Friday, July 30, 2010

Right Around the Corner

I feel giddy. Excited. Anxious.

Sophie and I went to Hobby Lobby (could I possibly love a store more than that one?) on Tuesday to buy some scrapbook paper for a project I'm working on. In the few weeks that passed since my last visit, all of the Fall merchandise was put into place. Halloween goods everywhere. Pumpkins. Leaves. Scarecrows. Turkeys. Owls. Orange, purple, green, brown.

So I have a confession to make.

I am NOT a summer person. Nope, not one cell in my body.

I absolutely, positively, with every ounce of my being, love Fall. What could be better? I love the smells. I love the mistiness when it starts to get cold. I love warm drinks. Oh, I really love warm drinks. Ask anyone....and they will tell you....I love to wear scarves. I miss them in the summer. I love layers. I love fires in the fireplace. I love soup. I love pumpkins. I love hot chocolate (Mariebelle, please!). I love beautiful leaves in all colors. I love going on my little family's annual trip to the mountains each October. I love goose bumps. I love boots. Oh, I can't wait to wear boots. I love sweaters. I love sweatshirts. I love Halloween. I love traditional Fall colors. I still dream about going on a Fall trip to New England every year. I like fire pits and making S'mores. I like big, thick warm socks. I REALLY love Fall visits with my BFF, Valerie (who just happens to love Fall as much as I do!). Oh, and speaking of Valerie, I love making Fall cupcakes.

My sweet pups enjoying a misty mountain morning.

Back to reality. It's still 90 degrees outside and it seems like Fall will never get here. We've still yet to go on our summer beach vacation! But I know it's lurking right around the corner. And I can't wait. I've missed you, Fall!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nature Walk

Well, hello beautiful friend!!!

Ripples from Soph's pebble tossing....

Sophie said these geese were having swimming lessons.... :-)

Local wildflowers

On Tuesday afternoon Sophie and I braved the heat and went to a local park. It's called Squirrel Lake Park and it's located in Matthews. This park is located on about 35 acres and has a playground area, a small fishing lake, a butterfly garden, a collection of birdfeeders and a disc golf course in the woods. Since no one else was brave enough to trek out into the 90 + degree weather, Soph and I made use of the course for an afternoon nature walk. As you can see, we found some interesting things to look at and discuss....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Some things in life are WAY TOO GOOD not to share

Prepare yourselves ladies.......

Whew. Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out.

I think I need a cigarette now.

(KIDDING. I don't even smoke. Never even taken a puff.)

I'd choose Ewan. Just sayin'... You?

Note to self: I wonder if Alain would be willing to wear purple gingham pajamas to bed?? Hmmm...

Image via

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Preschool Reading List

Sophie and I have been hanging at the library a lot lately. She plays on the computer. I read magazines. We pick out new videos and CDs. Sometimes we even check out books too. On Monday night, while she was on the computer, I discovered a recommended reading list for Preschoolers. So, my new goal is to read the books on the list within the next couple of months. I'm going to check them off here as we finish and then pass along our personal recommendations.

1.) A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke

2.) A Porcupine Named Fluffy by Helen Lester

3.) Am I Beautiful? by Else Holmelund Minarik

4.) Angel Baby by Pat Cummings

5.) Big Al by Andrew Clements

6.) Big Black Bear by Wong Herbert Yee

7.) Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss

8.) The Circus Baby by Maud Fuller Petersham

9.) Daddy All Day Long by Francesca Rusackas

10.) Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell

11.) How Are You Peeling?: Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann

12.) It's Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler

13.) Mother, Mother I Want Another by Maria Polushkin Robbins

14.) Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

15.) The Rat and the Tiger by Keiko Kasza

16.) Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino

17.) What! Cried Granny: An Almost Bedtime Story by Kate Lum

18.) When I Was Five by Arthur Howard

19.) You Can't Catch Me by Joanne Oppenheim

Personally, I can't wait to get started!!!

