Tuesday, June 28, 2011

28 June 2011

Two Thoughts Tuesday: It is Tuesday Right?

1) I love this song:

found via ModCloth Blog.

2) I find it quite enjoyable to observe and document the actions of the people I encounter.  Sometimes I even make up silly little stories to go with the pictures. It makes me laugh. Take for instance, last Saturday when I was driving home from the lake. Just as I got on I70 traffic came to a halt. Which yes, it's a bit annoying to have to sit there, but when I think about the reason I am having to sit there it puts things into perspective a bit, and I stop my belly aching. At that point, I am free to look around and observe my surroundings. I noted the following:

 People do not like to sit in their cars. They want to get out and try to see what's going on--nevermind that we're in a line of cars a mile long and there's a bend in the road making it impossible to see any further--we still must stand there with our hand shielding our eyes gazing off into the horizon while shaking our heads. Ten minutes after stopping, there were so many people milling about that for a moment I thought that we were all there just tailgating at a Jimmy Buffett concert rather than gridlocked on an interstate. 

People are also very impatient. Just 15 minutes into the halt, there began a mass exodus through the median to the promised land of westbound I70. In the picture above, you will note that the median is not flat nor mowed, but rather a hilly, weed-filled expanse. I watched several cars spin around, back up, try a new approach and spin some more before finally realizing that ascending on a diagonal worked much better than trying to go straight up the hill.  But that wasn't enough to deter anyone from trying her own luck at transversing the Hill of Freedom. This was though:

It would totally suck to watch 25 cars do something and then be the one that the law catches, wouldn't it?

People resort to doing strange things when they've been stuck alone in an enclosed space for 40 minutes. And by people, I mean me. And by strange things, I mean take silly photos of herself with her phone.

 Yes, people are odd ducks indeed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Don't even try to make sense of it

I sat on the dock the other night for a long while just watching this spider spinning its web.

It moved so fast that it was almost hypnotizing. And very hard to capture with the lens I had with me. Not that having a different lens would have made any difference due to my lack of photographic skill, but I like to pretend it would just to make myself feel better.

And I know some of you are wondering: No I am not creeped out by spiders. They might startle me, but once I realize what it is I calm down. But I've never encountered a big hairy spider like a tarantula either, so I can't say for certain that I'd never be bothered by spiders.
But do you know what did freak me out a bit down at the dock? This:

Algae covered ladder steps in murky water. I kept glancing over there sure that at any moment some nasty sea monster was going to climb up them and eat me for dinner. But I'm really working on trying to face my irrational fears, so I plopped myself down and tried not to inch any further away from the portal of doom.

But if  I'm being honest, I have to say that if the view hadn't been so lovely,  there is no way I would have lasted as long as I did. 

23 June 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mellon Does Swallow Falls

Pretty, right? Even the marshy stuff in the foreground that I stood in as I was taking this picture. Nature has a way of calming one's spirit, wouldn't you agree? You slow down a bit and take time to notice the less obvious beauty that surrounds you. This might be my favorite:

I just love how trees grow on rocks. It speaks of a will to live despite inhospitable circumstances. Nothing made survival easy for this tree, yet still it thrives. I like to picture it as a tiny little seedling tree boldly defying wind, snow and ice as it strains to stretch its roots across the hard surface. Yes, I do have a vivid imagination. It's part of my charm or so I tell myself.

Something I do not love?

Snakes. See it on the log there? Ew. I have noticed that when I venture out to places alone, the people I encounter are much more likely to strike up a conversation with me. I guess I look lonely or something? Anyway, that would be how I found this snake. A group of dads and sons happily pointed it out to me as I tried not to run the other way. I faced my fear--sure it was from about 20 ft above, still. I was daring. Not nearly as daring as this fellow though.

He spent a good 15 minutes in that spot contemplating jumping. He'd start, then pull himself back. Start again, pull back again. Until finally, he dove head first into the water. I didn't think he was ever going to do it, so I wasn't speedy enough to get a picture of the dive, but I did get the evidence picture.

He quickly swam to shore only to discover that it was rocky and impassable. I don't know what he finally did to get out of the river because I was too busy running away from the snake to stick around and find out.

22 June 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

21 June 2011

Two Thoughts Tuesday: On Dog Walking

1) I think Iverson is confused. He must truly believe that his urine is one of those bulk rate, discount store sale papers or something. I mean why else would he think he needs to stop and deposit some of it at every single mailbox?

One hour walk = One hour sprawled on the floor panting. Old, fat dog.

2) It is probably best not to yell 'Squirrel!' while holding on to the dog's lead. Unless you really don't care if your arm remains in its socket. I'd imagine the same holds true for 'Chipmunk!', 'Duck!', & 'Bear!' though I had not the opportunity to test the theory. Maybe tomorrow.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Which way to Eden?

