Archive for the ‘Augusta’ Category

Spring is very confused today.  The wind chill was 35 degrees this morning.  I had my air conditioning on yesterday.  Technically, my AC might have still been turned on this morning, but since it was 64 degrees in my apartment when I woke up, and the AC was set on like 75, it wasn’t blowing.  Now I have the heat on.  I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

One thing spring is not confused about is raspberries.  I am normally more of a blueberry/banana/apple fruit consumer, but they were out of blueberries, and my mom always says the important thing is to eat colorful food, so I bought raspberries.  I’m not sure if these were particularly amazing raspberries, or if the fact that I ate nothing but white bread and mayo last week had something to do with it, but I can’t remember tasting anything so delicious.  I felt like the kids from Lord of the Flies who are starving and find the tropical fruit (mangos maybe?) and can’t stop themselves from gorging.  But then I remembered that those children felt very sick afterwards and that each raspberry cost about a dime, and I tried to limit myself to no more than a $1.50 in raspberries in that first sitting.

In other news, I ran out of flonase this morning, and I called the pharm for a refill.  The nice lady at the pharm said,”Goodness!  You sound terrible!  Rough time of year, huh?  I figured while I was out of allergy medicine, that I should sweep all the pollen off of my front porch.  Not like, the yellow gritty dust, but the hairy oak pieces.  I’m grasping for a better way to describe the oak debris, it sort of looks like mini caterpillars?  Or maybe a yellow dust bunny? Debris is one of my favorite words.  Spring time brings a lot of extra debris.  My car looks like it hasn’t been washed in two years.  It’s been more like ten days.  Even Briscoe is sneezing.

Despite the fact that there is a windchill today, yesterday was hot and muggy and rainy and the mosquitoes were having a grand time.  Briscoe and I went for a walk around 8 yesterday morning, and we sat down on a bench by the water, and I looked down, and there were at least five mosquitoes trying to bite Briscoe through her fluffy hair.  We came home immediately.  How do you keep mosquitoes off your dog?

I was home in Augusta last week for the Masters, and it was a whirlwind of friends, family, flowers, sandwiches, beer, and pollen.  I attempted to see as many people as possible, and I still missed some important people.  The amount of white bread and mayo consumed was upsetting, but necessary.  My friends from home (The “A” Team) and I discussed how the Augusta National is like Narnia, how the grass is greener, everything tastes better, life seems crisper.  But you can’t take it home with you.  Egg salad does not travel well.  The pairing sheet is just a dirty piece of paper when you get home.  And this week, apparently, the end of the Masters means the return of the endless winter.

My childhood buddy, Lilibet, has written an excellent book – Box Girl: My Part Time Job as an Art Installation.  Check it out, it’s totally hilarious.  And if you need any other book recommendations, The Goldfinch was insanely awesome.  And The Circle was an engaging and terrifying look at social media.

Briscoe and I happy to be back in sunny Charleston, but it was hard to leave home after such an amazing week. The first couple of days after the tournament are pretty rough, but I think I’ve made it through the worst part.   I hope that you are all surviving this STUPID cold snap.  This has to be the end of it, right?   It’s not fair to have pollen and a wind chill.  Winter can’t last forever.  Until them, I recommend hot coffee and zyrtec, and a fuzzy dog if you can find one.

*I also posted a post below that I wrote about a month ago, but forgot to actually post.  Finishing the drill is hard sometimes.

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Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, man, I’m feeling like a craft project? I really never do. And reading about craft projects on a lot of blogs and especially pinterest is frustrating. Because, let’s face it, people are lying when they tell you it was super cheap, super easy, and didn’t take any time. Maybe two out of three might be sometimes possible. But if it is cheap, it wasn’t easy, and it definitely took a long time. Christy is good at being honest about how long something took, and I promise you that her arts and craft skills are in the top 2 percentile of people under the age of 50. Unless you grew up in South Georgia and have a lot of patience, you shouldn’t attempt most internet DIY projects. Especially if the alternative is going to cost a lot of money. Like refinishing furniture. I know you don’t want to pay for it, but really, it’s not worth the heartache. Suck it up and pay the money, and cut corners somewhere else.

