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Friday, June 26, 2009


Theater seats.

Check out these awesome theater style chairs that Mark found on Craig's List today. They actually came from a local synagogue. The seller was even nice enough to deliver them. Photo opportunities abound!

(Okay, that wasn't much of a blog post either, but I'm trying to bump up the post count for June!)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Why I haven't been blogging (Alternate title: Card shark).

In case anyone is wondering, this is how I've been spending all my time.

(Be sure to keep an eye out for special guest, Daisy Dog!)

(P.S. Real blog post coming soon - promise! Also, Mark will invariably make fun of me for saying this, but I'm so shocked and sad about the passing of Michael Jackson. He was was such a big part of my childhood and teenage years that it feels like part of youth in gone. In spite of his troubles and all around strangeness, I will always enjoy his music.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Swoon for June.

You are here.

I love the month of June. Maybe it's because my birthday falls in June. Maybe it's because the weather is usually pleasant - sunny, but not too hot. Maybe it's because the whole summer is laid sprawling ahead.

Three ladies painting the town red.

Maybe it's because there's lots of fun stuff to see and do. For the second weekend in a row, we went antique shopping. This time, we visited Ligonier, PA for the bi-annual Antiques on the Diamond. Mel C came along too, and got to experience all the usual highlights of the trip, including getting your photo taken with the giant Playmobil figure and eating the best pulled pork sandwiches in the world served in a church basement. We also saw a man with a parrot tongue and none other than the Hamburgler himself, in the flesh, at McDonald's. Mel C also claims that I convinced a man to lower his price on a blanket chest from $375 to $300 with just a shake of the ruffles on my shirt, but that's largely an exaggeration.

Mama globe and baby globe.

I purchased a couple things, like the baby globe on the left. I've been looking for a smaller globe, but I found this one hard to resist at $9. It even has Pittsburgh on it! I just love old globes and maps. I'd also like to collect Eiffel Towers too, but I never see any. No one must visit France around here.

Give it a spin.

Of course, Lauren couldn't resist giving the globes a spin.

Pink braided rug.

I also found another braided rug for $10 (My ideal price!). This one isn't vintage - I think it may be made by Pottery Barn Kids. It needs a little repair here and there, but it cleaned up real nice in the washing machine. It's going in Lauren's room.

Book sale booty.

June is also the time of the year for book sales. Books are so darn expensive these days - if you add them together, the cover price of all these books comes to $124.24. I paid roughly...$9. I also purchased a boatload for Lauren's library, although I'm certain that once she's able to read she'll wonder why the inside covers of most her books say things like "To Kevin James, Merry Christmas! Love, Aunt Beatrice."

Lastly, some quick blog related notes. Last week, I had some photos featured in Apartment Therapy Los Angeles. There's some really great stuff there, and I'm not just saying that cause they liked my photos!

And a couple of shout outs:

To Anonymous, who commented on the last post: Thanks for the nice note and the tip about the other blog! I always like to hear from readers who lurk. Please feel free to post anytime. :)

To ladybrick: Jody - how nice to hear from you!! How are you doing? Are you still in LA? Are you a famous writer yet? You wouldn't know it from reading here, but I miss the days of dolls, anime and cels. I still have the pillows that you gave to Lauren (This may call for a photo!). If you see this, please drop me a line at melissannross(at) so that we can get caught up.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another year wiser.

Birthday card from Lauren.

So, yeah, today I turned 37 years old. As I was pondering my age, it occurred to me that it's not so much getting old that bothers me, it's that my options are slowly diminishing. When you're young and have your whole life ahead of you, the possibilities are endless. I've come to terms with the fact that I'm never going to be a Victoria's Secret model or President of the United States (Although I probably have a better chance at the latter), but I am struggling with the fact that my reproductive years are coming to a end. While Mark and I have not firmly decided whether or not we are going to grow our family, I wish the opportunity could continue to be available to us.

But enough of that pensive crap. I had a really good birthday. I took the day off from work, not because it was my birthday, but because today was Lauren's 4th year checkup. Like last year, she did very well, giving the nurse a high five and bonding with Dr. Butler over their mutual love for Banana Nut Cheerios, but we couldn't quite convince her to cover one eye for the eye exam. And also like last year, she was in the 60th percentile for height and weight and didn't get any shots. Next year will not be so pleasant, as she will get three.


