Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Swear, I'm Still A Little Ticked At Fall

In case you haven't noticed, I'm not a decorating blogger. I don't have useful tips for selecting the perfect lamp for the charming sideboard.

(Squint your eyes and I swear this picture looks like a quasi-famous folk art painting that I can't quite place.)

I'm not a food blogger. I'm intimidated by a whole chicken and I only recently (with a lot of supervision and guidance) figured out pie crust from scratch.

I'm not a crafting blogger. I don't have a studio. I don't have an Etsy.

And while we're at it, I'm not even a Mommy blogger. I'm trying to figure something new out every single day. I do not have answers. And I don't even really care to vent.

My point?

I'm supposed to have a point?

My point is that I'm a whole lot of miscellany. I defy categorization. I like the freedom I have to talk about whatever the heck I want to on here. Mostly, I like to talk about all of the beauty that surrounds me daily. It contents me. (Yep, it's a word. At least on here it is.)

I have no agenda (other than the hope of meeting my all-time favorite celebrity, but I'll save that for another day). I feel no pressure to be thematic and organized. (You hadn't noticed?)

I have full autonomy in determining the appropriate number of parenthetical statements for any particular post. (I'm thinking I could use a few more here...)

I am the ruling authority on whether or not to show you my recent "Snack of Shame", which is really not shameful at all, but which will probably cause some of you to question my culinary opinion moving forward.

I can affect a Southern twang at will, and for no apparent reason, ya'll.

Freedom is truly the cat's meow.

Have a look at how others surround themselves with beauty at Melissa's Inspired Room link-up!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dr. Lee

I present to you, Dr. Lee.
He fixes noses and feet.

(His name tag does not reflect his "correct" name, but I knew the pre-school teachers wouldn't understand...)

Lee is his middle name, but he answer to "Mr. Lee" and when he's a doctor, he wants to be Dr. Lee.

Who am I to argue with one whose education far surpasses my own?

Wouldn't doctor appointments be far more appealing if the docs were as cute and happy as this?

I asked him to "give me a real doctor's look" and this is what he came up with, after stashing the red Blow Pop behind his back. See, even he knows that doctors are supposed to be kinda serious. His smirk is surely a tribute to his favorite Dr. G, whom he has spent far too much time with in his little life.

Uh-Oh. Here comes the fan club.

Doctors are always, always nice. They would never turn down a hug from a pigtailed little cutie - even if she was his sister.

I need some help - Stat!

I'm outta here. I've got feet to fix and I'm almost to the chewing gum center.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wax On

Seriously, another Fallish post from Little Miss Whiny-About-Fall Britches, moi?

I'm telling you, I've learned that it's best to just roll with it all. My 2.25 days of moping around about it sure didn't help matters.

What did help (among other things) was learning how to wax leaves via my virtual pal Sarah at Clover Lane.

It's so Simple Simon.
And cheap.

It's true, you have to keep a close eye on the little people since it involves hot, melted wax.

I couldn't escape the feeling that we were totally In The Know on the best Fall idea ever.
I love being In the Know. It almost never happens.

With a flick of the wrist, the very beauty of the season is captured in time.
I know, it seems like cheating! But it's not.
If anything is cheating, it's polyester leaves on wired ribbon.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

In cast you hadn't noticed, Mr. Fancy Pants Photographer showed up right in the thick of things.

Isn't it amazing that God thought ahead to make different kinds of leaves turn different colors with Fall's arrival?

He must have known how happy tie-dyed leaves on an ironstone plate would make some of us.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Last Week in Review

As expected, our trip to Ohio was pure therapy.

For one thing, there was peach pie. And beef and noodles with mashed potatoes.

I love the smell of "home". I never noticed it when I actually lived there, but you know how that goes.

Ruby played with the farm animals all week.

Did you ever read Animal Farm in school? Maybe I should give it another go-round to test my post-'90s political sensibilities. I'll get right on it.

