Open Letter to Jerry Seinfeld

Today I had the privilege of watching Bee Movie and I wanted to thank and congratulate you. As the mother of a three and six year old, I'm often forced to endure movies that are supposedly geared toward their age but are sappy, syrupy insults to the senses or movies marketed to them that contain subject matter, humor or dialog that they're just not ready for. Bee Movie was dead on!! Entertaining, educational, moral, humorous - well done!!!

I can only begin to imagine the effort it took to stay within the lines on this one and honor the talent it took to get it done that way. Some nerve it took, to make a good quality family movie in an era where schlock sells so well. To not succumb to the lower standard in story, talent, and message is really to be commended! And is so very appreciated.

Having never served as a movie critic, I certainly wouldn't offer this as such. While watching the movie, I couldn't help but think back to the Seinfeld nights of my college years. Good times!!! And innumerable catch phrases, some that survive to this day. To think the same brain could contribute creatively to and act so energetically in that genre and this many years later come up with such a phenomenal children's flick... It's extraordinary!!

This is the only method I have to share with you my tremendous admiration for your talent and respect for your professional credibility.

While I do really mean this and hope it finds its way to Mr. Seinfeld, I realize that my urgent need to write this the minute the movie ended was my real self crying out to my Mommy self to get out and do something!!!!! Soon back to our regularly scheduled somewhat mature blogging schedule.


What's that need $4,000 for botox?

No joke, our dog, Liberace, is now taking 6 medications a day. Why, you ask. 'Cause he's so old, you're keeping him alive with drugs? Oh, no...because he is the canine equivalent of me, the medical enigma (we're sure to discuss this on many a later occasion).

He had one knee ligament 'restrung' with nylon at about 4 years old. He just destroyed his knee chasing sticks one night at a bonfire. See, there were about 20 people there and no one paid attention to the fact that before they had thrown the stick for 2 hours straight, more than likely 2 or 3 other people had thrown the stick for several hours. The realization came to us the next morning as each person who emerged from their hangover mentioned that they had thrown a shoulder out or aggravated an old football injury "just throwing a stick for Rachie last night."

He had the other knee done 2 years ago when he was 6. It had been taking so much strain from being the strong one all this time, that it finally gave out, too.

And neither of those surgeries ever explained the wonky walk he's had since puppyhood. Three times we had him checked for hip displasia - all before the knee thing happened - and the various vets all said no. Regardless, about a year ago, he started with periods of immobility due to pain in his hips/knees. We took him in and they gave us glucosamine & painkillers to be given as needed. He refuses to eat the first glucosamine which pretty much means he gets a pain pill every morning so that he can stand. Especially if it's going to to be rainy, he sat out on the concrete too long, or he played too hard the day before.

When we took him in for this weird rash last year, they gave us some more intense glucosamine supplements (which he also refuses to eat) and told us that the rash and his inability to lose weight was due to a thyroid condition. Here we go!!!

So then, he was getting a pain pill just about every morning, thyroid meds morning and evening and an antibiotic 3 times a day to clear the rash. Since then, we've (read: I've) been to the vet with him no less than 5 times with the funky rash which he then licks and scratches to the point of infection. They're pretty sure he's allergic to flea saliva and/or some tree, grass, weed or pollen that he "gets into" by, you know existing as a dog. Have I considered acupuncture?

The other day I noticed him itching. Then I noticed the clumps of fur on the rugs and when I tracked the do down, he'd given himself a sculpted poodle tail by removing pretty much all of the fur in 2 spots along his tail. There's no picture because he'd also gnawed his hindquarters to baboon red and it's so not photogenic!!!!!!!!!

Today's visit to the vet resulted in a new food (venison & potato at $2.84 a pound) which we are to give him for 3 months while we narrow down what he's allergic to. They've taken blood to see what shows up there and whatever they find will result in a referral to a veterinary allergist (closest one 1-1/2 hours away in another state). Meanwhile, Rachie is to get:

his morning pain pill to get him going; benadryl to prevent the hives or other allergic reactions (which cause the itch, which cause the scratching, which cause the infection...); thyroid meds morning & evening; 2 different antibiotics twice a day for 30 days; 8-10 drops of some sh*t in his ears twice a day (somehow he got an infection in his ear this time - flea saliva to hives to itching-to infection or just-for-fun, who knows?) and then the topical spray to put on the bare parts of his tail and hindquarters 2-3 times daily. The gummi-vites in the background of this photo are not for the dog. They are for my children if I have time to get them out of the bottle before we head out the door in the morning.
Just a little fun I'm having that I wanted to share. But now I have to run. We're dog sitting the neighbor's 12 year old lab, Digger, who has CANCER, takes no meds, and wants to go outside and play!!!!!


