October 18, 2012

Nursery's Ready...Come on Baby!

The final touches have been completed on Baby Gannon's Nursery...just in time for his due date, which is today...

Too bad he's not yet here to enjoy, but it gives me time to post the pictures!

So I know you've seen the paint job and the changing table makeover but there were two other major projects that we worked on: the mobile and the airplane picture. When you see them only one will actually look major, but I assure you the other one took forever too!

First, the mobile. This may not look like much but it took me pretty much all my pregnancy to complete as I am not all that craft-able without specific directions. Here is a link to the Pinterest mobile that started this obsession, but it didn't have templates or anything for me to go directly off of so I had a lot of improvising.

Honey drew me a template of a B-something or another plane. (No matter how hard I try to keep these planes straight I am doing a miserable job). He actually drew me 2 different ones, but doing both were leaps and bounds beyond my ability so we have all six of the same plane.

Overall I am really happy with it. Each plane is made of paper and balsa wood to make it more sturdy. And the little propellers really turn. In the end it probably cost less than $15 to make...not counting the gas of about 55 trips to hobby stores...but that is a whole other issue.

The other major project was inspired from this Pottery Barn picture on wood:

We really didn't want to spend $300 on it, but after I showed it to Honey he fell in love with the idea and got his heart set on having a B-17 on the wall because that was the plane his grandfather flew in the war.

So he found a wonderful gentleman on the internet that would let us use a photo he had, which we then tried to convert to 4 or 5 canvas panels.

Unfortunately, that proved VERY difficult because the size of the photo and the usual size of canvas panels we'd need and we gave up.

So I turned to again to the wonderful world of Pinterest. We found several pins on putting pictures on canvas but then found these great directions for transferring a picture to wood.

And here is how ours turned out...

Pretty amazing! It was a pretty time consuming process since it is like 6 feet long, but totally worth it. It probably cost about $50 for all the supplies, maybe not even that.  We just love it.

So here are a few shots of the whole room:

Now we just need the little guy to get here! Of course he will end up sleeping in our bedroom for the first couple of months, but I already love sitting in here to read so I am sure we will be spending a great deal of time in his nursery. 

It turned out just as I had hoped! 

September 29, 2012

My Manly-Man and His Candied Walnuts & Diaper Covers

For those of you who know my husband, he tends toward the manly-man side.

He loves guns. Hates musicals. Loves getting dirty. Hates the Kardashians. Loves wrestling with the dogs. Hates shopping for clothes.

Well the last couple of weeks he has had some time off so he's been very helpful around the house doing both manly things like making our toilet flush without the need to two hands and bicep muscles to push the lever down. And he has done more wifely duties like clean the oven and mop the floor so I don't have to on maternity leave. Let me just say here: I really married a keeper...I mean jackpot!!

Annnnnyway. Beyond these chores that I had added to his list, he also surprised me (and himself) with a couple of extra domestically cute actions...

Number 1: I came home from work last week to find him making candied walnuts.

Candied walnuts.

I have no idea what it even takes to candy a walnut because if I get to a recipe that calls for me to do that I immediately balk at the thought of an extra step and move right onto a new recipe. And to make it even better, he called it "easy" and "fun"!

And they were some pretty stinking good walnuts!

Number 2: He had a friend come over to watch a movie and pulled out the cloth diapers we had purchased earlier in the day to show off to his friend.

Mind you, this friend does not have kids...is not married even...is also more of a manly-man...and I swear did not ask anything about diapers to precipitate this show and tell.

Honey contends his friend did indeed ask about the diapers...but I'm not so sure. Honey did most of the picking out of cute diaper covers at the store and I think he was just very excited.

Again I tell you I hit the JACKPOT with him!! He is my cute manly-man and still all domestic!

September 22, 2012

Viola! Changing Table Makeover

So if you read my post about painting the nursery, I promised you I'd show you the changing table makeover. Here is the changing table before. And you can see sitting on it the lovely product I used for this transformation...Rustolium Furniture Transformation.

