Thursday, September 30, 2010

Old Love

On Thursday, September 23rd, this year's autumnal equinox and September's full moon, Jeremiah and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. In honor of all the time gone by, we dumped our children on Steve and Joy for 4 days and fled to near-by Tybee Island for some us-time. We were badly in need of the break.

We stayed in a pink cottage just 99 steps away from the beach. On that first night, when the moon was just shy of full, we laid in the sand and saw 2 shooting stars. The cabin, which was all one room with a couple divided segments, also had a second building right out back named The Roost. We slept there, in what used to be a ticket booth, surrounded on all sides by windows, some of which looked out over the ocean.

On Friday, we spent the first half of the day on a sea kayak, taking a guided tour of the creeks in the marsh, and a beach walk on the uninhabited Little Tybee. That rocked. We weren't even half way through our tour of all the creeks, listening to our guide tell us all about the Georgia coast (which is tiny, but amazing) when we realized we should have signed up for a full day trip, instead of half. But, since we did have half a day left, we went to the beach and lounged like snakes on rocks in the sun. Then cooked some fresh seafood and did more lounging, this time with wine.

Saturday, at my urging, we took a death defying bikeride all the way from our cottage into Savannah and back. This really deserves its own post. We used the path that Google Maps suggested. Thanks, Google, for taking us through the nastiest ghetto in which I've ever had the pleasure of fearing for my life. When we reached our destination (lunch!) we could plainly see that if we hadn't taken that right turn on Skidaway, we could have instead sailed past rows of genteel homes canopied under Spanish Moss (which we learned on our kayak trip, is neither Spanish, nor moss. Discuss). At any rate, now that I'm nearly a week out from that adventure it seems like it was a lot of fun. Jeremiah was with me, so I had fun.

On the day of our anniversary, we did a lot of relaxing. That made us hungry. That evening we drove into Savannah and dined at Elizabeth's on Thirty-Seventh. It was lovely. We brought the bottle of wine we'd been saving for 10 years, crossed our fingers and popped it open. It was tasty! It was also very, very heavy and in the heat of the evening, down south in the swamp, heavy wasn't cutting it for me. Still, it was awfully fun to bust that thing open. We marveled at all we've done over the past decade. Then we marveled some more as we realized my parents have had nearly 5 times the years of marriage we have. Then we fell silent, both of us reflecting, no doubt, on the fact that we accidentally did it all in the first 10, now we're out of things to talk about. Nothing left for us but the heavy drinking and maybe some getting fat.

When Sunday arrived, it was time to pack up and go home. The truth is, we missed our kids an awful lot. Were it not for them, we might have just...stayed. On cue, the weather turned from sunny and hot to cloudy and humid, time to take our leave of the beach. We arrived at Steve & Joy's house to fetch our children, and they'd made us a Welcome Home Mom & Dad banner and hung it on the front porch. It was all very sweet. By the time we finally got them and the puppy home and began to unpack, the girls were fighting. Sarah hit Kate and later threw a DVD case at her. Kate pouted. Ah yes, home sweet home.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For my Midwestern Peeps

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but sometimes the girls beg us to let them watch cheesy 80s videos before bed in lieu of stories and, this is where it gets embarrassing, sometimes we let them. I mean, they do read a lot of stories at school…

Anyway, enough about our poor parenting skills. The other night Jeremiah was allowing Kate and Sarah to watch Cindy Lauper’s Time After Time. I still love that song; it remains one of my favorite Sing In The Car tunes. In the video our protagonist finds herself opting to leave a familiar life, sadly, but determinately. If you lived with a guy in a mobile home somewhere in the woods this couldn’t possibly be such a depressing decision. The girls always want literary commentary and explanation on the events in videos, which is one of the main reasons I avoid Peter Gabriel’s hits. The deeper meaning of Sledgehammer? Yeah, you try telling them there isn’t any and see if they accept it and move on.

Kate, in particular, wants to know why the singer in Time After Time is so sad. Jeremiah explained, as have I (time after time) that she is moving on but it’s bittersweet. “What’s bittersweet?” Jeremiah, attempting to steer the conversation away from the visual of the video and on to the topic of Kate herself, explained that the singer is “off to see the world! Looking for new adventures in the big city!” then he asked where Kate would go to find new and exciting adventures in her life.

It’s obvious when a thought is yummy to Kate. Her eyes get wide and glaze over slightly while she savors the freedom to choose from seemingly unlimited options. In no time at all, though, she knew where she’d find her adventure. “Nebraska!” she announced.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tales of the `hood

Back when I was working on the Labor Day in May project for my company, I did some research on my own neighborhood, in which my small team would be doing a fence-building project. I knew a few things about the history of East Lake, but what I learned made me proud to be a resident, even though I didn't do a single thing to make the neighborhood what it is now, except buy a house in it. Which I suppose, one could argue, is a contribution in itself. Here's the little post I wrote about East Lake back then.

