Archive for the ‘Home’ Category

Funny Notes from The Boy

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

This gem somehow got lost in the leaning tower of procrastination on my desk.

From Rollie to his elf, December 2011

From Rollie to his elf, December 2011

My transcription:

Note to elf. From: Rollie
Elves are good at: Being funny and messy, good with forts, hard to find at morning, good at being awesome, and cool, and small.
Note to Rollie: You are good. I lik cookey.

It cracks me up that he wrote back for the elf and purposefully misspelled the elf’s writing. Funny kid.

But this one, this one will always and forever be my fave. It is hanging on his bedroom door.

scrabblerules

“No cheating. No abbreviations. Just words.”

Awesome.

Kitchen Renovation Dilemmas

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

So, here’s what I’m dealing with:

This is the view as you come in the kitchen from the carport.

This is the view as you come in the kitchen from the carport.

You come in the kitchen door, and here is this long-ass narrow, almond-colored monstrosity of a kitchen.

You come in the kitchen door, and here is this long-ass narrow, almond-colored monstrosity of a kitchen.

So, please note the god-awful cabinets, which I’m hoping can be painted over. According to Home Depot, i can paint them with an oil-based paint. Seriously, i detest these damn cabinets. Also note the overhead light. It has to go. But what to put there instead – Ideas?

Sink has to stay. Cabinets have to stay. Almond appliances have to stay. Almond floor tiles have to stay. (Considering either Flor tiles, or a very large rug in there, though. Thoughts?)

So, anything that we use needs to coordinate with almond floors (or cover them) and with the almond appliances. I could shoot the old people who used to live here in the head for putting in crappy cheap laminate cabinets, almond appliances, and such light tile. It shows every little smudge and crumb. Also needs to coordinate with the two paintings I have that are going in the kitchen. This is what makes me think blues, grays, cremes, whites, with maybe touches of red or apple green.

Inspiration 1: Colors I choose need to work with this.

Inspiration 1: Colors I choose need to work with this.

And it needs to work with this. My friend Leigh painted it for me, and it absolutely has to go in the kitchen.

And it needs to work with this. My friend Leigh painted it for me, and it absolutely has to go in the kitchen.

This is the breakfast nook. It is tiny. We have a wooden table we are keeping in there. It is round and we are thinking of refinishing it. Todd just wants to stain it; I was thinking painting it. Would love to incorporate a banquette in this corner. Think it might save space. See that light fixture? It's outta there. Thinking pendant of some sort. Something much smaller.

This is the breakfast nook. It is tiny. We have a wooden table we are keeping in there. It is round and we are thinking of refinishing it. Todd just wants to stain it; I was thinking painting it. Would love to incorporate a banquette in this corner. Think it might save space. See that light fixture? It's outta there. Thinking pendant of some sort. Something much smaller.

Also thinking i will take the doors off those cabinets in the picture above, just to open it up some more.

This is the view if you are standing in the corner of the breakfast area. Sadly, this makes it look even bigger than it really is. God, it's awful. You get the idea of the almondness from this view.

This is the view if you are standing in the corner of the breakfast area. Sadly, this makes it look even bigger than it really is. God, it's awful. You get the idea of the almondness from this view.

This is the view of the kitchen, looking towards the carport door from the foyer. See that door on the right? I want to get rid of it to open things up. Todd likes it. I think this pretty much shows off the narrowness of the space.

This is the view of the kitchen, looking towards the carport door from the foyer. See that door on the right? I want to get rid of it to open things up. Todd likes it. I think this pretty much shows off the narrowness of the space.

This is the doorway we were just looking through. To the right of that door is the pantry.

This is the doorway we were just looking through. To the right of that door is the pantry.

This is the wall space wasted by the door to the foyer. We usually have the door open, so this is covered.

This is the wall space wasted by the door to the foyer. We usually have the door open, so this is covered.

And here is the same space with the door open. (Looking across the foyer, down the stairs to the basement.)

And here is the same space with the door open. (Looking across the foyer, down the stairs to the basement.)

