24 December 2007

Red Stockings and Scripture Readings

Here's my holiday advice, free of charge. If you buy a smashing new jumper (the American meaning, a short dress...not the English meaning/a sweater) that's all pretty and Christmasy plaid and looks outstanding with your new favorite red Old Navy turtleneck, and you're slated to read a lesson during the "Lessons and Carols" Christmas Eve service at your Dad's church, don't wear red tights. Seriously. I caught sight of myself in the window at the chinese restaurant where we ate after church (the only place in town open) and let's just say Santa's Elves have got NOTHING on me.

Further, should you try on said jumper and think "Oh, it's a bit tight here and there but that will just hold all of me in nicely and the plaid will hide my Michelin Man physique..." You are wrong, my friend, wrong wrong wrong.

Imagine my joy when, in my short plaid too tight jumper and BLINDING red turtleneck and tights (just say a small prayer of thanks that I took off the red shoes in favor of black ones, since the red shoes have a tendency to slip off at the wrong moment...oh, and they're RED), the decision was made that those doing readings would sit in the choir loft...facing the congregation.

Well. At least I didn't mispronounce anything in my reading and didn't fall off the stage or onto the poor, now blinded people I was sitting next to on the pew. Happy Christmas, y'all. I think I need another cuppa tea.

22 December 2007

How NOT to take a Christmas Photo

You're gonna jump in here with us, right Mommy? (Jeany and Daisy hang their heads in shame....)

Happy Headless Holidays!

Wrestlin' around the Christmas Tree...

(that one was so not funny at the time, I was trying to swing Daisy's butt around and at the same time she dug her nails in Hunky ran away...but looking at it now Jeany's face is like "Oh, Mommy that is SO not going to work!!" :lol)

Okay, this is...wait, are we in frame?...CRAP!

You guys got a BETTER way to do this?

Yeah...photoshop the dogs in later. Merry Christmas, y'all!

17 December 2007

A Holiday Meme...a HoMe? MeHo?

(because Liz told me to...)

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Gift bags. My parents used to have to help me cover my books with grocery bags in high school so if you think I'm able to wrap a gift alone you're insane. Oh yeah, and they're green too...

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. The dogs are less likely to wee on it.

3. When do you put up the tree? The weekend after my birthday...and Mary Catherine's birthday.

4. When do you take the tree down? Generally just after New Year's but this year it will be up until 8th January or longer because I'll be in the UK till the 7th.

5. Do you like egg nog? No. You shouldn't drink eggs and what on earth is nog? Relegated to the fruitcake category.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably Lady, a brittany spaniel that I got instead of the parrot I'd asked Santa to bring. Interestingly enough, Santa replied to my note in my Daddy's handwriting explaining why I didn't need a parrot. He is magical, I tell ya...

7. Do you have a nativity scene? My parents have one. It's a tradition for my sister (the minister, mind you) to put Baby Jesus on top of the stable. She's not right, that one...

8. Hardest person to buy for? Dave and Sooz.

9. Easiest person to buy for? The dogs, because they would love an old shoe!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Thank you for reminding me! They will make it by Easter at least...

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? That's a hard one to answer...

12. Favorite Christmas movie? National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. "Pass me some of them potatoes, Clark, they are gooooooooo-ooooood!"

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? After my second paycheck in December.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes indeedy.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Those little white mints with the green and red sprinkles on them that my mother always has in abundance all over the kitchen...

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored but it was an accident.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Wizards of Winter by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at the moment. But I think for traditional ones O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a favorite.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Well, they aren't going to come to me, so...

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star, compliments of Mom, Daddy, and Target.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning, of course...Santa hasn't brought anything Christmas Eve, silly.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Not being able to spend Christmas with my furry family. I miss them so much when I travel. But when everyone I'm visiting is either allergic or doesn't allow animals in the house (or both), I'm stuck.

23. Favorite dessert after Christmas dinner? Coconut cake. No kidding.

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? To see everyone that I love.

25. Old fashioned lights or icicle lights on your house? I would have just white lights around the columns and in the bushes (with some garland around the columns) but I ran out of Decorate The House Money.

16 December 2007

Peace out, peeps.

Peace out, peeps.
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
Sammie has gone home and taken a part of my heart with him. I will admit that it was nice to sleep past 6:30 this morning without the "teapot" sounding off from the foster room...but when I started to leave him with his new family last night and he looked at me like he was going to come with me, my heart just broke.

Have a good life, Sammie Baker Davis Junior. I know that you will want for nothing with the Loseys and they don't have kitties to worry you.

Man. Now I remember why I stopped fostering.

04 December 2007

For those about to blog, I salute you.

I don't really know where that title came from, as I just typed it, thought it funny, and moved on to the body of this post. It has nothing to do with this post other than a memory (mentioned in the last Lettuce installment) of Cathie thinking that the look on my face meant someone was gonna get blogged...and I'm sure I had that look on all day for the past two days.

Starting this past Monday morning I was attending a "retreat" for where I work. I use the quotation marks because when you have to drive up and back because you are a single pet parent and the place doesn't allow animals it becomes less of a retreat and more of a departure...from sanity and rest, which are two of the goals of such an activity. Now, place said "retreat" in a facility on the tippy top of a mountain (complete with hairpin turns and no mobile service) and throw some moldy logs on the fire (I am TERRIBLY allergic to mold/mildew)and you've got a recipe for me to be laid up for the next few days reacting to histamines...in other words, sneezing, coughing, and unable to breathe through either side of my nose. Don't forget the runny eyes and the brand new tone that has joined the tinnitus choir in my ears...but that might be due to the elevation.

See, when I said it was on a mountain, I wasn't kidding. At the signpost directing you up the even more windy road toward the facility where we stayed is another sign stating "Eastern Continental Divide" and the elevation...which was TWO THOUSAND AND SOMETHING. There are single engine PLANES that don't go much higher than that.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the state of South Carolina for not marring our view of the mountains from those roads by adding guardrails. I hate having to look at an OHMYLORDTHATISALONGWAYDOWN kind of a drop off through the safety of guard rail metal.

I got home today around five and I've been sneezing and stopped up and just generally feeling bad every since. I felt that way last night but thought that I was just tired..until a co-worker told me that last night it was revealed that the wood was moldy. Good thing I didn't just go stick my head in the fire like I wanted to a few times to get warm. If so it would have been an ambulance carefully driving around those hairpin curves (see there, Simon? I've said it twice!) rather than me.

The retreat was a nice chance to not have to be doing actual work, but I'm just not wired for that sort of team building activity anymore. I used to be, when I was a camp counselor, but now I just sort of want to get on with it so that I can get my work done and head home. Shift in priorities I guess.

