Entries from June 2006 ↓

Do the Dew

There are times when the most vivid memories are triggered by the smallest thing. The other day Tim decided to be “bad” and bought a soda for each of us. I had my usual Dr. Pepper, but he was not paying close attention and grabbed the most foul of all diet drinks, Diet Mt. Dew.

I don’t remember exactly what summer this happened, but it was after Hugo and before highschool. My best friend and I were in girl scouts, but it was lame and we were disappointed that we never got to go camping either with scouts or family. We decided to remedy this situation with the age old trick, “Mom can I spend the night at her house?” and she requested the same.

Our excitement crescendoed as we trudged through the neighborhood lugging our sleeping bags and backpacks, trying not to attract notice. Thoughts of, “Oh it will seem cooler when we stop,” flitted through our idyllic, naive little minds along with, “This will be so much fun!” It should be mentioned, our little escapade took place in Ladson, SC in July. For as hot as it was, it might as well have been a Brazilian jungle.

We found a small clearing off the main trail just before dark. We gathered wood and arranged our campsite, just like good little scouts.. When we finally stopped moving and sat down in front of the fire, of which we were so terribly proud, we realized our stupidity. The mosquitoes were out by the billions and there was nowhere to go. Skin So Soft had always worked on the weenie little outings we took with our scout troop. Of course, those outings were in broad daylight when the bugs typically aren’t as active. Skin So Soft doesn’t so much discourage mosquitoes from biting, as it seems to prevent them from actually gripping the skin and thus they slide off to seek easier prey.

Bohemian Rat Screw* was the game of choice and our skin glistened and shone in the firelight. I’m sure we were a pretty picture, two adolescents, nothing but knees and elbows sweating like pigs in front of a sad little campfire. The grease from our “repellant” made the cards sticky and we eventually gave up as pine straw and dirt made dealing difficult. We decided to console ourselves by digging into our ‘provisions.’ Of course we hadn’t given any thought to a cooler and were dismayed to find the only drinks we had pilfered weren’t the regular Mt. Dews we had originally thought. No, my father was on another ‘health kick’ and we were stuck with warm Diet Mt. Dew. It has been at least fourteen years and I still can’t look at it without my stomach turning over. Little did we know that a decade or so later people would compete to be in a very similar position a la Fear Factor.

Eventually, we actually did try to sleep, only to have a thunderstorm roll through around three in the morning. It was one of those Lowcountry torrential downpours and we were soaked to the skin. Our sleeping bags were waterlogged and had quadrupled in weight, but we gamely lugged them another mile to Tom Conley baseball park where we hid in an announcer’s booth and waited for the dawn.

When the sky was finally light enough we began the two mile trek home. Our parents never did find out about our little deception, but we never attempted our little stunt again. Having to drag the sodden sleeping bags, soaked to the skin, and covered with slime and dirt was punishment enough for our idiocy.

I have not been camping since.

Fun little meme

I picked this up from my pal Ivy
Ask me to take a picture of any aspect of my life that you’re interested in/curious about – it can be anything from the house I live in to my favourite shoes. Leave your choice here as a comment, and I will reciprocate by taking the pictures and posting them as a new entry. That way you get to know a little bit about my life.

For myself, I chose my spice shelf (without any pre-pic straightening). I think it says a lot about me. There’s a bit of organization, but it’s overwhelmed.

7pm EDIT, adding requested photos:

The dress… I’m not wearing make-up and I need a haircut, both will be remedied soon.

The TV is actually a long story. My husband is the king of salvage. The warranty had expired on this TV and the owner was throwing it away. Tim and I took it to a repair shop and well, here it is. We decided it will probably convey because that sucker is HEAVY.

And finally, condiment hell aka my fridge door.

Edit June 29th: Bookshelves and view of hallway/stairs (I hope this is what you wanted, Sunnie) I recently culled my paperbacks and now have a nice little credit at Dream A Lot Books.

Perhaps a little help from the gardening gurus?

So, I finally have my yard under control. This means there is actually more grass than weeds and the bare spots are slowly filling in. I think the worst problem was the mole crickets and we seem to be winning that battle.

So, now onto the flowerbeds. Last summer I planted japenese boxwood along the sidewalk. While they need a haircut, I think they will fill in nicely and contrast with whatever you call that ornamental grass.

My main problem is with this flowerbed:
It’s 12×11 and I am not attached to ANYTHING currently growing there. I need to force the husband to clean the gutters and that will solve the drainage problem. Other than that, the soil seems decent, but it faces the south and only receives a few hours of sunlight a day. I already removed some very leggy gardenias and took them to my mother’s, where they are thriving. Last year, I cut down the crepe myrtle only to have it resprout this spring.


