Monday, March 31, 2008

An unforgettable Sunday afternoon.

I know it’s ridiculous, but Mike and I have not touched a rake since we moved into The Box. Needless to say, we had a couple thousand leaves littering our yard and driveway, so Sunday afternoon marked a quite momentous occasion in our Charlottesville experience... We finally gloved-up and headed out for project “Scoop and Bag.”

In case you have not seen a picture of “The Box”, it is apx. 780 square feet. There is a small but intimidating tool shed in the backyard and there are a total of two trees on the property. I will include photos below. (P.S. Please know that any jokes made in reference to our temporary residence are in good-humor. While it may be small, I am grateful to have a safe, warm place to call home.)

As project "Scoop and Bag" got underway, a few things became glaringly obvious. 1. We only have two trees in our yard, however we had amassed a ridiculous number of dead leaves. 2. Bless his heart, Mike is not exactly “a natural” when it comes to helping with household chores. He learned at a young age that he could get out of all domestic duties by telling his mother he needed to study. (A brilliant negotiating tactic I admit, but not something that works in our family.) 3. I am opposite Mike on the household front, however will fess-up to some limitations of my own... These revolve around being absolutely terrified of anything that jumps (crickets, frogs, jumping spiders, grasshoppers, etc.). I am also easily scared by small, crawling critters (regular spiders, ants, beetles, the works). And while I rarely come in contact with anything rodent related, they scare me too.

Despite our apparent handicaps, Mike and I fearlessly engrossed ourselves in raking, scooping and bagging leaves. We started sometime around 2:45pm and three hours later we were still going strong. Below is a picture of the end result. Twenty one giant bags. Clearly a job well done!!!

After all of this, Mike and I looked out on our clean lawn with two different mindsets. I was super excited about the progress and wanted Mike to mow the grass. Mike had hit critical (yard) mass and all he could think about was taking a shower and watching basketball. So I asked for a compromise. If he would go into the scary tool shed (home to what seems to be the entire Charlottesville cricket population) and pull out the lawnmower. I would try to mow our grass.

Mowing ended up being a no-go… Not sure if it was a gas issue or what, but we couldn’t get the old thing started.

However, recognizing that hundreds of jumping critters did not come plowing out the second Mike opened the shed door, I took advantage of the clear zone - guessing crickets must hibernate, or migrate or something in the winter. I timidly began re-associating myself with everything that had been stored inside the shed since we moved to Charlottesville. That was when I spotted the old wood trunk!

Sorry, I know this narrative is all over the place, but I need to include one additional side story… I have been searching for a particular jewelry/makeup bag FOREVER! I knew that (at a minimum) this bag had a Slane & Slane bracelet my mother had given me, my wedding earrings, and a Tiffany’s necklace from Mike inside. Both my mom and Mike continue to ask why I never wear these pieces of jewelry and I always dodge the question by saying they are packed in a moving box in our attic. Truth is, I had scoured the attic and could not find the jewelry bag anywhere. My search for these items had been so intense that, at times, I had even tried a technique our old housekeeper used to use where she would lie down and attempt to channel a lost item’s energy!!!

Ok, so back to our cricket shed… The second I saw Mike’s old trunk “jewelry bag” was the first thing that came to mind. I guess my desire to find the bag was so intense that it (momentarily) trumped my fears of all shed-dwelling critters. I opened the lid. I SAW THE JEWELRY BAG!!!! I reached my hand inside to retrieve it and at that very moment out came a mouse! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!


In what felt like slow-life-motion, I took a flying leap over the lawnmower that was blocking the entrance to the shed. As I dove for cover I instinctively slammed the trunk door shut. Mike instinctively reached out and caught my flying body as I catapulted out into the yard. Then we both proceed to run for cover.

At that point I was 75% freaked out that I had just been in such close proximity to a mouse and 25% pissed-off that my long, lost, channeled jewelry bag was still out of reach. Meanwhile, Mike was trying to get me to stop screaming long enough to understand what in the world was going on…

I think he was comforted to find out it was a mouse. Remember he is no domestic-dude, but at least a mouse was more manageable than a snake. So he bravely charged over and pulled the trunk out of the shed. He pulled it into our yard and opened the lid.

At this point I started to scream all over again. I envisioned the mouse either jumping out of the trunk and running after me, or jumping out of the trunk and making our backyard its new home, which would mean Addie could be hanging out with a mouse every time we let her out to use the bathroom. Both options were a definite worst-case-scenario.

So Mike patiently agreed to carry the trunk to the front of our house, and into the middle of the street, where he then began pulling the items inside out, one-by-one.

Around this time a neighbor (whom we had never met) pulled up and asked what was going on. As he came over to introduce himself, I started retelling the story of how the whole escapade unfolded... That is when Shawn (the new neighbor) and I both took notice of some of the items Mike was pulling out of the trunk. Literally, right there in the middle of the road, were pieces of my lingerie!

AHHHHHHHHHH! I kid you not! We were on a public street, searching for what ended up being two mice, meeting a neighbor for the very first time, and looking down on a pile of my thongs, nighties and bras. Talk about embarrassing.