And now, my two benadryls and I are going to go slip into a nice sleep, I hope. I just have to wrap cotton wool around the clappers inside the giant bells going off in my ears and I'm golden. Night, y'all!

29 November 2007

The Week From...

Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
Let's start where I left off last, the day after Thanksgiving, I was frantically cleaning my house in preparation for Leah and her son Russell to arrive. Russell was going to house-sit/dog-sit while Leah and I made an insane trip to Florida to pick up my newest foster dog, Sammie. Insane. I am not 20-something and I'm almost not 30-something anymore. Overnight trips that require six hour drives are just not in my genetic makeup anymore.

We got to Jacksonville to the hotel and there was a mix up with the reservation. Crisis averted. We got a night's sleep (I hesitate to say a GOOD night's sleep because of the weird smell in the hotel room...) and headed over to Cathie's. Visit, have crumb cake and tea (thank you Jenn for the food and Cathie for the INCREDIBLE tea), and head to the farm. Visit with dogs, take pictures, collect Sammie, and we're off back to Cathie's with a stop at McDonald's for lunch.

It was in the McDonald's that we encountered "Pink Glasses" who was running the register. There was a "family" for lack of a better word in front of us in line who apparently hadn't learned that before you walk up to the register with six people in your party it's a good idea to find out what everyone wants, especially if they are going to scatter to the four points of the restaurant. Yelling across the room, "What do you want?" is generally not acceptable. It is even less so when there are hungry people in line behind you and a woman sitting in the back of my Element with three greyhounds.

There you go, Cathie...who said that the look on my face when I returned from the McDonald's had "I'm gonna blog about this" written all over it. Blogged, done, and dusted.

Eat lunch at Cathie's, and head to the track for Leah to help with turn out. I sat in the car taking pictures of Sammie with my mobile and playing Klondike. Head home. Arrive back in Greenville around 10:30.

I still haven't recovered my sleep.

Tuesday was my birthday...I'm not sure whom I have ticked off in the universe, but this was a birthday to remember and not in a good way. I had on my schedule a meeting at 9am and one at 11am (that I knew we wouldn't make because of the 9am) and then nothing after. I had planned to attend both, then have some time on the web cam to talk to Simon, then head to Georgia to have dinner with Mom and Dad.

The first let down was opening my mailbox and not having a single solitary birthday card inside. But you know, I'm a grown up...and I don't send birthday cards so I don't really deserve to get them. I got over that. My schedule also didn't hold to plan...the 9am meeting became 9:30 and the 11am became 1pm and "Oh, Nancy can you please interpret something quick at 2pm?" So I was looking at only about an hour at the most web cam time with Simon. Again, I'm a grown up and I know he lives four thousand miles and five time zones away so I got over that.

Dinner was great. I had a good time with Mom and Dad and then headed back home. I got just off the entrance ramp to the highway when my car ran hot. Actually it didn't RUN hot, it sprinted to the H on the temp gauge like a greyhound after the third turn. I pulled over and of course didn't have Mom's mobile number in my phone. I sent text messages to my sister and brother in law to get it, hoping I could catch them before they got too far up the road and we could figure this thing out. No luck.

There is no more lonely feeling in the world than being on the side of the road, 90 minutes at least from home, in a car that won't work in the dark. Oh, and add in frustration and worry because all my animals were at home alone and I didn't know how long it would take me to get back to them.

I limped up the road for the next four hours, stopping at intervals to hopefully get the temp down. At one point I thought I saw a flash of light out of the corner of my right eye and looked around to be rewarded with a second flash that blinded me. When my vision returned I saw a very nice highway patrolman there in his car wanting to know why I was stopped.

He directed me to a truck stop where I was able to purchase some coolant for my engine. A very nice gentleman who vaguely resembled David Crosby (I'm so not kidding) helped me get the nasty green stuff in the radiator and I was good to go all the way home. The engine didn't even think of walking hot, let alone running or sprinting.

Did I mention that I was afraid to turn on anything in the car during that four hours including the heat? Or that it was somewhere in the high 30s/low 40s that night? No? Well, there you are.

The next morning I got on the road to my 9am appointment, and the car was fine until literally the last 20 minutes of the trip. Got that assignment done and limped back down the highway, stopping and starting every time it "ran hot." Mom and Dad came up to go with me to the Honda place (and then chauffeur me around afterward). We dropped off the car and waited.

When the nice lady called me to give me the estimate, she told me that the car had never had any maintenance done on the spark plugs, still had the original brake and transmission fluid, and had about 1k miles left (give or take) before the brakes would have to be done ("or they'll start digging into the rotors"). I guess somehow I thought that was being done by the other person in the house when I was married because he seemed to know about cars and drove the Element more than I did. Wrong.

Now on to the primary presenting complaint, the needle that can't stay off the "H" on the temp gauge. The radiator has to be replaced because it has a crack in it, hence the leaking and lack of antifreeze/coolant. Probably happened due to...get this...something hitting the front end of the car. ("The torn bumper was a clue," she says, trying to lighten the mood...didn't work) Not a big deal, but you see they can't replace it without replacing the compressor because it's bent. See Above Trauma To Front Of Car.

Flashback about 16 months for a moment, to the time right after the accident. I took the car to Sears for a new tire (ended up with four new ones) and asked them, while it was up on the rack, if they'd look around and see if they saw anything out of joint or bent or missing, etc, and told them about the accident. "No ma'am, looks like just your bumper was damaged."

Um, wrong, Sparky. This from the same Sears that gave me the tires/valve stems that somehow ended up ALL cracked and leaking air...even though they claim that it was because I was driving on flat tires. Um...they weren't cracked before...? Anyway...

Soooo now we're going to have to replace two crucial parts that make the car run rather than just one, in addition to all the other crap she's told me needs doing. She's then loathe to tell me that to get to the compressor the grill and the bumper have to come off, so that adds onto the labor cost. By this point I can barely breathe and honest to GOD I was getting a fluttery heart and nausea. I finally just said "What are we looking at here?"

Parts and labor and an oil change... Let's just say that the heart and nausea weren't going to get better any time soon and I'm contemplating a second job.

Happy birthday to me. Is it 2008 yet? Am I visiting Simon in the UK yet? 36 has GOT to be better than 35. Next week I'm staring down a retreat for work that I don't want to attend (I am not terribly comfortable with touchy-feely team building type stuff at work..but I'm not in charge). December's weekends are full save one with travel. I have a wonderful foster boy here that wants to eat my cat I think. When do I get to take a time out?

