I attended a dear friend from college's wedding over the New Year and some of the other guests who also knew me in college seemed more excited to tell me how much they love my #kudzuthecat posts than to catch up with me personally. In fact come to think of it, that was the extent of most of my conversations with acquaintances I haven't seen since college, "I just love your cat!" So I decided to write about our precious boober-kitty. 

We think Kudzu will be 8 sometime in August this year, and as Markus puts it, that makes her older than we are (assuming the rule about 1 human year = 7 dog years applies to cats, too?).

When we first moved up here the vet warned me about letting the cat outside, even though we live in the "city" of Northampton, just off of a busy street. Both the assistant and vet convinced me that Kudzu would die young if we let her venture outside the apartment, probably within minutes of opening the door, actually.

"I'm not sure what kind of wildlife you have in Mississippi..." Link to Google search results

So, for the first several months we hoped our basement would be enough adventure for our sweet little fuzzy-pants. And it was. She would hang out downstairs for hours and return covered in cobwebs.

But after a while, even our not-so-new-anymore apartment and basement weren't enough space for two humans AND our sugar-britches. If you haven't caught on yet, we don't live above a bar anymore. More on that good news later...

Once we settled into the new place we started letting Kudzu venture outside, and I'm pleased to share that:

  1. She's still alive
  2. We even survived 6 months of winter i.e. it was too cold to be outside and even she knew it
Once we figured out how to turn the heat on and realized that the fancy silver radiators in each room weren't just for looks, we knew everything was going to be okay.

The other day as I was unloading the car from a grocery store run in the rain a neighbor approached me from the next house over. I heard her say, "excuse me? Do you have a cat?"


"Yes," I replied, a little hesitantly

"Well, I just thought you should know," she said, "when I was coming back from work the other day I saw a cat messing with a raccoon".

I see... "This cat, was it a multi-colored cat, like a tortoiseshell calico cat?" I had to be sure, Black cat and Grey cat wander this neighborhood too.


... "And, when you say 'messing with', what do you mean, exactly?"

"Oh, well they weren't fighting, and the raccoon didn't look sick or anything like that," she said very reassuringly, "but there was undoubtedly an altercation. I just thought you should know."

"Well thank you for letting me know!" I said relieved, as I continued to load grocery bags onto my arms. "In the mean time, I will be sure to speak to my cat about the company she keeps." 

I couldn't help it. Also, is this what it's like to have kids and then send them to school?

Kudzu's next veterinarian appointment is coming up in the next month or so. I'll be sure to report that not only is she surviving outdoors, she's making friends!

We're "Regulars" (!!!)

When Markus and I first visited Northampton, the weekend before my interview on May 20, 2013 - yes I keep up with dates like that - we had breakfast at Sylvester's Restaurant.

Little did we know that two years later our favorite waitress, Caitlin, would refer to us as "regulars". It was all we could do to contain our excitement until she walked away to put our orders in.

To be honest I think Markus would prefer to be considered a regular at a few other establishments around town, specifically those with PBR on tap... But he was pleased enough with our very first brunch spot.

Caitlin told us she was moving to Alaska for the summer season and although she was super pumped, she was not happy to leave behind her cat, Biscuit. Another cat person! Yaaassss. I knew what Biscuit would look like, I just had this feeling - but before jumping right into Biscuit's business, we asked Caitlin what her plan was, where she would be based, when she would be back, etc. and then, "Caitlin, what color is Biscuit?"

Side note: Do y'all know my dream is to have a second cat, an orange cat, named #cornbreadbiscuit? Get ready...

Biscuit is exactly as I pictured, orange and white and adorable. I don't know how she'll manage being away for months and yes, I did think about offering to cat-sit but assumed she had that pre-arranged considering she was leaving in two weeks. 

Who would have thought we would be considered regulars somewhere this early into our tenure in Noho?

"Um....don't you guys go there like, every weekend?" No. Lately we've been rotating with Jake's.


I let Markus read this post before I published it. He said, "I would like to be considered a regular at places that sell PBR on tap instead of somewhere that sells biscuits, but whatever, I'll take it"


Because I didn't get it all out this morning...

7. I'm at war with my basement neighbors. For those of you who don't remember, we live above a bar. I'm pretty sure they aren't affected by my iTunes radio. Nevertheless, we're battling. So far I've matched their "Purple Rain" and raised them Britney Spear's "Body Ache". Take that Ye Ol!

