Category Archives: Whatnot

Randomness that doesn’t fit in any other category.

Herbert

On Tuesday evening I left work at my normal time and headed out on my normal route and the drive itself was unfolding quite normally, but then a ways down Mebane Oaks Road I came upon some cars that appeared to be stopped for no reason. Until of course I saw the reason…a small white goat was parading down the middle of the road baaaa-ing at cars. A lady coming from the other direction in a truck rolled down her window to talk to me and we both sort of shrugged expressing uncertainty over how we were to handle this situation. It wasn’t exactly a turtle to be expedited across the pavement. I suppose I could have just kept on down the road, but something in me – we’ll call it crazy – lead me to turn the car around, park in the grass on the side of the road, and get out.

The truck lady also stopped and we both approached the happy little fella. He walked right up to us, not a bit of fear or hesitation, and just baaa-ed. I cautiously reached out to him, petted him, and ushered him off the road, while me and the truck lady chatted about whether or not we knew of anywhere around that had goats. Coming to no conclusions I said “well, I guess I’ll put him in my car.” Seriously? Seriously. This seemed like the logical next step. Truck lady kept him from the road while I pulled the Fit closer and opened the back. I gingerly lifted him and set him down, closed it up, and bid farewell my temporary helper. Then I sat down in the driver’s seat, started the car, cracked some windows and called Pete. “Hey honey. So um, I have a goat in my car. Yeah. A goat. Yeah he was in the road and I couldn’t just leave him there. Yes, I know I’m crazy. Well I don’t really know what I’m going to do with him, maybe you can look up some farms on Mebane Oaks Road. No, I’m not going to bring him home. He’s just laying down in the back of the car, it’s cool. I’ll call you back.” Or something like that.

I drove up and down the road for a bit and tried a couple side roads, hoping to see what? I don’t know, some magically obvious goat farm that I just never happened to notice any of the other thousand times I’d driven down this road. I found nothing. Maybe one of my friends wants a goat? I thought. And so I called one who surely would have adopted the little guy. But she didn’t answer. Finally, I pulled over and used my phone to Google a farm that I knew was a few miles away, and proceeded to call them to seek advice. The nice lady, after listening to me describe how I came to have a goat in my car, told me I was a good samaritan (read: bat shit crazy) and found the phone number to what appeared to be a goat farm not too far away. While I was on the phone with her my call waiting and messages were blowing up, and once off I saw that my mom and Pete were trying to reach me to let me know they’d found out who he belonged to!

My mom had called her neighbor (she lives down the road from where the goat was found) and he said the goat belongs to a hispanic family that leave him tied up in the yard and he gets out all the time. He described the house and I went looking for it, but I had no luck in finding it. Being that at that point I had now spent a good hour trying to save this goat and I certainly couldn’t bring him home, I decided it was time to let him go. I drove a bit down a gravel path next to a grassy field, opened the trunk, and again gingerly lifted him. Once on the ground he started to walk off, stopped to turn and baa at me, and then continued on his way.

I’ve decided that my new little goat friend will be called Herbert. I do hope he is safe somewhere. And if I ever see him again in the middle of that busy road, Graycie and Jake best prepare for a new backyard buddy.

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elderland elsewhere

I started a tumblr. I’m still not quite sure why other than as a means to achieve absolute omiwebence. Clearly not a real word, but it’s the best made-up one my mind could conjure on short notice. Omniwebence, a hybrid of interweb and omnipresence, is best achieved through social media, and being that I regularly blow up Facebook and Twitter with my Instagram photos, sporadically pin recipes and such to my Pinterest, and at least somewhat frequently write a lengthy blog post here on WordPress, the only logical next step was a tumblr blog.

Q: What will your tumblr blog be used for?

A: See post one.

Q: Why do your Instagram photos need another avenue of exposure?

A: Have you seen my Instargram photos? If no, then that’s why. If yes, then that’s why. Think about it.

Q: Why not just post the stuff from tumblr to this blog?

