Wednesday, October 24, 2012

pumpkins and such

There's too much to share and too little time, so here's my random thoughts and pictures and life lately. The neighborhood seems alive. Folks are walking, playing in the yard, and leaves are slowly beginning to change. Pumpkins are out and once even got painted. The air is extra crisp so more sweaters are hanging on the entry hooks and I continue to spruce the house and move things around. I'm never really done. I bought these old botanical charts at a market last week for like $8 so I found 'em a home. I suppose they're a little weird and of course I love them. Trevor… not so much, but I'm fine with that! Brother Will was in the Big D for business (my little rockstar salesman) so I was rearranging furniture and fluffing the guest room. Nothing like a house guest to get you inspired.
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He treated us to a night on the town and even thought dinner wasn't 'til 8:30 (yawn) I managed to keep up. We sipped the best margaritas I've ever had at Komali and talked football with the manager there who used to live in Knoxville. We ate incredible food, told funny stories, and shared the latest and greatest news going on.
Since I've been on a major patio furniture mission, I trekked out to Mckinney and hit the jackpot. ORLY Market + antique/junk shops galore. Trevor works out there so I've been, but this was my morning to seriously explore and do some digging. Sure enough, I found us some amazing retro chairs and even baby Moosh got her own mini version. Awesome downtown with great building and special shops.
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I also think I had the best sandwich of my life at Patina Green. That's two "best of's "in one post, but durn it it's the truth. Ham, smoked cheddar, jalapeno bread, & pepper jelly. I'd go back right this second if I could. And wouldn't you believe it… here came my brother & his co-worker walking down the sidewalk for a meeting. Lordy y'all, the coincidences in this world are something else. Not only do I never go to Mckinney to have lunch with T, but I didn't even tell Will I was going and had no idea he was going. Weird.
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And I'll leave you with a pic from "pajama day." She was so confused about wearing her pajamas to school, but now she wants to do it every day. Sweet. And don't even get me started on her new boots. They're the cutest things I've ever seen. I mean, mini moccasins, what? Ridiculous and I love 'em.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

the disappearing city

I can't remember how I came across these photographs by James Griffioen, but I keep going back to them, scrolling through and wanting to know more. They're all images of Detroit. What fascinates me is the idea that entire blocks have been burned, grown over, and simply abandoned. Can you imagine if everyone just gradually left your neighborhood. Left their furniture, shut the door and just got outta dodge? Eery right? Apparently, parts of Detroit are literally deteriorating. Old theaters and factories just left for nature to take over. An abandoned zoo. It's sad to see such neglect and it's sad on a much broader level to think about the complications of this place. But, it's also beautiful the way he's captured "the disappearing city." As we know, nature keeps on going even despite us.
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“…For a few beautiful months during the summer, some of these houses become “feral” in every sense: they disappear behind ivy or the untended shrubs and trees planted generations ago to decorate their yards. The wood that framed the rooms gets crushed by trees rooted still in the earth. The burnt lime, sand, gravel, and plaster slowly erode into dust, encouraged by ivy spreading tentacles in its endless search for more sunlight.”
“There is a certain comfort here. The earth is fine. Nature is patient. The plants are just waiting. It is the monuments we build, the paths we tread that are endangered.”
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To see more… check out

all photos ©james d griffioen

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

a weekend at home

Even though it was still a bit dark outside, we were all up extra early Saturday mornin'. Trevor was off to Austin and Miriam and I were up making coffee for the workers. T had "gotten a good deal" on some trees at work so a few guys arrived ready to get 'em in the ground. I figured some hot jo would be extra incentive to do a good job, plus Moosh loves to help my pour coffee beans in the grinder and push the button. She's very helpful, minus when she dumps a scoop out on the floor.
After breakfast we headed out to Plano to pick up a stroller. And why a new stroller you may ask? Because some jerk stole ours off our front porch. Yeah, I know I shouldn't have left it out so really it's my fault, but boy was I mad. So, we pulled up to a not so nice neighborhood and I started to think, hmmm, is this such a god idea to be in a strange neighborhood alone with my toddler? But of course I ignored my gut and knocked on the door anyway. Sure enough, there was an identical Bob waiting for me. Who knows, maybe I just bought my original one back!
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We stopped by a new lunch spot on our way back called Start. I ordered baked chicken nuggets + sweet potato tots for Miriam, but she ended up wanting my spinach & veggies wrap, which means I ate the chicken & tots. Typical. I'd totally go back though. Pretty inside and just a refreshing concept to fast food. The rest of our girls weekend was spent snuggled inside. Heat turned on for the first time and I went digging for jackets and sweaters in the closets. We read books in my bed and watched our "favorite show", a DVD of Busytown. Do you remember those Richard Scarry books from childhood? I remember pouring through them and all his tiny detail in each scene. The pickle car was pretty cool too.
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There was also an acorn hunt outside for the squirrels, some breathing treatments (just 'til this cough goes away), dressing up in our Halloween costume, a visit to Half Price books (major scores here), eating leftovers for dinner, watching chuck's day off on dvr, laundry, making my own vanilla creamer, and a grocery run for a Sunday evening roast. It can make a for a really long weekend to be on your own sometimes, but it's also mighty special to have a little shadow following you around saying, "I hold you mommy" when she wants to be picked up. By Sunday evening, little nugget was also pretty stoked to see daddy come home though and so was I.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

october tunes

I love music. Since I work from home you can bet there is something playing in the background pretty much all the time. It instantly lifts my mood and makes the house feel alive even when it's just me. Music while I'm cooking, music during dinner, and music while I work. A lot of time it's just Pandora, which is amazing, but I'm also listening to new tunes I've downloaded or my new favorite radio station KXT. Dallas has some seriously good radio. I like to think I'm pretty on trend and in the know about new bands, but since I am rarely going to shows anymore, my brother is usually my go to for what's cool & new. Our parents passed along their love of music and you can always count on Momma to have her ipod playing in the house. I'm hoping to pass that along to Miriam as well and that time can't come soon enough, because the toddler tunes cd's on heavy rotation in the car are wearing me out!

Some I've bought, but a lot I've gotten off Noise Trade which sends you emails with new artists. You can listen to sample songs, then download the whole thing for free! Also, Bearings, which is really a mens guide so maybe I like boy music - ha, but they always suggest some great small band with their newsletter. And finally, Rdio is kind of like Pandora, but shows you what's popular in various genres - love this. Here's what I've downloaded lately…

The Deep Dark Wood
Futurebirds  (athens band)
Shovels & Rope
Avett Brothers (always a fave)
Buddy Miller (love his cd with his wife)
The Kingston Springs
Alabama Shakes (heard at AMA & they're blowin' up)
Edward Sharpe (entire new CD is great)
Andrew Bird
Amos Lee (mission bell cd)
Escondido (small EP)
Jason Isbell
Kopecky Family Band

and if you missed Mumford & Sons + Emmy Lou belting out their music together, believe me… it is so worth watching!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

rain, rain

Heavy and strong, the rain came on Friday and didn't let up for two days. This time, thankfully, it did not come pouring into the house as well. Roof and chimney tight - whew! It was lovely really. The plants all came alive when it was over and the sky was that deep blue with a tinge of coolness in the air. I spent Saturday at a nearby school for my Jr League project. The weather didn't cooperate, but as our leader said, we were grateful for the rain, which lets the garden grow. And I know Miss Miriam sure didn't mind watching extra cartoons all afternoon.
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Then, yesterday afternoon, I ran around the house straightening up and getting the house presentable before an important visit from a yellow gal. Cooper dog left us the week before Miriam came into this world. The timing was surreal and heartbreaking. It was one of the worst days ever and I still get queasy just thinking about it. The best big buddy I've ever known. He didn't live nearly as long a life as he should have, but he was ready. Maybe he knew we would be so filled with love from our new baby that it would help us heal. And it did. We still talk about him all the time though and Miriam loves to look at his pictures and talk about what a good boy he was. And so now that we're settled in Dallas, it's the right time for our family to grow. We met our 3rd "candidate" from the local lab rescue and she was sweet, but not the best fit. I've been trying to lower my expectations because no dog will be quite like Coop, but I am totally hopeful we can find the perfect dog for us. Right now we're 0 for 3, but the yard is set and we are so ready. Keeping fingers crossed another big buddy will soon be curled up in our home.