Hello Hello

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Local Rockstar

Yay, mail carrier, who slogged through the snow while being pelted by tiny drops of ice to bring us the fantastic envelope!

Yay, fantastic envelope, which held the four paragraph letter the contents of which can only be described as wonderful!

Yay, wonderful contents, which let us know the oldest has been accepted into the magnet school for which we applied!

(I love striking items off my long mental worry list.)


WSFCS Magnet Schools

Grow, my little pretties, grow!

I'm ever so hopeful we'll best A.D.'s champion icicles this go-round. These are off to a promising start... GAME ON.

(All that forgetting to have the gutters cleaned is really paying off!)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Like delicious crab dip!

MPB and I are at Fresh Market stocking up on the really important items. Happy blizzard, everyone!

Fresh Market #9

I spy with my little eye...

"Mother Earth-Waterfall" by Trena McNabb
click to enlarge

Do you see the woman's figure? To the right of the tomato in the middle. This is the kind of art I'd love to see in a waiting room, a piece you can look at for a long time and still notice something new.

Find it at the AAWS gallery, 301 W. Fourth, Winston-Salem. Part of the current, juried show, Up Close and Personal, "Mother Earth-Waterfall" is for sale.

Associated Artists
Trena McNabb

I just lost a good hour

I get lost in the microfiche in the North Carolina room at Central Library the same way I used to get lost in a library card catalogue or an encyclopedia. I go looking for one thing and end up getting sidetracked by another thing that catches my eye, then another...

Hey, did you know Lana Turner had an adopted daughter with her second husband whom she, Lana, then on husband #4, turned over to a girls' reformatory when the girl was a teenager, only the girl and two others escaped and were the subjects of an intensive police manhunt? Yeah, neither did I.

The NC Room
Central Library

This way

even better enlarged: click on image

It may be awful, but I think I prefer these trees at Reynolda Village without leaves. The shapes are stunning.

Reynolda Village

Happy coming-up-birthday to MEEEE!

February marks my birthday. I'll be 39, and as everyone who was properly raised knows, the traditional, Southern gift for the 39th birthday is a billboard design.

Accordingly what I really, really want is for you to come up with daddy mack, awesome entries for the local census billboard contest. The deadline, of course, is my birthday. Why is the deadline February 7th, you ask? BECAUSE FATE WANTS YOU TO DESIGN A BILLBOARD FOR ME. Obviously.

(Seriously, people, I am so proud of the creativity of the LiF readers. You're superstars; I know one of you can win this thing.)

To that end, I'm offering birthday party favors. Simply note on your entry that you are a LiF reader, and you will receive not one but two swag items just for entering. The first is a census boomerang, because hi, a boomerang? Automatically fantastic. And a civic boomerang? Gah, words fail.

The second is your very own shell station sticker just like mine, shown at right stuck on my new computer along with my Dixie Classic love sticker. Also shown: Raj. (Hi, Raj!)

I had these made special, and they feature my original photo that's at the top of this blog. Why do they not say "Life in Forsyth", you ask? Because that would be like those shirts with the maker's name across the front in huge letters, which is to say A BIG OLD TACKY ADVERTISEMENT instead of a fun and fetching celebration of Winston-Salem historical kitsch.

So please say Happy 39th to me in the traditional, Southern way. I'd love nothing more than to share a sticker and a boomerang with you.

complete rules and entry form

Local Euphemism

I haven't heard this one before. It's from the obituary of Anthony William (Tony) Hedgecock in today's Journal:

(he) left this world to join the spiritual tribe in the sky...

There are no other vague (or overt) Native American references in the obituary that I can find, so I'm left wondering.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Mentos and soda, natch

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful, sunny, 60 degree weather this afternoon and run the oldest's Science Fair experiment. We were going to put it off until Saturday and just make a whole, last minute science weekend of it, but apparently we're to have a blizzard, which possibility I frankly cannot wrap my head around when it's so glorious today, a mere 48 30 (apparently) hours before Mother Nature's wrath.

Two thumbs up

Behold Esbette's bento box lunch @ Mizu!

Mizu is located at 3374 Robinhood, next to Lowes Foods in Sherwood Plaza.

St. Paul's, Summit Street (where Daddy is)

I told the rector at St. John's, Georgetown, where my mother is interred, that I often thought about taking her back out so I could have her closer. I don't think I'll do it, but I still think about it. (A family friend, he said he would understand if I did.)

St. Paul's

Local Global Part II

click on image to enlarge


Feeling Dixie-ish

Meet Dixie. Dixie looks like she's feeling a little overtaxed by her current circumstances (which have led her here).

But GOOD NEWS! Dixie's super awesomeness is allowing her to look amazing even in that horrid fluorescent lighting.

I feel similarly but sadly lack the ability to thwart unflattering lighting.

But GOOD NEWS! I finally have contest results for the Local Property contest!

Sadly the original judge became unavailable.

But GOOD NEWS! A capable replacement stepped in!

Let me introduce her...

Maegan Beard (shown at right) is the creative force behind dote, maker of this contest's prize. Her self-description, a la the contest entries:

Young hippie professional in disguise. Marketing exec by day, naturalist artist by night. Excellent with chop sticks, annoyed by improper use of drinking glasses, partial to a particular type of scissor, collector of thrifted fabrics, and companion of a dog with a considerably large vocabulary.

Maegan looked over the entries and decided that while all were outstanding, the bolded turn of phrase pushed this one into windom:

Property of a Topophile

The daughter of a NYC-turned-Winston-Salem socialite, she inherited lovely things such as fur stoles (too stunning not to be politically correct), hand-thrown pottery, and unique holiday decorations. Her city was one of her dearest friends, therefore her home is filled with things that she loves from Winston-Salem’s past and present, and can be described as historical whimsy. Her Saturdays were filled visiting yard sales, auctions, and thrift shops where she added her newly-found treasures to her copious possessions.

That means that SueMo will be enjoying the Doctors Without Borders recycled map stationary! Congratulations, SueMo! Please email me with your best mailing address.

I'll fill you in on another contest tomorrow, everyone. Think creative. Think local. Think BIG.

photo credits: top: FCAC, bottom: Maegan Beard

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Well? How'd you do?"

"I was the second one out."

"Possibly because you didn't study."


"Or even look at the word list at all. Are you sad?"

"Not really."

"Because it's not your thing. Betcha if they had an Electric Guitar Bee, you would have studied."

"Mom, not just that, I would have won. Listen to this."

And the oldest proceeds to blister my ears with guitar awesomeness.