A: Hmmm…

That last one could actually lead to the abolishment of my tumblr blog. I’ve yet to pinpoint a clearly defined reason for having both, but somewhat vaguely I just see them as different. WordPress feels like a place for written expression accompanied by the occasional photo. Tumblr feels like a place for visual expression accompanied by the occasional blurb of text. Plus, my Tumblr theme looks prettier for my snappies than anything I’ve found on WordPress so far. And then there’s the fact that some folks get an email every time I post to WordPress so sharing my Instas here would mean you 10 or so people that fall into this category (SO popular) would eventually be cursing your inbox. Twitter makes me happy because it’s brief, it can be interesting, I’ve met some rad people there, and it’s cleaner than Facebook. Facebook is annoying, increasingly so, but I keep it around because I’ve got lots of family that will never tweet a day in their lives but maintain a Facebook page and I’d like to keep up with them. Instagram will forever be an addiction. And this blog will remain a place where I can ramble on for paragraphs about whatever’s going on in our lives.

So here it is! The Elderworld Tumblr. And guess what else? There’s an RSS feed in the right hand column to make it super duper easy to find and visit whenever you’re stopping by Elderland. You’re welcome.

my 2012

First adorable Norah snappy of 2012!

Alright, here it goes. I may not put every little thing I have hopes for in this post because some stuff is just plain personal and not meant for the prying eyes of the interweb, but this is the bulk of it.

My 2012 (in no particular order)…

1. I’d like to stay super active throughout this pregnancy and get back on the serious fitness train as quickly as possible post baby. I think I did a pretty good job of that last time around, so this should be a cakewalk (did someone say cake?). I’ve been running about 12 – 15 miles a week, which i’m aware will taper as I get bigger, but it’s very important to me to keep moving even if that means lots of walking for awhile. Post baby, I really look forward to adding longer distances back into the mix and maybe one day, just maybe, I’ll finally suck it up and sign up for a marathon. Let’s leave that for another year though.

2. As any home owner knows, your house is never “done.” We’ve got a mile long list of house projects, some more serious than others, and I’m aware that for a year that will bring another baby setting goals for any major DIY-ing would be overly ambitious. But there are things on the list that we can surely knock out in 2012 (even if that means most of the work is done by Pete!). I think my primary focus will be redoing our master bedroom, currently walled in tropical green, furnished with a set we bought from Pete’s sister a good six years ago that has seen better days, curtained with the dark teal drapes borrowed from the dining room and completely void of anything on the walls. Just blech. So I know we can take care of at least some changes there. Other things on the list of potential projects: repaint the dining room, scrape and paint the shed, get some more pictures of the bear up, get more stuff on the walls in general and do something about the mess that is our backyard (this one is a long term multi-layer project that probably won’t go into full effect until we are a dog-less family, sad but true).

3. I’d like us to try and spend more individual time with our good friends. I don’t mean that Pete and I should hang out separately more often, but rather that we as a couple should hang out with other couples one at a time a bit more. We’re certainly not lacking for social activities – there’s at least one event a month, generally more, here in Mebane – but the fact that they’re all “events” is what has brought about this goal. The majority of our social interactions these days are done in big groups. No complaints! We love a good party/potluck/porch gathering, but in these situations you definitely spread yourself around doing your best to talk to lots of different people and that limits your time with everyone. There’s truly something to be said for having a few good hours with just one other person or couple to really catch up on what’s going on in their lives and simply enjoy their company. I suppose this means we’ll need to do a lot more entertaining at our house, which brings me to number 4.

4. Keep the house looking purty! This has always been important to me. Some people might wonder why you’d want to spend a bunch of your limited time on this planet cleaning/organizing/tidying when it’s all just going to get dirty and messy again anyway, and my response is this: when my house is dirty, I feel dirty. It stresses me out and makes me uncomfortable in my own home. So sure, I may spend a lot of my spare time tackling household chores, but when the house looks good I feel good. All the spare time in the world wouldn’t matter if I felt like crap because my house was a grimy wreck. This is hard. We have two dogs and a toddler. Their purpose in life seems to be undoing any and all efforts to keep things clean and in order. But I try. And my mom helps out A LOT. Sooooo thankful for her!

5. Try new things. Not much to explain here. Anything could fit into this category – dine at new restaurants, go to new places, learn a new skill. Keep it fresh and interesting. That’s all.

