Thursday, April 30, 2009

coupla things

Been working on these for the homemade embellishment swap over at Studio Calico. Thanks to Erin for coordinating the effort, it's been fun so far, and I have a feeling the best part is yet to come when I see what fabulousness my swap partners have come up with.

Also, I went to this last weekend. It was a fun-filled night of whodunnit and a silent auction of lots of cool goodies (including some Studio Calico kits) to benefit VSA of Kentucky.

Stephen and Hannah went with us and although we didn't guess whodunnit (we did guess the poison and the method of administering the poison, though), we had a great time and all agreed we'd make it an annual event to attend.

Greg and I bid on 2 items at the silent auction, but in the end, we were out-bid :(
One, was an awesome gift basket from NotionFarm.
The other, which was the item I really really wanted, was a necklace made with a vintage poker chip by Jessica Snodgrass, the community coordinator that helped so much with the Murder Mystery event. She's super-talented and happens to be a subscriber to Studio Calico kits.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the cows came home

Apparently, we officially have a farm.

In all, we have:
  • 10 cows (a "cow" is female has had a least one calf, and a heifer is a female cow that's a virgin....heehee)
  • 1 heifer
  • 3 calves
  • 1 bull
For a grand total of 15!!! They are the cutest 15 cows you've ever seen and I have pictures to prove it.

heehee....I caught this one with her mouth full.

Oh, I forgot to mention, 7 are with-calf (aka pregnant).

After reading this story, you'll know that I'm officially married to a cowboy.

Dad and Greg went to the country to work the cows. Before today, I had no idea what "working the cows" meant. It means that they get tagged (aka: have their ears pierced with mismatching earrings), vaccinated, and treated for things like pink-eye.

First, they had to get the cows in from the field and into the trailer. The problem was, they couldn't get the trailer close enough to the ground, so the cows had to sort of jump into the trailer. Most of the cows did this just fine, and one did it a little too well, because we were only going to get 14 total, but a heifer jumped in and so we bought her as well.

So, after the cows and one of the calves were in the trailer, there were 2 feisty calves that wouldn't get in. One of the guys there, picked one up and Greg picked up the other (he says he held it like a bull-dog or something like that, whatever that means) and carried it across the corral to the trailer. While he was carrying it (and if you're squemish, just skip this next sentence), it pooped all over his arm. ALL OVER IT.

That's what I'll henceforth be referring to as Greg's annointing. He is now officially a cowboy. And, I'm sure that's not the last of our farm stories to tell.
See, there's still a lot of work to do at the farm as witnessed by the nasty fence. Something tells me that when I learned from Maggie's photography class to add texture to photos, she didn't have mold in mind....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

part 3

In case you missed the beginning of the story you can read part one and part two before reading this post. Trust me, it'll make a lot more sense.

The next week was spring break, and Amber and I went with our parents to NYC to shop and see some plays. During that same week, Greg was in Florida at a cheer competition.

(Oops, I guess I neglected to mention that Greg was a cheerleader for WKU when I met him.)

I didn't think about him much that week. I had concluded that he didn't have much to say on our date, so he must not be interested in me, and since he hadn't said much, I really didn't have much to be thinking about. Matter-of-fact, he had probably found some cute cheerleader to date at that competition. So, I figured it would be awkward the next few weeks in class, but that we'd say our "hellos" and be cordial and never see each other again after that.

When I returned from spring break, I had barely gotten back into my dorm room and the phone was ringing. It was Greg, telling me how much he had thought about me over the past week, how much fun he had on our date, and how all he could think about was coming back to town to see me again.

Really? Were we on the same date that night?

I was completely taken off-guard. That was the last phone call I had expected to receive.

Apparently he was enamored with me, and although I didn't quite have the same feelings about him, I figured it couldn't hurt to have someone hanging on my every word, so I agreed to our second double-date.

This time, we went to Hops, another local place (which was later condemned and burned, but at the time, I thought they had great food). Again, most of the conversation was between my sister and I while Jason and Greg sat, ate, and used us as entertainment, until they started throwing baked potato back and forth at each other across the booth.

