Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Kingdom for a Key!

This is no figurative key that I’m talking about, folks. When I say “key,” I mean the real deal: long, brass, curvy in all the right places, an actual “Indian in the Cupboard” sort of key.

The mechanism to our bedroom has been faulty for weeks. I usually come hurtling towards my door, intent on grabbing something important, such as a pair of socks, only to remember (when my body hits the door) that it will take a few tries before I will see inside. So I start fumbling with the doorknob. You’ll remember that our ancient yellow house is no stranger to the early 1900’s. This means that our floors do slope; some of our light switches are, in fact, buttons that push in and out; and our doorknobs are huge, brass, and have an old-fashioned keyhole that you can see through. It usually takes three or four anxious twists of the knob before the wooden door pops open.

My husband has proven himself to be quite the handyman, a fact that I was aware of when I married him, but I don't think I fully realized how useful it would be! If something is stuck, creaky, wobbly, broken, clogged, sputtering, or even slightly winded, he'll figure out how to bring it fix it. If Drew wasn't becoming a physician’s assistant, I'd recommend a career as a first-rate safecracker or Connects creator. He loves to know the "why" behind everything (I'm a little worried about all the questions our future munchkins will ask one day...;) I love this guy!

I get out of the shower one evening to find him sitting Indian-style on the bedroom floor, our huge toolbox beside him and the doorknob in pieces. Fifteen minutes later, voila! In my hand is a bedroom doorknob that feels like it was greased with butter.

“Hey, did you know that a key would work for these doors?” Drew asks me.

“Yeah, but we don’t have any.”

“They’re available everywhere.”

“Really? You think Lowes would have one? Mmm…”

We’ve had a few instances when, having guests over, one will barge in on another. I believe I've actually walked in on someone before. *embarrassed* A key would be quite handy in there! And I know it would give the person inside a feeling of security. Hmm…I wonder if old-fashioned keys are made in China?


It's much more challenging - aesthetically speaking - to photograph a guy. Let's face it, a guy's wardrobe tends to consist entirely of dark, muted colors, he's not jumping at the change to strike an interesting pose for the sake of art, and he has very few, if any, accessories. You read that last part right. ;) Girls come complete with rings, bracelets, necklaces, hair do-dads, hats, scarves, and of course, the cutest shoes ever. So when Esther said yes to a photo shoot, I ran (notice that I didn't jump) straight to her home for the chance. These are some of my favorites...

This one = my absolute favorite

P.S. Did you know that it IS possible to find sneakers from somewhere other than China?! I must admit, I was skeptical. To me, sporty sneakers = Chinese born and bred. Drew and I are running our very first 5K in August and Drew's sneakers are not only old, but he wasn't even the first owner. They also bestow him with blisters. Suffice it to say, he needs new footwear. We went shoe shopping today - to a place that I secretly nicknamed "China Carnival" - and lo and behold, it is very possible to find a few Nikes, Adidas, and Ascic sneakers from Indonesia and Vietnam. I never knew...

These babies are running a 5K! Shh, they don't know yet.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The 4th

A few shots from our 4th of July barbecue...

Max, the newest addition

Drew and Katrina, scheming

The nasty caterpillar, intent on destroying Mom's potato plants...

Fresh peaches - in miniature size - right off the tree!

P.S. Ten Chinese workers at one of Foxconn's plants have committed suicide this year because of bad working conditions. Foxconn is a manufacturer of electronics - said to be the largest in the world - for big companies such as Apple, Dell, Nokia, and others. Check out "Rash of Suicides in China where Apple Products are Produced" at http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/string-suicides-apple-manufacturer-china/story?id=10789704&page=1 or "China Suicides: Is Apple headed for a consumer backlash?" at http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/Apple-iPad-suicides-china-suppliers for more. A quote from the latter article stood out...

"Ultimately, labor groups say, the responsibility for factory conditions lies in the hands of consumers who buy the products. Chinese factories have taken over the consumer electronics production industry not because of special know-how or technology, but because there is a huge supply of cheap labor," writes Kathleen E. McLaughlin of Global Post.

We need to do something; we need to make a difference.

Bra Troubles

I went to the mall the other day. Talk about an exercise in self-control...

It was time to shop for undergarments. Again. I had gone bra-shopping a month ago, anticipating an easy trip. My plan was to duck into Victoria's Secret, grab their two-for-one deal (only $20 for two bras!), and duck out. I had already checked out the different bra styles online and knew what I wanted. Being the successful boycotter I was, I had also emailed the company to find out where their bras were made. Everything was falling into place beautifully!

I walked into the mall and found myself right next to Victoria's Secret (complements of my husband, who wowed me with a new mall parking garage that I had never known existed!). The problems began in the fitting room. "Oh, the Pink bras are for developing girls," said the sales girl. "You'll probably have to go up a size or two." Gee, so I was going to have to bring home a size D cup because I wasn't a "developing girl?" Ugh. After trying on what seemed like a kazillion bras (in case you're missing the sarcasm here, I loathe trying on bras. I believe bras and jeans belong in the same category of shopping difficulty), I happened to glance at a tag. "Made in China." Brilliant. But the email I got said they're made in Sri Lanka, NOT China, I said to myself. Despair was starting to kick in. I began pulling out tags like a mad woman. And would you believe it, there were three different countries of origin for one brand of bra. Go with me on a limb here - all of the bras in my size were made in China.

It was at that point that my supposedly quick shopping trip turned into a nightmare. I met Drew outside the store and, in a shell shocked tone of voice, relayed my findings. He followed me from store to store to store, as I attempted to find one, beige, 34B that was NOT made in China. I went home, empty handed and depressed. Drew rose to the occasion magnificently, attempting to revive me from the depths of despair. You have to understand that the last thing any red-blooded male wants to go is go bra shopping. Not only was Drew there, bra shopping with me, but he was trying to cheer me up!

A beige bra is a necessity for me in the summer. If you were to peer into Giedre's closet, you'd find a lot of black. Take a peek into mine and you'll see loads of white. I wear white in the summer. But not without a beige bra I don't...

So that brings us to today. Or rather, this past Friday. I strode into Belks, remembering that I had found a $30, non-Chinese bra there a month ago. The last thing I wanted to do was drop that much money on a bra. But desperate times DO call for desperate measures. My walk slowed as I saw all the signs with "$20" posted on them. My heart thumped loudly once, twice, in my chest. "Kalabunga," I whispered to myself, "I'm SAVED!"

Of course, the really cute bras with the silver, sparkly doodads were m.i.c. I was not going to lose hope, however, and scavenged every rack until I found a few to try on. This time, I came home with a bra. While Belk did not believe in stretching $20 to cover two bras, I think this new one will do quite nicely.


This is Max, the model cat.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I was re-reading old blog posts and a few sentences from my Chaco post glowed florescent (Am I a vain, psycho person? Does anyone else out there do that? I like to see what I was saying back when... ;).

"Drew says they look hippie - if you live in Asheville, this is a true statement. Chacos DO = hippie in my neck of the woods. Where them anywhere else and you'll just be a normal American. ;)"

Ladies and gents, I MUST correct myself. I can't help it. Drew says Chaocs look hippie. If you live in Asheville, this is false. For those who pay attention to footwear as I do (I'm a sole lover. Can't help but check out other people's footwear!), you'll spot Chacos all over the place: in the greenie store, downtown, occasionally at the mall (well, on me, at least), at church, you name the place and I've probably seen 'em there. Wear Chacos in Asheville and you're a normal American. Wear them anywhere else - ahhh, you're a hippie weirdo.