6. I need to lighten up. I actually don’t know if this is possible for me, but I need to try. Try to let little things go, try to laugh at all of Pete’s jokes even the ones that are at my expense, try to relinquish some control (just in general), try to not hate so hard on every stupid person I have to deal with, and just try to be happy and have fun. Intensity is part of my core being and that’s not ever going to change, but I could stand to tone it down a notch.

7. Lastly, and getting somewhere with number 6 is integral to this, I hope to be much less crazy during the newborn phase of number two. The simple fact that it’s number two should help with this tremendously, since even if this baby is entirely different, I now know for certain that it’s all going to be okay. I was a stressball with Norah, due in part to the whole breastfeeding fiasco, and also to just being the way I am and having no idea what I was doing. I can’t go through that again. I accept that I may not be perfect, that I may not be able to do everything right and that I may still not have a clue about what’s the best way to handle every newborn situation. I’m going to be so much more chill this time. I promise.

That about sums it up! I’ve got some financial goals as well, but I won’t bore you with those.

Elderland out. XO.

   

T-minus one hour and forty-five minutes left of 2011 here on the east coast. I am totally jazzed about starting a new year. Not because I didn’t thoroughly enjoy this past year – in fact, in was pretty damn gold across the board – but I love, love, love new beginnings and change and any reason to say let’s try something different or do something better or live somehow more awesomely. Of course you don’t need to wait for a new year to do any of that, but being that it’s the quintessential fresh start, why not take the opportunity to jot down a few notes about what you’d like your life to look like in the new year? Even if it looks much the same as your current life, I wouldn’t believe anyone that says there isn’t at least one thing they’d like to change or improve. In the traditional sense, resolutions tend to be a bit too resolute for my taste. It’s a rare breed of person that can tell themselves with absolute certainty that they will or will not do this certain thing always or never again, and stick to that. Moderation is key, gradual progress is  the way to go, and so I much prefer to set goals and guidelines. even just ideas or suggestions. Example, instead of saying “for 2012, I will exercise 5 days a week” you might say “next year, i would like very much to maintain an active lifestyle.” The latter is much less intimidating and you’re far more likely to keep the dream alve without that numeric requirement waiving potential failure in your face.

So tomorrow I will do just that. Sit down with my lappy and write a post on this here blog about my hopes for 2012. Why not do it tonight? Because I’m pregnant and sober, and neither of those things lends well to staying up late. Plus hubs and my dad (he’s visiting, yay!) are watching Dickie Roberts in the other room and I can hear it and even though I can’t see it right now, I’ve sadly seen it enough times that I can actually picture what’s going on in every scene and it’s cracking me up and kind of distracting. SO! Tomorrow it is. Maybe I’ll even get Pete in on it a little since, you know, I plan on him being a big part of my 2012.

Wishing you all the happiest of new years! I hope your celebrations are smashing, but not so much so that you spend your first day of 2012 laid up in bed with gut rot and a pounding skull. Smooches!

Elderland out. XO.

2010 in Elderland

This year was pretty uneventful. Yep. Nothing really amazing happened. Just a typical year full of mundane happenings and quotidian living. Siiiiike. We had a baby! And if you pay any attention to our blog and/or Facebook you might have drawn the obvious conclusion that we are OBSESSED with her. Baby Norah is, as we tell her every chance we get, our favorite baby, the most adorable baby in the world, sooooo awesome, sooooo pretty, sooooo sweet and we love her so damn much. That baby makes my face hurt I smile at her so much, and she has made this life more beautiful than I ever thought possible.

