Rainbows on My Feet

Dear Erin,

Your sister must be getting a little more sleep (or a lot more caffeine) than usual, because I’m full of ideas of things I want to do. Of course, there’s neither time nor much energy at the end of the day to do them, so the list is more aspirational than realistic. What else is new.

I have managed to move forward on a project that I had been putting off for a couple of years. But this blog gave me the impetus to actually do it.

rainbow sock

Her socks and the fact that this knit is both mindless and satisfying got me going. What’s not to love about rainbow knee socks?

Of course, they weren’t actually on my (long) list of projects planned for the rest of the year. I keep buying yarn but putting off making sweaters for Little Mister, and when I finally get to them, he will have outgrown the size I bought the yarn for.

It’s okay. He can have sweater vests.


CO Vacay, ch. 2

Dear Erin,

Happy Earth Day – belatedly – back! I loved your conversation with Munchkin, and I’m looking forward to something similar one of these days. Right now, Little Mister’s skills in that area are somewhat lacking. He does like to hold things out to us and say something that sounds like, “I got, got, got!” And we say, “Yes, you’ve got it!” back.

But that’s about it. Instead of talking, he’s currently much more into filling up the big box of baby Legos and then dumping them on himself. Today, he kept putting the blocks in and then tipping the box over into his lap, but there weren’t enough in there to spill out on him so he had to right the box, put more in, and try again.

So, let’s go back to Colorado. We had stayed in Vail, at a very nice hotel for a very decent price. We had almost the whole place to ourselves because it was almost the end of the skiing season: they were closing the slopes the following weekend (actually, that would be this past weekend), and they were looking a little ragged, so there were only a few diehards around. It was perfect for us, because we weren’t there to ski, and it was warm enough to walk around comfortably with no wait for anything and the hot tub to ourselves (after LM was in bed). It felt a little like going to Disney in January – perfect!

mtns of vail

On Tuesday, we drove about an hour further west to a trail that started next to the Colorado River and went up for a little over a mile to a place called Hanging Lake.

co river at hanging lake

Doesn’t this just look like THE WEST?

Here’s the river. See how flat it was? This is what I had originally anticipated the whole hike being like. Carrying a baby for a mile on this kind of terrain? No problem.

canyon at hanging lake

But this is where we ended up. We came up through that canyon. Amazing view, right? Wonderful! And better because Charles carried LM the vast majority of the way. I had him for a little bit, but not much. So almost right behind me as I took this picture was the lake, which had a waterfall.

testing the waterfall

Charles took the little one back down, too, and managed to do so without killing either one of them, for which he got a big kiss from me at the bottom because there were some pretty steep parts. I did, however, manage to relax enough to take the obligatory picture of a flower along the way.

flowers along the path

Cell phone picture, though, so not as good as I would have liked.

You can see from the pictures that it was warm enough for short sleeves and just a light hoodie for LM, but on Wednesday morning, the temperature dropped significantly, and the rumor of snow chased us back to Denver. We only stopped once on the way back, at a scenic overlook.

cold scenic overlook

A cold scenic overlook. What I most remember about it were the bullet holes in the informational sign. I guess someone pulled off for the scenery, wasn’t impressed enough, and emptied their shotgun into the sign in retaliation? Nice to know there are rednecks in every state.

The snow followed us to Denver.

spring snow

This was the view on Thursday morning. So, since we weren’t flying out until Saturday, and our friends left Thursday morning, we had a very quiet, restful couple of days for the remainder of our vacation. The snow eventually cleared up, we did visit a museum, and a fantastic restaurant or two (this last I mostly like because it makes me think about visiting you!).

And then we headed on home. A good time with a little bit of everything, and starting to learn how to vacation with the LM. If nothing else, we found out that it’s best to try to plan long drives for his nap times!

“Today is Saturday! ” – A Tribute to Earth Day

Dear Kristen,

I can’t wait to hear more about your trip – all my experiences in Colorado (all three of them) have been beautiful and memorable. (And at times, harrowing.  Heights.  Ugh.) But there are people made for the mountains and Colorado is for them.  I’m glad you got to spend some time there!  And that Little Mister got to eat some dumplings.  Did they come with a side of dumplings and dumplings?

So over here, its cool but not cold, breezy, and polleny – so I’m looking at a beautiful day through the windows, as its a challenge to breathe outside right now.  And it is pretty!!  And since its also Earth Day, I thought I’d interview the Munchkin on the subject, so that she could share her thoughts with you.

(Italics are me, bold words are her responses.  And anything she says that has an exclamation point was shouted.)

