Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Cry baby cry

Make your mother sigh.
She's old enough to know better

So cry baby cry.

The Beatles -- "Cry Baby Cry"

Notice that this beautiful photo is one Short Person shy? That's because Kate was too busy crying a puddle onto Santa's rug to be bothered standing remotely near him for the camera.

Fear of Santa. There is no official label for this phobia, although I for one , as a child therapist, believe there should be. To that end, I have decided to use this post to officially declare my entent to create a new diagnostic catagory that effectively describes fear of Santa.
Hhhmmmm. What to call it? "CLAUStrophobia" would work (get it?) if that weren't already taken. If we were talking St. Nick we could refer to it as "Hagiophobia", which is a fear of saints/holy relics (more of a Catholic kind of phobia, Janice), but it just does not quite work for this situation. "Santaphobia" seems too obvious but is certainly the most memorable option (Who remembers the term "ophidiophobia" even though many folk have is the fear of snakes). So let's just keep things simple and call it Santaphobia.
Here are my proposed diagnostic criteria. The child must possess at least 3 of the following symptoms:
1. Child demonstrates at least two of the following physical symptoms: increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, sweating or flushing.
2. Child exhibits tearfulness when within a 100 yard radius of Santa.
3. Child hides face/refuses eye contact with Santa.
4. Child becomes quiet/withdrawn when a visit with Santa is discussed.
5. Symptoms increase in intensity or frequency as child's proximity to Santa increases.
Yep, Kate has a mean case of Santaphobia.
It brings me great comfort to know that Kate is not the only child with the above-listed syptoms. Exhibit A...this site:,0,2343680.ugcphotogallery. The Florida Sentinal has an entire collection of Christmas photos marred by the ugly face of Santaphobia.

Perhaps the worst documented case of Santaphobia I know of was treated by a friend of mine. A little girl was brought in to see my friend, Eleanor, by her parents after she witnessed Santa being thrown in the pokey. It seems that Santa had a little too much Captain Morgan's in his morning egg nog and impatiently flicked this sweet child on the head for some minor misbehavior. As the incident escalated Santa was led away in cuffs. The poor little girl went into a tailspin, breaking all decorations that depicted jolly ole St. Nick, and stating she "hated" Santa. Poor child was clearly suffering from a raging case of Santaphobia.

If this post helps just one family,then I know sharing our own painful experience has been worth it.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Your children well.

CSNY - "Teach Your Children"

Today Kate and I made a trip to civilization (AKA Salisbury, MD) to do some Christmas shopping and spotted something a little like this in the parking lot:

Katie P. yelled in amazement, "Look at 'dat car!"

There was a brief pause, during which I anticipated a follow-up exclamation like "it's so pretty!" or "why, oh why can't we have 'dat?". Instead she shouted a vehement and emphatic...


Then she warbled a little Katie song "TACKY, TACKY, TACK, TACK. TACKY TACKY TACKY TACK" as she skipped into the store.

As Clairee says in Steel Magnolias; "Your Momma raised you right!".

Yeah, I'm crunchy-granola, liberal and all that, but I have taste, too.

Later, exhausted by her brush with tastelessness, Kate napped in her brand new hat. We bought it today and she refused to remove it. It came in handy when, as she muttered in her drowsiness, "de sun bodderin' me".

Another Clairee quote comes to mind, "the only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize".

And criticize, I suppose, Clairee.

This post is for you, Yo Yo. It is essential to the survival of our species that we had down knowledge through the generations. Wanted you to know I am working hard at it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Night time flowers, evening roses

Bless this garden that never closes

Treat her gently, treat her kind
Tenderloin will last all night.

Blue Oyster Cult - "Tenderloin"

One of the many events that occurred during my blogging absence was my birthday. My present was a trip ATB (Across The Bay for you non-Shore people; going Across The Bay involves driving 1.5 hours, traveling across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, and forking over $12 for the pleasure of doing so. It's where Shore folk go for a little civilization.) to go out to dinner and listen to David Sedaris. David Sedaris is a humorist who is often featured on NPR or in the New Yorker, and is one of my favorite writers. We were accompanied by our friends Tom and Mary, fellow Sedaris fans and also vegetarians. What does that matter, you ask? The significance of their dietary preferences will become clear later.