Is that flop sweat?

I found myself, last Thursday, in the front passenger seat of a white Ford Taurus on the way to Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee, NC.

How I got there is simple and it is complicated. The simple part is that my father lied to me. The complicated part is that after 17-1/2 years of his absence from my life, I have little context for interpreting what the man says.

He goes to Cherokee at least once a week to gamble. I don’t get it, but it gives him something to do. So, he mentioned a while back that they were giving away a Cadillac that Friday and he was taking me to Cherokee. With a mixture of childlike yearning and what passes for conviction in his life (don’t go by me, what the hell do I know) he told me not to cancel on him at the last minute “with any sick kids or no babysitter or whatever the hell…”. ‘Course it turns out M’oney was on an “away” week and the in-laws only returning to town that very day after 5 days away… In addition to having the kids and the in-laws’ dogs all to myself until 30 minutes before entering the Taurus, it was move-in day for neighbors sharing our driveway, so I played a couple of games of musical driveway during my various errands and preparations. Not that I in any way want a Cadillac or can work up enthusiasm for 14 wasted hours in Harrah’s Cherokee, but maybe winning something would make all the packing & rushing around worth it. If not, at least I might numb myself with a goodly number of ‘free’ drinks at the penny slots.

Or not.

But my point is…It was the 3rd hottest day of the summer. I’d been racing around the better part of the afternoon in an effort to leave everything so a trained monkey could take over for 30 hours without wreaking irreparable harm on the children, house, plants, fish or impeding my Mommy momentum in said categories upon my return. I landed in that Taurus a sweaty, greasy (say it the Southern way to get the best visual) mess; ready for a few drinks and the cash-equivalent take-away of winning that damned Cadillac.

My father has a “respiratory affliction” (read: pansy-ass immune system from decades of meat & potatoes, combined with a neurotic fear of exercise and a healthy dose of Catholic-raised martyr drama disease) which was triggered into a ‘full-blown lung/sinus thing’ by the air conditioning on his previous trip to Cherokee. That was the reason that the air conditioning was not on and not GOING to be on in his car. I sagged a bit at that but vowed to catch each moving breath of 97-degree air that managed to slither in through the open windows – and to make up for it with several drinks immediately upon entering the casino…

Yeah, well…

I endured the ‘conversation’, enjoyed the scenery and tried to stop looking at the temperature controls.

When we arrived at the hotel, I oozed to the did-I-mention-shared room anticipating the whoosh of refrigerated air. No!! Apparently, even in this dry county in the South, they’ve joined the going green bandwagon and turn the air conditioners off unless the room is occupied. Curse!!!!! And when I leaned over to set the controls to appropriately frigid , didn’t the old man holler out another reminder of his respiratory condition and tell me not to set it up past low – and NO fan. Luckily the thing only had cool med, cool high, heat or off. I set it on cool med and splashed some tepid sink water on my shiny face.

I desperately casually mentioned the drinks as we pulled into the casino lot. The laughter that accompanied “You didn’t know this was a dry county?” was symbolically dry and more forced than a Vegas wedding smile. I’d love to see the video of my reaction. Upon entering and locating a check-in machine (unless you’re planning an extended trip to Cherokee, don’t ask!), “we” were informed that the Cadillac drawing had taken place last month. The pretend shock & disappointment on my father’s face was less believable than my 3 yr-old’s ‘remorse’ face – this is when it first hit me about the lie.

Blah, blah, blah. I won nothing. Spent about $70 of my own money. Ate 3 desserts at the buffet. Shared a hotel room with my once-estranged father – not as bad as it could be because once the hearing aid is out and the glasses off, it’s almost like having a moment to oneself…

And sweat all night on top of the covers!!!! If sweat is the word for that really unpleasant coating of oily film that never evaporates because it is too molecularly thick to be lifted by air and must be absorbed back into the skin or cleansed by fast-moving water and a loofah. Is that flop sweat?

For the record, this is how temperature controls should be set for optimum relaxation and comfort!!

