Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A familiar scene

Today's pic is of my mom, but it could just as easily be of me.
Sitting on couch? Check.
Cat on lap? Check.
Netbook open and ready? Check.
Crafty project in hand? Well, after a 4 week hiatus, I returned to knitting a sweater this week. I suppose that's a long way of saying "check".
And although you can't see it in the photo, I assure you that the TV is definitely on.

Hey. I'm a multi-tasker.

Such an exciting life I lead, yes?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For my eyes only

Most of the time when I take photos, I do so with the intention that I will share the images with others. Granted, it doesn't always turn out that way, but at least that's my intent. Today I'm going to share with you the rare exception: photos I take just for me.

As most of you know, I'm not terribly fond of spending money, but I am fond of research. That's where my camera comes in handy. If I'm considering a purchase and researching certain products at a store, I often whip out my ol' camera and take a few pictures. It's a great way to catalog the model number and price, as well as the general look of the thing.

Then when I go home to think over the purchase, I have everything I need to know on my handy dandy memory card! For instance, I need only look at this pic to remind me that the shelves of this Ikea bookcase are 13 inches deep.

I do this ALL the time. Usually it's for big purchases for the house like faucets for the bathrooms or the new lighting fixture in the dining room. I've found it's a much better technique than scribbling the details on a piece of paper (which I will inevitably lose amidst all the other junk floating around in my purse).

Yet another reason to love digital cameras.

Living up to their name

Mmmmmm ... baked goooooooooods ...

I love baked goods.

Especially homemade baked goods.

Potato yeast rolls are especially tempting for me. I can turn away a slab of cheesecake or a plate of fries. But hot, fresh, homemade potato yeast rolls? Oh my.

Pass the butter.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One year down!

Today marks one whole year since Travis and Veronica got married! Hooray! It was so lovely to watch such sweet people tie the knot. Plus it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many great old friends. I took TONS of photos from V&T's wedding weekend. If you're in the mood for a happy, inebriated trip down memory lane, check out the following links.

Part 1: Goofy Girl Time!
Part 2: Pre-ceremony prep
Part 3: Reception & English Country Dancing
Part 4: Trader Vic's and waaaaay too much alcohol

V&T, I hope you had a fabulous anniversary!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hello Gorgeous!

Allow me to introduce you to my new mixer. I've been thinking about getting a stand mixer for a couple of years now, but I remained on the fence because I never saw one in a color I quite liked. Then this baby hit the stores: the KitchenAid 90th Anniversary Edition Artisan stand mixer with a 12 cup glass bowl. Oh my. So pretty. Photos do not do it justice. That candy apple red makes it look like a sports car.


Friday, September 25, 2009

15 Pounds of Patience

I took Millie to the vet today. Not to worry. It was just time for her to have her annual physical. There are a couple of issues we have to take care of, but all in all we think she's okay. She was a perfect patient, as always, and totally stole the hearts of the employees at the vet's office.

It doesn't make sense, but her perfect behavior at the vet's office makes it extra hard for me to take her there. She doesn't cry. She doesn't fight. She submits to whatever they want. You would think she would wiggle or act annoyed or something, right? But instead she's a perfectly patient, patient. The only thing she does is fold her ears back and occasionally glace over at me so she can give me Bitch Face. Because she knows that the only reason why she's there is because I took her there.

Luckily, she got to go to the vet in a proper cat carrier this time. No more pillow cases for my baby! I think that made it a far less traumatic experience for her. Within minutes of coming home, she was already snoozing on the living room rug rather than cowering under the bed in the guest room. I'm taking this as a good sign. Maybe next time it won't be as traumatic for me, either!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Memory Card Month - Day 24

Sometimes when I'm out & about, I take photos for me. Other times I take photos of things that remind me of loved ones. When I was at Parker & Otis I found all kinds of things that made me think of george .

Actually, this pupperson reminded me of Lindsey, but she's george's friend, so that counts. Notice that I found out who Otis is! But I'm still not sure about Parker. Hmmm.

Bacon wrapping paper, bacon band-aids, meat-themed stickers, and a bacon lunch box. I know all of these items would have been sold at Lulu Faboo.

You just know that george would buy these cookies. They have cute names! And they're shaped like bears! Eee!

My favorite things in P&O: the t-shirts. Are you a cake person or a frosting person? Let the world know with your t-shirt!

Personally, I'm a biscuit gal. I would honestly choose a quality buttermilk biscuit over a cupcake any day of the week. But when it comes to a t-shirt, I might choose pimento cheese just because it's fun to say.

Pimento cheeeeeeese! Eeeee!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Memory Card Month - Day 23

Since I took you to Parker & Otis yesterday, I thought we'd stick around there for a little while.

I absolutely love this shop. It is deceptively large. From the street, you'd think it is a narrow little storefront. But it is DEEP. And it has great high ceiling with tons of light. For those of you in Tulsa, I'd say it's about 8 times the size of LaDonna's, but about 25% of that is seating.

