Hello Hello

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Goodbye, Cruel World!

One Crow for sorrow,
Two Crows for mirth,
Three Crows for a wedding,
Four Crows for a birth,
Five Crows for silver,
Six Crows for gold,
Seven Crows for a secret, not to be told.
- traditional rhyme

Um, so if while driving past that swampy area on Reynolda I maybe hypothetically possibly hit a crow with my car, I would be doomed, I'm thinking.

Not my fault.

Lowe's Foods, Reynolda Manor Shopping Center

Groceries are odd places. I already knew that people blocking aisles sent shoppers into a lather. (For that reason some I know avoid the local Teeter on Thursdays, Senior Citizens' Discount Day, because they simply cannot shop around the vast number of slower shoppers. Personally, I dig watching little, old ladies take free balloons on the way out.)

What I didn't know was that one fire truck parked outside the front door of a grocery could cause sheer mayhem. Sincerely, multiple drivers acted like there were no other options but to drive that particular way BUT OH NO NOW I AM BLOCKED, looking about helplessly, throwing their hands up off the wheel in gestures of exasperation, seemingly incapable of, say, Going Another Way. One woman pushing a shopping cart stood and waited a few minutes, I guess for the fire truck to move, before pointedly stomping around it, throwing looks over her shoulder at the lone firefighter left in the truck.

So odd. So, so odd.

Minimum voting age: 5

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, Kids Voting NC, and the Forsyth County Board of Elections are coordinating a civic initiative for students to be a part of this year’s Presidential primary season. Although North Carolinian voters will not take to the polls until May 6, this opportunity will allow K-12 students to have their voices heard before then.

Students will be able to vote either at school, or at home, on February 5th between 6:30 AM and 7:30 PM by logging onto www.kidsvotingnc.org, clicking on the "Super Duper Presidential Poll icon", selecting their county and school, and selecting their choice of presidential candidates.


more info

I always take the oldest with me when I vote, which surprisingly isn't at his elementary school but at another one entirely. The last time I took him, the voting turnout was so abysmal that the Precinct Judge had ample time to explain the whole process to him. It was pretty much the same explanation I had given him, minus the conspiracy theories and mentions of "those right-wing devils".

The above poster is taped up in our hall, much to the delight of my GOP husband.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

for safe childbirth worldwide

Kybele is a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian organization dedicated to improving childbirth conditions worldwide through medical education partnerships.

Kybele brings US, Canadian, Australian and European healthcare professionals into host countries to work along side doctors and nurses in their home environments. Our teams provide hands-on training in techniques that improve healthcare safety. Our goal is to prevent childbirth related injury and death which affect millions of women and newborns each year.


Kybele, Inc. is based here in Winston-Salem and was founded by Dr. Medge Owen, Associate Professor of Obstetrical Anesthesiology at Wake Forest.

Clemmons Branch

The Clemmons branch of the Forsyth County library is very well utilized! And very, very wee. They had the one book we needed, though.

location: Sawtooth

This Saturday from 10 am 'til 3 pm, the Junior League of Winston-Salem presents the Read To Me Festival. All children who attend will receive a free book, plus have the opportunity to meet authors, participate in readings, make crafts, and enjoy music.

Best of all, this event is free, as is parking in the First Presbyterian Church parking lot just across Marshall from the Sawtooth Center, which will host the event.

On a related note, this is the library book both my boys have asked me to read aloud every night this week. The illustrations as the story develops are especially amusing to them.

more information on the festival

Not for me

I felt compelled to explain to the cashier at Costco that the bulk box of Slim Jims was not a personal purchase but rather for the Cub Scout Lock In*.

Personally, I have never eaten a Slim Jim in my life, and I am not about to.

*Theme: Manly Men, as embodied by the oh so manly grunting sound Tim Allen used to make on Home Improvement.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bo knows photography

Reminder: this coming Friday is First Friday Gallery Hop!

Alas, I will not be there, as it's also Cub Scout Lock In.

But if I were going to be a-hopping, specifically I'd do so to the Winston-Salem Sister Cities World Exchange, which is hosting "A Celebration of Winston-Salem/Carolina History" from 5 pm 'til 9 pm.

