Monday, January 31, 2005

Another Monday

What a miserable weekend. Both Big Daddy and the Monkey had colds. The 7-11 inches of snow that was forecast ended up being only a paltry 2 inches followed by lots of sleet and rain. The only signs that we even had a snow are now at the higher elevations and in shaded little corners on the yard. Oh well.

The Monkey is still a little snuffly, so I think we'll stay in today as well. I should go take a photo, but it is so grey and uninspiring. I'll wait and maybe we'll get some better light later on today. Time to make some chicken soup for monkey and maybe run the vacuum.

My life is so glamorous.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

3:33 p.m.

snow day

7:54 a.m.

New batteries are in the camera. Finally we are having some real snow. We have about 2 inches so far. That's the most we've had all winter. It's not much compared to our old home in the Midwest and my friends in New York, Boston and Chicago will scoff, but it's great when I've got no where to go and a roaring fire in the fireplace. I just put on a pot of chili. Maybe by this afternoon there will be enough snow for a snow man.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

wish you were here

There was a beautiful sunrise this morning. There are no rosy fingers of dawn this morning. The sky is a heavy grey with a band of gold coming in under the low clouds. Now as the sun is finally up over the mountain to the east, silver, pink and gold outline every bare tree branch and pine needle. The leaves left on the oaks and beech are glowing from within. Amazing. Unfortunately the batteries in my camera decided to die and I have no others. Sorry.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

4:15 p.m.

southern fried

I'm not sure I could attend a church with a big sign out front like the Holiday Inn where they can post messages. You know the type, one that can read "Congratulations Billy and Tammy Sue on your Marriage - Come to Our All-You-Can-Eat Prime Rib Buffet". A sign where sometimes someone might put the "N" backwards. It's very common around here. There is a church not far from our house with such a sign (actually every church near our house has such a sign). The denomination shall remain nameless. Any way, today as Monkey and I drove by on our way to kindermusik, I noticed the new message - "God answers knee mail".

Monday, January 24, 2005

Is It Tuesday Yet?

In this entry, I will solve a mystery, seek medical attention and work on my killer abs.

I spent the last three days lying on the couch succumbing to some strange illness. In three days I blew my way through 3 boxes of Kleenex (that sounds slightly naughty...). I did manage to stumble to the front porch for a few snapshots of the lovely weather we've been having. I feel much better today; even though I can still only breath out of one nostril.

I decided to take my friend, Kristin's advice. She said, "If you're sick from the neck up, its okay to work out. If you are sick from the neck down, take a day off. Go get you some gortex and get out there!" So today I decided to get back to the gym.

Now for the mystery...

Now, Monkey and I were going to go to the Y this morning, but as I was packing my gym bag, I noticed the dogs acting peculiar out in the yard. I called them inside and saw that Biscuit, the wonder dog, was bleeding on her back leg. Closer inspection revealed a bite on her hock. I couldn't figure out how she got a bite in that particular location. I went outside to investigate and noticed a big ol' possum sitting in my compost bin down by the garden. I thought, "Hmm, a clue..."

I decided to head down there to check things out, followed closely by Ace, the German Shepherd (who is not my dog, but that's a whole other story). The possum wisely decided to play dead. What was a possum doing in broad daylight raiding my compost bin? Piecing together the details, I decided that it was probably the possum that bit Biscuit. I somewhat irrationally thought about capturing the possum and taking him to the vet with me. He was out during the day; maybe he was rabid. I was going to have to take Biscuit to the vet, so why not bring the possum along as well? I can only think that I was suffering from the mind-bending effects of the over-the-counter cold medications I had been dousing myself with the entire weekend. I picked up a stick and poked the possum a couple of times, grumbling, "Get up you lazy bastard. I know you're not dead, you giant tree rat..." Through the Nyquil fog that surrounded my brain, I started to think that harassing a potentially rabid wild animal wasn't a good thing. And if it wasn't rabid, it was probably cruel to call it any more names. So, I went back up to the house to call the vet.

Medical attention - it's the law...

I came back down into the yard to check on the possum and it was gone. My vet informed me that according to North Carolina law (I learn something new everyday!) If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, it must recieve a rabies booster within three days. How they enforce this law, I don't know. We spent an hour at the vet and Biscuit got a rabies shot and antibiotics. I have no idea where the damn possum went. That was $75 I wasn't planning on spending this week. Needless to say, I didn't get to the gym this morning.

