Thursday, May 24, 2012

There Was an Old Lady...

A quarter of a mile from our house is a large open field where we like to play frisbee with Eisley.  It is just far enough away that Eisley is out of sight of the squirrels who live in our front yard, but close enough that we can casually stroll down after dinner in our comfy clothes with full bellies and a rowdy pup.

A couple of nights ago we did just that; finished up dinner, harnessed up Eisley, and tromped down to the Big Field.  By the time we got a few feet away, Eisley was tugging so hard I thought she was going to choke herself.  She knows what field time means.

Eisley is an avid frisbee catcher.  We never had to teach her how, she just instinctively knew that when a brightly colored floppy object goes soaring through the air, you chase after it, jump feet off the ground to catch it, then shake it around in order to convince it to never fly again.  Then she trots back to us, drops the frisbee at our feet (sometimes we have to tug it out of her mouth), before she takes off after it again.  Frisbee is pretty much the only thing that wears Eisley out, therefore, frisbee is our favorite Eisley activity.

After about 20 mintues of frisbee throwing and catching, sprinting and jumping, Eisley was so exhausted she could barely walk.  That means it was time to head home.  We clipped her harness back on (no tugging this time), and just as we started up the hill to our house, we see a little old lady with a cane walking down her steep hill of a yard towards us.  In the non-cane-holding hand was a milk jug and a little dish.

"I have some water for you doggy!" she exclaimed to catch our attention.  I smiled and met her half way up her hill, dragging exahusted Eisley behind me. 

She was wearing casual shorts and a t-shirt (pretty much matching the Bowden clan), glasses and house shoes, and was grinning ear to ear. Toothless.

"You will have to excuse me. I already took out my teeth!" she chuckled.  "They were bothering me, so... I took them out! Sorry!"  She seemed quite amused with herself. 

I smiled back at her, thanked her for the water and set the bowl down for Eisley. She started drinking enthusiastically. 

"Your doggy is amazing!  I saw you throwing that frisbee! How did you teach her to do that? I was watching from the window."  She said it all in one breathe, very excited as a child would be describing a day at the zoo.  Ross explained that Eisley is a natural frisbee catcher, and that we didn't "teach" her anything... she just does it.

Well the old lady loved that.  She clapped her hands together, smiled her huge toothless grin, and said "Well how about that?! Is she a Cat-A-Hoochie?  I've seen them on the TV" 

At this, I almost lost it.  First of all, no one EVER knows what breed Eisley is.  But this old lady, well she was pretty darn close.  Although no one has ever called Eisley a "hoochie" before.

"Catahoula" I told her.  She smiled again, obviously proud of herself.

The nice old lady went on to tell us a few stories, apparently enjoying our company.  She told us of the young man who came by on a bicycle and asked if he could use her hose to wash his car.  She said yes. (A very generous old woman if you ask me).  The next day the young man brought her a loaf of banana bread.  She chuckled as she told us she just threw it away. "I didn't eat it, because, well, you just don't know!" she said with a wide smile.

She went on to tell us that the young man returned a few more times to borrow her hose, and after each visit would bring by a loaf of banana bread the day after.

"After I while I decided to eat it. I couldn't just keep throwing it away.  And I figured, if i die... I die.  It was pretty good banana bread."  The whole time she was smiling and spitting (just a little, from lack of teeth I presume).

After a few more stories we started to leave and she insisted we take the jug and bowl with us.  "I live alone and I have 12 bowls," she said. "Tell me, does that make any sense?"  We thanked her again and turned to leave, and just as we did she clapped her hands with another big smile, looked straight at me and said "Wow! You just have the prettiest blue eyes!" 

I could have kissed her. 

"Doesn't she have the prettiest eyes?" she asked Ross. Ross looked at me and smiled, agreed with our new friend, and we started home.

Every day on my morning runs I pass by the little old lady's house and I think about stopping by...  Spend a little time with her, hang out with her little white poodle I saw through her glass side door, take her some of my own baked goods.  I wonder if she is lonely, or if she spends so much time watching "hoochie" dogs on TV and watching the world pass by her front bay window that she is content and happy in her solitude. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ode to Emmett and the New Green Babes

So I said I wouldn't do it.... embarass myself by writing a blog post about a plant... but I feel like you guys already know I am a complete weirdo, so why not broadcast it all over the blog?!
Emmett was one of the first things I bought in Portland. He is a jade plant and was no larger than my hand when we first got him from the Trader Joe's down the road. We set him on our porch and he grew a very little every day. When I went to work at my first job in Portland (you know the one in the warehouse that I wasn't too crazy about), Emmett went with me. He sat on my desk on rainy days, and on days when the sun would peak through the clouds, I would carry him outside to sit on the sidewalk in the sun. We had a good thing going.
When the company closed and kicked all of the employees out (yes, it was just that), we had only a few minutes to pack everything up. I snatched up my purse, grabbed my bottle of hot sauce out of the fridge (because who doesn't need their own personal bottle at work?!), and lugged Emmett out of the warehouse.... never to look back.
Over the next couple of months Emmett got to live the life of luxury. I potted him into a bigger pot (his third at this point), and posted him on our outside brick fireplace in the backyard (we were now living in the cute little house in North Portland with the perfect back yard). Emmett thrived in his new spot, basking in the all day sun.

