Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Have fun this election day

A little political satire courtesy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Enjoy! And vote!

You don't want our system of government to be based on watery tarts tossing swords around, do you?

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Seed & Feed in the NY Times!

I didn't get to go to Honk! in Boston this past weekend, but many of the other members of the band I'm in, the Seed & Feed Marching Abominable, were there.

And one of our own was quoted in the New York Times story about Honk! Scroll down about midway to learn how the Aboms choose our band members. Then come out and hear us Sunday, Oct. 14 as we open for Francine Reed at the Candler Park Fall Arts Festival.

I may not have been able to make it to Boston, but I'll be at Candler Park. See you there!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Freelance Fridays -- Why did my perfume smell different ...

... when I was pregnant?

No, I'm not pregnant. I don't even wear perfume. But this an interesting piece to write for HowStuffWorks. I learned many things--which is one of the best things about writing.

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Job, New Digs

Started work yesterday as Senior Writer at Corporate Reports, a firm that produces annual and sustainability reports for some pretty big-time clients! Yay!!!

I'm very excited, for several reasons, not least because of my very own great, bright green office with a door AND a window!


I have a lovely view of the Wingate by Wyndham hotel sign just across the parking lot. But, if I stand up, which I need to do more often, I can see beautiful, green trees that don't clash with the bright green office more than a tiny bit.


View when I stand up. Lovely, green and rainy today.

But, I'm also excited because, you see, I like to write. And for the past couple of years I've written approximately 5 words in a row, often starting with "Ideal for ... ", which in my book means I've really only written 3 words in a row, because somebody else made the decision about "Ideal for ..." so they don't count.

Now, for these reports, I will write THOUSANDS of words in a row!

I better get started!

Happy Tuesday and thanks for reading!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Freelance Fridays--How Bullfighting Works

I am NOT a fan of bullfighting. It seems cruel, stupid, mean and bloody to me. But for some reason when the good people at Howstuffworks.com looked at my resume and writing samples they thought, "Bullfighting. We'll get her to writing about bullfighting. It'll be great!"

Ok, maybe they didn't think exactly that after seeing my extensive experience with writing about electrical projects and economic development, but something made them think bullfighting would be a great test. So, the first thing I ever wrote for howstuffworks.com was How Bullfighting Works. Enjoy--if that's possible!

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What I did on my vacation

It was a staycation this year. But I managed to cram in a whole lot of stuff:


I had a birthday!



I got beautiful flowers that are still beautiful a week later.


I went to Trader Vic's with Chris. We had fruity, girly drinks. But, no Pina Coladas. My apologies to Warren Zevon.


Trader Vic's floor show--making bananas foster!


I finally got to see the cats playing on the new cat tree. Tallulah loves it the best.


Mattie is possessed by the tree demons.



I suffered a sequin disaster. But, on the upside, learned that some things really can't go in the washing machine, even on the hand wash setting.


I went to the Southern Living show house. That's me taking pics with my new birthday iPhone. I was an iPhone virgin--and am totally in love now!


I found inspiration in the show house bathrooms.



The show house inspired me to tear into the Elvis bathroom, which was last painted/updated before the Civil War. Of course, it's not finished, but don't worry, Elvis isn't leaving the building--or the bathroom. He's just getting new surroundings.

And, I had a stomach bug. But, you can relax. There aren't any pics of that!

So, what did you do on your summer vacation?

Happy Tuesday and thanks for reading!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Freelance Fridays--All you need to know about labor & delivery

Now, I've never had a baby--and believe me, the ship has sailed on that possibility. But, I've written all about labor and delivery for a regional health system. (I wrote about pregnancy, too, but I figured I'd start with the end game. 'Cause you're gonna get there.)

I've also written a lot about doing electrical work, and I don't plan to rewire my house, either. It's the nice thing about writing. You gain all the expertise without any of the pain.

So, if you're pregnant or plan to get that way or don't plan and find yourself in that condition or know somebody who is, take a look at all you need to know about what's gonna happen when that baby's ready to come out. Really, it's all you need. At least that's what they tell me.

Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Freelance Fridays

Well, thank goodness I've got plenty of freelance work to repost 'cause I'm ignoring the rest of the days of the week on this poor blog.

This week, let's look at the kind of diet you might try if you have arthritis. Arthritis is near and dear to my heart, unfortunately. It runs rampant through my family and is creeping its way around my body now, too.

So, if you're looking for ways to feel better with arthritis, check out Healthy Eating for Osteoarthritis.

Thanks for reading and happy weekend!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Freelance Fridays

I've worked off and on for retail companies--including one GREAT BIG ORANGE BOX retailer with HQ here in Atlanta. In fact, I spent a year writing buying guides and project guides in the electrical category.

Go ahead, ask me how to rewire your house. I can tell you how to do it without killing yourself or burning your house down. Not that I'm going to do any rewiring myself. I'm not stupid. But I can tell you how.

