's getting a lot of press in some places, though none here in Atlanta, as far as I can tell, but then again folks here do love them some plastic. I'm no libertarian, but this really is our sweet government going too far. The intent is WONDERFUL - protect children from toxic toys. The only problem is that it affects everyone, even your grandma who crochets little bears for the church craft fair. To learn more, visit here or here.

And even if you think I'm full of hooey, stop by the site and vote for SOMETHING.

For once, ANYTHING is better than nothing. :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, from my loving brother.

Yes. It's a chimpanzee, riding on a Segway. Bam bababa bam bam.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My friend Lennye makes me cry.

If you're feeling just a little bit Grinchy or Scrooge-y this Christmas season, I highly recommend you read about what my friend Lennye was able to do for a student. Sometimes, I think we look too far heavenward for miracles, when most of the time they happen a lot closer to Earth.

This one touches me particularly because I taught this little guy, and he is, without a doubt, one of the most precious children on the planet. When I had him in my class three years ago (has it really been that long?) his life was challenging, but not nearly as difficult as it is now. I know I speak for Lennye & everyone else involved when I say that we would covet your prayers for K & his family, particularly his sweet mom, that they might be able to enjoy this Christmas in spite of everything.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Holiday Traditions Swap Treats

From the lovely Sarah M.:
Absolutely gorgeous washcloths. As in, so pretty that you're afraid to use them. They are perfectly knitted, and make my crocheted ones look like a preschool craft project! Sarah also included a bar of this soap, which we love. We love it so much that we just finished our bar, so she saved us from having to buy more! That is serendipity in action, friends.
This bag was FULL of killer shortbread. As in, the best I've ever eaten. It was amazing. I took some to work today, and it was a hit there. In the spirit of Christmas, I was even honest, and didn't claim to have made it or anything!
And the grand finale - knitted elves. Their little hats & scarves are knitted around corks, which is just about the cutest thing ever. I have a thing for elves, and these fit in perfectly.

Sarah also sent a tutorial about their family's advent tradition, which was really interesting. Our advent calendar growing up (handmade by the Motherina) was different from this, and much less interactive, so it was cool to read about doing it in a different way.

Thank you SO MUCH, Sarah, for such a great swap!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Definitely out of the ordinary.

Photo from www.nola.com.
Bear emailed me this morning to let me know the snow was on its way! This is just the most amazing image - decidedly not something I've ever gotten to see. To celebrate, we had yummy dinner, but we still haven't seen any flurries.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Family Togetherness.

Because Monkey L*O*V*E*S these dark pictures.

I don't know if she's complained about it in the comments, but Monkey simply adores the way I never take blog pictures until late at night. Therefore, the pictures are always dark, since I am allergic to the flash. When you live in Northern Europe, like it's starting to feel like I do, it gets dark at about 4:00 in the winter. That makes it impossible to work all day and get decent photos. With that in mind, I present Christmas decor 2008 - in all its shadowy glory. It should also be noted that this is only one room. I'll show you more later, if you're good.
The aluminum tree, now with color wheel! We moved it in front of the fireplace this year. We also found that precious tree skirt at an antique store for a steal.
The angelic portion of the mantel.
The not-so angelic portion, with non-flammable icicles!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Girls' Weekend: Recap

Mom & Aunt Mary Beth - practicing for their matching rocking chairs.
Very Laura.
Very Amy.
The weekend before Thanksgiving, my Auntie MB and cousins Laura & Amy converged on the ATL for a girls' weekend with my mother and me. It was a blast. Of course, I only got the camera out once, so these photos will have to do. Picture it: new Beaujolais, shopping, giggling, art museums, and more! All in less than 72 hours. We even bought matching purses. We even let Lindsey join us for one meal.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My cousin is awesome.

Really, all of my cousins are awesome. (Hi Brian, Robin, Jenny, Bethie, Laura, Meridith, Amy, Greg, Steph, and Abby!)

However, my cousin Beth, who blogs at Glimpses, has really set the bar pretty high for the rest of us. Her mom passed away last month after a long battle with colon cancer. You can read more about Aunt Susi & her life here. In honor of her mom, Beth has started a fund to help people get the health care that can prevent this kind of suffering for others.

We've heard a lot about how everyone is tightening their belts this holiday season, but I'd like to think that rather than cutting out giving, we're cutting out the unnecessary stuff, instead.

Just something to think about.

Happy Thanksgiving.

I'm late.

So what?

Things have been a bit crazy here in Experiment Land. If you'd like to know why, I suggest you stop by the 'hood over the weekend.

Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old elementary school teachers don't die.

They just drown in holiday-patterned socks.
Oh, my goodness. I had no idea it had gotten this bad. I knew it was pretty bad, just not this bad. They don't even fit in the drawer. I'm trying to organize the bedroom, what with the motherina, aunt, & cousins invading this weekend, and boy, what a mess. It turns out when you actually do ALL of your laundry on a regular basis (3 weeks in a row, baby!), that you then have to put ALL of the clothes somewhere. I am actually thinking that I learned this before, and that it has something to do with my pathological dread of laundry.

