Sunday, December 18, 2011

Americana - I Saw It!

Although it was already fading when I was growing up, I still remember riding with my grandfather (in the front seat with no seat belt) in his Chevy and seeing traces of Americana along the highway.  It could take many different forms; a sign for a filling station shaped like a giant plaster horse, the abandoned remains of a motor inn designed as an Indian village or even the rat rod that passed us that had once been a Ford Model T. They were symbols of the freedom inspired by the open road and a generation that, weary from a world at war, was ready to savor that freedom to the hilt.   

These roadside curiosities are all but gone now.  You can still catch a fleeting glimpse of them along historic Route 66, the occasionally sleepy, small town or a custom car show but, for the most part, they have faded into history.  They've been replaced by cold, politically correct, cookie-cutter, digitally designed symbols of our current time.  A time were it is in vogue to shun individuality, American Exceptionalism and the Capitalism that has made all the above possible.

Anytime an opportunity presents itself to share just a tiny piece of Americana with River, I will not pass it up because these colorful relics are quickly going the way of the incandescent light bulb.

Will she understand why these things are important?  Will she ever marvel at giant dinosaurs that aren't the product of CGI?  Will she ever spend the night in a metal wigwam while on her way to see the world's largest ball of twine?   Will she appreciate the history of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.. or will it just be a giant hot dog on wheels?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dance as though no one is watching you..

After five lessons, River had her first performance with her dance class at the local mall.  Whether or not dance is something that River holds an interest in is not important.  For her it's all about fun. It's also a way of maintaining River's comfort level in public situations.  She rarely shows any sign of shyness now and we hope to keep it that way. 

Sadly, she has already eclipsed her father's dancing skills.

True story.

All wired up and ready to go!

Miss Katrina - River's Dance Instructor

Pre-Dance Pep Talk

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Adventures with Momma

Crossing an un-natural bridge at Natural Bridge State Park.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Breakfast Magic Show

"I wanna show you again.  It's really awesome."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tempus Fugit

On the same path at Natural Bridge State Park; two years, seven months and twenty-five days apart..

April 1, 2009

November 26, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011


More than anything, people like to be remembered by those they love.  When you are only four years old, it's easy to be overlooked during the madness of Thanksgiving preparations.  "Go watch your cartoons" or "Play with your toys until time to eat" are common things that little ones may hear during these times. 

But not here.

At the busiest time of Thanksgiving Day, that final hour in the kitchen when everything is timed just right to finish cooking, roasting, baking, simmering, etc, River's Great Grandmother Ann called River into the kitchen to help her with a most important addition to the meal; Pigs in a Blanket.

Never mind that the dish was unconventional and has never been prepared for Thanksgiving here (or perhaps anywhere), it is perfect for the moment.  Yes, more than anything, people like to be remembered by those they love. This is a memory that River will hold on to forever.

Thank you, Ann.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This is how Taylor Swift started out.

And now a musical interlude..

River's version of If I Die Young by The Band Perry. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

4th Birthday Celebration Part 1

"River, would you like to have lunch at Chuck E. Cheese's for your birthday?"

No, Daddy.  I want crab leg!"

"Umm, O-kay."

At four years old, I think I would have been afraid of this thing.

A little help from Momma is much appreciated.

After lunch, time for a movie; Puss In Boots..

in 3D!!

Afterward, a quick trip to Toys R' Us.. and then pass out on the way home.  Life is good.

To Be Continued..

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I expect a call from Dancing With The Stars at any time.

Where does the time go?  In the blink of an eye, 1,461 days have passed and my little wiggly baby burrito that was handed to me by a nurse on November 2, 2007 has turned four years old!  Everyday seems to go faster than the one before it.  Each with the blessings of a wonderful daughter. 

Thank you, River and happy birthday.

Getting big but still, for now, not much bigger than a smurf.  A little more than three apples high.



Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Chilly Fall Day

River striking a pose just before scoping out the neighborhood for tomorrow night's Trick-Or-Treating.  Note the iPod and headphones. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

River's First Jack-O-Lantern

River designed her first Jack-O-Lantern.  She drew it and I carved it for her.  Thankfully, she kept it simple.  I love the traditional look. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall..

.. River is the cutest of them all.

Dressing up for her Halloween Party at School. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Little Pumpkin

Waiting for The Great Pumpkin! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

River the Explorer

"Daddy.  Can we go camping like Dora?"


"I want us to go camping like Dora.  We can eat popcorn and candy and marshmallows and we can sleep wrapped up in big blankets with our toes sticking out!  That sounds like fun doesn't it?"

"Well.. it does sound like fun but I don't think your mommy would like sleeping outside very much.  She doesn't like being that close to spiders."

"We need a tent.  Dora has a tent.  A blue tent.  We need to get a blue tent and then we can leave the spiders outside.  I won't let them in and then mommy will have fun!"       

So, a few days later, I took River's request to the Mommy Lady and was shocked that she was all for it.  Later that same day we purchased..


We waited for River to take her mid-day nap and then snuck outside to put it up.  We also picked up some popcorn, candy and marshmallows. 

When she woke up.. wow..  


River helped line the tent with big fluffy blankets.  We put batteries in the new flashlight, charged up the portable dvd player and, after dark, popped the popcorn and lit the citronella lantern.  

We started out strong.  Plenty of snacks.. Toy Story spinning in the dvd player.  River was all smiles sitting between us and chomping away on popcorn.  She didn't seem to notice that it was 9:30pm and still in the mid 80's with no breeze at all. 

But Jo and I noticed.  What were we thinking?  The tent had the same effect on Jo and I as one of those giant plastic cooking bags that you use to cook a chicken or a pot roast. We were ill prepared to say the least.

We managed to make it to 3am.  River was snoozing happily and I had finally dozed off in what can only be described as a heat-induced mini-coma.  I dreamt of tumble weeds and laughing cacti.  I think I seem to recall a flaming clown chasing me with a blow torch.  My tortured sleep was interrupted by a crazy-haired, sweaty Jo saying, "ENOUGH! Let's go inside. I can't take this anymore" and so we made the long journey of 4 feet to the front door and spent the rest of the night indoors.  Ahhhh, wonderful chilly cold air conditioning.  Up yours, Dora! I discovered the next day, while taking the tent down, that besides the same conditions I was attempting to endure, Jo was also sleeping atop a sizable pile of hardened deer droppings.  What a trooper.  That couldn't have been comfortable. 

River didn't seem to mind waking up in the house.  She still had a blast and looks forward to doing it again.  The next time we will wait for cooler weather and we will have an air mattress. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Don't Worry, Grandparents..

.. yours are already framed and ready for you.

Summer Portrait - 2011