But of course, Norah didn’t join this world until the middle of the year and many things happened both before and after her debut, so here’s a shot at a 2010 recap (remembering everything that happened in a year is dang hard, even with the internets to guide us with its life capture devices like this blog, but we’ll do our best!)…

Early January kicked off the second trimester of pregnancy and a few months of feeling in fine fettle. Though it was quite the miserable winter here in NC, we kept our spirits high and our bodies warm with a slew of social and fitness activities. We celebrated one friend’s birthday middle school style at the roller rink which was not only a blast, but also revealed the mad skating skills of several of our pals; then another’s birthday with a Beatles themed bash that would rival any big city partay with its execution and energy. In February we both participated in the St. Valentine’s Day Marathon Massacre Relay, an event in which teams of four run loops of 1.6 miles each until a full marathon is completed. Being that it’s generally butt ass cold for the event, and running 1.6 miles four times with 20 – 30 minutes between each loop makes for some serious soreness and stiffness, the only real reason to partake is that you get an awesome hoodie. Hence the name of my team – HFTFH. Here for the BLEEP hoodie.

February also began Pete’s fourth year as a soccer coach for the Mebane Youth Soccer Association. This year he sponsored his own team – the Elder Edge Burn. Burn baby burn! he chants with his kiddies at the end of every game. They eat it up and they loooooove Coach Pete. All kids love Pete. Maybe it’s because he has the rare virtue of patience, which enables him to calmly handle the insanity and chaos that would surely send me into fits of vein throbbing twitches and most definitely result in yelling. I’ve always said that with our kids it’s going to be all eye rolls and sighs when I get mad, because the fear will wear off after the 10th time in a week. But if dad is mad? Watch out. Head for cover. Don’t say another word if you know what’s good for you. Also. Pete’s really just a big kid himself and all those little soccer buddies know it. In the Fall, Pete’s team went undefeated and there’s nothing quite like watching a bunch of 7 year olds scream “WHAT ARE WE? CHAMPIONS!” over and over and over and over. And over.

Also in February (whew, busy month!) we purchased a 1985 VW Vanagon from a super nice old guy in Pinehurst, NC. When Pete and I met, he owned an ’84 Vanagon, and I have a clear memory of the first time I went to his house…his directions ended with “you’ll see a VW Van in the driveway” to which I replied something along the lines of “ohhhh, how awesome! I love old VW’s!” And I swear I wasn’t just saying that to impress him and raise my coolness quotient. I really have always had a place in my heart for the vintage v-dub. That Vanagon, Buck, died at our house in Gainesville shortly before we moved to NC, so the acquisition of this “new” Vanagon was a thrill for both of us. Her name is Penny and she’s running strong. Of course, as a good friend recently made clear with his question “do you still have that van?”, we should perhaps get her out more often.

In late March, I joined 8 ladies from Mebane for what turned out to be one of the best adventures of my life thus far. We spent a weekend in Charleston, SC and participated in the Cooper River Bridge Run, an annual 10K road race that started in 1978 and now draws upwards of 40,000 participants. Even though I was almost 6 months pregnant, I ran the entire race and then proceeded to have the time of my life (nobody puts baby in the corner!) with an amazing group of chickees that I hope to be friends with for many, many years. This year we’ll do it all over again, except I’m not preggo and I fully intend to cash in on my credit for being last year’s DD.

For the entire winter and spring of 2010 Pete was training for his first ever half ironman. He worked out every day, often twice a day, to prepare for the crazyness. The event took place in May and he finished strong! It was hideously hot and humid and Pete cramped up badly during his run, but he rocked it out overall and finished an amazing race. Though immediately post race he likely would have signed the dotted line to say never again, he has since changed his feelings to maybe again, just not ANYWHERE or ANYTIME that there would be ANY chance of temps in the 90’s.

We made a few pre-baby home improvements this year including a badass fence, a revitalized shed, some purty refinished floors and a homemade compost bin. The best of those, and by best I mean thank god we did it because otherwise I might have released my dogs to the wild at this point, was the fence. Being able to let the dogs out by simply opening a door has been a life (and sanity) saver, and they love it too. Post baby not much has changed in our house, though Pete did construct a porch railing after we received a cancellation threat from our home owner’s insurance. He did a bang up job and now little Norah can safely play out there. Oh, and! The newest addition to our dining room, which was also my Christmas present, which I’ll gush more about in a separate Christmas post (yes, I’m behind on blogging), a piano! Pete is doing a little playing right now as I type, and even though it’s still completely out of tune, I can hear the makings of Don’t Stop Believing coming from the beyond the kitchen. PS I love Journey and I’m not ashamed.