At least The Week From...is almost over. Almost.

23 November 2007


T shirts!
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
So today I need to clean my house, get out my Christmas decorations, and get the guest accommodations ready because I have guests coming in a FEW HOURS. I haven't done a thing yet, save put T-shirts on the dogs and be amazed that Hunky can now wear one of the Old Navy shirts in the same size as the girls! It's really amusing, Jeany's is too big and Hunky's is just...well, he kinda looks like the guy that struts around on the beach that wears the muscle shirt that came from the boys' section...and Daisy's is just right.

So I'm still not cleaning. I'm still not getting out my tree or my wreath. I'm still not vacuuming or mopping or cleaning the toilet. All I can seem to do is run back to the computer to upload "just one more picture" or turn on the dishwasher.

Ugh! Enough stalling! Time to make the donuts...well, actually that's the one thing I DON'T have to do! If you're looking to stall today, check out my slideshow of my pictures from Thanksgiving at my parents' house yesterday. Cleveland Georgia is part of America's most beautiful country, the Appalachian Mountains, and I never tire of taking pictures of those mountains. It's like they are big arms that surround me and keep me safe and let me know I am home. Enjoy.

22 November 2007

I've created my own monster...

Loo shot
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
I've recently learned how to upload photos from my phone to somewhere other than my phone, and that is a HUGE thing for me! I'm a total geek and even though I know that the camera is just a VGA low res type thing, it still means that I'm whipping that phone out all the time and snapping pictures of everything from the time on my clock in my car when I did an overnight assignment to pictures of myself in the bathroom mirror.

I hated my phone...until just now. It still annoys me a bit that it doesn't have any video capability, but don't think I haven't broken out the digital voice recorder after watching a few back-to-back Ghost Hunters episodes and start asking who's in my living room besides me!

Thankfully the dogs don't know the answer to that question...

21 November 2007

Lessons learned in the kitchen, part three zillion

1. A Pasta Bowl is not a good substitute for a mixing bowl, unless you really enjoy cleaning up sloshed cheesecake filling off your microwave door and begonia.

2. Guessing at how much butter is in 2/3 cup is not as easy as looking at the wrapper on the stick of butter. It will tell you.

3. A good substitute for an electric mixer is your arm, some ibuprofen (for afterward) and a serving fork. Well, if you don't have a wisk OR a mixer that is...

4. When the good people at Jello tell you that the cheesecake filling will thicken they are SO not kidding. You could Spackle with that stuff! And "gently pour onto crust..." Yeah, who are you kidding?

5. Sometimes it helps just to have your dad on the other end of the phone, laughing along as you blunder your way through a new recipe.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all! (Or, happy Slapsgiving to all you "How I Met Your Mother Fans...")

20 November 2007

Sleep schedule, interrupted.

It all started Saturday night, after I got home from the Renaissance Festival.

Granted, I was a bit emotional on the drive home because it was my last time there for the season and it might possibly be Hunky and Jeany's last time getting to go. I took Hunky down to see the joust and had the first of several teary moments watching him watch the horses. That dog has gone with me, without complaint or attitude, to that festival almost every time we were there for the past seven years, and he still looks at the horses like he's never seen them before. I konw I compare my dogs to children a bit more than those of you with children might care for, but to see that joy on his face just made me cry with happiness.

I got home and could barely breathe. I thought, as you do, that it was due to the aforementioned waterworks, and fell asleep on the sofa (AFTER Torchwood, mind you!). Sunday was worse, I sounded like a little old man who had smoked for 70 years when I tried to talk and breathing through my nose was a joke. Monday I decided that I needed to try and knock this thing OUT rather than go to work, so I called in and then got some sleep.

Too much of it, I'm afraid...those of you that are long time Lettuce readers know about my love affair with insomnia, right? Back with a vengance on Monday night...which actually worked out well, because I knocked out an overnight interpreting assignment in my WIDE-AWAKENESS. As is typical of my best laid plans, the short job ran long and at 3am I got home, emailed everyone I knew at work to say it was 3am and I was going to SLEEP, and then did so.

This morning I was awakened by my furry alarm clocks who regrettably have no snooze buttons. Seriously. Picking up the blackberry that is buzzing like a hornet and accidentally dropping it on the dog does not make him whine any less. Not that I'd know, mind you...

Worked out schedule, agreed to cover 1pm assignment, went back to sleep. Hard sleep. The kind that when it is interrupted by a co-worker on the blackberry it jolts you to a near upright sitting position. Woke up at 11:30am, rolled out of bed and into the shower, threw on a suit, ran a comb through my hair, slapped glasses on my head and began the mad drive south to the assignment.

PS- the cute chunky heeled Mary Janes are only a good idea if you're awake enough to navigate while simultaneously keeping the back of your trouser leg from sticking under the heel of your foot and causing you to stumble. Otherwise they should be strictly avoided in favor of something that is flat soled and laces.

Back home from the assignment, speak to Simon for a bit, and then fall into another one of those HARD sleeps on the chair. Finally get up and feed the dogs, note that benadryl has worn off and you can still breathe (sorta), and decide that you need to sleep but CAN'T!!!

So what's causing all my respiratory trauma? One simple word: Mildew. I heard from one of the folks in my group that one of the dog beds used at the festival had mildewed and she had to throw it out. I am SO allergic to mold and mildew.

I suppose that would be why the cold meds didn't even touch this and the benadryl worked so well there was nothing to make me sleepy?

Ugh. Speaking of...perhaps two will do the trick...

16 November 2007


Not really. Well, kinda. No, not really.

I'm sitting here watching the incredibly nice guy from Safelite replace my windshield and I'm telling you, I haven't seen anything this fascinating in a LONG time. Who knew that it was that easy to take out a windshield? Not me, that's for sure. I thought, as I told him earlier while giggling like a teenager, that it was somehow made into the car and that the entire front half would have to come loose in order for it to somehow be demolished with a hammer and then the broken and sharp bits removed.

Not so, my crazy customer-lady, not so.

He took this part and that part off, removed a screw here and a bolt there, went inside the car with something that looked rather sudsy and applied said suds to the bottom of the windshield and then POOF, lifted it out! I admit that I missed the part between the suds and the poof because I was drying my hair, but geez-o-miney, was that ever cool! I walked out to ask if he could make sure I keep the sticker from Sears reminding me about an oil change and there sat my car, sans windshield and no bits of anything anywhere to tell where it had gone or how it had been removed.

And yeah, when I opened the door the first words out of my mouth were HOLY MOLY.

