Daily thoughts by a guy that doesn't like to think deeply too often!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Year's Superstitions








Empty pockets or empty cupboards on New Years Eve portend a year of poverty







If the first person to cross the threshold of a house after midnight on New Years is a dark-haird man and he carries a shovel full of coal, then a year of good luck will follow.







Its bad luck to let a fire go out on New Year's Eve.







You could ensure yourself good fortune by draining the last dregs from a bottle of drink on New Years!







The Weather: If the wind blows from the south, there will be fine weather and prosperous times in the year ahead. If it comes from the north, it will be a year of bad weather. The wind blowing from the east brings famine and calamities. If the wind blows from the west, the year will witness plentiful supplies of milk and fish but will also see the death of a very important person. If there's no wind at all, a joyful and prosperous year may be expected by all.







Loud Noise: Make as much noise as possible at midnight to scare away evil spirits.







Letting the Old Year Out: At midnight, all the doors of a house must be opened to let the old year escape unimpeded. He must leave before the New Year can come in, says popular wisdom, so doors are flung open to assist him in finding his way out.







To dance in the open air, especially round a tree, on New Year's Day is declared to ensure luck in love and prosperity and freedom from ill health during the coming twelve months.







Children born on New Year's Day bring great fortune and prosperity to all the household.







On New Year's Day if, on rising, a girl should look out of her bedroom window and see a man passing by, she may reckon to be married before the year is finished.







Clocks should be wound up immediately the New Year begins in order to endow the house with good fortune, while all daily cleaning and dusting should be completed early in the day of December 31 in order to avoid the danger of sweeping good luck from the house.







Breakage: Avoid breaking things on that first day lest wreckage be part of your year. Also, avoid crying on the first day of the year lest that activity set the tone for the next twelve months







Money: Do not pay back loans or lend money or other precious items on New Year's Day. To do so is to guarantee you'll be paying out all year.







New Clothes: Wear something new on January 1 to increase the likelihood of your receiving more new garments during the year to follow.







Work: Make sure to do -- and be successful at -- something related to your work on the first day of the year, even if you don't go near your place of employment that day. Limit your activity to a token amount, though, because to engage in a serious work project on that day is very unlucky.







Black-Eyes Peas: A tradition common to the Southern part of the United States says that the eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will attract both general good luck and money in particular to the one doing the dining







A person who lives alone might place a lucky item or two in a basket that has a string tied to it, and then place the basket just outside the front door before midnight. After midnight, the lone celebrant hauls in his catch, being careful to bring the item across the doorjamb by pulling the string rather than by reaching out to retrieve it and thus breaking the plane of the threshold.







Nothing Goes Out: Nothing -- absolutely nothing, not even garbage -- is to leave the house on the first day of the year. If you have presents to deliver on New Year's Day, leave them in the car overnight. Don't so much as shake out a rug or take the empties to the recycle bin. Some people soften this rule by saying it's okay to remove things from the home on New Year's Day, provided that something else has been brought in first.







Just as the clock strikes twelve the head of the house should open the door in order to allow the Old Year to pass out and the New Year to come in.







Kissing at midnight: To ensure that those affections and ties will continue throughout the next twelve months. To not do this would be to set the stage for a year of coldness.







Stocking Up: The New Year must not be seen in with bare cupboards, lest that be the way of things for the year. Larders must be topped up and plenty of money must be placed in every wallet in the place to guarantee a prosperous year.







Paying Off Bills: The new year should not be begun with the household in debt, so checks should be written and mailed off prior to January 1st. Likewise, personal debts should be settled before the New Year arrives.







First Footing: The first person to enter your home after the stroke of midnight will influence the year you're about to have. Ideally, he should be dark-haired, tall, and good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal, a silver coin, a bit of bread, a sprig of evergreen, and some salt. Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the household.







First Footing: The first footer should knock and be let in rather than just using a key. After greeting those in the house and dropping off whatever small tokens of luck he has brought with him, he should make his way through the house and leave by a different door than the one through which he entered. No one should leave the premises before the first footer arrives -- the first traffic across the threshold must be headed in rather than striking out.







First footers must not be cross-eyed or have flat feet or eyebrows that meet in the middle
Squint-eyed, flat-footed, or red-haired men bring bad luck If they are first-footers, and so does a woman. But a man with a high instep, or one who comes on a horse, is considered particularly lucky.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Birthday Memory....


