Thursday, August 31, 2006


Taken yesterday just outside my store.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Today was my day off so Claire and I went to PJ's and had fried green tomatoes. At left is Claire's "boyfriend." At least that's what she called him when she was little. We brought him along because he was green.

Monday, August 28, 2006


For Color Week. Charli-Doll heads pre-assembly.

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Last week? A cake-walk.

This afternoon I went in for a second interview at the same place I interviewed last week. I thought about this one a little bit more ahead of time but nothing could have prepared me for the Spanish Inquisition I encountered. ( "No one expects the Spanish Inquistion...!")( Okay- so I wasn't interrogated in was almost as stressful as if I had been.) If last week I was a bug under the microscope, this week I was the paramecium being jabbed in order to observe its response to painful stimulus.

I don't feel like re-living it a second time so I will spare you the exhaustive ( and exhaustING) detailed account .... but it was a little surreal at times. The man - who is the company's co-founder/owner/or something important- who did most of the talking reminded me of Martin Sheen and he asked me many multi-part questions that I would have liked to have had in writing about three or four days ago, so I could have prepared an essay response at my leisure in the comfort of my own home. What a wicked on the spot/ fly by the seat of your skirt feeling. And we delved more deeply than I liked into my weaknesses/failures/insecurities. Man! You would think I was applying for some high powered executive position- not a receptionist job. I felt like saying," What is this- a shrink's office? A Chinese Communist self-criticsm session?" Good grief! I felt completely pulverized and gnawed and like my very pores were being scrutinized.

Near the end, the Martin Sheen big shot- who was, to be fair, pretty nice over all- said something like, "How do you think this interview is going?" Is this a standard question in an interview, my readers? Has anyone been asked this in a similar situation? Perhaps it was an understandable question based on the context of what we were talking about but I felt like saying something along the lines of, " Would you ask a frog you were dissecting how the dissection was going?"

Miraculously, only by the sheer grace of God, I think I was able to pretty much stay poised and at least appear semi-comfortable and keep up a pretense of being somewhat confident through the time. I did feel like crying at one point but hopefully they didn't notice. And Martin Sheen did say he had been a little hard on me. What was I supposed to say to that? "Oh good- so it wasn't all just in my head? You really WERE aware that you were putting me through the meat grinder? You ADMIT that you're a sadist? Well. How nice for you!"

I went grocery shopping at an unfamiliar store after that and wandered the aisles in a distracted daze, talking to Brad on my phone.

And then I got a Cookies and Cream milkshake at Chik-fil-A on my way home, to console myself. Yay! Your prize for surviving a horrific interview is....more calories!!!

The problem is, I think they're going to offer me the job. My gut tells me so. A normal, sane person would probably be excited about this. Maybe a little nervous, but excited. I'm not. This job would pay me better than any job I have ever had. And right now I want to go fall down a well or something. It's not that I don't think I could do this job. I'm sure that after the initial yucky first couple of months where you're learning stuff and asking questions all day and making mistakes and feeling stupid, it will be fine. So I don't know what my problem is.

I think I have issues. I am abnormal. I think I want to become a nun. Okay- a married nun. One of those Eeyore-ish, hermit-ish, married nuns. And if there isn't a career in that, I will be the first one.

Okay. It's time to stop the sarcastic negativity. *pulls self up by the proverbial boot straps*

Que sera sera, and all that.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I recently recited the nursery rhyme of toes in the hearing of my friend Pari. You know...the one that goes: "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home..."

Well, Pari was born and raised in India and apparently, there is no correlating rhyme like this in her culture. Of course, she had heard it since moving here several years ago, but she said something very thought provoking, something I had never considered before. After I ended with the piggy that went "weeee weee weeeee! all the way home," she said very seriously, " But wasn't he already home? I thought only one went to market."

This raises some very good questions. Where was that last little piggy coming from? And why did he say " Wee wee wee" all the way home?

Did the roast beef have anything to do with this? I know this messes with the whole toes thing but are there really only two piggies in this story? Is the piggy who went to market the same one who had roast beef and the one who went weeee weeee weeee! all the way home? And then there is the second piggy who stayed home and didn't have any roast beef?

Who can enlighten me here? Isaac?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The thing that Witches fly on

Every married couple disagrees on things.

Brad and I have always differed on the pronunciation of the word "Broom." He says it as if it were spelled "brum." I say it, " brewm" - the correct way, of course. We have ridiculed each other for years in this matter. ( Brad disagrees with me on this matter, too. I quote: " I have not ridiculed you!" Okay. I guess it was just me then. . . doing the whole ridiculing thing. Huh. And it wasn't really...ridicule. How is it that I'M writing this and it's ending up putting me in a bad light?! It was more like gentle ribbing. ) But what is even funnier: he uses it as a verb. As in, " I need to brum off the driveway." Is this not altogether hilarious, worthy of derision and yet the very essence of cuteness, all in one?

Today he told me that all the people at work rag on him for this strange pronunciation of his. I feel so validated.

I'm off to go brewm the kitchen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hello. I'm the bug under the microscope.