And on to my killer abs...

We met Big Daddy at the Y this afternoon and I finally got some exercise. I ran several laps around the track and thought my lungs were going to explode. But after about an hour of lifting weights, I felt much better and forced myself to walk for another half an hour. So Kristin was right. Thanks!

It was a slightly rotten day. But, my dog is o.k. I feel better than I have in days. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all.

9:44 a.m.

Sunday, January 23, 2005 8:15 a.m.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

3:15 p.m.

8:44 a.m.

Friday, January 21, 2005

1:05 p.m.

9:15 a.m.

the apprentice

Big Daddy got all excited last night because it was the start of the new Apprentice. He said he would make a good candidate. I would almost have to agree him, but, I pointed out, he would have to call the Donald "Mr. Trump". I just don't think he could do it. This season it is the college graduates vs. the high school graduates. Big Daddy is rooting for the high school graduates. I think they are all a little nutty. You can't tell me that half of them aren't picked just so they'll break down and do something idiotic in front of the camera. I think the term "reality t.v." is a misnomer. In spite of my feelings about the genre, there is only one t.v. in the house. And as someone with too many degrees, I'm going to have to cheer on the high school graduates as well. For now...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

shake your groove thing

It thrills me to no end that Monkey loves to listen to the RetroActive channel on digital cable. All those songs from 80's (and sometimes 70's) that I, as a small town midwestern girl with a punk heart, listened to. She loves to throw herself around the room to the Violent Femmes, spinning until she falls to the ground. She screams "DANCE!!!" when she hears The Clash. Right now she's grooving to Blondie; waving two chocolate alphabet cookies in the air above her head. Someday I know she will stick the photos ofwhatever her generation's equivalent of the Bay City Rollers will be to her wall. Until then I can only hope she'll keep asking for "Bowie, Bowie, Bowie!" when we get in the car to go to kindermusik.


Big Daddy, my beloved, is a reality television junkie. It is a flaw that I choose to overlook due to his many good attributes. For the last two nights Big Daddy has been plopping his drafting table down in front of the television to watch American Idol. God help me, even I can't resist the pull of that show. I have a suspicion that most of those people know how truly horrid they are and are just hoping to end up on television in all their gawd awful glory.

7:50 a.m.

I was asked if these photos are my backyard. They are from the front porch or my office window. Not quite the front yard, but what is beyond it. I spend a lot of time looking at this view. I thought it might be interesting to see what happens to it throughout the year. I like the morning with the sun coming through the bare trees this time of year. One of my first posts was a shot from this past fall before the leaves fell. I haven't found a bad season here yet. We moved here in April, so now I've been able to experience each season. Spring is vibrant with green and other unimaginable colors. Summer is a mass of green. I'll share it with you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Don't Leave the Pool With Wet Hair

I took the monkey swimming this morning after mommy time at the gym. Her hair wasn't completly dry when we left. Neither was mine. I shoved on our knit caps and we went out in the cold. Needless to say, we both have very bad hat hair this afternoon. Mine is sticking up in strange directions and curling at odd angles. Hers is very much the same. Somehow her unfortunate hairstyle looks good. It's amazing what you can get away with when you are two and blonde and blue-eyed and just too charming for your own good...

I really have nothing to do this afternoon. Monkey is napping and the house is quiet except for the crows over in the woods south of the house. It sounds like hundreds, but I'm sure it's only a few miscreants making all the ruckus. I thought about painting, but it is too cold in the studio. Big Daddy promised a heater, but that hasn't happened yet. I guess I could do laundry, but I think I would prefer to sit here in the relative quiet and enjoy doing nothing.

3:15 p.m.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

A Very Cold Day

4:04 p.m.

It is freezing today. It was just as cold yesterday. Winter has returned. Oh, well; the spring-like weather was nice for awhile. There is a sycamore next to the creek. I can't see it from my office window, but I can from the bedroom. At this time of day its white trunk glows in the afternoon light. It is the only one of its kind shining amongst the beech, oak and pine.

Monday, January 17, 2005 7:55 a.m.

Monday, January 17, 2005

No Wonder We Have So Many Problems in the World...

From Yahoo News:

Pentagon Spurned Plan to Initiate Enemy Homosexuality
1 hour, 33 minutes ago

Top Stories - Reuters
By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military rejected a 1994 proposal to develop an "aphrodisiac" to spur homosexual activity among enemy troops but is hard at work on other less-than-lethal weapons, defense officials said Sunday.

