Friday, February 29, 2008

Chicken Blog

Easter season is upon us. This can only mean one thing: feed stores will start dyeing baby chicks colors like purple and pink and sometimes blue in the hopes that non-animal husbandry people will buy them as Easter presents for their children. This is a terrible idea. Cute, fluffy chicks have many problems:
  1. They are easy to maim or kill, especially if they're left unsupervised around eager young children. The only thing you can do when this happens is chalk it up to experience....and take it as a sign that you probably shouldn't have any more kids. If your child can't keep from squeezing a chick too hard, there's no guarantee that he or she will be able to keep away from a newborn's soft spot. Consider yourself warned.
  2. They like to spread disease. Well, it's not that they like to, but it's just so easy for them to do it when they're being handled by little hands with very vague notions of hygiene. Touching an animal and then putting your hands in your mouth = death. I'm just kidding! If that were true, there would be no Short children. But you can sometimes get a nasty infection. (Again, we seem to be a little immune.) Or at least just gross out some people.
  3. They grow into chickens. This involves molting, which is gross. Chickens can also be a little crotchety (they could maybe try to peck you). And they can really scare people who fear chickens. A friend of mine mentioned her fear of chicks turning into chickens (as many of them are wont to do), and said that more misguided parents should be celebrating the resurrection of Christ by giving their children ducklings instead of chicks because ducklings grow into ducks and ducks are cuter than chickens. I automatically replied, "There is no worse smell in the world than duck vomit. Just try and get that smell out of your car." (Once, while we were taking some animals to the county fair, a duck got dehydrated and threw up in the Montero. Thank goodness Mom had tarps down.) Which brings me to my final, and most important point....
  4. The children could wind up really liking that whole poultry-raising business and turn out like me.
While I am awesome, I tend to talk about things like duck vomit, and 'processing' your chickens in your back yard, and I have a very strong stance in the ridiculous "size v. uniformity" debate. (In case you're curious, I'm on the size side and if my judging expertise gets shot down one more time because some dad [not mine, though] worries about complete uniformity [which is impossible to achieve with living creatures] I swear I will do something crazy like have a child and make it start showing monster birds as soon as he or she turns 9. Arrrgh!) I do things like drag my husband to the state fair so that I volunteer to touch complete strangers' animals and lament my smallness because I have to use both hands to judge a bird and make him stand there, awkwardly holding some poop-covered chicken while I engage in some battle of wills with a dad or, God forbid, a poultry science major over the size and uniformity thing--all against his will. I write blogs like this because I have nothing better to do at the moment and spent a little too long gazing at the Murray McMurray website because it's spring and I'm engaging in a little wistful thinking about the preparation I would be making if I had a little more land and money. Right now, I truly do love apartment living and the fact that we have nothing to worry about if it rains too much or not enough, or if we stay out with friends and get home too late. But I seriously want a garden. And today, I want to raise some chickens. It will totally happen some day--never mind what Cody says. We will raise beautiful chickens together.

My chicken adventure got started when I was 11. After raising the market lamb from Heck (he weighed about 3 times what I did and was mean), I showed him and sold him at the county fair auction. And they paid by the pound! I opened a savings account. And I thought it would be fun to raise some layers because.....I think Mom is to blame for all of this. She suggested I try raising a different animal than market sheep. My parents are both fans of chickens, and they realized pretty quickly that my temperament was very ill-suited to dealing with large animals. In retrospect, I really have to wonder why I needed to raise an animal to begin with. Maybe it was so I wouldn't be the odd kid out in our family. Bless their hearts. It was a noble effort.

So, anyway, I ordered some day-old chicks and equipment from the Murray McMurray catalog and embarked on a personal journey of ever-increasing dorkiness. Seriously, my parents knew what they were doing. I wasn't going to fall in with a wrong crowd or attract any of those evil boys now! I raised ornamental, heavy-breed, laying chickens. Then, I started raising broiler chickens (you eat them) because it was ten-week project that could be pretty lucrative if you placed high enough at the state fair. And some years I did. Not to brag--because you're probably not impressed--but I won Reserve Grand Champion once. Levi did it twice. And Laine actually won the whole show one time, which was weird. Sara made it into the auction (only the top 6 pens make the sale) at least 3 times that I can think of. And she even had some chickens of her own for fun. Levi went through a duck phase when he was much younger--it was cute. Especially one April Fool's Day when I put a particularly HUGE duck egg in his tiny, little, MALE wood duck's pen. The egg was about a third of that little duck's size. Levi was about 5 then and he completely freaked out. We all had a good laugh.

