Hello Hello

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NOW HERE: Local Investigative Report: Pickle!

LC has promised to do some local sleuthing on this surprising culinary offering at The Grand Theatre when she goes to the movies later today. I noticed this option last week but was too stunned to react beyond taking this phonophoto. I'm hoping LC will, in my stead, have the following questions answered:

1. Are these Mt. Olive pickles?

2. Are they individually wrapped?

3. Refrigerated? Or room temp?

4. Do they just hand them to you with the tongs? Or do they have special pickle serving trays?

5. How big is a $2 pickle?

6. What is the pickle demand like here in Winston-Salem?



Ok, Here's the lowdown on the pickle investigation at The Grand:

1. No they are not Mt. Olive Brand pickles

2. Yes, they are individually wrapped (for your freshness pleasure)

3. They are served chilled in the countertop refrigeration unit and stored right next to the bottled water

4. Along with the pickle, they also gave me a plastic cup. I am not sure if this cup was supposed to be for the pickle or the bottled water _____ ordered. My guess is that it was for the pickle as we have never gotten a plastic cup when ordering bottled water in the past.

5. The package says one serving is 1/9 of the whole pickle (which is a total of 9 oz). I didn't have 8 other friends to share it with nor do I think I would share it amongst 8 other friends. This is not a game of "pass the pickle" is it??

6. Upon questioning the concession stand attendant, his response was that the pickles were not a very popular item. He says he may only sell one pickle every 3 months or so. The date stamp on my pickle says it is "best by 12/09" which leads me to believe these pickles must come in very small quantities with a long shelf life.

And LC attached this VERY TROUBLING PHOTO (brace yourself)...

Thank you, LC, for all your hard work. You are indeed a worthy citizen!

Sidewalk Painter Sixth Street @ Trade

Shaffner Park

Good. Optimist soccer can pay parking fines for all the cars parked illegally along Yorkshire every Saturday.

Bound to be wonderful

Science cafés, which are part of an international, grass-roots movement, are billed as "live events that involve a face-to-face conversation with a scientist about current science topics." Locally, Foothills Brewing Company hosted one in March and is gearing up to host two more in April. Next up:
April 14th, 7 pm
Foothills Brewing Company

How the Bee Brain Grows Up

Susan Fahrbach presents studies that have shown that visiting flowers makes a bee brain larger. Discover evidence that similar changes occur in a human brain while practicing a new skill.

Discussion topics: Does a bigger brain mean a smarter bee? Does interacting with flowers make the human brain larger?

Admission: FREE


Susan's youngest and my oldest were in a karate class together a few years ago. On many evenings she regaled me with oddities of the insect world. She had, and I have to believe still has, a keen understanding of the hilariousness of the absurd detail.

Science Cafés
Susan Fahrbach
Foothills Brewing Company

Today's the big day

The wedding of the letters Q and U in the youngest's kindergarten classroom, I mean.

This morning the little ringbearer danced excitedly while I helped him put on his snazzy purple tie.


Youngest: So, how do I look?

Me: You look SO HANDSOME.

Youngest: Thanks! Do you want to marry me?


Monday, March 30, 2009

He's here! He's here!

The prodigal gardener returneth!

Fingers crossed for car #5 (but 4th grade version)

5th grade derby car

Today is soapbox derby day at the school. The oldest will be driving, but in a 4th grade car, which is much like the above but single driver. The youngest will be spectating.

update: I have no idea who won, who lost, or even where the finish line actually was. I'm not sure any of the children do either, but they had a grand time.

For dogs who've had a hard day

Biscuitville, Robinhood Road

Wanted: ART

Birdfest 2009 is seeking donations of art in all mediums from local artists and craftspeople. Art will be sold outright or auctioned with the proceeds going directly to Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County.

T.W. Garner Food Company, maker of Texas Pete, is sponsoring the following awards, which come with monetary prizes:
  • Best of Show
  • First Prize
  • Honorable Mention
  • Best Use of Recycled Materials
  • Most Creative Concept for the Garden
  • Rebekkah Randolph Fischer Memorial
  • Tony Swider Memorial Educator Award
  • Birdfest Committee Choice
  • Student Best of Show
Submissions for judging will be received on April 16th, 17th, and 18th (until 2pm). Art will happily be accepted after that but will sadly be ineligible for judging (but will still help build a house).

more information
Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County
Texas Pete (T. W. Garner Food Company)

Reynolda Veterinary Hospital

Meet Dr. Eric Taylor, our ridiculously awesome veterinarian. Our award-winning showdog is here this morning. Unfortunately time is not being kind to him. The dog, I mean. (Dr. Taylor seems to be aging just fine, not to make him sound too much like a wheel of cheddar.)