Because our house (c. 1944) has zilch in terms of storage, I've been thinking for awhile that I needed to look at a bigger dresser. Clearly, the time has come. I'm on the prowl, officially.

In the meantime, I will attempt not to freeze into a Sarahsicle. Good night - consistently below-freezing lows before THANKSGIVING? This isn't Cleveland! (And thank goodness for that, since they got what, two feet of snow? Plus the wind from the lake? No, thank you.)

Happy Wednesday....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crafty update.

First off - the infamous diaper cake. These are de rigeur at school showers, but apparently something of an oddity at St. Paul UMC. Who knew?
Who knew, too, that the parents-to-be (our pastor and her husband) would register for non-bleached environmentally friendly diapers that are, um, beige? Beige = not good for diaper cake making. I did not know this, of course, until I opened them. Thus, the cake is a little dingy-looking, but I think you can still get the effect.

I also decorated some onesies for them, which were then strung on this clothesline. I had thought we would use some vintage tablecloths of mine for these tables, so the onesies were WAY too heavy for the plastic. Fortunately, thanks to the magic of Mr. Stapler, we got them to stay up for the duration of the shower.
Moving on to fall - for KK, here's the mantle:
I took my leaves and used glue dots to stick them to my IKEA tree. I waited overnight to do this, which wasn't bright, as they would have been much easier to glue fresh. You will notice the lack of acorns this year - no little wormy friends, either...
There are a couple of additional pre-Christmas projects coming down the pike, I think, but there is definitely Christmas crafting to be done. Whoo-hoo!!

While you're surfing around blogland, be sure to check out Julie's fun blog (I've linked to it before) and etsy shop. She's having a fun little contest right now, too. Her shop is chock full of the results of her gifted thrifting - she's got some books that are making me very envious!

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Do. Not. Call. My. House. Again!

While I am BEYOND excited that the Georgia Senate race is in a runoff, I am NOT excited that the RNC has found enough money to call my house three or four times a day. I have now been home for 22 minutes, and they have called twice. Once was a little girlie named 'Skylar,' who says, "this is Skylar, and I'm calling from the RNC. Did you know, that um, um, the Democrats, are um," at which point I told her she had the wrong number. Then, I just got a robo-call from "Paul" at the RNC, telling me that the Democrats were "dumping" money into Georgia. Geez, Paul, obviously only the Democrats are doing that, because Robo-calls are CLEARLY FREE.

In honor of this torture, I give you some very funny SNL:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Good times.

I was going to post about the time I had dinner with Bill Ayers, but Lindsey said I shouldn't.

So, instead, I'm going to show off one of my amazing friends.

Go read what Barrett wrote today (and props to him for F-I-N-A-L-L-Y starting to blog). Then, remember that he's a full-time computer geek, and be even MORE impressed that he used the word nascence.

When you're done with that, go outside and pick up a bunch of different-colored leaves and put them somewhere in your house. I'll show you what mine look like tomorrow.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Something we should ALL do.

Even those non-sewing boys who lurk here but never leave comments...

First, visit SouleMama's post from today. Then, link over to her new craftivism effort, Mama to Mama, and read about a simple way to help new mothers in Haiti.

Convinced? I thought so.

But for those of you who aren't nudged to action, you should read Meg's amazing post about the effort, and Haiti in general.

Now I know you're going to help, aren't you?

When you're done with your project, read anything ever written by Edwidge Danticat, and you'll see why this is so important.

Those, friends, are your cryptic instructions for the evening.

Happy Monday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Right now....

  1. Baby shower decorations being made, including my very first diaper cake! Photos to come.
  2. Laundry being done BEFORE it threatens to turn into an avalanche!
  3. Pictures being admired. Monkey & Bean rock!
  4. Cat being laughed at for refusing to move from the floor register in our bedroom. It's not that cold, is it?
  5. Plans being made for a busy Halloween/Day of the Dead/Fall kind of weekend.
Happy Thursday!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sometimes you just can't think of a good title.

(I never made my second graders title their pieces of writing unless they wanted to. Sometimes, we talked about how a title could help your audience know what was coming, but sometimes, it was okay to leave it off. I'm hoping that I haven't inspired a rash of {untitled} poetry when they hit adolescence.) I managed to take this picture from the car at a stoplight - I was amazed at the way the sun was going through the tree, practically in a perfect circle. I felt like Monkey.

Last weekend, my husband Lindsey's sister Ashley married Kevin. It was a very pretty wedding. This is Lindsey, Ashley, and Lindsey at the reception. (Why Lindsey has a sister named Lindsey could be an entirely separate post. Or novel.) We had a great time, mostly since Ashley & sister Lindsey's stepfather is a stitch and a half.

This lovely gal (Caroline, for the uninitiated) is on a two-week trip through Vietnam. I am more than slightly jealous (though only of the trip, not of the shots she had to get before she went), and know that she is learning, seeing, & doing amazing things.

Things here are mundane, which is lovely. I'm going to become very well reacquainted with my cube over the next few months, so I promise I'll be a better blogger. :) Heck, maybe I'll even make something.

