Monday, April 28, 2008

Panties: an explanation

Tucked in the box of birthday goodies Mom sent to me last week, was an innocuous bundle wrapped in maroon wrapping paper. Imagine my surprise when I tore into the package and found a pile of lingerie. It was all panties - red silk, black lace, white chiffon. Some of the knickers were small enough to fit our cat. A very odd gift to receive from one's mother. Luckily, there was a note that tried to explain the situation, but I didn't understand it fully until I talked to my brother, Ray.

My mom and her best friend used to own a business together. They made custom-made clothing and costumes for brides, dancers, figure skaters, and performers of all sorts. One day they were hired by a group that was putting on a tribute to Hank Williams Jr. The band decided to play a little twist on the old stereotype of fans tossing underwear on stage; Instead, the musicians wanted to throw underwear at the fans. So Mom and Helen bought a ton of random panties in a wide variety of sizes. I guess they had some extras, because Mom found them in the back of a closet recently.
What to do, what to do?
As George and I know already, you can't donate unpackaged underwear to charity shops; they just throw them away (that's a story for another day). So naturally, since she had no other options, Mother decided she'd send the panties to me.

Mom insists that the profusion of panties is not actually meant to be a birthday gift. It was merely a coincidence that she wrapped them up in patterned paper. And included it in a box of other birthday gifts. With a birthday card and birthday balloon and everything. But it wasn't a birthday present! Honest! What Mom didn't forsee is that the laugh I got from that package was the very best laugh of my entire birthday-week! Now that is a great gift! Thanks, Mom!

In return, I'd like to add a little laughter to my mom's life. So Mom, here's that video I was telling you about on the phone today. I'm sure it'll give you a chuckle.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Yesterday I turned 33.
Just think about that number. Let it roll around in your mouth a bit. Thirty three. Thur-tee-three. There's no denying it; that's a properly adult number. I am an adult. With a husband and a house and a cat. Did you know that Jesus died when he was 33? But it's a good number. As the song goes, "3 is the magic number", so 33 must be extra magical, don't you think? That's what I'm telling myself at any rate.

My birthday was a day full of sunshine and food and flowers and phone calls and chocolate and, oddly enough, panties.

Yes, panties. From my mother.

It was such a long day. I wore a new dress to lunch with friends (mmmm ... pizza). I got my car professionally washed and finally picked up my Durham library card (yes, george, finally!). I talked to my mother-in-law, my mom, and my brother, Ray, on the phone. I got a box of fun items from my mom (I'll get into that later!). Sheff bought me some flowers and some adorable chocolates in the shape of little cats and dogs (Too cute to eat!). And then we went to dinner.

Dinner was The Highlight Of The Day. Oh my.

There is a restaurant in Raleigh called the Hayes Barton Cafe and Dessertery. I've been wanting to check out this restaurant for months because the desserts are supposed to be great. Tim was a bit hesitant, however. He thinks "dessertery" looks a little too much like "dysentery". He thought we should go to one of our favorite restaurants and be served my our very favorite waiter in town. But I have been craving something new! Plus, it was my day ("It's my pretty pretty princess day!!!") and it was my choice and that was that.

We had SUCH a good time. The restaurant is small and cozy - the sort of place you'd expect to find along Cherry Street or in Brookside in Tulsa. It has a 1940's theme - black & white photos of movie stars, posters from movies like Casablanca. Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday playing in the background. Red walls & soft lighting. It's romantic, but still casual. Perfect. The best part, though, was the food. Nothing fancy or formal, just delicious & wonderful. Tim's steak with blue cheese was especially amazing. The goat cheese and dried cherries on my salad made my eyes roll back in my head. So good! And then, of course, was dessert. We were both pretty full, so we decided to split a slice of flourless chocolate cake with a strawberry buttercream between the layers of chocolate. There were real strawberries in the buttercream. It was so astonishingly rich! I could only eat 3 bites. It's going to take me a week to finish eating this thing. But that just means I can keep celebrating my birthday for many days to come! Hooray!

So. 33. Thirty. Three. It sounds kinda good. I think I'm going to embrace the glory of the number 3. Afterall, I've been married for 3 years. And our house number is 3. And when we adopted Millie, we added a 3rd member to our household. And we live in The Triangle. So obviously 3 can be great.