When one is napping on a Sunday afternoon, and an icecream truck drives by with its whiny, jingling music, it does strange things to one's dreams.

Well, not much real news yet on the job front. I had an interview this morning and it just confirmed the fact that I HATE interviews. You sit there under a microscope- figuratively, of course- and try to appear relaxed and comfortable, and talk about yourself- your strengths and weaknesses. ACK. I HATE that part. And I was so insistent on NOT stressing out about this interview and not trying to overthink it and worry ahead of time, that I didn't really think about that inevitable question beforehand and so I sort of "winged it" ( wung it?)- and I didn't think of some things that I should have mentioned about my strengths. And even worse than strengths: who wants to talk about their weaknesses? Oh- it's soooo ICKY. I just feel like yelling, " I'm a good person! Trust me! Just hire me!" and running out. Yeah- THAT would make me seem credible. Oh well. The whole thing is in God's hands anyway, so I'm doing the whole post-interview, " There's nothing more I can do right now so DON'T Worry! Que sera sera. Thy will be done..." thing.

After the interview, I did some errands, including taking my car into a place for a muffler estimate. They put my car up on a lift and then the guy called me out of the office to explain the options to me. He was standing very nonchalantly under the car, pointing to stuff, and so I hesitantly joined him and it just kind of weirded me out, standing under my car. I've never done that before. I didn't like it. I knew that if it wasn't safe, he wouldn't be standing there...but I just kept thinking- what if the car falls on us? I mean- there could have been an earthquake and then where would we be? I got out from under it as fast as I could.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Vacation continues...

I've been meaning to blog for days but stuff just kept cropping up and preventing me.

I was supposed to go back to work on Thursday, and I did, but an unexpected drama unfolded and I was back in my car, heading home before noon. I don't feel free to divulge the details online right now so if you are TOTALLY curious to know, you can email me and I will copy and paste a little explanation and send it back to you...( This is not a desperate plea for emails or a nefarious scheme to find out who really cares about me...!) The long and short of it is, ( I didn't get fired) I don't know where I stand right now, jobwise. Everything is up in the air, but I hope to know more in the next couple days. It's kind of a weird situation.

ANYWAY- the timing couldn't have been better because my dear cousin Drewey Fern was down here visiting and so I got to do more stuff with her and Pen that I otherwise would not have been able to do. Huzzah! And I've been able to work on some projects around the house so I feel good about that.

On Thursday night, I had Penny, Andrea, and Grandpa over for dinner and Penny's cell phone rang. She answered and then a moment later it became clear that it was a wrong number because she said something like, "No...and I don't even know any cheerleaders!" It was pretty funny. Apparently, her name had gotten on some list of parents of cheerleaders...

And then Friday morning I got to go YardSaling with Penny and we had an AWESOME time. Penny is an amazing, organized, map guru- the perfect Yardsaling partner. I bought a bunch of great stuff, and even got some free stuff! My favorite finds were a small, round, glass topped table for our back porch, and a new, brushed nickel, chandelier-ish light fixture for either our kitchen or our dining room. And some books. And some neat vegetable coasters that go oh so well with my kitchen vegetable theme. Now I just have to learn to be a coaster person. Or perhaps I will frame some of them and put them up on the wall.

Guess what? The other day, I ate some FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. YUMMMM. They were so deee-lish. I felt so Southern.

That's all for now, folks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My trip to New England...

I've just returned from the most refreshing mini-vacation ever. The only blot upon the landscape was the fact that Brad wasn't with me. But, as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I flew up on Friday amidst the wake of the whole foiled terrorist plot. As if I wasn't already loathing the whole flying thing enough. But the Atlanta airport wasn't too backed up so that was nice. Practically the most nerve wracking thing about it was sitting at the gate, killing time, trying not to listen to the TV which was blaring CNN's frenzied take on the whole terrorist thing. It was like the elephant in the room that everyone wanted to ignore. I didn't really want to have all that hype thrust in my face as I waited to get on the plane. And of course, everybody's like, "Be aware of suspicious behavior" and stuff like that and it's like, "DON'T TELL ME THAT! Now I'm spotting terrorists behind every pillar and post! Everyone looks suspicious to me now!" But miraculously, I made it to N.H. where I was greeted by amazing, balmy weather, and Bria!
( My chauffeur, bless her.)

I had a simply marvelous stay at the S------- household where I was given celebrity-like treatment and felt almost more at home there than in my own home! It was truly a blessing to connect with this dear family again, as they feel like an extension of my own family. And they are all so different and grown- it's amazing! We had so much fun; we played Cranium, had lunch at Panera bread ( which was WONDERFUL- I miss that place so much!), looked at pictures, just talked, I went swimming ( they all said it was too cold!), and Cheech himself gave me a cello lesson! He was a good and patient teacher but he fell on the floor with laughter at one point due to the terrible sounds I was producing out of the cello.

I feel so strengthened from the time I was able to spend with them all. I've been stuck in such a rut for so long and I didn't even know it; it was a great reality check to realize that there is a wider world out there.

