Monday, May 31, 2010

pink palace museum

Uh oh, I went a whole week without posting! It felt like a month. Here are the predictable apologies for being very busy. Things have balanced out quite a bit, though: I am way less stressed than I was a couple of weeks ago. I began working for a non-profit organization last week, and it's very close to my home. I was originally going to be part-time, but they've asked me to start out full-time just until I finish up this first project I'm working on. I won't share many details, but the important part is that I really like the work and I feel content with everything!

Here are some pictures from our (anniversary/birthday/graduation) visit to Memphis last weekend-- specifically our visit to the Pink Palace Museum! This was my second visit to the museum, and I believe we really only go there because it's a piece of nostalgia from Robert's childhood. Unfortunately, the museum seems to have very little funding and the exhibits haven't really been updated since the 80s. We mostly just like to pose with the scary mannequins.

At least they have a narwhal tusk!! They also have a shrunken head, but we didn't get around to it this time.

Here you use your imagination to "get small" and then look through some microscopes.

Or just pretend you have shadow friends.

They keep this dinosaur around, even though you can see he's falling apart. In the past he would stomp and roar if you gave him a quarter. He doesn't do anything now.

New friend?

He's a cool guy.

Next up: Early America! This picture always reminds me of Rasputina.

Are you ready for some mannequins? I'm leaving out the guy with the gangrenous foot (being sawed off by another mannequin). It's really gross.

Why, hello!

A pink-haired leprechaun is about to receive a shot from a jovial doctor... ?

This part always makes me cringe. You REALLY don't want to know what those tools are all for.

That's.. it. That's all I've got. Sweet dreams! I'll try to set up some more pleasant / less bizarre posts for this week. I'll also try to come round and visit everyone's blogs! Sorry I've been flaky!

Monday, May 24, 2010

the big 2 year anniversary

We're back home from our little trip to Memphis! It was a nice time and I have plenty of fun pictures to post... on another day when I'm not entirely exhausted! I need a nap.

Saturday night after Robert and I went out to dinner for our wedding anniversary, we got some ice cream. We were sitting outside on a bench and realized that we were basically in the exact same spot where we met for the first time in 2005 (after being friends online for a couple of years). So cute!! There's definitely nothing romantic about Memphis, but it is a really comfortable and nostalgic place because it's where a lot of important parts of our relationship started.

Hope everyone has a pleasant week!

Friday, May 21, 2010

i miss the calm

I'm still alive! And for the first time in a couple of weeks, I feel like I can breathe because we're taking a 4-day weekend. While it's been nice to make some money and have something semi-important to do, working full time has really overwhelmed me. It might be wimpy to admit that, but it's true! I miss having time to think and write, time to clean the house, and quiet time in general.

Next week I'll begin working 3 days a week, and I think I'll be able to cope much better with that. Maybe I was having housewife withdrawals, but I've been exhausted and cranky. Let's look at some calming images from the good times (a.k.a. a few weeks ago).

A perfect pie meringue! Made and baked by Robert, but I put the swirls on and I'm proud of my handiwork.

The good old days when the kitchen table was occasionally free of clutter [and I made centerpieces using wine glasses & roses? HA].

Stunning view from the top of the hill at Noble Springs Dairy. At least I can always go back there!

I've also missed having time to actually read and comment on blogs! I tried to catch up a little bit today, but I still feel like I've been a bit of a flake as far as being a blog-buddy. Sorry, everyone! Perhaps I'll adjust in the near future.

Tomorrow is our 2-year wedding anniversary, and we're heading down to Memphis for some adventures and also to attend the little brother[in-law]'s graduation! I'm planning to take a million pictures of everything, and hopefully I'll have time to post some things when we get back.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

baby sloths

Hey, everybody! I am WAY too busy to actually do things on the internet, but I had to share this with you. Working full time is really wearing me out, but luckily this job will be over at the end of the week and then I'm going on to something part-time! Temping is kind of neat.

Meet the sloths from Amphibian Avenger on Vimeo.

Hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and rest of the week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

strawberry season

Here I am, getting fancy with a scheduled-post. Apologies for the slowness on replying to comments. I will be around to visit you all soon! I'm using italics!

Our first CSA basket of the season!

