Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What do you make of this?

When I'm bored (or procrastinating), I like to check the stats for my blogs. It's always interesting to me to see where people are coming from and how they're finding my little corner of the web. It's exciting to get a hit from someplace exotic, like Singapore or Malaysia (I got a hit from Iran one day).

Ever since I stopped posting regularly on my old blog, most of my traffic there has dwindled down to people who are looking for Czech pornography. But that's a story for another day!

Today I happened to check the stats for the old blog. Of my 100 most recent hits, 39 were from Americans searching for farting pigs. In fact, if you go to Yahoo.com right now and search for farting pig (no quotes), I'm the fifth result. Add cartoon, and I jump to second place. Add quotes, and I'm first. I'm number one! I'm number one!

It is true--I did write about a Belgian cartoon featuring a farting pig. But that was almost a year ago. Why this sudden interest in flatulent swine that appears to be sweeping the homeland? Granted, the State of the Union address is tonight . . .

Oh, well, I guess anytime is the right time for a farting pig. Click the pig, give him time to download, turn your speakers up REALLY LOUD, and enjoy the show:

Sorry de snorry, Betsy!

Hard at work . . .

. . . or hardly working? You be the judge:

Please note for the record that this was on the highest difficulty level, so it's not like I'm just wasting my time here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tag, Mom's it!

Here's my mom in the same dress that I featured in my previous post:

Isn't she beautiful?! Thanks to Suzie (my aunt, Mom's sister) for sending this to me.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tag, I'm it!

I feel all shivery. I've never been tagged before! My friend Karla left the following comment on my previous post: "Bonnie, I am tagging you for your prom pictures....." and I am helpless to resist.

I actually posted a couple of my prom pics last year on my other blog, after my prom date revealed himself to be at least an occasional reader of it (Hi, Jason!). Before I post them here, I'll have to give you a little psychological background, so that you can better understand the choosing of my dress.

I had a serious case of Scarlett fever when I was in middle school. More than anything else, I longed to wear corsets and hoopskirts. I wanted to ride sidesaddle and have a house full of servants catering to my every whim. I wanted Clark Gable to rescue ME from Atlanta as it burns. And god did I ever want those dresses.

Here's a picture of me at the age of 13 posing for my grandmother in an old formal that belonged to either my mother or my aunt (Suzie? Mom? Who wants to claim credit for this confection?):

Here's another shot of the same dress, this time on my cousin Julie, and me in my bathing suit. I'm putting it up mostly because I can't believe I was ever that skinny. Also, I promise you, we are standing that way because Grandma posed us. (Mom, Suzie, tell them! Tell them that Grandma made us stand that way!):

Now that you understand my obsession with big poofy dresses, I have to share with you the sad story of how I came to have PTDS. That's Post Traumatic Dress Syndrome. When I was in eighth grade, my school had a huge formal dance. I spent the evening in a cafeteria filled with teenagers who looked like extras from the barbecue scene in Gone With the Wind. I was wearing this, what I will always remember as The Really Bad Dress:

Three years later when it was time to select the dress for my one and only senior prom (yeah, I was 16 when I graduated--wanna make something of it?), I needed more than a dress. I needed a cure for the psychological scars inflicted by The Really Bad Dress. I found it in a bridal shop in downtown DeLand--yards and yards of lovely peach satin spread out across a huge hoopskirt.

My poor photos have not held up very well, or maybe everything was orange in 1983 and I just don't remember it. Here are the pictures I posted on the old blog last year:

Me with Jason on the front porch:

Me trying to cram my enormous hoopskirt into Jason's car, the Mighty Maverick Moose Mobile:

And here are some pictures I copied out of my photo album just a little while ago:

My mom helping me put my shoes on (dig the high-tech computer in the background):

A portrait in front of the piano:

My mom fastening the pearls that Jason psychically willed to fall:

I tried on my prom dress when I was back home in Florida last fall. I'm sad to report that the zipper doesn't come anywhere close to fastening. Not that I would necessarily wear that dress today, but it would be nice to know that I could if I wanted to.

