Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The forecast looks fabulous for tonight. And so I won't impose on any of you. But I'm incredibly touched. And amazed.
I was equally wowed at the thought that went into the vaction destinations that poured not only into comments but also into my email.
I make the following offer: any reader/commenter who would like can send me an address, home, work, or what-have-you, and he or she will receive a postcard purchased on my trip. I cannot promise you it will be sent from our trip, because we have limited time and the oldest would probably not feel keen about carving a bit out to find a post office, not when there's so much to do in exciting...
Yes, when I laid out all your suggestions, he was torn, but ultimately the Guinness Book of World Records Museum, the Glow-in-the-Dark minigolf, and the after dark, Trolley Holiday Light Tour won out. To an eight year old boy, this sounds like the promised land. Tabled until summer is the Great Dismal Swamp, which was runner up.
So now I begin the search for the perfect hotel. I have a special place in my heart for over-the-top accomodations, where the whole building is shaped like a cigar-store Indian, or you enter the lobby by walking through the grizzly bear's mouth. Don't look so shocked; my mother grew up in Ocala, Florida, so we spent lots of time in Orlando when we visited my grandmother.
(I also had an email asking what happened to Maine. We're still planning to go visit, but the logistics of that one are trickier, given the distance, so it won't be this break.)
Monday, October 30, 2006
So I want to take just the oldest child away for two days and one night during that overlap, just me and him. You tell me where.
1. He is 8 years old and can get pumped up about almost anything.
2. He knows how to behave.
3. I am fine with leaving at 5 am. So is he.
4. Wherever we go, we will drive there one morning, spend the day, spend the night, then leave after lunch the next day.
5. I'd like to limit destinations to within about 4 hours drive from Winston-Salem.
6. There are no weather considerations. We know how to dress for the elements.
Please help me come up with the Mac
Sunday, October 29, 2006
I have two days to come up with a backup plan in case it pours rain, which it seems wont to do every third day here this fall. The oldest's backup plan is for me to walk to the side of him, carrying an umbrella over him but not over me, like a butler. I think not.
Central Library has an indoor haunted library thingie, but that's all I've found. I could take them to Trick or Treat at the mall I suppose, but I'd sooner hack my own tongue out than suggest that to them.
My husband will be home passing out Halloween pencils or Play-Doh. We get roughly two Trick-or-Treaters a year, so I don't dare buy candy, lest we end up with lots left. Play-Doh and pencils we can always use or store away for next year, easy peasy.
I've only got two days left to figure out the backup plan, though.
I will spend the rest of the day staring at every clock in the house, wondering if that is the old time or the new time. It will make no difference if I systematically adjust each clock. I will still wonder. I will not trust the household timepieces - or my car - for a few days. The default clocks, the ones where the buck stops, will be those I do not change myself, the ones that change automatically: my cell phone, the DirecTV menu, and the computer.
The dogs have eaten now, and watch me from where they lay, sprawled out on the floor. Good idea. I'm going back to sleep, too.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Fresh Market at Thruway
To fit in, you'll want:
1. $200 dollar, ash blonde helmet coif
2. Burberry rain gear
3. Chanel purse
1. Keep your back ramrod straight.
2. Look simultaneously incredibly aloof (people) and absorbed (products).
3. Pretend you adore ingredients like Imported Caspian Hydro-Virginic Walnut Oil, but certainly would never buy anything like instant grits.
What you should avoid:
1. Eye contact with anyone. Avoid it at all costs.
2. Bringing a small child, lest he say, in a loud voice, in the quiet that is the Prepared Foods Counter waiting area, "Wow, that fart just jumped right out of my butt!"
Remember that advice about avoiding eye contact? Well, when you fail to make eye contact with him, hoping people might think that old battle-axe over there (yes, her, the one shod in pink driving moccasins) said it? He's going to grab the front of your shirt and repeat himself. You see, he's pleased about it, and he has high hopes you will be, too. The rest of the people in Fresh Market? Sooooo not pleased.
