Hello Hello

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fait Accompli

I just finished registering online for the Dixie Classic Fair.

I have a bit of an exigency going on here, so I have limited myself to the following two contests, both of which I plan to rock mightily:
  • Best Decorated Apple
  • Artistic and Original Doorstop
I'm giddy with plotting.

(Y'all had best hurry up if you haven't entered yet, seeing as the deadline is September 1st.)

The Dixie Classic Fair

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Antiques Libraryshow

If you're like most families you probably have several old items tucked away in your attic or occupying some corner of your basement that you've had for ages. And in the back of your mind you've probably wondered if that old relic actually has any real value beyond sentimentality. Here's an opportunity to get an idea what that old clock, or trunk or chair you've been holding on to is actually worth. The Lewisville Library will hold an Antiques Appraisal Fair on Saturday, September 6th, from 10 am to 2 pm to give you a chance to get a professional opinion of what your antiques are really worth on the antiques market.

Entry into the Appraisal Fair is free but there is fee to have an item appraised. For Friends of the Lewisville Library the fee is $5.00 for 2 items. For non-members the fee is $5.00 per item, limit 3 items per person. (To become a member of the Friends of the Lewisville Library call 703-2940.)

The following Antique appraisers are scheduled to be at the fair to provide appraisals:

* Larry Laster from Laster's Fine Art & Antiques in Winston Salem - specializes in rare & fine art, paintings, prints, sculpture, early photographs & maps.
* Jon Lambert from Mebane Antique Auction Gallery in Mebane, NC - specializes in folk art, pottery, toys/games, art glass and small antique objects.
* Brent Smith & Barry Smith from Greensboro - specializes in military and arms from WWII, Civil War specialists.
* C. Ash Harrison from Ashmore Inc, Greensboro, NC - specializes in coins and paper money.
* David Kane from Greensboro - specializes in Antique furniture pieces.
* Marc Cutcher from Solomon Enterprises in Greensboro - specializes in sterling flatware & serving pieces.

For more information call 703-2940.

Forsyth County Public Library - Lewisville Branch

Friday, August 29, 2008

3 days off

Apparently the stuffed chickens were stressed out after a long first week of school, so needed to unwind with a bubble bath.

Happy long weekend, chickens.



You can almost smell the popcorn...

I wish this had sound, but it's still pretty cool.

Behold! A virtual, flying tour of the new, downtown baseball stadium!

Baseball Downtown

ATTN: Citizens of Winston-Salem

Aren't we lucky that many of our waterways are clean enough to support wildlife!

Now if you actually went the speed limit on roadways near the waterways (25 mph on Yorkshire, FYI), we might also be able to keep the wildlife alive.


*Friends Don't Let Friends Run Over Otters

Spotted at Costco, Hanes Mall Blvd

When we visited our mother's mother in Florida, we'd spend the first evening divvying up the cereal. My grandmother, unfamiliar with our personal tastes, would buy a ten-pack of miniature cereal boxes, one bowl to a box, for my brother and me to share. Many of them were cereals we had at home. Raisin Bran. Corn flakes. Product 19. A few, though, were utter decadence, sweetened, flavored, heavenly, cereals our own mother would never buy. These were the first to be pulled across the small table in the kitchen where we sat during this important ritual. My brother always took Apple Jacks first thing. My hand would snatch Sugar Smacks. The rest of the cereals could go to whomever, neither of us caring particularly, though I did always kind of like getting the Frosted Flakes, too.

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Although summer hasn't officially ended it is winding down in gardening terms. Slightly shorter days and the nearing the end (hopefully) of swelteringly hot days. Here are a few plant photos that, for various reasons, did not make it in the weekly posts.

Favorite summer can't go wrong, even for brown thumbs, plant. A summer border of daylilies. They are almost idiot proof.

The favorite summer flowering tree for the south has to be Crepe Myrtle. For our unsuspecting Yankee cousins, plant Crepe Myrtle in the south instead of lilac.

One of the most under utilized plants is Cardoon. In fact this plant was grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello and there are references to it in 4th century Greek writings. I was going to do a full feature about it but the same frog strangler and winds that blew down the Baptisia in last week's post toppled over before I could get the right lighting conditions for a photo to show everyone it's great architectural form with the multiple bloom heads. It is also edible. (Hint the Cardoon is to the right in the day lily photo)

I don't know about you but I am looking forward to Autumn. Football, gloriously colored leaves and cooler weather are all just around the corner. It is NOW a prime time to plant trees, shrubs and perennials.