This photo was taken during one of several brief stops on the drive home – gas, bathroom, one more bottle of water, during what should have been a one hour and fifteen minute drive - when I seized the precious moments to blast freezing air without getting caught!!


I owed you this

It was here Saturday and I remembered to take the picture, but then forgot to post it. Here go:


So, I was catching up on all of the detritus of household management this morning:

1.) The Roomba project. Contact iRobot and find out what the deal is on our "repair ticket" - the last segment of which, back in July, told me to call an 800 number and order a replacement unit at a discount price. The specified product was not available and the foreign customer 'service' agent didn't know what to do with me. I'm done cleaning the basement floor manually and want to go back to programming my little assistant. Maybe someday, they'll figure out how to either fix their own machines, hire customer service people that - no offense - share a common language with the majority of their customers, or face the fact that I will continue to bug them until they send me a NEW, FREE machine!

2.) Gorgeous kid photos project. Re produce the matrix of poses, sizes and formats that will satisfy us, 3 sets of grandparents, 2 aunts and our budget and actually PLACE the order this time before it dissolves into cyberspace like the one you spent 5 hours putting together back in June when the pictures were actually taken.

3.) Cultural activities project. Decipher MILs checkmark system to incorporate her selections into the purchase of tickets to offerings from Diana Wortham Theatre. Involves determining whether my husband or father will be more interested in attending each show with me, balance that with which evenings are available, whether or not the in-laws want to attend and whether I need to go on another night, so the in-laws can babysit or suck it up and attend the same as them (which implies my husband home with the kids, which implies attending a show I wanted to see until I realized I'd be in the midst of a four-seat cartoon involving my previously-estranged-reunited-by-his-colon-cancer father and my in-laws). This one could take more than a morning, especially since G is not good counsel.

4.) Pottery Barn hutch project. Call PB and asked them where the heck the hutch to my buffet is. Ordered in July, buffet was delivered (along with a red rose) in August and hutch was back-ordered until Aug. 14th. Heloo!? It's Sept 3rd and no one has contacted me 'bout nothin'. Luckily, this one was actually the first project I tackled today. Because Linda - email me and I'll give you her extension!! - gave me the scoop, an apology and a $100 gift card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes calling on all he other potential unpleasantries so much easier. Oh!!! the hutch will be here sometime between Sept. 12th and late October (Linda was sweet, courteous and helpful; the system she works within is rather limited.).

5.) Verify Disney reservations project. There's been a bit of confusion. M'oney made reservations and then changed them. The email we received on the change did not reflect the change, so he called to double check it and they hadn't made it. The second email seemed to be updated, but he was already worried, so called back to verify the dates they had us booked for - and the CS person had them wrong!!! AAAAAh. They were posted correctly to the My Trip section on Disney's vacation planning site - until the whole itinerary was lost!!! Again!!!!! So M'oney asked me to call and get the name of the CS person, note the time, etc...and make sure, since we're spending 80 bajillion dawlahs on this trip, that we don't arrive to a f'd up reservation. So, Katie confirmed to me this morning at 9:43 EST that we're good to go.

And because none of my posts seem complete without a photo... this image greeted me just moments ago as I went to the kitchen to get G the piece of candy she's been beggign for throughout the viewing of Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (I really should learn to link stuff to my posts, but for now, I'll just settle for unintentional endorsement through product placement)...I'll now share it with you.

It's a bunny with a gardening glove protruding. Happy Wednesday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



"Der no is white stuff for dunkin' dis in.' - no, but there was birthday cake ice cream...

..just wild turkeys showing up in our subdivision for the first time. Out there all hours of the day, hangin' out in the 'hood.

My lovely urn!! With actual real-live flowers blooming. Still!!! In late August. I'm so proud. Look.

This will be my third beautiful, bold hibiscus thingy!! Maybe I'll remember to show you a picture tomorrow or Saturday.

Monkey see....Monkey do!!!
This is getting in the car after running after-school errands with Mom.
Same Wonderful Stuff, Different Beautiful Day!!!!!


None of this makes my butt look big, right?

A few of my friends and quite a number of stranger-bloggers I read post wonderful, poetic things about the moments of their lives, including the miraculousness of their children. It really never occurs to me to share those things. Truthfully, it rarely occurs to me that I'm experiencing those things. And by the time I get to the computer I'm aggravated with said miracles, so I vent instead.