We're sitting at Chelsee's, where I am treating her to her victory coffee, and we are talking about the phenomenon in Winston-Salem of strangers sharing somewhat personal things pretty much out of the blue. We're talking about this because a woman has just randomly shared with me, while conducting business, that her daughter has an appointment with a cardiologist that very afternoon. I say "randomly" because the conversation went like this:
Woman: Will this be all? My daughter has an appointment with a cardiologist this afternoon.
Esbee: (deer caught in headlights look) Oh, my.
I should also mention that I have never seen this woman before. We don't have a regular business relationship or any such.
And then my oh, my acted as an open, sesame, and the woman was telling me about her own heart murmur, so I gave the concerned-brow, closed-mouth, semi-smile, tilted-head nod.
Later at Chelsee's, I demonstrate the nod to Jen, who mirrors it right back, because she's used it, too. She's a funny girl. I'm glad she won so I could meet her.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Art-o-mat makes it possible to buy art for $5 a pop, and I've compiled a list of the Art-o-mat artists from Winston-Salem. Click each name for an example of the artist's Art-o-mat offerings.
Mike Locke (and here's another pic of his work)
Woodie Anderson (who also made a few of these posters for a local band)
Laura Lashley (who also has a website)
Clark Whittington (who created Art-o-mat)
(If I were ever going to have another baby, and if I had oodles of cash just plunked into large bags at the back of my closet, I'd hire Laura Lashley to come paint some of her amazing animals all over the nursery. Like this one? Rocks.)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Esbee: Ohmigod! They're trying to kill me!
911: Ma'am, calm down. Help is on the way.
Charlie 49, we have an L.I.D. with a cellular tower location on Country Club Road near the A.B.C. store. Respond with ambulance A.S.A.P. or she will be D.E.A.D.
Ma'am, can you tell me who is trying to kill you?
Esbee: I'm having trouble breathing! My heart! My heart!
911: Ma'am, are you injured? Did someone hurt you?
Esbee: MOMMA! I'M COMING HOME! I'M WALKING TOWARD THE LIGHT, MOMMA!
911: Ma'am, can you hear me? Ma'am, stay with me! I can hear the siren! Help is almost to you!
Esbee: I HEAR THE HEAVENLY HARPS! I'M READY TO ASCEND! TAKE ME, LORD! TAKE ME HOME!
911: Ma'am! Ma'am!
Radio: Charlie 49 on scene. Jesus, this is awful.
911: Oh, no... the L.I.D... is she D.O.A.?
Radio: No, but she'll never see again. Her eyes melted. I called to her, "Look away! Look away!" but it was too late.
911: Oh my God. How bad is... whatever it is?
Radio: Real bad. There's a turkey and a snowman and a penguin and (muffled gasp) icicle lights. And one more inflatable thing I can't quite make out way to the left. Is it a candy cane? A lighthouse? Who knows. I think I'm gonna be sick.
911: It's not even Halloween yet! What kind of...
Radio: I don't know, but I know my old man didn't see stuff like this back when he was sitting jump. Oh, man, I am puking. Over and out.
Monday, October 23, 2006
I especially love that he told me that since it was small, I could carry it in my purse. You know, for all my wine emergencies.
Date: Monday, October 23, 2006
Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
From Germany, "Beyond Silence" (1997)
Having been raised by deaf parents who depend upon her heavily for their contact with the hearing world, Lara, a gifted musician, must find a way to develop as an individual, while balancing her love for her parents and her music.
Nominated for Academy Award Best Foreign Film. Winner of the Best Picture award at Tokyo Film Festival and Vancouver Film Festival.
"Passion, energy and joy!" - Los Angeles Times
Rated PG-13 - Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may not be appropriate for children under 13.
Oh, to have a babysitter just sitting in a cupboard, ready at any moment.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
1. Find every single basic, good-in-desserts ingredient you can in your cupboard.
2. Layer in casserole dish.
You look confused. What? I am NOT holding out on you!That's it! That's the recipe! The whole recipe!
Some Glops are better than others, but the one I made last night was stupendous, if I do say so. (I made a melted butter and crushed graham cracker crust at the very bottom, then layered pecans, sweetened, condensed milk, then coconut, and finally semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then I threw it in the oven at 325 for about 15 minutes. Then I let it cool for an hour before cutting it.)
