Because We’re Ridiculous

There are times when we have way too much fun together.

And there are times when we collect all kinds of blackmail.

 

It’s a great life. ūüėÄ

 

P.S. This is me, not apologizing for the state of our kitchen.

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Five Things About Summer

Five Things About Summer

I love winter. There, I said it. I know it isn’t a popular opinion here in the south, but I love the boots and scarves and cold gray days and the few flakes of snow we get and especially not melting into a puddle every time I get into my car. On the other hand, summer is really not my favorite. In fact, it veers widely in the opposite direction. It can be hard to stay positive when the heat looms like an oppressive cloud, the AC can hardly keep up, and trying to take a gentle walk results in becoming a sweaty mess.

However, I am also a firm believer (most of the time) that it’s just dumb to complain about the weather. I don’t always manage not to, but it is my aspiration to keep my comments cheerful when the temperature is not to my liking. So with that said, here are five things I’ve enjoyed, or am looking forward to, this summer. After all, gratitude turns even summer into something to be enjoyed instead of merely a season to be gotten through.

1. There’s hardly a better way to spend a summer day than by paddling one’s feet in a mountain creek. And taking a group of five wee ones to the creek (as I did yesterday) and watching them just thrill in the experience is such fun.

 

2. Frosties! Ok, I know you might think this is an odd obsession to have. But here’s the thing. When we lived way back in Erandique, Honduras, the closest familiar American fast food chain was a Wendy’s, about four hours away. Occasionally we would stop in there on our way past, order fries and frosties, and sit for a while in the air conditioned room as we dug our toes into the luxurious (and probably disgusting) carpet there. We may or may not even have driven 40 minutes or more out of our way once, just for the ice cream. Suffice it to say, while good ice cream is less of a luxury now than it was then, frosties are still just as good. And having them delivered to me at work on a hot day? Well, I don’t complain about that.

3. I love people watching, and summer evenings are the perfect time to sit on the bench outside my apartment and watch the world go by. Also, watching thunderstorms roll in over the old brick buildings and staying outside till the last minute possible before getting soaked is pretty fun.

4. In a couple weeks I get to go to a summery outdoor concert at…wait for iiiiit…The Biltmore! I won two tickets, which is awesome both because I rarely win things like that, and also because I get to see this amazing place again. Not only that, but the concert is just a few days before my birthday, so it’s like my own private celebration, which, let’s admit it, is pretty cool.

5. Across the street from my house is a little ice cream shop that has a wide selection of marvelous flavors for really good prices. Sitting on the sidewalk there with friends that came from Ohio to surprise you is a pretty excellent way to enjoy warmer weather.

And there you have it- five reasons why I’m enjoying this summer. What about you, do you enjoy this sweltering season, or are you eagerly looking for the first signs of fall?

 

Cheerio!

I realize that the title of this post is slightly misleading, as I am in fact saying hello, and not goodbye. But titles have never been my forte, as any of you that regularly read me (hello faithful little Rosie!) should know. Also, perhaps you should know that my good friend Merriam Webster says that sometimes cheerio can be used as a greeting, so don’t you judge me, don’t you dare judge me.

I have been busy doing many things. Blogging has not been one of those many things. However, I have spent considerable time having the following adventures:

  • Seeing The Biltmore Estate in all its glory. It…it was a real castle! I’m cereal!
  • Having an impromptu picnic on top of a parking deck. In our defense, the view was great up there, and I could yell things at the people below without them hearing.
  • Eating all the food in the world. Ethiopian. Indian. Mellow belly tea (I know that’s a drink, humor me). Pots de Creme. Homemade ice cream. Celery by the bundle. Cardboardy frozen pizza. An Earl Gray macaron.  Applebees, where the waitress thought I was impatiently asking for my food, when all I wanted was a fork. FORK, NOT FOOD.
  • Staying in dinky hotels and hoping I don’t get bedbugs and watching cooking shows, because food.
  • Watering my lavender plant and hoping against hope that it won’t die. It’s looking a bit, well, crunchy.
  • Plugging in my headphones and loudly playing love songs on the piano to myself, so my roomie can’t judge me. Not that she would. But still.
  • Alternating between spraying on oodles of sunblock and burning myself. Happy mediums don’t seem to be my forte either.
  • Lying on the beach on a large, Moroccan style tapestry in a white dress, pretending I look picturesque, when really, I can barely keep my hat on my head for the wind.
  • Eating a sandy picnic on the beach. Hey, I’ll take my Brie and cookie butter however I can get them, endowed with sand or not.
  • Studying algebra. Wondering about the futility of this exercise. Avoiding studying algebra.
  • Sitting in my local coffee shop pretending I’m classy as I study fractions and drink grapefruit tea. Failing miserably when about a quarter of my cup of tea gets poured into my lap.
  • Seeing Charleston, SC for the first time, and stuffing  my face with shrimp n grits and fried mac and cheese. Yes, that is a thing. Yes, it is exactly as delicious as it sounds.
  • Watching volleyball for many hours in the sun. Sometimes, when torn between two evils such as algebra and volleyball, you just gotta choose the lesser.
  • Getting scrapes on my leg from trying to start Philip’s moped, because I wanna drive it around so I can be all gangsta, yo. 
  • Planning my friends’ futures for them. If you’d like to know yours, you can ask me, and I’ll be happy to let you know.
  • Wondering why I have a pink spot on one of my toenails.
  • Watching Emma and eating popcorn all by myself, because INTROVERTS UNITE! (separately in your own houses and don’t you touch my popcorn!)
  • Getting coffee spilled over my back and lap. This drink dumping stuff seems to be a recurring problem.
  • Dreaming about living in NYC, and looking up apartments and reading articles about the pros and cons of the city, even though we both know I can’t move there quite yet. But a girl can dream, ey?
  • Trying henna in my hair, because nobody told me how hard it would be to wash out! Also, all those places that say hair henna doesn’t stain skin, don’t believe them. You’re welcome.

