Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the REALLY random...

Recently on a social networking site, (I'll leave it up to your imagination to guess which one, ok we all know it's facebook), some of my friends and I posted 25 random things about ourselves. It was amazing to me how many people posted this. So many people, such as myself, who usually don't share mass amounts of information with the internet world. I think people were just intrigued by the idea of sitting down and really thinking about what makes me tick as a person. Well, a friend pointed out that mine wasn't random enough. And I must say that I agree with her. So one night recently when I was wide awake at midnight and couldn't go back to sleep, I pulled out my blackberry and began to type. So here it is , the REALLY random things about me...

1. I vacation where the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed. When I was little, I was convinced I would fall in love on that mountain. Yeah, ask me how that's going.

2. I go gaga over McDonald's Monopoly every year. It's really strange because I rarely eat fast food and I don't really like games. But collecting those little gamepieces, with the hope of winning the million, just makes me happy . I realized I had an unusually odd fetish with McDonald's Monopoly one particular day last fall. I went and ordered a meal that I really didn't want (purely for the game pieces) BUT they were OUT of game pieces that day. Boy was I mad.

3. My personality is often said to be very similar to Chelsea Handler's (Chelsea Lately host) , but make no mistake, my lifestyle is very dissimilar.

4. When I was a child, I asked for a golf cart and a metal detector every year. I was never taken seriously. I always had this dream of riding in my golf cart down the beach discovering buried treasure with my metal detector. I bought a metal detector at the beach last fall and let's just say that you can't turn a Corona beer top into a diamond ring. No matter how you turn it in the sunlight.

5. I was once a catfish princess.

6. I must do standing bow yoga pose every day. Once i had a busy day and was on a ladder at 11:45pm and realized I hadn't gotten the standing bow in. So right there and then I went into the pose. Not safe, but hey I lived to tell about it. And that's the point.

7. I rode the Honey I Shrunk The Kids bee once. Ask to see the video. I flew over a yard. I know you're jeal.

8. I know more quotes than you. I enjoy memorizing and then reciting things that people way smarter and cooler than me have said.

9. I count the number of times Reverend Brown says "can I get a witness?" each Sunday.

10. I was once pulled over at midnight after leading a bible study. After the officer asked me why I was out so late , he gave me a breathalizer. I guess he thought "just left a bible study" and having a bible in my passenger seat and showing him that nights prayer requests were the oldest tricks in the book.

11. When I get upset I repeatedly say "I don't know, I just don't know". My closest friends enjoy counting the # of times I say this. The higher the #, the more upset I must be.

12. I never wear socks. Except when I ski.

13. Ten years after I signed a little plastic card at my church, I still believe that True Love Waits. Its old fashioned , true , but I've been able to convince almost (not everyone, but close) everyone that waiting is a good thing.

14. I played the oboe for 7 years. Again, I know you're jeal.

15. I was named after both grandfathers, Asher and Clay. I never got to meet either.

16. I can't stand ending a conversation with "bye!" So even if we won't logically talk again soon, I will frantically search my brain for a way to sign off that includes the time we'll talk again . ie: talk to you tomorrow! or I will text you later or When can we hang out again? Open ended signoffs such as "see you later" and "later" make me nervous. Humor me and make me believe we will talk again very soon.

17. I have fallen head over heels 3 times. None of them could spell and none were from Kentucky. Coincidence? I think not. You can't trust an out of stater who can't spell.

18. I would workout even if I gained weight from it.

19. Message me for an invitation to designer clothing sales. Unless you are the same size as me, then I won't send you an invitation because let's be honest, I really don't want you to get the cashmere sweater I've been waiting to buy before I get a chance to buy it!

20. John McCain winked at me once in Washington dc. My parents said it was a nervous twitch and called me Monica that entire summer.

21. I believe money is the root of all evil. I know its a bit necessary to survive but sometimes I wish I lived in one of those remote villages that used chickens and cows as currency.

22. I don't watch TV shows. I have cable, but just to watch CBS Sunday Morning. I am way too passionate about life and people to sit and stare at a box every night. Although I do love the news. That's always changing, and keeps my interest.

23. I drain my savings each Christmas for gifts. I like to end the year exhausted, feeling like there's nothing left to give. Literally. My bank account on dec.31st is usually about $3.00.

24 I have a hard time understanding people that plan everything, including friendships. It is confusing to me. I mean I know it's necessary a lot of times to plan things in advance but please don't treat me like your six month dentist checkup.

25. I save e-ve-ry-thing. I am incredibly over the top sentimental. I'm trying to be better about this though because I don't want to be on a talk show in 10 years, revealing on national television a room stuffed full of cards people have sent me over the past 26 years. Yeah, that would be mucho embarrassing.

