Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

I've loved Conor Oberst (from Bright Eyes) for a while. It's no secret. Michael knows about this and he's comfortable. He even told me about Conor Oberst's new "Super Group" called Monsters of Folk...yep, that's their real name. And I just can't help but listen to this song over and over and over.
"Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)" There's not really a video here, but you can hear the song and see the M.O.F. sitting on a bench with some ivy behind them. Michael understands that my love for Conor is just for his musical talents...nothing don't get any funny ideas and try to set me up on a date with Conor or anything! ; )Anyways, the song, I appreciate the 70's BeeGee's feel, and of course, the lyrics.

Noah likes the Talking Heads

This kid has some moves. I often try to teach him some of the Latin Dance steps that I pick up from Zumba. He ignores me though and does a lot of moshing, thrashing about, pointing, and some horse gallops.
I have to figure out a way to adjust the lighting... Any film maker tips?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Video Killed the Radio Star

Noah watches the television when he first wakes mommy a chance to pull herself together, brush teeth, caffeinate. I hear lots of kids get hung up on their favorite show or film, and have to watch it constantly. Well, lil' Noahy is totally obsessive. For a while, it was Milo and Otis every single day. And Milo and Otis sort of became members of our family...and I love that mischevious kitten and pug-nosed dog...and Otis' song, "Here Comes the Dog...Strong and Brave" is still sung by all members of the LeBlanc household. But the inebriated Dudley Moore narrating began to wear on my nerves. And I began to wonder how on earth the film makers got away with putting those animals in so many ridiculously dangerous situations- like throwing the cat off a cliff!
Now Noah is obsessed with Hamataro. Which, if you have deprived yourself, and you've never seen this animated gem of a show...well, let me fill you in (this is sarcasm). It's a Japanese Anime series about a group of hampsters who build their own clubhouse! Ooh! And they fool their humans by pretending that they hang out in their cages all day. The music is why Noah loves it..."It's Hamtaro time...Hamtaro time...little hampsters, big adventures, Hamtaro!" Imagine those lyrics set to a blaring techno tune. Oh Joy. Today, Noah is taking his toy hampster to show and tell...his toy hampster is named Hamtaro too, of course.
Here's hope: Noah loves finding out how things work. He loves The Magic School Bus books because they often go inside things (bodies, cars, sewage systems)...and I found a Magic School Bus dvd at the library in which Ms. Frizzle and the class go to Space...Noah is watching it now and letting me know that they are on another planet now...Pluto...and it's cold and dark there! Yep, he's only 3, but thanks to tv, he knows about Pluto...unfortunately, this episode of the MSB was made before Pluto was demoted to the status of non-planet! Ughh! How to explain that controversy to Noah? ; )

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Turning old junk into new funky stuff to wear on my ears

Thursday, while Noah was in the the big boy room at co-op (his nursery school...we can't call it a preschool, but it is), I sat at Panera Bread with a cup o' joe in hand and looked through coupons. I realized very quickly that I should carry scissors with me at all times if I want to get serious about 'couponing.' So I ran across the suburban strip mall parking lot to Michael's craft store to get me some of those much needed scissors. We really have a great/awful suburban set-up here: Target- with a Starbucks inside, near a Bed Bath and Beyond, near a PetSmart, near a Marshall's, near Michael's, near Panera, near Wegman's...I'm in heaven/hell. Conflicted about consumerism in general, and my own shopping addiction in particular. So, anyways, at Michael's I found a cute pair of scissors shaped like an elephant on clearance for 50 cents! And a cute plate for a dang penny. And then I wandered around by the beads...and I suddenly was so sucked in and inspired to make my own jewelry. Ha! Because I have so much time on my hands. And because I can really afford yet another hobby. Sigh. I purchased some earring 'findings' and wire/thread stuff. I also looked around at beads, held them in my hands, draped them over my wrists...and did NOT buy any! I realized that I have several broken necklaces, bracelets, hair bobbles, etc...just waiting for me to repair/recycle...and recycle I shall! I plan to de-bead a couple old necklaces and attach those beads to these earring findings...voila! New funky stuff for me! I can also make some gifts for my little nieces in Florida...or my sister, mom, aunt.
So we'll see how motivated I am with this project. I have completed one set of earrings so far...  And I have plans plans plans!
I googled something like "how to make jewelry with recycled stuff" and found a fantastic crafty blog. It's this cool Portland chicky named Lee, and she has many projects...but I really loved her ideas about making earrings out of old sweaters. Yippee! Just the kind of inspiration I was looking for. Some of my beloved sweaters have been attacked by the woolie woolie monster. But they can be transformed, re-made, made anew! We all can. Hooray! Here's a pic of my first pair of earrings:

This picture is indeed blurry- it's not your eyes!
These lil' leaves were on a big clunky broken necklace. I removed them and made them into some cute nature-inspired earrings. Oooh...ahhh... yay! ; )

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Couch and Misconceptions

I just finished reading this book for my book club. We are meeting tomorrow night to discuss it. I chose it as one of our selections because we had read "Lone Survivor" the previous month...and I was looking for something whimsical to balance "Lone Survivor's" heaviness.
I appreciated one major theme from "Couch"- inactivity in our we plant ourselves on the couch, usually in front of a tv, and we become apathetic, disengaged, passive. I like the urge of the book, the compulsion for movement. The premise: three slacker dudes in Portland have to move this big orange couch. They discover it has magical powers. Are they moving the couch, or is the couch moving them? It's a philosophical thing. Moving the couch becomes a spiritual journey for the slackers. They choose to believe in the have an active faith that they must follow. Quote I liked from the book:
"The getting lost isn't really getting lost, it's letting go of direction so that it will appear before us." It reminds me of the 'wisdom is the knowledge that we know nothing.' Almost a Zen surrender.
Also digging around online, I discovered that the author of "Couch," Benjamin Parzybok, is involved in some fun, experimental 'happenings' in the Portland area. Most intriguing to me is Gumball Poetry, which is a literary magazine- sort-of- except, little snipets of poetry are doled out through gumball machines all over Portland. That's cute. And there's which, I suppose, tracks your walking. There's also some political activism- Anyways, find out more about "Couch," Benjamin Parzybok and all the projects he juggles at