Happy Saturday.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I am not one to wantonly endorse products. Therefore, if I am telling you to go spend your hard-earned dinero on anything other than what's on sale, there must be a reason. I know you're also thinking, "V8? As a soup?" Be not afraid - this soup rocks. It's pricey, but I had a coupon, so I went for it, and it is totally worth every scrumptious penny. It has actual squash in it! And herbs! And flavor! And it's not stocked full of nasty artificial substances. Amazing! I also recommend it because it's a full serving of vegetables, and the one carton is perfect serving-size-wise for two people.

Pumpkin soup entered my life the year I lived in France, and hasn't ever left. It's on my top ten best things about fall for sure, and it allowed me to branch out into other squashes. I don't go near yellow squash, and ratatouille makes me sick to my stomach, but squashy soups are wonderful. It's a weird paradox, I'll grant you.

Try. It. You. Will. Like. It. See? I'm hypnotizing you!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008


It's fall. It feels wonderful outside, though if the temperature were to lose another 10 degrees, I'd probably love it even more. We invested in a few more window screens this year, so my adoration of open windows can continue. I used up a fair number of soup coupons at the grocery store yesterday, so now my customary grilled-cheese-and-soup-for-dinner-three-nights-a-week tradition can continue. We also managed to just about finish putting up the Halloween decorations. I haven't made much (yet) this year, but I did add a few things to the mantle. I'm sure you'll be able to spot them (haha), but if not, I added a detail picture so that you can admire the kitty cat with a candy corn nose.She came from a fabulous little primitives store north of the city - Mother Dearest's favorite. (As did the Owl sign at the top of the page - man, we love that place.)
The pumpkin outside the door actually came from Waycross! I was driving back to the hotel and spotted it, so I had to go back the next day for it. I'm pretty sure it's from some sort of heirloom seed, because it's a much paler orange than anything you'd find in the stores. Mr. Pumpkin is decorative for now, but he will be cooked and eaten later. There is pumpkin soup in my future! In addition, somewhere we found a pumpkin-pepper-cheese souffle recipe that needs to be tested.
Although I missed out on/didn't sign up for any Halloween swaps this year, I did succumb to the pull of ApronThriftGirl's Red & Aqua swap. My newest swappy partner is Shawna, who writes at Farm Girl Living. In related swap news, my partner from last year's Halloween swap, the fabulous Heidi, has a new blog address, so be sure to stop by her new home! Lovely Heather at the Speckled Egg has added some images of the tag book we put together for her store's birthday - oh my goodness, it's amazing.

One last thing - my sweet cousin Bethie has new pictures up of Baby Brooklyn. She is darling, and though I maintain that she still looks like my uncle (Beth's dad), she is definitely starting to resemble her older brother Aiden. If you just need more cute baby in your life, you should stop by.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


It's October 11th, and I haven't posted at all this month??

Methinks she has been traveling too much!!!

Fortunately, last week was the END of that. Thanks to the state's budget crisis, my work travel has been almost entirely curtailed. I have two nights away week after next, and then I shall be H-O-M-E 99% of the time. Phew. We made a big grocery run today, and it's starting to feel like I actually live here again! Amazing!

:) Happy weekend!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ye Olde Weekende - thus far

Spent last night with these lovely people at the Chamblee High School homecoming game (obviously, it's a picture from a different event, as even Chamblee does not have statues). Chamblee skunked the opposition, so much so that it almost wasn't worth watching. The company was great, though, which made it worthwhile.

Today we volunteered for the middle school's Quiz Bowl tournament. (We could also call this event Geekfest 2008.) Since this is how I spent many weekends from, oh, 1992-1998, you could perhaps call me one of them. I will contend, though, that I was much better behaved. It is sort of funny to sit in a room full of kids who get mad at themselves for not remembering that the Sudan is the largest country in Africa.

We also achieved one wedding gift and one baby shower gift. I am clearly getting old and cranky, because my new rule is that even IF something appears on your registry, if I think it's junky or overpriced, I'm not buying it! There was an incident earlier this summer where I really had a hard time buying a gift because I thought the person's china patterns were too hideous for words. I think this means two things:
  1. I am a snob, and I should get over myself.
  2. I am a snob, and I should get over myself.
Noah's Ark tomorrow - there should be some quality Roy G Bivishness for Monkey!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

32 years ago today....

These lovely people were married. I could lie and tell you that they were 15 at the time but then lightning would strike. ;) Normally, for an anniversary, one would post a picture of the married people together, but I can't seem to find one of those. Instead, I decided to post hysterically bad pictures of them from two Christmases ago. What's the point of having a daughter with a blog if she doesn't use it to embarrass you?

In any case, congratulations, and here's to 32 more. We love you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's getting closer....

Hi, it's me. Sarah. The girl who used to blog here. I'm officially at the halfway mark of my training sessions, and next week I get to sit and listen to other people instead of doing all the talking myself. That, friends, is exciting.

Tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday, we'll be up in North Georgia at a very nice meeting facility in the mountains. Monday night's activities include a bonfire - on the first day of fall, no less. It's very exciting.

