Reggie and the Rainy Dilemma

21 November 2009

I hear Virginia's been having quite a lot of rain lately, much to the consternation of certain comfort-loving canines. Here is what my mom wrote about Mr. Reg:

The backyard sogginess has put extra demands on our Reggie. You know how he hates rain to begin with and he hates being sprinkled by wet, overhanging tree branches and he hates yard puddles; well, after nearly 80 hours of constant rain, he has had to rank-order his demons and it's a hoot to watch his facial expression as he sifts through his possibilities. (Knowing his propensity to make the evil decision to go in the middle of the yard when the mulch is wet, he is firmly supervised so options in the criminal realm are not available). This morning after several false starts looking forlornly out the back door, he trudged out and crept along the back fence, before heading up toward the new neighbor's side. He surmised that right behind the gardenia bushes was as high and dry as he was going to find (or perhaps nature was making further progress impossible) so he did his business and then, was paralyzed as if he was caught in the blueberry bush bird netting*. He couldn't go left- over hanging tree branches. He couldn't go right, because there was a bottomless pond at the end of the hedge to almost the street. . He looked like Adam perched modestly behind the shrubs in the Garden of Eden as he froze, indecisively with his head just clearing the gardenias, every muscle on his face giving evidence to the cognition within. A couple of minutes went by and his face went into a resigned, "I accept my fate. I shall die in this very spot." I yelled out, "I'm NOT coming out there to get you, Reggie." Still he waited and waited. I did not cave. (I was NOT going out there!) He then moved gingerly forward, tapping the hedge with his nose as if considering how bad it would be to go straight through the gardenia hedge, which as you know has pretty much woven itself into a wall. "Sure, I thought, why would you pick the hardest route? Sure enough, finding that virtually impenetrable he sat down, thought a few seconds and then burst through it like Super Dog. Our Reg! He had risked that shower of water droplets and even the inevitable prickliness.He stopped, shook it all off, grinned up at me. He inspires us all.

*a quirk of his

19 November 2009

Don't ask; just click.

If you want more, click here.

Word File

18 November 2009

lachrymose: sorrowful or tearful.

example: "That was a stirring speech you gave in there, Mr. President."
"Mighty indeed; we can but do our duty to safeguard democracy, Mr. President"
"...protect the peace..."
"clean it up in no time..."

"Mr. President?"

"Mr. President?"
"Mr. President?"
"Hmm? Oh, yes of course," he roused himself; "peace. We must be strong in the months ahead. Yes...such is our duty..." He looked up and I was startled. His eyes were rimmed with shadow--haunted almost, as if every brave word he recited were treading some deep lachrymose well.

We shuffled uncomfortably out, and as I closed the door softly behind me, I saw him put his face in his hands and weep.

pumpkin + chocolate II

16 November 2009

Keeping with the theme of pumpkin, here is another recipe that I've enjoyed of late: pumpkin cheesecake brownies.

Perhaps it seems over-the-top?

It is. Enjoy it.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies
recipe by Cara's Cravings

Brownie Batter
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Cheesecake Batter
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ground ginger and ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8" square metal baking pan.

Beat together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in eggs one at a time. Combine dry ingredients and then gradually stir into butter mixture with a wooden spoon. In separate bowl, beat together cheesecake batter ingredients.

Spread about 2/3 of chocolate batter into prepared pan, and spoon cheesecake batter over. Dollop remaining brownie batter over cheesecake batter. Swirl the batters together by running a butter knife back and forth through the pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack and chill before cutting and serving.

*This makes a good treat to take to the next pumpkin party to which you're invited. And the best part is that if guests eye the combination of chocolate and pumpkin dubiously, you'll get to take more home!

Word File

14 November 2009

Immure: to enclose, imprison, or entomb

example: Like the rootbound basil on her windowsill which had ceased to grow, so she, immured within her sentimental recollections, had ceased to participate in the present.


12 November 2009

As the days turn brisk, I find myself marking time by the mugful--hot coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, perhaps even cocoa in the evening. Lately, however, I have enjoyed a special concoction made for Fall: pumpkin hot chocolate. The broad, creamy flavor of pumpkin bolstered with the cloves and ginger seems to compliment the thinning temperatures perfectly.

