Hello Hello

Monday, March 31, 2008

Department of Otolaryngology

"It's not fair!"

"What's not fair?"

"That I have to be here today. I'm missing Spring Break! Why couldn't I come on a school day?"

"Because then you would have missed more school."

"But I could be playing outside right now!"

"Honey, look out the window."


He sighs and sits back down in the exam chair to wait.

This Wednesday

At the WFU Museum of Anthropology:

Dr. Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, will present “Intercultural Weddings: Communicating Cultural Identities through Ritual.” Co-sponsored by the Communication Department.
Free admission. 7:30 p.m.

This ties in nicely (badum-bum) with the current exhibit, "Ties that Bind: Wedding Customs from around the World", which I happily had a chance to walk through when the oldest and I went to the Mexican Tin Art activity. Wedding rituals and clothing are fascinating.

My own wedding was what I would call "low-key traditional" (church, white dress, veil), but somewhat old-fashioned in that I didn't turn into The Bride Who Shall Not Be Defied, which seems to be the latest phenomenon.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


In this photo taken today at Dick's Sporting Goods, the youngest stands beneath an advertising photo showing former Winston-Salem blogger Joe Jon (in burgundy). Joe Jon and his family packed up last year and moved to Sanford.

No word on the locality of the other hoopsters featured.

Hanes Mall 2:21 PM

When the US Postal Service sold off their excess vehicles all those years ago, I begged my parents to buy one. Well, my father. I knew there was no point even broaching the idea with my mother.

"The driver's seat is on the right side!" I'd say emphatically. "It's small like a VW bug! And nobody we know has one!" My father would agree it was a marvelous vehicle, yes, yes, yes, then nothing.

I'd stare at the local fleet of them for sale when we passed. They were all repainted in solid colors, even the bumpers, which was beyond cutting edge back then. Orange, bright blue, yellow. Nobody we knew had cars those colors. My mother's car, in which I rode most often, was a sedate ocean blue, a station wagon with stickers made to look like wood panels and dark blue vinyl seats. In the summer heat, the vinyl would sear the backs of bare thighs, so my mother sat on what looked like a rigid plastic beach chair minus the stand. With no such protection, I would try to slouch down enough that no uncovered skin made contact with the vinyl.

I felt certain I would fare better in a surplus US Postal Service vehicle. In the evenings I would crouch behind my father's armchair when he read. "Orange," I'd whisper, hoping to somehow brainwash the man into buying one. "Get an orange one." It never worked, though he would often get up from his chair and say, to nobody in particular, "I don't know why, but I feel like having a glass of orange juice." Then he'd chuckle on his way into the kitchen.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The children and I braved the ridiculously cold, damp air and went to The Grand 18 to see Horton Hears a Who, which was smashingly enjoyable. I was a little concerned that it would be a yawn for the oldest, but it was embroidered with much humor, both in script and in action, so he enjoyed it as thoroughly as the youngest.

Adopt your very own Who

(The movie the oldest is dying to see sadly won't be released until May 22nd.)


"I'm sorry. Where?"

"CFDU. It's a good school. I think I can learn a lot there in a short amount of time." I use my Take Me Seriously, I am All Business voice.

"Where is it? I've never even heard of it."

"Oh, it's here in Winston-Salem. Local. Easy-peasy."

"Can we back up? I feel like I walked into the middle of a conversation. I'm so confused."

"So anyway, I think this is my new career plan."

"What is your career plan? Going to CFU? What does that even stand for?"

"CFDU. Carpigiani Frozendessertuniversity." I mumble over the last three.

"Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Your new career plan is to go to ice cream school."

"Not just ice cream!" I am all haughty indignation. "They also teach gelato and sorbet."

Carpigiani Frozen Dessert University

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Broke

Hurray! The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools are now on Spring Break!

Alas, the Disney jaunt sort of sapped the coffers, so we'll be having fun of the local variety for the next week.

