Tag Archives: spring

March…didn’t happen?

It’s amazing how just when you get in a nice little groove with your favorite toddler, they decide to go and screw everything up.  In Simon’s case, this means dropping his nap.


That’s right, I now have a 20-month-old who, most days, is awake continuously from 8:00am to 8:00pm.  A 20-month-old who will not be dissuaded from this schedule, who would rather scream for an hour as I cuddle him, rub his tummy and sing every song known to man than deign to close his eyes at midday and potentially miss something Exciting.  And, not coincidentally, he is now a 20-month-old who nods off in the backseat when we go to pick Jeff up from work, and who has decided to fuss and hit and bite his way through the past several evenings.  I WONDER WHY.


Which means that today I’ve bought 10 minutes of silence this way:

I ordered a breadbox from Amazon the other day and it arrived this afternoon in a huuuuuuuuuuuge box.  The better to repurpose, eh?  Whoosh whoosh whoosh!


…aaaaaaand he’s moved on.  Now we’re back to staring at me and tugging at my sleeve in hopes I’ll let him go wreak havoc on the pantry.


Good thing he’s cute.


We’ve been up to a LOT of good adventures these past few weeks.  Rather than yammer about them in some huge blog post, you may as well just check out my Flickr photostream.  It’s not like a tremendous amount of narration is required anyway 😉


Jeff and I had been hoping to catch a matinee on Saturday but our sitter cancelled on us at the last minute so a change in plans was required.  We ended up making the trek up to Cleveland and visiting the science center.  It was well worth the trip 🙂


(That’s Jeff’s new profile pic on FB, too :))


Simon learned all about the building blocks of DNA:

And I impressed Jeff by remembering each base pair.  9th grade science FTW?  Though to be fair, I’m not sure DNA had been discovered yet when he was in high school 😉


The science center’s little kid play area had a ball pit with all sorts of buckets and pulleys (and a few kids who were definitely not under 6), so we plopped Simon in the middle of it and stood back to see what he thought:

Clearly he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  He just grabbed a few balls and froze, while dozens of others whizzed around him in the melee of tiny humanity.


The ramp/tube contraption off in the corner was more his speed 😉

Jeff and I are pretty sure he’d still be there sending that tennis ball whizzing around, if we hadn’t dragged him away after, oh, 6 or 7 hours.


But he was OK, because after that we found a slide!

He climbed the stairs all by himself (with Daddy spotting) and slid down all on his own, over and over.


He was a little trepidatious at first but made a friend who helped him along.


We escaped the kid’s area eventually, though, and found the physics exhibit that was a little bit more interesting for all of us.  I LOVE how much hands-on stuff this science center had, and how even on a snowy Saturday afternoon it wasn’t too crowded.


Planetary atmosphere simulations are still a liiiiiiiiittle bit above his level, though. 😉


But drums aren’t!


And this giant wall of gears was pretty much the best thing ever.


Of course, on the way back to Akron we got caught in an end-of-March “fuck you” from the weather (actually it was a quite pretty – 3-4″ of snow that pretty much melted on Sunday) that made for a little bit of nervous driving, as the highway department hadn’t prepped the roads at all.


This week has been pretty busy, but also low-key.  Errands (I went to Home Depot yesterday morning and got the supplies for a couple kid projects, and some grass seed and stuff to try and make this place have a modicum of curb appeal for when the homeowners list it for sale this summer), laundry, the usual.  It was supposed to rain all day on Tuesday but turned out to be almost 70* and sunny, so I was able to hang out two loads of laundry on the line (first time since, what, November?) and Simes and I went on a long walk that culminated in approximately 45 hours of swinging at the park.  I made him push his own stroller, because I am cruel like that.


It’s pouring rain all day today so we probably won’t get to go out (maybe to stomp some puddles in our dragon boots if it lets up a bit), but I got this picture yesterday, which proves that spring really IS coming to northern Ohio 🙂

Hopefully this weekend the weather will cooperate and I can rake up the last of the leaves, maybe get that grass seed down, and get things ready for spring.  Until then, I’m going to go make some energy bars with my sous chef and maybe dig into that blueberry bread I baked yesterday for Jeff’s breakfasts.  And wait for Simes to drop face-first into a dead sleep in the middle of the playroom at 6:00 because THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU’RE 20 MONTHS OLD AND DON’T NAP.  Ahem.


Wish me luck 😉


Meanwhile, Our Heroine Rides Her Bike

Few things.

1)Being of a healthy weight and slimmish build (say, hypothetically—5’2″ and 11_something_ lbs) does not make one fit.

2)I am TERRIBLY out of shape.  How terribly?  SO TERRIBLY.

3)I rode my bike for a total of 6 miles today*, on mostly flat surfaces, and feel like I’m going to die.

4)I didn’t know that one COULD be that out of shape, and not die.

5)I can also do about 100 crunches at a go without dying, but cannot carry a crockpot full of soup more than 50 feet without stopping to rest.

