Wednesday, August 31, 2011

THE Diet

Last week while we were at the beach CNN had an article about a "no heart attack" diet.  My husband read it and then read some of the articles related to it.  And then he ordered Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr's book: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (to do that he had to order a Kindle app for his iPad) and then he proceded to read his book for two days straight while I kept people from drowning at the beach.

Three things you need to know:
1.) My husband only reads the news and for work.  He is not a reader.
2.) I grew up eating mostly veggies, my husband is a meat eater.  Not just a meat eater but a sausage, heavy fat meat eater.  It works fine for him, he has an incredibly high metabolism.
3.) My husband is not at risk for heart disease.  Nobody in his family has had a heart attack.

And in the middle of all this reading my husband cold turkey decided to try this diet for 3 months and see what happens.  In addition to not eating meat, chicken or fish, you don't eat olive oil (!) or nuts.  That is where I'm finding the challenge.  No olive oil?  Really?  HELP!

What are we eating?  Oatmeal for breakfast, and in the book there is a recipe for Sloppy Joe style lentils that I made one night and everybody liked it, we had it over white rice.  We are also eating a lot of black beans.  Last night I made a wheat berry and lentil stew, it was good.

The challenge for my husband has been learning to eat when he is hungry and eating more often.  He lost 7 lbs the first week because he has that high metabolism and he wasn't eating frequently enough.  I think that kind of freaked him out.  (He can afford to loose a few pounds but he is not particularly heavy)
I on the other hand am over weight.  The scale is moving very slowly for me, but I am hoping in the end I will be closer to where I once was.  I have never quiet gotten used to my post pregnancy self, but that is another post all together.

I am particularly proud of the kids.
The kids are not vegan.  They still have milk in their cheerios and I make their whole grain pancakes with eggs in them.  But they are eating vegan dinners.  I decided that I'd alternate nights, one night the vegan dinner is for everybody and one night it is for myself and Tim and its a side dish for the kids.  The kids have been told that since I think Salami is disgusting and daddy isn't buying it anymore they probably won't be eating it at home anymore.  Ditto for Canadian Bacon, American Cheese, and various other things that are in the house because he wanted them in the house.  They have accepted it all without a hint of protest.

Oh, and I haven't quite stopped putting 2% milk in my coffee.  We are trying almond milk but it isn't the same...

His son wrote a book as well. It looks interesting. Apparently the son is a fire fighter and challenged the others in the fire house to give the diet a go.

This change does find me in the kitchen a lot. Trying out new things, and doing an awful lot of chopping, dicing and sautéing without oil. Which is just a little bit much, I came back from the beach brimming with creativity and I want to be playing with fabrics and paints...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricanes and so on

It has been days
my computer is all out of sorts as it didn't like the generator's power so I would occasionally Facebook via the husband's computer.  AT&T has been down so I can't use my ipad or my phone. phooey-
at any rate, power and internet were restored today and there is SO MUCH to catch up on, no?
Hurricanes, Jellyfish updates, I got to read the latest vogue and low- Karl Lagerfeld designed a line for Macy's called Impulse (yes I know, if I read it in print then it is old news on the internet!)  I must find time (and funds) to visit Macy's.
My husband went vegan on me while we were away.
out of the blue
So when I'm not hiding from hurricanes I'm trying to cook for the man.  And there goes the timer - the lentils are done.
So, its a few weeks till school starts and things get back to normal-

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Adventures of the Hermit Crabs

While we were in Hilton Head my husband was teaching the kids the fine art of poker.  And per the usual game, gambling was included.  Yes, that is us, always teaching our children the necessary skills to get by in life.  At any rate I think the betting went along the lines of, if Dad won you did this chore and if the kid won they got such and such.  After loosing a few times and adding dishes and vacuuming to her vacation MLyons won a trip to "Treasure Island" to purchase a hermit crab.

Tuesday night MLyons set out to Coligny Plaza with her K and Dad.  What the kids have named "Treasure Island" is actually called the Shell Shop.  A delightful touristy shop with everything imaginable, mobiles and wind chimes attack you as you enter, jewelry, beach house signs, knick knacks of every variety, the Shell Shop has it all.  And they have hermit crabs.

True to form MLyons picked out a Turquoise shelled hermit crab, (with chipped paint).  It must have had a sticker on it, MLyons informs me it was "Boots" from the Dora the Explorer cartoon, but that seems a bit sketchy to me.

It occurred to me that MLyons's hermit crab might have a better chance at survival if they also brought one back for Bitsy.  Besides, the people who know about hermit crabs say they do best in groups.  So MLyon's brought home a yellow one for Bitsy.

Bitsy's is shy.

On Wednesday after playing miniature golf over at Legendary Golf, we were relaxing after lunch a bit before heading to the pool.  K let the crabs out for some exercise.  We kept track of the yellow but lost the turquoise one.  We looked, and looked, and looked, and all the while MLyons was playing plants vs zombies on the iPad not noticing anything.

Wednesday evening K and I went to Coligny Plaza and purchased a replacement hermit crab.

Thursday morning we fessed up and told MLyons the truth.  We had lost her hermit crab but we'd bought a new one, a better one! so it was okay.  Right?  M was a bit sad but she got over it.

Thursday was a beach day for Tim and the kids, I did laundry, packed and went shopping at the European Shoe store (sa-weeet!)  Thursday night the car was packed for the early Friday journey home.  We were getting up at 2 AM to avoid hurricane traffic headed up 95 (although the hurricane was headed up 95 so really, traffic should be going west but whatever.)  I was up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and heard a bump against the door.  A second or two later there was another bump.  What are the chances?  Flipped on the light and low and behold the missing hermit crab!  I carried him out to the kitchen and put him in a tall drinking glass.  The hermit crab cage with the other two hermit crabs was already in the car.  I was worried we would forget them because of the three AM departure.

At 2 AM I was up with Tim putting last minute things in the car and triumphantly carried the prodigal hermit crab to join the others.

You have got to be kidding me!  The hermit crab cage looked like this.  Really.  The new turquoise crab and the yellow crab were out and about in my car.  (My brand new car may I add.)  Packed to the gills car.  Images of dead, stinking, hermit crabs in my car fill my head.

Triumph deflated.

I put the crab in my hand into the cage.  Went back into the condo and woke up kids.

The drive from Hilton Head home is about 8 hours.  It became 9 hours because the Jamestown Ferry was closed due to hurricane readiness; the ferries were headed up to Richmond to keep them safe.  So eventually we made it home.  Tim headed over to his office to make sure it was hurricane ready and we started unpacking the car.  Dragon gets the credit for finding first the yellow crab climbing up the stroller, and then turquoise crab.

All three crabs made it home, into their new enclosure with a tight fitting lid.  And my car doesn't smell like dead fish.

And this morning the new kid, "Splash" M informs me, opted to upgrade from its turquoise shell to that bright pink one.  As you might imagine this caused much excitement this morning and was the talk of the day until the storm knocked a tree down in the neighbor's driveway and daddy went out with the chain saw to help the neighbors.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday morning coffee & a book, "Without You there is no Me"

Before leaving for vacation my husband related the following: "My accountant asked me if we had any computers that were not in use. One of his clients runs an orphanage in the Ukraine. I told him I'd find him a computer if he promised not to introduce this guy to my wife."

Tim was "being funny" in his own way but I almost said, "No worries, you should see the book I'm reading."

"There is no me without you" by Melissa Fay Greene, first published in 2006

It would be a hard book to read on vacation if I hadn't just read another book by the author, "No biking in the house without a helmet."  In which she describes life with her 9 kids.
I don't remember if she specifically discusses vacations, but it does seem that she and her husband raised the kids pretty much like your average American family and I'm willing to guess that vacations were a part of that.

The story is fascinating; but I find it hard to keep up with the author. She switches off telling the story of Haregewoin with the history of Ethiopia, with the history of AIDS, with the history of the West's lack of intervention... And while I understand the need for the reader to gain all of the context, the skipping around confuses me. Part of this is no doubt that I'm reading this book on vacation with my own family, small ones interrupting frequently.

I find that I am shocked that this was written in 2006.  So recently!  Did you know things were this bad? I remember calling in 2006 to initiate Bitsy's adoption.  I called the agency and said I was interested in international adoption specifically Korea.  The woman on the other end of the phone said something along the lines of, "Korea is changing its policy and we do not know what it will be.  Things are uncertain, would you like to consider another country?  Ethiopia is a good program, they have western facilities with western doctors and the process takes only about 6 months."  I explained that I had a Korean adoptee already and for him I felt we needed another person in the house who shared his ethnic origins.  If I was going to adopt again it would be from Korea.  Part of me feels very odd reading this book after having had that conversation.  If I hadn't adopted Bitsy surely someone would have.  (although one month after initiating the adoption process in 2006 we did receive a phone call along the lines of: there are not enough parents in que and we have babies.  Please finish up your paperwork!)

I find myself bristling at her repeated finger pointing at Republicans.  I adore the descriptions of Dr. Hodes and his wonderful boys.  I read aloud the author's recounting of Dr. Hodes family meeting.  My boys roared.

Two particular sayings I hope to keep with me:
"In a place with no people, try to be a person"
quoted from the Pirkei Avoth, the Jewish ethical compendium from the third century (I don't know anything about Pirkei Avoth or Jewish writings but that is what Melissa Fay Greene said, so I'm taking her word for it)

And this bit isn't really a quote - but she wrote: "I had thought I would write a hagiography, a chapter for Lives of the Saints" but Haregewoin isn't a saint.  "Zewedu, her old friend, saw who Haregewoin was: an average person, muddling through a bad time, with a little heart than most for the people around her who were suffering and half an eye cocked oward her own preservation."
"And then I heard, to my delight, that some people say even Mother Teresa herself was no Mother Teresa."

I love that about the saints.  It made me think of Schindler's List.  Do you remember that movie?  It came out when I was in college and as I remember it they took pains to remind the viewer at the end of the film that Schindler was not a saint, he was a man, with strengths and weaknesses who chose to act.

This is a good read.  The story of Haregewoin is fascinating.  In addition, Melissa Fay Greene introduces you to some of the children and follows up with them.  The stories of Ababu, of Mekdes and Yabsira, Meskerem, and Mintesinot  are so wonderful, so heartwarming and hopeful in the middle of the overwhelming numbers.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dolphin tour with Commander Zodiac

Commander Zodiac, South Beach Marina, Sea Pines, Hilton Head

such a cool experience:

shrimp boat, "the Yellow Jacket"

holding a ball jellyfish.  Not the best resolution, sorry, trying to take a photo with my iphone of my own hand behind Bitsy's hand on a moving boat... and good for you Bitsy!  She still has quite the marking from her jelly fish sting and here she is holding one.  Ball Jellyfish do not sting.

Do you see those dolphins just past MLyon's head?  Bottle nosed dolphins.  I don't know how many we saw.  They got right up close and personal too.  Our captain, Captain Andrea, said we had good dolphin karma.  We did get to see quite a few, and a baby, and at least 3 jumps (!)

Oyster shells make the reefs - the tides push them, and pile them up

K and the Captain bringing us back in
Captain Andrea let each of the kids take a turn at the wheel.  They all had huge grins on their faces.  Bitsy kept steering to the right, after trying to get her to correct the Captain said to the rest of us, "we're doing a donut"... and let Bitsy go right in a nice tight circle.

Our tour was an hour.  I'm saving my pennies for next year.  Maybe we can go again.  Maybe we can even go for a longer ride...  it was really cool!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Sand Castles

Biking back to the Shipyard from Coligny we passed this sand castle.  Two or three boys saw us looking at it and came over.  They said three guys from Ohio State had spent several hours on it with some help from their girlfriends and some other people.  The guys from Ohio State were not there anymore when we were looking at their sandcastle.

Yesterday we took a break from the beach.  MLyons was a bit sun burned, not badly, but still; I wanted to keep her out of the sun for a day.  And Tim is being a wet blanket about the beach.  I don't know why.  Anyway, we took a break and decided to bike into the Sea Pines.  Tim said, you don't bike into the Sea Pines and I thought that was ridiculous, they have bike paths don't they?  You can pay $5.00 to enter with your car and drive to Harbor Town, why not bike to Harbor Town?  So we biked over.  The security guard said, "You don't bike into the Sea Pines!"  But a grandfatherly gentleman on a bike took pity on us and told us to go to the other gate and punch in the security code (which he gave us) and so we did.  It was a rather long bike ride in the end- but we made it to Harbor Town.  They have a wonderful playground there and lots of shopping.  But we like the nature center.  We wanted to have dinner at the Crazy Crab but we were there in between their lunch and dinner hours so we stopped at a little outdoor place and the kids had ice cream, I had a Margarita and Tim had a peach Daiquiri.   I thought it would be nice to go into the light house as it is the symbol for Sea Pines, as well as much of Hilton Head and I've not been.  But we saw dark clouds approaching and the weather app on Tim's phone said we had an hour before the storm hit.  So we decided to bike back.  We rode the last mile in heavy downpour.

Today we were back at the beach.  It was another fun day with lots of board riding and digging in the sand.  I made a reservation tomorrow on the Commander Zodiak.  It is a little bit pricier than many of the other tours so I hope it turns out to be worth it-

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pictures, The Shipyard, Hilton Head

well, I commandeered Tim's laptop while he was out fetching dinner and I'm moving a few photos
all of these were taken with an iphone as I forgot my camera

Southern Magnolia draped in Spanish Moss. There is moss in abundance here. Not something you see at home!

Do you see that tiny little black line on the other bank?  That is an alligator.  We saw it on our walk on our first day here, last Sunday.  It had caught a fish about as big as it's head and it was trying to eat it.  I didn't think I should get any closer with Bitsy in tow.  I really wish I'd had my camera, what a photo that would have made!

Fishing behind the unit we stay in.  The unit we stay in backs up to the lagoon, the left (not in this photo) is golf course.  It is a wonderful location, fairly quiet, not too busy, and from the porch we can see all kinds of turtles, alligators, cranes in and around the water.

K up early fishing

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best dinner & a long bike ride

More beach, more beach! It is hust over a mile bike ride to the beach, really pleasant, and MLyons is doing so well. She went with her dad to the bike shop last week to see about something for the ike rack. Right next to the bike rack was a brand new, turquoise blue, bike, just her size (or so Tim says). MLyons had been using the bike we'd bought K 8 years ago and she'd outgrown it, and the tires are going to split any day. So... New bike! Well, that girl has been a trooper on her bike.

Today after the beach we road our bikes from the Shipyard to Coligny Plaza 2.5 miles give or take. We got a treat at Rita's and walked around a bit and decided to give Daniel's Restaurant and Lounge. Wow! I cannot wait to go again, they have a kid's menu, and I would have eaten all of the food they served my kids, I tried Bitsy's penne pasta, yummy. I tried Tiger's quesadilla, also very good, MLyons ate her hamburgers before any of us got close. Dragon had cheese pizza, I didn't get to try that either. K had an Asian salad with tuna that literally melted in your mouth. tim had already placed his order but when he tasted K's tuna he decided he needed tuna too. I had a Greek salad and a salmon & crab slider. Wow. Besides the food the atmosphere was very cool, and the music was chill, I wish we had a babysitter I want to go back with Tim for a grownups night out!
After dinner we took our bikes to the beach to bike back, wow, against strong wind that was work! Tim was pulling Bitsy in the trailer and I know that had to feel heavy with the wind dragging against it. We passed two cool sand castles, really cool ones. I got pictures of one of them, and then MLyons had had enough, she was tired and her legs hurt. Her dad offered to walk her bike and then Tiger looked up and recognized land marks, we were almost there! MLyons got back on her bike to finish it off. We still had to peddle to the house but the bike path felt easy out of the wind. Arriving home I passed out Klondike bars all around, they'd worked hard for their desert tonight!

Yesterday was great

We were back at the beach yesterday.
Upon arriving I took Bitsy to the lifeguard. (yes, I know she is a life guard not a doctor) and said that I knew she could not give me medical advice, but I do not have experience in this area- is the swelling normal? The lifeguard said in her experience that varies person to person, it is a skin reaction to the sting. In her experience you worry if the whole person swells, or has difficulty breathing, but that usually happens within 10 minutes of being stung. Okay, I felt like I had a reasonable handle on it.

So the tide was way in and w dropped our enormous pile of stuff (Tim likes stuff) and I took Bitsy to the water. I believe if you fall off of a horse you get back on it as soon as you can. Bitsy is part mermaid, pre jellyfish she had no fear of water or waves. She was nervous. We stood just ankle deep and then Tiger wondered aloud about jellyfish, I told him to go ask the guard how many had been reported. Tiger did and came back jubilant, "there haven't been any today in this area!". It was breezy and the lifeguards were flying the caution flag. We stay in the Shipyard, the water is not rough but when it picks up more than the usually placidness they fly the caution flag. With the jellyfish gone away and the surf it was a splendid day at the beach. The kids were boogie boarding, diving into the waves, even Bitsy. We left around 2 pm because Tim had had too much sun.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hilton head day 2

I'm totally using this as a prompters for when I get home and try to scrapbook with the images from my iphone... sorry if I am boring you.

K caught two fish this morning
Threw them both back. We need to research the rules about size in Hilton Head, what you can keep and what you cannot. As she pulled in the fish the gator swimming in the lagoon quickened and came close. We think maybe it was hoping to a. intercept the fish before K got it out,or b. it was hoping she'd toss it back in in the direction of the gator. Instead it just made K nervous.

Tim took the car and therefor the space case to Areawide Locksmith and $20.00 later had a new key and the case unlocked. Meanwhile I took Bitsy to the beach. Tiger came along. About noon we headed back for lunch.

Interesting, when we arrived we were kept out of the water by the life guards, a shark had been sighted. Maybe 20 minutes later they gave the all clear and we could go in. We didn't go far, shoulder height on Bitsy is still less than waist level on me. We didn't have one jellyfish incident. It was high tide when we got there, I think it was about 9:30 when we arrived.

After lunch Bitsy was on a boogie board and was stung. MLyons was stung too, and then K and Tiger were stung. The jelly fish wrapped around Bitsy's foot.

This evening at dinner I took a picture, her ankle and foot are swollen and the marking from the jelly fish is purple. I gave her benadryl at bedtime. I'm not sure what else I can do for her. :(. Poor baby!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday, Hilton Head

Hilton Head SC day 1
I am frustrated! I left the good camera at home. (okay really, I'm all for claiming responsibility and all but I cleaned and packed up 7 people and I put everything on the dining room table and there is all kinds of stuff that didn't quite make it into the car. Getting it into the car was his job, with the two boys)

This morning I took a walk with Bitsy while Tim taught the older four to fish. I have a photo on my iPhone but my laptop didn't make it into the car either, I'm using an iPad, and I don't think I can move photos...
While Bitsy and I were walking we passed a young alligator, maybe 2 1/2 to 3 feet long. He was up on a grassy bank out of the water, we were not close to him, and he was trying to eat a fish that looked bigger than his head. I dearly wanted to creep closer for a better look but it didn't seem smart with Bitsy in tow.
But wouldn't that have made a fabulous photo?

After lunch we walked to the beach. Usually we ride bikes but as he was locking the space case to leave Tim broke off the key, in the lock, so we can't get to the helmets. He is a purist, no biking without helmets. So down to the beach we walked, and we passed a small garter snake on our way. I gave K my iphone to take a picture with. As we arrived at the beach we heard the thunder rolling in and passed the lifeguard whose chalk board noted 53 jellyfish stings had been reported. But it turns out that the count was actually up to 114 but he had misplaced the chalk.

We were on the beach maybe 30 minutes and had to leave as lightening had been seen. I don't argue with life guards. Especially about storms. Tim had actually left 15 minutes earlier to jog home and get the car so we packed up and he arrived in the parking area the same time we did. K, Tiger and MLyons all had jellyfish stings within the short time we'd been there.

It didn't take long before the weather cleared and the older kids were all out fishing again. Tiger caught a little sun fish, apparently they aren't worth eating so Tim told him to throw it back. An alligator surfaced and decided to swim closer and see if the kids were throwing anything worth eating. This just seemed like a nightmare waiting to happen but it all passed without any excitement.

Another storm rolled through around supper time.
After supper Tim sat the kids down to learn to play poker.

4 year old moments

Yesterday we began our trek to Hilton Head Island. My husband's family has been coming here for years, like since he was in junior high at least- we missed last summer so the kids have been that much more excited. Well, the older four-

Bitsy got that we were going to the beach. Less than 20 mi it's into the ride we reached the
Jamestown Ferry. "I see it mom!". She called excitedly. "Yes honey we are taking the ferry." "No! The beach! I see the beach!"

Um, no. We are not going to the Jamestown beach.

About 2 1/2 hours into the trip we stopped at Chick a filet for dinner. The smaller ones climbed around and the 10 & 9 year old boys "watched them" (which means they climbed around) for a few minutes while we waited on our order. After eating our chicken & potato fries Bitsy noticed a young man, maybe college aged? Eating ice cream.
"Mommy, I have ice cream?"
"No honey"
"it is time to go"
She thinks for a minute and I'm scooping up trash and directing kids to the bathroom. I notice she is standing a foot away from said ice cream eating man, staring at him and absentmindedly playing with her shirt. "Bitsy! Don't stare" but I'm laughing and he notices and kind of laughs too. Finally we are leaving and Bitsy points at ice cream man, "But why he have ice cream?"
Oh brother. Seriously, you are going to be 5 in a few months. "Well, his mommy isn't here to say no" is the bet I can come up with.
(there is an intelligent mommy line if ever there was one!)

I'm asking for a refill on Tim's ice tea and ice cream man stops for a refill on his drink. He smiles and says, "that was kind of awesome."
Yeah. She is kinda awesome I think, but I just grin back.
Safe travels ice cream man.

Finally, at 11:30 pm we arrive at the time share unit. The big kids are excited, "We are here!". Bitsy looks around in the dark and says, "but I don't want to be at Hilton Head. I want to go home!"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Special Pink Saturday

There is something wonderful about children all dressed up and playing outside.  This is one of my favorites, taken some years ago in the churchyard after a wedding ceremony...

I am packing and trying to leave for vacation - however - this Saturday is a very special PINK Saturday. Beverly at How Sweet the Sound is participating in a Miracle Makeover, for every comment a donation is made. For more information please stop by Beverly's blog...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rites of Passage

Do you have girls?  Do you have ages for the right time to try something new?

My mother had a time-line
7 to get your ears pierced
13 to wear nail polish (only light pink)
13 to have "big earrings"
9th grade for make-up
9th grade for shaving

dating was a non-issue.  I had a boyfriend for two weeks in 10th grade and that was it.

I have a thirteen year old daughter - she is starting 8th grade - in a world of texting, and Facebook, and cell phones.

Last week at pilates the instructor (who has a daughter in 6th grade) asked me when K started shaving.  Apparently her daughter wants to start and the mother thinks she is too young.  I answered that K had brought it up in 7th grade so I taught her to use the strips & self wax.  I don't think age matters that much really, if the girl is self conscious about it, well it is an easy fix.

I bought her make-up last year, we were talking about it and I decided I didn't want her buying something that looked cheap, so I bought her decent face cleaner & make up remover & moisturizer and then color: eye shadow, eye liner & mascara.  She doesn't need the mascara but apparently that is the big thing - whatever.  Oh, and lip gloss.  So she played around with it a while and then one day wore it to school.  Her friends were shocked that I'd bought it for her.  Apparently the ones who are playing with make-up sneak theirs onto the bus and apply it on the way to school.  really?  I think it is silly.

I don't think allowing my straight A student, who is polite and sweet, to apply "ballet pink" eye shadow and mascara and lip gloss is going to send her down the road to self destruction and I think if she is going to self destruct she will anyway - whether I let her wear make-up or not.  And as some of those previously mentioned girls have proven "let" is loosely defined.  Their mothers don't let them, but they do anyway.

And then we got to boyfriends.  As I mentioned, I made it through school without much experience in the boyfriend department.  Then I went to a women's college and eventually dated an engineer long distance.  I was in Massachusetts and he was in Colorado - seriously long distance.  So I've been a bit at a loss with all this boy business.  K informed me last week that she and H are "dating."

Which is adorable - because all summer they've been texting away and its so obvious they "like" each other and they set up getting together and then they have to ask for a ride.  So the first two or three times they planned it all out and then K would say "Mom, I want to meet H tomorrow so his mom is going to call make sure it is okay with you."  How cute is that?

Anyway - I like H.  He is a smart, polite young man.  He is nice to K and nice to her brothers and sisters and polite to me.  And like K he takes Latin and advanced Math and so he is inclined to "get it" when she says she has to study.  In fact their first get together he came to our house to study for exams.  And so here we go - another first in the life of my oldest baby - the first boyfriend.

So mommies - do you have ages when it is okay to do things?  Or do you find yourself just sort of falling into the next rite of passage?  And for goodness sake - how do you handle the whole dating thing?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Hoarding Food

Pick any day.  Go upstairs.  In Dragon's room you will find any number of peed in underpants under the bed or stuffed behind something in the closet.  You will also find any number of wrappers under the bed.  You may even find crumbs in his bed.

I don't know why, but this makes me crazy.  It is like the "hot" button.  It infuriates me that I'll buy a box of some snack or other as a treat - and he'll eat the whole damn thing before the event for which it was intended.

Dragon is 9 years old.  He has been in our home since he was 6 months old.  Attachment was never expected to be an issue.  But it is.

Everybody focuses on the kid.  But at some point you have to expect a certain amount of wear and tear on other family members.  I am tired of dealing with peed in underwear and food under the bed.  I am tired of school backpacks stuffed with a week's worth of snack bags.  I am tired of being lied to.  I am tired of his irrational responses when his siblings disagree with him, argue with him, don't do what he wants-  a week ago he put Tiger in a head lock because he wanted something.  Tiger got out of it.  After Dragon's third attempt to put Tiger in a head lock Dragon furiously enlisted my help "Tiger had taken something from him"  so I called over Tiger and said Dragon has something to say.  Dragon stated his case and then Tiger calmly said "now I have something to say" and proceeded to explain the three head locks.  "Is this true?"  I asked Dragon.  He said it was.  Seriously?  You try to take something by force, 3 times, and when you fail you ask a grown up and actually expect them to be on your side?

And this summer Tim has a project - we are switching to Geo Thermal heating and cooling - which means we have spent the last 3 weeks organizing the basement so they can re-vent it and rework it.  So I'm busy & distracted on top of everything else.

Sunday we go away for two weeks.  I'm holding on because I know it will be a good change in scenery for everybody.

Somedays I just need to vent.  You know?

Monday, August 8, 2011

morning run.

view from the bridge on Mounts Bay Rd, Kingsmill, Virginia

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Debbie has promised a second Magazine Challenge - and so I'm keeping notes
I did my first one
and it got me going...

I love all this color - it makes me think southwest.  I know, lots of people think beach and yes I can go there with a Southern California vibe - my Grand-Aunt lives in Orange County California and is a weaver and used to take me to the BEST artsy market every and this does make me think of that... and it makes me think of Taos, and the desert too.  And that is my home - southern desert at the foot of mountains... to be honest it takes me out of this humidity.
and so...

I decided to go play with color:

little white table found at Ross for 6.99.  And some aqua paint.

they showed hanging planters lined with indoor outdoor fabric
I found indoor outdoor fabric at Hancocks 1/2 off at $5 a yard.  I bought three yards.  It isn't enough.

perhaps not so easy to see in this photo - the fabric is striped and I was playing off that aqua

Friday, August 5, 2011


playing in water on a hot day - best thing ever

Monday we took K to the airport to catch a Malibu airplane - our friend Erik owns one and he was flying K to visit with his wife.  K got to go to the zoo, and watch Brigid cut a puffin sample to send to the lab, and check out some other samples.  Brigid is a zoo pathologist.  After work they went shopping. K came home with a cute outfit that will double as school clothes.  Smart girl.

While K was on her adventure the husband was in Denver for work, so the kids and I packed up dinner into a backpack and went for a hike.  When I was a kid I lived in Germany for three years and my dad got into Volksmarching.  Every weekend for almost 3 years, we went on a family march {I have excellent memories of walking through the black forest, and wandering through vineyards- although the ones along the Rhine were quite steep}.  The first year we did the 10Ks, by the time we left I'd walk two marathons, 42K marches, I was in 7th grade.  I cut the girls a break and let M-Lyons and Bitsy ride bikes.  We went out onto Carter's Grove Road which runs behind my neighborhood and connected Carter's Grove to town - I think in the time of plantations it most likely connected to Rte 5, but that is just speculation.  Anyway - we made it not quite a full 10K, which would have been 6.2 miles (?) we made it 5 something miles.  Which I thought was quite good for a first go - 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finches at the Basil Seed

Oh you can't see.  Click on the photo and enlarge it, there are two yellow birds on the basil plant, going after the seeds.

We saw them on our deck last week during one of the ridiculously hot days when I let go of all the rules about the T.V. - too hot to go out!  So we watched T.V. and played RISK (even M-Lyons who is 6 played.  But we all were on her team so to speak.  Dragon was taken out but he handled it really well. Much better than I expected.  Hopefully we'll play again soon)

I was shooting through the window - so a little unclear.  But you might be able to see, where it is brown and dried, there are seeds inside, and then the birds

So then I thought, I wonder if our parakeets would like basil seed?  So I brought in a spray.  But my oldest cleaned up and I don't know if they ate the seed or not.

American Goldfinch


And so, this book has been on my brain.
And I was visiting a blog "A Baker's Dozen" and checked her post "Great Reads"
and I think I found it!

The Family Nobody Wanted
by Helen Doss

I went to my library today to see if they had a copy. They did not. So, I'm going to order one of the used books and see if this is the book I've been looking for.