Friday, May 16, 2014

Ice Cream for Dinner

As one who frequently eats cereal for dinner, I kind of knew this, but the following Grist quote was still shocking.

"On average, children’s cereals are 34 percent sugar by weight. Compare that to ice cream, which is usually around 15 percent sugars."

Maybe I'll start eating ice cream for dinner.

(Quote from "Meet the Breakfast Cereals that Want to Destroy You," Grist)

Photo Friday

What got me through last weekend's almighty funk, was remembering all I have to be thankful for.

My boys. My family. My friends.

And these.

Blueberries in blossom.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Weekend Plans?

Back in March, I mentioned a couple of new blog features.

I've been working on "Local Goings On" all this week. I'm beginning to suspect I've once again embarked on what might be an overly ambitious project.

However, the downside of all this curating is also upside: there is so much going on!

My head is spinning with day trip ideas!

See if you can find one that floats your boat. . . or ties your hiking boot. . . or turns your page.

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Grump Bearing Good News

Warm Mother's Day wishes to all who mother.

Commiserations to all who - for whatever reason - are Mother's Day grumps like myself.

But we made it! It's over for a whole year! And I come bearing good news:

The Washington Monument reopens today! 

Coincidentally, the boys and I had George Washington Spring Break. We visited George's birthplace on Pope's Creek in Virginia and his adult home at Mt. Vernon.

Matt badly wanted to cap our week with a trip to the top of the Washington Monument, but it's been closed since the bizarre earthquake in August 2011. The monument sustained significant damage in the shaking and has been under repair ever since.

I can't wait to tell Matt we can go up now!


Further Reading

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Seeing Things

It was the mid-1990s, Granddaddy and I were in the back seat of Aunt Marilyn's car. I don't know where we were going or who else was there, but I remember looking out my window at Rockhold Creek. I saw a kingfisher and excitedly pointed it out to the rest of the car.

Granddaddy was excited too. I've never known anyone who could get so much joy out of small things. He took my hand and squeezed it.

"I'm so glad you SEE things. Not everybody does," he said with a proud smile.

I was in my early twenties, but I was Granddaddy's girl. It made me warm and giddy to think I'd pleased him. Proud too, that this "seeing things" was something we shared. Something I inherited from him.

My boys see things too.

Gabe is the champion of things no one else notices. The bit of trash shaped like an elephant. The microscopic manufacturer's star on the back window of our old mini-van. The chicken pox scar on my forehead.

But Matt sees things the way Granddaddy did.

Gabe has piano lessons on Thursday night and between school and work and commute times, I stoop (and they cheer) to fast food. The boys take turns choosing a restaurant. Gabe's favorite is Subway. Matt's is Sonic.

A few weeks ago, we sat devouring our burgers and tots, when Matt leaned toward the windshield to stare into the sky.

"Is that a bald eagle?"

I followed his gaze. White head, white tail, HUGE bird.

"I think it is!"

It turned out to be the first of two eagles we saw that week. Both were very special, but made all the more so by the thought of Granddaddy doing his heavenly happy dance over our ability to see things.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Photo Friday

Last week, the boys and I day tripped our way through our annual Spring Break "Staycation." I have lots to share, but it's been difficult returning from the vacation mind set.

You might think a week on the road with two boys would make a person a little crazy, but I get to think a lot on those trips. The car is better than any chemical sleep aid for Gabe. He's asleep within the first ten miles. Matt and I have some of our best heart to hearts, but eventually, he fades out too.

And so for much of the drive it's just me, behind the wheel, humming to myself, rearranging words in my head, completely at peace.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Photo credit belongs to Matt. He loves the new camera almost as much as I do.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Photo Friday

I don't know when I first fell in love with flowers.

I have early memories of sitting barefoot in our yard, wiggling my toes between cool, green blades and gathering grubby bouquets of flowering weeds for any female relatives with the misfortune of being nearby.

Once they stopped sneezing and I gained fine motor skills, I spent hours weaving and tying stems of clover to make necklaces, bracelets, rings and tiaras. The grown-ups were spared and I instead decorated myself and little sister.

By the time I read The Secret Garden in second grade, I was hooked. I loved flowers and daydreamed incessantly - of many things - but especially of my own bit of earth and the wonderful treasures I would grow.

I wrote a series of stories about little fairies who lived in a garden world. And as my interests shifted to art, I drew and painted portraits of flowers.

As an adult, I've learned I'm a much better dreamer than I am gardener. I've never achieved anything remotely like the pages of my favorite Martha Stewart garden book, much less that of my imagined fairy world, but this time of year inspires me to break out the spade and try again.

Even the flowers at Whole Foods call my name. I'm as likely to splurge on a bouquet of tulips or a fragrant bunch of peonies (my favorite) as I am to buy ice cream or cookies. The added bonus: flowers are better for the waistline.

And it's been an easy move to combine my love affair with the new camera with this lifelong love of things that bloom. Once again, flower portraits reign.

Flower photos, after all, are much easier than those of boys.

Flowers can't stick out their tongue.