My little lull

Hello, blog readers. So it looks like I hit a lull in posting. And so soon. I really haven’t had much to talk about lately. I thought about blogging my photo of the day but since I already put them up on flickr and Facebook, I decided  it would be overkill to put them here, too. But I came up with a compromise. I found an amazing tutorial on Simplicity. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while but couldn’t figure out how. Then yesterday as I was reading her blog, I found that she put up a tutorial for it! I’m so excited, I may not be able to get to sleep tonight. (I need to get a life, right?) So I’ve decided to  do one of these little collages each week. Here’s week #1:

My busy week starts tomorrow with a trip to a cute little coffee shop with my friend, Steffie. She’s quite the photographer and I can’t wait to catch up with her. I’m hoping we’ll take some pictures. And maybe, just maybe, the coffee shop will be the topic of my next “Touristing” post. I can bet most of you have never been there. And if you have been there, why did you keep it a secret and not tell me about it?

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Chasing chickens and penny pinching

Today I was invited to go dress shopping with my friend, Alisha, and her daughter, Anna. You may remember Anna from this post. See, Anna & I both need a dress for a wedding so they invited me to tag along. That’s how the one of the  best afternoons I’ve had in a long time started. With a simple invitation.

First stop: Anthropologie. How can a day get any better after Anthropologie, you ask? Well, sit tight – I’ll fill you in. Neither of us found anything there so off to Ybor City and Urban Outfitters we went. Anna didn’t find a dress but I found some great treats: a birthday gift and card for a friend (whose birthday doesn’t happen to be until May) and a coffee mug for me.

Here I was, thinking that the afternoon was coming to an end. Who knew it was just getting started? On our way to the parking garage, we walked over railroad tracks. (No, not those railroad tracks; we weren’t on the wrong side at all.)


Some birds had caught Alisha’s eye a little way down the tracks and upon further investigation we found that it wasn’t just birds – it was a flock (how many birds does it need to be in order to make it a “flock”?) of chickens!

As the three of us were approaching the chickens (Anna first, with Alisha close behind and me way in the back) a car crossed and scared them away (the nerve). The flock of chickens ran into a bank parking lot toward the ATM. (Why would chickens need an ATM anyway?)


We chased the chickens around for a while, trying to get them back over the railroad track. No luck.

Giving up on the chickens, we headed for the parking garage once again. That’s when a far off sound caught my attention. A train was coming! (Call me a silly girl, but I love watching passing trains.) Alisha had the grand idea of putting pennies on the track. frantically, we dug through our purses to find pennies. I found none but came up with a nickel. We raced to place them on the track before the train arrived. As the train passed, full of passengers, we waited anxiously for our five pinched pennies and my one nickel. As soon as the train passed we hurried to search for our coins. All of them had been thrown from the tracks and it was a scavenger hunt to find them in the rocks that lay around the railroad ties. Alisha found the first one squashed like a pancake! Soon enough, all 10 cents had been located – pinched and squished just as we had imagined.

This is what the track looks like after the penny has been squashed. Bet you didn’t know what a penny print was before today.
What a fine, fun day I had. It’s not every day that chickens, trains and friends are all put into one day. At least not in my life. 

Flying time and fuzzy memories

I knew it would happen. Everyone told me so. Then they said it’d happen even faster when I had kids. They repeated their idiom when I had my 2nd child and even more so when my children started school. They were right: time really does fly. It speeds even. Hightails. You get the picture. As much as I expected it, it still surprised me.

Where did all that time go? How did I become a grown up? I honestly don’t feel old when I tell my age. What makes me feel old is verbalizing how long I’ve known someone. I maintain that I’m not old enough to have been married almost 16 years. And I swear that I’m not old enough to have known someone for more than 20 years. But I am, and I have. I can swear it as much as I want, but I HAVE been married for almost 16 years. And I do have friends that I’ve known for 20 years.

As I sat across from one of those friends last night over dinner, I realized how much of our lives end up forgotten. He remembered some parts and where he forgot, I filled in his missing pieces. And he, mine. It’s crazy for us to think that we’ll never forget things that happen to us along the way. We swear we won’t. Admit it: you forget. So I’m urging you to tell your story somehow. Start a blog, a journal, a diary, write a book or even a movie.

