Hello Hello

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

WFU in the news

No shoes? No problem.

Northwest Barber Shop, Reynolda Road

Nothing like a giant whiff of testosterone to end the year. Before we left, every seat was filled and the good-natured man-talk was going strong. My favorite was the fellow who walked in, apparently leaving a ladyfriend sitting in the passenger seat of his vehicle.

Stacy (barber): Y'all out, then.
Man: She said she wanted to take a drive.
Stacy: So you brought her to see Northwest Barber Shop?
Man: (laughing) Only had to make one turn to get here.

Yay, Art-o-Mat!

Sweet words on local brilliance @ 1:50


Local Lookup

There's a fleur-de-lis atop First Presbyterian.


In preparation for Resolution #1, each day I'm picking a cabinet or drawer to completely overhaul. Today I'm doing the medicine cabinet. But what do I do with these expired cold medications and old, random tablets and such?

I know not to dump them down the drain.

Can I take them to 3RC? Medication isn't on their list of items (though "cyanide waste" is - whaaa?).

3RC The EnviroStation

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Plenty of Nextel race cars. From Teleglobe, a cooler bag we still use for picnics. From PSINet, Lego-type blocks with the logo on them. All three of those companies are no longer, Nextel having been bought by Sprint, Teleglobe and PSINet having simply disappeared almost overnight. Poof!

We're girding ourselves in this house for cuts at my husband's current company. We've done this before, obviously. We're sort of old hat at it, in fact. Long ago I learned to squeeze a penny until a nickel fell out.

So begins a new category at Life in Forsyth that I only hinted at over the last few weeks: Local on the Cheap. It won't be a daily feature, like Shop Local, but hopefully it will be as happily received.

As I tell my sons whenever life seems rough: We're in this together. Let's make the best of it.

Cuts like a

The Tar Heel Cutlery Club is the oldest continuously operating knife club in America. It is a Non-Profit organization formed in 1975 by and for knife collectors. Our stated purpose is the encouragement and participation of the hobby of knife collecting. We enjoy having visitors at our meetings and encourage all ages to come out and see what knife collecting is all about.

Tar Heel Cutlery Club meets the 4th Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm at Miller Park Recreation Center, 400 Leisure Lane, Winston-Salem, NC. A swap meet is held before each meeting from 6:30-7:30.

Next meeting: January 27th

Tarheel Cutlery Club
Miller Park Recreation Center

Stripped and Pitched

The Christmas tree, that is.

I wonder if the city will even be picking up trees this year. If not, at least I know where I can take this one through January 30th.

Here's the list of locations.

Through Golf


To provide the youth of the Triad an opportunity to realize their dreams and empower their future by:
- Understanding young people's modern day challenges
- Providing learning facilities and educational programs that develop character
- Using the power of integrity of golf to teach life enhancing values

The First Tee of the Triad is open to children ages 8-18 for an annual fee of $125. No child is turned away due to financial need; scholarships are available. Fee enables use of golf courses and learning center, pays for Life Skills materials, and entry into program.

2009 registration for new participants will begin January 1st.

The First Tee of the Triad


Today everybody "died" or "passed away". I much prefer the obituaries when they're full of "went on home to Jesus" or "ascended on Heavenly wings to join God's choir of angels".

Winston-Salem Journal Death Notices

Monday, December 29, 2008

The youngest was craving midday pancakes

Accordingly we're at Billy Bob's, locally owned and operated, breakfast served all day.

Billy Bob's Silver Diner

ATTN: Wake fans

On a happy note, there are ten minute potty breaks every two hours. On a sad note, no boomboxes. You get to bring a carrying case weighing no more than 20 lbs with happy items, though. Happy items may not include booze or smokes, however. Books, though, are good. And I'd bring earplugs, in case of annoying chatterers seated nearby. A poncho. Sunscreen.

What? Oh, sorry, I'm looking over the rules for this contest.

