Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

We did some exploring today with Matt's parents- went to Alpine Helen, GA, which is a total tourist trap town that is down in Bavarian style - all of it. The Wendy's, the hotels, the tacky t-shirt shops all look like what people in North GA think Germany looks like. Matt and I embraced the vibe. Take a look:

And then we went to Anna Ruby Falls near Helen. There's actually two falls and the tallest is 153 feet.

Don't we all look happy? I'm so happy I can't keep my eyes open!

Tonight: a fire with hot dogs and smores!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

an end of the year update

My lovely friend Lydia pointed out yesterday that I posted nothing of my Christmas festivities. I don't think I have much to say about them. Pictures would speak better than words in this case, but our digital camera didn't attend any of the Christmas celebrations to document any car-riding, present-opening, cookie-baking, family-hugging, feast-eating or corporate worship-attending.

But we did all those things, I promise. We were at my parents for the Christmas weekend, arriving Friday, leaving Sunday. My little bro was there too, and it was low-key and relaxing. I enjoyed attending the Christmas Eve and Christmas worship. My mom's cooking is always fantastic. Very nice presents were exchanged. And we were sent home with baked goods.

We left Sunday to prepare for the arrival of Matt's parents at our house Monday morning. There was a dusting of snow on the mountaintops, but the Floridians seem to have brought warmer weather with them. Also more very nice presents and more baked goods. We lit a fire in our new outdoor fireplace/firepit thingy (gift from my thoughtful husband) and went out to dinner.

These last few days I've been at work, which I realize is a downside to full-time year-round employment. I've never
really had to deal with too much interference with my desire to travel and lounge about the last week or two of the year. Instead, all my co-workers are off with their families and I'm holding down the fort.

I am taking Friday - wait, that's tomorrow! - off and I get next Monday too. My New Years' Festivities? Shopping and hiking with Matt and the in-laws.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I baked and baked, but have no proof!

I just realized that I didn't take pictures of all the beautiful cookies and candy I made this weekend to give my co-workers. You'll have to take my word for it that I made good stuff. I was very inspired by several recipes on the Martha Stewart website. In fact, here's what I made:

Peppermint Bark
Dried Cranberry Shortbread Squares
Gingerbread Stars
And, from Rachael Ray, Fabulous Five-Minute Fudge with raisins and walnuts

I think Matt was rather sad to see all the goodies leaving the house. Actually, I was sad too. Maybe I'll be doing some more baking tonight!

Friday, December 16, 2005

No video games, no DVDS

I heard two really interesting stories this week on NPR about fostering children's creativity, thinking skills, and literacy.

Take a listen:
This one is about choosing quality toys for children (hey, big surprise, no video games, but legos are great!)
And this one is about those baby videos that say they make children smarter, but there's no scientific evidence to support those claims. In fact, pediatricians recommend that children under two not watch TV or videos at all because it's probably messing with their attention spans.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I love lasagne!

I made a pan last night and just finished some for lunch. It's a very easy recipe I found on a cooking website for kids, when I was cruising, which is a website that lists recommended websites for kids. It's sponsored by the NC state library and something I promote at work.

Anyhow, here's the recipe. I like to pretend it's healthy too, because of the spinach. I recommend using a pasta sauce with garlic in the flavor name.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

We sqeezed out a few hours this weekend to go see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Last week I hosted a "Narnia Night" party at one of the libraries to promote the book series before the film premiered and we were eager to check out the movie. It was great. As faithful to the book as anyone would expect. Not too violent or scary (I wouldn't hesitate to take any child who had already read the book), but just right to get the mood of the story. And my goodness, that little Lucy was cute.

I especially liked how Aslan's death was depicted. When I read the book, I didn't realize how personal Aslan's (and by extension of the allegory, Christ's) death is. He completely chooses to die to save Edmund from paying the punishment for being a traitor.

In the church, we talk a lot about how Jesus died to save the world from sin, and about how unbelievers need to hear the gospel, but we don't do a good job of preaching the gospel to ourselves. This movie reminded me that Jesus didn't just die for a whole bunch of people who would believe, Jesus was the sacrifice personally for ME. I was a traitor like Edmund and Jesus took MY place. It's amazing.