My friend, Sarah L's wedding- ( now Sarah C. but I'm afraid it's going to take me awhile to remember to refer to her by her new last name) - was a beautiful and moving event and I had a great time connecting with various ones that I hadn't seen in a while. Sarah was the most beautiful, radiant bride I have ever seen and I immediately dissolved into tears as she came down the aisle. Oh my WORD. Emotions overwhelmed me and words failed me so much that I broke into complete gabbling nonsense in the receiving line and probably convinced her new husband, Josh, that I am a complete idiot...Hmmm. No further comment on that point. Anyway...I had never met him before but he seems to be a quality fellow from all that I hear and I am happy beyond words for both of them.

I have always been impressed with Sarah's focus. She did not fritter her singlehood away with shallow relationships, playing the dating game. She waited for the one that God had for her... and let Him work in her life in the meantime, in the midst of particularly painful difficulties and disappointments, to make her ready, whole, all that He wanted her to be...So you can see why my joy overflowed. When you know some of the long history behind the event, and you see a little bit of how the long, twisted, puzzling road has finally opened up into a wide and beautiful place, it compels you to give God all the glory.

It was bizarrely wonderful to see Sarah so completely swept off her feet. I have never seen a couple more obviously in love and off in their own little world. After "The Kiss" they turned and smiled at the clapping audience as if they were just awakening to the fact that there were other people with them in the room!

And then afterwards, I had a huge amount of fun with Amy and Lindsay, meandering around Rockport, sampling fudge, looking in quaint shops, people watching, and eating icecream etc. You know all about it, I'm sure- having read it on Lindsay's blog we followed the Pied Piper of Bearskin Neck...Very bizarre. At one point, when I made some suggestion about following him further- to witness the weirded out crowds that he walked through- I was SO amused because at the same time, Lindsay said, "YES!" and Amy said, "NO!" Those two showed me a great time.

This a.m., Bria again took me to the airport, all hail to her kindness, at 4:blooming 30 this morning! My flight left at six and I figured that getting to the Manchester airport at 5:00 would be plenty of time. Um...No. Bria, we should have gotten there like half an hour earlier. The lines were incredibly long and I almost panicked and descended into frantic tears. But fortunately, as I snaked my slow way along, and the clock ticked towards my boarding time, they called all the people in our flight to the front of the line! Praises be! I swooped upstairs...only to encounter a line twice as long through security. Fortunately I still made my flight. As I hobbled out of security, scuffling hurriedly along in my sandals that weren't totally on my feet, I saw that my plane was boarding! Phew! I maaaaaaade it!

So, I'm home again, home again, jiggety jog. What a wonderful weekend. Thank God!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Video: Calloway Gardens

Click Here
14.8 MB (4:01)

We went to Calloway Gardens last month for Penny's birthday. It was nice. We had fun. I got sick on the way home. I edited that out (yes, Claire taped it).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Surprise Vacation

Here's the latest from my life:

On Tuesday morning, my supervisors sent me home as they had reached a point where they didn't have anything for me to do. Only this time, they said, " We'll call you when we have something for you. And it probably won't be until next week." Huh!




So far, I've done errands, some cleaning, weeding, visiting, and sleeping in. I am LOVING this free time thing. But give me a couple weeks and I'll start craving some structure again, I'm sure. Hopefully at that point I'll be back at work again. We shall see. I'm a little wary of these "We'll call you" type situations, but I'm pretty sure that in this case, they actually mean it. For one thing, I have worked there for three months and my supervisor said she wanted me back because I know how things work with this project. It makes no sense to bring someone in who doesn' t know the history of the project. I am thankful now for the good track record I've established with them. But, again, we shall see.

I had already asked for Friday and Monday off since I am fleeing up northwards this weekend for the wedding of my dear, old friend Sarah L. ( She's not elderly-old, she's just been my friend since the day she was born...which happens to be the day after I was born.) I'm so looking forward to going back to New England and visiting with people. It will be my first time back since last October.

You will all have to pray for Bradley because the poor fellow is already at sixes and sevens at the thought of being left at home alone. Wah. I hate leaving him behind, but it seemed the only thing to do, under the circs. Besides, we are hoping and planning on traveling up to N.H. together at the end of next month anyway...But in the meantime, send him good thoughts, nice emails, cards, money, whatever, to cheer him up while I'm gone. Okay?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Staving Off Boredom

(This is Brad.) I had to keep the store open until 11 this evening because the mall had extended hours. This was due to the fact that this is Georgia's tax-free weekend. Claire came with Nate and Penny to help me pass the time, and Claire played cards with Penny at the counter. Afterwards we went to Waffle House for some good eats. We had a jolly time discussing everything from the ethics of vigilanti-ism to the level of bacteria on the average cell phone. Good times.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Pickled Pig's Feet

I am curious to know what a pickled pig's foot tastes like. I would like to just have a tiny bite. I'm sure it's gross but I just want to KNOW. I think. Well...really...I'm not sure I would actually be brave enough if a pickled pig's foot was staring me in the face.

Why don't they have little old ladies at Sam's Club giving out samples of pickled pig's feet?