Sunday, November 30

It was a resounding success.

On Thursday, Andrew and I prepared our very first Thanksgiving meal, and I must say, it all turned out quite well. We had roast turkey with cranberry-wine sauce, sweet potato casserole, apple-walnut stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. And apple crisp for dessert. (Photographic proof below.)

(I was just sitting here with my fingers poised over the keyboard, pondering what to say next about Thanksgiving, when it occurred to me that all I really had to discuss was the food. Not the giving of thanks, or anything. Huh.)

Besides the Thanksgiving food, other things to note this weekend:

  • We picked a paint color for the dining room (Husky Orange).
  • My sister-in-law, Liz, got engaged (!!!).
  • I had three hot chocolates at two different coffee shops on three different days.
  • Much to Andrew’s chagrin, we did not purchase Guitar Hero World Tour.
  • Like its seven predecessors, the eighth pair of boots I bought from Zappos did not fit.
  • I ordered my ninth pair of boots from Zappos.

Wednesday, November 26

What's happening tomorrow, again?

This will be the strangest Thanksgiving ever. It's barely going to be celebrated. Thanksgiving and I are merely strangers passing in the night. Weird.

We found out a couple months ago that my in-laws were planning to go to Colorado over Thanksgiving. We declined, preferring to stay in town and relax--even though it was hard to resist the temptation that is the drive across Kansas. Though we would miss seeing them on the holiday, it was actually a bit of relief. Since both of our families live in town, we typically spend every holiday hopping across town, trying to spend adequate time with both families to please everyone, and ultimately not pleasing anyone, least of all ourselves. It can be a bit stressful.

So this year, we thought, we'll be able to just spend the day with my parents, with no worries about what time we need to leave in order to get to Andrew's parents' house. And then we found out that my parents were going to spend the day with my aunt and uncle in Iowa. And . . . what?

No one will be here but us? But who will cook all the food and wash all the dishes?

Granted, we were invited to go along on both Thanksgiving vacations. But we don't have the PTO to spare, and like I said, we were looking forward to the relaxation only a four-day weekend can provide. So we decided to have our own Thanksgiving. And when I say we, I mean I decided. I decided that Andrew and I would each cook two dishes and we'd end up with a meal, dagnabbit.

Andrew chose sweet potato casserole and apple crisp. I am making a turkey (just roasting a breast, not an entire bird), apple and walnut stuffing, and macaroni and cheese. It's a bit traditional, a bit nontraditional. But it will surely be delicious. So I suppose we are celebrating, just in a small way. Like Thanksgiving Lite.

Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, loyal readers. All nine of you deserve it. Oh, and Noteworthy Thursday will be on hiatus this week for the holiday. I'll try to find an extra juicy one for next week.

Monday, November 24

It's not easy being green.

We have a hole in our wall where our mantel used to be. As holes go, it’s not bad. It doesn’t actually go through to the outside, and it’s got some raw looking brick and mortar showing, a nice little 8” by 60” patch of urban, loft-y goodness. But we have dreams for that hole. Dreams that involve covering it up with a contemporary, eco-spectacular bamboo mantel.

I saw it on HGTV. David Bromstad dangled the concept in front of my face, taunting me with its ease and simplicity. It’s just a simple sheet of bamboo plywood, he said. Couldn’t be easier, he said.

Hrrrrummmphhh, I said.

Clearly, I should never expect anything seen on HGTV to turn out to be that simple. We tried to go buy a single sheet of bamboo plywood, because the finished product—the mantel—would be awesome, just like HGTV told me it would be. It would show all the stacked bamboo on the edge, that nice stripy look. The mantel would be clean and sleek—the perfect complement to our darkly stained furniture.

Of course neither Lowe’s nor Home Depot carries bamboo plywood (which, note to those guys: WTF?), so we looked online. But prices were high, and we preferred to support a local vendor if we could. So we searched and found a local store in the Crossroads District of KC and headed out there one chilly Saturday afternoon. And the store—Straw, Sticks, and Bricks—did carry bamboo plywood. And the samples looked fantastic.