Spiced Pumpkin Hot Cocoa
an Eggs on Sunday original recipe
serves 3
For the hot cocoa:
3 cups milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup (I substitute brown sugar for the costly syrup)
And for an extra special cup...

maple whipped cream:
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons maple syrup

any of the following for dusting on top: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, raw sugar

*note: I make up a concentrate of this and keep it in the fridge. When fancy strikes, I need only add the rest of the milk and cart it to the microwave.

The ABCs...are ruthless?

10 November 2009

I've never considered the affect of the phonetic alphabet upon our culture, but Marshall McLuhan (originator of the famed "the medium is the message" concept) discusses its power to disconnect the individual from the community and one sense from another:

"This stark division and parallelism between a visual and an auditory world was both crude and ruthless, culturally speaking. The phonetically written word sacrifices worlds of meaning and perception that were secured by forms like the hieroglyph and the Chinese ideogram . . . Many centuries of ideogrammic use have not threatened the seamless web of family and tribal subtleties of Chinese society. On the other hand, a single generation of alphabetic literacy suffices in Africa today, as in Gaul two thousand years ago, to release the individual initially, at least, from the tribal web. This fact has nothing to do with the content of the alphabetized words; it is the result of the sudden breach between the auditory and the visual experience of man. Only the phonetic alphabet makes such a sharp division in experience, giving to its user an eye for an ear, and freeing him from the tribal trance of resonating word magic and the web of kinship . . . Separateness of the individual, continuity of space and of time, and uniformity of codes are the prime marks of literate and civilized societies."

("The Written Word: An Eye for an Ear" in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan)

Word File

06 November 2009

Sesquipedalian: using long words; polysyllabic.

example: The student's sesquipedalian sentences clamored dissonantly out from the essay, and the professor ran her hand over her aching brow. A thesaurus in the hands of an undergraduate is deadly.

Word File

04 November 2009

Dislimn: to dim or fade into indistinctness; vanish; obscure.

example: He shook his head and slapped his cheek vigorously but presently the scene dislimned into smudges of greying color and muffling sound. He closed his eyes and slept.

Word File

02 November 2009

Celerity: swiftness.

example: His celeritous exit conveyed the embarrassment he felt over his faux pas.

the wheel of commerce

30 October 2009

a wry observation from the pages of Dorothy L. Sayers' Murder Must Advertise expressed in a conversation between two advertisement copy-writers:

"I think this is an awfully immoral job of ours. I do, really. Think how we spoil the digestions of the public."

"Ah, yes--but think how earnestly we strive to put them right again. We undermine 'em with one hand and build 'em up with the other. The vitamins we destroy in the canning, we restore in Revito, the roughage we remove from Peabody's Piper Parritch we make up into a package and market as Bunbury's Breakfast Bran; the stomachs we ruin with Pompayne, we re-line with Peplets to aid digestion. And by forcing the damn-fool public to pay twice over--once to have its food emasculated and once to have the vitality put back again, we keep the wheels of commerce turning and give employment to thousands."

Word File

20 October 2009

Peroration: a formal speech often characterized by high, haughty language.

example: "Well now I think this here is none o' your business, I do, and another thing..." The man stuck his thumbs in his tattered lapels and commenced a grand peroration in which he proclaimed the evils of the judicial system, the savagery of the free market, the oppression of organized religion, and the general unpleasantness associated with having to wear shoes when he entered the station.
" two left feet, that's what, and I says to the bobby I says, here now what kind of a scam are you runnin'? It's a conspiracy...
"... and I can't 'elp it if...
"... I mean the popes and the cardinals and the senators are all in it together...
" ...she threw me out; literally tossed my bag ..."

Obviously his beer-bathed eloquence would get me nowhere. I turned the corner and hailed a cab.

07 October 2009

The year relents, and free
Of work, I climb again
To where the old trees wait,
Time out of mind. I hear
Traffic down on the road,
Engines high overhead.
And then a quiet comes,
A cleft in time, silence
Of metal moved by fire;
The air holds little voices,
Titmice and chickadees,
Feeding through the treetops
Among the new small leaves,
Calling again to mind
The grace of circumstance,
Sabbath economy
In which all thought is song,
All labor is a dance.
The world is made at rest,
In ease of gravity.
I hear the ancient theme
In low world-shaping song
Sung by the falling stream.
Here where a rotting log
Has slowed the flow: a shelf
Of dark soil, level laid
Above the tumbled stone.
Roots fasten it in place.
It will be here a while;
What holds it here decays.
A richness from above,
Brought down, is held, and holds
A little while in flow.
Stem and leaf grow from it.
At cost of death, it has
A life. Thus falling founds,
Unmaking makes the world.