Local Math

123,851 = number of households in Forsyth County in 2000*
$1,486,212 = amount of food Second Harvest could secure and distribute if every household in Forsyth County made a one-time donation of one dollar ($1)

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
donate online


Six years ago today, my mother died

This is the first December 29th since that I haven't woken up and immediately burst into tears. Before the day is over I'll undoubtedly cry at least once, but for now I'm OK. Achy, sad, but OK.

The pain of losing her will never go away entirely, but healing is good.

You know, ice cream does kinda make me want to shout Hallelujah....

The brainchild of a Winston-Salem native (the pastor), may I say... this rocks. (opens with music)

Union Baptist Church (also opens with music)

The thing is...

We are all going to have to economize, governments included, but we need to do so thoughtfully.

If we are low on/out of funds, foregoing leaf collection is a really good idea, much better than, say, cutting family services down to bare bones or cutting trash pickup to once monthly. Because see, I've lived in an American city that did both those when it ran low on money, and children fell into the cracks and the rats were as big as felines. Libraries were shut, too. That one made me so sad.

Anyway, if this is the case, if Winston-Salem has decided to forego the remaining leaf removal rounds or just skip the middle round, I do wish they'd tell us. I for one would understand, and I'd be glad they were economizing wisely.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We just saw Bedtime Stories at The Grand

This is the lightshow ceiling in the lobby, which I noticed exactly one movie ago. I asked the woman taking my ticket how long it had been there. She said, "Since the place opened." Awesome.

Anyway, Bedtime Stories was very clever, with plenty of booger and fart jokes for the kids.

Bedtime Stories
The Grand 18

The air smells fantastic today

Moist and clean and verdant... The only way the air could smell better is if it smelled like impending snow.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stunt Litterbugs

The exit off Silas Creek Northbound onto Robinhood is such an extreme curve that it's mindboggling to me that someone would take a hand off the wheel to litter. And yet many people must, because the ramp is one of the filthiest stretches of roadway in this part of town.

Also especially ick-tastic: the stretch of Northwest Boulevard opposite Reynolds High, in spite of being "adopted" by the Reynolds Cheerleaders. (I suspect it might be a losing battle no matter how many Saturdays they donate.)

R J Reynolds High School
Adopt A Street Program

Hanes Outlet, Thruway

I headed out today in search of the legendary sale prices everyone's raving about. The only thing we really need is clothing for the children, who have the most unfortunate habit of outgrowing their wardrobes. I found nothing at Old Navy, a few things in the Lands End area of Sears, and a few more at Hanes Mill Outlet. But overall, I was decidedly unwowed by the prices.

Friday, December 26, 2008

George Washington Ate Here

Main & Mountain Sts., Kernersville

A friend from Kernersville once told me she wasn't sure what she should tell people from outside the area who ask where she's from: Winston-Salem or Greensboro. I vote those who are from the town of Kernersville say so and proudly. There's a lot of history to the place. It's certainly not a throwaway location.

Town of Kernersville

Death, Taxes, My Late Cards

I'm taking the oldest to Kernersville today to visit his "cousin" who's the same age. Also to drop off our Christmas card. That's right, in spite of the fact that they were written, signed, sealed and addressed a good ten days in advance, THE UNIVERSE SMITED ME and I didn't get the cards out in time again this year, which makes something like eighteen years in a row.

ATTN: Local Athletes

Krispy Kreme on Stratford Road reopened this morning at 7 am. I only hope that at least one (1) local athlete was there, because he or she is serious about his/her training and is, in fact, going to represent us, The Hyphen, on February 7th in this Raleigh race:

Beginning at the NC State Belltower, each runner runs 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme store located on Peace St. in Raleigh. After downing a full dozen of the famous Krispy Kreme doughnuts, the runner must run the two miles back. All in one hour.


The Krispy Kreme Challenge
Krispy Kreme

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


This morning was the final installment of the holiday SHOP LOCAL, GIFTS UNDER TEN series. I've had tremendous positive feedback, both in email and in comments from retailers and shoppers alike.

Fingers crossed that the economy will miraculously recover quickly so that next year I can use a higher price point. But if not, I'll adjust accordingly. We all will.

The first half of the series
The second half

Shop Local

Today's gift: a sheet of cards!

