Since we have moved into our new house, Chris has become obsessed with our yard. Ã‚Â He spends hours out there playing in dirt, digging holes, spraying water on things.Ã‚Â And the front yard is looking really great. Ã‚Â The grass is luscious. Ã‚Â The shrubs are trimmed. Ã‚Â And the whole look is topped off with my brand new autumn wreath I hung on the front door.Ã‚Â I’m pretty certain Martha Stewart drives by my house on a daily basis to get ideas.
And then there is the backyard. Ã‚Â The backyard is a little…well…it needs some help. Ã‚Â Through no fault of Chris’ the yard is just shot to hell. Ã‚Â I blame the dogs. Ã‚Â They romp, they root around, they lay in the flower beds, they dig holes, they poop, they pee, they chew on the bushes, they dig up flowers. Ã‚Â And it all shows in the backyard. Ã‚Â Add to this that the entire backyard is covered in trees, so no sunlight gets back there, and its not pretty. Ã‚Â There are patches of hopefulness, but its just not the thick, green look in our front yard. Ã‚Â And it kills Chris. Ã‚Â Kills him.Ã‚Â Every night he wanders out to the back deck and surveys the backyard, scheming up new ways to make it better. Ã‚Â And every night he comes inside cussing all of God’s green earth. Ã‚Â Frankly, its starting to get old.
But a few weeks ago, the next door neighbor’s yard died unexpectedly. Ã‚Â All together. Ã‚Â One night we went to bed and they had lush, green grass and the next morning we wake up to their barren waste land of brown grass.Ã‚Â Chris was ecstatic. Ã‚Â He was so excited that finally someone else’s yard looked as bad as his backyard. Ã‚Â Two or three days go by and Chris was like a different person. Ã‚Â He wasn’t pacing on the back deck mumbling about fertilizers. Ã‚Â He didn’t cry anymore when he drove by someone’s beautiful yard. Ã‚Â He just seemed more relaxed.
And then two days later, we woke up and the neighbor’s yard was bright green and healthy. Ã‚Â It was like a landscaping miracle. Ã‚Â Overnight they grew a golf course in their front AND backyard. Ã‚Â I’m serious. Ã‚Â It came in so fast I thought it had to be fake. Ã‚Â But it wasn’t, as proven by Neighbor Jeff mowing his lawn the very next afternoon. Ã‚Â Cause that’s how fast it grew. Ã‚Â It was like a mythical beast.
I put Chris on a suicide watch. Ã‚Â I thought he would either hurt himself or Neighbor Jeff, so I confined him to the house. Ã‚Â But that hasn’t stopped him from staring out the window at the grass next door. Ã‚Â Occasionally he sighs a low, mournful sigh, but mostly he is just quiet. Ã‚Â Quietly seething inside. Ã‚Â And I feel bad for him. Ã‚Â And his crummy backyard. Ã‚Â I also feel bad for Neighbor Jeff, who is blissfully unaware that deep inside the house next door, his neighbor is scheming about ways to kill his greener grass.
Yard envy. Ã‚Â Killing suburbia one dying yard at a time.
I don’t usually talk about my job because it would probably bore you to tears, but I have to tell you about my day yesterday.Ã‚Â I attended our Board of Trustees meeting in New York at the very elite University Club.Ã‚Â The Club is located on the corner of 5th Avenue and 54th Streets, which for those of you who are not familiar with New York, is in what I call the va-va-voom neighborhood.Ã‚Â It is right across the street from Bergdorf and just down from Tiffany & Co.Ã‚Â Va-va-voom.
I tried to find pictures online to show you of the Club because it is one of those places you have to see to believe, but as cameras are not allowed inside the building, pictures are a little scarce.Ã‚Â Here’s what I did find:
The Club is a gentlemen’s club in New York founded in 1861.Ã‚Â And though it now allows women to join, when you walk in it is like stepping back in time.Ã‚Â I felt like I was in the Great Gatsby.Ã‚Â You walk up these marble stairs where you are greeted by a host who directs you to wherever or whatever you might need.Ã‚Â When you step into the entrance hall, you are standing in a completely marble room.Ã‚Â Giant columns (6 I think) are along the sides, and antique tables and chairs are set in small clusters around the area if you would like to sit.Ã‚Â The only indication that you are NOT in Gatsby’s house are the small sterling silver plaques on each table which state, “The use of cell phones in the Club is not permitted.”
