Friday, April 30, 2010

April's book list and some filler

Okay, fine.

Adams, Douglas. Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.

That's the only book I finished this month.

A few thousand years ago, my friend Monica used this novel as a primary source in her senior seminar paper. Around that time I looked over her paper to point out some of the more obvious grammatical flaws (I didn't discover the more nuanced ones until after she turned it in......I came across a copy of one her drafts a few weeks ago and carefully averted my eyes, lest I find something that would compel me to write her a screaming letter of apology), and thought "Oh, this looks like a fun read."

And then I never read it. But I did read the Hitchhiker's Trilogy and that was fun.

So earlier in the month, Cody and I dragged ourselves down to southeast Arkansas to enjoy some family time and the soul-deadening atmosphere of the Delta on the Saturday before Easter. When we came back home, we fled to our nearest Starbucks and Barnes and Noble. I saw the book and impulsively grabbed it. I bought it. I read it. I liked it.

(We also had some Chinese food, but that's not relevant to this post.)

So. If I was going to only read one book this month, I'm glad it was that one.

Let's change the subject!

I was walking home yesterday when I saw this:

I love eggs. I can never remember if robins have eggs this blue, or if they're speckled. I don't feel like looking it up. Isn't this pretty?

And then I came home and saw this!

And this!

Yes! Little seedlings!

Unfortunately, I don't know what these little seedlings actually are because I forgot which seeds are planted in which containers. But I'll find out soon enough. It's something to look forward to.

Just like I'm really looking forward to going home today and seeing if anything else has shown up on my porch. I love growing things.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursdays are unfriendly to me

Remember these curtains?

They came with Laine's house. For whatever reason, she was less than pleased with her kitchen. It can only be described as 1976.

I love the colors of 1976.

Laine did not.

So when I helped her clean up her house, she paid me in Starbucks and these curtains.

Alas, none of the curtains were right size for our house's windows.

So they're folded and put away. I'm saving them for some other windows in some other house.

This sounds a little droopy. I feel a little droopy. There are days when I don't mind renting with no end in sight. We're paying off 2 cars. Life, gas, rent, bills, etc.

And there are other days where I wish we were saving up money for a house. I wish we could rent a whole house even. For now we're renting a duplex.

For the past few months we've been pretending that we rent a whole house that doesn't have windows down one side of it. This is hard when the landlords update that side of the house and give it newer cabinets, new countertops, and generally make it nicer than our side. This is hard when their son comes over and sticks around for hours on end and the only thing he accomplishes is walking the length of the house in heavy boots and whistling tunelessly.

This has been especially hard since it seems like the landlords and half their extended family has been on the other side of the house with power tools and slammed doors and shouts and thuds and general noise for the past few weeks.

But tomorrow all that will stop.

Because tomorrow our new neighbor will move in. All I know is that the neighbor is a single woman. I don't know her hours or where she'll park or whether she's loud or whether she'll complain about the noise of every action movie we watch or whether she'll be nosy. But I'll find out all these things very, very soon.

And, because tomorrow is Friday, I will be much more pleasant and optimistic about these interesting new changes in our lives.


Today I'm less than sunshiny. But just for today.

Tomorrow I will be optimistic.

And the day after that, I will be seeing some friends to watch the Kentucky Derby. Which, in my less than sunshiny mood I have to say has an 80% chance of rain, will be an incredible amount of fun regardless of what happens.

Better things will be ahead.

But today......

Well, today is today. But don't you worry.

I will be perking myself up with Starbucks later.

And some more Middlemarch.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dear Mom (and anyone else who bothers to read this--bless you!),

I didn't post today because I was busy with very important work because we're working on important things right now and when I wasn't working on work I was working on Mother's Day presents for you (and for Cody's mom. But she doesn't read this, so moving on). I think you will like it.

