The Notebook

Saw the movie The Notebook yesterday. It was very personally moving to me. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it. Goodnight everyone.

More Windy Gap

another view...

Windy Gap

This is where I spent most of my time writing this past weekend in Windy Gap. It really was beautiful. Its been so long since I had so much time to myself to just think. I could just sit there, in the quiet, with the water slipping over the rocks, and just let my mind wander. God and I had a really good little chat. Its been so long, too, since I could hear him so clearly. Hopefully, even though I'm home, and its back to the same old routine, I can still continue to hear Him.


My little Rose...

Finally, here is Rosie, born on April 3rd of this year. She was also a birth control baby. It was after I had a nervous breakdown in the office of my OB/GYN, after finding out I was pregnant yet again, that I was told I probably was one of those lucky women who ovulate twice a month. Needless to say, I had a tubal ligation after Rosie's birth. But you know what? It wouldn't surprise me a bit, if some how, some way, I got pregnant again. I seem to be some kind of weird fertility freak.

"...what do you mean I'm pregnant?"

Well, well ,well, look who decided to bypass the mother of all birth control devices; the 10 year, copper IUD. Its Barrett, mister number two of my crew. To all of you who don't have kids: lean your head to the right, and the two dark spots about the size of pencil erasers are the eyes. You can see the nose and mouth from there. Pretty cool huh? Barrett was born on March 25th, 2003, four days before Caleb's first birthday.

And baby makes three...

This is Caleb, otherwise known as September 29, 2001.


The wedding after the wedding

September 29, 2001
That's when we got married. We had gotten engaged the year before, and were planning on getting married when I graduated from college. But as life would have it, or not have it in this case, I got pregnant with Caleb. I took a pregnancy test on Friday, August 10th, we drove to Tennessee the next morning, and got married in about 2 minutes in this little chapel. That night we both called our parents. First, telling them that I was pregnant, and THEN that we had gone and gotten married in Tennessee. I think they were more upset about us getting married in Tennessee. But, a month and a half later my mother had thrown together a beautiful wedding at the O'Henry here in Greensboro, and she was able to have the wedding she always wanted for me I think. 6 months later, on March 29th, Caleb was born.

The Painting

This is a picture of an old painting I did. I don't have it anymore because Dan slashed it to pieces with a knife in some jealous rage one night. It was my favorite piece at the time. I kept it for a while hoping to do something with the shreds of canvas, but eventually just threw them away.
I should have kept them and done another piece with them.



I decided that I need to start going back to therapy with Jane. I think she is the only one that can help me get through all of this. Its strange how the mind works. How it is just now that everything, and all the details, are just pouring out into my consciousness. Did you know that 1 in 3 women are sexually abused in this country? 1 in 3! That just blows my mind. I'm tired, I'm going to go to bed now. I have a feeling that this is the start of something new for me, something new, and something better.



Alrighty, so my brain is big and beautiful. Thats the good news. The only bad thing to come out of this is that I have to stop taking my Topamax, but I'm sure I'll find something else to take its place. Many new drugs have come on the market since Topamax, and I'm always one for trying a new drug ya' know. And drugs are what you need when you have a two year old, a one year old, and a 5 month old.


Ann vs. the MRI

So, I had an MRI of my brain yesterday night at 8pm. I'm waiting for the results. They said it should take 2 or 3 days to get them back to my doctor. I saw a neurologist last Thursday. That's the whole reason I went to get this MRI, obviously. I've been experiencing memory loss, numbness in my feet/thighs, weird vision changes, and a bunch of other weird symptoms of whatever this is. If it is anything. The neurologist pretty much told me its my medication, or its a brain tumor. Just like that too. That's all the explanation she could give me. I know its not a tumor, but I keep thinking about what would happen if it were to be one. I'm only 25, and I have a 2 year old, a 1 year old, and a 5 month old. Not to mention I'm married. The whole time I was in the MRI machine, I kept thinking to myself, "I bet this is what a coffin feels like". Anyways, I'm off to bed, I'm sure I'll post something when I know my results.



This is an actual email from my dads step-dad. It is an apology for molesting me. I have only taken out the email address fields, and the last name after "Grandpa", even though I could care less if he were to get harassed. I don't want my father to somehow get any email.

Date: 5/8/99 6:18:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time

Andy this is Grandpa,
I want to apologize for any wrong doing when you were a small girl. I learned about your concern over a time when i evidently touched you in an inapropiate way and I truly am very sorry.

Bagnilo in Vino...

