Yesterday, I had a completely new experience, something I have never done in my 44 years on this planet -- I went up in a tiny little airplane!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Yesterday, I had a completely new experience, something I have never done in my 44 years on this planet -- I went up in a tiny little airplane!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
They also have a bike rental there as well as a little snack and bike store, nice restrooms, water fountains, playground, etc., etc. And I have to say, when the weather is like this -- bright, sunny, and 70s -- anyone who doesn't go outside and enjoy it is beyond redemption.
Speaking of beyond redemption, last evening we decided to go out for dinner and the went to our local wine bar for desert. As always, we ran into some folks we know. They are okay to hang with at the local pub but I've decided that they really aren't "my kind of people."
Saturday, January 29, 2011
At least that's what I should've said when our friend's invited us to drop by last night for an impromptu get together. They were having another couple over (that we also know and enjoy chatting with) BUT they also all have kids. Little kids. Please note the drum set in the left corner. Next to the piano. With two chairs. And there's a kid missing. Bless his heart, I think even HE couldn't take this much crazy.
I'm just not a kid person. And I have never, not once have I ever, spent time with a child and thought "Gosh, I want one."
And these girls are girly-girls. The rave of course is all things Disney. They're totally into the princesses (and modeled several full princess outfits for us) but you can't beat Queen Minnie from the House of Mouse.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Getting caught up on the days means going back to Wednesday. Our heroine Ivey had just completed a major phase of a big project while dealing with all sorts of life and death crises and new family issue snaggle. So after returning a few emails, she took the rest of the day off.
First, a manicure and pedicure. It's like mini-vacation.
Next, a movie! It's becoming rare that a movie comes out that we really want to see but we'd been looking forward to "The King's Speech" ever since we saw Colin Firth interviewed on The Daily Show. The movie is outstanding and that Colin is all sorts of awesomeness. Great performances from the entire cast.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
So I was able to relax a little last night. While cooking supper, I noticed this on the counter and for some reason it cracked me up. I decided it looked like a very surprised face peeking over the edge of a bowl.
Supper itself was a delish concoction of braised chicken thighs with a mushroom/lemon/wine sauce served over rice. Yum!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Three weeks into January and it's clear my little blog is taking on a different flavor in 2011 and I'm not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I've never wanted Ivey Lane to be a "journal." That's not the style of writing that I dig and more importantly I find it boring in other people's blogs. I want to read content that has depth of thought, addresses a bigger issue, delves into a deeper topic than "here's what I had for lunch today" or my all time most annoying long litany of "ain't my kid cute?"
Which brings me to the other hand; combining Proj365, as best I can, with the way I like to write may be interesting, or at least to me. And since I really and truly write this blog for me, I think I'm going to try to stay with it and see where it goes. There could be a number of benefits. First, I'll write less each day but hopefully say more in total. The images make the blog itself more interesting. And I think I will become both a better photographer and better writer in the long run.
I'm sure there will be plenty of sexy stuff (Vince dubbed me the "nookie monster" this morning. hehe) as well as the usual life observations. I hope it continues to keep your interest. Let's see how it goes!
Monday, January 24, 2011
We had the "service", appropriately enough, at a theatre. Afterwords, about 60 or so folks came to my house for the "wrap" party. For those of you not familiar with theatre etiquette, at the end of the run of any show or filming, there is a wrap party for when you "wrap up the show/filming." It's a tradition. The MC of our event closed with these words "You get to be the star of one major show -- your own life. Thank you Kate. It was a hell of a run." And with that the audience rose to their feet and gave our Kate the standing ovation her live deserved.
Oh, that we can all call that our end.
But at the house we had food....
... and beverages (the booze was in a another corner),
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Now some folks have issues with okra, mostly when it's not cooked correctly (I've heard some people boil it. Shudder!) Ya got a fry it folks; you can batter it or just slice it up and toss it in a skillet with bacon grease but it MUST be fried. The way I was brought up was a bit of a hybrid.
