Thursday, June 24, 2010

On Popsicles and Swings

Noah has finally figured out how to SWING...all by himself...on a big boy swing.
Here he is swinging and enjoying a popsicle at the same time.
Oh Summertime!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Almost Farewell to Salt City

It's been a busy time for The LeBlanc's.
We are winding up our stay in Syracuse. We've been here for almost 3 years now. At this point in our relationship with a particular locale, we're finally acclimated, we've learned our way around, enjoy the familiar faces and places, have fond memories and friends, know what to expect of a place, know where the potholes are and how to avoid them. 
Now we are packing up and saying our goodbyes. It's a bit melancholic, but totally liberating.
In a way, a burden is lifted. No more investments need to be made. We are slowly working our way free.

Last Tuesday, I worked my final shift at the co-op...
all these adorable children, smiling and sticky,
seesaws and races, duck duck goose,
Noah's first experiences having friends and teachers.

Thursday night, Clark's Ale House with the book club...
beautiful, strong women who open their minds to each other and to the ideas in books they read.
Letting themselves grow...all on journeys...
bracing for inevitable changes to selves, children, life.
On Friday, Michael, Noah, and I visited some fave spots in the Westcott area.
Las Delicias' black beans, slow slow slow roasted chicken, salsa music making my heart sing. All three of us can't help but wiggle-dance in our chairs and hum along to the sounds of Spain and the Carribean.
We had a cup o' joe at Recess and peeked at the community garden across the street.

Saturday, another trip to the Farmer's Market...a few raindrops, bumping into Tara and Aaron...the smell of tomatoes and strawberries and peppers, fried dough rolled in sugar. I will miss the CNY farmers and cheesemakers that have been feeding us their wonderful labors of love. Truly divine lunch from Laos Village. Mmmm- Curry Puffs.

Saturday night, I laughed and laughed at (fellow blogger and fellow co-op mommy) Aubry's performance in the Scream Queens. Sexy, funny, silly! Came home that night and told Michael that I really really really want to get back into theater...earlier that day I had told him that I really really really want to get back into singing after listening to my beloved Pasty Cline...and I've been telling him often that I really really really want to go salsa dancing again. Life is too short, and OH HOW I CRAVE FUN!!
Sunday, we went to Patti's to celebrate Mark's 3rd birthday. So sweet, he could pick one kid to celebrate his birthday with pizza and orange frosted cupcakes, and he chose Noah. I got the extreme privelege of cuddling the newborn, Miles. Awww! So precious!
I've gotten a little more serious about packing this week. No more socializing. Wrapping up each individual dish and trinket is a pain in the tookus. Wouldn't you agree?
Almost farewell to Salt City. 13 days and nights remain.
All of the lovely lovely people I've met here alter me, become a piece of me that I will carry around like a phantom limb.
We are pushing our way out of the Syracuse cocoon-state, and who knows what strange creature will emerge once we reach our new digs in Takoma Park and begin this unknown phase of our lives.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Batter My Heart...and then WHAT?!!

I've been watching some thought-provoking films lately:

The Cove
Food Inc.
Dark Days
The Gleaners and I
The Road

I recommend these if you do, indeed, want your heart battered. When I say 'battered,' I'm referring to violent blows dealt to your vulnerable spots ...not 'battered and deep-fried'.

It's enough to lose faith in humanity.
Hard to be hopeful when there is so much grim and grime and cold-heartedness, ignorance and greed.
From my film list, you might think that I don't know how to have any fun. But don't worry about me. I have enough selfish pleasure in my life- time and laughter with Michael and Noah, delicious food and drink, zumba and salsa dancing, watching birds and flowers, music and art, and the sweet nectar of poetry.
But life, for me, isn't just about how to enjoy. Even though we are constantly given the imperative from all directions to ENJOY, ENJOY, ENJOY!

What do I do with this bombardment of sorrow, this frustration, the feeling that I'm one little person without power to change anything unjust?
I vote. I donate. I make educated choices about what I purchase and consume. I sign petitions. I am kind to people around me. I listen.
But I continue to feel a restlessness, a call to action, a strong desire to do more. I've always been uncomfortable on the sidelines. Do I just put my hands in my pockets? Do I just stare at the players and their passions? I abhor feeling useless.  

Do you ever feel this way? What do you DO when the gray sea's waves crash and thunder and beat you down? And I really mean what ACTIONS do you take when you are moved to act? Not prayer, not optimism, ACTION....
How do you channel that restless, frustrated energy?

Just now, John Donne's Batter My Heart came to mind:

 Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

So my question persists...once your heart has been battered, ravished, burned (by a God, or by whatever Unspeakable Truth speaks to you through great Literature, Film, Art)...
How do you live a life broken open? What do you DO?
Teach me. I'm learning as I go.

She's not sleezy! A DIY Bike Project Update.

A mentioned that I was embarking on yet another DIY project a few posts ago. I'm referring to the still unnamed bicyletta that I found all banged up with a floozy-looking day-glo orange paint job.
She just needed a little love and a makeover. I've been working my magic on the old gal, and I'm happy to report- there's progress!
Here's a before shot:
Well, it's actually AFTER I removed and repaired the funky back tire.
Yep, that's right, call on me for all your bicycle repair needs!
I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR!
So this shot is before the paint job:
She's a little bright. In fact, this picture doesn't accurately show how she glows and makes everyone stare and gawk. And when I'm riding a bike down the street, the last thing I need is for everyone to stare. My big booty already attracts enough attention. So I have been painting the old gal. I happened to have some wine colored spray paint in the tool shed. She has a layer of "Claret" and she is suddenly a bit more classy. Pictures to follow! 
I'll add a wicker basket for trips to the Farmer's Market in Takoma Park.  
I do wonder how I will get Noah from here to there with me. He weighs in around 40 lbs, which is the weight limit for those kid seats that attach to the back of the bike. Maybe I'll check into one of those trailers? Is that like becoming a rickshaw driver? Or maybe soon he'll be ready for a big boy bike?
My new, much more elegant transportation still needs a name. I'm considering these possibilities:

Gray Sea

Gray Sea