Wendell Berry
Sabbath Poems 1983:II from A Timbered Choir


06 October 2009

If you have a bit of time on your hands, please do take a look at this blog, Cold Antler Farm. It's one of my life's inspirations and secret aspirations to be like this young woman who went from web-designing city girl to homesteader. Her blog traces her experiences frankly and poetically.

And she has a book, Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life, which I've put on my to-read list. You can find it here.

13 September 2009

do it today and you'll be ahead.

have you come across this video yet?

29 August 2009

Here is a video that is at once dark, intriguing, and stimulating: it's called Epic 2015. Have you seen it yet? It looks at our use of the internet and the blurring boundaries between personalization and power. Go see it--it's only about ten minutes long.

What did you think?

Media does influence the way we work and think, and it is good practice to consider how the internet affects us now and how it might affect us in the future. For example, consider how the telegraph changed our discourse and the way we relate to information (see Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman for the original presentation of this concept). News was no longer limited to proximity, in a sense resulting in the “annihilation of space,” as Postman calls it. By and by, information became delocalized, more abundant, and, consequently, less relevant (frankly I’m not as affected by something that happened to someone I’d never heard of who lives somewhere I’ve never been as by reading about something that happened to the woman I see every week when I buy my groceries). This video addresses that problem we face of information inundation and trivialization with its focus on the fabricated “Googlezon,” a merge between Google and Amazon that allows for total customization of content that, in a sense, makes irrelevant information relevant again. Its intriguing presentation seems to address the need for balance between customization and privacy.

peace in the window

26 August 2009

A little bit of peace in a hectic world

when all that remains is to watch and wait

and to turn over and do it again.

gearing up

22 August 2009

I'm slowly getting into the swing of things around here--seeing a little bit more of campus day by day, browsing more local shops, gaining familiarity with public transport. Life here is feeling smoother.

Nerves are starting to set in for classes, however. It's been over a year since I was in school, and I feel my thinking powers and time management skills have gotten rusty. That, and my computer rebelled against the new school year yesterday by contracting a virus; poor thing is now at the computer help center for a couple of days undergoing a manual cleaning. I'm just grateful it happened before things really pick up. Really grateful.

But here's to a fresh week, a fresh semester, and a fresh computer.


19 August 2009

I think M and I have everything we need to make the apartment feel like home--to both of us. We hit up Charlotte today for a round of Ikea, Bed Bath and Beyond, TJ Maxx Home Goods, and Target and returned to Carrboro with the little car packed full of furniture and bedding and mirrors and kitchen accoutrement. I can hear her hammering away at her dresser now.

I'm terribly excited about my purchases as well: quart-size coffee press (now more than one can enjoy coffee at a time!), Misto oil sprayer (no disposable aerosol spray can for me), and a full length mirror (so that's what those shoes look like with that dress...). It feels good to have all the errands completed and the time to settle down to a cup of hot tea and a cookie.


17 August 2009

Well, I'm back online and back in NC...and now I have roommates! One is a cat, both are delightful, and I think we'll all get along well.

So what's up for the next few days? Finishing up that ever-present upholstery job is hitting the top of the priority list as well as scheduling a nasty Td booster shot with campus health...oh and buying textbooks because someone says I have classes starting up soon? Seriously?

But I'm so excited to begin studying again. M and I walked around campus yesterday and it really is gorgeous--I'm especially excited about Manning Hall, where all of my INLS classes will be. As I didn't bring my camera I haven't got any photos to share, so you'll just have to take me at my word that it really is picturesque.

Oh and should you come to visit anytime soon, we'll have to get frozen yogurt at the Yogurt Pump off Franklin. That's really good stuff.

my little place

04 August 2009

Welcome to

my little place

in Carrboro.

living room shelves by you.

dining room by you.

kitchen by you.

kitchen canisters by you.

here's a close up of one my favorite spots in the whole apartment--complete with my ever-present clear glass canisters and mixing bowls and things I love to use.

bed by you.