The idea of fostering homosexuality among the enemy figured in a declassified six-year, $7.5 million request from a laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio for funding of non-lethal chemical weapon research.
The proposal, disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information request, called for developing chemicals affecting human behavior "so that discipline and morale in enemy units is adversely affected."
"One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior," said the document, obtained by the Sunshine Project. The watchdog group posted the partly blacked-out, three-page document on its Web site.
Lt. Col. Barry Venable of the Army, a Defense Department spokesman, said: "This suggestion arose essentially from a brainstorming session, and it was rejected out of hand."
The Air Force Research Laboratory also suggested using chemicals that could be sprayed on enemy positions to attract stinging and biting bugs, rodents and larger animals.
Another idea involved creating "severe and lasting halitosis" to help sniff out fighters trying to blend with civilians.
The U.S. military remains committed to developing less-than-lethal weapons that pass stringent legal reviews and are consistent with international treaties, said Captain Dan McSweeny of the Marine Corps, a spokesman for the Pentagon (news - web sites) unit spearheading their introduction.
"We feel it's very important to offer our deployed service members and their commanders a greater range of options in dealing with increasingly complex operational environments," said McSweeny, of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.

Dear God! Give me $7.5 million (and a six pack) and I can come up with better ideas than these. I particularly like the "severe and lasting halitosis."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

4:55 p.m.

It is getting very cold. I went for a run and froze.

We went to Winston this weekend and stayed with our friends Chef Boots and Doctor E. What I like about visiting the homes of chefs and doctors (at least these two) is that everything has a place. My own home is a place of chaos. Big Daddy puts things back, but never where he found them. And little Monkey - let's just say order is not in the vocabulary of a two and a half year old. I can never find anything. At Boot's and E's I can find the bottle opener in the dark kitchen. It is always in the same drawer.

Dr. E talks about having children. I don't know if she is quite ready for it. I can see the tension building when Monkey is at her messiest. Two year olds know nothing of order or cleanliness. Monkey loves Dr. E though and E loves her, there is no denying that.

Monkey truly loves Boots. She cries everytime she must leave him. He is like a big goofy playmate. And he makes her delicious brioche and yummy concoctions. After a visit our freezer is normally full of Chef Boots' breads.

We went to the restaurant where Boots makes all his goodies on Saturday night. Dr. E had to go to another thingy. Monkey was the only child in the restaurant. Our server found her a pink balloon. The head chef brought her delicacies. The desert chef (under Boot's tutelage) made her chocolate cake with fresh ice cream and strawberries. She was a princess. The jazz trio played quietly in the background and she swayed in her leather covered booth to the music. I was very proud of Monkey for being such a little lady. I dread our next trip to a restaurant of less stature. There will be no warm chocolate gateau at the pizza place.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Blustery Day

The sun keeps trying to come out. We should be leaving soon to go to Winston. Big Daddy has arranged for a house sitter. The animals will be happy. I'm not. I have to clean the house for a house sitter. How odd is that? So I've vacuumed and straightened up the guest room. Now I've got to finish before we can go. I haven't packed yet. I did get a good work out at the Y and I look marvelous.
Must finish and hit the road.

7:40 a.m.

Where's the sun? I could barely hold the camera due to the wind. Oh, it's going to be a blustery day.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Thursday... ...Hooray!!!

Well Monkey and I went to the Y this morning. She had her time playing with my little pony in childcare, and I got to run on the track and do a bunch of crunches. The highlight, however, would probably be the nice hot shower with no interruptions. So what if it was in the ladies locker room?

We then swung by the bank, which is near the salon where we get our hair cut. She noticed this. While at the ATM, Monkey says, "Oh, there's the haircut store. I need a whole new haircut and a wonderful purple lollypop!" She's not fooling me one bit. Forget the hair, she just wants the candy. Give Monkey the candy and nobody gets hurt... It is time for haircuts. My mane is getting quite unruly. I sure do miss Tennyson at Hair Style in Kansas City. I'm suffering here...

And speaking of suffering; there is no Vietnamese food in Western North Carolina. Hey, but the temperature is in the 60's today. I hear there is a good Vietnamese restaurant in Winston (or is it Greensboro?). We are going to meet Big Daddy at his landscaping conference there this weekend. I can only keep my fingers crossed that I can get some bun...