Amber and I were completely disgusted. And, most likely, I had the look of complete disgust all over my face, because almost as soon as they started, they stopped. I have a very difficult time not expressing my inner feelings, so if I'm not saying it, most likely, my face is doing the talking.

We wrapped up dinner, played some more cards, then called it a night. Still no kiss.

Later that week, he invited me to his apartment to study for our test, and while I still didn't know how I was feeling about him, he was a nice guy, he thought I hung the moon, and that I was hilariously funny, so I went. We studied for a while as I was convinced that he needed to make an "A" on the test to be date-worthy and visited with his roommates and their girlfriends. By then, I had learned that the red "sunburn" he had when I first saw him was actually face-burn from doing a back tuck, missing, then scraping his face along the gym floor. I had also learned that he was neat and clean, because his apartment was (for the most part) picked up and there weren't dirty dishes in the sink. That was a definite positive in my book, so before I left, when he asked if he could kiss me, of course I said, "Yes."

A test later and still no "A" from Greg, and still no real sign of thinking that I would want to date him long term, I agreed to go on a date with a turf-management major that I had met on campus. Well, I didn't know he was a turf-management major till our salads had been served and our meal was already ordered. Again, this first date was at Mariah's, so thoughts were already being formed comparing this date to my first date with Greg. He told me all about grass, all the different kinds, why it was a great major, how it had just become a major and what he planned to do with his degree. It seemed more like a job interview than a date and by the time my soup came (yes, I was kind and ordered a soup/salad at this date, too), I had a quesy feeling in my stomach.

All I could think about was how much more comfortable I had felt with Greg on our first date and how although he hadn't said much, how interested he was in me, despite the fact that I had been selfish and not asked many questions of him. He had never put me in a situation where I felt pressured to be anything other than myself. These thoughts permeated my date with grass-guy and I asked to be excused from our plans to go to a movie in exchange for an early drop-off at my dorm. He obliged, but I could tell he was totally put-off.

As soon as I entered my dorm room, I picked up the phone and dialed.



"You free tonight?"

"I can be in about 10 minutes. Do you want to come over?"

"Absolutely. I'm on my way."

Many many months later I learned that he had a girl in his apartment at the time, and had to hurriedly shoo her away to make way for me to be there. I don't remember a discussion about being exclusive at that point, but after that, we didn't date anyone else. I guess it was just a mutual feeling that we both had.

I realize this story didn't really have a climax or anything THAT interesting, but it's our story and I hope you enjoyed it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

NSD prep + part 2 of "love story"

To my scrapbooking friends who read this blog, Saturday is National Scrapbooking Day and we're going to have a day filled with challenges by the Design Team and giveaways at Studio Calico.

And, to give you a head start, the DT is posting their challenges early. You can read about them here. On Saturday, upload your LOs to Studio Calico's gallery, then post the link to your challenge LO on the appropriate designer's blog. For me, I'll begin a new post on Saturday with my take on my own challenge, and there, you will post your LO. Be sure to post your LO by 11:59 EST, because after that, I'm closing down the submissions for my challenge.

First the prize you'll be working for and then I'll tell you about my challenge:

Now for my challenge:

I love the look of pattern on top of pattern like this card from Gypsy&Twink.

AND, as many of you know, I love mist (specifically Maya Mist)

So, my challenge to you is to use at least one mist over top of a pattern. This can be patterned paper, newsprint, anything you choose, but use mist on top of a pattern. Got it?

I'll make a new blog post on Saturday morning for you to link me to your layouts. Don't forget, you may combine my challenge with any of the other DT challenges and be entered for both prizes. Pretty smart, huh?

Now for part 2 of "Love Story" (To read part 1, see this post)

He called the very next day.

I can't remember all the ins and outs of the conversation, but I do remember thinking that my birthday was the following Monday and I didn't want to let that slip in fear that he might get me a nice present and I would feel obligated to a relationship that hadn't even started yet. As a guy, he obviously didn't have the same concern, because he immediately informed me that his birthday was on Friday, the night we would go on our first date.

