It’s the advent season now, and we’re waiting for Jesus’ birthday.  Maybe you’re waiting for Santa.  Or for general holiday festivities.  Maybe you’re actually waiting for the holidays to move on and for normal life to resume.

At our house, we’re actually waiting for Jesus’ birthday and some job news (not for me, very happy at my job).  I’ll admit that waiting is not my strong suit.  Far from it.  At first, I felt relatively patient and saint-like about the job news waiting.  That lasted for at least 5 minutes.

Today, I feel like this:

photo from imgarcade.com

photo from imgarcade.com

Except that instead of a window, I’m checking me email way too often, hoping for good news.

Maybe I should go back to waiting for Jesus’ birthday.  The good thing about that waiting is that it can only last for 7 days.

What do you do when you’re waiting?

I’ve tried being super productive at work, but I’ve finished lots and lots of small projects, and if I continue at this pace, I won’t have any projects for next week.  I even got around to finishing my continuing education classes.  (Gasp!  And that second-to-last statement is only kind of true.  There’s always more to do at work, but I am running out of my typical projects pretty quickly.)

Sigh.  Back to intense productivity and an attempt at inbox avoidance for me.

Read Your Bookcase!

Okay, I promise I have lots and lots to blog about this week.  There are potential cookies and a potential side table redo.  There’s fresh kale from the garden and a living area that’s almost clean enough to photograph and share.  So many possibilities!

But for today, you’ll have to be satisfied with a very unique bookcase:

picture from themetapicture.com (via Pinterest)

picture from themetapicture.com (via Pinterest)

Fun, right? 

I need to read our bookcase a bit more.  There are so many good stories right in our house, and sometimes the new and flashy options at the library make me forget the books waiting for me at home.  So yes, go forth and read thy bookcase.

Why I Will Never Meet a Famous Person

Last night was much-anticipated at our house because it was the night Mountain Man was in Lynchburg for a minor league baseball game.  And we had free tickets.  Talk about a good Thursday night plan!

In case you don’t know who Mountain Man is, he’s sometimes on Duck Dynasty, which we greatly enjoy watching on TV.  So here we are, twenty (thirty? forty?) feet away from someone on one of our favorite TV shows, and we didn’t meet him.

There he is!

There he is!

I seem to have a bad personal record for this type of thing.  One of my more embarrassing life moments happened at the tender age of three when I ran up to Minnie Mouse at Disney World.  Happy little me didn’t notice the HUGE line of kids waiting to meet Minnie, so I just went in for a hug.  Big mistake.  Turns out the moms with the kids didn’t think cutting in line was cute at all. 

And then there was the time I was standing 10 feet from Pete Sampras, my only real athlete crush back in the day.  I didn’t want to inconvenience him on his way out from a match, so I just stood there like an idiot wishing he would come up to me and introduce himself.  Right.  We didn’t meet.

Last night’s logic?  Well, the line was long, and I didn’t have anything to say to the man.  Sure, he seems great on TV, but I didn’t have any burning questions to ask or any souvenirs to be signed.  So we took a long-distance picture, enjoyed the game (complete with beard contest), and ate a giant sale pizza when it started to rain.  Success.

See, still happy.  Maybe someday if Giada and The Pioneer Woman are chatting 2 feet away from me, I’ll actually say hello.  Until then, I’ll continue enjoying our very non-famous life.

Procrastination Holiday Style

Well, Christmas is almost here again.  I love it, I really do.  I even like making the Christmas list (the grown-up one that has other people’s names on it).  Since today is my day off instead of Saturday, I took the morning to work through the list to make sure everything is getting done and ordered and mailed, etc.

Then I went to a few websites to order some of the remaining items on the list, and imagine my surprise when the website told me I was doing some last-minute shopping.  WHAT?  It’s only December 13.  We have at least 8 days before anything should be considered last-minute.  Come on, people.  They obviously don’t know what real procrastination looks like.

photo from memegenerator.net

photo from memegenerator.net

Real procrastination looks like not ordering things in time to wrap them yourself.  Sorry, nieces and nephew!  Real procrastination looks like buying supplies for those homemade gifts in mid-December.  (Yes, today is homemade gift-making day, too.)  Real procrastination looks like all of those January and February gifts that my friends have cheerfully accepted in years past.  Thanks, friends!


And before those January presents become a reality again, it’s time for me to hit up a craft store.  Merry shopping, y’all!  Need something artsy?  I know where you could shop: shameless advertising for my shop.

Merry Mid-January

We’re very nearly into the double digits in January, and I’m working my way into the month with our Christmas tree proudly standing in the front window. I kind of like it. It is the prettiest Christmas tree of my adult life, and it’s definitely cheery. Why not leave it up for cool winter nights?

Peanut is hoping the tree will fall soon so that he can see out the window again, but I’m happy with things for now. I’ve got other things to do.

Before mid-January arrived, Scott, Peanut and I got to take quick trips to Blacksburg and North Carolina. This was our greeting at the family farm:


When we got home, I needed to apply for a new passport ASAP (more on that fun reason soon). I was afraid that when I submitted my old passport for renewal, they might just keep it a la the DMV and old licenses. Fortunately, that’s not how it works. I took a few pictures of my old passport before dropping it off, just in case. I really really didn’t want to lose those stamps.