Tagging is only fun if you pass it on, so I'm tagging Deana (because I know she has rather recent pictures of her prom dress, but I can't remember if I ever got to see teenage Deana in the dress) and Chris (because guys should get the opportunity to post prom pictures, too).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Portrait of a father as a young kite

You think you'll never forget all the cute things your kids say and do, but it happens. My dad is in the process of cleaning up the image files on his computer, and he sent me an email the other day asking which of my 2 young artists might have been responsible for the May 2000 work entitled "Fred the Kite." I was stumped until he sent me a copy, and then it all came flooding back. Yes, Annabelle (4 years old at the time) was the artist, and I remember her giving the picture that exact name.

I posted "Fred the Kite" on my message board of invisible friends and invited comment on any symbolism or themes in the piece. Kim suggested that perhaps it means, "She's got Daddy wrapped around her finger." Well, that would be true. Tina asked if maybe it could mean, "Daddy is larger than life, and she completely controls him?" Hmmm . . . true again.

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen . . . "Fred the Kite":

(Let this be a lesson to you to label your child's artwork!)

Monday, January 23, 2006

The sunroom is finished!

I fear I'm at risk of running the world's most boring and shallow blog. Can you handle more decorating pictures? I hope so.

We finally finished the sunroom! Starting from the upper left and moving in a clockwise direction (feel free to click the pictures to enlarge them), we have the view from the living room into the sunroom; the bay window (ignore the fat cat on the table); the wall between the sunroom and dining room; and the piano and the sheers that are covering the French doors into the dining room:

New member of the family

He scrimped. He saved. He raked leaves. He asked for cash for Christmas. He endured weeks of humiliation of calling the PX only to told "No, ma'am, we haven't gotten any in yet." But last Thursday was Mike's lucky, lucky day. He walked into Best Buy looking for a bargain on a CD and walked out the proud owner of an XBox 360:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Come back, Jenny!

I took my sister back up to Louisville this morning and put her on a birdie heading south. We had a great time this weekend, although the weather was a disappointment--no snow to be found for miles and miles.

Hey, Jenny, check out this picture of my front yard that I took just a few minutes ago:

Any chance you could come back real quick?

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My sister is here!

Last time Jenny visited us, we picked her up at the airport and took her immediately to Holland to see the tulips. I knew that the tulips would be a tough act to follow, so this year, we planned on picking her up and taking her to . . . sit down now. . . Indiana to see snow, which she hasn't seen since 1979. Unfortunately, Indiana was closed on account of no snow. So instead of snow, this visit is all about food and wine.

We had supper at PF Chang's last night and followed that up with red wine and Mexican layer dip while we played board and card games. Today we made Russian tea and spinach dip, and we had a nice cheese fondue tonight for supper. We also killed off a couple bottles of white wine. We've got tortilla soup and chocolate fondue on the menu for tomorrow. I think I need to buy more wine though.

I haven't taken any pictures from this visit, so why don't you just enjoy this shot of us drinking wine last year, while sitting in my car seats in my kitchen?

Friday, January 13, 2006

She's her father's daughter

If we were a royal family, my husband would go down in history as Fred the Terribly Tidy, and our daughter would be Princess Annabelle the Organized.

Annabelle's favorite book in recent months is Organizing From the Inside Out For Teens. She brings it along to amuse herself on long car rides, and she reads it in bed at night, until she drifts off to sweet dreams of a big sale at the Container Store.

Fred and I have put most of our efforts these past few months into getting the downstairs fixed up, while Annabelle has worked tirelessly in her room, organizing and reorganizing her numerous collections. A couple of weeks ago, Fred and I decided to turn our attentions to helping Annabelle finish her dream room, and it's finally DONE! Fred sanded down the pink paint on the formerly pink and white furniture and replaced it with a cool blue to match the new Island Paradise theme, and here's the finished product (you can click on each picture to see it a little bit bigger):

Annabelle is developing quite a reputation for her organization skills. At school the other day, her teacher handed her a stack of papers from her desk and said, "Here, Annabelle, can you straighten out this mess for me? I hear you're really good at organizing stuff." Annabelle just beamed when she told us this story later.

I'm hoping that maybe Annabelle can help me straighten out all of my various messes one of these days!

Famous friends

My invisible friend Deana is a guest columnist over at Mommybloggers.com. Go read her account of her fabulous Disney vacation! Go . . . now! (But then come back, please.)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

To Kim at Harcourt

Dear Kim,

Please don't feel like you're eavesdropping. Really. If there's something I don't want people to read, I just don't blog it.