25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Twin City Stage
January 29 - 31 & February 4 - 7

Where do six young people struggling with puberty stand out and fit in at the same time? At the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, of course. This spelling championship pits the quirkiest of heroes against one another in the unlikeliest of hit musicals. In this charming challenge, the contestants learn that winning isn’t everything and that losing doesn’t necessarily make you a loser. Time magazine called SPELLING BEE “The joy of nerdiness,” “Funniest thing in seven consonants,” raved The Washington Post, “It’s spelled W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L,” wrote the Wall Street Journal. And be sure to brush up on your spelling; because at each performance of SPELLING BEE, four audience members are recruited to participate on-stage. It all adds up to a unique night of thoroughly entertaining theatre.

DIRECTED BY Gene Johnson

Twin City Stage

I love this madly

"Double-Decker Bus on the Tower Bridge", a photographic print by Amanda Sullivan, for sale @ Edward McKay.

Georgia & Stratford

What is this running of the water for? I know it serves some purpose; I just can't offhand recall what that is.

Local Global

click on image to enlarge

Green Street UMC

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


There's just one more thing I forgot to mention about my DC trip: I have a new favoritest animal ever. Hippos, you've done your job well, and you will always have a place in my heart, but it's time for you to move over and say a big welcome to THE GIANT ELEPHANT SHREW! (Sorry the phonophoto's so blurry, but my involuntary mewing apparently set me aquiver.)

better shot (sadly not mine)
learn more

Kaplan Outlet, Lewisville

This is a veritable mecca for purple "grotto-type pencil grips", which the occupational therapist recommended this morning. (It's also home to the best bulk sticker selection for sticker-happy children I've ever seen.)

Kaplan Early Learning Company
, based in Lewisville
now with bloggy action!

Brief notes from DC

The youngest was appalled to learn (via the Museum of American History) that the original homage to his favorite President was, as he succinctly put it, "almost nakey".

I took both boys up. We covered everything on everyone's "wanna" lists:
  • See the baby panda before he leaves for China (youngest)
  • Say hi to Abe (oldest)
  • Visit my mother (me)
  • See the Eternal Flame at JFK's gravesite (youngest)
  • Watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (oldest)
  • Buy a grotesque at the Cathedral (me)
  • See some old money (youngest)
  • See the settlers' bones exhibit (oldest)
  • Introduce the boys to empanadas (me)
  • Flatten some pennies (youngest)
  • Go to a friend's party (oldest)
  • Eat pizza bianco from Listrani's (me)

Shown at right is the closest thing I could find to a local reference. Unfortunately, the nearest I could get was one county over. That said, this Cone reference was part of a fantastic exhibit detailing how different groups (traveling peddlers, women, Jewish folk, African Americans) struggled in the South.

DC is a mere six hours away by car. One tank, if you drive a Honda. Get thee there.

Local Learn

If you haven't yet visited the rockingly good tattoo exhibition at the Museum of Anthropology, may I suggest you do so this Thursday evening?

Because at 7 PM on January 28, C.W. Eldridge, proprietor of the Tattoo Archive in downtown Winston-Salem, will give a lecture on “Tattooing 101” at the Museum, providing "a fascinating introduction to the historic context of tattooing in America and cultures around the world."

As always, admission to the museum is FREE. Ditto this event.

C.W. Eldridge
The Tattoo Archive
Museum of Anthropology, WFU

It's time once again for...

Madhouse Recap

Week 3 of "Madhouse" is in the books and man oh man was it awesome!! If you aren't watching this show, shame on ya. What else is on at 10pm on Sunday night???

Howl! It was a full moon coming into this week's 100 lap Modified Race so the show focused on the superstitions that the drivers believe in on race days, especially on a full moon. Now, in my line of work I am a firm believer that a full moon brings out the crazy in people....well a full moon AND alcohol. I'm not kidding though, that big round ball in the night sky makes people act so insane Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears look like the inspirations for a Norman Rockwell painting. We're talking madness.

First we saw Tim Brown's grandpa, Eb Clifton, out in the yard looking for 4 leaf clovers. This is something that Mr. Clifton has done for years. Here's what irritated me about the whole scene. Mr. Clifton appeared to be old. I'm talking lucky to be walking without a Rascal old. He spent forever out in Tim's backyard looking for 4-leaf clovers for his grandson. Do you think Tim "The Rocket" Brown cared that his grandpa was in the sweltering N.C. humidity in the middle of summer looking for a lucky clover for his grandson? Nope. That arrogant, Brillo pad hair control freak was inside Windexing his left rear quarter panel. Seriously? You can't take 5 minutes to give your adorable suspender wearing grandpa a hug...or maybe a glass of lemonade? It's like 85 degrees with 100% humidity. (As an aside to Tim Brown if he's reading this......can you please let me know what type of spackel you use on your pompadour....I get the worst frizzy hair in the summer and yours doesn't seem to move.)

Also I have another little P.S. to Tim Brown....can you please wear a different shirt? I am so tired of your blue button up race shirt. We all know you're Mr. Fancy Pants who works for Michael Waltrip Racing. No one cares. At all. George Clooney hugged me last year. John Hillstrand from Deadliest Catch smacked me on the butt when I met him in August. You don't see me walking around bragging that these things happened to me. Oh, wait. I do brag about these things....never mind. Just stop being a clothes repeater. And in case you didn't catch that...GEORGE CLOONEY HUGGED ME!!!

Next we moved to Chris Fleming's garage to find him struggling to make ends meet....shocker. He went all of 6 seconds before making a comment that he hadn't slept because he's been working to put food on the table. (Also, local race rumor is that Chris Fleming is rolling in the dough since this show aired because generous viewers are donating to his cause.) Chris Fleming tells the viewers that he doesn't believe in superstitions. Hey Chris, maybe you should buddy.....you really aren't that good of a driver. Stop eating peanuts on race day. In fact, maybe you should try a carrot stick or a rice cake.

(Racers do not eat peanuts on race day because an old wives tale is that a dirt track racer from way back when used to give peanuts to his opponents before races. His fellow peanut eating compadres would always crash.)

On to Junior Miller's garage. I could write for hours on what happens in Junior Miller's garage. Even if I liked the guy I could still come up with a million jokes about him and his race team. The fact that his crew chief looks and acts like a meth head is a good starting point. I'll give it to the guy though, he works really hard. Junior's team spent this week trying to use some new computer software (or hardware....they couldn't get the terminology right so they called it both) to calibrate some settings on the car. I'm going to emphsize the use of the word trying. While loading the program on to the computer, Junior's crew chief politely asked the crew member/Bill Gates wannabe who was the master mind behind this plan, "Can you get porn on that computer?" To which crew member/Bill Gates wannabe replied, "Yup." After listening to this conversation the following scenario played out in my mind....."What's that Junior, you're driving 80mph and the shocks are balanced right, you feel like you're going to crash and die??? Hmm, maybe we missed something in between doing calibrations and watching "Good Will Humping."

