another new era!

So I got a job!
It's only part-time, but it is a job.
I'm going to be a piano teacher! At a music academy.
I had the interview yesterday, got the job today, and the director called me and wants me to teach two lessons... tomorrow.
Pretty cool - I'm excited!!
I'm not a jobless bum anymore!!

A New Era.

Many men are obsessed with them.
Many even have more than one at a time.
Those who have one spend most of their time daydreaming about it.

Thoughts out of the gutter - what I’m talking about here is a Fantasy Sport Team. There are Fantasy leagues for practically every sport. Football, basketball, soccer, baseball… who knows? I mean, there could be Fantasy golf leagues, rugby leagues… cricket? Curling? Ice skating? Now that’s something I could really get into. I just can’t even fathom the possibilities of this complex universe.

Doug has tried, on several occasions, to explain the logic behind this phenomenon, and I think I’ve finally formed my own explanation for the male fixation. Fantasy sport leagues give men an excuse to be even more obsessive about games, player stats, and rankings. Now, I’m not trying to insult any sports fans (I happen to be a pretty big one myself) or make anyone feel ridiculous for being involved with Fantasy sports. After all, my beloved husband has been involved with Fantasy Basketball in the past, and this year, he decided to venture into the realm that is Fantasy Football.

Last night was my husband’s Fantasy Football Draft. Prior to this, I had never seen one of these in progress, although I’d certainly heard about them. As I said, this is Doug’s first season with in the Fantasy Football League, and this will be his first basketball season without a Fantasy team. I’ll be sure to watch for those signs of dangerous withdrawal – the uncontrollable urge to run to a computer after a game to check his stats, obnoxious humming or plugging ears while others discuss the success of their own Fantasy basketball teams, tremors whenever signing into Yahoo!, and midnight mumbles along the lines of, “Must switch weekly players. Must check injured list.” Don’t worry, Doug, I’ll take care of you and help you through this.

But back to the draft. Wow! What an experience. All of this is done online, although members of a league sometimes all get together to increase the excitement. Each member of the league must have his (or her… I suppose I shouldn’t be gender exclusive here) own computer and Yahoo! login. There is a little “chat box” to update members on which player each member selects, and it also provides a venue for trash talking, such as “I can’t believe you picked that player over this player!” or “Haha, he’s on the injured list, idiot,” or “NO! I WAS GOING TO PICK HIM!” Now, this was fun for Doug, as the other league members were mostly friends from Spring Arbor that he hadn’t talked to or seen in awhile. All of the bickering and trash talking was good natured… or at least the stuff I saw before I abandoned the room for better entertainment (i.e. watching dust gather on our dresser).

However, once I withdrew to our bedroom, I started thinking, “Maybe these guys are onto something.” No, not Fantasy Football, Basketball, Water Polo, etc.

Allow me to introduce… the Fantasy Home & Garden League.

That’s right, ladies (um, and men. Again, that gender exclusiveness…). It’s time to unleash the competitive beast within you. Time to take Interior Decorating to a new level. Time to delve deeper into the realms of Landscaping, Entertaining, and Crafting. We could compare player stats (whose TV show has aired longer, who has published more cookbooks, who has more celebrity clients, etc). We could even trash talk!
“I can’t believe you picked Rachael Ray over Emeril!”
“Girl, you’d better hope Flip That House doesn’t get canceled!”
“Yeah right, as if Good Housekeeping sells better than Country Living!”

I think this could be big.

Here are my top 5 draft picks.


Martha Stewart.
I know, I know… so typical. She’s like the LaDainian Tomlinson of the Home & Garden world. And while I think that she’s often overrated and over-idolized, I can’t deny her status as a Round 1 draft pick. She definitely deserves the best all-around status for her prowess in the areas of decorating, crafting, gardening, cooking, entertaining, etc. Her resources are unbelievable, and let’s be honest, the woman even made jail look good.


Emeril Lagasse.
When it comes to chefs, it doesn’t get better than Emeril. He'd be our Babe Ruth, our Joe Montana, our Michael Jordan. He’s coined two of America’s favorite cooking phrases: “Kick it up a notch,” and “BAM!” I’d take him over Rachael Ray any day. And don’t even talk to me about that Barefoot Contessa. One word: hookworm. (I even looked it up on Wikipedia: “Prevent skin/soil contact: do not walk barefoot.”) He’s got experience, and he delivers results. A solid pick.


Katie Klotzbach.
This is my sleeper pick for floral designers, gardeners and landscape artists. Katie remains relatively obscure in the Home & Garden scene, but given the chance, she’d really blossom. Granted, she’s only 22 and she lives in Lyndonville, NY, which isn’t exactly the hotspot for media, but her potential is unbelievable. I think a cameo on Landscapers’ Challenge would really solidify her status as a top draft pick.