I think Shawn got a little embarrassed as well so he quickly excused himself. Meanwhile, Mike and I remained focused on rescuing my belongings.

After the trunk had been cleared, two very scared mice remained. We put the clothes into a rescue bin and carried the trunk further down the road to free the mice duo.

I stood back watching with pride as Mike took care of the actual trunk dump. It felt like such a happy ending to a long day… I had my jewelry box back. We had helped two mice re-enter a world of much higher nutritional value. And we had a clean yard. La-ti-da!.

Then all of my glory came to a screeching halt when I heard Mike say, “I think one has a broken back.” Oh no, I must have hurt it when “instinctively” slamming the trunk lid shut during my launch out of the shed! While I do not like jumping, crawling or rodents creatures, I also do not like hurting or killing them. I thought for sure I was going to puke.

So, an adventure that started out with a focus on yard work, turned into a long, multi-faceted story about recovering a lost treasure, exhibiting lingerie, attempting to relocate a fashion-forward mouse duo (see pics below), and a mercy killing. Talk about an unforgettable Sunday afternoon!

Mike with the trunk, the items from inside the trunk and the rescue-bin in the middle of our street.

One of my Dustin's GreenHouse tee-shirts that had been eaten by a mouse.
Support for my argument that these were fashion-forward mice. First of all, why would they be living in a pile of clothes where there is no food option with any nutritional value? And secondly, how did they weave threads from different items of clothing into this colorful, kind-of pretty scarf-looking thing?

This is the mouse we set free.

This is the mouse Mike had to euthanize and bury. RIP little mouse.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Five & Counting

Every year my family meets the Bostians and the Cunninghams in Wrightsville Beach for Easter weekend. At five (and counting) we are still enjoying dinners at Boca Bay, walks around the loop, yoga classes, beach bars, golf, a (very) early sunrise service, and a huge Sunday brunch. The pictures below highlight a few memories from the weekend.

On the beach for sunrise service - very tired and very bundled.

This is the "classic" picture from our Easter tradition. Saturday marked the 5th annual Boca Bay dinner.

Mike and me during app hour at our house before Boca Bay.

A trend from the weekend - Mike, Tim and basketball.

The Cunningham family, the Green/Bucys and waiter (Jamie) posing for a post dinner pic in the Chinese garden behind Indochine.

With my Pops and Birdy!

At our new favorite restaurant (Indochine). The food, the wine and the service are all spectacular!!!

Don't ask... In addition to large portions they also have heavy pours. I'll blame this one on the Cabernet.

The boys making good use of Tim's phone to stay updated on NCAA basketball scores.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I "heart" Michael Buble

My husband is encouraging me to write a book on Likeability and I think I may have stumbled across chapter 1 at the Michael Buble concert last night…Big Statement: Michael Buble is the most likeable person I have never met.

(1-3 were obvious ones…)
1. He’s young and he’s cute.
2. His songs have beautiful lyrics.
3. He is insanely talented, selling over 11M albums, receiving 2 Grammy Nominations, and having several #1 hits.

(4-10 were a little more unexpected…)
4. He is committed to his fans – apparently Buble woke up with an eye infection yesterday morning and spent the entire day at the UVA hospital… Instead of canceling the show he (and the rest of his 12 person band) wore ridiculous aviator sunglasses the entire show.
5. He is super quirky – just watch him dance and you’ll see what I mean. It’s an adorable combination of Blues Brothers meets Fred Astaire.
6. He seems to love kids, at one point jumping off the stage and letting a mother in the audience take a picture of him dancing with her little girl.
7. He is hip – dropped Amy Winehouse jokes, played along when a (very) large woman in the audience pinched his butt, and sang a song about a soft-porn pizza delivery guy.
8. He is humble – acknowledged that his concerts don’t necessarily exude testosterone, and thanked the husbands for agreeing to come along. Afterward he spiced it up with an Elvis cover, of course dedicating it to all the men in the audience.
9. He seems real – this guy introduced every member of a (12 person) band by full name, instrument and hometown, and without a cheat sheet! I don’t know about you, but if thousands of people were starting at me, it’s very likely that I could forget my own name.
10. He makes time for the “little” things – Examples: They took 3-4 minutes of video footage of favorite spots around Charlottesville and played it while he sang the song Home. He verbally recognized hard economic times and thanked the audience for still taking the time and spending the money to come to the show. He closed the concert by putting the mic and band aside and sang (100 % acappella) to an audience of 6,000+ (absolutely amazing).

So, on the record I am a major fan of Michael Buble! (If any of you are on the "in's" with MB and have reasons to disprove my impressions, please don't tell me!)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pics from San Fran & Tahoe!

Eve Carson

In times of tragedy, North Carolinians have shown their compassionate spirit by putting aside their differences and rallying in support of the greater good.

In honor of Eve Carson, the slain student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill, all North Carolinians are encouraged to wear Carolina blue on Tuesday, March 18. That date coincides with a memorial service to be held at 4 p.m. at the Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center.