Beautiful Bones

This now looks like


I haven't heard what the building is going to be when completed, but wow, I love what was hiding underneath.


Here the youngest spins wildly with one of the oversize tennis rackets that will be decorated for the Davis Cup, then auctioned off to raise money for local art endeavors.

The Davis Cup, Winston-Salem
Associated Artists, who is organizing the tennis art and in whose gallery the youngest spun

By popular demand

Twenty-three emails asking that I do this again. I'm not sure that I'll do it daily, though I used to, actually, on another blog, a long time ago. I find these turns of phrase charming, the embodiment of the local character. Without further ado,

Euphemisms for "died" from today's Winston-Salem Journal obituaries:
  • passed away
  • lost her courageous battle with cancer
  • "To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up [that which is] planted." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-2. That season and time came for (name of deceased)
  • went to be with Lord
  • went home to see Jesus
  • was called by his Lord
  • slipped quietly from death into life
  • departed this life to her heavenly home
  • departed this life peacefully
  • went to be with the Lord
I actually had a conversation about death euphemism with my late father, before he was suddenly not there, when such a possibility was the furthest thing from my mind. He liked "passed away" and declined any variation such as "passed", "passed on", "passed over", "passed from the bounty of this world into the beauty of Heaven", etc.

When I die, I want the word "died" to be substituted with a euphemism that runs many, many lines long. I'll let my husband know when I decide upon one. (Unlike Jon Lowder, I'm not going to leave it undecided for my rellies.)

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Coming back from the barber's today, we came upon a serious, multiple car accident on Reynolda, just in front of the Burger King. Traffic slowed to a crawl, not in curiosity but in care, as two lanes merged to one to keep from hitting debris or, God forbid, a person. No rescue vehicles were in sight yet, but onlookers were helping those involved out of their vehicles, which were crumpled across both lanes, airbags deployed, one horn jammed so that it blasted nonstop. One woman's head was bleeding; we watched her struggle to the curb where she collapsed.

In the backseat of my car, both boys, who moments before had been gleefully discussing flavors of Dum-Dums, went suddenly very silent. A block further down we saw an ambulance struggling to get toward the scene. Then a block later, a police car. A block further still, a fire truck. When we finally came to a red light, I turned around in my seat to do a face check, to gauge the children. Both of them were looking down, holding hands across the empty seat in the middle.

City of the (Language) Arts

Euphemisms for "died" in today's Winston-Salem Journal obituaries:
  • passed away
  • went to be with her Heavenly Father
  • went to be with the Lord
  • God looked down and called a soul home to her reward
  • departed her earthly life
  • took his eternal rest
  • closed his eyes for a nap and woke up in the bosom of the Lord
I sincerely love this town.

Fresh Market moment

The youngest makes the sausage-to-pig connection.

Not fully, though; he thinks the olives with pimentos are the pig's actual eyes until I correct him. I hold my breath, wondering if this is the end of pork consumption for him, one of his few meats.

"So that's made of pig? Killed pig?" he asks again, making sure he understands.

"Yes." I search my brain desperately. We can't lose ham, the one main dish everyone in the house will eat. Can't. I have my own flash.

"Bacon!" I exclaim cheerfully. "Bacon, too! Killed pig! Yes, indeedy!"

The man behind the counter whips his head around and stares at me in disbelief, openly, unabashedly.

"Bacon," the youngest says dreamily, the way one says the name of an old friend, a comforting friend. "They have bacon here?"

"We have some at home. C'mon."

I move the youngest off, away from the staring pimentos, away from the staring meat man, toward home and bacon.

Shaffner Park

While you're marking up your spring calendar

Don't forget that this is coming up. Note that it will be at the Coliseum Annex this year, not the Benton Convention Center, which means parking should be considerably easier.


And the winner is...

(of this contest)

whose winning answer came in at 2:08 PM, amid many emails from other readers accusing me of endangering Winston-Salem by toodling around in the pouring rain without using my wipers.

