Friday, May 27, 2011

the iPad - friend or foe?

Do you know how frustrating it is to do anything on an iPad (besides read a book)? Granted, the Internet connection IS slow, so that's not doing me any favors. But the screen is so small. My fingers are so big. The tapping of a flat surface is so...unsatisfying. I'm almost ready to pull open the hotel door and run down the carpeted hallways, yelling loudly. Did I mention that I'm already rocking my pajamas?

The only thing stopping me is my mother. She's sitting across from me, gleefully pouring beer into three small, plastic cups. It's her favorite beer - a Belgain Kriek - and she wants to share so badly. The brew is purple-ish in hue and comes in a large green bottle that has a bottle cap AND a cork. Nice, huh? I'm full of Greek salad and Mellow 'shroom pizza, so the fact that this beer tastes like fruity, albeit alcoholic, soda is awesome to me.

I'm ready to say "farewell" to the town of Winston-Salem. My mom, brother, and I have been here, selling books, for the past few days. This is actually my dad's gig - selling science and history texts, audios, etc. to homeschoolers - but he had a huge book convention to go to in Florida this weekend, so I'm pitching in. I'm remembering exactly why I didn't become a salesperson...florescent lights, concrete floors, pasting on a cheery smile, mumbling the mantra "the customer is always right" under my breath, nope, this life is not for me. But for one weekend, I can do it.

Luckily my mom has an iPad or I could be off the grid for days. Ugh. So thank you iPad, even if you do annoy me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

wednesday morning

A shower first thing in the morning.
That bright burst of juicy flavor that is Suave's Green Apple shampoo.
Crunchy Cheerios inside a lemon yellow bowl,
happily turning soggy.
Orange juice housed in a Del Monte Tropical Mixed Fruit jar...
it smells weird.
A shot of celery green, rays of gold, my neighbor weeding and watering the garden. 
Piles forming an uneven line down my bed - underwear, tops, see the colorful picture?
Coughing loudly enough to scare someone...
since when does a summer cold include 1. a stuffy nose, 
2. a voice change,
3. general feelings of blah and laziness,
and 4. loud coughing? Shouldn't it be limited to ONE of the above?
It feels absolutely wonderful to have a fan whirring busily over my wet head.
The clock reads 9:06.
I suppose I should finish packing...perhaps apply some makeup?
Brush two cats who are entirely over endowed with fur.
Gone to Winston-Salem.
See you soon.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

cotton candy is for clowns and five-year-olds and...heck, it's for everyone

So I've been thinking...I have friends who are married right now. I have friends who are married and pregnant. I have friends who are single. Everybody is in a different stage in their life and honestly, how do all of those relationships make sense to me, the married gal with no kids? It's something I've been pondering recently.

The married folk are getting to know their respective others; they're doing the couples thing and saving up for stuff like new couches and paying off loans. The single people are going on interesting, exotic vacations; figuring out where they want to go next in the world. Those expecting are cooing over babies and and taking it to the second step while the rest of us watch, slightly awed.

How does one reconcile these three worlds? Honestly, it's a question I've asked myself more than once. I'm married. I'm not at the baby phase quite yet, but I'm experiencing those nagging feelings - touching a wee cream gown at Baby Gap; taking in the sweet, dusky scent of my niece; wanting to nickname my dad Vukas (the Lithuanian version of "Grandpa") sometime in the next year or so. But at the same time, I find myself lingering in the honeymoon phase that is our two-person family: relishing a Saturday morning in bed. Enjoying the calm, sweet silence of an apartment embodied only by two humans and a couple of cats. This often leaves me a tad bit confused. Where do I fit in? HOW do I fit in?

Although this will sound cliched, everyone is on a unique, wonderful journey of her own. And I'm on mine. So we forge ahead, finding those people that click with us, that complement our own, sometimes crazy journeys. And we befriend these people, whatever stage of life they're in. I know some truly superb people that I am privileged to call friends.

We need friends in all walks of life. Those who are married. Those single folks. The parents with kiddos. And older people. I hang out with teenagers who carry shiny plastic wallets shaped like hamburgers, flirt in a fashion that oddly reminds me of an eight-year-old, yet philosophize like they're eighty. I belong to a writing club with a few wonderful folk who are in their forties, fifties, and yes, possibly in their sixties. If I hang out with only people who are JUST like me, well, I'm not going to be very well-rounded. So it makes sense to be friends with people from all walks of life. And if I don't quite fit into the same circle that they're in at the moment, well, that's okay too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

scrambled, please

I'm tellin' ya, eggs are THE way to go.

When too much time goes by, my sister and I require a long phone chat (try 1 hr, 38 minutes, and 33 seconds of long!). We had one of those today and one of the recurring topics was what we should eat for dinner. She scrounged around in her fridge, I investigated mine. As soon as I spotted the three, lumpy, leftover potatoes sitting forlornly in their container, I knew what I was eating for dinner.

