Sunday, August 31, 2008

Heads Up

Since the 2008 election is coming to boiling point, I've decided to use my Tumblr as my go to political venting outlet. I'm posting heavy over there with links, pictures, quotes and commentary on the '08 election, so as not to clutter up my regular 'personal' blog, and to offer less room for total anarchy to break out in the comments section. Since I know we don't all share the same political beliefs. ;)

While you can't comment, you can send me an email, or message on myspace to share your own thoughts on something I might post there! avwatkins @ gmail dot com

As far as my meltdown from last week goes, I'm doing fine. And hoping things are going to fall into place. I'm trying to chill out. Because, really, that's all I can do.

Life is a big messy thing. Accepting that, I've found, is the first step.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Where I've Been

This blog has been silent for an entire week!? Can you believe it? My big, over sharing, mouth shut up for a whole week!


So I typically blog when I'm in a good mood. And this, my last week of summer vacation, has been the most depressing, stressful week in a very long time. Full of self doubt. Full of worry about paying for school and keeping student loans at bay for a little while longer. Stress about still being in school, pursuing the degree that DOESN'T SEEM TO END. And nervous about what the hell to do with my life.

Oh. Pity me.

Things have slowed for a bit. I still have a huge sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But thankfully I have amazing parents who give me wonderful pep talks and aren't afraid to medicate me occasionally. ;)

But I guess it is what it is. My situation is really no different than anyone else's my age. Unless you are part of the lucky few who actually have their shit together. In that case, I don't want to hear it.

So, that's what has been going on. Now you know.

I might try getting back into the blogging swing of things sometime next week. I hope you all have a phenomenal Labor Day Weekend!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Jon has a bit of an obsession with Cool Ranch Doritos. And by 'bit' I mean if given the chance he would consume a bag of them per day, maybe more. Earlier I told him he needed to 'back away from the chip bag', he agreed. So he went into the kitchen where I promptly heard doors opening and closing. Strange doors. So I asked.

A: You didn't put those into the dryer, did you?

J: No. Why would I do that?

A: Well...

J: *long pause* I put 'em in the washer.

Yes, because that was a much better option apparently.

Fun Pointless Stuff

I posted this earlier to my Tumblr, but I figured I'd share it further since I thought it was cute. Thanks Katie for the idea.


* Type your answer to the questions into a flickr search
* Using only the first page, pick an image
* Copy and paste each of the urls in the Mosaic Maker

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to do when you grow up?
10. Who/ what do you love most in life?
11. Choose one word that describes you?
12. What is your Flickr name?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bambi or Something Like Him

Closer Tonight

The Other One We Saw

My new reason for needing an SLR is deer. There are tons of them in the field and woods behind our house. And my poor camera just can't capture them like I want it to. Last night we were crouched down amongst the soybeans looking at one laying in the field about a 100 feet away when all of the sudden, we looked to our left and the buck was just 30-50 feet away staring us down.

Frankly, it was a bit unsettling.

A- Because has anyone seen that video of a deer kicking the shit out of someone?
B- Because I had taken off my flip flops so I could approach a little more quietly. So the running ability in the face of said attack would have been poor.

That said. We're going back tonight. Only with camo and binoculars this time. And perhaps I'll get video instead. ;)

My Not So Little Brother

My Not So Little Brother

They warned me this would happen. For years and years. One day he'll be bigger than you. And now, it's happening. Pretty soon he might tower over me. And it makes me more than a little sad. My little peep is growing up. *sniff sniff*

Photo of the Day

Nature Walk #2 069

The pond behind the house.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Freebie Five

Dooce tackles a subject today that I often think about. She refers to it as the 'Five Fame Fuckers List', and not to take anything away from the great and mighty Dooce I prefer my favorite gossip blogger Lainey's term: 'The Freebie Five'.

Lainey has done this list for years now, she has a little sidebar section for it and her list is ever changing. (She's also smart, witty, hilarious, very chic and posh and everything I like in a gossip blog. That's why she wins. So I read her and you should too, I swear you'll enjoy.)

Anyways, the premise of a 'Freebie Five' is kind of rooted in a stable relationship, the five people you'd be allowed to fuck if given the of consequences. But since I'm not in a relationship I like to call this 'The Five People I'd Do Tomorrow JUST BECAUSE I CAN' List.

1. Michael Phelps (Lainey and Dooce have Michael on their list, as I suspect many women do right now. Michael's going to be a busy boy is all I'm saying.)
2. Prince Harry
3. George Clooney
4. Billy Bob Thornton
5. David Beckham

Michael is an obvious choice. I understand some take offense with the mouth or ears, but I find him completely charming. And I'm totally turned on by ambition and success. Sad. But true.

Prince Harry. Oh come on. Eye candy. And money. And royalty. (Wait, I'm sensing a theme here.)

