Saturday, September 30, 2006

My fingernails are now black

Properly motivated by a visit to the vintage house (see earlier blog) I decided today was the day to paint my living room furniture. It was warm, but not to hot with temperatures in the 70s, and being the multi-task queen that I am, I could listen to LDS general conference whilst painting.
I happened upon a lovely old board in the yard that was perfect for the “Trick or Treat” sign. The vintage house lady gave me the vinyl letters while I was visiting her. I painted a sloppy layer of sensible hue, added a crackle medium and painted black on top of it.
I love the final project.
My original plan for the furniture was to do the same thing, a little sensible hue, a bit of crackle and a final coat of black. Alas, I was not impressed with the final product and had to paint over everything twice to get rid of the crackle effect.
For the record, I generally enjoy painting, sure, the prep is kind of a pain and the clean up is a bore, but painting itself is rather enjoyable.
That is to say painting is enjoyable if you are not painting these chairs! By the time I had applied the second coat of pain on the slats of the rocking chair I was feeling a little off my rocker, myself.
I was “assisted” in my painting task by my 12-year-old and 7-year-old DSs. Mind you, I understand why they wanted to paint; I always wanted to paint when I was a kid. And mom let me, bless her heart. So I let my boys help too. They did pretty well until I started getting that “if I have to answer one more question or explain one more thing I think I will crawl out of my skin” feeling. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way when they are in the middle of a project and have to stop every 15 seconds to give praise to the “help.”
Seeing as I was closing in on clean-up time, and realizing I had a kitchen sink full of dishes, I sent the 12-year-old DS in to unload the dishwasher. At which point I found myself engaged in a “why do I have to do everything” discussion with a child who, I assure you, does not have to do everything.
When I told said child this was not “Trading Spaces,” I did not have to finish the project in two days and I was tired, he informed me “I’ll be the people on Trading Spaces get tired.”
At which point I decided I was done painting for the day, and he could jolly well wait until tomorrow for me to finish painting “his” table.
You may have picked up on the fact that I am still seething about the ungrateful behavior of my child. But I will get over it, eventually.
Tomorrow I will finish the black paint touch-ups and paint sensible hue where I have planned to paint it.
I hope by then my back won’t hurt so much and I can be more patient with my children.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My list of ten

Following the footsteps of my fellow blogger Sophia, here is my list of 10
Ten things I did this week:
1. Bought two “new” chairs from a thrift shop.
2. Spent three hours in said thrift shop waiting for, then shopping with a friend.
3. Visited a woman who has completely decorated her home thrift shop style. (yes, there is a connection.
4. Stayed up to watch “Project Runway.”
5. Actually clapped my hands when Michael made the cut.
6. Researched and wrote a story about E. coli.
7. Attended a meeting at Stansbury Park.
8. Wrote a story about nutrient loading in the Stansbury Lake.
9. Compulsively checked the DZine Showcase to see if anyone was looking at my entry.
10. Compulsively checked my e-mail to see if anyone had seen my entry in the Showcase and wanted to hire me.
Ten things I wanted to do this week, and didn’t:
1. Paint my furniture
2. Clean up my scrap mess in the wake of the DZine showcase.
3. Sign a contract with a manufacture (you have to be offered one before you can sign it).
4. Go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep.
5. Get a new kitten for the family.
6. Put together 10 scrapbook page kits for my LSS.
7. Submit my “Closer you Get” page to magazines.
8. Make a sign out of the “Trick or Treat” vinyl lettering sitting on my coffee table.
9. Dust the mini-blinds
10. Start planning ideas for the 2007 Creating Keepsakes Hall of Fame contest.
Ten things that made me smile:
1. The photos of my friend’s new kitten.
2. A and L saying “in your face, in your face, in YOUR face” as they played video games together. Hey, they weren’t hitting each other or crying.
3. The news that my niece, Elizabeth is expecting her first baby.
4. The “Happy Harvest” letters on my front door.
5. A photo of Karen and Mace on the Ferris wheel.
6. Wyo. Sister’s bleach pen comment.
7. The help of my friends, Jessica and Michelle, when I need it.
8. A bag of Dove chocolate.
9. Spending time with DH.
10. The “Let’s go Outback Tonight” jingle. I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Taste, time and talent

