Saturday, September 15, 2012

Odds and Ends

Jeremiah created a cheesy Wham! (redundant, I know) Pandora station, and the girls love it.  While we were listening to Careless Whisper, I told them about Weird Al's version, Hairless Sister.  I had to explain who both Marilu Henner and Yule Brynner were.  Then Pandora regaled us with Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares to You.  Speaking of a hairless sister!  I was telling Kate and Sarah about Sinead's shaved head and her doe-like blue eyes and perfectly shaped head.  "She can really pull off a shaved head, that one" I said.  Kate snorted and said "not like you".  I don't know why we spend so much time worrying about our children's self esteem, those little a-holes are chipping away at mine on a daily basis.

Kate joined Girls on the Run this semester.  It is a fantastic program for girls..on the run.  Talking about it inevitably gets Band on the Run stuck in my head, but I consider that a bonus.  Before it started in late August, Joy convinced both Kate and Sarah they should run with her on Saturday mornings, to get in shape.  I thought that sounded like fun so I joined them.  Now it's a weekly habit.  On Friday, after her GOTR workout, Kate complains that she's tired and doesn't want to run the next morning.  Then Saturday morning I force them to get up, and while Kate insists she's not running I make her get dressed in running clothes.  Joy, of course, has outfitted them both with adorable running attire from Target.  Then we warm up with a walk to the coffee shop, and Kate insists she's not going to run, then we meet Joy and we all run not quite a mile around a big, long block.  Then, after our intense workout, we reward ourselves with a tasty beverage and sometimes the kids get a scone.  We sit outside and chat with the parade of friends and neighbors who have a similar tradition.  I love it. Today Joy couldn't join us so we began our run at our house, changed the course, and ended it at the coffee shop.  They were thrilled with the change of course.  They were thrilled with the chai latte they shared.  They chatted up everyone there.  On the way home, we sipped our drinks and they listed all the things they appreciated about the day so far.  I have to write this stuff down, because I'll want to come in the office, close the door, and read it again when they're screeching like banshees at one another because they both want the same toy, even though they each have their own version of said toy.  Yes, this record will come in handy.

Yesterday I didn't bike, because Stephanie was out of town.  I walked Monkey instead.  When Kate and Sarah heard I was going to get up and walk Monkey, they wanted to come.  To my complete astonishment, they actually got up at 5AM, got dressed and out the door with me within 5 minutes and were pleasant.  I had to shorten my walk, but I didn't mind.  I've never seen two people so thrilled to see the neighborhood during its sleeping hours.  We watched a little oppossum run across Oakview and they haven't stopped talking about it a day and 1/2 later. 

This week, Jeremiah ran 2 5k's because, I assume, he needed a couple new shirts.  Also because he's a show-off.

Sarah just brought me a picture she drew of herself with a lightbulb over her head.  On it she wrote "Im smoirt".  I asked what it said and she replied "it says 'I'm smart'". 

And now you're caught up!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

I Arthur

Sarah:  How did you know that?
Me: I'm psychic.
Sarah: Oh,  coooooool!
Me: [Nods in agreement]
Sarah:  My mom's a sidekick!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mill Creek Falls

 Just when you thought I'd stopped blogging entirely, here I am popping back up like the scary, seemingly unkillable bad-guy in a thriller movie.  Ta-da!  Today we drove 2 hours into the north GA mountains so we could hike 1.2 miles, round trip.  It's true.  But wait, it was for four waterfalls!  One with a giant swimming hole and a rope swing.

The short trail runs right along the very large creek, with a ton of opportunities to wade right in and frolic.  And frolic we did, at nearly each of those opportunities.  We watched the girls scamper all over wet rocks and told ourselves they needed to do that, to develop their confidence in themselves, as well as their love of the outdoors.  We're both exhausted from this one-mile hike, because that was extremely stressful.  The trail is, in many places, downright treacherous, and Sarah fell no fewer than 8 times.  I am not exaggerating.  She took a full header into the creek, pretty early on.  Took it like a champ, too.  Each time she fell she managed to damage herself in some new way, though and that sort of thing is wearing.  I had to do Reiki mid-hike several times. 
 All that was well before the perilous part of the journey.  Just before arriving at the big fall (80') the trail sort of goes away for awhile, and you must walk along the rocks on the side of the water.  Then, it comes back, but it straight up and down.  To reach the swimming hole at the bottom of the big waterfall, you must descend a wall of mountain.  Someone put ropes up in key places, and using them is the only alternative to simply tumbling straight down to the rocks below.  My girls nailed it, but my heart was firmly in my throat the entire way down.