More about that next week.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's that time of year again...

The city advertises free leaf mulch twice a year, Spring and Fall. These are the only opportunities that the public can take advantage of it.

complete info

Local worth a poke-about

Brookstown Antiques
Brookstown @ Burke
Cash or check only


The Visiting International Faculty Program brings teachers from around the world to teach in the US. Meet two who will be teaching in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.

The VIF Program

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

via email

Perhaps you or someone you know has been curious about Associated Artists… thinking about joining… wondering what we are all about…

Or maybe you have a friend you want to encourage, giving them a place to interact with some other artists…

On Friday September 5th we will host an Orientation and Open House here in the AAWS gallery on 4th street to answer any questions and share some of the great things going on here for members and others!

This event is free and open to all. Membership is open to anyone over the age of 15 – artist or art appreciator alike. Call 722.0340 for more info.

Member Orientation and Gallery Open House: Friday, September 5th from 5:30-7:00p.m.

…preceding the DADA First Friday gallery hop. At this meeting you can:

* Meet other artists
* Learn more about how the gallery shows work
* Get to know the Staff
* Find out about Volunteer opportunities
* Hear from our Committee Chairs
* Meet other artists
* Learn more about showing in Community Exhibits
* Meet the AAWS Board Members
* See the new Juried Member show
* Meet other artists
* Learn more about the upcoming AAWS Trip to Kenya

Associated Artists of Winston-Salem

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Local Bulletin Board

C & K Bagels, Peace Haven off Robinhood (near Harris Teeter)

गणेश aka Ganesh Professional Women of Winston-Salem

Someone explain to me

...why this seemingly local business has a Florida license plate?

(We were stopped behind a school bus. I was not phono-photoing while driving.)

North Carolina Vehicle Registration

Local Sign

Grace Court

I find the wording of this rather awkward.

Operation Impact

Operation Impact is a partnership between neighborhood organizations and local government to improve blighted neighborhoods by dealing effectively with nuisance properties.

How do I nominate a property for Operation Impact?

Operation Impact nomination forms can be picked up at the city’s Housing & Neighborhood Services Department. Forms are also available on-line www.cityofws.org/hns. In addition, Community Service Advisors have forms and can provide them at meetings of neighborhood associations.

How much time do property owners have to comply?
Because departments operate under different codes, the time varies by the nature of the code violation. In all cases, however, the shortest period allowed by Housing Services law is stipulated.

How many properties will Operation Impact accept at a time?
Within a given area of the city, no more than 10 properties are enrolled in Operation Impact at a time. This ensures that the team can pay sufficient attention to each property. If more than 10 qualify, a waiting list is started.

What happens once a property is nominated?
Nominated properties are reviewed for compliance with the criteria for Operation Impact. Once a property is added, the Operation Impact team visits the property owner. After the visit, the team gives the property owners a detailed report of code violations violations that must be addressed, and a date by which all must be corrected. After this date, the team conducts a follow-up visit to the property. If the property still is not in compliance, the team pursues other remedies, including court action and fines, as allowed by law.

What about the growing number of tenants and property owners who do not speak English?
The Operation Impact team includes bi-lingual members who can communicate housing standards and rights to Spanish-speaking occupants and owners. All educational materials are available in both English and Spanish.

Operation Impact

Local Re-Find, by SueMo

2 ceramic artichokes.

Purchased off Ardmore Road

$4.00 for the pair!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bring Caps

Spotted at Van Davis Aveda

Next time I have my brows beautifully shaped (ask for Stephanie), I'll bring caps with me. Up 'til now, I've just thrown them out, as the city's recycling program asks that caps be discarded in regular trash.

Preparing Recyclable Materials in Winston-Salem

Visiting Daddy

Obviously there have been some concerns about etiquette at St. Paul's; these signs are new. Click on image to read sign inside garden.

RJR High School, this morning

I was so heartbroken to hear about Matt Gfeller, the RJR high school student who died after being injured on the football field Friday night.

As I left the YMCA this morning, there was a rainbow that appeared to begin at Baptist hospital and end at RJR High school. It was a surreal moment and people who were at the Y just stopped for a few minutes before heading in or heading out.