And here's the glowing story from last Sunday's AJC about Kate and Sarah's school, Drew Charter School. It makes up for a lot of the incredibly poor communication we endure there.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Tealight Game

After dinner, Sarah taught me a new game. It's pretty complex, this game. The name of it changed several times during the explanation, and I don't remember what she finally landed on. Here is how you play - it's pretty fast-paced so try to keep up.

OK Mommy here is the new game. Whoever ends up with both candles at the end wins. I decide who gets the candles and OH LOOK! I won the first round! So, here's what you do, you have to...slide the candles back and forth and I'll just...see here's what you...Mommy, you're cheating. I know because I made it up! Now's the time we add another candle. So here we go and...OH MOMMY YOU WON! I'm so happy for you. OK I'm going to win this round so pay attention.

From what I can tell, the object of the game is to, um, wait I had this, it's...I thought it involved sliding the tealights across the table at the same time and trying to smash them into each other but then she pulled out the blow-up cow that the guy at the cheese counter at Alon's gave her this morning, which she has named Dirty Diana. I'm not sure what Dirty Diana really brought to the game, but at this point, from what I could discern, I was no longer in the game. Stupid cow. I hate this game.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Spa Day

Kate and Sarah have a copy of Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La It's Beauty Day! and they love it. I believe one of them received it as a birthday present and I am equally certain I never sent out a proper thank-you note for it. I apologize; I failed miserably at that this year. Anyway, we read this one a lot. Fancy Nancy sets up a spa in her back yard and treats her mother to all manner of pampering in it. Kate and Sarah decided they should host a spa day. This, of course, meant that I was to provide the pampering, but I was okay with that, as it promised to be easier to clean up afterward.

So, we made plans with Catherine, Margaret and Ella to have a special spa experience on Labor Day, in our kitchen and surrounding areas. I put together a Pandora station that included mainly Enya and Air to force us to relax. I dimmed all the lights in the house, and lit all the scented candles. I made a watermelon scented sugar scrub, a facial wash, mashed some watermelon and extra-ripe banana, decoratively arranged all the nail polish we own and we were in business. Kate was a customer but also a helper. She massaged Catherine's feet for her, and strummed her guitar in a relaxing (not really) manner.

We did facials with the watermelon and banana. We did foot baths and everyone got a mani/pedi. Everyone except Ella, who preferred to watch and leaf through the fabulous magazines in the waiting area. After the spa treatments, we repaired to the dining room where spa food (strawberry, granola and yogurt parfaits) was served, and I read the Fancy Nancy book aloud to our guests.

The girls then all agreed they should watch a movie while their skin glowed. Kore and I went back to the kitchen and drank the pitcher of mojitos Jeremiah'd made us. He uses fresh mint, you know. Jeremiah joined us for this portion of the day, as did Brendan. I enjoyed giving the girls facials (Kore did all the nail work for me), but I must say the mojito portion of the day was my favorite.

Later that evening, Steve and Joy came over for dinner and brought with them...wait for it...
the kitten Joy found in their back yard! He was not yet successfully named, though they're leaning toward Jimmy. This kitten is probably about 7 weeks old, and he is totally chill. Unfazed by all the activity and the other pets, Probably Jimmy would climb up on a shoulder and snuggle down for a nap. Monkey really wanted to play with him, and he let Monkey have it, as Kate said "Maxy style!" (Later, Probably Jimmy met Max and learned exactly how Maxy Style is really done).

Probably Jimmy in action. Here we see Kate bringing back the 80s.

Labor Day Weekend Updates Coming Soon!

Oh yes, lots of excitement with gorgeous weather and new found friends and relaxation methods. I have photos! I have tales to tell! But right now, I have work to do, so keep your pants on.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Some Cool Stuff I've Seen The Past Couple Days. A List.

1. A humming bird flitting around my next door neighbors' rose of sharon. It was right next to me while I was watering my rosemary.

2. A tiny lizard, right at eye level, on the boxes of fertilizer at Lowes in Edgewood. He won the staring contest, and dashed away the instant I blinked.

3. A squirrel scurrying up a giant oak tree while carrying a 16oz plastic drink cup, complete with rounded cover, in his mouth.

4. A black swallowtail butterfly who was keeping pace beside me as I rode my bike down Ansley Street.

5. Kate, unable to resist the groove while we listened to Jeremiah's Phat Beats Pandora station. She had the whole shoulder dance, head shake thing going unconsciously while doing her homework. She knows the words to Mary, Mary.