Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Me, wanting my VW to stay cute and intact, braked as he whipped into my lane. And as my father and husband have taught me, I honked. Not a long honk, just a "hey, dude, you almost hit me" honk. That was obviously the wrong thing to do. He slammed on his brakes and proceeded to flip me off.
Well fine. Whatever. Laura wasn't with me, I knew I was in the right, and it wasn't my eternal soul being jeopardized by the bad language. But this guy was pissed. He was flipping me off so vigorously (I realized he was turned around in his seat while doing it) that his car started to go off the road. Now this was getting exciting! Eventually he swerved back into his lane, and nearly hit the person next to him. But he wasn't done. Now the hand came out the window. Now it was back in the car and he was turned around again. Then he changed into the lane next to me in the hopes of driving along beside me.
Luckily for me, a red light stopped us with him farther behind with him back behind the work truck he wanted to pass to start with! When the light turned green, I used my raw German power to get the heck out of there. Naturally he caught up, honking and flipping me off some more. Serious issues, that guy. Finally he turned off the road. I had the presence of mind enough to get his plate number and called the police (who were so much more helpful this time!) but the most they are able to do is patrol the area where he was driving to look for him. I wish I had called while it was all going on, but I was also concentrating on not getting hit.
So a fun morning. I'm off to run and hopefully not be subjected to any more middle fingers for the rest of the day.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
And to prove what some love, exercise, and good food can do for a dog, I present Moxie from December, and Moxie from a few days ago. The Army Man and I are a little unclear on why we thought she was so cute in the beginning, but we figured we saw what we needed to see to convince us to adopt her.
Sometimes Moxie almost seems to have flashbacks to her past, because if she is not listening and we become more stern with her, she turns into this pathetic, scared creature who runs and hides, flops on her back in supplication, or worse case scenario, pees inside. It's much worse if it is the Army Man who is the one trying to get her to do something. She acts terrified of him which is just ridiculous-he would never hurt her. But somewhere in her past, those sort of situations obviously resulted in physical abuse for her, and she can't forget about it. I can only hope that the longer she lives with us, the more she comes to understand that she will always be safe at our house.
So here's to many more years of happiness with Moxie, and I'd better refer back to this post frequently to remind me that I do in fact love her, because so help me, it's 9:19 in the morning and she has already dug a hole in the backyard.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Since Moxie came home with us in the dead of winter, we didn’t really see right away just how hell-bent on capturing a bird she is. Now that the birds are out with gusto, she can think of nothing else. We have a small patch of woods behind our house which is now teeming with wildlife. The birds and squirrels are all so grateful to use our bird feeder, and this has created an unpleasant situation for everyone.
I know what you’re all saying-the backyard is fenced, so just let her stay outside all day if that’s what she wants. But therein lies the rub. Moxie is also a digger. There are creatures underground that require her attention too! Lately she has been so obsessed with the birds and squirrels that she ignores her digging responsibilities for about 20 minutes. That’s a long time for this dog who used to start digging after being outside alone for about 3 minutes. But I can never be quite sure-will this be the time she digs or doesn’t dig? Yesterday she dug up the one lone tree in our backyard, digging so deep that the roots were damaged. She sure is a champion digger, our dog. We’re so proud! I really don’t enjoy going to check on her every 10 minutes to make sure that she isn’t digging. I’d rather she was inside, where I can keep my eye on her. Inside, where she will be at the back door, freaking out.
I would feel bad for her if the whole situation wasn’t so annoying.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Now, let’s get onto the details about my store. First, I know you’re wondering about the name. It’s a combination of Laura (who else?) and Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty. For a long time, Princess Aurora was Laura’s favorite princess and Sleeping Beauty was her favorite movie. Laura once told me she wished she had been named Aurora, and when I was on the spot to think up a name back when I started shopping on Etsy, Laurora was what I came up with. So like I said, your name sticks with you. I actually like it, since I’m not the type to name things something like Claire’s Crafty Creations. Laurora is unique yet sweet. And since I’m the owner, I get to say how it’s pronounced (La-roar-uh).
