Friday, March 30, 2007


I'm using my blog to host a couple pictures so I can post them over at Two Peas. There's a thread about showing the oldest picture you have.

The top picture is my great-great grandmother on my mother's side, with her two sisters. (Great-great Grandma is the one on the left.) I believe this was taken in the late 1860s.

The bottom picture is my great-great-great grandparents on my father's side, and it's a metal tintype with the color painted on. I think this one is also from the 1860s.

I have lots and lots of old pictures, but I think these two are the very oldest.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Still here!

Still not feeling's getting tiresome. Some of it is "lady parts" trouble, which is particularly fun. I've been growling at Todd for having the good foresight to be born as a dude.

So there's just not much to update here, because I simply haven't been doing much. Let's see...I finally got my Target hutch and table set up, and they look nice. Then I sweet-talked Todd into getting me a new keyboard and mouse (both wireless) and a flat monitor. So I'm stylin' now.

I have a mountain of stuff to haul off to the local charity shop, and the house is a disaster area because Todd's been painting the stairway, which requires lots of plastic sheets and equipment sitting about. Also, to round out our conspicuous consumption for the month, Todd found a 37" flat-screen TV at an excellent price a couple weeks ago, and so that necessitated tearing our whole living room apart and rearranging it, and there are still miscellaneous piles sitting around after that.

Then Todd got under the house last weekend and wired up his surround sound speakers (the wires run under the floor so I don't have to look at them), so he finally has the home theater he's been pining for. The guy is as happy as a pig in poop...he watched Return of the Jedi on Sunday night and almost shook the house down.

Other than that, the most exciting thing that's happened is that after years of dreadful haircuts, Todd finally bought a clipper at Wal-Mart and decreed that I'm in charge of his hair from now on. I gave him his first coif on Friday, and managed to shave a bald patch over his left ear, which required him to find specialized seating positions (left side to the wall) during his business trip to Atlanta on Monday. I'm SUCH a good wife.

The trees are blooming their hearts out, and it's such a pleasure to see them. I can't wait for some green leaves to follow!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Happy spring!

We're having a very spring-like day here today--warm and breezy and sunny. I've got the windows open, trying to blow out the winter stuffies.

I started taking birth control pills a couple weeks ago, and I think they are making me very sick to my stomach, compounded by my seasonal allergy post-nasal drip. So I've been laying low in between bouts of gagging and occasional throw-ups. It's delightful.

Also, our Internet has been in and out for several days. So I'm here and doing good, just nauseated and occasionally incommunicado. I'll post again when I'm feeling a little less yakky!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I found this picture at a thrift store on Monday--three bucks. I just love it, it's some amateur little oil painting that someone masking-taped into a cheap frame, but look how nice it looks against my teal study walls!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Why do I itch all over today? I feel prickly all over my skin. Do I need a lotion bath or something?


My Target desk and hutch came today, huzzah! Now everybody needs to post a comment and tell my DH to get my old countertop torn down so I can put these together and start whipping this study back into shape!

I love thrifty finds, and screw-it-together furniture seems so...soulless...but honestly, I could look for months for something like this at sales and thrift stores before I found what I was looking for. So, soulless and quick it is.

I am, however, scouting the thrifts for an armchair of some sort for my study. Something comfy, maybe overstuffed, or maybe a little more structured. Not formal, more cottagey.

I found a little ottoman that should be easy to slipcover yesterday, plus a funny little table with a magazine rack built in that I'm going to paint white and put my teal lamp on. So that's done. I just need the countertop down, the computer table moved, and a chair to sit in, and I'll be almost there!

Then I want to slipcover my office chair, put up curtains of some sort...and then one room in this house, at least, will be done.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

More yada yada.

I'm doing a little housecleaning on my blogs today, and I added a new blog, too. It's called Nose in a Book, and it will become my new book journal, as the old-style (paper) book journal I started for 2007 is already showing signs of not being sufficient to hold all the books I read in a year. Besides, blogging about books will be more fun.

I have another blog, called Fresh Sweet Corn, that I started last summer when I thought I was going to be cooking lots and becoming a foodie blogger. Well, there are lots of foodie bloggers out there who are far, far, far more qualified than I...and yet, I still harbor the idea that my kitchen will suddenly become so alluring that I'll start concocting wonderful yummy things and writing about them all.

Well, a girl can dream. In the meantime, I am going to try to start updating that blog more often, which will mean cooking more often, so do check it out on occasion, if you'd like.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Chopping heads off chickens and other life skills.

Simply Recipes is one of my very favorite blogs--easy to look at, well-written, entertaining--and oh yes, excellent recipes to boot! Elise, the blog creator, was interviewed on her local NPR station the other day. Here's the link to her post about it, and from there, you can navigate to the broadcast and find her spot. It's about 1/3 of the way through.

It was so fun to hear her voice and find out a little bit about her, and she mentioned something that I think about a lot: how our parents and grandparents carry around so much knowledge and experience with them that we younger folk often don't pay attention to until at some point in our lives we wish to have it.

I commented on her blog that I have a very vivid memory of my grandpa and my dad butchering chickens in my grandparents' yard, and then wandering down to the basement and watching my grandma and my mom plucking the birds and taking out their guts and whatnot. I remember being amazed when they opened one of the birds, and there was an egg intact inside of her. Talk about fresh!

Anyway, I would have no clue, none, about how to butcher a bird. No desire, either. I get yicked out handling grocery store chicken with the skin still on it.

But there are other skills, less gross skills, that I just never got passed along to me. I guess because by the time the 70s and 80s rolled around, they weren't skills that people needed to get through life. But how convenient it would be to be able to sew, or crochet, or make yeast bread, or...any of the other myriads of things I don't know how to do. Seems like the older folks in my family know at least a million things that I don't.

