Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fashion: Arf

I adore animals. Unfortunately, thanks to my stupid body, I'm allergic to both cats (since always) and dogs (since early adulthood). Even though I would develop an off-putting rash on various unsettling parts of my body, my eyes would redden and slowly swell shut, and my nose would become my own personal fountain, it's hard not to pet and cuddle sweet little fuzzy-wuzzies when I see them.

My family always had outdoor cats (which soon became "porch cats" when I went off to college...perhaps because my parents didn't want me to come home). In my parents' new home the cats enjoy a luxurious lifestyle with run of their own spacious, freestanding garage. We also had two indoor dogs during my adolescence (which I slowly became allergic to over time, though I blamed it on their shampoo).

After a rather dispassionate relationship with my family's outdoor farm dog named "Spot," and her subsequent, mysterious disappearance while we were on vacation one summer, my parents finally caved to the whining of their only child, and we adopted Chanelle Lacy, "Nellie," from the local shelter*. She was a few-years-old miniature dachshund who had been given up by her elderly owner. I thought she was knobby and strange looking, but she soon developed a bossy personality and wedged her way into our hearts once we got her home.

Just a year or so later, my dad picked me up from elementary school with news that he had a surprise at home. I guessed everything under the sun except what he had found: another miniature dachshund. She was so skinny and frightened and had obviously been abused. He saw her wandering through a nearby field (quite providential, as her brown fur nearly perfectly matched the brown field in February). She became our fat, jolly "Sallie," though she would forever hate all men except for my father.

They were good dogs, and they lived for many happy years with us. Both were killed separately on the gravel road in front of our farmhouse when I was away at college (one by our mailman, who currently resides on my mental blacklist). Their loss was devastating, and my parents haven't had a dog since. But we had good years together, and they were like members of the family.

So, long story short, I love animals, and I have a particular soft spot for dachshunds. Also, I love ModCloth, in which all of the following appear:

Love you, Nellie and Sallie. Miss you.

*This is my personal exhortation for anyone interested in obtaining a pet to seek an animal from local shelters. I have trouble tamping down my frustration and scorn when people tell me they purchased a dog or cat from a puppy mill or specialty breeder. Yes, I am absolutely going to think less of you if you don't at least entertain the avenue of rescuing an existing animal in need, but instead have one personally engineered for your enjoyment. And I'm not going to apologize for my disdain.


Trump's incessant birtherism whining has been silenced and a couple of people from an entirely different country got hitched. FINALLY.

For the love of my sanity, can everyone stop talking about it now?

Becoming an isolated hermit looks better and better every day.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

I don't know if this falls under eye candy exactly. Maybe mouth candy (is that redundant?). Although these Steak Button Thermometers ($20/set of four) are adorable to look at!

All I know is, this might just be my father-in-law's birthday gift. He's really hard to buy for, and I am loathe to buy him yet another tool. I want to spice things up (punny!)! And he and I can always agree on one thing: We love food.

At least I called them on time

I meant to post my congratulations yesterday for my wonderful parents' anniversary (though, ever a diligent daughter, I did remember to call them!). Not that they read my blog or anything. My mother's comprehension of computers stops just short of the "power" button. However, my father is savvy enough to figure out and become enamored with Google Earth. I particularly loved the phone call that I received, when he stated, "I'm looking at your house!"

So, happy anniversary, Stella and Stanley*

Love, Tiny
*No, not their real names, but, had to be there.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Boxing up the past

Three years and ten months after Husband and I were married on that warm, sunny Bastille Day, I finally packed my wedding dress into the car and drove it back to where I bought the frock, so that it could be sent out and cleaned and folded and boxed.

So much meaning is put into The Dress, but after The Big Day, the dress just sits mouldering in the former bride's closet. Some women sell the dress or give it away. Other trash the dress. And I fall into the last category, the keepers. I have enough trouble getting rid of Christmas cards from ten years ago, so there's no way I would have the gumption to get rid of such an important outfit in my life. So I sent it to be boxed. Finally. But not without trying it on one last time.

Oh yeah, it still fits.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A place for everything, and everything in its place.