Don’t you just want to plop yourself down in this house with a good book and a plate of cookies? I left my pigsty (as featured in my last blog entry) to do a story on this woman who loves to decorate her home. The place was so charming and warm and inviting I tried very hard to stay for a long time. But she showed me everything and showed me the door long before I was ready to leave.
I have big plans. I even have four gallons of paint sitting on my living room carpet, hidden behind the sofa, waiting for me to get the time, or the wild hair or whatever is necessary to paint my living room.
Maybe the visit with Mrs. R was the kick in the pants I needed. Maybe not.
The house got me thinking about taste, talent and time. Some people seem to have a limited amount of it, others appear to have it in spades.
My time and talent is spent taking photographs and playing in paper. Mrs. R frankly admitted she doesn’t have many photos of her children. So who is dong the best thing for her family. It is impossible to say. My children may have piles of books illustrating every moment of their life. (Or they may not. I didn’t get any photos of L yesterday when he was ordained a deacon.) They might love these books, or they might resent them because they took so much of my time.
Mrs. R’s children may have memories of a warm home, or they may remember playing outside in the rain while their mom was on top of a house putting on roofing to meet a deadline.
We all try so hard, in our own way, to make our taste, time and talent work for the family. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we do not. There’s no way of knowing until after the job is done where you have made mistakes.
But this beautiful home has reminded me it’s time once again to turn my attention back to my house and work on making it a home.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The closer you get

I’ve been working on a project in which I have completed five scrapbook layouts in a week. As you can see, I haven’t been doing a lot of cleaning up after myself in the process. Tonight and tomorrow I have to figure out how to download the projects to an on-line gallery in hopes that editors, craft companies, etc. will see my work and decide they have to hire me.
I feed the kids when they whine, do the laundry as I run out of clothing, and try to make the house look presentable for DH when he comes home after a 16-hour work day.
Oh, did I mention the editor of the newspaper quit last week and I’ve been doing extra duty?
Crazy, I tell you, crazy.
But it’s better than boredom, depression or any of those other safe places I am want to go.
I just finished this layout moments ago. I selected the paper last night and pondered it while DH and I watched tapes of “Survivor,” “Grays’’ Anatomy,” and “CSI.”
Somehow I missed an hour and ended up going to bed at 1 a.m. I thought it was midnight, and wondered why I kept dozing off while watching “What Not to Wear.”
This morning DH slept in until after 7 p.m. (unheard of!) but I was struck with inspiration so I had to climb out of bed and put this page together.
I love it to bits. I think it’s because of the journaling. I had originally planned to do a bulls-eye design, but somehow it ended up being off center, which is totally cool with me.

click on photos to view in detail or read journaling.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Sleep-over gang

So here they are, the collection of boys that made themselves at home in my basement last weekend for L's 12th birthday. My child would be the small one in the middle. He's starting to chunk up, so we expect a growth spirt to hit at any minute. If he's anything like his father, once he starts growing there will be no stopping him.
Contrary to my fears, this was the easiest birthday party, ever. I just threw the four of them in the basement with some electronic games, a bowl of candy and a pizza and didn't see them again until the morning.
I know they stayed up late. Much later than we did. And they were up before we climbed out of bed too. But they're young, they don't need to sleep.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Picture Day!!!

Yesterday was picture day, the day I spend $14 to get photos of my children I could take for free at home.
Both of my children look fab. They climbed out of bed early to shower and slick down their hair. I even ironed a T-shirt for the youngest, who, left to his own devices would most certainly have worn the “Video Games Warped My Brain” shirt, if he had managed to find it, hidden under a huge pile of underwear.
This self-same youngest son is a great photo subject. He loves to pose for me and his light skin and blue eyes really work well in the right light.
But, put him in a gymnasium in front of a strange photographer and the photos are nothing less than spectacularly bad.
I took photos of the kids before they left for school. When I get the picture day photos back I expect to see DS-A looking like he’s coming off a three day bender, while DS-L will look like one of those Victorian photos, stiffly posed, fake smile firmly affixed.
I’m thinking of doing a before and after layout of the two shots.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Technology ... can't live without it