But this is where it all went downhill. Oh my lands, was it expensive. More expensive than the online finds. I believe I would have had to mortgage my first child just to pay for a single sheet. And then! They wanted us to pay for shipping! Which cost as much as the plywood itself! For a single sheet of bamboo plywood, 48” by 96”, we would have spent nearly $500. I know!

Apparently a few other people find the shipping a bit cost-prohibitive (go figure) and the store people thought maybe we could all order together and split the shipping. I say, what’s the deal, Straw, Sticks, and Bricks? We assumed that by buying from an actual store, we wouldn’t have to pay shipping. I mean, come on! OF COURSE fewer people are interested in bamboo products when they cost a bajillion dollars plus a bajillion more for shipping!

So until we find a cheaper option, I’m going with the hole in the wall. I think it coordinates with the furniture, too.

Thursday, November 20

Noteworthy Thursday #4

Apparently this piece of paper dates back to 1989. And now it will live forever on teh intarwebs. Only intermittent code names here (sorry, girls, but you’ve pretty much outed yourselves in the comments anyway). Also, concerned readers should know that Judy did not, in fact, actually collapse. It does seem likely that Emily was indeed sitting under her desk grabbing air. Ah, memories.

Tuesday, November 18

I just checked my watch, and it’s actually no longer the Stone Age. Go figure.

Andrew and I got awesome new phones. We’ve always just had the cheapest phones, whatever came free with our plan. But the time has come for us to move up in the world. We got Google’s new phone, the T-Mobile G1. And I love it. You all know I don’t really text. But that is all about to change. In fact, my entire world is about to change. And no, I am not being overly dramatic. Let me tell you about my new world. I can have the internet whenever I want it. I can turn my camera into a scanner and read barcodes. I can hold the phone up to the radio and it will tell me what song is playing. I can access my calendar and check my email. I can probably do a thousand other things that I just haven’t figured out how to do yet. I can write and update my blog from the phone. In fact, I’m writing this post on my phone right now. Just kidding. Typing with my thumbs take too damn long.

Thursday, November 13

Noteworthy Thursday #3

Perhaps my favorite thing about notes from “Judy” is the way she only wrote three words per line. I’ve never seen anyone else so inefficiently use the space (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). But really, it was way better this way. I could get a note that only contained two actual sentences, but it would take up half the page, and I’d be all, awww, look what a nice long note I got! And all the kids would be jealous.

(If you can decipher the handwriting, you’ll see a question in pig latin—and yes, we were that cool—and 8th-grade me is going to answer it with this: esyay! ehay ishay osay utecay athay Ihay eldhay ishay andhay enwhay eway ereway anginghay outhay athay orycay’s ousehay!! eeeesqway!!!)

Wednesday, November 12

Does anyone else have Jell-o legs?

No? Just me then?

Tonight was personal trainer night, and my ass is officially kicked. In a good way. I’ve been feeling pretty unmotivated lately. Things at work have been really busy (you may have noticed my lack of regular posting) and my energy is completely sapped. So I haven’t been going to the gym as much or working as hard when I’m there. Which is a bad cycle to get in, because it just gets harder the next time. Plus, I pretty much hate the gym. It’s so loud, I can’t even hear my own headphones. It’s too crowded. And I don’t really have anymore specific reasons, but I want to emphasize how much the gym sucks.

But back to my training session. We talked about how much I dislike being at the gym, and we decided to make my next exercise plan work at home. We actually have some dumbbells and a weight bench, so I can do all these exercises at home without any trouble. The only thing missing is a treadmill or bike, but that’s a purchase for another day. (And that day is far, far in the future. Have I mentioned how we are spending all our money on our upcoming awesome vacation to Spain, Portugal, Morocco, and Paris?)

So even though I’m feeling so beat and weak right now, I’m actually looking forward to working out again. I could use some new workout music, though. If you’ve got any exercise faves, please pass them on. I mean that, you know.

