Thursday, November 12, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 12

Hutchinson is a new cat at the shelter who came from a breeder turned hoarder. She had about 40 purebred American Shorthairs who have been coming through the shelter. Hutchinson has a defect in his jaw that doesn't allow him to completely close his mouth - hence the tongue that constantly hangs out. He's pretty funny - how could you ever frown with this guy around?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 11

William is entirely displeased with his current living situation
downstairs. He can't wait until everything is put back together. Me
too, buddy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 10


Eating: Vegetable Soup. I had to break in my freshly cleaned (but still a mess) kitchen with a good, fall meal. I make vegetable soup in a two-part process - first I make a pot roast and then use the juices and meat in the soup. This batch had crushed tomatoes and tomato juice from canning camp this summer, corn from Kentucky, and limas from a local farm. It's always extra nice to be able to cook with local produce and ingredients you helped make.

Watching: Swoopo. I'm kind of fascinated by this online auction site. Jeremy got a phenomenal deal on a laptop and some of the sales are unbelievable. Watching some of the auctions is kind of like watching the weather channel - you get sucked in and can't help but watch.

Loving: The fact that Miss Doxie is back. She is hilarious and was much missed during the year that she disappeared. She has fantastic stories about her crazy dogs (I cannot tell you how often I think to myself "Gimme that ugly dog") and has recently acquired a crazy cat.

Monday, November 9, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 9

Lazy, lazy weekend. I spent a few hours on Friday cleaning the downstairs for the first time since it broke and it felt indescribably good to have clean countertops and to vacuum up all the splinters tracked through the house. There are still small splinters, carpet tacks, and general debris strewn around so the cats are still quarantined, but it's much more pleasant to be downstairs now. An adjuster is coming out in a little bit so hopefully things will get moving again soon. It's been three weeks since I got home to the never-ending mess - I just hope it doesn't last another.

A friend is having his kitchen remodeled so we were commiserating about having a mess in the house. We decided that who ever "wins" (gets a fully functional kitchen first) has to buy the loser a drink. Free beer is nice, but I'll take a comfortable downstairs any day.

Completely unrelated, here is a picture that has been cracking me up since I saw it. Dealing with the stress of the last few months has been infinitely easier with this guy around.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Severe Crankypants Alert


I found this post, title and all, in my drafts folder. Not sure what had made me so cranky, but I think it's funny that I saved a post with a title and only one word. (Obviously I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel for NaBloPoMo content.)

Recommended link:
Mimi Smartypants
I love that her posts and her writing style haven't changed in the five or so years I've been reading her. She writes interesting blurbs about her every day life and her random titles/post sign-offs can't be beat. I know I've linked to her at least once and I'm sure you'll find her more than once in my starred items in Google Reader (over to the left - I've still been keeping up with those).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 7

Talking about a round-up post yesterday made me think I should do a recent one. Here we go!

Reading: Sadly not much. I started Jesse Ball's The Way Through Doors and absolutely love it but I haven't gotten around to finishing it. I didn't think I would be able to get into it because he has a strange writing style. I usually don't do well with non-traditional styles but his story-telling just sucked me in. For a quick read, I recommend Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry (Lauren, I think you would really like this). It's such a fascinating way to write a story and it's a book you can go back to and pick up at any point and read for a while.

Listening: I've been doing a lot of driving lately so I'm always looking for new podcasts. I love the Stuff You Should Know show and always pick up interesting tidbits of information. The Sound Opinions podcast can be really good if they have a good main topic. I have to credit the Sound Opinions guys for introducing me to my latest music obsession - An Horse. They were on the SXSW show back in the fall and their song "Horizons" was featured. Love it. I bought the whole album and have been listening to it in the car ever since.

Eating - the Whole Foods salad bar. Since I haven't been able to cook I've been picking up dinner on my way home after school. I love, love their salad bar but fear it will cause me to run up past my credit limit. It's called Whole Paycheck for a reason.

