Hello Hello

Sunday, September 30, 2007

By request


Behold MPB's bats!

I cannot explain to you how cute they are. Backlit, it's hard to make out, but up close you can see their wee veins and their adorable toes. The body of each one is about the length and width of two of my fingers. They are tiny.

Smitten,
Self-Designated Honorary Bat Auntie

PS: The photo was shot through a window. The storm window was left open maybe four inches at the bottom, so they learned to crawl up the screen inside of it, but the interior window is completely shut, so they aren't actually inside the house.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

After a while, it all just becomes one word

Himynameis______________andIamsellingpopcorn
tosupportCubScoutingIaminPack__________
Wouldyoubeinterestedinbuyingsomepopcorntoday?
-the oldest, ringing what seemed like doorbell #5893 this afternoon

I live for Girl Scout cookies. Someone with a Brownie or Girl Scout please tell me when it is order time so I can find a scout and demand she take my order. I have asked no less than THREE Brownies from the oldest's school to please come see me when it's cookie time, and yet they never do. I WANT MY COOKIES, PEOPLE.

Thank you in advance to those of you buying popcorn from a Cub Scout or a Boy Scout.

Until 3 pm TODAY

Cricket's Nest is holding its semiannual Craft Festival at their shop on Country Club adjacent to South Fork Park.

Go. Buy lots. Support your local craftspeople.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Minivan heat in the Demolition Derby! There's something very wonderful about watching Mommymobiles slam into one another. It could only have been better if they had been festooned with magnetic stickers and driven by actual Mommies.

Regular demolition derby action. There was a rookie driver, a female. She made it through to the finals in the last chance heat. I almost had a new Life Dream moment when she did, but no.

Metalworkers in Yesterday Village. Yesterday Village is where the oldest fell on gravel while running, embedding his calf with lots of little rocks in a decent imitation of mild roadburn. This earned us a trip to the First Aid Station, which was manned by paramedics. I'm betting the sterile water with which they washed his leg and the gauze pad will bring us a bill around, oh, $300.

Anyway, these are metalworkers.

Remembering that Section 2's pig always wears a number cape in the youngest's favorite purple, we sat in Section 2. Sadly, our pigs without exception came in dead last, causing the youngest to weep copiously. I'm thinking competitive sports may not be the way to go for him.

Chainsaw art! Also in Yesterday Village.

We watched him work on an owl. Also, I got a good idea how hard it is for the oldest to hear.

For 25 cents, we got to feed this pig a handful of pellets. Disappointingly, we fed him through a safety tube.

Apparently this is one of the skills a homemaker should have.

Alas, I do not.

I can die now. My life dream is fulfilled.

Cackalacky, land of tabacky.

593 lbs. Last year's was 921 lbs, which is still the State Record. The Agriculture gentlemen with whom I spoke said the drought is to blame for the (relatively) small pumpkins this year.

Fashions change in the sheep world as well, apparently.

Here's what the sheep were wearing last year.

Feather Pantaloons! Yes! Yes! Yes!

His eye seems to follow you, no matter which way you lean.

I want this chicken.

My beloved fancy chickens! Swoon!

The National Guard has a nifty climbing tower this year, as well as the usual tank for the kids to climb into.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

(spit to one side) NASCAR

ATTN: people who love NASCAR or people who love to drive fast or people who love to walk or people into charity or people out for a unique opportunity or people who saw the movie Cars and thought it was good or people who have ever jumped in a car through the window or

ATTN: all

Thirty bucks gives YOU the opportunity to walk around the track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, PLUS you get a quality t-shirt, POSSIBLY by Hanes, PLUS you get the satisfaction of the money going to help charitable causes. A veritable threefer. October 13th, y'all.

Check it!

Barnabas & Co.

"Barnabas has a friend!" MPB's voice is breathy with excitement across the line. It's not even 7 am. The phone rang so loudly in the quiet chill of the morning.

"What do you mean, Barnabas has a friend?"

"My bat, Barnabas!"

"I know your bat. Define 'a friend'."