Reynolda Veterinary Hospital

Sunday, March 29, 2009

When the wind blows

There have been five or six power lines down today in Winston-Salem due to the wind gusts, according to the fireman with whom I spoke. Above is what's left of the power line that melted my neighbor's driveway while arcing dramatically. On a happy note, my children now have a clear understanding of the dangers of downed wires. On another happy note, the fire department was on scene within about three minutes (though they had to wait another thirty or so for the power peeps to show up before they could do anything). Since I'm more than slightly accident-prone, that emergency responder response time was reassuring.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rainy Date Night

First we saw Taken (synopsis: set in the glorious city of Paris, much killing) at The Grand, then on to Hutch & Harris, where I feasted on a salmon sandwich (synopsis: set in the glorious French roll, much bacon).

The Grand Theatre
Hutch & Harris


Helpful LiF reader Glad V. emailed me yesterday to tell me Stracciatella is not just a gelato flavor; it's also an Italian egg drop soup. Accordingly, I made some today for lunch.

It tastes nothing like the gelato (I'm having a hard time seeing why these two foods share a name), but it was crazy easy and crazy tasty.

I found the recipe here.

1. Semolina I found easily among the flours on the baking aisle at Lowes Foods.
2. I omitted the nutmeg.
3. Have crusty bread onhand for sopping purposes. (We did not, and we wanted it.)

You say weeds, I say wildflowers

These lovelies are along Reynolda Road. In my own front yard, there are occasional bursts of wild violets but no dandelions that I've seen. Lots of those violets, though, and this is odd, because normally the gardener is obsessive about the front yard, I long ago having banned his chemicals (though he swears they're all-natural and not dangerous) from the backyard.

The wildflowers were my first clue that the gardener had disappeared, followed by wild onions running rampant, a bush that was allowed to flower this year without being pruned into an unnatural shape, and finally tall tufts of grass.

Unable to reach him by cellphone at the only number I have (but to be fair, I haven't called him in at least two years, and many people change their providers and numbers when contracts end) and unable to find any number for him in the phonebook, I spent two non-rainy days last week driving all over Buena Vista, down streets where I usually see him when he's not parked outside my house.

Alas, no luck.

I guess I'll wait a few more weeks before declaring his service as dead as the former owner of this house, from whom we inherited the daffodil bed the gardener tended, the bush the gardener regularly shaped into a cube, and the gardener himself.

Friday, March 27, 2009


We're at Blue Ridge, where I just completely botched the pronunciation of this gelato flavor name.

Face Time v. Facebook Time

Someone with whom I consider myself friendly got snarly at me today, repeating, "You're wrong! You're wrong! You're wrong!" when I tried to explain my position. The issue? Facebook. How I won't join it. Refuse, in fact.

I have a number of reasons, but my primary one is selfish: It's ME. I don't want to spend any more time online than I already do. Generally I carry my little orange phone around, and if I see something interesting, I send a phonophoto to the blog. Later I fill out the post with more details. Or not. But for me, the web is a tool, not a destination.

Others I know spend much more time on the web, catch up with old friends' daily lives on Facebook, MySpace, etc., join messageboards and support communities, Twitter back and forth madly, and are very happy. I think that's wonderful. For them.

I'm happier out and about. If I care about someone, I'd rather sit down in person even for five minutes than have a lengthy comment exchange. My personal nightmare is being chained to a desk, and so it brings me no small amount of joy to know that many so-chained people visit my blog periodically throughout the workday from their desks. I like to think I provide little, vicarious peeks at our fabulous, vibrant community. Though obviously not for all, I hope that's enough for most of you.

cartoon credit: http://xkcd.com/386/

I involuntarily moo if the cows are out when I pass

" 1/4 of a cow (The Children's Home Grown - butchered and packaged!)"
- one of the raffle prizes
at the 2009 Alumni Homecoming
scheduled for May 1-2

Our carpenter, who did a fair bit of work for us when we bought the house, grew up at The Children's Home. He told my boys stories about life there while he worked. I was sad when we had no more work for him.

