Friday, May 30, 2008

A Summer Meme

I got tagged for a summer meme by Quotidian Grace. So here goes.

1.) What first tells you that Summer is here?
the crazy round of activities as four children end the school year

2.) Name your five of your favorite distinctively Summer habits or customs.
eating steamed crabs and getting covered in Old Bay seasoning
taking cool showers
walking on the beach
talking on the porch late into the night
watching lightning bugs at dusk

3.) What is your favorite smell of Summer?

4.) What is your favorite taste of Summer?
homemade peach ice cream

5.) Favorite Summer memory?
riding the waves at Virginia beach and then falling asleep still feeling the ocean rocking

6.) Extreme heat or extreme cold? Which would you choose and why?
If I have to choose, I'll take extreme cold, but I'd like to stipulate a February or March vacation in a tropical climate.

7.) What books do you plan to read for the season?
I'd be happy to get through some of the pile next to my bed.

8.) How does the Summer affect your faith? Is it a hindrance or an ally?
It doesn't hinder my faith, but it does affect my church attendance. What can I say? I'm an Episcopalian.

And what use is a meme if it isn't passed around? Let's see...

Gracebythesea, Songbird, RevDrKate, Midlife Rookie, Vicar of Hogsmeade, Elastigirl

Friday Five Garage Sale

From the RevGals site --

Welcome to your irregularly scheduled Fifth Friday Five, hosted by will smama and Songbird!
Since will smama is preparing for a joint garage sale with her parents, and Songbird's church had a Yard and Plant Sale last Saturday, we have five enormously important questions we hope you will answer:

1) Are you a garage saler?
No, but I have a neighbor, Painter (aptly named for his painterly eye) who brings me the most wonderful treasures from his travels.

2) If so, are you an immediate buyer or a risk taker who comes back later when prices are lower?
See above.

3) Seriously, if you're not a garage saler, you are probably not going to want to play this one.
(That wasn't really #3.)
Yep, that would be me.

3) This is the real #3: What's the best treasure you've found at a yard or garage sale?
Well, Painter has found some beautiful pottery for us if that counts.

4)If you've done one yourself, at church or at home, was it worth the effort?
A church I once belonged to had an annual auction. I waved at a friend and found myself the owner of a 3 foot X 50 foot (yes, 50 is correct -- it was for a dock) length of outdoor carpet. So no, it's not worth it for me -- I'd rather visit than bid.

5) Can you bring yourself to haggle?
No, but Garden Girl grew up on a horse farm and she's amazing. A few weeks ago, I watched her go head to head with a carpet dealer. Really -- horse trader vs. carpet dealer. He was impressed! (and we got a great deal.) My bargaining style goes something like this, "Oh, that's the price? Awesome. I love it. So how much for the commission and the delivery charge? Is it OK to tip the driver?" Not so effective for saving money.

BONUS: For the true aficionado: Please discuss the impact of Ebay, Craig's List, Freecycle, etc... on the church or home yard/garage sale.
Oddly, for a garage sale avoider, I love Ebay and Craigslist. Much of the furniture in our house that didn't come from someone's attic came from Ebay. And I've had great luck getting sold-out concert tickets on Craigslist -- that's how we got four great seats for k.d. lang. And if she comes to your town, run, don't walk to see her show.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tag, I'm It

I got tagged by the Vicar of Hogsmeade.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about himself or herself. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Yadayadayada

Ten years ago: I had just been admitted to the bar and was finishing a clerkship at the Little Blue State Court of Chancery. I had three children 12, 9, and 8. I was very, very busy, and I was very, very scared.

Five things on today's "to do" list:
1. Meet with Little Blue State Senator (thanks to Songbird's dad, this is not as scary as it sounds)
2. Teleconference -- loooong and boooring
3. Hear about Nashy's interviews with potential placements at Americorps jobfair
4. Gym ????
5. Cook dinner and hear about everyone's day -- encourage Garden Girl to abandon plans to purchase this --

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
Support programs to increase literacy; travel; give my children an education and enough financial security to allow them to do the work they choose; become a perpetual student; stay active in politics.

Three bad habits: snacking; buying books; being crabby and snappish when I'm stressed or tired

Five places I've lived: Tidewater Virginia, Charlottesville, Va., Maryland Eastern Shore, Little Blue State. Only four!

Five jobs I've had: waitress, caterer, stay-at-home mom, sales person for the phone book, lawyer

I'm tagging all five people who read my blog, but didn't go on the BE. You know who you are!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Graduation Weekend

We had a wonderful graduation weekend! Nashy graduated from Brainy Marvelous College, where 311 amazing young women received degrees. Nature Boy thinks the place looks like Hogwarts, and it kind of does.
Congratulations, Nashy! We love you sooooo much.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Too Soon Gone

If he had lived, my father would be 71 years old today.

He died at 42.

Yes, his eyes were as twinkly as this picture, and his smile was as mischievous. At his funeral, the church overflowed with people from every walk of life. One image that is burned in memory is of Songbird's tiny lady-like grandmother waiting in line to get in the church next to next to group of young basketball players my dad had befriended.

My dad was a small town lawyer, a general practitioner who took almost every kind of case in his early career. (For the blessedly short time he took criminal and divorce cases, we were not permitted to answer our home phone.) Almost every time I visit my hometown, I meet someone who knew him, someone with a story of a time he was kind to them or helped them through a difficult time. He was funny and smart, and somehow he managed to have both high standards and many friends.

My daughter will graduate from college on Sunday. I wish he were here to see her. He would be so proud.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

What We've Been Doing Around Here

I haven't been posting as much as I should, because it's been a little crazy around here. I'll share a little photo album of what we've been up to. It's not the complete docket, but it will give you a taste of life around this little patch of the Little Blue State. I don't have pictures of Nashy and Witter, because they are away at school, working hard to finish the semester. Witter is rehearsing for juries, and the sound of French and Italian art songs and arias don't photograph very well. Neither do Nashy's activities;she's finishing her Senior Thesis and final classes before she graduates from BMC on May 18. Oh, and interviewing for jobs for next year.

Shiny has been very creative in the last few weeks. She played Poppy in Noises Off, put up her art installation, sang Stormy Weather with the school jazz band, and went to the prom before finally collapsing in a heap of sleepy girlness on Saturday afternoon. Nature Boy, Garden Girl and I have been getting ready for Corporate City Garden Day, which benefits a local children's charity. Oh, and Garden Girl got some bees! I hope we'll have some honey in the fall.
Here are the photos --