These aren't your grandmother's bridge cards, that's for sure. Cut these mini, Asian playing cards out or leave them attached and use the sheet as a placemat, a desk blotter, wall art, etc. Each sheet has all the cards in a standard playing deck, but the art is far from standard, with warriors battling on a fair number.

$2.49 a sheet at Brew Nerds, 305 W. Fourth

Brew Nerds

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Lowes Foods at Sherwood Plaza has their amazing chocolate fountain going. Nothing like starting a shopping trip with chocolate covered banana...


Shop Local

Today's gift: a spork!

This is actually more of a sporfe, in that it functions as a spoon, a fork, and a knife. In any event, it makes a great gift for campers, brown baggers, or anyone who eats on the go. Dishwasher-safe, teflon-friendly, and highly durable.

Available in red, blue, green, and yellow. $2.50 each at Village Outdoor, Reynolda Village, 2201 Reynolda Rd.

Village Outdoor

Local Reminders

  • If you are planning on picking up a new friend, like Prancer here, from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter for Christmas, you must do so TODAY, as Forsyth County offices close for the holiday tomorrow at noon, which means the shelter will not be open for adoptions tomorrow at all.
  • Garbage collections this week are generally moved UP a day, which means Wednesday's collections will be picked up today and Thursday's tomorrow. Friday's collection, however, will be picked up Monday.
  • Recycling pickups scheduled for Thursday and Friday, on the other hand, will be POSTPONED a day.
photo courtesy of FCAC

52 times a year

Someone gave me a copy of the most recent The Chronicle, which comes out weekly on Thursdays.

Helluva good paper. Tons of printed local news.

The Chronicle

Monday, December 22, 2008

9 days* until 2009

During which year, I resolve to:

1. Have less stuff. (yard sale?)

2. Send more mail-not-email.

3. Finish at least 1/2 of the projects already started.

4. Go back to menu planning/coupons.

5. Go back at least one dress size, hopefully two.

*Plus seven hours, 43 minutes or so

Glass Angel? Bah! That's an Invisible Jet!

I remember playing with the Christmas ornaments as a child. I always married the people/clothed animal ornaments off, then set up houses for them in the branches. We had a little well ornament that they drew water from, the Christmas lights were the lights of their houses, etc.

My boys, though, have decided to pretend the Christmas tree is an intergalactic battlefield of sorts. And so I keep finding things like this:

Preventing Christmas Tree Fires, from the Winston-Salem Fire Department

Shop Local

Today's gift: a crayon!

Crayons aren't just for kids. These beautiful, full-sized crayons bring out the inner sketcher in adults, too. They're gorgeous to look at, from the marbleized exteriors to the tri-color points. Give one to your favorite on-the-phone doodler. Fits niftily in stockings, too.

$4 apiece at the Museum Store at Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda

Special discount storewide during the month of December.

The Museum Store

Spotted Locally

Not this one - this is a sample tag - but yesterday I did spot the first Litter Prevention license plate I've ever seen. $20 gets you one, too.

More about the tag

A little litter law legalese

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Our next door neighbor is a widow whose adult son comes by twice daily to check in on her. On weekends, he frequently does work around the house for her.

Yesterday while he was in her front yard raking, he and I commiserated about the city leaf pickup - or lack thereof - this year. He opined as to how now that the leaves were sopping wet and incredibly heavy because of it, he bet the city was just going to skip the pickup. He said he was planning to just put his mother's leaves around her bushes as mulch since she didn't have that many, most of the trees in her yard being evergreens. Then he and I looked at the GINORMOUS wall of maple leaves running the entire length of my front lawn and busted out laughing. Shortly thereafter I left to grab a gallon of milk at the grocery, wishing him happy holidays if I didn't see him again before Christmas.

Flash forward to this morning: the dogs barked for a bit, but not overly, their way of saying someone's walking by, but it's friend not foe. I assumed it was a dogwalker or a plain walker and didn't bother to look until just now, some hours later. What I saw was that those towering piles of heavy, wet leaves were gone. Gone! They've been lawncarted next door and spread under my neighbor's bushes.