UPDATE: We stopped reading through this list because Sophie said these were "baby books". I think she meant that they're too short and uninvolved for her. I agree. Also, I wasn't really crazy about the first few we read through. The main exception was Big Al by Andrew Clements. This book was ADORABLE!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Made in America

Hmmm.....where do I start? Well, it seems that lately I get a lot of emails about how nothing is made in America anymore (yes, tell me something I don't already know!). How this is bad for our we're giving power to other things aren't good quality anymore....etc, etc, etc. You know it already!

You see, I guess I wouldn't mind these emails so much if the folks sending them were actually suggesting what to do about this. I don't like a lot of grumbling with no action or improvements or suggestions, etc. (Just ask my husband about this!) The people sending these emails are the ones that shop at places like Wal-Mart. Um, hello. So, to me, it seems a little hypocritical to complain. Yes, I shop at Target which isn't much better but I also don't send mass emails complaining about how nothing is Made in America anymore. I understand fully my contribution to the problem. Read a book like The Wal-Mart Effect or A Year Without Made in China and it will open your eyes. At the same time, my brain is always do you make it better? I'd love to buy more items that are actually made in America. But what is Made in America anymore? Hence, this post.

My new mission is to find and suggest products (only good ones) that are Made in America. I'd love to hear your suggestions too! Today I will write about my favorite one....Ball Mason Jars.

The Jarden Corporation owns the Ball and Kerr labels which are the most prevalent brands here. Jarden is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. According to their website, the jelly, half-pint, pint and quart jars are still manufactured here in the US. The lids too!

Below I've listed a whole bunch of uses for mason jars. They're my new favorite thing!

1.) It's original purpose. For canning....

2.) To drink from....

Image via Duet Weddings

3.) As a flower vase:

Image via Amy Atlas

4.) Use it to house your sewing kit. Very cute!

Sewing Kit In a Jar

Image via Martha Stewart

5.) Buy this product and you can even turn your mason jar into a kids sippy cup. Ingenious. Wish I'd thought of this. Although I can't promise the EIO Kids Cup is made in the US.

Image via EIO Website

6.) To create ambient lighting....

Image via Design Mom

So, as you can see, they are most versatile. Let me know if you can think of any other cool uses!!!

Will be keeping my eye out for other great, amazing, cool American products. Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Night Away

There was a time, not so long ago, that I traveled a lot. I would beg my bosses to let me travel. I'd go on any and every trip. That was how you met the clients, that was how you saw the world (NYC), that's how you ate in some of the world's greatest restaurants (think Per Se), slept in some really nice hotels. Ah, that was the life.

Well, it's not my life anymore.

In about half an hour my dear friend, Barb, will come to pick me up. We will drive up to Raleigh to stay the night. Tonight we will scream and sing and sway side to side as we listen to Tim McGraw in concert. So why am I so.....what's the word?....uneasy? I've been feeling anxious for days.

I know you won't believe that I (yes, it's me, Audrey) am saying this but I don't want to leave my baby girl. Yes, that's right, not even for one silly little night. I feel like someone is trying to rip my sweet little heart right out of my chest. It seems excruciating when I think about how much I will miss her. I have gone from traveling about 30-40% of the time and not thinking twice about it to breaking down in tears for being gone one night. What has happened to me? Where in the world did my very ambitious, determined and downright stubborn free spirit run off to? Did she desert me?

No, I am not concerned that my husband won't do a good job. He is incredible. I think it's good for both of them to have some time alone. In fact, he is out right this moment, in the 95 degree weather (at 11:47 AM), taking her on a picnic. With the dogs. He's crazy. But the beauty is that he is willing to do things with her that I simply won't be bothered with. It's beautiful and memorable. On the way there, she told him, "I'm so happy we're going".