Of course, I can blog. But that doesn't seem like a good skill trade-off!


Isn't this the darlingest thing ever?

It's got a mesh insert so you can brew tea, but you can pull it out so the pot can go in the microwave to heat the water.

Here's where you can get one of your own. It's awfully hard to pick a color, though! I picked Sunflower.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Yay, books!

I'm excited...I indulged myself with three new home decor books, which is a real indulgence for me. Paperbacks, no biggie. But big full-color hardback books, those are a little more rare for me to buy.

They came from Amazon's what I got:

Flea Market Style
, by Emily Chalmers

The French-Inspired Home, by Kaari Meng

Decorating Easy, by Jane Cumberbatch

I'm so excited about sitting and savoring them that I'm putting off sitting and savoring them, like a kid hoarding bubble gum in a treasure box. Ridiculous.

I had another book by Jane Cumberbatch called Pure Style, but I'm very much afraid I unloaded it in one of my book purges, because the style was a little too pure. Lots of empty granite sinks and shower stalls, if I remember correctly. But I do still wish I had it. If I did indeed get rid of it. Maybe I should just go look.

We had a fabulous book store in Columbus that was inside an old church. Appropriate, as I had a feeling of reverence walking up the steps and seeing books, books and more books.

Most of the books were overstocks...a few used items, but mostly overstocks and, oddly, lots of British books. I got some fabulous British embroidery books there and also quite a few home decor books, like Pure Style.

The really famous bookstore in Columbus was in German Village downtown, and the name completely escapes me rght now, but it was in one of the old brick buildings there, a rabbit warren of room after room absolutely crammed with books. Again, lots of overstocks and odds and ends, but it was hugely popular. The rooms were tiny and full, and then they'd fill up with, oh, two or three people per room, and you couldn't turn around, and your breath would get stopped up in your chest, and you'd have to worm your way out to the tiny courtyard and take a few deep breaths. So although it was a beloved landmark, I never really warmed up to the place after my first visit. The church bookstore was better. It definitely contributed to my book collection explosion of the mid- to late-90s.

We don't really have any bookstores like that here in Hampton Roads. There's a Books-a-Million in Hampton, but it's pretty soulless. There are used bookstores in Newport News and Williamsburg where you can trade in your oldies for credit, and I do take advantage of those, but again, they're both in skanky strip malls and very much without character.

It amazes me that this area is soooo incredibly old, settled for so long (400 years!) and yet soooo without beauty or character. The history is confined to tourist-approved areas (Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, a few blocks in Portsmouth) and everything else is tract housing and strip malls. I don't understand it, and I don't like it.

Not that Columbus didn't have its incredibly ugly spots, but the thing about Ohio is that it's rife with small towns that were all built in an era when people cared about doing things right, and about making buildings beautiful. And there are enough of those towns left, and enough of them have been encapsulated by Columbus' growth, that you can find very charming places wherever you go. I do miss that.

Wow, what a ramble. Maybe I should go crack open a book!

Friday, March 02, 2007


I haven't been writing much on my own blog lately, but here's a few random blogs I've discovered in the past few months that I love to check on regularly:

Posie Gets Cozy
All Buttoned Up
Every Little Thing
Emma's Closet
Daisy Cottage
Folded Gingham
Jane's Apron

There are so many women out there creating beautiful lives for themselves and blogging all about it. That makes me love the Internet!


The clouds are pretty this evening. And it feels like spring is really here.

Time to think about gardens and dirt and paint and furniture. And doors--we're on a mission to replace every interior door plus the front door. Time to scrub the siding and paint the trim and shutters. Time to lay down mulch and put in plants.

Time to think about capri pants and tee shirts and bemoan the winter weight gain.

I'll miss winter...this one was a nice one. We had our evenings in front of the fireplace and our nights under my beloved down comforter. I sleep so well under the weight of that comforter! We had our one snow experience--struggling through a blizzard between Baltimore and Washington one Sunday night in January, but that was all. I actually wanted more snow, one or two of those days inside watching the snow fall, but it was not to be, this winter.

Here comes spring, ready or not.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Come back, bunny bowl!

Don't you hate it when you're having a dream in which something really great is about to happen, like having the best sex of your life with your favorite celebrity, and then you feel yourself waking up before you get to the good part? Sometimes I know, in my dream, that I'm waking up and I tell myself, "Stay asleep! STAY ASLEEP!" But that never works, sadly.

This morning I had a dream that I wandered into an auction in the midst of the bidding on a ceramic bowl shaped like a bunny rabbit, with a bunch of other cool stuff piled into the bowl. I didn't really catch what-all was in the bowl, but the bidding was at $3.00, so I bid, and then the other woman who wanted it bid $4.00, and then I bid $5.00.

So all eyes were on this other woman, and she hemmed and hawed and showed me this shelf she'd bought and how cute the ceramic bowl would look on it, somehow thinking I'd relent and let her cheap self have the bowl for $4.00. Chuh! As if.

But I hadn't gotten a number before I bid, so I had to fill out all this paperwork, and I woke up as I was writing my address, and I never got a good look at my bunny bowl or what was inside. Alas.

Those particular lots at auctions are my favorites, by the way--the stuff left over at the end, where they've taken a mess of odds and ends, piled them in a box lid, and then auction them off for a few bucks.

I've gotten some interesting things in those lots--an ancient English teapot, a Carnival glass crock with a lid (which was sadly shattered in my falling table tragedy of November), a pile of very old Sunday School books with beautiful pictures, two lovely old sepia photos of cocker spaniels. To me, there's nothing more fun than rummaging through other people's detrititus.

And my dream denied me the fun! Ah well.