I know it's shocking but Junior's merry band of computer programmers were unable to figure out how to become more technologically savvy. I can't decide if they couldn't figure the program out or if the 3 inch ash from the cigarette dangling from a crew member's mouth fell off into the keyboard damaging it forever.

Also...this is specifically for Yarddawg....I hope you took note....Junior said, "Don't plant taters on a full moon." Maybe you should pass this along to your fellow horticulturists?

On to my favorite place on earth....besides Dewey's bakery and Dollywood....the Myers garage. First, I have to say that I think it is so sexy when good ole' southern boys refer to their fathers as Daddy. They say it with this southern twang that just melts my little heart. This week we learned a little about the Myers family and where their roots of racing came from. It was neat to hear how racing has been a part of this family for so long. Also, Burt was sporting a mohawk this week which I found fabulous. What I found even more fabulous was when Jason walked in the garage with 2 massive chains begging Burt to put them around his neck and say, "I pity the fool." Quality.

On to race day. We saw our first afternoon thunderstorm of the season. Racers got nervous as the track was soaked which makes for difficult racing as traction suffers. Qualifying was rained out so the drivers were forced to draw for postion. Let me explain how the draw works. They draw and number and start in that spot. Yeah, yeah....that's boring. Let me add something to that......they draw poker chips with a number on them out of a sock that looks like it came off a homeless man's foot. Fancy? No. Does it work? Yes. Does the winner of the race get a week's supply of Gold Bond Triple Action Medicated Foot Cream for their hand? I would hope so.

The race is underway and Burt quickly takes the lead. Chris Fleming wrecks immediately and appears to be done for the day...however, he manages to get his car fixed in time to get a few laps under his belt towards the end of the race. Tim Brown is behind Burt near the front. We see Jason Myers move all the way up to 4th place. Right behind him sits Junior. Burt's transmission starts to drop causing him to go from 1st to 3rd and opening the door for Tim Brown and his Brillo pad hair to move into 1st. Junior starts bumping Jason trying to spin him and, on the last lap, does. Tim Brown wins the race but no one cares because, as I stated last week, he's boring.

Post race we're taken to the pits where the real action begins....Junior and the Myers boys start yelling at one another. Winston Salem's finest are pulling crew members apart and separating everyone involved. Jason throws a water bottle at Junior. It is action packed.

It just keeps getting better and better....stay tuned.

And finally, your Madhouse Quote of the Week:

Jason Myers (responding to Burt saying that he felt sorry for Junior Miller): "Do you feel sorry for a terd* before you flush it down the toilet?"

Seriously folks, I can't make this stuff up!!

*Esbee note: I changed the spelling of this fine word in an attempt to avoid Google hits of a particularly foul nature.

Back from seeing this man

While I read through the tome that is my inbox, take a few minutes to enjoy the new local etsy love at left. There are numerous perfect Valentines there.

Thank you for supporting local artisans!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Besides the fact that Lowes Foods is based right here in the super awesome wee metropolis of Winston-Salem, you should also shop at Lowes Foods because you just cannot save like this anywhere else.

It is only the 22nd of January, and would you feast your eyes on my Year-to-Date Savings? BAM! Braces paid for! BAM! Oldest son's first car! BAM! A semester of college, with inflation for seven years factored in and providing he goes in-state!

Lowes Foods, BFF to the American Family

... And on that note, I have some stuff I need to get done offline. See you Tuesday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Local Wanted Poster

bulletin board, Edward McKay (click to enlarge)

See Mary if you'd like your art to hang

Mary, proprietress of simplyummy, holds up one of the fun pieces from this bimonthly art rotation (current artist: Caroline Sanders) at simplyummy.


T minus 32 hours

You only have until 5 pm EST tomorrow to email me your entry for the current contest.

You can read the already submitted entries below the contest rules. (You really should; they're splendid.)

The Doctors Without Borders recycled map stationary prize just makes it that much more awesome.

Local Preservation

I have letters my grandmother wrote and received while at Salem College before the turn of the century. Wartime telegrams to and from my father from the 1940s. A beautiful, fading pencil and ink drawing of a doorway labeled "by Velma Martin, Salem 1914", which I've been trying to track the origin of for ages. I need to look into this.

Forsyth County Public Library
Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University


Preserving, Repairing, and Digitizing Documents, Photos, and Tapes
One-Day Workshops for the Community

10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, February 20, 2010 at Lewisville Branch Library

10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, April 17, 2010 at Walkertown Branch Library

10 am – 5 pm on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at Central Library

We invite the public to participate in one of these workshops to learn about organizing and repairing their important keepsakes and heritage materials. Expert instructors will demonstrate Forsyth County’s new Digitization Centers, where the public can digitize historic documents, photographs, slides, VHS tapes, and audio tapes.

These workshops are free and space is limited. To sign up, please visit http://forsythcomputertraining.org/ or call 703-3070.

For more information, please visit http://northcarolinaroom.wordpress.com/

“Preserving Forsyth’s Past” is supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Forsyth County Public Library
Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University
Lewisville Branch Library
Walkertown Branch Library
Central Library
The North Carolina Room

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

Prep Now

During Dixie Classic Fair time back in October I discussed the increasing interest in the Edible Landscape. As a follow-up I have added links to various publications, by item, courtesy of NC State, NC A&T State University, and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. This information is university research information designed to give residents of North Carolina unbiased, non-commercial, tried and true, information on the specific area of interest. In many cases the information is THE specific pamphlet provided by the county extension offices throughout North Carolina.

If you want to grow your own vegetables, herbs, small fruits, tree fruits or nuts, check out the links below. Please feel free to bookmark this page, save it to your computer, print it off, or employ any method you prefer to keep as future reference.

The reason for providing this information at this time is simple. It is a good time to plan for the 2010 vegetable garden, get soil tests done and add lime if necessary. Remember: it takes months for lime to fully activate and improve the soil PH to levels that will optimize production. Liming now is better than waiting until seeding or transplanting in spring. The soil test results will tell you whether lime or other amendments are required or not. You can also identify what you want to grow. If possible try to rotate vegetable crops for improved performance. Crop rotation is essential for reducing plant diseases and the plant pest populations that buildup in the soil over time. It is also a good time to plant fruit and nut trees.

In simple terms it is better to be prepared. Now that those tempting plant and seed catalogs have arrived, you'll have the satisfaction in knowing you won't or shouldn't have to rush at planting time.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if there are questions.

Home Vegetable Gardens

Growing Herbs
Small Fruits (Links to fruits of interest)
Tree Fruits (Please note: Many fruiting tress require a second variety planted in close proximity for proper pollination and fruiting)
Fruit & Nuts

shirt found on etsy

While the oldest finishes a guitar lesson at The "B" String, the youngest and I are killing time at Central Library. (Yes, I'm feeling a little better, thank you.)

