Friday, August 31, 2007

2Peas Quote It Challenge

this layout was done for the digital "Quote It" challenge. The idea is to use a quote from someone in your life and make a scrapbook layout from it. I really liked this one, as I just happened to have a picture of Hayes dressed up as a pirate for our boat parade this July. Perfect! Unfortunately I am having trouble uploading it to my 2 Peas account, so I uploaded it here instead.

Summer Reading Done!

So I loved having a reading theme this summer. I am sure I will do it again. It forced me to read some books I wouldn't have picked up otherwise, and I really enjoyed reading. Speaking of which, do you have any ideas for my next reading theme? I gained a little weight this summer with all my food related books :) I am leaning heavily toward a sports theme, but I could still be swayed. Art seems like a plausible theme, although I have read all the historical fiction about paintings and tapestries that I want to for a while...

The last two food books were less enjoyable than the others. Return to Paris, by Colette Rossant, was a sad read. She regretted having to be in Paris; it was only the food that got her through. I wouldn't recommend it. And A Bottle Of Rum: The History Of The New World In Ten Cocktails was drier that a bottle of rum. Even with mojito in hand, I just couldn't get through all the boring history of the new world. I thought there would be more of the history of rum, and frankly, I thought that would be more exciting. I'll just stick to my cocktails.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

One Little Word: Balance

I like to visit the One Little Word blog frequently. They have scrapbooking challenges and this is the first one I have participated in. It's also one of my first forays into the world of digital scrapping. I like the result. Love to know what you think.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Vegetarian Wednesday

Many of you are aware that I am a former vegetarian and I miss the experience a lot. I have discovered a fabulous new way to incorporate some of my "old life" into this one. Thanks to my niece Eleanor and her super-smart dad, Josh, I bring you Vegetarian Wednesday, a new blog for all those folks out there who wish to make a small difference in a big way.

Vegetarian Wednesday is a simple commitment to eat vegetarian on Wednesday. There are so many benefits to eating a vegetarian diet, not only to yourself, but to the planet as well. Going cold turkey can seem like jumping off a cliff. This is a tiny step, just off the curb; and who knows? You may just like it. Take a minute and stop on by the blog.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What Next!?!

Our trip to the Shorehouse this year became more like the Griswold family vacation than our usual relaxing experience.

• Saturday, 10:08 a.m.: we are in the car and on our way!
• Saturday, 12:10 p.m.: We return with our to-go order at BK and discover Jezzy has eaten Hayes’s chocolate chip cookie.
• Saturday, 2:43 p.m.: At rest stop in WV Jezzy regurgitates said cookie.
• Saturday, 6:01 p.m.: Stop at Wendy’s to get dinner
• Saturday, 6:44 p.m. Leave Wendy’s with TO GO order! Ridiculous!
• Saturday, 10:12 p.m.: We arrive at the Shore house – everyone but Mom is in bed.
• Sunday, 7:06 a.m.: Granddaddy wakes up with his eye crusted shut; a result of Carter poking him in the eye.
• Sunday, 11:49 a.m.: Dawn & Reese twist hammock-swing to the breaking point and crash to the ground. Reese is scared but unharmed; Dawn will probably be sore for the better part of the week.
• Sunday 6:37 p.m.: Hayes nearly drowns.

Richard and Hayes were on their second bike ride of the day. Grandmom and I were enjoying a pleasant conversation on the porch when I heard Hayes wailing and saw Richard coming down the street with Hayes in his arms. I figured he’d fallen off his bike and we had a skinned knee to doctor up. Well, I was half right.

While at the wharf, Hayes had toppled off his bike and into 7 feet of water. Fortunately, even though there was no sound, Richard turned around and saw the bike down on the pavement and Hayes’s bike helmet floating in the water; it was still on his head. He dove in and was able to push Hayes up out of the water and by some miracle onto the pavement again. After all the water had been spewed from his mouth, Hayes (understandably) could not stop crying and was like a barnacle pasted onto his daddy. In fact, from that moment, through the shower, and until he fell asleep, he would not let go of Daddy’s neck. He kept wailing that he wanted to go home, and he never wanted to be near that water again. He fell asleep in Richard’s arms shortly there after. It took both of us a much longer time to relax and fall asleep. To tell the truth, I was up several times in the night checking that both Hayes and Jezzy were still breathing. It’s so hard to watch such raw emotion.

• Monday, 11:44: we take the car ferry from St. Michaels to Oxford. Hayes opts to stay in the car, but is not at all upset by being on the water.
• Monday, 12:02 p.m.: we eat the best ice cream I think I have ever had. If you are ever in Oxford, you can find the delicacy at the Highland Creamery. Worth every penny.
• Monday, 5:13 p.m.: Granddaddy and Richard take Hayes down to the wharf; he protests, but once he realizes they don’t have to get out of the car, he is fine.
• Monday, 7:26 p.m.: Richard is helping Hayes eat crab claws; a shell goes right through his thumb! Luckily, he doesn’t need stitches.

The whole thing makes me want to wrap my family in bubble wrap and get the hell out of Dodge! They say bad things happen in threes and we are down to Grandmom, Jezzy, and me on the un-injured list.