Another glass please...
Wine has been called "poetry in a bottle", but really, what is wine? Essentially, it is fermented grape juice, but with a few extra twists. God saved a few pieces of Eden when he gave us the boot, and one of the best is the fact that any fruit containing sugar will turn to booze if you leave it to ferment. In the process of fermentation, yeast converts the sugar into alcohol. Yeast is found all over the place, and in the wild it lands on the skins of grapes; hence, when grape juice is left to sit about in the wild, that yeast will mix with it and ferment it naturally. Vintners nowadays don't take any such chances: they labor over what precise strain of yeast to use in their recipe because different choices will obviously lead to different results.
Most people believe that green grapes make white wine and red grapes make red wine. That is largely true, but if you care to impress anyone with arcane eno-trivia, you should know that white wine can also be made from red grapes. The inside of red grapes is essentially "white". It is only their skin that is red,and most wines are made with just the inside of a grape. The red color in red wine is created by allowing the fleshy interior to mix with the pulpy skins when it is being crushed. This process infuses red wines with "tannin," an ingredient that gives red wine its distinctive flavor. So you can make white wine with red grapes; like White Zinfandel, a fine white wine made from a grape with a decidedly red exterior - but not red wine with green grapes. Oh, and most champagnes are made from red grapes. Weird, but true.
The grapes are then crushed with or without the skins and then left to ferment. The nasty bits are removed from the juice, and a disinfectant is used to neutralize any contaminants, such as mold and bacteria that may have been on the grapes. Remember, they've just been sitting outside for ages, surrounded by bugs and dirt, and yeast ain't the only thing lurking on the skin. The fluid, or "must," is then left to complete the fermentation process in either big steel vats or small wooden barrels. Barrels call for a longer process and are harder to keep at the right temperature, but supposedly lead to a better finished product, for which you of course will end up paying more. Once the wine is properly fermented, the vintner will need to pluck out all the little nibblets and then mature the clarified vino. The better vineyards will age the wine for years in oak barrels, which infuses the wine with positive woody hints. The lamer vineyards will shove the stuff in a steel vat just long enough for it to be squirted into cardboard boxes with plastic spigots. Absolutely revolting, if you ask me.
What about color, where does it come from? Color is the first and easiest distinguishing feature of wine. As mentioned earlier, the main difference between red and white wine is that grape juice used to make red wine contains skins, seeds, and stems. This is significant for the following reason: leaving juice to mix together with the woody bits (known as maceration) causes the finished product to contain something we briefly mentioned earlier: tannins. If the term tannin is bugging you because you don't really get what I'm talking about, just think about a strong cup of tea. That woody taste is tannin. In wine, it can lend a wonderful complexity to a red wine. As a general rule of thumb, red wines are heavier and more complex than white wines. White wines are usually a good place for beginners to start because they are initially more palatable to novices since they often tend to be sweeter.

The reason you need to be aware of the differences between red and white wine is because one of the oldest rules in fine dining is that you should attempt to harmonize your choice of food and drink. If you are going to be eating something delicate with subtle tastes, the Rule states, you should avoid drinking something with a strong flavor that will overshadow the food. Conversely, a hearty meal will often be best complimented by a strong wine with flavor of its own. Now every single guide to wine in the world makes a point of saying that the Rule is out of date and the only hard and fast dictate of wine drinking is to choose something you enjoy. Of course, if you're dropping some serious clams for grub and grog, you should pick whatever the hell you want. Don't let dead British wankers tell you how to eat a meal,go with what you like.
Nevertheless, there's a reason that Rule evolved in the first place; it makes sense. If, for example, you're trying to pick up on the vague hints of Caribbean brine that delicately caress the primo slice of sushi you just ordered, slurping a glass of tequila isn't going to help. Balancing your food and drink may not be required anymore, but it's a good tip to keep in mind and will instantly push you off the Zero mark when you start eating at good restaurants. A specific corollary of the Rule is that white wines tend to go best with fish and white meats, like chicken and pork; red wines go best with red meat and red sauces. Another adjutant to the Rule is that you should begin with lighter wines and progress to heavier ones throughout the course of the meal. This policy again reflects the idea that you should not overburden your palate: if you start with a strong drink, your taste buds will be shot and you won't be able to enjoy anything that comes after it. That is why aperitifs are typically light drinks while dessert liquids, like port, are rich and heavy.
Wine can be fickle. You will need to store your wine horizontally, so that the wine itself is in contact with the cork. This will ensure that the cork remains moist and elastic. When corks dry out, they shrink, which breaks the tight seal of the bottle and may allow oxygen in. When oxygen starts mingling with wine, it will oxidize the liquid, converting it into an expensive vinegar. No fun. Wasted money. This is why all wine racks store the bottles horizontally.Beyond just getting horizontal, a wine likes to be in a cool dark place, free from smell or vibration. Just like most things, wines don't enjoy the heat too much. On the other hand, they don't want to be frozen either, so don't store them in the fridge for long periods. As for their photosensitivity, keeping wine in the dark prevents the wine from reacting badly from chemical reactions initiated by light. This is also why wine comes in dark colored bottles and never clear glass. As for avoiding smell, come on Einstein: whatever is reeking up the place can penetrate the cork and stink up the wine. And as for the vibrations, who knows? You would think that Californian stuff would be at home amidst tremblers. But evidently not. The verdict: your basement.
Once you do get around to enjoying your wine, you'll want to know a few final things. For red wine, you'll want a glass with a large bowl and a relatively short stem. For white wine, you'll want a glass with a smaller bowl but taller stem. The whole theory here is that white wine is served chilled and thus should be kept away from the heat of your hand. Red wine, on the other hand, does well to be served just a degree or two below room temperature, so that it will release its heady vapors when it is warmed by the body heat in your hand. Also, you may want to open any bottles of older red wine a few minutes before you intend to drink them. Pour off about half a glass and then let it sit, to allow the wine to breathe. By pouring off a little wine, you give a much greater surface area to both the wine in the bottle and of course in the glass, which allows it to mix with oxygen and to dissipate any stale air that may have collected in the bottle. Conveniently, it also lets you pick out the pieces of cork you may have bored into the wine in any clumsy attempts to uncork the thing...cheers.



In the beginning there was me,
there was I,
there were my little brown eyes,
and my
little brown pigtails
and the click-clack-click-clack
of my roller skates down the drive.
In the beginning there was me,
there was you,
and your curly beard,
I used to ask if it was real.
Like maybe you were Santa Claus,
'cause I just knew you were
In the beginning there was me,
and you
with the "magic rubber folding ears",
and I could almost touch the sky
on your shoulders.
'Cause we all knew
it was just that far away.
In the beginning there was me,
there was I,
there were my little brown eyes,
so tight,
(be still! be still!)
pretending to still be asleep,
the night I found out
your secret