We planned to eat at a great little restaurant in downtown Norfolk but it was full to capacity, so we strolled in search of a dining adventure. Indian? No, Tracy doesn't care for Indian. Oops, the tapas place is closed on Sundays. Mexican? No, we can get that on the Shore. What shall we eat?

Then, like a Beacon in the night, we spot a Brazilian restaurant. Why not? It wasn't crowded.The interior was attractive and welcoming. We were seated by a waitress of some Ukranian-type descent. As we waited for our menus we noticed an odd item on the table. It resembled a multicolored salt shaker painted red, yellow and green. Then we saw, in the distance, a waiter with a sword (I am not kidding) of meat.

As we muttered under our breath wondering what in the world we had gotten ourselves into, our waitress approached and asked in her heavily accented English if we had been to a Brazilian restaurant before. When we confessed our ignorance, she picked up the salt-shaker thingy and explained "If you vant to eat ze meat you turn to ze green. If you want to stop ze meat or take a break from meat, turn to ze red".



After she left there was some nervous laughter and glancing around in an attempt to learn from observation of other diners. We hemmed and hawed but finally decided to "turn to ze green". What the hell.

Within seconds a waiter magically appeared with the giant sword. He was closely followed by another, also armed with a sword of meat. They described the cuts and preparation of each. I looked across the table at the vegetarians, who's eyes were wide with horror and disbelief. Tracy and I, on the other hand, were eager to have some of the bacon-wrapped filet and spiced grilled chicken (both were some of the most deliciously prepared meats I have tasted, by the way). These swords were later followed by others that included pork and lamb as well as more beef and chicken fabulously cooked in a variety of ways.

The waiters seemed concerned about Tom and Mary. They were especially perplexed by Tom. Mary did eat a little chicken, but Tom steadfastly declined each offer of "you like ze meat?". I believe they began to take it as a personal challenge, perhaps making bets in the kitchen about who could ply this mysterious diner with the choicest cuts. No dice.

In addition to ze swords of meat, as we began to refer to them, they also had a fantastic buffet with lots of vegetarian options. Everything was delicious. It was clear that the staff took great pride in the quality of the food, evidenced by the owner/chef (an elderly foreign woman) following Tracy almost INTO the men's room to ask "Do you like ze meat? Are you pleased with ze meat?". Tracy assured her he was, then fled from her.

At some point we decided to "take a break from meat". It became exhausting having to converse with the men with swords as they hawked their wares and looked crestfallen when Tom politely declined, again. So we "turned to ze red" and feel delirious with power when the sword men immediately faded away.
Finally, too full to eat any more of "ze meat", we left and walked to the David Sedaris reading. He is side-splittingly funny and I laughed a lot, but I think we laughed almost as much about the oddball restaurant experience. I have since learned that this is SOP at a Brazilian place, and evidently they are suddenly the "in" thing. Who knew we were so cutting edge? I would highly recommend it.

Unless you are a vegetarian.

**Today's photos are clearly Halloween. In case you are wondering why Tracy's nether regions look a little, um, odd, he was "Testicles, Greek God of male sex organs".

Monday, November 26, 2007

Mother, mother ocean,

I have heard you call.

Wanted to sail upon your waters

since I was three feet tall.

You've seen it all, you've seen it all

Watched the men who rode you

switch from sail to steam .

In your belly you can hold the treasures

few have ever seen.

Most of 'em dreams, most of 'em dreams.

Yes, I am a pirate, two hundred years too late

The cannons don't thunder,

theres nothin' to plunder

Im an over-forty victim of fate

Arriving too late, arriving too late.

Jimmy Buffet -- "A Pirate Looks at Forty"


I wasn't around for this photo on the left, but I have been fortunate enough to be around for the others in one capacity or another. And I have loved you during all of them. It's hard to believe that we have been together for half of your life, old man.
Now on to the next 40! You are armed with your boat and fishing supplies, cigars in the humidor, I Tunes and Napster, your guitar and your family. What else does a pirate need?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's better to burn out

Than it is to rust.

Neil Young "My My Hey Hey"

Well, at least Neil approves of my recent blogging lapse.

No, I did not have a post-surgical relapse. I've just, I suppose. Busy. Busy doing, instead of just writing about life for a change.

