28 apr 2018

I went to my first Celebrate Recovery meeting last night. I really wanted to hole up in the back bedroom and rest, but forced myself to put on makeup and go. When I walked into my church’s auditorium, the first sign I saw said Welcome Home and of course I welled up.

But I didn’t sing. I didn’t clap along and whoop and holler either when lyrics about God freeing us from ourselves crossed the screen. I didn’t go up when many others did, to receive hugs from people actually designated as huggers at the front of the room, so I also didn’t receive applause from everyone rewarding my bravery.

I just stood there.

Me, it felt like, in the middle of so many joyfully broken people, whose arms were outstretched so far to the sides that their fingertips brushed my shoulders, who walked up to loud cheers as they received their tokens for overcoming themselves for a month, 6 months, a year. They high-fived and hugged each other and all I could do was stand there.

Afterwards we newcomers broke off to a room and sat in a circle, to prepare for when we attended the more seasoned groups next time. And as each person passed because they were uncomfortable sharing their “intro”, it became clear I’d have to be the first to go. When they all turned and looked at me, before covering my face with my hands and crying, I said one of the hardest things I’ve ever admitted out loud:

I am a grateful believer of Jesus Christ. I struggle with anger, bitterness, and pride. I’m here today because I cannot find the value my special needs daughter brings to my life besides stress and exhaustion. I am full of hatred. My name is Carolyn. 

If you could also pray for me too.

Noise relaxes me. I say noise instead of just music, but it’s not always music. More often than not it’s a random action repeated over and over live, I guess. Instead of recorded.

For example, one time I heard someone cutting paper with scissors. Nothing special, just a person doing a mundane task. But the sound of those scissors going through that paper instantly relaxed me. Slice and then clip, Slice…clip, Slice…clip. Its as though my ears blocked out all of the traffic, finally settling on just one. I could have sat there all day listening to those scissors.

It could be how someone chews their gum or leaves crunching under my shoes. It could be the sounds of a vacuum or wind whistling through trees. Or, in my latest youtube obsession, the sound of cooking utensils being moved about while making various recipes.

But it happens a lot. And in the weirdest of places.

Like on our way home from visiting my brother: a woman was reading a book, circling phrases and words that she wanted to remember. First, it was the calm movement of her hands that caught my eye.

Yes, I am the weirdo taking photos of a random woman’s hands.

But then I heard it. The scratchy sound of pencil on paper, followed by an occasional erase and then finally a swipe of the shavings. I almost asked R to change seats, just so I could close my eyes and let the sound envelope me.

Does that ever happen to you? Or am I alone in this secret world of noises.

Reading Character At Sight

Not so long ago, I was digging through some books at an estate sale and came across these beauties. From 1918, they delve into how to read people’s character (and your own character).

As I skimmed the chapter titles, my eyes got bigger and bigger. Oh my… Oh wow… and I started to fan myself.  If only Geneva Wollard had read this before she went on her dating rampage back in 1915, her list may have been longer. You gotta see what was written in an old Charles Dickens novel!

So I took my time looking at the headings… Not really wanting to read the description, knowing it would dispell my first initial reaction.

The Refined, Sensitive, Beauty-Loving Man – Oh hello, sir. Look at that rose sunset. Sure, I’ll sit on this blanket with you. Tea? Why thank you, kind gentleman.

The Vigorous, Virile, Coarse Man – Yes, the sunset is divine isn’t it. But who is that laboring in the field below? He’s just so, so virile. I think I’ll take a walk. NO! Ahem, I mean, no thanks, you don’t need to accompany me. I’m just going to stretch my legs… right through those hay fields.

The Hard, Unsympathetic, Driving, Close-Fisted ManOn my way to meet Mr. Legends of the Fall, I trip and tumble down the hill. The 7th Earl of Carolyn’s Daydreams rode up on horseback and yelled at me to get off his property. Oh, how rude you are! I was only taking a walk. But I’m sure there’s a sweet man inside you somewhere.

