Tag Archives: Flowers

Thrifty Living: An Army of Ten Cent Jars

19 Jan

Little Big went quiet yesterday in solidarity of anti-SOPA legislation. I didn’t post any links simply because I ran out of time what with chasing a toddler and spending the majority of my time not chasing her with hacking up and sneezing various colors of fluids. Suffice it to say that this legislation could shut down my little ol’ blog just because I occasionally post something like this or this or even this. And that last one is especially important to me. When I was having my panic attacks it was your comments on this blog that really helped me feel normal. I will never, ever forget that. One comment in particular, from Anne G, has stuck with me and sustained me through some dark moments. It simply stated stated,

“I don’t believe that the person that wrote about Brian McPoopington will not be OK. Your positive energy will prevail.”

The fact that I have the freedom to share Brian McPoopington with you all helped me through a tough time. One of the toughest of my life. SOPA could end all that. Suck it, SOPA. Suck it slooooow.

I love fresh flowers in the home but I usually have to stick with flowers I grew in my yard or various plants Isobel and I find on our nature walks (which essentially boils down to “stroller time through the suburbs.”) I’ve collected a small army of ten cent jars and petite glasses while thrifting in the rare event that I have enough foliage to display.

Last summer my dear friends Jenn and Chris hosted a wedding reception that I was honored to be asked to photograph, and Jenn didn’t let me leave without taking home one of the stunning table bouquets her family put together. (It didn’t hurt that the flowers happened to be in my vintage mason jar.)

I enjoyed the blossoms in the jar as long as I could but once it started looking raggedy I tossed any rotting or dried-out blooms and stuck them in these thrifted jars instead. In true thrifty fashion  I always make my bouquets last as long as possible by whittling down the flowers, displaying on the freshest parts, for as long as possible in my thrifted jars.

They last even longer if your cats don’t chew on them. Not that I would know what that’s like.

Guest Post: What The Internet Is For

15 Jun

My friend Bri of Sarcasmically is amazing. She is completely able to rock you like a hurricane at a moment’s notice.  In fact, if she were to carry a business card, I’m pretty sure it all it would say would be “ROCKER OF HURRICANES, DEVOURER OF BACON.” If that won’t convince you, this guest post is all the confirmation you’ll need.

One day, I theoretically sat down at the computer and DM’d her on Twitter.

“Lordy, my hands are tired, what with the typing and photo editing and tweeting,” I probably said. “Blogging is hard.”

“Oh dear,” she may have replied, “I may have two kids and a job at a nonprofit and my duties as art director for IndieInk, all while I’m studying to achieve my nursing degree, but I’m weeping just thinking about your poor, fatigued little hands! I’ll fill in for you.”

Then I could have replied, “Ow! My ‘enter’ finger hurts.”

Today Bri is going to give a perfect example of  the true purpose of the internet. You know, after cat videos and porn.


I’m sure you came here expecting Carrie Anne and all her wonderful pictures, but I’m sorry, Carrie Anne apparently wants a vacation from HER OWN BLOG (slacker) and left me responsible for “quality content”, whatever that means.

So look, I don’t have pictures of grass or cute toddlers or hip vintage objects.  I know, UNBREAK YOUR HEART, AMIRITE?  But what I do have is a story, and since we’re kind of on the subject of vacations and all, I’d like to humiliate myself with a story about my most memorable summer vacation.  That’s what the internet is for, folks—Embarrassing yourself in public.

It was the summer of 1989 and I was about to turn six years old.  For my birthday/a summer vacation, my mom packed me, my younger brothers (twins), and my uncle (only ten years older than me) into her beat-ass Mazda 626 and drove us from Phoenix to San Diego to spend a week at the beach and SeaWorld.  It was a great time, even though this happened right before our eyes and yes I remember everything and yes we all got whale blood­-water on us and not that I’m happy that Kandu died but come on, that was a great story to take back to wide-eyed first-grade classmates, you know?  Totally knocked my cool factor +90 points.  BUT I DIGRESS.

So we are piled back into our tiny 17-horsepower chariot, making the drive back to Phoenix when the chariot breaks down on the highway in The Middle of Fucking Nowhere.  And it’s hot as hell outside and this is before cell phones were invented so we just get out and start walking east, thinking we have to find a phone to call the family and let them know to come get us.