What I sell is not necessarily unique to Etsy. There are lots of women already selling bibs and blankets, but I think me just being me is what will allow me to be competitive. Simply put-I'm a perfectionist. It’s good for my buyers, since I am so hard on myself and have only offered up things for sale that meet my strict criteria. You won’t see me trying to sell something with crooked stitching, stray strings, or lumpy spots. At the same time, this perfectionism is bad for me since for everything you see for sale, there are probably 3 others I have deemed just not good enough. The Army Man has tried to convince me that everything in my reject pile is just fine, but I think he’s just trying to be nice to me.
But I leave it up to you to decide for yourself if I’ve done a good job. Take a look at what I have to offer. Since I’m still so new to this, I completely welcome any suggestions about my products or the way my “store” is set up. And if you know someone who is looking to buy something for their baby or needs to buy a gift for someone else, I’d appreciate you mentioning my store to them. I’d appreciate the heck out of it. So much so that I will lavish gifts upon you as a way of saying thanks! Just tell your friends to be sure to mention your name in the “notes to seller” section if they purchase from me. Three referrals and a small gift will be in the mail to you!
The link is up at the very top of this post-just click the pink "Laurora". I also have a small little section over on the right which will take you right to my shop if you click on it. Or just use this address:
Monday, March 23, 2009
Now if you know me, you know I love to drink pop (soda for all of you who are confused and don’t call it by the right name). I especially love Pepsi and was usually drinking a can with lunch, and sometimes another can for a snack. So once I finished that last can in December, that was it. I haven’t bought it for the house since. Of course I always have some if I go out to eat, because I think complete deprivation is both cruel and unrealistic. It was so hard at first. Every day at lunch I missed it terribly. But about 5-6 weeks later, I realized I had stopped thinking about it so much. These days I couldn’t even imagine having it at lunch.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I majored in history in college, and have always enjoyed historical fiction (insert mandatory shout-out to The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett). One of my most treasured childhood books was about King Alexander III of Scotland and his granddaughter, the Maid of Norway. I used to wish that time travel was possible so that I could go back in time to all of my favorite time periods and witness everything firsthand. So while The Other Boleyn Girl was silly, fluffy, and probably not all that accurate, I had a great time while reading it and got quite caught up in it. I rushed through it in two days and experienced that all too common feeling of euphoria and sadness that one experiences when they finish a book quickly.
Soon after I finished the book, the Army Man brought home the movie version for me to watch (he's sweet that way). We watched it 2 nights ago, and I barfed in my mouth a little while I watched it. It was one of the worst. movies. ever. I love (love!) Natalie Portman and do not care for Scarlett Johansson one bit, but none of that matters since it was horrible. Horrible. Bad acting, not true to the book (which I'm sure the Army Man got tired of hearing me say), and overall it just wasn't a compelling story. It managed to be pretty engaging on the page, but not so much on the screen (I'm tempted to insert a "lost in translation" joke here. Whoops, I guess I pretty much just did).
I'm sad I subjected my eyes to that movie, and I'm bitter because it is threatening to take away the enjoyment I received from reading the book. So I post this in the hopes that I can save even one person from a similar fate. If I can, then I will not have suffered in vain.
While we're on the subject, will I ruin the glory that is Atonement if I watch the movie?
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
--Moxie attempted to tunnel to China today while in the backyard unsupervised. Instead of China, all she got was a foot deep hole and a whole lot of trouble. I had to wash her front paws off since she was covered in mud, and let me tell you, that dog hates getting wet. She flipped out and ran off, through the conveniently open door and into the kitchen, leaving behind perfectly formed muddy paw prints. I felt like I was in a paper towel commercial or something. Thankfully my screaming stopped her from going on the carpeting, but it didn’t prevent her from soaking me with muddy water when she ran back outside.
--Speaking of mud, Laura decided to play in her mud patch while wearing her brand new shoes. They may never recover.
--A cavity that I have had filled 3 (count them!) different times woke me up last night and I’ve been in pain ever since.
--Along the same line, I was standing in the kitchen, minding my own business, when my knee decided that my day wasn’t bad enough and did whatever it is that knees do to reduce their humans into excruciating pain. I honestly was just standing there, contemplating my horrible photography skills, when I nearly collapsed from the pain. Interestingly, it only hurts when I stand around, not when I walk.
--In the past 48 hours I have driven 152 miles doing nothing but small, local errands.
And that is the official end of my complaining. None of those are actually that big of a deal, but you know how it is when everything seems to pile up on the same day. Several other small, annoying things happened as well which probably contributed to me feeling so overwhelmed. Hopefully I will be feeling much better once I watch LOST tonight and eat a whole bunch of SweeTart Chicks & Bunnies.