Going back up, I had to lead Sarah safely to the ridge.  I was surprised how quickly I forgot that portions of the climb were nothing but slick, wet mud and pulling yourself up the ropes was pretty much it for the ascent.  Sarah did pretty well.  Kate had a full-on anxiety attack.  Jeremiah was stuck with her on the climb while I plopped Sarah on a tree stump and returned to help him.  By the time I got back she'd made it through the tough part, but that was pretty much it, she'd climbed and jumped and swum in freezing cold water for hours and she was done.  (Jeremiah kinda was too, after coaxing her up the trail while she screamed like she was being murdered for what seemed like an eternity).  For awhile, she stood still on the trail, refusing to take another step. 

Apart from that drama, during which she refused to release my hand but fervently told me how she would not be speaking to me ever again once we got home and she intended to run away immediately upon our safe return to Atlanta, it was a really fun day.  There were a lot of other people out on the trail and they were, all of them, very friendly, a lot of fun and all looking out for each others' safety.  The weather, oh the weather, was so absolutely stunningly gorgeous.  Blue sky, cool breeze, temperature in the mid-80's...sigh...I fell in love with that weather.  The trail was covered with all kinds of interesting mushrooms which seemed to need to be photographed.  I missed a few of my favorites, but here are some that certainly house fairies of the woodland sort.

Here are some more random shots from the day.  I wish I could've gotten more, but my arms were very busy holding up children while they jumped from rock to rock.  My shoulders are actually sore as I type this.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012


June was a busy month, hence the lack of blogging.  Just figuring out where the kids are going to be all day every day is tricky when school's out.  After we returned from Tybee the girls did 2 weeks at Dance 411 dance camp.  Then it was off to Sustainability Camp.  Yes, Sustainability Camp.  I thought they'd learn a bit about permaculture and what-not, and I'm really not sure if that happened, but they had a blast so there.  Now they're at another dance camp - Barefoot N Motion.  My favorite thing about that camp is that it's half a mile from the house.  They are absurdly disorganized, but the kids are having fun.  Next week they'll spend 1/2 days at the same camp, while Aunt Jo Jo hangs out with them in the afternoons.  After that, Grammy Margie heads down for some quality time with the little blonde Drueke girls.  After that...I'm not sure what we'll do with them, but the final week of July promises the arrival of cousin Ro*!  Then cousin Mikey will actually be moving here and living with Steve and Joy.  The girls are beside themselves with this cousin stuff.

Since March or so, Sarah's been requesting a winter-themed birthday.  I've been plotting it out in my head.  This morning she announced she doesn't want that now.  When I asked what she does want she was quiet for a moment, thoughtfully stroking Monkey's velvety ear while she contemplated the possibilities.  Then she said "how about a dog theme?"  Perhaps I'll go with dogs in winter.  Like the Girls of Summer but less resigned and jaded.  I don't know.  What I do know is that while I had a blessed reprieve from the usual Atlanta humidity for Kate's birthday, it's here with a vengence now, and I wish I had a walk-in fridge in which to decorate Sarah's cake. 

I continue to follow the instructions of the Ease Into 5K app!  I knew right away that my timing was less than fortuitous, picking up running for the first time in my life, when I'm nearly 40 and it's nearly summer in Georgia.  So far, mornings have been mostly pleasant, though.  When Rusty commented earlier that I would be doing a 5K, it was the first time it dawned on me that doing this training program was, indeed, meant to result in just such a thing.  Huh, I guess I will.  I switched the setting from the toneless voice of Jim to that of the encouraging Londoner, Alison.  When it's time to run she says "run!" and I'm certain if she'd not been cut off she'd go on to say "like your feet are winged and the wind is always at your back!  You can fly!"  I like Alison.  Well, I liked her.  Until week 3 when she went from having me do many rounds of 45 and 60 second bouts of running with lots of walking in between to running for, like, 3 minutes in a row.  The first time it happened, I checked the time remaining on the run and found it was still, like a minute and a half and I thought "Alison you traitorous whore!".  My anger gave me energy, though, so I guess she can stay.  I don't know if I'll ever consider myself a runner.  Certainly not enough to plaster my bumper with random-seeming numbers, a stick figure with its hair blowing backwards and "runner girl" in pink.  No, I will never stop hating those "runner girl" stickers.  I do like the one I saw the other day that just says "run" as if the owner is in a perpetual state of panic.  The fact that it's on his car is even more amusing.  "You run, dummy.  I'm driving".   I want one that says "duck".  Anyway, what I do know is this - biking has gotten easier. 

