Monthly Archives: September 2011

I like old stuff.

I like old stuff.  Mostly furniture, but also clothing styles.  Most of our furniture is antique, and I love it, but it sure makes it hard to shop for coordinating pieces.  I can’t just run down to the Rooms-To-Go and find a dining room table that won’t look ridiculous when in the same line of sight as the stuff we have.

Our stuff is what the trendy people would call “mid century modern”.  I just call it pretty.  We’re lucky enough to have had this stuff passed down to us by family members because since Mad Men became so popular purchasing mid century stuff is $$$$.  It’s trendy again, which amazes me.  I’m not usually one on the forefront of any kind of style (because I like old things, remember?)

I’ll probably talk about our other rooms later as things start coming together here in our (new) house, but for now here’s an example; our living room stuff looks like this:

I love green.  Our sofa is green too, I’ll save that for another post.  Please also excuse my crappy photos.  I’m working on it, I promise.  Our living room has a long way to come.  We need some serious accessorizing and we need to get some art and photos up on the walls, also we need an overhead light.  But the furniture, I love.


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A Reading Rut

I’ve been in a reading rut for a while.  I can pinpoint where it started, but that doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I want out of this rut, but that’s been tough.

I joined Goodreads (which you should really check out, if you haven’t already, go on, Google it) and that has helped a little.  I’ve had a hard time staying focused on a book.  I’m not connecting to the characters, I’m not escaping into their world.  It’s frustrating.  All of the things I’ve loved all my life about reading have become elusive, I can’t get there, it’s making me restless in other areas of my life too.

So I’ve been re-reading a lot.  I’m going back to my old favorites, the friends that I’ve known for a while, to see if they can help pull me out of this rut.  I thought I’d share some of those favorites here.

I love all of Tracy Chevalier’s books and I can’t wait for the next one. ( Girl With a Pearl Earring is probably her most well-known, it’s one of my favorites.  But I always go back to The Lady and the Unicorn or Burning Bright or The Virgin Blue.

Her newest (2009), Remarkable Creatures, is really great as well.

I have read Barbara Kingsolver’s ( Prodigal Summer so many times my copy is falling apart.  I love the picture she paints of the mountains, and the connection the women in the story have to the land they live on and to the Earth.  There are lines from this book that I find myself quoting to myself on Summer evenings.

I’ve read most of Kingsolver’s books, actually.  I’ve even read her short stories, which I don’t typically enjoy.  I haven’t been able to get into The Lacuna yet, it came into my life in the midst of this rut.  I’m really looking forward to it.

A less known author whose work I really like is David Payne (  His Gravesend Light pairs with the above mentioned Kingsolver as another every-summer read for me.  I’m a sucker for a book set in North Carolina, what can I say.  I also love his characters in this book, although I didn’t enjoy them as much in his other books (Early From the Dance, Ruin Creek).  I did really like Back to Wando Passo, which is a different set of characters (and is set in South Carolina, but I won’t hold it against him) it has Payne’s style all over it.

Do you find an author you like and read all you can of their printed works the way I do?  Or do you try to share the love?


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Old Connections

Growing up I had this group of friends.  There are four of us, and everyone always referred to us as “the four”.  I guess it was just easier that way, I don’t know.  We’re all within 54 weeks of each other in age and we were in two different grades at four different schools but went to the same church.  We’re two brunettes, and two blondes.  We were two band geeks and two average students.  Together we have one older brother, four younger brothers and one younger sister (and I’m an only child, so you do the math on that one).

These three girls have been some of the most important people in my life for a long time.  I had their phone numbers memorized, they knew exactly when to call my house so that I would answer and not my mom (who would always say “Call back when it’s daylight”, even if it were winter and only 6:30 in the evening and we were just sitting around watching TV).  We were always together, we had the usual inside jokes that were only funny to us (pooltable!) and all of that.

Sadly, as can happen, we drifted apart when we went to college.  We went from living 15 minutes apart, to being spread across the state, almost seven hours apart.  We got busy, we made new friends, we dated.  We had band practice and fraternity (yes, fraternity – it’s co-ed) events and dance competitions and midterms pulling us apart.  But one day, I got a phone call.  LB was about to get married and she wanted us as bridesmaids. (please ignore the creepy red eyes in this picture)

I’ll save you lots of in the middle details of a few more years of college, and intermittent contact but I just was thinking today of how grateful I am for these girls.

We’re those friends who always, ALWAYS pick right back up where we left off.  It’s not like I haven’t seen them in a year, it’s like I haven’t seen them in an hour.  They’re wonderful.

Today when I got a text message from LB saying that S was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital this morning with what they though was a ruptured ovary (it turned out just to be inflamed and she’s home now and doing fine) I thanked God again for these three girls.  These girls who would drop everything, walk out of their classroom full of students and come right to you if you needed them.  Girls who call on your birthday every.single.year without fail.  Women now, but always “the four” girls to me.  I have other friends, other really good friends who are more sisters than friends, but there is just something about our group that is special, and can’t ever be duplicated.  And luckily, our husbands get along pretty well too 🙂


And look!  We don’t always stand in the same order!

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Puppy Class Challenges

This is our puppy, Emma.

Emma is 12 weeks old.  She’s a cocker spaniel and lab mix.  Tonight we went to the second week of puppy class at our local Petsmart.  Last week she did really well with her “sit” and “here” and “spin” and “watch me”, this week is going to be a lot more work for us (and by “us”, I mean mostly me and Andrew).  Learning “Loose leash” walking is hard.  It’s frustrating for us, frustrating for Emma, involves lots of starting and stopping and getting tangled in the leash and lots and LOTS of treats.  The poor girl has a stomachache after tonight’s class.

We’ve had Emma right at a month, and she is so much fun.  A puppy is a challenge, we knew that before we got her, but she’s such a fun challenge.  So far (knock on wood) she hasn’t torn up anything except some junk mail and a roll of paper towels.  I know the “chewing” stage will come.  Hopefully my shoes will survive.

Andrew couldn’t come with Emma and me to puppy class tonight, he had his own classwork to do.  He started graduate school a couple weeks ago working towards his MBA (and from there, his CPA license).  Lately I’m feeling like we’re never going to get to a point in our lives where we can just enjoy what we have and each other without working towards some goal.  But then I talk to my friends who are in a place like that in their lives and it just seems so boring.  It makes me thankful for all that we have, challenges and all.

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