"Barnabas came back with a smaller, lighter bat this morning! Now, they're both asleep in between the storm window and the window."

"Oooh, a ladyfriend!" I'm getting giddy now, too. "What are you going to name her?"

"I don't know. It has to come to me."

"Betty?"

"No. Something..."

"More flowery?"

"Exactly."

"Oh, MPB, I'm happy for you and Barnabas."

"I know! OK, I have to go."

And she disconnects quickly, leaving me packing lunches and shepherding sluggish children and imagining MPB's fabulous wide smile beaming at the now two bats that have chosen her home as their own.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This did not occur

From an online Winston-Salem Police Department Public Record Release, dated 9/23:

Officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at Cavalry Medical Transport located at 1095 Fairchild Drive. Officers located an employee at the business who had her hands and feet bound with tape and she had several non life threatening lacerations. An undetermined amount of money was stolen. The victim was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.

The case was referred to the Criminal Investigation Division.

From the same Public Record Release, dated 9/24:

Detectives have conducted follow up investigation into this case and determined that this incident did not occur. No charges will be filed and there will be no further investigation into this matter.

I find that wording absurd. Clearly, something happened, an attempt at fraud, a false report to police, something, but the tone of the update is like an angry parent insisting something never happened when the child knows full well it did. "And I will brook no more discussion of this matter, dammit."

The Pursuit of my Life Dream

(My Win-a-Dixie-Classic-Ribbon Life Dream, that is)

1. The Muscadines: Alas, drought is a cruel mistress. So are they going at all? Mais non. They are not worthy.

2. The Decorated Apple, themed "Dinosaur Days": OH MY GOSH, I DID SO WELL! I sewed the cutest brachiosaurus costume for my apple! Button eyes! Little stitch nostrils! A jaunty tail!

And then Pep, a.k.a. The Naughty Dog, somehow managed to get ON the kitchen counter and eat the blasted apple out of the costume.

But there was still hope! I still had the costume itself! It was just slightly chewy and apple juicy! So I washed it!

...And that's how I found out the cotton I used was NOT in fact, "pre-shrunk". Suffice it to say, if there was a Best Decorated Grape contest, I would win, but alas, there will be no Best Decorated Apple glory this year.

3. The Artistic and Original Doorstop: And so I'm pinning all my hopes on this one. The competition looks fierce, with a cool, beach-glass filled cube already entered when I showed up. (I do hope the wise judges see straight through the ridiculous river rock painted black with WFU painted on in gold. HARDLY original.)

Anyway, behold!



Artistic! Original! Hand-sewn in today's incredibly boring hot interior design colors! Note the flocked, velveteen fabric and variegated chenille yarn! Complete with flat edge for maximum door holdage!

(Shoutout to Salsa, a.k.a. The Good Dog, who discreetly planted herself at 10 o'clock in both photos.)

Remedy

Dewey's at Thruway: the sweet end to a less than sweet hearing test.

(I had an apple dumpling, which I cannot recommend enough. The oldest would suggest a cinnamon bun, which is what he snarfed down.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tag

tag
noun
(12th definition) Slang. A graffito featuring a word or words, especially the author's name, rather than a picture.

"tag." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. Answers.com 25 Sep. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/tag

Join the Graffiti Patrol

Volunteers are needed to help remove graffiti around Winston-Salem. Graffiti is not only illegal and unsightly, but can lead to or be the result of criminal activity. Removing it as quickly as possible once found is critical.

more info

tag on left: Reynolda Gardens, tags on right: downtown

Yes! Yes! Yes! GO, WSJ!

A round of massive applause for the Winston-Salem Journal!

Today's front-page story about Keri Brown Still's heartbreaking battle with ALS was accompanied in the print edition by no less than three links to related information.

(For future stories, you might instead consider putting together related links on the JournalNow website*, then directing readers there. Just a thought.)

Anyway, kudos to you, Journalers. That's the kind of thinking that makes loyal readers.

