Sometimes a little brother has to gain the upper hand...
Saturday, March 29, 2008
A jellyfish from the Aquarium of the Smokies - one of my boys and my favorite places to visit. I love the jellyfish tanks - they look so ethereal - like underwater sea fairies...except they might wrap their nettles around you and make you wish your nerve endings didn't connect to your pain receptors.
And a page of memories from our trip to Dollywood. I didn't realize that they have a large eagle sanctuary there, and could have stood in front of the majestic birds all day. Just fantastic. I also enjoyed watching the boys take it all in for the first time. Not surprisingly, D was slow to warm up to the more adventurous rides, loved the mid-range ones with less-steep drops, while J LOVED the gigantic drop of Daredevil Falls and wanted to go over and over, and in the FRONT SEAT! We all got wet that day, but he was SOAKED.
Can someone explain to me why I can draw an eagle, but not my own children? Strange. J looks like he will when he's 16, and D's eyes and mouth are wonky, but...that's okay. Right?
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Yesterday, the boys and I went to the store for a few items and I saw a cool tower of 50 of the Pip-Squeak markers for a reasonable price.
The tower opens up and stacks like a pyramid, so you can just grab a color and go. Well...we had to have it. All of our other markers are scattered from here to Timbuktu. I told the guys we'd get it as long as the tower stayed on our work table downstairs, instead of traveling all over the house. Great. Got it. Good to go.
Just a few minutes ago, they decided to color and D. brought one of the dark green markers to me and told me it didn't work. Sure enough it was all dried out, as were 15 others. WHAT?? 15 others? That ain't right. So, I called their 800 number.
An incredibly short 2 minutes later, I spoke to a very nice lady who apologized up and down and back and forth and assured me that they had tried to recall all those markers, due to a sealing problem, but obviously some had slipped through the cracks and could she please send me a newly designed tower right away?
I LOVED it. Are you kidding me? A company that takes responsibility for its problems? Holy cow - what an idea! She didn't try to tell me that someone must have broken the seal (they hadn't) or that it was a result of a shipment problem by some unnamed contractor or any other nonsense. Just - "Hey - we made a mistake and we are going to fix it. We are so sorry for your hassle, is there anything else I can do for you today."
And that, people, is how you win brand loyalty.
I also grabbed a moment to draw while we were at the Biltmore on Thursday. The spires on top of the house are really lovely and fun to draw if you ignore the crick in the neck that accompanies the task. We were sitting in the courtyard drinking hot chocolate while I drew it. It's a good way to keep young boys still. The orchid was in the conservatory and I had to draw it from a picture, because the downside of using hot chocolate to keep young boys still is the burst of energy that comes after they finish the drink. Hey...you do what you can
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Technically, it is here. The temperatures don't quite show it yet, but it is official. Spring is here! We went in search of it over the weekend, and found it in smallish doses. This forsythia had burst forth at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC. As had a whole crop of daffodils and this lonely tulip...
The big tulip displays will be in a few more weeks, and I hope to go back and see them all.
It was a day to enjoy the sunshine, even though the wind remained quite chilly. A little running and hill-rolling took care of that, though...
Do you remember rolling down hills? Getting all dizzy and disoriented and covered in green, green grass? Oh, I do, and it always makes me think of days like this. Days when you listen carefully to hear the sounds of buds cracking open and seeds sprouting.
Days when you realize there's just a teensy bit more daylight than there was yesterday, that the chill in the air is not quite so sharp.
Days when you remember that the best things in life don't cost a penny and can be held in one's lap.
I love days like that.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
For J's Easter party at school...Peeps cupcake baskets with jelly bean eggs. The licorice handles just didn't work. And who likes licorice, anyway?
A new spring-color-palette-inspired sewn paper mobile to replace the paper snowflake mobile from Christmastime.
Hope of the warmth to come has come out lately, too...
In lightning fast bicycles ridden around the neighborhood lake...
In tiny seeds dropped into planting pods...
In the determination and strength it takes to conquer monkey bars for THE VERY FIRST TIME EVER. And yes. I did remember my camera. Smug mama look...
Oh. My. It's almost here. The green is coming back. The trees are whispering it to the wind. The frogs are talking about it in the pond. I overheard them today. They say..."not long now. don't give up."
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
The boys and I made flyers and passed them out all over our neighborhood and two other neighborhoods nearby. We also let the local shelter know we had found her in case anyone was looking. Given the smell that is currently emanating from this pup, she's been away from home awhile, although she's not overly scrawny. Slim, for sure, but not starving. She's been very sweet to the humans here, but I introduced Oscar and Chico to the mix today to see what she would do.
Strangely enough, she and Chico did okay. He sniffed...she growled...he walked away. No hay problema.
She and Oscar did not fare so well. It may be time for a little Dog Whisperer action.
I think Dr. SmartyPants (the softy) is secretly hoping nobody claims her so we can keep her. I don't know. She's got to have a serious bath and a cat-scan. Literally. If she is not nice to Ben, forget it. She is obviously a Jack Russell Terrier, so she is going to have a need to chase things like cats.
I don't know.
The boys have already named her "Precious." AS IF. I mean, please. "Precious?" I think we can do better than that. Something has to stand up to those manly names the other critters have.
IF no one claims her and IF she passes the cat scan (and getting along with Oscar) and IF a fabulous wonderful literary strong name pops into my head. THEN I'll think about it.
At least there would be another girl in the house...
OH - and hey everyone...if you have a dog/cat/bird/ferret...whatever...PLEASE put a collar with ID on it. I mean really. It's simple. It's cheap. You could have your pet back.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I've made it all the way through the longest part of winter without being too badly affected.
Until last week.
Or maybe the week before. It's hard to say, now.
In any case...I'm stuck. Stumped. Stultified. Stalled, stifled, squashed. Stagnant.
Are you getting my drift, here?
It's hard to say why. Daylight savings time just didn't start soon enough. Someone looked at me cross-eyed last Wednesday. Spring Break is next week. Who the heck knows anymore.
It doesn't really matter why, I think. What matters is breaking through the funk. The stump-funk. The steaming, stultifying, stagnant, stalled, stifled, squashed stump-funk.
Aren't you glad you dropped in today? Here - have a big steaming cup of stump-funk with me! Pull up a chair and whine awhile.
You'll fit right in.