Friday, May 25, 2007

A New Beginning

Boy I've missed blogging and reading my favorite blogs.

We arrived in our new home yesterday evening after two days of travel involving a stop in Tuscaloosa at the Waysider Restaurant for a breakfast of some of the South's best biscuits and a stop at Hendrix College outside of Little Rock to lay parental eyes on son Scott's future college home.

With more weeds and undesirable plants such as poke salet, poison ivy and dandelions than real grass, the yard at the new place is going to give me plenty to do. The ice storm last winter wiped out enough trees and limbs to provide sunshine for a little garden and I think there's still time to get in the tomatoes if my family will allow me to go to the nursery. I'm chomping at the bit.

Much more later and photos once the computer at home is set up.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stopping to Notice the Small Things

I have no idea why the Canada geese decided to take a walk through the congested parking lot and across busy streets. I suspect they'd come from a nearby lake on the other side of a fast food joint. Maybe they thought the grass was greener farther west. I gave up trying to count the adults, but there must have been at least ten. And then there were the babies of three different ages judging from their height and development. The grownup birds can fly, but today they'd chosen to walk, and I surmise it was because the babies weren't flying yet. I caught myself asking if they were the Brittany Spears and Michael Jackson of parents taking the little ones into this dangerous environment instead of sheltering them from the harms of the world.

When I went into the Panera Bread store puzzled onlookers all had pleasant smiles and one woman said to me, "Now there's something you don't see everyday." As I exited the store, I noticed the group was happily grazing on high grass near one of the busiest highways in Montgomery as drivers buzzed by unaware of the trek the birds had just undertaken.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Kool Aid Pickles

Have you heard about Kool Aid dill pickles? I hadn't until daughter-in-law Natalie put me onto the story. She's editor of Fancy Food Magazine, but I can't call these Kool Aid dills fancy food by any stretch of my imagination. The New York Times had a story about the pickles and others are picking up the story.

We in the South will eat a lot of strange stuff like salted peanuts in Cokes and such and while I'd heard of fried dills, the Kool Aid version was intriguing. Seems they originated in the Delta region of Mississippi. It seems you make a double strength batch of Kool Aid and then soak the dill pickles in that, ending up with a kind of candied pickle. They are rather pretty, all red, but this pickle lover is gonna pass on this trend.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Tad Homeless in Bama

I'm spending these few days of homelessness thinking ahead to how we will make all of our stuff fit into the new house. Our family is probably typical in that if you give us a big house, we will fill it up. The crunch is now upon us to let go of some of that stuff in order to live in a house roughly one-third the size of our former home.

Much has been written about why so many of us get into this acquisition game. Is it materialism? Can we blame television advertising? Must we keep up with the latest techno gizzmo? I am not particularly proud of the boxes and storage bins full of things that are no longer used regularly. Yet, as a child of a member of the Greatest Generation, I feel guilty in letting go.

But let go I must or we will be like the little lady I once visited while working with the elderly at a senior center. When I finally gained enough of her trust to be let into her home, I found mounds of junk mail stacked so high I lost sight of the little lady as we wound through the maze in what was once a living room. She pointed to a vacant chair, the only one I might add, and there I sat trying to help her straighten her bills and checkbook out. From my spot I could see into the kitchen where every surface was covered with tin cans, wrappings, foil. Nothing had been thrown out for at least the last ten years it seemed. The whole time I was there, the little lady worried I would turn her in. I didn't, choosing instead to work on her over time to deal with the hoarding.

So with this memory, I set about on a new adventure. As a designer, I am well aware of the adage, "Less is more." I'll be writing more about the adventure. We close on tiny Tudor this Friday.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Lost on Hwy 13

It surely didn't look like the way I came, yet I don't even remember where I got off the right path. Being lost really isn't so bad. I ususally embrace those times when I'm speeding down the highway not knowing exactly when I'll see a guidepost or sign to indicate that I am, indeed, on the way to where I want to be.

Today was not one of those days. I had a rental car to return, a plane to catch and I was tired beyond tired. As I continued on Hwy 13, I increasingly became concerned that I was lost. Stopping for directions was dicey since there were no service stations, towns and no one with the exception of a man in a beat up old pickup selling whirlygigs by the side of the road. His impromptu "yard sale" didn't seem to be attracting business and I was too leery to ask for his help. Instead, I called Natalie who bailed me out with directions. A turn onto another highway was necessary before I was again headed in the direction of the big city.

How easy is it to get on the wrong path and yet the relief is so sweet when we find ourselves back headed in the right direction.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Going and Coming

I knew if I came up to the office to shut the computer down I'd be tempted to post one last time from my Alabama home. Well, actually it is now technically in the hands of another couple. We closed last Friday, and I flew to the new city to help with the house hunting. We made an offer on Sunday, got the mortgage process under way on Monday and I spent 3 hours with an enthusiastic young home inspector going over every nook and cranny of a rather old and very tiny home that the Noblitts plan to move into in the next couple of weeks. Don't think this hasn't been a lesson in juggling. I still don't know what to tell the utilities our forwarding address is until we close on the 11th.

Anyway, I'll be back writing again after the Mayflower truck pulls away from my door on Friday. That is if I can find a computer. I have some thoughts on downsizing and will be solicting helpful suggestions as to how to fit the contents of a 3,000 sq.ft. house into the 1128 sq.ft. of the new one. Oh, it does have a basement and a gargage and we are having a yard sale when we move. The neighbors will get a real interesting look then at the folks from Alabama.