Saturday, June 24, 2006
The Farmer's Market
This isn't your weekly open air market with fresh produce and baked goods. This is a year round, indoor congregation of many stores. Kind of like a mall but more wide open. This one had a kitchen shop, horse stuff, hunting stuff, gifts, antiques, art and bulk foods. The entrance to the building was a bridge over a giant koi pond. Emma wasn't too keen on the koi. I'm not sure she'd ever seen fish in their natural environment. My only purchase from this farmer's market was cinnamon apple chips for Emma.

The Civil War Store
I don't even remember it's name. It was quite interesting. Filled with Civil war histories, artifacts and reproductions. Plus Southern Pride accessories. I don't want to get into it deeply, but the perspective in much of this geographical area is that the Confederate Battle Flag is about "Heritage, not Hate." We're steeped in Civil War history. There are battlefields all over the place. My ancestors fought for both the Blue and the Grey, depending on which family. We have a battlefield reenactment right here in my county that is quite popular with the actual reenactors because the battlefield area is so unspoiled.

I know many people see this flag a racist symbol, but it's just not seen that way by everyone. It's kind of like saying everyone wearing a red bandana is for the Bloods. I'm sure a few racists wear the flag, but a lot of serious historians and southern pride boosters do too. I'm so steeped in PC indoctrination myself that my brain says a silent "uh oh" when I see it displayed. But then I also know that many people love to flaunt the flag as a big middle finger to the PC crowd, and my little brain voice says "tee hee!" to that. If you want to be "sensitive" you don't fly or wear the flag. I cannot understand why it is that the easily offended always seem to win.

At any rate...if you want to know about the actual history of this battle flag and others you can click here. My point in telling you all this is that we fall on the "Heritage, not hate" side, even though we don't actually own a flag. Civil War study is a big part of the history curriculum in Virginia. I've visited many battlefields, both while I was in school and after.

We were trying to get Emma to put on a cap but she wasn't having it. I can't recall which ones were infantry, artillery or cavalry, but Popi could probably tell you.

With this cap we get Johnny Reb meets Minnie Pearl...

Second generation apples...
don't fall far from the tree either. Noni and I were in a shop which can only be characterized as a Mennonite bulk foods shop and it took us a while to get to the register to pay for our stuff. Popi and Emma went on outside the store to wait for us. When we were done this is what we found...

Shot Glass of the Day
This one is for Jeanne, who knew Ron Jon's from when it was a little shack.
While in Florida for graduation we visited a friend from my high school days. They were living in Vero Beach but we rode up to Cocoa Beach. They took us to Ron Jon's surf shop and a 50's style diner.

Friday, June 23, 2006
Shot Glass of the Day
After my brother's graduation the rest of the week was just a Florida vacation. We went to the Kennedy Space Center. My brother pointed out that Florida Tech had been started to educate scientists for NASA. M. also wanted me to point out that Florida Tech has no football team. YET, my brother managed to tear his ACL (for the first time) playing football. Things that make you say, hmmmm.

Coasting on a mudslide buzz
Uh huh, that's right. Chocolate and alcohol. Two of the best vices out there. I broke bad and bought some mudslide yesterday. After Emma is tucked in bed we fire up the blender and take our drinks to the front porch to watch the sun set over the hill. Country livin' is good.
Where's Mommy?
As they're coming upstairs from the bath Daddy always asks Emma this. And when they round the corner they make a big fuss about seeing me. Obviously I didn't catch the joy on the camera, but I swear it was there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Reading perch
She carried this book all around the yard to different places to read it. She sat on the back steps, climbed into the chairs, then onto the chaise lounge, and then finally the perch she wanted...

Daddy's view
I gave M. the camera tonight when they went out to play so the next couple of pics are his.

Shot Glass of the Day
This was my brother's alma mater. He went on an ROTC scholarship and ended up as Battalion Commander his senior year. I visited the college three times: Once when he was scouting it we drove down for a weekend (14 hours!), once I vacationed with Noni and Popi down there and we took in Bike Week in Daytona too, and finally for his graduation. We made a weeklong vacation out of that and my grandparents and an aunt attended too. By then I was married and M. was along too. My brother was Florida Tech's first graduate in Interdisciplinary Science.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Can you believe...
Hair that started out this color...

Is now this color?

Communing with nature again
But I'm no hippy dammit! I showed you pictures of this wildflower a while ago. Today we realized that they are veritable magnets for butterflies. Here are a couple I was able to "capture."