I am not advanced enough at flickr to remove the big orange square from this mosaic, so instead we'll just call it an ode to Monkey's love of the color orange. That should be sufficient, I think.

My plans for tonight include some basic Halloween decorating. Juno has arrived on Netflix, so I'm going to watch that and, of course, You've Got Mail, while I work.

Just so you know that things don't ever really change, I also have piles of laundry to do tonight. :)

Happy fall!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

And so it begins...

The training, the traveling...

Today was the first day back "on the road," as we like to call it, and things went pretty well - enthusiastic teachers are the best and totally make my job worth the (increasingly many) days spent starting at a computer screen. Here's hoping tomorrow goes well, too, since the show goes onto the road for real starting on Tuesday!

In other news, AARP has sent me a membership card - with my name and membership number on it! - and is harassing Petey. Since he is a month younger than I am, it is even worse that he's getting junk, too. HA!

If you're so inclined, you should visit Jeanetta's super cute blog to see what she's cooking up for Halloween, and enter her giveaway for a neat composition book cover!

This weekend I'll have cards and tags to show you - whoohoo!

Happy Thursday!

Monday, September 1, 2008


That most of New Orleans looks like this with a lot more wind.

That all of my Louisianans are wet & windblown but otherwise fine.

That things are much, much better than they might have been.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

10 Years Ago.

I started college in New Orleans the last week of August, 1998.

Only, we started class a day late because of Tropical Storm Earl, that turned at the last minute, so instead we spent a beautiful day in the French Quarter. The skies were blue, it was about 75 degrees (unheard of for NOLA in August), and we decided that forecasters were silly.

A couple of weeks later, we waded to class in water a couple of inches deep thanks to Frances. We waded back from class in water up to our knees. Some courageous/idiotic people went canoing down the streets of our fair city. Okay, so sometimes the forecasters get it right.

A couple of weeks after THAT, we all went home or were sequestered on the upper floors of a concrete dorm because Hurricane Georges was headed to NOLA. The mayor (not the same one as today) was on TV telling us about things like hurricane protection levees and floodgates, and my father begrudgingly booked me a ticket home to Atlanta, because - hey! what do those forecasters know anyway? That hurricane hooked east at the last minute and hit the Alabama/Mississippi line instead, a much-weakened storm.

We had all (because we were good kids who followed the university President's directions) read a book called Rising Tide by John Barry, about the last great Mississippi flood, and we learned that New Orleans was a bowl - the levees on the River and the Lake hold water in, and it takes something called Wood Screw Pumps to take it out. The pumps (designed by the fabulous Mr. Wood, a fellow Tulane alum), can pump out an inch of rain an hour. Thus, the couple feet of water from Frances couldn't be pumped out fast enough to prevent accumulation.

Following the trifecta of Freshman Year Hurricanes, things were quiet. We graduated, and most of us moved away.

Three years ago, we all know what happened with Katrina - which, might I remind you, turned east at the last minute and made landfall in Mississippi. We were as shocked and horrified as any of you, except we knew that it could happen. We were shocked that no one else seemed to know, not just about the water, but about so many things that are, no were, part of New Orleans. Our friends Bear & Emily lost their house - the water was within two inches of their crown molding. For a month.

Their house is gone now, and they had plans to rebuild. I talked to Bear yesterday as he drove, again, away from his house with no idea what will happen next. He's not alone.

Neither is New Orleans alone. So, tonight, as I obsessively stare at weather.com, and selfishly pray that this storm won't turn east, I hope you'll join me in lifting up all the people of the Gulf Coast, because truly only God knows what will happen next.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Farewell, Vice President Nunn, we hardly knew ye...

Joe Biden.

Seriously? Joe Biden????

Just because I live south of the Mason-Dixon line doesn't mean I don't count, buddy.

And there are signs all over my neighborhood to prove it.

We all know Sam would've been a better choice.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I meant to take pictures of the other stuff. Really. It just hasn't occurred to me to do it while it's still light outside. There's still hope - probably.

I am also spending all day at work glued to my computer, which makes me not want to use a computer at home - thus, no blogging.

Terribly sorry, to all 4 of my dedicated readers. ;)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Vintage Fun - Part One

As you have probably read by now, it turns out that AARP is completely inept in sending out mailings. I think Natalie's sister wins, though, having it arrive ON her 25th birthday. Thanks for the non-retirement love, y'all.

I figured it was time to show you the way-late pictures of some of my thrifty fun from this summer. Most of it came from Indiana - surprise, surprise - but some of it did appear here at the Value Village - where else? I decided to spread out the love over several days, so today we'll see tablecloths, books, & china.

The middle tablecloth with strawberries was actually my Great-Aunt Martha's. I stayed with her daughter, my cousin Carole, while we were in Indiana, and when she saw me looking for tablecloths, she brought this one out for me to keep. It's very well-loved, which makes it even more special. I know I can't compete with the Tablecloth Queen, but I am at the point where I have enough vintage cloths to make a choice about which one goes on the table - pretty cool!

