Thursday, March 27, 2008

Au Revoir et Tot Ziens

Well, we're off to St. Martin - tomorrow, which can't come soon enough. Since Easter Sunday, Kate & I have been existing in some allergy-induced haze brought on by the blooming (figuratively and cursedly) trees, flowers, etc. On Sunday afternoon, I went from an alto to a tenor in a matter of hours. For the past three days, it's been like waking up with cotton in my head, and not being properly caffeinated for the rest of the day. Thankfully, everything in St. Martin has bloomed. If anyone needs to reach us, here's the website with the information: Thank you Leigh & Yanni for taking care of our house and Nikki while we're gone!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

Happy Easter everyone! Today has been wonderful - had to sing for two services, but managed to get some great photos. I didn't have to spend any money on a Easter dress this year either. My friend, Tandy & I love vintage clothes (circa 1960s) and she GAVE me a suit that once belonged to her mother, which I wore today. On top of that, the grand finale of the service was the entire choir and congregation singing Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus." Kate loves Easter and has been excited about the Easter Bunny and receiving an Easter basket. Last night, Chris was playing a game with her - "Kate, which animals live in the water?" Kate cried, "EASTER BUNNY!" Chris said "Which animal meows?" Again, Kate said "EASTER BUNNY!" She also got to wear her Easter dress today, which she didn't take off (without a fight) until bedtime.

I've been using the Easter Bunny all week to ensure good behavior on Kate's part - "don't cry - the Easter Bunny's watching" - or "Easter Bunny likes it when you share." Now that Easter's over, I don't know who to use now. It's too early for Santa Claus, and Uncle Sam just doesn't have that same appeal.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ahhhhh......So That's Why We Act Like We Do.....

Chris & I have gotten absolutely hooked on HBO's "John Adams" - everything is great about this miniseries - particularly Paul Giamatti who plays Mr. Adams. Being a fan of "Sideways", I keep expecting our 2nd President to yell "No !@#$%^& merlot!", but that thankfully never happens. I have noticed that the delegates of the Continental Congress have very distinct personalities that have carried over to present day (ie. the North & South thing). The Southerners (Jefferson, Rutledge, Lee) may as well be back in England - pretty elaborately dressed, heavy emphasis on being a "gentleman", and so formal it's almost funny. The Yanks are plain-spoken and no-nonsense. After witnessing the exchanges between the delegates (and spending time with my awesome Aunt Donna from Maine), I have to say, I've grown quite fond of the New Englanders. Not that I'm dissing the South, but NC is a different animal when it comes to the rest of the South. My mother (a U.S. History teacher) once told me that North Carolina was (and maybe still is) a "mountain of humility between two hills of pretension (Virginia and SC)." We don't have the big family names (Lee, Calhoun, etc.), and life was not like "Gone With the Wind", but more like "Cold Mountain." But back to "John Adams" being a North Carolinian, I'm disappointed that the "good gentleman delegate" from NC has not been given ANY spotlight, except for the few occasional words. The producers probably wanted to show men with pink brocade jackets and silk stockings rather than ones with tar on their heels. Today, that would make a great drag show.

Regardless of the differences, the series really brings out the patriotism in you. For me, that quality has been seriously lacking during the past eight years. Watching this, you feel a surge of pride at everything these guys went through to give us what we have now. It's not perfect, but everything's a work in progress....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Spring!

My favorite season is upon us - cue Vivaldi's Primavera Suite! Our garden has so many buds just waiting to burst. The lilac tree will be blossoming within the month, the daffodils are here, etc. Chris & I are putting the fire pit together for smores roasting. Reasons to love Spring:
1) Everything's becoming green - whether it's St. Patrick's Day, Earth Day, whatever. This includes the bread in our pantry.
2) My wild girl was born in the Spring smack dab in the middle of Cherry Blossom Week - she's our very own Cherry Blossom Princess.
3) Chris' birthday is May 8. OK, being a Winter baby, I'm a little jealous of these two.
4) I can use my Spring allergies as an excuse to blubber during sad movies.
5) DC is GORGEOUS during the Spring.
6) Dining al fresco.
7) Lent is over - not that I gave up anything anyway. I'm done reflecting - time to start living.
8) Easter - my favorite holiday - which gives us an excuse to eat chocolate Easter eggs, bunnies, hot cross buns, etc. Thankfully, there are no diabetics in our household - that would be a real drag.
I can't think of anything else, so feel free to add on to this list!

Monday, March 17, 2008

House of Consumption

Gosh - I feel like it's been such a long time since the last post. Lots happening in the past two weeks - all of us have been sick with a cold that's left us with a hacking cough. Kate was pitiful - her big brown eyes were like a veal calf's. Luckily that was the only rough spot. Kate's cousins Daphne and Iris and Aunt Allyson came to visit for a girl's weekend. Kate LOVES her cousins and followed them around all weekend. This past weekend, Kate & went to the Hillwood Museum in the city (home of Merriweather Post) to celebrate Russian Easter. We got to decorate our own "Faberge eggs", play games on the lawn and dance to Russian folk music! On Sunday, Mama got to play opera star with her choir and performed Rossini's "Le Petite Masse" as part of a program called "The Memoirs of Pilate," which commemorated Palm Sunday and profiled the infamous (yet human) Pontius Pilate. Our choir has done some pretty cool performances in the past (Bach's St. John's Passion, Mozart's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria), but I have to say, this was my least favorite - a bit too histrionic (but isn't most Italian opera?) Every piece except for one (which was mercifully soft), had thunderous piano accompaniment with even LOUDER voice participants. You leave with your nerves on edge. No wonder I fell asleep at 9:30 last night.

We've finally decided on a vacation spot - St. Martin FWI!!! We'll be there 3/28 - 4/4. Kate's staying with Grandmommy & Grandaddy in NC. I'm counting the days....:)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

All Clean!

Finally had my yearly mammogram yesterday and everything appears to be all clean - no black marks on the screen. I hate those appointments - the whole week is tense up until the time you get the results. Chris was a big help though - very reassuring. If you haven't had a mammogram yet, imagine wedging your breast between the tire of your car and the pavement, then having someone drive over it. Thanks to Jackie for taking care of Kate while I had my appointment. Jackie told me that while I was gone, Kate told her that "Mama has gone to the doctor to have her sick boobies checked out."

Cancer can do strange things to your life outlook - you may have had it completley erradicated from your body, but the memory of ever having it never goes away. It's always there in the back of your mind and makes even the smallest things seem precious. Today marks my 4th year being cancer-free - I had surgery on March 1, 2004. Next year, my five-year mark, there will be a big celebration - so mark your calendars!