Playing Dress-up

We had a little fun this weekend with our friend, Genevieve, from Traveling Scissors.
Katie and Megan provide the hair, faces, and smiles. 
Genevieve, the expert styling.
I took the photos.


Fun Thing Twenty-Nine: Meals al Fresco

Cooler weather has made for many delightful moments on the porch. 

There aren't very many better ways that I can imagine spending my weekend evenings and days.


Fun Thing Twenty-Eight: Pool Party

Sitting beside the pool, eating good food, watching the sun fall...

...Signs that life is good, maybe too good.


Fun Thing Twenty-Seven: Island Wandering

Sometimes baking on the beach is overrated. Wandering through beach towns and exploring their quirks can be just as relaxing.

All lazy island explorations should be concluded with a drum fish and scallop linner. (You know what linner is, don't you? Lunch and dinner? Like brunch but in the late afternoon? It's one of my favorite meals.)

Photos 1 and 4 were captured by my sis, featured in photo 2.


Fun Thing Twenty-Four: Bull City Bests

 Showing off the Bull City to some of my favorite people is fun.

Good food and good baseball win this crowd over easily.


Again and Again

Again! Again!
I'm sure I yelled these words one thousand and twenty times when I was younger, smaller, ready for the thrill of the spin for the world.
But this time it wasn't me.
This time it was Jacob, age four, former peg-legged pirate and a part-time cowboy.
This time it was Jacob yelling, begging, pleading for the thrill of another spin.

Spin me again, Awayna! 
He threw his arms around my waist, tightly tugging my body, my mind, my heart strings into his tiny orbit.

Okay, Jacob. This is the last time.
The truth dripped out of my smiling mouth. I was lying. We both knew it.
We spun.
We spun again.
And then some more.
These are the happiest sort of lies a person can tell.


This post is part of The Creative Collective, a synchroblog among friends. Check out others' writing and art on today's topic "The Earth around the Sun, or the Sun around the Earth: Centers of Gravity."


Fun Thing Twenty-Three: My Family

These guys just flew in for the weekend (minus the beloved pooch). I got so excited that I forgot to take a picture so I pulled up an oldie goldie in which they are sporting the StL pride. I think they'll be sporting some Durhammie pride by the end of this trip.


Fun Thing Twenty-Two: (Not My) Family

When I decided to move to Durham, I didn't know anyone in the town, maybe one person in the entire state. It was thrilling and scary all at once. I had no idea what to expect of the new life I would create.

Through dumb luck or (more likely) the great providence of God, I am living in a house that feeds my soul as much as it provides me shelter. My roommates make me laugh and help me to balance the stress of school and work and staying in touch with a whole ecology of friendships in Missouri. I am forever amazed at their willingness to share with me, especially their family. Last night, as their family gathered in our house to celebrate the return of a traveling brother, delicious Italian food, spontaneous singalongs, and tickle-fests with tiny people filled the house. It's not my family, but their willingness to share makes this home mine.


Fun Thing Twenty-One: Creative Escapism

When I was in high school, I participated in a summer program's writing group for three weeks. We wandered around a college campus and sometimes into the surrounding town and practiced our craft. We wrote villanelles and one-act scripts and read each other our favorite pieces of writing. I think I read something from Albert Camus' The Stranger. I was so weird.

One day, we visited to a used bookstore. Determined to carry home a properly used book, I bought Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. Previous to this moment, I'd only read Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Since I'd exhausted all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's bibliography and I hadn't hated The Old Man and the Sea, A Moveable Feast seemed like the right kind of book for me. Again, I was weird. Still am, actually.

I vaguely remember reading the book, but just as the stories it houses have left my memory, it has since disappeared from my shelves.  Perhaps I lent it to someone or it vanished in one of the many post-college relocation projects. It might be hiding in a rubber box, tucked between certificates of participation (why did I think volleyball was a good idea?) and albums of adolescent smiles. For how little I remember of its actual content, the physical book carries a significant weight in my authorial (and personal) identity. The book reminds me of a time when others pushed me to a creative edge and challenged me out of my tiny secluded world.

The film, Midnight in Paris, with its romantic kitsch and neurotic dialogue, attempts to capture the moment Hemingway's moveable feast. The film indulges the particular American escapist dream of expatriate Parisian life and asks how far one should go to escape reality and discover creative inspiration. It wasn't my favorite Woody Allen film, but it's a cheerful reminder to push myself into a new creative territory. That is the kind of fun I can get behind.

PS: I recommend brushing up on your 1920s authors and painters before going to see this film. The name dropping in this movie was tremendous.


Fun Thing Twenty: Crunchy!

I decided to embrace my inherent crunchiness and I made my own granola. I tried to make granola once before, using a banana instead of oil and adding the cranberries way too soon. It was icky.

This time I decided to follow a recipe and things turned out a-okay.  Fancy that.

Local honey makes all the difference.

Don't judge me because I chose my recipe by googling "best homemade granola." I didn't follow it to the "t," but it was good nonetheless. Thanks Kiss My Spatula.


Fun Thing Nineteen: Hard Work

When you put in a long day of reading, ice cream is the only thing that can properly soothe the nerves.