The books were in a box at this "antique mall" that Carole told us about. They were quite a steal, and they're really fabulous. The one in the middle about animals is actually from Barnum & Bailey! The illustrations are gorgeous, and one of my goals is to get some scanned in to use for projects.

The china is appearing slowly but surely at the Value Village - I just check every time I'm in there, and usually 20 or 40 cents later, I have something cool. Dawn has been talking about creating art on plates & trays, so I think I'm going to give it a try.

Like my mother, I cannot BEAR to hurt old things, so it has to be one of these 20-cent wonders if I'm going to do it.

Tomorrow: random linens and more books!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


So, yesterday, I received this wonderful envelope in the mail.

It was an application for membership in AARP.

I would LOVE to be retired. Really, I would.

I would LOVE to get the AARP discount on stuff, especially travel.

And I have nothing against people who happen to be the appropriate age for membership.

I, on the other hand, am almost half the required age. HALF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clearly, this was a sign that this week is going to be the week from the pit. I am hoping for improvement, cautiously, since I did successfully empty my dishwasher today without drama. I think that is the only thing that has been drama-free in the last 72 hours.

Lindsey brought me a vanilla malt from the Zesto last night, which was very helpful temporarily. Maybe if we gave vanilla malts to people all over the world who are fighting unnecessarily, and perhaps if we also gave them to people in state government who cannot see the forest for the trees, this planet would be a happier place.

Or maybe I'll just join AARP.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Right up there with 1936, 1968, and 1980.

A lot of people like to say that the Olympics shouldn't be political.

Obviously, they often have been (see the examples in the tile for proof).

No fan of China, I don't know what I would have done if I had been in a position to compete or not compete this year. There is really no point in my worrying about it, since I lack athletic aptitude, much less ability and skill.

Nonetheless, I was a little self-righteous about the fact that despite continued evidence that the Chinese government is NOT doing what it said it would before the games, and that it IS taking fairly inhumane steps to keep controversy out of the games, not too many people seem to care.

Thus (yes, I just used THUS in a blog post), it was with great pride that I heard what our American team decided to do. I'm sure it's all over the TV tonight; it was all over NPR this morning. But just in case you've missed it, here's a link to a really beautifully written article in the Post.

And for the first time since Tulane University's Green Wave football players were co-national champions in 1998, I am ready to cheer for somebody.

Well done.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Feeling slightly better about the world than I did on Monday, which is a step in the right direction.

Marie Antoinette arrived and I watched it. I have to say I was both pleased and disappointed. They shot it at Versailles, which is cool, and the costumes are fabulous+. I knew it was sort of a revisionist "she wasn't that bad" kind of view of her, and I understand the tragic idea that she was too young, too unprepared, etc., etc., etc., but it definitely comes off as an attempt to say that absolute monarchy isn't really that bad of a thing. Um.... Okay..... Sort of hard to sell that idea here in America, where we still celebrate the day that we declared our independence (just like they do in France...). Granted, we didn't guillotine King George III, but still. If you want to watch it because it's pretty, do so. If you want a nuanced portrait, look elsewhere. It's done by Sofia Copolla (Francis Ford's daughter) and her brother Roman helped, and daddy helped, so there are the requisite shots with really pretty soft natural light, and lots of spots without any dialogue, just music.

{Can you see why people don't pay me to write movie reviews?}

In other excitement, the cat is vaccinated, healthy, and seven and a half whole pounds. Yep, that's right, I'm relating the plot of a movie to you AND telling you about my cat. Next we'll discuss the weather, what I ate for dinner, and then I'll start over.

In lieu of that, I'll just hush.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Maybe I'm just bummed because Solzhenitsyn died.

I'm not normally one of those people that has huge Monday issues. In fact, when I was teaching, Monday was usually a decent day. The kids were still sort of calm from having a two-day break (although this particular Monday would have been a different story), and I was more relaxed from the weekend.

I finished my cards for Heather's swap last night, and got them in the mail.

Our linen closet is really and truly organized for the first time, oh, you know, EVER.

My work computer came back today, with a new hard drive, and absolutely zero of anything else, but that's okay. We're going to make it.

I am a little sad because I finally got Marie Antoinette (the Kirsten Dunst version - Amber Atkins, anyone? Anyone? Anyone at all?) on Netflix, but it didn't work, so I had to order the allegedly-immediate replacement.

But in general, nothing is wrong, I'm just feeling puny.

Blame it on Solzhenitsyn - my buddy, my pal, the one I could always rely on to make me put my personal tragedy in perspective. He's off to Russian Orthodox Heaven, where the vodka flows freely, and you never, ever lose your basic human rights and civil liberties. Heck, I bet he even gets to hang out with my other Russian buddy, Yevgenia Ginzburg. Lucky duck.

Have a happier Monday than I am having.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Somehow, it's Friday....

This is an old picture of the cat, but it captures her typical mood: consistently underwhelmed.

I am not, however, consistently underwhelmed. I am consistently OVERWHELMED.

In light of this, I have cleared our schedule for (most) of the weekend to get some final things done around the house.

The computer was kind enough to take away all the possible things that I *should* be doing for work, and my brother was kind enough to decide he wanted to come to Atlanta to hang out with his friends instead of making us drive south to help him move a couch.

