Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This Dalmation mix was at the dog park. Her name is Sassy. There's something very graphic about a black and white spotted dog with a red collar. I think the designer in me likes the pattern and colors.

K1, P2, SSK

As some of you who follow me on Facebook know, I've taken up knitting. Superman tells me "I'm at that age when women knit." Ha. I don't know what that means but I'm guessing it means I sit around too much in the evenings with nothing to do.

I like doing things with my hands - gardening, photography, baking, and now knitting. I've made six scarves so far. They are definitely the easiest to make. I've moved on to hats. They have to be knitted on double pointed needles or on circular needles. Mittens will be next - just as soon as I figure out that thumb gusset. I'm not sure I'll ever be ambitious enough for sweaters. I like the smaller projects that don't take too long. I can get distracted and drop my focus easily.

Here's a baby hat for a friend's soon to be munchkin. I like how this one turned out and may have to make a few more in larger sizes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

A little box of chocolates was in front of my office door when I came in. It's like the Valentine's Day fairy left me a present. And look it had a little note taped to it from our Vice President. Awww...how sweet. Here's what the note read:

I'm kidding - I added the careerbuilder.com stuff. I plan on taping the revised note to a vacationing coworker's box of chocolates. Hee hee. Let the fun begin.

PS. If you didn't catch the CareerBuilder Super Bowl commercials - go now to youtube and look them up. HILARIOUS!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hiding Out

Do you ever feel like hiding out? That swords are being thrown all around you and it's best that you just lay low for a bit? Take cover?

Today's one of those days.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cell Phone Photos Part I

Are you familiar with the song "Yeah Toast!" If not, go here for a chuckle:
Bruce Willis was behind me the other day when I drove into work. I wished that I had my other camera because he's hard to see. Wonder what he was doing in North Carolina?
At Target, this little man was in the full fireman costume. I don't what was funnier the costume or me sneaking around the corner trying to take his photo.

Cell Phone Pictures Part II

I had a scheduled doctor's appointment the other day. It was just to review some test results. No big deal. I got bored and started snapping photos with my cell phone.
I waited 1.5hrs in the examination room for the doctor. I had read the Mental Illness brochure so many times I was convinced I had mental problems. When I looked up and saw the wipe on-wipe off board that read, "Our Goal is to Provide You with Excellent Care"...I laughed and then I got up and left. My appointment was for 9am. How backed up can you get since they've only been open for an hour? Note to self: Do not schedule anything later than 9am. I stopped at the front desk and said I was leaving. They refunded me my copay. I got a few blocks away and the doctor called. She apologized and read me my test results. I may need to find another doctor. This isn't the first time I've waited over an hour.
Cart return sign at Northern Tool. "Four wheels but no engine. Better leave it here." I really like the marketing campaign Northern Tools has been doing. It's creative, funny and sassy. Who can't use a good laugh these days?
We've had some safety issues lately. Here's the police tower on campus. Isn't it comforting? I heard it's not manned. I guess it's just to scare the would be criminals. Sometimes NC police put an unmanned squad car along the interstate to slow the traffic down too. I think they should put a mannequin in the car though. Wouldn't that be better?
A welcome sign on our way back from Illinois. I love the Carolinas. It's a great state to live in. The people are very friendly and polite.

I won't soon forget the time, shortly after having moved here, that we were in the parking lot at Home Depot. We were trying to jam plastic lawn chairs into the trunk of my Pontiac. I was convinced Superman would have to go home and get the truck while I waited at the store with my chairs. A woman pulled up in a SUV. She asked if she could help. I said we had some rope and I thought we could tie it around the chairs and be fine. No, she meant, "do you need a ride somewhere with your chairs?" I was floored. This woman I didn't know was willing to give me and my chairs a ride home - just to help me out. Unbelievable.

Manners are important here. Please and thank you go a long ways. People, total strangers mind you, look you square in the eye and say, "Ya' doin' alright?" When this first happened to me, I was a little taken off balance. "Uhhh...yeah," was my response. Ok, "yeah" is not a word appreciated here in the south. "Yeah" is kin to saying "hey, I'm from the north." I might as well been waving a rebel flag and screaming, "My mama didn't teach me any manners!" Quickly I learned that the proper response was "yes, sir" or "yes, ma'am." The sooner I began using this response the better off I would be.

This is hard to explain but the bitterness the results from the Civil War ("The War of Northern Aggression" as I've so often heard it referred to) is still lingering in this area. Northers are still looked down on a bit - particularly in the smaller towns. Just like on Cheers, "You want to go where everybody knows your name and they're always glad you came." The last thing you want is for others to feel uncomfortable around you just because you "ain't from around here."

It's been an adjustment living here but the payoff is high. For the most part people are kinder - more considerate of others. Men still hold doors open for women. They nod and tip their heads towards women. Strangers talk to you as if they've known you for years.

God first, family, then work. I am square in the middle of the bible belt and odd place to be being Catholic. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked, "Why do you worship Mary?" I need to find a religion class to go to just to be able to answer the many questions my Protestant friends have. Eight years of Catholic schooling didn't prepare me for this.

Women are more beautiful here as well. Nail salons, hair, gyms, and massage businesses do really, really well. There's a level of effort that's put into appearance that I just don't quite see in the midwest. Though I try to certainly put my best foot forward, this adjustment hasn't quite sunk in. I have yet to get a pedicure or manicure - completely unheard of my friends who by the age of five have had both and are now taking their daughters regularly.

Appearance doesn't only apply towards women. It also applies to your car. It's not often you will see dirty cars driving the roads. The car wash businesses stay busy year round. It's not unusual to wash a car every other week when the weather's been rainy or the pollen is falling out of the trees.

With all this extra effort balancing this in some way is the fact that things move slower here. For instance, people talk slower. They are more deliberate with what they say and how they say it. I remember at a local restaurant the waitress telling me, "Honey, you are in the south now. You need to just slow down a bit. Talk slower I can't understand you babydoll."

Traffic tangles up because southerners slow down to let you in on the interstate - while the northerners speed up to get out of the way. Knowing when to pause and when to speed up is sometimes a challenge.

It's a quilt-work of cultures here and I can't imagine a better place to call home ya'll.