So I'll stay inside today, read the paper, work on Halloween costumes, and eat Glop. You should, too.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Exciting opportunity to improve the health of Forsyth County residents!
Wow. Sounds good so far! Rewarding even!
You will provide syphilis screenings via venipuncture to detainees of the Forsyth County Detention Center.
Um. Wait a minute. Needles? Inmates? Syphilis? Er...
As part of the screening process, you will educate detainees, in graphic and explicit detail, about signs and symptoms of syphilis...
What? Talk graphically with inmates about their hoohoos and yooyoos while waving a needle around trying to stick them? This sounds like a bad idea. I'm sorry, but you'd need something truly amazing to leverage this much ugsome.
Hmm... Maybe that's it.
Maybe it pays really, really well.
Starting Salary: $22,110
Thursday, October 19, 2006
The following Harris Teeter in-store foods are incredibly delicious:
1. Harris Teeter salsa, found in the prepared foods refrigerated area near the egg salads.
Have a drink handy; it can be spicy.
2. Harris Teeter potato soup, found in the same area, among the soups.
Like a warm hug from Mom, if Mom's hugs came with 8 billion grams of fat per serving.
3. Harris Teeter pumpkin spice cookies, location: the bakery cookie stand thing.
Cakelike texture, not overly sweet, and generously sized.
Seriously. You have to try them.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
It's because I missed the one this morning. Now I'm in hyper-wannanother-earthquake-mode. Just so I can say I felt one. I swear it was probably something as piddly as a mosquito breaking wind, but now I'm all giddy.
WAS THAT ONE? WAS THAT ONE?
The correct answers were:
1. Covered sidewalk next to Stevens Center on Marshall
2. Staircase in sunken park next to Sawtooth building on Marshall
3. Sideview of Forsyth County Sheriff's office from Third Street
4. Old Reynolds building
5. Mural in arts district on Trade
6. Millenium Center
7. Pig statue outside Kopper Kitchen on Fifth, next to Convention Center
8. Fountain on Marshall just outside W-S Journal offices
Many kudos to all who entered. The competition was fierce, with 3 and 7 proving the stumpers.
Jen, email me your (rough) schedule, and I will set up a time to treat you at Chelsee's.
I felt absolutely nothing, and in fact thought that the report of an earthquake hitting Winston-Salem, which I heard on the radio as I drove the oldest to school this morning, well, I thought it was fake. You know, a radio joke.
Apparently it happened, though.
Monday, October 16, 2006
It's just that I have such a hard time being indoors during fall. The air is amazing, especially since someone in the neighborhood's been burning a woodfire for the last four days. It smells heavenly. And I just want to be outside, inhaling deeply, crunching leaves, and collecting acorns.
My boys, however, prefer to collect these...
... And hurl them like grenades. I suppose it dovetails nicely with the whole sticks-as-guns thing.
(True autumnal nirvana is finding that leaf, usually from my maple tree, that has green in the very center, blending into yellow going outwards, then into orange, then into red, and just turning brown on the edges.)
Saturday, October 14, 2006
1. An orange knit winter hat. It can be the fakest fiber ever, but it must be orange and it needs to be cheap. One of those stretchy, one-size-fits-all ones. No frills, just orange.
2. Liquid, not gel, food coloring. The kind we used when I was little. All I can find now is the gel-tube kind. I need the use-a-dropper kind.
3. An over-the-door, pantry organizer. Not a shoe organizer, but a wire one for use in kitchens, with bag holders and hooks. I've seen them before, but not here that I recall. I know they exist though.
Before anyone asks, no, these items are not really related to one another.
(Am I the only one who gets concerned by how my groceries look on the belt? Like the day I bought only 4 decorative mini-gourds, ketchup, and dog biscuits, did the cashier think that was somehow dinner, I wondered. So I blurted out, "That's not all for one recipe, you know. Haha." Please tell me I'm not the only one. Please. Lie if you have to.)
Anyway, thankyouthankyouthankyou in advance, and anyone else that is looking for something locally is always welcome to email me and I will post it or post it in comments here.
Friday, October 13, 2006
Contest runs until a winner steps forth. Entries should be sent to my email. Click on images for larger versions.
