Showing posts from 2006

It's Christmas time in the city

Griffin at the Henry Ford Museum last week.
The presents are wrapped, the clothes are washed and packed, the cookies are baked, the Christmas parties are attended, the Christmas tree is starting to drop its needles... we are finally ready for Christmas!!!! The last few weeks since Thanksgiving have been NUTS - to those of you who have e-mails in my inbox, I promise before 07 I will reply!!! This Christmas more than those in the past, I have felt the push that I am sure most Mamas are familiar with. I feel the need and strain to be "Super Mama" all year long but especially during this time of year. I want Griffin to have so many warm memories of holiday traditions but maybe I have picked too many traditions to commit to. I was discussing this feeling with the grocery clerk at the mega-market at 12 am after I got out of work last week and was just getting the time to buy some groceries. She made a worthy point-- she bets that Super Woman wouldn't feel so super if she had a…
The Dawgies are coming, the Dawgies are coming!

Sleigh bells ring, are ya' listening?

Yea, time to bring a huge, fragrant, messy, beautiful tree in the house. Having a live tree is my FAVORITE thing about the Christmas season. If I could, I would have a St. Pats tree decorated with Guiness cans and pint glasses and boughs of shamrocks, a 4th of July tree covered in many colored ribbons and and bursting with those funky fiber optic lights, or a fall tree wired with gords and Indian corn and raffia. Alas, once a year is all I get and so I make the most of it. For the second year in a row we went to a local outreach center for the homeless that sells trees as a fundraiser. They have a decent selection and you walk away feeling good about your purchasing habits...and the price, unbeatable! This year Griffin was all about helping pick out a "big one" and enjoyed watching it ride home from under the moon roof. He just cannot understand why we don't always have a tree strapped to the top of the car. I pulled out all the decorations and Christmas music and it onl…

A boy and his pirate


Some days I feel like this


Not to mention Turkey!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday! This year, I feel there is so much to be thankful for. My boys, Bruce and Griffin, without whom I would not truely know what it is to love and be loved. My family, whose stories, traditions and commitment have formed who I am today. My friends, a group of amazing people whose talents and ability to thrive in all sorts of situations nuture my spirit daily. My bosses, who are kind and fair, that make it bearable to be away from my "real life" 5 nights a week. Not to mention all of the material goods and creature comforts that make my life pleasurable. And I am thankful to you who are reading this, that you care enough about me and my thoughts to take the time.

Curious Griffin

All is well here at the Gast household. My brain has been so busy with details, I have not had any left over brain matter with which to blog. SOOOO many things going on right now. With THE END quickly approaching (Bruce will graduate in June) there are so many decisions to start making. Firstly, when do we put the house on the market? The housing market in this area is terrible and we certainly don't want to be stuck when it is time to move. On the other hand, we wouldn't want to sell it too soon and be somewhat homeless for a few months ....with a toddler. I have been watching HGTV like a maniac (the way I watched baby shows P.G.) and am trying to sort through the advice. My absolute favorite is "House Hunters". I love watching the couples trying to compromise - what is more important, his 3 car garage or her gourmet kitchen?? I love seeing the strange and unusual things people have in their homes, regardless of the fact that it is going to be on national TV. Anyway…

This the end....

So, we have been enjoying every last second of falls golden days.

Griffin is working hard to learn how to peddle a bicycle. He loves to ride at Gran and MorMor's house because it is all downhill! His favorite think to do these days is to pretend to be a "puppy" - that should explain the licking of the grass! And, For all you Arlo fans, he is perfecting his rendition of "The Pickle Song".

The tide is changing?

Wow, I am totally blown away with the Democratic successes this week. Really I should say OUR success...ours who have voted, who have discussed and wrote about these issues, who made phone calls, who attended rallies, who gave money. Even Rumsfeld and the President have heard the cry of the people for change, a feat that I wasn't sure could be accomplished. But tempered with my excitement I also feel a lot of trepidation. The Democrats were able to win on this wave of dissatisfaction with the current administration rather than their clear thinking, decisive plans and awesome leadership. My hope is that the leaders of our country will be fueled with a new excitement to work as a group to lead this country into the next chapter...hopefully one of peace, prosperity and a renewed commitment of caring and repairing this earth and the people on it.
On a lighter note...the winds of change have also blown through our house. Bruce had to shave off is facial hair because he is interning in a…