I just realized my homeschool background has never been more apparent than it is right now.

Um, so yeah. I really got into raising chickens and it really helped me become even more of a strange child, all the way through adolescence. I entered my especially pretty chickens at the county fair. And won. I even sold a lot of the 'farm fresh' (trans: unrefrigerated and just-washed off) eggs to people at church and some of the more health conscious homeschool moms. Those eggs probably weren't any more nutritious than the ones you buy at the store, but they were definitely prettier. Nearly every chicken we had laid brown eggs. Brown eggs have slightly stronger shells and that's really the only difference. I keep telling Cody that when he wants to get some. It's especially awful when he so much as looks at the free-range eggs. This typically happens when we're at Whole Foods. I wind up going on some rant about "Do you know where those chickens have been? No! Do you know what they've eaten? No! Unless those are your chickens eating your kitchen refuse and your insects on your place, you do not want that little 'extra' flavor that they've picked up from who-knows-where! Besides, free-range eggs can get a little too 'gamey' for baking projects." Few things are more fun for me than acting like an outright earthy redneck when surrounded by organic yuppies. Although, for the record, I love that extra 'gamey' flavor that comes from free-roaming chicken eggs.

In conclusion, I have no real point to make here other than what I've already said. Any purchase of an animal is a serious decision and should not be entered into lightly. You have to take into account all kinds of things like whether you'll have enough space for it, what your cities ordinances are on animals, whether your child hates animals, or if your child will fling him or herself into a new ridiculous and off-putting habit. And for your enjoyment, I've put up pictures of the different breeds we've raised over the years throughout this post for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

(All pictures come from the Murray McMurray website. Now you know where to buy my Easter present!)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Whole Mess of Pictures.

The Bill Mallonee show at Sticky Fingerz

In the car

Arbonne party

Ha ha, Sara. (She bought these.)

I returned it. It was too sparkley.

I've been trying to avoid using the flash. Sometimes it looks good.

Other times aren't so great.

These were cute, but tasted gross.

Oh, Cody.

Draft stoppers, Part II

My actual handiwork:

Memphis X--Out and About


Laine and Robert in their beautiful living room. They have lots of matching furniture and decor.

Robert is doing his senior high pose in front of his most prized possession.

Now he's doing his thoughtful stare pose. Perhaps we should have turned off the TV before we had this little photo shoot.

Cody after a long day of driving and field-tripping and all-around adventurousness.

Memphis IX

South American butterflies

Horned creatures. They were amazing, and I'm still really sad that I didn't think to take any pictures of the little monkey skeletons.

Really, just now?

The Pink Palace!

The Pink Palace with Laine, Robert, and Cody in front of it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Levi: Officially Awesome NASCAR Guy

Starting March 24, Levi will be a full-time employee at a shop owned by Bill Davis Racing!!!!

Do you know how awesome this is??? Really amazingly awesome, that's how awesome!!! After months of going back to see if they had any spots open, he has a starting date. He'll go back the week before the 24th for some paperwork and then he'll go to work in the NASCAR world. Because he's so cool like that. Working in a shop is going to be great for him because
(1) it will be much more difficult (we hope) for him to get run over by some kind of racing vehicle. I am not joking,
(2) he'll be much less likely to be fired for a simple mistake than if he were on a racing pit crew,
(3) he'll be able to learn about all kinds of things, and
(4) that's really what he wanted to do!

This is spectacular news!

Be very, very excited.

