Saturday, June 16, 2007

File This Under: Ya Learn Somethin' New Every Day

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
This was on the edge of the town of Donalds, S.C.

"What are Grange Patrons of Husbandry?" You ask.

Per Wikipedia:

The Grange movement in the United States was a farmers' movement involving the affiliation of local farmers into area "granges" to work for their political and economic advantages. The official name of the National Grange is the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. Some consider the organization a special interest group. Founded after the Civil War, it flourished until the end of the 19th century. Many small rural communities in the United States still have an old "Grange Hall" standing on Main Street. The word "grange" comes from a Latin word for grain, and is related to a "granary" or, more generically, a farm.

In 2005, the Grange had a membership of 300,000 with organizations in 3,600 communities in 37 states. They occupy a building in downtown Washington, D.C., an 11-story building they had built in 1960.

Full article

Friday, June 15, 2007

Stuff I Learned From My Friends Today

"Quaaaar"--apparently the southern pronounciation of "queer."
"That's a quaaar one, Lucille."
It is worth it to sit under the butt of a giant statue of a horse in a restaurant if you can look between his back legs to see Tiger Woods on the television.
Divorce Battle Centers on Braves Tickets:

ATLANTA (AP) -- A divorced couple is feuding over tickets to see the Atlanta Braves. A psychologist -- Elizabeth King -- accuses her ex-husband, lawyer Charles Center, of breaking their 2002 divorce agreement to divide the four tickets they had shared behind home plate. The Atlanta couple owned tickets to 81 home games in a three-way partnership with other baseball fans. Every year King and Center had four tickets to 27 games. When they divorced, he agreed to take the first home game every year. Then each would get four tickets to 13 games. After one of the partners died last year, King's ownership increased to a full third: 27 games. The 82 season tickets are still in her ex's name, and he has been in charge of dispensing them to the partners. The couple hardly looked at each other during a court hearing yesterday. King testified that Center had gone out of his way this year to give her tickets to games that conflicted with her schedule. And she claimed 80 percent of the tickets he gave her were for day games -- implying he'd done it because he knows she has skin cancer. Center testified that the four tickets to 27 home games cost about six-thousand dollars. And he said he was distributing them to her the way he'd always distributed them, sequentially, according to a mathematical formula. He said he adjusted that arrangement when people asked or if there were conflicting schedules. So far, attorneys' fees come to about 13-thousand dollars. A frustrated Superior Court Judge Melvin Westmore -- after a hearing of two hours -- ruled that he would not cite Center with contempt and urged the two to settle it out of court.

A discussion at lunch ensued about the funeral of Ruth Bell Graham. It's to be a public funeral in Montreat, N.C, the couple's hometown. Shuttles have been arranged to carry visitors from Black Mountain to Montreat, as there are less than 40 parking spaces at the funeral location.

Question at the table: "Would you go across the state, or across the country, to the funeral of a popular personage you have admired greatly?"

Everyone said "No."

Then this comment: "Well, maybe for Willie Nelson."

Can you see now why I have such powerful abs?

Happy Feet

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
The toes are all reasonably happy today. The big one, with the most damage, is not really the painful one. The second one, next to it, and the third one, both sustained some damage and bruising. They seem to hurt a little more.

Incidentally, do you know how much SKIPPING is involved in the average Jazzercise class? Well...let me tell you, you really notice when your toes hurt.

The pedicure went really well. As long as I didn't look at her while she was working on the damaged ones, we were good. She was very nice and I'm going to go back to see her in July for a haircut. The salon is Salon Salon in Indian Land, SC. Yes...I think it's a dumb name too. But I like the girl, so why not?

Today I go back to the scene of the crime and take photos of the work the crews are doing. It's a good day for it...overcast. So the photos should have good color without glare. Then I need to write the story and send it all in.

There she is. Kathy my pedicurist (is that what you call them?) See how nice and pleasant she looks? I couldn't kick her.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Damaged Toe

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
"Hmmm...wonder what it would take to get Karen to go for a pedicure?" My friends ask periodically.

Well. This. I fell up the steps to a house I was visiting while pursuing a news story. Other than the time I locked my keys in the car at an interview, this was the most embarrassing reporter's moment in my life to this date.

The toe hurts. So does the other one. Actually, I think the one "that stayed home" hurts the most.

I'm scared to touch it. But both toes need trimming. So...

On the way home I stopped in at a local salon. The salon that I did a new business story on last winter. The salon where the owner ended the interview by saying to me, "You should come in to see us. Your bangs are too heavy." Yup.

Why did I stop there? It's on the way home. They are having their Grand Opening. Maybe they will be nice to my pocketbook. And I'm not mired in depression anymore, so if they say some stuff about my hair I probably won't cry.

I might cry when they touch my sore toes, though. We'll see.

Maybe I'll see if they can teach me to put my hair in a ponytail for Jazzercise, too. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Rainy Rose

Rainy Rose
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
It's been stormy here the last few days. And it's a good thing. We've been parched, seriously parched. This photo is actually from a year ago, but my roses do look like this today.

I'm being plagued by computer problems these past couple of days. Unable to open both components of Photoshop Elements. The computer in general is acting a little sketchy. I'm concerned that I'm headed for a big crash. Perhaps a memory stick is going. This computer, bless it's heart, is 6 years old and really runs like a top. But it does blow out memory sticks every couple of years.

And so I've been trying to do one more backup (my last one is a couple of months old) before doing some maintenance and repair tasks. But my network is kind of hosed up too. I can see the other computer, but not talk to it. I need to get that fixed today so that I can drag the contents of my hard drive over to the partition on theirs that I've set aside for that purpose.

And work for The Clevelands. And go to Jazz. And have lunch with a friend. And go to the Lutheran's Bible study tonight.

So it will be a busy day. I'll need to stay on task!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

You Do Whaaaat?

GI Joe
Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
Question of the day:

Brush your teeth before breakfast or after?

This came up in a conversation with my friend Jenny last night. She is going to do her weekly weigh-in this morning and I said, "So. Tomorrow morning you'll get up, brush your teeth, weigh yourself, and then get dressed."

"Oh my no!" She said. "I won't brush my teeth."

I thought perhaps it was a joke about weighing as unencumbered as possible...perhaps the toothpaste would add weight (yes, we are twisted). But no...she is of the school that says you brush your teeth after breakfast.

As my dad told Mensa Boy many many years ago, "That's just barbaric."

MB says he changed eventually because he realized he couldn't go up against the entire family. (yeah, he's joking)

He does admit that our family's penchant for showering at night before bed was a change he happily made. It just makes sense. Go to bed nice and clean. The bed stays fresh. Saves time in the morning. Yada yada yada. I do have to say our family's personal hygiene schedule really comes in handy when at the beach with his sister's family, or when we are camping. We have free use of the bathroom at shower traffic jams, no problems with hot water, etc.

Truth is, I simply can't function in the morning without brushing my teeth first. Who knows what sort of mess I'd end up eating for breakfast if I hadn't brushed.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Coming Attraction

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
This old, closed-up theatre in Inman, S.C. had this poster in front. I like the sense of humor.

Yesterday we drove 2.5 hours away from home and dropped Nate out in the middle of the country.

Does that sound like someone taking a batch of kittens out to the country to dump them? In a way it felt like that.

This bothered me more than his first day of kindergarten. This is the first time I've taken one of my kids to a place I've never heard of, dropped him into a situation where I don't know a soul, and I don't know what he'll be doing while he's there.

He'll be fine. But I felt bad for him, a little. Although he seemed to have a fairly good attitude about it. I sent him a text message this morning asking how he slept and he replied that he dropped off right away. He has a pretty severe sunburn from his day on the boat with his best friend's family, so I sent him with Tylenol PM for night and Naproxen Sodium for the daytime.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Store Wars (Vegetables Star Wars)

Peaceful Repose

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
When I saw this photo I had to remind myself that this is Taylor, not Nate!
Today we drive Nate to Erskine College for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) conference. It will be a long day in the car...about 3 hours there, and then 3 hours back.
Yesterday was a usual day, with Jazz in the morning (although particularly fun because friend Tambri is back for the summer now that her dance school is on hiatus for a few weeks.), and then lunch at Jumpin' Java in Fort Mill. They really have fantastic salads. But I was so hungry yesterday that I went home after lunch and drank a big glass of chocolate milk too.
Speaking of chocolate milk, I've switched to Silk Soy Milk. I wouldn't say I'm particularly lactose intolerant...I have no problem with dairy products on the whole...but to drink an actual glass of milk does tend to wreak havoc with my digestive system. For several months Mensa Boy and I have bought Lactaid for ourselves to use, but it's just so darn expensive! So on a whim one day I bought a carton of soy milk, which was way cheaper.
It was pretty much just okay. So the next carton I bought was the vanilla-flavored stuff. Now THAT is good. I can't just drink a glass of white milk, so I always put Nestle Quik in it. I end with a sort of milk-shake-like flavor that way. Good stuff!
In the afternoon I went shopping for workout clothes. It was 95 degrees yesterday and both pair of my capris were in the wash. I had to wear long pants at Jazz and I really roasted in those. But I didn't have much luck with the shopping. It turns out that workout clothes are about as hard to shop for as street clothes!
I went to my friend Jenny's house after that and we drove with her kids over to Baxter Village to Alex's Lemonade Stand. The stand was up all day yesterday giving away cups of lemonade in exchange for donations to pediatric cancer research. You can go here to donate online.
Jenny wrote a story about the stand in last Wednesday's Fort Mill Times. She took a photo I am absolutely jealous of. Go here to see that(at least until the link expires).