After Lauren's appointment, we went to our local Japanese steakhouse, Miyako. Miyako is my favorite restaurant, and I couldn't wait to take Lauren there. The chefs cook at your table and perform all kinds of wacky tricks with fire and shrimp tails.

It's gonna be exciting!

When she saw what the chefs were doing at other tables, she kept exclaiming, "It's gonna be exciting!" However, when it came time for the big display of fire at our table, she was a little apprehensive and covered her ears(!) as a defensive mechanism. I was really proud of her because she willingly ate a whole plate of vegetable fried rice.

I also received lots nice gifts and well wishes. Mark gave me a half dozen macarons, EA Sports Active, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, and a shirt. You may think that the book is an odd gift, but I actually wanted it very much. Growing up, I was an only child to a stay-at-home mom, so I didn't have to do a whole lot in the way of housework until I left home. I learned as I went along, but I always thought that there must be better ways to maintain a home. At over 700 pages, this book tells you how to do *everything* from how to really get whites white to how to choose a vacuum cleaner. It would make a wonderful graduation or bridal shower gift. I love it!

Yesterday, I received a Macy's gift card from my parents and two cute tops from my in-laws. Then today, I received a surprise package from my cousin, Noreen:

Cheery cherry gift from my cousin Noreen.

The whole gift was cherry themed: Sour Cherry preserves, Cherry and Peach salsa, a cherry dish towel, and *the* most adorable cherry magnet (No photo, as I'm planning something special with it!). Did you notice that even the tissue paper has cherries on it - how cool is that?! Thank you so much Noreen! You continue to floor me with your thoughtfulness.

Speaking of long distance friends, I also received a birthday card from our good friend Dolores. Thank you for thinking of me today, Dolores! I'm so sorry we missed your call!

Me at 37.

As tradition (Okay, I think it's two years running), here's of photo of me today. Wonky eye represent!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Hi from Ohio.

Great Geauga Antique Fair

On Saturday, Mark and I went on our bi-annual daytrip to the Great Geauga Antique Fair. Lauren stayed behind with her grandparents. This was the first time that Mark and I have gone somewhere alone together since 2005. Yes, I'm exaggerating. It's more like we haven't gone somewhere together since the last time we went to the antique fair, which was a year ago. *That*, sadly, is not an exaggeration.

Anyway, we found that just a small taste of freedom makes us loopy.

As usual, our drive took us through an Amish community. If I wasn't so respectful, I would have the awesomest photos to share because we always see something beautiful /amazing / crazy as we drive through there. This time, we saw a young (I swear they appeared to be around Lauren's age) Amish boy and girl riding in their own mini sized buggy which was pulled by a pony. It was ridiculously adorable. However, it was also a bit concerning because they were riding along the main road heading out of the community. Hopefully, they were just going to the nearby convenience store for a Slurpee, because they looked way too young to be participating in Rumspringa. Further along the road, we saw a older Amish boy rollerblading.

On our last visit to the fair, we noticed that the number of vendors and the quality of items had declined. Unfortunately, that has continued to be the case. In fact, we noticed several new food vendors who had taken up spots normally reserved for dealers.

Everyone loves London Broil.

But hey, who can resist a good London broil, expecially in the middle of a county fairgrounds?

Vintage swim suit.

Still, there are always interesting things to see. I thought this vintage swim suit was cute, even though it was slightly reminiscent of an air mail envelope.

Apples for the teacher.

We didn't find any of the items that we were specifically searching for, but we did pick up a couple of things. This school desk bench was only $25. The man selling them had several in different colors. We have 5 dormers in our home which are difficult spaces to fill because they are so small. I thought that the bench would fit perfectly in one of the dormers, but I kind of like it in our kitchen. The apple prints build on the schoolhouse theme.

Braided rug.

I used to have a nice collection of old braided rugs, but most were destoyed back when our dog Sammie became incontinent in her old age. Five years or so ago, I would pay no more than $10 for a braided rug, but because pickings are so slim now, I stooped to paying $35. Still, it's very clean and well made, so I think I got my money's worth. Mark also bought a duck decoy, but I'm waiting until he gets some friends before I take his photo.

Back to work tomorrow, but we're off on Tuesday for Lauren's yearly checkup. We'll see how that goes.