Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Back to the car...I am a convert. I cannot believe how it looked when I picked it up. It was cleaner than the day I bought it. I am promising the whole world of the Internet that I will keep it clean. They even successfully removed the ballpoint pen drawings from the back seat. Flipper has been informed of my new rule: whenever we get out of our car, EVERYTHING must come into the house with us. No more shoes, socks, trash, toys, books, clothes can remain behind. It is beautiful. I love the Carolina Car Wash, where I took it. Family owned, friendly, professional, small-townish (in a good way). Worth springing for once or twice a year. Now, back to Facebook...
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
This level of slovenliness does not extend to the house, thank god. I am quite clean inside the four walls, although somewhat messy. But the car is a whole new ballgame. I will confess something so very icky that I beg of you not to judge me TOO harshly: over the summer Flipper jumped onto the sunroof (don't ask) and knocked it slightly off it's track. I was unaware that it caused teeny tiny interior leaks, ultimately soaking the backseat floorboards, which were covered with multiple layers of magazines and papers. I lifted out layer after layer of damp paper....and uncovered a small nest of little worms. Alive. And what did I do? Why, what anyone would do in that circumstance: I dropped the whole pile back on top of them, and walked away. But today, over the course of 6 hours, the car, which I truly love and which has served me so well, will get a cosmetic overhaul. I can't wait!!
p.s. The above maggoty-worm story made me feel awful about myself...until a friend confessed that the same thing had happened to her. Except it was a pile of clothes on her dorm room floor...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Neither, "Russian" tea made with Tang and instant tea, straight out of the 70's. I love it.
Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree? He does both, depending on the size of the gift.
Colored lights on tree or white? Both. But no blinking!!
When do you put your decorations up? 10 days before Christmas.
What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Latkes. But we're not Jewish. However, that doesn't stop me from loving them!!
When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I cannot remember, so it must not have been too traumatic.
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No. We go to our one-time-a-year church service (at our old church) and then go out for Thai food.
How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With vintage glass ornaments from the 40's and 50's, glass icicles and clear lights, as well as the old-fashioned large-bulb colored ones. But NO BLINKING!!
Can you ice skate? Sort of.
Do you remember your favorite gift? A toboggan (shared with my sister) and a navy blue sweatshirt with my name on it.
What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family, and the fact that our Christmases are very low-key and have no drama or bad memories attached to them.
What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Fudge with walnuts, made by someone else!!
What is your favorite tradition? Stockings and setting out cookies and carrots for "Santa."
Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving? Both. Hard to choose. But probably giving the perfect present a little more.
What is your favorite Christmas Song? The Waitresses, "Christmas Wrapping"
Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? I hate all mint, candy canes included. My daughter, however, loves mint so much she can eat Altoids one after the other.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
It is 4:35 a.m. I have already done a huge load of laundry, re-stacked the 30 or 40 books by my bed, made coffee, answered emails, learned how to do the blanket stitch on YouTube...and in a few minutes I am going to vacuum the entire house, save for the room where Flipper is peacefully slumbering. Then I am going to work on the felt crowns that my best friend's sons will receive for Christmas. Using the blanket stitch, of course. Then fold the laundry when it emerges from the dryer, pack Flipper's Bento box, and read the paper in a leisurely fashion, since I will actually be awake to hear the wet smack it will make when it hits the road in front of my house.
Last night I clicked the light out at 8:05. I am not kidding. This morning I read an email from a friend that sent it at 11:13, at which point I had been comatose for 3 hours.
My body loves this schedule. In my late twenties after an ugly break-up with a barely-human evil creature, I lived with my grandmother in Atlanta for 4 months or so. Every night she would go to bed at 7:30 or 8, and rise at 3 or 4. Unlike me, however, this drove her insane. She would bemoan the lack of sleep she got, and no amount of simple math tutoring on my part (and she was a lawyer, no less) could possible convince her that she was, in fact, getting 8 hours of sleep a night. They just weren't the 8 hours SHE wanted. Me? I'm OK with it. Every evening I promise myself that I will stay awake until at least 9, and most nights I fail miserably. But that's OK. Just as long as Flipper doesn't decide to join me.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
I just went outside (it is 5 a.m.) to retrieve the paper, and call Seamus back in, when I noticed (thank God) the furry body of dead squirrel on the porch and Seamus crouched protectively over it. I left it for my mother to deal with, as she is about 99% less squeamish than I am. Probably from being a nurse for so many years. In a weirdly good way, however, it reminded me so much of one of my other dogs, a nightmarish (but beautiful) chocolate lab-chow chow mix named Junior. He was a total freak: all the worst traits of a lab and chow mixed into one creature. But...we loved each other so much; he was a total Mama's Boy, loyal and loving to me and few others, but that was about it. One time I went up to the bedroom, only to find him on MY BED, proudly displaying...a dead squirrel, one that had been hit by a car but that he claimed as his very own. He was so proud of it, and so happy to show it to me. This is a memory I blocked until this morning, for obvious reasons. So, in a good way, there was a tiny flash of silver to the squirrel-cloud: it made me remember Junior.
He was hit by a car and killed 3 and a half years ago. It remains one of the saddest days in my life...and I do know exactly how lucky I am to be able to say that.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
5 things I was doing 10 years ago
1) In school seeking a second degree (in education), making the best grades of my life
2) Living in the mountains (Cullowhee) and loving it
3) Single, traveling to see my favorite band, being a bit of a rock star, and not in a good way.
4) Exercising. A lot. I was quite fit and trim. Thinking about it makes me sad.
5) Making absolutely no plans for the future in any way, even though I was 30. Which seems impossibly young to me now...
5 things on my to-do list for today
1) Head home at 1:30
2) Eat lunch(veggie chili and cheese and crackers)
3) Take the dogs for a long walk in the crispy woods with Flipper
4) Vacuum upstairs, my most-hated chore!!
5) Work on our school's Holiday Fair
5 treats I enjoy
1) Eating out. Any place that someone else brings me good food.
2) Staying in hotels, for any reason. LOVE IT!!
3) Sugar. Pretty much any form but milk chocolate.
4) Being outside, in almost any weather.
5) Having harmonious, quiet time with Flipper,when we are both happy and engaged.
5 things I would do with tons of money
1) Give some to my parents, sister, and Flipper's dad.
2) Buy a mountain house near Blowing Rock.
3) Buy a beach house on Topsail.
4) Travel. Endlessly. Around the world, around America.
5) Hire a personal trainer and personal chef. And a maid.
5 places I've lived
1) North Carolina: sandhills, mountains, Piedmont
2) St Simons Island, GA
3) Telluride, CO
4) Cullowhee, NC
5) Carrboro, NC (currently)
5 places I've worked
1) as a cocktail waitress at the beach, a great job with tons of $$!!
2) As a copy-editor at a paper in Colorado
3) waitress (lots of places)
4) English tutor
5) Emerson Waldorf High School (currently)
Sunday, November 16, 2008
In more exciting new (wait, how can that be??) the Cult has moved it's store off-campus to Carr Mill Mall for hte next two months. I have been pitching in, and will volunteer staff it a few afternoons per week. This is very exciting; most Waldorf schools have stores, but they tend to be small ones on campus for parents primarily, and run by volunteers. This new post is also volunteer-run,and it is exciting to see something so gorgeous come together. And, to work for something I believe in, meaning toys crafted with care, with natural materials and nary a battery or blinking light or frightful noise to be seen (or heard).
So, Natalie, Shanna, anyone else I know in the area with young children, come on down!! It is near the Panzanella end of the mall. Will post pictures soon of this incredible space. It is also called The Woodland Shop,and the very first customer's last name was Woodland!!! How freaky is that?? I mean, it isn't as though the store is named Smith or anything common. Hopefully, in these tightening times, a good omen.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Flipper is unaware of any politics or drama, even my attempts to lure her into going with me to See Democracy In Action failed with a categorical NO from her. Followed by, "It doesn't sound like fun." But this year, it DOES sound like fun to me. Even going to a little party tonight with Flipper at one of her classmate's houses. We are all bringing appetizers. I can't wait!! Off to New York Thursday for a wedding. Also can't wait for that, although traveling with our whole family seems like a kettle that is endlessly simmering and might, at any moment, boil over, but never does.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Here is an example of my duties: to signal the start of each class, I stand in the central hall and ring a medium-sized Chinese gong. Why, no, I am NOT kidding. No harsh electric bells here!! No, a real, live human being send the happy students on their merry way! I also take attendance, hold the confiscated cellphones until after school, and enforce, if necessary, the dress code. No real rule breakers. Yet.