I want to be the sort of person with a tastefully decorated house that exudes my own personal style and actually looks “finished.” I also want to be the sort of person who makes up her bed every day and knows where the extra batteries are in her house. The sort of person who doesn’t run out shampoo or paper towels or dog food. The person with the clean car, who didn’t spill coffee on their shirt on the way to work, with the brushed hair, the right make up. The girl with the immaculate office and painted (not chipped) nail polish. If this person actually exists (I have my doubts).

It is hard to look finished, but when you’ve been to a truly finished house, you can tell. My life and my house have not been finished in a long time. Being finished is expensive, and requires nice fabric, well framed artwork, window treatments, throw pillows, the right accent pieces. These things can feel overwhelming, and time consuming. Plus, it is easy to get away without being finished.

For some reason the crafty urge hit me last week, and I really wanted to make window treatments for my living room. This is something I’ve been considering for a long time, but life is expensive. When I found out I was moving to Charleston, I had exactly ten days to wrap up my life in Augusta before I started work. Obviously wrapping up life takes more time than that. I was short on time, short on cash, and short on emotional stability. I had only owned my house for about 18 months, and most of my cash savings had been eaten up in the buying and fixing up process of house purchasing.

My old couch had seen better days and weighed about a bazillion pounds. The junior league took it off my hands. I had to find a renter for my house, and find a place to live in Charleston. I found my apartment through a series of frustrating disappointments, and I was able to negotiate down to a price I thought I could afford. I moved down here with a love seat and two pretty comfy chairs, but no ottoman and no real couch. I said I would get a real couch when I got my feet back under me. When I say things were tight, I mean I couldn’t afford to pay the pet fee and my security deposit all at the same time, so Briscoe had a wait a month to come to Charleston.

Due to a series of unfortunate expensive events (unanticipated expenses for the house in Augusta, having my appendix taken out resulting in unanticipated medical bills, my old trusty car finally dying and having to buy a car) that first year in Charleston was a doozie. I honestly don’t remember a lot about it, but I do remember that my dream of a new couch was not currently on the horizon. I was in survival mode with austerity measures. I didn’t have internet, and I had the most basic cable. At least swimming in the ocean was free.

After my first year, I sold my house in Augusta, I got a big raise, and I had a roommate for about six months. I was able to join a gym and go to yoga more often. I could afford internet and real cable. I felt like I could breath again. The shower pan in my bathroom broke, and my landlord evicted me for three weeks in August and renovated my entire bathroom. Being evicted was worth not paying rent for a month and the end result of a fantastically new bathroom in the place of previously vaguely creepy old bathroom. But still, no couch. And I couldn’t even think of window treatments until I got the couch handled.

Finally, in Spring of 2012, I ordered my couch from Pottery Barn. And I used the interest free option from the pottery barn credit card to pay it off over the course of a year. Since then, I have been thinking about my windows. Plotting and scheming, and returning things to stores that didn’t work like I had hoped.

Two weeks ago, I started trolling fabric stores and craft stores in hopes of being inspired. I found these curtain rods and ring clips at Big Lots that encouraged me. Finally, I remembered about the time I used a drop cloth as a make shift slip cover on that old heavy couch in Augusta, and how great that worked in a pinch. And I decided I would look into making window treatments out of a drop cloth.

Last Thursday, I found this drop cloth at the sherman williams by my house. I took it home, opened it up, and started thinking. The drop cloth had a seam down the middle of it, that made it two 4.5 X 12 panels.


I picked the seam out, which took a long time. I would say this was the most labor intensive part of the project, but I was watching television while I was picking, and it was sort of a soothing mindless exercise. Then I spent a long time trying to figure out how I wanted it to look. Briscoe was highly annoyed by the furniture moving and the overall disruption.