Our 2010 travel kicked off with a trip to Asheville in May for our babymoon. It was the first time that Pete and I went on vacation, i.e. a trip that did not somehow involve visiting family, since our honeymoon in 2006! That’s just wacky. We loved every minute of it and have made a promise to ourselves that we absolutely must take at least one trip, just the two of us, just for us, no matter how short or long or near of far, every year. It’s good for the soul. After that we mostly stayed around town simply for the fact of Norah’s impending arrival and then newborness, until the fall when we made two family trips – a Robertson (Pete’s mom’s side) reunion in Tennessee in October and Dana (Sarah’s cousin) and Denny’s wedding in Florida in November. Both were tons of fun and full of good ‘ol family QT.

Work? Work shmirk. Who wants to talk about work? Let’s just say that things have been sort of status quo. Pete is selling real estate, and it was another year of ups and downs in the market as the country fights its way through this shit economy (2011, however, seems to be kicking off strong!). Sarah still runs the Jesse Kalisher Gallery, a wholesale art business with a focus on the retail and hospitality industries. One fun note, at the end of 2010 Pete took a class to get his certification to substitute teach! Is there a career change in his future? Stay tuned!

A long, hard winter was quickly followed by a sweltering summer, in fact I’m pretty sure spring took a sabbatical this year. Hot summers in central NC are not unusual, but this was our first in a house without AC. Being hot in your house sucks. Being hot and ginormously pregnant in your house fucking sucks. Pardon my potty mouth, but unless you’ve carried an extra 40 pounds around your mid section when it’s 100 degrees outside, your judgment can go suck an egg. Oh, my car didn’t have AC either. It was brilliant. Luckily our Fifth Street predecessors had left us two window units so our bedroom was quite tolerable at night and the kitchen was less than hellish when we ran the dining room unit at full speed. Also, Pete was ever the gentleman with his insistence that I take his car to work. We made it through and looking ahead, I honestly think we can and will do it again. That doesn’t make me tough. Just cheap.

The second half of 2010 was mostly devoted to learning to be parents, which was horribly hard and exhausting for about three months. Then just a little hard and exhausting for a couple more months and now it’s pretty much amazing. That’s not to say that there aren’t still difficult moments and that we aren’t still tired at least half the time and that we’d even for a second think that we’re riding easy from here on out. Just that things keep getting better and better. And Norah is our favorite baby and the best baby ever and the most adorable baby in the world.

With the arrival of baby Norah it was a big year for family. In June, shortly before Norah was born, my Grams moved to Mebane all the way from California. My Grams was a big part of my life growing up and I was delighted to have her close to me once again. California was just too far away, and it pleases me to no end that Norah has both a grandma and great-grandma so close. If only more of our family lived near, and Norah could see all her aunts and uncles and grandparents often, life would be that much richer. This year Norah was visited by all her grandparents (memaw, grandaddy, grandmama, and grandpa), her aunt Dana and uncle Denny, her uncle James, and her great-aunt Sue. We hope that 2011 brings just as many visitors!

In the fall we celebrated Pete’s birthday with our annual Oktoberfest partay – a dual bday bash shared with our best pals the Brouwers. It was brat and beertastic, and a chance for us to spend some time with neighbors and friends, old and new. We love our little community more and more every year, and plan to stick around for a long damn time. There’s no place like Mebane. This year we not only got some awesome new neighbors on the Southside, but a bowling alley just blocks away and an absurdly large outlet center with some kickass stores.
A lot of folks seemed upset about the Tanger outlets descending upon our quaint little town, but I think they’re super, albeit dangerous (walking distance shopping, wheeeeee!). Later in the fall we took Norah on her first mountain hike at Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, NC. She rode out in the Bjorn for about 4 miles and only got pissed when we were at the top in the bitter cold wind. We had grand plans for it also to be her first camping trip, but overnight temps in the teens just didn’t seem infant friendly. We’ll make up for it with lots of hiking and camping in 2011. (there it is, babe. in writing!)

I believe that does it. The holidays have been lovely and life is good. Here’s to a stupendous 2011 full of awesome adventure and memory making. We wish all of you a fun, happy, healthy new year and look forward to making most of those memories with many of you!