6)Clearly, we have a problem here.

ANYWAY.  Moral of the story is, I’m tired.  But happy.  But tired.

This was me, after all of today’s riding adventures:

What you cannot tell, though, is that my knees have liquified inside my bright orange tights, my throat is parched from panting, and – as long as we’re being completely honest here – my ass is KILLING ME.**

Then, just moments later…

Yup, I died.  Passed out right there, toppling over onto our hilly front yard.   Horrible thing is, Jeff just left me there.  Well, he did take my bike off my prostrate body.  Which was nice I guess.

But really though, despite the exhaustion &etc., I’m happy.  See?  Proof:

Except for the stuff I’m not happy about.  Which I’ll save ’till tomorrow or Monday.  ::sigh::

PS>Also St. Louis?  WTF with the weather?  It was like 50 degrees today. Which is nice and all, but wholly inappropriate for the middle of May in this region.  Just in case ya didn’t know.

*All I did was go to the University City farmer’s market and back, and to the Delmar metrolink and then Big Shark and then back (and a few inconsequential blocks of riding downtown, if we’re gonna be really specific about it)

**I love how all the bike blogs have such tasteful or cutesy euphemisms for “the part of your hiney that touches the bike seat “, especially in discussions of seatpost height or saddle reviews.  “Soft tissue”, “seat area”, “delicate area”.  Dudes (ladies?), they’re all just LADYBITS.  (Which is as much a euphemism as anything else I guess, but you won’t hear me saying dirty words like vulva on my blog.***)



It’s a well-established fact that there are few better things in life than receiving a package in the mail.  (I suppose  exceptions would include anthrax, rotten fish, or killer bees, but for all practical purposes, the statement holds true.)

It’s also a well-established fact that the only thing better than receiving “a package” in the mail is receiving “packageS”.  (Exceptions would include if one of the packages contains anthrax, rotten fish, or killer bees.  Or if you were expecting three packages and only got two.  Unless you knew the third contained one or more of the aforementioned undesirable items.  Like rotten fish breaded in anthrax.)

So it should surprise no one that when the doorbell woke me up this morning and I trudged to answer it with my standard “probably the neighbor looking to borrow a plunger” grumpy face, I was delighted to see that it was *not* Richard come to tell me (though not in so many words) about a particularly heroic bowel movement, but merely the mail carrier holding something that is in no way bowel-related.

To make a long story short (“too late” – my mother-in-law’s joke), I got this:

Which is a gorgeous braid of roving from Rachel, in the “I suck at deciding so I’ll just send you some money and you surprise me ok?” colorway.  I have great trust in Rachel by this point.  That, and I truly don’t believe she’s ever dyed anything that wasn’t amazing – so I figured there was an exceedingly low risk of receiving something baby poop yellow.  And even then it would be a *deliberate* baby poop yellow and the colorway might be called “autumn gold” and would actually be super pretty and not at all poopy.  My point is, I don’t think Rachel is *capable* of bad dyeing.  Just like I’m not capable of brief descriptions.

I am going to spin it, and then it will be yarn.  And then I will knit it and I will die of happiness.  (I do that quite a lot – have you noticed?)  I LOVE the semisolid burgundy color and can’t wait to see what it’s like to spin with a semisolid.  Will I get that barber pole effect at all?  Only with the slightly different shades of burgundy?  Only time will tell…

If you’re still with me by this point (and kudos and a lollipop to you if you are), then you might be wondering what the other package contained.  So was I.

It was from my mom.  And inside a Wal-Mart prescription bag (how Po-Mo; “weird for the sake of weird” in the words of  Moe Szylak), inside a Priority Mail flat rate box, was this::

First up:  real Accidental Artists business cards!

(that’s Mom’s “lolspeak” and apparently her “lolhandwriting”.  and the moM is because of some joke a few months ago regarding spelling one’s name backwards.  It still makes me giggle.)

OK seriously, how unbearably cool is that?  I’m going to carry them around in my bag and distribute whenever I receive a compliment on her jewelry (which is literally just about every day).

Inside the second innocuous-looking bag…

Another little note!  (so cute.  My mom is awesome.)

I opened up the first packet to find these drop-dead gorgeous dangly little earrings, made with stone and sterling silver:

Won’t they be perfect for spring? I can think of about 15 outfits I can’t wait to pair these with 🙂

But wait! There’s more!

And this is where I died again.  Isn’t that GORGEOUS?!  So simple and pretty and happy and cute!  (Oh and apparently part of my death process was forgetting to make the darned thing lay straight.  The beads are all the same rectangular shape but they’re rather tight on the cord for now.  Mom says the cord will stretch a bit eventually, and then they’ll lay straight naturally.)

I’m going to be the prettiest little asshole this side of the nuthouse.


And then there was the third package…

Thanks for the warning, Mom.

After I put on a Depends and laid an old towel down on the couch, I proceeded…

Gah!  There I go again!  Death.