The Children's Home

Spotted at Dick's Sporting Goods Hanes Mall

I have to sign the oldest up for sleepaway camp later today. I'm thinking of getting a bottle of this for the laundry he brings home, which last summer was so funky I considered burning it all. (Alas, we were under that open burn ban.)

NEW CONTEST: Your long lost ancestor


Ah, family histories... So full of sauce and spice and scandal. And if they're not, shouldn't they be?

Your mission:
Good news! A photo of your long-lost ancestor was recently found at Brookstown Antiques! Look at that face. Feel the pang of love, of shame, of horror, all intertwined? Now tell us about her. Best story wins. The prize? Your ancestor herself, plus a $10 giftcard to Borders. The judge is a creative soul with a historical bent, so lean that way.

Entries must be submitted by 5 pm next Friday, April 3rd. You may post your entry here in comments, but PLEASE ALSO EMAIL IT TO ME. One entry per person.

Between now and April 3rd, you may sip a cuppa while gazing upon the actual image of your ancestor at simplyummy in Reynolda Village. You agree that if some yahooligan is so enraptured by your ancestor as to spirit her away from simplyummy between now and prize delivery, you will let your ancestor fade back into the folds of your memory. Clearly she cannot be replaced (though you'd still get the giftcard if declared the winner).



Anytime you see an animal become available for adoption before five days have passed, it means it's an owner turn-in. And so yesterday Layla, a possibly overfed Dalmation with a jaunty halter collar, joined the other homeless animals in waiting in a shelter where adoptions are down and turn-ins are up. Layla, who at age seven is no longer a puppy. Layla, who according to her shelterpage "knows sit, down, speak, rollover, and catch". Layla, who was clearly loved and attended to.

Good luck, Layla. Good luck, Layla's former owner.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Little gifts from little people

The youngest just brought me this daffodil from the backyard. He insisted I use that little vase for it. It's beaming at me from the window sill above the kitchen sink now. I'm beaming back.

The devil lives in my neighbor's yard

Forsyth County Daily Pollen Report

Off to take Claritin and start cooking this for dinner. Back when the meat's in the oven and I can go five minutes without pressing somewhere on my face and groaning.

update: Y'all. I just shredded the whole roast with THE SIDE OF A FORK. Gah! And the taste? BOMB DIGGITY.

Opening for the first time tomorrow @ 10 am

Karen Gray's long-awaited brick and mortar location opens tomorrow in Reynolda Village. Like everything Karen does, it's gorgeous.

Karen Gray Design
Reynolda Village

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mark your calendar

click to enlarge

You're invited! Volunteers for setup and cleanup are also needed; please contact Lillie's Friends if you can assist.

Lillie's Friends Foundation
Children's Museum of Winston-Salem
Big Bang Boom (opens with music)

On the cash register@ Skippy's

Fresh Market

I'm here today just to buy M&Ms for a wedding in the youngest's kindy classroom (the letters Q and U are getting hitched), but I'm coming back to get these for the Easter baskets.

So $25 = $300

If you have been considering making a financial donation to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, now is the time. Likewise, if your community group or school is considering a can drive, please consider a coin drive instead to maximize the effects of your efforts.

1. First, an anonymous local donor has contributed up to $50,000 to match $1 for every $2 donated. These gifts must be in by June 30, 2009 in order to be matched.

2. The Rhode Island-based Feinstein Foundation is offering limited matching funds on a nationwide basis to hunger-relief organizations that increase donations during the months of March and April.

Together, with these very timely challenge grants, we can attack the serious, growing challenges presented by hunger. For every dollar donated, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC will secure and distribute $12.00 worth of food to feed those who suffer from hunger.

And huge appreciation for the anonymous local donor who in this economy chose to invest his/her money in the community.

donate online
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
The Feinstein Foundation (opens with sound)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

And the winner is...

(of the Local Passive-Aggression Contest)

First, let me present our judge, who is utterly gracious and so far from passive-aggressive that it is laughable. And yet, when I presented the idea of judging a P-A contest some weeks ago, her eyes lit up like it was Christmas. Put your passive-aggressive hands together for the editor of local publication Winston-Salem Monthly, Ms. Lauren Rippey!