Forgive my frivolity, but

I found the perfect dress for my highschool reunion. Now, if I can just get through the evening without a spazzoid moment.

It’s Summer

I’ve started a dangerous habit. Two days in a row, I’ve visited the produce stands on Hwy 52. Wednesday night I came away with gorgeous tomatoes just dying for a crustless tomato pie, zucchini that called* to me and said, “Pan roast me, please.” Apparently the produce knew I had everything on hand for garlic cheddar biscuits and a watermelon begged to come home to kick off the summer.

Yesterday afternoon, I left the children in the car with the AC cranked**. I came out lugging bags of corn for roasting, tomatoes for slicing, grapes and bananas for snacking, and celery for crunching. I need blinders so I can resist the call of the plums and peaches. Dinner was simple, lemon basil chicken salad and roasted corn. It was perfect for a hot day.

This weekend, we’re going blueberry picking and I found a tempting recipe for chocolate zucchini cake.

I love this time of year.

*Don’t even try to tell me food doesn’t speak to you.

**You drag an awkward 11 yo, a 2yo with a thousand hands, and a 9mo, with no cart into a stand with huge, precarious piles. Nope, uh uh, you can’t make me.


Dan Conover recently said:

I read this while sitting on the beach, and it made me so furious I had to get up and jump in the water. I smashed into waves. And as I stood out there in the surf, the thought struck me: I’m sick and tired of having a government that can’t do anything right, led by people whose first inclination is routinely wrong, whose first explanation is routinely dishonest. Enabled by those people on the beach, reading People magazine and Southern Living

I googled and I dogpiled and still I cannot find a link, so we will all just have to use our imaginations for a moment, forgive any inaccuracies.

While in Minnesota, visiting family, I was strongly reminded of a specific Calvin and Hobbes comic by Bill Watterson. It was the one where Calvin was reading and asks Hobbes, “It says here that religion is the opiate of the masses. What do you suppose that means?” Hobbes shrugs.

In the background the television thinks, “It means Karl Marx hadn’t seen anything yet.”

Watterson is dead on.

It is so easy to become completely distracted (enamored?) by the entertainment options if one isn’t particular*. Dan, I share your frustration. I feel utterly powerless.

My acquaintances shake their heads in exasperation because my knowledge of pop culture is somewhat limited. Sometimes I just want to shake them and scream, “Don’t you know what’s happening? Open your eyes, pick up the paper, crack a book, something!” I bite my tongue and pretend to follow their conversations about American Idol and Desperate Housewives.

It feels so futile; I know I don’t have an answer.

**Post Shower Edit***

I feel people should have a passion that has not been spoonfed. Frankly, I don’t care where the passion lies. It certainly doesn’t matter whether I agree or not, it’s the apathy that appalls me.

*I’ll admit to enjoying the series Nip/Tuck. It’s total garbage, I know.

We are home.

Perspective is a funny thing. This past week just flew by for my husband, visiting family, seeing familiar sites. I had a good time, but it is so nice to walk into my home and sleep in my bed.

I brought a nasty virus home. Just for the record it is not fun to travel with an eleven year old and two kids two and under. It is even less fun on a sold out flight with every joint in my body aching and those weird feverish thoughts running through my mind. We made it, though. We flew from St. Paul to Atlanta and drove the five hours home. I wasn’t any help. I just amused myself by waiting until Tim’s arm was cool from the air conditioning then using it as a heatsink. I’m sure he enjoyed that. Prarie Home Companion is very strange when dozing in and out of monologues.

Anyhow, I am home, normal posting will resume shortly.

I’m going to blame Duke

Apparently Duke’s blog problems are catching.

We’ll be leaving for Minnesota on Saturday. I’ll be doing the blog roundup tomorrow, so posting will be sparse for a while.

Oh, but I did find a very interesting paper on why phishing works, here. At the very least, read the introduction, it has some great information on web security.

I’d like to apologise to everyone I pelted with e-mails. I was bored, but I shouldn’t force everyone to share in my misery.

Happy Dancin’

Sometimes things just work out. Tim’s been debating selling his motorcycle for a while, now. I’ve been wanting a small catamaran for a long time now. This is a desire that peaks every summer and then settles into a slow burn for the cooler months. We’ve been watching the paper and we found one that wouldn’t break the bank, but I was still very hesitant about actually spending the money.

There was an offer on the bike and a deal was made, for five dollars more than the cost of my new (to me!) boat.

Of course, now I have temptation in my garage and I won’t get to try it out for a couple of weeks. Oh well, the anticipation will be fun.

Passing Along the Link

I’m passing this link along for all my Nashville friends.

One brought tears to my eyes and wouldn’t you know it that’s when the Fed Ex guy showed up.

Thank you for sharing it, Mike.

My South Speaks:: Turner South