Cast iron skillets are awesome because they're easy to cook with and easy to clean. I browned the potato chunks, than poured my scrambled eggs in (doctored with some fresh green onions and cilantro). Carefully throw in a glass of red wine and in ten minutes, dinner was served.

I don't have a picture of my beautiful dinner because I'm a bum and I didn't think to take one. :( But just remember, eggs are THE way to go. There are so many things sitting around in the fridge that you can add to them: peppers; olives; garlic; any sort of onions; ham; bacon; sausage; cheese of any shape, color, or taste; herb(s) of your choice; salsa; chunks of tomato; I don't know, the sky?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

allllllll aboard

plastic ovals, anyone?

I'm prying my eyes open because the little pieces of plastic sticking to my pupils are slowly but surely drying up. The computer screen is turning blurry. *yawn* I was going to rhapsodize about how, even though today was the most miserable day (weather-wise) that the mountains have seen in a month, I ate fresh basil today. And it was awesome. I chopped the savory green stuff up and scattered it over my tomato soup (because we all know that cold, yucky weather calls for soup. Pronto!) and felt warmth seeping into my bones. But no, my eyes WILL shut if I don't remove these darn plastic ovals.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Can you say "bottle-of-red-wine-gone-in-7-seconds?

Wowzers. I was catching up on my blog reading and found my dream dinner. Love and Olive Oil featured red-wine spaghetti on her blog today and I tell ya, it looks dee-licious. Amazing. Like, I'd love to try it asap. As she points out, why CAN'T you cook pasta in something other than water? But sadly, I too don't want to waste a perfectly lovely $10 bottle of wine...for purple pasta. I did see wine at my local greenie store once upon a time for a whopping $2.99.


Yes. It's been decided. The next I see such a sweet deal, I will make purple pasta.

In other news, Drew and I served up beef kabobs tonight for some friends. Our temperamental mountain weather decided to dish out the thunder like this wasn't Friday night - the start of a glorious weekend - so we broiled the kabobs instead of grilling them. I love the idea of marinades, but have never taken the time to explore the endless possibilities and flavors associated with them (and I'm also lazy. I don't know what I'm eating a few hours before dinner, let alone twenty-four hours before). After trying this particular marinade out, I'd like to change that. Check out this post on food.com for the recipe.

*I halved it (for 1.5 lbs. of beef) and left out the teriyaki (don't have any :(, but it was still excellent.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

do you ever find a quote that just opens its mouth and speaks, directly to you?

“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.” - Oprah Winfrey

A sublime quote, this. Thanks to Camilla at Champagne Bubbles for blessing me with these words today. Some quotes are sassy, others downright inspired, but this one, it speaks to me. I realize it might not be working for you (what's WRONG with her, you're thinking). And I get that. Different quotes for different people.

I'm not a downer, really I'm not. I've always thought of myself as that person who can (if she feels like it) lift herself up and out of a funk by flipping the "on" switch and DOING something. I'm a do-er, definitely. This morning I found myself frustrated by my budget. Yuck. I could only bring home x amount of groceries from a certain, fancy smanchy grocery store when I wanted to buy so much more. I swear to you, everything in there looked delicious. I wanted to buy luscious red tomatoes, glossy six-packs of locally brewed beer, and thick slabs of NY strip steaks until my buggy wouldn't hold anymore. So to defuse myself, I organized my fridge (FREAK!). I told Drew (and I was totally patting myself on the back while saying this) that I was frustrated, but dealing with it like an adult by reminding myself of all the yummy things that my fridge DID hold.

So this quote hits me because a lot of times, I'll get frustrated about this, that, or the dog down the hall and my view of the future shifts. Like, drastically in one direction. All of a sudden, it's not as sweet and promising as was five minutes ago. But dang, when the attitude changes, that future is rosy again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

cheese on my head

We were eating cheese the other day, Drew and I. Mine was bundled snugly in my veggie wrap, he was eating a big, yellow and white flecked slice of the stuff. He starts talking about Gus (who? I wonder), their family dog from eons ago. Apparently Gus and Drew's younger brother Jeromy were tykes together. Jer used to walking around the house often clutching a slice of cheese in his hands, and the hungry puppy was always snatching it away from him. Being a clever kid, Jeromy decided to stick the cheese on top of his head, where Gus couldn't reach. I instantly had a mental image of a tow-headed Jeromy, Colby Jack cheese balanced on his head, followed by a squirmy puppy, eagerly pursuing. Oh, memories.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kendi's 30 for 30

I've been itching to take this challenge. Now Kendi's starting a fresh 30-for-30 summer stint in a few weeks and I'm really tempted. At least for a few mixes...not sure if I can commit to the full 30 (I don't need MORE stress!).