I'm gobsmacked. And beyond touched. Merry Christmas, Fred. Thank you.

Shop Local

Today's gift:
a lighthouse!

Choose from a wide array of North Carolina lighthouses. Pick a lighthouse soon to be visited, one that triggers a vacation memory, or one that just plain strikes your fancy. These handpainted, wooden lighthouses will bring a touch of seashore whimsy to any flat surface.

$10 apiece at Kicks & Grins, 50 Miller Street (two doors down from Mayberry's)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

"...in Greensboro!"

"Are you serious? Oh my God."

I nod. "I just heard it on La Preciosa!"

My husband grabs his keys. "I'll be back in about an hour."

"Get like four of them!" I yell after him.


I've missed it. Craved it. Desired it so intensely that I even once emailed the then-anonymous Dinner Belle to see if she knew where I could find it locally. Alas, she did not.

But now I do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that I am at this very minute feasting on my beloved pollo a la brasa. And my husband bought enough of it, plus platanos fritos and queso fresco, for us to feast all weekend long.



El Pollo CampeĆ³n is located at 5553 W. Market Street in Greensboro. It is well worth the drive.

Gringo warning: beware the green sauce.

Shop Local

Today's gift: a fish!

The lowly fish is THE pet of the recession and thus makes a great gift. Nothing warms up a room or office like a pet, and fish are pretty much vet-bill free. Plus they don't need to be walked, groomed, or dressed in little sweaters. Go with the classic common goldfish, or give something with a little more pizazz, like these tiger barbs.

Tiger barbs are $1.29 each at Aquarium Center of North Carolina, 806H Highway 66 in Kernersville

Aquarium Center of North Carolina

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rhymes with Toga

Free Yoga Classes for beginners

Join us for a yoga class designed just for people who are new to yoga. You will practice yoga poses, breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation techniques. See how yoga can change your life. For teens and adults. Registration is requested: call or email us.

These classes will be taught by Beth Abernathy who is nearing the completion of her 330-hour teacher training program.

Monday, December 29 @ 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Friday, January 2 @ 6:00 - 7:30 pm

Sunrise Yoga

I have been to a yoga studio (not this one) exactly one time. Slender women waited peacefully and barefoot inside, their faces smooth, their voices low murmurs. I opened the outer door, tripped on the doorstep, fell into the room, and apologized in a voice that was noticeably too loud and too urgent. I felt awkward, overlarge, and beyond bumbling. The women stared at me coolly, then returned to their conversations and ignored me utterly, for which I was surprisingly grateful once I realized my body would not do what their bodies would, would not bend gracefully, would not stay in a position without quivering like jello. When the class ended, I fled.

Shop Local

Today's gift: Ballmania lip balm!

This fabulously fun, SPF 20 lip balm comes in a decorative ball case that makes it easy to find in your purse (it's usually rolling around on the bottom) plus holds more than twice as much balm as the average stick. The containers themselves come in an astounding array of patterns and colors, so you're sure to find one that matches your gift receiver's personal style. Vanilla Cream flavor.

$6.98 apiece at the Ivy Arch, 3382 Robinhood

Ivy Arch

Local Openings

  • Seemingly flying in the face of recession, The Boardroom Salon for Men has opened near my beloved TJ Maxx. Locally owned, The Boardroom offers such services as paraffin hand dips, 12 minute "power massages", and brow and body waxing. The place is visually very pleasing, with lots of wood and leather, but I fear for them trying to make a go of it in such a time of flux. Fingers crossed for local manly grooming success.
  • The Business Journal of the Triad reported last week that the old Frankie Rowlands is to become a Vinnie’s Sardine Grill & Raw Bar, part of a Charlotte-based chain that promises "the freshest seafood you will find unless you catch it yourself." Sadly, no lobster on the menu.
The Boardroom Salon for Men
Vinnie's Sardine Grill & Raw Bar

Thursday, December 18, 2008


In all of Winston, this is my favorite holiday decoration. Made up of real produce, it hangs above the door of my friend's house, on the corner of Country Club and Knollwood.

