The Gift


Maybe I’m getting carried away by the wedding planning hysteria but reading this today made me cry.

Even after all this time
the sun never says to the Earth
“you owe me”
Look what happens
with a love like that
It lights the whole sky.

      -from The Gift by Hafiz of Shiraz

*photo by Corbis*

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Boys and Favors

I know, I am blogging a lot of wedding stuff today, but I’m suddenly inspired, maybe its the coffee. Anyway, I was thinking of favors this morning and I was looking at cute tins like the ones below thinking how well these would work, when it hit me, every single I guy I know is going to think they are super lame.

I have no idea what type of favors a guy would like? I wish  I had the time and resources or even ideas on how to do gender specific favors but I am at a complete loss except for mini bottles of liquor and shot glasses.  These will not fly with J because he thinks giving people alcohol related favors will give them the impression that we are boozers. Well, they will be getting the right impression, but perhaps not the most flattering one of us.

Anyway, it struck me the other day that its a vicious cycle for males and the wedding industry. Guys don’t like weddings because they are girly and frou-frou , so they tend to not be involved in the wedding process. The wedding industry therefore creates even  less items that are appealing to guys and the cycle continues.  I think its odd that even though its 2007 we still tend to think of weddings/marriage as something thats just important to women. Why is it all about the Bride? or her day? or how she is going to be a princess? Why are there no Groomzillas proclaiming- goddamn it , its their day and if they want to wear holey shorts and a plaid shirt that was last washed in the 90s thats what they’ll wear.

My little feminist heart is bleeding for Grooms everywhere at the present. Sigh.

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Invitation Printing

So, I need Invitations for the wedding to be sent out….right now. We are a going to be a week or so late and I guess thats going to have to be okay. I went to Kinko’s today to find out how much it is going to be and it seems like it will save me about $50.00 if I get my invites printed there instead of ordering it online. I should be jumping up and down right? Except, the guy was really up front with me and mentioned that there could be some problems with the bleeds and the cutting , which makes me wonder if its worth the $50.00. However, its enough money that can used towards another wedding expense quite effectively. What to do? I think,I’m leaning more towards Kinko’s at the moment. Anyone out there with any other ideas?

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Somerset Plantation

The second place we visited yesterday was Somerset Plantation. Somerset Plantation is one of the oldest and most prosperous Plantations of North Carolina. It is always weird to visit a plantation and to view the contrast of beautiful and stately contrasted very starkly with something grim and sad. This is the third plantation that I have visited and it was still a very unnerving feeling. Although it is funny to note that although Somerset Plantation was the most prosperous in NC , it definitely does not compare in size or scale to the Plantatins I visited around New Orleans some years ago. The Somerset Plantation is situtated on the shore of Lake Phelps and we were lucky enough to be able to join a free tour.  I learned about plantation life both from the point of view of the enslaved community and the owners.  Somerset is also well known because throughout its lifetime the Plantation had 800 slaves and now once a year their descendants gather at Somerset to reunite and learn about their roots. It was a huge learning experience for me and I was transported back to the Antebellum days for the afternoon.


The Main Entrance

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J looking at the Stocks and detail. Our tour guide informed us that the stocks were used when members of the enslaved community were sold and that was the punishment that was most feared.  I took this photo to remind myself that the past is not always rosy and we that there have been some grim and gruesome incidents in our history.


Slave quarters and a view of the Slave hospital.

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Bottles of Medicines at the Slave Hospital and a view of an old inventory list from the old Plantation ledgers.


This a view of the formal gardens of the plantation from the third story of the owners house. This is one of my favorite pics in a while. I love the contrast of the imperfections in the pane and the formal planned “perfect” gardens.


Me on the front porch of the owners house with a view of the support buildings in the back. The little cabin like structures in the back are the dairy and the laundry room.

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Pocosin Wildlife Refuge

Pocosin Wildlife Refuge is located in Columbia NC and the surrounding Tyrell county. It is the only place in the whole world that is home to the uncommon Red Wolf. The Red wolf is an endangered species and researchers are currently looking for more areas to rehabilitate them. Anyway, I really didn’t get to see one, but you can see from the stock image below how cool they are.