So anyway, the kids.  I have some photos.  I will relocate the little green camera (last spied in the playroom, where expensive things go to die) and share some with you.  I promise. 

Friday, June 01, 2012

Tybee Island Lighthouse from the beach
We took a short vacation.  After Jeremiah's [highly festive] birthday, we headed south to the island of Tybee for surf and sand and too much sun and ice cream.  This morning when we piled back into the car and pointed the car toward Atlanta once more, none of us was ready.  I mean, emotionally.  We were all packed and I don't think we forgot anything, but you know what I mean.  We could've used a couple weeks or maybe a month.  Why aren't we European?

When we arrived on Tybee the sky was looking ominous.  Huge storm clouds loomed and the wind whipped and it was kind of dark.  Undaunted, we headed straight to the beach.  There, we were forbidden to get in the water due to the vicious undertow and imminent storm.  No worries, this did not stop us from obtaining and devouring some fresh shrimp.  The weather report assured us it was going to storm all day Tuesday.  Why is the weather such an a-hole sometimes?

Tuesday morning arrived and, shamed by Jeremiah's adherence to his Couch to 5K (now more gently titled "Ease Into 5K") app, I began the program myself.  I figured the beach was a good place to start this - what with the lack of hills.  So anyway, we took turns running and the rain held off.  Emboldened by the lack of precipitation, we rented the kids bikes.  It was our intention to finally get them both riding two-wheelers with confidence.  We were ready for a morning of starts and stops on the hard-packed sand.  Instead, they climbed on and did this (see photo).  Sarah requested help getting started a few times, but when she realized it was easier for her to control that portion of the ride, she stopped asking.  That was the extent of our teaching the kids to ride.  Step one:  put them on bikes.  Step two:  take pictures of them riding. 

The storm was still promising to hit us, and so swimming was out of the question.  Instead, we spent the morning riding the bikes, and celebrating the riding of the bikes and flirting with the sea's edge until we got hungry.  Flying in the face the foreboding weather report, we brazenly walked to lunch (just around the corner from our cottage, the Flip Flop) at Sundae Cafe.  There, we enjoyed seeing the girls' faces as early-planning and a bit of texting that day resulted in...a surprise visit from Aunt Jo Jo!  We'd been playing the "Made Ya Look" game while we waited for our food and so, when Sarah said "I see Aunt Jo Jo!" Kate absolutely refused to turn around until Joy was touching her back.  Priceless!  Also, this will assure our triumph at future "Made Ya Look" tourneys.  While we were at the restaurant, the weather stopped kidding around, and the skies opened.  Happily, Joy gave us all a ride back to the Flip Flop.  That evening, after some game playing while it rained, and some showing off on two wheels during pauses in the rain, Joy took the girls out for pizza and Jeremiah and I enjoyed a little date.  We weren't that great about taking pictures.  You'll just have to trust me that Joy was there.  She'd had a lunch meeting in Savannah.   She left the next morning, just in the time to miss all the beautiful sunny weather that pervaded the remainder of our trip.  Sigh.

Kate's BayWatch shot
Sarah's BayWatch shot
The cabin's master bedroom has windows to the kids' room.  Weird.

We swam and swam and swam.  We did, indeed, eat a lot of ice cream.  We visited the pier often and on our second trip there, we saw 2 guys catch baby sharks and one guy catch a stingray and a pod of dolphins frolicking, yes, frolicking just off the pier in the blue.  That day, the neophyte cyclists biked from the north end of the island, all the way down to the south end and back again with minimal whining!