Anyway, if you need to wire a whole-house network, you know, with the interwebs and intercoms and intercourse (oh, wait, that's a whole other topic) here's where you can learn how.

Happy reading and happy Friday!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Pushcart War

I was a kid growing up in Alabama. I'd never seen New York, much less streets clogged with trucks. And I had to look at the illustrations to know exactly what a pushcart was. But none of that mattered. The Pushcart War, by Jean Merrill, was one of my favorite books--and it still is. I've read it as an adult and still love the story of underdog pushcart vendors taking on the trucks--and winning--with nothing more than brains, determination and peashooters.

This is the cover I remember from my childhood.

Jean Merrill died last week at the age of 89. But she will live in my heart forever. If you're looking for a great book for yourself or your kids, give The Pushcart War a try. The book was published in 1964, but is still relevant today.

Her obit appeared in the NY Times, here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Fabulous Sand Sculpture

As a beach lover, I can't help but be awed by what these sculptors are able to do with what I consider merely the perfect spot for a beach chair and a cold drink.

Not only do I love the sculpture, but I've never been to any of these beaches. That needs to change--and soon.

Image: JaseMan

Which one's your favorite? I love the pirate at South Padre Island and the dogs playing poker--really--in Spain. That would be perfect if they'd somehow gotten the black velvet background in it!

Enjoy your virtual weekend trip to the beach!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Freelance Fridays

One of the best things about being a writer in Georgia is writing for Georgia Trend magazine--a publication about business, politics and economic development in the state.

The people who work at there are great to work with. I've traveled around the state, seeing things and meeting people I never would have come in contact with. And I've learned so much about the state I live in--some good, some not so good. But, so it goes.

Last spring my article about the economy in Central Georgia appeared in the Economic Yearbook section of the magazine and online. Take a look at the Georgia company that's saving lives in Africa or the pet food company that makes human-worthy food in Feeding A Recovery.

Monday, August 06, 2012

In real life I'm really squeamish, but ...

1. I read and write mysteries. I don't write really violent ones, but I read 'em. And I like 'em.

2. I'm fascinated by weird things that can happen to the human body. I don't want anything weird to happen to mine. But I like to know about these bits of weirdnesses.

3. I love the fact that other people also are fascinated enough to compile a list of 9 Ridiculously Creepy Medical Museums Open to the Public!

4. I love that my sister (a physical anthropology professor) would go with me to any and all of these.

I'm looking into plane tickets now!

What about you? Does this list of weird, creepy museums appeal to you or just make you a little queasy?

Friday, August 03, 2012

Freelance Fridays

My dad, who's hardly ever been sick a day in his life, recently started suffering from migraines. So, I was glad to write an article for HowStuffWorks.com called Can perfumes trigger migraines?

Turns out they can. My dad hasn't found his trigger yet, but since he doesn't wear perfume (and neither does my mom) I don't think this is his.

It was still interesting to consider. Maybe it will help you or someone you love!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Now I want a baby goat!

As if 5 cats and a lethargic pomeranian aren't enough, now I want a Nigerian Pygmy goat!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Ultimate Gift

I love that my Dad's family is so much fun, so generous, so full of smart, interesting people, who really seem to like each other. Or at least they fake it real well for the one weekend every couple of years that we have a family reunion.

Another reason the reunion is such fun is that it happens at his cousin's house, a circa 1780 plantation house that was used in the movie, The Ultimate Gift, several years ago. (It's a sappy, feel-good movie, you can feel comfortable watching with everyone from the kids to the grandmothers. But the scenery and setting are fabulous!)

The Big House

We've been going to these reunions for many years, but this year, for the first time, we got to stay at the Big House, as it's known. (Usually they run out of room in the Big House with members of my dad's generation, but a broken leg opened up a bedroom this year. Sorry, Joan! We'd have traded the plaid room to have you with us!)

So, here's what a 1780 Southern plantation house looks like in 2012. (Yes, it has indoor plumbing, electricity--even WiFi!)


The foyer stairs. I fell down the top section. No, I was stone-cold sober. It happened the morning we were leaving. I think I just didn't want to go.

Living room (or is it a Parlor?) fireplace. It's big enough to roast a goat.

Victorian settee filled to overflowing with a 21st century oversized teenager.

The Upstairs Hall, the door leads to the balcony you can see on the front of the house.

The plaid room. It was also in the movie, but I'm sure now they're planning on a plaque that reads: Chris and Karen slept here.

Plaid room wooden ceiling. I LOVE this!

Built-in shelves with old (though not 1780 old) toys

The view from the plaid room. So peaceful!

My favorite yard art!

I'm already looking forward to the next reunion. Hope we get to stay at the Big House again!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Freelance Fridays

Not only do I blog here at the beachhouse, but I also write for pay--gasp!

I've done freelance work for years, writing about things as varied as health care and home improvement products. Now that it looks like the interwebs will be around for a while, and I'm doing my best to populate them with interesting, educational, fun, helpful copy, I'll link to some of the things that I've enjoyed writing and researching. 'Cause sometimes the research is half the fun.

