Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Standing up on the trapeze bar -- you can swing on these standing up just like we used to on regular swings when we were kids
Sunday, November 6, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I had a great time in SF with about 13 of my old St. John's friends from my years there 1974-1978. I saw some of them nine years ago, but others I hadn't seen for as many as 27 years! We all stayed together at a really cute hotel right near Chinatown called Hotel des Artes. We all had painted rooms. Check mine out.
I hope to post some photos soon. I didn't take any, but others did and I'll share a few when I get them.
Now that I am home Jim is off to Moscow for almost a week. He leaves on Saturday and returns on Thursday.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Emma turned six last Friday, October 7. We had a luau theme party with twelve 5 and 6 year old girls. They did the limbo, ate cake and ice cream, opened presents and also learned to hula dance wearing costumes including grass skirts and leis. They all paid so much attention to the great video I bought and really enjoyed the dancing. It was great to watch. The adults looked on and sipped mimosas. All in all a very successful event. Here's a photo or two.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Today was her first ballet class of the year at the Athens School of Ballet, and she has moved up to a "real" ballet class -- Level IA. The last two years she has been in Pre-Ballet and now she is in Ballet Technique. She is thrilled to be in the big studio and to have Miss Erika again and now assistant teacher. When I peeked in at the end of class Miss Erika was doing the steps behind them as they all looked in the mirror and she was calling out the names of steps to them. It was neat and Emma was following along just fine.
Jim is still jet lagged, but by all accounts he had a marvelous time in Taiwan and learned a great deal and loved the country. He took tons of photos and I haven't even looked at all of yet. I wish he had had more notice so I could have gone with him for part of the time. I was happy to get my Jersey Shore time in though. A Summer doesn't seem complete without going to Stone Harbor. We did all the usual thigns: ate lots of homemade ice cream at Springers, played mini-golf, went to the water park and to the Boardwalk in Wildwood, and ate lobster and fresh local corn on the cob. I also painted pottery for the first time which I really enjoyed. We had good weather for almost all the days so we got to swim and to walk and play on the beach a lot. Emma and I also took a overnight jaunt up to see my Godson Gavin and his family in Princeton. He is 5 months older than Emma and his sister Morgan is 2 years older than that so the kids had a great time playing together and having a sleep over and Wendy and I got to catch up and look at her scrapbooks and scrapbooking stuff -- a new hobby of mine.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Well I am off to Stone Harbor, NJ tomorrow to join Emma who is already at Grandma's house there. I am looking forward to a week or so away, walking on the beach and catching up with Mom, Aunt Kate and Uncle Ron. I am taking Maggie (our Pug Dog) with me and we take a day and a half to drive up. We are going through Norfolk, across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and then up the DelMarVa peninsula and taking the ferry from Lewes, Delaware to Cape May, New Jersey. It's actually not Maggie's first ferry ride -- she took it with us last Summer -- not that she enjoyed it that much. She mostly sat on my lap because she didn't like the vibration of the ferry boat. I've included a photo above of Emma at the beach in Stone Harbor in the Summer of 2000. Hard to remember her when she was that small isn't it?
Monday, August 1, 2005
Here's an excerpt from Jim's latest e-mail -- I've also included a photo of the Longshan Temple from the Web.
Greetings from the far side of the world,
Fine weekend. Charles [one of the other fellows] and I spent most of Saturday at the
National Palace Museum, where all of China's art treasures
are on display (including the ones from the mainland, which,
ahem, found their way here from the Forbidden City here
along with the Nationalists). Really splendid.
On the way back, a few hours at the Shilin Night Market, a
quarter of town where merchants set up dumpy little shops,
carts with cheap Chinese food -- not sure there's any other
kind here -- and you jostle with zillions of other Taiwanese
to look at the merchandise. Much like the suq over in the
Middle East, except with beer and without prayer.
Yesterday, on my own, spent the afternoon at Longshan
Temple, the most amazing Buddhist shrine -- every inch of
the building is an artwork. Interesting difference here is
that the temples are actually in use -- incense sticks
everywhere -- whereas under the communists they're just
museums. Reportedly Taiwan is a very religious country, and
the Presbyterians seem to be the leading Christian
Then, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial for the changing of the
guard. It's in Taipei's central park, where a farmer's
market featuring really bad entertainment was underway.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Emma and I survived our Mother /Daughter weekend. It was hot and sunny on Saturday so we headed to the outdoor pool at UGA. It's a huge pool and has two shallow ends with lap lands across the middle where it is deeper. There's a covered area with picnic tables and plenty of shade too. We ran into several of Emma's school friends so she had people to play pretend with and I had adult conversation so it was a success and we ended up staying for over four hours and probably getting too much sun.