I went home and got my camera, knowing that such things do not last for very long, and was able to drive up to Reynolds to take the following pictures. It was a nice welcome for students who had to arrive at their first day of school, with the flag at half mast for a student who would have started his first day at Reynolds. It is a sad day for many.

Photographs by SueMo


In a complete break with tradition, my friend A. and I passed up Biscuitville in favor of a new, First Day of School breakfast location.

It was lovely up until the cash register.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

School Nighted

Kids showered
Hair washed
Nails trimmed
Pencils sharpened
Backpacks packed
Clothes laid out
Alarms set
Heart broken

On the phone with MPB

"What are you doing?"

"I'm looking through my Dixie Classic book. Are you going to enter anything?"

"Smushy cat. They have a smushy cat contest? Because mine would win."

"Sadly, no. Oh, hey, says here they will have those living statues this year. You know, where you think it's a statue, but it's really a person, and then they scare the bejeezus out of you."

"They had those at the mall once, I think. To watch for shoplifters. They were made up to look like mannequins, but they were really watching people."

"Ooh, that's wild." I try to imagine holding still for very long in the name of crimefighting. I can't.

MPB continues, "Do you know I have always looked at the mannequins a little more closely ever since?"

Free Attractions at The 2008 Dixie Classic Fair


Matt Gfeller has died.

In what is quite possibly the ultimate act of generosity and grace, the Gfellers have donated his organs, I understand.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


New Planet Yoga, conveniently located on Burke Street, will begin fall classes on September 2nd.

schedule here

Also starting fall classes the same day is The Yoga Gallery, conveniently located on North Trade Street.

schedule here

I love going to high school football games

I love the energy in the air. I love how full of possibility the students seem. I love watching young people catch their breath when they look at each other. I love how quintessentially autumnal the whole event feels.

Last night was the first game for many area schools.

Unfortunately, at Reynolds this happened.

Thoughts and prayers with the Gfeller family.

UPDATE: 11:45 AM

edit, 9:30 pm: MORE INFORMATION about what happened from the Greensboro News & Record

Friday, August 22, 2008

And the winner is...

(of this contest)
April Beason

The youngest chose her name out of his enormous sombrero (see below). April was among the 400+ who recognized those photos as being taken at Cricket's Nest.

Congratulations, April! You win your choice of prize from THE EXCITING ARRAY!

There will not be a contest next week. The next context will launch the following Wednesday, September 3rd.

"What's Pep eating?"

"I'm sure I don't know. Pep! Pep!"

"She's ignoring you."

I snort, walk over to the dog, who is hunched over in the yard guarding something precious under her paw.

"Aaaiee! Yiiii!" Involuntary and utterly girl noises come out of my throat as I spot a writhing mass of caterpillars on the brink of doom. Pep ignores me and continues to calmly chew them. The oldest bounds out the door, runs over to look.

"Don't let her in my room, OK? I don't want her barfing them up in there."


Venomous Caterpillars in Forsyth County, an annual LiF link tradition

In light of what seems to be a surge of break-ins...

The Burglary Prevention Checklist from the Winston-Salem Police Department

Seemingly especially targeted (if one goes by my email): West End, Ardmore, BV, Sherwood, Mt Tabor area.

Know your local crime: P2C

(I do wish one could enter a street address and then search within a specified area of said address. I also wish when arrests took place, it would generate at least a cursory report.)

via email

Dear Blue Ridge customer!

Just a reminder. . . it's our 3rd $1 cone day this year!!! We're gonna keep on celebrating.


Bring your family and friends. Enjoy a cone of ice cream before going back to school.

Check our website for directions. www.blueridgeicecreams.com

See you all soon!

Debbie and Scott

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Bush Lies and Flip Flops

No, no. Not THAT Bush, this Bush. Actually it's called a Baptisia or Wild Indigo. It's also called a Redneck Lupine. The latter term alone made it a must have for me. This one is called Wayne's World which was actually selected from a seed in Wayne County, NC.

Read more about it and other Baptisias by clicking HERE: http://www.plantdelights.com/Catalog/Fall/page15.html

Seriously, this is an excellent plant that thrives in full sun and hot, dry conditions. It lied down and flip flopped during a July frog strangler accompanied by 40 mile per hour straight line winds. You would have lied and flopped too. I'll stake it and it'll be just fine.