I recently read a post from one Mommy blogger (I'm new to this, have no personal connections with any of these modern marvels and have read WAY too many Mommy blogs lately to credit this accurately. So, I'll paraphrase...) who wrote charmingly of her marital status hinging on the status of garage storage availability. Which comes to mind almost daily around here as M'oney has issues with our home's storage capacity/things-I-want-to-keep ratio. I've kept just about every child-related article we've acquired since the birth of M, 6 years ago. First it was stashed away for the possibility of a second child (that "better be a girl or cross-dresser from day one!"). Then, when The G came along, quite a lot of it was resurrected and, due to a considerable size and growth rate differential that somehow always comes to bear at the change of season, quite a lot was added. Now, it's all been put away for the someday child of my younger sister. Having been to the infertility clinic for the conception of both of my girls and having endured the asinine things people can and will say about your sex life, your life plans, etc...while going through the emotional - not to mention hormonal - joyride that is, I try not to question my sister too much about the plan behind timing of the conception, arrival or whatever of this someday child ("that better be a girl or a cross-dresser from day one!"). However, the 3,600 square feet plus attic & garage are not enough to contain both M'oney and the stored bounty. Sorting through it all the other day in an attempt to satisfy M'oney with yet another configuration - this time, it's a real winner that has all of the storage boxes out in the open where we have to look at them, instead of in the walk-in closet in the basement (????) - it began to dawn on me that this might be an absurdly large amount of stuff.

The rationalizations began to cascade from my subconscious. Which is when I knew for sure there was an issue. But I turn to you, kind Internets, for codependence in my hour of need!! And I know you'll help me on this. 'Cause I've been reading your blogs, too...
This isn't a problem, right?? For the first kid, this was shoes through age 3. For the second one, this collection lasted through about 18 months (family feet!). Because I know my sister is reading, I'll mention that the 3 single shoes to the bottom right have partners; they're just not in the boxes I've most recently been through. Which amounts to everything from birth to almost 2T...

While I'm feeling up to the abuse, I'd also like your commentary on this:

Speaking of my sister's someday child...M's friend Kn has a friend she refers to very often by the name of Arissa. I don't know the child. I don't even know the correct spelling. At first, I thought it was Kn's speech. Then I heard her Mom say it that same way - Arissa... All I know is that every time I heard about Arissa, I pictured a little Asian girl in ethnic dress with ponytails sticking out from the sides of her head. I know, it's bad. But no worse than the number of times I've laughed since meeting Arissa at Kn's birthday party. She IS Japanese!!!! Who's worse, me or her parents???


She's Baaack! aka I'm exhausted already

For those of you who've asked (and hopefully a good number who haven't), I thought I'd let you know that The G is back in town. Yippeee!!!!!!!!!

If you were here with me, it would be easy to tell because it is noon and I'm still in my pajamas. Miss G was up and doing who-knows-what at 1 am. I gave up at 1:44 and got out of bed, brought my book and pillow out to the couch. 3 trips up the stairs to get her back in bed. Then she appeared in the family room. There was loveseat squiggling, an excess of blanket rearranging, a brief attempt at Mommy cuddling, more blanket shoving and then, finally, rhythmic breathing. She woke when I tried to remove my half a butt cheek from the edge of the couch by sliding backwards ever so slowly to the floor. So I told her I was trying to make more room for her and she closed her eyes in queenly satisfaction. I read for a bit on the loveseat to make sure she was out and then returned to my bed at 4-something. I saw, but I forget. So she's back and in full effect.

Meanwhile, M had a successful first dayof first grade.

Despite the soap-opera type lead-in - which I will blog about in the next week or so - it was an uneventful occasion. Exactly what I needed. No reaction from M yet on anything except Miss L

doesn't give them as much play time as in K. Note how exhausted M looks. My attempts to work into the school year bedtime routine failed. So then I went for just setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier every day. Whatever force it is that operates my children fought back by responding with later & later requests for more light or one last snack or something each night until we were almost staying up for the alarm. By the night before the first day, I think we were down to 5-1/2 hours of sleep.

There you go, so we are back to normal. All is well with the world. Everyone is where they belong and Mommy is grumpy, exhausted, unshowered and lacks the willpower to clean, water plants, or stick to her diet.


Have you met my birdbath?

A gift. From M'oney. I know...once they took off the cold compress, it still took me 2 weeks to get it together enough to post this. I love it!! I have to water it, but it won't die and no weeds! Lovely!