Monday, November 10

A few words on writing

I never thought of myself as a writer. An editor, sure, but never a writer. And yet here I am. I suppose I always had writer tendencies. As a child, I always chose the young writers’ competition over the science fair. I even wrote little stories about sea otters or orphans or whatever subject I happened to have recently read about. In junior high I wrote in a journal. But if you asked me what I would become, I never would have said a writer.

And yet a writer is what I am. True, my employer claims that I am an editor. But editing is not what brings the glory. “I edited 850 books this year,” I say. “Oh, that’s interesting,” people say as their eyes glaze over and their minds drift away to thoughts of defrosting chicken or of last night’s game. But when I say “I wrote four books this year,” it’s an entirely different story. “Oh, really?” they say as they sit up a little straighter. “That’s so cool! What kind of books?”

I don’t know why this matters. I think it’s cooler to write books than to edit them, too. Maybe it’s just that I love editing and the fact that I’ve found someone who will pay me to do what I love seems worthy of some recognition, whereas writing is something that just fell into my lap.

However, there is a certain something about being a writer that evokes a very visceral image. I can’t help but picture myself as l’auteur—a hybrid of New York sophistication and 1920s old worldliness—at a cocktail party celebrating the launch of my book tour, perched on the edge of a leather club chair with chardonnay in one hand, crudité in the other, gaily recounting stories of toiling over my first manuscript, stories of sitting quietly for hours watching the mist rise over my own Walden Pond just waiting for inspiration to strike or of losing myself at my Smith Corona, whom I’ve nicknamed “Old Faithful”—and of course I say “whom” and not “which” because she is no less a part of my family than my own mother, and also I’m a writer and I want everyone to know I understand the difference between who and whom—and as I type I am certain that I am writing The Great American Novel and that fame and fortune will soon be mine…

My own stories are not of typewriters and nature. They are of cubicles and a nameless iMac. And I am not writing The Great American Novel or any novel at all; I am writing children’s books and gift books. But I wouldn’t change a thing. And I can’t wait for the day when the first book I wrote hits the shelves (coming soon to a Hallmark Gold Crown store near you).

Thursday, November 6

Noteworthy Thursday #2

Can you believe it is already time for Noteworthy Thursday? Or that I’ve only posted once since last time? I won’t make any excuses. Here’s the note. Again, you’ll see how important the use of code names was. Also you’ll see that we did not have just one code name each, there were many. Confusing? Yes. Effective? The world may never know.

Tuesday, November 4


Fearing long lines at the polls and needing to get to work for early meetings, Andrew and I woke up at 5:45 this morning (okay, I set my alarm for 5:40 and then hit the snooze button, so I actually got out of bed at precisely 5:49) so we could go vote as soon as the place opened at 6:00. 6:00 in the morning. Which is quite early. I felt like we were headed to the airport for an ungodly early flight or something. Because obviously an early flight is the only reason I am ever headed anywhere at 6:00 in the morning.

We basically rolled out of bed and left. To the delight of the poll workers, we did manage to brush our teeth first. Also Andrew put on pants. I wore my pajamas. In public. Picture this sexy outfit: purple leggings, an oversized orange T-shirt, black ballet flats, and my green jacket. Mussed hair completed the look. What can I say, I am awesome.

We arrived at 6:05 to find ourselves at the end of a line. A line already, at 6:05. Andrew says if I had just gotten up at 5:45, we would have arrived right at 6:00 and there wouldn’t have been a line. I think we would have just had to wait outside. It took about twenty minutes for us to get through the line and vote. And they gave me the standard “I voted” sticker, which means I was able to go get my free Starbucks coffee on the way to work. I hear Krispy Kreme is also handing out freebies to voters.

So if you haven’t already, get out there and vote. No excuses. Especially to my swing-state friends in Missouri. Even if you have to wait longer than twenty minutes, which you probably will, because by the time we left the line was already twice as long as it was when we got there. Take a book, a newspaper, or a magazine and go wait in line. It’s your patriotic duty.