Thursday, May 31, 2007


I'm not sure if that is the proper spelling of the sound that a bee makes as it hovers about... But the sound that I make on the night of the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee competition is: "Sweet Jesus!!!! Yeeeeeahhhh!" I have always had a secret affinity for spelling bees; ever since the third grade when I beat out all of the other girls for the sweet spelling bee champion title. I remember clearly that it came down to me and Anthony Shearin (sp.?, I know, ironic), although I can't remember who took the final win. It seems they narrowed it down to a girl/boy win (entirely sexist)- and I know that I could have easily beat his ass had it been just the two of us. I couldn't believe the kid that lost on the word "fauchard." Come on. F-A-U-C-H-A-R-D, fauchard (nevermind that I was a french major in college). I love that spelling bee language, wherein one says the word, and then repeats it back. g-e-t-s-m-e-e-v-e-r-y-t-i-m-e, gets me every time.

belated memorialization.

Happy Memorial Day, belatedly. We did the usual cookout, as the spread above indicates. Also contributed to a garage sale at the inlaws, and acquired more than I sold. Ah, and so things go... picked up an entire set of mid-century micasa salmon-colored dinnerware. One of my friends needs to get pregnant with a little girl so that I can break this set out and do up a whole 'girl theme'... salmon... close enough to pink. Actually, one of my friends needs to get pregnant. period.
Also picked up a pair of rad black rollerskates- a childhood dream about to be rekindled... more on that later. Things are just so busy this week- getting ready for a wedding this weekend- my mom and I are doing the flowers. The order came in from the wholesaler this morning, and everything is just going to look so lovely. Mike is on vacation after tomorrow for the next two weeks, which means I'll be on vacation, too. I'm counting the seconds... really, I am.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

whispering winds.

by the way, beth- i love you. had the greatest time chatting all night on the deck with you this friday while whispering winds worked their magic. h-bomb and i are gonna miss you so much when you and 'uncle-daddy' go around the world this summer... (photos by mike d.)


At the end of the day I find myself sitting here with still so much to get done, wondering where the day went. Here I go again, using this space as yet another source to practice my amazing gift of procrastination. It was inherited from my mother, I swear.
This morning we met with our financial advisor- yes, I really did just write "financial advisor." We decided to start going to one because we don't know the first thing about stocks, mutual funds, bonds, etc. When people begin discussing such things my eyes glaze over and I have the distinct sensation that my head has suddenly turned in to a giant balloon which is floating away from my body. This dude is kind enough to meet with us in his office on Saturdays, and he is nice enough and all. A young guy, actually. I appreciate that, because otherwise I'd feel like I was letting my dad tell me what to do with my money. Anyhow, the walls of his office are littered with those hideous framed inspirational messages with the nature scenes looming in the background behind such words as "direction". I have to choke back laughter everytime I'm there- the "goals" frame is always crooked. I pointed this out once and I don't think the guy was amused by my observation.
Thankfully the rest of our day included better things, such as my mom bringing over a baby pool for little Henry. He was so delighted by this- he sat there in the water until his fingers and toes were all pruney. I love these pictures I took of him frolicking in the water. Takes the sting out of the realization that I probably said "roth ira" about a dozen times too many this morning... I never thought such words would pass through these lips.


Yesterday Henry took his first trip to the zoo. We actually live just down the street from the zoo, and it is odd to think that these elephants, giraffes, lions, and tigers are so near, feeling the same breezes that we feel in our backyard. Zoos have always made me feel a bit sad. No matter how hard they try to recreate a natural habitat for these animals, it just falls noticeably short. It feels wrong to stand and gawk at an animal stuck behind bars. We purchased a membership before I was hit with these feelings of regret, so I may just go to enjoy the lovely gardens and greenspaces, and to watch all of the stroller brigades. Really, I've never seen so many strollers congregated together like that in my life. mommy mafias, sad giraffe, lonely elephant...... sigh.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

in the garden.

The garden is growing quite well considering I haven't planted anything new yet this season. Everything there has just returned from past seasons. I couldn't believe my eyes last weekend when I noticed little spiky-buds emerging from my foxglove which I was sure was dormant this season. Henry is crawling all over the yard now, trying to eat grass and pinestraw. Yum!
foxglove- it is blooming throughout the garden, I refer to this one as "straberry banana" because of a yellow center, surrounded by strawberry colored flute.

lemon drops, and you can sort of see my french lavender about to bloom in the background. note that all of these plants are knee-high or taller.

my trusty whirling guara, or 'whirling butterfly'. this has come back every year without failing to bloom its heart out until the very end of the summer. white butterfly-shaped blossoms whirl and float around on the tips of long and delicate stems.

snapdragons. the foliage never even died back completely through the winter. these should bloom through fall.

