Tuesday, July 31, 2007

pet peeve

First, I apologize if you are a cat person.

Second, I apologize for the pun in the title ... it was just too perfect.

Whenever I can I walk our dog without a leash. I realize that it is dangerous. And that lots of people (including the authorities) prefer that he be restrained. But Zuri grew up in the mountains of Colorado. He is not used to keeping a constant three foot distance from his human. I do leash him on busy streets and when we run together. But for short walks around the block, I let him meander.

Today he chased a cat. Two, actually. This is a common practice for Z and any felines that are on the sidewalk. He never ever catches them (he's 10 ... I think that we can fairly say that he never will). It is the fun of the chase. The owner of these two cats was Tootsie. No lie. She was the spitting image of Dustin Hoffman in drag. Oxford shirt tucked into a tea length eyelet skirt, a perfectly coiffed bob and thick square glasses.

I apologized.

Tootsie exclaimed "That is why dogs need to be leashed. I have five cats, some are kittens."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this qualify as a double standard? Her cats are roaming free, walking in the street, in neighbor's yards and on the sidewalk. Shouldn't cats be leashed if they are outside? How many tickets do cops give to unleashed cats?

I will be avoiding Tootsie's corner from now on. And Zuri will remain off leash.

Monday, July 30, 2007

obsession confession

So I love Martha Stewart. And I know she is supposedly not a nice person. But man, can she create an empire. A very well designed empire. Every magazine I have ever gotten from her large list of publications (whether it's Living, Weddings, Body and Soul or the new Blueprint) I fall in love with every detail. Let me be clear though. I do not do all of her "good things" or cook really any of her meals. It's the details. Her designers and art directors can craft a page like no other. Martha knows how to hire. In another life I would have loved to work for her.

My new favorite is Blueprint. It is the MS answer to Real Simple mixed with Domino. I seem to fall right in the demographic. Here are a few pics from a spread she did for a brunch. Isn't the color fantastic?
One of the best features in each issue is a page with stuff to do (on the internet or for the summer, etc). The page is a type lover's dream! Two whole pages of tiny squares like this.
Grab an issue if you want more.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

the real deal???

Wow. This guy is living in NYC with a wife, a child and a dog attempting to have no net environmental impact. I am highly impressed. I keep wondering if he takes a shower. What does he do with his dog's poo? His baby's poo? His poo? Sorry. It's just that it may be easy to use an outhouse if you live in the country ... but New York??

It is very inspirational (not the poo part) to hear about someone composting and using little electricity (How does he blog? Can he use electricity at the Starbuck's?) in a major city. I love how he and his daughter hang out on their front stoop. It is true that children need very little.

I am realizing that living simply comes in small steps. That just one little change leads to another. Instead of throwing out the mushrooms in the fridge that are almost bad, what could I make with them that we can all enjoy? Can I walk to the post office? Can I combine all of my driving errands into one trip per week?

My one change today is that I am going to empty the kiddie pool onto the lawn so that I don't have to water tonight.

Monday, July 23, 2007

yo gabba gabba

I have no idea how T found this show that is soon to air on Nick Jr and Noggin. It is such a wonderful mix of a look from our childhood (HR Pufnstuf and the claymation of Rudolph, etc) and current artists (Tom LOVES the Aquabats). You can see some more at their website: yogabbagabba.com.

Here is an HR Pufnstuf sample.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


D said his first word today (that we recognized). Trucks. Trucks. Trucks.

It cracks me up that little boys have this inherent interest in all things with wheels. It's not like T and I are obsessed with vehicles. All books with cars or trucks or buses are D's favorite. And any toy with wheels is carried around all day. Driving on the highway is utter joy. I will sometimes catch him laughing out loud at a passing semi.

My mom used to joke with us about how she wanted to drive a big rig and have the handle "Semi-Precious". Maybe that will be my dream now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

not convinced

I will say first and foremost that I am a bit of a food snob. Some call it environmentally conscious or health conscious (cancer can do a number on your head ... and body), but let's call a spade a spade ... I don't like food laced with preservatives, antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, mercury or genetically modified anything. And I like to understand everything on the ingredients list.

So for about a year now I have been trying to save our family a bit of money (one salary means less disposable income ... duh!). I have gone to the Jewel, the Dominicks, the Safeway and the King Soopers. All regular grocery stores in the cities I have lived since becoming said "snob". All are more expensive for the food snob. For instance, a gallon of organic milk at the Safeway - $5.39. A gallon of organic milk at Whole Foods - $3.99. A dozen cage free eggs (we are not even talking the organic/omega 3 version) $3.29 at the Safeway, $1.99 at the Whole Foods. We buy CranPeach Juice at Whole Foods (no added sugars, just juice) for $2.39. A similar product at the Jewel is $4.29.

