Apr 11, 2016


Guess what!

I ordered a new 2TB external hard drive for my laptop! That means as soon as I get it hooked up, I can start sharing pictures from my laptop again -- that means more blogging.

GOOD DAYS ARE ON THE HORIZON. I might even get to share Christmas pictures with you.

But onto what I was going to share with you today, before the external HD arrives. Which means more pictures from my cell phone.

There's this tiny building in downtown Birmingham right next to two of my favorite restaurants. And over the years, restaurant patrons have taken to parking in their lot when no street parking was available.

Well. The building owner hates it. If you think that's hyperbole, you'd be mistaken.

Here's the sign at the curbside entrance to his building's lot.

And here are the signs in the windows (and on the exterior) as you pull into a space.

These are My Very Favorites.

Why post one sign when 917 will do?

The only thing missing is a well-placed curse word.  #missedopportunity

Even though the SIGNS didn't contain any profanity, my friend Misty and I were treated to some courtesy of a passerby who noticed me taking pictures:

"The guy who owns this place? HE'S A REAL A**HOLE." *

*The opinion of the passerby is his opinion and his alone, not necessarily the opinion of this blogger, who has no independent knowledge of the building owner's personality.

Mar 23, 2016

I cannot

Grayson gets mad at me sometimes for throwing things away. If something sits out for too long, I'll get sick of looking at it and I'll just trash it.

He calls me "the anti-hoarder."

That is why this made me physically nauseous. I'm not even kidding.

Mar 16, 2016

'It reminds me of a dog'

Yesterday I was walking back into my office building with my friend Misty after lunch when I finally remembered to stop and ask our security guard a question.

Me: "Wes, what's the guard's name who stands in the deck across the street, the one who always punches the elevator button for us at the end of the day?"

Wes: "Um ..."

Me: "Is it Zack? I thought I heard someone call him Zack once."

Wes: "Naw, it ain't Zack. Starts with a D."

Me: "Huh. Maybe it SOUNDS like Zack. Dak? Dax?"

Wes: "Naw, it reminds me of a dog."

Me: "Dane?"

Misty: "Dalmatian?"

Wes: "NO."

Me:  "Dachshund? Doc?"

Misty: "Dingo?"

Wes: "NO. Lemme think."

Misty: "SAMSONITE! Wow, I was way off."

[A brilliant reference to this and SO on point.]

Three minutes passed. We stared at Wes in the lobby. He avoided eye contact. He finally said, "I just can't remember. It reminds me of a dog, but I can't come up with it."

We gave up and headed to our desks, dejected. All I wanted to do was to be able to call "Dane" by his name to thank him every evening -- but I didn't really want him to know I didn't already KNOW his name, so I hated to ask him myself.

Pride aside, as I left the office last night and walked across the street to the parking deck, I psyched myself up to ask.

Me: "Thanks so much for calling the elevator for me! You're so nice. What's your name again?"

Him: "Menard."

Me: "MIN-NARD?"  [Thinking, "That can't be right. It doesn't start with a D AND it has nothing to do with dogs.]


Mar 9, 2016

He came thisclose to being helpful


Jake: "Yeah?"

Me: "Did you have a little spill with the Fruity Pebbles this morning?"

Jake:  [long pause, wanders into the kitchen]  "Yes."



Mar 2, 2016

I learned how to swipe last night

Amelia's iPad went dead last night, so she asked me if she could play Angry Birds Pop on my phone.

I said sure, and I handed my phone to her.

What happened next, Internet, BLEW. MY. MIND.

I said, "Wait a second, baby."

I took the phone back, locked it, handed it back to her and said, "Unlock my phone again, please."

If I were not the avid Rules Follower that I am, I might have discovered this on my own long ago.

Instead, I learned it last night.


Feb 24, 2016

My shadow ... and her shadow

Since you don't seem to have a problem with iPhone photos, I thought I'd share a few more with you today.

Of course, they all look about the same. Because I have One Little Lady glued to my side at all times.

And when we're at home and it's not a rainy weekend day or weeknight, SHE has One Little Canine Lady glued to HER side.

When I say my phone is "full" of pictures like that, I'm not kidding. I probably have more than 500 pictures of Amelia and Bayla (our neighbor's dog) together. When Bayla is over, Amelia wants pictures of them together.

(Also, as much as I would love to post a picture of Amelia with clothes on, ever since her head injury, she won't wear clothes unless we're leaving the house -- because she's still traumatized by pulling anything over her head. So. I just have to crop every picture I post very carefully.)

Bayla loves to play with us, but she also just loves to "be." She's the most patient creature of all time. She will cuddle but she will also let Amelia lay on her, pile blankets on her, wrap her up, completely cover her ... whatever she wants to do.  #imelt

 Last Saturday Grayson and Nathaniel were on a camping trip and I worked on and off all day, mostly from the couch. This was my view.

Not bad.

Feb 23, 2016

A mini-makeover

I know you all think I've fallen off the face of the Earth.

What I've really fallen off the face of, however, is just any semblance of likability or sanity.

I don't blog about work and I don't say much about work here, and that's by design. What I will say here, now, about this specific point in my worklife, is that we are in the middle of a transition that has me feeling more exhausted, more defeated, than I've ever felt at work.

So that's why I've been here less often over the past month. I just haven't had the energy or the time. I know it will pass, so just be patient with me.

Oh! And guess what else. I still haven't posted about Christmas because my hard drive is out of space and I need to buy another external hard drive before I can move any pictures to my desktop to post to the blog. As in, my computer won't even let me copy 25 pictures from iPhoto to my desktop to write a Christmas post because there's no room at the inn.

