Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update on My 101

Truckin' right along . . . Four more things checked off!

101 things to do in 1001 days

Learn to juggle
Take a martial arts class
Make a will
Make a living will
Train to run 3 miles without stopping
Try a yoga or pilates class
Go to the Lauren Rogers Museum
Learn to play at least one song on the guitar (or, sheesh, just PRACTICE once in a while)
Write a food article and get it published
Write at least one poem or short story
Plant an herb garden
Make fresh pesto with basil I grew - Done! You know, I was never a huge fan of pesto in restaurants. It always seemed way too oily for me. But when I make it myself, I can control the ingredients! I LOVED the pesto I made. We served it over orzo. Delish!
Drink wine in California
Eat salsa in San Antonio
Treasure hunt on Highway 49
Host a New Year’s open house party
Visit the famous fried chicken place in Lorman
Go the fall flower show/festival in Crystal Springs
Learn more about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict
Give blood
Learn to play the harmonica
Get my piano tuned
Buy sheet music for a song I like and learn to play it on the piano
Learn to do a passable waltz
Go ice skating
Attain APR accreditation
Read at least 3 current books on my profession
Take a road tour through the Mississippi Delta
Enroll in a Millsaps Enrichment class of my choosing
Take Clay to Disney World
Celebrate my birthday in style
Boil/steam a live lobster
Go to a rodeo
Host a formal tea, like at the Savoy
Write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper
Perform in at least one stage production
Attend at least one college alumni event
Get back in touch with some of my college professors
Book a session with a personal trainer
Learn more about how to maximize Adobe Photoshop
Plan a surprise party for someone
Replace at least three outdated light fixtures in my house
Plant some vegetables and keep them alive long enough to harvest them
Plan and take at least one “destination trip” in honor of a holiday (Salem at Halloween, Plymouth Rock at Thanksgiving, etc.)
Stop cussing. Seriously STOP.
Renew my passport
Spend an entire day in complete silence (This one is going to be very difficult.)
Check out a library book, read it, and leave a note in it for the next reader - This one was easy (and fun)!
Attend one religious service of a faith other than my own, just to observe
Start buying more goods that are made in America
Find a professional mentor
Act as a mentor to someone who needs me
Take Clay fruit picking at a local farm
Make something yummy with what we pick
Take Clay to the Petrified Forest
Buy him a bag of shiny tumbled rocks
Take Clay to Rocky Springs
Take Mom to the opera
Rent a boat and go deep sea fishing with dad
Do a “Godfather Week” at the house, where we eat Italian food and watch the Godfather series (once Clay goes to bed. Eeek!)
Go camping
Have an indulgent breakfast in bed
Have my eyes checked (Dear Lord, I’m getting old.)
Take a weekend trip alone. COMPELTELY ALONE.
Win a bet
Look up more shadow puppet instructions and expand my repertoire (Dog, deer, dinosaur, rabbit, and bird are getting kinda old.)
Throw a tapas and wine party
Go on a picnic (Because you can never have too many.)
Toast the sunset
Go see an author read from his/her work
Fly a kite
Ride a horse
Go see a fortune teller or psychic
Ride a train
Find the perfect swimsuit
Have a facial
Move more of my bills/notices over to electronic or auto-draft
Clean out/shred as necessary in ALL of my old files (Gulp.)
Add money to a parking meter about to run out
Repair the back yard arbor
Whittle something
Kiss a new baby
Throw a Mediterranean party with grilled lamb, veggies, tzatziki, the whole nine
Start a personal, meaningful family tradition at Easter
Photograph a sunrise
Go to Pepsi Pops
Go to a ceramic painting shop and paint something cool - Clay and I did this together a few weeks ago. His piece turned out cooler than mine, I think, but hey, I'm trying, right?
Take a family trip to the wildlife preserve in Louisiana
Learn how to change my own oil in my car
Learn how to check and flush/fill fluids in my car
Learn the basics of how my car works
Get a book on constellations
Try to identify at least five of them in the sky
Write a love letter
Surprise someone
Put Christmas decorations on the outside of the house
Have sandal heels re-tapped or CHUCK THEM
Make a care package for someone
Buy something hand made - This one has been accomplished several times over! I bought lots of cool stuff at Arts Alive, an annual arts festival held in Smith Park. I also ordered some wonderful things on etsy for a friend's sweet new baby!
Visit a place that’s rumored to be haunted
Tape and edit a video to create a FINISHED PRODUCT

Start date: February 16, 2011
End date: November 13, 2013

A fine line

I finally had the chance to get by the Mississippi Museum of Art today for their current exhibit - The Orient Expressed. The exhibit explores the cultural phenomenon known as Japonisme through more than 200 pieces from throughout France, Belgium and the United States. The collection will be on display through July 17, so you still have time to catch it!

As for myself, I enjoyed the exhibit very much. There were several pieces that particularly caught my eye. Coastline of the Orient was like a tiny, perfect window onto a seaside landscape. So delicate and fine. Fusiyama from the Foot of the Hakani Mountains, a photograph, almost looked like a fantasy image. The mountain is ephemeral, wrapped in fog, looking like a voluminous ghost. The Rice of Plenty reminded me of something out of a fairy tale book - three women walking, viewed almost as if through a keyhole. I thought it was enchanting.