*where they are readily and easily visible, NOT hidden inside the online edition of the same story

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Sched for Friday

11:00 am - Gates Open - Exhibit Halls Open and
Midway Opens - Strates Shows
9:45 pm - Fireworks by Zambelli
10:30 pm - Exhibit Halls Close/Annex Closes
12:00 midnight - Fairgrounds Close
Grandstand (#25) Demolition Derby - 7:30
Clock Tower Stage (#5) Caleb Caudle - 4:00, 6:00, 9:00
Hypnotist, Terrance B with Hypnodog (#1) - 4:30, 7:00, 9:00
Amazing Rainforest Experience (#2) - 1:00, 4:00, 7:30
Swifty Swine Racing & Swimming Pigs (#3) - 11:30, 2:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:30
Kid Bucks (#10) - 2:30, 5:30, 8:30
Border Collie Herding (#12) - 7:30, 8:30
Magic 4 U (#14) - 1:30, 4:30, 8:00
Bluegrass Music (#15) - 3:00 - 7:00
Tinsmith, Michael Felk (#16) - 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:00
Chainsaw Artist, Jerry Ward (#19) - 3:00, 5:30, 8:00
Home & Garden Building (#23) - Flower Show Opens at 2:00
Kountry K-9’s (#31) - 2:30, 5:30, 8:30
BC Characters (Roaming) - 12:00, 3:00, 5:30, 7:30
Buford Bear (Roaming) - 1:00, 3:30, 6:30, 8:30
Carrie McQueen (Roaming) - 1:00, 3:30, 6:30, 9:00
Washboard Willy & Wishboard Wanda (Roaming) - 12:30, 3:30, 7:30

source

The bolded, plus mucho time with my beloved fancy chickens and a quick check to see if my Life Dream of winning a Dixie Classic ribbon has been achieved.

I'll also either be eating my annual funnel cake or my annual maple sugar cotton candy. Haven't decided which yet.

I walk alone, I walk alone

"I don't understand why you don't just join the Y, Lucy."

K is offended, I can tell. I try to explain that it has nothing to do with her, nothing to do with the Y. It's that I don't want to be stuck in the same place every day, seeing the same people, smelling the same smells, hearing the same noises. I'd be bored silly within a week.

I want to see the whole city. I want to walk up hills and stumble over roots. I want to feel and smell the seasons change. I want to find every nook, every historic marker, every poster. I'm a sensory junkie, a glutton for input, so walking all over town makes exercising a delight.

K shakes her head and begins to move off.

"Where you heading today, then?"

"Old Salem!"

I deconstruct my keys so I can carry just the car key, attached to my waistband.

K's back is to me, as she lifts her hand in a goodbye wave. "I just don't get it," she calls, "but have fun."

The weekend in snaps












Plus my husband and I went to Cirque du Soleil (cameras forbidden).

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Friday, September 21, 2007

start craft goodness HERE

re: my Dixie Classic entries

Sadly, my muscadines seem to have taken a turn for the worse during the drought, so I'm not at all sure they will be showing.

HOWEVER.

This weekend I will be creating my best Decorated Apple, Adults Age 19 and Up, as well as crafting a jaw-dropping Artistic and Original Doorstop.

I will post pictures of the finished entries next Wednesday. Fair warning: you will want to be sitting down at that time, or you run the risk of swooning.

Best rosette luck to Mary K and all others entering anything!

Wine, Oh!

Winston's favorite wine lover, Sarah South, details a wine tasting happening later today. $10 gets you tastes of over 30 wines, plus some artisan cheese bounty. Oh, and hors d'oeuvres.

Or spend nothing and head up to the Teeter*, where a few hours a day this weekend**, the wine man is giving out sips of a few wines in little pill cups. Sometimes they have cheese samples in front of the deli. PLUS you get your Harry the Dragon sugar cookie!


*on Robinhood. Hmm, technically it may be on Peacehaven. Anyway, that one.
** this being a wine promotion weekend. Discounts for stocking up by the case.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Shelter Needs

The Forsyth County Animal Shelter asks for donations of the following:

Dog Toys
Cat Toys
Dog and Cat Treats
Dog Food
Cat Food
Food Bins (all sizes)
Nylon Collars
Computer Labels (4-inch Size)
Blankets
Towels
Food Bowls

Also, this poor dog would like a face.