In other news, here's a picture I took when I walked under the Broadway bridge after nearly being attacked by a goose.*

*It didn't actually go so far as to try to attack me, but it was giving me a weird look and I was really nervous.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Reading confession

I'm about to finish this month with one book.


I've started some books, but I've only completed one book this month. And it was fluffy, fun science fiction. There's nothing wrong with that, but I have tons of books on my list--long, short, serious, informative, etc.--that I want to read and simply don't make time for. Ever.

I bought A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book the day after New Year's. I started reading it last week. The only time I currently make time to read is right before bed. And, let's be honest, some times Byatt takes you places you don't want to go. That chick gets darker and darker the older she gets.

And frankly, because of the fact that she's estranged from her younger sister, I'm really uncomfortable with the fact that two of her stories have less-palatable older sisters who die before the story's end. (And I have an uncomfortable feeling it's going to happen again in this book.)

So I'm reading her book about these idealistic, semi-bohemian Quakers who are just monied enough to be comfortable and free about their ideals and you know--you just know--that it's all about to be blown to pieces because they're so fake and World War I is on the horizon and World War I is gross and destructive and so horrific because of its horrors were so unprecedented and new and gross and....

You're seeing my bedtime predicament, right?


My other problem is that I'm busy. I know, we all like to say it because we're so busy and important and involved in so many fascinating pursuits and blah blah blah.

But basically, I'm making time for things like washing dishes and re-organizing things in my house and going for walks in the nice weather and trying to finish up arts and crafts projects after they stop being fun and exciting and that leaves me with about 20 minutes before I pass out. And sometimes that space is filled with talking to Cody on the nights he works late.

So I'm tired and I'm busy and I'm cranky and I miss stories, but not enough to subject myself to being yanked around by plot twists and character developments and thought-provoking philosophical dilemmas. This is what I think about when people talk about being sucked in by writing. I don't always like it. I just want to read. I want to be distracted. I want to take all the hard books back to the library. I pared down the fiction bookcase last week. I bet I took away more than a dozen books I'll never read again.

Which made me think about the books I'd actually like to read again. There are books I haven't read in a while and I intend to read them after I finish reading books on my list....that I intentionally put off reading.


Tonight: I am going to the laundromat. I may run an errand while the clothes are washing. I'm going to write a couple of notes to people--not letters, but notes. That should suffice.

And I'm going to bring an old book.

Right now, I'm pleasantly going back and forth between A.S. Byatt's romance, Possession (yes, yes, I know this is the one everyone's read, but with good reason! This will be my fourth time!) or George Eliot's Middlemarch.

When I was little, I would read and reread and reread again every book I owned. I guess I could justify it by saying you pick up something you'd missed all the times before, but we're talking about The Little House series, not the Bible. I just enjoyed reading the same thing over and over (just like I still enjoy watching the same movies over and over and listening to the same CD for 2 weeks straight). I enjoyed reading dialogue and knowing the outcome of an argument. I liked being able to sit through the sad parts of a story with the knowledge that a happy ending would be soon to follow.

And some books--like Possession and Middlemarch--are just worth reading as many times as you can. I never get tired of Virginia Woolf and how smart and clear she is. I never get tired of the friendship of Holmes and Watson. I never get tired of any sentence in Their Eyes Were Watching God. Some works are so well-crafted you can't just read them once.

Some passages have to be enjoyed over and over until they're committed to memory like poetry.

And tonight, that is exactly what I intend to do.

I'm leaning toward Middlemarch.

But either way, I'll let you know.

And I'm already looking forward to enjoying this.

And that's a joy of its own.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Adventures in container gardening

I'd like to introduce you to our garden!

These are Cody's pink brandywine tomato plants in the earth box he got for his birthday.

And to the left is a pepper plant (I forgot what kind. Not bell, not jalapeno, and not--thank goodness--habanero) in a tub I used to hold bottled water at our wedding reception.

And here are my Roma tomato plants in an old earth box of Mom's.
I tried to use it for vermiposting last year, but that didn't work out.
I'm sure I can grow some tomatoes in it, though.

