Monday, October 30, 2006
Jay had insisted that I wear shoes and socks rather than my flip-flops, but it wasn't long before the ants were climbing up my shoes and into my short socks. I went inside to change into long socks, but that didn't help much. Pretty soon they were crawling up my pant legs and biting me everywhere, all the way up to my back.
It's a good thing our neighbors are too far away to see into our yard because I panicked. I left a trail of shoes, socks, pants, and yes, even drawers, from the driveway through the garage and into the house.
I decided to leave the ants alone and work on our flowerbeds instead, but I itched for the rest of the day.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
create your own visited states map
How about you?
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you’ and meant it!
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Visited all 50 states
40. Taken care of someone who was drunk
41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
42. Watched wild whales
43. Stolen a sign
44. Backpacked in Europe
45. Taken a road-trip
46. Gone rock climbing
48. Midnight walk on the beach
49. Gone sky diving
50. Taken a train through Europe
51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them
53. Milked a cow
54. Alphabetized your CDs
55. Sung karaoke
56. Lounged around in bed all day
57. Gone scuba diving
58. Kissed in the rain
59. Gone to a drive-in theatre
60. Started a business
61. Taken a martial arts class
62. Been in a movie
63. Crashed a party
64. Gone without food for 5 days
65. Gotten a tattoo
66. Got flowers for no reason
67. Performed on stage
68. Been to Las Vegas
69. Recorded music
70. Eaten shark
71. Buried one/both of your parents
72. Been on a cruise ship
73. Spoken more than one language fluently
74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
75. Been to the Statue of Liberty
76. Had plastic surgery
77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
78. Wrote articles for a large publication
77. Lost over 20 pounds
79. Piloted an airplane
80. Petted a stingray
81. Broken someone’s heart
82. Broken a bone
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
86. Skipped all your school reunions
87. Shaved your head
88. Caused a car accident
89. Pretended to be "sick"
90. Surfed in the ocean
91. Saved someone's life
93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth (Yeah, me)
95. Adopted a child
96. Been caught daydreaming
97. Been to the Grand Canyon
98. Called off a wedding engagement
99. Donated your blood
100. Become a follower of Jesus Christ
I've done over a third of the things on the list. I don't know what that means. Probably nothing.
I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to share your own list in on your own blog or in my comments.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
It started last weekend when my dad came for a birthday visit. We worked on the yard all afternoon and then he grilled steaks. He even brought birthday cake for dessert! Yum!
Jay and Joshua gave me a gift certificate to a local day spa, and Jay took Joshua duty so that I could cash it in. I spent Friday afternoon getting a one-hour massage, a one-hour facial, an eyebrow wax (my first ever!), a manicure, and a pedicure. Ah...
By the time I got home, the birthday cake that Jay's dad sent me was ready for consumption (it had to be frozen overnight). Yum...
Then on Saturday we took off for Nashville to call upon Gran's babysitting service so that we could go out for birthday dinner. I chose Radius 10 and couldn't have been happier. I had a gourmet version of shrimp and grits, and Jay had duck on a bed of dried cherry bread pudding. We split an order of gnocchi with wild mushrooms. Sweet potato ice cream with toasted meringue was the perfect finish.
Two birthday cakes, two birthday dinners, lots of family, massage, facial, manicure, pedicure...
It's been a good birthday.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Out of the blue, R said, matter-of-factly, "There's Bob Corker."
"What?" I asked incredulously.
She nodded towards the door--"There's Bob Corker. I knew he was campaigning in town this week but I thought he'd already left."
For those of you not keeping up with Tennessee politics, the senate race here is tight. So tight, in fact, that I've actually heard it covered on NPR several times over the past few weeks.
We sat and waited for him to approach us. As he walked toward our table, R, knowing my political leanings, leaned over and said, "Now, be nice."
He held out his hand. "Bob Corker."
We introduced ourselves.
He told us he hoped we'd consider voting for him in the election.
"Indeed!" I said. (Sure, I'll consider it one more time, when I step in the voting booth.)
He started to walk away and then came back.
"So," he said, obviously uncomfortable, "what's the talk about the election around here."
I answered, "I was just telling R here that I'd heard about the race on NPR several times over the last few weeks. I guess it's pretty close if they're covering it on the national news."
"Well," he replied, "I hope I can count on you to help put me over the top."
R and I smiled.
We noticed throughout the rest of out lunch that he spent considerably longer with the other patrons than he did with us. We also noticed that most of the other patrons were about the age of our parents. At some of the tables he sat down, and at most of them he at least engaged in some sort of conversation.
