Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Veterans Day and Happy Friday!

This has seemed like one long week to me, and I'm so looking forward to a weekend without any big plans! We had some visitors last night and Pepe and Scout were so glad to see Crady:

I think they're smelling their friend Leffe here. And sending her kisses! Crady, her brother Mac and his girlfriend, Samantha, stopped for the night on their way to their sister's wedding in New Orleans this weekend. Congrats to Madeline & Gregg!

If you're in the mood for a book for Veterans Weekend, I highly recommend "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. You can find my review here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...FALL

Now that we are a full week into November, it's starting to at least look like fall in Jackson (not feel because as of yesterday it's still warm enough to walk in shorts!). And since written comps are now behind me, I've finally been able to just sit and look!

I think this is the prettiest our crape myrtle has ever been - the leaves are yellow, orange and red all at once.

My red cabbage and violas are loving the window boxes on the side of the house.

A little Thanksgiving decor by the back door. Pepe does not want to come outside (he's afraid I'll forget he's out there and leave him all afternoon) but he doesn't want to miss anything fun, so he keeps a watchful eye from right inside

The basil has puttered out, but the chives, oregano, parsley and sage are doing great.

Little gourds fit perfectly in McCarty wine cups on the buffet.

I love these candlesticks - they belonged to Granddaddy's mother - and I think they are perfect for fall.

I sent Net the above picture and got the following e-mail the next morning:

I am impressed with your table...not too impressed to hear you couldn't find your car last night! Don;t guess you planned to tell me that. Love, Net

For the record, no, I probably wouldn't have mentioned that little fact about Mistletoe. Thank you Sis!

And you've probably already seen this on Facebook, but I just love it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Studying & Date Night

The tables have turned at our house this weekend! I'm the one studying, and Doc has had a wonderful weekend playing at his duck camp and watching football. I think he's gloating just a little bit. However, this is very short-lived.

I take written comps this week - Lord be willing, this is my last semester and then I'll have a master's in applied communication. I've been working on this since the fall of 2008. It's been a long road and a chapter of my life I am very, very ready to be over! I'm pretty sure my support system is ready as well!

It hasn't been all work and no play this weekend, though. On Friday, I went to Mistletoe for about an hour after work. And then proceeded to spend almost just as much time in the parking lot looking for my car. There are no shortage of white Honda Accords in Jackson.

This guy is a great study partner. He's kept me company all weekend. Probably because I keep bribing him with dog biscuits. And I moved his bed right beside my big chair in the living room. So, he's a great forced study partner. And he knows all about communication theories (especially non-verbal communication!).

After a full day of studying on Saturday, we had a date night and watched Tower Heist - it was funny, good and very appropriate for today's Occupy Wallstreet movement - and then had an amazing dinner at Amerigo's.

We ordered cheese fritters as a starter and the picture does not do justice to these awesome bits of fried cheese. Next time, this will be my meal - if anyone has a recipe for these, please share!

Now if I can just buckle down and keep reading about the persuasion theories, conflict resolution, group dynamics, discursive leadership, history of communication studies (War of the Worlds radio broadcast, anyone?) and the 12 steps of effective communication research.

Then I can focus on all the fun things I've planned for after comps:

1. Reading The Hunger Games
2. Pick back up my piano practicing
3. Cooking for Thanksgiving
4. Christmas shopping, decorating (after Turkey Day) and other festivities
5. Enjoying weekends without studying (and having more sympathy for Doc who studies nearly every weekend!)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Random Finds on Craigslist

Don't you just love it when you find the most random things on Craigslist? I forget about Craigslist until I need some random thing (like a used gas grill for a duck camp - obviously that falls into the "we" and not the "I" needs category) and then I get totally distracted by finds like this:

A Giant Steel Pig for $800 in Saltillo - that's also a grill and the smoke comes out it's nose. How cool is that? Especially if you're an Arkansas fan. Or just like pigs in general. Although, it does bother me to eat meat around a living animal of the same kind. I always felt sorry for Thomas's pet duck Co-op when my mom served duck for dinner. I mean, did she know on some level? I hope not! 

Next up is a gift that is appropriately from Oxford (where they may have lost a ball game but never lost a party). And it's a steal at just $15 for a Shot Glass Checkers Game. Now, that is the perfect gift for the guy who has everything! Alcohol not included.

And, last but not least, how much fun would it be to have baby chickens? This listing for three week old Olive Egger chickens in Batesville that will one day lay olive colored eggs. And you know they have to come from a good home because the instructions say "these young birds will need to be kept warm and cannot just be put out in the weather." These may be added to my Christmas List! (These are pictures I found of Olive Eggers online - not from the seller).