And here are our flowers!
I forgot what I planted where. But yes, that is a bird feeder.
Please ignore the dying daffodils. It's just what they do.
I have marigolds, zinnias, and nasturtiums.

We planted these yesterday, so I'll figure it out in 10-15 days!

Marching for Babies

Saturday morning I went to the March of Dimes's March for Babies to see Isaac and his family.

This year Isaac is big enough to walk!

But he didn't get to: Storms > everything.

So everyone huddled under tents, trying to avoid the drizzle. I talked with Erin and Klay a little while Isaac got fussy and squirmy. He was ready to walk!

When the rains really came down, he was so excited! He started screaming and laughing and clapping like the storms were the best thing he'd ever seen while his parents checked the weather on their phones.

One front moved through and things were calm enough for everyone to dash to their cars.

But the event was still a success.

Their team raised $1,135!

Here are some pictures.

Here he is with one of his NICU nurses.

Friday, April 23, 2010

I am telling you amazing things

First things first:
Today is the last day you can donate to Isaac's March for Babies team!

Also: Maumelle Family Fest is today and tomorrow. Click this to read more.

I'm mentioning Family Fest for 2 reasons:

The Science of Sleep is playing at 5.

Kierre's Kountry Kitchen will be there and they will be selling cupcakes.

You know how my husband is a super baker? How he made carrot cake that one time and you loved it? He made carrot cake cupcakes. Swoon with ecstasy at your own discretion.

Actually, Kierre's won't be at Family Fest if it rains. My mother-in-law will be out there today, but says she's going home if the storms come in.

AND: today is her birthday!

If you see her today, you should wish her a happy birthday.

And then you should buy cupcakes from her.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 21, 2010. 9:30 PM

"Cody Lee."

"Yes ma'am?"

"Are you trying to make me fat?"


"Were you hoping I was going to share this with you?"


"This is a very generous portion!"

"I just really wanted you to enjoy my strawberry shortcake."

"Thank you."

* It was 2 servings!
And I couldn't eat it all.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Weekend adventure, Part 2

Here's Part 1.

So. On Sunday morning, we got ready for church.

Leah and Lilly enjoyed some coffee.

And then we showed up at TeNeal's church 30 minutes late.

We could hear the sermon when we walked in the lobby, so we briskly walked out.

We did not run in church.

Then we went to Gailey's Breakfast Cafe.

There was a wait.

But they let us drink coffee while we waited.
Lots and lots of coffee....

But then we were seated!
The dining area was lovely.

Ethan took our order.
Ethan didn't actually work there. But one of the servers cut his hand, so he stepped in.

So we took some more pictures.

Laine is quite tough.

Leah is quite trendy.

And together, they are soooo happy.

Then our food came!

This is my breakfast.

After our food arrived, there was no talking and no picture-taking.
Just eating.
And maybe some comments on the cute Fiestaware.

Then we left. Here are Leah and TeNeal outside of Gailey's.

Here is TeNeal with me.
She's wearing high heels.

It took Laine a good minute and a half to regain her composure after she took that picture.


Yes! They were open! We browsed!

We were in the very store!

Look what I bought!

Fun fact: TeNeal showed us other parts of Springfield.
Like these weird people and their weird yard art.

But then it was time to go.

These were all over Missouri.
Stopping at one for gas was inevitable.

I should mention that TeNeal taxied us all over Springfield in her car.
And Laine drove us up there and back in my car.
It's a good thing, because she gets carsick.

Then we came to my house!

They ate the pizza Cody had left for me, and switched their luggage into Laine's car.

Then we declared the adventure a success.

I told them to look like successful adventurers and they did this:

Then I politely asked them to leave before the neighbors saw them.

All in all, it was a very exciting and successful adventure.

Tomorrow, I'll just throw out all of the pictures that didn't quite fit and give them their own post.