Monday, September 29, 2008

Then one day he was shootin' at some food...


Cute right? Downright adorable. He's minding his own squirrel business on Calvert Avenue when suddenly he's being shot at by a man, who by his own account, never misses.

Now, ladies and gentleman, lest I offend your sensibilities in this bizarre little post, the last picture is NOT the actual man who has been shooting squirrels on Calvert Avenue near our little house. Oh, no. That would require me to walk up to a man with a loaded 22 and ask him if I could take his picture. It might go something like this...."Uh, excuse me sir, I was wondering if I could take your picture because what you are doing is so foreign to me I have to document this insanity for my friends and family up North, who until now at this moment, lived in what I considered a backward redneck state but, you sir have given me hope for my home state as I have never lived anywhere as a Hoosier where my next door neighbor sits on his front steps and shoots squirrels out of his tree?...so a picture with you and a dead squirrel is out of the question?...and you'd like me to 'git offa yer property'....sure...have a good day sir."

Oh, my dear readers, the craziness doesn't end there. No, that little story would be just your average whack job shooting squirrels out of his tree. After hearing gunshots many times a day for several days in a row and witnessing the man and his rifle wave to me and Anna while we took a walk through the neighborhood, then quickly after that hearing another shot I decided I would call the local law enforcement the next shot I heard and put a stop to this insanity once and for all. Lucky me, we got home from our walk and heard another shot. So I got out my trusty Clinton phonebook (about the size of a People's magazine)and looked up the number for the City Police Department. Upon dialing the number, it rang and rang. Friends, I couldn't believe I got their voice mail. Undeterred I dialed again and this time got a real live person...well, at least I think it was. This time there was an actual conversation that ensued that went something like this: "Uh, hi, um, I'm curious...is there a city ordinance against firing weapons within the city limits?" CPD: "Yes, ma'am there is." Me: "Well, I live at 503 Calvert..." CPD(who cut me off): "He has a permit to shoot squirrels." Me: "In the city limits, in a neighborhood where there are children outside playing?" CPD: "Yes, ma'am." Me: "Well, that's just crazy." Click. That's the sound of me hanging up in disgust and disbelief. I called a new acquaintance who lives next door to this person and who happens to have a 6 year old son. He's been here a year and suggested that I do nothing more because "I'm not from around here". Ugh. The only good news I can bring you is that there have been no more shootings for a couple of weeks. For now our squirrel friends on Calvert Avenue are safe...or are they...? So many dead squirrel pics so little time...
Then one day he was shootin' at some food...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Shame & Redemption

A couple of Saturdays ago we headed to Laurens, South Carolina to take in the local Farmers' Market and an extremely kid friendly park we love. So I grabbed the camera determined to capture some "Lauren-ness". The market was pretty quiet that Saturday so no pics from there. However, the local Humane Society was selling muffins so we bought a couple for the kids. Anna dove into her chocolate muffin and quickly made a mess of herself. When I told her we needed to wash her hands she burst into tears and raised her hands up. Instead of going for the wet wipes I grabbed my camera. Her chocolate muffin shame had to be captured!
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After cleaning the princess up and drying her tears we strolled around the square. We found an Italian Restaurant we'd like to try out, an adorable kids' store that had high-end kid's clothes and toys, a specialty fabric store (do you hear me squealing?), and Laurens County's shame.
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Of course, the shame we felt toward our own race kept us from actually going into this establishment. Click here to read the latest attempt to close this,umm,(cough,cough)"museum". We walked back to the car and I snapped this photo trying to redeem the square's quaintness. It really is a lovely little downtown square. This advertisement definitely contributes to the atmosphere.
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So we arrived at the local park we love. Little River Park in Laurens was part of a TLC show called "Town Haul" that only lasted two seasons I think. Part of the town makeover was this park. It has an amazing playground around for the kids. But the best part about the park is that it offers free, yes, you heard me folks, free miniature golf and shuffle board! In our family the redemption is now complete.
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Gavin and Anna love coming here and perfecting their putting skills. Mom and Dad love coming here because it's so kid friendly they can sit down on one of the many benches and take a break...for free.
Shame & RedemptionSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Summer's Last Swim