Anyway, I recommend the film. But only after you've read the book. Because I am a librarian, after all.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

AccuRadio Holidays

Sometimes I get tired of the country music that plays in the central part of the offices where I work. My office is right off this central room and close to the source of the music. Sometimes I also don't like hearing the phone conversations of my co-workers.

So I provide my own soundtrack for working. Usually this consists of NPR - Morning Edition or All Things Considered. I like news and human interest stories. But sometimes my soundtrack is AccuRadio. Oh, the choices. The free choices. Broadway, obscure new rock, oldies, standards. This makes me happy.

But I was overjoyed when I discovered AccuHolidays. You may know my deep-seated love of Christmas decor, traditions and music (inherited from my parents - thanks guys!). This totally feeds my Christmas music needs. Look at the variety (seriously, go look now). It's so weird! You can choose the "Blue and white" and only listen to versions of "Blue Christmas" and "White Christmas." Or the "Let it Snow" and "Silent Night" channels. Do you really like "The Christmas Song?" Try the "Chestnuts Roasting" channel. I've been listening to the "Wide Playlist" channel so I can get my hymns, classical, comical, and pop all in one place. Plus, they let you block artist you don't want to hear. (Does anyone really want to hear a Hanson Christmas album? I thought not.)

I'm waiting for "Run, Run Rudolph!"

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

oh, I've been reading too...

Back in the working world after a bit of time off for trips to Florida and central Georgia (at least much more central than where I live) to visit both sets of the parental units. My nephew is cute, Sea World was fun, I got spoiled with lots of nice birthday gifts and we got a dining room table set for a steal at the Rooms to Go Outlet.

I finished Catch a Tiger by the Toe by Ellen Levine weeks ago. Quick yet deep read about a middle schooler whose parents are communists in the McCarthy era. Now I'm reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire before we go see the movie. Matt really wants to see it in the theater, but I want to finish the book first, so I have to get going.

It feels like things are crazy busy around here. We've both got special stuff going on at work and family coming in December. I realize now why adults always seemed harried (is that the right word?) around the holidays when I was a kid. There's lots to do! And, I've already done most of the Christmas shopping. I'll feel better when the Christmas tree is up, I think.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


It's snowing outside my office window right now! I love seasons!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Goodbye, little green car

I feel so stupid crying over a car. But here I am, doing it none the less. We're trading her in for one of these. The a/c went out over a year ago and the right speaker years before that. She's almost 10 years old. She's got 108,000 miles on her too.

In many ways, I won't miss her, but in many ways I will. She kept me safe during a serious rear-end collision. She listened to me sing badly to my favorite songs and kept my secrets when I cried over something or talked back to bad drivers or prayed out loud during those 4 hour trips from college to home and back again.

She's been a constant companion for nearly 8 years, taking me to high school, my first road trip, college, the GRE (with the fuel light on and a nearly empty tank), grad school, my first apartment, my first apartment with Matt, job interviews, jobs, from Florida to Georgia, and my first home. Matt still remembers the first time he drove her - when I got sick on a date and had to be taken back to school to throw up (I'm pretty sure it was a bad milkshake). She's held my books and my clothes, my music and my makeup, my groceries and my furniture.

More importantly, she's held people and experiences I love. I don't think I could name all the family, friends and acquaintances that have spent some time in her little gray seats. The serious conversations. The jokes. The many missed exits and turns and that one time I went the wrong way on the one way street.

She's never let me down, because I don't blame her for the four flat tires or the dead battery.

Now I guess I look forward to what will happen and who will sit in the new car. It'll take me to homes and jobs too. It will hold family, friends, and acquaintances. I hope someday it will hold babies. (The little green car wouldn't. Too hard to maneuver a little person and a car seat without four doors.)

So, family and friends, next time you see me I'll be happy to take you for a ride and make a new memory.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

We're in the leaves...

We're in the leaves!

Wanna know what I did all day? Good. I'll show you.

This picture was taken this morning, from our front porch, about 9:00am.
There's supposed to be green, but you can't see it, can you? That's several inches of leaves, my friend.