Ooh! I want a Star Wars Calaveras shirt!
The "B" String
Central Library

Call me Bacon

The obituaries in today's Journal include one which has an amazing nickname that I feel obligated to laud: Lenora Lee Alston, aka Pie.

Pie, y'all.


That is probably the best food nickname ever. I've known a Bean. I've been neighbor to a Joe*. I've gone to school with a Sugar. But Pie puts all those to shame. Pie is warm and sweet and sometimes flaky (but only in the best way) and always decadent.

Kudos to someone for bestowing that gem on the late Mrs. Alston.

*I know this is a legitimate nickname for Joseph, but the man's real name was Warren. Joe as in "a cuppa".

Local Labor of Love

The Children’s Home encompasses a sprawling 212 acre campus including a working farm in the heart of the Winston-Salem. Originally established as the Davis Military Academy in the 1890’s, The Children’s Home began its life as an orphanage in 1909 when they served some 500 area children. Today they continue their mission of serving great kids who come from the most unimaginable situations. Unfortunately the funding to help these kids largely dries up when they turn 18 and, as if their lives weren’t hard enough already, many of these youngsters celebrate their birthday with a pat on the back as they are shown the door. Not at The Children’s Home and not on our watch!

Working together, The Children’s Home and the TAA are going to, quite literally, save these kids. The Stultz building on The Children’s Home campus will provide a safe and loving place to live while the staff teaches these kids the skills that they need to make a life for themselves. Built in 1955 (at a cost of $90,000), the infrastructure is sound but the building has been empty for 25 years and is in desperate need of repair. Does this sound like enough of a challenge? Drawing on the considerable resources and industry expertise of the TAA membership, we’re going to save Stultz and help The Children’s Home save these kids! The building itself has three stories and includes a kitchen, a community room and two floors of apartments. Together we’re going to tackle all of the electrical, plumbing, carpentry, appliance, cleaning, painting, furnishing and landscaping needs. Oh, and we’re going to accomplish all of this in two weekends in February!

2010 Project
Friday and Saturday,
Feb. 5-6 and 12-13*, 2010
The Children's Home

In addition to volunteers, TAA needs some specific supplies to make this happen. Click here and scroll to the bottom for a list of needed supplies, as well as for information about how you can donate time or money toward this effort.

Triad Apartment Association
The Children's Home

* inclement weather date - Feb 19, 20

Thumbing 2 pages ahead in my calendar

My overnight miracle didn't happen. I'm still coughing like it's my job, and my voice is that of someone's granny on the verge of tears. I'm not giving up yet - it hasn't even been 24 hours of antibiotics - but I REALLY REALLY need to be well by this weekend. I have plans! Exciting plans! Plans that require vast amounts of energy and effort!

I tell you what, though, if I am not full of vim and vigor come this weekend, I am going to console myself by sinking back into a seat at a/perture and watching this.

A Serious Man is playing Friday at 3:40 PM and 8:20 PM, Saturday at 12:40 PM, 5:20 PM, and 10:00 PM, and Sunday at 3 PM. (It also plays next Monday through Thursday, if you have a busy weekend planned.)

There are two other excellent films showing in addition, including Almodóvar's latest.

a/perture cinema, locally owned and operated

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Seriously, go look

After my early morning foray to PrimeCare, my day consisted of lying alternately in my bed or on the loveseat in the den. Neither location was ideal; in bed I battled the cat, who seemed to feel I existed merely to serve as some sort of blanketed perch, and while attempting to drowse on the loveseat, I watched Pep jog past the doorway several times with various non-edible items in her mouth including at one point the smoke detector that normally hangs in the hallway a good seven feet up.

I tried once to use my new laptop as a distraction, but I found myself staring dazed at a bunny available for adoption at the Forsyth County Shelter, sure my Magic Mouthwash had been accidentally prepared with a little sumpin-sumpin of the highly narcotic variety, because SWEET FANCY MOSES, THAT EYE CANNOT BELONG TO THAT ANIMAL.

Anyway, I'm still ever so hopeful I'll wake up fully restored tomorrow.

Take your pick

  • Strep Throat
  • Bubonic Plague
  • Scurvy
  • Pneumonia
  • Rickets
  • Bronchitis
Thankfully, I only have three of the above. While I wait for the antibiotics and something called "Magic Mouthwash" to kick in, y'all behave.

I should be mended by tomorrow. (I believe in optimism.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Once again, put your hands together for...

Madhouse Recap, with KT!

Week #2 of the History Channel series "Madhouse" is in the books. If you don't know what I'm talking about it is a tv show which follows the lives of 5 racers in the Modified Division at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem. In case you missed last week's review, here's where we left off....Junior Miller is old as dirt and is known as "The King" at BGS. Burt Myers is my favorite driver and is Junior Miller's arch nemesis. Jason Myers is Burt's kid brother, also a nemesis to Junior Miller. There is Tim Brown, "The Rocket," who has won 8 championships at BGS by avoiding controversy and basically being boring. Finally, we have Chris Flemming. He is a local yokel who loves racing, has no race team or money to support his habit, but still shows up every week.

So...week 2 featured yours truly. I was able to find myself in one of the many shots of the crowds at the track. Now, unless you know precisely where I sit you would never find me because I was nestled in between about 200 people. However, if you want to slow down your DVR and "Where's Waldo" me, I'm the girl wearing the tuxedo t-shirt at about 53 minutes in. Yes, you heard me...tuxedo t-shirt....it's a Burt Myers shirt that looks like a tux and says "Race Fan #1 Burt Myers" on the back. You can spot a Burt Myers fan, we're classy (see picture).

This week's episode focused on Junior Miller's humiliating wreck from week one in which he collided into the back of Tim Brown's #83 car on the parade lap (the lap BEFORE lap #1) thus damaging his car and not being able to run the race. Junior claims that his foot slipped on the gas. Likely story, old man. We saw Junior going to the doctor to get his eyes checked because of his stupidity in race 1. Good thinking Geico, may want to make sure he can see before he drives a car 80mph around a quarter mile track. I don't know what was more disturbing, the fact that Junior Miller is so old that you can actually hear him thinking before he speaks or that his 50-55 year old male physician was wearing an earring. Just cause Harrison Ford sports an earring doesn't mean it's cool if everyone does it. Junior may want to look at some out-of-network doctors next time.

We also got to see Junior explaining himself on Bad Brad's radio show, telling fans that he'd be back and not to worry. The lead in Bad Brad gave to introduce Junior was, "I've got with me now Junior Miller, the most feared guy in racing." Pan over to Junior Miller who is wearing a button up polo shirt with swordfish all over it. Cause I'm scared of the guy who talks like he's had a stroke and is wearing a fish shirt? Come on. Puh-lease.