I tried to take some pictures but wouldn't you know that when I uploaded my renn fest pics last SUNDAY I left the camera on? Besides, if I'd taken pictures then I'd be a stalker...right?

11 November 2007

Because I haven't done one of these in awhile...

What Classic Bombshell Are You?

Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn
A Classical Beauty, thats what you are!
How do you compare?
Take this test! | Tests from Testriffic

Not to mention the fact that she is my idol...that didn't hurt a bit!

30 October 2007


Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
Happy Halloween from me, in my newest piece of Rennie Finery, and Daisy, who is none too happy to be wearing that mask. I know we're a day early, but better early than late, right? Thanks much to Debbie for snapping that photo of me in desperate pain...I mean my new dress.

23 October 2007

Occasional Good Photos R Us

Wee Peony
Originally uploaded by Nancy Allen
Like this one of one of my wee peonies. Is it just me, or does that look like an angry little man? Anyway, I love it, and I will just hate it when they stop blooming for the winter.

Yeah, in case you missed it, I GREW THAT. Well, okay, Simon repotted it, but it was just a bit of green at the time! I'm totally taking credit.

12 October 2007

Creativity Sadly Strikes Again

Yet another photo-blog...but this one is functional and hopefully will be easier to maintain than my sewing photo-blog was...Click on the link in the title to check it out if you're into plants and such.

11 October 2007

Lessons in cooking, part four hundred

Yeah, I know it's past midnight. This really isn't insomnia, though. It's Wednesday night which means multiple episodes of Ghost Hunters. It's also laundry night, and my bed linens are in the dryer. And no, it doesn't matter that I didn't put them in the WASH until 11pm...

Anyway, any clues as to what happens if you put frozen green beans and almonds into a pot on the stove with a lid and the unit is set to medium heat?

Smoke, that's what. Apparently you CAN burn veg in a pot on the stove. Hooray me. At least the baked haddock was good, along with the peppercorn ranch potato chips...with Twizzlers for dessert.

10 October 2007


Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

I misses my mister.

The Perks of Insomnia

Before I start, no, I'm not in an insomnia cycle again, for those of you that worry. Actually quite the opposite, I can't seem to get enough sleep. I think I totally wore myself out throughout the month of September and I'm still trying to catch up.

I need to preface this by telling you what happened in my little neighborhood yesterday. I'm starting to think maybe it was just a big hallucination because I can't seem to find anything about it in the local news! However, while cruising my NBC affiliate site I did come up with a jewel of an eyewitness account that I need to share...
Last week a family was robbed at gunpoint at home.

Paul Kelley who lives in the home said he and his family thought what was happening was a joke at first.

"This guy just run in here with a gun. He bounced around like a darn ninja or something," Kelley told WYFF News 4's Ron Reynolds.
Too many of those darned ninjas in the Upstate of South Carolina apparently. Yesterday I got home and was going to head right back out to get the dogs some food before playdate at 6pm. As I went about my routine letting the dogs out, I noticed that there was a helicopter overhead...not a strange occurance at all, since I live in between two large hospitals that both have helicopters AND in the flight path of the Greenville Municipal Airport.

But the helicopters didn't seem to be leaving my neighborhood. In fact, I saw it make a complete circle twice at least. Probably the news helicopter, I thought, and went back inside. As I was getting ready to go to the store, I noticed a police car with its lights on going down my street very slowly. Not something that happens every day. I stepped outside and saw the helicopter again, closer this time, and noticed that it was a police helicopter. Then I noticed the police cars parked at either end of my block, lights on...definitely not something that happens every day.

A neighbor and I spoke briefly (found out he's originally from Atlanta, small world!) and he then found out from the cop that there had been an armed robbery closeby. The suspect(s) had fled up Bleckley Avenue, one street over from me AND where I used to live! We were asked to go back inside and lock our doors.

Okay, that situation I think led to the dream I had last night.

I dreamed that I lived in a two story house and that I knew somehow that there were criminals on the loose in my neighborhood. I saw one man run through my yard, carefully evading the police cars by hiding behind my trees. I yelled out my window to the cops that he was there and they got him. Interestingly enough, he was wearing a black and white striped prison uniform like the chain gangs in Alabama wear...but I digress.

Remember I said criminalS, as in more than one? Well, after that first one was caught, I apparently went to check my doors and found that my kitchen door wasn't locked. As I tried to lock it, the knob turned and the other fugitive pushed his way into my house. In my dream I could feel his hands on my neck and the coldness of the gun against my face! Ugh. I remember crying and pleading with him not to hurt my dogs, who of course were standing in the kitchen doorway wagging their tails. He looked at me and then turned toward them. Right before I woke up I heard him say "Come'ere, Daisy..."

Man alive. I could have done without that dream. Guess how many times I've checked the locks on my house since I woke up!!!

Insomnia has its perks, for sure.

09 October 2007

I want my do-over.

Yesterday I went to Columbia to cover an interpreting assignment. It had been canceled and I think everyone knew but me. So after half an hour of waiting, I headed back to Greenville.

I'm going north on I-26 and admittedly am doing 80 in a 70. Another SUV who has been behind me moves to my right (I just hang out in the left lane) and then swerves in front of me as we start down a hill. I pay attention to the SUV as some very unfriendly thoughts cross my mind. Suddenly I see blue lights...AH the state trooper is going to pull this yahoo over for cutting me off!


Despite the fact that there was half a car length between me and said yahoo, the cop said that he clocked us BOTH doing 84 mph and pulled us both over. I was almost in danger of resisting arrest because at first he pulled up next to me and motioned to the side. Great, he's pulling me. I slow down, he zooms in front of me after the yahoo. Great! He is going after the real offender! He pulls that guy over and I continue down the road.

Wrong again.

I see in my rear-view the cop followed by the yahoo so I pull over. That's when I'm told I was doing 84 and given a ticket.

If I'd been told that the appointment was canceled I wouldn't have that ticket. First speeding ticket in almost 10 years. I want my do-over and I want it NOW.

08 October 2007

One down, Six to go...in Ninety Degree Weather!

The first weekend of CRF 2007 is in the can, as they say, and I'm absolutely knackered!

This was Daisy's first time going to this festival which is a little different than the Georgia festival. We have our own tent and there seem to be more patrons...maybe because we always go the first two weekends of Georgia and more folks come later? Don't know...

She did a smashing job. I'm really quite proud of her because the weather was awful, our tent is crowded more often than not, and there are children EVERYWHERE wanting to touch her, tug on her ears, and once even poke her in the eye (it was an accident). Puppy girl took it all in stride until about noon on Sunday when her "brother" Bernard left and she decided it was her turn to try to hide behind the trunks or under the table.