Technology has not been my friend this weekend.
I always knew the computer / internet had changed my life when it came into my house less than two years ago. This weekend has proved it to me.
The problems started when we decided to go bargain hunting for cable, telephone and high-speed internet connection. DH decided we could save money by bundling with company Q, so we made arrangements for them to switch us over on Friday.
Friday also happened to be the day DS-L was planning to have a bunch of friends over for his 12th birthday sleepover – I’ll be visiting that event later.
The phone guy came, hooked up the cable, gave DH instructions and left. We had opted to install the DSL internet modem ourselves and save the $100 installation fee.
But as DH tried to get things set up we discovered the phone lines didn’t have a dial tone. After a long, frustrating discussion with the tech people, they promised to send someone over on Saturday.
Saturday, a different tech came, hooked up the modem, did whatever magic was necessary to get the basement phone lines working and went away “for a few minutes” to see why we weren’t getting a signal.
He called some time later (I’m not really sure how long later, because I fell asleep on the sofa while waiting for him) and said he needed to address the issue with the SLC office, but they wouldn’t be in until Monday.
Problem. All the information I need to call and set up interviews are on the e-mail on the … INTERNET!!!
We drove to DH school and I printed out the numbers late Saturday night.
Sunday I spent the day working on scrapbook layouts for an ongoing project. I printed several photos, with only a minimal amount of cursing at our brand new printer!!! manufactured by company H. The printer refused to print nine times out of ten because “printer is out of paper,” even though it wasn’t.
DH called the printer company H help line, and ended up trying to convince a woman in India that the printer was not a year old, was not working and could you, pretty please, let me talk to someone I understand???
After going the rounds with the new tech in India (I assume he had taken the advanced courses in English, because both he and DH were able to communicate with each other). The new tech said “oh yes, we have a patch kit for that problem. I will send it out to you.”
Hummm, do you think the makers of this printer have encountered this problem before?!?
This morning (today being Monday, although I don’t know when I will be able to post this blog) I was on the phone by 8:30 asking company Q to please get my internet up and running again, as I needed it for my job.
After talking to several nice people, being put on hold twice and hung up on once I was told the ticket was still open and by golly, I should be getting my internet service in four hours.
Being unable to work on line, I printed (after many tries) my work hours (which were due today) and promptly forgot to take them with me when I went to visit the office and explain my situation to the small staff trying to take up the slack for the editor who quit Thursday. Oh yes, I downloaded my photos while I was there in case my internet wouldn’t let me send photos in time for the Tuesday’s paper.
I returned home just in time to open the door on another company Q technician who arrived at 1:20 p.m., wandered outside for a few minutes, then told me the same thing the Saturday tech told me “I need to go check some lines; I’ll be calling you back in just a few minutes.” We are closing in on 3 p.m. and I still don’t have service
So here I sit. Afraid to use the phone in case I miss the most important call about my internet connection, holding onto a list of work-related phone calls I need to make, cursing technology and the fact that I am so dependent upon it, I apparently can’t even do my job.
Meanwhile, DH worked the weekend at a truck stop / convenience store where the power went out for several hours Friday night before his Saturday shift, then cut out again on Sunday while he was on shift. He couldn’t leave on Sunday until the power was up and running because they wouldn’t let him leave until he closed out his till.
I’m beginning to understand why my grandmother refused to learn how to run the clothes dryer and instead insisted on hanging her laundry in the basement.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thoughts on the "Runway"

I took the photo at my Stansbury Park meeting last night. I changed it to black and white, cuz it looks cool that way. But it is also a homage to the black and white challenge.

I watched Project Runway last night. If you don't watch it, you won't understand a word of this entry. If you do, tell me you opinions too.
I was just praying Vincent wouldn't say
"get's me off" after he returned. *shudder*
But I didn't think they would stay around for long.
I loved Laura's dress, loved it. I would wear
it if I looked like a model.
Michael's was great too, and I did like the white instead of the black. But it reminded me of the '80s for some reason.
Uli's dress, was the same old, but I liked the sleeves and neckline and I liked it short, nice touch. I knew Kayne was going to go almost as soon as the show started. He just hasn't been able to hold it together.
But I won't cry for him, I think he has a good career ahead of him for the "tacky" crowd.
Jeffery ~ I liked his dress up to a point,
but I just couldn't get on board with the tights/leggings things, ugg.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The bees are my sisters

I should be writing my beekeeper story right now instead of working on my blog. But I loved the photos and had to share.
Yesterday was another crazy day. I was talking to a friend who came buy to give L some birthday balloons and I was telling her about my day and saying “I don’t know why I am so tired.”
Then I told her I had:
taken care of L,
sent A to school,
gone to the newspaper to say good-bye to the editor, (tomorrow is his last day) an pick up a half-dozen reporters notebooks,
interviewed beekeepers for my story,
dropped my page kits off at my LSS,
waited in the Wendy’s drive up lane to buy lunch, (it was lunch break at the high school and there were a bunch of high school students in cars much nicer than mine in front of me),
ate lunch and talked to L,
medicated L,
downloaded my bee photos,
helped a neighbor print off photos for a baby shower,
visited with L’s Primary teacher who brought a birthday card for him,
Helped A with his homework
and read a book for a few minutes.
As I told her about my day I was feeling bad that I hadn’t done laundry, cleaned the kitchen, gone grocery shopping (I was planning on doing it while I was out but L wanted me to come home) or worked on another page kit.
She looked at me, shook her head and said I had done plenty and I should be tired.
I guess I’m like a frog in slowly heating water. I don’t realize how warm it is until I notice my skin is changing color.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Love ya bud, happy 12th birthday