[side note: this is taking the tone of Beauty of the Beast, one of my most hated Disney movies. But it is any easy plot, so I write on…]

The Impressionable, Indolent, Extravagant Man – The King is taking a tour of his countryside and happens upon the scene. He calls out for the nice young woman with graying hair to please ride home in his carriage. Why thank you King! While we’re in here, let’s talk about your son…

At the end of each lesson, you are given activities. One of which is to observe people and list where they rank in each category.

What have you learned at the end of this lesson? (Besides that Carolyn needs friends. Real ones this time.)

A Day to Myself.

R is out of town for a few days, so guess what that means? Girly time … with myself!

Hello, my name is Carolyn and I’m an introvert.

There, I said it.

R and I had gone to some friends’ (T’s blog is here) house last weekend. We were sitting around talking about, well what else..ourselves, and T mentioned that his wife had said “Oh good! She’s an extrovert for me and you’re an introvert for R.” Immediately, my palms got sweaty and I started to tremble. Extrovert, extrovert… oh lord, does that mean I have to talk to people? After smelling salt was waved under my nose, I woke up to declare that R was more of an extrovert and to please not give me a debutante ball into extroversion society because I’ll be expected to reenact a scene from the Crucible where they pretend to see birds and my part is one of the girls that screams and cries and, really, I am just not prepared nor do I have the lines memorized even though it’s mostly screaming nor do I like to have people’s eyes on me and no one will clap and everyone will laugh even though it’s a drama and not a comedy, so please.. please!


Anyway, by the end of the discussion, it was decided that T and I were functioning introverts. I like to write, I observe and absorb, I don’t mind giving up the spotlight, I can interact with people despite my sometimes clumsy conversation, and maybe when I get comfortable with you, just maybe, you’ll mistake me for one of those extroverts.

So I took myself to a museum in the next town over. They were having a “Cabin Fever Reliever”, complete with three speakers and they’re normal museumy stuff. The presentations were of the historical trails that went through NW Arkansas: Trail of Tears, Butterfield Stagecoach Route, and a Civil War Troup. It was nice. So were the free cookies and cider.

I skipped the Civil War talk to look around the museum with no one else around (Introvert Alert!!). I wanted to shoot everything. Everything. But was worried I’d do a repeat of my trip to San Juan Capistrano, in which I took about 300 photos of various chairs and pottery. So I made an effort to include myself in photos, if only to make it more interesting to look back on.

My parents are recovering non-self-includers. Now, every time they come back from a trip, they like to point out to me where they are in each photo.

Hang on though, I’m not saying I don’t enjoy interesting pictures from a trip without people I know in them. But that’s the key word: Interesting. I mean, look at this: I could never do this.

Could you? You probably could, huh. Well, I can’t. So I might as well throw me in the scenery mix. What has it got to hurt? (I heard that.)

After gazing at my future dining room table, I turned the corner to a dress-up area and squeezed into a 12-year old’s hat….

…looked at old 3-D photos.

And then I saw it. An entire area devoted to cleanliness in the olden days, which included a replica of an outhouse, of course.

So I tried it out. What you don’t see is the lady standing behind the camera pretending not to watch me set the self-timer and run into the outhouse. Apparently this is the face I make when someone walks in unannounced and stands there staring at me. I mean, hello lady, I’m having a private moment with me and my 1905 Sears catalogue and you are breaking my concentration.

In the end, I outran her to the real deal outside, after which I took a tour of a small cabin and barn.

After a quick stop at a thrift store, I drove home, changed into pajamas, fixed myself a nice cocktail as well as a plate of cheese and crackers (Do you see any green on that plate? I was getting wild and crazy last night, people), and plopped down to my netflix account.

A good, quiet, introverted day.

Plug your nose and talk.