Shop Local

Today's gift: lucite Moravian stars!

These classic Moravian stars can hang on your tree, reflecting lights prettily. Or turn them upside down and set them tabletop for use as candleholders. They make lovely hostess gifts.

$3.99 each at the Winston-Salem Visitors Center, 200 Brookstown Ave.

See website for printable coupon.

Winston-Salem Visitor Center


That was the very first thing that popped into my head when I heard about the explosion and fire at the house on Forest (third item): I wonder if they'll use Shazam. I wondered it again yesterday when we drove by and saw the yellow police tape.

What? You don't know Shazam?

Meet Shazam!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Hols from E. & E.!

Remember '06? Remember '07? That's right, boys and girls, Esbette and I headed to Marshall's this morning, because it's time once again for that holiday favorite...

Esbee & Esbette's

We'll start with Esbette's styling of me.

Esbette has taken "adding interest with pattern" to a whole new level by combining the Holly Hobbie-esque shortie hoodie with the autumnal tonal skirt, a clash worthy of the Trojan War. In fact, the hoodie is a war unto itself, with at least four different patterns throwing down the gauntlet.

The neon turtleneck will not launch a thousand ships by any means, unless they are launching away from the horror that is my skin tone next to it. Also, the top is basically sheer, a nod to poor quality items the world over.

Please note the very special hemline of the skirt, which, as an added bonus, was static cling central.

Cost of this fine look: $52.

Now we'll move on to the tragedy that is Esbette, as styled by yours truly.

The overall look is "putrid", with this emphasized in the color of both the clingy top (note that the neckline is edged with mushroom colored netting) and the clamdigger trousers.

Additionally, the trousers take away any shape Esbette has. She looks much like a twelve year old boy from the waist down.

In a salute to cougars the world over, I added a blouse that had an animal print AND flame colors AND it was crinkled AND had fluted sleeves. Plus the fluted sleeves and hemline were pattern punched. In short, this blouse is as busy as an anthill.

Total cost of this look: $55.

So now it's up to the peeps to decide...

Where's Esbee?

First person to name the place I'm sitting wins my undying admiration.

UPDATE: Yarddawg correctly identified this as Billy Bob's Silver Diner, a wonderfully clean, locally-owned diner that serves tremendously tasty breakfast food all day long.

Billy Bob's

Shop Local

Today's gift: a local cookbook!

Looking to give a gift in good taste this holiday season? Mission accomplished when you give A Tasteful Century as a gift this year. Filled with over 220 recipes covering everything from appetizers to sweets, A Tasteful Century is sure to put excitement back into mealtime with dishes such as: Sock-it-to-Me Cake, Chedderlicious Egg and Sausage Casserole, South of the Border Potato Salad, Eastern Carolina Barbecue (The Cheater’s Version), Seven Seas Casserole and Claudette Weston’s Famous Rum Cake, a classic local holiday favorite.

Pick up a copy of A Tasteful Century for just $10 at any Forsyth County Public Library location.

Forsyth County Public Library

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's... its...

Who among us is unfamiliar with the struggles of the alpaca farmer? How to find the most amazing names for the alpacas, how to lasso an errant alpaca, what to do with the alpaca dung, but most importantly, how to find a dog that will simultaneously herd the alpacas yet not disrupt the harmonious look of the herd...

Alpaca farmer friends, the remedy for the last is waiting for you at Forsyth County Animal Control.

Behold! Superalpacadog!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shop Local

Today's gift: pocket-size stain remover!

Wool & Clean is a Swedish product made to remove oil and grease stains from wool, thus avoiding costly dry-cleaning for just one spot. This handy size easily fits discreetly in a briefcase, desk drawer, or even inside the inner pocket of a wool sportcoat.

$9.50 a box (containing 15 stain removing cloths) at Norman Stockton, 249 S. Stratford

Norman Stockton

Local Math

Esbette's back + it's cold and rainy = we're eating lunch w/ her mom at River Birch Lodge.