8. On that note, if anyone's looking for birthday gifts for your's truly, Britney's new album has some catchy tracks and I ain't afraid to say it! Thanks.

9. On a similar note, Katy Perry's new album would be another solid addition to my collection of lady-jams. #darkhorse #can'tgetenough!

10. And Lady Gaga: Artpop. Go! Okay I'll stop.

11. You should know that I love love checking the mail to find tiny little envelopes with people's RSVP messages. Few things satisfy me more than typing numbers into a spreadsheet.

12. I don't think my upstairs neighbor is happy with my music selection. Well I don't enjoy hearing his bodily functions. Touché. That's not an exaggeration folks. This apartment living is getting old. For another fun fact regarding our first place in Noho that we will remember fondly but will not be sad to move into a little-bit-bigger place NOT directly above a bar, our rent is just about the same as Markus' 1700 sq ft house two blocks from the beach in Ocean Springs, MS! oy vey!

13. It's not that I don't care what the table decorations look like at our reception, it's that I don't care what our table decorations look like at our reception. I do care! It's just not the most important part of the day in my mind [read: vowing my life to Markus f.o.r.e.v.e.r., coherently; speaking to everyone who attends to thank them for attending our nuptials over all the more important things they have going on in their lives that day]. It came to a point a few weeks ago that I just wanted to throw up my hands and scream SOMEONE DECIDE FOR ME! And then, my most-amazing-and-wonderfully-creative not saying that because I know she'll read this future mother-in-law showed me what she's using for the rehearsal dinner. SOLD. And so the theme carries over. Simple. Shabby-chic.

14. When you aren't asking me if I'm stressed about this wedding, you can also not ask me if I have any colors. Of course I have colors! Every color of the rainbow is invited to our wedding. And everyone gets to wear whatever they want. "Well, what's your sister (matron of honor) wearing?" you ask? Whatever she wants! Okay maybe I reserved the right to veto, but I do just want everyone to be comfortable!

15. Here's two things you can count on: I will be in a wedding dress of the white-ivory color range. Markus will be in a tux. Not sure if his tux will be black, grey or fuchsia. True story.

Monday morning.

1. First and foremost, it's my birthday week. So, there's that.

2. I long for the day I don't need earplugs to sleep. I wonder if they can do damage over time? Like, do my ear holes need to breathe at night or is it okay to keep them stuffed up? Maybe the earplugs keep germs out and I'll get sick less, because they only have access to my nostrils unless I'm sick and mouth-breathing and my nose-hairs help keep them out?

3. I'm getting married in thirty-three days. Don't ask me if I'm stressed out.

4. Yesterday I ran my personal best in the 10th Annual Hot Chocolate Run in downtown Northampton, a 5K, in twenty-five degree weather. I finished in 30 minutes and 20 seconds or something. I hadn't done anything physical at all besides gorge myself at Thanksgiving which is exhausting, hence all the naps in three weeks. I was pretty proud of myself! I do have to say part of my speed likely had to do with I could stop at 3.1 miles instead of having another 10 to go like during that awful half-marathon I ran that one time so the quicker I got there the quicker it would be over and I could drink hot chocolate go inside where people should be in 25 degree weather.

5. I had to scrape snow and ice off the car this morning to take Markus to the airport, another proud moment. We made it there and I made it back without any worries. I think we're going to dominate this winter business. I really don't know what all the fuss is about. 

6. I hope people will understand when all they get from us for Christmas is "love" as in we're coming home for the week, and we ain't got no money for gifts seeing as though there's a wedding comin' up and all.

Happy Monday!


Catching you up in 1, 2, 3...