George Clooney. Beautiful. Charming. Dark and handsome. Love. Oh, and it would have to take place at the Lake Como Villa. Just saying.

Billy Bob Thornton. (What!?) I know. But he's sexy. Dirty. And sexy. I swear.

David Beckham. It's the tattoos. And accent. (Also successful, ambitious...hmm...should I psychoanalyze this or let it go?)

Now for the respectable part of this post that doesn't involve sex.

Last night I went on a bit of a nature walk behind our house. (A little set up for those unaware, the house backs up to a farm and woods and is very 'country' in some respects.) Of course halfway through my camera battery went dead and I ran out of memory on my SD card. But here are a few of my favorite shots before all went to hell.

nature walk 015

nature walk 036

Old Stable

nature walk 039

So, who's on your 'Freebie Five'?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Scenes from a Saturday

The Big 5-0 001

The Big 5-0 003

The Big 5-0 006

The Big 5-0 014

The Big 5-0 021

The Big 5-0 025The Big 5-0 026

The Big 5-0 029

*I did the sewing on the quilt block by hand and by myself. Needless to say, lots of patting myself on the back has gone on this evening.
*Happy Birthday Dad & Madonna.
*The cake was strawberry, not my fave but my Dad is a big fan.
*My brother thinks he wants to grow his hair out and find out at what length it becomes curly. The ends are curling as of recent, but the rest is still thick and fro like. I'm none to pleased, but somebody has to document this ridiculousness.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Comfort Food, or Something Like It

This afternoon I cooked this for dinner. It was delicious and simple and the most comforting thing I've ate in a long time. Something about this milder weather, the dying grass, the pumpkins growing like crazy is making me long for a nice chilly fall. I'm so ready for October. Which is always weird for a summer lover like myself to say. But it's true. I'm still trying to figure out how I can get to Asheville while the leaves are changing, anybody up for a trip?

My Dad turns 50 on Saturday. 50! My Dad. It's just kind of odd to think of him as that age. Not because I think it's old or anything. But because when you are a kid and you think of your Dad turning 50, you tend to think 'wow, he'll be so old'. But since I myself feel barely grown up it doesn't so much feel that way anymore. At any rate, Happy Birthday Dad, even though he may never read this. Another year I wasn't sure I'd get. And while we butt heads and he drives me absolutely batty, I wouldn't trade him for the world.


I mean, mostly. I'm pretty sure.

Okay, well maybe for a billionaire Dad, but he'd totally understand. He's awesome like that.

In other recurring news, my Olympics obsession is raging onward. I don't think I've ever been this 'into' the Olympics. But something about them is so comforting and patriotic and fascinating. Each night I find myself captivated by the weirdest sports ever. I love that.

And this isn't so bad to watch each evening:

You know, comforting and patriotic.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This little quilt shop is amazing.

Charm Packs are the most addictive, cutest things ever.

I bought this one, two of them to be exact:

I'm going to use this simple quilt pattern using my charm packs.

And I'm really excited about it.

I'm a dork.

But that's okay.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Photo of the Day: Puppy Bath Edition

Yeah, yeah, my camera can't handle indoor shots. I'm trying to let it go.

Jill gets a bath

But I can't help but love this photo. Jill has been dealing with a 'skin issue' and tonight Jon and my Mom took to the bathroom sink to help relieve the poor baby's itching. The reflection of it. Jon's face. I love it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pie, Pie, I Like Pie

How I Spent My Weekend
  • Kicked it all off by watching the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics. Amazing, stunning, I'm still blown away by it.
  • Became kind of Olympics obsessed. I'm watching swimming right now.
  • Spent all day out on Saturday with my entire family helping Jon pick out a new bow for his latest hobby: archery.
  • Resisted the urge to shoot myself later from the stress of it all.
  • Happy that sort of outing rarely happens anymore.
  • Froze 6 bags of tomatoes, trying to make a dent in the growing pile of crop from the garden.
  • Barely made a dent.
  • Created 2 pie recipes on my own.
  • Baked a Blueberry-Raspberry Pie which was phenomenal.
  • Made barbecued pulled pork.
  • Baked another pie: Apple that time around.
  • Watched more Olympics: gymnastics and diving.
  • Straightened my hair.
  • Ate pie.
  • Okay, 2 slices of pie.
  • Contemplated making a German Chocolate Cake.
  • Shut up, I didn't.

Blueberry-Raspberry Pie Recipe:

12oz of blueberries
12oz of raspberries
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of minute tapioca
dash of lime juice (or lemon if you insist)
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together, let sit for 15 minutes. Pour into pie crust, top with another pie crust, flute edges and slit the top. Brush top with milk, melted butter or egg white wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Apple Pie Recipe:

5 granny smith apples: peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of flour
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of melted butter

Mix apple slices with white sugar and flour. Mix in cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Add brown sugar and melted butter. Pour into pie crust, top with another crust...yada yada...see directions above.