River Birch Lodge
(opens with wildlife sounds)

Plan accordingly

Simplyummy will CLOSE on December 24th for renovations. It is not scheduled to reopen until 7 am on January 12th.

Coupled with the closure of Blue Ridge Ice Creams for the entire month, January looks awful at this point. I think my plan may be to hibernate.


Blue Ridge Ice Creams

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shop Local

Today's gift:
An Initial Notepad

Give your favorite note-jotter a more upscale way to jot notes with this pretty, ecru, monogrammed notepad. The single initial is also prettily placed on the acrylic holder, included.

$8.95 apiece at Salem Creek, 694 Hanes Mall Blvd.

Salem Creek

Central Library

The number of people waiting for computers at Central Library today was staggering.

If I could direct some city money, I'd throw some toward the acquisition of more public computers. And then I'd throw some at this, too.

Ploughboy @ Jonestown

There are maybe six farm buildings on this one piece of property, all well-maintained, all this quite dark shade with red roofs. They're just lovely to look at.

Here We Come a-Wassailing

Founded in 2001, the Carolers of Christmas Past bring the highest quality of both music and costuming to each and every event. With over 70 musical selections, from Old World to modern, from sacred to secular, their performances delight audiences of all ages. The hand-crafted, Victorian costuming adds special charm.

The Carolers of Christmas Past will be performing at Reynolda Village this coming Saturday, December 20th, from 3 to 5 pm. This event is FREE.

The Carolers of Christmas Past
Reynolda Village

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Baking Day at Our House, the Sick House

The youngest announced after lunch that he wanted to make gingerbread cookies. "But, honey, " I said. "You're sick. The cookies will be full of germs."

He began to cry so piteously that I gave in and helped him make some. However nobody else wants to eat them and catch his horrible cold, so they are all his.

This is why the next time I am ill, I am going to make pound cakes and brownies and all sorts of deliciousness. Then I won't have to share. Because frankly I get tired of making something nummy and sweet only to walk into the kitchen three hours later and find that IT'S ALL GONE.

Mexican food section

Lowe's Foods, Sherwood Plaza

Public Service Announcement: Nestle's Abuelita chocolate (second row, next to sardines) is an excellent accompaniment for churros. And if you've never had churros with chocolate, then you've never really had churros.

Little known fact: There is a type of sheep called the Navajo Churro, which name I find ridiculously amusing.

Other little known fact that is irrelevent yet so mind-boggling to me that I have to share: Guess who wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Yes, the book about the flying car. Ian Fleming. No, I'm not joking. I found this out yesterday.

Lowe's Foods

Shop Local

Today's gift: a decorative pepper plant!

Go beyond the poinsettia, and add a little cha-cha-cha to the fa-la-la-la-la with the gift of a pot of mini peppers. They're colorful, they're unexpected, and they're sure to bring a smile.

Available in the two varieties shown here, $9.95 apiece at L.A. Reynolds Garden Showcase, 4400 Styers Ferry Rd.

L.A. Reynolds

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sorry so quiet

Elbow deep in wrapping paper and shipping labels today.

Shop Local

Today's gift: Light Hand Finger Lights!

From the makers of Spy Gear comes this ridiculously cool set of red lights that attach to the fingertips of one hand. I have no idea where their imaginations will take them when they open the box, but rest assured that my boys are getting these. Perfect for playing spies, building robots, and for assorted other flights of fancy.

Requires 2 AAA batteries (not included).

$7.95 each at Whistlestop Toy Station, newly relocated at Mount Tabor Place Shopping Center, 33oo block of Robinhood

Whistlestop Toy Station

Friday, December 12, 2008

Follow that planet

The youngest and I went moon-chasing tonight. The youngest really wanted us to keep at it until we collided with the huge moon itself, but I cut the chase off at Patterson Avenue.

Shown is the moon over Maple Springs Methodist. This was during the stretch when the youngest swore the moon was following us.

Maple Springs UMC

Krank it up

Poster by the fantastically talented Laura Lashley.