This is also the little girl who sat in her car seat about an hour and a half ago and told me that she would cry later because she's going to miss me so much. Hello, can you hear my heart crushing? She also asked me if I would cry because I miss her. Um, hello, yes, of course dear. But I was a good mom and I told her that I wouldn't. I also told her:

- I will only be gone a little over 24 hours.
- It's good to spend time alone with your friends from time to time.
- In life you have to make time to nurture your own spirit.
- Always make time to listen to good music. It's good for your soul.
- I may leave but I will always, always, always, always, always come back.
- I like when you and Daddy have alone time. It's so very sweet and it warms my heart.
- Mom was smoking crack when she agreed to go out of town to this concert.

Just making sure you were still paying attention. I didn't really say that last one.

I was obviously trying to make myself feel better. I'm sure I lost her attention at that second bullet point. So Alain pulled out of the drive (with my entire life - furry puppies and all - tucked away in that box of steel) and I could hear her screaming, "Bye, Mommy. I'll miss you, Mommy", all the way down the street. As soon as they turned the corner, I went inside, stood in the shower and cried.

Sophie, if you read this one day long in the future, please know that I have heartstrings so long that they could take me to the outer reaches of the universe and back twenty gazillion times. Even in 24 hours, I will miss you more than you're capable of realizing (until maybe one day you have a baby of your own). I take trips with my friends alone sometimes because it's good for me and I know it's good for you. I want for you to see a mother who carves out little bits of time to keep in touch with her inner self (the side that has nothing to do with being a wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, etc.). May you also always strive to be vibrant, complex, interesting, passionate about things, a good friend, adventurous (even in little ways). I will leave shortly and have a great time with my friend (it's not worth being apart if I don't enjoy myself) and I will come back an even greater mother......I will cuddle you tomorrow until you can hardly breathe....and our bond will be even stronger than it already is. I love you, Goose.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sweet Little Farmers' Market

This past Saturday we made it an early morning and headed over to the Matthews Community Farmers' Market. This particular market supports local farmers by providing them an outlet to sell their locally produced foods/goods. We had a really good time. I even tried a few new varieties of vegetables that I hadn't had before. Sophie told me, "I love this market and I don't want to leave". Maybe that had something to do with the homemade muffin she was devouring.... :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quote on Writing

I often ask myself why I write my blog. I don't know that anyone reads it other than my husband, my parents and my in-laws. All I know is that I enjoy it and I love to go back and read old posts months later (I will forever be amazed at how quickly time passes). Well, my dear friend, Ishmael, wrote the most amazing thing in his blog. And I guess he expressed so effortlessly how I feel:

"I form my own thoughts about myself by writing. Writing is the act of chiseling out experience into something that explains who I was at this moment, in this time."

SOME PEOPLE are so gifted with words. I envy that.

(NO, his name is not actually Ishmael. I was just being evil. Love you, Sean!)


Anyone in a reading rut? What is that? That's what I call a period when you're craving a good book but you can't find one. I know it sounds ridiculous when there are a gazillion books floating around out there!!! But it happens. WELL, if you're in a reading rut, do I have a book for you....

I have to thank GOOP for this book recommendation. Power Trip, by Amanda Little (ahem, she's a year younger than me). This book is incredible. I've read many, many, many books on this subject. Yes, I'm a peak oil theorist (Is it even still considered just a theory? Can we call it a fact and a day now?). I'm eternally fascinated and saddened by this country's ability to bury it's head in the sand. Nowadays, in the mostly oil-covered sand. (Back to the book, Audrey, back to the book). Okay, so I thought I was pretty well educated on this topic but Amanda presents a great deal of new history and information. It's also written in a style that is very pleasant to read. I didn't detect one once of preachiness and didn't sense an agenda being pushed on me. Hmmm, that's rare these days. Therefore, I am hoping this book appeals to a larger market. The book outlines America's dependence on foreign oil and coal. It provides the history of how we've gotten to this point (delving into such topics as the invention of the container) and presents a thorough review on renewable energy sources. My personal favorite is the section on plastics ~ I found it absolutely fascinating.

