2008 December | Somewhere in Middle America

Monday through Friday the TV is always on. My days begin with the Today Show and end with reruns of Scrubs. During the afternoon I usually watch a couple of episodes of Law & Order.

I feel less alone when the television is on. The noise and the colors are comforting and fill the house with activity. But I end up getting sucked in and, as a result, spend too many hours stuck on the couch and not enough hours being productive.

So today I’m banning TV from the house. Instead, I’m going to attempt to tackle the following items on my To Do list:

1. Wash, dry, fold and put away laundry

2. Organize my office

3. Finish reading New Moon

4. Run the dishwasher

If all goes well (meaning I don’t succumb to loneliness), perhaps I’ll keep the television off tomorrow, too.

(image source)

I think Pearl and Marmalade’s 5″x7″ Amidst Routes Letterpress Print would look fantastic in my living room. The grey and mustard inks would compliment the colors of my walls and couch.

In the new year, I plan on doing a series of before & afters of decorating my new (old) house. We have a long way to go until it’s finished, but, so far, I’m really happy with the direction it’s headed.

(via Poppytalk)

I love this photo from The Lil Bee…

Of course I had to continue to search for more images of twinkling, colorful Christmas lights…

(image source)

(image source)

(image source)

(image source)

Happy holidays, dear readers! Wherever you are, I hope you’re staying warm and celebrating with the ones you love.

I wonder how long the snow will last…

Happy holidays, lovely readers!

Have you seen the article, “For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help,” in today’s New York Times? If not, click on over and read the online version.

Because of the recession, business is up for craft stores and online marketplaces like Etsy. To save money, many gift-givers are making their own presents or buying handmade gifts from others.

Last year, 42 million households gave handmade gifts, according to the Craft & Hobby Association, a trade group, and that number is expected to increase greatly this year, its spokesman, Victor Domine, said.

“Across the country, people are crafting more,” he said. “With the recession, people are looking for ways to save money, and doctors are recommending it as a major form of stress relief.”

Are you giving more handmade presents than last year?

A week or so ago, my dad sent me a link to a USA Today article about giving dogs nicknames. The author of the article believes that a dog can learn to understand his name and the various nicknames given to him by his owner.

Each of my pets, I confess with … well, maybe some mortification, has an assortment of nicknames. Jasper the mutt who looks to be mostly Australian shepherd (but he is not, and in fact is so many generations removed from pure blood even geneticists can find only hints of whence he came) has five nicknames.

The little neighbor kids couldn’t say “Jasper” when they met him years ago, so their version, “Dass-Paw,” spawned three variations that stuck: Dasspoo, Dasspy and Dass. Then, at some point, I also began calling him “Buddy” sometimes, and Buddy became, in ways I can’t recall and probably shouldn’t, “ButterButt.” He responds cheerfully and unfailingly to each and every one of them. Really.

My other dog, a wise old 80-pound malamute/German shepherd mix named Rufus, has the predictable “Rufe” nickname. Rufe morphed into “Boof” which, over time, enlarged to “Diggity-Boof,” which got abbreviated to “D-B.” Yeah. Well. These things happen. They make sense to Rufie-Doof, and he responds to all of them.

Briscoe has a couple of nicknames of his own. His full name is Briscoe Hopper (because when he runs fast he looks like a rabbit), so we sometimes just call him “Hopper.” He’s also “Briscoe Bear,” “Mr. Bear” and “Briscoe Boy.” And once I thought I heard J call him “Brisket,” but he swears he didn’t.

Does your dog have a nickname? If so, does he or she respond when called by it?

(image source)

Originally uploaded by Thorsten (TK)

Please drop by Lemondrop.com and check out my latest post, “Our Little House on the (Big) Prairie,” which is all about the search for our perfect starter home.

Sadly, my blogging gig with Lemondrop will soon be coming to an end. If you enjoy my writing, I kindly beg you to leave a comment on Lemondrop so that my editors see that people like what I write. If they do, hopefully I’ll be able to continue freelancing for the site.*

Happy holidays, and thank you for being such wonderfully supportive readers.

*If you are in need of a freelance writer, please contact me at pamelajaye[at]gmail[dot]com. I can do hard and soft news pieces and public relations material, including press releases. And, of course, I love writing about myself.

Happy Hanukkah!

I just adore this handcrafted wooden menorah by James Matar, don’t you?


I just discovered the gorgeous blog Little Brown Pen. Nichole features the most beautiful images and created this fantastic video. I’m totally in awe.

In our continuing series, “Surviving Deployments,” the author of wonderful one times one shares her tips for getting through her husband’s deployments.

It’s true. Deployments stink. I’m all for silver linings, but I’ve only found one when it comes to deployments – I can do drastic things to my hair that my husband would hate. Last time, I cut all my hair off and this time, well, I’m sitting here with my pretty bangs hanging my face. That’s it. That’s the silver lining.

I loved LB’s post below and agree with everything she said (and got some tips!). Stay busy, get involved, get on a schedule – these are daily mantras at my house. I thought I’d add on a few more things that helped me through my last deployment and are currently helping me through this one.

1) Find something new and exciting to be passionate about.

When J deployed for the first time, I quickly became passionate about two things – Hank, our Newfoundland puppy, and photography. I had just moved from New York City to small-town North Carolina and was (and still am) completely blown away by the beauty of this area. Nowhere else have I found such amazing landscapes and open wild land. And so, I bought myself a nice digital camera and set out with Hank to explore. And we discovered this area together and at the same time, became best friends (corny, I know, but oh so true).
Read more…