Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Being Married

I have learned one thing in these few months of marriage and that is

there are NO BOUNDARIES.

And, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Because, if you could see what I can see right now, you would know exactly what I mean.

Oh No!

So, I totally screwed up and missed yesterday's blog. This is to make up for it: My thoughts from yesterday.

I baked cookies last night for the entire fam, including Will, TuTu, Mar, Lar and me. Baby G only has two teeth and he was in bed, so he missed out. So did Elle and Phe, the doggies, who were banished to their beds, as usual when the humans of the house are eating.

But the cookies, well, they weren't that great.

Because, I hate baking.

Baking is not fun. There are rules, lots and lots of rules, and if you don't follow them, you get in trouble. Or, you just end up wasting a lot of time and energy making something that people will take a bite of and either spit out or secretly throw away, while they attempt to chew the unpalatable bite with the grimmest of smiles.

I know, baking is a science, but I hate science, so why in the world would I like baking??

There is no creativity in baking. You cannot make it your own.

And, I know that someone will defend "the art of baking" by describing the icing and decorating processes that follow, and I say "hooray!" I love icing cakes, cookies, cupcakes, etc., but its all the stuff, "baking," that comes before that really sucks.

Is buying store-made cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc. sans the icing and decorations and icing and decorating them yourself a bad thing? I hope not!

And, that's my tirade for the day. Stay tuned for today's real post!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Plant Suicide

I find it funny and somewhat ironic that my favorite color is green, because I am a plant killer, a destroyer of all things green (guac included!). This is not something that I am at all proud of, but it is a truth that I must admit not only to myself but to anyone who might wish to present me with a precious bit of nature. Just know that I am very grateful for the gift and a great admirer of the beauty of plants, but it will die, eventually and probably very soon after you give it to me.

When it comes to plants, my thumbs are nonexistent.

Its heartbreaking really that Will and I are unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature inside our cottage [NOTE: bugs, you do not count! We do not want your nature!]. Not only am I lethal to plants, but our panther, Lottie, likes to eat them. She shreds their leaves and digs up their roots. She's just as bad as me. We reject nature in the Jackson household, and it breaks my heart!

I have always loved plants and have always been surrounded by them. My grandmother was Mother Earth to me. Her house overflowed with African violets, Christmas cacti and vines with flowers and some without that encased her porches. She could grow anything, anywhere and at any time. She passed on her neon green thumbs to my mother, who has an entire green room (actual color of the walls) filled to the brim with potted plants, hanging plants and expansive views of her lush gardens that surround her very green lawn.

This is just one of my mother's gardens.

Sadly, this affinity for growing things, well, really just the ability to keep plants alive, was not passed on to me.

I remember once that my grandmother gave me two of her purple African violets to have as my very own. I brought them home proudly and put them in the place of honor on my bedside table. Those darn flowers lost their blooms within days, never to bloom again!

Interestingly enough, it has always been a secret dream of mine to own a little cottage right outside of a city somewhere with lush and overgrown gardens--not weedy gardens, but full and flowering gardens. I don't want a lawn. I have always envisioned my brood of wild children that I will someday have playing hide and seek amongst the stalks of glads, behind a line of sunflowers or even in the middle of a purple butterfly bush. There will be fairies and gnomes and everything magical about nature there in that garden to play with them and ignite their imaginations. If they need space to run, well, there will be a patch of green somewhere in there, but never a lawn. Lawns are so boring, so suburban. Lawns are wasted space if you ask me.

Some place like this.

Now, how is someone who kills plants and is without thumbs going to accomplish such a magical garden?

I am going to hire a gardner, and a damn good one at that.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Put Down the Scrubber

There are two things that I really don't like to do:

I don't like washing dishes.

I don't like making the bed. Well, its not that I don't like it, it just doesn't bother me if it doesn't get done.

But, every morning, I do them, because they are important to Will and he is important to me.

Sometimes, after a long day of being apart, I just want to eat a good dinner and cuddle up to him on the couch. Nothing is better than a full-bellied snuggle. But, Will is usually manning his post as Head Dishwasher with suds up to his elbows. During these times, I sit on the couch and pout. I send him the sad face over the bar until he looks at me exasperated and says, "What, babe?"

"Come and sit with me," I almost yell with big dramatic wavings of my arms that are supposed to help. "The dishes can wait. I can't." "There's just a few more," he says.