Levi is a Pit Crew U graduate. He bought t-shirts from his alma mater for all of his sisters. The shirt looks more believable on him. He is far too tall to be the baby of the family...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Family, face care, fashion, food, friends, flowers

Let's see......on Friday we ate and took a nap. At 9, we went to Sticky Fingerz and heard Bill Mallonee sing for about an hour. It was a good set, and they sang well. I know this because, um, people who enjoy him told me this. Alana, Jeff, Brook, and Brad were also there. We ate a little, and when it was over, Jeff and I bought posters and got them autographed. Obviously, I bought mine for Cody. So now he has a smallish poster of one of his favorite singers ever, signed "To Cody: All joy and happy b-day! Bill Mallonee and Muriah Rose" Muriah Rose is Bill Mallonee's wife. Anyway, the poster is a birthday present for Cody, but he cheated an put it up on his wall yesterday. At least he didn't put it over my Nickelback poster like he originally said he would (yes, at the age of 25 and with my very own big girl apartment and a husband, I still like to have my Nickelback poster up. I missed it in the old in apartment). Afterwards, we went to Starbucks and once again discussed the possibility of Brad and Jeff trekking down to Houston for the My Morning Jacket show. Cody and I already have the tickets and hotel room. I'm sooo exciiiiited! It's going to be great.

Anyway, we went home around 11 or 12. Cody took a muscle relaxer. Backstory: Cody hurt his shoulder recently (and doesn't know how) and went to the doctor. The doctor didn't know what's wrong. He recommend Cody try some massages and/or a chiropractor before having an MRI to see what the problem is. He also gave him some superstrong painkillers and some muscle relaxers to help in the meantime. So Cody took one around 12ish. He became very sleepy. And strangely not very fun. Kind of like a bear. Not in the cute way, but in the hibernating way. No talking, no snuggling, no nothing. He just wanted to sleep. He was completely surprised when I told him about it later. It makes me nervous when I think about the fact that he drove my car to the dealership at 8 in the morning so I could sleep in. Ooops. I got the car (it's all better now: new oil, new filters, new wipers, the tires are rotated and more aired up, and some other stuff. We are now broke.) and drove to Searcy. I was making excellent time so I eventually started driving the speed limit and stopped to go to the bathroom and call Cody. No answer. I remember that muscle relaxers can act as a depressant and depressants can make you stop breathing. Ugh. Cody eventually calls me. He was (finally) awake and alert and breathing.

Assured, I went to the Arbonne party and had a great time with both of my sisters. I hadn't seen Sara since Levi's birthday, so that was fun. I also got to meet one of her coworkers, who was nice. Then we went shopping. I got a dress for Sarah's wedding. I'd already gotten one when I went shopping with Jessi and Alana, but I really wasn't feeling it. So I found one (on an awesome sale!) that I'll probably be able to wear again. We wound up 3 to a dressing room at two different stores. That is always fun. Crowded, but fun. It's also very helpful if you get stuck in your clothes. Sara went home, and Laine and I eventually went to dinner with Joanna. We laughed too loudly in public for about an hour and a half. I had a salad for the second time in about 6 weeks--what is that!? That's weird. That's what it is. Also weird: we ran into one of Sara's friends who could not get over how much Sara and Laine look alike and how I barely look related to them at all. Uhhhh, okay?

Anyway, I eventually drove home to my husband and we told each other about our day during the commercial breaks of Saturday Night Live. It turns out we'd missed each other. Aw. We went to bed. I overslept. Laine somehow beat me to the Flower and Garden Show. She also got a much more awesome parking spot. At least mine was free (but 3 blocks away). Anyway, it was great. We loved it. I bought seeds. And a t-shirt. I will wear it while working on mine and Jeff's flowerbed. We had lunch with Cody. Laine got to see our messy apartment. Cody and I went to Kroger. We ate dinner with friends at Dixie Cafe. Again, there was a lot of laughing too loudly in public. We went home and watched a little Law & Order: Criminal Intent while drinking our tea and rubbing each other's backs. Did I mention we both turned 92 years old this weekend? We did. Cody makes me elderly, that cranky old coot.

Another ridiculous story: I broke down and bought a neti pot. I'm always stuffy/runny/sickly, and I know some people who enjoy pouring saline mixtures through their nostrils so I thought I'd go for it. It was okay. I felt a little bit like I do when I go swimming and get water up my nose. Imagine that. But I think I did pretty well for my first time--I didn't choke or cough or sputter too much. My head feels a little better. So there's that adventure.