So for y'alls cultural edification, here is one -- there are others -- authentic way to "fix" okra.
Start with fresh okra. If it has a few spots, that isn't a problem it and is more likely on organically grown produce anyway. Wash it.
Cut it up. Do NOT rinse it. It's supposed to be slimy on the inside and if you cook it right, the sliminess goes away. If you boil it, you get what you deserve.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
High school meets Facebook.
Through the magic that is FB, I've discovered some pretty cool people who all came out of the same backwards, redneck, jerk-water but oh so authentic locale of my youth. Not sure exactly how it happened (we decided it had something to do with leaving town though there was an exception to that in the group too) but we all kind of discovered that the world is larger, better, and vastly more interesting than our upbringing would have allowed us to believe.
It's a convoluted story, but it turned out about 10 of us all get to the same town where Vince had a gig and decided to meet for dinner then go to the club where he was playing for drinks and dancing. But since we had dinner at a local restaurant, and I was in club wear (to play groupie!) we needed to tone it down a bit. One of my high school buds had a trench coat.
Obviously, I didn't take the above photo though we did use my phone. So in keeping with the Proj365 spirit, here's a shot of the sleeve I did take.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
(In the interest of full disclosure, this photo is about a year or so old. With the crazy schedule of late I've been doing well to take and post and Proj365. I'm actually about 20 lbs lighter now than I was in this picture. Vince says I have to stop losing weight if I start losing this ass.)
And we continue with Proj365 and the floor. This is the first coat of finishing phase. One down, two more to go!
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
We have several stopping points depending on how much time and I have this is at the "short ride" (30 minute) mark. As I was resting on my bike, I took a photo looking down...
... and another one looking up.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Okay, here's the deal. I don't mention it much, but I'm working on losing a few pounds. Yesterday I weighed in and was up a pound. I'm not "plateau-ing", I'm slacking. While I've been keeping track of what I've been eating, I haven't been weighing and measuring.
So I took a photo of 3 oz. of chicken on my food scale. I've got it in my Proj365 folder. It's there. But....
1 -- 3 oz. of chicken flesh on a scale doesn't look very appetizing.
2 -- it could be triggering to some vegetarians.
3 -- it wasn't a great picture.
4 -- it made me hungry to edit it.
So I'm not posting it. If you're a fellow Proj365'er, and you just feel like you HAVE to see it or you won't be complete as a person or an artist or a blogger, then let me know and I'll email it to you.
Otherwise, you can thank me in the comments for sparing you all this one.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Still, a girl needs to get out of the house/office so when some friends texted with an offer to join them at House of Blues for a concert we took 'em up on it. Thing is, we didn't quite get the planning right so while they enjoyed the sold out show, we indulged in a little Louisiana-style cookin'. After the concert, we met for drinks and that explains how we ended up with about 5 - 6 hours sleep last night.
For those who don't know,the Cirque du Soliel venue is right across the pathway from House of Blues. I just thought this was a cool image of their sun logo.
And last but not least, here's a photo of the raw, sanded heart pine floor. For those that don't know, heart pine is old growth pine. It's very dense, very hard, and has a very tight grain. These floors were installed in the '40s and they have plenty of character! (aka flaws, damage, etc.) But dang, they're going to be pretty. I hope the tenants will appreciate them. PS -- I didn't actually take this photo. Vince did.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
However, it has the coolest damn hardwood floors you've ever seen. They're heart pine, which was actually the cheap wood back in the day when the place was built but now would run you around $10/board foot. (Yes, I am a remodeling and home improvement geek.) But since the place is empty I can't resist refinishing the floors even though it's "only for a rental."
Here's the first pass with the floor sander right. I'll post more when it's finally done with a good top coating.