As I was looking through some pictures I recently took, I was reminded of how I’ll see events from today. Events that originally to me looked like this:

Will, in fact, eventually be remembered like this:

Fuzzy and hard to make out. I’ll know those are my two boys in that picture but I won’t be able recollect what they were doing at the time. So, I say tell your story. Make sure you can remember all the moments you’re sure you’ll never forget.

Redecorvating

Redecorating and renovating are on my mind. Mostly redecorating. Is it just me, or does anyone else have a desire to redecorate in January? What is it about the start of a new year that begs us to change a myriad  of things relating to ourselves or our environment? Maybe it’s just a psychological thing that when the Christmas decorations come down, something else “fun” needs to be put in their place. I would venture to guess that the last few redecorations we’ve done have been in January (except for one year when I got the psychotic idea to repaint the living room AND decorate for Christmas all at once).

I inherently know that whatever small project I have a hankering for doing will end up creating chaos and a necessity to undertake more home improvements. No simple job can be just that. A “simple” coat of paint  reveals other things that have been put off. For example, two years ago when we painted our living room, we had to fix a crooked chair rail. Like I said, simple can’t be simple. Of course, we didn’t have the original paint color so off to the Home Improvement stores we went with chunks of chair rail so they could color match paint that was 10+ years old. And in an old house that doesn’t have a level floor, wall or angle anywhere, where do you place the chair rail so that it appears level? Do you make it level with the base boards? Or the ceiling? Or with the sofa table that sits under it? It always leads to other headaches but nevertheless, I still want to jump headfirst into a new project.

What about you? Do you find the need to create or redecorate after Christmas? Please tell me that I’m not the only crazy one out here. And while I’m asking questions, any ideas on where to find retro (new or used) dining room chairs at a reasonable price? All right…I’m off to find a new couch for our living room since Ken put the kibosh on my perfect find. Or should I start with the dining room furniture first? Choices, choices. At least neither one needs to have the chair rail fixed.

Touristing

One of the things I’ve decided to do on this blog is to get you acquainted with the city where I live. As many of you know (like I said in my last post, that would be all 4 of you), I shouldn’t be on the Bureau of Tourism for Florida. It’s no secret it’s not my favorite place. With that said, there HAS to be something nice about this city. Right? So what if I’m not a beach lover? So what if I think the summers are way too long and hot? And while I’m at it, I don’t really think it’s all that pretty. So, have I gone down to only three readers now?



I’ve decided to copy a feature I found on a blog I read, Door Sixteen. Ever so often, she and her husband pretend to be tourists in their own town. I want to point out that they have a MUCH better place to tourist (like how I made that a verb?) — NYC. I’m sorry, I don’t care how much you like it here in St. Petersburg, FL, you will never convince me that it’s as interesting/hip/cool/appealing/chic/trendy as New York City. Ever.

I stumbled upon something near the water today. (I’ll give you a minute to sit down while the shock of me being near the water sinks in.) I found Gizella Kopsick Palm Arboretum. I know, why hadn’t I thought to google Palm Arboretum before today, right? There it was. Right next to Northshore pool, a mini park full of different species of palm trees. Before today, I would have said we have 3-5 different species in our area: 1) big ones 2) short ones 3)prickly ones 4) pretty ones and 5) any one I can’t think of at the moment. Wrong. There are over 100 palm trees represented in the arboretum. It was nice to walk through and see them all. There’s even a little arbor with some sort of vine that probably produces beautiful blooms in the spring.

This didn’t cause me desire to live here for the rest of my life but it was fun to find my own Secret Garden. OK, don’t get too excited…it’s not that amazing.



So, are there any other places you think I should “tourist”?

Up for the challenge?

So, I took on a huge undertaking this year. I mean a big one. And I think I’m ready to share it with the world. Are you ready?

I challenged myself to take a picture every day for the whole.entire.year.

There. I said it. Out loud. And I have every intention of keeping up with it. That’s why I’m putting it out here in hard drive land, as my friend says. The way I figure it, the more people who know, the better chance I have of keeping up with it. You know, because I don’t want to let you all down. All 4 of you.

This is today’s picture. It’s the third picture I’ve taken and it was the first one that I actually had time to take time to think about what I wanted to shoot.

I know it looks like something that should have come out of the movie, What Lies Beneath but it’s nothing exciting like that. I stood inside my shed, opened the door and snapped the picture through the latch on the shed door. See, nothing scary.

So, did you take on any huge challenges this year? Want to join mine? I even have a Flickr group set up. I’m all official and everything. Of course I’m only on Day 3.