So, in review:
  • The Short girls are still a party
  • Driving beyond the normal stop-and-go driving of a daily commute is fun, and I should do it more often
  • Shows are fun
  • Muscle relaxers must be taken with caution
  • Shopping is insane
  • The Flower and Garden Show is still wonderful
  • Friends and eating are always great
  • Oranges--most citruses, actually--are in season, so you should get some. Kroger's got pretty good prices. Check what's near you
  • I took some pictures. When I get the film developed, you'll know!
  • Upcoming pictures will include: Laine and Sara on the day they looked 'exactly alike,' some leftover pictures of the Memphis trip, a blurry shot of Bill Mallonee singing in pitch black, flowers, and Laine in a hat.
  • Sarah and Robert's wedding is coming soon. It will be very exciting!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Draft stoppers

Here's a picture of some cute draft stoppers. Mine don't look like that. However, you make these with tights, which could really cut down on the sewing part. Check out the instructions here. They look fun. However, the site recommends using rice. I feel compelled to point out that rice is a food. And that certain creatures will want to eat it, even if you haven't cooked it or if it's encased in brightly colored tights to ward off the elements. These creatures will not care. So you might want to avoid using rice or beans or corn or anything that would possibly seem like food to the types of creatures that I am sure you, a conscientious housekeeper and all-around clean person, do not already have living in your house. There are lots of great instructions for lots of great draft stoppers (although you may want to steer clear of sites that tell you to use food as insulation, because they are obviously crazy frauds. Or people who suggest kitty litter. I just find them gross.) and you should check them out. I looked at a bunch and this is generally what I did. (And I am only telling you this because Kelly Bisby asked me to.)

You need:
Scissors (Yes, I realize the last 3 seem pretty redundant, but some of the instructions I read were painfully detailed.)
A friend with a sewing machine.

I can't really give you a pattern because I didn't use one.
1. Measure your door or windowsill. (I guess you'll also need some kind of measuring device.)
2. Measure your fabric to be about 1-2" longer than that.
3. Make sure it's about 10" wide
4. Fold in half
5. Sew it into a tube
This is where the friend with the sewing machine comes in. A good friend will let you use the sewing machine. A great friend will sew it for you. Because I was having a slightly reclusive weekend, I just sewed everything by hand. In retrospect, I should have bought tights. Oh well. I cheated and used the quilting stitch. I must say, I make very tidy and straight lines.
6. Pour the rocks into the tube
Make sure the rocks are clean and dry. Do not buy rocks that are dirty and have been rained one, like Jen and Cody. Dirty and wet rocks are heavy, and hard to carry, and will leave dirt on your jacket. And by 'your,' I of course mean 'Cody the Very Nice Man Who Does My Heavy Lifting.' If you do buy dirty and wet rocks, spread old newspapers on your kitchen floor and place the wet and dirty rocks on there to dry off. I really regret not documenting this adventure.
7. Once you have poured the rocks into the as-yet-unfinished draft stopper, fill it up but make sure it's still bendy. Does that make sense? I doubt it.
8. Fold the unfinished pieces inward and sew it together by hand. The sewing machine is not an option here. You're just begging for trouble if you use it. Use a whip stitch......or something. Perhaps a finishing stitch. Don't know what those are? I really can't help you.
9. Lay the finished product at the bottom of your door, or in a windowsill
10. Search the Internet for better instructions before beginning the project in earnest

Someday, when I have bought fresh batteries and put them in my camera, I will take pictures of my draft stoppers.

The Oaklawn Experience

I went to Oaklawn with Jeff and Jason. It was pretty great, except that Jeff hadn't slept in about 24 hours and was abusing caffeine in amounts that put me to shame. I wish Cody could have come. I think Jeff and Jason did, too. They kept worrying about losing me in the crowd--which was HUGE and diverse, okay, not so diverse. They were all gamblers--and Jeff nearly followed me into the women's restroom when we first got there. When I asked why he was following me, he said he didn't want to split up the group. I pointed out that we'd left Jason and he replied, "Jason's big." It reminded me of when little kids ask their handlers why they can't walk in parking lots without holding someone's hand. Huge crowds, my frightening likelihood of being smooshed/abducted/lost (apparently with no cell phone or memory of where we parked the car: thanks for your faith in me, guys), and chilly wind aside, it was a great time. I didn't place any bets. But I got to hang on the wall for one race. I saw horses, I saw jockeys, I drank hot chocolate to stay warm. Jeff and Jason didn't lose too much money and ate hot dogs. Jason explained how odds worked before every race. Jeff's sleep-deprived antics were manageable. We eventually got too cold and had to watch the race from indoors, using the box-seats-strategy of many, many AR Traveler games (sit in a seat that's not taken until a ticket-holder comes along and says, "Excuse me, you're in my seat.") and inhaled massive amounts of cigarette emanating from the incredibly old race fans. Yes, I was indeed sick the next day. Except for the insane traffic trying to leave Hot Springs, it was a lovely afternoon and I'm very glad I went. There are no pictures of this great day because the batteries in my camera died. I need to get new ones. I will soon. But it was a fun day and I've mostly recovered from the smoke inhalation (seriously, gamblers = chimneys! I could be generalizing a little bit.) and the windburn.