And now, Lauren's decision... (drumroll, please)

Winner: #8 Esbee note: Dee

White Stripes are:
a) A rock band from Detroit
b) The result of uneven application of a self-tanning product
c) Indications of legal parking spaces which you choose to ignore
d) All of the above

A close runner-up: #4 Esbee note: Anonymous "T"

Sorry, I must have been on break when you pulled up.

Your Friendly (insert business here) Valet Parking Attendant

That said, I also have to applaud the rhyming efforts of #7. Impressive. Esbee note: KT

Congratulations, Dee! Email me to arrange delivery of your $10 Target giftcard.

Kudos also to and KT for their also powerfully passive-aggressive entries.

Elizabeth's on Reynolda

My mother's childhood bedroom in Ocala smelled like hot, dry wood, old books, and crisply ironed cotton all mixed together. I just caught a whiff of it here.

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Bradford Pear Tree, Or Is It Fish Food On A Limb

The warm temperatures lately really have things blooming including, depending on your perspective, the famous or infamous Bradford Pear. Over the years this flowering tree was way over-planted long before and too late before many realized the tree had a very serious weakness. The tree will literally fall apart with the weight of snow or ice, or in windy or just mildly breezy conditions. Sometimes it simply self destructs JUST because. Nevertheless many remain enchanted by the easy to grow nature, the lily white booms, and the striking fall colors of this tree.

Another, less discussed, but growing complaint – is it because there are just too many of them? - is that unique Bradford Pear “fragrance”. A good read about this is found at The Grumpy Gardener Blog, posted by Steve Bender at Southern Living. The Tuna on a trunk reference is perhaps the most original description I’ve heard concerning the smell.

Good or bad, if you have a Bradford Pear story or would like to share your experiences with this much maligned tree, I‘d be interested in your opinions. Do you, or do you not, like them?
- Yarddawg

(Esbee note: loathe them.)

T minus 22 days

Tax forms, Reynolda Manor Branch Library

Free tax assistance will be available for eligible Forsyth County residents, individuals and families, who earned up to $ 42,000.00 in 2008. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) will provide trained volunteers to prepare state and federal income tax returns at the Forsyth County Public Library and other sites throughout the county.

complete info, including location, dates, and what to bring

Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't mess with Amber

Greensboro artist Kelly Yates, creator of the Amber Atoms series and the first American artist to draw a Doctor Who comics, will be in Winston-Salem at Ssalefish (Silas Creek Crossing) this Wednesday, March 25th, from 4:30 to 7:30 signing his work. Get coffee while it lasts courtesy of Brew Nerds.

Kelly Yates

Brew Nerds

image: next month's Amber Atoms cover, copyright Kelly Yates with permission

Buena Vista Road near Nokomis

That bottom sign is new.

Ugly Dolls in Rolly's window

This is two doors down from the previously discussed vacant space at Thruway, which local tittle-tattle says is going to soon house a store called "Painted Frog".


What animal is this from?

One of the oldest's friends found this in his Nana's backyard, which is not so far from mine. Note to self: avoid Nana's backyard.

Ana & Mia

In the building in which we lived in DC when we were first married, we'd often mistakenly get mail for one of our neighbors, a painfully thin, frail lady in her twenties, who in the halls was usually accompanied by one or both her parents. She and her parents would smile whenever I passed them, and I'd smile back. We never spoke beyond, "Here, this was in our box," and "Oh, thank you!" From her skeletal appearance and poor color, I assumed she was suffering from terminal cancer. And then one weekend, her mother sat alone in the lobby, eyes downcast, a brown packing box at her feet, and I knew. I just knew. And so I went up to our apartment and took the last week's newspapers out of the recycling bin and began to look through the obituaries. When I found hers, I was completely and utterly stunned. She had died of complications of anorexia.

The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, through a grant provided by the Harriet Taylor Flynt Fund of the Winston-Salem Foundation, runs an Eating Disorders Support Group on 1st and 3rd Mondays from 7 pm -8:30 pm at their offices at 1509 S. Hawthorne.