I came away with a nasty sunburn on Sunday because a. the sunscreen/foundation I'd put on my back hadn't quite made it to the areas right next to my chemise ruffle and b. it was so flaming hot that I sweated off the rest! It's on my back, from my shoulder blades up to my neck. The shower was fun this morning when I washed my hair!

I learned something very important this weekend as well. My gorgeous green dress that debuted at the 2004 season of CRF (near the end) no longer fits over my huge self. Leah and Debbie both tried to get me into it and while I was laced up properly I really couldn't breathe very well. With the heat, that was dangerously authentic, so I did what any woman would do in that situation...I bought something new! I'm sure pictures will be forthcoming but they won't forth-come from me. I am behind the camera, not in front.

This week's to do list includes making my new chemise, working on my new dress for cooler weather, and collecting food stuffs and water that I can bring this weekend lest I spend another small fortune on food and drink. Less $$ on food = more $$ for baubles...it all works out in the end.

You know, every year while I'm at the festival I think what a fabulous life it would be to be on the road, performing with my dogs on weekends, living in that gypsy camp of sorts during the week, maybe doing some sewing, making collars or something...and then I get back home to my air conditioning, my indoor plumbing and my proper bed and I am glad that I'm where I am. Best of both worlds, hey?

Ugh, speaking of, off to work to earn money for dog food.

05 October 2007

I love Greenville

Yeah, I haven't gotten up to go start getting ready to go yet. The pseudo-ADHD is strong in this one this morning.

I just wanted to call attention to a photo blog that I've become quite fond of reading. It's called Greenville Daily Photo, and it really makes me want to give up my adorable rental house and move into a flat downtown! Check it out...I live in a gorgeous city.

Here's a favorite shot of mine from a recent trip downtown. Simon actually took it and did a fantastic job.

Urban Hounds and their Downtown Momma heading home...

I must away...anon, anon...eeek!

Tomorrow is the opening day of the 2007 season of the Carolina Renaissance Festival. HOW did that get here so soon?? I had plans for a new gown and a new leine, I had visions of collars that I would make for the dogs myself, and all I've managed to do is remember to ask Amy for my old green gown so that I will have something cooler to wear that ISN'T my old blue McDonald plaid garb.

I haven't even sewn the drawstring into Leah's pouch yet, but don't tell her. What shoes am I going to wear? What on EARTH will I do with my hair now that it isn't all one length? Thank goodness for green snoods I suppose.

This past week has been a blur. Simon left a week ago Sunday. Every time one of us leaves the other at an airport it gets harder I think. I maintain that it is harder on the one being left, because instead of being distracted by bad airline food and tinny sounding movies for 8+ hours, you have to return to your house where the other one now isn't. Even the animals have been depressed, MAINLY because Simon spoils them but also because they love him.

Several blog posts have come to mind this week...and have gone right out the proverbial other ear. My house again looks like a tornado has taken up residence. The car has become a dog bed with wheels, and will remain so until festival is over.

H and J had dentals this week. For the first time since I adopted J seven years ago, her breath doesn't make me ill. She's a bit upset with me over the whole thing and stares at me with what greyhound people call the "Stink Eye." H had a growth removed from his mouth that IS NOT CANCEROUS! Can I just shout that from my rooftop? After losing P last January if that had been cancer in H's mouth I think I would have lost it completely.

And sadly, this week the greyhound world got a bit dimmer but the night sky more brilliant as a new star entered the heavens...H's littermate Marky. Bless. Marky was a sweet and unassuming soul, often shy and always hilarious. I feel like I lost one of my own, but when it's H's time to go I know his brother will be there waiting on him.

The bright spot of the week? Definitely the H=Cancer Free moment. And now I'm off, I must away, anon, anon! Well, okay anon=after I get everything packed for this weekend...

03 October 2007

Daisies I don't have to wait for...

Now appearing in MY GARDEN...

Orange Gerberas
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

So I still say it's Simon that has the green thumb, not me, and once these poor plants realize he's gone they'll give up and die...

24 September 2007

Splish splash...

Wish I was still there...I'm just so happy that my Hunky Man got to get in the ocean. He loves it...until it hits us both in the heiney and we have to run back to shore...

BBH2007 005

21 September 2007


Daisy, at a reading from "her" book, Proud Racer: Half Crazy...

Hello from Myrtle Beach, Finally!!

Simon and I left Greenville yesterday around 11:30. The plan was to leave at O. Dark. Thirty, but when the alarm went off my "vacation head" took over and I just turned it off. We only had to repack the car once, thank goodness!

The trip was un-eventful until we actually got to Myrtle Beach. Let me rephrase that...when we got to North Myrtle Beach, a town in it's own right, and not the NORTHERN part of Myrtle Beach which is where Beach Bound Hounds actually is happening. We drove all over North MB until finally I called Leah and she directed us back toward the hotel.

Thursday night we left Daisy with a babysitter and H and J in our room and went out to eat. Lemme clue you in...after a long day in the car, a dinner of a foot long hotdog covered with french fries, chili, and two kinds of cheese is not always the best option.

This morning we got up and headed to the state park for the day at the beach. Hunky LOVED the water and he and Simon had a good time. Daisy didn't like the water, and she backed up as fast as she'd run towards it when the tide came in.

We ate lunch, we hung out, and my book reading was a lovely intimate affair with only a few die hards staying at the state park till 4pm to hear me.

I'm uploading pictures to my Flickr album so please check there for more! I've only just gotten on the internet tonight, and we're about to rush out to Barefoot Landing for dinner and a stroll about.

19 September 2007

Are we there yet?

I think the dogs know something is up. I mean, they've known that for about five days now because Simon is here, but I think they are learning the word "beach" means that we are taking a trip. Well, at least H and J know that. Daisy joined our family at the beach last March so she most likely has not made that connection yet.

I can't wait to see Hunky in the water again! It's been way too long. For those of you reading this blog because you couldn't make it to BBH, I hope that it will help you feel like you're there!

13 September 2007

A New Level of Professional...

...when you are sitting behind a microphone, voicing a presentation for a deaf mental health professional who is presenting to other mental health and random social services professional peers, and suddenly "Rehab" by Amy Winehouse is playing in your pocket because the button that you hit to keep your phone on mute was clearly, in fact, the volume button that cranked it up to VERY VERY LOUD. Have mercy.

12 September 2007

Things that don't help insomnia.