I'd like to do it again some time.

My Weekend, and How it Compared to My To-Do List

I will have the list for that day, and then I'll tell you what really happened.

Friday night:
  • Possibly go out to dinner
  • Do laundry because we're out of clean towels
  • Pull out fabric pieces for the draft stopper project
  • Inform Cody of weekend plans
Here's what happened: I began doing laundry. I was in a bad mood for some reason, so by the time Cody came home I had already loaded the dishwasher and was singing at the top of my lungs to Nickelback's The State (which is still one of my favorite albums) while sorting through the dirty clothes. When we tried to figure out where we were going to eat, I just decided to break down and cry. I didn't really have a good reason, so I guess I was just a little worn down. Cody suggested we take a nap, but I read instead. I've noticed I have a hard time relaxing lately. I eventually woke up Cody because I was bored and hungry. We wound up picking up a pizza from Shotgun Dan's because Cody really loves it. It was good. I did lots of laundry. I couldn't find the old pants legs to make the draft stoppers, so I found some other fabric instead. I watched Law & Order and sewed. Good times. I made a list of the plans and showed it to Cody. So, technically, I accomplished everything on the list for Friday night.

Saturday's plans:
  • Begin sewing the fabric pieces together for the draft stoppers
  • Buy pebbles
  • Library?
  • Grocery store?
  • Continue laundry
  • Get together the clothes we don't wear for Goodwill
  • Go through the movies we don't like or watch and take them to the leasing office because it's a collection point for that group that's donating movies to soldiers in Iraq
Again, we were super-successful. I had already started sewing the night before, so I was ahead. Cody and I even went through some of the books we'd pulled off of our shelves so we could donate them to the library's basement sale. We dropped off the movies at the office, which was good because the guy who was collecting was moving that day. We went to the library and dropped off 2 grocery sacks of books. Don't worry, if it was something you'd be interested in, I would have kept it to loan to you. Then we ate a gyro at the River Market. We just wandered around for fun. Then we went to Home Depot and got a little lost in the garden section, which is always fun. I am not joking. We finally found a bag of pebbles (there will be another post about how to make draft stoppers. Fret not if all these details don't seem to make sense.) and it was soaking wet. Cody carried it. It was apparently heavy and filthy. Then we went to the grocery store. We bought food. That's always great.

So I think I did nearly everything for Saturday, except for gathering up clothes.

  • Church?
  • Possibly potluck with friends
  • Possibly go dress-shopping with Alana and Jessi for something to wear to Sarah and Robert's wedding
  • Read the Sunday paper
  • Read last Sunday's paper
I did none of these things. No paper, no reading, no nothing. I worked some more on the draft stoppers and ate food and gathered up clothes for Goodwill and watched the race. It may have taken me half the weekend, but I was finally able to just slow down and feel calm. Excellent.

Monday (which was another day in the weekend for me because I'm a state employee and got the day off--Wooop!)
  • Sleep in
  • Go have lunch with Cody
  • Take the car in to have the oil changed
  • Whatever I want. Possibly working on draft stoppers, laundry, or contact papering a few more cabinets
Well, I slept in. I had planned to get up a little earlier, but didn't. So I didn't have time to drop off the clothes at Goodwill before meeting with Cody. But, I did get to have lunch with Cody. I saw his little gray cubicle, which has a couple of little photos of me. I saw files. I met Jim or Jimmy or something like that. I didn't talk to him much because I was trying to remember if he was one of the coworkers who'd lost a bet and had to grow that mustache or if he was doing it because he thought it looked good (it didn't). So I didn't want to be too awkward. So Cody and I ate at Great Wraps. We had wraps. They tasted great. We talked. He went back to work. I went to the White-Courington house so that I could go to the track with Jeff and Jason! Oh yes I did. That's another post, which I'll write in a moment. For now, I'm going to stop because I'm tired of this post.