Or, other times, I am concocting some incredible masterpeice of a dinner and he is standing there, hovering behind me in our too small galley kitchen. Of course, he has filled the right side of the sink with the habitual Dawny mixture of soap and scalding water. He's waiting to pounce on any utensil I happen to lay on the cutting board. I stir a pot of rice and put down the spoon to check on the squash. I tend to the squash and reach for the rice spoon. Its gone! "Where in the world did I put it?" I ask myself. I look on the spoon rest. Not there. Maybe its beside the cutting board. Nothing. I hear Will humming and know that he's up to something. And, there he is, round scrubber brush in hand, sudsing up my rice spoon. "Babe!" I yell. "I wasn't done with that!" "Well, sorry!" he says, "I'm just trying to clean up a bit." "But, dinner isn't even ready yet!" I say. "Stop it!" I yell. "Don't wash another thing until you've asked and I've approved it!" He rolls his eyes.

"You're going to wash your life away," I say. "And, nothing good ever came of that!"

And nothing ever will, except for maybe an empty sink and clean dishes. But, what are the important things in life here??

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our City

This is Will and I in our most favorite of cities. It was one of those perfect in-between-spring-and-summer days. We went for a leisurely stroll down King Street, almost as annoyingly slow as all of the tourists. We didn't have any money and didn't care. The city was all ours for the day, and it was free. We had our fill. Those were the very best of days.

We will be back there one day very soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Peter Pan at Heart

By far, Peter Pan was my most favorite Disney movie as a child. I was never too keen on the flying, especially now, but the characters and their world fascinated me. I loved Tinkerbell and wanted to be her. And when I had outgrown fairies and sparkly leotards, I wanted to be Wendy. I loved the Lost Boys and their little world. And, they lived in a tree and that was the best part of all.

For some unexplained reason, I had an obsession with tree-dwellers. There were the Bernstein Bears, whose books I devoured at a rapid rate, who lived happily in a hollow tree trunk complete with a little stoop and dormer windows. And then there were the gnomes on Nickelodeon. They stood no bigger than your thumb and also made their home in the trunk of a tree. And finally, there was Winnie the Pooh, who I never really cared much for except that he lived in a tree, too! I was ready to carve out a tree trunk and play Susy homemaker by the time I was six.

But, living in a tree is not the point here. As a child, the concept of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys never growing up was unimportant and over my head. I was forever young and immortal as far as I was concerned. Never growing up was just a given. Now, however, at the ripe old age of 22 (totally kidding, but then again, maybe not) I am finding it more and more difficult to look forward to next year. I still tell people I am 21 without even thinking about it. And, when a girlfriend would point out a cute boy (for herself of course!) on the street and then remark, "He's too young. I bet he's just 18." It never registered that 18 maybe was a bit too young for a 22 year old. Then, I would remember that my brother is 18, and my heart would sort of flutter in panic until I could assure myself that those 4 years from age 18 to 22 had felt like ages. When really, it hardly seemed possible that 4 years had passed already. "Wasn't I just 19 last year?" I would think, my breath catching in my lungs. I would quickly do the math in my head. "NO! I'm 22 now, which means 3 years ago I was 18. O God."

And then I think about Will and how I never want him to die, ever. It breaks my heart to consider a world without him in it. And, I don't mean my world without him in it. Thinking about me being dead is no biggie. But Will, dead?? No way. He has to live forever. I know these are selfish thoughts, but I don't want him to get old either. I don't want him to lose his 20-15 sight and have to use a cane and worry about his heart. I don't want him to suffer in any way and I never want him to stop being, to stop living. He is life, my life.

I know as a Christian that there is something far better for us after life--that God is waiting to welcome us to the best part, when humanity no longer threatens us with pain and death. But right now, its hard to keep that in perspective and imagine riches that are not of this world, when Will and I have just begun something so beautiful as a part of it. It isn't death that scares me, really, its the process of aging and the wearing out of the body and mind that I can't handle. You start dying the second you take your first breath, and that's ok. I just don't ever want to be unable.

I don't want to be old. And, I don't want to grow up.

Blasphemous? Perhaps. Selfish? Most definitely. Crazy? I don't think so. If I found the Fountain of Youth tomorrow, I would drink from it and bring some back for Will. I don't want to live forever, though, which kind of defeats the purpose, right? I've read Tuck Everlasting enough to realize that eternal life would not be fun. It would be lonely, very lonely, and mentally, very wearing. All good things must come to an end and for good reason. It makes you appreciate the journey so much more.

