Saturday, June 30, 2012

and the wheels on the bus go round and round...

Little Hawk loves that song, the best part is when he sings "the wipers on the bus go swish swish swish" Which he sort of says as "deh, deh on bus swish swish swish" but he makes the little motion and giggles and cracks us all up.

Wednesday we drove from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Rock Springs Wyoming.  I stopped in Boulder Colorado which is only slightly out of the way, to walk around the University of Colorado Campus and the town.  I intended for it to be a quick stop.  I dragged those kids all over for almost 4 hours.

UC Boulder has a really pretty campus and Boulder in general is much greener and prettier than I expected.  It is also pretty big.  K, my oldest, said, "wow mom, I don't know if I want to go to such a big school."  We were not there looking at school to be looking at school, K is entering 9th grade in the fall.  But when we do start looking at schools in 2 years I want her to have been on campuses and know things like, "big schools feel too big" or "University of Colorado Denver is totally out - it is in Denver City and a good 90 minutes from mountains" or my dream school is "Williams and Mary" because I can live at home. (She has never said that btw.)

And then we walked along a little waterway to Pearl Street which is what people "think of" when they think of artsy funky Boulder.  And my first thought was - I need to ditch the 2 yr old, 5 yr old, 7 yr old, and 10 yr old and come down here with the just the 2 oldest and putz around and poke in shops.  What a fun area!

And then around 2 we were in back into the Sprinter and headed towards I25 N.  Rolled into Rock Springs around dinner time and went out to an IHOP for dinner.  Vegan Shmegan my kids were hungry and I led the pack with a veggie omelete.  YUM!

Thursday we drove into Utah.  One of my favorite states.

We had an appointment around 2 at the Winter Sports School in Park City.  We got there plenty early and it is on the campus of the Olympic Training Center in Park City!  So we hung out there a little and watched skiers practice jumping into the pool.  I've never seen that in person before.  They were kids, the ages of my kids, on skis and coming down these long jumps, catching crazy air, and then landing in a pool.  Bitsy looked at me and said "mommy!  Why I not do that?"  Seriously?  "Um, well honey you can when you are a little bit bigger if you want to."  Last Spring we were at Moe's for lunch and they had some extreme skiing on T.V. kids doing stunts, and Bitsy had said, "Mommy, I'm gonna do that." and here she is planning to jump into a pool.  Tim has his work cut out for him if he thinks she is going to be a racer.

I really liked the guys at the Winter Sports School.  They were great, easy to talk to, and they seemed to enjoy K.  While I haven't yet figured out the finances side of things, if she wants to go to ski academy I want her to have the opportunity.  And so on our way west we have two ski school stops.  Winter School - which doesn't include ski team time but they said they might be able to help her find a team home, and Sun Valley Idaho. In Case you don't know what I'm talking about in regards to the Olympic Training Center and people jumping into pools, I found this on youtube: We did not see these people, we saw kids that were younger training on tricks that looked hard to us but were probably more elementary than the ones in this video.

Leaving Burkburnett

Yesterday we left Texas.  We had a great time!  From Burkburnett we drove West and took US 287 and US 87N to Colorado.

On the way we passed through Childress Texas.
Totally AWESOME bakery.  We stopped for Donuts (freshly made), a dozen plus 2, and coffee (free) and 7 cold drinks, all for $22.50 and totally worth it.  If you ever drive through Childress Texas I highly recommend the bakery.  In fact, Tiger piped up from the back "Mom, can we make this tradition?" "Make what tradition?" "This... going to Texas and then driving to Oregon and getting donuts at this bakery."

We'll see Tiger, We'll see.

The drive was long but pretty and we arrived in Colorado Springs earlier than we anticipated.  In case you didn't know, Colorado Springs is on fire.  I had wanted to take the kids to the Air Force Academy, my dad went there, my brother went there, and it is a beautiful school.  I had wanted to take them to the Garden of the Gods.  We won't be going to see either.