I know you're jealous of my life.

Let's talk about something happy! Punctuated by pictures from my phone, since that's all you're going to get until I can buy another external hard drive.

I needed to pick up some Clinique makeup while they were having a bonus last weekend, and of course My Adorable Shadow wanted to go with me.

While I was placing my order with the clinician, Amelia noticed a woman having her makeup done in a chair, and she squealed, "MOMMY! CAN I DO THAT?"

Well. I mean. We were just out at Clinique and then going straight home, so why not?

After they packed up my order, the lady couldn't WAIT to put Amelia up in that chair. And Amelia (in a Santa shirt in late February, no less) was a total pro, closing her eyes and puckering her lips like she'd been doing it her entire life.

ALL the ladies wanted to take turns putting a little makeup on "cute little Amelia!" So three women split the job.


Apparently playing dress-up with a little girl is MUCH more fun than catering to 50-year-old women's whims.

Who knew you could get a 4-year-old to sit still enough to apply mascara?

All you could really see was her bright pink lip gloss, which was totally fine by Amelia. She loved it!

Of course everything rubbed off within a couple of hours, but boy did she love feeling like a grown-up from 2 to 4.

It ended up being a fun, cheap date for the two of us. Oh, and sorry if you were one of those women who had to wait an extra five minutes to buy your makeup ...

Feb 8, 2016

I made Peppered Glazed Pecans like Plain Chicken's!

Pecans are my favorite nut.

(This is why you come here, right? For ledes like that.)

I used to love cashews the most, but I'm back to pecans. I LOVE it when restaurants add candied pecans or walnuts to their salads, and when I make salads at home for company, I always pick up some of those candied pecans you can buy at the grocery store to add to them.


They're pricey. And not only that, but I recently got a hankering for some pecans, and not rinky-dink pecan BITS, but pecan HALVES. Preferably salted and with other good stuff stuck to them.

So of course I went to my go-to recipe source, my friend Stephanie's website, Plain Chicken.

She had more than one option waiting for me there, but the Peppered Glazed Pecans were everything I was looking for, especially since I already had everything the recipe called for in my pantry. (I was as surprised as you are that I already had corn syrup in there. Apparently it's good for like 10 years.)

I'm not even lying when I tell you that from the time I gathered the ingredients to the time I spread them out on the wax paper to cool off, it may have been 10 minutes. This was BLISSFULLY QUICK!

Luckily I guessed correctly and doubled the recipe right out of the gate, which I would suggest you do if you make these. As a matter of fact, next time I might quadruple it, because guess how long these lasted at our house.

Sixteen hours. AS IN LESS THAN 24.

Peppered Glazed Pecans (original list of ingredients, not doubled)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pecan halves

Combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, pepper and salt in small sauté pan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted.
Add pecans and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly.

Spread pecans in a single layer on parchment paper. [I have no idea what that is. I used wax paper.] Cool completely.

If these look like they might be too sweet for you (I'll never understand you), you might want to try Steph's Sweet & Spicy Pecans.

By the way, I think it goes without saying, but this post wasn't sponsored in any way, and Stephanie certainly didn't give me any of these pecans ALTHOUGH I'D CERTAINLY TAKE THEM IF SHE MADE THEM FOR ME. She is my real-life friend and my go-to source for any recipe I lack, and I just like to share with you when I find something I like as much as I looooooove these pecans.

Feb 4, 2016

The last songs I downloaded

Please don't come looking for indie, highbrow or otherwise obscure music finds. I THINK WE ALL KNOW ME BETTER THAN THAT.

For better or worse, here's the last batch of songs I went to download and any songs I downloaded off the same albums while I was there:

1. The Script, Superheroes

2. Adele, When We Were Young and All I Ask

3. Carrie Underwood, Heartbeat

4. Meghan Trainor & John Legend, Like I'm Gonna Lose You

5. Chris Young, I'm Comin' Over 

6. David Dunn, Ready to be Myself

7. Justin Bieber, Sorry and Love Yourself

8. Ed Sheeran, Photograph

9. Thomas Rhett, Crash and Burn and Die a Happy Man

10. One Direction, Perfect and History

11. Zac Brown Band, Beautiful Drug

12. The Oh Hellos, I Have Made Mistakes (recommended by Knox & Jamie)

13. Sara Bareilles, Basket Case (recommended by Knox & Jamie)

14. Andrew Peterson, Be Kind to Yourself

For the record, I'm not disappointed in a single one of them. RECOMMEND.

Feb 3, 2016

Uncomfortable truths

1. I've never visited Reddit. Nope, not once. Not even during Serial. I'm not even sure I understand what it is.

2. I think the speakers in my minivan are blown out. From listening primarily to One Direction and Taylor Swift songs too loudly. Alone. Without my children in the van.

3. I think the reason Carrie Underwood's single "Smoke Break" didn't do as well as her other hits is that she rhymed "drink" with "drink." I will never buy a song in which you don't try harder than that.

4. Grayson and I watched The Intern last weekend. AND LIKED IT. (Everyone will tell you this is because I am destined to only ever like mediocre movies, because of my Foolproof Movie Recommendation Formula.) (I just applied my formula, and The Intern received a whopping 135. AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE ANNE HATHAWAY.) (I would give it a B on a report card. It was cute.)

5. I was playing 7 Little Words last night and was down to the final two clues. I tried SOPRA, AMPHO, AMPRA and -- worst of all -- SOPAE, before finally whispering "Ohhh, Aesop" to myself.

If you'd like to read more Uncomfortable Truths, click here to read them all. But be forewarned: There are 80 previous posts.
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