Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm a geek.

Suddenly, I'm writing html code.

One of the many reasons I love my work at Dunwoody Nature Center is that it gives me so many new doors to open. I've learned to work a nail gun, identify invasive vines, cut in a straight paint line without blue tape, move a beehive without getting stung, PhotoShop images for the web, create board-style games based on environmental issues, the best time of day to kill yellow jackets, splint a broken arm, and lots of other useful stuff. I see a need, I think of a possibility, and I have the freedom to act. Delicious.

So, since I'm now managing the website and all its sundry pages, I'm now in the process of adding payment functionality to the registration forms. That means the hundreds of people who sign up for classes, programs, events, and festivals will be able to register and pay at the same time.

If only it were as simple as adding a little button graphic.

Not so much.

When you see a box where you can enter "I'm a Member!" there are several lines of html code that allow you to choose a category - or not. Registering for a single camp? There are five sets of coded instructions behind the box you check. And so on. Since our upcoming summer camp season has about 40 camp options, I'm adding hundreds of lines of code. The good news is that I don't have to originate the code from scratch. The bad news is that I have to customize each one. Individually.

Okay, there's a bit of smugness behind this. First of all, I'm a lot more "vintage" than the average website tinkerer. But I am a geek, so that's the equalizer. I love the pattern, the sequencing, the careful delineation of field and functionality. This stuff is just cool.

Of course, the real test will be when the first form goes "live" next week, and families try to register for camps. I really, really, REALLY want to make sure everything works seamlessly.

If you hike through the park this weekend, you may hear someone muttering in the office, "I am at peace with my technology. Ohhhhmmmmm. I am at peace with my technology. Ohhhhhmmmm."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Knitting consensus.

One of the most unproductive goals of any venture is "consensus." Committees that defer decisions until everyone is happy, leaders who try to involve everyone in a decision so they'll all agree on a new direction, parents who consult with kids so everyone's on the same page . . . consensus never really works. Consensus is fantasy. You have to accept that someone will disagree, and move on.

Imagine the prolonged time-outs necessary for teams to decide what to do next. Or a platoon to debate the merits of several different entries into a terrorist's hideaway. Or a teacher asking the class what they want to learn next.

Not so much.

Knitting is that way. A pattern is really just a direction. Knitters work toward the finished garment through a variety of techniques (continental or throwing? tight gauge or loose?). They may slip the first stitch in a row to create a clean edge or disregard since the sides will be sewn together anyway. They may hate the ewrap cast on and do a longtail cast instead, even though it adds an "extra" row. The only consensus among a bunch of knitters working on the same project is that they like it. But no two projects will look alike.

That's the hardest thing to teach a new knitter. Newbies are convinced there must be just one way to do things. So I teach just one way to cast on and knit, and just one project. Once they've finished, they're more open to different ways of holding the yarn, maintaining tension, casting on and binding off, and sundry other techniques. They relax, they begin to truly enjoy knitting, and they make it their own.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The song stuck in my head.

Because I still live in the preschool world (a happy place filled with hugs and giggles and wide-eyed amazement at the simplest things), sometimes songs get stuck in my head. Not the usual sort of stuck-in-your-head song, like a commercial's melody or some blasted bubble-gum pop tune.

Right now, with the forsythia blooming and daffodils peeking from yards all around me, this song is bobbing relentlessly in my head:

There was a tree
(There was a tree)
All in the wood
(All in the wood)
The prettiest tree
(The prettiest tree)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the tree in a hole
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around

And on that tree
(And on that tree)
There was a limb
(There was a limb)
The prettiest limb
(The prettiest limb)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And on that limb
(And on that limb)
There was a branch
(There was a branch)
The prettiest branch
(The prettiest branch)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And on that branch
(And on that branch)
There was a nest
(There was a nest)
The prettiest nest
(The prettiest nest)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And in that nest
(And in that nest)
There was an egg
(There was an egg)
The prettiest egg
(The prettiest egg)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the egg in the nest,
And the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And in that egg
(And in that egg)
There was a bird
(There was a bird)
The prettiest bird
(The prettiest bird)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the bird in the egg,
And the egg in the nest,
And the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And on that bird
(And on that bird)
There was a wing
(There was a wing)
The prettiest wing
(The prettiest wing)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the wing on the bird,
And the bird in the egg,
And the egg in the nest,
And the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And on that wing
(And on that wing)
There was a feather
(There was a feather)
The prettiest feather
(The prettiest feather)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh,the feather on the wing,
And the wing on the bird,
And the bird in the egg,
And the egg in the nest,
And the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And on that feather
(And on that feather)
There was a bug
(There was a bug)
The prettiest bug
(The prettiest bug)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the bug on the feather,
And the feather on the wing,
And the wing on the bird,
And the bird in the egg,
And the egg in the nest,
And the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