I still have much to do before I'm finished dressing up these various niches, but I couldn't wait to share what I've done thus far. I think I was made to set up house.

Later on this month (when I have internet at the Little Place), I plan to give you a proper tour, replete with details and chatty household tips. Stop on by in about a month!

just checking in

27 July 2009

Just stopping in to let you know that the move went well, and now I'm in the midst of setting up my home! I love the area and cannot wait to share more about it; with that being said, my times with the internet are quite limited, so posts will be few and far between for awhile...

but they'll come...


12 July 2009

If I were overwhelmed with money to spend on the house, I would put in a bid for this lovely set of cane table and chairs--

--painted white (my answer to everything), wouldn't they look stunning in a nook in the living room or kitchen or even the bedroom? And no, I am not buying furniture off of ebay; scrolling through is simply how I appease my craigslist addiction.

collect for the day

GRANT, O Lord, we beseech thee,
that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance,
that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly quietness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Book of Common Prayer 1928
Fifth Sunday after Trinity

This Week I ...

11 July 2009

  • worked 44 hours
  • continued reading Miriam's Kitchen (Elizabeth Ehrlich)
  • finished reading Winesburg, Ohio (Sherwood Anderson)
  • began reading The Vicar of Wakefield (Oliver Goldsmith)
  • finally attended the monthly potluck at church (as well I should have since they were bidding me goodbye)
  • painted my dining chairs bright white
  • found another dining chair off Craigslist and now have four white chairs and one vanilla-toned chair...ah well
  • walked with Kris and Brandon over a busy highway for an ice cream cone
  • began packing my books up
  • weeded out my alterations bins
  • witnessed the culmination of a $300 fine at the library (check your interlibrary loans carefully, people!)
  • settled on mints and aquas for my kitchen colors
  • got in to two waitlisted classes and now am taking all basic core classes
  • bought my pantry staples and cannot wait to use them!

This Week I ...

04 July 2009

  • worked 35 hours
  • continued reading Miriam's Kitchen (Elizabeth Ehrlich)
  • continued reading Winesburg, Ohio (Sherwood Anderson)
  • helped move Kristen and Brandon into their new apartment (closer to my family's house!)
  • came face to face with a thief
  • found the deal of the week at Salvo: $22 KitchenAid (sage green) with all three attachments
  • found the deal of the week at Thrift Store USA: 5 yards of off-white upholstery fabric for $1.50
  • dried my laundry on the sun-warmed deck
  • ripped the hideous orange-flowered fabric off my arm chair in preparation for reupholstering it; it already looks better
  • celebrated Independence Day at Kris and Brandon's new place with family and friends

secondhand inspiration

02 July 2009

Take a peek into this couple's charming renovation--as newlyweds, they have a very limited budget for housing and furnishing, but I think their mismatched pieces are skillfully placed and the colors tie it all together perfectly. See what you can do with thrift store finds and Craigslist?

images from here

found via Darling Dexter

29 June 2009

"Seven Stanzas at Easter"

By John Updike

Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that — pierced — died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

Telephone Poles and Other Poems © 1961 by John Updike

collect for the day

28 June 2009

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us;
and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may,
by thy mighty aid,
be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Third Sunday after Trinity
Book of Common Prayer 1928

This Week I ...

27 June 2009

  • worked 50 hours
  • ticked off a lady at Hancock's who used the adjective "smart ass" to describe those of us who were helping her
  • was called "really pretty" by a little girl at Hancock's
  • finished reading Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) and fell in love with Gilbert all over again
  • started reading Winesburg, Ohio (Sherwood Anderson)
  • continued reading Tolkien: a Biography (Michael White)
  • finished every bit of nasty paperwork associated with the upcoming school year--including my loan application and financial aid consent form
  • finally finally finally sent in my thanks-but-no-thanks letters to University of Kentucky and University of Maryland
  • painted my computer cart a disappointing green
  • used the amazing new copier at the Crisis Pregnancy Center which duplexes, sorts, and staples the wad of papers one shoves in it
  • found some fabulous deals at local thrift stores including a tea pot and a large glass canister ($3.19 for both) and a J. Crew sundress ($2.25)
  • recovered my dining chairs
  • am just beginning to understand the attitude of thankfulness

collect for the day

21 June 2009

O GOD, the strength of all those who put their trust in thee;
Mercifully accept our prayers;
and because through the weakness of our mortal nature,
we can do no good thing without thee,
grant us the help of thy grace,
that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee,
both in will and in deed;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1st Sunday after Trinity
Book of Common Prayer 1928

Word File

20 June 2009

Modicum: a small amount or tiny bit

Her eyes searched his for one modicum of recognition but found none. He stamped his ticket, placed it neatly within the pockets of his billfold, and thrust himself calmly into the jostling crowd with nothing but 8:01 Bedford on his mind.