Chris Flemming had issues with the shocks on his car and informed the audience that despite his second place finish in week one, he'd need new shocks to have any chance of winning. New shocks can cost almost $1500, money Chris Flemming doesn't have because he has "to keep food on the table." I could have played a drinking game requiring me to take a shot each time he said that he can't afford something because he has "to keep food on the table." We get it. You don't have sponsors, no team, no help, no money. Despite his tear-jerking interviews, I like the guy. He's hard working and his family seems to really support him. Unfortunately they'll be eating Ramen Noodles for the next 6 months because we saw Chris buying $500 shocks for his car this week.

Week 2 followed Burt Myers attempting to fix a broken axle on his car, a setback that put him out of the race in week one. It is really interesting to see what goes on for all these drivers in the 6 days they have to get ready for the next week's race. They are rushing parts in, trying to gets dents and dings banged out and figuring out what went wrong the race before. Jason and Burt took some zings at Junior's bump up saying that he should get out of racing and that he's too old. I'm really hoping the show will focus more of Jason in the weeks to come. Not that I don't like me some Burt, I just want to hear some more of Jason's thoughts as well. During the shots at the Myers' garage I did get my SECOND favorite Madhouse quote of the week. Frank Myers, uncle to Jason and Burt, told Burt, "Shut yo' nasty mouth." Love it. Uncle Frank said this while looking like Kenny Rogers and dangling a smoke from his lips. Like I said, Myers fans are classy.

I have determined that Tim Brown thinks a lot of himself and isn't real nice to his wife, telling her, "All these women are here, why am I cooking?" Are you kidding me? You're grilling hamburgers not making veal picatta. Tim is quite the perfectionist in his shop and proceeds to fuss and complain all the time. I'm not really liking him too much.

Week 2 racing featured the Madhouse Scramble.... two 25 lap races for the drivers. In the first race drivers are started by qualifying times. In the second race, the winners of the 1st race and flipped to the back and the losers are put in the front......thus, opening the door for Junior Miller to win the second race since he finished dead last in the first race. Lee Jefferies won race one and Burt, Jason and Chris were all further back in the pack.

The show is still exciting as ever and I love all the shots of Winston shown in between segments.

And finally, here it is, the Madhouse quote of the week is by Chris Flemming,
"Tim Brown may find that the sun don't shine on the same dog's butt twice."

If anyone can translate that into English for me please let me know.

Until next week....

Front Lawn, Reynolda House

Glorious weather for gathering supplies for the youngest's Science Fair project that he came up with all on his own: "Can a Floating Leaf Carry a Penny?" (Glorious setting, too.)

Reynolda House, reopening to the public February 2nd

Friday, January 15, 2010

Locally Calendar Challenged

I'd raise an eyebrow about the old-fashioned sleigh with new-fashioned plastic Santa a-riding on the corner of North Stratford and some swank cross street, but I'm not sure I can look askance when my stoop is still sporting a pumpkin.

(He's doing so well at not getting smooshy or otherwise creepy that I just can't bring myself to do away with him. I did have a sprig of holly on him last month, at least.)

Dedicated to B.F.

I'm writing this story out for my friend B.F., but truthfully, I think you'll all enjoy it.

When the oldest was in kindergarten, they measured daily behavior with popsicle sticks. A child started the day with three, then earned or lost sticks as he behaved or misbehaved. At the end of each week, those who had some minimum number of cumulative sticks were allowed to go to the treasure box.

Every day the oldest lost sticks. EVERY DAY. He wiggled. He jogged on the downward ramp leading to the lunchroom. He interrupted. He broke his crayons pressing too hard. He wasn't listening at circle time. Every day I had to sign some sheet to show I was aware he'd lost sticks and why.

But he wasn't terribly distressed by these losses, he being a generally jolly kid, so it wasn't too awful ...except on Fridays, because he was never allowed to go to the treasure box. Ever.

One day his friend T., who always got to go to the treasure box, decided to give his treasure box turn to the oldest. (Yes, I agree, it's the kindest act ever.) And so the oldest took his time choosing among all the items he'd never even seen, and he chose a rubbery, sticky-thingie that you threw at walls, then when it unstuck, you threw it again.

I wish I could say The End, but no, there's more.

The oldest being the oldest, he went back to his table, and he decided to throw the stickie-thingie up to the ceiling, where it of course stuck. And stayed, though he looked up hopefully every morning.

I forgot all about it after the year ended. Thankfully, so did he.

Flash forward to this school year, the oldest's last in elementary school. I volunteer in the Media center with two different kindergartens. One class has T.'s baby baby sister. And the very first week she proudly told me that her seat was under the oldest's sticky-thingie, WHICH IS APPARENTLY STILL STUCK TO THE CEILING.

And my point is that while that sticky-thingie is apparently as immortal as Highlander, the oldest is fine now. He wouldn't lose those popsicle sticks today. He's still a jolly kid, but he's learned to save his fidgeting and such for when he's at home. And so long as colleges don't start asking for a kindergarten popsicle stick average on their applications, I think he'll be OK. And so I think we're safe to say

The End.

First Contest in The! Year! Twenty! Ten!

Have y'all heard about Creative Transitions, the local business that helps people downsize? No?

Here's one of the articles about them. (There was another article in the Winston-Salem Journal, I do believe, but I'll be bedazzled if I can find it.)

Anyhow, Creative Transitions puts together sales, one of which is tomorrow and Sunday, and frankly, looking at the photos, I hope one of you decides to attend and buy me this. Or this. But especially this.

But almost better than the samples of the items offered is Creative Transitions' three sentence description of the current owner of these items:

She was the child of people who liked nice things. She was a journalist, enjoyed music, held salons on Tuesdays so that a mixture of people could discuss ideas, loved to cook and entertain. Her clothing and shoes came from Montaldo’s.

LOVE. IT. And the title of the whole sale? "Property of a Gentlewoman." Gah. I want to run away to Vegas with that title.

Your mission:

Write a three sentence description of yourself that paints you as someone with wildly interesting stuff. Bonus points for local references like "Montaldo's".

You must title your entry "Property of a ____________", using a one-word descriptor in place of the blank.

  • PLEASE EMAIL YOUR ENTRY TO ME. I will post it below.
  • Entries must be received by 5 pm EST, January 22nd, 2010.
  • Entries deemed as inappropriate by yours truly will be ineligible.
  • Refrain from being profane. (Especially when the rain falls on the plain. In Spain.)
  • Winner will be determined by an independent judge or judging panel, whose decision is final.
  • You are solely responsible for any damages arising from your entry, as well as any tax concerns should you win.
  • Prize will be shipped to residents of the Continental US only. Those living elsewhere are more than welcome to enter but should have someone in mind within the Continental US to receive the prize.
The winner shall receive this gorgeous set of recycled map stationary, also shown at top right, by local etsy superstar dote. The winner shall also receive the satisfaction of knowing that the proceeds from the sale of this prize are going to Doctors Without Borders to aid their Haiti Earthquake Response.

photo credit: dote


Property of a Locavore

She was a loud, impulsive, and spontaneous type who often drove her husband mad with her every changing passions. She loved Krankies coffee with a passion, raised her children on Camino Bakery cookies, with a firm belief that her children were the wildest, most special, most wonderful things ever invented. She loved things passionately, believed in absurd things such as hope and change, and held fast a firm conviction that home is where you make it, and she did just that.