Same view. Creme door is laminate. Hoping to prime it, then paint the door with chalkboard paint. That's Brody, standing in the foyer. Left behind him goes to the basement, right goes up to the bedrooms.

Same view. Creme door is laminate. Hoping to prime it, then paint the door with chalkboard paint. That's Brody, standing in the foyer. Left behind him goes to the basement, right goes up to the bedrooms.

These are the cabinets to the left of the sink. I am thinking about taking the doors off of them and leaving it open. Sink is under the window. You can also see that the backsplash is laminate. Almond laminate. That old bitch loved her some almond shit. I am thinking tile - either white subway tile, or maybe some glass tile to coordinate with whatever colors i pick.

These are the cabinets to the left of the sink. I am thinking about taking the doors off of them and leaving it open. Sink is under the window. You can also see that the backsplash is laminate. Almond laminate. That old bitch loved her some almond shit. I am thinking tile - either white subway tile, or maybe some glass tile to coordinate with whatever colors i pick.

This is the carport door. The one we came through at the beginning. I kind of think that diamond pane pattern is charming, but am considering taking it down. It seems too traditional and Tudory. I think that i can just take the panes out and leave the door and window. Thoughts?

This is the carport door. The one we came through at the beginning. I kind of think that diamond pane pattern is charming, but am considering taking it down. It seems too traditional and Tudory. I think that i can just take the panes out and leave the door and window. Thoughts?

This is the door in the breakfast area. To the left of the carport door. It goes into the dining room.

This is the door in the breakfast area. To the left of the carport door. It goes into the dining room.

Here is the kitchen door from the dining room. See how the door eats up the dining room space? Also shows how close the dining room is to the kitchen. I think i could feasibly get rid of the breakfast nook altogether if I really, really wanted to. We could just eat in the dining room. I think the door needs to go buh-bye. Todd is unconvinced.

Here is the kitchen door from the dining room. See how the door eats up the dining room space? Also shows how close the dining room is to the kitchen. I think i could feasibly get rid of the breakfast nook altogether if I really, really wanted to. We could just eat in the dining room. I think the door needs to go buh-bye. Todd is unconvinced.

And another view. Pretty dark in there.

And another view. Pretty dark in there.

And this is what it looks like, from the dining room into the kitchen breakfast nook. Do we really need all these tables? Hmmm.

And this is what it looks like, from the dining room into the kitchen breakfast nook. Do we really need all these tables? Hmmm.

So, yeah, that’s what I’m dealing with structurally. We can’t afford to knock that wall out. That would be the first order of business if we could. So, my questions:

What colors work with both the almond appliances and the paintings?

Kitchen doors – Should they stay or go? We do sometimes shut the kitchen off with a dog in it, or to block out the sound of dishes banging, but my gut says it would look bigger in there to get rid of them.

What color should the cabinets be? I wanted to brighten the room up, so i was thinking white, but can i use white with almond appliances? Is an off-white or cream a better choice? Or a light blue or gray cabinets with lighter walls? (Oh, HELL! Didn’t even discuss the wallpaper! That shit is gone, baby, gone. It has herb names on it, for fuck’s sake!)

Kitchen table – refinish it and stain it, or paint it?

Banquette seating – How hard can it be to make your own? Can you buy it? Thoughts? Ideas?

Windows – Blinds? cafe curtains?

Floors – Has anyone used Flor tiles in their kitchen? Also thought about just putting down a rug. Or what about those adhesive tiles they use on DIY shows all the time? Looks like maybe they don’t hold up over time.

Seriously looking for input here. I am design-challenged, and Todd is colorblind. I’m hoping folks will weigh in, and then I will maybe post some Pinterest links to things I like, and show the colors I’ve been leaning towards. Definitely want your ideas based on seeing the starting point. Come on, people! Design my kitchen. (On a dime, so to speak.)

