Monday, March 30, 2009

Another feature

I had a feature in today's Commercial Appeal about the Mid-South's first Autism Festival and the family behind it. It was an enjoyable story to write and I enjoyed meeting with Mashal Mirza and her family. I hope the carnival is a big success.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cool illusion

Thanks to uncle Timmy for sending this great pic of a painted bathroom floor in a high-rise building. I enjoyed the picture but think I would be forced to use another restroom.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Photo by Mark Weber, The Commercial Appeal

An article I wrote on disabled artist Shirley Patton ran in today's Commercial Appeal. I really admire Ms. Patton and wish I could afford to buy several of her pieces. Here's hoping she finds much more success as an artist.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Active imaginations

This is the latest piece of artwork from four-year-old budding artist Amelia. She calls this one: "Mommy Juggling Cookies Under a Rainbow."

I don't know where she got the artistic talent (Kevin's only slightly better at stick figures than I am), but I'm pretty sure the active imagination came from me, or at least my sub-conscious.

Last night I dreamed a 12-year-old beach policeman halted his volleyball game to chastise me for running too fast on the beach. "Are you serious?" I asked him. "Look at me. I'm 42 and overweight. How could I possibly be running too fast?" He then radioed headquarters to make sure I didn't have any priors (I didn't, YAY!) and issued me a warning. I promised to slow it down and went running on my merry way.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tourney lowlight (thus far)

This play really angered me:


I've been having some pretty vivid dreams lately. If any of you have ever waited tables, you know all about waitress nightmares. The place is packed, you're the only server there, and everything is going wrong. I used to have them frequently when I was a full-time server, but I haven't waited on tables in more than four years. Maybe it's my subconscious telling me that I should consider but immediately dismiss the idea of going back into the restaurant business.

Anyway, as vivid as my dreams have been, thank goodness they haven't seemed THIS real:

Friday, March 13, 2009

On decorating

A feature I wrote on apartment decorating ran in today's CA. The subject of the story, Marie Provence, is a decorator after my own heart, though she's much better at it than I am. A student at Memphis College of Art, she's obviously a very artistic person. Me, not so much. I'm more "crafty" than "artsy."

One thing I really liked about Provence is how she "recycles" furnishings and has such an appreciation for antiques and older things. She frequently refurbishes pieces, as I often do, usually with paint, recovering, new knobs, etc.

Almost every piece of furniture in my home is either a hand-me-down or a thrift-store or yard-sale find. While budgeting is definitely a consideration for me when decorating, I also like the idea of turning trash into treasure, and it's rewarding to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

For example, the wardrobe above was left here by Kevin's former roommate, Chase, before I moved in. It was sort of a primer gray color, the doors were nearly falling off their hinges, and there were nails hammered in all over the thing.

So I took the monstrous thing apart, removed all the unnecesary nails, filled in the many holes with spackle, painted the interior a neutral color, and gave the exterior a faux finish. I had Kevin fix the hinges (the thing is so old that I couldn't find any new hinges close to the same size and shape) and line the doors up correctly, and we also installed magnets so the darned thing would stay closed. Top it off with new silver knobs (to tie it in with the rest of the kitchen, which includes our super-cool, 40-inch, five-eye, stainless-steel gas stove/oven), and voila, I created a new and functional piece of furniture. Our toaster oven and microwave are stored inside, opening up more room on the kitchen counters. We also use it for dish towels, pot holders and utensils too large for a drawer.

I'm pretty proud of it, but it's unlikely that anyone will write an article about my decorating prowess anytime soon. Still, I have fun with decorating, or at least I used to before the kids forced me to relinquish all hope of having a clean, attractive home until they ship off to college.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A few updates

Busy, busy, busy. Here's some of what we've been up to lately.

My wonderful husband turned 41 March 6, so we did a little bit of celebrating with the family this weekend. We also got to have a date night, so we went out to dinner (thanks to Chase for the gift card) and then rented a couple of movies. We're pretty boring, and we're pretty broke, to boot.

Also, I had a story in the CA last week.

I've been trying to get as errands, checkups, etc. taken care of as possible while our insurance is still in effect and before I (hopefully) go to work full time. Looks like the month will be filled with visits to doctors and dentists and vets, oh my.

I got a big surprise this morning when I received our cell bill for February. We used up all our rollover minutes and still went WAY over our minutes (about $100 worth). Now that Kevin doesn't have a desk phone, he's forced to use his cell all the time, and he used over 2,000 minutes last month. I did more than my usual bit of calling, too. Looks like it's time to upgrade our plan, and I only wish we had realized it sooner. Those usage charges really hit you hard.

I'm quite busy between job hunting, entering data, writing features and taking care of the kids. I'm getting a lot done, but not all of my efforts are fruitful (especially my job hunting efforts). I think the Memphis job market is even worse than most of the country.

Kevin and I have talked about looking into other job markets. He's found a few good jobs in New Orleans and a recruiter from Tampa is really working on him, but I think we're going to keep trying Memphis for a couple more months before we give up on jobs in our hometown.

So that's some of what's been going on. Hopefully I'll have some good news to share soon.