While I ran back and forth between the post office and home to get paperwork sorted out, I got a few packs of seeds for our winter vegetable garden. As I was paying for the seeds, the store owner put them into a small paper bag that was decorated with a marker-drawn flower. I loved it right away, and I loved it even more when he shrugged and said, “My granddaughter was here earlier.” A granddaughter-decorated paper bag is the perfect way to start a winter garden, in my opinion.


What else am I doing? I’m editing things, painting things, and painting other types of things (the first being watercolors, the second being doors and trim and such around the house).

I’m hoping that my paintings become more than rough drafts of ideas soon. I feel good about that.

Maybelle the Marvelous: What is in a name?

Someone (you know who you are) expressed frustration at my lack of recent blog posts.  To humor said person, here is a wordy post.  Next time, maybe you should specify what you want me to write about.

Once upon a time, there lived a fruit fly named Maybelle.  You might wonder how a fruit fly came to be named Maybelle.  Well, this is how it happened.

Maybelle’s mother, Fizzoula, ran out of fruit-fly-appropriate names by the time Maybelle finished going through metamorphosis.  That’s naturally when a fruit fly is named, you know.  Fizzoula had a very, very large family of fruit fly children, and she was just plumb tired.  After running across a cow named Maybelle a day earlier, it was the only name she could think of to save her life.  Which it didn’t.  Fizzoula died of natural causes soon after the naming of Maybelle.

And that was the sad start to Maybelle’s adult life.  Every time someone called out to Maybelle, other flies would look around, wondering where in the world the cow could be.  It wasn’t Maybelle’s dream life, to be sure.  All she wanted was to be like the other fruit flies and live out her days inconspicuously.

Then one day Maybelle found herself flying over a field outside of her normal corner of the world.  She didn’t remember how she got there–probably took a wrong turn while she was thinking about all of the names she would rather have.  It happened sometimes.  But while flying over this particular field, she saw actual cows.

There weren’t any cows where Maybelle usually traveled.  The presence of the cows isn’t what caught Maybelle off guard though.  The real surprise was that she didn’t feel any animosity towards them.  For the first time in days, she didn’t feel animosity towards her mother, either.

Her mother’s tiredness at the end of her life didn’t seem so important, and neither did all of the taunts she had to endure at fruit fly school and fruit fly socials.  She was proud to be associated with these giant, furry animals.  They looked nice, and they looked like they would make an agreeable resting spot for a fruit fly far from home.  And they did.

From that day on, Maybelle made a point of getting lost in the general direction of the cow pasture.  She visited her cows and thought happy thoughts about where her name came from and how she was glad to be just a little bit different from all of the other fruit flies.  When her own fruit fly children finished metamorphosis, she named them all after cows, too.  She told them her own story and her mother’s, and they were proud of sticking out from the crowd.

The end.

See what happens when I’m forced to write and I don’t have anything to say?  Fruit flies live out entirely improbable (more like impossible) stories along with cows and sickly mothers and bad names.  All I can say is that I’m really glad my parents decided to name me Hannah instead of Gertruda or Brunhilda.  I would have to move to Germany to live that down.

Weekend in Review

On Friday night, I laughed a lot thanks to Brian Regan and his brother, then was mildly frustrated by a bartender who thought my drink of choice should be apple-centric.  Thanks, man.

I was epically lazy on Saturday morning.  Then I was suddenly inspired to go through my kitchen cabinets and get rid of unnecessary stuff that had accumulated.  It’s one of those things I’m always meaning to get around to, but never actually do.  Now the 80’s side table and TV that were left in my attic by previous owners have been joined by a smattering of items from my kitchen cabinets.  The plan is to have a yard sale someday when the collection reaches yard sale worthiness.  Definitely not there yet.

Saturday night involved awesome Italian food that put me into a serious food coma.  The coma started about 20 minutes after the food got to the table and ended right after UNC finished laying the smack down on Duke.  I celebrated that victory by turning the food coma into an actual late-evening nap.  Good stuff.

Sunday involved church, more good food with great people (your parents are totally being stolen, Marty… shouldn’t have left them unattended for so long), and youth group.  Youth group meant fun people again and Bible study and funfetti cupcakes.  Cupcakes meant a messy kitchen that got way worse when I made a chicken marinade at 11 P.M.  It’ll be worth it though.

The best part of the chicken event is that when I was pouring the marinade into the bags with chicken, I spilled kind of a big portion of the marinade on the floor.  If you have a dog, you know what happened next.  Peanut swooped in from who knows where to lick the whole thing up for me.  He’s such a self-sacrificing dog.

What he didn’t know is that the marinade has a healthy dose of jalapeno in it, seeds and all.  He started sneezing after a few seconds, kept sneezing for a long time, and then ran over to his food bowl to lick up any crumbs he could find to stop the jalapeno taste in his mouth.  He didn’t go anywhere near the spilled marinade again.

There were other awesome parts of the weekend, but that’s all I’ve got for now.  It was good, and now it’s Monday.

Things to look forward to this week: Friday adventures in the great state of Texas (and Saturday and Sunday adventures, for that matter) and seeing old friends twice in the same year.  I know that last thing doesn’t sound shocking to lots of people, but it’s quite an accomplishment for me.