The Rustolium product is pretty nifty because you don't have to sand or scrape or strip the old paint off, which was really important to me since I didn't want all the chemicals of stripping.

Don't get me wrong, I like to strip...wood that is...or maybe I should say furniture...

ANYWAY, I have refinished many pieces of furniture the old fashion way, but didn't have the time or inclination to do all that work here so this product takes out a lot of that hassle.

After the gloss
So in this handy box they give you some cleaner/primer stuff to wipe everything down with. Then you have a base coat that you have tinted at the store based on the color you want to end up with. Then you have some cool gloss to make the base coat more unique, darker, etc. And finally a top coat.

We went with espresso to match the crib and I did a pretty heavy dose of the gloss to make it as dark as possible.

I loved that the gloss almost mimicked a wood grain since I hadn't actually done the full stripping to get to the wood.

Some things to think remember if you ever use the product...

  1. The base coat is VERY fragile...seriously putting a piece of paper towel down would take off the base coat.
  2. So you definitely need 2 coats of it and then be very very careful.
  3. Like sugar in your coffee, it is always easier to put more gloss on than to take it off after it dries.
  4. Plan on doing two coats of the top coat and don't try to touch up with this, just redo the whole section if you need to.
Other than that everything went really well and this is the final product:

Overall I am very happy! I wasn't sure about keeping the knobs white but they've grown on me.

And the motivation to spray paint them brown has disappeared entirely :)


And at this point we have two more projects...a wood transfer of a 5 ft long plane image and a DIY plane mobile...and one month left to do them both...

I promise to post them once they are done as well as final nursery photos!!

August 20, 2012

What the South is Missing

I may be making an overreaching statement here. After all I have lived in only one place in the South so this may be a problem with the area I am in rather than the whole South, but I think it is a persistent problem.

The South doesn't appreciate coffee enough.

I've said it.

I may have to drive like 5 or 6 miles for a coffee shop...not acceptable. And I don't mean when I am in the country I have to drive 6 miles. I mean when I am in a huge shopping area there is not one coffee shop. Not one Starbucks. Nothing. Not acceptable.

I think it has to do with southerners crazy love of sweet tea. Starbucks are hard to find but BoJangles with famous sweet tea are on every corner.

For the first time in my life, since I left my one-stop-light town, I have to drive nearly 10 minutes from work to get to a coffee shop. And I hardly drink coffee now and it is usaully decaf or 1/2 caf.

Gone are the days I walked across the street for coffee. Gone are the days when every grocery store also has a convenient coffee shop. Gone are the days of rich coffee smells and warm caffeine highs. Gone.

And I am pretty sure my one-stop-light town has more coffee shops than Fayetteville. And it only has like 12,000 people in the whole county.

Sweet tea sucks.

I miss my coffee.

August 6, 2012

The Nursery...Paint is Done!

So over the last...well, forever...we have been working on painting the nursery. Personally I think I have looked as forward to this as to actually having a baby. I LOVE painting, but usually live in rentals where it is not allowed. Luckily here we had the okay to paint away.

This is how the room looked before:

The yellow wasn't a becoming shade at all, so changing that was a no-brainer. You can also see a built in dresser thing that had cabinent doors on the top that I took off to make a bookshelf. The other thing about this room was the ceiling...

I don't think this picture does justice to how grey and dingy it was...but take my word for it. It was gross.

So first Honey and I came to an agreement on the exact shade of grey we wanted the room. This conversation went like this:

Me: "Honey which of these greys do you like best. I think the darkest one is too dark."

Honey: "Hmm I like this one or this one." (He pointed to the two 2nd darkest)

Me: "Well I like this one that isn't so dark but isn't the lighest one either."

...Skip to the next day...

Me: "So I think we are going with the grey I liked best. Is that okay? I really like it better than the others.

Honey: "Sure. Whatever."

I love him!

So once we (I) picked the color we got to work on repainting the ceiling and making the walls grey.