Eating Disorders, such as Anorexia and Bulimia, are more common than ever, and it is perfectly fine to seek help. This group will serve as a support system to help people cope and work towards recovery from eating disorders. The group will be lead by a professional with experience working with people who struggle with eating disorders.

The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Filmed here, director from here, opening Friday (sadly, not here)

Happily, you will be able to watch Goodbye Solo, which is garnering tremendous reviews, at this year's RiverRun Film Festival.

Goodbye Solo
2009 RiverRun International Film Festival

Coming Soon

Sunday afternoon is when I plan the meals, do the big grocery shop for the week, wash the large loads of school clothes. What I'd like to be doing is kneeling over my strawberry bed, weeding and marveling over the baby blossoms I caught sight of a few minutes ago, blossoms that mean in a few months I'll be able to pick berries whenever I like. For now, though, I write STRAWBERRIES on my shopping spreadsheet, under the NEEDED column.

Strawberry recipes from the NC Department of Agriculture

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Life is Dog

Pep's standard mien when en route

I've heard reincarnation theories where if you're bad in one life, in your next life you come back as a pebble or such. I wonder how good you have to be within those theories to come back as a dog, the happiest by nature creature on earth.

Pep & Salsa's favorite destinations, encore*
Reynolda Gardens
Salem Lake
Horizons Park, Loop A
Pilot Mountain
Old U.S. 421 River Park (less of a walk, more of a sniff-fest)

*our third dog, Pinochet, does not care for "forced marches" at his age

Friday, March 20, 2009


Guess what I did this afternoon! I used the new backboard at Shaffner Park! It was slightly delayed (understandably) due to the Great March Blizzard of Aught-Nine, but it's there now, and it's bee-yoo-tee-ful! And I didn't have to inconvenience the couple playing on Court 1.

Operation Less Lucy commenced!

Speaking of retroville...

Note to costume designer: two words - shoulder pads.

Otherwise this looks fantastical.

Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance


I saw a Winston-Salem Police minivan yesterday. It was the oddest looking thing. In my mind, all law enforcement vehicles should look imposing, intimidating. A van can look that way, but a minivan cannot. Period.

Anyway, I tried to find a photo for you online, but I was utterly unsuccessful. However I did come upon one lovely bit of local law enforcement* retroville.


* This is Forsyth County Sheriff, not WSPD, I know. I gave up on the WSPD and was looking to see if the FCS had something similar, solely for demonstrative purposes.

Practicing to be a crusty old lady

I think this Texaco on Country Club is one of the last full-service stations around, though when I was growing up, full-service was the norm by far. Also corded telephones rented from the phone company, wooden tennis rackets and baseball bats, and rolling your car windows down if you were hot.

Local Contest Notes

1. The Passive-Aggressive Note contest ends today at 5 pm EST. Judging will take place next Tuesday, and I'll post the results immediately thereafter.

2. Remember the Obituary Teaser contest? This death notice for Archie "Bill" William Tate, III from today's Journal contains this one-line, explanation-free gem: He had just got his driver' s license reinstated after 24 years.

3. By popular demand, And I mean EXACT... contests will be starting up again in the next few weeks. Unlike previous incarnations, they will not be posted at specific times. Rather, they will pop up as I see them. First person to name the location of the phonophotographer in the comments gets bragging rights but nothing else.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Republic Base on the Planet Lawn

Sadly for the boys, it looks like it's about to rain. I'd love to be hanging outside with them, but my superpowers tell me the pollen level is in the kablillion range. I suspect pine.

edit: I knew it.

Trade Street

We're poking about the galleries now.

EDIT, 1:45 pm: Above is our find of the day. These are rice paper star lamps in a multitude of colors and patterns, and I think I have to have one soon. They're $25 each at The "B" String, which is the oldest's new favorite store ever, it being a hotbed of guitars and amps.

The "B" String

Happy Day

He was born too early, the oldest, and so for many months he had a real age and a "corrected age", which took his prematurity into account and was used to gauge developmental milestones, weight, and length more accurately. By the time he approached kindergarten though, his prematurity didn't count anymore, and so he was eligible to go just before he turned five, though if he'd been born at term, he would have missed the cutoff date. I held him out one more year in part because I felt he could use it, but also because I felt ripped off; I should have had another year to eat picnic lunches in the park with him, to drape a blanket over him for an afternoon nap, to just be. I have never regretted that bonus year, that gift to us both.

