Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The best things in life are free
Here is a picture of Sophie in her new sweater, which was free thanks to a yahoo group I belong to, called freecycle. It connects people who want to give away stuff with people who want it. So far I've gotten snails for our fish tanks, a cabinet that goes in the bathroom, and Sophie's clothes. I've also seen things like washers and dryers, fabric, tables, etc. If you need things or have things to give away, go to http://www.freecycle.org/. It's a great way to keep perfectly useful stuff out of landfills, and you wouldn't believe what some people get rid of!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

That burns me up!

I just spent almost $500 on textbooks. Let that sink in for a moment: five. hundred. dollars. Almost as much as I spend on rent every month. Now, take the expression on your face, do that for three hours, and you'll be where I am right now! It just makes me so mad that textbook publishers take advantage of students the way they do - not because I think college kids deserve special treatment, but because I believe college kids deserve to be treated like human beings. First off, every year, they take a book, put in a new graph or picture, and call it a new edition. Then, they bundle it together with study guides, learning cd's and the like and convince professors to require it all for their class. Even if the teacher doesn't fall for this, they often have no choice, because the old edition (which is essentially the same thing) is no longer sold. This is insanity. To the textbook companies out there: your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On Saturday, we helped our friend Sherri set up for a surprise birthday party for her husband, Ken. We ran around like crazy until he came home from his golfing trip, then we enjoyed ourselves!

this is the cake I made for the kids - a sunflower cake!

the very surprised birthday boy!

Scott and Jen Blades; Danielle and Ben Forlaw

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

We set off for Helen, Georgia on Tuesday. Our first stop was Unicoi National Park, where Mike had been with his Boy Scout troop. We missed it the first time and drove 15 miles out of the way, but when we finally got there, we went to the Lodge for the buffet. After eating way too much food, we headed to downtown Helen. Helen is a charming town, where German architecture and accents abound. We went to wine shops, craft and quilt shops, a doggie boutique, a sword store, and lots more. We got some candy at Hansel and Gretel’s and presents for the people who are watching our pets. I really enjoyed Helen, it was just so pretty and peaceful. The “detour” we took on the way to Unicoi was actually quite nice because we got to see lots of mountains. We almost made it all the way to Hiawassee! Much as I have enjoyed Atlanta, I think next time we’ll go straight to Helen!

Apparently people in this part of Georgia like to name their towns after already-existing ones.

Mike made a beeline for this store

The sign reads, "Bored Wife Chair"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Monday, August 14, 2006

We rode the MARTA to the Georgia Aquarium, where we saw many interesting things, like Whale Sharks and Beluga Whales. We alse got a super-cute shot glass to add to our collection. Then we walked around the Centennial Park and met a nice guy walking two Chihuahuas who recommended a lot of restaurants to get lunch at. We ended up going to the Hard Rock CafĂ©. Then, Mike discovered that he had left his pocketknife at the aquarium because they wouldn’t let him bring it in, so we had to go all the way back to get it. Of course, I gave him a hard time all the way there. Then we hopped back on the MARTA to the hotel, where we decided to go to Kennesaw to view the Civil War and Locomotion Museum. I really enjoyed the aquarium, but I must say this museum was very interesting as well. I wasn’t sure how it would be, but they did an excellent job of making it interesting. They had displays on what the soldiers on both sides wore and ate, and a special exhibit about the Great Locomotive Race. After dinner at Montecalvo’s, we decided to take the backroads back to the hotel. We stopped whenever we say something interesting, including a really nice fish store. We saw lots of pretty neighborhoods with brick houses. It was quite hilly in this particular area, and the houses were built right into the hills. Tomorrow: Helen! Wunderbar!

Mike "petting" a gar at the aquarium

Cool picture of a jellyfish

I found my long-lost twin at the Civil War Museum!

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

We started for Atlanta shortly after 8:00. Mike drove the first few hours, then I took over and ended up driving for longer than planned. We were looking for a good place to eat lunch and we kept saying, “maybe there’ll be something at the next exit…” We finally stopped at a barbeque place in Macon and split a lunch plate. Then, on the road again. We arrived in Atlanta a little after 2:00, checked into our hotel, then rode the MARTA to downtown Atlanta to see the World of Coca Cola Museum. One of the things that amazed me most was that when Cokes were sold in soda fountains at the turn of the century, you got a 6-oz glass. Now, if you order a small size at McDonalds, you get twice that amount! No wonder Americans are so fat! After the museum we walked around a bunch of shops that are actually under the streets of Atlanta, appropriately named “The Underground.” We toured a small quilt museum that chronicled how the Underground Railroad used quilts to guide escaped slaves to freedom. Many of the quilts belonged to the lady who ran the museum, whose great-grandmother was a former slave. For dinner we went to Cheeseburger in Paradise, owned by Jimmy Buffet himself. So far I have enjoyed visiting Atlanta, but I don’t think I would want to live here! It’s just too many people! The train and bus system (The MARTA) has been interesting to ride. Guess I’m just not used to having to share personal space with so many people.

An ode to Coca-Cola by someone in Pakistan

Mike waiting to eat at Cheeseburger in Paradise

Sunday, August 06, 2006

One year ago today....
We both had a lot more hair than we do now.

Happy anniversary, Mike. What a year!