In the back they have a bakery where they sell cupcakes amongst other things. I hear they serve some fabulous sandwiches for lunch, too. Maybe next time.

The front part of the store is the "pantry" section where you can buy fancy thing like truffle oil and swanky teas.

They also sell a lot of old fashioned candy like these Necco wafers. My mother LOVES these things for reasons that I don't think I shall ever understand.

I saw a number of things at Parker & Otis that made me think specifically of george. I'll post pics of them tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Memory Card Month - Day 22

This is a zucchini cupcake with buttercream frosting from Parker & Otis, an adorable gourmet food store in downtown Durham. I wish I had one of these babies in my mits right now. That would be so choice.

Speaking of Scooby Doo, today is the birthday of my brother, Mike! Did I mention that one of his photos was featured in a 2 page spread in Spin Magazine? So cool! Go to the link on the left to see his portfolio ... and prepare to be amazed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Momma's First Wedding Show

Thought I'd give you all a little up-date on Mom. She has declared the wedding show a great success! She had a great time showing off her wares. Her booth was situated next to a bakery that was handing out free samples of cake. When I heard that, I knew she would be fine. People have to look at something while they eat that cake, right? So why not take a gander at Mom's kaleidoscopes? Sure enough, it worked. Mom said that she & Helen did not have a single spare moment the whole time. They talked to tons of people & a number of them were particularly interested. One of the organizers of the show even heard a couple of guys (grooms perhaps?) talking about Mom's work in the hallway. "Did you see the kaleidoscopes? Dude, you gotta go back in there and check 'em out. They are so cool."

Photos provided by Storybook Wedding Photography

I'm especially happy for Mom for putting herself out there. We all know how scary that can be! It takes a lot of bravery even in the best of times. However, I think it may have been a little bit more difficult on Mom because of the timing; Today marks 5 years since my grandma - my mother's mother - passed away. Mom says she's coping okay. She decided to combat the blues by thinking about the beauty of the beach along the Outer Banks and the week we spent there in May. So in honor of Mom, here are a couple beach pics from that week. I hope she enjoys looking at them between additional viewings of "Nights in Rodanthe".

Sunday, September 20, 2009


For those of you who don't know her, this is my Best Gal Pal, george.

Unfortunately, I did not have the honor of snapping this photo. Back in 2005 during a rehearsal for "On The Verge", a mysterious, unnamed individual snapped it with my cell phone when I was out of the room to try on a costume. This image has appeared on the main screen of my cell phone ever since. It's one of my favorite photos ever.

I also love that it reminds me of a certain video by The Cure. Anybody know which one I'm talking about?

Since I didn't take that pic, I still have to find another image to post. Last night george said that I should post a photo of her or Derek on the blog today. Sounds easy, but it's not. I didn't take many photos of them over the past year & I'm pretty sure I've posted every single one of them.

Then I found this.

This is a townhouse that george and I fell in love with last December. It's so adorable! The interior had nice details and it was situated on a sweet little courtyard with big trees and a fountain. Plus it had a 2 car garage! Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right, so instead of buying a house that day, we bought storage shelves.

Oh, but what's that? Over on the right next to the tree? Why, it's GEORGE!

Hooray! Goal met!

And, unlike yesterday, I managed to post this before midnight. I'm on a roll!


George told me to post a pic of food. So here's some bread.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Memory Card Month - Day 18

This weekend my mom is taking a big step with her company: She is participating in a wedding show! She has a booth at the wedding show in Catoosa where she will display her kaleidoscopes, necklaces, and other items that she makes.

Today while I was scanning through my memory card, I stumbled upon these photos of a piece I commissioned from Mom. It's a Christmas ornament in honor of Travis and Veronica. I sent my mother V&T's wedding invitation, some confetti from their rehearsal dinner, and pressed flower petals from their wedding reception. Mom took those items & incorporated V&T's wedding colors (orange and blue) into this beautiful ornament.

Here's hoping some people at the wedding show appreciate Mom's work and she gets an order or two. Or ten!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lying for a living - Part 2

Today's photo is NEW! It is a shot of the front door to the Admissions Office for Duke University's medical school. What do you think it means when such a competitive school is trying to instill hope in their prospective students? Hmmm ...

Anyway, I took this photo yesterday while I was at Duke for my very first day as a Standardized Patient (yes, that's my job title). I spent a couple of hours in a classroom with 2 faculty members and about a dozen first year medical students. I pretended to be a patient named Alexis who was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. One by one, the students interviewed me about my symptoms, potention causes of my recent flare up, and potential treatment options. It was a complicated case that forced us to discuss a LOT of uncomfortable subjects. Talk about long form improv! Geez! But seriously, it was fun. The students were really engaged in the exercise and I was really impressed by their professionalism and sympathy. You would have that that they'd been in medical school for longer than a few weeks. Luckily, they seemed to love me, too. One of the faculty - the one who seemed the most critical & hard to please - told me that I was "wonderful". And everyone was surprised that this was my first time to be a Standardized Patient. Hopefully this is good news and means that I'll be called in to fake many more illness in the future! Wee!

