Monday, April 20, 2015

Re-do of last weekend

My mom and I went back to Terrain this weekend, mostly because we had nothing else to do and I was still annoyed about the photos I missed last time.  It's not often you get a redo in this life, so I'll take what I can get.

We noticed this really odd looking magnolia tree when we arrived--sort of the Charlie Brown tree of magnolias.  Very tall with long, spindly branches and GINORMOUS blossoms and hardly any leaves.  Weird, but very pretty--it's called "Frank's Masterpiece."  Also, how cool are those grey-black-blue flowers??? Didn't look at the tag to see what they're called.  I'm guessing some kind of cosmos?  Not sure.

This was the shot I agonized about the most last time and I didn't really put much effort into it--distracted by other things I guess.  Only the UO/A empire could make mold and mildew look glamorous.

Meyer lemons--if you've never smelled citrus blossoms before, then you really must go find some and smell them.  Preferably in California.  But if it's easier for you to go Terrain, then do that.

Sadly, my cellphone shot doesn't look dramatically worse than this.

My next house needs to have a greenhouse. Needs needs needs.

The way to and from takes us by Birmingham Hill (which I'm not even sure how to describe--I can't tell if it's some kind of land trust, or historical thing, or walking trail around a historical thing. No idea).  I drove by Saturday morning and saw it was covered in blue blossoms and immediately swore to come back with my camera. Thirty seconds later, I promptly forgot about it ... until I drove by with my mom on Sunday.  I made her turn around and take me back because it's raining all day today and I know I'll miss this. To my surprise, she actually turned around and took me back.

It looks like blue bonnets, but it's not ... just grape hyacinths which according to my mom were planted on purpose by somebody at some point.

My mom loves her a sycamore tree--funny, I can't look at these without thinking of Wyeth.  It's like I think he invented them or something.  (Mom, did you read this?)

Nothing worse than getting a blurry shot because your quads betray you and you end up shaking the camera.

Before I left the house, I was given orders by Ron to buy an oyster shucking knife.  Ok, fine.  Not only did he pick up oysters, but look how beautifully he plated them.  The top half of the plate are Blue Points, and I forget the name of the long ones on the bottom, but they were twice as briny as the Blue Points--amazing.  Ron also defrosted the last of the Christmas Eve red sauce and boiled up some pasta.  So it tasted like Christmas Eve in April. No complaints here.

So let the week begin ... the last regular week of classes is upon me.


That went fast.

Friday, April 17, 2015


Last fall, I stole Clare Walker Leslie's Drawn to Nature from (my) Leslie's shelves and read the whole thing twice.  I went out and bought her short list of inexpensive water color supplies afterward ... and I still haven't used them.  They've been sitting on my desk since October.  As soon as finals are over, I'm breaking that stuff open.  I know I've been procrastinating because I'm assuming that there's no way that I could be good at painting, and if I'm not going to be perfect at it out of the gate, then why bother?  Great recipe for success, right?  * le sigh * I'll probably have to fill up a few books with complete crap before I turn the corner, but until then I can mess around with my Waterlogue app.  I downloaded it at least two years ago, but I hardly ever use it.  Since I have a lot of papers to grade and don't feel like reading them, I managed to waste an hour tonight turning four cellphone shots from CA into watercolors:

Of course, now all I want to do is paint ... no matter how awful my work may be.  But I still have 35 papers to grade first [insert infinite anguished emoji].

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

iPhone cleanout

I am aalllll over the board here, so bear (bare? no--bear. That's weird though: You would think it would be "bare," right?)


so bear with me.  When I initially started using my phone in 2011 (yup, same phone) I didn't see a need to keep more than 50 photos on it at any given time.  I stuck with that for awhile, but then my limit crept up to 100 ... and the other day I was like, "WHY do I have 220 photos on here? this is stupid." One way or another, I transfer them on to my computer, they're eventually backed up (I have no idea what my relationship to the alleged "Cloud" is.  Really, I have no clue what I have on there or not. If it's not on an external hard drive, consider it Not Backed Up).  Now, I'm down to 168.  Really, I should get rid of another 40.  I'll do it later.

This is such a random mishmosh of stuff.

I think this was Thanksgiving?

It's true. Trust me.

Valentine's Day--if you've ever thought to yourself, "omigod, I LOOOOOOVE Zooey Deschanel's hair!!! It's the best!! Why can't my hair look like Zooey Deschanel's??? [insert a bazillion anguished emoji]," then you would have a lot of trouble being friends with Molly because her hair is BETTER than Zooey's, and I can tell you FOR REAL that it's all hers.  Not a fake strand of Hollywood smoke and mirrors going on here. R-E-A-L. [insert a trillion anguished emoji]  (Also, the drink with a straw is diet Coke, not red wine.  Please: we're not animals.)

Also Valentine's Day. I have got to do a frickin post on this hat.  I wear this hat EVERYWHERE: all around campus, to the supermarket, to ... everywhere.  And like literally I get nothing done wherever I go because everyone and their brother has to stop me and start a whole conversation about it.  It's insane.  I love it.  Depending on my mood, I'm either Bridget von Hammersmark when I wear it or the dad from The Sound of Music (Christopher Plummer wears his hat askance in one scene toward the end of the movie, but I'll damned if I can find a single photo of it anywhere). It depends.  I need to do a post on this.