Laura Lashley

Location, location, location

bulletin board, simplyummy

Back in the day when I worked fulltime, before I had children, I would have qualified for this. Twice.

Department of Radiology, WFUBMC

Shop Local

Today's gift: handlebar streamers!

Give your favorite girl biker some bike bling. Just because a bike doesn't come with handlebar streamers doesn't mean you can't install them yourself. These are almost as much fun as twirly skirts.

Available in pink & white or lavender & white, $4.99 for a set of two at Paceline Bicycles, 5005 Country Club.

Paceline Bicycles

Not a creature was stirring, not even a maus

This Saturday, December 13th, from 10 am til noon, John Hutton will sign copies of his book Christmas Maus: Another Small Tale of Sisters House in Salem at the Winston-Salem Visitor Center, 200 Brookstown Avenue. There will be Moravian cookies and spiced cider to boot.

Copies of the book are available to purchase at the Visitor Center outside of the signing hours as well.

Winston-Salem Visitor Center

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It happened in Clemmons

Yikes! (link to video with sound)

Note to self:

Next time you get a wild hair to rearrange all the furniture in the front room all by yourself during Christmas season, stop yourself. Ask for help. Better yet, insist on a smaller tree so you don't have to move more than one chair. Other people don't do this. SERIOUSLY.


your back

Are you interested in participation in a research study? Please click here if you suffer from low back pain, pain after shingles, nerve pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetic foot pain, constipation caused by opioid medications, sprained ankle pain, cancer pain, or other chronic or acute pain.

Das Haus*

Here the youngest decorates a pseudo-gingerbread house in his classroom. He's been begging for years to make a real gingerbread one at home, and I was thinking of relenting this Christmas. Then I read Kathy Norcross Watts' piece in this month's Winston-Salem Monthly on her own family's difficulties constructing one (second item). Also I remembered making one from scratch with my friend Courtney when we were ten, and how badly my mother freaked out when she realized we'd been throwing little balls of gingerbread dough onto her kitchen ceiling every time she turned her back. (Guess what! They stick!)

Hopefully this morning's craft sated the youngest's yearning for edible home construction.

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

*Remember Der Wagen Haus? Corner of Robinood and Reynolda? Every person I knew who studied German and saw that place was infuriated by that name, saying it should have been Das Wagen Haus, the article acting as a modifer for the Haus, not the Wagen. This has stuck with me.

Shop Local

Today's gift: a Winston-Salem mug!

Know someone you want to lure to the city? Here's your chance to send subliminal messages every morning! Winston's downtown skyline is shown at the height of dogwood season on this oversized mug. The buildings and trees aren't just printed on either; they're raised, which makes this mug seriously cool to look at and hold. The inside is a rich hue of blue that is often seen in our sky (though not today).

$6.99 apiece at the Winston-Salem Visitor Center, 200 Brookstown. See website for printable store coupon to make that price even lower.

Winston-Salem Visitor Center

Local Tour

A friend of mine tried to brew and bottle beer once. Part of the process is a waiting period (described at about the six minute mark in this video). One night one of the bottles exploded, setting off a chain reaction that was described to me as sounding like a mortar attack. I only saw the aftermath. There was a lot of glass embedded in the walls.

Thankfully this fellow at Foothills knows what he's doing. I hear their Beef Stroganoff is none too shabby either.

Foothills Brewing Company

ATTN: Wanna-be-Crimefighting Citizens

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Citizens Patrol, started in January 2005, is a team of highly trained volunteers who enhance vital crime prevention services and community awareness through protective law enforcement principles. They function as additional eyes and ears of the Sheriff's Office and perform a wide range of functions such as traffic control, assisting with duties at the courthouse, fingerprinting, serving subpoenas and many other special assignments. Volunteers serve a minimum of 15 hours per month.

Assisting with duties at "the courthouse"? The courthouse? I believe you mean The Hall! Of! Justice!

Forsyth County Sheriff's Citizens Patrol Application Process

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Here's where reading this blog finally pays off...

West End Association Biennial Holiday Homes Tour

Here is your chance to check out some of the fabulous old homes and businesses in the West End decorated for the holiday season.