Highly recommended.

(Esbee note: For the Yankees, a frog strangler is a heckuva rainstorm.)

I want

The Backyard Tennis Backboard Company, LLC. was established to design, manufacture and market tennis Backboards for the home, club, school and parks markets. Our Objective is to provide a series of tennis backboards that are unique in terms of mobility, practicality and affordability.

The Backyard Tennis Backboard Company, a local company, is the brainchild of Mr. Harold Moore.

Seriously, I would love one of those. Then I wouldn't have to shame my family's good tennis name by using the backboard at Shaffner Park*.

*which is inevitably not available on Saturdays anyway, because the entire park is overrun with soccer kids and their families, to the point that taking Yorkshire becomes perilous to one's insurance premiums. You couldn't actually get near the backboard if you tried. During the week, the backboard is often unavailable because it's on the court closest to the parking lot, and that's the first court people take. So you see, I really, REALLY, would love one of those.

Dear Harris Teeter:

my 'maters

So I get that you yanked your Fire-Roasted Salsa, the incredible one, during the Great Tomato Crisis of Oh-Eight. But now that the villainous veggies have been thwarted, there is still no Fire-Roasted Salsa in your deli area.

Please rethink this. (Or cough up the recipe.)


It's that time of year again...

Just a reminder: the deadline for submitting Dixie Classic entry forms is September 1st.

This year's theme for the Best Decorated Apple contest is "Wild West".

I am beyond giddy with the possibilities.

The 2008 Dixie Fair Premium Catalog

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Elementary School Open House, Check

I signed the youngest up to bring snack for his whole kindergarten class the first week of school. That way I don't have to remember it beyond then.

On a happy note, no peanut allergies in his class - only orange. Hurray!

Because I know how badly the kindergartners especially drag that first week, and in light of my unwavering love for my city and my unwavering support for its economy, I will be bringing these for one of the days.

Aren't they cute?

Available at homegrown Kripsy Kreme, of course.

And I mean EXACT... (Chapter 2.4.5)

I've had numerous email slaps upside the head telling me that this week's contest (see post directly beneath this one) is crazy impossible. I don't really think it is, but since I happen to have an additional photo from the same location (and a spectacular one to boot), I will share it with you. I didn't use this one originally because it is beside the building rather than on it.

Deadline remains noon Friday. As always, click on image for larger view.

And I mean EXACT... (Chapter 2.4)

Now it's even easier to win a prize from THE EXCITING ARRAY (shown at left)! Just email me the name of the building or the business it houses before noon Friday, and you are entered. Here's even more info.

As always, click on image for larger version. As always, Esbette is ineligible to play. As always, my email address is hippo.hippo@gmail.com.

Not as always: Circumstances (read: children and their superpowers of distraction) have kept me from prompt prize delivery this summer. They go back to school Monday and will no longer be able to thwart my timely mailing efforts. Abject apologies to those who have waited or are waiting.

Local heroes

The Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum is dedicated to the Forsyth County, NC veterans who courageously gave their lives while in their country's service. Each veteran is remembered with a permanent marker in either the East Promenade or the West Promenade.


Be patient

Ahhh, so this is what PatientWays on Country Club does...

Very cool. I wish we had that. I am ridiculously tired of dealing with our insurance company on claims.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I'd love to have a link to Mayberry's on my post below, but Reynolda Village has debuted a new website.

A website that goes nowhere when one hits the "Restaurants" tab.

A website that no longer has actual hyperlinks to individual stores' external websites.

A website that, when it does mention external links, has obvious problems formatting them (I saw one that ended in .com.COM , for example).

A website with a user-unfriendly store map that requires superhuman eyesight to utilize.

A website that says it has an interactive map for directions to the Village yet doesn't.

A website that due to these issues is worse than the one it replaced, in spite of its prettiness.

Two thumbs attached to a body in need of European Touch down.

Hanes Park

This was my father's and his brothers' favorite destination as children.

Two Scoop Tuesday

After the boys had haircuts, we went to Mayberry's for Two Scoop Tuesday. I asked the guy behind the counter when TSTs would end. He said he wasn't sure, but that he knew it was only a summerlong promotion. I understand that there is an official, government approved end date to summer. By my season theory, however, next Tuesday is the last Tuesday of summer.

What I Did This Summer

"We went to the pool and the beach..." The youngest is thinking hard.