I know--you saw this in the last post.

I loved them.  But I would love any carb you add water to and heat in the microwave.

I didn't make these, but I could ...

I took this the morning after I got home from California. (The cat food is in the pantry behind Pearl ... she had already been fed and was asking for more.  I still have a mark on my forehead where her eyes burned a hole through my skin. And that picture of the squash is always crooked. Always. It's been there since Dec. 2006, and I can't figure out how it's always crooked.)

I guess you can always count on the copy room for a joke. Ha.

"I don't actually care that you've been traveling for two weeks. Just give me treats."--Pearl

I found two crochet table runners ($12 total), and I think I'm going to turn them into a shirt.  See how they're laid out here? It would be more of a cape or a poncho, but whatever.  If I crochet them together, I can always take them apart later without damage.

That's me and Mabel, Annie's parents' cat.  Mabel and Pearl are sisters from another mother.

Impromptu early bird dinner three Fridays ago at Sovana: cheese tray, pizza, AND dessert. I was in no mood to mess around.

These Siamese cats sat on my great-grandmother's dresser for pretty much ever, and then they made their way into one of my grandmother's curios for twenty years ... and now somehow they're at my house (because my mom wouldn't take them). I love them.  (This post is heavy on the cats, no?)

Debating if I want to do a project where I take a picture of the sunset every night for a year?  I have a lot of issues committing to stuff like that, and I teach during sunset at least one or two nights a week depending on the semester ... Should I just do it?

This past weekend, my mom and I visited Terrain.  I went back and forth for ten minutes, "Should I bring my camera?" and ultimately decided, "Nah, I'm not lugging that thing around today."  Then, the whole time I'm there I see everything in shots.  The lighting was perfect and the place (weirdly) was empty.  I was so upset I didn't bring it. So I had to use my crap cellphone instead, which really just makes the whole regret-thing more agonizing. (What's worse than not having a camera with you? Having a crap camera with you.  Please just rub my face in it, why don't you?)

I love love love black flowers. Almost time for black tulips!!

Momma bought me a treat while we were there.  When I was little, it would've made me really smug to get a treat in the absence of Leslie (sick, I know), but now it just makes me sad.  I had a raspberry and elderflower spritzer and mom had peach and mandarin (and immediately declared mine better and felt sad about hers).  "Mention the cookies!!" Right, the prepackaged macaroons (lemon-ginger) they have at the counter are really good and my mom LOVES them.

This is what Ron did while we were at Terrain. (The hose thingy attached to the faucet finally broke. Not bad for 12+ years.)  You can't hear it, but he is cursing REALLY LOUDLY and PISSED-OFFEDLY in this photo.

I know you don't believe me (can't blame you), but I think about the blog all the time and constantly have tons of good ideas for photos and stories, etc.  I have no idea how they never make it from inside my brain onto the screen.  It's the dumbest thing. I literally cook ideas for this all day--always while I'm doing stuff that actually matters: grading stuff, lesson plans, procrastinating on email ... ugh, while watching TV. TV doesn't matter.

I really need to throw away my TV.

(Crap, don't forget: you need to review St. Augustine in the next 15 hours and you haven't taught him since July.  So get on that.)

(See? I should be rereading St. Augustine right now.)

Can I make a quick list of stuff that I have to write about?
  1. The Hat
  2. The back bedroom makeover
  3. The basement (Ron's nearly finished finishing it).
  4. Jess inspired a post over a year ago: She texted something to me like, "You have such pretty stuff around your house," and I thought, "Why not do some posts about the random stuff around my house?" because anything that's in my house is stuff I want, not stuff that I have for the sake of having. So all of it has a story. Which means any attempt to claim writer's block or lack of ideas is BS.
  5. I never did the post on houseplants.  That's 14 months overdue.
  6. Raleigh Katherine thinks I should do more posts on clothing/outfits which I DEFINITELY want to do, but I can't figure out how to do it.  Maybe I just need to do it, expect it to be awkward/boring at first, and just go from there.
  7. This week is the 15th anniversary of our high school trip to Italy ... that's a goldmine. But none of those photos are digitized.
  8. It's almost the 6 year anniversary of nearly failing my proposal defense.  That's a pretty good story because thinking about it doesn't make me want to kill myself anymore.  But it did for a few years.  Also, I have no photos for that, so I would have to create some.
  9. I can't think of anything else right now
I know why none of this stuff gets done: all of it is SO INVOLVED because I'm simply not one of those writers who's like, "Look! [photo] I threw away ten bags of trash and moved around the furniture in this unused room! [photo photo photo] The End."  No, I write the 20 page Word .doc version of that, and it can take 3-6 hours for it to get done. Not joking.  Between taking/editing photos, writing, revising, revising, and revising ten more times ... it's forever.  It's so cool to get a lengthy post done, but it. takes. forever. 

Very satisfying.

Also --> forever.

ALSO, the tarp is off the pool as of Sunday, but who cares? since I can't swim there because I'm such a liability.

* sigh *

I'm going to bed.