And so, I am very happy right now!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I wonder what all of this computer/Internet/technology stuff will look like and be like when Flipper is older. And "older" she will have to be. As some of you know, all media/electronic use is discouraged for children in a Waldorf school, meaning that even Flipper's 1-2 hours of week-end animal documentary DVD watching is frowned upon. No classroom has a computer, a fact that causes some parents consternation, as they worry that their child will not be able to pick up the skills later, and will be disadvantaged in the workplace as adults. Other parents, when they find out that we have no TV, no Internet access, no toys that require batteries (although, to be honest, this evolved more from my own loathing of sound than a belief system) ask me about it. I believe this, from the FAQ section of the website www.whywaldorfworks.com
What about computers and Waldorf education?Waldorf teachers feel the appropriate age for computer use in the classroom and by students is in high school. We feel it is more important for students to have the opportunity to interact with one another and with teachers in exploring the world of ideas, participating in the creative process, and developing their knowledge, skills, abilities, and inner qualities. Waldorf students have a love of learning, an ongoing curiosity, and interest in life. As older students, they quickly master computer technology, and graduates have successful careers in the computer industry.
But I also think that there will be a greater demand in the future for people-oriented jobs in healthcare (particularly elder-care), mental health, teaching, etc. I also think that the way technology is moving, it will get easier and easier to learn programs and applications. So, we'll see. Last week I had (Justine, stop reading now so we can remain friends!!) a personal astrological consultation with this astrologer: www.lhillman.com
It was, of course, utterly fascinating. He warned me not to be too checked out of "the real world"-and he wasn't referring to an MTV show, and that my natural desire IS to be removed from modern society, culture, etc. Jokingly, I mentioned that he might feel better about me if he knew that I have a had a subscription to People magazine for many years, and he said, "Actually, that does make me feel better." He is an excellent astrologer. My sister consulted him as well several months ago, with equally positive results. He recommended that I take a martial arts class(!!) So, if you know of one that is a touch more spiritually based and isn't focused on competition, let me know!!!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Flipper lake-front, early one morning.
Another view of the lake.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Exciting (I hope) news from me on Monday. Everyone have a good week-end!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
And I want to say a "thank you" to Kelly, a friend of a friend, that offered her daughter's bike to Ella. It makes the loss of her bike sting a little-no, a LOT, less.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Stolen not 10 feet from my front door, helmet tossed on the ground. At least they left the helmet. And, interestingly, my grown-up, much more expensive ADULT mountain bike was left behind. Flipper is not angry (Mommy has the exclusive rights to that emotion) but she is very, very confused. There is something more enraging about a child's bike being stolen than an adult's, because someone ADULT had to steal it FOR a child. My bike? Well, that I "get" more. Ride it away, use it, sell it, whatever. But a little girl's bike that is worth only 25$ or so could only have been stolen for one reason: for another child. I try to imagine this: some older brother, sister, mother, dad, uncle, family friend, whatever, presenting this bike to another 5 (or 6) year-old little girl, a child that might even learn to ride a bike for the first time...on Flipper's. And this little girl will (hopefully) have no idea that her uncle, aunt, father, brother, whoever, stole it for her. Flipper hasn't mourned it's loss TOO much; she is much more concerned about when I am going to replace it. And that is what sucks: this bike was free, I don;t have any spare money right now. This bike was the perfect size, the perfect everything...although I can't really wrap my brain around white tires. And now it has vanished, and Craig's List is empty of little bikes. I am sure something will work out.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The top reads, "Today is so nice day! How about going for a walk?" I love the "so nice day."
Small and cute, yes? The yellow part is the bottom section; the top one has a movable divider.
Another view of a lunchbox fit for a munchkin...
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday I donned two hats simultaneously; Sporty, athletic fit Mommy and Competent Mommy. Both fit well. Flipper is unable to be separated from her bike. She wants to ride all day, every day. On Sunday we walked up the sidewalk and crossed Estes, easily accessing the web of trails that comprise the whole area around Bolin Creek. She, outfitted with a new pink helmet and her old pink Camelbak, rode and rode and rode. Oh, and fell on big rocks a few times. It was adorable, mountain-bike-girl, without the mountains. I ran and trotted and jogged and sweated while holding one dog on the leash. The other, not being predisposed to snap at the legs of runners and bikers (except us) runs free. I felt so virtuous, and, for brief moment, so thin. About 45 minutes into our trek, the chain on Flipper's bike came off. And here, in one of those beautiful and (sadly rare) Ms. magazine moments*, I told her to hold the leash, not talk for a few minutes, and that I would fix it. Which I did. She was proud and happy. I was more relieved than I can express, given that we were a solid mile or more from my house and I had a frightful vision of wheeling and carrying and cursing the bike all the way home.
