Saturday, June 30, 2007

Just had to share....

Yes I am a proud parent and have to share Anastasia's cuteness with everybody!! I hope she doesn't hate me for posting the following picture on the internet someday...
A very kind person thought Anastasia was such a scary pirate... he had to take her picture for the "Wanted... Dead or Alive" poster. We just happened to get in the picture somehow.
So two posts in one day... now that is a record... especially since I have been so neglegent of my blog. I have been crafting my butt off for a craft fair on the 4th... so hopefully I will be rich in a few days... or atleast come out even and be able to take my dear husband out for our aniversary next week!!


It definately feels like summer! It has been a long time since I last posted. My cousin Caitlin, who is 10, comes over every day during the week while her mom is at work now. She and Anastasia love each other! I must say, it truly feels like summer as we spend our days watching cartoons, playing cards and swimming in our cheesy 10 x 3 foot blow-up pool as well as taking trips to downtown Fredericksburg and Washington DC. I am also teaching Caitlin how to sew. Thursday we drove to DC for the Folk Life Festival (which is free) and we had a great time. These awesome people from Ireland taught us how to do Clay Animation total Wallace and Grommit Style! I really enjoyed it and it was so hot it melted our clay so we were covered in red and green slime... what fun!

Hanging out with Caitlin all day makes me feel like I stepped back in time to be 10 again. Life seemed so simple and sweet and oh so dramatic. When life consisted of friendship bracelets and sticker albums, secret worlds and polly pockets, roller skating and sleep overs (especially cool were the back-to-back sleep overs). I was so fortunate to have one really great best friend... Tara. We met in third grade under the rule of Mrs. Eric, who was very possibly the meanest teacher at Park Ridge Elementary. We had a mutual friend, Victoria who invited both Tara and I over to her house for a sleep over. Tara and I became great friends instantly and remain the greatest of friends to this day. We had a secret world called TarabithaClare (after the book "Bridge to Terabithia") in the woods beside Tara's house that had a creek running through it. That was the first and possibly the only place I ever saw fairies as well as a momosa tree... the kind that troll hair grows on. We would spend countless hours in those woods, the pool, Tara's backyard hammock. We caught frogs in her small goldfish pond and found magic wherever we went. We played Tic-tac-toe until there was no more room on her front porch for any more chalk drawings. What a life eh? I guess the beauty of being a parent is that I get to do it all over again so long as I don't waste all of my time on housework and "getting things done."
Tara and I with popsicles. Summer, 1993

Same summer, modeling out matching
outfits and sticker-collections

Monday, June 18, 2007

Running with horses

I woke up to go for a jog with Leia, and Leia made friend's with the neighbor's horses. I don't know that she has ever seen a horse up close, and she dragged me across the road to see the horses that were grazing in the pasture. I was a little worried she would freak the horses out and they would trample down their fence and stomp on us... or more likely that the owners would hear their horses freaking out and come out with a shot gun and shoot my dog. To my great relief the horses didn't freak out and Leia is still a living animal. Instead, the horses ran up to us... which was really awe-inspiring. The ground shook as the horses trotted up to us. There was one regular horse and two small horses (maybe ponies?). The two smaller ones ran up to Leia and sniffed her as she sniffed them. When they shook their manes she lept back two feet, a little unsure about these large non-dog animals. Then I dragged Leia along and the horses followed us inside their pen... shaking the ground with every step. Leia woo-ed at them in her native husky tongue and then we went our seperate ways. So I started my day running with horses.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The High Price of A Good Deal

In a book I read of a little old woman purchasing the holy grail at a thrift store for fifty cents. The next day a knight showed up at her door, wishing to trade magical artifacts for it. What is it that drives us toward a purchase? Perhaps the thrill of getting a good deal. Who doesn't applaud themselves when they save ten dollars by buying something second hand? It is a feel good feeling. But when is saving money not really saving money?

I stopped by Goodwill last week looking for accessories for my pirate costume, and left the store with a pair of pirate-y pants and a belt, and a bag full of clothes for Anastasia for less than $15! I was so pleased with myself and vowed not to buy any more clothes for her full price. Everything looked brand new, some items, including an adorable organic cotton outfit, still included tags. Does Anastasia really need an entire month's worth of clothes so I won't have to do laundry all the time? No. But boy is it fun dressing her up like a little doll, in my bargain clothes. I suppose this is my vice.... crafting and goodwill shopping on dollar day where all items with a certain color tag are $1. This is seriously better than the dollar store, and I feel as if I am doing the earth and my community a favor by recycling clothes instead if purchasing new ones. Why waste our resources on new clothes, when so many clothes already exist. This also keeps me from supporting large chain stores which pay people pennies in third world countries to make fine clothes to sell at outrageous prices. Goodwill on the other hand is run by Americans, some disabled, and sends most, if not all of their proceeds back into the community. This my friends is my reasoning for spending $15 on items that I could very well live without.

My dad loves Sam's Club. He swears he could not afford to eat healthy at regular grocery prices. His beloved bargain strawberries are over ripe, his Bananas turn from green to brown missing the perfectly yellow stage, and his tomatos are mushy, therefore hard to cut, and threaten the well being of my fingers. He buys everything in bulk in the name of saving money. Perhaps he gets the same thrill at Sam's club as I get at Goodwill. Instead of spending $15 for high quality items, he spends $200 on sub-par groceries. He shakes his head in disbelief when I buy fresh blueberries at the Farmer's Market for twice as much as his from Sam's Club. But when half of his groceries rot or get wasted as mine are fresh and eaten before they become spoiled, I am reminded of the price of "a good deal".

I am not trying to brag about my shopping abilities, and denounce my father's in any way. He is happy with his purchases. I am happy with mine. This is just a constant issue in my current living situation, and I am venting about why I am a food snob. Sam Walton is filthy rich and getting richer every day. Animals are living in scum, and pumped with antibiotics and hormones. Our fruits and veggies are saturated in chemicals for growth and pesticides for protection. Mass produced produce lacks flavor and freshness. People are living in poverty all around the world, and major corporations are employing them and allowing them to continue their poverty-stricken lives while they are getting richer and richer. But its okay, because we are all getting "a good deal".

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Chicago and back again.

Chicago was awesome. I miss it now. I miss the pizza. We had such a blast! Here are some pictures Nick and Anastasia at the Lincoln Park Zoo
Nick driving in his native Chi-Town. Need I say more?
The oh so cuddly polar bear at the zoo...
It doesn't get any better than Ethel's chocolate Lounge. Even Anastasia agrees!

Cutest moments from our trip:

1. One night Anastasia was awakened as Nick and I were looking for our shoes when Snow (my in-laws crazy Samoyed) ran away. When we got back and comforted her, Nick looked at her and said, "ok now back to bed" she looked at him, her eyes teared up and she gave him a big, sad pout and a very for-lorn cry. I think she knew what he was saying. He apologized to her and told her she could stay up and she was ok with that.

2. We went to Gaety's Ice Cream, a homemade chocolate and ice cream shop with chocolate ice cream to die for. There were actual chocolate shavings in the ice cream. Anastasia was eyeing it, so I put it up to her mouth to see what she would do. She loved it. She kept grabbing for the cone and opening her mouth as wide as she could. I could hardly eat it as she was lunging for it practically. I gave her a few more tastes which she ended up wearing but didn't want to overdo it due to her milk allergy. When Nick finished his shake, he took her, and she started crying because she wanted more ice cream so we had to leave.

Ok, those are the only really cute moments on the top of my head. A great time was had by all.