"We went to Jonas Brothers!" the oldest jumps in.

"You went to the Jonas Brothers concert," I remind him gently. "We did not."

"You stayed in the hotel, though." He looks at me earnestly.

"Yes." I smile at him.

"We went to that park with the Cheerwine slushies and the gem mining. And I went away to camp..." Now he's lost in thought, too.


"I know one!" We turn to look at the youngest. He holds one finger up as if making a proclamation. "Creekstomping!"

The oldest and I look at each other and grin. I sigh.

"C'mon. School haircut time."

I hate that summer's ending. I really, really do.

...And we're done

We got the last few items on the required school supplies lists this morning. We only went to Office Max and Harris Teeter. A few of the items (scissors, for example) we had from previous years.

Total cost of supplies on school list
oldest (4th grade): $22.79
youngest (kindy): $18.33
total (not bad at all): $41 and change

I feel badly for parents who truly cannot afford to buy the school supplies their children need. Locally, various organizations and individuals step in to help, which I think is great.

This gentleman disagrees.

City Ordinance Section 6-12

To: City of Winston-Salem:

re: the sign at the bottom of this article

Pls. make swishy yet rustic version and put at least 6 around lake at Reynolda House.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Green with Love

Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County will celebrate the Labor Day weekend with its annual Jimmy Johnson Labor of Love Blitz Aug. 27-30. The blitz, during which volunteers will begin building three new houses, will take place in the Happy Hill neighborhood.

For the first time, the blitz will be an “all-green” build. The three homes will incorporate environmentally friendly construction techniques and materials.

Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County

Hospitality Luncheon

Although the kids don't start for another week, the WSFCS teachers went back to work today. My friend wrangled me into helping serve some of them lunch. In exchange, I got to bring home a plate of leftover sweets, a medley of deliciousness from the table above. Thanks, friend!

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

ATTN: Citizenry

Pumped up about the election this coming November 4th? Wish you could somehow make your role as A Responsible Citizen last even longer on that historic day?

If you are over 18 and a registered voter in Forsyth County, you can! Here's how.

Shimmy, Shimmy, Shake, Shake

incoming email:


I swear I have seen bellydancers at three or four events in Winston now. Bellydancers. Winston-Salem. Does Not Compute.

Please help. Nobody else at work has seen them. They all think I'm making it up.

Ah, but you are not. Welcome to Winston-Salem, known for its cigarettes, its doughnuts, ...and its bellydancing.

Meet your local bellydancers (and find classes, if you're so inclined)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I am a better driver than at least one (1) other person in town

I couldn't figure out what had happened to the sign for Reynolds Square, a rather upscale, gated community off of Wellington, just down the hill from Yorkshire. Then I turned around.

(I do need to confess I drove over a black snake today on the way to MPB's. I only realized what it was when I saw it slither right before I hit it. Sorry, snake.)

The children remembered that I had a coupon for Carlito Queso

It's really wild to see women in their Sunday best playing Skee Ball, much less arranging their skirts to ride Wave Runner (shown at right).

We had fun. I'm sure my hearing will return.

Chuck E. Cheese


Read the splendid obituary of Walnut Cove resident Ora Mae Sizemore Craig, who was born "in a three-room cabin on the side of a beautiful green rolling hill."

This is exactly how I think of it. That when you die, you get to see all those people you loved who died before. A family reunion of sorts in heaven. And everyone is the age they felt the best in.

I imagine my father to be nineteen or so, home on a visit from Duke, his long legs stretched out in front of him as he and his brothers sit on his aunts' front porch, squabbling happily over basketball and girls. There's a war on, but they ignore it in favor of talking trash. For this afternoon they are carefree, reveling being Those Cash Boys again.

I imagine my mother younger, seven or eight. It's evening, and she's sitting on her daddy's lap while he relaxes in his armchair and reads the paper. Her mother is visible through the doorway, making supper in the kitchen. My mother leans into her father, fits her head into his neck. She feels safe and warm and loved.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sylvan @ Robinhood

Notice from Vegetation Management, Urban Forestry Section of upcoming tree removal (reason: dead) by the City of Winston-Salem.

I'm not sure how it works when the tree is on private property; although just off the curb, this one is in a yard behind a fence. I would think the city then bills the property owner or attaches it to the tax bill or some such.

"What's the plan?"