And viola! Here is the lovely grey room. And just the perfect shade of grey, I might add. Not too light and not too dark.

I also wanted to do something fun with the built in dresser thing so I started by painting the drawers and then added color on the back of the bookshelves to add a little accent color to the whole peice.

So there you go. We have it all painted! 

Now for the next project--refinishing the changing table to an espresso color to match the crib. I will keep you posted :)

July 5, 2012

Fabulous New York

I know many couples take "Babymoons" before the little bundle of joy comes (which we totally plan to do) but I think a "Mommymoon" is also necessary. So my Mommymoon took place in New York a couple weeks ago and it was...fabulous.

I lived in New York for a year as a nanny in Westchester County but hadn't really been back since then. Now the kids are in college so it's been a while. Big changes have taken place since 2003--the World Trade Center Memorial, tables in the middle of Times Square, no Au Bon Pain's at every corner.

World Trade Center Memorial
The first two are great, but no Au Bon Pain's??? I used to love going there for chocolate croissants while I pondered why my employers wanted me to teach their 12 year old daughter how to shave her armpits...was that really in my job description? There were still a few of the cafes, here and there, but I remember them as THE staple food group of my city trips.

New York Pizza, baby!

Besides that disappointment it was a wonderful trip. I wandered up and down 5th Avenue, visited FAO Swartz, went to Times Square for greasy pizza, and mosied through Central Park.

My favorite spot in Central Park

I love Central Park. When I was young and naive, I was sure the man of my dreams would propose to me in Central Park, preferable on one of the little boats.

Considering Honey has spent very little time in New York, that wasn't likely. And his proposal on a pier in San Diego at sunset was way better anyway.

But I digress...so in New York I was able to see family, visit friends, go to the beach on Long Island, have a hotel room all to myself. And I could have dressed up all fancy with some Manolo Blahniks and partied myself to exhaustion until 4 in the morning. It is the city that never sleeps.

But let's face it--I am pregnant, and walking around the city makes me tired, so that partying thing didn't happen. I did bring Junior's chocolate swirl cheesecake back to the hotel room and curled up watching Law and Order. (Carrie Bradshaw might not have appoved, but Miranda would have given me a high five.)

And it was fabulous.

June 11, 2012

Yes, There are Stupid Questions

In every customer service related job there are certain questions that customers ask over and over and over again that drive you freakin batty. While the question must seem totally logical to the customer, as an expert in whatever field you are in, the same question is completely ridiculous.

When I waited tables at a restaurant that served pizza people would always ask "Like how big is a large, how many pieces of pizza does it have?" Now I could tell them the answer...but really is a piece of pizza a standard unit of measurement? I mean I could cut the pizza into as many slices as they want but the actual size of the pizza is the same. 2 big pieces, 8 medium pieces or 100 ittybitty pieces--still the same size of pizza. This question really makes no sense.

Same with my job now. I sell mulch, rocks, top soil, etc and I sell it by a scoop of a bobcat which is 1/2 a cubic yard. So I call out to the little loader guy and tell him how many cubic yards of mulch the client wants and we charge by that lovely standard unit of measurement. 1 Bobcat scoop = 1/2 cubic yard, 2 Bobcat scoops = 1 cubic yard, and so on. It isn't rocket science.

But people constantly want to know how much a pick-up load is. Is a pick-up a standard unit of measurement? No! Yet they expect me to hear that they have a Ford F150 and then to tell them exactly how much it will cost to fill it. Short bed, long bed, extended cab, unextended cab...trucks are all different, am I right? I don't measure mulch by truck size, I measure it by cubic yards. Standard. Units. Of. Measurement.

Now I don't expect them to know how much will fill it up either so we have the option that they can get loaded first then come pay, which I am always happy to offer. But more often than not, the lovely toothless creature in front of me will ask again, "But 'ow much'll it cost me to fill my blue pick-up out 'ere. The one 'ith the toolbox?"

...And yes I did have a woman ask me last week why I couldn't just put a scoop in the back of her Toyota Corolla...