Friday, February 15, 2008


These are just some of the exciting plans I have for this extended weekend.

Friday night:
  • Possibly go out to dinner
  • Do laundry because we're out of clean towels
  • Pull out fabric pieces for draft-stopping project
  • Inform Cody of weekend plans
  • Begin sewing the fabric together for draft stoppers. I plan on using old pants legs (yes, I cut them off of old jeans and pants because I know I'll need them for something), and filling them up with pebbles. Both of our doors are pretty drafty and I thought I'd make one for the window sill in our bedroom. We are not insulated very well.
  • Buy pebbles
  • Library?
  • Grocery store?
  • Continue laundry
  • Get together clothes we don't wear for Goodwill
  • Going through movies we both own and taking some down to our leasing office. You know that project where people are going to donate movies to soldiers? Apparently there's something about it on the THV website if you want to look it up. Anyhoo, one of the guys doing it lives in our building and I saw a flier saying that we could take them to the leasing office. If anyone has anything they'd like to get rid of, let me know.
  • I have heard some people go to church on this day. We've really got to pick out another church.
  • Is anyone interested in potlucking?
  • Possibly go dress shopping with Alana and Jessi so that we can look supercute at Sarah and Robert's wedding
  • Read the Sunday paper
  • Maybe read last Sunday's paper, too
Monday (because I'm off!!!)
  • Sleep in
  • Go have lunch with Cody at his work so that people can see that he has a hot wife. Yes, he really does think I'm that hot. Yes, I do keep letting him think this because it makes him happy and makes me feel special. No, you cannot tell him the truth.
  • Take the car in to have the oil changed. I have a freebie.
  • Whatever I want! This will probably involved draft stoppers, laundry, or contact papering the last few nekkid shelf spaces in our apartment. Maybe reading. Maybe cleaning out our closet. Possibly the cabinet under the bathroom sink if I'm adventurous. I'm not.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I hope you have a great day, and that it involves flowers, and cards, and those chocolates that come in the heart-shaped boxes. Those are the best--really, you should go out and buy some for yourself right now. I did and it made me so happy. Oh, and love. I hope you have lots of love today, too.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Memphis VIII--Text

No pictures, just a blog about the weekend.

On Friday night I went to Sarah's shower/girl's night out. I ate a ton. She liked her presents, Alana and I got to know some of her other friends a little better, and it seems like a good time was had by all. Yes, of course there were games involved. Yes, of course Alana won. I got home pretty late, but was pleasantly surprised to see that (1) Cody had left the porch light on for me and (2) had not rolled into the middle of the bed. I had a relatively peaceful sleep and woke up for......

Saturday. We got ready, got our things together, and got moving. Cody drove until we had to stop for gas and bought gas station food even though we brought some with us. Nothing beats fruit pies, though. Since the sun was bothering Cody's eyes, I took over the rest of the driving. Apparently, my hatred of big rigs is frightening. Blah, blah, blah, Cody. But the roads were better than I had thought they'd be and Cody was an excellent navigator. We made pretty good time. We arrived at Robert and Laine's apartment and saw all of their new furniture. We hadn't been over since early August, when all they had in the living room was a TV, a couch, and some stacks of wedding presents and thank-you cards in a corner. It's much better now. It's not just homey-looking--it's stylish and attractive. Seriously, all their furniture matches. Their colors coordinate, except for the Triple H portrait we gave Robert, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger poster over the fireplace. Then, we went to our first place: the Pink Palace.

The Pink Palace is this enormous mansion built by the founder of Piggly Wiggly, which he never lived in because he lost his money. So now it's a museum. We looked at things from around 11:30 till 2:00, which is when we saw Deep Sea at the IMAX theater in the building. It was scarier than what we'd expected, mostly because things kept getting eaten rather suddenly. At the very end of the film, there's a scene with this whale checking out two photographers very intently and I just knew he was going to snap one of them right up. They were safe though. I hope I didn't ruin the ending for anyone there.