Did you do it? Because that’s what I sound like, without a cold.
They say there’s no market for nasal voices, and by they I mean every person that has ever heard me talk.
But guess what, mister sister, I was chosen to be the voice recording for the entire school district’s telephone tree. That’s right. Lil ole nasaly me.
Okay, so maybe they said it was because I could speak spanish. But I know they secretly liked the nasal.

Small Town Lights

I’m enchanted with small towns. So, seeing our town’s adorable christmas decorations made my insides turn to jelly. You know, like when you went on that first date with a guy and saw that he’s reaching across to caress your cheek, only to realize that he’s actually just scraping spinach off the tip of your nose because instead of using utensils, you apparently just put your head straight into the pasta dish and slurped.


Well, you know the feeling I’m talking about.

look at these lights. just look at them! they are so simple and small-townish.


My lamp is on fire.

I love moments like these. Catching smoke out of the corner of your eye, and really believing it for a second, until you realize incense was placed directly beneath it.

By the way, doesn’t the shade look like pantyhose from the 1950s? Yes, that’s how I roll.

Same Smile

Continuing on from the last post… let’s visit a photo taken during my 14th year of life. Different year, same smile.

Oh, the love one feels at that tender age. Or it might’ve been just emotional residue from all of the Harlequin romance novels I was gobbling up that summer.

My mom and friend, V, headed to a conference at our local church where, ahem, HE was speaking. The infamous HE. HE ruled my universe and basketball highlights. sigh, oh.. HE.

Anyway, afterwards, HE sat down to write autographs for everyone. So I stood (im)patiently in line, ready to deliver the one-liner that would bring HIM down to HIS knees and propose.

But as I shuffled my way to the front of the line, and before I could get a word out edgewise, my mom decided to take matters in her own hands.

“Oh Jared! Why don’t you stand up with Carolyn and pretend you’re going to prom together!”

I. was. mortified.

(and happy)

She managed to break the awkward stare I leveled at HIM as HE waited for me to speak and create a joking atmosphere. Making fun of the fact that I really was pretending we were at prom, made it seem like I wasn’t in fact thinking that very thing. She was always cooler than me, that mom.

But then. Then! Years later in college…. I had been dragging around this darn photo for 7 years, pulling it out from under my bed when someone felt down in the dumps and needed to compare themselves to a lowlier being.

But one day, I noticed a path had been made through the 5 tons of dirty laundry on my bedroom floor. Who had been in here? What would they have possibly wanted?

Later that evening, in walks one of my roommates. A, who was dating someone on the college team that HE started to help manage. She hopped down the stairs and casually handed the photo over.

HE had signed it! And he even wrote my name on it!

Two thoughts ran through my mind:
1) I love you, A.
2) Did she mention that I look different than that 14 yr old in the photo? That I grew into my nose? That I got a cuter hair cut? That I… That I….

And right back into a 14 year old, I turned… With that same huge goofy grin.

Dorm Bedroom

Ah yes, where all the magic happens…. at least now that I have my Harry Potter glasses.

So in case you’ve forgotten, we live in a very small apartment. I can literally wash the dishes while taking a bath. Well, okay, it’s not that close of a space, and although it would make sense to combine bathing and dishwashing, I don’t think I’ll start it up.

That is, unless someone tells me that it’s organic to wash dishes in the shower. In that case I would. Because aren’t we all clamouring to be defined as organic??

Oh, okay, I guess it’s just me.

Maybe not only organic, but also seinfeld-ic. I could wash some iceberg lettuce in the shower for sure. Then, I’ll be sure to mention it to someone just so they say “you know, that reminds me of a seinfeld episode” and then I’ll pretend to not know what they are talking about as if the very idea itself came from an [organic] thought.

Nevermind. I’ve got a cold, so I’m going on tangents.

On a good note, I spent tonight interpreting my first parent/teacher conference. Not once did I substitute the word “furniture” for “car”, like I did here. Not that either of those words would ever come up in a conference… Well, wait. I guess they could. “My son has bad attendance because our furniture is unreliable.” Confused? Read the linked post.