Fair's fair so I divulged my birthday explaining that we'd be even and not get each other anything.

Was I ever wrong. Monday night came and Jason and Greg knocked on our (Amber was my roommate) dorm room with some Fruity Pebbles (Birthday Edition) and a song. A sweet gesture, but a cake would have been better.

We stayed up playing spades that night for a long time. They were begging for a punishment. Amber and I were partners and little did they know that we were raised on Spades. All throughout high school our family of four had nightly spades tournaments. We played "ALL" with each win getting a straight line until your team spelled the word "ALL" with 7 wins. Then, a complete "ALL" meant a mark on another "ALL" in the back of the scorebook. To be the grandest champion of champions it took 49 wins: a feat that we could happily repeat over and over.

So, throughout the night Amber and I could practically read each others' mind, card after card, we would try to lose and give them a break but it was impossible. We won, and won again, and won again.

As soon as the guys left for the night, the door had barely shut behind them, and Amber looked glaringly at me and said, "You didn't."

"No, of course I didn't. You know I wouldn't do that."

"Well one of them did and it was awful."

"No kidding. I was thinking the same thing. I mean we're sitting in a 10x12' room and they think it's okay to let one slip?"

The week passed by quickly, and before we knew it, it was Friday night. To prepare for Greg's birthday, I was really at a loss. What do you get for a guy that you kind-of sort-of are dating, but you don't want to send a committal message too, but you don't want to be unthoughtful either? Hallmark doesn't make a card for that. I decided a blank enclosure card and a basket of iced sugar cookies was the answer.

Back home with an oven that was easy to regulate, I was a champ at barely undercooking Pillsbury ready-made cookie dough. In the dorm kitchen, it wasn't so easy. Because all the kitchen items were shared for the whole floor, there was no way I was cooking directly on the cookie sheet. No way were my perfect nuggets of gooey goodness going to touch a tainted pan. Back to the dorm room to grab aluminum foil, and minutes later, the cookies were baking unevenly in the mustard-colored oven. A few twists of the pan, and out they came, ready to cool and be iced. I didn't think about the fact that I would actually have to supervise the cookies during the cool-down process to prevent theives from coming in for a snack. Nevertheless, I waited with vanilla icing in hand. As an added bonus, I had purchased 2 squeezable colored icing tubes to decorate the cookies. With Martha Stewart visions in my head, I squeezed and squeezed. Finally, they were done and ready to stack in the basket to be delivered in.

I hadn't realized that the decoration process had taken so long, so I had to rush to find the perfect Abercrombie sweater to layer with a flannel shirt and Guess jeans. With not a minute to spare, Amber and I rushed downstairs where the guys were waiting.

Greg and Jason emerged from the car to greet us. Jason was driving a silver Mazda M6. (Not bad.) Greg took a glance at Jason, and I could tell he was trying to make sure greeted the correct twin. I was more than happy to give him a clue, so I stretched out my hand, holding the cookie basket, and proudly stated, "I made these for you." He immediately ripped it open and took out what he thought was one cookie.

Crud! How could I have not let the icing harden?

There I was looking at 3 cookies stuck together and I could only imagine the thoughts he was having.

He must think I'm the worst cook in the world. I really hope he doesn't show those to anyone else, they'll have a good laugh.

Instead, he said, "How did you know exactly what to get me? Jason even knows how many times I've made trips to Subway to get cookies lately, and now I have a basket full of them that will last me at least a week! This is the perfect gift!"

Perfect, indeed. He knew exactly what to say.

We headed just a few blocks down the street to a local restaurant, Mariah's. We were seated at a booth down the steps and to the left. By this time, I was nervous. I had no idea what kind of job he had and if he could even afford to pay for my meal, so I played it safe with a soup and salad, knowing I'd be hungry later. While we ate, Amber and I did most of the talking, bantering back and forth and poking fun at one another.