O.K. I miss a few things from the city, but not that much. There are good restaurants (just not Vietnamese), good beer, o.k. shopping (as if I get to buy anything - it's all for the Monkey!), and I do get the view. Oh, and nobody wanted to visit us in K.C., but we seem to running a Bed & Breakfast here. That's allright with me, as long as they keep bringing good hostess gifts!

Time to put on a rain coat and slog down to the mail box.

It's Raining and I'm Bored

Thank God. I was worried I would be a hippy...

You are a Folkie. Good for you.

What kind of Sixties Person are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

2:08 p.m.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

I'm downing the coffee and getting ready to head off to the Y with Monkey. I promised her we would go swimming today and she hasn't forgotten. I've got an appointment with a trainer at 10:00. I'll go early and run. Hopefully there will not be too many kids in childcare. I was warned that for the next two months everyone will stick to their new years resolutions and show up to stick their kids in childcare. This is enough incentive to get me there for longer. I just can't be like everyone else!

I have stuck to previous resolutions - 2 years ago I lost 50 pounds and have kept it off. Thank you very much Weight Watchers! Two years before that I quit smoking and haven't had another one - and no desire to light up since. Last year, I don't think I really had a resolution, unless it was to get out of Kansas City - and I did.

Anyway, it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day. I think we are going to have a return to winter weather this weekend, so I better enjoy it while I can.

7:32 a.m.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

5:17 p.m.

Monday, January 10, 2005

2:10 p.m.

Let's Hear It for the Y

We joined the YMCA this weekend. All I can say is "yippee!!" I went to work out this morning and ran for 1/2 an hour on the track. Hooray for daycare. I can drop Monkey off and have 2 hours to myself. She had a good time, I got to sweat. Life is good. I'm going to start weight training on Wednesday. I have an appointment with a trainer; then I promised her we'd go swimming after. Life is indeed good.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

2:55 p.m.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

8:44 a.m.

Friday, January 07, 2005

A Rant Against Television Violence

Violence. Does violence on television bother anyone else lately? I don't even particularly want to watch the news these days what with all the dead bodies and such being shown. I know it exists. I've lived with it. I don't want it in my living room on live feed 24 hours a day. I'm thankful that I can cocoon myself from it every now and then. I'm not ranting against the news. It is real. It is what is happening. War, tsunamis, death and destruction. One shouldn't shield themselves entirely from it. It is happening. So I take as much as I can and I turn the channel or turn off the television.

What I feel the need to express is my disgust at "entertainment". Lately television dramas seem to be wallowing in violence. The violence against children is the most offensive. I think I may empathize a little too much (is that bad?). As an example, I haven't watched CSI-Miami since the episode where the father killed the whole family, including babies. I know it's "ripped from the headlines" (to quote another television drama franchise). But, do we need to see such horrors dramatized? I'm beginning to think that we don't.

Last night I started to watch a new show called "Medium". Nothing else was on, someone recommended it and I felt like plopping down in front of the t.v. for awhile. Let's see, opening sequence... some dream about a guy describing gutting his wife. A little farther on the protagonist sees a woman smother her baby in fear and then get killed (all in a black and white psychic flashback). I had to turn the t.v. off and read. Where is the entertainment in this. If you want to show atrocities, show real ones - there are plenty of them out there occurring hourly. I don't need to be "entertained" by them.

Now I'm a pretty much of a left leaning type of girl. But I can see why the "moral christian majority" out there in those red states (oh wait, I live in one of those red states...) are upset. Why aren't they more upset by violence than by a "wardrobe malfunction" or a towel drop before a football game? Which is worse, a stray nipple or a shot gun blast? That's my question.

When I have an hour or so to sit in front of the television, I want to be entertained, not disgusted. I watch the news, I read the paper, I listen to NPR. I know what is happening in the world. Give me something that doesn't insult my intelligence. Give me something that doesn't make me want to lose my dinner.

I'm done ranting.

8:21 a.m.

7:57 a.m.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

my eyesight is fading

I should really try to wear my glasses, even though they are held together with surgical tape thanks to Monkey the Destroyer. I could get them replaced, but I just bought them before we moved and I'm not about to shell out the money. One side will just be held together with the white tape and I will never be able to fold them. The last pair lasted through grad school and three continents. I only wear them to read or paint.