In other news, if I could learn how to take a decent picture, my Etsy store should be opening in just a few days. If you don't hear from me for a day or two, it's either because I'm working like crazy to get everything ready, or because I jumped up and down on my camera and have gone on the lam rather than explain to the Army Man why I broke the camera we bought to replace the other one I broke a few months ago.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
You may have caught on that I am not all that knowledgeable about college basketball. But that doesn't matter, because the Army Man's big brother took a chance on me and has given me an opportunity I've never received before-a chance to pick the winners and possibly win the big bucks if I'm the one to correctly predict the most outcomes. That's right, he invited me (the one who doesn't even know what these teams are playing for!) to join his tournament and I'm honored to do so. Too bad I have to pay the $10 to enter-I guess being the Army Man's wife is of no benefit to me in this case.
So today I received my bracket to fill out and send back to him, and I have to admit-it was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I certainly didn't want to only pick the top ranked teams. That would make me look lazy, not to mention elitist. You know there are going to be a few good underdogs in the group, and won't I look good if I pick them? There's also team loyalties to take into consideration. I'm sorry to report that I didn't give my alma mater the time of day and left them right where they started, #15 in the West. Sorry CSUN. I moved the Army Man's alma mater pretty far ahead, but in the end, I had to pick Wake Forest over them. Everyone knows that USC is a football college. Or at least, that's what I think.
In the end, I was a lot more loyal to my adopted state of North Carolina than I intended to be. I just can't deny how good our teams are. And my eventual champion was picked because that's where I really, really want Laura to go to school one day. I hope that when it comes time for her to apply, I can mail in a copy of my bracket from this year, and maybe from future years (if Jeremy will allow to play again!), and say, look, I always picked you guys to win. Surely that has to count for something, right? Right? Hello?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Trees and bushes are living things, and they live outside. Humans are living things, and they live inside houses. If humans don't want to live in a house, they buy a tent.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
When Laura was little I used to read a lot and when I worked at the library I was reading all the time. As a child I used to sneak a book into my desk and read it while my teacher was teaching. My sister and I kept books under our pillows to read at night by flashlight. I remember when my Mom found all the books, she kept laughing and said she didn’t understand how we could sleep like that; it must have been so uncomfortable. I don’t remember it being uncomfortable at all; I just remember our batteries in our flashlights running out and us not wanting to ask for new batteries because surely our parents would figure us out!
So obviously, I love to read. Yet the total number of unread books on my bookcase is 13. I really don’t like having books on my bookcase that I haven’t read, so I guess the only solution is to read them or get rid of them. And asking me to get rid of books is like asking me to leave Laura by the side of the road. Well, not quite that dramatic, but almost. So I’ve photographed my unread books (yes, I’m a nerd) in the hopes that I will be spurred into action by this public shame. And I know you all are going to gasp that I haven’t read THAT book yet, or wait, not THAT book either? Shocking!! I know, I know. Obviously I own them because I want to and feel I should. I just haven’t gotten there yet. Please note the bookmarks in some of the books. I have started some of them! I’m boycotting Jane Eyre though, because upon reading the introduction (which I was always drilled to do by my English teachers); the ending was spoiled for me! How rude is that?Which book should I tackle first? Any in my stack that are particular favorites of yours? The most recent one I have been reading is the Emily Post biography. It’s really interesting and well-written, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in good non-fiction. I heard rumors that the purchaser was reluctant to buy it for me, but I’m glad she did because I really like it. If only I could finish it. Or any of them!
Saturday, March 7, 2009
So today started like any other Saturday. I took Laura downstairs, got her started on breakfast, and went into the dining room to check my email. Our dining room is at the front of the house (and ironically enough, does not house a dining table) so I typically hear plenty of street noise when sitting at the computer. This morning was no different. I heard what sounded like banging and scratching, but I couldn't figure out what it was. After a little while it was time to face facts. There was an animal somewhere in the house. A quick scan of the dining room revealed nothing except a mess and Moxie. So it wasn't anything inside the house, which was a relief as last year a lizard broke into the dining room and did not want to leave.