After dinner, the guys had planned to take us bowling. Although I had experience on a bowling league in the 8th grade and knew I wouldn't make a total fool of myself, I was still a bit nervous. I still couldn't stand the thought of wearing those nasty shoes and having guys stare at my backside while I clumsily threw the ball down the lane. That part of the night passed by rather quickly with little conversation from the guys, so I figured they'd take us directly back to our dorm room.

Instead, they asked us to go to Barnes & Noble for coffee and another round of Spades. Always up for an easy win, Amber and I agreed. We stopped by a convenient store to purchase a deck of cards, then sat around a tiny table in the cafe area of the bookstore. Again, it was no contest. Amber and I won game after game. Still, the guys didn't have much to say, and it was mainly she and I who were carrying the conversation. I knew she and I were having fun, but I was pretty sure we were having more fun with ourselves than they were.

Barnes & Noble began their call for purchases and we knew it was time to leave. A quick hug goodbye and a, "See you later," ended the night.

After they left, I looked at Amber and said, "Well, I guess that's the last we'll see of those two."

(I'll have more to come in the next few weeks. This recollecting is fun!)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

some good friends + a love story

I'm constantly being reminded how real friendships can be even if you live miles apart and mainly talk to one another online.

Like when we received this at Studio Calico from Stephanie P (hooglygirl).

And when Tina sent me this for my birthday (which is even more beautiful in person)

Or when Reyanna sent me this, which ironically, we used this line a LOT in Studio Calico's May kits, but not one piece of paper or embellishment was duplicated with what I already had. VERY pleased by that.

Such wonderful, wonderful friends I have. I'm so blessed.


I guess it took me quitting my high-stress job to realize how in-love I am with my husband.

Now, don't take that the wrong way, it's not like I fell out of love with him over the years, it's just that I was so caught up with work work work that I didn't have time to enjoy the little things about why I love Greg.

This photo got me thinking about when we first met. It was in spring semester of my freshman year at WKU. He was a junior taking the same astronomy class as I and sat dead-smack in the middle of the front row. Me, on the other hand....I was somewhere off to the side trying to blend in with the crowd. I was a freshman, after all.

The first time I noticed him, he was wearing a rainbow-striped pull-over by Gant. I think Joseph had the same fabric in a coat. It was that BRIGHT and stood out that much!!! Only, he didn't have jealous brothers that threw him in a pit....matter-of-fact, I can't imagine anyone being jealous of that pull-over. But, I digress. The bright colors caught my eye and led me to look at his face, which was equally as bright. It looked like he had a bad, peeling sunburn down one half of his face.

He was the type of kid that was always willing to raise his hand and try to answer a question that there was no way he knew. If there was a question about a Greek god or something, he was first to raise his hand and shout, "Zeus!" He knew Zeus was a god and he was willing to take a stab at answering the question everytime, but not in a snotty sort of way, in a playful "I'll try" sort of way. So, not only was his outfit distinct, but his personality was as well. One day our professor, a middle-aged woman with a boy-cut, who could drone on and on for hours about the street lamps in various cities across the globe, asked for a volunteer on stage. I knew the sprite in the front row would be first to raise his hand and I was correct. She asked him to stand at one side of the stage with a basketball, while she stood at the other holding a ping-pong ball, demonstrating the size and distance of Earth compared to the sun. It was a riveting demonstration, not because of the novel concept she was sharing, but because the volunteer no longer had a half-sunburn nor was wearing a clown-costume. A solid polo shirt and an un-scarred face did him well. Without the baggy, distracting pull-over, I could see he was well-built: broad shoulders, strong arms, and a nice smile. He was quite the looker!

A week later, I was coming around the corner to go to class, and he happened to be cutting the same corner in a hurry, and we bumped into each other - literally. I threw my hands up, and he did, too.

This was quite a surprise to me. I was now holding hands with the formerly scar-faced, Rainbow Brite dude, who was much more handsome at this point. I sheepishly ducked away and went on to class, apologizing for bumping into him.