Uh, no.

The winning answer in word form is "in my car in the carwash at the Shell station at the corner of Peacehaven and Robinhood." Others (about twenty of you out of more than 250 entries) got it right as well, but suemo was the first.

suemo also sent along a quite impressive visual aid with her answer.

Congratulations, suemo! You and Mr. suemo will be the envy of all of Winston when you peddle about town with your new, matching bicycle baskets!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

via email

Courtney of A is for Beautiful sent along this information about an upcoming fundraiser for a little boy she knows.

Vinny DiGerolamo is a 4-year-old Kernersville boy, and one of the sweetest kids you could ever meet. He was born with a severe Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate, and Pulmonary Stenosis (heart defect). After many surgeries and a few complications, Vinny was recently diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a very aggressive cancer in his brain, skull and nasal passages. Vinny is currently undergoing chemo and radiation, and may soon have a blood transfusion. Some of the DiGerolamo’s local friends have organized a fundraiser to help cover their medical expenses. In addition to the hair cuts, there will also be baked goods and other things for sale. All of the money raised will go to Vinny and his family. Thank you!

Cuts for Vinny

Sunday, April 6, 2008

12 pm – 5 pm

N-Style in Kernersville

305 W Mountain St Ste D
Kernersville, NC 27284
Phone:(336) 992-0312


a bake sale

gift basket raffle

as well as fundraisers through at-home businesses such as Premier, Arbonne, etc

ALL the money will go to Vinny and his family (and you don't have to tip). No blow drying, but you do get a shampoo with your cut. Hair cut prices will be $10 for children, $15 for men, and $20 for women.

First Fla-Vor-Ice of the season

I really prefer the green flavor, but since my favorite color is blue, the youngest insists I have a blue flavor as my first. Yes, the flavors are color names, in my opinion. Also knock-offs aren't as good; they really must be Fla-Vor-Ice brand. Also I still stick out my tongue to the mirror after I've eaten one to check out the color left behind.


The owl

I loved the owl sculpture. An enormous thing made of some oxidizing metal, it sat in the park next to Sawtooth for months a few years back. It was for sale for a not unreasonable price, but the logistics weren't as clear - the cost of transporting it, the cost of firmly fixing it, the cost of insuring it and insuring against damage from it. Still, I loved both the owl and the idea of being The Owl House and brought up both often to my husband.

And yet, I never pursued more information, never pursued the owl, and so one day it was gone, completely and suddenly and tracelessly. I might have thought I'd imagined the whole thing had not other sculptures remained rusting artistically in the park for some time thereafter.

top photo: Arbor off Reynolda
bottom photo: Pine Valley off Yorkshire

And I mean EXACT (V)

First person to email me the correct and exact location where I was standing sitting when I took the above phono-photo wins a prize, yet another quality item from my (get ready for some more mix-up madness) pantry second hall closet. Specifically he or she wins...

A pair of bicycle baskets! You know, bikes today just aren't what they used to be. Gone are the banana seats, the handlebar fringe, the license plates found in the bottoms of cereal boxes, the spoke decor, and, of course, the handy baskets. Now you have the chance to recoup a smidge of yesteryear's bicycle goodness! But wait! You get not one but TWO! You and your ladyfriend (or gentlemanfriend) will announce your truest love to the world when you become poetry in motion on bicycles with matching baskets! These baskets are brand spanking new! Only one has a tag, however; it reads "Let's RIDE"! As you ponder those stirring words, remember to click on images for larger versions. Also remember that as always, Esbette is ineligible to play.

Today's contest...

will post sometime before noon. You may want to make sure you are safely seated before attempting this contest, because his week I rattled the cosmos by taking the phonophoto while sitting down!

