Sunday, August 26, 2007

In Miniature

StingRay, originally uploaded by TNEmily.

I played around with photographing some of the J-Man's cars a few weeks back (a fun little project), and finally got around to playing with the results. Unfortunately my light was not the best (I don't exactly have pro equipment), but changing it up in post created some noise that I actually liked. There's more in my flickr - I'm actually taking the whole lot (there's several more) and creating a collage on Snapfish for J-Man's room.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Taking Advantage of the Moment

Grass, Sky & A Slight Breeze IV, originally uploaded by TNEmily.

A little lazy bloggin' from Flickr again.

This afternoon Mr. T and I took the dog out for her, uh, business, and I noticed our own hardy and flourishing-despite-the-record-heat ornamental grass against the blue sky and clouds. After bringing Annie and the youngest in, I told A "watch the boys for second, I have to take some pictures".

Sometimes you just have to take advantage of the moment. I should have used a tripod on a few of the shots, but overall I was pretty pleased with my efforts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Photo Friday: Old

I've posted a version of this before, but when I saw this week's Photo Friday topic this came to mind:

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The future is plastics...

So, check the previous post, but after reading about polycarbonate and bottles/sippies I got increasing sick to my stomache. Unfortunately most of our bottles are polycarbonate, and Mr. T is about weaned off the bottle. We have about three Gerber ones (the color ones) that are OK. Luckily, the First Years Take N' Toss cups (checked for recycle code 5) are OK, and we use them the most, and we have several other types that are fine. I am awaiting an email from Gerber (we have several) and Nuby (we had two, now one). Sickening. But what can you do when the evil and all-powerful plastics industry invades? We'll get rid of the bad plastics but we can't undo the damage - if any (it's a study and who knows, but you take precautions when you can).

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Out-of-Control Parental Guilt

Oh, the guilt. A friend on my playgroup messageboard clued me in to toxic plastic, discussed here and here.

I'm off to toss some bottles and sippy cups now.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

You Wanna a Little Zing in your Zang Zang

This is now J-Man's favorite song.

Mr. T likes to dance to it too.


Friday, August 10, 2007

I'm trying to be more of a reader these days. I was a big reader growing up - and when I say big reader, I mean my mom would take me to the library every 2-3 weeks and I would leave with a stack - a stack - of books. I've forgotten a lot of books that I have read.

I take the J-Man to the library every couple of weeks - something I am hoping to change to weekly once story time kicks back up in September. Mr. T is getting a little more into reading at the ripe old age of one too, actually bringing me books from time to time and letting me read at least a page or two before he walks off. But J-Man is the reader - like me. Child heads to the library with an agenda, folks. A subject list, if you will, because we have to hit the juvenile section general to get the books he wants. This week the list included snakes, trains, and monster trucks. Two weeks ago it was reptiles and waterfalls.

Lately when I hit the library and try to look for a book for myself, I feel a little overwhelmed. I realized that I need to be more like the J-Man - I need an agenda. This week I realized that, despite my Spanish major with several Latin American/Spanish lit courses, I have never read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude (nor Love in the Time of Cholera, which my small-town library also has). So I got it and I am about to start it once I finish this post.

But after that, what? I remembered my AP English teacher giving us a list of books to read; I Googled and found Time's top 100 All-Time Novels. I think I have read the following, so I have a lot of list left to cover:

  • Animal Farm, George Orwell - read this sophomore year of high school. Can't really remember liking it. I am sure it's kicking around my folks' house somewhere.
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Judy Blume - I remember this being such a big deal and being underwhelmed when I finally got around the checking it out at the library.
  • Catch-22, Joseph Heller - I don't remember a lot about it, but I liked it...
  • The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger - I remember when we read this in high school senior year. A lot of people were bothered by it. I related to it at the time in a big way.
  • Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell - it's a romance novel. I'm a little surprised it's on the list. But I liked it. Way more detailed than the movie.
  • The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck - I had actually read East of Eden a few years before reading this in AP English. I like Steinbeck and Faulkner - if memory serves me right the writing was a bit more straightfoward.
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald - I was not impressed. Lots of folks love it though.
  • The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers - I read this when I was about 12 and I don't remember a lot about it. I remember I liked it - need to put this on the re-read list.
  • Lord of the Flies, William Golding - no comment
  • The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien - out of the three books, I would not say this is the best. There's a lot of "on the road" business that gets old. However, I guess you gotta start with the beginning, and they are good fantasy. I've read them several times. I'm a dork.
  • 1984, George Orwell - creepy.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five - I think I liked it, but don't remember it.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee - OK, so if Tucker had been a girl, he might have been a Harper. No joke. I love this book. I've read it many, many times and it's probably my all-time favorite.
  • Wide Sargasso Sea - the Jane Eyre prequal. It was good, but I think I liked Jane Eyre better.

Anyone got any recommended reading for me? I am going to attempt to plug through this list, and maybe blog about it here.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

To And From Dixieland

To And From Dixieland, originally uploaded by TNEmily.

Just got back yesterday from two nights in Chattanooga.

About twenty miles west of Chattanooga we remembered why we don't often go - we hit a NASTY traffic jam. When I say nasty, I mean hundreds of cars turning around, and a line going backwards down the interstate to backtrack to the median and go west again. It was awful. And the boys were restless.

Due to this delay we did not hit the Tennessee Aquarium that afternoon as we wanted. Instead, we checked into the hotel, met A's parents at the hotel (they were returning from Alabama and hitting Chattanooga at the same time by sheer coincidence), took the boys to the pool, and ate a restaurant called Fireside for dinner (food was alright, but restaurant was not kid-friendly). We also hit Walmart since we added an extra night onto our plans due to the delay, and therefore needed more stuff, like baby food.

The next morning we hit the Aquarium. A and I had not been in several years so it was a lot of fun; however, having been to the Georgia Aquarium last year, I think Georgia has Tennessee beat in this case. Everything, including the IMAX, is housed in one building at the GA, while at the TA there are three separate buildings - the 'River Journey', the 'Ocean Journey', and the IMAX. During a hot, humid Southern day, this definitely makes a difference.

We actually went through the original building - 'River Journey' - twice. The first time was to breeze through before A and Jackson went to the IMAX (which scared Jackson), so after that we had to go back through to catch what they missed. The boys had a great time. Jackson got to pet a snake, which he LOVED, and both boys really loved looking at the fish.

After all this, we were really worn out and Tucker was sorely due a nap, so we went back to the hotel for some downtime. That evening we hit the Incline Railway - not far from our hotel - which scared the pants off A and I but Jackson loved.

The next day we hit the Tennessee Valley Railway for their one hour trainride, the Missionary Ridge Local. Billed as a "bite-size" ride, we crossed over several bridges and went through a tunnel built in the 1850's using slave labor. Before the age of dynamite, the tunnel was apparently very dangerous to build. We actually rode in a Jim Crow car, which made for an interesting bit of Southern history. Aside from the historical stuff, Jackson really just loved riding the train. The train stopped at the East Chattanooga Depot, where we saw several other trains - including the one pictured - and saw a turntable literally turn our engine around.

After that, we headed home - exhausted (I won't get into the fact that both boys stayed up until 10pm both nights).

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