Henry, getting a sip of water to wash down the grass and pinestraw! Happy Thursday all!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Monday, May 21, 2007

old friends, new friends.

This weekend we only managed to make it to one of the zillion festivals going on all at once over the weekend. I wish they could be staggered a bit throughout the month instead of all happening at the same time. Stockley Gardens, a local fine arts festival was the winner. We really enjoyed seeing some new, different artists this season (and all painters!). I am toying with the idea of participating in the Stockley Gardens fall festival. We'll see how much work I'm able to accomplish over the summer. I have some new ideas for larger paintings that I am just so excited about. I need to get crackin' though- it is just so hard to find the time to get everything done. Speaking of which, I dropped Henry off at my parents house so that I could have a "personal" day to get yard work done and stuff ready for a garage sale. And here I am inside blogging.... well, I am devoted to my posting, what can I say? And what I really want to do is take a nap. How luxurious would that be?
Yesterday our old neighbors who moved to Connecticut about a year and 1/2 ago stopped in town for a visit. It was so wonderful to catch up with them. Their son was just a tiny baby when they moved, and now he is running around and saying the funniest things. I've never heard cuter animal sounds before in my life- i.e. Q."what does a dog say?" A."oof, woof, woof"-in a tiny, sweet voice. It was so cool to watch Henry interacting with another kid, sharing his toys and all. We'll see how long that gracious sharing lasts- hopefully, forever. Happy Monday, folks. and I'm off to cut back those azaleas.... or take a nap.

Friday, May 18, 2007

i love this city...

yesterday in the course of one and one half hours, I saw a grown man with his pants pulled down taking a poop on the side of the road, and a pimp recruiting women in a thrift store I frequent (he actually had business cards!)... god, you've gotta love norfolk, va!

my, how friday's have changed...

we used to go out on fridays... now i stay in and peruse flickr and work on collages while mike goes to band practice. more interesting, no doubt. zzzzz. couldn't resist the gratuitous cute animal pic. hugo and nico enjoy my staying in too.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

new friends.

Henry made some new friends on our walk yesterday.
This guy:

And this lovely lady:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

mower belt and funeral home.

Today has been a head-splitting day. About 8,000 mgs of ibuprofen later, and still no relief. I just washed down another couple thousand with a glass of pinot noir, so we'll see how that goes. You may think that being a sahm (stay at home mom) is a blissfully leisure existence which encompasses mornings filled by lounging around in pjs and paddy-cake over coffee, followed by a lazy stroll through perfectly manicured botanical gardens filled with gnomes and magic fairies. Some days end up being postcard perfect in that sense(minus the gnomes and fairies). Most do not. Most begin with that 6am cry which means it is time to hop to it, whether you want to or not, and dressing in a manner that you never would have considered, in that life before baby. This morning was no exception. Our first errand brought us to a creepy small engine repair shop to retrieve a belt for our riding mower. There were about three play pens scattered around amidst the puddles of motor oil, and it was somewhat like one of the orphanage scenes from Annie. Except a lot... greasier. I kept waiting for the kids in the playpens to jump up and begin a rousing chorus of "it's a hard knock life." It may have been some strange orphanage, actually. "repair your mower. get a child. any child." A little girl, I swear, grabbed Henry's face and tried to remove it with her bare hands. The old woman behind the counter, seeing my expression- shocked and horrified, told me to not worry about the girl. She said "she's rotten. a mean, evil child." Sure, no worries. Yikes. I hightailed it out of there, whipping our new mower belt around us for protection. The rest of the day included various other errands, including completing a flower arrangement for a client and getting blocked in to a parking space at a funeral home for 3 1/2 hours. I considered ramming the truck blocking me in, but decided against it, because I just hate getting involved with insurance companies. Once we finally got out of there, Henry wailed the whole way home. He was hot, tired, and sick of being stuck in his car seat. So GO FIGURE- once home, fed, cleaned, and changed, he meandered off with his strange fiddler crab, peg-legged crawl. It was silent for a few moments, so I followed his path. He was in his room, playing with his CAR SEAT!!!!! The kid was trying to get back in his chair. Go figure. Guess he doesn't hate it as much as I thought. All of that screaming and crying was.. for FUN!.. Eeeesh, time to go to bed to begin again... as much as I complain (please forgive me) I love him so, so much, so I guess I love this job. He looks kind of tough in that last photo, like: "touch my octopus and I'll give you a shiner". Maybe that little greasy orphan taught him a thing or two about a thing or two.

birth story.