Monday, March 30, 2009

the beach into a jar...

excerpt from a book i just finished (in 3 hours). i couldn't put it down, obviously i liked it :)

"And I told you, Jenny, that living life was like putting the beach into a jar. The point wasn't to fit everything in; it was to attend to the most important things first--the big, beautiful rocks--the most valuable people and experiences--and fit the lesser things in around them. Otherwise the best things might get left out. " -from Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson

Thursday, March 19, 2009

hereeee horsey horsey

The quote on the left really describes being a Kentuckian. Just when you think you can't take another cold, wintry day, the sky opens up with sunshine and everything starts blooming most recklessly once again.

When I left work yesterday, I knew what kind of day it was.
It was the horseback riding kind of day. So i called my friend and said "Let's carpe diem! Let's carpe diem!" She agreed. We set out to go ride horses at her fiances family farm.

So there we were.

Boots on.
Saddles ready.
Weather perfect.
Just needed our transportation.

But here's the thing about horses: they are not like a dog where you are like "hey, i wanna go for a walk" and he/she's like "me too, here my leash, let's go!". Or a friend who you call up and say "hey, let's go for a run" and they're like "yeah! got my running shoes on, meet you there!" No, my friends, horses are not this way.

It really is comical looking back but in the midst of trying to manipulate the horse into coming up to you, it's reallyreally frustrating. It's this game of cat and mouse, where the mouse usually wins. The horse saunters up, hesitantly...may lick a bit of sweet feed off your palm...but usually backs up...or in a fit of anger if she just caught on to your intentions, will swing her butt around, reminding you who's ass (literally) is in charge here. And let's just say, I am not one of those horse people who doesn't fear being kicked. No, I fear it. So I usually back down and end up saying "Look, you're right. You're in charge dude." But my friend is the opposite. She's brave and is hellbent on convincing the horse that she is the master. She is right, I know, but it never fails that when she says "i'm going to get the whip out, because this just can't continue" that I will scream back at her "No! Don't! There's GOT to be another way!" Then I get the reminder that they're not like human friends, they are animals who need to be disciplined. So usually I let my friend do the talking with the horses, since they take her more seriously. I just horse around (no pun intended) with the dogs (see picture) while I wait to see if she can get the ropes on them. But yesterday, there was no chance of her being the master.

After 1.5 hours of sweet talk and sweet feed (lots of both), neither horse was game. They had probably remembered being ridden the day before and wanted no more of that work nonsense. In the final 15 minutes we had alloted to be out there, MaggieHorse warmed up to us. We ended up just grooming her though because we were running out of time.

So my friend and I spent 15 minutes not talking , just brushing the horse's coat. And believe me when I say that it was one of those times in life where you thank God for unanswered prayers. Because as much as I wanted to ride down to the creek, I realized I was glad it ended up this way. Deep down I think MaggieHorse was pleasantly surprised that we weren't only using her to ride. This was like a surprise day at the spa for a horse (and LilHorse was standing at the fence wishing she could have an afternoon at the spa like her daughter). I think it helped in the efforts to build her trust. Trust is what you need with horses. It really is a friendship that must be formed and cultivated.

After we put Maggie back in the pasture with her mom Lil, I turned around. And I swear to you I saw a hint of regret in her eyes. I think she wished we would have stayed for just awhile longer to go for a ride.

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man." --Winston Churchill

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I have a few friends expecting lil bebes and a few others who have already had their bundles of joy. therefore, i am on a baby kick. not to have one obviously anytime soon, but to embark on finding unique finds for the new loves in my friends' lives!

KicoKids is a charming brand that I've recently discovered. I truly wish I could order some of their clothes for myself and stretch them out to grownup size so I could wear them! Alas, it is only a kids store.

little model on left:
*cotton knit ruffle tank- $72 (available in topaz, lapis, brass, coconut and anise)
*cotton bubbleprint fisherman's wrap skirt - $92 (shown in suprise bubble, also available in hubbly bubble)
model on right:
*cotton knit lapis skinny headband w/cushion bow - $18 (shown in tent mosaic, also available in hubbly bubble)
*cotton bubble print fisherman's wrap bandeau - $92 (shown in hubbly bubble, also available in suprise bubble)

I also LOVE it when companies donate to charities. Kicokids has artisi-kits for sale. They contain 6 non-toxic wooden color pencils, a color kicokids sketch pad in a bright cotton canvas wrap with its own wooden pencil sharpener. These kids are a great carry around project for kids--be it budding artists or to use as first diary! I plan to order one or two very soon for my favorite kiddos!