My 6th birthday was the worst!


With good intentions, Mom reserved the birthday room at the Dipper Dan Ice Cream store in South DeKalb Mall. I got to invite about 20 of my closest little friends to the party and everyone looked forward to the party with great anticipation. Unfortunately, the party was ruined right at the beginning. All of us kids were gathering in the birthday room and the Dipper Dan staff were setting up the "all you can eat" ice cream buffet. Just then, my grandparent's preacher happened to walk through the mall with his wife. They looked inside the picture window into the birthday room, and spotted me and my family. Pastor Kendrick invited himself into the party to say a prayer in honor of my birthday-- I guess he felt it was appropriate. Now, Pastor Kendrick was a Southern Baptist preacher, and they don't know anything about a quick prayer. He went on and on for what seemed like an eternity. All of us had our eyes closed during the prayer, but I was able to steal a few glances at the ice cream buffet that was melting away as he spoke. Finally, Pastor Kendrick finished up and we were able to enjoy some of the ice cream before it totally turned to mush!


Then it was time for games! The one game that I remember to this day was "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". We were each blindfolded and lead to a poster of a donkey. We had to put the tail on the poster and whoever got the tail closest to the correct location would win a prize. We all took our turn-- but I was able to cheat. I could peek out of the bottom of my blindfold and I slyly walked right up to that donkey and put that tail on the exact location where it belonged. I don't know what the prize was-- it didn't matter. It was my birthday and I was going to win this game. However, when our blindfolds were removed, Mom announced that my neighbor Paul had won. Again, I had been peeking and knew that the tail that Paul placed was nowhere near the right place-- I think it was somewhere on the donkey's forehead. But, Paul was a blind kid, so Mom thought that he should win just for giving it an effort. I disagreed at the time and still disagree to this day. I won fair and square (except for the cheating part). I tried to reason with Mom that she wasn't doing Paul any favors-- he's going to go through life thinking that a donkey's tail grew from it's forehead. For his own good, Paul should lose the competition and I should win the prize. But, there was no going back-- Paul had the prize in his hand and I had a birthday memory that would stick with me for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007 Family Portrait








(left to right: Martha, Aunt Jane, Mary, Colby, Cat, Joel, Chandler, Brian, Mom, Uncle Hub, William)

Christmas Train

Joel and I were shopping a few weeks ago and we saw a display of electric trains. Joel mentioned that he always wanted a train. A lightbulb went off in my head, and I remembered a train set that I bought at Lowe's a couple of years ago. They were having an unannounced, impromptu sale the day that I was shopping. It wasn't an official sale, just a disgruntled employee that was discounting everything Christmas related to $1-$5. It took a little while for management to catch on, so me and a few other customers had time to fill up several shopping carts of Christmas items. One of these items was a Christmas tree train. I never unboxed it, and it ended up sitting in the attic gathering dust. After Joel's request, I brought it down from the attic, wrapped it and gave it to him along with his other gifts.

It turns out that this train is a lot cooler than I thought! It doesn't go under the tree as I had thought. Instead, it has brackets that fit onto the tree trunk in the upper part of the tree! The train goes around the tree around eye level. If I had known it was cool, I probably would've kept it for myself. Joel was happy with it, though, and I'll be happy to see it every year during our Christmas get-together.

video

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Finishing Touches...


I had to do a little touch-up on the outdoor decorations today. The combination of the drought and higher temperatures wasn't kind to my live garland. It's no longer live! With all of the dead greenery (or is it "brownery"?) adorning my house, it was beginning to look more and more like Halloween than Christmas! I remembered a bag of fake berries that I had in the attic and went to work sprucing up the spruce! As usual, I went a little overboard with the berries, but it looks a lot better.


My Aunt & Uncle are having a Christmas Eve get-together at their house tomorrow. It will be nice because all of my cousin's and their kids will be there-- it's rare to see them all at the same time since they are all spread out across the country. Afterwards, my immediate family wants to come by my house for eggnog, which means that I will spend the remainder of today getting ready-- the house is in shambles, so it's going to take a lot of work to turn this house into a winter wonderland. Hmmm-- since the outside decorations are looking so good, maybe I'll just serve eggnog in the front yard and try to keep everyone outdoors! Wouldn't that be nice!!!! no such luck!!


