Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making a splash in the big city




Yesterday, Gus and I had an appointment with TEACCH (an autism program that teaches parents educate their kids for life) so we decided to make an afternoon of it in Asheville, the "big city" about 40 minutes from Brevard.
Asheville is funny. There's a bumper sticker that says "Keep Asheville weird" and that pretty much sums this town up, I think. If you stand at any street corner in Asheville, you are bound to look out of place if you are simply wearing a T-shirt, jeans and a pair of sneakers - unless you sport a tatoo..if you don't have one of those you are definitely in the minority.
Anyways, while stand at your street corner of choice you will be able to experience everything from grey braids, hippy flouncy skirts, robes, Indian sitars, gay insignias, chanting, tribal tats, piercings and lots and lots of other dramatic ways of self-expression.
Asheville, is all organic, all PC, all recycled and repurposed, respectful of all that is different to such a degree that normal is the new minority.
It's a trip. And if you can I highly recommend it. It is an endless bounty in people and stuff watching.
One of Asheville's premier sights, however, is Splashville, which sits right smack in front of the county court house and catty corner to the Asheville Fire Station in a beautifully appointed park named Pack Square.

I don't know anything about Splashville other than that it is a ton of fun, easy and completely free. Gus spent two hours running through the jets of water (they turn on and off in a seemingly unpredictable manner, sometimes sending the kids on a wild goose chase, othertimes "surprising" an unsuspecting kid or parent to the great delight of everyone that is camped out around.
I met a Dad, who wrapped his Brand-name wifebeater shirt around his head to get relief from his great head of dreadlocks, whose daugher, Sunny, took a liking to Gus - whether he liked her back or no. I met a Mom with more tatoos than I have shoes, whose toddler daughter's name was Lutz (I asked, just to make sure, that's the spelling..."interesting" I said in my brightest intonation) I met a Mom, who immediately began sharing her favorite yoga teacher and studios with me (my arm muscles make people think I do more sun salutations than I ever actually's a nice problem to have), and I met a Dad, who made the Middle-East Process sound so boring, I wanted to go end it all (that one I only had to listen to, he wasn't talking to me but a friend, who looked as bored as I felt).

Sun-tired we took a little walk around town, ate hormone-free, happy and grass-fed food at a local eatery and then met our TEACCH team for an evening of making and talking about box skills.

Our big city is a hoot - from every angle.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

This is how we play






My hair wants to live on the beach and I - sometimes - want to live in a big city. Sometimes I wish I had two or three children (but the same husband) Sometimes I miss snow and mountains you can ski on, but then on a lazy, sweltering Monday afternoon I'm reminded of all that I have right here:
A beautiful, funny, energetic only child, who is game for any adventure I propose.
Trees galore. Healthy ones to look at, climb on, breathe in. Old dead ones to play on, slide on, hug and simply marvel at.
A State Forest so big and varied you can get lost in it any day and not worry one bit about how to come out (if ever)
Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls. In fact we have so many, that I can hardly be pursued to stop and look at it unless it is at least 3-stories high and running good. I don't consider those stair-stepping water tumble affairs anything spectacular and I'm not pulling my camera out for a drizzle of water.

This is Gus' favorite hike. Moore Cove. Today he hiked (or ran, skipped and darted) the entire 1.5 mile loop on his own (I just carried the Ergo as a fashion accessory) it is lined with bridges, as it follows an enchanted little brook along huge boulders to this stunner of a waterfall that is accessible from 360 degrees and backed by a pictoresque overhanging wall of rock.

It is here that I commit to buying a better camera every time, then return with my point and shoot to get frustrated because I can't capture the athmosphere exactly.

You have to be there to feel it. It's magical.
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Take Over



Psst...I have to type VERY QUIETLY because the intruders are asleep, but would someone please come and rescue me before these two blond, blue-eyed monsters ruin my home completely and eat me alive???

I'm kidding - of course - what I really mean to say is that Gus and his friend, Argo, are both asleep, and I just spent 30 minutes putting the house back together and screwing my head back on.

I don't know how all you Mommas of two and more ever do it, ever! I don't know, I only know that I have had so much fun this morning and got absolutely nothing done (well I did bake a cake and deliver it to my friend, Aleshka - Argo's Mom - at the hospital where she is celebrating a new baby AND her birthday) but beyond that I did NOTHING, though I never sat down, never ate, never touched my coffee, never stopped talking and never stopped either kissing booboos, wiping noses (or butts) changing diapers or changing outfits (on them, I'm still wearing whatever looked clean yesterday).

Wow, now it is naptime and I'm toasting a bagel and starting my day (the hair!!! I can't believe I went out looking like that???!!!)

The boys are so sweet together and so playful, give them anything, ANYTHING...a straw a shovel, a stick...and they have a good time playing off of each other...

I think Argo is really enjoying this two-kid thing (only kidding again, he is a really happy member of a family of six)

But a little extra attention is always a treat.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

While I was out (at the beach)



I spent a long weekend on Folly Beach with 14 or 15 of my dearest girlfriends (I lost count at some point, but you get the picture, there were A WHOLE LOT of us) and had a blast.
Yoga with wave noise in the background (and pigeon cooing in the foreground), long runs on the beach before sunrise, lolligagging in a beach chair with iddle talk that I either inserted myself in or let just wash over me, happy hour that lasted 6 hours or longer....delicious dinners, wonderful buffets, lots of laughter, too much hillariousness, ralleys to go see the historic lighthouse, an exploratory bike ride with a friend I never get to spend time with....I can go on and on...

