Saturday, June 25, 2011

Daddy runs a tight ship

Doc is out working this fine Saturday morning, laying hands and healing the sick and infirm. Meanwhile, Matilda's here at home keeping the indians at bay and protecting these fine young children from harm.

Well, I think I done tuckered them two out.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No More Trees

It started with Sunday's big wind storm...

Three less Bradford pears in the front yard - the house looks quite a bit different! 

And I didn't even break a sweat!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day

Fathers Day has been somewhat of a hard day for me since I lost my own sweet father in 2003. No one can replace him or the role he played in my life.  But for the past 3 years now, this day hasn't been so sad.  And this year, for the first time, as I watched the joy on my children's faces as they ran around the backyard with Matilda, I didn't feel so fatherless.  Dad is here, in my son's pout and my daughter's giggle, and my husband is an incredible man that has all the amazing qualities of my daddy.  He is to my children who my father was to me. There is no greater blessing than that.

Dear children, 
May you always know the joy of your father's laughter, love, and devotion in your daily lives. 
He is a uniquely spectacular man.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


In between my day job and the rest of my life, I've managed to post some pics of the Memorial Day Adult Retreat Extravaganza that was held in beautiful Highlands NC. Bud and Nana were gracious enough to entertain the rugrats for a weekend, and we fled to the hills (alone) for the first time since Jack was born. For those of you who are keeping track, that was 2 years 3 months and 26 days ago, give or take.

I won't say it was the highlight of the trip, but we took an adventure along the Horsepasture River, starting at the trailhead in the new Gorges State Park in Sapphire NC. The last time I was on the Horsepasture was probably 1992 or so (I think I remember the Lakers and the Celtics were in the NBA finals that summer) so needless to say I was dusting off some old cobwebs. We hiked down to the river, then up the watercourse past Rainbow Falls, several nice pools, Drift Falls, to fantastic little spot called Turtleback Falls (35.09249, -82.96633).

Turtleback is a point in the river where the water rolls over a gently sloping, very smooth expanse of stone and then drops 15 feet into a deep pool, turns sharply and then meanders on downriver. There are a few old ropes on the side of the rock face, and locals have been sliding and jumping and surfing off the falls into the pool for ages. The way the river turns out of the eddy means it is very hard if not impossible to get swept downriver, and the pool is deep enough to absorb the most fearless leaps.

Kim narrates my demonstration attempt:

My camerawork is not nearly as good, but my Parkinson's subsides just enough to prove that is Kim taking the plunge:

And one last jump before the now-infamous hike out on a route based entirely on Matilda's 5th-grade memories of Camp Buc:

So that's it. Next time I am allowed to navigate in the woods the kids will be carrying my urn.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nature vs Nuture

Since our daughter was born and came out instantly and distinctly opposite from her brother, I am more and more falling into the Nature category when it comes to how much of a person's personality is born into them, so to speak.  Because of this, I have been able to relax a little and just enjoy seeing our children blossom into their fullest and God-given potential.  Unfortunately, Matilda doesn't quite share my same view.

For example, while on a lovely walk through the woods yesterday, Matilda continually pointed out what he considered to be obvious, interesting, and wonderful man-things to our son.  The centipede, while it drew rapt attention,did not stir the same Oh-Cool-Let-Me-Touch-It feelings Matilda thought it wound.  Disheartened, he went for pointing out small fish in the lake but again, it was "too dirty" for junior to want to dip his toes in.  Even the moss on his walking stick was just too much for our fastidious little boy to take and it had to be completely removed before he would touch it.  But, perhaps, the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back was the frog.  Yes, a sweet, tiny, jumping frog crossed our path. Matilda lit up like a boy scout earning his Kiss a Toad badge.  He quickly scooped up the frog in his hand and proudly and excitedly knelt to show his son the wonder of this creature only to have Jack run screaming as if Stephen had shown him a rabid foaming skunk. 

"It's because you always talk about everything eating him," Matilda grumbled as he released the amphibian with deflated emotion.  Moi?  Ok, so we play the What-animals-will-eat-you game frequently for fun.  Personally, knowing which animals to avoid due to risk of deadly harm seems to be just good parenting skills but Hubby thinks it has caused crossed wires and made our son, our cried-at-his-shadow-for-the-first-year-of-his-life little boy, a sissy.  I did point out that frog, centipede, and large sticks with moss were on the Safe list, which seemingly should have only reinforced positive and secure feelings, but I was again shot down for "engendering fear."  I again pointed out that our daughter, whom we made in a similar fashion as our son and is privy to all "yes, sharks will eat you" conversations has pounced on and devoured many a crawling insect and had no problem heading straight for the Parana-infested lake water. 

In the words of the now-famous and incredibly weird Lady GaGa, our tender-hearted little boy was just born this way.  He will never be an adventure seeker. He will always play close to the house, swim next to the boat, and generally avoid most creatures with more than 4 legs.  But, personally, as a mother, I find this behavior reassuring and quite a blessing as I just don't have to worry about him playing with the Black Widow that lives in front door.  Plus, he will also most likely be incredibly strong, amazingly creative, hilariously joyous, and as gentle, adoring, and protective of his family as his father is with us.