More perplexing than choosing the best service plan for your cell phone...
more baffling than deciding between magnet, charter or private Kindergarten...
more stressful than picking the proper root touch-up color...

is explaining the concept of phone numbers to the 6 year-old.

Yes, you can just press 2 for Daddy, 3 for Grandma & 5 for Nammie (central number, signifying home), but that's just on MOMMY's phone. You can't just pick up any phone and press 2 for YOUR Daddy. He has a number.

No, I mean a longer number; it has 10 digits.

Digits are like a single....Listen, trust me. If you were ever somewhere and needed to reach Daddy, you need to know all of his numbers. They're six-one-nine-eight-six-seven-five-three-oh-nine*. And mine are...

They just don't understand the whole concept of phones and safety and memorization!!!! And here's something that really bothers me...If I'm in the house by myself with the kids and I succumb to a brain aneurysm (or pulmonary embolism or whatever - medic/crime solver shows are my thing!!), they will not only need to know how to dial 911 (and hit send!!!) but first and foremost, they will need to FIND MY PHONE!! Scary! This could be easily solved with a landline, I understand. And there's been discussion. But there's been no transaction. DH is reluctant to part with le monee for a red-line phone. 'Member when the cell was for emergencies only? Now we need a $29.95 a month landline for it.

I've tried to explain how, back in the olden days, a family had a phone in their one bedroom apartment where they shared a single bathroom with just a metal stall shower and it (the phone) was connected to the wall. And the part you put by your ear was connected to the part on the wall and you needed to STAND STILL, inside the house! to talk on the phone. There was an actual dial which is why they call it dialing the phone and kids were not allowed to use it during business hours.

They're already lost when I try to explain that you used to call a phone, not a person. If you called their number and nobody was home, no one would answer. The 3yo pipes up with "so weave a meshage" and I know they've written me off as a kook! I'm not though, right?? You guys had a phone attached to the wall, didn't you?? And your parents didn't get an answering machine until you were in 6th grade because buying those refill mini-cassettes was too expensive, right??

* some numbers have been changed for Daddy's privacy - and Mommy's amusement

When commenting, please keep the discussion to technology, children, fond childhood memories and the perplexing ringtone/texting/pic phenomenon. Let's leave my kookiness out of it. I'm hip!!!! I'm blogging aren't I??????


this one is called...

Prepare the meat!!!

mmmm, woodsy

It never occurred to me exactly how much we do in a month. I have a tendency to only count trips or occasions that involve white sand beaches or buttercream frosting.

Here in the first week of August, the Fam is off on the first of many adventures – “camping” in a cabin at Table Rock State Park. There’s no TV (we brought DVD player), very little cell phone service and no internet (unless you count the free wifi we can get if we go out of the campground, cross the highway and hang out at the Welcome Center – which D & I will both take turns doing at some point this week).

At cabin #5, there are rockers on our screened porch, Adirondack chairs around the firepit, central air and a small but full-service kitchen (if you count the fridge in the livingroom). A short stroll from the cabin is a Mack Daddy playground; beyond that is the swimming beach. The highlight of that is a floating dock with high & low diving boards and the whole thing made almost perfect by the fact that the roped-off area is designed for the containment of non-swimming child-types, not the generic forbidding of all humans to go out over their heads like at most places these days. The trip in its entirety is made all the more enjoyable by evil giggle fits that keep overtaking us when we think about our friends I & KC who went tenting with their 2 kids (4 & 6) last week and endured all of the disasters encountered by suburbians in the woods.

While here, enjoying the nature and the peace, I’m hoping to catch up on some overdue blog posts/family adventures; some of which may include (all from July):

Bele Chere
Cherokee – possibly several on this alone
Roller Derby
Carl Sandberg Home
Landscape Inspirations
Art Center Performances
Aah, Sunday Morning
More Saturday Woodcrafts
Typical Saturday
Neighborhood Happy Hour
2 Themed birthday parties in one day

The Parks Service is in the midst of a multi-year program of renovating these already fantastic cabins. They’re going to rewire, put in new heat & air systems, and I don’t know what all else. We’ll be down here at least once a year. Hope to see you on the high dive!!!


back in da 'hood

Jus' a lil sompn sompn from our trip tuh SC dis week



and the title is....