With every purchase 20% of the proceeds go to one of these four charities of your choice:
1. The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
**Sloan-Kettering is amazing...I know two of my friends specifically will agree.
2. Baby Buggy
3. Keep a Child Alive
4. Free Arts NYC

If anything, just go to their website to see the uber-cute pics! The kids expressions will be reinforcement of my belief that one should never lose their child's heart! We should all look at the world through the eyes of a child!

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it. -Roald Dahl

Monday, March 16, 2009

"still it's a real good bet...

the best is yet to come."
-Frank Sinatra

Barbara Stewart, the lady that owns Barbara Stewart Interiors on the Downtown Square, and I had a talk one day. I went in to get a wedding gift and came out with two gifts: the tangible one in my hand and one that could not be returned, the gift of wisdom.
As always, she was perched on a chair looking prim and proper. I said my standard hello, knowing her but wondering if she remembered me because she has so many customers. This visit stands out in my mind because of these three words that provided the opening to one of my favorite conversations I've ever had:
"Close your eyes!" said Mrs. Stewart.
I was just a bit caught off guard.
"What?" I blurted out.
"Close your eyes!" she repeated.
So I did just as she instructed and closed my eyes.
"Open them!" Mrs. Stewart said.
So I opened them.
And I wish I had a picture so you could see what I saw.
She was wearing Martini-shaped glasses on her eyes.
"Whereeeee did you get those? I want a pair!" I squeled.
"My friends gave these to me at my birthday party last night, aren't they fun?!" Mrs. Stewart replied, with an hint of satisfaction in her voice that she'd gotten the reaction she'd anticipated.

And this was when I decided that age is a state of mind.

I hoped, as I left the little shop of sophistication that day, that when I'm in my 80s I too will be wearing martini-shaped sunglasses and ordering 20-something year old girls to close their eyes ....so I can remind them that I'm just as (or even more) youthful as they are.

"I should have switched from Scotch to martinis." -Humphrey Bogart, American actor (1899-1957)

Friday, March 13, 2009

miss domestic, that's me...

So all my adult life I've been wishing and hoping and praying for one thing... an antique pink refrigerator. I've always wanted one. The desire as a little girl was faint, just one of awe and fascination when I'd see one in my dad's antique books, or at an auction, or on a Nick-At-Nite tv show. But now, now that I have a house and now that I'm revisiting the idea of cooking (key word: revisiting... the grocery store still overwhelms me), I'm thinking it's time to get serious about buying one of these puppies for my kitchen. Let me introduce you to my favorite....

This is a 1950s General Electric.
It's appealing to me b
A) It's the size of a normal refrigerator, so you don't lose space.
B) It's pink.
C) It's teal inside, which matches the teal color scheme in my kitche

So this week I called up my pops, since he's the antique authority in the area, and he said he will keep his eyes peeled at auctions. Some websites sell restored ones but they are insanely overpriced. Let's hope he finds one fast. Because if you know me, then you know this newfound curiousity with cooking/the kitchen isn't bound to last.

Was it for this I uttered prayers, and sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs, that now, domestic as a plate, I should retire at half-past eight?

-Edna St. Vincent Millay (American Poet & Dramatist, 1892-1950)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

eulogy for a tree

So here's what happened...
God created Kentucky.
He decided to make the weather weird.
Sunshine, sunny, give me a swim suit, one day.
Snow, icey, puddles, give me a ski suit the next.
And because of His desire to make Kentucky colorful-
Those of us living in the bluegrass are always on a rollercoaster.

Which leads me to tell you how the Kentucky weather killed my tree.

I went outside after the ice storm and I gasped.
There was my hammock, in a sad state.
Between branches and sticks and leaves.
I tried to pull it out but the weight was too much.
So I had to call the people that deal with this for a living.
Well, I waited a few weeks to make the call (prostination=bad).
And then came the call that delivered the shocking news--
Left Tree that perfectly balanced out my yard was DEAD!
as in no life, no blooming this spring,
"there's a chance it may fall on your house sometime
in the next few years if we don't remove it, DEAD"
So tree people had to remove it.
(for the price of 650 bucks, this was apparently "a good deal?")
And I have felt extremely sad about it all week.
My friends and family have said that I can just get those metal posts
so that I can put my hammock back up.
But it just won't be the same.
Have you ever lied in a hammock that was perfectly positioned between
two giant 50 year old at least oak trees? You look up and see the light
come through the tree branches and leaves.
It's bliss.

"Sensing us, the trees tremble in their sleep,The living leaves recoil before our fires,Baring to us war-charred and broken branches,And seeing theirs, we for our own destruction weep." - Kathleen Raine, London Trees