January 31, 2010

Oh My Word!

After reading Bakerella's recipe for S'more cupcakes, I couldn't help but make them. The results are every bit as good as I thought they'd be. On second thought, they may be too good. I'm going to have to get these out of the house!

WARNING: Before reading Bakerella's site put on something with an elastic waist; you will gain 5 pounds just reading the recipes.

January 29, 2010

Memphis: Closed

Currently, Memphis is frozen. By 4:00am Memphis City and all surrounding school systems were closed; Peter was sent home from work at 1:30; I was home at 12. Going for a walk with the pups wasn't really an option this afternoon so we played fetch for bit before I threw the ball over the fence. Rather than get in the car and slip through Cooper-Young, Peter and I took a walk around the block to retrieve the ball. I grabbed the camera on the way out the door.

I am so excited! Earlier this week a Memphis Flyer box was put on the end of our block.

January 17, 2010

A Response to Reaction #3

I am in a book club.
When people hear this they react in one of three ways:

1) That's so cool. I've always wanted to be in a book club.
Well, you should start your one or join the one I'm in.

2) Really? Well, I guess that's not surprising.
I suppose it is not. I like reading. I like friends. I like reading books to discuss with friends...

3) What type of books do you guys read?
We do not read any particular type of book. I think that's one of the reason why the club has been so successful {other reasons include: good company, fun discussions, appetizers and wine}. On November 13, 2008, the organizer of this book club, M, laid out a very helpful rule about book selection: You can only recommend a book that you have read; no trusting critics, Amazon.com, or Oprah. This rule has helped ensure that our book selections have been stellar. Below you can find the list of books we have read. If you have not read the books listed in orange, you need to drop everything and make plans to acquire the book though whatever means necessary.

Cold Sassy Tree
Rowdy Memphis
Peace Like A River
Til' We Have Faces
The Giver
Al Capone Does My Shirts
Mudhouse Sabbath
The Book Thief
The Help

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (currently reading)

Woo! Hoo!

It's not everyday you receive one of these in the mail-

A big congratulations to Kathy & Phil, who certainly are "still going strong."

January 16, 2010

SLE

Yesterday I went to a middle school step and dance competition. The Sophisticated Lady Eagles step team was competing so, of course, I had to go! A few of my sixth graders wanted to attend the competition so I brought them along. SLE didn't have the largest fan base present but the girls put on a show and ended up winning first place.

I work with these middle schoolers (read: children) thus this post is primarily visual.

Love. True Love.

Have two dogs ever loved each other as much as ours do? I think not.

Thursday night Peter was playing tennis, so I decided to be a pantry scavenger and find something to bake. Hidden in the depths of our fridge was a bag of cranberries and a blood orange; in our pantry I found 2 half used bags of pecans and a half used bag of walnuts. So I made muffins. After putting my cranberry-orange-nut muffins in to bake, I walked into the living room. It felt like I was interrupting something when I found the dogs in the above position.

January 15, 2010

6AM Surprise

One morning a week I leave the house extra early, around 6:00, so I can get some work done. {I elect to do this work in the morning; though I suppose, if I wanted, I could do it anytime of the day}. On these particular mornings I treat myself to a lattè from Starbucks. It's an obvious splurge but once a week seems reasonable.

This morning as I left my car and walked into the store, I noticed another patron hurriedly walking in. Since she appeared to be in a rush, I slowed down so that she would be ahead of me in line. It was in that line that the following occurred-

Fast Walking Lady: "I'd like a caramel macchiato with soy; no whip. And I'd like to get a multi-grain bagel. Also...,"she turned around to me as she said, "I'd like to get your drink. What will you have?"
Me: "Oh, you don't have to do that." {In retrospect I'd like to say to myself, "Of course she doesn't have to buy your drink! What a silly reaction!"}
Fast Walking Lady: "I know. But I'd like to."
Me: "Wow. Thanks. I'll have a venti nonfat lattè."
Fast Walking Lady: "It's my birthday and it makes me feel nice to do things for others."

We chatted for a bit as we waited for the drinks. Evidently she is into yoga and for her birthday will be treating herself to a weekend yoga retreat. After the drinks were made I thanked Fast Walking Lady again and we parted ways.

When Peter and I were in Clemson and attending NewSpring, Perry frequently mentioned simple acts of anonymous generosity: paying for the food of the people behind you in the drive through, picking up the check for friends dining at a different table in a restaurant {that haven't noticed you}. The notion sounded so fantastic; but I always thought, "Surely in the real world people don't do things like that for each other." But they do! Although Fast Walking Lady wasn't quite anonymous, she has certainly given me some encouragement about the real world.

January 10, 2010

The Fugitive

"thump, thump, thump" surprised Peter and me as he unlocked the door to the house after church today. The "thump, thump, thump" was coming from inside of the house.

"Is Lily out?" Peter asked.
"Shouldn't be" I replied.

The dogs are crate trained and are never, ever free to roam the house when we aren't home. It was at that exact moment that Lily's face flashed across the front door. The "thump, thump, thump" was Lily's tail beating against the wall. Lily has a unique talent for breaking out of her crate. She learned how to open locks so we added a carabiner. She learned how to bust open the bottom of her crate so we moved the carabiner. Evidently, today she learned how to bust open the entire front side of her crate; looks like we'll be adding a second carabiner.

January 9, 2010

Cold Gray Winter Days

It's cold here. It's been cold here. Fountains are frozen and snow is on the ground in Midtown. In fact, on Friday Memphis City Schools were closed not due to the {minimal} snow fall but the temperature. Memphis has not had weather like this in 15 years. There have been hours of snowfall, single digit lows, highs in the teens, and negative windchill temperatures. This is the Mid-South; we are not accustomed to or equipped for this sort of climate.

The dogs have become increasing stir crazy. At first, they embraced the change in weather by playing hours and hours of their favorite indoor game {see the very low quality video below for a snippet}; however, under the bed lost its appeal.



Peter and I decided that we should take the dogs to the dog park so they could burn off some energy. We bundled up and prepared ourselves for the 15°F weather. Typically we avoid the dog park because not everyone follows the 1:1 rule and not all of the dogs are friendly. But, we figured no one would be there due to the cold. We were right. We basically had the whole park to ourselves, including the 3 lakes which were completely frozen. The dogs ran for about an hour before their shivering became so intense we had to get them back in the car. Below are a few pictures from our outing and, if you are really interested, another low quality video.

January 2, 2010

The Holidays 2009: A Recap

Well, well, well, now that we are a few days into 2010 I figured it was time to recap the holidays. This year, rather than travel, Peter and I stayed in Memphis. Below are a some photos from our last few weeks. In order to prepare ourselves for the in-town holiday we opted to deck the house for Christmas- complete with our own tree topped with an angel.


We strung our Christmas cards from the mantel. I had to cut a new ribbon to string the cards; in no way did I anticipated the number of cards we received.


Christmas dinner for two from Wang's Mandarin House.


The dogs spent a good deal of time cuddled up; they love each other.


After a few months of consideration, we painted the red room green. Hoping to prevent another blue room error we bought some samples to try before committing to the entire space.


I think the end result is pretty fantastic.


For New Years we had some friends come into town. Since this wasn't their first visit we skipped the touristy things and just hung out. We managed to host a New Years Eve dinner for 15 then headed downtown for a party at a Memphis landmark, Raiford's {occasionally refered to by it's actual name: Hollywood Disco}.


Overall it was nice to spend the holidays in Memphis and extremely relaxing; however, next year we'll gladly be back to traveling and the chaos that ensues when we pack up the dogs and visit family.