For those wondering if I've gone completely loony (I haven't), here it is in a nutshell. Kendi, the writer of one of my favorite blogs, Kendi Everyday, created the 30 days, 30 outfits, 30 items challenge. The idea is to really (no, REALLY) learn what's in your closet. We all have those tops, bottoms, shoes, whatever, that live in the dredges of our dressers or closets, collecting dust, because we simply can't figure out how to incorporate them into a truly superb outfit. This challenge is also meant to curb a shopaholic's cravings; in other words, "I've got a party to go to and NEED a new dress" syndrome.

I'm itching to take the challenge because I want to get those creative juices flowing, discover the "me" fashion, and decide out how to incorporate those duds (which I'm guessing aren't duds if paired with the right something-something) lingering in the depths of my tiny closet.

Are you in?

the best of Mondays

Today has been an absolutely smashing Monday. <-- Those words, coming out of my --> mouth...yeah, only once in a very very blue moon (and I'm not talking about the delicious liquid-y stuff). No big reason in particular; just a lot of very small, very insignificant reasons.

{I know I'm happier when I walk 15 min. to work instead of drive 5, so I did that today. My neighborhood has some of the prettiest streets in Asheville (I AM biased) and being out in the fresh air for 30 min. on a Monday succeeds in making me darn happy. This is why I'm self-employed, I tell myself happily.}

{There wasn't a terribly large amount of laundry to do at the B&B today (check!). It's always intimidating to walk in to a three foot by five foot pile of laundry. Yuck.}

{I had chicken on toast for lunch. No biggie, you say? Try topping the chicken with fresh lettuce (the kind that I find the occasional, contended spider lazing about on) and Thousand Island dressing. This was my aunt's solution to the munchies that inevitably follow Thanksgiving dinner, except with turkey v. chicken. Add a dill pickle on the side and you have a very happy me.}

{My lunch hour was made even more enjoyable by the fact that Drew was home to eat with me.}

{Music lessons went swimmingly. One of my kiddos, let's call him John, will be performing in a recital this Sunday. The two of us only found out about it today, so we worked like mad, he playing and I instructing, to get him ready. "So," he says, "If I win first place, do you want me to show you?" I'm confused. "Show me what?" "My ribbon," he says confidently. I explain that there are no ribbons at a recital. "You might get a certificate," I offer. He doesn't seem impressed. "But do you want me to bring it in?" "Sure," I say, but again attempt to stress that it would most certainly be a certificate v. a ribbon. "Will I get money?" he asks, with a gleam in his eye. Kids.}

{Food makes me smile and dinner was pretty fantabulous as well, especially since it was complemented by a glass of red wine. Seriously, how can red wine not make everything hum? One glass = a content me.}

{Drew left a while ago to go fishing (night fishing? Do they bring lights?) with a few of his friends. It makes me so happy when Drew is happy.}

{Blogging, goofing off, perhaps teasing the cats, watching Grey's...yes indeed, it has been the Best of Mondays.}

Sunday, May 8, 2011

claiming blog...

just a random badge so that i can claim my blog on bloglovin :)

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Friday, May 6, 2011

chris & jamie

His eyes crinkle when he grins. She is always laughing. When they hug, her petite frame fits neatly into his. From the sweet looks and playful banter I captured, it's obvious they're very much in love. I roamed all over the Botanical Gardens last weekend with Chris and Jamie. They were awesome and very open to all of my suggestions. Wade in the creek? No problem. Scramble over slippery, moss-strewn rocks? Sure. Lay in damp grass (in a white dress)? Definitely. Jamie even willingly (should I say happily?!) splashed Chris for the camera's benefit.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

a blanket for eliza winifred

I'm a procrastinator. Anyone who knows me knows this to be the 100% Amen truth. If it's a project where I'M chief, then the job WILL get done...but on my time (if it's job related, no worries. I hand in all my writing & editing assignments on time). ;)

Last August, when my sister-in-law announced that she was pregnant, I knew I was going to knit a baby blanket. However, no one in their right mind starts a baby blanket (esp. one made with skeins of baby llama yarn) in the sweat-inducing month of August. So I waited a few months to buy skeins of softest ivory, heather, deep plum, and chocolate. The baby was due in March and I had a solid six months to get this blanket done. No problem.


I was knitting practically right up to Eliza's birthday. But I AM getting better. I had the blanket done five days or so before we drove to Tennessee to meet Miss Eliza for the very first time. The blanket before that one, I was busy weaving in loose threads AFTER my friend had opened the present...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

before midnight strikes

I've been going to bed late a lot recently. And today, I told myself, I am making an exception. I've already cheated a little (eh, 11:30, 12, what's the difference?), but I won't tell (HP's already said he wouldn't) if you won't.

My computer is chock full of pictures - a downtown shoot w/my friend Ben, birthday pictures, images from Easter Sunday, my very first couple shoot, a trash-the-wedding-dress shoot that I tagged along to, and those ever present random moment shots. And where, might you ask, is the evidence? Oh yeah, I haven't put them up yet. *shamefaced*

So...I'm hauling my sorry butt off to bed and leaving you with three random images.


the little bugger posed for me

Would you say Trix is a diva?