That’s right – no cell phones can be used anywhere in the club.Ã‚Â There are 3 or 4 small, ornate, wooden telephone style private booths that you can talk on your cell phone in, but otherwise there are no cell phones.Ã‚Â You can’t even check your Blackberry.Ã‚Â There are also no jeans allowed.Ã‚Â Men must be dressed in a suit and tie and women in comparable clothing everywhere in the club at all times.
Once I got the run down on the house rules, I left the entrance hall and wandered into a room I can only describe as the Quiet Room because there were sterling silver engraved signs everywhere that read “Quiet, Please.”Ã‚Â This could quite possibly have been the most beautiful room I’ve ever seen.Ã‚Â I tried not to stand there gaping in front of all these suits, but I was in complete awe.Ã‚Â There was detailed wood paneling on all the walls, and two enormous fire places at each end of the room.Ã‚Â The ceiling was a combination of carved wood, beautiful paintings, and gold etching.Ã‚Â The furniture in the room was incredibly large high backed chairs and wooden tables.Ã‚Â The windows were framed by heavy tapestry curtains and the view looked out onto 5th Avenue.
Off the other side of the entrance hall was a little more “casual” sitting area with large cozy arm chairs gathered in small groups around small wooden tables.
I stayed the night in one of their guest rooms.Ã‚Â It was like being in someone’s home.Ã‚Â My bed was turned down (with chocolates, of course) and there was a letter on my bed hand-written by the consierge welcoming me to the Club for the first time and detailing my schedule while I was in town.
We had a large lunch party in the dining room, which was no less elegant.Ã‚Â But had a strange rule that you couldn’t bring a briefcase or paper into the room.Ã‚Â One of the Board members I was eating with said that 20 years ago when he had his first lunch at the Club, he made the mistake of handing a piece of paper across to his colleague.Ã‚Â A waiter came over and took his paper away and informed him that “no business was to be done while at lunch.”Ã‚Â Craziness.
In short, I spent my day yesterday in complete awe.Ã‚Â While I don’t think I would like to be there often, it was definitely one of those New York moments that makes you feel pretty cool.
(Just ignore the fact that I was wheeling around hot pink luggage while I was there, and I could almost have passed as a member!)
(Please be sure to read the inspiring comment that Julie left at the bottom of this posting.)
As I have shared before, my sister surprised everyone who knew her by training for a marathon.Ã‚Â She was never really an athletic person, but she got a good cause in her head and when that happens you can’t reason with her.Ã‚Â She decided to raise money to find a cure for cancer by participating in something called “Team in Training.”Ã‚Â Team in training is a non-profit group that raises money to find a cure for cancer by training and running marathons.Ã‚Â Ginny’s race is at the end of the month in San Francisco (the country’s hilliest city, by the way, which I find hysterical).
So this is my plea for money.Ã‚Â I have even broken it down into two different types of pleas, depending on what motivates you to give.
For Those Who Are Motivated By Goodwill and Heartfelt Goals:
Help support my sister, Ginny, as she selfishly puts aside her own self-interests of bar hopping and booty dancing to race for a cure.Ã‚Â All proceeds will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America whose ambitious mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the qualify of life for patients and families.Ã‚Â I’m sure if we all think hard, we know someone who has been effected in some way by one of these terrible diseases.Ã‚Â So, dig deep into your pockets and give – even just $10 – to help support those who are suffering or have suffered.Ã‚Â I promise that you’ll feel warm and fuzzy on the inside.
