Sunday, June 29, 2008
he was pleased to run into some school friends at camp. two of his cousins were also at camp, although they participated in the pre-school hour. it was hot as blazes, and i can't imagine running around for three hours every day, but he had a blast!
the coaches were all about college age (i'm guessing), with deep roots in the international sport of soccer. on the first day of camp, the campers were divided into *countries,* and on the last day, there was a mini World Cup. great fun!!
we had a little trauma when jack was assigned to the team from Scotland, not the team from Sweden. a little more trauma when jack announced at 10:45 pm, the night before the World Cup, "i need a flag for Scotland!"
jack was over the moon to be goalie, and he dazzled us as Scotland cruised through the World Cup with nary a goal scored against them.
i see fall soccer league in our future. thanks aunt jen & uncle adrian for an awesome week!
this is the back of their business card.
Friday, June 27, 2008
it's definitely that time of year when blogging becomes sort of secondary to all of the other stuff that goes on. there's just enough blogging going on to know that this summer finds people moving (jenny, lucy), vacationing (natasha, cristin), swimming (kristi, becky) and sweating (me, jill).
it may be extra challenging to fit in spt posts this summer, so let's go easy for the month of july. and? as an extra bonus, if you complete all FIVE july challenges, maybe you'll get a cool little button to put on your blog!! *
our routines can seem out-of-whack in the summer and it's more important than ever that we funnel our energy into the hearts of our families. not so easy to do when there are more snacks to prepare, more laundry to do, more trips to the store/movies/museums/gas station... we must strike a balance between pool time, library time, travel time and quiet time!!
to help channel our personal chi, let's take time this month to focus on the 5 elements of summer: sun, water, shade, grass and ice cream!!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
the star i chose for this week is a symbol of one of those truths we hold to be self-evident; one of those rights that i, as many other americans, take for granted: our right of religious freedom.
here i am in my favorite tee shirt (the purchase of which was copied from not one, but two, of my sisters.) in addition to the star of David, there are six other religious symbols displayed in harmony. i'm sad to say that when i purchased this shirt, i didn't know what all of them were! (do you?)
i grew up in New York and Maryland, two places that are much more religiously diverse than the southeastern coast where i now reside. and certainly, the blogosphere has become a place where i have been able to explore and learn even more about my friends and their faiths. and while i know much about my own, and still little about all of the others, i love that i live in a country where it is safe to explore, lurk and learn from so many. do you identify with one of these symbols?
of course, i couldn't resist doing the stripes, too, and i must nod to that other right that i hold so dear:
the right to perform shamelessly in local community theatre productions!!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
no computer at work today.
as in... NO! COMPUTER!
notice i did not say "no access to computer."
i have that.
what i DON'T have is access to the 500 gazillion photos i've (stupidly) uploaded onto my work computer and (stupidly) haven't backed up yet.
all of a sudden, i love my blog even more than i did yesterday...
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
i love it when tuesday morning rolls around, and i still haven't quite figured out which way to go with my spt. this is what came about when i tried to capture the things that make a home "my home sweet home."
this is my mudroom. or, more accurately, my mudhallway. when we were looking at houses two and a half years ago, this was so important to me. i wanted (needed, rather)a place that would act as the buffer between the outside world and my inside cozy. it is the door that my family uses the most, as it goes directly to and from the garage. my laundry is here. purses and backpacks and sand-covered shoes are kept here. during birthday parties, an extra fridge can go here. it's a transitional area. when i come through my mudroom in the evening, i hang up the hat that i wear as *general manager* of the hotel, and toss on the hat that i wear as *general manager* of the home.
i have a lot of grand decorating ideas in my head. and one day, i will have a budget to match my dreams. fortunately, i can be very happy enjoying the small pieces of my ideas as they come together. this is just a glimpse of jack's bathroom. i like to call it *surfer chic* (jack prefers to call it *surf's up, duuude.*) an interesting note: this is about the only nod to "living near the beach" that you will find in my home, even though we live near the beach. do you find that strange?
this is my real *home sweet home.* the house i grew up in. my idyllic home. where a sunroom with leaded glass windows was only opened to us in the summer (how fascinating, to have an entire living space closed off for half of the year). where attics and basements provided endless hide-and-seek possibilities (if you dared). where we bruised our tender feet on the gravel driveway in springtime, and ran carefree by the end of a summer. where popsicles melted with us on the back porch. where every slam of the screen door meant friendships and possibilities.
i want to get back there in so many ways...
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
we wrapped up first grade this morning. we have a tradition of dedicating a song to jack on the radio for the final drive to school. XM Kids (channel 116) has a great way to "pre-quest" a song via email. you can tell them what time you'll be listening to the radio, and they are great about fitting in the requests during that time frame.
above, you can see jack thoroughly enjoying "Hard Core Wrestlers" by the Naked Brothers Band. kenny curtis, the DJ, gave him a great shout out, which makes this a fun way to start the day.
school has an end of year program, and this year's theme was "Around the World." i'll spare you a bunch of photos, because really, it's just not that exciting to have a bunch of blurry photos of your kid's tiny head poking out between four rows of *other* tiny kids' heads. but i will tell you that there was traditional Romanian and German dancing, and recorder playing, and (sorry in advance if this gets stuck in your head) a rousing rendition of "We are the World." yes. commence swaying of your upraised arms now. i loved you, summer of 1985.
a few weeks ago, on my friend carlo's blog (carlo? carlo?), i spied a very cute teacher gift: lots of fun teas in a basket with a cute note that said "thanks for being a great TEA-cher." totally fun. i put my own spin on that for this year, and this is what we came up with (jack's job was arranging the assortment of teas in the cups. my job, was, you know... everything else.)
i was having some heinous computer/printer issues at 6:15 this morning (that's right, i said this morning. i like to think i have perfected the *last minute mom* routine.) i ended up having to write the tags by hand, which i'm not thrilled about. but i LOVE my little teabag-look-alike tag, so there you go.
camp starts on monday! it's going to be a TEA-riffic summer!
42. Visited Ireland - i would love to. visiting the land of my ancestors would fit in with this one very well.
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India - no, but my sister spent a term her during college (hey, patricia! you have a piece of glittery gold in your nose...)
45. Bench-pressed your own weight - ha ha.
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files - my perfectionism literally paralyzes me here: should i write or type the file headings? use colored folders or plain old manilla? do you file Blue Cross/Blue Shield under B or I (for insurance.) don't get me started...
48. Ever worn a superhero costume proudly!
49. Sung karaoke on a weekly basis, sometimes. we like to play a fun game called kamikaze karaoke, where we put in songs for each other
50. Lounged around in bed all day - i honestly don't know if i would be able to resist the urge of all of the *other* things that need to get done...
51. Gone scuba diving - nope. sort of like outer space, i have a real fear of the deep dark unknown
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater there was a great drive in where i grew up. saw ALL of the first run disney films in my pyjazies, sitting on the hood of the volvo, wearing mickey mouse ears and eating popcorn.
55. Done something you should regret, but don't (i remember a lot of "bulk-food-grazing" in college supermarkets...)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business - i love to start businesses. i hdon't love to run them.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days - i probably need to...
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
i waited until after 8 pm to walk, and i still arrived home drenched.
i haven't run in over a month, i think.
i have gained 6 pounds in two months.
i cannot believe this body ran a 10K just two months ago.
i tend to think of twilight as a very romantic time of the day. and cooler. it's supposed to be cooler!! (growing up in ny, and spending my summers in massachusetts, twilight still meant we often brought out the windbreakers or the hooded sweatshirts.)
i fantasize that twilight is full of fireflies and endless games of "kick the can." a cool summer dinner of tuna salad or gazpacho has been put away, and dessert is full of berries and frozen things. neighbors greet each other over backyard fences, and children look forward to lukewarm baths and starry skies.
last night's twilight was full of houseflies and "kung fu panda." turkey burgers cooked in the cast iron because it was too hot to stand outside and grill. mat sweating in the garage, trying to replace a few sparkplugs in the car. jack trying to set a record for the world's shortest shower. and instead of gazing up at a starry sky, we fell asleep under the glow of the TV.
i did sneak outside to snap a few photos.
there is certainly nothing *gleaming* about this twilight. but i love this old mirror, and the hazy reflection it casts does a real justice to how hazy it felt sitting on the front porch. sort of reflects my mood, too.
but, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave? you bet it does!