May 31, 2012

Wow I'm Huge...and I Killed the Bread Monster

Wow, it has been way too long since my last post. Definitely time for some updates.

1. I killed the Bread Monster. Let's face it, we all knew it would happen and personally I am extremely impressed I kept it alive so long...and that I actually made bread from scratch...more than once, even.

2. I am getting huge! I mean, people ask me if I am having twins. Most of my body hasn't changed a bit but my stomach is huge. Huge-huge. I almost smacked the lady handing out the little registry guns at Target yesterday because she made me guess how far along she was. Now, to me she just looked a little chubby so I said 4 months. She was six. Mind you I am just about 5 months and don't just look chubby. I look like I could give birth this summer. Huge. Here are some pictures. Judge for yourself, but unless you are telling me I look fabulous or that I do not in fact look huge, keep your comments to yourself!

3. We spent Memorial Day weekend in Hilton Head. Honey's sister was nice enough to give us lots of old baby toys and goodies. Overall we had a relaxing and easy trip with a little sunburned skin but that was it. We did happen upon this lovely gentleman before actually leaving Fayetteville as we got gas.

Sure you have a restroom, but do I really have to bring my own toilet seat?
Fayetteville is full of characters...most of which cause Honey to carry a gun. And here are some more lovely photos from the trip.

It was VERY windy!

4. I am doing more writing. If you are the type that like to read blogs and articles about health and education you can check me out at:


As you may notice most of these are things I write on the sly for other people. So yes I am actually getting paid to write. I'd make more babysitting, or working at McDonalds, or doing just about anything else, but I am using my English degree at a paying job. And let's face it...no one expects that to happen!

So there you go, you are now all updated on my life. I will do my best to not let time get away from me. Plus I have several upcoming trips that I promise to write all about.

Not to mention more pictures of my ever growing belly!

May 13, 2012

Stick Figure Families and Chocolate Between my Legs

Pet peeves are funny. They really evolve with you as you get older. I am trying to remember what I might have listed as my pet peeves when I was in school...probably "people that talk behind your back," and "my brother poking me."

During each phase of life when you have new things you deal with each day you find new things that annoy you. Right now I am bothered by huge "In Memorandum" stickers on the back of car windows, along with the little stick people families that are plastered on every mini-van in a 100 mile radius.

Remembering the dead is great, but shouldn't the person remembering them be able to see the memorandum? Why is it that I, the car behind them, be stuck reading it when I didn't know the person? How about a nice little token hanging from your rear view mirror, where you can see it? It strikes me as a passive whining device for the driver..."poor me, I lost someone I cared about..."It seems much more about getting attention that remembering the dead.

And don't get me started on the stick figures. Who in their right mind decided that putting a mom with shopping bags, a dad with a golf club, 2 girls with tennis rackets, 3 babies, 2 dogs, and a cat on their car was a good idea?

Frankly, I don't care who is in your family, I just want you to get off your cell phone and drive like a normal person. And I believe you may need to rethink your birth control methods.

These decals annoy me beyond belief.

And I have so many questions--Do these people change them out as the kids grow? Or change hobbies? What about divorce? Talk about a sad day...not only do you have to change your Facebook status to single but you have to cut Dad out of the stick figure family on the mini-van. It just seems like over-sharing to me.

Does anyone else out there have a major pet peeve about themselves? I have one that I know I should change because every time I do this I drive myself nuts. I eat a lot of Fiber One bars--they are full of fiber and have peanut butter or chocolate chip goodness :) And often I eat them in the car between work and the gym or on road trips or really anytime. No matter how careful I try to be, I always end up with a chocolate chip on my lap...which ends up between my legs...

I end up with a brown streak between my legs and on my butt because the chocolate melts and gets all over whatever pants I am wearing. It drives me nuts, yet I can guarantee it will happen again...and again...

What are your pet peeves?

May 2, 2012

What Did She Say?