This Week I ...

  • worked 44 hours
  • continued to read Tolkien: A Biography (Michael White)
  • started to read Anne of Green Gables (Lucy Maud Montgomery)
  • finished reading Babbitt (Sinclair Lewis)
  • met a lovely girl named Heather at the library
  • found an affordable three-shelf rolling cart for my computer!
  • worked on a little something for my kitchen
  • implemented a new tidying system for my terribly cluttered bedroom: every time I enter, I put away three things (no more and no fewer)
  • took advantage of Tropical Smoothie Cafe's National Flip-Flop Day giveaway
  • signed up for the summer reading program at the Central Library
  • discovered I was calling a regular patron by the wrong name for months
  • ate buttery-smooth cookies-and-cream ice cream at Bergey's with Mom and Kathryn
  • witnessed the completion of Mom's book cart (more on that!)
  • made progress on my furniture makeovers: prepared my dining chairs for painting and bought upholstery fabric; speared Dad's tire with my scattered upholstery tacks

Tastefully Simple

13 June 2009

As you can tell, I spend nearly every thinking minute on household touches and decor. I am so excited about settling into my apartment in North Carolina in just a few weeks. Everything is coming together.

This here is a lovely example of using free walls for conversation or reading areas--Leslie Banker of Rhode Island set this space up in her dining room, making use of this space with her classically simple loveseat (it is gorgeous, isn't it?). The paneled walls set off her collection of prints beautifully and the bright red tones enliven the rich neutral scheme. You can find her house tour at Cookie Magazine.


11 June 2009

I was reading through one of my favorite design blogs, designsponge, and found this fabulous project for knotted trivets. Please take a peek at their site for instructions!


07 June 2009

I think I must be librarianish, but I keep looking at our metal flat files at Regent and thinking what a lovely coffee table one would make--

Anything with drawers and labels catches my eye instantly, and I do think that a bit of this painted metal furniture can compliment a farmhouse-look interior. But perhaps that's just my own opinion.

Shabby Apple delights

05 June 2009

I spent yesterday evening gushing over the gorgeous dresses from Shabby Apple, a clothing line designed with ease of wearing in mind--no camisoles or cardigans required for comfortable coverage. The classic design is worth every penny, too.

The Madison Ave:

The Broadway:

The Upper East Side:

The Midtown:

Imagine my delight when I saw that one of my favorite inspirational blogs is hosting a Shabby Apple giveaway for the darling Marseilles dress--click on the link below to see what an adorable dress this is!


another one

02 June 2009

and while we're on the subject of charming dresses, look at this dress from one of my favorite blogs, wearinghistory:

Oh the colors! One of the very best combinations, in my opinion.


Isn't Kathleen from inspirational? I love viewing her refashioned projects although goodness knows, I do not need to add anything else to my to-do list for quite some time! But look at her glorious refashioned dress--

Vintage Wedding Refashioned Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

--its delicate pintucks, lace, buttons, and transparency create an absolutely charming frock.

furniture in the making

01 June 2009

I love that Denmark resident Tracy Lorna Nors used floorboards to make her coffee-table top. (you can find more pictures of her lovely home via decor8blog here. Isn't this lovely?

If I were to make a coffee table, I would cover the apron with four-by-four inch pressed tin tiles painted in an antique white, perhaps in a single row design like this

or this

But that will all come later. Right now I'm just looking for an inexpensive wooden coffee table with decent proportions. I will keep scanning craigslist or my lovely local thrift stores for that.