To wit: the photographic collection of one Bowman Gray IV*, which is comprised primarily of images of the beautiful vistas at Brookberry Farm, once upon a time the private country estate of the late Bowman Gray, Jr.

To wit, part II: Winston-Salem resident and author Kathy Norcross Watts, who will do a special book signing of A Simple Life: A Story of Sid Oakley.

Sid Oakley often sat before a low-burning fire, sipping coffee, waiting expectantly for someone visiting his Cedar Creek Gallery to pause and chat. A master potter and respected painter, Oakley established high standards for his own work. But perhaps more importantly, he nurtured creativity in those in whom he saw a passion for their craft. It was for that reason that Kathy Norcross Watts asked him if she could write his biography. He agreed, but the first day they talked, he told her of a little girl who was sent home from his childhood school because she was black. She had been born into a white family. She was sent away from the town, and he never saw her again. "Find Mildred," he told Watts.

World Exchange is located downtown at 420 N. Cherry, right next to the WSPD Bike Patrol, between Fourth and Fifth.

*A portion of Bowman Gray’s sales will go to support the Partnership for a Drug Free North Carolina.

PS: Bo's photos aren't merged like above. I did that. Me, Esbee. Esbee doesn't know photography. Clearly.

Intriguing sign

Peace Haven and Robinhood

Simplyummy

Reason #43 I like simplyummy, the cafe at Reynolda Village: free wireless.

Reason #43 the youngest likes simplyummy, the cafe at Reynolda Village: purple cupcakes.

WSPD Bike Patrol


414 N. Cherry

The officers assigned to this squad patrol the downtown area Monday through Saturday, answer calls for service, and also provide police services during special events in the downtown area.

more

New* sign on Reynolda just outside Reynolda Village


click on image for larger, legible version

The Reynolda Historic District contains Reynolda House and Gardens, Reynolda Presbyterian Church, and Reynolda Village. Reynolda was the estate of R. J. Reynolds designed by Charles Barton Keen, and is an example reflecting the American Country House movement. Reynolda Village, the farm complex, was built with the intention of making Reynolda a self-sufficient community.

source

That the Historic District specifically contains the church makes the situation at Reynolda Presbyterian even more distressing.

*at least new to me. It could have been here for eons for all I know, but I only just noticed it today.

Drivers Wanted

"Sweet! I didn't back over the newspaper that time!"

The oldest is unimpressed. "Daddy never drives over the newspaper. Or the lawn," he adds pointedly.

"Well, honey, that's because your father has more driving experience than I do."

"Six years, right? That's how much older than you he is."

"Um, probably more. I didn't get my license until I was 17. Also, I took an almost five year break from driving after that."

Now I have his attention.

"Really? Why?"

"Because when I found out we were expecting you, I was terrified I would somehow hurt you with my less than superb driving, so I just stopped. I didn't start again until you had just turned four."

In the rearview mirror I see the oldest's look of disbelief.

"We lived in DC, then, so I didn't really have to drive. I could walk to the pediatrician, the grocery, the bank, anywhere I needed to go. And there were buses and cabs and the Metro if I needed those."

"Why don't we walk here? We should walk here."

"Sidewalks, baby. The sidewalks in our neighborhood aren't very complete, and the drivers here... well, they don't seem very aware of pedestrians."

"You're still scared for me, you mean."

"You betcha."

-----

More on Pedestrian Injuries in Forsyth County

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lifestyles of the Rich and Forsythian

Currently there are forty properties for sale in Forsyth County that are priced at $1,000,000 or more.

The most expensive is one in Kernersville, which is slightly surprising. It's priced at $4.49 million.

There's also a swanky condo in downtown Winston-Salem for a mere $1.1 million.

But my favorite of the forty is this $2.75 million one in Lewisville for that pool alone.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Be heard!

Waters-Oldani Executive Recruitment, a consulting firm the city has retained to assist in the search for a new police chief, will hold a community forum Thursday, Feb. 7, to solicit comments from city residents. Citizens will have up to five minutes to speak. The meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Winston-Salem Room at LJVM Coliseum, 2825 University Parkway.

City residents can also provide comments online using a form posted on the city Web site.

more info
Winston-Salem Police Department

For the boy

The boy, I tell you. I AM DOING IT FOR THE BOY.

