Archive for March, 2006

Movin’ on Up…to the East Side

My husband and I are moving out of our apartment into a house over in East Nashville. East Nashville is a growing neighborhood with some kinks to work out but overall it has a ton of character and potential. There is a lovely diversity of people over there and we won’t feel so out of place. I think we will all be glad to be around people that we have a little more in common with (i.e. young families who aren’t trust fund babies). We live in a part of town right now that is beautiful but losing a lot of character (i.e. a lot of trust fund babies moving in). Don’t get me wrong, I have some friends that are trust fund babies — it is just hard when you are rolling pennies to buy milk when the other “artists” in your neighborhood are buying $600,000 homes. And, with that said, being able to buy a $600,000 home brings with it a certain lack in edginess that my husband and I really thrive in. Long story short — we are ready for a change.

So, we are having to deconstruct the small cozy space that has been our home for the last year and half. It is amazing how much stuff you can accumulate in such a short span of time. We thought we had culled a lot of junk when we moved into this apartment, but somehow we have tripled the amount in just a year and a half. We have a lot to dig through. My main objective is getting my photos in order and out of the big army trunk they have lived in for the last five years. During my years as a photography student I actually took some ridiculously good shots of people I’ve met and places I used to live. They deserve better than being stuffed in a box. And my son’s artwork is shoved in folders and drawers — those deserve to be on the walls. I guess what I am realizing is that if stuff is worth keeping it is worth cherishing and putting to work. I am not so good at getting rid of things, but I don’t really do anything to justify them hanging around either. So, I am taking a leap and making great strides to make all aspects of my life functioning ones. It’ll be mad work but it is bound to feel good in the end.

Posted in Daily Living | No Comments »

Treating the Untreatable

This last week has been murder on me and my six year old son. He has been home all week with what I thought to be just a bad cold. By Wednesday evening, he was vomiting and had chills. Everyone but me and him escaped it. I was in the same boat by late Wednesday evening.

So what do you do when you and your kids are stricken with something that only time will work out? Well, your kids have the luxery of rest and plenty of relaxation to cure them quickly. There are also some clever tricks of the trade that ease their discomfort - my son thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time in his bed with a few favorite magazines and books.

And what about you? Well, you know, parents aren’t allowed to take sick leave. But, I was so lucky that my husband could take most of the day off and let me sleep it off. But that morning I was trying my best to keep up with the diapers and breakfasts and the other flu victim in the house. It is important to remember to use those same clever tricks for yourself as you would your kids. Keep yourself hydrated. Lay down as much as possible. Let the kids watch movies until their little hearts are content if it means you get to sleep for the duration of Finding Nemo. And, when possible, ask for help. Had my husband not been able to come home I was completely ready to make my best friend take my well child with him for the day so that my son and I could wallow in our ickies together.

Today we are better. We kept our fluids going and actually had some soup and crackers for dinner last night. Things are looking up. My son is back at school and I am still a little flu-ey but not at all as dismal as I was yesterday. Here’s to healthier times!

Posted in Daily Living, Cold and Flu Remedies | No Comments »

Urban Epicurean

Now that my son is in school and my daughter is almost two-years-old, I am finally able to renew my passion for food and cooking. Back in the day (i.e. college) I used to love cooking up large meals and inviting all my closest friends for an evening of wine and some of the best food (if I do say so myself) available in the Northwest Florida region. I would start cooking at noon and we would begin the revelry at 4pm. We would eat and drink until late into the night. It was a foodies dream come true.

Then lovely life happened and I have been so busy keeping up that the days of baking bread and making homemade pies have been hard to come by. But no more. Perhaps it is Spring. Perhaps it is just because I have been unable to do it for so long. I am not sure. What ever the reason, I am no longer able to keep my adoration of food exploration at bay. It all started a few days ago with rhubarb.

I am on a rhubarb quest — there has got to be more than just the iconoclastic rhubarb pie. And, whadda ya know, I have found more than just pie to create with this lovely vegetable. Not only have I found great ideas, I have also come across some neat info as to what exactly rhubarb is. So, enjoy my latest findings and feel free to share any rhubarb love that you may be feelin’.

Posted in Cooking, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

Lovely Six…….

Little boys go through quite a tumult of emotional and physical growth spurts between the ages of three and six. I can remember my angelic three year old son, practically overnight, becoming this very conflicted being. He was full of energy and testosterone that was, I think, responsible for a great amount of his aggression and belligerence.