Today is L's 12th birthday. A very important date for young men in the LDS church. We took him bowling last night because DH won't be home tonight, he has to work. L woke up this morning with a fever. He will be spending the day at home playing the computer game he was given as a birthday gift.
We have plans for a sleep-over party on Friday, but it it still a bummer to wake up sick on your 12th birthday.
Twelve things I love about my son
1. He never does anything half-way.
2. He is really interested in the world around him.
3. He is a natural leader
4. He really wants to be good and help everyone.
5. He has a good heart.
6. He made me a mother when I didn’t think I would ever be one.
7. He loves nature, growing things and animals.
8. He is very methodical and precise.
9. He is not afraid to try new things.
10. He is very protective of his little brother. (When he’s not ordering him around)
11. He is and old soul in a young body.
12. He is a gift from God.
L, if you read this, know I love you more than chocolate!

Monday, September 11, 2006

9-11 remembered

I, like everyone in America, have many memories of that day.
We were new to our small town, living in an uncomfortable little rental house in a town surrounded by military bases.
My oldest son’s seventh birthday was coming up on Sept. 12. In addition, my nephew, who had been living in Washington D.C. serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was scheduled to fly home on Sept. 12.
The family had plans to meet my sister’s family at the airport when they picked up Paul, then going to dinner to celebrate his return and my son’s birthday.
I don’t usually watch television in the morning. But on Sept. 11, 2001, my husband called me from work and told me to turn on the TV, because he had heard reports of an airliner hitting the World Trade Center.
As I watched the second tower was hit.
I, like everyone else in the nation was glued to the television. I pulled myself away long enough to take a shower. When I came back to the television the first tower had collapsed.
When I heard the news I literally fell to my knees and started praying for the victims, for their families, for the people in the second tower, for America.
I watched television, and cried, and held onto my two year old son all day. When my soon-to-be seven year old returned from school I tried to put on a brave face. By then I knew Paul wouldn’t be flying home as scheduled because all of the nation’s airliners had been grounded.
But we decided to take my son to dinner in SLC anyway that evening. We drove past the airport, which was curiously quiet, and settled in to eat.
I was numb.
A hotel across from the restaurant had a flagpole with an American flag on it. I remember watching the flag and feeling so sad for our country.
The Boy Scouts in our ward put American flags up in everyone’s yards. L loved the flag. He took the photos featured in this blog with a point and shoot disposable camera.
Today my DS is in sixth grade. This week he is news anchor of the classroom new team. He spent the weekend gathering information about 9-11 for his first report.
The events of 9-11 make me wonder what the future holds for my children. It makes me want to hold them close, and work hard to prepare them to be prayerful, bold and courageous.
It makes me hope we are up to the challenge faced by our fathers, with strength and courage.
World War II vet Grandpa Lang, spring 2001. This photo was also taken by L.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I am not a nerd

“Nerd, as a stereotypical or archetypal designation, refers to somebody who pursues academic and intellectual interests at the expense of social skills such as: interpersonal communication, fashion, and physical fitness.”

This definition was on the internet. I don’t remember where.

So was this test

I took it and scored 5 percent, lower than 95 percent of the people who have taken the test. My results prove I am “definitely not nerdy, you are probably cool.” Odd, because I’ve been going around thinking I was a nerd all my life.
True, I don’t know what Pi means – nor do I really care – I don’t know how my computer works, and I buy my calculators at the dollar store so I can balance the checkbook.
But “probably cool” I don’t think so.
I have had moments of coolness. Like yesterday when I was talking to the young men volunteers painting the inside of the new Girls and Boys Club teen center. I commented about “plum bums” and examining themselves in “three way mirrors” and made the guys smile. But that’s just because I occasionally have conversations with my cool nephew, “Dogg,” and read Lisa’s blog.
But my son is a nerd. He is a glasses wearing, square root figuring, and computer game playing nerd. And he is proud of it.
Today I was singing to the tune of Batman (does the fact that I know the Batman tune make me a nerd or cool?) “na na na na na na na na NerdBoy!”
Faster than a dial-up modem.
More powerful than a Totally Awesome Computer.
Able to out think tall bullies in a single thought.
If he was still interested in doing Halloween, which he is not, we devised the perfect costume. We would get a T-Shirt and put Pi on the front of it ~ very much unlike the S Superman logo. Then he would pull his blue plaid pajamas up to his armpits and put tape on his glasses.
Instant Nerd Boy.
But, he wouldn’t let me take a picture of the nerd costume. So I guess he’s not 100 percent nerdy after all.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Back where I started