National Geographic
This morning Emma was carrying around this month's National Geographic which she particularly likes because there are pandas on the front. She climbed up to the kitchen table and was flipping the pages. She came to a picture of a woman with painting on her face and she was completely fascinated. She must have looked over that woman for fifteen minutes. She kept saying, "face, face." I explained that her face was painted. "face, face." And she'd point to her own face.

An illustration of what a worrier I am...
First of all, it's taken a month for me to even be able to share this with you. It all happened the day I went to a work related meeting out of town. It was supposed to be an afternoon for me, after the meeting. I was looking forward to the opportunity to get some chinese food and shop unencumbered. I should have known my day was going to turn to shit when I found the Chinese place closed for vacation. So I had Arby's and then went to Walmart. That part was fine. When I returned to my car I opened the front door, threw my packages over to the passenger seat and then sat down. A few seconds later this lady shows up next to me, my door is still open. She said I hit her car with my door. I really and sincerely was not aware my door had touched her car, but I immediately apologized, based on her word. I told her I was sorry, I didn't realize I had done it. She looked at the spot and then said, the paint's chipped. I said I was really sorry. I took a look and saw a scratch. Then she wet her finger and rubbed it and it basically disappeared. Then she said there was a chip on the both sides (of what I don't know) In my assessment I might have scratched her clearcoat, but the fact that it disappeared when she rubbed it made me feel like it wasn't a big deal. I mean car doors get bumped in parking lots ALL THE TIME! Mine included.

Anyway, I apologized at least three or four times, but she never acknowledged it and kept saying her paint was chipped. So I waited a few minutes for her to have her say, and when she didn't I closed the door and pulled out. I thought we were done. But, as I'm pulling out she makes a big show of copying down my license plate number. Oh SHIT! So now I drive halfway across the parking lot, and call Noni. Her job is law enforcement related so I asked her if I had done wrong, had I just screwed up. She told me that even if she called the cops they wouldn't do anything because a parking lot is private property. Even so, I circled back to find her vehicle to take a picture of the "damage" for my own protection. I couldn't find the vehicle.

Then I got to thinking, well the only way she can get to me now is through insurance. So I started to panic a bit. I ended up calling my agent and telling them what happened and asking them what I should do. They suggested I file a claim on it pre-emptively, so that if it came to an adjuster they'd be on my side. And then they said something about if she calls the police, and I'm like "for what!?!" It wasn't a moving violation. Plus they told me that insurance would count it as a collision and it could cost me points if the damage was over $1000. Holy Crap!!! Are you kidding me!?! For bumping a car door? It wasn't even dented. I was horrified and scared shitless now.

I'm telling you, it ruined my whole weekend. I worried about it furiously the WHOLE weekend. I just couldn't believe someone would file an insurance claim over a paint chip. But after I investigated on the internet I realized that people will, indeed. I've mentioned before that my cars are a way of getting from point A to point B and I'm not emotionally invested in them. Apparently some people are.

Then I started having heinous fantasies of cops coming to talk to me about it. About it jeopardizing my job. You never know, that mean bitch might have been connected. My head was in a horrible place all weekend. I was literally noting the few minutes I WASN'T obsessing about it. To make matters worse an adjuster called the house and left a message on the answering machine at 5 minutes till 5:00 on a damned Friday wanting to talk to me "about the car I'd hit." Of course I was picking up Emma at the time and had to wait all weekend to call her back. I must have rehashed the incident in my head 500 times all weekend. What a nightmare.

It's a month later and no claim has been filed. I almost feel safe enough to talk about it now. You know, I felt at the time that multiple sincere apologies were enough, based on the insignificant amount of damage involved. Now I think I should have offered her $10 to go inside Walmart and buy touch-up paint. Sheesh. I still can't get over it.
Shot Glass of the Day
This one is in honor of Jennie, for obvious reasons. When we were getting married M. told everyone who asked that we were honeymooning in Honduras. He did this #1. Because his friends had a terrible reputation for messing with newlyweds and #2. Because he can't resist bullshitting people. The fact of the matter is that we honeymooned in Williamsburg Virginia. But wouldn't you know it, my brother and SIL DID honeymoon in Honduras, five years later.

Their marriage story is kind of interesting. My brother proposed to SIL around Jan. or Feb. timeframe, but knew he was being shipped to Honduras for six months on a humanitarian posting. They decided to go ahead and quietly get hitched so they could get their situation squared away with the Army and work on getting posted together after Honduras. On April 10, 1999 they were married by mom's late boss, the circuit court judge. From our family it was just Mom and Dad and M. and I. A very small and lovely celebration. Eventually SIL was able to visit Bro in Honduras. They chose to honeymoon on Roatan.