Gavin was invited to a "Farewell to Summer" party by Henry, a six year old son of a colleague of Patrick's. The whole family went as it was part pool party / part park party. Swimming and splashing took place at the Thornwell Home for Children. They have a great outdoor pool there that is available to faculty and family. Any hoo, we all went. Yes, even, I, Kelly, donned a swimsuit and sunscreen on the flesh that hasn't seen the light of day in, eegads, who knows how many years. It was either that or leave the parenting and potential life saving of my drowning children to perfect strangers. After all Patrick can't be in two places at once now can he?
It's a great pool that has a fantastic little wading pool for Anna. The girl swore she was swimming! She had enough flotation devices to raise the Titanic. Hmmm, so maybe I didn't need the swimsuit after all. Grrrrr.
So you can see the pool behind Gavin, Patrick and Ann is fairly large with a volley ball net. What you can't see is the deep section of the pool with a diving board. It was great motivation for Gavin to want to learn how to swim...one of these decades. Anna, on the other hand, was a flippin' mermaid who knew no fear. She insisted that we put goggles on her so she could go under water...which she promptly did.
So a good time was had by all.
We look forward to taking "ya'll" to the pool when you come visit.
Hint. Hint.





Summer's Last SwimSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Fashion week hits Clinton, South Carolina!

Just when you think fashion couldn't get any wackier, Patrick and Anna Mae took it to a whole 'nother level! Getting Anna ready for bed these days consists of chasing her around taking what clothes you can off her then getting her in her "peejammies" (as Anna calls them). Here, my dear family and friends is the result of that crazy routine. Watch out New York Fashion week! You've got nothin' on us!
Fashion week hits Clinton, South Carolina!SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Greenville Saturday Morning

Well, we decided to head to the big city of Greenville, South Carolina last weekend as both Patrick and I needed a healing dose of "city". Greenville surprised us. The first stop was Falls Park and it was a jaw-dropping experience. What pictures I have don't do it justice, thus the link to see the "real deal" pics. Gavin, our half mountain goat son, immediately started climbing the hills and rocks along the trails leading from the parking lot. So we finally convinced him to get on the trails with us. It's pretty woodsy (totally a Kelly word) and we're all very curious what we are going to see. I snapped this as we were going up a trail. For some reason, I love getting pics of the kids from behind. It's like I'm watching them walk into their future. Bittersweet, really.So we step out onto this grassy area of park after being in the woodland and I swear it's like we arrived in Fairyland or maybe what you'd imagine a park in Heaven to be. Picture perfect little pristine areas that almost didn't seem real. Reading this it seems as if I'm exaggerating but I'm speaking my truth here folks. I've never seen anything like it. Yet another reason to come visit us, a little preview of Heaven only 45 minutes from our little house.
And then there is this striking piece of architecture that links the city with the park. A modern curving suspension bridge hangs above the Reedy River and delivered us to Main Street.Once we found ourselves on Main Street we discovered that Greenville has a trolley system on Main that is free. And you know how we love free! So we hopped on the trolley, or train as Anna called it, and soon found ourselves at the Greenville Farmer's Market. Here's a little taste of that:
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I tried to take several pictures of the market to capture its essence but realized what was missing was the music that was playing. Of course, the video capabilities of my digital camera are limited but it gives you an idea. It was booth after booth of great produce, most of it organic and locally grown. In addition, several artisans had booths selling their wares too. It was a great market with a fabulous atmosphere.
Finally, our last discovery in Greenville were mice. Not the kind that Kevin keeps slaying in his house but mini bronze statues of the mouse from the book, Goodnight Moon. They are scattered in various places on Main Street and it's designed to be a little scavenger hunt for children of any age really. We just happened upon one this Saturday and here is Anna Mae having a little chat with one of the mice:We look forward to going back and exploring what else the city has to offer. Who knows what we'll find next.
Greenville Saturday MorningSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, September 1, 2008

Clicking My Heels...

Yesterday another wave hit; not from Faye or Gustav but from my heart. I found myself at a loss. Longing for the familiarity of my life in Indianapolis, the tears once again showed up. I wanted to be able to get in the car with Gavin and Anna and head to Irvington Friends for my weekly dose of fellowship with Friends and my Higher Power but instead watched as men in suits and women in dresses, all with Bibles in hand, walked into the Episcopal Church next door to our little house. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just longed for the known intimacy of my friends and family and the spirituality that brings me comfort and peace. These two little words, comfort and peace, can come in so many ways. Who knew (certainly not me) that coffee with friends, meals shared with family, and the mutual grumblings about everyday life with those close to me are the trappings of comfort and peace. As Dorothy would say,"If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard". Slowly we are creating a backyard here, fire ants and all. But each of us in our own little ways are clicking our heels and repeating the words, "There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home", longing for the familiarity of our previous lives eight and half hours north of here. But that was then and this is now. Now is Clinton, South Carolina. If working a 12 step program has taught me anything it is that present moment living is the key to serenity. Our true home is the present moment. Thankfully, no 'heel clicking' is required; just a deep cleansing breath and surrendering to what is.
Clicking My Heels...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend