Thursday, December 30, 2010

Keeping the US Postal Service in Business

In the age of email and text messaging, everyone still loves to get an old fashioned letter. Never mind that the USPS lost several of our wedding invites and thank you notes.  Never mind that our local post office isn't open on Saturdays.  And doesn't even have a stamp machine!  Where is one supposed to buy stamps if you can't go to the post office M-F 9-5?  Thanks to the nice stranger that heard TB and I complaining about the lack of office hours, we discovered that the best place to buy stamps is the UPS store.  The UPS store?  Strange but true. 

One of our contributions to the postal service was a moving announcement with a side of craft project.  Yes, I decided to push my craftiness on everyone in the guise of a moving announcement. Sneaky.  As I was putting the moving announcement together, I crossed my fingers that everyone would at least "get it", but TB assured me everyone would "get it" from the moving announcement perspective, but no one would actually participate in the craft project.  I quickly decided he was wrong, or I didn't really care if any one participated, or maybe it was that I had already put hours worth of effort into them, but they went out the door regardless.

Much to our amazement we started receiving pictures of the final product!  The participation was much appreciated and in fact even made my day!

Our second contribution to the postal service was our annual Christmas card.  I must admit that I'm obsessed with picking out the perfect card every year, and I start bookmarking potential cards early in the year.  I may even have a folder on my computer with a collection of cards that I'm considering for upcoming mailings....  Or maybe I shouldn't admit that. Crazy.  I know.  This year's winner was a cute little place called Hoot Design.

Anyway, after pouring through our pictures from 2010 - I realized that we didn't have any good ones.  Or at least Christmas card worthy pictures.  So we went with the non picture version of a card, but yet still personalized:

So after 20 books of stamps bought from UPS, the TB household has contributed our fair share to the USPS.  At least until next Christmas - which I'm already planning for.....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Decorating for the Holidays. Sort Of.

As the Christmas holiday is approaching, most people take on the tradition of decorating their houses.  Everyone expresses themselves a bit differently.  Lights, blow up lawn ornaments, window candles, fake snow, stockings - but whatever you choose to decorate your home with, there is always the centerpiece.  The Tree.

Practically every home celebrating the holiday has a tree.  If there are lights on the house, there is most likely a twinkle in a window.  Every large Christmas display has a tree.  The White House, Rockefeller Center, the Macy's at Lenox Mall in Atlanta (although that one looks particularly sad this year).  The best Christmas movies are about the tree - Charlie Brown, Christmas Vacation.  Need I go on?  Based on the importance of the tree in regards to holiday decorating, you have to ask yourself - Was a good faith effort in decorating really made if a tree is not present?

After all, where would you put the presents?  Does a stocking even matter if there is no tree?  Where would you put all those years worth of Hallmark ornaments?  What would be twinkling through the window as you drove up to the house late at night?

Considering this was the first year in our house, I had high hopes for our holiday decorating.  We started with a few of these on the outside of the house:

It may even seem to the casual neighbor that we know what we are doing.  What a step in the right direction!  You might actually start to look through our front windows for the familiar twinkling of the tree.  And......... Hmmmmm.  No twinkle. 

But surely we just put the tree toward the back of the house.  I mean, we must have a tree.  We obviously celebrate Christmas - we have candles and evergreen wreaths, for heaven's sake!

Unfortunately, the twinkle is not in the back of the house.  We have no tree.  Yes.  I said it.  No tree.  There was a executive decision made in our house.  (Not by me.  Or the cats.  That should narrow it down a bit for you.).  The decision to go treeless was made based on the fact that we would not be home most of December.  But does it really matter?  Santa still needs a place to put the presents and Hallmark still needs to stay in business.  And there would be no twinkle.  Gasp!

It almost seems like a crime to go without the tree.  Just a crime. 

Next year.  Next year, we'll have the best twinkle on the block.  Just you wait!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Sunday night was a quiet evening at home for us.  A little surfing the interwebs, a little Netflix, a whole lot of not much.  Interrupting our quiet evening was a scuffle from the cats as they both began to chase a bug across the living room.  We were actually quite proud, until we noticed there were several little black bugs around the downstairs.  A search for the source of the bugs turned up empty, so went to bed.....puzzled, but not really concerned.

The next morning, I set up my "office" at our kitchen counter.  (Our actual office is quite uncomfortable at the moment).  Around 9 AM I look to my right toward the back door and see a swarm of these on the outside of the glass door and a line of them crawling through the cracks on the bottom:

I immediately think they're a combination of termite swarm, wood chewing, poisonous, blood sucking, infectious, attacking insects.  I mean look at those creepy beady red eyes.... 

Quickly grabbing the Windex (we didn't have any bug spray), I coat the inside of the back door in the blue liquid.  As I'm peeking out the window, without getting too close - I notice the entire back of the house is COVERED in the bugs.  Similar to this:

Time to call TB.  No answer.  Really?  Didn't he know this was an emergency?  Hmmmmm.  Then I call my dad.  No answer. HMMMMMMM.  Time to take this on myself.