Elderland out. XO.

over the weekend

We had date night on friday – dinner at the Saxapahaw General Store (local beef burgers!) and dessert at Mebane Ice Cream.

We watched No Impact Man and briefly considered going off the grid. Just kidding. But it definitely juiced up our waste hate.

We team cleaned a couple rooms top to bottom (Pete even cleaned the storm windows in the dining room!)

We made a delicious fritrata with eggs and asparagus from the garden and henhouse of our best buds one block over.

Pete ran, biked and swam (open water!) a ridiculous amount and I made granola, bread and pizza.

fatherly nesting (post by Pete!)

Over the last three weeks or so I’ve been tackling a few projects that Sarah and I have been saving up for. The first of these stupendous endeavors was a privacy fence. This was a necessary addition for the sanity and well-being of our dogs, our baby and, well yes, mostly us. After waffling between making this a DIY job or hiring a contractor, we wisely decided to hire a contractor. I thought it would be a cinch to just let a pro do it for us not to mention a much nicer, sturdier result. I received estimates from four different fence contractors – two large companies, one guy I found on Craigslist and a smaller company (also from Craigslist). Except for one of the larger companies, all estimates were within $1,000 of each other (the anomalous and outrageous estimate was twice as much!). The two Craigslisters were the least expensive and almost exactly the same. The company I decided to go with was Braham Fence out of Raleigh. The name of the owner is Onofre  and he brought one other gentleman by the name of Elder 🙂 to help.

These guys set 41 fence posts in 5.5 hours! This is when I realized this was money well spent. Two days later Onofre and Elder returned and finished the entire fence in approximately 9 hours. I’m quite sure I would’ve spent well over 15 hours on this little project had I tried my hand at fence building. And it would’ve probably looked similar to a POW camp fence. Here are some pics of the project from start to finish (note gash in roof of shed which will be addressed later in this post):

Setting the lines

Setting the lines

Setting the posts

Done

Voila! Jake and Graycie's paradise!

The second project was to rehab our old, dilapidated shed (or lean-to, as it stood). When I asked the previous owners of our fine house (sorry to call you ladies out) what they had stored in that building with the gaping hole in the roof they replied with a jocular, “we’re just waiting for that thing to fall over or for the city to condemn it!” Ironically enough, that building was structurally ressurrected just two days after Easter! The labor was supplied by my mother-in-law’s boyfriend, Randy, a roofer in Boone, while Sarah’s mom, Deborah, and I helped as gophers. Thanks Randy and Deb! Can’t wait to see the look on the previous owner’s face when they see this old ghost of a building!

Notice the buckling just to the bottom left of the front door

Randy raised the roof

All dried in!

Tadah! Ready for paint.

The third project, sanding the nursery and dining room floors, was a more direct nesting project. These were the last two rooms in the house that needed to be refinished. I tackled this task alone. I waited until my baby’s lovely mother went out of town with 8 other ladies for a weekend of fun in Charleston. This way I could surprise her and, more importantly, not endanger the health of Sarah nor my offspring with clouds of sawdust. Also, Sarah doesn’t handle clutter well and the house looked as though we just moved in during this entire project. She only had to deal with the mess for about five days while we let the floors dry and cure well. This was almost as hard as actually sanding and refinishing the floors. Seriously though, sanding floors is a very straight forward task but it is very time consuming. Two rooms equaling about 600 square feet took me two full days of commitment. I’m truly not using the word commitment lightly. I began sanding on Friday at 10:00 AM and the fourth coat of poly was applied at 11:55 PM on Saturday. This doesn’t include the time that it took to move the furniture out of and back into the rooms. On the bright side, this project gave me oodles of time to think…and my mind kept thinking of how my efforts on these floors would be enjoyed by my little baby girl for years to come. Even though I know she will not fully appreciate how warm and inviting the floors in her bedroom are, the work enabled me to fully appreciate and understand the value of nesting. More importantly I felt like this project at least somewhat rivaled what I expect parenthood to be — really hard work that feels really good and evokes thoughts of good things to come.

Bright and shiny dining room

I love you little Norah!