Okay, back to our dorm room. Enough of cold/sinus/allergy-induced ramblings.

We don’t have a lot of storage, so in an effort to create it, I opted to sell our super duper comfortable queen bed for a “I’m a freshman in college” loft bed. Pretty sweet. Bad thing is that neither a twin nor a full bed fit in it.


Make our own bed, Arkansas-style. How many of you can say you have a custom-made, (almost) sleep number, thermarest bed that just barely fits the both of you comfortably?

Yeah, didn’t think so. Don’t be jealous.

The reason it’s a psuedo sleep number is because we had to fold the thermarest padding over on one side, making R’s section a lot more cushiony. I like my mattress hard, so there you have it. I’m a 75 and he’s a 25 or vice versa. Whatever it is.
Quit laughing.

R’s dresser used to be under the loft bed and the trunk acted as a coffee table for the couch that’s under the “wall o’ equipment”. We had to continuously walk around the coffee table, so I decided to pull the dresser out and create a semi-barrier. This has helped us store more items behind it without the room being visually ugly. I heard laughter. I’m going to stand by that statement though.

I threw some old photos of Siloam Springs into a frame and exchanged out our old piggy bank for an old mason jar. I like rusty things.
How many times did I just use the word ‘old’?

The desk area has a lamp attached and so we’re thinking that due to lack of sunlight, we can always use this as a place to keep plants.

Wall o’ Equipment. Everything stacks up nicely though and is off the floors. Left to Right: Biking Gear, Camping/Hiking, Golf. Easy Peasy.

But if you ever come over to visit, you’ll notice something strange in our boudoir. The ceiling fan has no blades!



Uh-huh, that’s right, people. I took them off. First of all, it was like crossing a gauntlet just to get into bed if the fan was on. At any moment, our head could be taken off and roll across the floor.

And because I particularly like my head, I took the blades off.


We needed shelves! So we bought some L-Brackets and there you have it. Instant side tables. We don’t have a lamp or anything up there, so we use that look book spotlight as well as headlights.

Pretty romantic, eh?

Any ideas?? Help me!


How long has it been since you’ve written a letter — an actual pen to paper letter. For me it’s been forever.

My mom has sent me a couple since we’ve moved into our new place. And can I tell you, the excitement of seeing them in the mailbox can not even match a bold number next to ‘Inbox’ indicating you have a new email. Well, sometimes it can… if you’re eagerly awaiting a reply from someone. But the majority of the time, a handheld physical letter tops my list.

on one of the clippings, she wrote “don’t be mad, ryan, for sending this article”. it revolved around decorating with antique photos (of strangers). he forgave her.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that someone took the time to find paper, handwrite a message (even though their hands probably ached from a lack of keyboard), included newspaper clippings (in my mom’s case), and paid 42 cents to send it to you. There’s a sense of connectedness there, one that I so appreciate.

She even found an old notebook page with a printed checkbox at the top stating: “Check Box When Assignment is Completed.” And I bet you she waited until the closing of the letter before she checkmarked that puppy. She’s an oldest, always following the rules.

So my goal is to start writing more letters. Don’t be surprised if I ask you for your address …and you may just get a little something in the post.

Impulse Buy

Books are one thing I don’t feel guilty buying. Ever. And I’m lucky to have a husband who agrees. I mean, my goodness, we have books just waiting in our amazon shopping cart for us to push “buy now.” But we have to control ourselves.

So when I find a little treasure that is also really affordable, I get all giddy.

We were rummaging through bargain bins at our local bookstore when I found a neat art book. Elementary to some of you, but to me? Magical.

It’s called Art Masterpieces in 3-D.

On each page it describes a particular piece of art. And then you see two miniatures of it on the following page. Why?

Because then you flip up the front cover to look through the built-in spectacles. It’s so neat! And it’s when I’m oohing and aahing over 3-D art in the middle of a busy bookstore that I realize how I need a 10-yr old beside me. Sometimes I purchase things just because I hope my future kids will enjoy them with me.