Part of my lapse has been because of productive, active scheduling. I feel sooo much better and am spending most of my time catching up on all the numerous things I have let slide in the last year. But part of my absence has truly been a blog burn out. What do you do when you feel like you have nothing to entertain folks with? Are you REALLY interested in the new paint colors in my den? Okay, Clare and Janice, I know you are, but are the rest of you? Do you truly want to see photos of India's first field trip? Will you be entranced by candids from our annual Halloween party? My Hotel Hershey Spa trip with my mother and sister (there are some funny stories there, but perhaps they should remain between us and our chocolate martinis)? How about the various meetings, school pick ups and drop offs, schleps to ballet lessons, toilet scrubbings, etcetera?
Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

I think I've just been motivated in a different direction lately because of my vastly improved health. It's cliche to say you didn't realize how sick you were 'til you felt better, but by god it's so true. I have energy again! It feels great to cook healthy meals, visit with friends and family, exercise, watch a movie without falling asleep, and generally feel in control of my life for a change.

Of course, Short People life continues unabated. Kate, when informed we would see a friend of hers who moved over the summer, exclaimed "I have not seen Chwistopher in TWENTY YEAWS!". India repeatedly asks when she will develop either a loose tooth or breasts. Kate now exclaims that she is "just bad, bad ole Katie" when she screws up. India suddenly began to read during a five minute period two weeks ago, to the surprise of everyone especially herself. Kate has named a stuffed animal after a different color each day (purplish, yellowish, orangeish, reddish). India asked me what language her friends in New York speak. Yeah, they are still the Short People.

Now that I am back in the land of the bloggers I vow to post more. And I thank those of you who checked in to make sure I hadn't succumbed to a horrible, painful death. Forgive me if the Holidays intervene in my postings, but know I will be there when I can. And finally, know that I missed you!
In the meantime, enjoy these photos from out family beach trip during the first week of October. Over the next few blogs I will catch you up with the new den colors, India's first field trip and the Halloween party. The Hotel Hershey Spa photos will be conspicuously absent. I will not bore you with any photos of household chores, I promise!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some other spring
I'll try to love
Now I still cling
To faded blossoms
Fresh from worn
Left chrushed and torn
Like the love affair I mourn

Billie Holiday -- "Some Other Spring"

What an amazing vacation from reality I had! I sat in the sun, read 3.5 books, floated in the Springs, ate, drank, walked, and slept. For three days I did not wipe anyone's bottom, order anyone to "get OFF your sister!", empty a dishwasher, remind anyone other than Tracy to stop talking with their mouth full, and no one asked 27 times what's for dinner. Heaven!

A mini-vacation is heaven no matter where you go, but at The Homestead you can't help but relax. The grounds are gorgeous, the food amazing, the amenities are abundant. There is an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a bowling alley, a theater, pool tables, chess, checkers, tennis courts, golf, fly fishing, falconry, a shooting range, fabulous food, afternoon tea, a spa...there's more but you get the idea. We would have needed to stay another week or two to squeeze everything in.
For me the most relaxing portion of the trip was floating in the Jefferson Pools. For those of you who are unfamiliar, there are several pockets of the US with hot springs, and many are located along the West Virginia/Virginia borders. The Jefferson Pools, named for Thomas Jefferson, their most famous proponent, are located in the town of Hot Springs and the county of Bath (creative, weren't they?). They were believed to have healing properties and Jefferson reportedly recommended soaking 3 times a day and then taking a litle drink, as well. Since the water is hot and stinky I just stuck with floating in it, thank you very much. I'm not sure that the building covering the springs had been renovated since ol' TJ himself was there, but that's just part of the charm. The water is bathwater warm, soft, green, and smells slightly of sulfur. Floating and listening to the water burble along was ultra relaxing.

