Friday, April 23, 2010

Our little Piano Man.

Please humor me for a moment while I gush about my son... The annual Blankner School Talent Show was last night and our little Piano Man did not disappoint, performing a medley of his favorite Super Hero movie themes. I think I was more nervous than he was getting up there on stage in front of 200 people. He did it though! We were so proud. It made all those piano lessons and nights of nagging him to practice worth it. (Oh the agony!)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dog Park

I guess you could say I'm a dog lover. I love my own the best though. That's Max in the middle (9yrs old) and Birdie top right (exact age unknown) smiling ear-to-ear. The rest are just some cool dogs I saw at the Dog Park last week. Gotta love 'em.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Atlas Adirondack

  Spent the day with my sister, Melissa, working with her 5th graders on this cool adirondack chair for their school auction next week. A collage of maps. The kids had fun and we all got a little geography lesson. Not bad for a half day's work!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The house of "ewe" know "hooo"

Just finished this mixed media piece of my house on Jasmine Avenue. I love our little gingerbread house. It's small but it's cozy. We live in the Downtown Historic District—which basically translates to, "we can't change anything on the outside of our house without going through a bunch of red tape". That hasn't stopped us from renovating the inside though.  I'll post some pictures of the inside later this week.

A little history on Tudor style: For those who didn’t have genuine British roots, the Tudor house became a symbol of cultural and economic aspirations. If you were newly arrived in the moneyed class, and wanted to proclaim your cultivation and good taste, an English Tudor house provided an instant veneer of respectability. Many of the new rich, who earned their wealth in the booming markets of the 1920s, built an English Tudor Revival house, hence the term “Stockbroker Tudor.” The style quickly faded from fashion in the late 1930s but had a somewhat modified second revival in the 1970s and 1980s.

Essential elements include:
  • Round arched entranceways
  • Tall, narrow windows
  • Steeply pitched roofs, usually side-gabled with decorative half-timbering
  • Exterior walls clad with brick, stone or stucco
  • Massive chimneys, commonly crowned with decorative chimney pots

We bought this English Tudor (circa 1925) seven years ago in the early stages of the real estate boom, when houses were selling like hotcakes Downtown. We had seen it earlier in our search, but there was a contract on it already, so we marked it off our list. Then, while I was away visiting my ailing grandfather (Papaw, God love him), the contract fell through. Chandler called me and said he looked at the house and promised I would love it. We had looked at lots of other houses but didn't act quickly enough and they sold out from under us. We needed to put a bid on the house a.s.a.p. or we would lose this one too. 

When I was on the phone with Chandler debating whether to buy the house or not, Papaw told me, in so many words, to go for it. The brain tumor had taken over so his speech was garbled, but he took my hand and gave me an approving nod. He just wanted us to be happy. So, I gave Chandler the go-ahead sight-unseen. And we got it!

To all those who knew my Papaw, he was a huge positive influence in my life. His motto was to have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) always. He collected all kinds of PMA materials from Dale Carnegie and  Zig Zigler to Tony Robins and always shared them with me and the rest of the grands. So I thought it would be nice to include a little bit of Papaw in my painting. I found one of his old Dale Carnegie books ("How to Win Friends and Influence People") he had given me and used some pages from it for the house. 

It makes me smile.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A "ewe"nique Etsy find from Black Eyed Sheep

Happy Sunday! Love these "ewe"nique MacBook Covers from Black Eyed Sheep. They come in other colors too, but I favor the Black Sheep motif, of course. I want the grey one real baaaaaad.

Friday, April 9, 2010

NYC Marathon (by 2012) or Bust!

I'm in! I mean, really. How lucky am I? Getting in to the New York Marathon on the first try! Woohoo!

But there's one tiny little catch... my three running buddies and I made a deal back in January that we would all register for the NYC Marathon (entries chosen by lottery) in 2010 with the idea that by 2012, we would all get in and run it together. So I'm the lucky one who actually was "accepted" in to the 2010 NYC Marathon as of April 7th. My three running buddies, however, were not so lucky. They will have to try again in 2011. If they get denied again, then they'll try again in 2012. The NYC Marathon rule is that you automatically get in on the third try. Hence, the goal of us all running the NYC Marathon together by 2012. Sadly, I will have to defer this year. Oh, the agony. I'm disappointed and relieved at the same time. Don't get me wrong. I want to run the race. I just don't feel like training for it. Well, at least I'm guaranteed for next year, and the next, if it comes down to that. I can't wait to explain the $185 dollar registration fee—for the race that I'm not even running in this year—to my Quicken-fanatical husband who, with a click of a button, can chart the financials of our lives in over 100 different flavors and colors. His pie charts and negative asset bar graphs are so pretty too. I, on the other hand, tend to use the "I Love Lucy" method of paying the bills. He doesn't like that so much.

I know what you non-runners out there are thinking. "She's freakin crazy. Who would PAY to run 26 miles? Who would want to RUN a marathon?" Point taken. Actually, only 1% of the population run at least one marathon in their lifetime. I have to say, I'm not in the camp that actually lives to run. I mean, I'm not that person who runs every day to get her "me" time. I don't enjoy running, necessarily. I run strictly because I know how to do it. I've been running on and off since high school and it's the only thing I can do for exercise consistently and not feel like a complete idiot. I was that chick in the back row of aerobics class that was always going right, when everyone else went left. I do not participate in the chicken dance or the electric slide at weddings. And I was never a cheerleader. Running doesn't involve much more than putting one foot in front of the other at a descent clip. When I feel like eating a bowl of ice cream, I eat it.When I don't feel like running anymore, I stop. Nobody wins really (except the crazies... the "athletes, I should say). You're basically competing against yourself... and the people in front of you. No big D! Marathons are good goals to set to keep yourself in shape. And it's a fun get-a-way vacation too! You nay-sayers should try it some time. You might find out that it's not that crazy after all! Well, maybe just a little crazy:)

Monday, April 5, 2010

The art of selling.

Wesley is always asking us how he can make some money. So I finally caved over Spring Break last week and let the boys sell bottled water. No more sugary lemonade these days! A sign of the times, I guess. I opted to help them set up shop at the entrance to the Downtown YMCA. Figured people coming and going from their workouts would have a higher propensity to buy. Besides, we live on a one way street that gets next to no traffic. The boys agreed to give .25¢ from every bottle to help Haiti. I told them it's like going fishing. You have to be patient and wait for your customers and then be ready to make the sale when they (finally) come along. They lasted about an hour and a half. A grand total of  $7.50 was raised for the Red Cross.


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