But R suffices for now. Thank goodness he gets me, otherwise I’d be very lonely.

…and I didn’t know it.

Some people compare me to Maya Angelou or ee cummings, but I don’t let it get to my head. You should all know that, yes, I am… a poet. Full of symbolism and alegories, my poems are layered with intellect, beauty, and honesty.

Let me share one with you. This poem was written in Spring of ’08, in the midst of my Costco-buyin‘ large-Fiber-Bar-eatinTryin‘-to-get-into-shape-runnin‘ phase. I even shared a photo of it with you.
But I digress. Let’s just get to it. I don’t think I need to give a foreward. The written words speak for themselves:

Bones atrophied, lungs congested.
Head hair pulled in tight, leg hair not.
I run.

Blood pounding in my head,
Pumping to the beat of Weezer,
I run.

Two dachsunds run after me
Yelping. Caught by their leash,
I run.

Are there any excuses? I look around
And spy an untied shoelace.
I don’t run.

Scary man with hand in pocket
Grins and offers up a greeting.
I run. Fast.

Make it home, but forget about the
Fiber bar already eaten. Head to the bathroom.
I runs.

I’m not proud of this.

Her come-hither look. Sigh. I’ll just never achieve it.

Nope, not proud one bit. I blame my mom and my husband, because well, they don’t necessarily keep me from making a fool of myself and I think sometimes encourage it. I mean, why else would she suggest Jane Austen movies to watch and why would R agree to have a Netflix account? They both must be out to get me.

So I watched one of those movies my mom suggested on Netflix to which R agreed to subscribe. Not a good thing since it dealt with a modern girl going back to Jane’s time and becoming one of the characters in her book. Isn’t that what I’ve been trying to do my whole life?

Of course, I had to try and recreate it. One scene in particular involved learning how to use a fan to convey (or conceal) emotions. So I grabbed my trusty Pride & Prejudice book, fanned myself with it out the door and to the car.

Then I fanned myself behind a dump truck, through the forest, and to a hiking trail.

Finally. I was alone and could practice my fan moves. I even pulled my hair back into a bun and walked sans make-up for probably the second time in my life. No seriously. My first words to my mom were “please cover up the dark circles under my eyes, mommy. thanks a bunch.”
All of this for Jane.

So, here goes nothing:

Cough, ahem. Uh, so yeah, come hither you tall thing, you.

How dare you come hither! Stand back!

Okay, okay, just kidding. Come back and hither a bit more.

What did you say? Don’t you hither away from me.

Hey you — You have a fast hithering pace, but I caught up. Don’t you like me?

Hee Hee… I knew you did. I hear other people hithering on the trail. Let’s get out of here!

I seriously could have done this all day. Point, shoot, click, hither. Point, shoot, click, hither. All day. But my spell was broken when I looked down. Sigh, again. I just can’t get in the regency era mood in these honkers. Next time on the trail I’ll bring my ballet flats. That will surely do the trick.

I wish I had amnesia.

Just for specific moments in my life. Like when I stepped on a soccer ball which caused me to roll forward into the splits and go headfirst into an old lady’s lap. Or, when offered a piggy-back ride, jumping onto a guy’s back which caused him to dive bomb into the pavement and break his teeth. Or, one of the most squeamish (and telling) memories of insisting that my 5th grade “boyfriend” hold my hand during a viewing of Anne of Green Gables.

But as K and I wandered through the KSU campus, other flashbacks caused me to sigh loudly and roll my eyes. I decided to reenact one for you at the very scene of the crime. Interestingly, though, we both thought the number of stairs leading into this building had been lessened. It just seemed small, but I suppose that’s how all memories disappoint you.

Okay, so let me set the stage.

There was a beautiful student, me, headed to class… My mahogany hair fell in layers around my face and shoulders… I was ab-solute-ly stunning.