Sometimes, these things just align.

In addition, I need to finish my cards for Heather's card swap. I need to make all twelve AND get them in the mail to her on Monday. Can she do it? Yes, she can!! {Read into that last statement any political connotations you desire.}

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yeah, so sometimes you get what you wish for.

First of all, if you have not yet fooled around with the Picnik photo editing on flickr, you really really should. Look at what I did to this poor unsuspecting pencil sharpener?

Secondly, if you have any files on any computer that you have access to that you care about AT ALL, shut down your Internet browser and back them up. RIGHT. NOW.

My hard drive at work decided to go meet the big Laptop in the Sky this afternoon, and may or may not be recoverable. Don't be an idiot (like I was) and think that some magic computer guru will save you. Because unless you personally know a computer forensics expert (and I'm fairly sure you don't), there is no hope.


No matter how long you worked on anything, it is GONE FOREVER.

But I am not upset. I am taking this as an opportunity to help others.

{Deep exhale.}


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I think you should...

  • stop by Becky's blog and enter her giveaway! Having been her swap partner, I can assure you that whosoever wins will be mighty thrilled!
  • look at these amazing books that Natalea is making. I feel like I need to make a little red & blue book tonight. Only the job won't let me. :( Or will it? (mwhahaha)
  • visit Dawn to find out about the tutorials that she is creating for purchase. Since I can't begin to think like she does, it's great that she's willing to teach me how to do it.
  • check out Pandora.com if you haven't already. Very nice for situations where you find yourself needing some sort of distraction from the noises surrounding you. Heck, we'll try anything that's free!
  • absolutely stop what you are doing and watch this video, even if you've already seen it, because it is GUARANTEED, by me, to make you laugh.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yep, post-Katrina New Orleans is a pretty entertaining place. I think we should go around and put signs like this on random doors.

What would yours say?

I think the one on my cube at work would be:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Off into the world...

This is from my finally-finished summer swap - whoopsie! Some things just take quite a bit longer than anticipated. Anyway, it's yellow & pink yo-yos & Scrabble tiles on a Quizmo! card with a pearlized paint wash. Believe me, it sounds fancier than it is, but it was fun to make. It, along with some other vintage goodies, is on its way to Susan!

The poll results are in, and shockingly, no one picked the most direct route from Paris to Copenhagen, which I must admit was actually my secret preference. I'll leave it up for another day or so for your amusement.

Back to real work at work today, which was unfun for all of the reasons that working in state government can be unfun: a "seminar" on Internet/computer security; gigantic technical meltdown requiring us to pack up our computers and go to the other side of the building for an online meeting; having to make hotel reservations three months in advance...

Tomorrow will be better! Good luck to everyone headed back to real school this week!

Happy Monday.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

NOLA Reunion 2008

Beignets and chocolate milk at Cafe du Monde

Dinner at Cochon, minus Petey, who was playing photographer

Our sophomore year crowd - Bear, Pete, Torrence, Invisible Wascom, Feather, me, Raegen, and Lauren in front of what remains of our dorm. No, we didn't live in trailers. They tore down the dorm (hallelujah!), and this is the temporary solution. It now houses Army ROTC. Go figure.

Ice cream at Brocato's - peach ice for Bear and Zuppa Inglese for me

Newcomb Girls Under the Oaks = deep sigh of regret

Rather than even attempt to describe everything that happened, I'll just give you a bulleted list of the highlights, okay? This is in something closely (but not entirely) resembling chronological order:
  • Raegen, Petey, Torrence, and I were in the Quarter with frosty cool beverages within two hours of our arrival in the fair city.
  • Bear fed us gigantic plates of wonderful food within two hours after that.
  • Raegen and I had a great time catching up - haven't seen her since before my wedding (our last trip to New Orleans, in fact) - she spent two weeks volunteering in Peru before joining us!
  • Raegen, Lauren, and I got to stay up late and chat - just like sophomore year, minus the Feather.
  • The three of us got up early for Cafe du Monde and beignets. I, hating coffee, had chocolate milk, because it was already about 15983474 degrees - way too hot to consider my traditional hot chocolate.
  • Raegen introduced us to some lovely Cajun music and a cool indie band called The Figs!
  • Lauren put me totally on the spot with a French shoplady in the Quarter, and I had to conduct the rest of my business in her store in French. (No pressure!)
  • We met Caro when she arrived, and she totally thought we were waiting on her in this dive bar called Ms. Mae's - absolute college flashback.
  • The girls had lunch at a fun Mexican place called Nacho Mama's, where some dude told me he liked my eyebrows. Only in New Orleans...
  • We went shopping, and Feather bought something! (This never happens.) Then, she bought matching shoes!
  • Met the boys, left the boys, met the boys again for dinner at Jacques-Imo's, where I had the best biscuit I have every put in my mouth. Ever.
  • Went back to the Quarter and heard one of Torrence's friends play piano & sing.
  • Got up early, took the streetcar to the Trolley Stop Cafe (late-night/late-morning college hangout) where we met the owner (we think)!! His name is Lucien Casio, and he is a doll.
  • Spent the afternoon on campus, taking pictures, dodging freakish rainstorms, listening to Petey explain one of his dissertation papers, and reminiscing.
  • Went to two of my very favorite bookstores anywhere.
  • Bear took me for the best ice cream on the planet. {See above}
  • Got home in time to change for dinner at Cochon (yes, that's right, French for Pig), where everything was insanely wonderful.
  • Drinks at Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, alleged haunt of the pirate himself
  • Final brunch at the Camellia Grill, which was closed for SO LONG after Katrina that we all got scared, but it's back, with a vengeance. Feather and I wen there every Mardi Gras Day, just before our Ash Wednesday fasts began, and then back Easter Monday or shortly thereafter. The burgers and chocolate freezes were better than ever, and Marvin was still behind the counter. This is the only thing that almost made me cry - but it was fantastic. {And Heavens to Betsy, it's on Wikipedia!!!}
  • Torrence made the long drive home with me nodding off every fifty miles.
Phew. That's a lot. It was wonderful, and I wish I could do it over and over again. As stated last year, after the Tennessee Mountain Adventure, these people rock, and I love them dearly. Maybe next year we'll actually be together - missed Andrew this year because of his pesky honeymoon (sheesh).