At the end of summer when the rain came, I lugged Emmett down 10 blocks of the Pearl District and to my office at Canary. By this point he was very big and very heavy. He grew to be 2 feet in diameter, and with his pot, he probably weighed around 15 - 20 pounds. He enjoyed living at Canary and he even got a little bit of bird decoration.
Emmett's sunny window at Canary with his fake bird friend.

Then, the big announcement and Ross and I started to pack for North Carolina. On my last day in the office I realized that Emmett was just too big for the car ride home and would probably be squished by Eisley's clumsy paws or an uneven suitcase. I left him at the office, making my coworkers promise to sprinkle him with water and rotate him weekly. And yes, I even shed a few tears when I said goodbye to my dear plant.
Saying good-bye to Emmett
Now as we are settled into our new digs in Chapel Hill, I am cultivating quite a collection of new plant babies. I would like to introduce:
Buttonwillow (B.W.) the Bonsai Palm was a welcome to NC gift from Courtney. He likes filtered light, moist moss, and poking me with his spikey leaves.
Don't touch the leaves... OUCH!

Jasper Jade (J.J.) the Jade plant was a Whole Foods purchase. 
Loves lots of light, water sprinkled on his leaves, and a daily "pet."

Jade-osaurus (Dino) the Jade clipping. A friend of a friend has a massive Jade tree who frequently sheds "clippings" or little stems with a couple of leaves looking for new soil to sprout in. I took one of the clippings home, talked to it every day (because it likes that), gave it the perfect amount of water, and am happy to report it has firm roots and is sprouting new growth.
With a lot of sun, a little water, and TONS of love, one day he will be as big as Emmett!

Juniper and the Fuzzy Navels (The Gang) is a mixed pot of succulents and were a gift from Mama G Bowden. 
Loves: sun and dry soil. Needs: a new pot!

Might Mint (the Big M) the, you guessed it, Mint plant. A gift from my Nana, it is a beautiful and wonderfully fragrant addition to the front porch, especially in its cardinal pot!
Mint Juleps anyone?
So those are my green babies. (Please don't think I am too weird, ok?)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I see squirrels. Do you?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A little before and after

The last 2 weeks have been full of unpacking boxes, arranging furniture, and finding homes for all of Ross' shoes (which are still in a big box in the third bedroom), but we are finally down to the "hanging things on the wall" phase which is a very good thing.  Having things on the walls makes the little apartment feel more like home and adds a splash of color among all of the white walls, tan sofas, and light hardwood floors and linoleum.

However, as I am finding more and more free time in between work emails as the stacks of boxes become fewer and the trips to the recycling center become more frequent, I have felt the need for a project.  You know me, always need to be fixing something up!  All of my "do it yourself" projects are proudly displayed in our new apartment, and there is NO room for any more furniture, so I am starting to get creative on what I can fix up and add a little pizazz to. 

Take for instance this AWESOME print Courtney (Ross' older sister) gave us for Christmas.  She found this little piece of art on Etsy and knew we needed to have it in our home (especially after the "Ross loves to ride his Bicycle" remake the Bowden sisters performed at the rehearsal dinner).  We love the print, but we never found the perfect home for it.

Because the print had a white mat backing, against a white wall it tended to get lost and didn't have the wow factor that we wanted. So.... I added four different colors of backing around the print, giving it a punch of color.  The white border around the print makes it really stand out among the colors, and the off-center blocking and straight lines gives it a funky retro look that I think matches the font in the print really well.  

Minus the glare from my camera flash, what do you think? I am pretty excited about it.

However, that project was way to short lived. Now what?


Monday, May 7, 2012

Epic Road Trip Awesomeness

Last glimpse of Portland
Goodbye Oregon!

Helloooooooo Sunny California!

Handsome boy, pretty girl. Driving down scenic Hwy 101

Viewpoint off of Hwy 101

First camp spot: Redwood National Forest. Eisley rolled in elk poo the second we got out of the car.  Ross forced her into the shower and gave her a bath. 


Tall, tall trees.

Winery in Sonoma Valley

Flowers and vines

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco


City view

Wild Katie in Flagstaff Arizona

Colorado River, Grand Canyon

Southern Rim, Grand Canyon
Moab, Utah: our favorite stop
Camp site in Moab, Utah
Crushin' it on Slick Rock in Moab, Utah
Snow-topped mountains near Vail, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado

Someone needs to floss

In the 2 days without very many pictures we drove through Kansas (BORING!), Missouri (BORING), and Tennessee (BORING)!

We are BACK!