Full disclaimer: I do not know any of these people on Craigslist. Their items may or may not be crap. It is always a bad idea to believe everything you see on the internet. And there are tons of stories about bad people committing crimes through Craigslist so use common sense and don't invite random strangers into your home or met them in hotel rooms!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: One Summer by David Baldacci

One Summer was my first David Baldacci novel and (from what I've read) this is his first novel that's not a thriller. He sure does have the romantic, heart-string pulling, keep-you-guessing-to-the-end, make-the-reader-cry-on-a-plane book down though. If you're a fan of Nicholas Sparks, you will certainly love this book!

The story follows Jack, a vet who survived two tours of duty but isn't supposed to live through Christmas due to a terminal illness. As his three children are coming to grips with losing their dad, their mother, Lizzie, is killed in a car accident. Jack is left alone to die and the children and sent to live with family around the country. Then there is a miraculous turn of events and you're just going to have to read the book to find out the rest!

This well-written story keeps you hooked from start to finish and touches on issues from love to loss, to grief, to life after loss, about teenage struggles and family struggles and a whole host of other things. It will also make you cry - which I think is a good thing! But not a good thing if you're on a plane, smushed between a banker from Atlanta and a woman from Queens. I think they thought there was something wrong with me!

And One Edit

And on a completely different note, if you printed off the recipe for Southern Corn Chowder on Sideboards, I mistakenly left out the corn (thanks Sis for noticing that there was no corn in corn chowder!). It should include 8 to 10 ears of fresh corn OR 1 bag of frozen whole kernal corn (about 16 oz). The recipe has been fixed!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Last Man Standing

Have you watched Tim Allen's new show Last Man Standing?

I, for one, am so glad he's back on TV. Home Improvement was probably the first show (besides Full House) that I, like every other middle school aged girl in the 90s, just had to watch each week because JTT was just so, so, so cute.

Instead of spouting off his wisdom on Tool Time, "Mike" is a just as likable marketing director know-it-all for Outdoor Man (a Bass Pro like store) and does YouTube videos for men where his rants are very Tim Taylor-ish. As a "man's man," surrounded by women, he's trying to survive in a female-dominated world and gives his daughters all sorts of screwy advice (like after he insists on taking grandson Boyd trick-or-treating, ignoring the wishes of his daughter, Kristen. He then comes home with an Asian child dressed in the same costume.) Of course, it all works out in the end and it turns out he was right in a round about way.

Instead of three boys, he's the father of three girls. His wife, Vanessa, is played by Nancy Travis (remember her from Becker?) and she, like TV wife Jill, seems to be the calmer, more level-headed one in the marriage.

The only drawback, as far as I can see, besides the fact there is no JTT, is he has not let out a manly "Uh-Uh-Oh" grunt. None of the show is exactly original, but it is good and entertaining and Tim Allen is just likable. It comes on ABC on Tuesday nights!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Festival

One of the things I adore about our neighborhood is how excited everyone gets over every holiday. Really I think we all just want an excuse to dress up and have a party. It starts at Halloween and goes through Mardi Gras. This year was the third annual Halloween Block Party/Fall Festival (if you use Halloween in the name, there is a whole new level of city tape you have to go through for a permit!). It's organized by the "baby doll" garden club and this year I was on the planning committee (thus the knowledge of city permits!).

We block off Belvoir Street and the houses on that street hand out candy (we supplement their supplies since most usually wouldn't get 300 trick-or-treaters!). We also have games, including a cupcake walk, and a band. And new this year was a hot dog stand and pet costume contest.

Scout made friends with a mermaid with vampire teeth.

This house won (in my mind) for scariest decor. There was a grave for the Witch of Yazoo, a guillotine and hanging heads with snakes!, among others. He even had a remote control smoke machine. It's owner was all decked out to match too.

This is Greer, son of our friends Ashley and Geoff. His little sister, Brecken, was a referee - unfortunately I didn't get a picture of her, but she was just darling!

The games area - including a boiling cauldron - were a big hit. As was the fog machine and colored lights.

This smart wizard was an excellent choice for the bean bag toss.

The band, Soundwagon, was awesome!

This little conductor, Pierce, was boogying to the band. He had some great moves for his parents Christy and Dallis!

Scout with our neighbor Pippa. Pippa judged the pet costume contest - all participates got a prize! Pippa runs the Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi and many of the dogs there last night were former strays who found homes in Belhaven - including Scout!

Our attempt at a family picture - thanks to my work friend Kelley for letting me borrow her nun outfit! Doesn't Doc make a great GI Joe? And we had his entire costume in his hunting closet! Next year we'll have to have a theme - a nun, yellow submarine, squirrel and army man don't have a lot in common!

Many thanks to all our volunteers for making our block party a huge success and to donations from the Belhaven Garden Club, the Greater Belhaven Neighborhood Foundation, the Belhaven Improvement Association, the Greater Belhaven Security Association, Millsaps College, McDade's Market, CVS and John R. Lewis Real Estate Services.