Friday, August 29, 2008

Journal Articles, Book Reviews, and Web Design Projects...Oh My!

I started grad school recently; I'm taking 2 classes this semester. Here is a glimpse of what my weekends will look like for the next few months:



Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Decisions, Decisions

BD and I have decided to replace our laminate countertops in the kitchen with something a little nicer. We've considered lots of options - solid surface, granite, etc - and are leaning towards going with quartz. We recently brought home some samples to check out. Here they are against our existing countertops; you can also see our cabinets and paint color (the paint looks green here - it's actually a gold-khaki...Ralph Lauren 'Toast' to be exact). Our appliances are white although hopefully we'll replace them with stainless eventually.

All 4 samples together here - L to R: the first one is brownish, the second is khaki/cream (basically the same as the laminate we have now), the third is blackish, and the fourth is greyish. They all have lots of colors mixed in when you see them in person.

These are our top 2 choices - the middle 2 from the first picture. We're leaning toward the darker one because the contrast really brings out the wall and cabinet color. But it sure is hard to decide off a 4x4 sample!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tales of the Tail: The One with the Tomato

Occasionally we give Kip fresh fruits and veggies as a treat. It's always a guessing game as to what he will or will not eat. So far we've discovered that he likes apples, bananas, and grapes. He does not like pears, carrots, and celery. Today we tried a cherry tomato...


Sunday Stitches: Finished Product


It is finished.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Stitches: An Update

Well, I finally finished my cross stitch project; it took me a total of 8 months. However, I was so excited to finally be done that I rushed it off to the frame shop and forgot to take a picture of it. It is ready at the frame shop, and I will pick it up this week, so I will post a completed picture soon.

In the meantime, I have finished a second project and started a third. The second project only took 8 days - I'd say I scaled back after the first one. I have another 'major' piece in mind, but I'd like to complete a couple of smaller ones before I tackle it.

The second project:

(Yes, it's about dogs too. Yes, I'm obsessed.)

The third project:



(This one is not about dogs!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Feathered Friends

This summer we have been really dilligent about keeping our hummingbird feeder clean and full of fresh nectar. I guess the word has spread quickly in the hummingbird community because I think we've got every hummer in a 3 mile radius coming to our feeder! They seem to be really territorial - constantly chasing each other away from the feeder. Their wings make them sound like giant bumblebees, and they also make this squeaky noise when they're chasing each other. They are so fun to watch! We have their feeder hung right outside our kitchen window so we can see them up close. BD has gotten some great shots of them in the past few days.











Friday, August 15, 2008

New Haircut

Hey look - I had all my hair cut off!




Also: AHHHHHH - I had all my hair cut off! It is the style I wanted but significantly shorter than I was expecting.






Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scenes of Summer: A Photo Essay








(Saturday night at the ball game.)



(Male hummingbird resting on the tomato plant cage.)


(Large insects.)


(Tomatoes ripening on the windowsill.)

(Homemade bruschetta made with home-grown tomatoes.)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hotlanta

During our recent trip to Atlanta, we toured the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coke museum.

Although the aquarium was super crowded, we got to see some pretty cool exhibits.



(BD 'petted' horshoe crabs and sea anemones. I didn't touch anything.)



(We got to see the sea lions at their snack time, so they were really playful and cute.)


(Nico, the Beluga whale, likes to 'pose' for pictures with guests.)


(We also saw the 'Atlanta Rat Tail' exhibit.)

The World of Coke museum was super cool. It has an actual bottling factory inside, and you get to taste Coke products from all over the world -- Japanese Coke tastes really weird! It has also a huge gift shop with every type of Coke merchandise you can imagine.


(Coke memorabilia -- the one just to the right of my head is the oldest piece of memorabilia, it's a Christmas bell and was produced in 1903. The painting is a Norman Rockwell and is worth $2.2 million.)


The traffic in Atlanta was terrible, so we traveled on back roads as much as possible. We saw some interesting sights.



(An "aviation" neighborhood -- there was a grass landing strip and each house had a hangar and/or an airplane parked in the yard.)

(We also found a hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint for some good Texas BBQ and southern-style fried catfish -- neither of which can we get in NC.)


All in all, it was a great trip!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Last weekend, BD and I spent a few days in Atlanta where BD participated in the Dale Jarrett Racing Experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He did a ride-along experience where he rode 3 laps in a car driven by a professional driver, and he also did a driving experience where he drove 10 laps around the track. During the driving, he was the fastest out of 8 cars on the track - at speeds of 150+. He had a great time, and we highly recommend if you or someone you know is into cars/driving fast/etc.

(At the tunnel to the infield, we had to sign a track release, but once inside we were impressed by how open and accessible the track was.)

(Suiting up in a fire-proof racing suit.)


(Getting in the car.)


(A few last minute instructions from a crew member.)

(Attaching the HANS device to protect head and neck in case "the wall jumps out in front of the car".)


(One last check of the engine.)

(And he's off!)

(This was a group warm-up lap.)


(He's starting to pick up speed in this one. I stopped videoing after he got up to full speed -- because it was a 10 second clip of a blurry little blob speeding by the screen.)