I'm addicted to Shear Genius (Bravo)
That's NOT Cilantro
2 Aspirin & 3 glasses of water don't help
Family, Jules
Get out bitch, that's my cab
Was this really the 80s???
That poor girl forgot her pants!!!
If they can't handle a little vomit in their driveway, F 'em - they shouldn't a bought the house.
Oprah don't know Jack - aka Don't think you can win the Daddy didn't love me game!!!
Mandarin, really!!!
I almost drank out of Spencer's glass....
I have to be a Fairy tomorrow!!!!
You guys rock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you for everything
Here's to neighbors


what I miss is the frosting

So, it's been a year since we moved from Ctown. We were there for the onset of parenthood and I felt quite well established on the playgroup circuit. Thought the hardest thing would be leaving all my Mommy-friends - the women who helped keep me sane from month 2 with the first one through to year two with the second. Over the years, we shared as much (or more) with each other as with our families - laughter, tears, and SO much frustration!! We shared snacks at the water parks, drinks as often as we could 'steal' a Thursday night, DH stories and every kind of venting known to womankind. The years saw us change and grow as women and mothers. We either guided each other through phases or experienced them as a group. We were going to be the SAHMs who got fit once the kids reached 18 months (3 yrs, kindergarten, etc...). We had dreams, maybe even tentative plans, for the ultimate childcare cooperative. We were Moms sewing together while the kids played outside that (almost) got a business started. We celebrated milestones small and large, childhood and adult, and so many birthdays in so many ways, though always with cake - buttercream, not that whipped stuff - hopefully from Publix. Ah, memories!!

The new neighborhood is full of spec homes that have stood unoccupied the whole year thanks to the US mortgage situation. We've been on our own. I've grown to like it. I compost now - who knew!! And the kids have grown and changed. M is in school; comes home knowing things I haven't taught her - still mostly good. G attends preschool 2 days a week and has friends there, but no one whose Mommy appears to be in the market for a friend. (side note: I'm still the only SAHM I know in Aville) We have friends and the kids have their friends. They're just not all intertwined the way they were. Now that she's a big girl, I drop M off for birthday parties and G, sadly, doesn't really get invited (she's only at "school" 2x a week, while many of them are there all week). It occurred to me tonight that I've already changed enough as well that none of this is disturbing to me. What was on my mind tonight was that I rarely get a good, goopy, flower-topped piece of ("oh, no - that piece is way too big for me.... Oh, alriiiight!") birthday cake anymore!!

I like the new place. In time, I know I'll have more warm, deep friendships to treasure, but MAN, Ctown ladies - you knew how to buy some cake!! I miss you!


There was a glam photo, too...

Doug and his crack PR team (Diana) got themselves on the front of the business section of this past Sunday's paper. The story ran over onto the third page as well. We'll have paying customers any day now!!!

Hoop Jam!!

I have an official night off!!! It's Tuesday! After my last Mommy overload breakdown, Tuesday night was set aside for Mary Lynn-semi-grown-up-independent-woman-chosen passtimes and activities. My first Tuesday - which was last Tuesday and I apologize for the blog delay, once again!- I attended Hoop Jam with my friends AK & Kari. Excellent independent grown-up woman activity!!!

Just people getting together in a park in downtown Asheville, hoola hooping. Sponsored by

I have such great admiration for AK, shown here hooping with Baby Burt in hand. She actually held him in one hand while starting the hoop. Friends like these are precious & few!


We're so Asheville!

This morning we dropped G off at her (Asheville Arts Center) morning out program. Then M and I went to Weaver Park. She played on the swings while I got gloves and a bag out of the car and started picking up little odds and ends of trash. They were really only tidbits, as the park is immaculately kept!! Anyway, I guess swinging got boring, cause M started scouting litter for me. On her path she found and correctly identified a praying mantis with great excitement.
Shortly thereafter, we headed home to snack on soy milk and cookies we baked yesterday. Now she's making cards for upcoming birthdays, etc...while I research a martial arts program for her to begin in the fall.
Of course we drove, I used a plastic grocery bag to gather the trash, and the cookies were Pillsbury dough, but we've come so far since suburban Charleston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


No big boobs

Gillie tells me she gots no big boobs on her like on my neck.


Hillbilly swimming pool

One might think that with the family departing for 2 weeks in Folly Beach on Sunday, some time would have been spent packing the Saturday before departure. Well, then you just don't know the family all that well then, do you??

First thing Saturday, we headed off to the Home Depot where real girls craft. Each kid made a lovely wooden catamaran, took a turn in the potty, received a certificate and a pin for their accomplishment. Then, we headed off to join the Rotary river sweep at Carrier Park. Ooops! Daddy got the time a bit off and the Rotarians quit a tad early due to the heat, so, NO WORK FOR US!! Instead we headed out to Flat Rock and went swimming in the river!