What. That’s how it is in my memory. Okay, let’s be more realistic.

I rolled out of bed in my pjs, glanced at the clock, and ran out the door while rubbing toothpaste on my teeth with my finger for last minute freshness. I was lucky if my hair was pulled back into a ponytail. Ugh, I hated this class…whatever business class it was. Where’s my spanish poetry when I needed it.

So, with my mouth set in a frown and face turned down, I forged on. It was chilly that morning and was starting to sprinkle. Hurry, hurry, hurry. As I rounded the corner, walking to the front door, I happened to look up. And there she was. The epitome of “the girl I’d like to be.” Yeah, I could dye my hair red like hers, or work out a bit more for slender ballerina legs, but that gracefulness. Oh, that gracefulness. I watched her as she opened up the door, stepped out and then did a little hop onto the first step. Then a second hop. And a third. All the while her toes were pointed and wrists dainty. Damn it to pieces.

I sat through that class analyzing myself when I realized that I not only wanted to be her, I wanted other people to also think to themselves that they would like to be me! Control freak that I am, I literally wanted to force people into admiring me.

So give it a go, Carrie! — I thought — After class walking down those same stairs, it will be your debut into a graceful person.

So I did. I opened the door, dug deep for my kindergarten ballet moves, and gave my first hop.

It was also my last one.

What I didn’t know was that while in class, the rainy drizzle had turned into ice. After just one step, my legs went straight into the air and I literally remember seeing the sun and thinking “Oh my, what a beautiful sunrise.” Then thump a-thump thump. I landed on my back, arms outstretched like I was auditioning for Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

And two things happened.

First, a girl passing by smiled at me pitifully and said: Don’t worry, I’ve done that before too.

Not exactly admiration.

And then something more horrifying took place. As I peeled my head up off the stone steps, I looked down the path and saw, what else? A tour given to a large group of high school seniors!

“And to our left is Calvin Hall, where you will want to be careful to not try to look cool in front of others, lest it bites you in the ass. Literally.”

Dorm Room Love

That’s what we are affectionally calling it: our dorm room. It’s the smallest place in which I’ve lived (with another person) since college. I thought it would be interesting to see how we’ve scaled down — not like we had a lot to begin with — and how we’ve made the most out of our space.

Here’s the layout: 538 sq feet. One bed, one bath, and 1/2 kitchen. Right when I start getting into cooking and baking, I have the rug swept out from under me. I’ve been reading a blog where a young lad cooks up a storm in a super small apartment. Here it is and the photos themselves will just kill you.

So that helped. That, and imagining I live in an ultra urban and cool city has helped too.

At our last place, we had a garage sale to rid of things we either a) absolutely did not need or b) wanted to upgrade to another item. But from looking at this picture, it’s hard to believe we sold anything. We were in shock and I must say a bit saddened.

So after hours of rummaging, piling, and sifting through everything, we finally saw the floor and got encouraged. The one aspect we never felt like we fully utilized were the walls. So we’re treating our living room as a mini-art gallery. Not that I know Picasso from Dali, but I know what I like when I see it and so just slap it up there.

Then R broke out Evelyn, the leveler. He loves that girl so much and this is where that old saying “opposites attract” applies. Like I mentioned, I just slap it up there. R takes enjoyment in measuring and penciling, measuring and penciling, and repeat for hours.

But that personality trait was important for our next project. We took down our closet door, replaced it with a curtain and set about putting up the shelves. This is our “entertainment center” folks, so be prepared to be wowed.

