a day in my life

Today, I am going to have lunch in Durham with my best girlfriend. We are going to the Mellow Mushroom because it is walking distance from her office and we like the pizza. We will get a Holy Shitake pizza and laugh a lot.

My husband has “gluten issues” and, apparently, dairy sensitivity. The quotes aren’t because I don’t believe it, but he doesn’t have a full blown allergy or, worse, Celiac’s disease, so he can have a little bit of either without suffering.  Because of this, he feels uncomfortable when he asks a waiter if he can have his pasta dish on rice instead, but then will share bread pudding dessert with me.  But he can have the bread pudding because he had rice instead of pasta.  However, he does get an unhappy stomach if he eats much of either one, so regular pizza is definitely out for him. This is why Carolyn and I very frequently have pizza together.  Also, Holy Shitake is awesome.

And yes, the ‘Shroom has gluten free crust, but it also has a lot of cheese and still makes his stomach unhappy.


This has been the year of new clothes. Sometimes, I just don’t care and then I run out of stuff that isn’t ridiculously shabby and it all needs replacing. My mother, the shopping addict, suggests that I shop more often so that it isn’t such a binge-and-purge kind of thing. This came out of a conversation in which I commented that I can never find what I want if I am actually looking for something but always find tons of cute stuff when I don’t actually need anything.

And the truth is, I hate malls, but I love finding stuff in funky little shops that have fun clothes. Since my parents live in Asheville, I should be able to go shopping with my mother, thus getting some good time with her, and occasionally find something to keep the shabby stuff moving out of my closet.

This year, I found 2 linen dresses that I intend to wear to death. One is sleeveless and “natural” colored, meaning beige. The other is long sleeved and dark grey. The great thing about linen is that it wrinkles so easily no one expects it to look anything other than rumpled. That’s a look I can pull off.

I am wearing the grey one out for pizza.


My husband teased me about not exercising for 2 weeks this morning. He’s right. I haven’t.

Exercise has never been something that I just do. I have learned to enjoy walking around my neighborhood, but I get sweaty and need to cool down and get a shower before I do the next thing in my day and that takes up 2 hours and that time commitment makes it easy for me to stall out.

For instance. I’m going out for lunch soon and I don’t want to get gross and have to shower before I go, so I intend to walk when I get home. If I don’t get distracted by planting some hellebores my friend gave me and it doesn’t take too long to get them in the ground. See what I mean?


And about the hellebores.  I’m not sure what pushed my button about those.  For a long time I was disinterested and then I decided I’d like to have some.  I have a friend who has a huge collection and he has given me ten that sprouted up in his yard.  They cross-pollinate and drop seeds so we have have no clue what these will look like when they bloom.

We have just under an acre of yard.  It is part of a development on an old farm property and all the lots are around an acre with houses pretty much dead center in all of them.   It has all the sun variations you could possibly want to grow things.

Around the house is FULL SUN!!!  I don’t think that requires any real explanation.  This is why we have a most excellent vegetable garden and some fruit trees.

The back third of the back yard is heavily wooded and there is poison ivy in it.  Neither of us is allergic to poison ivy, so that means we can use it.  But, it is weedy and over grown and will take more money and effort to be usable than either of us has been inclined to commit to it.  I had the underbrush cleared out when I first moved here, but crap has just grown back because I didn’t do anything to keep it from happening.

The front yard has trees by the road and I have planted more trees, so that place is where I can plant “partial shade” stuff.  Voila!  Hellebores.  We have begun a mulching project that will do 2 things.  It will give me a place to plant things that don’t need blistering sun and it will cut down on the area that needs mowing.

We had some mulch that wasn’t needed a couple of years ago and we dumped it between 2 smallish plants, killing the grass and acting as a test run for grass-killing-with-mulch.  It was effective so we expanded the spot.  It took 4 trips to the mulch store to get 6 scoops of hardwood mulch to do it.    We intend to do more, but it’s a good start and gave me a place to plant the flowers I had been offered.

This is my blank canvas:


The tree is a dogwood I transplanted from a friend’s yard, the bits of green are irises that were growing in an inconvenient place in the back yard and the bush is an Oriental Paperbush I got when I was in Charlotte one weekend,.  It is such a strange plant I couldn’t pass it up.  You can see my tea patch behind the maple tree on the corner.