And here's the same shot, this afternoon, about 4:00pm.
A little better, no? The leaf blower is my friend.

Rainey likes the leaves too.The weather has been nice (warm) enough to leave the windows open while I putz about the house. Rainey was very alert to any falling leaf or acorn out the back door.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Promised pictures, Part 2

There's construction going on this week at my library, so it's closed and everyone has the week off. Now that's a good surprise!

Monday I did housework and recovered from a weekend chaperoning some of Matt's students at a conference, yesterday I did some cooking and sleeping because I had an unpleasant headache and today I'm doing more housework and knitting. Fun, huh?

This gives me PLENTY of time to finally post some interesting things. Namely, promised pictures. A couple of weeks ago Matt put up light fixtures in the kitchen and dining areas.


Dining (it's a new chandelier):

Also, notice that we painted that wall. It used to have the hideous butterfly/flower wallpaper. See here. We have ambitious plans to paint the kitchen cabinets this weekend.

More posts soon!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Promised Pictures, Part 1

As mentioned previously, I had a great reunion with the Olive Tree Circle college roomies last weekend. We're all so grown up now - two babies were in tow, but none of the husbands, and we talked about things like cleaning, cooking, jobs, and owning homes. Here's the entire group:

And, we decided to do something Halloween-y on Thursday, so we carved little pumpkins.

Matt's mom gave us a book of pumpkin carving patterns a few years ago and we finally put them to use. They came out great! I made a "fraidy cat" and Matt carved the bat trio.

Today we finally painted the wall in the dining area that used to have the hideous wallpaper. That will be featured in "Promised Pictures, Part 2." Goodnight!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I'm doing an autumn storytime this week but it feels like maybe I should have just jumped right into snow! Today is quite grey and misty. According to the weather channel, it's 48 outside my window now, but tonight it should get down to about 34!

In other news, watch soon for pictures of house updates and my wonderful weekend reunion with my sweet college roommates.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

And now it is October...

I'm sure it's October because it's chilly enough that people were wearing jackets when I just went to Ingles and I made soup (not from a can, I made it with fresh veggies and chicken in the crockpot) for dinner and the orange candle is out on our side table in the living room.

I've been busy with not much worth mentioning. Today three loads of laundry and bathroom scrubbing. I already finished a book I forgot to post - Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson, which I was not crazy about. Now I'm reading The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, which I do like so far. Why should anyone bother with books written for adults when children's books are so great?

I realized today that I have like 5 knitting projects going, and that I really should finish something up soon. Look for the updates in my Currently Knitting list.

Rainey says hello.

Friday, September 30, 2005

"To love what you do and feel that it matters - - how could anything be more fun?" -- Katherine Graham

Thursday, September 29, 2005

It's Thursday for sure...

That means I saw over 100 people at my two storytimes this morning. The second group gave me hugs when they left. That was nice. And the one little boy who sat up front and told me that he wanted to watch a movie, and he didn't think my books would be any good was actually riveted. Riveted. When he left I asked him if he liked my books after all and he smiled and said yes.

We painted the bedroom. We have to put up moulding and hang pictures and such. Then pictures will come because we will actually have a room finished.

I went to a professional conference last week and stayed in a fancy hotel on the library's dime. That was nice and I heard some great speakers and got turned on to some new children's authors and learned some good methods for maintaining security in the library and engaging children with poetry.

I like long sentences.

Now it's time for PB&J.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

what watching too many home decorating and improvement shows will do to ya...

Matt's in Florida for a boy's weekend so I've been left to my own devices. My parents came for visit yesterday, which was very nice, but not very long. So, I've been doing a lot of thinking, reading, cleaning, knitting, and watching too much HGTV.

This has led me to the conclusion that I must immediately put our house in fabulous order.

Now, I know this is unrealistic. On those TV shows, people put aside several days and have professional decorators, organizers, and contractors come in to help. We've only been here a month and we work full time, I tell myself. But still, the unpacked boxes of stuff that doesn't have anywhere to go mock me. The weeds in the yard whisper of my insufficiency whenever I look out the window. The bad wallpaper tells me I am a bad homeowner.

