…the web, NYC, the obvious…baking and some cows…

Archive for June, 2007

Tea Time

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

This may seem silly, but I have to tell you that I am obsessed with this lip balm. It is called Brew Tea Balm and is made by Crazy Rumors, a Brooklyn company. This is the Orange Bergamot flavor.

Lip Brew

It tastes great, is silky smooth, and actually works. I was very sad when I ran out of my randomly acquired sample. Luckily, they have a website and I’ll have more soon! They have both tea and coffee flavors, and the balms are made from completely natural ingredients. I recommend it.

Didn’t think I could get so gushy over lip balm, did you?

Horse Kisses & Baby Alligators

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

I stepped off the plane to the scent of Louisiana summer. Now, I don’t know how this differs from the way summer smells in, say, Texas or Mississippi, but I find it a unique scent that takes me back to many happy childhood days. I took a nice, deep breath as I climbed out of the Saab 340 Turboprop that brought me there.

My mom married a cattle rancher, and they built their dream house in northeastern Louisiana amid pastures of happily grazing cattle and a horse. Cody will get a friend soon, and they’ll have their own pasture. For now, he sort of thinks he is a cow.

Cody the Horse

He licked my arm when I went out to visit him. I had just fed him an apple, but my mom said he loves me. Last time we met he almost bucked me off, so I’m not sure where our relationship stands. He’s not been ridden in some time, so I opted to not give him a try this trip. I rubbed his soft nose, and he lipped my fingers, seeking more sweet apple bits. Then he licked me, a big slurp from wrist to elbow.

The other day I helped herd a bull. Ok, I really just drove behind in the truck, but at least I helped keep him from going back the way he came! My stepfather, dressed for the office (he has a 9-5 job in addition to the cattle business), followed the bull with a big stick while someone else lured him forward with a feed bag. He’d gotten out, somehow, and we had to get him back in before we went off to lunch. My stepdad does not normally herd cattle in a tie, but I guess there is no avoiding it sometimes!

The Bull

The “teenagers” below have been weaned for a few months. The tiger-striped calf in the back is an example of what you get from the bull (Brahman) and cows (Hereford) pictured above and is apparently much sought after.


Besides the animals who are supposed to live here, there is a three-foot alligator in the pond in the front yard. I saw him the first day, but he was pretty far away. We have been unable to spot him since, but I bet he’s still there somewhere. They don’t particularly want him there, he just showed up one day.


We get around the ranch in an ATV called a Rhino. My mother drives like a wild woman. But then, she’s always been partial to sports cars and exceeding the speed limit. I’m a bit horrified she is trading in her black Porsche for a white SUV of some sort. I guess it better fits her new cowgirl lifestyle.


You can swim in the pool out back while gazing out on either the pond or a pasture full of haystacks. There is a passing thought of whether the alligator might like it in there–so far there have been a few confused turtles, frogs, and a crawfish or two. Look before you leap.


The sounds, especially at night, are amazing. Birds, insects, frogs, cows, and the unidentified make an interesting mix. While here there have also been some spectacular rainstorms with satisfyingly scary thunderclaps. Disappointing for swimmers, but beautiful in smell and sound and the feeling of it misting over you on the covered porch.

It’s been a great break from city life, that is certain.

Growing Young in New York

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I took this quiz in the most recent Time Out New York. I apparently got “old” points for having been to Starshine Burlesque recently, but somehow I ended up about a decade younger than my real age.

My New York age is 21

New Yorkers, take the Time Out quiz here.

I’ve heard it said before that New Yorkers live a little “young,” and I’m certainly living a different kind of life than people I grew up with…in general. I’m single, have no children, and rent my home. This is not too unusual for someone my age in New York. Most of my friends who live anywhere other than NYC are married, have kids, own a house, and/or are involved in other very grownup things. My Louisiana friends, for example, started getting married more than 10 years ago, New York friends started getting hitched just a couple of years past. Not that marriage is necessarily an indicator of adulthood, but I find interesting the fact that it generally happens later here. Many NYC friends of mine who are my general age are, however, working like crazy and doing amazing things at work or in grad school. (As are others elsewhere, I’m not trying to say we are all one way or the other.)

So it’s not that we NYers are partying like 21 year olds until we’re 50—I mean, not ALL the time. And if we don’t own homes, it’s because NYC real estate is horribly, depressingly expensive, not because of any lack of maturity. My theory on some of it, hinted at above, is that a lot of New Yorkers (and other big cities, just talking about what I know here) seem to be getting very involved in their careers or going back to school for advanced degrees before deciding to permanently attached themselves to a significant other or consider having kids. I think this is a general trend for our generation, but it’s perhaps more extreme in NYC.

What makes you OLD or YOUNG? I’m sure others might disagree, but in my mind it centers on where you are with your career, if you are married or in an equivalent relationship, if you have children, if you own a home. Of course, you can have all of that and more and still be young at heart. That’s not exactly what I’m talking about here, but it’s part of what Time Out is probably getting at with its quiz.

It’s all how you look at it, of course. A friend of mine who lives in Texas who has been married for several years and is due with her second child this summer recently said to me, “Wow, you have your own business. How grown up!”

I laughed, but she’s not all wrong.

I guess to me, you are more of a “real” adult when you have to raise a child yourself. (There was an article last year I personally found interesting, about the consequences of waiting on the kid issue, at least for women, “Stop Time” in New York magazine.) For others it is something like owning a business or having a high-powered job or whatever. Maybe none of us feels like a “grown up,” because we always see what someone else is doing as being much more adult than anything in our own lives.

And, really, who actually admits to wanting to grow up?

Treasure Hunting is Bad

Friday, June 8th, 2007

An article just posted on, of interest to anyone who thinks it is important to protect the past.

link to article

Profiteers on the High Seas

The big business of treasure hunting is selling off the world’s maritime heritage—and it’s perfectly legal.

Anchors Away

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

I extended my Mode Merr skirt collection today, adding a red anchor skirt to my pink tiki and elephant skirts. My friend models in their fashion show brunch each year, and I always have to pick up something!

Mode Merr Skirts