Amy Wynn Pastor.
Yeah, I didn't know who the heck she is either. I looked her up on the Trading Spaces website. But apparently she’s the only female carpenter on Trading Spaces and one of the only female carpenters on television. Major props for that. I think we’ll see big things from her in the future. If we’re watching Trading Spaces or Famous Female Carpenters.

5. This last player is very near and dear to my heart. Most people wouldn’t even draft her, say nothing about putting her in their Top 5. However, due to experience, I feel confident in the results we can expect from her. She has always delivered exceptionally, and I would expect nothing less this season. That’s why the fifth spot on my renowned Top 5 Draft Picks, 2007, goes to Christine L. Bannister.

That had better mean a lot, Mom.

Thank you to Wikipedia, for my player stats and facts.

Well, your opinions?
Will the FHGL (Fantasy Home & Garden League) be a big hit?

I guess we’ll find out. See you at the draft… wenches.



I miss you.



Tomorrow is the Parton family reunion - I think the first one they've had since... oh, possibly the world's creation. Doug's Dad & Beth are up from South Carolina, and they stayed with us the past two nights in our "guest bedroom." Otherwise known as the most unorganized room in our apartment - the office. We don't even have a futon, so they brought an inflatable mattress. We hope to purchase a futon once I get a job, so that if & when other family members visit, they will have a place to sleep. Which leads me to ask, "WHY WON'T ANYONE HIRE ME?!"

All that aside, we've had a really nice visit with Dad P & Beth. Yesterday the kids came over too, so we had a nice big dinner and then just played around afterwards.
Doug & Griffin goofing around.
Doug & Leslie

We love having the kiddos over - they are such sweet kids!
We've been watching the Midwest flood updates on the news. On Tuesday, they closed parts of I-75, which we didn't think about, until we realized that was the route Dad P & Beth were taking to get to Michigan! Sure enough, the detours and delays added 3 hours to their trip!
So it was another rainy morning here in Plymouth, Michigan.
However, sun is now shining through the clouds.
Now I'm just waiting for the predicted 92 degrees to hit this afternoon...



Last Friday, I babysat my niece & nephew, Leslie & Griffin. We had a snack of Oreos:

After cleaning up, we started to watch The Sandlot...

but we had to turn it off because Griffin was scared of the "thing" behind the fence. We had the following conversation:
Griffin: "There's a monster behind there!"
Me: "No, it's not a monster..."
Griffin: "There's a lion behind there!"
Me: "No, it's not as scary as a lion."
Griffin: "I scared."
Me: "Okay, we'll turn it off."

I am a terrible aunt.

This past weekend, Doug & I went back to NY to visit my family. Today is Jayne's birthday, but we had a pre-birthday celebration for her on Saturday night. Gram & Gramps Bannister were there, as well as Uncle Tuner & Aunt Cile.

Doug & Uncle Tuner chatting it up. Item of interest: Uncle Tuner did not come to the party wearing a tie...

Jayne DID come to the party wearing a tie.

As did Douglas. It all started when Dad asked Mom if he could just wear what he had on, to which Mom replied, "Mm, no." So, Dad went upstairs, showered, and came back downstairs wearing a plaid shirt with a paisley tie, claiming that Mom couldn't complain because he was, in fact, wearing a tie. Sooo, the boys thought it would be funny to wear weird ties. Of course, Jayne had to jump in on the action, and Emily caved to the peer pressure as well. And Jayne, being the selfless, giving person she is, took down her supply of clip-on ties so Grandpa & Uncle Tuner wouldn't feel left out.

(I didn't make the cake - Mom did.)


Doug would attest to the fact that changing winds make bonfires really fun! Or at least a lot more aerobic.

Now we're back in Michigan, reaping the results of Hurricane ... Dean? or whatever it is. Basically it downpoured all day Monday, it was sunny yesterday, and it's rainy today. We actually turned on the heat Monday night. Sad AND pathetic. Come on, Poseidon, it's still August.



So, we got a table for our deck & I am so glad because it has allowed us to take further advantage of the beautiful August weather we've been having! We had dinner again tonight on the deck, and I remembered to take some pictures!

What a fun evening!



So, Doug & I have gone from this:

April 14, 2004

to this:

August 12, 2007

It was our first date ever, and since, baseball games have become one of our favorite outings. Today was our first game together as a married couple, and the Tigers won 11-6 - one of the best games I've attended. They scored 8 runs in one inning! The heat was brutal, but we still had such a fun time! Thanks to Sue & Rod Pedersen for the wedding gift tickets!