I didn't really have time to worry about it though since we were all heading out soon thereafter for a walk/run at the local walking trail. There is so much more to the story that I can't even begin to go into, so I will just jump straight to the exciting part. Once we returned home, the noise was still so intermittent that we just couldn't figure out where exactly the noise was coming from, or what kind of animal it was. Finally we figured out that it was a bird, and it was stuck in the gutter-our totally awesome gutters that are buried underground and provide fantastic drainage during storms. This particular gutter stretches from the very top of our two story house all the way down into the ground, so apparently the poor creature fell in at the very top of the house, went all the way to the bottom, and all the noise we heard was it flapping, trying to fly back to the top.
When we first started hearing the noise, the Army Man said he would try to take the gutter apart tomorrow and check things out. It quickly became apparent that an emergency search and rescue was necessary. He unscrewed all of the handy screws, prepped the gutter for removal, and-nothing. It wouldn't budge. As we were trying to figure out what to do, the bird started going insane! The noise and flapping were horrible and I almost started crying (I know, I'm a dork) at the thought of the poor thing trapped in there. We figured our best bet was to dig up the ground, remove the end of the gutter, and let it fly out.
Too bad the person who owned the house before us was so awesome and laid a really, really long pipe leading away from the gutter. We would have had to dig for several feet to remove it all. I gave to official command-cut the pipe. We had to get that bird out! A cut pipe would have been cheaper than dead bird removal anyway. Just as the Army Man was about to cut, he noticed that if we dug some more, he would be able to separate the drainage pipe from the gutter. After some frantic digging, viola! It was apart and the bird was free to go.
But no bird appeared. We debated what to do. The Army Man wanted to flush the bird out with water. I didn't know about that, so I sent Laura to retrieve the flashlight so we could look in. Maybe it was in there, but injured. The Army Man went inside to wash his hands and get the camera in case the bird ever appeared. We all stood around waiting for a few minutes. The Army Man decided to snap a picture of our work, and just as he was turning on the camera, a yellow beak appeared. We all gasped, and a surprisingly large black bird emerged and flew away, just like that. The camera (which we hate) was still deciding if it wanted to take pictures or not, and thus no picture of the bird was taken.
We were surprised that the bird was so big and that it emerged from the underground pipe and not the gutter. It must have really been far down! I think we were all feeling pretty good-the bird was saved and obviously not hurt, no damage to the house or gutter other than a small section of yard dug up, and Laura got to help in the rescue mission. As we stood there, discussing the incident, ANOTHER BIRD FLEW OUT OF THE PIPE!!!!
I had to use all capitals, because words simply cannot describe our shock. I am pleased to report that everyone's reactions were appropriate-Laura squealed, the Army Man loudly and deeply said, "Whoa!" and I screamed like a girl. It was so shocking, so funny, so weird. These were good sized birds. How did they fit down there? How did TWO of them manage to fall or fly down the gutter? And what exactly were they doing down there?? I'm concerned that they were trying to start a family and we'll soon find all sorts of baby birds in our gutter.
For now, we left the gutter and pipe open and separate in case anything else decides it needs to vacate the area.
Just a picture of our handy work, so you can visualize everything. We searched the internet for clues to the indentity of our visitor, and the best we came up with was the European Starling which do live in North America, despite what the name implies. Go check out the picture so you can get a good idea of what it was like to see a bird that size fly out of our gutter pipe-twice!
Friday, March 6, 2009
You want to know something really funny? THIS post is actually my 100th post. Blogger told me I had done 100 of them as of yesterday, but it turns out one of them was a draft that I never actually posted. I guess it really doesn’t matter but I was amused when I figured that out last night. But I’m guessing you all really want to know who the winner of the contest was, not if I’m not smart enough to count to 100. So, without further ado, the winner is:
Congratulations!!! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your address so I can mail out your package. And Dawn gave me the great idea yesterday to sell my fortune cookies in my store when it opens, so if you ever find yourself in need of some, you can find them there.
