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Hello, Atlantic. September 5, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Family, kidlet, photography.
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Good day today. Slept in, way in (like Michael and I having a silent contest of wills to see who will get up first while the two children entertain one another unsupervised in the next room – awesome), though the latter half of that was punctuated by various kid tending it was still nice and somewhat restful. We had a birthday party to attend for one of kidlet’s classmates so we went off to do that in the early afternoon and it went pretty well. We left around 3 pm and it was so nice outside that I proposed to Michael that we go on a little adventure – just get in the car and drive for a bit while (hopefully) Margaret got an afternoon nap rather than going home and trying in vain to get her to sleep while looking out the window at the pristine weather.

She did nap, thankfully, and we drove out to Bath where I showed kidlet Bath Iron Works. You can see a good deal of what is going on there from the road, we were able to look at a couple of ships in cross-section being worked on as well as all the cranes out over the water and a giant blue barge. He was very surprised at the size of it all, I guess one doesn’t really think about just how huge your normal everyday destroyer really is until you have to quantify its height including the dangly bit that’s below the water.

We drove over the bridge toward Woolwich, then turned down 127 toward Reid State Park. I haven’t been there since I was a kid, though we were close to there recently for Keith and Misty’s wedding in Georgetown. Beautiful drive down there. We got there around 4:30 which is perfect beach time for us, being combustible and all. The only bummer were there were A LOT of mosquitoes in any shady areas, which meant the bathhouse and the restrooms. Eugh.

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

We let the kids run around the beach and Mim decided throwing sand in the air was the best thing ever. She only ate a small amount and I pulled the stick out of my ass a little bit so it didn’t bother the hell out of me to see her getting so wet and sandy. They are at the beach, they’re supposed to be wet and sandy, I kept telling myself. Kidlet ended up getting himself drenched from the waist down. Oh well. At least I remembered their sandals. The nice thing about going to the beach is that there’s almost always a haze in the air which gets into your airway and cleans everything out – within minutes Mim’s nose was running like crazy and all of us were sneezing and sniffling, purging all the junk. It’s a nice perk along with the sand and the seaweed and stuff.

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

There was a little group of sand pipers dashing from the waves and then chasing them back out, searching the surf for food. They were really adorable and we were able to get pretty close to get a good look at them. There were also lots of tide pools to splash around in and some very cool driftwood structures people had built up on the beach. They looked like an ongoing community project, one of them was particularly large. The weather was sublime. I definitely, definitely have to bring Joy here the next time she comes to Maine. Spectacular. I tried to get some pictures of the waves splashing for her but wasn’t able to get too close with a daredevil toddler trying to swim to England.

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

I am so thankful that we live in a coastal state and that it’s easy enough to pick a road heading generally eastward and within an hour be looking at the Atlantic. I think we take it for granted a lot, so I try to prod us in that direction whenever I can. Just visiting for an hour or two always energizes me, the ocean is such a powerful thing, awe-inspiring and vast.

Not too many nice days like this left, the trees are already starting to turn so I know those days are numbered. Before we know it we’ll be ass-deep in snow again so we need to enjoy this while we can.

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

Reid State Park 09/05/2009

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07/29/2009 July 29, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in dyeing, kidlet, photography, spinning.
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More photos today. Forward momentum, slow but steady.

i make things merino seacell

i make things merino seacell

i make things merino seacell

i make things merino seacell

i make things merino seacell

i make things merino seacell

i make things BFL

i make things BFL

I am really loving this yarn, it was an experiment. It involves mixing up a crapton of dye and was very fiddly but I think the results are worth it.

i make things worsted

i make things worsted


Kidlet was particularly handsome today so I made him submit to an impromptu shoot before I took him to camp.

I love this outfit – Jenn got him that shirt and I think it’s hysterical.

Kidlet

Cheesy fake smile.

Kidlet

Kidlet

I’ve never really converted my pictures to black and white before – it’s much, MUCH more forgiving. Why haven’t I done this sooner?!

“Look up. No, higher. Don’t tilt your chin up, just look up with your eyes.”

Kidlet

Kidlet

To try to get him to smile I asked him what would make him happy and he said, “Strawberries!” so I said to him, “Think about strawberries!”