Since my last post I would like to share with you the following:
  1. I am getting married in eighty seven days.
  2. Therefore I have commenced the lets-get-seriously-serious-about-looking-and-feeling-your-best-in-your-dress-on-the-big-day diet and exercise plan.
  3. As for my "diet plan", it's not a diet, diet, but more of an ingestion-of-healthier-foods plan. And mostly just less participating in the candy bowl at work. 
  4. As for my "exercise plan", I have started to go to gym classes regularly. Starting tonight.
  5. I experienced my first bootcamp class (read: hellfireanddamnation). Remember part II of this post? Tonight was a similar experience, only bootcamp at the NAC lasts more than two seven minute workouts, it's sixty minutes. In a row.
  6. There are four seasons in New England. Currently we are experiencing "fall" (that would be "winter" to my Mississippi folks) and the trees do this:

  7. I still love my job. Maybe even more than ever before.
  8. I went home to MS for the first time since the move to knock out some wedding planning details, it was a success! My list now looks like this: cake, caterer, rehearsal dinner location, dress undergarments, band, linens, sound equipment, music, favors, invitations, ceremony, officiant, everything else...
  9. Our basement "neighbors" have gotten louder. Or maybe it's just that our "fan" isn't producing an equal volume of white noise as our AC was...now that it's "fall" (a.k.a. my normal version of winter) we have no use for the window unit. But sometimes when Markus isn't here I still run it. Okay, most of the times he's not here.
  10. Kudzu is really happy in her one-bedroom-apartment (where her humans just pay rent) and has completely forgotten about the world outside for the moment. She spends her days sleeping on top of the refrigerator or in her humans' bed. She has really perfected her ping pong skills and the humans are contemplating enrolling her in the next kitty ping-pong olympics. 


adventures every weekend

When we were talking about making the move up here one of the things we discussed was having access to so many new nearby places. Little did we know, some of those places are right here in town and Boston is less than 2 hours away! 

Our very first weekend up here, just the two of us, we got to hang out with these guys...

And when I say hang out I mean we got to see them at the Iron Horse music hall and then invited them to our onebedroomapartment afterwards. It was amazing we all fit! and Kudzu was in heaven with all the surprise attention during hours she's usually locked up in the kitchen on top of the fridge.

The same weekend we ventured down the road a few minutes to Chapel Falls...

Another weekend Markus had to fly out of Boston early Monday morning, and I really wanted use of the car that week so rather than have him take it to the Logan airport, I found a last minute Priceline deal in the heart of Boston at the Omni Hotel and we drove up Sunday afternoon after laundry, Sunday is laundry day, always. 

This is where we stayed...

When we got to our room there were three doors, our key didn't work in the first two we tried so we assumed we had the wrong key. We didn't try the key in the room with the plaque on the door because neither of us could believe we would have a suite...it was AMAZING!

We settled in and then explored the city...

Finally, last weekend was epic. We drove 3 miles down the road next time we'll ride our bikes and hiked up Mount Tom...

Don't get me wrong - the adventures are great, but most of the time we don't make it much farther than this...


Before and after shots of "1bdrmapt"...

So, very recently Markus and I moved from each living in our own homes in Mississippi (his, 4 bedrooms; mine, 3 bedrooms) to a one bedroom apartment in Massachusetts. Let me tell you it was touch and go there for a minute! I can't complain too badly, actually, I had no involvement whatsoever with the packing of the trailer. The trailer was packed thanks to family. Expert packers, if you will. 

Dad was convinced even with the pickup truck-bed and the U-Haul trailer, our stuff wasn't going to fit. He was right. A desk, side table and Kudzu's big khaki chair didn't make it (but the matching ottoman did, it's now our living room coffee table as you'll see shortly). Everything else fit though, once all knobs and feet were removed, and boxes were unpacked in to dresser drawers, and every piece of anything that could possible come apart was taken apart...it was miraculous.

That's mom and dad making room for me after I returned my rental car to the airport, they picked me up on the way in, it was glorious to see them. They had to carefully open only one side of the trailer to cram some things from the truck cab in so I could safely sit and ride the rest of the way to Noho with them.

If you've ever moved before you know the packing part is a pain in rah-rah. 

Then, you dread unloading the trailer - unless you have these handsome helpers to assist:

That's the last piece to come out of the trailer #photopp
Thanks to some of my new work-family, we unloaded that trailer in under an hour. But then the real work began: deciding where it's all going to go!

I feel like the next series of photos doesn't even begin to do justice to the state our apartment was in during the unpacking phase:









Mom, Dad and I got pretty much everything somewhat put away. But the pictures on the walls, the TV, the hall closet, the office and a few other things are all thanks to these good-lookin' fellas who drove up during the hurricane (the storm refers to our apartment, it's a metaphor folks) and spent a few days inside:

Sr., Jr.
Now it feels like home!

And so begins the adventure of living together...