This picture really cracks me up. I was trying to take a picture of the two of us, and Henry kept squirming forward out of my lap. The way the shot appears is alot like it was the moment Henry was born... except, um, we're both wearing more clothes than we were that day, and he has gained a few lbs since then. And actually, he may have been looking up at me when he was born...Otherwise, an authentic re-creation, smiles and all.

swing, swang, swung.

Yesterday we met Mike in the park for some picnic fun. I love these days. Henry is so delighted by the little swings there.

Monday, May 14, 2007


My first Mother's Day weekend was pretty terrific, although I wish I had just relaxed a bit more. Mike watched Henry as much as he could to give me a break, yet instead of resting I tried to cram as much as I could into a couple of too short days. The weekends always seem like such a fleeting blur lately. Ah, such is life. On Saturday night we caught The Polyphonic Spree at the Norva. Great show- how could you not find a band of nearly thirty people dressed in identical robes who create a giant, beautiful wall of sound and drop truckloads of confetti out into their audience not a wildly entertaining experience? It was- wildly entertaining. They performed in front of a giant scrim emblazoned with the word "hope." What a lovely word to stare at in that context, for an entire evening. Sunday morning we did the usual Mother's Day brunch. I couldn't help but to look over at my baby (who turned eight months yesterday!) and feel my heart swell with joy ...and hope. Happy Mother's Day, friends!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

rubber ducky...

bath time is fun!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

time to pad the walls...

well, it was bound to happen sooner or later- henry is officially crawling. our cat, hugo, now thinks he is a giant, living cat toy (so THAT is what he's for-chasing, pouncing, and stalking after!); and i now have a use for all of that cotton batting i intended to make plushies with- i'm gonna pad the walls so it doesn't hurt too badly when i bang my head against the wall. why? you ask: this whole crawling brings a whole new element to this job which- well, makes me want to bang my head against the wall! did we leave the safety training manual at the hospital when we brought him home? horrible scenarios run amok in my head...electrocution. toppled furniture crushing bones. entanglement. choking on dust bunnies that live in the corners. poking his eye out on the corner of the coffee table. whichever disease might be caused by putting the dog's toys in his mouth (did i mention our dog still eats her own poop from time to time?). i can just see henry now, crawling out the door and down our driveway towards granby street. yikes. gone are the days when i can just sit him down on his little carpet with his toys and have a moment to myself for important things... like breathing. yep, that's a picture of him above with a) a cord in his hand and b)trying to escape. notice how he is gazing at the power outlet there?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

postcards from the edge

i found these totally rad (yup, i did just write "totally rad") vintage postcards on my thrift adventure the other day. they were just too cool to pass up. once i got them home and started reading them, i realized they all belonged to the same family, and document their comings and goings during the early 1970's. reading them made me feel a little strange- to have this personal glimpse of a family. it is interesting to try to piece their lives together through these little messages. every once in a while i will post some of them, front and back. the one today, with a lovely fawn gracing it's front side, is a postcard that was never sent. from diana (one of three children, from what i can tell) to her mom. so sweet.

Monday, May 07, 2007


My parents just got back from taking a cruise to Bermuda with Twitteringbird's (see links) parents and some other friends. My mom and a couple of the other ladies played bingo on their last night aboard the ship and ended up winning the $3,000.00 jackpot. Kind of reminds me how my mom got a whole in one the first time she ever played golf on a real course. Hey mom- did I tell you I've been needing a new pair of shoes? Above is a photo of the ladies showing off their wads.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

saturday stroll.

on saturday henry and i met up with auntie beth and took a stroll through olde towne portsmouth. we checked out a shop i've been wanting to visit which carries gorgeous stuff for the garden; including cast iron urns, trellises, beautiful stone benches, enormous glazed pots, and even awesome stone and iron creatures... i so need a squirrel- not for the yard, but for my mantle. the shop has a beautiful little courtyard that is just so peaceful- a bubbling fountain, stone and iron benches, formal- but not too stuffy, sort of french-inspired landscaping. oh how i would love to duplicate this look in my own backyard. from there we walked on to the couthouse galleries to check out their sculpture garden. a lovely day.