Mad Accounting

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I know I already blogged today, but I just got some really fantastic news.  I made a profit this semester by going to law school.  According to a 2009 article in Forbes magazine, "The average law grad owes $100,000 in student debt."  Yet I, lucky lucky being that I am, have a $731.65 check arriving at my door for the sheer reason that I am attending law school this semester.  My total scholarship award for this semester was greater than the actual cost of attendance, so they're sending me a check for the difference.  Hot damn.

Now, if you want to be a downer about it, you could point out that my parents are still coming out in the red - they pay for my rent, my utilities, my textbooks, my food, my clothing, etc.  However, I like to think of it as they already agreed to pay for this stuff anyway, so a) they're not paying as much as they would be if I didn't have a scholarship, and b) if I give the money to them, they'll be paying even less than they would if they'd thought, so to me, that means profit!

Clearly my degree was not in accounting, but it sure puts me in a good mood.  The greedy side of me really wants to keep it, but the ethical side of me thinks I should give the check to them.  I've offered it to them to assuage my guilt, but I'm pretty sure they're going to let me keep it.  Eee!

Armed and Dangerous

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am a gunowner.  About two months ago, I asked my father the Republican for one (instead of my mother the Democrat), and about a month after that, we went and bought one.  What I really wanted was my grandmother's 1971 Colt Cobra.  Super cute (as far as guns go) and let's be honest, the 79-year-old with MS doesn't need to be keeping a gun around.  However, the Poppers deemed that gun too nice for me (gee, thanks), so we went to a local hunting store that boasts guns galore, as well as several, slightly disturbing stuffed animals.  Take, for instance, the raccoon who had been stuffed in such a way as to allow him hold business cards in his outstretched palms.  Yeah...

Anyway, the firearm I exited with was the Ruger LCR .38 Special.

I went with a hammerless model, despite my initial preference for a single action, on the advice of the salesman.  He mentioned that should I ever want to get a carry permit, a hammerless model wouldn't be accidentally cocked in my purse like a single action revolver might.  At present, I'm not interested in a carry permit, but I don't want to rule anything out, especially when guns cost $600+ and I certainly don't want to have to replace it, just because I change my mind in the future.

Was it scary at first to know that I had a gun in my house?  A little.  Now that the scary has worn off, do I feel safer, knowing that if anyone ever breaks into my house, I'll at least stand a chance?  Absolutely.  Even though I live in a nice neighborhood, I still worry.  Not very long ago a high profile murder took place not even two miles from my house, and it wasn't one a lovers' quarrel or anything.  She didn't even know him.

It's a tough world out there, kiddos, so if you can, why not be prepared?

This and That

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1) I'm very much into solo dance parties at the moment, sans music. They usually don't last more than 30 seconds and mainly involve some very bad nerdy-Taylor Swift "You Belong With Me" arm motions and lots of jumping around. Sometimes I try to get Lilly in on the act, but I'm afraid I'll squish her with all the jumping around. I don't trust myself to dance in public, but sometimes, like Gene Kelly said, you've just gotta dance!

2) Labor Day is coming up, and with that, the end of white pants and shoes until Easter. I know a lot of people have tossed away those traditional rules that dictate what you can wear when, but I will never forget the day after Labor Day two years ago when my dear friend Jane-Claire of Biloxi, Mississippi, called me out on my white shorts. Honestly, it was a simple mistake (I'm terrible at keeping track of time), but I dutifully went back into my dormroom and changed. The lesson? You might not follow the rules of traditional, ladylike Southern dress, but there will be those that do and won't be afraid to call you out on it, so why not just save yourself the trouble and put up your white after Labor Day?

Besides, if you throw out the no-white rule, you no longer have an excuse for a white party, like the one T, of Desperately Seeking Seersucker throws each year (both an actual party as well as a virtual one).  In conjunction with the fête, she's also hosting a fabulous giveaway (details here).  I encourage you to join in on the fun!

3) My parents are back from their week-long jaunt to Canada and have taken away their hell monkeys (also known as Bear the Poodle and Chloe the Maltese).  I am so so so so so relieved.  I love the pups, but seriously, they drive me crazy!  Bear is always up on Chloe who barks at literally everything.  Drives a girl bonkers.

4) I'm trying to work up the energy to go to the architectural salvage shop here in town and find one last door to match the rest of my doors in my house.  The only one that doesn't match is the one that leads to the master bath and that drives me even more bonkers than Chloe's barking.  Seriously.  All the doors in my house match except for one.  The thing is, the salvage shop is about the size of four high school gyms and it's piled full of odds and ends.  And it's hot.  And dark.  And dusty.  Ugh.

Nobody ever said perfection was easy.