I recommended this book to a friend on Friday and her first question was, "Is it scary?". Personally I think it should be. But I can honestly say that this book is written so that it won't scare you. (Although I'm happy to recommend one or two of those to you, if you'd like. Just email me). For me, the book had an optimistic vibe. I don't know that I'd be so optimistic but there you go for those of you who don't want to be scared.

As a side note, if you don't like to read, I'd recommend the "Powering the Future" series. I watched two parts of the series on the Discovery Channel last night. It's incredibly interesting and provides the same information more or less (but obviously not so detailed!). This is worth watching if for no other reason than to watch the very smart and attractive host, M.A. Sanjayan. Just looking out for all my ladies!!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Garden Frustration - Follow-Up

No, I will not stop gardening. No, I will not submit to using non-organic solutions. My garden is too important to me. For that matter, my body and health are too important to me. I know it's just a matter of learning the right way to combat all these issues. My tiny little garden makes me feel powerful. None of my veggies are genetically modified. I buy local plants from Renfrow's. There are almost zero petro dollars involved in getting my food from "farm to table". No tomatoes from 2,400 miles away. It's more like......about 22 steps. No pesticides to contend with and worry about. The best part? These fruits and veggies actually taste amazing (remember my cabbage?). Most of the produce you buy in the store tastes like cardboard.

One day's harvest of Sungolds and Yellow Pears plus a gift from a friend (the pumpkin) :-)

Sophie is also learning so much. Where her fruit and veggies come from. The value of good insects. How to distinguish the good insects from the bad. Clean ways of combating pests and disease. Actually seeing and experiencing the circle of life on a daily basis. She knows the joy of picking a Sungold tomato straight from the plant and popping it straight into the mouth. (One day she'll know it's even better if you pull off one little basil leaf and pop them both in together!) Call me a pessimist but I think she's going to need this knowledge in her lifetime. Can she sense my frustration sometimes? Yes. But she will also see that I will persevere and my gardening skills will improve over time. It's a huge learning opportunity and Sophie's learning along with me. She's also experiencing the joy that this humble little garden provides our family.

I am reading the most fascinating book right now. I'll post about it tomorrow. This book is amazing and I can hardly put it down. All I will say right now is that it's reinforcing my determination to make this garden work. Even to continue to grow it over time. Gardening is so important and I only wish that more people would/could do it. I don't have tons of money or power or clout to make a difference in the world/nation/government/etc. I used to feel helpless. But I do have the power to make small changes in my own life that will hopefully transform to larger ones over time. This garden is only one teeny tiny step. Just you wait and see.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garden Frustration

No, I am not ignoring my garden. I just don't feel like talking about it. Yes, I am getting some decent harvests. But it is unreal how many problems I've encountered this year. It's been exhausting. Loopers, powdery mildew, blight, birds, Hubbell, squirrels, Japanese beetles.....and now.....wait for it.....mice? I've seen two little tiny rodents running through my cantaloupe plants but I can't quite tell if they're mice or chipmunks. But they eat little holes into the melon and then the ants quickly invite themselves in. I've composted about six melons. And we've been able to harvest two for ourselves. We have about six left and I've tried moving them all onto the beds. Fingers crossed that they make it. Because I do love the melons.

But the frustration. Ugh. It's been awful. Have I learned a lot? Yes. There are plenty of things I'll try next year to avoid these problems. And I just need lots of time to research organic solutions. At a certain point though, does it become more costly to prevent the problems than what you can get out of it? Anyway, maybe I'm just super frustrated and need some time to simmer. Just wanted to provide an update.....or rather, a lack of an update.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Joan baby, you are a ROCKSTAR!!!

On Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of seeing, "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work". I'd been reading the reviews and interviews with Joan for several months and I'd been impatiently waiting for the movie to come to Charlotte. I'm happy to say, I was not disappointed.