Once again, Cub Scout Pinewood Derby approaches, and once again, I am fashioning my own vehicle for the Mommy-Daddy Derby, which follows the children's derby. Those who remember last year's car will note that the basic shape, specifically "the wedge", has not changed. This is because my woodworking skills have not progressed during the last year. However, I think this year's entry is still fresh, still astounding, still completely inexplicable.

(It is also still a work in progress, so please disregard the glue cleanup that needs to happen and the touch-up work being screamed for.)

Drumroll, please.


The gravestone reads:

O, la de mi
Amada Esposa
Ma. Pilar
Llorente
de la Fuente
1 Febrero 1937


Then on the back, there's this:



On an unrelated note, my husband has taken to opening his eyes very wide while sighing.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gainful

Learn to Drive
Tractor-Trailers
No Experience Nec

The unemployment rate in the Winston-Salem metropolitan statistical area declined slightly in December to 4.3 percent, the N.C. Employment Security Commission reported yesterday.

Helper For Flooring
Installer Needed
Immediately.

The rate was 4.4 percent in November. The Winston-Salem MSA consists of Davie, Forsyth, Stokes and Yadkin counties.

HEAVY DUTY/Class 8
DIESEL Mechanic with
engine, drivetrain exp
or recent graduate.

-----

I continue to explore my career options for next year. I remain generally unqualified in the traditional sense, but I refuse to see that as a barrier to greatness. I'm still torn between Deadbeat Dad Bounty Hunter and Full-Time Dixie Classic Entrymaker, although this morning I toyed aloud with the possibility of truckdriving school.

On an unrelated note, my husband has taken to sighing repeatedly.

Full Winston-Salem Journal article on unemployment rate

Help Wanted Snippets are from today's W-S Journal Classifieds

Friday, January 25, 2008

Here the youngest laments

Why? Because Reynolda Manor Library lacks the peanut butter cracker snack option of Central Library. (They have a better selection of kids' videos, though.)

Hace frio

click on image to see larger version with legible temperature

When it's this cold out, I automatically turn my radio to La Preciosa, the local Spanish-speaking station. I cannot explain it, but their music somehow makes me warmer. It's gotten where even the children believe that the must-haves for a frigid day are coats, hats, mittens, and Spanish music.

warm up to a live stream

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Open

Krankie's airstream - surprisingly still crankin' at half past seven on a cold Thursday night

It's after five

I don't mean that in a happy, let's-have-a-drink sense.

It's after five, and now Animal Control is closed.

Nobody ever showed up to trap the raccoon in the yard behind mine, the raccoon that is acting off, the raccoon my dogs may or may not have tussled with, the raccoon who showed no fear of me or my three barking dogs, who stared up at me with a glazed expression and a listing posture from the vacant lot behind me, the lot that the little boys on the other side like to play in, the lot that adjoins another neighbor, diagonally from us, who also has three dogs.

I called at 2:00, 2:02, 2:04, 2:06, and only then, did I realize that you can't actually reach a live person at Animal Control, no matter which number you call, that there is no option to push for a live person ever, so I called the police non-emergency number and they were able to reach someone at Animal Control, someone who a few minutes later called me and asked questions in a bored voice, then informed me they would send someone out "whenever they could", which apparently did not mean within an hour or two hours or possibly even on the same day.

The dogs have had boosters at the vet's this afternoon - I was inside when the cacophony of barking started and in fact didn't even go outside to see what the cause was until a few minutes later when I realized it was still going full-force, so I can't know for sure either way, and the vet's position (and mine) is better safe than sorry, especially with something like rabies, which last I checked was pretty much 1000% fatal so not something to really gamble on. $20 a dog, bam, bam, bam, $60 total, and I feel like I've done everything I could to minimize the danger; I just wish someone from the county had felt the same way.

UPDATE, 5:35 pm: A gentleman from Animal Control man just came. He checked my dogs' booster certificates, then astutely pointed out that as it had been three and a half hours since the report came in, he doubted the raccoon was still there, but he'd go look, which he did quickly. Not surprisingly, he did not find the raccoon.

There has to be a better way.

Of all the "Stratford houses"...

This one, at the corner of Stratford and Forest is my favorite. I used to love to ride down Stratford with my father. Although in his eighties, he could tell you the history of each house, which family lived in it "back in the day", who dated whom, who married whom, who had unfortunate scandals...