1. Mosquitos that appear in your house and disappear into thin air just before you swat them.

2. Spiders that saunter down your couch cushions while your cat watches, doing nothing.

3. Finding evidence of rodents in the bowl you popped into the sink while finishing an online class.

I swear, it's like the universe picked one of my most hormonal days to spring everything that creeps me out on me and land it all in my house. There isn't a bit of me that isn't itching with crawly skin right now, and I while I know it's just fatigue and stress and the fact that it's 1:00 in the morning but keep seeing things out of the corner of my eye on the walls, floor, and my legs. Oh, and don't forget checking the cabinets, counters, and behind the stove (where I found more evidence where the baseboard is removed from the wall of said rodents).

I think it may just be time for some Tylenol PM.

06 September 2007

Helpful Reminder

And just as I'm sitting here winding myself up, thinking about how much I hate this or resent that or am tired of these...Daisy quietly enters the room and rests her chin on my hand and shyly casts her gorgeous brown eyes up at me. She sighs quietly but doesn't move. Just like Profile used to do...

Y'all excuse me. I have a tennis ball to toss and a life to enjoy living.

They're my dogs, thank you very much!

This is mostly a rant, but I think that it extends beyond the individual circumstance and encompasses who I am and the way I live my life. I don't like being told what to do.

Those that know me, stop laughing. Seriously. You're getting stares.

It goes further than that, though. I don't tell others what to do (Susan, hush) and I don't like it when one person/group/agency/whatever tries to tell another what to do. Makes me uncomfortable. Hey, maybe that's why I'm sometimes uncomfortable in church! Oh but that's another blog for another day...

Anyway, I was on one of my greyhound message boards recently and came across a post talking about a "stupid" person who had left a dog in a car. Granted, I might think worse things than just "stupid" about a person who left a dog in their car in this weather, considering I moved off the surface of the sun (Montgomery) to a side of the sun (Greenville) and have yet to see a day where the temp is 88F or below. What bothered me, though was how FAST others on that board were jumping on the bandwagon, offering suggestions about phoning the police or trying to get the poor dog out of the car. I'm all for animal welfare, don't get me wrong, but I'm also all for my own welfare. Who is going to feed my dogs if the 300lb muscle man that owns the car I'm so thoughtfully rescuing Fluffy from comes along, sees what I'm doing, and beats me to a pulp?

I recalled in my post how I went to the grocery store once during the colder months and left the dogs in the car for about five minutes or so while running in to get something FOR THEM. I returned to find a note on my car that said "Shame on you for leave dogs in hot car."

Seriously, if you're not going to be brave enough to stay around and confront me for leaving my dogs to warm up a car when it's COLD outside, at LEAST learn to use proper grammar. I don't want to have to put forth the effort to translate your sad attempt at chastising me into proper English before I crumple it and throw it in a bin. Further, if English is not your first language, write it in your first language. Then I can have the nerdish joy of translating your note before I crumple it and toss it in said bin. At least my mind will have been stimulated along the way.

I then went on to say that I didn't agree with the poster that stated that things come up and you may get stuck in the store longer than is safe for your dogs to stay in the car. I'm sorry, unless you've got me hand-cuffed or hog-tied, if it comes time to go back to my dogs and I'm not done in the store...well...I'm done in the store. If what you are doing in the store is so much more important than paying attention to how long your dogs have been in the car, perhaps you should have gone home before stopping. People who have been to my house or been anywhere with me and my dogs can tell you that I am always aware of where they are and what they are doing. Sometimes I think that the world would be better if parents of human children kept tabs on them the way I do on my dogs, but again, another blog post for another day.

I guess I'm different, but I feel like my dogs are my responsibility. That means knowing where they are and what they are doing at all times. Not really hard if you love your animals and want what's best for them, especially for families with single pets. I have four, and I can tell you as I'm typing this that two are on the dog beds and/or sofa in the den, one is on the futon in the rec room, and the cat is under my comforter hiding from the GE repair man that left four hours ago. Not tough.

I hear it all the time...people who clearly know better than I do telling me what to do with/for/about my dogs. The man at Publix comes to mind that told me I was killing my dogs by feeding them a raw diet. Until you live in my head and my house, you can't know what is best for me and my furry family and I simply won't tolerate you repeatedly telling me that you do. I don't care how many greyhounds you've found homes for or that you know the inner workings of a dog's GI tract OR that you graduated from X, Y, or Z with a degree in WHATEVER. Unless you know me and my dogs and respect how I take care of them as well as how I live my life, you can bet on the grain of salt that will be accompanying your advice in my mind.

Wow. I feel better.

14 August 2007

Over one million insomniac minutes served...

When you purchase your allergy medicine and you decide on the store brand because it is a bit cheaper than the real thing, please make sure that it's not the kind that dissolve in your mouth NOR the 24 hour non-drowsy kind. I mean come on, 24 hours of non-drowsiness?

I've had insomnia something AWFUL off and on for about two weeks now. Not so much while I was in San Francisco but I think that I was just exhausted then. But just before I left and now that I'm back I don't even get TIRED (with or without a nap, doesn't seem to matter) before 11:30pm and lately haven't been falling asleep before 1am. That doesn't work so well when one has to be up at 6:45am the next morning.

So as I'm about to pop my allergy pill in my mouth I notice that the box says something about dissolving...pop pill, drink water, turn over box. Oh, look at that. Fast dissolving, non-drowsy, something about 24 hour relief. Hmmm. Here's hoping it will do what all the other "non-drowsy" antihistamines do and zonk me out...but so far no good.

Ugh. I guess I could do my dishes.

12 August 2007

Three years old and the light bulb hasn't switched on just yet...

Today the Leelos (Daisy's litter)turn three years old, and yet my Daisy is still very much a puppy...God help me. Their birthdate on Greyhound Data is 8/14, but I remember it to be the 12th because I was among the folks on GreyTalk "watching" them be born.

wmlcml6 Posted: Aug 12 2004, 09:37 AM
"Baby Daisy has arrived. 9:37 am EST!!!! Leelo is a fantastic mom so far. I think she is a fawn, but is kind of wet and dark right now."

So happy third birthday to my beautiful and perfect Puppy-Girl who will always be my puppy girl, no matter how old she gets...my Daisy Mae Mae...

Happy birthday to Casey and Bonnie...to Angel Sophie Sox...to the ever handsome Dodger Long Legs...to Hallie Jalepeno, the firecracker mountain goat...and of course, Windy-Bear, the first of the LBs to discover what retirement is like...

Daisy, I'm so glad you were born and even more glad that you're mine. If the rain stops today we might go take a little walk downtown later. If not, we'll snuggle on the couch and watch movies and I'll tell you over and over how much I adore you, just so you won't forget.