Façade(s)

Buena Vista and Oaklawn

I have always loved the façade of this house. Well, both façades actually - it sits on a corner.

Framing for an enormous addition that will clearly alter these makes me nervous. I'm crossing my fingers that the owner consults with the catty-corner neighbor about how to retain/put back/add maximum charm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Invasion of the Babysnatchers

E. and I are trading news, news of classrooms, news of her family and mine, news of when are we going to shut down the K again, news about more places for us to laugh ourselves silly, when she spots the baby carriage.

"I need to hold a baby, " she announces, heading straight for this son of a friend. The friend smiles as E. picks up the infant, continuing her conversation with yet another friend. E. carries the baby over to me.

"You're a mess."

I shake my head, but I'm laughing. I'm usually laughing hanging out with E., often until my sides positively ache.

Then I see E.'s eyes zero in on something behind my left shoulder. I turn to see another mother with a very small infant.

"I want to switch babies," E. says matter-of-factly. "That baby's younger."

"You cannot just go swapping out babies, E. Just smell a baby head and get over it already."

"I will not!" She's pure indignation as she puts the first baby back in his carriage and heads over to swoop up the new and improved baby, as his mother laughs.

"Anyway, Lucy, " she continues as if we haven't just spent five minutes shopping for the right baby for her to hold. And the conversation keeps going, twirling crazily around the past escapades and the future adventures of E. and Me.

Brain-picking opp

This Friday (12-6 pm) and Saturday (8-12 noon), the Master Gardener Volunteers of Forsyth County will hold a plant sale at the County Agriculture Building (1450 Fairchild Dr. W-S).

MGVs will be there to answer questions and offer advice on the wide range of plants, bushes, shrubs, and trees available for sale. These people have crazy bright green thumbs. Do not squander this opportunity.

Master Gardener Volunteers of Forsyth County

Reading is Fundamental


Here, Salsa contemplates eating a small, white, yipping ball of fluff that was running loose on the grounds of Reynolda Gardens, the owner sauntering ten feet or so behind unabashedly and unhurriedly, despite the umpteen signs throughout the property reminding visitors that dogs must be leashed at all times.


Dear Dog Owner:

1. Horizons Park

2. Washington Park

Unamusedly,
Esbee

El Machismo

"You sure?"

I'm looking at the oldest skeptically. He's standing in the back door, violently shivering in short sleeves, shorts, and sandals. It will warm up later in the day, no doubt, but right now, at just a smidge past 7:30 in the morning, the temp's in the mid-fifties, I'm guessing.

"I don't NEED a coat, Mom. It's not cold. Besides, you aren't wearing a coat."

"That's because I sit up front where I have a seat warmer. Plus I have more meat on my bones than you, slick."

"What does meat do?"

"Protective layer. Keeps my bones warm."

"Well, I'm a boy. Boys don't get cold."

"Hmm. You may have something there. Your brother doesn't look cold at all."

The oldest looks at his little brother, who is blissful in a fleece and sweatpants. Real shoes, too. The oldest's face lights up.

"Hey, ___________!" the oldest calls out to him in the voice he uses when he's in please-the-baby mode. "You want me to wear a coat like you? Do you?"

The youngest smiles up at his brother and nods. He starts to say yes, but before he can even finish the word, the oldest has disappeared inside, returning a minute later wearing a fleece, zipping it up as he walks down the stairs to us, pride intact.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

For Sale


This successful, income producing business can be yours! After nearly eight years, Steve and Debra are re-inventing themselves and invite you to inquire about owning this establishment.
- from a sign posted in the window of Elizabeth's at Hanes Park

Fri, Sat, Sun

Weekends in Winston is a new website that should serve well as a go to guide for things to do the best three days of the week. Myself, I plan to look at the Sunday offerings frequently for things to do with the boys, as I am an NFL widow this time of year. Thankfully my husband is a New Orleans Saints fan, and they stink as a rule, so I've only been a widow into playoff season once during the whole course of our marriage.