Whether or not you like Joan, you have to admire the GRIT that this woman has. She's 77 years old and I was exhausted just watching this movie. She only sleeps about three hours a night. ??? She travels back and forth and is only happy when she has three or four bookings a day. Wow. Yes, there is absolutely a level of melancholy present but isn't that true for all comedians? Underneath it all, as I always suspected, Joan appears to be a very good person at heart. Loyal even when she shouldn't be (her husband, her manager). It seems that she supports half the country. And was it just me.....did I detect a level of sensitivity during the Comedy Central Roast scene? I was even brought to tears twice during the movie (once during a very poignant scene in the back of a taxi with her grandson). I can't help but admire someone who allows this level of dissection into her/his life. I don't think there's much this documentary does NOT show.

If you get the chance, do see this movie. Wait, I caveat that. If you have prudish tendencies, stay home. Because this is pure Joan Rivers all the way. Crude, irreverent, vulgar and, yes, cruel at times. But I laughed my ass off. Seriously, if laughter does truly prolong one's life, I added at least a good year to mine while watching this film. It felt so good.

Joanie, you have a true fan here. Plastic and all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why Three Take So Long?

Lately Sophie has been telling people she's four when they ask how old she is. Each time I correct her and tell her she's still three and won't be four until her birthday. Without fail, her response is, "Why three take so long?". Ahem. On most days, I might agree with her. But I have loads of sentimental moments when I hope she never changes and I wish I could slow her aging.

Three is tough in many respects. Currently it's waking up almost every night between 11 PM and 1 AM to change her bedsheets because of a pee-pee accident. There's also the resulting laundry. But three is mostly wonderful, in so many ways:

1.) Sophie loves to make up songs. Last night, as I snuggled with her in bed, she made up a song about Rupert and Zizzo. It went to the tune of "Frere Jacques" and was really quite creative.

Rupert (left) and Zizzo (right)

2.) Art class is one of her favorite things. And we treasure her creations. We also treasure the hour and a half that we have free on Saturday mornings. It's a luxury to have brunch alone with my husband.

My personal favorite from Sophie's gallery.

3.) A three year old imagination is something to wish for. We enjoyed a train day on Saturday where we take the light rail to Uptown Charlotte. We sometimes visit Latta Park on the way for a romp in the water park and playground. We often have lunch at Jason's Deli (usually at Sophie's request ~ I think it's the free ice cream that attracts her). We love to visit Imaginon (or as Sophie calls it, The Play Store). Anyway, Sophie was really enjoying our trip on Saturday. She loves Uptown. So she says to me, "Mommy, I want to break our house". Hmmm. Out of left field. So I asked why she would want to do such a thing. And she replied, "So I can put it back together here". I wanted to cry of sheer joy. It's one of those moments I hope I remember forever. (I'll try to forget the breakdown that came several minutes later when we told her we had to leave.)

4.) I love how she screams "NEW YORK CITY" every time she sees a tall building or a yellow taxi. Definitely my child.

5.) She often reminds me that I have to eat all my food so that I can become a "BIG DINOSAUR".

6.) When she asks for something, she usually throws a NO right on the end of her request. Example: Mommy, can I have some chocolate, no? Somehow this makes it easier to say no.

7.) Nothing lights up her world like mac n' cheese or ice cream. Simple pleasures.

8.) Life is magical.

Enjoying Sophie's first sparkler at our July 4th Party

Monday, July 12, 2010


I feel like writing today but without anything specific in mind. At the same time, I have so many things I want to say. So this post is just a hodge-podge:

~ I am an aunt again. My beautiful baby nephew was born on Saturday. He was a big baby (just over 8 1/2 pounds!!) and has gorgeous full dark black hair (I think it's after Mom). Anyway, we're proud new aunt/uncle/cousin and only wish we lived closer so we could meet him and cuddle him in person. Bianca, way to go!!! It could not have been easy to get him out. Welcome to parenthood....we love you!

~ Byron has not been doing a good job.