Have you seen our bedroom? Here's what it (well, one corner of it) looked like before we moved in.

Take special note of that wallpaper border. Yikes! Here's a closeup:

Not our style at all! But you know what? Inspired by those cheerful decorating hosts on TV, I have obliterated that stuff (glue and all) in just one afternoon. Here's what's left:

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

kira-kira by Cynthia Kadohata

I have really been trying for days to think of something interesting to write about here. For many days, the aftermath of the hurricane made anything I would write seem so trivial.

Nonetheless, everything is pretty typical for us. I'm getting busy at work. My desk is piled with books and magazines and catalogs. We're busy at home too, obviously, making small progress in correcting the senior lady decor and general mess of cardboard boxes.

I'm reading a new book, the 2005 Newbery Medal winner. I have enjoyed it, but it is depressing (being about a Japanese family in 1950s Georgia with a terminally ill child) and I would not recommend it to many children because of the depressing quietness of it. Then, there are children that this would be perfect for.

In other news, we were in a small car accident on Saturday involving a biker gang with police escort. I'm not kidding. Basically, Matt had to swerve into a ditch and the bumper was knocked loose and dented. There were no problems driving it, and it's going into the shop today. We're not hurt.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Our the middle of our street...

I've been promising pictures, but I really have been so busy that even though we found the camera cord there wasn't a chance to take them or post them.

But I'm taking a few minutes away from house stuff now. Okay, here they are, at least to start (more to come, I promise):

Yea! Cute house! The flower beds need weeding and organization.

This is the hideous wallpaper in the kitchen that we are in the process of removing. That's what I was doing right before this.

Matt takes a ride around the yard.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I win the storytime battle!

Today I was at one of the branch libraries where the kids are rather...well...out of it. They're just not as quick or lively as some of the other children. Last week they just didn't get it. But I felt like a lot of them were actually listening this week. I tried to read really expressively and loudly. We got up and sang a song twice. We read 4 books,which is more than I expected them to make it through.

But then, when it was time to go, they noticed I had other books out on the table that we hadn't read. About half the group was clustered around me, not lining up with their teacher, asking about the books and wanting me to read more! Hopefully, it will always be like this!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

I'm reading a new book when I'm not working or cooking or arranging stuff in the house. It's a graphic novel, so it's kinda like a sophisticated comic book. More interesting to me is the subject matter, which is the author's account of her childhood in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

Monday, August 15, 2005

blogging during my lunch break...

I love that I have a lunch break in which to blog.

So, we bought a house on Friday. We handed over the largest check I've ever seen and signed a bunch of papers and then we moved in. Now we (we includes my mom, who is here to help out with stuff) are living with a bunch of boxes everywhere and I'm really looking forward to getting home so I can get things settled.

We went to IKEA last night and bought this, this, and two of these in dark brown. That's a TV armoire and three bookshelves. There was supposed to be a coffee table purchase as well, but they were out of stock. We'll have to go back for it.

The bad news: the a/c is still out in my car because it would cost $600 to fix it. I'm just not willing to spend that much on my little car. Besides, it'll get cooler in a couple months.

And I promise, house pictures are coming as soon as we find the cord for the camera.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

crazy Tuesday...

Today was a very good day at work. I did my second storytime and it went very well.

But things are crazy here at home. Matt's going nuts being stuck in the house with no car (mine's in the shop until tomorrow - we hope!), but he is being very useful dealing with the podunk electric company and the podunk bank and the podunk U-haul rental place. We don't have very much packed. The cat keeps ripping up the couch, and somehow we can't manage to keep enough food around for a decent meal. (That's not really true. We just don't feel like cooking it usually. But then we do, and everything's okay as far as tummies go.)

We're closing on the house on Friday. Pictures to come soon thereafter. I can't believe this is all happening so fast!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

First Day of Work!

There I am, going off to work at 6:30 yesterday morning. The long commute is no fun, but that will be cut significantly after the move. I like my job. The atmosphere is very laid back and friendly, and I'm going to really enjoy most of the stuff I get to do.