… Eventually we reached this little shack of a gas station, and an ancient peg-legged shop owner in coveralls WITH A TARANTULA ON HIS SHOULDER (I am not making this shit up guys I swear) to greet us and I’m like, “Mom, we are going to die here today.” because even at six I knew that this is straight out of a goddamn horror movie and I can’t run that fast, Mom, so it was nice knowing you all and thanks for the dead whale birthday party.

ALAS!  The old guy– Herman, as it turns out– was really, really nice, which I can only assume was because my mom was a stone cold fox.  Herman kept seven pet tarantulas at his gas station and was thrilled to let my brothers, who were four at the time, hold them while we waited for our father to make the three-hour trek from Phoenix to The Middle of Fucking Nowhere to rescue us.  But ummm, excuse me, tarantulas?  GROSS.  Look.  LOOK AT IT.

So, yeah, I’m basically internally freaking out the whole time my brothers casually befriend goddamn insects that can probably kill horses, so when one of the twins goes, “…Uhhhh, you guys?  I can’t find my tawanchala,” I WANTED TO DIE.  I was a very dramatic little child.

The hunt for the missing tarantula was in full effect, and in addition to Herman and us five searching for it, a family of six (one of whom was a dreeeeeamy second-grader) that had stopped to stock up on Slim Jims was also assisting.

And then, you guys, I FELT IT ON MY LEG, under my dress, very high up near my girl parts.  GET READY FOR A BUNCH OF CAPS LOCK, FOLKS.


Mom:  “Okay, calm down, hold still, let’s just—“


Mom:  “Brianna.  Jesus God in Heaven, hold still.  BRIANNA ELYSE.”  She is chasing me around.  Everyone else is just staring, waiting for me to die of tarantula poisoning, thinking more Slim Jims for us!, probably.

ME:  Jumping.  Shaking.  Legs akimbo.  FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THE SHRIEKING.


Finally, my mom catches me, sobbing and breathless, and preps herself to grab the tarantula from under my dress.  She counts with me.  One… two… three…

And then she yanks my dress over my head, in front of God and the vast desert and all the strangers and that second-grade McDreamy and the vulture on the cactus– and there it is, ON MY LEG:

A string, dangling from my “Tuesday” panties. A…


We never did find that tarantula.

Follow Friday – Feels Like Spring

18 Mar

Although today is gloomy and rainy, we’ve had some lovely, spring-like days. Last night Isobel and I walked to the park with Angela and Kingston, and I was so grateful for Daylight Savings Time giving us this extra hour in the park. Outside was clear and temperate—that perfect space between too warm and too hot and we relished it knowing that in a month or two our trips to the park would inevitably include profuse sweating. The kids had a great adventure and we got to catch up.

This weekend the husband and I are heading out of town and I’d be lying if I said I felt prepared for the long car ride ahead. During our stay on the coast, we’ll be taking Isobel to the beach again, but this time she’ll be old enough to enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

iscoff Went to a monster truck rally, can’t believe monster trucks still don’t have rights.

AHGinCLE I am taking the bus to work this am. It already smells like beer !

FakeeEtiquette This Friday, it would be polite to have fun, fun, fun, fun while you’re looking forward to the weekend.

louispeitzman Have you guys ever watched this show Max and Ruby on Nick Jr.? Unpopular opinion: Ruby’s kind of a B.

DownGoesBrown Just had a minor earthquake in Ottawa. Can’t wait for Glenn Beck to tell us what God thinks we did wrong.

notperfect This was not the Lent to give up cursing.

Charlie_O I’m tired of jokes about the Irish being nothing but drunkards. We also excel at spousal abandonment and brawling. Often on the same night.

palinode Read a comment thread on an article that descended into a flame war over Kevin Spacey FOR NO REASON. AT ALL. Don’t ever change, internet.

danforthfrance I only happen to be wearing green because I’m still wearing yesterday’s clothes.

ordermeanother I am going to see how all the frat boys like it when I kiss them because they are “Irish” today. should end well for all of us I think.

badbanana Highs in the 70s today. Portions of eastern Nebraska are currently under a mesh tank top warning.

willgoldstein Every time the words “replaced by a tea party proponent” are printed an angel loses its wings.