I guess it's time to bite the bullet and get this old house presentable!

Clever

The folks at Google are so clever. They update their logo every holiday on their website. During Christmas, they update it every day for the few days leading up to Christmas. Here are the logos that they've used so far this holiday season:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas-- Almost all wrapped up!



I think I have pulled off a miracle! After a few last minute internet purchases, a couple of stops at Camp Creek Marketplace and an early morning run to Fedex, I feel confindent that my presents will all arrive to my families homes in time for Christmas! Unfortunately, I will have to send a follow up package to Memphis because I found out today that the items I purchased for the kids did not include a crucial part! I don't think my Memphis family reads my blog, so I guess I can tell you what I left out. I got them each a digital picture frame. If you aren't familiar with these, they are the coolest things in the world! You can download pictures from your computer or camera onto a memory card, insert the memory card into the frame and then you can view a slideshow of all of your pictures on the frame. You can change the pictures as often as you'd like, too. The bad thing is, the frames don't come with memory cards! Without the card, it's useless. So, I purchased a couple of cards tonight and will get them in the mail on Monday.




I got a digital frame for Delia, too. I'm going to download all of the pictures I've taken of Biscuit events onto it for her. I think it'll turn out cool-- and I know that she'll love it.




I have a couple of more purchases to make tomorrow. Lot's of wrapping to do, too. But after that I can officially declare that shopping is finished (with a day to spare!) and get on with enjoying what's left of the holiday season!




Memories...


Joel found this picture and sent it to me today. It was taken about 9 years ago in the parking lot of the Cotton Mill. Shelby was about a year old at the time, and Betty was probably about 4.


What's cool about this picture is that I was holding Joel's dog, Buddy, in the picture. Buddy died several years ago, and asfar as we know this is the only picture that exists of him.


The Biscuit Does Bloomies...




Delia, Molly & I did another cooking demo at Bloomingdale's today. In the spirit of the holiday, we all wore our red chef coats and Santa hats! Good times!!! We were allowed to sell the cookbook today, so after the demo, I collected money as Delia signed the books. We had a huge crowd and sold about 30 books. Not too shabby for a couple of hours of work, huh?




My reward this time was a Calphalon Wok!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Suprise Gift!

Several of my purveyors were invited to our company "holiday" party this week. Only a few showed up. My favorite purveyor is Brad from Workhorse. Brad prints all of our T-shirts that we sell at the Biscuit. I've worked with Brad for several years now and he does quality work at a great price--- always dependable and ready to accept a challenge at anytime!





Anyway~~ when Brad arrived, he had 2 wrapped gifts in his hand. One was for me and the other was for Delia. I didn't have a gift to give him in exchange, dammit! But, it was a small box-- I figured that it might be a box of candy or something like the rest of the vendors give out at Christmas time. I was a little busy at the time with making sure the party was running smoothly. I put the gift in my bag and continued working. A little while later, Delia asked me if I had opened mine yet. She hadn't had time to open hers either. We took a moment and opened out gifts. We were shocked!



In those little boxes were Ipods!! Not just Ipods, but the top of the line Ipods-- 80GB! I already had an Ipod Nano (8GB) and I was happy with it-- but an 80GB Ipod!!!!!! Those things sell for about $400 each! What a great present!!!! With the new Ipod, I can download full-length movies and TV shows.



Do I really need two Ipods? Probably not. I'll probably still use my original Ipod at the gym and in the car (I have an Ipod connection to my radio). Mom gave me a Bose Ipod docking station for my birthday, so I'll use the new Ipod in the house with the docking station-- It makes for an incredible stereo that is sufficient for my house.



I asked Brad if he was crazy. Why would you give me such an expensive gift? My family doesn't spend that much on me! He told me that the Biscuit was his biggest client and he wanted to show appreciation for all of the business that we've steered his way this year.



I've got the new Ipod all set up now and I've downloaded several music videos, TV shows and 1 movie already!



Thanks for the gift, Brad. I can't imagine that anyone can top this one this year!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Own Personal Hell's Kitchen...


I pride myself on my ability to stay focused and calm while under pressure. Today was not a good example of that. I completely lost it today.


As a background to what happened, I'll explain how this week has gone. I started this week with only one catering order. Every day, around 4pm, the phone begins to ring off of the hook: "I need to order breakfast for tomorrow. How many? Well, somewhere between 80-100 people".


My books are full and I am turning orders away now. I hate that. Tomorrow alone, I have 12 deliveries before 8am. I have 4 drivers scheduled to help me, and I'm still not sure if I'll be able to pull it off. What looked like a calm week has suddenly turned into chaos.


I pulled off a miracle earlier this week-- I single-handedly hosted the Biscuit's Christmas party. I rented 10 lanes at Midtown Bowl, I had them close the bar for the night for my party, I arranged the catering, the shoe rental and even purchased the door prizes (a flat screen tv, an Ipod and a digital camera). The party was great, but I was in overdrive mode the entire time, having been at work since 2:30am that morning.


So-- there's the background. I have probably gotten 10 hours of sleep in the past 4 days.


Last night I got a call requesting catering for 140 people-- to be delivered at 6:45am. I called everyone and was able to round up 5 people to come in to help me get it ready. I got to work around 4am to get things set up. Everyone else came in at 5am. Everything was so disorganized. Everyone was helping, but hardly anyone was pulling it off. The last straw was when I looked at the clock and it was 6:30am. I was already past my departure time and the food wasn't ready. Miguel brought me the scrambled eggs. As I carried the pans to the van I realized that they were cold. I opened the lids and touched the eggs-- cold as ice. Even though I was running late, I threw the pans of eggs in the garbage (in my best imitation of "Hell's Kitchen's" Chef Gordan Ramsey) and announced that I was not going to serve cold eggs to my clients- remake them!


The orders were remade and I arrived on site 15 minutes late. I received the cold shoulder from most of the staff several hours after I returned from the delivery. I finally called a meeting, apologized to everyone for my behavior and explained that the Biscuit's reputation and my name are at risk every time we send out an order. I can't send out cold food and hope that no one will complain or request refunds. Much less, how can I continue to get repeat business if I send out bad food?


Some of the staff understood-- some pouted, some refused to come in early to help me tomorrow. I don't feel bad-- I stood up for myself and the integrity of my business. I didn't have a choice-- this is my income on the line. If I can wow an audience of 140, I will earn my commission and some of them will think of the Biscuit the next time they need a catering job. If I offend 140 people with cold eggs, I can write off potential commissions.


Anyway, we'll see how everyone acts tomorrow. Hopefully everyone will have understood where I was coming from and I'll have a perfect team. I can only pray!


On a side note, I hired another assistant today. I still have Alex, but now I have Heide, too. She was hired as the catering director of one of our franchise stores. She spent a couple of days with me last week and decided that she liked our store and our busy catering business better and hit me up again for a job. After working with her last week, I got to know her and see her in action.... she's a go-getter and great with people. Her phone skills are incredible and I can finally foresee a future with at least 2 days off a week. I feel confidant that I can hand over the catering cell phone to Heide and not worry about it. I have a meeting with her on Friday to confirm everything, but so far it looks like a done deal.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Look What Santa left Under My Tree!



I'm having a constant battle with Betty lately-- she has decided that the Christmas Tree skirt is more comfortable than the new bed I bought her a few weeks ago. I wouldn't mind her sleeping under the Christmas tree, but she's a little too big to fit-- she knocks all of the ornaments off of the lower branches every time. I have probably redecorated the tree 10 times this week. Luckily none of the ornaments have been broken yet.




I thought I had a solution to the problem today. I wrapped Christmas presents this morning and put them under the tree. The gifts pretty much covered the skirt, so I thought that would detour Betty. No such luck, she kicked several of the gifts out of her way and laid down on top of all of the gifts that were too big for her to move.

Office Entertainment!


I completed the "Entertainment Area" of my office today-- I took a couple of shelves out of the built-in bookcase and mounted the flat-screen TV inside. It took a little work to cover the wires- I went to Lowe's and got a Cord Cover set. It came out looking pretty good. I need to repaint the whole unit to cover the spots where the missing shelves were... I probably should've done that before I installed the TV, but I didn't really think about it-- I just wanted the TV installed, and will worry about the finishing touches later!

Friday, December 14, 2007

My New Logo


I received this piece of personalized, framed art from Beverly, Bruce and Barbara tonight. The drawing was done by Julie Broadus. The character in the print is supposed to be me-- the blue eyes, the outfit (I wear these same chef clothes/shoes at cooking demos). They couldn't decide what my hair should look like-- sometimes it's blond, sometimes is short, sometimes it's gray/brown/red, etc. I think it came out great and I can't wait to show it off at work next week!


If I ever take the leap and open my own catering business-- this will be the logo I'll use, and the name of it will be "Brian the Caterer!". Thanks for the inspiration!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just what I needed...




I had a "near accident" on the way home from work today. I was going down Moreland Ave when the car in the left lane decided to quickly "merge" into the right lane. Problem was, I was in the space that he was trying to merge in to. I swerved to the right to avoid being hit-- but in that process, I ran over a curb. The other guy didn't hit me, but the curb caused a lot of damage to my tires-- I had two blowouts and two bent rims on the passenger side. I pulled into the Exxon station and contemplated what to do. I was about to call Midtown Tire and request a tow truck. But suddenly a guy came by and told me that there was a tire shop right behind the Exxon station.

I drove my car into the lot-- not really driving, more like stumbling in on 2 good tires and two flat tires with bent rims. The proprietor of the shop came right out to the car and went to work. There was no exchange of greetings; no diagnosis; no estimates. He jacked my car up and removed the tires and went to work. Within a few minutes, he had the rear rim bent back into shape and patched the tire. The front tire was a bigger problem. he spent about two hours trying to bend the rim back into shape. He would've spent the rest of the night trying to fix the rim, but as I watched him bang at it with a big hammer (trying to force the rim to conform to the tire) I decided it would probably be best to just put the spare (donut) tire on. I wouldn't have felt safe driving on his rigged version of a tire anyway.
The "tire shop" was the most ghetto place I've ever conducted business. The waiting room was a lawn chair in the parking lot. There was a magazine in the chair-- a high fashion, high priced clothing catalog geared towards black men. I thumbed through it and found a couple of things that I liked-- shoes, belts, sweaters. However, the prices were through the roof-- who would pay $298 for a belt???

Anyway-- I digress! After repairing the rear rim, patching the rear tire, spending 2 hours trying to repair the front rim and installing the spare tire, Grease Monkey Joe came to me with his price of $35. I was amazed! I gave him a $50 bill and told him to keep the change. I probably should've given him more for his efforts. I still don't feel safe driving in my car with the rigged up rim job, and the donut tire that I'm not sure he tightened all the way, so I'll have to go over to Midtown Tire tomorrow at some point and try to get 2 new rims and tires. I know it'll be several hundred dollars (not including the two new hubcaps I'll have to buy) to repair the damage. Great timing, huh? A couple of weeks before Christmas and I'll be spending my money on car repairs. But, on the bright side-- I didn't have a wreck, no one was injured. But... it sucks!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas 2007


Delia & I went shopping at Target last night and we found the cutest outfits for King and Lady's Christmas Photoshoot!



Enjoy!!!








Flying Biscuit #6


The Grand Opening of the newest Flying Biscuit is tomorrow! I visited the new restaurant today for a sneak preview-- unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me, so I didn't get to take any pics of the newest location. This is probably my favorite store so far-- they did a great job with the decorating and use of the space. They are in Buckhead, in the Terminus Building. I'm sure that their sales will exceed all other stores-- their catering dept alone will equal any of our other stores.


There is a VIP party tomorrow night. I was invited to bring my car and take the traditional picture, but I decided to postpone the pic til next week. Delia is in New York (visiting with celeb Jennifer Garner!), and the picture wouldn't be complete without her in it.


It's hard to believe that in 2007 we've opened 4 new stores-- in 2 states!!! I wonder what the count will be next year at this time!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And I thought the "peanut allergy" was rediculous!


Below is an email I received today at work. I did not edit it at all:


"My husband visited your store in CHarlotte today and saw the oatmealpancakes. He was hoping it was something I might be able to eat. Would I be able to eat them, despite the following allergies:


Alcohol

Apricots

Banana

Beef

Butter

Caffeine

Cheese

Chocolate

Cows Milk

Fermented Foods

Flours: White, Wheat, Kamut, Spelt

Lamb

Mangoes

Melons, all kinds

MSG (Found in Accent and many prepared foods and snacks)

Nitrates, found commonly in prepared meats and spice mixes

Peanut products

Persimmons

Soy sauce

Sugar, White and Brown, and Cane juice

Tomatoes

Vinegar

Wine


Also, would I be able to eat a turkey burger or another meat dish possible?Thank you for your time."


Poor thing! I wrote back to her and let her know that the pancakes would not fit into her diet, but the turkey burger would work, as long as she ordered it without the bun, the condiments and the tomato.


Her list of allergies is longer than the list of things that I am NOT allergic to.
I just realized that she listed all of her allergies in alphabetical order, too. Hmmm.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Morbid Snowman


Saturday, December 08, 2007

What a Day!




Friday was a marathon day! It started out with the busiest catering day that I can remember. I got to work a little before 4am and completed 10 catering jobs before 10am. I don't know how I pulled it off-- well actually I do know: lots of help! I had three people delivering the orders while I got to stay in the restaurant and coordinate everything. I like doing the coordinating!

After all of the deliveries were completed, David and I went to Ikea to get me a new desk for the office. have you been to Ikea yet? I'm probably the only person in Atlanta that's never been, and boy have I been missing out! I plan to visit there a lot in the future! I got a great desk and a filing cabinet. Of course, most of their furniture comes in kits, so it took me several hours to get the desk completed. I haven't even started on the filing cabinet yet. Maybe tomorrow?


After I got the desk taken care of, I rushed back home and changed clothes and then headed back to the Biscuit to meet my family. Mom, Joel, Martha and Jim were there to partake in the four course wine dinner. Delia, Spener and Molly were hosting and I was very impressed. I've been at the Biscuit for almost four years now, and this was the second "Fixed Price Friday" that I've attended. We can really be impressive when we try! Thanks to Spencer and the crew for treating my family so well, and for giving them the impression that I'm a little important in the scheme of things around the Biscuit!


After an incredible dinner of Crabcakes, pear salad, Ostrich filet and bourbon cake (and several glasses of wine), we headed to the Horizon Theatre to see "Santaland Diaries". I received some free tickets from one of my catering clients a couple of weeks ago and wanted to take the family so that they could experience something new. We had great seats-- in the front row of the small theater. The show was just as funny as I remembered, and my family really enjoyed it too. My only regret is that Jim couldn't join us fo rthe play-- I only had 4 tickets, and I didn't know he was even in town til the last minute. I did aske if he wanted to join us; I would've bought him a ticket. But, he apparently had somewhere else to be and declined.



I got home fairly late and crawled into bed. The alarm went off three hours later and I headed back to work to coordinate several more catering jobs, and to finish assembling the desk. The new desk is a lot larger than the old one, and it kind of crowds the office that I share with Delia and Molly. I had to do a little rearranging and lots of cleaning and throwing away, but other than the fact that the desk extends into the doorway a couple of inches, it turned out pretty good. After some much deserved rest today, I'm going to go back in the morning and get started on that filing cabinet, and then a final cleaning to get rid of all of the clutter that distracts me so much while I'm trying to work. I would really like to be a minimalist (especially at work) and get rid of all of the knick-knacks and other items that are just sitting there collecting dust. I got a good start on it today and hopefully I can get it finished tomorrow.

I also have to make time to rake my yard. it isn't that bad, but I received a warning from the city that I had 5 days to remove the "excess leaves" from yard or I will be fined. I'd like to know who decides how many leaves are excessive? I will go ahead and take care of the yard this weekend, but I really don't like the idea of the city saying that I HAVE to do it on their schedule. Like I said, my yard doesn't look bad.... I've seen lots of other yards around this city that have far more leaves than mine. I don't know why the city is always picking on me? Last month I got nailed for using 9 extra gallons of water... this month there are too many leaves in the yard. What will it be next month.... the roots on my trees may be growing too deeply into the earth? Yes there are leaves in my yard... it's Fall! There are supposed to be leaves on the ground! Big deal! OK, that's out of my system.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Eureka!