Kidlet

Kidlet

He is truly his mother’s son.


Kidlet

Kidlet

God, I love that kid. More than life itself.

The times, they are a-changin’. June 13, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, kidlet, photography.
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Last week the traveling carnival was in town, the kind assembled by drunk guys with screwdrivers and then crammed into a tiny parking lot. I’m always fascinated by them, the portability of such a huge and elaborate setup, the way they’re able to shoehorn everything into small and/or awkwardly-shaped spaces. There was a whole village of RVs parked out behind the carnival where we would see the carnies sitting out on their steps in the evenings before the show opened, entire families of them. I wonder what those children think of their nomadic existence?

I don’t trust the big rides, never go on em. The kids’ rides are kind of a joke, too, with safety restraints like pieces of rope loosely cinched around them. We put Michael and Katy on the motorcycle ride which just went round and round for three minutes – kidlet wasn’t too pleased to have some other strange kid seated right behind him. The strange kid looked perplexed, too. He spent most of the ride trying to look too cool to be riding it. Katy seemed mildly pleased at first, and by the end she was so psyched by the whole experience!

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Motorcycles

Neither of the kids were interested in the bounce house – I can’t imagine why.

Bounce house

Mim was a little out of it, suffering from a food coma after a long day playing.

Zoney Mim

Zoney Mim

Would I ever get on this? Not on your life.

1000 Nachts

Kidlet turned down the uppy-downy-spinny plane ride, which had charming machine guns mounted on the front and back for each child.

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Kidlet watching the Zipper.

1_DSC_0093

1_DSC_0096

The last time I ever rode this ride was when I was eleven and had just ingested a large sausage sandwich piled high with fried peppers and onions. I spent the entire ride home staring miserably out the window thinking, “Don’t throw up, don’t throw up,” to myself over and over again.

Zipper

1_DSC_0105

It was a momentous day – kidlet is finally tall enough to go on rides by himself.

A momentous occasion!

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Lamest. Slide. Ever. Not a single rider was able to make it to the bottom without having to push themselves with their hands. This sucker needed a liberal application of Pledge, stat.

Lamest. Slide. Ever.

Leonard thought lying down would make things go faster. Wrong.

Lamest. Slide. Ever.

Bumper cars

Bumper cars

Fishin

I would love to have a job finding and replacing all the burned out light bulbs on carnival rides.

I am so excited that Joy will be here in two weeks. I can’t believe that the last time we saw her, Mim looked like this:

Teh Bebeh gets into stuff.

And now she looks like this:

Mim, cute yet incredulous

The times, they are a-changin’.

Tha Zippah June 12, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, kidlet, photography.
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I don’t know why but I love taking pictures at carnivals and amusement parks. The tackier, the better. There’s something about having people all around you and the very unique cross-section of society they represent, about the lights and the machinery, the cords running across the ground. The fact that they can set up a facade of a dreamland in a tiny parking lot and then get people to walk round and round in continuous circuits to see everything. It’s seedy and fake and desperate, but at the same time we’re drawn to its twinkle and sparkle even though we know how fake it is.

Well anyway. I edited a bunch of photos from our visit but I need to add tags and captions in Flickr, and I need to write a intelligible entry about it all but it’s too late and I’m too tired so it’ll have to wait.

 

Zipper

 

Yarn and green stuff May 30, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, dyeing, food, kidlet.
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I pulled some photos off of my camera so here you go.

First, we did some major cleaning up last weekend and as a result I was able to do some dyeing again. It was nice to have my space back, things tend to migrate out to the extension and build up, mostly recycling stuff and kid clothes that need to be put into storage, things like that. Every few weeks we go through and clean everything out. Here’s my dyeing table, it’s nothing fancy but it does the job. I love my ghetto $4 GeeDub crock pots.

Dye table

I mentioned winding a huge skein for self-striping sock yarn. Here’s the setup, what I like to call The Definition of Torture. Ugh, SO not worth it, especially when I realized that after dyeing I need to rewind everything all over again so it’s in a usable size skein. And this is two skeins worth, so it needs to be split. Blarrgh.