5) Lastly, these cicadas are seriously getting on my nerves.  They're huge, right?  And when they wallop into the side of my house, I can hear it on the inside.  Dozens of little thumps all night long.  It was even creepier when that guy wandered into my backyard and I (being the genius that I am) went out to investigate and was frightened back into my house not by the genial, clean-cut visitor (who had gotten lost on his way to my neighbor's backyard party) but by the gigantic cicada clicking at me and flying at my face.  The visitor saw himself out, and I discovered yet another backyard bug to be afraid of.

Way Out Here

It was kind of a spur of the moment decision.  I got out of Civ Pro at 3:40 and by 3:45, I had called my granny and asked if I could come over for dinner.  She lives about an hour away on a 500-acre cattle farm.  Naturally she said yes.

We had the BEST dinner - home fried chicken, purple hull peas, biscuits, "fake potatoes" as my grandfather ("Papa") calls Ore Ida french fries, fried okra that my grandmother grew in her garden, sliced tomatoes (also grown by Granny), and fresh iced tea.  For dessert?  Napoleon (also known as Neapolitan) ice cream.  YUM!

I decided to take my DSLR with me and try to take a couple of shots of this rusty tin truck that has been resting near the creek that runs past my grandparents' house for ages, but unfortunately, they didn't turn out.  I did, however, get some great shots of my family's herd.

P.S.  I swear I get bored with Poladroid eventually.  It just seemed to fit the subject, and I love the space for captions!

P.P.S #51 charged me while I was shooting.  Luckily, he's still young enough to be scared off by a sharp "NO!" and some waving arms.

Is that autumn I smell? (pink & green Thursday)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday is trash and recycling day in my neck of the woods.  Granted, Monday is also trash day, but I usually forget to put my trash out on Sunday before sundown and I'm too much of a scaredy cat to go out on my patio after sundown for fear of spotting roaches.  Ick...  But by Wednesday, I can usually remember, and I bring the can and bin in on Thursday afternoon before I go inside to visit with my Lil.

Normally, I just dart out and dart in, trying to escape the heat.  Today, though, was different.  The neighborhood was particularly quiet, save the rustling of the leaves in the trees.  On my way home, I had seen a leaf fall from a tree and just then, I realized: it was strangely cool.  It felt like...AUTUMN.

Granted, I just looked it up and the temperature was about 87º, but, to me, it felt like autumn.  In celebration (and anticipation) of my favorite season, I give you my Pink & Green Thursday:

I love when the tree leaves change.  It's like one last 
party before winter creeps in.

Scarves are hands down my favorite accessory.
As fall approaches, I have an excuse to break them

I think these cookies look BOOtiful

Yes, please!

I hope my Minnies look this presh
one day.

Versatile Blogger

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How did I fail to catch on to the rules of this?  Is it too early start blaming "law school brain"?  My dear friend and sorority sister Rachel at {simple.little.joys} nominated me for this award, which is just so typical of her - thoughtful and sweet.  She's clearly better at the blogging thing than I am, which is why everyone should go check out her blog.  It's fabulous, uplifting, inspirational, and just all around wonderful, just like the writer!  Thanks, dear heart!

Apparently the rules of this award are as follows: link the award giver (and thank them), list 7 things about yourself, and then pass on the award (and the love) to 15 other bloggers (or 10, if you follow Rachel's rules, or 7 if you follow mine [what, I'm a baby blogger and am still getting into other people's blogs!]).  Here goes:

1)  As it hints at in the About Me section, I am a first year law student who graduated in May 2010 from undergrad at the University of Mississippi (go Rebs!) with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.

2)  Even though my degree is in Spanish, I am nowhere near a native speaker, nor am I fluent.  I am pretty darn proficient, though, and can carry on an in depth discussion on a variety of subjects, though maybe not politics or the economy.  Then again, I can't really carry on a discussion, in depth or otherwise, on those subjects in English either.  I know enough Spanish to have lived with a Spanish woman who spoke no English for a month and a half and have understood 90% of what she told me (like when she offered me condoms when I was going out one night...).

3)  I always put two spaces between my sentences, and I think you should too.  I know that some scholars (and some word processors) disagree with this, but if I'm given something to proofread and I have access to an electronic copy, I'll put in two spaces between each sentence.  If you're lucky, I'll tell you about it when I send you back my revisions.  ;)

4)  I love animals with pretty much my entire being.  Snakes, dogs, cows, lions, giraffes, alligators, birds, fish...Love them all.  That said, I also enjoy steak and chicken and bacon.  I don't believe animals were placed here on this earth for our use, and I don't believe they have the same rights as people, but I do think we as people have a responsibility to treat them with respect and to avoid causing them unnecessary pain.  This includes animal abuse (absolutely not), animal slaughter (avoid unnecessary pain), spay/neuter (ought to be mandatory for non-showing animals), and euthanasia (I hate it, but perhaps it's better than letting injured animals suffer or abandoned spend their lives in kennels).