Astronomy class was my easiest of freshman classes and I had taken it for that reason. I had begun my first semester with an agressive schedule: 18 hours filled with prerequisites for my Speech Pathology major, honors courses, plus an anatomy class that is usually the pivotal class for nursing majors. I was ready for a break my second semester and Astronomy fit the bill. I always went to class because I firmly believed no one took better notes than I, and if I went, that was one less hour I'd have to study for the test. I could pick up most of the information in the class through osmosis. So, many of the class periods were filled with me doodling my name a million times in my notebook and glancing to the front row to see if the sprite was looking my way. Many times he was, so I'd have to be careful and monitor my glances as if I was looking at the clock or staring into space as he looked my way.

I increasingly found myself listening to see if I could determine his name. I hadn't been listening before his basketball demonstration when the professor called him up because I had already dismissed the possibility of us ever being together. I was 18, sporting my bangs, and freedom in college. What did I need with a scar-faced sprite? He was bound to volunteer for another demonstration or raise his hand to ask a question about Greek mythology at some point, then I'd know whether he had a name I could possibly date. No offense, but if his name had been "Mutt" or "Zeke" or something to that effect, it wasn't going to happen.

Another week passed, and I was walking out of class with my graded test in hand. I hear, "Ala, what'd you make on that test?" (My initials were on my backpack: April Leigh Alexander.)

I turned around and shamelessly said, "98, what about you?"


In astronomy for crying out loud! This is a freshman class to get an easy A.

Instead, I said, "Well, at least it's only the first test of the semester."

"Then, you want to study some time?"

"Sure." (We exchanged numbers, but never called each other.)

The next class, he asked why I hadn't waved back at him at Preston the previous day. Preston Center is the workout facility on campus and by this time, I was well-acquainted with the fact that people thought they saw me when they were seeing my sister, and vice versa. Actually, Amber and I had a pact that if someone waved at us, we were bound by sisterly kindness to wave back even if we didn't know the person just to keep each other from looking like complete snobs. Apparently she hadn't see him wave.

I quickly explained the twin thing, the bell rang and we took our seats.

That was the class period the professor finally called his name, "Greg (hmmm, not so terrible) Foster (NICE!)." Possibly that whole class period I resisted the urge to doodle "April Foster," although I did like the combination.

The next class, he immediately came up to me and said, "You know you were telling me about having a twin?"


"Well, what I didn't tell you is that I have a twin, too."

Lame. Seriously lame. No you don't or you would have said that to begin with. You really expect me to believe that?

"Really, what's his name?"

"Jason, and I told him about you and your sister and would ya'll like to go out sometime?"

"Sure, just give me a call and we'll work out the details. You still have my number don't you?"


(I'll be back later to tell part 2 of the story....come back and read especially if you want to know what the wierd sun-burn actually was.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

oliver and a TGM all in one

For those of you that aren't regular blog readers, TGM stands for "Typical Greg Moment." There are many and they are humorous, so I share them here from time to time.

Back in December of last year, Scarlet brought an inspiration book to the office, entitled The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. If the title isn't intriguing enough, the illustrations definitely are. The author of the book, Oliver Jeffers, combined vintage ledgers, maps, you-name-it into his illustrations to create a book that both children and adults will love.
Once it was at the office for a bit, we decided to use it as inspiration for January's kit, Bibliography:

Which is how Stephen became familiar with the book. Immediately he LOVED the illustrations and the overall design element of the book. Stephen is our graphic designer at Studio Calico, and we gave him the book to use as inspiration for creating the first ever exclusive SC papers.

So, Greg, not shy about contacting anyone and asking them for anything, emailed Oliver and requested information about his prints. In doing so, he found out that he lived in Brooklyn. Later that evening, Greg asked if I had planned the trip to NYC and if we could go at a time Oliver would be there. Of course, I agreed and so we took the N train to Brooklyn, walked a block and ended up at his studio, where he drew these for our friends.