Property of a Womanchild

She was a connoisseur of all things Dr. Suess, her bookshelves lined with Green Eggs and Ham, Cats in Hats, Foxes Wearing Soxes and Horton Hearing a Who. Her closet was filled with numerous pairs of Mizunos that carried her down roads and through woods filled with adventure in her pursuit of fitness. She was a lover of whimsy, things that made her feel sunny and most especially, flip flops.

Property of a Goldengirl

A transplant from the West Coast, she transitioned from tofu to barbecue, and, at times, barbecued tofu, which she doused in Texas Pete for good measure. She stored pharmaceutical pens from the Baptist in Dewey's cookie tubes and could never seem to collect too many of either. She loved all things pastel, including Necco wafers, faded quilts, kittens' noses, and cherry blossoms on Runnymeade in the Springtime.


Property of a Topophile

The daughter of a NYC-turned-Winston-Salem socialite, she inherited lovely things such as fur stoles (too stunning not to be politically correct), hand-thrown pottery, and unique holiday decorations. Her city was one of her dearest friends, therefore her home is filled with things that she loves from Winston-Salem’s past and present, and can be described as historical whimsy. Her Saturdays were filled visiting yard sales, auctions, and thrift shops where she added her newly-found treasures to her copious possessions.

Property of a Collector

Born at the tail end of WWII to parents who came of age during the Depression, he quickly learned to keep everything in case it came in handy one day, and so he amassed his vintage soda bottle collection, his vintage record collection, and his vintage airplane travel freebies collection. As a grown man, his work took him all over the world, and he returned from these trips with his suitcases full of bric-a-brac, now also vintage. After retirement, he decided to visit all lower forty-eight states in a caravan, the only thing he never having been interested in collecting being dust.

Property of a Repeat

Her childhood centered around the immense love and hate of three brothers, creeks filled with creatures of the upmost enchanting nature, Royal oatmeal cakes and RC cola for snack during break in the tobacco fields with never-ending rows, the love of two parents who dearly loved each other and best friends of the four-legged kind. As time went on she began the road to womanhood leaving the rocks of the creek unturned, preferring painted nails rather than red dirt stained ones and yearned for the city. Years passed, babies were born, best friends found permanent homes in the shade of a weeping willow tree, she found her way back home to the love of adoring parents, new best friends in her brothers, and a renewed enchantment in the magical creeks of her childhood with her two sons.

Property of a Localoisseur

Winston-Salem born, Winston-Salem raised, she held true to her roots with craving-inspired runs to Krispy Kreme, PB’s hotdogs and TJ’s Deli. She longed for snowy winters perfect for fireside movies and a glass of fine red wine made of Yadkinville grapes. She cheered loudly and with passion for her favorite sports teams, and loved her friends and family with the same passion.

Please Steal


Please steal any (or all!) of these good looking, local Census posters and put it (or them!) on your blog, your homepage, your facebook, your twitter, anywhere you can online. Simply doubleclick on the poster of your choosing to biggify it, then rightclick and steal. Whee!

It would be super awesome if you could hyperlink it to the City of Winston-Salem's Census page, the Forsyth County Census page, or even the granddaddy of 'em all, the United States Census page.

I'd also like to point out that these can be printed out and put up on your church bulletin board, your breakroom bulletin board, at your local coffeehouse... (Please don't forget to get permission where needed.)

They look especially nice displayed next to the multiple "I VOTED" stickers and that letter you get when you complete jury service. You know, the items in your glass-fronted I Did My Civic Duty case at your residence. (We all have those, right?)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Local Contest News

Fair warning: LiF contests start back up tomorrow. First one's a words one.

Dust off your thinking caps accordingly.

PSA #1: fill your feeders

Because holy frijole, if you feed them, they will come.

PSA# 2: Get ready to count.

PSA #3: Not like MPB, though.

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Across the nation and beyond, thousands of birders and birdwatchers take part, reporting the birds they see to a database maintained by the Lab. This year, the count will be held February 12 - 15.

Forsyth County consistently finishes in the top ten in the country in terms of participation. The count is fun, and local birders enjoy a little competition with other North Carolina communities. In 2009, Winston-Salem residents reported 98 species, including our rare Tufted Duck. Charlotte led the state with 99.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Audubon Society of Forsyth County

Make 3, Keep 2, Share 1

ceramics class 2312
Instructor Warren Moyer
Enjoy working in clay while creating two bowls for yourself and one to be donated to “Empty Bowls”, an April fundraiser for the Second Harvest Food Bank. Bowls will be slab built using stoneware clay and can be decorated in a variety of ways. All work, dishwasher and microwave safe, will be fired and glazed for pickup later. No experience necessary.

Location: Sawtooth Annex at The Children’s Home
member fee: $50 non-member fee: $65
Saturday, 2/27, 1:00 - 5:00 pm

SueMo and I were astounded last year by all the beautiful bowls, seemingly thousands of them. Now I know where a few of them, at least, come from.

Sawtooth School for Visual Art

The Children's Home
Empty Bowls
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC

Local Go See

I visited the Wake Forest University Museum of Anthropology last week to see Only Skin Deep? Tattooing in World Cultures, which opened January 5th.

Disclosure: I am squeem-city if I think too hard about needles, piercings, etc.; it makes me feel wretched.

That said, it's an excellent and truly interesting exhibit, and while it has tattooing instruments in it, I didn't once feel like fainting or throwing up. Go, me!

The exhibit traces a brief history of tattoo styles, implements, and meanings in various societies and locations around the globe, including native cultures of the US, and ends with tattoos of Wake Forest community members.

There is a warning posted at the exhibit entrance; Warning: Some might find images in Only Skin Deep? startling or consider them inappropriate for young children. Visitor discretion is advised.

Honestly, maybe it's from growing up with a household subscription to National Geographic, but I didn't see anything I personally found troubling for either of mine to see, and believe you me, I looked for it.

Admission to The Museum of Anthropology is FREE, donations accepted. NOTE: Museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Only Skin Deep? overview
WFU Museum of Anthropology

Local Droolworthy


I covet each and every built-in bookcase. Plus it's in beautiful Bethania. Plus I have a personal preference to not live in any house younger than I am, and hello, it's TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD.