Last Saturday, we picked up our first CSA basket for this year! What's a CSA? Check out this post I wrote way-back-when for an explanation! It's basically a wonderful way to help local farmers, make yourself eat vegetables, and have a great supply of food!

This year we purchased a share with Beaverdam Creek Farm, because they deliver to the Franklin Farmer's Market, and we go there every Saturday morning. We received a lot of greens, some radishes, and --best of the best-- STRAWBERRIES! So tasty. We actually bought an extra container of the strawberries, and by the next day we'd eaten ALL of them. So sweet and fresh! I can't wait to see what vegetables we get next time, and especially as the weather warms up.

Receiving a CSA share really forces us to eat healthier, because we plan the week's menu around what vegetables we're receiving for the week, instead of planning around whatever's on sale at the grocery store or whatever we're craving-- a dangerous game!

Does anyone have any favorite ways to cook spinach and other leafy greens? I'm not big on salads, and it seems there aren't too many ways to eat them... Any yummy ideas?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

mother's day: a dinosaur story

Today is Mother's Day here in America! Perhaps in some other places, too: it's hard to keep up with all of the different holidays. Anyhow, if it's Mother's Day where you live, remember to show your mom some appreciation! Here is my post from last year, complete with some cute photos of my mom from the '70s. This year I'm going to do something a little different. Honestly, I just want to show you some dinosaur pictures. And I figured this could somehow fall under the category of motherly things.

During the weekend of the great flood, Robert and I spent our indoors time hatching a dinosaur egg that some friends gave to us. What follows is the photo log we made so we could keep everyone updated with the latest happenings of the baby dino. Robert took about half of these pictures. Enjoy!

The experiment began Friday night. Dino egg went into the water.

This is how it looked when we woke up Saturday.

Things began happening fairly quickly.

We ate some scrambled eggs. A little pink dinosaur looked on in wonder.

Around 10 a.m., something began to emerge!

An eye appeared around noon.

Around 3 p.m. we saw what it's head sort of looked like!

Just an hour later we saw a smile!

5 p.m. - nothing much was happening, but Robert started picking at the egg.

We had strawberry pancakes for dinner. YUM! I could eat breakfast foods for every meal. Sometimes I do.

Just before we went to bed Saturday night... we'd been chipping at the egg again. Impatient!

Next morning: you can see his neck grew longer!

Sunday, 2 p.m.: A little more peeling away at the egg revealed his lumpy legs.

2 hours later: we finally took him out of the egg shell and let him just soak some more, hoping his tail and legs would get longer.

His legs got a little chunkier, but never longer! And the tail stayed stubby. After a couple days of extra soaking, we decided he was done growing. He's all dried out now!

In other news, I began working on Friday! It's just a 2-week temporary position, but already it feels so nice to keep busy all day. A little hectic after not working full-time in almost a year and a half... but I'm enjoying it! I'm still adjusting to the time constraints and not being online all day, so I may be a little scarce around here. Just a warning-- If you don't hear from me for a bit, you know what I'm up to: getting paper cuts!

As far as post-flood updates, things are going fine around our house. Still may need some roof repairs, and we're still under water restrictions [which is still driving me crazy because it means cutting back on doing dishes and laundry], but things are otherwise fine! That's just my case, however. Can't forget that there are still people in the Nashville area (and other places) who are without homes because of the flood!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

three cheers for the bright side!

The last time I won a prize from The Bright Side Project, it didn't show up. I won't name the contributor, but for some reason they didn't follow through with getting my prize to me. No big deal! But four months and a couple of emails later, I received a package in my mailbox from the contributor's former publicist.

She sent me a couple of cute headbands as a sort of consolation prize. I thought that was a sweet gesture! This one makes me feel like a Girl Scout - specifically a Brownie. Brownie colors are yellow and brown, right? Or maybe it's brown and blue. Did it change? Either way, I'm feeling girl scouty! And I can't stop sneezing.

Big thanks to The Bright Side Project, Miss B, and Connie from Moderne Press!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the flood

So, as I said in my last post, Nashville (and various other places in the South) flooded this past weekend. Not just any old flood-- more rain than has ever fallen here in recorded history. Isn't that... insane? A little bit. I didn't even get close to seeing the worst, but I'll share with you what I did see!