I finally ate dinner at 10 pm (this is another reason I don’t start craft projects, once I get going I can’t stop). By 11, I had a prototype hanging up on some nails, and I decided that was enough for one night.


Sunday, I picked back up on the project, and I worked on the length, and how I wanted the top to look, and I picked out the seam on another drop cloth for the other window. I didn’t actually sew or stitch anything, but I just used the little clips that were attached to the rings.


Oh, and I actually screwed in the hardware for the curtain rods, and hung the rod up properly. This is the finished product. The 9 X 12 drop cloth was $19 for the first one, then there was a sale when I bought the second one – $15. The ring clips were $8 and the rods were $6 a piece from Big Lots. And I probably spent, in total, at least eight hours. Depending on how much you want to bill me out for, the labor was the most expensive part by hundreds of dollars. I’m happier with the one on the left than the one on the right. More tweaking is anticipated.



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April and Augusta

Kate and CharlsieMarch 2013 might go down as the longest month in the history of months, but April 2013 should go down as the shortest.  I literally blinked and April was almost over.  I love this photo of my mom and me.   Masters 2013 was a complete success, and an impressive amount of white bread and mayonnaise was consumed.  I don’t think I realized how infrequently I eat white bread or mayonnaise, and I think I can say with confidence that there is a reason for that.  This year, I was intelligent enough to remember to DVR the weekend Masters television coverage, because I don’t have a good grasp on what the television coverage is like, and I feel like I have been missing this vantage point.

After viewing selected portions of the coverage, I have a few observations.  First off, I had NO IDEA there was a grandstand on the 4th green.  How have I never been to that grandstand?  How do you even get to that grandstand?  Has this grandstand always been there?  I’m literally shocked by this discovery, mostly because 8 and 5 are two of my favorite holes, and walking by 4 is one of the best ways to get between the two.  I had to get out my spectator guide and check it out.  I am almost positive you cannot walk down the Berkman road side of the 4 fairway, so that means you would have to walk up from the 5 fairway, or maybe from the six green?  I’m really not clear, but I would like to know.

4th Grandstand visual

The television coverage also looks sort of fake.  The grass really is stupid green and all the colors and the blue sky and everything can be visually overwhelming in real life, but on television, it ends up looking superimposed or something.  I took some photos of my television to illustrate this point.

Green roomAdam Scott appears to have been digitally superimposed onto a random backdrop of lob lolly pines.  Not like I’m complaining, I’m just saying.

Video GameThis appears to be a screen shot of the Tiger Woods golf video game.  Instead of an actual shot of Tiger.  That’s weird, right?

I feel like I learned a lot by this DVR exercise, and I hope you have enjoyed it.  #eggsaladandbeer #yolo #whitebreadandmayo #emailmeifyouwanttoparty

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Happy Spring Break 2k13! I’ve been having a happiness panic/heart attack ever since I left my office yesterday afternoon. The weather is beautiful, I’ve been drinking coffee and I’m ready for a mimosa. The bridge run is today, and all of Charleston is out and about for a day of sunshine and parties.

Tomorrow I leave Charleston for a week at home in Augusta. My plans include drinking beer in the sun, pimento cheese, turkey on wheat, velvet hammers, grass that is greener than your eyes can accept, azaleas, wisteria, old friends, family, and a town full of people who are all just happy to be there.

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In my bedroom at my parent’s house in Augusta – I can hear the train whistle blow at night. In my bedroom in my apartment in Charleston, I can hear the cargo ship horns blow. Trains and ships make me happy.

Chocolate coconut milk freezes pretty quickly, and also thaws quick. And half frozen chocolate coconut milk is a spectacularly enjoyable treat. If you freeze it even more it becomes a tasty frozen treat you can eat with a spoon. Like if Italian ice and a frosty had a love child. Try it out. I drink zico – the plastic bottles are easier to drink half frozen, but the cardboard cartons are easier to it open for frozen deliciousness.