Happy birthday, my precious PuppyGirl...
love, Mommy

10 August 2007

On Families and Over-reacting

I've been thinking a lot in the past few days about what the word family means. I've spent a lot of time with my family and have come to several realizations.

You may not be in the same geographical area with your family, but you are still a part of it. My cousin Carol made that point quite well when she spoke at my aunt's funeral. One thing my aunt loved were children, and since she didn't have any of her own she more or less "adopted" me and my sister and our seven cousins. We weren't always right there with her, but she never forgot a birthday or an anniversary. She made arrangements to attend plays, musical recitals, and other important events. I would imagine that it means even more now to my sister that she was at Susan's ordination as a minister.

I'm not sure which stage of grief I'm in at the moment, really. I think it's anger. I have some very clear opinions about the series of events leading to my aunt's death, and while I won't stoop to the level of some and point fingers I will say that I think had one particular thing not happened my aunt would still be with us. Am I delusional with grief? Possibly, but I don't think so. Am I looking for a scapegoat? Possibly, but I don't have to look very far.

I have to hold to my belief that what goes around comes around, and that the deeds that may have hastened my aunt's death if not caused it outright will be rewarded in kind. It's funny, my sister and I differ on this...while she is able to hold her composure in check and never stoop to their level, I'm staring people down at the funeral and just waiting for my chance to express how I'm feeling. (ex: I told my mother that if a certain person said boo to me, "it's on.")

What has become apparent is that I have neglected my family. One of my father's sisters actually said to me that she thought I was a stranger to them. While that might be a bit of an exaggeration, it holds some truth. I've been told in the past few days that I over-react to things that happen to me and maybe that's true, but I react to things following how I feel. While that particular person can't possibly know how much my aunt meant to me and how tough this past week has been, he has let me know how I come across to others, and that's what I need to keep in check.

Man. What a week.

04 August 2007

I know a woman

I know a woman who was as tall as a tree, or at least seemed that way to me when I was a little girl.

I know a woman who knew everything there was to know in all the books in the world, because she worked with CURRICULUM, or at least that's how it seemed when I was a little girl.

I know a woman who loved children, even children who did bad things like take the batteries out of her clocks or not eat all their green beans or talk during the church services at camp meeting, not that I ever did any of that when I was a little girl.

I know a woman who was devoted to her family, especially her little brother, and who was an example to all those that knew her of what faith was and meant.

I know a woman who was a breast cancer survivor.

She was the same woman that let me walk behind her while she picked beans out of the garden, feeding me one or two raw because I wanted to know what they tasted like without cooking. She was the same woman that made me purple cows to drink (Welch's grape juice and milk with a dash of vanilla ice cream, don't knock it till you've tried it!), and always remembered that I was the one that liked apple pie while my sister was the one that liked pumpkin pie.

I know a woman who had strong hands that would gently hold my tiny little girl's fingers in hers. I remember tracing the outline of the logo on her signet ring, and thinking when I got my own Maryville College ring that it made my hands look a lot like hers...only not so strong.

I know a woman that was stubborn, independent, and is now free. She's free of a body that wasn't working as it should. She's free of worry. She's free of pain.

I knew a woman, and she was my father's sister, my grandmother's daughter, my mother's sister-in-law, and my aunt. I love you, Aunt Inez and while my heart is breaking for losing you it is also singing that I got the chance to know you, learn from you, and be loved by you.

It's just turned dark here in San Francisco, so I'll look for your new star in the night sky.

This is for Katy.

-Registration was a breeze. Pre-registration is the way to go.

-I clearly need someone to look after me when it comes to arriving at the airport on time. Larry the Cable Guy that I sat next to on the way to San Antonio (after arriving at GSP at O Dark Thirty) was nothing compared to the poor folks that have to work at Hartsfield and deal with shmucks like me that arrive at baggage check two minutes after their plane is done accepting checked baggage.

-I made it to the opening ceremony, and saw everything from the Village People to men in drag SIGNING Dude Looks Like a Lady. Top drawer, foh-sho.

-It has been ten years since my first RID conference. I think I'm now easing into the category of interpreters with salt and pepper on their heads. (think of that one in ASL, it will make more sense)

-I miss my roommate. It's not the same. Think Kurt will send ME roses this year? :)

Just kidding, I'd be totally mortified if he did. :D Simon, on the other hand...doesn't read my blog. Anyway...

I have NO idea what time it is...my watch and laptop say that it's 12:34 am. My blackberry says that it's 9:34 pm. The part of my brain that lives in Yorkshire says that it's 5:34 am tomorrow morning...but I'm not sure what day that is, really.

It's going to be a good conference, and I'm sure that my workshop will be fine.

This is for Katy.

Philly in 2009, baby!!!

03 August 2007


Twas the night before conference and all through the manse
Not a human was stirring, they all seemed in a trance.
While Davey snoozing on the four poster bed,
Our Susan had visions of Days in her head.
My case was all opened, it covered the floor!
My laptop a humming, plugged in near the door,
I sat on the bed, wishing dearly for sleep
But it came not, not even after I'd counted sheep.

Why was I nervous? What could be the matter?
I'd spring from my bed, but that would cause a clatter.
So I'll sit here and surf, the internet awaits
Till my alarm sounds in five hours, the sound that I hates!

Yeah, why am I still awake, and further, writing bad poetry? 8 hours from now I'll be on a plane, headed for San Francisco to the RID, Inc conference where I'll be with people like me...people that get me...people that live the double life I lead as an interpreter...and I'll have to stand up in front of them and give a presentation when my mind is still in Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina...with my aunt, my dogs, and my new job, rather than focused on Interpreting for Deaf Professionals in Clinical Settings. As Liz says from time to time, Oh, the GLAMOUR!

Maybe if I had this curling iron masquerading as a laptop off my legs I could actually get some sleep...Next post from San Fran!

(or at least from the airport...)

01 August 2007

And then there was one.

One critter in the house.

It's just me and Mills tonight. The dogs have gone to Krista's to stay while I go to RID this coming Friday. This conference is a lot of things...a chance to see old friends, a chance to learn the latest and newest and coolest and craziest about my profession, a chance to get up in front of a bunch of my peers and hopefully sound like I know what I'm talking about...but it also marks the two year anniversary of Brave Lettuce. I started this blog two years ago at the RID conference and haven't looked back. For those of you still chewing on your lettuce leaves, thanks.

One blog post down the drain.

As happens often for me, I had a great blog post in my head while driving home tonight. After getting the dogs to their Aunt Mary who would take them on to Krista, I drove up to the hospital where my parents were taking their turn sitting with my aunt. I had a great post brewing and of course, now it's gone.