And since Vince did most of the sanding he decided to kick back and watch the Steelers' game (being the Pittsburgh boy he is) last night while I cooked supper. He is soooooo ruined! Here he is posting the final score on FB after the Ravens pretty much gave away the game in the second half.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
After the show, a group of us went to a trendy little bar in a hip little neighborhood. Totally vanilla but I just want you people to know these aren't my legs. Or my arm. Or my hands and in fact I think the hands belong to two different people. Just because the gathering doesn't include swingers, doesn't mean it doesn't get a bit sexy!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Speaking of work though, Vince and my work schedule just got a whole lot busier and in a great way. We're currently working on a very large and cool project (I should actually be working on that at this moment but thought I'd just take a second to post) and knew we had three more lined up. We just found out we have two more as well. In our business, this will fill our calendar until at least the fall. Yes!! Gotta support our lifestyle. LOL
Alright, enough. Back to work!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
And yeah, I hate to whine, especially when so many of you are dealing with REAL cold, but here's the problem -- we don't have any insulation and in our house and when it drops below freezing a heat pump won't do diddly. Our 1927 house is made of terracotta block, covered with stucco on the outside and plaster on the inside. A heat pump works by essentially removing heat from the outside air and "pumping" back into the house. If there isn't a lot of heat outside, then it doesn't work so well. In addition, the walls act more like an ice box that stores cold. Add to this the fact that my feet and hands get cold (as in don't feel human or alive) and if it gets real cold so do Vincent's.
Now all that are just a facts of life. But today, after an interminable 6 days of Aunt Flo, yours truly was in true NEEEEEED of a good rogering and after lunch seemed as good as a time as any. But have you ever tried to have sex without touching your partner with your hands or feet? Hmmm?! And in my case also trying to not let me knees, butt cheeks, or nose from touching ANYTHING on Vince as well so as not to shock the guy into a heart attack? Not to mention the ohsoattractive socks as well as insisting that no matter what position I was in, I needed to be covered by the blankets? Hmmm?!! Well have you?!
Let's just say that the mission was accomplished. Two very determined people overcame layers of obstacles to make sure that Ivey stayed mentally and physically on track. Thank goodness for perseverance! And a gas fireplace. And Vince's ability to withstand preternatural icecubes on his package for the sake of satisfaction.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Recognize this little girl? Yep, this is Cassie and after all the excitement of having people over, playing with toys, wrestling with her other puppy-playmates, and fighting over the chew toy she finally just needed a soft spot to land and chose my lap. What a sweet baby.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
As with all things, there's a story here too. This is a Venetian Carnival Mask from Venice Italy. It's a heavy sucker. I got in in 1987 during a trip to Europe and though I wasn't in Venice during Carnival, it was an incredible experience. I still remember sitting in the Piazza San Marco, sipping coffee, watching the people and the ever present birds.
I was 20 years old and traveling with my parents. In Switzerland we met a woman, early 30s, who was traveling by herself. Apparently her husband didn't like to leave home and she loved to go places so she traveled all over the world, all by herself. Her name was Holly. In that same city we met an older couple who also loved to travel but his health was failing and they were concerned the only had a few trips left. We all ended up going out for dinner in Lucerne and all going our separate directions the next day.
Sitting in the piazza, I looked up and there she was, pulling her suitcase across the massive open space. I thought she was pretty much the coolest woman on the planet. She was staying at a place close to our hotel so I walked over with her to check in and afterwords. (Now I know you're all hoping that this turns into "my first time with a girl" or a "and she was soooo hawt" type story but nah, it wasn't like that. Just meeting people.) I was supposed to go back and meet my folks at our hotel for dinner and she came with me. When we walked in, Mama and Daddy were sitting with the older couple we'd met. The couple had walked by the hotel cafe they were sitting at looking for a place to stay. Mama and Daddy brought them back to our hotel and they were able to get a room. We spent several days enjoying the city and this little group of people we just happened to find.
Holly was with me when I bought this mask.
