Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reading Through Two Centuries

Since the whole husband's job/probably moving thing has things in limbo, and because I didn't get the job I thought I was going to have this fall, and because I'm feeling sort of 'on hold'- I am really excited about the project that I came up with for myself yesterday.

To read a book written in every decade since 1800. (I might go earlier than that, but I haven't decided yet).

This really isn't too much of a stretch for me. I have a degree in history, and I love to read. I'm kind of surprised I didn't think of it before. It was sort of by accident that I came up with it at all (and I realize that this isn't really a new or original idea by any stretch- but its new to me) :).

We have tons of books in the house, but most are still packed in boxes in the basement. When we moved the last time, I realized that we would probably be moving again in a year or two, and books are time consuming to pack and unpack. So we unpacked a box or two of books that we hadn't read and our favorites, put those on the shelves, and left the rest in the basement waiting for when we end up somewhere more permanent.

This has been fine for the most part because I haven't needed any of them. UNTIL we got Jane Eyre on NetFlix and I became obsessed with it. I knew the story line, but had never read/seen it. LOVED IT. Wanted to read it. Knew I had a copy in the basement boxes. Went downstairs to find it.

Couldn't find it.

At least in the few boxes that were accessible without moving a bunch of heavy crap. However, I DID find the Scarlet Letter, Black Beauty, and some Jane Austens. All of which I've read, but not for awhile. Then, because I'm a nerd, I was looking up when those books were written- and that's when I said to myself: 'Self, you should read a book for every decade. That would be fun.' :)

I will probably try to read books I haven't read before for the most part, but I don't mind rereading things I don't feel that I truly appreciated the first time. Like the Scarlet Letter. I read that in high school. I will probably try that one again.

The opening book will be Black Beauty. I read it a million years ago and would like to read it again, and most importantly...I already have it and it doesn't require buying or borrowing or getting in the car.

So, Black Beauty it will be. I'm on page 27.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


The title of this post refers to stuff that will be happening within the next ten months or so. We might be moving...anywhere! the end of spring 2011. My husband's current position is only a five year position so he has begun the process to find a permanent tenured position elsewhere. Since its academic (he's a scientist), its a year long process. He will be applying soon then hopefully in the winter he will be asked for interviews, and then- fingers crossed- he will get some offers in the spring, and then...we could be moving!
I say Could Be, but it is really Most Likely since there isn't too much open here.

I used to find this prospect really unappealing. I have lived here my whole life, my family is here, my friends are here, I LIKE it here. the past few months, I've changed my thinking and now I'm pretty excited.
We could be anywhere from North Carolina, Boston, Seattle, Dallas, Michigan...


As it gets closer and I have an idea of where we are going to be, I might see if any of you live in (or are really familiar with) the location that looks to be the final destination, and then pick your brain for some tips on places to go and things to do. So be prepared. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


So, sometimes laziness and procrastination pay off.

During the spring, I planted some impatiens in an old sink basin and put it out front (you can sort of see it in the right hand corner of that picture). That sink was such an awesome find in my dad's greenhouse. Its a (slightly rusty) cobalt blue and, because its a sink basin, it has drainage out of the bottom and is perfect for planting. I thought it was perfect and very Baltimore. We put all kinds of crap in our front yards.

Anyhow, when I was planting the flowers, I used some old potting soil that I had never put away from when I used it last year and which had been sitting to the side of the porch all winter and spring. (Not putting the soil away, my first little bit o' Laziness and Procrastination. I procrastinated so long that it was back to planting season.) The soil worked fine, the plants have prospered nicely, and grew all summer long.

Well, towards the end of summer, I noticed a vine growing in the corner of the planter. I watched it grow as I walked by it daily, always saying to myself that I should pull it out the next time I walked by (the "Next Time" see, more Procrastination). Well, I never DID pull that silly vine out, and one day when I walked by I looked closer and saw that there was an orange flower at the end. Now...I think...that the vine...that I didn't pull out because I'm a lazy a PUMPKIN VINE!!!

This all makes perfect sense, because also last year, right by where I left the potting soil to sit all winter, I also left our fall pumpkins to rot and go back into the soil all Circle of Life like. So....the pumpkin seeds must have migrated towards the bag of soil (which had a huge hole in the bottom), so that when I then used it to plant the flowers...I also planted...PUMPKINS!!!!

(Unless they aren't pumpkin vines...but I think they are...?)

After planting the impatiens, I used the rest of the soil to go around the hostas I have in front, so now I see that I have multiple vines!

So excited! I will give you updates on any actual pumpkin production. How cool would that be?!

So the moral to this story, is that sometimes...Procrastination Works Out. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Initiative. I gots it.

Update!....I've actually been doing what I said I was going to do (this isn't a regular occurrence for me when I set goals for myself). Since I didn't get the teaching job, I've really been working to start getting my small side business up and going. I've painted several shirts and have received four orders already!  (From friends and family, but STILL, that's where it starts right?)

Here is some stuff I've done already.

This is an outfit I painted for a friend to give to a one year old for her birthday.

Detail of the birdhouse on the leg:

Below is a shirt I painted for my son to wear. I picked the maple leaf as a nod to his half Canadian heritage and it says Fall because I'm so excited for it!


This is one I painted for my neice.


So anyway, I've actually had some follow through lately. Let's hope I keep it up! I think it will though, I've really been enjoying it! :)

To close, here a picture of one of the designs in action. To practice the birds in the first design, I painted them on an old blank onsie from Walmart that the Baboo had in his collection. Here is is wearing it!

Friday, September 17, 2010


I don't think its TECHNICALLY fall yet, but maybe it is, what day is the first day of fall? I could Google that right now- hold on...ok, it said the first official day of fall is September 22nd, so I suppose its not officially fall yet. In my world however, the first day of fall is September 1st, so...HAPPY FALL everyone!

I love fall. The crisp air (which unfortunately in Baltimore, can be allusive until November. We might be lucky this year though, its been promisingly cool this week.) The colors, the pumpkins, the leaves, the cider, the seasonal beverages at Starbucks...I love it.

I picked myself up some mums at Giant last week, as well as a sunflower in a pot. (The picture on the left is not the Giant of course. It would be awesome if my neighborhood supermarket looked like that! That's a picture from the pumpkin patch a few years ago). I got a yellow one and a rust colored one and they are out front making me happy. On a side note, I walked to Giant instead of taking the car. I packed the Baboo into the stroller, which is conveniently outfitted with a large basket underneath the seat (and cup holders, it also has cupholders- my favorite feature) and we rolled along to the store. It was nice to not use the car, and it was also nice to have a walk. My neighborhood is pretty cute, so I've been trying to walk more and get my fill of the near by domestic cuteness.

Anyway, I wanted to wish everyone a happy fall! I hope you are enjoying it!  What is your favorite fall activity?