Back to your regularly scheduled programming... More pictures are on Flickr.


I know it looks like a pizza in this picture. It doesn't in real life.

But really, it's a heck of a lot more.

It's strawberry rhubarb pie, and I've never made it before. Rhubarb is on that very long list of things that I learned to like in France, only to learn that you can't get it very far south of Kentucky. Therefore, when I saw it at the DeKalb Farmer's Market, I had to get it, even though it is DEFINITELY violating my new local eating goals. (For the record, it came from Michigan.) The strawberries are local, though, frozen by yours truly in May, so at least i get half credit.

Lindsey and I whipped up this little beauty this afternoon, and maybe sometime before sunset it will be cool enough to taste. I'm seeing some vanilla ice cream in my future, too.

The recipe came from this wonderful book, all about cooking with what's in season.

It's a cousin to this fabulous book, all about making great food that doesn't require crazy ingredients or cost an arm and a leg.

We found both books at 10,000 Villages stores, and they have both of them at the shop here in the Virginia Highlands.

I'll be back momentarily with a weekend update.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copenhagen in winter

Copenhagen in winter
Originally uploaded by warrenjo0402
Since our friend Cyndi is moving to Copenhagen after her wedding at the end of the month, I'm thinking we should take advantage.

Of course, once you've gone all the way across the ocean, you might as well see some stuff, right?

I've added a little poll to get your input - what should we do?

Naturally, if airline fares don't drop between now and then, this could just be a pipe dream, anyway. What's a train trip through Europe without a loaf of bread and a container of peanut butter?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Last week, subtitled, Is Sarah really a dork, or does she just play one on her nonexistent TV?

We painted two rooms. The Sprite-themed room is now really blue. The diaper-themed bathroom is now yellow. If you haven't seen those, let me try to explain.

Our spare bedroom was attacked by two poor-quality painters who decided that they wanted to paint stripes. Stripes of unequal size. Stripes of yellow - yellow EXTERIOR HOUSE PAINT. You can imagine how many coats of primer that took. The bathroom was two different shades of pumpkiny-brown. I won't elaborate, but I will horrify you by saying that our bedroom used to be the same two colors. We took care of the bedroom before we moved in, but kept putting off the bathroom. We also used the appropriate paint on the ceiling, so HOPEFULLY we won't continue to have mildew issues. Oh, wait, we KNOW we won't, because they used craft paint last time. Sheesh. Lindsey also replaced the ceiling fans in both bedrooms. We are very impressed. We also learned that our breaker box works. Don't ask.

I spent the week downtown at a hotel working with teachers on testing stuff. Fortunately, Lennye was there, and no, I didn't pay her to write the nice things she said on her blog. :) It's always great to see Lennye, and we got to talk about writing a bunch, which makes me happy. Of course, we were sitting a table full of elementary school teachers, so when we started the blog-related conversation, I think they thought we were from another planet. {How could they have found that out???}

My cousin Laura came for two days with her friend Kristy. They had fun being tourists, and they tested our new Ikea sleeper-sofa, like the sweet generous souls they are. My brother is in town with some of his friends from UGA, and we all met up last night in the Virginia Highlands for what is probably the latest night I've had in a year. I feel old, especially since I was annoyed by the fact that there were broken stalls in the women's room. I mean, if it's a BAR, obviously, it's not going to be in good shape. I know this, but it still annoyed me.

More work this week, then Thursday Torrence & I drive to New Orleans. I may be slightly excited about that. I may be working on an entire NOLA itunes list for the trip. I may be burning said list onto CDs for all of my friends. That may make me a dork. What do you think?

Just in case you need some happy today....

Brought to my attention by the incomparable Ali Edwards.

Make sure you watch long enough to see the kids breakdancing - in Bhutan.

Seriously, they should TELL you about these jobs when you graduate from college.