That is why I resolve to never grow up. Don't you remember as a child how long it took the clock to go from hour to hour? I want that back. I want to look at the clock and say, "Wow! I can't believe it's only been 10 minutes!" I want to wallow in this life. I want to take my time. No more shortcuts. No more easy ways out. I'm in it for the long haul. I'm not trying to hurry up and be anyone or do anything other than who I am and what I am doing right now at this very moment. No more hurrying, no more rushing, no more impatience. Everything will happen, so I'm just going to let it. And, if that means waiting, then I will wait, and I will not watch the clock.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Mine and Will's new favorite show is Glee. Its funny; its clever; its entertaining. Its stuck in my head. "So, put your hands up!"

I know that its lame to blog about tv. But, after a long day of sitting in a freezing cold library with newspapers literally flying in front of your face, or in Will's case, running around doing everyone else's job in a freezing cold OR, it is the best feeling in the world to snuggle up on our comfy couch and indulge in some primetime television.

We love Antiques Roadshow. Its interesting, informative and homework. I am honing my skills for picking out the next $50,000 trinket at some yard sale that I bartered for and got for little more than a dollar. Just waiting on the jackpot!

Tuesday night is Biggest Loser. It blows my mind. I cry. I cheer. I sometimes yell. I just love it, especially with a big plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and a tall glass of milk. Ironic?

Wednesday is Glee and what a gleeful time it is. The show cracks me up. It makes me want to dance and usually leaves me singing in the shower the next morning.

We still haven't figured out Thursday night. Maybe this Flash Forward show will be good. Will seems interested. We missed it tonight, though. We had family dinner at Mar and Lar's. TuTu's homemade lasagna was on the menu and it was mind-blowing, as usual. Lar's garlic bread is still tasting pretty good!

O and to totally change the subject, I want to give a little update on me and my employment situation of which I have whined about so much. I just quit Groucho's today. Ha. Didn't even know that I had started, did you? Well, it was short-lived, so you didn't miss much. I started 3 weeks ago just doing 2 days a week. And, boy, am I glad its over. I will talk more about it later, once I've healed.... Now, I get to keep Little G!! I am still working with Historic Columbia Foundation. I am an independent researcher, currently researching two buildings on Main Street and preparing a National Register Nomination Form for one of them. AND, I'M GETTING PAID! I am also interning for the Greater Columbia Civil War Alliance as the events coordinator for their annual event, Columbia's Longest Days. It is a Civil War commemorative event of General Sherman's March to the Sea and his burning of the city. Its hard work, but I am so thankful for the experience and the moolah I will receive when the job's done in February. I am also doing some side work as a rental assistant for Historic Columbia, which basically means that I babysit their 2 rental properties during events. Easy!

Will is still working his behind off. He is laying next to me on the couch with a scratchy throat and heavy drainage. Pobrecito. He left work early though and has been laying around all day. Luuuucky! Just kidding. He's the hard worker. And, I love him for it.

So, here's to random blogs!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Great Morning

Every morning, Will snuggles up to me between the warning beeps of his 4:45am alarm and his final 5am alarm. I am usually unconcious and oblivious to his embrace. But some mornings, like this morning, I lay there, pretending to sleep, and contentedly sink deeper into the warm bed, his arms and in love with him. Normally, if I am awakened by his alarm or last minute snuggles, I am usually fast asleep again by the time he is making his way into the kitchen and the shower, but this morning, the high-pitched screech of the coffee grinder jarred my conciousness and left me half-awake.

On those mornings, when I am aware of his movements in the kitchen, I worry that he might not come and say goodbye. I mean, why should he? I am usually dead to the world and make no response to his gentle back rubs, soft kisses and whispered goodbyes, but he does it regardless, every morning. Sometimes, the noises from the kitchen sound like a departure, and I lay there, worrying, wondering if he was running late and had to leave immediately. One morning, I actually got up, hungover from sleep, and stumbled into the kitchen, nearly in tears, because I thought that he had left without a goodbye. I was wrong. He was standing there at the counter, making his coffee. He just looked at me, surprised. "What you doing, baby?" he asked. "I thought you left," I said, a quiver in my voice. "No, babe. I haven't said goodbye." "I know," I said, "I thought you had left without saying goodbye." "No, baby, I wouldn't do that. Go back to bed. I'm coming." I crawled back into bed, buried myself under the covers and waited.