I really like order.

I like neat little piles of similar items. I like everything tucked away (preferably out of site) in its own place. My environment reflects my state of mind. If papers and books are strewn about my desk at work, I'm probably deep in two or ten projects at once, and am suffering from an overcrowded mind. If Husband has left piles of half-opened mail and old receipts and god knows what else laying scattered about, I will scurry around, piling everything in one central location at his designated spot on the kitchen table (and hint rather blatantly that he should make the pile disappear).

Don't get me wrong. It isn't so much the clean part that I desperately need, it is the order. I can frankly go for months without scrubbing toilets, but I have trouble leaving the house in the morning if all of the dry dishes from the night before aren't put away. I cannot stomach going more than a week without sweeping crumbs and lint and dust from the dark hardwood of the first floor. Towels must be neatly folded and the couch pillows should be straight. I am forever lining up shoes near the front door.

All of this is probably some kind of violent reaction to growing up with my mother, who tends to leave a path of clutter and half-finished projects in her wake (one of her few character flaws, I promise; my mother is the sweetest person in the world).

Some children rebel from their parents by getting dyed and inked and pierced and arrested.

I cleaned.

So isn't it just so perfect, so orderly, to discover something cleverly labeled and situationally apt? Last weekend I was able to take a glorious shopping trip to The State Capitol with my sistercousin. I found a pair of dress pants from Express (on sale!) that magically fit my oddly-shaped lower half (aside from requiring hemming up, which is standard for unfortunately statured people like myself).
The pants had a nice pinstripe and looked pretty durable for years of work days and business meetings.
I got the pants home, took off the price tags, and what did I happen to find on the label? My job title. Seriously, I was delighted. Isn't that just a pretty little package all tied up in a bow just for me?
A place for everything, and everything in its place. Ah, peace.

Friday Fashion: Easter

To finalize the Easter Eggstravaganza here at KittyMarie (ha, see what I did there? I'm a true original...), here are some sweet, springy Easter dresses that would work great for your church service or family luncheon or ritualistic sheep sacrifice (you, know, "lamb of God." Or was that in bad taste?).
I adore the white base of this dress and the graphic flowers (and pockets!). To prove that there does exist a vengeful God, I would be certain to accidentally spill some of that sheep blood on this lovely frock. Gallerista Party Dress, $325.
More with the big, graphic flowers, but what other time of year could you don giant roses and not be scorned and/or institutionalized? Abstract Floral Dress, $29.97.
Okay, don't judge me on this one. I love the soft colors (especially the gray bottom). Plus, I have a serious ruffle problem. I apologize; I am seeking professional help. This dress just might be the cure. Swan Cloud Dress in Pink, $199.99.

Go forth and binge on Cadbury eggs!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

To continue with the inadvertent Easter theme, here is an adorable Chickadee Delight Clutch, $22.99. I love the bright, spring yellow, and the bird illustrations are just adorable. It's so much better to buy a picture of a bird than to buy an actual bird (especially for an Easter gift!). You won't have to flush this clutch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daily Eye Candy

Apparently my "Daily Eye Candy" posts have an Easter theme this week. What better way to celebrate the biblical Zombie Jesus story than with cute, fashionable accessories (in this case, a decapitated rabbit...)? Am I right, or am I right?
Mod Cloth Rascally Rabbit Ring, $9.99. Be sure to say the name of that ring out loud, in an Elmer Fudd voice.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Art for art's sake

I feel lucky to work on a university campus, because it is generally a progressive environment, a place where art is embraced, and even the common employee gets the chance to enjoy something beautiful and interesting and creative. There are two such projects near the building where I work now (one permanent and the one that will stand for two years).

The first is a sculpture by Deborah Butterfield. It wasn't until I read this article about the sculpture that I realized the statue is made from bronze, not wood. My mind is suitably blown.
The other piece, which will only stand for two years, is entitled "Sidewinder" and was created from black willow and red maple saplings by Patrick Dougherty (with assistance from students in Art & Design and Landscape Architecture). The piece is interactive in that one can walk through the narrow branch corridors.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011