Calvin did a whole lot of farming.

Gam filled his hopper wagon with popcorn seeds. He was so excited, he couldn't contain them.

Meet my new TJ Maxx bag. My mom didn't care for it.

After a fantastic lunch at Thai Nine with Keisha, Bob and the kiddos, Dad and I ventured out to select granite for their new kitchen.

We made our final decision, then went home and promptly changed our minds.

I visited my number one Ohio antique haunt and found this dreamy table, 50% off! I daydreamed for 5 days straight about re-purposing it for the bathroom vanity, but lo and behold, it is a whopping 7 inches too long.

On my way out of Tipp City, I drove past on of the loveliest homes ever. I have always adored it. It's right down the street from the childhood home of one of my best gals, so it makes me think of her.

We unwittingly planned our trip during peak Autumn thrill. Every-other-tree shone with floaty crepe papers ribbons of gold. So bright, yet not quite ready to fall.

I felt like I was on Fall break, circa 1997.

I was home and everything was right.

And now I'm back home, with my main squeeze, and it's righter than ever.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On Old Favorites and Serendipity

For those of you who have known me longer than 2 years, this is a rerun.

Come on, we all like a good rerun now and then.

I took the following pictures roughly 1 month after we moved into our home. It was the day after a tornado blew through our neighboring town. Things were obviously still awry, but with the most stunning effect.

Mind you, these were taken with my old-school camera and I still don't know how to edit photos, so I sure as sugar didn't know how to do it then.

I remember looking outside, around dinner time, and noticing that the sky was bathed in the most eerie/gorgeous amethyst light.

I grabbed the camera and ran outside. I took exactly 4 pictures, then I ran right back in to stir my stew.

This one might benefit from a bleach job, I'll give you that.

But holy cow, what could be more breath-taking? I know many of you out there are actual photographers who understand apertures and shutter speeds and such. I admire you. I truly do. However, these shots provide definitive proof that even the most ridiculously unskilled among us is capable of turning out a beautiful picture if the subject is a looker.

An actual photographer may have taken the time to remove the downspout from the corner of the frame, but whatever.

If you find these photos as alluring as I do, you're in luck. Pop some corn and meet me back here in roughly one year. I'll be showing another rerun.

ps- Cory wants to tear/burn down the barn in the final shot. He says it's an accident waiting to happen, what with the Swiss cheese floors and all. I think I can safely leave my position unstated. Your thoughts?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Luck of the Dial
Let's start with the basics, here. I drive a 1995 Ford Explorer. It is a purplish hue. Cory drove it into a ditch last Winter and it still bears the scars. And sadly, it's the newest car we've ever owned.

It must go without saying that it does not have satellite radio. Or a cd player.

I typically like extended car trips to fall between the hours of noon and 3 pm. When that is not possible, I am left with good 'ol FM radio. I detest radio commercials, so I do a lot of scanning the dial.

On this rainy Fall day, the radio saints were smiling down on me. Here are the highlights:

I Wanna Know What Love Is - Foreigner
Best Lines:
I'm gonna take a little time
A little time to look around me
I've got nowhere left to hide
It looks like love has finally found me

In my life there's been heartache and pain
I don't know if I can face it again
I cant stop now, Ive traveled so far
To change this lonely life

FPFG Commentary:
This song takes me right back to 1984. I was at a sleep-over at Erin's house. We watched the video with her mom, who told us, "This is a beautiful song." I didn't really understand why she said that then, but I get it now. It's a classic. You have no choice but to feel the love.

In the Air Tonight - Phil Collins
Best Lines:
Well I remember, I remember don't worry
How could I ever forget, its the first time, the last time we ever met
But I know the reason why you keep your silence up, no you don't fool me
The hurt doesn't show; but the pain still grows
Its no stranger to you or me

FPFG Commentary:
It's all about the drums, baby. Oh, and the urban legend is pretty fantastic, too. I choose to believe that it's true, even though Phil Collins himself adamantly denies it.