Startling, I know.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

48 hours after Easter: let the egg using begin

We dyed a ridiculous number of eggs this year. I'm making egg salad with some, but if anyone has any other recipes that use up feature hard-boiled eggs, I'd love to have 'em. Sadly, the scrumptious sounding, garlicky, cheesy recipe on the Journal's new food blog doesn't call for any.

Attn: Citizens

Speaking of Lenny the Lifeguard...

New Volunteer Opportunity for Citizens

Lenny's Water Watch!

Citizens of Winston-Salem are invited to participate in a new volunteer program, sponsored by the City of Winston-Salem's Stormwater Division and NC Cooperative Extension of Forsyth County. Following an intensive two-part training, volunteers will monitor area streams for water quality through measuring chemical parameters and aquatic insects. Participants will be provided with all necessary equipment and will be required to monitor twice a year.

Classroom training is scheduled for Wednesday, April 2, 2008 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Training will be held at the Visitor Center at Historic Bethabara Park, 2147 Bethabara Road.

In-stream training is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2008, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. In-stream training will also be held at Historic Bethabara Park.

To register, or for more information, call 747-6960.

Local art for sale

Front window of Frame It, Robinhood Road

I've had a bunch of old maps framed here, as well as some of the children's art. They aren't cheap, but they do a lovely job.

Esbette has plans

Esbette and I are coordinating schedules. Here she shares her favorite upcoming event. Mine is June 11th, which is the new First Day of Summer Vacation.

Hop, Hop, Hop

Lenny the Lifeguard says, HOP TO IT! PROTECT OUR WATER!

Last night was the oldest's school's Spirit Night at Chick Fil-A. On the way out the children picked up coloring sheets, courtesy of the Piedmont Triad Water Quality Partnership, which is "a collaboration of fifteen local governments in the Piedmont Triad Region of North Carolina, working together to educate residents about stormwater and water quality issues; including non-point source pollution, regulations, and best management practices."

Our tap water is quite good here, at least in my experience. When I was growing up, bottled water hadn't yet come into vogue, so tap water it was if I said I was thirsty. DC's water sometimes had a distinctly biting smell and an overtaste to it, which was terrifying. Thankfully, my mother was part of the old school of parenting that held that children drank a tall glass of milk at every meal, so I simply tried not to parch out in between meals.

Mind you, though, I had no problems drinking that water out of the hose if allowed (never by my mother, often by my father).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Remember the Nigeria scam? It's dead (but needs help getting buried)

No, really. Ask the NC Board of Funeral Service.

FRAUD ALERT!!!! The Board has received a new report of attempted fraud using the relay (TDD) operator purportedly assisting an individual who is hearing impaired. The person making contact wants to arrange the transportation and funeral services for a family member who has died outside of the United States. So far the countries identified by this person are either the United Kingdom or Nigeria. The individual requests a reply with the cost for the services and funeral merchandise and offers to provide a credit card number for the purchase. The individual then directs the funeral home to arrange a wire transfer of money to the burial agent or funeral director in the United Kingdom or Nigeria and charge the credit card for that as well. The credit card numbers appear to be from stolen cards. This has also been reported in South Carolina.
- Current Events announcements dated 2/22/2008

University @ Coliseum

Today being a bonus holiday for the youngest's preschool, he accompanied me to Goodwill to find an old sport coat and tie for the oldest's biography final presentation, which is Wednesday morning. The oldest has written a paper on, drafted a letter to, decorated a folder for, written a poem about, and now will be be in character as Walt Disney.

In Winston-Salem/Forsyth County public schools, the biography project is The Big Deal in third grade, at least to the students. The parents of course are more concerned with the first round of End Of Grade (EOG) testing, which looms close.


There was a telenovela, a Spanish mini-soap opera, years ago about a junk collector who won the lottery. Prompted by his family, he bought a mansion but then filled it with items made from other people's discards: chandeliers of mismatched cutlery, crazily tall bookshelves constructed from broken chairs' backs, elaborate drapes made of old clothing. There were also some dramatic struggles with entitlement, inheritance, lust, and such, but I liked the junk domestic furnishings the best.