This morning, we dragged Kate and Sarah from their beds (per their requests, I should add) to see the sun rise over the beach.  Nature did not disappoint; it was a good one.  I had Cat Stephens' Morning Has Broken stuck in my head the rest of the day as a result.  Just as we asked a nice woman who'd also come out for the sunrise spectacle to take our picture, the fuchsia star peeked over the horizon and she and I both gasped.  The kids acknowledged that it was pretty but I think there is something about age that causes a show of beauty like that to stick in your throat.  The photos, of course, do it no justice. 

At Sundaes.  Good food.
Another shark!

Avec shark
Everyone's got to touch the dang dead shark
As you can see from the photos, Tybee is a shark-infested place.  We enjoyed that.  We love the danger.  And we love that we never met the parents of the baby sharks we found.  They must be bereft.  And angry. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Tomorrow is Jeremiah's birthday, and Monday we're heading down to Tybee Island for a few days.  Today, we are packing, baking, and cleaning.  We have ambitious plans for tomorrow.  We're going to have everything ready to get our happy selves to the coast, prepare for a celebratory dinner with friends and hit the Decatur Arts Festival. 

I provided the girls with a list of things they should pack.  It included a column for each of them to check off every item as they packed it, because I'm one of those people.  It went...passably well.  Their items are gathered and it only took about 4 hours to make it happen.  Though the instruction "clean your bedroom" resulted in a great deal of sister-on-sister violence, some screaming, a bit of tattling (mostly from our little nark, Sarah), no shortage of whining and ultimately, a reasonably tidy bedroom.  After the bedroom drama, Sarah came downstairs and helped me clean the kitchen while Jeremiah's birthday caked baked.  She wanted to help with the baking bit, but because it took her so long to don just the right attire for the occasion, she arrived only in time for cleaning.  She looks fantastic, though, no?  She did a great job washing dishes too. 

We are ready to relax.  It's been a busy few months.   The girls have wrapped up a very active school year.  While we will only have a few days, I'm pretty thrilled to have each one of them.  I cannot wait to get to hang out with my family without having any simultaneous obligations.  Our goal for the trip is to use the soft landing of the packed wet sand at the shore to finally get both girls confidently riding bicycles sans training wheels.  They're so close.  I'll keep you posted on their progress.  Enjoy the long weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What the Kids Have Been Up To

It's been awhile, too long, indeed.  We've all been very busy soaking up Spring, you see, and when it's Real Spring, one doesn't really want to sit inside and blog.  Not this One, anyway.  Kate and Sarah have been doing very well.  We met the first and third grade teachers and learned what we should expect from these grades for our girls.  Yes, first and third grades.  OH it seems only yesterday I held these wee bitty babies in my arms!  But enough of that nonsense, they're still not too big to cuddle.

Kate had a choral performance last week.  I had to miss it because Sarah was inconveniently running a fever.  We knew she wasn't feeling especially well, then by the end of the school day last Thursday her temperature hit 101 and she became persona non grata at school.  We know how she rolls, though.  Sarah will catch a bug, moan dramatically about not feeling well, finally run a fever, kill the sonufabitch off and be fine the next day.  This was precisely what she did.  She owned that little virus.  Take that, virus!  Anyway, Jeremiah attended Kate's concert while I stayed home with Sarah.  It was fun to see how pumped Kate was when she got home.  She loves chorus.  Then, yesterday, when I picked them up from school, the little set they'd used for the performance was sitting out in the hall.  Kate took me over to it, dropped her bookbag, and did her entire performance, moves and all, just for me, because I had to miss it before. 

So that was adorable.  Also high on my list of uber-cute things the kids do is how we've conditioned them to react to the word "jet".  Since Jeremiah and I both are unable to resist relating nearly every sentence and, in some cases, individual words, we hear to a song, we of course do the Wings vocal follow-up to the word "jet!" every time we hear it.  You know, "ewh eeeewwwh ewh ewh ewh, jet!"  That one.  Now, the kids do it, too.  We live right in many a flight pattern for the airport, so believe me, there are myriad opportunities for this to come up.  We'll probably get sick of it soon, but for now, I just love hearing my little kids sing Jet. 

