Thursday, February 26, 2009

Self Portrait of a Tenager

I liked this one - she is starting to put her signature on things. Roxy is very jealous of Darby's perspective. Roxy has gotten to where she does not draw people much, because the hands are too hard to draw. Darby solves that problem by hiding the hands - good trick, Darby Doll.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

She Does It All

Tonight Darby cooked dinner. She made vegetable soup from a recipe. I must say that she did a great job. I did supervise the process, but she chopped all the vegetables and added all the ingredients and set the table and fixed the drinks. Job well done, girl!

And then later, when I was upstairs on Facebook, Roxy decided to direct her kind of movie. You have to wonder about the people I live with sometimes...

Monday, February 23, 2009

Color Me Obama

Roxy had a little book from school that she was supposed to color. She was absent a significant part of last week, so the book was incomplete. I asked her if she wanted to finish her coloring book, but she said, "No, the pictures are kind of freakin' me out." You can see for yourself and decide - does this picture look freaky to you?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Music for a Happy Friday

It's Friday and it is a gorgeous day. I am going off on an adventure - the Ladies' Retreat. I have not been on a retreat in years and years. Our previous church did not do the getaway thing, but in Georgia you can have your pick of many wonderful spa/resort areas. It's time for my happy music soundtrack:

Say Hey (I Love You) by Michael Franti and Spearhead
A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
See the World by Gomez
Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups
Colorful by Rocco De Luca and the Burden
Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
You're All I Have by Snow Patrol
Love Is the Only Way by Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Darby - when you read this, go and click on Say Hey and enjoy some zydeco-style music! Love you, girl.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wanted: Wooden Indian Statue

For some reason, I would like a wooden Indian statue, or a wooden bear or some other unique statue. Then we could pose at home in our free time...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Children's Wonderland - for Steven King

There were a few details about the town of Warm Springs that I did not share with you, but I had to pace myself and reflect on the day. Scott's interpretation of Warm Springs was that it was the place where the evil clown from Steven King's It lives - a place where old carneys go to die and their ghosts get together for drinks.

When we hit main street in Warm Springs, we browsed a couple of shops and looked for a place to eat. I nixed everything I saw - I like charming, but there was something definitely off about the place. And then we found the courtyard...

Painted signs invited us to a courtyard of shops and antiques, and an older gentleman walking around told us the kids might like to look around the courtyard. There was even a sign calling it a Children's Wonderland - sounds good to us, so we bit on that one. I tried to capture it all in pictures, but you just had to be there...nonsensical statuary, most of it appeared to be dug up from Fred Sanford's house; broken merry-go-round machines that used to be at grocery stores, statues of giant green rabbits, broken juke boxes, very old, tacky dime store items for purchase but nobody there selling anything, outdoor toilets smack dab in the middle of the courtyard. Poor Scott was so creeped out he had to beat it out of there very quickly, but somehow that made me only laugh more. Somebody that just ain't right made this place, and I don't think it will be around much longer because they are advertising a giant estate sale on March 6th. Looks like the creepy clown from It will have to find a new place to live...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Nerds Do President's Day

Scott and I, being raised by education professionals, have a thing for tracking down historical markers, historical places, and random bits of trivia relating to the area in which we live. We just can't help it. So, for President's Day, the girls were out of school and we headed to Warm Springs, GA. We toured Roosevelt's Little White House and explored the area. The girls had to come along, of course, but they were indulgent of us, anyway.

The town of Warm Springs became known in the late 1920s because Franklin D. Roosevelt went there in search of treatment for polio. He had be stricken with the disease three years prior to hearing about Warm Springs, GA. He loved the place so much, and he felt so much better after his visits, that he spent 2/3 of his fortune purchasing the springs and surrounding land. FDR came here before he was in politics and before he was President. Because of his contact with this part of the country, he became an advocate for poor and rural people, for children forced to work because of a terrible economy, and he started the March of Dimes. Within 10 years of its founding, a vaccine for polio was discovered and people did not have to live in fear of the horrible disease.

The place is perfectly preserved and very moving. They never changed anything - there is still toilet paper from the 1940s in his house. You get a sense of the type of man Roosevelt was and how a wealthy New York Yankee could start so many programs to pull the country out of a horrible depression. I never knew how scary polio was until seeing everything yesterday. We were impressed with all the detail and all the history. All the old stuff was great to look at. He had a stroke while an artist was painting his portrait in his living room, and he died from it. The portrait hangs here and is still unfinished.
I thought some things were kind of funny. Because his electric bills were four times higher in Georgia than they were in NY, he started a program to get electric service to rural areas at reasonable rates. He helped out poor farmers, starting all sorts of New Deal programs, and Social Security - because of his contact with ordinary folk in Georgia.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Redneck Advertising

