ka-thump, ka-thump, ka-thump…

That’s the sound of the holidays galloping up on me. Holy cow, time flies around here. We are in full-blown fall, and it’s already time for CRAFT FAIR again.

Sheesh. We’re avoided the obnoxious bra salesman so far, so that’s good, and I have a new crop of vendors setting up in the yard. Also, a food booth for the first time! We’ll see how that goes.

(side note: I just read a little of that post that I linked to above, and am wondering if I’m the only one who is slightly embarrassed to read stuff I wrote in the past. It’s how I imagine I’d feel if I were listening to a tape of myself rambling when I was twenty-two. Like, I’m sure I’d sound (and BE) sincere and all, but the passage of time would make me also sound somewhat ridiculous.)

I actually like craft fair, for all my grousing about the preparation for it. I’m just a poor organizer, so it’s stressful for me. I dread it when some of the vendors in my yard inevitably don’t make money; anxious little dark clouds grow over their booths and I feel compelled to smile brightly and hurry past. Also, I kind of hate talking on the phone and having the same conversations over and over with potential vendors. There’s that, too.

But! I enjoy walking around and shopping for presents and self-gifts and such. It’s fun to take the dogs out on leashes and let dog-lovers pet them and praise them. Friends pop over; we visit on the porch and compare our shopping loot. I bought some impulse purchase Italian lemon liqueur at the store today and I can’t wait to have a tangy afternoonish adult bev with a friend or two this weekend.

Cousins from Knoxville are coming in, which is always a blast for both grown-ups and kids. A good family/friend is having a party on Saturday night, too.

The galloping-horse part of it, though, is that this sort of heralds the beginning of the Holiday Season. Like, summer is officially over and The Holidays are here. After craft fair comes Ward’s birthday and then Halloween and then Brad’s birthday and Thanksgiving and my birthday and BAM IT’S CHRISTMAS. Which I am entirely unprepared for.

Totally unrelatedly, I had found Rainbow’s favorite binky in Brad’s room (apparently he dropped it during an upstairs wandering session) and stowed it in my jewelry armoire to, like, give Rainbow when he went to college or something. Inevitably, Rainbow found it yesterday. I tried to be all casual, but got really alarmed when Rainbow pulled it out and shouted, all gleeful, IT’S MY BINKY!! MY BINKY!!! MWAH-HA-HAAAA!!!

(aw, shit, here we go again…)

He popped it in his mouth and smacked it a couple of times, then yanked it out with a blecchhh and tossed it away.

(and yes, I stowed it away again for posterity.)


Little (fine, fine, BIG) Brad is in his first non-school play. He interned with the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival and is part of their show, The Comedy of Errors.

Yes, I’m incredibly proud. There’s my boy on the back left, wearing a black hat and white suspenders and playing guitar.

They (interns and professional actors both) have been working super hard the last few weeks. I’m talking about practices from 2-9, and from 7-midnight. With some morning work as well. The show itself is superb. The dancing, the stage, the music, the costumes, the acting, and, of course, and plot are fabulous. Brad is onstage the entire time playing guitar in the ensemble music group.

If you’re around, please come see a performance and support this group. We love that it comes to our hometown, and want them to feel the love so they keep bringing it back. Tickets to this under-the-tent show are way affordable, too. There are burgers, brats, and bevs for sale, and you are invited to bring your own wine or beer if you’d like to. People show up early for performances (like, maybe an hour, hour and a half) to reserve good seats and eat and visit on the lawn.

petition for cousin Henry

Please take a moment to click, read, and sign this petition that seeks justice regarding the death of our cousin, Henry. His family is hopeful that a large number of signatures on the petition will encourage investigators to continue to search for the truth and will shine light on the circumstances surrounding his violent, young death.

dirt and stuff

Oh my goodness, it’s a glorious day outside. I wish every day of summer could be like today: lush, green, balmy, unbuggy. It’s been raining cats and dogs (though we were spared the tornadoes that rocked a lot of the southeast) so there’s still some standing water in places, but it’s not too terrible.

Rainbow and I set off on our morning walk, said our hellos to the usual suspects downtown, checked the mail, and then headed to the park. Ahhh. The knockout roses around Ward’s statue are in full bloom. Gorgeousness.

After we’d been there a little while, a grandma and her little 3 year old granddaughter came to play. Rainbow was all excited, and the little girl definitely wanted to chat and to play with “that boy.” So sweet. They climbed the playstructure for awhile, and then headed for the swings.

Watch out for the water! Grandma fretted. Don’t get wet! She seemed pretty dang uptight about water puddles, but whatever. The little girl and Rainbow swung in the toddler swings for a long time and had a blast. Then they wanted to explore.

