out on the town with tiff...and antique/junk/thriftstore finds

tiffany and i went antique store shopping and had lunch on friday for a nice little girls day out on the town. i picked up this cute little globe (i think percival approves...he's currently sleeping on the base of it). tiff and i discussed pieces of furniture that we have "issues" with, like no matter how full your house is, or how many of this item you may already have, you can't keep yourself from being pulled toward these pieces anyway. for me, it's antique dressers, chairs, and industrial furniture (file cabinets, metal desks, etc). and bookshelves! but at least the bookshelves serve a purpose for my other "habit." i'm currently having to stack books 2-deep in my over-six-feet-tall bookshelf, not to mention the hundreds of books that i've taken to school so that i can further hide my habit from kirk. hehe. one of the projects that i want to do is turn my big hall closet into a library, as you see here from real simple magazine:
(sorry about the blurry phone-pics...my camera is in the shop being cleaned...let's just pretend that i took these hazy, vintagey-looking photos on purpose! i'm a creative genious!).
anyway, doesn't that library look wonderful?? i told kirk that he might as well get over it, because i'm never going to stop buying
books, and i just don't take enough books to sell back to half price bookstore (love!) to keep up with my habit. and as far as vices go, it could be worse...
anyway, i've had a bit of antique/ junkshop/thriftstore/craigslist luck lately. here are more of my finds:

1. farm table (from locust street marketplace antique store in lawrence) and white enamel lamp shades ($5 each at habitat restore)
2. another pic of the globe (notice it still has USSR on it! and all these wonky colonial names in africa).
3. cute light blue metal cabinet (locker-style) with shelves...eventually for our bathroom, once we get around to that project! ($75 craigslist, from a person who turned out to be my friend who moved to tejas...so it at least stayed in the "family")
4. handy red wheel barrow ($10 craigslist...by the way, you would be amazed how many people on craigslist think it's wheel barrel. nope, sorry folks.)
5. the last pic is of my avocado plant that i found growing in my compost pile from a discarded avocado pit! i decided to pot it and see what happens! not really a "thriftstore find" but i was really excited that i caused something to grow without even trying so i decided to post it! ok, i realize that god actually caused it to grow. stop stealing my thunder!


summer reading list and boulder pics

so, i realize that summer is almost over (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!) but i still haven't posted about my summer reading.
intriguing quote from the book i'm currently reading (Brideshead Revisted - Evelyn Waugh):
"'Sometimes,' said Julia, 'I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all.'"
that really stuck out to me. i think i can identify with that. but that could be entire post on its own.
ok, here's the stack of summer reading:
the first stack are the books i've already read or am in the process of reading. the other two stacks are the books that i still have to read before school starts on august 9! don't think i'm going to make it!

also, here's some pics from our lovely trip to boulder, co for the buchheister family reunion. we have these every 5 years and there are descendants from my grandfather (dale buchheister) and all of his siblings(there were 12 siblings total!!!), so it's kind of a big deal. there were 110 people at the reunion this year, which is fewer than have been at previous reunions, if that gives you an idea. pretty amazing.
1. the ernie buchheisters playing on pearl street
2. hiking with kirk, my sis and bro, and some of the "cousins" (2nd cousins, a few times removed or something)
3. overlooking boulder from the not-quite-but-close-enough-to-the-top
4. theresa, me, and liz (my 1st cousin). theresa cannot be trusted with a gravy boat.
5 and 6. some of the dale buchheisters (not my brother dale, my grandfather dale) including my grandmother mary ruth, dad's brothers john and mike and their families and my family. dad's sister dalene and her family had already left by this point. confusing yet??

i'm really glad for these reunions and love my big family. it makes me sad that we can only all gather every five years but there are just so many of us and it's hard to get together in one place.


new green things

well, we had to buy a new car. kirk was in a little bit of a wreck last week, he's fine, but the car is not.
so, we did a little research (and by we, i mean kirk), narrowed it down to a few cars to test-drive, test-drove (and experienced a very snobby, insulting sales person at one place - she managed to insult my name, my job, and my personality in only a 20 minute time frame!), and today we bought a car (not from the snobby insulting lady). we decided on the prius. makes the most sense for all the driving i have to do, it's super reliable, and it comes highly recommended (thank you, meesh!). so, i can add that to my checklist of green-living changes i've made! get this: the color is called pearly blizzard, or snowy pearls, or something. it's basically white.
in other green news:
*kirk and i are now composting. we have yet to use any of it for our yard, it's not fully decomposed yet. i'm bothered by our "style" as really it's just a big pile of junk behind our garage. i really would rather have a compost bin or some sort of enclosed area. oh well. also, we're learning about what can and can't go into the bin. we eat a tone of citrus fruit, but it's not good to put to much citrus into the heap as it makes the soil very acidic (makes sense). worms don't like acid so they don't do the work they need to do to decompose the compostables. but, coffee grounds are good and we've even been given the "green light" (hahaha) to pilfer big bags of grounds from the alley behind our fave coffee shop (thank you to casey's old establishment and shannon's current). their flowers look way better than mine so hopefully there's something magic in these grounds! if you are a compost-er you should leave a comment with tips, i'm still just an infant.
*i had some sort of creature or fungi attacking my flowers (i know, i just planted them, like, 2 minutes ago) and some of the rose bush leaves were turning yellow as well as something was chewing through my lambs ear leaves and hibiscus leaves. so, a friend (thank you sara p!) recommended spraying the plants with dish soap diluted with water to kill any pests. i reused a washed out stain-remover bottle to make the concoction and sprayed away! i didn't kill my plants (i'll admit, i was a little worried that they would turn brown and wilt immediately...just my luck), so we'll see if it actually works to repel the pests! so, a natural, chemical-free solution in a reused bottle...2 gold stars for me.


