Archive for November, 2009

it’s a day hike

Last weekend we took advantage in the break in the rainshowers and headed to West Point on the Eno for a little bit of urban hiking.  We love hiking in the fall/winter because you can actually see things–the nests high up in the tree or the river stretching out below you.

As any hiker knows, it’s important to bring all of the critical gear with you.  Accordingly, the kids each carefully packed their backpack with the essentials:  water, snacks, books, baby dolls, play food…

The kids actually walked a lot of the trail this time and enjoyed throwing sticks in the Eno as well as seeing the hawks, blue heron, and even the earthworm.  After years of taking the kids on hikes, it’s gratifying when everyone leaves the woods happy and having wanted to stay even longer.   This time, even the littlest one among us also left happy:

What a relief.


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i spy with my a little eye a hawk in the sky

Our latest reading craze over here is birds.  Parrots, parakeets, ostriches, and well, most anything winged and feathered.  Little w. desperately wants a bird for Christmas, but as we live in a 900 square foot home with a gas stove, that poor bird wouldn’t survive a week before it became the proverbial canary in a coal mine.

Most recently, this book by MeghanMcCarthy has been our favorite:

This very cute (and mercifully short) book is based on the story of a red-tailed hawk that took up residence near Central Park and all of the people who gathered to watch him.  Even little w. seems puzzled by the humans’ behavior.  “Why are they all standing around all night for that hawk?” he asks.  Good question from a kid who could spot hawks in the sky all day long where we live.

Apparently, PBS also found this story captivating as a documentary on it has been made on it.  Some rainy day, we’ll have to watch it, provided little w’s bird fascination last that long.

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yes, i think i might have a question

From this month’s calendar at the Durham YMCA:

What’s the most puzzling thing about this?  That we need to be told that water classes meet in the pool?  Or, that we want to make sure that classes are held only in “respectable” places?  Nothing but the utmost in propriety at the downtown YMCA.

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running down a dream

Last week we took the kids on the half mile exercise loop near the Duke Cross Country Trail.  We get to stroll in the woods, and the kids love attempting to do push ups on the low bars and hang from the chin up bars.

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My favorite part of the trail is the welcome sign with this ultra modern family on it:


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We’re going to keep at and maybe someday, we’ll look like these guys.  Here’s fingers crossed….

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feeling all ostalgic

Listening to the BBC’s Newshour this morning, I got a heavy 20 minute dose of the Berlin Wall.  Sandwiched in between the remembering/reflecting on the wall and an analysis of the fall of communism was a brief report on people’s nostalgia for all things East German.  Apparently this nostalgia, more properly known as Ostalgie, is a hot topic to discuss.  Much like people of my generation reminisce about the introduction of New Coke, jelly shoes, and shows on Nickelodeon, many people who grew up in East Germany have fond/not so fond memories of products they grew up, cars that they drove, etc and extends even to new boutique hotels featuring “charming” Soviet design.

The 2002 movie “Good Bye, Lenin!” takes this to the extreme when a son recreates the world of East Germany for his mother who had fallen into a coma right before the fall of the GDR and whose doctors don’t think that she could stand the shock of a new world order.  Jokes about pickles and Trabants abound much like the memories of the Berliners interviewed in the BBC piece.

20 years later and the memories of mustard haven’t quite faded.

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and a happy late halloween to you!

We waited and waited and finally Omi came to visit and, most importantly, to help us carve our pumpkin.

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While the texture of pumpkin guts has always turned me off, apparently my offspring find the smell repugnant. Who knew?

As further proof that I am a grown up, I very much enjoyed our bumper crop of pumpkin seeds.  We stole our friends’ method of roasting the seeds and appreciated their salty crunch (the seeds, not our friends though their sense of humor could be described as salty…)

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