We are not talking just pennies. We're talking big, fat whole dollars.

Where the Whole Paycheck can get ya is meat (always go for the weekly special to save), the prepared foods and the Whole Body section. Man am I a sucker for good merchandising and packaging. If I stay away from the shampoo aisles I am good to go.

So it's not Whole Paycheck. It's a Whole Lot Cheaper If You're Buying Organic.

Monday, July 16, 2007


You will notice the link "towles" to your right. Towles is my fabulous sister-in-law. I could not have made up in my head a more wonderful wife for my brother. At our first meeting at my apartment in Atlanta I thought to myself, "if this doesn't work out, I still want to be friends with this girl". Fortunately for both of us (my brother more so than me) they hit it off.

I have surrounded myself with all kinds of amazing writers. My mom, my husband and Towles. She is just finishing her graduate degree in non-fiction creative writing and has written a book about song writers in Nashville. It is really really good. I am in the middle of it and can't put it down. I have done some covers for her book proposals. Here they are. Being that it is Nashville, a Hatch Show Print look-a-like seemed appropriate. But I gave her a couple of other options. The title for now is "Bluebird: Longing, Pursuit and Discovery in America's Last Song Town".

Sunday, July 15, 2007


So we still have no hot water. But strangely enough, I am not upset about it for the following reasons:

1. We are all alive (thank you $30 carbon monoxide detector bought on a weird whim at 9:30 pm the night we moved in).
2. There are MUCH worse things that can happen besides having no hot water for a week.
3. God works in mysterious ways . We are a bit short on money this month and the landlord is comping us one week's rent.

T has become a pro at the cold shower. I am learning why the Europeans like to just "sponge" themselves clean. And why they own bidets. I feel like a pioneer woman boiling water for D's bath ... no wonder people were stinky back then!
We hiked for the first time today. Maxwell Falls up in Evergreen, CO. We didn't quite make it to the falls, but it was still fun. D was a bit cranky because he missed his nap. He just talked most of the time and then crashed 5 minutes before we got to the car. I sang to him for the last 15 minutes. Music does wonders for that kid. Zuri had a BLAST. It is pure joy to see that dog hike. He was in his element.

I have also done a few invites this week. Here are the first drafts. All fun family stuff.

Monday, July 9, 2007

a week

This post is picture-less because we are once again at relatives.

After a really busy week: a fourth of July more social than any we have had in any other place (an we just moved here!), friends going through all sorts of joys and sorrows (some saying goodbye to loved ones and others welcoming the promise of new life), our house running hot and cold with guests (all really good to see - old friends from Durango and a friend from Chicago), visiting with more old friends at the Children's Museum on Saturday, and then finally last night at 12 AM meeting the local firemen because we have a carbon monoxide leak in our house.

This last incident was one that I wish I had on video. At 12:01 T and I jump out of bed because of the ear splitting beep emanating throughout the room. I grab a pillow and fan the smoke detector (an old habit from our condo in Chi-town whose smoke detector was placed right above the stove). T stands angrily in the hallway. We figure out it was the CO detector and I immediately grab the baby and phone and walk out into the front yard ... in my nightgown. T thinks we should reset it and see what happens. I refuse to go back into the house. Long story short, the firetruck arrives with sirens blaring. All the firemen were straight out of central casting. The good looking black chief, a bit upset that he had to get out of bed. The short hispanic guy. The overweight, sweet-faced white dude who plays peekaboo with D. They advised us to not sleep there. Turns out it was the hot water heater. The landlord is getting a new one tomorrow.

So, if you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

nature-deficit disorder???

So I saw this book on another blog and am ordering it. More than anything because I miss seeing kids being kids. One of the main reasons we moved to Colorado was that we wanted our kid to have access to the outdoors. To be able to look at a skyline that is untouched by man. And selfishly, we wanted that to. I spent a magical childhood exploring outside. The whole neighborhood belonged to us. There were few boundaries.

I know "play-dates" are inevitable. And we will also spend what seems like a lifetime in the car tromping between sporting events and practices. But I hope that D will know the freedom of the outdoors. That he will wear himself out under the shade of many many green trees.

If you want to hear the author, here is a link to an interview on NPR: