Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday at Amvets Thrift Store

It'd be nice to run around tomorrow and get cheap electronics, games, and the like, but I can't afford that kind of stuff at any (new) price, so I'm excited that Amvets (American Veterans) Thrift Store will have everything in the store at 50% off for Black Friday. Amvets is located just off Asheville Highway at 4105 Holston Drive in the Burlington community of East Knoxville. Phone: 524-8498
Amvets tends to have 50% off sales around most major holidays.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Buy sweet potatoes today for later

Take advantage of great prices now on sweet potatoes/yams.

33 cents/lb at Kroger
29 cents/lb at Food City

Don't just buy enough for Thanksgiving, buy all you can use for the next month or two. They'll last that long if stored well. Mine stay in an open box under my kitchen table, at around 60 degrees. Ideally, they should be at 55, but my basement gets too cold. Whatever you do, don't put them in the fridge.
I'll use them for... sweet potato fries, baked sweet potatoes, an African stew recipe and more, then I'll cook, then freeze, the rest.
Mmmmmm, mmmmmm!
For recipes and info on sweet potatoes and/or yams, visit here and here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

50% off at Lowes

Lowes currently has daffodil, tulip & a few other varieties of bulbs 50% off. At Knoxville Center Lowes, the bulbs were located just inside the store near the shopping carts. I love flowers!
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

best pizza in town?

A while back, Knoxify had a post asking readers who serves the best pizza in Knoxville. I couldn't believe how many of the places I had not only not tried, but not heard of. I recently received a tip that Earth Fare in Bearden has excellent pizza, so I tried them out on Friday... it was DELICIOUS!!! I had their Mediterranean, so check them out--better tasting, I would argue, and much better priced than Tomato Head's comparable pizza.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Are YOU her mother?

When I was pregnant, my husband told me he was glad I’d soon have someone close to me who looks like me. To be more specific, he said he was glad no one would question my relationship to her. Boy, was he wrong.

Though my husband is white, he does not have blue eyes, but my daughter has the deepest, bluest eyes imaginable—to the point that strangers stopped us to comment on a regular basis while she was a big-eyed toddler. Her skin is fair, about the color of honey, and though it’s darker than most Caucasian skin, it’s the subtle contrast between mine and hers that people notice and apparently that difference exaggerates in their minds. Her hair is still very “toddler,” short with a few curls in the back and a light brown/dirty blonde color. (If you are on my blog now, she is pitured to the right.)

I’ve noticed that while her father holds her close to his face (such as on his shoulders), the skin color difference between them is also apparent, but a little more subtle than the difference between mine and hers.

A friend of mine with the same looking family has two children who both have brown eyes and dark hair, and she gets the same reactions from strangers. Since her children do not have blue eyes or light hair, it seems that reactions from strangers are mostly about skin color.

The first comment that bothered me came from a family member. The person asked, “have you gotten any comments yet?” Though I knew what the person was getting at, I asked, “about what?” The person repeated, “Have you gotten any comments… since you’re black and your daughter is white?”

Wow. So that’s what that person sees? Though asking that question wasn’t necessarily mean or wrong (though I suspect it was for the person’s amusement), I was taken back by the skin color contrast that the person “saw.”

Another person, a random cashier, asked, “Is that yours?” I thought she was talking about a piece of merchandise my child must be holding, but no, she was referring to my human child. And another stranger sent her daughter over to me in a play area to ask if I was my child’s mother. The girl wasn’t far away when she tried to quietly mouth the answer to her mother.

Mostly though, people are either better at masking their question or they are just being friendly or curious. They’ll say something like, “Oh, she must have her daddy’s eyes,” or they’ll just ask, “where does she get those big, blue eyes?”

And even if people do ask in a way that I deem rude, that doesn't mean I'm interpreting their actions correctly. I could be completely wrong. Obviously, it's a sensitive topic to me.

So I’m torn. Do I answer rudely or politely? Should I see it as a learning opportunity for the asker, or should I just leave them more confused than before they asked? The questions will probably continue for a while or maybe forever, and I need to be prepared. Because of all the questions I’ve gotten, I’m never completely caught off guard, but that doesn’t mean I always have something witty filed away.

Sometimes when they ask, like when a nurse did at a doctor’s office, I act startled and stunned that I’m being asked such a question.

The only witty responses I’ve thought of so far are:

Q: Is that your daughter?
A: funny, no one ever asks her father that.
A: no, I picked her up on aisle five.

I’m not the only kind of parent this happens to. A few parents like me or ones who have adopted children who look different from themselves may experience similar instances.

An example that comes to mind is from a passage from Danzy Senna’s “Caucasia.” A biracial character, who is light with straight hair, and her black father are playing in the park when the police arrive wanting to know what he’s doing out with this young “white” girl.

I know some parents might not think this is a big deal or that I’m overreacting. Or perhaps, some think I’m confusing regular “is this your daughter?” questions with rude ones.

Maybe the following will help: Imagine you and your child (no spouse present) are holding hands, walking in a park… oblivious to the world. You pause at a park bench, resting your feet and smiling at the stranger on the opposite bench. But the stranger looks at you, then at your child… then back at you, and continues with a furled brow. As you begin to wonder what’s going on, the stranger’s face registers full disgust, the stranger’s lips purse and out comes, “are you her mother?
I know the difference.

It’s not as if experiences thus far are as nasty as the above example, but hopefully it helps explain what I don’t like about the question—the possible racism hiding beneath. Another way to think of this—and all of the stupid questions from complete strangers I get (with “what are you?” being the most common)—is the wheelchair analogy a friend of mine thought of.

Imagine you are in the frozen food isle at Kroger, piling some ice-cream in your cart. Next thing you know, another customer rolls by. You wonder why the person is in a wheel chair. But, you don’t just wonder, you ask! The customer is just riding by and you turn, see him or her, and say, “no offence… uh… pardon me, but I was just wondering… why are you in a wheelchair?”

Seriously? Have you ever asked someone that? I imagine there might be some situation somewhere that someone can think of where it’d be an appropriate question, but…

So, why do complete strangers ask if I am my child’s mother? And, what is the best response? …keeping in mind that it is not my goal to hurt people, but nor do I necessarily feel an obligation to provide the answer they are looking for either.

The thing is, I do enjoy talking about these kinds of topics… just not with random strangers who might be asking because they are uncomfortable with my family’s appearance.

So, seriously, share your ideas & thoughts!

(but please hold the “I’m so sorry this happens…”)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra at the library

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra's string quartet will be performing at our local libraries. We attended these performances last year and really enjoyed them. Kids of all ages may attend and admission is free! I saw this on

Clinton String Quartet

November 3, 10:30 AM at Sequoyah Library
November 4, 10:10 AM at West Knox Library
November 5, 11:00 AM at Karns Library
November 6, 10:15 AM at Fountain City Library
November 10, 10:00 AM at Burlington Library
November 10, 4:00 PM at Farragut Library
November 13, 10:30 AM at Powell Library
November 14, 11:00 AM at Borders Books
November 18, 11:00 AM at Cedar Bluff Library

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Baby Bookworms this Tuesday

Meeting twice a month is going well for the Baby Bookworms group at Burlington Branch Library. If you are looking for an activity on the first & third Tuesday of each month for your 0-2 year old, this is the place for you! 10:30 a.m.

readImage by brungrrl via Flickr

Free Zoo Day

A Pair of Ecuadorian Amazon Red-Lored  ParrotsImage by Crispin Swan via Flickr

Since I don't yet have a membership, I'll be at the zoo on Saturday, November 14 for free day.

Free Zoo Day is from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There's no charge for admission or parking, but the zoo is requesting donations of non-perishable food items, hygiene items, and new unwrapped toys for Mission of Hope, which serves the Appalachian region. Also requested: dry Purina brand puppy and kitten chow for the Young Williams Animal Center.

Knoxville Zoo Location: 3500 Knoxville Zoo Dr, Knoxville 37914
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