Watch out for the grass! It’s wet! Don’t get dirty!! Stay on the path!!!

Sheesh, Grandma was all bent out of shape. It was just bizarre. Rainbow wanted to run in the grass, and the little girl wanted to chase him, but her grandma successfully corralled her. Then they started off on the walking trail, and Grandma kept trying to call the little girl back. It was awkward; like, what’s my responsibility here? I’m sure not going to discourage Rainbow from walking on the trail, because that’s what we do. We walk on the walking trail. And I’m not going to fuss at somebody else’s kid to go back to their grandma, especially when she was being a very good girl and staying on the trail.

Grandma gave up on keeping her close to the playground, and very grumblingly let her throw some rocks into a puddle for awhile with Rainbow (while the little girl kept her feet safely on dry asphalt) before they went home.

I was trying to sort out the weirdness of that whole encounter, figuring that there must have been some special reason that the little girl had to stay pristine.

And then two more little girls came to the playground, and it was the same deal. One of the little girls fell on her knees in the moistly dirty mulch and – I KID YOU NOT – the mom said, Ugh, you’re all dirty, hold on while I get some diaper wipes, while the little girl stood stock-still with her palms out and an icked-out expression on her face. Then Mom came to the rescue and thoroughly cleaned the little girl’s knees with wet wipes. I felt like I was in the twilight zone.

It’s a playground, people. Kids play outside here. Dirt is okay.


Is it a little girl thing, I wonder? Is that how moms of some little girls are? It feels very… foreign, compared with all the boy stuff (read: earthworms, beetles, lizards, upturned-rocks-to-see-what-writhes-beneath) I’ve encountered during my mama-ing.


an update on cousin Henry’s case

Katie is fighting tirelessly for justice after Henry’s violent, horrible death. This blog post gives a great current summary of the main problems she has with the authorities’ investigation into her son’s death. It’s a tragic, excruciating situation in just every way, and I remain hopeful that those persons legally and morally responsible for Henry’s death are brought to justice.

hot stuff

Day-um, check out that hottie lead singer in Speakeasy!

That Daddy J LOOOVES to rock out. 🙂

spring break trip report #2

The big boys were going to go with my mother and me on an all-day Chattanooga trip, but then Brad got a chance to spend a long weekend at his very best friend’s house in Alabama, so off he went. He reports that they had a fabulous time hanging out, and they played and listened to some sort of heavy metal music (metal core? grind core? death metal?) all weekend. Fun! They’ve been working on band names and may have settled on “Open the Goat.” They also liked “Rosemary’s Baby,” but I told them that might be a copyright issue when they hit the big time.

SO, it was down to Rockinrolla and Grandma J and me. I encouraged him to invite one of his oldest and best friends, G, so he’d have a same-age friend along. A good call: G is super fun and energetic and positive to be around. A great mini-road trip friend.

Stop One: THE INCLINE. Whee! The incline! I hadn’t been on it in years and years, but it was actually very thrilling. Near the top of Lookout Mountain, it gets crazy steep, so you’re leaning forward and feel like surely the cables will snap and you’ll go plummeting down the mile-long track. We had some time constraints with the movie we wanted to see, so I picked up some deli sandwiches at a chi-chi deli and we ate them at the top of the incline, and then got some chocolates from a candy shop for dessert.

The weather prediction was pretty dicey (although it ended up being a gorgeous day) so we decided to save Ruby Falls for another day and moved on to:

Stop Two: The MOVIE. I took them to see Sucker Punch. Yeah… I did. And yes, I’d read some of the reviews first. But! In my defense, it was the only IMAX that wasn’t all nature-y that we could see, and I thought it was a different movie than it turned out to be. I thought it was a Tomb Raider sort of action flick, with a sexy babe who just happened to be wearing a revealing outfit, but mostly about great sci-fi effects and a cool soundtrack. In reality, it was more about a vehicle for the five starlets to prance around in stripper outfits and three sets of false eyelashes for the ENTIRE MOVIE. Groannnn… There weren’t any sex scenes, so that’s good (would have been a tad awkward with the boys) but it was plenty uncomfortable when the girls kept having their Very Serious discussions and robot/zombie/orc battles while wearing S & M lingerie and thigh-high stockings. I wanted to like the soundtrack, which was mostly young female singers doing classic rock covers, but the voices were just too saccharine for me to appreciate.

(I’m pretty sure the boys loved it.)

Anyway, we came home after that (and bookended the venture with Starbucks treats.) It was a very mini mini-trip, but it was lots of fun. In addition to feeling more back-to-nature in our getaways, I’m also feeling like appreciating more local sites of interest. There’s a lot of cool stuff in our neck of the woods.

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