One more night without sleep.

It will take me awhile to wind down after driving. If I can be in the bed by 2am (half an hour from now) I will count it a good night and be satisfied. That means five whole hours of sleep before the alarm goes off to get me up to ring Simon on his lunch hour at work.

One moment when I realized I'm a grown up.

One moment where I saw how much my father loves his sister.

One moment where I looked at my aunt but saw my grandmother, some twenty-four years ago, lying in a hospital bed, dying, not knowing who I am.

One moment where I realized that there is nothing more important than family.

And then there was one...just one me, here in my house with my noisy cat and a computer screen.

26 July 2007

In case you're keeping score...

*I start my job at the Department of Mental Health on 2nd August.

*I will be in San Francisco at the RID conference from 3rd-9th August. I'm presenting with my former co-worker from Alabama, Brian McKenny. Here's hoping I can actually complete the workshop without falling down or knocking over something important...like the laptop with the powerpoint on it.

*I will have been in my new house for a month on Monday.

Thanks for all the well wishes and thoughts. I have done a lot more of this move solo than I ever have before, and it's been an experience. Now if we can just get the dishwasher and oven working, I can settle back and enjoy.

Life Lesson

Hunky and his Posse
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

When my life gets to be too much, Hunky is always there to remind me that the most important things in life are a soft couch, a squeaky dinosaur, and an oven mitt that has morphed into a giraffe toy. What would I do without his sage counsel? I shudder to think...

13 July 2007

This is why I have dogs. This.Right.Here.

Stool Tool
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

Seriously, how could you not pick one of these up at the pet store with THAT kind of a catchy name??

12 July 2007

One step forward, six hundred steps back

House? Check.
Fenced yard? Check.
Animals? Check.
Gorgeous cleaned car thanks to my awesome dad? Check.
Hardwood floors in house? Check.

Job that will provide a salary to pay for my new life in Greenville? Not-So-Check, at least not yet. We're now looking at 1st August or possibly even 16th August due to the RID conference this year.

I'm freelancing my tookus off, my boxes remain unpacked in the rec room, and I don't have the house anywhere near ready to have Leah and Russell visiting on Friday.

I need about 10 more hours in my day, at least.

Oh, and on Monday, I stood up into my cabinets and learned that you really do see stars if you hit your head hard enough. Haven't really been right since then.

I'm trying really hard not get too down on the whole thing. But here I am, 12:20 in the morning and I'm still awake and blogging. All I can do is write off today and hope tomorrow will be better.

10 July 2007

If they ask if you are making pumpkin pie, say yes.

I have a tendency to tell too much information...really it's a tendency to run my mouth too much. Examples include the time my ex and I were shopping for a new car, and I proudly told the car salesman that my Nissan 240sx (moment of silence for the much loved Batmobile...okay, now we can continue) had a BRAND NEW engine in it! I can't seem to draw the line between enough and too much information.

Case in point, I return to my beloved Publix here in Greenville (as I've moved back into the exact neighborhood I left back in September!) and am in the checkout line with four cans of pumpkin. "Ah," says the friendly Publix Checkout Lady, "are you making pumpkin pie?"

The normal person who was in a hurry to get out of the grocery and back home would have said yes and smiled. But not me... "No, it's for my dogs actually."

Insert puzzled look here and massive sigh from the five people in line behind me.

"For your dogs?" she asks, looking as though she's vacillating between laughing and calling the ASPCA.

"Yes, it makes their tummies feel good and they just love it," I reply.

Thankfully she doesn't say another word, just continues with my checkout and hands me my receipt. Not the first time this has happened..."Wow, someone really likes chicken leg quarters! Having a BBQ?" The word yes forms in my mind and on my tongue, but what actually comes out of my mouth is different.

"No, they're for my dogs, I feed them a raw diet."

For awhile before I moved, I was "The Greyhound Lady that buys all the Chicken" at that Publix.

Bless. It's good to be home.

And just so we're all clear...

The new ticker at the bottom of my blog refers solely to how many days are left before Dubya leaves office. It is in no way connected to the conflict in the middle east or anything else of the sort. It is just a countdown until the blessed day known as Inauguration Day, 20 January, 2009. There, now we can move on...

05 July 2007


Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

I could do with being back there right now, standing in that place that had been revered, that holy and sacred space...but I have my own solitude now and I love my new house. Still, it's nice to just be still and remember.

15 June 2007

Home again, home again, jiggety jig...

One thing that I have learned in the 35 years I've been moving is that it is never easy, it always sucks, and I will inevitably leave things till the last minute and end up scrambling.

Before I went to England, everything was falling into place and I thought, foolishly, that my perfect place to live would also fall into place just as soon as my foot took its first steps off the plane and back onto American airport-soil. Wrong.

Wrong wrong wrong. I have too many animals. I have animals that, save my cat, are over the weight limit. And do I want to live in an apartment if I could score a house with a fenced yard?

I have lots of people in my corner trying to help. I have lots of websites to go through offering "gated communities" and "tastefully appointed properties." I've sent hundreds of emails and even called a few places on the phone (my family can put their eyeballs back in their heads, I do make cold calls to people I don't know ON OCCASION). Nothing, save rejections for the above mentioned reasons.

So packing has been on the back burner, with the rationale being this: "Why bother wasting energy to pack when there's nowhere to go?" That held water until today when I realized that if I follow my original time table I will be moving one week from today.

Not good.

I'm currently taking a break from packing the office. About half of the kitchen is packed. I have a closet and three dressers full of clothes that will be sorted and some discarded because I just don't need all that stuff. And somehow I am supposed to be ready to head to Greenville EARLY on Wednesday with the dogs and the cat, to leave the cat at my vet to board and hopefully find someone that can watch my dogs (that won't require me to drive to either Charlotte or Charleston...).

Enter panic, stage right.

11 June 2007

Wish I was still here...

Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

Taken at Skipton Castle, 4 June 2007...by a camera with a timer that was rapidly losing its battery charge.

06 June 2007

Go on, gloat...

Everyone who said I should change my travel plans and be in the US today for my divorce hearing...everyone who said I shouldn't just trust that things would go okay and I'd have some closure...well, you were all right. Seems Scott's lawyer didn't make it to court with some paperwork that was needed and so I am still married.

Married, tired, and disappointed...and in dire need of closure.

04 June 2007

Silly American at Nostell Priory

Silly American at Nostell Priory
Originally uploaded by NanLassiter.

Having a wonderful time, wish you were all here! I'll be back to my regularly scheduled rants and blogging soon, but for now please check out the photos in my Yorkshire 2007 album on flickr!

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