My husband has to repeat the question because I am lost in thought, one hand on my keys, the other on the counter itself.

"Oh. OK, I'm running to the Teeter to get the stuff to make dessert for the Teacher Appreciation luncheon, which is on Monday. Then the oldest has a birthday party from 2 until 5, so we need to leave about 1:40, because I'm not really sure where I'm going. Also, he needs to shower. He woke up a little goaty. After I drop him off at the party, I'm running over to Brookberry Farm to play with the puppies, because Bo and Karen are having a Puppy Open House to try to find the remaining puppies homes."

I end by taking a big breath. My husband smiles, kisses my forehead.

"We are full up."

"I know. I'm just hoping other people have room for one more."



Mr. and Mrs. Bowman Gray IV request the honor of your presence at a Puppy Open House today, Saturday, August 16th, from noon until ? Come prepared to play with, and hopefully fall under the spell of, one of the home-needing Piedmont Puppitas.

Address removed, as Puppy Open House has ended. 3 pups still need homes. Please email me if you are interested in providing a home for one (or two! or three!), and I will put you in touch.

Friday, August 15, 2008


So I was on WashingtonPost.com just now, reading their review of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which review was the complete opposite of a rave. They panned it hard. Anyhow, they had links to reviews of other movies opening today, and at the bottom of their review for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (which did get a rave), I saw this:

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
(97 minutes, at area theaters) is rated PG-13 for adult themes, sexuality and smoking.

Bolding mine. And smoking? It's become hazardous to even see smoking now?

Once upon a time many years ago, I smoked. Like a chimney, no less. Now, sadly, I cannot smell smoke for any length of time without suffering a raging migraine. I get the objections to secondhand smoke. I really, really do.

But film of secondhand smoke?

And the winner is...

(of this contest)
Wynn Petersen

whose name was randomly drawn from the mere thirty-seven correct entrants (though hordes more submitted incorrect answers). The correct answer is "that building on Miller St. in Ardmore, just up the hill from the Post Office." The building is, as far as I can tell, currently empty, yet utterly fabulous.

Wynn, you've won your choice of prize from THE EXCITING ARRAY - congratulations!

You'll never guess where we are RIGHT NOW

Update: I think this was good. Take that with a grain of salt, though, as I am not a Star Wars junkie like my boys. But they both seemed to love it. I'm betting this local blogutante would as well.

As is our wont, we saw it at The Grand.

edit to add: Huh. Who knew the Grand did this? (Probably every parent of an infant, in town, but I didn't.)

Bring Your Own Baby

A Program for Parents and Their Little Ones

- Every Tuesday (Titles and Times Vary by Theatre)
- Cooing babies encouraged!
- Auditorium lighting maintained at half level
- Sound adjusted to a comfortable social level
- Baby changing station available in restrooms

Produce Geek Moment

I told the children it was too early to pick this particular cantaloupe, but in the joyous frenzy of morning melon harvesting, they didn't hear me and picked it nonetheless. Still, I'm rather glad they did. I've never see the seeds so prettily arrayed before.

Ticket up

Tickets go on sale today for Foothills Brewing's Oktoberfest, scheduled for September 13th from noon until 2 am. $25 a pop includes a souvenir glass (full of beer), live music, and "all the German cuisine you can eat".

Foothills Brewing

Sadly, I am not a huge fan of German cuisine. Now, call it Octubrefest, and I will eat paella and churros until dawn.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


That's what my college professors would write in red ink next to sentences that were poorly constructed. It's short for "awkward". Whenever I saw it, I would think of adolescence, of pimples and gangling limbs, of nervous sweats and middle school.

In college, comfortable in my skin, I thought 14 was the most awkward age imaginable for a female, but now I think 37 just might top it. On the cusp of losing my last child to school, I bumble more than I ever have before.

My friend A.T. is in the midst of relocating to Winston from elsewhere in the state. She asks me about the specific middle schools here, and I repeat what I've heard, but I don't actually know anything. AWK, AWK, AWK.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Middle Schools
  • Clemmons
  • East Forsyth
  • Hanes
  • Hill
  • Jefferson
  • Kennedy Learning Center
  • Kernersville
  • Meadowlark
  • Mineral Springs
  • Northwest
  • Paisley IB
  • Philo
  • Southeast
  • Walkertown
  • Wiley
  • W. S. Prep Academy


"Lucy, what are you doing?"

