Category Archives: humor

Before you judge me, know this:

I had this plan that I was going to blog much more regularly.  As with so many other things in my life, the unexpected came up and life got so busy and all of a sudden, too much time has passed for my liking.  The biggest factor has been wedding fever; the disease has taken over the household and isn’t going anywhere.  Don’t get me wrong:  I’m loving it and enjoying all of the fine detail planning.  My favorite part, though, has been the time spent with my little sister, whom I still cannot believe is getting married.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I thought I’d put myself out there and expose more facets of my personality to you all.  Don’t judge too harshly. 🙂

I love cereal.  All kinds of cereal.  Not Raisin Bran, though; raisins and bran should never be in cereal.  I could eat cereal all the time.  And cake.  Oh my word, cake……

You all need to read The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.  I wasn’t even that far into it before I decided it was one of my favorite books.

I think about my college roomie at least five times a day.  She’s my bestie and I miss her all the time.

The cancellation of the whimsically delightful Pushing Daisies is still a sore spot with me, and I never tire of watching episodes on DVD.

Drivers who go flying around me only to turn in front of me drive me crazy.  So do impatiently angry drivers.  Are you in that big of a hurry?  Leave your house sooner!!!

Currently dominating my iPod:  The Civil Wars, Adele, the Angels & Demons soundtrack, The King’s Speech soundtrack, Sherlock Holmes soundtrack, Mumford & Sons, Ingrid Michaelson, and Coldplay (pretty much always on the dominant list).

I love going out and getting a cocktail.  I’m consistently a martini or red wine girl, but I have no interest in getting trashed.  I much prefer to nurse a drink over a great conversation with friends.  If you’re looking for a hard partyer, I am not your lady.

Speaking of which, I don’t have expensive taste.  I enjoy a great cup of coffee, a sunny day, running around in the rain, a good book, beautiful music, experiencing other cultures, art, films and history.  I don’t need expensive jewelry, fellas:  just give me some fresh flowers once in a while.

On that note:  I really want to be in a great relationship, and with my sister’s impending wedding, the little wish is becoming a nagging itch.  Although, if I had a choice, I think I might like to have a really small, simple wedding and a spectacular honeymoon.

I love local coffee houses and pubs/diners.  My favorite coffeehouse, Firefly, is an eclectic place with fabulous coffee and yummy food.  Local artists can sell their wares there, and you’ll find artists, theater folk, musicians, business people, and opinionated old men all relaxing for long periods of time.  As far as restaurants go, I’d much rather check out a little hole-in-the-wall place with amazing food and a great atmosphere than go to a well-known chain.

My biggest indulgence is a spa pedicure every great once-in-a-while.  My feet feel amazing afterward, and I love having painted toenails.  I can’t paint my fingernails because I’m way to rough on my hands; a manicure is just a waste of time & money for me.

The Liberty Mutual commercials in which people pay it forward by doing little things for strangers get me every time.

I adore babies.  I’m fascinated by their wonder at the world around them and they’re so cute and cuddly.

The Orthodox cross is tattooed on my right foot.  It represents both faith and family.

I’m easily over-stimulated.  I become anxious in big crowds or if I am in a place where I don’t have an easy exit.  I don’t get along with heights at all, though I love flying.  I’m very sensitive to textures as well, from food to clothing to wrinkles in my socks or bedding.  I’m quirky. 🙂

I love the beach.  Love it.  And, after living in Italy for a while, I am extremely anxious to experience the rest of Europe.

I don’t care what anyone says, I love Disney World.

If I had a million dollars, I’d pay off my school loans, help my brother & sister with theirs, and travel a lot more.

Whew, I’m exhausted.  That’s it for this post.  Oh, yeah, I can also be really flighty, as I get bored and distracted somewhat easily.



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A Year In Review

I’m terrible with resolutions, so I’m not making any this year.  Instead, I’m reflecting on a year of ups and downs, focusing more on the ups, however big or small they were.

My parents have continued to lovingly welcome me to live in their home, rent-free.  They’re pretty awesome.

I was able to celebrate my Baba’s 80th birthday with her:

I reunited with my dear former apartment-mates, Meggie, Amy, and Casey  in Chicago.  Through the wonders of technology, we were joined by Whitney in Bulgaria, via Skype.

I’ve been able to spend more time with dear friends, like Megan & Valerie.

I celebrated the weddings of many special people this past year, including:

Tom & Christine Chiaccio

Ben & Kerrie Taylor

Steve & Cortney Conn

Zach & Janelle Taylor

I’ve rejoiced with loved ones who have brought new life into the world.  Welcome to the babies!!!



Baby Theresa, whom I do not yet have a picture!  Babies yet to arrive are Baby Oakleaf and Baby Constantino, and I’m excited for them all.

I’ve become a member of a church plant that has given me a huge family to be a part of, and they bless me immensely.

I’ve met a world of bloggers who are artists, cooks, writers, and thinkers, and they continue to inspire and delight me each day.  Basically, 2010 was about reconnecting with people.  People can be the worst part of your day, but they are also what makes life most beautiful.

