Friday, April 23, 2010

Believe It or Not, the Pick Axe Was Used For My Garden, Not While Looking in the Bathroom Mirror

Just a few tips and suggestions on my mind this morning...

1) Never assume that you and your hairdresser are on the same page as to how much hair actually constitutes a brow. This picture makes me laugh because 1) I look like an Avatar character and 2) I purposely cropped it this way so none of my hair would show. Trust me, I look ridiculous this morning. The fact that I spent 5 minutes taking pictures of my basically non-existent eyebrows is fitting.

And for the record, this was done on my way home from school yesterday, not in Cumberland County. Wish I could fill in a crossword puzzle with "shewenttochasity."

2) Build something yourself, even if looks funny in places and/or may fall apart at some point. I decided that I wanted a raised bed at my house in case some of the vegetables at the garden by Papa's plant don't make. Seriously, how hard can it be to build a rectangle? Answer: Harder than you think...especially if using only a pick axe, handheld saw, somewhat warped cedar boards, hammer and various sized nails, and the sheer force that naturally comes from a 29-year-old in running shorts and cowboy boots. I gave a bad name to carpenters everywhere.

BUT, I ultimately had a big time. And no kidding, it was rewarding to finish it myself (Caroline will be contributing an article related to this soon. She is a fantastic writer...definitely something to look forward to).

3) Put yourself in the company of intelligent and thoughtful people who also happen to be really good cooks. One of my former students came to my class this week to bring me a GQ article that draws connections between Cold War rhetoric and the Texas textbook controversy (It's cleverly articulate...check it out: This same student then showed up during my office hours yesterday to bring me homemade apple cake (with maple syrup and brown sugar) adorned with fresh pears. It was as delectable as it sounds. And the classic white plate and small, stainless fork wrapped and tied with a raffia-like ribbon elevated the surprise from enjoyable afternoon treat to incredibly thoughtful present.

Revised tip: Befriend those even more interestingly folk hipster than yourself. And then visit or - Chandlerclark.

4) Educate yourself on things you don't understand and/or think you abhor. I read an interesting article on this morning regarding the misuse of both historical lingo and political philosophy (another good one: "The Tea Party's Toxic Take on History" - I have to remind myself, however, that in an attempt to discredit or delegitimize something I find illogical, I need to purposely avoid the very strategies I intend to criticize. I shall spend some time over the next few days figuring out what the Tea Party is all about.

5) Then, after reading stuff you don't really want to read, jump into something that interests or inspires you. I picked up Wendell Berry's new collection, Imagination in Place, yesterday at Joseph Beth (and they happened to be giving away saplings in recognition of Earth Day - good for you Jo Beth's). Most of the essays have been published in journals or edited collections before, but it's nice to have them organized in one place. In regard to the post a week or so ago about first lines indicative of a good read...
"By an interworking of chance and choice, I have happened to live nearly all my life in a place I don't remember not knowing."

6) One more dog never hurt anybody. I try to take Lucy and Willie for a walk most afternoons. We typically head toward the roadside park area in Marrowbone (passing the Tire & Lube, Marathon, volunteer fire department, the temporary fancy stoplight, and the fitness center) so L & W can play in the creek a bit before we take a couple of laps at the Park. On the past two occasions, we have had a playmate join us mid-trip. This little beagle has found us at the creek, walked with us to the park, and then followed (well, actually he walks right in between Luce and Will) us to our house. Lucy and Willie share water, dogfood, and homemade treats with him upon our return. When I went out to check on L & W at 9:30 last night, he jumped around from the corner of the house. I may or may not have encouraged him to come in the house to spend the night. Upon his refusal, I may or may not have made a little bed for him right outside my door.

7) On a final, related note: consider baking pies in little individual jars. One of my wonderful, wonderful students shared this link with me (most of you probably already know of Stumble Upon, but if not, you should check out - website where you can designate interests and then get automatic updates of websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. that fit your interests):
*This is one I plan to try this weekend. I'll get back to you with results.*

Enjoy your weekend.


  1. Garden looks great, I'm going to have to try those pies, too, and believe it or not, I MAY be starting to like dogs. I'd take that one; what a cutie pie!

    And I guess your mother was right about the eyebrows. I'm sorry, but that is HILARIOUS!! I would allow you to use your special new word in Bananagrams.

  2. I hope your pies turn out well!
    And thank you for the lovely comment.

  3. You are such a resourceful person. Leave it to the Turner women to take on projects using limited tools if not the wrong ones. But hey, we eventually accomplish what we set out to do. Upon reading about Buster the beagle, I am reminded of a comment an elderly woman who lived across the street from my family and me in Glasgow once made about my baby brother. Steven was one of those little boys who always seemed to be surrounded by dogs, one of which was his and others belonging to the neighbors. Mrs. Sadie said, "You can always tell that someone has a good heart when dogs follow them home. So Liza, you must be a good hearted person. Actually with your love of the land and dogs, you are so much like your dad. Which by the way, he also enjoys Wendell Berry.

  4. C - If Jackie has said "karma's a bi-a-tch" once, she's said it a thousand times. ....:)
    A - Well, they are on the agenda for tomorrow. If they end up looking cute, you'll have one coming your way on Tuesday:)
    M - I learned from the best! No joke, if I needed to figure out how to do ANY task, you'd probably be the first person I would call. I loved that story about Steven. Thank you for sharing it and for saying such nice things about me. Love you!

  5. Liza- this entry was the funniest thing ever- I literally laughed out loud. I think of you every time an Avatar commercial is on. You are doing a great job with your blog- I am going to start doing a better job of commenting and I also want to try some of your yummy recipes. Love you!

  6. Thank you so much Lindsey for all of the thoughtful comments:) If you ever feel inspired and want to do an entry, I would love it.
    Seriously, if you pretend my forehead is blue I would look just like one of the Na'vi.