Thursday, June 25

Noteworthy Thursday #27

Dear Time Warner,

Sigh . . .

Please fix our internet. Once again, it fails us.




Wednesday, June 24

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad’s 60th birthday. I can’t believe he’s 60. Shouldn’t he be retired by now? I can remember celebrating his 40th birthday. Some friends of his came over and put “over the hill” signs in the yard and strung black balloons around. I don’t think I really got what “over the hill” meant. Maybe I still don’t.

Because now he’s twenty years over the hill, but 60 doesn’t seem that old to me. Sure, my dad’s hair isn’t quite as vibrantly red as it once was, and he has a few more laugh lines than he used to have, but to me, he isn’t very old at all. So, over the hill? Waaaaay over the hill? Not my dad. My dad is still more dedicated to his work than anyone I know. He spends hours taking care of his yard. He gets down on the ground and plays with his grandson. He can do crossword puzzles in circles around me. And I’m pretty sure he’s always able to find his glasses.

One thing about my dad that has always impressed me is his iron will. Because of health issues, my dad refrains from eating sweets. In the last fifteen years, I’ve probably seen him eat only two or three desserts. I went out to lunch today with my parents to celebrate the big 6-0, and even on his 60th birthday—a milestone worthy of cake and ice cream if I ever saw one—he stuck to his no-sweets plan. My mom and I shared a dessert while my dad paid the bill. He didn’t even take a bite. Impressive, no?

Happy Birthday, Dad. Thanks for buying me dessert. It was quite delicious.

Tuesday, June 23

V is for Vermicompost!

Today at work I went to the EcoTeam meeting over lunch to hear about vermicomposting. I think I might actually give this a try. The presenter, Eric Williams of, was very knowledgeable and interesting, and he made composting with worms sound foolproof.


  • indoors
  • confined to a bin (with a lid!)
  • odorless
  • no confusing brown/green ratios to worry about
  • fast

  • involves, you know, WORMS (red wigglers, to be exact)
  • not suitable for yard waste composting
  • worms will double in number in a relatively short amount of time and then you have the problem of what to do with all the extra worms (they can’t survive outdoors as they aren’t native to the area)

Does anyone have any experience with this? My outdoor compost bin has turned out to be sort of a mess. I can’t get the green/brown ratio right, so it stinks. It has also become a breeding ground for roly polies, fruit flies, and ants. I do like that in the outdoor bin I can compost the yard waste . . . but will it work okay without any of the paper or food waste (which would go into the worm bin)? Help!

Thursday, June 18

Noteworthy Thursday #26

This note is very near and dear to my heart. This is something from my late grandfather, and it's just a perfect example of how kind, sweet, loving, and hilarious he was.

The date on the sheet was February, 1994--I would have been 12. (Incidentally, my grandma would have passed away just eight months earlier, I think, if I have my dates straight.) I don't remember why my sister and I stayed overnight with Grandpa, but I love that we were greeted with such kindness and such a sense of fun.

Tuesday, June 16

Yet another shameless plug

I know you all love a good gift book. And you especially love a good stimulating conversation. Well, have I got a recommendation for you.

It's a Gift Book From Hallmark! This is called Talk Show: Turn Off the TV and Tune In to Your Family. (Conversation Starter Cards for Hours of Fun.) Basically, each card has a cute, fun, silly, or thought-provoking question that is appropriate for the whole family, and they're guaranteed to get you talking and having a fantastic time. (Okay, not guaranteed in the traditional sense, I do not believe there are cash refunds associated with evenings that are less than stellar.)

Go, go buy it now! I wrote/compiled it, and even after hours spent contemplating each and every question, I would still be a consumer of this product! And if that isn't a good recommendation, I don't know what is.

Monday, June 15


You’ll never guess what we did this weekend. I can hardly believe it myself. Andrew and I got matching tattoos!

Just kidding.

Seriously, though. My mother-in-law emailed on Friday and said she was going out of town and that my father-in-law’s best bud and his wife were also going to be out of town. And that, obviously, meant that my FIL needed to be entertained. My MIL asked if we had any projects around the house that needed to be taken care of, because Mark would love to have something to do. I said that we could use some help cleaning out our gutters.

Mark emailed back shortly, saying that he’d come over right after work with the ladder and clean out the gutters. And that maybe Saturday he would come over and build the gate we’d been talking about (a gate to close off our deck to keep the cats on the deck, basically). And true to his word, he was there Friday evening around 6:00 to clean the gutters. And we got to talking, and instead of him coming over on Saturday to build the gate, he was going to come over to build some benches on our deck. Built-ins, around the back corner.

And that sounded awesome. We’d wanted built-in benches for awhile, but it always seemed like one of those future, distant projects, like finishing the basement or cleaning the bathroom.

But all day Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday ending up being devoted to building these benches. No gate yet, though. Maybe next weekend.

This is a candid shot. Apparently this is a face I really make.
I was trying to decide if the seat felt comfortable,
like a reasonable bench seat. Yes, am a dork.

Yes, the one on top is my husband. Isn't he darling?

Thursday, June 11

Noteworthy Thursday #25

This is a thank-you note from my sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Cox. (tangent: My school had three sixth-grade teachers, and two of them had the name Cox. So we had A. Cox and P. Cox. I had P. Cox; she was the favorite.) Anyway, I apparently gave her a pin and earring set for Christmas. The strange thing about this is the revelation that my teacher worked somewhere on a Saturday.

Um. What? School is only in session Monday through Friday. I still don't know where she was working.

Tuesday, June 9

Cat Burglar!

LOST: 1 bottle of moisturizer, white w/ black lid. Smooths skin, minimizes pores. Best moisturizer I’ve ever had, with price tag to match. Stolen from bathroom counter late Sunday night. Suspect is black and gold, about 12 inches high, with pointy ears and long whiskers. Despite ferocious petting, suspect refuses to talk. If you have any information that could lead to the arrest of suspect, please call 1-800-DUMB-CAT.

Thursday, June 4

Noteworthy Thursday #24

Seventh graders can be really harsh, can't they? I mean, come on . . . making fun of a guy for knowing a lot about a computer game? I don't recall the possessive part of this guy's personality, but he did have a really big head.*

*last name has been blurred out to protect the innocent (though if Matt was really as possessive as this drawing makes him out to be, I'm not so sure he's innocent).

Monday, June 1

I can ride my bike with no handlebars

Last weekend Andrew and I bought a stationary bike. We’re sick of going to the gym. Or we were sick of it three months ago, which is when we stopped going to the gym. We’d been thinking about buying an exercise bike for a long time, but they all seemed so expensive. Or crappy. We didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on something that wouldn’t last, and we felt like we couldn’t afford to spend a bunch of money, so we never purchased anything.

But then we found it. We were browsing at a fitness equipment place, and were considering a few of the bikes. The salesman was telling us about the different features and whatnot, then casually suggested we check out the Tectrix, a bike that was recently traded in for a newer model. It’s just $300, he said.

We checked it out. It looked sort of dated, and wasn’t as flashy as the new bikes. But it was sturdy, and had all the functions we were looking for. It seemed too good to be true. We decided to leave the store and think about it.

So we left and looked up the bike online. That same model, used, was going for about $1200 to $2000 online. So $300? Very cheap. We went back to the store right after lunch and sealed the deal. We are now the proud owners of a Tectrix BikeMax 3000. And I’ve even been getting up early before work to exercise. In fact, I’ve worked out five of the last seven days. Not bad, eh? And I don’t miss the gym at all.