While I'm impatiently waiting for a call back, I do some Goggle searches and discover via Wikipedia:

"They may form huge colorful aggregations while sunning themselves in areas near their host plant (e.g. rocks, shrubs, trees, and man-made structures). However, their presence can frighten and annoy people, thus they are considered nuisance pests. This is especially a problem during the cooler months, where they sometimes invade houses and other man-made structures seeking warmth or a safe place to overwinter. They remain inactive inside the walls (and behind siding) while the weather is cool, without doing any damage to the building."


So, not termites.  Not going to bite me.  Or kill me.  Or damage anything.  Or give me a disease.

But it did say they remain "inactive INSIDE walls".  Inside?  That didn't sound good.  Just to be on the safe side, I made a call to the pest control company - since after all, they were coming in the house.....  I nice older gentleman on the other end of the phone, gave me an imaginary patronizing pat on the head and told me not to worry.  His advice was to put some new weather stripping on the door and use some bug spray.  He promised they would be gone with the next cold night.  I hope he's right.....  And I hope all that Windex doesn't eat away at the paint on the door......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Journey Through 8 States

Nope, we didn't take another vacation.  I'm talking about the journey of our cake.  Yep, our cake.

There's the old tradition of keeping the top of your wedding cake, wrapping it up and eating it on your first anniversary.  That seems easy enough if you get married in your home town.  We did not, so our cake's journey over the first year went a little like this:

- The cake was born in New Orleans, LA (state 1)
- It was wrapped up the evening of our wedding and given to my parents, who packed it in a cooler and left the next day for a vacation in Florida.  The drive took our cake through Mississippi (state 2), Alabama (state 3) and into Florida (state 4).
- After it's Florida vacation, the cake headed to my parent's home in Georgia (state 5).  Where it sat until last Christmas when we went to pick it up - and celebrate the holidays of course.  Our journey home at the time took us through Tennessee (state 6) and into North Carolina (state 7) - where it again sat in a freezer for a few months.
- This spring we moved to Atlanta, so again the poor cake was packed in a cooler and driven south from Raleigh through South Carolina (state 8) and into Georgia. 

Needless to say, we weren't excited to eat the cake, so we waited a few weeks until we had a quiet evening at home.  The big grease spot on the side of the box, was not a good sign.....

Then discovering that the flowers which were on top of the cake one year ago were packed up with the cake, was another bad sign.  Not exactly appetizing..

Eventually we decided to forgo eating the cake due to the fear of food poisoning.  In the trash it went....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Running From the Law

We've been running from the law.  For just a wee bit.

There was recently some slight lag time between the time we moved to GA, obtained GA driver's licenses and registered our cars.  There may (may) have been a short period of time where our NC registrations lapsed and we weren't really legal in any state.  I'm not really sure about that... and I'm gonna play dumb.

We've been driving on pins and needles, but luckily there was never a ticket, arrest or car impound!

But, there was that time on our way to Edisto Beach (not Edisto) that we went through a roadblock.  We both almost peed our pants pulling up to the road block.  We both even had the fleeting thought of abruptly turning off on a side road.  We decided to press our luck and thankfully the cops had bigger fish to fry and barely glanced at us.

There were also those other times when we would have to abruptly change our route due to seeing a police officer in our rear view mirror.

OK, so maybe we've been scared to death to drive for the past little while.

After recently writing a hefty check, proving we lived in NC, went through a move, reside in GA, live in our county, own both cars, proved we are legally married, paycheck stubs, proof of insurance faxed to the county (insurance cards not accepted), utility statements, two trips to the county tag office, several applications, a wrong website and a very angry county worker - we now have the proper paperwork in place and are no longer running from the law!  Sigh of relief.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rainy Nights

TB had a little something up his sleeve this year for my birthday.  Just a little something.

I thought that TB had gotten the two of us concert tickets and we were going to spend a couples night on the lawn of Lakewood listening to the tunes of Jack Johnson.  But, actually....a whole group of our friends were planning to come along with us.  As we were "pre-gaming" for the concert, friends kept showing up - one by one.

It was a great surprise and great time - with the exception of the rain.....

The only casualty of the night was TB's iPhone.  That makes two broken iPhones in just a couple of months.  (Sigh)

Is that a concert t-shirt?  From the concert we were at?  Shame shame Tanner.

Before the rain

Trying to communicate through plastic bags

We must have run out of ponchos by the time Guss and Jessica arrived

Hil tried an interesting rain blocking technique

Our evening ended by sneaking into Jason and Hil's neighbor's house and taking a picture with their scarey fountain in the front yard.  Sorry guys!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Going in Reverse

And only reverse.  In my car.  That might make it difficult to get around.  Right?