And on that bug
(And on that bug)
There was a germ
(There was a germ)
The prettiest germ
(The prettiest germ)
That you ever did see
(That you ever did see)

Oh, the germ on the bug,
And the bug on the feather,
And the feather on the wing,
And the wing on the bird,
And the bird in the egg,
And the egg in the nest,
And the nest on the branch,
And the branch on the limb,
And the limb on the tree,
And the tree in a hole,
And the hole in the ground
And the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

Oh, the green grass grows all around, all around
The green grass grows all around.

Songs like this are called "earworms" and in case you're wondering what are the worst culprits, here's someone's Top (?) Ten List:

  1. Other. Everyone has his or her own worst earworm.
  2. Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" jingle.
  3. "Who Let the Dogs Out"
  4. "We Will Rock You"
  5. Kit-Kat candy-bar jingle ("Gimme a Break ...")
  6. "Mission Impossible" theme
  7. "YMCA"
  8. "Whoomp, There It Is"
  9. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"
  10. "It's a Small World After All"

Oops. Now you might have a song stuck in YOUR head.

Sorry about that.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Calendar Blues

I need a calendar that says "no."

No, you can't schedule that because you already have enough to do that day.

No, that isn't a good day because you are going to be up most of the night thanks to hormone-induced insomnia.

No, you don't want to do that because it won't be as interesting/fun/informative/productive as you think.

No, you shouldn't commit that weekly class because it's going to conflict with something really important six weeks from now.

No, you really, really can't schedule two things at the same time because you forgot to write down one of them.

No, you'll miss that second appointment because GA 400 will be backed up at the tollbooth due to a multi-car rear-ending event.

No, you shouldn't waste your time because the other person you're meeting with will be a no-show.

No, you don't want to volunteer because one of the kids will be sick that morning and you won't find anyone else to substitute at the last minute.

No, you don't want to buy that advance ticket because the weather is going to be really, really bad and you'll sit all night in the airport while waiting for a series of flight crew changes, mechanical "issues," unavailable gates, backed-up security lines, and you'll miss the connecting flight you were rescheduled to use when the nonstop flight filled up by everyone else who dialed faster than you.
There aren't enough electronic, multi-synchronizing, duplicative calendars in the world to take care of my personal scheduling needs. So I'll continue to just muddle through and hope I'm where I'm supposed to be when I'm scheduled to be there.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Last evening's Student Showcase at Peachtree Charter Middle School paid homage to the academic teams, with a pep rally, great food by Shane's, Guthrie's, Domino's, Bruster's, and Rita's Italian Ice, performances by the 7th and 8th grade bands, cheerleaders and majorettes, dinner music by the orchestra, and great displays in the classrooms.

My favorite? The Jazz Band performance. Outstanding. Nights in Tunisia, Watermelon Man, the theme from Peter Gunn, and more. AG loves playing with the Jazz Band, and we're delighted she could join such enthusiastic and dedicated kids.

Great moments:

  • The cheerleader who grinned and blushed as I gave her a thumbs up - the same kid I've watched grow up from ambling toddler to sweet preteen.
  • The guitar players in the jazz band just chomping at the bit to play a solo, and wowing the audience with unbelievable music.
  • The mom who was obviously caught up in the music and indulging in some restrained foot-dancing, but stayed in her chair so her eye-rolling child wouldn't be embarrassed (we do things like that).
  • The girl who graciously walked back and forth during the pep rally to promote 8th grade ads in the yearbook.
  • The kids who wandered in packs, way too cool to be with their parents, only to tug same parents into a classroom to show off their poetry or model or essay or math poster.
  • The surreal rap by the math teachers, one cavorting in a platinum wig.
  • All of the parents rising out of the bleachers and moving to their grade sections for the Spirit Stick competition - and yelling just as loudly as their kids.
  • The principal correctly pronouncing all of the kids' names as he recognized math, quiz bowl, reading, mythology, science fair, and other participants and winners. (He cares enough to check with teachers and practice ahead of time.)
  • The violinists who played sweet melodies in the cafeteria and halls as families chattered and meandered.