Jay's opined that he assumed R and I were a lesbian couple out with our child (He didn't even mention Joshua or even look at him, by the way).
But my dad confirmed my suspicion, which is that Corker's pretty certain he doesn't have the 30-something female vote anyway, so there's no use wasting time trying to convince us otherwise. And dad said that if Corker had any hope that he might have our vote, my mention of "NPR" killed it.
You'd think he'd at least engage us in some conversation. It was obvious that at least one of us was a mom. Why not tell us about his position on education? On taxes? On something? But, as my dad said, "He's worried about getting my vote. Not yours."
To tell you the truth, I'm going to be holding my nose as I pull the lever on election day anyway.
It was interesting to watch and to be part of. Jay and I both decided my dad was right about why Corker was so standoff-ish, but Jay's suggestion made us laugh a lot.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Sarah and her mom brought me a gorgeous fall wreath that's now hanging above my fireplace. And then yesterday I attended an Auxiliary luncheon at the university. They were giving away the cute table centerpieces as door prizes and I actually won one! I never win anything! It has taken its place on my own dining room table, displacing the fall candle collection that was originally the extent of my fall decorating.
So despite my complete inability to do anything creative in my home, it is fall after all.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Last night it finally happened.
I put on the green beans (cooked with ham hock, of course) at noon. I put the baby back ribs in the oven at 2:00 p.m. When Joshua and I returned from the doctor at 4:30 (it seems we are being visited by a lovely case of roseola or some other viral infection), my house smelled so good. In fact, it smelled almost as good as my grandmother's house. I don't know how many more meals like that I'll have to cook until my house smells like that all the time, but I'm just happy that it worked once.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
It was the weekend before we moved from downtown Chicago to Joliet. I was twenty weeks pregnant. My mom had come up to help me pack and, by luck, she was also able to attend my 20-week ultrasound. Just a block away from my doctor's office (we rode the bus to get there, of course), in the Chicago Cultural Center, a group of monks were creating a sand mandala. It was unlike anything I've ever seen before.
That's colored sand. In one hand they hold a small metal cone filled with colored sand, and in the other they hold another metal cone. They tap or scrape the top of the cone filled with sand so that it comes out in miniscule amounts, making lines as fine as you can draw with a pencil. You can read more about it here.
That day is so vivid. It was hot, especially for me. We walked across the street to hang out in Millenium Park before my appointment, but it was too hot to bear so we just went to the doctor's office. The doctor was running hours behind, so my mom walked over to Marshall Fields to see what sort of damage she could do while we were waiting. After the appointment we headed over to Greek Town for dinner and stopped at Artopolis to get as many desserts as we could decently carry home. We decided to forgo the bus trip home and took a cab instead.
I guess I remember so much because it was my last real jaunt around town as a bona fide city-dweller. Anytime we drove into town after that we felt like frauds, like the suburbanites we used to make fun of, trying to appear that we belonged.
So while I love my home, my job, my life, I do in fact miss the city, the culture, the activity, and all that goes along with it.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Yesterday’s trip to Stride Rite may have topped that, though. I went in looking for some shoes for Joshua. He’s not walking yet, but it just occurred to me that we keep sending him to the nursery at church without shoes and that the nursery staff may be wondering just what brand of redneck we are that we don’t put shoes on our kid to crawl around on tile floor. But I digress…
The saleswoman and I had already gotten of to a rocky start. I asked for “9-12 month shoes,” but she apparently had no idea that their baby shoes were sized by month, yet kept acting as though I were the idiot. Anyway, we finally found some shoes. I took them to the register to pay and she started to fill out a “Buy 7 pairs of shoes, get the 8th pair free” card for me. Then she stopped.
“You’re not local, right?” she said.
“Actually I am,” I said. “But I’m wondering why you made that assumption.”
“Well, your car has
I nodded, encouraging her to finish her thought.
“…and you talk like a Yankee.”
There isn’t another Stride Rite within 50 miles. That’s the only reason she got my money.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
When we first moved here Jay conducted a very rigorous experiment to determine what we should plant in our garden...he went to the feed store and watched what other people were buying. The answer? Kale and turnips.
Of course at that point our garden didn't even exist, so he headed out with his hoe and his seeds and made one. This is what it looks like today, complete with the world's best gardening-helper.
You can see my pile of greens that I cut on the left.
And here's what happened to them about five minutes later.
I'll let you know how they turn out.