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The Ice Shelf is Melting!

CAVEAT:  The following is a semi-sarcastic tirade of mine.  This is not meant to start political arguments on my blog because, honestly, I just don’t care.  Argue your politics on someone else’s blog.

If you’re still reading:

Global warming was not a smart term to create.  No one understands it.  Everyone keeps expecting temperatures to become higher and higher, all year, until the earth itself bursts into a massive ball of flames.  I believe “climate change” to be a better term.  Summers are far more hot, humid, and unbearable and winters are far more harsh, icy, and unbearable than they were when I was a kid.  There’s been a huge increase in natural disasters, though they cannot be directly linked to climate change.  But, come one!  Russia is on fire! Greenland and the Poles (band name, anyone?) are melting!  Jellyfish are taking over the ocean!

I find the whole climate change/global warming debate interesting: everyone seems to have scientific proof to back his/her opinions.  I saw Al Gore’s film in my college chemistry class……what is it called?  Something with an “I”……I don’t know, I can only think of Inception (awe-some!).  I guffawed at the animation of polar bears becoming trapped on icebergs which floated out into the ocean, slowly melting until the polar bear had to swim for its life.  Some say I have a twisted sense of humor, and that may be/is true, but I think Al went a bit over the top.  The ice shelf may be melting, but I don’t think all the polar bears are so feeble-minded as to hang out on only those parts of ice which are breaking away.  And, seriously, they wouldn’t realize what was happening and shift it to the mainland until they reached the middle of the ocean?!

ANYWAY, I painted the following piece based on some recent images of the melting of the ice shelf in Greenland.  Greenland is melting!!! 🙂  I used only three colors and painted about 90% of the piece using a palette knife.  In other words, this piece stretched me in many ways, and I’m really happy with the results.

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Small Town Festival

Here’s the conclusion!

Small town festivals are so worth your time.  You’re surrounded by a community of people who, for the most part, all know one another.  These people love celebrating their town’s identity, and they don’t need anything extravagant to do so.  All the food is homemade, the music is great, and the fireworks at the end of the day are fantastic.  Here’s a glimpse into Fremont’s 2010 Music Fest…

I was in the beer tent with some relatives when I noticed a guy carrying around a giant tortoise/turtle (whatever, I don’t know the difference, but it was a strange thing to see in a beer tent):

The Sweet Adelaides, a “barbershop” choir made up of local women, and let me tell you, these ladies really, truly enjoy what they do.  My great-aunt Betty is the one in the white shirt.

Small towns have sweet raffles.  The Moose Lodge gave away an old war rifle……

……and a new tractor!

Unlike many of today’s vendor’s who reheat frozen products, the elephant ears at Music Fest are made to order from scratch, and they are sooooooo worth the wait.

This is my family’s favorite part of Music Fest:  The Applejack Cloggers, who are so enjoyable to watch and are so great at what they do.

Gotta have a caller who can spin a good tale and tell a bad joke:

I’ll leave you with my favorite shot of the day:

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Small Town Parade

If you’ve never experienced an all-American, small town parade, you’ve missed out on a beautiful part of Americana.  My mom grew up in the little town of Fremont, tucked up into the northeast corner of Indiana.  Every summer, we make the trip up for the town’s Music Fest, which includes a parade, and, seriously:  who doesn’t love a parade?  This year my grandparents, who have poured themselves into this community for decades, were chosen to be the grand marshals!  Here they are, waiting for the parade to start:

Here, the parade begins with the veterans of the American Legion leading the way with the colors.  Parade attendees always stand and cheer.

You can’t have a parade without a sweet motorcycle gang.

Fremont’s finest!

Here come Nana and Papa, followed by the high school band!

An all-American parade should always include the Daughters of the Revolution.

The DAR handed out flags, which delighted my sister.

Some things in a small town parade make no sense, but they’re awesome anyway:

This was the little guy’s first parade!  Between all the candy thrown from marchers and his flag and all the noise, he had quite a great time.

Small towns and farming communities are made up of a very different breed of people compared to cities.  For example, a local preacher is also an Iron Man competitor:

I have no clue what to caption this next picture, although I think he was looking for a parade in small town West Virginia.

Small town parades have to include tractors!

Small town parades do not end uncertainly; they include some creative finale:

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Peony Problem

So, Mama had these gorgeous, massive peonies growing in the corner of the backyard.  When my sister graduated from college and moved home, we had a lovely dinner party to celebrate, and the tables were graced with the lovely flowers.  They lasted quite a while, wilting very slowly.  I thought they’d last forever, and perhaps they would have, if they only had legs and could run away from the power of my exuberant brother’s arms.  See, peonies are kind of fragile and, sadly, we lost the wounded peonies soon after Zach finished talking with his arms.

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Another Adventurous Mishap

I don’t know how things like this continuously happen to my family, but we honestly cannot do anything without some sort of hilarious (in hindsight) catastrophe.  Wanna know what happened this time?

