Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Road Trip

Well, so a while back the girl in charge and I took a little road trip to Atlanta, which was one of the swellest trips ever.  I need to say that she is really just the most pleasant traveling companion, plus she was a great navigator while I was slinging the rental car around a city that can give the sucky Washington, D.C., traffic a run for its money.

We did a little sightseeing while we were there.  At the Georgia Aquarium, the girl in charge was ecstatic to see this sea turtle, which I took at least fifty pictures of because the dude was moving pretty fast.  I mean, he's a turtle -- who knew?  The girl in charge is pretty sure she would like to have a sea turtle as a pet.

The only creatures that gave her more happiness than the sea turtle were these penguins, because come on.  Look at 'em!  Aack! -- they're so stinkin' cute!

I, on the other hand, felt like I was going to pass out from happiness when we walked into "The World of Coca-Cola" museum.  I seriously almost hyper-ventilated.  Many of you already know that I love the red Coca-Cola with a deep and abiding love.  But you may not also know that at one point (before I married the husband) I had an apartment that was totally decorated with a Coca-Cola theme.  I say "decorated," which is generous . . . .  

I feel silly but somehow defiant when I describe how giddy I was when I entered the gift shop of this museum (a place that in the past I usually dreaded entering with urchins because of the "I want it, I need it, I have to have it or I'll die" disease that always overtook them).  I couldn't breathe, people.  I just looked over at the girl in charge, and she rolled her eyes, then cracked up.

Pathetic . . . .

We feel so lucky that we were also able to visit this sweetest of women, who is part of our beloved un-family, and who lives about a half hour away from the city.  It was so fabulous to spend time with her -- it always is.  And as it turns out, now I'm more glad than ever that she's there.

Because we went to Atlanta to visit the two lovely campuses of Emory University -- and confirmed for ourselves that this is the girl in charge's dream college.  And guess what we found out last week?!

Look out Atlanta!  Here she comes!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Small pleasures: pretty, pretty colors!


The sunny girl got a new box of crayons, and proceeded to organize them in a way that pleased her color-discerning eye.

And really -- what could be better than a new box of crayons?!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Basement renovation: Here's why

So our basement is still one big collection of jackhammers, sawhorses and halogen lamps; we blow dust off of any food we're considering eating before we put it in our mouths, and we have learned to jump into the shower early, before all the work begins each day -- we never know when the water will be available.

But it's so worth it!  Because here is what our basement used to look like:

At some point, some previous owner put up plaid wallpaper that matches nothing. There is no excuse for this except maybe the early enthusiasm in the seventies for all things that could be seen as colonial and bicentennial, but somehow also gave off a "swinger" vibe, which overwhelmed supposedly intelligent people who should know better.  To complement this, navy blue wallpaper was applied to an adjoining wall.  There is so much wrong with this . . . .

Of course, being the procrastinating family, we complained about this ugly wallpaper for eleven years, while yawning and fixing ourselves more coffee.  It began to lose its sticky and peel from the walls before we did one thing about it.  But still.

So this level of our home boasted a bedroom, but no bathroom -- not even the so-called "powder room" so beloved by realtors everywhere.  Some previous homeowner somewhere along the way decided it would be way more fun and useful to require people who used the bedroom to climb two flights of stairs to take a shower; instead of a bathroom they installed a rustic, Daniel Boone-esque wet bar.  There's that navy blue wallpaper in the background.

Actually, after talking to friends we feel kind of lucky.  My Contractor and her husband are the proud owners of a 1970s tiki bar in the basement of their house -- palm frond roof and all.  We merely had to contend with striped wallpaper that was purchased -- on purpose! -- to match the plaid wallpaper used elsewhere in the room; apparently it could have been so much worse.  But still.  The wet bar had to go.  The down side is that the tall boy and his buddies will no longer have a mini-fridge to stash their contraband beer in -- but the tall boy would never do such a thing anyway,  so everybody is happy.

And!  All of the carpeting will be replaced, which is such fabulous news!

 You would be wrong if you thought that the entire family is nostalgic about these stains, which represent the maniacal temper tantrum I had when I discovered, the night before my sister and her family were to arrive for a visit, that the dog pee stains left by Toby, the Round Mound of Hound, may he rest in peace, were impervious to every product I tried.  That's when I dumped straight bleach on the carpet.  Which, in case you were wondering, does a great job on the urine-ish smell -- but is very unpredictable when it comes to knowing what color the carpet will end up.  A little tip from me to you.

Yep -- this basement renovation is a very good thing.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy birthday, adored one!

So this sweet sunny girl celebrated another birthday last week -- she's fifteen now, y'all.  My heart . . . .

The husband and I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, and she said, "I want to spend the day with the tall boy."  That's it.  No agenda, no jewels or ducks or tickets to a wildly inappropriate rock concert.  Just -- could the tall boy come down and spend the day with her?  My heart . . . .

Well, sweet sunny girl, we said -- what about a special meal? The grandparents will take you out to eat tomorrow, but what about your actual big day?  "Pot roast!" she said.  "And chocolate cake.  But don't worry -- I can make my own cake.  I did it last year, and I'm a much better cook now."

My heart, y'all . . . .  And no.  She did not have to make her own cake; her dad made a fabulous triple-layer cake for her.  This year.  Last year, I am humiliated to report, she really did make her own cake.  And it was delicious.

So the tall boy arranged a great day for her that involved Smithsonian museums and a fun restaurant for lunch, plus meeting his roommate and saying hi to HER.  And no parents, because she's that cool and mature.  Look, y'all.

She had a great day, my sunny girl -- whose Facebook is in French, and who sings like a lark, and whose style savvy means that she looks good in anything, and whose friends think she is all that and a slice of peach pie.  

It's just so true -- I am the luckiest mom.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Snapshot: under construction

So we  are in the middle of a construction site around here, because we are having our basement renovated.  And when I say basement, I'm talking about the whole shebang:  one entire level of our house has been gutted to the cinderblock and studs.

 It's quite dramatic!

Stay tuned for updates . . . .

Friday, February 3, 2012

It feels like a new pair of shoes!

So I have decided to apply a new look to my little blog; I stole the pretty background idea from Ashleigh, whose fabulous blog SPAIN IS MY HAPPY PLACE is so festive and smile-making.  The irony here is that Ashleigh and I both created our original blog looks using the same template.  Great minds think alike -- twice!

I tend to resist change in all its forms so I'm feeling pretty bold.  What do you think?