We talked about his creative process, his art, his future projects (he's currently working on a new childrens' book), but most of all, Greg wanted to know if other people have come visited him.

Oliver's reply: my family

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

a pot of gold, but not from my irish friend

Imagine my surprise while I was knee-deep in mouse droppings at the farmhouse getting the piles and piles of junk priced for a yardsale, only to walk outside with a bag of trash to see this.

If you look closely in the second photo, you can see it was actually a double rainbow.

Unfortunately, I only had my point-and-shoot with me, but I managed to make Scarlet jealous because she was with her kids at Wal-Mart when they saw this rainbow and she had nothing to document it with. Noah was so excited about the rainbow, she said. Given his name, I think it's fitting that he gets excited about rainbows, what do you think?

I think this is the first time I've ever seen a complete rainbow (the entire arch across the landscape) and it was so brilliant. I did feel fortunate to see it, although there was no pot of gold, only piles of trash, chipped dishes, gross furniture, and a ton of naked Barbies at the end of my rainbow. So, I commenced the cleaning effort.

Sorry, I felt compelled to mention the piles of naked Barbies, but I seriously must have unearthed 150 naked Barbies from the wreckage of the farmhouse. I did not know there were 150 different Barbies, but now that I've quoted a number, I'm going to count them tonight, just to prove it to you.

Oh, and if you noticed in the first photo, that's our tractor in the field. The first day we had it, Dad was clearing out the bottom-land and ran over a metal stake that was partially buried. So, I guess we're not off to a rousing start at this farming thing, huh?

Lastly, my Irish friend from the last post. Well, I'm not ready to tell you about it entirely, but here's a clue if you're interested.

I'll be back tomorrow with the full story.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

back from NYC

Apparently, we brought good weather to NYC. It was supposed to be raining all day the first day, but by the time we got to our hotel, it was 65 degrees and overcast: perfect walking-around weather.

Day 1: Learning our surroundings + Broadway

Arrive at LaGuardia (my first time in this airport and I was surprised how fast we got our luggage and how easy the airport was to navigate). We took a taxi to our hotel and our luck continued. We were told it would cost $45 for the ride, and it only cost $38 with the tip!

We checked into our hotel on Times Square, and as luck would have it again, we ended up on the 42nd floor (of 43). Here is the view out our window and looking down. Sadly, I didn't take a ton of photos, and I wish I could show you that looking up Broadway (the vertical street in this photo), we could see Central Park.

By the way, I highly recommend our hotel (linked above). I was able to book it using my Hilton Honors points, so we stayed entirely free, but I definitely think that the location saved us a ton of money on this trip. We were close to Grand Central, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, 5th Ave, and there was a subway stop 5 feet from the entrance that took us just about anywhere we wanted to go with no transfers.
Just around the corner from our hotel, we walked to Rockefeller Center and stopped for a photo op along the way.
Later that night, we saw Mary Poppins. I've been lucky enough to see quite a few Broadway plays in my day, and this one has taken top position. We had wonderful seats (pure luck, since we bought them about 6 hours before showtime), the music and acting were fabulous, the set was beyond amazing. I rank this musical a smidget above Lion King and a step ahead of Wicked. LOVED IT! I think that it was just so much happier than the others, plus Greg was singing Chim-chimmer-ree for the next three days, so that added to the fun.

Day 2: Subway, Brooklyn, Dave
We took a trip to Brooklyn and although I had ridden the subway before, I had completely forgotten about it. Our concierge told us about HopStop and in no time, I had the system figured out and we were able to go so many places. All you do is put in your starting address and ending address (or major landmark) and the site tells you walking directions AND which train to ride.
So, we bought a Jamba Juice for breakfast and hopped on the N train to Brooklyn where we met this fabulous guy from Ireland.

Don't know him? I'll have more on this later, but I don't want to spoil a souvenir surprise for a couple of my blog readers.

After we met the elusive character above, we took a walk by some shops in the area on our way to Grimaldi's under the Brooklyn Bridge.