Our ancient washing machine bit the dust.  It’s been dying a slow death for quite a while now, but it has completely given up on us.  Mama purchased a new one and it is coming tomorrow.  However, the good old days when the installation men would remove the old, hook up the new, and leave with the old are long gone, so we had to unhook everything for ourselves.  This was a disaster.  Our bathroom flooded, Dad cut him self and was bleeding everywhere (I seriously thought he’d popped a vein), and we could not get the water turned off.  As we near 9:30, I’ve paused to update you all and reflect on my glass of Shiraz.  I’ve never, ever seen Dad so angry, but at least it was at an inanimate object. 

And I still have my Lemon Sour Cream Pound cakes to bake!!!  Oh, washing machine……why now?!

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‘Tis the season…

…for high school proms and graduation!  Yes, amidst my weekly trips here and there for bridal showers (a major hindrance to my bank account), I was able to be home for my younger brother’s senior prom.  He was a stud, as he usually is.  Honestly, Zach is such a high-quality, well-rounded guy, and awfully mature for an eighteen year-old.  I’m incredibly proud of him.

Anyway, prom was particularly crazy this year.  Zach and Kate-o were returning super late from a competition in Indy, so it was a mad rush to get changed (they went with a black and white theme this year), take pics, go to dinner, and get to prom before the doors are locked.  That’s right: high schools proms have a last call.  It was stressful and insane and hilarious, but they made it!

Oh, wait……you want to see pictures? Fine!  I’ll stop talking.

This is his Horatio Caine pose, which we’ve done for each of his high school formal dances.

I love this boy. 🙂

Here is his lady, Katelyn.  I LOVE this dress.  I want to get married in a dress like this.

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Mother’s Day Foul

After a long absence (life is pandemonium!), I return to you with an anecdote from this past Sunday, Mother’s Day.  It had been a lovely day of relaxation and indulging in all the little things that make my Mama particularly happy, like Dad’s homemade blueberry waffles, mimosas, and the completion of planting all of Mama’s flowers.

It was late now, nearing midnight, and everyone had to get up early for school and jobs.  Mama & Daddy were in bed, and my little brother climbed up between them.  Their bed is about eight feet off the ground; you really have to get some momentum going to get up there.  Even though Zach is a lanky eighteen-year-old and took up a lot of space, I wanted to join in the love fest, so I started to climb up, too.


The bed suddenly fell about four feet.  That’s right; it broke.  I felt so badly that I was in tears because, seriously, who wants to take apart a queen sized bed and put it all back together again near midnight?!  It took a while, and it was hard work as my parents have a tiny room and the bed is so huge and old and made of wood, and did I mention it’s a canopy bed?  It was a grand Mother’s Day party foul that I will never live down.

If I get married, the bed will be on a slab on the floor.

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Wine Time

The production of wine goes back thousands of years, and many believe it actually originated in the Middle East.  Evidence of the earliest European wine production has been uncovered at archaeological sites in Macedonia, dated to 6,500 years ago, which is an incredibly exciting fact for a member of the Macedonian ethnicity who just loves her wine.  However, wine production improved considerably during the Roman Empire, and today, much of the world associates classically great wine with Italy.

I experienced some truly wonderful Italian wines while living in Orvieto.  I had only consumed light white wines before Italy, but my roommate over there came from a family of red wine drinkers, and she got me hooked on the full-bodied Chiantis of Tuscany.  I will now drink a dry red wine at room temperature over anything else I am offered.  Thanks a lot, Amy.  You’ve ruined me.

My time in Italy inspired me with the desire to try wines from other parts of the world, including Argentina, Chile, Hungary, and Australia.  If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner once in a while, or a glass while you are cooking, I encourage you to try something imported, something new, and not just the cheap table wine that tastes like weird juice.  My favorite sparkling wine, far more than champagne, is Italian Prosecco, or the delightfully crisp Moscato D’Asti.  You get the bubbles and the feeling of something expensive and special, but without the bitter aftertaste champagne often leaves.

My parents and I have sort of adopted a “house red”.  We love the wines from the Kalbarri vineyard in Australia:

We don’t drink too much white wine anymore, but when we do, it’s usually the Orvieto Classico I introduced to my family upon my return to the states.  I haven’t found a vineyard that has reproduced the divine Classico that the Bigi vineyard does, but they don’t export their wine, so I’ve had to settle for another:

Chianti, however, will always have a special place in my heart because it reminds me of all of the meals I ate, the friends I made, the personal growing I did, and the memories I made throughout Italy.  Wine is a huge part of life over there, not a beverage on which one becomes drunk, but one that is enjoyed in company and to celebrate every wonderful thing about life.  When I purchase a Chianti, (which I do only every once in a while because I’m a snob about it actually coming from the vineyards in Tuscany) I splurge a little, because some things in life, as in relationships, are about quality, not quantity.

Here is where I will sound like a huge wine snob:  do not buy boxed wine.  It’s never as good as bottled, and it tells anyone who looks in your refrigerator that either you are incredibly cheap or you drink so much that you need a giant straw to go into your liquored up juice box.  In conclusion, enjoying wine and being a wine snob does not make you an alcoholic or a bad person.  It’s always about moderation, friends, just like with junk food, children, and romantic comedies.

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