GO, AIN'TS!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sixth Row, Floor

Our seats, that is. My husband and I have tickets to see Cirque du Soleil (Saltimbanco) at the Greensboro Coliseum next weekend. We saw C.d.S. every year when we lived in Washington, where they came to Tyson's Corner, but we haven't seen them once since we moved here. Accordingly, we want to make an event out of it.

If anyone has any Greensboro restaurant recs, I'd love some. (The only place I've ever eaten in Greensboro is Georgie's on Church, the cafe attached to the Children's Museum.) We don't need swish, but I do kind of want to eat somewhere I would never dare take the kids. Some place with open waterfalls, giant flaming torches or the like. You know.

... and mimosas on Sunday

Not satisfied with merely bringing home acorns from the playground, the youngest takes "feeding the chipmunks" to a whole new level.

We play host to a large colony of chipmunks under the front lawn, with multiple entrances off the driveway like the one shown. We also have wild rabbits in our side yard. (The hole to their burrow is larger and not strewn with breakfast waffle.)

If we had more land, I would look into this in a heartbeat.

Birthday Girl

Happy 6th Birthday, Evelyn Perez, wherever you are.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Salem Lake

While the youngest and my husband watched the Saints lose in high-def, the oldest and I took Salsa and headed to Salem Lake.

Noting the large hordes of recreational bikers headed around the lake trail, we (I on foot, oldest on scooter) opted for the Salem Creek trail, which took us beside a rather stagnant creek, along some train tracks, past a golf course, and all the way to Central Park near Old Salem. Those with a keen sense of direction might notice that's not a nice, neat loop.

The oldest nearly burst into tears when he realized we'd have to do the whole thing in reverse. OK, that's a lie. It was I. He merrily whizzed back on his scooter, my dog happily running alongside him, neither one ever looking back to see if I had keeled over.

Here's one of the traitors on the way home.

Hahaha

From the BestHealth guide for October:

9 TUE - Laugh Out Loud
7 p.m. Enjoy a guided laughter workout with certified laughter leader Bob Plemmons.
Kernersville Family YMCA.

(Myself, I enjoy regular laughter workouts by watching Jon Stewart, on The Daily Show and elsewhere.)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Yeehaw

I'm so very, very glad the far side of the path around Lake Katherine in Reynolda Gardens was barely being utilized this morning. Consequently, there were no witnesses to the spectacular stompfest I performed to the first "Country"* song to grace my iPod.

In my defense, The Devil Went Down to Georgia is brilliant.

Suggestions for other stomp-friendly parts of the city welcome. I prefer not to stomp around residential neighborhoods, unless they are wildly interesting ones. I also prefer not to stomp directly on roadways; sidewalks and pedestrian paths are good things.

*as labelled by iTunes

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pick-up

I'm in the pick-up line at the oldest's elementary school, about ten cars away from reaching the pick-up area, when I see the principal coming briskly down the sidewalk, saying something at each car. My passenger window is down as she approaches, simultaneously projecting calm and urgency.

"We have a tornado warning. Get out of your vehicle and come into the school, please."

The youngest protests against being pulled out into the rain, but I ignore him. He realizes somehow that this is not a good time to be fussy and becomes cooperative as I pick him up on my hip and walk quickly toward the school.

Inside, the halls are eerily quiet and empty. I head toward the interior hallway, and that's where I find them. Row upon row of small children, kneeling with their faces against the floor, their heads to the wall. Some are crying softly. Staff members lean over these children, whispering soothingly, a lullaby of voices echoing off the walls.

I spot the oldest's orange shirt, his olive shorts. I can see the shaking in his back from five feet away.

"Can I take him?" I ask the staff member with the walkie-talkie. "I mean, am I allowed to?"

"That's completely up to you. We have to follow the school system's directive while he's here, though."

I nod, go to the oldest, pull him up to me.

"C'mon, baby. Let's get home quick."