I'll also need some sort of desk, but as I don't really like sitting at one (start to get antsy), I've decided to look for a rolling cart instead, something that will hold my printer at the bottom, my various accessories like cd-drive, cords, keyboard in a drawer, and my laptop on the top. When I am done with it, I can just roll it away, out of sight. Now, carts are expensive so I'm toying with the idea of finding an end table with two shelves or a shelf and a drawer (even better) and putting casters on it. It seems like that would suit my needs well. Something along the lines of this, your typical second-hand end table, only with wheels (and painted white, of course)--

a few more needs

My household furnishings are coming together as I get ready for the big move at the end of July. I absolutely cannot wait to put it all together--and put it all together in the appropriate amount of space. My own bedroom here looks like a warehouse, and I've also got pieces scattered throughout my parents' house and in the garage. But I've got the big pieces (sofa, side chairs, dining table, hutch, side table, wall unit, dresser, bed) and really only lack a few more dining chairs and a coffee table. I am so grateful for craigslist.

The kitchen, however, is quite understocked. I wrote out a list of what I'll need and phew! it's overwhelming. But I like finding that sort of thing and so will keep combing the thrift stores. Shall I write it out? Here goes...

*French press (Ikea 12-cup)
*tea kettle (K)
*1 airbake cookie sheet
*2 half-sheet pans (K)
*dutch oven (P)
*casserole dishes--square + rectangle, preferably with lids
*4 sets flatware + extra spoons (K?)
*large mixing bowl
*medium mixing bowl
*reusable food containers (jars with lids, flat stacking)
*bucket with lid
*cutting boards--large + small

*measuring cups
*measuring spoons
*bamboo spoons
*can opener

*2 square potholders (get batting Friday June 5th at Hancock's)
*napkins (cloth)
*hand mixer
*food processor (K)
*mop bucket
*dustpan (?)
*fly swatter

*soap dispenser for kitchen and bath

good news

21 May 2009

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

...such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant.
(2 Corinthians 2:14-17;3:4-6a)

Is this not wonderful news?

still wanting more bike paths...

20 May 2009

Okay, so I just came across this bicycle--

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Talk about riding self-fueled vehicles in style! I am so excited that my soon-to-be home encourages cycling much more than my home here. My apartment is only 7 minutes from my side of campus by bike. Now that's nice.

Sewing List

19 May 2009

I have too many projects taking up space in my imagination--and closet, since that's where I keep my fabric stash. This list, I might add, does not include my 3 bins of alterations. Thus (I raise my right hand) my goal is to complete one alteration/sew-up every two weeks. And I cannot buy anything that needs to be altered (save hem length, since that's a given for shrimp-sized gals) until I conquer my stash. The End.

Eudora Welty's home

18 May 2009

I spotted these beautiful home pictures on Susana Raab's website, and lo and behold, my two favorite pictures were taken in my favorite Southern author's home, that of Eudora Welty. I do think my kitchen will look like #11 eventually, and my living room? like #12. Go take a peek!


16 May 2009

I found a most intriguing book when I was shelf-reading (a most un-intriguing task): The New Testament English Version for the Deaf. It was translated directly from the Greek into English that is more compatible with the syntax and thought patterns of the deaf. To illustrate, here is a passage from Romans 3:

But God has a way to make people right without the law. And God has now shown us that new way. The law and the prophets told us about this new way. God makes people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this for all people who believe in Christ. All people are the same. All people have sinned and are not good enough for God's glory. People are made right with God by his grace (kindness). This is a free gift. (21-24)

Notice the short, strong sentences. When I visited Deaf churches a few years ago, I was struck by the strong phrasing and constant repetition used by the preachers as they taught their congregations the Word of God (as a fledgling student of ASL, I was certainly grateful!). Such techniques may sound awkward and elementary in written English, but in signed language, it makes sense and really is beautiful. I appreciate how the editors of this version of the Bible were mindful of that in bridging the two languages.*

*I think that some hearing people assume that sign language is simply English conveyed through gesture; ASL is, however, a completely different language with its own grammar, idioms, dialects (yes, dialects; experienced signers can tell which region a signer is from based on his or her accent). Thus most deaf/Deaf Americans are at least bilingual.

Blog Spot: GrosgrainFabulous

15 May 2009

I found this intriquing blog called Grosgrain, written by a creative gal who describes herself as "an artsy craftsy, penny pinching, party planning, playdating, fashion finding, sci-fi loving, stay at home mommy who always keeps her sewing machine plugged in and loves all things cute!"