Radiohead: A Story of Starcrossed Lovers

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Todd and the kids and I had a great dinner last night. They are getting to the age where they are actually fun to converse with. We were fixing plates and the Radiohead song “Creep” came on, and Todd and I were singing along at the top of our voices, and playing air guitar on that bangy guitar part (you know the one), while Rollie yelled for us to stop, and Tiller rolled her eyes. And then Todd proceeded to tell the kids a story of star-crossed lovers back in the olden days. (You know, the mid-90s.)

There once was a boy living in Atlanta, who liked Radiohead. There once was a girl, also living in Atlanta, who – get this – also liked Radiohead. Now, this was before Radiohead was a household name, right after OK Computer came out, but before anyone except diehard The Bends fans had heard the album yet, before folks considered it the Dark Side of the Moon of the 90s. And so this boy and girl, who both lived in Atlanta, and who both liked Radiohead, both bought tickets to see Radiohead at The Masquerade.

And they both went to the show. And the girl was with her boyfriend, who was not the boy. And she stood watching the show with her left shoulder leaning against the sound booth. And the boy watched the show from the front of the sound booth. And they were mere feet apart from one another. And the show rocked their worlds.

And then three days later, she moved to Denver with her boyfriend.

But the story wasn’t over.

Because sometime later, the girl sat drinking beer in a kitchen in Boulder, Colorado, and she saw a picture on the fridge that reminded her of a girl she used to know. And a couple years later, the girl who liked Radiohead met that girl she used to know in a bar, and the girl she used to know introduced her to the boy who also liked Radiohead.

And now the girl who likes Radiohead and the boy who likes Radiohead sit in their kitchen with their two children, who really don’t give a shit about Radiohead, and they play the game horse face. Horse face consists of one person making a funny face and the other person having to match that funny face. And the girl who likes Radiohead makes a face, and it is so funny to her that she laughs until tears run down her face, her stomach hurts, and she almost pees her pants.

And the Boy who liked Radiohead and the Girl who liked Radiohead are happy together.

Lost Tooth

Sunday, September 25th, 2011



Lost Tooth

Originally uploaded by Dogwood Girl

Tiller lost her first tooth this morning. Age 5. Sept. 25, 2011. My husband also turned 40 today. I have a 40-year-old husband and both my babies are not babies any more.

Cue Wilco . . .

Crazy Kids

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Have to post these three photos of Tiller and the twins down the street.* They, along with Rollie, play together about 3 or 4 afternoons a week. Not sure why they were all dressed up, but think it may have had something to do with the twins being dressed up for Mardi Gras.

*Really, this one is just for me and their mom, Lauren.

Sequestered with Littlest Pet Shops

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Tiller loves these Littlest Pet Shop toys. (Don’t get me started on “littlest” – I have just recently gotten over it.) So, she has about a million, and today she lined them up to watch her eat lunch, or as she put it, “to see what I get.”

Tills with Littlest Pet Shops at Lunch

She then ate her peanut butter and honey sandwich, singing them original song lyrics about sandwiches and pretzels to the tune of The Hold Steady’s “Sequestered in Memphis.”

She is a funny bird.

How to Answer a Telephone, & Other Lost Arts

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Todd and I both have iPhones. Before that, we both had plain old-fashioned cell phones. When we moved from our house in East Atlanta to our current home, we didn’t even bother plugging in a phone. We have a land line, but we just don’t use it. I have forgotten what it was like to have one.

Well, a few weeks ago, my phone was acting up, and I was working on a project with someone, and we needed to talk, so he asked me for my home phone number. I didn’t even know the number. I vaguely remembered putting it into my phone contacts when we moved in. So, i gave that number to the friend, and then told him to wait about ten minutes while I went to look for a phone.

To plug into a wall.

I had to go find a phone that is ten times the size of my cel phone, and which plugs into a wall jack. And it wasn’t even a cordless phone. It has a cord, tying the talker to within 5-10 feet of the wall jack while on the phone.

Weird. We had our conference call. I sat at the kitchen table while I did, rather than walking around, doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher, walking outside to let the dog out.