Living in the South, I have learned a few new phrases. Most of them I have learned at my job as I work with good Southern folk that have lived in Fayetteville many years and are from these parts in general. I have not included these into my vocabulary at all, but you never know when they might pop up in the future.

1. Wide Open..."We are wide open at work this week!"

In my mind this would mean, our schedule at work is wide open...so kinda slow. Really the only things I would usually describe as wide open would be space, busted lips, schedules, and someone's legs.

Well, it actually means the opposite. It means we are crazy busy. Honey explained it had something to do with a throttle and if it is wide open you are going really fast. Which makes sense because I have also heard it used in relationship to an energetic child, a festival, and someone's weekend.

2. Blow him up..."If he doesn't send a check I am going to blow him up!"

Again, my literal understanding of this word and the actual meaning are not at all the same. I would think my boss was about to kill someone with a bomb. I don't think I have ever said I would blow someone up...maybe kill, mutilate, strangle...but not blow up.

Real meaning here--Call a bunch. Blow up his phone. Though blowing someone up could also be done through email it seems. I thought maybe it had to do with being angry and chewing someone out, which seems to be how it is used most at work, but I am pretty sure you can "blow" anyone you want to talk to very badly "up".

3. Vegetable Sides..."Wha vegetable side you wan with yo chickn meal?"

No I haven't taken to eating much fried chicken, but I have often been in charge of picking up lunch for some of my coworkers while out running errands. My favorite options for vegetable sides have been at the Barbeque Hut where they have: Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, or Fries listed as their vegetable sides. He he he! Guess they haven't really looked at a food pyramid in a while.

Some other options around here are Collards, Pintos, or Corn. I guess barbeque joints just aren't much for steamed broccoli or salad...well unless you get potato salad.
Another lunch favorite!

Maybe you readers who live/have lived in the south could give me more direction on some of these phrases. They crack me up! What is your favorite phrase from the South?

April 22, 2012

2012--New Puppy, New Car, New Job? New Baby?

So I know I have been slacking on writing lately. I have several excuses. And not any of them involve, aliens, supernovas, or Kirk Cameron.

1. My parents came to visit us for a week. I showed my parents the sights of Fayetteville and surrounding areas. Mostly surrounding areas. Fayetteville takes about 1 afternoon.

We did a lot of shopping. My dad loves shopping for cars, furniture, shirts, antiques, and just about anything else. We walked through the 3 blocks of downtown Fayetteville and hit every open shop. Dad was bound and determined to find a new shirt, even if it meant going in stores that didn't cater to his age or race. Here were two of my favorite pictures:

Needless to say, I won't be shopping in downtown Fayetteville for clothing. I tried to get Dad into the lavender suit but sadly he declined.

We also did some furniture shopping. Can't you just see me in this bed!

Wowzar! We also hit up the Special Operations Museum which was very interesting. In front is a statue of Iron Mike. I am sure I should know the story behind who he is...but anyway here's the statue.

So Mom and Dad visiting is one reason I got very behind in posting.

2. Yes I do have a new job. I now work full time (at one place instead of bouncing around between a couple). I work as an office manager at a Construction Waste and Recycling Center. Mostly I sell landscaping materials that we recycle like mulch and stone for driveways, and stuff like that. 

It is very busy and I LOVE the people I work with. I really enjoy working in a small business that is family run. After all we get paid for lunch which involves us sitting around gossiping for about 30 minutes then talking a bit about work. And the company pays for someone to come wash and vacuum my car once a month.

And they are very strict in their Family comes first mindset which will really come in handy since...


I am pregnant! And I have been freaking exhausted! So when deciding whether to sleep or blog, I have chosen sleep every time. Luckily we have just past the 1st trimester and I am starting to hope that my energy will come back and bless me with motivation again. 

We are very excited and look forward to baby coming in late October. A baby shower is getting in the works for this summer in Denver which I am already looking forward to. I can't wait to see everyone again!

So I hope you forgive me laziness. I hope to get back on a better schedule. 

2012 has been a busy year so far, just to get busier!