*One of Top Ten Proudest Moments: I sent in a sexist ad torn from a magazine to Ms and they printed it on the "No Comment" page. Very proud. Oh, the ad? It was for either booze or perfume. i think perfume. It showed a woman from the back, dressed in an evening gown, with her wrists "handcuffed" together with a bracelet, while some guy lounged on the bed in front of her.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Look at Olga! Nary a sequin to be seen!!
Wrong on so many levels, I barely know where to start.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Our upcoming week-end promises to be a social one, full of entertainment. This evening my best friend arrives from Rocky Mt. with her eldest son, and we are going to the Forest Theater to see The Paperhand Puppet Intervention's annual summer show. She has never been before; it is our 3rd year. I can't wait to see her!!! And, our tickets have been purchased for New Orleans, our hotel room has been booked (I will be sorry when my sister stops working for Marriott and 38.00 rooms are no longer available to me), we have found a private driver to whisk us from the airport to our hotel and other fun places, now all we have to do is but tickets to the show. They go on sale September 12, my parents' 44th wedding anniversary. Amazing, really.
Tomorrow morning we go to a birthday party at Mapleview Farms. I am looking forward to this. I think it will be fun, there will be some sort of hayride or other adorable photo-op activity, plus ice cream. really, a winner all the way around.
Sunday is The Cult's Back-to-School picnic. It is a potluck, although it never seems to work out that everyone has enough to eat. They do make the teen-agers go last, however. I think the school should pay for real and fake burgers and dogs, and let the parents bring sides and desserts. But, shockingly, they didn't ask me!! I have been racking my brain and trying to decide what to bring-I always expend WAY too much energy trying to make a decision about things like this-and decided to make 2 or 3 batches of blueberry mini-muffins. We have tons of frozen berries, and everyone likes them. I hope. Sunday morning I will be there for an hour or two, doing more landscaping/weeding in preparation for the first day of school. Blessedly, Flipper does not go back to school until the day after Labor Day (I think this should be a national law) and so we have some time left to squeeze every sweaty, chlorinated, mosquito-y drop out of summer. And that's all.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
The cloth bag. Seems to go perfectly with the donkey-box (as if that matters) AND...it was only 3.50.
These are divider cups, used to hold a few soybeans, or small crackers, or a mini-muffin...also used to point out that I am completely insane.
*I bought all the above supplies from www.iloveobento.com
For more nutty pictures from overachievers, go to http://shop.iloveobento.com/blogs/bento-gallery and imagine breaking out your little cute box in the lunchroom while everyone else brown-bags it.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Caroline. These boots were made for, well, SOMETHING, I'm sure. Perhaps being cute?
Caroline's father, a self-portrait, if you will. Recently, I had dinner with two nice men that had just returned from a very very good time on Fire Island. They, too, picked up someone's camera and took a few shots...but not of the head on TOP of their body.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Remember them? I do. But I don't remember who actually DID win the gold that year.
See? Classy. Simple. PLAIN, if you will. The Amish of the skating world. And I mean that in a good way.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I am plowing through books this summer at an amazing clip. I discard any and all books that fail to grab me quickly, and am currently enraptured with memoir/humor, a la Bill Bryson, David Sedaris, Tony Horwitz, etc. I just finished "My Years in Paris" which Julia Child wrote just before she died. It is fascinating, this glimpse of post WWII Paris, the people, the land, the food. I loved it, my dad read it at the beach and liked it as well. Many times celebrities just aren't particularly good writers, but she did a good job. Flipper is plowing, with some adult assistance, the 5th of the 8 Ramona books we own. The whole series, in fact. I liked these books as a kid, and she likes them as well. She is fast leaving picture books behind, although she loves to look at the illustrations in the Ramona books. I like them because the family struggles financially, not dirt-poor like Where the Lilies Bloom but are hurting nonetheless when the dad loses his job, is only able to find work as a grocery store clerk, then returns to school to get a college degree, blah blah blah. So many books seem to have white collar parents with good (stable) jobs and yet there are so many families that are, truly, middle class. And, it seems as though they have all gone to college. It is hot outside, brutal, in fact. But I can vividly remember last summer, where this kind of heat wound on day after day, and so I haven't complained. Much. Yet.
SIDENOTE: The movie of Where the Lilies Bloom was filmed entirely in NC, in Watauga County. When I was in Jr. High, my closest friend's family had a tiny cabin there, and we went there on week-ends. Down the road from their cabin was the cabin that was used for this movie. I remember it vividly. I also remember taking codeine cough syrup on one week-end trip...but that's another story.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Shark tooth not found by Flipper, but coveted.
Walkway from our cottage to the beach. Note sea grass (not sea oats) that keep the dunes in place...why?