Monday, June 09, 2008
in case you haven't done your spt for this week (the twilight's last gleaming), by my calculations, you have ONE twilight left!! i know what i'll be doing later this evening...
check out this gorgeous work done by paul mcgehee, entitled The Twilight's Last Gleaming. check out The White House by Moonlight, too. "...the White House of future poems, and of dreams and dramas..." (Walt Whitman.) how appropriate a sentiment for this election year.
Friday, June 06, 2008
22. Bet on a winning horse (by accident, but still...) we were at a Derby Day party a few months after jack was born. the hosts had a little betting pool going on, where you could buy a horse for a buck. we bought a horse for jack (it was the last choice on the sheet) and lo and behold...
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill - i've never really been able to do this. i happen to be a little obsessed with doing the right thing. but, way back on senior skip day, i was bound and determined to skip school!! i actually asked my mother to write me an excused absence. i remember being so nervous when i took it to the front office. sadly, i think my nervousness prevented me from really enjoying the skip.
24. Built a snow fort - we used to love to do this (growing up in NY). our other favorite snow fun was to pack snow in a pie pan, drizzle with maple syrup, and keep in the freezer for dessert.
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping - you can all thank me later
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse - i don't remember much. i was too disturbed about the fact that i might ruin my eyesight forever!!
30. Ridden a roller coaster - i used to be a lot more excited about roller coasters, but i don't know that i would dare get on one now. i was particular about the coasters i rode, too. i prefer coasters that loop-the-loop or "hang" below the track, or go backwards. the ones that go up up UP and then doooooowwnnn ... really freak me out.
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking - someone might have had to ask me to get down off of a table. ahhh, youth.
33. Adopted an accent for fun - i have a distinct vacation memory of going to Callaway Gardens on a family vacation, and returning to NY with a very thick georgia accent. did i think my friends would find this normal?? it didn't last very long. speaking of accents, i grew up on Long Island, but neither of my parents were from there (so they did not have "Long Island" accents.) they were very careful to coach me when my own accent would get too heavy (as in *dawg* and *chawclet* and *sneakah*.) to this day, people tell me i have a very neutral accent, and i credit my parents for their coaching. i can, however, turn it on very thick if need be...
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - would love a trip to europe to do this
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment - oh those moments. those fleeting moments. i do appreciate the times when i feel very happy, and struggle to be 38 and still have times when i don't.
36. Loved your job 90% of the time - i really do. managing this particular hotel, in this particular market, is challenging and rewarding. and that other job? the one with the husband and son? love that one, too!
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - is this possible??
38. Watched wild whales - i used to think going on a whale watch would be such an exotic adventure. wait. i still do.
39. Gone rock climbing - i have ZERO upper body strength. enough said.
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach - matty and i walked on the beach on a family vacation in Cape May, NJ, many midnights ago. sad that we don't find the opportunity to do that more often (neither of us is ever awake at midnight anymore!!)
1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars - i went to a summer camp for musicians for four years, then back as a counselor for two. northeast music camp was located in the BEAUTIFUL berkshire mountains, in a town called ware, ma. (where?!?) as counselors, we took the liberty of sleeping outside on the four square court every once in a while (a *luxury* we were never permitted as campers!)
3. Been a part of a hockey fight - i've watched plenty, though
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower - i've seen several, but the most memorable was in the summer of '93 (?) my roommate and i lived in roswell, GA, and spent the evening sitting on the tennis courts with two young men we were, ah, fond of. it really was the most amazing meteor shower. odd: i remember the meteors, but not the men!
6. Given more than you can afford to charity - at this time in our life, every bit we give to charity feels like more than we can afford. even though it's hard, it helps remind me that there are so many for whom it is much tougher.