a little sports rant

p.s. this is a pre-script (as opposed to a post-script). please, please, check out my previous post about the river to well photo competition and, if you so choose, weigh in on which 3 photos i should submit. ok, the important thing is to please submit your own photos to river to well because the more submissions, the more $ goes toward building wells in south africa, which is really important.

on to sports: like a good little journalist, i frequently abstain from all that i really want to say about sports because i know my "audience." and by audience, i mean the 3 friends that actually check my blog + my mom and dad and sister (to whom i am having to constantly re-email the link to the blog because they always forget that it exists...it's called bookmarking! hello!). anyway, the reality is that i could spend a good amount of time talking about sports. if you were to ask me, at any given time of day, what i'm thinking about, it's probably one of the following: 1) dream team of former ksu football players 2) who i would start this year if i were coach snyder 3) my top 10 sporting events that i would love to attend in my lifetime 4) brett favre and ken griffey, jr (sorry, kirk, but i've had a massive sports crush on them for longer than i've known you, so...) and 5) how awesome it would be if frank martin was a teacher/administrator at my school. i'm sorry, it's who i am. but my "audience," as it were, is mostly family and college friends and a few other friends that are just nice. i feel like maybe these people just wants to read a little mendy-blog, not a sports-blog, so that is why i abstain (did you follow the stream of consciousness???).

anyway, today will be a sports-bloggy day, so if that is not your cup-o-blog, you should probably just.....keep reading because you are my friend and it's the nice thing to do. but you could also have your husband/boyfriend/sporty-wife/dad/sporty-sister read. i don't know, do what you want. i'm kinda funny and i'm cracking myself up right now. hahahaha.

ok, so nick wright (610 sports) was talking on today's "what's right with nick wright" show about the 9 components that make a super bowl-quality football team. if i were actually a good little journalist i would probably do a little research to find out if this is his idea or if he was commenting on someone else's "top 9" but i'm not really a journalist, i'm a teacher, so i did no research. the 9 components i think can also apply to bcs-quality teams in college football. they are as follows:
1. a top 8 QB
2. an above average offensive line
3. a premier running back
4. a reliable and accurate kicker (hello - martin gramatica - ksu football dream team!)
5. a standout secondary player in the defense
6. a standout defensive front 7 player
7. a defensive line that can stop the run
8. a coaching staff with an overall positive effect (not necessarily the same as a "good" coach - more emphasis on the effect of the whole staff on the dynamics of the team... probably "good" coaching is more important for college football purposes since there is so much teaching to be done)
9. a significant home field advantage

so, nick, being a good little journalist, had done the research, and went back over years of super bowl teams and found that, although no team ever had all 9 components, to be in contention they had at least 6 or 7. i'll take his word for it.

this little formula should make it really easy for athletic departments/NFL owners to evaluate their teams and say, "ok, what do we have that's solid? what are we developing? what do we need???" the chiefs, in all their blundering idiocy the past few years, are actually not too far off from having 6 of these 9 components. here's what we have pretty solidly (this is according to nick wright, but i found myself thinking the EXACT same things just before he said them...typical.): running back - jamal charles, kicker - succup (not too shabby), coaching staff - after the changes this off season - definitely a move in the right direction, home field advantage - arrowhead has always had a good fan base, even when they're in the depths of despair. so there's 4 of the 9.

then, we are close, but not quite there, on a few components: defense - brandon flowers? can he be that standout secondary guy? not sure. not no. but not yes either. and we drafted eric berry with the #5 pick this year, so there are high hopes, but he's not proven and he'll take some time to learn. i still think glenn dorsey could be the real thing on our D-line, he just had a little "issue" with the coaches last year and didn't get much early playing time. but when he did, he definitely stood out on defensive (in a good way). and then jackson is another defensive end. so, it's like, we could be ALMOST there with the secondary and defensive line standouts, but not quite there. once we're "there," that 6 of the 9.

