Archives for June 2007

The Name Game

I have always fancied myself a bit eccentric. Not (hopefully) eccentric, in the way we tend to speak of little old ladies who wear outfits with matching shirt, pants, socks, shoes, earrings, nail polish-type eccentric.

But just slightly off center.

Not, over the cliff.

The first time my mom let me go to a hairstylist by myself (8th grade), she picked me up and was in shock at my short spiky crop cut.

When I was in high school, I had plum hair. And I wore white lipstick.

I’ve said before, I wish I had had one moment of clarity when I could have had a normal photo taken of me. I suppose there are, but they also contain the awful prom dates I managed to snag. That’s an entire week of blog posts in itself.

My best friend was an Annapolis, MD prep. We always joked about how different we looked when together. Sort of like the clothing version of Jack Sprat and his wife. Me with my plumb asymmetrical hair and intense eye shadow and esprit cowboy boots with long johns under a skirt (hey, I was still a girl!) and her, with her expensive Georgetown cut and color, natural makeup, tweed skirt and cashmere sweaters.

Seriously. We couldn’t have been more opposite in the clothing department.

But we had so MUCH in common and managed to balance each other out. We always found something absolutely hysterical in any situation. When she had drama in her life, I was the rock. When I had some drama with one of my skateboarding,mohawk wearing beaus, she backed me up and helped get my feet re grounded.

One thing we spent a lot of time doing one summer, was making up names for our future children. This was when we knew we would be living in the same town, on the same street with husbands who were also best friends (this was during our moments of optimism, when we figured I would one day have to marry someone with normal hair and goals).

Of course, our names were as different as our choice in clothes.

I picked names like Celia and Padric. She chose names like Caroline.

Years later, after a stupid fallout, and fortunately, regaining our friendship, we both have had the opportunity to choose names for children. And it is still fun.

Names are fun. And they have become so fashionable in the past decade. (maybe they always were?) Actually, I should say, unusual names have become quite fashionable.

It probably started with Demi Moore naming her daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.

Naming my children has been quite an adventure for Sean and I. I still love the unusual.

Somehow, by a miracle of the Lord, we both wanted Abigael as a daughter’s name. There was never any doubt. (though, I was miffed that it suddenly shot up from nowhere to the top 10 list of names, the year she was born). Boys names were harder.

We wanted traditional Gaelic names. We both have  Irish ancestry  and loved the traditional names. However, they tend to have odd, unpronounceable looking spellings. Take “Sean” as a simple example. My husband has had his name mispronounced – rhyming with “bean” – countless times.

Abigael isn’t a Gaelic name. It’s Hebrew. But the meaning was perfect (a father’s joy) and we chose to spell it with a “gael” at the end – a Gaelic spelling.

Our second born, is Quinlan. We call him Quinn. Not too difficult. Though, when he was little, people thought he was saying Ken or Kenny.

Next, is Seamus – pronounced Shea/Shay-mus. Unfortunately, we have probably doomed him to a life of a mispronounced name. I remember taking him to a checkup, telling the receptionist his name. She wrote the pronunciation out phonetically. When the nurse came out to call us back she call for Sea-mus… We knew we’d get that… but hearing it shouted across the waiting room made my skin crawl.

This baby has a name. The name is not crazy to pronounce or hard to read. But it is a traditional Gaelic name. (though, he has no middle name yet…)

I’m curious if there are any guesses on his name?

Frugality Related

I am in the process of creating a Frugality Forum. (you can view it here; there will also be a link to it from the Frugality blog)

Please consider what topics you would like to see or can think of and let me know. Currently, it is divided into categories: Community and Frugal Living Resources.

Under “Community” (so far) will be chatter and introductions.
Under “Frugal Living Resources” (so far) will be tips for gardening, housekeeping, cooking, cleaning, automobile care, clothing, Freebies and links to other Frugal Living blogs, websites etc… those are to start.

What other forums should be under those categories?

Please leave your thoughts in comments.

(and be sure to look at the cake in the post below… I’m sure it is anything but frugal to purchase, but it is lovely to look at, and looks are free!)

Every once in awhile, I like to post something that I come across, just because it is so beautiful.

This is definitely one of those things. I don’t even know if I could eat it. I might just want to spray it with some shellac and keep it forever.

This cake is by Sarah Magdid, a NYC baker. (and for my organic eating friends, they are made with organic ingredients)

It’s hot, and it’s a dry heat

By dry, I mean, no rain… Unfortunately, it’s not dry, as in NOT HUMID… *sigh* My hair just can’t cut a break.