~ This weekend I harvested my first cantaloupe. My daughter ate 75% of it. I ate the other 25% for breakfast this morning. That was wicked exciting.

~ I also harvested my first red pepper. It was a BEAUTY. I wanted to take a picture but my husband had that thing grilled up so quickly it made my head spin. It had a great scent and was very flavourful.

~ Yesterday's World Cup final was SO BORING. And I was rooting for Holland. And I am saddened by the Ugandan bombings that occurred. I don't understand this world at all anymore and it saddens me to no end. I want to say more but I am honestly just speechless (and not in a good way).

~ I am currently listening to "One Night in Bangkok". I was around eleven when this song was released. While I loved music from the time I came out of the womb, this is one of the very first songs that I remember just LOVING. It really spoke to me. What a great song. It always makes me want to jump right out of my seat. What would life be like without great music????

~ I had a really rough weekend. You know that saying, "It takes a village"? Well, it truly does take a village. And I don't have one. Parenting without knowing there's a break in your future can be so overwhelming. It just seems endless and overpowering and exhausting beyond belief. Every once in a while I go through a short phase where I would do just about anything to get away. I'm at the end of my wits and I don't want to hear "Mommy" one more time. Don't want to clean a bum. Don't want to play cars. Would LOVE to finish a thought. Crave an hour to make a phone call to a friend. Just want one damn moment of silence. Will puke if I have to watch or hear one more cartoon (I didn't even like them as a child!). DON'T WANT TO PULL MY DAUGHTER OFF OF THE DOGS ONE MORE TIME. I'm tired of yelling. I just want peace. I sit and daydream about dropping my child off at Grandma's house for a couple of hours. Hell, I'd be happy with a couple of minutes. But it's just not possible for me. Thank goodness today was a school/camp day. I already feel better after just a few hours of peace and quiet. Alain & Sophie, I'm sorry I was so awful this weekend. Thanks for putting up with me.....

~ My training for the Virginia Ten Miler is going well so far. I finished Week 6 of my Couch 2 5K training. My body has changed tremendously in those 6 weeks. It feels really good. And I'm just praying I can make it and finish the race. I've been wanting to do this since I was about 7 years old. (I highly recommend the Couch 2 5k training for any new runners.)

~ Sophie loves to sing and "perform". Her newest thing is to belt out, "It's too late to apologize". She loves my reaction....which is along the lines of chocolate melting on the sidewalk in 100 degree weather. I wish you all could hear her sing it. You'd melt too!

~ I'm signing off now. I have a gazillion and one loads of laundry to do. But you know what? I don't care. Because it's quiet and I can fold and iron my laundry in peace. The dogs are both sleeping here at my feet. I feel like I've died and gone to heaven.....

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Comfort of Books

A few months ago my husband made a secret confession. For my birthday or a special occasion, he was considering purchasing a Nook, Kimble, eBook for me. Thank goodness he's so open and honest. He must have known it wasn't for me because, otherwise, why would he ruin a perfectly good surprise? Anyhoo, my immediate gut reaction was to shout out "no" at him. No, please don't. I know I'm probably an anomaly but I can't even bear the thought of owning one.

Yes, I know all of the great things about owning an eBook (or whatever they're called - I'm a technological idiot and proud of it). I understand they're great for travel. I understand the books are cheaper. I get all of it.

But then there's this:
1.) I get 99% of my books for free at the library.

2.) One of my favorite things to do is to visit said library and browse the "New Books" section. I usually leave with 3 or 4 on every visit. I do not derive the same pleasure from browsing books online. Nope. Not for me.

3.) I can't, for the life of me, imagine being an author.....dreaming your entire life of writing a book....knocking your head over every detail of your novel.....researching for years for your non-fiction book.....and then knowing that people are reading it on a hard piece of plastic (or whatever it is they're made from). Imagine you're that author.....there are no longer any bookstores.....and you'd never have the pleasure of visiting one just to see your book sitting on the shelf. Ick.