And yes, I have decided to walk around Winston-Salem every Friday morning. Joiners always welcome.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
From: The Muscadines or Scuppernongs
We are Muscadines or Scuppernongs of color. I guess that makes us Class D-55, though we are not, in fact, actually black any more than Class D-56 is actually white. We are the most beautiful shade of deep, purply blue. They are a somewhat sickly-looking green. Aren't you glad we're yours?
Note from the Desk of Esbee
Um, yeah. Thanks. The deadline for declaring your class was only like SIX WEEKS AGO. Not that it matters, because you are - still - ENTIRELY TOO SMALL.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Today, on Robinhood, at roughly 5:15 pm.
I don't care if you were late for an audience with the Pope. I was carrying a very important feline fecal sample to the vet's, and your speeding up to my bumper repeatedly did not, in fact, make me want to please you by going faster than the speed limit. On the contrary, it made me want to slow down to fifteen miles an hour, set my hazards ablink, and straddle both the drive lane and the turn lane. Be thankful I didn't. Next time leave earlier.
The complete list of items
Personally, I'm intrigued by lot#364. The oldest would love to find those in his stocking Christmas morning.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
He's stunned. This is out of nowhere for him. If you need to go to Maine, of course you should go, he says. By yourself if that's what you wanted, or... He leaves it unfinished. He looks scared.
No. I need you to come. I hurt. I just need to go there. I want you there, too. OK?
He nods and exhales. He's still holding all the Cub Scout stuff as I turn suddenly and leave the room.
Maine. I haven't been in over twenty years, my God almost twenty-five, since the summer my parents separated and we sold the cottage, the pretty cedar shake one named Seascape. I lived the other nine months for my three in Maine, and then they were gone, taking everything I knew with them. Just like that.
And periodically, I get the Maine ache so bad it physically hurts, and I just want to somehow crawl inside of myself and weep.
It's not that my life here is somehow dissatisfying - I really do love it here. But I need to be there again. I need to go to Maine.
I mislay my keys inside my house pretty often. You might think by now I would have come up with some system to prevent this, but ha-ha you'd be wrong. I also lose my sunglasses with alarming frequency, and due to a bizarre fluorescent light bulb incident some years ago, I really need them, or I'm as blind as a mole. But today I am only missing my keys.
I know, I know, the library's open all day and it isn't going anywhere. Yes, but I also have to buy the dye to make the volcano. I bought the heavy sailcloth yesterday, and today I need to dye it grey with green bits. I also need it to be kind of mottled, which is an effect that I am actually quite good at, as I'm impatient and often don't let dye crystals fully dissolve before putting fabric in. So I need to dye the fabric and then arrange it to dry in a wrinkly way, which effect, I'm sure it will surprise you to learn, I am also very good at. I can't create stunning gowns, but by golly, I do wretched Halloween costumes well!
But first I have to find my keys. Again.
Monday, October 09, 2006
According to the NC Department of Agriculture consumer website, apples grown and sold in North Carolina include:
- Red Delicious
- Rome Beauty
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
- Arkansas Black
- Limber Twig
- Virginia Beauty
- Wolf River
Of course, if you want to pick your own produce, the same site, NCFarmFresh.com, lists 126 farms where you can do so in the Piedmont area.
And, if you crave a still deeper level of involvement, you can even grow your own produce. Order an apple tree-to-be from Big Horse Creek Farm.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
When faced with this, this sea of possibility:
He chose this:
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Hello, people. Welcome to Furnitureville, USA. If you are a resident of Forsyth County, you live almost within spitting distance of some of the best furniture outlets in the world. And yet, you're shopping from a Pottery Barn catalogue.
Somewhere along the way, Pottery Barn, via a barrage of catalogues that would best be described as "torrential", convinced you that you are incapable of selecting items without their help, that you are all thumbs when it comes to color, that only their doodads are precious.
I am here today to tell you that you DO have taste. Just as Pottery Barn "designers" are capable of seeing the beauty in old furniture, so are you. But you needn't send THOUSANDS of dollars to Pottery Barn for them to send you fantique (fake antique, people) knockoffs when the originals are readily available to you here in the area.