For example, I have a REALLY funny but TERRIBLY embarrassing story about my sister. She would kill me if I blogged it. Hmmmm . . . actually though, Jenny just looks at the pictures. So I could probably WRITE about it, just so long as I don't post the pictures. Be patient though--I'll have to get the pictures from the cops.

Hugs and kisses--

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Local temps: variable in the extreme

I suppose it's not uncommon for a big old house like this to have some areas that are cooler and some that are warmer. I've been told, for example, that heat rises, which explains why when the top floor is at a comfortable temperature, the bottom floor feels like the arctic tundra. I will often sit upstairs in my office, starving yet unwilling to brave the frost to get through the kitchen where the food is.

What I don't understand is why certain areas on the same floor can vary so much. The other night, I trudged upstairs from the frigid living room and entered my comfortably toasty bedroom. Halfway across the room, however, I ran smack into a wall of heat that crushed my soul. Fearing that what I was experiencing might be the onset of hot flashes, I mentioned it to Fred, who confirmed that yes, indeed, one half of the bedroom is significantly hotter than the other half.

"If you think that's something," he added, "go check out my closet." I stepped into the dressing room and opened the door to Fred's closet and was greeted by an intense blast of heat.

Fred's closet is the gateway to hell. It's the only explanation that makes any sense.

Give Eddie a beer and a remote . . .

. . . and I swear he would look almost human:

Monday, January 09, 2006

Feelin' blue

I just heard that one of the 12 people killed in the Blackhawk crash over the weekend was a JAG officer from Fort Carson. His death is no worse than those of the other 11 people, but it seems a little more personal to me.

Stupid war.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The joy of sox

Shortly before we moved to Germany, I picked up a knitting magazine that featured clear plastic rainboots and socks made out of funky colored yarn. I HAD to have those boots, so I tracked down a pair and bought my first skein of sock yarn. Unfortunately, the boots were miserably uncomfortable to wear, but I was hooked forever on the pleasures of hand-knit socks and have made several pairs over the years.

This photo shows samples of all my socks, from the very first pair (on the left) to the most recent one (on the right):

The pair featured on the right is so recent, in fact, that it is only half done. I am in the middle of the dreaded SSS or Second Sock Syndrome. Face facts--the second sock is never the thrill that the first one is. This new pair though is a little different from the pattern I used for the first 4 pairs. Note the cool ribbing and the pointy little thinglets all around the top (and please ignore my pasty white leg):

Unfortunately, this new pattern apparently takes more yarn than Old Faithful did, so yesterday I made a road trip up to my fancy-schmancy yarn store in Louisville for an extra skein. Now I just need the opportunity and motivation to knit. Usually long car rides provide me with both, but I am fresh out of travel plans at the moment. On the other hand, I'm procrastinating getting started on a new indexing project, so maybe I could make that work in favor of my socks. ("No, sir, I didn't index your book. But look at these socks! Aren't they cool?") Hmmmm . . .

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Final furniture delivery

Oh, I'm feeling all grown up today! The remainder of the new furniture has arrived, and the early-newlywed junk is on its way to the basement.

We had fallen in love with Thomasville's Color Cafe line but were having trouble justifying the extreme cost. I did a little online searching and found that the Thomasville stuff is manufactured by Canadel. We found a dealer in Louisville who handles Canadel, and voila! Eight weeks later, here is our new dining room, custom made to our desires for 50 percent of Thomasville's price.

We decided to go with the boat-shaped table and 8 chairs. Here is the table with 1 leaf and all 8 chairs (pretend you can't see all that crap along the wall):

There is a second leaf, but I'm afraid we'll have to sledgehammer out a wall in order to ever use it in this dining room.

Here is the new china cabinet:

Now I just need to fill it up with my Polish pottery collection!

I have ordered the rest of my curtains and am expecting them any day now. We might actually have the downstairs (with the exception of Fred's office) finished by the end of the weekend! I can't believe I ever had illusions about getting this house done by Halloween.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hey, babe, what's your sign?

Photographed Saturday in Newport, TN:

Newport: Not like all those other American towns where turning left on red is allowed.

Sad thing: We saw somebody turn left on red anyway.