April 11, 2012

Bet You Haven't Seen Dogs do This

My puppy, Lucy, has a very weird habit. I promise I did not teach her this, nor did anyone else in my family. I have only seen anything like it once while watching some kind of documentary on Africa...

She likes to eat the food between CJ's teeth. (Lucy is 5 months and CJ is 3 years).

Lucy's on top, CJ's teeth are bared to be licked...

And he seems to like it.

Obviously I understand the attraction, for her. There is food in there. For CJ, it is like going to a slobbery dentist.

Now I know there are some animals that live like this. Isn't there a bird that lives by cleaning a hippo's teeth? (I probably didn't watch that Africa documentary all that closely). But it grosses me out.

She could go to town on his mouth for like 15 minutes if I would let her. He lays on his back and she straddles him and nearly puts her mouth into his. Okay now this is sounding sexual...maybe that's the attraction for him?

Ok now even grosser...I'm done thinking about it.

March 30, 2012

Heathy Food Fail

I try to eat healthy. I try to make my own meals with ingredients from scratch, or mostly so. I pin those great sites I find on Pinterest that tell me how I can eat unprocessed food for 100 days and live a richer, happier, and healthier life.

It was on one of those sites that I found a recipe for homemade cheese crackers. You have to understand that Goldfish (whole grain, of course) and Cheeze-Its are a staple in our house. There will be times we are out butter, have expired milk, but do have at least one type of cheesy cracker in the cupboard. They are important to our well being.

So when I saw the recipe I thought it would be great if I could get us away from the processed crackers and make my own. Especially because the reviews were fabulous. Everyone raved about how AMAZING the crackers were, their favorites ever, better than store bought, and on and on and on.

I either screwed up massively or these people haven't eaten a decent cracker in a decade and are fooling themselves into beliving these things actaully taste good. Or my household is addicted to processed cheese crackers. Or maybe all 3?

I planned to post these pictures victoriously when I told you all about the amazing new crackers that I make for my family...

I know there is quite a bit of chedder cheese and wheat flour in the recipe, and in the picture looks kinda like a sausage.

Well I made those lovley crackers about 3 weeks ago and here they still are...

I'm pretty sure we've gone through about 4 boxes of Cheez-Its since then. Like an addiction group for Target, is there an addiction group for cheesy crackers?

If you want to try these crackers, I will send them to you. They might be stale, but that probably didn't change them much. If you want the recipe, just let me know. Maybe you'll have better luck :)

March 20, 2012

Can you be Addicted to Cities?

Best store ever!
This last weekend I made my monthly jaunt up to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area. I haven't really been to the main part of any of these cities but I have been to important places like Nordstrom Rack, REI, and Trader Joes.

I noticed something while I was up there. More than once my pulse started racing, I got a goofy smile on my face, and I instantly felt...jubilant.

First it was seeing a beautiful highway with 4 lanes in each direction spanning out in front of me.  Odd...yes. It reminded me of last time I was in Denver and I actually got a little excited for traffic on I-25 because it proved that people lived around me and had important, fun, fashionable places to be.

Fayetteville traffic consists of people waiting in line to get on base, or crazy amounts of solders trying to eat at the chain restaurants on Skibo Road on a weekend night. Parking lots of Chili's, Texas Road House, and Ruby Tuesdays are out of control.

A second time over the weekend that I felt euphoric was when I walked into DSW. I don't even really like shoes, I'm not that kind of girl, but it was DSW. I didn't know it was there, so it was a little happy surprise of a life past when I could buy a cute pair of shoes at a reasonable price whenever I needed them. (Without the hour and a half drive).

I have grown to love cities. I love the sights, smells, people, weirdness, and now the malls/shopping too.  Yes I also love mountains, trees, trails, and open space. I need both. In talking about where we will settle down someday, I have lots of wishes--mountains, hiking access, big yard, sunny, etc. I have only one real requirement...I must be within 10 minutes of Target.

Yes this may be an addiction. Support group anyone?