I remember the hours on end that my friends, boyfriends, myself spent talking on the phone. I would lie on my bed, or on the floor near the phone jack. I would sit on the desk in my parents’ kitchen, talking on the phone. “Do you like her? Well, she likes you. I think you should ask her to go with you.” Ad nauseum.

I never talked on the phone outside. Or in the car. Or on the bus. Or in the grocery store. Or in the coffee shop.

Oh wait. We didn’t have those either.

Todd and I don’t answer each others’ phones. The kids know not to answer our phones. They have never had the opportunity to yell, “I got it!” or for me to yell, “Answer the phone!” or hear me yell upstairs, the mouthpiece cupped to my breast to muffle the sound of my voice as I raise it over the sound of his stereo (ha!) blaring, “Rollie! Phone!”

So, that was a few weeks ago, and I haven’t used the house phone since. I left it on the wall, though, because it made me laugh. And then I forgot about it.

Until ten minutes ago, when we all heard a ringing. A strange, archaic ringing. The kids ran to the stairs to yell down, “something’s making a noise, Mama!” There might have been a tinge of panic in their little voices.

I said “Where is it coming from?” Because I didn’t recognize it, either.

“From that thing on the wall!” Rollie yelled. “What do i do?”

I laughed as I realized it was the phone on the kitchen wall.

“You answer it!”

Silence.

Rollie: “How?”

Me: “You pick it up and say hello!”

After all of this, of course, he did not make it to the phone in time. Oh well, if they call back, we’ll be ready this time. Armed with the knowledge of outdated phones and their etiquette.

The Gift of Dreaming

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Do you remember your dreams? Do you think they are a message you are supposed to receive and think on? Or are they just your brain’s way of working things out for you while your body rests?

Mine are very vivid, in color, and the ones closest to waking up are sometimes so real that when I do wake up, i confuse the dream with reality. I often talk as I am waking up, as I did the other morning when I said, “There are no more colors” to Todd and Tiller. I wish I could remember what that means, but that one is lost to the ether.

Todd and I talk about dreams often, because he rarely remembers his. When he does remember them, though, they are doozies. (Perhaps he will comment with the story of his ghost dream. I cannot possibly do it justice, it is so funny. When I match that dream story with the sounds he was making while having the dream, I am overcome with giggles.)

I had a wonderful dream last night. Scary and vivid and special, and tied to things going on in my life. We have been watching The Walking Dead on AMC. (I you aren’t watching it, you are dumb. It is awesome, and also, set in Atlanta, which makes it even more fun!) So, the beginning of my dream involved living with a group of survivors or refugees, somewhere out in the wilderness, not unlike the survivor group on The Walking Dead. (Or like the one that I started writing a short story about after having a similar dream while in NC and having seen a Walking Dead episode the night before, then dreaming about that!) Except that, last night, we were not Zombie Apocalypse survivors.

We were survivors of some sort of alien attack. This was no doubt prompted by the announcement yesterday that NASA will have a 2:00 PM Thursday press conference to discuss an astrobiological finding that impacts the search for extraterrestrial life in our universe. The buzz about this press conference was all over Twitter yesterday, and in true nerd fashion, I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. Not surprisingly, it showed up in my dream.

So, in my dream, there is little explanation for how my group ended up with one, but I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO FLY ONE OF THESE GUYS:

I flew this in my dream. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

I flew this in my dream. Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Have you ever had a flying dream? I don’t have them very often, but they are the absolute best dreams out there. It is the most exhilarating feeling in the world to soar over things in dreams. (Ironic, considering I am phobic about both heights and flying.) Except of course, flying dreams pale in comparison to one other kind of dream: the dreams where you get to hang out with deceased loved ones.

At some point during my dream, it was announced that good aliens were coming to earth, or maybe we had befriended the original attacking forces. I don’t know which, in that weird way that dreams are logical at the time, but never make sense when you try to describe them to others. But i was in downtown Atlanta and there were tons of people there, hanging out in the shadow of the Equitable building, waiting for the Alien Welcome Parade to begin. (Shadows of DragonCon, i suppose?) There were people I went to high school with, parents of people I went to high school with, some of Todd’s friends from Auburn, and pretty much any other random person that I can think of ever having met in my life. That guy that served me and Todd poolside rum drinks in Belize and told us about the Temptation Island folks? I think he was in my dream, too.