Late in life, my father lost any qualms about discretion, and so it was not uncommon for him to suddenly pop out with statements like, "Whoo, the dad in that house was a mean drunk!" or, my personal favorite about a house on Country Club that was, according to my father, built by two first cousins who wed, "There's the incest house!" Thankfully he generally refrained from such statements with children in the car, but if he and I were alone, he would regale me endlessly with such local history gems.

I don't think he had any dirt on my favorite Stratford house, though. I add the caveat "Stratford" because as nice as it is, it is not my favorite house in all of Winston. That honor is reserved for the little house at the corner of Summit and Jersey, the house in which my father and his four brothers grew up, a house I have never been inside but have loved ever since my father first pointed it out to me when I was a little girl.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

via email

Pawsh is kicking off 2008 with an exclusive Valentine's Day themed photo shoot for the most pampered of fur kids! Hurry and reserve your spot, as space is limited. Stop into Pawsh to see more photos as well as our gorgeous framed canvas of Rocco, by Jacqueline Gardiner-Veal of Constellation Artworks.
-----

On a related note, the only Animal Emergency and Trauma Center (that I know of) in town has moved, though I only found out when I drove down North Point Boulevard and saw the building empty. I'm so glad I realized it before an emergency happened and I drove like a bat out of hell all the way there, because the new location is clear on the other side of town, at 1600 Hanes Mall Boulevard.

(I would have thought they might have sent a postcard, at least to those who've basically hemorrhaged buckets of money in the North Point location. I believe if I tallied up the numbers, I could have had a yacht. At the very least a dinghy.)

Another gratuitous dog shot, slightly out-of-focus because I was rolling my eyes:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Readjust, take two

I dread tomorrow morning. The children were just beginning to settle back into the school routine after the winter holiday break, when BOOM! Snow day! Followed by 2 hour delay day! Followed by four day weekend!

On a happy note, the oldest is excited about the Third Grade Biography Project. He has chosen to profile Walt Disney, in whom he developed a lively interest during our recent trip, during which we had the following conversation at least four times.

OLDEST: (dreamily) I wonder what it would be like to own Disneyworld.

ME: It would be awful. You could never enjoy it. You'd be much too busy counting all your filthy lucre.

-Fin-


I'm excited about the project, too, because I fondly remember hurrying through my bath on Sunday evenings so that I could lie on the shag carpet (harvest gold!) in the den and watch The Wonderful World of Disney on TV. The mere sight of Mr. Disney's face would weekly cause me to shriek at full volume, "It's starting! It's starting! You're going to miss it!" to my mother, mere feet away in the kitchen.

My favorite TWWoD memory

Advertising locally

Michael L. Scriven, owner of locally-based North Carolina Process Server and Mobile Notary, has begun advertising his company's services on YouTube.

NCPS&MN on YouTube

Interesting concept. I have no idea how it will work for him, as I haven't the foggiest notion how people go about finding process servers. I do like his pleasant smile, though; it almost makes serving child support papers and divorce papers seem like a cheery occupation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Naughty

We're just back from the Twin City Cyclones game at very convenient Joel Coliseum Annex. The game was wildly underattended, and the Cyclones lost as a direct result (my theory).

We had seats just behind the glass and next to the penalty box, which turned into a fabulous teaching opportunity. Below, the youngest stands next to The Naughty Man Who Used His Hands Instead Of His Words.

OnetwothreefourFIVE

I made a fundamental error today; I was at the intersection of Country Club and Peacehaven at 12:20 when Calvary Baptist was emptying.

No less than five uniformed WSPD officers were managing pedestrian and motor traffic as best they could, but even so it was quite a hot mess.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Satchmo



The Forsyth County Public Library will offer a special tribute to Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong for our tribute to Black History Month.

When I was but a wee thing, I used to sneak into my father's home office and completely distract him by asking endless questions about the music he played while working, which included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and my personal favorite, Fats Domino.

My father would push his chair back from his desk, stand up and say, "Come dance with me, pumpkin," then hold out his hands to me. I'd step up onto the tops of his feet and cling to him for what seemed like hours.

more info, including dates, locations and times of Satchmo events

Friday, January 18, 2008

Really, people?