March 12, 2012

Rant of the Week

Beware, most of this post is a rant and probably not politically correct...maybe I'm a bit hormonal but things have been BUGGING me over this last week. These are the top 3.

1. Zumba 
I admit, I have not been to a Zumba class but after I have sweated my ass off in Spinning I see the last few minutes and I just don't get it. There's some dancing and some shaking.

Now there are many work outs that are not for me, but I still appreciate them. Take Yoga--it is not my style but I see fit women leaving these classes, so it must work. I personally need something that involves more sweat, but that's just my gym hangup. Crossfit--looks daunting and I wish I was cool enough to do but really deep down don't think I am. But the women that come out of there are freaking tough and can probably bench press me.

Zumba class on the other hand, does not spill tough or fit or athletic women out when it ends. This may just be my gym, but 90% of the class is on the larger side and doesn't move nearly fast enough to keep up with the instructor, much less work up too much of a sweat. If no one coming out of the class has a body I would want, why would I take the class?

It may also piss me off that they allow about 50 participants, who take up all the parking in the minuscule parking lot, which in turn makes me late for my spin class...just maybe.

2. Gym Talkers
The other day a woman on a treadmill in front of me set the speed to a moderate walk and pulled out her cell phone. I am not sure if she'd never heard it was rude to talk while in the gym, or if she simply thought that because she was speaking a different language it was okay.

I just wanted to shout, "Just because I can't understand you, doesn't mean I can't hear you!" Maybe she had the same line of thinking that kids do--If I can't see you, you can't see me--kind of thing going. 

Not only was she talking, for at least the last 15 minutes of my workout, but she was also loud. I could here her over LMFAO shuffling in my ears. Rude (and maybe a little crazy)!

3. Stupid Questions/People
While out walking CJ, my very chill and well behaved dog, we started to approach a woman getting cleaning supplies out of the back of a car. She motioned for me to take out my headphones (more LMFAO) and when I did asked,

"Should I get back in my car?" 

I said, "Excuse me?" and when she repeated it I gathered she meant, was I going to let my huge, scary dog off leash to attack her on the spot.

He looks like a killer, right?
I smiled in a good natured way and explained that CJ was very friendly as we crossed to the other side of the street to avoid her. She then decided that he wasn't scary and started talking to him, causing him to pull toward her. When I reprimanded him she was all honey and said how she LOVED dogs and of course he could come see her and could she pet him and how sweet he was and what a nice coat he had and on and on.

So why the hell were you scared of him 3 minutes ago when we were walking along, minding our own business, ignoring you and I was jamming out happy as a clam? HUH?

Okay, Rant over. I feel a bit better. Funny how some things just bug the bajesus out of you and you can't wrap you mind around them and let them go until they have been shared. What bugged you this week?

March 7, 2012

The Weird Sisters

I started and finished The Weird Sisters so quickly but now it has taken me weeks to write about it...typical, right! The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown was sent to me by my lovely aunt who works at Tattered Cover Book Store (the absolutely most fabulous book store in the world, located in Denver).

It is about a family deeply entrenched in Shakespeare, enough so that each daughter is named after a Shakespearean lovely and, at times, takes on the traits of the character. Roselind, Cordelia and Bianca have very little in common--having no sisters myself I always see those of my friends who do have sisters as having a built in best friend, but these girls are not nearly so close. Anyway, the story is well told with each character growing, changing, and becoming better in the end.

Being the geeky English major who has at least one huge Anthology of Shakespeare on my bookshelf, I loved the connection to his plays, but that it wasn't overdone. (Well maybe a little at the beginning, but as the story goes on the characters take over the action). Brown gave enough background that if you hadn't read Shakespeare you could still enjoy the story completely, but if you happen to be a Shakespeare buff you will probably really love her book.

Eleanor Brown has an easy to read voice and a unique style. The story was told by a narrator that was a kind of omniscient combo spirit of all three girls. It was all told in 3rd person but at times would say things like, "If only we'd been there to talk to her, to sooth those fears, to tell her that no, we could not have done it without her all those years..."She was able to jump into each woman's fears, thoughts, and joys but still make you feel like the story was told by all three in unison. Neat work!