New Girl and the Mindy Project. So much happiness. And 1600 Penn.

Eating Krispy Kreme mini crullers with Nutella on them. And eating Nutella with a spoon. Basically anything involving Krispy Kreme or Nutella.

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I awoke this morning to the semi darkness of the late sunrise of early autumn.  Getting out of bed this time of year is exceedingly difficult, and as much as I hate the darkness when I get off work, I appreciate the sunlight in the morning.  I intensely covet the ability to bounce of out bed at 6:30 am on a regular basis, and bright sunlight is the best way to get me out of bed.   I need windows, large, east facing windows on the opposing wall from my bed.  My bedroom has big windows, but none of them face east.  The real trick is opening the blinds at night so they will be open to the sunlight in the morning.  I might be a paranoid person, but I’m also slightly nosy, and if a light is on in a room in a house where the blinds are open at night, I am going to look.  So if lights are on at night, blinds should be closed.  Somehow turning all the lights out and then opening the blinds seems strange. 

Oh, duh.  What I need is a chamber maid, to come in the morning and open the blinds for me and leave me clean clothes and tea and toast with butter and marmalade and maybe a hardboiled egg.  I guess if I had a chamber maid I could also have a house with east facing windows on the water or on a mountain somewhere that blinds were not necessary.  Then I wouldn’t need my chambermaid, but breakfast would be pleasant.  Then I might bounce out of bed at 6:30. 

Alas, I was languishing in bed at 7:45 this morning, thinking about what I would wear today.  And I checked the weather, 71 degrees, 84% humidity.  This sounds like an improvement over 78 degrees with 97% humidity, but I wasn’t entirely convinced it was a significant improvement.  The fact that it is September 30th means nothing as far as what kind of weather could be expected. 

Have you ever wondered what the UPS guy does all day?  Because when you want a package to arrive at your house by a certain time, and you track it, it seems like regardless of anything else, the UPS man never gets to your house til after 5 pm, regardless of where you live, even though the UPS.com tracker told you he left the warehouse at 8 am this morning.  Well, apparently he is delivering packagings, because I got a delivery I’d been waiting on at 1:45 this afternoon!  It is like the UPS man knew i needed the package before 5.  Or else it’s friday and he just wanted to go ahead and get rid of all the boxes so he could go home. 

Why do I need this package before 5 pm?  Because I’m going to Augusta today for Britt’s 30th Birthday!  HOORAY!  Happy Birthday Britt!  Yay 30!

I have to admit, my 30th year so far has been pretty spectacular, and I feel sure Britt’s 30th year will be equally amazing!

Happy Friday, take time this weekend and smell the tea olives, and when it gets cold tonight, or tomorrow night, and you shiver in your tank top, remember that is finally the best month of the year, OCTOBER!  Just typing it makes me happy.  I’m going to go dig up some fingerless gloves with skulls and crossbones on them.

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I know I’ve talked about the Monday after Masters being miserable, but today was equally as depressing.  Y’all, Libby’s wedding was last weekend, and I had so much fun, but now I’m depressed.  I’m sure that part of it is that the wedding is something Libby and I have been discussing for, oh, the last fifteen to twenty years, and there is something deflating to have it actually be over, but even besides that, it was insanely fun.  I like to believe that all my bridesmaid experience was utilized to the fullest extent, but regardless, I had the maximum amount of fun.  I’m looking at photos of the weekend and wishing I could have been at three places at one time the entire weekend because there is video evidence that I missed almost as much fun as I experienced!  Haha.   I’m also sad because an impressive amount of my favorite people in the world were all in the same place and now I freshly miss them.  Sigh.  If only we could take all our favorite people and make them all live in the same place.

Then I wouldn’t have anyone to visit in Colorado or New York or a few other choice locales, but maybe we could all travel to those places together on a regular basis?  This dream is becoming increasing unrealistic.  Maybe I’ll just stick to praying for cheap airfare, connecting flights that don’t get cancelled in the black holes that are also known as the ATL and CLT, and for staying up until 5 am on a Saturday night to not ruin my entire week.  A girl can dream, right?