Our great friends, Dean and Gabriella, invited us over to celebrate Halloween at their house. Seeing as we were not keen to spend the night passing out candy to teens in the ghetto, and we love spending time with these friends, we eagerly accepted. Gabriella had quite the spread, as usual, and the crowd favorite was definitly the tasty beverage "Vampire's Blood" chilled with a hand made out of ice. Another family with their two boys were also there and then it was the big decision time. Well, against our better judgement, Bruce and I caved to peer pressure (that had come from all directions from apalled parents all week long) and we let Griffin go trick-or-treating. See, it's not that we have a moral delemma with letting our son beg food from strangers, or a religious issue with celebrating demon spirits and all things bloody, or even a snobbery against buying in to the mass merchandising that accompanys such a holiday. It is just that we have worked so hard to keep …

Southern Trip: Part VI

I better finish these vacation posts soon as I am running out of Roman numerals that I know. So after we left the Jack Daniels distillery, we were hoping for a quick drive into Memphis. In reality, the only way to get there was a small, curvy 2-lane road with a maximum speed limit of 55 mph. Normally, this is our preferred mode of travel, but at this point in the trip we were ready for a short drive and a relaxing evening in a decent hotel. We drove for about an hour when we saw signs advertising "Moonshine Jelly" - c'mon, you know we had to stop. Because Griffin looked like this,

we decided that I would run in and investigate and Bruce would stay in the car. As we pulled in, I could not believe my eyes...I daydream of places like this.

It did not disappoint as it was filled with Native American Crafts, old dusty quilts, vintage postcards, locally made bake goods, terrifying ceramic dolls and shelf after shelf of early 80's flea market leftovers. I could have spent hou…

The END of October


Southern Trip: Part V

So, it is like a month past our vacation and I am still blogging about it, but I am determined to get it all posted. After we left Jimmy in Atlanta, we drove about 4 hours to the Jack Daniels distillery. What a fantastic place! It was free, organized, educational and family friendly...I cannot say enough good things about the tour (especially compared to our next destination which is Graceland.) The tour is about an hour long and covers all the stages of the making of the whiskey along with some of the historical interest on the property. The distillery is located in the middle of the "hollers" and the location is beautiful. Our tour guide was a really witty, sweet lady who gave everyone the feeling of family. I guess with all that whiskey about, there is not much to be unhappy about. She even told us that all the workers at Jack Daniels receive a pint of whiskey with their paychecks on the first Friday of every month -- it is usually a perfect attendance day! We toured the …

Baby Picasso

Here is our little artist at our most recent playgroup.

And here is his famous "ALEXIS" smile. Anyone who has taken an unwelcome picture of my little sister has seen this smile before.

Southern Trip: Part IV

Friends, old and new, made the fourth part of this trip EXTRA extra special. After we came home from the mountains, Bruce and I gussied up, kissed are boy goodbye (not that he noticed as he was enthralled with Grandpa's army men at the time) and took off for our anniversary celebration. And, what a way to celebrate, by making new friends. We met up with Kyle, Sarah and Calliope at a little restaurant in the college area of Knoxville. This family are friends/family of our, family, family...there is a theme here somewhere. Anyways, although we had met briefly a few years before, it still had the feeling of a blind date. Until we sat at the table and started discussing the virtues of dark beer, then we felt like we had been friends for a long time. And their little girl...this magical little creature!! She is so precious, one only has to glimpse her and know that she has many magical powers, wears clothes made of flower petals, drinks her juice out of buttercups and s…

Southern Trip: Part III

One of the most incredible things about Knoxville is it's proximity to the Smokey Mountains. Many areas just outside the city provide you with breathtaking mountain views. We were so excited to spend a day in the mountains and we decided to make the trek on our Aniversary (yeah, 4 years of living, loving and learning together!). We headed up to the Smokey Mountains National Park and decided to explore a part of the park called Cades Cove.

From the Park's website:
"Cades Cove is a lush valley surrounded by mountains and one of the most popular destinations in the Great Smokies. Deer are almost always sighted in the fields, and observations of other wildlife, including bear, Wild Turkey, and fox are possible." "A wide array of historic buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries is scattered through-out the cove. These include a grist mill, a variety of barns, three churches, and a marvelous collection of log homes and outbuildings."

This is …


This was the view from our bedroom window yesterday morning and today.


October in Michigan...ain't nothin' prettier.

Create Your Own!

Sweet Success

"Papa, Papa, peepee in potty" "Do you have to go peepee in the potty?" "without you Papa" "You want to go without me?" "No" "C'mon, let's go in the bathroom and I will help you get started" Silence. Bruce walks into the bathroom and finds that Griff had already used the potty -- by himself!! YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's working!

Smokey Mountain Treasures

What can I say? I love the fungi.

Create Your Own!