And some of the images of women - tending children, washing, sealing letters - were striking in their universality. Baby Talk, which showed an Asian woman cooing to her newborn, captured the essentially human way we interact with our children. The child was cradled close, and as the mother cooed to her little one, her chin jutted up and out a bit and a smile lifted the corners of her mouth. I remember having the exact same posture and expression when I "discussed" things with my tiny bundle!

Some of the pottery, glass and china on display is amazing. The large lobster platter they have, tilted impressively so you really can appreciate it, is striking in its coloring. (And it doesn't hurt, I suppose, that I can imagine eating lobster right off it! Hee! Probably not the thought the museum had in mind!) There was a crackled glass two-handled vase that completely won me over. It's a large-to-medium-sized piece, and the clear, textured glass is tinted the palest amber. The design features underwater plants and fish, and the almost tactile quality of the glass really does complete the illusion that the fish are swimming through water. Breathtaking. I think, of all the pieces on display, it was my favorite.

If you haven't been by the museum for this exhibit, I encourage you to make a little time to appreciate it! Plus, the companion items they have for sale in the museum gift shop are amazing. Everything from elaborate kimonos to tiny dolls to interesting books and paper goods.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just call me Daisy Fay

I took Clay to the library a couple of weeks ago. I'd intended to check out a nice stack of books for both of us, but after we selected HIS books, he sorta lost interest. Which meant I had to hurriedly grab a tome or two of my own while making sure he didn't wreak havoc. Hovering near the end of the large-print aisle as I watched him cavort in the reading area, I finally just grabbed a book that looked halfway decent and told myself it would have to do.

The book I checked out was Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, by Fannie Flagg. I've never read much Fannie Flagg, though I was aware she was the author of Fried Green Tomatoes. This book turned out to be a delight. The device Flagg uses to tell Daisy's story is that of a diary, and it was wonderful to hear Daisy grow up, and "listen" to her voice changing a bit as she got older.

Basically, Daisy is the only daughter of a Mississippi couple in the 1950s. Her father is charming, but he is a hard drinker. The reader follows Daisy on her adventures in Jackson, then down to Shell Beach on the Gulf Coast, then up to Hattiesburg, and finally to the Miss Mississippi contest in Tupelo. Throughout, Daisy's opinionated, honest take on the world around her will make you root for her. A funny cast of supporting characters also makes this book a joy to read.


Clay doings

A while back, Clay and I found ourselves with a free morning. We headed over to Harry the Potter, a paint-your-own pottery store in Flowood, for a fun morning activity.

Clay chose a small dish shaped like a fish, and he picked lots of blues, purples and grays to paint it with. I selected a large chip and dip plate and tons of greens, browns, and a fiery red. We had such fun! Clay mixed his paint and dabbled it all over the fish, while my design was a bit more structured. When we finished, we signed our names on the bottom of our creations and paid for our pottery.

I picked up the finished pieces last week. Clay's fish looks WAY better than my chip and dip plate! (Clearly, his artistic technique was superior.) Next time, I'm going to let him paint the big, expensive piece!

We also swung by the Amazing Butterflies exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science last weekend. It was big fun! Clay loved climbing on the rope spiderweb, reflecting light into the mirror with his butterfly wings, and curling up in the cocoon. We paid our regular visits to all the fish and frogs in the aquarium section, and we also really enjoyed walking on some of the trails behind the museum.

Before we left Lefleur's Bluff State Park, we also took the opportunity to play at the Riverside Playground. We'd never been there before, and it's so much fun! First of all, it's really BIG. And there's lots of places to be and things to do inside. Clay loved climbing up into the towers, walking on the balance toys, and riding the rocky horses. Bathrooms are conveniently located adjacent to the park, and the day was absolutely gorgeous for playing outside.

This morning, the whole Bradshaw clan headed to the Mississippi Children's Museum. We love this attraction, and Clay could spend days inside. Particular favorites this morning included the forest maze, the build-a-boat racing stream, the digestive tract (He loves the sound effects!), and milking the cow at the barnyard. (They've been talking about farms at daycare.)

Oh, plus - we found time to dress up like pirates and create a treasure map. ARGH!!

Riots of bloom

It's May, and my garden is blooming! First, the cheery little daffodils and iris bloomed. Then, the confederate jasmine filled the air with its heady scent. Now, we've got lilies, gorgeous blue hydrangea, butterfly bush, gardenias, and tons of red geraniums. The forsythia I put out in the fall is also shooting up, and all of my mums from last fall have already budded.

On Easter weekend, we planted our first vegetable garden at this house. Clay went with me to Lowe's to pick out all of our plants. We chose two blackberry bushes, three strawberry bushes, three tomato plants (two cherry tomatoes, and one big striped variety), two pepper plants, two cucumber plants, and an eggplant. (Me, to Clay, as he was putting the eggplant in the cart, "But you don't even LIKE eggplant." Clay - "Oh, I do. I like eggplant." We shall see!) We also planted some seeds - sunflowers, radishes, and nasturtiums - in addition to some spring onions.

So far, all the rain we've been having has been kind to our vegetable garden. All the seeds have sprouted, and we've got little tomatoes on each of our tomato plants. The onions have started coming up, and our strawberry plants have put out a few little tentative white berries. (Though I may not get any. I have a feeling it's going to be a war with the creatures of the wild on that.)

If I can keep everything watered and disease-free, we'll be eating tons of great stuff in just a few short weeks! YAY!