I would be posting photos of the coal oven and pizza chef at Grimaldi's instead of these boring photos of me outside a shop and a subway sign, but I was told, very matter-of-factly by a big, and very mafia-type guy, "NO PICTURES!!!" And, since I valued my life, I put the camera down and did as he said. I may have even replied, "Yes, sir" and even though I'm from the south, "sir" isn't a part of my normal vocabulary, so you know I was trying extra nice to appease. I felt like Jerry Seinfeld with the soup nazi.

After eating their fabulous pizza, we had planned to walk the bridge, but time prohibited us because we had to make it to the Late Show by 2:30. We took a cab back to Times Square and dropped off our gear took the short walk (well, it would have been short if I hadn't taken us a block out of the way), to the David Letterman show. I had applied for tickets about 6 months ago, thinking we might go to NYC this week and never heard anything back, until about a week ago when I had just been called back to my dentist appointment and it was Jack from the Late Show asking me a trivia question, "What type of restaurant does Rupert own?" I knew the answer, not because I watch the show, but because I had been to NYC on a high school trip and the kids I was with made a huge deal about visiting his deli. Even though, we had tickets, we had to stand in line and be numbered, then come back at 3:45 to be seated. The seats were horrible, but since we didn't pay anything for them, I couldn't complain, but the guests were great: Matthew Perry, Elisha Cuthbert (Kim Bauer from 24), and Rascal Flatts. Suh-weet!

By the time the show was over, we were zonked, so we ate dinner and called it an early night.

Day 3: The cheap way to see NYC

We had absolutely nothing planned, so we decided to do a ton of free stuff:
  • Central Park in the morning
  • A walk down 5th Avenue
  • A walk to Grand Central Station
  • A subway ride to the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge (okay, you caught me, that cost $3.50)
  • A walk across the bridge
  • Another subway ride to the Staten Island Ferry (another $3.50)
  • A ride on the ferry where Greg saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time
  • A subway ride back to Times Square
So, other than food, we spent a whopping $7 for entertainment on Day 3.

Now for the food portion of Day 3: We discovered Magnolia Bakery, known for it's cupcakes. There's a location just a short walk from Times Square (the Rockefeller Center location), and it was the only place we visited twice the whole time we were in the city. YUMMY!
This is what the line looked like at all times in this bakery. We noticed several tourists who saw the line and immediately walked out of the store, but not us...we knew there was a line for a reason.

Day 4: Soho and home
I have absolutely no photos to share from our last day, simply because I didn't take any.
We began the day by taking the R train to SoHo (meaning South of Houston St for silly-heads like me, who just thought that was the name and there was no reason for it). We ate brunch at Cafe Bari at the corner of Prince and Broadway. I highly recommend it. Then, we walked and shopped (didn't buy anything, but it was fun to look), and ate lunch at Boom. I recommend this place even more.

I do have a Typical Greg Moment to share from today, but it's getting late and this post is getting long, so I'll share it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

here today, gone tomorrow

Now, the spot looks so blank.

A company out of West Moreland, TN came to take it down. They took all the wood they could salvage and the rest, which was just a flat pancake, was burned.

And, not unlike other guys, Greg loves watching things burn. He even got a couple college students from church to camp out with him and watch the fire that night. Those boys stayed until about 6:00am the next morning but Greg came home at 1:00, and it was evident from the smell.

The interesting thing about this fire, was that the tin roof was put over top of it, so it burned very very hot. Much to the boys' dismay, they had a hard time finding a cool enough spot to roast hot dogs and marshmallows.

The wood that was salvaged is going to be used by St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville plus we saved some wood to use as accents in our house. Originally, we thought we could salvage enough to do our floors, but it just wouldn't have worked out as there were too many different species of wood and whatnot.

If you'd like to read more about the farm, check out this link.

Tomorrow, Greg and I leave for a 3 day trip to NYC, so I'll resume posting this weekend.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Yes, I know it's been awhile since my last post, and trust me, Greg's reminded me about it daily....

