29 September 2010


This week is Banned Books Week, and as an English teacher, the freedom to read what we want to, even if someone else is uncomfortable with or offended by the words, is dear to me. You might be surprised at some of the titles that have ended up on the banned or challenged books lists, like the recent one at http://www.library.lapeer.org/2010banned.pdf . Granted there are a number of books on the list I won't be personally checking out any time soon, but a couple of my absolute favorites are there: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and To Kill a Mockingbird. Just this past week, I read the young adult book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, mostly to see what all the fuss is about over in little Stockton, Mo. where it has recently been challenged. Another small town nearby is challenging Twenty Boy Summer so that's next on my list. Words are powerful. Words can hurt and words can scare people. I get that. But words are too important in my life to have someone else tell me which ones I can look at and which ones I can't.

23 September 2010

Go, go, go

It has been a busy week. I managed to dig up all the hostas I could ever want from the burned-down house, and I managed to build an amateur flowerbed with some rough stone bricks and filled with 15+ bags of soil all along my new back stairs, and I managed to plant all the hostas and a few other things. All after teaching school all day (it's Homecoming week so the place is abuzz). Today I worked until after dark and I feel as beat up as these guys probably did. I didn't have the energy to pull up the monkey grass I had my eye on. I may never get to that one. But maybe next week...it's supposed to cool off, I think.
As worn out as I am, I am excited that Ryan and I are headed to Kansas City tomorrow evening for a fun shopping getaway and to see his 49ers play the Chiefs on Sunday. We'll go to the Plaza, have dinner with Lane and Derek, and hopefully fit in a trip to the Curious Sofa. I'm about halfway packed and will finish when I race home after school tomorrow. For now, though, this tired girl is off to bed.

18 September 2010

Seen and noted

Ryan took me to our new Relics antique mall on Labor Day weekend, and I saw lots of things I liked. I've even made a little list of things to go back and check on, maybe today or tomorrow. I believe a lady named Robin has this large booth with all sorts of pretty things, lots of them new with a vintage-feel, but also some old pieces and lots of restaurantware from the former Riverside Inn. I love her burlap curtain fringed with old silverware.

Another booth had several really cute old photos...I liked them all.

I kind of had my eye out for black and white, Halloween or fall-tinged items (in part for the Halloween swap I'm doing with Mary from Vintage Patina), and I saw several things. I've always wanted one (or several) of the Dundee marmalade jars, and I hope that one is still there when I go back. Not sure why I didn't just buy it then...

It just doesn't really feel like fall here yet with the temps still in the upper 80s. My neighbor whose house burned down this summer has sold the entire structure and lot as is to a builder and I asked him if I could dig out some of his lush and established hostas and monkey grass to use before it's all destroyed. He said I could, but now I don't know how much manual labor I'm up for this weekend. Also, I am not an experienced gardener, and I'm a little unsure of exactly what to do with the stuff when we don't have a new planting site prepared really. So perhaps I should just go antiquing and give the dig project a little more thought...

13 September 2010

Hey Jude

Well, we won't be winning any Most Photogenic Family awards any time soon, I suppose, but we did have a good visit with my Grandpa Jude this past weekend. We showed him all around our house, inside and out. He seemed to especially like our screened porch and the island in the kitchen. When he left to go to Lindsay's house, he shook Ryan's hand and said, "Ryan, I really like your house." And Ryan said, "Well, I really like your granddaughter."

I poured my grandpa a cup of root beer with a straw and he sat on the couch with my dad and watched the OU game for a bit with Ryan. They spent the afternoon with us then took Macauley with them to stay in a hotel near Bass Pro Saturday evening while Ryan and I went to dinner with some friends we already had plans with. We all met for breakfast the next morning then they were on the road back to Muskogee. I'm so glad my grandpa got to see where we live, put my life in context a bit. He told Lindsay that he always tells everyone how proud he is of all of us, how he likes to tell people that Lindsay and I "teach school." He's just so sweet and soft, so sharp-minded, too. I told him he could move into the house for sale next door to us and we'd take care of him. He just chuckled. It's a huge house. Far from his home.