5)  I approach projects and tasks with the assumption that I will succeed.  I believe I can do something unless previous experience has shown otherwise.  This idea should prove interesting when I attempt to build a pergola this fall.

6)  My mom is my best friend.  I know that it is the nature of things that she will likely die before I will, but I honestly don't know how I'll live without her.  I can tell her anything (seriously) and usually do.  She gives the best advice and is my number one champion.  I hope to God I am the kind of mother to my children that she has been to me.

7)  I am the descendant of two Confederate soldiers, one of whom died in the Battle of Baker's Creek in Mississippi in 1865.  While I absolutely do not believe in the justice of their cause, I respect their willingness to fight for a cause they believed in.  I honestly don't think I believe strongly enough in any of my convictions to die for them.  If I'd been alive in the 1770s, we'd probably still be an English colony.  Liberty or death?  None for me, thanks, but props to you, Patrick Henry.

Passing on the Love
Faye @ Faye'sbook
Shellagh @ Ticking and Toile

Join Me at the White Party!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer is winding down, perhaps unfortunately, but you know what that means:  WHITE PARTY!  As a lover of shabby chic and country style, you know I love white.  Impractical but so clean looking, new but classic, cool and cozy.  Here are a few of my favorite white looks.  You should join in on the party:

Delicious, all of it.  Sweet dreams, dears!

Serenity by Liz

Monday, August 23, 2010

Please, someone tell me why I went and dropped $75 on candle making supplies this afternoon.  I now own (dear God, I'm laughing with embarrassment even as I type this) 3 pounds of soy candle wax (it was a 4lb bag, and I'm just guessing how much I used), a wax thermometer, a dedicated "molten wax pouring container", and a gigantic spool of wick.


But lookie what I made while not preparing for Contracts tomorrow (and yes, I will prepare before I go to bed, no worries):

At least they look pretty!  And they're, I got nothing else.  However, should anyone else desire a vintage state glass soy candle handmade by moi, let me know and we'll see what we can do.  I promise only to charge you for the amount of the glass and shipping plus $5, in hopes of recouping my $75 craft splurge.

The glasses came from eBay and are actually kind of cool.  They're from the 1940s and 1950s, back when the interstate system was new and people were going on "roadtrips" for the first time.  Souvenir shops would sell these glasses so you could commemorate where all you'd been.

Since the glasses are vintage, I also figured I'd play around with Poladroid some more.  I downloaded it last night and am having a blast with it.

Lilly, My Love

Anybody who's spent five minutes with me knows that my world revolves around a 4.6 lbs red Toy Poodle, known in formal settings as Mylastname's Princess Tiger Lily.  Of course, her friends just call her Lilly.  Or Boo Boo.  Or Lil.  Or Lillums (thanks for that one, Cami).  She is the light of my life.  Now, before you go writing me off as some crazy Poodle lady, think about it for a second.  Why wouldn't I adore someone that:
  1. Dances every time I come home?
  2. Cries when I leave, even if its just to take out the trash?
  3. Snuggles up to me whenever possible?
  4. Is always up for a long walk at sunset?
  5. Never yells at me?
  6. Never makes me cry (except with laughter)?
  7. Helps me clean the house (by eating anything I drop on the floor, of course)?
  8. Looks like this:

She's my pal, through thick and thin, just like the best of friends always are.  It's like I've always said, love me, love my dog.  I can't imagine my life without her in it, which is so strange because she's only been victory dancing across this earth for a year and a half come September 1st.  But there you have it.  Call me a cray cray Poodle lady if you want, because you know what?  Maybe that isn't such a bad thing after all!

My Mosaic

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I swiped this from my friend Holly's blog.  See if you can guess a little bit about me:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using ONLY the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into Mosaic Maker. (Change rows to 3 and columns to 3.)

1. your middle name:
2. least favorite food:
3. favorite gemstone:
4. dream car:
5. ideal occupation:
6. favorite superhero:
7. favorite holiday:
8. favorite book:
9. favorite animal:

Blog Designing and Other Things!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Phew! I just put the finishing touches on my blog design (thanks for the sweet comment, Rachie! You always make me feel loved!). I figure since there's only so much I can do at the moment with my house, what with law school starting and my mom/seamstress (haha!) being in Canada, I might as well turn my DIYing to my blog. I've never actually designed a blog from scratch before, but I'm really pleased with it. It took a while, but that is to be expected, given that I spent a lot of the time Googling for "How-Tos". Getting rid of the ugly titles (especially over the followers) took forever to figure out. Once that was finished, and I found a cute digital scrapbook kit for free over at (The Kit I Used), it took almost no time at all! If you're interested in learning how to design your own blog layout, let me know and I'd be happy to give you some tips from a fellow novice. Hopefully I could save you some time! :)

I've also been thinking that, as I mentioned, there's going to be less and less work I'll be able to do on the casa, meaning a shift in the blog's focus might be approaching.  I hope none of my 4 followers (and I love each and every one of you - Faye, Rachel, Morgan, and Betsy!) will be too outraged if I start blogging on a wider array of topics than just my house.  Naturally, I'll still be keeping you up to date on even the smallest of changes I make to my house, but maybe a few other things that are going on in my life might pop up now and then.