Cowboy Casanova - Carrie Underwood
Best Lines:
He’s a good time cowboy Casanova
Leaning up against the record machine
Looks like a cool drink of water
But he’s candy-coated misery
He’s the devil in disguise
A snake with blue eyes
And he only comes out at night
Gives you feelings that you don’t want to fight
You better run for your life

FPFG Commentary:
The girl's got pipes. (And legs.) If I could have anyone's singing voice, hers would be among my top 3 picks.

Already Gone - Kelly Clarkson
Best Lines:
I want you to know
That it doesn't matter
Where we take this road
Someone's gotta go
And I want you to know
You couldn't have loved me better
But I want you to move on
So I'm already gone

FPFG Commentary:
A quick story - I have heard this song thrice and each time, I have loved it. I mean, loved it. I did not know who sang it, but I loved her voice. I'm no Simon Cowell, but I knew it was clearly destined for hits-ville. Hours after hearing it today, I heard "Break Away"and I remembered how much I adored KC's cd of the same title. I decided, once and for all, that I needed to place it in my top 20 favorite cds of all time. Now, mere moments ago, I Googled this song and discovered who sings it. Makes so much sense. And now, I love it all the more. Even though it's sad. (Unrequited love is so dang sad.)

Welcome to the Future - Brad Paisley
Best Lines:
I thought about him today,
Everybody who's seen what he's seen,
From a woman on a bus
To a man with a dream.
Wake up Martin Luther.
Welcome to the future.

FPFG Commentary:
I have a crush on Brad Paisley, but it's ok, because Cory does, too. I can't entirely explain it, but the origins date back to the concert we attended a couple of years ago. I boil it down to this: He seems like a very regular, good person. His voice is like butta. He has a great sense of humor. He's very witty. He's kinda cute. He's got mad guitar skills. (That one is for Cory.)

Better as a Memory - Kenny Chesney
Best Lyrics:
Cause goodbyes are like a roulette wheel
you never know where they're gonna land
first you're spinning, then you're standing still
left holding a losin' hand
but one day you're gonna find someone
right away, you'll know it's true
that all of your seek is done
it was just a part of the passing through
right there in that moment
you'll finally understand
that I was better as a memory than as your man

FPFG Commentary:
Kenny Chesney is always hit or miss. He's got some classics, but he's also got an awful lot of songs about sitting on a beach drinking beer all day. I loved this song the first time I heard because of the lyrics I posted above. The roulette wheel is one of the best analogies to love I have ever come across. While we're on the subject, what exactly did happen with Kenny and Renee? Such a mystery...

It Must've Been Love - Roxette
Best Lyrics:
And it's a hard winters day.
I dream away.
It must've been love
but it's over now.
It was all that I wanted
now I'm livin' without

FPFG Commentary:
Old-school classic. Her voice is so gravely and raw. I think I cried about a boy over this one, years ago. (Adolescent infatuation surely inspired this, right Roxette?)

My Deliverer - Rich Mullins
Best Lyrics:
There in the Sahara winds Jesus heard the whole world cry
For the healing that would flow from His own scars
The world was singing
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
My Deliverer is coming - my Deliverer is standing by
He will never break His promise - He has written it upon the sky

FPFG Commentary:
We are big Rich Mullins fans. He wrote this song and pre-recorded it on a cassette tape just days before his death in 1997. The finished album was released posthumously, in 1998. The beginning of the song talks about Jesus going to Africa, which I had never thought about before, for some reason.

There was one additional major highlight, but I'm going to save that for a future post, because it deserves to have its own.

(How's that for a teaser?)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Happy Bunch

We are sending this picture to Silas, over in South Korea.

See, I'm sitting around here fixated on his growing little body and mind, and it's becoming more and more real to me that he's gonna be a little dude when he arrives - not just a tiny baby. He's going to understand words - Korean words! He will recognize people - but not us!