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain - climbed a few growing up with my father's boy scout troup. the last mountain i *climbed* was Stone Mountain, GA before the laser show. or maybe it was Brasstown Bald with my Recreation Management class during grad school.
9. Held a tarantula (and not bloody likely too, either!)
10. Said "I love you" and meant it - it was very hard for me to say this to matty the first time (the first, and only, man i've ever said it to).
11. Bungee jumped - i don't really fear the bungee part. it's the stepping off of the little platform that would do me in!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea - i have spent more than 1/2 of my life living on the coast. there is nothing more awe-inspiring than watching nature's fury over the sea (from the safety of shore, that is).
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise - i pulled one *official* all nighter during my freshman year of college. i remember being so relieved that the sun was finally up and i could go to sleep! i might have managed this one other time in my life, but now i relish my sleeping hours too much to give them up!
15. Seen the Northern Lights - oh, how i wish
16. Gone to a huge sports game - Falcons vs. Chargers. many years ago. countless Braves games during the wonder years of '91 and '92
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty - my sister and i spent a week in manhattan with good friends when we were maybe junior high age. i am so thrilled we got to walk to the top of the statue of liberty (and visit the *just built* twin towers.
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables - my father cultivated huge vegetable gardens. i have not been very successful practicing what he taught us.
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
- is there ever a *best* possible moment??? i have distinct memories of this happening during a marching band practice and also during church ("consider the lilies...")
i'll tackle another 20 at another time. have you done your list yet?
jane writes a weekly newsletter, and i'm sorry to say i haven't been a subscriber. but i've gotten to know her through her partcipation in spt, and i can attest that publishing 200 newsletters has been an act of love for her! i hope to accomplish a mere fraction of the things she has done so far.
if you'd like to take up this challenge, simply reprint this list on your blog, and highlight in bold the things your have accomplished. thanks for helping me journal some more memories, jane!!
200 Have and Have nots!
1. Touched an iceberg 2. Slept under the stars 3. Been a part of a hockey fight 4. Changed a baby's diaper 5. Watched a meteor shower 6. Given more than you can afford to charity 7. Swam with wild dolphins 8. Climbed a mountain 9. Held a tarantula (and not bloody likely too, either!) 10. Said "I love you" and meant it 11. Bungee jumped 12. Visited Paris 13. Watched a lightning storm at sea 14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise 15. Seen the Northern Lights 16. Gone to a huge sports game 17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty 18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables 19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope 20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment 21. Had a pillow fight 22. Bet on a winning horse (by accident, but still...) 23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill 24. Built a snow fort 25. Held a lamb 26. Gone skinny dipping 27. Taken an ice cold bath 28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar 29. Seen a total eclipse 30. Ridden a roller coaster 31. Hit a home run 32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 33. Adopted an accent for fun 34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors 35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment 36. Loved your job 90% of the time 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied 38. Watched wild whales 39. Gone rock climbing 40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach 41. Gone sky diving 42. Visited Ireland 43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant 44. Visited India 45. Bench-pressed your own weight 46. Milked a cow 47. Alphabetized your personal files 48. Ever worn a superhero costume 49. Sung karaoke 50. Lounged around in bed all day 51. Gone scuba diving 52. Kissed in the rain 53. Played in the mud 54. Gone to a drive-in theater 55. Done something you should regret, but don't 56. Visited the Great Wall of China 57. Started a business 58. Taken a martial arts class 59. Been in a movie 60. Gone without food for 3 days 61. Made cookies from scratch 62. Won first prize in a costume contest 63. Got flowers for no reason 64. Been in a combat zone 65. Spoken more than one language fluently 66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone 67. Bounced a check 68. Read - and understood - your credit report 69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy (but i did look at some on ebay) 70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did 71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over 73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 74. Helped an animal give birth 75. Been fired or laid off from a job 76. Won money 77. Broken a bone 78. Ridden a motorcycle 79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph 80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon 81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing Nyquil helps) 82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 83. Eaten sushi 84. Had your picture in the newspaper 85. Read The Bible cover to cover 86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about 87. Gotten someone fired for their actions 88. Gone back to school 89. Changed your name 90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands 91. Eaten fried green tomatoes 92. Read The Iliad 93. Taught yourself an art from scratch 94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt 96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 97. Been elected to public office (unfortunately, Rotary doesn't count!) 