Instant connection, particularly with her "artsy crafty, PENNY PINCHING" side. Look back on her site for some fashion inspiration and tutorials on copying expensive ready-made clothes (like some adorable pieces by anthropologie). In addition to her how-tos, she also has many many giveaways, either of pieces she's made or of guest giveaways. I saw this wonderful necklace by Persimmon Jewelry which she's giving away, and I couldn't resist entering. Check it out here:

Persimmon Jewelry Kline Necklace GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!

10 May 2009

Farewell, long hairs!

getting closer to school...

09 May 2009

The Academic Common Market of VA just informed me that I'm eligible for instate tuition at UNC-CH. What a relief! Now I still need to contact the school and talk over the financial matters with them, but I am happy to know that I'm at least eligible.

Kristen and I are driving down to Chapel Hill on Monday to scope out the area and, most importantly, housing. I'll be so glad to have her guidance, for she's shopped for apartments many a time, and I've never done so. This year I'm only hoping to find some place that's reasonably safe and reasonably close to campus (biking distance, por favor?), but next year I hope to find a nicer, unfurnished apartment that I can set up as my own little nest, filled with the furniture and household items I've been collecting for years now. It will be so nice to use them!

the end of an age

It's official--after 30 years my Dad's retired from the navy into civilian-land. What a moment! We celebrated his career with an afternoon ceremony at Fort Belvoir yesterday, and I must say that it was heart-warming to see all who came up to celebrate with us--My Uncle Keith and Jill even drove up all the way from Georgia! And with the glorified parking lot of Interstate 95, that's no small sacrifice.

I'm always amazed to hear about Dad's work, about the missions he's led and the responsibilities he's had. He doesn't talk about it much at home (with us kids, that is), for when he's home he's home and interested in the goings on here. But I appreciate these moments when I do get to hear a bit of what he's faced and conquered at sea or on shore from those who aren't constrained by modesty to reveal it. The constant refrain during the service and after was that he is a "fine man, principled, hard-working, committed, learned, and responsible, an able leader and mentor." Their casually slipped references and anecdotes hint at what he's accomplished in a way that inspires awe in me--he makes me proud to be his daughter!

my poor reginald

02 May 2009

he's just to say it...interested in honing his fetching skills. With the lovely sunny days, I've been taking him out to play catch but let me say that it's a bit of a struggle which I hope the neighbors haven't witnessed--Reggie keeps his eyes on me when I throw the ball and by the time he's realized I've chucked it, it's hidden in the leaves or grass and he has to "use his nose" (my constant reminder during our sessions) to find the tricky thing. He'll retrieve it happily enough, however, and makes sure to drop the slimy dirt-and-decayed-leaf encrusted sphere into my hands for another round (that is, if some sweet-smelling blooms haven't distracted him, which they have more than once, I'm reluctant to say). But I do groan when the ball lands on the south side of the yard while he's pointed due north, eagerly but erroneously anticipating its final destination.

I should have realized that he's not the catch-and-fetch type when, asking him if he'd like to play this afternoon, I tossed the ball straight up only to hear it clout Mr. Reg on the underlip as it bounced right beneath him. The cheddar helped him forget his throbbing jaw but I did notice his gingerly grasp of the ball from there on after.

Thank goodness he's talented in so many other ways.

animal moments

01 May 2009

I saw a bird flying over the expressway the other day--he was carrying a poor flapping fish in his claws!

And last night as I was driving back from my 2 am shift at the library, I saw a couple of deer scurrying across the road, just flashes of shadow. Apparently they love Regent University, for they are seen practically every night and some have been spotted even by the student union.


18 April 2009

I've bought some fabric for the first dress pattern from my post below--a blend of linen and rayon in a very '50s print. And the fabric was only $2 a yard, so buying the four and a half yards was not so very painful. Deciding which buttons to purchase was the hardest part--it's rather difficult to find buttons that don't look like cheap plastic afterthoughts. I toyed with the idea of wooden or shell buttons, but in the end I decided to use fabric-covered buttons so that they wouldn't overpower the dress. Afterall, the design calls for nine down the front, and I don't want people to think "buttons" when I approach.