My favorite portion of the trip, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with the surroundings. I was able to make this trip because my husband was attending the annual meeting of the Virginia Healthcare Association. I grew up in the long-term care industry, with my grandmother owning a nursing home and at various times every member of my family (myself included) was employed there. She worked as an administrator until she was 78, when she broke her hip at work and was forced to retire.
My grandmother was a member of the VHCA for most of her adult life, and there are still many members who remember her. As one of the first (if not THE first) women administrators of a nursing home, the first administrator to take a Medicaid patient, a strong lobbiest for patient rights and holder of numerous awards, she was a legend in the long-term care industry. At this meeting being introduced as Jessie Key's granddaughter brought a warm response from many, and there were at least two administrators present who owe their careers to my wonderful "Makey".
The award for Administrator of the Year is presented at this meeting, and I was lucky enough to be present to watch Patsy Hobson become the 2007 recipient. Patsy came to live with my grandmother, my father and my aunt when her mother was killed in an accident. Starting her senior year in high school she became a surrogate daughter to Makey, as well as an Administrator In Training. Today, my grandmother is 90 years old and is a patient in Patsy's facility. I cried as I watched Patsy accept this prestigious award and speak about my grandmother. I wish Makey were able to understand what has happened, and just how much everyone in this industry still loves and appreciates her.
I am home today with a sick Short Person, I've wiped bottoms, and I've emptied to dishwasher. Back to reality!

Friday, September 14, 2007

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah
Let's go and see the stars
The milky way
or even Mars
Where it could just be ours
Lenny Kravitz -- "Fly Away"

In a couple of days I will be THERE, right by the pool. With a book. Unless it is too cold, and then I'll be HERE:
or even here.

Most importantly, I know I won't be HERE

We are off to a meeting for Tracy at the Homestead in Hot Springs, VA, and I am just along for the ride. I'm going to sleep, relax, read, soak in the springs, and get some much needed R&R. See you when I get back!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sister cry, count the stars.

Is many in the sky that passed you by.

Could be up ahead you'll be seeing changes.

Jayhawks -- "Sister Cry"

Last Thursday was Katie Cat's turn to have her first day of preschool. She was very teary because it was her first time going to Belle Croft without India there to comfort her. Kate is a tentative soul and really relies on India for support, so going alone was a big step. There were lots of tears/whining/ pleading on the drive to school, and let's just say Kate rivaled G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip as we approached the door. My goddaughter Anne, who is a year older, has been tapped to be a surrogate big sis for Kate and she was one of the first faces we saw as we walked in the door. There were also lots of other friends greeting her with smiles and hugs. Girls start the squealing and hugging very early, don't they?
The preschool Welcome Wagon helped quite a bit, but I still needed to pry Kate off my leg so I could go. I hate, hate, hate leaving the Short People when they are crying. I know the teachers just want Moms to get the hell out so the child will stop crying , but I always feel like a terrible parent carelessly abandoning my child when they need me most.

Thankfully, today was a bit smoother. And I am finding the free time so helpful. I was able to host a meeting for a Hospice fundraiser I am co chairing and am also getting some errands accomplished sans shrieking, begging, arguing or rushing to every public restroom on the Eastern Shore before someone has an accident (no, I don't mean me). There is one store that it never fails...someone has to go EVERY TIME we enter. It has become a joke with the store owner, who graciously opens her restroom to us.

While Kate can be timid and a bit grumpy, she never fails to crack me up. We ran into my friend Louise and we spoke to each other. Louise is from Tasmania and has an Australian-sounding accent that I adore. As we walked away, Kate asked "Who was dat?" I answered that it was Ms. Louise, and Kate replied "Oh, the lady who says 'haloo'!

Monday, September 10, 2007

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog

cryin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
cryin' all the time.
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
and you ain't no friend of mine.
When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.

Elvis Presley -- "Hound Dog"

Miss Fontella Bass, the youngest member of the Turmanator clan, has been conspicuously absent from recent posts. Several of you have asked me about her and let me just tell you that she is EVIL. And who wants to post about evil?

'Tella (or 'Tella Monster, as she is sometimes not so affectionately called) has outgrown her precious, cuddly baby stage is now a gangly, awkward teenage mutt. Normally by this point in our relationship she would have won us over with her winning personality and loyal disposition, no longer needing the sweet puppy face and wriggly body to ensure her survival in our household. But somehow 'Tella missed this evolutionary skill and is annoying the crap out of everyone in the family.

To illustrate: a typical stroll to the car has become a scene from "Apocalypse Now".

I open the bunker door and search the perimeter for signs of the enemy. I, as Squadron Leader, give the command to "Go to the car; move, move, move!" We race to the tank and jump in with 'Tella on our tails. She's emerged from nowhere, an expert in the ways of disguise and the sneak attack. She manages to fight her way into the car; once pristine uniforms are now soaking wet and streaked with mud. As leader of this troop I am entrusted with the difficult task of removing the enemy, which involves entering the back of the van, er, tank, and yanking her out by her collar. Once I have secured the vehicle we race away with 'Tella on our tails. More than once it had been necessary for me to exit the protective confines of our mobile unit and yell for the enemy to return to her camp and get out of the road. War is hell.