A small, seemingly insignificant piece of plastic in my car broke a few months ago.  A piece called the gear shift protector.  A small piece of plastic that keeps things from falling into your gear shift:

Little did I know, the broken piece of plastic was slowly working it's way into the gears as the months were ticking away.  That piece of plastic kept settling into the perfect spot even as my car warranty ticked away just a few short months ago.  It would then decide to settle right into a gear and lock up my shifter as I was backing out of the driveway.  As I go to put the car in drive - nadda. Nothing.  It won't move out of reverse. DARN.

But good news.  The replacement gear shift protector was only $40.  BUT WAIT.

Since the car was stuck in reverse - I couldn't drive it to the repair shop - or get the keys out of the ignition.  So add a tow truck bill to that.  BUT WAIT AGAIN.

In order to dig the broken piece of plastic out of the gears, the entire middle console had to be disassembled.  Which means many many expensive hours of labor.

$40 quickly exploded to something much more than $40.  Of all things....stuck in reverse.

On the bright side - since I was stuck in the middle of the street for an hour or so, it was a great way to meet our neighbors!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Casa TB

Yes sir!  We are official adults - aka:  homeowners!

Our first big purchase (after the house of course) - was a lawnmower.  TB did his typical hours of research before deciding on the most appropriate model and then headed out to the jungle that had become our yard.

I offered to help - but I was forbidden from assisting in his inaugural lawn mowing.  I do have a sneaking feeling that he will accept the offer of help from here on out.

By the way - moving announcements are on the to-do list.  Be looking for yours in the mail soon!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vinnie Van Go-Go's

If you've known me for a while - you remember Vinnie:

(Yes, I am now officially the crazy cat lady)

We went to visit his name sake this summer.  (Actually we went visit Gabe and Lori in Savannah, but made a stop at Vinnie's.)

So really, the purpose of the trip was to have a grand celebration of Gabe's 30th and reunite with some of Leslie's grad school friends all in the same place at the same time - for once!  On another note, this weekend, along with our Edisto Island trip, makes us seriously consider buying a boat....

Gabe's fancy drinking contraption

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Edisto, SC is not the same as Edisto Beach, SC

We had a lot going on this summer but found the time to take a long vacation with a few friends.  A friend of ours had a house on the coast of South Carolina in a little place called Edisto Beach, SC.   While we were planning this little trip, we did a quick Google map search and were very delighted to see that it was a just a few hours drive for us!

The evening we decided to head out, we punched the address in the GPS and were completely confused.  Our trip was going to take several more hours than we originally thought.  After a little investigation we discovered our mistake.

There is an Edisto, SC AND an Edisto Beach, SC and they are not located anywhere near each other. Bummer.  Lesson learned.

Regardless - we did make it to the beach and had a pretty darn good time!

Just swinging on the dock

Taking a cruise

Is that a Forrest Gump boat?

TB with the very large shrimp scale

Delicious eats

The crew

Our evenings were spent on the dock with tervis tumblers, food and good drinks.  All in all - a great vacation!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Everyone Needs One of These

Our trip to Portland was not just for fun - we were there to celebrate Stacy's graduation.  Congrats to Stacy!

Her in-law side of the family is HUGE and they all turned out for the ceremony and contributed to quite possibly the largest cheering section of the whole place.  I think everyone needs a cheering section this big at some point in life:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

East Coasters Have a Few Things to Learn

Portland is weird.  Really.  They are quite proud of being weird and it is even a motto of sorts for the city.  They also seem to enjoy protesting (as in marching around the city with a sign).  And they do indeed protest everything. 

This is an odd concept for us southerners.  We don't see too many protests out here.  I don't think it's apathy - perhaps we just choose to express our opinions differently.  Or maybe we have chosen to pick our battles and don't feel passionate about seemingly everything.  Who knows?  But the fact remains, I have never seen so many protests, as I have in the states of Oregon and Washington. 

Being the typical tourists that we are - we needed to get a picture of this oddity.  Right?  Just as you would a painting or monument. 

We found a few wandering protesters and asked for a photo opp, in our sweetest southern accent.  There was some initial hostility from the pictured protesters, but once we explained that we were not from around there and were just trying to document their passionate protest - they quickly agreed.  They were quite excited that their protest was actually gaining some interest. And then they apologized.  For what, you may ask?

Apparently it was a light day for protesters in Portland and our friendly photo op group, was upset that we were not getting to experience Portland protesting in all it's glory.  Seriously.

Oh geez.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Voo-Doo is not only in New Orleans

So reading those lame Delta magazines on all my flights really does have a purpose.  Last month, the Delta magazine had an article about this place in Portland, Voo-Doo Doughnuts.  It's supposedly a legend around those parts, so we had to check it out.....  And gain a few LBs in the process.

Who doesn't like bubble gum on a doughnut?

Or how about, Captain Crunch?  Or Oreos?

Fruit Loops?

Not pictured very well here - but this one had bacon on it.  Yes.  Bacon on a doughnut.

And of course top it off with a little Ninja Plate Lunch. 

Picture of health we are.........