So, in my dream, i am rushing to find a good spot, and someone links arms with me as I am walking, and I look down and immediately recognize the green and white outfit my Grandma Smith wore. Apple green polyester background, with white polka dots. It was one piece, I think. Head-to-toe green and white polka dots. And grandma was beside me, walking damn well (she was a little wobbly there in the last few years, but not in my dream) and she was just SO EXCITED TO BE MEETING ALIENS! My grandmother was thin, wobbly, gray, and psoriatic. But her smile? Grandma had a million dollar smile, and one of the funniest, most contagious laughs I have ever heard.

197_grandmasmith

And me? I went to bed last night worrying about all of the things I had to do today. And I woke up this morning having received a precious gift. I got to link arms with my grandma, celebrate something happy, see her smile, and hear her laughter. And today, I feel as if I have been visited by someone special, and I know there are things in this universe that we will never explain, or understand, but for which we must have respect.

Of Star Talkers and Cavemen

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Tiller Bundled Up On Swing
Tiller and I went to the lake on Friday, while Todd stayed home with Rollie for Sat. soccer. We got there late, so we went to Bojo’s for a late dinner. On the way home, driving back across the lake’s twin bridges, I heard her whispering,

“You stars are so small. You must be very, very far away.”

I love the little things that I hear her say when we remove big brother from the situation. He is so . . .older child (i can say that; I am one.) He talks over her, directs her, tells her what to do. She listens, apes, mimics, follows directions, does as she is told. Only when she is on her own, does her true and very own thought process become evident.

I am always amazed at her and the things she says and comes up with when I get a chance to listen to just her. Tiller sees the world in a very funny and colorful way. The filter that Tiller sees the world through is like no one else’s. It gives her a unique view on things. Take this exchange from Saturday morning . . . .

Tiller and I decided to hit up Waffle House, so that we didn’t have to do dishes and could get out and do our yardwork faster when we got back to the lakehouse. We walked into the Waffle House. It was full for a winter day at the lake. Full of hunters. In fact, the only people not dressed in camo or a Waffle House uniform were Tiller and I. I noticed that she pulled up for a second when we came in the door. I saw her take in the scene as we were walking to our table. When we got there, we took off our coats. I helped her with hers first, and then started to take mine off. As I did, arms trapped in my coatsleeves, I was alarmed as Tiller raised her finger to point at the two hunters closest to us, a man and woman.

As all parents know, it is never good when their kid raises a finger to point at a stranger in a restaurant. Not only is it, in the immortal words of Southern mamas everywhere, “not nice to point, dear,” but you never know what is going to come out of a kid’s mouth when they point something out. The only thing you can bank on is that there will be a lull in conversation and that it’s going to be said loud as hell.

It is usually something completely embarrassing, such as these gems i have experienced firsthand:

“Why doesn’t he have a leg?”
“Why are her eyes like that?”
“That person is really, really big, Mama.”
“That is the oldest person I have ever seen!”

Saturday morning, as I struggled to get my arms out of my coat, and at the same time hiss at Tiller, quietly enough where no one else in the room would hear, but firmly enough that she would know I meant business, “It’s not polite to point, baby,” she dropped her finger, and then gave me the dismayed look that she is famous for. She accompanies this look with two hands out to the side like the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil statue. Her hands bounce up and down slightly as she says at full volume,

“What are those people? Cavemen??”

That’s my Tiller for ya. That’s my Tills.

Showdown

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I am trying to get my parents’ dog, Alex, used to my cats. I do not have high hopes. So far, they have been staring each other down for the last forty-five minutes. Anybody ever heard of a Jack Russell that lives with cats? Should I give up?
Malex Scully Showdown