Both were baked for 50 minutes at 375.

Apple Pie measurements are kind of a rough estimate. Throw what you like in, it will turn out fantastic, trust me. Just don't forget the butter. For no other reason than I like butter.

Friday, August 8, 2008


April: So who do you want to win the election Mamaw, now that Hillary is out?

Mamaw: We need that black man, that Obama. He's going to change the country.

April: You think so? What about McCain?

Mamaw: Just another Bush. I hate George Bush. War, war, war, that's all they care about.


So there you have it, the election from the eyes of my almost 81 year old grandmother. She also said some things involving violence and a certain President that I'm frankly, not going to print. But umm, it wouldn't surprise me if her house is wiretapped is all I'm saying.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


A few days ago my longest running friend and I had a particular war of words that has, I'm afraid, torn apart our friendship into a thousand tiny pieces that can never be mended. Arguing would have been nothing new to us, she was always the friend I could have a good knock down with and yet somehow we would go on afterwards, just being us. But this was more than that.

This was realizing the person you thought you knew is no longer, in fact, that person. Because I live life striving for an element of tolerance and love in my world view, I find myself not wanting to associate with those who cannot at least respect those who are 'different'. And racism and bigotry are not words I want to be around.

So it's over. And it pains me to think. But I've been too hurt by the words and opinions to go back now.

A few days prior to the war of words I got a phone call about an interview for a Public Relations Internship I'd applied for. I was shocked, flabbergasted, amazed. A good general smattering of words but mostly thankful for the opportunity to even be interviewed. It had taken so long from the date I'd applied to the date I was called that frankly, I'd given up hope. And while I'm not counting on getting the internship, from what I've heard of the interview process (2-3 hours of stuff including writing prompts, grammar tests, etc.) it should be a good learning experience at the very least.

I finally feel like I might be on the path to finding direction in my life. Something that has been bothering me for so long.

But at the same time I'm mourning the loss of a friendship over something so surprising and uncomfortable. Racism, injustice and bigotry exist in this world, I'm not naive enough to think otherwise. But I suppose it hurts a bit more when you find out it's lurking right under your own nose.

In the iconic words of John Lennon:

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

I still have hope.

Just Read

Spooky Waverly Hills may return as hotel

I think this is a fantastic idea. I'd totally want to spend a night there! I wouldn't as it is right now, but turn something into a luxury and I don't care how creepy it me to the spa.

But *ahem*, that's just how I am.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Confusing: A Case Study

The Article:

The Gist: Iraq is raking in more money from oil exports than it is spending, amassing a projected four-year budget surplus of up to $80 billion, U.S. auditors reported Tuesday. All the while the United States and its taxpayers are funding the rebuilding efforts of that country.

The Quote: "We should not be paying for Iraqi projects while Iraqi oil revenues continue to pile up in the bank, including outrageous profits from $4-a-gallon gas prices in the U.S. We should require that U.S. taxpayers be reimbursed for the cost of large projects."
--Sen. Carl Levin, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Added to: The Things That Confuse Me About the War in Iraq File.

Bonus Quote: Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, said Tuesday's report "is going to make a lot of American families very angry."

Bonus Commentary: You're damn straight, Mr. Waxman.

And After I Vote for Paris I'm Going to Marry Anderson

I'm Voting for Paris Hilton

Her 'Funny or Die' spoof of John McCain's Paris/Britney ad:

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Warm Fuzzies

My Mom and I have a lot in common. She can sew and I once pressed the foot pedal on a sewing machine.

Over the past few weeks my mother has moved back into the sewing realm. I'm guessing this sweltering heat has something to do with it.

I of course have a long history of trying and failing at every crafty thing I try. I always start with the best of intentions, desperate to find my 'thing'. And in the end I abandon most of it, never to look back again.

Oddly enough I'd never thought of sewing.

But you know...when in Rome.

This weekend I assisted in the making of this:

sewing 008

And by assisted I mean I cut the pattern out (much harder than it sounds actually, for someone who failed cutting and pasting in kindergarten anyway) and picked out which fabric to use. Oh and I took pictures of the real work:

sewing 007


Pictures, it's what I do.

But even if I didn't do a ton of actual work last night it was a bit like attending a lecture, I certainly learned a thing or two. I've always been a bit 'visual' anyway.

I might not ever get good at this. It could go the way of all of the other crafty things. But as for now I'm interested enough to try. Because above all else there is something deeply satisfying about a stack of beautiful fabric.

sewing 023

Something that is delighting my senses and awakening my creative side.

sewing 025

Makes me feel all 'sustainable' and 'green' inside. It's a fuzzy feeling.

Friday, August 1, 2008