To avoid having to run the gauntlet each morning we have asked (begged) Tracy to take the dogs to their pen. This, too, is a strategically timed mission. First we must ensure they eat their food, which is no mean feat given that 'Tella spends more time guarding her food from Daisy Jane than she spends in consumption. After numerous reminders to "eat your food, 'Tella!" Tracy puts her on her leash (Daisy Jane obediently responds to "Go to your pen", but not the 'Tella Monster) and escorts her, becoming filthy and wet in the process. This means that he has to take the dogs out BEFORE he changes into his suit for work. Now the girls open the front door and tentatively ask "are the dogs in their pen?".
Affirmative. Over and out.
**We really do love the little Monster, as you can see from the photo of Kate. Perhaps she'll calm down in a year or so?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

So be true to your school now

Just like you would to your girl or guy.

Be true to your school now

And let your colors fly.

Be true to your school.

Beach Boys -- "Be True to your School"

India, the oldest Short Person, took off for kindergarten today. In typical Short People style, she was all decked out in a dress hand-selected by her for the occasion, with a matching hair band and a necklace tossed on at the last minute. India apparently shares the philosophical opinion of Olympia Dukakis' character in Steel Magnolias; "The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize". Too bad she hasn't learned about MATCHING yet. Do they teach that in kindergarten?

After a few first day photos (one with "Frinkles", her favorite lovey, for security) all the family loaded in the car and took India into her classroom. On the way she informed us she had "a few butterflies in my tummy" but she bravely entered, clutching her sweaty hand in mine and biting her lip. As I hugged her goodbye she whispered "I don't want you to leave". Gulp! I knew we had to bolt before she started crying and latching on, so we ran out the door cheerily shouting for her to have a good day. I did peek through the window like a stalker to make sure she was not crying, and she wasn't. Can't wait to pick her up and hear about her day.

Clare and Derek

On another note I want to send congratulations to Derek and my sister Clare at The Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz. They are engaged!!!!! We couldn't be happier to welcome Derek into this crazy family, and hope we haven't scared him too much. The Short People are also thrilled, and are mostly concerned with 1) will Auntie Clare wear a "brider" (aka "veil"), 2) will they get to wear dresses, and 3) will there be cake?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ramble on,
And now's the time, the time is now
To sing my song...
Led Zepplin -- "Ramble On"

I've been "tagged" by Deana at Friday Night Fish Fry, so it's time to stop writing about the Short People and focus on myself for a bit. Here goes:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. You must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.


B: Bold. I am a strong person who doesn't mind speaking out. I've held presidential or chair roles in several organizations and I think it's because I don't have a problem with being the bad guy when necessary (not to mention no one else ever wants the job...too bad there is no "S" in my name for "sucker"). I try to tone down the aspects of this part of my personality that can be unpleasant (bossy, another "B" word), and turn it into a strength. I hope I succeed most of the time.

R: Radical. A friend once described me as "unconventional". I don't know if she meant it to be flattering, but I sure took it as a compliment. Who wants to be like everyone else?

O: Open-minded. While I am not shy about sharing my opinions, I truly don't expect everyone to agree with them. I love to engage in good-natured discussions about politics, religion, or anything else. I have friends who range the entire continuum and I love that.

O: Organized. Not as much as some of my friends (this means you, Janice!) but I am a list queen and I can carry a lot of info in my head. Every once in a while I slip up, but I am usually prepared, on time, and neat. "Organized" does not equal "clean", however. I am a terrible housecleaner. On a positive note, even though a given item may be covered in dust I know exactly where to find it.

K: Keen. Keen often means razor-sharp. I can certainly be sarcastic and even cutting at times. But keen can also mean perceptive; I am highly attuned to others and their feelings/needs, which comes in handy being a therapist. Keen is also synonymous with clever. I don't know about clever, but my brain is almost always switched to the "on" postition ( drives poor Tracy crazy). I can't just sit and watch TV; I will do crossword puzzles or read at the same time. The only other definition of keen I can think of is to howl or wail...I don't do that one, promise!