These first two weeks are pretty much an orientation and getting-the-hang-of-everything period. I'm observing the end of summer reading programming, meeting staff at the branch libraries, and reading through the documentation the previous children's librarian left for me. I'm also cleaning out the files in her - wait - MY office.

Soon I'll start the storytimes and book orders. :-)

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

I'm reading another children's book. This one is about a boy who lives on Alcatraz in the 30s because his dad is an electrician for the prison.

Friday, July 29, 2005

So, um...

we're buying a house. The seller accepted our offer and soon it will be all ours! (Assuming everything goes according to plan, of course.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

You asked for it; you got it - tons of pics from our trip to VA

Warning: this posts contains very many pictures. It may just make you want to plan a vacation in Virginia too (it's for lovers, after all.)

Yes, I am pale, but happy to be soaking up the sun! (With my SPF 30 applied liberally.)
I guess this one is self-explanatory. If it's not, well, this is Matt and me on the beach.
Pretty, pretty beach.
Nana and Dado were very gracious hosts. Someday we'll discusse how Nana is a food-pusher. Aren't they cute?
We visited Yorktown, where the battle that pretty much won the Revolutionary War was fought. Matt poses with a canon.
The restaurant where we ate lunch was built in the early 1700s. They had really good carrot cake.
Matt pretends to be colonial.
If you look carefully between the windows on this house, you'll see a Revolutionary War canon ball! This is the home of Thomas Nelson, the third governor of Virginia and a true patriot. He told troops to fire on his own mansion because he suspected British officers were using it. He also gave almost all his money to help fight the war and then died a pauper. His grave was unmarked until recently.
The battlefield is still a lot like how it was during the Revolution. These aren't the original canons, but they are period. We could really picture George Washington, Lafayette, and Alexander Hamilton fighting here.
My Uncle Rick and Aunt Pami were kind enough to take time off work and take us out on their boat - down the Potomac River past Mount Vernon and Fort Belvoir, and into D.C. We stopped for lunch in Old Town Alexandria.
Just to prove we really were there, on the Potomac River, here's a shot of the Washington Monument.
Later in the week, we visited the WWII memorial. It's so big and moving and well-planned that our pictures don't really do it justice.
We really wanted to visit the memorial because Matt and I both had a grandfather fight in WWII. My Grandpa was in the Pacific, flying with the Black Sheep Squadron. Matt's Granddaddy was in Europe.
Matt, me, and my Aunt Linda at the front of the WWII memorial. We also went to the new Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, but I didn't get any pictures there.
This is how I looked whenever I remembered, "Hey, I got a real job!", since I got the phone call on our way into D.C.
This is what we came home to. Rainey (the cat) chewed the bottom off of his disciplinary water bottle. We haven't found the bottom yet. We are now using small dollar store water pistols for disciplining Mr. Mischievious. (I won't even start on the horrible new cut on my leg from his super claws.)

things I learned yesterday

1. Going to the dentist can be rather pleasant, even if they do tell you that you have a tiny cavity on your back molar.
2. You CAN get a good haircut for $12. (At least this is true here in the middle of nowhere.)
3. Jr. Smoky Cheddarburgers from Wendy's are really good, and they are only $.99!

Saturday, July 23, 2005


After only a year and half of looking, I finally got a full-time, salaried, professional children's librarian position that I am excited about. I start in a week.

Now, we're moving again (would you believe I have moved every summer since I was 18, if you count dorms and apartments?) because my job is an hour and 15 minutes away, but first we have to find someplace to move to.

Did I mention I'm excited?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Sorcery and Cecilia

We're at Nana and Dado's beach house now after being at my parents' house last week. So I've been meaning to update things here...

No news on the job yet. But I started a new book last week - Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. It's kind of like a mix between Jane Austen novels and the Harry Potter series. It's part of my ongoing effort to read children's books.

It's raining at the beach today so we're going shopping. :-)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

whew, she's not dead after all...

We thought my car was dying. It wouldn't have been a particularly untimely death, after all, she's got 102,000 miles and has survived a serious accident and she's almost 9 years old. The a/c stopped working last fall and parking under the trees in our yard has sullied her complexion. However, she is paid for, and really rather reliable.