I've been TiVoing the HGTV show Sarah's House. Even though her country house season has ended, they're still showing episodes of where she renovates a backsplit. While it's all very gorgeous, most of it's a bit too modern for me. However, I love love LOVE what she did in the tiny little bathroom she installed in the basement.

In an ideal world, this is what my guest bathroom would look like.  And you know what?  I think I might actually get pretty darn close.  The floorplan is almost identical, though my sink and toilet are flipflopped.  But all the plumbing is on one wall, which is similar to Sarah's (though if you look, you'll see that her showerhead must be on the wall with the door, since you can't see it in the pictures [ETA: the showerhead is on the other wall; you can see it reflected in the medicine cabinet's mirror.]), and it's a snug bathroom, just like mine.  Actually, my bathroom might even be a smidgy bit bigger, and that's something you definitely won't hear me say very often about ANYTHING in my house!

After Ricardo from Home Depot showed me how to lay tile, I've been itching to give it a shot.  Maybe the bathroom would be a good place to try!

Better than Before

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is it wrong to love a man for his abilities with drywall?  I didn't think so!  The man did a SPECTACULAR job repairing the hole in the crown molding and the drywall issue. He even patched a crack near the top of my front door AND he took down some funky ceiling screws my mom had told me were irremovable. Then he patched my textured ceiling where the screws had left holes.

All the work he did had made the spots better than before. I'm so pleased that I'm going to have him come back and fix the spots in my pretty textured ceiling (plaster applied by hand in 1945 - I'm a little obsessed with it) where the plaster is pulling away and cracking. He thinks he can just pull the plaster down until it gets to a point where it is still stuck, then go back and put on more plaster by hand. Best part is, he gave me a high-end estimate of $100, but he thinks it probably won't cost that much.

Mom met him and was really impressed; she told me to have him do any place where the plaster is cracked. Sometimes, just sometimes, things work out even better than you expect, and isn't it wonderful when they do?

In related news (as the damage was caused by the electrician who came out to ground my outlets so I could get proper pairing for my cable card), MY TIVO WORKS! Ahem. That's right, ladies and gents. Three months, countless hours on the phone with Customer Account Executives (yes, I did memorize their exact title), countless hours driving to and waiting at the Comcast offices, and three service technician visits and my TiVo works! Grounding the outlet solved the pairing issue, but I was still not getting all my digital channels. Turns out to have been a super simple fix - they didn't have the right billing code attached to the TV, meaning even though I was paying for the service, they hadn't checked the little box in their computer that enabled those channels. But whatever. It's fixed and it works now, so a girl really shouldn't ask for more!

Lights, Camera, IMPROVEMENTS!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The electricians came out today around 8 am and the second guy left about 5 minutes ago. They were really nice, really helpful, and very professional. They hung the new ceiling fan in my living room (yay - it gets so hot in there!) and I think it looks great:

It's not hooked up electrically yet, though, because it got too hot in the attic. Fancy that - too hot at 105º F. They also put up the two new lighting fixtures I bought at Lowes (remember these from this post?). I spraypainted them white and ended up with these cuties:

The one in the blue room only needed to be changed out, but in the green room, he had to install a box and a switch. I really like them! The little black dots are the screw covers I forgot to paint, and they're actually bronzy. I'll take care of those later. Devil is in the details, you know.

Unfortunately, when drilling down from the attic to install the wiring to take the lightswitch that is currently connected to the plug-in where I have my TV and switch it to controlling the fan, the electrician misjudged how close his drillbit was to the edge of my drywall and crown molding and poked a pretty good sized hole.

He was really apologetic and is going to have their drywall guy fix it. I'm not too concerned about the drywall patching; that's pretty standard and all the materials are readily available. What I'm worried about is finding a replacement piece for my 65-year-old crown molding. Because they're going to have to replace the whole thing, not just patch it and not just cut the damaged part out and replace that part. Hopefully he'll be able to find the necessary style and length. Because I REALLY don't want to have to replace the ENTIRE ROOM's crown molding.

They're supposed to call me soon. I hope they do.

The funny part is, though, they were coming out to work on grounding the electrical outlets so that my TiVo will work, yet the to-do list kept getting longer and they're going to come back tomorrow to work on the rest of the stuff and (hopefully) fix my wall!