I know this was an odd acting job - so odd that I don't even know how to put it on my resume. At times I found it very stressful, but I really enjoyed it. I felt that I was making a very positive contribution to the education of these students. Plus it was kinda invigorating to do SO much improvising! It's been ages since I've had an opportunity to do any sort of acting, so it felt really good to have a taste of it again.

Or to put it another way, working for Duke gave me hope.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Clover necklace

While I was climbing over slippery rocks with Tim and Ray, my mother made a necklace for me with some flowers she found along the trail to the waterfall. Somebody needs to teach me how to do this 'cause I think it's pretty cool.

Waterfalls & peeps

Ray next to Hooker Falls. Heh.

Tim triumphantly standing in front of High Falls. Love it when that man gets goofy.

It was REALLY hard to get to the base of these falls. Harder still to get back up to the trail again. I sprained my wrist while pulling myself up on a hunk of tree. Yes, my wrist! It really hurt!
I shall now pause while some of you pat my head condescendingly.

Note that I have lost 20 pounds since this photo was taken. And I'm posting it anyway! See, Mom? No one is safe! Not even me!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lake Lure & Chimney Rock

Exactly one year ago, Mom, Dad, and Ray were visiting us, so we did what we often do with company and headed out of town. On this trip we stayed at Lake Lure, a beautiful little area at the base of the mountains in western North Carolina.

For many years, this area was most famous for the site featured in the above photo: Chimney Rock. To get to the top of the rock, you have to ride an elevator that was built into the mountain back in the 1940s that travels up the equivalent of 26 stories. Thank god for that elevator. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to hike up to the top of this thing.

Back in the '80s, a little film called "Dirty Dancing" filmed a few scenes in this area. You know that scene when they're practicing the big lift in the water? That's Lake Lure!

I did not take this last pic, of course. I stole it from a random site on the internet. As I was writing up this post, I heard that Patrick Swayze died today. Such a sad, strange coincidence. Thanks for the fabulous dancing, Patrick ... and for taking Baby out of the corner, of course.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Terrible News

I think most of my readers know this already, but for those who didn't hear, I have news.

I joined an orchestra.

It's all kinda crazy and sudden. A few weeks ago I found out that a community orchestra was holding their auditions & they needed flutes. On a whim, I signed up. I don't know what I was thinking. I hadn't even touched a flute in 18 months! And there I was, renting an instrument just 6 hours before my audition. Madness. And yet somehow I got in.

Note that the group is known as the Really Terrible Orchestra, so maybe their standards are low.

Today was my first time to attend rehearsals. It was EXHAUSTING. The other two flutes sound so good & I was so nervous I almost started to cry. I'm hoping it gets easier as the weeks go by. I'll keep you informed.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Memory Card Month - Day 12

Points of interest
1. This is my 301st post! Wee!
2. Multiple readers have mentioned to me that Babies on Spikes looks mighty tasty, despite the name. Who'd a thunk it?
3. The previous 2 photos were from the Garden of Eatin' at the Durham Farmers' Market. In case you were wondering.
4. Today's photo was taken exactly a year ago. It features my mom on Wrightsville Beach, staring out on her beloved ocean.
5. I think I tried to post this photo last September, but that's when PhotoBucket & Blogger stopped cooperating so well & everything went wonky.
6. Mom told me last week that she didn't want me to post any photos of her during Memory Card Madness. But you know what? I'm an ADULT now, Mom! And I can do whatever I want! So there!!!
7. Ummmm ... love you, Mommy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's a catastrophe

As some of you may know, certain individuals have declared today - 9/9/09 - A Day Without Cats On The Internet. These people seem to think that cats get too much play on the web.
Despite the obvious madness of this suggestion, these anti-cat people have somehow brainwashed a number of websites into participating. Cute Overload? No cats today. Even NPR has agreed not to post anything about felines for 24 hours.

In the words of Hall & Oats ...
I can't go for that.
Oh no.
No can do.

So I'm rebelling in the only way I can.

Internet + cats > belly rubbins!
And that's sayin' somethin'!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Babies on Spikes

Welcome to Day 8 of Memory Card Month! Today we're featuring a photo of one of Tim's favorite desserts: a little something we like to call Babies On Spikes.

Yes, it looks like a trifle. That's because it is a trifle. There's sponge cake & fruit with a layer of cherry jello, then a layer of custard, topped with a layer of whipped cream. All of those layers look very pretty, yes?

Unfortunately, it doesn't look so pretty once you scoop it out & put it in a bowl. There are lumps of gelatinous red goo and ribbons of puss-yellow slime. Frankly, it kinda looks like what you might have if you took a cue from Eddie Izzard and, well, impaled some babies on spikes.

Who wants seconds!?