On Sunday she started kinda chugging and pulsing on our way to church. Then a scary engine warning light came on. We wondering if it was the transmission or the fuel injector. We wondered if the repairs would cost more than she's worth.

Thankfully, they don't. We just got a call from the mechanic and she just needed a little tune-up.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

going to the mountains...

just as soon as I get in the car. I guess that's not very descriptive because we live in the mountains. We will be visiting Grandma at the mountain house in North Carolina. Fun, fun.

The interview was good. I won't hear about whether I got it for 3+ weeks though.

More exciting content (pictures, maybe?) coming soon.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

the bad news...and the good news!

Bad news: I'm very sick. Some sort of virus that involves a sore and swollen throat, body aches, hot/cold flashes, and vomiting. I saw a doctor this morning and was told to drink lots of water and medicate liberally with over the counter drugs.

GOOD NEWS: I have a job interview on Tuesday! Yeah! Finally!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

That's the new book I started today. A young adult literature staple. Not a cheerful one, as so far it's about a girl who totally doesn't fit in and who clearly has a dark secret, but somehow hopeful and easy to read.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Thar's gold in them thar hills!

On Thursday we made a little day trip to Dahlonega, GA. There's some cute shopping in the town square and such pretty views of the mountains and rolling hills.

There's also the Dahlonega Courthouse Gold Museum State Historic Site . We pretty much decided to visit it as an afterthought, but it was so interesting! Did you know that the gold rush in California in 1849 wasn't the first significant gold rush in the United States? Dahlonega was first - it all started in 1828 when Benjamin Parks stubbed his toe on a chunk of gold while deer hunting. People still prospect for gold in Dahlonega today. If you find an ounce, you can sell it to one of the jewelry stores in town for $800! (Matt wanted to go down to the river to pan, but we didn't really have time.) Georgia gold comes out of the ground about 98% pure, whereas gold from other parts of the world comes out about 75% pure. In other words, Georgia gold is already 22k and therefore very valuable to jewelers who make custom jewelry.

Huh. I feel like I'm giving a report. Another exciting part of our visit was that we found store with more yarn and fabric than I've ever seen in one place before. It's called Magical Threads and they have a whole house full of quilting fabric and then a whole garage full of yarn. I bought 4 skeins of Plymouth Wildflower DK yarn, with which I will make a summer top.

Tonight we go see the star wars movie.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

We're not bored yet...

I'm sure you are wondering what in the world Matt and I would be doing with all the free time on our hands. We've been spending a lot of it watching movies - we've seen The Aviator, To Catch a Thief, Minority Report, Disney's Robin Hood, and Ocean's Eleven just in the last 5 days or so. That's lot of knitting time too, so I finished the minisweater and started on a bag to be felted; I'm making up the pattern as I go along.

We've also been going to the gym. We went three times, I think, last week, and yesterday and today. Not bad for two totally unathletic people.

We also hosted Matt's mom and aunt for the weekend, and they brought gifts! We got a target giftcard and one of those stack and spin food storage thingies. Good times. Even though it RAINED ALL WEEKEND.

It was beautiful today, though. I should probably catch up on my email.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Why I haven't posted lately, and exciting discoveries of the week

Somehow, since school finished and Matt and I both became jobless we've become busier. I'm not sure how it happened but it did. We've been running errands and cleaning and home improving (Matt put up a new ceiling fan in the living room and new blinds in the guest bedroom). I visited my parents and my grandma. I've sent off two more job applications and we've been shopping a bit. Matt's mom and aunt are coming for a visit today, so there will be hiking and sight-seeing this weekend.

I really wanted to share these pictures below, because little things make me really happy.

P.S. Happy Birthday to my Aunt Pami, who called me on her birthday, even though it's supposed to be the other way around.

Blackberry bush!

I know this is the worst picture ever, but I am very pleased about this blurry plant. Do you know what it is? That's right, it's a blackberry bush. I have always wanted a blackberry bush of my own! This one's in my backyard. I probably wouldn't have discovered it if Mom hadn't pointed out what blackberry bushes look like when we were together for her birthday last week. Thanks, Mom! I'll share some with you if you want.