On top of everything, my best friend will be virtually  unreachable for the next two weeks.  JUST when we had so much to talk about, she runs off to the other side of the world.  Even Briscoe is exhausted.  Yesterday, my parents house was littered with hungover people and animals.  Bella got in the trash Saturday night after the festivities and let’s just say on Sunday, the term, “sick as a dog,” sprang to mind.  But I’m pretty sure she would do it all over again.

I’d like to tell you more, but I’m so tired my hair hurts, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

It's a marvelous night for a moondance...

Mr. and Mrs. McAleer

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My new favorite song is Amos Lee and Willie Nelson, with the above stated title.  It is soothing, inspiring, and brings to mind desolate, dusty roads with the sun on your shoulders (we are in a convertible of course) and wind in your hair.  I”m wearing faded jeans and a white tank top, no watch, flip flops and on my left wrist, an indian friendship bracelet like the ones we used to make at camp with smocking thread.  I have aviators, a doctor pepper, and maybe a tootsie pop or some sugar babies I bought at the last gas station.  There is a cooler in the back icing down cold beer and sandwiches for later.  What are you wearing? 

Summer has come to the low country, and the humidity is here to stay.  As are the tourists.  All winter, I would run through the main tourist district on week nights, mostly monday, tuesday and wendesday.  There were always people around, it is better lit than other areas of town, and it allowed me to be on the streets a little later than I would venture alone in less populous areas.  The time change and the lengthening days makes running through the tourist area less of a necessity, but last night I ran my regular route anyway.  I was shocked by the enormous influx of people.  Seriously, it is a different town.  It is the town I would expect on a Saturday, but yesterday being Tuesday, I did not expect it. 

The most amazing part of the late spring here is that the entire town smells like confederate jasmine.  I LOVE the way confederate jasmine smells, and there is nothing more enjoyable than being assaulted with wonderful flower smells everywhere you go.  Even Briscoe likes the way the flowers smell.  Of course, she likes the way a lot of things smell I find questionable, so her opinion probably doesn’t really support my point.  My point is that it is awesome. 

Libby’s bachelorette party was last weekend, and maggie bought some FAGE yogurt that made it to my refrigerator on sunday afternoon.  I’ve been eating a good bit of yogurt recently, trying to be healthy.  I must have grape nuts or granola to make yogurt work for me, and I can’t eat plain yogurt without some kind of sweetness in it, but with a little strawberry and cereal, I find yogurt fantastic.  On Monday, while stirring the strawberry jam portion into the plain yogurt portion of my FAGE container, I noticed writing on the container, in red lettering:  “Suggestion – DO NOT STIR.”  I paused my stirring.  Wait.  I need the strawberry taste in the yogurt, why can’t I stir?  Did they have to be so bossy about it?  Should I have known that stirring yogurt was bad?  Have I been eating yogurt incorrectly for years?  Am I killing the live cultures?  All those fruit at the bottom yogurt cultures murdered by me, the stirrer?  Who knew you weren’t suppose to stir yogurt?  Apparently, other people who are not me.  From what I can discern from the internet, apparently the yogurt tastes better and is lighter and fluffier if you don’t stir it.  Good to know. 

Life has been moving at a rapid pace recently, with lots of changes over the past month.  I had to retire the silver bullet, attend the funeral of an amazing man who lived a fantastic life, watch an impressive golfer and even more impressive person fall apart in the prettiest place in the world, get my little dog’s hair cut to transform her from a winter bear to a springtime lamb, run the bridge run with some great old friends, and really start to settle into this job that I love so much.  Thankfully, at the last minute, Congress got it together and I still had a job.  Haha. 

I think things are starting to calm down a little bit, so I’m planning on being much more diligent in my blogging.  But then again, I’ve said that before, right?

