Browsing Archives for June 2009

The employees at the Garden Center where I work must wear a navy blue work shirt while on the job.






I have found many ways to ‘work’ the navy blue work shirt.







I am pretty much a professional navy blue work shirt worker…







It gives my little niblet of a brain something to chew on in between trying to work out all the world’s problems.






Recently, I have been reading through some vacation guide books to both London and Paris and I ran across some fashion advice for Paris…

Here is the advice…

Wear black

Minimize jewelry

Go bra-less

Clear polish

Funky glasses


Bring a scarf or two

No matching required

Small backpack

Great t-shirt


I actually think I may be able to handle this list, except for the nail polish.  I can’t really tolerate nail polish.  It makes me feel like I can’t breathe.  I don’t have any scarfs, but I can purchase a few inexpensive ones before we leave.  The Country Doctor is insisting that we pack everything in backpacks and no one is allowed to bring a suitcase.  I guess this means I will have two backpacks, a huge one for all my stuff, and one tiny fashionable one for the streets of Paris.  

I have no problem not matching things.  I was born mismatched and have managed to stay that way with little effort.  If I do need help mismatching my clothes, I can always seek guidance from the Country Doctor.  T-shirts- no problemo… especially navy blue ones.  Funky glasses  - maybe a cheap pair from Target?  Bra-less….. hmmmmm… this is not really an issue for me.  I don’t really need a bra, at least not physically… but maybe psychologically and emotionally.  I have never been a big jewelry girl and I have NO IDEA what Chucks are so I will probably just go with my trusty Born sandals.  Hopefully the Parisians will not be too offended by comfy pair of Borns.  

So I am pretty confident with my Paris fashion itenerary…

Surely, even I can put together a t-shirt, a scarf, no jewelry, no bra, funky glasses and  a mini backpack!

One thing is FOR SURE and that is that I can CERTAINLY avoid the CAMP LOOK!

Then I found these photos of me trying to decide what to wear during our visit to P-Dub’s ranch….








Oh dear no!







Please not!






Lord help me!







And this is what I ended up wearing on my first night at her ranch.

I call this look…





Going to Camp.

I think Paris is going to be terribly disappointed in me.

I am going to have dinner with one of my heroes!

Well… not just me. There will be lots and lots of other people there too, but I will be one of the other people!

The person I am going to dine with is an acclaimed architect and author of a series of beautifully photographed books that changed the way America looks at home building. I spent hours of my life mesmerized by the content, the photos and the house plans in each of these books and I drew immeasurable inspiration from them as I planned my own house. The author of these books popularized the phrase ‘McMansion’ pointing out that instead of building bigger and bigger and bigger houses, wouldn’t it be far more intelligent to build smarter? The books show you how to design a house that maximizes every square inch. It shows you how to design rooms that have more than one use and to avoid ‘museum rooms’. This author created the ‘away room’ the place that every house needs to escape the general bedlam. This author insists on the proper siting of your home for the best natural light, on interior views that make small spaces seem larger, and on built-ins that are not only charming, but functional as well.

These books forced me to trim, cut, smoosh, and do away with things I didn’t really need when I designed our home. This author changed how I thought about houses and I built a much better home as a result.

If you can name the author of whom I write, I will enter your name into a drawing for a special autographed copy of one of her… I mean… uh… the author’s books.

I will have a few more autographed copies of ‘this author’s books’ to give away later, but this particular giveaway is for the architecture junkies… or at least for the ones that are capable of a good google search.

Comments will be not be published until the contest is over so no cheating can take place.

Not that anyone would of course.

Contest ends Friday June 5th 2009, at 10:00 PM

The Celebrity Milk-Off

June 4th, 2009

We hosted a celebrity milk-off.


Minus the celebrities…





In one corner, a local family operated dairy milk wearing glass bottle, with sloped shoulders and vintage styling, charmed his opponents to death…






In the other corner, your typical mass produced plastic milk container threw out his chest and slew his opponents with his cheaper price tag.







I have been purchasing milk from a local dairy for about a year now.  





The first time I brought it home, my son Drew drank almost the entire container in one sitting.

The kid has a thing for liquid nourishment… any liquid nourishment.  I honestly fear for the day he drinks his first beer.

Drew instantly became a die-hard fan of the local dairy’s milk and could not stop exclaiming over how much better it tasted than regular milk.






Because of Drew’s enthusiasm, the other boys also jumped on the local dairy milk wagon and began to much prefer the milk from the glass bottles, to the milk from the plastic jugs.  I still buy both, as my family goes through about six gallons a week, and I can’t purchase all of that in half gallon glass bottles because honestly, at last to me, that would be insane.  But I do buy one or two glass containers a week because it really is delicious milk. 








The Country Doctor however, is very skeptical of any type of product that claims to be better tasting due to brand name, organic content, or family farm quaintness.








He is really the one who should be participating in the celebrity milk-off.

Minus the celebrities…







But we were out to prove at least to ourselves that there truly is a difference between the two types of milk.  My family had tested me on several ocassions in the presence of the CD and I always knew which milk was which.  They really do taste very different.  To me, the milk from the glass bottles is clearly better tasting.  It’s colder, creamier and lacks the strange saltiness of factory milk.






But in this taste test, the boys had to determine which milk was which (I switched the milks around each time) and they also had to decide which milk they thought was better.





Jack had a hard time making up his mind.







The other two boys knew immediately which milk was which and chose the Hildebrand Family Dairy milk as the best tasting milk.






Jack chose the commercially produced milk as his favorite milk and guessed that the commercial milk was the local dairy milk and vice versa.






Maybe all these freckles cause Jack to taste milk differently than his brothers do.







Or maybe he just likes the commercial milk better.

He can drink it with his dad.







The rest of us will drink the good stuff.