It does, however, look like Hayes learned a very important lesson about respecting the water. I hope he’s not going to be so afraid that next year he won’t go out on the water, but I think we’ll be feeling good this year if we can just walk down to the wharf without feeling panicked. I don’t expect he’ll be crabbing with Granddaddy this trip.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Duran Duran Appreciation Day!

I was never a huge Duran Duran fan, but in honor of my youth and this national holiday, I purchased "Hungry Like A Wolf" from iTunes today. Go 80s!!

Another "Good" Reason To Feel Like A Bad Mother

Not that I have any issues with feeling like a bad mom....So I am innocently listening to my NPR Story of the Day podcast and this story pops up: 'Baby Einstein' Videos Ineffective, Study Finds. You can listen to it yourself, but this is the blurb they have about it:
A popular series of videos targeted at babies and praised by President Bush has been found to be ineffective. A new study has found that Baby Einstein videos actually inhibit learning. Dr. Dimitri Christakis of the University of Washington in Seattle talks with Madeleine Brand.

Buried right at the end of this very serious report is the fact that later in life, all of the "lost language acquisition" is essentially made up for. Yes, not only do mothers today spend more time parenting their little ones than in any other generation, but we should feel guilty about setting the little tots in front of the TV when we are not with them. You have to hand it to better living through Science.

Thank God I actually "forced" Hayes to become more brain-dead by putting him in front of the Baby Einstein library of videos in his early childhood. Otherwise, he'd be building nuclear bombs by now!

Laughing in the Face of Cancer

Robert Schimmel is performing at Cracker's in Broad Ripple tonight and tomorrow. In every city where he performs, he asks his fans to donate comedy CDs to their local cancer centers. He provides the CD players. As a survivor himself, he understands that laughter matters in recovery. He got the idea when he would go in for treatments and listen to his own comedy CDs. The other patients eventually began to listen to comedy and they started lending these CDs to one another.

What strikes me is that it's so simple. There's no red tape, no overhead, no business meetings about what goes where and when to donate; you take the CDs to the center, he drops off the players. End of story. It's so nice to hear about someone doing something so simple, so small, and so meaningful.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I Made This

When I was a kid, my mom used this book to make some of the most memorable cakes for our birthdays and holiday parties. I remember really loving that candy was used to decorate the cakes. Talk about having your cake and eating it too! For the child of a diabetic, it was like heaven on a plate. One of the benefits of living with Mom is that I have access to all her recipe books, including this one. Although the pages are literally falling out, the cakes are still loads of fun.

I gave the book to Hayes so he could select the cake he really wanted for his birthday. It was definately a tough choice. Although the football held a lot of pull, the final choice was the Rocket. The best part about this is that I could decorate the entire thing with white icing and organic candies, avoiding dye completely! This is the final product. It was a real blast!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Garlic & Sapphires

I just finished reading the latest installment on this summer's food themed reading list: Ruth Reichl's Garlic And Sapphires. I really enjoyed it. Not only was it fun to be in on her disguises and how the restaurants of New York treated the critic so differently from the common woman, but it also gave me a glimpse into how Richard must eat. I never realized how multi-dimensional it is for the true "foodie." There was even a spiritual dimension to this savoring of food. It was the perfect summer read.

Every Day's A Holiday

I found a fun new calendar with all sorts of wacky holidays. You can access it here. Just to prepare you, tomorrow is National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Night. Neighbors beware.

Presidential Candidates -- So Many Choises

There are so many candidates out there, it's hard to know where they stand and who you like. Here is a quick survey to help you see which candidate(s) closely line up with you on the issues (thanks to my brother-in-law, Josh, for leading me to this). I was most closely aligned with Kucinich, and then Gravel. Who do you match up with?

Friday, August 03, 2007


One of my dear friends said this May, "It's all about summer survival." I think, dear Bryan, you are correct. I finally pleaded with another friend to have her daughter Renee come over and cure Hayes's summer doldrums. She was ecstatic to consent. I can only say that the day was a welcome relief for both Hayes and me.

I am starting to wonder why I didn't sign him up for more camps, why we didn't schedule more play dates, and why in the world I didn't think about getting a regular sitter once a week. Of course, doing it now would be utterly foolish. We have scarcely a week before we road-trip out to Maryland for one last hurrah before school starts. This, however, does not seem to quell the urge to set up a bunch of activities for the next month. It'll all be over soon and I'll be happy to be back into the routine of school and yet, I am sure, grousing about the early mornings, the "long" commute (really, it's just 20 minutes to the school), and the school politics that drive me crazy. Please God, help me not to say yes to every request simply because I am ready for a change of pace.

I swear, August is an endurance test.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Eat, Pray, Love

I just finished reading this enchanting book. Only one third of it is related at all to eating (my summer reading theme, as you may recall) and then, scantily. Even so, it's well worth the read. Although Elizabeth Gilbert is not an author I know well, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this memoir. Although I am no Buddhist, I related intimately to her spiritual quest. And although my lover is no Brazillian, I knew exactly what she means when she writes that his love knows no bounds. I was surprised that this little book lived up to the hype it is currently receiving. You should read it.