We called the agency to ask if we could send some pictures over to him and they said that we surely may. (It's odd to me that they didn't suggest this to us, but what can you do?)

They told us his foster mother will show the pictures to him in the hopes that it will help prepare him for all that lies ahead of him, if only in a small way. Maybe we will look just a tiny bit familiar? It sure can't hurt to try.

In the meantime, I'm praying that his heart will recognize us - will recognize that he's home - as soon as he lays eyes on us. God made us a family, after all, so I believe He can do that.

Our precious little guy has the journey of a lifetime ahead of him. Proof positive that God's plan for us knows no bounds and that His will won't ever take us where His grace will not protect us.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Going Home

First of all - you guys are the best thing since sliced bread. No, you're the best thing since bread. Pumpernickel, Honey Oat, Sourdough, the whole lot of it.

Today has been a brand new day, and your encouragement helped to make it such.

Other things that helped: hanging a quilt on the line, picking up some pretty leaves, midol, baking a batch of cookies, taking a walk along the river with my peeps, discovering a divey sub shop for dinner, wrapping myself up in a blanket -burrito-style - and watching Netflix with Cory.

And if that wasn't enough - I'm heading home tomorrow for a few days with the kids while he jet-sets off to DC.

Am I the only one who still refers to my childhood home as "home"? Mom and Dad are hatching a move and I'm not sure what I'll do then.

For now, I'll head South with the windows down. I'll listen to 2 chatter boxes and pray that they fall asleep during Rush. We'll eat grapes in the car and maybe get milkshakes.

Then, after 3 and a half hours, I'll be here:

I will eat the best salsa in the free world, meet my sister's new beau, eat my mama's cooking, visit my top-dog antique store, and stay up late talking with family. At night, lying in my childhood room, I'll find it impossible for my mind not to wander back to my high school years, which at the time felt so complicated - full of promise, but with the edges traced in 16-year-old despair.

I'll read some magazines and some books and hopefully see some of my sweet, old friends.

I think it may be just what I need.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Slight Departure from a Mostly Happy Place

Remember my husband? The one who is teaching himself the fine art of photography? He recently lured me outside for a real-live photo shoot. He had a semi-real client coming a few days later and needed a little practice. I gave him 20 minutes. I did not gloss up my lips. I did not even fluff my hair. (As if it fluffs - ha!)

I mostly complied because of this:

These sizzly bean fields had been driving me wild and for several weeks, they had us surrounded. I'm happy to have a picture of myself perched in their midst.

But here's the thing about me these days: I've been slightly off kilter. It doesn't happen often and when it does, I do some dwelling.

Whereas I typically feel like this:

Lately I've been feeling a little more:

I can't entirely put my finger on it. And I'm not just saying that.

I've had trouble sleeping for the past two nights and this is the best possible scenario I've concocted:

Between late June and mid-September (2.5 months, folks) my family underwent 3 semi-major surgeries (2 of which were courtesy of yours truly) and 3 illnesses involving fevers and in some cases, the collection of little-people feces.

Sorry people, you asked.

Oh wait.....

Anyway, I think this is one of those times when you don't realize the cumulative effects of the relentless curve-balls of life until after the dust settles a little.

It has all left me feeling a little crabby and jittery. I can't shake this feeling that I missed out on my Summer. I have had difficulty accepting that Fall is here and I've caught myself daydreaming, on several occasions, about potential Summer '10 vacations. And yeah, it's October.

Doesn't this whiny post make you excited to see what I'll have to share by, say, mid-February?

In the meantime, I'm on a mission to regain some perspective and inspiration. I'm determined to shed my worries. I'm gonna slink right out of this funk.

And if it's more difficult than I plan, I'll just take a peek every now and then at this ridiculous shot. (That's right - I love Cory so much that I pretended to be a bean-jumper. I am so not a bean jumper...)

Before you know it, this lady will be back among the living.

By the way, lady, thems some veiny hands you've got.