"Just finishing ordering new lunchboxes. The oldest's held up fine last year, but it ended up being the perfect size and shape for his FM System, so we need one for actual food for him. And the youngest's also held up, but I think it's too soft to be in a bag with books.

"Oh, gosh, that's right. It's almost time, isn't it?" R. sighs. "I hate thinking about packing lunches. My kids are so picky!"

I nod. "I'm just hopeful we don't end up with a peanut allergy in the youngest's class. We'll work around it if we do, but as it is, I'm going to end up basically bento boxing him."

"Lucy, what is that?"

"It's a Japanese concept of packing a meal. It basically means a smidge of this, a bit of that, but they have all these parameters of colors. In our case, I just mean I will pack a smidge and a bit and a dab and a dollop. Lots of different foods. He's so finicky that this way I feel like he'll at least eat something."

"What if he buys lunch?"

"It's more expensive for him to buy than for me to pack. And he hasn't liked what he's seen when we've gone to eat with his older brother in years past."

"Will he eat peanut butter?"

"Sometimes yes, sometimes no. He'll almost always eat the peanuts themselves. It's one of his main protein sources. That's why I am so hopeful he won't have peanut allergies in his classroom."

"He might. Everyone seems to be allergic these days!"

I sigh. "We'll work around it."


Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools Dining Services

We swear by these lunchboxes: Lands' End

Washington Post article on Bento

THERE'S HOPE!!! Meet Peanut Allergy Hero, Dr. Ahmedna

I question the need to capitalize every letter in the word "male", but otherwise, this sounds like a good program

Who can join the "Fathers & Friends" Team?
Any MALE that is providing support to a pregnant or parenting female and is living in the Forsyth County area. Any MALE that is interested in exploring ways to become the best father that he can be.

Fathers & Friends

So, peeps

I finally waded through the monsoon of acid rain that is my incoming email since yesterday, and here's the thing. Guess how many correct entries I have so far for this week's And I mean EXACT... contest.


Nobody who has entered has got it right yet. Not even in the right neighborhood. So look closely, keep your eyes peeled as you bop around town. You have until tomorrow at noon to identify it. If only one of you does so, it's an easy-peasy win. And in case you didn't notice, some sweet, local postcards went into THE EXCITING ARRAY this week.

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yardddawg

Out of Africa and into Buena Vista

Just a few short years ago we lived in Harare, Zimbabwe for three years. We being Mrs. Yarddawg, three kids and two Labrador’s.

As the Zimbo’s say, whilst there we purchased these interesting Hippo and Elephant pots for our amusement and enjoyment. They always draw adoring comments from startled visitors. Here they are festooned with shade loving impatiens on our front porch.

PS: To hippo.hippo… placing tongue firmly between lips and exhaling rapidly……… Pbbbbt. Nah neh nah neh neh!

Be sure to stay tuned to next week’s The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg for startling evidence that proves Bush Lied & Flip Flopped.

Esbee, aka hippo.hippo, note: Oh, those ARE nice. Though possibly a little demure. Unlike, say, my amazing pig.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer rain showers

The boys and I have spent the last few hours playing in the rain. This is one of the first rain showers this year it was possible to do so. Usually rainplay is verboten due to (A) crazy cold temps or (B) lightning. Sadly, for 7 more days sunplay is verboten for me due to (A) antibiotics. On a happy note, I'm keeping my finger. Yay!

And I mean EXACT... (Chapter 2.3)

Now it's even easier to win a prize from THE EXCITING ARRAY (shown at left)! Here's how.

As always, click on image for larger version. As always, Esbette is ineligible to play. As always, my email address is hippo.hippo@gmail.com.

...And there it is

This morning I finally spotted a promo link to the "Readers' Choice" awards on the front page of the Winston-Salem Journal website.

Smitty's Notes does such a better job of this that I'm not sure why the Journal doesn't just give Smitty an annual insert. Because let's be frank, this guy's got a point or three.

Smitty's Notes Best of Winston-Salem


We had a vacant lot on my street growing up. It was on the corner, on the other side of the L. family's house. I'd cut through the L.s' backyard to get to it. It was pretty clean for a vacant lot. No trash, just weeds that got pretty high. I'd swing a stick at them and pretend it was a scythe. I also liked to hunker down when the occasional car or person came down either street, pretending I was a fugitive. In the late fall, it would be dark when my mother called me in for dinner, which seems awful, but you have to understand that we lived on a cul-de-sac where everyone knew everyone. I'd wait in my weeds for a minute after my mother's call faded, then I'd creep back through the L.s' yard, still in fugitive mode. My heart always pounded to see them illuminated in their dining room, just on the other side of the glass.