From Trash to Treasure (Cooperative Extension)
Rural Hall Tuesday, April 15 7 PM

Just one of the Environmental Series of events in April and May brought to you by the Forsyth County Public Library.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter with MPB

We went to MPB's mother's house for Easter lunch. We're quite stuffed.

I don't believe in Easter gifts, but here's one anyway: a peep show.

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Anti-war Protestors

Five Points Intersection


"This is the same egg dye kit we used when I was a kid, you know."

"Exactly the same?" the oldest asks hopefully.

"Almost. We didn't have stickers. We had these little decals you rubbed onto the eggs with a stick. Like egg tattoos."


"OK, here comes what was my favorite part: dropping the tablets in the vinegar. What color does this one look like it's going to make?"


"OK, drop it in."

"Whoa! It made green!"

"I want a turn," the youngest pipes up. "I want to make purple."

"So pick one you think might be the one that makes purple." I hold my breath as he picks up a tablet I am certain makes orange, possibly red, certainly not purple.

"Look, Mommy, I did it!" he chirps happily, and I stand for a minute, dazed, watching as the little bubbles rise up victoriously purple indeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gettin' Juggy with it

Although the Camel City Jug Band lacks an actual jug player, those members it does have do, in fact, rock. (Or should I say skiffle?)

Have a listen.

Catch them next Tuesday night at Carlisle's Pub (1314 S. Hawthorne), beginning at 6:30 pm.

Trimmed Trees

New Covenant Church, Robinhood Rd.

And the winner is...

(to this contest)

Amy Farmer!

Her winning answer came in at 3:29 PM.

Many incredibly close answers came in before that, but they referenced the factory parking lot or Thurston Street, neither of which was part of the correct answer, to wit

On Mill Street, with my back to the entrance of the Hanes Mill Outlet, looking across Mill Street.

This week the playing field was dominated by women, no big surprise since the answer featured the best place in town to go bra shopping. I think a number of people were thrown off by the sign in the picture, which indeed used to hang on the front of that business. The day I took the picture, the man was moving it to the side of his building, perhaps to take advantage of all those eyes coming out of the Hanes Mill Outlet.

Congratulations, Amy Farmer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Goodbye to the smell of warm horses

The oldest decided recently that he'd like to try some new activities. Today is our last barn day. Thank you, Mr. Evan, for just shy of four very happy years. The boys will miss you. I will miss you. Thank you.

Cash Lovell Stables

And I mean EXACT... (IV)

First person to email me the correct and exact location where I was standing when I took the above phono-photo wins a prize, yet another quality item from the bounty of my household larder. Specifically he or she wins...

EVERY giftbag currently in my possession, the grand total of which is lucky thirteen! There's a golf one, a lizard one, a flowery one, even one that one of the children made! Some are brand new, some are used times two, but all are new to you! Plus, as a bonus, a luxurious bottle of wine (or champagne!) gift canister! With a tassle! Bottle of wine (or champagne!) not included! Your friends will be awed and amazed by the beauty of your gift's wrap, and the best part is, they'll never guess what's inside! This fabulous prize package comes to you in a plain, brown bag!

As always, click on images for larger versions. As always, Esbette is ineligible to play.

Today's contest

...will post around 1 pm. Could be earlier, could be later, all depends on the line at Dewey's.

Local dance moves

The Basic Chug or Buck step is done by pushing the ball of the foot across the floor, at the same time dropping the heel, with or without weight. Buck dancing was the first known American Tap form performed to syncopated rhythms.

Caption for this video: Dick Butner of Winston Salem NC does a skillful buck dance at the Appalachian String Band Festival held annually in Clifftop WV at Camp Washington Carver.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


There. I'm done. To my eye, these look festive. To the retail world, I'm realizing, my Easter baskets look positively anemic. Why? They don't look like Santa visited us anew.