Krud May you always have an app for that. #FakeIrishSayings

Brain_Wash Mountain Dude #failedsodas

slackmistress The best part of being from the midwest is that I don’t have to take sides in a rap battle.

Bagyants I can trace most of my problems to my dad asking me what teabagging is.

inversejaik “World’s Lamest Gift Mug” #HonestGiftMugs

inversejaik “World’s Most Racist Grandpa” #HonestGiftMugs

GeorgeTakei Tomorrow I’m going to violate Leviticus by wearing a cotton/polyester blend. #CherryPickingSins

sween Disney should do a movie about a princess that talks to woodland creatures and they convince her to go to grad school.

Iordstewie Grammar is important! Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your Uncle jack off a horse.

sucittaM It’s a good thing my dogs can’t talk, or else they’d have been yelling “MOTHERFUCKING CAR RIDE!” for the last two hours.

danharmon I’ve chosen my tribal name. Tell your children, so they might tell their children, the legend of Owns One Shirt That Fits.

VHStapes2 Parenting is an amazing neverending task for superhumans. I assume you all do cocaine heavily.

JezebelTheGreat My plan today is to sit on my porch with a Guinness, a slingshot and a bag of pennies. Let’s see what you’re wearing today, power-walkers.

ApocalypseHow “Duh, winning!” is the perfect summary of America’s self-perception/achievement gap.

danharmon I’ll always remember this as the year I tried shaving every morning for like two weeks. Hats off to normal men everywhere. #TheRealHeroes

FakeeEtiquette If one of your online friends jokes today about the death of Microsoft’s MP3 player, politely tell him/her it is “too Zune.”

shinyinfo Does any one else get douche chills when they read the word “optimize”?

freudiantypo I am enthusiastically looking forward to St. Patty’s Day weekend and how I’m going to ignore it.

ebertchicago Glenn Beck suggests the Japanese tragedy was a message from God. Urgent to Glenn: Buy a lightning rod.

louispeitzman The Chocolate War Crimes Tribunal. #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

JerryThomas Hop on Pope #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

JerryThomas One Fish Two Fish Red Fish I Have A Rash #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

JerryThomas Oh, The Places You’ll Wish You Could Afford To Go! #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

JerryThomas Everyone Poops Corn #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

JerryThomas Where the Girls Gone Wild Things Are #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

JerryThomas Goodnight Reverend Moon #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

simontarr When faced with the question “Are U.S. Nuclear Plants Safe?”, American officials said “LOOK! SHINY! SPARKLY! Charlie Sheen!”

bobtiki The Very Hungry Caterpillar Who Wondered What the Flesh of Other Caterpillars Tasted Like #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

bobtiki Where the Sidewalk and All Other City Protective Services Ends #HigherStakesChildrensBooks

dirtyvicar The downside of being an atheist is that you have no one to blame for the shit that happens to you but yourself.

ScrewyDecimal Whenever I laugh at something funny my mom says on the phone, she tells me “You should Tweet that.” Oh, Mom.

SaraJOY I am Dutch, and therefore wearing no green. Pinch me & you’ll get up close & personal with my wooden shoes.

IamWillFerrell I hate when people say, “I gotta get my body right for the summer”..like, wtf are going to do about that face?

helgagrace The truth is, I do NOT want Charles in charge of me. Not my days and *definitely* not my nights. Let’s not even address the rest.

markleggett Someone needs to start a dating website where vicious serial killers can meet up with Glenn Beck.

thejohnblog “What is the sound of one hand clapping?”  SLAP! – Zen master Rick James

joewengert If someone you know is grumpy today, remember: this weekend they got one less hour of staring at the ceiling and regretting things

eareeve Seriously, pervy old man: $10,000 is what it would take for me to give you a pair of my panties to wear on your head.

mayopie Maybe I’m not wearing green because I like it when you pinch me. *creepy, deep breaths*

TheNextMartha My jury duty excuse “There is no way I’m not going to be able to tweet about this”

TheNextMartha I should have my twitter name printed on the back of that twitter shirt. Could get some new followers at court.

Sigafoos The only thing better than a personal reply going to a listserv is when the recipient ALSO replies to the list, unaware.