The Poconos Wildlife Refuge is situated around Scuppernong River and some other lakes, but since we didn’t have a lot of time we decided to take a walk along the interpretive boardwalk around the lake. It was a beautiful day with sunny skies and an awesome river breeze which contrasted really well with the dark, black waters of the Scuppernong.


The River from a distance.


Its called Black water because of the Algae and the Bacteria.


Once you get into the blackwaters


Me on the boardwalk

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Flowers along the river

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When Life Gives You Lemons…

…Make Lemonade. This old proverb was very true for J and I yesterday. A while back J and I took a trip to the Outer Banks and got a very nasty traffic ticket on the way back. Well yesterday was the court date for that ticket and J and I decided to take a little day trip out to Columbia NC.

We left around 7:30 in the morning and got into Tyrell County around 10:30. The courthouse was on Main street and it was obvious that that the town was very old. I was eager to get the paperwork done and get to exploring because I had read that there were some neat things around Columbia. The DA reduced the ticket to a “unsafe movement” charge and that reduced the amount of the ticket by $200. We were so happy and relieved. We spent the rest of the day exploring Poconos Wildlife Refuge and Somerset Plantation. I did seperate posts of those because I had a lot of photos that I wanted to put up.


Cute Sign on one of the old brick buildings on Columbia’s Main Street.


A view of Main Street.


J in front of the courthouse.

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I recently read two 19th Century mystery novels. They weren’t particularly good but it was okay for a quick read on the treadmill. However it got me thinking about my preferences in mysteries. I used to think that I like reading mysteries until I realized recently that I really dont’ like contemporary thrillers and mysteries very much at all. I hardly ever read those. I love reading mysteries that are set in a different time. I  divide my mystery preferences into two groups.

A. Vintage Mysteries- This is really categorized by Agatha Christie for me, I just don’t know other writers who were writing in that time period. I love the British setting and the dialogue and reading about little details like teashops, housemaids, getting news through the radio, butchers who deliver parcels. I have re read all her mysteries so often that I already know the killer and the plot but I love the old fashioned details. Whats great is A&E has made all the books into movies and some wonderful person has put up the Poirot series on YouTube. Now I’m hooked , it wonderful to see the cool 1940s fashions , cars, and other details. I guess thats why I like the young adult mysteries of Enid Blyton too, I might have outgrown the plots but I love the details and the language.

B. Historical Mysteries- These are written in contemporary times but the plot and the characters are set in the past. I have just recently started reading this genre and its not as good as Christie but they are still fun. I guess the problem is that in spite of the details the language seems very modern. But I did like the two recent ones I read because it did have little details about life in post civil war Boston. It has motivated me to learn more about the Gilded Age, so I suppose thats good.

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Challenge- $100

Consider this and blog your answer:

If you found a $100 bill on the sidewalk, what would you do?
a/put it in my wallet, hello new shoes!
b/Pass it by, gross, germs!
c/Give the money to charity.
d/Add it to my savings.

Pick your answer and then blog/expand on your decision

I pick (e) use it to save for a honeymoon. J and I are considering our wedding in India and little travels there as our honeymoon. But it really will be a family affair with friends and family. So , lately we have been talking about taking a typical , tropical getaway for next summer and having that be our honeymoon. Although, I don’t know if I’d be able to hold on to the $100 for that long, I’d probably use it up for wedding expenses.

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4th of July Layout

I did  fun silly layout for 4th of July. The whole purpose of the page was to use up these red , white and blue star shaped Brads I had bought for a $1.


Fireworks Make A 4th of July: Bazill card stock, Target Brads, Heidi Swapp Chipboard and patterned paper.

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Drunken Citrus Salad


This sunday for the weekly sunday potluck I made Drunken Citrus Salad. It is the easiest, tastiest and prettiest salad ever.

Drunken Citrus Salad

1 cup manadarin oranges

1 cup navel oranges

1 cup red grapefruit

1 cup white grapefruit

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh, finely chopped mint

3 shots of good quality gin

Combine all the ingredients together and let sit for a while. Garnish with Mint leaves before serving.  You can also add sugar if you like your citrus sweet. I served it after 2 hours and it was good,but it was even better the next day.

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