It just cracks me up that M's bullshit line eventually came true for my brother.

Oh, the "official" wedding was on Memorial Day Weekend in 2000. That was also a lovely wedding and a great celebration. I never had so much fun dancing and after-partying.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
of bad parenting or indifferent supervision? You be the judge. Here is my child playing with empty (I think) kerosene canisters. Nice, huh? The goal with the little canisters was to put rocks in the top. Then she decided she needed to move dirt from the plant pot to the top of the large kerosene canisters. Her dirt-moving tool? A lighter. I'm pretty sure it was childproof. It struck me about halfway through the process what she was using and that it could be a potentially dangerous situation. Of all the hazards you are warned about when you have a baby/toddler, it's the ones you'd never dream of that will get ya. I swear it looks like she's trying to use the lighter to light the canister, but what she's really doing is using it to dump dirt.

UPDATE: I am an idiot and have suffered a brain fart in this post. These are all propane tanks. Apologies to Hank Hill.

Shot Glass of the Day
My brother was home from Germany in May for approximately three weeks. He had two things to do: attend some school for his job and find a house for his family to live in when they move home in August. He got me the shot glass somewhere along the line of his schooling. He also bought a house. In three weeks. A nice house. He did good.

Monday, June 19, 2006
Shot Glass of the Day
OBX stands for Outer BanX, as in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, our preferred beach vacation spot. It's about an eight to nine hour drive from here. The sign on this glass is modeled on the car stickers that often signify other countries, etc.

Here is the sticker on M's car. If you're country I won't have to tell you what it means. We actually sold these in the store till we ran out. Most people bought them with a conspiratorial smirk on their faces. We did have a couple of awkward "what does it stand for?" moments.

UPDATE: The answer you are looking for is Bumf*** Egypt, which most often refers to the middle of nowhere, or the boonies. There is more on it here.
More Pool pics
This was actually Daddy's method for adding hot water...

Here he's trying to lure her in with the fun buckets...

She's into it now...

She loved it when he would tilt her back. She kept saying "back! back!"

Sunday, June 18, 2006
Happy Father's Day!
We had a very lovely day. Daddy fixed everyone breakfast, our Sunday ritual. We did some vacuuming, played with Emma a little while and then she went to bed. We tidied the front porch and got the house in order. Around 2:00 p.m. Noni and Popi came over. We hung out in the back yard while Emma played with her sandbox and water table. Then Daddy got the pool ready. After a bit of coaxing Emma got in and joined the fun. It was great entertainment for all.

After pool time Emma played with her wagon in the house and then we moved to the front porch. Popi and Daddy pushed Emma in her swing. She was one spoiled tot. They finally lulled her into dreamland but when the ride stopped she woke up. I carted her up to bed for a short nap before supper.

Our Father's Day meal consisted of grilled filet mignon, mashed potatoes, cooked Vidalia onions, broccoli and cheese sauce and crescent rolls. For desert we had chocolate chip cookies, by Daddy's request. For gifts Popi received a gift certificate from the store and a picture and Daddy received his pizza stone and some cash to buy concrete.

After dinner we chilled out in the living room while Emma practiced jumping and played with her toys. Noni and Popi stayed long enough for bath and bedtime and then headed back over the mountains on their motorcycle. All in all it was a very nice day.
First pool day of the summer
This bathing suit came to us in some hand-me-downs. It's not something I would have ever bought but it is undeniably as cute as can be.

It took a while to coax Emma into the pool. I think it was a bit cold for her taste. Daddy went in a filled about three buckets worth with hot water and added it to the pool. After a while she finally decided she would step in.

We knew she'd have a good time...

That's my waterbaby!

And now for the film...

Look what Noni gave us!
I knew exactly what I wanted to go in the center of this grouping of hostas but I wasn't willing to fork over $30 for it. I had about decided that a pink flamingo would do. Then Noni brought us this today. I think it's pretty cool.

Another new book!
Noni and Popi got this one for her. It's chock full of magnets, one for every letter of the alphabet. She'll really enjoy this one.

Shot Glass of the Day
In honor of the first place team in baseball. M. has been a fan since his youth so he's definitely not a bandwagon hopper. In 2003 they won 43 games so there have been some pretty lean times for loyal fans. We once had tickets to see them play the Orioles in Baltimore but we missed the game due to a family medical emergency. We may still see them someday.