It was so nice to have a clean house to lounge around in on Sunday. The 49ers got beat pretty bad, which put a damper on Ryan's day, but I took a couple of naps (yes, more than one) and then we went for a family run/bike ride on the Greenways trail. Such a nice weekend, the highlight of which was squeezing my sweet Grandpa Jude and knowing I make him proud.

11 September 2010

A special visitor

At his house in Muskogee, July 2010

My sweet 88-year-old Grandpa Jude is coming to our house today! We've spent the morning tidying up aound here (sure was messy!), getting ready to show him our place...

10 September 2010

It's all downtown

Wow. It's already the weekend again and I'm still thinking about how nice the last one was. We did all sorts of stuff around town on Labor Day Weekend. Macauley went to the lake with Megan on Monday, so Ryan helped me take a vanity I painted to my flea market booth then we browsed some of the places in downtown Springfield we hadn't been to yet. We had a good lunch at Pickleman's, and while my veggie pizza was so delightful I ate enough for at least 2 people, I have to say their sweet tea was the high point. Right up there with McAlister's. That's saying something.

Next door is a new bakery, The Cup. My belly was full of multiple tea refills (oh--and the entire pizza) but Ryan got a peanut butter cup cupcake and we picked up some iced sugar cookies to go for the kids. It's a cute little place and I hope it does well.

Everyone seems to be embracing the new Bistro Market, opened up just a few weeks ago by our local Price Cutter chain. They have a big buffet and salad bar that were super busy, as well as most of your general grocery needs (and then some), just presented in a more urban, charming way. We will head back soon to try the food, I think.
We were sure sad to see one of our favorite restaurants all shuttered up, especially because Bijan's had been owned by a guy I grew up with in Cassville. I so wish it would have worked out for him. And I so wish I could have that risotto and the mushroom appetizer again. I still mourn the fact that I will never have Taco House chips and cheese sauce or Anita's supreme pizza ever, ever again, both restaurants I grew up with having closed down a while back in my hometown. Owning a business is tough--just ask the super smart boy in the green shirt and cool shades. He knows a thing or two about making one work. He's so cute.

Each time we are downtown we resolve to visit this revitalized area more often. I'm thinking we really will this fall, when the weather gets yummy for walking about and buffet mashed potatoes would just hit the spot...

Orange you {kind of} glad...

We tried the new place in town that Macauley claims everyone, including his babysitter Ally whom he adores, "has been bragging about." Orange Leaf opened a couple of months ago and every time I drive by it is packed. You grab a bowl, get in line, fill your bowl from your choice of several frozen yogurt machines, add toppings then pay by the weight. Interactive. Lots of options. Just okay if you ask me. I guess OL is supposed to be healthier, but it sure takes a lot to beat Andy's Frozen Custard. Or a big Braum's hot fudge sundae for that matter. Macauley was a huge fan, though. He went with half raspberry and half lemon, no toppings. I got peanut butter with Butterfingers on top (which was the problem, I think--they needed to be crunched all up rather than large candy bar blocks), and I think Ryan got vanilla and something else with some toppings. So we can say we've been...

04 September 2010


One thing on my agenda for this holiday weekend is to write thank you notes to all of my sweet friends and family who spoiled me on my 34th birthday this past week. Lindsay and Lane gifted me the huge ironstone platter I had spotted at Leola's, as well as the cute stool.

I also got lots of thoughtful gifts from my friends, too: the red faceted candle urn from Steph and Adrian, The Postmistress from Janice, the little coin purse and several other edible goodies plus lunch from McAlister's at school from Amy, the mani/pedi certificate from Yvonne and Ray and the Banana Republic card from my college roommate Julie, who I got to hang out with last night.

Ryan indulged my every whim all week, and gave me this Merlotte's tee in a nod to one of our favorite shows to watch together. Macauley picked out the candles for me...Ryan said Macauley also took a really long time picking out my card, which has music and a recorded message inside.

My in-laws gave me a card with some shopping money inside, plus my father-in-law handmade a really neat stepstool for me that I am going to try to paint this weekend. He is quite handy. My mom and dad gave me a card for the Maxx, so I believe some shopping will be done this weekend. I feel so lucky to have such generous and thoughtful people around me, people who made turning another year older nothing but fun.


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