And can we talk about prices? There is no reason a child's wall system should cost THIRTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS, much less when it isn't even all wood! "The pieces are built of solid wood and MDF, a material known for its strength and durability." *Snort* No, it's not. MDF is known for its cheapness and the almost superhero quickness with which it warps when the slightest bit of moisture hits it.
Also, just because it isn't an earth tone doesn't mean it's not wonderful. Do not let Pottery Barn beat earth tones into you against your will. You want a Mediterranean blue kitchen? A kelly green powder room? Do it. Marvel at how your colors pop against crisp white. Note that they don't look faintly lived in from the word go.
One last note: ginormous wooden letters spelling things like READ and JOY actually are tacky. Do not for one minute believe that everything in those catalogues is tasty goodness. Those letters, the plastic-looking "crystal" finials for curtain rods they featured over one summer, and ohmigod, can we talk about THESE? Anway, there are enough taste sins in these catalogues to bring Pottery Barn back down to earth with the rest of us mere mortals is all I'm saying.
In closing, please, I beg of you, trust your style instinct, your inner sense of taste. Recycle the catalogues without opening them. I would tell you to cancel them, but I've found it's virtually impossible and that attempts to do so only up the deluge from biweekly to weekly.
PS: One last laugh. You can buy four - count them, FOUR - small, common rocks and a pencil for twelve dollars. I kid you not.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Actually, I can. Canoe, that is. And every time I drive through Thruway and see the canoes outside Great Outdoor Provision Company, I am struck by the urge to buy a canoe.
I picture the children, waking up Christmas morning, and I imagine watching their faces light up as they see what's under the tree. I picture the green - no! the red - canoe stuffed with gifts and bedecked by holly. I picture the children laughing at the two packages wrapped perfectly but shaped exactly like paddles.
And then I remember that I have no lake.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Time: Today, roughly 11:05 am
Happening: While looking for a place to munch some mighty delicious, maple sugar cotton candy, I spotted the most marvelous chainsaw carvings. One especially struck my fancy.
Good news: The chainsaw carvings are being auctioned at govdeals.com, including the one I reallyreallyreally love.
I think it would look amazing decorated for Thanksgiving on my table. Plus, I would rather enjoy asking stunned relatives what they thought of my centerpiece.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Ken Otterbourg has an interesting piece today on his Otterblog. Go read it and comment. What purpose do blogs serve for you?
There's often something odd about telling people who don't live in Winston-Salem about certain aspects of life here.
When I tell non-locals my sons are slated to go to Reynolds High School, there's nearly always an incredulous, "Reynolds? You mean like the tobacco company?" In other parts, the name Reynolds is given the same consideration usually reserved for Third World tyrants and terrorists. Pointing out that the family has been a huge benefactor of the city is akin to defending Hitler's art.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The original library on Cherry Street, which, according to the library website, is now Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church.Hi, my name is Esbee, and I'm a free-postcard-loving nerd.
Monday, October 02, 2006
We buy our pumpkins every year at Maple Springs Methodist on Reynolda, a.k.a The Pumpkin Church. We are conservative, so our pumpkins are orange - no white or other colors at our house. However, we are also independent, so we like our pumpkins to have something unique going on, in texture, shape, or some other way. We're also bleeding hearts, so if a pumpkin has a unique posture, which is to say it won't stand upright, or if it is exceptionally ugly, it's coming to our house.
We are very complicated, pumpkinwise.
(Pumpkin Sales start this year October 6th at Maple Springs.)
Sunday, October 01, 2006
This is the only fundraiser my son's Cub Scout Pack does, so he will be joining in. In an hour or so, he'll put on his uniform and hit the pavement, clipboard with popcorn order form under his arm.
Back in the day, I sold Girl Scout cookies. My favorites were Tagalongs, all that chocolatey, peanut buttery goodness. I rooted for them against the other cookie lines, and secretly reveled when a neighbor would order a box but pass over the popular Thin Mints or Samoas. I used to go out alone in my neighborhood with instructions not to go more than two blocks in any direction, which was as far as my Mom's voice carried.
Today the youngest and I will go with the oldest. We'll sell a little popcorn, pick up a few acorns, plan Halloween costumes and pumpkin carvings, and find some unexpected treasures.
It's a beautiful day today, any way you slice it.