Monday, September 28, 2009

Adventures of a Busy Saturday

What do an old house, barbecue and a concert have in common? Our last Saturday of course. After a few month of struggling to find something more important than football to enjoy on a lovely fall Saturday, Rich and I found ourselves triple booked for a change.

First, it was Smithsonian museum day. The Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace was available for tour free of charge. Although I had volunteered there, I'd never had the opportunity to explore the house. It was amazing and definitely worth the cost of admission (even on days when its not free). The home is very well preserved with incredible furnishings. The home has a lot of character. Unlike some museum homes, you can visualize a family living there. The history and family stories add to the charm. Of course there were less glamorous facets just glazed over, such as servants and Juliette's divorce. I think the glazing makes me want to do my own research and discover the unofficial tour information. Overall though, it really was worth the time.
Next, we attended the flying pig barbecue festival where Rich was a "celebrity guest judge." The carnivore had three servings of meat without having to pause for fillers like side dishes. He methodically and seriously approached his task. His professionalism attempted to mask his opinions. Yet I knew his "meat" face, the moment he tasted the winner, even if he tried to keep it in check. Luckily the rain managed to hold off until after we'd left.

Finally, we got back in Doug and were on the road. The Decemberists were playing in Athens and we drove 4 hours to be there. Along the way, we stopped to do some junking (I love antique stores!). We were greeted by many unusual sites including my dad's place-- "Grumpy's Restaurant," a manatee shaped mailbox that was probably as tall as me, and billboards advertising "Free Guns." Only in Georgia...The scenery was nice as the landscapes starts to roll as you head north. I've decided, if I have to live in an old home in Georgia, I want to be in some small town or in the middle of nowhere. In Savannah, no one has much of a yard.

About an hour out of Athens, the sky opened and buckets of rain drenched the route. Driving conditions were scary. We thought of pulling over at the next gas station, but since we were in the middle of nowhere that plan failed.
Thankfully we arrived in Athens in one piece, but then had the chore of finding parking. Who's bright idea was it to schedule a concert in a hall near the stadium while UGA was home and playing a 7:00 game? Seriously, one garage was charging $40. When we stopped for dinner, it was pouring outside. Yet Georgia fans, armed with bulldog red ponchos were joyously marching onward. Who are these people?

After all our trials, the concert was definitely worth the trip. The Decemberists are amazing. Their live performance and stage presence do not disappoint. I was impressed with the crowd they drew--there were many of the expected geeky-chic college students but also an assortment of middle-aged music lovers. They played The Hazards of Love from start to finish without a single pause. That takes talent and a really well-organized road crew. They then came back for a second set which found the crowd on their feet. They closed with an unexpected cover of Crazy on You which rocked.

The four hour drive back to Savannah was definitely not the highlight of the day, but all and all, not a bad way to spend a Saturday. StumbleUpon

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crafty Goodness

I've been pretty swamped with course work, regular work, job hunting.... I haven't had much time to quilt, but I have had a little weekend time to get some sewing in. Lately I've been making stuffed toys. My first effort was the bunny. I used a simplicity pattern that was easy to follow and some yellow and white striped flannel. The button eyes came from a shirt we were getting rid off. The nose is embroidered, though you can tell that I've never embroidered. The accent ribbons were leftover from the flower girl baskets. I think the next time I make one, I want to use chenille.

I also made this geometric toy. Essentially it's three oval cuts of fabric stitched to form a single piece. Each is turned out, stuffed, and hand stitched close. Four units are stitch together to make a ring. Three rings combine to make the toy. I was glad to have had heavy duty thread on hand--I had used it to repair Rich's hockey gloves earlier in the summer. The stronger thread was harder to work with, but should hold the toy together well. StumbleUpon

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A librarian's weekened

For my law library and legal research class, I got to take a field trip! I was not overly excited about waking up before 6 a.m., especially since Rich didn't get home from the football game until 1:30. I wasn't too pleased about the three hour drive to Macon either. Despite these petty complaints, it was a great learning experience. I learned so much by talking with my classmates, several of whom had been lawyers or worked in law libraries. They were able to help break down the language barrier I'd been suffering from since the class started.

