Archive for the ‘Alpharetta’ Category

Babyland

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Todd took Rollie to Monster Jam last night and when Tills heard they were going, she was a little upset. So, my sister and I decided we’d take the day and drive to Cleveland to take her to Babyland General. (We took Dash, too. You know. To see if he’s gay or not.)

Now, neither of us had been there since we were little girls, and admittedly, we were pretty excited. We had “Adoption Dolls” as little girls, before Xavier Roberts sold to Mattel and they renamed them Cabbage Patch Kids, and they were like magic. It is funny now to think how all the moms and daughters of the 80s drank the kool-aid on this one: These dolls are really nothing much to look at. Some of them are damn ugly. (Lisa, I’m looking at Tiffany!) But there was something completely magical about them. I can still remember getting my first one (a knock-off named Stephanie.)

1981_xmas

This is Lisa and Me, Christmas 1981. I am not sure if we got Stephanie and Samantha this Christmas, or if they just came downstairs with us on Christmas morning. (Yes, this was also the year we arrived in the future and got an Atari! And I got The Black Stallion Breyer horse. A magical Christmas, all in all.)

1982_janmybday

And here I am a month later, on my birthday, holding both of the girls before opening my gifts. Lisa and I played with these things So. Much.

And I can remember loving her, and wanting another! I remember going into the toy shop in downtown Alpharetta. (I forget what it was called – maybe the Indian Trading Post? It had an old cigar store Indian out front.) I would go in that shop, and look at all the “real” adoption dolls they had in there. I think part of the magic was that there were so many different colors and combinations of eye and hair color, and they had real baby clothes on, and they were given real first and middle names, just like real babies, and when you adopted one, you got a real birth certificate, with baby footprints and your name signed on it, and their birthdays and everything.

Magic.

So, in the end, i ended up with one knock-off, who was my first, and whom I loved just as much as the next two. Stephanie Lynn was later joined by Minerva and Betsy. (I think those were their names. Guess I need to check the birth certificates.) I suppose i remember Stephanie’s name because i named her myself. The other two came with laminated tags on their hands that had their names Sharpied on.) Minerva was a redhead, and Betsy (?) a raven-haired beauty.

Anyways, I digress, but the point of all this is to say that being a parent is hard and sometimes infuriating, sometimes scary, sometimes sad. But sometimes it is wonderful. Taking your child to do something you did as a child, or teaching them to fish, or seeing them touched by magic that you can still remember and feel? That is one of the most special parts of parenthood. Yesterday was one of those days.

Time Warp

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Tiller asked me whose hat this was, sitting on a shelf in my office.
tillerpeewee

And I said, “Here. I’ll show you.”

AnneBhamPeewees 001

That hat always makes me smile.

For Lisa, on Easter

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Because I still miss finding our baskets together.

dadlisame

Tucker Tree Lighting

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I took a few photos on Tuesday when we attended the Tucker tree lighting. Todd was working late, so the kids and I hit Matthews Cafeteria. It was great and if you haven’t had it, you should check it out. Old school southern cooking, kid-friendly, and very time-warpy. We know I love a good time warp.

Todd met us and ate the kids leftover dinners (Too much excitement! Christmas Trees! Other kids from School! Santa! Can’t eat anything, but will suck down a lemonade like nobody’s business!) and then we headed up main street, across the railroad tracks, and into the roped off section of downtown Tucker. Kids were running around willy nilly in the glow of Christmas lights. Shop owners were giving out hot chocolate and coffee and candy canes, and the Tucker Lodge (Masons, i guess?) had a tent and fires set up for roasting marshmallows. The Tucker tree was beautiful and lit in colored lights.

The kids roasted their marshmallows and went back to have smores made, and then we ate them across the street on the curb and people-watched. I ran into the new consignment furniture store run by the Tucker Arts Guild, Regroup Furniture. Pretty good selection. I came back out and the kids were running in circles, chasing each other and generally looking wild-eyed, while Todd was talking to our old East Atlanta neighbor, Howard, who is a cop and his beat is our new neighborhood. We see him at least every couple of months, which is nice.

We sat and looked at the tree lights, and then Tiller had a meltdown and we headed back for home, skipping the Santa they had set up in the frame shop. The kids didn’t even notice, thank goodness, as we would never have gotten home.

It was fun to see my friends and neighbors, and for the kids to know people walking down the street. I love that small-town community feel that we get here. The whole thing reminded me very much of the Christmas Tree they had in downtown Alpharetta when I was a little girl, all magical to my little eyes.

I just wish that Tucker had some carolers and maybe, just maybe, a bar. Or at least a liquor license. Or a glass of wine with my din din. It’s like the worst of both worlds – No Christmas Carols, no nativity scene, no menorah, and no booze. Bah humbug, Tucker, but i love ya, anyway.

Time Warp

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Things are so different now than they were when I was a kid, but then i am always surprised that some things stay the same.

Rollie: Indian name - Walks with Pumpkin

Rollie’s class went on a field trip to a farm. They did a hayride, and made corn husk dolls, and Rollie got off the bus wearing an Indian feather headband, and carrying a pumpkin. (Or Punk King, as he called them when he was little.) And, instant timewarp, it was like Alpharetta First United Methodist Kindergarten, 1978, all over again.

I am bummed I can’t find the picture of me in my indian headress and with paint on my face. I know I have it here somewhere. . . Mom?

I have to admit that I was surprised that they still do this. I would have thought that someone would have complained about how offensive it is for 6 year olds to dress up like Indians. Me? I remember that i just thought it was the most awesome thing ever. Hope Rollie felt it too.

I love a good time warp.

Where I’m From. Where I’ve Been. Where I’m At.