Harris Teeter, Peacehaven @ Robinhood
8:30 PM

Made me smile

"Rejoice, Heaven needed another southern gospel tenor."
-first line of Carroll "Chuck" Robertson's obituary
in the Winston-Salem Journal

"Target has snowboots for $5/pair!"

"Wow!" A. replies, realizing what a coup this is.

"I grabbed some for mine for the snow tomorrow. Even if they only wear them once, for five bucks... Do you need any?"

On the other end, A. thinks, then quickly begins walking toward her children's rooms.

"You know, S. could use some. And L. Do you mind?"

"God, no, I'm here, and they're going fast. What sizes?"

And so when I approach the register, I have a cart full of snowboots, including one quite lavender pair that the youngest will surely admire when he sees them on A.'s younger daughter's feet.

Stalking flakes

We were going to go away this weekend, though we were waiting until the very last minute to decide to where exactly. Then came yesterday's "wintry mix", bringing acute disappointment.

And now come whispers of more snow, real snow, tomorrow afternoon. Weather.com is calling for

Rain and snow in the morning turning to all snow in the afternoon. Cold. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 90%. 2 to 4 inches of snow expected.

And so we decided we can't possibly leave if it means missing snow. But then the oldest asked what if it doesn't come here or if somehow it's "wintry mix" again only. Therefore we have decided to track the snow, to go to it if need be. When we find it, we'll break into its house and rearrange all its cans so the labels are aligned, then straighten all the towels in the guest bathroom. Fear us, snow! Fear us!*

EDIT: 10:34 am. Am I reading this WSFCS calendar right that the makeup day for yesterday will be June 9th?

* The three sentences prior reference Sleeping with the Enemy**, a movie.
** Which was similar to the movie we saw yesterday in terms of stinkiness.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Those people who came before

This afternoon the oldest commented that today would have been a hard day for "those people who came before". When I asked whom he meant, he said, "Not Old Salem. The other place."

Ah. Bethabara.

Summer before last I took the boys to Bethabara on a day the humidity was so thick it felt like we were walking through a bath house. Later that night when we spoke about what we'd seen, the oldest observed that he couldn't imagine having to work in a garden in that air. That was what made an impact on him - how the Moravians couldn't escape from the weather very much.

It is also a very visually striking place, even today in 33 degree drizzle.



Historic Bethabara Park

Take THAT

I decided to torture the children by taking them to see Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Roads are OK. The movie, alas, was not.

Sigh

Sadly the little snow we got is being washed away by bitterly cold rain that began to fall before the children even awoke. They stood by the window anyway, looking out forlornly, then halfheartedly asked if they could go outside. They didn't wait to hear an answer they didn't want to hear, instead shuffling sadly to the den, where I gave them mugs of Ovaltine, tucked them under a blanket, and silently heaped curses upon the temperate climate of the Piedmont.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Preemptive

From the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools website:

WS/FCS are closed Thursday, January 17.

(Sadly, the forecast is not for a nice heavy blanket of snow, just "wintry mix", a.k.a. icy slush. I'm hopeful nonetheless, as snow days without snow are somehow just not as fun.)

Bliss

“When an orange tree blooms, you can get within 10 feet of it and smell it,” he said. “And that is some smell.”


Periodically, my mother would pack me onto a plane bound for Orlando.
My grandmother would meet me at the airport, always with a cardigan on the front seat of her station wagon in case I was cold from the plane ride. It was Florida, and I was coming from DC, so I never was, but without fail I faked a shiver just to get that cardigan wrapped around me. Then we'd drive to her home in Ocala, where I'd stay in the pale rose room in which my mother grew up, sit at my mother's small, cream vanity, climb up onto my mother's high bed with the dusty pink bedspread that crackled when moved.

In the mornings, my grandmother would wake me with a cry of "Go pick your breakfast!" I'd run out the patio door and into the orchard. Sometimes I'd sit on the tire swing while I decided. Eventually I'd choose, usually the pink grapefruit I thought so pretty inside and which is still my favorite to this day. I'd pick one from a low hanging branch and carry it inside to the kitchen.

There my grandmother would smell the stem end, then say, "You picked this from the tree, right? You didn't pick it up off the ground, did you?" I'd nod and dance from side to side while she cut my grapefruit carefully. Then I'd carry it slowly outside and plomp down happily beside the pool, where I'd linger eating the fragrant grapefruit and trying to stay sort of still in hopes one of the little garden lizards might come out and join me.

Dear Parents of Winston-Salem:

It is TWENTY-FOUR DEGREES outside. Your children should not be wearing SHORTS to school and foregoing coats in favor of HOODIES.

They do not look "cool". They look COLD. Not to mention MIND-BLOWINGLY STUPID AND QUITE POSSIBLY DESTINED TO SPEND A SIGNIFICANT LENGTH OF TIME IN AN INSTITUTION FOR THE VERY INSANE.

Foot down, people.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Local brainstorm

Don't just walk your dog(s)! Wear your dog(s)!



Jett Sett Products
is located right here in beautiful Winston-Salem, but the bit that hangs into Davidson County (which I have never fully understood).

Tangentially, here is a gratuitous shot of one of our dogs behaving like one of our dogs.

Pep's new hangout

To the person(s) doing the fab exterior makeover on Robinhood:

Do this one next! Do this one next!

Wow, what a great price for this much square footage and yardage in Byoona Vista!

...The only thing is that I drive down Dartmouth all the time, and I swear to God I have never noticed this house.

Therefore, I beg of you, Exterior Makeover Artists Extraordinaire, do this house next, lest the tragedy that befell the house on Forest befall this one as well.

Hoping to swoon anew,
Esbee

doot-doot-doot-doot

Field Report from Kernersville!

I had an email that Shakespeare and Company Books, a wonderful, locally-owned bookstore in Kernersville, had signs up that they were moving. Accordingly, I contacted Emily, my go-to girl for all things Kville to find out what was going on. She sent me the following field report:

Hi there! They are indeed moving, to the Hooker Furniture Building on Main St. in Kernersville (now being redeveloped as office/retail space). They will close the current location on January 31, the goal for construction to be completed and the move done by Mid-April. Since there will be a restaurant or two also in the building, they will more than likely change their store hours to match the restaurant business - open later in the morning, and stay open later in the evening.

Shakespeare and Company Books

More field reports from Emily

Monday, January 14, 2008

Update

Keri Brown Still passed away yesterday, 13 months after her diagnosis with ALS and 10 months after giving birth to her only child, a daughter.

The Winston-Salem Journal article from last September


Keri Brown Still's website


UPDATE: article from Tuesday morning's paper

Restoration

Cemetery Restoration, Mt. Tabor U.M.C., Robinhood Rd.

Happy Monday

Nice phone, huh? Except it isn't mine. And it was in my purse this morning. With mine. Spooning mine.

Admittedly my phone looks exactly the same, but I still cannot for the life of me figure out where I inadvertently lifted this phone. I called the number that has been frantically calling this one (30 missed calls), and the man on the other end was completely at a loss to understand how I had his wife's missing phone. He threw out some locations his wife thought she might have left it, but I have been to none of them. He was confused, I was confused, he was skeptical and wary, I was confused...

Most excellent Monday morning.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Home Teeter

This is my "home grocery", the Harris Teeter on Peacehaven just off Robinhood. This is the grocery I know by heart.

I don't enjoy going to other groceries*, even other Teeters. I always go down the aisles the wrong way, ending up with eggs at the bottom of the cart. I feel discombobulated because I can never quickly find what I'm looking for, and inevitably, I think the stores are set up stupidly, lacking the rhyme and reason of my beloved Teeter, even though I know my Teeter is just as crazily arranged as any other store.

*Fresh Market is fun**, but I don't think of it as a grocery, even though I suppose it is.

**except for the crazy hand dryer in the ladies room. It's depressing to watch the aging skin on the backs of my hands move about in waves from the force of the air.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Help Keep Our Fair City Fair

Mayor Pro Tempore Vivian H. Burke is accepting applications from citizens interested in serving on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Community Appearance Commission or the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority. Each body has one vacancy.

The Community Appearance Commission seeks to enhance and improve the visual quality and aesthetic character of Forsyth County and the city of Winston-Salem for the education, pleasure, and enrichment of city and county residents, and to improve the community’s visual quality of life for generations to come.

Applicants must have experience or education in a design field, such as architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, land-use planning, historic preservation, or a closely related field.

The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority owns, maintains, and operates the Piedmont Triad International Airport, and makes all rules and regulations for the use, operation, and control of the airport.

Applicants for both boards must be city residents. The deadline to apply is January 24. For more information and to apply, call the City Secretary’s office at 727-2224.

I can't tell who's leaving to create the vacancy on the CAC, but it looks like Don Flow's term on the PTAA has already ended.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Corner of Northwest and Reynolda

I thought at one point I read or heard that someone was planning a restaurant for this location? That was some time ago; I wonder if the limited parking did it in. Or perhaps it was the massive overage of eateries in Winston already.

I really can't think what type of business would have an easy go of it with this setup and location.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I sincerely hate this place

The mall

I only go when I have to, and I carefully plan out each trip to minimize the amount of time spent inside. Today I needed to hit the hobby store for my Pinewood Derby car kit for the Mommy-Daddy derby (which immediately follows the Cub Scouts' one). Last year, my sweet Cheesemobile shimmied slowly down the track like the star it was. Dead last in speed, but first in fashion, baby!

I still haven't figured out my plan for this year, but rest assured it will be another worthy entry.

Ms. Fixit

This. This is my favorite feature of my house, though we didn't even notice it when we were house hunting. This old-fashioned, wall-affixed pencil sharpener behind the furnace in the unfinished basement was a pleasing, post-settlement surprise.

There has never been a better sharpener built, and we have one all of our own. Yes, you can still buy wall sharpeners, but they haven't the heft of this one. It feels substantial, like maybe you could sharpen arrows with it if you needed to.

Or not. Yesterday the oldest got an odd look on his face when I told him to go sharpen a pencil and start his homework. When I raised one eyebrow quizzically, he promptly caved and confessed he had broken the sharpener by sticking in the wrong end of a pencil and trying to sharpen it that way to make a two-sided pencil, which might have worked had he taken off the eraser and the metal round first, but he had not, and now the whole thing was jammed hopelessly, I'm so sorry, Mommy, very, very sorry.

So I took out a screwdriver, disattached the sharpener from the wall and brought it upstairs. And I fixed it. And it felt tremendous and made me get all puffed up when I reattached it to the wall in working order again, like I'd done something of great magnitude.

If we ever decide to sell this house, that sharpener will not convey.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

An Apology and Explanation to Readers

I have received emails from three longtime readers who felt "betrayed" that I prewrote blog posts which Esbette then published on my behalf while I was away on vacation with my family. To those readers and any others who felt similarly, I can only apologize.

Please know that I gave long thought to how to handle my blog absence. My main concern was the seemingly regularly scheduled break-ins* that occur in our neighborhood and the surrounding ones every Christmas and every summer. Announcing on the web an impending absence of the whole family seemed foolhardy at best, even with housesitters.

I do believe I made the right decision for the circumstances. That said, my intent was not to hurt any reader's good feelings, and I am sorry that my decision did so.

*regarding said break-ins:

Mayor Allen Joines and West Ward Council Member Robert Clark will hold a “Talk of the Town” meeting Thursday, Jan. 10, in the Building B dining room of Calvary Baptist Church, 5000 Country Club Road.

They’ll discuss what’s going on in city government and issues important to the West Ward, including sidewalks on Kirklees Road, break-ins in the Buena Vista and Country Club neighborhoods, and the missing section of the Muddy Creek greenway. The meeting will start at 7 p.m.

source

North Point Boulevard, Ugly side

27105 has the homeliest Post Office in town, I think.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Also new

(So this says it opened in October, but I swear I have never seen it until just now.)

Pawsh Pet Boutique

Winston-Salem Wag, Pawsh's online... um... resource? Written from the point of view of a dog. A dog who wears a jeweled collar and uses words like "muttrosexuals". A dog my dogs would think was a chew toy.


Behold Salon Obsession

...which is new next door to Cafe Gelato, also known as Cafe Crazy Delizioso Ohmigod Did You Try The Limone.

In keeping with this trend, I believe we should all start calling the business seen on the far left Upholstery Reynolda.

A special Grazi to the Italian-fluent readers who discreetly emailed me to correct my pseudo-Italiano.

The building with the field in the front yard

I lovelovelove this fabulous building next door to the Tower shopping center on Stratford. I hope someone leases it soon and rocks the heck out of it. Personally I might take the barred windows out, but otherwise I wouldn't change it too much, architecturally-speaking.

Double woo with fistpump

Longtime readers of LiF will remember that a few months back I was Girl Scout-less and lamenting such. Enter helmedwfu, who kindly emailed me yesterday to tell me it was 2008 cookie time!

And so I now have 2 boxes of Caramel deLites (aka Samosas) en route, plus 2 of Thin Mints, 2 of Peanut Butter Sandwiches (aka Do-Si-Dos), and 2 of Lemonades. I would love to order Peanut Butter Patties (aka Tagalongs), but alas, I have a painful personal history with them.

I plan to hide all 8 boxes in the freezer in the laundry room, behind the bags of peas which no child dares touch, lest evil veggie nutrients leach out onto him.

At just $3.50 a box, these cookies are a bargain compared to the Cub Scout popcorn, I must admit, though the popcorn is just as tasty in a salty way.

pics of cookies available, with nutrition info


Lest you don't have a Brownie or Girl Scout of your own (email link removed). I don't know what to tell you, other than thank you for trying to support Scouting.

Local Girl Scouting

Monday, January 07, 2008

As seen on the wall of Mayberry's, Miller Street

The wall behind the booth where the youngest and I sat to eat lunch with E. and her youngest

Northwestern Toastmasters, founded May 1st, 1959

Sunday, January 06, 2008

F&B: The Triad's Folk Music Society

FIDDLE & BOW, founded in 1981, is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of folk music and dance, and their related arts.

Upcoming Events:
Fundraising Concert with Si Kahn*
Saturday, January 12th @ 7 pm
$20 in advance or at the door

Chuck Brodsky**
Friday, January 18th @ 8 pm
$10 public / $8 F&B members

Both events to be held at Blessings Project Foundation, 823 Reynolda

*Si Kahn's other work and the basis for many of his songs: Grassroots Leadership

** The fourth song on his MySpace page, The Man Who Blew Kisses, is achingly wonderful. Go listen.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Home again, home again, bippety bop

It added two hours or so more to our drive time, of course, but so be it.

All of it - the packing, the planning, the prewriting (and showing Esbette how to publish), the traveling, the touring - and this is what I faced yesterday afternoon: a small boy with a small moue.

"It's not right, Mommy. I haven't got any shells."

Indeed.

For all the attention to detail, Walt Disney World's Beach Club Resort lacks shells with which to decorate sandcastles. There is a boardwalk across the water, a lighthouse - which doubles as the dock for the boats that ferry one to the parks - and lots and lots of sand.

But shells, it has none. So today, on the drive home, we simply veered a little more east, to Jacksonville Beach, where the children built sandcastles again, this time decorated with shells. Then they piled in the car and fell promptly asleep, their pockets full of shell bits and their hair full of sand, dreaming of building sandcastles again, which is why I think we may head east that upcoming four day weekend. Unless we could play in the snow and build snowmen. Perhaps. Still not sure.

Anyhow, I won't bore you with the play by play of the last 8 days, 7 nights, but there were two moments I thought about you all while I was gone.

The first was on Sunday morning, when I clicked on the TV, flipped past the resort channels, and came to rest on Orlando's WESH. There, a familiar face greeted me: Aixa Diaz, previously a reporter at our own WXII.

The second was on Monday afternoon, when our family was randomly selected to be a Dream Family (please don't ask) at the Lights, Motors, Action! show at Disney's MGM. Basically we were seated before anyone else, on directors' chairs instead of bleachers, in a cordoned off area marked "VIP seating". In addition, we briefly appeared with the host onscreen in order to start the show by saying "Lights, Motors, Action!" When the host introduced our family and said we were from Winston-Salem, NC, a loud, multi-person "Woo!" went up from the far corner of the stadium. I couldn't possibly see where or from whom, as the stadium was this enormous 5000 person deal. But anyway I was, at that moment, very Winston proud.

That's all. You didn't even realize I was gone, I don't think, so you can't have possibly missed me, but I missed you those two times.

Thanks to Esbette for pushing "publish post" on my prewritten entries once a day, starting with the 12/30 entry on the morning my family and I woke up for the first time in Walt Disney World.