It was AWESOME...good for the soul, good for the heart...and I even got a tan along the way.

When I returned I found that my bedroom had been redone.

That's right. Extreme Home Makeover must have come to my house while I was at the beach. Actually, Jacob pulled off a big surprise beautifully, letting me believe that he and Gus were going to Alabama for the weekend, when in fact he transferred Gus to Granna and Pap in Atlanta, hurried back and with the help of a good friend, finished the long-pined-for closet and even plastered two walls. The room looks wonderful and I can see the finish line in sight.

I spent all yesterday evening "moving into my closet" and then standing in front of it and adoring's amazing how much you can want one when you live without one for 3 or so years...

Gus had a great time in Alabama and came back bigger and with more words. He made quite a show out of the Krispy Kreme doughnut and hat that I brought him as a "souvenir"

I feel so blessed.
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Monday, May 9, 2011

Smelling the Roses



They are my pride and joy, inherited with the house and completely untamed by me, but I baby them with the odd banana peel now and then.
Jacob's birthday and Mother's Day always seems to be about the time my roses bloom. It's an overnight thing and it fills me with such joy, I don't have the words to describe it. They are so tender, so beautiful, so fragrant without being too perfumey...they are perfect as far as my mind can grasp perfection.

Unrivaled, un-fussed with beauty, right here on my front porch.

Now if I could only get my macro setting to work always shows the leaves better than the bloom.
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Thirty-three years in the making...and - yes I am partial - only getting better with each passing year.

A very happy - understated by his own wish - birthday to my husband,the strongest, smartest, funniest and simply most amazing man I know.

We know you hung the moon, rigged up the scaffolding for it out of whatever was lay around and then proceeded to make it a fun endeveaor for everyone involved...because that's the kind of man you are.

We are starting the day with cake and plan to finish it with cake, too.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where does he get it from?

Gus is really doing a number on me these day. Aside from the No. 2 (which has yet to go in the potty, but goes anywhere else at any time of the day now) he today began entertaining the preschool teachers with new words. Words that they had to repeat to me in hushed tones right by the door. He's already regaled them with all kinds of words for excrements (which he gets from all his poopie books and movies) as well as a couple of words he uses for certain parts of the female anatomy, which is payback for me nursing him until he was two.

I've heard from other parents before that your kid will embarass you someday by repeating things at school that are not meant for the general public, however, Gus in his trademark I-will-top-that fashion has added a twist to it.

He says words we don't say, never have, whose origin I'm simply not sure of.

Preschool teacher (by the door, looking worried and curious) says in a whiper: "Gus cussed today."
Me: "Oh really. What did he say?"
Preschool teacher (looking over her shoulder to the backup teacher for agreement): "He said damn."
Me: "Damn? We don't say damn at home, are you sure he is saying damn?"
Teachers in unison "Oh yes, he said it several times."
Me (now looking puzzled) "Well, I guess we'll tell him not to say that, but I honestly don't know where he would have that from."
Teachers (now both cornering me by the door): "He also kept saying divorce, divorce."
Me: (now mildly worried and at the same time looking for a candid camera hint but to no avail): "That's not a word we use either, and it's not in any of his books and I'm pretty sure Elmo doesn't say it either."
Teachers (all three looking sufficiently worried now): "Well that's what it sounded like"
Me: (now feeling defensive without wanting to): "We are not getting divorced nor would we say that word in front of him."

I made a quick exit after that (with Gus' poopie undies in a knotted plastic bag in hand and Gus in hasty tow)

Where does he get that from?
Really, no one he knows is getting divorced.
And I don't cuss. Ever. Neither does his Daddy.
Though right now I want to say a bad word.
But I won't.
I can't wait for the next "word surprise" he dishes up.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

This is a close-up of one of my heirloom tomato starts (it's a Green Zebra to be exact). When I started them in March I had 36 and at first they were my pride and joy. They were easy, some water, some sun, soon they peeked out. I congratuled myself for being so resourceful, growing them from seeds harvested from my heirloom tomato plants from last year. I pictured myself generously giving them to friends and family and plant a half dozen myself.

I knew nothing then of heating mats, 16-hour growing lights and a rigid and very fussy fertilizer and watering schedules.

In other words, I was too dumb to know better.
Six weeks later, I have less than 16 plants left and at the present rate of artrition I will have maybe enough to plant for myself, at which point I will have to defend these fickle things against the elements, pesky critters and plenty of pests. They die mysterious and tragic deaths, looking limb one minute and positively strawy-dead the next, all despite the fact that I faithfully carry them inside overnight and place them lovingly in the sun during the day, water them with the care I usually only afford to my beloved, and I feed them on a schedule I consider both ludicrious and prissy.

I want to admit that I should just tip them into the compost pile and go buy myself a half dozen heirloom starts, it would safe me a lot of time and effort, but apparently I'm a sucker for disapointment, and since potty training is going so well - not - I might as well grow my own tomato plants...

I love spring though. I love the season of growing things that will later nurture me and my family. I want to. I really do. And if one of these prima donnas survives and bears fruit. I'm going to make a BIG DEAL out of it. I will EAT IT and ENJOY IT!!!

And next year I'm high-tailing it to the farmers' market for some starts that have outgrown the fussy stage.[