Before the age of three he was gentle and kind and soft spoken. He would sit with adults for whole evenings talking about his toys and drawing pictures in a relaxed and calm manner. I would have never imagined that the ages of three, four and five would be so full of confusion and constant disciplinary action from myself and my husband. I have friends with sons that are a couple of years younger than my son and they would look at him and say “Oh, my son will never go through anything like that”. In the back of my mind I was thinking “oooh you just wait” — but I always thought that maybe it was just something my son was going through. Not to sound too smug but, thankfully, it wasn’t just my son. They too are now experiencing the three-to-five year old crazies. I am not happy that they are, just relieved to see a pattern.

The light at the end of this tunnel is that upon my son’s sixth birthday, something miraculous happened. He is in control of the things his body should and shouldn’t be doing. He can, again, sit with friends and talk instead of just using physical means to communicate. He will sit and draw and read and listen and tell stories. When I talk to him he genuinely listens and responds. So for all you out there who might be going through that crazy age with your son, just be patient. Six is heaven!!

Posted in Behavior Issues, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

Ode to the Ladies

Little known fact about me: I don’t really have a lot of girlfriends. I have five very close girlfriends and don’t really envision that I will be adding to that number any time soon. However, I have a slew of guy friends whom are dear to me - several of which are gay, so it is a lovely combination of masculine and feminine attibutes. But for some reason I have just never gotten on with women all that well. I don’t small talk well and I tend to be a bit too “thinky” and, according to my husband, too confident for most women. It is not something I am comfortable with - in fact, it is something I consider a weakness of mine. I wish I could tone it down a bit and just be “one of the girls” but it is just not something that is ever going to happen.

So, this little oddity in my life has lead me to think about those girls who are closest to me. One of my closest friends, Jennifer, came to see me last week with her husband Peter. So much time has passed since we had last seen one another and so many things have happened in both of our lives. We are both married now and I have an extra kid than I did upon our last visit. But that very striking something happened - that thing that happens when relationships have transcended the “friend” level and have moved toward the “family” level. We still cared for one another the way we had over ten years ago. We still felt that reverence for one another that will, undoubtedly, last for the rest of our lives. Through all the changes and all the time that has passed, we still understood one another. It is remarkable what it does to the soul when you find a bond like that. In a world when everything is so expendable and temporary, finding that permanence and sincerity is lovely. So, yeah, when it comes down to it, I don’t make a lot of girlfriends. I don’t know if I will ever understand the reasoning behind it, but, I am starting to realize that it might very well be because the ones I have already fill quite a sizable space in my life. I like that.

Posted in Lifestyles, Daily Living | No Comments »

Me Time? Really?

Phew. Today is the last day of my son’s spring break. I know I have mentioned it with great frequency and fervor this week — my apologies if you are tired of hearing about it. In agreement, I am tired of hearing about it. After five days of being in the world of my six-year-old, I am burned out. I need a break. I don’t know if I have ever felt this worn out. I need a spring break of my own.

So, I am making plans. All the good parenting magazines tell you to take “me” time. Hmm. So I brought it up with some other mother friends of mine. What do they do upon this fairytale sounding “me” time? It was a foreign concept to me and I needed some guidance.

Mentions of salon visits and luncheons with girlfriends were the forerunners. Not my style, really. Shopping. Nope. Getting my nails done. Most certainly not. I’m thinking more along the lines of a trip to New York. Of course, that is completely out of the question. The days of whisking away to Manhattan or Brooklyn are long gone, at least for the next few years. My search for this strange land of “me time” is going to be harder than I thought. I am out of practice.

Last night, my husband noticed that 2006 Spring Break had taken its toll on me. I told him about the “me time” theory and he agreed that it was something we should make happen — even if just for an afternoon. I said I just didn’t know how — I felt like a “me time” retard. He suggested that I head out to Bongo Java, our next door coffee house, to sit and relax and then to go from there. I knew I would just end up working (writing) instead of being a self indulgent lush and reveling in an afternoon of no responsibilities. Even though it is what I love to do more than anything, I think an afternoon spent writing defeats the purpose. But maybe not. Maybe being able to indulge in that for an entire uninterrupted day (a whole day!) is my heaven. That makes me such a geek. I came to accept my holy geek-titude years ago, but this is taking it to a whole other level.