Proof of my winner:
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2009-03-06 14:20:06 UTC
Thursday, March 5, 2009
To my family and friends who were my very first readers, I thank you for humoring me and telling me that you enjoyed what I had to say. To those how came along later and aren’t related to me, I thank you for not running away screaming. To those who leave me comments, thank for making me not to feel like I’m talking to a wall. I talk to myself enough already so I really don’t need any more of that in my life.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I also have a few bibs done, and here’s an example. I just love this fabric! I’m kind of kicking myself now for not doing all this when Laura was little because she would have been so stylish. But I consoled myself by making a little blanket for her dolls, and the hugs I got for that more than made up for Laura not having cute bibs to wear as a baby.So I hope you enjoyed that very special little peek at what I’ve been working on. If I have a few more productive days, I should be having my grand opening in about a week or two. Fingers crossed!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
So anyway, being the socially responsible person I was raised to be, I called the non-emergency number for our Sheriff's department. After much confusion over who I should talk to, I got a lady on the line and told her that I wanted to report some knocked over stop signs in my neighborhood so they could be repaired right away. Over the next 10 minutes, she proceeded to ask me all sort of questions-about me. I'm not one to give a uniformed officer any attitude, so I dutifully told her everything she wanted to know-full name, address, DOB, sex, etc. Finally when she asked me what race I was, I asked her why she needed to know all this. She informed me they are required to get all of this information from every caller. Fine, whatever. I will comply.
Finally she got to the last question and asked what property of mine was damaged. My frustration level rising, I told her (again!) that none of MY property was damaged, I was just calling to make sure that the appropriate people were informed of the incident so everything could be repaired. I seemed to stun her with that news. "So you're not calling to report your property damaged?" she said. I replied once again that no, nothing of mine was damaged. "Then why did you call to file a police report?" she asked. I told her that I didn't want to file a police report (which it turns out is what I had been unknowingly doing the entire time), I just wanted to let someone know. She was quite incredulous that I would call in this information as I did not have property damaged. Finally, once she collected her wits, she informed me that several homeowners had already filed reports about their damaged property and that it was being taken care of. Why couldn't she have told me that when I first called?
It was a frustrating call, but I was happy to see when I pulled back into the neighborhood just 2 hours later that all the stop signs were already put back up (although most of them looked a little worse for the wear). The bad part is that unless someone sees someone driving in the neighborhood with a smashed in front bumper with paint all over it, the perpetrator will probably never be found. Luckily both the Army Man and I have alibis.
Monday, March 2, 2009
So where does Moxie figure in to all this? Once she seems me moving around the house, she gets excited. Really excited, the kind of excited that involves wriggling around. I'm sure some of that can be contributed to my bustling around, but it doesn't explain why she usually lays by the front door while I work, watching it intently.
Today, as she threw herself at the Army Man the moment he opened the door, I realized that she was on to my little routine. And I guess now the Army Man will be too.
Sunday, March 1, 2009
New Band-Aids were usually required at night before bed, and often after taking off tights too (because everyone knows that tights and Band-Aids do not mix). And I have to admit, I let this happen. You all know by now how dramatic Laura is, and it was often just easier to let her put a Band-Aid on, if that would stop all the wailing. Not to mention that there’s something so heavenly about your child retreating upstairs for minutes at a time, giving you a chance to recover, or at the very least, go to the bathroom with the door closed. If Laura wanted to goof off with Band-Aids, I wasn’t going to complain. Santa gave her some at Christmas, and Grandma sent some too. We were flush with Band-Aids at our house, 4 boxes deep. Excessive Band-Aid use didn’t seem like a concern.
I realized something was wrong several weeks ago when Laura informed me that we were out of Band-Aids. In less than 2 months, she went through 4 boxes! And at the same time, we started to realize that just about any injury, real or perceived, had been receiving Band-Aids. Yesterday was the last straw. A review of Laura found 3 Band-Aids on her right foot, one on her left, and one on her right hand. There was one legitimate blister on her right foot, but beyond that, the rest of the “injuries” would have healed nicely with just a kiss from Mommy. Then, at a birthday party last night, Laura came to me with a boo-boo on her hand. I really looked, but didn’t see anything. But she was determined, and started screaming that she needed a Band-Aid. I guess I should know by now to carry some with me, but I didn’t have any. That did not fly with her, needless to say. So when we got home last night, and I told the Army Man the whole story, he took a bold stand and confiscated all of Laura’s Band-Aids.
The Band-Aids now reside in our bathroom, and she has been given the explicit instructions that she will only receive a Band-Aid if there is blood involved, and only Mommy or Daddy is allowed to apply the Band-Aid. Our point was made this morning when I quizzed Laura on what injuries lay beneath her various Band-Aids. She couldn’t tell me.