young at art

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Firecrackers and Squash Toilets

With the end of the summer just around the corner, I have been thinking about all of the unusual ways that I used to spend my summers.

One of my favorite summer employment stories is working at our fireworks stand. It was a pretty lazy job for the first two weeks. The worst part was being forced out of bed in the summer. Also that we had to pack and restock the inventory daily to protect the fireworks from being stolen. During the day we usually spent our time puddling sweat, selling Black Cats and M-80's to 10 year old boys who planned to use them on defenseless animals or in ponds, and insisting that we did not have a secret stash of bottle rockets in "the back." Even though all we had was a tiny wooden stand with nowhere to put a "back." We also ate pretty good, since our Grandma Bonnie, Grandpa Ben, and Mama would bring us grub.

I do remember this one lady who would come to the stand.Casey and I would find all kinds of creative ways to avoid waiting on her. I know, it was mean. I was only like 14. She was a round, no-nonsense kind of woman in a floral mu-mu. She also walked all the way to the edge of town to our stand to buy smoke balls. In June. She said the smoke balls were for the spiders in her cellar. She would buy a few packs at a time and pay us with sweaty bills. I won't say where she stored the cash before she handed it to us. Let's just say that we did not want to touch it. I never did know who she was. Just one of the anonymous elderly. Man, I wish I had been more curious about her identity.

Before the fireworks stand, I had a brief stint at squash farming.Yes, I said squash farming. I had completely forgotten about this until recently when I was telling my friend Amanda about it at lunch. I have since asked my mom about it to fill in the details. Here goes. A local family, the Browns, I think, had planted several fields of squash and needed farm hands to help with the harvest. Harvest meaning, pick up this squash and put it in this 5 gallon bucket. They spread the word through our 4-H club. I had always been a little joiner, plus I needed money to buy a scooter. EVERYONE had one. Side-note: We lived in the country and did not even have a suitable surface on which to ride a scooter.

I arrived at Quick Way where my mom bought me and my sister breakfast. Probably a ham and cheese pizza pocket and a Mountain Dew, if I had my way. I'm going to estimate that breakfast cost $2.00 each. Then we loaded up on the truck with the other "hands" and headed on out. Here is where it gets hazy.

I remember that we got paid like 50 cents per bucket. Now, I was an average sized 11 year old. The bucket was heavy! It was sooooo hot! I hated to eat squash! We would walk along the furrowed rows and pick up the squash off of the ground. I know that I definitely got one full bucket. Then I saw her. Another girl my age! What is she doing? She looked so happy there in the dirt. Then I realized that she was carving something from a sub-par squash reject. Stacey was making little squash toilets. She was enjoying herself so much that I had to join her. So I did. Optimistically, I made 75 cents. My breakfast was $2.00. Enough said.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

August Rush

Okay. So, I do these breathing techniques to help me calm down, regroup, fall asleep, and basically not murder people. Lately, they have been very helpful and in the coming weeks, if you see me in a corner with my eyes closed repeatedly counting to four, just walk on by. Really. Here is the run-down on our crazy August. 

The restaurant (Coriander Cafe, come and see us!) will open in just a few weeks. The weekend of August 20th to be exact. All of my Washington pals will be able to tell you that the opening coincides exactly with back-to-school. Soooo, for the next few weeks, CHAOS! Jeremiah and Chris have been working at a furious pace already. I can't imagine the perfect storm we will create when I throw myself into the mix. 

At this point, I am going to throw in a little update on my dad. Mostly because my family takes up a ton of space in my mind and I never feel like I have enough time there. Here goes.The doctors have basically decided that it would be best to manage his pain at this point, since his liver is very damaged from all of the treatment. Any more chemo would make his liver hurt even more. Less time on the road to Houston and more time with family is in order.  

Now for baby. I haven't done a lick to prepare the nursery for our little baby girl. We were mostly waiting to find out her gender, but I must say that procrastination has come into play. We also have yet to fix the kitchen and utility room floors along with other home repairs. And we need to register. Sheesh.

Inhale, 2, 3, 4-Hold, 2, 3, 4-Exhale, 2, 3, 4- Hold, 2, 3, 4- Repeat. Try it. It works. 

This is slowly turning into a to-do list. To stop myself and save you, I end with a quote from Forrest Gump. That's all I have to say about that. For now:)


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Road-trip Linguistic Sampler

Here are a few of the PG-rated quotable quotes I heard while trekking across the country in a Chrysler Town and Country Van with four grown men. Pardon the implied potty humor. It was unavoidable.

1. You coulda put anything in my pocket. I thought I was going to die!
2. This van smells like sausage.
3. That smell did not come from outside!
4. I'm not taking a shower for the rest of the time.
5. I can't get this butterbeer taste out of my mouth.
6. AHHH! I only have one "constanant!" (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose)
7. I just saw a bunch of kids coming out of Harry Potter waving their wands.
8. At least you don't have cankles yet.
9. I saw the fire in your eyes that night. I NEVER wanna see that again!
10. I have sand in my bits and pieces. My cash and prizes.
11. You're gonna be a love-less, big-bellied merman.
12. I'm sorry. I need to clear the distractions from my life and just sing.
13. I would rather not hear about your twosies.

With all of the active imaginations out there, I am sure you can fill in the conversations that surrounded these quotes. I am a little scared to hear your speculations...

We did make it all the way to Orlando and back home, which is pretty darn good if you ask me. All I can say is sheesh. We had lots of fun, but vacations always make me appreciate home. So glad to be back:)


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Reading Goal

I love to read! I have this fear, planted in my head by my sister, that once the baby arrives, I won't have time to cut my toenails, much less read. So... fueled by anxiety and my voracious literary appetite, I am setting a goal. Here is the list of books I WANT to read this summer.

  • Sundays at Tiffany's- my wonderful friend Hollie recommends this one. She said that the tagline is, "What if your one true love is your imaginary friend?" Need I say more? I can't wait to read this one. It will also be my first James Patterson book. 
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. This one is about a woman who, at age eleven, discovers that she can taste emotions in food. My first inclination: a gift and a curse. Plus, with Jeremiah being a chef, I feel an interesting connection. I also love love love the title.
  • Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It. 11 short stories. Oprah had it on her summer reading list. Nuf said.
  • The Outlander Series- I'm on to book 2 "Voyager." Who doesn't love time travel and Scottish Highland Clansmen?  BONUS: The main male character, Jamie Fraser, is super dreamy. Plus my Grandma Bonnie has excellent taste in books. She opened my eyes to the series.
  • The Hunger Games- Yet another Carol Fain recommendation. We all know that she can pick a book! It is by Suzanne Collins (author of the Gregor the Overlander series). From what I remember it seems to be all about a contest in an impoverished society. The winner of the contest gets food for their family for life...I think the losers die. Sheesh!
  • Three Cups of Tea- I'm having a hard time getting started on this one. I usually struggle with non-fiction, but I really want to see it through. 
  • All of my baby books. 
As I finish a book, my plan is to write a little review. Wish me luck! If you have any suggestions, leave a comment. I always love a good book:)