Starbucks, this morning

Barrista (while making my coffee drink): Did you have a good St. Patrick's Day?

Me: Um, it was fine.

Barrista: Did you go out anywhere?

Me: Oh, no. I stayed in. I have to get up early to get the children off to school.

Barrista: Oh! What'd you give them?

Me: What do you mean?

Barrista: For St. Patrick's Day!


I don't know when this happened, this "Every holiday is a major gift-giving occasion!" thing, but happen it did. Don't believe me? Scoot on into the center aisles at CVS or Walgreens a week before almost any holiday. Check out the Hallmark stores, with their holiday-themed Webkinz. Try to get through the checkout aisle at Toys R US with a child in tow, and watch the child's eyes as he or she spots the holiday-themed Playmobil toy suggestions.

I have no doubt that soon enough Mother's Day will become another date for me to shower my children with presents, à la Christmas come again. Mind you, I won't. I didn't give Halloween gifts, I didn't give Valentine's Day gifts, I sure as heck didn't give St. Patrick's Day gifts, and I'm not about to turn Easter into Happy, Happy Toy Day either.

Easter in this house means Easter baskets, ones small enough for the children to actually carry without tipping over. Inside, the children will find some small items of candy, one chocolate bunny (hollow, so they have something to gripe about when they're adults looking back), and exactly one (1) small, small holiday trinket. (This year they're getting hopping bunnies; last year they got chirping chicks.)

And so I'm done. The baskets are as full as they're going to get. Happy Easter. Bah, humbug.

Take a peek at Mr. March!

Mark your own fancy chicken calendar for this upcoming event at Reynolda Gardens:

April 1 6:30 p.m.

Garden Chickens

Chickens offer an unbeatable combination of beauty and pest control. Learn about breeds that are suitable for the home garden and how to care for them. Bantam chickens will be on display.
Karl Urshel, president of Carolina Feather Fanciers Association

Reynolda Gardens
Carolina Feather Fanciers Association
Article about Chapel Hill and chickens

above photo part of this calendar, which Esbette gave me for Christmas

Monday, March 17, 2008

"Lucy, where are you?"

B. asks.

"I'm on the way, I promise. I swear I'm running behind because of the pollen."

B. laughs, and I can picture her parked in the school driveway in her car, phone on her ear, her littlest in the back seat watching Barbie or something else girly, something else we don't watch in this house.

"Well, what did you do this morning?"

"After I dropped the youngest off, I went in hunt of towels."

"You what?"

"OK, so I bought the oldest and the youngest each a towel maybe a week ago? These really nice towels. At the Maxx. And then over the weekend, I decided I really liked them, and so this morning I went to buy more."

"And did you get them?"

"NO. TJ Maxx was out. So then I tried Home Goods, then Marshall's, but no luck. I found one of the washcloths at Marshall's, that's it."

"Oh, no! So I guess everyone else recognized them as fantastic towels, too, and bought them all up."

I sigh. "I know. I need to go with my gut instinct on these things and buy them when I find them."

B. murmers in assent. "So you got nothing then?"

"No, no. I got a Talavera pig. It's in the car next to me."

"A what?"

"Roll down your window. I'm pulling into the school now. I'll show you."

If I had to guess...

I'd say Maegan Beard has some Scottish ancestry, but that's only because of the spelling of her first name. (It reminds me of a Scottish fellow I used to know slightly whose name was Graeme.)

In any event, Maegan Beard is here now, in Winston, transplanted recently from Asheville, bringing with her much artistic goodness, including these delicious raspberry jewelry pieces, which I covet intensely, especially the earrings.

more Maegan Beard goodness

Climb ev'ry mountain tree

Blue Ridge Tree Climbing is coming to Tanglewood Park April 25 - 27! Enjoy the majesty of Tanglewood Park's rolling countryside, lakes, woods, and wildlife from a new perspective... 100 feet in the air! More than half the fitness and fun is getting there.

