May Require a Few Viewings

It was a banner day yesterday – all thanks to this lady.

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I’ve been hacked…

Apologies if you received the following (or other similar) email(s) from my email address. Please disregard.

Subject: :)hhhhhghbbhjyz

Body: Nbbbbbnnnnnnnnnnnmmnnnmm

Hjjjjjiikmjkkkjjkookkjhggfdsdfffddsyyrruio     Jhhjjtvdghhjj kjjjjjjjjkkjjkhgdfhhfdgkhhkbjjmkkjkkkkllklkll.   Hgggsjjjkkogghhjhujiuhjjggkkjhgds.


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Attention, Murderers…

Do you think just any town could get away with a sign like this? We love our (safe) town (and we aren’t the only ones). Thanks for the heads up, Banshee!


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The Miracle of Life

Don’t worry, this post does not contain any graphic or awkward health class videos.

3 months ago we welcomed a 2nd daughter into our family.

She was beautiful and, like all babies, came standard with life-sustaining skills: the ability to root, suckle and grasp, and lesser-known Tonic, Moro and Babinski reflexes. We think of babies as helpless little creatures but biology has really given them all they need to grow. It’s pretty amazing that each baby somehow figures out how to hold their head up, use their arms, roll over, swallow solid food, sit, etc. — on a predictable schedule! But the most striking thing I’ve learned these last 2.5 years is that children come to us innocent and innately good, full of love and trust.

Textbook Tonic!

Textbook Tonic, Baby!

The best part of being able to spend each day with my 2 girls is seeing them learn these things. I put Lindsay to bed one night, and she wakes up the next morning and she all-of-a-sudden knows how to hold onto toys or roll over or splash in the bathtub. I can assure you that there is nothing that I or the other half billion mothers on the planet are doing to make sure that their babies are reaching all of these developmental milestones — the answer is biology.

Wanna know the weirdest biological phenomenon in all of this? 9 months of pregnancy followed by delivery and sleepless nights all fades away with those first smiles and giggles.

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Snowstorm Pax — Family Circus Style

Last Wednesday, the southeast was blanketed with snow. At our house outside of Charlotte, the 24-hour storm netted 7-8″ of snow. Lindsay loved it! We built a good-looking snowman (who has since turned into Rachel Frederickson), walked around, threw some snowballs, watched Lindsay eat snow and then went inside for hot chocolate.

Rachel Frederickson Snowman

Our south-facing backyard thawed by yesterday morning, all except a tiny set of footprints. I guess the compression of the snow kept it from melting as quickly as the uncompressed snow. Steve’s footprints, however, were not as preserved, suggesting that Lindsay’s foot size struck the perfect balance between surface area and compression in relation to geothermal radiation and solar energy…plus Bil Keane equals cute. Or something. Yay for snow days!

Footprints in the Snow

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Crossword Gold

crossword gold

A month ago, the beloved crossword turned 100. Steve and I love crosswords and I  work on one most days. Just to keep the ol’ wheels turning.

We watched Wordplay, a documentary of the crossword world and its addicts, featuring Bill Clinton, the Indigo Girls, Jon Stewart and of course Will Shortz. We liked it and thought it was an interesting mix of NY Times crosswords history, humor and suspense (the show followed the 2005 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament).

This was in contrast to Word Wars, a 2004 documentary of Scrabble players, which left me with a really bad impression of Scrabblers. Trust me, crossword puzzlers are way cooler. Watch both and you’ll see what I mean.

If you’re thinking of becoming a cruciverbalist or an enigmatologist, here’s my Top 10 list of crossword gold. Go ahead and commit these puppies to memory and you’re guaranteed to fill in at least a few squares in every puzzle you attempt. Good luck!

1. Bobby ORR – Canadian hockey great from the ’60s and ’70s. Not to be confused with Mel OTT – Baseball slugger with the NY Giants.

2. ÉPÉE – Fencing/dueling sword. Don’t worry, accent marks aren’t included.

3. EDO – Former name of Tokyo. This tends to come up more than ‘former name of Istanbul.’

4. ADEN – Gulf or Seaport in Yemen. Arrr!

5. European Rivers such as the URAL, ELBE, OLT, etc. These are my archnemeses of clues.

6. Rare fowl such as EGRET, EMU, NENE, etc. FOUL (or sordid) language, on the other hand, is strictly prohibited.

7. All things Greek (letters, frats, mythology, etc.). This is where Steve comes in.

8. ETNA – An active volcano in Sicily. Not to be confused with AETNA insurance.

9. Basic Spanish and French vocabulary. HOLA, SENORITA! COMO ESTAS?

10. Barnyard vocabulary (EWE, SOW, FOAL, STY, etc.) and visitors (MAGI).

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About 15 months ago I bought a $60 (vintage! antique!) dresser for Lindsay’s room. It had some issues but I was up for a project. It had good bones afterall. Seven months later and it was finished!

Dresser Before and After

I decided to list the original (vintage! antique!) knobs on Ebay to see what they could fetch. Starting price: $5. S&H: $5. Six days later and all I had were a couple of measly bids. So of course I logged in with Steve’s account and jacked the price up to $8 until I was the high bidder. Surely someone would take the (e)bayt… But no, Steve-o had won the knobs.

A little embarrassed but not defeated, I relisted the item, set the same initial price and S&H but opted for a 3-day auction instead. I promised myself (and Steve) I wouldn’t intervene/log-in to his account. I actually forgot about it until I got an email notifying me that my item had sold for $37! Not bad, eh? This got me thinking about whether shorter auction times are more profitable/competitive. (Of course, this wouldn’t hold true for bigger ticket items where extra days would garner more followers.) But it was probably just dumb luck. Any Ebay pros out there?

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