Today we went to see the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie starring Johnny Depp. Charlie was played by the same cute British boy who played opposite Depp in Finding Neverland and he was perfect. I went in expecting not to like it as much as the "original" Gene Wilder version entitled Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, but instead I enjoyed it very much -- probably more than Emma did -- though it was just fine for kids -- nothing more weird or odd than the other version. It's really impossible to compare the two as they are just different -- like oranges and apples. I haven't read the book so can't tell which was more true to the book. I do know that I and most of the audience couldn't stop laughing when we were introduced to Violet Beauregard and her mother from Atlanta, Georgia (about 70 miles away) -- they were just such perfectly drawn charactures.
After we headed home Emma helped me fold laundry and load the washing machine and dryer. It's such fun to watch her get a kick out of ho humm household chores that are just a bother for me -- it makes it fun again for me too.
She also took some photos with her camera and I'm including one of me talking on the phone. It could be just that I'm her mother, but I do think she has a good eye.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Your Linguistic Profile:
45% General American English
0% Upper Midwestern
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I also just read a really good New Yorker article "Lost Boys" by Anthony Lane from last Fall when the movie originally came out. It's longish, but gave just the amount of information I wanted to know how much of the movie was fact and how much was fiction and some background on Barrie. Don't read it before you see the movie -- it might spoil it!
Right now, Jim is enroute to Taiwan on a flight to Los Angeles. He arrives sometime tomorrow both here and in Taiwan -- they are 12 hours ahead which is easy to remember, but difficult for getting in touch with the person while he is awake.
I bought Emma a small present yesterday which was on sale at my favorite store in downtown Athens -- Helix. It is a colorful 12 by 18 inch or some cardboard chart which hangs on the wall and has nine dials that represent "Good Habits". After you have done one of them you turn the dial and there is a word of praise or congratulations on the back. You can also customize the "habits" using additional stickers that came with and to make it even more exciting for Emma there were even more stickers to decorate it with. I think she went to be early last night just so that she could turn the "Went to bed on time" dial earlier. I wonder how long this will work as a motivational factor. I know the sticker chore chart wasn't very effective so we will see. I have been telling her that she needs to be my even better about helping out for the next few weeks while Daddy's is away and that I need her as my helper.
Hope you are all having a great day.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Meanwhile Emma has two weeks of Summer Camp at Athens Montessori before she heads of to the Jersey Shore to stay with her Grandma for a couple of weeks before school starts again on August 22. I'm going to join her for 10 days right at the end which I am also looking forward to.
Hope you are all doing well -- I also wanted to recommend the movie "Sideways". Jim and I both really enjoyed it and laughed outloud and enjoyed our glasses of wine while they enjoyed theirs -- and no we weren't drinking Merlot, but we were drinking Chardonnay!
Friday, July 15, 2005
After the dinner we delivered our Japanese guests back to the hotel and then went back downtown to meet Toshi and Susan and the "younger" set at the Sheraton to do Karaoke. It was a blast to see and hear Toshi and Susan do the duet of the 70s Carpenters song "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you draw near...." complete with a dance in the interlude. I did get up with one of the groomsmen and his fiance who I had just met and sing "Go Greased Lightening". We were terrible, but had fun. We all packed it in and went home about one in the morning.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
I wanted to share some photos from our trip to California for Toshi and Susan's wedding. We headed out on Thursday the 7th and landed at John Wayne Airport in Orange County then drove up to San Pedro/Port of Los Angles to check into the wedding hotel -- The Marina Hotel. It was lovely and had a Mediterranean feel. The weather was just to terrific and it was wonderful to feel chilly and to be able to open up the window in the hotel and let FRESH air in. We had time Thursday afternoon to explore the area around the hotel and went out to the Pt. Fermin lighthouse which stands in a lovely city park overlooking the Pacific. Then it was off to a BBQ at Susan's sister and brother-in-law's house. They lived very nearby in San Pedro about a block from greenway on top of the cliffs by the ocean in a cute house which reminded us off lots of the places we see all the time on the show House Hunters on HGTV. All the guest who were in from out of town were invited and there must have been 50 or so people and lots of kids.
On Friday the guys went off to get the tuxs and afterwards Jim and I headed off to Long Beach which was right next to San Pedro and looked around the water front and explored a used books store which was billed as the second largest in California. We had a relaxing late lunch overlooking the harbor -- my favorite thing to do is sitting outside eating delicious food and drinking a glass of wine -- well if the weather is right and it was the same as the gorgeous weather we had atop the hill in Italy last year.
I'll write more later -- but have to go now -- enjoy the photos.
Here's the more modest view from our hotel window. We could see everyone coming and going and hear them too!
Hanging out after the wedding waiting to have photo's taken. (L to R: Susan's nephew the ring bearer, Jim, Drew and Christian)
Groomsmen hanging out before the wedding with the Father and Brother of the pride. (L to R: Jon, Susan's Dad, Susan's brother Dan, Christian and Jim)
Jim and I dressed for the wedding. It was an incredibly beautiful day with temps in the mid 70s, a breeze, no humidity and sunshine.
Toshi's family and friends. His parents are on the left and Toshi is in the middle standing next to his Uncle from Taiwan.