Since finding myself with a few wide open days and a strong wifi signal, I've been able to not only catch up on my google reader backlog, but also click on any article that shows up in my Facebook feed that holds even the tiniest promise of entertaining me for a minute. That would be how I came across this article on the fallacies of libertarianism. Yea, I know.  Not my usual genre for sure, but interesting nonetheless if you can wade your way through it. The style of writing is quite academic in nature which required me to stop and reread paragraphs several times before I could even state for certain that what I had just read was in English. I consulted my handy dictionary app several times (read: shtetl) which is actually something I enjoy doing, but others might find tedious. And really this post has very little to do with that article, so don't feel like you have to read it or anything. Unless you want to, in which case, by all means, read away.  Keep that dictionary close by though.

Ok, the point. As I was stumbling my way through the article, I found these words resonated with me--especially the last line that I have bolded for you just in case you forget between now and then that it is the important one:
The essence of any utopianism is: Conjure an ideal that makes an impossible demand on reality, then announce that, until the demand is met in full, your ideal can't be fairly evaluated. Attribute any incidental successes to the halfway meeting of the demand, any failure to the halfway still to go.
And while the author meant it in relation to various theories of social organization and economic systems, I related it more to human nature.  As in, why are we so quick to attribute our successes to hard work, skill, and dedication while chalking up our failures to bad luck, poor timing, or someone else's mistake? Why does that tingling move up our spine tensing our neck and shoulders at the thought that we have erred and are therefore less than perfect? I mean it isn't like it's news or anything. We're all flawed.  Why is it so hard to simply say: I was wrong, I messed up, I made a mistake? Why do we continue to argue our side determinedly refusing to accept the reason of the counter point? Even when we know we're wrong, we'll still hold stubbornly to our stance. Be ridiculous, just never admit the other person might be right.

 And while we're blaming our mistakes and bad days on extrinsic forces, we are failing to give those around us the same consideration. If the cashier is short and snippy, then she must be a shrew. If a waiter gets our order wrong, then he must be an idiot. If a mom loses her patience and snaps at her child, then she must be a horrible parent. Why do we let a single moment define a person's character? And at the same time allow the strength of our belief that we are good, decent people wash away a multitude of our own moments of imperfection?

As usual, I have no answers. Only questions. And a desire to be better, to show more grace. So, I am going to make a conscious effort to acknowledge and label my own short comings and failures. It is the only way to grow. To admit that I have room to do so. That I am not already worthy of being cast in bronze to be admired by future generations.  And I'm going to try to take that understanding and free pass giving that I've been doling out to myself and start sharing it with the other humans I inhabit this planet with. Even things out a bit, a fairer distribution of resources. And if I keep striving to accomplish these goals, if I take the time to stop and think before reacting and judging, then perhaps one day I might find myself living in an imperfect utopia of my own making.

20 June 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Laundry PSA

It is not advisable to include in your wash an entire roll of toilet paper.  Doing so will certainly not make your clothes come out Angel Soft--trust me. 

And you'll probably be picking up bits of toilet paper for the next 6 to 7 weeks. 

File Under: Another reason I need a cage for the kids.

17 June 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

This girl

You can just make out the tip of the pink cap of her chapstick tucked into her bathing 'soup' there.
will surely be the death of me. My end might come when she does something like channel Claire from the Breakfast Club by sticking her chapstick in her bathing suit top for safe keeping, thus making me laugh so hard I can't breathe. At least I'd be smiling when rigor mortis sets in.

However, I am more inclined to believe that child will just give me your run of the mill heart attack from her daredevil ways.  I nearly met my doom this very day when I took the children to Swallow Falls to run around and burn off some energy. Amaya is no slouch in the run around department:

She looks way older than almost 3 in this picture. 

But she soon tires of tedious things like keeping both feet firmly on the ground. So little Miss decided to hurl herself off of the swing when it was at its highest point like she's a fifth grade boy instead of a tiny tot. That left a mark.
Pretty long scratch. I think it's from the S hook on the swing. 
One would think after taking such a spill, that a being might be just a bit more cautious. You know at least for an hour or so. But nope not my daughter. Not more than 10 minutes later she was here:

and then she put her feet on to the next bar--at which point I ran over and got ready to catch her should she fall. Despite her protests of "Don't touch me Mama!", I kept two hands wrapped around her as she went for the top bar. No fear. Then it was time to get down. Which she can do by herself thankyouverymuch.
Oh yea, she's got that completely under control. Death from concurrent laughing induced suffocation and heart attack? I guess there are worse ways to go.

14 June 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Recognize & Appreciate Your Mother's Wisdom Child

Picture has absolutely nothing to do with the post. Sorry.
This morning, I grabbed a Nerf football and invited the children out into the yard to pass it back and forth with me. Let's just say my son was not exactly jumping up and down at the opportunity.