98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream 99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care 100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you 101. Had a booth at a street fair 102. Dyed your hair 103. Been a DJ 104. Rocked a baby to sleep 105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four 106. Raked your carpet 107. Brought out the best in people 108. Brought out the worst in people 109. Worn a mood ring 110. Ridden a horse 111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap 112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe
113. Buried a child 114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play 115. Been inside the pyramids 116. Shot a basketball into a basket 117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band (Alto Saxaphone) (me, too, kristi) 119. Shot a bird 120. Gone to an arboretum 121. Tutored someone 122. Ridden a train 123. Brought an old fad back into style 124. Eaten caviar 125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need 126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant 127. Published a book 128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place 130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise 132. Made a hole-in-one 133. Gone deep sea fishing 134. Gone roller skating 135. Run a marathon 136. Learned to surf 137. Invented something 138. Flown first class 139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite 140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa 142. Sang a solo 143. Gone spelunking 144. Learned how to take a compliment 145. Written a love-story 146. Seen Michelangelo’s David 147. Had your portrait painted 148. Written a fan letter 149. Spent the night in something haunted 150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane 151. Ran away 152. Learned to juggle 153. Been a boss 154. Sat on a jury 155. Lied about your weight 156. Gone on a diet 157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget 158. Written a poem 159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox 160. Gotten food poisoning 161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission 162. Hiked the Grand Canyon 163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks 164. Gone to the opera 165. Gotten a letter from someone famous 166. Worn knickers (i hate that i have to admit to this) 167. Ridden in a limousine 168. Attended the Olympics (the BEST time in Atlanta '96) (the BEST) 169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books 171. Been stuck in an elevator 172. Had a revelatory dream 173. Thought you might crash in an airplane 174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert 175. Saved someone’s life 176. Eaten raw whale 177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint 178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator 180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing 181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival 182. Sent a message in a bottle 183. Spent the night in a hostel 184. Been a cashier 185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt 186. Joined a union 187. Donated blood or plasma 188. Built a campfire 189. Kept a blog 190. Had hives 191. Worn custom made shoes or boots 192. Made a PowerPoint presentation 193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course 194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube 196. Know CPR 197. Ridden in or owned a convertible 198. Found a long lost friend 199. Helped solve a crime 200. Responded to a NJP newsletter (but we've exchanged some wonderful emails!!)
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
according to my hit counter, over 250 people visited yesterday, yet only 18 people left me a comment?!?
my math isn't the greatest, but i'm thinking that percentage is pretty low.
i'm just sayin'...
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
the emblem of the land i love
you know that box? the one where everything fits neatly inside? the one that stacks neatly with all of the other boxes? the one whose contents match the description printed on the label? that box?
i totally stepped out of that box for this challenge...
the emblem i chose for this week absolutely represents, to me, the spirit of America. no, i'm not a gearhead. i don't work on cars, i don't go to car shows, i definitely don't go to car races. heck, i barely even manage to wash my car! in fact, the car i drive today was chosen for me by someone else, so i sort of identify with this brand by sheer conincidence.
but, really, what's more American than good old General Motors? and who can't immediately identify the trademark Chevrolet bowtie? (i did learn that William Durant designed the bowtie in 1913, possibly gleaning inspiration from French wallpaper? who knew?) (there is a LOT more you could learn about the Chevy brand and its stable of cars. if you wanted to. i didn't really want to. but then again, this post isn't really about cars, right?)
me and my bowtie.
the emblem of the land i love...
the heartbeat of America.
Monday, June 02, 2008
(i'll spare you the pictures of all of THEM!)
(when in the heck did matty and i get the SAME double chins?!?)
(it's so hard to be the spouse at a *company* party. you did well, matty!)