Thrift store finds

For all of $.10, I got pretty and non-smelly (important when you are buying from a thrift store) featherweight wool yarn. I'm going to make a lacy scarf of some sort. I also got a pair of size 2 (that's tiny) needles for $.50. I was excited, but Matt was unimpressed. (I think it's because he didn't get anything.)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Rainey explores the yard

Yesterday we got bored and decided that it would be fun to let the cat run around the yard while I planted some flowers. He's totally an indoor cat, so it was fun and funny to watch him go from cautious sniffing to full-out running after bugs.

Rainey on the attack!

Rainey turns to pounce a bug.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Shop on Blossom Street

Yes, now I'm reading novels about knitting. Today I started The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber. So far, it's pretty light and moving along at a decent pace.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

I started with this...

Knit Picks Shine (60% pima cotton, 40% modal) in Orchid.

And this is the little jacket I made. The pattern is the Lace Trim Bolero from Vogue Knitting Magazine Spring/Summer 2005. It was fun to knit and the pattern was pretty easy to follow, but the lace trim got a little tiring after a while.

Lace Trim Bolero in Action!

Look how happy I am to be wearing it. I look so bright and shiny against our green wall.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Roses from Matt

My anniversary roses - one for the first year, one for the past year, and one for the next year. Sweet, huh?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In other news...

Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary. Time flies when you are having fun, we've discovered.

We still have no plans to do anything special, except tonight we are drinking sparkling grape juice and eating oreo cookies while we watch Gilmore Girls. And I think we are going out to dinner on Saturday.

She's Out of Control

I finished The Magician's Nephew yesterday. I liked it. When I had the chance to read (I've been subbing a lot - the last day I wasn't subbing was the 4th), it went quickly. The writing was smart and descriptive. If I'm not working this summer, I'll tackle the rest of the Narnia series.

Today I'm starting She's Out of Control by Kristin Billerbeck. It's Christian chick lit, which I probably enjoy a little too much because it appeals to my desire for silly, girly reads but makes me feel like I'm learning something spiritual too. Anyway, I read the first book in this series last fall and I was finally able to get the public library to interlibrary loan this one for me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

25 years o' Matt

Today is my sweet husband's birthday. Since we both worked today we didn't get lunch or dinner together but I did make him chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and bring him a Moolatte from Dairy Queen. We'll do something fun this weekend.

Matt is a nice guy. He cheers me up when I'm sad and washes the dishes because I hate to. He's a reader, but with different tastes than mine, towards history non-fiction and fantasy. He gets frustrated with the unbridled energy of the sixth-graders he teaches for one class, but he loves his job. He is a good public speaker, he plays the accordian, and he helps out with church music, even though sometimes he doesn't want to. He really loves my family and they all love him. He can often be convinced to watch chick movies with me. He is concerned that the church make a concerted effort to defend the poor and needy. He earns the big bucks (well, not by anyone else's standards but ours - he IS a teacher, after all), and lets me earn the little tiny bucks while wishing for a job that would as least provide me medium sized bucks and some self-respect. Generally, he eats what I put in front of him, except the green beans. NO green beans for this guy, although I do think he ate them for my mom once.

I thank God for Matt today and pray that his 25th year will be a time of blessing and growth.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Open windows...

...mean happy kitties. Rainey enjoys the breeze, and says "hello" in his cat way. It's finally warm in our house!

Friday, May 06, 2005

WHEEEE! Four new jobs to apply for!

I feel like I've hit the jackpot! Never have I found more than 2 jobs to apply for at the same time since I knew we were moving here. All four of these jobs would require moving and then long commutes for Matt and I to our respective places of work...assuming I was even offered any of these postions. And, considering the pattern of rejection thus far, there's a good chance that two months from now I'll be unemployed.

The application/résumé frenzy begins today. Please pray!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Public Libraries aren't just good for your mind; they're good for business!