Click Here:Ã‚Â Team in Training
For Those of You Who Need a Practical Reason to Give:
My sister pledged $3,900 to this organization.Ã‚Â She currently has raised $2,714.50.Ã‚Â If she does not come up with the rest of the money, she can’t run the race.Ã‚Â So give to help my dumbass sister raise the ridiculous amount of money that she had obligated herself to raise.Ã‚Â Even giving as little as $10 to her cause will help her get closer to her unrealistic and wildly optimistic goal which she will most likely not meet.Ã‚Â Don’t worry, even if she does not raise the whole amount (which she probably won’t), your money will still go to the Society and my sister will just be stuck in Atlanta while everyone else on her team goes to California because they were more realistic in their goal-setting.Ã‚Â Bottom line:Ã‚Â Give $10 to support my idealistic, unrealistic, optimistic, dreamer of a sister who has a heart of gold.
Click Here:Ã‚Â Team in Training
Last night I wasn’t feeling so good, so we kind of laid low at the house.Ã‚Â Chris was really sweet and let me wallow around in my pajamas at 5:30 PM on a Friday without saying one sarcastic comment.Ã‚Â That takes a special kind of guy to show that restraint.Ã‚Â Later in the night, we decided since there was a chill in the air (autum is coming!Ã‚Â yay!) we should test out our gas fireplace in our new house.
I went upstairs to take a shower while Chris got the fire going, and when I stepped out I thought I would pass. out. Our entire house smelled like natural gas (not THAT kind of natural gas – the kind that runs your stove!!).Ã‚Â It smelled like we were standing in a furnace.Ã‚Â I go downstairs and there is the smallest little fire “roaring” in the fireplace.Ã‚Â Meanwile, gas is filling our entire house.
At this point, Chris is royally pissed off.Ã‚Â The gas fireplace was almost a dealbreaker for him when we bought the house in the first place (“It’s just not natural!”), but a non-functioning gas fireplace?Ã‚Â Lets just say he was quite irritated.Ã‚Â So, he shuts off the fireplace and we decide to watch TV instead.Ã‚Â Only, I can’t concentrate on the TV because I’m so worried about inhaling toxic gas fumes that I end up sitting with my face pressed up against the window screen, gasping for fresh air.Ã‚Â I was also worried about my little dog, Lucy, because she’s got a small head and I figure it probably wouldn’t take too many good inhales for her little, bitty brain cells to vaporize so I grab her too and shove her face out the window.Ã‚Â I looked around for my big, dopey dog Molly, but she was standing with her head INSIDE the fireplace, purposefully inhaling the last of the gas fumes from their natural source.Ã‚Â I figured her brain cells were a lost cause, so I let her keep standing there.
By the time we went to bed, I was so paranoid about the smell that I was breathing through a Kleenex (I don’t really know why, but I felt it was something I’d seen on TV before…) and Chris was so pissed off that he wasn’t even speaking.Ã‚Â So, we get into bed.Ã‚Â And I can’t sleep.Ã‚Â Cause I’m so afraid we are all going to die in our sleep of gas poisoning.Ã‚Â All night I woke up every hour to make sure we were all still alive.
Around 3:00 AM, the smell changed.Ã‚Â When I woke up this time, it smelled more…herbal.Ã‚Â Like burning herbs.Ã‚Â Like a certain ILLEGAL burning herb, if you know what I mean.Ã‚Â I immediately sat up in bed.Ã‚Â “Is someone smoking MARIJUANA?!?!” I thought.Ã‚Â So I got up and started poking around the house, sniffing everything.Ã‚Â I was like a terrier in a port-a-potty.Ã‚Â “Is someone smoking MARIJUANA in our HOUSE?!?!”Ã‚Â After a thorough investigation of our house, I discovered that no one was in fact smoking marijuana in our house.Ã‚Â So I started sniffing around outside.Ã‚Â “Are our NEIGHBORS smoking MARIJUANA?!?!”Ã‚Â I know how these things happen.Ã‚Â I watch Weeds.
In the end, no one was smoking anything inside or outside of our house, and I eventually came back to bed.Ã‚Â I have determined that the aftersmell of a natural gas leak smells surprisingly like many college house parties (not that I know what college house parties are like, Mom…).
So, my helpful hint for married life today:Ã‚Â Natural gas smells awful, and once that potent smell has passed you will smell burning…herbs.Ã‚Â Do not worry, as I did, that someone had broken in your house so they could sit on your couch and smoke a joint.Ã‚Â Apparently that doesn’t happen.