Tuesday, September 16, 2008

It was in the stars!!

I have become, in the past few weeks or so, totally and completely addicted to Facebook. I STILL can't believe it. What HAS been disconcerting, however, is how many people have emailed me, or, more accurately, written on my magical Facebook "wall" to say this exact sentence, or some close variant: "Is that beautiful little girl actually YOURS???" I mean, it is apparently quite shocking to some (many) people that I have managed to mate and reproduce and the product of said union is quite cute. This is one of those things I refuse to think about too much. Because my feelings might get hurt!! But I tell you this, Facebook is FUN. And, unlike MySpace, it seems devoid (so far) of scantily-clad teen-agers. I think the key here are the words "so far." I have reconnected-however briefly- with people I haven't seen or heard from in years. I troll their site, looking at their pictures, and writing little comments if I feel so moved.

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

Our week-end

I wonder what (and where) Flipper's "Favorite Places" will be when she grows up. A beach, for sure. Mountain place? Her grandparent's house? This past week-end we returned to one of MY very favorite places of all time, and, as usual, had so much fun. I hated leaving. I wish I could stay there for a week or more one of these days. The place needs a touch of explanation: one of my friends from college, who also arrived at motherhood a bit late (like me) has had family settled in Winston Salem for several generations. Her grandmother, whom, from all accounts was one tough lady, had a vision of a place in the foothills, a house on a lake. So she worked and saved and worked and saved and eventually bought, built, dug and created her dream over a period of time int eh 60's and 70's. And so, at the top of a dead-end road near Pilot Mountain, is her version of paradise. 400 acres. Woods, all of it, except for a beautifully clear spring-fed lake. Two houses, one a true mountain house with large stone fireplace, screened porch, antique furniture. The other, a real log house with chinking, a decent kitchen and lots of screened porches. Very old-fashioned; unpolished, unstained log floors, low, timbered ceilings. Sounds like heaven, does it not? My friend took me to her family's spot one spring in college, and I fell in love. When Flipper was a baby, she and I reconnected, and every summer since I have been lucky enough to return for a week-end or two.

Flipper lake-front, early one morning.

Another view of the lake.

Flipper walking between the two houses.
The old cabin where we slept.

Flipper fished for about 300 straight hours over the week-end. I could not tear her away from the dock or the pole. I could not believe her diligence and patience and fascination with it. Or maybe it was just the Barbie rod and reel. Another college friend came with 4 teens, two are her daughters and their two best friends. And they are a whole 'nother story. Just let me say this: to ALL of you parenting teens...my hat is off to you. Really. I mean it.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Because I am lazy and fleeing for the week-end and have a million or two things to do before I head out of town at 3 this afternoon, I will not leave you with my own scintillating writings, but those of my sister, who just started her own blog. You can find her HERE: http://kathrynsparacino.blogspot.com

Exciting (I hope) news from me on Monday. Everyone have a good week-end!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Keith came through yesterday afternoon and took Flipper off to try to replace her stolen bike, a bike I miss more every day because it was just so...PERFECT for her. And, perfect for ME because it was free. I was on the phone having a personal astrological reading at the time. At any rate, they found a decent replacement at a used sporting goods store, and while it doesn't in any way achieve the purpley-pink glory of her "Malibu Stardom" bike, it is speedy. And red. And has flames on it. Here's yet another rhetorical question: why, oh why, does every single toy have to be so fucking gender specific? What happened to a green bike? Or orange? Why is the world of little kid-dom a world of blue and black and pink and lavender? I emailed the customer service department of Camelbak last year with the same complaint. I realize there is no good answer to this, or, more accurately, no answer that will satisfy me. She tore around the tennis court near my house until she fell and skidded on a sharp turn and screamed hysterically for few minutes and then got back on and kept riding. She is good that way.

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

Gone (but not forgotten)

Remember this?

It's gone.

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


The week-end, which started out so excruciatingly dull, turned out to be pretty fun after all. The rain on Saturday wasn't enough to be exciting or dramatic, but enough to keep us inside. We were just bored. Yes, I know that "only boring people are bored"...but maybe I am a really boring person. So, poor Flipper. These are the times that I wish she had a sibling to go off and invent some sort of super-involved imaginary SOMETHING, and yet she can't. I need to take a good look at her toys, and think about some new things for her to play with/do/create/build. She isn't much of a builder, perhaps because it, like so many things, isn't much fun to do alone. By 2 on Saturday afternoon we were tired of each other, short-tempered and irritable. Then, a friend called and within an hour we were all packed in her small car, headed to Raleigh for the International Festival, held in the new convention center. It is MASSIVE. 500,000 square feet packed with what seemed to be 6 or 7 million people, food booths, and, for some strange reason, a bunch of motor boats, jet-skis and RV's on display. Now, I have to hand it to whoever set this up: I absolutely loved seeing about 700 kids of all ages racing up rickety wooden steps with no handrails to swarm all over the boats, bounce on the RV's beds, and generally just crowd on and off of boats and boat trailers on a concrete floor. How I loved that there was almost no supervision beyond the random mom dad saying, "Get down from there now so we can go eat!" No one seemed worried that their kid would take a flying leap onto a concrete floor, or that the small wooden stairs might not be super-safe; I just loved it. When it comes around next year, by all means GO!! The food is fantastic AND inexpensive, the stage has a constantly changing cast of dancers form about 80 different countries, it was great. But don't go if you don't like crowds. More tomorrow on a tiny loss of Flipper's innocence and faith in humanity. (sob)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Back (briefly)

Oh, I've been missing you, sweet little blog!! And since I don't really feel like writing too much, pictures from our beach trip over Labor Day week-end will have to suffice. Eating on the deck.
Balance beam practice for 2020 Olympics.
Rough ocean. Made even ME nervous.