It's awful to be happy about this, but today he's home due to an unfortunate poison ivy exposure. By "home", of course, I mean "running around town with me". And I love it. I miss him when he's in school for months on end*. He's funny and smart and adventurous, and I just like having him around. I'm ready for summer, for the joy of his company more often. Only 56 more school days on the "corrected calendar", which takes makeup days into account.

photo: day 10ish in Arlington Hospital NICU. This was our first view of his face without an intubation tube or oxyhood, although he was only able to be "out" for about a minute. As you can clearly see, he was the most beautiful baby on earth.

*It goes without saying that I miss the youngest, too, but he's not home today; therefore this post is not about him.

ATTN: Green Bean Fiends

The oldest, who is a much more adventurous eater than I, tasted these and pronounced them "really great and refreshing." I'll take his word on it and pass. (They're at Fresh Market if you want to try them yourself.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

re: Local Elders

Join your neighbors for an informal discussion of the things that are working well — and the challenges we face - to foster a livable and senior-friendly community for all residents of Forsyth County.

The Forsyth Aging Services Planning Committee is hosting a Community Conversation to be held March 26th at 1:00 PM in the LJVM Coliseum Deacon Room. We will discuss access to services, social & cultural opportunities, accessible healthcare, transportation and leisure activities.

This meeting is FREE and open to the public.

Forsyth Aging Services Planning Committee
LJVM Coliseum Deacon Room

Sorry so quiet

I just can't seem to make myself come inside this afternoon. It's heaven outside, y'all.

Inside now. Reluctantly.

Local bird news

Our woodpeckers are back to work. We'll have to dig up our copy of Birds of the Carolinas and figure out which kind exactly is noshing out of the maple tree in the front yard.

Where the heart is

If the obituary for Rhonda Dering in this morning's paper is touching, then the blog she started and her friends kept going is embracing -- and thought-provoking.

8 days ago:

I could tell she was tired but asked anyway if she’d like to take a spin and put her feet up on the dashboard. She collected her hat and her scarf and her cane and we took a ride with the top down. We drove through Old Salem, up Main, down 4th to Broad, Brookstown and back down Main. It wasn’t a long ride, but I kept thinking, “What would I want to see before I leave?” The streets? The neighborhoods? The sidewalks? This city that has cradled our secrets and our sadness and our laughter?

I've been thinking of little else since I read that, and I've decided I'd want to see

1. Salem Cemetery
2. The Dixie Classic Fairgrounds
3. The creek at Pilot Mountain (River Section)

I know some people will think the first a grotesque place to visit on one's deathbed, but truthfully, I find it beautiful and incredibly peaceful. To be on the empty fairgrounds, on the other hand, feels incredibly expectant, like even the buildings are waiting for fall; I can't help but smile with excitement. And the creek... the creek is where my heart is, with my feet in the cool water and my children's gleeful voices in my ears.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wanted: Sunset Expertise

LiF reader N.T. emailed me with a request:

Spring is trying to arrive and I am looking for something I have not had since my college days in Ohio, a place to watch the sunset. Do you think you would feel comfortable putting this question to your readers? "Where do you watch the sunset?"

I've seen some pretty sunsets while walking a dog in Reynolda, but I think she's looking for somewhere less pooey*.


*ongoing issue

Home Depot, Hanes Mall Boulevard

Talk to me about your dishwashers, because I'm going to take a hatchet to mine pretty soon.

On a happy note, I've just had one of my best customer service experiences ever here. I feel like I've been to dishwasher school.

Dear Mother Nature:

I'm ready for Tanglewood weather.



House Bill #548, Senate Bill #526

I have come to realize that I take on two jobs when I walk through the door of my school; I take on the job of learning... and the job of standing up for myself and who I am.

-Kate Mabe '10
Mt. Tabor

The School Violence Prevention Act is a bi-partisan bill that was introduced into the North Carolina State Legislature on March 11 "to give teachers and administrators specific and clear descriptions of what bullying constitutes - whether that be towards someone's physical appearance, real or perceived sexual orientation, race, disabilities, or gender identity or expression."

Text of Kate's speech
from Kate' s mother, Neena
Prevent School Violence NC, The Bullying Blog: A Collection of stories from North Carolinians
Mt. Tabor High School

Monday, March 16, 2009

re: #4

Resolution #4, that is.