I have the same satisfaction with PCMS I had with my kids' elementary school. The principal is an outstanding administrator and "gets" middle schoolers in a very positive way, the teachers my kids have had are creative and energetic, and the new building is very nice.

Great night!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Attention, knitters

Remember morning announcements? Every now and then, you'd hear some new policy that came out of left field because you were focused on opening your locker (what was that combination?), making it to class on time, and hoping you'd remembered to put your homework in the right notebook. Announcements were often the first news you had that something BIG had happened in school. At my high school, such policies usually erupted thanks to the Smoking Area, an officially sanctioned outdoor space for lunchtime nicotine breaks that inevitably became a bastion of experimentation and school-skipping.

That experience created a lifelong distaste for draconian employers. I can't imagine working anywhere that comes with an inches-thick employee manual and multiple sign-on-the-dotted line forms just to do your job.

What if knitters got the policy bug?

Attention, knitters. As President of the Deliriously Happy Skeiners, I've called today's assembly to address a major issue this guild is having with late arrivals. We have a well published start time of 7:00 pm and must begin promptly in order to complete all agenda items. However, several of you have been arriving late, up to half an hour, causing distractions and missing critical content that simply cannot be made up.

Therefore, we are instituting the following policy changes:

1. The doors will be locked promptly at 7:00 pm. If you are tardy, you must go to a special "tardy table" that we will set up in the main hall outside the meeting space. We will log you in, and you will proceed directly to Knitters' Detention for the duration of the meeting.

2. You will make up the meeting you've missed by attending a special Saturday Guild Meeting. Your attendance is mandatory.

3. We will not acknowledge or accommodate those of you who have never been tardy before. We will treat everyone the same, whether you are chronically tardy to the meeting or a first-timer. We will not make exceptions for tardies due to consultations with experts or attendance in extracurricular knitting circles, so schedule those outside the Guild Meeting time.

Failure to follow this new policy will result in your expulsion from the guild.

Don't think I'd be knitting with THAT group!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The Dunwoody Nature Center staff hosted lunch at the Wasabi House in the Village today, to celebrate a couple of birthdays, thank several volunteers for over-the-top service during the recent office renovations and program brochure, and sundry other blessings.

Mmmmmm. Bibimbop. It's my favorite dish at Wasabi, a one-bowl Korean lunch of hot rice topped with stir-fried vegetables, bean sprouts, fresh greens, and an egg on top. I usually add some shrimp to the mix. Topped with a mild chile sauce and stirred together, and it's comfort food at its tastiest. Dunwoody is filled with special little places like Wasabi House and Wright Gourmet and Goldberg's and Villa Capri and El Azteca. The chain places are largely confined to the Perimeter Mall area, close enough for convenience, but not so intrusive as to take away the townie feeling of the Village and environs.

This was a busy day, participating in a Dunwoody Schools Cluster Council meeting at the high school, dining with the splendid company of coworkers and compatriots, and finalizing plans for cool classes. The Chicken Whisperer - who turns out to the son of one of our past Board Presidents - has a Saturday class that's filling before we've had a chance to promote it. The Square Foot Garden classes are so popular (and full) that we need to schedule another round in May. We've put together a Sustainable Pantry class as well, for those like me who are still novices when it comes to finding, storing, and serving fresh, locally grown, organic foods.

It's fun to live and work your ideals. I'm blessed to be part of Dunwoody Nature Center and this town-in-the-making.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Freshly ironed clothes.

When the kids were little, I painstakingly ironed EVERYTHING. I ironed tshirts, blankies, and table napkins as well as little john-johns and jeans. I like ironed clothes. Tshirts just look crisper, jeans less disgruntled, and tablecloths ready for action.

Then they got older, I started working more hours, and their clothes were less cute. Hey - jeans and a graphic tee are supposed to look distressed. I decided I hated ironing, as much as I loathe emptying the dishwasher.

My mom's recent visit brought home just how much I've missed the soothing routine and time-liness of ironing. She washed and ironed loads of clothes and the kids both noticed how much nicer their things looked.