What a wonderful weekend it has been already!

Yesterday I was quite the little housewife & I feel quite successful with my domestic endeavors! I made the following: macaroni salad, raspberry/blueberry cobbler (for Doug's boss, whose son left a few days ago for military service in Korea), marinade sauce, and raspberrry/blueberry pie.

Yesterday was also the last day my hair looked like this:

We had our first dinner guests last night! I wish I had taken a picture of the setup we had out on the deck - it looked adorable, if I may say so myself. Kress & Debbie came over & we grilled steak kabobs - delicious! After dinner, we walked to downtown Plymouth, as they were having "Plymouth Park After Dark" - I think we missed the main event (some concert), but we went to Coldstone & just walked around, enjoying the lovely evening.

This morning I made blueberry pancakes - yum!

Today we went to Milford for their "Memory Days." There were SO many vendors (Victoria, I was wishing we had our tent set up! Your jewelry would have sold really well there.), and somehow I was able to restrain myself & only bought 1 little tea towel. We had such a fun time, although by the end I was overly hot & tired and ready for the air-conditioned car!

Tomorrow morning, Doug & I are subbing in a 1st & 2nd grade Sunday School classroom. I'm really excited - we're going to make little smoothies with the "fruits of the Spirit!"

Well, Doug's brother is coming over to help fix our washer, so I'm going to get some laundry ready to do!


a month!

Well, yesterday marked one month of marriage for us! In honor, I made a cake, which I proceeded to break as I was removing it from the pan. So instead, I made a [delicious!] trifle!

I had an interview for an administrative assistant position earlier today. Seemed to go pretty well; the woman said she would call me back for a follow up.

Maybe I should just be one of those people who blogs for a living. But that would mean I would need to be more interesting. And I am not always the most interesting. Plus, sometimes I start sentences with conjunctions.

Anyway, here are some photoshopped pictures in honor of one month of marriage.

In addition, the following pictures are for Victoria:

Just our pantry. But wait... look closely...

You'd better believe it. Doug came in and saw these precious creations and said, "I'm glad to see our apartment is being taken over by these little pigs." Buddy, just you wait.
(In case you can't get enough of the sweetness, you can click on the pictures to see them better.)
And finally, this little darling has found a loving home with the Partons, after being viciously spurned by his creator:

That's right! He now adorns our computer table. I bet you're beginning to miss him, aren't you?! Well, too bad. Ours. That's what you get.
Okay, time to tidy up a bit before Jeanette gets here! IKEA, here we come...



Ah, Saturday cleaning day!

I felt very accomplished this morning. I slept in until 8:30, then got up and made Doug pancakes for breakfast in bed. Then my darling husband went & got some groceries while I did some work around the house: washed the toilet, sink & shower, dusted in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen & living room (my least favorite job ever!), washed the sheets & made the bed, organized a few random things around the house.

The sparkling kitchen:

Please notice the beautiful orchids that my loving husband brought home for me yesterday!

When Doug got back, he decided to put our new computer table together. Our office remains a consistent mess:

But now the computer table is put together & I am composing this post sitting at it!

We had to take the old desk (broken & caving in) down to the basement, and while we were down there, naturally we decided to switch the load of laundry. I grabbed the stuff in the dryer & took it upstairs to fold, while Doug would do the "switching." Well, our well-laid plans were not to be carried out. Upon opening the washer, Doug was greeted by our clothing floating in water that had not drained. Not good. He took the clothes out, one at a time, trying to wring them out to the best of his ability. However, they were still too heavy to put in the dryer all at once, so I had to hang them on the railings of our deck, as we don't have a clothesline. So Doug figured out the problem with the washer (something about the belt - I won't even pretend to understand this stuff), & we'll be able to get it replaced. Ah, the fun never ends!

Last night we had pizza & movie night, and we watched Freedom Writers - an excellent movie, based on a true story about a teacher in LA who motivates her inner city students... inspiring!

Now I'm going to talk Doug into using our walking to Coldstone to use our gift card. :)



More about that raspberry/strawberry cobbler that I made the other day:
Last night we went to dinner over at our friends', the England's house. I took the rest of the cobbler for dessert, because there was no way Doug & I would finish it ourselves. I gave a little bite to Drew, their almost 3-year old, and he let out a delighted little, "Mm!" Then, when we were leaving, I was holding the remaining cobbler, and I squatted down to say bye to Drew, and he pointed at the cobbler and said:
"I like dat."

Granted, he'd like stale Cheerios, but I still can't help feeling a bit of affirmation!!