This morning was the same. Just when I thought I had heard the jingle of keys and the gentle shutting of the door, he came into the room and sat on the edge of the bed. I pretended to be asleep as he rubbed my back, covered me in kisses, told me he loved me and said goodbye. My usual response with eyes closed tight, "love you-(yawn)-too; drive safe-(stretch)-ly."

Monday, September 21, 2009

He Speaks

Hello, all, 'tis I, the groom. It's always somewhat difficult to pull words out of your brain when you're being pressured to quickly blog. Hurry, hurry! But I'll try and do my best.

Right now my RLS is really acting up (you know, that condition where restlessness manifests itself in your legs in numerous ways, but never falls short of driving you insane) and my cool, dark bedroom is yelling my name. Holy crap, I'm such an old man. Next to me on the couch is my gorgeous bride. She's flailing around some feathered stick-toy in a feeble attempt to drain our leopard cat of all her energy. Good luck, babe. Jay Leno is on our massive 36" TV, and I'm happier than I've ever been. Married life is wonderful so far. It's actually more than wonderful. I get to be with the love of my life every hour of every day. When I come home, I come home to her. When I wake up in the morning, I wake up to her. Things are truly dandy in the Jackson cottage.

I'm working my life away at the hospital while Bri impresses people all over the city of Columbia. I make the money, she makes the connections. This is all one well-choreographed dance so that she can land a job in WV using her connections down here while I go from working my life away to studying my life away. The next 10 years look pretty grim for me. Thankfully I've got an incredibly understanding wifey who knows that all that work is what I truly love, and in the end, she'll be showered with huge diamonds. Lots and lots of diamonds. But seriously, we're figuring out how to sacrifice for eachother. On July 25th things stopped being about "me" and started being about "us". If we keep this in mind at all times, it will make this whole road-to-surgeondom that much easier to navigate.

Thanks to everyone who follows this blog. We really do want to keep up with all of you now and especially once we finally make it to the hills of West Virginny. Thanks and goodnight!

My Favorites

Here's just a few of my favorite things:

William Carrington Jackson

The Beach. In all seasons, but especially late summer.

Publix. I love their produce. I love their flowers. And right now, because it is the best time of year, Fall, they have pumpkins in any size, shape and color that you could ever imagine. Need a gourd for a centerpeice? Take your pick from the short, squatty, moss green one with the sharp stem. Or, the butter yellow, tall and skinny one with the fat, brown stem. And the pumpkins, don't get me started. I mean, seriously, just go and get one of the dwarfed albino pumpkins. They are so freaking cute! See, these were my choices. Who needs a pumpkin patch anyways?

Sweet success after hours of research. I am no stranger to challenges (HINT: my husband). And in fact, I love them (HINT: my husband). I love the hunt, the incessant searching for that needle in all of those haystacks. Its thrilling; its frustrating; its mindnumbing; its rewarding (some of the time). It is a conquest of unchartered territory. You feel utterly alone and yet significant, because you could be the first explorer and your research could be the definition of what is true and false. Maybe a bit extreme, but I just spent 30 hours of my life in a library staring at microfilm that spanned a decade of Columbia newspapers from the 1920s. And, I was right all along! Success!

Thanksgiving. Not too hot. Not too cold. Always too much food (I love fried turkey--can't help it). And, it means that Christmas is right around the corner.

Thick Books. Usually the ones by English authors about London, Whales, Scotland, especially with hols in the country or Cornwall!

Bike Rides.

Being Right. I'll admit it.

Chocolate. At all times. In all places. During every circumstance.

REALITY TV. Biggest Loser. ANTM. Top Chef. Project Runway. AFV. Does Antiques Roadshow count? Don't hate.

Shorts. Which is why I love Fall in the South. You're good for shorts until at least the first week of November, right?

Fashion Mags. Do you read yours backwards, too? Pay attention next time you pick up your favorite periodical. I bet you start flipping from the back. Just saying!

Homecooked Meals. With and for my baby.

Cosmos. Got to love any bar with a special on those.

Baby Talk with the Nef. Nothing is better than Griffin and Aunt Beezy time. We like to smile at one another.

Sleep. And not because I have any desire to sleep my life away. But, is there really any better feeling than rolling over in a soft, warm bed, stretching until you smile, knowing that you just got a full 8 hours and are rested and ready for the day?

My Favorite Time of Day: Baby's Home.

Tonight, I am am going to tie Will to the couch and make him post an entry. Promise!