Well, except fot the whole Jesus-death thing. We'll just ignore that bit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Self portrait

Nothin' much happenin' 'round here ... hence the lack of posts. But I just did this meme on my favorite message board & thought I'd pass it along.

Here's how it works:
1. Go to (don't sign in)
2. Type in your answer to the question in the "search" box
3. Use only the first page
4. Copy the img tag and paste for the answer (Unless you're on sucky Blogger. In that case, copy the Direct Link tag and use the Add Image tool)

1. What is your real first name?

2. What is your relationship status?

3. What is your favorite color?

4. What is one word to describe you?

5. What are you listening to?

6. Dream vacation?

7. Who is your best friend?

8. Nickname/Screenname?

9. Where do you work?

10. What makes you laugh?

Thursday, April 03, 2008

3 (aka The Things We Do For Love)

In case any of you are considering getting married one day, please allow me to humbly suggest to have your wedding on April 2nd. It's a really kickass day.

This year, April 2nd felt a lot like how it did back in Tulsa in 2005. It was sunny, but not hot. The air felt clean and refreshing. The trees and bushes and flowers were in all their early spring glory. Gorgeous. But this year instead of dashing off to a frou-frou salon to get prettified, I started the day by mowing the lawn for the first time this season. It took a lot less time and effort to tidy my garden than it did to tidy myself on our wedding day. Funny that.

Gardening was not the biggest task of my day though. I had decided that I wanted to make something special for Tim for our anniversary. And lord help me, I settled on cheese and onion pasties. Tim loves these things & hadn't eaten one in the 3 years since he left England to be with me. I decided to show him that he could have me and cheesey, oniony goodness, too. The problem?
Pasties are made from pastry. Which means rolling out dough. And we all know how much I love pastry dough, don't we. But this is Tim and Tim deserves it, so I made the shortcrust pastry dough from scratch. I will admit that I uttered one grunt of frustration. And when Tim made the mistake of checking in on my progress, I was a bit cross with him. But the final result was amazingly tasty. I wish I'd taken photos, but I was too busy stuffing my face. For the first time ever, pastry dough was worth the effort.

I kept dessert simple: Brownies. But because I'm goofy and romantic, I cut out the brownies into little circles which I stacked on top of one another and dusted with powdered sugar. See? Little chocolate wedding cakes!

In a final gesture of love for my husband, I did not watch America's Next Top Model last night. Instead we watched episodes of Black Adder and the season of Doctor Who with Christopher Ecclestone. I know that there are people out there who would consider that to be a pretty lame way to celebrate a wedding anniversary, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Tim and I don't need fancy gifts and frippery. Good food, good entertainment, and a comfy spot to cuddle on the couch are all we need. I guess that's how we've managed to stay happy together: simple pleasures and low expectations. :P

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

No, they don't make dentures for cats

Yesterday Millie had 7 teeth pulled. Seven! Can you even imagine? The vet said that some of her teeth were loose & others were so rotten they had holes in them. Of her 4 canine teeth, she only has 1 left. Poor baby. Poor, dear, snaggle-toothed kitten. On top of this, she has bald patches on two of her legs for the IVs. She has been through so much! As soon as she got home yesterday afternoon, Millie ran to her favorite room - the guest room - and has rarely ventured out of it since then. I don't blame her one bit.

The good news is that, amazingly enough, Millie does not seem to hate us. I was sure she would reject us completely for days, but she has actually been quite affectionate. Don't get me wrong. She has spent a lot of time snoozing under the bed. But if I come into her room, she walks right out, purring away, & pretty much demanding to be pet and scratched and scratched some more! It's as if there's no such thing as too much affection. Tim thinks she wants to be reassured that everything is okay. I just find it odd that she's looking to us for that reassurance - the people who dragged her out from under the bed, stuffed her in a bag, and left her at the vet's office. But hey. Whatever makes her happy, ya know?

The vet says she should be mostly healed in a week. In the mean time, she has to take painkillers and antibiotics twice a day. The great news is that both of these drugs are in liquid form and can be mixed with her soft food (which she is eating with as much gusto as usual). Things will only get better from here.

And in case you were wondering, I bought a proper, soft cat carrier. No more pillow cases for my baby.