One of the curious, head-scratching items I get regularly in my mailbox is a newspaper called "The Georgia Flyer." It is the most bizarre collection of advertisements and there are always a few laughs in it. Most things are for sale, like an Ethan Allen dining set and a Civil War rifle. But some things are quite strange. People trying to sell a single book for $5, people trying to cell a pair of cemetary plots, people trying to give away vinyl furniture and transcription devices and CPAP machines. And all of these ads are posted for free. Who shops from this flyer? How do these people print and mail this mini newspaper when the ads are free? Who would pick up this thing, see the iron welding tongs for $50 and think, "Gee, I have been looking for a pair of iron welding tongs!" It makes me want to run a bizarre ad in the flyer, just to see what will happen.

The large, front page ad was a little creepy, labelled SWF. I got to wondering about the "single white female", advertising a room for rent in her basement. She wants someone to rent one basement room, but pay half the rent and half the utilities. I just hope Hannibal Lector is not reading this thing...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sugar-Coated Messages

I had to crack up at Darby last night. She decided to email a friend, but instead of writing something she chose a different approach. Do not be surprised if one day I run out of material for my blog and dig in to the conversation hearts bag o'candy...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Second Verse, Same As the First

Someone has turned the corner on her reading ability. She proudly read a few pages, then stopped and said, "Now I can read to Darby!" Oddly enough, she wants to read out loud - all the time. Curly Hair Reader Girl: The Sequel - now showing in my bedroom, the kitchen table, the back seat of my car, the sun room...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bad Hair Days

Yet again, another post about hair issues. I am sorry, folks, but my life begins and ends with an endless pursuit of the appropriate hair product for my two darling daughters. My talent is limited, my knowledge is minimal, and my pockets are not deep. Doing the right thing - affordably - is a real challenge. But I may have found the Holy Grail for Curly Hair.

We had an evening out with the family. (Not a date, mind you, because paying for a babysitter is about as expensive as a car payment.) And at each place we went - movie theater and restaurant - I met the nicest, kindest strangers who talked with us, complimented the girls on their beauty, then whispered to me about what I need to buy to help control their hair. Both groups told me about the exact same product, so I headed to the urban hair product store and picked it up today.

These people were all gracious and wonderful examples of why Georgia is a great place to live. And they were helpful without making me feel like a failure as a mom. But still, it was obvious that I need help and advice. Thank you, kind people, for guiding this clueless mom. Like sands through the hourglass, so are the bad hair days of our lives...

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Bedside Table

Generally speaking, you are what you read. I believe you nurture your mind with books, magazines, and other forms of reading. You can understand a little bit about a person by what they read as well. I was going through the enourmous stack of books on Darby's table and thought about what it says about her, then realized that the rest of the family can be summized in the same way. So here is the bedside table list of reading material:

Scott's stack: Oxford's Essential Dictionary of Difficult Words, Phillip Yancey's "Prayer", Trout Fishing in North Georgia, An Investigation of Angels, The Appalatian Trail Guide, plus two separate writing journals.

Sheree's stack: E.H. Gombrich's "A Little History of the World", three books by David Sedaris, three of the four Twilight books, John Grisham's The Appeal, one issue of Country Living, and one issue of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion.

Roxy's stack: "Arnie the Doughnut" by Laurie Keller and "The Night Before Catmas."

Darby's stack: three different Calvin and Hobbes treasury books, "The Encyclopedia of Immaturity", "Matilda", "James and the Giant Peach", and the Roald Dahl treasury - all by Roald Dahl, Shel Silverstein's "A Light in the Attic", "It's All About Me", "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw", and "King Arthur and His Knights".

I realize as I type this list that there is not an actual bible by anyone's bed - but they happen to be on the other side of the room. Thank goodness we have a few of those laying around the house...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Darrel of the House

There is a Darrel living in my house. Her given name is Roxanne Skye, but trust me - she is a Darrel. My older brother gave me a long legacy list of things that seemed to be uniquely him - "Darrel". Now my daughter has taken over the Darrel department.

In my original family of two parents, two daughters and one son, all the gross jokes and comments were performed by Darrel. My sister and I were entirely too polite to do things like burp words, make music with our own belly buttons, or give unique names to gaseous events. Roxy is filling the big brother void at our house now. She can and will burp on request. She does make up names for all gross things. Roxy will taunt Scott with her ability to use gross-out humor and Scott is VERY easily perturbed when it comes to potty humor. For example, when Scott brings home a freshly cleaned car, Roxy says, "Great, let me go pee in it for you." And now, Roxy's latest gross-out announcement is that she has discovered that she picks her nose in her sleep. "How else did those little boogers end up on my fingers?" Poor Scott - he never grew up with Darrel, so he has no idea what comes next...but I do...