While I compose an epic poem lamenting my inability to ever buy a $711K home due to the ongoing and rather insane expenses associated with children (the refrain of which shall go ka-ching! ka-ching!), you take a virtual tour of Bethania, courtesy of the fine folks at Preserve Historic Forsyth.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


The terribly odd thing about my upbringing, including and perhaps most importantly where and when I went to college, is that no matter where in the world a news event happens, I'm bound to know someone who lives there.

Sadly today I know someone who died there.

Rest in peace, Clara Gagnon.

Local VIPs

Take a gander at the newest members of the January Cavity-Free Club!

Sadly, our wonderful dental peeps confirmed my suspicion that we might just want to start saving all our hard-earned pennies for orthodontia*. While I sob and honk my nose into an old-fashioned hankie, you come up with some local orthodontist recs. Deal?

Dr. Tina Merhoff and Associates Pediatric Dentistry

* Three more molars, all already loose, and then it's party time.

I call this 'Self-Portrait with Esbette Peeking' (phonophoto 2010)

We resisted the lure as long as we could, but eventually we ended up at the Maxx.

Local Guest Post

Remember this post?

Local Groomer Update, by Esbette

Grooming update!

After perusing the recommendations of the great readers of LiF we made a few calls and decided to make an appointment for the dogs at Groomingdales, on Country Club Road. I have lived here for more than half of my life, and had passed this establishment more times than I can count, but since I didn’t have Dexter until I went to grad school, there was never a need for a groomer. All I have to say is… THANK YOU to whomever it was that recommended them!

Dexter enjoys his “free-spirited” trampy look, so he only needed a bath and his nails trimmed (a task that after countless tries, I have determined I CANNOT do on my own.) Background on Dexter for those who do not keep up with his blog- Dex is a serious mama’s boy, has some anxiety issues, and can be a spaz. With that said, and I warned them when I dropped him off that he may not be a willing participant, but when I picked them up his nails were trimmed, he was clean, and somehow they even got him to sport a bandana. I hardly recognized my own dog and his complacency! Kudos Groomingdales!

As for Lady, she was in for the works: bath, nails trimmed and de-teddy bearing. As you can see from the photos they did a wonderful job. She is a pure-bred cocker, but we had no need for an actual cocker cut. She now has a new outlook on life! The cut makes her look like a puppy again and with the loss of all the fur she has the energy to keep up with Dexter’s shenanigans! (We probably shouldn’t credit that all to a haircut, but Groomingdales did such a good job I am happy to give it to them.)

They completed the job quickly, calling me a full hour before I was originally told they would be done and the price was beyond reasonable. I can guarantee that next time Dexter needs his nails trimmed and Lady decides she wants to look like a dog and not Fozzie Bear, we will be taking them back to the nice people at Groomingdales!

Contact info for Groomindales:

Website- http://groomingdalesacutabove.com/ (no info except for phone number)

3910 Country Club Rd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
(336) 768-3645

Local Awesome

I love this photo from today's Winston-Salem Journal madly. It is bar none my favorite of all the cold-wave depictions I've seen.

As someone who likes to pretend her animals can speak, giving each animal a distinct voice (the cat is a haughty princess, of course), I've been amusing myself by imagining what the duck on the far right is saying. I'm waffling between, "You guys can stay, but I'm outta here," and, "Hey, is that a burrito truck?"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Local Must See

The UNCSA School of Filmmaking and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts will present a screening of King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis on Sunday, January 17, at 7 PM in the Main Theatre of the ACE Exhibition Complex on the UNCSA campus.

Ticket prices are $8 for general admission and $2 for UNCSA students with ID. Tickets will be sold at the door only, beginning one hour before screening time. All ticket proceeds benefit UNCSA School of Filmmaking scholarships.

UNCSA campus map
UNCSA School of Filmmaking
Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts


He was bound to pick one of these as his post-therapy destination eventually. Hey, did you know the default burger toppings are different in the McDonald's in different countries? And that's not all.

(insert manly noise here)

River Birch Lodge is throwing a Scotch and Cigar Night on Wednesday, January 20th at 7pm on the back patio.

We'll enjoy a selection of Glenmorangie top shelf scotches including, Lasanta 12 year , Nectar d'Or 15 year, and Signet 5 -25 year blend as we sit back, relax, and smoke a cigar.

Hannibal will be back once again to entertain with his incredible array of tableside magic. All for only $15 per person. Call Eddie or Reid at 768-1111 to make your reservation. It is filling up fast!

The only way this could sound more manly is if River Birch ditched the usual outdoor furniture in favor of leather club chairs and adopted a pack of hunting dogs to sit at people's feet.

River Birch Lodge (opens with nature noises)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Ladies and Gentlemen...

It is my great pleasure to present to you
a guest post
the one
the only

(and the crowd goes wild)

A Review of the Premiere Episode of Madhouse

Last night I plopped on the couch to enjoy the first of a 13 week series on the History Channel called, "Madhouse." All I was lacking to make my night sheer perfection was a bag of cotton candy, a footlong hot dog, a barb wire tattoo around my bicep and the aroma of Marlboro Lights in the air....I'm not a smoker by any means but there's something about the sweet smell of a cancer stick and rubber burning that really perks up a Southern girl on a sweltering summer night.

"Madhouse" is a look into weekly racing that occurs every Saturday night throughout the summer at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem. I must admit that I'm the kind of girl that likes her high heels and skirts, loves romantic comedies and thinks "My Humps," is a great song. I'm also a girl that has been attending races at the track since I was 8. You can dress me up but Sunday-Friday but on Saturday nights I'll be sporting a Burt Myers t-shirt and hollering with all the other residents of the Madhouse.

Many people were concerned that this show was going to give the South a bad rap. Guess what?! We already have a bad rap (thanks is large part to Jeff Foxworthy) ....people will always call us rednecks and laugh at our accents but we still will say "please" and "thank you" and hold the door open for a stranger. We may wear cut off t-shirts, think a thong sticking out of our jean shorts is sexy and swear a lot (always asking God to forgive us at church on Sunday morning) but we are good people. We work hard so we play hard. This show won't change opinions of those who don't know the good and decent people that live here. The South has funnel cakes and racing. The North has hockey and unsweet tea (ewwww). We all have our own things. So before I get into this review, I'm talking to all you Yankees....this is your warning....make fun of us and all we'll do is cuss ya, then say a prayer for you and wish you had better manners. What I'm trying to say is, this show isn't going to help us Southerners but do we really care? At least we'll help an old lady across the street.