Chase: I don't know how to throw a football.

Mama: Well, the only way to learn is to try.

Chase: I can't do it. It's too hard. No thank you.

Mama: Lots of things are hard until we learn how to do them. All we can do is try our best Chase. That's the only way to learn. And if you keep trying and working at it, eventually your best starts getting better and better.

Chase: That doesn't make sense. I'll just watch.

Mama: Sure kid, sure.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

11 June 2011

There's a bigger lesson here, I just know it

As some of you may have gathered, I am having myself a relaxing vacation at the lake. Well, as relaxing as having the sole responsibility for the livelihood of two hyperactive tots around a large body of water and freely roaming bears can be. The point here is that I haven't felt inclined to do a whole lot in the realm of hair styling--and by a whole lot, I mean anything at all really.  I wash and go. No hair dryers. No flat irons. No counter full of styling products I don't really know how to use. Basically, I throw it up into a bun with my spin pins until they start giving me a headache, and then I take it down and just let it go where it wants. Which looks like this:

Wavy, slightly frizzy, boingy hair. Quite a departure from the look I usually strive for:

Sleek, shiny, flat. Of course it only looks that good when Akram does it for me, but that doesn't stop me from twisting, burning and tugging at it in an attempt to make my abused tresses at least somewhat resemble the above picture in a less attractive, distant relative kind of way.  And I am beginning to wonder why I go to so much trouble. Sure it looks pretty, but I'm still me with or without perfect hair. And honestly, I feel freer with my crazy, out of control hair. More natural. More real. Not just a poor imitation--more me.  

Thursday, June 09, 2011

9 June 2011

You Don't Have to be Sherlock

If the puffy eyes and cranky demeanor aren't enough to clue you in to the fact that I didn't get the best night's sleep,  the crazy Elvira hair should leave no doubt.

That's going to take awhile to untangle. I am going to need a few cups of coffee first I think.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

8 June 2011

It seems to me that when I was a kid, the 8th of June was always the last day of school. I can still remember the feeling of freedom that coursed through my body as I took that final step off of the bus each June. Nothing in front of me but lazy days spent by the pool, softball games and joy rides through the country.  And lemonade. Lots of lemonade.

Since today is, in my mind, officially the first day of Summer Vacation, I am starting a new project. I plan to choose one photo each day to document my season of fun & sun. My hope is to get them all up here on the blog the day they're taken, but well y'all remember how that December Daily thing went, right? So we'll see how it goes. No promises.

Justice Schmustice

Does this look like the face of a future criminal mastermind?

Yea, I didn't think so either. That is until yesterday when it was time to get the little villain dressed. You see, the kids' school has pseudo-uniforms in that they have to wear a t-shirt with the name of the school imprinted on it. Usually Chase doesn't mind wearing this shirt. But Tuesdays are different because he goes straight from school to his keyboarding class.   Once upon a time, a kid in that class laughed at his school shirt, so now Chase must always change into a regular shirt before class. We pick that shirt out while he gets dressed that morning and put it in his backpack.

Well yesterday, it just so happened that there was a new, super exciting shirt in his drawer that he didn't want to wait until music to wear--he wanted to wear it RIGHT NOW! When he finally realized that Mama wasn't going to give in, he sat down, looked at the shirt, looked at me, looked at the shirt and then said:

"What happens if I spill something on my school shirt today?"

His little mind was calculating a devious plot to intentionally soil his school shirt so he'd have to change into his cool new shirt.  So we had a little talk about honesty and making good choices. And guess what: I think it worked. You see the kids are going to school for a bit today while I pack us up for the lake. Chase doesn't want to wear the school shirt to the lake, so we picked out a regular one for him to change into later. This time he looked at the shirt, he looked at me, he looked at the shirt and then he said:

"I am wearing a school shirt because it's Wednesday and I won't spill anything on it."

Still, we can't put our guards down yet. Child has clearly shown that he holds the potential to veer to the dark side.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Two Thoughts Tuesday: On Living

1) I am hard-pressed to think of anything that I love more than welcoming a new wee one into this world. The soft little baby cheeks, the way her mouth moves and curls, the gentle breath...oh can I keep her pretty, pretty please??

Amaya is all ready to be the big sister as she's been practicing on bear for quite some time now. See:

Now who's going to be the one to tell her that Mama's sanity really can't survive another child in this house? Anyone??

2) Chase: Breathing is important so you can exercise.
Mama: Well yes. But you also have to breath to live.
Chase: So if you don't breath, you'll die?
Mama: Right.
Chase: I always want to breath. I never want to not breath.
Mama: Well that's good. I kinda like having you around.