His face is blotchy as we walk quickly through the rain to the car, but he doesn't cry.

Team Girl

Not to be outdone by the menfolk, the women of Mt. Tabor UMC on Robinhood are currently throwing their semi-annual sale of gently used children's clothing (up to kids size 14), maternity wear, children's books, toys, and assorted accoutrements. Yesterday the place was so mobbed I didn't even try, but I still found a ton of cheaptastic goodies today.

Today 9-1 pm
Tomorrow 8-12 noon

Be a Dork

I wonder if anyone around here is planning on playing.

Oh, sorry, I'm talking about this very cool contest.

I'm biased, and I freely admit it, but I think we live in an incredibly photogenic city, and I absolutely believe a team here* could win.

C'mon, you'd love to say things like, "Yeah, Camel City pretty much punkslapped Amsterdam." (OK, fine, maybe you wouldn't, but I would.)

* a team of people with real cameras, that is, not a team of people like me.

(mucho amor to suemo for the link)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Children at Play

I have to walk through the graveyard three times before I find the one I'm looking for. I'm thrown off by the newness of the headstone, by the wind whipping my hair, by how sad this one makes me.

It happens every few months or so. An email will fall into my box, a longshot, a person from elsewhere in the country trying to find a lost family member who is presumed to be buried here. I rarely get an exact date of death. I rarely get an exact date of birth. Just a name, a city, a church affiliation sometimes but not often.

The date on the headstone is 1942. He died at the age of 26. A man now in his late eighties is looking for him, this lost brother who left their home state in the 1930s. There's no doubt I have the right person; the mother's and father's names line up in the obituary, the state of origin, other details. But the approximate - and hopeful, I now realize - date of death I was given was the 1980s, maybe the 1970s. Not 1942.

I look for something good to give the surviving brother. The headstone is new because the widow wasn't buried until the late 1980s. She's buried with her husband. He isn't alone! There was a child, a daughter, according to the microfiche in the North Carolina Room. There may be another survivor, a niece yet to be met!

I'm weighing these when I hear the children, the church's nursery school children, on their playground. I look up from where I stand in front of the grave to see them laughing and running joyously. And so in my email, that is what I give the elderly brother, the sound and sight of children at play. I hope it brings him peace.

Curbside

We need your help! Please report anyone you spot putting anything which should not go into a storm drain by calling the Stormwater Pollution Hotline 747-7480. In addition, please report any creek or stream that has an unusual smell or appearance!

source

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Crash and burn

doorway, Fifth Street

This is sort of the artist's equivalent of a hard-drive crashing after the huge dissertation has been written but before a backup copy has been made. Except that's a no brainer, nobody to blame but the writer, and this, well, this is just completely awful.

I hope this person got their art back or found some alternative way to audition for what I assume is a college level place at the NCSA.

Pepper Building's AMAZING weed

sideview of Pepper Building, Fourth Street

Esbette and I were quite awed by the hardiness of this plant. We were also quite concerned at the Pepper Building's brickwork, which can be seen just behind the thriving foliage. Click on the image to cultivate your own concern.

Click for larger image

Mark your calendar.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Trick or Oink


In this aisle at Walgreen's on Robinhood, there's a stuffed pig wearing a skeleton suit. A human skeleton, which is unbelievably wrong. Then, you squeeze its little piggy hoof, and it starts walking. The Adams Family theme song starts, but where normally there's the sound of fingers snapping, the pig oinks. Dah-dah-dah-dum! OINK! OINK! Dah-dah-dah-dum! OINK! OINK!

I don't even get what this stuff has to do with Halloween anymore.