4.) I love the visible signs that someone has visited a book before me. I adore dog-eared pages. I smile when I see highlights or (gasp) handwritten notes. I don't even mind a little tiny bit of moisture damage (sometimes, on rare occasions, you can tell they're tears). My favorite....when someone has left their library receipt hidden deep in the pages. I often read over them to see what other books they checked out and how long ago. It's like a tiny little window into someone else's life. Because one's taste in books is very, very personal. Yes, these books have history. And if they were a stuffed rabbit, like in the Velveteen Rabbit, they'd have eternal life from being loved so much. To me, that is the sign of a good book.

5.) Books bring me comfort. The hard cover, or worn soft cover. The smell. The tattered pages. When I was most unhappy in my life (during the last few months of work at the bank), I carried a little bag with me to work every day. It was filled to the brim with books. And heavy. But, somehow, it did bring me a world of comfort. There was more to me. I had a lot of interests and not enough time to pursue them. I was more than just my job and making decent money and buying more possessions. People would often ask me why I carried that massive beast to work every day. But I could never adequately explain it. They would never understand the pleasure I took during my lunch break (this was after the crash) when I picked the book I wanted to share my lunch with. It was the only pleasurable part of my day back then.

6.) I usually read about 4-5 books at a time. I know it's weird. No, I don't confuse them. I read whichever one I'm in the mood for. And I just can't understand how this would work on a machine.

7.) I love, love, love, love, love the stack of books that is always taking over my bedside table. Other people may not. You usually can't see the alarm clock. And the cleaning lady is clearly not a fan. But, to me, a stack of books on a bedside table means an interesting person sleeps there. You could look through that stack at any given time and know exactly what's on my mind. AND, for the record, Alain has his own stash....although his stack changes less often than mine. Still, I love that about him.

8.) When I really love a book.....and I mean I read a passage that moves me almost to tears, I touch the page. I have no idea why. But I do know that touching a screen is not the same. Will never be the same.

9.) When I am reading a massively big book (for me, that's about 700-800 pages), I love the feeling of accomplishment I feel when I see my bookmark moving closer and closer to the back cover. Again, how does this work on a machine?
10.) I love fonts. The right font could make or break a book for me. I'd love to have the job where my only job is to pick the font for an upcoming book. Do they even have different fonts on these eBooks?

So, enough. Clearly I am not a fan. I love the very sweet thought that my super hubby was putting into this idea. He clearly knows how much I love to read. He said he was trying to make it easier on me.....carrying a ton of books on a plane, for example, is not fun. But, for me, it's a small price to pay. I crave good books the way another person might crave, I don't know, doughnuts. I can see how one might think I would like an eBook. But I'll take my books in hard form any day.
PS: Just after I finished writing this post, I went into Sophie's room to straighten a little. And I couldn't help but notice her bedside table. Clearly, she's headed in the right direction.... (smile)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Quest for Quiet

In general, I'm a very quiet person. I don't like to talk a lot. I don't like to hear other people talk a lot. I abhor loud noises. I cringe every time the phone rings. I get pissed off when people honk their car horns (unless there's a very good reason!). For me, one of the greatest downfalls of cell phones and modern technology is that I have to hear other people's conversations. Which I could obviously care less about. I've even left stores when I was browsing because I wasn't able to browse in peace. It's such a shame. It seems that every time I enter someone else's home, there's a TV on. Even when no one is watching. I really can't stand it. I'm just not one of those people who needs constant background noise. So I don't understand the waste of energy.