finally, the major holes? offensive line and QB. those are two pretty major holes, if you ask me. i'm going to make the case that you have to have at least one of these two to be successful. i don't think your "6" components can be without both a QB and an O-line. so, in that regard, i don't think this little "6 of the 9" formula holds up, i guess. i mean, we've seen good, hall-of-fame QBs look hideous because they're constantly on their backs or running out of the pocket when that's not a strength (oh, my dear b favre, i hate to say it, but it's so true). and we've seen O-lines holding up the pocket all day long and QBs that can't make decisions or have no arm or throw flat or have bad footwork or crap for timing or whatever, so it doesn't really matter how much time they have. they could have all the time in the world and they're still eric crouch (oooh. little nebraska dig. hehe.) or jamarcus russell. it's just a heckuva lot of pressure on either of those 2 components if the other one stinks.

so, i guess i'm saying that the chiefs could have their 6 components, but i still don't see them being able to compete with the ravens/vikings/saints/colts for the duration of the season and throughout the playoffs, as long as they don't have either a good QB or a better O-line. truthfully, i think that O-line component should probably be worth two points. let's just go ahead and make it a 10-component list. if you have that O-line component, then you could get by with an average to above average QB (sorry, still not eric or jamarcus...they're the worst!). maybe matt cassel could look like a top 8 QB with the right O-line. but for now, this pairing doesn't do much for me and it sure doesn't do much for the chiefs trying to move forward. for this year, i guess we're going to have to hope that the addition of charlie weiss on the coaching staff will result in a huge (no pun intended), miraculous improvement in one or the other, or else we're going to be only a few shades of red and obnoxious-yellow different from last year's debacle of a team.

there's my rambling rant. i'll try to get back to flowers, decorating, gardening, reading, photos, and other mendy-bloggy things so that i don't lose my few friend-readers that i have out of sheer sports-talk induced coma boredom.


calling all photographers! or friends of photographers! or i'm-not-a-pro-but-i-think-i-take-good-photos photographers!

i'm back from boulder, co and trying to catch up with my classwork (pics to come later this week...of boulder, not of my classwork). but, i'm taking a break from that to announce that it's time for the 2nd annual river to well photography competition! my buddy, ken, started this competition after we ventured to south africa in 2008. the competition is a blend of his passion for photography and his passion for africa. the proceeds go toward building wells in south african villages. check out the website to see last year's winners (including my honorable mention shot seen here ), find out more about the village where this year's well will be built, and to submit your own pics for the competition.
here are some of the shots i'm thinking of submitting this year, but can't decide. if you do read my blog, weigh in as to which shots you like best. first, there's this lovely graffiti shot from my trip to nyc last year on the right side of my blog here...i like it, but it seems kind of...already done, i guess. i feel like it's the cool thing to do, maybe. i don't want to be too cool, you know.
here are a few shots from a trip to chicago; this is the chicago tribune building (beautiful!). the color shot is the original + a little bit of editing to clean it up. the b & w is also cool, though...you decide.
here's a shot of my friend, ashley, laying out some sparkly lights. also have it in b & w. not sure if others get my point of view when i take shadow-y shots. i like them. but some people are like, "what?? i can't see what's going on here! why didn't you use flash!?" so, maybe it's just my personal taste.
here's another shot from south africa, the mother sitting in the doorway to escape the heat of the sun. i felt so lucky to get this shot, these are usually the types that i notice and try to capture but i'm too late!
here's a cool shot of the pier at coney island...lots of fun angles that i think make the picture interesting.
ok, so you guys weigh in...i'm too indecisive and biased because these are some of my "favorites." i'll probably submit three photos, so i need to narrow it down!



so, i realize that late june, early july is just about the WORST time to start planting flowers, but... well i did it anyway. i only have time to work on my yard during the summer and i spent the first month of summer stewing about what to plant and where and how would i avoid killing everything???? here's some pics of what i planted in the front little flower bed:
the lavender-looking plant is called russian sage...i really wanted to do a mix of lavender and thyme, but it's too late to find lavender anywhere and it can be rather persnickety so probably not a good idea for this fearful gardner. i planted about a bazillion marigolds because they are supposed to keep mosquitos at bay. ironically, i didn't think about the fact that peat moss (which we mixed in with the soil) attracts flies (because it's basically poo), so... one pest avoided, an infestation of the other. i'll learn. next time, i'll just mix sand into the soil. i think the roses are knock-out roses, but not sure. the tag said "easy-care" roses, which i'm pretty certain is not the latin name. hehe. they look like knock-out roses, right? and knock-out roses are very easy to care for.

leaving for boulder, co tomorrow so my friend shannon will be watching after the boys (cecil and percival) and the flowers. thanks, shannon!