Thanksgiving with my family, and a visit from my sister (I promise, we're really related!):
Thanksgiving with the Dixons, aka "Pie, Glorious Pie":
This guy is home:
Altogether a perfect Thanksgiving. Big, big news on the Hurricane Eve front to come shortly, so don't go too far...
I rode 11 miles today. On my bike. Just me, and my two legs. Took me all of Kila's album Lemonade and Buns, (and the first two songs of Hopes and Fears as well).
A month ago, my bike was sitting dusty in the garage with two flat tires, having not seen the light of day in more than four years. Now I feel powerful and awesome and pretty much like I can do anything.
I don't have a picture, but I wanted to share. In the words of the immortal Lester Burnham -
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 10:36 PM
New and Improved Take Charge Rachel, speaking.
On Saturday I fulfilled another long-suppressed dream of mine. I bought an awesome double bike trailer off Craigslist, and me and my babies have been tooling around town all week via my very own personal horsepower. It's not quite as carefree biking with 60 pounds of marginally-cooperative kiddo behind you, and I can't use my iPod since Eve needs unrestricted whining access. She doesn't like wearing a helmet and she wants all of 85206 to know about it!
As for Dev, he had fallen asleep on the way home from the park and just wasn't quite ready to face the world again yet. ;)
I'll have another installment of the Carpe Diem saga in approximately 3-5 business days. I know you'll be waiting with bated breath.
Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 7:45 PM
My sister's friend Sam tagged me 2 weeks ago (unless she's got another friend called Rachel, in which case I'm sorry but I like this questionnaire so I'm doing it anyway!)
Sorry Sam - I've got to get your blog on my sidebar because otherwise I always forget to check it! My sincerest apologies, and here's the goods:
1. Three biggest fears? Losing my husband or one of my children, being "ordinary", and landscaping our backyard ourselves. I'm not really scared of much.
2. When was the last time you danced? I dance whenever I am happy! Probably the last time I danced - as in move the furniture, would be really embarrassed if someone walked in "dancing" - was a few weeks ago with my friend Gretta. It is really, really awesome to have a friend who thinks it's cool to spend an evening together dancing in my living room!
3. Do you creep on stranger's blogs? Does anyone actually say no to this one? They're lying.
4. If you could go back to be any age for a day, what age would you be and why? I wouldn't go back. So far, I feel like my life just keeps getting better and better!
5. Are you a good liar? I'm afraid so. I think I've lost my touch a little over the years, but I am a good liar.
6. Do you judge someone when you can tell they've had elective cosmetic surgery? Depends. If I'm perfectly honest, yes I do. I wouldn't have cosmetic surgery myself, but after 2 kids I have to admit I can see how a certain kind of person would want to sort of "put things back" where they used to be - and I empathize with that more than I ever thought I would!
7. If you have children, what's one thing that you always told yourself you'd never do when you had kids? If you don't have children, what's one thing you tell yourself you'll never do. I said I wouldn't let my kids wear clothing with cartoon characters on them. Then I found myself the caretaker of a 4-year-old who gets absolute sublime ecstasy out of wearing a shirt, shoes, and undies with Lightning McQueen on them. Preferably all at the same time. And I do laundry more often because he's sad when all the Cars shirts are dirty. I have no shame.
8. What's something that totally grosses you out? Speed-eating contests. Utterly revolting on every possible level.
9. Do you ever delete forwards without reading them? Never say never, but I never read forwarded emails.
10. Do you ever lie to get out of obligations? Yes I do.
11. Consider your body weight and your yearly income at their present states. Would you rather be 200 pounds heavier and $200,000 richer or stay at your present states? Present state. Hopefully someday we'll be making $200,000 more, but add 200 pounds and we would probably eat up that extra money in medical bills. No thanks.
12. When was the last time you bought a pair of shoes and what were they? The last shoes I bought were 2 pairs of clearance skimmers from Target. I'm hoping to get some new shoes for Christmas. I want more Borns! Soooooo comfy.
13. The Olympics. Take them or leave them? I will never get tired of watching Olympic gymnastics. There is still a little girl somewhere inside that thinks she's going to be a gymnast when she grows up.
14. What's your favorite accent? It's hard to pick. I love Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Manchester/Liverpool particularly. I often affect one of these accents if I am alone in a bookstore somewhere, for example. Yes, I did just say that.
15. What's your favorite scent? I like black licorice, clove, cinnamon, sandalwood...mmmmmm...
16. Chewing gun or mints? Mints. I hate gum.
17. If you could look like any celebrity, who would it be? Jennifer Connelly. She's HOT. Plus, my husband has a crush on her so I might as well kill two birds with one stone!
18. If you had the chance of looking like said celebrity in exchange for your thumbs would you do it? No way. I'm not bad looking, and I need my thumbs!