The event is open to EXPERIENCED CLIMBERS ONLY although spectators are welcome. The cost is $60 per climber, and space is limited. For more information, contact Bob Wray at (276) 398-2639.

Blue Ridge Tree Climbing


(It will surprise no one to hear that I am not an EXPERIENCED CLIMBER. In fact, I get nervous just walking on certain paths on Pilot Mountain.)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lo! The beginning of the boys' strawberry empire!

We were just going to plonk them into the ground, but then the oldest remembered the house on Robinhood, just east of Silas Creek, with the rows of raised garden beds. He convinced the youngest that this was the way to go and me that they could actually build it.

A special thank you to the angel employee at the Hanes Mall Bld. Home Depot for showing us the incredible bargain 51 cent boards (four shown above) and reminding us to use galvanized nails.

An apology to my neighbors for the sustained hammering noise this weekend. Sadly for you people, I think the boys are planning to branch out into watermelons.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hanes Mall Blvd., 11:39 AM

In DC, you could get into any of the thousands of taxis, give a street address - no cross street, mind, just the number and street name - and the driver would take you straight there. Well, not straight by the way the crow flies. The city of Washington was designed by a Frenchman and modeled after Paris, which means it boasts lots of traffic circles, one way streets that start and stop and start again a few blocks later, avenues divided by squares of greenery so that a single intersection has sixteen corners.

And yet I never met a taxi driver who seemed daunted. On the contrary, they'd speed down side streets, shortcuts I'd try to remember for later, laughing in French into their cellphones while West African music played a fraction too softly for me to make out. Sometimes the music was from Ghana or Senegal. Sometimes there would be no music but talk radio, angry voices from the suburbs arguing about situations in remote places. Nearby Prince George's County was as distant to me as Mozambique. Now it's considered close-in, and I'm the one who's far off.

City of Winston-Salem Department of Transportation, which regulates vehicles-for-hire

Plans for this weekend include

Getting 18 strawberry plants in the ground. (99 cents each @ Ace Hardware on Robinhood)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


We're home, and in a little while, I plan to set the oldest up resting outside. Long ago my mother instilled in me a firm belief in the medicinal properties of fresh air, no matter the temperature. Of course, that was before Code Red days, pollen counts, and smog. I'm just glad my family lives here, in a nice, clean commu... Heeeeey! Look! We made the EPA list of naughty violator counties!

More about it from the EPA

More about it from the AP

Forsyth County, Department of Environmental Affairs

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


The thing is, it never does get any easier. It should, but it never does. They get older and bigger, and yes, after a few times of it, you know the routine, but still, at the end of it all, you have to put your baby into someone else's hands and hope to God that person knows what he or she is doing, that everyone in there knows what they are doing and what everyone else should be doing, that they all become your eagle eyes in that room where you aren't allowed.

And so you sit tensely in the waiting room, or maybe you pace. You read the old magazines, or you watch your husband bob his leg up and down, always just the one leg, while he clenches and unclenches his hands. You clean out your purse, just to do something, anything, waiting for that moment when someone will walk out and tell you what is going on, where's your baby, how is he, how did it go.

Tomorrow we take the oldest to Brenner's at a prohibitively early hour for yet another surgery on his ears. Six? Seven? I can't remember what this makes. I just know it never does get any easier.

And the winner is...

(to this contest)

Jay Lerman, whose correct answer came in at 9:51 am. Jay wins the fabulous prize just in time to add some galactic goodness to all his St. Patrick's Day crafts! Houston to St. Paddy, come in Paddy!

The correct answer was 1212 Waughtown Street in Winston-Salem.

Congratulations, Jay!

Get ready to make a run for it

The Baker is a British film that will make its US debut at our very own RiverRun International Film Festival. This year will mark the tenth annual RRIFF; traditional gifts therefore are tin or aluminum.