Or not. We’re not exactly “techie”. But I do like how it came out. I call my style “garage sale chic”. I made R carry that table (on which the TV/Computer is sitting) two blocks home because a neighbor was throwing it out. Score! And for those of you that tease us about not having a TV, guess what we were watching when I took this photo? Wimbledon — Live! Things are moving this way, my friends, so I’d encourage you to research using just the internet to watch your TV shows and sports games. Let me list some aspects of it:
  • You can hook up the modem to your existing TV. So, if you have a big screen, you won’t be sacrificing size.
  • You completely wipe out your cable/DVR bill.
  • Many events are LIVE: President speeches and sports events to name a couple
  • If you use Netflix, you can watch movies online for free. (We get the cheapest plan possible — I think $9 a month — and in between receiving movies in the mail, watch them online.
  • Barely any commercials. Talk about freedom. I was listening to an NPR broadcast on the race for ad companies to be effective online. They said it wouldn’t be completely solid for a few years, so why not get as much time away from the onslaught as you can?
  • One drawback is that you have to wait until after the show airs (unless it’s Live) to see it on the internet, but you get used to that time schedule. You just have to inform your family and friends to not tell you what happened last night on Lost.

Anyway, just think about it. We haven’t missed a thing.

Okay, enough of my rant. There’s little pieces around my living room that I love. Like, one of my favorite quotes being “typed” out of the old Underwood:

Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. – Thoreau

… or some french postcards I bought at an estate sale. A couple of them are very ornery, so you’ll have to come over to see for yourself. But here’s my favorite.

Okay, so there’s my living room. Up next is our bedroom that is housing a sofa, a loft bed, and an entire wall devoted to outdoors stuff. Scary.

Mountain Cruiser

Is it weird that I have a basket on my mountain bike? It’s an attempt to squelch any temptation to buy a beach cruiser. Even though I want one…. badly. I can’t seem to justify having three bikes in the house and we’re riding in a race this fall that requires a mountain bike. Be patient, Carolyn. 

I’ve never been a big bike rider before, but I’m starting to really appreciate it. Especially since it’s not running. I’ve got a lingering volleyball knee injury which causes discomfort, but probably the real reason I’m moving away from running is I’ve yet to buy an iPod (crowd collectively gasps..) It’ll happen soon, I’m just too too cheap at the moment. 

Anyway, I took the new basket out for ride to pick up some groceries and ended up stopping at garage sales along the way. Maybe if I quit going to garage sales I could justify an iPod (or three). Nah. I mean, take a look at those two chairs in the photo. Classic Eames style (one of my favorites). Got them for a buck each – no joke – and my mom reupholstered them. If I could only find an iPod at a garage sale…. now that would be perfect.

Guess the type of tree.

Can’t figure it out? Well, it’s a cell phone tower tree. Have you heard of those before? We pass this guy every time we head south on a particular road and I gotta say, I think it actually makes the tower stand out more. Furthermore, to me it looks like the tower is wearing headphones and I can’t help wondering what music it’s listening to… the Nokia ringtone?

Taking it easy.

We’re hitting the road this weekend and so we’ve got to rest up. R wasn’t feeling too hot last night, so I decided tonight to fall back on a classic. Soup & grilled cheese. I hardly ever crave soup unless I’ve got a cold or someone else does. Sympathy pains, I guess. I tried my hand at a new recipe: cream of mushroom. As you can tell, it’s more mushroomy than creamy probably because it calls for a hand-blender which I don’t have. About 7 years ago, my sisters got one for Christmas and I got a cabbage patch doll or something, I can’t remember — but I was in my twenties. I do remember the blenders, though, and I had my eye on those puppies. Trying to somehow blame the fact that this soup did not come out creamy because of that Christmas morning is working. In the end, the soup didn’t turn out so bad.. and the bits of mushroom were a tasty bite. I’d still like to try it again creamy.

The broccoli was a last-minute addition since I can’t stand not having color on my plate.
Right after dinner, we got a knock on our door. It was our craigslist guy delivering a very special item. My dresser! Can you believe we have been living out of plastic bags for the past 4 months? It made the room never quite feel “moved in”, so we were excited to head into that direction furniture-wise.