I miss the Halloweens of my childhood.
  • We used to make all our costumes at home. It was delicious, the agony, waiting for my mother to put a finishing touch on something.
  • Our family had a special wooden bowl that was only used at Halloween to pass out candy to trick-or-treaters.
  • My brother and I would go out and come back with maybe fifty pieces of candy, which seemed like a ton to us.
  • My father would always ask us for a big Tootsie Roll; those were his favorite. I can't even remember the last time I saw a full-size Tootsie Roll.
  • We'd collect coins for UNICEF in a little cardboard box that came flat, then you'd build it yourself.
  • There was a family up a block where the dad had had a stroke, and his speech was hard to understand, but he was the kindest man, and he always gave out apples and quarters.
  • All the pumpkins we passed were carved and had real candles inside.
When I see things like dancing pigs and feather boas with skull tassles, I wonder what memories my kids will have of Halloween, if when they are adults with families of their own, they'll grow wistful, too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Snips from my inbox

1. The Winston-Salem Fresh Market will move at the end of October, hopefully. THEY WILL ONLY BE MOVING THE FOOD. There will be some sort of floor sale of the rest of it - all fixtures, items of decor, and The Bench. (So next time you are in there, you may want to look at the non-food items.) No word on prices yet.

2. All volunteers within the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools system must fill out a NEW VOLUNTEER SERVICES APPLICATION online, even if you filled out a hard copy volunteer form last year and were told you'd never have to fill out another again. You must fill one out for each school in which you plan to volunteer.

link

3. This Saturday, September 15th, Allen Tate Realtors in Clemmons will host a sale of donated jewelry and accessories to raise money for domestic violence prevention. The fundraiser will honor Jana Rowell, who lost her life to domestic violence early this year.

au lait olé

I had coffee with a friend at Chelsee's this morning. This is the fourth time, I think, that I've been there, and only once has it been too crowded for easy conversation. From a small business standpoint, that's probably not ideal, but from where I sit, it's wonderful.

(I don't know if it's possible, but I could swear I have sympathetic hearing loss. It is getting harder for me to understand people if there is significant background noise. Thankfully, I can still hear the freezer door being opened from three rooms away.)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Here, girl!

"Oh, I just love your name!" a woman I've met only this minute says. I wait for it. "I even named my cat Lucy!"

Yeah. I have a pet name. So much so, in fact, that right now Petfinder.com has hundreds of animals named Lucy waiting to be adopted. In addition to the expected cats and dogs, there are two ferrets named Lucy. Three horses. One pig. Sigh.

On a day-to-day level, the wrongness of my name is borne out whenever I wear a nametag, as I did twice this week. Almost universally, women exclaim how much they love my name, and almost universally, they then reference a dog or cat they own/know/once had by the same name. (The best exception yesterday morning was a little girl. She had a guinea pig by the name of Lucy. A boy guinea pig.)

It is a sad truth that the best names, in my experience, are bestowed upon those who do not even realize it. A "Babette" I knew some time ago actually rolled her eyes when she told me her name the first time. An acquaintance with the given name of "Tallulah" (swoon!) went so far as to legally change her name upon reaching adulthood. The "Genevieve" I went to school with shortened her name in introduction to "Jenny" and turned bright red when her real name was revealed at some award ceremony.

These women make me want to shake my fist at them and shout, "Why? WHY?" Instead I say, "Hi, I'm Lucy," then listen as they pine for some long gone golden retriever by the same name.

I had a good name chance once upon a time. While pregnant with me, my mother briefly considered naming me "Lula Swannanoa", after my great grandmother (who lived to 109). I have slightly forgiven my mother for not following through on this most sensible idea, but not entirely.

When pregnant myself, I kept a list of girls' names I thought fabulous: Matilda, Josette, Jemima, and such. Then my boys turned out to be, well, boys. And they were wonderful. And my life went on, which is to say that should I ever meet, say, a real-life Jemima, honesty will compel me to say the following:

"Oh, I just love your name! I even named my hamster Jemima!"

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Date Night

My husband and I were joined by MPB and her husband at W-S Prime, where we enjoyed fabulous conversation, amazingly tasty food, and possibly the worst wait service in the history of this world and several others.

The menu has been completely revamped since last we were there, which leads me to believe there was perhaps some concern over business. Rightfully so - there were maybe eight tables occupied out of forty or so available.

Dear owners of W-S Prime:

It's not the menu.

-Esbee

Football at its finest