Saturday, June 21, 2014

Of Words in Webs and Children Laughing

With summer solstice (less than a week after school was let out...just saying), I thought I would share the end of the year celebration my team and I (along with some amazing parents) organized to celebrate reading Charlotte's Web.   [Read:  People have demanded incessantly requested to see]

Laughing, happy, active kids is what joy looks like.  Seriously the nature of kids teach us so many valuable lessons. 
1. The willingness to laugh when you fall (during a 3 legged race) and then get back up.  
2. The desire to understand and commune with animals.  
3. Being willing to look silly (or like a pig...or run with an egg on a spoon) 
4. To find pure bliss in artistic expression and simply sitting still to allow someone else to paint. (and, in the bottom right, the correct way to do a duck face). 
5. Excitement in the unknown, trying new things, and patience. 
6. Cheering for others successes and encouraging in times of disappointment.  
7. ... I'm sure there's a life lesson with a pie throwing contest... right?  
8. Leap as high as you can, even if you feel you are falling.  
9. Explore the twists and turns of the world without fear! 
10.  Pig out once in awhile!  (See the teachers took this life lesson) 
...and a life lesson from me....  Never be too old or too serious to crawl through the 'mud' and dance about your triumphs. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Style

If you're going to be tacky, you need to own it!  And, hon, that's Baltimore for you!  This is one city that owns all of its gaudiness and kitschy imagery. 

Say hello to the 2014 Hon Fest
While I consider the Sheep Fest the start to my summer, this Fest really kicks off the roll of quirky merriments that permeate my summer  calendar.  
It must be noted that one is expected to speak in a thick 'Bawlmer' accent (think Long Island with a ever-so-slight Southern twang) and wear cats' eyed glasses.
I'll be perfecting my beehive do for next years' Hon. 

Counting Crows

...Meanwhile, in Fisher's Landing....
(**Taken in farm country))

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Buzz, Buzz

My absolute favourite Baltimore Festival  (Greek Fest is seriously the most delicious and entertaining festival in the Greater DC area-- that's a fact, not an opinion. )was this weekend....
and,sadly, we had to miss it. 

Pouting and taste buds crying, aside, we were able to hit up the Frederick Arts Fest in the last moments of the weekend.  
Two Reasons I love local festivals:
1. I love the smells of festival foods hovering above the soundwaves of  local schmocal bands. The deep fried stench is so thick, you can almost see it floating, like a thick fog.  
2. Fair lemonade.  
.... and there are some nifty artisans.  
(This was a jurried art fair, not a regular craft fair, so there were no toilet paper holders or "Mamma knows best" signs, which, to be honest, I always delight in looking through.) 
...oh, and I guess I should mention that Frederick is a  pretty funky place.  All these murals are around the bridge where the fair was.  

Aside from finishing up things for my classroom (Yes, we're still in school.  No, its not summer break...yet.  Yes, I realize how late this seems.), the rest of the time was spent with silver bells and cockle shells.  
Tomatoes and Basil and Kale.... oh boy!
Getting up close and personal with my greens and peppers and squash... and a lilly, just to stay classy.  
Onions and Forget-me-nots and beets... which I've decided to actually try this year.  
Herbs and peppers and pretties.  
The shelf sitters complete with super sweet berries.

With the festivals and bees buzzing, summer must be here... almost. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

You Can Come Too, Too, Too

As part of our urban hike this past weekend, we decided to venture into the National Zoo. 
I don't know if its the old architecture, the cultural hub buzzing, or the amount of money [I hear] gets raised as part of conservation efforts, but the DC zoo doesn't make me as sad as other zoos do.  

In fact, I love the Smithsonian zoo.  
Maybe its the vibrant, old-timey carousal...
...or the animals that roar...
{Lions and Bears; the Tigers were sleeping, OH MY!}
...or being silly with that guy...
{My badger faces make up for the lack of up close time with badgers while sloth bear wears my shades.   This selfie epitomizes the tragedy of selfies, and I love it.}
...or the opportunity to travel deep into Amazonia, just by opening a door...
{Monkeys hang out high in the canopy, near a cocoa tree}
....or maybe its the Lemurs...
{yeah, its probably the lemurs, though the turtles ring a close second.} could be the Ape who always has a new blankie...
{or the Orangutan taking the O-Line across our path, or the Mongolian Horse}
...but most likely its strolling around the 'globe' with the guy...

And now a trip down memory lane...

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Time & Tide Wait for No Man, but Time Always Stands Still for a Woman of Thirty

Ugh.   Seriously.  I've never cared about birthdays or getting older.  I just haven't.  But for some reason, leaving the 20's seems so bizarre.... so.... old.   I'm okay with aging (especially since I am pretty sure I won't look 30 until I hit 50), but the social expectations of 30 are just so.... bland and dull and .... ugh.

Complaining aside.....  I had an absolutely lovely day.  It was seriously idyllic~ sun-shade breezy like a Northern Michigan summer!
The guy found me the prettiest little vintage-looking creamer and nested measuring cups (did you know among my many obsessions is dishware?  Seiously, my cupboards will tell you, its getting out of hand!) .  We had an early lunch, indoor picnic (it was adorable, really), and went hiking.
Finding waterfalls and wild flowers on a Patapsco trail. 
Hiking ruined me.  (See what I did there?   Because there were ruins off the trail.... ruined me.... get it?)

To celebrate joining the ranks of 30-somethings, he rented a pavilion for a picnic.  (People who know me know picnics are my favourite thing... like ever)
My pretty doily dream catchers swaying in the breeze under the pavilion.
The wrapped sandwiches and berry basket plates.  
Personal salads, mason jar cups with paper straws. and rolled down brown paper bags before climbing on the tires in the playground.  
Smiles and bubbles on a perfectly sunny day. 

Yesterday was truly a gorgeous day (she says zipping on her sandals and grabbing the camera, heading out to meet another PERFECT day). 
I think in turning 30, it is forcing me to take a step back, so to speak.   Perhaps instead of looking at the 30 years that have passed, I look at the 10,957 days that have drifted by-- almost 11,000 days to make myself either a better person, a worse person, or a person that can make a difference in someone else's life.  Each day is another chance to move forward and keep breathing and seeing and feeling, or a chance to slip backwards, burying myself in all the things that have faded away. Nothing can ever be done to take those days back- to breathe more deeply, see more clearly, feel more passionately.  Only today can change tomorrow.  

10,957 days of wandering, and sitting while thinking of wandering, and arguing, and laughing, and....well.... and living!  I can't help but wonder if I've done those 10,957 days any justice. Have I earned my clear conscience?  Moving on to the next 10,000 days, I will live to explore and feel and have my own human experience.  I think I owe it to myself.  So, who's coming along? 

*The title is from Robert Frost's writings.