Thursday, August 28, 2008


I am crazy busy lately and truly haven't had a spare second to blog. Things have absolutely cranked up at work with the arrival of football season, and if that weren't enough for me, I decided to take a class this semester. (More on that later.)

So, forgive me if I'm not around here much lately. Once I figure out the rhythm of balancing work, school and everything else, hopefully I'll be more more productive in all facets of my life. I hope that happens soon, because I'm about to fall over.

Friday, August 22, 2008


It's been my nightly routine over the past few weeks. I get home from work. Pour a glass of wine. Pop in a movie. Relax.

Sometimes I'll watch the same movie twice. That's not like me, but I do it anyway. It's not like I can sleep or anything.

I believe I've watched "Lost in Translation" at least 10 times in the past three weeks or so. I am truly, madly in love with that movie. It's just beautiful.

Then there's my guilty pleasure, "Failure to Launch." You know, the Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker flick? Yeah, that one makes my heart smile. Dorktastic, I know.

I watched "The Family Stone" again a few nights ago. And it made me cry ... again. Why I watch movies that make me cry, I don't know. But they're so good, right?

This whole insomnia thing is both wonderful and terrible. I love coming home late at night from the office and having "me" time. But the mornings come awfully early, and I'm becoming a tad cranky.

Plus, I'm going to run out of movies really soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Goodbyes are so hard

Most of us are lucky enough to have a handful of friends who we love like family. Holidays, weddings and birthdays are all great excuses to get together. But really, no excuse is needed. You know they're right there whenever and for whatever reason. They know you're there, too. Calling any time, night or day, is OK — and that goes without saying.

Allison and I have been friends since seventh grade. That puts our friendship at the ripe-old age of 19. She thought I was cool because I wore Tretron tennis shoes, and I just wished my perm looked as good as hers.

From the first day we met, we were like sisters. We drove our parents crazy giggling all night during sleepovers. And we fought over stupid little things like whose middle name was spelled "correctly:" Mine is L-E-E and hers is L-E-I-G-H.

Her parents became my surrogate parents, and her grandmother treated me as her own grandchild.

During the Blizzard of 1993, which dumped a foot or two of snow on my hometown overnight, I was stuck with Allison's family for the better part of a week. City streets were impassable, and the power was out for several days, so we made our way next door to her grandmother's house because she had a kerosene heater. We huddled around that heat until our skin burned, but we were never really "warm." So we made the best of it by playing games and sledding down the one hill in their backyard.

Her grandmother, a tiny woman with an enormous laugh and an even bigger heart, cooked us dinner each night on that heater. And, much to our delight, she served us vanilla snow for dessert. We were in awe of her ability to make things work despite no power and our dwindling supply of food. But she just shook her head and laughed at us. We hadn't been through the tough times she had known, and thank goodness we probably never would.

Once I was old enough to date, Nannie (pronounced "Neenie" with a thick Southern drawl), dished out advice on men — whether I asked for it or not. She delighted in watching Allison and I smile for photos with our prom dates . And when it was time for us to go to college, she always wanted to be sure we were doing alright.

Her candy dishes were always full and her door was always open for company. I last opened her front door two Sundays ago. It was blazing hot in that house. But she was bundled up under multiple layers of clothes. Lung cancer was running its ugly course.

As usual, Nannie asked about my love life. I told her I was single, and she looked at me with a small smile and said, "You're probably better off without any men. Just make yourself happy."

We talked about my life and my plans for the future. She asked about everything: My career, my family, my car and the last guy I dated.

She was tired. Her usual sassy personality had dwindled a bit. And that big laugh we all loved so much was no longer an option.

Nannie passed away yesterday morning. I think we both knew last Sunday's visit was the last talk we would have. But we never would've said it.

Tomorrow is going to be difficult. Saying goodbye and not hearing her tell me to come by for dinner anytime is going to break my heart.

In a way, we've already said our goodbyes, silently. But I would love to tell Nannie how much I'm going to miss her.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Farm fresh yummy goodness

For only the third time this season, I actually remembered to stop by the Chattanooga Market this week. And I came home with a bagful of de-lish local produce. You just can't beat it. Yum!

Monday, August 11, 2008

J.C. Penney joins the club

You know the J.C. Penney commercial that remakes snippets from The Breakfast Club? You've seen it, right?

If you haven't, watch it ... I'll wait.

OK, so last night at dinner several friends and I were discussing this particular commercial. I pointed out, rather matter-of-factly, that the kids who were in the commercial weren't even born when "The Breakfast Club" was made. So why in the world would J.C. Penney choose to make a commercial whose deeper meaning could fly right over their target audience's heads?

Then the moment of clarity came, courtesy of Waide. He's a super-smart copywriter for a major online retailer, and so he totally gets marketing.

He looked at me and said plainly, "Their target marketing audience is those kids' parents. They're the ones who get it."

Oh God. Yet another you're-not-as-young-as-you-think-you-are moment.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Busy Busy Busy Busy Busy

The week has zipped by, and I'm predicting the next few weeks will also go by so fast that my head will spin. I'm trying to squeeze in blogging, but apparently I'm failing miserably!

Nothing exciting is happening; it's mostly work that's kept me occupied. Oh, and I'm actually utilizing all of my spare moments to make my little felt ornaments for my shop that will hopefully open in the next month or so.

I'm trying to think of a name for my shop, so if you guys have any ideas, I would be thrilled to hear them! I want something catchy and perky, but I don't want to limit myself to selling only felt things, so nothing with "felt" in the name.

OK, I have lots of work to do! Have a happy weekend!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Childhood is calling

I went to summer camp only once when I was a kid. But that one week spent in the middle of nowhere among girls from all over the U.S. has stuck with me tighter than all the glue we used to affix that macaroni to construction paper during our arts and crafts class.

The smell of insect repellent conjures up memories of those long hikes through the flat Illinois woods — where our teenage counselor repeatedly scolded, "Stay on the trail! Your parents will KILL me if I send you home with poison oak!!!" We didn't listen, of course, because there was far too much to see off the beaten path.

A crackling fire transports me back to that night I sat by a warm campfire and enjoyed my first S'mores, chocolate dripping down my white T-shirt. I didn't care because I was eating a little slice of heaven, and besides, what does a little girl know about the pains of stain removal?

Oh, and who could forget one's first encounter with a latrine? How could it be that we didn't have running water for our toilets? Myself as an 8-year-old was quite horrified at the notion of what lurked below me in those stalls. I would hold it until I just about burst — just to avoid the dreaded latrines.

I learned a lot about myself at that camp. For instance, lakes are just not my thing. And I would still put up a holy fight, much like the one I unleashed on an unsuspecting counselor, if someone ever tells me to swim the length of one again.

I also learned that girlfriends are deeply important. Our common bonds unite us on many levels, and knowing that you've got someone who shares in both your joys and pains is more than comforting — it's heart-warmingly magical.

I don't know why I never went back to summer camp. We moved around a lot when I was younger, so I'm guessing it had something to do with never being in one place for long. But I would give just about anything to pack up and head off to camp again.

As dorky as it may seem, sing-a-longs, arts and crafts, nature hikes and S'mores sound like the making of a perfect get-away to me.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Is it just me ...

... or does this partial lunar eclipse look like a partially eaten Nilla wafer? It may be the diet talkin', but I don't think so.

The partial solar eclipse is seen, pictured through the telescope of the observatory of the University of Applied Science in Kiel, northern Germany, on Friday. (AP Photo/Kieler Planetarium e.V.)