I don't have a ton of "things", but the things I do have all pretty much have meaning and memory associated with them.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Fortunately, an unexpected opportunity for Vince presented itself a few days ago and our lunch date had something to do with it. No details, but here are some picture hints. You may figure it out.
Speaking of the general sadness of the world, there's plenty to go around but some of it you can do something about. Veronica of Another Suburban Mom fame posted an article that is worth reading and doing something about. It concerns the appalling backlog of rape kits that haven't been processed throughout the nation. It's an outrage. Of course, it's also complicated. Check it out.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Rock close-up: This is one of the rocks that encircles the fountain. It's set in this kind of mini-Stonehenge, tiny amphitheater formation. I swear at one point all I could think of was "This is Spinal Tap" and I just started giggling. Fortunately, I was alone at the time. The Shut Down Fountain: Maybe the fountain looks different when the water is turned on, but as I sat there looking at it, all I could see was a piglet drinking from a pool. Then the piglet started looking like a turtle. And they weren't giving me the drugs, folks. On a different subject, sorta, I really would like all of this death and dying business to knock it off because it is fucking with my brain and patience. The other day, after reading one stupid FB status update too many, I posted that sometime reading FB posts gave me the overwhelming urge to stab myself in the eye. Someone commented that my status then needed an explanation and I just don't have the heart or the energy. In a nutshell, in light of current events, including the shooting yesterday in Arizona, I'd just like people to stop being selfish, ignorant, stupid assholes. And if they can't manage that, then the least they can do is shut up and quit throwing their ignorance and nastiness on the rest of us.
It was a long day yesterday. But today we begin anew!! Vince and I have a great day planned and I'm sure I'll have a photo or two to share. On another note (and if you've read this far you deserve a little treat!) Vince and I are getting back into the Lifestyle game. We have several couples now that we're trying to set dates with, some more promising than others but are looking forward to the adventures with a new relaxed and open spirit. I wonder how it's going to turn out?
Saturday, January 8, 2011
But the photo also brings other thoughts to mind. I've mentioned it before in the blog but I'm pretty much an atheistic agnostic, but I was raised a devout Southern Baptist; moreover, most of the men in my family are some form of Baptist preacher. I can generally quote scripture with the best of them.
But I'm not one to toss out the good with the bad and there are times when scripture comes to mind, like this one:
Matthew 16:19-20 -- Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy and thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Friday, January 7, 2011
But the reason I didn't get a better picture, and that this one is an afterthought, is because I got more seriously bad news yesterday. Without divulging too much about various complex relationships, my brother's close friend, a woman he's loved since high school, lost, then rediscovered a couple of years ago, underwent brain surgery to remove a massive tumor (size of a tennis ball) that was discovered right before the new year. She survived the surgery, but they confirmed that the tumor is a stage 4 gioblastoma, the most lethal kind. If she responds well to radiation and chemo, she can hope to survive 18 months, maybe two years. Without treatment, the prognosis is 12 weeks.
She had just gotten engaged the evening before they discovered the tumor. Her fiance of 24 hours took her to the doctor due to severe headaches she'd been experiencing. She's had a very challenging life, the kind they make movies about on the Lifetime cable channel. She's been a single mother to her 16-year-old daughter. She has no insurance. And with all of that, she is a beautiful, positive, charming, happy, endearing, warm, loving, giving human being.
My brother is fragile.
Tomorrow I'm going with him to the hospital where she's currently being treated (about a 3 hour drive from his house) so he can see her.
To add to the sadness, I have another friend from my youth whose husband of 16 years was diagnosed with the same thing 6 months ago. She's in another state, so I don't see her, but he is following this same path. He has lasted through 6 months of treatment, but it is very unlikely he will make it another six. He too has teen-age children.
I know the picture of the kettle isn't exactly gripping, but I hope you enjoy it. I did enjoy taking the picture. And I swear, once again, that I plan to fully enjoy my life as long as I have it.