I received this info on a library listserv:

"A couple of recent reports show that tax funds for public libraries are an excellent investment by the county and the state. Such taxes not only are worthwhile for the improvement of the quality of life of thecommunity, but also add directly to the community's prosperity. A recent examination of the benefits of public libraries in Florida show that public libraries return $6.54 for every dollar invested inthem, and one job is created in the county for every $6,448 that is spent on public libraries from public funding sources. See:
Another recent report from South Carolina show that half the businesses in the state use the library as a primary resource for business and research information; 3/4 of them said the public library contributed to their success and that not having a public library would have a negative impact on their business. Nearly half of the personal investors surveyed said that investment information from the public library definitely contributed to their financial well being.

Cool, huh? Now I just need a public library to hire me!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

What I'm reading

I've decided to change the format of my blog a tiny bit. On the sidebar where I used to list what I was reading I'm now listing what I'm knitting. I'm going to share what I'm reading as a post. This way, I will be able to go back through past posts and see what I was reading when. If I ever get to work as a librarian again, it's useful to remember books you've read, because you never know when someone is going to ask for "a good book" or "a book like so-and-so" or "what was the best book you read recently?"

So, today I am starting The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis. While I have read and enjoyed Lewis before (Mere Christianity is a favorite and I just read The Screwtape Letters this spring), the only fiction book I've read by him is Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold. I love children's literature, but I've never read the Chronicles of Narnia. (The Magician's Nephew is book 1, although I believe it was the last written. It's the prequel, I guess.)

Hopefully, I'll like it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Three Forks Trail

Yesterday we went hiking - we haven't been in awhile because of the cold weather. (It snowed on Sunday before and during church. It's April in the mountains, folks.) We tried out Three Forks Trail and found these amazing rushing waterfalls on Holcomb Creek.

More falls on Holcomb Creek

We'll go swimming here this summer!

Just upstream from the huge falls is this little cascade and a nice pool.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Surprise! My undergraduate university has apparently decided that at some point over 3 years ago I overpaid them for something because they sent me a refund.

Yeehaw! I'm gonna buy some yarn from

Thursday, April 14, 2005

What should we do?

Our second wedding anniversary is coming up. Eventually people will have to stop calling us newlyweds, but it really does seem like just yesterday we were running down the aisle and Matt was spilling cheesecake on my dress while trying to feed me and we were smiling, smiling, smiling.

We were pretty poor for our first anniversary last year, having just finished grad school and Matt with the promise of a full-time job but only part-time paychecks coming in and a big old apartment to continue paying rent for. The celebration was minimal, and would have been almost nothing if someone hadn't given us some Steak and Ale gift certificates.

Anyway, we just realized that maybe we should plan something for this year. We're limited to a weekend outing since Matt will still be teaching. Here are the options:

1.Go to downtown Greenville to eat at a restaurant with my name and wander the "cute stores" district.
2. Go to Six Flags and then stay at a nice inn or bed and breakfast.
3. Go to New York City. As I type this, I realize it is completely outlandish. With the flying and the not taking off work, we'd hardly be there at all. Plus the cost! Good Galatians!
4. Stay here and eat at Isabelle's, where we've been wanting to go for awhile, and save the excess money for a rainy day (or new shoes or our future house fund or dry cleaning or whatever).

So, anybody have any opinions on this one? What should we do? Is there something we haven't thought of?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Teenagers talk about books!

Yes, it's true, folks. There is a boy and girl upstairs right this minute going through the fiction section and talking about books they've read, books they've loved, and stuff they've heard about books. They've been there about 15 minutes, ever since they asked me for help in locating The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which the guy wants to read before the movie comes out.

It's beautiful. My little librarian heart is aflutter.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Sunday morning fun

"Hm...sure are a lot of Baptists here. Well, you know, we like to say Baptists are just frustrated Presbyterians..."

-Pastor Steve

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Orange Sweater is Done!

This isn't the first sweater I've finished, but it's the first one I'll wear! (does my hair look goofy?)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The HolyLand Experience

There is six inches of snow in Highlands today so church was cancelled. I'm making up for it by reviewing our visit last week to "The Holy Land Experience" theme park in Orlando, FL. It wasn't as cheesy as we thought it would be - most of it was tasteful and even educational. I've actually been to Israel and seen the real stuff so I expected to be entirely disappointed, but I wasn't at all. This is the entrance, a model of one of Jerusalem's gates.