Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Sick Bug



Gus is sick with a tummy bug that has slowed him down and makes me whince every time he looks longingly at food and then starts gulping with watery eyes...needless to say we are washing a load of assorted clothes, wash cloths and towels every day, guzzling gatorade and waiting for this nasty thing to wear itself out. Gus doesn't complain, instead he politely wakes me in the middle of the night and we sit in the bathroom and wait until his last meal has come and gone down the drain. So sad, but a little bit sweet, too, since he is more cuddly than ever and seems to need me and quiet time more than ever.

Yesterday he wanted to cook "cheesy pasta" which he later ate hungrily and actually retained so far. Today for his nap, he insisted he sleep "in my tent" so I let him and he laid there for a good 10 minutes just smiling to himself before falling asleep.

I pray he feels better for Christmas, he is so looking forward to it. Reciting his story of Baby Jesus' birth dutifully every day.
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Early Christmas with Grosspabe





Gus got a play tent for Christmas and since Grosspabe is only here until today we decided to make it an early Christmas and unveil the great tent yesterday evening. Gus was so excited! He couldn't wait for it to be set up and then everyone got invited to sit in it with him.
Now it sits in the middle of my living room and I'm contemplating charging Gus rent for it. He loves it!
Danke vielmal Osi & Grosspabe.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Full Steam Ahead



Gus loves LOVES his new Thomas slippers that came from Osi via Grosspabe, who landed here safely yesterday afternoon. Gus has been a light-footed ballerino (Jacob cringe inserted here) ever since. Tip-toeing around with a big smile on his face.

I'll get a picture of Grosspabe on the blog as soon as he holds still long enough to snap a picture, right now he is re-organizing my basement and thawing out my deep freezer, next up fixing my dishwasher door and decluttering my laundry.

We did have a great relaxing morning at the mall though...now I have a lot of wrapping to do.

Grosspabe is a very useful engine!
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Powder Day




First powder day of the season here in Western North Carolina! We woke up to about a half a foot of snow and the eerie silence that accompanies any amount of snow in the South. It's the sound of everyone staying in and watching the Weather Channel and fretting about driving to the grocery store - to buy beer, bread and milk.

I still feel very Coloradoan here, puzzled by how a bit of snow will close down everything and how except for kids, people only venture outside for dire emergencies - or to joyride cars completely unfit for the conditions around the back streets.

We had fun this morning, building a snowman, a snowcastle and many half-snow angels (Gus doesn't believe in moving his arms) we went sliding in the neighbor's yard and are now sitting down to our second meal of the day.

Happy winter to all of you.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

Trimming the tree




Gus and I have had a surprisingly nice time decorating our North Carolina Fir for Christmas. Nothing broken, no pricks, no tangled or dead lights, just lots of giggles and fun - except when I got the bright idea to quickly make a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine ornaments and then asked Gus to hang it - he was game until it came time to hang Thomas...he just couldn't part with him...so he is carrying him around for now, but otherwise all is sweet and nice without too much spice in the Dinkins household.

He even posed for a picture with the "Chismas Tree" backing up into it for better effect.

Then he gave his little Thomas engine a tour of the tree, limb by limb.

Have a sweet and peaceful holiday season.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010






Look at these pleased-as-spiked-punch mugshots (his idea, not mine), that's my wonderful husband, who now is the proud owner of a plaque proclaiming him "Fireman of the Year" of the Brevard Fire Department. Among his many accomplishments - listed by the chief as the major shook Jacob's hand - finishing EMT training in less than one year and answering more than 41 percent of all calls for the year.
It's been busy for us as a family, but extremely rewarding for Jacob.

Now where, I ask you, do you hang a plaque?
Right next to my "wife & mother of the year plaque?
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Friday, November 26, 2010






Voila, it took me 40 years to make it here, but I saw, conquered and cooked this turkey! What a feat, what a feast!
Lueg, Mami, min erschte Truthan!

I remember being in my early 20s, working minimum-wage as a cub reporter in a small town in the middle of nowhere and suddenly - out of the blue you might say - my boss heaved a 12 lb. turkey onto my desk and wished me a happy Thanksgiving before sending me off to cover yet another Turkey-themed event...just another of the many insults I endured in that just-out-of-college job working for a notoriously cheap family-owned newspaper...that turkey - nothing but a frozen mammoth to me - was my Christmas bonus...I was told later...after my boss cheerfully hit me up for a donation to United Way...I pointedly pointed out to him (pointedly pointed out?) that making $5.25 an hour qualified me for 80 percent of United Way's programs and an unplanned pregnancy or broken arm would help me with the remaining 20 percent...he never asked me to contribute again...I remember he blushed to a deep, satisfying-to-me purple at the suggestion of a pregnancy...

But there I was, Thanksgiving looming, just me and a frozen Turkey in my tiny apartment in the middle of flat-land Colorado (yep, there is a flat part to Colorado, but no one ever talks about it) I wrestled it into my fridge - it wouldn't fit into the purze-sized freezer and proceeded to call around to find just who would appreciate a gift of a quickly-thawing Gobbler ASAP...