Does this mean I don’t know how to have fun or does this mean that I am so in tuned to my inner core that I am an enlightened person? My mom would say that I don’t know how to have fun. My ego would say the latter of the two. I would say neither, just because I am that non-committal. Maybe I’ll just call it a day and take a nap. Ooooooo. A nap. I hadn’t thought of that yet. I’ll have to get back with you about the outcome of this and I promise not to be so cerebrally conflicted about it. Here’s to next time.

Posted in Mental Health | 1 Comment »

Shake Yer Money Maker - Just Don’t Take it to the Bank

So, pardon me while I rant for a moment or two. I have to say that, as two struggling artists who don’t come by money very easily, my husband and I don’t appreciate it being taken from us for something that we didn’t buy or consume. For some reason a certain bank, a bank that claims to be the bank of our country (hint hint), seems to think that our money (and, quite seemingly, the money of everyone else we know that banks with them) is theirs for the taking and/or juggling. I don’t know anyone, maybe except my neighbor who is the granddaughter of Hank Williams, who doesn’t work their tail off for the money they put in the bank. So, my confusion lies in the fact that all these people seem to be fighting tooth and nail to keep it from being bamboozled from them in the form of “late fees” and overdraft fees that were induced because said bank decided that the would hold a deposit for 10 (10!!) business days. They come up with “new policies” all the time - the newest one is this hold that they put on any deposit you make. The funny (hilarious!) thing is that for some reason the money from the deposit won’t be credited to your account for the ten days but it still manages to be taken from the account which the check was written from. Example: My mom wrote me a very sweet and surprising card with a check in it. I deposited the check and, as expected, they put a hold on it. However, the money was gone from my mom’s account the next day. I couldn’t get them to credit it to my account for several days afterward. So, where does the money live during those six or seven days? It couldn’t be gaining interest for this institution that promised to treat me like an individual and protect my financial well being, now could it? Humph. At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist - I feel like there is something fishy about most of their policies.

So, I am off to join a credit union. At the advice of my aunt (who has worked for them for the last twenty years) I think I can find what I am looking for there. They are very co-op-centric and don’t have surprise fees to make the company money. I am just learning about this whole money managment thing, so hit me with whatever adivice you may have to give.

Posted in Finance | 1 Comment »

All Articles on FamilyResource.com Are Printer Friendly

Did you know that all articles on FamilyResource.com are printer friendly? Using web standards and a technology called Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), anyone can print an article, and it will automatically convert it to a printer friendly format. We encourage you to print out articles and give them to your friends and colleagues.

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What Are Our Visitors Using to Surf the Internet?

Here are some recent statistics on what visitors are using to surf FamilyResource.com

Browser Versions

Internet Explorer 81%
Firefox 13%
Safari 4%
Other 2%

Platform Versions

Windows 93%
Macintosh 7%

Screen Resolutions

1024×768 55%
800×600 18%
1280×1024 10%
Other 17%

Connection Speed

Cable/DSL 68%
Corporate 16%
Dialup 12%
Unknown 4%

As you can see, there’s still a lot of visitors that use a dialup connection, and have a resolution of 800×600. Fortunately, FamilyResource.com is super fast over dialup, and looks perfect on a low resolution screen.

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Stealing the Moments

Spring break has proven to be both exhausting and hilarious for us Donovans. My husband and I are rediscovering our children and realizing that the more love we give them, the more love we feel for one another. Strange how that happens. My son woke up with bad dreams last night and instead of having to rush him back to bed, we stayed up until the late late hours of the night (for us, that means 11pm) and talked about everything under the sun. After my husband tucked him into bed, we looked at each other and felt that intense sensation toward each other that I think you can only feel when you are married with kids. Sure, when I see young couples my age, without kids, sitting for hours drinking wine and soaking each others company up without even a slight distraction I occasionally feel a twinge of jealousy and (if they are particularly beautiful and well put together) occasional loathing. But, when moments like this arrive — moments when the thing you find sexiest about your husband is when he engages in a meaningful conversation with your son after a nightmare about Transformers — you wouldn’t trade it for any seemingly hallow lunch with hours spent gazing into each others eyes. Those gazes are usually about trying to figure out some one’s real deal anyway, right? I know my husband’s deal. I know it front to back — and he knows my deal. I like that I can look at him and enjoy all that we are and all that we have become, together.

Posted in Daily Living, Holidays | No Comments »

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