A couple months ago I’d emailed Mom and said, “I’d really like to have a necklace that would work with both black and brown and look good with either.  And maybe copper too?” and then she sends me this…

Which is so unbelievably perfect and gorgeous, that I almost can’t believe it.

LOVE the toggle, too:

Doesn’t it look like an instant heirloom?  So beautiful.

But of course that wasn’t it…

Mom threw in matching earrings, too.

I LOVE these beads.  They’re everything that’s right with the world.

I’m astounded and thrilled, as always.  THANK YOU, MOM.

Any readers who want to feel like me (only…um…I think you’ll have to pay for the jewelry), go check out Mom and Peggy’s Etsy shop.  They both have very unique styles – Mom tends to play with wire and texture; Peggy has a great eye for color and unusual stones.

Now, imagine what Mom might send if I weren’t just her third-most-favorite daughter!

PS>I think I’m taking my Nikon into the shop today – it seems to be having trouble autofocusing.  Though the jewelry-splayed-on-my-couch’s-throw-pillow setup?  That’s all my fault 😛

Letter to the In-laws

Bob, Linda and Molly:

We went to your house yesterday to maintain the fish tanks, as requested, now that you’ve decided to stay in Florida for a few extra days.

We thought about throwing a wild party and having all our friends over and totally trashing the place, but then we decided to just bring Roxie.

She was on her best manners!

Sort of.

Molly, I figured you wouldn’t mind if Roxie had the chance to run and play in your yard for a while.  I think she had a good time, because most of the pictures I took were like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

Yeah, I’d reckon she had a good time.

Linda, the tulips are almost done for the season, but I thought you’d appreciate seeing that they’re still hanging in there:

…at least for a few days more.

Roxie even inspected them for you (she’s quite the botanist):

And they definitely met with her approval.

(if she had thumbs she’d be giving a thumbs-up.  But alas.)

This one was my favorite:

I don’t know what kind of tree it is y’all have with these blossoms:

But they sure were pretty too.  Again, though, only a few left.

These were growing on the hill in front of the firewood:
and even though it’s not the best picture, I still thought it was a cool effect.

But I think that these little bushes at the side of the house were my favorite:

What are they called?  I ❤ them hard.

Bob, I know you wouldn’t mind if we used your yard for some invaluable Roxie-training time (after the Roxie-running time).

While Jeff was inside on the phone with you…

…I distracted Roxie from her anxious waiting…

…with the promise of a chicken treat:

Heck, it was the only way I could get her to pose!

But when chicken’s on the line…

She really knows how to please the camera!

Even if it does make her nose look big.

Yeah, she can be pretty OK sometimes.

And she DOES have a pretty smile, don’t you think?

It also helps when her daddy comes out to help her work on sit:


And rollover:

So in conclusion, guys, we all had a great time in your yard last night!

You could even say we were able to really relax and “let loose”!

(yes, we scooped.  Shouldn’t be any surprises left for Molly)

Though if you never want us to bring this…’thing’…back, we’ll understand

Drive safe, guys!  See ya in a few days!


PS>Jeff drank a Powerade and also I think your neighbor thinks I’m a crazy peeping tom.  Might’ve had something to do with me crouching in the bushes with a big black camera.  I dunno. But her dogs were annoying anyway.

Piddy fowwers, Part I

In yesterday’s post I mentioned Grandma’s redbud trees, but what I *didn’t* mention was just how many she has, and how gorgeous they are.

That one is one of my favorites.  Well, I guess it’s my favorite, now.  A few years ago she lost my old favorite – the one we built “treehouses” in (treehouse = scraps of 2×4 haphazardly nailed to tree).  This new favorite is my grape-eating tree.  I’d pick grapes from her arbor and toss them in a 5-gallon bucket then sit on that big limb of the tree and eat them and spit the seeds back toward the arbor.   Mmmmm warm sunshiney grapes…..

Speaking of the arbor – it’ll be a few weeks ’till the vines come back to life, and a few months ’till they’ve got any fruit, but I still think it’s beautiful as it hibernates:

In the late summer we’ll be going back to pick, assuming there’s a good crop – they all went to waste last year because Grandma was still recovering from her fall.

All the redbuds are in bloom (again, see yesterday), including this little one outside Grandma’s bedroom window:

And the only thing more fun than looking at redbud trees, is taking pictures of them.

It was actually *really* windy on Saturday, and I had a heckuva time getting clear photos – I took about 400 over the course of the day.

But when the wind DOES die down, I maintain that *any* idiot can take a good picture of a flower.

Here, I just experimented – I wanted to see what would happen if I looked down a forked branch with the Autofocus on:

Oh.  That.  Interesting…  (too much emphasis on the branches, though, and not enough on the buds)

It was also pretty overcast out, and aside from the obvious light-diffusion benefit, I think the grey sky makes for a lovely bokeh-d backdrop:

And my favorite of the bunch:

Yup, I do love Grandma’s redbud trees.