E: Earthy. I love the outdoors, flowers, the beach, nature, animals...the whole shebang. My house is full of rocks, shells, driftwood, birdsnests, and anything else I find and can use to bring the outside in. If I could have the windows open every day I would do it in a minute. Exceptions: humidity, mosquitos and greenheads, and poison ivy.

Whew! That was a tough meme. Okay, now the tagging part. I will hit up Brooke at Joycekids because she has the same name, my sister Clare at the Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz, who's first name is Katherine. I will also hit up my friend Janice who doesn't have a blog but will, for the sake of our friendship, play along in the comments even though I outed her organizational skills (you know I worship your abilities). Thank you, Deana, for the challenge!

You say it's your birthday

It's my birthday too--yeah

They say it's your birthday

We're gonna have a good time

I'm glad it's your birthday

Happy birthday to you.

The Beatles -- Birthday - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I want to ask everyone to visit my sister at The Sunday Night Buttermilk Waltz (see link above) and wish her a very Happy Birthday. I am working on two "tags" and will post them soon. I am hosting our playgroup tomorrow (imagine your house overrun with 20+ Short People and their mothers) and watching a friend's daughter at the same time. On Thursday I am watching another friend's daughter. Just a little preoccupied right now, but I will finish the tags, I promise.
Love you, Katie Clare!

Friday, August 24, 2007

That low down man of mine

Mistreats me all the time

He sez he loves me only

Then turns around and
leaves me sad and lonely...

Squirrel Nut Zippers --
"Low Down Man"

Meet William, India's betrothed. Cute, isn't he? India has been insisting that she was going to marry William for half of her life. Okay, she's only 5 so half her life isn't really that long, but she's been consistent in her adoration. So what's the problem? India's got to step in line.

William is a hot commodity; he is also pursued by two other little harlots, ehem, I mean little girls. They have made their marital desires quite plain. Poor William. What's a man to do? The other two girls frequently fight and argue over him. Thank goodness India knows to step out of the fray...she is not a cat fighter. When the claws come out, William advises that he will not marry any female who fights and argues. Good boy.

Since William's mother and I are not fans of prostituting out our children when they are in preschool, we have tried to discourage this talk of marriage. I'm not even sure where it even comes from, since I don't talk to the Short People about boyfriends and the like. I'm blaming it on the Disney Princess marketing machine. Anyway, when I try to steer the conversation away from marriage India tacitly ignores me, but like any good son William has taken his mother's advice to heart. If India brings up the "M" word he sweetly answers her with "I will have to think about that".

Today William came for a play date and as I sat nearby I eavesdropped. I learned that dating is the same at any age. The conversation went like this:

India- "What's your favorite undersea animal?"
William -"Shark"

India "Mine is the turtle. I also like alligators, but they don't live under water. I also like..bla bla bla (this goes on for some time)...what's your next favorite?"

William - Falls out of his seat in a stupor, ears smoking.

I assume this is the equivalent of "what's your sign" or "what's your favorite color". Later the conversation progressed from the "Getting to Know You" stage to what I like to call "The Thrill Is Gone".

William - makes obscene gas sound effect

India - "WILLIAM! What do you say?"

William - "That was funny!"

India - "No, William. You say 'excuse me'!"

Hard to believe these two are 5 and 6. Perhaps India has just crossed to the front of the line. Sounds like they are already married to me!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Don't push me

I can do it myself

Watch how high

I can swing myself

ha ha ha

Sugar Hill Gang --
"It's Like a Dream Sometimes"

What the hell is happening to the music scene? They Might Be Giants, Dan Zanes from the Del Fuegos, and now the Sugar Hill Gang have become children's musicians? I suppose they have all watched Laurie Berkner make a mint and are trying to revive their failing careers, but I never thought that one of the first rap groups would go from bustin' a rhyme to nursery rhymes. By the way, just in case you were wondering that is NOT the Sugar Hill Gang pictured on the left.

Unfortunately, I actually heard this terrible ditty. I pray I never do again. I am so grateful that the Short People listen to what Tracy and I like. I'n not sure they really understand that there are CDs and even whole radio stations filled with music just for kids, and I consider it my moral obligation as their mother to keep that information a secret for as long as possible. Right now Kate's favorite song is "Statesboro Blues", which India sings along to belting out "Wake up MAMMAL, turn your lamp down low". I couldn't be prouder. They also love Dee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart" and Paolo Nutini. I so much prefer these to "Bananaphone" ("Ring, ring ring, ring...." put that in just for you, Derek).