Speaking of how everything's a song with us people up in here, last week's Kinetic Reiki blog entry about the root chakra was named for Root Down.  That's right, the chakra that houses the will to live.  The day after I published that, Adam Yauch died.  I'm not making any point here, I'm just mentioning it, because it was mildly startling timing.  Also, I'm sad.  I'm sad about Maurice Sendak, too, but that was less surprising.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Check Out the Thing That's Keeping Me From Posting Here

I have a new blog, it goes with my Reiki practice.  Check it out!  I'll be writing about pretty much anything I feel is even peripherally related to Reiki.  I'm sure my upcoming post about how I fell asleep on my Reiki table and the rack tracks from the head piece didn't fade from my face for 5 full hours will have you on the edge of your seats

This blog was actually requested by more than one of my friends (what?  Two is more than one!).  A request like that is so touching it can't go ungranted.  Even if "ungranted" is not a word.  So, I'm at it.  I do realize that, to date, there are only 2 posts on it, and that doesn't really make up for my slacking off here, but I type slowly.  I've added it to the sidebar on this blog and here's the direct link. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Oakhurst Castle

There's a lovely home on Fayetteville Road, which is just behind our own road, that we walk past all the time.  It's built to look like a castle though it is, in fact, just a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house.  It's really stunning, and we've always wanted to see the inside of it.  Today, because it's up for sale, we finally got to go inside the house.  We are not the only neighbors that wanted to see this place.  It was the most crowded open house I've ever attended.

Inside the turret, very cool space.
The house really is gorgeous, and we were entertained by some unexpected surprises.  The owners collect antique radios, which were fun to see.  There's a bird's nest with babies in it in the garden.  A huge luna moth lit on the front porch light and was on display for all of us to enjoy.  The artwork in the house was really great, my favorite being a large Frank Zappa painting,
The Sistine Kitchen
right next to a very clean, white sofa, if you know what I mean.  There is some really stunning glass work happening in there and an impressive Sistine Kitchen.  I loved the library, and the out building (which I failed to photograph at all, sorry).  Here's a few shots, and here's the link to the real estate site, if you want to see more pictures.
I took this for you, mom.  It's way better in person.
view of courtyard from master bedroom
View of the courtyard from the front porch.

Front porch
The library.  I wish I'd gotten closer to the radios, they were really cool.

There really are no words for how much I hate this new photo editor.  Anyway, after our thrilling tour, we hit the coffee shop, because it was just so beautiful outside, we really needed a nice beverage and to cop a squat out in the middle of it all.  Kate gave Sarah's doll a piggy back ride to Karvana.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Easter 2012

The Easter Bunny delivered around 10PM last night.  He showed up with his friend, the Tooth Fairy.  We had just settled into bed and were about to turn out the lights when I heard voices from upstairs.  The previously passed out children, it seemed, we no longer in that state.  Indeed, this became clear as Sarah appeared in our bedroom, outstretched arm displaying her basket full of goodies.  We could tell she was very sleepy, she was a bit out of it.  We explained it was the middle of the night and she said "but Kate said it's the morning!"  We sent her back upstairs, then Jeremiah went up to see if they were actually bedding down.  They weren't.  Kate was just standing beside her bed, eating chocolate.  Evidently they did go to sleep, but not for long.  They were back up before the dawn, in our room, eating jelly beans.  Throughout the day, there have been a few brief pauses between candy-eating sessions.
The gang

Lenora & Charles with newly engaged Lindsey
We, of course, continued our tradition of the egg hunt on Third Avenue.  This year, it was much cooler out than it's been in the past few, and the candy was considerably less melty when the kids found it.  Nevertheless, faces, hands, clothing, parts of the sidewalk and plants and some of us adults were smeared with chocolately goodness.  At one point, Sarah came and leaned up against me and said she felt sick.  This was only temporary, and she managed to find and consume the contents of many more eggs before all was said and done.

The hyperactivity reached a somewhat startling level, causing me to feel exhausted despite my doing practically nothing.  Well, I mean, I stood around drinking wine and talking.  That's pretty tiring.  So it's no wonder that as the girls are snuggling in for their bedtime stories, I'm wondering if maybe I should just go to bed, too. 

Wow, the new photo editor for Blogger makes me feel violent.