That, apparently, would be too much to ask.

Okay… in truthfulness, we have had some rain. But, the grass still crackles under my feet. This type of dry usually comes at the end of the summer; not the beginning.

I read this article and had to giggle. It cracks me up to picture people covertly trying to water the plants or wash the car.

‘Water cops’ enforce bans across Southeast

Rain deficits reach 20 inches for the year in some parts
The Associated Press


CALERA, Ala. – Police Sgt. Angela Velarde is looking for wet grass and wash buckets, clues of the latest crime wave sweeping this bone-dry town.

With much of the Southeast in the grip of a drought unlike any seen for generations, police are enforcing mandatory watering bans in many areas where water supplies have fallen to critical levels.

For Velarde, the job means driving through neighborhoods with brown grass and wilted flowers. She keeps an eye out for telltale signs of watering scofflaws: grass that’s damp on sunny days when watering is banned; clean cars sitting in wet driveways under cloudless skies.

Officers on the “water detail” work day and night because some people in this town of 11,000 are going to the extreme of night watering.

Police write about a dozen tickets a week and have even caught homeowners sneaking outdoors to water their brown, crunchy lawns at 1 a.m.

Thinking like drug dealers
“It’s almost like people are thinking like drug dealers trying to come up with ways to water,” said Velarde. Violators can be fined as much as $500 in city court.

Located about 30 miles south of Birmingham, Calera isn’t the only city where police are spending less time looking for speeders and more time looking forwaterers. Similar patrols are under way in metro Atlanta, Florida and Texas, among other dried-out locales.

Officers will soon begin enforcing watering restrictions in Birmingham. And officers in another suburb, Hoover, are handing out letters to people who ignore that city’s restrictions.

Hoover police spokesman A.C. Roper said police get a few calls every week from neighbors reporting on neighbors for watering on days when it’s prohibited.

“It’s like they’re thinking, ‘If my grass is going to be brown, yours is, too,'” said Roper, a deputy chief.

The same thing is true in Calera, where the restrictions took effect last month.

‘No honor among thieves’
“There’s no honor among neighbors,” said Velarde.

Calera bans all watering on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, and residents with an even-numbered address can water once daily for two hours on Mondays and Thursday. People with an odd-numbered address get to water on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Five people paid fines for watering violations last year, when the ban also was in place, but no one has appeared in city court this year so far on the charge. Officials say the ban has helped the city keep water in its storage tanks, which hold 7 million gallons.

Nelvin Wade said she has quit watering everything but a few potted flowers at her house, and her neighbors seem to have given up, too.

“Everything looks brown to me,” said Wade, working at a small produce stand near downtown.

All of Alabama and most of the Southeast is experiencing a severe drought, with rainfall deficits of as much as 20 inches for the year recorded in areas. Forecasters say a drought of such intensity occurs once every 50 to 100 years.



Is this our culture’s modern day version of the medieval thinking that being overweight was in because it meant you were wealthy and could afford food, as opposed to the poor skinny starving peasants.

If you are really that insistent on watering, save your shower/bath water and use that.

I keep debating with myself about how much I want to use this particular blog to “hawk” my business things… I don’t want my readers to feel like I’ve become an advertisement for it.

But frankly, it is a part of me and it is an important aspect of my life.

Therefore, I hope that you will pardon the posts that I do mention my business. Feel free to ignore them, if you desire. But, if you are so inclined, please feel free to let your friends and family know about the items that I design and sell.

On that note, I added some new baby announcement designs. You can see them here. I plan on also extending my baby announcement line by adding mini announcements – the size of my mommy cards, but a birth announcement. That may sound crazy, but wait until I roll out the line for an explanation of the size (cost/budget for starters).

And even if you aren’t getting married, having a baby or wanting Mommy Cards, take a look and let me know what you think of what I’ve designed. Things haven’t taken off with my business like I had hoped and anticipated. So, even feedback about improving in that area would be welcome!

Please don’t be turned off by my business posts. I’ll try not to do it often… I’m just a lady trying to make a living ;0)

OH! on a TOTALLY different note — I’ve been meaning to mention this (It should go on my Frugality blog) Wal Mart portrait studios is doing a special through the end of June. They have a package that starts at just $7.88 (for, like 35 photos) and for each person in the photo, $1.00 is taken off. So 2 people in the photo would be $6.88… 4 people would 4.88… down to $0.88 for the package!!! I know we need family photos taken… I just wish this special was AFTER this baby is born…