So I'm ironing again. And it feels really good. Just like knitting, ironing is meditative for me. The added attraction is my handy-dandy iPod, recently bestowed by the family for my birthday. Peacock blue and loaded with my favorite bits of musical prose, it's the perfect companion to the back-and-forth, tug, move, align, and smooth motions of ironing.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Trial Run

The high school I attended wasn't wonderful. It was populated by an uneasy mix of rural kids straight from the farm and blue collar households and Air Force dependents who were rarely there more than two years or so. The teachers were lackluster, the principal was obviously uncomfortable with the whole 1970's culture, and the school had no AP classes whatsoever.

Nonetheless, I made the best of things, scored the grades, got the college acceptances, and moved on.

That's life. Make the best of the situation you're in. Find a way to shine. Don't fall into the blame game (if only my school was better, if only we could afford something better, if only I had a fill-in-the-blank). With initiative, focus, and hard work, much more is possible. (I didn't say anything is possible. That just isn't reality.) I don't think it's Pollyanna-ish to focus on the good. It's simply a matter of allocating energy to its best possible use.

Our son attends Dunwoody High School. He focuses on the opportunities and steps around the sublime lunacy of class schedule fiascoes, experiments in course offerings, and near-daily policy changes. There are many, many positives about his school: Stellar teachers who are passionate, creative, and caring. An athlete heading to Harvard because he's talented and smart. Students choosing four AP classes in a single block semester because they can. Talented scholars carrying demanding classloads and competing in cross country, tennis, swimming, Mock Trial, orchestra, band, and other programs as well as volunteering and cleaning out waterways and pursuing their Eagles and hiking twenty miles through the desert and working part-time jobs. College and scholarship offers pouring in.

Yesterday, the DHS Mock Trial team, in just its second year of competition, presented its case in two rounds and scored very high points as well as an impressive array of Outstanding Attorney and Witness awards. The team applauded the winners, cheered each other's accolades, and graciously headed home for homework and rest.

I am very proud of the students of Dunwoody High School. Each day, they give me more reasons to appreciate their energy, sense of fun, and hard work.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Remnants of a busy week

Guess what.

The tone of voice I use when my kids are on "my last nerve" should NOT be the same tone I use at any time, for any reason, with my mom. Got my ears figuratively pulled with that one.

If you walk to Wal-Mart from Dunwoody Village, you may think you're somewhat anonymous, but at least three friends will have driven past that day and will comment with some amazement that you're WALKING ON ASHFORD-DUNWOODY ROAD.

In order to tour a prospective apartment, you have to turn over your driver's license. This is purportedly to keep undesirables out of a gated community, but it's really to log in you into some master database. My mom is now on someone's "hit list" after one tour.

Guys in kilts are really, really attractive, knobby knees and wrinkles notwithstanding.

The Chicken Whisperer is coming to Dunwoody Nature Center. How cool is that?

The Amtrak Crescent that travels from New York to Atlanta is putrid beyond measure. The bathrooms are awash in human waste, the seats are stained, the train makes "smoking stops" for its addicted passengers, and the staff is AWOL most of the night. Good luck with that as alternative transportation.

On the other hand, the Acela Express from New York to Baltimore is timely, speedy, fairly clean, and well run. Same company. Way different scenario.

Just because a knitting pattern says you need just five skeins, go ahead and buy the 6th. I need the 6th. And don't have it.

The same kid who, just a month before couldn't keep a thought in his head can overnight turn into someone with initiative and self-reliance. Joy.

The Georgia State Legislature is paving the way for local school systems to create four-day school weeks by lengthening the school day (hours of learning, not weeks). On one hand, that means an even more brutal homework load for high school students. On the other hand, three-day weekends!

I pooh-poohed the iPod as yet another unnecessary bit of indulgence, but my kids got one and now I want one, too. I want to hear Norah Jones, Patsy Cline, Nat King Cole, favorite big-hair-and-shoulder-pads 80's tunes, bits from Fiddler on the Roof and Grease and O Brother Where Art Thou?, toss in Rhapsody in Blue and the Brandenburg Concertos, and maybe a few Shaker melodies. I'm nothing if not eclectic, and there isn't a radio station out there that hits all the right notes for me. So why not?