It ended up at the local food bank, where a kindly man exchanged it for a package of cut deli turkey and a loaf of sandwich bread, which I gratefully ate at my tiny kitchen table, chewing on it and on my boss' seemingly bottomless insensitivities. I diligently worked that job for 18 more months, winning two awards along the way, before someone took notice and head-hunted me away to better working conditions.

That's the memory I visited as I wrestled my second ever frozen turkey out of the freezer and carefully thawed it in my fridge (three days!!! What in the world takes three days nowadays???) and then man-handled, hog-tied and massaged it to sheer deliciousness.

It was surpisingly easy and I discovered that basting is a very satisfying and soothing activity.

I'm so very grateful for my little, sweet family and God watching over us - and my days of paying my dues behind me.
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Friday, November 19, 2010



Gus is learning about saying Thank You and being grateful in preschool this week, which got me thinking about all the things I'm grateful for at this time in my life.

First and foremost I am grateful for three lovely ladies named Ms. Renee, Ms. Gwenn and Ms. Kathy, who have come into Gus' life and in a very short time transformed it only for the better - the much better, I think. Their patience with him has been unparalelled and I marvel at how inspired and cheerful they appear every day that he spends with them. Aside from being three wonderful adult presences in a little boy's life, they work hard every day to create an environment where children teach children in that kind of beautiful stern and focused way that only children can. Gus is a diligent pupil of all his peers and many of them take their part in his socialization very seriously.

I'm so very grateful for all that.

So having a couple of days to myself last week I got inspired to knit up a quick three pairs (I know that makes me sound like a maniac, but they really were done quick...and I'm all caught up on my Hulu television now) of simple mittens for each of Gus' preschool teachers. Done in a chunky yarn, they are sturdy yet soft and hopefully will keep these three women toasty on chilly days on the playground.

We decorated gift bags together on Wednesday and we plan to present our gifts of gratefulness to them next week.

I'm also grateful:
- For being married to the quietest man in the world. Every sentence from his mouth is an achievement, but he teaches me that contentment is not a sentence.
- For an emerging personality in my son, Gus. I can't wait to get to know him better. He is full of wonderful traits
- For a body that - at the ripe old age of 40 - plugs along without too many complaints and allows me to stay active and healthy
- For running and for Sara who runs with me
- For alarm clocks and for National Public Radio
- For croissants
- For my parents
- For friends with a real espresso maker that I get to operate now and then
- For a group of special girlfriends who inspire, entertain and delight me every time I see them
- For work and paychecks
- For Preschool and the quiet hours it brings to tackle errands
- For Family who supports and helps, comfots and calms and keeps us in prayers faithfully
- For Tire swings and occupational therapy and most of all playgrounds
- For a trip to Charleston and a trip to Atlanta
- For yarn and needles and the relaxation they bring
- For my bike
- For my faith and all that it has transformed for the better
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Monday, November 8, 2010


That means "signal silence" in German and it is what we are experiencing now that Osi has left us (after a very fun visit) and taken her camera with her.

Mine broke on the way to Charleston, and I have been in denial about it, which is easy when you have your mother's camera as a backup.

Now I will have to face the investment in a new camera, which I'm not excited about.

Until I do, you will have to make do without new posts on this blog...

...don't despair...we'll be back before too long.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hi-Five for Osi

SPOILER ALERT!!! If your last name is Twilley or Harris, don't look any further!


My Mom is the all-time, best, most exact, most detailed and patient finisher of all things knitted...if you think I'm good at knitting, she is an Olympian knitter. Anyways, she's been working at putting together and sewing together a baby blanket me and Jacob's Cuz Sara have been working on (painfully, one square at a time)since September.

Today it's done and I think it came out beautiful!

There is going to be one cozy baby boy in Philly!
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Monday, November 1, 2010

Triple Threat




Dupont Forest, just outside Brevard, is home to the fantastic and awe-inspiring Triple Falls, a sight so beautiful, it gets me every time I see it. Today we took Gus out for a little pre-nap hike, which he turned into his customary striptease, where he proceeded to shed clothes near the middle fall and topped it all by peeing into a puddle - to the delight of all assembled tourists...then he tried to drink from the aforementioned puddle...we made a quick exit and re-dressed him a little down the road.

He is a true naked hiker.
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Trick or Treat





Despite his aversion to my lovingly-hand-made lion costume, Gus had no problem tracking down the sweets and going from house to house carrying his little bag.
Happy Halloween!
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Over the rainbow


It's been raining buckets for the past two days, so today we got a well-deserved treat - a beautiful, clear & complete double rainbow.

The picture does it no justice, you just have to believe me. It felt magical.
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A fierce lion



Voila! The fruits of my frantic labor - A fierce lion - a fiercly-opposed-to-dressing-up lion. In the end the trip to the fabric store and an afternoon spent sewing on fur and felt paid off, Gus loved doing his lion impression at preschool for dress up day today!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Settling in



Osi is settling in nicely and Gus loves having someone other than Mommy who can read "Jakob" to him in Swiss-German, eventhough he knows the entire book by heart - in Swiss-German!
And then there is the Amazing Handyman, also known as Jacob, who know finally has the T-shirt that says it all, thanks to my Pape who stayed behind in Switzerland to mind the store so to speak. "Lueg Pape, de Jacob hett sis T-Shirt ah!"

We're enjoying another day with Osi!
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