I also just finished reading "Misconceptions" by Naomi Wolf.  Not for the book club. Just for my ever-growing interest in having another baby. However, this book made me so angry at the medical establishment and their attitudes towards pregnant women, that I have had second thoughts. Wolf had me at "The Beauty Myth" with me reading this book, she's pretty much preaching to the choir. "Misconceptions" is her account of her 1st pregnancy, birth, and initiation into motherhood...there's a really horrific scene of her c-section, described in oh so much detail...I forced Michael to read it and he was disturbed...& he was tempted to bring it into his classes as an example of very vivid writing (he teaches college writing).  Also, she has interviews with other women about their experiences. I love the critical thinking involved here, and I love having my eyes opened, however, I felt very frustrated reading this. It makes me feel helpless in an overwhelming system. She does have a manifesto at the end of the book listing the changes she thinks would improve things...yet it seems like such a starry-eyed fantasy...and that is so sad.
Also sad...Michael and I have been trying to conceive for the past two months to no avail! How can we fail at making a baby?! Ugh! Planning a pregnancy is much more difficult than either of us knew. Noah was a surprise-baby...still not sure how it happened. Maybe immaculate conception? ; )

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baked Cinnamon Applesauce

Michael's Uncle Paul gave Susan (my Mother-in-law) a bag of apples just picked from his tree. Since they are completely organic- no pesticides- there were occassional bite marks, or nicks here and there on the apple surfaces. Not as cosmetically appealing as the apples we pick up at Wegman's. But I've really developed an appreciation for apples now that I've been living in upstate NY for a few years. Apples are adorable and awesome. And varied in taste, size, color, personality, and use.

I decided to make applesauce with Paul's apples. And I decided to maked BAKED applesauce.

The apples have been peeled and cored and sectioned....why did I only recently discover the apple corer/slicer...oh my of the best inventions...takes a humble apple and turns it into a gorgeous apple flower/sunburst...ready for one to pluck...juices squirting and all. Oh heavenly! And the apple peeler is pretty darn nifty too. Boy, do I digress. After the peeling, the so simple coring and slicing, I threw it all into a baking dish, sprinkled it with lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla. Into a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. During those 40 minutes, the house is filled with such an aroma of wholesomeness...and magically the house is transformed into a HOME!
You see, I've just recently become domesticated. So, I'm easily thrilled with the possibilities of making my own stuff...and feeding my husband and son delicious and nutritious yumminess.

Noah is a bit sick today...and nothing hits the spot...soothes the throat...adds balm to the applesauce. And lovingly homeade healing sauce...all the better. ; )

To the left here, is the finished product: Crustless Apple Pie!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Summer of Parks

Noah has grown in huge leaps and bounds over the summer. We have busily pursued adventure after adventure the past couple of months. Noah and Mommy. Us two. I have been in almost a state of urgency/panic about 'adventuring'....knowing that the temperate times in Syracuse quickly fly south for the winter...and spring...and part of the summer and fall. We just have this teeny lil' window of time to fling ourselves outdoors and breathe the unfrozen air, to feel the sun on our faces. Sigh...those days are pretty much ending this week I think. In another month, I will certainly be shoveling snow.

But oh those summer days....! Absolute Abundance! Bliss!

Noah and I took the 'parks of onondaga county' tour. Nothing better than a park for Noah to stretch his long legs, run, climb, hop...those things that are forbidden in our tiny home made for dwarves. Often we walked to the 'blue park' which is a couple of blocks away from our house. It's called the blue park by Noah because of a blue tunnel slide that dominates (he used to fear that slide- not now, he's a big boy). This photo is of Noah and his buddy Alanna preparing to blow bubbles at the blue park. There is also the 'brown park,' which is constructed of brown wooden castles, slides, nooks and crannies, hiding's the playground of a nearby elementary school. Then there's the Santaro, Marcellus, and Shove parks...which are all faves too. Santaro has cool bendy, climby things (I really can't describe them better than that!), a climbing wall, and trails. Marcellus has multiple awesome playgrounds, a creek, trails, and always lots of other kids for Noah to meet. Shove Park also has a creek, playgrounds, and is so close by and convenient. Oh yeah, we also love Gillie Lake Park. And recently we discovered Barry Park near the Westcott area. That has been our summer- the summer of PARKS.

And libraries. Fairmount library and their summer reading program. Maxwell Memorial and Monday morning storytime. The 'cool' library. Downtown library. Hazard Branch. Libraries and parks= free free free...and wonderful!

Now Autumn is upon us. Co-op started last week. Noah is thrilled to be in the big boy room with Ms. Lewis. He was a little naughty on the first day. He was caught splashing in the water fountain, soaked himself, and had to sit down and press paper towels to his wet shirt as punishment. Next week, he plans to bring Boom Boom to show & tell. He's a pre-schooler now. Where has the time flown? This was probably the last summer of Noah's babyish-ness.

I have put away the barely used bathing suits, sprinklers, and flip flops. The snow boots are waiting by the front door. I smell fireplaces, kindled, smoking. Leaves desert the trees. They stand naked and vulnerable.

Did you know that a shiver is the body's way of trying to warm itself?

Gray Sea

Gray Sea