In an effort to further cultivate our children's ears for good music (i.e. stuff their parents can tolerate) we recently visited the 73rd Galax Fiddler's Convention. My parents, my sister and her boyfriend Derek, and some of my sister's friends (Hi Sue!) tagged along and we had a great time. Our hands-down favorite band was Special Ed and the Short Bus (also wins for best band name, with Pink Lloyd and the Wahl coming in second place). My father purchased Special Ed's CD and Derek fervently burned several copies for us all to enjoy on the ride home. I received a frantic call from my parents, who worried that we had tried out the CD in front of the Short People. They were clearly relieved that we hadn't, and suggested that it would be best to wait until the Short People napped to pop it in the stereo. I understood where they were coming from as I listened to lyrics that included some rather graphic descriptions of why the Special Ed needs to "get me some of them pills" (Viagra) and waxes poetic about his "Dirty Baby"'s nether regions. I don't think we'll add this one to the "shuffle" function of our CD player.

One of the most entertaining parts of any music festival is wandering the crowd, llistening to the pick-up bands and people-watching. We witnessed some sort of RV red-carpeted bluegrass award ceremony (they really had a red carpet), lots of pickers, fiddlers, cloggers, flatfooters, and even the odd harmonic player which reportedly inflamed some of the serious old time musicians (harmonicas were not used in true old time music). My favorites were these enormous unmentionables pictured on the left that provided both shade and entertainment. When Tracy escorted the Short People past and asked "Girls, have you ever seen underwear that large?" one of the inhabitants patted the girls on the head and drawled "well, I guess you haven't seen my wife".

After the Fiddler's Convention we just kept heading west to Abingdon to visit Tracy's family. The first night we pulled out Tracy's brother's karaoke machine and I think I made Patsy Kline spin like a rotisserie chicken in her grave. We had such a good time that I forgot to pull out the camera and take any pictures ( I am quite thankful there are no photos of my rendition of "Crazy"). I also neglected to take pictures of my father, Clare and Derek or Sue and Mark. I always do this; when I am just hanging around I will snap away with vigor but give me a party and my focus is having fun. I apologize to all my neglected family and friends and will make an attempt to do better next time, but I can't make any promises. A party is a party!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Many fish bites if ya got good bait
Here's a little tip I would like to relate
Big fish bites if ya got a good bait
I 'a goin' fishin'
Yes, I'm goin' fishin'
And my baby goin' fishin' too

Taj Mahal -- "Big Fish Blues"

The above photo is for my father. Katie P. is doin' her Daden proud in the fishing department; she likes the challenge, the glory, and most especially the eating. That's my girl.

Art Camp officially ended today. Bye-bye, 8:30 t0 5:00 break from the oldest Short Person. I am mostly pleased, because I did miss her very much, but it was wonderful to have so many fight-free days.
India had a ball, and came home laden with an appalling amount of unidentifiable glazed clay figurines, a new tie-dye shirt (we just can't have enough of those in this house), a papier mache hat covered with blobs of tissue paper, an array of drawings and lots of new skills, including PLATE SPINNING. They did a "circus" segment, that included tumbling, juggling, etc. Thank goodness she hasn't asked to hone those skills at home.
Her favorite class by far was music (imagine that) and she surprised her teacher with the selections she brought in, which ranged from Del McCoury and Bobby Darin to Spanish music. I had to steer her away from her perennial favorite, "Willin'". Call me crazy, but I just didn't think the "weed, whites and wine" line would go over well. Although, after getting a good look at the music teacher and the bumper stickers on her guitar case, it might have been a welcome addition.
Notice that India is by far the tiniest in her little group. She's at about the 10% percentile...odd given that Tracy is 6ft 2in and I am 5ft 7in. I do have to say, though, that despite her height her apple didn't fall far from our tree!

The weather is looking dreadful this weekend, so beach and boating is out. I suppose that means Tracy and I may have to face painting the bookshelves we have had sitting unfinished in our den since Christmas. Damn. Somebody's gonna have to break it to Kate that she won't be fishin' this weekend, and it's not gonna be me.