After the movie, we looked at a few more of the exhibits and ate lunch at Quizno's. It was good. And we were starving. And we had to build up our strength for the yarn store, Yarniverse. It was awesome. I only took a picture of the outside of the building, mostly because I didn't want to freak out people in the knitting classes that were going on, and because I barely had space to lift up my arms that high. The selection was amazing, but the people weren't. I know those groups are supposed to get really close and everything, but it's probably not best to look at people like they're intruding. Granted, they could probably tell that Cody and Robert weren't about to make any big purchases. I bought 2 skeins of bright red yarn because I wanted a souvenir and because I liked the texture and thickness of the yarn. It was great.

After that, we went back to Laine and Robert's apartment and talked and watched a little TV and just enjoyed the feeling of not walking. Then, after I walked out of the bathroom and Laine said, "Jen, you have to leave. You're going to get home late!" we went home. We made incredible time on the way back because the traffic was fabulously light. Cody drove this time. We went home and passed out.

Sunday, after sleeping in very late, we sat in our pajamas and watched the movie Sunshine. It was a great movie, but it really stressed me out. Don't laugh. We did some housework, bought some food, returned some movies, and developed the film to reveal the wonderful pictures that I've spent most of the day uploading. We skipped watching the Grammy's because we just didn't feel like watching them. Cody made some soup. I talked to my mom on the phone a little--she was just telling me about how she and Dad had gone to visit a family friend who's in the hospital. She's recovering from heart surgery and having trouble with infections (our friend, Betty, not Mom), so any prayers would be appreciated. I may have agreed that we'll spend some time with our friends, the Schmidts, this summer. I should tell Cody. I even volunteered him to make something to bring and eat before Mom reminded me that Glenn would mock him. Oh right, that. Which reminds me: is it weird that I gave my Mamaw the address for my blogspot account? We like to write letters back and forth, and even though I'm afraid this might diminish the paper mail a little bit, she's so busy taking care of her husband and keeping up with their health and house and yard, that this would be a good way for her to still know what's going on with my life without me having to wait to reply to a letter. Plus, she'd get to see a lot of pictures. It does concern me a little that she'll know more about my personal opinions and marriage than I may write about in the letters (old people don't seem to like the part where Cody cooks. I think they might just be jealous of how happy it makes him. Okay, I don't really think that's it. But whatever. Moving on.), but I think she'd like to know a little bit more about things going on with the family that I might forget to tell her. Or, she might just be overwhelmed by the glut of useless updates on the most impossibly mundane details I can think of, just the majority of my reader(s). At least you're caught up now, whether you like it or not.

Memphis VII--Animals

Look! A woolly mammoth skeleton! Not really, it turns out. It's made from casts. Still, you can gauge its size by using Laine's head as a point of reference.

Fossils! I couldn't help but notice that the ones we found never quite looked like this.

Bats! Who doesn't love bats?! Just look at all those flying rodents. I think they're cute. I wish I'd taken pictures of the little monkey skeletons--they were great.

How cute is this? What is this by the way? An otter?

Butterflies of North America. Obviously, this is not all of them.

Memphis VI--Oddities

This is a mummy. Actually, it's just his sarcophagus. The remains were buried elsewhere after this mummy was discovered about 40 years after he'd been buried. Apparently, being mummified and buried in homemade vaults was the going thing from the 1820s to the 1840s. A little while after it feel out of fashion, a farmer ploughed into the vault (literally). Fun fact: the bricks were handmade.

One of the doctors who donated extensively was an ENT guy. This is a fun display case of things removed from patients' throats and lungs.

These are objects removed from people's noses, throats, and lungs. And those scary instruments above them? Why, they're removal tools of course! Ewwww. Just be grateful I skipped photographing the OB-GYN instruments. Some of it seriously looked like the kind of stuff you'd use on your cattle. Not cool. Or comfortable. Or really all that conducive to a healthy baby. The old-school medical equipment was scary in general. I'm surprised there were no trepanning tools. Maybe I was too busy trying to avoid other stuff and just overlooked that part.

Memphis V--1800s

Old china

Loom, spindle, spinning wheel, and some of their byproducts. I really want a loom.

Victorian sitting room. Please note the abundance of dead animals.


Tools! Cody kept looking at them and saying, "My dad had that one. My dad had that one. My..." I was beginning to wonder if his dad was born in the post-war baby boom for the Civil War until I remembered that Cody's very old grandpa had been a carpenter.

Widow clothes. Veils are scary.

The canon was about 3 feet away from the display case with all the china. Even though I'm sure it's not loaded and those guys aren't real and there's no canon balls in sight, it still made me nervous.