Rachie had a wonderful time!! He rescued Maris' shoe each time it "fell" into the water (thank you G) and did his best to make a deep end.

Thursday & Friday

Thursday & Friday of the week school ended, we hodge-podged some activities together. Gillie attended her pre-school, maybe Maris & I shopped??? I know in the afternoon we went over to Grandpa Matt's pool. He had bought a box of the store-made chocolate chip cookies - the soft ones that aren't quite cooked all the way... and there were only 2 left in the box by the time we gave up to head home. I did not have one!!! I drank my Slimquick and ate almonds!!!

Friday, I'm not sure how we killed the morning, but I know that Daddy got home early and rigged up a hillbilly waterslide!!!


The Wednesday after school ended....Now, about a month ago!!!...We went to the Greenville Zoo. I took a "back" way that I'd never travelled before and very much enjoyed the scenery!! The road winds through mountains and there was very little traffic. Lovely! I even found some "joints" along the road. Living in eastern SC, we missed finding a little shop or lunch place around the next bend. A.) the roads don't bend; and B.) should you happen to find a bend in the road, there will be no cute General Store selling ice cream and homemade fudge! However, apparently way out west and adjacent to NC, you CAN find such things! There was the Dixie Republic where you can buy all varieties of Southern Pride (i.e. white supremacist) items. Okay, that's still a little coastal SC...but there was also...Bo-Deans for barbeque, "KARAOKE w/BRUCE" at the VFW and the charming Coffee Pot Cafe. Gillie didn't wake up/have to go potty until we were within minutes of the zoo, so we ate at Subway, but next time I'm shooting for the Coffee Pot!

So, Greenville Zoo is very small but absolutley worth the almost hour drive. We saw a funky chicken, the Geico gecko and found out that bears bite!
Also, and this was a highlight for me, we saw a Kookaburra and now have the real words to the Kookaburra song!!! Yay!!


No wonder I don't blog!!

I have worked really hard in the week and a half since school ended to accurately and artistically catalog the adventures of the English family for sharing on this blog. However!!! Upon returning home and finding the time to upload and name the images - between keeping up with the meals, groceries, laundry, bedtime routines, discipline rituals, packing & unpacking from the adventures - there's no TIME for blogging!

Exhibit A:

Tuesday - last day of school, ends at 10:30. While Gillie is still at pre-school, Maris and I go to a paint-your-own pottery place downtown. They don't open until 11, so we walk over to Daddy's office and photograph the new sign. Then walk back and spend Mommy's remaining one hour and forty five minutes of FREE time painting a sunflower 2-1/2 inches in diameter. Drop Maris off for lunch with Daddy, Grandma & Papa, go pick up G and return to restaurant to eat Maris' leftovers. At 5 that evening, Daddy was at a Rotary meeting downtown. The three of us headed to the Chamber of Commerce baseball night at the stadium in our new AES shirts, white skirts and FANCY ponytails. Before Daddy was able to switch gears and outfits, we had gotten faces painted and picked up dinner - popcorn, hotdog, soda, delightful! Stayed at the game 'til bedtime.


What timing!

I got on the computer to actually work on my blog and send a link to people who may be interested, when I received an email from my sister with the link to her blog. Which has apparently been in existence for some time...ahem!

For Mother's Day I got a new digital camera that's little enough to actually carry around and has all kin' a funky features. I wanted it for taking everyday shots of the kids and life & all to incorporate in my blogging. I've discovered that I take poor blogging photos & need to work on methods of naming the photos so they're easier to find when I want them.

Anywhoo, we went to Myrtle Beach last weekend to help some friends (no photo) on their condo renovations. We also hung out on the beach and went to the ever-popular Hawaiian Rumble mini golf - home of the professional miniature golf national championships (or some such thing). It was Black Biker Week (again, no photos!) so we didn't do much else around town, but it was a good summer warmup.

Upon returning home, the last week of school hit with full force. Last minute field trip, Fun Day, pre-school "graduation"...

The weekend was spent cleaning and prepping for the onset of "Summer". Yikes!!!! Now that I've got this down, I will attempt to chronicle more of our dynamic lifestyle. Just now, though, the Mommy Hours have set in and I must use them more wisely.