First up, "Why do people yell Freebird at concerts?", which I wrote for howstuffworks.com.

As a Southerner, raised in Sweet Home Alabama, this was a very fun assignment.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Big Things

It's dangerous to give a woman who's having a mid-life crisis over an upcoming large birthday the idea that it's never too late to do BIG THINGS. But that's just what Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup, has done with his blog post How to Do Big Things.

He makes me want to live my life bigger and better every day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

'Downton Abbey'

I can't believe we have to wait until January to see the sparks fly between Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine.  That is too long!!!

'Downton Abbey' sneak peek| accessAtlanta

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dream Job

I've been job hunting this spring and summer--long, stressful story about contracts not renewed. And the other night I dreamed some convoluted dream--you know how they can be--about a job involving pasta, the beach and blogging.

These are three of my favorite things, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to make a career out of them.

• Pasta: I love to eat it, but who's going to pay me to do that? And I'm not a cook--good or otherwise, so the chances of my making a fortune off some brilliant pasta recipe are slimmer than the skinny jeans hanging in my closet that I can't get into anymore.

• Beach: I can't afford to live on the beach, and that's where I'd want to be, right on the water, the sound of the waves soothing any other dreams I might have that aren't as good as this one. (And, besides, Chris doesn't like the beach enough to live there, so I'd have to go alone.)

• Blogging: If I sat around in my pjs all day blogging (Not that I really think that's what bloggers do. My favorite bloggers obviously get out--a lot. That's why I like to read them. But, it's what I was doing in one of the less convoluted parts of my dream, which was a LOT less convoluted than this sentence.) well, I wouldn't have to worry about affording the beach or whether or not Chris would move there, because I couldn't even afford the pasta and Chris would not put up with that for very long. And I wouldn't really blame him.

So, any ideas how to combine the above into a recipe for success? Please make the recipe easy to follow, 'cause, like I said, I don't cook.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Great Outdoors

I swear, this is the last post about our weekend trip to the NC mountains. You'd think from all the pictures I took that we traveled half way around the world or spent at least a week there. But it was so peaceful and green!

Cashiers has a walking trail around the town. It goes in and out of the woods, through a park and around the shops. We walked it Saturday morning, enjoying the easy path and cooler weather. (It had been 104 in Atlanta that week.)

trail sign
The trail is well marked and an easy walk.

It goes through a park with a yoga statue. I couldn't help myself.

It meanders past a lovely pavilion. Tin roof ... RUSTED! (with thanks to the B52s)

deck rail
I loved the deck rail around the pavilion.

Cashiers Sign
They had banners all around the park, just right for handsome men to pose under.

I don't know who the woman was who inspired this bench, but it was lovely and fun, with poetry and pictures of dogs and flowers in the top.

This building was in downtown Cashiers. It looks like a storybook house to me. And I want a turret!

We spent the afternoon picnicking and napping at Lake Glenville, a beautiful, shady spot.

lake 2
Chris contemplated going in. But the water was deep right at the edge, so he chose to stay dry.

falls big
On the drive back to our house, along Highway 64, we saw lots of waterfalls. And a BEAR! (We saw the bear near here.)

Bridal Veil Falls, also right on the highway. Fun to stand behind it and watch the water fall in the hole right by the road.

Chair by creek
A peaceful spot beside the road. The chair looks over a creek.


And the end of our visit the mountains. I'm already ready to go back! Check out the window shopping and place we stayed in other posts.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weird and wonderful vacation shopping

I'm not much of a shopper. (Shhh! Don't tell. I work in retail) But I love, love, love looking in unusual shops when I'm on vacation, which is about the only time I have to browse.

Here are some pics taken in and around various retail establishments on our mountain getaway last weekend.

First stop: An antique shop in Dillard, GA. Where they had this sign:
Happy Hour
I wanna party with her!

Or her--or is it him?

The funnest shop in Cashiers, NC
Cashiers shop
Who can resist a taxidermy shop?

and Free Wildlife Exhibit, all in the same place.

wine holder
Taxidermy or wildlife. You decide. Either way, it's for the wine drinker who has everything!

I wanted to bring this guy home just 'cause he looked so embarrassed.

Finally, here's the wildlife. Two very friendly goats.

metal goats
From live goats to really cute metal ones--and their equally adorable dog friends.

The world's most rustic Wendy's. It looked just the same as a regular Wendy's inside.

Best use of a tractor EVER!
tractor ice cream
It's churning homemade ice cream!!!

Fake bears were everywhere
Then we actually saw a real live BEAR, in the wild on our way back to our house.

Very, very cute tiny little artists shops in Cashiers
art shops

We stopped here for lunch--YUM!
Because it's not a trip to North Carolina if you don't have Bar-B-Q!

Visit Cashiers, NC. It's the cutest little mountain town. And for a great place to stay, check out my last post, with pictures of the house we found through airbnb.