Yeah, so not worth the effort.

I mentioned kidlet made clown barf, and I wasn’t kidding. I do have pictures of the yarn rinsed and dried and it’s not quite this saturated, I’ll post them when I’ve got them.

Kidlet's clown barf

The only other mildly exciting thing is that I read an entry by one of my favorites who was expressing her love for green smoothies. Being curious I read up on them and they really resonate with me, check out GreenSmoothieGirl.com for details.

Michael and I have already discussed multiple times the idea of moving to more of a whole foods diet and even more of a raw foods diet. Being diabetic he would benefit from it and being overweight it can only help me, and anything that is good for the kids is something I’m interested in. Having so little time and brainpower to get organized has been a challenge, however. I read the website and decided that I wanted to try this for myself – I figure if I can drink one green smoothie a day to start, just to get the hang of it, I can decide if I want to go further than that. I don’t have an industrial strength blender but the one I have works okay, I just have to add the initial greens little by little until it gets enough in there to keep things going.

Yesterday (Friday) I made my first smoothies – I went to the farm stand in the morning where I picked up an obscene amount of green thingies – spinach, red and green swiss chard, endive, parsley, lettuce (for salad), and then a good assortment of other things including bananas, apples, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, a coconut, two dozen eggs, cheese curd, dates, carrots, potatoes…I actually had to use a cart instead of a handbasket and even with overfilling a banana box and having a bag to carry in addition to that I only spent $50. It was only that high because of the more expensive items like the coconut and the cheese. I love our farm stand – our usual purchase is 3-4 bunches of organic bananas, a bag of apples, 1-2 dozen eggs, 1-2# baby carrots, tomatoes, an onion or two, lettuce, celery, and sometimes pears for under $20. I feel very lucky to live in an agricultural state.

Anyway. I brought my huge bounty home and decided to mix up something simple so I used spinach, green swiss chard, parsley, strawberries, banana, and a few dates for sweetness. It was really tasty and I felt very full afterward. Best of all I ate more spinach in that one smoothie than I’ve probably eaten all month. It’s amazing how a huge handful of greens becomes a very small and compact volume of smoothie. What a great way to get our fresh veggies! I hate salad dressing and I hate eating salad so this is perfect. I made a glass for Michael and asked him to try it – I think he tolerated it, so I’m going to keep making them and offering them to him.

When kidlet got home from school I asked him if he wanted me to make him a smoothie – I’ve made fruit smoothies for him before, usually from frozen fruit and yogurt. He loves them. So I made him one with lots of fresh strawberries, a banana, a couple of leaves of green swiss chard, a small handful of spinach and a couple of ice cubes. I tasted it and it had a very slight green flavor to it (kidlet doesn’t like “green stuff” in his food like herbs) so I added a small amount of maple syrup to it and he LOVED it. He drank the whole cup I gave to him and the rest that was in the blender. I didn’t tell him that he just had a serving of swiss chard and another of spinach. That’s my little secret. It was kind of a reddish-brown so to hide that fact I put it in a kid’s cup – we have about a million of them from when we go out to eat – and put a color-changing straw in the top that was blue and turned purple when cold. He couldn’t tell what color it was so he didn’t have the opportunity to be weirded out by it.

It really was quite easy, so I’m going to go ahead and keep doing this “one a day” method for a week, maybe two, then work my way up to doing more. I’m really glad to have found this because I was sprouting a few months ago and enjoyed doing that a lot, only I couldn’t figure out what to do with all those sprouts! I just have a cheapie jar with a screen top and it made more sprouts than I could choke down. Now I can use them in smoothies! Yay! To celebrate I dusted off my old jar and set it up with broccoli seeds tonight. Kidlet and I are doing it together as a project, I’m going to take pictures every day and then print them out so kidlet can make a little folder or something with them in it.

Here it is, sprouting, day 1:

Sprouting, Day 1

It might not look like much but trust me, within a week that jar will be filled to bursting. I did this with alfalfa seeds a few times and the volume of sprouts that came from 1-1/2 tablespoons of seed was incredible, the jar was packed tight.

Just trying to find ways in my everyday to get moving, to eat better, to make changes. Little by little.