It was only a few years ago that I couldn't bear the quiet. I was suffering from crippling post partum depression. Lucky for me, I got through it. It took the love of my family, some serious medication and lots of therapy. My therapist was simply divine and she saved me. Well, no, actually, I saved myself. But she did play a HUGE part. During one of our first sessions, she told me to make it a point to have quiet time on a regular basis. No TV, no phone, no heavy music, no one around to talk to me. I could read....but it had to be light and mindless (none of the non-fiction books dealing with societal issues that I would normally read). The first time I tried it, I thought I would lose my mind. I simply couldn't do it. Seriously, I probably lasted 30 seconds. I can't even explain how I felt....I only know that I immediately put on something, anything, to make noise. And when I relayed this to the divine therapist, I broke down and cried for a long time. Why was this? I was always a quiet person and this was way out of character. It took some time and a lot of soul searching but I finally realized that it was easy to cover up with noise. Each time my inner voice tried to speak up to tell me things in my life weren't as they should be, I covered it up. It was SO EASY to watch stupid reality TV and blast was a distraction from life's bigger questions and, honestly, something to talk to people about. No one ever has meaningful discussions anymore. It's all about American Idol (snooze), the last episode of Lost (who cares!), the latest fashion to buy (ahem) or some meaningless celebrity bullshit. There didn't seem to be a place in the world for a free little soul like me who didn't need all this and certainly wasn't fulfilled by it. Slowly, and often painfully, I came to terms with myself, my life, my choices. And, once again, I learned to crave the quiet. To lie on my back and revel in it.

No, I am not just sitting around thinking about this. I recently read a NY Times article by Dwight Garner -Meditations on noise. It's a book review on three different books that are coming out which all deal with noise. How it affects people, how the world is getting progressively louder, how we create noise even when we're being quiet. But I especially love the ending of the article when Dwight offers up this example: you find yourself driving and lost, what's your first move?, you usually snap off the radio to reorient yourself. "You find a way to become as silent as you can". While I was driving on my great life journey, I got lost, turned off my "life radio", and almost immediately reoriented myself. There is so much beauty in silence. If you can find it.

To-Read List:
Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book About Noise by Garret Keizer
Zero Decibels: The Quest for Absolute Silence by George Michelson Foy
In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise by George Prochnik

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Just when you thought.....

.....I'd gotten over my "canned ham obsession"......

I came across this image. And now my obsession has been reinvigorated.

Image via Little Blue Deer

It still amazes me that someone can make a canned ham trailer look chic.

(This brought back memories of always having a makeshift step right outside the door!!!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

4th of July Party

On Saturday night we enjoyed the company of my family and a whole bunch of our friends & neighbors at our annual 4th of July party! We had a blast and hope everyone else did too....

As usual, I had great intentions to take loads of pictures to capture all the work that was put into the party. As usual, I didn't. The only real shots I got were of the dessert table and that was only because my grandmother reminded me (thanks!). I am disappointed not to have taken more pictures but I wanted to at least share the few that I have.....
A close-up of the ribbon topiaries and paper chains I made.
A collage of the desserts. The only one missing is the deliciously delectable banana pudding that Alain made. I couldn't believe it but most of the desserts were finished. Thank goodness because I wouldn't want them hanging around the house!!! A big thank you to Leslie for bringing the grill brownie cupcakes (wish I had a closer shot of those because they were so cute!) and a big thank you to my grandmother for helping me with the fruit kabobs. You made a tough job a very fun one! I'd been wanting to make the flag cake for years and I'm so glad I finally did. It was a little stressful (because I had to get the lines perfect) but so worth it. I very much appreciate all the compliments on the cake ~ so happy everyone enjoyed it!

I did take a bunch of pictures of our guests taking turns dressing up for the "photo booth". However, I feel strongly about not posting pictures of people without their permission. I know that I despise when folks post my pictures without asking. So while I won't post those, I will say that the photo booth was possibly my favorite part of the party!!!
PS - Sending a big thank you and shout out to Alain and my parents for all their help with the party. If my Mom had not been entertaining Sophie, there is simply no way we could've pulled everything together on Saturday. She's a saint like that! Thank you, Mom.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Sneak Peek....

Less than 24 hours to go. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.......

Happy Weekend, everyone, and Happy 4th of July!!!

Related Posts with Thumbnails