Mister_m00n I always thought a Biblioteque was a place where they danced religiously.

rstevens There should be a goth auction service called MoreBid.

ampersandwich Someone broke into my house and put my kitchen in disarray. What, that was me? Damn.

Mister_m00n I’m throwing coffee to the wind today.

crom74 If love can build a bridge, then hate will build a fence for me next weekend. I’m tired of neighbor’s dogs shitting in & digging up my yard.

LOD Old Spice’s ad campaign has become so weirdly surreal that I’m now frightened not to use it.

hvymtllibrarian never would have guessed that the cats’ overnight behavior would make a teething infant seem easy and unobtrusive by comparison.

justingibson What do you do when you’re at work and you cough so hard a fart happens. (I’m asking for a friend.) #urgent

alwysabridesmd My computer is going extra slow this morning. Perhaps if I dump some coffee on it, that’ll help.

iasshole I love how my mom cat busts open the bathroom door to see me like she’s in frickin Roadhouse or something. BAM! “Sup”

thecheckoutgirl Look, if they didn’t want me to have a minty fresh clitoris then why in the world did they invent a vibrating toothbrush?

aparnapkin Don’t forget to set your biological clocks forward!

badbanana I could tell you, but then I’d have to tell you.

shinyinfo I need therapy for my hatred of marketing. Maybe in the past a douchebag marketer tried to tell me about their business while killing my dog.

FinneganWilde I am using the backup to the backup computer. Computers keep exploding. If I could pound on them I know I could make them better.

owlpacino I’ve developed a Pavlovian response to the phrase “administrative assistant”. It’s the same face I make when Sean Penn is talking.

adiopink Tried to type “heebie jeebies.” iPod suggested “hernia jerboas.” #damnyouautocorrect

ryanmer I just counted 4 different homeless people sleeping on the grass. It’s springtime at the library!

wordlust I bet more people would participate in Lent if it were called God’s Spring Boobtacular.

NASeason Woman smiles widely at my pregnant waddle as she almost runs me over in the parking lot.

tdfay If you live in Wisconsin, don’t forget to set your clock back 50 years this weekend. #wiunion

mommywantsvodka I put the “ass” in “classy.”

alwysabridesmd Oh boy I hope what I’m chewing is lobster.

adiopink My color-coded Google multi-calendar for meeting rooms looks like a stack of Tetris blocks. Knew gaming skills would come in handy someday.

shinyinfo I almost put this in a paper, “Urban Librarians are ride or die.” I think that’s enough coffee…

Gen_with_a_G … if I get an interview and they ask me what my aesthetic is, I can just do jazz hands and say TO BEDAZZLE!

markleggett Just said “Good morning” to three people in my office even though it won’t advance my career at all. I am a good person.

apelad Word to your document!

Zaius13 News shows should fill that awkward satellite delay time with vintage footage of a chimp operating a switchboard.


What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here. Learn more about it in my FAQ.

Pretty Pictures: Orchids

19 Sep

This orchid room was on display at this year’s county fair. Isn’t it just gorgeous? I’m kind of torn—I’m a reverent supporter of xeriscaping and hope to one day convert my front and back yard into a water-conserving paradise. Growing orchids in our climate is kind of the equivalent of buying oranges from Chile in the off-season. I love orchids but I just don’t think that they were meant to live everywhere and since it takes so much time and trouble to grow them here I have to wonder if it’s worth it. If you’re an orchid aficionado and that’s your passion, that’s one thing. But the casual gardener like myself can’t really justify the time, energy and money it takes to sustain plants that abhor my climate.

I mean, I tried. After I graduated high school I had enough disposable income to spend on exotic flowers yet not enough to move out and support myself so I filled my bathroom at my mom’s house with orchids. I learned a lot about orchids in that time, namely that you shouldn’t try to grow them if you live in a hot, dry, savannah-like climate. They did okay in the bathroom, which received lots of light and was constantly a bit humid from the showers my sister and I took, but removing them from that room was practically a death sentence. When I finally moved away from home I ended up returning the orchids to my parents’ bathroom. They were unhappy anywhere else.

I could never get them to bloom after their initial flowering, but I could get them to grow and look happy as long as they stayed in the bathroom. Whenever I see orchids in the store I’m tempted to try again but I can’t justify spending twenty bucks on a project I don’t have the time and energy for.

Aren’t they lovely though?