Before I go, I have some television recommendations – Blue Bloods (if you don’t like Tom Selleck, you hate america) and Chicago Code.  Cop shows at their finest.  I also watched the first episode of Game of Thrones, which has a great deal of promise, and scared me to death in the first ten minutes, and broke my heart in the last two.

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So Icy

Everyone in the Southeast had a snow day today.  Everyone but a large portion of the city of Charleston.  Despite the fact that my stairs were coated with sleet, all of the bridges were closed by 10 am, and ice was heavy on the trees outside my office window, I did not get a snow day.  When Susan Elizabeth was in town on New Year’s Day and we drove across the Ravenel Bridge, she told me to make sure I appreciate every day I drive over bridges and across the marsh and the sky.  Last week, on my way to work early, the sky behind me was lit with the rising sun and the sky in front of me way navy blue with rolling rain clouds.  Above me was seven hued rainbow that arched from horizon to horizon.  As I drove, the rain clouds rolled and eventually it was raining on my car while the sun was shining.  I love it when the devil is beating his wife.

On rainbow days like that, it is very easy to appreciate the sky and the weather.  Today, less so.  I’ve decided the way I’m going to make it up to myself for missing a snow day is to make a promise that when it gets warm, I will leave work early whenever possible, and take days off when available, and spend all my time at the beach or on a boat.

Briscoe and I made soup yesterday.  I love the way celery and onions smell at the beginning of soup making.  And garlic.  And tomatoes.  Mmmm.  I let Briscoe sleep in the bed with me last night because it was so cold, and she’s a great little heater.  When I woke up this morning, my feet were cold, and my little fuzzy heater was nowhere to be found.  I found her in the middle of the king size guest bedroom, sound asleep.  She shattered any delusions I had that she slept in the bed with me because she liked being near me.  Obviously I understand she has a lot more room to stretch out in the guest room, but please.  I can’t help being a little hurt.  She can sleep in the kitchen tonight.  On the floor.  You know, on a pillow with a blanket.  Like a dog.

Natalie and Travers gave me a pair of Hunter boot for Christmas.  I wore them for the first time today, and they made a splashing debut.  I love them, they make me happy.  Travers sent me a text last night around midnight of the snow that was already accumulating in Augusta.  Briscoe wanted to be with Bobby playing in the snow.  I’m going to take her to the beach to play in the pluff mud sometime soon and make it up to her.  She loves mud.

I had my follow up appointment for my appendectomy today.  It lasted about three minutes, and I was told I don’t have any activity restrictions, so I don’t have an excuse for not working out.  Sigh.  No more being lazy.  Haha.


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Happy Day!

About a month ago it was discovered that statue in memory of my sister, Alice, had been stolen from the grounds of the Old Medical College in Augusta.  Alice died from a genetic disorder four months before I was born.  She was five years old and had been sick for over three years.  My parent’s friends got together and raised money and commissioned a Georgia artist, Marshall Daugherty, to create a statue in her memory.  It was Daugherty’s last work, as he lost his eyesight shortly after he completed the piece.  He told my mother it was his “Ode to Joy”.  It was bronze, about three feet high, and sat on a rose marble pillar.  Until recently.  The loss of the statue was devastating for my parents, another reminder that nothing lasts forever and nothing is sacred.  Not even the memory of a child. 

But, my awesome to be sister in law, Natalie, was determined to find the statue.  She is a prosecutor and worked tirelessly with the Richmond County Sheriff’s office.  My parents offered a reward for any information leading to the recovery of the statue.  But we were starting to believe that the statue was lost, probably irreparably damaged, most likely melted down for scrap metal. 

Then today we got the amazing news that the statue had been recovered!  Honestly, I really can’t believe it.  Natalie sent me a text message this afternoon that said –

Looky what Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Found!

Apparently a neighbor tipped off the police for the reward money.  I’m so relieved, I can’t even tell you!  Apparently my dad went straight there and put it in his car.  Haha.  Hooray!

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