To get one simple hand x-ray to establish bone age for the endocrinologist, we have to admit our son into Children's Healthcare/Scottish Rite outpatient clinic (a one-hour plus process), head to x-ray, get triaged behind patients who really do need to go first, finally get the x-ray, then get "released." I asked why, last time. "The insurance company requires it, and we have liability issues." Yet another reason healthcare costs are way higher than they need to be.

Food smells and tastes really good when someone else makes it.

Continental knitting is wicked fast. I can't believe I haven't used the technique before. I knitted two scarves with the working yarn twined through my left hand and churned out the rows. However, it's a much looser knit, so I can't switch techniques in the same sweater. The Piedmont Park Hoodie will have to creep along at throwing pace. But I'm lovin' the design. The back is lovely and I've cast on the two front sections (to be knit at the same time).

The new "Welcome to Dunwoody" sign expresses our Williamsburg personna. Tidily nostalgic, clean and simple, it's a good fit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Let the love continue

It's fun to see how many people read my Dunwoody bits. While most visitors come from the knitting world across America, the fact that I'm a dyed-in-the-peach Dunwoody Townie certainly colors my blogs.

So it was with yesterday's "faves." I had quite a few friends call and email with their own. I can't believe I forgot some of these!

Favorite breakfast, part 2: Goldberg's in Georgetown Shopping Center. OMG, the cinnamon rolls are sinfully ginormous and yummmmmm.

Favorite Dunwoody Courtesy: people letting you "in" when traffic is bumper to bumper on Mt. Vernon Road.

Favorite Icecream Place: The fact that you can hang outside Bruster's on hot summer nights makes it the perfect gathering spot to catch up with friends and neighbors.

Favorite Pimento Cheese Sandwich: World Peace Cafe (okay, it's in Sandy Springs, but it's close enough to count!)

Favorite "Desserty": Intermezzo Cafe, for fantastic, indulgent desserts and flavorful coffee.

Favorite Shoe Store: Nordstrom's at Perimeter Mall. If you're fitting a wriggling kid's foot, the staffers in the children's department are amazingly patient and adept. And semiannual shoe sales for grown-up feet are the way to go if you don't want to wince (too much) at designer shoe prices.

Favorite Shoe Store when Reality Hits: Target!!!!

Favorite Designer Boutique: Goodwill. Yep. From Abercrombie & Fitch for your "all that" teen to outrageous designer labels, you CAN find it there. Yes, it's in Sandy Springs. Yes, it's worth the hunt.

Favorite Pharmacy: Walgreen's. I've been to several of the others and this one gets my meds more promptly and has them stocked more often than the others. Plus, there's less turnover!

Favorite Place To Get Your Eyes Checked and Find Cute Glasses: Briggs Eye Care. Wonderful place.

Those are just a few of the places my friends said I forgot. So there!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I (Heart) Dunwoody.

When I was little, we moved every eighteen months to two years. That's the life of an Air Force family. Dad was involved in flight logistics, and specialized in bases that were scheduled for closing. I was the "new kid" so many times I thought it was normal. And every time we moved, we enjoyed the honeymoon period of a new place, but never stayed long enough to explore beneath the surface.

I've lived in Dunwoody ten years now, and I'm still finding new reasons to love this place.