The West End Association is hosting its biennial Holiday Homes Tour on Sunday, December 14th. This historic neighborhood, designed in l890, was originally built as a resort and residential community. Its curvy streets and terraced lawns blend beautifully with its Queen Anne, colonial revival, Craftsman and Victorian-style houses. The West End Homeowners Association sponsors this tour every two years.

This year's tour will run from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets will be available at the Bahnson House at 5th and Spring Street beginning at noon, for $15. Advance tickets can be purchased for $12 at Alex's Cafe, Fourth Street Filling Station, Lighthouse Restaurant, West End Cafe and Zevely House. This event is sponsored by the West End Association in partnership with Preserve Historic Forsyth, Inc.

Special LiF Promotion: E-mail thewestender@yahoo.com and tell them that you heard about the Holiday Tour from Life in Forsyth and get 2 tickets for $20. Tickets will be waiting for you at a Will Call at the start of the event.

tour details
West End Association
Preserve Historic Forsyth, Inc.
Alex's Cafe
Fourth Street Filling Station
Lighthouse Restaurant
West End Cafe
Zevely House

Best Shrimp & Grits in Town

These are at Ye Olde Village Taverne, the classic Reynolda Village location, not Hanes Sprawl. (A close second - and the best shrimp & grits downtown by far - can be found at The Filling Station.)

Shrimp & grits doesn't appear on the regular menu at the Village Tavern. You just order it and it appears. That's one of those little local things you kinda have to know.

So here! Take mine local knowledge and fill thine stomach up on it! (Your tummy will thank thee.)

Village Tavern (opens with music)


Shop Local

WHEREAS: Two years ago, at the Winston-Salem Visitor Center, I bought an Art-o-mat® token for $5.

WHEREAS: I used this token to buy a piece called "Cracker" by one Herbert Hoover, a piece I had been hoping to acquire for some time.

WHEREAS: This cracker has sat lovingly on my kitchen windowsill ever since...

WHEREAS: Until recently, when an Art-o-mat email informed me that another of Herbert Hoover's pewter pieces, "Wishbone", had been featured in the 2009 New York Times Holiday Gift Guide, at which point I took the cracker down and put it next to my computer, hoping it would act as a reminder for me to look into the seeming rise of Herbert Hoover.

WHEREAS: I promptly forgot.

WHEREAS: I just remembered and Googled, and individual crackers now retail for FIFTEEN DOLLARS apiece.

THEREFORE: I am doing the happy dance, but only until 9 am, at which point I need to scoot over to Wachovia and stick this puppy* into a safe deposit box, it being far too valuable (in the future) to just sit out in the open.

THEREFORE: Today's gift: an Art-o-mat® token!

Give someone you love the gift of buying art, because the whole process is amazing and frankly exciting.

Tokens are $5 apiece, and are available locally at The Winston-Salem Visitor Center, Wake Forest University - Benson University Center, Borders, Marys of Course Cafe, SECCA, Urban Artware, Salem College, the Artists on Liberty building, the Garage, Hutch & Harris, and Krankies Coffee.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Pls. try to specify at which Art-o-mat location the token was puchased and urge the receiver to select from that specific machine, for ease of inventory purposes.


*the cracker, not an actual puppy

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Reynolda Village

I like these trees much better without leaves than with. (I've no idea what type they are, sorry.)

This coming weekend

In December 2007 The Forsyth County Department of Animal Control placed 140 animals into new homes. With the help of volunteers we hope to once again exceed the prior year’s number in 2008.

Forsyth County Animal Control Staff and volunteers will be hosting Home for the Holidays 2008. In order to provide a full 24 hours of adoption opportunity, the shelter will be open additional hours from 12 - 10 PM on December 12th and 13th and from 12 - 4 PM on December 14th.

I like this dog. This dog looks mellow.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays
Forsyth County Animal Control

photo courtesy of FCAC

Local Combo

Coffee and Christmas trees -- this may just be the most brilliant pairing since
chocolate and peanut butter.

Krankie's Airstream