Saturday, March 7th, 2009

I’m a little drunk. Ish.

So, i have been thinking about my neighborhood a lot today. A friend from my old neighborhood is grappling with the whole educating-a-kid-in-intown-Atlanta-schools issue. She asked my opinion on a living in my old neighborhood (EAV) vs. living in my new neighborhood (Northlake Mall/Lavista/Briarlake) vs. living in the real OTP burbs (I grew up in Roswell/Alpharetta. She is considering E. Cobb.)

I thought scads about all the different things that go into choosing what is not just best for a kid’s education, but what is best for a family. And all of that discussion confirmed for me that we made the best decision for us.

Also? It helps when my awesome neighbors call me at 3pm on Friday to bring the kids over to play in the sunshine, swing, slide, throw pine cones, and climb fig trees, while we drink beer and wine and order Mediterranean takeout.

I miss my old neighborhood. I love my new neighborhood. I wish they could meet each other, because, damn, they would get along really well together.

For the Love of a Monkey Pie

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

So, Todd and I listen to a lot of music in the car, and after a while, the kids will pick out songs that they really like. Remember when you were a kid, and you had a “phonograph” (at least, that’s what my family called it) and you played things over and over? For me, it was this little red and white-striped box that held a record player inside. You could fold up the box and carry the thing around. It was in our playroom forever. Even before that, my parents had a record player. It was actually a record player and an Am/FM stereo in a HUGE cabinet. You raised the lid and the stereo was inside. Awesome. It was in the living room, and one of my earliest memories is listening to one of those K-Tel compilations that had Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” on it. Played it over and over and danced in the living room. Later, in the playroom, i would play some of my albums (Macho Duck and the Jungle Book. specifically), but more often than not, I would play my parents albums (and later 8-tracks). I really remember listening to The Every Brothers Greatest Hits, Buddy Holly,  and The Beach Boys a lot. On 8-track, Linda Rondstadt was a fave. Bay City Rollers. The Eagles’ Hotel California. Elvis, Elvis and more Elvis. My mom loved her some Elvis. She was even a fan club member back in the day. (Membership card here.)I remember hearing Suspicious Minds all the time! I remember the day Elvis died, too. I came inside – had been out playing, and mom was sitting in the den blaring Elvis’ Heartbreak Hotel, and sobbing with tissues in her hand. Yes, my first experience with death and grieving was Mom mourning Elvis.

Another vivid childhood memory was Saturday mornings. My dad would put on Otis Redding, or some Stax/Volt compilations and do housework. I can remember Dock of the Bay being on, and then the sound of the 60s vacuum coming on, and shrieking as I jumped up on the couch to avoid the vacuum getting me; Cecil did not watch out for toes. Other important childhood albums: Dylan’s self-titled “Bob Dylan” with my mom’s friends writing all over it: “Virgin” for my mother’s name, Virginia. A bunch of Beatles and Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, the aforementioned Stax stuff, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Hank Williams. Hank Williams, Jr. (also my first concert), a ton of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Sure, there was some crap: Abba, for instance. But mostly it was great stuff.

Where am I going with this? Well, i think back fondly on a lot of that stuff that I heard growing up. Especially now that my kids are inundated by media, and constantly singing some Barney shit, or wanting us to buy them Diego albums or whatever. So, we still try to listen to our stuff and hope the kids like it. And most of the time, they do have favorites emerge. Every few months or so, we will make them a playlist and now both kids have their own CD player in their rooms. They will play for hours and listen to music and sing in their rooms. I think this is awesome, because then I can also play somewhere else in the house without being bothered by the little pests.

So, Todd made them a cd a few days ago. Some of the stuff they like includes The Cure, Dr. Dog, The Ramones (Tiller knows most of the words to “Blitzkrieg Bop,” which is just funny), and their current absolute favorite is The New Pornographers’ “Letter from an Occupant.” Tiller makes up her own words and her version included a lyric that instead of the “Letter from an Occupant” line, sounds something like “For the love of a Monkey Pie,” which let’s face it, probably makes as much if not more sense.

You are probably asking yourself, “Does she really let her kids listen to a band with the word ‘pornographer’ in their name?” Why, yes. Yes, she does. Because kids never ask the meaning of words, they just like to say them. Rollie gets it right, and Tiller insists on calling them the New Photographers, which makes me laugh, and pisses Rollie off, which is always funny. We gang up on him and call things by the wrong names and he throws tantrums and we laugh at him.

We don’t get out much.

Tucker Day

Monday, May 19th, 2008

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Originally uploaded by Dogwood Girl.

So, it has been over a week since we attended the Tucker Day parade. Todd ran the 5k, and I took the kids to the pancake breakfast benefiting the Tucker High school. (We ate in the cafeteria, which was strange.)

Afterwards, we walked over to Main St. to view the parade. The thing that I loved most about the parade was how small-town it seemed; It reminded me so much of the Alpharetta parade i used to attend (and even participated in as a kid), back when Alpharetta was country and southern, down to the tractors in the parade.

Now, the funny thing about the tractors is that when they started coming towards us, I laughed out loud at the joy in seeing them. So old-school! So reminded me of childhood! But Todd? He was watching the parade in a different location with friends of ours, one of whom is Dutch. He didn’t get the tractor thing at all. And how can you possibly explain to outsiders why they are riding tractors in the parade? It’s just how it is done.

1978_AdamandGrahamDunstan_LisaPalmer_AlpharettaParade

And above, my favorite pictures of my cousins and sister, sitting on Main Street in Alpharetta, c. 1978, drinking cokes on the hood of mom’s wagon, waiting for me to appear in this bitching ensemble:

mom and mePruitt