I mean, he's standing ON the freaking Cape of Good Hope. WOW. And how in the world did he get to the DMZ, much less inside some sort of military post there?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Pine Village, Indiana

Pine Village, Indiana
Originally uploaded by docbratt
When you are the one who drives for an entire trip, you tend not to be able to take any pictures. And let's face it - in rural Indiana, the landscape (seen mostly through the car window) is what is photogenic.

The weather was beyond gorgeous - temperatures in the 70s, gentle breezes, billowy white clouds, bright blue skies - exactly the kind of midwestern weather that makes you forget that in February it will be about 18 degrees, grey, snowy, and windy. It's the only reason our pioneer ancestors stuck it out. Well, that and ridiculously fertile soil, but I digress.

I am extremely shocked that I found a picture of Pine Village on flickr. There are only about 300 people in the town (three of whom are related to me, so I am related to 1% of the town, and 250 of whom know my mother or my grandparents), no stoplights, and not a heck of a lot to do. Needless to say, if you were driving through, you would probably not stop.

The family reunion was fun, and we had some good little adventures, too. I'll show you the thrifting/junking spoils later. They will, though, prove my theory that such things are just better in the midwest.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today, I will...

. . . do a bunch of laundry,

so that I can actually pack a suitcase,

and be ready to leave at the CRACK of dawn tomorrow to go to Indiana.

. . . update my Ipod,

including burning the Brendan James cd,

so that I do not nut up on the plane,

because my last several flights have been awful,

and I have four ahead of me in the next five days (thanks, Priceline!).

. . . finish my swap for Susan,

so that it will be ready for mailing in the morning,

and she will not think I am a flake.

. . . send some work emails,

which I have been avoiding,

simply because I don't want to look at the stupid documents ANY MORE.

. . . talk to Bear,

because we are the food committee for the upcoming NOLA trip,

and we cannot let anyone (much less ourselves) down. :)

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brendan James @ Memorial Hall -- All I Can See

Caro continues to attempt to keep me musically cool - this CD was my birthday present, and this is my current favorite song from it. Believe me, it makes looking at work stuff all day MUCH more pleasant. {She actually knows this guy - it's her friend's brother!}

Happy Tuesday!

ETA - Let's see if THIS one will work, since the last one decided to quit. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

New friends.

This is my new penguin friend. She has a man in her life, and he lives with me, too. Well, actually, they've been living here for about a month, but they just decided that they liked me enough to visit me tonight. They made a pretty cool appearance in some items for the Parasols, Pink Lemonade, & Polka Dots swap.

My partner for this swap is the lovely Susan, who blogs at Days Too Short. {I think we can all relate to her title, even thought the days are mighty long right now!} You should stop by and say hi. Be sure to observe her fabulous garage sale finds! She's a very dedicated swapper, and must be excellent at time management, because I think she's got at least three swaps going at any one time. I'm late half the time when I only do ONE at a time! :)

In other news, our demographic at church has decided to organize! (Go ahead - sing the Internationale, I can take it.) The first meeting of the Backyard Bible Club (long VBS-related joke, not a statement on our geekiness, though that is also evident) will be Thursday night. I am allowing a single boy to make pancakes in my kitchen. Obviously, our first activity will be a time of prayer that nothing burns. Just kidding. Sort of. :)

Happy Monday, tomorrow. And remember, the revolution will not be televised. At least, not in this house, since we don't have TV.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


I know you were beginning to think that it didn't exist, but it does! It does! And here's photographic evidence of that. I'd like to point out that even though it's taken me far too long to acknowledge it, the thing is STILL blooming! WOWIE!

It's hard to say why I haven't been writing anything - it's not like I've been nearly as busy as I was last week, but it just hasn't been happening. Weird, huh?

I promise to do better this upcoming week. I have a new swap partner for you to meet, and some peeks at things I'm making for her - woohoo! There is also some patriotic fun on the mantel (I know you won't sleep until you see that), and probably some other stuff I can't even think of right at the moment.

Happy weekend.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Crazy Daddy.

Aren't they cute? That's Daddy & my cousin Abby in August of 2006. She's going to be in second grade in the fall (gasp). Can you tell what she's reading? It's a Christmas story called The Holly & the Ivy, loosely based on the carol. It's L-O-N-G. Abby always wants the LONGEST books in the world read to her, and Daddy always obliges. He usually did the same for us, too. In fact, I remember being in second grade, and more than anything in the world wanting Samantha for Christmas. He would come home from work, let me crawl in his lap, and look at the catalog (remember those from back in the Dark Ages) with me forever. This picture reminds me of that.
I feel obligated to add that the American Girl dolls were once wonderful, historically accurate playthings. Ever since the original creator of the dolls sold her company to Mattel, I've been nothing but displeased. They were always expensive, but they were very high in quality and integrity. Now, it's just an excuse to waste a lot of money on plastic, and the historical authenticity has gone out of the window. If I should ever have daughters, they will play with my dolls, but we won't be supporting the consumer nightmare that the American Girl concept has become. Thank you - rant over. :)

Happy Father's Day. :)