Favorite breakfast: Olde Hickory House, with one egg, rye toast, and some really good coffee.
Favorite Starbucks: the one in Dunwoody Village, because it has a drive-thru and I need that mocha latte right now because I have five stops to make in the next 30 minutes!
Favorite grocery store: Publix. It's small enough to find everything I need and "Dunwoody-fied" enough to get special stuff like lamb chops and Silver Palate pasta sauce.
Favorite I-don't-feel-like-cooking-tonight-solution: Fresh Market. A loaf of crusty sourdough and some gourmet mozzarella for a grilled cheese sandwich, plus one of their homemade soups, and the whole family is content. Yummmmmm.
Favorite route from our house to Peachtree Charter Middle School: Up Mt. Vernon Road to North Peachtree Road, a leisurely 25-mile-per-hour ride across Tilly Mill, and on to the school. What the drive lacks in speed, it makes up in time saved, because I rarely pass many cars.
Favorite sight driving down Mt. Vernon Road at night: the stained glass window gleaming from St. Luke's sanctuary.
Favorite carwash: Sunshine!
Favorite teacher at Dunwoody High School: Kara Bryant, the Latin teacher. She's smart, funny, highly organized, "gets" teens, and stays connected to parents. Wow.
Favorite walking path: A 3-mile loop from our house, up Mt. Vernon Way to Meadowcreek, a cut through the social trail and on to Dunwoody Park, up Roberts and Chamblee-Dunwoody Roads, a left at the library and Womack, back to Mt. Vernon Way via Vernon Springs, and left on our street.
Favorite sight whether driving or walking: the Great Dane who walks his owner and has a huge stuffed bone clenched in his jaws as he lopes along.
Favorite house renovation: the home at the corner of Mt. Vernon Way and Meadowcreek has me sighing with pleasure every time I see it.
Favorite Dunwoody idiosyncracy: The centerpiece of the village is a farmhouse, but we're way too urbanized for actual farming.
Favorite post office: Definitely the one at the Wal-Mart shopping center on Ashford-Dunwoody Road. If you live in Dunwoody, you try to avoid the one in the village.
Favorite fundraiser: the Friends of the Dunwoody Library book sale. It's great to recycle finished books and get "new" ones for next to nothing. The volunteers who run the sale are efficient at setting up the sale and making sure members get first dibs. (There's steel in those magnolias.)
Favorite sandwich: The turkey salad on white at Wright Gourmet. It's really not healthy, but it sure is tasty.
Favorite "I'll bring dessert" without actually making it: The lemonade cake at Wright Gourmet.
Favorite service at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church: It's a caber-toss-up between the Scottish Heritage Festival (this weekend!) and Christmas Eve (the one that ends at midnight).
Favorite Fairy Godmother: Donna B, the doyen of volunteers at Dunwoody Nature Center.
Favorite neighborhood Christmas display: Redfield!
Favorite people to call when the garage door breaks: Dunwoody Door Lift.
Favorite heating and air conditioning guys: Dunwoody's Choice.
Favorite newspaper. Duh. The Dunwoody Crier.
Favorite Dunwoody blogs. and John Heneghen's timely news.

That's just a few of the things I love about Dunwoody, the center of our universe and the best place to live. Bar none.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pardon my (ginormous) recycling delivery.

In preparation for the dual visits of my mom and my sister-in-law and niece. I have obsessed about cleaning, tidying, putting away, organizing - all the things I normally do, but more so. (That's me, in my pearls and housedress. No, really!) It's silly, of course. My mom will be delighted to have things to clean, fold, put away, work on. But I want things looking basically family-shape before they come.

So I cleaned out the pantry, the refrigerator, and the rec room. (Thank goodness I'd already cleaned out the storage areas and kids' closets last month.) In the process of the manic cleaning, I created an embarrassing pile-up of paper, glass, and plastic to lug to the Morgan Falls Recycling Center. With two tweens in tow to help, I loaded up the entire back of the Odyssey and hoped it wouldn't fall out when I opened the back hatch.

As I parked, one of the staffers came over to help me unload everything. No problem with the cans and glass. The paper, however, was another story. It was comingled, a fact that usually isn't a problem when my delivery is just one bin. So he took a handful of cardboard while I separated the newspapers and magazines from the paper bags and "office papers" to recycle them correctly. The tweens chased after random bits of paper that tried to fly away, and patiently lugged 2003 phone books and old schoolwork and empty cereal boxes to their receptacles. The plastics weren't too bad, other than trying to read the micetype logos (is it a 3? a 4? should we try a pencil rubbing on scrap paper?).

I drove away relieved it was out of the house.

Ah, what a tidy pantry. Everything is sorted, labeled, and scrubbed. The refrigerator gleams (As I scrubbed, my mind wandered to Kate Gosselin of Jon & Kate Plus 8 fame - she devoted an entire episode to cleaning out a "disgusting" refrigerator in the new home they just purchased. I KNOW mine doesn't compare, but I also didn't want to devote four hours to the job. As she did.)

Right now, the washing machine is churning yet another load of comforters, sheets, and blankets as the dryer emits a satisfying scent of cleanliness. The guest suite is ready, the house looks satisfactory, and I'm ready to meet Mom's train Wednesday morning and greet my sister-in-law and niece on Friday evening.

I love having company. Now I can enjoy their time with us.