19. Do you religiously wear sun screen? I make sure I buy moisturizer with sunscreen already in it, because otherwise I can't remember. If I'm specially going out in the sun, then I do wear it. I don't have good genes for baking in baby oil.
20. Do you generally trust people/their motives or doubt people/their motives? I trust people generally, but I have definitely learned over the years not to share too much of yourself too fast. I am an idealist though and I think I will always trust until I have a reason not to.
21. Would you describe yourself as a complicated person or is what you see what you get? I think I am very straightforward in that I don't act different around different people. I am who I am, but I think that who I am is interesting and contradictory - just like every other glorious, beautiful, complicated human being.
22. Do you watch what you eat? Absolutely, but not in a calorie-counting kind of way. I try to eat balanced, healthy, unprocessed meals...and then I eat lots of dark chocolate. Antioxidants, dontcha know!
23. Do you watch what other people eat? My kids and my husband. That's plenty to keep me busy.
24. Do you judge how other people raise their kids? Certain things - yes, I do. I don't see any reason to list specifics, but it comes down to selfishness. If you don't want to be bothered to take care of your children, then for the love of Charlie - get a goldfish!
25. Do you judge people who dress poorly? I wouldn't say I judge them, but I am very severely tempted to nominate them for What Not to Wear.
26. Do you judge people who are homely? Now there's an exercise in futility if I ever heard one!
27. Do you judge people who are overweight? No. What's the point? They already know they're overweight, and they're either working on it or they're not/ Not any of my concern either way. People with hideous perms and giant shoulder pads don't always realize the error of their ways and sometimes need straightening out, as it were, but every adult I know is acutely aware of their weight.
28. Your interest in politics: High, Medium-High, Medium, Medium-Low, Low, Obsolete? My interest is medium-high. My level of optimism that someday we'll have a president I really can get behind is very, very low. I think politics is self-selecting, and the qualities that seem to be necessary for election and the qualities which I look for in an elected official are mutually exclusive.
29. Favorite song of all time? I'm not sure I know anymore. For now I'll say Precious Things by Tori Amos.
30. Acoustic or electric? Acoustic.
31. If you were a hermit, would you shave? Depends on if I were a married hermit or a single hermit.
32. If you could shave your head without your significant other throwing a complete hissy, would you? The opinion of my significant other is not what is keeping me from shaving my head, let's put it that way. It's not his hair. I wouldn't shave it because it's only an inch long anyway and I love having red hair!
33. What was your least favorite age? 14. Not for a million dollars would I be 14 again. Nothing with a "teen" in the name, actually.
34. How many times a day do you check your email? I'm going to say at least 7.
35. Are you in a tiff with anyone right now? No, I don't like tiffs. I don't ever stay mad long enough to type "I'm in a tiff".
Loretta Moffat, Amanda Boyles, Holly Sparks, Maelynn Warren, and David Dixon
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an off hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun
And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but its sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in the relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought Id something more to say
Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
And when I come home cold and tired
Its good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spell...
- Pink Floyd -
Those of you who know me, know that I am irrationally intimidated by all things crafty. I don't sew, I don't scrapbook, I don't paint, draw, or sculpt. I don't quilt, I don't knit, I don't decoupage. I don't arrange flowers, I don't set festive holiday tables - I'm supremely overwhelmed by all of it. Once in awhile I get a harebrained notion to undertake a project of this nature, and it almost always takes at least a full year to complete, with much moaning, groaning, procrastinating, and general making of excuses along the way.
Three weeks ago we had gone to see a movie with some friends. We were really early, so we set up shop next door in As You Wish to watch my friend Gretta work on a Christmas platter. As You Wish, if you've never been there, is the kind of place that would inspire hyperventilation and a nasty rash in somebody as crafty-phobic as I have just admitted myself to be. You walk in, choose an item - be it a plate, a butter dish, a figurine, or a jewelry box - paint it as you wish (get it?), and come back in 3 days to pick it up all fired and presumably looking charming and adorable.
Gretta ordered me to grab a knicknack and get painting, since we had 2 hours and nothing else to do. I made a number of self-deprecating comments and said I'd rather save my money and have Devlin paint me something, since that was sure to look better anyway. But then I thought, why not? I stood and walked around the edge of the store, looking for something inexpensive and inconspicuous and easy.
Then I saw it.
"Paint a plate, we'll make it into a clock for an additional $5!" Looking at the sign, the words to this song occurred to me, as they often do when I see a clock. And I had my project. I finished it before the movie started - barely! - and yes, it does definitely look handmade (to put it very kindly). But it scared me and I did it anyway, and seeing it in my house has been a strangely persistent reminder to just.do.it. Whatever it is. To stop waiting for an invitation, for validation, for permission. To swallow my fear and stop making excuses and put my money where my mouth is. To reclaim "Carpe Diem" from mass-produced vinyl wall lettering and put just a little bit of the real thing back into my life.
I have to tell you, it feels really good.