I think my favorite part was that each woman was struggling with a character flaw and in trying to overcome it, they each slide backward. It wasn't like, "Oh hey, I have learned that am a crazy control freak. Ok I won't do that anymore! Viola, all better!" Each woman comes to see what they need to change about themselves and in the end does a pretty good job of it, but not without backsliding, regret, confusion, and some necessary self-loathing. It made them all very real and easy to relate to.

I would recommend you check it out. I would lend you my copy but it is Autographed by the author thanks again to my lovely aunt, so paws off, get your own copy! Curl up with a cuppa tea and enjoy the story and voice of this delightful book.

March 2, 2012

The Bread Monster

For anyone who has known me long, or has tried to give me a plant, you know I am absolutely horrible at keeping things alive. It is truly amazing that I have 2 dogs that live and thrive. Possibly because they are very clear when they want food, water, a walk, etc. If plants could do a little whining or scratching at the sink, they would probably live longer in my household.

I am now proud to say I have kept something else alive for over 2 months--it is a bread monster. Now, if you are like me, you might not know that some breads need "starter." This starter is yeast but not the handy stuff that comes in a packet that is always in my cupboard but never used. This starter has to be fed.

Every 3-5 days.

My mother-in-law makes the most amazing Sourdough Bread and it is Honey's favorite so over the holidays she promised to give me the recipe. Overall it is pretty easy. But with it she gave me a little mason jar of 35 year old starter. Yes, 35 years old.

Someone has been feeding this bread monster for 35 years. You can imagine the pressure I felt that I keep this thing (that is older than me) alive.


But I can say, I have. Every few days I mix up it's food--potato flakes, sugar, water, and bread flour--and I feed the yeasty bubbly thing in my fridge.

Ok, once I went 7 days...but it still seems to live, I think, and it still makes good bread so I must be okay.

Who would have ever known!

February 28, 2012

Pretty New Car from Across State Lines

Yes I have a new car! And I hope to not have to shop for another one for...well forever if I can help it. I picked out a 2008 All Wheel Drive Honda CR-V. The fun thing is that it has all the bells and whistles. Honey wanted just the bells and I just the whistles so we decided to get both. Heated seats, leather, moon roof (which is different from a sun roof, how??), controls on the steering wheel, and dual air.

I really love the dual air so I can make my side as warm as I want and Honey can keep his side freezing. It also has XM radio for now. If I had a real job I might splurge to keep it going whenever the previous owner's contract runs out, but since my meager money will go to paying for the rest of the car, that probably won't happen.

As with the rest of this car buying experience, finding my CR-V wasn't easy. We had to buy one this last weekend because of Honey's schedule. No pressure, right? Once I actually figured out exactly what I wanted and the price I was willing to spend, we found 2 possible cars. One in Florida. One in Virginia.

The one in Florida had less miles and was a little newer so I had Honey on the phone with the dealer trying to make the numbers work while I worked furiously on Orbitz and Mapquest to figure out how to get to Pompano Beach and back between work on Saturday afternoon and work on Monday afternoon.

They wouldn't budge on price and had crazy high fees. So no trip to Florida.

We kept our fingers crossed on Virginia. Friday morning we drove the 4 hours up there in a crazy little rental car to save on gas. Has anyone ever been in a Toyota Yaris? They are the most uncomfortable, weird little cars. And ours had power nothing, no cruise control, and I think the windshield wipers might have been optional as well.

Anyway, we made it to Virgina, liked the car and bought it. Honey tried to haggle a bit, but the price was in my budget and I was ready to sign. I think the salesman knew he had us--after all, we'd just driven 4 hours and were not likely to go home empty handed over a hundred bucks.

So here is my car. Yay!

Even Honey likes it--he's borrowed it once already and has offered to drive it to get gas when it is empty. Such chivalry!
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