I've got the fabric drying in the nice warm sun right now, and hopefully I will get to cut the dress out next week.

vintage vogue

15 April 2009

Ohhhh my. I am head-over-heels in love with these dress patterns from the Vintage Vogue collection--I own the first two and aim to get the third when the next pattern sale arrives.

pattern inspiration

07 April 2009

Here are some images from Pattern Drafting and Grading--aren't these reason enough to learn pattern drafting?

pattern drafting

06 April 2009

I have been quite preoccupied with sewing projects lately, and every night before I fall asleep I steal a few minutes to read up on pattern drafting. These two books are my favorites:
  • Make Your Own Patterns by Adele Margolis (1985)
  • Pattern Drafting and Grading: Women's and Misses' Garment Design by M. Rohr (1968)

The first book offers detailed explanation of dart control and shifting the control to seams lines or pleats or other stylistic details. It is written in two parts, the first of which is entitled "Pattern Whys" with chapters on the dart control system, creating a finished pattern, control seams, and shaped fullness. The second part, entitled "Styling," has chapters devoted to necklines, openings, pockets, collars, sleeves, and sleeve finishes, as well as a final chapter on draping and muslin models and pattern layouts. It's a wonderful resource, worth reading from cover to cover.
The second book is more inspiration than explanation, and it is best used when one has pattern drafting experience. But just look at some of these designs--

school school school

23 March 2009

I'm so excited to share with you what's been happening on the grad school front: all three schools admitted me--University of Maryland, University of Kentucky, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I'll be sending in my acceptance to UNC-CH this week and beginning my preparations for moving there in August.

Isn't that wonderful? In two years I'll be a librarian...

standing still

19 February 2009

needless to say, I'm taking a break from blogging as I wrap up applications...

be back in March!

Word File

10 February 2009

Squinny: to squint.

example: She sat perched upon the fence, the wind spinning tendrils across her sun-squinnying face.

an apt comparison

09 February 2009

Here is an insightful comparison between two presidents, found here:


President Obama's Inauguration

President Obama was sworn into office placing his hand on Abraham Lincoln's Bible. That is the last Bible I would use to be sworn into office. You say, "Why? Didn't Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation free your ancestors?" It all depends where they were living. Let's examine the document's text to see why.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which reads, "That on the first day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free …" The key phrase is "in rebellion against the United States" because slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion.
The Proclamation is specific about the states where slaves were freed, to wit: "Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, (except the Parishes of St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, St. John, St. Charles, St. James Ascension, Assumption, Terrebonne, Lafourche, St. Mary, St. Martin, and Orleans, including the City of New Orleans) Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, (except the forty-eight counties designated as West Virginia, and also the counties of Berkley, Accomac, Northampton, Elizabeth City, York, Princess Ann, and Norfolk, including the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth), and which excepted parts, are for the present, left precisely as if this proclamation were not issued."
Slaves in the excepted Louisiana parishes were not freed because those parishes were not in rebellion. Neither were slaves in West Virginia. By the way, West Virginia's June 1863 admission as a state, formerly a part of Virginia, was a clear violation of the Constitution's Article IV, Section 3, that reads in part "but no new States shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress." But what the heck, Lincoln had much of the Constitution under siege by then.
The hypocrisy of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation came in for heavy criticism. His Secretary of State William Seward said, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free." The New York World wrote, "He has proclaimed emancipation only where he has notoriously no power to execute it. The exemption of the accessible parts of Louisiana, Tennessee, and Virginia renders the proclamation not merely futile, but ridiculous." The London Spectator mocked, "The principle (of the Proclamation) is not that a human being cannot justly own another, but that he cannot own him unless he is loyal to the United States." Lincoln admitted in a letter to his Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase that his proclamation had no legal justification. Lincoln's motivation for proclamation was the war was going badly for the Union and there was the possibility that England and other European powers, who had recently abolished slavery, might give the Confederacy economic and political aid, but would not do so if the war was seen as a war against slavery. An excellent reference for this period is "The Real Lincoln" by Loyola College of Maryland's economics Professor Thomas DiLorenzo.
President Obama can be forgiven for celebrating the hypocrisy of Abraham Lincoln because the victors of wars write their history and glorify the winners. The recognition that slavery is a despicable institution does not require hero worship of a president who made the largest contribution to the unraveling of our Constitution. After all when it is settled by brute force that states cannot secede, as they thought they had the right to in 1787, then the federal government can ride roughshod over states and their people's right -- in a word make meaningless the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at


one of my favorites

31 January 2009

Usagi, Japanese rabbits...

Isn't their simplicity of form striking?