We also toured the law library at Mercer. This was a great opportunity to physically see many of the materials we'd been discussing. I loved the architecture and have decided that law libraries must have better alumni than any school I've ever attended or worked for. The comfortable yet traditional furnishing that were everywhere gave the library a sense of familiarity, yet distinction. There was even a mirrored dressing table in the women's restroom. I could get used to that.
The day got me thinking that maybe someday I could become a lawyer. It's an interesting thought. I'm smart enough, I could make a go of it. However, I don't think I'd like the arguing, just the research. I like problem solving and am pretty good at it. Librarian it is. StumbleUpon

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Our Home for Wayward Animals

Our apartment building is really rather perfect for stray cat mothers and their progeny. Unlike many of the buildings in the complex, it has a rather large crawl space. Directly below our quad is some loose lattice work just large enough for a cat to squeeze through. The humble abode is securely guarded by lush, thick and spiky holly bushes. Consequently, we are on our second litter of fur balls this summer. There are four black kittens and "Momma Cass," who is actually rather skinny for such a name. She started as "Momma Cat," but that wasn't much of a proper name. We've taken to feeding them dry food when we see them. I never realized small and hungry kittens could be so territorial over there food. They growl at one another. I've decided to place four small piles across the porch rather than one large bowl.

The next visitor to our home for wayward animals earned the name "Annie," as in little orphan Annie. She's a reddish-tan mixed breed with a black snout. She has a square head and soft short coat. I first noticed her while walking Roz in the evening about a week ago. She seemed to scurry away from us and caused no problems. I figured someone had just forgot to bring her in for the night.

On Sunday, Rich really noticed her. He tried to befriend her. Doing so went extremely easy. Once she got over her initial hesitations, she became the sweetest thing who wanted nothing more than to be petted. She wasn't even very hungry, although we left food and water for her the first night, just in case. She reluctantly sat on our porch with us and played with Roz through the window. Roz was excited because she wanted a new friend.

Another couple had been out walking that night and noticed her. They felt bad too and left her a bowl of kibbles and bits and some water under the tree in front of our apartment. Compared to our Pedigree, Annie loved the Kibbles.

Although Rich wanted to keep her, it was late and I informed him she couldn't come in without a bath. I was concerned about vet bills and the added expense, but so we agreed to temporary custody of Annie, until a better home could be found for her.

I had Monday off, so that morning we went in search of her. She was no where to be found. I searched all day. However it wasn't until Rich came home shortly after sundown that she returned to her playground "den." When Rich pulled in, she came over to him. We boxed Roz, petted Annie and brought her in for a bath. The bath went great; she was scared, but definitely more calm about the whole affair than Roslyn ever is. Rich and I discussed a Kroger run to get some Kibbles and Bits, a collar, maybe a second leash, even a new bone (or two so Roz wouldn't be jealous). While the flea shampoo set, I "baby proofed" the kitchen, relocating any chewable foods to higher ground.

After the bath, we dried Annie and moved her to the kitchen. We set up the baby gate so she and Roz could gradually socialize. I then let Roz out of her box. Without any warning, our "sweet" Annie snapped. She violently growled and bolted for Roz. In an instant, she had bust through the baby gate and was in pursuit. She chased Roz who ran for the shelter of her box. I did my best to block her, but was also afraid to stand between them. She nipped at Roz, who thankfully had enough fluff to keep the skin from being broken. Rich grabbed Annie's tale and yanked her out of the spare bedroom. I closed the door to keep Roz safe while Rich used a dinning room chair like a lion tamer to force Annie out of the house. We clearly wanted nothing more to do with her.

We tried chasing her from the house and ignored her hoping she'd move on. Yet Roz needed one last walk for the night. When we came out, we saw Annie across the yard at the playground. We hoped we could quickly sneak out without her approaching us. Unfortunately, Roz was attached a second time, as Annie had clearly become very territorial.

Throughout the night she remained on our porch or in the yard. Roz didn't seem too phased, especially since she got extra love and a peanut butter filled bone. However, she was restless and kept checking the window every few hours.

This morning, we were awoken by Annie's aggressive barks as cleaners attempted to visit the apartment above us. We knew we couldn't walk Roz if this continued. We went to speak to the folks in the front office who reported that animal services had been notified. They had attempted to catch her three times already this week, but Annie was clever and had evaded them.

Rich obtained a rope from the office, as well as the number for animal control. I called while Rich kept Annie in his sight. She no longer would let him approach and had become increasingly territorial. She even attacked a city worker's pick-up. After an hour or more, with the help of the office worker, Rich got the rope around Annie and had her tied to the office while she awaited pickup.

This has been a learning adventure. There are so many more things that could have gone wrong. We're really grateful that no one was hurt. We're sorry that it didn't work out for Annie. We hope she finds a good home some day. For now, we'll settle for being more cautious Samaritans. StumbleUpon