I bought a new Eureka vacuum cleaner a couple of weeks ago during the "After Thanksgiving" sale. As a test, I cleaned the entire house with my old vacuum cleaner. After I was satisfied that the floors were clean, I broke out the Mighty Red Eureka! By the time I was finished with the Eureka, I had emptied the container three times. It's amazing how much dirt and dog hair was in my carpet-- and I thought I'd cleaned up pretty well before the new vacuum cleaner!


The Eureka comes with a feather duster, housed on the handle. I am almost 42 years old, and I have NEVER used a feather duster. But... since it was right there on the handle, I decided to give it a try. OMG! I am now obsessed with dusting and vacuuming! I do one or the other (sometimes both) at least once a day! My house has never been so dust-free!

Leapfrog Advertising...


The folks at the Buckhead Biscuit took out a radio ad that is currently running during the drive-time hours of the morning shows. it's great for them-- they are announcing to the the city that they are open, and that they have a new location coming soon. The ad also mentions their catering service. They play it up really big and give the catering phone number for their location. Unfortunately for them (fortunate for me!) a lot of people don't have a pen and paper with them while they're driving to work. So... they visit the website to get catering info. My phone has been ringing off the hook this week, even though it's not the phone number given in the ad. I feel bad for taking some of the catering orders that another store did the advertising for, but I guess they probably get a lot of exposure from the ads I run each week in Creative Loafing, Insite Magazine, The Sunday Paper, etc. I guess it all evens up in the end. But in the meantime... I sure am enjoying all of the free catering ads and now I'm convinced at how effective a radio ad can be!



Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cool Website!




I found the coolest page today-- http://www.elfyourself.com/ . You can enter, and adjust, any face pic to fit onto the body of an elf. When you're finished, your creation will dance around on your screen. You can email the final version, but I couldn't find anyway to link the dancing version to my blog, so I took some pics of my family dancing as elves for you to see.










It's Beginning...







...to look a lot like Christmas! I forgot to rest my alarm last night, so it went off at 3:30am. I tried to go back to sleep, but after an hour of tossing and turning, I decided to go ahead and start the day. Joel and I helped my Aunt & Uncle with their Christmas tree and other decorations last night, so the decorating bug had already bitten me. It was still dark outside and I was in the attic rumaging through all my Christmas stuff. I found bags and bags of things that I had forgotten that I'd purchased during last year's "After-Christmas" sale. I unloaded all of last year's bargains and placed them on my desk for a picture! I got some great bargains last year!












Within a couple of hours, I had the tree up and Christmas had once again taken over my house, despite the fact that just yesterday I told Joel that I wasn't going to decorate very much this year because I was trying to remove as much clutter as possible from my house. I had fun putting the ornaments on the trees. Some of these ornaments date back over 40 years. My tree is very eclectic- kind of a time capsule: I have hand-made ornaments from my mother my grandmother and an aunt. I have a bunch of sea shells that I found on the beach and painted silver and gold years ago. I have some of my Dad's old ornaments (probably yard sale or dollar store items, but highly cherised in my eyes). I have a lot of ornaments that I barely recognize as mine- most likely bought in previous "after Christmas" sales, but pretty some pretty cool stuff!












After the halls were fully decked, I turned my attention to the outside. In years past, I haven't ever done much with the outside of my house during the holidays. One year I strung white lights in the dogwood tree. Halfway through December that year, several large sections of the light strands burned out. Other sections decided to start blinking. It's sad to admit, but those lights are still in the tree outside. I never took them down, but they are no longer usuable-- squirrels have gotten to them over the years and chewed the wires. Some day I'll take them down.












I decided to use a lot of garland this year. I went to Lowe's and bought 40' of Frasier Fir garland and 3 wreathes. I came home and wrapped the garland in white lights and draped it around my front door and railings. I hung the wreathes on the front door and the two front windows. I can't wait until it gets dark tonight so I can plug in the lights and see how they look! I'll probably go back to Lowe's tomorrow and get two more wreaths for the other front windows. I also need to find a store that sells colored balls on wires so I can jazz up the garland and the wreathes a little. I can tell this is going to be a work in progress for the next few weeks, until I decide that it's perfect!












I'll try to take some pictures of the house when it gets dark tonight-- if they turn out ok I'll edit this post later with some nighttime shots of the white lights outside.