And I mean EXACT, week 3

First person to email me the correct and exact location where I was standing when I took the above phono-photo wins a prize, yet another astounding item from my pantry. Specifically he or she wins...

Yes way! It really is Elmer's Galactic Glitter Glue! The promised properties of this glue are mind-boggling: Gravity Proof! With Space Debris! Washable! Surely the grip-friendly packaging states the obvious when it declares this to be the "COOLEST GLUE in the Galaxy!" Check with NASA; they'll confirm! Winner gets one, unopened 6 fl oz bottle of the stuff.

As always, click on images for larger versions. As always, Esbette is ineligible to play.


Today's And I mean EXACT contest will post roughly at 9:30 am (emphasis on "roughly").

And no, there will not be "win limits"; Leatherwing will indeed have the opportunity to "threepeat".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Fever

Yesterday the oldest brought home a note his teacher sent to each family, acknowledging widespread spring fever in the third grade, reminding us that we are in the home stretch, only 60 school days left, and gently asking us to try to keep our children focused as best we can.

With temperatures in the sixties and no mosquitoes yet biting, this is a tall order. The current compromise at our house is allowing the oldest to do his homework outside, then he may ride his bike, hunt for rocks, examine insects, climb trees, and dig for treasure.


Associated Artists of Winston-Salem (AAWS) is hosting an exhibition of critter works in their gallery (W. Fourth, corner of N. Cherry).

I love this piece, Foxal by Anita Clark-Anderson. It took second place. First place was taken by a pop art piece of roadkill which simultaneously impresses me and makes me gag.

Bard in the Dash

Twin City Theatre presents

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)

March 15th - 30th (except Mondays)

"...a sound drubbing of The Bard – all in good jest, of course! – as three well-intentioned thespians dare to present ALL of Shakespeare’s plays in the course of a night!"

Performances are at The Sawtooth Building (226 N. Marshall)

Tickets: 336-887-3001, M-F, 12-5

Twin City Theatre is a creation of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Easter Eeks

Daisy a Day Florists, Silas Creek Parkway

I loved the Tooth Fairy. Santa Claus was a dear friend. But the Easter Bunny was evil incarnate, as far as I was concerned, and remains so to this day.

Every year, my mother would take me to at least one Easter event with a well-meaning adult costumed as this pastel demon. As soon as I caught sight of the beast, I'd shriek and try desperately to climb my mother like a tree. My brain could not make sense of hanging out with a rabbit that walked upright, that wore clothes, that had teeth the size of playing cards. I frankly thought a better plan was to run like hell and hope it went after someone else.

And so when I make the boys' Easter baskets, I emphasize that they are from me. Me, children, not some creepy bunny who I suspect could switch from carrots to human flesh in the blink of an eye.


Hanes Mall

All pets must be in a carrier or on a leash.
Please use only the TGI Friday’s Entrance.

They're baaack

Another herald of springtime in Winston-Salem: the return of Dewey's Pink Lemonade Cake squares.

Those who are planning an event will want to make note that as of last week, Dewey's will also now prepare special event cakes. They have been making traditional wedding cakes for years, but now they've decided to also make ones that are more outre, as well as baby shower cakes, birthday cakes, Easter cakes, etc.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

El Arte en Hojalata

The oldest and I just got back from his Mexican Tin Art class at the WFU Museum of Anthropology. It was very well done, and he had a blast.

If I had a daughter, I would immediately sign up for this upcoming MOA event:

MAY 18
A workshop for mothers and daughters including refreshments and a purse-making activity. Admission $8 per person ($6 for MOA Friends). 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Registration is required, call 336.758.5282 or email moa@wfu.edu.

Ooof. Stuffed.

My husband and I enjoyed a delicious brunch at The Village Tavern (classic location, not sprawl). He would like to go on record with a hearty endorsement of the Shrimp & Grits, which were the best he's ever had.