Friday, November 6, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 6

Recommended link for today:
ljc fyi
I may have mentioned ljc before but I just love her blog so much. She has fantastic crafty projects, has great pets who are regularly featured, and does canning. What else can you ask? I based my Round-Up posts on her left side-bar but she obviously does it much better.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Inmate Penpal - NaBloPoMo Day 5

I found this email in my draft folder - I can't remember if I've told this story here or not.

I got an email a while ago from my mom that reminded me of a story I had meant to tell here but had completely forgotten about. For slightly paranoid reasons that should become obvious, I didn't want to mention anything at the time, but moving has put some space there.

Last April (2007?) I got a large light blue envelope in the mail covered in one cent stamps with a return address of a federal prison. I tried to find it (the letter, not the prison) so I could show a picture but I think it got lost in the move. Inside was a copy of Games Magazine* with my address label and a two page letter. Turns out my copy got stuck to the inmate's copy and he had mailed it back to me. In the letter he wrote that I shouldn't worry because he hadn't kept my address (I think he added in a "haha" and smiley face for good measure) but that he hoped I would be nice enough to write him back. He told me all about his future job plans and went into some specifics about how I could find him after he was released. He was even so kind as to include his age/height/weight/ethnicity/hair color etc. He should be out on parole now, so if there are any ladies out there looking for love and adventure he's probably available.

(So the title of the post isn't entirely accurate - it just sounds better than "That One Time I Got a Letter from a Prisoner")

*I have been getting this magazine without paying a subscription for a good fifteen years. It has followed me from Indiana to Carrboro to Durham without any notification action on my part. I just hope that by writing about it I don't jinx it - it's nice to get but not worth the ridiculous subscription cost. (Update - it followed me to Durham but has since stopped. Booo.)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaBloPoMo Day 4

(Yes - it's technically day 2, but let's pretend I posted the first two days)

Link for today
The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Ree lives on a ranch in the middle of nowhere but manages to pull off dishes that aren't typical Kansas or Oklahoma fare. She takes absolutely beautiful pictures of the whole cooking process and is a realistic chef - she doesn't expect you to have super-fancy ingredients on hand or to spend hours on a single dish. The only downside is that she feeds a family of six plus various ranch hands (it's a real farm!) and it doesn't always work for me to make cinnamon rolls for 24.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Starting late

So I completely forgot that November is NaBloPoMo - National Blog Posting Month, where the goal is to post every day of the month. I tried it a few years ago (I could go through my archives and link to it but you all are smart people) in a rather pathetic attempt. I figure this is a good way to get into the habit of posting more often - we'll see how this goes.

I'm so excited for October to be over. I've basically lived in my bedroom for the last half of the month due to the flooding. The cats are getting extremely bored trapped in a single room and I can't say I blame them. I haven't been grocery shopping in at least two weeks and the closest I've come to cooking is making coffee. My house has always been a refuge for me and the place where I can chill out and get away from all of the stress of work and school. This is why I haven't had a roommate since college and why I don't do well away from home for too long. My house is now even more stressful than the world outside and that's really taking a toll on me. I cannot wait to have everything back to normal and cook some meals and catch up on the DVR.

Whew - enough whining. Since you really don't want to hear me go on and on about the house all month I'm going to use these posts to recommend links. This also saves me the trouble of updating my links section on the left. Everyone wins!

Today's recommendation:
Young House Love
John and Sherry bought an older house in Richmond and document all of their adventures related to renovating their home and making it their own. They have a fantastic sense of design and I love seeing the little and big changes they make all over their house. I am always impressed by their ability to tackle big projects and to make you feel like you can do it too. Check out their backyard wedding - it's amazing that they pulled off such a fantastic celebration on a small budget.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Q: What do you do when your house is a wreck, your air conditioner is
broken, and you have a ridiculous amount of work due this week?