Surplus Lots for Sale from the City of Winston-Salem

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Funigan's v. Chuck E. Cheese
  • Food Tastiness: Funigan's, by far
  • Restroom cleanliness: Funnigan's
  • Number of arcade games: Chuck E. Cheese
  • Variety of prizes available: Chuck E. Cheese
  • Variety of entertainment: Funigan's (it has mini-bowling and a quite tall climbing wall)
  • Cost of entertainment: Chuck E. Cheese (mini-bowling and climbing wall are not cheap)
  • Cost of food: Funigan's
  • Staff helpfulness: Funigan's
  • Indoor playground apparatus: Funigan's
  • Safety: Chuck E. Cheese (there's neither handstamping nor braided rope barrier at Funigan's)
  • Mascot: Chuck E. Cheese (Funigan's having no discernible mascot presence)
  • You'll only find it in Winston-Salemness: Funigan's
  • Noise Level: TIE (both are wretchedly loud)

The Village

Tobaccoville was named for a plug chewing tobacco factory owned and operated in the 1870's by Charles Orrender. The factory was located on what is now Doral Drive, one mile south of the present day post office at the Tobaccoville crossroads. This area was the mail route of a 4-horse stagecoach from Mt. Airy to Winston-Salem, which changed horses at Donnaha and forded the Little Yadkin River. When the river water was high, the horses were forced to swim, and the mail was frequently lost. People regularly gathered in the area to watch the stagecoach come and go.

My mom used to smoke Doral cigarettes back in the 1970s. Doral Drive, Tobaccoville, NC is about the most tobacco-centric address ever.

The Village of Tobaccoville


Robinhood Rd.

Dear Duke Power:

Again, this just looks goofy.

Not a fan of the sidehawk,

¡Viva España!

WHAT: A complimentary wine tasting of the wines of Martinez Lacuesta. Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest family-owned wineries in Spain.

WHEN: 8/13/2008, 5:30-7 PM

WHERE: Christopher’s, 712 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem

Local ReFind, by SueMo: a Gift

14" from top to bottom, this wonderful frog bell will help Mrs. Yarddawg get Mr. Yarddawg out of the garden and into the house. (Esbee note: Yarddawg, cover your eyes now.) $5 from Pfafftown.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm not a Kville girl

It's sweet to visit, but I don't think I'd ever want to live there over here.

That said, I love this house madly.

In a pretty girl fabric, I think

Jon Lowder's getting a fetching kerchief. Not for him, though.

Welcome home, Mia.


My cart is almost overflowing. With school approaching, I'm back to the weekly shopping trip, meal planning factoring in lunchboxes and which day which child has which activity.

I hand the cashier my VIC card, and she swipes it. Then she pauses. "And did you need me to reattach this to a particular school today?" Ahh. That's right. You have to link your VIC card to the school each year anew.

"Yes," I say. If you could attach it to..." And I stop. Because frankly my children's school has quite a lot already. A group of parents who can and do give money and volunteer hours. A PTA run as professionally as a Fortune 500 company. Pretty classrooms. Pretty grounds. And I well know that not every school in town has those same advantages.

I wrack my brain, trying to come up with the name of a school. "Could you please attach it to Ibraham?"

The cashier nods, opens her folder, finds the code and enters it. Then she begins to swipe the items. Juiceboxes, bagels, Ovaltine, green beans. I turn my face toward the bagger. "Plastic OK?" he asks.

Harris Teeter's Together in Education program
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Dear Citizens of the Internets:

I have over two hundred metal hangers now!

Thank you.

Mark your calendar

click on image to enlarge

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Remember waaay back when I told you the local rumor was that Talbots was coming to Thruway?

It's true! Slowly, but truly.

Bargain Book Table


Country Club Rd.

My mom once bought a miniature golf course on a whim. It was a beat-up old thing. She lovingly repainted it and renamed it Lilliputt, which is, bar none, the best name for a miniature golf course ever.

Local Driving Ranges and other Golf Practice Facilities