It started Saturday morning. It was pouring, but Robert and I went to the Franklin farmer's market anyway. We lingered there about twice as long as usual, because we were in no hurry to get back out in the rain. No one wanted to leave. It was scary rain. But we finally did leave, and made it home to hide out. We really didn't know how bad it was going to get, and when we thought the rain might let up in the afternoon, we left the house again to try to finish our grocery shopping.

Our next door neighbor's house... picket fence is where our back yard begins.

That was probably a bad idea. The rain was beating down so hard that we decided to just go to a nearby store, instead of Trader Joe's like we'd been planning. So, we were in Publix, doing some grocery shopping, and the tornado sirens started up. Someone made an announcement about everyone standing in the back of the store until the sirens stopped. Robert, persistent shopper that he is, continued to search for muesli. He got chided twice by employees for walking down aisles. Rebel!! The sirens stopped once and then started again and we all stood in the back of the store. Employees started to pass out free cookies. Everyone was making phone calls-- I texted my sister for good measure. I overheard that a tornado was on the ground in Spring Hill - South of us - but luckily it never hit Franklin. We got out of there as soon as we could and decided we'd stay home the rest of the day.

But on the way home, we had to turn around FOUR times because of flooded roads. Either a road would be blocked by the police, or there would be so much water that we were afraid to cross. It got to the point where we weren't sure we'd be able to get to our house. But we finally did. See the above picture? I'm not entirely sure when I took that, but the water was even higher at one point. It covered one end of our street.

Robert went next door to check on our neighbor, and sure enough water was already coming into her house. We invited her to park her car at our house and come over, and she brought her cat! Very adorable cat, by the way, which meowed a lot and then took a nap under our couch. Wish I'd taken a picture but you don't really do that kind of thing during emergencies! We just sat and talked for a couple of hours, until the rain had slowed down and some of the water had receded. She went back to make sure things were looking okay, and then took her kitty home to start trying to clean up.

The crazy rains continued all through the night, and all day Sunday. There was about an hour long break in there, during which we went outside... to clean out the gutters a little and also to see if water had seeped into our crawlspace.

Here's our scary-looking crawlspace! Nothing pretty here.

YEP, water was in there! A crawlspace is like a basement, but with only room to crawl in, and that's where our water heater and all the access to our house's pipes and wiring is kept. Creepy, eh? Creepier when it's full of dirty water. We began bailing out buckets full of water. Robert crouched in the crawlspace and filled up the buckets while I tossed the water out on the lawn. Very tiring, very dirty. We got as much water out as we could, and it's still drying out under there. We also discovered a couple of leaks in the attic, and yesterday some brown spots appeared on the ceiling of the front room. :( We're checking into roofers - may need some repairs.

At least everything will be very green after all this rain!

As it is, a lot of places are still covered in water, and we're very lucky to have come out so dry. All of the main roads in Franklin are open again, and people are going back to work. Here's all I can complain about:

-possible roof repairs
-a damp crawlspace
-all of the mud we tracked into the house
-not being able to use as much water as I want

We're under emergency water restrictions right now, meaning we're only supposed to use water for bathing and cooking. The dirty clothes pile is really starting to drive me crazy, but I'm leaving it alone for the good of our town! Hopefully the water will recede and things will go back to normal very soon! I know we'll recover quickly, but there are plenty of people in the South who lost their homes because of this.

In more cheerful news, we used our indoor time this weekend to hatch a dinosaur egg, and I will have pictures of that process later this week. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

"exciting weekend" indeed

If you're not aware (and I get the feeling that most of the world isn't), this past weekend was a terrible one weather-wise for the Nashville area and much of middle Tennessee. The storms have moved on and are affecting other states now, but at least 12 people have died from the flooding this past weekend in Tennessee alone. You can check The Tennessean for updates and details- there is plenty of craziness going around.

Franklin got hit pretty hard, but we were fortunate here in our house [some water got in the crawlspace under the house, and we found some leaks in the attic.. but no huge damage]. I will be back later on in the week, maybe with some pictures! I just thought I'd pop in and make others aware of the situation, and let you know the reason for me not being around too much. Honestly, there's nothing scary going on at our house. Robert stayed home from work today and we planted some peppers and tomatoes in the yard-- though the traffic is so terrible from flooded roads that he had to walk to the hardware store to buy the plants.

We were lucky, but plenty of others weren't! Here's a list of ways to help, if anyone is interested.