A: Buy a cute new (and very reasonably priced!) coat. Obviously.

Falling Apart

This has been a really tough semester and I've been pretty consistently overwhelmed with school and work (paid and unpaid) related responsibilities. So it is natural that my house would have a major plumbing problem in the brief time between midterms and gearing up for the end of the semester. And now my air conditioner has frozen. The restoration people are coming back today to completely rip out the kitchen floor. I have put in numerous requests for the house elves to come fix everything but that hasn't worked so far. I keep telling myself that it could be worse. Everything is replaceable and insurance should cover it all. And I don't have shingles.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Back By Popular Demand

Oh, hi! Did I once have a blog?

Blogging was really easy when I didn't have much going on. It was easy to write up lists or tell stories when every day was the same. I went to work, sat at my desk, and went home. Days were more or less the same and I had all kinds of energy for being creative with writing and doing projects around the house.

It's much harder now. Each day is different and I don't have the luxury of taking half an hour in the middle of the day to write up something witty. This has also been one of the most incredible years of my life, in so many ways. It's much harder to share those details. I'm going to try, though. I'm going to try to have fun with this and share the funny, silly things. Like the actual shotgun wedding my sister witnessed last weekend.

So what have I been up to? Let's review:
School - fantastic. I'm loving this semester of classes and am gradually narrowing in on a dissertation topic.
Boyfriend - what can I really say? He's one of the reasons this year has been so amazing.
House - love it. I was apprehensive about moving from my beloved Carrboro, but I love my new(ish) place.
Projects - sadly lacking. I made a skirt back in the spring, but I haven't done much since then.
Cooking - I got a grill in May and I've been using it all the time. Bobby Flay has a fantastic grill cookbook and his dill-orzo shrimp has been a staple.
Music - Going to see Andrew Bird tomorrow night! This will be the third time I've seen him and he belongs in that rare category of musicians I love to see live.

Let's try for weekly posts - we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

So Much The Same, And So Much Better

Yesterday I took the trip down I-85 to see my second favorite Wildcat team. The popularity of the basketball program has exploded since I last attended a game, and although I'd heard about the difference I didn't really understand until I saw it myself. The town bar was crowded before the sold out game, and it seemed like there were more people there in Davidson gear than there were in the student section at games five years ago. The bar was packed after the game, too. The wait for a table was nearly an hour and it took quite a while to get a drink. It was the kind of crowd you would expect to see on a homecoming weekend, not an average January weekend where the 'Cats played a so-so conference opponent.

Although the atmosphere was so different there were some things that were exactly the same. The cheerleaders nearly dropped someone, and their routines hadn't changed much. There were still seven year-olds racing to put on an oversized uniform and make a layup during a media timeout. The buses from The Pines were still parked outside promptly after the game to take home the senior citizens in their Davidson sweaters and knitted vests.

It's good to know that although the crowd was larger, the bleachers had backs, and press row was fuller, it was still Davidson.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Women and Wine!

I posted a while back about a group of women that got together to hang out and drink once a month around a theme. By my calculations, 75% of the women in that group got pregnant over the last year. People got busy with babies and the group fell apart.

Tonight I hosted the first revival group of Women and Wine. I don't think there were any of the original women in attendance (maybe Amanda?) It was the first time I had really had people over since I moved and it went so well (in terms of people). I think everyone met someone new and we all got along wonderfully.

Since there was usually a theme, I had planned on researching quality boxed wine - I searched The Splendid Table recommendations and put my list together. It wasn't until I got to the wine store that I realized that the quality box wines are sold in units equivalent to 4 bottles. There was no way I was buying two whites and two reds for a total of 16 bottles. I ended up buying a red box and a white box - with some red and white bottles. I probably have the equivalent of 8 bottles left, along with hummus, crackers, popcorn, chocolate, and cookies. Excellent benefit to hosting! We haven't decided on a host for next month but I'm already excited to get together with everyone again.