I found this show to be exactly what I was hoping for...lots of interviews with Burt Myers. Burt is the "golden boy" at the race track and he happens to be my most favorite driver ever. Not only is he nice to look at and just darling with his thick Southern accent but he is a heck of a good driver. Burt is a good family man with a wife and kids. His family is his world and racing is his life. He loves it. His brother, Jason, is my second most favorite driver. Hey, what's better than one Myers boy???? Two!! The Myers' have a longstanding feud with their arch nemesis, Junior Miller. Let me put this feud in prospective....let's compare it to Jenn v. Angelina, Biggie v. 2Pac, Duke v. UNC, me v. the Taser. Needless to say, it's big.

I'll try to give an unbiased opinion here....Junior Miller is like that piece of poop you step in. He smells, he annoys you and he seems to always ruin your day. That's what he does to me. Junior has been racing at the track since the days when you had to start your car with your feet, Fred Flintstone style. He is old as dirt. Now, I will give him some credit, he does know how to drive, sometimes. I mean seriously, doesn't the DMV have a rule against allowing 80 year olds to race cars that have 600 horsepower? Junior is the kind of guy that realizes he isn't going to win so he takes his toys and goes home....and by toys, I mean he likes to crash his race car into one of the Myers' boys and leave the track before they break his hip back in the pits.

The episode focused on the feud between they Myers' and Junior and also what the guys do to get themselves prepared each and every week at the Madhouse. It is amazing the time and energy that goes into these machines. We saw how the drivers try to balance family, friends, real jobs, and racing. I got tired watching and it made me feel like maybe I should stop spending my Saturdays watching "Project Runway" marathons and try to do something productive.....I should "make it work" Tim Gunn style.

If you have never been to one of these races at Bowman Gray I highly encourage you to go. It's cheap entertainment, family and friends will love it. As a matter of fact I have now taken 2 native Philadelphians (real life Yankees) to the track and they loved it. I have also taken guys I dated, funny thing is, I'm not dating them anymore?! I wonder if standing up giving the middle finger to Junior qualified as a dealbreaker? Hmmmm?

The series looks super promising with fights, wrecks and rivalries to come.

Here is my "Madhouse" quote of the week:
Junior Miller: "I'd spin my Grandma out of her wheelchair for $5,000."
Seriously? Your Grandma?

Thank you (see I am polite Southerner),


We're at BounceU getting our sillies out. We live for Open Bounce in the wintertime.

Open Bounce Schedule as of 1/11/10, reservations strongly recommended:

4:00 - 5:30 PM

10:45 AM - 12 NOON (Ages 5 and under ONLY)
4:00 - 5:30 PM
6:30 - 8:00 PM

4:00 - 5:30 PM
6:30 - 8:00 PM

10:45 - 12NOON (Ages 5 and under ONLY)
4:00 - 5:30 PM

8:30 AM - 10 AM

BounceU, Winston-Salem/Lewisville

Northwest Boulevard

(Hat tip to SD and AD again.)

1000 S. Marshall Street

click on image to enlarge

The Gateway Gallery
Nadine Buckinger
Hilda Spain-Owen
Judy Stead

Ryhmes with Poupon

My friend Atchafala sent me the image at right to show me the extent of her problem. "I'm addicted!" she wrote underneath.

And I giggled, because Atch always goes at things wholehog, loving whatever she loves 150% and sharing her excitement with all those around.

I used to coupon, though not quite as obsessively. When my mother was dying, I spent Saturday evenings after the children had gone to sleep organizing for the following day's shopping. I kept my coupons in order of aisle, clipped together neatly with colored paperclips. Reds for breads, pinks for drinks. It was an escape mechanism for me, something to keep my mind from traveling to my mother's bedside where every tick of the clock was painful.

When she died, I stopped. Not just coupons but life. Stopped. At some point I began doing the grocery shopping again, though I cannot remember when or why. But I did, and I do, and sometimes now I have a few coupons, and I always have my Fresh Rewards card -- it's on my keychain. But it's nothing, nothing, like I used to have, and it's certainly nothing approaching Atchafala, hilarious Atchafala, who texts me now to say, "Crazy coupon lady here!"

On Monday, February 1st from noon until 2 PM in the Central Library Auditorium, couponing expert extraordinaire Dawn Larkins will provide insight and tips on how to save some serious money through the use of coupons on your next shopping trip.

Learn how and when to search for coupons, where to find them and how to get the most bang for each coupon.

If you’re interested in lowering your overall shopping bill, and having fun in the process, this is one program you will not want to miss.

Central Library

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Local Etsy Love

Top of the lefthand column, peeps.

Thank you for supporting local artisans!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Local For Sale

Clemmonsville & Griffith

photo credit: Esbette

The Buena Vista Garden, by Yarddawg

I saw murder in progress recently right before my eyes. It occurred in broad daylight on Robinhood Road in Winston-Salem on Monday, January 4, 2010 at approximately 11:20 AM. In case the authorities contact me as an eyewitness to first degree Crape Murder, here’s the evidence:

photo credit: Yarddawg

I know, I know, I wrote about this last year, and I’m going to write about it again this year, and probably next year too if Miss Esbee is agreeable (Esbee note: bribery with sweets works). I am appealing to someone, anyone, just one person to resist these landscapers imposters, and just say no. If just one Life In Forsyth reader resists this urge in 2010, I’ll consider the effort successful. Just one ya’ll. You be the one. Please.

There is basically no horticultural benefit to pruning, much less maiming, a Crape Myrtle. OK, there is one double, super secret, cross-my-heart-hope-to-die, reason for this practice so let me share it with you. The landscapers imposters need the money. That, and deer hunting season is now over. That’s it. That’s all. Most have been inactive since the October 2009 fall lawn seeding season. Now, with bills to pay and no cash flow, they’re back peddling the need to anyone who’ll listen about the need to whack back. Now you know the secret. Impressive huh?

In all honesty, there are many good, top notch professional landscaping firms locally that know better but this annual, ritualistic pruning practice is now so prevalent that many homeowners feel left out if they don’t follow along. There are many “firms” out there more than happy to oblige in the carnage. Many homeowners also need or want a 10’ or 15’ foot tree but have a 25’ Crape instead. What to do?

Put the right tree in that spot. Thanks to some good plant breeding over the last several years, there are multitudes of Crape Myrtle’s now available ranging from 3’ tall all the way up to 50’ tall. Click here to see the options now available. Just be sure to remember that Crape Myrtle needs to be located in full sun to properly thrive and flower.

Look, we’re in the dead of winter. Chill out. The plants are hibernating, and you should too. It’s too cold for me to do anything meaningful in the garden. Tell that to your landscaper also. One shady character showed up at my house last week and suggested -- no, insisted -- that I really, really needed to cut my lone Crape Myrtle waaaay back. And now, before it’s too late. I politely told him no thanks but should have told him to do something that's unprintable here in Miss Esbee’s blog. (She would put me in time out. Also my mama might read it too.) (Esbee note: thank you kindly for refraining.)

So just chill, folks.

And oh, by the way, Happy Twenty Ten to all.