  • Do you know what day it is? Yes.  
  • What is today? Um…What are we doing tonight?
  • I don’t know. Do you know what today is? Saturday! Is it Saturday, Mommy?
  • Nope – its Wednesday. Do you know what else it is?….[lots of fast talking that was nonsense.  She was trying to get her brother to laugh]…Today is Earth Day. Do you know what Earth is? Yes.
  • What is Earth? A Google Earth! Google Earth – I played that on the Ipad. I looked for my house. And I saw it. It was on the Ipad!
  • Where do we live on Earth?  [whispers] Virginia
  • Where does Aunt Kiki live? Florida!
  • Are you sure? Yeah.
  • I thought she lived in California. She lives in California, Mom.
  • Where do Grams and Grandpa live? In Florida!
  • What color is Earth? Blue!
  • What is your favorite thing outside? A Playhouse!
  • What is your favorite animal? Reindeers.  [A surprise to me but said in a way that invoked the “duh!” of the middle school vernacular.  Luckily, she doesn’t know that word yet.]
  • What’s your favorite food? Strawberries. Can you eat them? [Because they are red and she knows she’s allergic to red dye.] Yes. But those strawberries are hard to eat. [pointing to the container on the counter]
  • Where is your favorite place to go on Earth? Mars!  What color is Mars? Red and pink! And there are two cakes. Two BIG cakes. What are the cakes for? One is for the Red Mars and one is for the Pink Mars.
  • Where are you when you see Earth? On Mars. On your rocket ship! Yeah! We see Earth on our rocket ship.
  • What’s your favorite thing to look at on Earth? Animals! In the zoo.  When you went to zoo, what animals did you see? A tiger. A flamingo. A monkey. A zebra. A lamb. A lamb is like a sheep. Its fluffy. Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb. Mary had a little lamb…[pauses, thinking]…its white as snow-o-o-w. [We didn’t actually see a lamb…]

Happy Earth Day from the Munchkin and me!

CO Vacay, ch. 1

Dear Erin,

Congratulations on foiling the inch worms! That is a significant accomplishment and deserves another cupcake.

Last week, as you know, I was away from my computer, my desk, my house, my state, and therefore wasn’t able to post. Charles, Little Mister and I went to meet some friends in Colorado and had a much-needed break. Actually, Charles went to Montreal first and left the two of us by ourselves for a few days. It took me almost the whole time to pack because of all the “help” I received.yarn helping

But I did get us packed, with great attention to detail so that nothing unnecessary was brought. (Except that on Friday I heard an interview with the author of Wolf Hall, which meant that I then absolutely had to bring that 600 page tome with me. Yep, didn’t read any of it. Totally unnecessary.)

This meant that I brought just enough food to placate the child for the two hour flight to Denver, plus a little extra. This also meant that the 40-minute delay while they returned to the gate to remove a passenger almost put a kink in my plans by depleting my resources unexpectedly. (Yes, I’ve become the parent who chain-feeds her one-year-old Cheerios to keep him happy.)

But we got there all right, met up with our friends, and took off for Colorado Springs. On the way, we stopped because I hadn’t had any coffee all day.

caffeine acquired

And neither had Little Mister. In Colorado Springs we found an unexpected Cracker Barrel!

more beans please

Where the child made up for the semi-scant rations on the plane by eating his weight in chicken, dumplings, and especially green beans.

He had so much energy the next day that he contemplated rock climbing at the Garden of the Gods.

rock climbing maybe

But when he heard that you couldn’t take your mommy up with you, he changed his mind. That evening, we picked up Charles and the next day headed west to Vail, where Little Mister really got into the spirit of the place.


And Charles started getting into practice for our next day’s adventures.

I’ll tell you about that (and the rest of the trip) on Friday. Have a fantastic week, sis!

Spring is HERE!

Dear Kristen,

Your spring is coming up roses!  (Excuse the cliche – you just took pretty rose pictures, so it seemed appropriate.)  And spring has finally shown up here, as well.

I mean, it came earlier like it was supposed to – you really can’t fudge the equinox, Virginia – but it stalled out temperature-wise until last week.  We were in our native Florida enjoying the 80 degree weather, and back here in the Old Dominion, they were enjoying a chipper 70 degree and sunny span.  (The sunny part has now ended, but it is April and I need peonies in May, so I’m okay with it.)


And polleny. Which isn’t a word.  But today it is.

To be fair (and more accurate) the pollen is appearing on trees, but isn’t mimicking the Dylan ballad “Blowin’ in the Wind” just yet, for which my head and respiratory tract are thankful.

But you know what isn’t here? At least not HERE here (as in our yard)?



Matt worked magic on the trees in the winter – wrapping them in inch worm defying saran wrap with brown goo that looks like a caramel colored ectoplasm.  And we have none of these suckers stormin’ the castle.

I’d say that’s worth celebrating with a cookie or five.  (I MIGHT be off the GF wagon.  And I MIGHT have gone a little crazy today.  How can you pass up raspberry pastries and elephant ears?  The answer: You CAN’T!  So live it up and eat a donut, too, while you’re at it…)IMG_0830