Behold my shopping spreadsheet!

And yes, boring city din-dins this week (especially Friday), but this is a new technique for me, and I need to master it before I break out shopping for complicated meals with it.

I did the shopping yesterday (shoutout to LiF reader A.B., whom I saw at Lowes Foods), and the only substitution I made was ham (Tuesday) out and London Broil in, because it's on massive special (reg. $5.49/lb, currently $2.49/lb).

No breakfast foods listed, because our cereal/oatmeal/bagel shelf runneth over.

Yay, me!

< /brag>

Local Stop

more local stops
even more local stops
and one more

I thought this one meant "Stop Slappin' Gramma", as in elder abuse, but apparently it's "Slappin Grama", some sort of musical group who describe their location as "Winston-Salem-Little-Rock-Greensboro". Sorry High Point; you've been cut from the Triad roster.

Slappin Grama (opens with music)
Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State
University cordially invites you to attend

An Evening of World Music & Art
Closing Reception for Charles Searles: Universal Reflections of Color and Rhythm
Event will feature a gallery talk by Belinda Tate, Director of Diggs Gallery, and remarks by
Kathleen Spicer Searles, Artist’s Widow, and
George N’Namdi, Owner of G.R. N’Namdi Gallery
Live music
Thursday, March 19, 2009
6:00 PM
Diggs Gallery
601 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27110
For more information visit www.wssu.edu/diggs or call 336-750-2458

Reynolda Branch

click on image to enlarge

The main issue I have with the Mom-based book clubs I hear about is that most meetings seem to consist of ten minutes of actual discussion of the book followed by 2 hours of talking about husbands/children/insert something other than books here. Which is great and all - I like girl talk as much as the next chick - but if I join a book club, I want to talk about - prepare yourself - books. Crazy talk, I know.

This book club at Reynolda sounds different than that, yes, but still completely odd. (Sorry.)

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Family & Daffodils

This is a photo of a photo featuring Yarddawg on the occasion of my first birthday party from way back when. A few minutes after this was taken I stuck my finger into the single burning candle on my birthday cake and have been accident prone ever since. There is a bond to the daffodils in my current garden with the others in the photo but I’ll get to that in a moment. This is an uncommon photograph due to the assembled cast.

From left to right; Yarddawg, AKA Doug, being held by my grandmother, AKA Big Mama. Next to her is my mother, AKA June and mama. Next to my mother is my great grandfather, Big Dave, AKA Papa. Sitting in the chair is my great, great, grandmother, AKA granny Reaves.

Five living generations of a family is rare or so I’ve been told. This family portrait is one of my most prized possessions. If you come to my home let me apologize in advance because you can bet I’ll show it to you.

So what is the daffodil connection? These are THE actual bulbs, just starting to bloom now, which have been passed along by the very people in the portrait. My mother estimates these bulbs are at least 80 years old and probably even older. Real heirloom bulbs for sure. They look like any run-of-the-mil daffodil. This is immaterial because these bulbs are a part of family to me. Sooner or later they’ll be passed along again to my kids and I hope they’ll do the same.

Thanks to my mama and daddy for this gift. Every spring when they come up I think of you and the family members that are gone. I thank my mama for teaching me right and wrong and so many other things. She also taught me to be a fairly good cook and has given us a cook book of family recipes. Thanks to my daddy for showing me the value of hard work, and how to dig, plant, and take care of a yard. He also taught me how to grill and to cook seafood outside so it doesn’t smell up the house, I still wish I could have inherited my dad’s handyman skills. I’m also very sorry I loathed doing yard work for much of my youth. At the time I never imagined it would all work out in the end. Thanks to my sister for allowing me to think I was THE chosen one. This is still true. Isn’t it? Thanks to my wife for still being my wife, for giving me gardening ideas that I sometimes unwisely don’t follow. For sitting outside and talking with me while I piddle and plant stuff. And to my kids, thanks for enduring side visits to about 10 gazillion garden centers during family vacations over the years. Thanks be to God for giving us spring and family. Lastly, thanks to Lucy and Life in Forsyth readers for reading this piece of my family’s story.

Spring gardening time is here ya’ll. Get out and plant your memories.
- Yarddawg