It also gave R an excuse to accuse me of being a 72 yr-old in a 28 yr-old body, so yes, he was excited. The age of the dresser is unknown, however there is a tag on the back indicating it’s a Basset dresser made in Massachussettes. “Chest #615” is stamped on the back which makes me wonder if that might mean it was the 615th chest made? I’m liking this little guy because of just that. It’s small…. smaller than what I used to have. Why do I like that, you ask? Because it will force me to chuck clothes I no longer wear. One more step in the simplification of Carolyn. The ornate detail should help make up for that. R, on the other hand wants to buy a dresser that takes up an entire wall. So, unless I’m careful, all of the clothes I can’t fit into mine will migrate into his. And there the cycle would begin again.

After I put my clothes away, we watched an episode of Lost and then R spent some time trying to get in contact with his friends from Australia. He studied there in college and the fires have spread all around where he used to live. From the stories I’ve read, it is just heart-wrenching how quickly the fires spread and how many people have already lost their lives to it. We’re quiet in our thoughts tonight, hoping his friends and their loved ones are safe.

2 b or not 2 b, th@ is the ?

**previously recorded post**
Honestly, would Shakespeare write like that? My friend K and I were talking the other night of our worries that people will no longer know how to have conversations with people because of Facebook. (Although I personally cannot stand talking on the phone, so in that instance, it would be just fine.) We also touched on text symbols as well. IHNTTWTOSIAGTUAAFTWS… which means “I have no time to write this out so I am going to use an acronym for the whole sentance.” 

I stopped at a store the other day and saw this sign. It’s everywhere!

Just curious

**pre-recorded post**

Don’t you think creatives do this on purpose? I noticed the positioning of the jack-in-the-box on this Santa soap dispenser. It’s blurry because it’s on a spring. I don’t think it was an accident.

A Wrinkle in Time

Some people divide their life up by the fashion they wore, their hairstyles, or even the boys and girls they liked. When I look back on my 28 years, it can be easily segmented out by books/genres I read. My nose has been in a book since ‘See Dick Run’ sentences finally lept from the pages. In my childhood home, we had a built-in bookcase in a narrow hallway. I loved the feeling of swinging the two doors wide open, pushing them against the wall so people could pass by and sitting cross-legged in front of a tower of written worlds. It was never organized, which lent itself to the feeling of discovery and triumph when a book popped from the back of the shelf. These escapes helped energize my childish curiosity and, later, helped ease my adolescent wounds. Both my adventure and safe haven.

In my parent’s house, there is a little nook in the living room with an antique table set next to my great-grandmother’s chair, re-upholstered by my grandma. On the opposite wall is a free-standing bookcase, filled with the same books of my childhood.

In my earliest reading days, I read fairy-tales of course. This naturally led into my first “novel” in third grade: Alice in Wonderland. I was so proud of myself and remember bragging to my sister that I had finished it. She didn’t believe me, which made me upset. Then came the Beverly Clearly stage, followed by Anne of Green Gables & the Indian in the Cupboard series. Then, in fifth grade my teacher decided she would read to us after lunch in an attempt to smooth the transition of our red & sweaty faces to a calmer classroom. She chose C.S. Lewis and by the end of the first day, I insisted that my mom buy me the Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe set. My high school days alternated between historical romance novels (if I couldn’t get kissed…I might as well read someone else getting it), Stephen King, and the classics (British mostly.)

This was my favorite fairy-tale book as a child. I was enthralled by the princesses’ perfect hair and how it always separated into three different strands. I looked at it with envy and resented my own.

To me, books are like smells & photos. They instantly bring me back to a specific time in my life. I remember characters like old friends I haven’t kept in very good contact with, but still can recall good memories. Or like places I’ve visited long ago and have a vague, almost blurry picture of in my head. I can’t separate my past from them, and can’t wait to introduce my own children to them.

I don’t care, just feed me.

Feed a cold, starve a fever? …or is it feed a fever, starve a cold. Either which way, whenever I’m sick with a cold or a fever, I manage to twist the saying so I can eat in both instances.

Our internet is up and running after throwing a fit, so more posts to come.