Since it was only aout 5 pm we went to Seven Falls which stays open late.  It is a beautiful waterfall that I went to see with my mom, brother and sisters in 1991.  I forgot how steep the steps are, and it was crazy windy and Bitsy kept trying to climb on railings... made me crazy nervous.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

macbook air - iphoto

So I'm a *little* frustrated with this snazzy new computer that my husband has provided me with for the road trip.  (this is not to say I am frustrated with the husband- all the negative energy is focused squarely on the computer)
my brand spankin new MacBook Air has issues with iphoto.
The message is "Your photo library is either in use by another application or has become unreadable"
I googled it and they say exactly what the error says "close iphoto and hold down the option key and the command key and reopen it.  So I do.  And I get the "Photo Library First Aid" menu where I have been instructed to choose "repair permissions" and then I am returned to the "Your photo library is either in use by another application or has become unreadable" message.
I suspect this has to do with my iphone which I have connected to my computer to use as a wireless hot spot.  I suspect it may also have to do with my first night on the road when I did blog - and was trying to move photos, which did seem to download to iphoto, into photobucket and that wasn't working and then I ran out of power.  So applications were not properly closed.  Would not closing the applications cause this problem?  I don't know.

*Wednesday June 27*
I don't remember which morning last week, but I got to playing around and decided to try accessing the library from finder (I think)
anyway, without opening iphoto directly I was able to find the album and delete it.  Deleting the album solved the problem.
So I'm not a computer wiz, and I don't remember exactly what I did, but if you are having a problem like the one I described, try deleting the album. (I still had the photos on my phone)
I then redownloaded the photos and iphoto has not given me any additional problems.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Road Trip!

A few years ago I started this blog for family and friends- my husband and I had thrown our then 5 kids, 2 labrador retrievers, a bearded dragon and a hermit crab into a minivan and driven from Virginia to Colorado for a 6 month stay.

This summer I have left the pets at home (including the dog to my dismay!) and piled 6 kids into a sprinter - big ol' white thing -  and we are headed West.  Our first destination is Texas.

Yesterday we made it out of Virginia-

View Larger Map

We stopped for a picnic lunch at a "Safari Park" that is right off of 81.  What a hoot!  It is one of those parks you can drive through, but I wasn't sure I wanted to do that in the sprinter (I am borrowing it from my husband's company - can you just see me returning it with hoof prints or something?  "Sorry the camels got a little excited" ) So we took the wagon ride.  Each person gets a bucket of food with their wagon ticket and we boarded with probably 20 other  people and took a ride through the park.  It is huge! And pretty.  And while it is a little weird to see an elk begging for kibble- it is wonderful to be so close to them.  The park has llamas, camels, zebras, elk, bison, deer, antelope and other animals all in the feed area.

Little Hawk remembered the Zebras from our trip to Tampa and he wanted to feed them but our guide said to ignore the Zebras, they kick and bite because that is what Zebras do.  So the poor things stand there on the out skirts and look at you forlornly and wait for the wagon to move on so they can eat off the ground.

* wrote that Monday night at the hotel. I was trying to load photos, from my phone to the laptop and then to photobcket and was having difficulty. And it seems the connector for the power cord didn't make it into the computer bag, or fell out. So, this will get edited again... * Currently: We are in Arkansas. I will wake up my kids momentarily and we will hit the road for Oklahoma.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bedtime stories

It has been a busy week - I have wonderful intentions of sharing some of it with you but well, its been busy.  Tonight's precious moment, however, is in a class all its own.

Crazy busy day- and we find ourselves having a late and simple dinner.  I've sent Bitsy and MLyons off to get ready for bed while I sit with Little Hawk as he finishes noodles... I hear lots of thumbing from upstairs.  "Girls!  Mommy asked you to brush your teeth and get into bed."
I feed Little Hawk two or three more bites and there is more thumping.  I holler again and they holler back.  This pattern continues for maybe 5 or 10 minutes.  (who knows.  I swear time slows down at bedtime and what I think is an hour is really 120 seconds.)
Finally there is a lot of loud noise from upstairs.
As Bitsy frequently ignores my admonitions to get herself into bed and can be found playing in her sister's room I suspect that she is doing just that and has been.
"Girls! Downstairs now!"
"Yes mom!"
but no feet on the steps.
"I'm counting! 5, one one thousand, 4..."

They materialize as I say "one" MLyons still pulling her nightgown over her head.

"Bitsy.  Did you brush your teeth?"
"Then you need to put your head on your pillow now and do not get out of bed.  Do not get out of bed to ask me if MLyons can sleep with you, do not get out of bed to ask me for a drink of water, do not get out of bed.  Capisce?"
(yes, we got the whole Italian thing from my brother. And that is the extent of my Italian, right there in those two little words. oh, and "Pellegrino" my secret vice)
and off she goes to bed.

MLyons, ever the most sensitive of children, is already sporting a quivering chin and watery eyes.  "M, did you brush your teeth?"
"Okay, please go to bed now."
And she ducks her head, sticks out her lip, and sulks off.
"M!  I asked you nicely, I didn't yell, please stop."
"I wanted to tell you why we were making noise."
I really don't want to hear her latest, "it isn't my fault" story but whatever, if I don't give now she'll be up there crying and in 20 minutes I'll have to listen to it anyway.
Me: "Okay, why were you making all that noise?"
MLyons: "Well, I was brushing my teeth and then as I finished up I noticed (love that choice of words) that Bitsy had fallen into the toilet.  And her leg was stuck in that hole that the poop goes down."
(yes, I'm pressing my lips together trying not to laugh and my eyebrows are up around my hairline)
"So I helped her out and dried her off and then you made us come down."
Me: "wow!  I wish I had that on video"
her eybrows furrow and she shakes her head.  "Why?"
Me: "Oh c'mon M.  If you saw that on t.v. and it wasn't Bitsy wouldn't you laugh?"
Tears. Full on tears. "It isn't some kid on t.v. it was Bitsy and it isn't funny!"


The only thing that kept me from bursting out laughing was knowing that I could share it with you all later and you'd think it was funny.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sketching at College Creek

I have no idea why they call this little patch of sand "College Creek."  It is off the Colonial Parkway, if you are leaving Williamsburg you head towards Jamestown.
At any rate the boys held soccer practice there on Monday.  They are playing in a sand soccer tournament in Va Beach this coming weekend and wanted to get some practice time in on sand as opposed to turf fields.  So while the boys played, the dog and I walked down a bit to sketch.

College Creek, college creek, near williamsburg virginia, my son is practicing sand soccer way down there

That photo is taken with my iphone, nothing fancy.  So you can tell from the lighting and the clouds that there was an interesting, color saturated sort of light happening.  At first I tried to sketch with colors, but there was a cloud burst and I moved under a cypress for some protection from the rain drops.  Cypress always seem to be swarming with gnats and mosquitos, luckily there weren't any mosquitos but it was till buggy under there- buggy but dryer.  And I decided to just use pencil for my second attempt at a sketch.  I haven't done many pencil sketches recently because whenever I have a minute to sit down I always pull out the colors, I am easily seduced by color.

sketch college creek, pencil on paper, CailinMarie, May 2012, please do not use this image without permission from the artist

so this view is directly across the river.  I didn't get too much done - just about 1/2 way through a gentleman came down to fish by the river and he was so quiet that neither myself nor the dog heard him and so of course the dog put up a big fuss and had to be calmed down.  Poor man was very apologetic and actually asked if I wanted him to leave!  I said no, of course not.  Once the dog settled he kept a close eye on the intruder and then started whining each time the man casted- I think the dog wanted to go chase the lur as there would be a big splash.  I got a bit more done and then my son came to collect me.  "Mom we are done." and "How did I know that you'd be off drawing?"  Funny kid.  He is sweetly proud that I used to sell artwork.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

summer reading

generally I allow myself to stumble about with the belief that I am a fairly well educated woman.

and every once in a while I surface from my daily immersion in "momminess" to have that charming little bubble popped.

like today, when I stopped by a college friends Facebook page and saw that some time ago she had posted a link to a New York Times article in tribute to Adrienne Rich.  I had no idea who Adrienne Rich was.  The title is "Adrienne Rich, Influential Feminist Poet dies at 82."  Shouldn't I have at least heard of her if she's and "influential feminist poet?"  Where have I been?  Oh right, listening to Cars 2 and doing untold amounts of laundry. {Interestingly she looks like my art prof. Alexis.  I'm willing to bet that Alexis knows who Adrienne Rich is.}

And last week in New York walking around the art exhibit thinking "I've never even *read* Gertrude Stein.  What did she write about?"

So I have two new authors to add to my summer reading list.  Which I'll get to right after I read "The Hunger Games" (because I need to know what my teenagers are reading) If I can force myself to finish "The Red Pyramid" anyone else think Percy Jackson is way more interesting than Carter whatever his name is?  I think it is the style, I can't get into the teenager bickering, back and forth narration.  Ugh.

Monday, June 4, 2012

backyard make-over

We have had a big yard project going on since the beginning of May-
a few favorite photos:

big helper

tire swing: test

previous post regarding the big yard project: landscaping

going to link up with Smiling Sally for some Monday Blues

Smiling Sally 
 also linking to "Outdoor Wednesday"

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Steins Collect

Untitled, can't take photos inside the exhibit, so we took one inside the Met's entrance, infront of the exhibit poster

I saw a mailing from the Metropolitan Museum of Art about this exhibit sometime in January or February and it has been nagging at the back of my mind since. I really wanted to go. I also knew that until ski season was finished there wasn't a chance I could go. And then life just keeps adding on and at some point it was May and I was starting to get a little worried. The exhibit closes June 3rd.

 But we worked it out and as stated in the previous post my husband traded in some travel points and set us up with sweet accommodations and I drove myself, K and her friend into the NYC. We got up Sat. and had a lovely breakfast at the Renaissance Hotel and took a taxi to the Museum. We went straight to the exhibit.

 Wow. Really wow. Some lovely pieces that I hadn't seen before. Numerous small works (so many on cardboard) some still in private collections. And you do really get a sense of how important it was that the Steins collected works, befriended artists, and most importantly served as an introduction for the artists to other collectors. This idea that their apartment was open so people could view works by Picasso and Matisse before they were established... so interesting. And this idea that the artists were all talking to one another and sharing ideas and so on, I wonder if that is replaced by art schools, or graduate programs in today?

 notes from the show: I loved that Leo Stein described Matisse as a "talented colorist."

 I relate to that. I rather like "Still Life with Chocolate Pot" by Matisse, in Musee Nationale d'art Moderne Pompidou (I've tried to google this without success, perhaps because so many of Matisse's works have been photographed and are online?)

 Picasso's "Boy Leading a Horse" 1906, Museum of Modern Art NYC, is something.

 The forms are beautiful(okay, the boy's head is a little weird, but it's Picasso). The girls and I talked about how the boy's hand is obviously closed around a halter or something to lead the horse with, but the actual halter is not painted into the painting. And by leaving it out, Picasso allowed the viewer to see the horse, and it is beautiful. We also talked about how he (Picasso) didn't force the back hooves, but alluded to them and the viewer's eye believes that they are there. I suggested that if he had insisted on painting the back hooves it would have had the effect of making things too crowded and busy and would have detracted from the composition. It is interesting that he was so good at knowing what to draw and what not to draw.

 If I could steal a painting it would be "Flowers" by Matisse, 1906, Brooklyn Museum, gift of Marion Gans Pomperoy

Matisse operated a class between 1908 and 1910. (can you imagine painting with Matisse!) and told his students "to paint an autumn landscape I will not try to remember what colors suit this season, I will be inspired only by the sensation that the season arouses in me." {I love that!}

after our tour of the exhibit we stopped in the museum's cafe for lunch (really yummy!) and then enjoyed the Greek and Roman exhibit (K is taking Latin II in school and is very into it.)

K in front of a Roman wall painting
After we'd checked out the classics section we checked out the book store and I went a little crazy.  I bought the book Van Gogh The Drawings which I've wanted for some time. And I bought the catalog for the Steins Collect.  So add that to my summer reading projects!  Having done our shopping it was now 3 pm! And we left the museum for Central Park to do some sketching.

the girls sketching
K & D sketching in Central Park, my sketch of the girls
my sketch of the girls
Sketching in Central Park
we relocated to one of the open grass areas