So, as you can see, how could I have written to you all during all that drama? How, I say? But I’ll be back someday, we hope. For now, off to study algebra and spill drinks on myself. Toodle-oo.

Photo credits to memeguy, whoever he may be.

Reasons to live in Mocksville

If you are lucky enough to live in an upstairs apartment in the middle of downtown (not sure how I made the grade), the view is lovely. Two large old trees grace the square, and the old brick buildings hold so much mystery and history in their walls.

If you go for a walk, you never know what will happen. For instance, recently I was marching down the street minding my own business when suddenly I heard someone call my name. Surprised, I turned around to see who on earth knows me in Mocksville, and here it was the owner of the new¬†coffee shop that just opened today. “Come in,” he said, “And I’ll make you a free latte. I need more practice.” Who is to turn down an offer like that?

And if you are a walker, not only might you get a free latte, but you never run out of places to go. There are so many wandering little streets with adorable¬†houses, or you can walk to the library and take a break there to get lost in its aisles, or the park is close enough to walk to, with its lovely trails. Main Street is hard to beat too, especially if you make up stories to go with each of the grand houses as you go by. The house with the shutters that look like scary eyebrows? Probably belongs to a villain. The grand old southern mansions with magnolia trees must needs be inhabited by classic southern belles with their big dresses and big hair and drawls. The house with its windows closed probably houses a famous author who is trying to hide from his public life. Really,¬†I can’t go often enough to all my favorite spots to satisfy myself.

You think small towns lack entertainment? Think again. With a Daniel Boone festival each year, bed races to look forward to (yes, you heard correctly), random street musicians, farmers’ market each week during the summer, and several dollar stores to shop at, why would we ever need to leave?

O’Callahan’s deserves a paragraph all its own. Go. Eat the fried pickles or Reuben bites.Admire the ceiling tiles. Try the whiskey mustard. Thank me later.

Since Mocksville is the closest town for a lot of my friends, I never know who I might run into. Pie with a random person at the restaurant across the street? Check. Sitting in the Secret Garden and hearing all about a friend’s new love interest? Check. Waking up at night to people trying to climb onto the roof beside our house? Check. Tagging along to meetings I don’t belong at, just for the food at O’Callahan’s? Check.

Of all the places I’ve called home (what is it by now, fifteen houses?) Mocksville is fast rising to the top of the list. Come see me here and we’ll go out for fried pickles and ice cream. Not eaten together.

Law-Abiders Never Prosper

When I was a child, I was exceedingly sensitive. If I thought I had done something wrong, even accidentally, it bothered and bothered me. However, recently I learned a valuable life lesson, namely, “Law-abiders never prosper.” This is how it went down.

Around the beginning of the year, my sister got married, and I was in her bridal party. We were out marching about the town, freezing in our short sleeves, getting pictures taken by the fabulous Grettagraphy. At one point, we needed to cross a street to get to our next photo spot. Most of the bridal party took off across the street, even though the little red hand clearly told them not to go, but my escort and I decided to be good, law-abiding citizens (his personality being much like mine) and not jaywalk. The result of our upstanding decision was that one of the coolest candid shots of the day does not include him or me, and that is how it will always be.

After grieving our exclusion, we came to inevitable conclusion that clearly, law-abiders never prosper. What else could be to blame for this? So from that day on, that line has been much on my tongue, and I have justified multiple decisions based on it.

I jaywalk.

Sometimes the tires of my car cross the yellow line.

Do you think I’d have found the secret garden I wrote last about if I hadn’t learned this?

I eat grapes without washing them.

I climb stairs that aren’t mine, for a better view of the town.

I sit on the roof beside our apartment, which I’m not at all sure I’m supposed to do.

And my latest rum schpringa adventure is this: Lyn and I have a small rooftop garden, consisting of tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, and mint (and yes, it’s on the rooftop we aren’t sure we are allowed to access). When I bought the tomato plants, the pack came with one more plant than fit into the pots on the rooftop, so instead of ¬†dumping poor little tomato into the garbage, I decided to give him a better life. Behind our apartment is a neglected patch of dirt, with just a few straggly plants in it. All that empty soil is simply begging to be filled, so late one night, Abby and I snuck out, armed with a spade, the tomato, and a water bottle, and we redeemed both the tomato and the forlorn flower bed. Some young people sneak out to smoke pot; we sneak out to plant vegetables.¬†

See our evil, sneaky faces? It was great fun, and I look forward to eating my fill of fresh salsa later this summer from our clandestine plant. So you see it has been proved, law-abiders never prosper, but living a life that is risky at best is totally worth it.

Cheers!