It's been a hectic last week to say the least:
  • 2 trips to Nashville, more on this later...we're planning some fun stuff for our Studio Calico peeps ;)
  • dentist/doctor's appointments (3 to be exact)
  • photography class
  • 1 trip to Louisville to pick up Natalee's cake
  • Natalee's Birthday
  • online shopping at BR
  • online shopping at Zappos
  • online shopping at eBay
  • cleaning out the farmhouse....
  • oh, and sneak night is tonight, so had to prepare for that.
I'm exhausted.

Here's some photos to prove my last week to you:
I'm thinking of getting these....they're a bit out there for me, so let me know what you think. I'm hoping they'll go well with lots of tops with jeans or white pants. I have lots of solid tops, so I think the pattern might be fun.
This is on my definite list. So far, there's already been too many times my shoes have been dirty and muddy and I don't want to have to worry about cleaning my good running shoes. They're expensive, but I expect them to last at least 20 years. Do any of you have these? If so, let me know what you think.
I got this skirt and was a bit worried about it at first, because it is definitely high-waisted and it's the only skirt I've ever had like it. I love the fabric and the fit, but it's going to take some getting used to.
I loved this dress from Banana Republic, and I knew with the cut, it would look good on me, so I decided to wear it on Easter with a yellow necklace...anyway, Greg said I looked puritanical. So, I guess I was a hot, bargain-getting Puritan yesterday, because I got it for 30% off plus an extra $10 off and free shipping.
Natalee and Luke at her birthday party.
Lorie helping Natalee blow out her candles. We would have been there for days if she was blowing them out herself. I think more wind hit her chin than anything else.
The cake I got from Adrienne's, a company in Jeffersonville, IN (yes, I know I said I went to Louisville, but this shop is at Exit 0 right across the Ohio River, so I actually spent longer in Louisville than in Indiana.)

And, last but not least, the HUGE mess I have to clean up at the farmhouse. The previous owner, well...let's just say it was a bitter divorce situation, so the house wasn't left in the best condition. They had 5 kids, plus it looks like they invited lots of mice over to play....

I plan to post more before/after photos as we work through this project, but here's just a few to whet your appetite.

(Disclaimer: I just learned that mice droppings and stains and bumps and nastiness, in general, doesn't tend to show up as well in photographs as it does in real life, so you're going to have to trust me that it's N-A-S-T-Y and that Greg gets onto me for not cleaning with a mask and gloves on.)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

farmer greg

It's official.

is now the proud owner of:

After tons of research, test drives, and mucho macho interactions, Greg and Dad decided on the Zetor tractor. In the end, it came down to a John Deere or a Zetor, but the Zetor won on weight and overall value.

Personally, I like the look of a green tractor better, but my input was not sought :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

thinking decorative thoughts

For the last 6 months or so, I've been collecting snippets of inspiration here and there. I knew from building our last house that decisions have to be made quickly (otherwise they cost a lot more) so I began this binder to put my ideas in. I keep a pair of scissors and my precision pen in the binder at all times. Even if I can't tape the photo in right away, it gets cut and stuck inside one of the pockets for safe-keeping.

It's divided into 2 sections:
  • Inspiration: Anything I saw that I liked and wanted to duplicate
  • Shopping: Anything I saw that I liked and had a specific store listed
I had cardstock weight paper 3-hole punched at Kinkos so the pages would be thick enough to withstand a lot of page turning. Then, I just taped the clippings on and made notes next to the images to remind me what I liked about them.

Here are just a few of the shop items that I've come to love:

  1. Cake Stands
  2. Coasters
  3. Ceramic Egg Rack
  4. Tiered basket
  5. Alarm Clock
  6. Green Glass Jars
  7. White Lamp
  8. Industrial Stool
  9. Red Console Table
  10. Porcelain lantern
Obviously, several of these items are quite pricey. I said I love them, I didn't say I bought them. Actually, I only bought the cake stand, and if you like it too, don't delay because the company that makes them (PotLuck Studios) has discontinued them, so they won't be available much longer.