Look’s like I’m back where I started.
It seems like just two years ago I started designing page kits for a group of friends who regularly gathered to exchange pages and scrap together. This group became the Ya-Ya Scrappers and the page kits were quickly given up because it was so hard to design pages for other people.
But the other day when I walked into my LSS (Scrappily Ever After) the store owner showed me an album full of page kits and invited me to make some for the store. This is my first attempt. I think it is rather ordinary, but I didn’t use a lot of paper, which is good. I used two sheets of cardstock, one sheet of 12X12 printed paper and one sheet of 8 ½ X 11 printed paper as well as some rick-rack and a big brad.
The store owner has a die cut machine we used to make the word “Boo” for the title. She said she liked the page and gave me enough paper to make 10 kits. The only problem is I can’t find any black rick rack.
The rick rack used on the page was from my stash of goodies I picked up this spring while visiting my Mother. But you wouldn’t think black rick rack would be particularly difficult to find. You would be wrong. Wal-Mart doesn’t have it, neither does the LSS. Since that’s about the size of craft stores in my town, I might have to make a trip into SLC, which makes no sense, when you figure in the price of gas, feeding a family of four (because we can’t go into SLC without eating out) and all the extra purchases we are bound to make while visiting a craft store.
Yet odds remain good that we will, in fact, make the trip ~ if for no other reason than it gives us and excuse to eat somewhere besides my kitchen or a fast food joint.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pick your poison

The oldest son made an interesting discovery while cleaning his room this weekend. Stored among some mementos I had put in his room was a birthday card with $25 in it, a birthday card for my younger son, A-7, a birthday card for his second birthday.
Needless to say, A was thrilled with this unexpected largess. He spent most of the weekend thumbing through the JC Penny’s Christmas catalogue. By the way, what’s with JC Penny’s sending a Christmas catalogue to our house during the last week in August! But I digress.
After several days of rather constant begging, he finally persuaded me to take him to the new Walgreens in town so he could spend $5 of his birthday money.
He ended up buying a great deal of junk, including this spooky plastic goblet with a spider on the side of it as part of his potions mixing paraphernalia.
But the goblet, and a request from a lady in my church to come up with Halloween Cards, had me re-visiting my potions and elixirs cards from last year. This year I designed them to look like this.
While I was at the LSS trying to figure out what to use for paper, I told the store owner what my plan was and she said she wanted to see them, too.
Long story short, I took them over to her today and she wants me to design them for a “make-and-take” project during her one year anniversary party in October. A make-and-take is a quick project scrappers can do in short order while visiting the store. She said she would charge participants a small fee to cover the cost of materials, and pay me for my time demonstrating the make-and-take.
It might turn out to be worth my time.
She also invited me to design scrapbook page kits to be sold from the store. Apparently there has been a big request for kits from scrappers who don’t want to figure out how to design the pages themselves. Frankly, I don’t understand it, because I love to do the designs. But if there weren’t people out there willing to pay someone else to do the designing, there wouldn’t be jobs for designers.
We’ve been looking for another cat.
More exactly, L has been looking for another cat.
He found this little girl on the internet Sunday and DH overheard L telling me about the little sweetheart. So, we tried to call the number listed to see if we could get her. There was no answer at either of the two numbers listed, and I left a message.
Last night at about 6 p.m. the cat’s “foster mother” called back to say they had placed her on the first day she was listed, but they decided to keep her photo on the website to see if they could place any other animals from the shelter.
Me, “Hummmm. No, I want a female Siamese kitten, please.”
She “We have kittens coming into the shelter every day.”
Me. “I would prefer a female Siamese, you see our cat was killed by a car this summer and we loved her gender and breed.”
She shocked “You leave your cat outside!”
Me “No, we let her go outside during the day. At night we brought her into the house.”
She “Do you live on a busy street?”
Me, “not particularly, we live in a neighborhood with teenagers.”
She. “You know cats can live up to 15 years. If you get a kitten you can train it to stay in the house.” At which point I can hear my Wyo Sis groan at the thought of Bucky living for 15 years.
Me. “We got our last cat as a kitten and she wanted to go outside. We didn’t let her go out until she was spayed, then we gave her a little more freedom.”
She. “You could just go out in the backyard with your cat and bring her right back, and never let it go anywhere else.” At this point I am thinking the cat lady apparently want’s me to be more careful with my cat than I am with my children. I let them go outside without being with them constantly.
I am also quite sure I am a responsible pet owner. We took her to the vet to keep her shots updated. We had her spayed, we fed her top-of-the line dry cat food (okay, we did that because she had wicked, wallpaper peeling gas when she ate the other stuff) and we put a collar and tag on her.
Mind you, I grew up on a ranch were we loved our cats, and fed our cats, and let them wander through the fields hunting mice or squirrels. Our cats had kittens. We placed the kittens in good homes. Our cats lived happy cat lives.
They were, after all cats.
Certainly they were cute and cuddly and funny and all those other things one would expect from a cat. They were loved. Their death was mourned. But down in the very heart of it all, we are talking about cats, here.
We are still looking for another female Siamese kitten. But I do believe we have crossed the cat Nazi fanatics off our list of places to provide a cat for us.
I’m not really sure they would give a cat to us anyway if they knew we had a cat flap in the window.

Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?

I will be back with more to say, sometime in the near future.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Talk about a zoo!

We went to the zoo today and it was, well, a zoo! We lucked out and found a great parking spot. As we were leaving I signaled to a family in a van to follow us to nab the spot ~ but as we were driving back into town we saw cars parked literally for a mile down the road.
This trip was better than the last one because it wasn’t as hot as it was last year. But I still was pretty tired of toting around my camera by the time we were done. There were strollers as far as the eye could see, people standing cheek-to-jowl at every exhibit where there was any animal activity.
But, the animals were fairly active, so it was fun.
I learned from last trip that some animals are not worth trying to photograph. Like the wild cats hiding in the shade. Their camouflaged coats work very, very well.
But we did get some interesting photos of the Lynx that was up against the window in the Asian exhibit. It had been sleeping most of the day, but when we arrived it took exception to L, stood up and gave him an ears-back look. A tiny monkey about the size of Ls hand was up against the window in one exhibit and we caught some cute shots of it, although the lighting was a bit iffy.
A liked the bats. The fruit bats were super active as we arrived just after they were fed. I was fascinated by how they drank water out of the bowl, but when I pulled out my camera, they all found something else to do.
We came home with a big bag of popcorn and a pound and a half of fudge.
I like being close enough to go on a day trip to the zoo without it being a big deal. This is the first time I have lived close enough to a city where I can just decide one night “let’s go to the zoo” and make the trip the next day. It still seems like quite a luxury, even after living here for five years.
We also still have tickets to Lagoon we need to use. But I don’t think we will use them this weekend. If you think the zoo is a zoo on Labor Day weekend, you don’t even want to consider going to an amusement park.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Food, glorious food

I went to the local farmer’s market today on assignment. It was really rather charming. I love the colors / photo possibilities of fresh produce so I took two photos of tomatoes, peppers, etc. for every one photo of people buying them.
I have one really cute photo of a little boy with jam all over his face, but I didn’t think it was okay for me to put it on my blog without his mom’s permission.
I don’t have permission for the photo of the man with the watermelon, either. He saw me take the photo and said it was alright for me to run it in the paper, but he wouldn’t give me his name. I wonder why. Of course any speculation on the matter would be politically incorrect of me and we don’t want to be arrested by the thought police.
One couple was selling fresh honey. My boys were fascinated by the combs, and bought a little plastic container with a chunk of honey comb in it. Since I don’t like honey I didn’t try it, but they said they could just scoop a glob of the honey comb into their mouths with their fingers and chew it like gum. Honey flavored gum, interesting idea.
After I was done at the farmer’s market we decided to try the Greek restaurant just down the street from the park. My friend has been telling me how great it is, and DH and I really like Greet food. But the place looked like a scary little hole-in- the-wall.
When we walked in the door we were surprised to see the hole-in-the-wall was just the storefront. There was more room in the back than we would have guessed from looking at it from the outside.
We settled down, enjoyed a pretty good meal (loved the soup!) and as we were finishing up we noticed the friend who had recommended the place walking up to the door with her husband. They ended up sitting right next to us.
As we were finishing up, though, DH noticed something small, furry and grey floating in the bottom of his water glass. I don’t know what it was. But I fear we will not be going back to that eatery.