Back to the original thought that got me here. I was scrolling through recently visited websites and came across "". It was actually "". Every time Big Daddy goes to South Carolina he buys a lottery ticket. Why, I don't know... Oh, maybe because North Carolina doesn't have one! Yeah, that's a good reason... Anyway, I guess he had checked on his lucky numbers. There's a joke there, I'm just not sure where.

Then, my dear friend in Chicago sent an e-mail titled, "birthday bash - early warning". Somehow in my mind it became "back to bush - early warning", which I think is somewhat appropriate and may just be an indication of my own psyche and not my eyesight.

Monkey is napping today. Oh joy! We barely survived the Epiphany debacle last night. Big Daddy fed her one piece of cake, a cupcake and several cookies. I spent the next hour chasing her around the hall and outside, then back through the kitchen. People seem to think this is charming and her joie de vivre is, indeed, a little infectious (like dysentery or the black death...). I, however, envision the development of a tiny little dart gun capable of delivering small doses of a harmless tranquilizer that I could shoot at will.

Big Daddy's barbecue was well received and devoured. This is the black hole of barbecue. Maybe he should open a restaurant... Someone told me he was truly gifted. Yes, I love that my husband smells of hickory smoke for several days...

...Next time he can stay at your house.

1:18 p.m.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


No, I've yet to have any great epiphanies lately. However, this is what I get to read at the Ephipany service tonight. I just found out - there's some great planning going on...

And it came to pass in those days, a decree was issued by the Roman Emperor Augustus for a registration to be made thoughout the Roman world. Everyone was ordered to make his way to his own city to register and be taxed. And so Joseph went up to Judea from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to register at teh city of David, called Bethlehem, because he was of the the house of David by descent; ...

How I agreed to this, I'll never know.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Tuesday, Also Known as Monkey's Day

We went to kindermusik this morning. It's one of the few times I can stand a room of toddlers... Then we went for coffee and came home. The weather was so fantastic - in the 60's; I decided to pack a lunch and go on a picnic. We went to a little waterfall, not far from the house up on the parkway and ate. Biscuit went with us. Somehow, I left the flexi-leash on the roof of the car. It was still there when we got to waterfall. Now, how lucky was that?

Afterwards, we hiked a little on the Mountains to Sea Trail. I can't really call it hiking. Monkey stops every few feet and marvels at pine cones or a tree root. She wants to hold Biscuit's leash, then loves to let it go and watch it snap up and scare the bejesus out of the poor dog. She enjoyed herself. I'm not sure Biscuit did.

We stopped at the Folk Art Center to use the restroom and check out the current exhibit - Quilts. I looked for a casserole dish from one of my favorite potters in the Highland Craft Guild shop, but didn't see the color I want. I want to get it for my friend, Valerie. Her wedding was only this past summer. I'll have to head over to the other shop and see if they have one in red.

Now Monkey's napping and I can have a moment of quiet. Ah, quiet - you've got to love that.

3:45 p.m.

Monday, January 03, 2005

A Direction... ...Maybe

This is turning into a blog of photos from my front porch and office window. I wonder if I could chronicle a whole year.

Yesterday I was too busy living to blog. It was a very nice day. A very long walk around the valley put me in an excellent mood. It feels like spring, but that's still a couple months away. I hate when the weather teases me like that. Oh well, better enjoy it while I can. It will be cold and dreary again soon enough.

8:17 a.m.

January 2, 2005 7:47 a.m.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year

I have so many things to be thankful for - Big Daddy, Monkey, this beautiful place I get to live in. I've made new friends in the last year and have kept close to most of those who are now far from me. Every morning the sun creeps up over that mountain and gives me hope that each day can be an adventure (sometimes small and not so exciting, but always new...).

My hopes for this coming year are to become even more productive in my art, to become more physically fit, to lose my anger (it's been fading), and to get Monkey potty trained. I think those are all attainable goals. And they seem such small goals in face of all the strife and tragedy around the world.

I wish I could just take off and help somewhere, but these days I have other committments. I even have a hard time juggling when B.D. will be out of town at conferences and when I have dog trials. So trivial. But perhaps it is the seemingly trivial things that make up a life. The little things cement the big events together. At least my life has had some big, beautiful events to shake up the collection of little things up from time to time. Let's hope for some big things to shake up 2005 in a good way.

8:15 a.m.